Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Meeting Grandma Han

Grandma Han was so excited to meet little Samuel that she forgot to say hi to me! She came in and gave Jack a kiss, then we had her sit down so that she could hold the baby. She couldn't take her eyes off of our adorable baby boy!

I can totally understand that. I mean, he is pretty stinkin' cute!

Monday, March 29, 2010


He's still yellow...

We got another bilirubin test done on Friday, and the results were pretty much the same as before: he's still jaundiced. His levels haven't gone down, but they haven't gone up, either. He isn't in the danger zone, though, so we're not going to torture him with any more blood tests, at least, not for a while. His pediatrician said that she's seen this kind of jaundice last through 2 months, so we should expect him to remain yellow for a while longer, but that it's not going to hurt him.

In the meantime, I'm still praying that his levels start to go down, trying to resist converting all the photos I take of him into black and white, and wondering what the chances are that some of the yellow is actually due to him inheriting his daddy's rich olive skin tone rather than my pasty white-ness! Now that's the kind of yellow I could get on board with! He does look very tan, doesn't he?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I Heart Faces- Dramatic Black & White

This week the theme over at I Heart Faces is Dramatic (or moody) B&W. I immediately thought of this photo I had taken in November 2008 of one of my gorgeous Goddaughters, Serena. I was practicing moody lighting, and this one, even though I adored how the color version totally showed off her gorgeous blue eyes, was just screaming to be in black and white!

Head on over to I Heart Faces to see more Dramatic B&Ws!

My Boys

"I have to hold Samuel now! He needs to watch Chuggington with me!"

And for the record, I tried to get all three of my boys in the picture, but as soon as I pulled out my camera, the biggest of my boys pulled this move:

Thanks, honey!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Two Weeks

Similar, but totally different.

Both equally adorable!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Taste Of Things To Come

Careful, Daddy!

You might dominate now,

but pretty soon..

his sidekick will be bigger...

and they will gang up on you!

It's only a matter of time...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Don't Want To Jinx It, But...

He sleeps! I mean, he's not a champion sleeper or anything, but I'll take it!

This is new territory for us, by the way- Jack never slept, he just cried. My joke is that Sam spends as much time sleeping as Jack spent crying, and vice versa- it's a sad testament to exactly how much Jack cried, too, because even though I'm joking it's not too far off! I keep asking my friends if this is normal, and apparently it is. Who knew that babies could sleep? Not me.

First Bath

Jack was very excited when I told him that Samuel was going to get his very first real bath!

He wanted to watch him get a bath, and he thought it was so funny when Sam cried!

Yes, Sam was very much not a fan of bathtime in the beginning! It was probably my fault, though- it's been a long time since I bathed a newborn! The second bath was much better, as all the baths have been since then. That first time, Sam cried when he was in the tub, and stopped after I got him out.

Since then, Sam doesn't cry when in the tub, but he sure does cry hard when its time to get out! I remember Jack was the same way- he hated his bath the first time, but once mommy figured out what she was doing, he loved it!

Wow, putting him up against my pasty white skin really shows how off his coloring was/is, doesn't it?! My poor, poor yellow baby! Jaundice is definitely not fun, but he is pretty freaking adorable no matter what color he is, right? Right. ;)

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In Which I Discuss My Son's Liver, But Avoid Discussing His Poop (Mostly)

2 days after we got discharged from the hospital, Sam had his first doctor's appointment. Dave and I left Jack with my mom, and brought our newest little man back to the hospital to see the nurse.

Can you guess what the first thing she said was? Aside from commenting on how freaking adorable he is, and asking him if he wanted to pretend to be a nurse and stay there with her, I mean (don't worry I told her that his answer was "No deal!").

Yup, that's exactly right. He's jaundiced. Quite obviously jaundiced. Now, when Jack was a baby I thought he was jaundiced just by looking at him, but the nurse hadn't been concerned. I had remembered Jack being more yellow in color than Sam was. But Jack had been one day older than Sam at his appointment, and apparently that one day means a lot when you're talking about a newborn's liver.

Other than the jaundice, though, everything else was looking good (see how I avoided mentioning his poop, there?), so she sent us down to the lab to get an exact bilirubin count. I was so not looking forward to them having to take his blood! He did great, though- he woke up with a scream when they pricked his heel, but almost immediately fell back to sleep as they filled the vial. I was not thrilled when the nurse called us with the results. His bilirubin level was not in the danger zone, but it had climbed 10 points since we had been discharged from the hospital and it was high enough that we had to start feeding him every 2 hours to help him flush it out. Every 2 hours around the clock. So, for the next 48 hours I watched the clock and fed him as much as I could. He was a very sleepy newborn and it was so hard to get him to wake up to eat! After dealing with a crazy kid like Jack, who never slept and wanted to eat every 1.5-2 hours this was so new to me. I never thought I'd be bummed to have a kid that did not want to eat every 2 hours!

