Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quick Christmas Recap

Merrrrrrrrry Christmas!

Ours was fast and furious but it was great to spend Christmas with both sides of our family.  I am back at work already (booooo!) and haven't downloaded the pics from my camera yet but I DID manage to steal some from my sister-in-law's website (thanks, Kelly!).

Here's a condensed recap of the Walker Family Christmas (yes, very similar to a good ol fashioned, Griswold family Christmas....minus the lime green RV in the driveway).

Papa and his grandsons

Mom and I laughing at Jack, Luke's cousin and future partner in crime.  I can't wait to see the trouble that these two will get into.  They are hilarious.  More proof below

Yes, that onesie says "Santa's Favorite".  Clearly, Luke.  Who could argue with THAT!?!?!?  

Boys will be boys.  They already love to play.  Or, Jack loves to play and Luke lays there with a look that begs to be saved.  Give him time...he's going to whooping up on Jack in no time!

Jack's going in for a kiss.  We hope.  There were bites that were distributed the night before but Luke did not fall victim.  Lucky fella!

and clearly Christmas was the most exciting for this lil kindergarten-er.  I couldn't be more excited to see her start ballet and tap.  I told her I wanted to know the name of her dance studio so I could enroll in an adult class and we could carpool  She didn't like that idea though so we scrapped it.  I think she was worried her aunt would embarrass her - imagine that!!!!

Photo dump from my camera (with more from the Walker Christmas and the Turner Christmas pics) will come as soon as I can get my pictures downloaded.  


Embrace the chaos.

Monday, December 19, 2011


I wish I could have sent one to everyone I know and everyone I meet.  But now that I've mailed them out,  this electronic version will have to do for the rest of you!  Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Kiss your loved ones and enjoy this time of year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my family to you and yours!

Luke's Birth Story - Part II

So, yep.  I didn't quite have to wait in the hospital five weeks at that point.  In fact, things pretty much went at a frantic pace from there on out.  I started to really feel contractions.  Not in like a "there's this weird cramping feeling going on" kinda way.  It was more a "holy moly, this is labor" kinda way. 

I started to dilate more and they realized the magnesium wasn't slowing my labor (yes, it was magnesium I think...not merconium like I said before?   Who knows! It really was all a blur - and none of you really care WHAT it was, right?  Just know there was something they gave me to try to stop it all from coming so quickly!)  At that point, maybe 7:00 in the morning, I was given a dose of steroids to try to beef up baby boy's lungs.  The next dose could be administered in twelve hours so we were hopeful I'd make it.

But I didn't.

What felt like maybe an hour later, the anesthesiologist came in and said she had only a few minutes to do the epidural so she had some quick questions and gave me a quick overview. Did I have any questions?   Hell, no, just give me the epidural before it's too late!  So, she popped that thing in there so fast and pain-free in comparison to what I had been feeling.  (She's awesome by the way.  I can't remember her name anymore, but she was so cool, and even checked on us later to give us some suggestions for doctor's for Luke, etc.)  Not only was the anesthesiologist awesome, but the epidural was big time relief!  And with the pain gone, I could focus on calming myself --- and my husband! -- down.  And shortly after that, my doctor was in to check on me again and I was embarrassed but said, "I either peed the bed or my water might have broken".  And, not sure now which would have been worse, but it was my water breaking.  Things really flipped into high gear. As my doctor said that we were going to have this baby in the next hour or so I kind of panicked -- we can't have him now!  We haven't taken the childbirth classes, or the parenting classes!  We aren't even registered to GO to the classes until September!  Kelsey said something about getting the Cliff's Notes version and squeezed my hand.  Right then, I knew we were all going to get through this together.  It was going to take some incredible medical intervention for our little boy, but I knew we'd all be okay.  

Kelsey was a rock.  I'm pretty sure he must have had some valium or something but we was cool and calm and there's not a thing I would have changed about the was he looked at me in that moment.  This was about to happen.  We were seriously becoming the next hour!  WOAH!

A team of probably 12 or 14 people came into the room (or maybe it just felt that way?).  There was my doctor and a team of nurses with me and another team waiting to tend to Luke immediately.  I had given Kelsey strict instructions from the time we found out I was pregnant.... he would NOT be down south during labor.  So, I -- in the midst of all this craziness -- had them wheel my bed to the center of the room so he could stand behind me at my head.  Literally three pushes and the doctor even went "Woah!" on the last one.  Luke was ready to be here.  Poor thing had a cone head like the SNL skit - he'd been just waiting patiently in position for so long his little noggin was really pointy!  He was bruised along the left side of his body and having trouble breathing but they wrapped him up in a little foil looking suit, gave us a quick peek and then wheeled him down to the NICU.  Kelsey joined Luke while my doctor finished things up with me. 

