Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fozzie Bear

I have been behind on blogs and so many exciting things have happened lately, that I have not been able to share another new member of our family: Fozzie Bear!

After Noah and Yogi passed, I was very sad and unsure about being able to attach myself right away to another dog...we know we are a dog kind of family, but planned to wait until summer to add a dog in...for many reasons, including the fact that we were having a baby and will be moving in the summer.

Anyway, the kids and Mickey were more eager than me and we ended up finding a perfect dog for our family at a not so perfect time.

The timing was not optimal, but I actually found that preparing for his arrival helped to distract me in the days leading to Auguste's birth. For the first time in 20 weeks I was not obsessed with hydrops and was focusing more on preparation for puppy.

It also distracted me from the absence of Noah and Yogi. Noah's picture is everywhere, and the dogs paw prints are displayed on the mantle...but not having a dog in the house definitely left a emptiness...even in a house full of chaos and children. Dogs add a life to the house that I think I took for granted for a long time.

Its been 13 years since we had a puppy and certainly, it is a lot of work...but it is also worth all the effort for a well behaved dog to be a part of our family for hopefully the next 13 years.

So what made Fozzie the perfect dog for us?

Mickey wanted a terrier type dog.

I wanted a Labrador personality of the doodle variety, non-shedding was key to me after sweeping up every night after two Labradors.

Oliver wanted a dog that would fetch.

Eliot wanted a soft dog to cuddle.

So...low and behold, Fozzie entered our lives...he is part wheaten terrier, part golden doodle.

He has a terrier face but will be only a bit smaller than a Labrador (we think, he is seeming pretty huge at the moment).
He doesn't shed.
He loves to fetch.
He loves the water
He loves the snow.
He loves walks.
He is super cuddly and the softest dog ever.

When Mickey met him he called me at work and said " you have no idea how cute, and soft, and sweet this dog is...I am already so in love with him".  

We named him Fozzie because he looks like one of our favorite Muppets, Fozzie Bear.

He loves to be with the kids and I think he thinks he is one of them. He sleeps in a crate in Oliver's room. He sleeps peacefully until Oliver wakes, and then he is also awake.

Imagine my surprise when he jumped in the shower with me on my first day home. He just opened the shower door and came on in. Sunday I was wise to his tricks and when he came to the shower door I held it closed...only to hear the kids squeal with delight when he jumped into the tub with them. TWICE!!!!
I admit, at the time I was not overly enthused, but in hindsight, it is quite funny...especially because Oliver and Emily thought it was HILARIOUS!!

He night he sees his reflection in the window and is insistent that he must protect is quite cute watching him bark at himself.

We have actually been very impressed by him. He doesn't jump on the baby and actually just seems to know not to get too close and to be calm around him. He hasn't destroyed anything of the kids, even though his interest in shoes and toys seems genuine, he is easily distracted back to his own toys. House training is coming along and I think we almost have it...although the cold rain has made it harder for us (note to self, much easier to house train in summer months ;)) .

So... basically, I am saying that our life has been that beautiful chaos it was meant to be.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Weekly Buzz

It's lovely seeing actual photos of this child, isn't it?  Today I read something:


That just spoke columes to me...because I sit and hold a living breathing little miracle.   He is just amazing.

I am sorry I am not posting as frequently but it is much more difficult with a babe in your arms. This little guy is currently going through a growth spurt and he nursing non stop. He loves to be held all the time.

What have I learned about myself this week:

I can put a shoe and sock on a toddler with one hand, while driving with the other, all without taking my eyes off the road...(Mom, please no comments.)

I am capable of changing a toddler's diaper with one hand while holding a newborn in the other.

I am unfazed by baby poop, but quite surprized by baby pee pee getting sprayed around the room.

I have more energy and resolve than I thought I possessed.

I can in fact keep up with laundry and dishes while still feeding the kids and getting them to school.

I do feel more overwhelmed by the dog and the playroom than is necessary.

I don't care that much if Buttercup wears the same pajamas all day every day as long as she puts on a jacket and puts on pants underneath when she is outside.

I love good food but am not above ramen noodles if needed.

Things I have leanred about my kids:


He is much more helpful when he thinks Mommy is feeling stressed, and doesn't mind cleaning up after himself or his siblings.

He gives the sweetest hugs and kisses in abundance.


She loves to help with the baby. All the time. She wants to hold him and kiss him and be his little mother.

She does not like to help with her own messes.

