Saturday, January 5, 2013

A hiatus is needed...

The last post I wrote was about TJ being born...that was three months ago! I swear that there are a ton of cool things going on and most of it we are getting pictures. But without the ability to post Picts right now, I feel it pointless to write about it.

Ill give a brief update on our fam before calling a hiatus until I have access to my lovely computer again.

Emmaline is doing really well with school work.  She is currently reading Nate the Great and the Big Sniff.  She learned addition and subtraction recently. I found her using subtraction to answer some addition problems...that was weird. "5 plus 6, but if I have 12 buttons and only one left, that means 5 plus 6 equals 11!" She is really interested in dancing and I can't wait to get settled so I put her in classes.

Lottie has started doing school work.  She is working on shapes and colors and tracing.  She and Gabriella wear similar sizes of clothes so she is forever getting confused and frustrated over her clothes. She is also interested in dancing but I think it's mostly because of Emmalines interest in it.  She has started into pretend play and has Emmaline really excited to have someone playing with her more on her level. And it's adorable to watch!

Gabriella is a foodie. She will eat anything and everything she can. She loves to play outside with her sisters, loves to kiss TJ, loves to smile at people. She does not like frilly clothes, mostly her dresses. She is still small enough that I can force her to wear something I want her to wear but that time is going to end soon. I think it's mostly a fabric texture thing though...

Thaddeus is doing awesome! The scar on his chest is healing nicely, just in time for his next surgery. The doctor is planning on the surgery being at the end of January, so soon! He is holding his head up so well and prefers to be sitting up while being held.  He tolerates tummy time better than the other kids ever did!

The family in general is doing okay. It's hard to be apart so much, the hotel has pretty much become home to us and we can't wait to get to Arizona and hopefully get settled for a while.  We are planning on buying a house down there, as housing prices are really good right now.

I hope you all have a good first few months of the year and hopefully I'm back in march...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Welcome baby Thaddeus!

It's horribly depressing to me that I can't figure out how to post pictures on my blog with my IPad.  I've avoided posting for that very reason...what's a blog without pictures?  But at the moment I feel like telling TJs story and we will just have to get to pictures later.

I went to the hospital the night of October 2 to be induced. After a few hours of waiting around and sleeping, we were told the doctors weren't comfortable having me induced before 6am because a bed wouldn't be available at the children's hospital until noon and if I delivered too early and there were complications...well that wouldn't be good, right?

So at 5:30 the started prepping for the induction. First they had to give me the dreaded IV.  I've never ever been easy to put an IV I. But when I tell the nurses that, they all assure me that they are really good at IVs and ill be fine. But they are always wrong. After two excruciating tries between two nurses they called the anesthesiologist in who numbed me up like crazy and tried again. Still uncomfortable but it worked. I joke that the stupid IV actually hurts worse than the contractions!

Because of the IV fiasco the pitocin didn't get started on time but no matter.  I was 3 and 50% before they started and when checked at 10am I hadn't made any progress. Grr.  By 3 pm I was checked again and I was at 5.5. I thought there would still be hours left. I was then sent through the worst hour of my life and by just after 4pm I was checked again and I was at a 9. The doctors were shocked and I was told they were talking about my fast progression in the halls.

It only took one really good push but two pushes total to get him out.  He was stuck at his shoulders. The longer story involves me being in too much pain to move to help him get out. The short story is that the docs were great at helping me get positioned right to get his shoulders unstuck.

He was really blue when he came out. Matt cut his cord but they took him to the isolette before I could hold him.  I did get a moment to hold him before they took him to the NICU. He was so blue and so bruised that I almost didn't recognize him as mine.  It was a strange moment.

The transport team took him to Children's hospital by 6pm while I stayed at the hospital for recovery. I'm sure the nurses didn't really love me but I pushed to get out as soon as possible. I was gone by 1030 the next morning.

When I got to Children's, he was doing great. He had a lot better coloring but was still bruised and blue tinted.  I was told when pregnant that I probably couldn't breast feed him because of complications so I was really glad there was nothing stopping me from breast feeding him.

TJ continued todo so well that he was moved out of the NICU to the regular floor where he stayed until he had surgery on day 6. The surgery went very well and he was in the NICU for a few days before being transferred back to the main floor for discharge the next day.

I was shocked and so grateful that he could go home so much earlier than expected. We thought we were in for the long haul and planning a month or more!

Life with TJ home has been great.  We have had to keep the girls away because they are sick but otherwise he has managed to fit in just fine.  We still have bi weekly cardiology appointments as well as pediatrician appointments and sometime over the next 4-6 months they will decide to schedule his next surgery.

Pictures will come as soon as I can get to a real computer:)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Space Needle

Matt and I went on the coolest date last week!  We got reservations at the Space Needle for dinner!  It was incredible.  I've never been to a 'fancy' restaurant and I kept trying to act like I didn't feel out of place.  We arrived before our table was ready so we went up to the observation deck to get some good pictures:

I didn't take any pictures of our dinner, I didnt think you'd be interested!  But we had a very interesting Mozzarella appetizer that I've been craving since we tried it.  There was a chunk of freshly made mozzarella in the center of the plate surrounded with fresh cherry tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, some sort of meat, olives, and spinach. By itself the mozzarella cheese was so so but with the stuff on the side it was So Amazing.  Mouth watering just thinking about it!

Matt ended up having a Tuna plate that was incredibly fancy and I had some chicken with an artichoke that I've never seen before.  Oh, and we had something called a Mt Rainier for a drink... it had chocolate and some hazelnut and some Irish cream...and it was also amazing.  We were planning on having dessert but after the dinner, there simply was no room. Again, my mouth is watering!

