Monday, September 29, 2008

Covered in Mud

I once heard a mom say that if she couldn't see dirt on her kids at the end of the day, then they hadn't played hard enough. Well, if that's the case, Josiah definitely played hard enough yesterday.

Friday, September 26, 2008

He's Back!

My Dad arrived here in Florida on Tuesday. It felt great to finally be able to get out of the car and take the boys in to the airport to greet Granddaddy. These past few visits from my parents have involved me being stuck at home or not having the energy to walk them into the airport. We enjoyed dinner out with him before heading to the house.

Wednesday was the day I had a follow up x-ray and doctor's appointment to have my stint removed. Since Kerry was at work, my Dad braved taking care of all four boys at once. It is very frustrating knowing that I've had to leave Silas so much in his short life, but I'm thankful that it's either been Kerry or my parents to take care of him. The boys did great for Granddad while I was gone. Silas slept the entire time. Levi took a pretty good nap. I think Caleb was outside the entire time and Josiah came in and out throughout that time. I had a really nice lady who took my x-ray. She showed me where my stint was and what looked like a couple of kidney stones in my kidney on the x-ray. At my doctor's appointment, Dr. Brown removed my stint. I'll spare you the details. But I was so glad to have it out. I noticed a difference right away.

Thursday morning I was determined to get the boys out just in case I started having pain due to passing the kidney stones. Granddad and I took all the boys to play miniature golf and to eat lunch. It wasn't a relaxing outing but the boys did pretty good for the most part. Levi liked throwing his golf ball or trying to take Granddad's away and Josiah and Caleb seemed to constantly be arguing. Caleb wanted to tell Josiah what to do and Josiah didn't want to hear it. Three out of the four boys took good afternoon naps. I did start having minor back pains but nothing major and some of the broken up stones have come out. Yeah! I'm sure that's what you all want to hear, but it's so nice to think that I'm almost back to normal. Thursday evening, we all participated in Silas' first official bath. He tolerated it. I'm sure he will enjoy being in the big bathtub a whole lot better than the baby bathtub.

Today, the boys let me sleep late. It was nice to just snuggle with Silas until I heard the constant slamming of doors from boys coming in and out. We've taken it easy around the house today. The boys have enjoyed playing outside. Levi loved having Granddad push him on the swing. Josiah enjoyed it too. Caleb is having a blast riding his dirt bike. I hope he doesn't bother the neighbors too much. Silas has done a pretty good job letting Granddad hold him. At times though, Granddad could be seen walking up and down the halls with Silas while I tried to get something done. Levi doesn't seem to mind sharing me but didn't like when Granddad was holding Silas last night. We had to trade boys and Levi snuggled up with Granddad and went to sleep. We take Granddad back to the airport in a couple of hours. It's great to finally almost feel normal again, but we will miss him. We probably won't see him again until Christmas. I'm already counting the days.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sweet Silas

Silas is now 2 weeks and 2 days old. I feel terrible that I haven't taken as many pictures of just him as I have the other boys at this age. I'm always trying to get pictures of him with different people. One of my goals this week is going to be to take more pictures of just Silas by himself.

Having Silas home for 2 weeks has given me the opportunity to get to know his little personality a little better. He does not like to have his diaper changed. He always makes a big fuss. I'm sure he will get used to this in the weeks to come and settle down. His umbilical cord stump fell off during the night so that is one less thing to bother him with. He loves to nurse about every 1 to 3 hours. It depends on if he's napping how long between feedings. If he's eaten and then and hour later he's ready for a nap, he likes to nurse to sleep. He seems to be a little off on his sleep at night. About once a night, he tends to have to poop and then once I clean him all up, he's wide awake. I just settle him next to me and I assume he looks around until he's tired. I tend to fall asleep before he goes back to sleep. If he doesn't need to poop, he just wakes up enough to eat and then drifts peacefully back to sleep.

He's been such a wonderful addition to our family. Overall, he's pretty laid back as you can tell in the picture above. But he has no problems letting you know what he needs. Once I figure it out, he settles down very quickly. He only fusses when he needs something which is either to be held, eat, sleep, or a diaper change. The major difference in Silas compared to my other three is that he spits up. My other three rarely spit up. I think Silas has spit up more these two weeks than all three of my others in their first years of life combined. He doesn't seem to complain about it so it must not bother him too much.

