Monday, September 27, 2010

Brandon and Chase Johnson

Dear Family and Friends,

The last few days have been filled with unbelievable joy, and overwhelming concern as our precious little boys were born. Amy was induced on Wednesday at about noon, and the doctors broke her water about an hour later, hoping that it would help labor progress faster. On Thursday morning Chase and Brandon were born at 10:30 and 11:15 am, respectively. Our muscle man Chase weighed 6 lbs 13 ounces. About 15 minutes after he was born, he was taken to the NICU. He looked quite pale, and did not cry after birth. The nurses and doctors who attended to him worked with such great skill, that we knew everything would be ok, whatever was going on. They allowed us to see him, and Grandma Hall tried to get a few pictures before he was taken to his new room. Mommy was so happy to be able to see him, and touch his leg before he left. His skin was so soft and sweet. After 45 minutes of more pushing, our sweet baby Brandon was born, weighing in at a sturdy 7 lbs 13 ounces. (You do the math) J We both cried with such great joy knowing that both our baby boys are here. Amy, now exhausted, was taken back to her room to recover for a bit. She struggled to stay awake as people came in with congratulations. Soon Matt joined her, obviously very upset. With tears in his eyes, and the NICU nurse at his side, they explained what was going on with our newest additions. Brandon was doing great, but needed a bit of attention because his blood sugar was low, but was taken to the NICU mostly for precaution. Before their birth, Amy had a fever that started around 6:30 am on Thursday. The doctors wanted to make sure neither baby had contracted the fever, or anything else, so off to the NICU they went. Chase’s water was broken nearly a full day before he was born and he had a long delivery. When he came out he was not responding well and was not pinking up like he should have. It was apparent that he had been deprived of oxygen. In order to minimize any amount of damage the doctors put our little hockey player on ice; well kinda. They used a cooling pad that he laid on to bring his core temperature down to 92° F. This would slow his metabolic rate down and minimize any brain damage that may occur. Again this has all been done to preemptively attack any problems. He needed to lay on the pad for 72 hours, and then over a 6 hour period they brought his temperature back up to the 98.6 that it should be. Over the 72 hours he was very closely monitored and kept as comfortable as he could have been. Every time we went down to see him, he was just as content as he could be. At the beginning he needed a little help breathing so they had a tube under his nose with room air making breathing easier. He didn’t need that for too long. J Sunday night we went down to hold him for the first time! We were sooo excited. Amy cried at the thought of holding him, and when she was actually able to, the tears were freely flowing! He was doing great. A strong little guy. Tuesday, Chase will receive an MRI to see if there was any brain damage from the lack of oxygen. As of Monday night he has fed a couple times and has been taken off most of his IV's. He is only receiving a glucose IV to make sure his blood sugar levels stay up.

Within 2 hours of coming up to our new room, Brandon joined us. Matt had the honor of giving him his first bath (We have footage) J He got passed around to all his grandparents and a couple aunts. About 8:30 to 9 pm, we heard that he was being taken back down to the NICU because his body temperature had fallen and his blood sugar had plummeted to a mere 14. The healthy amount is about 70 or above. With everything that had gone on Thursday this was very difficult to handle. Seeing our son Chase connected to all sorts of machines and having wires running all over the place was a nightmare we never imagined. Knowing that Brandon was doing well lifted our spirits. Then to see him back in the NICU was devastating. Brandon was put on an IV and was receiving help to maintain his blood sugar level. They would check his levels every few ours before feedings and as long as he showed improvement, they would bring the dosage down a little at a time. On Sunday morning he was taken off the IV and as of Sunday night he has maintained his blood sugar levels. Amy was able to start feeding Brandon on Friday. He is a quick learner.

Both boys have been on an antibiotic since Thursday. Again they put them on it as a preemptive measure to attack any problems. When they were born, early examinations showed that the boys appeared to be fighting something that may have been an infection. That is mostly why they are on the antibiotics. They will be on them for 7 days. The tests (blood cultures) that have been done, and as of Sunday night have come back negative! If there was any infection, it would have reared its ugly head by now.

We are doing great. We are still at the hospital doing a hotel stay so we can be as close as possible to the boys. Thursday was one of the longest and most trying days of our lives, but at the same time one of the most incredible. We had a lot of information dumped on us over a very short amount of time. It was very overwhelming, but we knew our families were right there by our side to help bear the burden. We have constantly talked about how lucky we are to have the families we do. Whether here in Utah, Arizona, Iowa or wherever, we have felt the great love and concern from our family. We love you guys and are so grateful for your encouraging words and many prayers on ours and the boys behalf.

