Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Downright ticked

I’m offended. I’m outraged. I’m totally miffed about the current topics in the presidential campaign.

Is it about the economy? Is it about foreign relations and rebuilding the image of America to the world? Is it about health care for children and the uninsured? Is it about rebuilding our failing educational system? Is it about creating true energy independence? Is it about taking care of the world around us so that our children actually have a world to worry about?

NO. At least not in most of the media stories I see or the conversations I have hear/have regarding the candidates.

It is about gender. Excuse me? This is the president and vice president of the United States of America, not Mr. and Mrs. America.

Should Joe Biden focus on the total lack of experience Sarah Palin brings to the ticket? Does he have to be careful not to seem to attack a woman during a debate? Can Barak Obama not use a known statement (putting lipstick on a pig) originally used by John McCain about Hillary Clinton’s policies about John McCain’s proposed programs without being seen a being sexist?

The “coldest state, hottest governor” buttons are sexist not calling a VP candidate out about her blatant lies. Focusing on her being a mom and worrying about her ability to govern with a small child is sexist. Thinking I would vote for a Pro Life, aerial hunting, ANWR drilling, abstinence only touting, right wing nut just because she is a woman is insulting to my, (and every woman’s) intelligence. She is defiantly not a substitute for Hillary Clinton.

I am angry that just because she is a woman we have to focus on treating her like she is running for Miss Wasilla again instead of the Vice President of the United States of America. Do you think that President Ahmadinejad will hold back during a debate with her on nuclear proliferation? Do you think Kim Jong-il will agree to sanctions for fear of offending her as a woman? She has to be able to answer the hard questions anyone would ask of a candidate for vice president, especially one backing up a man two years away from the average lifespan of his gender.

People were perfectly comfortable asking Barak why he is qualified without it being about the color of his skin. He isn’t focusing on his race but on his ambition to make this country strong from homeland policies to foreign policies, from citizens of the US to global partnerships, from taking care of our economy with tax cuts to the middleclass to holding corporations accountable for their practices.

I will not get distracted by the right wing Swift boat politics. I want the hard questions to be asked of ANYONE looking to lead this country, both sides. It is time for this country to change and the only way we can make the change is if everyday citizens (workers, mothers, students, CEOs, teachers, social workers, doctors, lawyers, physicists, bankers, and so on) ask the hard questions, demand clarifications, and hold the politicians feet to the fire.

Do not be distracted from the mission; bring back the America that values all of us, not the one that works to divide us. Do not make decisions based on fear. Do not vote without ever asking what, why, and how. Be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Please vote but vote smart.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Case in Point

I just broke down like a blithering idiot to a perfect stranger about everything. I should be embarrassed, but I hope that I'm actually doing some healing. (Healing always requires tears for me.)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Finally, a little productivity

Yes, this weekend we finally managed a bit of productivity. In fact, one might say we're starting - JUST - to get the hang of this family/working/kid/daycare/dog-walking/keeping-our-life-together thing.

We're certainly not pros, but this weekend we found time to exercise the dog, run errands, relax AND waterproof the deck. Two nights in a row we've made lunches. I nearly got to work on time this morning after having myself a little run/walk with A and the dog on top of the usual morning duties. Tomorrow will prove to be a bit more challenging as I have an off-site and need to be early, requiring hands off the snooze button in the morning.

It finally feels like we've got our heads above the water.

This is what we bargained for. This is what we wanted. One thing I've not had time yet to blog about is just how our start to family life has left me feeling wounded and a bit bitter. I still cry every day. Not always a lot, but every day I get choked up at least for a minute.

Several folks have offered their admiration when they find out how I pumped so that our son could eventually be exclusively breastfed. They don't know that I have to. I need him to only drink 100% mother's milk because we missed out on so much for the first three months. I NEED something to be like I planned. I also don't want him out of our bed yet, even though we agreed. Even though E is ready to have her bed back. I want to snuggle him all day (which I can't do b/c I have to contribute to our mortgage) and all night. I never want to be away from him, and I want that time back. I want a do-over. I'm still pissed that it had to happen to us. I still feel like I was given more than I could handle. I still feel desperate sometimes, and I feel cheated.

I don't know if I'll ever get over it. I've had my struggles in life. My parents had a nasty divorce. I struggled with depression. My dad passed away when I was 21. Infertility and the complete lack of control it brought. None of those things compares to the pain I experienced with A's intestinal issues. One flash of a memory of those first days, and I am on the verge of losing it. I'm not healed from what we went through, even though he is a strong boy who came through it with flying colors. He seems no worse for wear because he is an amazing and resilient boy. But me? I'm scarred. I don't know if I'll ever be the same.

