"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball

October 27, 2011

Quality Time

I took my boys today to visit their baby sister.  We usually only get to take them once a week, and today was the lucky day!  Everytime my boys visit baby Katea, they pull their chairs up to her bedside and sing primary songs to her.  They can sit for the longest time trying to whisper/sing to her so they don't disturb the other babies....I love it!  The first time they did it was when she was still in pod D....I remember sitting there crying as I was listening and watching them, they're very musically talented like their dad and they LOVE to sing, especially Tongan church songs.  I'm glad they share that love with their baby sister Katea.  Today After I picked Makai up from school, we went to the library and he picked 5 Halloween books to read to his baby sister.....I thought that was such a great idea, and a great way for him to spend time with his sister while getting his daily reading minutes done. 

He was cute reading to her because he was trying to hold the books up high enough so that she could see the pictures while he was reading.  Great brother-sister quality time!  My mom was with us too and she kept Mone occupied by reading to him.  It was great and kept them occupied the whole time we were there so they didn't even have time to start getting into things.  I can sit at the hospital with my baby girl for hours and hours and not even notice the time....but my boys get a little restless and bored after being there for too long.  I've figured out that short, sweet visits are the best for them.  Just long enough for them to see her and sing or read to her is the limit.

My mom took us to Leatherby's for dinner during the break, and for my birthday.  I'm grateful for her, she's been a huge help and strength for me since all this happened.

After dinner, my mom went home and me and my boys went back to the hospital.  The 830pm cares are my most favorite cares because that's when we get to weigh her and see how much she's gained.  Today she actually lost 20 grams so she's back down to 2lb 5oz.  During the week I just help with the cares and then I have to hurry and leave so that I can get the van to Ova so he won't be late for work.  I hate that he works graves.....and that we only have one vehicle :(

I found out today that baby Katea has adrenal insufficiency (the ability to stabilize her blood pressure) so they had to put her back on the hydrocortizone.  Her potassium levels are high and her sodium levels are low. They said those are normal for preemies her age and she'll grow out of it.  Her lungs are still struggling and they told me she has BPD which is bronchial pulmonary disorder....or big words for cronic lung disease.  They said that also happens to a lot of preemies and hopefully she'll grow out of it when she gets older.  I did get a HUGE bit of good news though....they did another brain scan to check for brain bleeds and it came back normal again!  She won't get another scan until she's leaving the hospital because the likelyhood that she'll develop brain bleeds now is very very unlikely!  I'm glad that there's always a little good news with the bad....it makes coping a little easier and gives me something positive to focus on.

Today was a very emotional day for me....I'm not really sure why, but all day I've felt sad, tired and overwhelmed.  I don't think I'm balancing my life very well right now and it's catching up to me.  I feel like I need to be in a million places at once, and I just can't....and it makes me sad.  I wish I could split myself so I can be at home with my older 3, and at the hospital with my baby all the time.  I'm not getting enough sleep, I'm stressing out pretty much all the time about my baby's progress, bills, money, my kids.....my leg still is numb with sharp shooting pains since my C-section.....and on and on.  I usually feel like I'm ok, like I'm strong and I can handle everything.  Today was just a bad day.  I miss Ova.  I know I put a lot of pressure on him wanting him around all the time, but he just makes me feel so much better.  I broke down in front of my boys on the way home from the hospital.....they kept asking why and I really didn't have an answer....then Makai said "is it just because you're a cry baby?"  I said, "yes Makai, it is"  :) 

1 Month

I can't believe my baby girl is 1 month old already.....honestly, when I had her and they told me she'd be in the hospital for over 3 months, it sounded like FOREVER, but I can honestly say that it's gone by pretty quickly.  I hope the next couple months will feel the same and that before I know it I'll be able to bring her home!

Today when I got to the hospital for my daily visit, baby Katea had just finished her cares....I was bummed that I got there 15 minutes too late to do them, the dang traffic from the construction made it take even longer for me to get to the hospital than usual.  She had a new nurse today, one I'd never seen or worked with before, but she was really nice and sweet and I really like her.  Pretty much all the nurses have been exceptionally nice, courteous and professional.....there's a HUGE sense of care, compassion and concern from all the NICU staff and it honestly does make the stay there a little more bearable.  Her nurse came in and gave me the updates on baby and everything sounded great.  The day before, they changed the breathing tube that was in her throat.  The ventilator leak I talked about in my last post was getting worse and worse and they questioned whether it was oxygenating her like she needed.  The leak had been consistantly in the 30-40%....but yesterday it was all the way up to a 95-100% leak.  They were hesitant to switch the tube because of the stress it causes on their little bodies, but she was yo-yo'ing her oxygen saturation all over the place so they decided to change it to the bigger size that would fit her throat, and hope that would help.  She still yo-yo'd a little bit with the new tube, but nothing like before...and she was more calm and comforted, so it looked like it was working.  They lowered the amount of hydrocortizone they were giving her, which meant that her blood pressure was stabilizing.  They started her on a multivitamin.  They up'd her feeding again and now she's getting 20ml every 3 hours.  They also started fortifying my breastmilk.....what that means is they add calories to it.  Since they took her PICC line out and she's not getting loaded with TPN (electrolytes) or lipids (fat) through her PICC anymore, they have to fortify the milk.  They told me that it should start helping her gain weight even faster, which will hopefully help her lungs develop.  They also changed the way they were ventilating her, and decided at 5pm they would wein the title volume.  Before they tried to wein her by giving her less breaths, in hopes she would pick up the slack and start breathing on her own, that did not work :(  ....with this new way they ventilate her, she initiates the breaths and the machine helps her make her breaths full and deep so that her entire lungs open and get oxygen.  Lowering the title volume lowers the amount of force given by the machine to make her breaths deep breaths, and the hope is to have her make up the difference.  She's consistantly breathing up to 75 breaths on her own every minute, but it doesn't really matter if those breaths aren't big enough to actually oxygenate her little lungs...which was the problem they were finding with the other way they were ventilating her.  Weining her title volume was a good thing and told me that the Dr's thought she'd be able to handle it.  All the things she told me sounded good and I was so happy to hear she was having a good day! 

The nurse walked out of the room and I pulled the chair up to her incubator.  I sat there, just me and her....I was just staring and talking to her....she amazes me and I'm so extremely  grateful for her.  She's been through so much in the month she's been alive and I couldn't help but to sit and stare at her and thank my Heavenly Father for blessing me with her.  I got teary eyed just staring at her....and could have sat there for hours, but then 630pm rolled around and the NICU is closed from 630-730 for shift change, so I had to say my goodbyes for an hour.

