Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Room Reveal

I thought I would show you all how JD's nursery turned out. You all have read my many posts about how special Janessa's nursery was to me and how very emotional the process of remodeling it was. In the end, I felt able to begin packing away her items and preparing for her little brother's arrival. It took me almost umtil the end of the pregnancy to really start doing anything to the room. I needed to do it in my time. When I felt ready.

It turned out very nice. I chose a theme that he could stick with you foe awhile. With JJ, I chose a baby theme and he quickly outgrew his room decor. JD's room is a very comfortable place. I chose calming colors for the walls and I really do feel relaxed while in there. JD seems to feel the same. I sometimes bring him in there when he is being a bit fussy.

So here are some pics.....

As you enter...

A stereo for his lullabies :)

Full of toys...

What do you all think?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Arrival of JD (part three)

...Continued from The Arrival of JD (part two) (missed part one? Read that here)

The nurses brought him over to me in only a diaper. I untied my gown and we were able to have skin to skin contact. It was amazing. I have tears in my eyes as I type this. 

We had originally planned to have some alone time with just us for a little while, then bring JJ in and then later everyone else. We sent for JJ earlier than expected because we were so excited for them to meet. He had been waiting for this moment as long as we had been. I will never forget JJ walking in the room and his reaction to him. He came in rather excited and he came over to get a good look. He then became very quiet. I think the thought of "who is this baby laying on my mommy?" was running through his head. He stayed quiet that first night and was observing the happenings around him.

The family was anxious as well. They came in shortly after. I never gave him up. He stayed on me skin to skin until everyone had gone home for the night.

Our nurse who came on at 3 pm was working until 3 am that night. She was able to be there for the birth (11:36 pm) when normally she would have left at 11 pm. She was amazing and I am so happy she was there as was she. Right before 3 am she escorted us to the post partum room and helped us get settled in. We met our new nurse. We were exhausted. They wanted to take JD so I could get some sleep. I knew I needed rest but the thought of that nurse taking him out of the room made me sick to my stomach. The last time a nurse walked out of the hospital room with my baby she never returned to my arms. I didn't see her again until she was in her casket. I started having major anxiety. My husband wanted some sleep and he didn't seem to think twice about them taking him for a few hours. I do not beleive he had any idea what I was going through at that moment. I eventually reluctantly let them take him.

My nurse came back in to give me some pain meds and she said "you have an angel as well". I smiled and nodded and a moment later it hit me...she was talking about Janessa and she was a mommy of an angel too. She went on to say that she too lost her daughter, her second child in at 20(something) weeks pregnant. She told me her daughter's name which was beautiful and we exchanged sympathetic glances. I wish she hadn't caught me off guard as I would have had so much more to say.

My husband fell asleep rather quickly but I...I cried myself to sleep. I almost had the nurse bring him back him.

Maybe an hour later our nurse came in and said they had given him his first bath. She expressed that he was lethargic. She said that the babies usually fuss or cry during their bath and he didn't seem to flinch. He stayed calm the whole time. She said his vitals were all good. She told me the pediatrician would check him out in the morning. When she left every crazy thought ran through my mind. I was extremely scared. I am not sure how long after but she was concerned enough that she decided to bring him back in the room so she could put him back on me for more skin to skin time. When she did he became a little more active. She said that was the most alert she had seen him and he really wasn't doing much.

The pediatrician checked him out later that morning and he was doing much better. That was a relief.

My husband then finally got to hold him.

When JJ came the next day he proudly wore his "big brother" shirt again and was able to hold JD.

I could not seem to take my eyes off of him.

I had envisioned this day for so long. Imagined what he may look like. I loved feeling him in my arms.

His ultrasound pics made us think he would look so much like his daddy. I remember glancing at him for the first time when he was under the warmer and thinking how completely wrong we were! He came out looking just like big brother.

Janessa looked like Jayden does now but JD looks like JJ did when he was baby.

We also took our first family picture.

JD was doing ok but he would have these terrible gagging episodes. It was as though he was trying to cough up mucus but it would get stuck in his throat and he couldn't seem to get a breath. He would turn red but moments later he would gasp some air. IT WAS AWFUL. I freaked, I mean FREAKED out every single time. I would panic so much I would shake. We must of paged the nurse atleast 10 times regarding this. She would come in pat his back and calm us down. He tended to do this during feedings quite a bit but also after a good length of time after feedings as well. I was a wreck. Due to this we stayed an extra night in the hospital.

