Monday, August 29, 2011

A hodge-podge of thoughts.

I am frustrated with myself for letting so many days go by without writing.  Today I have been adding little posts to try and catch up... and provide an online diary of sorts.  As I have said, it is my goal to somehow use words to capture and freeze a moment or moments in time so when I am older I can go back and re-visit my life as it was.  I think any parent with small children, or children in general understands how fast time goes.  Max went from attempting to walk not even a month ago to now solely tottle-ing around the house.  He looks like a little wind up doll with his arms flared out trying to hold his balance.  We all cringe and hold our breath each time he falls and hope he comes up smiling.  The few small bruises on his head re-mind us of the times he needed hugs and kisses to make the fall go away. 

The girls are home!  They arrived safe and sound late on Tuesday night the 23rd.  I didn't realize that I was holding my breath until shortly after we pulled away from the airport and I realized I was letting out a huge exhale.  It was a bittersweet happiness though because I felt like I was leaving something behind.  I caught myself looking behind Sage and Saxton expecting a miracle, expecting to see Savannah and Sam.  I miss them so much.  This past Friday Kendra (Jerry's sister-in-law) came to pick up Tyler, my future nephew.  He had spent the night Thursday, we took him to Wild Waves.  I like having him around... he is between Savannah and Sam in age and it makes me smile to have his energy.  Anyway, Kendra brought me some stuff we had left at the lake (Minnesota) and in the bag were Savannah's hair clips.  I could hardly make it into the house before I burst into tears.  Jerry and I were heading to the store with the kids and I held her little clip in my hand the whole way.  We thankfully caught her on the phone and I was able to hear her sweet voice.  Yesterday I could hear our neighbor Ty playing basketball.  I had to go inside because I knew that if Sam was here he would probably be down there playing... these little thoughts happen at least once a day and I have to swallow down my tears.

I was able to talk to Savannah and Sam today.  Sam sounded so cute describing his new shoes and talking in his little ten year old way.  He is so sweet and I love how simple life sounds through his eyes.  I know he is happy to be near his cousins and get to play with them.  They are all boys and his age.  This makes me happy, as does the kind things my ex's family says to the kids about me.  Sage and Saxton came home with kind messages from several of my ex's family.  I really appreciated that.  They were there in the final weeks of our relationship and I think they knew how hard things were.  I am thankful for any positive things they bring to my children.  I can't battle what comes out of my ex's mouth, but kids don't need to hear negativity, especially about their parents.  I remember learning in my divorce classes the simple lesson that your kids are half you and half of them and if you insult each other, you are insulting part of your child. 

It's stressful enough being away from them.  I constantly think and worry about them and the thing I miss the most is the simple act of hugging them, kissing them and having them physically near.  Jerry and I are getting married Thanksgiving weekend and I am hoping we can have a civilized conversation concerning the kids being here for it.  Savannah and Sam are both excited and I know they want to be here.  In fact Savannah wrote a beautiful not to Jerry for his birthday, I want to share it with you.  It shows what a wonderful daughter I have and a wonderful fiance:

     "Ha.  Your 40 Jerry!  Anyway Happy Birthday (:  I wanted to tell you that you are the best person for my mom... and I'm very happy you guys are engaged!  :D  I also wanted to say thank you for everything you  do for our family and my mom (:  you treat my mommy so well... and to me that makes me very happy (: cause she's my best friend and seeing her as happy as she is shows me that your the perfect guy (:  you are so kind to me and my brothers and my sisters!  I love that! (:  Thanks for everything Jerry and I'm overly excited for you and my mom to get married!  Happy Birthday (: Love Savy (:"

 It is horrible and painful to go through a divorce, for the adults, but also the children.  The most important thing is to not project your anger and hurt on the most beautiful things to come from that broken relationship, your children.  They thrive from positive energy and love, not negativity and hate.  My daughter wrote these beautiful words of love and they keep me going.  Just as we want nothing more than to see them happy, they need to see us happy as well.  It allows them a model to follow and learn from.  Am I perfect? NO!  Absolutely not. If I thought so, that would be a problem.  In fact the point of this blog is to file and examine my life.  What makes it good, what makes it bad.  One thing that makes it wonderful is my babies... and I only hope my path to them, my path through my ex can get better.

