...And in the air, the fireflies, our only light in paradise. We'll show the world that they were wrong, and teach them all to sing along; singing Amen I, I'm alive. Amen I, I'm alive...

- Nickelback, If Everyone Cared

For All The Right Reasons Album

And I'm singing Aaa-ayyy-men, I'm alive!

William Leonidas November 12th, 2009
My only regret is that I cried so many tears while I waited for you.

"...I'll try ~ but it's so hard to believe. I'll try ~ but I can't see what you see. I'll try and try to understand the distance between the love I feel ~ the thing I fear ~ and every single dream. I can finally see it. Now I have to believe all those precious stories. All the world is made of faith ~ and trust ~ and pixie dust. So I'll try ~ because I finally believe. I'll try ~ because I can see what you see. I'll try, I'll try ~ to fly..."

Jonatha Brooke "I'll try"

Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you..." Jeremiah 1:4-5

For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14

Monday March 5th, 2010

So Why Stinkerie?

It's simple, really. It's the first thing I whispered against my newborn little Dumpling's temple as I held him alone for that very first time. "There's my Little Stinkerie." And all was right with the world as I brushed my lips across his delicate dewy soft newborn-pink skin and sniffed at his sparse smattering of downy soft hair. Corny and sappy, huh? I can't help it when describing my new Little Puppy. But don't get used to it - I have been told I am "irreverent."

Anyway, it just came out and he's been Stinkerie ever since. As well as Stink Pie, Stink Pot, Stinkey Pete, Little Stinks, Stinks, Puppy, Ducky, Baby, Baby Head, Baby Head Jenkins, Jack, Jack-Jack, Jackie Boy, Jax, Snork, Snorkis, Snorkle, Billy Boy, Billy Bob, Bobby Sue, Billy-Joe-Jim-Bob, Will, Willie, Willister, and the name given by my mentor turned friend Beth - Snake. When I write to her I call him either The Snakester or Slither! And of course, Dumpling, because he is my Little Dumpling - warm and soft and comforting. It's alright to combine comfort food with baby names, right? Have you ever watched the movie Where the Heart Is? If you have, you'll know why I mention this in my defense!

Long story short, you're likely to encounter any one or more of these names in a single post. Because I can. It's my blog!

Something to Consider

Bad decisions make good stories.

Something to Think About

With any pregnancy, there are concerns. With any child, there are worries. When you have a diagnosis of Down syndrome, you know what to worry about. You know what to look for. You have a plan of action. With your typical child, there is no limit to the things that can 'go wrong' or 'happen.' There's no place to focus your worry and concerns. 'IT' will always be out there, waiting. You'll always be on guard. Even when the child is 55 and has grandchildren. With Down syndrome we have a battle plan. With Down syndrome, there is a finite number of things that can go awry. With a typical child, there's isn't. It's a crap shoot. I'm sticking with the Ds and taking the other two back to the hospital for a refund.

Head Above Water

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Monday, November 30, 2009

A Hand Made Gift of Love

My school days chum and frequent partner in crime Miss J crocheted this darling outfit for the Little Jack-Snack!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sleeping & Sustained Crying

Jack Snack is 2 weeks and 3 days old. And last night he slept for seven hours at one stretch! Clearly I forgot to set the alarm. I have to say that sleep was awesome! I woke up to a strange sound indeed though. William was crying. Sustained crying. Not the monosyllabic sounds he usually makes to let me know he's awake and hungry. Poor little Baby Head was hungry! He ate a full four ounces at each feeding today, about every four hours now.

Here he is with a full happy tummy!

