Sunday, October 31, 2010

Scary Weekend

Lots has happened here at the Gates home since the last blog post. We've been enjoying the company of Grandma Laura, who has been very helpful with Lincoln and Lydia. And Great Grandpa and Great Grandma Mullen came for a visit for a midweek afternoon.

Lincoln and I
had our first Friday Night Football outing, going to the CVCA v. Manchester game. Too bad it was the last night of regular season high school football. We had a great time. Lincoln watched some of the game, more of the band, and generally had fun just taking it all in. He leaned over to me in the second quarter and said, "There are a bunch of tubas here!" It was pretty cold, but he kept his hands in his pockets when they needed warmed up. And then we got a hot pretzel after half time.
While the guys were at the football game, the ladies went clothes shopping. The first of many of these types of evenings, I'm sure.

Saturday proved to be an eventful day that we don't want to relive again. Sometime around 4:00pm Lydia was waking up from a nap when she vomited a small amount. When Jenn began changing her clothes, Lydia started crying in such a way that we hadn't heard from her before. It kept getting worse and worse, and she was breathing in such a way as though she were gasping for breath. Her color was turning from her normal skin-tone to a dusky-purple. I then took her, turned her face-down and tilted her forward. After smacking her back a few times, she was able to breathe a bit better, but she was still having trouble inhaling, and any time I stopped patting her back, she wasn't able to breathe in and her color turned back to the dusky-purple.

Jenn called 911 and the ambulance arrived in not too long. At various points during this process I was able to aspirate some mucus from the back of her mouth, but she wasn't getting much relief. I also gave her two breaths along the way, though this made me nervous because I didn't want to force whatever was causing her problem further down her throat. More than a couple of times I thought to myself, "My two week old daughter is going to die in my hands." Short prayers followed these thoughts. When the paramedics arrived, I ran her out to them and told them we'd follow the ambulance to the hospital.

The drive seemed to take a long time, but in reality, it went pretty quick. Jenn and I were scared because we had no idea what was going on in the ambulance. We honestly didn't know if she was going to live or die. When we got to Route 8 the driver turned off the lights, and we knew that Lydia was either improving nicely... or she didn't make it. We were literally driving 50 mph on the highway... I've never driven 50 mph on Rt. 8. Jenn called my parents, and we prayed most of the way to Children's Hospital.

When we arrived, the paramedics told us that they had suctioned a good bit of mucus from her, and she was breathing much more comfortably. She was understandably exhausted. Our nurse was an absolute all-star. He was calm and he provided great communication. Lydia's pulse-ox was very good, and nothing about her initial examination was abnormal. Her radiographs showed a lot of gas in her intestines, and her bloodwork was okay, they said.

We took her home around 8:30 and she's been well ever since. It was crazy for us to think that she was actually, without exaggeration, near death. We thank God for allowing a speedy recovery and no damage to Lydia.

I was disappointed that I was not able to take Lincoln Trick-Or-Treating last night. This was something that we had talked about for some time and the anticipation was building. We would have had some great photos. Jenn and I were very thankful, though, that Grandma Laura was here to take care of Lincoln and take him Trick-Or-Treating. They made it about 6 houses before Lincoln had had enough. They returned home to hand out candy to the kids in the neighborhood, and the report was that Lincoln was a champ at this. He loved seeing all of the costumes.
Lincoln, Gretel and I went on a hike today to get the wiggles out. More Gretel's than Lincoln's. Lydia has been well today, probably catching up on rest.
Lincoln has officially entered a whiny stage. Not all the time, but it is definitely something that we're working on. The potty training is not going well, either. He's just not telling us when he needs to go No.1. There's never an accident with No.2, but No.1... he just doesn't care. He tells us, "We'll just get dry underpants." Hmmmmm....
That does it for today. Thanks for reading, and please keep Lydia in your prayers.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kendall Lake in the Autumn

Life is ticking along well. The Gates family went on a walk to Kendall Lake yesterday. We saw a tree that looks like the Beavers have been working on it.

