Marie's Musings

Musings from the mundane day to day life of a mom of 9 to more serious ponderings of the day.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Part 3 - The transfer

By the time they got me cleaned up and in to see Gideon, it was at least 45 minutes later. I had eaten some dinner(after not eating all day) and gotten a shower.

It was hard to see my little guy like that and he was little. Tiny little head, very skinny, scrawny body, hooked up to some wires and in an oxygen tent.

Some people may say it was coincidence, but I think a little differently. After we got into the special nursery, Gideon began to perk up. We'll never know for sure whether he sensed our prescence or not, but I think he knew. He cried for the first time(90 minutes after he was born btw), when a nurse wiped his bottom. That cry allowed his lungs to fully expand for the first time. He also began breathing a little better, still fast and a bit shallow but they were able to wean him off oxygen. So by the time the transport time from the Childrens hospitals came(they were an hour out) he was completely on room air. His Co2 levals also were beginning to come down and he was responding to stimuli (Daddy tickling his feet made him cry). And oh how much we wanted him to cry. His cry held a different significance since he didnt cry when he was born. It was a joyful sound to me.

They made the decision to transfer him anyway, cause they were not a leval 3 facility and did not have ventalators on site. So if his lungs gave out in the middle of the night they wouldnt be able to help him effectively. Plus at this point, no one is quite sure why hes having so much trouble. I learned a lot later that they are planning on that with the new facility they are building. I wasnt able to go with him, because of lack of room in the amubulence. They had the two amubulence drivers/workers and two people from childrens hospitals assisting the transfer plus the space shuttle as my husband likes to call it. Its basically an enclosed isolette with a million machines hooked up to it, in case he needed oxygen, ventilators or anything of the sort.

They did let me hold him again before they took him away to the other hospital. And a nurse or someone snapped a few photos of us both. But it was hard, every bone in my body was crying out that this was wrong. My baby and I belonged together. It was hard to not let the fear overtake me. Yes, he was a lot better than when he was born but it was hard to not think the "what ifs" at that point. The transplant team from childrens was excellent. They explained everythign they did, they were compassionate as Im crying hard at this point and they just were good at their job.

So they took him off and I didnt see him for another 2 hrs. It took a little while to get me discharged. Thankfully my doctor was very understanding and early discharged me. She did give some pretty stern instructions to andrew to not let me do too much or to take me to the ER if anything was odd. Honestly my recovery was so good, that I hardly felt i had a baby. I think God allowed that so i could concentrate on Gideon and for that im grateful. They did get me out of there relatively fast, so fast I didnt get any of the prescriptions i neeeded. No pain meds, stool softener or the prescription med i take to control seizures after delivery. Thankfully that wasnt too big of an issue. I managed iwth some aspirin from a kind nurse and ibuprofen my uncle brought in the next night. Other than that, i didnt have any other pain meds.

So we took off in the van. I didnt want to call anyone. Its a lot easier sharing good news than bad at times like this. I was so emotionally a wreck, that I couldnt talk to anyone or do any of that. Thankfully my husband again was a rock during this and handled all the details. He called my stepmom, he called everyone that needed to be called that night.

When we got there, I was sorta panicked inside that something happened on the way. But he was in an open isolette/warmer with multiple wires attached to him. I cannot explain the relief my body felt at that point, to be with my baby again even though he wasnt where in belonged-- in my arms.

Part 4 to come!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Birth story - Part 2- Gideons Arrival

This is the part thats the hardest to write. Even now, it brings tears to my eyes. The pain and fear are all still fresh to me.

As I noted, he did not look right , nor was he breathing. The one thing to note though, is his heart never stopped. They whisked him over to the isolette and started working on him. Im not sure how much time actually elasped before they had him breathing, but it wasnt long. He began breathing super fast and shallow with a concave chest. BUT he was breathing!

The hardest part to watch though was when they lifted his little arms and legs up and instead of retracting to the body, they fell lifeless to the table. He was alive but so unresponsive. I could not even pray at that point, I was so fearful. All I wanted to hear was his cry, but it never came at that point. I just kept saying hes not crying, hes not breathing.

Not much registered other than my baby is not doing well. The one moment that stands out is when andrew said "look at me" in a voice that was calm and direct. He told me he had a peace, that Gideon would be okay. For that moment I relied upon his strength, cause i didnt have any. And then andrew went over and stood by the isolette as they worked to get him to respond.

