Sunday, April 29, 2012

What? you cut my boy's hair?

Anu's hair has been growing for 2.5 years.  The longer it gets, the harder it is to think of cutting it.  But it's also hard to manage, especially when we don't have time to make it in a braid.  So, Robb finally caved and let me trim it a bit the other day. I just felt like I needed to, even though that first snip of golden curl from the back of his head was painful to me.  I did it mostly because it was hard for me to hear strangers saying "you have 4 girls and one boy!" and I would have to explain that Anu is a boy.

This is how long his hair was when it combed it down wet and straightened it.  He was such a good boy for his first haircut, he just sat there on the rice bucket and didn't even move!
Right after the haircut he was happy and ready to play ball.
It doesn't really curl this much, it turns out. It just looked that way the next day for some reason.

Six weeks and smiling

Koa, the little mini-Kawai look-alike

Anu loves holding his little brother, Koa the Koala

Koa started smiling on Easter.  Not all the time, but just enough that when he does we all come running to see it before it goes away.  I tried my best to capture this smile before it ended...I imagine it may take me awhile to get a photo of both boys smiling...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

1st Family Photo with all 7 of us

Thanks to C.C. on Easter she was able to whip out her camera.  We hadn't been able to take a family portrait at the hospital when Koa was born because 2 kids were sick and couldn't come to hospital.  So this is the very first picture taken of all 7 of us.  We hadn't been planning on this, hence the completely random and uncoordinated outfits.

Alani is Five!

Alani in her new Harajuku shirt from Easter
The brave girl didn't flinch during her ear piercing at Claire's
Alani the cyclist!
Alani turned five on April 4th, right after Mana had returned from the hospital and just before Easter.  We had a family party but haven't had a chance to have a party with her friends yet.  She got her ears pierced for her birthday - she picked her birthstone, the diamond.  A few days ago she seemed ready to ride a 2-wheel bike, after having practiced on a pedal-less bike since Christmas.  And off she went!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Craziest week of my life - loooong story

After Koa was born, I came home to find that Mana was not really getting better from her Strep Throat.  Keanu and Mana had both received Zithromax on Saturday March 17, the day Koa was born, but Mana had thrown up a couple of doses and her stomach hurt and she was just looking really bad.  On Monday we talked to the Dr. and they gave her a prescription for a different antibiotic that would be less harsh on her stomach.  But then on Tuesday we took her back to the Dr. they said she just needs to eat small amounts of food, and stay hydrated, and that Strep can really bother the stomach.  Also the Dr. recommended if at all possible that I take the baby and leave the house for a week, while the sickness was rampant in my house.

It was very hard to do that, but Koa and I left the house and stayed at our good friend's home.  Every night the family skyped with me so they could see the baby and I could see them.  Thursday morning I talked to Robb and he said that he was considering taking Mana to the E.R.  I told him to go ahead and do that if he felt it was right. He said she was just not getting better (he had to carry her around the house, and she was only whispering, not eating etc.).  Robb took Mana to Sierra Vista and Anu went with him because he was very attached to Dad ever since Mom disappeared from the house for days.  They ran tests and xrays and determined she was dehydrated and they did an i.v. on her to rehydrate her. After that ran through they said she could be released.  I was so relieved.  I was totally afraid that she was going to be admitted to the hospital, and I didn't know how we would handle it.

But then Robb called a bit later and said that after they said she could be released, Robb told them that her stomach still really hurts. So they agreed to do a CT scan. After the scan took place, the doctor told Robb that he could see an obstruction in the intestines but needed a surgeon to look at it.  They got a surgeon to look at it and then I received a scary phone call at about 7 pm. It was Dr. Pollock saying that there is an obstruction in her intestines, and they need to go in and do surgery right away and  remove her appendix as well, whether or not it was inflamed.  I was totally freaked out. I had went from thinking she was coming home, to now hearing she was about to have surgery!  So many thoughts went through my head, from questioning if the surgery were necessary, to feeling guilty that I had just had a baby and wasn't able to be with Mana as much as I would have wanted to be.

