Friday, March 16, 2012

We can do hard things

Mr. Hud is 2 months old today!! It feels like he has been in our lives so much longer! I think you feel that instant bond and overwhelming love when your baby is born because we knew them in the preexistence. We already loved them so much and then when you see them again for the first time that familiar love comes back. Besides our new different life style with Hudson, I think that's why it feels so normal to be a mom. I have always been his mom, and always will be. :)

I felt the same when I married Curtis. I expected such a drastic change to happen, but it all felt so normal to be with him. It was meant to be all along. Our spirits recognize what is right and what is meant to be.

Staying at home with Hudson has been my life long desire. I can't tell you how much I enjoy being a mom to this goofy little boy! Although it has been the hardest time of my life, it has also been the most fulfilling time of my life. I love all the mom duties. I love taking care of our home, doing laundry, cooking dinner, crafts, and running errands. I don't think I could be happier in any other work place.

This goof ball now weighs 10 pounds and 4 ounces and is 23 1/4 inches long!! And I love every inch of him! He is the happiest 2 month old I have ever known. My favorite  times of the day are right after I finish feeding him. He will talk, laugh, and smile for a whole hour! After that his talking slowly turns into yelling and I know it's nap time. We still have not mastered sleeping. BUT, the night before last, I swaddled him for the first time and he sleeps amazing now! What the heck! I guess I never believed it, but I was desperate! He always loved to be stretched out since the day we brought him home. But I went against the natural instincts and their need to feel secure. Like I said before, he knows more than I do.

So big!

I love that he can recognize me now! I feel so much more special. :) And he has started to smile at all the toys I wave or shake in his face. And after 2 months of the same outfits he finally fits into his 0-3 or 3 month old clothes. He's more on the thin side so they are still baggy but he's definitely long enough for them!

He makes me so proud. All the hour drives to Phoenix, the long torturing appointments, and all his extra hardware does not stop this little boy from smiling. He has been a champ through everything! He can handle a lot for a 2 month old. His spirits are always high! It makes me feel better about his upcoming surgeries. I know he'll be one brave kiddo. Me, on the other hand... not so much. Whether it's ear tubes or open heart surgery, I know it's not easy for ANY mother to go through. I'm beginning to question who really IS the teacher? Me or him? We sure can learn a lot from these little people. Their spirits are pure.

The new addition to his NAM

We do what we can. :)

My mom got me this sign from a lady she works with. Because we can do hard things! Being a mom is hard, and harder than I ever imagined! I never believed anyone! :) I thought once how much easier it would be if Hudson was never born with a cleft. We wouldn't have to deal with all these appointments, costs, surgeries, worry, and mouth pieces. But then I thought of how amazing he has been!! He is seriously the happiest baby and we have truly been blessed! He was meant to do hard things! And I'm sure if my next baby has no cleft he'll come with his own set of challenges! And if I did have a choice of cleft or no cleft with this little mister, I wouldn't have him any other way than the way he is now!

Monday, March 12, 2012

That NAM thing!

The appointment of all appointments! But really it wasn't that big of a deal now that I think about it.

The little guy can sure handle a lot! After 2 hours and 3 tries we finally left with it in. And I must say, 3rd time's the charm! I thought I was overreacting about how the appointment would go. He did not do well at all with his impression so I really was worried. But I got a glimpse of hope when the assistant first tried the NAM in before she added the adhesive to it. He tolerated it very well! She trimmed it some, added the adhesive, and placed it back in. The hard part is holding it there for 30 seconds just to make sure it adheres to his palate. He squirmed and fussed and then she let go. Then he started to cry and cry. At this point I was still OK. I knew it would take some getting use to for him so I just tried to comfort him. It was in for like 5-10 minutes and he started gagging and it came loose so the assistant took it out. Hudson-0, NAM-1.

The second try I saw some more hope. I fed him a little with it in, but he wouldn't have it. After he finally calmed down, thanks to the assistant, he spit up all he had in his little belly and Dr. Glick had to take it out yet again. Hudson-0, NAM-2.

After I cleaned and changed him Dr. Glick came in and gave me a hug and reassured me. She said we could give it another try or have us come back tomorrow for another round. I knew he could get it! He did stop crying on the last try and was playing with it with his tongue.

He was so exhausted, so I rocked him to sleep and the assistant came in and slipped it in. He cried for a little bit and I was able to put him back to sleep. Yay!! (The ride home was a whole other story!)

Dr. Glick said the first bottle will be a struggle (which it was) but 99% of the time they get it on the second one (which he did). It was a stressful day for the both of us! But he was a trooper and slept 6 hours straight that night!

