Thursday, April 23, 2015

spirit fingers for Jake

I think Jake might be a future saint. The Saint of Fathers Who Have Crazy Wives and Posterity That Growls At Strangers.

Can you tell my knowledge of saints is negligible?

I promise to keep the public proclamations of cheese and gush to a minimum but after the past five weeks (really the past 6 years) I wanted to give a much deserved post dedication to Jake.

He deserves to be recognized for his great husband and father skills.  I wish I could say that it is not common for me to say something along these pleasant lines,

but sometimes I do and Jake just laughs and obliges because he is the best and I am the worst.

Here's the think about Jake...Jake takes care of everyone but no one really takes care of Jake. He is always there to make the sacrifice, go the extra mile, shoulder the burden and does it all with a smile and a little dose of loving sarcasm.

With Beck's arrival and my emotional state being a little wonky (round three of depression and anxiety...ready fight!) Jake has taken everything in stride and with his characteristic optimism.

In my most anxious, crazy-cake moments he is patient. He doesn't try to fix me. He just lets me cry all the tears. So many tears sometimes. Poor man. And he never gets annoyed when I ask him repeatedly to tell me everything is going to be OK.

As super dad he keeps the playground visits going, Costco braving, Julia "everything is fine" assuring, and house cleaning happening. When I was in the hospital I was positive he would need an occasional translator for Rad's multiple monosyllabic grunts that mean something specific and important and urgent but Jake did it all, no complaining.

When I put the kids to bed it is a big fat harried race to the finish but when Jake does it he takes the time to do it right. He lets the boys splash in the bath for as long as they want, reads them a book or books of their choosing, and he changes them out of their clothes and puts them into actual pajamas.

The boys love that he actually plays toys with them (not my best activity) and has incredible patience with teaching them baseball. He is also the gourmet chef of the family and because I am a picky eater he often caters to my cravings.

Jake loves his sleep more than anyone I've ever met, but never ever audibly grumbles about getting up with the kids in the middle of the night...even in the truly ugly and dark hours of the early morning. He often lets me sleep in and takes the boys down stairs to start the morning routine. He doesn't complain about the hours that he works to provide for the family nor does he complain about the fact that I complain about the hours that he works to provide for the family.

I think I've written before about how blown away I was by how nice Jake was when we first met and continues to be today. He is a genuinely kind guy and I can only hope that the boys inherit or at least emulate their father's nature.

We're very lucky to have him. :)

(Understatement of the year.)

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Rhett chats

Overheard from the playroom:

Rad: Rhett! Rhett! Rhett! RHETT! Rhett! Rhett!
Rhett: (Deep sigh)
Rad: RHETT! Rhett! Rhett! RHETT!
Rhett: Congratulations Rad. You know my name.

Prepping to fill the mighty role of preschool snack helper:

Julia: Rhett, what do you want to take for snack helper tomorrow?
Rhett: Well....
Rhett: Messy chips (Doritos)
Julia: Ok
Rhett: And...! CHICKEN WINGS!

Despite my 99 requests that he please, "stay close to me!" at the grocery store Rhett snuck to the paper towel aisle and gave me a 1.5 minute heart attack before I found him:

Rhett: No, there YOU are!
Rhett: I told you, "stay close to me, Mom!!"

Leaving a park playdate:

Rhett: When you live in the desert sometimes you just gotta drink your spit.
Rhett: The Sonora desert is a rough place.

While trying to chose a mutual favorite show on Netflix:

Rhett: How about Justin Time?!
Rad: No.
Rhett: How about Julius Junior Rad?
Rad: No.
Rhett: You want Inspector Gadget?
Rad: No.
Rad: (Seeing a Thomas the Train pic) Train!!!! Train!!!
Rhett: No, no Rad...I just can't support that.

Very literally, the first thing he says one fine morning:

Rhett: Mom. Dad?
Julia & Jake: Ehhhh? (morning people extraordinaire)
Rhett: Are you guys nocturnal?
Julia & Jake:
Rhett: Because you guys stay up  late at night?