I zipped right over to Sierra Vista to go see Mana before surgery, I hadn't seen her since Tuesday.  I could barely drive, I was in such a panic.  I went into that crazy E.R. and I got Anu from Robb, who had been sitting in the E.R. for 5 hours being such a good 2 year old boy.  It was really freaky to be in the E.R. and then a motorcycle accident came in and bumped Mana out of being 1st in line for surgery.  I felt so awful leaving that hospital, with Robb and Mana still there, knowing what was all about to happen.  Mana was laying on a gurney covered in our Hulk blanket that they had brought with them.

I laid awake at home waiting for a call or text, and finally at midnight I got the text that they just took her away to do the surgery.  Then I lay in bed waiting for 1.5 hours to pass, and finally got the text that Robb was with my little girl in the recovery room, and it went well. Once they opened her up they discovered her appendix had ruptured and her abdomen was full of puss.  I was so relieved that it was all done, but then all the thoughts of things going wrong went through for the next several days as she made a slow recovery at the hospital. 

It was so ironic that Robb had scheduled 2 weeks of vacation from UPS for the 2 weeks after my due date.  It was really lucky he had this time off because Mana came home from the hospital on Friday, the last day of his vacation.  They spent a total of 8 nights in Sierra Vista, and got to kow the nurses and staff well.  We feel lucky to have such good care in our area. 

Mana was supposed to have i.v. antibiotics for 10 days, and that 10 days didn't end until Tuesday. So they sent us to a Home Health Care place right after she was released from the hospital. The nurses there showed us how to do her i.v. infusions.  She needed 2 different antibiotics to kill her infection, one is only 1x per day and the other is 3x per day.  So we had to do infusions at 3 am, 11 am, 3 pm, 7 pm.  Thank goodness Robb is much better with medical stuff than me. I practically faint when I get close to needles or tubes coming out of people.  Running the infusions was not very simple. It required first running a syringe to clean the tube, which you first had to get an air bubble out of, and only squirt a certain amount of the syringe into her i.v.  Then you had to attach the antibiotic to a manual machine and set it all right and then let it run for about 20-30 minutes.  Then you have to run the cleaning liquid through her i.v. again. And then you run an anticoagulant through.  The entire process took about one hour.  Due to the amount of steps involved, and degree of accuracy required to get it right, I would have been way too fearful that I would do something wrong.  One of the antibiotics was in the refridgerator and the other wasn't.  Just too much room for error!  But thank heavens Robb did an outstanding job and never messed up, not once!

They told us all the things that could go wrong, including the i.v. tube getting clogged, her i.v. coming out, etc... and it made be weak in the stomach to even think about it.  They also gave us an emergency kit in case she had an allergic reaction, and that freaked me out.  They said that if you notice an allergic reaction, stab the epipen into her leg before you even call for help.  ugh!!!

We we soooo blessed that my mom was down visiting us to help with the new baby because she was able to stay at the house during Mana's hospital visit. I needed to have her with me. She drove kids to school, made meals, etc, took out the trash and all those important things.

And we were so blessed by all our friends and family who came out of the woodwork to help us.  We had meals delivered to our door every night, we had phone calls daily asking if we needed anything from the store, we had neighbors taking the kids places, friends taking kids to school, etc.  We are so thankful to all of you!!!  It sure made it easier to get through a rather rough time.
Mana steps foot out of the van after not being home for 9 days.
Mana finally got to hold her new baby Kekoa when he was 13 days old.  She loves him so much.
I noticed that Robb's shirt was so perfect that day.  Not only is he an example of the greatest dad, the shirt happens to be from Mana's birth year, the girl he was a very special dad to these past 9 days.

