Tuesday, July 27, 2010


See more pictures of Ethan, and ogle my friend Phil's super photography skills here.

Things are going at our house. Where they are going, or what they are going to do when they get there is to be decided as soon as I can remember what day it is and/or when I get more than 3.5 hours of sleep in a row. We're going on day 17 here, not that I'm counting.

Ethan isn't colicky, most days, which I am very thankful for. He just does the usual baby things like not sleeping very much and needing to eat every 5 minutes, which is not very restful, especially when you have Nora the Destructor alternately destroying everything in our house, as her name would suggest, and needing more water. That girl is thirsty.

I had a little bit of the new-mom-crazies this past week and I felt like yelling and crying and hugging/hitting everybody. Saturday night, Ethan was awake from 2:30 until 6. I may have admitted that I was having some buyer's remorse and maybe said that I wanted to take him back. We went to church and I had Ehan in the wrap. A gaggle of kids ran up and asked if they could see the baby. I bent down and up ran Joey, he's 4, I think. Joey's mother had a baby last month, but the umbilical cord tore during labor causing extensive damage from blood loss. The baby died a week later.

"Your baby is beautiful, our baby died."

And then he scampered off as if he hadn't just blown me away.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dear Nora

Dear Nora,

I understand you are having kind of a hard time with Ethan. Pretty much, as you see it, he's a devil baby that has come into your life as some sort of punishment for some unknown crime. He's stolen me, your mother: my lap space, my time, my energy, and my love. I feel unexpectedly guilty about this. You are so small and so cute and it breaks my heart for you to feel thusly abandoned.

However, as I thought on this, I realized that I was you once. My mom had a baby 18 months after she had me. I was that older baby: abandoned by her mother for someone smaller and more helpless than myself. And, you know what? In my conscious memory, I cannot think of a time when I felt it. I don't remember thinking that my younger brother was a devil baby. I don't remember ever feeling like I didn't have access to my mother's love or time.

This gives me hope that this phase will be short-lived, or at least, that you won't remember it.

With love,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ethan's Heart: Everything is Fine

In case you heard through the grapevine about Ethan's heart:

By the way, we named him Ethan Tyler. In the end, the deciding factor was that I liked the sound of Ethan Tyler better than Levi Tyler after saying them about 20 times each.

Anyway, the first day he was born, the doctor gave him a clean bill of health. Then, he started breathing really fast. It's my understanding that babies should breathe about 60 times per minute, but Ethan was up to 80. This, plus the fact that the doctor heard a murmur earned Ethan his first echocardiogram, which showed he had a murmur (tricuspid valve regurgitation), patent ductus artriosus (pictured above) and a patent foramen ovale (pictured below). You probably all know that babies hearts have a physiology before they're born than after and it's supposed to switch over when they take their first breath.

But, sometimes it doesn't. Like with Ethan.

They did a follow-up echo the next day and the PDA was closed but the PFO was still, well, patent. He doctor wasn't really worried, so I wasn't worried and they let us go home.

Today, we saw the pediatrician and he couldn't hear a murmur. We'll follow up with the cardiologist in a month. Other than that, we're doing great, except for the fact that he was up every hour an a half between the hours of 11 and 4:30 and was under the impression that he was STARVING every time.

We'll have to work on that.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Baby Ball 3.0

As we all know, I've been in labor since May. But, last night around 7, I started thinking maybe these contractions were stronger. Maybe. Then I had a little bleeding, but really nothing to get excited over, especially since I had been to the doctor earlier that day and she'd checked me (I was 3 cm). I sent Tyler to the pool with the kids and set about packing my hospital bag, just in case we were going to go.

I debated back and forth about calling someone to come over because I was pretty sure that if we went to the hospital, we'd get sent home because my contractions were strong, but I wasn't screaming, as Tyler kept pointing out. I decided that I'd call my friend Rachel and we'd go because night was approaching and I didn't want to have to call her at 3 AM.

On the ride there, the contractions slowed down to every 8 minutes, and I was sure they were going to send us home. We got to the hospital at about 10, and they were really full, so we waited in the waiting room for about an hour, during which time, the contractions picked up in intensity and frequency, but I still wasn't quite sure that they'd keep me.

