14 February 2016

Josie Mae Call

Our story starts on 01 February during a heavy snow storm! The weather forecast actually came into fruition, snow with a side of blizzard. Course that night I started to have some serious labor pains. I am positive if I had gone to the ER little Miss would have a different birthday. Labor went on for about 6 hours before I really had a chance to sit down and rest. Before we went to bed snow was falling, school was cancelled, and we were home bound. I texted Jen to stay near her phone in case the baby ended coming during the night. I felt bad that she spent the entire night restless waiting for a phone call. Amelia came down with Strep on Tuesday, Everett came down with it 8 days later. I quickly got them on antibiotics before school started up on Wednesday. The next day a snow emergency was declared and the entire town shut down. Justin stayed home and let me take quite a long nap. My scheduled 38 week appointment was supposed to be that day, it was rescheduled for the next day. The emergency snow declaration was lifted on the 5th of February. The snow fall amount was 14.5 inches...course in these parts you have to consider the snow drifting which can be considerable. We had two days off from school while the snow removal crews worked their magic. I am always disturbed at the amount of complaining I hear from folks about the snow removal progress. Good gracious! It takes time to get every single road cleared. Jen came over on Wednesday and shoveled our walks while the kids and I were at the hospital. The city is crazy about fining folks for not removing snow from sidewalks, that IS ridiculous. I waddled into the hospital with 4 kids in tow early Wednesday morning. As I suspected Dr Shaw about insisted that I stay and have the baby. I was dilated to a 4.5, 80% effaced with a bag of water bulging...meaning she could have broken my water that very moment. I declined her suggestion because Amelia finally had a PT appointment for her hip early the next morning. I determined to go in right after her appointment and see if baby really wanted to come. We went home and worked on classroom Valentine cards. We really enjoyed having some downtime. Justin made a snow hole for the kids to play in. Amelia hobbled around on her good leg playing her little heart out. Phillip followed Justin around placing himself right under the snow blower fallout. He looked like an abominable snowman! Evelyn even joined in the fun outside for a good 30 minutes. A friend brought over some dinner just because! I love service without prodding. I decided that needs to happen more often (on my end). I spent a good portion of the afternoon on Wednesday coordinating child care and school transportation with Evelyn Hornbarger, the compassionate service coordinator. I felt much better once we had a plan of action for the kids. I was trying to wait until Grandma Debbie could come out. We had lots of help the past week with the kids. Makes me feel so grateful to live in such a loving ward and town.

Amelia's PT appointment was mostly just intake stuff. He checked the range of motion in all directions of her left and right legs. Amelia was pretty silly, giggling the entire time. He noticed her left femur can almost lie flat when she was on her belly, the left leg could only swing out a normal couple of inches. That alone was disturbing. We left with a shabby pair of crutches and a couple lessons on going up and down stairs. Everett and Evelyn enjoyed the trampoline and bell weights in the therapy room. He suggested we order an X-ray of her hip area. Other than the crutches we left with more questions than answers. I ordered a new pair of crutches since the only pair the PT department had were a couple inches too tall. After Evelyn fell asleep for her nap I called Sister Swain to sit while I went to get checked out at Labor and Delivery. We were back home two hours later, baby decided to disengage and move around. Darn it. As Justin said, it was a good dry run! I did have several 4 minute long contractions, low and slow...lol. The contractions stopped all Thursday and Friday.

We went on with life as normal. Me feeling so tired and heavy that all I wanted to do was sleep. Instead I spent a good amount of time cleaning up the basement and craft room. I whipped up a couple cute headbands, finished crocheting the baby's blanket edges, and bounced on an exercise ball. As went went to bed that night I asked Justin if he had any ideas to entertain the kids on Saturday. We both drew a huge blank.

I got up at 1:00 to use the bathroom. I went back to bed and was drifting back to sleep when my water broke...in bed. It was the strangest feeling ever to have one's water break spontaneously. I leapt out of bed trying to avoid drenching the entire side of my bed. Most ended up on the carpet and towels. Every time I moved more fluid leaked out. It was strangely itchy! Justin woke up ready to go. I changed PJs and texted Jen to come over. We arrived at the ER entrance by 1:30, contractions started coming on fast and fierce. Justin claims that it is not often folks are greeted at the ER entrance with smiles. LOL. The nurse got us settled, an IV placed, and such. I warned her to check me, once she finally did her eyes got huge. I told her I went fast! She called Dr Shaw, who arrived in just enough time to deliver Josie. Poor nurse was running around getting the LD table all ready worried I would not wait. Dr Shaw arrived just as I went through transition, the only clue was that I needed a barf bag. After 4-5 long, hard pushes Miss Josie arrived at 2:37 am. Josie sported quite the pair of chubby cheeks! She also had a fat neck, sort of like my Myrtle Turtle face. Trust me it was cute on her.

