Monday, May 30, 2011

Will's Homecoming :)

Today I feel like my heart is overflowing with joy! We have our three babies all together at home at last! The last few days have been long for sure. I was discharged on Thursday, and tearfully had to leave our little guy in the NICU. The Dr. wanted to make sure that he received a full 7-day course of two different kinds of antibiotics. It was good that we were able to go home and reconnect with B and T, as much as would would have rather left altogether. Maybe that will make this whole transition better. They had come in to see him at the hospital and hadn't been too impressed. Then they got anxious to have him home so maybe this extra mommy and daddy time filled their tanks a little.

So, the last few days I tried to go over there as much as possible. I spent most afternoons snuggling him skin to skin - the hospital happened to be huge advocates of kangaroo care, and that became my best friend! Since I am trying to breastfeed I tried to do that as much as possible and he has done pretty well going back and forth between the bottle and breast so far. I am nervous about whether or not he'll keep it up when we get home since he is used to at least a few bottles a day, but we'll see. It has been a really wonderful way to bond since I have been feeling pretty sad that I haven't been able to do much of his care giving during his first week of life. I can't even begin to explain how excited I am to have him home. I adore that little boy so very much.
Miraculously enough, Will seems to have recovered entirely from his rough start. The dr. said that he doesn't think he will have any long term effects from the cord being around his neck or tummy or the fluid in his lungs which caused him to need assistance immediately with breathing. He also said that the infection in the placenta should be entirely taken care of with these antibiotics. His breathing is good and he doesn't seem to have any jaundice at this point. I can't tell you how amazing it was to hear all of this after seeing the heart rate in the 50's and the pale, limp infant they were wheeling out of the operating room one week ago. The strange thing is that no one can give me any explanation for what would have caused these things, nor why he has done so well. I truly believe it is a miracle and a true answer to all of the prayers which people have been praying for him through this entire pregnancy. The doctor told us to start saving for Harvard or Princeton. I wanted to give this guy a hug...but instead I just tearily thanked him for saving our little boy's life. Honestly, everyone at the hospital was amazing - we had a wonderful experience, and we are so glad that God nudged us to go there (where there was a great NICU) long before we knew we were going to need it.
So, now that he is home, real life begins. I am still extremely sore. I didn't realize that C-sections hurt so badly, and I have been feeling a bit discouraged that at a week out and on pain meds there is still constant pain. Will is definitely worth it all x 100, but I just hope that I can heal soon so I can do a good job taking care of our now 3 (!) kids. Slowing down doesn't come easily to me. I feel like God has been teaching me greatly about trusting him, and I am sure this is all part of the continuing lesson. Less of me, and more of Him.
Will loves to eat, can sleep through the utter chaos of his siblings and is happy being held constantly. I really think all of this has given me a new appreciation for every snuggle and just the newborn stage in general. I had forgotten how amazing it is. I love his sweet newborn smell, how he roots when he is hungry. I love watching the big kids be so precious with him. I just kind of wish I could freeze frame things for a bit to soak it all in. God has been so very good to us in bringing us from one of the scariest nights of our life to one of the most perfect times - and all in only a week!
Thanks for your prayers and for listening to our story. I am so amazingly blessed by my wonderful husband and three precious kids! If I didn't have this abdominal pain, I'd probably need to pinch myself! Hey - maybe that's why it's there! :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Will's Story

It is pretty amazing to be a part of a miracle. Especially, when your miracle involves a very faithful God and an amazing little boy. Ours started Saturday evening. I had been having contractions about 5 minutes apart for several hours. They weren’t too intense to stand and they weren’t getting more intense, so I wasn’t in any rush to get to the hospital, for fear of being sent home with false labor. However, as I laid down to rest for a bit and pray in my journal, I asked God to make sure that I knew exactly when we should go to the hospital to make sure this baby would be safe. Earlier in the week I had a doctor’s appointment where I had told him that I was just still feeling very nervous about the possibility of stillbirth and I had really hoped he would induce me. He had said that he wouldn’t consider it until 39 weeks, because he wasn’t too concerned about the glucose or protein they had been finding in my urine. I had just felt like something strange was going on and since then (at 37 weeks) the baby was full-term and by what we could tell okay at the time – my logic had been “let’s get it out!” But, despite my choking up while talking about it, my request was declined.