By the time we got hooked up to the monitor, I was having to hee hee hoo it through, AND I was dilated to 4 cm, which is the benchmark for admission. We got into the L/D unit at around 1 AM, and Tyler and I were a little goofy from staying up so late. My nurse was pretty funny and was cracking jokes left and right. I had an epidural at around 2, (I think I told the anesthesiologist that I loved her), and we tried to get some sleep. Between the beepy machines and them coming in every 30 seconds to ask me questions and/or poke at me, it wasn't terribly restful. My doctor showed up shortly after and recommended some Pitocin as the baby wasn't coming down properly. At 4 AM, she did an exam and my water broke. By 4:15, I was seriously considering pushing. With both girls, I didn't feel anything with the epidurals, but this one was "less dense" and I could actually feel quite a bit. They made me wait until 4:30 to start pushing and Baby Boy Ball was born at 4:53.

7 lbs, 9 oz
20 3/4 inches

The doctor said I had a "small tear" and let the resident sew it up. I'm not entirely sure how many closings the resident had done previously, but I'm going to bet it was maybe only one ever before. So, that took a long time, and it seemed like they did 5,000 stitches, which I'm fine with, because my doctor kept saying, "take your time, do it right."

The baby and I are both doing great, just chilling out here in the recovery room. He was really gaggy and was having a little trouble getting out all that mucus in his system, so they took him and suctioned out his stomach, which I'm sure he hated, but I didn't see it.

We took more pictures, but didn't bring the cord to upload them onto the computer, so you'll have to wait until I get home tomorrow.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Mostly for my family

I went to the doctor this morning. I'm "a good 3 cm." This plus the facts that I feel like the baby is dropping, my hips are all loosey goosey, and my feet are the size of footballs all make the doctor think I'm going to have the baby sometime within a week.

"Don't make an appointment for next week," she said. "If you're still pregnant by Thursday, just go to the hospital."

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Job Update

We're breathing a big sigh of relief: yesterday, right when he was leaving work, Tyler's boss came around his desk and told him that they were finished with the lay offs. I think about 12 people were let go.

So, for now, Tyler still has a job, I'm still going to go to nursing school, we're not going to move, and Lillian is still going to ask 5,000 times a day if she can watch another movie. But, that last one has nothing to do with our employment status, she'd do that anyway.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Depressing Marco Polo

My family was having a family reunion last week. We had already decided not to go because I'm hugely pregnant, and contracting, and hoping that I go into labor any second. Then things happened at Tyler's work. They asked us to be discrete, so I can't go into any details, but they asked him to take some furlough time and rather than sit around the house for almost a week, we decided to go catch the tail end of the reunion.

My family was, as always, super fun to hang around. I took only one picture the whole trip: when we crossed the Colorado river into California, Lillian wanted me to take her picture in California because you never know, you might look different. My sister-in-law took a whole bunch, so I'll probably steal some from her. Actually, she was quite dedicated. She followed Nora around for a good 20 minutes in order to get a picture of her smiling. Mission accomplished.

We lounged around the pool at two separate pool parties. Lillian had fun forcing her cousin Soren to play Snow White and dance with her. There was brownies and food and catching up and texas sheet cake and all manner of salads and nothing even close to triple digit temperatures.

There were fireworks, which Lillian almost missed. After we had waited in line for a good 3o minutes to use the questionable port-a-potty and walked all the way back to our blanket, she told me she had to go again. Kyle suggested we walk over to the Von's and use their bathroom because there was no line. It was Tyler's turn, so he took off 15 minutes before the fireworks were supposed to start. Ten minutes went by, they still weren't back. The fireworks started, they still weren't back. Ten more minutes went by, and they walked up; Lillian had picked that exact moment to have some bowel difficulties. I was preemptively stressed out about how much crying and whining was going to happen from Lillian upon learning that she missed the fireworks, but the show was about 30 minutes long, so she didn't realize that she missed anything. Whew.

Also, Grandma Marti put Lillian's hair in braids like Jesse on Toy Story, and then this morning, Lillian wanted ME to do it. Turns out, I'm still really, really awful at french braiding hair. There was a lot of "OUCH! YOU'RE HURTING ME," and "I DON'T WANT YOU TO DO IT ANYMORE." Maybe I can get one of those beauty school heads to practice on.

One word about Tyler's job. Yes, he might lose it. About 10 people in his office of 50 have gone so far, and it's not over. We won't know for sure for a while. He said it's like some depressing game of marco polo where he's sitting at his desk with his eyes closed calling out "marco," except if you catch the people calling out "polo," you get fired.

If it does happen, we'll figure it out.
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