She was very lethargic when she came out, enough to worry Dr Shaw. Soon we had lots of nurses, the X-ray tech, and two worried Doctors, Shaw and Dr Allard. Josie spent her first hour with rigid limbs, her hands turning outward every so often. She was ventilated for a good 30-45 minutes. Finally Dr Shaw let us know it looked like Josie was seizing or having some sort of serious neurological dysfunction.  Her 5 minute APGAR was 5 at 5 minutes old, it went up to 8 by 10 minutes old. She was not breathing well, and her reflexes were not responding normally. Her color, circulation, blood sugar, etc were all normal. She finally improved once she nursed for a bit, at a blood sugar score of 70+ she started to act normally. We stayed in the Labor and Delivery room until noon so the nurses could focus on us and not get caught up in the morning rush out on the floor. Josie came out with huge, soft cheeks! She was my heaviest baby at 8lbs 2oz, 20 inches long. Course she may have weighed more since she had quite the large bowel movement the nurse swears was over an ounce! The rest of delivery was quite normal, even the 2nd degree tears and stitches. I was up and at 'em soon after Justin left to relieve Jen at home (around 9:30). I got up to bathe, eat, nurse, and such. I recovered so fast this time with no pitocin, no assisted birth devices, and such. Dr Shaw kept us in the hospital for 48 hours or more just to keep an eye on Josie and to wait until Monday when she could talk with Denver Children's hospital. She said it was much easier to get Josie into the NICU if needed, apparently much better than the PICU. The kids arrived around 10:30 eager to meet their newest sister. We had a down-right party in Labor and Delivery! Everett arrived wearing Phillip's Darth Vader pants inside out and a reindeer shirt. Our rag-tag gaggle of kids looked like their mother was gone! Each kid had a chance to hold Josie for a bit. Evelyn was pretty funny the first time she held Josie, once I showed her toes, fingers, belly, etc she shoved the baby at arm's length and poked her with a timid finger. The kids were excited about the moving bed, the TV, the curtain divider, and all the fun equipment. I forgot to change the auto-off function of my camera so ended up with a dead battery at least three times. Justin kept bringing fresh batteries, he finally brought me the charger! Unfortunately, most of the photos I have are iPhone ones.

Jen was so excited to watch our kids overnight. Evelyn woke up at 3:45 am much to Jen's delight. Jen showed her the photo of Josie I texted her, Evelyn clutched the iPad and stared at the photo for a good long time. She fell asleep clutching the ipad/photo. I told Jen the kids usually woke up at 7 am, she woke them all up at 7:15 because she was so excited to share the good news. She walked into their room and a confused roomful of kids. "Why are you here, Jen?" LOL. She lined up the kids and showed them their new baby sister. Jen said that was the most special experience of her life! The expressions of love and excitement a close family has with a new sibling. She whipped up pancakes and eggs for breakfast. We are so grateful she was able to come help us. Now she is buying up loads of girl clothes to spoil Miss Josie Mae. Silly lady! We love it.

After noon I went to my new room out on the floor, got a good nap and snuggle with Josie. She had all kinds of noises coming as she slept! I love all the newborn noises. Her first visitor was Maddie, one of the YW who works in food service. I loved the visit. I hear the kids had a fun afternoon with the Hornbargers, even visiting the library. Dr Shaw was able to attend her son's basketball games most of the day! I was worried she would miss that because of me. She stopped back in once back in town to check on us! Then home to bed for her. The kids came back after dinner. Everett was quite excited to find me eating dinner in bed. He wanted to know when we will have dinner in bed with a TV and remote all in the same place. Sunday and Monday were pretty much a routine of the same old things, vitals, check on Josie, naps, TV, nursing, vitals, food, vitals, and family visits. During the quiet hours of the evening I realized that Josie's name could sound like a question! Josie may call...or she may not call. Har, har, har. Spelling makes all the difference right? I hope so. Justin came with the kids right after sacrament meeting to visit until nap time. We had several trays of food delivered for lunch. Everett and Phillip sat in the bed, watching TV, eating roast beef, and pushing the nurse button to order Sprites. Amelia stayed with me the rest of the afternoon. She got to change Josie's diaper, exciting stuff. I really enjoyed one and one time with Amelia snuggled next to me. We got a nap and lots of baby snuggles. Sunday Alison, Ella, Michelle and her two older kids came to visit me. Justin came back after dinner for a short visit before bedtime. All the kids were stressed out and near meltdown so that visit did not last very long. I did get a kick out of putting Evelyn on the high shelf in my room! She looked like a messy doll...on a shelf. I amused myself by calling my Dad on FaceTime, and texting/messaging on my phone until bedtime. The nurse took Josie around 3 am for a bath and the hearing test. She failed the hearing test, but the nurse told me the machine is new and they are having terrible luck working the machine. She will have another test at 2 weeks. Baby came back with lovely, clean STRAIGHT hair (grrrrrrr). A Hispanic couple came through town when she went into labor. They ended up in the room across from mine. The husband kept opening the emergency door sending the entire wing up in alarms and running nurses. I finally hobbled out of my room and explained in Spanish that the door was causing the alarms and that he needed to use the ER doors instead. I got chastised several times for sleeping with the baby nestled next to me. Whatever! My baby.

