Sunday, December 23, 2012

I'm back

It's been awhile, blog world. I just spent the last hour+ trying to somewhat catch up on some blog reading (it's been months!). My apologies if you haven't felt my blog "love" lately. 

I hope to publish at least a couple new posts this week. I have fallen so far behind! Partly due to the lack of a reliable computer around here, and also due to me not wanting to blog about a lot of things. Lame excuses, really. 

I'm really excited to be here, in my cozy condo/apartment/place, with Mark by my side, sipping Teavana tea while our ONE YEAR OLD is napping, in his room, peacefully. That has to be a run-on sentence. Anyway, I can't even express how happy I am to be where we are at this time of year without a sick baby. It's a blessing. With all the trials we have gone through these past few months (or year, depending how you look at it), we really could be looking at it like "wow, our lives are sucky and hard" OR we could have the more righteous/positive/Christ-like approach and say "we are so fortunate that....*insert loooong list of blessings here." Have I taken both approaches this year? Absolutely.  

We were still in Utah Valley's NICU on this day last year, still un-knowing what my 3-day old Noah's issue was, and trying to stay afloat emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, the day that the doctors told us he probably had Hirschsprung's disease and we needed to be transported up to Primary Children's for surgery on Christmas morning. It didn't feel like Christmas at all. Because of all that, we are extremely grateful to be where we are right now, able to enjoy our baby boy and open presents and sing carols and remember why we have Christmas. This time of year just brings back all of those crazy emotions and it's a great reminder that I need to hug my boys tighter, love a little more, and be less critical of things that don't matter. 

I am really glad that I can say this honestly to the Blogging world: I have learned a lot this year. When I am miserable, I have to be honest with myself and ask, "why are you being such a miserable human being to your husband and family?" It never takes long to come to those sources or reasons for misery. I'm going to be extremely frank here. There been days where I felt like I was falling further and further away from my husband, Christ, and the knowledge of God's love for me and my family. I have had a lot of those "dark" days, but I wouldn't say that it has consumed me by any means-- Any time I spend time with my Young Women at church or go to the temple or read an inspiring scripture passage or serve loves ones or strangers, I am renewed and "light" again. That's why we are here in mortality--to feel those earthly pains and heartaches, but it's what we DO with those aches and pains that is important. I have learned the hard way that I need to rely on Christ's Atonement and humble myself in repentance and let Him take over with faith knowing that my cares and burdens ARE important to Him. Basically, I feel like I know what it's like to be down, suffering, and without hope. It sounds so dramatic, but I think I can now empathize with mothers, wives, and women in general for different frustrations that come in mortality so much better than I could a year ago. (I also know that you don't have to endure what I have to feel empathy for others.) 

I'm excited to start a new year. I am going to get physically strong again. I am going to eat to live instead of live to eat. I am going to make my husband my number one priority. I am going to watch less TV and play more games with Noah. I am going to be a more positive person and remember that we are all God's children. I am going to study the scriptures daily. I am going to be more grateful for the little things each day. I am going to blog more. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mr. Sickey Face and Butt

My poor babe! He was sleeping so so well and I got the best 3 nights' sleep of my life (bed at 9:30, up at 6 for a bottle, back asleep until 7:45!) and then this sickness struck. After sweating bullets that it could be enterocolitis, I talked to his doctor's nurse and she said it's a gastrointestinal infection going around right now and not to worry unless he gets a fever and acts miserable. Poor guy-- he's thrown up 10 times in the last 24 hours. He's also spewing out the other end, and that is pure joy (not). It hurts my heart to see him like that. I'd take his place in a heartbeat! I hate to see him so sad when he throws up. Let's hope this passes soon! We leave for CANCUN in 8.5 days!!!!! We can't wait.

I forgot to mention that Mark has a 100 degree temperature too didn't I? Cross your fingers I don't catch it! I'm running a sick house over here...beware!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Good things are happening

I'm really sorry for my "downer" posts the past little while. I really shouldn't have blogged at 2:30 in the morning when I was so emotional and upset!