We are equally grateful to our friends. We know that you too have sent your concerns for us and the boys to heaven. We feel your love and compassion for us. We also want to publicly thank our new friends here at IMC, the doctors and nurses who have worked to make sure that mom and babies were kept healthy and happy. We are so grateful for your knowledge and skill. We will post any updates, but for now are happy to report they are both doing tremendously well. They were placed in the same room this afternoon so they can hang out again. As all goes well, they will get to come home on Friday. Here’s to a speedy recovery! We love you Brandon and Chase! You are the joy of our lives!!!

Brandon snacking on his fingers

Matt holding BOTH Boys

Matt and Chase

Amy and Chase

Brandon snoozing

Chase with a very happy grin to be warm and less tubes

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Feeling a Little Sentimental

This was almost 1 year ago. Not sure why I never posted it, so here you go! :)

Don't worry, I will post pictures of the house progress soon enough. (I guess "soon enough" would have been over a week ago). Well, whatever. I just have some feelings that I want to share. Sit down, children. It's feelings time.

Tonight Matt and I saw a play at the Hale Center Theatre, Orem called "Over the River and Through the Woods". It is a story about a guy who has 4 crazy, loud grandparents , and how he finds meaning in his life through their lives. It sounds really cliche, I know, but I, as well as most of the audience, was in tears by the end. I know this comes as no surprise, but it really moved me, and I felt a little silly about it.

I remembered last summer when Matt and I saw Les Miserables, and how I felt the same way-moved- as the chorus sang "Do you hear the people sing? Singing the song of angry men. It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again!!...". I remember after not too long thinking to myself "Duh! Why am I crying? This is silly!" I started to feel this same emotion tonight, until I realized I was very much not alone.

This brought me to a wonderful book I read that my parents gave me for Christmas a few years ago called "Plain and Simple: A Woman's Journey to the Amish". It's a true story about a woman named Sue Bender. She fell in love with some Amish quilts one day, and it drove her to extreme depths to find what intrigued her so much about these pieces. She ended up finding an Amish family that allowed her to live with them for a few months. In the end, one of the things she found, or at least that I found, is the peace and joy a person can have in the most simple, day-to-day tasks. Their homes are their lives. They cook, clean, take care of gardens, and take care of each other, and that is enough. They don't seek for riches, or praise, or beauty. They have no pride. They enjoy life for what it is. At the end of the day, it is enough to just be together as a family, enjoying the beauty of the plants, or a beautiful night.

That is why I loved this play so much; I remembered the joy the day-to-day things can bring, and how the small things shape our lives in such tremendous ways. It allowed me the opportunity to let some buried feelings rise to the surface, and I am really grateful for that. We came home, and I just wanted to make our home look nice for Matt. I started to clean the kitchen so I could make him dinner, and I really enjoyed myself. It made me remember that life is about much more than doing more. Life is about living, and loving, and serving your family. It's about helping and caring. Of course we have work to do. Of course we cannot change our lives in a moment, but I believe in changing my attitude, and finding that part of me that loves more than anything to serve my husband, that loves the joy of walking through my clean house, and the pride it gives me knowing that it is clean because I worked hard...and sometimes I need a little encouragement in finding that place again.

As I sat wiping tears away from the strong emotions I felt, I had to remind myself that it was ok to be moved, it's ok to have something strike a chord in my heart so deeply. Thanks for such a wonderful date night, honey. I love you.

Happy Birthday Big Boy!!!

We had such a fun time for Matt's birthday (In January!!)! We went to Ruby River, then watched James Bond! It was so fun! Thanks Will and Nancy (and Eva) for joining us!

Matt not willing to cooperate for the picture...

Don't mess with me, pal!


Matt's Boyfriend

I can't blame him. I mean, really, who isn't in love with Keith Urban? He tried to convince me to name one of our children Keith Urban Johnson....Well anyway, we had a great time at the concert. We had pretty good seats too! (can you tell I was interpreting before the concert? OR black is my favorite color.)

Light-y up-y guitar! WAY COOL!

He had a stage set up in the back! We were so close!!

Matt was trying to take a picture as Keith Urban walked right by our row!! He touched his shoulder. :) lol! So fun!

What a fun concert! Thanks for getting us tickets, babe! You rock!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Check my other blog!

Hey everyone. I have been posting a lot more on my other blog,
I have been working hard to lose weight, while Matt has been working hard to gain! Check in often!