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.

My Great Week

The first week of September 2011 is one of the best of my life. One week ago today, Sept 2nd, Josh and I were quietly celebrating 5 years of marriage. He hadn’t made any big plans because there were other Bigger plans to celebrate at any moment–which came on Sept 6th. We went to Unos with Jonathan and then to Culvers to for ice cream. A simple celebration which we shared with our little boy.

On Saturday the 3rd I went into the nursery and started arranging some baby clothes, I am not usually a procrastinator but knew this wasn’t truly urgent so it could wait. Well, my heart couldn’t wait any longer…I snuggled the little clothes and softly cried to myself as I waited for my next little boy to come into this world. He’d already been in my world longer than 9 months and I had a heavy heart that night. I truly thought he would have been here by now. But alas, I was still waiting. Josh came in and we talked for a bit–very content with our decision not to induce him any earlier and knew he’d be here soon.

Sunday came and went…Monday came and went…no Labor Day for me. The weekend was spent relaxing around the house, waiting, playing with Jonathan and more waiting.

We have a BIRTHDAY!

I will write a post officially about his birth, but quick summary: Monday night had pre-labor signs but didn’t get too excited as it could be a false alarm. I woke up around 2:30 feeling like my water may have ruptured but it hadn’t so I laid in bed and contractions started–went and got Josh at 3:30 to time the contractions and by 4:30 or so we needed to call the DR as my contractions were getting closer together and stronger. They advised we go to the hospital so called mom to come take care of Johnny and off we went.

Around 9 hours later, God gave me another precious gift. Jeremiah James Maag was born into this world weighing 9 lbs 5.2oz and 22 inches long…also scored a 9 9 on the apgar test beating his brother on all measurements except possibly his head. I am so in love with him and was quite relieved when he was here, healthy and secure in my arms.

When Jeremiah was a few hours old he got to meet his grandparents, Aunt Case and big brother Jonathan! I couldn’t wait to see my big little boy, I was missing him by that point. Once the boys were able to meet Jonathan immediately knew something was up and made the scrunchiest little face as if to say send him back, I don’t want him yet! He wasn’t ready to give up all of mommy and daddy just yet. However, once we arrived home he definitely warmed up!

Our stay at the hospital was another great experience, we had great nurses and I felt well taken care of. I was in a lot of discomfort with back pain and cramping due to nursing but the nurses gave me good advice and Josh was very supportive. He had visits from my parents, sister and a few friends–the perfect amount in my opinion.

We decided to stay all day Wednesday vs. going home, I think my OB and the pediatrician liked this better than us leaving even though both cleared us to leave if we wanted to. We took advantage of the nursery at night to help us get a little more sleep than we knew we’d be getting at home. However, the highlight of this day was seeing Jeremiah hold his head up! He held it up off of my chest first but then I saw him do it several times in Josh’s arms and I tried to snag a few pictures of it. Pretty remarkable for being 1 day old!

Thursday we were discharged, we went home settled in and Josh went to pick up Jonathan from my mom’s care. I was so excited to be home as a family of 4 and couldn’t wait to see Jonathan, my heart missed him quite a bit in the hospital. Once he was home, he saw Jeremiah and said “baby” and even took the little giraffe rattle to Jeremiah!! Soooo precious. I knew he’d be a good big brother:-) So far he is continuing to amaze me and has shown limited signs of jealousy. When they met at home, Jeremiah was in a bouncy seat but when I picked him up for the first time Jonathan got a little jealous and did this mehmemehme type of cry. He came and put his head on my shoulder and I hugged him with my other arm and comforted him and he was fine. It was precious though broke my heart a little at the same time. Fortunately, he’s done this minimally and overall is adjusting very very well to having his little brother around. Our first night home went better than with Jonathan but still went through several outfits–what is it about being at home and peeing through so many outfits??

