"He is there not only when we cry out from the burden of sin but also when we cry out for any other reason." -Bruce D. Porter

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's been a while

Ok, so I have not posted in weeks. Life is so crazy and now Christmas has come and gone. Where does the time go? I suppose I feel like I don't have time to sit and post because I usually end up spending a couple of hours on the computer. I need at least four more hours in a day, then I might have time for everything I want to do. Ok, so for the important things. We have received orders and we are moving to Washington DC. Yipee! I will be near my sister Sarah who lives in Virginia and short drive away from two of my brothers and their most wonderful families who are living in New York. I think it will be fun to live so close to Sarah! I can't wait to see her kids and for our kids to play together. It will hard leaving Utah, though. The longer you stay in one place, the harder it is to leave. It's been great being near Todd's family as well. We've had a lot of fun times.
Seth is up to 9lbs 6 oz now. Dane was 9 lbs 8 oz when he was born. Seth has been sick these past few days. He's had a temperature and been very cranky. He hasn't had a fever at all today, so I am hoping the worst of it has passed. Seth had tubes put in his ears on December 15th to drain any fluid that could be in his ears preventing him from hearing. So, I hope it has worked. I don't know if it has. The only thing different about him is that he crys a lot more now than he ever did. Perhaps all the noise is bothering him! Ok, so I've got the fussy little man on my lap now and standing is the only thing that seems to calm him. Happy New Year!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Alex Playing Church

I finaaly got Alex on video playing church!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The first weeks home

~Seth~ 4 months old, adjusted age of 4 weeks
I have been home from the hospital now for three weeks. Mom's got me figured out finally. The first two days were rough because Mom wanted me to nurse, but I'm smarter than she is. Sucking from a bottle is way easier and when you are as hungry as I am, who wants to wait for the milk to "let down". I do love being close to mommy, though. I like when she lays me against her chest and I can hear the rythmn of her heart and her breathing. For the most part I sleep all day. Every two to three hours I wake up for something to eat. I can guzzle down two to three ounces of mom's milk at a time. She's started fortifying my milk to help me gain weight a little faster. Sometimes it upsets my tummy a little. At my last weigh in I was 5 lbs. 12 oz. This was up two ounces from the week before, and up four since discharge. I will hit that 6 lb. mark soon and can't wait to show off in my new outfits! Just wait until I hit eight pounds! You won't even recognize me! I'm a pretty easy going guy. I hate to be in a dirty pair of pants, so if you keep me clean and dry, life can't get much better! The car seat isn't that bad to ride in. Mommy and I take trips to the doctor together. We saw the opthamologist last week. Boy, that wasn't fun. First they put these drops in your eyes that make everything look blurry and way too bright. Then they hold you tight while they look into your eyes. The eye clamps are not very comfortable. But thank goodness this was the last time I had to do that. The doctor says my eyes are fully vascularized with no sign of retinal detachment. He says I need to come back in three months for an eye exam. I don't know how they know if I need glasses, but they are pretty smart. Well, mom says I need to get off the computer. I have to go with her to choir practice. She plays the piano. I love when she sings and plays for me!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Alright, who voted for El Paso?

Still waiting for our orders. Getting the house ready to sell. Busy, busy. But not too busy to talk if any of my siblings would like to call. Hey, Angela, what is your phone number? Ok, maybe I should write those things down. Maybe we'll be stationed together someday! Go Army!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Here's my family

My creative younger sister put this together. As close to a family portrait that we'll ever have! Hey, I think I'll print this out at Costco.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Free at Last!!!

Seth is finally home! We have escaped from the hospital and are trying to adjust to being at home. Not to mention being mauled by five older siblings! The following pictures are of Seth getting ready to come home!

On the drive home!

At home with all my brothers and sisters and Grandma and Grandpa Stailey!