Assisting in giving Beck a bath:

Beck: (Fussy fussy, fuss, fuss) 
Rhett: Oh Beck...
Beck: (Crying, crying, cry, cry)
Rhett: You better...
Beck: (Wailing, wailing, wail, wail)
Rhett: ...stop crying...
Beck: (Wailing, wailing, wail, wail)
Rhett: ...or you'll have to back in mom's belly!

Admiring the contents of the Easter basket haul:

Rhett: I think Easter was a big hit.
Rhett: Like California.

Waking up to see a dressed up Julia and Jake on Sunday morning and realizing what that meant:

Rhett: (face falling) Oh, NO!!! I don't want to go see Jesus today. Pin It

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

the meet & greet

If you've donated any of your life's precious time to reading even one paragraph of this here blog you'll know when it comes to the boys, I don't always specialize in glass-half-fulling it. Occasionally. I do adore them, but most days are making the best of controlled chaos. So please no (hmm I just stared at that "no" for a looooooong time before realizing I really meant now...JK know)... ahem so please know that for me to say the meet and greet actually went surprisingly swimmingly...means that it went REALLY well in Miller land.

Tickle me (and Beck) shocked.

Since the NICU and Special Care Unit didn't allow visitors under the age of 12 (one of the most logical rules I've ever heard...too many monitor buttons to potentially push and few too little reasoning capabilities from the under 12 crowd) this was the boys first time meeting baldy.

The introductions were complete with high pitched, "It's SO cute!!" and all.

Rad (was and is) the happiest little Beck excavator and didn't have a single cold shoulder to toss my way. Rhett giggled like crazy when seeing him and wants to hold him in 100 minute increments. (His words.) He also is adamant that Beck is his favorite family member...and I'll take it. I'll take it all.

I know this is grainy and and my dark circles are out of control but...I'm throwing it up. This nappy hair lady knows the fun has just begun.

And other happenings to note:

- Rad thought his belly button cord left over was a piece of Easter candy and wondered when they could eat least that's why I think he was asking "tandy? tandy?" and pointing at it.

- He calls Beck, "bubby" and will gladly pet his head all day long but has no interest in holding him which is probably for the best as far as safety goeth.

- Rhett. The kid loves Beck. Loves him. I thought it was just the newness of a new baby in the house but he's stayed loyal to his affection each and every day. (So far! Counting my chickens, I know.) He tried to brush his hair (aka his head) today and it did not go over well, shockingly.

- He also lectures everyone on not throwing the baby. Mini parent of the year.

- Jake is a saint for taking such great care of the kids and me. There should be an entire section of greeting cards bigger than the birthday section solely dedicated to dads that take over for moms for an extended period of time. It's not easy and I know that. He's the best of all the rest.

And here's a video of the kids meeting Beck. (Or HERE if it doesn't work below.)

I'm hoping the love fest and babymoon in all its glory keeps going for the next 18 years.

That's not to much to hope for right? Dot, dot, dot...

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

bringing home Beck

Yesterday was a very good day. :) 

Welcome to the outside world little Beck!  

The first weeks/months of a baby's life is so wonderfully unpredictable, aren't they? I had many struggles with baby Rhett  (I like to call it Clueless New Mom Syndrome and I think I had it worse than anyone ever in the history of CNMS). With Rad I was a little better, but Second Child New Mom Syndrome is legit and in the past 24 hours Third Child New Mom Syndrome is kicking butt.

But it keeping with the bigger picture and the glass half full analogy, we are overjoyed to finally feel like a family of five. :)

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Monday, April 6, 2015

the farm (a pictour)

Doing something a little bit different today and posting a bevy of photos. Sorry for the deviation from the norm. Tolerance is a virtue and I appreciate your cooperation. (Winks and a big ha.)

(PS all this happened pre Beck but his early arrival postponed the blogging of it.)

We spent a Saturday at a local farm. 

^^^Proof that I'm not e-pulling your leg. We really went. The goat will vouch.

At one of the parks scattered throughout the farm, a spry five (ish) year old boy came bounding onto the slide next to Rad and watchdog Rhett yelled "Watch out for that old man, Rad!!! (Again - 5 feet away, 5 years of age)

The first person to tell them this isn't the fanciest sandbox in all of the land get to help them dig a 6 foot deep hole with the fanciest blue excavator in all of the land. Have fun...!