Okay, that's done. Now on to the latest!

We have been having a great time traveling this month. Philadelphia, then Vegas, and soon Cancun over Thanksgiving. We have so much to be grateful for and I think good things are in the present and ahead of us.

Not to be a broken record, but Noah is doing great now. The kid has just been hit by so much the past two months. Recovering from surgery, dealing with awful diaper rashes, many many sleepless nights, getting four teeth, and a cold are just a few little trials. The crazy thing to me is that most kids go through those things (minus surgery)! Kids go through a lot to grow up! (And first time mommies have an extremely steep learning curve...!).

After taking Noah to the doctor after two nights of absolutely no sleep, OF COURSE the answer was: "Well, it's a cold, and there's nothing you can do about it." Turns out it was mainly attributed to two more teeth coming in. Those darn teeth! But he also gave us the go-ahead to SLEEP TRAIN!!! I'll let you know how that goes. We will start after Halloween--we still need to get through the main chapters of this baby:

I can't wait to get on a set schedule and be more structured again. We're getting there slowly but surely... The good news is that two nights ago he only woke up once, last night he woke up twice, and today he went to bed at 8! Ever since those other two teeth broke through, he's been so happy and wonderful and nothing makes me more thrilled. We're being watched over and I know a lot of you have prayed for us and I couldn't be more grateful!

side burns?

Umm... I need to add something to my "Things your mom won't tell you about having a baby" post. 

You get sideburns. And weird small hairs in the front. And maybe your nose gets bigger? 

The Cutest Cowboys Around

How cute are they? We dressed up in Western wear for a photo shoot. This was a birthday present to my dad for his 51st birthday party. It was a hit! I have the cutest nephews in the world. We had so much fun. 


Noah, Regi, and Nico. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pictures from Noah's last day at the hospital

Noah was showered with stuffed animals from friends and family. He loves his monkeys from Grandma Dodie and Holly and Morgan.
Noah was lucky to have such a cute roommate (it won't happen again until you're married bud, so don't get your hopes up!). Kieleigh was so sweet and adorable. They love each other and were able to go home on the same day! 

Noah was so happy to finally be home and out of sight of anyone wearing scrubs. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Here we are at 2:39 am. Let me tell you what I just did to earn the mother of the year award. After an hour of Noah moaning and frustratingly trying to pull a kamikaze(s) off of our bed (by forcing his way over the two pillow-high barricade), I did exactly what seemed the best at the time...I grabbed him, got on my knees and bounced him up and down. (I probably should've gotten on my knees to pray!)  Surely the added chaos would distract him from the nonstop restlessness he was experiencing. Then, I jumped down from the bed and whispered loudly "just wake up!!" while bouncing him on my hip, forcing him to sit up and finally end the torment because he never moans and uncomfortably forces his way off high furniture when he is awake. It worked! he happily played in my drawers for a few minutes. Well, he pooped and maybe that's what was troubling him. Now to try to get him asleep again.

This is probably what I'll do from now on when he's in a state of restlessness --then I won't waste 15+ stressful minutes trying to calm him down crying and arching his back to get out of my grasp. He's a monster when he's half awake/asleep. He gets it from me for sure! Jokes aside--I think he's in pain. Otherwise he wouldn't moan like that and get frustrated, right? Guessing game! I took him to the doctor today and he doesn't have an ear infection or any sickness, so it has to be gas or something intestinal.

Now after "nursing" him, he's fast asleep. Calm and cool. Now it's my turn because unfortunately, these things will likely repeat themselves within a few hours from now. This is my life and
it's hard and sometimes I fall apart but then verses in the scriptures come up that put everything into perspective. Tonight Mark and I read in D&C 122:7-8. Joseph Smith is in Liberty jail SUFFERING--even fighting to stay alive, when The Lord says to him: "And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or in the hands of murderers...if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against
thee....know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?"

