baby

kisses for a birthday

HappyKiss2

While I did spend my 30th birthday yesterday in a hospital room, I did so surrounded by the ones I hold dear - my three boys (two little and one big) and my parents. A chocolate cake, made by my sister-in-law, also happened to be in attendance, sweetening the day even more. Finn warmed my heart so much with the nearly thirty kisses he planted on Lachlan's forehead.

HappyKiss

It seems that I can only manage one update a week - stolen computer time in between mothering two boys in different locations. Lachlan continues to do well. Last Tuesday he was moved out of the ICU and into his own room, with a bed and some privacy for us. (There's no way to get away from the beeping, though - I swear I will hear those beeps in my dreams for the rest of my life.) We're basically just waiting to see if Lachlan can get to the point where he takes most of his breastmilk orally. If not, we're looking at him having another very minor surgery to insert a temporary gastrostomy tube in his stomach to supplement his oral feeds. This is pretty typical of babies with HLHS. So we'll be here for at least another week, one way or the other.

HappyKiss3

I'm really having to work on my patience, because even if Lachlan isn't quite ready to come home yet, I am. I need to gently remind myself that he'll be home eventually, and that eventually we'll settle in to what will become our new normal. Right now I just feel like we're all floating in this limbo, and it's a challenging place to be. I'm thankful for Lachlan's health, but I'm just tired.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a beautiful day - maybe we'll head to the gardens with Finn. I'm tempted to rip off Lachlan's monitors and run outside with him, too. It's a shame to be alive and not be outside right now! Soon enough, soon enough. I think I'll pick some flowers for him to look at and smell in the meantime.

Warm wishes and much gratitude for your continued prayers and positive thoughts!


two weeks old

attentive

Umm ... sorry for the blurry photos. I've found it challenging to take good pictures in the low-light ICU. Also, just so you know ... the red around his eyes has nothing to do with having open-heart surgery. It's simply because he was bruised and banged around during birth. That's what happens when you're a whopping nine pounds, apparently. :)

My apologies for not keeping you updated this week - it's been a doozy. Let me start by saying that Lachlan is doing wonderfully.

one of many little smiles

At the beginning of the week we weren't so sure. A test had revealed what could have been an obstruction in one of his pulmonary arteries, but he was doing so well that the doctors were baffled. They ordered an angiogram and we had to wait until today for the procedure. As you can imagine, we spent the week biting our nails in anticipation.

There is no obstruction whatsoever! He's on the fast road to getting out of the hospital now, especially since he's able to take most of his breastmilk orally. We can't wait to have him home, but we'll believe it when we have the baby in the car seat. I'm crossing my fingers for him to be home for my 30th birthday on March 20th. I can't think of a better way to celebrate.

Lachlan with Munari mobile

Lachlan looks and acts like a typical two week-old. His alert periods are getting longer, and he's such a delight to sing to. He makes the funniest faces, and thoroughly enjoys concentrating on his Munari mobile as well as the Nikki McClure prints.

Lachlan with fingers

Thank you again for all of your support. I plan on printing off each and every comment to be included in a special baby book for Lachlan. He is such a dear boy, and is so fortunate to have so many people pulling for him.


welcoming lachlan

Lachlan's First Gaze

Hello Lachlan Anderson, contemplative one, born naturally and beautifully after twelve hours of labor on Sunday night, February 27th! He weighed in at 9 pounds even - the more rolls the merrier!

Bonding with Lachlan

Lachlan was able to nurse for about twenty minutes before they took him away to start the IV drip that will keep his heart pumping well until surgery. It was glorious for all involved.

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He's such a mellow little fellow, and enjoys being wrapped snugly in a blanket. His other early interests are his left hand, pumped colostrum, sleeping, the Nikki McClure prints in his crib, and sucking on a pacifier since the doctors won't let him go to the breast. Any sucking practice is necessary for babies with HLHS, so maybe he won't be able wear Finn's favorite shirt as a hand-me-down, which states "I will NOT be pacified!" in a cute, anarchist way.

Other than his heart, he is perfect.

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Lachlan's surgery will happen tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, and will likely take the six hours or so. Please, please, send your healing thoughts his way. This is a little babe who has already changed the world, as we've witnessed in Duke's new "Heart for Bonding Initiative," which changes the perinatal protocol for babies born with congenital heart defects. May he live a long, full life and be able to make his mark even deeper.

These next few days are going to be a roller coaster. I'll try to update you about his progress as I find the time and energy.

Love to you all.


still waiting

baby surprise in progress

and knitting.

waiting for baby

Nothing much happening in the way of physical signs of Lachlan's arrival, but we're keeping busy otherwise. My parents are now in town. I've had some knitting time (as you can see). We're doing projects around the house. Tying up loose ends. And yesterday, Patrick, Finn and I went for a two mile hike.

waiting for baby 2

The weather is gorgeous, and it has me thinking of planting season. It's something else, isn't it? The perpetual optimism of the human condition. There's always something to anticipate with joy.

So now we wait, anticipating with both joy and trepidation the arrival of our second son. Knowing that the future will bring with it cycles of Winter and Spring, good times and difficult times, sadness and happiness.

lachlan belly 39 weeks 4 days

We saw some wild daffodils blooming on our hike yesterday. I took that as a good sign.

lachlan's pixie hat

Your pixie hat is ready for you, Lachlan. Come on out so you can try it on.