This is just a fun picture of the Space Needle that Matt got while we were waiting.  

And the best picture is:

I was completely joking about this picture.  I turned to Matt and said "Wouldn't it be funny if I could get a picture holding the space needle?" And he got down and some how I managed to be in the exact right place for the picture to look perfect!  Also, its a pretty good shot of my ever growing belly!

The night was amazingly fun.  We managed to not talking about the kids or being pregnant all night long.  We managed to enjoy a fancy restaurant where I couldn't even understand half of what was on the menu, and we managed to get some fantastic pictures in the bargain!

Happy Birthday Emmaline!

Emmaline Turned 5!

Because of being in a hotel room we didn't end up wrapping any of her presents.  Instead, we blind folded her and made her guess what she was getting.  It was a pretty fun change up!

This year she got a cute make up bag/purse with lotions, a charm bracelet, socks, and a new playpen for her baby dolls!

I also took her to get a pedicure and a manicure.  I thought it amusing that her finger nails matched her shirt and her toe nails matched her shoes.  I joked that she would have to wear the same out fit until the nail polish came off.  She laughed at that but later came back asking if she really had to wear the same clothes every day, lol.  

We took Emmaline to the EMP (Experience Music Project) on her birthday as well.  Sadly, we didn't actually get any pictures inside the museum... but we got this fun one outside!  We are literally 50 yards away from the base of the Space Needle in this picture.

After the younger kiddos went to bed we took Emmaline out for icecream at Baskin Robins.  She didn't get a big fun party, but I think overall she had a really good day.  I'm excited to continue watching my first baby girl grow up!

Description of Thaddeus's Heart

I know I've posted all this information before and I'm pretty sure I've passed on a link to a website that can explain it, but in light of the fact that my son is set to be born any day now, I wanted to repost the information I have.  
This is what a 'normal' heart looks like.

This is what our son's heart looks like.  

As of right now, the official diagnosis is 
1.  Double Inlet Left Ventrical- this is seen in the center where there is one opening that dumps blood into both chambers.
2. Hypoplastic Right Heart- this is seen where the chamber on the bottom left (the picture isn't the same direction as the real heart) is under developed.  It will never 'grow' to its full potential.

The doctors say he should be fine the first several days but slowly the oxygen rich and oxygen poor blood will flood the body and make it difficult for him to eat and he will turn blue.  Also, there is so much blood going to the lungs that his body won't be able to replenish the blood with oxygen fast enough.  The doctor said to picture holding a hose up to a sponge. Sure, blood is going through the lungs (water through the sponge) but there is so much blood going through that the lungs can't get air (air can't push past the water in the sponge...).

Surgery will be at 1 week, 5-6 months and then again around 3 years.  Thaddeus will be in the NICU roughly a month to a month and a half, depending on how long  it takes for him to stabilize and heal.  

I'll keep this blog updated as I can as we get more information over the next several weeks!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What's going on?

Britta: hanging out in Seattle, trying to keep myself occupied. I just hired a Doula, which is cool. 

Thaddeus: currently getting a bit too big for his current apartment and is considering moving.  He loves being photographed weekly but even more he loves to wiggle right at the moment where the ultrasound tech is getting the perfect picture!

Matthew: is working hard to get everything together to come here with the girls in a few weeks.  He should be getting a TDY status which will allow him to take care of me and the baby without having to go into work every day. 

Emmaline: is so glad Grandma is there to spend time with her. She loved hanging out with a bunch of different friends but she has moments that show she is getting stressed out with all the change.

Lottie: also enjoyed hanging out with friends. She is learning to string words together and get her needs across. She does struggle a lot with mom being gone and is very emotional.

Gabriella: Is learning to talk and babbles constantly. She picked up on walking super quickly. Her hair is growing so long and if we don't put it in pony tails every day it gets in her eyes.  Daddy says she misses her mommy but she isn't as emotional as her sisters, which is probably good.

In the near future Matt is going to bring Emmaline and Lottie here by Space-A flights . My mom is going to being Gabriella here on a commercial flight.   When they get here, my medical care will be transferred to the University hospital, which partners with the Seattle Children's hospital.  The doctors have said I could deliver anytime after 36 weeks so then we will just all be on baby watch. 

After the baby is born we will be dealing with the possibility of him being in the NICU. But he could also be strong and healthy enough to come home for a few weeks before needing surgery. So life will be up in the air for a while.  

As a planner, it is really difficult to not have any idea what is going on in the next few months. And the idea of planning on not having a plan makes me laugh. Obviously God is making me work hard on relaxing and taking things as they come.  

I'm so grateful for all the families in Guam who are helping to take care of my family, I think this all would have been even harder without all of them! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Guess where I am!

Wanna guess where I am? Here are some clues!

When I got here I realized that having only one pair of socks is not going to work. My pants will get wet walking around and my toes will freeze.

I am excited to go to the two zoos that are nearby.

The view of the mountain is amazing fom many places on base.

The trees are evergreen but the grass is ever-brown!

I felt really really weird driving the speed limit on the freeway. I could drive 30 miles and cover the entire length of Guam without even tapping the breaks!

Guess yet? No?

Well, I'll definitely want to visit the needle, ride a ferry and visit my old stomping grounds.

What about now? Figured it out? Well, I'll tell you. I'm in Seattle, at Joint base Lewis-McChord.

Matt is working on getting orders to leave Guam, but we have no guarantee that he will be sent here. And no guarantee that he will even stay in his same job.  I will be delivering at the Seattle Children's Hospital and Thaddeus will have some amazing doctors.

Life has been incredibly herd lately, I have felt like things are completely out of my control. But I have dealt with difficult thing before and I'm choosing to trust God in all this. It's always better and easier if I do that.