Saturday, January 31, 2009

Jordan's First Haircut!

Jordan got his first haircut today! He is so grown up and well on his way into the terrible two's (see Pre -pro wrestling in my mudroom!), though he seems to want to help me do everything.....

It is a lot like the Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde transition, and it usually involves him throwing himself on the floor and a lot of screaming!!!!!

But today he sat so still and wonderful as Miss Sarah at our local Custom Cuts cut his hair for the very first time (she even managed to beat all of his siblings to it also!)

It really wasn't that long, but it could use some clean up along the edges. Sarah and Jordan both did a great job!

We celebrate before the hair cut excursion with lunch at our Chinese restaurant with five of the seven kids. (Grandma has 2 and Emerson is still in the NICU) The kids love to eat Chinese, though I am still not sure that sweet -n- sour chicken is not just a chicken McNugget in disguise. Devon and Colin love the lo mein the best! It is so much fun to see Devon eat the rice and the lo mein!

We also went shopping at Kohl's...... boy do I love their family bathroom!!!!! Devon and Colin were so intrigues with the "little" kid's potty in it...... they both tried it out and then flushed it several times in the time it took me to change all five of them.

Colin just found the little potty so "cool" ....actually so did his mom....... he flushed it several times as well as put several pieces of toilet paper down it before actually trying it out with his bottom! By the way did I mention he is potty trained enough to only use toilets he "likes"...... I guess I need to get Dad and school to get one of these potty's! Maybe that would make it easier!

We also went to home depot to buy the lights to put up under the kids loft!....... I stayed in the car with the kids and pumped milk for Emerson.....while Eric went shopping in our favorite store (even Colin & Jordan know it is the "cool" store!). I am really starting to hate pumping!!!!!!! And it is so hard to do that unobtrusively (I can breast feed without hardly anyone knowing, but hooking up the "robo" suckers and having a huge bag attached and the "pumping" noise is almost as dead a give way that something is up as the fact I have huge pointed / funny shaped breasts and a shirt straining to try to cover it up! (NO PICTURE THE CENSORS WOULD KILL ME!)

OK! You actually know your little one has been in the NICU too long when...........

  • you walk past an air compressor and start dripping milk
  • you know what the cafeteria is serving and it is on a 21 day rotation
  • you know the maintenance staff by first name
  • you have learned at what time to get there to get the good parking spaces
  • the front lobby guard knows your name and the receptionist starts printing your tag before you get there
  • you feel like the only reason your some likes you is that you are "bringing" the milk!

  • and you are counting the hours till you can bring him home!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The mudane and the utterly ridiculous!

Besides my spelling ability! There are so many things in life that you are required to do...... just to check it off on a piece of paper so someone can justify their job or some thing that it literally can cause me to scream!


Today I found out all the things I have to do to get my son out of the hospital. Ironically the least of which is him actually breathing on his own!

Eric and I (now remember Eric could not even have his name on the baby till I got discharged from the hospital he was baby boy LEAHY-SMITH!) have to take CPR classes ; watch different 2 videos, have our car seat checked and go to a preemie bonding class.

The CPR class makes sense to me (except we are both already certified cause of the adoption and good through April) ..... but they don't have a spot for "have cards/or currently certified" so we have to take it miss 2 hours of our life....... then we have to watch a video on car seats and another on shaken baby syndrome.

Again irony of irony...... we have seven kids, I just bought 6 new car seats (I now have 8 of them)........ $220 each for the van........ they are great ones (radian 80.....5 point harness to 80 lbs and goes as low as 5 lbs) and I love them!
I have been using car seats for almost 9 years now and I find it ironic to watch a video on how to install, and why we need to use them. I honestly think I could pay a semester (possibly 2) of my nanny's college tuition with the dollars I have spent on car seats over the last 8+ years!!!!!. HECK I wish we had seats that restrained them in other places too (like restaurants or the ball game or the zoo)

But that also could be why I have to watch shaken babies..... course again after 7 kids, five home studies and all our adoption classes you would think that this has been covered and we have at least proven our ability to parent without this.... but alas I guess that 35 minute video will fix this ability in some parents or present something that will keep a normal person from doing this...... again time I am not getting back!

