Krimson was a dear friend and a baby-sitter who the kids adored. Folks, asthma is deadly and not to be taken lightly. And days like today -- reading this article and watching Jonathan have a bad asthma day -- make it all too real for me. Watching Krimson slip away after that horrible asthma attack was devastating....contemplating that it could happen to my husband is just unthinkable. I've only ever seen Jonathan actually struggling to breathe once and that was right after we met, before we were even dating, after he took a minor fall. Most "bad asthma days" for him mean that he coughs a lot, gets really tired, breathes a little heavy, and takes several breathing treatments. And thankfully, those days are few and far between although more frequent this time of year after his allergies get flared up. I'm thankful but still cautious.
*Pray for Krimson's family who are still struggling with grief, her death just barely 2 years ago now.
*Pray for Krimson's sister, Kisha, one of my very best friends, & her husband Michael who have an almost-10-year-old daughter who's struggling right now to find the right balance of medications to keep her asthma under control.
*Pray for wisdom for Jonathan & me to do what needs to be done to keep his asthma under control and to know when bad is bad enough to get to a dr or hospital before things get out of control.
*And if you have asthma (or know someone who does), please, please PLEASE make sure your medications are working for you. If you're hitting your rescue inhaler or nebulizer more often -- especially if you're hitting them multiple times a day -- then your asthma is NOT under control and you need to try different meds! Don't dismiss it! Bug your dr until they do something to help you or get a new one, if need be.
Our great friend, Kisha, and a little girl she babysits need your prayers! Kisha is about 8 weeks pregnant for which we are all praising God! Kisha and her hubby, Michael (and those of us that love them), have prayed for another child for about 9 years. But in the midst of this early stage of pregnancy, she lost her grandmother late last night. This is already a difficult time of the year for them. Kisha's sister, Krimson, passed away 2 years ago after a devastating asthma attack. The anniversary of Krimson's death was on March 6th. And today, the little girl Kisha babysits named Abby, who just turned 2, was taken to Children's Hospital with what appears to be a rapid onset of juvenile diabetes. She will be in the hospital for 2 days while they bring her sugar levels under control and start to course her treatment. Please pray for Kisha and her family as well as Abby and her family over these next few difficult days.
Might have been a little too much as I'm paying for it now with aches and pains but I braved the zoo today with all 6 kiddos for the 1st time. (Candace and her boys were there to help me keep track!) Had a good time but should have grabbed the sunscreen. Can you tell?!?! (Bad Mommy!) The gorillas were probably the highlight of the day but I also got a good picture of this bobcat (or cat-something). And, as always, I love to take pictures of the fish. This one is my favorite of the day.
Now that Lydia's here, seems like I don't have much to say....I survived my first 3 days with all 6 kiddos without any help. The only real big adjustment (other than dealing with lack of sleep) was what to do when both Timothy and Lydia were crying or Timothy was crying and I was tending to Lydia and couldn't get to him. Nathan continues to be a big help. In general, though, the older 4 were pretty much the same as before Lydia came home. A friend at church told me that Timothy stood unassisted on Wednesday night so hopefully walking is just around the corner. Physical therapy is definitely a "no" for us unless he's not walking by his 18-month check-up. From the research I've done, 17 months is considered the high end of "normal" for walking. Lydia is doing really well with the exception of last night when she was really fussy and wide awake after midnight. She definitely sleeps better and longer during the day. Hard to imagine with this crew running around but it's true!
School -- We're going to try and slowly work our way into a school day routine starting next week. Caleb is a little behind where other kindergarteners are -- which we expected with all that's been going on here and, no, that's not as terrible as it sounds. We're homeschoolers and while we don't like that Caleb is behind and desire to have them as close to their public school counterparts as possible (in core subjects), we have more time and more flexibility to "fix" issues as our school year doesn't have to end on Memorial Day. The goal is to get Caleb reading by the time we go for portfolio evaluations in early August. I'm sure he/we will do just fine. Nathan is doing just fine, if we could only find his math book......."Summer" goal for him is to (finally) memorize ALL his multiplication tables. He's not that far off.
