Precious Moments

Life is precious and certainly full of precious moments lately. My sons amaze me. They are growing so quickly and I often find myself marveling at them.

Jonathan…my reserved, tender- hearted 2 year old. I am so in awe of the fact that you are now 2 years old! I had no idea what it would be like to raise a 2 year old but I feel so honored to be your mama. You are a very happy, sweet, polite child who loves to run, march, press every button possible and watch Elmo’s World constantly. I think we may have spoiled you by fast forwarding Sesame Street on Netflix…I love to see your caring personality emerge. You get so concerned when your brother is upset and rush in to help him or look to mama to see what she’s going to do about it. You are very polite, not only with please and thank you manners, but you are patient, and have a sweet spirit when you interact with other kids. Lately your “thank you welcome” all together melts my heart. I’m really glad I’ve gotten to put you to bed more often lately–your baths are always lots of fun as you work on your colors and draw with your tub crayons. I love that you always guess “blue” first no matter what the color is and even when you know you aren’t right :-) I love that you know almost all of your ABCs and will count the stairs with me–you are one bright little boy! One of my favorite recent memories was when you did “apart togethers” with your brothers legs as he was in my carrier–you sure know how to show off what you’re learning at Tumbling class! Also at night, I love that you want lotion and will rub lotion on my legs too, that’s one trait I hope you keep a long time! I always “snap” your jammies even if there isn’t one at the top…you just wouldn’t have it any other way. The weather has been unseasonably warm lately so we’ve already been to the park a few times and out on walks. I look forward to many more family memories this summer and being outside as much as possible! Here are a few pictures of what we’ve been up to…

 

My sweet Jeremiah- WoW a whole 6 months has gone by! Where was I? Oh, probably exhausted from not sleeping because you my sweet little one won’t sleep through the night yet. But, that’s ok–I know you will in time. You decided you wanted to sit-up and stay up recently and you can reach really far for a toy and spring yourself back upright. How did you learn this amazing skill so quickly? I love to watch you smile and giggle- you are good at that. You love and adore your daddy and he is always able to get big grins out of you. We put you in a swing at the park for the first time last week and you enjoyed yourself, didn’t get upset like your brother always did! I’m glad we get to go outside lots now, I know you are going to love to play in the grass and explore new things. I love to see your playful spirit emerge as you longingly look at your brother wishing you were running along side of him. I love to see you reach out to play with everything and explore the world around you, especially with your mouth if possible! You are so adventurous already, I can only imagine what you’ll be up to when you can get around! Also recently we started adventures in feeding! To my surprise you were very eager to get the spoon in your mouth but your tummy wasn’t so eager for the food. Rice cereal didn’t sit particulary well and you broke out with an eczema rash after some pears. We aren’t sure if it was the pears or just eczema on its own so we are taking things slow. You love sweet potatoes and squash and did well with apples. I look forward to making you food soon with the new Magic Bullet I got for Christmas. I just wish I was doing it sooner for you, mommy hasn’t quite found that time yet.

So my sweet little ones, thank you for filling my days with love and laughter. My heart is full.

Love, Mommy

My darling husband–I so loved that we chose to play Laser Tag for our date night and had a blast together doing so. I also love that I beat you and you didn’t actually seem that surprised. I love that we can still have fun together and enjoy each other despite our really busy days. I hope we can keep finding that time together that we so desperately need, it does wonders for me:-)

Another Year Over and a New One Just Begun

The lyrics to the title of this post mean more to me than ever now. I simply cannot believe we just celebrated another New Years. It truly doesn’t seem like that long ago we were at the same friend’s house ringing in the new year together or that I was putting things together for Jonathan’s first birthday. It was a blessed year for our family, fully of some ups and downs but overall what a wonderful year. Here are my highlights: Continue reading

Holidays & Return to Work

So I’ve been back to work now for almost 3 weeks and am just now starting to feel a sense of routine return to my life. It’s been a hard adjustment, honestly harder than I anticipated. I miss my boys, going back was leaving Jonathan all over again and I no longer see him in the morning. Our time is confined to 5-8:30 every night and that time also includes getting dinner together, feeding JJ, and taking care of life. It’s just not enough time.

Thanksgiving was nice. I felt that Josh and I had a good break with the kids. We went up to Lima on Thursday to see Josh’s family and then hosted Thanksgiving for my family on Friday. We also managed to do some black friday shopping and got a jump start on gifts. The tree went up on Sunday and it felt so special to have Jonathan help with ornaments. Of course, he put them on like any almost 2 year-old would but that’s all part of the fun. Seeing him wrap himself in the gold garland beads was priceless–he’s such a sweetheart. I try to spend a lot of time with him in the evenings–which is my new exercise program. Lifting a 27lb toddler up and down over and over again is surely going to burn some calories, right?