Grandma Laura arrived last evening to stay a week with us. Yea! Lincoln was shy for about 30 seconds, and then he and Grandma Laura made a huge paper airplane, worked through a giant sticker book, and generally had fun for the first day.

Getting back to Jack-O-Lanterns, check out the Hopwood crop of Jack-O-Lanterns!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Lincoln and I prepped our Jack-O-Lanterns yesterday! It's going to be a fun Halloween this weekend!

On a separate note, Cory's feature film, Color, premiers on November 4, 6:30pm, at the Akron Art Museum. I'm looking forward to it.
Lux Davis is a tetrachromat. Lux Davis is the sole heir to a design empire. Lux Davis is hiding. Lux Davis witnessed a murder. Lux Davis has been found.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

To the Pumpkin Patch!

Not much new to report. We did go to Dussel Farm yesterday to get some pumpkins and gourds. Lincoln also got his face painted. Honestly, I didn't think he'd sit still long enough while a stranger touched his face, but he did a great job.

Then we went to Leesville Lake to take the boat out of the water. Lincoln got to ride in the boat and in the golf cart. He even got to ride in the boat by himself while we towed the boat out! He had a big day.

Friday, October 22, 2010

First Bath

Jenn was able to do some resting today. Lincoln spent the early part of the day with Grandma Paulette and Grandma Gates, going to the "beauty shop," getting some new shoes (8 wide!), and going to West Side Bakery for some fall-themed cupcakes!
It's not as if a pattern has been set after the first five days of life, but to this point, Lydia loves to sleep at night and in the middle of the day. Then she likes to fight sleep and cry in the morning hours and the evening hours. Things are just different from when Lincoln was this age. One thing that's interesting is that she is completely irrational when it comes to having her diaper changed. She has a 100% meltdown and screams bloody murder. She's slightly better for changing her clothes. She's getting cute down, though, when she peaks out from under her hat to look around at what's going on.

Last night was Lydia's first bath, and she wasn't too terribly upset about it. She enjoyed the warm water. Other than the undressing and the dressing, she was great about it!
A funny story about two evenings ago. Lydia has been sleeping in our room so Jenn can hear her right when she wakes up for feeding. She's been a noisy sleeper, and on a couple of occasions, she stirred and Jenn picked her up and took her to the comfortable chair only to find out that she was still asleep. That never would have happened with Lincoln!

Lincoln has been playing the "Letter Game" at The accuracy and precision that he's learned with the mouse and the learning that he's shown with his letters and sounds is truly fascinating to us. He even plays 12-card memory games there, which I think is pretty darn cool for a not-yet 2-and-a-half year-old boy. Also in the last week we've watched parts of A Bug's Life and Toy Story. He's still not into watching television for long periods of time, but he's been into the parts we've watched. It cracks us up that he won't want to watch TV for too long, but he'll play the letter game for 90 minutes or more.

We've got a lot on tap for this weekend. Our plan is to go to the pumpkin patch tomorrow and pick out a few big gourds, then Lincoln, Grandpa Doug and I are going down to Leesville lake in the evening to get the boat out of the water. Then on Sunday, Lydia will make her first trip to church. Hopefully we'll all get some sleep this evening.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lydia, day 4

There has been much outcry and demand for more photos. It seems a lapse of equal to or greater than 24 hours results in the locals showing up at my door with torches and pitchforks. Far be it for me to leave the masses upset (at least for very long), so without further delay, here is the latest.
Things are progressing quite nicely. Lydia has been sleeping less during the day. So far this isn't a bad thing... she was sleeping a ton during her first 48 hours home. We're also going to try to get her to stay up more during the evening so she won't feel the need to be wide awake between 2 and 4 in the morning.

Lincoln is doing pretty well. There's enough other things going on to occupy him that I don't think he's feeling like we're shortchanging his attention. He's become such a good boy about going places with me, so when I need to run errands, he can go with me instead of leaving Jenn with too much going on at home. He's also been spending some bonus time with Grandma Paulette and Grandma Gates, which he loves!

