Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born

I've been thinking a lot lately about giving birth. Probably because of my friend Kim and everything she has been through with her baby William. (I don't know how to post a link to previous blogs-or else I'd do it here...can anyone help?!) Anyway, William passed early Friday morning, and was delivered Saturday, 8/15 at 12:40. Kim and her husband were able to spend some time with him & a non-profit organization, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, came and took pictures for the family. She is home now recooperating, and really needs our prayers as she goes through this extremely difficult greiving process.

I've also been thinking about birth a lot today, as one of Kyle's cousins (by marriage) is about to become a Daddy, and we are also waiting to hear back from 2 friends Doctor's appointments who are close to delivering.

Since Zachary's birth last year, I've meant to take the time to write down everything I remember about the experience, because I knew I'd forget all those little details...like the pain of labor-oh wait-I didn't have any! (YAY C-Sections!) Anyway, like I said, I've been meaning to. Well, hopefully 375 days later I can still remember enough to one day read this and recall that day God brought the most precious baby into this world...
Let's actually start 374 days ago, August 7, 2008. We had met with our doctor, Dr. Shull, that Monday and had decided that it was time for Zachary to make his debut, no later than Friday. Dr. Shull thought that he might be 8 pounds or more (and it really was a good chance, considering Kyle and I were both nearly 9 pound babies!). Plus there was concern that my pelvis was small and he might not be able to be safely delivered vaginally. So he gave us 2 options: 1) Be admitted Thursday night to the hospital, and run Cervadil through me all night to try and induce labor and attempt a vaginal birth (Did I mention that I had not begun to dialate AT ALL?!) or 2) Plan a sceduled C-section for Friday. We chose 1, but with the understanding that a C-section was still very possible.

That Thursday afternoon Kyle and I had our last "Just the 2 of us" day together. We went to see The Dark Knight, courtesy of free movie tickets from my MIL. And then we went to eat at Macaroni Grill, which I had not been able to eat (keep down) the whole pregnancy, courtesy of my Mom. Then we came back home, re-checked our packed bags, made a quick stop at Wal-Mart for some Ben & Jerry's and a People magazine, and headed to the hospital. And let me tell you, I am GLAD we did because I didn't get to eat again until Saturday morning-UGH. I hate to say this, but I don't really remember much about when we got to the hospital. I guess I was so preoccupied with what was about to happen that everything else left my brain! I do remember being FREAKED out about getting my IV in, especially after the last IV I had. Early in my pregnancy I was not keeping anything down, and eventually had to go to the hospital for IV fluids. It took them over an HOUR to get the IV in, partially because I was so dehydrated and partially because I have uncooperative veins. Anyway, they got me on the first stick-hooray!-and THANK YOU! Then Kyle went out to the car to unload all our junk before they put the Cervadil in and we got settled for the night. So, while Kyle's out and I'm all alone in the hospital room, hooked up to all the machines, I completely realize that WE"RE ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY and feel the need to use the bathroom, if you know what I mean...So I get out of the bed, drag my IV with me, and head to the bathroom. When Kyle returns, he finds me still there, because I am unable to wipe with that stinking IV in...Bless his heart. I'm sure I'll have to return the favor one of these days in our old age (but hopefully not!)

I don't remember much else about that night except 2 things: 1) The Cervadil being put in (can we say uncomfortable?) and 2) Calling my Mom to tell her I was scared, and realizing they were in the car already on their way, justincase the Cervadil did its thing. I was so happy they would be there for the whole thing!

