Month: March 2013

Hanging out our “Do Not Disturb” sign

Jackson in the NICU

After a long week in the NICU…

Jackson Comes Home

…we brought Jackson home today.

Big Sister Phoebe and Jackson

Phoebe, the new big sister, was the first of the girls to hold him.

Bigger Sister Lucy and Jackson

Then, Lucy, the bigger sister.

Biggest Sister Julia and Jackson

And finally, the biggest sister, Julia.

I am so thankful to have my family home together. We’re going to relish it a while.

Our baby boy is here!

I’m so pleased to finally tell you that Jackson John Grimmett was born at 12:26 p.m. on Thursday, March 21st, weighing 8 pounds 13 ounces and measuring 21 inches long. He was immediately taken to the NICU at Akron Children’s Hospital due to some breathing issues. While he’s still in intensive care, he is now breathing on his own and nursing well. He’s one strong little guy.

Jackson, 1 day old with Mommy and Daddy

Thanks to so many of you for the thoughts and prayers you’ve sent our way. It’s meant a lot to us!

I’ll have so much more to share once we’re settled back at home, which should, hopefully, be happening in the next few days.

Last Day Pregnant

Yesterday, I had my last ultrasound.

Jackson 36 weeks, 5 days

For the past three months, the main objective of those weekly tests was to complete a biophysical profile to determine Jackson’s health. The biophysical profile includes a measurement of five things via ultrasound: amniotic fluid (mine was 43.6 cm), heart rate, movement, muscle tone (specifically the extension/flexion of limbs ), and breathing. Yesterday, Jack quickly met all of the criteria, save for a practice breathing episode. Babies usually practice breathing every half hour, so we waited and watched. I was given a beautiful gift of ten quiet moments with my son. I saw him open and close his hands, pedal his legs, stretch, roll and rub his face. Finally, he practiced breathing. The nurse said, “There we go. Healthy baby!” And the screen went black. “The next time you see him, you’ll be face to face.”

Words cannot express how much I’m anticipating that moment.

This pregnancy has been stressful. (Is it ridiculous that I feel guilty admitting that?) Every ounce of excitement has been dampened with worry. I’ve felt heavy – physically and emotionally. My heart tells me we’ll be fine. My boy is okay. But we’ve been given reason to doubt. And when you’re blessed with a dash of irrational and a scoop of crazy, like me, you start reading way too much in to even the silly stuff and you start looking for signs. (P.S. Thanks a heap, YouTube for recommending I watch the video “The Birth and Death of My Son” based upon my previous viewing history of a “Skip Hop Versa Diaper Bag Review.” That was awesome!)

“If my life were a book or a movie, this is the moment when tragedy would strike,” I told the nurse yesterday. “I have so, so much – an incredible husband, amazing girls…really, what else is there? I have everything.” My life is like the prologue to a Disney movie – you know, before they kill off the mom.

“But life isn’t a book or a movie. You can’t assume you’ll be punished for being happy. You have your husband and your girls and soon, you’ll have your son.”

Tomorrow I will have my son.

Tonight, I’ll have pizza and snuggles on the couch with Dave and my girls while we watch Wreck-It Ralph.

And forever, I’ll be grateful – for loving and being loved by those people.

Thursday’s child has far to go*

Our anniversary came and Jackson didn’t, which is great news because it means he passed his tests on Friday with flying colors. (And Dave and I got to enjoy a rare and quiet anniversary dinner together!) Now, Jackson is only 4 days away from being full-term. I don’t want to jinx anything, but I think we just might make it to 37 weeks! GO US!

Jackson 36 weeks, 1 day

I’d been a little upset with the idea of anyone other than my regular doctor delivering my baby. I’ve finally gotten over that. My regular doctor actually said a lot to help me with it. Transferring all of our care to the specialists was the right thing to do. Sure, the rooms at our “new” hospital are old and tiny and probably haunted, but the best doctors don’t always practice in the prettiest hospitals. And now, we have a nurse case manager coordinating the care from our medical team which includes our maternal-fetal health specialists, Jackson’s neonatologist, and our geneticist. When you’re worried about your baby, it helps to know you have your very own League of Medical Superpowers on hand to save the day.

We’ve talked about the NICU and the chance that Jackson may need to spend some time there. We’ve worked out the details of making sure that he is never without a parent present and that he will be breastfed. Hopefully, we’ll never have to resort to those plans, but I feel good knowing we’re ready for the worst case scenario. And I like calling it the worst case scenario, because it gives my heart room to believe ALL WILL BE WELL.

ALL WILL BE WELL.

Dave will be undergoing genetic testing for his myotonia congenita (which our geneticist wants to be sure isn’t actually misdiagnosed myotonic dystrophy) on Tuesday while Jackson and I have our last round of diagnostic tests before his delivery on Thursday.

THURSDAY.

The BIG day.

I’m anxious and excited and scared as hell.

***

*Have you heard that rhyme?

