Monday, December 8, 2014


It took an hour but I finally gained access to my blog again. Of course in the process I have now all sorts of screwed up access to my email in addition to now having a google plus page (which I have diligently avoided as my current social media foot print is more than enough). And this is reporting to a long dead email address. Which apparently I cannot change. This is ridiculous.

Life has been busy to say the least. But now I have encountered some down time and in reading my previous blog posts I realized how much I missed this. And I want to attempt to come back to it, even if ever briefly.

The short of a very long story spanning the past few years is that the boys are doing wonderful. Parker will be 5 next month and Caden will be 8. They are in preschool and 2nd grade. No big moves, no big news, just lots of fun times with them, work, and life.

Most of all is the ever growing realization of just how fast these years pass. How quickly those boys grow. And while I might not be able to catalog it as I was tried, ever planed, and always hoped - even an update every several years would be nice.

Here is to trying - writing - and in the short term trying to untangle the massive mess I've made of my google accounts.

Update: Sorted out the email and google account mess, apparently I have a google profile complete with a circle. I suppose the time is now to figure out that.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Well its been a long time since I updated here. I used to love to write - one aspect that has been lost of the years.

I could fill a whole blog with what has happened since I last updated, but living in the past is one thing I'm not willing to do anymore. So here is the basic run down:
The boys are great. Parker turned 2 last month and Caden turned 5. They are both doing amazing. Parker gets into everything and I can honestly say I have never imagined to have my hands so full with something so small. He is adorable and sweet and so loving and is currently twirling in large circles with purple marker all over his hands and face. I have yet to located the purple marker. Caden is so funny and so fun and you never know what he might say next. Love it.
We moved. Its a long complicated story but we love the house we're in and the boys do, too, but the neighborhood is remote and wooded and the critters and coyotes annoy me to no end. But watching the bald eagles fly outside our window is amazing.
We've gone to Disney world, twice.
We've had tragedy and triumphs. Unfortunately facing a tragedy within my own family now. Maybe its an explanation for my recent behavior, withdrawal. Maybe I just really needed this.
I started my own legitimate, successful business last year. Its nothing big or grand and probably never will be, that wasn't the intention. But its mine - and the first thing I've done by myself for myself in a long time. And its doing better than I ever expected.

I've been thinking a lot lately. About so many things. About who I was, who I thought I was, who I am, who I thought I am, and who I want to be. In an old blog of mine somewhere, I do not believe I merged it with this one, I remember writing a post even before the wedding. About how I would never lose sight of myself in all of it it, in marriage, children, family. But I did. Oh did I. In a way I think its inevitable. And I don't regret making my children my life - until the day I die they always will be. But that doesn't mean I have to lose myself. That doesn't mean I don't have to be my own person. And realizing that? It is empowering.

If you believe the Ancient Mayans, 2012 is to be a year of change, new beginnings (or the end of days if you're into that sort of thing and never listed to what the calendar really is, but I'm not). I definitely feel change. I'm remembering who I am. And that doesn't mean I'm focusing any less on my children, just the opposite actually. But this is a new beginning for me.

I'm also coming to terms with something I was told over 5 years ago. Something I've ignored for 5 years. And its scary, but it helps. And I think I am finally ready to start going in for the testing on my kidneys that I've been supposed to be doing for years.

In true fashion this post is all over the map so I guess we'll just leave it at that. I've been meaning to update this blog for some time (Finally did, R!). So there it is.

And I'll end this with one more note - be careful what you put out there. I started this blog to work through emotions, feelings, to reach out and gain support from a community of women in similar places, and to update family. But at the end of the day, years later, you never know what little simple thing may lead someone here, someone you didn't intend. And adversely you never know what little, simple thing, may lead you somewhere you never thought you'd be. Maybe for the worse. Maybe for the better. Go with it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

5 beautiful months

Just as I had intended to journal my pregnancy I’ve failed at journaling the past five months. There are just not enough hours in the day it seems and while I do kick myself for not writing more, I’m also happy to say we’ve been living a full, busy life and these to boys of mine keep me on my toes.

Parker is over 5 months old now. Where has the time gone? I cannot believe in just a few short weeks we’ll hit the 6 month mark - half way through the first year. I’m so excited to watch him grow, to see who he becomes. But I’m sad at the thought that with that I'll be losing my baby. I look at photos of Caden from 3 years ago and its like a different person - Caden the sweet little happy, pudgy, always smiling baby is such a different person than Caden the always on the go, rambunctious, but still sweet and happy little boy. I can’t even really call Caden a toddler anymore - even looking at our family/maternity photos from October shock me to see how much he has grown. And I know that I’m going to blink and 3 year will have passed and Parker will be where Caden is and Caden will be 6 - I try so hard to remember it all, to get it all down, and maybe that’s why I love scrapping so much.


Parker is amazing. He has been everything I’ve ever dreamed for all those months trying, for all those months pregnant. I hold him and still can’t get over the fact that he is here, that he is mine.
He is such a smiley baby. Parker first started smiling at us at just 2.5 weeks old. My first thought was that it was too early but there is truly no mistaking who his sweet, gummy grins are intended for. Every morning since has brought me those big, beautifully,grins and a bad morning can never be had when greeted by that. He is a very vocal baby, too - he has been talking to us since he was about a month and he loves to go on and on. I love when we go anywhere and he just sits in his car seat in the backseat and goes on and on stopping only to blow a raspberry or two.

I’ve loved breastfeeding Parker these past 5+ months. From the first moment I put him to my breast, Parker has had a text book perfect latch. I love watching him nurse and after having no photos of Caden nursing, we’ve made sure to take plenty of Parker. It’s a beautiful relationship. Parker has always been eager about eating, too, shaking his head and latching on with enthusiasm as a newborn, and he still has enthusiasm when it comes time to eat. He loves to hold my finger while he is eating and to pop off for the occasional glance up and big smile.

Parker is developing beautifully, he laughs, rolls, scoots… he started rolling when he was between 2 and 3 months and rolls both ways with ease. He is starting to sit up a little bit and can do so unsupported for a few seconds at a time - then something usually catches his eye and over he goes. He can sit up with his base supported for quite some time. He loves to jump in his jumperoo and play with the elephant the Easter bunny brought him. He isn’t crawling but he is definitely mobile and rolls and scoots to where he needs to go.

Parker is without a doubt a Momma’s boy. When Momma is around that’s usually all he wants though he does tolerate others for a short time. He even started reaching for me about a month ago. While it would be nice to give my arms a break sometimes, or eat with both hands… I love when those sweet little arms reach out to me. And I don’t like him being passed around large crowds, so its nice that within minutes he is usually back in my arms where he belongs. We baby wear and that has worked out beautifully for us as well. Parker loves snuggling in the sling and the beco.
As much as he loves his Momma, Parker is also over the moon about his Daddy and big brother, too. He is always interested in what his big brother is doing and is always looking to his Daddy with big gummy grins. Those grins make our world turn and Parker loves to share them with us.

He has grown so much in these 5 months, we have all grown as a family. He is just beautiful. Every month on the 11th I take a quick photo, and those can be found here.


