Saturday, January 31, 2009

I am grounded...

This morning, while the nurses were changing shifts, I thought now is the perfect opportunity. I glanced around the room, which is not that easy considering I only have one eye, and waited until no one was looking. I quietly wrapped my fingers around my ET tube and began to pull. Out of nowhere, Nurse Liz pried the tube out of my hand and gave me a stern lecture. She called the doctor and they decided I should be grounded. As a punishment, I had to apologize to them both and write a letter explaining to everyone how my ET tube should NOT be removed. I had to sign it and everything.
As soon as that was finished, the urologist came in to run some tests. She explained to me that she would be checking out how well I was peeing. After she took off my diaper, I thought the best thing I could do was show her...and Nurse Liz. They both commented on my aim while running to get a towel. Men everywhere should be proud!

Shortly before Mom and Dad got in this morning, Nurse Liz gave me some "special medicine". I don't remember much of what happened the rest of the day. I think she is in league with the anesthesiologist.

It's Becoming Routine

It is truly amazing how quickly new things can become routine. Kc and I woke up this morning and headed into the NICU to visit our precious son. When we got there, the day nurse Liz gave us the update on how his night went. Noah had a good night but this morning, once again, wrapped his little fingers around his ET tube and pulled as hard as he could. Because he has to keep the tube in until his trach surgery on Monday, and has apparently not learned anything from the fiasco yesterday, the doctor decided to give him a mild sedative. That seemed to do the trick. He was quiet and happy most of the day. Kc and I met with Noah's uriologist soon after we got to the NICU. She told us that for the most part, Noah's bladder and kidneys look good. She will be performing a few more tests over the next several days but is not that worried about him.

Kc had the priviledge of being the first to clean out Noah's colostomy bag (notice the bag of greenish brown goop). Most new parents "enjoy" the first poopie diaper change but Kc got to suction out a bag. He had so much fun that he asked Nurse Liz if he could do it again right before we left for the night. What a great Dad!
We were fortunate enough to visit with a mother of a little girl who has had a trach for the past 10 weeks. Mia's mom showed us what the trach looks like and walked us through the surgical procedure and the routine of daily maintinance. It was so reassuring to meet someone who has gone through this process with their child. Monday's surgery is now less intimidating.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I made a HUGE mistake...

I woke up bright and early this morning, eager to start my day. I suddenly noticed there was this thing in my mouth. I tried to spit it out, but it went way down my throat. I thought, WTF! Why is that here? What are these doctors trying to do to me? I decided I would help the nurses out and remove it myself. I grabbed ahold and yanked as hard as I could. I immediately regretted that decision. All of a sudden I was surrounded by nurses with scrunched up faces. They were running around and making a big fuss. I don't remember much, Mom said I was crashing but I didn't even get out of my bed, but I do remember the doctor putting the tube back in. Gosh darnit! It was back.Later that day, in the NICU, I got ready for my second surgical procedure. I took another ride in a bus to the OR and gave a thumbs up to all my grandparents as I drove by. The doctor told me he was going to take pictures of my throat and so I started to smile real pretty. Once again, the anesthesiologist came in and I don't remember anything else. What does that guy do to me???

When I woke up, I got to meet my Uncle Adam and Aunt Melissa. They drove all the way from San Francisco to meet me. My cousin, Hunter, was in the waiting room with Nana and Papa. Mom says it will be a while before I can play with him.

Just before leaving for the night, Mom and Dad got really excited. I was starting to poop out the hole in my side and the nurse was going to get a bag. I never knew poop was so exciting. Oh, just wait. I have plenty more where that came from.

Day Two

It's hard to believe that it is only Friday. These past three days have been the longest in our lives. After our first night of real sleep, aside from waking up every three hours to pump, we received a phone call at around 10:00 a.m. this morning from Noah's nurse. She told us that our little stinker decided to pull out his breathing tube that was left in following his colostomy surgery last night. With the tube out, he was not able to breathe on his own. He began to crash and the nurses were unable to get the breathing tube back down his trachea. They called the ear, nose and throat doctor and he was finally able to get a small tube down with the help of a scope. The tube was much smaller than was recommended for Noah's size and the doctor was concerned. They decided to do an emergency procedure to look down his throat and see what was going on.

At around 3:00 p.m. Noah was wheeled away. The doctor used a scope and took several pictures of his trachea. He noticed there was severe narrowing of the trachea just below the vocal cords. He was able to put a slightly larger tube down which helps Noah breathe better. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary fix. On Monday, Noah will undergo a tracheotomy. He will have a hole cut in his throat to bypass the narrowing. The doctor is hopeful that the trach tube will only be in for a few years and that it will not affect his ability to speak.

Kc and I met with the geneticist while Noah was in surgery. He believes that Noah's complications are not the result of a chromosomal abnormality, but rather a genetic disorder. There will be a detailed chromosomal test done, but the geneticist is confident that it will come back normal.

Thank you all so much for your kind words, thoughts and prayers. Right now, Kc and I are doing well and hanging in there. We are taking each day (or each moment) as it comes and relying on each other and you all for strength. Noah is our son, a gift from God. We can't wait for him to meet you.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My first surgery...

