Monday, February 25, 2008

Note to self...

Don't give a porcelain doll to a 3 1/2 year old.

Silent Night, Peaceful Night

Christmas Eve was 9 weeks ago today. Time has flown huh?

Back when I was expecting J and it appeared she would be born early, I just kept saying that I hoped the baby would be born by December 21 or after Christmas so that I could be home for Christmas morning with C. Well, since my girls are very strong willed and have minds of their own, I should have known. Sure enough J was born on December 22nd.

I was very sad about not being able to be home. I had planned ahead just in case and I had C's Christmas Eve and Christmas outfits all set out and coordinated so that daddy could dress her nice and cute without having Geranimal tags to lead him along. Little did I know...

Christmas Eve came. My dr. came in and asked me if I wanted to go home. I told him I wanted to do what was best. My dr. said he really would rather I stayed in the hospital one more day and left on Christmas. By then I had come to the conclusion that Christmas morning for C was like every other morning and we could just as easily celebrate our family Christmas morning on the 26th or any other day for that matter.

Everyone was busy planning their day. My parents picked up C and my mom got her dressed guaranteeing that her hair was combed and she wasn't wearing her striped tights with her plaid dress. They took her to church and dropped her off at home so that she and her dad could go and celebrate with his family. (They always celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve) My parents did decide to make a quick stop by the hospital because they felt bad that we had no visitors that day. Honestly, it was such a nice day for us. (not that I didn't appreciate the visit)

Christmas Eve Night of 2007 will always be my favorite. I don't think I can ever top it. I didn't have to unwrap gifts, I didn't have to stay up late for church and to play Santa... Instead I just laid in my hospital bed enjoying holding my little Christmas miracle. The drs. had discharged as many patients as the could so the hospital was very quiet and the nurses were all so relaxed and didn't even come in the room all that often. I ordered from the special Christmas Eve menu and had chicken, mashed potatoes and chocolate cake. It was not the gourmet meal that my husband and C were eating (in laws are wonderful cooks) but the peacefulness and joy of that night are something I will never get to experience again and one that none of my family were lucky enough to enjoy. Every Christmas Eve, I know I will remember back to that night and how perfect it was.

Just after midnight I kissed my new little being, and wished her a Merry First Christmas.

Here she is 9 weeks later.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


This is the link to what was a terrible story. The bombing in and of itself is terrible. The thought that they used unsuspecting women with Down syndrome makes it worse. Now they are saying the women didn't have Down syndrome and yes, it's no less tragic still.

My reason for linking to this story is because is because of a comment made that just makes me crazy. Here is the statement...

A U.S. military spokesman for the Baghdad area, Lt. Col. Steve Stover, also said at the time that medical experts with his division had examined the photos and agreed the women probably suffered from the genetic disorder.

What's wrong with that you might say. Whats wrong is the word SUFFERED. I get so tired of hearing that so and so suffers from Down syndrome. My daughter does not suffer. She is far from it.

Today she played happily with her cousins for hours. They pulled out every possible toy they could. She woke from her nap with a huge smile and gave me a big hug when I picked her up. Tonight she was going to Trader Joes with her daddy. She walked excitedly out the door in the purple socks, red glitter Dorothy shoes and pink and tan leopard fur coat... a get up, I mean outfit, that she picked out herself. (yes, she did have on other clothes)

She does have moments of suffering. When she wants one more Swedish fish and she can't have it. When she has to go to bed. When she has to give up a little bit of my attention to the baby... to a 3 year old, those are all things that are suffering. Trust me, that is the extent of her "suffering".

People with Down syndrome do not suffer from Down syndrome, they just happen to have it.
Does she look like she is suffering?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

How can I ever say Thank You enough?

Today was a teary day. They were mostly good tears in a round about way.

I'll start off saying that my husband and I have not decided yet if we are going to have a third baby. I am all for it but he is waffling because of money. Don't get me wrong, we are far from poor but he likes to invest towards retirement. Our retirement is very secure and I say pass on investing for a few years, I make a career change to stay home during the day (work some nights and weekend) and we have a third like we want to. Of course, even if we decide to have a 3rd, we have our miscarriage history and who know if we will even get pg and then if we will stay pg. That said...

