Monday, April 28, 2008

A bit of perspective

Song for the fifth child
(though it works for the fourth too!)
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

"Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

When it rains... it pours

So, the day I brought my sweet little bundle home from the hospital, our washing machine called it quits. Great timing, eh? Since not doing laundry isn't really an option with a newborn, we were able to finance a new washer and dryer for no interest for a year. I left the decision of what to buy up to my husband, and he didn't go for the cheapest option... go figure.

We had hoped to get a new car for Benson this year since he is truly driving his little Nissan Sentra into the ground. I realized this rather acutely as I was the one driving it for a week to and from the hospital. After several comments from the valet guys (free valet at the hospital, loved that!), I wrote them a note saying: this car has no a/c, the door doesn't close completely, and there is no power steering. I think they were afraid *they* had broken it. LOL. Anyway, a new car will have to remain a hope, and poor Benson may loose a few pounds in the "sauna" we call his car over the summer... Alright, enough of the financial woes, I could write for hours about the medical bills and other concerns we are facing, but I know you don't want to read about that...

...instead, I'll tell you how WONDERFUL it is to have our little Daniel home. I know there are some people who have a hard time getting through the newborn phase, but I am JUST LOVING IT! I admit, I am extremely tired, but that's my only complaint. I love how soft his skin is, I love how teeny his little toes are, I love how he gets all scrunched up in fetal position when I put him on my shoulder... I love how he makes so many faces when he is sleeping: smiles then frowns, and occasionally even what seems to be a laugh. And did I mention I LOVE how soft his skin is? :) I love how much his siblings love him too... and I LOVE that he is HOME. :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's time to re-define "normal"

He's HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Its been about the longest 9 days of my life, but it was all worth it because he is healthy, and he's home! His bilirubin went down from yesterday, and he's kept up the good feeding! I'm so thrilled to have him home... as we were driving home from the hospital, I made the comment to my hubby that *that* hard part was over. He laughed and incredulously said "over??"

I'm well aware that more hard parts of life are ahead, but I'm happy to redefine what I consider to be normal and move forward as the mother of 4 children. Wish me luck with all the juggling I have ahead.

And thank you to ALL for your numerous prayers, I felt a great deal of strength knowing that we were being thought of and watched over from above.

Trying not to hope too much

Today *could* be the day he comes home. Yesterday went really well, he was a good boy and took all the food the doctors wanted him to without the feeding tube! They are going to check his bilirubin level again today... but if all is good, the doctor gave me hope that he might go home this afternoon. He told me not to count on it, so I'm trying not to hold my breath. . . but I can't help but hope. Its been a long 9 days...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Yesterday was too emotional to write about. The only good part of the day was that Daniel was taken off the bilirubin lights. He also had his circumcision, which apparantly makes babies very sleepy. He didn't eat very well at all. . .

Today, however was a bright, sunny, perfect spring day, and I had high hopes for the day. The nurse told me that overnight, he seemed to be taking about half of his feedings by bottle, the rest through his tube. That in itself is a slight improvement. He continued that trend for most of the day. I debated over when to go home. My other children have hardly seen me this past week. . . so, I decided to go home for dinner. I wasn't sure if I wanted to make the trip back to the hospital or not, but a call from my brother prompted me to make the trip so that he could meet his nephew.

I was at the hospital for 2 more feedings. The first was typical (half and half). The last feeding of the night, he didn't eat all that great from me, so we put the rest of what he needed to eat in a bottle to try that before going to the tube.

Guess what!

For the first time, he finished his entire feeding by mouth! When the nurse came in and asked how he did, I showed her the empty bottle and she did a little happy dance with me. I left the hospital crying again, but for JOY this time!!!! He's making some progress... keep up those prayers and we will be home in no time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Small improvements

Monday went a little better for Daniel. Still frustrations, but we have to see the positive, right! His morning feeding was the best yet as far as I could tell. The dumb scale said otherwise, but I choose not to dwell on that. They ended up giving him a significant amount via his NG tube anyway to please the doctors... and his next feeding was a total bust. I couldn't get him to eat for the life of me, so... NG again. ugh. Anyway, I was grateful for the good feeding. We had one more good feeding that again was frustrated by the scale, but I can see he is doing better. His jaundice seems to be leveling off, and he was very alert and awake for the good feedings.
Hoping for another day of small improvements....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Today in the life of Daniel

