Saturday, March 29, 2008

Jen & Kate Are Home

Jen and Kate are home! Jen was released from the hospital on Saturday, March 22nd. Kate did a fantastic job keeping her sugar and bilirubin in check and the doctors allowed her to go home on Sunday, March 23rd. So far, this has been the smoothest transition home for one of our babies. She's still very red, but that is fading. She's also a quiet baby; so with the endless hours of sleeping, we hardly hear from her.

Presenting Kate! Sydney is holding her new "baby" too. We gave it to her so that she would have a baby to care for while Jen cared for Kate.


Ooooo....camera flash makes my eyes go crossed.


Sydney admiring her new little sister.


Sydney loves to dote on her.


Sydney holding Kate.


Jackson holding Kate. He is so patient and soft with her that we let him hold her all the time. He'll watch hours of cartoons with her sleeping in his lap. And when he's done holding her, he asks us to get her rather than just pushing her off his lap like Sydney does. He's always saying "she's so little; she's so beautiful."


KISS ME KATE! (There, I said it. Everyone was thinking it and now it's been said.) Sydney is thinking "Cute! A kiss!"; Kate is thinking "Huh? Food? Where?"


Giggles - "She kissed me!"


Kate's first night at home was spent in a laundry basket. She loved it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

KATE JACQUELINE SKOUSEN

Jen and I have decided to name our newest little girl KATE JACQUELINE SKOUSEN. The name bears some explanation. It commemorates Kathy, my mom, and Jacqueline, Jen's mom. Jen and I are always amazed by our mothers. Both are tremendously hard working. They are endlessly attentive and concerned for our wellbeing. They gush love with everything they do. And both seem bulletproof - to me, anyway. I don't know what could possibly shake either of them. Well, maybe there's one thing: telling my mom I was, at 18, going into the Army seemed to get her attention. But only for a moment. I had to resort to that because jokingly telling her I was gay didn't do anything. She just laughed it off. "Rats, foiled again!" Maybe the Dr. Laura fiasco bugged Jackie but you wouldn't know it because, like I said, she's bulletproof. (If you don't know about it, ask her because I won't tell you - I'm still healing from the embarrassment I caused myself. Ah, good times.) Our mothers are amazing women and we hope Kate Jacqueline will live up to their example.

So as to avoid confusing the baby with Kathy, we decided to use Kate, a variant of Kathy. Her middle name, Jacqueline, will be spelled exactly like the original. You might ask why we didn't put Jacqueline first and Kathy second. Inevitably, a Jacqueline is called Jackie - Jen's mom is a case on point. So our baby and Jen's mom would end up both being called Jackie - confusing. Other variants wouldn't clear up the confusion because Jacqueline goes by all sorts of nicknames: Jack, Jackie, and others. Those nicknames also perk Jackson's ears and mine. That would mean confusion within the extended family and at home! Also, other variants didn't solve the problem of her name being something like "Jackie Kathy"; too much alliteration if you ask us.

By naming her as we have, we're balancing both the practicality of the name and the tribute that the names pay. The first and commonly used name is a distinct variant while the second and less commonly used name is exactly as the original.

And you thought we were just going to throw darts at a baby name book.

We expect friends and family might use Katie or even Katie-J, which is fine by us. Hopefully it's fine by her - you'll have to ask. Whatever she is called, her personality will fill out her name's meaning. We're excited to get to know that personality and for it to tell us what her name means.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Baby Lineup

Jackson
Cute but obviously a boy. Those lips are huge. His cheeks are big and his high cheek bones draw his eyes out very long. Look at that Gene Fulmer nose - that's from his dad. He lost all his hair and remained a cue ball for a few months.

Sydney
Holy Fat Face! So adorable! Her features are plainly feminine. For the first few weeks, she looked Asian, not Caucasian. Her skin was yellow with jaundice and her face was round. She was born with sparse, dark, straight hair. It grows agonizing slow and is only now starting to fill in.


"Baby"
Look at all that hair; it's straight, very dense and silky. Smaller lips. Smaller cheeks. Her nose is different - more Jorgensen perhaps. Show us your eyes baby! Her face seems to be slightly more square. Her eyes seem not so deeply set, but that could just be her slimmer cheeks. When her eyes are closed, it's not easy to tell whether she's a boy or a girl. That all changes when she's looking around. Her beautiful eyes and smile give it away.

