Archive for January, 2011
I admit that I have been slightly nostalgic lately. Mostly it is in the the face of having a lengthy separation from my Hubby looming over my head. I have to finish school, I know that this is not something I am willing to give up on. But the time away from my happy little family life is difficult to imagine.
So, forgive the extra sweet posts of late. I cant help but try and treasure all this while I can. Nolan is getting bigger by the second, and every day he changes so much that it just kills me. A large part of me wants to freeze him like this forever, stop time so I can savor the sweet baby smell, and the soothing sound of his giggles. And then a part of me is thrilled about all the new things he is learning and enjoying. I never would have guessed that watching him grow up would come with so much internal turmoil.
I am so lucky to be married to a man who enjoys spending time with us. He rushes home from work, and looks forward to being here. OUr home is such a sanctuary of happiness, and it is such a relaxed atmosphere. I love that we all enjoy being together. Even more than the time he and I spend together, I truly enjoy watching him with Nolan. One day my son will look back at what a wonderful Daddy he has, and how very lucky he is to have him in his life.
The picture above is so beautifully breath taking, you can see how very much the two of them love each other. They roll around on the floor and laugh until they are both out of breath. Nolan smiles and reaches for his Daddy as soon as he can see him. These are the moments that make all the hard stuff worth it.
Our Little Fishy absolutely loves the water! Like generations before him, he took to it as naturally as breathing!My favorite part of swimming day is that he gets exhausted and sleeps like an angel! Ahhhh….sleep, wonderful sleep.This was Daddy’s first time getting to go to the pool with baby No, and it was so cute getting to see them play in the water together! All in all, it was a fabulous day.
What are some of your favorite family activities?
There is just something magic about holding a baby as they drift off to sleep. Watching my son during those seconds before he closes his eyes are wonderful.
Regardless of how much or how little sleep I get, there is something fantastic about seeing his smiling face when I go into his room to pick him up.
I secretly like the fact that I can comfort him. I love the fact that he knows my touch and it can help him drift off to sleep.
And as hard as it is that he doesnt sleep, I can’t help but remind myself how brief these moments will be. In his lifetime, I will only be able to rock him in my arms for a very tiny portion of it. In 10 years this will be but a distant memory. I’m trying to cherish it.
I love him. And my love for him just keeps on growing. And for tonight I’m going to hold him in my arms and remind him of my love.
Hug your babies tonight.
This week you are 25 weeks old. This last week went by very quickly, and it seems that you have grown up so much this week.
You are trying so hard to crawl. You can quite get yourself in the appropriate position to accomplish it, but you are kicking your feet and wiggling around. Im sure it will happen soon. Right now your absolute favorite thing to do is for us to hold your hands as you stand and jump. You smile and laugh! Its really adorable!
The people at the pool are in awe of you. Every time we go they seem amazed at how much you love the water. I think that you are destined to be a swimmer, Lil Man. The way you smile as you kick your legs makes me imagine you in a few years.
You are chewing on everything still. And covered in drool. It seems like there are never enough bibs around to keep change you into. The medication seems to be helping with your reflux, but you still spit up alot.
Everyone around us compliments how smiley and happy you are. And I have to agree, you really are such a joyful and wonderfully made baby. We feel so blessed to have you in our lives. Thank you for picking us as your parents. Now please learn to sleep!
AS always, we love you!
(**No babies were harmed in the making of this photo**)
As I was getting the crockpot out and ready to start the roast, the Hubby mentioned how the crockpot looked like it was big enough for No to lay in. Hmmmm……
What quote would you put for this picture?
Its officially started. Time to get ready to head back to complete school. I turned in my first assignment yesterday, I have two more to go. Then there is testing and such and some paperwork to complete and thats it. I will be back in the game.
8.5 months ago I went in to have my anatomy scan done. And at 19 weeks was put on bed rest. I post-poned my graduation from nursing school to save my baby. And in a blink almost 9 months have passed and it is time to go back and finish.
I cant help but wonder where I would be if things had been different. What if I went into that exam and was simply told that I was thouroughly pregnant and healthy. What if nothing had been wrong? What if there had been no preterm labor, no cerclage, no bed rest, no premature baby, no NICU stay? What if I had graduated in June? What if I had already completed my NCLEX before my adorable bouncing baby was born? What if things had gone by the plan that was set? What if?
