Saturday, January 30, 2010

um ... don't you have four kids???

why, yes - I do! Though you wouldn't know it by my previous posts huh ... so here's their turn, finally!

the boys ~

here's our "lil man" - Liam! He's nearing two and he is
talking up a storm! He's such a joy and such a little character!
Here he is, driving his "vroom" (aka car)!

and here's our sweet face Jericho! When he came to me looking like this,
I had flashbacks to my "preteen"/young teen years - lol! I HAD to snap
some pics! Jericho is so funny! He's always saying things that take us off
guard and/or make us laugh! A recent favorite was a few weeks back:
Annicka was acting up and daddy said to her, "you're gonna lose your
rights" ... then we hear Jericho pipe up, "yep ... and your lefts"!
He cracks us up!!!

and here he is the day he turned five! it was raining so much
that we couldn't do our "official" photos - so these ones had to do.
We went to Chuck E. Cheese, per his request - he had been waiting
to go for months! It continued to rain all week, then I had Zoey -
needless to say, his "official" photos have still not been done!

the girls ~

hmmm! apparently I haven't taken any photos of our Annicka
yet this year (with my camera, but granddaddy has been photographer
a few times and I know he has some) ... but she's here! She's nine years
old and can be - what's the word ... well - she can be anything! She's got
a sweet spirit and is very thoughtful in so many ways - she has a tendency
to be sassy with us, but has excellent behavior anywhere else!

and then of course, you've all "met" Zoey and learned about her -
so I don't need to go into detail about our precious new baby!

Six Days Old ...

Grandma's here! Gary's mom arrived yesterday, so last night we took her up to the hospital for her first visit with Zoey! All these special moments - it's so wonderful to have family here right now. The other kids, too, are absolutely loving it!!! ... and, yes - Zoey has parents - lol! Finally we got a couple shots of US with her! Just as we were putting her in her bed, she did this gaggy thing - it was pretty scary, but I actually stayed quite calm. We've been told that she sometimes relaxes her tongue and it slips back and chokes her - and we think that's what happened. We were sure to tell the nurse, but all is well - it's just one of those parts of it all.

Five Days Old ...

Nana's here! Nana came in late on the 27th and joined me at the hotel - I had decided to spend two nights at a hotel to be a little closer to Zoey. So, the next day I took my mom to see Zoey for the first time and of course it was "love at first sight" (naturally, that really happened when my mom first saw a photo). This was also a day Zoey was having photo therapy for her jaundice, aren't her little "tanning glasses" adorable!

Two Days Old ...


One Day Old ...

let's start at the very beginning ...

ok - well, not the VERY beginning! But, the beginning of this - our new blog! With the addition of our fourth child I decided to end my last blog (Gary and Me Plus Three) and start fresh with a new one! So, the "beginning" will be the story of our newest baby's birth:

The short story ~
We got to the hospital around 12:15am. Once up in labor and delivery, settled, and checked - I was at a 4. Lots of stuff to be done before any pain relief. Some time later, not too long - I was a 5. About an hour and a half of relief then the pain returned, I was at an 8. A short time later I was at a 10 and it was time! Zoey Grace Mabel was born at 3:36am. She weighed eight pounds, eight ounces and was twenty-one inches long. Her head was 13 1/4. She has very dark brown hair and the typical blue eyes of a newborn. She is absolutely beautiful!