Caden is doing great! He loves his role as a big brother and truly loves Parker, and Parker loves him. I remember when we were in the hospital there were times that Parker was only happy if he was being snuggled by his big brother, and there were times when Caden was hurting or upset and just wanted to snuggle his little buddy. Caden is recovering nicely from the surgeries - the scars will always remain but he has fully recovered otherwise. It amazing watching him these days - he is learning and changing before our eyes but even as he gets bigger and becomes more independent he is still our sweet little boy who loves snuggles in the morning, kisses all day long, and really is all of our dreams realized. Both of our boys are. I am unbelievably blessed.

Life with two has been easier than I expected and we transitioned easily from the start. Challenges have still presented themselves, but I couldn’t have hoped for things to go better than they have. Even so there are times I feel guilty I don’t have all the time I once did for Caden, and there are times I feel guilty that Parker will never have the one on one time that Caden did for all those years. But there isn’t a whole lot anyone can do about that - its just the logistics beyond the first. But in trade off, Parker benefits from having a big brother who things the world of him, to learn from, to love and be loved by.
Caden hasn’t had much one on one time with Steve and I since the baby has been born so we’re taking him out for a night just him. My mother-in-law is watching Parker for a few hours so we can take Caden out to Dinner and to see Toy Story 3 - and possibly a surprise along the way.


In other family happenings, we’ve decided to take the boys to Disney World in September and are so unbelievably excited about this. While we’re aware that obviously Parker isn’t going to remember or get much out of this, it will be fun for us, memories, and Caden will. And after the March we had, I think we all deserve a little Disney Magic. We were hoping to do a vacation around fall when Parker was first born - When Caden was 10mo we went on a cruise and it was so, so easy to travel with a baby. Those plans were put on hold when the medical bills started rolling in but eventually things fell into place and as I’ve learned tomorrow isn’t promised, my children will only be this little for so long, so go to Disney today. And yes, we will go back again when the kids are older so it isn’t like this is a once in a lifetime thing for them. This will be all my boys, Steve included, first trip to the world. This will be my 5th but its been over 10 years since I’ve last been - and I can’t wait.

I apologize this post is all over the place but between 2 boys and the dog getting a full thought out is an accomplishment in itself. Plus there is so much to say and such limited time to say it. As always I hope to start writing more as so many thing touched on here are topics in themselves, but for now I'll go snuggle my sweet little boys, and end with this.....

Watch Me Grow!

2 months

3 months

4 months

5 months

Monday, April 12, 2010

The hardest part

I’ve always wondered how they do it - the parents of sick and hurt kids, the guardians of tiny bodies undergoing big procedures, sitting by hospital beds and making huge decisions. I always wondered how they managed because I clearly couldn’t and was so grateful I didn’t know. And while it could have been much worse - now I do. The answer is you have no choice and try as you might to regain control, it all just spins wildly beyond your finger tips. And you just manage.
Its been a month since this all started, and tomorrow will mark 2 weeks since we were finally released after 3 hospitalizations and two surgeries and hopefully the end. When I first sat down to write this out, after we were released the very first time, I had so much to say. And I want to have everything down so I can explain to Caden when he gets older just how he got the scars that now litter his belly. Little did I know we were still facing a long road ahead of us and here is the short, but still very long version.

Friday March 12th started out like any other day. I smiled at the routine we had established around here and in the morning Caden and I decided to make necklaces out of froot loops. We played and he went down for his nap and everything was as normal as it could be. Caden woke up from his nap and everything was still normal - he ate a granola bar and played with his toys while I put dinner in the oven. Shortly before 5:30pm I took Caden into his room to get him dressed so we could run to the store and as I buttoned his jeans he whined “Mommy, my belly hurts”. My first thought was that his pants must be too tight and we’d be heading into 5T sooner than expected but I checked and they seemed okay. He did, too, and ran out to the living room to play. I sat down to nurse Parker and Caden grabbed his belly suddenly again, “Mom, my belly!” and then seemed fine. Steve came home a few minutes later and I told him that Caden seemed to have a belly ache and then Caden cried out again. Caden is a tough little guy - of all the tumbles and bumps and bruises, and there have been some nasty ones, he has never even been one to cry so I knew something was wrong. He said it again and I could tell he was in pain - I told him to lay down but he just jumped around.. And then he was fine again. Steve thought maybe he was just really hungry, and he hadn’t ate much for lunch, so he dished out food. I hoped Steve was right but at this point I knew something was very wrong. We sat down and Caden refused to eat and said his belly hurt once more. At that point it was enough and with dinner still sitting on the kitchen table we threw the kids in the car and headed to the hospital. It had only been an hour since the first “my belly hurts” and the decision to run out the door and I knew - I knew it was something serious and I was confident he was going to need surgery. I didn’t know for what but I could tell by his cries that this wasn’t something that was going to go away.

We checked into the ER and Caden was crying at this point saying over and over how his belly hurt and it was getting worse. I started shouting to get someone and do something as I tossed out his information and my ID - they had a nurse there right away and we were brought into a room. At that point Caden was screaming and rolling on the floor he was in so much pain and I just paced the room not being able to do anything for him - he didn’t want to be held, he didn’t want to sit down and there was nothing we could do. Each minute that passed I paced and panic welled up in my chest, begging for someone to realize that he wasn’t throwing a fit, that he was hurting. The minutes passed like hours until finally they got nurses and the doctor into our room. And then he started throwing up. At first I thought maybe the fact that he was crying so hard made him throw up… but then a few minutes later he started to throw up bile.

I told the doctor of the nights event as quickly as possible while trying to comfort my little boy as he wiggled and cried out in pain. The doctor made mention of a possible intussusception of the bowel and I just begged them to help him. Nurses came and phones rang and I just looked for support where ever I could find it. I’m not a deeply religious person but I called out for prayers for him. Parker sat in his car seat staring out at the flurry of activity around us, quiet and calm, as Steve and I draped ourselves over our little boy to help multiple nurses hold him down for the IV. He screamed in pain from the needles, in pain from his stomach, in fear of it all. I placed my cheek to his and whispered to him, terrified but calm. They finally got the IV in his arm and he was so tense that it blew and we had to do it all again. Finally they got the IV in his hand and he was given Zofran for the vomiting and morphine for the pain. He finally had relief and fell asleep from the pure exhaustion of the past two hours.

My mom came to help us after she had just got off a flight hours earlier from California. She came just as it was time to take Caden into ultrasound. She and I stayed by his side while Steve waited for us in the ER with Parker. I walked along side that big hospital bed carrying the exhausted body of my sweet little boy and I was numb. We went into a dark room and the tech would hardly even speak to me and I just wanted to know - please, please tell me if you see something, anything - a nod, wink, I won’t tell I promise. I could tell by her face she did, I could tell something was wrong. She left and got the radiologist who didn’t have the best bedside manner when dealing with distraught mothers but finally he spoke up. Caden did have intussusception of his bowel. There were xrays done and we were taken back to the ER room and I nursed Parker while we waited for the next step. Looking down at my sweet little baby as he nursed gave me peace if only for a few short moments.