Wednesday nights the NICU hosts a parent support group class during the break.  Most of the time it's different classes on things we, as parent's need to learn and know while being in the NICU....it's great, useful and informative information and it's also a chance to meet other parents, hear their stories, relate and learn their experiences, and make friends.  Tonight was a little different, they made it into a Jeopardy night.  It was so much fun and very informative...there were more parents at this class then had been at any other class I'd been to, so I got to meet a lot of parent's with different NICU situations.  It never fails when it's my turn to talk about my experience that I start crying, that's why I LOVE it when Ova's with me because he's so strong and he can do the talking and spare me from crying....but tonight I had to do it myself.  I told them about baby Katea and how much she weighed when she was born and how she's doing and everything and then the lady leading the class asked "do you want to share your whole experience?"  I tried, but I couldn't....she asked me if I wanted her to and I said yes.....I put my head down and the tears just ran down my face as she explained that I was having twins, but that I lost one of them.  That part of my story never seems to get easier.  After the game was over, they let each of us pick a prize from their bin...they had everything you can think of from preemie onesies, rattles, blankets, candy, picture books, binkis....lots of stuff.  I got 2 cute little preemie onesies.  They look so tiny, but my baby Katea won't be able to fit into them for a long time!  She's still so small!

Baby Katea's very first preemie clothes....same size as my hand!  (I'm gonna have to get some for when she can start to wear clothes.....with my giant kids, I've never owned any clothes this small!)

After the parent support group I went back into baby Katea's room.  My usual schedule is to pump at 8 so that there can be fresh warm milk for her to eat at her cares at 830.  I pumped right next to her incubator....I've been having an issue with the amount of milk I'm getting, so they told me it helps to look at her or be by her when I'm pumping....so I try to do that as much as I can.  I noticed that she looked irritated and uncomfortable....she was moving around a lot and she kept squinting her eyebrows like she was in pain.  Her oxygen saturation was all over the place and I could just tell something was wrong.  I called the nurse in to tell her something was wrong.....she listened to her lungs and she sounded gunky, so she suctioned her.  She got a lot of cloudy white stuff from her lungs when she suctioned....which was so bad because her lungs have been so clear and dry for a while now.  The nurse said that it could be because they changed the tube, or it could be that she's developing an infection in her lungs....she couldn't tell me for sure.  That immediately worried me, especially since we just got over a week of infections and antibiotics...and they already took her PICC line out.  They had a blood gas scheduled for 8pm.....since they wein'd her title volume at about 5pm, they just wanted to check the gas to see if she was tolerating the wein.  Taking a blood gas consists of them poking her foot and squeezing it over and over to make it bleed into a little tube.  The first tube they filled with her blood was send to the RT (respiratory therapist) to test.  The results for that came back inconclusive so they had to repeat.  She got poked again and when they were filling up the second tube with her blood, they noticed something wrong with the tube, so they discarded that one and had to start again.  They poked her for a third time, and finally that one worked.  The blood gas test shows how well her body is being oxygenated.  Her results were not what we wanted.  It showed that her body was not getting rid of the CO2 like it should be, which in esscence meant she was not tolerating the wein at all.  Like I said before....2 steps forward, 1 step back.  They went back up on her title volume and will try it again in a couple days.  They tell me there's nothing else really to do, it's just a matter of her lungs not being developed enough.....and that will come as she grows and gets older.  So we just need to wait, be patient keep praying that her little lungs will develop.  They explained to me that some preemies lack the vitamins they need, so their bodies start taking them from their bones.  They saw that in baby Katea's x-ray....they saw she lacked vitamin D.  Thankfully the remedy to fix that is to just start giving her vitamin D in addition to the multivitamin they started her on today.  If only all the solutions to the problems that arise were that easy!

On a brighter note, she gained weight again.  After her 830pm cares we weighed her and she gained a whole ounce since last night.....I guess the fortifying my milk is helping!  She now weighs 1080 grams, which translates into 2lbs. 6 1/2oz. 

I love you my sweet baby Katea!  Keep fighting, keep growing!  Happy 1 month birthday today!

October 25, 2011


Wow how this week has flown right by, and so much has happened.  Baby Katea is doing awesome!  She's simply amazing.......they been pumping 5 different types of antibiotics in her body for the past 10 days (some of them 14 days) and today was the last dose.  The antibiotics seem to be working, which we are so greatful for!  All the bloodwork has come back negative, and the cultures they took haven't grown anything!  It's funny because my mom said with all the antibiotics they're giving her, it should kill every single bad thing in her body....I'm glad they covered their bases and I hope and pray that the bacteria and infections don't come back because the nurses said it's pretty common for preemies born that early to have several spells of infections throughout their stay in the NICU.  I'm praying that won't happen to my baby girl!

She hasn't had to have a blood transfusion since the last time I blogged, which is super good!  The platelet transfusion worked so good that her platelet count went from 50 to 190 with just that one transfusion...and it's been staying in a good range since then!  Since she's been born she's been under the bili-light quite a bit.  It kinda seems like they put her under it every other day.....a couple days last week they had her under the light for two days in a row.  They said she didn't really need it on the second day, but they were hoping that by putting her under it for two days straight, it would solve her bili count and she wouldn't have to be under it again.  It worked!!  :)

That reminds me of a horrible experience we had this week.  It was one of the days she was under the bili-light.  Ova and I walked into the room for our daily visit and we walked straight up to her incubator and immediately gasped.  Her little cheeks were so swollen like they were going to pop.  The stupid nurse put the bili-glasses on her head WAY TOO TIGHT and it was squeezing the heck out of her poor little head.  Immediately Ova reached in and loosend the velcro that was holding the glasses on.....and just as he was doing that, the nurse walked in.  She was a new nurse, one that we'd never seen or worked with before.  Her name was Julie....I'll never forget that!  She came up to the bed and I said "her glasses are on way too tight"....Julie said, "I don't think so"  then she puts her hands into baby Katea's incubator and takes off the glasses.  I started crying at what I saw.  Her poor little head was so deformed.  She's still super tiny and her head still soft....the glasses had been on her head for over 2 hours and it changed her face so much that she looked like a completely different baby.  I should have taken a picture of it, but I was so upset that I didn't even think about it.  Her poor eyes were sunken in and there was a definite dent in her head where the top of the glasses were and above her little cheeks at the bottom of the glasses.  Julie said "let's just leave them off for a minute" then she left the room.  She knew we were both pissed off and I was crying so she was probably uncomfortable.  I stood there and stared at my little girl....she didn't look the same.....it made me wonder if she was in pain because the glasses were squeezing the heck out of her head.  Her head was deformed.  It looked like when you have a balloon and you squeeze the middle and the top and bottem get big...that's what her little head looked like.  I was worried it wouldn't go back to normal....or that all the head pressure caused brain bleeds, which she was clear of so far.  I was livid.  Ova stood on one side of the incubator and I was on the other.  We were both just looking at her, in shock at what we were seeing with her little head.  Then I look at her legs.  One leg was hanging over the blanket and the other leg was bent and all I could see was her knee.  Her leg was a little twisted, she looked uncomfortable and I couldn't see her little foot.  I asked Ova where her foot was.  He grabbed her knee trying to straighten her leg out and you'll never believe where her foot was at........it was INSIDE her diaper!  Julie freakin' put her diaper on 2 hours earlier during her cares and when she put her diaper on, she closed her foot in it.....who does that??  Ova pulled her little foot out and she stretched her leg out......my poor baby girl.  I was so mad.  Julie came back into the room and I told her that her foot was closed inside her diaper....she said "are you sure it wasn't just tucked in the blanket?"  I said, "no, my husband just pulled it out of her diaper"....she said "well I don't know how that happened" and then she left the room again.  I pulled the chair up to her bedside and just stared at her, crying.  Every single nurse we've had has been extremely nice, professional and kind.....Julie was the first bad experience.  She pretty much stayed out of the room the whole day....usually the nurses sit and tell us all the updates and changes that have happened that day, but she didn't talk to us at all.  I know she knew we were mad at her.  I went up and found the charge nurse and told her what happened and asked if they would please never assign Julie to be Katea's nurse ever again.  The charge nurse was very kind and assured us that she won't ever be her nurse again.  The sad thing is that several of the nurses were telling us that she's done that a lot.....so why the heck is she still working in the NICU???  Uggghhh!  It wasn't even a personality conflict because we never talked to her, she didn't do her job very well and I don't feel like my daughter is safe with her.  That happened on Monday and Ova and I were only planning on being at the hospital with her for a couple hours so we could come home for FHE....but we stayed all night just because we didn't want to leave our baby alone with Julie.  :(