Christmas time is such a special time–we went shopping for the boys gifts last night (thanks again M&D for watching them) and I had soo much fun at Toys R Us. I wanted to get Johnny so many toys, but also realized how blessed we already are and he really didn’t need much. But, we made a few selections there and at Target and I am very excited for Christmas morning. I will try not to have too high of expectations, but I absolutely can’t wait to see his face when he sees his new toys we picked out. I am also excited to be celebrating Christmas with Jeremiah this year. I am overjoyed to have both of my little boys and now as Jeremiah is more and more alert and wide eyed, it’s fun to show him the tree and lights and be interactive. He is laughing a lot more these days and I LOVE it, so sweet and special. Tonight, I kept pressing his nose like a button and he would smile and giggle enough for me to see his little dimple. Wonder where he got those?

This is a public blog so I write somewhat cryptically- however I know where my heart is and I know where I am going. While Josh and I still need to officially lay out plans, God has already shown me the best path, shown me what I need to do (actually he told me awhile ago) and I think I am ready to finally listen. We started going to RiverHills again and a few of the sermons were spot on–trusting God, testing God, tithing–I am ready to do it. Ready to trust, test, respond and obey.

10 weeks old and time for an update

My baby is already 10 weeks old, almost 11! I am in complete denial that I am going back to work on Tuesday, I haven’t cried much yet and that has to bet he denial! Here is what has been going on in the Maag household:

Jonathan: his speech improves every day as he adds more and more words to his vocabulary. I’ve noticed he will repeat the last word in a phrase I say almost all the time so I am now trying to end my sentences with new words. He loves to brush his teeth and will go get the toothpaste out of his drawer and wait for it to be put on his toothbrush. When I rinse the brush and give it to him to rinse, he won’t do it without more toothpaste. Knowing this defeats the purpose I pretend to add more taste and he joyfully brushes away. One other new action I’ve noticed, is he loves to run out of the bathroom after a bath and lay facedown on the carpet with his towel covering his whole body. Sometimes he misses and his lil feet stick out–which I promptly tickle. He is such a ticklish kid! He must get that from mommy but sersiously, almost every part of him is ticklish. He has also picked up a few bad habits lately- hitting primarily. I wonder if he started it after seeing me burb JJ? Not that I am hitting my baby really hard, but he sees that action and maybe thinks its ok? We’ve been doing lots of time outs and sadly I gave him his first real spanking. Hoping something sinks in so he stops but I tell myself, this phase too shall pass and the hits are not hard, more attention getting than anything. He still likes to throw things and broke a glass ornament in Hobby Lobby this week and one of my craft ornaments at home. We’re treating this with time outs too and reinforcing that he can only throw “soft” items and balls.

Jeremiah: Our sweet little JJ is doing wonderfully well and still growing like a champ. He’s up to 13 lbs 10oz and 24 inches long! He’s 75-80% for both. He is just a little behind where JT was at the same age but thankfully he’s lasting in his clothes a little longer so I haven’t pulled out all of the 6 month clothes just yet. He is really starting to smile a lot showing lots of personality. He is getting very close to rolling from tummy to back and I thought he would do it this weekend. He loves to hold his head up high turning tummy time and doesn’t fall asleep on the mat anymore. He was on a very good eat-wake-sleep schedule and ever since his 2 month shots last Tuesday has gone off track. He wakes during his naps, cries and doesn’t go down quite as easily. The kids shots are always so hard on me, hurts mama more than them I’m sure. Hopefully he gets back on track soon as it was so nice while it lasted. I am very thankful right now that he is taking bottles better and my mom has spent more time with him lately. I am quite confident he will take to her just fine when I go back. I sure am going to miss his sweet smiling face all day long–whoa, heart is getting heavy thinking about it.

The adults: I have had a great few days to help distract me from the thought of going back. On Thursday, I went to the spa and got my hair cut, eye brows waxed, hot stone massage and facial. It was GLORIOUS. I literally left the spa singing I felt so good. Friday night I got dressed up to go to a jewelry party–was so nice to leave the house for something other than an errand or dr. appointment! Also so nice to get dressed up as I’ve lived in mostly sweats for the past 10 weeks. Then, on Saturday, Josh and I finally celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. We ate at Boi na Braza Brazillian steakhouse downtown and both tried all 15 types of meat. I don’t think I’d do it again though Josh really enjoyed it. After dinner we went on a carriage ride through down town which was awesome. It was also quite fitting as we rode off in a carriage at our wedding. I would definitely do that again and it would be fun to take the kids with us some day. After our ride we met up with some friends at Cadillac Ranch and had a drink before going home. It was a bit of an early night but seemed like a wonderful evening just the same. I got my gift from Josh right after my birthday this year and his gift (still to be ordered) is coming a bit late…but I love the beautiful saphire necklace he gave me and I know he’ll enjoy whatever he ends up getting (he still needs to confirm what he’d like, lol).