**In case anyone is actually still reading this, you might want to go take a restroom break, grab a snack, or do something to wake you up. Like I said, I wanna write down everything I remember, and y'all know I can tend to get wordy!**

Okay, back to the story now. I woke up on August 8 after a very restless nights sleep hopeful that the Cervadil was doing something, but also realistically planning to have someone CUT MY TUMMY OPEN. Hell-o. The doctor was to come by about 8:00 a.m. and check if I had dialted any. Well maybe closer to 9:00 it was decided, nope, this baby is in no hurry to get out of me! So, C-section it was. We planned it for noon. What to do for 3 hours while you wait to have a human being pulled out of you?! Worry and go CRAZY, that's what! Because I certainly couldn't EAT, ya know! Again, I really don't remember what I did all that time, but let me tell ya, I had more than a 3 hour wait. Because 8-8-08 was obviously the coolest day to have your baby last year, my delivery kept getting pushed back. And just as I was getting ready to get prepped for delivery at 2:00, someone needed an emergency C-section. So I was pushed back-again. Finally I decided I would take a nap to pass the time, and believe it or not, I was actually able to! And when I was snoozing away they decided to come and tell me then that it was time to have this baby!

Don't know exactly what time the prep actually begun, although I do have some pictures of the clocks, thanks to my husband.

I do remember they gave me this anti-neausea drink that was EXTREMELY nasty and then they took me back to the operating room where they proceeded to give me my spinal, as Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" played in the background. How ironic. Meanwhile Kyle and his Dad (who was joining us in the operating room in case Kyle passed out-seriously!) were playing around with their own operating room apparel.

As my body was quickly becoming a massive piece of jello-like substance, my birthing buddies came in and the doctors got to doing their thang. Don't know much what happened for the next several minutes, except that it kept feeling like I was being tickled and I was FREEZING. One time I said, "Ooh, that feels funny!" And Kyle was like, "Yeah, that should!" because he could see everything that was happening behind the curtain. I kept checking to make sure he wasn't going to pass out (like he nearly did at our first ultrasound). Finally the doctors said it would feel like they were "tugging" on me, and I did feel that! But, no baby! So, they re-worked some things and tried again. Tugging began one more time and "I can see the head!" And there it was, the first cry of my precious baby. The happy tears just began instantly flowing from me and Kyle, while Grandpa went to take pictures of Zachary as he got weighed, poked, and prodded. Unfortunately, I was not able to hold Zachary back in the operating room, but we did get to spend a good bit of time just staring at him. I was the last C-section planned of the day, so they took their time putting my tummy back together. One of the assissting doctors was so short, and we kept offering to get him a stool so he could reach me better!

During this time, Kyle, my FIL, and me just kept staring at Zachary in awe and crying, we couldn't believe he was finally in our arms. And he was BEAUTIFUL. I know this is nonsense, and so stupid and vain, but before he was born I was so scared I would have an ugly baby. I mean, I know all babies are precious, but some are just not pretty! I know that is awful to say...any other Moms have this fear before yours was born?!

It was also very emotional because Zachary was born on his late Great-Grandpa Moses' birthday. So we had 3 generations of Moses men in the room on the 4ths birthday-pretty special. Some people might think it is totally weird that my FIL was back there and not my mom, or at least my MIL. But my FIL is a certified peramedic and would be able to help Kyle if he passed out OR me if I freaked out back there because he has helped to deliver babies in emergency situations before. And it really didn't bother me. I joke with him now that he has seen more of me than I've seen of me!

After what seemed like FOREVER, but a wonderful forever, they took me to the recovery room where I proceeded to freeze to death, but here I was finally able to hold my baby boy. And so was everyone else. Who had been waiting forever while we took our sweet time in the operating room. Family got to come in by 2's and see him, while I was going, "Hey! I just gave birth here-I wanna hold him!" Not long after they took him to the nursery to be bathed and the like, while I recovered a bit and was moved to my room for the next few days. I remember when they moved me from the operating bed to the hospital bed I about freaked out when I saw how much blood was coming out of me! Thankfully I was still drugged up and couldn't feel a thing! That came the next day! UGH. While I was waiting for Zachary in my room, I BEGGED mercessly for food, but was denied everything but ice chips. Congratulations-you had a baby! Now, here's you some delicious ice chips! Ha!