Many thanks to all our friends who've sent packages and church friends who've brought such yummy food. We really appreciate it! While I've been blessed all 6 times with relatively easy recoveries after babies and could cook on my own, it's been really nice to not have to worry about it. It's helped me adjust and get a sense of what my "normal" day is going to look like now with 6. I love my children and am so thankful that I've been blessed to have absolutely zero problems conceiving (we've only ever really tried once!). With several friends around us who are unable to conceive, I certainly don't take that for granted. And I tried to be grateful for being pregnant which wasn't hard the first 3 times but was a struggle the last 3 babies with the different aches and pains and complications. I definitely feel like our home is bursting at the seams -- which we're so happy about -- but I'm ready to focus on being a successful homeschooler. While I'm a little sad at the thought of not having any more new babies to snuggle up to, I'm ready for the next stage(s) in life. After all, I'm about to be a mom to a teenager in a few short years! (Nathan so graciously informed me that he has only 2 more school years before he graduates to the youth group -- yikes!) And the thoughts of eventually being completely done with diapers makes me very happy! :)
Timothy's check-up was okay. Overall, things look good. He weighs 24 pounds and is 31 inches long. That's not much of a gain in weight but that's a gain of 3 inches since his birthday. Both of those measurements are perfectly on the 50th percentile mark. We're only on day 4 of him not having a bottle at all. Thanks to Grandma for helping with that battle 'cause I just wasn't feeling up to it in the last weeks of pregnancy. He's only tried a time or 2 to go after Lydia's bottles. Having some sleep issues with him but with all that's going on, the dr said he'd be surprised if Timothy didn't have issues. So we'll ride this out for a while and it should get better. Not too comforting, though, with 2 babies up during the night. The not-so-great part was that our dr wants Timothy to go through physical therapy since he's not walking yet. This bothers me for 2 reasons -- 1, Timothy is days younger and days older than 2 other boys in the church nursery, neither of them more than 10 days away from him. Now I know you're not supposed to compare children but these 2 boys are just recent walkers, too, so I don't think Timothy is that far behind. 2, it's not like I have tons of time on my hand to take him to therapy appointments. Between what will be Lydia's frequent check-ups, Timothy's audiology, ENT, and orthopedic appointments, his soon-to-start speech therapy, and life with homeschooling and 6 children in general, 1 more appointment is not what I need right now. I haven't called yet and don't really plan on getting in any big hurry with it. Hopefully he'll be walking soon.....
Must get busy! Had a major plumbing problem (and a nice $550 bill to go with it) so I've got to go help my Mom clean up now that the plumber has left. Lydia seems to be off schedule today, was up every hour and a half to 2 hours last night and has slept all morning so I'm feeling pretty run down, too. Ah, life....
If you follow me on Twitter or saw us at church last night, then you already know that Lydia's levels are down! Praise God! Not a drastic decrease but we know that jaundice levels peak around the 4th or 5th day of life so the dr is certain that her level will just slowly keep coming down on its own without any major intervention. Yay! So glad we don't have to poke her little heels again. Tonight I'm taking Timothy to his 15-month check-up....here's a new picture of the little miss!
Yesterday was crazy! I was extremely disappointed, of course, when Lydia didn't get to come home on Thursday like we had hoped and that had put me pretty close to the edge of my already shaky emotions but I got through it! But when I went in yesterday morning and found Lydia out from underneath the phototherapy lights and the pediatrician said that she could go home after her blood was drawn at noon, I was ecstatic. Spent some time with her yesterday morning and was present while her hearing was retested -- over the moon to find out that she has passed her hearing test in both ears! Left while they had the nursery closed to visiting because of the drs doing rounds and planned to come back ready to feed her and change her after her noon blood draw so she'd be ready to go. On my way out, I reminded them that she hadn't had her car seat test yet....[Side note: when a baby is born before 37 weeks, they are tested in their car seats. They're strapped in with a pulse ox monitor on their foot to measure their heart rate and oxygen saturation while they sit in the car seat for 1 hour. If their heart rate and/or o2 stat drops at any point, that's considered a "failed" car seat test.] The possibility of her failing was completely off my radar. John and Timothy -- both smaller than her -- had both had zero trouble with their car seat tests so I expected the same from her. In fact, I didn't even think to ask what would happen or what it would mean if she had failed her test. In case you can't figure out where this is going.....I was blown away when I got back up there at noon to be told that she had failed her test. Sat down to feed her thinking they were just going to retest after she was done eating. Took her back out there after her bottle and told them I'd step out for a while so they could retest her. That's when my day fell apart. I was told that they only did car seat retests after 24 hours had passed meaning another night in the hospital. I completely lost it! (You can blame some of it on the hormones, too, I'm sure!) Anyway, seeing me in distress, they decided to page the pediatrician to come talk to me. Just about laughed when he asked me how I was doing. Are you kidding me?!? Sitting here in front of you bawling and you're asking me how I'm doing?!? Anyway....since she was a larger-than-normal newborn and had no breathing problems, and since I had already made plans to go home, they agreed to a retest at 4 pm and even made arrangements with social workers for us to buy what's called a car bed (think bassinet that straps into your car with a seat belt) so that we could take her home yesterday evening regardless of her 2nd car seat test. I was still a mess but still relieved. She survived and passed the 2nd car seat test with only 1 little glitch and that was a full 40 minutes into the test (and only Jonathan & I saw the numbers go down and were thankful no alarms went off!). So around 5 we started clipping off hospital alarms and bands and getting her dressed. The nurse sent Jonathan to get the car. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong!!!! Jonathan calls me 10 minutes later, "Can't get the car to start"! Okay, seriously, how did this day go so wrong? Long(er) story short(er), called Candace to come and get me and Lydia and take us home and Jonathan called our friend Damon to come and help him with his car. He's out now replacing his starter. Other than a massive headache around 7:30 last night, Lydia and I are doing just fine and actually had a decent night as she slept 4 hours between bottles! She's just been to our pediatrician for the first time and has had another bilirubin blood draw and we're waiting on the results. As long as they haven't gone back up, we're in the clear. If they've gone back up, then we can put her on what's called a Wallaby blanket here at home for today and tomorrow and try another lab draw on Monday but that's highly unlikely. Thinking about maybe going to church tomorrow but aren't sure yet. Of course, bad test results would nip that in the bud real quick but that'd be okay, too. But for now, I'm just thankful to be home, to be feeling like a "normal" mom again, and to be getting ready to feed my kids some lunch! Hopefully we'll have a good news update here soon.
I spent the day at the hospital today with little miss. Little rougher on me than I expected but at least I got to hold her/feed her/change her for about an hour 3 times today. OSU is a gigantic place! Too much walking for someone who gave birth on Monday, that's for sure. Oh well....onto Lydia. She's doing wonderfully well with eating and is really ready to move past 2 ounces at a time. But, because of the intensity of the phototherapy lights, they want her to be hungry more often so she eats more often so she doesn't get dehydrated. Her skin is less red than before and I had 2 nurses to tell me today that I have a pretty little redheaded girl! :) (Let me know what you think) As for her jaundice, her numbers continued to climb today which is perfectly normal just unfortunate for taking her home. Jaundice (bilirubin) levels peak around the 4th or 5th day of life and Lydia will officially begin her 4th day of life tonight at 9:18 so it shouldn't get much worse and it's by far no where near dangerous levels. Her next draw is coming up at 8 pm and we're hoping for numbers to go down from the 15 it was earlier but if it were to be 13 or less, then that'd guarantee us she'd get to go home tomorrow sometime. If the number is down in general at tonight's draw or the 4 AM draw, the chances of her coming home tomorrow are good. If the number stays at 15, then we're moving into if-y terriority where taking her home tomorrow is concerned. They doubled her lights today, adding 1 light coming at her from the side as well as the one coming at her from above so that will help speed things up. She was wide awake today everytime I saw her and that was fun. I'm definitely ready to have her home! Here's a picture taken just as I left the hospital at 3:
Another rough night for me....virtually no sleep, kinda in pain. Lydia's 2AM test results showed her bilirubin levels nearly double. Not a big surprise; we really expected her to deal with jaundice at some point. She's by no means at a very dangerous level but jaundice/bilirubin levels peak around the 4th day of life so she's got a long time for her levels to go up (currently her level is 11.9, up from 6.1 last night). So she's being treated now under the phototherapy lights. The hope is that we can keep her level down long enough that when she hits Friday-Saturday and her level peaks, it peaks no where near the dangerous level which is over 20-25. Good news is that she's still eating very, very well and is pooping a lot which is one way a body gets rid of the bilirubin. Her labs are being drawn again right now (every 8 hours) and then Jonathan & I intend to hold her/feed her for her noon feeding before I leave. Then, hopefully, I'll get some sleep tonight and arrive refreshed tomorrow to pick her up and take her home. Starting to have flashbacks with all we went through with Timothy and his jaundice and that's left me a little emotional. Try to remind myself that Timothy's level was much worse (his was 23) and that he only needed the lights for 2 days (1 day @ Children's; 1 day @ home) and that we all recovered well but then thinking about him so much makes me miss him so I'm just trying to focus on packing and waiting for the nurse to get us for her noon feeding. One foot in front of the other, that's all I can do, right? I really think I'll feel better after sleep (and having my baby home will certainly help!). Then we'll have to see what happens with her hearing.......*sigh* We're thankful that some of our (my) worst fears weren't even close to being realized. Thankful that she wasn't as big as she could have been, that her lungs were very mature, that she didn't need any breathing help, that she delivered safely and I didn't need a C-section, etc etc. Now to get her home! We'd appreciate your prayers!
