Settling in

Ahh – kids are in bed, kitchen is cleaned up – so with tea in hand and chocolate nearby, I finally sit down and have a chance to write a little bit.

We are very much enjoying our “new” house.  Aaron had 7 wonderful days off to help us move in and get settled, and the move went very smoothly.  What a luxury to have someone else pack and carry all our stuff!  Unpacking has gone much more quickly than I expected, and we’re settling in very nicely.  I will post pictures of the house soon, but we’re not quite camera-ready yet. 🙂  For now, the boys are having a blast playing with all the packing paper!!

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It was hard to send Aaron back to Yakima to finish up residency, but after this long 2-week stretch, we will see him every weekend until he finally graduates at the end of June.

I am definitely feeling the “3rd-trimester fatigue” creeping up on me . . . or maybe it’s the move, taking care of 2 boys on my own, and the restless nights as kids adjust to a new environment . . . hmmm – either way, I’m exhausted.

Also, we just found out that the hospital here in Walla Walla does not allow any VBAC births.  This news was very difficult to hear – I had my heart set on a smooth, easy, home-town birth this time around, and that’s just not going to happen now.  I had a few very rough days as I struggled with the news – the emotions and trauma of Matthew’s C-section came rushing back to me in vivid detail, and I simply can’t bear to go through any part of that again.  Granted, Matthew’s C-section was more traumatic than most, but I still can’t put myself through another major surgery unnecessarily.  (more on that subject later.)  So, it looks like we will have to temporarily move back to Yakima for this baby’s birth.  I have been blessed with two wonderful OB doctors, one here and one in Yakima, who are willing to cooperate on this, and who both agree that I’m a perfect VBAC candidate.  (My doctor here in Walla Walla said he would definitely do it, if the hospital allowed him to.)  When I reach my 38th week (toward the end of August), the kids and I will move back to Yakima and “hang out” until I go into labor.  Aaron will have to stay in Walla Walla to work, but when it looks like I’m in labor he will (safely, I hope) drive to Yakima and hopefully get there in time for his 3rd son’s birth.  The logistics will be difficult, and we will definitely count on our Yakima “support system” for help agan! –  but I am willing to do whatever it takes to avoid a 2nd C-section.  I’m very disappointed that the whole thing won’t be as smooth and easy as we were hoping for, but I’m more at peace with the situation now than when I first heard the news.

There is a lot more to write about, but my tea is gone, my chocolate was yummy, and now, it’s bed-time.

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Was it really only a year ago?

My little Matthew,

Just one short year ago, you were such a different baby.

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You were so sick, so fragile, and just didn’t have the energy to do much at all – including eat for yourself.  Yet, your smile was so sweet, and your eyes sparkled with a life that we loved more than you’ll ever know.  The fact that your future was so uncertain broke our hearts.

But, one year ago today, that all changed.  On May 7, 2008, a skilled surgeon repaired your heart – a day I once feared and dreaded, but now I will always treasure.  You sailed through the surgery, recovered more quickly than we ever thought possible, and immediately embraced life with fantastic energy and vigor.  You have come so far in the past year, that it is hard to believe it has only been 12 short months.

Now, look at you!

oops – where did you go?

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Oh!  There you are!

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You are constantly on-the go, walking (working on running!), climbing, playing, laughing, and getting into whatever kind of trouble you can find.

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You immediately win over every person you meet, earning lots of laughs by showing your muscles.

Matthew showing off his "muscles" with a friend

Matthew showing off his "muscles" with a friend

Your sense of humor is fantastic, and you love making others laugh.

You can communicate many things to us, using sign language to tell us when you are hungry or thirsty, want more or are all done, or want to take a bath.  You also sign and say “Da-da,” and you have a special place in your heart for your daddy and your grandpa.  It is fitting that one of your first words was “Pa-pa.”  You will say “Ma-ma,” but only if you are upset and really need something from me!

Your favorite games are peek-a-boo, chasing me and your big brother, tickle-time and blowing raspberries, pulling all the books off the shelf, and, of course, laughing at silly boy-noises.  You adore your big brother, and can make a game out of just about anything with him.

And, best of all, you are healthy.  For a year now, you haven’t needed anything more than an occasional antibiotic for an ear infection.  We only see your cardiologist once a year for a check-up, and we don’t fear for your life when you get an cough or cold.  You have come so far from the baby who was only expected to live a few hours – you are such a miracle!