Friday–first full day at home. I am so glad Josh has this time off work. He is such a wonderful daddy and does a remarkable job with Jonathan. Things have worked out well for Josh to focus mostly on Jonathan while I care for Jeremiah. The day went smoothly for the most part though I did get peed on for the first time and was left at home with Jeremiah by self. Being home with him was fine, doing this for the second time has been much easier (so far!!) for me as I know what to expect and Jeremiah is pretty calm though I have been peed on at least 4-5 times now (as of Sunday night). I’m working to get better at not letting that happen! Friday evening my parents brought us a wonderful meal and we had a mini celebration for my mom’s birthday. We had cake and ice cream and Jonathan was so happy he wasn’t a baby because he got the cake and ice cream too!

Saturday- I was left with Jeremiah again while Josh and Jonathan went to a baby shower for Dan and Barb. Timing worked out best this way and I was actually able to nap when they were gone. I feel so much more comfortable with Jeremiah and at ease being with him than with Jonathan. I know that is what parenting experience gets you but it still amazes me. I can shower, take care of myself, nurse, snuggle my baby, etc without panic or stress (so far!). And, Jeremiah is a little cuddle bug! He loves to migrate from my shoulder during burping to the center of my chest where he can feel my heartbeat. He has his little legs curled up and just falls right asleep–I am in heaven. Jonathan never liked to cuddle so I am so excited to have a snuggly little one, though when Josh goes back to work this might be a challenge as I’ll have to take care of Jonathan too 3 days a week. Saturday evening ended with a wonderful visit from Dan and Beth. We enjoyed dessert with them and talked for hours–so blessed to have them as such wonderful friends!

Sunday- today was the kickoff for Football season and I think I watched about 15 minutes if that of football.  It was much better spending the day with my family–including mom bringing breakfast and helping me organize clothes for the boys and start switching out wardrobes for fall/winter. One of my biggest highlights of the day was spending time outside with Jonathan while Josh looked after Jeremiah who was sleeping away in his swing. It was much needed mommy/Johnny time and I loved watching him climb, play, kick his ball and grin huge smiles outside with me. I missed this so much this past week and during the end of my pregnancy because my ability to chase after him became limited. I can’t wait until we have a new routine, I am healed and can get down and play with him lots. He is such a fun energetic little boy! The second highlight was Jeremiah’s first bath. We were geared up for this to be a tear fest for mommy and Jeremiah but he didn’t cry at all! He was very very calm and didn’t even squirm, such a different experience from his big brother–I will eventually stop comparing the two, I promise! But, bathing him, cuddling him and feeding him is such an honor, so humbling to realize God has given me this little boy to look after, care for and nurture. I absolutely love being a mommy to my two precious boys. Life can’t get much sweeter than this…

39 weeks!

Jeremiah is kicking me quite a bit right now, he keeps rolling around and I can feel what I assume are his feet or possibly a knee. I can officially say I am ready for him to come, I am happy with how things are at work and home is as good as it’s going to get. Wow, I am there!

I am so excited for his arrival, I can’t wait to meet him face to face, check out the full head of hair that’s giving me so much heartburn, and see Jonathan interact with his little brother. I am so excited for another boy! People always think I’m disappointed about not having a girl, but I always wanted to give Jonathan a brother and I’m glad we are doing just that.

I am feeling pretty good these days, I think better than I did at the same point with Jonathan. I had a Dr appt today and am 1.5 cm, 50-60% effaced and 100% ready to give birth. Unfortunately my least favorite of the doctors are the ones on call the next 2 weekends, very low chance my DR will actually deliver me but the nurses really make the experience, and of course my husband. I am definitely looking forward to our week together as a family when Jeremiah is here, will be nice to have that time with Josh and Jonathan for sure! I am feeling outnumbered by the J’s here…

We took Jonathan to Chick Fil-A and the park. We didn’t realize it was kids night at CFA–great for the free food but not so great for a toddler in the big kids play place. So we went to a park instead. My fantasy of him playing in the park finally became a reality!!! Usually taking Jonathan to the park results in tears, grumpiness or general disinterest but tonight he LOVED the slides and kept going down them. He got really good at getting himself up all the stairs and to each slide too. Of course, we still watched him closely but he was definitely holding his own. He also played a little chase with a little girl that was older than him and they went down the slide repeatedly after each other. I think he loved playing with her:-)

In other good Johnny news, he went to the eye DR yesterday and they said the patching is working!! Praise God for that, no glasses as of yet and so far he doesn’t mid the patching too much. He cries and fights it when you put it on but a few mins later he is completely fine. I truly believe God knew I couldn’t handle having to restrain my baby or put drops in his eyes at this point in my pregnancy so we are blessed to have him be so cooperative and spare my emotions. Praise God!

