November 21, 2013

Jackson's Grand Entrance - Part Two

Continued from my last post....

As Hubby and I walked behind the nurse who was wheeling our 16-hour old baby boy to radiology, I just kept thinking to myself, This is not happening. Please oh please, not again.

Then as an afterthought, This walking thing really hurts. 

But ever since the concerns about his head had been brought to our attention, it was hard not to notice the distinct similarities because his head shape and how Alayna's head had been.

Sure, from the front our little guy's face and head look normal. But the rest of his skull was very football shaped with no soft spot on top. It is quite noticeable from the back and especially when you feel it.

It was hard to be hopeful that it was nothing, but hope I did.

We have been told craniosynostosis is not genetic or hereditary so of all the things that I imagined could go wrong, having another cranio baby never even crossed my mind.

Not once.

Once back from radiology, we waited for the results.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally, Hubby went home that evening to get the kids so they could come visit their new baby brother in the hospital.

I was sitting there, in the hospital bed, waiting for them to come back when the pediatrician showed up to give me the CT scan results.

I didn't want to know.

Especially not until Hubby got back.

I wanted to pretend this wasn't happening.

To just wish it away.

So I quickly jumped in and told the pediatrician that my husband wanted to be here and talk to him as well, and that he would be here any minute.

He said okay, but then proceeded to inform me that it appears our little man does indeed have sagittal crainiosynotosis.

Even though I think deep down I expected it, I still felt totally blind-sided and unprepared.

I wasn't given any time to digest the news however, because at that precise moment, an enormous ruckus arose from the hallway.

I could hear my kids through the closed door and down the hall.

Oh dear.

This was going to be interesting.

Perhaps I should have ordered body armor for our little man.

Indeed, it seemed the local zoo had arrived at the hospital. Next thing I knew, kids were spilling in.

And they were sure excited.

And hyper.

Very, very hyper.

The little guy wasn't quite sure what to make of all the ruckus.

After being reprimanded (lovingly of course), the boys were in no mood to cooperate for a family picture.

Out of the fifteen or so shots my mom took, these were about as good as they got.

We're all about realism here.

It was kind of funny actually that everyone showed up at the same time. My in-laws had arrived not long after Hubby left, then when he came back with the kids and my mom, my cousins showed up at the same time.

They, however, came bearing a large and tasty gift.

I have no hope of losing all this excess baby fat that is severely chunking up my face.

None at all.

I love it though. I almost don't want to eat it!


In fact, every new nurse who came into my room spotted it instantly.

Must be that chocolate-o-meter that is naturally instilled in every woman. It was like they all had a homing device.

They always asked if it was real and I felt the need to be prepared to leap from the bed in case one of them had an inclination to make off with it.

I may have just had a baby, but my chocolate-protecting ninja skills were still in tact.

Anyway, once everything calmed down and everyone left, I was again alone with my precious baby.

And I cried.

I don't want to do cranio surgery again.

Hubby and I were still going back and forth on names at this point. I had wanted Joshua since I found out we were having a boy. So I was having a hard time letting it go. But I had to admit, Jackson seemed to fit him perfectly.

And I did like it.

So I finally gave the green light to put Jackson down on the birth certificate as we were getting ready to leave the hospital.

My two cranio babies.

As the news has spread that Jackson will need surgery, a few have responded with, "Well, at least you've done it before so you know what to expect, so that's good!"

I can only bite my tongue.

Yes, we know what to expect, and I think that that does offer comfort to a lot of people. But for me personally, that only makes it so much worse.

Many times when I look at him, I can't help but imagine him covered in scars, bandages, tubes, and IV lines.

When I nuzzle his fluffy hair I wonder if they'll have to shave it all off.

I imagine him in the pain and discomfort I remember Alayna having and it breaks my heart.

I HATE knowing what to expect.

I am grateful it's not life-threatening and I do know there are far, far worse things. Believe me, Primary Children's has a way of humbling you. And I am grateful that there is technology and skilled surgeons that will take of my baby.

But it still down-right sucks.

There is a chance his surgery will be different than the one Alayna had. If they do it before four months old they can so a far less invasive form of surgery, but he would have to wear a helmet for a while.

But until we hear back from the surgeon at Primary Children's we won't know what our options are.

I promise to try and keep my blog updated as we go along.

In the meantime, we would appreciate any prayers on behalf of our sweet little Jackson.

Love him.

You can read about Alayna's surgery HERE.

November 19, 2013

Jackson's Grand Entrance - Part One

I have witnesses. Several witnesses in fact, that will attest to the truth of what I'm about to reveal.

I predicted it you know. Down to the very day.

I told Hubby, "This is the week! He's totally coming this week. In fact, Wednesday would be the perfect day. You can deal with your crisis at work on Monday, we can make sure we do Parent-Teacher conference Tuesday night, then this little guy can come Wednesday!"

He rolled his eyes. He doubted.

He should never doubt me.

Tuesday was my 38 week doctor's appointment. My doctor informed me I was already dilated to 2-3 cm and his head way low.

When Hubby went back to work after that, my dad and I went shopping for the next three hours or so. I was hurting bad by the time we came home.

I may have been waddling before, but at that point I was full on limp-dling.

That's waddling and limping at the same time.

That night the contractions started coming fairly consistently yet I could tell it was all early labor.