She makes me feel like she is being put upon at times, and I am not sure if she is right or if she is just really good at playing me.


She loves the baby but still loves being the baby and one must not forget to treat her that way.

She likes to snuggle Mommy as much as she does Daddy, and actually prefers Mommy at present, as to not lost any baby status.

She can throw down a tantrum like no other, often about trivial things like making her change her clothes.

She talks better and better...her Go to response is a quick and decisive "No"...butshe loves "Dora" and "Stooby Doo" and she makes lots of little song "doop doop da doop" sounds.

She loves to Dance and says "Dancin Mama"...

She likes to pick things up in her mouth and hand them to you that way.


He is gassy and surprizes me with the sounds he can make.

He can soil three diapers, one by one, simultaneously...just when you think he has to beal done...he can give you just a little more.

He squeaks and makes the cutest noises ever while he nurses and sleeps.

He laughs in his sleep. he sleeps a lot but I am glad that he has seen enough to laugh about in his dreams.

Everyone keeps asking about Auggie's health.

He was discharged from Nicu on Friday the 15th of Feb. He has several chest xrays and all looked good. He had several Echos...his last echo showed he still had PDA and pulmonary hypertension. For an adult practitioner like myself, pulmonary hypertention issomething to panic about. But the doctors feel confident it is something that will cause no worriesand should resolve on its own, and we will be seeing cardiology in 2 months for followup.

When we were discharged, Dr. Ohning said "this is just great!!! I have seen these babies, replaced chest tube after chest tube, sometimes 60 times...and still not had the baby make it....then to see this, to see things just get better...its just, its just....its amazing!!!!"

He came to me before we left and gave me a big hug and said " I love, LOVE happy endings!!!! I just dont see enough of them"

We feel fortunate to have had such a caring neonatologist.

He told me that he felt the best thing to do from here is to try to put it behind us, move forward with a clean bill of health and not treat Auggie like a china doll because of all of this.

We went for his one week followup with our pediatrician, Dr. Phillips. It was great to see his excitement at our arrival. He did not know we had decided to have him in Greenville and thought we were in Philadelphia. He praised us multiple times for our committment to our pregnancy, our son and for never giving up on him and trusting our instincts and not just going with what the docs said.

Auguste was already back up to his birth weight and had grown in length by an 1 1/4 inch!!!!
All that Mama's milk is paying off.

He felt Auguste was doing great...he checked his liver function tests and they were perfect.His thoughts on his hand...really, we still don't know how the hand will play out. Currently it has full function and is the same size as the other hand, except that it looks like an inflated balloon. Its a little better than when he was born, but still quite puffy. It is only the hand though and doesn't extend up the arm.

The possibilities are endless. It could continue to resolve. It couldbe something that we see wax and wane in response to stress, the same way some people get swollen lymph nodes. It may start causing trouble if the swelling extends up the arm, he stops having complete range of motion, or if it causes a growth disturbance in the which case we will probably go ahead and get a surgical consult on board...but if things remain as they currently is likely it will just be something to keep an eye on over time.

I kind of like it. Its like a scar. It reminds me of all he went through to get here.

Wow, as I write this I realize there are so many things I want to share. I truly loved all the facebook comments being made during and right after labor and I want to find a way to save them all for him to read in the future.

Sooooo many people prayed for this boy and I truly believe that all of those prayers are a big part of why I am holding him today.

One friend shared a very fun story about the day of his birth. My friend Deven lives in New Orleans and of course, last week was a week of celebration in New Orleans. Auguste was born on Tuesday...Fat Tuesday.

She sent me an email some time ago when we knew Auguste would be born around the 12th. Here is is:

I anxiously await your blog posts for updates on baby Auguste ( love, love, love his name!!!!!) and have no idea how I missed one on Thursday????!!! I want you to know your family remains in the forefront of my thoughts and prayers as you reach the end of this amazing and trying journey you have been on....
You are a true inspiration! I believe in the power of positive thought and strength in will and you are putting it to the ultimate of tests. It's easy to give up.... The difference between people who make things happen and those who don't, are the people who don't QUIT TRYING. 
BELIEVING in miracles is part if MAKING them happen!!!  God appreciates when we have faith and believe in him.... It makes perfect sense. 
So.... February 12th is my birthday.... It's also Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras is such an amazing holiday with a horrible reputation. It has nothing to do with boobs and beads.... It's a celebration of LOVE and LIFE and all things creative and beautiful. 
I will be celebrating the life of baby Auguste this Mardi Gras season!!!!!:) 
Peace and Love,

I love that he was born on a day that is a celebration of Love and Life and all things creative. He also shares a birthday with Abe Lincoln and Charles Darwin. Both free thinkers (even if I don't necessarily agree with all thoughts).

