Our "unique" child. Everything about John seems to break the mold. Elizabeth was only 4 months old when we found out we were pregnant with John. Quite the shock to think that 2 of your kids are only going to be 13 months apart. John's due date was scheduled for 6-25-05. But, if you know us very well, you know he got into a big hurry. It was a Thursday morning and I was preparing to drop Nathan, Caleb, & Elizabeth off at a friend's house and go in for the first of my twice a week non-stress tests (a test commonly run on diabetic mommies that monitors the baby's movement and heartbeat for about 20 minutes but that also monitors to see if there's any "uterine activity"). I was watching the Today show before waking up the kids when they made a comment about it being Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) and I saw the date at the bottom of the screen -- 5/5/05 -- and I thought how clever of a birthday that would be but moaned that I wasn't that lukcy. I had been in a lot of pain (the same left-side/rib cage pain I've had with this pregnancy although constant and much, much worse) so I was already saying that I didn't know how I was going to make it through 8 more weeks (7 weeks, 3 days to be exact). So I get the kids off to Kisha's and get to the clinic about 9, if I remember correctly. As they were hooking me up to the monitor, I realized I had a contraction but didn't think anything of it 'cause contractions are common at that point of pregnancy. However, once that contraction started, I spent the next 30 minutes or so with contractions every 5 minutes on the monitor. The doctor was very upset when he discovered that I was already dilated to 4. They immediately sent me upstairs to the triage unit. They started pumping me full of fluids (dehydration can cause contractions), antibiotics (certain infections have been known to cause preterm labor and I hadn't yet had a Group B Strep Test that they commonly do around 37 weeks so the antibiotics were "just in case"), magnesium sulfate which is a drug used to treat preterm labor (and high blood pressure) that works by relaxing the muscles (i.e. the uterus), and stadol which is a pain killer they were hoping would calm me down and allow me to rest to help stop the contractions. They also gave me an injection of betamethasone (which I've had with Timothy already) that helps mature the babies lungs. It was supposed to be the 1st of 2 doses, 24 hours apart. This was slightly before noon. The contractions slowed down but never stopped. By 1, I had passed the 5 cm. Even with the mag sulfate on as high as they can give it to you (it can cause your lungs to "relax" which can cause you to stop breathing), by 5 or so, I was already at 6-7 cm. We moved to a labor and delivery room to see what would happen when they stopped the meds. That was a little before 6 and our 6 lb, 3 oz "preemie" arrived a little over an hour later. It was crazy. We knew even the 1 dose of betamethasone worked because we were actually able to hold John for a few minutes as he was breathing okay on his own. About midnight, we finally got to meet with the neonatal doctor who told us that John was having trouble breathing so they had put him on CPAP which is prongs in the nose that blows air into the nose to keep the lungs inflated. He was weaned off of that before I was discharged from the hospital (the only time I stayed the full 2 days!) but had developed jaundice so was under the bilirubin lights. He was under those for a few days and then would have been fine to have come home if he hadn't been so lazy! He wasn't very interested in nursing or eating from a bottle and was on a feeding tube. It took several days before he got with the program and we brought him him exactly 2 weeks after he was born, 1 day after Elizabeth's first birthday! John kept breaking the rules after we got him home -- he was a VERY light sleeper and wouldn't sleep very well in our room so he spent the first few months of his life in either the swing (should have taken out stock in those D batteries!) or in the bouncy in the living room. He was also the first Stevens child to not sleep through the night very early. The other 3 slept through the night at 5-6 weeks old -- I forget how old John was but he was several months old. He's a very "sensitive" child (lest I use the "cry baby" term), very easy to offend. He's also clingy to me & Jonathan which the others weren't. There are times when we like that but then there are other times....He was also the only one we had to break from a pacifier. Nathan & Elizabeth would take them but were not stuck on them and Caleb definatley preferred one but we kept loosing them so he was "broke" fairly easy. But, John is the closest we've come (so far) to a redhead. It was a lot more red when he was born. He's also a very "polite" child -- very quick to say "thank you" for a drink or dinner or whatever. Isnt' it funny -- our kids have come in a "pattern". Nathan -- burnette (although born blonde), didn't care for the pacifier; Caleb -- blond, had to have the pacifier; Elizabeth -- burnette (almost black at birth), didn't care for the pacifier; John -- red now blond and had to have the pacifier. So, if the pattern continues, we're "due" a burnette who doesn't like the paci (although I'm still hoping for a redhead). Guess we'll have to wait and see! Here's John in pictures! My Mom's camera takes such good pictures, he almost doesn't look like the same child in this picture. And finally -- meet my super hero!!! =)

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