They think because he had such a fast delivery his lungs did not have enough time to have all the fluid squeezed out of them in the birth canal. He continued to have these gagging episodes for about a month after he came home as well. Thank God I have a nurse for a neighbor :)

Besides the scary gaging fits the rest of the hospital stay was nice. We were looking forward to going home but I honestly liked having the nurses there to ease my anxiety. Well except for when one of the nurses we came to really like took about 20 years off my life when she asked me a question...

She took JD to have his hearing screening done. About 15 minutes later she came back in our room alone. I was in the bathroom when I heard her say slightly panicked..."Where's the baby?" to my husband. I got all jittery, tried to hold my composure, opened the bathroom door and exclaimed "You took him to his hearing test!". She replied "Oh oh that's right..I'm so sorry I came in here and didn't see the baby...". She honestly had a slight slip of the mind but that slip was enough to stop my heart from beating. In those seconds so many thoughts ran through my mind...was he kidnapped? etc... I was extremely happy when she wheeled him back in minutes later.

On Thursday December 30th we were discharged from the hospital. JD had his hospital pictures taken and then we got him all ready to go.

JJ and my mom were waiting for us at home. I was pretty much ready to go by that point although I would miss the reassurance of having a nurse right there.

We packed up everything and I was happy when they allowed me to walk out on my own instead of using a wheelchair. I had been trapped in a hospital room for 3 1/2 days and needed to stretch my legs and get some sunlight.

We walked down to the lobby and I sat on the bench while he pulled the car up front. I sat there thinking of the incredible journey we had been on for the past 19 months.

This time I was happy, relieved and incredibly grateful to be leaving the hospital with my arms full.

The Arrival of JD (part two)

...Continued from The Arrival of JD (part one). Missed that one? Read it HERE.

Around 3:00 the shift changed. My second nurse ended up being AMAZING. She was so attentive and had a great personality. We talked about our history and Janessa. She spent most of the time in the room at her station. That was reassuring after all we had been through. Throughout the labor we lost JD's heartbeat a few times when he moved and we freaked out a bit. She came in eased us and found it rather quickly again.

A little after shift change my mother arrived with JJ. He was wearing his "big brother" shirt.

I had purchased it while expecting Janessa. I had planned to pack it away with Janessa's items and buy a new one but one day JJ saw it and asked "Mom, can I still wear that?". I said "Yes if you would like to". And so we hung it up in his closet to await the arrival of his little brother. Today was the day he finally got to put it on.

I didn't start feeling any contractions for quite awhile. When I did they felt like very mild period cramps. The all stayed under my belly button. The pain never stretched out from top to bottom like I had felt with my first two births. I kept waiting for them to intensify and become labor contractions. They sporadically felt a little stronger but for the most part they were a breeze. What killed me was the anticipation of them getting worse which never really happened.

They had offered to give me the epidural anytime I wanted it. I was on pitocin so the contractions would not be able to slow or stop. Since I was handling them so easily I opted to wait until I needed it. We watched on the monitor as they spiked up and down. I was amazed that the spikes were not too bad. I had two horrible birth experiences before JD's birth and I was just waiting for it to go bad.

My husband's mom, dad, sister and our niece showed up a couple hours after my mother and son, so maybe around 5. They stayed in the room awhile with us.

I was sooo hungry our nurse gave me two cups of jello to eat spaced out. She also gave some popsicles which helped some.

Around 7ish I started to get uncomfortable but it was still not horrible pain like my first two labors. I was getting tired and the contractions were starting to get a bit stronger. Most of my pain was coming from back labor. With JJ I had such extreme back labor that after the epidural didn't work with him I broke down and sobbed. I was scared it would happen again. I was now uncomfortable enough to want everyone to leave my room except my hubby of course. I opted to have the epidural before I was in too much pain. I was 4 cms dilated. I had been 2 cm dilated for a couple weeks prior to this day.