 

 


mobiles make me happy

black and white butterfly mobile 2

black and white butterfly mobile

And if mobiles make me happy, then that's reason enough to hang them in a room. But would you look at this?

delight

That's Finn at about one week old, having an absolute blast watching his black and white whale mobile. So you betcha, I'm bringing a stash of mobiles with me to the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit.  What I wouldn't give to see Lachlan make that face!

First in line are the black and white mobiles. The one pictured above is our butterfly mobile (not designed with an infant in mind, but it's so lovely. I found it a while back at Royal Buffet. It normally sways in the air currents in our bedroom, but we'll be hanging in above Lachlan's crib once he arrives. The whale mobile (from Michael Olaf) will also be packed, as well as our new Munari mobile, a Montessori classic.

black and white butterfly mobile 3

I was really excited to run into At Home With Montessori, a new resource for families interested in implementing some (or all) of the Montessori philosophy at home with their infants and toddlers. It's run by Meg Hicks, a former Montessori classroom teacher in Australia who now stays at home with her new baby.

Thanks to Meg, Lachlan will have the entire visual mobile series, which starts with the Munari (pictured below.)

munari mobile

As with everything in the baby's environment, mobiles should be rotated to maintain interest. I might amass quite the collection with Lachlan, as he will be spending a lot of time supine (he won't be able to have tummy time until his incision and chest bone have healed.) Here are a few other mobile ideas around the web. Enjoy!

Origami

Needle felted

Driftwood

Silk

Poms

Geometric Paper Balls

Nebula

Mod


something to remember

with my babies

A fleeting state, this is. But such a sweet one. I wonder what he will think when the baby is on the outside. He says "Baby Lala, nap too?" Yes, sweet one, Baby Lachlan will take naps, too. Then his eyelashes begin to droop gracefully, the upper lashes meeting the lower lashes, and he drifts off to a dreamland full of babies, choo choo trains, and cats. His hands curl next to his cheek, and I notice that the baby has the hiccups. I (gracelessly) roll over and out of the bed.

Naptime.


a getaway

bubbles

the wait is over

over

out

bubble walk

wilmington, nc

river boats

wind blowing through the hair

pregnant belly #2, 16+ weeks

The beach! We finally got away for a much-needed twenty four hours of relaxation this weekend. The last two weeks have been stressful, as Patrick has started the semester with a bang. In other words, he's had to solidify and write up his dissertation research plan in all of two weeks. This means that I have had no time to work, as he's been working from the wee small hours of the morning until after I go to sleep. But we figured that it's good in the long run ... and plus, we'd planned this little trip to Wilmington to visit his aunt and uncle as a little celebration of a deadline met. Nothing like a carrot hanging in front of you, right?

We were set to leave on Saturday morning. Patrick had been working all day on Friday, trying to get this document written and submitted before we left. Then he called me. The file had been corrupted and he'd lost all of his work. He showed up at the house looking like he'd just found out that he'd lost a loved one! Poor guy. And what did this Superman do? He went to bed at 8 p.m., woke up at 2 a.m., and poured out all of those words again. By 10 a.m., he was done, and we were out the door.

Yay, beach! And yay for my brillant, loving, and hard-working partner in life. I don't know how he does half of the things he does. He just blows my socks off.

And now, it's back to life as usual. Hope you all had a good weekend.

Oh, and did you notice that mini-baby-bump in the last picture? Week 17. I went to see the midwife today, and she predicts a well-behaved girl. I predict a human baby. Being no clairvoyant myself, and not particularly liking being wrong, I stick to sound predictions only. ;)


handmades for a newborn

for my cousin's baby boy

My cousin is having a little boy in a few weeks - her first - and I knew some special handmades were in order. (When are they not?) Being an Autumn baby, he'll be wearing plenty of hats to keep him warm. If you're going to wear hats, I say, why not make them the cutest hats ever? And these are. I should call them Finn's hits.

finn's pixie hat

Because really, friends, if you want to have strangers come up and compliment you on something you've made by hand and tell you how cute your baby is, dress your baby in a Stella Pixie hat. I never ever get oohed and aahed over when I wear a scarf I knitted or even a sweater - they just look like piles of organized yarn plopped on my not-as-cute-as-a-baby body. But the Stella Pixie on a baby? My my.

Sigh. So tiny he was (yet so chubby) just nine months ago.

mini stella pixie

I made the Stella Pixie out of the yarn I had leftover from making Finn's version. This one, however, is sized down. Finn's will still fit him this winter, and he has a rather large noggin. Take a peek at other people's ravelry notes for their suggestions on how to size it down - I'm not going to recommend anything until I know how it fits on a newborn's head. All I have here is a gargantuan toddler head with which to measure. And Finn's doll - neither of which did the trick.

sweet pea pilot cap on doll

The blue striped hat is a Sweet Pea Pilot Cap - a free tutorial for you in my side bar. It's the newborn size. My hope is that it fits the little fellow for his trip home from the hospital.

leaf elephants. clever.

We wrapped it up in some pretty paper and added a very clever elephants-made-from-leaves card, which we found at our local fair trade store.

Notice my choice of pronouns for the previous sentence? I did not wrap alone. I had a very industrious little helper, who apparently prefers to work in silence.

don't you remember how fun this was when you were a kid?

Nothing like scotch tape to keep a toddler busy, and a mama laughing!


my baby is one

finn's 1 year mosaic

I'm at a loss for words. I love this little person - this constantly evolving, constantly growing testament to the goodness of life. A precious presence, he is. A person who, like his father, helps me to be a better person. A giggler. A goofy ham. A person with intensity and vivacity. A person who I can't wait to get to know, over and over again, for the rest of my life.

Happy birthday, dearest Finn. You are so loved.