The nurse explained to me that it was normal for their levels to go up, since the liver doesn't start kicking in until they're 6 days old. Until then, the way to break down the bilirubin is lots of feeding and indirect sunlight. 2 days after his appointment we had to have his levels rechecked, and we were pleased to see that his level had gone down, if only slightly. We had to go back 2 days after that to have it checked again, and were thrilled when his level was even lower! We could start feeding him on demand, rather than every 2 hours around the clock!

Two weeks later, though, Sam was still very yellow! I knew that sometimes jaundice tends to linger and I wasn't incredibly concerned, but Sam also has a huge gut. And by huge gut, I mean a huge gut. I mean he looked like he swallowed a cantaloupe! I know that this also isn't terribly uncommon in babies, and I wasn't incredibly worried about this either, but the combination of these two issues was making us nervous! His little liver was obviously not taking care of all that bilirubin, as he was still jaundiced, and what if the swollen belly was due to a liver issue as well?! So I sent an email to his pediatrician, and she immediately had her nurse call us to have us come in that day.

She asked about his stools and was glad when I told her they were normal (couldn't avoid the poop completely, sorry!) She felt his belly and said that his organs all felt normal, but she could feel that he had a lot of gas in his belly! Poor baby! We are pretty sure that the gas has a lot to do with my hyperlactation syndrome, but I've given up milk and cheese for a while, just in case (which absolutely sucks, since my philosophy is that if it doesn't have cheese, it's not worth eating! But I'll do anything for my little boy!). She said that when jaundice lingers, it's due to breastmilk jaundice- they don't really know what breastmilk jaundice is, but babies with that type of jaundice tend to be jaundiced for a lot longer. Just to be safe, she sent us to the lab for some bloodwork, including another bilirubin test, of course. His poor little heels have been poked and bled so many times, I feel so badly for him!

And he had to get poked again the very next day! When Dr. Jen called with the results of the blood tests, she said that they wanted to get another test for anemia because one of the samples had clotted before it even got back for testing! His bilirubin had gone up slightly, but she said that the numbers could account for lab error and she wasn't concerned about that- the numbers are still below the danger zone and they shouldn't go up any more, but she wants us to get him rechecked at the end of this week to be sure. Then she asked if Sam was "red" when he was born. He definitely was! The lactation consultant commented that he was a warm baby and said "no clothes for him!" and Dave had been concerned about his red coloring, too! Apparently this is another factor that contributes to his prolonged jaundice, as Dr. Jen said "Those 'red' babies tend to be jaundiced longer, because they have a lot of extra red blood cells at birth." When the red blood cells die off, the liver gets a little overloaded and has to work hard to keep up. And the results of Sam's anemia test... he's not anemic, but just barely. His anemia level is at the very low end of normal. We don't have to be concerned about this, but this could be another factor contributing to his prolonged jaundice. If he had one or two of these issues, he'd probably be less yellow by now, but since his poor liver has three strikes against it the yellow continues.

So, the saga of Sam's liver continues... Friday is his next blood test- please pray for good results!

Sam wears yellow well, though. Doesn't he?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Home Again

I was so excited to see my Jack Jack that the car ride home didn't go fast enough for me! We pulled into the driveway and the front door opened and Jack came out and immediately I knew that he wasn't feeling well. I asked my mom if he was sick and she said that he wasn't, but I knew that there was just something off about him. I chalked it up to the excitement, but now that I know how sick he was it breaks my heart to look back on it and remember how he was acting! He gave me the biggest hug (and lifted his feet off the ground so that I was forced to pick up all 40 lbs of him- which I wasn't supposed to be doing but I missed him so much I just couldn't help it!), and then he led me into the house and very frantically tried to show me everything that they had done for the Welcome Home party. He very adorably explained to me that "Samuel came out of mommy's tummy and he turned into a people!" He helped Dave, Samuel and me open our gifts, and then showed Samuel his new room, and then was very excited when I asked him if he wanted to hold his baby brother.

He was thrilled by Samuel!

"He has tiny tiny little fingers!"

Luke wasn't quite sure what to make of his new little cousin, but he found him very interesting

He only held Sam for a few minutes and then he wanted to cuddle with me. I wasn't going to say no to that! As I was holding him, though, my mom mentioned that he hadn't eaten much for lunch and he kept saying that he didn't want to eat his dinner, either. I mentioned that I thought he sounded like he had a swollen throat, but no one else thought that. Suddenly, though, I felt this wave of heat radiating up through him and he started running a fever! He was acting weirder and weirder, and then he did something that he never does. He fell asleep! Right there as I was holding him! An hour before bedtime!

