Friday, February 17, 2017

Jack's First Month

Hello world, I've become self-aware and plan to initiate total world domination in 5,4,3,2,1... Just kidding - I've been self-aware for a while now. Now, I'm just out in the open. The name is Jack - Thomas Jackson if we're being formal. I was born on an abnormally warm day in January. Mom had had enough of me being Jack, Jack the Jumping Jack and jumping on her bladder so she kicked me out of my nice, warm, cozy, dark home. That stinker... I'm definitely getting her back though by getting her out of her nice, warm, cozy, dark home a few times every night since she kicked me out. I sure do love that lady, though. Don't tell anyone, but she is my favorite. She has kept me fed for an entire month, which is a great feat since I hear it didn't work out too well for my sister. Speaking of sisters - mine is awesome. I love hearing her voice and watching her run around. She seems to be the epicenter of my family's lives. I think she's sharing her world revolving skills though because my people seem to like holding me, too.

Mom says I should tell you about my name, Thomas Jackson. Thomas is form my Granddaddy, Donald Thomas - Tay-Tay's daddy. Jackson has two meanings - Jackson from Babo's mama, her maiden name and Jack from one of Mom's favorite authors CS Lewis. My sister was named after one of Lewis' most beloved characters, Lucy Pevensie. I guess Mom really likes for names to have meaning. It's all good, I like my name - Jack. It's old-school sophisticated, you know.

I'm learning to hold my head up by myself and it is awesome. I love looking around and seeing all there is to see. I do not like leaning back or laying down. I want to sit up and see! I've heard so much for those years inside Mom's tummy and now I gotta know it all. When I'm not looking around. I love to sleep. You heard me correct, sleep. It is wonderful. If I start grunting and pretending to wake up, you know what happens? Mom will get me and let me sleep on her! I sure do love that. Mom calls me a grumpy, old man - can you believe that? She says I make grumpy faces all the time. Psshhhh.... I'm just studying the world and making my observations, I can't help what the faces I make.

A few things that I truly enjoy are baths, watching and listening to my sister, having people talk to me, sitting up and watching, Babo's tv, fans, lamps, Mama, eating, car rides aren't too bad (as long as they don't interfere with my first love, food), sleeping, mirrors... There isn't a whole bunch that I don't like - just dirty/wet diapers really.

That's it for now - until next month!

Oh - another fun thing about my name? My initials are TJP - my dad's name is TJ! So I have Dad's name, Granddaddy's name, Granny's maiden name, and Mom's favorite author's name!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Jack's Birthday!

Jack, Jack, Jumping Jack - you are so loved, so so loved. Your birth story is so different than Lucy's, but is similar in ways, too. I decided to schedule an induction with you at 39 weeks, 2 days because it just made sense for us to do that. We needed a plan for Lucy and I truly didn't want my water to break while teaching. My kiddos in class were already so worried about me - they thought I was dying because of our weekly appointments (those goof balls!). Dr. Gooding said she'd be on-call January 12 and that sounded good enough to me!

Here's The Story....
We had to be at the hospital at 6am that morning to get the process started. And we got there right on time! :) (I'm not the best at being places on time, especially when it involves an early morning...) And wouldn't you know that while we were walking in, all I could think about was that I was about to have to have an i.v. Not the pain of birth or fear of any complications - the i.v. Ugh, I hate needles so much. At least this time it was in my arm and not my hand so it wasn't as bad. They got the meds started and we were on our way! Dr. Gooding came in around 7 and broke my water and let us know that we'd have you later that afternoon, barring any complications! At this time, I told her that we wanted to do delayed cord clamping and skin-to-skin as soon as possible. She was all for that! I have been so pleased with our change to Dr. Gooding - she has been awesome and she reminded me a lot of Dr. Hancock so it was kind of the best of both worlds. Our plan was still no epidural, but I told TJ that if it got really bad I'd probably ask for one since I'd be laboring all day and induced labors are generally more painful.

So, we waited, TJ slept, our pastor Jason came to visit around 9:45ish. While Jason was there, I got really uncomfortable and when the nurse checked me I was only dilated about 4cm. But the pain was intense. I really wanted to stick it out and have you naturally, but I told TJ that I was in a lot of pain. Jason took his cue to leave (thankfully! you'll know why in a sec.). Mom got there and the pain was even more intense. It made me cry and I do.not.cry. Not like weepy crying, but oh-my-goodness-this-really-hurts-crying. I told TJ and Mom that I wanted the epidural, especially since I was going to be laboring for the rest of the afternoon/into the early evening and the pain would keep getting more intense. They obliged and called the nurse - she bought that ridiculous video in for me to watch and while watching it the pressure and intensity got stronger and stronger. The nurse didn't check me before the epidural because she had just checked me. (I think had she checked me at this point, I would have been fully dilated... Because apparently that's what happens with my body during labor - slow getting to 4 cm and then quick as lightning to 10 cm...) Any way, the anesthesiologist came in around 10:15 and administered that blessed drug. BUT, it didn't get a chance to take it's full effect. I got a little numb on my right side. They turned me to my left side and it got a bit numb, too. I could still move my legs and still felt the pressure, but the meds took the edge off a bit. The nurse checked me then and she exclaimed, "Oh my, I just pulled his hair! Call Dr. Gooding, we are about to have a baby!".

