Aug 28, 2012


We've been away for the last week and it was glorious! 
Each summer we try to get away for at least one week to Jason's Family Camp.

A week together, to enjoy, and relax and just be was so needed! 
I praise God for PERFECT weather the WHOLE time!
I got to sleep in every day because Josiah cooperated nicely.  
We rarely made it out of our PJ's or the cabin door before 10am.  
Jason cooked every dinner...bless his heart...he is the grill master :) 
We got in some good, solid quality time as a family. 
Jason and Ella got in a ton of fishing...Josiah and I just went along for the ride.
The whole family actually took a 1 1/2 hour nap all at the same time the first day we were there.  I'm sorry to say that was the only time the stars aligned. 

We did A LOT of this:

Ella learned to "thumb" (hold) her own fish and release them.

 I got out on the boat. 
The sun, the breeze, the blue skies dotted with puffy white clouds did my sould good!

 My loves...minus the one taking the picture :)

Ella is now a master boat driver.

Playing with her fave cousin.  They LOVE eachother! 
Ry caught the fish but wouldn't touch it.  Ella was happy to step in and hold it for the picture :)

And he did a lot of this:
I wish I could say it lasted when we brought him home...but not so much.
Apparantly everybody DOES sleep better at camp.

Aug 16, 2012

Getting the Important Things Done

My bathrooms haven't been cleaned for over a month.
My floors haven't been mopped or vacuumed in over a month.
My garden hasn't been weeded in over a month.
I haven't slept more than a four hour stretch at one time in the last month.
I haven't cooked a meal in the last month (thanks to friends and hubby :)
I haven't caught the latest TV shows or read a book in the last month.
I haven't painted my toenails or done my nails in over a month.
I barely put on a stitch of make-up or done my hair in over a month.
My perfume has consisted of the scents of breastmilk and butt paste for the last month.
Do you know how I know?  Because our sweet baby boy is one month old tomorrow!  CRAZY.  It's been a haze, a blur really.

And that's okay.  Because I've been getting the important things done.  I've been about the business of being a new mommy again.  I've been nursing...and nursing...and nursing :)  I've been changing diapers, cleaning belly buttons, soothing and burping, and rocking and bouncing and snuggling and holding and breathing in that baby smell and sneaking sleep when I can.  This is just a phase.  A phase that is all too fleeting.  It's trying at times, but I'll not wish it away, not for anything in this world.

The bumps in the road seem to be slowly smoothing out.  Josiah has not had any inconsolable times in about a week I'd say.  He's given us some decent 4 hour stretches of sleep, followed by three hour stretches for the last 4 or 5 nights in a row, going back to sleep easily after each his carseat only...but praise the Lord!  During the day he's able to be put down for naps his carseat I love that thing...I think I'll have it bronzed when he's all done with it :) 
He's growing like a week and already surpassed 10lbs.  I want it all to slow down.  He's a solid little boy and just so kissable and squeezable and eat right upable.  Watching him and his sister interact is just about the most precious thing I think I've ever seen. 

I have many more days where I believe that this whole mother of two thing is doable.  And I have a few days here and there where I feel like it's gone really great.  And shocking how those days are the days that I remember to turn to God in my weakness, my exhaustion, my irritablility, my anxiety, my impatience, and ask for his strength and the filling of his Spirit to help me turn it around.  He is faithful. 

Okay, so this day I did my hair and put on make-up.  But it was only for church and because Jason was home to help!

This journey is not easy.  But it is beyond worth it.  It is stretching me, growing me, teaching me.  Reminding me...that He is faithful.  He is strength when I am weak and I can do all things through Him.         

Aug 11, 2012

Silver Linings

I think this is first day home...still in super newborn sleepy land.
Lest you think I'm diving into a pit of despair and negativity (which sometimes on some days I might be) I want you to know that I'm still okay.  I try to count my blessings, keep my perspective, focus on the good even when the bad seems to far outweigh it, and look for the silver linings in it all.
Little Photo shoot with mama.  10 days old.
I wrote my last two posts raw and real because it helps me.  I believe in being real.  And I know that if I'm real, some other struggling mama who happens upon my blog might feel okay to be real, might feel a little less bad about her struggle, or a little less alone in her circumstance.  Real is good.
10 days old.  Yup, I'm often this awake...and I'm only not crying here because momma kept nursing me in between shots :)
So here goes my gratitude!