I did get to hold him very briefly before they took him off to the special care nursery to get him under the oxygen tent.

Then the doctor checked me over and they finally got me out of the stirups. The nurse helped me clean up a bit and they brought in supper. I was just numb. The good part of this delivery, was no tearing, not a lot of physical recovery pain. It was all emotional.

I wouldnt see my baby then for another 45 plus minutes.


PS -- part 3 to follow as time allows.

Gideon's birth story part 1 - The day that didnt go as planned

From the very beginning, Gideon proved to be the difficult child.

We arrived at 645 as instructed, only to find out, well they might just not have enough staff to do an induction that morning. So they put me on monitors for at least an hour, while they waited things out with other moms in labor. By the time they came in to get started(times approximate 8-830) , they discovered the next surprise.

The previous evening, he was head down, passed a biophysical profile ultrasound perfectly (8/8) and everything looked well. I guess he didnt like that position because by 8 am or so the next morning, he was sideways. He was determined to stay that way, we had many people prayingbut he was quite comfortable in there.

Meanwhile they did an ultrasound to make sure that yes he was indeed sideways and called the OB on call to come in check. So he makes his rounds, determine that we are going to have to do a version and turn the little guy. So we wait some more, first for his ultrasound tech to get there, and then second for an operating room to come available(in case the turning didnt go so well). It was nearly as painful as i expected it to be, it didnt cause a lot of pain, more uncomfortableness. Probably all the extra fluid I was carrying had a bit to do with that. they probably did that between 10-11 approximately. I wasnt convinced he was going to stay there, he was still kicking and moving a lot more than I anticipated he would be.

They finally started the pitocin between 11-12 that morning, a far cry from the 7 am induction I had planned on. Even during labor as the contractions increased, Gideon wasnt content to be still. He kicked often and even during contractions, somthing that I dont remember the others kids doing. Mostly during labor, they were pretty quiet and not able to kick so much. Looking back,i wonder if this is when our dear mr. Gideon decided to play jump rope with his umbilical cord and got himself all tangled up. He didnt manage to turn himself back around though as I feared he would.

Labor, intially wasnt too bad, even with the pitocin. My doctor was finally able to break the water around 3 pm and I was dilated to 6 cm. I have had past labors go pretty fast after that point of breakign the water, so i expected no less with this one. But again things didnt quite go as planned. The interesting thing with the water breaking is that my stomach/uterus literally shrunk in half after all the fluid came out. there was a lot! I have expected to have this tiny little five lb baby after how little was left of my stomach area.

A couple of times , his heart rate went down to the 80s, but they had me turn a different way and it came right back up. I did wonder at that point, if the cord was around his neck. But I never voiced that concern.

Labor was okay til I got to the point of 8 cm or so and things just didnt want to progress. There was a lip that just didnt want to go away and well things were pretty intense at that point. I dont remember any memorable phrases. It was at that point, the doc offered a cervical block of novacaine, it didnt compeltely take away the pain of course, but it was enough to get me over the last hump of labor. Apparently before that , I wasnt quite myself. Not exactly sure who I was, since I dont recall leaving my body lol. But the doc, nurse and my husband all commented that "I was back"

Pushing wasnt long, maybe 5 pushes or so. The hardest part of that was stopping after his head was out and they discovered the cord around his neck. It had to be cut before we could push him further. Nothing can describe that well, it is one of the hardest things to do, sorta like stopping a freight train with your bare hands. He was born at 5:11 pm and they put him on my stomach. Even then I knew something was wrong, he didnt look right, he was grey and covered with white stuff . They whisked him over to the table immediately, leaving me in the stirups.

Part 2 to follow soon.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Checking in

Theres lots I want to blog bout, Gideons birth story(before i forget all the details), his hospital stays, how hes doing now, how the kids like him(Ezekiel likes to tell me hes nice and not mean and evil) and the list goes on and on.

But Im tired, so all those thought provoking blog posts will just have to wait. Gideon is doing well , hes up to 7 lbs 8z, his bilirubin is slowly going down(we had it cked yesterday, its 6.7) and hes starting to nurse much better. A lot less of trying to "convince" him to eat. He goes for his next weight check on may 1.

