Friday, December 30, 2011

Noah Mark Freeman, part 1

I want to begin with the more exciting part of this whole experience--Noah's actual birth. Forgive me for skipping all the labor part--no need to bore you through those details! Let's get to the good stuff!

Noah Mark Freeman was born on December 20, 2011 at 6:13 p.m. He was perfect and yanked out with forceps. Mom was grateful for her epidural :)
 We couldn't believe he was 9 pounds 5 ounces. Because my fluid levels were so high, they thought he was a smaller baby just swimming around in there. There was a whole lot of fluid, and a whole lot of baby, apparently! He is, after all, his father's child.
 When he was placed on my chest, I couldn't believe what I saw. He was more handsome and perfect than I had ever imagined.
 Daddy was so proud of him. He trotted around the room like it was his most prized possession--and let's be honest...our Noah is!

 Here is the man who made a vaginal delivery possible--THANK YOU DR. JUDD! He really does have skills with those forceps. He got Noah out in less than 15 minutes.
 Taken December 21st.
 This was before all the chaos. I loved snuggling him. We were starting to get a little worried that he had only eaten 2 solid times and had only one bowel movement. He didn't act uncomfortable though, so we didn't worry too much. It was very soon, however, that he got an x-ray on his stomach and was also examined by the pediatrician. I got the phone call that Noah needed to be transported to Utah Valley's NICU.
 And then the nightmare began!
 This is me saying bye to him before they loaded him up in the ambulance to go to Utah Valley's NICU for tests. It was awful. I had to stay back to get fully discharged from the hospital. My mom was with me, luckily. Not knowing what was wrong with my baby brought on a swarm of terrifying emotions that I don't wish on anyone!
And this was just the beginning of all the pokes and pricks this brand new baby of mine had to endure!

When I'm a little more recovered from it all, I'll share the rest of the story. That sounds a bit dramatic...haha, but we'll see.

"how can I sell my breast milk"

is what is in our Google Search right now.

We're supposed to be home--the three of us--but the doctors thought it more convenient that we stay yet another day at Primary Children's hospital because "he has lost weight over the last three days."

Am I bitter? A little.

That's when Mark Googled to see how we can sell my breast milk. If you're in the market, give us a call. I'm producing a lot these days. After 1) giving birth, 2) getting transported via ambulance to two hospitals 3) having very $$ surgery (preluded with mucho expensive tests) 4) only having coverage for all this until January 4th 5) not getting to hold my baby for more than 30 minutes for a week 6) neglecting my impressive stitches and dealing with painful constipation for 10 days 7) anticipating another major surgery in 6 months (in which it is nearly impossible for any insurance to take Noah)... I could of course go on... we have a lot on our minds.

But I promise my list of things I'm grateful for is even longer! We've been SHOWERED with love and kindness--and I am eternally grateful for it, really.

I'm ready to go home. Live a normal life with my son and Mark. Heal--emotionally and physically. My poor baby has to poop through a hole in his stomach. And how am I going to face people who see it and look in disgust? It's a totally normal reaction. I almost passed out when I saw it the first few times.

Only 6 babies in Utah are born with Hirschsprung's Disease per year. Hirschsprung's is a disease found in the large intestine. Noah's lower colon (about 11 inches of it, or a little less than half) is absent of ganglion cells, which aid in moving stool through the bowels to the anus. In his 5 hour surgery, the surgeons (whom we absolutely love--seriously) took biopsies every four to five centimeters starting at the anus to test for these ganglion cells. After the 4th biopsy, they discovered them. This is where they pulled his intestine through his skin--called a colostomy--so that he could have bowel movements. His poor tummy was so distended that they were worried his bowels had an obstruction because of all the build up. This is why they ordered he have surgery on Christmas morning. It is a Christmas we will never forget. This all still feels like a bad dream. After Noah gets bigger and stronger in six months they will perform his "pull through" surgery. They will take his intestine and pull it back through the hole and pull it down to his anus and take out the part of the colon that doesn't have the ganglion cells. Isn't it crazy that they can do that? I'm grateful. While it's unfortunate that Noah will only have about 60% of his colon (that's not an exact percentage...just a guess), they have performed this surgery on kids with as little as 20% of their colon. Your large intestine doesn't deal much with nutrition--just water absorption. So for the rest of Noah's life, we will have to make sure that he is always hydrated and eating foods that comply with this disease. Because Noah was so big when he was born, he has dealt with all this stress beautifully. It may not be because he's so big, but I'm sure that helps! He is such a strong baby and has an amazing spirit about him. We love him so much, and I hope I never see him in pain again! I know, I know, not likely, but can't a mama wish?? The surgeons are very optimistic that he will live a completely normal, active life. We won't give up on him being a big wrestling super-star just like his daddy!