August third… a walk at Chambers

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Brayden drinks... Puppy drinks!
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August first 2011… a mini date

Lisa's Phone 1907Max and I headed to Chambers to walk with puppy and enjoy our beautiful weather.  I love the “Rainy Washington” comments… yes it ALWAYS rains… so don’t move here!  Ha!  I love Chambers… it is my special place to go to think and unwind.  The ironic thing is I fell in love with it on a cold, misty day in November and love it no matter the weather.

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Max watching puppy play in the water...

Jerry and I decided on a mini date to ride the water taxi, $3.50 across to seattle, grab some halibut and head back for a walk and ice cream at Alki beach.  It’s funny, but we almost missed our boat back from Seattle, but I guess my sharp sales skills prevailed and they reversed the boat for us…
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Max and the gull...
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Dad making Max laugh after our Alki beach walk...

We found our location… actually our location found us!

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Jerry, Max and I took Puppy to the dog park at Chamber's Bay and for a little walk.  We wandered down to our favorite spot, this bridge that goes out over the railroad tracks and down to the beach.  I stood at the end of the bridge and had an epiphany!  This is where we are going to be wed!  I love this spot, on this particular evening we watched seals play about and the sun set.  Gorgeous and all for a $50 donation to the parks department.  It might be cold that day and even rain on us... but no worries, we'll still wind up married!
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‎Tuesday, ‎August ‎16, ‎2011, ‏‎8:16:32 PM

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Max says hello to the seals!

A Sunday search to get married

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Lisa's Phone 2297Lisa's Phone 2293When I got back to Washington on the 13th of August Jerry and I had a job to do… find a location to get married.  We set off the next day to search for the perfect spot.  We drove all over from Brown’s Point to Gig Harbor.  We had lunch at this little place in gig harbor and shared some clam chowder with Max.  I loved spending the day near the water… but we realized that we needed to keep things simple.  I am a stay at home mom and money is tight and so we put the topic on hold for the ceremony, but did decide that we could hold the reception at our house.  Jerry said something really cool some time back, it isn’t about the symbolism behind the day, for example a fancy dress or venue, but instead the substance behind the vows… I agree.  I did the big church wedding with the white dress and the long train and we all know how that turned out… this time is different.  This time is substance.

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A big ol' jellyfish at Gig Harbor.
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Max tottles... I love it!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The gift of life, family and friends.

My sister and I are sitting outside in the quiet of night listening to tunes and smiling over the pictures from her camera.  I laugh and beg her not to post some that she has of me.  If I am going to live on forever in a photo, it needs to be halfway decent.  She begged me to let her post one goofy one, okay Colleen, one.  It made me laugh, why be greedy with it? 

I am in New Mexico right now, visiting my family and working at Garden Critters.  I arrived last Thursday night, just in time for my Dad's surprise 65th birthday party.  I am here through Sunday and then I head back to Washington to spend time with Jerry and wait for the littles to come home.

It feels like forever since we said good-bye to them at the airport.  I have had good days and bad.  Any good days were thanks to Jerry.  We decided to make the most of our "us" time and play a little.  We got a sitter one night and went to our favorite 21 and over restaurant that over looks the sound.  We always make sure to scope out a table right up against the glass and never tire of the view. 

Every other night we would take Max and head out on an adventure. (The nights we had Brayden he was super content to play outside with his friends, once we took him and our little neighbor Sofia to Chambers to the dog park and the beach... it was nice to have a few littles around.) However on our Max only nights we would take advantage of the opportunity to communicate one on one... as for those who don't know, Max isn't talking yet.  Anyway, one night we went to Redondo beach after having some fabulous authentic Mexican food.  We walked along the water and talked and laughed.  I could feel the tension and sadness fade as the night wore on.  Nature has always had this affect on me and something about the constant ebb and flow of the tide relaxes me and quietly reminds me that somethings are constant and forever.