I did a lot of laundry today including lots of maternity clothes to pack away. I loved being pregnant and I love my maternity clothes. I hate to pack them away thinking I may not use them again. It made me happy to be blessed enough to have been pregnant twice. To get to see and feel a baby growing in me. To have that baby all to myself for 9 months. It's an amazing blessing.

Today was my 6 week postpartum check. I go to a phenomenal perinatologists office. This was, potentially my last time being there. The appointment went well, but I found myself crying in the elevator afterward. I sent so much time there. I went once a week for a long time, then every other week for a couple of months and then 2 and then 3 times a week. I feel like I know them all so well. I will really miss seeing all of them if we don't have a third. They have always been so great. They have shared the joy of our pregnancies with C and J and they have shared our sorrow when we had more miscarriages. They were there when I called in a panic thinking something was wrong and their calm voices helped keep me sane through the most stressful yet, great parts of my life. They really are like my family and if we are done, I will miss them dearly.

They took such great care of me and if not for their close monitoring, who knows if the complications we had at the end of both pregnancies would have been found and what the other outcome could have been.

How do you part with and thank people who helped you to reach your dream of having a baby? Thank you Dr. M, Dr. G, Dr. R, J, P, R and the entire office staff, ultrasound staff and maternity staff!

Guess, I just need to keep having babies until they retire... I just can't leave them.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

It's a GIRL!!!

Yes, she is over 1 month old, but I am finally updating. Baby J was born a few weeks early but she was healthy and came home with us on Christmas day! She is just a blessing and we were so happy to have the "normal" birth experience we did not get to have with C. She was wisked away to the NICU and well, it all went nuts from there. This time was so relaxed and with the exception of the first night, and when I would take a shower, J was in with me the whole time. It was so great to have her there to bond and just stare at and enjoy with nobody else in the room. I love the NICU staff when C was there, but I just never got to be 100% alone with her!

Well, enough talking from me... here is our birth story and some pics.

Yes, Miss J is here and by far, the best Christmas gift ever!! She was 6lbs 6ozs 20 3/4 inches long.

We had been watching my fluid levels and bp. My fluid levels had dropped and bp had gone up. Well, we were 98% sure we would just schedule the c-section . (edd was January 16th with the latest c-scction date to be January 11th) Well, when I went in for a check and my fluid levels had doubled and my bp had gone down. We decided to wait and continue to watch. I was a little disappointed but happy to let the baby bake a bit longer. I went about everything, making a dessert for a party that weekend and planning on being at work on Monday, etc. Friday night I was having some stop me in my tracks shooting pains. Not contractions, just like the baby was in there poking at my cervix. I joked that s/he was poking a hole in the amniotic sac.

6am I woke to something that just didn't feel right. I was thinking my water broke but it wasn't much. I was already going to have to go to the hospital for bloodwork so I told dh what had happened and that I would go to triage. I wanted him to stay home with C and told him I would let him know if ti was my water and if not, I'd just to the lab work.