Now I will be completing school as quickly as I can manage to accomplish it, so that I can hurry home to be with my husband, and get our son back to a normal schedule. Now I am a year older, many experiences wiser, and a little less….uptight.
Having a baby with all the complications that came with him, has made me alot less wound up about school things. School is important, but more important is the happiness and health of my son. I would do anything for him, I think ive proven that already.
But now its that time again. Time to divide my attention between him and school. This is gonna be interesting. Hang on, its gonna be a wild, sleep deprived ride!
I apologize for the shady image quality, it was taken by my phone while in the locker room of the pool trying not to let him roll off the bench. We went to the pool for the first time, and he LOVED it! My little man is such a little fish. He was laughing and smiling and splashing the entire time. (He did have the grip of death on my suit though) but he had fun. Now if only it would help wear him out so he’d sleep……
As I mentioned in my last email, Nolan is spitting up way more than usual. He has always been a “spitter” but it has gone from being s little here and there to a ton, all the time. So after a very long and clothing soaked weekend, I called and got him an appointment. My biggest fear was that he might be losing weight because of all the vomiting.
The Pedi was understanding and didnt give me the attitude that he did last time. He examined him and after I pointed out the small spots of dry skin and mentioned how I had recently read an article that stated that APA found a correalation in eczema and reflux, he actually was surprised that I read medical journals. HA! So he seemed to take my fears and concerns seriously.
He is growing. Still a peanut and in the 3rd percentile for his age (chronological) and the 31st for his adjusted age (gestational). But he is following his own curve. So he wasnt worried about any malnutrition. He encouraged me to add more solid foods into our day, and to offer food at each meal (or three times a day).
He also agreed that Nolan has reflux. We are lucky that he seems unaffected by the refluxing, he doesnt hurt at all, thank Dog! But he agrees that it would be better if he was holding down more food. So we are started on Zantac twice a day for the foreseeable future.
Then we talked about sleep. Oh sleep, the thing I miss the most. The Pedi thinks that the reason he is still waking so much is because he is so skinny. He doesnt think that Nolan’s body is capable of sleeping longer yet, so he doesnt think I should force the issue. He said that he believes that once the Zantac starts working Nolan will be able to absorb more nutrients and start to put some weight on, and then he will finally sleep!
Basically, its a step forward!
Thank you everyone who weighed in to help me. I really appreciate having the network to rely on!
This week you are 23 weeks old! I can barely believe it! It still seems like only yesterday that I was finding out we were pregnant with you and now you are almost a half of a year old. And I can barely remember what days were like before you!
This week was a busy one for us. Our household goods shipment came in, and along with it a ton of your furniture and toys. You have been in heaven with all the new playthings. And you absolutely love your crib! (too bad you dont actually sleep in it much!) Your room is almost finished being decorated and things are finally starting to settle down.
This week we discovered that your reflux is worse than we thought and we started you on medications for it. Im hoping that this will help with your spewing.
This week did not bring us any more sleep, thats for sure. You just arent a sleeper. I dont know what we are going to do about it, or if there is anything to do. PLease let me sleep, just a little bit more!!
This week you also taught me a valuable lesson; never trust you while you are naked. I had just finished giving you a bath and I was blowing raspberries on your naked belly when you laughed and then peed in my face. Yup, thanks little dude. Lesson learned.
This week you tried a new food, Pumpkin. You seem to love it. Along with carrots, apples, squash and baby cereal, you love pumpkin! You are such a good eater.
As of your doctors appointment this week you weigh 13.28lbs. You are in the 3%ile for your age and the 31%ile for you gestational age. Basically, you are still a peanut.
As always, we love you little man! Keep getting bigger and stronger!
I think Nolan has reflux. Ive not been shy about the fact that the Pedi here on base is far from exceptional, so before I go into the doctor and start demanding things I needed some information.
He is five months old and has gone from spitting up occasionally to suddenly he will throw up a ton, after every feeding. He doesnt seem to be in pain, but sadly he vomits multiple times a day. Sometimes he will throw up three or four times after eating and then he seems hungry again.