In the Hospital
~The really great, not too long, natural delivery that we prayed for.
~Speedy physical healing.
~Even if trapped there, I was trapped at the nicest hospital you could ask for.
~The nurses were all great...some amazing.
~The realization that in the grand scheme of things, it could be so much worse.  Some parent's go home empty handed, with aching hearts and hollow arms.  Some children are MUCH, MUCH more sick...stuck in the hospital for months, having to have surgeries, tethered in the NICU and can't even be held. 
~Because of Josiah's condition the Pediatrician was brought in instead of just the family doctor on rounds. Therefor, his circumcision was done by someone who's done a thousand or compared to a handful. Your welcome little boy ;)
~I was super freaked out about caring for a circumcision, but because were were in the hospital I forever had a nurse to come help or check on it and reassure me.
Tootsie Toes!
~When J would come and I'd go out to get my "daily dose of sun" I had the most beautifully manicured grounds to walk.  We'd stop and smell every flower, and there was even an apple tree we picked from each day.
~The food is GREAT.  Like, fresh bakes goods daily great.  Like delicious coffee great.  Like Lobster rolls for dinner great.  All I had to do was pick up the phone and order.  Minutes later some lovely food service worker was bringing a tray to my door.
~ Friends and family who visited, brought me goodies, sat, listened.
Sorry you can't see it here, but nope, neither of my children got my sweet thumbs :)
~Being lifted up in prayer
~Far away friends sending electronic hugs, love, support, encouragement and their own shared experiences.  Technology is great sometimes.  It felt like my lifeline to the outside world and time of day or night.
~Sweet reminders from God that He was there, comforting me, beside me, carrying us through.
Okay, so I guess I HAVE taken a few pictures :)  They were just all on my camera still.
~HGTV and TLC made for good company when no one else was around :)
~Super great bonding time with my new little love.
~A new special bond formed between daddy and daughter.

Since I've Been Home
~The most amazing, supportive, involved, helpful, loving husband anyone could ask for.
~A wonderful support system that MANY women do not have. 
~Meals upon meals upon meals being delivered to our door.  I cried about those...but the good tears :)
~Friends offering themselves up for anything I need.
~Listening ears and understanding hearts.
~Friends who've been there, helping me through, giving me hope.
First day out after being home.  Family trip to the park.  Nearly keeled over from exhaustion when I got home :)
~My momma free to be my momma again and help me.
~My momma ready and willing, making herself available.
~A big sister that is SO in love with her little brother and has shown not one ounce of jealousy.  She kisses him ALL the time.  So gently and sweet, cooing over him "I love you baby Josiah."  She brings him toys, reads him books and holds him in her arms. 
~Helpful little hands.  Ella insists on throwing away EVERY diaper.  In fact, she gets a little upset if you forget, or someone else does it.  She brings me things I need when I'm sitting nursing, burp clothes mostly...I always forget those!  I should just sew one to my shoulder.
~Understanding little heart.  Ella is really quite good and quite patient and understanding of Mommy being tired, emotional and not so good as a three year old can be :)
We've found our happy's called the carseat.
~Mommy, daughter relationships moving back to the way they were.
~PBS...not gonna lie, it saves my sanity these mornings.
~A steady, good job...even if it is a little crazy right now and does take Jason away a little extra on overtime right now.
~The money from overtime...even if it does mean giving up my sweetie on Saturdays.
~The Olympics to watch while soothing fussy, fussy baby.
~Yard being transformed, although still trying, keeping my eyes focused on what will be.
~Our adorable little man, so kissable and squeezable and eat right upable.

3 1/2 weeks old.  First baby mohawk!
~ Improvements...Josiah's going to sleep on his own in his carseat much more now, he's not had his super duper inconsolable times in a few days, he's giving us a longer stretch or two at night.
~Learning not to stress so much about which "philosophy" to follow and being okay with doing whatever it takes to get through these early days.
~Realizing I HAVE taken quite a few pictures :)
~Naps, rare but glorious when gotten.
~Blogs to help heal with the getting out of words.
~Two stretch marks...just sayin'  (don't be hatin' ;)
I sleep just like my sister did.  Field Goal!


Aug 10, 2012

"Happy" Homecoming

(This might be a bit jumbled...because so is my brain lately)
One week after I gave birth to our sweet boy, we walked out of the hospital doors.  I was overjoyed, so excited to get home, convinced things could only go up from here.  And I'd like to tell you everything was rainbows and butterflies from there, but that is not the case.

Josiah going home!
I thought I was on the "other side" of recovery.  I thought I was rested, over the hormone crash, past the ridiculousness of the transition of milk coming in (if you've been there you know what I'm sayin'), and on the upswing physically.
Getting ready to leave the hospital.  Looking like I thought I felt...before I hit the wall.
Boy was I wrong.

