Thursday, November 26, 2009


After a truly exhausting day I am thankful for the Dove chocolates hidden in the side pockets of our glider.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

All I Want For Christmas

Jules read her Christmas list to Santa this morning.  Josh was not very interested in Santa, but was absolutely precious in his Christmas outfit!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

one month

Dear Josh,

Oh my.  You are already one month old.  The time has flown by and I have really cherished this first month with you.  Things have been so different than they were with your sister.  In my experience, it has been a lot easier to care for a baby the second time around and it is truly a joy to take care of you.  Maybe that's because I had a better idea of what to expect with you, but I really feel like I can savor these early weeks with you because I already knew about the bad parts and because I know that this will be the last little baby I have.  I'm finding it easier to be much more laid back with you and we just go with the flow.  Plus, I'm pretty certain that having you has made me love your sister even more although I never thought it possible.

I can already see changes in you despite the fact that it has only been a few short weeks since you were born.  Your face looks different.  Your vision has improved and you make eye contact with us now.  You will find a face or catch sight of a moving hand and follow it back and forth from left to right.  I'm pretty sure that you're already smiling in response to people now especially when we goo goo at you.  You've grown so much and gotten so much stronger.  You lift your head high off my shoulder and you push off with your hands.  You even amaze me with the strength you're developing in your legs already.

When we first came home from the hospital my milk had just come in and we had a rough first night.  You were gassy and fussy and we didn't sleep all that much at a time.  Luckily, after that we quickly fell into a routine with you waking to eat every two hours and gradually you have gotten to the point where you'll sleep from about ten until two or three which mommy loves.  One night you were so tired from an exhausting day without much sleep that you made it all the way until 4:30 am.  It makes such a difference when I only have to get up one time to feed you each night and I know that it will only get better.

You haven't had a drop of formula since that first 36 hours in the NICU and you breasfeed like a champ which makes mommy really proud.  Lately Julianna, who has never cared for baby dolls much, has taken to carrying around a baby she likes to call Yoda.  She feeds him from a bottle she holds up to her chest and "fills with milk" and it is the sweetest thing.  She even says she gets up to feed him in the middle of the night.  All of this is inspired by you Josh.

So Daddy has started calling you Tud and Jules immediately started telling people about her brother Joshy after she first saw you.  You see, you had to wait to meet everyone except for Daddy and I after we left the hospital because of the strict rules in the NICU.  But I'm pretty sure everyone loved you the instant they laid eyes on you.  You have the most beautiful head of dark brown hair and the sweetest deep blue eyes.  I'm finding that it's hard not to keep comparing you to your sister.  Your feet are much smaller and your fingers and legs are much shorter even though you weighed almost a pound more than her at birth.  You burp and poot just like a boy but thankfully you don't spit up half as much as Julianna did.  You go back to the doctor in a month and I am already anxious to see how much you weigh since I can tell that you are gaining quite a bit.

There are so many blessings that I have realized concerning your birth.  I really wallowed in self pity after my miscarriage last year when I realized that my children wouldn't be any closer than four grades apart in school.  It has turned out to be really wonderful to have such a mature 3.5 year old as your older sister.  She is so gentle with you and she helps out quite a bit when I need her to.  Plus, she's in preschool five days a week and takes dance on Tuesdays so she gets those extra doses of attention.  We wouldn't have any of that with a two year old and for that I am thankful.

Also, I thought it would be awful having a baby at the end of October (and it still may be hard to have a baby in the winter) but so far it's been great.  You'll be a good age at Christmas and you'll be five weeks at Thanksgiving so Daddy will have a little extra time off to spend with you and Jules.  I'll hopefully be all set to go back to work after the first of the year.  The timing was just... right.

Baby Joshua, it is so obvious to me now that you were a part of God's perfect plan for our family and I am so very thankful for you.  We adore you.  At only one month old you've already fallen into a comfortable rhythm in our house and you are the perfect completion to our family.

Love you baby.

Friday, November 20, 2009

sweet swinging baby

He finally decided he liked the swing. This is the first time he's been in it and not screamed the whole time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Joshua's birth story

written by Jonathan
edited by Courtney

Monday 10/19 and Tuesday 10/20, Courtney told me on my way home from work that she wasn't feeling too good and that she may be in labor. Both nights the contractions went away later in the evening. On Wednesday 10/21, I had a big day with a tour group of 94 people coming to Marsh. Needless to say, I was a little tired when leaving work around 5:15 pm. When Courtney told me again, that she hadn't felt good all day and that her contractions were about 8 minutes apart and regular since 2:30 pm (for three hours), I gave it little thought. I get home, we eat dinner, and Courtney's parents take off for church. 