All of this is to give me experience in this mortal life. You know what my problem is? I'm not relying on my Heavenly Father nearly enough. I pray, but do I REALLY and intently and sincerely ask for guidance and direction? I mean, at times I know I do. And I honestly haven't ever gotten strong directions or feelings as to what I should do to help Noah. Maybe I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing and all that I know I should do and He thinks it's enough? Or I'm not trying hard enough to have the Spirit with me to get the guidance that I need?

All I know is that I love this boy more than my own life and I worry myself sick about him every day. Seeing him anxious and uncomfortable and unhappy kills me. I hope that whatever it is will eventually heal and he can be his happy, hilarious self more often. I don't mean to sound like he is always miserable-- it's periodically. Bad days and good days, but always bad nights. Time for me to get some shut eye.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nothing particularly exciting

Today's been crazy! We've had a great couple of days with Noah's bowels beginning to regulate themselves but then out of no where......


that dreaded D-word struck. Oh boy. I need to change the name of my blog to something like "Freeman Poop Blog" or something original and creative like that. I just feel so badly for the little guy. It's so bad that I can hear the "deed" happening from across the whole apartment. I didn't think it'd be possible for such a small person to make such incredibly loud bowel sounds (we have candles lit in every corner..). It's scary because that's a symptom of enterocolitis--Hirschsprung's disease's worst side effect. We are constantly being confined to our humble apartment during all hours of the day for fear of poop oozing out of our eyeballs. No wonder the poor kid can't gain a pound. He's quite skinny these days. I worry about him, but that's my job I guess.

Anyway, nothing new around here other than my amazing hubby has been hard at work finding another source of income for us and he is teaching himself how to make websites. He needed to form a "company" to get clients, so he did this:  He did that in 4 hours! He has an account for three websites that he'll be doing--Raintree Apartments (where he's the property manager), Cambridge Court apartments, and Glenwood apartments. He's been doing this for about a year now, and finally feels competent to do other companies' sites. I'm so so so proud of him and he's such a good example to me of being a "life-long learner"--sounds cheesy, but that's a perfect way to describe him. If he doesn't know how to do something that he's interested in, he will sit down and find out everything he can about that thing. All the while, I'm wondering when the next season of Gossip Girl will be on Netflix (now! Season five is there now! Yes!). And I'm a college graduate...and wonder why I feel so unintelligent...

All for now. And again, no pictures because I'm using my MacBook circa 2007 and it sounds like it will blow up at any moment. (Dear Santa, please send me a new computer.)  

Monday, September 17, 2012


Those first two weeks. So hard. Poop everywhere. Constantly.

Poor Noah was going to the bathroom literally every 30 minutes during the day, and up to a couple hours at night. Sleep? Never. Not for me, not for Noah and not for Mark. I at least got to nap during the day...Noah would wake himself up constantly, even if he had to pass gas. He was only getting maybe 6 hours a day of sleep. Poor baby! I can only imagine!

Newborn skin and 8 month old's poop don't mix well (diaper rash...) on top of constant pooping. And recovering from having clamps up your bum with stitches lining your rectum. And an open, gaping colostomy hole in your side. And 4 inch incision through your tummy. Poor baby. Life was rough for him! So as you can imagine, anytime he'd go, it was extremely painful. We made sure to follow his pain med schedule religiously...alternating Tylenol and Advil around the clock. After about 8 days post-hospital we didn't have to give him any more. Babies heal so fast--it's incredible.

We had my mom come for two days in a row to watch him while I slept, and then Mark's mom and grandma came two days after that. I don't know what I would have done without them!

We tried a lot of different cremes and pastes for his hiney. We have a system figured out now and so things are so much better! It just took awhile to get there, but we never let the rash get as bad as some of the cases that I've heard (bleeding sores, etc.). We rotate the stuff the hospital gave us, AD treatment creme, and this Resinol stuff that Mark's Grandma's friend used for her random! We just alternate those three and it has seemed to do the trick! After loading the creme/paste on, we douse it in medicated baby powder (not the super perfumey kind...I hear that's no bueno). That has helped SO MUCH!