So, as you already know, Lydia is here! Here's a recap of yesterday's activities:
My nerves were pretty shot by the time we got here just before 10 yesterday. The amnio itself was started just before 11. The numbing shots weren't too terrible and while it helped me not feel the insertion of the needle to draw the fluid, it certainly didn't help that the big needle had to be taken out and reinserted several times. Then there was trouble getting the fluid out and eventually the discovered that they needed to get Lydia out of the way 'cause she had moved. So the OB in charge (with the worst bedside manner!) began pushing on Lydia to get her to move. EXCRUCIATING! Shot waves of pain all the way through my tummy, down my leg, and into my toes, bringing tears to my eyes! Finally it was done and then I had a good hour to an hour and a half of unbelievable contractions. We were told to hope for a number/test result over 45. Around 1:15, we got a thumbs up from our nurse although we wouldn't learn till a little bit later that Lydia's number was actually 101!! In a labor & delivery room right before 2 and the pitocin was started. Contractions weren't terrible but since they knew I had had many babies, as soon as I was uncomfortable, they ordered my epidural. It was almost like I was a guinea pig....anesthesiologist in there coaching a person (can't remember his title) through the procedure while 2 medical students looked on. Epidurals are wonderful but getting them in is a pain (literally) especially when you're poked several times in your back looking for the right space. I was really comfy by 5 and they checked me and I was dilated to 4-5 cm and they broke my water! Painfree bliss lasted until around 7 and I eventually asked for a redose on the epi. I was 7 cm then and things were good again for a while. Jonathan's parents arrived just after 8 and I was in pain again. While I was only dialted to 7 1/2 cm at that point, I had made major progress in what they call efacement and she had also begun to drop although she was still high up the birth canal. Unfortunately, I wouldn't get much relief from a redose of the epi but that was because I was too close to delivery. 8:30 to 9, I quickly went to complete (10cm) although Lydia was still high. Just under 20 minutes of pushing and Lydia was born at 9:18. Not my best birth (that'd be Timothy when I was completely numb at time of delivery and didn't have to work so hard at pushing) but not my worst delivery either (that'd be Caleb's unmedicated birth). It was a long night....had some complications after delivery including major swelling, worse in my right extremeties (and I'll spare you the rest of the details). Eventually took a percocet which knocked me out but I was very uncomfortable. Lydia had a few minor issues with her blood sugar, not uncommon in babies born to diabetics. She has had absolutely no trouble with breathing or eating! They're monitoring her bilirubin level and she's steady, indicating no jaundice just yet (in fact, went from 6.8 down to 6.1 during the day and going down is a GREAT sign). Unfortunately, however, she did fail her hearing test in her left ear today....they'll automatically retest her in the morning and we'll go from there but at least we know not only that her right ear is completely normal, we also know what this road might look like having dealt with Timothy's hearing loss. Other than that, she's doing pretty well. A little fussy this evening but nothing too terrible. I'm coping with pain and "stuff", staying away from the percocet so I can stay concious and relying mostly on ibuprofen at this point. They were unable to do my tubal after delivery so we'll have to see about getting that done as an outpatient in April after my 4 week check-up. I'll go home for certain tomorrow; Lydia just has to pass what's called a car seat test and a last bilirubin test (showing levels steady or going down, not up) and as long as those 2 are okay, she should be going with me. Oh, someone's crying for Mommy so I must go. Check back here (although I twitter much more often) for more details.