Sunday, October 19, 2014

James' First Weekend...

Tomorrow I'm going to spend the day reminding myself to take things slow... to rest... to heal.

I'm not very good at doing those things... even after major abdominal surgery.  

There are just so many things that I want to be doing.  And there are so many fun activities this time of year that are so much easier to do with my parents visiting and so we've been spending a lot of time out of the house enjoying a beautiful Michigan autumn... my goal for tomorrow is not to go out looking for fun activities, even if I really, really want to in the morning when I have the whole days worth of energy still saved up and ready to spend.  

Still, this weekend was full of memories and I came away with quite a few pictures that I couldn't wait to share.  

So here is James' first weekend of life in pictures!

Patch is smitten with his baby brother.  He loves to lay next to him and pretend to be a kitten and meow at him.

James thinks it's all pretty silly.
James had his first doctors' appointment on Friday afternoon. He'd gained two ounces since the night before.

On Friday night Sadie had an AHG meeting.

It was pretty wonderful because it was the first meeting for a brand new troop started at a local Catholic Church.

We were both pretty thrilled when we heard about it!  And she had an awesome time!

On Saturday James and I accompanied Mae to her swim lesson class and got to see our little mermaid in action.

She had a great time!

After that we headed over to the draft horse show at State.  Mae spent the rest of the weekend perfecting her horse sounds.

James slept through everything.

Sadie was definitely a fan of the horses.

On Sunday we took the kids to Boo at the Zoo for a hayride and fun seeing the animals and all the other kids walking around in costume.

Our pumpkin was joined by a Ninja Turtle, a mermaid and a butterfly.

We got in a typical family picture (or six).

And Grumpa wrangled a fussy Patch who changed his mind about whether he'd rather be up or down every ten seconds.

The butterfly costume was definitely a hit.

Then finally it was home to rest...

Before Mass.  Around bed time Paul and I took James to his very first Mass.

As you can see he was very excited!

As with just about every activity this weekend he slept through the whole thing without making a peep!
And that was James' very first weekend in pictures!  A week ago tonight we were gearing up to go to the hospital!  Oh how the last seven days have flown by!

Friday, October 17, 2014

7 Quick Takes: James Ignatius Edition

I was sure that Sadie, Giver-of-Nicknames, would come up with something for James by the time we came home from the hospital.  Instead it was Patch who, upon seeing his little brother come through the door shouted, "James-y!" gleefully.  I'm not sure it will stick, but it's the first nickname he's been given so far.  With three older siblings I have a feeling it will likely be one of many.

"James kind of reminds me of that Grumpy cat in the memes..." is a phrase that has been heard frequently these past three days.  It's just something about the little look that his face almost always seems to have...


I'm curious to see how tonight will go.  The last three nights in the hospital were kind of a battle.  But probably not the kind you would think.  He seems to be following in Mae's footsteps by wanting to sleep at night... for hours and hours.  So as we'd near the four hour mark I would start trying to wake him up to nurse and he would snuggle up to me and close his eyes and refuse to drink a single drop and I would fret and try to get him to eat for hours and finally when morning arrived his little eyes would snap open and he would eat and eat and eat all day long, perfectly happy and then repeat the whole attempt at sleeping for six hours the next night, just to drive me to distraction since he's too little to go that long without a meal (as the pediatricians who dropped in reminded me).

Then again if he wants to do this whole "eat every six hours" thing in a month or so, I'll be totally on board with it.

We almost had to stay in the hospital another day since my lungs are still sounding crackly and horrible, even though I don't seem to be sick at all anymore.  That meant another trip of being refused the flu vaccine (and any other vaccines)... and going home with a giant bag of prescriptions.  Still, I'll take it because at least I'm home!

Paul and I have spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what color hair he has.  The majority vote seems to be red.  It looked golden to me at first, but his doctors, nurses and Paul all seem pretty sure that it's actually a sort of strawberry blonde color. And after looking at more and more pictures I think they might be right...

This is slightly redder than it actually looks in real life.

By day three of his life on the outside he'd discovered his favorite place to nap.

And it wasn't with Mommy.

So... there might have been one thing tempting me to take up the offer to stay in the hospital one more day...  and it came in menu form:

Six pages of really, really wonderful, tasty choices.  With desserts twice a day...  I'm pretty sure this is my favorite hospital, ever.  Still, it's good to be home!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Meeting his Brother and Sisters...

If you're hanging around here the next few days you'll probably be subjected to a huge amount of baby pictures... because, let's face it, I'm pretty much running my camera battery into the ground every single day!  

Today James got to meet his brother and sisters... and he thought it was a little overwhelming.

But they could hardly wait to meet him.

In the morning we cuddled and snuggled and after refusing to nurse for most of the night he finally got on board with the idea when he woke up this morning.  He nursed like a champ yesterday, but at night he already seems more interested in sleeping than eating.  

He seems to be taking after Maggie with the whole sleeping long stretches while I fret that he needs to wake up and nurse.  But I've definitely begun to realize that when he wakes up and wants to nurse he does just that and when I wake him up and insist he eat he acts snuggles up to me and closes his eyes and mouth and refuses to open them.  