I walked through the door to home and the familiarity felt like a breath of fresh air, it was as if the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders.  But it was instantly replaced with the biggest flood of exhaustion I'd ever felt...ever.  I was in survival mode in the hospital, doing what I had to do to get by, and once I was home in my safe place, that whole facade came crumbling down and it felt like I hit a MASSIVE brick wall.  This is what the first week home was like:

  • The first day I slept in until 1:30pm (waking only to nurse Josiah).  I really can't even describe my exhaustion.  All I wanted to do is sleep. 
  • I was crying all the time at anything and nothing. 
  • Even the slightest task seemed too big, produced too much anxiety. 
  • When I finally did start doing things with Ella, the former Mommy's Girl wanted nothing to do with me.  And not in a passive, ignore me kind of a push me away, scream bloody murder at the top of her lungs, "I WANT DADDY!  YOU CAN HAVE JOSIAH!" kind of way.  That sent me right over the edge, sobbing, done.
  • The guilt was almost too much.  Guilt over being gone, guilt over not spending time/doing things with Ella.  Guilt over not feeling as happy/bonded/connected to Josiah as I had with Ella (who was a MUCH easier baby).  Guilt over not taking as many pictures.  Guilt over not having shared many pictures. Guilt over not even having the time/energy to say two words to my husband.
  • Josiah had to be held all the time, he would scream and cry if you put him down ever.  He didn't sleep well.  Sometimes only sleeping if on my chest, me all propped up.  That meant everyone but me got sleep.  He had one or two periods a day of being totally inconsolable except save for sometimes putting him in the moby and constantly bouncing, rocking, patting would work.  Add that all up and that equals a physically and emotionally spent mama who does not cope well.
  • He was so bonded to me, I seemed to be the only one able to sooth him when he's in his extra fussy times, which is an overwhelming responsibility when you're sleep deprived and already feel like you're crumbling around the edges. 
  • The timing of our yard getting does was awesome (note extreme sarcasm) because now, when I needed to get outside most, feel the sun, let Ella run and play, I couldn't.  I was confined to the house along with Ella because our yard was a ripped apart, dirty, dangerous mess.
  • The thought of Jason going back to work practically made me pass out with fear.
  • I could go on and on...but simply put, I was a wreck.  A total wreck. 
I'd like to tell you it's gotten a lot better in the last week and a half since Jason has gone back to work.  But I can't.  I can recognize slight improvements, and things are a little better, but it's still really, really tough.  Either I'm getting used to it or Josiah is slowly, slowly getting better, giving us some longer stretches at night occasionaly, sleepingin his carseat some on his own.  But he's still totally unpredictable and still needs to be held most of the time (which is all fine and dandy....unless you want to make food for your three year old, play with your three year old, take a shower, get ANYTHING done around the house, or SLEEP!).  I still get VERY little sleep.  In my spare moments... when I'm not nursing, burping, soothing, fixing breakfast or lunch, having some time with Ella...all I want to do is sleep...I still want to sleep...all the time.  I still wake up overwhelmed each morning, wondering how I'm going to get through the day, and some days are still really bad, but some days seem a little better, a little smoother.  I still feel guiltly, guilty, guilty but am listening to those around me and the Lord and trying to combat that with grace, lots of grace and being okay with just doing what I can do.  I'm probably even more impatient and short tempered now due to extended lack of sleep.  The yardwork is going slower than molasses on a cold day up a steep hill and I still feel trapped in my own home...but it's going at least.  I don't cry as much but I still cry A LOT.  I still feel disconnected from my husband because both of our hands our always full, but we have had a few moments here and there where we're both empty handed.  We sneak in a word or a kiss, we hold hands or snuggle for a second, and then one child or the other usually wakes, or cries, or needs...or at night, sleep takes priority and we roll over and get some rest :).  But the little moments still help.

I know my story is not everyone else's story.  And I'm sure there are people who handle it all in stride and are happy all the way through.  But I have talked to quite a few mom's who's tales are very similar and say their transition to one...or two...or three...or more was just as hard.  (They all tell me it will get better and I cling to that hope daily.)  

I think I was pretty ignorant to this side of "bringing home baby" until now.  Ella was an easy baby and she was my first.  So I could hold her all she needed to be held and I could sleep when she slept.  But now I've experienced the not so pretty side.  So here's my tidbit of advice from this experience:

If you know someone who's recently had a baby:
1)  Don't assume they're super happy and life is well.  Ask them how it's going...for real.  And be willing to lend a listening ear for venting or crying...withhold judgement.
 2)  Don't be interested in JUST holding their baby.  Sure, hold the baby if that is what will be helpful to them in that moment.  But otherwise, respect the parents routine.  And for heaven's sakes, don't wake the baby or try to keep them awake! 
3)  Do what you can to help the mama...daddy...siblings.  These things could include bringing a meal, doing laundry, doing the dishes, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, taking the older siblings out to play so mom can nap.  Whatever is going to ease the load and stress on the new family.  There, I said it.  THOSE are the things that REALLY help. 
4)  Don't take it personally if the family just needs some space and time.  Bonding is important, rest is important, quiet is important. 

Remember, that baby will be little and cute and holdable for a very long time and you will get those desired moments in time.  But first and foremost take care of mama and daddy!  Because if mama and daddy and family unravel in the sleep deprivation and chaos of those first 6-8 weeks, it will be good for no one at all! 
First night home.  Josiah finally getting some time with his daddy.