Preemie bonding, we seem to breasting feeding well.... so I am thinking my bonding is going as well as it can when I am not in my own home, with all the kids, and having to have 10-20 interruptions every hour into our life (from weighing the poop nappies, to alarms always going off somewhere, to people in the hall to lights, and vitals........ plus the normal baby issues we have!)

Speaking of bonding Eric got to hold him today for the first time. It has been because he was sick and we needed to wait till his antibiotics kicked in till he could hold him, cause Eric had a really sore throat and a slight head cold for a few days.... but it never stopped him from visiting, or bringing me to the hospital or from singing to him while he was here . (Emerson really likes to hear his dad sing!)

So I am happy the two of them can start bonding. I guess it is like me with his penis...... I finally got to be sure he was a boy when I got to change his diaper myself (he was 7 days old at that time) up until then I had been taking every one's word for it! We just have to do it when we can and when we are able all will be revealed. By the way Daddy and him looked so cute and comfortable! Like slipping into your favorite pj's or a well worn pair of shoes...... it was beautiful to see them together. It almost made me cry our last little baby!
Emerson UPDATE:
He is up 28.5 grams (or paper clips) since yesterday is a 1/4 inch longer since birth, his PIC line is out and all IV's and supplemental feed are ceased, he is eating at the breast when mom and breats are in the same room with him! He got to meet Kayla and she got to love on him a ton! And Eric sang the entire 2nd half of Jesus Christ Superstar to him this afternoon!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Devon says "bye bye addie" & Emeerson Update!

This morning...... just after the most awesome husband in the world packed all of the "CRAP" I need for a whole day at the NICU with Emerson........ my breast feeding bag (snacks protein bars, pumping supplies, writing stuff, medicines); my computer & all the stuff I need to start our taxes (I have a notebook which was making its first journey into the outer reaches of the neighborhood with me today); the breast milk bag with ten 2 oz full bottles,the camera and my cell phone.

I turned to Devon and said.... ''bye bye''....... he waved right back at me and said "bye bye" . I asked him to say mommy, which he did....... but then he said "bye bye"to daddy.

I was really surprised........ usually he sort of ignores Eric (which is about time cause 6 other children all have said signed or spoken the words "DADDY" long before they every uttered mommy!) So I do a lot of private gloating that at least one likes me better to learn to say mama first!

Well I said to Eric, Devon was talking to you, he turned and I said Devon can you say "daddy". Next thing I know we have a "bye bye addie!" coming out of his mouth. He waved and then attempted to sign. I repeated the correct pronunciation and he repeated the phrase....... and the motion again! I repeated and made sure Eric was paying attention this time....... and again Devon said "bye bye and addie!".

I really hated all the time I spent in the hospital..... but I guess it had one really good effect!!!! Devon learned he has a daddy too!

In regards to Emerson today........ he is breathing better. Still on the nasal cannula 1L , still at 25 to 30 % and still having occasional times where he is breathing rapidly. However it seems less than yesterday.

He was up 60 grams (paperclips) today! Again he is gaining weight really well....... we just got to breath on our own!

Breast feeding went so much better today ..... he took breast milk at 8:30, 11:40 and 2:30. Each time was almost 20 minutes a the breast. He still sucked and stopped......... but he got a lot of milk in cause I pumped afterwards and I got very little from each side.

The still put about 30 ml through the NG tube...... cause I know he is not getting a full feed (he needs 56 ml each time to grow for the 8 feedings at this moment). They also added the milk fortifier to the milk going in the tube. The docs (not the head one, but all the young residents are all concerned about how we will know if he has eaten enough or not!!!! Numbers and quantities work so well for scientific people!!!! (remember I am one of them too...... BUT REALLY after 7 kiddos of them I do know a thing or two about how to see if baby is getting enough food)

He gets his PIC line out as soon as someone gets down here to do that!!!! (The reason why he only can wear one arm in his clothes......) this will simplify feeding..... it is always in the way...... now all the wires left on him that we have are the heart and pulse ox and the O2. The O2 is really the only one that we will likely loose before we get discharged..... these doctors love their numbers........