Taking it out and placing it back in has been a piece of cake, thankfully! I was really worried I wouldn't be able to do it! Curtis was helping me with it the other day and while I was holding it in for the 30 seconds he was smiling away at us! It was the cutest thing. Hudson has done really, really well with it. Which is why that appointment really seems like nothing now. He eats great, like always, and finally has started to suck on his pacifier by himself again. I knew he could do it! He's amazing I tell you!


While it's in.

And you can hardly even notice it!

So tomorrow it's back to Dr. Glick! She is going to add the nasal stent. She said it wont be a huge adjustment. Thank goodness!! Tiny but tough! And we sure do love him!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What's yours like?

If you have been curious as to what Hudson's palate looks like, wonder no more! In his happy and talkative state (which isn't rare) I took some pictures of his mouth. I have a few good ones that show pretty well what it looks like. I think It's kinda cool. He has 2 uvulas! It will be interesting to see the end results. I have no idea how doctors fill that void! Miracles I tell you!

Interesting right? His left side is obviously more severe. 

So he gets his NAM tomorrow! I'm nervous for him, and well, me too. It will stick right up there in his palate. He will also get a stent attached to it (another week) that will go up to his left nostril that will help open and form it. I still don't know the "how" of the whole process but I'll get some more information on that tomorrow.

And just because he's so darn cute...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hudson's Day

Although I think every day is Hudson's day, THIS one was extra special.

Yesterday at church his daddy gave him a name and a blessing. And how sweet it was.

He looked so handsome in his suit! (gotta have that paci) And I made him a special blankie for his day. It was so fun to have our family and friends there to honor him. He really has been such a blessing in our family. He is so loved. I feel honored just to be his mom and I'm so proud. All my happiness comes from knowing I'm with the man I love and our little boy forever.

As stressful as it was to prepare and organize to have lunch at our house after, I loved it! I loved having everyone over. It gave me the chance to finally hang things on our walls after 4 months of living here! I love our home! We sure felt the love yesterday. The support of our family and friends has been enormous since the day we became parents to this little boy.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The first dental chair of many...

Hudson sat, well rather laid, in his first dental chair yesterday. The beginning of a long road to correct his little smile. Although I already think it is perfect.

Me and Mr. Hud drove an hour out to Phoenix yesterday to his Orthodontist appointment that was only 15 minutes long. Ya gotta do whacha gotta do. Dr. Glick only sees her little patients on Wednesdays. Which gives me a chance to meet other moms with cleft babies. I saw 2 yesterday in the office. I hope one day I'll build up enough courage to introduce myself to some of the moms.

Well I knew very well what this appointment would hold for Hudson. I also knew he would not enjoy it one bit! He was going to get an impression of the roof of his little mouth.

The assistant wrapped Hudson in his blanket so he would not wiggle his arms all over and laid him on the chair and held him tight. Dr. Glick explained to me how it would work. Although I already knew what would happen. She used a putty instead of the regular alginate used in dental or orthodontist offices with older patients. It would only be in his mouth for 5-10 seconds as opposed to 30-60 seconds. He was already getting kind of fussy but she worked quick. The 5 seconds seemed like minutes! My poor little guy got all red and his eyes started to water. She took it out a little early because he wouldn't take a breath. And she had to take another one. I calmed him down and she let me hold him the next time. Once a gagger always a gagger. He did the same thing again. But she made it work. That was enough torture for one day.

I wish I could have explained to him what was going to happen. But I just helplessly sat there as my baby kicked his legs and turned red. At least he would forget the whole thing 10 minutes later. I'm glad he wont remember ANY of this when he's older. Just a little scar to prove what a tough guy he is. It'll be like it never happened. It's really amazing what doctors can do with such little people and so early on. They work miracles!

So next Wednesday Hudson will get his NAM. That will be another rough appointment and unfortunately will be longer than 15 minutes. It's going to take a little adjusting for all of us to get use to. I'll be honest it's a little intimidating to me. The tape I can handle, and now I'll have to shove something in his mouth? It's so small! He's really amazing to me though. And I know it will all be worth it in the long run. Just keep swimming right? So I stole this quote from someone who stole it from someone else, and I don't know who said it, but how true it is...
"God doesn't give children with diverse needs to strong people, He gives them to ordinary, everyday people, then He helps the parents to grow stronger through the journey. Raising a cleft-affected child doesn't take a special family, it makes a special family."

It is all overwhelming at times. But spending every minute with this boy makes me stronger every day. Before we had Hudson everyone made clefts sound so simple. Sure he will be as good as new in the end, but they never mentioned the road to get there. And here we are. It's hard to think about the surgeries he will have to go through and this whole NAM thing. Oh how we love our little Hudson so much! I just can't get enough of him! I could stare at him all day but nothing would ever get done around this house. He is so precious and seriously the best little baby ever! He talks and smiles so much! He makes me one proud mamma!