Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The boy who will one day call me Mamma...

It's true, I'm a mom, and even though I still don't feel like one, this little boy I have been lovin' on for the past 6 weeks will one day call me mom. I think it will hit me then and I'll probably cry. Things have slowly fallen into routine lately. In fact it has been so routine that Saturday night I was about half way to Hudson's room for a late night feeding when I realized it was Curtis's night to get up with him. And you better believe I turned right back around. Routine indeed.

You would think it's Christmas Eve around here with all the tape I have gone through the past 2 weeks. Unfortunately we are not wrapping presents, just making miracles happen. No big deal. The taping continues. The past couple of days I feel like I have finally got it down. I can slap that tape on that little face in a second, crying or no crying.

Everyone asks me if it bothers him. Well if it does I wouldn't know. He tolerates it very well and has not acted in anyway different with it on. I use to only change it about once a day, but lately it has been 2-3 times a day! For some reason one side has not been sticking very well. And I hate that I have to take it of so often. Occasionally it will leave a red line on his precious and sensitive little cheek which makes me sad when I have to put yet another piece of tape on. I keep telling myself that it's all going to be worth it in the long run. I keep looking back at pictures before we started taping to see if it has made any improvements yet. I still can't tell which has kind of been discouraging. But its only been 2 weeks. I was reading another blog about a little boy with a cleft palate and lip and there was a before and after picture of just 2 months of taping and NAM treatment and there was a huge difference! That kind of reassured me.

Hudson has another appointment with the orthodontist tomorrow. I've been a little nervous about this appointment for the last 2 weeks. Dr. Glick will be taking a mold of the roof of his mouth for his NAM (Nasoalveolar Molding). I've worked as an orthodontist assistant for the past year and a half and if an impression can make a grown man gag I can't imagine doing one on a six week old baby! MY six week old baby! I'm sure this is one of many appointments I wont enjoy.

I love being the mom of this special little boy! I almost want people to ask me about him. I can feel all the eyes on his taped up face when I'm at the store with him. I want to tell everyone about him. How amazing he is and all that he will have to go through his first year. How he is going to be so brave and so tough though his surgeries. How I know his strength is far greater than mine. I sure do love this little boy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Life as we know it...

Love has a new meaning around the Hofmann house. Its name is Hudson. It's also sleepless nights, and twice as many kisses.

It's been one whole month since we welcomed this bundle of joy into our lives! One month!

I can't believe this precious little boy is ONE MONTH OLD today!! Can you just not believe how amazingly adorable he is?! I can't stand it! I just have to stare at his little face, he always amazes me. We made one good lookin' babe. I don't know how else to describe it but it has been both the fastest and longest month of my life! I can't believe it's already been a month but I look back at the day I had him and it feels so long ago!

He now weighs 8 pounds, 8 ounces! He's just a little guy still. He loves his swing, which usually will put him to sleep pretty quickly. And I swear he's been holding his head up since day one! He has also started to "talk" to us a whole lot. And you have to be careful when you hold him cause he'll walk right out of your arms! This kid is going to defy "average"!! He loves his binkys and thinks he's so big cause he can do it all on his own. He's not much of a cuddle bug. That 41 weeks in the womb did it for him. My favorite part of the day is right as he is falling asleep in my arms. He always gets the biggest smiles on his face. And occasionally lets out a laugh. I like to think he is dreaming of Heaven and angels. I can't think of any other reason why these little people would smile at such a young age.

So we were able to meet with his surgeon who is a Cleft and Craniofacial Plastic Surgeon at Barrow Children's Cleft and Craniofacial Center at St. Jo's. We were happy to go with him since clefts is one of his major focuses. He gave us a whole time line for Hudson until he is 18 years old! Which I really liked. They already have everything planned out and what needs to happen next and when and where. The later part of his 18 years just deals with teeth and jaw alignment (braces pretty much) and possible lip and nasal revision. His first surgery will be his lip and nose repair when he is 4 months old. Then when he is 9-12 months old he'll have another surgery to repair his palate. After that it's just making sure he speaks with out any difficulties when he starts to talk. Then possible bone grafting between 5-8 years old to make sure his teeth have enough bone to grow in. And lip and nose revision if needed.

Hudson's cleft is incomplete since it does not cut all the way through his nose, lip, and gums to his palate. He still has a little gum ridge separating his lip and palate. This has been a blessing because feeding has not been stressful on him or us! He also can hold a pacifier on his own, but only a specific type. We use special nipples when he eats because his sucking skills are weak. So all he has to do is bite on the nipple and swallow. I feel bad when he spits up, it usually all comes out his nose!