Well, that's not what I sat down to write... and really, in some ways that's only the tip of the iceberg. I know our story has a happy ending. I know we are far more fortunate than many. I know my A is OK. He laughs, rolls over, gives kisses, and coos all the time. He's a wonderfully amazing little boy who has blessed me beyond all of my expectations. I hope I never, ever, have to live through that kind of fear again. So, I guess feeling like we're getting some control over life is a pretty big accomplishment. It really was a good weekend.

Friday, September 5, 2008

We made it to Friday

I admit it: I've had a really hard week. It was a short week, but this one's been a bugger for me. I'm just not adjusting well to our new life. I hate that I have to leave my son at daycare. I have a lot of frustration at my job. I wish that we were closer to family. Throw in A's 4 month shots, and it's a recipe for tears and stress. Poor E, yesterday she was fielding teary calls from me, and picking up A from daycare because he was so crabby. I'm glad it's Friday.

A's 4 month check up did go well though. He's jumped up on the growth curve. He was hovering in the 10-15 percentiles for all of his measurements, but now that he eats all breast milk all of the time, he's jumped up to the 20-25 percentiles. So big!! Nothing else noteworthy, which is also a good thing.

So, here's to hoping that we have a relaxing and productive weekend. I need a mental break from work, and I need to get organized around the house. E would probably second that motion so that I'm not such a crazy person next week.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Weekend in Review

First of all I'd like to say that I love our minivan. We had my sister K and her husband B in town all weekend, and we could take one vehicle everywhere! Nice little bonus with the van. Seriously though, it is working out well for the entire family. I am nearly looking forward to our first big trip in it: it will be so comfortable!

We had a very nice weekend with our guests. Unfortunately, E wasn't feeling particularly well (and in fact is at home this morning still trying to recover.) She has a bit of a stomache bug. Hopefully she will be nearly back to 100% by tomorrow as I have to travel for work during the day and she may end up having A by herself for a while.

We always have a nice time with K&B. They bring their big neufoundland who wants to play with Gladys. Gladys, in turn, wants to ignore Olive. It's not the best system, but somehow they work it out so that both dogs end up having a nice time. I also dragged K to a cloth diaper store where we bought more covers. I loved every second of it. Now, we have enough covers to get us through the weeks at daycare. We have lots of fun covers too, which make A's little cloth diaper butt even cuter!

We don't have any guests coming any time soon. We are going to use our weekends to get the house more in order. We have lots of little projects that need attention, things that we had planned on focusing on this summer. Now that medical emergencies are behind us, we can focus on our family life for a little while. I. can't. wait.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My candidate

I would have voted for Barack two years ago, but now that we have a family, I don't understand how anyone with kids doesn't yearn for BO's world vision. We can only accomplish as much as we aim to. I am looking forward to leadership that is aiming to make this country a better place, for everyone.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cousins galore!

A is going to have another cousin. Another BOY cousin! My sister B just found out it's a boy!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The photo

This photo was supposed to be posted with the conception anniversary post. Thank you vee and jay for the lovely shirt!

and another one of his cool t-shirts!

lifelong Democrats!

and now just a cute close-up!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Minivan Driving Mamas

We bought it! A will have his first ride in it this afternoon when I pick him up from daycare. Daycare, by the way is going relatively well. We are still tweaking the schedule, but A seems happy. He has played the maracas, made a sign w/ his hand prints, and made a friend, Sh. They smile at one another and make faces during tummy time. Cute! Honestly, I still don't like it, but we're adjusting.

Sorry posts are so short, few, and far between... we're trying to get into a rhythm around here and have been consumed w/ the vehicle search/coping w/ only one vehicle and lots of places to go. Hopefully we can get into a rut for a little bit. It'd be a nice change!

Monday, August 18, 2008

1st day of daycare and a broken power cord

Yup. We dropped A at 8am. I cried. And cried. And cried. E is picking him at 2pm today, and we are going to attempt an alternative schedule starting tomorrow. I hope he's happy there. I can't think about it too much b/c I also need to be able to work today.

I wanted to update that last post w/ a great pic made possible by Vee & Jay. HOWEVER, our home power cord went out and I couldn't update. So, once that's fixed more pictures will be posted.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

One year ago today

my beautiful A was finally conceived.

We'd been trying for over two years, nary a glimmer of success. We winged it that month. Fertility signs were on the high side and we decided to forego the drugs, order Bernard as we called our swimmers, and go for it. The morning they were to arrive, E missed meeting Fed Ex. At work, I felt my ovaries go. I called E, panicked. We rushed to Fed Ex, picked up our swimmers and did the deed at 2:30 in the afternoon.

That day, the most wonderful being was created, and we didn't even know it yet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Another countdown begins

Grandpa leaves in one week... that means A starts daycare in one week. Wow. I'm nervous.