For those who are following, today was still frustrating. Daniel's bilirubin level went up again, so he was started on light therapy. He was *extremely* sleepy all day today, and had only 1 fairly successful feeding. The rest were done with his feeding tube. I had an excellent nurse yesterday and today... its amazing to me how much difference that can make in how the day feels. Our nurse from Friday, though very kind, was not very helpful. She did her job and made light conversation, but at feeding time, when I could really use some help to keep Daniel awake, and some encouragment that it was going well, she would pull the curtain to give me privacy. Today's nurse was also good at her job, made light conversation and all that, but went the extra mile to help in every way possible. When the morning feeding wasnt' going well, she offered to call in the lactation department to help out. In the afternoon, I started having my own problems with a fever because of either a plugged duct or the beginnings of mastitis, she found the number for my doctor, and offered to get me some tylenol etc. What I mainly learned from that experience is that I really need to take care of myself if I am going to be effective at helping Daniel. Anyway, thanks for reading my ramblings. Thank heaven for modern medicine... I'm sure Daniel and I will both make full recoveries....

Saturday, April 12, 2008

quick update

Just wanted everyone to know the latest news. Daniel is still in the hospital, though I was discharged yesterday. He is a bit jaundice, though not being treated for it just yet. Tomorrow's blood work will tell whether he needs light therapy or not. He is still not eating well, and has had several feedings through his NG tube. This is all very typical for a 34 week gestation baby, but still very hard to take in. He can come home when he has eaten on his own for 48 hours.

I know he will be fine, but I would still really appreciate any prayers in his (and my) behalf.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Introducing . . . . . .

Its a boy!

Happy Birthday: April 9, 2008

5 lbs 13 ozs
19 1/2 in
34 weeks 6 days along

He is currently staying in the NICU as he is not eating well enough on his own. He has a feeding tube down his nose, but luckily there are no issues with his lungs or anything else. I will likely go home tomorrow, but we're not sure how long he will need to stay. It all depends on when he figures out the whole eating thing. It will help when my milk supply comes in. He will certainly be fine, and come home soon, but all prayers are welcome (include Mom's emotional health as it is more unstable than Daniel's physical health). Thanks to all!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Our baby was just not going to be patient about joining our family. After 2 trips to the hospital in the last couple weeks with preterm labor, last night my water broke and about 4 hours later, our baby made his grand entrance. I'll write more later and post pics, so check back, but I thought I'd make the announcement...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Luckily, there was no damage or injuries

Our quiet Sunday afternoon was interrupted by a brush fire at my parents home. I have a whole new appreciation for the term "spread like wildfire" and also a better understanding of the fires in California and why they were so hard to contain! We had 3 police cars, 3 fire departments, and the forest preserve all come to contain it.This picture was taken shortly after we realized the fire had started.... (The neighbors who had started it had already called the fire department...) The following picture is taken from the far side of the field after it was under control. Its hard to tell, but the path points directly to my parents house!

My brother overheard a fireman say "It doesn't take a genius to see where this fire started."

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I've been tagged...

1. My husbands name is: Benson
2. How long have you been married? 10 years in July (where does the time go?!!!)
3. How long did you date? We met 4 years before we got married, but I suppose we only dated for about a year
4. How old is he? 35
5. Who eats more? You're asking a pregnant lady. :) Actually, I have a bit less room than a couple months ago, so its probably equal now.
6. Who said I love you first? Benson (followed by a horrible silence. Poor guy, he surprised me!)
7. Who is smarter? trivia smart: BENSON! school smart? me...
8. Whose temper is worse? Thats tough, his is worse, but he has better control. I lose it a bit too often over silly little things.
9. Who does the laundry? I do, but he will often put the wet clothes in the dryer when he is home.
10. Who does the dishes? I do.
11. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Me
12. Who pays the bills? thank heaven for auto bill pay. we take turns with the rest.
13. Who cooks dinner? both of us. When he is home, he will cook. I cook often, but don't enjoy it much.
14. Who drives when you are together? him
15. Who is more stubborn? whats the subject we are being stubborn about? Its a toss up, we are both German
16. Whose parents do you see the most? Mine! almost daily,
17. Who proposed? Benson (despite my original silence... we worked that out, lol)
18. Who has more friends? He has many more aquantainces than I do, but we both have just a few really close friends
19. Who has more siblings? Me, I have 7 siblings, he has 5.
20. Who wears the pants in the family? we are equal partners, I'll leave it at that