I met his Orthodontist yesterday. Who I really liked. She is also a part of the Cleft and Craniofacial team. She helps prepare the lip, nose and palate for surgeries. Right now we have started taping one side of his cheek to the other. It will help bring the space of his lip together so when he has his first surgery to repair his lip and nose the tension will not be so great. So the tape will be worn 24/7 for the next 3 months. We go back to visit her in 2 weeks and he will need an impression for a NAM (nasoalveolar molding) which is kind of like a retainer almost. Which will also be worn 24/7. This will be like a support for his palate as he grows in the next 3 months and until his palate repair between 9-12 months.

So much to take in! We have Dr.'s appointments almost every week. I have a feeling I'm going to get very familiar with Phoenix... But I trust he is in good hands. I just do what they tell me. Who knew this is what we would have to go through when we found out I was pregnant! It's not what I ever imagined. It was hard at first finding out that Hudson would be born with a cleft lip and palate but knowing that it's totally repairable and not life threatening is a relief. The realization that this was going to be a different and more difficult road than expected came to me those first 2 weeks we had him home with us. And as hard as it has been at times I don't think I would change anything about this whole experience. I love his little smile! And I know he chose us to be his parents. Heavenly Fathers knows how much we can handle. Even though at times I sure as heck don't feel adequate enough to take care of this special little spirit. Sometimes I think this little guy knows more than I do! He has already taught me so much.

Who wouldn't want to spend all day with this!?

Friday, February 3, 2012


Hudson Patrick Hofmann
1/16/12 5:38PM
7 lbs, 4 oz and 20 inches long

This handsome little boy has taken over our lives since we arrived at the hospital that Monday morning! Somehow I knew he was going to arrive late. And he has since tested my patience. Heavenly Father has unfortunately blessed me with (now 2) wonderful people in my life to help me learn patience. I know He wont stop there either.

So I guess this little angel figured since he was going to be a week late he would make his arrival quick!

I couldn't sleep at all Sunday night, my back was killing me and I was really excited for my Dr.'s appointment in the morning. Curtis and I could not wait another day for our son to get here, so I was going to tell my doctor to finally induce me. We were hoping it could be that day, we didn't want to wait till Tuesday. Curtis almost just stayed home from work that day just in case, but we weren't sure so he had to go in anyway. On my way to my appointment my back was still really hurting, it was on and off. I kept thinking that it might be contractions but I didn't even know what they were suppose to feel like. At my appointment they hooked me up to a fetal stress test to monitor the baby's movements. So I sat there for a half hour still feeling what I thought were Braxton Hicks and back pain. The NP comes back to evaluate everything. She looks at the results and tells me about the contractions it was also picking up. I told her I thought they were Braxton Hicks and she's like, No, these are pretty high on the monitor. Well I guess they were a little more uncomfortable... This made me happy because I would rather go into labor myself rather than be induced. She checks me but I was still only dilated to a 3, which I have been at for a week. She asked what I thought about being induced now. She didn't have to ask me twice! She said Dr. L was already at Banner Desert delivering a baby and that I could go there now! I didn't want to get my hopes up though, she said there was a chance they might not keep me. Since I wasn't in active labor and I wasn't scheduled to be induced yet. 

Good thing I had our bags packed for weeks and I kept up with my showers and shavings...;) Just in case. So I sent Curtis a text telling him I was on my way to the hospital and that I was already in labor practically. I told him to head over there now! I made sure to call him a few times too, just so he would hurry! We met each other at the hospital at about 10AM and signed in. It was beginning to feel so unreal at this point. Nine months of waiting and we were now just hours away from meeting our boy.

