The Culprits

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Home With Baby & Meeting the Family

First of all, I wanted to let everyone know the good news. All of Isaac's tests came back negative. His Dr thinks he is looking so normal that he sees no need to run any further tests. He feels that the damage to his brain is probably very minimal & will most likely not cause many (if any) problems later. Only time will tell for sure (there are no guarantees), but he doesn't need to see him back again at this point. I am so thankful to God for this.

Justin has been looking for a camper for a long time. He found "THE ONE" on Craig's OREGON...........last week. I took the baby to his 1 week check-up. The Dr gave us the "OK"...........and off we went on our mission. We bought the trailer & then headed up to WA to visit with both of our families. I know that seems like a crazy thing to do one week after giving birth. Talk to Justin. Fortunately, I did sleep almost all the way there & a good portion of the way back too. And I got to see how much Keri's baby had grown since Nov & meet my NEW nephew, Zander, as well. We spent time with both of our families. But I only had my act together enough to take pictures of the new babies. So, sorry that there are no Sturgeon family pictures up, guys!!! Doesn't mean I don't love you!!!

I am feeling great! Can I just say how good it feels to NOT BE PREGNANT anymore!!! I JUMPED out of bed opposed to having to gingerly ROLL myself out of bed & hobble painfully to the bathroom, bones cracking & popping. I took the baby & went shopping (thanks to Jim & Bonnie & my Kohl's gift certificate!!! ;-). The sun was shining, I had the music cranked up....................and it occurred to me................I'M FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course, after shopping, I had to come home & take a long nap. I still tire out pretty easily. (My BP is actually still pretty high, so keep that in your prayers. I think it will adjust in time though.) But, I almost feel like a NORMAL person again!!! YEAH!!!! So very many reasons to be thankful!!! It's so much better to have Isaac on the OUTSIDE of my body! And now I even have some cute clothes that FIT me! ;-)

I should warn you all that I will probably be posting every little new thing that Isaac accomplishes. For one thing, I am just a proud mommy & I always get so excited when my babies take the next "step". But I will also be anxiously looking for any & every little sign to tell me he's developing normally. So.........yesterday............he sneezed out his first booger!!! It was so cute! Sorry I forgot to take a picture! Oh, well. Don't worry, I saved it in his baby book! :-) Just kidding, just kidding........

PS. Isaac was 7lb, 11oz when he was born. He lost 9oz in the hospital (went down to 7lb, 2oz), which is normal for most babies. But now he's up to 8lb, 2oz! In a little over 1 week he has gained a whole pound!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Presenting Isaac Joel!

Isaac Joel was born on Tuesday, February 10th @ 9:28pm. He weighed 7lb,11oz & was 22in long. It was one of the 7 happiest moments of my life.

I had a somewhat long stay in the hospital. There were a few difficulties. Labor was difficult..........more so than usual. Of course, I always think that about EVERY labor, in the immediate days to follow. It may be that the most recent just stands out in my mind for a while. But, probably to the disappointment of my fellow-natural-childbirth-loving friends, I actually gave in & had an epidural this time. It was a pretty rough induction. I'll spare you the details of all that. But, with the epidural in place, I had a painless ending & was so incredibly excited when I held him for the first time. My dear loving husband & wonderful, supportive mother in law were by my side. I found out later that Isaac had swallowed a bunch of blood & wasn't breathing at first. I am really glad no one told me about it at the time. The nurses got him crying in 30 seconds or so. If I had known he wasn't breathing, those would have been the longest 30 seconds of my life. But, over all, the labor was uncomplicated, my blood pressure (the health "issue" I mentioned in my last post) stayed under control & I gave birth to a healthy boy.