Luckily we have spent all day feeding him and making sure he expends as little energy as possible. His weight has increased because of it and it looks like we will get to go home tomorrow. Thank the heavens! But there's always that chance....keep your fingers crossed.

This is Noah with his very distended tummy. Although he looks like he's in pain, you would never know! Not even a whimper from this kid. We are so so grateful that he was able to get an operation to fix him! He's totally normal now and we can tell he feels great. We can't wait to take him home!

Friday, December 23, 2011

How do I begin this post?

It's been the most exhausting, exhilarating, exciting, and frightening week of my life. Since I'm exhausted and my mind isn't the most clear, I'm going to list a bunch of things that I need to document later on.
  • News that I was getting induced (Monday night)
  • Admitted to the hospital Monday night at 5:15 p.m.
  • I.V., Cervidil insertion, waiting all night long
  • Taking the Cervadil out, administering the Pitossin
  • 2 1/2 hours of increasing the dosage, 1/2 an hour of insane contractions
  • Getting the epidural...thank the heavens.
  • News that I was "complete" by another nurse
  • News that I wasn't complete, but still at a 9
  • Noah at a weird position--forceps or wait it out? Definitely forceps.
  • Delivering a 9 pound 5 ounce beautiful baby little Boomer.
  • Nurses: Andrea, Suzie, Andrea, Vickie, Tami, Zandy, Jill.
    • Shae, Karen, Vanessa (NICU)
  • Spending 2 days in heaven with our Noah bear
  • Finding eating and digestive problems
  • Getting the x-ray
  • Getting transported in an ambulance to Utah Valley RMC NICU
  • Seeing Noah get pricked, pried, and prodded in places and ways that a mother would NEVER want to see
  • Getting a rectal biopsy and pooping all over the doctor and peeing on the nurse (good boy!)
  • Could be Hirschsprung's Disease?  May have to get transported (again) to Primary Children's
  • Pumping constantly so there's a nice supply of milk for when Noah's better
  • Staying healthy myself 
  • All the love and support from friends and family during this hard time
  • Finding out what pure love is through being a parent
He is absolutely perfect in every way. The only thing keeping him from being home with us is this terrible constipation. Thank goodness for modern medicine and caring doctors. We feel so loved and supported at this time, but I'm not going to lie---I can only take so much before I crumble every day. We're just taking it one day at a time and know that he'll be super healthy soon. We just need to get this problem fixed and figured out and he can continue to live a normal life. We're so grateful that this isn't something that will be hindering to him in any way down the road once we get it fixed. He has the most amazing spirit. We're amazed daily at how determined and calm he is about everything happening to him. He is so strong! Much stronger than I am!

One day at a time....

Saturday, December 17, 2011

1 day overdue

Ugh. It's 12:15 a.m. and officially the 17th of December... I'll be bouncin' on this thing for a bit. Let's hope I pop before the ball does.

Goodnight to you all! Sleep better than I will! Cross your fingers :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

AFI (not that band from middle school)

Yesterday I had a fun adventure. I went to the perinatologist (spelling?) unit of Utah Valley hospital to get a non-stress test and then an AFI...stands for Amniotic Fluid Index. This was the test to fail (read last post) but I knew that there was no way I was going to leave with the "okay" to get induced. It was a quick ultrasound and the tech measured how much fluid I had in me.

She looked at me and said, "Well, normally we fail people who have amniotic fluid levels of around 5. You're at 25...enough to carry triplets" (does anyone know what units of measurement that they use? it's bugging me)

No wonder my belly is so round. But that also means that he's not as big as I thought--he's just swimming around in there. This can also partially explain why I haven't progressed much because it's hard for him to stay in one spot due to all the fluid.

My dad happened to stop by to check on me. He wanted me to fail so badly so that he could have a grandbaby today! The nurses sent me to get more monitoring at Orem Community where my doctor was inducing a bunch of patients and my mom just happened to be working there too. I sat at the monitor for 2 hours and he's as healthy and normal as ever! But why the heck do his kidneys work that well? 25?!!?? All the nurses (including my mamacita) said they'd never heard of AFI's that high in a full term pregnant woman...

Oh and it didn't reassure me that my doctor said I'd be pregnant until February. OR that in his practice right now (as of two days ago) I am his MOST PREGNANT PATIENT.

