Tuesday, December 30, 2008

First dinner out

Grandma did it, she finally convinced us to go to dinner. Diane and my mom came over to watch Carter. It was my first time ever leaving little Carter. I think that Eric and I were gone for an hour and a half. We went to eat sushi at a new restaurant right down the street. Dinner was amazing and I even had a glass of wine. Sushi and wine were the two things I couldn’t wait to have after the pregnancy.

Today was my check up at the doctor, everything is healing just fine. Although my doctor said my uterus still isn’t back to its normal size, which means my stomach is still swollen not just fat. I am trying to be patient with the whole working out thing, but it is getting tough. Last week I got on the treadmill for an hour and couldn’t walk the next day so yesterday I only did 45 minutes. My doctor recommended that I shouldn’t run just walk for at least a couple more weeks. I guess I will be joining the crowd of New Year’s resolutions for losing weight!

Carter has been making big changes. I look back on his pictures and he has already grown so much. He is still in newborn clothes although many of them are still too big. He is so much more alert now. He kicks and moves his arms and feet all over the place, looks right at us, smiles and making little noises. It is so incredible how fast time is already going by. I want to stop time and have him be my little baby forever.

Time for him to eat, more later. I have to keep him on a tight schedule!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day

Christmas Day we ventured over to Bremerton to Eric's sister's house. Packing the car to be gone the whole day was quite the task. I think I had the entire house with us just in case. I imagine it will get easier as time goes on, I am not a professional mother just yet but I am working on it! It was wonderful to spend the last two days with family. Carter is so blessed to have such amazing people in his life.

Auntie Mols Balls

We had Christmas Eve at my Aunt Molly's with my family. It was Carter's first social gathering and he was the star of the party! And of course Auntie Molly went above and beyond with presents for Carter! He is one spoiled little boy! It was so nice to get out of the house for once, I am so over this snow! At one point we weren't sure if we were going to make it but Eric said for beef and all the other treats at Molly's he would walk to West Seattle if we had to. When I found out there would be sushi, I also agreed to walk there. I had my first piece of sushi and a half of glass of red wine, a little slice of heaven!

It was a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Christmas Eve

Carter's new fix

Carter is changing so much and so fast. His new addiction is the binkie. He puts it in his mouth, holds onto it and you can hear him sucking on it in the next room. I love it!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Welcome to Holland

I wanted to share this poem with everyone that a girlfriend of mine recommended I read. Carter’s condition is making me look at life from a whole new perspective. I have been so scared since we found out because I am so unsure of his future. What are his medical concerns, will I be able to protect him, how will he be in school, will he ever get married? So many questions that my head is constantly spinning! Eric reminded me that we need to live in the now and not worry about 5 or 10 years from now. My girlfriend who also has a daughter with Autism said, just take it one day at a time, make it through the day, then the month, and then the year. I realize now that the future is unpredictable but we will make it just fine. I am now focusing on the new dreams we will build as a family and all of those dreams Carter will make come true.

Welcome to Holland
by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

It snowing outside. . .

We have had to venture out to the doctors office a couple times in this awful weather so when we do, Carter is dressed in about 20 layers of clothes. Auntie Tiffany bought Carter a warm snow suit to go over his clothes, although it is still a little bit to big.

Parenthood bliss. . .

Life is full of new adventures. Being a mom is what I was born to do, the love that you have for your child is indescribable. I could spend every waking moment just staring at him, he is my angel. Carter is a perfect baby and I am not just saying that because he is mine. He does not cry or fuss unless he is in need of food or changing and it only lasts about 30 seconds. Feeding is a big success, we are breast feeding during the day and bottle feeding (my milk) at night. Bottles are easier at night because breast feeding usually we both fall asleep. I wake up exposed and Carter is laying in my arms, mouth open with milk dripping down his face. Plus eventually Daddy can take over for some of the night feedings. He is eating about every 3 hours now and I am not exactly sure how to leave the house and feed him on time, although we have only left the house to go to the doctors so far. I am sure I will figure it out as time goes on.
Speaking of the doctors, we had an appointment yesterday. Carter has gained some of his weight back and is currently weighing 7 lbs. 6.5oz., which is almost back to his birth weight of 7 lbs. 9oz. Carter also had a PKU (blood test) done and he didn’t even cry although he did give the nurse a dirty look like “what did you just do?” And to finish off his appointment Carter bug was circumcised. Daddy opted to go into the room with him while Mommy nervously waited in another room. He was quite the trooper! He is healing just fine with about 4 inches of Vaseline in every diaper.

We are hanging in there and enjoying each new day as the proud parents of Carter Nicholas Tharaldson. We will keep you posted. Thanks again for all of your love and support. We are truly blessed and love you all!