Don't let those slimmer cheeks fool you about her looks. Jen's blood sugar was more tightly controlled with this baby. That may have prevented this baby from swelling up as much as Sydney did. That's not to say that Jen isn't amazing with her sugar control because she is. But this baby may end up looking very much like Sydney without starting life in the Sumo Wrestler phase that Sydney did.

In all, Jen and I think that her Jorgensen features are more prominent. We're interested to see what the upcoming weeks do to her features.

Baby Photos: 24 Hours on Earth








After 24 hours on Earth, baby is coming around very nicely. Her blood sugar has leveled out and her demeanor is sweet as can be. Though she's only 9 lbs, she is a monster compared to all the preemie babies in the intensive care ward. That intense red of her skin is caused by having too many red blood cells, another typical result in babies of diabetic mothers. Her body is getting rid of those extra blood cells very quickly and soon she'll be yellow with jaundice.


She'll probably be leaving the intensive care ward in a day or so. Then she'll spend another day or two in the regular nursery before she comes home. Jen will be released from the hospital on Saturday. However, she'll probably continue to stay at the hospital to nurse and dote on baby until both can come home.

She remains nameless, but Jen and I are close to deciding. After holding her today, we decided that her personality didn't mix with the edgy names that we were considering. Amongst the names on that original list were Phoenix, Babette, and Ivy - names that I like - and Madison, Madeline, Avery, and Georgia - names that Jen likes. We've narrowed the final list down to two or three other names. Our primary complaint with the remaining names is that they are so popular; by popular, I mean they are within the top 500 names used in the U.S. Though not "popular" by most definitions, they're not as unique as I would like. It doesn't really matter though. Her name needs to fit her. So whatever fits will be her name. What are those remaining names??? You'll have to wait and see. Tomorrow will probably be the day that we commit to one. So, stay tuned!

Baby Girl Arrives









Our baby girl (as yet unnamed) arrived at 10:10 pm on March 20, 2008, weighing in at 8 lbs. 13 oz. She was born at Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan, New York City. We arrived at the hospital to induce delivery around 8:30AM. However the hospital was very busy - almost at capacity. So we had to wait for a room, and then wait for Pitocin (the drug that induces delivery), and then wait for the anesthesiologist to start the epidural, and then wait for the OB/GYN to finish with some other deliveries. It made for a long day. Jen seemed so perk though. She was ready to walk home after the baby was taken care of. She's getting to be a real pro at this baby thing.

Baby did very well. Her blood sugar plummeted shortly after birth (as expected), which sent the nurses scrambling to feed her and get an IV of glucose going. That sort of thing is normal with babies of diabetic mothers and happened with Sydney. As you can see from the pictures, baby is pretty aware and already looking around. She grunts a lot in a complaining sort of way. Its very soft and cute.

Jen and I are still debating names, but we have a few in mind. We're waiting for the baby to get cleaned up and for some of the swelling to go down so that we can see what she looks like. (Don't all babies look alike?)

Jackson and Sydney spent the day with April White and Valerie Thompson, two very charitable women in our ward. Thank you ladies! And thanks to their husbands for sacrificing their wives for a day to watch our little princess diva and martial-arts expert.

After I've edited some video, I'll post some clips of baby doing some arm waving and crying (about all she does at this point).

For baby, the next couple of days will be spent in the intensive care ward as her blood sugars even out. She'll be on a glucose drip and under UV lamps for jaundice. As for Jen, she may do a marathon tomorrow. Perhaps write a book or something. She's so strong and glad to have the baby that she's ready to take on the world. I love you babe! Congratulations.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ready or not...

Here she comes!!! Yesterday at my dr's appointments they decided that we should go ahead and do an amniocentesis to see if baby's lungs were mature enough to be delivered. So this morning, Jake and I went to the hospital for the test. At 7:00pm the dr. called to say the test came back positive and we're a go to induce baby TOMORROW (Thursday, March 20)! We're expected at the hospital at 8:00am to start the pitocin and hopefully we'll welcome our newest baby girl here sometime tomorrow afternoon. (Mid-morning would be even better!) Sydney was a pretty fast delivery so we'll hope for the best.

Tune in tomorrow night for photos of our sure to be "sumo baby" as my babies tend to fat and happy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

SUCCESS!!