I really enjoyed the day at the hospital so much!!!!! (except for the taxes) We did a lot of snuggling, I changed him all the time, gave him his sponge bath, and changed his outfit!!!! He looked great in the green, but looks so cute in the yellow too! (now that the jaundice has resolved!). I also had them raise the head of his bed a little higher to increase the angle....... he seems to breathing better!

Can't wait to spend the night this weekend. It really is helping me feel more like his mom, than the lady who just drops by!


I got tights on them this morning!!!!!! OK they were pregnancy size 4x ones, (and I was wearing a B size before pregnancy......... ) but they are covered and warm AND I AM HAPPY!

The legs were really beginning to chafe and get chapped from all the cold weather , though ironically it was 59 degrees here today!

Still no ability to get shoes on, and I hope this changes soon. I also did not get as tired and they didn't hurt as much today at the hospital..... I am thinking the tights didn't let any new build up happen....... so I will keep wearing them for a while!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Emerson update 1-21-09

I have to write about POOP again! I am so excited about Emerson's poop!!!!!!

Emerson has yellow seedy mustard color and consistency POOP!!!! This is a good, no really and awesomely great things....a really a great thing! Cause it shows that all the time spent attached to the breast pump is a doing something for my son.

It means he has the ability to eat and go all the way through! It makes me so proud being the "pumping fiend" that I am!!!! I really am enjoying the fact that Adrian and Colin keep calling me "Robo mom" when I am pumping.

Adrian also wants to help me each time we pump with setting up the pump and she washes out the bottles and helps with the labels. I am so proud of how she wants to help her baby brother!

A lot of time I still feel like he isn't my son. It is so hard to leave him in total care of others when we leave each day. I even packed my clothes yesterday to stay...... I wanted to stay overnight, I needed to stay overnight....... but I cried when Adrian asked me not to on the phone (daddy asked too.......) they missed me so much when I was in the hospital (those 17 long and very lonely days!

Sometimes I wonder if I feel so bad cause I kept referring to Emerson as the "Anti-Christ"...... OK that is such a harsh thing for a mom to say, but realize I had a TPN line and an NG tube in and was still puking over a gallon every day!!!!!! As well as being hooked up to an IV and them running all types of things to try to get my blood levels back to normal (AND POTASSIUM HURTS LIKE HELL!!!!!! And has to run for 5 hours of constant stinging!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I have photos of this if anyone wants a photo of pregnancy at its worse for a birth control scenario for their kids!

I am so excited about how breast feeding went the first time today! He latched the second time, he used me for a snooze pillow the first feeding (no surprise there)..... he also seems to be on east coast time..... they want him to eat every three hours (at 3, 6, 9 & 12)........ well he is always ready at hours of 2,5, 8 and 11!

He latched really well for as small as his little mouth is...... it seemed to go very well compared to the bottle feedings, it seemed much easier for him to coordinate his suck, swallow mechanism than with the bottle. He also did not have any breathing or heart rate drops! (like with the bottle)

I can't wait to do this all day tomorrow and to spend the night this weekend when Kayla comes home to help with the kids!

Speaking of the kids, I can't ever say thank you enough to all the people who have helped Eric and I with the children during the last month! Kayla, Lynn, Angie, Tammy, Trina, Jane A, TiTi, Grandma, Nick, Debbie and Julie! They have been amazing! They helped undecorat my house (not a small task with 16 trees & garland and lots of "JUNK")

The kids have been wonderful at all the changes too (EVEN DEVON...... awesome) Also to my neighbors and friends who have brought food and cookies to make it easier! This has helped so much with planning and making caring for the seven kids easier!

Staying at the hospital today was a lot of dun...... we spent all day there..... I got to clothe, bathe, and care for the little guy all day! He even proved he was just like his older brother...... he can teleport his pee and then lul me into a a "oh how cute he is coma" and then I forget about that magic ability to pee sideways and then he gets me darn good and sprays it every where!


We are so tired of these swollen feet and legs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am actually a lot less swollen than I was (ALMOST 27 LBS OF WATER GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!) but just about 30 water pounds to go!!!

