Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sadly neglected, but the name still applies

So, my apologies to all you faithful readers on how much I have neglected this blog of late. It was not my intention, more a function of difficult internet access compounded by 2 small children. Hopefully, it will no longer be the case.

Why, you may ask? (Well, probably the majority of you are not asking, but there's a few of you out there I still need to catch up.) The answer brings me to the reason the name of this blog still applies (in case any of you had had the same train of thought as I did this past year: that I was past being a newlywed and a newbie in Mexico, and so there wasn't much transition happening anymore...).

Well.....drum roll please.....we have just moved back to Rochester, NY! So, now we have all kinds of new fun transitions.

This is a change we started talking and praying about around a year ago, and it was only this past May that we finally got the visa approved for Herme to be able to live and work here. (He previously had a visa that was only for visiting.) That whole process has been interesting, at times quite frustrating, and I hope to write more about that soon.

We arrived here Wednesday, June 29th (a day earlier than expected, a change we discovered Monday evening). We decided extra baggage fees, altho costly, were cheaper than shipping fees, and came up with 11 checked bags and 6 carry-ons (that was for 3 paid tickets, plus the baby was allowed a diaper bag and stroller). In some ways that seems like a lot of stuff, but in other ways, we really brought only a sampling. We are staying with my parents until we get our feet under us.

For now, just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page, and let you all know that I hope to be writing much more regularly now that I have easy internet access. :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I don't have lots of time, so this will be mostly a pictures only post...

But Joshua is now 5 months old and weighs just over 20 lbs!! He is just starting to sit up on his own (for less than a minute, followed toppling over to one side), and has rolled over 2x when propped up on a pillow. He is a very laid back, smiley, happy kind of guy; starting to love watching and interacting with his big sister. He has eaten a little bit a banana a few times - loves it!

Katya is talking up a storm (with a little bit of a preference for Spanish, altho she knows with whom to speak English or Spanish. She loves helping take care of her baby brother!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

All about Joshua William

I am finally online and able to share a bit myself about this sweet little boy who has joined our family :)

The birth was fairly similar to Katya's... woke up in the middle of the night (about 3am) with some pretty intense contractions, was at the hospital by 5am (already 8cm dilated), and gave birth at 6:40. The pushing stage was longer (40min) and significantly painful despite the epidural, but I think that has a lot to do with having stayed in shape with Katya and being on bed rest this time.

Right from the beginning we've noticed that he is a very different personality than his sister. More laid back and relaxed. Katya had serious bouts of crying those first several weeks...Joshua just kind of fusses a bit, whimpers and groans (much less stressful, even if we are up in the night with him). Katya was very active, trying to hold her head up that first week, hated to be swaddled. Joshua enjoyed being swaddled at least at first, and just recently really started working on holding his head up. Katya wanted to nurse 24/7, it was her answer to all of life's problems. Joshua eats, then is done. And if I try to offer before he's ready (for example, to avoid a meltdown in the car), he has no interest. So it should be very interesting to see this little person/personality emerge and watch the differences between him and his sister.

He's been a decent sleeper from the get-go, in terms of newborns. He's slept about 4 hours the first part of the night since our first night home. On good nights, he gives us another 4ish hours after nursing and pooping around 3am. On bad nights, he grunts and groans and fusses for a couple of hours. Plus, we had one week where he caught a cough from his big sister, and no one was sleeping well. But overall, not bad. And the fussiness has been getting better.

Joshua is officially huge. At 3 weeks, he had gained 4 lbs already, which put him at the 95th%ile. (For a little perspective, Katya gained 3lbs in the first month). I'm pretty sure that he weighs somewhere around 13 lbs at this point. He'll be 6 weeks on Saturday.

Katya just loves her little brother, had since day one. She's always kissing him and hugging him, wanting to hold him. She's my big helper, always willing to run and get a diaper or burp cloth, handing me his change of clothes, etc. The first few days she cried if any visitor tried to hold him, saying he belonged to me. She's quick to respond to him, saying loudly, "God bless you!" every time he sneezes, hugging him and apologizing for any and all bumps or knocks, or calling out to him if she hears him fussing, "I'm coming, Joshua!"