All the boys are continuing to do well having Silas home. For Caleb and Josiah, he's just another baby around the house that doesn't affect their outside playtime. Levi is still fascinated with him. He never gets tired of talking sweetly to him, kissing him, or holding him. If Levi was just a little older, I'm sure he would sit and hold him all day long if I would let him.

We had our first official outing as a family of six the night before my surgery. We went out to dinner. I was expecting a little chaos but they all surprised me with how well they did. We now know that a later dinner is better for our boys than an early dinner. They had played outside most of the afternoon. Silas slept the entire time as I held him. Levi was so excited to be sitting by Daddy and the two big boys were tired enough to be quiet and hungry too. When our food arrived you could here a pin drop the boys were so quiet eating dinner. Although Josiah did drop his ice cream and cried so the entire restaurant could hear him, I'm glad to know we will be able to eat out again with four boys and enjoy it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm Home

The surgery went well today. I arrived at 7am and the hospital staff was already waiting for me. As soon as I arrived on the second floor, I was asked if I was Dr. Brown's patient. I was immediately sent for an x-ray where I sat and waited for about 20 minutes until they called my name. I was the only one there so I'm not sure what took so long. I think the day surgery nurse was wondering where I had gone. On a funny note, the nurse told me that I would need to take a pregnancy test. I gave a chuckle and said that was fine but I had just had a baby two weeks ago and there was no possible way I could be pregnant. I had to sign a form declining the pregnancy test. Crazy! I didn't have to wait long. I changed into a lovely hospital gown only to have my milk come pouring in. Fortunately, I brought and ice pack and bottle in order to pump and save the liquid gold.

According to Dr. Brown, the surgery went well. The worst parts were the large i.v. needle going into my arm - larger than any I've ever had, the cold surgical room and recovery room, and the sore throat I now have. The surgery itself appeared to go fine. I go back on Wednesday for another x-ray and then hopefully, they will remove the stint in the office. I was very fortunate to get a good anesthesiologist who told me I could nurse after I had pumped and dumped once. What a blessing it was to have him as my anesthesiologist versus the one on Monday who said I would have to wait 48 hours. As soon as they told me to wake up I made sure to open my eyes and force myself to stay awake. I figured the sooner I woke up the sooner I could go home. Kerry and the boys were able to come and pick me up at about 11am to take me home. I'm now home and trying to take it easy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cat Scan Results and Lithotripsy Scheduled

Last Friday, I had my cat scan. I have always been a picky eater and certain tastes just don't sit well on my taste buds. I had to drink this lovely liquid the night before and morning of and I'm surprised I was able to hold it down. I think it was mainly will power since I didn't want to have to reschedule the cat scan due to not being able to drink the liquid. Anyway, the cat scan showed that I have two kidney stones, both on the left side. The original one is approximately 9mm which is why it's stuck. There is one more still in my kidney as well. The plan is to take care of both of them at the same time.

Tomorrow I am scheduled for a surgery called lithotripsy. It involves breaking up the kidney stones with shock waves or something like that. According to the National Kidney Foundation, this is technically not a surgery. Since I will be receiving a general anesthesia, I think I will count it as a surgery though. I have never been given general anesthesia before and I think I'm more nervous about that than the surgery itself. I have to be at the hospital at 7am and the surgery is scheduled for 8:30am. It should take less than an hour. If everything goes well, I should be going home around lunch time. At some point during the next week, the doctor will take another x-ray to make sure everything looks okay and remove the stint.

Kerry will be staying at home taking care of the boys only because it is my request. I know he would prefer to be at the hospital but I will be more relaxed knowing that he is home taking care of the boys. I will drive myself to the hospital in the morning and then he and the boys we'll come pick me up when I'm done. We'll figure out the car later. Please pray that all goes well tomorrow.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Nana Was Definitely Needed!