The epidurals I had with JJ and Janessa DID NOT work. The epi with JJ didn't do anything at all. There was no change from before they gave it to me to after. The one with Janessa worked for a short while. It did allow me to fall asleep for a short nap but then on one side the pain came back. The abruption pain never went away though. They were unable to adjust the epi and eventually I felt everything again.

This time when the anesthesiologist finally arrived I found myself so nervous. I had been in so much pain with JJ and Janessa that all I wanted then was relief! This time I was in pain but not enough to take away my fears. Luckily I had a great anesthesiologist this time. IT WORKED! When it first started to work my butt went numb and felt sooo heavy as well as my thighs. I started getting scared thinking something was wrong. They explained to me that is what it is suppose to feel like. I was amazed. I couldn't get over the pain relief. I must have thanked them a handful of times. They knew my history with epis and skepticism regarding the effects.

I thought they would break my water after the epi but they decided to hold off a bit. The family came back in. My hubby was starving so he ordered some food to be delivered sometime around 8 pm. I was soooo hungry and annoyed that he would be eating in front of me so I made him eat downstairs in the lobby.

They had mentioned they would break my water around 11 pm. My doctor was no longer on so I ended up having one of the docs we had on one of our visits to L&D triage. We really liked her as well so we were happy. When it was almost 11 pm we mentioned it to the nurse so she had her come in to check me. The family went back to the waiting room. When she checked I was 6 cm dilated. She broke my water and then left the room.

I brought a picture of Jayden and one of Janessa to have in the room with us. My husband positioned them where I could see them for when it was time to deliver so I could have something to focus on.

Fives minutes later I got intense pressure and pain. At first I thought the epi wore off. I paged the nurse. I told her the epi was no longer working. I was near tears. She mentioned that even though I was just checked 5 minutes prior and was only 6 cm she wanted the doc to come check again. She said she had seen labor and dilation progress rather quickly before. When the doc got there around 11:12 she checked and I was 9.5 cms. She manually took away the rest of the "lip" to get me to 10 cm. I went from 6-9.5 in about 10 minutes maybe less. They had to rush and get everything ready. The doctor had two residents come in with her now that it was delivery time. There was also an additional nurse. The pain now was excruciating. I started pushing around 11:24 pm. After a few pushes I heard the nurse say something softly to the doctor and the doctor replied "We need to get the baby out." On the next push he was delivered. I had only pushed for 12 minutes.

HE CRIED immediately. One of the sweetest sounds I have ever heard.

JD was born on December 27th, 2010 at 11:36 pm. He weighed 6 lbs 7 oz and was 20 inches.

Due to the scare they had to boycott our original plan of putting him straight on my chest. My husband was so nervous about him being ok he declined cutting the cord so they could quickly whisk him away and make sure he was healthy. The nurse later told me that his heartrate had dropped when I was pushed so thats what caused the concern & the last minute rush to get him out.

They checked him out and all was good.

Here is a short video clip of him minutes after birth:

JD minutes after birth from Every Life Has A Story on Vimeo. 12.27.10

I then finally got him in my arms.

To go on and read The Arrival of JD (part three) click HERE

The Arrival of JD (part one)

I know this is looooonnnnggg overdue but there are a few reason why...

-I was overwhelmed. He was here. He was alive. I couldn't believe it. There are still times I look at him and I'm in awe.

-Four scary things happened while in the hospital and I get major anxiety just thinking about it. I know from writing this post I will still experience some which is completely opposite of what I feel normally when I blog. I usually get a sense of release, of peace.

So here goes...I am going to do this in 3 seperate parts because it would be extremely lengthy if I did not.

Before we left for the hospital
The night before our scheduled induction was the first real snowfall of the winter here. They also predicted a blizzard with 20 inches of snow! We could NOT believe that was happening. Thoughts ran through my mind that maybe this was a sign that we shouldn't induce early. That maybe we had made the wrong decision. The doctor had called the afternoon before to see if we would like to reschedule. My husband was completely confident we should keep our plan so we declined. I had some fear that if we waited just one extra day something would happen to him. I told my friend they would have to lock the hospital doors to keep me out! We didn't really expect the full 20 inches and we were correct...we only got about 6 inches!