It's starting to really concern me that Jack isn't making any kind of sustained eye contact. Is that the Down syndrome? I have noticed that since his little face is no longer puffy, he looks pretty much like any other baby. I can see the Ds when his eyes are open, but even then, just a little. But it's starting to scare me a little that he doesn't look at me. Babies are supposed to look at their Mommy when they're being held and fed. Or spoken to. He glances at me, but other than that, he really takes no notice. Then again, when someone else is holding him, or if he's lying on the couch, he does turn his head to find me when I speak. I'll mention it to the doctor next time.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

Baby is two weeks old today! And when The Dear Daddy sees him he says "Baby!" So that's one of his many names. He's sleeping for about four hours between feedings at night now. He was waking every three, but now he's sleeping longer so I've taken to setting my alarm in four hour intervals so that he can't go any longer than that. He's still eating between 3 and 3 1/2 ounces. Will keeps his eyes open quite a bit to look around while he's eating, being burped or just being held. He likes to look at the television. He seldom looks at me for longer than a nano-second, but he is looking around more. And he startles at noises.

This year our Thanksgiving was a boxed affair. We had instant mashed potatoes, Stove Top stuffing, and canned gravy. I did cook the turkey from fresh, but even the yams and cranberries came out of a can! And I bought the pumpkin pie from Costco. I might feel up to doing a real dinner for Christmas.

My gratitude this year is that William was born safe and healthy. I was standing at the sink yesterday washing bottles and it struck me, "I'm washing baby bottles! How did that happen?!" It still amazes me. I swear I was just getting used to the idea that I was pregnant again when along he came! And now I cannot get anything done around here because I spend all of my time either holding him and staring at his beautiful face, or laying down next to him to stare at him while he sleeps! When he's bundled into a corner on the couch sleeping, I just can't help but to go over and stare at him for a few minutes and then kiss him, sniff him, brush my cheek against his fuzzy little head. He is bliss!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A New Nick-Name

Poor kid. William has been branded "Snorkis" by his father. His father who presumably loves him. Why? "Because he snorks!" He goes on to explain, "I'm sound asleep in the middle of the night, and then suddenly I'm not." He continues his explanation with much gesturing and an animated voice like he's telling a child a story, "I lay there wondering what woke me up, Hmmmm? And then I hear him laying in his little criblette and he snorks again. So I get up and go over to him, give him his binky, and he looks right at me, spits it out and snorks again! So I tell him to go to sleep." Now he's waving his finger at an imaginary baby, "The lights are off and the snack bar is closed. Go to sleep! And then I stuff his binky back in his mouth and cover him up and he goes back to sleep. He is The Snorkis because he snorks!" And then he adds, "But don't you worry dear," exaggerated wink, "I make sure that your sleep is not disturbed!" So there you have it.

My Boys

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Visit from Auntie D

My Big Sis came for a visit this morning! Yeah! We love it when Auntie D visits! Willie is ten days old for his special visitor. And of course, she held him and snuggled him and fed him and burped him.

Auntie D and I seem to have a tradition that Chinese food must be eaten to welcome a new baby. She took me out for Chinese when The Girlie was born, The Beloved met us for Chinese after work when The Middle was born, and so we went out to the same restaurant to ring in Jack's arrival!

The Little Spud slept through the entire meal. He didn't miss much. Midway through our meal Auntie D and I both agreed that the food is much better at dinner time. At least the company was awesome. Me, My Big Sis and all three of The Littles!

We got home in time to feed Wee Willie Winkie, and then darn it all if if wasn't time for My Big Sis to leave. We are always sad to see her go. It seems we never get enough time to just be together enjoying our lives.

William has eaten 3.5 ounces throughout the day every 3.5 hours. His little rash on his bum is completely healed. He's still not having much spit up, and he's able to burp well. I'm quite impressed at how well he's holding his head up while over the shoulder. The Dear Daddy snuggles him up in the crook of his arm and they settle on the couch to watch TV together. Willie does indeed seem to like the television!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

9 Days Old

William is nine days old. He is the easiest baby ever. He wakes to eat, seldom ever cries and he burps well. Then he naps for a while. He opens his eyes quite a bit now, but doesn't really look at me. He's taking 3 ounces now and he has very little spit up. His little rashy bum is clearing up nicely.

William has been spending about an hour each day at varying times being awake and waving his arms and kicking his legs. He makes so little noise. He seems to enjoy the freedom of not being wrapped up in a blanket, and it seems to signal to him that it's time to sleep when I do bundle him up.