The long story ~
All day friday I was having contractions - those of you on facebook remember my constant updates and wonderings if they were really real contractions. I finally called the doctor that evening to ask if I should go to the hospital and get checked - the contractions were strong enough to be "painful" and since I've never gone into labor on my own, I just didn't know how to interpret everything. My doc said not to go, as they were so erratic (anywhere from ten minutes to an hour apart) ... but to wait until they were painful enough that you "almost want to cry" and three to five minutes apart for an hour. UGH! That was my thought, I wanted to be at the hospital. I wanted to get checked. I was nervous that, being my fourth baby, things could potentially go very quick and the hospital is a good half hour away. The evening went on and it was getting later - I tried to lay down and relax, but just couldn't. I decided a hot shower was in order - and that way I could wash my hair, just "in case" I did end up going to the hospital. I gotta tell ya, that hot water felt so good - it was a LONG shower - lol! After my shower I tried again to lay down and relax, but suddenly I was getting contractions - every five minutes! After 20 minutes of them being consistently five minutes apart I got up and told Gary I wanted to go to the hospital, I even cried - they were really starting to hurt. He told me to lay down and relax and just wait. A couple more contractions and I was bugging him again, "I REALLY want to go to the hospital"! He tried to convince me that I just needed to lay down and relax, but I started getting more cranky and demanding about going. He took his time getting dressed, I packed the car and attempted to call the doc (only because Gary thought I should call first), but of course our phone chose that moment to be difficult - the answering service guy was only hearing every third word, then a contraction came on and I couldn't talk so I just hung up (and according to my dad, had some choice words for my phone - I don't remember that, I still think he just miss heard me). And yes, I had woken my dad by this point to tell him I was making Gary take me to the hospital. Finally we were off and what do you think my WONDERFUL husband said as I got into the car??? "I need gas". ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! All I could think was, you knew all day I was having contractions but you didn't bother getting gas earlier, ugh! Let's just say I had the joy of having many painful contractions in that '92 Honda Accord - the drive felt longer than ever! We got to the hospital and Gary ran in to get a wheel chair - it's a bit of a walk from the ER parking into the building - again, it felt like it took him forever. Once in the building I felt so embarrassed, by this point I couldn't mask the pain at all (you can call me wimpy) and here I am in the middle of an ER with all these people looking at me ... my favorite part was this guy who just wouldn't move his feet for us to get through the narrow path between chairs. Gary basically had to run over the man's feet! I distinctly remember putting my hand on my head and saying "oh my word" - I couldn't believe that people would just sit there like that. So, to the little window we finally got and they were doing everything they needed to do as we waited for someone from labor & delivery came down to get us. And then, off we went. You all know that I'm not much of one for "making a long story short" ... I think more often I make a short story long - lol! But I'll try here. Let's just say I was not shy about sharing the fact that I wanted "something" and I wanted it now. Of course, that didn't happen. Blood had to be drawn and results had to be in for me to get an epidural. And all sorts of other things, including getting the IV inserted, had to be done before they could give me ANYTHING! It felt like forever. Really. Really, it did! Finally they gave me something through the IV, it only barely made a difference - in my opinion. I had that twice and they told me that instead of an epidural I could have this other thing (can't remember what it's called, it's a three letter thing) - no results would be needed for this. It's like an epidural, but it's a single shot so it wears off in two to three hours. YES PLEASE! It still took a while, but finally I got that. Within twenty minutes that helped quite a bit. I could still feel one side of my abdomen contracting, but it was so much better and I got to relax a little. The baby did have some decelerations of the heart and I had to be on my left side and have some oxygen. Being on my left side made the pain stop completely for a bit, then I could feel it on the other side of my abdomen. By an hour and a half I could feel my whole abdomen again and I wasn't too happy about that. The contractions were solid by now so the pain just didn't stop. Gary keeps teasing me for my funny breathing and the fact that I kept saying "I don't like this" - if men only knew! (I guess someone asked if this was my first baby - ah ha ha ha) A little while of all that pain again and it was time! The nurse told me to push, but just as I started she told me to stop. Soon the doctor was there and I was pushing - five or six back to back pushes and guess what: we had a beautiful baby girl!

Zoey Grace Mabel
8 pounds 8 ounces
21 inches long
born at 3:36am

About Zoey ~
Our little Zoey has down syndrome. She also has a heart defect. She has been in the NICU since just after she was born. There were two extra people in the delivery room - a NICU nurse and another guy, can't remember his title ... they assessed her - her apgar was 8/9 - and bundled her all up and we got to hold her for just a quick cuddle. She has done well overall, however does get a bit tuckered out with stuff like eating. At this point she's having breastmilk by bottle and feeding tube, if she doesn't finish her meal within twenty minutes (cause she's getting tired) then they finish it off with the feeding tube. They wanted to be able to monitor how much she was taking in and how much she is putting out - as she wasn't peeing enough. She peeing more and has no problems with poo-ing! Her respiratory does sometimes go a little low or high on the monitor, but they aren't concerned with that. She's on monitors for respiration, blood oxygen level, heartrate, and carbon dioxide. She's had three IVs, but at this point isn't having to have one. Yesterday they turned off the heat in her bed to see how she'd do, but she didn't hold her heat too well - so back on it went. She's also had some photo therapy for jaundice! She seems to be a little fighter and has remained stable. She hasn't need oxygen or medication. She's is a sweetheart. I love her so much. It's so hard to have her a half hour away, I only get to see her once to three times a day ... but usually just once or twice! On the same token - bringing her home still feels a little nerve wracking! I have been told that she could come home within a few days, so pray peace over me! She will have to pass a "carseat challenge" first, as well as "nipple" all her feedings (meaning, no feeding tube)! All in God's time ... I don't want to rush her home, as much as I want her with me!

Prayers, prayers, prayers! SO many people our lifting our little Zoey up in prayer. Her heart condition will lead into congestive heart failure, that's just the nature of the problem. It's preferable to hold off surgery until at least three months of age - get them bigger and stronger ... but it's all dependent on how soon/fast the congestive heart failure sets in. It's a gradual thing, so again - that's "good". My prayers are just major wisdom for the doctors and nurses (ALL of them) caring for and reviewing test results, etc. on Zoey! Strength for me, strength for my husband, understanding for my children (they know very little - only that the baby has a "hole in her heart" - and Annicka has made comments about me seeing the baby, to her it seems like I'm going a lot) and just peace for ALL of our family and friends! Meals have been brought to us and I feel so truly blessed by all those surrounding me. Right now both my parents are here as well as Gary's mom and it's great.

So there ya go all - a new year, a new baby, a new blog!