-

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Better late than never....


I am REALLY behind in blogging about our fantastic Christmas. We were so blessed to have all of our children home this year. Last year Ethan was still in the NICU/PCN and it was so difficult being away from him. On Christmas Eve we said a prayer for all the parents who didn't get to spend Christmas with their children. It's no fun, I can assure you of that!


On Christmas Eve, Jake & Gracie were in the annual Christmas Pageant at church:



Jake was Joseph this year!


Here comes Gracie with the choir




After church we went to my parents house for dinner and exchanged gifts.


"The Big Kids" Chris, Me, my brother Jon, my sister Kristi and her boyfriend Steve



The kids waiting patiently on Christmas morning





Look what Santa brought!













Later during the day my In-laws came over for lunch and we exchanged gifts:





It was a great day and now I have to figure out where to put everything!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Firetrucks and Snow!

A couple of nights ago Santa came by to visit our neighborhood on his Fire Truck. This is an annual holiday tradition here in Hanover County. The kids eagerly await the sounds of sirens and bright lights. It is so much fun to watch the excitement in their faces.







Two days later we were covered in snow! They are calling for some more on Christmas Eve, how fun to have a white Christmas! We usually don't get this much snow so this is a HUGE deal for us. The kids couldn't be happier!








The snow is all the way up to Jake's knees!




Our Snow Ham!


Gracie had fun going down the driveway


Anna Claire had trouble walking so she needed help from her big brother and big sister!


















Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Decisions to be made...

Today we met with the Nephrologist and Urologist to go over the study that was performed last week. The Nephrologist said that because he has so much hydro in both kidneys she is not able to see the "meat" of the kidney to determine how much damage has been done. They have advised us that another procedure must be done soon to releave the pressure that is building up in his kidneys. He has Stage V Vesicoureteral Reflux.


We have two options, one has a 98% change of working but may cause serioius damage to the ureters that were reconstructed back in April. This surgery is very serious and will likely put him in the hospital for a couple of weeks. The second option is less invasive and will not impact his urerters at all but only has a 90% change of working.


So....what do we do? We have prayed about it and have decided that will go with the less invasive surgery and pray that the odds are for us this time. Our thought is that if doesn't work we will have a Plan B because if go to Plan B first we won't have another option.


I asked the doctor if we should schedule this in the next couple of months and he feels like it needs to be as soon as possible so I'm hoping that they don't schedule us before Christmas! That would stink 'cause I want this little Santa home with me this Christmas!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Not the news we wanted...

Yesterday Ethan had his 1 year checkup and he has only gained .5 ounces in 3 months and grown .5 inches. He is not able to chew and swallow food so we are still making his baby food and the doctor is concerned that he is not getting enough calories so we will be working very hard along with his Occupational Therapist to teach him these skills.

Today he went to the hospital for his VCUG and Renal Scan to find out how is kidneys were doing since the surgery in April. Unfortunately it looks like one kidney is worse than before and the other is the same. Not good news, he is now Grade V which means that his surgery in April was not successful and that he will probably need another surgery. We meet with the Nephrologist and Urologist on Tuesday and will know more soon.

I would love to say that I handled this set back well but I would be lying. I'm mad, I'm angry, I'm sad and I'm tired. I wanted to put my hands up in the air and shout out to God and ask him why??? I wanted to pull the car over and have a really good pity party. I wanted to make it all go away but I can't. I wanted to give up. But I won't because ....


these people need me and I need them...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Anna Claire & Ethan's Birthday Party!

Saturday we celebrated Ethan and Anna Claire's birthday at a local kids gym. Anna Claire had a great time playing with her friends from school and Ethan had fun with a couple of babies. It was such a great time with family and friends and I only shed a couple of tears when it was time for Ethan to blow out his candle....



Birthday Cuties!
 

I couldn't get her off of this, it was her favorite!


This game was a big hit!


Her friends giving her birthday kisses!


This is one sweet boy!


Who doesn't love bubbles?


This is what I call my lifeline...Jenn and her Baby Ava who is 5 months old and my Bestie, Anne Marie and Reagan who is 10 days older than Ethan.


Watch out ladies, Ethan got a new Jeep for his birthday, he will be cruising by later....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Ethan!

