Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Two Months

Happy 2 Months Sweet Boy!!!

Stats: At today's appointment Mason weighed in at 13lbs 2oz and measured 23 and 1/4 inches long...which puts him in the 75th percentile for both height and weight. His head was 16 inches round...which puts him in the 90th percentile. Guess he has a bigger than average head :)

His belly ain't tiny folks!!!

Sizes: Mason currently fits perfectly into his 3 month clothing. He's starting to outgrow some of his 0-3 month clothes and is just starting to wear some of his 3-6 month...it just depends on the name brand. And my little guy is still wearing size 1 diapers.

A 3-6 month outfit!!!

Food: Mason is still on a strict booby milk diet. No supplemental formula as of yet. And on a pumping note...once I hit the 4 week mark I thought I better start pumping not only for a night time bottle but also to get a supply of breast milk going in the freezer (for when I go back to work). So now I typically try to pump 3-4 times a day...(2-3 of the pumpings occur right after a feeding...with the last pumping taking place around 10pm. I always get a good amount out at this pumping since Mason hasn't been on the boob for a good 3-4 hours at this point). I still only pump for about 5-7 minutes (per time) and generally end up with his night time bottle (of 4-4.5oz) as well as 5-10oz to put in the freezer.

Mason's give me booby face :)

Routine: I am pretty relaxed and just go with the flow so we don't have much of a day schedule. If I have to run errands...I do. If I have an appointment I feed him before I go (even if he ate just an hour before). I feed on demand...when he wants it...he (most of the time) gets it. He naps whenever he wants. He gets a bath every 2-3 days. 

However, we do have a little bit of a bedtime routine. Between 5 and 8 weeks he had a pretty set pattern of eating a 4oz bottle between 9 and 11pm, falling asleep between 9:30 and 11:30pm, waking between 4 and 4:30am to breastfeed for about 15 minutes, waking again (to BF) between 7 and 7:30am, up for an hour to an hour and a half, and then he would take his first nap of the day for an hour or so...a nice little pattern if you ask me!!! But as of 8 weeks old it got even better!!! Mason now gets a 4.5oz bottle between 8 and 9:30pm and then generally falls asleep between 9 and 10:30pm. And as of (8 weeks and 3 days old) he sleeps ALL NIGHT LONG!!! On his first full night of sleep (which occurred on February 24) he slept from 10:30pm until 7am and on his second night of full sleep...he slept from 9:30pm until 7:30am!!! First on Mason's agenda after waking is eating (of course), then hanging out with mom for an hour or so before taking an hour (or so) nap.

Developmental Milestones: At 5 weeks old Mason really started smiling. Oh how I just LOVE his little smile!!! He loves (and I mean really loves) smiling at his momma...although daddy can get some good smiles too!!! Smiles definitely come easiest in the morning or right after waking from a nap. Around 7 or 8 weeks old Mason started cooing. And just like I love his little smiles...I love his little coo's. So precious. He also started reaching (maybe subconsciously but reaching nevertheless) around 8 weeks. And he can hold his head up for small amounts of time now too. He's getting so big!!! 

Holding up his own head.

Loves: Mason still loves his hands. If I cover him (hands included) with a blanket...within seconds he will pop his hands out. Typically his hands end up right by his face...although he does like to lay with his arms/hands hanging above his head too. Mason also thoroughly enjoys his tongue. He's always "playing" with it. He also loves sleeping, tooting, and pooping really loudly. And did I mention that the boy likes loves to eat!!! Hence his awesome weight gain.

I love my tongue...

And guess what...he actually doesn't mind bathtime anymore!!! Around 5 weeks I stopped giving him sponge baths and started filling his tub with warm water instead. And he hasn't cried once since this change was implemented! 

Two loves...fingers and bathtime
Oh sweet boy!!!

Dislikes: There are not too many things Mason dislikes. At 1 month old he didn't like his swing. Not true anymore. At 1 month old he didn't like bath time. Not true anymore. At 1 month old he didn't like to burp. Not true anymore. Well actually he picks and chooses when he wants to burp...although he now gets gas drops quite regularly throughout the day when he refuses to burp. If he's sleeping (meaning if he falls asleep on the boob or bottle) it's not even worth burping him...he's dead to the world. So burping is the only thing he kinda dislikes!