On a lighter note, she's growing so well and she's gaining weight!!  Yay!  After stopping her feedings for the transfusions she got last week, they started her feedings again slowly.  First they started with 2ml every 6 hours, then it went up to 3ml every 3 hours.....she handled the food so well and her bowels were working like they should so they up'd her feedings a little bit more everyday.  From the 3ml they went to 5ml every 3 hours, then 6ml....then 7ml, then 10.....then 13ml....15ml.....17ml and today she was all the way up to 19ml every 3 hours!!  That's a huge accomplishment!  19ml sounds like a lot, but really it's not considering that 15ml is only a half a ounce.....but it's a full feeding for a baby her size!  We were a little worried about her bowels when she was first born because she didn't have a stool for the first 12 days of life.  They actually had to give her a enema to help her move things along....it helped and now she's doing it on her own!  I think we're even past the meconium stuff and getting to the real poop because it's turning from black to green.

We weigh her every night to see how much she's gained, or if she's lost.....and they measure her length and head circumfrance once a week on Sunday.....she's grown quite a bit since she's been born....here's her stats:

Born 9/26/11
Weight:  1 lb. 12 oz.
(They didn't take her length the day she was born because they didn't want to put too much stress on her little body)

Length:  12 1/2 inches

Weight:  1 lb. 10 oz.
Length:  13 inches

Weight:  1 lb. 10 1/2 oz.
Length:  13 inches

Weight:  2 lb. 1 1/2 oz.
Length:  13 3/4 inches

Weight:  2 lb. 5 1/2 oz.
Length:  14 1/2 inches

We were so excited that she hit 2 lbs.  And just from last Sunday to this Sunday she gained 4 ounces and grew a little less than an inch in length.....she sure had a huge growth spurt, and she totally impressed the nurses and doctors.....we are so happy!  Who would have ever thought that a 2 lb. baby would have a chubby face....but she does!  They said the first place babies gain weight in in their face....and we can totally see it in baby Katea's face!  She's so cute!

This is when she was a week old...
This picture was taken just 2 weeks after the one above.....huge difference isn't it!! 

One thing we've been struggling with is her breathing.  We're very blessed that her head is good, her heart is good....but her lungs are struggling :(  They're just not as strong as they need to be.  She's been on the ventilator for almost a month.  They keep trying to wein her down to hopefully get her off, but it's not working too great.  She's grown a lot since she was born, and her throat has grown and is bigger then the tube, which causes a leak.  What that means is that some of the breaths she's getting from the machine is escaping and not getting to her.  Her oxygen saturation is all over the place and they're now calling her the yo-yo baby because she's so all over the place.  She'll high sat up in the high 90's and immediately drop down to the 60's.......it's hard to measure how much oxygen she's really getting because of the leak, and if she moves a certain way and the tube in her throat moves, it makes the oxygen concentration in her blood drop.  She is taking a lot of breaths on her own, but there are also times where she stops breathing and just "rides the vent".  This week their goal was to wein her breaths down slowly, in hopes it would force her to do more work on her own.  She started out with the machine giving her 40 breaths a minute....the first day they went down 4 breaths, and everyday since then they've been going down 2 more breaths.  She was actually doing really well....until she got down to the machine giving her 26 breaths, then they stopped because they noticed that even though she was getting less breaths from the machine, she was needing more oxygen.  Today they ended up turning it up a little, so she's getting 30 breaths again.  I guess we'll have to accept the 2 steps forward and 1 step back!  Slowly but surely she'll get it!  My birthday is on Friday and I told her all I wanted was for her to get off the ventilator.....hahaha, nothing wrong with aiming high, right?  :)

I've gotten to hold her 4 times now.....I look forward to every chance I get to hold her!  She seems to do so much better with her oxygen levels and taking more breaths on her own when I'm holding her....I wish I could hold her more often and for longer periods of time, but they say she's still too little and a lot of movement is too much stress on her little body.....so I'll take the once a week for now!

Since the antibiotics are done and she's eating enough now, they were able to get rid of a lot of the wires she was hooked up to.  They were going to leave the PICC line in her arm for another day, just to make sure she tolerated her feedings....but when they went to flush it today it wouldn't flush....there was a blood clot inside it, so they went ahead and pulled it out.  Another less wire hooked to her body.  Hopefully now she'll stay stable and her lungs will start to improve so she can get off the ventilator!  I can't wait for that day, not only because she won't have a tube down her throat.....but I'll get to hear her cry, and we'll get to hold her more often!  Good job baby Katea, we're so proud of you and we love you so much!  Keep fighting, we're all still praying for you everyday!  And HAPPY ONE MONTH BIRTHDAY tomorrow!  Wow, that was fast!  :)

October 22, 2011


So I took my kids out for a night of fun and I ran into a family member that I hadn't seen for a while.  He came up to me and this is how the conversation went:

Him:  Hey Monica, sorry that we didn't come to your baby's funeral...we didn't hear about it until the day of

Me:  Oh it's ok, don't even worry about it...everything happened so quickly

Him:  Was the funeral for the baby that already died?

Me:  Yes

Him:  Yeah, that's what I thought.  (Then with a rather disgusted face) Why did you spend money on a funeral if you already knew it was dead before it was born? 

A million things are running through my mind at this point.... shock at the words that just came out of his mouth, extreme hurt and then severe anger.  I wanted to punch him and it honestly took everything in me to not break down and cry right there.  I couldn't believe how ignorant he was...and that he had the odacity to ask me that question right to my face in a voice that was totally non-chalant like it was no big deal.