Finally late that evening (maybe 9 or 10?) they brought Zachary back to the room to be with his Mommy and Daddy and the nurse stayed to help me nurse him for the first time. I still really don't know why I had to wait SO long to nurse him, but when I did finally get to, it really did feel so wonderful and natural that first time. And I felt like a Mommy. And it was wonderful.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Heavy Heart

The last few days my heart has been very heavy. There are several people I've had on my mind that have made me want to be in a constant state of prayer the last few days. If you would, take a few minutes to read each of their stories, and then add them to your own prayer lists. Thanks!

1) I found out on Monday through the wonderful and informative world of Facebook that a friend from college has breast cancer. 27 years old. Her name is Kara VanSandt. She and I both worked at the nursery school at Freed-Hardeman while we were students. She grew up in Mississippi, has a twin sister named Kasey in Tennessee, and currently lives in Alaska because her husband is in the military and is currently serving overseas. I can't imagine the health scare she has gone through lately. She had surgery yesterday to remove the tumor and they are pretty confident that it has not spread and was a successful surgery. She will still undergo chemo treatments as part of her recovery. Her husband was able to fly back to be with her this week, but I'm unsure how long he will be able to remain in Alaska with her.

2) My boss' Mother has been going through a lot with her health over the past several months. Her name is Nadia Horton. She has colon cancer, which was cured at one point, but has come back and is not clearing. She was on chemo for it, but it now trying an experimental pill for it. However, that has been put on hold due to several issues of infection from an inproper stint surgery-two times. They re-did the stint yesterday (new Doctor) and are hopeful it went well this time. Please pray that she will be able to gain some weight (down to 88 pounds now) and that God will just comfort her and give her peace.

3) This last one is a LONG one, but SO heavy on my heart. Please read it, and also ask everyone you know to pray for Kimberly Mccloskey. She dated my brother back when they were in high school together, which is how I know her. She tells her story best, so I am going to copy it here with her permission.

