Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tyler's birthday

I have always felt bad that Tyler has his birthday so close to Christmas, but I honestly think he kind of likes it when it is.  We usually try so hard to make it special, but this year was so odd.  I was still in the hospital, and I meant to hold back one gift for his birthday, but I never told Dan and he wrapped them all for Christmas.  We had been planning all along to let him choose his own bike for his birthday, but we didn't have anything for him to open when he woke up.  Luckily, my mom came and got him and took him out for a special birthday lunch, he did get his bike, Dad made his favorite dinner, and he had cousins over for cake and ice cream.

We also did a friend party earlier in the month.  I have discovered that we have to do it early in December, or wait until January or everyone is just too busy.  This year, he invited 5 friends from school and 3 cousins to attend an evening at Hogwarts.  We sent out letters telling each invitee that they had been invited to Hogwarts, and would be dining in the great hall, as well as attend several classes.  We had pizza, then made wands in Transfiguration, played charades in Charms, played a game of Quidditch, and attacked the dragon (pinata) in Defense Against the Dark Arts.  We then did cake and ice cream, presents, and watched the first movie.  It was a fun birthday party.

Happy 8th Birthday Buddy!


First up, here is how I got to spend Christmas this year.  Imagine a hospital room, trips down to the NICU, and my family stopping by with my gifts.

However, the most important thing to me was to make sure my kids had a normal feeling Christmas, and Tyler claimed it to be one of the best ever, so I guess we did okay.  I am so grateful for Dan and my in-laws who took over the Christmas prep after our unexpected early arrival.  Here are some pictures Dan took.

We are obviously a house of boys.  Tyler got Legos (Harry Potter this year--Hogwart's castle and the Knight Bus), Harry Potter DS game, Harry Potter book (see a theme?), an origami book, and his stocking.  The twins got a play tent, Duplo blocks, and these stuffed Buzz Lightyears were a huge hit.  Dan bought himself a breadmaker (he claims it was for me, but I sure didn't ask for it) and I bought myself a new point and shoot camera.  Which I opened up and took to the hospital.

It was most definitely a crazy Christmas, but still a wonderful time.

December traditions

Since it's the last day of the year, I'd like to get caught up on some of our December happenings.

One nice thing about moving back near my family is that we get to participate in my family's traditions.  My mom has two things she does every year--her trim-the-tree party and gingerbread houses.  Tyler has done only done these things once or twice, so it was fun to get to do them this year.

First, trim-the-tree is always the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  The grandkids help grandma decorate her house for Christmas.  She also gives them each a new Christmas ornament, and has a pinata for them to break.  Tyler thought it was great that he broke it this year.

And then my camera battery died before I could take pictures of the kids' new ornaments.  Tyler got a light up nutcracker and the twins got football shaped bells.  In my little gift my mom had tucked in a baby ornament, so Jackson did get his first ornament as well--a blue baby bottle.

Gingerbread houses
My mom has been making these for at least 20 years.  She cooks all the gingerbread from scratch and uses the same pattern to cut out each house.  We loved doing it as kids and the grandkids now look forward to it each year.

Tyler went to town and did great.  The twins had one to do together.  Brady stuck a few pieces of candy on, but was more interested in eating the candy.  Carter helped me with the whole process, but of course also wanted to eat all the candy around him and from his house.  I think everyone's turned out great.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jackson's story

All last week I had been having contractions, but they never got painful or regular.  Friday morning we spent cleaning the house top to bottom, and I joked to Dan that all the cleaning and going up and down stairs was going to send me into labor.  Dan's parents flew in from Texas Friday afternoon (we had no idea just how perfect the timing would be) and Dan and I headed off to a scheduled doctor's appointment.

The office was busy, and we waited longer than normal to see the doctor.  But as we were waiting, we started timing my contractions.  In the hour we sat in the office, I had contractions every 4-5 minutes, and several of them were painful.  When the doctor came in to check me, I apologized that I must be very sweaty, because where I was sitting on the table was collecting liquid.  After a quick test, he informed me that my water had broken, and I was experiencing a slow amniotic leak.  I was sent to the hospital.

We went over to the hospital, and the nurses began prepping me for a c-section.  (Tyler was a breech baby, so a c-section.  I opted for a repeat c-section this time around.)  At first we were just kind of taking our time, waiting for the doctor to finish clinicals, but then Jackson started showing stress with every contraction.  Things starting moving a bit more quickly, I got a spinal, and Jackson was born.

My little confession here:  I was secretly hoping that the doctor was wrong, and this was going to be a girl.  But as soon as I heard the words "It's a boy" I couldn't imagine anything else.  Adding one more boy to our family is exactly the right thing for us.

They took him and dad back to the room to assess him while the doctors finished stitching me up.  When I got back to the room, there were my parents, sister, and Dan waiting while the nurse finished up.  She told us that she just wanted to quickly check his blood sugar, not something they routinely do, but he seemed jittery.  When she checked it, it was 26.  Normal is 60-120.  She had a a tech come and do a more thorough check, and when it came back at 11, she ushered him off to NICU.  I got to hold him for a brief few seconds.