We are also shopping around for a new minivan and test drove a few Odyssey’s. We are still undecided on make, model and year but hoping to have one before Christmas.

My hands are feeling much better and I am quite relieved the braces help me so much though they are a pain to wear especially at night. Oh well, it has to be better than surgery I guess.

That’s all for now…expect a more mopey update when I go back to work! :(

My boys

Pretty hard for me to believe that yet again work is right around the corner. My baby boy is already 9…almost 10 weeks old! His personality is coming through more and more and he is more of an infant than newborn. He is starting to grasp toys, enjoy his play gym and can sit up (with support) really well. I am so amazed at his development this last month and really in the last two weeks it seems as though he’s changed quite a bit. He is finally on a good schedule now and following the eat, wake sleep routine well. We do need to work on bottle feeding, he’s not taking the medela bottles so we need to try something else and quickly! I go back to work in a week and a half and want him to be taking bottles better by then. He is also really good at going to sleep on his own, I can just sit him in his crib or swing swaddled and he will fall asleep happily. We moved him into his own crib at 7 weeks, 2 days old and it has worked out really well, no relapses and no regrets on the move!

Halloween was extra fun this year, I never knew how fun it would be from a parent’s perspective until this year. Jonathan doesn’t fully understand it yet but had a blast in his monkey costume and enjoyed walking around the street carrying his pumpkin of treasures. He could say “treat” and “thank you” though not as consistently as we hoped. He was still darn cute–and my little banana did very well for being dressed up so silly. I must admit I was a little sad when it was over and now I’m packing up the little Halloween outfits and bibs. Here they are in their jammies and costumes:

Jonathan has become more trustworthy with Jeremiah. We removed our gates for Jeremiah’s welcome party which I love but this also made it harder to keep the boys separate when needed. Fortunately, Jonathan is more gentle with his brother and knows not to disturb him. He still brings him blankets and his paci but is better about not shoving them in or over his face. He is so sweet with him and truly loves his brother. He holds out both hands when I am holding JJ which is his way of asking to hold the baby. I sit him up next to me on the couch and let him take a turn holding him or he helps me burb him by patting his back. One of the most touching moments I’ve had as a mom is seeing Jonathan’s sincere love and concern for his brother when he’s upset. He will give him kisses, pats on the back or look to me to see what I can do to help his brother as quickly as possible. His face says “what’s wrong with him mom, can you fix him?”.

Jonathan is also really into cars right now. He is always looking out the window saying “carrrr carrrr” so I’m glad we gave him a race car bed:-)

I want to thank all of our friends again and my family for helping with or coming to Jeremiah’s welcome party. It was such a joy to celebrate his birth and I couldn’t be happier to be his mamma:-)

One other random side note- I’ve developed carpel tunnel in both hands. I went to the DR on Monday and she advised that I wear braces on my wrists 24/7 which has been helping. My arms no longer burn in pain at night so I hope they heal on their own and don’t require surgery. It’s very scary to have your arms and hands burn and fall asleep all the time.

All, right, good enough for now for an update–this mama is ready for bed

Living in the moment

I have often been a person who dreams of the future and very much looked forward to significant moments in life. I always wanted to be married, pregnant, have a family, a house- typical American dream items. But now, I have those things, feel extremely blessed and am very happy. But, yesterday I told Josh I wished I would have treasured the days before our kids came just a little more…can never have them back. I do not in any way regret where I am, just wish we had a few more nights together and days to sleep in. I felt the same way when I was out of college…wanted to go back. Josh made a very good comment, he said in a few years I’ll wish I was in this moment, with our small children. Wow, how right he was! Made me realize I need to stop dreaming so much of the future and wishing to relive the past, I need to live in the moment. This also made me realize I now look to the past more than the future, wow, I’m not sure I like that.

We went to a Pumpkin patch today and had a lot of fun for the most part. There was a huge tube slide that Jonathan loved, he kept wanting to go down over and over. He also had fun playing in a similar tube on the ground and climbing the hay bail. I realized I am a bit of a hovering mommy, though most of the kids climbing that were at least twice his age so I feel justified but I realized I need to let him explore more without always being an arms length away. I enjoyed watching him have so much fun outside and explore so much. We rode a hay ride to the pumpkin patch where he wandered around a bit. He wasn’t too interested in most of the pumpkins and was worn out by the end. We didn’t get to the corn maze because he was so cranky and really ready for a nap. He was passed out within 5 minutes of leaving.

We all had cranky moments today and luckily most of us got naps and felt better (thanks daddy!)…he took care of both kids and gave Jonathan his bath. I love coming upstairs to the smell of Johnson’s shampoo and love living life and all the glory that parenting has to offer with my best friend. He encourages me, loves me, forgives me and strengthens me. I am blessed always, especially while living in this moment.