We are so glad to be home and especially because we don't have to make the long trip up to the hospital anymore! Well, not on a regular basis. We still have a long list of doctors to see, but at least we are home. Seth did not pass his hearing test, so we get to see an ENT (ear, nose, throat doc) and repeat the test in a month or so. We have follow ups with the surgeon, optamologist, and endocrinologist as well. We had great doctors and nurses who took care of us during our stay and we will miss them. (Here's a shout out to Chris Malone, who I don't know will ever read this blog, but if she does, she's one heck of a nurse!) We are forever grateful to everyone who prayed on our behalf or even just kept us in their thoughts. And most importantly all praise and glory to a loving Heavenly Father who has blessed us with Seth and for carrying us through this long adventure. And so the journey continues. It's not over yet. We still have a lot to go through with Seth, but he's doing amazingly well. And so, here we go!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Coming home soon!

Seth's coming home! Seth's coming home!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Extubation Time, Come On!

Seth was finally extubated yesterday! They left the Anderson Tube (tube that gently suctions his stomach) in though and that made Seth a little unhappy. Gosh, what's it like to have a tube down your throat gagging you! The Anderson tube was removed today and he is much happier about that!

Two of the incisions on his belly.

Awake and wanting the breathing tube out. It was hard to see him this way! Poor guy!

After extubation, still mad, though cause they left the Anderson tube in.

Still mad. Took awhile and a little bit Adavan to soothe him.

Today after having the Anderson tube out. Life is getting better!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Everyone Has a Twin

Alright, Sarah, where were you on Thursday afternoon at around 3:40 in the afternoon? I was driving south on Foothill Blvd, heading home from the hospital. I look in my rearview mirror and I saw a lady who looked exactly like Sarah. I kept looking at her because she had the same long blond hair and her eyes looked just like Sarah's. I kept laughing to myself because it was so bizarre. She probably thought I was creepy because I kept staring. Hey Sarah, do you own a red '90's Mazda Protege? I even followed her for a while. Ok, we were going in the same direction so I couldn't help but follow. She finally exited, and it was tempting to follow. Kind of weird. I wonder if I have a twin out there somewhere?

Monday, September 15, 2008

The BIG Day

Here is a picture of Seth taken on Sunday.

So cute!

Today before his surgery. (Had to dope him up so he wouldn't be so mad because he was hungry! Where's my momma?)

Mom and Seth before surgery. Like the disco ball?

After surgery. Poor little guy! But all better now!

Seth had surgery today! And everything went well! They put his intestines back together and everything looked healthy and well. They also fixed two hernias, one at the site of his stoma and the other in the groin. They also took out his apendix. It was an eventful day. We were planning on the surgery being at 7:30 this morning, but they called us right before we left this morning and told us it was rescheduled for 1:45 in the afternoon. Good thing they caught us before we left! The surgery took about two and a half hours. In a couple of days we'll start feedings again. I'm just exhausted and ready to relax. I'm going to read scriptures with the kiddos and put them to bed and maybe take a bath!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The best birthday present

So on Thursday I turned 31. It's crazy to think that I'm that old, not that it's old, but that I'm getting older. I don't see myself as that old. So anyways, the kids and Todd woke me up to a donut with candles in it. It was fun. All the children made cards for me and Todd bought me some new clothes. He usually does a good job picking out clothes and even got the sizes right. Later that day I went to the hospital to receive the best gift yet. I was allowed to nurse Seth for the first time, and even more exciting was that he actually latched on and nursed for about five minutes. It was a great day. I got to nurse him again on Saturday and that didn't go so great because I couldn't get Seth to wake up. Today went even better, he nursed for 15 minutes! He's getting better every day. I can't wait to bring him home. His surgery has been moved up to the 15th. Perhaps we will be home before the beginning of October. The kids are very excited to have him come home. They are going to throw him a welcome home party the day we bring him home. It will be a fun day as well.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

To go along with the previous post

Seth is 18 inches long. You give him another few weeks and he'll be just as big as all the other newborns!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Look how big I am!

