What Will Happen to Andy?

I’ve been looking up videos about Down syndrome on Youtube.  Some have been informative, some have been sweet or funny, but this one, this one touched my heart.

I think at some point every parent will worry about this.  “How will my kids fare when I am not here to help?”  When Jayden was born though, I didn’t really think about that.  I thought of how perfect and beautiful he is and how many amazing things he is sure to accomplish in his life.

I thought the EXACT same things about Levi when he was born.

But when I was 30 weeks pregnant with Levi, the geneticist called.  I called her back thinking, “Well it must be good news because you wouldn’t call someone and tell them over the phone that their baby has Down syndrome”.  But that was exactly what she did.

She said “I know it’s a week early but I have the results from your amniocentesis.  It was positive for Down syndrome, your baby has trisomy 21.”

She first asked if I would be “continuing with the pregnancy, even though we are so far along” and I said “absolutely” with out even blinking.  She then began to ramble off all this information about groups we could join and websites we could look at.

But one of the first things she said and something that has echoed in my mind since was, “Some of them are even living into their 60’s”.   I had never before pondered, “Gosh, I wonder what age my baby will live to be” and now suddenly, here I am wondering if I’ll outlive him.  I know her intent was encouragement but it has been a little nagging thought in my head for a while.

This video reminds me that I am not alone.  There are others walking through these very things right now and together we will find the right answers.

Posted in Discoveries | 6 Comments

Our Hearts To Those Impacted By Today’s Tragedy

I think today will be another one of those days for me.  Remember the morning of Columbine?  Remember the morning of 9/11?  Remember the movie theatre masacre?

This morning the first thing anyone said to me was my Mom asked me, with tears in her eyes, “Have you been on Facebook or seen the news yet?”.  “No, why?” I said.  She couldn’t even get the words out without tears, “Someone started shooting people in the theatre during a midnight Batman movie premier”.

I was shocked.

I am still shocked.

I think a lot of us are still shocked.

“Where was this?” I asked, assuming somewhere far from here.  “Aurora”, my Mom said.  So close to home.

Colorado is heartbroken.  But Colorado is strong and we support each other.  When I got on Facebook at 9:30am links were being shared all over the place saying that the Bonfils Blood Center needed donations.  Not even 15 minutes later Bonfils released this statement on their Facebook page:

Thanks to the phenomenal support of our Colorado community members our appointment schedules for today have filled up quickly. We’re currently experiencing a high volume of calls and sincerely appreciate your patience. Donors are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment in the coming days to help replenish and support the critical needs of our hospitals and their patients.

People everywhere are looking for ways to help the victims because that is the spirit of Colorado, and really, the American spirit.

For anyone who might be interested in helping, the Bonfils Blood Center will be taking appointments for blood donations as they can and they are also accepting monetary donations.  The City of Aurora’s website  says to call 303-739-6346 for food donations but this is not for donating money.

I’m sure we all know by now that the shooter said his apartment is rigged with explosives.  The other residents of that apartment complex have been evacuated until the police can clear it.  If anyone has any specific information on how to help those displaced people, please let me know.  The Denver Post says here to check with GiveFirst.org to be sure you are giving to legitimate organizations.

There are really no words that could suffice to give the victims of this tragedy, except that I am so sorry and so heartbroken.  My thoughts and deepest prayers are with you all.

Posted in Discoveries | Leave a comment

Deserve To Live?

Yesterday, Noah’s Dad said someone commented to him saying, “with modern medicine there are really no good reasons to bring a person with debilitating chromosomal abnormalities (like your son) into the world.”

I thought I’d share a few reasons why they should:

20120719-115531.jpg

20120719-115545.jpg

 

20120719-124745.jpg

20120719-124754.jpg

20120719-124800.jpg

20120719-124809.jpg

20120719-124834.jpg

20120719-124844.jpg

20120719-124858.jpg

20120719-124905.jpg

I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have a good enough reason to deserve life. And I’ve never met anyone with “disabilities” who didn’t brighten someone’s life. Have you?

I got this last pic from IDSC for Life’s Facebook Page.

 

 

 

Posted in Discoveries | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

First Hair Cut!