Drove to the hospital and decided that instead of hiking through the parking structure, etc. I would go right to ER. Asked where I could park closer if I thought my water had broken and he said right there. Parked the car and they had a wheelchair waiting. They took me right to triage and by then I was really thinking false alarm because nothing else had happened. Did the regular stuff, got hooked up to the monitors and the dr. came in to check me out. She took a swab to look for fluid and came back that it was negative. She did an ultrasound and again, fluid was low. Based on the u/s and her exam, she was sure my water had broken so went back and did something else with the slide. Yep... that was it! They called my dr. and told me to call dh to get him down there. The dr. was already at the hospital so he came in and wanted to get going right away. Ummm... dh still wasn't there! He left and the nurses said not to worry, they would stall him... we were not starting without dh. The baby was in no distress... I just have a great, but very impatient dr. The anestesiologist (sp?) came in and we discussed the whole process. He learned I was on heparin and ordered a blood test to check my clotting. Well, my peri didn't want to wait and based on all of my previous tests said it would be fine. The anest insisted and refused to start without it. The nurses were so excited cause it helped with the stalling. I was just sitting waiting for dh so I decided I was going to do my make up. What the heck, I had it and I had time to use it! The nurses were cracking up... hey, it was a picture taking moment and figured I'd make the most of it. Who knows when I would ever be able to lay back and put on my make up again. DH arrived and they went ahead and got us all prepped. We signed all of the paper work and were getting so excited and nervous about the time finally coming! Well, guess what, the levels were off. At 10:00ish, the decided we would have to wait until 3:00 or 4:00. We called everyone who was already told it was the day and let them know not to expect any news until at least 3:45. They moved us to a more comfortable labor and delivery room and there we waited. I was so amazed... I was not the least bit nervous the whole time. Just watched TV and read a couple of magazines. Dh went for some walks, got some lunch and read. I tried to get some sleep but just couldn't. About 12:00 I started having contractions I could actually feel. They got painful pretty fast because of the way the baby was positioned. She had been off center and in a twisted position for weeks. Well, every contraction pushed her further to the side and it was so sore. It became a challenge for me to push her back during a contraction so it wasn't so bad.
I heard my drs voice saying we were all set. They came in and started getting everything set to move. We asked about the camera in the OR and they said it was fine just not to take any pictures while the NICU team was working on the baby. That was when I got t little worried. I really loved those people with C but didn't want to have to go that route again. I just calmed myself secure in the feeling that this baby was MORE then ready to come meet us and all would be fine.

We were off to the OR. It was much more relaxed then last time. At a slightly quiet moment, I said, "I need everyone's attention". They all kind of stopped like, yes? I explained that we did not know if the baby was a boy or a girl. That with C, nobody told us for a little while and this time, I wanted the movie moment. I wanted lots of hoopala when they said "It's A ___". They asked if there was anything else and I said nope, that's it. The rest will be just fine. I got my spinal and dh came back in. One of the nurses kept laughing because the baby was way off to the side again and kicking and elbowing like crazy. She said she had never seen one so eager to get out!

We got started. Since it was not an emergency this time it did take a lot longer. Everyone was joking and having a good time which was great for us. All the sudden a hand pressed down REALLY hard under my ribcage and the anest popped over and said there's the head. She asked if I wanted to see it. I was leery because it was coming out of a big incision but she said I should look, it was amazing. I said yes and GOD... IT WAS SO COOL!!! She held up a hand mirror and there she was! I didn't even notice that it was a surgical procedure. I just saw an AMAZING face. When they took the rest of her out they yelled "It's a girl!" They great thing was, as they said it, I could SEE she was a girl! She let out a rip roaring scream like she was telling everyone to SHUT UP... we were too loud! It was 3:49pm.

The NICU team took her and started working on her. Dh could see them and said she was fighting them like crazy. She was kicking and pushing at them and screaming away. She was just perfect! They told dh he could come over and to my surprise, he did. (He was so afraid of seeing ANYTHING from the surgery) I could hear him taking pictures, telling this person and that to hold her up. I was so happy he was so excited. They brought her over and she was adorable!!! He sat down and the nurse handed her right to him. He was in love already. (Keep in mind he did not hold C for about a week because he was so afraid, etc.) He rolled closer and I could see her, kiss her, smell her.

Since we had not been through a plain old birth before, we were asking what was next. Did they take the baby, etc. She said nope, we will put her on moms chest and wheel you over to recovery. We got to take her with us!!! We headed over to recovery and got to look over every part of her. She was just amazing and so calm by then. No screaming anymore. They did come about 25 minutes later to get her and take her to really clean her up and we were taken over to our home away from home for a few days.