Okay... So the doctor told me this afternoon that I would have to have surgery. What??? I was protesting as loudly as I possibly could (which isn't all that loud) when the anesthesiologist came into the room. I don't remember anything after that. Mom and Dad came by after the surgery was finished and told me that everything went well. I now have a hole in my side where a bag will be attached. Pretty cool, huh?
I have a very uncomfortable tube going into my lungs right now to help me breathe. The nurses promise that it will be removed some time tomorrow, if I promise to breathe properly. I have been pretty good about following their orders...we'll see how I feel about that tomorrow.

P.S. Mom and Dad told me that I came to Children's Hospital in a transport called a bus that was loaded onto an ambulance. Go figure?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Birthday!!!

What an amazing 36 hours this has been. Let me back up and start at the beginning.

Kc and I got to the hospital early Wednesday morning. I was already contracting on my own and 3 cm dilated. Our Dr. broke my water at 8:00 a.m. and started some pitocin to get my contractions a bit stronger. Boy were they strong! I gave in at around 10:00 a.m. and had an epidural. By 1:30 p.m. I was 10 cm dilated and began to push. Needless to say, after over three hours of pushing (with several breaks in between) the Dr. had to use a vacuum to help pull Noah out. He was born at 5:59 p.m. He was 8 pounds 4 ounces and 20 inches long.

My first reaction was one of utter disbelief. Noah was finally here! I looked down at my beautiful son and thanked God for our miracle. The first sign that something was not right was Noah's lack of crying. Very quickly he was surrounded by two nurses, a pediatrician and a NICU doctor. Everyone kept telling us that his color was good and he was breathing on his own - he just couldn't cry. He was wrapped up like a little burrito and his Daddy brought him to me. I was finally holding my son. What an amazing feeling. I felt a blanket of love wrap around the three of us.

About an hour later, our pediatrician came in to check on Noah (after his first bath which he DID NOT like). He did a very thorough exam and expalined to us that there were several things he was concerned about. Noah's trachea is very narrow (that explains his inability to cry) and he was having difficulty breathing. He also has an imperforate anus. Noah's right eye was fused shut and the pediatrician was unable to determine if there was an eyeball under the skin. He recommended that we transfer Noah to Valley Children's Hospital as soon as possible.

At 2:00 a.m., Noah had his first car ride - and what a ride it was. He was transported to Children's Hospital in an ambulance. Some day we will tell him stories of when he rode in an ambulance and he will be disappointed that he was too young to remember. Kc followed Noah to the hospital while I stayed in recovery. Noah was immediately seen by several physicians at Children's Hopsital. What a blessing to have such an amazing facility only a few miles away!

After an incredibly long night, Kc came back to the recovery room and filled me in on what was going on. My Dr. discharged me at around 10:00 a.m. so that we could both head over to Children's Hospital. We were met there by both sets of grandparents and our pastors and friends. We were able to pray before we went into the NICU to spend time with our son.

Noah is undergoing his first surgery tonight - a colostomy. He will have a colostomy bag attached to his abdomen for several months which will allow him to have bowel movements. After coming home for a nap and some dinner, Kc and I will head back to Children's Hospital this evening to see Noah and get more information from the doctors who saw him today.

Kc, Noah and I are on a journey together. We are learning to walk along this path that God has planned for us, trusting in His infinite love and wisdom. Thank you all, once again, for your kind words and prayers. We couldn't do this without you.

As soon as Kc (who has slept a total of 5 hours in the past three days) wakes up from his nap, we'll post some photos of Noah. Please keep us in your prayers as we spend the next several weeks traveling back and forth to Children's Hospital.

Monday, January 26, 2009


We just got back from our final appointment with the OB. I am currently 3 cm dilated and everything is looking great. Then only thing I need right now are contractions. He has scheduled me for an induction on Wednesday morning at 5. Noah should be born some time Wednesday evening. Thank you all for your prayers and support. We'll keep you posted!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Almost There...

The plumber man just left and I can finally brush my teeth in a bathroom sink and wash dishes in the kitchen sink as opposed to using the bathroom tub. We have been without counter tops in the bathrooms and kitchen since December 29th and without any sinks since January 13th. It has been a truly interesting couple of weeks.We have a few small things to finish - the switch plate covers and a bit of touch-up painting - but for the most part have a truly gorgeous and functional kitchen! We're going to celebrate by cooking a steak dinner tonight. Our first dinner in our new kitchen. So exciting!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Home Stretch

We had our LAST ultrasound before Noah is born, and his accommodations are getting quite cramped. Noah's hands and the umbilical cord were squished up against his face so we couldn't get a clear picture. It was quite a bit harder for the technician to measure everything she needed to this time around.
He is weighing in at 7 pounds 12 ounces right now and has big o' cheeks and a very round belly.

Kc has started to call Noah his "Little N" which has been lovingly shortened to "Lil-N". I'm afraid we're going to have to change it to Big-N if Noah keeps growing at this rate. The OB estimates he'll be 8 1/2 pounds at birth. We're in the home stretch and are full of nervous anticipation.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Nursery

Kc has worked very hard over the past several weekends getting Noah's nursery ready. He has painted the chocolate brown boarder, put up the white molding, hung curtains and put up shelves. This weekend, he finished putting up the vintage ABC cards. I think we're all ready for Noah. Noah's Grandma and Grandpa Jackson blessed us with his crib and his Nana and Papa Smith purchased the changing table. The small rocking chair in the corner was my great grandmother's nursing rocker.

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Our Family

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Daddy & Noah

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Kc & Rebecca

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