Seth is in an open crib! Hurray! This was taken on Tuesday. He is just improving by leaps and bounds! He is also on a regular nose cannula. And we have started the long process of teaching him how to feed from a bottle and then eventually to nursing. His current weight is 4 lbs 6 oz. Today he had laser surgery on his eyes. I mentioned ROP earlier, Retinopathy of Prematurity. This is why he had the laser surgery done. He isn't too bad off with the abnormal blood vessels in his eyes, but they didn't want it to get any worse because it could lead to detachment of the retina. It is my understanding that they went in and zapped the abnormal blood vessels so they wouldn't continue growing abnormally. And I like to use the word abnormal a little too abnormally. :) Anyways, that surgery was done around 1:30 this afternoon. He is still on a ventilator and they are just waiting for him to wake up so they can get him off. Hopefully he'll be fine and it won't be days like the last surgery. Seth is such a miracle!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

3 lbs 15 oz and counting!

Well, as the title says, Seth is nearly 4 lbs! Todd and I were reflecting on how big he's gotten. When he was first born, the width of Todd's finger was bigger than his leg. Now Seth's leg is bigger. He's putting on some fat. But life hasn't been without it's ups and downs these past several days. Last Tuesday Seth went back into surgery to have his stoma (the opening of his intestines there on his tummy, sometimes I refer to it as his ostomy) opened up a little more. It was too restrictive and wasn't letting very much pass out. The doctors are wondering if this is what is causing all the ups and downs we are having with him. Just when he seems to be doing better he would start to act sick again and his tummy would get all bloated. But all his blood work keeps showing up negative for infections. After surgery it took almost five days to get him off the ventilator again. So as of yesterday he is off the breathing tube and is doing pretty well. Today we were told that they would start feedings again. I know that will make him very happy to have his tummy filled again. He would always get mad when they stopped feedings because he would get hungry!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Seth is doing really well this week. He has had no episodes of apnea. He has started his feedings again. Right now he is getting 6 cc's every three hours. Every 12 hours they increase it 2 cc's. So tonight at 11 p.m. he will go up to 8 cc's. He's tolerating the feedings very well. He's such a stinker! On Sunday he pulled his feeding tube out four times. So the nurse put little socks on his hands to try to prevent him from grabbing and pulling. Not to be outsmarted, he decides that all he needs to do is use his tongue and he can push it out. Now there's a smart kid! Maybe here in a week or two he'll be able to try nippling his feedings a little!

So another thing if you want to read up about is ROP, Retinopathy of Prematurity. Seth's eyes are looked at each week to keep an eye on this condition. Right now he has stage 2. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/rop/

We love the little guy so much!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The latest

So Seth is having a little set back. For some reason he has been having a few episodes of apnea, he decides he's not going to breathe. So while the doctors are trying to figure what's causing it we've been taken from our feedings again. He's on antibiotics in case it's an infection. He was given more blood in case having low hetacrit levels was the cause. And he's also been put on hydrocortisol. Biology lesson: We have adrenal glands which produce cortisol for our bodies. Preemies, well, you know, everything is premature. So he isn't producing cortisol on his own, or not enough. What is cortisol for? Well, no expert here, but one reason is to keep the pH level of your blood in sync, or something like that. I think I could be a NICU nurse by the time Seth comes home. Forget going to nursing school. So this too could be causing it. They did a lumbar puncture to get some spinal fluid just to make sure there is no infection in the spinal fluid. And of course they took blood. Blood is very expensive. I was looking at my hospital bill and did you know it costs over a thousand dollars for two units of blood! Man, I and they want us to just donate it? hahaha Oh well.

Ok, two things here that I've learned (out of many):

Too much oxygen can cause blindness in a preemie.
Too much antibiotics damages inside their ears.

That's why they constantly monitor these levels when using oxygen and antibiotics.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

Seth hit the three pound mark!