Also, very thankful that we are so blessed right now–so happy my baby is healthy and my pregnancy has progressed so well, Josh and I both have good jobs a happy marriage (of almost 5 years!!) and life is going well overall. When my biggest complaints are the DR on call the next few weekends and heartburn, I think my life is pretty good. Oh, I will add to that list–21 stretch marks I counted tonight on my belly, yikes! I only had 2ish with Jonathan, maybe Jeremiah needed a map to see how to get out? At any rate, not looking forward to what that will look like after he’s here, but am very much looking forward to my flat stomach again, oh how I miss you!

Please continue praying that Jonathan’s eyesight will continue to improve, my health and energy will remain high and that Jeremiah arrives safe, healthy and on a Wednesday :-)

33 weeks+

I’m not sure if blogging at 5 AM is a smart thing to do, especially when pregnancy hormones seem to rage on and on these days but here goes.

Today was a fun day but also a stressful one. Josh had plans all day so it was just me and JT- I decided earlier in the week to invite some friends over for a play date to keep us company. I was glad to hear Katie and Kendra were coming because I was looking forward to having a good play date for JT and chose to do this over a few other things.  However, I knew staying home in the afternoon would probably be best and it was best, I really enjoyed my time with 2 newborns, watching Darren and JT play together and entertaining 2 4 (almost 5) year-olds. JT and I had a little time outside before the other kids came, and then once they showed up all of the toys got pulled out. Jonathan and Darren played with the basketball hoop and the older kids played with the toy workbench and power tools. After awhile, the older kids made sugar cookies which was a lot of fun for me. I really look forward to my boys being that age and being able to do hands on activities with them. The stress of the day was just getting ready to have people over and being unsure of a few maybes (also, did I have stuff to entertain 4 year olds, judging by them not wanting to leave my house, I’d say yes :-) ) and handling Jonathan by myself for a day while feeling so pregnant could have been a challenge but I managed. I did miss a few friends that I hoped would come and will try not to assume any reasons behind them not coming as that is not going to help anything. I will also say, I was really glad Cheryl, Coleman and Ira stopped by–although JT was napping during their visit it was a pleasant surprise that they made it and got to hang out for a bit.

Switching gears, so, I find myself in somewhat of an isolated place some days, wondering when life started moving so fast and how I got caught up in just keeping my head afloat vs. controlling the rapids and knowing where life was going. Maybe that’s what happened when JT came along or more likely when I got pregnant again and JT because so active. Those things together are quite a bit to handle some days.

So here we are, counting down the days until baby 2 comes. I enjoy being pregnant overall but really can’t wait for him to be here. I can’t wait to have my energy back and not constantly feel pain–lots of belly pain this week and sometimes it hurts to walk a lot.

Despite the typical pregnancy aches, I am really enjoying Jonathan these days. He’s waving bye bye and gives wonderful hugs and kisses. His favorite thing to do is find cords (car charger, baby monitor, laptop adapter, etc) and plug them in (to mommy, the couch, between cushions, etc) and it’s really cute to watch. He also loves the new remote control that “glows” but knows he’s not supposed to have it. He’s wiggled his way into the small space between our couch and loveseat and will play there for awhile with all of the cords and remotes that were put there so he couldn’t get to them. Smart kid.

He still loves to play chase and giggles up a storm when you go after him…though if you wait too long to go get him, he will come back and yell at you to keep on playing with him. He’s also learned to show “all gone” by turning up his hands–Grandma Maag taught him this when she was visiting last week. It’s very cute and he’s getting very close to putting more and more words together.

I guess I can also report that he had his first kiss tonight in the swimming pool–we told Ellie to give JT a kiss and he also kissed her back, then cheesed really big for awhile. He knew he was big stuff. They actually had a few more smooches and finally I think JT told me to “stop watching mom” which was hard to do with him in my arms. Oh but it was really cute. What a fun phase this is turning out to be.

