Update on Jack

August 3, 2011

First of all, I just wanted to thank everyone for praying with us!  We’ve been surrounded by answered prayers these past couple of days.

On Sunday night, we took Max to the Spivas house- he spent the night with them (although he fought tooth and nail before falling asleep!) and Jill took him and Hudson on some adventures during the day Monday.  On Monday morning, Chad and I woke up at 4:50 and left the house by 5:20 with Jack. At 6am we began checking in and at 6:30, Kellee showed up to sit with us.  Around 6:40, we were ushered back to a room where they began prepping, taking Jack’s vitals, giving us the scoop, and we got to meet all the doctors and nurses who would be with Jack.  The staff was absolutely wonderful.  I canNOT gush enough.

Around 7:50am, I put Jack on a grown up size gurney and walked with him until we got to the OR door.  Then they kept going with my baby and I had to stop.  My chest clenched up and I wasn’t sure I was going to get another breath.  This was promptly followed with tears- and by far the worst moment of the whole experience.  But we were in our room about 15 minutes when they called to say that the anesthesia had gone great and they were beginning the surgery.  Then about 30 minutes later, his doctor was standing in our room, telling us that Jack was in recovery and the surgery had gone great!  About 20 minutes after that, they called and told us to go to our new room where we’d be spending the night and that Jack would meet us there. By 9:15, he was in my arms, awake from the anesthesia, but asleep from all the bustle and bustle.  Perfect!

The rest of our day and night was uneventful– the best thing it could be!  The only crazy thing was how many times Jack wanted to eat through the night…5 times between 9pm and 7am– whoa, but he was making up for the 12 hours of not eating leading up to surgery and post-surgery. His heart and breathing monitors never showed any problems and Jack never showed any signs of pain. He spent most of the day in my arms sleeping and I just starred at his sweet face.

Unplugged and ready to go home!

We were discharged by 9:30am and Chad and Max picked us up and took us to Dunkin Donuts.  When all was said and done, I just looked at Chad and we decided that it could not have gone any better.  Jack seems so much more comfortable, there were no problems at all, every single nurse and staff person that we came in contact with was phenomenal, and I enjoyed the cafeteria’s chocolate cake much more than I should!

We thank God for taking such great care of our baby and giving us such great doctors.  We’re also so grateful for all our friends and family that helped us out, prayed with us, and especially the Spivas and Kellee for doing it with us.  We’re blessed!

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Jack’s Surgery

July 29, 2011

At the end of June, the day before I was heading out of town with the boys, I was changing the J-man’s diaper on the couch when I noticed a bulge below his tummy but above his privates.  I called Chad to come see it and we decided that it was just his muscles because he wasn’t laying flat while I was changing him.  Then, when I was in Indiana, I noticed it again and the thought of a hernia crossed my mind. Of course (because I never learn) I googled it- and within 2 clicks I knew that’s what we were dealing with.  Blah! But my cousin Nicole is a baby nurse, so when I saw her the next day, I got the scoop that it wasn’t an emergency but that I needed to get it looked at by our pediatrician. Fast forward a couple weeks to Jack’s 2 month appointment, and our pediatrician took a look, and didn’t say much beyond referring us to a specialist.  I asked how soon I needed to get an appointment and he said it wasn’t an “emergency” but that I should try to get in within the next several weeks.

I knew from google that Jack would need surgery to repair it, and since my pediatrician who is normally wonderful and talks me through everything was rather quiet, I knew that’s where we were headed, but since no one seemed to act like it was an emergency, after my initial freak out leaving the doctor’s office, I decided to put off worrying until we knew more.  I made the appointment for the second week in August and put it out of my mind.

Then this past Sunday morning, after a night of tummy aches, I went to change Jack’s diaper and noticed that the hernia was at least 3 times the size that it was when we went to bed, and that there was some discoloration at the bottom of it. After a call with the on call nurse at Jack’s doctor’s office, we ended up spending several hours at Children’s Healthcare Immediate Care.  The doctor there was able to push the hernia back in (yes! with his thumb, just right there, yikes!) and then taught us how to do it, in case it came back out again, and encouraged us to get the appointment with the specialist moved up. Sunday afternoon, I did have to push the hernia back in, OMG!, and I got the appointment moved to Thursday (yesterday).  I had been told that the surgery was outpatient, laparoscopic, no stitches, and wouldn’t need to happen for several months- and altogether easy peasy.  As much as it made me sick, I knew that Jack would never remember this and it would be over before I knew it.

Well that’s not exactly how it all went down.