(Pictures- Cow & Carter- watch me grow. . ., Grandma with Carter, discovering his thumb, & Mommy still trying to maintain a clean house.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

First photo shoot con't

First photo shoot

Uncle Josh, the photographer

Uncle Josh came over and did Carter's first photo shoot. I must say he is a natural! Josher is has a softer side we all didn't know about. He loves babies, especially when they are his nephew! Thanks Uncle Josh, we love you!

Check out his web site to view more pictures:


Pictures of our bug. . .

Our little Carter man. . .

As some of you may have heard we were informed of a small medical concern shortly after he was born, Carter was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Eric and I were in complete shock after hearing the news because nothing had been detected during my pregnancy as abnormal, we are both young and healthy with no family history. Throughout our stay in the hospital we meet doctors, nurses, social workers and specialist that were all very informative and helpful. We were flooded with tons of information although to be honest I haven’t even been able to look into just any of it yet. Everyone continues to ask if I have any questions yet I don’t know what questions to ask. Our main concern was do we have any medical issues to be worried about at this time? The first couple days they were concerned about Carter’s eating. Some babies with DS have trouble sucking, so he wasn’t able to latch on right away. We had a fabulous lactation nurse, Jane who worked with us day and night to find a method that worked. And I am happy to say Carter now is latching on and has an appetite like his father’s, no worries there! He is so funny when he eats because when he is done we say it looks like he is “boobie drunk”, his eyes roll in the back of his head and he is out, it is hilarious!

Our other concern was babies with DS have a 50% chance of having heart complications, Carter was tested in the hospital and none were detected. We went to the Cardiologist today for a follow up and everything looks great. Carter has a clean bill of health. We have a second visit with his pediatrician tomorrow to check out everything else. If you are looking for a pediatrician I highly recommend Dr. Gary German at Valley Medical Center. The man is absolutely wonderful! He has called us three times already at home just to check in on us and see how we are doing.

My little baby boy is as precious as can be and I see nothing but his beautiful face. I know he will grow up to have a heart of gold and be a loving son. Some days are a little harder then others but right now we are trying to enjoy every moment of him as a baby. I have heard people say “God only gives babies with disabilities to parents who are strong enough to handle it” and I am trying to remind myself of that on a daily basis. I love this child more then anything in the world and will nothing but the best for him. I want to apologize now if I haven’t returned a phone call or gotten back to you yet, some days I just don’t feel like talking but know that we appreciate every single one of you. Thank you for the cards, gifts, food, thoughts and prayers, we love you all so much! I will try to keep the blog updated so you can know what is going on with little Carter and us.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The hospital and first day home

The night Baby Carter was born. . .

First off I want to thank everyone for all of their love, support, gifts, and food. We feel truly blessed to have the people in our life that we do. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Let’s see how much I can write before the little one wakes up and is ready to eat . . . again. Monday night (December 1st) I got home from work and decided to make two very large dinners to stock up for the week (nesting they say) but when it came time to eat I just wasn’t feeling very good. I was falling asleep on the couch so Eric and I decided to go to bed. I took a shower and when I got out a little bit of water started dripping down my leg, I thought maybe I hadn’t dried myself all the way but then it kept dripping. I told Eric, “I think my water just broke”. He saw the expression on my face and starting racing around the house grabbing the suitcase and everything else. I very calmly got a towel and gathered my belongings. I was mad because I wanted to straighten my hair before I left, going to the hospital with wet hair was setting me up for a couple days of bad hair in lots of pictures. As we were leaving I asked Eric if he had checked our hospital list in which he replied with screw the checklist. We proceeded on our way to the hospital, I called the doctor and he said, take your time, take a shower or eat a meal, first time labor can take up to 16 hours. When we got to the hospital my contractions were about 7 minutes apart and not very pleasant. The nurse checked me and said I was dilated to a 4. I asked for the epidural right away and made the nice man promise me it wouldn’t wear off. He promised and began to talk me through the shot, I kindly asked him not to and to please just give me the drugs. About a half an hour later the nurse said I was now dilated to a 6 ½ and things were quickly moving along. I wasn’t in any pain at this point and surprised that I was extremely calm. The doctor came back in an hour later and told me I had already dilated to a 10 and that if I was ready I could start pushing. Wow, it all happened so fast, I was in complete shock. Eric and I both couldn’t believe this was really it, this is really happening. Twenty long minutes later, baby Carter was born at 12:31 am December 2, 2008 weighing in at 7.9lbs. and 18.5inches long.

And the rest is to be continued, I have a little one to feed.

Baby Carter is here . . . early!