I think we will probably appreciate getting into and being able to stay in a routine. I'm sure that he'll eventually really like going to "school". Still, in one week, our four month old peanut goes to day care. I wish we had more options.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Keepin on

Quite the lively conversation in the comments from our last post! Erin thought we should probably start burning coal in the back yard, at least until we get the minivan squared away. I think we should burn old tires instead. Thoughts?

Sorry for the lack of posts. We're chugging along here at the Village, just kind of busy. Grandpa is here, hanging out with A all day long. They read stories, do tummy time, sit in the Bum.bo and walk Gladys. I'm not sure who is having more fun! I'm back at work, and our lives are starting to feel - dare I say it? - normal! Going back to work hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be. I would still rather be with A, but I like working too.

On the minivan front, I think we're probably going to go shopping next weekend. This weekend, we decided, spur of the moment, to put a bunch of stuff we don't want in the front yard and see if anyone will buy it a la "yard sale". We're not putting much work into it, just enough to sell some clothes, barstools and a few other things. Come on big money!

I really am enjoying the idea of a relatively drama-free life for a few months. We are looking for homeostasis, and I think we're approaching some semblence of balance. We've got some kinks to work out, like a bed time schedule and getting prepared the night before, but we're getting there. I'm just so happy to be worrying about these sorts of issues. Speaking of which, A keeps leaking out of his cloth diapers. Tips? Tricks? Info? Resources?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Firetrucks and cloth diapers

Friday morning, E ran our run-around-the-town car into a firetruck responding to an emergency. She was ok, just lost our entire front end of our nearly classic H.onda Acc.ord (1992.) Thankfully, the insurance company let us make our late payment as we were making the insurance claim. (Still not sure how I overlooked that bill, but I guess we've had a bit going on over here.) Crisis averted!

So, Saturday, we decided to pre-shop for a minivan. We don't know that we're going to be buying a vehicle, and we sure didn't plan on spending that money at this point, but if the old car is going to be totaled.... so, we test drove some real family vehicles. Wow! Nothing says "cool 30-somethings" like a 2004 minivan. Definitely not "cool" in terms of image, but wow are those things functional!! Lots of space for people AND things. Gladys could lay on the floor! We would have room to grow our family (god willing.) So, we'll see what the insurance company says about the other car, but we may end up w/ a minivan yet this year.

In other news, we finally got around to enacting, albeit only partially, our cloth diapering plan for A. We spent most of today changing cloth rather than disposable. It felt good to be using something theoretically a bit more sustainable, but mostly it felt right to be doing something that we ACTUALLY PLANNED for A.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Progressing nicely

A is doing wonderful. The first day home, Wed, he was severely cranky and what seemed to be uncomfortable. He was straining do to gas and bowel movements. He was sent home on Re*glan to encourage his bowels to open up and flow. Well, we took him off of it and he is now a happy content pooping smiling baby. We both just felt like the drug was not necessary AND upsetting him. So far it proves to be the right decision.

S’s mom and grandmother are here until tonight and have been a great support and wonderful company. A’s great grandmother held him the entire day yesterday as S and her mom worked to get the house back in order after a wild and busy month. Thanks C and D!

My dad will be retuning on Sunday so A can have a few more weeks of recovery before starting daycare. Family is great!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


yup, we're home.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hospital: Tuesday - Update

Rumor has it that we'll be heading home tomorrow!!!!!

Hospital: Tuesday

A is now off of his IV. We are still working on feedings. He is progressing much more slowly than anyone had anticipated, but he's progressing and that is what we are happy about. Of course, we are rarin' to get out of here. I think tomorrow is overly optimistic, but hopefully on Thursday we'll be headed home. That may be optimistic too, I don't know.

In better news, A laughed for the first time. He laughed at Mutti. She was the most hilarious thing he'd ever seen. Of course, he was the best thing WE'D ever seen. It was fantastic!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hospital: Sunday - Still slow and steady

A is doing quite well. This morning, the surgeon decided to up his feeds to 2 oz every two hours. The hope is that he tolerates them well and that we can go to ad lib feedings tomorrow (eating whatever he wants when he wants) as that will require more volume tolerance.

So, we know we aren't leaving here anytime before Tuesday. E probably has to go back to work before then, but I am staying out on leave until we go home. Grandpa is leaving today and Grandma (my mom) is coming this evening. Gladys misses us terribly and we're tired of sleeping on the worst couch EVER. Plus, A is getting kind of bored. Unfortunately, he's still hooked to an IV, so we can't do too much about the boredome.

Obviously, since I have the mental capacity to complain about these sorts of things,
A is healing well. We spend our days passing him back and forth for cuddles, singing songs, staring at his mobile (brought from home), and reading poetry books. A is ready for a change of scenery, but the days actually pass quickly, especially now that we feed him every 2 hours (which means we change his diapers every two hours too!)