Does your baby still spit up? How old are they? Does this seem “normal”? My mommy senses are buzzing and it just doesnt feel right. So I intend to go to the doctor this week, I just wanted some more info!
Thanks in advance!
No really, we were. We got totally and completley lost in Japan. A 30 minute drive to take a run to the Army base turned into a four hour excursion to find our way back to the expressway. 3400 yen later we managed to find our way home.
The good news is that my Japanese is slightly better than I thought it was. The bad news is that after spending a miserable four hours in the car with his nagging wife, my poor husband is exhausted.
This was our maiden voyage to try and get our on the expressway. It was actually pretty awesome, no where near as crowded as the regular highways. With the exception of the extremely expensive tolls, the roads were amazing.
Driving in Japan is difficult because the laws and customs are incredibly different. Like for example, cars park on the right hand side to go into restaunts and shops (the small ones). So imagine this, you are driving along at about 40KPH, in the right lane (of a tow lane each direction road) and suddenly there is a car pulled over to the right (no shoulder BTW) and a car in the left lane. What do you do? You stop. Or you try to drive in the left lane and not miss your turn.
Also in Japan, Pedestrians have the right of way. Always. Im not kidding, there isnt “jay walking” like you see in the states. If you hit a pedestrian, its probably your fault. And bicycles, OY! They seem to just sneak up on you! Every. where. you go!
Lucky for me, my husband did the driving and I just sat in the passenger seat and nagged like a mule. Ooops. I guess I need to work on that. Something about being in the car just brings out the “bossy wife” in me. “slow down” or “speed up” or “too close to the side” and so on and so forth. I must work on this. He is extremely patient, but I still feel bad.
So anyhow, our extra day off was spent in the van driving around Japan! How did you spend your MLK day?
(Warning, this post will make you think that my son sleeps, it is an illusion.)
At some point, I suppose that this not sleeping business will be a thing of the past. Until then, while I am sleep deprived at 2am with a smiling and giggling baby in my arms I like to be able to look at pictures of the times that he does sleep. Just to remind myself that it does infact happen occasionally.
He’s adorable, right? The baby, I mean I know my husband is adorable, but I was really talking about my kid.
Ahhh, sleep. You elusive lover. I miss you. I want to just snuggle down and pass out and dream.
Wait, he sleeps?! No way????!!!
Someone told me recently that some babies Sleep through the night at 5 months old. I guess mine isnt ready for that yet. I suppose this is Karma’s way of paying me back for all the sleepless nights I gave my parents.
And now that it is nearly 3am and I am up, I guess that tells you what type of night we had. Ahhh…..time for bed. See you in 2 hours.
This has been the longest I have EVER gone without blogging. I used to relish the fact that I took to the computer (or phone) and typed up something every night before bed and prepared it for the next day. Perhaps some day I will get back to that again. But for now, its just a matter of trying to get things accomplished in the house.
To update everyone, our household goods shipment FINALLY arrived! It came on Monday and we have been working non-stop trying to get everything in order. The baby didnt handle the change very well and has gone from sleeping in 4 hour stretches back to waking every 2 hours. Im hoping he will readjust soon, because this Mama is tired!
It is soooooo nice to have our stuff. It is so nice to walk into our home and sit on our couches and eat at our dining table. It is amazing. Its nice to see the pictures of our boys hanging on the walls, its amazing to have books to read (study) and Nolan finally has his crib!
I started to decorate but have found that decorating is more overwhelming than the unpacking was. I had about 25 loads of laundry to do. For those of you who have never transferred overseas, when you move your stuff it is often sprayed with a bug repellent while in transport, so everything needs to be washed before being used.
Our dear and favorite team, The Seahawks are doing awesome, and we are so excited to see if they make it to the Superbowl again. Last time that happened, my parents had a tree fall through the roof of their house. It was an epic day! We are hoping that the Hawks make it to the big game without our big boom.
I will try to write more tomorrow. If I dont manage to lose the cables to the computer again!
After weeks of tummy time torture, Nolan can officially roll both ways. And he absolutely loves his toys now. He will roll over to reach them, bring them to his mouth and will talk to them. he has a bunch that he likes and it seems every day there is a different one that he attaches too.