Me:  Because she was my daughter and she had a fully developed body...and we wanted to lay her little body to rest

Him:  (pointing to my stomach) well, at least you still have one baby right?

Me:  Yes, she's in the hospital....she'll be there until January....I had her when I was 6 months pregnant so she's really small and only weighed 1 pound when she was born.

Him:  Oh, you already had her?  That's good.....(then he walks off)

I stood there for a little bit pondering on what just happened.  I was so hurt.  His non-chalant demeanor and attitude made me so sad.....yet so angry.  How dare he make light the pain I felt losing my daughter.  How dare he question our decision to lay her little body to rest.  How dare he make me feel like my baby Cindy wasn't important and didn't need the service she got.  How dare he.  How dare he act like she wasn't important or wasn't a person, just because she passed on before she was born.  What about the months she was alive in me?  What about the months that we heard her little heart-beat and saw her moving her legs and arms and wiggling around?  How dare he.  With my baby Cindy I felt like I had to go through her death twice.  When we found out that we lost her it was so hard.  I cried for weeks...I didn't eat anything...I would say I went through a little depression....but after a few weeks, I was able to finally accept it.   When I delivered her little body, all those wounds and the pain and loss I felt were re-opened.  I had to deal with it all over again.  It's been almost a month and I just recently stopped crying....just to have a family member, someone who is supposed to support and be there for you in your hardest and darkest times, make the pain even worse.  How dare he.

I came home and told Ova about what happened.  Of course he was so upset.  He hugged me and let me cry on his shoulder for a long time.  He tried to comfort me and told me not to worry about that family member, that we don't need him.   Ova's right, we don't need people like that....but he's family, and whenever we run into him from now on I'm gonna think of this conversation and how he made me hurt so bad. 

Baby Cindy, I'm so sorry.  I'm sorry that some people don't understand.  I'm sorry that some people are so heartless....but just like daddy said, they don't matter.  All that matters is that mommy and daddy love you so so much, and even though you were only here for such a short time...and we never got to hold or kiss you, you were very much a part of us and our lives and we will never forget that! We know that we will get to be with you and hold you and kiss you someday....and we know you're our little guardian angel and you're always in our hearts and minds.  We love you our sweet baby Cindy! 

And so this is what I really need to remember:

October 15, 2011

Focusing on the positive!

I had thought for a minute about starting another blog...just to have one be strictly on our baby Katea and her progress and development....but I decided not to do that.  This blog is our family blog, it's what's going on with us in our little family....this is our life.  What is going on with Baby Katea is what's going on in our life right now....so I continue to blog.

Baby Katea finally weighs 2lbs.  Tonight we got to take our boys to visit her (Lautala is not allowed in the NICU because she's too young) we just sat around her isolette staring at her.  My boys are mesmorized by her.  They ask a million questions about what all the beeping and alarms are, and on her stat monitor they want to know what all the numbers mean, and if they were good or not.  They always ask to hold or touch her, but they are not allowed, so they just pull their stools up to her incubator and stare at her.  She's so tiny, but she's actually grown since she's been in there.  I don't really notice the growth because I'm there every single day....but when I look back at pictures from her first week...the measurements show it.  Her head circumfrance has grown 1/2 centimeter, she's grown 1/2 an inch in length...and she now weighs 920 grams, which equals 2lb 1/2oz.  Growing is a very good sign and we were clapping and celebrating during her weigh-in when we saw she gained!  Yay Katea!  She also started sucking....I was changing her diaper and the nurse was holding her head and she started sucking on the nurse's pinky finger.  We were so excited about that, so the nurse went and got a little binki (it was really little, but still almost as big as her little head) and stuck it in her mouth and she immediatly began sucking....so cute!  They don't get the suck, swallow, breathe coordination down until about 34 weeks, but that she started sucking is awesome!

We had a really good talk with the respiratory specialist about life as a NICU parent, and he gave us a lot of good information and helped us put things into perspective.  He told us that we needed to focus on the long term, and not on each specific day.  He said if we focused on each day, we would go crazy.  I can totally agree with him....sometimes I feel like I'm going a little crazy.  This week has been a very trying week for our little girl.  I explained some of the things she's had to go through in my last post...but it has continued from there.  Just today when they did her labs, her platelet count was low again.  This is like 4 days that it's been low, so they decided to give her a platelet transfusion.  They gave her 13ml of platelets.  Whenever they do a transfusion, they stop her feedings because sometimes it can be rough on their little stomachs and so to prevent further problems, they don't feed them that day.  They figured that since they were already stopping her feedings, and her hematocryt was a little low again...they might as well do another blood transfusion, so they also gave her 13ml of blood.  This makes her 4th blood transfusion since she's been born.  When we got there to visit her today she was comfortable and sleeping, and the nurse told us that she had had a good day and despite everything, she was calm.  That's what we liked to hear.  The antibiotics they have been pumping into her little body have been working.  They took a blood culture from her PICC line and thankfully it hasn't grown anything for the past 2 days, so they don't have to take it out!  There is still a little bacteria in her throat, but her chest x-ray looked good and they were confident that the antibiotics they were giving her would clear anything that was still there that shouldn't be.

