Monday, February 23, 2009

Pictures of Lacey, by popular demand

Although Lacey did not attend her church meetings, she did manage to get in her Sunday dress.
Lacey meeting her great grandma Grampp.
Lacey crying for her great grandma Grampp.
Lacey Burrito
Lacey and momma Cassie
Still Lacey and momma Cassie.
Lacey & Daddy
Lacey's first car ride home.
Lacey & her grandma Nichols
Lacey meets Uncle Dallin and gets held by Aunt Hannah
Lacey & Aunt Hannah

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A happy and healthy Lacey arrived home today and met the dogs!

Heavenly Father answers prayers! Lacey had a miraculous and speedy recovery and was finally released from the hospital at 2:40pm Saturday February 21st, 2009. Cassie and I on the other hand were sent home the night before at 10:00pm. Being discharged without our daughter was torture, but we were so excited to hear this separation would only be one night long. Lacey's stay at Banner Gateway was 10 minutes shy of three days as apposed to the possible 5-7 days originally projected. We owe a great deal of gratitude because of the many prayers offered by all of you. Thank you again for your care and concern.

Upon her arrival, our four dogs were somewhat vocal about the addition to our family. So, to calm them and maybe ease the curiosity caused by the strange new crying and gurgling sounds, I carried each dog one by one, and introduced them to Lacey at a safe distance. Now, keep in mind, I've learned a great deal about my dogs and their behavior over the years. I know how to read them, so I'm usually aware of the cause of certain reactions. Shortly after Curly, Polly, Tyke and Scout each saw Lacey, they were returned to their cage. This was followed by the most pathetic whining. The kind of whining usually heard by three dogs, when they are jealous of the lucky fourth dog privileged enough to be invited into the house with us at the time. I can only assume our four k-9 friends were under the impression that our new little girl was one of them and that she was the lucky one of the day.

Friday, February 20, 2009

And two becomes three. Our big news!

At approximately 2:50pm on Wednesday February 18th 2009, our little 7lb and 2 ounce baby girl was born at Banner Gateway Hospital located in Gilbert Arizona. She is 20 inches long, has the cutest blondish brown hair and big beautiful curious blue eyes. Cassie and I have officially decided to name her Lacey. Additionally, we have given her the middle name “Kay” in honor of her late grandma Leslie Kay, who passed away 2 years ago on March 14th, 2007. Kay also happens to be my twin sister Cassidy’s middle name, my niece Liberty’s middle name, as well as Cassie’s sister Natalie’s and dad’s middle name.

From a daddy’s perspective

Cassie being pregnant had been a very surreal and almost laughable phase in our lives. We giggled and joked often about many aspects during this 9 month transition. Despite a spell of morning sickness and some discomfort the last few weeks, Cassie’s pregnancy was mostly pleasant and almost seemed unreal. Though she looked pregnant and we made many preparations for an addition to our family, our lives went uninterrupted, very few things changed and the reality of a baby seemed unimaginable. This isn’t to say however, that friends and family members never attempted to elaborate, describe and explain what we were about to experience. I suppose now more than ever before that the birth of a child is simply an event that must be experienced to be fully understood.

As I assisted the nurse in helping my wife push, reality still hadn’t quite set in. After all, Cassie was still in good spirits and our relationship and conversations continued as they always had before. Even between contractions. We were still the same, though the setting and circumstances were foreign and maybe unusual. But, this all changed in one single moment. Suddenly, I saw a small head! This was quickly followed by a little body. As soon as she was out, the doctor flipped her right side up and I saw a face and reaching arms. I was stricken and completely in love. I now had a daughter! She was mine. No, she was ours!

Throughout my entire life, all of the relationships I have developed and experienced took time and effort. While dating others and then later while dating my wife, these relationships started with feelings of attraction that then grew into stronger feelings and eventually love. But, seeing my daughter for the first time abolished such processes and broke all records. My heart grew in an instant and I now loved this supposed stranger with all of my heart and with such great emotion and passion unlike all I have ever felt before. It really was love at first sight. A notion I hardly believed in previously. I was now a parent. A father! Joy radiated throughout my entire being.