Everyone has been really impressed with my quick recovery from birth, but a natural childbirth is nothing compared to major surgery. And after that recovery, and all the bedrest, and just the normal hard to move cuz your pregnant stuff, I've felt great. it is so nice to be able to move around normally, hold Katya, get housework done, etc. And it hasn't been nearly as hard as I imagined getting into some kind of household routine. I haven't had any help other than Herme since my mom left a week after he was born, and sure there are days where I feel like I do more nursing and changing of poopy diapers than anything else, but overall things are getting done. It does help that he is a pretty laid back little guy, and that he doesn't want to be glued to the breast like his big sister did. Plus, compared to not being allowed to do anything around the house, just doing a little bit of the basic stuff done is exciting. Nothing like major surgery and weeks of bed rest to put things in perspective for you!

PS: Sorry some picture go published 2x, not sure what that's about!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pics of Joshua William

Hey all, Sheila's brother stepping in, just thought I'd share a couple of pictures of the new and handsome baby boy in the family. Again, baby and mother are doing fine, Grandma (Sheila's mom) went down this morning for the week to help out and reports all is well.

Here's the pictures

Saturday, September 25, 2010

September 25 Is BIRTH DAY

Two years to the day that Katya was born, Joshua William was born. Although two weeks early, he weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces, and was almost 20 inches long. There were no complications for the mom or baby from earlier events of this pregnancy. My mom will be coming to visit for about a week, and I hope to have pictures up soon.

- Ghost-Written by my family members

Friday, September 3, 2010

We saw OUR Dr today

The one who walked us through the whole hospital/surgery experience. She was in a pretty serious car accident just after I got out of the hospital, so this was the first time we'd seen her (6 weeks later!).

Lots of good news:)
She is all for a natural birth, feels there is absolutely no need to plan a C-section just due the operation. (There is always the possibility of one based on the circumstances in the moment, but she is pro-normal birth).

She also said I can start getting up a couple of hours at a time, and can do some light housework (cook, do dishes, etc). She told me not to get carried away, and to make sure and rest every couple of hours, but since I will be 35 weeks on Monday, and the baby already weighs 6 pounds, we don't have to try so hard to out and out avoid birth at this point.

She ALSO said that the endometrioses is not far advanced or very serious.

On an interesting note, in explaining the pathology report to us, she said the type of tumor/cyst I had was one that I had had since birth but only recently started growing. Its growth had nothing to do with the pregnancy - that was just bad timing.

She spent an hour with us, thoroughly checking me and the baby, kindly and patiently answering all of our questions. She really wants to stick with us through the birth, even said she would cancel upcoming weekend plans if we called with any issues or labor signs, etc.

I still haven't gained back all the weight I lost after surgery, but the Dr seemed content with my overall weight gain (about 20ish pounds).

Oops, times up. Gotta run:)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We saw the Dr today

Our old Dr that is, the one who delivered Katya.

Good news is that the baby appears to be healthy and growing (he's gained about a pound in the last 4 weeks), and I appear to be recovering well from surgery and have actually gained back 4 of the 6 or so pounds I had lost in the first week after surgery.

Bad news is that I should continue mostly on bed rest for the foreseeable future (should not pick up Katya, should not do laundry or mop, etc.), and the Dr is recommending a C-section as opposed to a natural birth to avoid the risk of a hernia and the necessary surgery to repair it at the scar site.

He was willing to keep options open until closer to the due date as we get a better feel for the shape I am in and if it looks like a simple or difficult delivery. But since operation to due date is a week or so short of the 90 days they would consider the time needed for the scar to fully heal, he advises avoiding the risks of a normal labor.

In other news, I continue to have less contractions and continue to be weaned off of the anti-contraction medications, both of which are a good thing for the baby.

