Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring is in the air...

Yesterday Michael Anne, Addison and I went out for a nice long walk around our neighborhood. We stopped and played at a few playgrounds and Michael ran around so much that she wore herself right out! She also likes to walk off the trails in the "wilderness" and so I got a lot of extra walking in since her wanderings take a longer route. Here are a few pictures from our outing. I especially love the one of Addison with her yellow bow (if I ever get around to sending out announcements this may be the picture you'll find in it).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Princess Pirate

Michael has so much fun dressing up and has recently figured out how to get out of the house despite our efforts to keep her in the house. Here are a few pictures of her dressed as the Princess Pirate. I did however, convince her to put on shoes, sweats, and a jacket as it is still kind of cold some days!

More Pictures of Addison's Birthday & Hospital Stay

The BIG Day

Getting Ready for Baby

A Little Family Time

My Brave Girl (Michael Anne watched practically the entire delivery & she wasn't even sacred one bit - more amazed than anything)

Hey This Wasn't Supposed to Hurt!

Here She Is!

Good Job Kiss from Michael Anne

Proud Daddy

Pretty Little Ga-Ga

Mommy's Girls

Daddy's Little Ladies

Not Enough Oxygen

Getting Ready to Transport to Primary Children's

Hooked Up to All the Monitors

Daddy Taking Baby's Temp. (They let us care for her as much as possible)

Oxygen/Humidifying Tent

Addi After Surgery W/O the O2 Tent

Home & Happy With Big Sister

We've been so blessed to have our little Addison home with us for a week now. She has been doing very well and will begin having her follow up appointments with her doctors this week. Michael is adjusting to having a littler person around and loves to help take care of her baby sister. It is also fun for us to watch Michael growing up and being a little more responsible for herself and so concerned for mommy. She is a great helper. One other cool thing is how much love a new baby brings into a home. I find myself even more in love with Derek every time I look at our little girls and think of our family together forever. This is the greatest gift.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Quick Up Date on Addison

We just returned home from the hospital. Addison is doing pretty well but it looks like they want to keep her until Monday so tomorrow I will be spending most of the day with her while Michael Anne gets some much needed home time. It has been fun for her to be with Grandma & Grandpa Church but she has also missed being home and we have missed her so much too.
Addison has a good appetite but I noticed tonight that she was snorting and wheezing a little as well as sneezing a bunch, hopefuly it is just some residual surgery swelling or just a little stuffiness no doubt from me. It is no fun giving birth with a cold!
Well, I need to go put my feet up. My ankles have been somewhat swollen today and it's kind of uncomfortable.
I have more pictures to put up but I'm too tired to do that today so maybe tomorrow or the next day or maybe the next day...
Good night, Julie

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Addison's Arrival

Just a quick bit of info and then I'll post more in a few days: Baby Addison was born on March 12, 2008 at 1:47pm in Am. Fork She weighed 8 lbs. 1 oz. and was 20 inches long. She has a lot of dark hair and of course is super cute.
F.Y.I. - Addison is a girl :) I didn't realize it was a boyish name so much but it turns out that it is...oh well...I guess it is in keeping with "Michael Anne" then after all.
Her birth was a great experience although this time around the contractions were fast and furious, even with an epidural! Derek got to cut the cord and Michael Anne was there to see it all, which I think helped to keep me calm during those contractions and pushing that weren't supposed to be painful. I didn't expect nor intend for her to see everything but she was pretty fascinated so when she wanted to see more we let her and she loved it. I think she is destined to become a doctor. Nothing phases her, she is fully captivated when it comes to anything medical and recounts what she sees with excitement and four-year-old animation that is so fun to watch.
At birth Addison was having a lot of nasal flaring and made a snorting/wheezing sound when she breathed heavily so our pediatrician decided that it would be better to be safe than sorry and recommended doing a CT just to make sure it was just swelling from the birthing process rather than any kind of anatomical defect or abnormal growth. Thank goodness he wanted to be safe because the CT showed two growths in her left nasal passage. They weren't completely blocking her airway but her oxygen saturation would get pretty limited whenever she was the least bit agitated, or even when she wasn't. So the day after she was born she was moved into the Newborn ICU. Later that evening she was transported up to Salt Lake see a specialist. Her pediatrician, who is a wonderful doctor by the way, only wanted her to be seen by the best pediatric ENT that he could find so we were confident that she would get great care and she did.