Thank you again for all of your good hopes and thoughts. We are very fortunate to have such wonderful virtual friends.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hospital: Friday - Slow & Steady wins the race

We've had another up and down day. The day started off with a nice big poop and the removal of the nose tube. That was followed up by some green throw up (felt like a major setback.) The surgery team did not put the tube back in, though. Instead, we received word around 4pm that A was allowed to EAT!! Not much, but an ounce every 2 hours is significantly more than he has eaten in 5 days!!!!

We'll see what tomorrow brings. One day (one step even) at a time. We are making progress with ups and downs along the way. Slow and steady wins the race though, and A is an absolute super star!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hospital: Thursday #2- I think we'll call this progress

A had a real live poop today. Apparently, the previous ones were not what we were looking for, as today he had a nice big one that impressed everyone from the nurses to the nurse practitioner and the surgeon himself! A hates diaper changes (lots of cream for his never-before-pooped-on bottom), but his moms love them when they are full of his very first poops EVER.

We have received word that we will liklely remove the tube from A's nose tomorrow morning. There is an outside chance of feeding tomorrow afternoon (don't get carried away now!) Furthermore, the surgeon believes that rather than starting A back on his special formula (and working up to breastmilk), we will start him back on breastmilk when we move to real food!!!! (He will have to be on pedi.alite first, then a half-strength mix, and then on to the real stuff.) This is particularly uplifting for me, as you all know I've been religiously pumping since A was born. Not sure I'll be able to supply 100%, but at this point I should be kind of close.

So, things feel like they are finally moving. We are hanging in there ok. We had hoped to be further along by now, but the excellent progress today has lifted everyone's spirits. No one is in a rush to put food down, though, b/c the surgeons don't want us to overload A's system and give us a bigger set back. So, good news around here. Thank you for all of your love and support - we needed it (and still do a bit, I'd say. We're not done yet.)

ALSO, HUGE thank you to GRANDPA who is with us for each up and down while also holding down the fort over on D Drive. Gladys is well-walked & loved; the mail is piling up on the counter rather than the doorstep, and - most importantly - Erin and I have the freedom to focus on A and his healing. THANK YOU, Grandpa!!

Hospital: Thursday

Still no real reports around here. A is getting tired of being hooked up to so many things, but his intestines aren't "waking up" very quickly. He is healthy, just healing very slowly. Our spirits are ok. We are anxious for A to feel better. He just. doesn't. feel. good. And that's hard for his moms.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hospital: Wednesday

We're still here, at about the same place we were yesterday, which is frustrating. Everyone is doing ok, though we are wishing things were progressing more quickly.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hospital: Tuesday #2- The afternoon

A is doing much better this afternoon. They've played a bit with his pain meds, and in general he's quite a bit more comfortable, which means we are too. Nothing big yet in terms of news of his healing. We are waiting for bowel sounds, and according to the nurse we are still waiting, "for his tummy to wake up."

Erin and I just ran home for a shower, dog walk, and a run to the grocery store for snacks in our room. We're doing relatively well, and are optimistic that A will show signs of healing tomorrow.

Of course, thank you for continued support. We're hanging in there!

Hospital: Tuesday #1- It's gotta get better

We had a very rough night. A's pain is not under control. In spite of his epidural, which is "delivering" the maximum amount of pain medication he can safely tolerate, he has severe spikes of pain roughly every two hours. He woke us throughout the night with piercing screams of pain. Erin and I took turns consoling him while his night nurse administered an extra boost of pain control at each of these intervals.

Thus far, we are expressly disappointed in how A's pain has been relatively neglected. The pain team has been contacted several times. After several contacts, they sent the resident up who looked at his epidural site and claimed it looked "normal". She said she's seen many with much more drainage than A's. Though that calmed us at the time, it soon became clear, as we entered the wee hours, that something was NOT normal.

This morning, the surgical team came in for rounds. They examined him and said he is looking good so far, though they didn't hear much in the way of bowel sounds (our first milestone). They were, again, made aware of A's pain situation and they agreed to contact the pain team themselves to discuss this problem. They also wrote for another medication that was explained to us like "Mot.rin". In addition, he does receive Ty.lenol by mouth every 6 hours.