Our baby was then taken to a nearby area where she was cleaned and checked. Everything seemed normal, and the nurses tended to our baby in a very routine manner. They looked very trained and experienced. When our girl cried a little during these procedures, her voice was impressed on my mind forever. It was sweet and very quite. It was familiar to me, as was her face. I knew she was sent specifically for us. They then wrapped her and handed her to me.

Laying there in my arms was an angel so real and so amazing. I never wanted to let her go! But, if I had to, the next best thing and just as thrilling was to see her meet mommy, who up until now, had been recovering and maybe a little left out of such wonderful experiences. This reunion was unforgettable. Seeing Cassie get to hold our baby for the first time brought tears to my eyes. We then took pictures with our little girl and relished the moment.

Then, our baby was returned to the little work area for more tests. She wasn’t breathing deeply or crying enough like she should be and this alerted the nurses. Instead, she was grunting. When I heard them discuss that issue, I was thrust into the dark world of a worrying parent within minutes of my little girl’s birth. I now knew what it felt like to care so deeply it hurts beyond description and likewise carried the concern of a father who feared for the life of an individual he would gladly trade places with if ever the option was offered.

Soon, they were sucking a large amount of liquid from Lacey’s lungs. I stood there feeling helpless, but I wanted to do anything I could to help. I did not want to leave her side. Sensing this, the nurses allowed me to accompany them while they wheeled our baby to the nursery for additional assistance and equipment. I must have looked pitifully desperate and worried, that many of the nurses and doctors continually looked me in the eyes and tried saying anything and everything to assure me they were doing the best they could and that our baby was going to be fine. I’m actually surprised I’m able to recall these moments as they were very traumatic and were experienced as though it was an out of body type moment. I don’t remember walking. I don’t remember breathing. I just remember being their and hearing the echoes of voices as they took turns giving me comfort and working on my girl.

After what seemed like an eternity, our baby was doing better. To help her, she needed blow by oxygen to get the proper oxygen saturation in her lungs. Without machines, she was getting only 89% out of 100%. I touched her often and prayed for her in my heart over and over. Again, I didn’t want to leave her, but I was probably in the way. So, after being promised she was in good hands, I somehow ended up back at Cassie’s delivery room. When I entered the room, the nurses were gathering our things in preparation to move us to our more permanent room. They exclaimed, “there’s daddy,” while Cassie was in the background nearly fainting and being held up by two nurses. It was all so much to handle, and the nurse must have known I was struggling with the scene. She immediately diverted my attention and grabbed my arm and our things and said, “Why don’t you come with me to your new room.” Heaven knows I wouldn't have been able to help keep Cassie from falling. I too was near the tipping point.

Halfway down the hall, the nurse asked if I was okay. I tried to respond, but tears welled up in my eyes and my mouth involuntarily pulled downward on each side. She explained to me that baby’s frequently breathe in these types of fluids when they are being born, and that our baby would be okay. After walking down what seemed like an endless hall, she sat me down in our new room and got me juice and some crackers. I'm sure I was an interesting sight. Big guy, emotional, and being appeased by crackers and a little juicy juice. I sat there in a trance for some time!

Cassie was brought into our room and I spent the next few hours visiting her and the baby off and on. I can only imagine Cassie’s anguish caused by being unable to see her baby or jump up and visit her like I was able to do. Cassie was still tethered to an IV, so she had to stay put. I tried to be informed about our baby and learned very quickly what all of the numbers on her monitors meant and what was good and bad. I reported back to Cassie as often as I could.

