Home sweet Home

After 67 days in the NICU we are finally home. Our family of 6. We've been home 3 days and we are no where near being organized, settled, or even used to all the changes. All of the kids are dealing with everything changing again and they each act out in their own ways. Lexi has become very dramatic and highly sensitive. Caylee has resorted back to her whiny, disobedient self who needs her pacifier ALL the time. Josiah is being a normal almost two year old BOY. He's crazy, one minute he is loving all over his sisters and the next he is beating them up. I have a feeling it will be like this for the rest of his life. Hosanna is doing quite well, aside from having to pump and bottle feed she is just like a normal newborn, you can't even tell she was a preemie aside from the fact that she is a little on the small side, (6lbs 4oz and 19.5in long). She is now almost 2.5 months old and her due date hasn't even arrived yet! While she was in the NICU we were staying at the Ronald McDonald House. It was so nice to have that place to stay. We met a bunch of new friends who also had babies in the NICU, most of which are at home now adjusting to their life with their new baby just like we are. One or two of the good friends are still up there, waiting for their time (which is coming soon!) We talked a bit about having a little NICU reunion next spring, I hope we do! It will be fun to see everyone and their babies!!

Beyond exhaustion

I don't think I realized just how exhausted I could get until this week.  I have only been getting between 5.5-6 hours of sleep a day, it's making me want to get a grind and brew at Seriously, it's hard to even explain to someone how crazy life is when you have a child in the hospital and three more to care for.  I have been waiting to find some routine, waiting for life to just calm down, and today I realized it's not going to until we can take Hosanna home.  Our day is full of pumping, visiting Hosanna, playing with the other three kids, eating, more pumping, more playing, more visiting and more eating. Throw in there the fact that my husband is trying to get some stuff done that he had committed to, and the fact that we are all in one room and you've got my life for the next few months.

It's hard to not feel guilty when we miss a care time with Hosanna, or if I'm getting to hold Hosanna then i feel guilty that I'm not with the other three kids. I made the decision today to skip Hosanna's 10:30 care time in an attempt to get a little more sleep. I know I am going to have a hard time not going as it gets closer and closer to 10:30.  That's just how I am. But 6 hours of sleep is not enough for me, and I've been trying to fight off a sore throat, I cannot get sick, i will be absolutely useless then.

So for now it's eat, pump, visit play. repeat. every day for the next who knows how long.

Central Air

We have not had central air conditioning in years. I have to be honest, I really hate it now. I am just so used to the warmth that when we have air conditioning I FREEZE! We have air here in the Ronald McDonald house, which is nice, but I am afraid I'm going to get used to it and then when we go home I'm gonna be so hot all the time!  I wish we had a nice hunter ceiling fan in the room, we could open the windows on this wonderfully HOT day here in Roanoke and feel like we were at home. he he.


Hosanna is one week old today. The week has been quick, but slow at the same time. There is a lot going on and my body doesn't really know how to process it all. The kids are gone camping with my family for a few days so it's giving me a few more days to heal, my mind wants nothing more than a good run, but I KNOW my body is not ready for that.  (and don't worry, yes, I love running, but I will not be doing that till i get the ok from the doctor).

My husband was hopeful that his work would be willing to let him work remotely over the next 9-11 weeks while we are up here, but they said no. He was offered a temporary lay off, and after prayer and talking we decided that was the best option. We know he could always go back home during the week and work, and the kids and I could stay here, but I would be unable to go back and see Hosanna because Josiah is not old enough to go back there and the other two can only be there or 15 minutes.  We thought about having someone come stay with me while he went home to work, but i am not the type of person who can handle a different person around.  It would be way too stressful on me, even if the person here WAS a big help.  So now we are going to try to do what we can to get in some extra money, whether it's selling stuff, trying to find a little bit of side work, finding a place that would buy silver coins, (if we had any) or just about anything!  The good thing about the Ronald McDonald house is that we will be saving some money by being here.   They provide so much and are so wonderful, hopefully that will help make up for some of the money will will be losing.