WHAT THE WHAT?!?!?!?!? I was just 4cm, I just got the epidural, I was told that Jack wouldn't be here until that evening, I just had a dr stick a HUGE needle in my spinal cord and this kid is coming right now! What?!?! Had I known Jack was making his arrival that quickly I would have sucked it up and just had him without the epidural. Goodness gracious - these kiddos keeping me on my toes. Dr. Gooding arrived and after 20 minutes or so of pushing... Thomas Jackson "Jack" came into this world at 11:07am, 7lbs9oz, 19in; all ten toes and fingers, healthy lungs, and a beautiful pink color. They gave him to me straight away and we got to marvel at him while he rested peacefully on my chest. I held my sweet boy for an hour before anyone took him from me for weight and measurements and what not. That was the best - just having him on my chest and him intently looking around and taking it all in.

I can think of a few moments that come to mind when I think about the goodness and mercy of God, but my two favorites are when my children came into the world. Seeing the miracle of new life and birth is astonishing. I can not fathom God's love for us when we are "born" into His family, but when my two blessings were born I felt like I had a slight clue as to how God feels about His children. I feel a little like I'm gushing, but goodness...

Back to Jack now...
Jack was diagnosed (not sure if that's the best word) with Echogenic Intracardiac Focus. Basically it is a bright spot that shows up on the ultrasound, in Jack's case he had a few spots in his heart. Dr. Gooding assured us that those spots were not cause for concern and in most cases, the child doesn't have any complications or would have to have any kind of surgery. But, EIF is a soft marker for Down Syndrome. Jack didn't have any other markers for Downs, but hearing that news from Dr. Gooding crushed us. She told us that we could do the genetic blood testing to see what, if anything, was abnormal with Jack. My first thought was no, no we aren't doing that - however Jack is is just how he is and we will deal with whatever comes when it comes. TJ would have had every test possible done that day to find out what was going on with Jack. We are truly very different at how we approach life. But we decided that day that we would wait, talk it over and pray about what we should do. I was adamant that we do nothing, that Jack is who he is and no test will change anything. Needless to say, we agreed to disagree and put off talking about it. We did choose not to tell a whole lot of people, so for me that meant just need-to-know like my parents, sis-in-law, my aunt and uncle, and my boss. For TJ, that meant tell everyone! Bless him, he is an open book. He still doesn't know that I know he practically told everybody. I was firm in believing that God doesn't make mistakes and if Jack had Downs, then I'd love that extra chromosome just as much as the others. I'm not a worrier, I take things head on and deal with whatever comes when it comes. I am not a "what if" person. On the other hand, TJ is just the opposite. He needs to know every possible scenario, all the "what ifs". So, when Jack was born and he had no other signs of Downs and the pediatrician checked him out and his heart was perfect, we were relieved. Our boy was healthy. He checked out with our favorite pediatrician, too.

That's it, Jack. You came into the world and you are awesome. You are such a good baby. You are so loved by so many and you were prayed over for countless hours before you even got here. Your sister adores you and is such a good helper to me. I'll have an extra post about her, soon. You have kept us on our toes since we found out about you and I'm sure there will be more to come, especially since Lucy is your big sister - haha!! :) Now, since you are 5 weeks old, I need to get finished with your one month update!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Three Years Old...

Aug. 2015 - Playing Elsa in the backyard.
Oh, my sweet Lucy. You are such a joy. And you are t h r e e y e a r s o l d. Wow, how did that happen? We just celebrated your second birthday like 2 months ago. You bring so much joy to your people's lives. So much. We had such a fun year with you! You started "school" during your second year. You were fully potty-trained and then decided to "be like the other kids" in class and went back to diapers - much to my dismay! Gracious... But you picked it back up easily and conquered that mountain! You quickly decided that you didn't like school anymore. That was a trip. But I was kind of fine with it because I wasn't ready to let you go... We made a huge move and you did such a good job. You are a champ. You do still mention your old home town and ask to go to Taylor Bug's often. You immersed yourself fully into pretend and play. You love your "girl dresses" and wanted to wear them all.the.time. I let you wear the Elsa dress to HYT church one day because you refused to wear anything else! It was absolutely adorable. I will never forget you running through the sanctuary before church started in that blue, sparkly dress with glitter and snowflakes. You are truly a blessing and joy, you make me smile, you make me brave, you make me proud, you make me exude happiness. And I know you do all that for your Daddy and other family, too. We love you and are proud to have you as our daughter. Remember, you are the only you there is. Keep on being you and bringing JOY to others.

August 2015 - Helping Nick do his Eagle Scout Project!
Keagan's Baptism, Aug 2015
Beach Trip! Sept. 2015

October 2015 - Thomas the Train
November 2015 One of my very favorite photos of you! You were thrilled, had pure joy on your face. 
December 2015 - Christmas Program at PRBC for Mother's Day Out. You were the cutest bell-shaker! 

Jan. 2016
Jan. 2016
March 2016 Chilton County Peach Orchard
March 2016 Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Easter 2016 at MSBC
April 2016 - field behind our house before it became a corn field! 

A Day Out With Thomas! Such a fun day! April 2016

Babo and Tay-Tay came along, too! :) 
Mother's Day - May 2016 - You LOVE your family! 
June Beach Trip with Student Ministry - your first student trip! 
Your Birthday Party - Lowe's themed! I'll add another post about your party. You had the BEST time celebrating Lowe's Style! :) 
Baby girl, I am so sorry this took so long to get together. Goofy things kept happening when I tried to upload these photos. I have loved every minute as your momma. You rocked your third year of life and brought so much JOY to everyone around you. You braved moving to a new house like a champ. You are astonishing, my girl, simply astonishing. And technically this shouldn't be in this post, but you are facing year 4 like a whirlwind. We love you with all our hearts and momma will be better at posting updates for you this year (in fact, I could do your 3.5 year old update now!).