The NICU TEAM


1 year ago today our Sweet Ethan was born. This is a baby who doctors told us may not even live long enough to born or who may die after he was born. We even had a doctor tell us that she thought we should terminate our pregnancy because she was afraid he was so ill. This is a baby who fought to be born and fought very hard at times to stay alive. This sweet baby has changed my life. I am forever grateful for the doctors who have fought with us. I am thankful for his Occupational Therapist who works with us to do simple things that I took for granted with my other children. Ethan can now sit up by himself, roll all over the place, pivot on his belly all the way around in a circle, bears weight on his legs, hold his own bottle, pick up cheerios and can walk in his walker. He is amazing, he has changed me and makes me a better person. Anyone who has a child with special needs knows exactly what I'm talking about. Those little things that kids do like pick up cheerios or look up and smile at you...when our kids do it...it's AMAZING and we are so grateful for every single little thing!



MOMENTS AFTER HE WAS BORN


IN THE NICU WITH IV


IN THE NICU WITH FEEDING TUBE


HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY, SWEET ETHAN!







Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday Anna Claire!



Three years ago this afternoon I gave birth to my third child, Anna Claire. She was born 4 weeks early. I was induced due to my heart issue and high blood pressure. I was very nervous but she did GREAT! She came out nice and pink and nursed right away! We were all so shocked that she was a girl. We didn't find out what we were having because we wanted it to be a surprise. I carried just like I did with Jake and every time a stranger would guess they would all say they were just sure it was a boy and so was I! Ha!!! Out came a girl...




We spent the day playing with her new Baby Alive Doll and decorating for Christmas. Next Saturday she and Ethan will share a birthday celebration at Romp & Roll. Can't wait to share the pictures and stories with you!



Anna Claire is a very spirited child. She makes me laugh non-stop, I can't wait to see what her future has in store for us!




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yahoo! I got my first blog award!!!


Well, Congrats to me 'cause I just got my first blog award. Yahoo! Ginger over at The Neff Family tagged me. I am just so honored! I love reading her blog, her daughter Lillian is so cute and she is expecing a little boy very soon. Go check her blog out. Her husband is a brave soldier who is home after being deployed and I love reading about all the great things she is involved in like MOPS and helping out other Military families. She is also a Christian which is just the best thing ever...!




So the rules for the award are that I have to list 10 blessings and that shouldn't be hard at all...especially cause I already know 6 of them right of the bat!

1. First and foremost I am thankful that I have a relationship with Jesus Christ and that he gave his only son to die for our sins.

2. My amazing husband. He is gentle, kind, caring and well he puts up with me so that should sum it all up :)

3. My first born son , Jake. I am thankful for his intelligence, his humor and for showing me a love like no other..the love of being a Mom for the first time!

4. My first born daughter, Gracie. I am thankful for her kindness, her love and always having a shopping buddy.

5. My second born daughter Anna Claire. I am thankful for her humor, she keeps me laughing all the time. I am also thankful for her spirit, she reminds me that it is OK to be silly sometimes.

6. My last born, Ethan. I am thankful for his strength, determination and big sweet cheeks that I get to kiss every day.

7. My friends and especially my Bestie Anne Marie. I don't know how I would function without her to talk through all my problems and laugh until we cry!

9. My Step Mother Lisa who has always treated me like her daughter and taught me how to be a Mother in the true way.

10. My Father, I am thankful for him for always being there for anything that you need like fixing anything and everything. I am also thankful for his Love.

Now, I get to tag 2 of my favorite bloggers...

Williams Family Blog

Belli's Place

Congrats and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Birthday Party Pictures!






This past weekend was a busy one




Jake had his birthday party Friday night at G-Force Go-Karts he invited 10 boys, they did 2 races, ate cake and ice cream and opened presents. It was a lot of fun. The go-karts go very fast and some of the boys were a little nervous but they all did great!







Gracie's party was Sunday afternoon at Pain-N-Play. The girls all picked out a piece of pottery to paint. They had a great time and it was so funny because girls just can't make up their minds. Some of the girls went back 4 or 5 times before they found the perfect thing to paint! I will go back in a week to pick up the pottery after they cook it and glaze it. It was fun and something a little different than the normal princess or jump parties. We all had a busy weekend. This weekend is Thanksgiving and the following weekend we have Ethan and Anna Claire's party!






Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Jake and Gracie!



