Sunday, September 30, 2007

LVS is One Month Old!!



A sleepy Linus whoops it up as he celebrates his one month birthday by dozing on his Daddy's belly last night. He weighed 8lbs. 13 oz. this past Thursday. He's FINALLY over his birth weight of 8lbs. 11.5 oz!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sisters


I'm amazed at how these two sweet little girls can have such a good time loving one another one minute and then be driving one another crazy the next. Such is the life of two girls two years apart. My prayer is that ultimately, they will be best friends.
Below are two videos from Friday. The first I took just because I thought the girls were super cute, standing on chairs and "working" at the counter while I unloaded the dishwasher. The second one I call "Amelie's Turn."(As a bonus, I get to try out this new blogger video feature.)
video video

Tummy Time





The whole "back to sleep" campaign has apparently caused lots of babies to develop flat heads. So, doctors recommend periods of "tummy time" each day. I must say that since Violet has accidentally hit or kicked Linus several times WHILE I WAS SUPERVISING, putting him on the floor, on his tummy has not happened very often. The vulnerablity scares me. Needless to say, Linus' tummy time occurs in the late evening after all sisters have been safely tucked into their respective beds.

An Introduction to a Bouncy Seat





Last night, Linus got to sit in the bouncy seat for the first time. He was 24 days old and he noticed and played with the toys immediately! Amelie and Violet were weeks older, if I remember correctly, before doing this. Needless to say, this mama was highly impressed!

Walking in the Forest




an attentive Amelie on the tram ride
Violet was slightly stressed by the tram ride, so she went to sleep as a defense mechanism.


Yesterday, we had our first "just because" outing as a family of five. Amelie has had a desire to "walk in the forest" for quite some time, so we decided to visit the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. They have a visitor center surrounded by trails. They also have a tram ride that you can take to learn more about what goes on there. It was a great time and at a 10 minute drive and a total cost of $7 for the tram ride, we decided to be frequent visitors of this facility. Amelie's already asked to go back.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Twenty-three

Today, Linus is twenty-three days old. Does that number ring a bell? Twenty-three is also the number of days I spent in the hospital BEFORE Linus was born ( I was there for another four after he was born). For some reason, this past twenty-three days has gone by much quicker than the twenty-three days prior to Linus' birth. I wonder why =).
Recovery is going well. Linus continues to thrive. He's still not up to his birth weight, but he's gaining at an appropriate rate. Here's a summary--
On September 5th upon discharge, he was 7 lb. 11 oz. He lost a full pound in the hospital.
On September 7th, he was 7 lb. 13 oz.
On September 11th, he was 7 lb. 15.5 oz.
On September 19th, he was 8 lb. 6 oz. (which was my birth weight!)
Amusingly, Linus birth weight (8lb. 11oz) at 36 weeks, was more than either of the other two babies from church born this past week, both PAST 40 weeks. One was 8lb. 1 oz and the other 8lb. 8 oz. Duncan and I got a chuckle out of that one.
I've been essentially on my own with the three kids since Wednesday. It's probably a tad too soon, but I am just so ready to be back to normal. What used to seem like such a chore (loading and unloading the dishwasher, cleaning up after meals, changing Violet's poopy diapers etc.) is honestly such a joy. I am simply reveling in having my home and my family back. I look forward to being up for laundry and general cleaning. My house is returning to a semi-tidy state, slowly but surely.
I can't even express how full of thanks my heart is right now. I'm just so content and pray that I'll be able to keep things in perspective on a long term basis.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Linus' Original Birthday

Here's my Linus today, at 20 days old on what was supposed to be his birthday. Although, as far as God was concerned, it was never supposed to have been today. Hmmm. Deep thoughts.
All three kiddos in one photo--not an easy feat.
Linus on my shoulder. Duncan loves the position of his hands.
My first attempt of all three together. Not so successful. And I love my knees in the picture.
Ah! What have I gotten myself into?


So today, September 18th, was Linus' original birthday. The really funny thing is that the two women at church who were pregnant with me, and both due last week, are (were?) both in labor at the same hospital as mine with the same doctor as mine, today. Duncan asked if I was jealous. The weird thing is, in some ways I am. In other ways, NOT AT ALL!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

First Day of Pre-School







The only tears shed were my own. I'll chalk it up to hormones. She had a great morning.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tomorrow it should be Linus VICTORY!!!