Our nerves are rather rattled over here. We slept very little, taking turns working to console our little guy. The accommodations aren't exactly comfortable to begin with, but add in the stressful interuptions, and both of us are a bit on edge. He is now peacefully sleeping in Mutti's arms, and we've hit the 2 hour mark where the pain usually wakes A up, so perhaps some snuggles are helping. Soon, we're hoping to have a more effective plan for pain management in place. A deserves better than this.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hospital: Monday #3 - Nearly time for sleeping

Today was a long day. Surgery. Recovery. Then, we spent the afternoon wrestling with A's pain management. He was in a considerable amount of pain, and was intermittently screaming all afternoon. E and I finally demanded some more attention on how A was doing (after bringing it up several times), and they upped A's dosage of pain meds just a little bit. It did the trick. He is truly resting for the first time today.

E and I are about to sleep for the evening too. We've heard rounds come early in the morning, and we're anxious to get this recovery train on track. A is absolutely amazing. He is strong, loving, and incredibly beautiful through all of this. He is showing his moms how to push through difficult times and come out on top. He doesn't deserve this, but he is certainly navigating the entire experience with a resilience that I've never before seen. Absolutely amazing.

Hospital: Monday #2- Out of Surgery

A is out of surgery and is resting.

They took A this morning at about 6:40 down to surgery prep. Erin and I went with. We left him around 7:40 so that he could head to surgery. We did not hear anything until 9:30 when we learned that the surgery did not start until 8:40 since they had to anesthetize etc... He had an epidural as well as general anesthesia. He also had an additional IV put in because they can put in larger IVs when babies are sleeping as their veins are more dilated.

We received word around 10 that they were finishing up and Dr. L would be up to speak with us. He came up at about 20 after and gave us a good report. He will have to go back in about 10 days to have stitches removed. L cleared out adhesions (scar tissue) that had formed due to the blockage and surgery from before (this is normal) and then reconnected him. He has "lots of intestine" to work with, so his prognosis is very good!

We anticipated being able to see A around 1045, and were not able to do so until nearly 1130 because A had an apneatic spell when he arrived in recovery. It was an isolated incident and required that we stay a bit longer in recovery for extra monitoring, but since he is ok we are now up in our room.

A is clearly uncomfortable at this time. His pain meds have been increased and he is now resting more peacefully. I held him for a bit down in recovery, but since he is sleeping soundly now in his bed, we are letting him be for the moment. We are expecting more visits from Dr's yet today to check in on him and his pain.

Erin and I are mostly feeling relieved. When A is no longer in pain, we will feel much better, of course.

Thank you to all,
Sara, Erin & A

Hospital: Monday #1 - waiting for surgery

We slept less than we'd like to, but A slept through the night. He was a champ through the hospital hullabaloo (checking vitals, screaming children outside etc....) A is now stirring, and we're waiting for surgery to come and get him. They should be here any time now. We're dressed, and we are ready to go down to surgery prep with him until we go to the OR waiting room.

More later.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hospital: Sunday in Review

We are here, and we are doing well. Our anxiety grew as the minutes ticked by this afternoon. By the time we left the house (20 minutes late - probably not so unintentionally on our part), we were both wrecks. Our conversation topics in the car went something like this:
  • We don't have to do this, do we? We can just skip it, right?
  • This means the end of the ostomy bag! No more poop bag!
  • He's so happy; this seems absolutely unfair to him.
  • I don't want to do it. I can't do this. I can't either.
  • We can do this. We have to do this. He is our strong boy.

And so on, for 20 minutes.

Now, it's 8 hours later. Every one of those hours has flown by. A now has a tube down his nose delivering "Go Lig.htly" to "clean him out". He also has an IV line for fluids. Soon, he will receive antibiotics in the nose tube. We are able to feed him a mix of electrolytes with the bottle until 4am, so he will continually feel full. They will take him around 6am, probably. Surgery is at 730am and will last 2-3 hours. After he is released from recovery, he will come back to the room with us.

Already, much of my anxiety has dissipated. I have somehow faced many of the hospital demons that have been haunting me since this ordeal began. Now that we're here, I'm in the swing of the things. I know how this works (even though we're at a different hospital.) I know about hospital time. I know how to ask for what I want. We know how to advocate for our son. I don't like seeing the tube down his nose (and I couldn't watch them put it in. Thankfully, E was able to stay with him.) I don't like that he is not comfortable, and I really don't like the kid wailing down the hall. The demons, though - they're gone.

This stay is not like last time. There is not the same amount of unknown. No, I don't want to be here, but we are here as a family. We are going through this together, and this time I know my son. We know our son. When it is all over, he will wake up and see the parents that he now recognizes and loves. I'm still anxious about surgery, of course, but I feel a hope that I feared would not surface. We will resume our lives and truly put this behind us. I think I know that now, and it comforts me.

Marching toward the Light

We are home from the wedding. We arrived circa 8pm last night - a bit haggard, but doing alright. A was a trooper the entire time, and so was E. It was a huge wedding, and it required a lot of people working really hard at the very end. Someday I'll post about the photographer debacle, but mostly things went off without a hitch: certainly, everything had a happy ending.