It was so great to have her in my room, to take care of her, feed her, change her, cuddle her whenever I wanted. If I was awake, she was in my arms or in the bed next to me.
DH brought C the next morning. She was so excited when she came in the room and she looked SOOOOO BIG!!! Dh put her up on the bed and she was great. She loved saying Hi Baby! She was playing with my phone and decided baby had to try it, they she was sharing her favorite Bed Bug doll... she was so sweet.

We were told that Tuesday looked like the day to go home. The family scrambled to decide what to do for Christmas and J and I spent a fantastic Christmas Eve alone in our room. It was so peaceful and will probably be my favorite Christmas Eve ever! (my parents did stop by for 1 hour) At midnight, with her in the bed next to me, I wished her a Merry Christmas!
When we got up that morning, I started to get really emotional. Since Christmas 1998, Christmas had always had a cloud over it. It was that day, 9 years ago to the day, that we were in the Emergency Room on Christmas only to be told that our first baby was miscarried. I am kind of weird about dates and the way things circle. This circle had closed 9 years to the date when our whole up and down journey began. We had gone full circle and we now were a complete family on Christmas Day.

It was the best Christmas EVER!

Well, J is doing great. C is loving her and dh has really stepped up this time. I on the other hand had a bit of a setback.
We went in to have the staples removed. I had been having some bleeding from the incision for a few days but was told that was ok. Well, in my case it wasn't. The skin layer had joined together but the fatty layer under hadn't. Since there was a gap, blood had pooled underneath and it had to be cleaned out before it became infected. YIKES!!! That hurt. Well, in the end, the incision opened back up about 3 inches. We had 2 choices... to either leave it and pack it 3-4 times a day for weeks or to go back into surgery and have it cleaned and stitched back up again. Well, I don't want to be dealing with an open wound for weeks so we opted for the OR. Went back at 2:00 for a 4:00 procedure. My dad took me so that dh could stay home with the kids since it seems like everyone else is sick or getting over being sick. The anestesiologist asked if I wanted a general or a spinal and I told him I wanted which ever would get me out sooner. He said the general would so I chose that. Well, I awoke to the dr. telling me that he had to reopen the whole incision (just the top skin and fatty tissue layer) and clean out a lot of old blood and he did an antibiotic rinse even though there was no sign of infection. He stitched it all back up using sutures instead of the staples (which I HATED!) I was still really groggy but I heard him mention a drain and me having to stay overnight. WHAT??? I was supposed to go home that night. Fact is I was too groggy to care/fight/question. They checked me into a room and I had to call dh and tell him he would be on his own with a 3 year old and a 5 day old. He was fine with it and so was I on the phone. Of course, when I hung up, started bawling. I was hormonal, my milk had just come in but luckily I had brought the pump, and I was going to have to spend another night away from C who I already felt I was neglecting because I couldn't pick her up, and even when she was sitting next to me, I was so cautious because of my insicion. Anyway, spent the night which was a nightmare. I was on a surgical floor, not the maternity floor. What a difference. Patients yelling all night, a lot of noise, etc. It was NUTS!!! I think dh got more sleep at home then I did there. So the next morning the resident came in and checked me out. He said all looked great and I should be good to leave the next day!!! WTF??? The hormones couldn't take that one and I just started bawling! He asked if I had expected to go home that day and I said I had expected to be home last night! He said to just ignore what he said and he would be back with the dr. from my practice. 3 hours later I called my favorite nurse at their office. She asked if everything was ok and I said that I was still here and she said where? I said I was in the hospital and she was shocked. They had assumed we went home last night as planned. She said she would track the dr. down and get her right over. She did and they agreed to let me go after the nurse educated me on the drain. I had a lot to watch for but I got to go home!!! Dh did GREAT with the 2 girls and seemed to have it all under control so I was very proud of him! It's killing me that my milk had just came in and because of the anestesia, I had to dump the 24+hours of milk. ARGHH!!! I was just glad that our only hiccup this time was with me. J's visit to the pedi went great. Bili was great and she had gained 1 ounce. No matter what, looking at her I can say she is worth ALL OF IT!!!
Well, here she is...