Special Thanks!

Ok- third post! I need to say a special thank you for all of the help we’ve received over the past 2 weeks. First my parents, they have gone above and beyond to help with Jonathan, take care of me and bless us through the transition with Jeremiah and the recent health scares. I am so tremendously blessed and thankful for them and I don’t exactly know how to express that thanks.

Second, Megan, she visited me in the hospital bearing my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip bread and pumpkin spice latte–so refreshing when I was feeling so down. I was very grateful for her presence, listening ear and encouragement. I was also thankful to Jen for stopping down in my room twice while she was working to give advice and help me take my mind off the situation.

Also, thankful for the McEnaney’s for a delicious dinner this week–nice to still be getting meals after having JJ and the timing was perfect as we’re still getting back to normal after the hospital stay!

Kendra- through text & phone calls, the support has meant a lot. I hope we can find more time to hang out together!

Elaine- Wonderful visit in the hospital at just the right moment to stay with JJ during the packing removal. She was able to calm him and share her story with me and encourage me. She also came over Monday to help with Jonathan’s eye Dr appt, look at JJ’s incision and play with Jonathan–he loved her! So happy to see him having so much fun playing. What an angel she was.

Thanks to many others for encouraging words and offers of help, we are blessed to be so loved!

Life with 3 Boys

Life with three boys is certainly interesting–and wonderful. I love to see Josh play with Jonathan every night. It warms my heart knowing my boys have such a wonderful daddy. This week has been a bit of a blur–I think I’m still recovering from my crazy week last week both physically and emotionally. I have flashbacks to some of the bad moments and they make me cry, talking about it makes me cry, ugh–I hate that. Jonathan went to moms 3 days this week and Monday, the day he didn’t Elaine came to help me. I was fighting thoughts of being a failure last night, and felt that I was missing this opportunity to spend more time with Jonathan. I know I could handle it if I had to, but being so sleep deprived it’s easy to take advantage of help. I’m really hoping for a regular week next week where I can spend more time with my big boy. He is hilarious, sweet, devilish, smart, and I just want to soak up all this special time with him! It’s hard though when I have a newborn that doesn’t like to leave my arms, a house to clean and mouths to feed. I have lots of respect for SAHM, it’s definitely not an easy task.

Here are my two little boys:

Today, I am feeling much better. I rested a lot this morning which I know was good for me, went to the grocery store, folded laundry, and made dinner (pumpkin turkey chili). Whew, how good it feels to be accomplished! I am hoping tomorrow is another good day. Josh is actually off work to do a special project for work over the weekend so I am hoping we can spend some good time together as a family.

Update on Jeremiah: He is doing remarkably well. He had his 1mo well visit and Josh and I both took him. He now weighs 11lbs 12oz (90%) and is 22.3 in long (75%). They must have measured him wrong at birth because I know he’s grown more than .3 inches! His incision site looks good and I think irrigating the wound and antibiotics will end tomorrow. He’s already been off Tylenol for 24 hours and I haven’t noticed him in pain (though now that I think about it, he’s not sleeping great today, hmm).

Also, I recently decided to join my aunts, sister and a few cousins in Gatlinburg in a few weekends! While it’s a bit daunting to think of taking care of JJ all by myself, this is one of my favorite places and I am really excited to go back!

A week bonding with my baby boy

This past week was definitely full of highs and lows, probably even contained the worst moment of my life- it was that bad for awhile. On Thursday (10 days ago) I noticed a regular diaper rash on Jeremiah so I was using Butt Paste and Desitin to treat it. On Saturday during application I noticed a bit of raised part on his rear, I didn’t think too much of it and assumed it was part of the rash. It looked red like the rest of it but I didn’t notice anything else unusual. By Sunday, the red bump had grown, again colored the same as the rest of him so we kept an eye on it. It kept growing and by Sunday night (middle of the night) I noticed it bleed. I called the pediatrician in the AM and had an appt at 12:40 to get it checked out. I was expecting to receive a prescription for some cream and be on our way, though by this time it was the size of a marble under his skin and looked very angry.

I went in to the appt and the Dr checked him out, she told me it was a large boil and it wasn’t going to pop on his own. I should go to Children’s to have it looked at–she called to see if I needed to go to the ER or some clinic. To me, clinic sounds like same day procedure so I was not too worried. She came back and had me go to the ER and ask for the surgical team–she told me not to feed him because they may put him under anesthesia due to the location. Again, I wasn’t overly alarmed, still thought in and out…

Made it down to Children’s and thank goodness I had my dad meet me there. Went through the ER and was seen very quickly. Talked to the ER nurse who wanted to do blood work, spinal tap, and send him into surgery right away. The words spinal tap scared me–you want to do what to my baby?! A surgeon came in to see him and he pushed on it a bit and noticed it had opened on his own. His recommendation was to stay overnight, let it run its course and we’d probably be on our way home tomorrow.He didn’t even think an IV or blood work was necessary, sounds good to me! Well, I guess they met somewhere in the middle because he had an IV started and they did do the blood work. Good thing.