Silas and Nana

Last Friday, my Mom arrived here in Florida. It was a relief to finally have her here to take care of us once again. It was great to get to introduce her to her sixth grandson. She held him shortly Friday night before he started crying to be fed. I was starting to wonder if Silas would want to continually be latched on nursing, but once my milk came in, he was content to let Nana hold him for longer periods of time.

Nana and Levi

Having her here to help allowed Kerry to be at work all week and not worry about us. Once again, she cooked meals, did our laundry, played and played with the boys, and listened to me talk. We had a doctor's appointment for Levi and Silas on Tuesday of this week, and I could not have done it on my own.

Caleb and Nana

The boys really loved having her here to swim with them almost everyday. We were sad to see her leave on Wednesday especially since we probably won't see her again until Christmas. I'm sure the time will fly by but it seems like a long time to wait right now. Thanks again for taking care of us.

Nana and Silas

Josiah and Nana

Josiah, Levi, Nana, Silas, and Caleb

Friday, September 12, 2008

Uncle Kent's Visit

Uncle Kent with Silas Kent

Uncle Kent with Levi

Caleb, Silas, and Uncle Kent

Uncle Kent, Silas, Caleb, Levi, Daddy, and Josiah

Uncle Kent, Josiah, Caleb, and Daddy

Last Friday evening my Mom and Uncle Kent arrived. Kerry and Caleb went to pick them up at the airport while Josiah and Levi had already crashed from the busy day. Silas had decided on Friday that he liked eating all day long. I'll write more about my mom's visit later since this post is all about Uncle Kent's visit.

Caleb had been counting the days/hours until Dad's brother came. By the time they arrived home from the airport, Caleb was glued to his Uncle Kent. Josiah and Levi weren't too sure about Uncle Kent first thing in the morning but throughout the day, they started to warm up. Silas, due to hunger, tolerated small doses of being held by anyone except Mommy.

Saturday late morning found Uncle Kent treating the two big boys and Daddy to an air boat ride. They had a blast! They even saw some alligators which made Caleb's day. The boys came home and went swimming. They also showed Uncle Kent how they could ride their dirt bikes. They had one busy day.

It was really special to introduce Silas to Uncle Kent especially since he's named after his Uncle Kent. Unfortunately, time went by quickly and Kent was gone Sunday morning before the boys woke up. Uncle Kent knows he's welcome back anytime. He made such an impression on the boys that I'm sure they'll be talking about his visit for months to come.

Monday, September 08, 2008

First Outing and Saying Goodbye

Silas' first outing was on Friday, September 5th. He wasn't even 48 hours old. He along with Granddaddy accompanied me to my urologist appointment to discuss the next step in dealing with my kidneys. After speaking with Dr. Brown, I have a cat scan scheduled for this coming Friday. I should be gone all of 2 hours round trip and Kerry will be with the boys the entire time, but due to the dye, it is recommended that I not nurse Silas for 24 hours following the cat scan. I'm trying not to get too upset about it but I am. I have loved nursing all of my babies and the idea of going 24 hours seems like torture to me. I know it is the safest and I know I have to get the kidney stones taken care of, but it's a lot to take in at times for me.

Silas on his way home from his first outing

After Granddad took us back home from the doctor, it was time for him to leave for the airport. We took a few more pictures with him and then sent him on his way. It was so nice to have him here for this short period of time. We are looking forward to seeing him at the end of September. He found a great deal on a flight and booked it. Hopefully, all the kidney stuff will be behind us by then and I will feel more like myself.

Me, Silas, and Granddad

Josiah, Me, Levi, Silas, Granddad, and Caleb

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Silas' Birth Story

Monday evening, my Dad arrived for the week. We were very excited because we were finally at peace that Silas could arrive anytime now. On Tuesday, I had an appointment with my obstetrician. I was a little surprised to find that she had scheduled an induction for the next day at 6:00am. I had to go directly over to the hospital to make sure they had all of my information. I didn't get much sleep that night partly over knowing I would be away from my other 3 boys again and partly because this birth wasn't going at all how I had planned or desired.