By now (around 6:30 pm) the contractions are about 5 minutes apart and still regular. Fairly quickly, they become 2-3 minutes apart so we decide to go to the hospital and get checked out. We dropped Jules off at Courtney's sister's house on the way to the hospital and get there around 7:45 pm. The lady at the desk told us it would be a little bit before we could get into a triage booth, but they ended up calling us back by 8 pm. 

The nurse checked and Courtney was 5 cm dilated and having contractions steadily every 2 minutes. So they prepare a room for us. As the good Lord would have it, Dr. S was on call (Courtney's preferred OB). She came by around 10:30 pm and broke Courtney's water. She saw some meconium in the water and decided to have the pediatric team come in to be ready to check the baby out when it was born. She also told us that she would not be in a hurry to get him crying in order to have the chance to suck as much fluid out of his mouth as possible. 

Labor came on pretty quickly and Courtney was 7 cm dilated and was doing great at managing the pain but by 11:30 pm, it was getting tough. Around midnight, the nurse checked her and she had progressed to 8 cm dilated.  She decided to get an epidural since she felt it had taken so long to go from 7 to 8 cm. The nurse had asked her earlier if she'd like stadol but she declined.  When she decided to get the epidural we told the nurse and of course, it took them a while to get there. 

By 12:30, I pushed the button to call the nurse.  They answer and while I'm asking to see our nurse, Courtney blurts out "I NEED STADOL." The nurse comes in, checks her, and because she's 8 cm dilated she told us that the drug would go straight to the baby so she couldn't give it to her. She said there were two people in front of us and two doctors working on the epidural before they'd come to our room. 

At this point, Courtney was having the strong desire to push. The nurse told her that she couldn't push or she would tear her cervix. Courtney kept explaining over and over again the need to push.  The doctors came in and gave her drugs around 1 am, but as the anesthesiologist asked what she felt Courtney said she still felt strong contractions and a huge urge to push.  She kept telling them that it wasn't working, so the doctor did some things to get her hooked up quicker. 

Finally, he got the meds to work and the nurse checked and Courtney had progressed from 8 to 10 cm while they were trying to administer the epidural.  Then Courtney got to rest some so we both took it easy for about 45 minutes. 

At 2:05 am the doctor came back in and we started pushing.  Immediately I saw a little head peeking through with plenty of hair. With the second push there was not much change, but on the third push the head came out. Then we stopped and waited for another contraction.  Finally, with the fourth push he was out at 2:13 am on the second contraction. 

Of course, he started crying too quickly and was grunting as opposed to screaming (indicating fluid in the lungs). Dr. S suctioned his mouth and nose and the pediatric team wisked him away to their table.  They started sticking a vacuum tube down his throat and nose and sucking out fluid. 

His apgar scores were 8 at 1 minute and 9 at 5 minutes. The team left and Courtney was able  to hold him.  We were able to have Nanna, Mamaw, and Memama come in to see him for just a minute. He was still grunting so they took him to NICU for testing that was supposed to last four hours. At 4 am, we were moved downstairs to a mother-baby room. Around 5 am I went to check on him in the NICU and was told he wouldn't be done until 8ish. Aunt Whitney came by around 7:30 am and she and I went to see him on the way out but no one was allowed in the NICU except for me and Court. 

It was then that the nurse had a doctor come talk to me. He told me that Josh's blood test showed a "marker" that could mean infection and they would be giving him precautionary antibiotics for 48 hours. This meant no family, no in-room stays for 48 hours while they kept him in the NICU. Therefore, we made a trip down the hall every 3 hours to feed him. 

The first two trips, I took Courtney in a wheel chair since it was a good distance to walk. From then on, she could walk it on her own. Josh did great and continued to improve. Courtney felt 100% within 24 hours.  It turned out to be a blessing in disguise to not have a lot of company and to let baby bond with mother while we were in the hospital. Breastfeeding was easier, and things just seemed to click. 

Saturday morning 10/24, we got word that there was no infection and Josh would be released as soon as we could get a hearing screening done and when his circumcision was complete. Courtney was discharged at 11:30 am and Josh was finished at 12:15. The nurse wanted to wait until he peed after the circumcision before letting us go. We waited and waited, anxious to get home and introduce him to Jules.  At 2:30 pm, the doctor felt we'd had enough waiting and we were discharged to bring Josh home. It was a great experience and God has once again poured out so many blessings on my family.

Joshua William Tucker
Born 10/22 2:13am
9lbs 3.5ozs. 21" long

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

i adore this kiddo

he only woke up at 3:30 and 7:00 last night and he's not even 4 weeks old yet

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

quick update

Josh's two week check-up last Wednesday went almost perfectly.  He was about half a pound above birth weight (9 lbs 10.5 oz) and everything else checked out great.  I took Jules with me because we'd had trouble getting her a flu shot and had been told that if we could get her in the office when she was well then they could give her one.