The doctors came back and told me they were going to do a barium enema on Caden and that often this resolved the intussusception in most cases but first they did a regular enema to try to clear him out to give the procedure the best chance of success. They gave us a percentage - was it 85%? 70? In the end it wouldn’t matter. My mom had taken sleeping pills before this all happened and tried to throw them up as she left to come but couldn’t. It was late and we told her it was okay to go home and my mother in law was on her way.

People came back to the room, Steve stayed with Parker and I went with Caden again - I was alone now. First there were more xrays and then we were brought into another xray room for the procedure. Everything would be done under live xray so that the radiologist would see immediately if the procedure worked, or if there was a perforation of the bowel which was a risk. I maneuvered around the xray equipment and cradled his head the best I could and he was just so, so uncomfortable. I prayed, I begged and I pleaded to please, please let this work. But as the minutes passed and the conversations regarding what was happening went on I knew it didn’t.

The intussusception was in Caden’s small bowel and the enema usually worked when it was in the large bowel, where intussusception most commonly occurs. Intussusception in a child Caden’s age was already rare enough, to now see it where it took place was even more so. The procedure failed and there was only one option left.

Shortly after we were wheeled back into our ER room the surgeon arrived to talk to us. He took a detailed history of everything from Caden’s health (which wasn’t much, he has never even gone to the dr for anything other than well baby exams) to my pregnancy with him and aspects of my health history. And then in a blink of an eye we were winding our way back through the halls of the hospital and up to surgery.

The time was 1am and we were the only ones there so we were allowed to stay with Caden while he was prepped. Everyone was so kind to us. The nurse, an older woman who would cross our paths once more, let Caden call her Grandma. All too soon the time came to say goodbye to my son. Every kiss I gave him led to one more, I didn’t want to let go, I wasn’t sure if he knew enough how much I loved him, but then I don’t think he’ll ever know just how much I do and that’s okay. When Caden was a baby every day I woke up I was always amazed that I loved him even more than the day before. And when I thought I couldn’t possibly love anyone or anything as much as I loved him, I’d wake up the next day.

We were led to the waiting room and given warm blankets - everyone was cold but I was sweating. I paced the halls a few short minutes and then grabbed my keys and ran to the car. We only live 5 minutes from the hospital so I ran home to grab the things we’d need - Some extra diapers for the baby and his detachable bassinet top, Caden’s blanket, clean clothes and toiletries for us. I made my way through the halls of the empty hospital, twisting and winding past locked doors as I tried to make my way back to the ER. I ran into a nurse in the hallway who offered to escort me through all the locked points - She asked if it had been a long night and I made mention of my three year old son. “Oh, you’re Caden’s mom!”… everyone was already beginning to know who we were.

The streets were empty and it was raining. I turned my stereo up as loud as I could manage in an attempt to try and drown out all the voices in my head. I raced around the house to gather what we needed, tossed everything in the car, and raced back. By the time I made it upstairs I had just missed the call saying surgery hard begun.

We waited.

The lights of the family waiting room had all been turned down, the large television hanging on the wall was off, rain fell quietly on the windows. No one walked by, no one was there. The ventilation system hummed and seemed to echo in the halls and we made small conversation. The phone rang again - they were just finishing up and someone would be out to talk to us soon.

Doors opened and the surgeon walked out and smiled at us. I stared at him… at the man who just finished cutting into my child’s small body and I wondered, did he know? What did he feel and think as he did it? Did he know just how much that little boy meant to me? How special he was? How loved he was? Of course he could never fully know, but I prayed those thoughts crossed his mind.

Caden had something called a meckel's diverticulum. I could explain it but at this point it is easier to link, and that was the lead point that lead to the intussusception. The surgeon explained this to us down in the ER, that he had suspected it due to the location of the intussusception and Caden’s age and we were all relieved to find an answer, a reason… it was removed and thus the intussusception was less like to reoccur. They also removed Caden’s appendix since they were in the neighborhood I suppose is the best way of putting it.

Before long we were beside caden’s bed again, walking through the locked doors of the pediatric unit and into his room, one we would know too well. MIL had gone home as it was 3am and she had work in the morning. I sat and watched my little boy sleep, I held his hand, I kissed his face. I went over papers and intake with the nurse, Amy. We had made the decision earlier that evening that it made the most sense for Steve to spend the night at the hospital with Caden and for me to go home with Parker since he needed me to eat and his own bed, but oh did it hurt to walk away. And for the next several nights it was our routine - I’d tuck Caden in and wait for him to fall asleep, sneak down the elevator and out the front doors of the hospital, get home in time to try to clean up some of the damage from running out so quickly that Friday night, do a bit of laundry, and try to sleep a few hours before getting back before the doctors made their rounds.
That night I got home at 4am. Parker slept peacefully while I started into the darkness - every word from multiple doctors replaying in my head over and over until I finally drifted off.

Caden went into the ER Friday night and the surgery was around 1am Saturday morning. There was hope we could go home by Monday afternoon but there were set backs. When he was started on water he eventually threw it up. When he made it to soft foods, he eventually threw it up. There was a diaper filled with blood after his first bowel movement. We walked the halls a lot and played in the toy room. Caden had plenty of visitors and his room filled with toys and balloons. On Monday he was even able to go down to the lobby to see Raleigh, one of the therapy dogs. The routine continued and we made sure he was never alone. Steve was there all night and we were both there all day except the few times Steve ran to the office for a few hours. Our family helped us out, staying with Caden while we’d run down to the cafeteria to eat. Parker stayed with us and I know it helped Caden that he was there - he would ask to see Parker in the morning and snuggles with him all day long. People commented on how well we held it together and only once did I really break down. Saturday night after Caden started to throw up again - We turned on his Curious George movie and as the music started I flashed to images of him at home, where he should be, and excused myself to the bathroom and cried and cried. After a minute or two I composed myself and joined everyone else.

Sunday was rough - Caden woke up wiggling and crying out in pain. I demanded he have another ultrasound and just as I did the surgeon called to say he wanted testing just to be safe. I sat in the wheel chair and Caden crawled into my lap and placed his head on my chest and despite how big he has grown he fit perfectly in my arms, just as he did when he was a baby. We were wheeled into Xray and images started flooding my mind - him as a baby, with his big gummy grin smiling back at me from our front lawn. His chubby thighs and bright eyes, his bald little head. Image after image they kept coming and I silently cried.

Everything looked fine on the xray - in the end we believe the pain was from Caden holding his urine in and his bladder pressing on everything. The surgeon told us that after abdominal surgery sometimes kids did that - associated the pain with anything going on in that general area. He finally went to the bathroom and everything was okay.

Caden slowly got better, kept liquids then foods down. He was happy and loved to play and walk the halls, saying hello to everyone he met. Late in the afternoon on Wednesday, March 17th we were released. And for 5 days everything seemed back to normal. We played, we had fun. We moved to put this all behind us.

Monday, March 22nd
Once again the day started out completely normal. Morning turned into afternoon into evening into night and I tucked my boys into bed. Steve was out and my neighbor had come by and we chatted. She headed home and then around 11pm I heard a cry from down the hall. Please be the baby, please just be a hungry baby. Parker was fast asleep in his bassinet beside my bed.