He also seems to have found his thumb now. We often find him sucking his thumb as a soother. Now if only he would do this at night time…..
Speaking of night time, well we arent improving alot. Some nights he will sleep for a 4-6hour stretch, but for the most part he will do one stretch of 3-4hours and then wake hourly after that.
Nap time is improving and he sleeps solo for naps now. Sometimes if I am in the mood I will lay down with him and it is almost a guarantee to double his nap time. (Unfortunetly as soon as I get up, the nap is over) He doesnt nap in his bed though, mostly he naps on his boppy and I flutter around getting housework and such done or getting dinner started. He has a short morning nap and then a nooner, and an evening nap and is still usually ready for bed by around 7pm-9pm.
He is such a happy boy, and giggles like crazy. He will look at something and laugh and laugh like it is the funniest thing he has ever seen. When his Daddy says pretty much anything to him, he just smiles and laughs. Its amazing to me the bond between a Father and son.
On that note, I often wonder about Nolan and his older brother. We talk to Nolan about him all the time, we show him pictures and tell him stories about him. We will celebrate his birthday this year, even if he isnt here. I wish that the two of them could have a relationship, God knows that the two boys could have alot of fun together when they are older.
Does anyone else have experience with this? To say that there is a strained relationship would be an understatement, we have little communication with them (by their choice, not ours). Suggestions? Advice? How do I help to make sure that my children know about their older brother?
It seems that once you have children you have to start molding your family life into the traditions that you wish to follow over the course of your lives. Some things are simple, like having Ham on Thanksgiving. Or hanging stockings for Christmas. Some are more complex, like what Religion to be, where do we go for the holidays, and so on.
We agreed early on about the religion we chose for our family and thus it was no problem. We have celebrated Christmases together before and those were always smooth sailing. Then we had Nolan and things seemed much more involved. It seems that we both had ideals about what and how we wanted to celebrate once we had children and neither of us really discussed them. Funny how that happens.
Lets talk about each holiday separately.
Thanksgiving: This year we saw how many sailors are left without their families for this holiday and it felt good to adopt a few of them and welcome them into our home to eat and be thankful with us. This is a tradition that I believe we will continue to cherish again, and again.
We also noticed while taking inventory of the things that we are thankful for, that our child is being blessed with alot of materialistic items. People love to buy presents for children, and I admit it, so do I. But while thinking of all the blessings in your own life it is hard not to start thinking of those less fortunate. we want our children to have a healthy respect for the things they have. We decided that during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas we would use that time to teach our children about giving and sacrifice. We are still tossing around ideas of how to do this at each stage but we have talked about them leaving their old toys under the tree for Santa’s elves to give to other children.
Christmas Eve: In my family we always used to do cookie delivery to our friends, family and the troops on duty. The ideal of giving the cookies was fun, but the event usually turned out to be a stressful angry time (Im being honest here people). Basically, I blame time. There was never enough of it. So in an effort to improve on a great tradition, I baked ahead. I started with cookie recipes that would hold up for a few days. And the others I found dough that I could freeze and or put in the fridge. The cookies were still homemade, but I alleviated the “last minute stress”. It was wonderful. Not perfect, but wonderful. Both the hubby and I enjoyed it (Nolan slept, so I guess he enjoyed it too.). Maybe by the time Nolan is an adult and married he will have perfected this tradition, as Im sure he will find flaws in my methods too.
The sailor’s family opens gifts on Christmas eve. This tended to be my families tradition too. So our gifts to and from each other will be given on Christmas eve. The kiddos will get one gift from each Mom and Dad. And then whatever presents are given by the other family members.
Mass will be attended at midnight, if possible.
Christmas Day: With the “to and from” gift exchange complete there leaves only one large part of the equation….Santa. After discussing it, we decided that Christmas day will be for the gifts from Santa and stockings. Our kids will receive one special item from Santa on this day and a stocking with little things in it from the Elves.
If we didnt go to mass the night before then we will attend mass on this day. Otherwise it will be a day for family.