Aug 7, 2012

Josiah Roy Chapter Two: The Long Stay

He was born Tuesday night at 11:24pm.  I was up with him most of the night as he kept spitting up mucus and junk.  They said he came out so fast he didn't get that last good squeeze to get all the fluid and such out of his lungs but no biggie.  The morning nurse took his respirations and looked alarmed.  She said they were high and called in another nurse.  Turns out they were double what they should be.  But he was not laboring in his breathing in any other way, had no fever, pulse and oxygen levels were always great and was mellow and nursing like a champ.  The nurses didn't seem concerned and thought it was TTN and would resolve on it's own in a day or so as the extra fluid in his lungs was expelled or absorbed.  But they did let the doctor on rounds know.

When the doctor came by, his respirations were still up at 80.  I guess that's kind of alarming.  So he ordered a chest x-ray and blood work.  The chest x-ray was good.  All bloodwork was fine except for an elevated CRP (C-responsive protein) level.  This protien is put off by the liver and is elevated when there is inflamation or infection in the body.  It should be under 10 in newborns.  Josiah's was 45. 

They called in a second opinion...the pediatrician.  Wednesday evening he informed us that Josiah would need to go on IV antibiotics.  Because all of his other vitals and bloodwork looked so great, the Doc was willing to just try 48 hours of anibiotics and rerun the labs.  Most other hospitals it would have been a manditory 7 days of antibiotics.

This meant putting an IV in my 20 hour old baby boy.  It meant bruises on his hands where they couldn't find a vein.  It meant shaving his little head and sticking an IV in a vein in his forhead.  It meant him coming back to me with a wide awake, dazed, scared look on his face.  It meant at least an extra day in the hospital.  I don't do well with change.  But we went with it.  He seemed completley fine to me.  I was convinced we'd be out of there on Friday.

Friday morning came.  I was packed.  I was showered.  I was dressed.  I was putting on makeup and excited to make my exit.  The pediatrician came in and told me that the labs came back and the CRP only dropped to 43.  That it likely rose in the 48 hours and was on it's way back down.  I felt like he was talking in slow motion and then he said it..."He needs 4-5 more days of antibiotics." 

The doctor left and there I was alone in a room and I lost it.  Just lost it.  That was the worst day.  My hormones were crashing, my milk was just coming in, I was lonely, I was scared for my baby and I was now in for 5 more days on my own in the hospital.  I cried a lot, and was super overwhelmed and thought I was going to go absolutely bonkers trapped inside those four walls without my family. 

At some point the next day I just pulled up my bootstraps and said, "This is the way it has to be.  I'm just going to have to get through it."  I prayed.  I put out word to my friends what a hard time I was having.  I set up friends to come and visit different days.  And then I just tried to get into a routine.  I made myself get out of bed each day and shower, otherwise I just felt totally depressed and aweful.  Jason and Ella came and visited once a day.  Jason would take Josiah and Ella and I would go outside so I could get fresh air and sun.  Ella would play, hold Josiah, eat some lunch and then they'd be off to home for nap.  I'd clean up the room and get it all tidy again.  I watched a lot of HGTV and held and rocked Josiah a lot.  Daytime was okay, but when night fell and everything got quiet it was really hard.  It magnified my lonliness.  Some nights I had hideous nightmares that woke me from a dead sleep and I didn't dare close my eyes again. 

Even with Jason coming each day, I never felt connected to him.  We didn't get time together just us.  We didn't get to talk with a three year old running around.  That part was aweful.  Seeing my husband every day but feeling so disconnected, so alone.  It felt like all the heavy burden of Josiah's medical care was on me.  And I was so sad that this sweet boy was getting almost no time to connect and bond with his daddy.  It ripped me apart. 

Nurses came in to administer the IV antibiotics at 2am, 10am, 6pm, and 7pm.  And every few hours they came in and unwrapped him from his cozy blankets and waking him up to take his temp, respirations and blood oxygen level.  Other times they took him away to draw blood to make sure the antibiotic levels were okay, or to do more bloodwork.  Once the IV port failed and they had to take him away to put another one in.  Each time I could hear him cry down the hall in the nursery.  Each time he'd come back with a wide eyed, scared and shocked look on his face.  It was aweful.  
The happy news finally came that we could leave after his last antibiotic treatment on Tuesday.  We made plans for Ella and Jason was going to be with me Monday night and help pack up and take the happy trip home. Then Monday afternoon Ella got sick, ended up having to go to walk-in care and we found out she had a UTI, so we didn't leave her with someone else.  Daddy stayed with her again.  I was disappointed, but, hey, what was one more night?  
I was going home the next day and NOTHING could burst that bubble....or so I be continued.