Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Long time, no see

I'm finding since Sarah came into our family that I don't have enough time to do anything, it seems. At least not anything productive. If I could get paid for it, I'd much rather prefer just to sit in my glider rocker, holding Sarah & reading to Emma. That would be my idea of bliss. But, unfortunately, the house doesn't clean itself (although I think in the 50's we were assured by this time of modern technology that it would, liars) and everyone still needs to be fed. At least with Sarah, feedings are easy. Lift up shirt, insert baby mouth slot A to boob tab B, and commence feeding. It's nice that she doesn't even dirty a dish in the process. The same can't be said for the rest of us.
I feel bad for Emma. Jeff got this vacation planning kit in the mail from Disney World (we're thinking about taking a cruise when he graduates from 5 years). She still doesn't understand the concept of future time. We told her that we were going to go on this cruise with "Cinderella" & "Mickey Mouse" and she was all ready to pack her bags. We tried to explain to her that we needed to wait until Sarah was bigger & could walk, so now she's telling Sarah that she needs to get up & walk so they can go see Cinderella.
It's been forever since I wrote in this thing, and it's not for lack of trying. It seemed every time I'd sit down to write, I'd get interrupted by one of my two children. So, I guess I should go through the events of the past couple of weeks. I hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day. Mine was great. Sarah's umbilical cord fell off that day. At first I thought I'd lost it, because I couldn't find it. I was changing her diaper & realized that it had fallen off & was searching around in her bassinette & her onsie to try & find it. I did finally find it though, it was floating around in her clothes, the same way Emma's had. Emma's fell off on Jeff's birthday, so that was pretty interesting.
The next day Sarah had her first bath in her baby tub. It has a sling that is stretched across the tub, so she doesn't lay down directly in it yet. The sling is helpful since she can't hold up her head yet. And she seemed to enjoy herself. Even when we washed her hair. Emma was a big help. She poured the water over Sarah & helped me wash her up with a washcloth.
Sarah is staying awake more often during the day, which is helping her sleep better at night. She's still waking up 1-2 times a night, but she goes right back to sleep most of the time. There are even nights when she goes 6 hours without waking up. I'd consider THAT sleeping through the night. She seems to be taking in more when she's awake, and gives me these looks like "what is going on here?" Especially when Emma's throwing a fit or things are a bit chaotic.
Emma is still doing great with Sarah. She's very helpful & very loving. Since we've kinda gotten into a routine with Sarah and things aren't as hectic, I think she's beginning to feel less stress about getting attention. She knows that we're going to take time to play with her, so she's not demanding it all the time. But she still does have her moments. Lately it's been having drop down, drag-out tantrums when we tell her to do something and she doesn't want to. The other day, we were at her speech therapy evaluation (she's going to start that again in the fall) and we needed to get going. She had been playing with some toys & I asked her to help us put them away. You would have thought I'd cut the poor kids arm off with the reaction that I got. Her face crumpled into sobs & she dropped to the floor like a leaf, and just lay there, crying. I would have laughed if I hadn't been mortified. I don't think it helps that since Sarah was born, we've been giving in to her wants more frequently. We're going to have to put a stop to that pretty quickly, otherwise Emma might get the idea that SHE'S running the show here.
In other news, we found out last week that our landlord finally sold the house, so we have 60 days to get out. At first we were thinking about renting again, but decided against it. Since we know we're going to be here at least another 4-5 years (for Jeff to get his degree) we decided to buy a house instead. We know it's risky, what with the slow housing market. But I'm hoping that in a few years it'll be better & also we're looking at a house that has great re-sale potential. It's a cute little house that's already had some upgrades, so all we'd need to do is keep it in good shape and maybe put a little money into it. And it's not a bad price either.
I had the oddest experience yesterday. I was in the living room, walking around and I went toward the garage door to hang something up. I felt a sharp pain on my neck & I freaked out & started swatting at my neck. I felt something there and I hit it to the ground. At first, I was afraid it was a spider, but I looked on the carpet & it was a bee. I got stung by a bee on my neck, IN THE HOUSE. It hurt like crazy & I ended up putting a cold compress on it for an hour. Even today I still have a welt on my neck and it itches. It was too weird. I was just thankful that it hadn't stung one of the kids, and Sarah was only about 4 feet away from me at the time.