I walked into Caden’s room and he was tossing and turning as he whimpered in his bed, “My belly hurts”. Three little words that will strike fear into all of us for a long, long time. I crawled into bed with him and scooped him into my arms and rubbed his head as he fell back asleep. But after a few minutes the wiggling would start again and he’d cry out once more. Again he’d settle down only for the pain to return and as it did I could hear his stomach gurgling and churning. I got up and stepped into the hall and paced nor sure what I should do and he threw up all over. My first thought was to take him to the ER so put Caden in the tub and called my neighbor. She heard Caden crying in the background and came running over.

Once Caden was cleaned and in new jammies he seemed to be doing better. I placed a call into the pediatrician and when the on call doctor called back he thought what I was hoping, a stomach bug, and suggested I watch Caden for 24 hours. Caden started to cry out in pain again, not as bad, but hurting. And then he threw up once more.

I buckled Caden into his car seat and showed my neighbor where my frozen milk was and how to thaw it so she could stay with Parker. Steve was on his way home and instead would just be meeting us at the ER. When we got there they were in the middle of a shift change so we waited. And Caden threw up more, and cried out more, and they brought a nurse to bring us in immediately.

Once again Steve and I found ourselves draped over our sons body as the placed another IV in his left hand this time. Once again he was given zofran and morphine and Caden perked right up! He laughed and played and was happy as could be. Steve and I even giggled at how silly he was being.

We were originally told they would be doing a CT but they later decided to use the CT as a last resort due to the increased radiation. We found ourselves back in an ultrasound room and for my xrays - if they showed anything then we’d continue with the CT. Everything looked okay on both exams but Caden was admitted anyway for observation. Seeing how great Caden was doing now and that those images were all clear I started to think it was just that, a stomach bug.

None of us slept that night. Steve went into work straight from the hospital, I went home, showered, grabbed Parker, and headed back. Caden woke up in a terrible mood after only a few hours of sleep. His white blood cell count was up so they wanted a urine analysis and had a collection bag on him. He refused to pee in it - he’d rather let his bladder explode before he was going to pee with that thing on him. He was in pain because his bladder was so full again and the surgeon was talking of the CT. I was scared of the radiation after what I’d been told and asked if they could promise me nothing bad would happen due to the radiation, “we would like to avoid a CT if at all possible” was the only response I was given, not reassuring in the least. He would also need to be sedated.

I told them to take the urine collection bag off and they did since they would just cath him while sedated. They took it off and caden emptied his bladder and all was right with the world. He was calm, pain free, and wanted to watch George and asked for a popsicle. Since he was doing so well I asked that we hold off on the CT and just observe him, see if the pain returned or if he threw up. Everyone agreed. In the end I wished we had done the CT right then, but hindsight is 20/20.

Caden did great - he ate Popsicles, he played, he bounced off the walls and ran around the floor. He drank and ate popsicles. Wednesday morning the surgeon rounded and laughed at how energetic Caden was as he jumped up and down excitedly and played with his monster trucks. “sometimes we never know why these things happen and they resolve themselves - he looks great and I see no reason he can’t go home as long as he eats and keeps it down”.

Caden asked for Mac and cheese and excitedly ate it all along with a banana at 11am and around 1:30am with him still completely normal, we were released. We thought it must have been the stomach flu and we walked out of the hospital.

As we walked out of the hospital into the beautiful spring day, Caden gripping the stroller happily and Parker smiling up at me, I was uneasy. I knew it wasn’t over, something wasn’t right even though Caden seemed perfectly fine. The drive home I went over everything in my head - how could it be the stomach flu? He had no other symptoms, nothing. I didn’t call anyone to tell them we were home, I didn’t update face book or another site I’m on. I said nothing because I just had a feeling.

We were home an hour and the phones were ringing and that is when I told people he was home. At around 3pm he said those three nasty little words… My belly hurts. He’d say it, then would be fine and play. He wanted to go outside, he wanted to watch George. And then he’d say it again.

I called the pediatrician and they suggested that I just bring Caden in with me in the morning since Parker’s 2 month well baby was then anyway, a rescheduled appt after the first surgery. I talked to our family about it - maybe its just gas, maybe its just attention. Maybe, maybe, maybe… I tried to believe but I knew. Us moms, we always know and should there be a lesson to be learned in all this I fully believe it is to trust your intuition.

Steve was at work and was about to head home when I told him. The tone in his voice dropped. When he got home Caden was still saying his tummy hurt, but it wasn’t like before, not as bad. Steve got home from work and made us a quick bite to eat. Caden crawled into my lap and fell asleep. Eventually he crawled to the other side of the couch and slept for an hour or so, I wish I could say this brought any of us relief but I could see his face wince even as he slept. I placed a call into the surgeon on call and he called me back at 7:30pm and we talked. While we were talking Caden woke up and he could hear Caden cry out in the background. At that point the surgeon suggested we bring Caden back to the ER for the CT scan - it was still early in the night and if nothing else we’d have some peace of mind.

Steve put Caden in the car and took him back to the hospital while I got my neighbor and settled her in with Parker. Steve called telling me to bring some clothes and something to clean up the car - Caden threw up all over.

I raced back to the hospital to meet them there in disbelief.

I was immediately led back into the ER to Caden and Steve - everyone there knew us. Even the doctor, who hadn’t been involved in Caden’s care, was aware of him due to the meckel's diverticulum - I guess word got around. At one point I paced the hall and saw a familiar face - I recognized her but couldn’t remember from where. Thinking about it we believe she was the woman who performed the 2nd ultrasound and was much more kind and helpful than the first. She smiled and said hello and then realized where we were and just walked up to me and wrapped her arms around me.

Once again Steve and I were draped over Caden as they placed another IV in him - this time in his arm as he still had the holes in his hands from the pervious IVs. He was given zofran again as he was continually throwing up bile and then they sedated him for the CT, expecting him to fall asleep. The nurses were all shocked when he never did. Steve and I held his hands and kept him calm during the procedure and we got the images that were needed. When we made it back to our room in the ER Caden was up and happy - he seemed fine and asked for drinks he couldn’t have.

I paced the hall as I talked on the phone, keeping concerned friends and family updated as to what was going on and the glances on the face of the ER staff grew more concerned. Our main nurse walked into the room and I asked if they had read the CT and she said yes. I knew she couldn’t tell me anything but I asked anyway. She knew we had been through the ringer and wasn’t going to make us wait and told us - Caden had a bowel obstruction and the surgeon was on his way.

The ER doctor came in and explained everything to us but of course his answers were limited. Before long the surgeon walked in and explained everything to us - he would try to do everything laparoscopically and his hope was that it was a simple adhesion that would just need to be snipped and that would be it. I signed the forms stating that but with notes and knowledge that he could have to be opened up this time and that there was the possibility of a bowel resection. And then we began to wind our way back up to the OR.

Caden’s 2nd Surgery
It was like a terrible nightmare replaying itself. The same nurse from the 1st surgery met us in the hallway and Caden remembered her and greeted her with a friendly “Hi Grandma!”. Again it was the early hours of the morning by now and the OR was empty so we were allowed to stay with Caden in pre-op. Despite being awake and alert this time Caden was calm, like he understood. The time came to say goodbye again and I found myself holding and kissing him, hoping, praying it was enough - for him and for me.