Yesterday was an extremely scary day.......CODE BLUE (Respiratory failure) NICU room B20.....Kina leka and Tina called us that morning because they wanted to take us out to lunch.  We met them for lunch....it was really the first time we've taken a break since baby was born, and it was nice to take a break.  When we were done eating, we all headed to the hospital...Kina and Tina wanted to see baby Katea....since there can only be 3 people in the room at a time, and 1 has to be a parent...Ova stayed outside while I took Kina and Tina in to see her.  She was sleeping on her left hand side and she had her stylish glasses on because she was under the bili-light.  Her nurse came in and gave me the updates for that day....she told us that baby Katea was having a really good day and it looked like finally everything was calming down.  I asked her if she could take off the glasses for just a minute so Kina and Tina could see her little face and she said yes....she took the glasses off and we all stared at her for a little bit.  A couple minutes later she started squirming around and looked a little uncomfortable....the nurse looked at her diaper and sure enough she had pooped.  It wasn't quite time for her cares yet, but since she needed her diaper changed, we went ahead and did the cares.  Me and Ova get to do the cares when we're there....I love that they let us be as involved as we can!  I got the diaper out and warmed the wipes and changed her diaper.  She just had a small amount of meconium....but any stool is great and means her bowels are working properly...I finished changing her diaper just in time for the respiratory therapist to come in and help reposition her.  Every time they do cares they reposition the way she is laying....they do that to help her little head, so it can be round and not flatter on one side than the other.  They were just rolling her from her left side to her back....all the sudden her respiratory rate plumeted and then her heart rate dropped significantly....then the nurse said, "that's not a good color".....I looked at my baby girl and she was purple, I thought she was dead.  That was probably the scariest moment of my life.  I immediatly started saying a prayer in my head.  I didn't know what to do, I ran to the corner of the room, just watched what was going on and silently started freaking out.  The nurse pushed the emergency button and you could hear over the entire hospital CODE BLUE, NICU room B20...over and over again.  Not even a minute later there were 20 people in the room.  Doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists (with medication that would boost her heart rate if she needed it, which thankfully she didn't)...so many people trying to help my little baby girl.  I was freaking out watching them and I couldn't take it anymore.  I ran out of the room to find Ova.  He was scrubbing in and I ran straight to him and told him to hurry.  I could tell he was worried because he heard the CODE BLUE call and knew B20 was where our daughter was.  He finished scrubbing in and we ran to the room.  We got stopped several times in the hall by really nice nurses who were trying to calm us down and comfort us, and told us that it was ok that we are in the room during everything that was going on.  We got to her room and just stood in the back of the room watching everyone work vigorously to help our little baby.  I couldn't stop crying, Ova was just rubbing my back.  They took out her old respiratory tube and put in a new one.  Immediately after they did that, she stabilized.  I was happy to see on the monitors that her stats were back to normal, but I was still so scared.  They said that when they were repositioning her the tube in her throat must have slipped a little and immediately Katea went into survival mode.  She wanted to protect her little heart, so she stopped breathing, which made her heart rate drop.  Very scary.  Every single person in that room who rushed in to help, stopped and hugged or rubbed my arm or back just trying to comfort me....they sympathized with me and told me they know how scary it is, but that she's in really good hands.  Everyone was extremely kind and sweet.  After things had settled down and baby Katea was ok and sleeping from the pain medication and sedation they gave her....everyone left the room except me and Ova.  I just broke down again.  I really wish I didn't have to see that, but then again I'm glad I did because I was able to see again how quickly everyone responded and get the reassurance that she really is in good hands.  Thankful also that it happened right after Kina and Tina left so they didn't have to witness that.

Like I said before, we had a really good talk with the respiratory specialist.  The conversation started with me asking him how long it took on average for a 25 weeker to be able to get off the vent.  He explained in great detail the difference between adult lungs, infant lungs and preemie lungs....it was a lot of information, but it made perfect sense.  Basically what he told us was that he couldn't give me an answer to that, that all preemies are individuals and they come off the vent when they are ready to come off.  He told me that baby Katea's lungs weren't as strong as he would like them to be, so it could be a while before they're able to extabate (take the breathing tube out), but that we shouldn't worry about it.  He kept saying over and over again that "she's the one driving the bus, we all just have to figure out where she's going and meet her there"..... he told us to focus on the long term, meaning weeks and months, and not on days and hours.  Look at the overall picture.  Then he asked me how she was doing....immediatly I thought about how she almost died, how she's been fighting bacteria and infections in her body for the past couple days....and I wanted to scream BAD, but then he helped me look at the bigger picture and focus on the positives.

1- She's gaining weight
2- Her oxygen is stable
3- Her bowels are working well and she's having plenty wet and dirty diapers
4- She's calm
5- She's growing
6- She's stable
7- She has no brain bleeds
8- The antibiotics are working
9- She started sucking
10- She had 14 good days before these few bad days

He sat there with me and Ova and listed all these good things and helped us to see how well she is doing, despite these little setbacks (which they said are common for preemies born that young)  Then he asked me again...."so how is she doing" and I said "overall she is doing good"  He smiled, said "yes she is" and then left the room.

I really am grateful for the staff in the NICU at the IMC hospital.  Not only do they know their stuff and are excellent at it, but they are caring and compassionate and they take time to help the parent's understand and cope with life in the NICU.  Now we just hope and pray that the bad days are behind us for a while and our sweet baby Katea can go back to having her good days!

Since she's in her own room now, I asked our nurse if we could bring in pictures to hang on her wall.  She said yes and I've brought pictures of our little family to hang on her wall.....the boys have drawn her lots of pictures and written her lots of notes and we've hung them on her wall.  Marie and her kids made a poster for her and that's on her wall as well.  Someday when her vision is good enough to reach the wall, she'll know how much she is loved.  Keep fighting baby girl, we love you so much!

We also finally got her hand and feet prints.  I put them up to a dollar bill just to get perspective on how tiny she is....her hands and feet together measure about a half of a bill.  So cute!

October 11, 2011

Ups and Downs

The NICU is divided into 4 pods.... A, B, C & D.  D is the most critical pod, the one with the youngest and sickest kids.  Baby Katea has been in pod D since she was born.  The nurses told us that the goal was for her to be stable enough to move out of pod D into one of the other pods....with pod B being the preferred one because they are private rooms with a window.  They said the day that happens is a day for celebrating because it's like they're graduating from school.  They told us that it probably would be a couple weeks before Tea would be able to move pods....so we just look forward to the positive updates and count our many blessings for how well she is doing.

I got a call this morning 10/9/11 from the nurse practicioner saying that baby's hematocryt dropped and so she needed a blood transfusion.  This will be the second one since she's been born.  The first time I heard about it, I freaked out and thought something was wrong, but after the nurses explained things to us...my nerves were calmed.  They said that it's normal for these tiny ones to have to go through blood transfusions.  She told us that their little bodies are so small that they don't make blood as quickly as adults, and with all the blood they have to draw from them, sometimes they need to help them replenish it.  They told us that our baby Katea only has about 2oz. of blood in her whole entire body.  So if you can imagine them taking blood daily for testing....it makes sense.  They are all actually really surprised that in the two weeks since she's been born, she's only had to have 1 transfusion.  That's a really good sign.  Today she is getting her second one. 

We got here to the NICU today 10/9/11 and she was laying on her right side with a big IV running blood into a little vein in her foot.  They gave her a little bit of sedation to help her relax during the poking and stuff and she looked so peaceful and so comfortable.  Us, as parents, have free rein to touch her whenever we want.  We can't rub or stroke her skin (the natural thing you want to do with infants) because their nerves aren't completely formed yet and so it's painful for them instead of soothing.  We are just supposed to put our hand on her body, on her head....we can let her little hand hold our fingers...or push on the souls of her feet.  Those types of touches are comforting to her because it's warm and tight like in the uterus.... and it lets her get to know our smell, which comforts her.  I came straight here and pulled the chair up to her incubator and covered her little body with my one hand and put my other hand on the top of her little head.  She was so comfortable.  Then, the nurse walked in to let us know what was going on today.  She let us know about the blood transfusion and her breathing.  They said her goal this week will be to get her to start breathing on her own.  They're going to turn down the ventilator and hope that her lungs will be forced to develop and that she'll start breathing on her own.  They tried that once before when she was only a couple days old because she was doing so well.....but she wasn't ready for that at all, so they put her on another ventilator that breaths for her, but allows her to take her own breaths as well.  Hopefully this time will work and they'll be able to take her off the ventilator and put her on just oxygen.  That's our next goal.  She's simply amazing though and has done incredibly well since she's been born!  The nurse also told us the awesome news that she gets to move pods today!!  She's going to be getting her own room in pod B where she'll be able to grow for the next couple months until she gets to come home.  A room in B came open and she is the most stable baby right now in pod D, so they're moving her.  That was such awesome news for us to get!  We are so excited and we can definitely see the blessings of the priesthood coming to reality through this little girl.  She's amazing!