Yesterday, I showed up at the doctor’s office with my Jack, 30 minutes before our 3:30 appointment so that I could fill out all the paperwork.  I got everything finished in time to sneak to a back room, courtesy of a nurse, and feed Jack before we saw the doctor. As is the norm after Jack’s 3pm feeding, he filled his diaper- and I’m not talking #1 here folks.  When I stood up to change his duty, I looked down and “it” was ALL over me.  And him. And his clothes. Ay yi yi! So after de-pooping everything, tying the dirty clothes in a bag, and getting ourselves back together, we were ushered to our real room, where we waited until 4:45 before seeing the doctor. (Reminder: My appointment was at 3:30 and they asked me to get there at 3:00.) Considering that I didn’t have a change of clothes (why don’t mom’s carry diaper bags for themselves?) and was still wearing pooh, had rushed from work to get to this appointment that was over 30 miles away from our house, was at this appointment without Chad who was out of town, and was rather sleepy from Jack’s new sleeping pattern (or lack there of) I was less than thrilled to sit there for almost 2 hours.  So you can imagine how well I responded when the doctor walked in and told me that this was a rather serious issue that could cause permanent damage if not handled quickly and that they wanted to do Jack’s surgery next week- oh, and the kicker? He would need to stay overnight.  I gasped for air at first, then gulped my tears down and urged my chest to loosen back up.  I’m not sure how much time actually passed before I spoke but it was long enough that the doctor felt awkward and you could tell he was questioning my stability.

Luckily, I got it together and began to formulate sentences and pepper him with 1000 questions.  Dr. Pitt is a wonderful man who talked me through each and every detail, told me about the risks and the reasons why this was a must, explained the in’s and out’s of it all, and by the time we were done, I was very grateful that he would be handling the surgery.  There will be a cut over an inch long, with stitches, and although the thought of full anesthesia on my teeny tiny baby makes me VERY nervous, he did explain that whole process as well. We will stay overnight because of the risk of apnea (because of Jack’s prematurity at birth and young age now) and except for the 15 minutes that Jack is in prep, the hour long surgery, and the 15 minutes that he’s in recovery, I will be able to be with him.  I can also feed him too, and as long as nothing goes wrong, there will be no need for a feeding tube, etc. And he will be monitored for 24 hours. Because babies heal so quickly, after the anesthesia wears off, he will probably only need infant tylenol after that.

All of the things are good news- doable- not so much a big deal. So naturally I got to the car and called Chad who is in Florida and cried.  Once I finished talking to him, I had to pull over  because I thought I was going to throw up. I do realize that there are parents that would love to be going through this with their child instead of their reality, but for me, this is a big deal.  Someone is putting my baby to sleep and cutting on him.  And although he won’t remember it, I will, and that hour long wait will feel like years. For the majority of my drive home, satan was winning.  Fear took over my whole body, my every thought, and I couldn’t think straight.

Luckily I had talked to Danielle on the way to the appointment about other things and in the course of our conversation she reminded me that it is my job to be the best possible mom, and to read and research and make wise choices and the rest was of it was out my control. And before I got home, I was calm again- we have a great doctor, we have lots of people who loves us and will pray over his surgery and we have an even greater, bigger, capable God. Fear still creeps in from time to time (it hasn’t even been 24hrs since I got the news), and honestly, I’m still processing it all- still in shock that it’s opposite of everything I was told it would be (by people and google- not doctors) and that it’s going to happen in just a few days, but God is bigger than all that too.

I will get a call later today with the exact date/ time of the surgery and I will be sure to add that information to this post.  We would love it if you would pray with us about this- pray for the surgeon to have perfect hands, for a super quick and painless recovery for our little man, for my fear not to give Satan any leverage, and for God to get glory.

**UPDATE:  Jack’s surgery will be Monday morning at 7:30am at Scottish Rite.


John Henry and Jack Henry

July 25, 2011

Over the 4th of July, I drove the boys to Indiana for a visit.  Beforehand, I was thinking that I was either crazy or gonna be when I arrived, since I decided to drive over 8 hours, alone, with two children under two.  But both boys totally surprised me and were even better than their great selves and we arrived with only about 30 minutes tacked on to our travel time.  We only got out of the car when I needed a restroom, otherwise, we stayed contained in the swagger wagon while I fed baby Jack– I even packed our lunch and snacks, thinking that would help pass the time. And it worked– the trip was painless and well worth my pre-travel scrutinizing and organizing to get us there without any debacles. Now why Indiana you might ask- especially since most people head to the beach or somewhere “fun” for the 4th of July. But my parents live there, my brother Sam, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and my cousins.  And all of the above see to it that my children think Indy is the greatest place EVER… and they love it! I’m not sure they’ll want to “vacation” anywhere else… at least until they’re old enough to know better!