You truly are a blessing and  joy, and I am so grateful that God gave us YOU.  Thank you, Lord, and to You be the Glory!

We love you so much,

Mommy & Daddy

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Today is also a “new beginning” for our family, as we move into our first house!  If you are feeling nostalgic (or are just curious) what happened one year ago, the day Matthew’s heart was surgically repaired, you can check out the archives for May 2008, or follow these links to my posts from that day:


20-week Ultrasound Report – It’s a Boy!

Mostly good news . . . but mostly wasn’t what I was hoping for.  I was really wanting a “perfect” ultrasound report with this baby.

We were with the same technician, and in the same room that we were in when we first learned about Matthew’s heart problems.  This time, though, Aaron was with me.  The ultrasound tech is very good, and was extremely patient with my barrage of questions as she scanned the baby head-to-toe.  “Did you see a clear nasal bone?  Does the lip and palate look o.k.?  How are the long bones measuring compared to gestational age?”  She reassuringly answered every question, confirming that everything looked fine.  She took time to show us clear heart pictures – four good-looking chambers, balanced in size and pumping just the way they should.

“Did you get a good look at both kidneys?  Does the umbilical cord look good?  Could you see all the vessels?  Oh – it’s a boy!”  Again, she answered “yes” to every question.

When she started to look at his legs and feet, she got quiet for a minute, and started taking a bunch of pictures.  I saw exactly what she was looking at.  “He has a club foot, doesn’t he?”  Her silence was my confirmation.  I had seen enough of Matthew’s ultrasounds, with his 2 club feet, to know what we were seeing.

Our ultrasound was a week ago, but I still have so many mixed feelings.  I am relieved and grateful that this little guy looks healthy – everything looked great except for his little left foot.  I’m still trying to see things realistically, put things in perspective, but it is still very hard to hear that something, anything, is “wrong” with your baby – no matter how “small.”

We have a lot of reasons to be optimistic:

  • -it’s just a foot – not a heart, brain, kidney, etc.
  • -it’s fixable, often without surgery.
  • -Matthew’s “club feet” showed up on every ultrasound, but had self-corrected by 6 months of age.
  • -My mom and I can both invert our left feet into the “club feet” position with no problem whatsoever.  Flexible feet just run in our family.  It’s possible that this baby just has his mom’s funky left foot, and I’ve done just fine aside from a little pigeon-toed teasing.

But, I still have my worries:

  • -What if it is a “real” club foot that does need casting or surgery?  I know that it’s not as big as open-heart surgery, but I’m not sure that what we went through with Matthew makes this any easier to deal with, or takes away from the fact that it will still be difficult, especially with 2 other little boys to care for at the same time?
  • -What if it is just my hereditary “flexible foot,” but doctors pressure us into casting anyway?  What if we torture this child with casts and orthotics unnecessarily?
  • -What if it’s not “just a foot”?

Once again, I’m asking for your prayers.

Moved Out, but not yet moved in.

It has been a busy couple weeks!

Last week, we were very busy getting ready for the movers to come, getting Aaron packed up for 2 months “away,” and the kids and I ready for 2 weeks in-between houses.  The movers arrived last Thursday to pack everything, then they loaded the truck on Friday.  Micah was pretty excited about the big, orange moving truck, and Aaron and I were incredibly grateful to not have to do all of the packing and moving ourselves!  There was enough work to do as it was!

Our last week in Yakima was filled with lots of visits with (and help from!) our good friends.  As excited as we are about this move, it is really hard to leave our Yakima “family.”  We are going to miss you all so much!  Our Walla Walla home will be ready to welcome guests soon, and we hope you will come visit us often.

The moving truck arrives in Walla Walla on Thursday to move us into our new house.  Meanwhile, we’ve spent some time with family in Yakima, getting all of the loose-ends tied up there and spending some time with Aaron, before the kids and I headed to WW to stay with my parents for the rest of the week.  It is going to be hard to be away from Daddy for 2 months, but we will visit often.  He finishes residency the end of June, and then we will enjoy a wonderful July together as a family before he starts his new position in Walla Walla the 1st of August.

The kids are having a great time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, like always, and I have been able to catch an afternoon nap with the kids the last couple days!  These next weeks will be exciting and busy, too, but I will post when I can.