The puffiness in his face has resolved and he has a lovely oval face. The Girlie was a little pointy chinned when she was tiny, but also with an oval face. The Middle was just plain round with chubby cheeks. And blonde fluff on top. Willie has a smattering of light brown hair and I keep asking him if he's going to "grow some hair to keep up there?"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Love This Boy!

...and this girl......and these boys...
...and these boys...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

6 Days Old

This morning Baby Jack wolfed down a whole two ounces! Then after a burp and a diaper change, he went back to sleep! We went for his first visit to the neonatologist today, the same one he'd been seen by in the hopspittle. I don't much like him. We were shown into a small triage area where I undressed William down to his diaper. Then I was to remove the diaper and hold him in the air to let the infant scale go back to zero. He weighed 5 pounds, 12 ounces. Not bad. Same weight he'd had upon discharge from the hopspittle. The nurse measured him at 18" long but that was 1/2" shorter than he was at birth. The nurse said to diaper him and wrap him in a blanket. Then she showed us down the hall to an exam room. It was small and dreary, but it was clean.

It wasn't long before the doctor came in. The first thing he did was try to fold William in half to show me how "These babies are very flexible," meaning babies with Down syndrome. I didn't like him generalizing my baby. I'd asked him if William had Brushfield spots. So he tried to pry William's eye open. Well, Will was having none of that and clamped his eyes shut tight, made the little pouty lip and then let loose with a howl to beat the band. "Well I cannot see if he does or not." He completed his exam, asked how well and how often he was eating, was it breast milk or formula and all the other questions you'd expect from a first visit. He said he wanted Will drawn for the karyotype, but it didn't need to be drawn today. Make an appointment for one month on the way out. Warm guy. Not! I'd shown him the papers that said Will was to have a bilirubin level drawn but he said there was no need, that he wasn't yellow anywhere. I'd also asked him to look at the paperwork for Targeted Nutritional Intervention, but as soon as he saw what it was, he dismissed my question entirely. "The baby has Down syndrome. You cannot change that with a bunch of vitamins." I said I had no allusions about making the Ds go away, I simply wanted to compensate for the metabolic challenges present in the vast majority of children and babies with Ds. To which he said, "It isn't proven. I cannot recommend it." Period. Then he left!

William has been holding his head up quite well while being held over the shoulder. And this morning he was awake for a good hour, waving his arms, kicking his legs, and every now and then, opening his eyes to look around. I've gotten quite used to watching his face with his eyes closed tight. I suppose he will open them when there's something he wants to see. So far it looks like his eyes might be a deep slate blue. Pretty!

William has developed a dime sized spot of diaper rash on the left side of his little bum. I'm keeping Desitin on it and it isn't getting any worse.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Home Again, Home Again!

We were home for about 15 minutes. The Beloved hauled the last of our stuff in from the van. Then he uttered the words that I knew were coming. Just like when we'd barely walked in the door from bringing The Middle Little home. "When will the kids get home?" So I called The Other Mommy and explained the The Dear Daddy was wanting The Littles home. "I was afraid of that when you called to say you were coming home. Well, he's just going to have to wait for a while. They're just getting ready to eat dinner soon and I'm going to give them a bath and get them in their jammies before I bring them to you." She rocks. She is the ultimate Mommy!

After a great first visit from Grandma Emmie, I walked my new little boy down the hall to his room and changed his diaper. It wasn't supposed to be so soon that I was using all of those little items that I'd placed on the changing table just one week prior. The gown I put on him now hadn't even been washed yet this time last week. But here we were, safe and healthy and home!

Then The Beloved watched as I tucked our Little Butter Bean into his cradle by our bed. And we settled ourselves in for a nap while waiting for The Littles. And My Love tucked me into our bed once again.

It's corny that he does this, but it's also sweet. I love it. It's become a small part of our daily rituals and it is rituals after all that get us from one point to the next one when our lives are suddenly turned topsy turvy. I lay there drifting off to sleep, looking at tiny William in his little cradle, thinking how I'd just barely gotten a grip on the idea that we were expecting another baby, and now suddenly here he was! Safe and sound in his bed.