First haircut!!!

20120718-185131.jpg

Post links to your kids first haircut or even your first haircut if you have them!!

Posted in Discoveries | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Play Time The Movie!

Ok so some of you have already seen this, but for those of you who haven’t, here is a 45 second clip I made with my boys:

 

 

I made it with Imovie and it was soooo easy.  If you have family videos on YouTube, link some in the comments below!  I’d love to see your favorites!!

Posted in Discoveries | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Golden Child

 

So I belong to this group on Facebook: DS Mommies.

Last week a Mommy posted this:

“I had a moment today. Another mother was talking to me about her grown up children and their plans for the future. It made me sad. I looked over at my sweet Alyssa and I just wanted to cry. I smiled politely & nodded my head like a good listener does. Does anyone else have moments like this?”

One Mommy had this statement in her reply:

“I know people who are so focused on their child’s successes, and I’m not sure what will happen the first time their child doesn’t perform.”

And then there was this reply:

“Yep – it’s hard. I do remember it being much worse when Belle was a baby, but it’s still hard some days. I do completely love what [was stated above] though – my brother John, who was 17 years older than I am – really hit it home for me when I told him Belle was born with DS. John was the ‘golden’ first child in our family – ridicuously smart and althletic and charming. People expected great things from him – but John suffered from a different genetic challenge called addiction (well, I believe it’s genetic.) By 17 John was across the country selling drugs and when he came home at 19 it was because his health was too poor to live on his own anymore. He suffered from an autoimmune disease that attacked his joints (triggered by an STD) and spent much of the rest of his life in a wheelchair – most of it living with my parents. He did eventually have a successful rehab and was straight for a decade but in his late 40’s his health was really declining and he was pretty hooked on painkillers. When I shared with John how devestated I was about Belle’s future he said something like – ‘Well, look at me. Mom and Dad never thought they’d have to take care of me my whole life but that’s how it ended up. Jen you never know what’s going to happen so don’t count anything out.’ John got to meet Belle twice and then died very suddenly from pneumonia when she was just 3 months old. He was miserable physically and I think God knew it was time to take him. But that was by far the greatest gift I had ever gotten from my brother – when people are planning their futures and I start to feel sad I remember that we don’t know what’s going to happen – God is in control”.

Posted in Discoveries | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Birthday Party Pics!!

Decided to do the pics a new fun way this time!

 

Posted in Discoveries | 4 Comments

Shining Moments in the Storm

*Note* Click the image to view the page I borrowed this image from after a free images Bing search. None of my sun pictures ever come out very well and this one looks like a heart!

Ok so I’m cleaning out my drafts and I came across this post.  It’s good, but never got published.  I wrote this one on June 30th, 2011.  Sorry for how out of place it is.

The reason my Mom was at the NICU tonight instead of me was because, well, first, she goes all the time at night so I can be with Jayden, but second, I couldn’t be there all night because I had to have a D&C procedure done, which I will get to at the end of this post.

I had a remarkably up and down week.  On top of all the stuff with Levi, we were rear ended on Saturday (or was it Sunday?  I think it was Saturday…all my days blend together now).  It was a fender bender in that literally our fender is bent (lol)!  We were turning left onto a street at a green arrow with a bunch of people.  A women in the front SLAMMED on her brakes when she realized she was missing her next turn.  We all slammed on our brakes too, except for the 16 yr old kid in his Dad’s jeep behind us, and the elderly man behind him.  The kid hit us and the old man hit him and so he consequently hit us again.  I was the only one injured.  I was leaning forward for the first impact then sat up right before the second and my seat has no headrest because I removed it so I could see Jayden from the drivers seat (which Josh CONSTANTLY nagged me to put it back for just this reason and I said, “When was the last time we were in the car accident?  It’s fine!” lol).

Then on Monday it was my Anniversary!!!

My husband arranged for my parents to watch Jayden.  We went to dinner in the same restaurant as the night we got engaged (P.F. Chang’s downtown).  We took a short stroll through Writer Square and down the 16th Street Mall for a cup of coffee.  When we returned to our car at the restaurant, there was a horse drawn carriage waiting outside that took us on the long tour of the city (also just like the night we got engaged).