Right now she's up at Primary Children's Hospital but should be coming home either today or in the next day or two. Not to worry though, she just had to have a minor surgery to correct what turned out to be a tear duct that had no outlet. Instead of draining into the nasal passage it was causing the nasal tissues to swell and balloon out which then pushed the turbinate out into the airway making it a difficult to breathe. The operation was fairly straight forward; open the cists caused by the swelling, let them drain and that's it. She did really well the surgery was quick and uncomplicated but they wanted to keep her for observation in the NICU. Last night we got to bathe, change and feed her. She was VERY happy about eating, not so much about getting bathed and changed!

The nurses have been great. They kept saying how fun it was to care for a full term, pink and mostly healthy baby. They had to adjust the heart rate monitor though because full term babies have much lower heart rates than preterm babies and every time one of the other nurses went by her bed they kept asking Addison's nurse if she was aware that her baby's heart rate was so low (in comparison to what they are used to). Then Addi's nurse would say something like "Yeah I know, isn't that cool she's a term baby!" Some of the other nurses would come over and check her out just to make sure for themselves.
Well, we surely are grateful all of the prayers and thoughts from so many family and friends who didn't even know that anything out of the ordinary was going on. I know these prayers help and have given me a lot of comfort. Although Addison's problem and surgery were pretty minor on the scale of things that could go wrong it is heart wrenching to watch a baby, especially your baby, go through anything that causes them pain. We are also so thankful for good doctors and nurses who know how to help. It is amazing to watch them in action. We have felt blessed with the best and are excited to be with Addison today and hopefully bring her home today or tomorrow. Michael Anne has already made some paintings for her "little ga-ga" and is so thrilled to be a big sister although many of her big sister duties have been postponed a little as she has been with grandma and grandpa for several days. Yesterday my mom & dad took her by the hospital so she could see where mommy, daddy, and baby Addison were. Michael wanted to go in but grandma explained that she was too young to be able to go into see Addi. Michael responded that she knew she had to be 14 years old before she could go into that hospital (one of the nurses the day before had told us that when I asked if Michael would be able to see Addi while at PCMC). She is so clever and very sweet.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Worthy of Its Own Post...

This post is in response to a topic that has been bugging me lately. It is in part a response to a particular point of view of one of my dearest friends, which I admire (both the friend and her philosophy) but also and more pointedly in part to a general division that I think is ridiculously pandered by way too many people. I'm tired of feeling that the natural birthing camp in general thinks less of the experience of those of us who choose to have a doctor instead of a midwife, an epidural instead of pain, etc....

And it goes the other way too. Many others think our "natural birthing" sisters are totally crazy for the unnecessary pain they go through, but is it really painful for them? Not according to some of my best friends who fully embrace their ability to have a baby and get through it on their own.

Now I know that I'm no expert because I've only done one way and don't really plan to try the other, at least not this time, but it really gets to me when we inadvertently, or not, rob each other of the joy of motherhood and mothering. Unfortunately, it seems that the nature girls are often more outspoken in this regard and it drives me nuts. I don't mind how anyone chooses to deliver their children but it seems to me that a lot of "natural" birthing pros often discount or think less of the amazing experience the rest of us have in the delivery room.

Let me illustrate my point:
A while ago I was sitting in church and a new dad got up and shared the wondrous experience he and his wife had recently had in the birth of their child. It was nice to see a father so in love with his wife and their new baby. The Spirit was strong and tender until he topped it off with one of those nasty little cherries that seem so sweet but leave you with a nasty taste in your mouth..."I'm so proud of my wife for going through this experience the way nature intended so that our baby could have the most healthy chance at life possible. I know it was painful and trying for her but she did it for him, he couldn't have a better mother than someone who would put aside her own comfort for his wellbeing." Blah, Blah, BLAH!!!