Other Things I Don't Want to Forget:

  • You typically only poop once or twice a day. (And then you go and poop 4 times today)!!!
  • You sweat like your daddy :) Sometimes you're "damp" when we take you out of your car sear (if you've been in there too long).
  • Mommy cut your fingernails for the first time at 8 weeks and 4 days old. Those suckers were getting way too sharp.
  • You are quite the wiggle worm. Right before falling asleep is the worst...you constantly shift your head back and forth...and you like to throw a head butt in here and there. 
  • You burp better on mommy's lap versus over my shoulder but burping you on my lap can be a challenge at times due to your fidgetiness. 
  • You have a pretty fierce kick for a 2 month old!!!
  • You are still quite the grunter and fidgeter before pooping. But you also grunt a lot in your sleep.
  • You still sleep in mommy and daddy's bedroom. Mommy loves having you right beside her!!! One of the many reasons is because if you stir in the middle of the night...all I have to do is reach over and pop in your paci and you go right back to sleep. 
  • Mommy left you for the first time on February 15. (I went to Bible Study). The only other time mommy left you was about a week later and it was only for 20 minutes and you were with grandma V. Mommy does NOT like leaving you. Going back to work is going to be rough on mommy...
  • You had your first explosive poop on February 21. (at Grandma V's house). It was all.up.your.back. Thankfully grandma had an extra onesie for you to put on.

Heading home pantless thanks to a dirty diaper.

  • Your last physical therapy appointment (for your tordicollis) was February 22. You went a total of 7 times. You loved getting your neck/head stretched the first 6 visits. However, the last visit didn't go so well...you cried the whole time.

You and "Uncle Todd"...(your physical therapist)

Today's appointment was a bit rough (and long). The office was busy so we had to wait in the waiting room for a good 30 minutes before being called back. During that 30 minute wait Mason decided to poop. Normally he does NOT like to sit in his poop but he did really good waiting it out. 

Then during Dr. M's assessment he saw some pockets of white gunk on Mason's penis...(I don't know how else to explain it). I had noticed the white gunk this weekend when I was giving him a bath but after much scrubbing (which resulted in a very red penis) it look like it was just attached to his penis so I stopped monkeying around with it. But it was in fact not a part of his penis :) 

Anyways Dr. M first took a Q-tip to his little peter and removed all the pockets of white gunk but there were also 3 adhesions which was why the white gunk/pus was staying put. Boy oh boy did Mase ever cry. Then Dr. M told me I had two options. 1) He could lidocaine the penis (which would consist of 2 shots) and then snip the 3 adhesions with a scissor or 2) We wait until his 4 month appointment. But Dr. M said the adhesions would only grow thicker and Mason would at some point end up at a Urologist office for a more invasive procedure. I chose option one to just get it over with. Dr. M said thats the choice he would make too if it was his child. He explained that it was nothing we nor the doctor who performed his circumcision did...just the way it healed. He said it was actually very common.

So after Dr. M Q-tipped all the gunk out we had to wait for him to grab the lidocaine. During this time I was able to calm Mase down. Then Dr. M came back and gave Mason two shots...which of course led to more screaming. I had just gotten him calmed down (again) when two nurses came in to give him his immunizations (5 IM shots and 1 oral vaccination...yikes)!!! They were super quick about it but of course this led to more screaming. Again as we waited for Dr. M to come back to cut the adhesions I calmed Mason down. But as soon as the first snip took place...Mason started screaming again. I felt so bad for my little guy but I also didn't want to leave him so I endured it all. After everything was done I asked if I could quick nurse him to calm him down (it also had been 4 hours since he last ate so he was h-u-n-g-r-y)...so thats just what I did and then we were finally (2 hours and 15 minutes later) out the door. I thought Mason would be a little fussy tonight but he's been his normal little self. So proud of my little man!!!