I think that pretty much covers things for the moment. We will have to continue trying to find daily help for now, so appreciate your prayers on that count.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Filling in the Details

Mom is great, and I am very grateful for her getting that last post up for me, but we all know that she is not a detail/chatty/blogging kind of person. And today's bed-rest is happening at a friend's house, with internet access :) So I thought I would flesh things out a little for you all.

It's been a little over 2 weeks since the Saturday I started feeling a little uncomfortable in the late afternoon. I didn't think much of it at the time; uncomfortable comes with the territory when you are 3rd trimester pregnant. I thought it was gas or something, and tried to ignore it. It was around 7:30 or 8 when my left side started to hurt. Still thinking it was gas, I took some Tums and tried to change positions so things could calm down in there. By 8:30 I was in some serious pain, changing positions didn't help a thing, and I was beginning to realize that the pain got worse in waves, suspiciously like contractions. I told Herme to call the Dr, and in a matter of minutes we were on the way to her office.

By the time we got there, I was in so much pain that someone found me a wheelchair and they wheeled me in. The Dr was a little shocked by how severe it seemed when she saw me, like we hadn't explained to her just how bad it was. But I told her it hadn't been that bad, it was all happening very quickly and suddenly. She started examining me, quickly concluded that the contractions were not the primary issue, but rather had been provoked by the pain of whatever the real issue was (although obviously they were concerning, nonetheless). She checked the baby with her ultrasound and did a quick internal examine to make sure labor wasn't imminent, and then sent us off to the hospital.

Since we don't even have the government medical insurance right now, she first sent us to a government run hospital that accepts people without insurance. Her husband actually drove us over, because it was obvious that between worrying about me and having Katya still on his hands, Herme probably wasn't in much shape for driving. They ignored me for a good 10 minutes or so after I arrived in the maternity ward (I was sitting in a wheelchair in the hallway), then quickly examined me and apparently only paid attention to the early labor signs. By this time my in-laws had arrived for Katya and Herme made it up to where I was. They told him they could admit me, but that there was a good chance the baby was coming early and they didn't have any incubators free. So back out we went, and my in-laws drove us back over to the good private hospital in town (which happens to be where we started, cuz that's where the Dr's office is).

Our Dr met us at the hospital and now things got moving, much to my relief. Besides being in so much pain (let me just explain that I handled labor without hardly a peep, but many have described me as screaming/crying out in pain throughout this situation), I was frustrated at how long it was taking for someone to do something about the contractions. I was 28 weeks 5 days pregnant, and although I'd been told the baby was quite big for his age, that is still very early for him to be coming out.

They gave me anti-contraction meds and as much pain meds as they could give a pregnant woman, and started trying to figure out what the actual problem was. They were leaning towards kidney stones, but the ultrasound they did that night didn't show them anything. By this time it was after 1am, so they tried to give me enough meds to make me comfortable for the night, told me to get some rest, and we'd start again first thing in the morning.

Without giving a hour by hour play by play, the pain meds only sometimes helped, and then only partially. By 9 or 10 the next morning they weren't helping at all, and off we went for another ultrasound. They searched all up and down my left side without seeing anything useful, then took one x-ray in hopes of getting something that would help them. At this point the pain had moved down, which fit a kidney stone theory, and they saw some evidence on the x-ray that also pointed in that direction. So around noon they gave me an epidural and went up the ureather with a camera. They didn't find an actual stone, but they cleaned out all kinds of sediment and junk, and we all thought that would be the end of it.

But a few hours later the epidural wore off and I was in just as much pain as I ever had been in. Now the Dr started talking about surgery. They didn't actually know that the problem was, but they needed to find out what was causing me so much pain. Being pregnant was complicating things, because they couldn't run the full battery of tests, and those they could do (i.e. ultrasound) were limited by the position of the baby. They got some blood/urine test results back that showed high white blood cell counts, which suggested something being swollen. The surgical consult suggested going in with a camera first to see what they could find, then only opening me if truly necessary. So off I went to the operating room a 2nd time at about 6pm.