Then the doorbell rang! I thought I'd been asleep for five minutes but it had really been well over an hour! The Beloved sprang up and dressed quickly while I got William out of his cradle. I could hear The Littles asking about the baby as I made my way down the hall to the living room. When did this hall get so danged long?! The Littles stood by my rocking chair peering anxiously as I unwrapped Jack for them to see. Their little faces were lit up with wonder and curiosity. Finally My Girlie says, "Mom? Is he really okay? You know...is he healthy?" Yes I tell her or we would not have been allowed to bring him home. "So does he...does he have that thing...Down syndrome?" Yes I say, but he's still good. He's healthy and good. I asked if she wanted to hold him. "NO!" emphatically. Then a few beats later, "Okay. I want to. Hold him I mean."
And she did. And she handed him back before a full minute had passed. I'd barely had time to snap a picture.Jax looks tiny in her arms. Surely that's just one of those soft fabric baby dolls? He just looks bitsy!
The Middle Little sat on the couch to hold him next. He was googly eyed over his new baby brother. He patted his head, his face, his tummy, touched his hands. Kissed his forehead. Sweet! I didn't actually get a picture of that, but you can see from this picture that The Pod Pie is over the moon that The Other Mommy is holding Jack out to meet his brother! My Little Pod has a Pea Pod baby brother!

We settled with relative ease into our first night at home. I worried that William would need something but not cry for it. He cried so seldom. I still felt that his cries were weak and plaintive, not like the robust cries both of The Littles had had. He seemed to have no volume to him and he had yet to actually wail. Maybe if his needs had not been tended to immediately and he were actually allowed to build up to a full blown wail, then maybe he'd sound more robust. I didn't really think so though. Seriously, how much more uncomfortable could a baby be made than to be taken from his warm, cushy, quiet, dark and safe womb? I think the cries he made then qualify as wailing. Willie simply didn't have a robust cry.

Robust or not, William awoke every three hours. He'd let out one little sound. A few beats later, another. Nothing sustained. And when he sucked his tongue he made a few chirpy little sounds that I can only compare to a seagull squawking. A seagull trying to catch his breath. The only time Jack really put up any kind of fuss was when he spit up from his nose and felt like he was fighting for breath. Even then, his cries were short bursts of monosyllabic protests. But he did wake every three hours to eat. That was something. We'd start with that!

Oh yeah, The Little Spud also cried really hard for diaper changes. Again, it wasn't robust, but it may be as robust as he gets. I'd taken him to his nursery to change his diaper. He soaks his diapers. He goes from dry to absolutely drenched in an instant. Must be those dilated kidneys. He was hungry and wanting to eat, not to be terrorized by being naked and cold and getting a diaper change. He's really quite strong when he's upset and hungry. He nearly flipped over! He went almost all the way from his back onto his tummy. I think if the changing table pad had been flat rather than contoured, he would have gone right over. When he flipped back and landed on his back he really howled! And then I wiped him with the cold wipes trying to get the process finished. Boy this was going from bad to worse. Not only was he soaked, but as I lifted the new diaper to cover him, he let loose with a stream of pee and soaked his new diaper and gown. I just picked him up, soaking wet, and held him to me to comfort him. When he calmed I secured the new diaper as fast as I could and got him dressed in a clean gown. As soon as the gown was down at his ankles, he stopped howling. Poor baby. I handed him off to The Dear Daddy and went to change me!

William had quite a bit of spit up in the hopspittle. I wondered about the formula they were giving him. The same little bottles of formula they'd given me to take home. It was milk based. Both I and The Littles, while cheese heads now, were lactose intolerant as babies. They'd had soy formula when I'd stopped nursing them. Willie had some spit up, but he didn't outright vomit, and he had none of the gassy tummy aches that come along with lactose intolerance. But no matter for now, I was currently producing enough breast milk to feed him! I was unhappy that I couldn't actually nurse him, but at least I was making enough to nourish him. And this way, The Dear Daddy could feed him too!