We had a startling revelation about Christmas. This year, being so far from home made us realize that we really enjoy have Christmas to ourselves. It was relaxed without the chaos or stress of running around. Does this mean that we will never spend Christmas with relatives again, No. But there is a good chance that we will be celebrating Christmas Day at our own house, in our own beds. And then following up with a separate celebration with family.
Epiphany: January 6th is Three Kings day. It is the day that the Three kings came to visit Jesus in the manger and brought him gift to celebrate his birth. This is a holiday that my husband grew up with and wanted to pass on to our children. It is celebrated much like the “Santa” theme, with children leaving letters to the three kings under the tree or at their bedside and the Kings leaving gifts for the children. One gift from each King. I researched the holiday tradition alot and it is a big holiday with the Roman Catholic Church, although surprisingly it is not being celebrated at our parish here in Japan. So we will navigate through this holiday as my first time celebrating it. I will report back after.
Do any of you know about Three Kings Day? How do you celebrate?
Yesterday I wrote about my labor experience. As part of writing it, I reread the majority of my blog posts from my pregnancy. Although my words were often clearly about excitement, and the love for my unborn child, I rarely spoke of the fear that coursed through my veins daily. Every doctors appointment left me worried, not more confident. Every week brought me more fear, not less.
The delivery was just the tip of my emotional iceburg at the time. And the NICU stay brought even more fear. Its impossible to sit in a room full of babies on ventillators, and watch your own child hooked up to monitors and not feel fear. I never wanted to leave him there, I worried every time that some bad thing would happen and take him from me. I felt like if I was there then nothing else bad would happen, I would make sure of it. I would stand infront of it and protect him with all my might. The bad things would have to go through me, and I was sure going to put up a fight. And we survived it, and he came home.
Being home brought more fears. I worried about his breathing, I worried about if they missed something at the hospital. I worried that he was too small, not eating enough, would get sick, would get hurt, would be unhappy. I worried, I was scared. But my Husband was there, my rock. He comforted my fears and I was confident that he would stand infront of anything bad, he would keep anything bad from happening.
Then we moved to Japan. I was less afraid losing him in the night, less afraid of something horrible happening to him. Ive gotten comfortable in our routine. I am confident that he will wake me up, he will eat enough, he will be ok. It took 5 months, but Im starting to feel secure.
And now, its almost time to leave this place and return to The WetState for school. That means that I will have to trust others to care for my baby in my absence, trust others to love him, trust that he will remember who I am, trust others to keep him safe. And suddenly, I am terrified again.
What if he misses me so much that he cannot be consoled? What if something happens to him and I cant be there? What if, while I am caring for other peoples families my own baby needs me? What if he gets hurt? Or sick? Or sad? What if I cant do it?
I know that I am overreacting. I know that my family is going to be caring for him and that they will do a great job and Nolan will love being adored by them. But….I tend to have a shadow of bad things follow me.
Its funny how the death of a loved one brings up emotions you were avoiding. My husbands Abuelito passed away and we spent a lot of time crying and looking at pictures and talking about memories of him. We talked about him and there were so many positive memories, so many great things. But the emotions behind the crying brought back my fears of loss. Made me think about the loss of my babies, the scary times with Nolan’s pregnancy, the fears in the NICU. It made them all feel very real again. It also brought up my insecurity about leaving this safety net.
Being a military wife is hard. Most married women have a husband they can count on to come home to. Navy wives dont always have the strong arms to wrap around them. And I was really good at managing without his arms, I was able to substitute for my Father’s arms, my Mother’s arms, my friends arms. But really that is because I never had a chance to get used to leaning on the real thing. And the real thing is better. He calms me down, he seems to always know what I need to hear, and knows when I just need to cry. And God, how I have needed to let go of being the strong one. I have needed to have him to lean on, to help take some of the weight I carry. I need him.
In his ultimate wisdom he asked me simply, “Do you want to stay? Do you want to not go back to school?” He told me that he would understand and respect me if I chose not to complete school and that he would support that decision completley. I fell into his arms. He knew exactly what I needed to hear.
I have to go. We both know it. He knew I would choose to go. But I know he would have been ok if I chose not to. And thats why I need him.
This week we should call “The week of Screams”, because that is what you did most of this week. You are typically my happy boy and since you are breaking in a tooth you are just miserable. Towards the end of this week you seem to be a little happier, but still not your normal smiely self.