We went to Alki beach on two different occasions.  The first time we lucked out at Salty's and snagged probably the best table in the restaurant and had an awesome view of downtown Seattle and the water.  Sailboats floated by and Max was an angel making our night just about perfect.  We then headed to Alki beach to walk along the water and treat ourselves to ice cream.  We measured it on the second trip and figured we were getting a good walk in and earned our desert.  We missed the water taxi on the first go round, so the the next time we went we took it over to Seattle to get some dinner, fresh halibut.  Yummy.  On the way back I had to smile a special smile to get the boat to come back as we missed it by a minute.  Jerry laughed when he saw it pull away, but reverse and come back for us.  I reminded him I have special skills.  We walked on the beach later that night and I walked in the water for awhile.  I thought about the kids and told myself I would make sure to bring them back before the end of summer to swim.  They really enjoyed it here last year.

The Sunday before I left we took Max to the movies.  We have taken him in the past, but we realized that this was the last non-Disney movie we would be able to take him to for awhile.  I spent half the movie walking with him on the side-isle trying to listen to the movie and breastfeed him while standing up.  He finally fell asleep and I was able to sit back down with Jerry and finish the movie, Crazy, Stupid, Love.  I think it was a pretty good, but maybe ask someone else for sure.

I miss my Jerry.  I love being with my family, and I miss them too when I am away, but right now the happiness that I feel is slightly over shadowed by the fact the Jerry and most of my littles are not here.  Isn't that life?  At least it is mine.  I have family and friends scattered across the country and I am always missing someone, but how I miss Jerry is different, it is the kind of feeling of missing your partner, side-kick, best friend. 

He makes me smile.  The other night he didn't have Brayden so he decided to spend his night of freedom by going to Old Navy.  Thanks to Kendra and Dave, Brayden is pretty set on school clothes, but he needed jeans.  So Jerry had gotten an email about a jean sale and headed to check things out.  But the cute part was he didn't just buy Brayden jeans, he bought the girls some as well.  He even taught me something new about sizing, I learned what slim meant.  The sales person had asked him to describe Saxton and he said she was eight, but little, so she helped him buy eight slim, the length of an eight year old, with the waist of a seven year old.  I didn't know that, and neither did he, but the fact of how we learned it will forever make me grin.

One blessing of this trip though is that I was able to be here for my Dad's surprise party.  It was awesome!  There were quite a few people that showed and we surprised him by standing out in the street with balloons so when he pulled up there we all were.  He was super surprised which made it even better.  I was happy for my mom because she was so excited and worked so hard to get everything ready... she deserved to have it work.  And it did.  A night full of good food, drinks and karyoke.  My friends Tushar and Becky were even ablet to make it with their little, TJ, and that led to much needed girl talk. 

I am so grateful I was able to make it.  Life is short and when you have the opportunity to celebrate someone special, you should take it.  Dave has been there for my family and I for a third of my life now.  In fact my mom and him just celebrated their twelth anniversary.  He was there in Chicago when Savannah was just a few days old and has been there ever since whenever I have needed him.  Even if he hasn't been able to be there physically, he has always been their emotionally.  Dave has been a dad for my siblings and I, with the most remarkable part being that even though he didn't have to, he chose to.  He chose to be a part of our crazy, drama filled lives, God bless him. 

Life is short.  It is a present that each of us is given and it is up to us how we use it.  My sister Kathleen and my brother-in-law have been reminded of this in the hardest form, Ben's grandpa Sam is in the final days of his life.  He is fully aware of what is happening to him and I think that is what makes it the hardest.  But he is surounded by love.  Kathleen and Ben have been loving him and helping him to let go and say good-bye.  I can tell it is breaking my sister's heart, but she doesn't waiver from her husband's side and continues to support him and his family.  This is love.  I know Grandpa Sam feels it and it will make his journey home a happy one.

Life is precious and wonderful and it scares me at how fragile it it.  I don't ever want to take my life or the lives of those I love for granted.  I have been blessed with five beautiful children and now a sixth one of the heart.  I have been riding a roller coaster for years and I know that while some days will be difficult, others will be beautiful.  But the most important part is that I remember that every day is a gift. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Max turns one.

