Days 2015

Days 2015

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Babies and Old People

Have you ever noticed that babies and really old people make the same kinds of sounds?  They breathe noisy, they squeak, they have funny little coughs and chirps, and this doesn't even take into consideration those other noises.  They also get cranky, sleep an awful lot, and their clothes don't seem to fit them very well.  Lack of waist?
Now a month old, Luke is doing well.  (Or Luker, as Macy sometimes calls him.  This cracks me up because it translates to Lucre, and makes me want to add the Filthy onto it when I'm changing him.  Lucky Lucre?)  He is off his feeding tube again (had to put it back in because of interference from some congestion--he had a little cold) since earlier this week and is eating like a little pig the last couple of days.  He was up every 2 1/2 hours to eat last night even though his bottles were huge for him--be careful what you wish for.  The nurses are very pleased and surprised at his daily weight gain.  His umbilical cord finally fell out yesterday and I was able to give him his first bath today.  His oxygen has been great (88-90% saturation) all on his own since the beginning and at the cardiologist last week the doctor predicted that he would not have to be hooked up to oxygen at all as he gradually grows out of his shunt and we wait for his next surgery.  We had been told that he would need oxygen in a couple of months, so this was very good news and I am thumbing my nose at the huge ominous tank that is planted here in the office, waiting to be useful.  Luke is also smiling occasionally, making lots of eye contact, and once in a while tries to talk at us.  I noticed today that he has started a funny little bad habit of pulling his own hair!  Never had a baby do that before.  His eyes are also very, very dark still, and I might be imagining things but I think they may turn brown!  Or green at the least.  Mark and I never expected a throwback to our brown-eyed deceased grandmothers (at least, I think his Grandma had brown eyes--Mark didn't know her.  She died in a car accident when he was a baby.) My Grandma LaVonne had the snappin-black Kale eyes (both her parents also had blue eyes), and I would love to think that this is a little love note from her.  We'll have to wait and see.  Luke's coloring remains normal thanks to his good oxygen levels.  All in all, except for our little medical routine in the morning of being weighed, oxygen checked, and getting some meds in his morning bottle, he is a pretty normal baby to take care of.

I forgot to write about some fun things that I had made notes on.  When Luke was in the hospital his hand was constantly up over his eye like he was fretting about something.  He still does this and also has very deep "worry lines" in his eyebrows.  I keep wondering when or if they will ever go away.  For this reason I'm starting to think of him as my serious one.  Anyway, the kids thought this hand over the face pose was hilarious, and one night while he was still in the CICU we were thinking of captions for this pose (pretty much all the kids knew about him at this point.).  Cooper volunteered that Luke must be saying the pledge of allegiance (?! with his face? typical kindergartener!)  Boston said that it was because Luke thought that the clothes the nurses were wearing were too ugly.  Other ideas were that it was his Halloween costume and that the baby girl he was sharing the room with was way too noisy.  
Another comedy in the midst of our stress that I had jotted down was that one night we called the hospital to check on Luke's status. (This was our way of not feeling too guilty for leaving him there "Awl Awone", as the three-year-old freckled neighbor kid so tactfully put it to me when I explained to him where the baby was.)  Mark asked the CICU desk to forward him to the nurse in Luke's room.  When the nurse picked up the phone, she said, "Yes, he's here.  Would you like to talk to him?"  Late at night and a little sleep deprived, Mark wasn't sure how to respond to this, so he just laughed.  To his astonishment, a man's voice came on the phone, wondering what Mark wanted.  After a few moments of confusion on both ends, Mark talked to the nurse again and got Luke's report, as originally planned.  We thought that maybe there was a male nurse there named Luke, but we later found out that the nurse heard "Luke Day's Dad" and handed it to the father of the other baby in the room, who was doubly confused because his wife's last name was Day, no relation.  This was a much funnier story late at night, but there you go.

To start off these pictures, I thought I would include a couple of digital scrapbook pages that my in-laws put together and sent around to Mark's family, as shown. They were at the hospital when Luke was delivered and until very late that night. Thanks Dad and Frances!


Luke's Lazy Boy.

Cooper asks to hold him...all the time.

Like flies to the honey.
Halloween party.  Mark is a Beach Boy.  Cooper is a bat.  Leslie is a pioneer ghost.


