31 March, 2014


A few weeks ago (Will had just turned three weeks old), I felt uneasy. Will had developed a little cough and I was worried. Because I'm a cautious momma (read: worry-wart) I made an appointment at his pediatrician's office. She proclaimed him healthy, but scheduled an ultrasound to make sure that the muscles in his stomach had developed properly (with the coughing he was spitting up a whole lot). The ultrasound showed that everything was fine, so we went home with instructions to keep him close to our humidifier and keep him propped up because this was most likely a case of reflux.

The next day he seemed a little better, but I still felt this nagging. I called my mom and told her that I couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. She told me to listen to my feelings; in her experience, a mother's feelings are usually more indicative than any test.

The next day I knew I needed to take him in again. So we did. His cough was worse, his little body shook so hard with each one that it just about broke my heart. After the nurse took his vitals and monitored his oxygen saturation, she called in the doctor right away and then it all just went crazy. He tested positive for RSV, which, in older kids and adults is nothing but a bad cold. In a baby, though, especially a newborn, their little airways are so teensy and their lungs are so new that RSV quickly can become serious. 

The doctor gave him a nebulizer treatment and listened to his lungs for a while and then told us to go home and wait for a call from the children's hospital in the city. As soon as a bed opened up, Will would be admitted.

We drove home and I felt this (somewhat sick?) sense of gratification. I had known something was wrong. I was right. I don't know, maybe it was because it was the first time I've felt my motherly instincts really kick in. Anyway, it was weird.

Got home, turned on Frozen for the kids, packed a bag and ate half of a bag of dark chocolate chips. 'Cause that's how I roll. 

That afternoon we arrived at the hospital and our little boy was worse than ever. He coughed and coughed and then would just lie limp. It was so hard to watch. 

Steven got Will and I situated in our room and then left to pick up our other kids from a friend's house and take them home for the night. 

I struggle with not tucking my kids in at night. It drives Steven crazy sometimes… when we get a babysitter I have to make sure I've tucked them in before we leave. OCD? Needless to say, that first night, I really missed my kids and my husband. I held Will as much as I could for comfort but he needed to be on the crib to be treated and monitored. That was hard too.

Will's oxygen levels kept setting off the alarm (I mean, like every ten minutes) and eventually my body figured out how to sleep amidst the BEEP BEEP, opening and shutting door, parade of sweet nurses and worried residents who came in at each alarm. 

I quickly fell in love with our nurses. My heck, nurses make all the difference between a good experience and a bad one. We had the best nurses ever and I loved the way they loved Will. It was so comforting to watch their experience help my baby when there was little to nothing I could do for him. 

We were in the hospital for five days. The days consisted of lots of beeping, lots of respiratory therapy and nebulizer treatments, lots of me standing next to his crib trying to help him into positions that would make it easier to breathe, and lots and lots of snuggles. I feel like I got to know my little dude during these five days. It was nice, in a way, to have time alone with him. He had all of my attention, all the time. Pretty sure the nurses think I'm agoraphobic because I barely left the room (the truth was, I knew I'd get lost if I tried to go anywhere), but mostly I didn't want Will to be alone. 

It meant so much to me that when he was so uncomfortable and sad and probably wondering why he'd signed up for mortality, nursing and holding him would calm him down and help him sleep.

I can safely say that it was a sad, sweet, trying and ultimately humbling experience. 

Willobee, we love you. Thanks for being a fighter. 

03 March, 2014

The Three of You

Dear kiddos,

When I look at you, really look at you, like when I'm snapping photos and looking through a lens into your beautiful eyes, I remember how loved you are. I remember how much I love you and how much Daddy loves you, but I also remember how much your Heavenly parents love you. It's more than I can understand, which is weird because I love you so much that if I think about it too hard, my heart starts to ache with the depth of it. It seems like there can't be a deeper love than what I feel for you. But there is. And it's because you are wonderful, brilliant, kind, compassionate children who will never be forgotten or ignored by your Heavenly Father who will love you no matter what you do or think or say.

When you always remember that love and you truly believe that everyone around you is loved with the same depth that you are loved, you will live up who you are. You will represent yourself as a child of God because you will be kind and forgiving.

I have so many hopes for you - hopes for long healthy lives and true loves and adventures and experiences, but when it comes down to it, my most important hopes for you can be summed up in a few sentences. 

I hope that you'll be best friends, no matter what stage of life you're in.

I hope that you'll love each others' spouses, truly.

I hope that you'll have lots of inside jokes and that you'll laugh at inappropriate times and places together because you can't not laugh when you're together and supposed to be solemn.

I hope you'll talk about your feelings and experiences. I hope you'll talk about important things.

I hope you'll listen to each other.

I hope you'll be adventurers together. 

I hope you'll advocate for each other.

I hope that you'll encourage each other to choose the right, no matter what.

I hope you'll confide in each other.

I hope that you'll sing together.

I hope that you'll take vacations together often and that your kids will be close.

I hope that you'll forgive completely and forget; grudges are too heavy to carry.

I hope that you'll keep your promises and your covenants, that you will never be out of reach of feeling peace.

I hope that you'll love me and your dad, regardless of the many, many mistakes we are bound to make.

Mostly, I hope that you realize your worth and that you regularly remind each other of it. When you understand your importance and how much you are loved, your choices will reflect that knowledge and you will be happy. 



24 February, 2014

Almost Two Weeks

Having a newborn is like trying to catch clouds. The days turn into weeks in a slow-motion-but-way-too-fast kind of a way and I find myself begging him to stay little. Will turns two weeks old on Wednesday and already my last week of pregnancy seems lifetimes ago. I can't really remember life without him - though, to be fair, I can't really remember anything lately. Sleep deprivation? Glorious newborn sleep deprivation?

Steven and I were talking about how when Gage was born, our world just completely turned upside down. We had no idea what the heck we were doing. It was an adjustment, to say the least. Not to say we didn't absolutely love being parents - the 900 photos I took of Gage's face in his first week of life are proof that I couldn't get enough of him. Maybe it's that we've done it twice now, but the adjustments to having a new baby this time around have been minimal. I'm tired, yes, but in the very best way.

I'm proud of my body. The first few days were, of course, fairly rough on the ol' cuerpo, but I feel like I'm - maybe not bouncing - but jiggling? back in good time. Still in pajama pants every day, let's not get ahead of ourselves. But I'm trying to stop focusing so much on the number on the scale and celebrate this body of mine that grew a human and an extra organ (did you know that placenta is considered an organ?) and then ejected both without disastrous consequences. And I mean, I can sleep on my stomach now. Let's talk about that!

Anyway, point in all of this is to record for little Will-debeast that life is good with him around.

Will sleeps in his swing most of the day. He prefers to lay on a blanket on the floor during his awake time and watch Gage and Kjel play. He is a typical newborn with his sleep schedule at night - he'll sleep for periods of one to three hours and then eat and coo and wiggle for about an hour before going back to sleep. I'm still working on getting him back into his swing or crib rather than (out of laziness) keeping him in bed with me.

He is completely unfazed by the noise that his siblings make while he sleeps during the day. In fact, I think it makes him sleep better. He doesn't mind the occasional jab to the eye via KJ, when she approaches, ready to snuggle the life out of him. He and Gage have long talks about robots and Star Wars when I ask Gage to "watch" him (trying to establish some feelings of importance in Gage while so much attention is on the littler siblings).

He's just a solid little dude. He's taken to his place in our family so naturally that it reaffirms to me that he was always supposed to be ours. Someday soon I'll record what day-to-day life is like so that I don't forget the details, but for now, just know that we are content and life is peaceful. Will, you belong here. Thanks for being ours.

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