On the way home yesterday, a sense of what was coming hit really hard. The wedding had been quite the distraction, which was probably a good thing. It was something that we had to get through before we check in to the hospital, before A's big day tomorrow. I'm kind of glad that the wedding was this weekend rather than last, so that we didn't have as much time to sit and stew over what is coming.

Today is hard already, and it's just beginning. We are going to church and then to brunch. After that, we have to pack him up and head on in. Surgery is tomorrow morning. I feel the minutes ticking by, and I'm scared to death. I'm scared about how I'll feel seeing him, and I'm a little scared too about things that can go wrong. I don't want to have to spend time at the hospital. I don't want to be separated from my baby by tubes and wires. I don't want a tube down his throat/in his mouth/in his nose. I don't want him to have to be poked. He can't understand what's happening, and I can't explain it to him: that things will be better when this is all over.

I'm trying to see the other side, the light at the end of tunnel, so to speak. We will keep this blog as updated as possible, of course. Ugh, let this be over soon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Excitement and dread...

This troupe is off on a new adventure tomorrow. We will be heading the MI again for S’s baby sister’s wedding. This time we are taking the ferry from Milwaukee to Muskegon. It’ll be A’s first boat ride. We will have a busy few days of it; rehearsal, hair appointment, pictures, wedding, reception, gift openings and back on the ferry before you know it.

We come back on Saturday late in the evening. We will spend that evening getting ourselves ready to check into the hospital on Sunday. A has to be there for a day to clean out his intestines in preparation for surgery. The actual surgery is on Monday morning, we are not sure what time. They say it will take up to 3 hours. Following that we are looking at about 5-7 days in the hospital to be sure everything is working correctly.

I have to say, I am full of a strange feeling of excitement and dread. As I think back to his first surgery I was in such a daze that it was all happening I felt out of control. This time I definitely feel like the lead up time has allowed me to analyze and evaluate my feelings toward the surgery. So the clarity lends itself to a different mindset, however that is not the only factor. This time I actually know the kid. I mean, at two days old you are still getting over the shock of having a baby and what is expected of you. We didn’t know the little things like, he loves to have his hands close to his face for comfort. Now I know how to make him smile and laugh, when he is hungry, when he is tired, how to burp him, and much much more. I think this is what terrifies me the most, seeing him post surgery in a sedated state with a breathing tube and knowing he isn’t getting what he needs or wants. It turns my stomach.

On the other hand, I’m excited. This is the end of the ostomy bag. This is the end of fights with the medical suppliers about how many tubes of paste we can get at once. This is the end of A’s illness and the beginning of him having an opportunity to grow without (after a while) a million doctor appointments. It is the beginning of the end for special formula (hopefully) and the beginning of full breastfeeding for S. Now we will not be saying things like, “well, he has to wear a button onsie or his bag will show”. It is the start to so much. I just pray it all goes as planned.

Monday, July 14, 2008

This is it

Today is The First Day Back At Work. I've slept about 4 hours due to anxiety, and I'm going to pack up this morning and leave my boy for the first time since the NICU. Makes for a fantastic start. I'm glad Grandpa is here, as I know A is in capable and extraordinarily loving care....but I'm still not looking forward to it.

Feel free to send me a little extra thought here and there today. I will probably need a few boosts throughout my first day back.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Slipping Away

This is a hard week for me. I go back to work on Monday, and a week following is A's surgery. My tears are flowing... I don't want to go back to work and leave my baby. I don't. want. to. go. I'm starting to concoct all kinds of alternatives - none of which could happen by Monday - so that I don't have to leave him. Throw in the looming surgery in a week and a half and you have a bonified basket case over here.

The time is slipping by. So much change is afoot that all I want to do is curl up in my bedroom with my little boy and hold onto him.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ahhh home *Updated w/ Pics*

Pictures to detail our fab vacation coming...hopefully tonight...

We arrived home yesterday late afternoon after stopping on our way at Aunt J's to pick up the bridesmaid dress I'll be wearing in two weeks for my baby sis's wedding. (she's not a baby anymore at 25, I guess.) Vacation required good time in the sun, plenty of yard games, a little wine tasting, and oodles of quality time with family.

A met his cousins on my side, and they adore him! G swam her heart out w/ her dog-cousin Olive, and E won the big croquet tournament while also feeding A. She's a multitasking champ too! It was rejuvenating to spend a week with family, and I look forward to it again next year.