As for the Day Auggie was born, read what Deven told me about their Fat Tuesday Celebration.

I've been wanting to share this with you........
On Feb 12th.....20 of my closet friends, as well as my parents, fully costumed arrived at my Quarter apartment to celebrate the festivities starting with a pancake and champagne breakfast. 
The pirates and zebras, cougars and princesses ages 30-70....all held hands and we went around in the circle and each said a little something to God about taking care of you and baby Auggie. We ended with a toast, and went about our day having fun and celebrating life. 
When he arrived safely, we all jumped and cheered and spilt champagne on all over ourselves. 
It will go down in Deven history as one of my favorite MEMORIES EVER!!!

I think that is imagery I will never forget. I love the idea of celebration at the news of his birth and health. I imagine angels celebrating as well. I also imagine a big smile on my grandparent's faces as they hear news of his health. So much love was poured out on this sweet child from all around the world...friends, family, strangers. I have patients who have told me he is prayed for by their churches. On the day of his birth I had friends post photos of their children with signs of love for Auguste, I  hear news like that above....I realize that I have support and lovefrom so many people, of different cultures and different lifestyles, but all united together to pray for our sweet child and it warms my heart to see such an outpouring of love and unity for my precious child.

Thanks to all of you, for loving us, for supporting us, for caring for us. It means so much.

I will try to blog more soon...I have lot sof photos to share and will do that soon.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Our Hydrops Miracle

Its been a whilwind of a week. On Monday, 2/11, we went to the doctors and decided on a 6am check in time for induction on 2/12. My mom and step-dad were in town and so we spent the day running errands and getting pedicures.

Considering my belly was huge at this point, I was in a lot of pain and truthfully could barely walk, so it was a good thing that I finished working on Friday.

On Monday night I had some problems with my contacts and irritated my eyes so much that I woke in the middle of the night with my eyes swollen shut. Yes, on "birthing day". Fortunately, the hospital called me at 530 am and said that they were booked solid and would have to delay my admission until later in the morning. That gave me time to walk into my opthalmologist's office first thing in the mornign and say "I am having a baby TODAY, so can I please see Dr, Shelley about my eyes?" I think they all thought I was crazy, but I got seen and got some eye drops that gave me immediate relief. We then went across the street to the hospital and got admitted for induction.

The nurses were very sweet and decided to start me off with IV fluids. I know I teased about a "Princess Birth" this go around, but imagine my surprise when they actually gave me a lidocaine injection before the IV....I thought it was a bit overkill, but that is how they do it these days...(better not let our patients know that, haha).

They started fluids and Dr. Lafitte came to chat with us. He was going off shift and that meant Dr. Moore, who delivered Emily, was going to also deliver Auguste. Dr, Lafitte decided after some fluids we would get Pitocin started and when I started having contractions, I could go ahead and get epidural. I have done the natural birthing thing and I actually think it is an empowering experience, but with this birth, I really didn't want to do anything except have baby and focus on his health. 

Then the neonatologist, Dr. Ohning, came around and discussed his thoughts for preparation for Auguste. He felt that due to his past health, we would need to plan a NICU stay despite presentation as he wanted to make sure that once feedings started, the chylothorax did not start to leak causing pleural effusions. He said to anticipate a 4 day stay minimum. He was very nice and knowledgable and we liked him right away.

I started feeling contractions right away with the pitocin and I waiting until they got uncomfortable and then called for my epidural. It was not bad. In fact, it was mild enough that I could always move my feet and even feel contractions, just not the painful intensity of them. My water broke spontaneously a few hours later at 230ish. Our nurses were wonderful and chatty and we talked for a while. Mickey expressed his concern about him coming fast and she explained I owuld probably start feeling pressure. I said "I feel some pressure now, actually". We kept chatting about our dogs and our kids, and I said "yes, I feel a lot of pressure". She said "would you like me to go ahead and check you now?" My response..."Oh, I suppose, that is if you want to?".

Well, good thing she "wanted to" because she said " well, it looks like its time, there he is"....this was reminicient of Emily's birth in that they asked me to not push at all. About 7 people from neonatology gathered in the room, the nurses set everything up...everyone was there and ready...except....