The last 6 days have been a roller coaster.  I was discharged after 4 days.  Leaving the hospital, but leaving behind my baby was one of the hardest things ever.  Not to mention that I got to spend Christmas in the hospital.  I thought I was doing pretty good, but right at 24 hours post partum, my sister sent me a text of my kids in their new Christmas jammies.  Suddenly the combination of hormones, missing my family on Christmas, and not knowing exactly what was wrong with Jackson sent me over the edge, and I just had a great cry in my hospital room. Most of the time I am fine, but I've had a few of those moments.

As the week has gone on, Jackson is doing much better.  The big question is, why did he have such severe hypoglycemia.  The doctors are working on the assumption that he had some sort of infection.  I may have had a long term amniotic leak or the stomach bug I had 5 days before he was born could have contributed.  The tested him for lots of bacterial infections, but none of them came back.  They checked for fungus or yeast infections, nothing showed up.  They have gone ahead and treated him as though he had an infection, but we probably won't know for sure.  Just last night they really started weaning him off the glucose, and it looks like he will be off it completely by tomorrow.  The other thing we need to get him off of is cortizone--which is a steriod that affects how his body uses the sugars.  They should start that weaning process soon.

Our NICU experience this time has been different than with the twins.  They had all the typical preemie issues--breathing (which was resolved quickly), oxygen, apneas, and eating and gaining weight.  Jackson has had none of those issues.  He is eating like a champ.  I was able to start breastfeeding on Day 3.  We've been going back to the hospital twice a day for me to feed him.  He is taking his other feedings by bottle and seems to be doing great with either method.  He really is doing well, and we just need to get his sugars under control.

I am so grateful for this little boy.  You wonder how your heart can stretch to include one more, but when it happens--your heart swells.  He is a miracle, and we love him.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Jackson Marcus S.
Friday, December 23, 2011
7:08 P.M.
6 pounds 5 ounces
19 inches long

I hope to post all the details later today.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas prep

For the first time in our married life, we decided to get a real tree.  We got it set up, and I just loved it--the look, the smell--all of it.  But today?  Well, it's looking pretty pathetic.  Partly because it is starting to dry out, but mostly because we have 2 year olds who think that the balls on the tree are to play with.  So all the ornaments have gradually moved up to the top half, and all that is on the bottom is some garland, which gets pulled and tugged.  I also decorated my mantle, which is one of the things I loved about this house, put my nativity on my piano, and decorated the front door.  That's it.  As I was pulling out stuff, I just kept thinking that I also have to put this all away, most likely with a new baby around.  We went pretty simple this year.  Here it is.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Random photos

Blogging has been hard lately.  Between technical difficulties (missing cords, internet going out, computer charger breaking), and keeping up with kids, school, household chores, and Christmas prep, I just haven't had much time or motivation.  But I do want to get a few things down before Christmas and baby come.  So, here are a few pictures from the last month or so. 

We have discovered that Brady and Carter LOVE Cafe Rio.  Their first choice is to sit on an adult's lap and eat their meal, but they also like splitting their own adult size meal too.

Just since we moved in, the twins will finally watch some television.  Their absolute favorite is Buzz Lightyear, followed by Mickey Mouse and Little Einsteins.  My favorite thing about this is that I can actually sneak away and shower in the morning.  And I love Brady's hat and hands on hips here.

For a little while, the twins thought they didn't need naps. However, I think this was mostly due to the adjustment in moving.  We are back to pretty regular napping.  Carter most definitely needs a nap everyday, as evidenced by this picture.  He is actually asleep on the stairs.

My boys love grandma and grandpa.  Here Carter is playing with "bampa" as they call him.

My three couch potatoes.

I love this picture.  Brady is sharing his root beer with Carter.  While it doesn't always happen, I sure love to see them helping each other.  And then followed by a "dank do Baady" or "dank do Cata."

And this is the view outside my back window.  One morning we saw this beautiful sunrise while we were eating breakfast, and I snapped this through the window, hence the glare.  But I wasn't about to step outside in the cold!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

36 weeks

Last Sunday, when I officially hit 36 weeks, I had my dad snap a belly pic in front of my parents' tree.  Or as I should say, a belly and double chin pic.

Size of baby: Over 18 inches and almost 6 pounds, according to Baby Center.

Total Weight Gain: 35 pounds.  Dan has lost some weight recently, and as of today we are within 5 pounds of each other.

Maternity Clothes: I have had to retire a few shirts, too small.  But I also just put a cardigan on over everything and feel like I have more outfits.

Gender: Boy. Still no name.  I think we are going have to meet him first.

Movement: He's never been too active, so my paranoid self counts kicks probably twice a day.

Sleep: Not bad.  Still dealing with the twins more than the baby.

What I miss: Walking at a normal pace.  I am so slow!

Cravings: I am certainly enjoying all our Christmas sweets and treats.

Symptoms: Anyone who has been pregnant knows the feeling in the last few weeks of pregnancy.  Let's just say I feel it all.  And I have reached the point where I would rather have him out than in.

I still cannot believe that I am having a baby in the next 2+ weeks.  (My c-section is scheduled for the 27th.)  I remember when I was pregnant with Tyler, I spent 9 months waiting impatiently to meet him.  It has been so different this time.  The pregnancy itself was a shock, then months of worry over the hematoma, moving TWICE thank you, taking care of my family including two year old twins, and just recently getting settled, hosting Thanksgiving, and prepping for Christmas, when have I had time to anticipate this baby's arrival?  The thought of holding this little one in my arms kind of blows me away, but it is really happening, and before I know it. 

I think I'm ready.