Well thats all my brain has time to process now, more later folks

Friday, April 20, 2007

7 lbs 4 oz

Almost back up to birth weight, one more week and we defintiely should be there! He gained 7 oz since monday. And the doc said if he can gain that much by just nursing the times he is, more power to him.

So we go back for one more weight check tuesday but it appears hes well on his way.

Praising God from whom all blessings flow!


My little guy

We have had some 7 lb babies before but Gideon just seems so tiny. He was 7 lbs 9 oz when he was born but had gotten down to 6 lbs 7oz, so that makes him seem even more little.

We go for his weight check this morning, IM hoping hes back over 7 lbs now. On monday he was 6' 13, so hopfully hes at least gained those 3 oz if not more.

Nursing him continues to be challenging, somedays he latches on right away and nurses well. But most times its a 5 min stretch of nursing then convincing him he needs to eat more. Then maybe another 5 min or 10 if we are lucky. Hes still eating every 3 hrs, somtimes every two but on the days where Im fighting to get him to eat most of the day, well it makes me worry. Im really trying to let God handle it but this is tough. I worry that I dont have enough milk, since hes not eating enough, or that hes losing weight still . The list goes on and on and more than once a day do i have to refocus and give it to God. Somedays I dont even manage to do that and get mired down in anxiety and worry.

I dont know if it was his rough start or the fact hes so little but he really has thrown me for a loop. Perhaps God just needed to shake up my confidence leval a bit. Things I was pretty comfortable doing before with a new baby, suddenly seem daunting and overwhelming with Gideon. I do know though that he wont give me more than I can handle, somedays though I really wish he didnt trust me quite so much.

God is good ... all the time

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Solo flight

Andrew went back to work yesterday and the kids were in school, so I was on my own. I had my moms group back in the morning;I really enjoyed that tremendously. It was so "normal" in terms of our routine that it felt heavenly. After the week of hospital, doctor visits and leval checks, Im more than ready to be "normal" for awhile.

I didnt get a lot done in terms of housework, but then again I dont alwasy on wednesdays with moms group anyway. Plus we had another meal brought, such a blessing. So it was wonderful not to have to worry bout supper.

Around here between 3 and 6 pm (or suppertime basically) is the crazy hours. Trying to get 8 kids thru homework, snack, chores while making supper and keeping kids on task ... well its interesting. If Im on top of my game, meaning I can be in all places at once or at least have a sense of what is going on, its not so bad. But if Im nursing the baby or otherwise engaged well its not so well then. Add to the chaos trying to figure out or cook supper and keep miss Zemirah off the table and out of food, well its lots of fun.

One of these days, the kids will get it. They will realize that if you do your chores well and quickly you have hours of free time left. Yeah right ... that doesnt happen til adulthood I guess.

Todays adgenda is mainly laundry and trying to catch up on regular housework chores and hopefully a nap. Well most definitely a nap provided bambinos cooperate in timing.

Gideon is doing well, his color is much improved and he seems to be eating better overall. Night is still tougher, some sessions its just hard to stay awake to keep him awake. He will start nursing okay and then fall asleep or unlatch, so I need to work on that. Last nights eating were somewhat sporadic as we both kept falling alseep. His next weight check is tommorrow, so hopefully t hat will give us a better indicator if all is well. He is having enough wet diapers.

Off to start the day, God is good ... all the time

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The waters are calm

Gideons weight check went well, he was officially 6 lbs 13 oz . Slowly he is gaining a little weight -- woohoo! I even managedto get a nap in with Ezekiel and Gideon and Andrew yesteday.

Andrew had yesterday and today off his regular work but went back to his part time teaching job last night. And it went well, course it helped that my friend, Eve , was soo kind in bringing us supper. So that made the night even easier. I also got to stop in at my workplace(it was a beautiful day for walking) and show off the baby a bit.

On the plus side, he let his students out early and thus was home early. So im praying for a calm sea of waters this week.

gotta run, time to wake up bambino!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Number 9

Im afraid that I had to explain to our dear lil Gideon that just because he is indeed the 9th child, that does not mean he gets to go to the hospital 9 times! When we went in for his doctor visit, he not only had lost weight but his bilirubin had gone up 3 points nearing the seizure threshold. So admitted to the local hosptial this time.

Thankfully his stay was brief, he responded so well to the photo therapy that our doctor tested him last night already and let him come home with the Bilibed. Which is basically photo therapy bed with UV lights.

