Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving at home. A little parade watching, a little dog show watching. And we relaxed by the fire.

I made a turkey breast, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, corn casserole, marshmallow fluff, and pumpkin bars. My mom made a jello salad that was a big hit with the kids. The meal was great and the dining room table wasn't scattered with Legos, Christmas sale ads, and craft projects! Both kids said they liked the table clean and asked if we could keep it that way!

Before we dug in, the kids reminded us that we had to go around the table and say something we were thankful for. I have always thought that sounded like a great idea but have never done it. Sara was in charge and decided the order of who was speaking. Adam was first--he was thankful for our house, which makes sense because we have about 10 drawings of our house hung on various walls right now. She chose my mom to go next and she was thankful for 3 grandchildren that are healthy. Then it was my turn. I was already feeling emotional over mom's comment. I was thankful that we were now a family of five and God brought us Evan. Dad? He was thankful for a house full of family. And finally Sara. She was thankful for Ivy, our dog, and Muffin who continues to get to nap in heaven.

Another thing I am thankful for is Sara's health. She had a visit a few days ago with Dr. Gordillo, her Pediatric Nephrologist, to check in on her kidneys. They had done a full blood work up and urinalysis the week before. She was such a rock star when they drew her blood. She watched the needle go in and didn't flinch or cry. She just amazes me. Everything looks great and her kidneys continue to function well. There is no protein in her urine, she is not anemic, her blood pressure remains in a very healthy range, she is growing, and she is gaining weight. All factors that we continue to watch as signs that her kidneys would begin to fail. She has actually grown 1 5/8" since her last appointment in April and gained 3 lbs. She has grown 3" over the past year! That is quite impressive for her considering that her growth had stopped when her kidneys were filled with kidney stones before her Boston surgery. This appointment was the most she has ever talked to Dr. Gordillo. Usually she says she is going to ask him questions and then she gets shy and backs out. But this time, she told him all about how she tripped on the way to the bus, put holes in both knees of her pants, and we are going to cut them off above the knee to make shorts. She is to continue her daily blood pressure medication and antibiotics and go back in 6 months. Both kids have renal ultrasounds scheduled for January.

I am also incredibly thankful for this little guy. Evan hung out in a chilled environment at 5 days of life for 6 years until we were able to rescue him. Going thru the infertility process is on the list of one of the most difficult things I have had to endure. It takes an extreme amount of commitment for doctor appointments and injections, not to mention the emotional roller coaster. Our family of five is now complete!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Out of the mouths...

A few days ago I was feeding Evan in the nursery. Sara was standing outside the door with a small stuffed animal rabbit in her arms, swaying back and forth. She had a nipple from a bottle shoved inside a play ice cream cone and was feeding her "baby" while having a conversation with me.
My baby is 6 weeks old. She was soooo tiny when she was born. With all my pumping and eating and brushing my teeth, I don't have much time left in the day.
Yeah. Well, I used to have 2 babies but I gave one away. I just didn't have enough time.

Sometimes our mornings getting ready for school are...well...challenging. I never know if it is going to be a meltdown day. Sara can wake up in the best mood and then when she walks upstairs to get dressed she turns into a different person. She can complain about every little detail and then change her mind until her head spins. On one particular day, she was arguing with me.
I don't want to go to school...all they teach is phonics. I hate phonics. I don't want to go to school.
I don't want to go to school. You're not even listening to me.
Yes I am. I don't care.
I don't want to go to school.
I lost count how many times she told me that over and over and over again. Too bad I'm nursing or it would lead me to drink. All the way downstairs while getting shoes on. All the way down the driveway. Then she sees the bus coming and starts running.
Bye, Mommy!
And off she went. *whew*

Adam and I were having a conversation about his social life at school.
Mom, I don't have any friends.
I thought you told me the other day that you had 3 friends.
Well, Kathryn didn't want to be my friend. I gave her a nice rock and she gave it away to Charlotte cuz she said it was dirty. That's what I got out of her. I told her I washed all the dirt off and dried it but all she did was complain.

A few months ago we got a new car. Sara and Shannon were talking about what to do with the truck that we were going to sell.
Now that we don't need the truck why don't you just leave it at the dealership so someone steals it?
I have things still in there that are important to me.
Well, clean those out and then someone can steal it.

I was trying to talk to Adam about some issues he had been having at school. Shannon said he mentioned that maybe some kids were bullying him.
Adam, Dad said you told him some kids at school aren't being nice to you. We have parent teacher conferences coming up so if I need to talk to your teacher about something, you can let me know.
Mom, do you know who I'm in love with?
Do you know who I'm in love with?
I thought we were talking about kids being mean to you.
Kathryn. She's soooooo C-UTE!

Sara noticed that sometimes I breastfeed Evan from the left side and sometimes the right.
Mom, why do you switch sides when you feed Evan?
Well, my body makes milk all day so if I only feed him from one side, the other side will get really big. It's like a water balloon. What happens when we keep putting water in a water balloon?
Oh my! That's not quite what I was going for. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Welcome Evan Michael

September 26. I slept on the couch all night. Shannon got the kids ready for school and on the bus and headed to work when my mom arrived.