Well I think I've written a novel here, so I should end this. Hopefully it won't be another 3 weeks before I post again.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Busy day

Today has been very hectic & busy, and it's not even over yet. It all started with some serious lack of sleep, due to Sarah needing to be wide awake at 3am. It's probably because she slept way too much yesterday & I didn't wake her up like I should have. Then I had to take Jeff to work this morning so I could have the car to take Emma to preschool. Everyone had to have baths this morning, because Emma's preschool was having their Mother's Day program (photos of which are on our website). While Emma was playing in the tub, I gave Sarah a sponge bath. Her umbilical cord hasn't fallen off yet, so no baby tub yet. As I was cleaning her legs & feet, I noticed that she had what looked like a popped blister on the side of her index toe, where it rubs up against her middle toe. It looked like it was becoming infected, so I immediately called the doctor to set up an appointment to bring her in after preschool.
Emma's Mother's Day program was really sweet. They sang a few songs & the teacher read the book "I love you forever". It's such a sweet book. Emma sat very quietly, listening to her teacher read it. Which is better than how she does at home. Normally, she wants to discuss the book & read it to you, instead of just listening. Then we had refreshments. I had brought 2 dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies for her class. Emma had about 6 of them. She didn't want to try any of the cookies that other people had brought. I would have thought she would be tired of my cookies and want to try something different. Then she ran around playing with her friends, until I practically had to drag her out of there to go to the doctor's appointment for Sarah.
The doctor said Sarah's toes were just rubbing up against each other, probably from being confined in socks. He said to put Neosporin on it 3 times a day & keep it covered with a tiny, microscopic bandaid, that of course I don't have any of at home. Time to make a trip to Rite-Aid! Now that it's getting warmer out, I won't have to keep Sarah's feet covered all the time to keep them warm, which they never seem to be. So that will help, as well.
Sarah has an appointment next week with the Early On coordinator. She's going to evaluate which therapies Sarah might benefit from & also be a liason with support groups, as well. And a couple moms who have kids with Down Syndrome are supposed to be calling me sometime this week or next week. They live in the area, sort of, so it'll be nice to be able to have contact with some people who have been in our shoes recently.
So that's been our day so far! I know that there will probably be more interesting stuff happening once Jeff gets home. I'll write more later!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

I'm back!

Well, it's been a hectic past 2 weeks since little Sarah Grace Wilson came into the world. I know everyone's been wondering why I haven't been writing in this blog, and frankly, it's because I don't have the time. Also, because the previous 2 times I tried to write, I was interrupted in the middle & Jeff accidently erased all I had written. So, I kinda got dejected at the idea of starting over again, thus is why it's taken me this long.
Just to me sure we're all on the same page, let me give you some of the details surrounding Sarah's birth.
She was born at 1:02am on April 20th. She was 8 lbs. 15 oz., and 21 inches long. I was actually only in labor for about 4-9 hours, depending on who you talk to. At 4pm on the 19th, I had a doctor's appt., and we determined at that time that I hadn't progressed any further than I had been in the previous 3-4 weeks. Which was kinda upsetting, because that probably meant I would have to be induced. I didn't relish that idea at all. So, we went home, I made Jeff his favorite dinner (Hamburger Helper Stroganoff, yuck) and then afterwards, around 6:30pm, we decided to go to Dairy Queen. We came home & I started to feel some stronger contractions, stronger than the Braxton Hicks contractions I'd been feeling for months. Nothing to feel too concerned about, but they were definitely changing. We went about our business, got Emma into bed around 8:30pm, and then I started playing on the computer. At around 10pm, I told Jeff we should probably start timing my contractions, because they were getting stronger and more painful. At that time, they were about 5-8 minutes apart, but they weren't consistent and we had been told that we should really stay home until I couldn't talk during a contraction. I wasn't at that point yet. But, about 11pm, we decided to put our babysitter on call, and let our families know that it might happen sometime tonight. So, we tried to go to bed, but by 11:30pm, the contractions were to the point that I couldn't relax during them. So we called the hospital & they said to come on it. We dropped Emma off at our neighbors house, and we drove to the hospital (thankfully it's only 4 blocks away). We got up into the room at around 12:15am. At this point, I was asking for an epidural, thinking I wasn't very far along & the pain was too great to try & make it through completely natural. We told the nurse, after I'd changed into a hospital gown, that we had just been checked about 8 hours previous & didn't think that much had changed since then. The nurse checked me and said that I was 8cm, which for those of you who don't have children is only 2cm away from being ready to push. Jeff & I were completely shocked. There was no time for an epidural, and they needed to call my doctor right away. Thank goodness HE only lives 1 block away from the hospital. By this time, the contractions were practically on top of each other & they were extremely painful. Jeff was my hero though, he was right there, helping me through each one, breathing with me, and allowing me to dig my nails into his hand & arm. A half hour later, I was ready to push & Sarah was born 15 minutes later. She was born face up (the same as Emma), which isn't the way they're supposed to come out, but oh well. Apparently that's just how my body does things. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck once very loosly, but that wasn't a problem. She had swallowed some amniotic fluid so the nurses had to clear that out & give her some oxygen. She also had a huge bruise on her forehead from coming out face up. But other than that, she was healthy.