Dr. Moore!!! He was on his way, of course, but we were actually not sure he would make it in time, as no matter what, Auggie was on his way out. The nurse put her best smile on and said, "don't worry, I can do this is I need to and the neonatology team is here". Dr. Moore made it just in time, he put on his gown and I did not even have to push, he just grabbed his head and pulled him on out and had me do one push for his shoulders...craziness!!!!

Now, the moment I had been waiting for...I watched as Dr. Moore flipped him around like a doll and then we heard it...the cry...the beautiful cries of a healthy, breathin, Auguste!!!!!

His APGAR scores were perfect and the only abnormality they could find was assymmetry to his left hand that seemed to be swollen, possibly from the lymphatic leak. Before they were going to take him to the NICU I said, "would you mind if I tried to see if he wanted to nurse?" Dr. Ohning said yes, and that they would give us 20 minutes with him, although he actually gave us nearly an hour before he returned to take him. He weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz and was 20.5 inches long. He nursed immediately, and we had a beautiful time with him.

Currently we are in a NICU suite where he is still on monitors, but he is in a room with me, and I am giving him all of his care. He is nursing and pooping and peeing and presenting like a "normal baby". His hand is still swollen and it is unclear if it is edema that will resolve or chronic lymphadema, but today it actually is improved. He passed his hearing test today as well. 

The team rounded today and said that his Echocardiogram that was done at 16 hours old showed PDA (Patent Ductus Atreriosus) which is common in infant and basically means the ductus arteriosis is not closing fully, and usually resolves on its own. The Echo also showed pulmonary hypertension, which is likely due to the pleural effusions he had for so long. This finding was a bit more scary to me, this is often found in babies with lung issues, but not usually ones like Auguste who is on room air and sating 100%...but cardiologist (Dr. Patel, who works with Austin Raunicker, who did Auguste's fetal echo and was so encouraging to us) came and told me she is unconcerned at the present. She said it is not routine to check echos in the first 24 hours of life and that if they did, they would likely find it present more often. 

Tomorrow, they are going to check a repeat echo and also do duplex chest xrays. If all looks good they are going to consider discharging us with close followup. Dr. Ohning said that it is likely they will discharge him as a "normal infant" and he "will have the kind of discharge summary that makes doctors  not believe what they are seeing". He said that he will most likely be "normal" and have no restrictions..."until he is a teen and then all bets are off". 

As of today, my milk is finally coming in and he is eating like a champ...he is very cuddly and loves to be held all the time, his cheeks are the softest and he is absolutely a perfect baby...God has been so good to us!!!

So tomorrow is a big day and we could use some more prayers that all of this resolves just like his hydrops did.

Fornow, let me make a formal introduction:


Auguste Michael Losinski
"Miracle Baby"
2/12/2013 at 1543p
8 lb 1 oz, 20 1/2 inches long

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

38 weeks 1 day

Today we went to our last ultrasound appointment and got to see Dr. Dellinger. We tried to see if he would say Ok to going ahead and inducing labor (yes, I am sooo tired and also we are always anxious about having baby in the middle of the night and having to wait for babysitter, etc)- You can only hear so many stories about people who didn't know they were in labor to start to feel a bit nervous. Anyway, he said unless I was pretty dilated or effaced, that they would want to do another amniocentesis to check surfactant levels and lung course we are not doing that.

his head measured 38 weeks and 5 days and his abdomen also measured 38 weeks and 5 all is well on that front...tiny sliver of fluid in the belly remains, but not much.

We went downstairs and I am not progressing in labor at all, in fact I am still 1 cm....

So our current plan is to have an appointment first thing Monday, and depending on my cervix, we will either go into the hospital Monday night for cervical "ripening" or Tuesday morning for induction. So either way, less that and week and our Auggie will be here.

He looks great. There is only a sliver of fluid on his abdomen and no fluid on his lungs. A student also played around checking the norms on him and I asked her if she had ever heard of non-immune hydrops. She had not and I explained what a big deal it was that he was doing so good and that she should definitely go look it up and see the data.

I have heard a few (very few) stories like ours and those babies do seem to be ok, but I am still nervous because I know we are an outlier and that there is really very little data on what to expect with babies like Auggie who had such significant hydrops and yet resolved the fluid and is currently going to term, vaginal delivery.

So...I am nervous but remain cautiously optimistic.
Next week, hopefully I will be posting some pictures of him that are in living color.

I am very excited to meet our little warrior, our little miracle.

Just a few more days....