Dare I hope that the trend continue as it did with Patchy and Mae?  I'm almost afraid to imagine having three laid back, easy going babies in a row.  I guess time will tell.

Right now he's laying in his bassinet at the end of the bed watching me type, while he yawns and looks sleepy.

Not unlike his sleepiness during this moment earlier today.

Now for my favorite pictures of the day.  

He had quite a lot to say when he met his biggest big sister:

She was so good with him.  And he was so overwhelmed by all of his siblings in our little room at the same side.  She did get to cuddle him a bit though!

As you can probably imagine, she was pretty thrilled to meet him.

Maggie was pretty thrilled to find a flower in my room and a super comfy bed.  She immediately claimed the prime spot and wrapped herself in my blankets.

A first family picture?  Kind of!

And of course James got to meet Grumpa...

And Nani...

Maggie got a huge grin on her face the moment she spotted him.

But she wasn't quite sure she wanted to share the bed with him.  Even with Momma's help:

Patch was less sure.  He smiles when he hears the word brother, but when asked if he wanted to meet his brother he'd say "Okay.  Okay." and then head off in the opposite direction.  So I brought James down to his level and he couldn't resist:

After his sibling left with Nani and Grumpa, James went back to napping.

And on a totally random note, guess what they're filming this week a few miles from the hospital.

I actually snapped this when we were leaving the autism lab the other day because the museum of modern art is right next to the psych department and after wondering what they were doing to the building, Paul heard that they were filming part of the new Batman/Superman movie there.  And the news is reporting that that is exactly what's going on this week, so I guess it's true!

Here's the picture I snapped of the outside of the set as we were driving by!

Now to get a little bit more rest. For some reason I seem to be the one who's wide awake all night still while Paul and James both have no problem drifting off to dreams!

Monday, October 13, 2014

James Ignatius

He's here!  Today, a little after one o'clock in the afternoon, the newest member of our family, James Ignatius, was born via scheduled c-section.  

This was by far my easiest c-section (and the only only when I wasn't already in labor).  And we received the excellent news that the last c-section had healed very well with very minimal scaring!

I spent most of the afternoon in recovery, since my blood pressure was stubbornly low and kept dipping down to 70-ish over 30-ish, which meant lots of monitoring until, after several hours, it finally went up enough that I was able to move to a room.

Our little guy is doing great.  He's our smallest baby so far (so I have no idea why he felt so huge!) at 8 lbs 7.9 ounces and 21 inches. He feels so tiny to me now!

Now for the pictures that we snapped over the course of our busy day!

Waiting to be prepped for surgery.

It was almost time...

In surgery.
Waiting to hear that wonderful cry that would announce baby James' first breath!

Weighing in at 8 lbs 7.9 ounces!

Meeting Daddy and Mommy!

Footprints on Daddy's arm!

Our sweet boy... cuddling on Daddy's chest.
Swaddled and cuddling with Mommy!
 So far he's been a very calm, quiet little guy.  I have to keep insisting he wake up for long enough to nurse.  He's mostly interested in napping at the moment!

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and well wishes!  I still can hardly believe that this day has arrived!

One Last Post before Heading to the Hospital...

It's here!  The big day had finally arrived!

We'll be welcoming our new little guy some time after noon if everything goes as planned. The c-section is scheduled at 12 pm today, and we're supposed to arrive at the hospital at 9:30 this morning!

Last night Paul and I got to go on one last date before the new baby arrives.  For part of the date we went to Mass (which between the virus that I'd had for the last three weeks and the whole "try not to be on your feet" order from labor and delivery right before that I hadn't been able to do for several weeks) and I was able to go to confession and receive a special blessing in preparation of today's surgery.

Then we went out to dinner, marveling that the big day was almost here and just as we were about to head home I realized that I'd forgotten to have my pre-op blood work done all weekend long and we rushed to the hospital's 24 hour lab for blood tests before heading home.

Prayers are really appreciated today, both for the surgery and baby (and me) and for Mae since she definitely has separation anxiety when I'm not in a fifteen foot radius of where she is...

Now for a few last minute pictures... and since we made it to Mass I thought I'd even join in the WIWS fun!

What I wore to Mass... The blue dress is a maternity find I just couldn't resist from Thred Up (fact, when I have store credit I'm more likely to buy a dress that I wouldn't be daring enough to buy on my own... like a $300 maternity dress that is already hugely marked down that suddenly becomes $10 after credit is applied).  The maternity cardigan is from Target.  And the infinity veil is one of my own!

I had to share one picture of the dress. Okay, really it's a picture of the bump.  The giant beach ball sized bump that has definitely made getting around a challenge this month.  I am so, so ready for today.

And a few more of my favorite pictures from our fun last day before the surgery!

Mae has become such a ham around the camera.  She spent quite a bit of time at the park posing for pictures.  She would actually stop in the middle of doing something cute and hold a position and look over and smile at me until I snapped the picture (sometimes then running over to see the picture of herself).  It was pretty amazing!

Now to go finish getting ready! Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us through the this pregnancy and to those of you praying on this beautiful autumn day!  I can hardly wait to meet our little guy... and share his first pictures with you!