AND.THAT.WAS. TORTURE!  Not knowing what was going on or how he was doing was just awful.  I'm sure they kept me posted but all I could do was ask to go down to the NICU.  They wouldn't let me go see him until my epidural wore off.  The test for that was to be able to lift my legs from a sitting position.  So that's all I did for the next hour or two.  My family came in to see me, my in laws were still driving down from Oklahoma, but I just sat there trying to lift my legs.  The second I could get some air on those bad boys, I was wheeled down to the NICU where I got to hold sweet Luke's hand.  We took our first family photo - I'm pretty sure it was this one...

Looking back now, it's amazing now how far we've come.  And we're only four and a half months into this crazy game of parenting.  We still have so many questions that we will never truly have answers to.  There's no telling what in particular caused this.  There's no certainty for what the future holds, if this is a given for our next baby.  We just pray that as tough as little Luke had it, our next baby (if there IS a next!) won't have to journey down this road again.  

It wasn't quite the story we had expected, but it's our story and it's made Luke such a little fighter.  He's stubborn.  He's sweet.  And most of all he will never, for one second, ever, be taken for granted.  He's our little blessing, our million dollar baby.  Whatever you want to call him.  We are just happy that he's home.  He's ours.  And he's healthy!  

We go for a weight check tomorrow - say a prayer that he's back to gaining like he's supposed.  We had a slow down last time we were there and it set off a caution bell with our pediatrician.  So, if you think of it, we'd appreciate the prayers that things continue to progress as they should!  Our sweet little man!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Luke's Birth Story - Part I

I know I should have posted this sooner rather than later so I wouldn't forget all the details.  But ya'll....there's some details I WANT to forget!  What a wild experience.  It's pretty emotional (still) for me but with all the people asking "what happened...did you just....go into labor?" and other questions along those lines, I thought the time has come to tell the story of Luke's original birth day.

So...back up a few days prior (3 to be exact) from Luke's birthday.  That Wednesday, I went in for a checkup. My blood pressure was high and my in utero fluids were high.  They thought that was strange because usually if one is high the other is low and vice versa.  So off to the hospital we went, all kinds of freaked out.  Worried about our sweet little man's health.  And we get there, get plugged into monitors and my blood pressure was...fine.  Completely 100% normal.  For over three hours.  So I was released with a note to go on "modified bed rest".  I was told this means no going into the office, no errands, etc. but I didn't have to be flat on my back all day.  Sounded great to me!

So Thursday, late afternoon I met some friends at the pool for some relaxing floating around.  One of the girls was also pregnant and due the day before me so we talked about how we hoped we'd go into labor early since we felt so huge.  Surely our little babies must be massive.  WELL, little did I know!

Friday, I was mostly good about modified bed rest.  I worked some from home while in bed, but we had company coming in to town for our couple's shower on Saturday so I convinced my mom to drive me to the grocery store to grab some fresh flowers and some cinnamon rolls.  I just didn't feel right at the store.  Mom invited me to come down for dinner and I just felt like I needed to go  home and lay down.  And as I did, I started feeling some cramping.  Nothing crazy but it was out of the ordinary and something made me think to time them.  I ended up paging my doctor when I realized they were at regular intervals -- 9 minutes apart.

My doctor, who is not only an amazing doctor but a fantastic person in general, told me nonchalantly that he'd like me to come by the hospital just to "check things out".  I literally put on a sundress and wedges and figured we'd go out to eat afterwards.  No bags packed, no PJs, no toothbrush.... nothing.  Kelsey and I walked into the hospital after talking about how we wouldn't even tell anyone we were going to the hospital since I just felt ridiculous. I mean, we didn't want everyone knowing at our shower on Saturday that I had been at the hospital for "nothing".

Our nurse met up with us in the lobby and took me back to labor and delivery.  I kept saying, "I'm sure I'm crazy and it's nothing.  I'm just paranoid after being here the other day..." blah blah blah.  Ya'll, I really thought I was crazy.  Of course, there's no WAY I could be in labor.  I wasn't due for another two months!!!

Katie (who is awesome and if you're pregnant you should a.) deliver at Baylor Frisco and b.) request Katie in L&D.... you can thank me later Katie, when all the crazies head your way!!!!) Anyways....Katie was our nurse and she is awesome.  She joked around, kept us calm and for the most part, let me know that they were just monitoring things.  Nothing was showing up as a contraction on the monitors but she could feel them on my belly.  Wait, what?  These are...contractions???   HOLY....