It was very disheartening to have him go back to the hospital. Even more heartbreaking to watch them put an IV in his little arm once again. The poor little guys heal has so many lancet marks its painful to look at. So hes home and in the bilibed unless hes eating ... we go back for another leval check on sunday. Hopefully it will continue to go down and we can get on to adjusting to "normal" life with our little guy. He also has a weight check on monday, he has managed to lose over a full pound so he is 6 lbs 7 oz now.

I guess our little mighty warrior just wants to make sure hes well known :) I would prefer a slightly quieter start to his arrival but that was not the case. Hey ... at least we are getting free diapers out of the deal. All of the hospital stays have sent us home with diapers and whatever supplies he had been using.

God is good ... all the time!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Its almost quiet

cept for the warring sounds of Andrews video game. The kids are all in bed reading, Gideon is swaddled in his cradle and I have a moment to enjoy a drumstick cone :) Theres so much I had wanted to blog over the last few days but with the hospital computer sporadic workings and wanting to spend as much time with Gideon as I could.. blogging obviously came up short.

I know we shouldnt be surprise or amazed at God -- after all he IS GOD -- but I find myself sitting back in wonderment and amazmeent how he provided time and time again. From providing us a free room to stay in the NICU hospital to a grocery gift certificate to meals being brought to unexpected checks from old friends. God did such amazing things that I want to make sure I acknowledge where our help comes from ... He did not fail us ... not once.

God even provided for things I didnt even ask for or even think much about. Someone anonmously paid for our car repair. God is soo good , I heard that and I just sat down in amazment at how once again he was providing for our needs before I had even asked.

I had wanted to blog how very specific prayers were answered. On Monday, I so badly wanted to nurse him and the one doctor was not wiling to let me do so and ordered "another" chest xray. I just prayed that the xray come back clear and it most certainely did. There were many instances of that.

There were friends that just from what they said, I knew without a shadow of a doubt they were upholding us in prayer. Friends who had been there in the NICU before and lost their sweet little girl very specifically praying hour by hour.

I had my low points too, when nursing wasnt going so well, crying out to God to help and he did. Gideon still isnt nursing the greatest, it takes awhile to latch him on, he can eat well once latched but its still somewhat frustrating. But even in those low moments, I knew God was there. In different ways, thru a phone call to an old friend, thru a friendly nurse, thru a message left on the cell phone.

Well thats all for now, I see Gideon stirring a bit. Will write more as time allows. But for now Im serving my king.


Gideon is home!

We came home last evening. I have lots to tell, God was so amazing and answered prayers specifically time and time again. Praising him in all his glory, that I have my baby boy home with me today. Will write more later.

God is good ... all the time

Friday, April 06, 2007

Unexpected Blessings

I put on my coat to run out last night and reached my hands into my pockets, no big deal. I really hadnt gone anywhere all week, so it was more habit than anything. I found some cash in there that I know I didnt remember having. Adding to the mystery was a little yellow piece of paper with a christian fish symbol on it. I quickly asked andrew if he had that bunch cash on hand, even though I didnt think so. He didnt. So we both sat in amazement at Gods goodness. Someone had blessed us tremendously and secretly as well. I wouldnt be surprised if our car repair bill comes back in that exact amount or some other bill or expense exactly.

God is good ... all the time! Praising him for his unexpected blessings! Just when I needed a little boost , he provides it. I know I shouldnt be amazed but I am. And thankful too that he cares enough to prompt some other saint to bless us in that manner.

Less than a day to go to baby day. Pretty much ready, bags packed, just need to print the phone lists. So Im going to spend today doing the laundry up from the last two days, making sure the house is in order for us to be gone.

God is good ... all the time!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Etneral state of grumpyness

I cant seem to shake it today, not sure if its cause Im tired, kids are whining a lot, or the fact that im 37 weeks pregnant and uncomfortable no matter how I sit. I get small bursts of energy so i try to get something done during those times.

Im still hoping for a nap, that probably would do the most to help my mood. Although hubby coming home early as a surprise might do some good too lol. I know he has to work though.

I cant wait until I no longer have this lump right under my right rib constantly pushing upwards.

Well enough crabbies ...
God is good ... all the time


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Caught up on laundry

Oh its such a lovely feeling! Yes I know that you are never officially caught up since you have to wear clothing but for all intents and purposes, the laundry is caught up! Praising God!