We talked a little bit about his tordicollis and his hydronephrosis. As for the tordicollis Dr. M wants me to continue doing head/neck stretches at home since (although improved) Mason still favors one side. And we will reevaluate if he needs more PT at his 4 month check-up. As for the hydronephrosis I was wrong in stating that he no longer has it. He still has grade 2 hydronephrosis...just no reflux. All this means is that Mason will have to have yearly ultrasounds until it resolves. It could resolve at any time but typically sometime before age 6. So in a long nutshell...that's my boys story...thus far!!! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Nursery Tour (Take 2)

Tonight the final piece of artwork was (finally) hung up in Buggy Mason's nursery which means the nursery is officially complete!!!

The view when you enter Mason's room.

The black knobs are new on his changing table...I love 'em!!!

Buggy's ultrasound picture was replaced :)

The bookshelf filled up nicely. And the laundry and toy baskets came out of the closet.

Mason's name and artwork on the wall behind the rocker are both new additions.

Close-Up of the new addition.

Close-Up of the new additions.
(The elephant picture says...First we had each other, Then we had you, Now we have everything).

Bedding and 1 Samuel 1:27 phrase

Full shot of just the crib and bedding.

Closet and yet another new addition to the wall.

Close-Up of the new addition.

Oh yeah...its a BOY closet!!!

Short and Random

Happy 2 Months To My Sweet Baby BOY!!! 
(I will put up a 2 month post tomorrow after his doctor appointment).
  • Just got a call this morning that Mason's VCUG came back NORMAL!!! So very thankful!!!
  • We had a busy weekend. We celebrated baby boy Vugteveen's upcoming arrival on Friday night. And on Saturday night we celebrated my sweet niece Addi's 4th birthday!!!
All ready for cousin Addi's birthday party!
Kylynn, the birthday princess Addi, and Cambrey
  • On Saturday afternoon we I organized our storage rooms. When we started finishing the basement things just got thrown into both rooms so now that the basement is (mostly) finished I wanted to organized the rooms. And organize I did!!!
Oh I love to organize!!!
  • Oh and a day last week I went to my mom's house and my sister happened to be there too. When I saw what Brinley was wearing I HAD to snap a picture...
  • Then Cambrey had to hang on to baby Mason which meant Cole wanted in on the action too so we threw Brinley in and snapped a picture of all 4...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Will It Never Not Hurt

Last night while on Facebook I came across a baby announcement...a coworker of mine just found out (at what I believe was her 20 week ultrasound) that she is having twins...and twin girls at that. I read it to Brian and asked him...will it never not hurt? And he said probably not. Twin boys don't bother me. Boy/girl twins don't bother me. But it always stings when I hear of someone having twin girls.

But it pry doesn't help that today marks the two year anniversary of finding out we were pregnant with the girls. Yep...me and dates...I don't forget 'em. But February 24, 2010 was one of the best days of my life so why would I ever forget it.

Anyways here's a picture of my cutie pa-tootie...
who always brings a smile to my face!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

VCUG Update

Just got back from Mason's VCUG procedure and very happy to say that my little boy is such an angel!!! He didn't make a peep...not even when they stuck the catheter in his lil peter. He just stared at his mommy and sucked on his paci. The peeps doing the procedure couldn't believe how good he was! Anyways the tech that did the procedure asked if we had any questions and I said no. But she did say that from what she could tell it didn't look like he had much if any reflux (YEA!!!) but that the radiologist would have the final say. She also said that he would read it today yet and that within 24-48 hours Mason's PCP would have the results. So here's to hoping we hear something by Friday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Some Updates

6 Week Post-partum Check-Up News
I can't believe I didn't share my wonderful news (from 2 weeks ago)!!! At my 6 week post-partum check-up guess what my blood pressure was...wait for it...112/72!!! Holy smokes...it hasn't been that low in ages! After seeing how excellent it was Dr. J asked me when my next regular (primary care) doctor appointment was and it just so happened that it was (or is) scheduled for early March. So because it was in March Dr J said to stop taking my blood pressure pills about 2 weeks prior to the appointment. And then he is going to leave it up to my PCP to decide whether I need to be put back on something or not. Not going to lie though...after my 6 week check-up I stopped taking my night dose of labetalol. (I hated remembering to take it twice a day. Nurses are the worst at following directions :o))

Mason's Kidney Business Update
We go in tomorrow for Mason's VCUG. And then we should get the results within a day or two after his appointment.