As our first evening at home came to a close, we were all snugged into our beds and Jack was bundled up in his cradle in our room. He woke every three hours to eat, burped rather loudly and got his didee changed. I was tired and in pain, but it seemed that we could do this. We could pull it off!

A First Visitor

Will's very first visitor at home was none other than Grandma Emmie within an hour of his arrival home! It is just so right that she was his first visitor! It was sooo good to finally be able to have visitors! She kept giving Will sidelong glances while I fed him, and came over to see him briefly. After he'd eaten she had free license to hold, hug and squeeze him! It was so good to have my wonderful friend holding yet another of my new babies. Grandma Emmie and I knew each other for a while before we became friends. Once we were friends we were thick as thieves from that day on. She is very, very dear to me in so many ways, but especially when it comes to my babies. We've had the exact same discussion every time she's held one of my new babies. My babies are her babies and The Littles are her Littles. They have never done without for the lack of natural grandparents in their lives. They've always had Grandma Emmie and Grammy and Grandpa R, and even Grandpa's mom, Great Grandma R!

Grandma Emmie was able to rub a burp out of The Willister as only a seasoned pro can do! And she noticed how strong he was. "Look at him holding his head up like this! He's so strong already!" Grandma Emmie is truly a wonderful Grandma, and always the first to sing the praises of The Littles!

Grandma Emmie and The Girlie had had their heads together for days about something. When the Girlie got home later, I got to find out. She came out with a gift bag she'd been hiding in her room. I don't know where she'd hidden it, but she'd done a good job of it!

Inside was a darling little romper for Jack and a pretty bracelet for me! She was quite proud of herself for keeping the secret!

"It was supposed to be for the Baby Shower," she said, "But you can have it now!" Too, too sweet!

Going Home!

Getting dressed in his special going home outfit from Grandma Emmie!

On our way!

Day Four

Late in the afternoon yesterday, the magic potion that chased away the monsters chewing on my insides was discontinued. I was grateful for an oversight that had me getting it for that long. The nurse informed me that it should have been discontinued sooner, but someone had made a mistake. Consequently I was in sheer misery. The night nurse had seen how miserable I was and had taken Will's 3 am and 6 am feeding upon herself, waking me only to swallow pain medication. Bless her!

The day nurse today however was very brisk and rather nasty. She was very young and perky. I'm sure she wasn't old enough to have even started her periods yet, nor to have allowed her bouncy little body to have been marred by a pregnancy, much less her sanity and ability to focus to be rattled by the demands of a newborn for crying out loud! She didn't greet me the way most nurses greet the patient they're meeting for the first time. No, her version was more like, "Hi, I'm Perfect, your day nurse I understand you let the night nurse feed your baby overnight but that isn't going to happen today You're probably going to go home today and that isn't going to happen unless we can see that you can handle it evidenced by your being able to feed your baby for at least two consecutive feeds in a row before they will release him to go home with you" All of that was delivered with zero pause for punctuation and many smirks for emphasis on some words. And then she was gone. She disappeared. Poof! Apparently I was the worst mother on the planet because the night nurse had let me rest. How dare she show kindness to me? How dare I accept it? What was the world coming to?

So the day started rather pleasantly. That was sarcasm. A lab tech came to poke Jack's poor little much bruised heel and then squeeze his last remaining few drops of blood in his body out of his body and into a little vial. The band aid she applied went from his outside ankle all the way around and up over the inside ankle. Poor Little Peanut!

So I dutifully handled the nine am, noon and three pm feedings all by myself. My worth as a mother was tentatively re-established at the 3 pm feeding when I was able to provide Jack-Snack with 40 mls of pumped breast milk! Nurse Perfect went off duty at 3pm. Good riddance to her. A nurse named Bambi took over. That was really her name. Now I've been really careful to protect the anonymity of every one I've spoken about here. Even Dr Skeevy. But Nurse Bambi was a real piece of work. She was the one who informed The Beloved and I that Jack's bilirubin was back down to the safe range and we could go home! Today!