Seth has finally hit the three pound mark! 3 lbs. 1 oz is his current weight! His is off the CPAP as well and just has a high flow nose cannula now. They also started his feedings again, 1 cc every hour. Talk about hardly anything! Oh well. It will increase.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Seth found his voice!

This was actually recorded on Tuesday. As they were putting him on cpap, he was making tiny noises. Then out came his voice! So I recorded some of it, as it is the first time we've heard it. Before when he'd cry it was always silent. Now he can yell out to the world! Very exciting!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Smile, Seth! Smile!

Seth is so happy when mommy comes! He smiled when I took his picture today! He weighs 2lbs 11oz now. He's got a lot of air in his tummy from the cpap he's on, so they've stopped feedings again to see if that air will pass on it's own. Don't want to cause him any more trouble than he's already gone through! He likes to suck on his pacifier. That settles him down. He's use to sucking on his breathing tube, but that's not there anymore and his feeding tube isn't the same! Keep smiling Seth!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Camping with Grandma and Grandpa and family

Having fun int he dirt.
Hello Dane.
Dane enjoying some lunch.

Kate with her cousin Kelly.
Emily. She doesn't care how she looks.
Karsten and Emily were in a race to see who could get the dirtiest.
Kate again.
Dane and his cousin Morgan.

We went camping with Grandma and Grandpa Stailey. I braved it up and took the kids alone. It was actually a lot of fun and relaxing. It was nice to get away for a day. I hope to go again before the season is over.

Fun with the children

Enjoying some time with the kids at Bridal Veil falls.

The water was a little chilly!
Karsten trying to wash some of the mud off his legs.
Hey Alex! How'd you get so wet?
Climbing up, and now we're coming down.

Took the kids up to Bridal Veil falls for some fun. We had a picnic and then went and played in the water. It was nice to get out. We're all trying to deal with daddy being gone and we just had to get out of the house!


Seth is looking so good today!
He's got an arterial line in this arm, hence the bat he swings around.
Peeking out at us!

Where do I begin? We've had our ups and downs this past week. On the 19th of July, Seth was switched from Fentanyl (sedative) to morphine. Because the dose was a little more than he needed, he decided he didn't need to breathe. In when the breathing tube again. Two days later it was apparent that he had an infection. So we start antibiotics. Then his bowels went from yellow to green. Now we stop the feedings to see what's going on there. They did several x-rays and at one point it was even thought that he had a bowel obstruction. So they put some kind of enema into his ostomy and that went up to his stomach. X-rays showed that it was all clear. Thank goodness. Most likely his green bowels are due to him being sick. So today, Monday, he is on the mend and looking very nice. He is doing so well that they took out the Anderson tube (a tube that suctions his tummy) and are going to put his feeding tube back in and start some feedings. Yeah! And tomorrow they are going to attempt to take out the breathing tube again! He is on such a low rate of oxygen right now and that is good. So, now Seth is six weeks old. I can't believe how much he's changed. He hasn't grown much, but his facial features have changed over the weeks. Having him in the NICU is a different experience. When we bring him home, he won't be a newborn. I guess I keep thinking that when he comes home, it will be like having a newborn. But it won't, in some ways. We won't have those tar like diapers to change. We won't have to worry about the umbilical cord and keeping that dry and clean until it falls off. It's weird in a way how time is flying by so fast and I feel like I'm missing something. I suppose that's because I need to live in the moment. Sometimes it's easy to look ahead and anticipate the future, and not really live in the moment. Keep up the good work Seth!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We've been extubated again!