We woke up and got ready. Our appointment was scheduled for 9:00 am. The nerves didn't really kick in until we were getting in the car. It felt awkward not being in labor and heading to the hospital to most likely deliver a baby! We stopped to get gas and my husband went in for coffee at the DD inside. I had him buy me a donut but never ate it due to my nerves. It was a quiet ride up there. I think we were both lost in our thoughts...and worries. Excitement was in there but with our history it was overshadowed a bit. The roads were not bad at all considering how little snow we ended up with.

When we reached the hospital we headed straight to ultrasound where the amnio would take place to make sure his lungs were mature. I was nervous but I had NO IDEA what I was in for.

When we were called in the tech did a quick biophysical to check on JD and locate the best pocket of fluid to insert the needle for the amnio. She then went to get the doctor who was on duty who had been doing these for 20 years. A few minutes later in walked my own doctor! She decided she would like to do it.

I had wondered why no one had told me any "stories" about their amnio when I discussed our plans to have one. I wondered why no one had commented on this blog telling me any details of what I was in for, good or bad. I NOW KNOW WHY. *OUCH!* It was so incredibly painful! In fact I would rather give birth. NO JOKE. It seemed like it took forever and it definitely took longer than what I was told it would. My hubby, who watched the entire thing unlike I who never even took a glance, said she didn't get enough fluid the first couple times she suctioned it so she had to do it a few times more. Not reinserting, just suctioning it a few times to get enough. I was pulling at my hair and pleading in my mind for it to be over. Knowing what I know now I would have waited until 38 weeks to skip the amnio!

After it was completed we went down the hall to my doctor's office to have a non stress test to make sure the baby was ok after the amnio. They put us in the exam room I always seemed to get. This is the room that just happes to have a picture of a rainbow colored by an elementary student hanging on its wall. I was monitored for what I believe was about 45 minutes and he was doing great. The results of the amnio were not back yet so they let me go down to the cafeteria to have a light late breakfast/early lunch. I was starving so it took everything I had not to eat a four course meal. I settled for two bowls of cereal, some tea & a granola bar. I'm pretty sure they meant for me to have a much lighter meal than that but telling a pregnant lady to eat light is like telling her not to breathe.

Our view from our room

We headed back upstairs to wait for the results. Finally the doctor came out, maybe around 12:30 or so and shook her head yes and said "follow me!". We were taken up to labor and delivery and brought into our room. I got settled into a lovely hospital gown and met our first nurse. After getting the worst IV, well actually 3 of the WORST IVs, of my life (*they usually go in so smoothly I don't flinch) they hooked me up to the machines to monitor JD's heartrate. I loved hearing his heart and I took comfort in the continuing sound of it.

I then glanced up on the wall and saw a picture of white picket fence. That is all it was. Some foliage and a white fence. It struck me. Since losing Janessa I have said over and over again how perfect our life had been before she died. I married my high school sweetheart, we had our little boy, we live in a place we currently love, I am a stay at home mom to our amazing son, we had a baby girl on the way and all we needed was that darn white picket fence. Now there one was staring me in the face. I wasn't sure what to make of it. If it meant anything, if it was some sort of sign..some message of sort...I don't know what it meant but I couldn't take my eyes off it.

We didn't really mental note the times all that well and it doesn't help that I am writing this three and half months later... I am pretty sure the pitocin was started around 2:00 pm...

Go on to read "The Arrival of JD (part two)" click HERE

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What's in a Name?

Apparently a lot of stress, tough decisions & tears!

My husband and his brother at our wedding 10.18.08
I have received quite a few inquiries regarding the choice of JD's middle is the answer...

Before we went to bed the night before our scheduled induction for JD we had to come to a decision about his middle name. At this point we were just relieved we had a first name! Picking out his first name proved to be quite challenging!

Throughout the entire pregnancy my husband held onto this hope that we would use his father's name, William, as the middle name. We had endless conversations and honestly some heated discussions about it. I wouldn't budge. I just couldn't get it to flow nicely with any of the potential first names we had. I also tend to lean towards the more modern names. He wasn't happy. We used his first name, Jonathan, as JJ's middle name and he really wanted to have another family name be included in JD's. This is why we were at week 37 with no decision.

