Saturday, March 26, 2011

God is Good!

So, I don't exactly have all the time in the world for blogging these days. Being mommy of three ages three and under is quite the task, to put it lightly. In fact, last night after I'd been out for a few hours, I got home and Chris sweetly said to me, "Each time I am here alone with these kids I have more and more respect for what you do each day. I have no idea how you get it all done!'' That was the sweetest compliment he could have paid me!

Let's see....what is new. At three weeks of age we took Joshua and Grace for a check up. Both had gained weight (Joshua up to 7.11 and Grace up to 6 even). Joshua had developed some "issues" and we discussed those at length. He had started to vomit quite a bit after each feeding. The doctor told us it sounded like reflux and told us to call if it seemed he was bothered by it and we could start him on medication. We didn't think he needed the medicine at the time.

Twenty four hours later, we saw Joshua really struggling with some significant discomfort, so we went ahead and called the doctor and requested the medication. We tried that and the first night it seemed to bring him relief. Then it seemed it wasn't working anymore. We put his mattress on an incline and bought a whole new line of bottles to try to help him. The vomiting seemed to be getting worse and we got to the point that I would bring out three or four rags, a bib, a towel, and an extra outfit for Joshua each time we fed him.

The vomiting continued and I became worried. He seemed lethargic and never cried to be fed anymore, leaving all the night waking up to his sister. Then I noticed a drastic decline in wet and dirty diapers. At this point I was convinced he did not have reflux and called the pediatrician.

We went to the pediatrician bright and early on Tuesday morning. I left Chris home with Grace and Jacob. At the doctor's office I told him all about what was happening and also mentioned Chris' history of having pyloric stenosis as a baby (something that is commonly passed from father to son). Our pediatrician was so compassionate and listened to all I had to say. They weighed Joshua and he was down from 7.11 to 7.7 in just one week's time. The doctor told me reflux babies do not lose weight and that we needed to send him to a specialist. He sent us straight from his office to UK Children's Hospital.

After a couple phone calls, Chris was able to make arrangements for Grace and Jacob to be watched by family members (what a BLESSING) so he could join me at the hospital. Some labs and an ultrasound revealed Joshua had pyloric stenosis and would require surgery.

What is pyloric stenosis? There is a muscle (the pyloris) between the stomach and intestines. In a baby with pyloric stenosis this muscle grows thicker and thicker to the point where nothing in the stomach can empty into the intestines, therefore the only way out is to vomit it out, often forcefully, causing the vomit to be projectile. Thus the reason for the towels, rags, and changes of clothes after each feeding. The condition most often presents itself in the first 3-5 weeks of age and is most common in boys, usually the first born boy. It is even more likely to occur if the parent had the condition.

Joshua was checked out and he was rather dehydrated and not ready for surgery because his electrolytes were out of whack. They needed to get that all taken care of before they could operate, so he spent a day and a half on IV fluids and we were not permitted to feed him (poor baby went about 36 hours without a bottle!). He was pitiful, but really a trooper and rested a lot of the time. He had surgery on Wednesday afternoon and we came home by noon on Thursday. The surgery was laparoscopic and not nearly as invasive as the surgery was when Chris had it as a baby. Our surgeon was awesome and he said they do about two of those surgeries each week. Joshua tolerated his bottles well after surgery and is doing well now that we are home.

Chris and I are so thankful God provided us with family to care for Jacob and Grace, nurses and doctors who were skilled, and a successful surgery. We are so thankful for His protection over Joshua and for a little boy who is on the road to recovery...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Burri Five

Two weeks ago I looked like this: 36 weeks, 6 days (February 18, 2011) pregnant with twins, about to burst. I was just hours away from heading to the hospital for the arrival of Joshua and Grace.

I was miserable and trying hard to remind myself to enjoy those last few sweet moments of being pregnant--feeling babies move and bump and twist and turn inside.

On February 19, 2011 Joshua entered the world at 10:28AM weighing 7lbs and was 21 inches long. One minute later at 10:29AM Grace joined us weighing 5lbs. 4oz. and was 18.75 inches long. It was a scheduled c-section.

We arrived at the hospital around 8AM that day, all nerves and excitement. Jacob was with his Aunt Fred. I cried the night she picked him up. I was so sad to see my baby not be a baby anymore. I knew once these babies were born he would instantly be bigger, more mature, and grown up to me than ever. Yes, I cried when he left. It wasn't any different the morning of the c-section. I cried from nerves. What was life going to be like for Jacob? Could I mother TWO babies at one time? What was the surgery going to be like?

Once we got to the hospital it was all a bit surreal. With Jacob I was in labor and we had no idea how long it would take before we got to meet him. Now, I just walked in feeling all pregnant and full--perfectly fine (aside from the usual contractions I'd been fighting off for months). They walked me back to a prep room with four beds. No privacy! It was so odd. They were expecting me and everyone knew about "the twins" who were going to arrive that day it seemed. I got dressed into my gown and the did the usual poking and prodding. I had the IV put in and that was horrible, as always. There seemed to be a blur of activity in the two hours it took for them to prep me and get me ready to head back to the operating room. A nurse came and asked me if I was ready and I was terrified. I just got up and walked down to the operating room.

Once I walked in I was terrified. There were people everywhere and activity all over the place. Two baby beds, nurses for each baby, nurses for me, students, doctors, lights, tools, etc. They had me climb up on the operating table. Also very odd. At this point I started to cry like crazy. The nurses asked me what was wrong and I just told them I couldn't believe I was having two babies and how nervous I was.

They gave me my spinal, which I was crying so much for they actually briefly knocked me out while they put it in. I was thankful for that. When I woke up I could hear my doctors voice, saw the drape going up, saw Chris come in all smiles and excited. I thought I could feel the first incision. I told the doctor I could feel it and they said I shouldn't feel pain. I told them I still could feel it. Then I was out. The knocked me out cold. I missed the arrival of Joshua and Grace, but I also missed what was apparently a pretty eventful surgery. At the end of the delivery the doctor was not able to get the bleeding to stop and there was quite a bit of work that had to be done. My one hour surgery took two hours in the end and I lost enough blood to require a 2 unit blood transfusion a few days later. I was one procedure away from a hysterectomy, but thankfully that did not have to happen.

Those days at the hospital are all hazy. I slept a lot and spent a lot of time in a drugged stupor. I vaguely remember holding Grace and Joshua the first time. Recovery was very, very slow and the hardest thing I ever had to do, especially prior to receiving the blood transfusion. On Tuesday, February 22, 2011 we came home from the hospital. Those early days at home were hard as well. Getting around was difficult and I still had quite a way to go in healing. Now, almost 2 weeks post-op I am still sore, still slow, but feeling better each day. I am still anxious about mothering three children all at once and all those things I feared with Jacob came true. He IS bigger, he is more mature, he does look like he is 5 instead of just shy of three. But he has taken all of this in stride and has been such a good boy adjusting to life with not one, but two new siblings. I've had endless help from my mom and I have yet to be here alone to manage all three kiddos at one time. Next week I have help from my mother in law. I'm not sure what it will be like to do it all on my own, but I know God is good and He will get us through, just as He provided for me to carry Grace and Joshua to term.

And so it is...we are now the Burri Five.