One month old and Mom still hasn't figured out how to focus her camera.

The kids are bugged that Mom always makes me wear jammies.

I guess I could use this for Halloween.  If I could go trick or treating...
Dissolvable stitches are pretty cool.


Luke's first bath.  See his hair already turning brown instead of black?

He only howled for a second.  I think he liked it okay.

His xyphoid process bone sticks out like a button when he cries.  Plan to ask the doc about this.

He liked the lotion job.  And the heater overhead. 

Evidence of his new little vice.  I guess he thinks that around here, having too much hair is not the manly thing to do.

He LOVED the mirror (and notice, he's pulling his hair again) and I was able to do my makeup and hair and brush my teeth (we are at my vanity) while he just admired himself.  That is a routine I could get used to!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sustained

Sometimes things happen in such a perfect, ironic, book-worthy order that you know the Lord has a fabulous sense of humor--and that He wants you to recognize his hand--things don't happen by chance.
Today, after having my little-boy-blue home from the hospital for a week, my mother-in-law came and babysat him so I could attend church and sustain my husband as 2nd counselor to the bishop.  I gulped and swallowed a bit as I watched him take that long walk to the stand, where he will be sitting up front until who knows when (while I sit at home with our high-risk newborn until who knows when) and our kids sit with...whichever nice folk can stand to sit by them I guess. 

I was asked to speak for a minute and mentioned that the Stake President had asked us to come and meet with him (to extend the call) while Luke was still in the hospital.  When I heard what Mark was being asked to do I only went into hysterics for a short minute, pretty good really for someone recovering from childbirth and intense stress.  And the hysterics were mostly just laughter at the whole situation--I don't think I alarmed Pres. Sorenson too much.  I think Mark will do a great job and really don't think things will be that hard on our family or on me personally.  In fact, maybe some of the extra time on our knees getting ready for this baby might prepare us a little for this new job, at least in the humility department.  We know we can't do anything without Him and that with His help we can do whatever we need to.  

Luke has been home for a little over a week now.  He is steadily growing as we cheer him on with every feeding.  Literally.  I'm supposed to weigh him every morning and make sure that he gains 20-30 grams a day.  He came home with a feeding tube so that when he was too wiped out to finish his fortified bottle I could pour the rest down the hatch.  Well, he yanked the tube out after two days and I had to put it back in myself.  Never again please!  He started doing better at finishing his bottles, so when he ripped it out again on Friday night I decided to not put in a new one and see if we can keep up his weight gain without it.  (We haven't told the doctor yet, shh.)  So far so good but I'm pretty stressed if he falls asleep half way through a feeding.  As soon as I get him good and fat I'm allowed to start nursing him and can ditch the dang "milk machine" , (Breast pump) that makes me feel like I'm feeding twins, especially in the middle of the night when I just want to go back to sleep.  Mark has been FABULOUS to help and make sure I get as much sleep as possible.  I'm just so in love with him right now, even more than when he takes out the garbage without being reminded.




The window in the operating room where Luke got "passed off" to the pediatricians.  This is why I delivered in the OR, I didn't have a c-section or anything like that.


Luke's "helicopter ride" through the Life flight company.  They took him in this contraption down the long hall to Primary Children's Hospital from University Hospital.  Just got the bill (that I don't have to pay) for $4,000 and some buckaroos.  Mark could have just carried him for free.  At least he got a cool helicopter t-shirt out of the deal.

Mark's first time in scrubs.
We were happy that kids were allowed to visit the CICU (cardiac ICU) and see Luke before his surgery.


Luke's welcome home.

All my kids hanging out for coloring time at the kitchen table.

Just thought I'd take some nice pictures while he is tubeless.  Hopefully he'll stay that way. 



"Why can't my mom get her pictures to go the right way???"

This would be a nice shot except his cheek is still a little red from the tape that held his tube in place, and you can also see the prick marks in his hand from all of his IVs.

Luke is looking a little concerned about this situation.