He had his two week appointment on Thursday the 13th with his surgeon. Dr. Scaife stuck his finger up Noah's bum and told us that we don't have to do dilations!!!!!!!! HALLELUJAH! Seriously the biggest blessing. I have been stressing about how I'm going to get him to stay still while I put lubed-up rods up his bum every day. And now I don't have to do that. It's the biggest blessing ever.

He did however say that we needed to do rectal washes every day for a month, come see him, and get instructions from there. I was really nervous about those, but we have done them 4 times now and ever since we started those he has gone all night long without pooping! He has been waking up once every night to eat...we will work on that later though. We don't have the heart to re- sleep-train him after all he's been through. He won't sleep in his crib during the day so that's something he needs to get over! Since everything at the hospital he is extremely anxious when we aren't close by and is wary of strangers, especially if they're in scrubs! He's no dummy!

I'd be lying if I said that he's all good now and there's nothing but butterflies and rainbows ahead, but just the fact that the surgery worked, he is now bag-less, and was able to go home so quickly are all miracles in themselves! We have some great days, and some not-so-great days. Today is a not-so-great day. He ate something that really irritated his stomach and has been going to the bathroom every 20 minutes or so today. Because of the frequency, his diaper rash is looking pretty bad today. Those are things that we will learn and figure out along the way.

Thank you for all your continuous support! We are doing so much better than we were--that's progress!

Surgery, part 3

By about 11 a.m. on August 31st (2 days post surgery), Noah had his first bowel movement out of his bum!

We did the poop dance all day long. It was such great news and the medical staff all seemed pleasantly surprised that it happened so quickly. I took a picture of "it", but I will spare you.

From then on out, we were gradually feeding him more and by the next day he was completely off morphine. Once that morphine stopped, his demeanor changed and he was much more happy! We just gave him around the clock Tylenol and Advil. Lortab didn't do so well in him--it all ended up on the floor in large amounts. Managing his pain was very important to me and I didn't want to take him home feeling like it wasn't controlled. He continued eating more and pooping.

Changing those first 50 diapers were comical. All of you moms would have died laughing at Mark and me for sure. We had never changed our 8 month old son's poopy diaper. Which way to wipe? How many wipes? How do I hold his legs? Where do I put the soiled diaper and wipes??? So funny.

On September 1st, one of the surgeon's partners saw Noah and told Mark (I was at my aunt and uncle's house sleeping) that Noah could probably go home the next day. When Mark told me that, I didn't take it seriously at all because of what happened the last time we were in the hospital with him. It turned out to be the case.

By 2 p.m. Sunday, September 2nd, we were on our way home and soo happy/terrified.  This was the part that I was dreading: Recovery...

Ps-According to the medical staff, this was the fastest they'd ever seen a Hirschsprung's kid go home after a pull-through surgery (4 days). Go Noah! The earliest they'd seen was 5 days.
He was pretty beat up when I saw him for the first time. Poor baby!

He was miserable. Broke my heart.

Getting either a dose of antibiotics or painkillers

Lots of annoying wires to worry about. No fun.

His IV went bad and leaked all over me.

checking out his balloons over his bed.
Very drugged out.


Grandma Dodie helped hold him so I could get a break.

This was taken right when he pooped for the first time out of his bum!
Here's my dad doing a "Poop dance"...We joined him, but I refrained from posting those pictures. You're welcome.


Special delivery for Noah from my Aunt Colleen and Uncle Chip all the way in Ohio.

No more pictures Mom. Let me sleeeep...

Dad is a great pillow.

August 28th: taken when I received word from Mark that the doctors suspected Noah could go home the next day. Miracle!

Drinking milk for the first time in 4 days!
He'll always be my chubby-cheeked baby.

My little bug.