I started writing this on July 27th... my way to express my love and the story of how my precious little Max came to enter this world.

 My littlest one turned one today.  I can not believe how fast the last year has gone.  It sounds so cliche, but it honestly feels like yesterday that he was born.  Now he is a healthy, cruising, babbling little man, however a year ago was a different story.  Last year he was in the NICU and hooked up to oxygen and what seemed like a hundred tubes.  I remember walking from my room to go see him and I wished that a few days would go by and he would be better and I could hold him.  I should have been  careful what I wished for because now a whole year has flown by.

For those of you who don't know I had a stressful pregnancy health wise.  I had contractions and other health problems.  But what did me in was my blood pressure.  On July 16th I woke up and felt funny.  I didn't think much of it and I got ready to head to the doctor for a scheduled appointment.  However, on the way to the doctor I started to get nervous because the numbers on the dashboard were blurry, in fact, anything I focused on was blurry.  I wasn't surprised when the nurse took my blood pressure and it read 156 over 99.  After consulting  amongst themselves, my doctors sent me over to the hospital.

I called Jerry at work in tears.  He felt awful because he always went with me to my appointments, but wasn't able to that particular day.  So he left work, went home to grab a few things and headed up to the hospital.  Little did he know that Tacoma General would be his home and mine for the next seventeen days. 

God bless Jerry.  If I didn't love him completely before this time in our lives, I did after.  He spent 14 of the 17 days by my side and sleeping in the hospital chair bed.  These beds are uncomfortable for a nap, let alone two weeks of full night sleeping.  Not to mention all the beeping and interruptions that went on during the night when they checked the baby by putting me on the monitor, checked my vitals, my blood pressure.  On the nights I was having contractions they were in even more often.  Finally, the room was cold, it was actually very similar to sleeping in a freezer. I was so hot and wanted the room as cool as possible.  In fact one of the nurses showed Jerry how to tweak the thermostat to make it even colder.  While I slept in shorts and a tank top, Jerry wore pj pants and he began to cocoon himself in hospital blankets.  Needless to say the poor guy was severely sleep deprived before the baby was even born. 

Then there was me.  I was a mess!  The kids were gone so I was worried about them and then there was my constant worry concerning Max.  The most stressful thing was that they didn't know what to do with me, keep me or send me home.  They went back and forth and back and forth.  I was hospitalized on the 16th a Friday.  I had to do a 24 hour urine, which is where you save every drop of your pee in a bucket.  Nice.  Then on Monday the 19th they did an amnio to see the maturity of his lungs.  I was super nervous before the procedure so Jerry showed me pictures of the lake and held my hand, and in the end it wasn't so bad.  Then the waiting game started... would they deliver or not.  We had already been through this since Friday, when they told us they might deliver that day. 

So we waited.  The twentieth came, Dave's birthday, the twenty-first, Jerry's parent's anniversary.  No decision had been made.  Then the tests came back and his lungs were not mature so we waited some more.  And they hemmed and hawed about keeping me or sending me home on bed rest.  This made me nervous because we were a ways from the hospital.  They kept me and I got a very bad case of cabin fever.  I was getting depressed about being in the hospital and worrying on top of that.  I worried about everything, the kids, Jerry, the baby and round and round.  And it didn't help that the weather was so nice outside, perfect actually.  Everyday brought blue skies and mid seventies.  Gorgeous, but not from a hospital bed.

I was also having head aches and sensitivity to light.  So no T.V. and very little reading.  I couldn't have the curtains open at times and spent hours with my head under the pillow.  This was all de ja vu from my pregnancy with Saxton, where I also spent over a week in the hospital with pre-eclamsia.  She was born early and had to be put on a ventilator.  The heartbreak and heartache that I felt with her still resonated in me.  I couldn't believe almost seven years later to the date I was in the same boat.  New baby, old worry, old pain. 

