Wednesday, March 17

A perfect world

In a perfect world the Devil would not interfere. We would not face the hurt of day to day life on Earth. But, alas, we’re promised a great reward in Heaven as the ultimate goal at which to work towards.

MAT 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

In a perfect world the trials and tribulations of infertility, miscarriages, and burying children wouldn’t be known to us. Others would understand why we don’t spend much, if anytime, away from our children that are still with us. After all we’ve been through we recognize that they won’t be with us forever and feel as though it’d be selfish to put our needs, which are few and far between, ahead of our children’s needs.

In a perfect world Austin’s adjusted birthday (March 13th) would be closer to his actual birthday, and he’d celebrate it with his brother and sister, Brayden and Lexi. The 1st anniversary of the date we brought him home, March 9th, would have been the date we brought home 3 of our children. We wouldn’t know of the NICU journey and being away from Austin for 108 days while he stayed in the hospital. We wouldn’t know the anxieties of bringing home a “special needs” child on oxygen and monitors. The week-to week therapies wouldn’t even cross our minds nor would the anxieties of keeping our miracle preemie well. “Preemie-ese” would be a universal language and all would understand the difference between actual and adjusted age, know why Austin isn’t walking yet, and understand he is just like a 12 month old.

In a perfect world we wouldn’t be unsure of what emotions the delivery of our 5th child would bring as far as how we’ll cope with being in the same places that we were when we delivered the triplets and lost 2 of them. We wouldn’t cringe when people say things such as “oh you’re finally getting a girl” and it would be recognized that we have an older daughter that came before Cameron. Our family and friends would be comfortable recognizing that we have 2 more children that are no longer with us on earth but forever our children. They would speak freely of Brayden and Lexi’s names and realize how much it helps us regardless of the discomfort it may bring them. All would know that Cameron is our 2nd daughter. It would be so much easier for others to understand how much of a miracle each of our children are for their own special reasons. We wouldn’t be absolutely fearful of having more children after Cameron.

However, this isn’t a perfect world and God never promised it would be. The Bible does say this: Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

So, we continue to gain strength from our Lord. His words says, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”: 1 Peter 5:10

And, it has been oh so true. We’re amazed of all the blessings we have received since our journey began a couple of years ago of starting a family. This phase of our life has been the most difficult of any, but it has brought so many blessings along with it . . . EACH of our 5 children.

Cameron’s delivery date has been moved up to tomorrow, Thursday, March 18th. My doctor is planning to do a c-section early in the day. The date has been moved up after last week’s ultrasound estimated her to be 8lbs 6oz at only 37 weeks putting her in the 93rd percentile. This can be off by 10%, but it still made the doctor nervous due to my history. The extra amniotic fluid, polyhydramnios, hasn’t gone down either making it more likely that something go wrong the further they let me go due to the size that it causes my uterus to stretch to. We’ve also been warned that she may have trouble controlling her sugar due to my being insulin dependent and having polyhydramnios as well as some lung immaturity. However these risks aren’t as worrisome as those if the pregnancy is allowed to progress. I’ll be 38 weeks and that is full-term as anything 37 or after is term. So, tomorrow we’ll be adding a new addition to the family. The nursery is done, but I have lots to do today. So, let me get going laundry, cooking, packing, and more await my day!

Monday, March 8

Over the last few weeks . . .

we’ve been busy! I know everyone is busy, right? If I could just add a few more waking hours in the day it’d be helpful. However, this is what God intended for our days and nights so this is it. We try to extend the day by staying up all hours, but it’s still never enough. Speaking of not enough hours in the day it might help if I get this post done. So, I’ll start out with the youngest in our family first.

We’re 37 weeks as of today. A few weeks ago they found that my amniotic fluid is high giving me the official diagnosis of polyhydramnios. It does bring some concerns but not as much as too little fluid. It’s usually a side effect of diabetes and the higher blood sugar; it can mean other things but due to my diabetes that is what they’re thinking. Other issues should have caused it to be high much earlier in the pregnancy. It makes me measure larger than I am hence my fundal height (size of uterus) measuring 4 weeks ahead and can lead to my body going into labor before the 40 week mark. My fluid amount has increased as it’s off the charts and twice as much as an average pregnancy. I’ve been having some contractions, for about 2 weeks now, especially when up during the night with Austin. They measured Cameron’s growth and size at my 35 week appointment. She was in the 85th percentile, measured about a week ahead, and her estimated weight was 6lbs 11oz. Her abdominal size was very high, so this probably gave an untrue estimate for her weight. So, they’re thinking she was about 6.5lbs. She is chubby and has rolls all over. I have had some 3D ultrasounds and she seems to look like Bradley, but Austin and Bradley look more and more alike the older Austin gets. You can definitely tell they’re all siblings! Cameron continues to score well with her BPP’s and NST’s. The last two weeks, at my appointments, I’ve spoken to both high risk OB’s about when to schedule the c-section. I’ve been followed exclusively, during this pregnancy, by only high risk physicians. Most studies lately have shown that it’s best to wait until 39 weeks for induction especially when the mom is insulin dependent which can lead to lung immaturity. So, if I want to have her at 38 weeks, as I did Bradley, then they suggest I have an amnio. If not then they’ll just take her at 39 weeks which sounds a lot less complicated to us. So, after discussing everything, including other issues, the delivery is set for March 25th, at 39 weeks, as long as nothing changes. We’re still working on Cameron’s nursery, but it’s getting there.