John and I found out in January that we are expecting in late September, it was unexpected but certainly good news. We will be married 8 years just before the baby is due. At my 18 week ultrasound my Dr. saw some things he was concerned about with the development of Williams bones and referred us to a specialist from Forsythe. When I saw him he was brutaly honest with the prognisis and told me that there was only a 40-50% chance of me even being able to carry him to term and that he would only live a few hours after his birth and then told me a bout all of my "options" meaning as he put it "early termination". I do not believe in abortion under any circumstances and told him that I've seen to many miracles to give up hope and that it is not my decision if this child lives or dies and that God's timing is perfect and I would deal with the loss if and when it happens but not contribute to it. That as his mother it is my responsibility to give him the best chance possible at survival.
I did not go back to that specialist but I am now seeing one from Duke, she is amazing. William has an issue called skeletal displasia (sd) or dwarfism, there are over 300 types and it can come from a mutated gene or a fluke recessive gene and the chances of occurrance are very slim. There are 300 types of sd, his appears to be Thanatrophic type 1 and most are considered to be lethal meaning the pregnancy would end in stillbirth or the infant would only survive a very short time. The measurements and ratios comparing different parts of the body are what determine the severity of the condition. His measurements are all borderline to severe and even with minimum differencials there is an average of 30% who live past the neonatal stage and those have very aggressive medical care and minimal quality of life.
It was very simple for me to decide and for John to support my decision for organ donation. It was the first thing that popped into my head when they told me he would pass a few hours after his birth. The specialist I am working with now is setting up a meeting with a transplant specialist so we can find out how many weeks pregnant I need to be in order for the most of his vital organs to be transplantable without running the risk of losing him before birth, thus risking the organs.
We are planning on doing an amnio in a few weeks so there will be some genetic testing for research and they will run a type & cross match for organ donation. That way no time is wasted waiting for tests to be run when he is born and the organs can be on their way as soon as he passes. HIs lungs will be underdeveloped due to the size of his chest cavity likely leaving him unable to breath on his own and we do not want a life of machines doing it for our son. As far his heart, kidneys, liver, spleen & pancreas, they are all developing normaly, that's 5 babies that can go home with their mothers, I can't imagine it takes much for a bone marrow transplant so that could be several more then if they can use them there are his corneas and other parts that can bless other families.
If we were going to raise him we would want him to be a selfless giving and compassionate person so we believe this decision is the best way to honor his life and to show Gods mercy and grace to others who can be touched and blessed either by receiving the gift of life from him or by hearing this testimony. I would never wish this situation on anyone but if I knew going into this that this would be the outcome and that other lives would be saved & I were given the choice to get pregnant or not, I would choose to do it.
Our plan is to have a scheduled delivery most likely at Duke. We would like to dedicate him if there is time but other than a pastor or church leader we desire to be very selfish with what little time we will have with him and our desire is to keep it very private and intimate. There will be pictures taken by a non-profit service "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" they are a group of professional photograpohers who volunteer their time and talent and provide lots of pictures to the family at no charge. We will share the pictures but the time with our son however much it is is ours. Not that we want to deny anyone being there but we feel it is difficult to allow one and not another and it will be an extremely emotional time for us without the emotions of others for us to worry about. We want to spend however much time we have with him without interruption and we are sure we have everyones understanding and support in our decision.
After I am home depending on the type of delivery and John's schedule following the event I will appreciate the outreach of my church family, family, and friends but will not feel up to long telephone conversations or long visits. Because we are planning on donating as many of his organs as possible and because the National Skeletal Displasia registry requests (but not requires) three ribs, a skin, and tissue sample there will not be much left of him so we will cremate his remains and there will not be a funeral service. If anyone wants to honor him they can do so by a gift in his name to the mission fund at Green Street Baptist Church, Little People of America, or to the National Skeletal Displasia registry's research program.
I take comfort in Rom 8:28 and Jer 29:11 and I know without doubt that God chose me to carry this child because He knew I would choose the right thing and see HIs potential to work in this situation for a purpose much greater than my desire to have children. Our prayers at this point are that we will have some time to hold him and love him before he is taken from us and that his organs will be viable and be used to give life to others so their moms and dads do not have to share our grief and so they will know in a very real and personal way the blessings and mercy of our Heavenly Father.
Please continually pray with us and for us and for the families and babies Williams small life will effect in such a big way.
In Christ,John & Kimberly McCloskey
*****Just this week she had her latest Doctors appointment and was told that most, maybe all of his organs would be rejected because of the DNA they carry. They are very upset by this news, but are currently seeking other options in which to carry on Williams memory. If you would like to send Kimberly and her family a message or a card, please message me and I would be glad to give you her address. Thanks again for remembering this precious and corageous family in your prayers.

Last night I got a notice on Facebook that Kimberly was at the hospital and they were planning to induce because baby William's head was already measuring at 40 weeks. However, a few hours later I got another notice saying that they were delaying the induction in order to get some more things sorted out concerning the delivery and what will follow after.
I cannot imagine being in her shoes, and I am SO proud of the decision she made to carry this baby full-term knowing God gave her this baby as a blessing in which to bless others. How many people do you know who would've done the same? Of course, Kimberly is sure in her decision, but as you can imagine, going to have a LOT to deal with emotionally. PLEASE pray for this family. And for you parents, hold your baby a little tighter and thank God for your healthy blessing!

One more request...My mom is having some blood-work done today to determine how she's doing since she ended Chemo back in May. Please pray she has good results. Also pray for her as she goes back to work next week.

Thank you all for taking the time to read these heavy things on my heart. Remember, "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James 5:16.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You've Got A Friend in Me...