Finally they told me I could go outside.  Jerry took me on one of my soon to be many wheelchair rides.  What fun.  He would take me outside and we would go by the children's hospital to sit in the garden or by the fountain. Sometimes we would go on rides exploring the inside of the hospital, we would frequent the post partum halls imagining what it would be like for us when our baby was born.  These outings saved my sanity.  The fresh air and release from the hospital cell gave me the ability to keep going, and so did my baby.  I wanted nothing more to bring a healthy new little one into the world. 

Another helpful part of this journey were those that visited and called.  Max's Aunt Kendra and Uncle Dave and Cousin Tyler came to visit me, bring me some flowers for my room.  Kendra's mom came and so did little Brayden, Jerry's son.  He only came a couple of times, but it was nice to have his smile in the room and little antics to keep me laughing.  My mom called all the time, as did my sisters and friends.  For those of you who said prayers and made me laugh, thank you.  I love you. 

So I obsessed over the monitor.  Every time they hooked me up I watched the numbers like a hawk and listened to his heartbeat like it was the most gorgeous symphony in the world.  I loved this time of day and night when I was given the gift of assurance that he was okay.  I would tape the sounds of his heartbeat and movements.  I loved nothing more in the world than to know my baby was okay.  My favorite sounds were his hick-ups, which he had often.  Even the nurses got a kick out of his hick em-ups and out of his kicks.  He often would kick the monitor off my belly.  He had amazingly strong legs for such a little guy.  Hilarious.

Another facinating thing about little Max was his ability to move.  When we had the Amnio, the ultrasound showed him as breech, then the next showed him as a completely different form of breech.  This finding led to a new predicament, that if Max didn't move then I would have to have a c-section.  At first this made me nervous, but as the days wore on I didn't care how he came out, I was more concerned that he came out healthy.  In the end on the morning the Doctor called and said let's do this, her team came in and did another ultrasound and low and behold, he had flipped again and was head down.  Good boy!
My Grandpa's Rosary.  I kept this with me the majority of my pregnancy.  When Max was born, we hung it on his bed.
On Monday the 26th my Doctor finally called and said it was time.  I had been dealing with some intense dizziness and weird headaches all weekend and she felt that it was better to deliver him than wait any longer.  Things kicked into high gear and they moved us over to L&D where I started to panic and question the decision.  Just earlier that morning I had decided that if they were going to wait another week or so that I wanted to ask to go home on bed rest.  Now they were moving to deliver.  This had been such a roller coaster and I was physically and emotionally exhausted.  Jerry took this moment to give me a pep talk.  He is an excellent motivator and "coach" and his words did a lot to get me in the right mindset to do this.

Another person who was a big help was the head nurse.  She specialized in pre-eclamsia and had a lot of good to say concerning their choice to deliver.  She also over-rode the decision to keep me in bed considering I was going to be on Magnesium.  I wanted to labor naturally and knew I was going to need to be able to move about.  She respected that and gave the okay that as long as I felt able, I could get out of bed. 

Magnesium.  For those of you who have had this during childbirth you know that it is equivalent to hell. They use it to keep blood-pressure under wraps.  It is also used to prevent labor, so it hinders progress for one, but the worst part is that it makes you feel awful and it gave me extraordinary migraines.  In fact my head-aches were so bad that even though I was contracting every two to three minutes all night long, without an epidural... the headaches hurt worse than my contractions.  They were a very negative distraction to my labor pain.  Damn Magnesium!  My one saving grace was that later Monday night they let me get in the bath.  Ohhhh that felt sooooo good!  I loved it in there!!!

The other negative is that I had to stay on Magnesium for 24 hours to make sure my blood pressure was okay.  This prevented me from being able to go to the NICU after Max was born without a major escort.  I counted down the minutes until they took it off.

My labor started Monday afternoon and ended with the birth of my son Max at 10:06 am Tuesday morning.  At around 9 am after a night of contractions every two to three minutes a had a partial Placenta abruptio.  My doctor told me I was only three (I had been told for hours I was a four so this was very dis-heartening) and so she went ahead and broke my water.  Shortly after, I felt super light-headed and began throwing up (good ol' Jerry got me the trash can in time and I don't think took too much of the blow).  I was hooked up to so many things and everything went so fast that my Doctor almost missed the delivery.  She had broke my water at around 9:30 and was headed back to the office when they told her I was a ten.  When I found out I was only at three and that there was a possibility of a C-section, I asked for an epidural.  (If I hadn't had one in and they did an emergency c-section, because of my abruptio, I would have had to be put under and I would have missed the birth.)  However the epidural was a mute point and put in and removed without me ever receiving any pain relief because Max was born before they could administer any medicine.

