Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tiny Little Moments at Home

Kate mentioned the other day, "Mom, you know what I want for Christmas? Luke and my Mommy and Daddy and Jakers. That's all I want." I'd have to agree. Wrap a bow around our little Luke and he is our perfect gift. How blessed we feel to have him home in time to celebrate another's birth...our Savior, Jesus Christ. Here are a few moments at home:

Do you think he's getting enough love???

We Didn't Forget About Them...

Oh yeah! Our other kids :) Kate loves sleepovers, and boy did she get her fill! She and Jake spent their first night at their cousins and then moved over to Momo and BG's house to be spoiled for the next 2 1/2 weeks. Bubble baths, movies, toys, cookies, treats and more treats...hugs and kisses from Momo and BG! They loved it.

Can you tell??

THANK YOU Mom and Dad for helping us so much during this time. We had loving babysitters, 3 meals a day, laundry service and a cozy home to stay in while we went through this emotional ride in the NICU. We have felt and continue to feel such an outpouring of love from all of our family and friends. Thank you for all of your prayers, support and service!!!

Kate's first time holding Luke. She hates to let him go. She's attached to his hip if that's possible!

Jake's first time really seeing Luke. He came once into the NICU while I was there. He looked at Luke and said, "Does he walk? Does he talk?" Then I handed Luke back to the nurse and Jake got a quiver in his voice and said, "Why is she taking him away from us?" It broke my heart. He has been protective ever since and doesn't like people he doesn't recognize to hold Luke.

Luke is better than any baby doll you can buy at the store...Kate is in love. So are we :)

IV's, Wires, and Amazing Nurses

I never knew how hard it would be to change a baby in an isolet or feed one with so many wires and iv's attached to him...we got pretty good at it...after I was released from the hospital, we were back 3x a day to hold and feed and check on Little Luke. We celebrated the day he was able to regulate his temperature well enough to be in an open air crib!

We absolutely loved the nurses in the NICU and knew each of them by name. They made it the most pleasant experience possible. Julie (what a coincidence) was one our favorites. She loved Luke and took such good care of him. We were so grateful for all of the nurses and doctors who helped him gain enough strength to come home.

Sunday night, December 12th, we got a surprise call from one of the nurses. We could take Luke home. They gave us special permission to bring in the kids (the rule is 2 at a time) so we could take our first family photo.

I couldn't have been happier to get the little guy into his carseat and take him home ot my parents house where we would stay for a few more days, just to make sure he was stable.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Thanksgiving Suprise

My official due date was supposed to be January 4, 2011. The day before Thanksgiving I went in for a normal checkup and everything looked good except for the fact that I had gained a whopping 15 pounds in the last 2 weeks. Yes, you read that right-- I was so swollen I barely recognized myself. Joe wondered if I could get any bigger... Thank you, honey. Just a huge baby? A possibility... As I was about to leave, my doctor asked me how the baby's movement was. Actually, I had noticed that it had decreased in the last week...but I had been really busy, so maybe I just wasn't paying attention. He wanted to do a non-stress test on the baby, so I went ahead and did it and then left. I figured he'd call me if something didn't look good. I got the call while I was driving home. "I don't like the looks of that test." He told me to count the baby's kicks after dinner that night. He needed to kick at least 5x within an hour after eating. I was sick... I was scared... I knew something wasn't quite right. I got the 5 kicks but then felt nothing until 4AM. The doctor told me if I had any doubt, to go to the hospital. I went the day after Thanksgiving and never left. Apparently the baby's tracing was no good. His heartbeat was strong, but he was not moving inside of me. The hospital is about 40 minutes away from us. I love it there. I delivered Kate and Jake there and really wanted to stick with them even though we had moved to Pleasanton. My mom happened to call while I was in the hospital getting checked and I told her where I was, but she didn't need to come down, because I was doing fine. I really was calm, and there was a part of me that really believed they would check me and send me home. Then my doctor arrived and a Stanford perinatologist. When they said this was serious, I began to shake and I wished I had told her to come down (they are only 10 minutes from El Camino Hospital). I didn't want to be alone. I was terrified. I called Joe and told him he needed to get the kids to my sisters house because I wasn't leaving. The next thing I knew, they were wheeling me into another room to do more the nurse and I turned the corner, there sat my mom, dad, and Chris--I wasn't alone. I cried as my mom explained that she had a feeling they needed to get in the car and come down to the hospital immediately. I cried even more when Joe arrived. I could face whatever was coming with my family by my side.

After plenty of tests, the doctors looked at me and said, "Do you have any questions about C-sections?" What?!!! Yes! I wasn't planning on a C-section, let alone having my baby 6 weeks early! From there, it was really a whirlwind. Before I knew it, we were in the operating room and I was having an emergency C-section.

LUKE MICHAEL BERRYHILL was born on November 26th at 4:08PM. He was 5 pounds and 18.75 inches long. He came out silent and once again, I panicked for those long seconds that felt like years, until I heard a scream. I saw his little face for only a moment and then Joe rushed out with him as he was taken to the NICU.

My sweet little baby boy was apparently trying to help me when he was in utero. My placenta wasn't the healthiest and Luke was doing his best to try and clot the bleeding that was going on inside of me. He was using up all of his energy, platelets, WBC, and bone marrow to try and fix me. As a result he was barely getting the oxygen he needed to survive and didn't have any reserves to rely on.
So he spent 2 1/2 weeks here. I don't think I've ever been on an emotional roller coaster ride quite like this one. It's one I hope we never have to experience again.

