August 10, 2011

Joseph's Story - Our New Baby Boy

Wow guys! I thought when I came on to announce the birth of our son, it would be a real quick post with a pic of him and his weight, height, etc. and once we had settled into a routine we would post more pics, vids and maybe a short birth story.

Even though I've had some complications with this pregnancy, there was nothing to make me think that the events that occured over the last few days would have happened. Never in a million years did I think it would be a 10 day saga I would have to tell you about... amazing and as always, the hand of the Lord at work in our lives. So, it's a very long story... you have heard a lot of it from John via his posts and videos, but if you want the whole story, here it is... so grab your coffee cup, this might take you a while to read.

Before I start though, I want to say how humbled and blessed I am that so many of you have reached out to us through prayers, help watching our girls, meals, visiting me, encouraging John and just offering to help in any way that we have needed. I can't begin to tell you how much all of that means to me. All I can say is that we THE most amazing friends and family in the world and we love all of you so very much! God has blessed us beyond measure.

Well... this whole story started on Sunday, July 31. John and the girls and I went to West Valley Hospital for the standard non-stress tests that my doctor wanted to start doing on a bi-weekly basis. No big deal, just an hour or so each time to check on the baby and me and then we go home. I had this done during my last pregnancy and it was very routine. So I had no worries... just wanted to get it done so I could get home and rest because I was very tired that night.

After the nurse had trouble getting much movement showing from baby on the monitor she decided that I was very dehydrated. She said the doctor wanted me on an I.V. for fluids. Strange I thought since I had been drinking water all day. The monitor and ultrasound machine continued to show not much movement on the baby's part and it was showing high blood pressure readings on my part... higher than normal which for me were already high during this pregnancy. The doctor did not like this at all and said I could go home but was to come back in the morning. He was worried I would get pre-eclempsia (sudden VERY high blood pressure which can lead to seizure, stroke or even death in severe cases). We ended up spending 5 hours at the hospital that night.

The next morning we came back and I was admitted and hooked up to monotirs again. This time they gave me more fluids through I.V. as well as a medication called Magnesium Sulfate. If you don't know what that is (I didn't), it's a medication that lowers blood pressure... it can make you feel really sick too, with flu like symptoms. I was put on the Mag-Sulfate for all of Monday, all of Tuesday and into Wednesday.

John took the girls home and as you probably saw in his videos, he did an amazing job taking care of them as the doctors were monitoring me. I was willing to do whatever it took for our baby boy. The doctor said maybe he would admit me for the duration of the pregnancy. At that point I just prayed that God would make a way for our girls to be cared for while I rested in the hospital and their daddy went to work. I knew it would be ok, no matter what happened.

By Wednesday I was so out of it I couldn't even open my eyes. They were dried almost totally shut and I could not stay awake, I kept on drifting off into sleep no matter how hard I tried to stay awake. I had the chills and was dreaming very vivid dreams. A dear friend came to visit me and I didn't even realize she was there until the next day when I had a very slight memory of her there and asked John had she visited and he said yes she had. I felt horrible and was very scared because the doctor was so worried about me.

When he came in on Wednesday morning he was super concerned. He said all my bloodwork was way worse than the day before and he would have to do a C-Section. He said if he had sent me home the night before there is a very high chance I would have died and he was so glad that I had been cooperative in agreeing to come back to the hospital. He asked me if my husband could be there in an hour because that was when he was going to do the C-Section. He said there was no time to wait, this was the worst case of pre-eclempsia he had ever seen and he was concerned for my life at this point. I had no idea if John could be there that quick but I texted him asking if he could and God provided a another dear friend that offered to meet him at the hospital to sit with the girls while he came to the operating room.

Now, I know that a lot of people have C-Sections every day. I had even considered that there was a slight chance I might have to have one this time because I know during long labor high blood pressure can be an issue. But I had in no way prepared myself for this. Our baby was not due for 7 more weeks! I had not looked up C-Sections and read about them or even talked to many people who had had them. I had the basic idea of what was going to happen but my mind was not ready to acccept it and know that it was about to happen. How long would it take? What was the operating room like? What kind of anastesia would they use? Would our baby be ok? Could I die during this procedure? There was no time to ask and I became very upset. I was crying. Which caused me to get congested... which made me more scared because I was told this procedure was done flat on your back and of course when you can't breath you don't want to lie flat on your back. It took me a while to calm down, even with John there, I just could not get my mind focused because the Mag-Sulfate was so strong in my system I kept forgetting things and feeling confused mentally. I kept telling myself, just lean on the Lord, He will pull you through this.