There was a lot of laying around, talking, laughing and waiting.  Waiting to see what my body would do.  what our sweet baby would do. At one point, Katie and two other nurses rushed in and I thought they were flipping me over a joke, you know to see my butt or something?  Who knows.  But that's how relaxed it was.  And how funny Katie is.  But, apparently, they were NOT joking and I needed to turn immediately.  Luke's little heart rate had dropped momentarily and by re-positioning me it went back up on it's own.  So, that bought me the night, guaranteed.  Katie said they would keep me but could take me off the monitors at midnight.  I thought she was crazy.  What's the point in being at the hospital if I'm just laying in bed, unplugged from everything?  Whatever, crazy nurse.  ;)

From this point on, my times are all of.  I took some medicine to help me sleep and at what I think was 2am, I woke up with some serious cramping.  I think it was at this point that they started merconium (iffy on the name, but it was medicine to stop my contractions and to halt labor).  My doctor came by and explained that now I had bought myself an extended stay in the hospital.  He even said, "Of course, if you make it to 35 weeks you can go home because at that point it's fine if you go into labor but you'll be here otherwise".  I thought yuck.  Who wants to be in the hospital for FIVE weeks?  Well, I got what I wished for.  I wasn't in the hospital but another two days.

To be continued.....

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas is Coming....

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat...pleased to put a penny in the old man's hat!  (Has anyone else grown up with that Christmas song or was my childhood a freak of nature? Anyhoooo)

Yep, Christmas is coming!  I swear I haven't been ignoring it in favor of baby (disclaimer:  nor, have I been ignoring baby in favor of Christmas!).  I love that Christmas is here - the house is decorated, not our best year for decorations, but they're done.  I'm only about halfway done with my shopping but so far, I'm really pleased with the gifts I've bought.  Don't you just love coming up with the perfect gift?  I've managed that for each gift purchased so far and considering the budget we are on this year (thank you medical bills) that was no small feat. 

So, in case you are still trying to come up with some gift ideas, I thought I would share some things on my wish list and maybe it will spark an idea for the loved ones in your life.  I'd love to share what I've bought for my family but I'm pretty sure that would spoil some good suprises!

This was my big ticket, early gift that I got on black Friday.  We got a heck of a deal and I feel like it makes me a better mom.  Ok, not really, but that's how I sold the idea at my house!
So, of course there's accessories that are great for this.  If you've got a photographer - or new mom - that you're shopping for, how about one of these cute dslr camera strap covers (courtesy of Etsy)
And these beauties?  Don't even get me started.  I told the hubs if he wasn't getting me these to let me know and I would go get them and they could be from Luke.  HA!

So that's the exciting stuff.  But there are some smaller, stocking stuffer or little gift that not only are affordable but are apparently the ideal gift for someone who is getting old and boring practical.

Genius.  Or these?  I've packed away maternity clothes, preemie and newborn sizes of Luke's clothes but I really am anxious to implment these bad boys.

So, there you have it.  That's what's on my list.  Some exciting, some practical, but hopefully it sparked some ideas for you to get the perfect gift for the one you love! 

Merry Christmas - it'll be here before you know it.  We are aiming to take little man to visit Santa for a photo op (with the new camera!) on Friday.  Pictures to come if we make the visit!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Things I Never Knew Until Now

While we were in the NICU, we made friends with Luke's "roommate" HG.  And they're the kind of friends where you just know you were supposed to be friends.  There's just too many similarities.  Both having babies 9 weeks early.  Both babes weighed right at 3 pounds, in beds right next to each other.  HG's daddy and I both work at the same place.  We all live within a mile of each other.  We even had the same wedding colors... just a ton of weird similarities.  But beyond that "on paper" type of similarities, just sharing the experience of NICU created a friendship and an incredible level of understanding.  The fear of what if's.  The joy of celebrating the small steps forward.  The journey home.  Navigating the ropes with the doctors and the meds and schedules and all that.  There's no one that quite understands like another NICU mama.  And since we are within weeks of each other's schedules, that helps out tremendously too.

Any hoooo... So HG's mama and I were talking yesterday and decided that someone needs to let other mom's (or hopeful mom's or future mom's...) know the truth.  Too many times I've heard new moms bragging about their five week old baby that sleeps through the night.  Or heard the stories of what a happy little baby so-and-so is.  Or what an easy baby.  But this folks, is me keeping it real.  Not all babies are happy, easy, sleeping through the night babies.

Luke isn't a happy baby.  He's on the cusp of it now, but a couple of weeks ago, there was more crying until he couldn't catch his breath than there was anything else.  Don't get me wrong.  There are moments.  He smiles and all is right with the world.  Like, you just know he really wants to laugh but hasn't quite mastered that trick yet.  But for the majority of the time, he's either asleep or crying.  Well, and as of Saturday, maybe swinging.  (Yay!  Our son loves his swing now.  Finally.  Someplace to set him down where he's content for a few minutes!!!!   YESSSSSS)

And sleeping through the night?  HA!  Those babies must get a little bourbon in their bottle.  At our house, now 17 weeks into this whole trying to raise a baby thing....well, we are going four to five hours at a time.  And we are THRILLED with that. 