9 years ago I gave birth to Jacob Christopher Hamilton. I had been on bed rest at home for 19 days and I woke up that morning about 5 am with contractions and heart palpitations. I suffer from SVT and had an ablation a couple years before Jake was born and had not had any problems until I became pregnant. I had to wear a heart monitor and had to go back on beta blockers to keep my heart from racing over 200 bpm. The contractions started and every time I would have one I felt my heart race and I felt like I was going to black out so I called my doctor who of course told me to come straight in. We got to the hospital at 7 am and they ran some blood work by than of course things had slowed down and the nurses felt I was probably headed home and it was a false alarm. I had not had anything to eat and was STARVING so Chris and I were planning for a big breakfast at Cracker Barrel, I had it all planned out. HA! I quickly learned a lesson in parenthood - don't plan!!! The nurse came back with my blood work and said I was going to be having a baby today because my bloodwork came back showing that I had toxemia so settle in Mama - it's gonna be a long day. I called my parents and when my brother answered I said I needed to talk to one of our parents, my Mom was hanging wallpaper border (in preparation for Thanksgiving) and told him to tell me that she would call me back. I told him to ask her if she was ready to be a Grandma because it was gonna happen. You can imagine the rest.....I labored all day and finally around 11:00 pm things got a little scary. Jake's heartbeat was dropping quickly and mine was rising even quicker. The doctor decided that they were not going to take anymore chances, they were cleaning the only available OR room because I was headed for a C-Section. The nurses loaded my epidural for the C-Section and I was feeling good or should I say not feeling anything. The doctor came back dressed in full scrubs and was ready to wheel me out when all the monitors started going crazy. She checked me and realized that I had crowned and Jake's heartbeat was in the 30s she told me I had about 30 seconds to get him out or she was going to be forced to go in with a forcepts. I couldn't feel a thing because of the epidural for the C-Section so the Nurse brought over a mirror so I could see "down there" Well, ladies, that was all it took - 3 pushes later - out came Jake. Blue and grunting with an apgar of 6. Off to NICU he went....He was 2 weeks early but did amazing. The next day when I went in to hold him he immediately started rooting on me and the Nurse said I could try and nurse him. He took immediately and was home 2 days later.




He had an IV as a with antibiotics as a precaution

Jake is a very bright, energetic and athletic boy. He also has a very sensitive side but don't tell anybody he would just die if ya'll knew! He likes to come across as mister tough guy. He loves Harry Potter Novels, Go-carts and football. I can't wait to see what an amazing young man he grows up to be.




7 years ago I was in a hospital bed being induced to have Elizabeth Grace Hamilton aka Gracie. My blood pressure was up and the doctor didn't want to take any chance with my heart so she told me I was having another baby on November 19. What are the chances - 2 kids 2 years apart on the same day! I was induced at 8 am and that little girl came flying out at 12:30 pm just in time for me to watch Young and The Restless, thank you very much! I had an epidural but it didn't take and things happened so fast, in fact my doctor was at lunch and a Nurse almost had to deliver her! I can tell you though that it was worth all 42 stitches...yes, ladies you read that one right!!!




Gracie is a very bright, energetic and friendly little girl. She is the life of the party and has makes friends with everybody. I love spending girl time with her, going to Starbucks and shopping are two of our favorite things! She loves Junie B Jones Books, Scrapbooking and playing dress up and babies with her sister. I can't wait to see what an amazing young woman she is going to become!





Thank you God for blessing me with these two wonderful children born on the same day 2 years apart...What a wonderful day November 19th has turned out to be in our life!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Today is National Fight for Preemies Day- Did you know?

Today the March of Dimes has asked us bloggers to raise awareness about the 543,000 babies that are born too soon in the US every year. In half of these cases, doctors have no idea why these little ones came so early. We need answers. We need funding. I don’t want my children to have to go through the fear and heartache of seeing their child in the NICU. I don’t want to have witness another friend lose their child to prematurity.

You can help. Click here to find out how. Together we can help these babies thrive.

I am the mother of 4 and 2 of my babies were premature. Anna Claire was born 4 weeks early and was absolutely perfect, breathing, kicking, screaming and nursing within 5 minutes of being born. She went home 2 days later. Ethan was born 6 weeks early with mutliple birth defects and stayed in the NICU/PCN for almost 5 weeks.



This is Ethan 9 hours old.



Ethan needed a feeding tube to help him eat.


Many preemie babies struggle with eating and it took a lot of patience for this Mama - something I don't have much of but PRAY daily for it!




The "Car Seat Test"  When you have a baby in the NICU/PCN and they tell you to bring in your carseat for the "test" you know you are getting closer to home!




This is Sweet Ethan almost 12 months old!