Two Weeks And Thriving

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Our Vox-a-roo is officially two weeks old today. These weeks have been a big mix of ups and downs but we are trying to keep our grip and enjoy the ride. Having grandma Joy and grandpa John here was great because they kept the kids occupied with trips to the park, Saturday morning breakfast at Great Scott’s Eatery, and lots of games both inside and out in the backyard. There were also tea parties, projects, swimming, walks, farmers market with face paintings and airbrush tattoos, and lots of reading time. Both Zoren and Astoria were in their element, thoroughly enjoying all the time with their grandparents, which certainly doesn’t happen often enough due to the thousand mile gap between us.

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We spent the Fourth of July eating lots of great food, making paper lanterns and tri-corner hats with the kidlets. We followed that up with our own backyard parade complete with recorders, songs, and “happy 4th” signs. After dinner the whole gang, aside from me and little Vox, headed out to enjoy the fireworks.

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Zoren has spent his mornings this week at Zoo Safari Camp at the Denver Zoo. His theme for the week is Planet Patrol and he is loving every aspect of it. Z has come home every day with tons of new animal and habitat facts, talking a mile a minute about everything he is learning and can’t wait for us to come see his class sing a song to the parents tomorrow for his last day. His camp experience was awesome and we will surely be signing him up again next year (and Stori, too as she wasn’t quite old enough to go this summer). While Zbot was zoo camping it up, Astoria, Vox, and I had a lot of playtime. Stori and I ran around the house hiding and seeking, played round after round of “what creature am I” and “captain may I”, and wrote a letter to her summer pen pal. We also spent copious amounts of time coloring, changing diapers, and taking care of baby Vox.

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Now these past weeks were not without some difficult times and although I want to be sure to remember all the good things we did, it doesn’t meant there weren’t some notable bumps along the way. At first, it seemed like Vox was doing pretty well with the whole breast feeding venture but at each consecutive weigh-in for over a week, little V just wasn’t gaining weight. He held steady at his mere 6lbs 7oz at each visit and continued to eat every two hours but just wasn’t packing on the ounces like he should. After our tireless efforts to breast feed, then pump, then feed via syringe, we had to change things up a bit. It just wasn’t feasible or fair to the other two kidlets for me to continue spending 90% of my day feeding, pumping, and supplementing without any results. So we threw the rule book in the garbage and started a new regiment of pumping and bottle feeding every two hours to be sure the little guy was eating enough, along with supplementing twice a day with a couple ounces of newborn formula. We began noticing changes in Vox almost immediately. He started to be alert for longer periods and sleeping a little less. He also became much less fussy and seemed to have a satisfied and full belly for the first time since he was born. After only four days of this new feeding routine, he gained a full 9 ounces and was back up to weighing 7lbs at his weight check this Tuesday. Vox-a-roo is quickly getting back the sweet pudgy cheeks he was born with, looking much less gaunt and more healthy, and the giant swollen bruise on his head is almost totally gone.

I adore having a newborn in the house and these two weeks have been a reminder of just how quickly time is going to fly by, especially now that I am vastly outnumbered by children on a daily basis which lends itself to fun filled but very fast and busy days. I am trying to hold onto as many moments with this sweet baby as I can because he may very well be the last newborn entering our family.

This week I have gotten to know this little ninja even better since he is awake for longer and more frequent periods. I love how his eyes intently study everything around him, the skeptical looks and sideways glances he occasionally and unknowingly shoots in my direction, and the newborn dreamy sleep faces he makes which never get old. There are brief instances where I find little pieces of the other two kids in him, a crooked smile that mimics our newborn Stori and the raised brow and wrinkly forehead that a two week old Zoren also sported. Vox is my baby with an old soul that seems so very familiar to me in some ways and yet looks so different then either of my other two kidlets did at that age. My heart melts every time his bottom lip begins to quiver which happens just before he lets loose a mighty cry of protest. He hates having his diaper changed, probably because the outside world is so cold and he prefers his bottom tucked safely inside his warm cloth diapers. I adore his tiny hands that are constantly searching for something to grasp and the moments when he gets a firm grip on my finger and holds on tight. I love that it only takes mere seconds of sitting with Vox in my rocking chair to calm him down when he’s crying, that he fits so perfectly in my arms, and that he already knows who I am just by smell and sound. I spend ample time breathing this baby in every day and I can’t wait to see what the next couple weeks have in store, how much he will change, and how much more of him I will get to know.