Get away

There are days I am just so overwhelmed all I can think about is wanting to run away.  Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by my dirty house, sometimes the kids are crazy, sometimes it's just life. 

Sometimes you wake up , or as the day goes on you realize you want nothing more than to find  obx foreclosures and move to the Outer Banks.  The problem i've found with running away is that the stress just follows you. Well, the messy house might not, but if you moved, you'd just be packing up the mess and taking it with you he he. 

This weekend is mixed for me, My three older kids are up camping with my family while my husband and I are here, 2 hours away from home and 5 hours away from the kids, trying to adjust to living in the Ronald McDonald house as well as spending as much time as we can with Hosanna. It's hard though, because the kids have only been gone since 9am and i miss them like crazy!!  I'm sure they are having fun, and hopefully we actually take some time this weekend to try to get some rest when we can.

One rooming it

For the next 8-11 weeks we are going to be living at the Ronald McDonald house while Hosanna gets the care she needs in the NICU. I am very grateful for this place, we wouldn't be able to  survive without it.  They were kind enough to allow my mom and step dad to stay here in our room for a few nights as well.  They have food available for breakfasts and lunches, and different organizations/ministries provide dinner every night. It's a HUGE blessing.  There is a play room downstairs for the kids, a little library and even a small playground out side. 

Our room is like a hotel, it has two queen beds and a couch that pulls out. We even have a little tv with cable! and our own bathroom of course.  The only thing we're trying to get adjusted to is having all of us in one room.  Eugene has been trying to work on some flyers and stuff he has to get done (he brought his desktop computer up here) but little fingers keep finding the wrong buttons to push...  We need a monitor mount up on the wall and a locked box for the tower I think.  Bed time is also going to take some getting used to,  Josiah likes to wake everyone up as soon as he wakes up, and getting to sleep can be a bit of a challenge too. These are just minor adjustments we have to figure out because there is no way we're going home without Hosanna.

the good, the bad and the ugly

I faced two of my biggest labor and delivery fears with this last blessing of mine. For as long as I can remember when i thought about having a  baby I said I'd want a natural delivery with no pain medication. At first that was just the stubborn, strong attitude in me, then when I got pregnant I started some research and decided yes, a drug free birth was what i wanted for my little one.  One of the reasons was because the thought of a needle of any sort going in my back scared me to death. and when people talked about c-sections- that was like a cuss word to me. NEVER! When I went into labor with her at 34w 4 d, I held my position even through the pitocine contractions.  Recovery was a little rough, I tore and I remember being really sore for a few days, maybe a week.  It wasn't as bad as some mothers who break their tail bone and need donuts or chair pads, or have horrible tears and require tons and tons of stitches.

Baby # 2 came along, and I stood my stance on pain medication. No drugs for me! This was by far the best labor and deliver and recover I've had with all 4 kids. I kept waiting for those terrible contractions I remembered from my first delivery, and sitting on the couch at 2am I started to feel the urge to push, we barely made it to the ER when I delivered my second daughter. I didn't even have an IV for this one. I had a 2nd degree tear, got some stitches, but within hours I was up and ready to walk the halls. No pain and no discomfort.

Baby #3 came and again, a natural child birth was what I wanted. I still hated the thought of an epidural and c-sections scared me to death.  I made it through the labor and delivery fine, drug free. We had some complications afterwards that required medical intervention and caused my recovery to be longer than i would have chosen, but as far as the labor and delivery, it was great.

So naturally, when we got pregnant with #4 I was going to aim for a delivery like #2. staying at home as long as possible and having a great, natural labor and delivery in an attempt to have a quick, easy recovery. After all, I had 3 kids at home to care for.  I was still scared to death of a c-section, women I know who have had them I thought were amazing and strong, I knew I'd pass out if there was mention of me needing one.  After all, that required a needle in your back AND being cut open...