Basement Update
We are almost finished (finally!!!) with our basement. We started the whole process last May (about a week after the BFP) but decided early on to just take our time and take our time we did. Carpet was installed (3 days before baptism) so now the only things left to do are counter tops and plumbing. Oh and Brian is going to do a row of tile above the counter in the bar area. As for furnishing the basement...we went couch shopping this weekend...and purchased one yesterday!!! We got an awesome deal on it and it was just what we wanted. Now just shopping around for bar stools, a serving tray to set on the ottoman (so peeps have something to set their drinks on), blinds, curtains (for in front of the door), and throw pillows. Wall decorations will have to wait. Although the hubby has done a little wall decorating of his own already...when I take some pictures you will totally know what I mean :o). We plan on moving our upstairs entertainment center downstairs along with the T.V. which means we need to shop around for a smaller T.V. and stand to put upstairs. But we're trying to keep everything in a reasonable price range which means we're in no hurry. So yeah stay tuned for pictures once everything is complete!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How To "Be There" For Your Friend (who lost a child)

Katie from Katie's Keepers wrote such a beautiful post the other day that I just had to share (some most of it)...

This has been on my mind for a long time now, and it's time to step out in faith and write about it.

Sometimes I get asked, "What can I do for my friend who just lost her baby? I hurt for them so badly, but I have no idea what to do or say..."

Everyone is so different in their grief, so I'm by no means speaking for every woman. From what I've observed though there are several common themes among families who have lost children.

Of course you know your friend the best so think about what she likes or what would mean a lot to her. Make whatever you do personal and unique to her and her family.

Start a name gallery for them...

Make a meal for them one night and/or organize friends to bring them meals for a few weeks. Our church had two people deliver the meals so we didn't have to deal with seeing a lot of people. This was a wonderful thing.

Be there be there be there. Do not shy away. My friends wanted to be there for me so badly but had no clue what to do. They felt helpless, but there really is a lot you can do.

Hug, cry with them, listen, and let them say anything to you. Their emotions are everywhere and will be for a long time. You feel such loss for your friend. Tell her this.

Be there with them in their pain. It's a hard place to be but this is where they need you. Remember right now to them their lives are over. They have lost their most precious treasure. 

Music was very healing to me. I received a few Cds like Selah's "You Deliver Me" and Steven Curtis Chapman's "Beauty Will Rise." They are wonderful! I also love Kari Jobe's music. 

Several friends sent me cards with Scripture on them. I still have them up in my bedroom and use some of them as bookmarks...

I received jewelry with Reese's name or initials on it. I wear something almost every day that connects with Reese in some way. A charm necklace or a bracelet is a good idea.

Those close to me shared what the LORD was teaching them through our loss. Your friend will be seeking truth, and GOD's word is the only thing that will provide this.

Do NOT EVER EVER say, "Everything happens for a reason or good will come from this." It is not comforting to anyone and usually just shuts people down. Some things should just be left to the LORD to instill in hearts. I'm SO thankful no one said this to me. 

Do NOT say, "GOD never promised an easy life." Unfortunately people did say this to me, and all I could think was, "I never said He did." 

Let them know you will always remember her sweet babies. Did she name them? Did you see pictures? Say their names often. I know this can feel strange, but to them it isn't I promise.

Talk about how handsome/beautiful he/she was (if you saw them or pictures), and how special they are...

Affirm what wonderful parents they are to their babies.

Call, text, or email every day or every other day just to say I love you. Send a card in the mail to let them know you are thinking of them.

Remember every month the exact day their baby was born and passed away (especially the first year) and let them know you are thinking of them. Donate to something important to you in their honor.

Always be available. This was one of the most important things to me. Several people offered to go to lunch or coffee. Know your friend may not ever accept, but it's still important. Just knowing people are there gives some security.