Anyway, we’ve got lots of people there, and I was really looking forward to my parents loving on (helping with) the boys for a week- but my big reason for making the drive was my Papaw.  My Papaw, aka John Henry is one of the greatest men who have graced this earth.  So much so, that my sweet baby Jack is named after him.  Therefore I HAD to get their picture together ASAP.

My Papaw was a Christian pastor, he is the father of 5 children, one of them being my mom, the grandfather to 9 grandchildren, and great grandfather to four great grandchildren (thus far).  Now he has been known to tell “Papaw jokes”- you know the really corny ones, but he is the kindest, my gentlest man.  He’s a hard worker who will do anything for anyone, an early riser who spent a lot of time in The Word, a gardener, and the provider of donuts every morning that I visited him.  My Papaw came from Indiana to North Carolina when I was 9 years old, to baptize me on Valentine’s day, at my request.  He also rode us around on bikes, took us to the church playground many a times, wrestled and played with us on the floor, and was even the dean at church camp. My favorite thing about him is his ability to rock and sing any baby to sleep.  “You are my sunshine” is the song I’ve sung Max since he was born because of my Papaw- I can hear him singing it although it has been years!  I can only imagine how many lives Papaw has touched, beyond just our family, during his years of service to the Lord.

Unfortunately, my Papaw’s brain doesn’t work like it used to- he gets confused easily, forgets things a lot, repeats almost everything, asks “simple” questions, and really relies on my Mamaw for everything. But despite all that, he can still recite every hymn in the book and tell you what the scriptures say.  Now if that doesn’t point to a man who hid His Word in his own heart, then I don’t know what does!  He may forget what appears to be obvious here on earth, but what’s eternal is buried in his mind and heart forever.  That thought makes my breath catch in my chest!

And now, my sweet baby Jack is named after him, and I can only pray that my Papaw’s Jesus will soon inhibit my Jack’s heart and fill him, the way God has filled my Papaw for so many decades.


2 Whole Months!

July 21, 2011

Sweet little baby Jack, we have had you in our arms for 2 whole months!  Wow, time flies!  You’ve grown a ton and changed a lot.  There are days when you’ve looked just like Max, then Gabe, then me… but now when I look at you, and all I see is your Daddy!  And you’re about as laid back as he is too… although without the funny remarks 🙂

Pound it, Mom!

This month, just meeting your needs has pushed me and broken me more than I ever imagined.  Because of thrush, feeding you has been pure torture.  And then, thanks to thrush, I got mastitis– talk about horrendous.  In one week, I got 3 prescriptions– more than I’ve gotten in the last 3 years!  Every 3 hours, you needed to eat and I found myself in tears over it.  And I just hated feeling that way about nursing- it was supposed to be special- so I did everything I could- I read about it, I took my meds, I washed everything 4948 times- and I prayed.  And then I realized I was at the end of myself but still knew that nursing was best for you. And then it hit me- I was praying more and leaning on God for breath, literally, for about 10 minutes every 3 hours. Your life, and loving you has literally forced me into Jesus’ arms.  Thank you!  We are on the mend now, but my prayers aren’t ceasing!  But since I don’t weep or cringe or cry out in pain, I get to spend all my time looking at you.  And I am one blessed mommy!  No one else on earth gets this perfect view of you- while you eat, you’re so relaxed- your profile is beautiful, your yummy little legs exposed, and slowly, as you begin to fill up, your hand go from clenched fists to open, and relaxed– I can see your knuckle creases and caress your tiny fingers.  What a precious little man you are!

Beautiful Sleeping Boy

Today, at your 2 month appointment you weighed 10lbs 12ounces– that is DOUBLE what you were when we brought you home, you little chunky monkey!  And you’re 21.7 inches long… that means you’ve grown 2 inches since your 2 week appointment, way to grow, man!  You also had to get some shots- it was horrible.  You were asleep in my arms and they came in and pricked you like a little pin cushion and we both cried- which then made Max cry.  That poor nurse.  Luckily it was quick, and you were snoozing again before I knew it.  I think we’ll live, but I’m still shaking a little.  ALSO they confirmed that you have a hernia above your groin- which I knew- but we were just praying it would disappear. Unfortunately, you have to have surgery for it in the next couple months- but I’m not ready to talk about that.  Just thinking about my tiny baby and anesthesia make me feel like an elephant is on my chest.  So let me process that some more and we’ll discuss it further.  I’m sure you’re in your crib fretting about it right now…. Let’s be honest, the only person who will be scarred by this is me- you won’t even remember it, but blah!