And he stayed asleep as I laid him on the couch so that I could get up to feed Sam!

I was so sad to know that he had been sick that whole time and felt so guilty that I hadn't been there to realize it earlier and comfort him! Dave and I were also worried that we had let him hold Sam- what if Sam got sick?! I should have trusted my initial instinct that he was sick!

While I fed Sam, Dave and I discussed what we should do. Usually when Jack is sick, he sleeps in the bed with me and Dave, if he is home, sleeps on the couch. I had to be available for Sam in the middle of the night, though, and I couldn't have sick germs all over me when I was with him! So, when Jack woke up, we put him in our bed and I laid with him until he fell asleep, and then Dave and I switched places. I changed my clothes and scrubbed my arms, face and neck so that I wouldn't transfer anything to Sam, and Sam and I stayed in the nursery that night. I also brought an extra shirt with me so that I could change my shirt any time I went in or out of the nursery!

The next morning, I called my mom and had her come watch Sam while Dave and I took Jack to the doctor. His fever had come down with Motrin, but because we had an not-even-48-hours-old baby in the house, we weren't taking any chances! The receptionist, when I told her about Sam, took pity on us and booked us a hard-to-get same day appointment with Jack's allergist, who just happened to be there, and he confirmed what I had thought- Jack had a throat infection. Apparently the stomach infection that he had the weekend before hadn't gone away, but rather moved up into his throat when he was puking, and our hospital stay must have coincided with the incubation period. The doctor said that it didn't look like he had strep, which would be good for Sam... according to him, Sam would have had my antibodies to fight it if it were a virus, but not if it were bacterial. I would have thought that it would be the other way around! He did a throat culture to be sure, but said that we should keep the boys separate until we got the results, just in case. That made me so sad! Here we had built up the fact that Jack was going to be a big brother, and that little Samuel was coming home, and now Jack couldn't even be anywhere near him?! And how in the world were we going to avoid creating feelings of resentment towards Sam if Jack needed me, but I had to be with Samuel?! I was going to have to get really good at juggling the boys really fast, and really diligent about germ control, too!

As we drove home we talked to Jack about the "sick rules". We couldn't very well confine Jack to his room, so we confined Samuel to his and told Jack that he couldn't go in Sam's room until the doctor told us that he was all better. It was really hard for me to sit in Sam's room and nurse him while Jack stood in the doorway asking me to play with him! I couldn't wait until he was better so we could all sit together and play! Jack couldn't either, I knew that he was so curious about Samuel and that he was so anxious to love on him... he kept trying to convince me that he wasn't sick anymore because he wanted to come in and see his brother! And unfortunately, Jack's fever kept coming back over the next few days, so we knew that we definitely should wait for the doctor's okay rather than jumping the gun and letting them be close to each other before then.

Finally, Tuesday morning when I woke up and left the nursery to check on Dave and Jack, Jack ran up to me and told me "The doctor said I not sick anymore!" I looked at Dave for confirmation, and he said that he had just gotten off the phone with the doctor and he said that Jack's culture was negative for strep and it would be okay to let him around Samuel! Hooray! I gave Jack a huge kiss and a hug and told him that I was so happy that he wasn't sick anymore, and he said "And now I get to go in Samuel's room!" and he ran right past me and climbed on the bed to look into Samuel's crib!

"Oh, look at him, he's so cute!"

I was so beyond thrilled that my boys could finally "play" together and that Jack could finally get to experience being a big brother! Jack adores Samuel, and he is always asking if he can hold him, always giving him kisses and hugs and telling me what Samuel is doing nearly every minute of the day! "I heard Samuel sneeze!" and "Samuel is talking to me! He says, 'Hi big brother!'" and "Momma, you have to wake Samuel up so that he can watch Chuggington with me!"

He is the best big brother, EVER!

Monday, March 22, 2010

I Heart Faces- Angles

This week, the theme over at I Heart Faces is Angles. Basically they are looking for photos taken from a unique angle- above, below, sideways... pretty much anything except for photos taken from straight-on. It took me a little while to decide on a photo to enter this week, but I finally settled on one that brought me back to the beginning... this photo is from my very first attempt at Maternity Shots. Actually, it's from my very first attempt at pretending to be a photographer at all! Ang and I had a lot of fun coming up with fun shots, and this one, taken from a fun behind-the-door angle, was one of our favorites!

Don't forget to head on over to I Heart Faces to see all the fun, creative angles people are coming up with!