On Monday night I was extremely optimistic that I was going home on Tuesday and that he wouldn’t need surgery. Everything was looking good and I just had to stay in the hospital with him overnight for observation and antibiotics and we’d be on our way home the next day.

Overnight and Tuesday morning he was seen by several people, always waking him up because they’d remove his diaper. Of course they’d try to calm him but forget it, he needed his momma. So up I was at all hours nursing, comforting, holding, and just praying this ordeal would be over soon. Around 10AM on Tuesday a surgeon came in to see him and said all looked fine and we’d be going home that afternoon- “abscesses were around before surgeons and they heal on their own”. Sounds good, was then told by a nurse that he just has to tolerate oral antibiotics and we’d be good to go. Yippee! Around noon or 1 I changed his diaper and noticed the area was still hard and starting to look a little worse. I told the nurse practitioner who was looking at him anyway and she agreed it needed to be looked at. My nurse was awesome, I told her I was a little concerned too and she said don’t let them send you home if you have any concerns! Make sure they look at it again and explain your concerns. The NP came back with a surgeon who said the opening had closed and left a pocket behind it (which would just re-fill) so it needs to be opened–probably surgically. My heart sank. We were back to let’s wait and see what it looks like in the AM and if it’s not better, he’ll get surgery. Sigh…but it’s possible even if he did need the surgery he could go home the same day. We were hoping for just one more night. The wound had definitely stopped draining and got worse through the evening. At the slightest sound of gas I was up changing his diaper to keep it clean and bacteria free as much as possible. The hardness was not a concern to the doctors, they said that was normal but the softness and pocket were the concern.

Josh came down again Tues evening along with my parents and Jonathan got to visit. Was so good to see Jonathan even for a short bit. I hate the feeling that having another baby has taken me away from him because infants are so demanding, especially during nursing. It really breaks my heart. Once his visit was over, Josh and I gave Jeremiah a little tub bath. That was crazy because the IV was in his foot so we had to soak his rear while keeping a foot dry and a baby happy. Not the easiest feat, he hated it and so did I. We managed it though and I loved cuddling JJ right after and whispering to him that it was over, he’d be ok now for a bit. Josh eventually went home to be with Jonathan and I spent night #2 in the hospital. Again, waking at all hours as they prodded my baby to assess him. I realize they are doing their jobs but I felt awful that he didn’t get good sleep. We were just getting on a good routine of eating at home and now we were way off again–nursing every 1.5 hours or so, probably mostly comfort nursings. Wednesday morning around 4AM the decision was made to procede with nursing so I couldn’t feed him after 5. I tried and tried to nurse him that final hour but he was too tired, he was done at 4:35 and didn’t eat much–I was praying he would be ok while we waited. I thought surgery would be in the afternoon so I was afraid this was way too long to hold him off. Luckily I was eventually told he was first on the add-on list and they just needed to wait for the full team to arrive. Something about they usually dont schedule surgeries on wed until after 12. My nurse this time was wonderful, she encouraged me to go for a walk and offered to hold JJ and chart in my room so I could take a break. I eventually took her up on this but not before she changed out his IV. Thought it was odd she encouraged me to go get a drink right before she worked on it with another nurse and I heard her say “it’s in the wrong spot”…which i now believe meant why would you put an IV in a babies foot instead of their hand. But I wasn’t leaving while they were working on him so I stayed and went for my walk when all was done and he was calm. The nurse took my phone number so she could call me if he got called back for surgery. I think I knew by this point he was scheduled at 10:30AM. Ok, dad was also on his way with starbucks but I walked to the cafeteria anyway. No sooner do I see the cafeteria sign than I get call from the nurse, the anesthesia person was there and I needed to sign some forms. I turned right around and went back up to the room. Had to make a few calls about family history with anesthesia and signed the forms. They said I’d still have some time after that to leave but as soon as I finished someone showed up to wheel him down. Dad showed up and I ate my scone and drink quickly–off we went to surgery. After meeting with more nurses, answering more questions and continuing to try to keep the baby calm (going on 6 hours of no food only sweet-ease) I finally handed my baby over. The nurses all loved him and loved on him so I knew he was in good hands. Dad and I went to the waiting room and talked politics–why did I think this would pass the time quickly?! Oh well, not too much later we were told to follow the yellow sunshines to my baby. As we walked past the recover beds I could hear him screaming, surely that wasn’t him so quickly after anesthesia? But it sounded like him so I picked up my steps and eventually made it to bed 24 to hold my baby. He calmed and they gave him some morphine to help his pain. He nursed pretty well- actually if he had teeth there is no way I could have survived those eager chomps! The Dr came in and told us all went well but it was a very large pocket, about golfball sized and we definitely had to stay another night. At least it was a success but I wasn’t happy to hear it was so much worse than they had expected and that we had to stay. Wednesday night was much more active, mom and Josh were visiting but so did Megan (who brought me a delicious latte and pumpkin bread yumm!), and Jen who was working that night and my PCA was an old roommate and sorority sister! So I had lots of company that night as little boy rested. The game plan at that point was to remove half the packing the next day and hopefully be discharged and I’d remove the other half the next day at home. Mom stayed with me all night that night helping to rock JJ. I slept so much deeper knowing someone I trusted was in the room with me to help give instructions and watch over Jeremiah. She also comforted me through the comment that he may need a second surgery because the nurse was concerned about the hardness. I was optimistic this was wrong bc the DR wasn’t concerned about the hardness but at this point had no idea what to think with all of the up and down news I had received…