So, here we are on Saturday night about 4 hours into contractions every 5-7 minutes, and at around 9:15 p.m. I realize I am not feeling the baby move much. I knew that I should still be feeling at least 4 movements an hour and by 10:15 I knew that was not the case. So, even though my contractions weren’t any closer, I said to Justin that I thought we needed to go on into the hospital. My parents came over to watch the sleeping big kids and we headed out. Upon arriving they checked me in and saw that the baby’s heart rate was steadily at 172, which is far too high and it wasn’t changing at all. They quickly sent me to the back where they checked and saw I was dilated to 4. They started me on IV fluids to try to get its heart rate down, but it didn’t work. Then while lying there, my water broke.

At this point the baby’s heart rate dropped significantly and they admitted me and raced me to another room where they tried to feel the baby’s head and could not. Once the nurse couldn’t feel it, she yelled for back up and in minutes I was rushed into the Operating Room with about 12 staff members. I was panicking at this point, because it was clear that the nurses were VERY concerned for the bay’s health. In a matter of minutes, my doctor was on his way, and the anesthesiologist was giving me a spinal block. At this point you can pretty accurately picture the “touch-and-go ER scene” and know what was happening. I saw the baby’s heart rate on the monitor and knew things were very bad. A baby’s heart rate should be between 110-160 and ours was in the 50’s. I begged God to save our sweet little baby as they were putting the curtain up in front of me. As everything from my head and arms down became numb, they called in another doctor to get it started, doused my stomach with iodine, and were cutting me open. My doctor rushed in without a moment to scrub up and began to attempt to rescue our little one. I was stunned, terrified, and trembling. I asked for Justin but they wouldn’t let him come in.

In two minutes they had the baby out, and I heard him make the slightest of whimpers before they rushed him over to try to get him to breathe. The cord had been around his belly and his neck so he was not breathing. They put him on a CPAP machine immediately to get him to breathe and were working diligently in the corner to save his life. I was a mess, and couldn’t see what was going on. I only knew the awful feeling of not being able to move and feeling the pressure as they reassembled and sewed up my lower abdomen. The anesthesiologist was incredibly kind and rushed over to update me that though his color was not good, he was indeed breathing with help. He then went over and checked to see the baby’s gender. No one had even had time to look, so at that point he went over to find out for me that it was a beautiful little boy. I already loved that sweet baby so much as they quickly tilted him toward my head for me to see his pale little body before they rushed him out the room to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit. Thankfully, Justin was immediately able to go over there with him and the 8 medical professionals surrounding him. At that point, He was also able to give him the name William Clark Narducci, because it was a strong name for a strong little guy who was fighting right through this rough start. Justin watched the professionals as they worked to get his breathing stabilized. He had a lot of fluid in his lungs which they were trying to drain. He was able to come back over and give me a little update on his progress (still not stable but improving.) It was such a relief for me to see Justin, to know our little guy was improving, and to know he was able to go back and forth to check on our precious baby boy.

Justin ended up checking in on him throughout the night, and then he and I finally settled in to bed around 4:30 a.m. The next morning I was in a lot of pain, because C-sections are a whole lot rougher than I expected! However, around 10:30 I was finally able to be wheeled down to see my precious baby boy for the first time. He was more beautiful than I could have imagined. He has a precious round little face, his color had come back, and his full little head of brown hair was darling. I was in love! The NICU doctor came in to explain to us that he was so impressed with how well William was progressing. He was now breathing on his own without the CPAP, though his breathing was sometimes a little fast and still needed to be monitored. He was on IV fluids and IV antibiotics because his blood had shown elevated white blood cells. The doctor didn’t think there would be any long-term damage based on how he seemed now, however, they need to keep him for 5-7 days of monitoring.

So, currently, we have now gotten to go down to the NICU and hold him twice. They just let him have a teaspoon of formula today for the first time which I got to feed him, and he LOVED it and wanted more. He loves sucking on his pacifier and snuggling, and he despises baths and dirty diapers. He is very vocal about the last two - which makes us feel a lot better about the state of his lungs! Today was the first day he and I both got showers and food, in fact, so we are definitely on the up and up. I am in a lot of pain though starting to be able to walk. It is the most motivating when I get to walk down to the NICU to see our little sweetheart, because he certainly makes it all worth it. I love every chance I get to touch him, and it is beyond precious to see his proud daddy snuggling him.