Welcome Home!!!

Joe's youngest brother, David, returned home a week before Thanksgiving. He had been serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for 2 years up in Washington. He could email and write letters once a week, but we weren't aloud to visit him or talk to him on the phone, except for Christmas and Mother's Day. You can tell that Mom was overjoyed to embrace her baby!

It was hard to wait your turn for a hug!!!

We Love You David!!!

Of course, we had to celebrate after such an exciting moment in the Sacramento Airport! We hit a yogurt shop that happened to be open late on a Tuesday night and briefly caught up before everyone headed back to their homes. What a great night!

"I'm Not a Big Boy... I'm Wittle!!!"

Yes, but we need you to be a big boy so we can transition you out of the crib well before your brother arrives!!!!
So, we put together a toddler bed for Jake and he couldn't wait to get into it. This was his first night... He got special treatment while Kate read a bedtime story to him...

I snuggled him in, sang him a song and even when he looked up and said, "Rock me, Mommy," I rocked him for a little bit. He was set. This was going to be great!

Ten minutes later, I hear sobbing about how he doesn't like his big boy bed and he wants to sleep in his "wittle bed." It only seemed to get worse. Naps were a complete joke. This is what I found one day after peaking in to check on him. His room was completely destroyed. A broken lamp, all of his clothes pulled out of the drawers...wipes and diapers scattered everywhere... and Jakers is sacked out on his beanbag.

I know it takes time, but how much time?? No one is sleeping because of this little guys new found freedom of a big boy bed. He comes flying around the corner at 10PM with this "I just broke out of jail" smile and is rearing to go. The funny thing is, the bags are so big under his eyes, that he could trip on them! I have to admit, I loved the crib. I was in control... now I'm afraid, that is no longer.

The Grand Prize

No...I'm not kidding. A few days after the contest, about the time Joe comes home from work, the doorbell rang. The kids came tearing down the hall to see who had come to visit. "Who is it?!!" No answer. Again... "Who IS IT?!!" Still, nothing. I told them to go ahead and open the door and there she stood--all alone on the front step-- Kate shrieked with glee, while I saw Jake immediately coil up and with wide eyes, slowly back his way around the corner, into the kitchen saying, "No, no, no".
The next thing we hear is Joe's laughter from around the corner. Yes, this giraffe was the grand prize for the pumpkin decorating contest. If I had known, maybe I wouldn't have tried so hard :) The kids love her now... they've named her Spotty. Joe suggested to his colleagues that she could be the traveling giraffe, taking turns in each of the homes with children. They all laughed at him and ever-so-kindly responded-- "No way-- she's all yours." Nice.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Yeah Giants!

So Joe had a mini pumpkin decorating contest at work... we were trying to figure out what to do with it and decided that we were so proud of our Giants, we should dedicate it to them. Here's what we came up with :) Lighting wasn't so good because we finished it at midnight last night...that's a baseball cap on top of his head.

There's no way we can lose after the game tonight! I'll let you know what happens...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

When we were deciding what to be for Halloween this year, Kate said right away that she wanted to be a mermaid. I like to coordinate the kids-- at least as long as I can--and so I was a little hesitant to agree to it at first. "Yeah, but if you're a mermaid, what will Jake be?" She replied without a drop of a hat--"He can be a merman, Mom." I couldn't let that fly-- he's surrounded by glitter and frilly stuff constantly. He needed a tough costume-- something fierce. After some thinking, we figured he'd be the perfect shark. He loved the idea and since I am terrified of the creatures, I figured that was good enough! Somehow, he doesn't quite make me want to hide in a corner though with a pillow over my eyes! The kid is just too darn cute! Happy Halloween!

Carving Time

Last Night was the night. We cranked up the Halloween Music and grabbed our bowls and tools and went to work.

Kate wasn't so sure about the whole cleaning-out-the-pumpkin-thing. It kind of grossed her out. We told her she had to at least get some slime on her hands or she couldn't own her pumpkin. She relented.Jake loved every second of it. He couldn't get enough of poking his pumpkin will all sorts of, crayons, markers, mini saws...I guess it's true. You don't document your growth as much the more pregnancies you have. Maybe because it's so shocking at how fast your belly pops out! I like to think my body is just extra smart the 3rd time around and it knows just what to do to provide a comfy place for this little guy ;) Yes...I officially have 2 months left, but apparently this one is measuring large, so I'm not surprised if he comes early.They turned out great! Thanks, Joe, for dedicating your pumpking to me :)

So, if you don't know already, one of my favorite things is chocolate covered caramel apples. I LOVE everything about them. I decided a couple of years ago, that I'd make a tradition this time of year of making my own. Why not??? I have my own special concoction that is divine and this time around, the apples at the store were deliciously huge! So they turned out even better and more to go around for everyone! After getting the pumpkins out on the porch and cleaning up our seeds, the kids asked, "So...Can we have a little treat?" Actually, yes! I had the perfect thing.

I heard Kate mention to Joe as he was getting the kids in the bath..."That was the best night ever." I'd say it was pretty high on my list :)