I've been waiting awhile to make this post. First of all, you don't really know for sure how things are going until you wait it out awhile and second, I didn't want to jinx it. But here we go...Jackson is POTTY TRAINED!!! It's been weeks since he had an accident and tonight he even asked to just sleep in underwear instead of a pull-up. I think yesterday was the sign of a truly changed man. We were at the hospital and the nurse had just put all the monitors on me for the non-stress test. Just then, Jackson announces he has to pee. I asked him if he could hold it and he said he could. Then about 10 minutes later, he said he really had to go. SO...he took a stool from the room, let the nurse show him to the bathroom, and went...all by himself! He cried when he was done because then he was shut in a strange, hospital bathroom...but he did it! We've had several trips to the city now and he's been quite successful with waiting and going in public toilets...something I'm still trying to get used to. He has also peed outside at the park...something I'm not proud of, but glad that he can do it in a pinch! :) He still loves it when I make a big deal when he goes "two-sies" in the toilet...but that's a small price to pay. What a big boy! I'm so proud!!!! (Is it just me or is he starting to look like a BOY...not a baby...a BOY?!)

Me at 36 1/2 weeks


I'm not trying to solicit any "you look great for 36 weeks" comments. I know I'm huge. I feel huge, no matter HOW I look. My belly is so big that I look flat-chested. Awesome.

Desparate Measures


Sydney is a tease. She loves to do naughty, naughty things and just laugh and smile. Tonight she unzipped her pjs and pulled off her diaper and just called "mommy...mommy...mommy" from her bed. When I finally went to go check, she just giggled and said "NONNY!" (naughty)

This is my attempt to keep the 'jamas on...I'll let you know if it works. I guess if she can undo the snap at the top and unzip the front of her 'jamas, the 3 onesie snaps underneath shouldn't be too hard.

I did try the safety pin thing one time...that was the first night she threw up in her crib and I tried to get her wet, gross pjs off and couldn't because of the dang safety pin!

She's lucky she's cute.

15 Day To Go!!!

In case you haven't noticed the weird, eerie baby floating on the right column of this blog, we're getting REALLY close to baby time here! I had another big day of dr. visits yesterday...none of which were really helpful, but they do put my mind at ease that everything is ok. Baby is measuring about 7 lbs. (which is about the 80th percentile--so, big, but not too big) and mommy is dilated 1 cm. As of yesterday, the dr. is planning to induce the morning of March 27th, but the tests next week could potentially move up the date. If baby gets into the 90th percentile, they'll induce right away.

As for me, I'm feeling very pregnant. It's getting harder and harder to walk up and down the stairs and I've taken to using Jackson's "robot hand" to pick up stuff around the house. We still get out quite often for sanity's sake, but if it weren't for the 2 little terrors running around this tiny apartment, I'd probably be content laying in bed a lot more!

As a side note, Jackson and Sydney seem to be handling all this very well. They went with me yesterday to all the dr. appointments and got to hear and see their little sister. They were more concerned with what was being done to me, but Jackson was amazed to see baby's eye on the sonogram and baby's ribs, or stripes. Jackson was a great support...he stood by me and held my hand during the non-stress test and the sonogram. I think he would be great to have in the delivery room because he makes the funniest comments that keep me smiling...but I wouldn't want all the blood and stuff to freak him out. Yeah...we'll probably let him stay home with grandma.

After 3 appointments in 3 hours, we were waiting to be called to have the sonogram done. After making everyone in the waiting room uncomfortable because Jackson spilled his water and Sydney was screaming after falling out of her chair, I made the kids get in the stroller so I could push them around the halls...hoping they'd fall asleep. No such luck...Jackson got out to RUN through the halls while I chased him, pleading him to get back in the stroller. Finally, someone came out and called my name. Jackson promptly jumped in the stroller and said, "Let's rock and roll, baby!" My sentiments exactly!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Sydney's parts

Although she doesn't talk much, Sydney is a smart little girl. She's been identifying her parts for a while now since this is one of our favorite games to play when she's in bed with us in the morning and we're trying to avoid having to get out of bed. I finally took some pictures so that I could document her progress.


eyes

nose

mouth

hair

yay for me!

Misery loves company

We've been pretty out of commission for a week or so now. Last Wednesday night the flu hit our house and hit it hard. Since then we've been battling the ups and downs...some getting better, then worse, then better again. Sydney got the worst of it, but we were all pretty miserable. For those of you with little ones, you'll know that toddlers throwing up can be a nightmare because they just do it wherever they are...not in a toilet or trash can or something easy. Sydney went through quite a few sheets, blankets, towels and pjs. Luckily, Jackson is to the point where he would actually do it in a bowl. That's a bit of a consolation.

I was really hesitant to post this photo since I look SO awful and that's not something I like to advertise...but the picture pretty much captures our entire week, so there you go. Sorry you have to look at it.