Yes I still have some odds and ends like pillows and sleeping bags but the main stuff is all done cept for what people wore today. Which if we start counting:1 pr socks, 1 undewear. 1 shirt, 1 pants. That isnt even counting any misc pieces or the fact katarina wore two shirts to school, or handtowels, washclothes etc. We are up to 40 pcs with just that , no wonder I get behind so often.

It only took me 3 days of continually switching over loads well into the evening to dig out from under that pile of dirty! Im so excited, tommorrow will be freed up to go thru more summer/outgrown stuff and pack the kiddos bags. Although Nathaniel packed his literally as soon as he got home from school. Im not sure if its that now that hes on spring break, his backpack was free for packing or what. But 1 out of 8 are done. The big kids can pretty much do their own, and I just have to do the verbal check. So that really only leaves 4 for me to do, not too bad. Oh and my bag with little Gideons cute stuff in.

Obs office calls today. I have an appt late friday afternoon and the induction with my regular doc(not the ob though, hes backup) is on saturday morning. They wanted to reschedule me. Im like okay but ... um Im scheduled to be induced 7 am on saturday morning. They hesitated and said ohhh let me put you on hold lol. It turns out the OB doc is on call that night and they were told to close out his appts at 440 and mine came in at 450, so that would have bumped me. But basically they moved up my ultrasound by 20 minutes and the doc overrode the bumping and have that appt then for 440 rather than 450. So it all worked out. Was slightly amusing.

God is indeed good all the time!

Not long now

Week is already half over and Im close to finishing my goals that I set. I hopefully can get fully caught up on laundry by the end of the week. Which provided the kids dont go crazy while Im gone, should leave me in good shape. They will all be out of the house from friday night til saturday night at least, some a little longer yet even.

Which leaves andrew and I , a rare night alone together. Im excited, that is such a blessing to have the evening before we go in for induction. As our lives prepare to add another person, God gives us some much needed time together, and for that Im very thankful.

Only thing that I really need to get done, is to pack bags, so hopefully I can work on that today or tommorrow for sure. My bedroom is done, cradle is almost up. Andrew got the piece he needed, discovered two more screws for another part were missing. Oh well eventually it will get put up. The cradle bed itself is ready, washed up the sheet, and got the blanket in there and all that jazz. Swing is ready to go as well, now if I can just keep the children out of it that are much much too big for it.

I guess there was one more thing that I wanted done was to have all the summer/outgrown clothing sorted and or washed. But that is something extra, that if its not done, wont really be a big deal. And I have made some progress on it, went thru 2 tubs yesterday.

God is good ... all the time!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Rounding 2nd base

Its not quite the home stretch ... :) Making really good progress on my goals for this week. I can actually see my basement floor again, so the quest to catch up on laundry is in full swing. Course then that prompts me to my next quest: sorting thru the summer/outgrown clothes. All the stuff that never got put away properly at the end of summer. Which in turn gives me more laundry as Im starting to pull out all the summer clothes and begin the process of putting away winter ones.

Of course living in minnesota, where its been 30 some degrees and snowing today, cant quite just put them all away at once. But we can begin to par down as its mostly been springlike temps in the 50s.

I also brought in the cradle and swing and began the process of washing those up . All in all a good day.

A bonus is that Andrew took off the afternoon for a doc appt and lunch with a friend, so hes home now ... woohoo! Love that!

God is good ... all the time!

Monday, April 02, 2007

5 more days

Im starting to get excited to meet little Gideon, although with that, comes the realization that I have to go thru labor. That is not so exciting ... if only we had a fast foward to the end result which is definitely worth it.

But as you cant skip pregnancy, you cant skip labor either. Im just praying God allows me a fairly quick labor and as painfree as we are allowed lol.

Childcare is coming together really well, almost everyone is placed and I have some backups in place as well. God is indeed good ... for he worked out the details!` Now the only detail for saturday left is to find someone to let the dog out. Im postive God will provide that person as well though.

Working on laundry, trying to get caught up before I have to spend two days in the hospital. That and organizing areas. I still need to clean my bedroom, get the cradle up(as soon as andrew gets the last screw for it), pack the kids bags, my bag, hopefully get to the library to get a book and well ... sleep lol.

The carseat has been washed up and put back together. I guess I still need to bring the swing in to wash it, but most of the clothing is in the dresser in our room. I just need to pack his things :)

God is good ... all the time!