The operating room freaked me out. It was so cold in there and bright white and sterile. My mind kept thinking of movies where people die during operations.. My anastesiologist, although very nice, had a very brusque attitude and was starting to annoy me. I kept telling John my concerns about not being able to breath. He also knows I am very claustrophobic in certain situations and this was certainly one of them. I needed him to know what I was thinking in case they had to put me totally out (which they said they would if I wasn't able to handle the partial anastesia and stay awake). Thankfully I had the most awesome nurse in the world and she was able to help me keep calm. I focused totally inward, praying and thinking about my baby boy.

Not too long after this our sweet Joseph entered the wrold. His cry was so strong that I gave a huge sigh of relief. I didn't know how I had/was faring but I didn't care, my baby was ok and that was all that mattered. John tried to show him to me but the angle that I was laying would not allow me to turn my head. He brought back the video cam a few minutes later so I could see Joseph. I felt satisfied that he was fine so I relaxed and let the doctor finish his work. Once I was in a recovery room, John explained to me that Joseph was going to be taken to a different hospital to be in the unit for premie babies. His lungs were a little weak and they wanted to give him the best chance for his health since he was born early. They brought him into my room so I could see him before they took him in the ambulance. I couldn't touch or hold him because they had him in this closed in contraption that was keeping him warm and safe. I was ok with this for some reason, I just wanted him to be ok. I didn't even cry at this point, I was just happy there were people that knew what to do to care for him and he was going to be safe. That all happened on Thursday, August 4th...

The next three days are pretty much a blur to me. I was put back on the Mag-Sulfate as well as Percoset for pain. After three days, we figured out that Mag-Sulfate, Morphine (during the operation) and Percoset are things that I do not react well to. I could not snap out of the stupor that those meds put me in. I kept forgetting things, could not keep my eyes open, my face felt numb, I was dizzy and and light headed and was very emotionally distraught and not recovering the way that they expeced me to. I was lethargic and had not made any progress towards being able to get out of bed or do anything for myself. I was taken off all of those meds and even though I had just had surgery to save my life and the life of our baby, I was put on only 700 mg. of Tylenol every 4 hours for my pain. I couldn't tollerate anything else. And between the incision healing, and some other issued that had developed while I was in the hospital, I was in some very serious pain. I had to handle it though without the strong pain meds, there was no other choice.

On Monday I was a lot better mentally. I was now able to focus my mind on recovering. I had no idea how I would go home though because I was hurting so much. I had a couple of nurses that didn't bring my meds on schedule which threw me into a complete pain cycle that seemed like it would not end. I couldn't sleep due to the pain and a lot of the needs I had could not be met by the nurses because they were very busy and understaffed on that particular day. I was at the point of total frustration and when John came to see me that night I just broke down. I wanted to get better and go home to prepare for my baby's homecoming. There was so much to do and I needed to be home to get well, not in the hospital! I did have some awesome visitors that day which did help cheer me up but all I wanted was to go home.

On Tueday morning at 6 am God sent me another super awesome nurse. She came in like a drill instruction with a plan for me to get discharged that evening. I wanted to laugh because I couldn't even go to the bathroom without using a walker at that point but I played along with her plan. Sure I told her my family can come here and help me walk down the hall later on (ha! yeah right! I can't even stand up right now I was thinking). So I called John and told him the plan and he said he would come by later that morning with the girls. I called the nurse every 4 hours asking for Tylenol and by the time John came I was still thinking there's no way they can send me home today. Thankfully and miraculiously I was wrong. Even though the pain was the worst I had even dealt with, God continued to give me the strength to push through it and by the evening the doctor came by and said I could go home. He gave me an order to take to Walgreens for a walker I could use at home, he gave me meds to take at home and he again told us how happy he was that I was willing to do what it took.

Although I had only slept one hour on Monday night, when I was released, around 5 pm yesterday, I was determined to go see Joseph. It was so very painful to even move but I had to see him. We didn't get to the hopsital where Joseph is until 7:30 pm... John found a wheel chair for me to ride in and we were on our way. It was 5 days later and I finally got to hold my baby boy! By that time of night our phones were dead so I could not take pictures, but tonight I will and tomorrow you all will be able to see him!

John did post a video of him when he was first born.

I have to tell you our little son is so amazing! ... God's creation in action and wow I am amazed at his tiny perfection. I love newborns but wow, he is so small, I cradle his head in my palm and his forearm is the size of my pointer finger... his fingers are like whisps... so small and delicate. He has a head full of dark hair, just like his sister Alisha when she was born. He is a fiesty little one and he was instantly calmed when I held him, the nurse marveled at how his breathing rate slowed to the rate she wanted it to be when he was in my arms. He is like his big sister Kiah, he doesn't like his arms swaddled and tries to push them out. He's not fond of the paci and he tries very hard to keep his eyes open for as long as he can. He coos and gurgles at his daddy's voice and seems honestly upset when he hears the other babies cry in the nursery near him. He likes to stretch himself and prefers to sleep on his stomach. He is love personified. I adore him.