Cheese!

Your schedule is pretty set and you’re easy as can be!  And this week, you’ve been sleeping for 6.5 hours at night, eating, sleeping 3 more when I wake you to eat, and then sleeping almost 3 more.  That’s right- a 12 hour night with a nice long stretch for your mother.  Your brother NEVER did that- never!  That puts you in the running to be my favorite– keep up the good work!  Although you can still fit into newborn clothes, you’ve been wearing 0-3 month clothes as well and they fit well!  I just still want everything to be super soft and cuddly– like when I change you, it’s usually from one pair of pj’s to another!  You’re in size 1 diapers, but I think you’re trying to edge up to the next size in those too– maybe in the next couple of weeks.

Cuddling with your Annie

Our goal for this next month is to get you to sleep in your crib, instead of your Nap Nanny and car seat.  You’ll fall asleep in there, but it never lasts more than 20 minutes.  I think you know how tiny you look in the bed.  And when you’re on your back, your legs still aren’t flat against the bed, so I think that wakes you up, too.  But we’ll work on it 🙂

You still have all your hair, and more, and you’re definitely going to be a toe-head.  Your eyes are bright blue- just like Gabe and Max’s.  Your legs are full, your chins are wonderful and your cheeks are delicious.  All my hard work in the nursing department has definitely paid off. You still rarely cry and prefer grunting, snorting, and groaning.  If the sun is in your eyes while we’re in the car, you just grunt until I move your shade.  Your Daddy thinks it sounds like somebody popped you and all your air is coming out.  But really, you’re just having a hard time pooping!  And man oh man can you pass gas– the noise level rivals your father, which is a feat in itself. (Between discussing your poop and you nursing, I can only imagine how this blog post will haunt you when you’re a teenager….)

You are one loved little boy!  Please know how truly awesome it is to be your mom and watch you grow.  You make my heart so full and I wish I could just sit and hold you all the time.  You are the most cuddly little thing and I just love kissing those cheeks.  Jesus loves you too, little Jack.  More than we’ll ever be able to understand.  He’ll change your life too– I can’t wait for that!


Happy 1 Month baby Jack!

June 21, 2011

I can’t believe my baby is one month old today!  We’ve had him a whole darn month, but it doesn’t feel like that at all.  I’m not sure if it’s because he’s so easy or if it’s because going from 1 child to 2 children hasn’t been near as chaotic as I expected, but regardless, it’s flown by, and it’s been wonderful!

Jack’s schedule is pretty easy- full of eating and sleeping (and pooping… but he does that while eating and sleeping!)

Jack wakes between 7:30-8am and eats

8:30am- nap

10:30am- eat

11:15am- nap

1:15pm- eat

1:45pm- nap

4:15pm- eat

5:00pm- nap

7:00pm- eat

9:15pm- bath, lotion, and pjs

10:00pm- feed

AND I only see Jack once during the night, between 3:30 and 4am.  And it has been this way for a week– oh my goodness, I do not have one complaint about this!  Jack loves to be swaddled when he sleeps and he still sleeps in his nap nanny. The only difficult thing about Jack, which is beyond his control I might point out, is his reflux– but I’ve cut out dairy (and considering my love for cheese and ice cream, that IS love!) and it’s already a lot better.  But he has to be burped every 3 minutes while eating, and he will still spit up a little.  He also needs to be held upright after feeding for a bit- but we’ve adjusted and it’s not really that big of deal.  It just makes for a lot of laundry, because at this point, I still can’t bear to reuse a burp cloth of it already got a little spittle on it… I know that will change but for now, I just do a load of his laundry almost everyday.

At his 2 week appointment, he had gained a pound and grown 3/4 of an inch– growing boy– but because he stats were so good, we won’t go back until 8 weeks! He fits into newborn diapers really well now and the same goes for newborn clothes.  He may even outgrow those in the next week or so, but that’s more for length, not width… but have you seen his father?  I think it’s in the genes.

Jack,

You are my sweetest punkin.  I kiss you all the time and then tell you that kisses mean love and that love is very important and wonderful.  And when I’m lucky, you grin about this!  You are so laid back, just like your Daddy and opposite of your brother (and Mommy!).  I keep reading the most newborn cry or fuss for 2-3 hours a day– you cry or fuss for about 10 minutes a day.  You love to sit in my lap and look around and when it’s quiet, and just me and you, you put your lips in an “o” and take in our surroundings while I whisper to you. And just know, that I canNOT get enough of you.  And I canNOT wait to see what the next month brings as you become more alert.  I love you tons and tons little buddy.  But just remember, Jesus loves you even more!