On Monday, an "unhooked" Linus--finally we can see his sweet face!
It's rough being a baby! (I'm a sucker for yawn pictures.)
This was on Sunday when I nursed Linus for the first time.
On Friday, Amelie and Violet hanging out in the hospital waiting area.
On Saturday, Amelie and Birdie Grandpa (Duncan's dad) coloring at the kitchen table.


Tomorrow, well later today, as I check the time, Linus is expected to be discharged from the hospital. We are so excited at the prospect of being a whole family for the first time since August 6th. I'm ready to sit on the couch and nurse my baby. All this running back and forth to the NICU seems to have made my recovery speed up. My pain level is so low that I don't even feel the need to take my pain meds. However, the swelling is still pretty bad in my legs, which will get better once I can keep my feet up a bit more. Hopefully, that will be possible after tomorrow. I wish I could show you how big I'm smiling at the thought of Linus HOME with the rest of us.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Six posts in one day?

It's definitely a record. I'm going home tomorrow. I will be spending time enjoying my girls, my husband, my home and traveling back and forth from the hospital at least until Wednesday. (That's when Linus' course of antibiotics will be over.) I'm alone tonight and know I won't have much time to blog after going home. I so appreciate all of my blogging friends and family and wanted to share as much as possible, while I had the time. I'll update when I can, but can't promise it'll be very often. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your love and prayers through all of this. God is so good.

Just the facts, ma'am.

I'm not ready to share the birth "story" complete with emotions, but I can share the factual details.
*My c-section was scheduled for noon, but they were running a bit behind schedule on Wednesday. I didn't enter the operating room until about 1:00.
*They were unable to start a spinal on me, so I was put under general anesthesia.
*Because I was asleep, Duncan had to wait in the hallway for Linus to be born.
*Duncan said he was born within 5 minutes of my "going under."
*Duncan got to be with him almost immediately and got to trim the cord. (They left it long when cutting it from me.) He's never cut the cord before!
*I woke up in the recovery room and got to see Linus for a few minutes before his trip to the NICU. Duncan went with him.
*My recovery took a while. It took my uterus a while to contract (I got a shot to help it) and I lost a fair amount of blood.
*I got to visit the NICU to see Linus and hold him before I went to my room.
*Linus is amazing and totally worth all of it.
*I am so thankful for modern medicine.

Pictures from yesterday and today...

Amelie LOVES baby Linus. This picture from Friday should prove that! Since the sibling age limit in the NICU is two, Violet hasn't seen him yet. She's pretty clueless about his existence anyway. She did see pictures today and got very excited. We'll see how she feels about his constant presence in our home in a few days.
This is Linus chilling out in his warmer this morning. He has an IV on his foot and a tube in his mouth for feeding and removing air from his tummy. Everything else is external.
This morning, I got to see Linus' eyes for the first time. It was very fun.

What's in a name?

I'm sure some of you are wondering where the name came from. As with our other two children (Amelie Muriel and Violet Ella), Linus' first name is one that we like and his middle name is one of his great-grandparents' middle names. Duncan's paternal grandfather, Maurice Victory Salada, was born on November 11, 1918. For those of you that aren't up on your history, that is THE day that The War to End All Wars, also know as World War I, ended. Grandfather was given the middle name Victory to commemorate the day on which he was born. We thought that was really cool and so we decided to use it. In light off the circumstances of my pregnancy with him and our birth experience with him, I feel it has many meanings, that I'm sure you can imagine.

Why is Linus in the NICU?

Overall, Linus is slightly premature and was born via c-section. These two things combined can be cause for breathing problems. When babies are in a contracting uterus and pushed through the birth canal, they benefit by getting the fluid and mucus in their lungs squeezed out. Since Linus was lifted out of a non-contracting uterus, his lungs were full of fluid and mucus. Often babies in this predicament will struggle with their breathing for an hour or two. If they don't stop "grunting," or struggling, they end up in the NICU. Since Linus' lungs are a bit immature, he's been slow to improve as his lungs develop. So, Linus continues to be in the NICU, but everyone is very pleased with his slow, but steady progress. He started eating today (my breast milk though a tube in his mouth) and once his respiration rate goes down, I will be able to try and nurse him. He's been on "room air" and the amount of pressure to force it in to him has been lowered twice today. This is a great thing! We're so thankful for the wonderful nursing staff that have been taking such good care of him. We'd appreciate your continued prayers for his improvement.
By the way, we are ever so thankful for the decision to wait three weeks to deliver him. Had he been born at 33 weeks, he probably would have struggled so much more. It makes the three weeks I was here SO worth it.

Linus Victory's "Birth" Day






These are some photos from Linus' birth. More later. Promise.