I guess that's about it for the story. It was a long road and now we turn out focus to visiting with Joseph as much as we can to help him on his road home... to me resting so I can recover to the point to caring for him when he arrives and to honoring God for giving us such a marvelous blessing as this. We are so not worthy yet we were chosen as his parents and we embrace this task with amazing joy.

We have been asked in recent days by several people if there is anything we need at this time. There is nothing specific as of today although we may need childcare in the days to come because the girls are not allowed in to see their brother at this point. We will be sure to call those of you who have offered as the need arises. Also, meals are a huge blessing to us right now because we are off to the hospital to see Joseph every day the we can and to some medical appointments I have in the days to come so cooking won't be much of an option. Our dear friend @Demetria Elms has set up a Food Tidings page for us for meals. Thank you Demetria!!

We love you all and thank you all again for the prayers, the help and the love you have shown us through this time. We cant wait for all of you to meet Joseph!

June 16, 2011

It's Been A While

Seems like blogging for me comes in seasons. Sometimes I go for a long time feeling like I don't have much to say and then I get a sudden inspiration and feel like it's time to get back to it.

Life has been busy lately. Being pregnant has brought about many challenges this time around. We've taken quite an extended break from school and are just about to get back started up again in about 2 weeks. We're a little behind where I would like us to be, but sometimes in life God just has us be still and wait on Him and get our lives in order and that is what has been going on with us.

We recently found out that our baby to be is a boy! What an exciting time for us, our girls are thrilled to be having a brother and of course my husband is very happy that he won't be the only man in the house any more :)

While on our school break I have gotten into couponing. I'm sure you've all seen or at least heard of the show on TLC called Extreme Couponing. Well, that's what we are doing, but not on such an extreme level. I've been very blessed by some ladies at church that have been teaching me to use coupons more effectively and it's been such a blessing to our family. I'm going to add a couponing section to the left side bar towards the bottom so be sure to check it out if you are interested.

We have also had a lot going on with our business in the recent months. It is growing by leaps and bounds and again, we are very blessed. God is so good in all that He provides.

If any of you are on Facebook, feel free to add me as a friend. I tend to chat on there on and off through the week. I find it a great way to keep up with all the family and friends that I don't get to see very often. My badge is on the right sidebar, so hop on over and add me :)

I pray you have all been well. More posts to come very soon!

February 11, 2011

God's Favor

It's always amazing to watch God move in our lives, and WOW, He has been MOVING since the last time I posted here.

We moved to a new home a couple of days after Christmas. The events that led up to that move showed us that God truly have us in a place of favor right now. We had no intention of moving but knew that God wanted us to relocate.

Everything fell into place just perfectly (with only a 3 week window of time to move and all the family sick with the flu besides me!)

We are now settling in and loving our new home. We have much more space and are so blessed that we will not be able to host guests more often and share Christ's love with them. This home is certainly not just a place for us, but a place to share!

Lots more wonderful things have been happening lately, but instead of listing them all, I'll share the best one. We are expecting!

Yes, our family is about to grow once again and in September we will have a new little one to share our lives. God is so good and we are so very blessed.

Hoping to blog more in the days and weeks to come to chronicle our journey as our new little one grows and arrives into the world.

October 3, 2010

Update On Us

It's amazing how things always happen in God's timing. I had a lot of second thoughts on starting school extra early this year. We started the last week of July.

My husband had knee surgery (arthroscopic - both knees) a week and a half ago and we took two weeks off to care for him. Now that he is semi-mobile again it's time to get back to the books and we are still right on schedule.

So far the girls are loving the new books we chose for school this year. My 8 year old is not too fond of math at this time so I am going to try to find some fun math games on line that will help her enjoy it more. My 10 year old now LOVES math (she disliked it when she was 8 too). Our 6 year old is learning to read and we're so proud of her. She's had a lot of pauses in her reading instruction due to life happening along the way but she's still keeping up and doing great.

Since Daddy is off for the next couple of months it's going to be an awesome time for us to include him in some of our schooling. He always has wanted to participate more in our day to day school schedule but his work schedule prevents him from getting as involved as he'd like to. We are going to take advantage of this time as much as we can.

September 9, 2010

One Down, Lots To Go

Making a little progress on our to-do list. I did all the school bookshelves today. I think they look great and I can think a lot more clearly now that I know where to find everything. Let's see how long we can keep them this way! On to the next project tomorrow.... :)