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

I’m not sure what “Thursday’s child has far to go” means. Initially, I thought it sounded a little negative and sad, but Julia is Thursday’s child and she’s pretty kick-ass. Maybe it means she has far to go as in she’s going to go far in life?

I’m Tuesday’s child. Dave is Sunday’s. Lucy is Wednesday’s child. (I can’t think of a way to put a positive spin on “full of woe.” Poor Lucy.) And Phoebe is Friday’s.

What about you?

All you need is love (and a supply of cross-matched blood, if you’re in need of a transfusion)

Dave and I will be married nine years on Friday. We just might get a baby that day.

Jackson 35 weeks, 6 days

Jackson did not pass his biophysical profile at our appointment today. His non-stress test, however, went great! We’ll do it all again on Friday and if the results of either of those tests aren’t what they should be, he’ll be born on Friday. Hopefully, all will be well and he’ll come on the 21st, as scheduled (sort of – it was determined today that my maternal-fetal health specialist will deliver him in Akron rather than my regular doctor in Wooster).

They’re concerned about his muscle tone. And my uterus. (The uterus may not come home with me, which is fine. As long as Jackson does, I’m good!)

Meanwhile, I’ve been indulging in some retail therapy in the form of:

A Black Skip Hop Versa Diaper Bag,


Handmade burp cloths,

Burp Cloths

Pee Pee Tee Pees,

Pee Pee Tee Pees

and the like.

I may not need them, but I need them. (You know what I mean.)

Things As They Are

Dave gave me an INCREDIBLE new camera that I haven’t quite learned to use, yet. It’s so smart! There are so many settings! Shutter speed. Aperture. ISO. Dynamic Range. I don’t have a clue about any of it as evidenced by this picture I took of Julia and Lucy at The Ohio Music Teacher’s Association Ribbon Festival last Saturday.

A Blurry Lucy and Julia at The Ribbon Festival

(And yeah, that was the best one.)

If it weren’t blurry, you could see that Lucy is holding a First Year ribbon and Julia, a Fifth Year ribbon.

(Want to time travel? Here’s what I shared about Julia’s First, Second, Third, and Fourth Year performances.)

I did, however, capture some video that turned out alright.

Lucy was the first in her group to perform. She played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Variations D and C by Shinichi Suzuki. She started out so strong, it seemed she was on her way to a flawless performance. And she wanted to turn in a flawless performance, which is why she started over after that first little finger slip. I sat there, willing her to look at me so I could do our just-keep-swimming fish motion with my hand, but she already knew that’s what she needed to do and she did. She kept going.

(You can’t see it on the video, but the blonde boy you can catch a glimpse of in the audience on the right of the screen was giving her all kinds of encouragement – big smiles, head nods, thumbs up. I loved him for that.)

She was so pleased and proud when she finished, and so was I. She’s worked so very hard at piano.

Here’s what the judge wrote to her:

Lucy –
Congratulations on your first Ribbon Festival! Good job on both the Twinkle variations! What piece do you think you will be playing for your second ribbon next year? Practice a lot and who knows! Keep up the good work and the very best to you!

Julia was up next. She played A Short Story by Heinrich Lichner. Of all the songs she’s learned, it is my favorite.

She had a couple stumbles, but pulled off a decent performance overall. She’d had a tendency to plow through this song, gaining speed with every measure, so she spent a lot of time practicing with a metronome to learn to keep it steady. She was very pleased that the judge commented on that:

Julia –
This was a very nice performance! You seemed very confident and your memory was solid. The tempo you took was appropriate and you kept it nice and steady throughout. There was just one slight slip. It would be nice if you could play the left hand bass pattern a little softer than the right hand melody. Thanks for playing today.

We celebrated with dinner at Denny’s – and dessert, too. And later, a squishy bath.

Squishy Bath

(Okay, it’s supposed to be “Squishy Baff,” but saying or even typing “Baff” makes me throw up in my mouth a little.)

Bath!

The pictures are getting better, though.

Bee and her Lucy

Am I right?

Holy Guacamole!

Huh?

Dave

Yeah?

Picking Julia up from school

Right?

35 weeks pregnant with Jackson

Maybe not.

I feel like I need to apologize to you, World.

You should know that under any other circumstances, I would never, ever, ever wear leggings. EVER. Leggings are not for me. They may be for you. And if they are, God bless you. They’re really not for me. They do not accurately convey my personal style, which could be summed up as follows: I DO NOT WEAR LEGGINGS. But right now, they’re the only thing I can tolerate on my belly. And I have to obey the belly. It’s holding 42 cm of amniotic fluid and a 7 pound 13 ounce human being in there. THE BELLY GETS WHAT IT WANTS. And it wants leggings.

You may be asking, “Well Leslie, what about a dress?” And I’ll tell you why, as soon as I stop laughing.

Anyway, I’m wearing leggings now and I’m real sorry about that. I hope you can take comfort in my promise to always pair them with a top that covers my baby belly in its entirety as well as, and even more importantly, my ass.

Thanks for understanding.

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