Dr Shaw spent the morning off and on at the clinic and figuring out the best plan of action for Josie. Justin, Everett, and Evelyn spent the morning in the hospital. Everett was in heaven watching Blaze and ordering sodas. Around 11:30 Justin left to take the kids to get lunch and Everett to school. Dr Shaw came right after he left to share the plan of action. Josie will see the neo-neural Dr the Children's hospital late March 2nd, the next day she will have a sedated EEG and MRI, then will stay 24 hours for monitoring. Looks like we will stay 2-3 days down in Denver. I had Dr Shaw order a new x-ray for Amelia's hip and asked her to try and coordinate any treatments or visits for Amelia depending on the results at the Children's hospital. Justin got the x-ray for Mia right after school. Justin came back and schlepped all my stuff to the van and got us home! Phew. What a relief. I was so happy to be home in time for the kids to get home from school. Amelia and Phillip held Josie as often as possible. Phillip gives quite the bumpy ride when he holds her! We are finally hearing her cry and seeing her wide open eyes. I almost cried to come home to a spic and span house thanks to Marcia! She even spruced up our bedroom and bathroom. What a relief!

We are so grateful for all the meals, play dates, help with rides to and from school, and attention. Grandma Debbie arrived right around dinner time after a long drive from Utah. We are so grateful she came for a couple days. Evelyn started calling her B-pa...lol. Grandma read the kids countless piles of books and tickled the kids whenever she could. Mom helped me take some newborn photos of Josie. The best was taking long morning naps after the long nights. Josie has proved to be quite the spitter, she is earning the nickname Juicy Josie. Poor kid! Grandma Jean sent Josie a lovely warm blanket through Amazon! I love that lady! We even figured out a way to FaceTime! She was overjoyed to see Josie from so far away. We enjoyed several FT calls from Grandpa Lane as he drove to work in the dark hours of the morning. Grandma Diana sent Josie a large warm fleece blanket as tradition goes. All my kids absolutely love their Grandma Jean and Diana blankets.

I am so grateful for a fast, medication free delivery. I have never recovered so quickly. In fact I feel better than I have in months. That is the best blessing, getting me back on my feet to care for so many cute humans. In between nursing sessions we got the kid's Valentine boxes and cards finished before Thursday. That was a relief! Thursday our living room was scattered with piles of Valentine's and candy. The kids complained of stomach aches after all that candy. Josie and I visited Dr Kate for chiropractic adjustments. The baby even slowed down her volume of spit up after the visit. I was surprised my hips were in alignment. My neck suffered the most! The kids played outside smashing snow, throwing chunks in the puddles, and whacking the snow with sticks. Grandma Debbie watched the baby so I could play outside with the older kids. Yay.

(Many thanks to Kayla Green, Michaels, Hills, Silers, Andersons, Jensons, Renkerts, Bowcut and Petry families for bringing meals this week.) Can you say SPOILED? I have several meals tucked away in the freezer for a hectic day.

**Stuff I forgot to add the first time
-Amelia bore her testimony in church on Sunday. Justin told me she said over the microphone how glad she was that her mom did not have to spend another night pregnant. LOL. What a sweetheart.
-losing 25 lbs in 10 days feels great, at day 10 post delivery I lost all the pregnancy weight. I am constantly amazed at what the human body is capable of. With all the water retention gone my skin lost all that puffiness. Feeling amazing.
-we were eating dinner Monday evening when my mom said that Uncle Joe was made of doughnuts because that is what she craved her entire pregnancy. Justin said Josie is made of nachos and jalapenos. Phillip piped up saying he is made of pickles and potty words. LOL. Everett followed up to say he is made of blueberry pie.
-Evelyn already tried to nurse Josie and a couple baby dolls. I love two-year olds.