We're thankful for all of the well-wishes that have come our way by e-mail, Facebook and this blog. It's nice to know that others are interested on some level about what's going on at our place.

Gretel and Betty have come to notice that there's been an addition to our home. In typical Boxer fashion, Gretel seems concerned at times and just plain interested in at other times. In typical Pug fashion, Betty doesn't seem to give a rat's rear end that Lydia is home.

In sports news, the idiot linebacker for the Steelers, James Harrison, who likes taking head-shots at his defenseless opponents, has said he's considering retirement following the league fining him $75,000 for the vicious hit he gave Mohamed Massaquoi. This coming from a guy who signed a contract with a guaranteed $20 Mil. Cry me a river, Jimmy. If you can't play in such a way as to respect the life of your opponents, maybe you should find another line of work. And to the media (read: ESPN) that glorifies the head-violence and makes excuses for dirty plays, go away. I've boycotted certain personalities on ESPN (Chris Berman & Tom Jackson), I can boycott others.

In political news, kudos to Juan Williams for taking one for the anti-politically-correct team. He'll be the big winner in all of this. NPR will be the big loser. Count me as one who would like to defund NPR.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lydia Comes Home

The second 24 hours as been a good set.
Lydia continues to be a great sleeper, and that is okay with us. The trouble has been waking her up for her feedings. She's pretty good with her awake time after the feeding, but when she decides to sleep, she decides to sleep!

Lincoln was excited to see us when we went to get him from my parents' house. He said, "Now Mommy can pick me up!" He's been looking forward to having Jenn pick him up and also to sitting on her lap for stories before nap-time.
I forgot to mention yesterday that Lydia has a full head of hair. The nurses couldn't believe it when her head appeared. She has as much hair now as Lincoln does. It's pretty crazy.

Great Grandma and Grandpa Mullen are hear for the next couple of days. They're in the middle of selling their house in Brookfield, so we're especially thankful they've taking some time to come visit and help out with Lincoln.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lydia Gray is here!

The day we've all been waiting for over the past many months came over the weekend and it was nothing short of a series of answers to prayer. Lydia Gray is here!

Here's the story:

As the doctor's calculated due-date came and went*, Jenn and I were having visions of Lincoln's labor story again.
We really wanted things to happen naturally, have a "normal" labor process, and end with a healthy, vaginal birth. But then at Jenn's doctor's visit on Thursday, October 14, they talked about scheduling induction for the following Monday. They described this process as routine and no-big-deal. Jenn and I then went to our small group on Friday evening and heard about just what the type of induction that the doctor was speaking of would entail, and we were not looking forward to it. (*The doctor calculated the due date as October 12. Jenn, with her months of charts and notes, calculated the due date as October 16. Jenn has a slight amount of satisfaction about this!)

We know that many folks were praying for us and for Lydia. Jenn and I had been praying for a long time that God would give us wisdom and clarity when it came to the birthing decisions we'd have to make. There was certainly anxiety in the back of our minds following our first experience, and the unknown of the coming delivery was weighing on our minds.

I mentioned a few posts back that I'd recently listened to Rich Nathan talk about waiting, how God's timing isn't our timing. He spoke about how it is not often that we take a request to God saying, "Fix this now," and have God simply fix it "now." And he's so right. But I also recall hearing and reading on a number of occasions that God wants us to share our concerns with Him, that He's interested in what we're interested in, and that a failure on our part to raise a concern that we may think is too small for Him is really a confession that we think He's too small for the concern. So I prayed on Friday evening that God would begin the labor process before our induction time on Monday.
I'm not saying that this all worked out as it did simply because I'm a good prayer, but certainly the LORD heard our concerns and provided for our desires.