It is, however, also good to be home.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Here I sit

in Chicago airport, alone, waiting for the final leg of my flight to Memphis. Only three hours ago I said goodbye to my wife and son for the first time since his birth. I will be away from them both for five days (that is a lot of growth I'm missing). Needless to say, I'm feeling a bit sad.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Moms on the Go

I don't have time to be posting right now... I'm a mom-on-the-go. Well, I don't know about that, but we certainly have a lot going on. We are leaving this afternoon for nearly two weeks. We are driving to MI, where E is catching a flight to Memphis for work. I will be staying w/ my sisters to throw my baby sis her wedding shower. Then, we leave for vacation on Saturday (and E flies back on Sunday to join us). My entire family- 3 sisters & their families, mom and her partner - are all renting a house on a lake for the week.

So, we've been running like crazy, getting A's special formula together (Wal.greens messed up the order - fingers crossed it comes in today or we won't be leaving.) That's on top of getting all of his medical supplies packed and ordered (Wal.greens home care... again messed up the order and we are having it sent to my sisters house across state lines... a whole additional mess...) All of this on our first vacation w/ an infant. So, we've been on the go for a week readying our household for this major undertaking. Luckily, Gladys is easy to pack. She's happy with a Fris.bee and some treats - no worries that she'll poop on a bunch of outfits every day!

So, posting may or may not happen in the next week, but then we're definitely going to be scarce the week following. Have a great 4th, and we'll be back soon!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Feeding my baby

I definitely underestimated the power that feeding my baby has over me. I've never been satisfied in feeding my baby. Of course, E and I were so committed to breastfeeding that she was working on lactation as well. We had planned to nurse A until he was a year old and thought that two of us working toward that end would make it all the more likely that we would give him the best start in life possible.

Of course, you all know of our bowel ordeals. Now, A is on a predigested formula that costs a bazillion dollars (not covered by insurance yet/still....) Instead of proteins, he gets amino acids and instead of fats, he gets fatty acids. When A's stools are within reasonable volume (as in, he is not "dumping"/having increased output and is therefore absorbing an appropriate amount of his nutrients and water), we are able to mix in a bit of breast milk so that he hopefully gets some of the good stuff from it as well.

All of this is somewhat painful for me. Of course, the surgery and the not-knowing around it were nightmarish. That aside, I have all of these issues around A's eating. I pump 6-8 times a day trying to keep up my supply. I feel desperate to try breastfeeding once he is reconnected. Feeding him now is unsatisfying to me - and how selfish is that?! His nutrition is not about me. Yet, I am struck by how I cannot feed my child.

I am not able to focus on the positives: that we no longer have to feed him in a regimented style where we feed according to a three hour schedule and to the most precise cc of formula. Now, he does get to eat when he's hungry, and we are able to give him some breastmilk... but it doesn't feel like enough to me. I want to hold him and feed him. I want to nourish him. I wish his surgery was this week so that we could be done with all of this. I'm tired anyways, all of this pumping is just overwhelming.

Of course, I also cannot stop pumping. I hate it. I hate every second of it. If I stop, though, I'll never get to just feed my child. That's what I want more than anything: those quiet moments of connection where I am giving him something that cannot be bought in a store, or manufactured by a pharmaceutical company. It is what I can do for him that no one else can. I'm glad that my pumping is used somewhat now, but I want the day where no intermediary (pump/bottle) is necessary to deliver the goods.

I know it's random. I'm just having a hard day.. time to go pump...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday & the week ahead

We had a lovely weekend. We were productive in that we did a bunch of shopping for our upcoming vacation. Then, yesterday, we went to the campus union where we played dominoes, drank beer and people-watched. Perfect thing to do.

This week is already proving to be a bit busy. Today, I started the practical process of my name change. I started at the SS office, where they could not fit both of my "middle names" into the slots, so my official name w/ the SS office is missing one letter. HOWEVER, the lady in the window was fantastic b/c for whatever reason, the name as it appears on the card had enough characters and will appear correctly. Weird, but yahoo! She suggested, though, that I change the rest of my afternoon plans: rather than head on to the DMV, she said I should wait until my new card appears so that I don't have any difficulty getting the name I want on my driver's license. So, first step is taken care of - 39,413 left to go w/ this name change. (Ugh!)

Tomorrow, I have a mommies group (I LOVE my mommies' group - future blog, I suppose!) After that, I have my (finally) 6-week check up post birth. Never mind that A is 8.5 weeks old. Alas. Friday A gets his first round of vaccinations. This upcoming weekend, we will be packing and planning for a very large vacation - nearly two weeks. Never a dull day around here!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


SCATTERGORIES - it’s harder than it looks! Play here or play on your blog. Saturday is game day!