Instead of going to the waiting room this time we went to our cars - I was becoming engorged and needed to pump and Steve would move the other car to the accessible entrance from pediatrics. I raced home and checked on Parker and pumped. My neighbor assured me not to worry about her and to just get back to the hospital. I raced back on the empty streets, the music up once again but this time it didn’t work and my mind wandered to images of my child’s body on an operating table.

The elevator doors opened into that familiar waiting room - the lights once more turned down, the halls empty, the hum of the ventilation system… Steve had turned the TV on this time though. Steve told me I had just missed a nurse not even 30 seconds before giving an update… we had hoped the surgery could be performed by lap again but they had to open him up. I can’t remember if it was then or later we were told, but they also had to remove part of his small bowel. It was 2:30am.

Steve laid down on a chair and I paced the halls, changed the channel on the TV, sat in chair after chair. Finally I sat and rested my head against a window and peered out at the cars below as it started to rain. I then laid my head down on a chair and stared at the OR doors, begging them to open with news, only glancing away to look at the clock. Surely by 3:30am we’d have another update.

Every noise jolted me - a door opening, Steve coughing. 3:15am came and nothing. Then 3:30am. I sat up and shifted in my seat, the anxiety was building inside of me. Finally 3:45am approached and nothing - I frantically paced the halls, looking for someone, anyone, and nothing. I sat back in my chair and I under the weight of everything I just broke and started crying hysterically, gasping for breath. Steve raced over to me and wrapped his arms around me but I was inconsolable, I just needed to let it all out. I regained composure, caught my breath, and the doors finally swung open.

The surgeon sat down beside me, took my hand, and smiled as he spoke. “the first thing I want to tell you is that Caden is okay, he is fine and did great”. He explained to me what happened, that as the bowel healed from the first surgery a closed loop was formed. He was able to untangle it laparoscopically but did not feel comfortable leaving it - the bowel was so inflamed he was sure if he left it we would find ourselves back in for a 3rd surgery so he made the decision to open Caden’s abdomen and remove that section of bowel. He told me that Caden would be fine and would continue on with his life just as he did before surgery, nothing had to change. And he promised me that this was the end of it, this was the last surgery, and that we could see him soon.

A few minutes later the nurse from pre op, Grandma, came by on her way out to see us. She was so kind and we were so thankful for her - Caden felt safe because she was there. She told me I needed to sleep, I must have looked a mess. She told me to get home and get some sleep before Parker needed to eat but I couldn’t leave without seeing Caden. She smiled and said okay, lets go. She brought us through the locked doors and told the recovery nruse we were coming even though we weren’t supposed to be back there, and everyone was okay with it. We walked around the corner and there was Caden sleeping on that hospital bed, monitors beeping and a kind blond nurse standing watch at his side - I smiled in gratitude though I don’t know she realized how important she was to me. She stood by my baby’s side and watched over him when I could not.

I wanted to be strong and I didn’t want to cry even though Caden wasn’t awake. I laid my head down and rested my face on his warm, soft cheek and just breathed him in. He was okay and that was all that mattered but it was so hard to see him like that. I whispered to him over and over again how much I loved him, how proud I was of him, how he was everything to me. I lifted my head off his and wiped away the pool of warm tears I left on his cheek. Steve grabbed my hand and as we walked away I saw the recovery nurse wiping tears from her face. It helped to see that, to see that Caden was just as special and cared for by all the people around him. That he wasn’t just another body cut into. And that he was truly cared for when we were not allowed by his side.

Overall recovery was easier the 2nd time around though slower. He never threw up, no blood soaked diapers. The first day was so much harder through. He was on Morphine and slept most of the day away and because he was on the morphine he was on extra monitors that he didn’t have before.
We went much slower this time with introducing food and liquids, giving his bowel plenty of time to rest. By the time Saturday rolled around he was a little beast and understandably so. The constant blood draws and poking and prodding and being tied down to IV poles - but really he was so hungry. One of the nurses felt so bad she allowed him to eat 5 cheerios and his attitude completely changed. Caden was the only patient on the pediatrics floor for a lot of our stay so he got all sorts of extra attention. The nurse offered to take him on a walk one day so I could grab a quick bite to eat and he went to the lobby and got to play the piano. All of the nurses were absolutely fantastic and we would have been lost without them. I only hope they know just how special they were to all of us and how much they all helped us get through this.

Monday he was finally allowed to eat regular food and got breakfast, lunch, and dinner and kept all of it down. By Tuesday morning his white blood cell count had returned to normal and we were discharged that morning.

It has been almost two weeks now since Caden was released and he is currently climbing the couch and sliding into a pile of pillows he stacked up with a proud “tada!“ followed by skipping down the hall to play with his toys. He lost a lot of weight in the hospital but as started to gain that back. When we first got home you could feel his ribs through his shirt when you rubbed his back but already he has gained some weight back. Things are normal, but I know that doesn’t mean much. Leaving the hospital that last time, it did feel right though. Steve and I took the boys on a walk, Parker’s first finally, and just enjoyed being home, together. We’ve celebrated Easter and played with toys and are settling back into that sweet routine I smiled at in the morning hours a month ago.

The best part of all is that Caden is on his way to making a full recovery. That he is back to his energetic, playful self. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. And while we still are watching him with a close eye and late night whimpers and the words “my belly hurts” brings on anxiety like steve and I have never known, we are moving past this and I am, without question, forever grateful, thankful, and blessed.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

See it in a new sun rising

Parker’s Birth Story
Since my first son, Caden, was born by emergency c-section I’ve known I wanted to try for a VBAC. I wasn’t angered by my c-section and I didn’t have grief - Caden’s birth was necessary for both of us and after the months of bed rest and preparing for a premature baby, ending with a full term, healthy, perfect little boy trumped incisions and everything else for me… but I knew that should my next pregnancy be free of complications and allow, I wanted a VBAC and I was determined. I assumed that preeclampsia or kidney issues or skyrocketing blood pressure might take that chance away, but I never imagined ended up on the operating room table at 41 weeks, 1 day with absolutely no progressing toward labor what so ever.

The months before Parker’s delivery were spent reading and preparing and the weeks before delivery were spent doing everything we could think of to encourage Parker to join us. Capsules, teas, pineapple, exercise balls, visualizations, stairs, walking, sex, a full moon, a blue moon, a snowstorm... I started to feel like I was living a birth inspired Dr. Seuss book - “full moons and blue moons and even letting Daddy do as he please, couldn’t and wouldn’t encourage Parker to leave!”. Eventually I began to bargain with the baby, beg the birthing gods, and even attempted to sway Muphy’s law “Maybe if I don’t shave my legs for a while…..” None of it did anything. At 39 weeks I ended up with one hell of a stomach virus and as I placed a call to my OB at 11:30pm sure I was on my death bed my OB joked “Hopefully this should send you into labor!” - It didn’t.. and I am sure I’d prefer a c-section to laboring through that hellish experience anyway.