Yesterday Seth was extubated again, had his breathing tube removed. It's been 24 hours and he is doing great! I hope he continues to do well without the ventilator! He is on CPAP right now. I will have to get a picture of that as it is the smallest CPAP mask I've ever seen! He is on antibiotics right now because a blood culture was positive. So he'll be on antibiotics for about a week. He weighs 2 lbs 1 oz right now. A little down, probably water weight. His feedings are up to 14 cc's every three hours now and the nurse fortifies it so it will have a few more calories. His Fentanyl (sedative) is given every three hours instead of every two. They are trying to wean him off of this. He is doing well taking it every three hours instead of two. Hopefully in the next two weeks he'll be weaned off completely. He has surgery scheduled at the end of September to reassemble his digestive line. HAHAHA Ok, I thought it sounded funny. Anyways, other than that he is looking good.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Here's the latest

On Wednesday, Seth had his breathing tube removed! He was doing ok at first. They tried a high flow nasal canula on him first and then decided to put him on a c-pap. Later that night they decided to reintubate him again. It seemed like he was having withdrawal from the sedative he was previously on. This was making him very aggitated and causing heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels to go crazy. So, in went the tube again and back to the sedative medication. Today they have weaned him down off the sedative. He will get it as he needs it instead of a constant IV drip. If he tolerates this well, tomorrow they will try to extubate him (take the breathing tube out again). It was so neat to see him breathing on his own on Wednesday. And once he's free of the sedatives, he can be a baby! He'll wake, cry, etc.
His PDA is open a tiny bit again, but it is posing no problems, so they aren't going to do anything about it. He is up to 7 cc's every three hours for feedings now. He's doing really well!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hip Hip Hooray! We're having a great day!

Today has been very exciting. The duct above Seth's heart has closed! And they have started him on feedings! Now all this pumping I have been doing feels like it's worth something. I am so excited! I was kind of speechless when the nurse told us all this because I was preparing myself for the fact that he may have to have another surgery. Whew! He's three weeks old and weighs 2lbs. 3 oz. Way to go Seth!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Seth ~ Saturday July 5th

Seth is doing great! He was given a round of medication to close his PDA. They then did an echocardiogram this moring to see if it had closed. They said it looks a lot smaller. So, they are going to start him on another round of this medication. I am so glad he is doing so well. After we get this PDA closed, he will be able to start feedings again. He is also on a conventional ventilator now and not the Jet ventilator. Now, I'm not sure how the Jet ventilator worked, but I do know that the conventional ventilatory will not override his attempts at breathing, it will just help him out if he's not taking deep enough breathes. I think the Jet would override. So, anyways, thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. We are so grateful!

I've changed the picture of Seth. I forgot I had this one with his eyes openend so I thought I'd share.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Update on Seth for Tuedsday, July 1st

Just an update on the baby to keep everyone informed. I'll try to do this more often, it just seems like there is less time in the days now. Anyways, Seth is doing good. We didn't get to go and see him yesterday. But we are going this afternoon. He was weaned off two blood pressure medications yesterday and is currently bein weaned off Nitric Oxide. Doing these things will hopefuly allow his Ductus Arteriosis to close. We call it a PDA when it is open. (Patent [meanng open] Ductus Artriosis)To see an animated few of the fetal heart, click on the following link: http://www.indiana.edu/~anat550/cvanim/fetcirc/fetcirc.html
I found this website helped me to understand better what the ductus arteriosis was.His blood pressure is stable as of now, which is good. When he's weaned from of medicine, the next few hours are always a little stressful as we wait and see if he tolerates well or not. So far so good.He has a little ostomy bag connected to his tummy for now. In the near future they will take him back into surgery to reconnect his bowels. The reason for the surgery was Necrotizing Enterocolitis. If you want to know more about this visit this website: http://children.webmd.com/tc/necrotizing-enterocolitis-topic-overview
I will work on keeping everyone updated. Talk to you later!

Friday, June 20, 2008

I can't figure this blog out

Well, I haven't been able to upload any video to my blog. It always causes an error. So, I've added video to my facebook. Please go there. It I haven't added you as a friend, then send me a request and I'll add you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sorry I don't post much!