I will never forget the moment just before he was born.  I knew he was coming fast (a benefit to natural labor... you feel EVERYTHING) and that the staff wasn't ready.  I remember a moment when everything went quiet in my mind, I couldn't really hear all the yelling and commotion as they panicked and called everyone, including the NICU staff to my room.  All I was worried about was blowing out my contractions and not pushing until they were ready... the doctor who actually performed my delivery looked

 at me and blew... we were a team, both working together to deliver Max safely. 

Jerry was there trying to do what he could to help.  I had handed him the video camera and camera and it's funny, the video films the table because he was understandably focused elsewhere.  He was a phenomenal coach during the whole thing and I'm not surprised.  From the moment that we found out we were pregnant he never left my side, never wavered, never quit supporting me.  He was a positive light during the entire pregnancy, hospitalization and delivery and I will always be grateful.  I love you.

So after just a few pushes, Max was out, all 15 lbs 15 oz of him.  I joke that he would have been 6 lbs if he hadn't peed on me twice.  I was able to hold him for a few moments on my tummy before they whisked him away.  He did okay for a few moments and then started to turn blue.  They worked on him for a few minutes in the room and then they took him to the NICU.  That was the the  toughest moment for me.  I had flashbacks of when Saxton was born and I knew what I was in for.  My heart broke and I immediately wanted him back in his belly home, where just minutes before, he had been safe.  For any mother, parent who has had a baby taken away during delivery, they know, it is one of the hardest most heartbreaking and heart wrenching moments in your life.  I could see the emotion on Jerry's face and I just wanted to jump off the bed and hug him. 

The next few hours were painful.  I had some complications and they delayed allowing Jerry to come see Max.  But they finally let him go and I was left alone for the first time in a few days.  I just cried and willed the minutes to go more quickly so that the time would come when I could see my son.  It finally did and on the way we called the baby line and the chimes went off to announce Max's arrival.  Jerry and I smiled when we heard them because it wasn't the first time.  They had went off several times a day during our stay, however, this time was different, this time it was our baby.

First Family Picture.  Tuesday, ‎July ‎27, ‎2010, ‏‎10:22:54 PM
The next several hours creeped by.  I only saw him for a brief moment and then they took me to my room.  Jerry was able to go peek on him, but other than another brief visit that night, I hardly saw him the first 24 hours of his life.  As I mentioned I was on Magnesium and not allowed to be up and about.  But as soon as I was IV free I was off to the races.  I didn't leave Max's side except to eat and nap (Jerry made me sleep.)  We held him and looked at him and willed him to get better.  He was on Oxygen and tubes covered his tiny body.  These first few days were bittersweet.  He was here and doing well, but things hadn't gone as hoped or expected.  Instead of nursing him right away I was hooked up to a breast pump.  We were not able to hold him for some time which was hard. 

‎Wednesday, ‎July ‎28, ‎2010, ‏‎1:23:24 PM

‎Dad Finally gets to hold Max.  Thursday, ‎July ‎29, ‎2010, ‏‎8:29:52 AM
The first time I held him with all of his stuff on was hard.  It was a struggle to maneuver him and not disrupt all the equipment that was attached to him.  He also had an IV so that made us very nervous to not hurt his little arm, but the important thing was to let him know we were there.  Holding him was helpful to all involved.  As they took off his breathing equipment I was able to try and nurse him.  This was wonderful. Then, thankfully on Thursday the 29th, they took off the oxygen and he graduated to the Extended Care Nursery.  This was exciting and the next step to freedom.  We had more flexibilty to hold him there and care for him, in fact this was where he received his first bath.
Thursday, ‎July ‎29, ‎2010, ‏‎7:44:14 PM
We were able to stay in a room near Max on Thursday night.  I was able to stay close and go to nurse him.  This new couch-bed was an upgrade from the chair-bed Jerry slept in.