Well, needless to say, Jonathan had already gone back to work and mom was meeting with someone at church so I had to take both kiddos myself.  Everything went fine in the waiting room and then when we were taken back to an exam room Julianna immediately told the nurse that she was going to get a shot.  The nurse looked at me with an expression on her face like, "She is?" and I explained that we were hoping to get one for her while we were there.  So the nurse went to get the consent form and asked me to undress Josh down to a dry diaper and meet her out at the scale.

So of course, I was blessed to have a boy this time around and as I was changing his diaper he decides to pee all over his own face, outfit, and blanket.  I clean his face off and wipe down his hair with a baby wipe.  Meanwhile, my three year old is playing with the height chart on the wall and making the metal thing slide all the way off and down onto the floor and then she's spinning around on the doctor's wheelie chair and all that sort of thing, but hey, there was a bottle of hand sanitizer right beside me so I figured as long as she wasn't injuring herself I'd tend to the boy first and then we'd clean her hands and everything would be all good.  Well sure enough as I get diaper number two out and start getting that ready to put on Joshua, he decides to poop all over that clean one so out comes diaper number three plus a clean outfit.  (And here's the Zoloft talking: I looked at Josh and glanced over my shoulder at Jules and then just chuckled at the entire situation.)  But it gets better... because after I placed diaper number three under that little hiney Josh apparently decided that he wasn't done peeing.  He'd just paused to take care of the poop business.  Then I let him finish peeing, get out diaper number four, and get him in a clean outfit to get him out to the scale before the little booger can distribute any more bodily fluid anywhere else in the room.

The doctor said he looked great.  No need to check for any more jaundice and all measurements were good.  Julianna got her flu vaccination and we set up a two month well-check appointment and got the heck out of dodge.  Another day as a rockstar mommy.  All on less than six hours of sleep.

Then today I realized that whole ordeal wasn't so bad when I look over and see Julianna popping Josh's umbilical cord stump in her mouth after she found it laying on the table where Daddy put it after he discovered it inside a diaper he was changing last night.

I suppose she thought it was a raisin.  Or something.

Ahhhh the joys of parenting two.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

want to know how to feel like a rockstar mom?

First, nurse the 12 day old baby so he's calm and content.  Warn the three year old that it's almost nap time.  Then take her and the baby upstairs to read a book before nap.  Take the baby into the other room and get him to sleep.  Put him down and jump in the shower but make sure you're out in time to catch him if he wakes up.  As he wakes up, which will inevitably happen with a newborn, try offering the pacifier.  When you can't get him back to sleep try rocking him a while back downstairs.  Finally, give up and decide to bathe him since it's been a few days since his last bath and then you know you'll be able to nurse him again and get him back to sleep before the older child wakes up.

This was the highlight of my day yesterday.  It is absolutely amazing how spectacular it can make you feel to successfully get two kiddos to sleep and then be able to take a shower yourself before five in the evening.

While these first 12 days with Josh haven't been a cake walk, they have indeed been a lot easier than my first few days as a new mom to Julianna.  Joshua is such a good baby and I was certainly better prepared for the difficulty of parenting two children so that helps of course.

He eats every two or three hours throughout the day and will go one long four hour stretch at night, but mostly I am just thankful that he nurses well.  I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that I went to the NICU every three hours to breastfeed when we were in the hospital and my milk came in on the third day instead of the fifth like it did with Jules, but it has been a lot easier this time around.  He seems so much more satisfied than Jules did any time I breastfed her.  I also pumped the first couple of days after we got home from the hospital this time and I'm taking Fenugreek now as well.  I don't know how much each of these things have contributed to making bfeeding easier, but I think they all have in some way.

So overall we are doing well.  When we went to the pediatrician last Monday (he was five days old) he was almost already back up to birth weight (two ounces short) and the doctor saw no reason to test him for elevated bilirubin levels.  He'll go back again this afternoon for his two week check.

It certainly helps to have my parents living with us this time around.  Just having an extra pair of hands helps so much.  Plus mom has been available to drive Jules to school each morning and that takes a huge burden off of me.  I realize that I am so fortunate to have all of their help.

As far as the PPD goes, so far for some reason with this baby it is easier for me to see farther into the future when I'm up in the middle of the night.  Instead of thinking, "I'll never have a normal life again.  I'll never see eight hours of sleep again" I think, "Won't it be fun when Josh and Jules and Jonathan and I can all go..." or "I can't wait until he's old enough to trick or treat with Jules..."  I can't wait to hear him giggle with her and I know that this time will go by fast.  I guess it's a combination of the Zoloft and having been there before and knowing that it does get better, easier eventually.  I find myself saying prayers of thanksgiving every night multiple times and just really cherishing my sweet little boy.  I wish I had had that with Jules, but I know that I am lucky to have it now with Joshua.
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