They discovered I have endometriosis (something that had been a question almost 15 years ago, but since it can only be diagnosed by surgery or these days with a camera, I never had an official diagnosis), which is the probable cause of the large ovarian cyst they found on the left side. Ovaries are usually the size of a walnut, but this one was now 4.3 in x 3in x 3in and weighed a little over 13oz. They had to open me up and take it out.

I must say that waking up from general anesthesia was one of the weirdest things I have ever experienced, especially since I somehow didn't realize ahead of time that they were going to put me out like that.

Things greatly improved after that...the only real pain being that of recovery from being opened up. However, contractions continued. This was complicated by the fac that I am apparently very sensitive to the anti-contraction medication (heart rate changes, blood pressure drops, etc). Thus the need for bed rest. The contractions seem to be calming down little by little as everything heals up, so at this point 16 days post-surgery, I am starting to hope that bed rest is not going to be necessary the whole rest of the pregnancy. But I obviously have lost a lot of strength and will need to be extra careful for the remainder of the pregnancy, which makes housekeeping and toddler care a bit tricky.

Oh, the cyst was definitely benign, that much we know from the pathology report. But unfortunately, our Dr was in a car accident shortly after the operation, so we have not had the rest of the report explained to us, and have not been able to ask about the extent of endometriosis (all we know is that the remaining ovary is covered in endometrial tissue). Today we found out she won't be back in the office until September. We'll probably head back the Dr that attended us with Katya, so that someone we trust is keeping an eye on things (we only didn't go back to him this time because he is now kind of far from us). Since there is info only the Dr who has been with us can give us, since she saw my insides and all, I don't know if our old Dr will be able to get the scoop for us from the other Dr or if we'll have to go back at some point.

I think that pretty much covers the whole story up till now. Hopefully I didn't get too carried away with this post; I promise I actually left lots of details out. But this post was as much for my good as it was for your reading pleasure :/

I think the one other detail you all might like to know is that the baby has been moving a lot all along, so that's a good sign.

Thank you so much to all who have been praying or have called, etc. It is much appreciated. I'll try to get on again soon after we've seen the Dr.

Friday, July 30, 2010

this is Sheila's mom. I wanted to let you all know of recent events in sheila's life! July 24 she went into the hospital with pain in her left side and contractions. The short version is she had surgery to remove an ovary! She is home on bedrest now ,recovering from the surgery and trying to avoid premature labor. She would appreciate your prayers and I'll try to keep you updated.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Leaving home, Going home

So excited to see my husband (70 hours and counting) :)

So hard to say good-bye to my out of town siblings and their families last night :(

Looking forward to reuniting my daughter with her daddy and some of her favorite family members :)

Dreading the last good-byes to the rest of my family, especially knowing that Katya won't understand the permanency of these good-byes :(

There have been so many, what shall I call them?, mental conflicts?
Watching one of those remodeling shows and realizing that the amount of money they spent on the dining room would be enough for us to live on for almost 3 years.
Watching the way some people here use water (turning on the water before even putting the toothpaste on the brush...), knowing my husband barely had enough water to bathe, do laundry, etc.
Watching what people here consider to be 'in need' or on a tight budget, knowing the abundance they actually have in comparison with my situation or that of many I know.
Watching what some girls are comfortable wearing here these days, even to church, coming from a culture of knee length or longer.
Enjoying the comforts and comfort foods of home, yet simultaneously feeling a little out of place and looking forward to the simplicity and honestly healthier lifestyle of home.
Struggling with faith, knowing that it "is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen", and seeing the needs and unknowns of our life. (For example, we've been gifted with more than half of what we need for the birth in a private hospital - hooray! But of course, that means that a little less than half is still needed....My husband has a job, but 100% commissions do not add up to what we need, and no other job has opened up...)

Sorry to say that I am too tired to come up with a good ending to this, but at least I managed to get one more post in before I go, and included at least most of what has been rattling around in my brain of late...