It has been really nice to get to enjoy having the family all under one roof.  The kids have been home from school on fall break and it's been fun to watch them get to know their new brother.  Leslie has been a total baby hog, wanting to hold Luke all the time (thank goodness, especially when I'm locked in my room with the milk machine).  Boston, always the most affectionate, held Luke for a very long time yesterday while I cleaned his bathroom.  He kept insisting that he wasn't tired yet and I could hear him laughing at Luke's funny faces--I even saw a really good smile out of him for the first time.  Macy and Cooper seem to not mind my neglect while I take the extra time to care for the baby, and I am starting to feel so much better, first because I can finally bend over again and run up the stairs, etc., and secondly because the mountain of despair, stress, fatigue and doubt that I came home with (did anyone listen to the Relief Society Broadcast?  I felt EXACTLY like that pioneer woman in the story who realized that those feelings come from the adversary) has miraculously dispersed (after only a couple days of feeling like a train wreck) and given way to the happy reality that the spirit allows me to see and feel.  Luke is actually a very good baby and pretty easy to take care of.  His surgery was very successful and I really shouldn't have to think much about that stuff for a few more months.  My body is healing quickly and I am getting an okay amount of sleep.  It's fall!  Yesterday I didn't even need a nap and made carmel corn instead while Mark watched the football game and cuddled my boy.  Today I played kindergarten style scrabble with Cooper and have time to finally type this up. These are days "never to be forgotten".  I've been sustained.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Boy meets World

Luke Newel Day arrived last week, born at the University Hospital as scheduled, only a week and a half early.  He was 8 lbs, 5 oz, 20 inches long.  Mark was sure to wear blue so he wouldn't get confused about our family's loyalty.  (Mark considered wearing his favorite "Saturday is a Special Day" T shirt since Luke is our "Saturday" for our week of Days, but then Mark realized that he always wears that shirt when our kids come and he has too many hospital pictures of it anyway.
I don't have time to add many pictures now since they are mostly still on Mark's phone.

Luke has a heart defect that we have known about since June.  The general term for what he's got is "Hypoplastic Right Heart", which basically means that his right ventricle, the one that pumps blood to the lungs, didn't develop. He had his first heart surgery on Friday, a procedure called the BT Shunt where they put a little rubbery straw in to get some extra blood flow going to his lungs.  They did open his chest but not his heart, so technically it was not open-heart surgery.  Before surgery, while on meds to keep the little extra routes open to his lungs that usually close up on a baby after birth, he was doing well, not on oxygen, etc., and I was even able to practice breastfeeding him a few times as long as my milk wasn't in because they needed to limit how much was in his stomach.  (I guess if your belly is full, all your blood goes there and it messes up what they were monitoring.  Think of how sleepy you are after Thanksgiving dinner.)

His surgery went really well--the surgeon said it would take 2-5 hours and it only took around 2.  The Doc was really pleased with how everything went.  This surgery should last him 4-6 months until he outgrows his shunt and needs a more major procedure.  Then there will be a third major operation when he is age 2-4.  The second and third procedure kind of bypass the right ventricle and recirculate the blood so that the left ventricle does all the pumping.  His right ventricle will just be ignored for the rest of his life and his oxygen levels will probably not be fabulous for the rest of his life either, (kind of a silly thing to say with the way the medical field progresses...) but he probably won't really notice it.  (The doc said it will probably stay at 75-85 % oxygen saturation the way healthy folk are at about 95% or higher.)  To put it in lay terms, the doc said if he plays soccer he'll be the goalie.  Mark said, "That's ok, I'm a baseball guy."  The doc says baseball will be just fine.  Outcomes are really good for these surgeries; they've been doing them since the 70's and the people who got them back then are still around and doing well.

video video
Yesterday when we went to visit, two days into post-op, he passed a big milestone and was breathing well enough on his own to get his breathing tube out.  He was also very awake and alert, so we had to take some video to show the kids.  I know the tubes and stuff look scary, but mostly they are monitors with the exception of the chest tube that drains his wound.  He's not even on a catheter or oxygen.  (I know this is probably not very nice of me, but it helps me to not be scared when I walk down the hall and see the other babies.  Luke looks pretty hardy compared to a lot of them.)

Mark and I still feel really good about everything.  I missed most of church yesterday but I guess there was a lesson about trials.  Mark made a comment about the topic of why do bad things happen to good people.  He said that so often when we talk about trials we forget to notice that there is always so much good going on even in the midst of the hard stuff--so many things to be joyful about that I think the Lord gives us to kind of compensate.  We feel pretty joyful right now and every day has really actually been a good day.

Thanks again for all of the love, prayers, and concern.