For the most part, Lacey was doing well, but the x-rays showed that some of the fluids still remained and had settled in her lungs. This meant that they would have to keep a close eye on her to make sure that she wouldn’t develop Pneumonia. Finally, at around 8:00pm, Cassie was able to go with me to see our baby. By this time though, our little girl had been moved to the NICU. The NICU is an intensive care unit for newborns. Inside of this wing of the hospital, Lacey would receive continuous care 24/7 and was placed under a hood with oxygen. She was also hooked to an IV with antibiotics. Despite the need for all of this, she was still doing relatively well.

Cassie’s mom and sister’s came, and were the first to see our baby so long as they were accompanied by one of the two of us. It was good to have someone else there to help Cassie and I relax and for us to receive words of support. Later, while Cassie visited with nurses, Sandy, Hannah, Natalie and I took a lap around the hospital and visited the cafeteria and gift shop. We also looked for a piano, but learned there wasn't one yet. Though it was nice to see them and take a stroll, I'm sure I was as entertaining and energetic as a zombie. I was so scared! I couldn’t eat and my breathing was heavy because I was so worried. I would have been worse though had they not visited. After they left, the long night began. It was a sleepless night for the two of us, and I'm not sure when I finally conked out. I worried myself to sleep. I was afraid that if I slept, I would be unable to check up on Lacey for several hours and feared I would wake up to bad news.

The next morning was much better though. We visited our baby as soon as we woke up, and learned that she was a very happy baby considering her situation and seemed to overlook the fluid in her own lungs. They said that she acted like she felt nothing was wrong with her even though the x-rays said otherwise. She was also breathing without the help of extra oxygen. This was a big improvement. Since this time, Cassie and I have had wonderful bonding moments with our baby as we have visited her frequently and fed her every three hours. Because of the circumstances, it became necessary to supplement breast feeding with formula as well. Though it is our goal to get her completely off of formula, this temporary feeding plan allows both of us to take turns participating in each sitting. I’m so grateful to get this opportunity and love being with our girl. She is so cute and the best thing that has ever happened to us.

We are so grateful for all of the prayers offered in our little family’s behalf. We know they are being heard and answered! Please continue to pray for Lacey’s health so that we can bring her home soon. We also apologize if you were not contacted or informed when our baby was born as we had planned to do. We had a long list of people to call, and with all of the emotions we were simply unable to attend to the task as we had planned. Thank you for your support. We are so happy and blessed. Thank you for the phone calls, visits and food. We feel loved.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Last Day of Freedom

So tonight's the night. I realized I had only washed a few outfits for the baby, so I'm doing laundry. I'm washing things like hats. How many little caps does a baby need? Probably like one. But at this point we're keeping them all.

So I finally got the nursery pictures up on here. The quilt on the wall was made by my friends Jen and September. The mirror we got from my sister-in-law Chelsea and we just painted it. She also gave us the changing table and crib! We are really lucky to have gotten those. Thanks Chels!

We are borrowing this bassinet. The shelf above is a work in progress. We're not sure what to put on it. The debate these days is will the baby sleep in our room for awhile, and if so, will the insomniac Cameron ever fall asleep at night?

Yay for the bed set! Too bad the lamps, rugs, etc that go with it are so pricey.

My mom's chair got painted. She was so nice to let us use it. The beautiful blanket on it was also made by Jen. She is so talented!

Another view.

Anyway, I love this room and feel happy when I go in it.

So the plan is to go to bed really early tonight and then set my alarm for 2 am and head to el hospital at 2:30. We'll see if I can fall asleep knowing I get to see my baby soon!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

On the due date

On the due date I have eaten chocolate and rainbow sherbet icecream. I have done every piece of dirty laundry in our house. (and hung it up or folded it) I'm tired!
I guess this baby may just wait until she gets induced to come out. That will be . . .drum roll please . . . Wednesday at 3 am. What a weird time! It was either that or Friday and I'm good with sooner!
I'm done being full time teacher for years! Yay! It feels weird and surreal. Some things I'll miss but in some ways it feels like I escaped from Alcatraz and I can run freely on the beach.