~~ New Day ~~
Wow, how things have changed.  Today is 10/11/11 and yesterday and today have been BAD DAYS :(  I've been crying a lot....that emotional rollercoaster they told us about is taking me on a downward motion right now, and it's so hard!  It's bad because she's been doing awesome!  She really hasn't had any major problems since she's been born....almost to the point where I thought we were different than anyone else...we were invincible.  We had to be here because she was born so early, but she was going to fly right through it and do fine.  The past two days has been a slap in the face and a eye-opener for me....and has definitely made me humble myself and realize that we are not invincible or different than anyone else...we're on that same rollercoaster as all the other parents in the NICU.  I got a call yesterday morning from the nurse practicioner with not very good news.  My heart drops every time my phone rings and it's the NICU number.  They told us at the beginning that if we don't hear from them, that's good.....it means there are no problems.  When they call us, it's to let us know of changes or things that are happening.  When the phone rang, I jumped up to answer it...the nurse practicioner called to tell us that baby's blood platelet count was extremely low and they found some bacteria in her x-ray. They took some cultures...put it in a peatry dish and they have to watch it to see if anything grows.  The low blood platelet count was a sign of infection in the blood so they started her on antibiotics.  They said that the antibiotics would hopefully stop the infection in her blood and the bacteria they found in her x-ray.  When we visited her yesterday, she was different.  She was not her usual calm self, she was irritated...moving around a lot...her heart-rate was way higher than normal, like in the 175 range (when normally she's in the 140-150 range)  and her oxygen saturation was really low.  I could tell right when I walked in that something was wrong.  My heart broke.  I hate seeing her like that.  They had her on pain medication and sedation to help calm her, but it didn't seem to be working.  She kept making a crying face, but no sounds can come out because of the tubes that are in her throat.  Hardest thing for a mother to have to go through...to sit there and watch their little baby be going through so much...and there's absolutely nothing I could do.  Since it was her 2 week birthday yesterday, they had to change her bed.  That meant I got to hold her again.  They call it skin to skin or kangaroo care....it's where they put her chest directly against my chest and let me hold her for an hour.  I was amazed to see how much me holding her affected her.  She immediately calmed down....her heart rate went back to normal and she was actually highsat'ing which means they had to turn her oxygen down.  I could feel her little body twitching and I just put my hand over her body and she fell asleep.  I fell asleep with her.  I wish that moment didn't have to end.  After the nurse changed out her bed and the hour was up, she came to take her from me.  I wanted to cry so hard when I saw that instantly after they laid her back in her incubator, her heart rate skyrocketed and they had to turn her oxygen back up.  I wish I could just hold her all night, since that makes her feel better.....and me too!!  It was Monday night so we didn't stay at the NICU very long yesterday...we had to come home and have FHE with our other kids, but that honestly was the hardest thing for me yesterday...leaving my poor little baby girl, especially when she's having a bad day.  I must have cried all night last night.  Thankful for Ova for letting me cry when I need to, but always being there to hug or hold me when I need it.

Today I was hoping it would be a better day.  But I woke up crying.  I woke up to my phone ringing....it was the nurse practicioner again.  No good news, only worse news.  She said that the cultures they took from her yesterday grew bacteria, which was not good.  They were going to have to do a spinal tap to take some fluid to test if she has menengitis, which is a brain infection.  I broke down on the phone.  She continued to tell me that they found pneumonia on the x-ray so they were going to continue the antibiotics, and her platelet counts were still low, so they were giving her another blood transfusion today.  Nothing that I wanted to hear.  Her heart rate is still low and her oxygen went way down last night so they had to turn it up a little more than she's needed since she's been born. 

I wish so bad that she was still inside me.  I wish I could have been able to take care of her longer so she doesn't have to fight so hard for her life.  She will barely be 28 weeks this Saturday...only 7 months.  The thing that kills me the most is that she was perfectly fine....she was growing exactly how she was supposed to.....it was my body that was killing her.  Whatever was going on with me, that I had absolutely no control over, was hurting her.  I'm actually amazed at how much I can see the Lord's hands in everything.  As I was talking to the nurse that was bedside by the operating table when I was getting my C-Section....she was telling me that she's amazed that baby Katea is doing so well.  She said once the Dr opened my stomach up it looked like black tar spilled out....just a lot of dark old blood from all the bleeding and clots I had.  She said if baby Tea would have swallowed any of it, or gotten any of it in her lungs, it would have been a whole different story.  But when they did the x-ray, it was completely clear.  That was a huge blessing.  Then she went on to tell me that she couldn't believe how small her umbilical cord was.  She said that it looked like she used every single ounce of it that she could....and that the cord probably would have stopped working within the next coupld days...which meant that if the Dr didn't take her out that day, in a couple more days she wouldn't have made it.  Another huge blessing.  I know that she'll be ok, I know in my heart that she'll be ok....but it's just so hard seeing her little body and watching all the poking and prauding and all the things her little body has to go through.  Even though she's having a couple bad days, I am trying really hard to focus on the fact that she's alive, and she's had 14 good days.  She really is my little miracle, and so much stronger than me.

I know the Lord is mindful of me, my family, and my little baby Katea.  I see the blessings from all the prayers for us.  I see his hand in everything and I am very grateful.  Ova and I pray every night and ask for certain things.  Whatever baby is struggling with, we pray and the Lord makes it happen.  I've noticed that so much more than before.  He's there and he answers our prayers and I'm so grateful for that.  Now I just pray that the antibiotics will kill whatever bacteria or infection she has going on in her little body so she can go back to being herself and having her good days! 

October 8, 2011

Big Steps

Today was the day I'd been waiting for for 11 days now.  The first time I got to hold and kiss my little miracle baby Katea.  In the past week and a half I've gotten to change her diaper, take her temperature, and weigh her, but never had the opportunity to actually hold or kiss her yet.  Today was a wonderful and very special day!!  She's such a fighter and has been doing so well.  She's still on a ventilator, but her lungs are getting stronger everyday.  They were able to take all the wires out of her umbilical cord and put a PICC line in her arm to give her all the antibiotics and medicines she needs through that instead of being hooked up to several different wires.  And the brain scan she got came back completely normal with absolutely no brain bleeds.  That was a huge hurdle she jumped over, and the best news we could have gotten!!  She lost a little weight in the first few days of life, which is normal....but now she is starting to gain again.  Today she weighed 1 lb10 oz.  They've started feeding her some of the breastmilk I've pumped....she started out with 1ml every 6 hours, but her little stomach is doing so well that they've up'd her feedings to 3ml every 3 hours.  She's simply amazing and everyday I look at her perfect little face, I thank my Heavenly Father for her.  The nurses said that she's unusually stable for a baby that was born at 25 weeks.  That's exactly what we love to hear!  Good job baby Katea, we love you so so so much.....keep fighting baby girl, we're all cheering and praying for you everyday! 

