Thursday, April 21, 2011


On Thursday afternoon, April 7th, just 40 hours after he was born, James stopped breathing and turned gray-purple.  Josh's mom was able to get him to cry after thumping him in the back.  We already had an ambulance on the way and we rushed off to the ER.  He did it again while we were there.  Having our newborn in the ER was a very scary experience.  They were putting all kinds of needles into him to try to do blood work, he got a spinal tap to check for meningitis, x-rays, shots, etc.  It was awful watching him scream and cry and wondering what was going on with our healthy looking baby.

He was care-flighted to the NICU in San Antonio and had to fly alone while we drove down.  Nothing like putting your baby into the care of other people and then driving an HOUR to get to where he is.  Our parents were great and packed food and an overnight bag for us.  Kate went to spend the night at her friend's house.  We had no idea how long this ordeal would last. 

When we got there James was hooked up to all kinds of machines -- IV, oxygen, monitors, and a tube down his throat.  They were doing vaccines of all kinds until lab work came back.  He had a couple more episodes that night.  The doctor told us in situations of newborn apnea they keep them in the NICU for a minimum of 5-7 days.  Newborn apnea is apparently not uncommon and there is a whole list of things it could be.  They had to start looking at and treating the more serious and life-threatening things first and then move down the list. 

We were helpless to do anything.  In fact, the first 24 hours we had to put on a plastic gown and gloves to hold or touch him.  I had to pump because they were controlling his feeding.  Josh's dad got us a hotel room which became our "home" for the next 8 days.  Yes, folks, James was there just shy of 9 days. 

Fortunately, we got one of the best diagnoses it could be in this situation.  After 3 full days of being there an upper GI scan was done (we got to watch) which showed a bezoar in James' stomach.  A bezoar is an indigestible mass.  He probably swallowed some stuff while in the womb and when he started eating it all clumped together in a hard mass.  Then when he ate he would reflux and his body would shut down and stop breathing.   Crazy!  Bezoars are very rare in newborns. 

After finding that, he went on a pedialyte diet for about 2 days until the mass was broken down.  Then he could go back to milk.  And he was hungry!  We were hoping to go home once the diagnosis was made, but they wanted him to go 5 days without an episode.  So we waited the rest of the week, going back and forth between the hotel and the hospital.  We made one trip back to Kerrville to see Kate and she came down once to see us.  It was so hard to be away from her and was exhausting to be at the hospital.  We took an infant CPR class and tried to make use of our time in SA to run a couple errands. 

Finally Saturday arrived (he was admitted Thursday night the week before) and we were ready.  Then a scan showed some kidney abnormality.  Really?  After an intense time of whether they would let us go or not, the doctor arranged for us to come back and do the kidney test as an outpatient procedure.  Then we had to wait around for a prescription to be filled.  But finally, finally we were on our way home.
Don't you love how they put me in a wheelchair even though I was not treated at this hospital?

It was a really tough experience.  It was physically draining (remember, I had just given birth).  It was emotionally draining.  And as the bills come in, it might prove to be financially draining!  (A helicopter ride costs how much!?!)  Just kidding, we are not worried about the bills.  Our God has always provided for us and we know He won't fail us now.

But we had amazing support from our family and friends.  We had prayers covering us from the time we walked into the ER in Kerrville.  We had friends waiting for us at the NICU that first night.  We had people come visit us and bring us food and gift cards and send gift baskets.  We had emails, phone calls, texts, and facebook messages of encouragement, offers to help, and support.  It was amazing and we were strengthened by it.  We did not ever feel hopeless. 

We are so happy to be home now.  I have been somewhat on my own with the two kids this week and we are surviving well.  We have friends bringing us meals, which is fabulous.  Both kids are sleeping right now and I probably should be too, but I drank a protein drink that I thought was just cappuccino flavored, not actually made with coffee.  But it was made with coffee, so I'm up right now.

And now so is James.  Time to go snuggle.


 James Cooper Seefeldt

Born on April 6 at 12:26am.  He was 8lbs, 4oz and 21 inches long.

We got to the hospital at 11:10pm.  The nurse checked my progress and announced that I would not have time for an epidural.  She and the other nurse jumped into action getting my IV set up and everything ready to deliver a baby.  Niessa, the RN/midwife who I wanted to deliver James and who had helped deliver Kate, was actually the one on-call.  She got there at midnight and after checking the monitors to see how labor was going, she checked my progress and said I could start pushing whenever.  James was born about 15 minutes later. 