K sidenote: when you're 40 weeks pregnant, do NOT drink ANYTHING after 8. Or even 7. I got up to go to the bathroom seven times last night. SEVEN. And for some reason decided not to go back to sleep after 3:45. This is all in preparation for mommyhood I guess!

Have a wonderful day and remember not to complain about being fat or uncomfortable around me.

I might snarl at you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Baby update

Still no baby. Still not dilated. Still not effaced. He's basically stuck up there...warm and cozy-like.

But but but....he WILL be here within a week and he WILL be chubby (at least he'd better be chubby if he's going to come late!). I am reminded by other mommies that I still have 2 days until my due date and a lot can happen, but if I'm anything like my mother, I will have to be induced.

The doc is sending me to the hospital tomorrow to get 2 things: a non-stress test and an AFI (amniotic fluid index). If I fail one of them (the AFI is the easy one to fail) then they will send me to Orem Community to start inducing me. He encouraged me to bring a few extra movie passes or something to bribe the nurse to fail me. I'll have to do that, because I doubt I fail either of them. "This is the test to fail!" he exclaimed. If I obviously pass both of them, then I will see my doc. again on Monday and he'll most likely schedule me for an induction the next day (let's hope at least...he says the lines get long for inductions at this time because no one wants their babies born on Christmas!). I never wanted to get induced, but at this point, am I one to be picky? Nope, definitely not.

It feels so foreign being at home all day. I thought it would be a lot more exciting than it is. But what I realized is that it's just too darn quiet! I need my little buddy here with me. I'm so used to being surrounded by people all day and moving about that all this lying around business isn't settling well with me.

I can only be on my computer for so long before my hands swell like latex doctor's gloves. I think the heat of my computer and the angle that I type don't exactly help the swelling. And I've given up on doing the dishes. It hurts too badly! My belly is seriously too big so that I can't comfortably reach the faucet, which results in some serious back aches. Sorry Mark :(

I do need to vacuum still and get a rug for our hall bathroom and possibly make a meal or two...I'll let you know if that gets done. My mom is taking me to get all my nails done I guess I should at least shower and wash my hair, right?

Does anyone else have a hard time getting ready when there's absolutely nothing scheduled and it's freezing outside?

Good, because I've been in my bed in my underwear all day... is it really 1 p.m.? Whoops.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yesterday morning's events made the list for "TOP 10 SCARIEST MOMENTS".  I woke up at around 6:50 and did not feel any movements. I was having a really long contraction so my tummy was hard-as-rock. Mark fetched me some ice water so I drank that quickly and laid on my left side. Finally my belly relaxed, but he still wasn't moving. Mark grabbed my belly and jostled him around to see if he'd move. He still didn't budge. I hurriedly called my mom and she told me to go to the hospital right away. I was bawling of course, but Mark didn't seem too panicked. I laid back on my side and sure enough he did move a little. But I wasn't satisfied. I didn't get to school until about 8:35 and after observing two teachers I was still unsettled about it. I told my mentor teacher that I needed to get him checked out so I headed to the hospital. Although I had felt him move a few times, I didn't want to wait until I didn't feel him move at all and have some major regret later. Of course the worst possible thoughts were going through my head but I just said a prayer that all would be normal. Better to be safe than sorry. I texted my mom "almost to the hospital". I didn't want to bother Mark unless there was something seriously wrong. I got checked in and hooked up to the monitor. It turned out that he was just very sleepy, but as soon as the tight belt and monitor was on him, he was active as ever and all is well. His heart rate was great and my contractions were regular. I felt much much better!

I had my 38 week 5 day appointment just a few hours later. He had the same news as he did last week...I'll most definitely (unless the Man Upstairs decides to humble him) deliver this guy late. As my good friend Megan shared with me a few months ago when she was trying to have her little one...."My cervix sucks." Haha. He's just wayy too cozy in here. I don't blame him, because who wants to leave their cozy bed to venture into 18 degree weather?! I certainly don't! But come on little guy, I'm getting consistently uncomfortable and stretch marks are most likely going to make their lovely appearance very soon.

However...I asked for it. All my life I've wanted to have big chunky babies. And if he's gaining the so-called one ounce a day, he'll most definitely get to the 8 pound range. Heaven help me! Also, I have told him that he absolutely cannot come early because his daddy has to finish taking 3 finals. Soo that leaves just one day to be "on time" and anything after the 16th is late. So I have no real right to murmur about it. What I am bummed about is that he could most definitely be born just a couple of days before Christmas. I'll have to get creative for birthdays to make sure he feels special! Anyway...I'll keep you all posted! Happy Wednesday!

ps- two days until I'm a GRADUATE of BYU!