Big day, not only for mommy...but for daddy too!  The night before was the first time for him to change her diaper and take her temperature.  He was a little nervous because of how tiny she is, but he did an excellent job and I know he was happy that he did it!  Today he got to kiss her little head and face while I was holding her.  We were so overwhelmed and emotional, what a blessing to be able to finally kiss our little miracle.

These are HUGE steps for us and we are so grateful everyday for her progress!  They told us when I first had her...and have been telling us over and over again that life in the NICU is going to be a roller coaster of emotions.  She'll have good days and bad days....but that we needed to just focus on the good days.  That's exactly what we're doing...focusing on the good days!  We are so grateful for all the prayers and thoughts on our little baby's behalf....they really do help....you can see it in her progress! 

And of course, right beside her bedside....is the little angel bear from her twin sister's funeral.....she's always with her, watching over her and helping her fight.

October 7, 2011

No Words

Pictures say a thousand words, I've found that to be true in this case.  There are just no words for how I felt this day.  It was definitely the most emotionally sad and draining day of my life.  Ova and I have talked many times about how our biggest fear is having to bury a child.  That fear was realized on October 3rd, 2011 when we buried our sweet baby Cindy's little body.  It was almost surreal, like it wasn't really happening, like I was dreaming it.....I wish it was just a dream.  I think about her and that day all the time, and sometimes I feel like it hasn't hit me...all that has happened.  The day after the funeral services....Ova and I went to the gravesite of our little angel.  We both sat on the grass in silence staring at her teddy bears and flowers that were left for her from the day before.  I must have cried for an hour.  I can't believe I buried my daughter.  Even though I know I'll see her again and get to hold her and kiss her someday.....I do wish she was here.....is that wrong of me??

To my precious baby Cindy Ki'Hevani:

You are my angel baby
and that I know is true
God is holding you now
And listening to you cue
You are in Heaven looking down
watching mommy cry
I really wish you were here
But I know that this is not good-bye!

After my daughter was buried, I walked around to thank everybody for coming and supporting my husband and I.  We really are grateful and overwhelmed at how blessed and loved we are by so many.  I walked over to this group of friends who were standing together under a tree.  I got really emotional when I was hugging them because believe it or not, 5 of the 6 of us in this picture has had to bury a child.  So in their own way, they knew exactly what I was going through that day.  It's so hard, but in the days since the burial....I've gotten texts, calls and facebook messages from these ladies, just giving me hope and telling me that slowly but surely everything will be ok.  I'm grateful and blessed!

October 5, 2011

My Blessing

Something happened before I went into the operating room that I never want to forget.  In the mix of all the commotion and the very short time between when Dr. Richards said we needed an emergency C-section and actually being in the operating room....the first thing Ova thought of was to give me a blessing.  Thankfully my little brother was there with us, so Ova asked the nurse who was prepping me if he could give me a blessing.  The nurse said yes, that was fine, but he just had to do it while they worked on me because they didn't have much time.  Ova and Misi came to the head of my bed, and there were only like two nurses in there getting me ready.  They began the beautiful blessing...blessed me that my body would handle the surgery well and blessed our baby that even though she was too young to be born, that she would be ok.  It was a beautiful blessing and I cried the whole time.  When Ova said Amen, I opened my eyes and was amazed to see the room FULL of doctors and nurses folding their arms and closing their eyes, listening to the blessing, and then they all said amen.  It was a very comforting feeling and a surreal moment....and honestly that blessing, and knowing that the people that were going to be operating on me were members, brought me a lot of comfort.  I count my blessings everyday for Ova...I'm so blessed and grateful to have a worthy priesthood holder that can bless me and my family whenever we need it.  I'm grateful that the first thing he thought of in that moment of panic was to bless me.  It really helped calm me down.  I'm blessed!

October 3, 2011

Life changes in a moment...

Who would have known that within a half hour of my last blog post, our whole entire lives would change.
I've had so much to blog about....so much has happened in the past week....but I haven't had the energy or will power or anything to sit and write.  I know if I don't I'll regret it and I don't want to forget anything that has happened.

On September 26th, I started having little cramps....they were continuous and consistant, but they weren't that strong.  Ova wasn't with me at that moment because I made him leave.  He's wonderful and had been with me 24-7 since I was admitted to the hospital so I made him leave and take a break.  I wanted him to take Tea to dinner, just to thank her for everything she's done for us....she's really stepped up and helped us so much with our older three.  I'd been fine for the past two weeks that I'd been in the hospital, except for the small contractions I had on Saturday and Sunday night....but they were small and eventually went away on their own.  These ones started out like the ones from the other nights....but they lasted longer.  I didn't want to ruin Ova's dinner so I didn't call him.  I just tried to lay down and rest and hope they would go away.  All the sudden I felt this huge gush and I ran to the bathroom....it was the same type of blood (consistancy and amount) that brought me into the hospital in the first place.  I pushed the nurse call button and had her come in to see it.  She immediately called the Dr's to come and see it.  There were two doctors that came and they went into the bathroom to see all the blood.  They stayed in there for a good 5 minutes just talking...I couldn't hear what they were saying but I knew they were really worried.  They told me they were going to put me on the monitor and if there was anything that worried them, they'd probably take me back down to labor and delivery.  I was on the monitor for about a half an hour and they were picking up the contractions which were consistantly 2 1/2 minutes apart.  I could totally feel the tightening, but they were anything I couldn't handle.  The monitor also picked up that everytime I would have a contraction, my baby's heart would drop way down.....the Dr's didn't like that.  They came back into my room and told me they were going to take me down to labor and delivery.  At that point I called Ova and luckily they were just pulling in the hospital parking lot.  I told him to come straight to labor and delivery because I was having contractions.....obviously not the news he wanted to hear.  My little brother Misi and his wife had come to visit me and I felt bad because they were there through the worst of it.  I was hooked up to the monitor and my contractions were getting stronger and stronger.  I told Ova to call my sisters and my mom to let them know that I probably was having the baby that day.  It's weird how calm I was on the Monday they admitted me to the hospital, but I had a feeling that that day was the day....even though it was too early!  Ova asked me if I thought I was having the baby and I told him yes....I could see the worry in his face when I said that.  The nurse checked me and said I hadn't dialated any more than the 2 I did the Monday I was admitted.  That was good that even with all the contractions, I wasn't dialating.  The nurse told me that the contractions I was feeling was a result of uterine irritation from all the blood.  But the contractions continued to get worse and worse.  They went from 2 1/2 minutes to 1 minute and the pain got worse and worse.  At first I was just feeling tightening in my lower abdomen, but as it progressed it spread from my lower abdomen, to my whole entire abdomen to my lower back....it was almost too much to take.  I asked the nurse for some pain medicine, but whatever she gave me didn't even work...it made my head spin for like 5 minutes and then it wore off and all I could feel was the pain.  After a little while the specialist Dr came in to check on me.  I swear I almost broke the bars on the side of the bed with how hard I was grabbing and pushing on them when the contractions would come.  I explained to the specialist what I was feeling and he wasn't really buying the story that the contractions were a result of uterine irritation....not with how close, strong and consistant they were.  He checked me and I was dialated to a 6 1/2.....in that short hour I was in the labor and delivery, I had dialated to a 6 1/2.  The specialist was Dr. Richards and he was awesome!  He sat on my bed and rubbed my leg and said he was sorry but it looked like she was coming out that day.  I just started crying, even though I knew it was going to happen.  He requested the nurse to bring in an ultrasound machine, he just wanted to check.  As he was scanning he paused for a minute.  I couldn't see the machince from where I was laying, but he showed Ova and Marie and Misi what he saw.  There was a huge blood clot in between the placenta and my uterus wall.  He showed them that that was where the blood was coming from and that if that blood clot came out, it would tear the placenta away which would cut off the oxygen to my baby and she would die.  He made the decision right then that we were going into have an emergency C-section....and seriously within 3 minutes of him making the decision I was in the operating room.  I was scared to death and worried that Ova wouldn't be there with me.  They said because of the circumstances they might have to put me all the way under instead of just doing a spinal block.  If they put me under, he couldn't go in with me.  I was crying and there was a really nice nurse that was trying to comfort me, but I didn't want her....I just wanted Ova.  They wheeled me into the operating room and Dr. Richards asked the anesthesiologist what his thoughts were on a spinal block or putting me out...he said he would rather do a spinal block and I was so happy....Ova was in the room right by my side within minutes.  The C-section surgery started and it took so much longer than usual....just because of the position my baby was in, plus they were being super careful because of all the blood.  C-Sections usually only take like 30 minutes, but mine lasted almost 2 hours.  It was so long that the spinal block started to wear off enough that I felt severe tugging and pulling, but not the pain (thank goodness)  Usually with C-Sections they make a small lateral incision at the bottom of the uterus....but because my baby was so low, they made a vertical incision at the top of my uterus.  That probably explains why I'm having such a hard time healing :(