Seriously people we don't live in the dark ages. Typical epidurals do not affect babies. They don't make the baby groggy, and as far as my baby's birth it didn't even take away the feeling of my baby moving through the birth canal. I felt everything except pain and I could still walk too!!!! I felt just as empowered, and spiritually connected to myself and to my husband and especially to Michael Anne as well as to Heaven when I gave birth to her as any mother who is having a child she has wanted and waited for her entire life. Why must we feel superior to one another at such a personal time? It is beyond me.

I also just spoke to a woman who adopted a baby and was there for the birth as well, taking him home with her straight from the hospital. She described the experience that she and her husband had with the birth of this child as an incredibly rewarding, miraculous, and spiritual experience (she & her husband have 4 of their "own" children too). It is a blessing and a true miracle to have a baby and no matter how that child enters our homes it is a glorious occasion and an amazing chance to love an nurture a sweet little spirit.

Anyway, I'm sure my particular friend didn't mean to sound the way her comment came across to me because I know she loves me and we've been friends our whole lives but it kind of did & I keep hearing other people say similar things so I had to say something.

The funny thing is though, that most of us don't try both ways because we are comfortable with how we've done things before so who are we to know and profess the differences if they even exist. I'm betting that moms who have done both love and cherish the birthing experience just the same for each of their children. I can't imagine feeling more in tune or connected to one vs another simply because of the mode of delivery.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Life at home with Michael Anne...

This post is just about a few things I've been having fun doing with Michael Anne:

This was Michael's response when I told her that we may have our little baby on Tuesday. I asked her what she thought of that idea and her little face lit up and out came "macarooni smackerooni!" Don't ask me why but she was obviously excited...oh wait I bet it's from Pinky Dinky Doo on NOGGIN.

I'm enjoying being home with Michael Anne. We've been having fun making chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, playing dress up a million and one times/day, creating play dough people, and dancing around the house a lot. I've also got her hooked on making lists to get things done. She now makes lists of everything from what to clean to what to pack in the baby bag to what's for dinner. Last night she/we made a menu for Derek & Brenden to enjoy dinner at her very own Restaurante' de Mickelina. We wrote down all of the things we had made for dinner and then she added lobster to the menu too and drew a picture of a lobster with "pinchy" claws! It was really cute (f.y.i. - the pinchy claws are on the top of the lobster's head). When Derek got home from work Michael put on her restaurant hostess voice and "guided" daddy to his seat. She even rolled up the silverware in our napkins, just like at the real restaurants. She cracks me up.

(the chocolate chips melted really well today so we "painted" in the heart shape)

Today we are going to go to the playground and I told her we could stay there as long as she wants to. I'm thinking that was a mistake, but I've already committed so it will be.

The one weird thing about being home all of the time is that there are days in a row when I don't leave the house. Last night Derek wasn't feeling well, he caught the cold too, so I went to the store to pick up some medicine for him and while I was driving I realized I hadn't left the house since Tuesday...wait that was only the day I guess I couldn't remember the last time I left the house by myself. Anyway, it was weird.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ready to have this baby!

I went to the Dr. today and we set the date to have baby Addison! Unless mother nature kicks in sooner (which feels very possible) Miss Addison will be born on Tuesday, March 11th. I know some people don't like the idea of inducing labor but I'm here to tell you that, for me, it is nice to have a plan, that and I seem to have lost three pounds since my appointment last week which isn't too uncommon but it worries me a little so the sooner she gets here the better! It makes me feel comfortable and prepared and I'm happy to know ahead of time. No broken water in the grocery store, no waiting for my husband to rush home from work, no speeding the 30 minutes to the hospital, no birthing my baby in the backseat. I'm content to wake up on Tuesday morning, take a nice warm shower, shave my legs, dry & comb my hair, load up Michael Anne, call Grandmas & Grandpas, and calmly drive to the hospital where my room, looking out at Mt. Timpanogos, has been prearranged and the anesthesiologist is there waiting with epidural in hand. This may not be the a-la-natural way to go but it suits me fine and I'm pretty excited about it! I guess I figure the next 20 years will be a continual lesson in spontaneity, surprises, and anxieties in child rearing so why not start it out peacefully, for me anyways. However a child is born it is a wonderful event and I can't wait for our little Addison to join us! We'll let you know how things go and will post pictures as soon as we can.