Other Jonathan milestones: drinking from a real cup and using a spoon and fork, he still tips his spoon over but he’s getting really close to using it right. He’s pretty good with his forks too but still needs more practice. He will go find things if you ask him to and loves to go outside–he will bring his shoes so he can go out. He doesn’t resist holding our hand in the parking lot anymore and is a big help at the grocery. He will put things in the cart from his seat if you give them to him. He also rode in the car grocery cart for the first time last week and had a blast as long as I had the cart moving :-)

For these next few weeks I will try to keep my mind focused on the positive and continue praying for the right direction/people in my/our lives. I love my family–they are my life and can’t wait to experience life as a family of 4.

29 weeks! Whoa baby

Wow, tomorrow marks Week 29 in this pregnancy. I can’t believe I am this far along…I remember really looking forward to Johnny’s birthday party to tell everyone, then the big 20 week mark and then week 26…and now I’m 3 past that? What’s the next week? Maybe 34 or 37 oh heck, let’s just get to 40!

I have really felt my health and energy level deteriorate these past few weeks. More so my energy than my health–I thank God every day that I am healthy and my baby is healthy. Some days I am jealous of friends who get to see their baby over and over again on ultrasounds but know I am far more grateful than jealous that I don’t have a need for that. Everything is progressing very well with this baby, and I did have a second ultrasound last week so they could get better pictures and saw he has “chubby cheeks”! I am very excited about this, such a sweet thing to get to see and to see my baby has really grown!

Jonathan brings me joy every day, though I think I can also blame him for my energy drain. He is quite the handful but becoming more and more of a ham. He is learning to blow kisses–he blew me 2 on Sunday and today I asked for a kiss and he put is hand over his mouth and whole face really–he was even pulling down one of his eyes. Probably the creepiest kiss that’s ever been blown to me, but I’ll take it anyday. Jonathan is learning to understand that “baby” and “brother” means my belly. When I say play with brother or say hi to brother he tends to climb on or whack my belly a few times. It’s quite cute, really. The trick may be to teach him that my belly is no longer these things when the baby actually comes. He’s been throwing more fits lately, not sure if it’s related to the 11th tooth (lower center right) I found tonight or just general toddlerdom. Maybe it’s his only way to communicate with us right now so that’s how he chooses to object to things? Josh is better at the persistent “no” than I am. If it’s not something hurting him or endangering him, I tend to not follow through on my orders of “no” “don’t touch” or “sit down”. I am working on this…but wonder if I have enough energy to get through parenting a toddler right now?!? I figure as long as I am keeping him safe and fed, he’ll be fine, but maybe a tad spoiled.

My sweet baby needs a name…husband needs to work on this more with me! I don’t always want to call him “Ajay” or baby, I want to call him by his name!

Work tomorrow will be a difficult day for me–emotionally I am making a big decision I think and won’t know the outcome for awhile. But it’s a decision that will alter some of my previous plans. I am trusting God that he will take me down the path I am meant to go down, whichever that is, I will be content.

Please pray that I can have peace with life decisions, patience and energy to be a good mommy and for continued positive health with this pregnancy. Please pray for my friends and family that are also experiencing the joys of pregnancy or that hopefully soon will ;-) but please pray specifically for health for them and their babies.

Praise God for our health, Jonathan’s health, baby’s health, financial blessings, good family, and good friends.

Birthday Fun

I’m not sure how it happens, but every year I end up with a 3-day celebration. I celebrate the actual day with my little family, another day with my immediate family and then a day with friends. This year was no exception. On Friday, my actual birthday, I was greeted with balloons and cake at work and got to go out to lunch. That evening Josh took me to TGI Fridays with Jonathan and then had presents at home. He gave me beautiful sapphire earrings and an early Anniversary gift of sapphire and diamond necklace…we’ll say it was a surprise ;-) JT gave me Reese’s eggs and all red starburst jelly beans. Saturday was a busy day, we got up to finish cleaning the house because my family was coming over for a lunch cookout. My wonderful husband grilled kabobs in the rain for me along with my dad who also got soaking wet. We enjoyed lunch and more presents–Identify Spa gift card from mom and O’Charleys gift card from Clint. Casey brought some awesome onsies for Ajay, which I am oh so excited for him to wear this fall. Soon after family left I high-tailed it out of there to go to a baby shower–stayed for a bit and then had to head back home so Josh & I could go to the symphony. We had a lovely date at Teak and the Symphony and were very glad our good friend Beth could babysit Jonathan. It was so cute when he came over because he knew what was going on, he was being very shy hiding behind our legs but warmed up to her and was a very good boy. What a relief, I was a bit worried he’d cry and give her a hard time!