Around 8:00 I started feeling really bad again. I could barely walk to the bathroom without being hunched over.

At 9:00 I took a bath to see if it would help me feel better and relieve some of the pain. Guess I needed a bigger tub because the water was exiting the emergency valve and I couldn't even submerse my belly. (Note to all the people who kept telling me how small I was.)

At 10:10 I texted Shannon "Contractions hurting worse than yesterday. This isn't fun anymore."

My mom really didn't know what to do with me. I couldn't walk. I was doubled over, moaning in pain, but fearful that if I went to the hospital they would just send me home again.

At 11:51 I started spotting and contractions were 2 minutes apart. There were many times I had contractions 2 minutes apart over the past week but since I was spotting I decided to go to the hospital. I called the neighbor to ask if she could get the kids off the bus because they had a half day. Mom was a nervous wreck because she didn't know how to get to the hospital.

At 12:00 the bus came early as mom and I were in the driveway. Adam came running across the yard to greet me and about knocked me over. Sara was strolling along, enjoying the day, as I'm doubled over in pain and I hear her say "Look mama a butterfly!"

15 minutes to the hospital, waiting for mom to park in the crowded parking lot, the long wheelchair ride to the other end of the hospital from the Emergency Room, getting dressed in hospital garb and hooked up to monitors.

Finally at 1:03 I texted Shannon "Water bulging. Dilated to 3-4."

1:08 "Admitting me."

They drew blood to test for various things in order to get an epidural. When she told me it would be at least 30 minutes to get results, I knew things were moving too quickly and the pain meds were not going to be possible.

I got wheeled into my delivery room and lots of people were in and out. They checked me again and I was dilated to a 5-6. Not five minutes later a doctor on call came in and said he wanted to check when I was having a contraction...dilated to a 7-8.

At 2:13 I called Shannon "WHERE ARE YOU?" He said "I had to finish some things at work. I am just now leaving." Apparently the urgency of the situation had been dulled by my previous 2 false alarm hospital visits. And people had been bugging him about missing deadlines throughout the previous week. Last I checked, medical issues with your wife should trump work deadlines but I guess that is not the case at Big Yellow.

I called my boss to see if he could help with Adam and Sara for the evening. We have been friends with his family for years. Thankfully, I only had to give one sentence of an explanation and he said "I will take care of it" and I didn't have to think about it again. He coordinated with my neighbor to get the kids, clothes, have them spend the night, etc.

At 2:21 my water broke. Actually I discovered it wasn't my water. It was blood. Now the fun began. Some of the worst fun of my life.

I gave my mom and her queasy tummy permission to leave the room. Since she had someone else take me for shots when I was younger and wasn't in the room when I got stitches in my broken finger, that was probably a good call.

Around 2:45 Shannon finally arrived completely out of breath. It's amazing how quickly time goes by when you are pushing every few minutes. I know it was terribly hot in the room but they couldn't turn the fan on because it would make the baby too cold. I remember seeing the two people from the NICU standing in the corner with the isolette, just waiting. And at least 5-6 people around my bed. I was exhausted from not sleeping well over the past week and already being in labor. After a while they put an oxygen mask on me for some reason. Apparently they thought I looked tired, too. Another doctor came in for a consult. They really didn't want to use forceps because a preemie's head is even more sensitive. Whoever came up with the idea that she should put her hands in me to help should be shot. And whoever handed Shannon the washcloth to wipe my forehead while he got distracted chatting with people should be...well, you get the point.

After 2 hours I think everyone was sleeping on the job. I was getting annoyed. Apparently enough for one good push while playing towel tug of war and...out he flew! Talk about a good way to get people to jump!

4:27pm, 7lb 2oz, 20.5" meet Evan Michael

For the first time I got to hold one of our babies just after birth instead of seeing them across the room with a team of doctors and then being whisked out of the room. It was a very surreal moment.

He's perfect. Just perfect.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

2nd trip to the hospital

After spending a few days in the hospital and being released, I was pretty miserable at home. Contractions off and on, painful to walk because I was holding so much water from the IVs, very little sleep. For 2 days I suffered thru and either Shannon or my mom was always with me. Shannon's parents came on Wednesday to visit for Grandparents activities at Adam and Sara's school. They spent the day helping with laundry, getting the nursery ready, putting together the stroller, installing the car seat, and fixing some things around the house.

Thursday morning Shannon dropped everyone off at school early for the Grandparents event.When he got home, I told him my contractions were worse and I thought we should head back to the hospital. We made arrangements for my neighbor to pick up the Grandparents and headed back to OSF. For the 2nd time in less than a week. No surprise that the staff remembered me and said "Weren't you just here not too long ago?"

While they confirmed the contraction were intense, they just weren't affecting my body and there was no change in my dilation. Still 2-3cm but thin so when things do progress, they will do so quickly.

I was so upset when they sent me home again. I was absolutely miserable  and had no idea when I should head to the hospital if that wasn't the right time. That was September 25.