It was quite an experience without an epidural.  Labor is intense and just gets more intense as the delivery gets closer...which would clearly make sense.  I'm glad to have had the experience and to experience it with a quick, easy delivery.  I would not have wanted to labor any longer than I did. 

My mom got to the hospital around 5am after driving all night.  She came to see us and then went to our house where Josh's mom was taking care of Kate.  They got her ready in her "big sister" t-shirt and came up to visit us. 
 Kate loves her little brother and was fond of him right from the beginning.  When he cries she says "It's okay, baby James."  She loves to kiss his head and touch him.  She likes to watch when we change his diaper.  She wants me to go get him if he cries in his bed.  It's very sweet. 

 We got to leave the hospital that same night around 9pm.  We were really excited to be home and had no idea that would only last about another 19 hours. 

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Very Tempting

This sounds like a great way to get James here...

Lemon Drop Cupcakes May Help Induce Labor

Updated: Friday, 01 Apr 2011, 11:57 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 01 Apr 2011, 10:24 AM EDT
(WJBK) - You may have heard about inducing labor with spicy foods and sex. But some women in Virginia are claiming cupcakes can also do the trick.
Cappellino’s Crazy Cakes in Charlottesville, Virgina makes a Lemon Drop Cupcake that mothers have sworn when eaten, will put you into labor. So far, a total of 19 overdue pregnant women have eaten this cupcake and have gone into labor.
Lori Lawson was several days past her due date, she then decided to treat herself to a Lemon Drop cupcake from Cappellino's Crazy Cakes and within the hour she began to have contractions.
The bake shop owner says the Lemon Drop is one of their best-sellers. She makes a fresh batch every day just in case an overdue mother to be walks in looking for some help.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Book Review

This book review is a long time overdue.  I chose to review If God is Good by Randy Alcorn.  I have read other books by Alcorn and have appreciated both the style of his fiction and the careful research he invests in his nonfiction.  In this book he tackles the immense topic of why a good God would allow suffering. 

The book is quite a hefty volume, which I guess should be expected if one is going to really discuss such a topic.  Alcorn chooses to take his time laying a strong foundation.  He first looks at evil and suffering, explaining the importance of trying to understand them and how they are different.  He discusses different world views and the logical conclusion each world view comes to regarding evil, suffering, and the existence of God.  He discusses sin and suffering.  He also looks at why non-theists have no basis for condemning evil.  Then he moves to a Christian world view to talk about God's allowance of evil and suffering, how those are used for God's glory, and how they fit into the overall story.

This is not a light book to read over the weekend.  It is not a quick perusal of thoughts about suffering.  Alcorn has researched this topic and attempts to thoroughly discuss.  I appreciate that Alcorn approaches the subject with concern and gentleness, not from an outside literary interest.  I also think this book is not for someone in the midst of great suffering, but rather for those wanting to understand suffering, either from having gone through it or watching someone else suffer.  It does not have quick answers and may be a lot to tackle for someone in intense suffering.  I would recommend this book for those looking to understand and know how to carefully and thoughtfully discuss the issue of evil and suffering. 

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Kate is 2!

 I'm a bit behind posting about Kate turning 2 years old.  That's right, folks, my little girl is 2 now.  And she's still amazing!  On her actual birthday we got breakfast tacos (because the girl LOVES them!) and gave her some of our gifts to her.  That evening we had a picnic dinner at the playground and she played and played and played.  Of course, I'm having trouble posting those pictures. 

That Saturday we had her party.  It was an alphabet theme because she's into letters.  I made her a t-shirt with a "K" on it.  We had letter-shaped sandwiches (thanks to large cookie cutters) and each kid got cookies in his initials (again, the cookie cutters). 
 At the party we had alphabet stamps to play with and foam frames to decorate with their names.  We took a picture of each kid and printed it out for them to take home in their little frame.  Big hit!
 The cupcakes were a big hit, too!  Kate likes to lick off all the frosting first and then eat the cake. 
 She is a great present opener, pulling all the tissue paper out, piece by piece and then carefully examining each gift.

We are now quite into the "2s," complete with challenges of toddlerhood and the joys of a little girl who is no longer a baby.  It's cool to watch her personality continue to develop as she asserts herself and makes decisions.  We are constantly amazed by this little girl.  What a blessing to be her parents!