Austin had tubes placed a couple of weeks ago. Austin had about 8 ear infections in recent months, so it was relief to finally get this done. We held off, due to his medical history, but couldn’t anymore as we didn’t want to risk any hearing loss due to recurring infection. He had mucus in both ears that they removed when they placed the tubes, so it was good that they were done. Then, within a week he had pneumonia. Thankfully, we kept him out of the hospital with antibiotics, nebulizer treatments, and steroids. He is doing much better now. He has also had another monthly Synagis shot. He is due for 1 more, in a few weeks, and then will be done for this RSV season. He has also been seen by a speech therapist to address feeding issues again. She did find that he has feeding issues and will be receiving therapy biweekly for now. This is only for feeding issues as his speech is right on target for his adjusted age. She said most preemies don’t start to show a lot of delay, with speech, until closer to 2. It seems that his feeding issues are sensory related that come from him being so premature and enduring prolonged time on the vent and OG tube (orogastric tube that ran from his mouth to his stomach so he could be fed before he was able to take a bottle- he had it for about 10 weeks). My being insulin dependent can also lead to feeding issues for the baby, so there is another reason that could explain Austin’s issues. Since receiving his tubes, Austin has progressed with feeding and physical development as well as saying a lot more words. We’re working with the feeding issues daily in between the biweekly appointments. He has tolerated regular applesauce and some crackers and cookies for the first time recently. His physical therapist is pleased with his progress. He is even able to cruise along the wall and whatever he can use to support himself. He is also standing independently some for a few seconds. His right foot continues to improve as far as the way he is standing. Her new goals for him over the next few months include walking, going from crawling to standing on his own, and climbing up/down stairs. Which, he climbed the stairs this weekend after I showed him how to do so on 2 steps. Now, he is going right up the stairs like such a big boy! He also had an ophthalmology appointment last week, and his vision is great! He doesn’t have to go back for 2 years and has been cleared of any visual problems related to prematurity. We have also been to the cardiologist for his scheduled ECHO, and his heart is finally normal! So, we don’t have to go back for another ECHO! What a blessing! So, we’re just getting rid of the specialists one by one. We’ll be done with the pulmonologist after this Synagis shot coming up. We have 3 appointments this week: feeding therapy, physical therapy, and an EI appointment. He is saying a lot more words too: “tap tap” (for a song that he does with his PT), “cheese” when taking a picture, “ta da”, “uh oh”, and he lifts his hands up for “so big” when you ask him if he is so big.

Bradley turned 4 yesterday! Wow; he is growing so fast. He had a soccer game yesterday afternoon and did Ok. We’re having some issues with lack of concentration this season, but all of the children are having that problem. It’s just something we’ll have to work on and be consistent about. We want him to have fun, but also know that you must give it your all when you commit to something. I don’t think being cooped up all winter and my not being able to get out and about helped. Last night, we had our family over for pizza and ice cream cake. Bradley enjoyed that and received some cool presents. Now he is asking if Cameron is coming, because we told him earlier in the pregnancy that she would come around his birthday. He is still very interested in her and asks to feel her move or if she is OK constantly. And, when we go to the store he wants to buy every girly thing for her. What a loving big brother. He is also so good with Austin by making sure he isn’t getting into something that he shouldn’t be. My little mini me is such a sweet boy. Preschool is still not his favorite thing, but he does fine once he gets there. When we pick him up, all the children are lined up at the fence on the playground and they always remind me of little puppies yipping and yelling. And, as we’re driving away he puts the window down, waves, and says, “bye school, bye school.” Oh, we went to a birthday party for one of Bradley’s friends this past weekend. And, he told us that he had to take her flowers as he frequently calls her his girlfriend. So, we went the store and after 4 or 5 little bouquets he finally agreed to a little bunch of pink Daisies. Then, he took them to her and she gave him a hug and kiss on the cheek. I want to know what all this is!!! He still brings me a yellow flower from the playground every time I pick him up from school, so I guess I can handle the girlfriend thing. She is a precious little girl, and anyone that makes him happy makes Mama happy! We’ve been working on turning Bradley’s room into an official “big boy” bedroom. He has a new comforter, and he let us take his rocking chair away. We have new curtains to install and have already put up different pictures and things.

Our yard is a continuous work in progress. We bought some crepe myrtles and 2 other trees in our plans for the backyard. So, Chris will hopefully get those planted this week at some point. The crepe myrtles will be used to help shade the play set during the summer. And, the other 2 trees are smaller trees for visual interest. We’d love to add onto the deck this summer, but not sure that will happen as we expect to be pretty busy with our 3 children. (3 children! That sounds awesome!) We have plenty of things to do inside too, but we’ve completed the study and are almost done with the dining room. We just have one picture to hang in the there and then we’ll be done. I’ve been doing lots of laundry lately trying to get all of Cameron’s things washed and working on switching the boy’s clothes to warm weather ones. In addition to our regular laundry it really adds up. I start on laundry on Wednesdays and usually do it everyday through Saturday; my goal is to have it done on Saturday and have my day of rest from it on Sunday. We’ve also been buying extra food each week to make some dishes to freeze, so we’ll have some things when life is so crazy after Cameron comes home. I’d love to continue doing that after we become adjusted to being a family of 5 as I think it will be a huge help. I could put away a lot of meals on the weekends. We continue to look forward to finding our new normal and enjoying getting out and about as a family again with trips to the zoo and park, and we’re really looking forward to going to pick strawberries this spring. I have to find some good recipes to make with the strawberries. Last year I made homemade jam and used them in some entrees, and it was all so good. And, we’re really looking forward to our beach trip in a few months. And, Chris will have 2 weeks off when Cameron comes since I won’t be able to lift Austin during that time- yay for family time! I know I mention these last few things in almost every blog, but we’re so excited about this next chapter of the Wicker family. Life is so good; thank you God for all of these incredible blessings!