After about 2 hours, we were put into another room, where I would stay for a couple days. We made a few calls to family to let them know that she had been born, and then we tried to get some sleep.
My hospital stay was uneventful, and both Sarah & I were allowed to go home the next afternoon. She had a bit of jaundice so the pediatrician wanted us to come back the next day & get her bilirubin level tested. It was still pretty high, so he prescribed a bilibed for her. It's basically a plastic hospital bassinette with an ultraviolet light underneath that shines up under the baby. You put the baby in there with just a diaper on and the light helps get rid of the excess bilirubin in their bodies. That wasn't so bad, the worst part about jaundice is having to go get the poor kid's heal pricked every morning to have their bilirubin level checked. Apparently my kids have elephant feet & they can't get blood out of them very easily. So, the poor nurse is having to squeeze very hard to get enough blood out of Sarah's foot in order to run the test. It's not very pleasant, for her or us. Jeff & I had to tag-team during it in order to give the other person a rest. No one likes to see & hear their child screaming in pain. But, after about 4 days, her bilirubin levels came down & she was fine.
My mom had come into town the Friday after she was born, and Emma was loving it. She ran my poor mom ragged. Emma has been very loving & protective of Sarah. Whenever Sarah would start moving, sqeaking or crying, she'd come running into wherever we were & tell us, the baby's crying, she's cranky!She's very helpful and very gentle with Sarah. If Sarah's on the floor, or somewhere where Emma can reach her, she's always kissing her & tickling her and playing with her hair. It's very cute.
I know most of you have probably already heard this news, but for those of you who haven't, we found out last Friday that Sarah has Down Syndrome. She was tested for it while she was in the hospital & the results had just come back last week. Jeff & I were called into her pediatrician's office and told the news. It was very devastating to us to hear that our perfect baby had something wrong with her. We were pretty much in mourning for about the first 24 hours. Jeff, fortunately, was able to snap out of the funk that had consumed our whole house, and helped me to, as well. He has been the epitome of optimism, and a great source of strength for me. We have gotten such wonderful support from our family & friends and we can't thank each of you enough for all your kind words & love. Even though this diagnosis was shocking, there are many things that we can do for Sarah to ensure that she has the best life possible. There is an Early Intervention program that we're going to be starting soon that will help her with her fine & gross motor skills, her speech & language, and her mental capacity. Studies have shown that the earlier you start these programs, the better chance a child with Down Syndrome has of being closer to "normal". And there are varying degrees of severity. She doesn't have very many outward physical signs, and so far is behaving like any normal baby would at 2 weeks of age. There are some medical things that we have to be on the lookout for, and we have to be a little more diligent with her health, because she's at a greater risk for upper respiratory illnesses, which could lead to ear infections & hearing loss. But, we're going to be very proactive about her health & make sure that nothing (if possible) affects her therapy. I know that she's going to grow up with all the love & support as any other child, and we certainly aren't going to impede her by treating her any differently. I know this will help Emma with tolerance and understanding that not all children are the same. And Michigan is apparently a wonderful state to be in for this because they have a huge assortment of programs & support groups. I know it will be a rough road, but we're strong & we have a great family to support us.
I better end this for now. If you want, you can go to to find out more. That's the National Down Syndrome Society's website. This will be a learning process for all concerned, but I know that things happen for a reason. She's still our perfect little girl & we love her with all our hearts.