I believe this was when Rhett and Rad started yammering on about "stinky poop" for the entire crowd to hear.

Rad may not speak much English, but he can "Maaa!" and "Bahaaa!" with the best of them and did the whole time we were in the pen. #goatwhisperer

And minute 22 of indulging in his latest obsession. Maybe for his 3rd birthday we'll come here and get our party on.

Rhett was much more cautious about approaching enemy lines.

Fun for approximately 2 of the 3 involved.

And then the goat gave up. No shame baby goat.

Riding a bee. I don't know.

Clearly the swings were a popular choice. For two people.

Jake and I were in the mood to really up the anti and do something, "fun and spontaneous with the kids" and thought ice cream afterwards sounded like a nice treat.

We had a blast.

I promise. :) Pin It

Thursday, April 2, 2015

beck's birth

In case you are trepidatious of any TLC's A Baby Story-esq images, fear not. There are no pictures that would ever come close to gracing the pages of any medical books.

Where to begin? (In case you missed it, we added the third little boy to our family. :))  I've really debated on turning this into a trilogy of sorts but I'm pretty sure that's better left to the likes of Tolkien.

On Wednesday I headed in for my 32 week appointment. I had to wait sort of a long time at my appointment which was fine because I don't normally have to wait and my OB always cheers about excessive weight gain rather than scolds which is probably the most important lesson you can learn in obstetrics (okay - within reason - but really... hormonally charged ladies don't need to be lectured on giving into a few too many of their cravings, in my hormonally charged opinion).

The nurse came in and we chatted about my obsession with strawberries and deviled eggs as she took my blood pressure and did the routine. I love OB nurses. I'm sure they hear the weirdest stuff from every lady who comes in and they don't bat an eye.

When my doctor came in we hugged (normal? hormonal?) and she got to the business of my apparently very high blood pressure. In my head I was blaming the 6 deviled eggs I had eaten the night before when she told me she wanted to watch if for an hour. Cool. I was happy to have an extra hour to read the gossip magazines and a little bliss that is toddler-free living.

When my hour was up and two additional blood pressure checks later, it was determined that the blood pressure was just too high. (I blame comparing my prego self to Kate does she???) So I was sent to the hospital for blood work.

I called Jake and the sitter and got everything worked out. They took me back to triage and this was by far the easiest hospital visit I'd ever had. A tiny prick for the required blood work and getting hooked up to the monitor and the rest was just a waiting game. While I felt a little concern waiting for the results, I wasn't in any harried hurry to get home and leave my beloved flavored ice chips, tv channels, peace, and serenity behind.

After about two hours the results came back with a super low platelet level and the decision that I should be admitted for 24 hour observation including a 24 hour urine collection. Sweet. The perks of being pregnant.

The next day (Thursday) the doctor's scheduled an in depth ultrasound of Beck. The ultrasound revealed placenta previa with the high possibly of placenta abruption and a tear in the amniotic sac and the chorionic sac. The tear posed the possibility of the umbilical cord getting caught and cutting off blood flow.

So after talking to the perinatologist (who was very gracious and gifted in explaining everything to us layman) he felt it was in Beck's best interest and mine that we do hospital bed rest till 35 weeks (I was just shy of 33) and at that point we would do an amniotic test to see how his lungs were doing. If he was able to breath on his own, then they would deliver him. If not, they would try and wait till 37 weeks but not longer.

We sat in semi stunned silence as it all sunk in. The logistics seemed insurmountable with the potential of four weeks in the hospital. But with literally one text to our Relief Society president we had baby sitting and meals set for the upcoming two weeks. I know. We were overwhelmed with gratitude.

^^^A Facetime call home with Hulk.

Friday morning I woke up and just didn't feel right. Physically and emotionally I just was a hot mess. For the first part of the morning I convinced myself that it was because I was processing everything but around noon my crazy was showing itself more than is socially acceptable. So I called the nurse in and explained how I was feeling and asked if we could hook me up to the monitors. I expressed my confusion as to why my stomach was hurting so bad (I honestly, truly thought it was anxiety. Ha.) and my nurse told me I was having contractions.