Use the first letter of your name of your street to answer each of the following. (if your street name is a number use the first letter that spells the number. If you live on Fifth Avenue then your letter should be F) They have to be real places, names, things - nothing made up. You can not use your own name for the boy/girl names.
  1. What is the name of your street? D****t
  2. A 3 letter word? Dog
  3. Something you would find in an office? Desk
  4. Something that smells bad? Doodoo
  5. Movie Title? Days of Thu.nder
  6. Slow Dance Song? Drive
  7. Something in your pantry? Dust
  8. Name of a pet turtle? Daphne
  9. Fetish or Phobia? Darkness
  10. something you would find in your medicine chest? Deodorant

Feel free to play along!

Friday, June 13, 2008

I can't believe it

Maybe this shows we're kinda nerdy over here, but Tim Russert passed away today. Wow, and during such an historically politcal year.

Add to that all of the flooding around here... did you see Iowa??! Houses actually washed away here in Wisconsin, and in the same flood an entire lake drained away! It's all very humbling: as much as humans think we control this world, mother nature shall have her way.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Life as it is now

For three years, E and I worked to get here, to get to this place where we have this marvelous baby boy. I whole-heartedly confess to you all that every second was worth it. Every. Last. Second. I couldn't have imagined how complete I now feel, and I'm loving it. Every. Last. Moment.

I'm absolutely in love with this boy:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Smiley baby

A is smiling now. We love every one of them. I didn't do a great job capturing on camera, but you see the glimmers in these. Also, yesterday, we celebrated E's birthday. Happy Birthday, my love!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

A meets his Cousins!!

J (cammo) and A (red & white stripes) are just 3 weeks apart! M is going to be 4 in July.

We had a great weekend: brunch, farmer's market and the zoo! Thanks for visiting!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

5 weeks

A is 5 weeks old (almost 6)! Yesterday we had a pediatrician visit. A is now 8 pounds 7 ounces! He is growing like a weed! The doctors are continually impressed with his progress and are encouraged about how he will come out of this!

We have been busy busy. S’s sister K came into town over the weekend and we had a great visit! A few days before she got here our good friend C stopped in on her way from CA to MI! A loves hanging out with his Aunts!

This coming weekend we have my whole family coming. My brother, sister-in-law, and their two kids are bringing grandpa! We are excited as we have not met our new nephew J and they have not met A yet! I just hope the weather holds up.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

First Day in Court

Tomorrow, we go to court as a family. We will, officially, all have the same last name after the court allows me to take E's name.

I used to think that this was going to be a big deal. Funny how perceptions can change.

Congratulations to us!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The weekend update, in pics

We had a great time at the Farmer's Market this weekend, and Gladys had a great time hanging with A too!

Friday, May 16, 2008

First outpaitent doctors appointment: Updated

We are going to the surgeon's clinic today for our first check up since the NICU! We both think little A has gained weight and is growing like a weed. Fingers crossed that that is the truth!

He has been verosusly hungry in the past few days. We are on such a tight feeding regimen it is hard to sooth him. Hopefully we will have more clarity on how to increase his feeding as he grows!


HE GREW! We left the hospital weighing 6 pounds 12 ounces and now he is 7 pounds 7 ounces! They say he is looking great! We are so proud of him.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Who woulda thunk....

As S, A, my dad, and I sat on the deck yesterday eating dinner we couldn’t help but think about what a year has brought us. One year ago that deck was being built, S was starting a new job, we were planning my 30th birthday BBQ, looking forward to my brother’s family’s visit and a very very busy summer. We were also, anticipating yet another failed TTC cycle.
My, what a year has brought us, many good and many difficult.
Who woulda have thunk ,
• my brother and cousin reported their wives pregnant within weeks of each other.
• we’d be successful at TTC.
• S would have lots of morning (all day) sickness.
• I would consider co-lactating.
• we would have a boy!
• we would struggle to name the boy.
• I would start taking birth control.
• S would find pregnancy not nearly as romantic as she thought it would be.
• despite taking great care of herself during pregnancy the baby sugars attacked.
• instead of being the average of 8 days late for a first pregnancy our baby came 3 weeks early.
• S’s water would break without any other sign of labor.
• we would have to induce.
• 36 hours after begin home with our new baby we would end up in the ER.
• our baby has a freak intestinal volvulus.
• we watch our baby wheel off for surgery at 58 hours of life.
• our baby has an ostomy.
• we check out of the hospital and go home, again.
• our baby got dehydrated and dipped below 6 lbs.
• we checked back into the hospital.
• we stay in the NICU for another two weeks.
• our baby can’t tolerate breast milk.
• our baby is on formula because he can’t absorb nutrients.
• we are sent home for the third time
• I give up on co-lactating after months of prep due to not wanting another thing to manage for the next month.
• we’d still have more to go….
The good news about all of this, is that A is perfect, wonderful, adorable, sweet, and my favorite boy in the world. We didn’t anticipate any of that stuff but every bit of it is worth it because he is our son. I am totally and utterly in love with him! Just look at him!