 We got put in a little room in triage not long after signing in. I changed into the gown and the nurse hooked me back up to the monitors. And there we sat for a while. I told Curtis it was going to be a long day. I thought I would be in labor all day and night. But I thought wrong... By then I wasn't even noticing the contractions anymore. The nurse came back in around 11 and told us we had 45 minutes to walk around the hospital to see if that would get things going. By the end of the 45 minutes I was definitely feeling contractions. They were every 5-8 minutes. And a little uncomfortable. The nurse came back in at 12 and check me and I was only dilated to a 4. It was feeling like it was a whole lot more by then. Every contraction got worse and worse. We still waited in triage for another 2 hours maybe. Then I got hooked up to an IV (which hurts and is super annoying). And our visitors started rolling in. Curtis's mom, my mom and dad, and Alec were there. By 2:30-3 maybe, the contractions were killing me! I was starting to panic. We were not even in a delivery room yet and I really could have used that epidural by now. I swear there was not even a break in between each one. Maybe a minute or 2! I was getting kind of angry, what was taking so long!? Everyone was trying to help of course. I felt most my contractions in my back. Worst pain ever! I wasn't expecting to feel this much! By then I was starting to cry with each one and they were making me feel sick to my stomach. I probably scared Alec. Curtis was being great. He was where ever he needed to be. I knew he felt helpless though. He kept hold of my hand. 

Finally the nurse came back in about 3:30 with good news that my room was ready. She asked if I could walk, I was afraid, but I was also tired of laying on the bed. So I walked. It wasn't far, luckily I didn't have a contraction while walking. I probably would have fell to the floor. I get settle into the bed and now the contractions were unbelievable. The only thing I could think about was where was that dang anesthesiologist with my epidural. I remember asking how much longer. My new nurse kept saying he was on his way. I don't think I was totally coherent by then. Finally he got there with the epidural. I wanted it so bad, but I was so afraid I would get a contraction while he was giving it to me. Curtis was the only one allowed in the room. Holding still was the hardest part. I don't even remember the pain of the needle. I remember the IV felt worse going in. I did get a contraction in the middle of it, but luckily it wasn't as intense as they had been. I wanted that epidural so bad, it was probably the only thing that helped me hold still. And the fear of how much worse they would have felt if I didn't go through with it. Although I don't know how that would even be possible!

Slowly the epidural kicked in and life was great. Everyone filed back in. I had some more visitors join too. I was able to finally enjoy the company. Although they all got kicked out when my nurse came back in to see how far I was dilated now. Umm, hello, I was at 9cm! My nurse said just barely a 10, and we would have started to push but my water had not broken yet. I sure wasn't expecting to be that far already! It had only been 4 hours since I was last checked and I was just at 4 cm then. Good thing they didn't know how far I was dilated cause I wonder if they even would have let me have an epidural!? 

I couldn't believe how close we were to having a baby! So this was kind of gross but cool, although I never saw it... My nurse put this weird ball between my legs to keep things... open. Then like 10 minutes later I felt what I though was my water breaking. It all felt funny anyway since I could barely feel from my waist down. They called my nurse back in to check. And apparently the bag of water was partly... out, but not broken. The nurse thought it was pretty cool. I guess that rarely happens. Then she just broke it, and we got prepared to push.

At 5, I think, I got to start pushing. I only let my mom and Curtis be there. We started pushing with my nurse, and had to wait for my doctor to get there. He was eating dinner in the hospital apparently. I was lucky enough to have my own doctor deliver the little guy. Once he got there and after about 2 sets of pushes Curtis and I became parents to the most handsome little angel! Once I heard that little cry tears filled up in my eyes. The cord was cut and he was all ours. I just remember thinking how perfect he was while he lay on me whimpering. The moment was amazing and so special! I was a mom.

I wouldn't trade the whole experience for anything! The long 41 weeks and the pain! It's amazing how all that exhaustion and pain can bring so much happiness in an instant! It's a miracle and it's nothing less than worth it!

Of course everyone fell in love him. He wasn't named Hudson until 2 hours before we left the hospital, with a name that wasn't even on the list I had for 5 months. Funny how that works. I just sat there proudly as he was passed around. I had to keep looking at him and Curtis and just couldn't believe I was at this point in my life! It was all unreal. I loved the moment.

As we expected, Hudson was born with a cleft lip and we also found out a cleft palate as well. ( Cleft Lip/Palate FAQ ) That didn't for one second stop us from thinking how perfect and precious he was. It's who he is and it doesn't phase me. We know he'll be as good as knew after his surgeries. It has made for difficult feedings that frustrates both poor little Hudson and myself. We usually end up crying together. This is where my patience, or lack there of, comes into play. It's rough, but love keeps me going. And my wonderful husband who always steps in at just the right moment to help.

Hudson is almost 3 weeks now! They all have been a blur! It has gone by soooo fast! I guess this is the part of your life where you blink and it'll be 10 years later. Yikes. It's been quite the experience taking care of this little boy. Very challenging, yet it all feels so normal. He is the most adorable thing I have ever seen. Life is good.

After the epidural.