I am so glad I had no clue what God had in store for us.  Being informed at 27w5d that there were issues with your pregnancy and there was a small chance they'd have to deliver the baby within the week if they couldn't resolve the problems was not on the birthing plan. A week of doctors appointments was not scheduled. Three ultrasounds later (within 5 days) we were informed I was going in for a c-section that very day.  There was nothing natural about this. and there was no labor. I wasn't sure what to think or do. 

They decided to wait till morning for the ultra sound so they could get some blood in case I  (or baby) needed a transfusion. I had a whole night of monitors, IVs and thoughts.  I had a million doctors talking to me about procedures, what they might expect, what might happen, what was worse case scenario, best case scenario. I had OR doctors, NICU doctors, anesthesiologists... the list goes on.  Yes somehow, even knowing I was about to face my two biggest fears, I had peace. for the most part.

When morning came I went in for my c-section. first came the spinal. I think i was more afraid of that at that point. Within an hour I was wheeled into recovery waiting for my legs to regain feeling. I had survived, and it wasn't AS bad as I had thought. but I would still never wish a c-section on anyone. mostly because recovery completely stinks.

Fresh Veggies

Being in Roanoke has been so nice. We've enjoyed having so many choices for shopping around, it's much nicer than living in the small town we've been in for awhile. (Small towns have their advantages, but we are city people).

The other day on the path from the parking garage to the hospital there was a little table set up with fresh fruit and veggies, as well as local, grass fed meat and eggs.  I was so tempted by the freshness of it all.

I can't wait to reap the benefits of my mother in law's garden later this summer, I think I'll purchase some nice tillman gloves to help pull weeds. he he. Then she can pay me in cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans and anything else she chooses!

For now though I think we'll be finding more farmers markets around and enjoying the fresh produce.

Change of plans

My ways are not your ways, My plans are not your plans. That's what God says. and boy is He right. 

Saturday morning I went in for a c-section where they delivered my baby at 28w4days. There are a lot of details behind it, but the doctors all agreed at that point she was better off in the hands of the NICU doctors and nurses than in my womb. 

Now we find ourselves almost two hours from home in a Ronald McDonald house with a tiny 2lb 4 oz daughter in the NICU. Luckily there are no major complications, other than being so early, She has had 3 blood transfusions and is slowly losing all the extra fluid that was building up around her. She's dealing with jaundice- something quite common (no spray on tanning needed for that tiny girl).

Trying to adjust to all of us in one room is interesting, as well as trying to balance time with the three bigger kids and still making it over for Hosanna's care times at the hospital. It's quite an exhausting life.  I find my comfort in the verse that tells us God wont give us more than we can handle. I just wish I saw myself like He does.

Keeping busy

Josiah is almost a year and a half old now, and getting things done is getting harder and harder.  Nothing seems to keep him busy! The best thing I've found is a container with a lid. He likes to try to put the lid on, then he likes to find things that fit in the container. We also have some stacking blocks he enjoys playing with. Sometimes little jigsaw puzzles keep him busy for a short period of time, and sometimes nothing works. While I was trying to do school with Lexi sometimes we had a hard time, he would climb and scream and fuss. Boys are really different than girls. He's crazy!!!

Yta positive

Does Yta positive mean anything to anyone? no? that's cuz I don't have very many people reading this blog. That is the antibody I have in my blood. The one that caused the hospital lab to scratch their heads, then the regional lab to scratch their heads, then they sent my blood all the way to MD to the  National Institute of Health where they pinpointed what it was in my blood.  Not sure if it would have taken any less work if I had the lab testing in San Francisco, but I'm glad it got identified, or my doctor might have kept scratching his head for the rest of my pregnancy.

There's not a ton of research out there on this great antibody, but what little is out there doesn't show it affecting pregnancy or babies in anyway. The only issue will be if I need a blood transfusion after delivery, then they will have to search down some A+ blood out of the 1% of American's who share this antibody with me.