At that point I was just miserable. I was angry and snappy that I wasn’t even progressing despite the daily onslaught of Braxton hicks contractions. I was upset. Finally, toward the end of my 39th week, I realized I was most upset that my perfect pregnancy - the one I beat all the odds with… no bed rest, no preeclampsia despite my multiple risk factors, no gestational diabetes despite my PCOS, no kidney issues.. Was now overshadowed by this. I loved every minute of my pregnancy - I got to do all the things I didn’t with Caden. I had adorable clothes and loved showing off my big round belly in public even if it did result in stares at the end. We took maternity photos and did a belly cast (haha) and went on vacation. We have photos of my belly with pumpkins at the pumpkin patch and I ached for days after a marathon Christmas shopping session. I got to do all that I missed out on when I was pregnant with my first. And now I was just a big crabby pregnant woman because my cervix wouldn’t budge and my baby was floating and nothing was happening - and no matter what I did I had no control over the situation. So I took control back. I decided that I wasn’t going to allow this to cast a shadow over the last few moments I had with my sweet little boy wiggling and bumping and pushing inside me. I was going to enjoy those last days with my first little boy as my only, I was going to sit back and soak in those last moments as a family of 3. I’d keep on doing what we had been in hopes that labor would come soon but I wasn’t going to focus on it and if it wasn’t meant to be, then it wasn’t. In the end as long as my baby and myself were healthy and happy that was most important. What I wanted was a non-traumatic birth with a happy ending. I didn’t want another induction (not that it was an option anyway with a completely unfavorable cervix and all). Finally I felt like I regained control, I was happy, and those last days of my pregnancy were spent in the same bliss that I found myself in the months before.

At my 40 week appt I had an NST and the normal routine. My blood pressure was high - it had been borderline for weeks but now it was over that line. Parker did okay on the NST and the AFI was at the low end (exactly) of normal. I was to come back that Friday, 3 days later, for another AFI and a blood pressure check. My c-section was scheduled for the next Monday, January 11th, in the event I didn’t go into labor on my own before then and now with my blood pressure even higher and other info received that date remained - going any further posed to many risks in my mind and my doctors, especially with my BP. I laid down for a few minutes and luckily my blood pressure went down enough that I was able to go home with instructions to continue monitoring.
I went to my final appointment a few days later - my fluid measurements remained the same at 8 so my doctors were okay letting me go the weekend. My BP was good enough to wait, too.

With Caden I was induced on a Monday and he was born just after midnight Wednesday morning. We were exhausted and worn out and I looked just terrible - the photos we have that include Steve and I from his birth are traumatic themselves. So I decided that if I was going to end up with a c-section this time I was going in prepared. Friday after my appointment I went in to have my hair done and the day before that was a Mani-pedi. Saturday we spent running errands and I bought another nursing gown to wear in the hospital since it was starting to look like we’d spend a few more days there than we had planned. We stocked up on groceries for Caden (MIL was staying at our house with him half the time, the other he was going to my Mom’s) and for when we got home. Sunday was reserved for cleaning - I never did get that nesting urge that I so longed for so there was a lot to do…. Instead we spent the day in our jammies sprawled out in the living room building block towers with Caden. Before we knew it evening had come and it was time to get to work. We let Caden stay up a little late and then I tucked him into bed and crawled in with him for a few minutes of simple snuggles, then Steve and I finished up around the house, packed the last few things we needed for the hospital. In-between all that I took a few long walks along our cold snowy streets with my neighbor in hopes that just maybe Parker would make his entrance on his own… he didn’t.

Monday, January 11, 2010.
We didn’t crawl into bed until well after midnight so morning came early. I still had hopes that just maybe I’d be woken by contractions but at 5:30am the alarm went off and I got in the shower. The morning was quiet - the news played in the background and Caden was still sleeping. I did my hair an makeup, got dressed, and admired my big round belly in the mirror one last time. MIL arrived around 7:15am and I woke Caden up for some last minute snuggles and Steve loaded the car - we needed to be to the hospital by 8am. A little after 7:30am we said our good byes and headed on our way.

When we got to the hospital my Mom was already waiting for us in the lobby. The intention was that she would be with us before surgery but as we checked in we learned that wasn’t possible. She sat with us as we checked in and then headed to take care of some errands and stop by to see Caden until she could come see us. After all the questions were answered and lines signed, bracelets were placed on mine and Steve’s wrists and we headed into the Maternity center.

The halls were quiet and empty as we made our way through. As we were led back toward the surgical section of the ward a nurse stopped and asked us our names
“Just who I was looking for!” she responded and instead led us to our suite where we would be doing pre-op and as long as everything went fine, post op as well. This was also the room we would spend out first days with our sweet little boy.

The rooms at our hospital are beautiful - large with stone bathrooms, toiletries laid on the counter, real furniture. There is a huge window and the morning light was pouring in over a blanket of soft white snow outside. It was kind of surreal standing there - after all these months, a year and a half.. I finally arrived.

I changed into my gown and climbed into bed and nurse put the IV into my arm. I texted my friend and chatted with Steve while we monitored the baby and myself. I was having all the Braxton hicks that I had been but still no progress. My only “regret” from the birth of my child came from now - I was so wrapped up in the c-section I didn’t see the joy that was that morning. I wish I had the smiling pics of us pre surgery, I wish I wasn’t so… not myself. Eventually I did let my guard down a little though and we laughed and joked with my nurse, who might I add was fantastic.

My OB, Dr. L1, came in a short time later and we chatted while she filled out some paper work and finally the time came to head to the OR. I asked if I had control of any musical choices and I did, but my other OB, Dr L2, had requested a specific OR that had the best layout for me to be able to see the warmer after the baby was born - I asked him to be able to see the warmer and he said he’d do his best, that it all depended on how far they could stretch the cord from the outlet. He proceeded to go in and choose the OR with the best option for this - but it was one without a CD player.

Finally we were ready and we began the walk down to the OR - Steve came with us half way but had to wait until the spinal was administered to come in.
I climbed onto the table and everyone said hello and was so friendly and kind. They placed warm blankets over me and the anesthesiologist explained everything again. I rolled onto my side and started to cry. My nurse came over and grabbed my hand and then my OB came over and held the other. There was a pinch that wasn’t pleasant as I was numbed and then I was warned there would be pressure and I braced myself for what I remembered after getting multiple lumbar punctures in the past… but I felt nothing. No pressure, no pain.. I was shocked when it was done.

What came next was the only downside to the whole experience really - when they were doing my catheter my knees were bent and as the spinal took hold it was the last feeling my brain remembered. I wanted them straight and had a minor freak out trying to straighten them and not being able to - the reality is that they were straight, my brain just didn’t register that and it was stressful not to be able to move my legs. Finally I calmed down and somewhere in-between surgery began. Steve sat at my head and held my hand.

The anesthesiologist would occasionally adjust the oxygen mask in front of my face (I didn’t have to wear it) and it would remind me to breath - as the minutes passed I realized I was holding my breath.

