Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Missing the Blogging World!

Warning~This post is long and long overdue! I don't have time to put these pics into the story. :)Gracie!


Sleeping on Grammy's lap!

The girl loves her new sister!

Gracie enjoying the pleasures of summer.

Mommy and baby. Check out that neck! She's been tryng to hold her head up since day one.

Karis~ 4 weeks old!

I've just got to update my blog! It's been difficult for me to determine what I should do whenever I have a few moments to myself...laundry? the checkbook? quiet time? sleep? blog? Last week, I told my husband that I felt the bulk of my prayers have been about asking God to help my children sleep, pass gas, or (in the case of my 3 year old) to get potty trained. Later that day, I turned on the radio and heard the speaker say that the number one indicator of your spirituality is the quality of your prayer life. I changed the station!

Karis turned 8 weeks old yesterday. It's so hard to believe that so much time has passed! Karis is such a good baby! She rarely has times of inconsolable crying, and if she does, there's always a reason~ she's hungry, she needs to burp, or she wants her diaper changed. The first few weeks were really difficult, however. I think my easy delivery sort of added to how hard it was once we got home. I wasn't prepared for the days that followed. On top of being totally exhausted and sore from my c-section we had the following 'issues' going on...

Week 1- Karis developed breast-fed jaundice. Her billirubin levels continued to increase at the time that they were to supposed to peak and then decrease. We took her to the hospital everyday for a week for heel pricks. She spent about a week on a billi-blanket, which kept her from having to be hospitalized, and thankfully 'did the trick' to rid her body of dangerously high billirubin levels. During that same time period, I lost feeling in my left index finger and thumb, and had terrible pain in my left shoulder and arm.

Week 2- A couple more trips to the hospital and pediatrician to monitor the jaundice situation. I had my stitches removed, made a visit to the chiropractor, and later developed a UTI

Week 3- Karis was still yellow, but was declared, "Out of danger!" Praise the Lord!!! I had an MRI, and made a visit to the neurologist. I also had a dr's appt because I was still having UTI symptoms. My parents returned to Ohio this week as well. It was so hard to see them leave. I wasn't sure how I was going to function without their help. I cried a lot and often! Gracie would say, "Aw, Mommy! Don't worry. Your mommy and daddy will come back. It'll be ok."

Week 4- I had a second MRI, and then a nerve/muscle study (the latter was not fun at all) I felt like I had been run over by a truck! The good news, however, was that I got good news. All the tests came back within normal ranges, and my arm problems were deemed pregnancy related. Apparently pregnancy hormones, thyroid problems, and diabetes can cause inflamation internally that can cause a disruption of the nerve passages. I do have some problems with C6 and C7 in my neck, but nothing that would require surgery. The Dr. said that the further I got from delivery, the better I'd feel. Sure enough, six weeks to the day that I lost feeling in my hand~it returned to almost normal. Praise the Lord! That was such a relief, a help, and answer to prayer! (FYI~It's really difficult to snap sleepers when you can't stand to touch anything with your index finger and thumb!!!)

Weeks 5-6- The girls and I spent two weeks at my parents house in Ohio. We missed 'daddy', but it was such a blessing to spend time with family. I loved seeing Gracie interact with her cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. She had a blast! She got to go swimming in the "big" pool, play in the tree house, and eat what seemed to be an endless supply of cupcakes! It was nice to always have an extra set of arms to help with Karis so that I could more easily care for Gracie's needs. We had a great time.

Week 7- We had some doubt as to whether or not we'd ever make it back home. Our usual 8 1/2 hour trip turned into 12! Between stopping to nurse Karis and stopping everytime Gracie said, "I have to go potty!" We had a few delays, but eventually made it! On my first day home, flying solo, I felt like I had regressed back to week 4. I called one of my friends late that afternoon for moral support. I told her that I felt like, "One ADAM 12." I NEEDED BACK UP! But, the next day was better, the following even easier. We (the girls and I) actually made it to the swimming pool mid week for a play date with friends. Woo-hoo!