What? Contractions?

It was a "Yo mama so crazy she didn't know she was giving birth" moment.

Here's the thing. With Rhett I had horrible back labor that easily dwarfed the pain from contractions and with Rad, he was emergency C-section so I never had any contractions with him. Don't judge? I felt like a fool not even realizing I was in labor.

My sweet nurse hooked me up to the monitors where they could monitor the contractions strength and frequency. The contractions were 8 minutes apart and were strong, but not unbearable. One of the nurses put in an IV to start a round of fluids (to try and stop the contractions) and did a phenomenal job...not a drop of blood to be seen. Usually it looks like a war zone afterwards because my veins are bigger than Goliath's. Guaranteed. And sweet relief, the fluids calmed the tempest.

That night I woke up lowing like an entire herd of cattle and was trying to actually run away from my own uterus because OUCH. Contractions were now 4-7 min apart but Beck's heart rate was fine so they did another round of fluids which helped. Sort of.

They helped enough to allow me to sleep...fitfully. My doctor came in around 9:30 and we talked about starting magnesium in a few to stop the contractions if the fluids didn't help again. Since Beck was responding fine despite the contractions (up to that point) the goal was just to get the contractions to stop. Because magnesium has some nasty side effects (think major, epic flu symptoms) the first choice was one more round of fluids before we went down the magnesium path.

Either way.


Bring on the interventions.

Now, please.

But before the magnesium made it my way, the contractions started coming ever 2-3 minutes and were STRONG. Huffing, puffing and about to blow the house down I called the nurse in and she noticed that Beck was decel-ing with every contraction. This was around noon. She stepped out to get the doctor and I somehow managed to doze off. I woke up to the nurse standing at the foot of my bed and cheerfully declaring it was time to deliver the baby.


Wait. What????

Jake wasn't there and all of a sudden my room was full of overly cheerful nurses and I felt like a fish in a fish bowl. We got a hold of Jake and he rushed over making it about five minutes before they wheeled me out.

The contractions were still 2-3 minutes apart and I was about to hug the anesthesiologist when he came in and did his thing. I've never had a super painful epidural or spinal placement and this was no different.

God bless America. And medicated births.

Little Beck greeted the florescent lights and masked doctors at 1:14PM. Coming in at a whopping 4.8 pounds. I saw him for about 5 seconds before he was whisked away.

I wish I could say that I remember a lot of the next few hours but foggy brain kicked in reeeal fast like. My blood pressure was if full swing though and slightly through the roof. So the fancy magnesium came my way to help bring it down and prevent seizures. A plus for sure but my freaking goodness. It knocked me flat. And combined with the narcotics which always make me sick I was a royal mess.

I was on the magnesium for 24 hours and started to feel slightly better till I had to sit up. Turned out that there was a leak in spinal fluid from my spinal which meant a spinal headache. The WORST headache I have ever had. It was absolutley bizarre because if I was lying down I was a happy camper but as soon as I sat up I went cross eyed and felt like I had to keep my head at a 90 degree angle. As you can imagine I was a reeeeally fantastic conversationalist and went almost 72 hours without a shower or brushing my teeth. Makes you want to brush your teeth just thinking about it, I know.

The cure for the spinal headache was to first try chugging caffeine. Like 4 liters in 8 hours. I was a wired (literally just like THIS), emotional, and hormonal. All the best things to be at once. And the caffeine did help, but not enough to kick the head ache. So the next step was a blood patch. They take blood from your arm and essentially give you an epidural of your blood into your spine. It forms literally a clot or patch to block the spinal fluid from leaking. The saintly doctor told me I would feel some "pressure" when I think he should have said "you'll feel like your spine is being detached from your hips." But it worked. Praise medical gods.

Finally I was able to spend some time with little Beck and came home, leaving him in the NICU. That's a post for a different time, but I was so hard to drive away knowing that he wasn't coming home with us. (PS he's doing really well and I'll blog about it soon. :))

And there you have it. The birth novel of the year.

So how to come to an unabrupt close?

The end?
Yes. Pin It