April 25, 2011: Announcing Luciana Francesca Miller!

Last night turned into the night of no sleep for the Miller household.  Dominica went to bed before nine with Liesl and at least they managed to catch a very small nap during that time – but it was very, very small indeed.  Dominica was anxious about today and could not sleep.  Liesl does not sleep well unless everyone else is sleeping.

Oreo and I stayed up in the office working, mostly catching up on SGL posts, until ten thirty or maybe eleven.  I wasn’t too tired until then and really wanted to be caught up before today.  There would be no catching up if I let it go and people would be reading the site and feeds a lot today so I wanted to be as ready as possible.

When I first took Oreo to go outside for his final walk it was nice and clear out.  He stopped, as he often does, and spent five minutes itching himself rather than going out for his walk when I asked.  During that time a storm whipped up and he decided that he would not go out as it was pouring.  Grrr.  Now I just know that there will be getting up in the middle of the night for him.

So at around eleven Oreo and I made it to bed.  It was only until half past midnight until Oreo was out of bed and restless.  This, of course, woke me up as I am always monitoring him at night to make sure that he has not fallen or hurt himself or that he does not need me in some way.  He is an old dog and needs attention to keep him safe.

Oreo ended up keeping me awake until a quarter after one when I finally got up to take him out.  At that point I decided that having only two more hours until my alarm was going to go off meant that attempting to go back to sleep would just make things worse.  So Oreo and I returned to the office and I continued to catch up on SGL until three in the morning when I went and took my shower and got dressed to go to the hospital.

It turned out that Dominica and Liesl were pretty much awake all night as well.  Dominica had been up before Oreo got me up but had gone back to bed.  Liesl but a little sleep but was restless.  After I went to the office apparently she cried for me to come back.  I hung out with Liesl and tried to get her to go back to sleep while Dominica showered and got ready to go to the hospital but Liesl would have none of it.  Before we left we just ended up putting on a DVD on repeat so that she could sit in bed and watch something rather than waking everyone else up.

It was four forty two when Dominica and I loaded into the Acadia and headed down to Irving.  There was no traffic at all at that time of the morning so we zipped right down to the hospital and arrived quite a bit early since we were not required to be there until five thirty.  Even getting there on time would be quite early since the surgery was scheduled for seven thirty but they want plenty of time to do the check in paperwork and other prep work.

Liesl got upset that her parents were not home around five thirty and started calling for her mommy.  Aunt Francesca and Grammy went running to get her.  They set her up in the living room and she was mostly okay after that.

At seven, Dominica’s parents and Francesca drove down to the hospital in the hopes of getting to see Dominica before she headed into surgery.  They ended up making it in plenty of time.  We were told that we would head down to surgery around a quarter after seven but it was around eight thirty before anyone came to get us so they had a lot of time to spend with Dominica before we went down.  It turned out that our doctor was running late and because of that we were bumped for another surgery that was scheduled to be after us.

Once we went down for the surgery Dominica was taken in for prep and I was left in a hallway for quite a long time wondering what was going on.  It seemed like forever but was probably just half an hour to forty five minutes.  Later I learned that Dominica’s anesthesiologist was having major issues finding her spine because of the bend in her back and they were fearful that they were going to have to put her under in order to do the surgery.  They did eventually managed to get the needle into her spine and all was well from that perspective and they ran out to get me and I was in the surgery room for only a few minutes before the anesthesiologist had me stand up to see our new baby girl being born!

Luciana Francesca Miller was born at ~9:03 in the morning, central time, 7 pounds 6 ounces and 20.5 inches.  Right away, though, we had to rush her into the NICU as she was having respiratory distress.  Dominica only got to see her for a few seconds before we had to rush her away.  We had just enough time to make sure that Dominica was doing okay before we had to go.  She, Luciana,  had been crying very hard and the nurses handed her to me to take her to the NICU.  Immediately she stopped crying – they were all very impressed.

We got her to the NICU which was just down the hall and her oxygen levels were down to 84%, not good at all.  They start to worry beneath 95%.  So she was not doing very well.  Once she started to calm down, though, with me talking to her her oxygen began to climb and soon she was out of the oxygen deprivation zone.  They were concerned about how hard she was working in order to get her air but were hopeful that it was just caused by there being some fluid in her lungs that she would work out shortly.  This is not uncommon but it warranted observation and an X-ray.