Before Zachary was born, I had seen in several Parents magazines about documenting your child's growth each month by some form or fashion. One idea I saw was where a Mom used Puff Paint and decorated a plain onesie each month with her child's weight, length, and age. I thought that was cute, but too much like work! As Zachary was approaching his 1 month birthday, we still had not decided how we were going to document his growth each week. Well, don't know if I've blogged about this or not, but Zachary's nursey is a Toy Story nursery. Toy Story is his Daddy's most favorite movie of all time, so that's how we got the idea. Anyway, at one of his baby showers he received a Woody doll to put his in nursery on his toy shelves. Daddy thought using Woody would be a great way to show how he has grown each month, and I must say, it turned out to be a great idea. Not only has it shown how he is growing in size, but in ability, too! We actually have taken several pictures each month, but I've just selected one to show. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we have!

Zachary at 1 month
Just learned how to smile!

Zachary at 2 months
Putting on some weight.

Zachary at 3 months
I love how he is sucking in that bottom lip!

Zachary at 4 months
It looks like he was waving!

Zachary at 5 months
This just might be my favorite Woody picture! They look like the best of pals.

Zachary at 6 months
He looks so handsome dressed for church.

Zachary at 7 months
Woody finally looses the hat.

Zachary at 8 months
They just keep on getting better from here!

Zachary at 9 months

Zachary at 10 months

Zachary at 11 months

Zachary at 12 months
The big ONE year old!

One Singular Sensation

Exactly ONE year ago today, I was preparing to leave the hospital to come home with my husband and my new baby boy. That's right, folks-we have made it one year as parents! Yahoo! Since Zachary was born on the coolest day ever 8-8-08, we were able to celebrate his first birthday on an almost as cool day, 8-8-09. It still really hasn't hit me yet that my baby is one. Here are some of the highlights from his big day.

The awesome cupcake cake I made for the guests. We used pictures of Zachary from each month of his life (that we documented with his good pal Woody) as cupcake toppers. We kept the party small, mostly family and a few friends. The party was held at Brampa and Mom-mommy Moses' house. Guests were served hamburgers & hotdogs with all the trimmings, baked beans, potato salad, chips, homemade strawberry icecream, and of course these adorable cupcakes!

Zachary enjoyed being at his grandparents house and playing with his friend Sophie (they have an arranged marriage planned for them!) and his cousin Matthew. Other guests included Mom, Dad, Gram & Grandad Chumbley, cousins Thomas and Gabrielle, Memaw & Papa Wilkerson, Uncle Kevin & Aunt Jamie, Great Aunts Cindy and Becky with Great Uncles Doug and Stanley, and Sophie's Mommy and Daddy.

Zachary thought the ribbons were amazing. Otherwise he wasn't even all that impressed with the wrapping paper, let alone the gifts. Psst, silly boy. He did play with the gifts when we got home, FYI. His gifts included lots of $$ for Kindermusik (we start TOMORROW!), new Toy Story & Policeman pajama's, A Toy Story backpack, wooden nesting & stacking blocks, clothes for the winter, rescue cars, a bubble-lawnmower, shape-sorting blocks, and his red wagon.

But I do believe Elmo was his favorite gift (of course, it was from Brampa & Mom-mommy.) As mentioned in the last blog, we had considered getting him an Elmo for his birthday, but decided on the wagon instead. This Elmo talks when you squeeze his hand and will blow kisses with the other hand. As you can see, Zachary didn't even wait until it was out of the box to start giving him sugars all over-so cute!

After presents came cake time....gonna save the best for last. Or so we thought. Apparently Zachary partied hard because by cake time (which happened WAY before his normal nap time) he was already crying and ready for a nap. Well, we went ahead anyway with the cake. Stripped him down and put him in the highchair. He stopped crying long enough for us to sing "Happy Birthday" to him, but as you will see below, that was all he stopped for!