Sunday was my birthday celebration with friends, we went Bowling around 3:30 and got a great deal where basically we bowled for ~2 hours at $5 a person. Sweet deal vs. $3.95 a game. After bowling we met more people at Spaghetti Factory, about 20 in total there and 3 little ones. I hadn’t actually been there in a long time but loved dinner and the free dessert. Megan also made me 3 cheesecakes! She knows me so well :-) They were all delicious and everyone loved them–both at the bowling alley and at Spaghetti Factory. I felt very blessed all weekend.

This week has been very up and down for me. I am slammed at work so that has been intellectually draining and Jonathan has been cranky some nights. The combination of the two has left me exhausted. But I am “up” because I get more excited each day to see my baby. Seeing him on the Ultrasound has just filled my heart with more joy than before and I really look forward to seeing him again because hopefully that will be in my arms! I am starting to have back pain and belly pains–back pain from playing Jonathan and probably some from pregnancy and the belly pains I don’t know about. Probably ligament pain, but I don’t remember this as much from before. It feels like I’ve pulled all of my stomach muscles every time I make a slight movement.

Finally, last but not least I just want to say how wonderful my husband is. He’s been putting in extra hours lately to finalize his project(s) at work and it truly shows what an amazing work ethic he has. He’s not lazy or demanding, and he wants to make sure the client is happy. I, however, tell him all the time he should be banking some comp time for this but that is not his priority. Also, every day I think of how lucky I am to have him and what a good person he is. He is truly a saint, I’ve probably said that before but there is nothing malicious or ill-intentioned about him He will always have other’s best interest at heart and I know he loves me more than I even believe. I love him and am glad he is my soulmate– I will try to post more about him and less about just the babes as our family was complete on Sept 2nd 2006…the kids are just welcomed additions. (Learned that in our child raising class at the Vineyard, took awhile to believe but now can see how true it is)

Oh what a day!

Today was the big day and all I can say to sum up the day is that God took care of my heart. My heart belongs to my children…they’ve stolen it forever. So, God has taken care of my children, protected them and met their needs in ways I didn’t believe possible so I didn’t even think to pray that way. I thought, that will never happen, so I will ask God for what I think the best case scenario could be!

This morning, I woke Jonathan at 4AM to have a little juice because I was sure he’d be starving in the morning. Even though he stirred when I entered his room, he didn’t really wake easily. I took him to the rocker and tried to get him to drink some juice (he couldn’t have anything after 4:30). He only drank about an oz and pushed it away several times…as if he was saying “what the heck are you doing mom? Can’t we just snuggle and sleep?” And he slept on me and in my arms for a bit. These moments are so sweet to me because he so rarely did this as an infant, it’s not been until recent months that he’s become more of a cuddler. Anyway, the morning came, he woke around 630 crying. Josh got to him first and managed to calm him down pretty quickly. We got ourselves around, gathered our things and headed out the door a little after 7. All with a fairly content but still tired 14month old. Wow, not how I pictured it! Due to a delay in his surgery, we drove separately to the hospital. I immediately turned on K-Love and prayed the whole time for JT’s comfort. I did talk to Josh for a bit and JT was fine. I also talked to my mom and she said if the Lord can silence the mouths of Lions (Daniel), then surely he can take care of a little boy. I cried. Of course, I know this but I was still fearing having to hold him for an hour or more in hunger and in a medical place which he HATES!. I prayed on…