Mana keeping busy during an infusion by reading a huge stack of books brought by her teacher.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day will never be the same again

My due date was March 20 but I told people I wouldn't be surprised if we have a St. Pattys Day baby based on the ultrasound date of March 17.  But on March 12th  I woke up to contractions and stayed home from work and had Robb stay home from work.  We even cancelled both parent/teacher conferences for that day because who knew what would happen.  But nothing happened except for contractions coming and going.  That night I started timing them using an IPhone App that was really cool.  Tuesday morning I stayed home from work again and so did Robb.  But then we discovered that we had 3 sick kids in the house and I kind of freaked out.  I can't bring home a new baby to the house when the kids are sick. So I told the baby to please wait until St. Patty's Day or later to be born, and then the contractions stopped. I was able to go to work Wed through Fri with no hints of labor.  Saturday morning, St. Patty's Day, I woke up at 8:00 am to a contraction. I completely ignored it.  But then I kind of noticed they were coming maybe a few an hour, but I just didn't pay any attention to them.  I made banana bread.  I did some laundry.  Then around lunch time I noticed Mana had a rash on her trunk in addition to her fever and not wanting to eat. I googled Strep throat and decided she likely had it. I called the on-call pediatrician who called me back and said that I should have just went to urgent care.  So Robb decided we should take Keanu also, since he was pretty sick too.  We brought them at 2 pm to MedStop and I was having contractions more and more often. The nurse in the urgent care said "I know what you are doing.  I just had a baby. We don't do babies here".  I had my combs in my pocket and each time a contraction hit, I squeezed the combs. 
Mana and Keanu both tested positive for strep throat and we finally left at 3:30 from Med Stop. We decided we'd better grab the zithromax prescriptions on our way home so we wouldn't leave the kids without the antibiotic if we were going to the hospital.  It took a while at CVS. It was pouring rain and windy and all around very wierd weather. I was sitting in the van with Anu and Mana and every time a contraction hit I had to really move around and do breathing.  I think the kids were really wondering what I was doing, but Mana was so sick looking she didn't even say anything.  I called the midwives office from the van because the contractions were getting closer.  Robb finally got the antibiotic and we got home at 4:30.  I ran straight to the ball where I would sit more comfortably, way better than the van.  Finally the midwives called at about 4:40 and asked if I was in labor and I said yes, and she said to meet her at French Hospital.  Robb and I grabbed our bags, loaded the van, kissed the kids, wished my mom good luck and headed out into the rain.
We arrived at 5:00 pm at French Hospital.  Sandy the midwife was already there, a pleasant surprise.  I got the last room they said. They had wanted me to go to Sierra Vista, but Sandy begged to let me come to French.  Sandy checked me and I was an 8.  They got the antibiotics for me (for Group B Strep) hooked up as fast as they could, but they had to wait for the Clindomyecin to come from the lab so it took a while.  I knew that I shouldn't have the baby until I got the antibiotic.  So I sat on the bed, just waiting for the drug to run its course.  Every time a contraction hit, I had Robb press my lower back and I squeezed the comb.  Finally the antibiotics ran through but they legally can't break the water until 4 hours.  I said I should probably use the bathroom since I'd been sitting on the bed for 90 minutes without moving. I stood up and a bad contraction hit me that I wasn't ready for in a standing position, so I leaned over the bed and gush, out came the water.  Then I felt the pressure to push.  Sandy asked me if I wanted to deliver right there on the ground or go onto the bed.  I didn't want to think about getting on the bed, but I knew it would be better, so I got back on the bed, and they got all the tools ready for delivery.
The wonderful birth helper with his Lucky Charm!
They told me to push when I wanted, so I kind of started pusing a bit and then I felt that crazy rush and his head was out. They told me to slow down and that was hard, but I guess it was the shoulders coming out they didn't want me to tear.  Thankfully that didn't last too long, and then he came out.  I heard his cry and was so grateful he was born!  The placenta had completely detached so I didn't even have to push it out, she just pressed my stomach and out it came.  And no bloodclots to remove, either!  And no stitches, so I was really happy.  It was 6:48 pm when he was born.  They just wanted him to nurse for an hour, so they didn't weigh him for an hour, so I was kind of waiting to find that out. His apgars were 10 and 10 because he was so pink.  He weighted 7 lbs 15 oz and was 20.5 inches long.
Kekoa Iokepa Pakelika Kiaha
Awesome that I had a green tanktop, that was not planned.
Our little Koala, Kekoa
By the way, French Hospital was filled that night because the rain makes babies come.  The change in barometric pressure, they say....