He is a true little miracle, because if any of those things during the delivery had taken slightly longer or if we hadn’t gotten here in time our precious little guy quite possibly might not have made it. We praise God for his incredible faithfulness in protecting him. And we feel very humbled to have three precious miracles. At this point we are praying for him to continue to improve his breathing, to feed well and get off IV, to have his infection clear so he can stop antibiotics, and for him to be able to come home with us sooner than later. It could be the end of this week or the beginning of next week. Bethany and Trevor are so excited to meet him and we cannot wait for them to either! They stopped in yesterday to visit us and were so bummed to not be able to go into the nursery. The great thing is that they are being so spoiled by their grandparents at home that we have been able to focus on getting things stable and starting to heal without any worry. What a wild ride this has been – I get teary just thinking about it and especially how blessed we are. Not the least of which is by our incredible family and friends who have been and continue to pray for us and our amazing little miracle.

His Stats:

6lbs. 9 ozs - 19.5 inches long - May 22, 2011 - 12:25 a.m.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekend in Review...

This weekend we had a couple of firsts. On Friday night, Bethany went to her very first dance! It was with Justin of course and was the Parks and Rec. Father-Daughter sweetheart dance. She was excited about it for weeks (and her daddy was as well :) That day she began asking when it would be time to go about 7 hours ahead and then I finally gave in and let her get ready 2 hours before. She picked her party dress, sandals, leggings, sweater, scarf, necklace, and glitter. She had me french braid her hair (though she did manage to jump on the mini-trampoline before leaving, so I had to do a little repair work with some bobby pins...I was happy to have the excuse though, because my french-braiding skills leave a little to be desired!)
Her daddy arrived home to a VERY excited little girl. He even brought her a bouquet of pink carnations which are currently being proudly displayed in her room. They headed out to the dance, although she was a little teary about leaving mommy. This is a new development, she doesn't like to leave either of all...ever. We're assuming this has to do with the new baby on the way, but we definitely don't understand it when this hadn't been the case for a very long time. (Anyone know what the deal is, with sudden-four-year-old separation anxiety?) Nevertheless, after I got one teary phone call from the dance saying she missed me (here's hoping this is the only teary phone call I get from a dance!), her daddy charmed her and she had an amazing evening with him! She got a corsage, made a candy necklace, had pizza, cupcakes, and danced a lot with her sweet dad! He spoiled her with attention and lots of spins on the dance floor! She definitely had a memorable night, and it was the sweetest thing to see a little girl adore her daddy and a daddy adore his little girl as much as they do!
Meanwhile, Trevor and I also had a little date. We went to Chipotle (a fav for both of us) with our very good friends who were also on a mommy-son date during the dance. Before they arrived I was asking Trevor what his favorite thing in the world to do is. His reply, "Spend time with mommy, and daddy, and Bethany!" It was very sweet - he also seemed to really enjoy yelling in the restaurant and climbing under the table with his friend, Andrew. Our next stop was Peter Piper Pizza (there, I said it, Molly!) which was...interesting. Who knew that it would attract such a ridiculously large crowd on a Friday night? Anyway, after encouraging our boys to play in the free climber we indulged them in a couple of games. Trev's favorite was of course the one where you ride the pretend motorcycle race, since he would like to be a "motorcycle guy and tire guy" when he grows up. In fact, the other day he asked me to sign him up for the preschool where they teach you how to be a motorcycle/tire guy. I unfortunately had to inform him that vocational training usually doesn't start quite this young. :) Anyway, he had a ball on the motorcycle game (once we pried the family in front of us, who was monopolizing the game and trying to apparently buy the entire establishment in tickets, off for the little guys to have a turn.) Nevertheless, we all had a great time!

Then, on Saturday we took the kids to watch their first basketball game. We headed over to a very less than crowded ASU game and we had no idea how much fun we would have! The free pom-poms, the pizza, the popcorn, the cotton candy, and the entertaining mascot were pretty great for the kids.

