Sunday, May 24, 2015

Trial by fire


Our first two weeks as being parents of 3 were a bit rough.  Jamison was in the NICU for 5 days after he was born, and then home for 2 days, and back into a different NICU for his jaundice for 2 more days.  We were home from the hospital with Jamison for about 6 hours when Abbie broke her arm…  Ugh!

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We were all in the living room and Ben had JUST almost fallen off the arm of the couch on to the tile floor so I was getting on to him about that and Mark walked in to the room.  Abbie was sitting on the other side of the couch and she went to get up and somehow her foot got caught underneath her and she went face first on to the carpet and put her hands out to catch herself.  Mark and I both heard her arm break.  There was no doubt in my mind that she’d broken it.  Mark yelled “God damnit” (which Abbie later asked him why he said that) and I said, she just broke her arm.  Abbie screamed once, and grabbed her arm and then basically stopped everything because she didn’t want to go to the doctor so she was trying to pretend that nothing was wrong.  She only got a little bit of tears while we were in the ER waiting room and of course when she did that, I cried too.  I think I cried more over the whole thing that she did.  My post partum hormones were still in full swing.

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Mark and I got Abbie and Jamison into the SUV and headed to Banner Estrella’s ER to get her arm x-ray’d.  Thank God my parents were here to watch Ben for us.  I don’t think the people at the ER thought she’d actually broken her arm because she wasn’t crying, but she is our tough girl.  She fell asleep on our way to the hospital and that was another clue to us that she was in a lot of pain because that’s typically how she deals with it.  It had swollen a lot by the time we were seen by the doctor in the ER, but he told us he thought it was just a bad sprain.  I didn’t say anything because he’d said that he was going to get an x-ray on it.  As soon as the x-ray tech took the first picture it was quite obvious that she’d broken her ulna on her right arm and it was fully displaced (the 2 parts of the bone weren’t even touching each other).  They put a splint on it and told us to follow up with an orthopedic doctor in a few days.  After she had the splint and sling and a popcicle she was a lot happier.


The next day we had to do a follow up at the base clinic for Abbie’s arm and the pediatrician and ortho there decided they wanted to send her to PCH (Phoenix Children’s Hospital) to make sure her arm didn’t require surgery or to be set.  So Mark took her across the Valley to PCH to have them look at it.  (If you’re counting, this is the 4th hospital we’d been to with our kids in 28 hours…)  While he was there, I took Jamison back to base to a billirubin test and that’s when we found out his billi count was still going up a little bit.  The doctors at PCH took quite a while trying to decide if they should set it or do surgery or just splint it again, which we appreciated.  They were pretty thorough in their exam and they finally decided to just splint it again and do another follow up in a few days.

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Thank God my parents were here during all of the craziness after J’s birth. It was really nice to not have to worry about anything at home as my mom was taking care of everything.  She knows the kids routines and the dogs routines and handled everything so we didn’t have to worry about anything when we were in and out of hospitals for 2 weeks.  Even once we got home, she still did all the cooking and cleaning and took care of the dogs and helped with the kids.  She would do all the laundry and fold it and set it on our dressers to be put away.  She and my dad cleaned up the entire house when the appraiser came to appraise our house while we were gone.  She and my dad took the dogs for walks and my dad did some of the repairs on our house that need to be done before we leave.  I hope Mark and I will be able to help our kids the same way my parents helped us when our kids have kids.

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Other than the endless doctors appointments (the next week Jamison had appointments Monday, Weds and Friday and Abbie had an appointment to get her cast on Tuesday), the adjustment to 3 kiddos has been MUCH easier than the adjustment to having 1 or 2.  I think that is mostly because Jamison is a super chill baby.  So far he doesn’t seem to have colic like the other 2 did.  He likes to be on me all the time so I feel a bit strapped to the chair sometimes, but I can’t complain too much.  He’s fun to snuggle and he’s a really good baby.  He typically has a fairly good stretch of sleep from around midnight to 2:30 or 3am, although a few times he’s slept past 4am and once he’s slept all the way until 5am.

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The big kids are fascinated with the baby.  Abbie would hold him all day, every day if you let her and Ben always is asking where the baby is and every morning he runs into our room to “pet” Jamison’s head.  So far they have been really gentle with him and if he’s fussy (mostly in the car) they will talk to him from the back seat to try to calm him down.  They love running for paci’s if they think he needs one and they like to check the line on his diaper to see if he’s peed.

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I started out getting up with Jamison when he woke up in the middle of the night.  I would change his diaper and then take him to the glider in our room to nurse him, but I would always fall asleep for a good hour or two while nursing him and wake up with a sore neck.  So then I started just sitting up in bed with him and trying to nurse him, but I would still fall asleep and wake up with a sore neck.  Now I just bring him to bed with me and nurse him laying down.  He usually nurses on one side during his first wake up between 2:30 and 5am and then he’ll wake up and I’ll switch him to the other side somewhere around 6 to 7am.  We usually get up some time between 8 and 9am and he’ll nurse again as soon as we get up.  So far I haven’t had too much of an issue with my supply.  I was pumping the first week we were home, but I don’t have much time to pump anymore with 3 kiddos and my mom not being here, but he still seems to be doing okay.  Mark will normally feed him 2 oz of formula right before we put him to bed for the night between 11pm and 12am, after I’ve nursed him.  If Jamison is super fussy during the day, every once in a while we’ll top him off with a 2oz bottle and let him have as much of it as he wants, but I’m trying to mostly nurse him.  He is a good nurser and has a really strong suck, which makes me sore.  But I’d rather have it this way than it was like Ben where he was just too lazy to nurse.

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In the past few days Jamison seems to be changing a lot!  He’ll coo every once in a while when you’re talking to him.  He tracks with his eyes really well now, even though he still looks a bit cross-eyed at times.  He’ll crane his neck and turn his head to look at things and people.  If I move back and forth in front of him, he’ll track me with his eyes.  I can almost always get him to calm down just by talking to him, at least for a little bit.  He loves watching the kids and is way more content just sitting in his swing or bouncer watching what’s going on around him than the other two ever were.  Last night we were doing tummy time with him and he rolled over 4 times in about 5 minutes.  Three times to the right and once to the left.  He was 25 days old!

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If any future babies were this easy, I definitely would want more.  This has been our easiest transition yet, thankfully.  Jamison has to be somewhat easy has we have a LOT of changes going on in the next month, including 3 6+ hour drives, living in TLF’s (temp lodging facility) three separate times and moving everything to CA.  I think he’ll do just fine!

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