Now, if you know my husband, you would know that cake and icing are his weakness. In fact, I had to threaten him several times to stay OUT of this buttercream icing I had made earlier in the week. He inherited the love of icing from his Mommy, so we thought this would run in the family. Apparently not. Zachary did not want ANYTHING to do with that cake. He screamed and cried, even after his cousin Matthew showed him how to eat it and Mom-Mommy helped. Oh well. Guess he already has an opinion about some things!
(By the way, gotta love how Daddy left the knife right by the cake in that shot! Thankfully Z was too upset to notice!)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Little Red Wagon

A few weeks ago, Kyle and I took Zachary shopping for his first birthday. WHAT?! How did this happen already?! Anyway...we had kinda been looking around at different places and things over the last few weeks and had basically decided to get him something he could use outside so that we could do more outside.

So off we go to Toys R Us, or We B Toys (as Kyle likes to call it) and begin the extravaganza. Of course, we have to stop every 3 minutes to remind Kyle that we are shopping for Zachary-not him! We brought Zachary along so we could "test" things out on him and see how he liked it, because, hey, he won't remember seeing it in the store! Anyway, we found one of those Elmo Live dolls that talks and laughs and Z LOVED it. But it was 50 dollars. For a toy he MIGHT play with a few months. And, not an outside toy. Just couldn't justify that. So we went to the section of BIG toys for outside and there it was-the perfect little, Radio Flyer, red wagon. It was a plastic one with flaps that fold up and down to make it a two-seater. It even had seatbelts and drinkholders. Fancy. Best part? It was marked 20 DOLLARS DOWN! We took Zachary for a "test-ride" around the store, and he had a blast. So, we decided that was it. Unfortunately for us, the store decided that was not it, as the display wagon was the only one they had left. And that was the last day of the sale price. Off we left VERY sad. Until...hey, we live in a big town. With another We B Toys across the city. Quick call the store #2 and whadda ya know? They have exactly ONE red wagon left! HOLD FOR MOSES, PLEASE! The wagon was now ours again, WITH the sale price!

So, if you know me well at all, you know I am horrible with surprises and have no patience to wait for them. So one afternoon a few days later Zachary was being kinda cranky, so I suggested to Kyle that there was no sense in that wagon sitting in the box in the garage when this kid could be out riding it! I twisted his arm far enough that he drug the box out of the garage and began putting it together (with Zachary's help, of course!)

Helping Daddy push the wagon outside for the very first time!

This is relaxing!

I think he likes it!
(Sorry, these are not our best shots, but our Internet has been down, so you're getting to see the 'ol cell phone shots!)

So, now the wagon walk has become a new ritual at our house. Since Daddy is at work 5 nights a week, Mommy and Zackie (and Daddy when he's off!) are now going on wagon walks after dinner and before "Wheel" comes on. (He LOVES Wheel of Fortune! He is like mesmorized by it and will play quietly while it's on. It's a good winding down activity for him, and it allows Mommy to get some stuff done before bath and bedtime.)

A Deep Breath & Baby Steps

So, I have failed again as a Blogger and gotten WAY behind. Don't say I didn't warn you!!! But with the BIG birthday approaching, I know I will KICK myself later if I do not capture these precious moments before they pass me by.

So, last week I'm at work when Kyle calls and says, "Guess what Zachary just did?" And not even thinking I'm like, "What?" "He took 2 steps all by himself!"


Didn't he know he was NOT supposed to tell me that?! Isn't there a Daddy manual somewhere that says that you do NOT just tell a Mommy she missed the beginning of a MAJOR milestone in a childs life, and when the baby does it later in front of her, you act like THAT was the first time?! Huh?!

Anyway, I was kinda crushed the rest of the day. But at the same time, I'm glad his Daddy was there to see it (and his Papa Wilkerson) and not just some stranger at a daycare. Luckily for Kyle, Zachary delighted us again by taking another TWO WHOLE STEPS ON HIS OWN!

Thankfully, he has not just started taking flight after that, and has only taken some here and there. I'm glad he is taking his time, because this Mommy is NOT ready to let her baby grow up so fast!
Okay, so this is NOT the day he took his first steps...but you can at least see him standing by his big boy self!