The reason our stay in the hospital was extended is that I noticed, after a while, that Isaac was more "jittery" than any of my other babies had been. It was more pronounced than just the normal "startle" reflex that most babies have. That is sometimes a symptom of something being wrong neurologically...........though I didn't know it at the time. I just wanted to point out a concern I had to the nurse so she would tell me that was normal & not to worry about it. But it lead the doctors to order a brain ultra sound. The ultra sound showed that he had a little calcium deposit in his brain. It was caused by an infection that he suffered while in utero. It is probably from a normally harmless virus that I had while pregnant. It is a virus that I carried or was exposed to, but didn't even have many (if any) symptoms for............such as a certain type of cold virus or mono. They are now running multiple tests to find out what that virus was. But the bottom line is that the calcium deposit is evidence of a small amount of brain damage caused by the virus he was infected with. Only time will tell the extent of the damage in how he functions. But his symptoms right now are so subtle.........really just on the extreme side of normal..........that the doctors seem very positive & hopeful. He eats like a champ. He seems absolutely normal in every way except that he is just a little shakier than he should be. As long as he stays swaddled, he is very happy & content. The doctors & nurses keep telling me how good it is that I noticed his "jitters", because otherwise they never would have known anything was wrong. The earlier the detection of damage, the better. If they can pin-point what caused it, there may be treatments that can help minimize the consequences later. So, everyone please pray that they figure out what the virus was. I had a difficult couple of days there, when I was trying to take in all that I was being told. But I feel very positive now & it is possible that, once these jitters pass.........he may never display another symptom of brain damage. Or, he could have significant difficulties. Only time will tell. But I can only take this one day at a time. Right now...........he is amazingly healthy. I am so thankful for that. And I am so incredibly happy to be home.

On another note, I had some amazing doctors & nurses. One nurse even sought me out in the baby nursery & sat with me & hugged me while I cried. I felt like we became friends & I hope I can find her to update her on Isaac's situation in a few days. My experience with these doctors & nurses renewed my resolve that, when my kids are grown, I will stick with my "empty-nest-plan" to become a nurse. I had a couple of really crappy nurses who made me feel like I didn't really matter to them & made me feel lonely & uncared for at a vulnerable time. But, mostly my nurses were so sweet & caring that I felt like was not alone & that they understood what I was feeling. Health care providers have the power to really make a person feel alone............or truly concerned for & cared about. The doctors were mostly very attentive & acted quickly to try to figure things out & communicate with me. I thank God for the staff at the hospital.

Also I am thankful to God for my in laws who have been so helpful to me this pregnancy. Especially Emily who takes Seth to youth group every week & gives Jarod & Micah weekly cooking lessons. She & Sarah have taken the kids off of my hands several times so I can rest, they have helped me with my laundry & cleaning. Deborah has helped as well. My church family is amazing! I was provided with a week (or MORE) of meals. My dear friends Carol & Leon have spent a lot of time watching my kids this week. I am forever grateful for my awesome husband & mother in law who always help me get through my labors. I don't know what I'd do without all the wonderful family, friends & others that God has placed in my life. I am so blessed.

My other babies are happy I am finally home. I really missed them. It was only 4 days! It could have been so much worse! I don't know how mothers of babies with much worse problems can even cope with having to be away from home so long. Or having to go home without their babies! Again...........I have so much to be thankful for! I am home with my husband (who gets to stay home with me for 3 weeks!!!) & ALL of my babies!!! All the big brothers LOVE Isaac!!! They can't get enough of him. Now we start our new life as a family of 8!!! Good grief. ;-)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Gideon's B-day & Other Stuff (Yes, I know the boys need hair cuts!!!)

Gideon's B-Day was Jan 24th. He turned 4. We had a quick little party for him before Daddy went off to work. (We had already had a bigger family party for him a week or so before that, which I failed to get pictures of.) My little baby is growing up.

I am 38 wks along now. The Dr is inducing on Tues the 10th. I'm having a little health issue, so it needs to happen. Only 3 more days to go!!! And I am READY! Still doesn't have a name........poor kid. He will eventually. He might be 3 yrs old before we figure it out though. But I sure can't wait to count all the fingers & toes, hear him cry & hold him in my arms!!!

Coming next...............Boy #6!!!!

PS. Congrats to my lil sis, Trixie & her baby boy. He was born this morning, via C-section @ an even 10 lb!!! Mom & baby are doing great! Now I can labor happily (how was that for an oxy-moron?!) knowing my sis & nephew are ok!!!