Welcome to the world, sweet baby
In all the months we tried to get pregnant I’d imagine that day I’d get my BFP and cry - I’d dream of every milestone a pregnancy would bring and the tears would roll off my face. But the afternoon I got that BFP my face was dry - I was excited and shaking and so incredibly happy, but the tears never came. I assumed once I saw that beautiful flicker on a black and white ultrasound screen I’d finally be able to cry in relief as I dreamed I would… but when the day came the tears still did not. I spent so many of those early weeks waiting - waiting to be able to sigh that breath of relief but instead I sat in quiet reservation, almost waiting for the other shoe to drop. The NT ultrasound, the 20 weeks, making it past where I got sick with Caden, blood tests, kicks and bumps and wiggles… I’d take a breath and move onto the next step.

The minutes passed and I heard a tiny voice for a split second - he hadn’t even been born and only his head was out, but I knew that sound - that amazing, beautiful sound. I knew who that was and I felt a few tears roll off my face. I took a breath and held it once more. I heard someone mention the cord around his neck and to hold on as they unwrapped it. There was commotion and then there was noise - a loud, strong, beautiful cry of a life that just entered this world - That seconds before existed only within me. He sounded different than Caden - deeper. 3 years later and I could still remember exactly how my first baby’s first cry sounded.

The curtain dropped and I saw my beautiful, messy, perfect baby crying with his face all scrunched up and it was everything I ever dreamed. I finally exhaled and I just sobbed. I cried and cried - for all of it. I finally allowed myself to release every tear that never came - for the positive pregnancy tests, the flicker of a 6 week old heart beat, a healthy baby, for my beautiful, perfect, sweet little boy. And in the bright lights of that sterile operating room on that cold winter morning, with my husband at my newborn baby’s side and my first little boy safely at home, I smiled and all was right with the world. My sweet Parker was finally here and healthy - born at 9:59am, 7lbs, 14oz, 19.5 inches with Apgars of 9 and 9.Parker was then brought over to me - I wrapped my arm around him and snuggled my face to him and reveled in that moment for what seemed like days.

Steve went to the nursery with Parker and the anesthesiologist said he was going to give me something to take a short nap until I got back to my room. He put something into my IV - a minute or so passed and I was still asking my OBs all about what they were up to down there and I simply heard him say “maybe not”.
My doctors made mention of how nicely I heal and that my ovaries and tubes looked fantastic so that was a definite perk to the c-section.

Before long I was done and it was time to head back to my room - everything went perfectly so I didn’t have to go to recovery and was able to be monitored in my suite. We got back to the room before Parker was done in the nursery so my nurse slid the phone over to me so I could make calls if I wanted. I called my Dad and then my Mom and let her know she could come up in a few - and I heard her tears through the phone.

It was mere minutes that passed but it felt like hours while I had my eyes glued on the door. Finally it swung open and there stood a nurse “is that my baby!?” I sat up a little disappointed to only see her. She stepped into the room and behind her walked Steve pushing a bassinet. He lifted up a tiny little body and smiled, “he is like a feather”. He then placed that tiny little life in my arms and I was finally home.

Those first hours
At one point Parker started to cry and I snuggled him close and whispered to him as I did with Caden and he instantly calmed down. In so many ways I couldn’t and still can’t remember Caden as a baby, so it was amazing how every thing came flooding back to me. I smelled Parker’s sweet smell, I stroked his chubby cheek, and I took every bit of him in. And then I put him to my breast and he latched on immediately and perfectly. I thought Caden was easy to nurse but Parker had it down from the start.

Before long my Mom was here and she got to snuggle her newest grandbaby. A nurse soon walked in with a beautiful bouquet of white roses, blue delphinium, and a balloon from Steve and my Mom came with roses, clothes, and lots of yummy snacks.
I had requested before the surgery to be present for Parker’s first bath so the nursery brought down a warmer and once his temp was up they cleaned him and placed his beautiful warm body back into my arms.

We took pictures and texted and her husband, Charlie, came by to meet the littlest man, too. They didn’t stay long but their visit was nice and I was so proud to show off my littlest man.

After my Mom and Charlie left, the monitors turned off and the nurses gone, it was just the three of us. I sat and snuggled Parker and Steve and I smiled down at our little boy. As we were getting out of the car that morning I hit eject on the CD player and grabbed the first CD that popped out. We put it in the CD player, pressed play, and just sat in complete awe of the day with the music playing softly in the background - just the three of us on that perfect afternoon. The CD was Coldplay, X & Y and to this day Parker still quiets down and listens contently when every they are played.

The rest of the day we requested no visitors. It was just us and it was just perfect. Watching my husband take care of our son and take care of me I fell in love with him all over again. As a 2nd time dad he was completely at peace and comfortable in his new role - changing diapers, snuggling Parker close. He kept calling Parker his little peanut and couldn’t get over how light he was after living with an almost 3 year old. I couldn’t get over how blessed I was, how perfect this all turned out, and how every step along this path, every tear and every joy, more than paid off in the end. And for those hours on that cold winter day the world seemed still outside or door and nothing bad or imperfect could ever make its way in.

The days to follow.
The remainder of our stay in the hospital was a blur. Tuesday was non stop visitors but luckily that slowed down on Wednesday. At only 25 hours old Parker had his very first picture session and we cried when we saw the photos. He was so alert when he was awake and you could see him taking in every bit of his new surroundings just as we were taking in every bit of him. We were floating and so in love with this little being and so blissfully happy - I found myself feeling guilty at times that it wasn’t like this with Caden. We were exhausted and overwhelmed and hadn’t slept in days during his birth and while we were still in complete and utter amazement and love with him, this was just.. Different. We were calm, relaxed, rested and every bit of our souls poured onto our brand new baby boy. And with every second that passed I thanked the lord for how incredibly blessed I am.

Recovery for me went well and I was up and running as soon as they took that IV out of my arm. I did my hair and my makeup and changed my clothes. I sat and visited and was glowing and so very proud. I did have some pain issues late Tuesday night as the cocktail of meds and painkillers that were in my spinal fully wore off and I realized just how much I had been overdoing it, but an adjustment in pain meds and the promise to take it a little more easy and I was back to feeling alright. Around that time my blood pressure also started to skyrocket getting dangerously high at times on top of the previously HBP from the last weeks of my pregnancy. Luckily it came down enough and stabilized that while still high and still hypertension, I wouldn’t need to be put on meds at that point, and, after my eclampsia panel came back clear, I would be able to go home with some additional appointments and at home monitoring 3 times daily. By my 6 week check up my blood pressure had started to go back down and was out of hypertension and slowly returning to normal.

Steve and I would walk the halls of the maternity center with our baby boy in his bassinet. It was still so surreal to be back there. We walked past the suite we stayed in when Caden was born. We walked into the labor and delivery wing and past the room I had labored in almost 3 years prior. We walked and talked and smiled at all of our dreams for the future - for Caden, for us, and for this sweet new life sleeping soundly in the bassinet in front of us.