Wednesday morning, Kerry and I got ready to head to the hospital at 5:30am only to see Caleb coming to us crying at 5:25am because he wanted to go with us. We told him that he needed to be quiet because he could not wake up his brothers or Granddad, put him in our bed, gave him some breakfast, turned on the tv, and told him we loved him. We get in the car and barely turn off of our street to be pulled over by a policeman. Kerry was driving a little too fast down our street. Fortunately, the officer showed grace on Kerry and reminded him to drive the speed limit.

We arrived at the hospital t 6:00am. At 6:45am my iv was in and fluids were started. Antibiotics for the Group B Strep were started at about 7:00am and Pitocin was started at about 7:45am. I was between 3 and 4 cm dilated, 50% effaced. From then until about 11:30am, we sat and waited. It was great to see that our nurse for the day was Amy, the same nurse that monitored Silas throughout my entire surgery and recovery the week before. It made me feel so much better knowing that she was the one that was going to be with us. We had asked when we first arrived if Amy was going to be working that day. We mentioned that she had been with us the week before. I'm just glad God worked it out for her to be with us again.

At 11:30am my 2nd round of antibiotics was given. By that time, the contractions were starting to get a little stronger and I decided that since I was in a hospital and not at home, I was going to use pain medication. Lets just say, I'm glad I've had the idea of natural childbirth in my head for the last couple of months. I asked Amy to check me around noon and I was dilated to a 5, a little disappointing after being there all morning. At 12:15pm Dr. Hearing came in and broke my water. Immediately, I noticed a change in the contractions. At 12:40pm the anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural. I requested something to take the edge off before the epidural and I was given a little Nubain. It didn't take long for the epidural to supposedly be in but I noticed no change whatsoever. The anesthesiologist basically said it could take up to 20 minutes to start working and left the room. So much for that.

At 12:57pm I was dilated to an 8 and the contractions were changing right before my eyes. They weren't as painful as the kidney stone the week before, but they were intense. From then on, the contractions were a blur filled with the strong desire to push. In my previous 3 births with pain meds, I was told when I needed to push. Big difference with this birth. No one needed to tell me when to push and the counting thing made no sense to me this time. My body knew when to push and when it needed to stop. Silas entered this world at 1:24pm after only 16 minutes of pushing, much to the amazement of Dr. Hearing and Amy for such a good size baby. I was impressed that Dr. Hearing stayed in the room pretty much from the time she broke my water until the time Silas arrived.

Now I understand why women are worn out after a natural childbirth. I felt great but was ready to relax and felt like I was constantly trying to catch my breath for the next hour. It was intense work. I'm glad I got to feel everything because I always would have wondered if I could have done it naturally at home. Now I know I could have.
The boys were so excited to meet Silas. I was a little curious as to what Levi would think. He fell in love instantly with Silas and didn't want to share him at all. Caleb and Josiah were also thrilled to meet Silas. I'm so thankful that they have so much love for their newest brother.

We were given a wonderful surprise when the pediatrician came in and commented that he heard we wanted to go home as soon as possible. He was even the on call pediatrician since we will be using a family practitioner. That was one thing I was struggling with about having a hospital birth, knowing I would be away from my other boys for more than one night. What a wonderful gift to know we would get to go home at the 24 hour mark.
Granddaddy had been taking care of the boys all day and then switched places with Kerry. Granddad stayed the night with Silas and I. It gave him some special uninterrupted time with Silas and we got to reminisce about what it was like when my sister and I were born.
Due to his weight, Silas' blood sugar had to be monitored for the first few hours. I enjoyed that we were not interrupted during the night. Silas took to nursing pretty much right away especially in the middle of the night when he became more alert.
The first 24 hours came and went quickly. Dr. Hearing performed his "surgery" on Thursday morning. Our nurse Amy from the day before was with us again on Monday. It was nice to have familiar faces surrounding us for such a short time. Kerry and the boys came up to the hospital around 10:00am. After taking turns loving on Silas, Granddaddy took the boys to lunch and then home. Silas had his first picture taken, hearing test performed, and PKU test administered. It was a relief when 3:00pm came and we were headed home. What a fast, wonderful first 24 hours. It is a joy to have Silas a part of our family. Let the fun really begin!

Silas Kent Mackey

Silas Kent Mackey
born Wednesday, September 3, 2008
at 1:24p.m.
weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces and 21 inches long