Friday, December 2, 2011

ohh I can't believe it

I made it! I am DONE planning lessons! Hallelujah! Now I just have to focus on getting all my papers written for my TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) endorsement. Everything is due by next Friday the 9th, which will also mark my 39th week of pregnancy! Student teaching flew, but I'm so glad that it's over. I am really starting to ache all over and dealing with teenagers all day can wear anyone out.

I got checked at my 37 week appointment four days ago and you know what he said? "You've got nothin' (referring to 0 cm dilated and 0% effaced)  ...Miss Amy, you could still be pregnant in the 20s of December."

I wanted to throw my shoe at him. Oh wait, I was barefoot and my pants were off. There is no such thing as modesty when you're preggo.

I'm thinking that this is my doc's style---to really exaggerate so that the end result is never disappointing. Remember the weight appointment? How he said that at the rate I was going I'd be 180 pounds by the end? Yeah well kiss my booty.

Some fun happenings in the Freeman fam.:

Mark's older brother Erik is the Orem High wrestling head coach, so last week we went to see the Tigers in their first match of the season. I can't wait to put our little "Boomer" in youth wrestling. We saw dozens of little boys ages 3-10 matched up wrestling each other in the wrestling room....seriously so adorable. I wish that I would have taken a picture of them--but their parents were all watching and I didn't want to look like a creeper.

I couldn't help but notice my husband's name on the wall:
The only problem is that golden color... (Go Timpview!) But it was my first live wrestling match EVER and I can't see why it's not more popular! There's blood, sweat, tears, vomit...everything that exudes masculinity and manhood (right??). Boys of all shapes and sizes can participate and be awesome at it. It was such a huge part of Mark's life and he was excited to teach me all about it. The Tigers won that night, which is a pretty big deal considering that Erik is rebuilding the program this year.

Thanksgiving was a total hit this year. I enjoyed getting 5 days off of school---probably a little too much.
Here we are at the mall after getting bagels at Einstein's (I ate four of them... Heaven on Earth in mi boca) Breaking Dawn, getting our nails done, and shopping. This was the day before Thanksgiving so we didn't go too crazy in stores...the sales weren't up to par. We had such a fun time and missed having Fifi and Nico in the picture! Imagine my mother saying, "You could have this baby any day now, so you HAVE to get your nails done!"....Hmm....I had to think really long and hard about that one! Thanks mama for such a FUN day!

Now on to the "Turkey bowl"
I'm a little suspicious that some of these are of him purposefully posing for me.
 Isn't that a great hat? I think it accentuates his desirable high cheek bones.

 My brother Austin is a senior this year! Crazy! I never get to see this kid--he's always running around.

 I fulfilled my role as cheerleader/photographer on the sidelines. A perk to being 9 months pregnant in the winter? No need for a coat. Or long sleeves. Or long pants.
This is how much Erica loves Robbie. Erica fulfilled her role as supportive wife to Mr. Larson. Notice her Little Mermaid jacket....
Why hello there....

Robbie's punt after-shot.
And of photos.
Tough guys.
Happy guys ready to do some major damage in the kitchen!
We headed up to my parents' house after their game and had an amazing brunch with buttermilk pancakes, bacon, eggs Benedict, and scrambled eggs. Mark and I were there until about 2:30 and then we headed up to Saratoga Springs to join Mark's family for a Thanksgiving feast. And boy....that was amazing. Mark's brother Erik woke up at 5 a.m. to smoke the turkey and it was absolutely delicious.
This picture is terrible. However, I wanted to add it because my legs look 12 feet long. And yes, my feet and ankles really are that swollen...ouch!
Food coma.
This little man is just nice and toasty and squooshed in my bell. I can tell that he's gaining weight because my once "outtie" belly button is turning into a "flattie" and when I feel him move it seems like my whole body shifts. I'm worried sick he'll be a 10-pounder if he stays in me a week later than my due date. Mark and I packed his diaper bag and installed his car seat two nights we need to pack our bags! I can't believe he can come any time. I have a feeling that he'll come late though....he's not ready to share himself with everyone quite yet. He's a mama's boy already! Or maybe it's just that I'm not ready to share him with anyone else....

If I get much bigger, I'll take that last statement back! Pictures of his room are coming! I still need to cover the 80s patterned cushions on my rocker and get a book shelf and hang some pictures up. We'll see if I get those things done.....

This is a really long blog post. Lo siento! Hasta luego!
 I stole this from my sis-in-law Sarah's blog! She's due in March with a baby girl! can't wait to have all these babies around!