Once we knew that Luciana was out of the woods I went out to the waiting area to let Dominica’s family know the current status and to call my father too and then to post the Twitter updates.  I was very good about Twittering all morning.  Lot’s of people following me closely today.  Twitter, FaceBook, FourSquare, Flickr and SGL all in full swing.

By the time that I got back in to the NICU Dominica was being wheeled into her recovery area so I was able to go see her again.  She was in rough shape but recovering well and definitely looking for news on Luciana after she had to be whisked to the NICU.  Luciana was continuing to improve and her oxygen had finally reached 100%.  Eventually the X-ray showed that there was just some fluid and they felt that she was working it out slowly.

It took about an hour of Dominica in recovery and Luciana in the NICU before they decided that Luciana could have a bath and, in about an hour, would probably be released.  So I went out and updated the family who had been stuck sitting with no real information for quite some time.  Dominica was moved shortly to her final room so we were all able to go in and join her there.

It was not very long before Luciana was brought in to meet everyone too.  There were pictures taken earlier and more taken now along with a few videos that all have been uploaded to Flickr.  I am very thankful for the new iPhone 4 that I got just two days ago because we were able to quickly take good pictures and upload to Flickr without a problem.  Had I still been on the BlackBerry I would have probably run out of battery and would not have gotten any video, the pictures would have been much worse and only a few would have been able to have been uploaded.  The Lord really watched over us on that one on such an important day.  I would have been really upset to have gotten this phone sometime later.

In the early afternoon Francesca, Dominica’s mother and I went back to the house.  Francesca had to get her family packed up so that they could get back down to Houston and Dominica’s mom just turned around, grabbed the other car and returned to the hospital.  Bennie had been at the house taking care of the kids all morning.  He had to be exhausted by that point.

Liesl was running on nearly zero sleep and way, way, way too much sugar.  It was time to get her to a nap.  She is so tired that she is delirious and out of control.  She went ballistic because she was out of Pez.  She was screaming at the Pez dispenser.  It was not a good scene.

I took Liesl, kicking and screaming, and put her into our bed.  She was very upset and immediately started climbing out of bed.  I knew that she would not put up a fight for long so just closed the door and headed to the kitchen.  Before I even reached the kitchen, all was silent.  I returned a few minutes later to check in on her and found her lying on the floor on my side of the bed where she had fallen off of it – fast asleep.  So I let her lie there rather than risking waking her up to put her back in the bed right away.

The Grices were on the road shortly and Dominica’s mother was back to the hospital.  I wrapped up a few tasked that needed my attention – mostly charging the phone, posting more updates, sending emails and the like and then went in to take a nap myself.  I picked Liesl up and placed her back into bed.  She got upset again when she woke up and threw a short-lived tantrum but was asleep within ten minutes and the two of us napped for several hours which we both desperately needed.

When we woke up Liesl was in a better mood and I was coherent.  I talked to Liesl about her baby sister but that did not go well.  She got very upset and was screaming at me that she did not want a baby sister and was hitting me a lot.  But then I took her to the computer and showed her pictures of Luciana and she got get excited and decided that she really wanted to go to the hospital and meet her new baby sister.  She has even started trying to say Luciana’s name.  She is doing well at it and sometimes nearly has it and at other times says “nonuchana”.

We drove down to the hospital so that Liesl could see Dominica and meet Luciana arriving there around eight.  It took a long time to nap and then get all prepped to get down there.  I grabbed some quick McDonald’s on the way as I had very little food all day.  I had managed to grab a bite at six thirty in the morning while Dominica was doing some of the admittance paperwork but that was about it.

We got to the hospital and Dominica’s parents left shortly thereafter.  They had been in a hurry for us to arrive and relieve them so that they could go out and get some food.  Liesl was  a perfect angel all evening.  Ever since she saw the pictures of Luciana she was the best toddler any parent could ever hope to have.  She was pleasant and helpful all night.

Liesl was very excited to meet Luciana.  She kept wanting to get as close as possible and would stand on my lap so that she could look down in to the bassinet.  Liesl liked to rub her hand against Luciana’s cheek, just like I always did to Liesl.

Liesl and I went home getting back to the house around midnight.  Liesl was super helpful in getting ready for bed.  She didn’t fight at all like she often does and happily put on her pajamas, brushed her teeth and got into bed.  She didn’t need all of her toys and did not ask to watch anything.  She was as good as a toddler could possibly be.

Tomorrow I will be working part of the day and at the hospital part of the day.  Dominica’s parents are planning to get up in the morning and take Liesl in to see Dominica and Luciana while I get some work done.

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