Thursday was another day filled with mixed emotions. Mom staying with me really helped as I was able to get some deeper sleep and I didn’t seem to be as awakened as much. We had breakfast and dad came again bearing starbucks, yumm…I love Pumpkin Spice season! I think this is the day I finally made it outside for a few minutes and talked to a few friends on the phone. Trying to keep everyone updated was a challenge but Facebook helped–I was texting, chatting, calling and updating FB to keep all informed. I felt very comforted by the hundreds of people praying for Jeremiah and knowing I had several friends offering help and standing by. I made a stop in the gift shop and wondered around for awhile looking for a gift for my baby. I wanted to give him something that we could look back on and settled on a little dog with a paci attached. That turned out to be perfect as that paci stays in his mouth much better because the stuffed dog rests on him. Mom and dad also went to the gift shop and got him a big blue teddy bear and balloon and shortly after he had a teddy and flowers arrive from my cousin, how sweet! His room seemed so much brighter and filled with cheer–guess I should have gone down sooner to get him something. Earlier in the week they had brought him a mobile which was really touching to me, they have lots of things for children but the way the lady asked “would your baby like a mobile” about made me burst into tears. Yes he would- such a small thing but it was so soothing to him all week long through this ordeal.

For lunch, mom dad and I ate hospital food- it actually wasn’t bad and they have a great program for visiting families where you get plenty of food for cheap. Dad left shortly after and mom and I waited for 2:00 to roll around for the first set of packing to be removed. Around 1:15 a familiar face (Elaine or Aunt E) arrived just as the DR and 3-4 other followers arrived all gowned up. They were ready to remove his packing but Tylenol wasn’t due for another hour or so…I told them I wanted the T in his system before they remove it (especially since the NP was contemplating morphine because it’s that painful!) The Dr said it would hurt him no matter what and wanted to do it now…I about pulled the “STOP” procedure they have as I insisted they wait. They agreed to see other patients first- I don’t think they were happy about it but I must say they were very very good about respecting the parent’s/patient’s wishes. I also know they made note of this because over the next 24 hours a few nurses made comments about having the T in his system before removing the second set of packing. During this time, T wasn’t lasting him a full 5 hours so the last 30mins to an hour were painful for him–the worst possible time to do something even more painful to him! His next dose of T arrived about 15 mins later and 15 mins after that they did the procedure. Mom and I left as Aunt E volunteered to stay and observe–so thankful she did! It was comforting to have someone I knew in there with him at a time I thought I couldn’t handle it. He did very well and wasn’t even crying when I got back to see him. The T had kicked in and definitely helped! What a relief…Aunt E stayed awhile longer and held Jeremiah, rocked him, danced with him, and gave mom and I a nice break to go to the cafeteria and just relax for a minute.

That evening was much better, JJ was in much less pain because of having some of the packing out. Jen came down again for another a visit and I told Josh to stay home with Jonathan so he had some parent time. I was worried he was missing both of us during the week as Josh would come to me straight after work and when he’d get home Jonathan was asleep. However, Thursday evening would be the worst moment of my life–his second IV in his arm wasn’t flushing. The nurse looked for another vein and didn’t see one she liked so she called someone else to help or said she could call the IV team for assistance. Who knew there was a team of specialists just for sticking people and putting lines in? A nurse came in and tried and the needle didn’t stay, she said she blew the vein. Sigh, ok –they would call the IV team. They had 4 other patients to do so I asked the nurse about his Tylenol because again I wanted the T well in his system before they started poking him again. They didn’t come one time and I think the nurse planned it that way as when they would have come would have cut it close so she had him get more medicine and they came about an hour after that. I stayed with him during this time (I can’t even look at my own IVs let alone my baby but I stayed) I held his hand, gave him sweet-east and sang to him as the two specialists went to work. They used these neat red lights and turned out all the lights to see his veins. But, after at least 3 tries in his feet and other hand they couldn’t get it :( This was the worst, listening to my baby scream as they stuck him over and over trying to get a needle to stay. When that didn’t work, we tried to get out of an IV as we were leaving the next day but the DR insisted it be IV as the antibiotics don’t work the same. They were trying to figure out what to do and this young surgeon and young nurse walked in the room as I was holding JJ–that hold quickly turned to a clench as my thoughts were “surely these bozos aren’t going to try”. I’ve seen too much Grey’s antomy as I was afraid they were eager to try to accomplish something others couldn’t. How judgemental of me, they were only there to assess the situation and check on JJ and the nurse ended up being our nurse for the night and she was awesome! They decided to call a NICU nurse up as she’d have more experience working with little veins. Thankfully she got the IV in but it took her a few tries too so again I was up with Jeremiah trying to calm him the best I could. TERRIBLE moments together but I am glad I stayed and could scoop him up as soon as they gave the word. Poor baby slept pretty well that night, but I think he was just terrified to be awake. I actually slept a little better too and remained optimistic I was leaving in the morning.