Once that news was had, the process of explaining my discharge instructions was started. By Bambi. I sat upright in my bed, Bambi sat in another chair next to The Beloved. At one point in my discharge instructions, she actually got up and scooted her chair closer to him. And she spoke mostly to him throughout. She occasionally glanced in my general direction. Apparently I was not to be trusted with information. And then her posture changed. The Beloved and I had already exchanged at least a few eyebrow raising glances with each other. But now Bambi was sitting with her upper body curved toward The Beloved, and she was leaning over the arm of her chair, almost touching him. She crossed her legs. And then crossed them again. What the heck...? When she reached out to place her hand on his arm to emphasise a point, he leaned back while looking at me like a deer caught in headlights! Clearly I was not imagining what I was seeing. Did she just flip her hair? Yes! She did! She flipped her hair! The Beloved's amazed glance to me confirmed that she had! Nurse Bambi was on the prowl! And she's at least my age, so I think the term Cougar is more than appropriate! When she stood to leave she spoke only to The Beloved, "If you have any questions," she circled a phone number, "just give me a call! I'm off at eleven." Big beaming toothy smile. Bleached blonde hair. Extremely tan skin. In the middle of November. And she handed the papers to him and sauntered out without a last glance at me.

The Beloved and I sat there for a few beats. We both wore small slightly entertained smirks. Then he shook himself off. Literally! "What just happened?" he asked. "I'd say you've been propositioned!" I said. "She was flirting with me, wasn't she?" "I'd say so!" I said. "How do you feel about that?" he asks. I say it's skeevy and unprofessional, especially given the circumstances. "Yeah," he says, "You've just had a baby and you're her patient, but she was hitting on me." While we started packing me up, a mischievous thought occurred to him, "Hey, you're obviously out of commission for a while, maybe Nurse Bambi..." with a goofy grin. "Well," I said, "You have until 11 to find out!" And then he went on about how she said "I'm off at eleven. Not I'll be here until eleven." And he says no one ever flirts with him!

I've since decided that Nurse Bambi had fallen under the olfactory affect that a feather clad John Travolta angel cast over all those women in the movie Michael. After all, The Beloved's pipe tobacco quite often has him emanating an aroma that smells just like baking sugar cookies. I must be getting old. Rather than pissing me off, the whole Bambi thing was rather entertaining.

Once out to the van, thankfully with an aid and not Nurse Bimbo, the Beloved said Nurse Bambi might be lurking to get our plate number so she could stalk him. The aid very quickly assessed the situation inside the van. It appears that in our haste, Miss K and I installed the car seat incorrectly. The aid popped it out, corrected the situation, popped Little Snake into the seat, and then snapped the whole thing, baby and all, into position! And we were off! Soon we would be home with our Little Bundle!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day Three

Day three saw me feeling better after a night, or what was left of it, in bed. My Little Peach once again failed his hearing test, and we were set up for an appointment for two weeks from birth.

Yep, he's still a little dinker, this time in only a diaper.

I'd hoped to be going home today, but my Little Snooks' labs weren't satisfactory yet and he had to stay under the bili lights for another day. I spent our time alone feeding him, diapering him, burping him and holding him to stare at him until he had to go back into The Box. I kept trying to figure out what it was I was seeing while the Dear Daddy held him. What was that look? Devotion? Was he simply smitten? I got another chance to figure it out in the afternoon when the Dear Daddy arrived and stood by his box looking at him, but I was no closer to figuring it out. When he went home again in the evening, when the Little Spud-pie was in my arms, I had to admit that I'd been bitten by the same bug. And that I was no closer to naming it.

No matter. It was a sweet affliction that I was happy to have. This tiny little boy who was different, this little small baby with his extra chromosomes, this bitsy little being with his puffy face and one fat toe on the right foot, had already begun to spin his magic on his family. And I was in love again!