Self Made Man

The weather was perfect!  The evening was cooling down after a hot summer day and a brief afternoon shower.  We past some flowering trees in the Capitol Hill park that smelled exquisite, discovered a few new small places we would like to visit, and rode right under the low lights that drape over the street in Larimer Square.

Larimer Square

Denver is really a beautiful city when you take a slow, leisurely look at it!  Especially all the old west buildings.  I find it really interesting that AT&T and Qwest now reside in the old Bell building from the 1800’s and the “cash register building” as we call it, has a Wells Fargo!

 

Then we went to the Hotel Monaco which is an AMAZING beautiful hotel and my husband took a bit from savings and got the Mediterranean Suite!! (Also something cool was that he is having a great week in affiliate marketing and while we were doing all this he made enough money to pay for the whole thing.  He wrote about that here.)

The front door

Lobby during wine tasting hour

More of the Lobby

This is a picture I took with my iPhone. Not a well lit as the ones from the website. lol I also forgot to capture the huge vaulted ceilings in the room!

VERY wonderful Champaign and strawberries!!

You can kind of see the edge of the door frame in this one, there are two rooms not including the beautiful bathroom and we had a gorgeous view of the sunset! Sorry the lighting is awful though.

It was an unbelievable get away for one night to just enjoy our love for each other and let everything else just melt away.

On Tuesday I finally got in to see the Chiropractor to deal with my neck pain from the accident.  I feel better already, but I talked to him about how I’ve been running again and my knee pain is bad.  He said I’m too close to the pregnancy and my ligaments are still loose from the hormones, so I need to wait longer before going so high impact.  Time to get a gym membership and get on that elliptical…  I actually like running more than an elliptical.  My toes and feet tingle on an elliptical and no one can tell me why or how to stop it.

On Wednesday I finally got back into my OB for a recheck.  WEEKS ago I had gone in for severe cramping and bleeding.  She had seen that I still had material in my uterus from the pregnancy by doing an ultra sound (I’ll try not to go into too many details here for the more light hearted readers lol).  She gave me a medicine to make me contract and flush it out but I was supposed to go for a recheck in a week to make sure that happened.  Things with Levi kept spiraling out of control and I kept canceling the recheck.  Time slipped away from me, and suddenly I’m 7 weeks out from delivery and still having pretty severe pain and bleeding.

So I finally get in for a recheck Wednesday and she sees I still have the material in there so she tells me I need a D&C and I need it TOMORROW!  She said, “It’s been in there for WAY too long by now and you are at serious risk for problems.”  I assumed infection, but the NICU nurse later told me a way it can actually kill you, so that’s good…  I wish someone had told me earlier; I might have prioritized my recheck a bit lol.

So I stopped eating and drinking ANYTHING, even water at midnight and checked in for the “procedure” at 2pm today.  I was completely sedated and intubated (given a breathing tube).  I remember the anesthesiologist saying he was going to hook me up to a bunch of stuff first, before putting me under, but he was giving me something to help me relax right now.  I said, “Yay! Fun!” (lol) and then a few seconds later said, “Am I supposed to feel it this fast?” and that’s the last thing I remember.

I woke up to him telling me surgery was over.  I was aware that I had been having the strangest dream where I know I was searching and searching for something really really important but couldn’t find it.  I said, “Wait, it’s over?  When did we start?” And then I suddenly burst into tears.  I sobbed.  Well, as best as I could.  My throat was so swollen from the breathing tube (and now I have an idea of how awful poor Levi must have felt).  I asked, “Um, is that the anesthesia making me emotional?” and the nurse said, “Yeah that can happen, just let it out.”

So I sat there and bawled for about 5 min, apologizing to the nurses 100 times (lol)!  Then, I pulled myself together and was wide awake. The nurses were like “Holy cow you recover fast!”  That’s the same thing they said after my C-section.

It turned out my nurse used to work in the NICU at Good Samaritan (where I was for my surgery) and so I told her a bit about Levi, which of course made me cry again for a minute).  She said she had twins which brought up her large belly size with them so of course I had to tell her my story.