Visitor restrictions due to H1N1 prevented Caden from visiting us in the hospital and it broke my heart and was something I was very stressed out over leading up to Parker’s birth. Originally we were under the assumption that he would be able to come to the lobby and I could go out and see him, but in the end that wasn’t a possibility anyway. Steve had said there were a bunch of clearly sick people sitting out there one evening anyway (they had been denied entrance due to symptoms) so he wouldn’t have wanted me to go anyway. I broke down sobbing once after talking to Caden on the phone but he was fine and having fun and Grandma made sure to send photos. In the end I am actually kind of glad it worked out this way - while I would have loved to have been able to see Caden in the hospital and missed him terribly, we were allowed some time for just Parker that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. It helped that in the end Caden wasn’t the least bit upset. He was very happy to come home and see his Mommy and Daddy and was so in love with his baby brother once he met him, but he wasn’t upset or angry.

Heading Home
Finally Thursday came and we were all clear to go home, though it didn’t happen until 6pm that evening. Packing our belongings, signing the forms… it was bittersweet. I couldn’t wait to take my baby home, to see my little boy, to finally begin our journey as a family of four… but at the same time I couldn’t believe it was time. That the BFP, the pregnancy, the delivery, had all come and gone. That my sweet baby was here and healthy and so perfect.. And that he was already old enough to go home. I was sad to already see the days passing so quickly. Life after Caden was born moved faster than I could imagine. My pregnancy had come and gone in the blink of an eye. I knew that these next moments would pass all too quickly.

We picked up dinner on the way home and called my mom to bring Caden home to us. We quickly ate while Parker slept. I nursed him and snuggled him into his bouncer just in time for Caden to arrive. Caden was so happy to see his mommy and Daddy and beyond thrilled when he saw his baby brother. He kneeled down in front of Parker’s bouncer and peered in at him, “Hi baby!” he chimed as he blew Parker a kiss. He was so interested in this little person, just as we were, and has been every since. The love he has for his baby brother melts my heart. We did have issues with a bit of jealousy, especially when I would nurse Parker, but as the weeks passed things improved daily and were never “bad” to begin with. I have been impressed at just how well Caden.. All of us… are adjusting overall.

Steve was home with us for 2.5 weeks total and it was wonderful to sit held up in our house just the four of us. I will always remember those days and just how perfect they were. No obligations, no phone calls, just us and our boys snuggled up in pure bliss. I had looked forward to those days just the four of us my entire pregnancy and they were wonderful.

The days since
Eventually Steve returned to work and life has settled into our new sense of normal and we’re learning how to do things all over again once more. We definitely lucked out and Parker is a ridiculously easy baby. He loves snuggles and being held, currently snuggled into my chest, and while this makes it difficult to accomplish a whole lot some days we are more than happy to oblige. I find it all too easy to get lost in his big, dark eyes and he is always smiling and cooing. I am so very proud of both of my boys and couldn’t imagine a happier ending to this chapter of our lives and I am so incredibly happy and excited to begin the next.

Looking back
While a repeat c-section clearly wasn’t what I had hoped for and definitely wasn’t what I had planned - I can honestly sit back and say I am happy with how everything played out in the end. There will always be a part of me that will wonder and wish my body would have gone into labor, but in the end I did everything I could. Had my blood pressure held out a bit longer, if my fluid levels had been a bit higher… I think I would have liked to wait it out at least a few more days. But after Caden and knowing the risks.. They weren’t ones I was willing to take and waiting longer wasn’t an option for even me.
My main wish regarding Parker’s birth was for us to be healthy and happy. I didn’t want a traumatic birth, I didn’t want days of exhaustion, I didn’t want any harm to him. After Caden’s birth I was still able to look back on that day and see it as the wonderful miracle it was. After all we had been through, he was safe and sound and that day was the best of my life. After hearing from other c-section moms who could only see grief and pain and disappointment, I was so happy that I could look back and see joy and beauty. My biggest fear with Parker’s birth was that I wouldn’t be able to look back on his birth and feel the same way. I loved being pregnant - every bit of it. I was so incredibly grateful to get to experience a normal, healthy pregnancy and for all the memories made in those 41 weeks. I was terrified my perfect pregnancy would end with trauma or disappointment. But it didn’t. The day Parker was born was more beautiful and perfect than I imagined.

We do want another child and have already talked among ourselves and my doctors about when, given our past and such. I’m undecided if when the time comes I’ll try for a VBA2C, or if its even an option. But if not I am okay with it. I’d actually prefer not to go through the stress of trying to put myself into labor again, to feel like I’m racing a clock, worrying about placentas and breech babies and everything else. Prior to Parker I didn’t see how birth without labor could feel right. I didn’t think I could be okay with it. But in the end I don’t see how his birth could have been anymore wonderful. In the end I am reminded that the manner in which a child is born is only one piece of the puzzle, that we all must play the hand that we are dealt, and that life is what you make of it.

Its taken me so long to finally allow myself the time to really sit down and write this out - I feel as though I should end it with some profound statement or quote - but everything to be said already has been. I suppose to anyone who made it this far I owe a thanks, but I feel I owe everyone who has supported us through this journey that and hope to have that support in the years to come.

I think back to this time a year ago - we were packing our bags and getting ready to head on our first trip to the dells. I was at the end of my first clomid cycle and in a week would start the cycle that would bring me to Parker, that would bring us all to today. I look back and smile though a little sad to realize at just how much Caden has grown in just one year - he was still such a baby then and now is so much a boy. I think to the future - to all the firsts that this new year has brought and will continue to bring. I think about our next trip to the dells and I dream of the day we do this all again. I pray that this pregnancy has worked more miracles than the one sleeping sweetly beside me, that perhaps I will be one of the lucky ones who had my cycles reset.

But most of all I look around me - at my two boys, my husband, so many sweet memories framed and hung proudly on our walls. I look around and am forever grateful for all that I have been given. And I am forever blessed.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Welcome to the world, Sweet baby

On January 11, 2010 at 9:59am we welcomed our precious little boy, Parker Andrew, into this world. He and the days since have been everything I dreamed.

I have so much to say and so much I want to get down so I never forget - Like the way he stretches in the morning and gets his whole body into it, or how he sticks his bottom lip out if you brush is face with your finger while he is sleeping, how he smiles big gummy smiles while dreaming and the noises he makes while he is nursing. I never want to forget how perfectly he fits in our arms and how Steve and I have the hardest time putting him down. I always want to remember that first day, snuggled up with him in pure amazement of just how perfect he is, unable to take my eyes off him with the music playing softly on a cold winter day - and how for those hours the world seemed still outside our door and nothing bad or imperfect could ever make its way in.

I have so much to say… but for now I’ll enjoy the last hours and day I have held up in my perfect world with my husband and two amazing little boys as Steve has to return to work on Thursday. These past two and a half weeks have been nothing short of amazing and it makes me a little sad that the real world is already knocking on our door, that my sweet baby is already 2 weeks old, that my first blessing, Caden, already turned 3 this past Sunday. But seeing my first baby tuck his little brother in and lay on the floor talking to him, watching my newborn son sleep sweetly in his Daddy’s arms, and snuggling Caden while Parker nurses…. Life is so very good. And every step along this journey - every tear and every celebration, has more than paid off in the end.

I am forever thankful and forever blessed by all that I have been given.

Parker Andrew - 25 hours old

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