And I have to admit that he looked awfully cute with his foam sunglasses, his neon green, yellow and purple pacifier clamped between his lips, and the bright shooting star blue light shooting out all around him. He was my little star! Even if he did look like a psychedelic fly in that get up!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Again with the Giant Baby Boxes

After a good day of holding our Ducky and feeding him, burping him, changing his didees and watching him sleep, The Beloved went home to prepare for our anticipated home coming the next day. And about that diaper changing? That was all me. The Beloved has sworn off diaper changing because, "You always yell at me for doing it wrong and then you change it all over again!" To which I respond, "Well if you'd just pay attention just once and figure out how to do it so it doesn't leak I wouldn't have to do it over again!" It's a long tired old argument in our home, but one that I think I will let him win. Besides, Billie-Sue-Jim-Bob is quite prone to peeing everywhere!

I was sitting in bed holding My Lamb Chop and wondering at his little face, hands and fingers, nose, ears, and suddenly...he opened his eyes! It was just the tiniest little bit, but he did open them! I started speaking silly to him trying to encourage him to do it again! And he did! It wasn't nearly enough for me to see what color they are, but it was enough to have me spend the next 30 minutes trying to get a picture of it!

I made the long painful trek across the room to figure out how to turn on the bright lights as I'd only had the dim soft lights on over my bed. And of course, The Jack Snack promptly decided that was enough eye opening for the day. He hadn't looked at me, and I don't think he really had them open for long enough to see anything, but he did finally open them! He really did have eyes in there of a dark color. Probably newborn blue.

And then...dang it all if a nurse didn't come into our room with another giant baby box! I was immediately alarmed. "You aren't taking him again are you?" No, she said, he would stay in my room with me. If anything, this new baby rotisserie was even bigger than the one he was in before. She went about plugging in the giant box and then plugging in other equipment and putting it inside while she explained what it was all for. It seems that Jackie-Boys liver was still too immature to handle his own metabolic waste and his bilirubin levels were rising. They wanted to stop that process before it got dangerous for him and help him to break down the waste. She instructed me to undress him down to his diaper.

I have to admit that my heart hammered a little while I got my Sweet Little Spud naked once again. Once he was stripped the nurse poked him gently in a few places to show me that he was indeed getting a wee bit yellow. Maybe I'd have to call him Yam instead of Spud. I'd thought yesterday that he was looking a tad squash colored, but he'd been in the NICU! I thought for sure that if he was having problems they would have said. Well...now they'd said! And into the box he went. He was stripped down and placed onto a fabric like pad that glowed neon purplish blue. A funny looking grey foam shield shaped comically like sunglasses was strapped to his head to prevent damage to his eyes. Another bright goose-necked lamp was positioned to shine onto his tummy.

The nurse brought me another pain shot and then I hobbled over to The Box so she could show me how to operate it. She said I could take him out every three hours to feed, burp and diaper him. Again with the three hours! She admonished that if I didn't follow the rules, he'd be taken back to NICU for his phototherapy. I promised dutifully that I would. Of course I would! It was what was best for him! And he at least got to stay with me this time! She showed me how to open the doors, different than the NICU box, and how to shut off the alarm if it was open too long. She showed me how to open the lid to take him out. No clothes, no socks, no blankets. And she left. With my Bunchkin now glowing like a shooting star.

Not being able to hold My Little Yam certainly put a damper on the evening's festivities. I did figure out how to pull his Easy Bake away from the wall and closer to my bed so I could at least see him. And the goose-necked lamp cord length dictated that I had to move it back a few feet. Dang. But I could still see him! I watched the clock and every three hours I took him out, diapered him to wake him up, fed him, burped him, and mourned the minutes that slipped away too fast until I had to put him back in.

In the middle of the night Jack wouldn't stop fussing. I stood at his side for about an hour stroking his tummy and whispering to him, but every time pain overwhelmed me and I wanted to get back into bed, he started crying again. I simply could not tolerate to hear my Sweet Little Dolly of a baby cry, so I'd lean there again with my arms stuck into the little holes so I could stroke him. That his cries were so weak and plaintive just made it all the more heart breaking. Finally I opened the lid and scooped him out. I'd noticed they'd given him a pacifier in the NICU, a big round ugly green job that wasn't at all cute, so I gave him the one I'd brought for him and snuggled him to me. I carefully laid him back into the giant box and stroked him for a few more minutes until he was asleep. As soon as I stopped, he started fussing and waiving his arms and legs and kicking. I called for the nurse and when she came in she showed me how to bundle up blankets into that horse shoe shape and settled him into it. He was happy with that. It made him feel more secure, she said. I felt like crap that I hadn't known that. I started to cry. The nurse sent me back to bed.