When I run down through a list of what I have been through this year…it is ABSOLUTELY ABSURD.  I mean really, really seriously, ABSURD.  I’m not entirely sure if some stranger told me this story if I’d believe her right out of the gate to be honest…

But I do have shining moments in this storm that are incomparably beautiful like Monday night with Josh…  Or when Jayden laughs or Levi smiles or when my extended family is together, laughing and helping each other out as best as we can.  Or even when a friend emails or comments words or prayers of encouragement.  Nothing could ever take away the joy I have in those moments.

*Just a Note*  I started writing this on Thursday June 30th 2011.

Jayden loves bubbles!

We are all kind of amazed by our cat Gremlin. He LOVES Jayden and tolerates anything he does (although Jayden is usually VERY sweet and gentle with him). People have asked if I give my cats steroids because they are HUGE lol. I don't but when he stands next to my little Jayden he looks like his pet Panther!

Posted in Discoveries | 2 Comments

Finally Sharing Levi’s Delivery Story

So…

Levi was born on May 11th, 2011, at 6:47 am @ 6lbs. 10 oz and 20″. He scored 9/9 on the Apgar test!

The last few weeks of the pregnancy were really truly difficult so I don’t think I did very many posts then. We were going weekly to get fluid drained. They would take about 2 1/2 liters and I would have relief for a couple of days. But towards the end I started having panic attacks (or anxiety attacks, I don’t know what the difference is yet). I didn’t know what they were at first. I saw three different Doctors in one day because I was having trouble breathing and couldn’t get my heart to stop beating into my throat. I was dizzy and sweating and very close to passing out. I have never felt that awful before and truly feel for those who suffer with that all the time.

I'm finally ready to post this pic. Even with this pic, I really don't think it does justice to how HUGE I was.

On Tuesday May 10th, we went in for another treatment. We got home around 5pm and nothing seemed unusual. Some friends had stopped by and so we chatted for a bit then Josh, Jayden, Mom, Dad and I all went out to dinner at Applebee’s. Just as we’re finishing and waiting for our check I feel this “POP!” in my belly and uncomforably realize what is going on. I say, “My water just broke,” and every one just sits there for a second. Someone said, “Seriously?” and I said “yes” at least twice. All I kept thinking was, “How am I going to get up from this chair and walk out of here?”. Finally Mom stands up and starts shaking us all out of our shock and telling us what to do.

She and Dad would take our car with the carseat and take Jayden home, Josh would take me in Dad’s car to the hospital. Dad did the classic “ahhhhh where are my keys” moment (lol).

Luckily when I stood up it wasn’t too bad, but unfortunately on our way out this 90 yr old couple got in front of us and I’m standing there panicking while it takes them a full 2 min to walk down 2 steps. I was trying to be polite but the first second I could I said to the younger Mom who was with them, “Um, excuse me, my water broke.” She smiles and says, “Oh how exciting! You’re going to have a baby!” before the look of realization crosses her face and she pushes her son out of my way and hurries me past them all.

Poor Josh was simply panicking. I wasn’t even contracting yet but losing almost 5 liters of fluid in the car was disgusting to say the least (luckily Dad had blankets and towels in the car but still-it was the most disgusting thing I think I’ve ever done!).  There was a moment when Josh had to pull over and get out for a minute and breathe because the whole thing was making him dizzy. He only did this after I told him, “Josh, I’m not even having contractions.  This baby isn’t coming in the 30 minutes.  We can slow down a bit.” Haha!

When we got to the hospital, there were no labor rooms left, so they put me back in the same small room I had been in 3 hours before that for my treatment.