Jack week by week:

Jack's birthday!

Jack at 1 week old!

Jack at 2 weeks old!

Jack at 3 weeks old!

Jack at 4 weeks old!

And here is Jack today on his 1 month day! (And he is NOT a fan of the flash, can you tell? Ha!)

Jack is 1 month old!

P.S. Jack is/was due in 2 days, ha!


Wordless Wednesday

June 15, 2011

Kindof.  I can’t say nothing. But just check out these pictures… some are Max and some are Jack… and the resemblence makes me speechless… hence Wordless Wednesday 🙂

Max- almost 6 weeks old

Jack- almost 4 weeks old

Max in his Moses basket

Jack in the Moses basket

Max sleeping in my lap

Jack sleeping in my lap

P.S. Today is Wednesday, right???


Reflux Schmeflux!

June 12, 2011

Ok, so I think Jack might have reflux.  Not in a crying sort of way, but in a spit up a whole lot after every feeding and major grunting and squirming and red facing scrunching, too.  Considering the fact that there are no tears involved, this isn’t “horrible” for me- BUT it makes me sad to think he’s in pain and unable to keep down all his food.

So I started reading… googling… and that never leads anywhere good.  Don’t get me wrong- I learned a lot, and I’m working on a plan BUT I was so overwhelmed when I was done. I tried to lament over it with Chad, but he didn’t get it.  The idea of it all made me anxious, fretful, and tired!  You see, after each feeding, I try to hold Jack upright for at least 30 minutes- but he still spits up.  This makes for a really long night- every night, and of course, he’s so new and fresh out of the oven, that there is no end in sight for any of this- and that’s withOUT implementing everything I read… ay yi yi!

Then I read this blog post:  http://www.goodtobecrazy.com/2011/06/wastin-away.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GoodToBeCrazy+%28Good+To+Be+Crazy%29

It’s all about how fleeting life is- and her point has NOTHING to do with my baby’s reflux- it’s all about our time here on earth, but God used this little nugget in my blog reader to speak to my heart- this time with Jack, this reflux and spitting up and short sleeps for this mama are fleeting– before I know it, he’s going to be chattering my ear off like his little brother, asking for ice cream and cookies instead of his veggies.  His days of nursing and burping and covering me in regurgitated slime will be a distant memory.

SO, I can do this.  So what if I have piles in my kitchen and the laundry doesn’t stay caught up. So what if I spend more time on the couch holding a baby upright and getting WAY less done around the house.  So what if it takes me many days of planning to actually run my errands.  It’s just a teeny tiny phase.  I can SO do this!

So after some reading, here is my plan:

1) Just feed Jack on one side per feeding- it’s supposed to cut down on how much air they get by cutting down on how much fore milk they get and increasing their hind milk

2) Stop pumping– after the hospital and the crazy lactation specialist (details on this later) I came home withe WAY too much milk and had to pump like crazy just to be comfortable!  My milk supply has gone down some, but I still make extra and I was using this as an opportunity to store up lots of extra BUT after reading today, I learned that pumping creates an oversupply (duh) which causes a really strong let down, making baby Jack have to gulp to keep up, giving him too much air, which causes him pain.  Holy string of cause and effects!

3) Adjust my diet, drastically– I’m still reading all of this and researching before making my final plan- but basically I should drink water and eat rice. Awesome.

4) Hold Jack upright, his spine completely straight, NO folding of his body at all because it puts pressure on his tummy, for at least 30 minutes.  (And I’m praying that I see this as a way to serve him and show him the selfless love of Jesus that’s in my heart– I know he’ll never remember this, but he can begin to feel my love for him, and I want to love him like Jesus does.  This won’t always be easy, especially in the middle of the night, hence the praying!)

5) Since Jack is 3 weeks old now, I’m going to start giving him one bottle a day during the next week or so, setting us all up for success when I’m not around- but we’ll only use Dr. Brown bottles this go ’round… the best ones for reflux.

6) Jack now sleeps in a Nap Nanny through the night and for some naps during the day. (I really wish these came in adult sizes!) The positioning is supposed to really help with reflux and he hates sleeping flat on his back, so this killed two birds with one stone 🙂

SO now I want to hear from you– any other tips?  Anything that works or helps or alleviates pain and discomfort for my baby man? I’m not interested in medicine at this time- hoping to treat it naturally- but would love to hear anything you’ve got!