Still have 10 baby pounds too! Some where in there but the total of 57 lbs higher after leaving hospital than when we entered on the 23rd of December.

But the next coolest thing after the poo! Is that I actually got to buy some slippers only asize bigger than my usual (daddy's were 12 WW in men's) but i had to cut them to get them on!!

I am going to try to put on a pair of my "end" of pregnancy maternity tights tomorrow (they would not stay up before Christmas...I was to skinny still) but I need to get something on my legs the cold air and the swelling is chapping them way to much! We shall see........ I am thinking maybe Saturday and the one pair of shoes I have in size 11 might fit! or my slip on backless sandals (Here is hoping!)

I an walking better, still using the walker on really long distances (OR THE WALL) I just keep worrying about falling and loosing my balance!

Still not able to drive yet,,,,, maybe we will try this weekend. I can get in the passenger side of the van.... it has two handles and I can pull up, but not as easy (OK Eric says it doesn't look that easy) on the driver's side! I think Eric is really worried about me falling and hurting myself! (I fell Saturday in the garage! ) Like I needed another bruise!

All the other issues are doing well and I am so excited I "don't pee" when I cough or sneeze any more and it doesn't hurt to laugh (which I am doing a lot at myself lately!)

Monday, January 19, 2009

I know when Mommies Get to be sick now!

When they can no longer stand or walk and just have to quit moving cause it is IMPOSSIBLE!

I made a commitment to myself to write 3-4 times a weak in December...... well it stooped on the 17th cause I finally got to sick. I actually spent 17 days in the hospital (OK 3 hospitals) while they tried to figure out what was wrong with me and keep me pregnant.

In case you don't know....... it didn't work the way they wanted, but they did find and fix what was wrong! I am on my way back to recovery (still have 37 of the 59 lbs of water weight to loose they put on since my Dec 30th admission to St. John's) and we have a son who was born via emergency C section at 1:39 am on January 8th at 33 weeks. (this was about 2 hours after my first surgery for a bowel obstruction....... NOT THE FLU or HYPEREMMISIS (which I did have too) or a VIRUS or in my head (course how could 3400 ml of vomit an hour be in my head!
So I will go back and keep adding the information on both Devon and the last few weeks so you all can get some other insights into our lives.
Which have been overly excited and very busy in the last few weeks.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hair cut for Dad & Devon gets "locked"


This was an interesting experience, imagine deer in headlights with, scared child, with a face of utter amazement and then the determination of one mom and one hair dresser, and a daddy who can hold him while all heck and wiggling is breaking loose!

  • I was so proud of my husband, he held and hugged Devon for a little over an hour, as well as singing to him the majority of the time to attempt to keep him occupied. I have high praise (always have) for Rochelle at our local Custom Cuts........ she worked with him and tried and gave suggestions on how to get him calmed (and he really wasn't that great) He was like working on a moving target!
  • HOWEVER IT LOOKS AWESOME!!!!! I can't wait till we are able to braid it....... course after this that could be an all day process....... but I know with time and experience he will learn to love having his hair done.

Colin actually had the best reaction....... he rubbed it and made his happy noises, told me with his signs he wanted his hair to do that and it was like a fish (I think he meant sea anemones..... but they are in a fish tank therefore the concept of fish!

So basically it went better than expected, however it has room for improvement........ BUT HE IS SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I am spending the night with my son!

Leaving Emerson at the hospital has been one of the harder things I have ever done! All of my kids roomed in after birth, they stayed within my or daddy's eyesight the whole time from birth till we discharged!

IT HAS NOT WORKED THIS WAY! Heck Eric didn't even know he had a son till about an hour after he was born! (another story another time)

he has been in the specialty care and then the NICU at a different hospital (thank heavens connect by a tunnel...... )

We also have never left any of the kids alone at the hospital except for the amount of time it took to take a shower or run to get food in the cafeteria! So I am hating this so much!!!!

But I have been still a little too weak to stay overnight (the plan is I will go down at 7 pm and be home by 7 am every day as soon as I can drive..... that way I am not missed so much) and can feed him 4 times and then they only have to bottle feed four times!