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Our Little Vox

I have been trying for almost two weeks now to find a good chunk of time to sit and write. As you can imagine, that isn’t the easiest thing to do with two preschoolers and a newborn, especially while trying to recover from my third c-section. Luckily, my mom was here for awhile helping out with the kidlets and housekeeping duties. My husband has also been instrumental in assisting with anything I need but sleep is still minimal with a very hungry newborn who needs to eat every couple hours. So in turn, this post may be a little incoherent and rambling because, lets face it, my thought process and ability to form proper sentences directly reflects the amount of rest I have been getting, which as I said, isn’t a whole lot. Without further adieu, here is my story of the birth of our sweet little Vox…

Steve was over at the old house on Wednesday evening (June 26th) finishing up some last minute cleaning before we had to turn over the keys to our less then stellar previous landlords. He didn’t get home until about midnight and I was promptly awakened by some vicious back pain around 12:30am, Thursday morning. I figured out pretty quickly that they were back contractions and assumed that it would pass since similar contractions had been plaguing me for weeks. But as they got much worse and closer together within less then half an hour, I decided it was time to call the doc and head to the hospital. Of course, this little ninja boy wasn’t going to wait the 30 hours until his scheduled eviction, he clearly had plans of his own. It was a good thing we set out on the 45 minute trek to the hospital when we did because by the time we got to the labor and delivery floor, my back contractions were right on top of each other which had me a little concerned. They got me into a room very quickly, hooked me up to bunch of monitors, checked me out and discovered that I was already 7cm dilated. The nurses started rushing around to get my IV in and asked me dozens of questions that I hurriedly answered in the 30-45 seconds between each horrid contraction. I also had to endure a consult with both my doctor and the anesthesiologist, then sign a bunch of consent forms before they finally wheeled me back into the OR to have my spinal block put in.

Thankfully the spinal block took effect really fast and all the intense pain from those contractions went away in mere moments. Then they strapped me to the table and finished prepping me for our little ninja’s evacuation. After my doc started the surgery, there was another little kink in the plans as our sweet boy had wedged himself so far down into my pelvis/birth canal that he was good and stuck. So stuck, in fact, that the doctor had to lower the table and get a stool to stand on to get enough leverage to pull him out. Our ninja made his grand entrance shortly after, screaming at the top of his lungs to let it be known exactly how unhappy he was about it. Vox Alan Zurik Stodola was born on June 27th at 2:48am, weighed 7 lbs. 3oz, and was 19.5 inches long. He has this super blonde fuzz on his head, perfectly tiny yet well defined features, and is just as cute and sweet as can be. Our little guy has super minute ears that fold over a bit at the top edges and skinny legs that refuse to straighten because he very much prefers his fetal frog leg posture. He has that sweet newborn smell that only lingers for a month or so and I find myself pressing my nose up to his fuzzy head as often as I can, just to breathe him in. Our Vox is a whole heap of perfection and it has been so easy to fall in love with him.

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In the days that followed his grand entrance, we found out that Vox’s traumatic birth left a big hematoma on his poor little head which greatly contributed to his bilirubin levels climbing for five days before starting to go down (you can see how orange the little guy was looking in a lot of the pictures). Luckily, his levels began to drop before they got too high and we avoided having to put him on a photo therapy bed which was a total relief. We are pretty well versed in jaundice as Zoren underwent phototherapy for a full week when we came home from the hospital and that whole ordeal sucked…. A lot. Needless to say, it was a total relief when Vox’s levels dropped and his jaundice began to clear up.

The four days we were in the hospital were a little stressful, especially when I was told on the third day that they could discharge me but needed to keep Vox to watch his weight and jaundice.. So we all ended up sticking around another day and took that extra time to love on our newborn boy, which ended up being just fine with me in the end. During our extended stay, my mom was taking care of Zoren and Astoria and keeping them occupied with lots of fun activities. They loved the time with their grandma and although I know they were antsy for Steve, Vox, and me to get home, they were in good hands and having fun while we were away. They came to the hospital to visit us a couple times but the first visit was absolutely priceless. They walked into the room with a bouquet of colorful daisies to brighten the dull hospital atmosphere and wore their “Big Bro” and “Big Sis” shirts proudly as they met and held their baby brother for the first time. Both kids were just beaming at the sight of little Vox and were so happy that he was finally here. We had a couple presents for them to open in honor of the occasion. Zoren got his own sonic screwdriver (the tenth doctor’s) and Astoria got a unicorn Dream Lite for her bedroom. They were both ecstatic about their big sibling gifts and couldn’t wait to try them out.

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When Vox was cleared by the pediatrician’s to come home that Sunday, we were all more then ready to be discharged. We buckled our tiny V into his carrier, which he loudly protested, and headed for home. Once there we were greeted with happy faces, hugs and kisses galore, and lots of love.

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