Friday morning, mom and I ordered food and actually laughed together. That felt so good! I hadn’t laughed all week and mom made me laugh so hard I snickered. We also received the good news that we were definitely leaving–they came in to remove the packing and everything looked great. I stayed this time and watched, if you know me you know what an accomplishment this is! He did cry more this time so I rocked him and held him and rocked him until he settled again. Eventually he slept again and we started packing up. Mom did most of the work and took things to the car while I waited for discharge orders–I learned how to clean him and care for him and got his RX. We were ready to go home!! The transport team arrived and we were out of there…what a relief!

So I titled this post as my week of bonding as that is how I’d like to remember it. Sure, I wrote about most of the medical crap but I truly value this week and will cherish it as the week I got to focus on Jeremiah. I had no housework, laundry, cooking, or other family to worry about. I solely focused on Jeremiah James and all that he is–learned all of his little faces, sounds, habits, likes, dislikes. I know him so well now! And I couldn’t have focused on him so well if we were at home. I must thank my parents, sister, Beth and Josh for taking such good care of Jonathan–I did not have to worry about his care at all as I knew he was in great hands! So, this is the week I bonded with my son, not the week I spent in the hospital. I love my children so much and learned how strong that love is, how it can carry you through the worst of times and allow you to do things you didn’t know you were capable of doing.

My sweet baby boy–birth story and then some!

Jeremiah James Maag- my account of his birth
It started Monday evening, I had been moving around and felt what I thought might be fluid, went the bathroom and found signs that labor might start soon or within a few weeks according to the internet so who knows, but I still wondered if my water had broken some. So I put on pad and a laid in bed for 30 mins, the pad didn’t appear to be too wet so I chalked it up to not being my water broken. I eventually went to sleep that night and woke at 2:30 feeling very wet–went to the RR and nothing. I laid back in bed and contractions started (nothing new from the past few weeks though). But at 3:30 I went to the RR again and saw more evidence of labor–this time with blood tinge so I woke up Josh and told him we may have to call the DR. My contractions were also seemingly stronger. We decided to start timing them vs. calling just yet. After 45 minutes they were 6-8 minutes apart lasting just over a minute. Went to the RR with more blood tinged evidence of labor–it was time to call the Dr. They advised we go to the hospital to be checked so I called mom and told her we might be getting a baby! She was there quickly and off we went…contractions at this point had increased to 3-4 mins apart but only lasting 30-45 seconds. Josh did a great job getting us safely to the hospital and avoided most potholes! The only hiccup was we went to ER, it was 5:15 and forgot the main entrance opened at 5…the person asked us if I was in labor and I said yes and she advised we drive over vs. the long walk through the hospital so out the doors we went to the correct entrance. I think I walked faster in labor than my last week of pregnancy!

We arrived, were checked in and I was sent to triage in obvious pain. I was given the option of being checked by the nurse or by an OB with speculum and the nurse answered for me that she would just do it because of my pain. The risk of her doing it is if she couldn’t tell about my water, I’d have to be seen by an OB anyway so she didn’t want me to need to be checked twice. They let Josh back there quickly with me to hold my hand and comfort me. Thank you for that!! I was 1.5 cm at my last appt so not sure what I was going to be but finally the nurse checked me and said “OH, you’ll be happy you’re at 4 cm and I feel a head!” WOW! Ok, it’s go time…my body figured it out, I was really in labor!!