My labor progressed quickly.  I had already decided to get an epidural.  I didn’t want to earlier in my pregnancy because I suspected the reason I ended up with a C-section with my first was because of the epidural and I wanted a natural birth.  But the Doctors all said I really should get one because if anything goes wrong and they have to rush me into an emergency C-section, the seconds spent getting the epidural would be wasted and they’d probably have to put me under.  They kept saying, “Every second wasted puts the life of both you and your baby in jeopardy.”
When the epidural hit me, I got really talkative and I realized I had been in so much pain for so many months I didn’t even realize there was a better way to feel!  I pushed for 2 hours but I could not get him to move down.  After 2 hours of pushing, and literally trying everything, my contractions stopped.  I don’t know why.  I think my body was exhausted and done.  The Doctor said we could wait and see if they returned, but I was so exhausted and worried so I just went ahead with the C-section.  My Mom and Mother in Law cried with me because they knew how badly I wanted to avoid that and how hard I had tried.
The C-section took a really long time, but after it was done they let us see him and then took him to the NICU and me to recovery where I apologized a hundred times for snoring whenever I fell asleep (lol).  The Doctor who did my C-section came in and said I should really consider never getting pregnant again.  She said I had so much scar tissue from the last one that it took her a really long time to work through it and if they brought me to her next time, she’d refuse to do it.
When I had recovered enough to be moved to the Mom and Baby wing, the nurses did me a HUGE favor and rolled me in my bed into the NICU to see him.  That was the first time I got to hold him.

This is not that moment, but this is one of the earliest pics of us together.

By the next morning, I was trying to get out of bed and the nurses kept telling me really nice things about how hard I was working.  One nurse even said, “If I ever have to have a c-section, I hope I recover like you.  You’re so brave and determined.”  That was really nice.  After 3 days, I was ready to go home but I talked the Doctor into one more day so that I could stay close to Levi.  During the 4th day, the hospital was able to get us a free room to stay in.  I think we stayed there for a week until someone else needed it too. After that, we went back and forth from the cheap hotel near the hospital to back in the hospital room again, to home, depending on what was going on with Levi.  The longer we were there the more the nurses bent rules to help us out.  I still keep in touch with some of those nurses.  And well, the rest you know!
Anyway, that’s what I remember about my L&D story from this far out.  I actually started this post on April 27th 2011, but never got around to finishing it.  Tada!
Posted in Discoveries | Leave a comment

It’s Past Midnight! Today is Levi’s First Birthday!!

So today I took Jayden and Levi to the Zoo with my friend Jen, her beautiful baby boy Austin and she got to bring the beautiful little boy she nannies.  The six of us had a blast.  But it wasn’t just a normal trip to the Zoo for me.  Tomorrow Levi will be 1 year old!  By this time last year I was starting labor (I’m hoping to post his birth story tomorrow- I didn’t even realize I hadn’t posted it until a friend pointed that out).  In the last couple of months leading up to Levi’s birth, I was useless.  I was in so much pain from the extra fluid that I could mostly only sit.  I couldn’t pick Jayden up or play with him or even really hold him because my lap was basically occupied by my belly.  After Levi was born, I felt like we slowly watched summer slip away, every week thinking “On Friday we may go home!” for three months.  There were so many times I wanted nothing more than to able to do summery things with Jayden like swim or go to the Zoo.  It’s a really big deal to me that I got to take both of my beautiful boys to the Zoo today!

Tomorrow is Levi’s first birthday and I cannot wait to celebrate all of his triumphs this year with our closest friends and family on Saturday!

At the party store getting supplies for the Birthday party and having some fun!

 

Hahaha Peacock

 

I think he rocks pigtails! lol

 

Levi thinks so too!

 

This was really cool. I have a friend who had her beautiful daughter on the same day Levi was born and her sister had twins on that same day a year before us. So she put together a big party for all four babies and that was so sweet and so much fun!

Levi's first cupcake. He went all in!

 

"Do I have something on my face?" lol

 

I can just hear his laugh in this one!

It sounds like this:

 

 

 

"Nom Nom Nom"

 

Jayden has this fish obsession right now. So instead of spend money, we go to Petsmart to look at the fish! lol He loves it! He's two. We'll spend the money when he's older.

 

I got this idea from pinterest. I didn't put enough in to get good pics but we put glowsticks in the bath under the bubbles. The boys thought that was the coolest thing ever.

 

One night Jayden fell and hit his head pretty bad so we took him to Children's to be checked. Here he's proving he's fine while playing with Daddy. <3

 

 

I just love this face!

 

This is the train my parents built for my boys in their backyard!! Jayden LOVES it! That's his little head in that front window!

 

Posted in Discoveries | 4 Comments