Sure enough, by the time we wrapped up parent-teacher conference at the school around 8:00pm, they had slowed way down, and I slept fine that night.

The next morning, I warned Hubby to keep his phone handy at all times! This baby was going to come today!

I could tell he was skeptical.

Throughout the rest of the morning and afternoon the contractions would come and go, I would have several close together before they'd space themselves out again.

By late afternoon, the contractions were coming quite far apart, yet they were getting increasingly painful. I kept thinking how very odd it was that they hurt so dang bad but were still so far apart!

Hubby came home from work that night and by then I would have to stop and breathe through the painful contractions whenever they came on. Not too much later, I was starting to cry every time I had one.

Yes, cry. I cried okay!

You would cry too if you felt like a rototiller was going to work on your insides every few minutes! I didn't realize it at the time, but there was good reason as to why I was hurting so bad so soon.

But I'll get to that later.

At this point, I packed my bag and got my coat. I remember we were ready to head out the door right at 6:30pm because that's when our home teachers from our church showed up. Just in time to watch me cry through a contraction.


Or, not.

On the drive down to the hospital my contractions once again slowed down so Hubby suggested we walk around for a while.

About twenty minutes later, though it felt like twenty hours, I was back to the whole crying every two minutes deal.

So up we went to labor and delivery.

Now, if I confess something, promise not to tell anyone?

Okay then.

*deep breath* 

I was very seriously considering trying to go all natural with this baby.


I know right?

But it's true.

Having done it once I considered trying it again. I was kinda rationalizing it by telling myself that if I could do it with Alayna, who had Sagittal Craniosynostosis, than perhaps it would be just a bit easier with a baby who didn't.

Ironic. (I'll clarify the irony here in a minute)

However, when we checked into the hospital and discovered I was only dilated to five centimeters, I caved.

I didn't exactly beg for an epidural, per se. More like... an agonized pleading whisper.

If I felt like I was dying at five centimeters, I had no desire to discover what it would feel like at ten and beyond.

So, in came the anesthesiologist with his happy cart, and soon I was rigged and relieved. It was bliss. Pure bliss.

And I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Now that I was no longer crying and crushing Hubby's hand with my ever impressive brute strength, we decided that we might as well try to decide on a name.

So, like we have done a hundred times before, we started going though baby name lists.

After not really getting any closer to choosing a name, other than Hubby deciding he really liked the name "Maxwell", he was soon in a full horizontal position and sound asleep.

I dozed just a bit before realizing that I could feel the pressure from my contractions much stronger. Soon, there was lots of pressure and quite a bit of pain.

When the nurse came back in and I announced this fact, a quick check confirmed I was ready to push.

The doctor was called and the hustle and bustle began. It took Hubby a bit to rouse himself out of his stupor of painless sleep, and the doctor, who had also been asleep down the hall, walked in just a bit bleary-eyed.

I may have cracked a joke or two aimed at men and their blissfully painless innocence.

I couldn't help myself!

Here I am with needles sticking out of all kinds of places, propped up in a very... eh hem, awkward position, feeling a fair amount of pain, and the guys are trying to rub sleep from their eyeballs!


The doctor even offered to let Hubby help deliver the baby. Hubby just stared back in silence. I don't know if he just wasn't fully awake, or he was stunned into a stupor. It was actually fairly entertaining for me to watch.

In the end, Hubby passed, not quite feeling up to the challenge.

Anyhow, as the baby's head started to crown, I was hurting big time. Which only made me all the more grateful for whatever edge the epidural was managing to take off my pain.

I know I didn't push very long, but his dang head felt like it was stuck there for an eternity! I remember telling everyone to just get his head out already!

Hubby claims I was getting a bit loud at that point in my assertions to just Get. Him. for the love... Out! But since all I remember was pain and pushing, I believe I have the right to claim that I was quite dignified and calm in my demands.

Finally... oh blessedly, there he was, squeaking and squawking and squirming in my arms.

I would like to take a moment to comment on the fact that he was born at 11:23pm Wednesday night.

Like I told Hubby, never doubt me.

The proud daddy, looking every bit as though he had just done all the work.

Not my best look to be sure. But man, it was so good to finally have him here!

Though you can't tell, I was shaking rather violently, my teeth were just chattering away.

I could have been a one-man band.

Man, do I do good work, or do I do good work!

What an adorable little bundle of ridiculous cuteness.

 Hey, I just had a baby people. I'm allowed to say terribly sappy things like "ridiculous cuteness".

By now it was the early morning hours. Hubby and I both tried to get some sleep before he got up early to head home and get the boys off to school.

My mom took these pictures of daddy showing the girls their new baby brother. She said she wishes she had thought to do it with the boys as well, because they were just as excited.

While Hubby was home helping with the other kids, about mid-morning our pediatrician came in to talk to me.

He said that our little man was wonderfully healthy and looked great!

Well, except for one thing.

He had some serious concerns about his head. It was looking an awful lot like he may have the same condition that our daughter Alayna had, Craniosynostosis.

And we should do a CT scan right away.

That's when my heart sank clear down to my toes....


November 16, 2013


Jackson Maxwell

7lbs 13oz

21.5 inches

There is some news in regard to our handsome little man. I promise to write up everything as soon as possible! 

Also, his birth story coming soon! Minus all the stuff you really don't want to know about.

I'm thoughtful like that.
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