Over the next day we watched his numbers, got a little discouraged when he was put under the lights to deal with jaundice, and encouraged him to eat.  He needed to gain weight and prove he was nursing well to go home.  As the tubes slowly came off we were able to finally get a real glimpse of our new little creation. 

On Friday the 30th, I left the hospital for the first time in two weeks.  It felt very strange and difficult to get in the car and drive away from our little man.  The one thing that made it bearable was where we were heading.  My mom and the girls were flying in and we were going to get them.  Also it was Saxton's seventh birthday and I was super anxious to hug and kiss and love on my two baby girls who had been at their dad's for the month of July (I had the month of June last summer.)  I remember that at the airport I had to be pushed in a wheelchair.  My legs were extremely swollen and I was in pretty bad shape physically, but I was on cloud nine emotionally knowing that my mom and the girls were coming and that Max was doing much better. 

After we gathered them we headed back to the hospital so the girls and my mom could meet Max.  I think it is safe to say that for them as it had been for us it was love at first sight. 
The birthday girl gets to meet her new baby brother.  She said he was the best present!
Sage meets Max!  She was very excited and it was very cool to see her reaction to him.

My mom is able to meet her newest grandson!  Thanks mom for coming to help!!!
Friday night I went home with the kids and my mom after we took Saxton for a birthday dinner.  My neighbors came to say hello and congratulations.  I was sad at having to leave Max, but was so happy to have the girls home.  I loved being able to tuck them in their beds again.

On Saturday my mom stayed with the girls while Jerry and I went to see Max.  He was doing well and him and I were going to be moved to a rooming-in setting where we would I would stay with him overnight and if all went well we were going home Sunday.  We were both so excited.  After Jerry got us settled and spent some time with Max he went home to get my mom, the girls and Brayden for a visit.  This was the first time Brayden would see Max.  It was very cool to introduce him to his big brother and for the girls and my mom to get to see him without his IV and glasses on.  One of the funniest memories I have was when we introduced Brayden to breast feeding.  We explained that was how Max was fed.  I will never forget him pointing out his two hands and asking in a very serious way, "so is there food on one side and milk on the other?"  Very cute.  The nurse also did an excellent job of explaining how fragile he was and that they needed to be very careful with him.  All three listened very close and over the next several weeks did an excellent job of caring for their new brother. 

Saturday night was the first time that it was just Max and I and to be honest I was scared.  Here was this tiny creature that seemed so fragile.  He had relied on me to care for him while he lived in my belly home and now after quite a rough ride it was him and I again.  After everyone left I just held him.  The nurses still came to check on him and draw his blood, but we were left to get to know each other.  I also remember that my best friend Lauri called.  I told her just a short time ago that her phone call helped to ease my nervousness... as we chatted away I relaxed with my newborn and was actually able to get some sleep when he slept.  I am not going to lie and say I didn't hover over him most of the night, checking and re-checking to make sure he was okay, but we got through it.

On Sunday Jerry came just after breakfast and we waited for Max to get his circumcision.  Our nurse came and went over a few last minute things with us and had us watch a required video on baby CPR and then that was it.  He was all ours.  I won't forget walking with him through the familiar halls that I walked and had wheel-chair rides in during my stay and heading to the valet to our car.  All the young men came to say good-bye and congratulations.  After seventeen days they knew us, and especially Jerry well.  And we were off!  I sat in the back with Max and smiled the whole way home.  It had been quite a journey, months of worrying and taking special care to grow this tiny person and now here he was, all ready to head home and start his life.
The neighbors, my mom and the kids decorated for us! 
‎Sunday, ‎August ‎01, ‎2010, ‏‎3:04:04 PM  Finally home!

Max's One year monthly timeline:
Six days old
One Month Old
Two Months Old

Three Months Old

Four Months Old
Five Months Old
Six Months!!!
Seven Months Old!!
Eight Months Old!
Nine Months Old!
Ten Months Old!
Eleven Months Old!

Max is a year!!! We Love You!!!