Well it went really well! They have the most comfortable (by hospital standards) chair in his room..... I got to feed him three times, the nurse asked to use the NG tube for one feeding because he is still breathing so hard! (He went back on the O2 because his restorations were high (the pulse ox fine 98-100%) today which does affect how much he can eat in the bottle...... he gets annoyed with the NG and the nasal cannula!

I loved getting to hold him, he snuggles and falls asleep so well....... I just can't wait to do this without all the tubes and IV'S. Waiting for that day! And I am still feeling awful about leaving him alone (I know the nurses will take great care of him!!!! but it is not the same)

So I have to learn to just concentrate on my job....... which is to get better, get off the walker, regain my ability to walk and balance (I fell in the garage earlier this evening...... on Devon...... I really felt stupid and it hurt, got about 8 new bruises ...... to go with all the IV and blood draw ones!!!!! But I was so worried about squishing Devon and he was trying to "stop" me (again a huge feet for a 40 lb guy and my huge swollen BOTTOM & LEGS!!!!
We took the kids shopping today...... Garden Ridge, Walmart and then to El Nopal...... trying to make them feel like all is OK and back to somewhat normal! I GOT IN THE VAN!!!!! I have found out that I have a lot of upper body strength that I didn't know I had!
It was actually easier to ride in than Eric or mom's car! The seat is taller and my legs did not fall asleep! I missed my van.... and I did get some of the trash out of it (it drives me nuts to have trash in the car!) I probably overdid it!
I am still so ridiculously swollen!!!!! The bottom and hips and upper thighs are significantly down, but the lower legs and feet keep getting tighter!!!!!!!!!!!! They hurt to touch, get stepped on (each child managed to do this at least twice today) and they really hurt when Daddy ran into them with the Walmart cart!!! I had a harder time getting Daddy's slippers on today (men's size 12 and ww!) They are actually getting tighter around the ankle! I don't know how they could....but they are!
I really can't wait to get them to the point I can drive..... my two abdominal scars and surgery areas really only hurt if you touch them...... or I over do it (by Jane standards) but these legs are making it impossible to do what I want to!!!!! I hate being dependent on others (even Eric) I will be such a horrible old person!!!!!!
But being able to take care of Boo Boo (Emerson) and to feed him and hug him and hold him for that 14 hours straight (minus the broccoli & carrot run to the cafeteria at 2 am........ gosh I love carrots now~ I have eaten them 2x a day since I was able to eat solids!) made me feel a lot better. I will start this every night as soon as I can drive.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Melea gets to meet ner new brother!

We took Melea and Adrian to the hospital today.

They had a field trip to the science center with school (Eric went..... this could be a post in itself)...... all I know is Eric said never ever again and he didn't even ride the bus with the 40 kindergardeners! (nor did he take photos.... he was worried about loosing the camera)

This was Melea's first visit and Adrian's third. We decided to wait until he had a few less tubes and wires. Melea was still worried that the IV was hurting him...... she kept telling me about the baby's IV and his "boo boos" . She was also afraid to tough him. (Good plan cause she came down with a stomach ache and virus 24 hours later) Melea really loved meeting her new brother!!!!)

Eric and I took the girls to lunch a the Children's hospital cafeteria! The love to eat at the cafeteria and to sit and watch the fish in the tanks!!!!! This is something they beg for ever time we go to the hospital for a specialist visit!!!!!

I did have a great morning visiting with Emerson! I brought in clothes and soothie bottles for him. He will almost be up to enough to use our bottles with the breast milk soon!
He can start wearing clothes and hopefully we are a step closer to coming home! I know the girls and Colin are ready!
We also took the girls to the sibling play room and were able to leave them for a almost 2 hours! They loved it!!!! Eric was a little late at picking them up......he fell asleep! But it was an awesome service and the girls loved it so much.
My legs and feet still suck!!!..... they are still very painful..... and I am having to pick them up to move them! However about 2/3 of the water is off my hips and upper few inches of my thighs then it balloons out (think Popeye arms but on my legs!)
Can't wait to take the girls back........ girls want to go.... but to the Sibling Playroom not to see their brother!