I was given an IV and moved to my room, the IV actually hurt worse than the contractions at this point. My cervix was still way high so the nurse recommended we use the birthing ball or an all 4s position to help–I chose the ball, seemed more fun. So we labored on our own for awhile and until my epideral showed up, it was shortly after 7 (earlier than I thought I’d get one) but thought it was good to get the person right at shift change so I wouldn’t have to wait later. The epideral was actually the worst part of my labor, so much so that I may not do it again. They gave me a local anesthetic to dull the pain, so when she put in the needle she said you’ll feel pressure not pain, pressure is normal, pain isn’t. Ok, I thought, I can handle this, did it before–well no sooner did she say that then I felt tremendous pain in my back like a popping of air about an inch in diameter- I screamed and burst into tears it hurt SO BAD! They gave me more local medicine but I still felt pain every time she moved the needle. She would barely move it and I felt the popping pain and pain down my hip. Finally it was in place and I was ok. It went to work quickly and I couldn’t believe how numb I was, I wasn’t nearly that numb with Jonathan. I felt like I’d been sitting on ice for hours, that’s how numb I was. All was going well, Josh was sleeping and I was daydreaming of Jeremiah for the next few hours. I couldn’t feel any of my contractions so all I had to do was flip side to side when the nurse came in. The Dr came around 10 or so and finished my water breaking and checked me–still only 4 cm, bummer. But alas I was laboring away, happily and feeling nothing, a little weird actually. I was checked again about an hour or so later an up to 6cm–whoo hoo, making progress:-) It was near noon that a nurse came in and asked me if I felt any pain, and I said “actually yes” I had just felt that last contraction. She said uh oh, you’d better press your button (to get more drugs) so I did. I wasn’t too concerned, I liked that I could feel my contractions with Jonathan so this wasn’t all bad news to me–except the button didn’t help me at all. My contractions grew worse and the pain medicine wasn’t helping, in fact I could now feel my legs again and contractions were almost full on as when I came in that morning. So, the anesthesiologist came in and gave me a booster, it was lighter so I could push but all that did was make me nauseous. I was starving right after my epideral and remembered saying after the booster that “all this stuff does is make me hungry…or nauseous, yup definitely nausea…help!” I was given a bucket and puked for a few minutes–not my most glorious moment. The cold rag helped and eventually the heaving subsided–horrible! I was checked again and at 10cm!! Oh my, time to go for real, except DR was 20 mins away so we kept laboring in pain waiting. Finally the DR arrived but luck has it that there were 3 of us in labor that were his patients and all ready to push. One had the head practically out so I knew she was first, and they finished her fairly quickly but then I heard a nurse say the other baby was “crashing” that sounds scary and quickly realized the nurses might be delivering my baby if he has to go to her and she goes into an emergency c-section. I started crying again at that point, I was tired and done waiting for my baby boy. I told this to Josh who relayed it to the nurse as she couldn’t understand me. They let me push some without the DR because they knew he’d be in any minute. Sure enough, he arrived and I really got to push–had a mirror set-up so I could see him coming down the canal and finally his head was out! I didn’t hear anything and immediately asked if he was ok as they suctioned him out. I was also still pushing through this and trying to push, breathe and listen to the nurse was too much so I ignored the nurse. I buckled down and just pushed pushed pushed because there were no breaks this time, he was out in less than 10 minutes. I heard him cry and he was put up on my chest, my beautiful son was finally here and in my arms, what a miracle!

The recovery this time was quite different, we had to be in the room for 2 hours but it was a long 2 hours. We were left alone with him for awhile and no one was there to rush in and greet him yet, we had some time bonding together after all of his checks and it was quite peaceful. I did ok, not too much pain at this point and overall a sense of relief that he was here, happy to eat and so healthy.

My parents, and Jonathan were ready to greet us in our recovery room–Jonathan made quite the face when he first saw Jeremiah. He wasn’t too sure about this and wasn’t too happy mommy couldn’t hold him. But, once we got home and now 2 weeks later, he is a wonderful big brother who gives lots of kisses to his baby brother. So sweet.

Now–2 weeks later, here is what I know about Mr. Jeremiah:
1- He definitely looks like me, a lot!
2- He doesn’t like to be moved if he is sleeping and he let’s you know this with chirps and little cries of discomfort
3- He spits up A LOT, he needs extra care after eating to let his tummy settle, he is also extremely gassy- gas drops help a bit
4- He gets hot quickly, he loves to have air blown on his face either by momma or a fan if he is over heated
5- He will smile if you stroke his cheek in the right place and he appears to have dimples!
6- He loves to snuggle in the center of my chest, he will migrate there after burping on his own or with a little help
7- He still loves to have his feet up like he was in the womb,he’s not quite uncurled yet
8- He is very strong–already held is head up at 1 day old and amazing everyone he meets with how good his head control is already
9- He is huge! At 6 days old was up to 9lbs 6oz, at 11 days old was up to 9lbs 15oz…can’t wait to see how big he is at his 1 month appt!
10- He makes his momma fall in love more and more every day, so thankful to be his momma and to be spending this time with him. I <3 my boys very much and thank God for them every day with all the thanks I can give. What a joyous gift they are in my life.