I hope this helps! All of these things validate the precious life that is in Heaven. Follow your heart as you know your friend. They need family and friends now more than ever.

I couldn't have said it any better!!! Thanks Katie!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy LOVE Day

Even though Mason and I didn't do anything much today he still wore his special Valentine's Day shirt all day long!!! Why...because it was from his friend Will who sent it all the way from Colorado...
"Please ladies...don't touch the paci!" 
"Better use all 5 fingers since both my eyes are closed."

Brian and I don't normally do much for Valentine's Day besides getting each other cards. The first year we were married we were on a plane most of the day, the second year I had just been implanted, and last year I worked (which means I didn't get home until 8pm). So this year we decided to do dinner (with Mason in tow). But since neither of us like to wait long to eat...we decided to go out last night instead. We went to Outback Steakhouse (giftcard in hand!!!) and got the Valentines Special...an appetizer, two 8oz sizzlers that came with a side and a side salad, and cheesecake for dessert. It was delicious!!!

We always say NO gifts and normally we stick to the plan but last Friday when I was at the mall I saw a Michigan beer mug that I just had to get the hubby. (He wants to decorate the downstairs bar area with some Michigan stuff). So when the hubby got home and saw the present he shook his head at me and said he was not opening the present. I then reminded him that we said NO gifts at Christmas but that he still got me something. His response was...Valentine's Day is different. I told him that his gift was an impulse buy from just last week and that made him a bit happier. Happy to say that he loved it!!!

After dinner tonight Mason and I went over to my parent's house to see some of his big cousins. Grandma (and Papa) had the 5 oldest grandchildren over for a little V-Day party. Mason had a great time but his favorite part of the night was giving his cousins their Valentines Day card and nerd sticks.

The big girls sporting their new tanks...plus Coley boy
Cole, Cambrey, Easton, Addi, and Kylynn
Addi, Mason, and Papa
Thanks Papa and Gma...I LOVE my new shirt and book!!!

(Mason's) Kidney Ultrasound Appointment

So yesterday my mom and I trooped it down to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital for the little man's renal (kidney) ultrasound. He did great. Only fussed a little bit when he was sick of being on his tummy. (They ultrasounded both his belly and his back to get all views of his kidneys). As we were leaving the ultrasound tech said that the hospital would have the results to Dr. M's office by the end of the day and that within the week the office would call me with the results.

Well I got my call first thing this morning and the news wasn't bad but it also wasn't great. I was hoping to hear that everything was resolved and that we could close the door on hydronephrosis but thats not the case. When Mason was in utero they called his hydronephrosis mild and on a scale of 1-4 (1 being the most mild)...his was a grade 1. Well when the nurse called today with the ultrasound results she called it a grade 2. And went on to say that Mason now needs to have a VCUG (Voiding Cystourethrogram) performed. The nurse was real sweet and asked if I would prefer Dr. M to call me back to go into detail about why he needs this test but I told her I knew what a VCUG was and that I was okay to move forward with setting up an appointment. She said that Dr. M thought I would say that :)

For those of you who don't know what a VCUG is...I'll try to explain it as clearly as I can (otherwise you can always google it). First off this test will also be done at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. (And I thought I was done with HDVCH until I went back to work...ha). Anyways a catheter will be inserted into Mason's penis and some contrast (a clear liquid) will be pushed through the catheter into his bladder and then a radiology tech will take some pictures of his bladder and kidneys. What they are looking for is to see if any urine refluxes back up into his kidneys.

If some urine does in fact reflux back up into his kidneys then Mason will need to be put on prophylactic antibiotics to prevent any kidney infections. A kidney infection would develop from bacteria entering his bladder via his urethra. And then if he does have hydronephrosis then that bacteria could continue to travel back up his ureter (Mason's hydronephrosis is only one sided...I just don't remember what side) and into his kidney. Obviously a kidney infection could damage Mason's kidney which is why Mason would be put on antibiotics. More often that not though children with lower grades of hydronephrosis out grow it (it being the hydronephrosis).