That's what a baby will do to you.  It's hard.  Everyone tells you it's hard.  But I seriously could not possibly prepare for how hard this journey would be.  Is it worth it?  Hands down, one million percent.  Unequivocally I love my little man something fierce.  But that doesn't mean it's all roses and a walk in the park.  We work hard on raising this baby.  Oh, and the worry?  Woah, the worry is insane and apparently never goes away from what I'm told.  It's not just a neurotic, over the top worry.  You worry about everything from major things to the totally mundane.  Am I being a good mom, doing the best that I can for my child to make sure he develops to his full, healthy potential?  Is he eating/sleeping/acting/playing/whatever right?  Do I _______ too much/ not enough/etc.  Is his diaper too tight?  If we go to _____ and he looses it are we going to be able to ignore the staring?  Why did he just spit his pacifier out?  Is he looking to the left too much?  Should his hand do that?  Geez, does he have a fever?  That was his third cough in sixteen days - is he getting sick?  Ok, that's a little extreme (sorta, but not really out of the question).  Regardless, you get the point. 

We ain't playing house here, kids.  This is the real deal.  It's hard, absolutely.  But holy moly is it ever worth it!  And as much as I wish someone had prepared me for all this, I'm not sure it's possible until you are thrown into it, sink or swim. 

Here's hoping we swim.

Case of the Mondays...

Seriously.  I'm trying to get motivated.  I really am.  But somehow, I keep thinking about this lil guy...
And wishing I was home snuggling.  Oh, Monday.  Here we go again. 

That aside...I'm hoping for a productive week.  I've got lots to keep me busy at work and at home!  Tomorrow may (or honestly may not for all I know!) entail Luke's first Santa visit.  I think he's asking for practical things this know like diapers and bottles, maybe a rattle if he gets real wild.  Who knows!?!?!?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

On a Roll!

Woah.  I'm actually posting AGAIN!  YOWZERS.  And get this...more pics too!  YESSSSSS...

Here's the some more pictures from our extended family Christmas photos.  Love the pics - love the photographer.  Love my boys.... Just love them.

While Luke was inside warming up, mommy and daddy got some pics alone...

Then Luke joined the fun.  Here's a couple of my boys... Mainly because he and daddy have matching wool pea coats on.  And who could pass up a picture of a daddy and son matching!  HA!

There's more with my extended family and some with all three of us in my previous post.  And if I'm being honest with you, there's one more that's my favorite of just us Turners but that one will have to be posted after I get my Christmas cards sent out! 

Thanks, Leslie for another great round of pictures.  It was cold and windy but way to make the best of it! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Working Mama

Well, one week into working and it's been a really big challenge.  Honestly, I'm not sure that's the right word because it's probably physically easier to leave my little guy with my mom or my mother-in-law (who are amazing and taking turns keeping him while I'm at work for now).  It's easier to go and sit at my desk and do my job as long as I can mentally stay focused on my work.  Emotionally, it's incredibly trying.  I just feel like my priorities have done a 180 and this whole "making, moving and selling chips" that I do at work, while important for a paycheck, is really kinda low on the totum pole.  I'm sure having a baby does that to anyone but having a wittle bity baby that's so delicate and you fight to get big and healthy....well that REALLY does a number on you and makes you re-evaluate it all. 

That all being said, most of the people at work have been really supported and put up with all my "proud mama stories".   Who woulda thought I'd be one of the crazy moms that pulls out pictures to anyone who asks me how my son is doing? 

Speaking of... dontcha want to know how my boy is doing?!?!?!  We still can't believe his cuteness factor continues to go up and up...  Check these bad boys out from his newborn session...

 sweet baby boy... 
photos courtesy of - Luke's newborn pics

And compare those to some we took just a week or so ago - same amazing photographer

please disregard my hair.  Ugh, the wind wouldn't cooperate!

and with the whole extended Walker fam

Obviously, my little man is getting so big so fast.  We know we aren't supposed to wish away this time, but we can't help but thinking about next year, how he'll be mobile, eating off our plates and maybe even a little into the excitement of the Christmas season, or at least the excitement of getting gifts! 

We go to the pediatrician tomorrow for a 4 month check up (and shots...) and to the pulmonologist on Wednesday for his second round of a live culture immuno-therapy (another shot...) to help fight against the nasty and dreaded RSV.  I'll post 4 month stats soon!  Say a prayer that he takes these shots like a champ.  Last time was pretty hard on him, but harder on this mama!

Birth Announcement

I couldn't be happier with how these turned out and just wanted to share with everyone.  How cute are they?

Side one (looks a little neon compared to what it really is....)

and side 2 with the "stats"

If you're needing Christmas cards printed or birth announcements, invitations, whatever... Julie is your girl! and our photographer is fabulous too  AND, as an added bonus, they are both Aggies!