This week you can finally reach the ground in your jumperoo and you spend you time jump, jump, jumping like a crazy man! Its so adorable and seems to wear you out!
You feel like you are getting so big now. Your Daddy and I are both noticing that you arent a light weight anymore and we have to be careful when holding you because you are so strong that when you lean to reach out for something it throws us off balance.
You love having your hands in your mouth and it seems that there is a never ending supply of drool. You love bath time and have started licking the water…silly boy!
You are just growing way too fast! All of your 3-6 month clothes are loose but too short. Dang long skinny body!! You are starting to get chubby around the thighs and it is so sweet to see those little baby rolls.
This week was hard because your great grandpa passed away. We are so glad that you got to meet him. So happy that he got to love on you, and hold you and pray for you. He is now in the heavens watching down on us, we will look for him in Orions belt.
Its been almost 5 months since Baby Nolan was born. Back in August while in the throws of labor I posted a brief statement about the screw up that was made during his delivery. After spending that last few months trying to get used to being a Mama before I decided to talk about what happened to me.
On August 8th I checked into L&D to discuss the ongoing headaches that I had been having. My OB had instructed me to go in if the headaches continued. After two days without much relief I noticed that I was starting to lose my vision. So we went in. When we got there my BP was sky high so they admitted me. That evening I started a 24 hour urine for them, to check my protein. The nurses checked my BP all night and it was never lower than 160/110.
The morning of the 9th, the high risk team came in and talked to me about my vitals. They were positive that I should not continue to wait and should be induced. After 12 hours of urine collection my protein was dangerously high. The rest of my labs appeared normal still but combined with the elevated BP and the loss of vision, they were concerned. They ordered the induction to be started.
At 1300 my cerclage was removed and they started me on Magnesium and Pitocin. The order was for 5 of Pit and 50 of Mag. The nurse started the medication and left. I began contracting immediately (within the hour) and was struggling to maintain my calm. The contractions were so painful and were just hammering me. I knew that Pit did this, I was prepared for this. I rocked back and forth and finally after 5 hours of contracting ever 2 minutes with minimal cervical change I begged for IV drugs.
The drugs knocked me out. I was so tired and was drifting in and out of sleep contracting and crying. Change of shift happened and there was a ton of commotion in my room. A bunch of nurses came in and started looking over all of my lines, and checking for the baby. I was panicing that something was wrong.
Some time later the charge nurse came in and explained to me that the original nurse had made a mistake and instead of starting my Mag at 50 and my Pit at 5, she had switched them. My Mag was currently at 8 and my Pit at 50. I was being dosed way above the max dose and on an undialated cervix. No F*ing wonder I was contracted so hard.
The nurse who screwed up was named Kathy. She came in and apologized to me and I asked her to leave and not return to my room. In the mean time I was having fetal distress from the horrible contractions. They stopped the Pit completley and I managed to contract on my own for a few hours before the Nurse manager came in with the charge nurse to get my Pit started back up.
My labor and delivery was not my own. It was not the delivery I had “planned”. I had hoped to have my water break spontaneously, instead it was broken for me. I was induced at 34 weeks, when I was hoping to be pregnant until the baby was “well done”. I was stuck on my back in bed because of the magnesium. I wasnt allowed oral fluids and was NPO because of magnesium when I had planned on having meals at home before coming in. I wanted to walk to soothe my labor pain, instead I got an epidural.
Ultimately I have a beautiful and healthy son so none of the little details matter. But not having the birth you planned is heart breaking.
According to my chart notes, my BP reading right before they came in and noticed the screw up was 196/114, and the baby’s heart rate kept dropping into the 40′s. Once they fixed it my BP maintained at a still high rate but never as high as that and Nolan was fine. I read my chart over and over trying to identify where the mistake was made, in both an effort to place blame and also to make sure I NEVER make that mistake myself. And what I found was that the hospital policy is for Pit to be cosigned when administered, she didnt follow policy. I was in labor at the same time as two other people and she chose not to have someone come and check her work. After asking around I found that she was a quite seasoned Nurse.
What would you do? How was your L&D experience different than what you expected?