It was now crunch time so we had to get to it. I made a list with any name I sort of liked which compiled to 17 names. I was desperate to find one! My hubby went through and crossed out the ones he disliked. He picked out his top two (Alexander and Eli) and so did I (Jamison and Jayce). (*Jamison was the only boy name I had picked out while pregnant with Janessa and was the runner up for JD's first name). Since NONE of the middle names we chose were the same we had to do some negotiating. He crossed out one of mine out and I did the same for him. He scratched Jayce and I eliminated Alexander. We were then left to negotiate between Eli and Jamison.

Quite a few months back I had come across Eli (pronounced E-lie) and mentioned it to my hubby. His brother's name is Eliseo (pronounced El-lee-say-o) which is mispronouned by so many. We call him Eli (pronounced El-lee). Eliseo is also JJ's godfather. He now lives in Florida and has since a few months before JJ was born. When Janessa passed he jumped on the first flight and was there just hours after she was born. When he walked into the hospital room she was in my arms and within seconds of him entering he had whisked her into his. That day I saw pure love. She was gone but she was still his niece. He loved her unconditionally. It touched me in ways my typed words can not portray. I thought using Eli (E-lie) would be a nice way to incorporate a family name into Jordan's name even though it would be pronounced differently. My husband didn't really jump at it at the time since he was still holding onto William.

Now that we were at this point we were feeling the pressure. We had used all J's for JJ's name and were not sure we would want to do that again although it would have been something both boys would have.

In the end and even though the name Jamison held a special meaning for me I felt that using Eli (E-lie)would be best.

I kept the piece of paper with all the possible choices to put into JD's baby items for him to see in the future. I cannot wait to hear what he thinks about the name William, lol.

And that my friend's is the story behind his middle name. :)

(p.s. next post: birth story, promise!)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dear Janessa

Dear Janessa,

Hello babygirl. I have been missing you so much lately. I of course, miss you each and every day but lately the sting of your absence seems to be a bit more painful. I cannot believe it has been almost 2 years since you were physically here with me. You would be turning 23 months next week. Your 2nd birthday is right around the corner. I wish I could have had the chance to see the toddler you would be right now.

Two-year-olds seem to be everywhere I look lately. I have even found a few in my arms recently. I find joy in these little babies but the tug at my heart, at my soul, is too strong not to acknowledge. It leaves me with such an ache for you. I watch them and know you should be doing all that they are. I try and picture you doing those things, what you may look like now, and how cute your little voice and words would sound. I imagine you driving your big brother crazy. I think of all the mischief you would be getting into.

I wonder what it is like where you are. What you do to fill the time. What time feels like there. I wonder if you miss me, miss us. I wonder if all you know is peace and love. I send you my love each day.

I remember holding you in the hospital. Your Daddy had left the room for a few minutes. I sat there rocking you and humming the lullaby I always hummed to your big bro, and now to JD as well. There are so many things I wish I did with you that day, so many regrets, but I am glad I got to do that. That is one of the few things I will get to do with all my children.

I recently read your little brother his first storybook. I sat on the floor of his nursery, your old nursery, with him in my lap. He looked so curiously at all the colors on the pages as I read the words aloud to him. I am so incredibly blessed to have him here with us. I love that I get to do all these things with him. I am just sad I never got the chance with you. I know you watch over your brothers. I wonder if you were with us that day.

I believe my words and thoughts find you, wherever that may be. I know your spirit finds me as well. I feel you.

So my sweet angel, I would like to read you a story now. One of my favorites. Its perfect just for you.

I Love You As Much... by Laura Krauss Melmed

Said the mother horse to her child,
"I love you as much as a warm summer breeze."

Said the mother bear to her child,
"I love you as much as the forest has trees."

Said the mother camel to her child,
"I love you as much as the desert is dry."

Said the mother goose to her child,
"I love you as much as the endless blue sky."

Said the mother sheep to her child,
"I love you as much as the grass on the hill."

Said the mother mouse to her child,
"I love you as much as the grain in the mill."

Said the mother goat to her child,
"I love you as much as the mountain is steep."

Said the mother whale to her child,
"I love you as much as the ocean is deep."

Now sleep, child of mine, while the stars shine above-
I love you as much as a mother can love.

Love, Mommy

Check out my Etsy Shop!