We got to the hospital and everyone was very nice. We had a slight paperwork issue but all in all everything went well and JT was very happy. We put him in the little gown they gave us and he didn’t even mind being undressed…who is this kid? He only got upset when the nurse had to put something on his toe and even then he just scooted away, didn’t wail. Whew…wow…I prayed for patience and that we could keep him calm but I think he was keeping me calm! We had some down time while things were being worked on so JT walked around the room and the hallway, so cute in his little gown and long socks carrying his precious Marvin, he was just too adorable. Soon enough we were ready to head back to anesthesia. I was able to hold him while he received the gas and he hated this part! He did scream for about a minute while the gas set in…this was a bit horrific and I cried. I saw my babies eyes close and his body went limp. He was taken out of my arms and we were ushered to a waiting area. We waited. Time went by very quickly, the worst was over for me as I knew the surgery would be fine, I wasn’t as worried about that part. Soon the DR arrived and told us it was the tear duct was definitely blocked and they removed the blockage. He will be fine…he also answered some questions I had about albinism given Josh has some family history. I have no idea how dominant or recessive it is, just that he is extremely sensitive to light and I wondered if he had anything genetic going on. The DR discussed this with us and confirmed that it is very unlikely there is anything genetic there and he saw nothing on his original eye exam that raised any flags about the sensitivity. What a bonus, I got those questions answered too!

A few minutes later, we were taken back to see Jonathan. He was snuggled up against a nurse, I think pretty quiet. He’d had a few oz of juice prior to us getting there but just wanted to sleep. I took him and cuddled him and rocked him and patted his back, all his favorite position. He fell back asleep on me pretty quickly and cuddled into me. My heart was melting, he looked so pure and innocent and perfect. I don’t know if I’d held him that long that way since his first few weeks of life! Josh took a few pictures as I cried inside tears of joy that I had this little blessing in my life.

After 30-45 minutes, we were discharged and all was well. God had protected my baby (as I knew he would) but also made the morning so wonderful and not unbearable as I was geared up to deal with. Thank you Lord…and thank you for my son’s health. I am so thankful that this was only a minor procedure he faced and he is otherwise a healthy kid. I don’t take that for granted in the least.

This afternoon brought one of the happiest moments of my life! I met my second child! Sortof, I got to see *** for the first time and *** is so beautiful! Oh, I can’t wait to have you in my arms, little one. Having a boy or having a girl had it’s advantages so I didn’t necessarily have a strong leaning (except in the long run I did want a boy! and my daughter could come later) But either way, I knew I would be thrilled. And I was. Seeing that child, seeing all 4 chambers of *** heart, *** little wave, little feet, was so amazing. I believe I am pregnant now! haha…I always need visual evidence, the expanding belly I guess wasn’t enough? Anyway, I am so excited to meet you little one and play with you and teach you so many things. I cried so many tears of joy for you, your health, and what a wonderful addition you will be to this family. Your daddy and I went to Cheesecake Factory to celebrate and daddy bought mommy some jewelry! Shhh it’s for my birthday and anniversary, but I think it’s pretty perfect considering when you’ll be joining this family. We discussed a few names, but nothing definite. Can’t wait to decide on that so I can call you by name. Thank you for cooperating so well and showing us who you are! You seemed quite proud of yourself in there! Maybe you’re a great thinker as you liked to put your hand on your chin…your older brother just sucked his thumb! You also did a good job showing me your feet so I can get you the proper shoes…no worries, you’re well taken care of. Oh my sweet ***, mommy loves you more than ever. Thank you for capturing my heart…

As the ultrasound was ending, I thought the next time I see my *** will be when *** is in my arms! Come on September!

My heart is filled with love and joy for my family…can’t really sum it up any other way. So thankful that God has blessed me with this family. Truly more than I could have asked for.

Precious Moments

Well, April 7th 2011 will certainly be a big day for us. One of the best and worst of my life. Jonathan has his surgery this morning and surprise surprise, I’m up in the middle of the night with a restless mind. Jonathan and I had a lot of fun last night as we chased each other around the ottoman. It’s one of his favorite games to play and he laughs to hard all the time! It’s a game of chase but with a constant change of whose changing whom. And nowadays, his walking/running is faster than my crawling! I love to see his sweet face light up with joy as we go round and round and he tries to get away and then suddenly tries to get mommy! So fun! He also discovered he could climb on my lap then climb up on the couch–he mastered this tonight by repeating this action over and over again. He’s gotten good at getting off the couch himself though occasionally, I catch big tumbles! But, he was so proud to get up on the couch “by himself”.