She came back in a few minutes with a pain shot. As she was giving me the injection with one hand and patting my shoulder with the other she said, "You're having quite a bit more pain tonight." I looked up to nod my tear streaked face at her and she gave me a look that made her face morph into that of my Mother's. And she was giving me a look that I remember my Mother giving me. A look that said, "I know what you did!" Her glasses slipped to the end of her nose when she tipped her head to look down at me. "It seems you might have hurt yourself moving the isolette and lamps closer to your bed." I said nothing. Guilty as charged. I'd been busted. Even though she was the night nurse and I'd moved The Box after the day nurse went off duty and before the night nurse made her rounds. "And I hear you stripped your own bed this morning." She tsk'd at me! "You aren't on the housekeeping crew. You need to act like a patient, not a nurse!" With that she informed me that I was to stay in bed for the rest of the night. She would be back to feed the baby and she would let me hold him for a few minutes after he was burped. "No arguing!" And she turned down the lights and left.

Easy Bake Oven

More Pictures

Back in his isolette in my room where he belongs!
Having a snuggle with The Other Mommy!
Propped up on a pillow in my bed.
He may look good and chunky, but notice that the left sleeve is twice as long as his arm! Also notice the bandaged feet where his IV's had been. Poor little feets!
On the scale again...his original birth weight with clothes and a diaper on. He looks chunky and plump though!

Day Two

The morning came and with it my pain meds and a breakfast tray I had absolutely no interest in. I made myself eat so I could produce milk. So far I'd only managed to provide My Little Dumpling with less than an ounce of colostrum two different times. I got up to shower. No water in the history of mankind has ever been so soothing to the soul as that shower was! I dressed and called the nurse for fresh linens. When she brought them, she asked out loud, "Why didn't the aid finish the bed?" Oh, I did that, both of us eyeing my stripped bed in the high position for ease of remaking, and the pile of dirty linens on the floor next to it. Of course she scolded me. She made my bed in short order and then ordered me back into it. "But I want to go down to NICU," I said. "Not today hon, he's coming to you!" And it was right on cue that a NICU nurse wheeled My Little Bunny back into my room in his giant Baby Easy Bake and transferred him to his normal sized isolette! Oh happy day! He'd officially been sprung from the NICU!

And the nurse was sure to post Willie's NICU name sign at the head of his isolette!

Shortly after My Sweet Boy returned to my room, another gal came in wheeling a long flat table like thing. It seems Jack was to have a hearing test. She attached sticky tabs to his forehead, temples and the back of his head and put clear kidney shaped plastic cups over his ears. It took about a half hour to determine that while Jack could hear, he wasn't going to pass his hearing test today. She assured me that most cesarean babies do not pass on their first tries, not to worry, that it was probably just fluid in his ear canals. They would try again tomorrow.

We spent our first full day together in semi drugged bliss. My pain level remained quite high. After each dose of meds I was really fine for about two and a half hours, but when it came back it came back with a vengeance. And we had a visitor!

This is The Other Mommy!

Between first The Other Mommy in the early afternoon, and then The Dear Daddy and I, Willie got 35 ounces of formula every three hours and then a burp and diaper change. I added whatever amounts I was able to produce to his formula. The Dear Daddy finally decided he was gentle enough to hold his tiny son without crushing him and he was quite the pro and feeding him and patting a burp out of him! There's nothing quite so fine as the special look in a father's eyes as he looks at his newborn. It makes a woman's heart get all squishy. And there was something different there this time. That word again, different. I wasn't able to define it then and I still am not. It went beyond tenderness. It went beyond awe. It went beyond love. I have no earthly words to describe what I saw in My Loves eyes while he looked at tiny little William. The best I can come up with is sacred.