So we're praying with this more "invasive test" that Mason's hydronephrosis will be ruled out. But if it confirms what the ultrasound shows we pray the hydronephrosis is still a grade 2 (or less) because then he will just have to be on an antibiotic until he out grows it. If it shows a worse grade (like a grade 4) then he would most likely need surgery. But a VCUG does not typically show a worse grade (thank goodness). So worse case scenario is that Mason will be on daily antibiotics (again until he out grows the hydronephrosis). I don't know when a child typically out grows it but my best guess would be within the first two years of life. So I'm thinking that this might not be his last VCUG...poor boy. I know that things could be much worse but as a parent you just hate for anything to be wrong with your child. But it is what it is so just praying for the best outcome possible. I should hear back from my office tomorrow about his appointment date. Hoping its within the next two weeks...

Stay tuned for my Valentine's Day post which I hope to post later tonight!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mason Dale - A Child of God

Yesterday was a very special day. Special because our little miracle was baptized!!! And what made it even more special was that he was baptized from the same old styrofoam cup (and by the same Pastor) as his big sissy's. Oh and the fact that we were surrounded by our amazing family and a few close friends added to the special-ness of it all!!!

But let me stop here a minute and blog about something a "little" off subject. On Saturday morning I woke up and the first thing I said to Brian was..."do you remember what happened exactly two years ago from today?" Of course Brian had no idea so I proceeded to tell him that exactly two years ago Mason was first created. (February 11, 2010 was the day of our retrieval)!!! Brian's response...you and your dates!

Then on Saturday night as I was drifting off to sleep I was thinking about not only what an amazing gift my little boy is but also how different it is being an Earthly parent (compared to being an Angel parent). Both are hard but in completely different ways. One of the biggest differences with being an Earthly parent is the worry that comes with it. You pray your child doesn't get a deadly disease. You pray your child doesn't get seriously hurt in a motor vehicle accident. But more than anything else you pray that your child grows to love the Lord with all his (or her) heart. 

My happy boy before heading to church.

And on a side note this is the same outfit that Brian wore at his baptism...besides the booties (I bought them)...and the blanket (that was made just for Mason)!!!

Mason Dale, I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit...

After church we headed back to our house for some lunch (and cake) with our family and a few friends. As you can see by quite a few of the following pictures...Mason LOVES his paci :o)
Once again...4 generations. My grandpa Scholma, my mom, me, and Mason.

Papa and Gma Vugteveen with all the grandchildren...Kylynn with Mason, Cambrey, Addi, Brinley, Cole, and Easton.

Gpa and Gma H. (Hence what Mason looks like 
without his paci).

What a beautiful Child of God!!!

And for your giggling pleasure...
As you can tell from the above pictures...the cap did NOT make the final cut :o) Although I would love to sneak a peak at a picture of Brian in it!!!

February the 13th...

will always hold a special place in my heart. And this is why...exactly 2 years ago these two little embabies changed my life forever...

Wow. Two years. It's hard for me to believe that it really has been two years since I was implanted with my precious baby girls. I found the quote below on someone's Facebook page and I thought it so very fitting...

Isn't this the truth. I had 105 minutes with Alayna and 75 minutes with Ella. But I have had (approximately) 14,196 hours (or 851,760 minutes) to spend thinking of them. Again...wow.

The other day at counseling I was telling my counselor how just the other week Mason had had his first play date. It was a boys only play date because my friends only have little boys! But a comment was said that made me a little sad. I KNOW this friend meant no harm so I just shook the comment off and changed the subject. But the comment was this..."I wonder who is going to have the first girl in the group." I wanted to say that I already did. But like I said I didn't want to make a fuss so I just left it be. My counselor said..."its just my mom instinct wanting them to be recognized and remembered." But I know just because I live every single day knowing that I lost two precious little girls...doesn't mean everyone else does too.

I thought of you today, but that is nothing new. 
I thought about you yesterday, and days before that too. 
I think of you in silence, I often speak your name.

All I have are memories and a picture in a frame. 
Your memory is a keepsake, from which I'll never part. 
God has you in His arms. I have you in my heart.

(Author Unknown)