God has answered part 1 of my prayer for his surgery–that he would stay up later than usual so he could eat a snack and his milk would be more filling. He can’t have anything other than clear liquids after midnight, and nothing at all after 4:30. For a kid that usually is up at 6-7 crying for milk, this is not good if he has to wait until after his 8:45 surgery. Thankful he had his snack and enjoyed playing so much…took a bath at 9:00 and went down at 9:30. These days 7:30-8 is more normal for bedtime.

I plan to wake him at 4:00 to give him juice, in a perfect world, and prayer request #2 is that he will wake on his own or at least stir so it’s less of a disruption. Prayer #3 is for a calm morning, that JT will sleep in and not cry for too long and not be too upset. Prayers too for me and my nerves. I threw up tonight, not sure if it was nerves, pregnancy or the migraine I was fighting. People can pray for Josh too–but nothing specific, he’s doing a great job at keeping us all together and probably just needs prayers to handle me!

My little boy will be fine, God told me so. But, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t break my heart to go through this…and then my mind goes to how much worse things can be and how much harder other people have it. I realize that, and am thankful for my son’s health, happiness and bright future.

OH…and tomorrow I get to tell Jonathan if he gets a little brother or a little sister! Will be the first time I get to lay my eyes on my second baby and I can’t wait! I love this child so much and can’t wait to give him or her a name (and new wardrobe, haha) and finish out this pregnancy. 19 weeks today and going strong…

14 months in

Well, I am officially 14 months into this journey of motherhood and many things have changed in those 14 months. It’s amazing to me at how quickly I became an “expert” at mothering Jonathan-not necessarily an expert at parenting, but an expert on him. I know how to tell apart his cries, those for attention and those for real needs, I know what he likes to eat, what he doesn’t, when he’s full or just wants to play. I know how to get him to sleep, how to soothe him in the middle of the night and how to make him giggle all over with laughter. There are still things I don’t know, some times he’s upset for no apparent reason or I don’t know what’s hurting him, especially if he’s sick. But, despite these few times, I’d say I’m a Johnny expert. If I adopt a baby someday–or toddler, I wonder how long it would take to become their expert? It’s been a journey with Jonathan and I wonder what the new change in routine would be like for that baby…will someone tell me his/her favorite song? food? bedtime routine? Probably not…it’s a new type of journey that’s been on my heart a lot lately. I’m praying for you sweet child of ours…we are praying for you.

17.5 weeks In
So, I am 17.5 weeks pregnant, haven’t felt many movements lately but I know it’s still early. I sure have a belly, strong sense of smell, and emotions running high to tell me I’m pregnant. Can’t wait to find out if it’s a he or a she, will definitely be able to get cracking at things when we know!

A few memories from the weekend:
This weekend was a good weekend despite JT still having a lingering cold. He is recovering from his cold, and doing much much better but still has a slight cough and runny nose from time to time. We went to City BBQ Friday night and JT loved being out. There were lots of kids there and he loved the pulled BBQ (no sauce) Mac N Cheese and Corn pudding. He kept making friends with other kids and people at other tables, he’s such a hit when we go out. So after a fun dinner, we went home and JT walked up from the car to the porch without being carried, Josh and I each had a hand and I remember thinking this is what I want my life to be. I am so thankful for my beautiful family and the little things in life like each of us taking Johnny’s hand and walking up to our lovely house. We are blessed.

On Saturday, Jonathan climbed down the stairs! I was just telling Kendra that he hadn’t done this yet and there he went! I was so proud of him, of course he still needs lots of supervision, but he’s becoming such a big boy. We had a guest (Jeremy L.) this weekend and also had Dan and Beth over for lunch today. I’m glad they got to see him be so mobile. It was nice to hang out with friends.

The rest of the evening has been fairly relaxing, just watched NCAA basketball tourney, and spent some time with the hubby:-)