Jenn began feeling contractions that were different from all those before on Saturday morning. We went about our weekend routine of spending time outside, as evidenced by the recent blog posts. By mid-day Jenn felt confident that Lydia would arrive by the end of the weekend. We continued to pray. By the time we got to Boo At The Zoo at 4:00pm, the contractions were coming about every 5 to 7 minutes. Then, sometime around 8 to 9, they started coming about every 3 to 4 minutes and they were increasing in intensity. In a very short period of time, they went from bearable to nearly unbearable, and that's when we went to the hospital. Jess, our Doula, was surprised how fast this period passed.

When we arrived at the hospital, Jenn couldn't talk through the contractions, they checked her and she was 6 cm dilated and 90% effaced. This was fantastic news. We had determined between the two of us (with some Godly wisdom) that if she was only 1 or 2 cm dilated then we'd move for the C-section right off the bat. We saw no use in complete exhaustion and depression. But a vaginal delivery was looking possible (we took this as an answer to the "please provide clarity" prayer.) The nurse then hooked her up to a fetal monitor, and then they determined that Lydia's heart rate was slower than it should have been. It's not an exaggeration to say that a panic ensued. Nurses were scrambling, the on-call OB was paged, an IV catheter was placed, fluids were run,
an oxygen mask was applied. Thankfully, her heart rate picked back up again. Jenn needed and asked for an epidural.

Placing the epidural required a full liter of fluids to be given, and that was taking some time. And then it took a while for the epidural to be placed because of a slight curvature of Jenn's spine. Once the epidural began to take effect (it took a little longer to help the left side than the right), labor became bearable again for Jenn, and things started moving nicely. The midwife planned to break Jenn's water once she wasn't painful through a contraction. This happened after an hour or so, and once the water broke,
it was about 20 minutes of pushing before Lydia was born. This is apparently a short period of time for pushing with an epidural. Jenn was able to feel well enough to know when to push, and that was a good thing.

Her arrival was at 2:25 am on October 17, 2010.

This entire ordeal could not have been more different than our first delivery experience. And Lydia is certainly a unique baby. She's been nursing very well and sleeping very well (of course babies sleep more in the first day), two things that took us months and a week, respectively, to experience the last time around. No two are the same.

Grandpa Doug, Grandma Paulette and Lincoln came for a visit today. Lincoln was very good holding Lydia, but I'm not sure he really understands that we'll be taking her home with us. It'll be an adjustment, but judging by how he's handled transitions in the past, it'll take some easing, but he'll be great about it.

Lincoln gave Lydia her first present,
a Pink Elephant that he picked out from Carter's,
not unlike his own Bear.

We can't wait for all of you to see Lydia. I know Grandma Laura and Auntie Em are chomping at the bit to see her, and the time will soon come.

As I write this, Jenn and Lydia are still at the hospital. I'll pick them up tomorrow. I'm certain that there will be more anecdotes to share that will come up as time goes by. It's nearly impossible to recount all of the details here, though I've tried to hit the high points. That Lydia was born healthy and that Jenn is relaxed and only mildly uncomfortable is nothing short of the LORD hearing our cares, concerns and prayers over the last two and a half years and answering our requests to Him. Praise God!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Boo At The Zoo

Tonight Lincoln had his first Trick-or-Treat outing when we went to Boo At The Zoo. He wasn't into it at first, but he definitely warmed up as the evening went on.
He looks awesome in his costume!
It was a great test-run for Trick-or-Treating in our neighborhood in a couple of weeks.


We all slept in until 7:45 this Saturday morning. It was kind of nice. And after a breakfast of banana pancakes (one of them had "special treats" in it) and apple fritters, we went for a walk at Kendall Hills. Lincoln was on a major energy burst during our walk. Verbally, he's off the charts. The connections he's making and the paragraphs that fall out of his mouth keep us laughing. On this particular walk, he spent a decent portion "walking Betty." He also ran more than we've ever seen him.
Jenn continues to feel okay. As good as possible physical, ready mentally.
Keep checking back for updates on Lydia's arrival. We'll let you know when she's here! We're continuing to learn the lesson of patience. Why not learn it with us?