Baby Kalolaine Katea Fangupo was born on 9/26/2011 at 11:09pm.  She weighed 1lb.12oz.  She's beautiful and absolutely perfect in every way.  My heart is so full, I love her so much!
They rushed her away so quickly that we didn't even get to see her, and her skin and body is so small and fragile that they couldn't even measure her length because they didn't want to put too much stress on her little body.  They rushed her back to the NICU where they put her on a breathing machine and hooked her up to all these wires and tubes that will help her survive and grow.

The C-section surgery continued after they took my baby Tea away.....and they pulled out my other twin.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to see her or not, but I'm really glad I did.  She was actually a lot bigger than I thought she'd be and she was completely developed.  She had ten little fingers and ten little toes, she had eyes and ears, and the little umbilical cord.  I remember seeing her, but I was so drugged from the surgery that I didn't even cry......I'm totally making up for it now though.  The nurse put her in a little blanket and brought her back to the labor and delivery room where I was brought to recover.  My mom, sisters and brother were there and Tea was there with my kids.  They all got to see my little baby girl, everyone was crying....I remember being completely out of it, but I saw all the tears flowing from everyone.  Ova took a lot of pictures for me, I'm grateful for that.  I've always wanted to bury her, and so Ova asked the nurse if we could take her.  She told us that they would prefer to take her to do some testing to see what caused her death, and they would cremate her.  If I wasn't so out of it I would have lost it, but I didn't react at all.  They brought her little body over to my bed so I could see her one last time before they took her and all I remember was telling her that I loved her.  Then she was gone.

After a short while in the recovery room they wheeled my bed into the NICU.  I was happy they did that, it's nice that they allow the mother's that opportunity.  The bed was lower than the incubater that she was in so I didn't really get to see her.  Plus I wasn't feeling to well.  Ova got to see her....this was the first picture of him seeing her....she's so tiny....I love this picture.

She's my little miracle baby....and she amazes me every single day.  Every day Ova and I visit her we just sit and stare at her and are amazed at the fight this little girl has.  She is amazing.  She's my little hero.

I stayed at the hospital for only 4 days and they let me go home.  That day was bittersweet.  I was happy to finally be leaving the hospital and to be going to my other kids but I had the hardest time leaving my baby Tea in there.  I know she's in good hands and there's no place better for her to be, but it's hard leaving her.

The day I was leaving I had to fill out all the papers for baby Tea's birth certificate and things....the birth certificate lady came in to talk to me and I broke down with her.  I really wanted to have Katea's birth certificate say that she's a twin.  At first they told me no that they couldn't do that because my other baby passed before the 20 week mark, but after she started asking me questions and found out that I delievered them both at the same time....she said yes, and she filled out the birth certificate with her twin sister's name on it.

Just then the nurse from labor and delivery came in and asked me what I wanted to do with my baby B.  I was confused and didn't know what she was talking about.  As far as I knew I didn't have a choice but to let the hospital dispose of her.  The nurse said no, that either way I had to sign papers, and that if I wanted to take her, I could.  I lost it....honestly, that was the best news I could have gotten.  I saw my little baby, her little body was so small, but so perfect....I would have always wondered about her....but I told the nurse I wanted her.  I wanted to lay her little body to rest in a place where we can go visit her and take her twin sister to visit her when she gets older.  I signed the papers and she gave me a list of all the mortuarys.  We started making calls and within an hour the mortuary was downstairs to pick up my baby's little body.  We named her Cindy Ki Hevani Fangupo.  Cindy after my mom, Ki heavani means to heaven in Tongan.....I'm so happy that we get to lay her to rest.  The day I got discharged from the hospital we went and met with the mortuary....we picked out her little casket and the plot where she'll be buried.  That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, to plan a funeral of one of my kids.  I know it's not the same as losing a child you've had a chance to raise, but still, she is my child....and I carried her and saw her heart-beating and her hands and feet kicking for months.  Everytime they would ask me a question about what I wanted for my daughter's funeral, I would break down and cry for several minutes before I could even answer.  They were very nice and compassionate and I was grateful for that.  We got everything set and planned and her funeral service will be tomorrow 10/3/2011 at 1:00pm at the mortuary on Redwood Road.  I've been having a really hard time coping and dealing with everything, I really hope and pray that after the services tomorrow I'll be able to find peace and comfort.  Even through everything I know I am blessed and I'm grateful that my family is eternal and we will all be together as a family someday......and we are so blessed to have a little guardian angel who will always watch over us.