Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

So where were we? Oh yes, it was the end of July, shortly after I had broke a couple ribs, Gillian and Nick were about to come home for a wedding, and Annie was still pregnant.

Um yeah, a few things have happened since then. Gillian's visit turned into a whirlwind of activity with having no less than four extra people sleeping here which continued to grow in number until the climatic night where there were 14 young adults slumbering under the sheets and blanket fort they had created in the livingroom.

It's the simple pleasures in life that mean the most and create lasting memories, whether it's building a fort in the livingroom, playing Simon Says, Twister, Wiffleball, or Hide and Go Seek after dark, regardless of your age.

Fast forward to the month of September and my ribs are finally mended, and Annie's pregnancy took yet another turn. She was put on modified bedrest, meaning no activity, just sitting. I sure could have used her help during her move out of my sister's house and into the home of her childhood where her brothers live. A little cleaning, sanding, plastering, painting, plumbing, etc help wouldn't have hurt either, not to mention grocery shopping, laundry, and nursery set up. :o) Most days in September and October found me doing one or more of the aforementioned chores each day at the kids house with the hopes that the remodel would be completed before the baby was born.

We almost made it.

Due to all the other complications Annie had with her pregnancy she was to be induced on Monday November 1. We were thrilled when it looked like she was going to be able to carry this baby full term. (Oct 30 was the beginning of her 39th week). Not sure why I thought the end was in sight at that point, apparently it was just wishful thinking.

Midday Thursday Oct 29 , while I was painting, Annie went into labor. As any of you know who have gone through labor yourself, in the beginning it wasn't bad, we (Annie) worked through it until they were coming at 4 minutes intervals and were getting a little intense. Off to the hospital we went, it was now early evening on Thursday. We stayed in the OB triage unit until late night (11:00 pm-ish) and they sent us home. Contractions 3 minutes apart. By 6AM Friday her contractions were 2.5 - 2 min apart and we were still at home. We stayed home until sometime Friday afternoon. (memories are kinda foggy I hadn't slept for more than 30 hours by then) By Saturday early early morning (pre-dawn? dawn?) I was ready to hit the wall, I can only imagine what Annie truly felt. That's when they gave the OK and she got an epidural. She was finally able to catch a catnap here and there, I was more concerned with other issues and couldn't sleep. The baby was showing signs of distress with each contraction and Annie's blood pressure was very unstable. The decision to take the baby by c-section was made at 8:30ish. At this point I'm sure there are plenty of you out there thinking they should have done that sooner, but they couldn't. Annie had been on blood thinning meds throughout the pregnancy because of that blood clot in her chest so any kind of surgery (including the epidural) until the meds were out of her system was too great a risk.

At 9:38 AM October 31, 2009 William "Liam" John was born.

7 lbs. 15 oz, 19.5"....I remember cuz I wrote it on my hand, see below. giggle/snort

How about another picture with some knitterly stuff?

All the babes in the nursery got pumpkin hats for their Halloween Birthdays. :o) I can hear your collective "awwww". Thanx to the stealth knitter who made these hats.

While Liam is a very easy baby, calm and peaceful, healthy eater, good sleeper, and just the most adorable baby ever, (no grandmotherly bias here) the last two months haven't been easy. I really really figured the tough stuff was over. Annie's pregnancy had been a long one, punctuated with lots of problems and difficulties. I had really thought she had had her share and it was going to be smooth sailing from here on out. I thought wrong. After being discharged Mom and babe were healthy and happy. I was staying with Annie to help out where I could and maybe just maybe get some of those last minute house remodel things done too. It didn't work out that way. After a few days Annie was admitted into the hospital due to complications with her c-section incision and a large hematoma beneath the abdominal wall. She was there a week. I was at her house with a nursing newborn who couldn't nurse, cuz of the IV meds his mom was on. I remember one particular night 'round about 3:00AM while I was changing a diaper and Bart came in to see what was going on. He grinned and said something like, 'Gee Mom this is the 5th time around for you' I replied that yes while it was the 5th time I was taking care of a brand new baby all by myself, the other 4 times I didn't have to make up bottles in the wee hours nor was I 50 years old, there IS a reason people my age don't have babies. I'm pretty sure its mostly cuz of that lack of sleep thing.

Liam and I while the kids were down stairs eating dinner, apparently I was tired.

It is now Christmas day. I have been at home sleeping in my own bed since Dec 16, having been staying with Annie and Liam since Oct. 29th. Even though Annie's hospital stay was only a week, she had come home with a drain in one side of her abdomen, and portion of her c-section incision re-opened. A nurse came to the house twice a day to change the dressing, the packing within the incision wound and drain the drain. The extent of baby care Annie was able to do was minimal at best, at times even nursing was too much. A week later the drain was removed. After a few more weeks with her incisional wound continuing to worsen, her care was transferred to a surgeon who immediately re-opened her entire c-section incision. The wound is still open, healing from the inside out. The nurses still come to the house every other day now due to a new type of packing they were able to get for her. It will take several more weeks at best to be healed to the point where Annie is on her feet again, doing anything much more than baby care, but at least she is healing now.

I've tried not to get too graphic in the explanations of what is happening to Annie right now. I hope I have not been guilty of TMI, but I just wanted to let you know what has been going on in and around the Hermitage, and in it's secondary locale, cuz truly the kid's house in town has been nothing more than another hermitage within the city. I've been seeing and doing nothing outside its four walls for a very long time other than taking Annie or Liam to their doc appointments and maybe getting out to grocery shop every now and then.

Hermitage II is also filled with the people I love most so it too is Home even if Joe wasn't there, and it wasn't my bed. Gillian came home earlier than planned for the holidays to help out with Annie and Liam so once again I found myself living in the old homestead with ALL my kids. It's nice to know that I wasn't the only one who had a tough time staying awake during her turn of baby care. :oP

At Home just like before, just me and my kids, before Joe, before they grew into adulthood, cooking meals for 5, doing one or two loads of laundry a day, playing games, and changing diapers. Home, where three simple stomps on the floor means drop everything and come running someone needs help upstairs, where Mom's car is never parked on the street, and where a good nights sleep means you only wake once or twice through the night.

Home IS where the heart is.

Happy Holidays


  1. Merry Christmas to you and your family! You've been through a lot. But you have the most important things, right there.

  2. I wish I had a mother like you.

    You are a very strong and brave woman on top of beeing that mother.

    I wish you the best of holidays and little steps towards your new normal every day.


  3. So Glad to see you are back - have missed reading about your adventures!

    Lliam looks soooooo beautiful! How lucky you are

    Have a good holiday and hope to see you soon.

  4. Gosh! So sorry you had to go through all of this. Hope you are having a great Holiday Season now. Good to hear your news and to see pictures of your lovely daughter. Liam is a sweetheart.

    Hey, so I guess maybe you turned 50 this year as well? Me too.

    I send you and your family many happy wishes for the coming year. You guys deserve it.

    --balzac (from Ravelry)

  5. So glad that everyone is doing better!
    Liam is just adorable.
    Smoochies to him! And you too, because you are wonderful.