Week 8- That takes us up to the present. The latest development is that Karis is now wanting to nurse every one and a half to two hours. This started last week. She used to nurse every three hours like clockwork, and would go 4-5 hours between feedings at night. Last night, I was up with her 4 times! I don't think this a growth spurt issue. Do you? I'm thinking I may need to supplement. I'm open to suggestions! She's kind of a lazy nurser. She starts off strong and then falls asleep about 7-10 minutes in. After that, she's sort of just nuzzling, not sucking and swallowing....She is growing, however. At her 4 week appt., she was in the 50th percentile for weight and height. I've already had to purge her wardrobe because she's too long for 0-3 month sleepers.

Gracie still loves, loves, loves her baby sister. She makes up songs about her, wants to hold her, and is really quite helpful. She is expert on telling me what she thinks Karis needs. "Karis needs mommy's milk." "Karis needs to burp." etc. Last week, Karis was having a particularly tough time, and I really couldn't figure out what was going on with her. I asked Gracie to pray for her and this is what she said...First she started to sing her little meal time prayer, then she switched gears and said, "Dear Jesus, Thank you for my baby Karis. And Jesus, her tummy hurts. Please heal her and make her tummy feel better, in Jesus' name Amen!" It was such a precious moment!

Today is our 26th Wedding anniversary! Gracie just recently recognized me in our wedding pictures. She couldn't wait to show her daddy what a beautiful princess bride that mommy was. Last night the pictures grabbed her attention again. She asked, "Are Karis and I in your tummy in this picture?" To which I replied, "No Baby, you were in my heart!"


  1. Okay, I about lost it with that last comment from Gracie. Okay.. wipe tears. What a precious blessing -- first, congrats on 26 years! Second, your comment about the radio station and prayer life resonates with me. I'm doing lots of arrow prayers these days -- it's just a season!!! Third, SO grateful that sweet Karis and you are both out of the woods medically. Fourth, we have been supplementing Sienna since the beginning. It gets us about 4-6 hours between feedings.

  2. First of all, I've been following your blog (and many others!) since your transfer and it has been totally inspiring. So, thanks for that! Secondly, I wanted to comment on Karis increasing her nursing-- ABSOLUTELY this is a supply and demand issue. As she gets older, the way that she gets your body to increase its supply of milk is to nurse more often. It takes a few days for your body to respond, but keep up the frequent nursing and you will not only see an increase in your supply, but a decrease in her frequency because she will have your supply to a point where she likes it. The risk with supplementing in the first 12 weeks is that your body is establishing its supply for her entire breastfeeding career (after 12 weeks, all is established and no new milk sacs are made to supply, only what has been created in the first 12). Usually what happens to women who say that their supply "dried up" earlier than they had planned is that somewhere along the line and fairly consistently, they probably fed the baby a bottle (breastmilk or formula) and didn't pump or express during that missed feeding, making the mom's body think that the baby wasn't needing that much milk any more. The mom's body is totally equipped to care for the baby and the baby knows how to work the system!! We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made. You ALWAYS know that the baby is getting enough if they are peeing and if they are gaining weight, so sounds like all is good to me. Sorry for the long response and I hope it makes sense!!
    Be blessed,

  3. Hey friend! So great to hear from you and know that you all are doing well now. Sorry to hear about the medical issues. Newborns are tough! I'm sure it didn't help having your own issues to boot! Karis is simply gorgeous and I love how Gracie is already learning to pray for her. Too sweet! Lastly, I agree withrhe last commentor about the breastfeeding. Hang I there! I hear that by 3-4 months it gets much easier. I have a lazy nurser too, but she is only in the 13th percentile! However, our doctor is happy as long as she is staying on that same growth curve. Try to keep Karis awake during feedings so that she doesn't start "snacking", but know that these growth spurts happen and it all works to increase our supply. Love to you! : )

  4. Happy Anniversary!!! You have beautiful daughters - thanks for the update! :)