I just wanted to apologize for not posting much. Actually, I've been trying to download video that we've taken of the baby, but I think the connection here at the hospital is way too slow. So, I will post that when I get home, which should be tomorrow (Thursday). The baby is doing great. He had the billi lights taken off him today and had his little mask removed from over his eyes. So, now I can get some pics of him without his little mask on. The nurse said he's already opened his eyes before and was looking around. I can't wait to see that!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

It's just another day without you!

So I'm onto day five here at the lovely UVRMC hotel and spa! I mentioned I was crocheting. This is the ball of yarn that weighs a pound! Everyone who comes into my room always comments on it. Perhaps it will get smaller as I figure this blanket out, thanks to the help of Hailee. As you can tell, it's about as big as my mug!

The longer I am here, the easier it gets. The first two days were the hardest. I would way rather be home, but I'm finding ways to be productive and spend the time. I am free of my IV and the accompanying 6 foot friend that goes along with it. I only get monitored twice a day for twenty minutes right now (baby and contractions). Tomorrow that will change. I will be monitored constantly starting tomorrow. So I've had two days of freedom. Getting up to go to the bathroom is such a breeze! I also can wear "normal" clothes, which is kind of weird when you are in the hospital. But it sure helps you feel so much better. I'm almost done with the first book of the Twilight series. I like where the author is going with it so far. I've got about a third of the book left to finish reading, which I'm sure I can get done tonight. I find it an easy read, so I've been reading fairly fast. So, today I've watched TV, did some crocheting, played around on the computer, and now I think I'll watch a movie.

As I look out my window I can see the windows of some of the other delivery rooms. I always know when someone is having a baby because the blinds close on the windows. Then the next day there are open again! I guess they put the delivery rooms on the top floor because it is closest to heaven!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

All the names you'll need in life (stolen from Hailee's blog)

1. YOUR REAL NAME: Christina
2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME (first 3 letters of real name plus izzle): Chrizzle
3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (fav coulour and fav animal): Blue Cat
4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (Middle name and current street name): Lynne 1630 West (that doesn't make a lot of sense, that's Utah!)
5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME (The first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, last 3 letters of your mom's maiden name): Stachrow
6. YOUR SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favourite color, favorite drink): Red Milk
7. YOUR ARAB NAME: (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, any letter of your middle name, 2nd letter of your moms maiden name, 3rd letter of your dads middle name, 1st letter of your siblings first name, last letter of your moms middle name): Hayrrtn
8. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother's middle name): Jean
9.YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one your pets) Black Moses

Monday, June 2, 2008

I know this great place to take a vacation

Well, I suppose I could keep an update on what's going on around here at the hospital. Today is the third day of my stay. Pretty quiet around here. Makes me wish the kids were around. I'm sure they are loving their stay with Grandma and Grandpa. Not a whole lot to do. I read, watch tv, and get on the computer. I occasionally have visitors and get phone calls. You have a lot of time to think and stare out the window. I just read a cute book called Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli. It is a quick easy read. It was good. Now I have the first book of the Twilight series and I will get started with that tonight. Sharon, an old friend from high school, brought them by. She was a Christenson for any of you who remember (mostly us girls). It was good to see her. She has a little girl who was born at 27 weeks, named Eliza. She's so tiny and cute. She is 2 years old now. A couple of my friends from our ward came by and dropped off some yarn so I could crochet a blanket. I know the basics of crocheting, not all the technical terms the paper says to make it. But I think we'll get it figured out.

I'll be getting a steriod shot by the end of this week. This will help to mature the baby's lungs for delivery whenever it happens. They are hoping to take my IV out tonight as my bleeding has pretty much stopped. I've been getting antibiotics through the IV as well. I have to drag the IV pole with me everywhere, which basically is just the bathroom. I call him my six foot friend.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Can you guess whose baby pictures these are?

So, I didn't want my blog to be all gloom and doom, so I'm posting the children's baby pics. Can you guess who is who? It seems so obvious to me!

Picture #1

Picture #2

Picture #3

Picture #4

Picture #5