Bethany imitated and loved watching the cheerleaders, and Trevor decided that he wanted to be #10 on the team once we told him that player would be the position he would have. Everytime the crowd would cheer, he would turn to me and say, "Who made the shoot, mom?!?" He was always pleased when I would say the white team, and then he would beam with pride if it happened to be made by #10. Amazingly enough, they even lasted the entire game, which was great since it came down to the last second before ASU won. It was really fun to take our big kids to do something like this as a family. Trev asked to go back again today. :) Luckily, we had a friend's birthday party to attend today to cap off the weekend with some cake and a bounce house. Good times were had by all!
Note: she's really not hurting him here...they were just being "silly" for the picture. They're really angels ;)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our Loss, Her Gain...

Today was a tough day for our family. We lost Justin's sweet grandmother, Jo, this morning. She had been put on hospice just yesterday morning and none of us were expecting her to pass away so quickly. We were all able to be there last night, and though she was sleeping, we at least got to see her one last time. The strangest part was that J and the kids and I had just been there a week ago visiting her at the assisted living home she had lived at for the past year. And she was doing really well. We were having lots of great laughs and talks as the kids were entertaining us as always. She really loved our kids. And, she always really loved us. I lost my last grandparent several years ago, but always felt as though Nammy was my own, too.

She was one of those people who is incredibly real, charming, and makes friends wherever she went. She taught elementary school for many years (and would still have former second graders stay in touch as adults), raised 4 great kids, doted on 9 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She had already started knitting for our little one on the way. She was so spunky and really truly cared about us all. I always loved being able to talk to her about parenting and teaching and hear her candid responses. She was an incredible woman, and her legacy definitely lives on in the lives of her children, grandchildren, and hopefully, great-grandchildren.

I was really nervous about sharing with the kids about her passing away. I knew I couldn't avoid it for long because they would be asking about her and wanting to visit. They got very serious when I began talking about it. They asked a lot of questions...primarily how she got to heaven. They speculated that maybe she went on a roller coaster, but then settled on the fact that Jesus carried her there. They were relieved to hear that heaven is more wonderful than any other place because you get to be with Jesus...and they were glad to know that Jesus had healed all of her "owies" and that there would be food in heaven, too. They talked about her probably dancing there because she wouldn't have to worry about her knees. T was still unsure why she couldn't just come to lunch with us today because Jesus had healed her and he wanted to see her.

And they talked a lot about how someday all of us would get to see her there again. B knew Nana (my mother-in-law) must be sad because she misses her mom and dad now, but we talked about how happy she is that Nammy is with Jesus. And really we all are. As I sit here, I am not sad for her one bit, only for us. And I am thankful for the saving grace of Christ that makes us not need to be sad or afraid. So, all in all, I was amazed at how well the kids took it and seemed to understand as best they could. I hope that Nammy knew how much she will be missed.

"I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 (NIV)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

We're expecting!

SO, it's no secret, I have been seriously neglecting the blog. I have a good excuse...I have spent a good portion of the last few months either vomiting or feeling like I was going to. But, it's all for a good reason - we are expecting! And we couldn't be more thrilled! In fact, we just had our 19 week ultrasound and the doctor said that everything looks good so far. We are so excited to welcome this sweet little baby into our family. It is definitely an answer to prayer, and we continue to pray for it's on-going health.

Even though it was only 4 years ago that I was pregnant, I had forgotten a lot about it. For example, I forgot just how sick and exhausted I was for weeks 7-17. I was can't-get-off-the-couch-or-keep-my-eyes-open-except-to-get-sick kind of ill. The kids however were feeling their energetic norm. Seeing me sick at the kitchen sink didn't seem to worry them, other than the fact that it took me an extra minute or two to compose myself before I could get them their frozen waffle. Thankfully, the grandparents and some good friends have been very helpful, and J has stepped it up big time. Also, anti-nausea medication is my dear friend.

I had also forgotten just how unbelievably sweet it is to feel little baby kicks inside of you. It is pretty amazing... almost amazing enough to make me forget how awful I felt...almost. I am treasuring each little movement!

The kids are in general pretty excited about it. B wants to share her room with the baby and has come up with some pretty excellent name ideas - today's was Wonder Red if it's a boy. T definitely does NOT want to share his room. They like to come up and give it kisses and talk to it. But, I have noticed that when the grandparents give any attention to clothes or ultrasound pictures for it, they are less than happy about that. I realized I probably need to read up on how to lessen the blow of a new baby in the family...anyone have any good resources or ideas?

Nevertheless, thanks for sharing in our excitement! We appreciate your continued prayers for a healthy little one!