Lucas Andrew

Monday, November 16, 2015

Lucas Andrew Haytko
September 28, 2015
8 pounds
Photos: Erica Colvin Photography (c)2015

Pregnancy Montage

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What an awesome journey this was!

38 weeks

Monday, October 12, 2015

It seems only fitting that I post this on my EDD!

So, we had our last OB appointment on September 28th at 38 weeks. 
38 weeks
The appointment showed a happy baby and, during our chat, I mentioned that I'd been having a lot of pressure.  Concerned that my cervix was being stressed, Dr. B. did an internal (funny enough, this is the first internal I've had for any of my pregnancies) and said that cervix was definitely fine.  To verify, he did a TVU and my cervix was, indeed, measuring over 4.  But, to be safe, he asked us to go over to L&D for an hour or two on the monitor, to rule out any contractions.  With each pregnancy, my uterus has thinned more and more around my incision scars; moreso that the cervix at this point, Dr. B. is concerned for my uterine durability.  Contractions would be a delivery; no contractions would mean going home and coming back for our scheduled c/s, unless I started contracting beforehand.

We were hooked up to the monitor and met with the resident and nurses, all of whom were lovely.  After an hour, the resident came back in.  "So..." she said.

"I'm good to go home?"

"Not quite..."

And that was how we learned that Lucas would be our third September birthday.  As with Michael, I was silently and painlessly contracting; according to the monitor, my contractions were regular every three minutes.  Peter had realized this before the nurse came in when he asked me what the lines on the paper meant.  I was texting on my phone and just carelessly mentioned that the lines signaled contractions.  Sure enough, I was having them, but in the hour we were monitored, I'd only felt 3.   Since we weren't having a tubal done after the cesarean, Dr. B's big concern was preserving my uterus and not stressing it against contractions.  He came by and saw me later in the morning to confirm that we'd be put on the schedule for 3pm (since they needed to wait six plus hours post my coffee with milk and breakfast).  The anesthesiologist came in with her paperwork, the nurse went over admittance papers, and we were left to just hang out for a few hours. 

By this point, it was lunch time and Peter left for a bit to eat and check in with his parents, where the twins and Michael were visiting.  I called my mom and texted family and friends to let them know that Lucas would be making his appearance in the afternoon.

At around 3, an IV was started and I walked myself to the OR, where I got a spinal/epi combination and prepared for surgery.  Dr. B. came in and Peter was summoned from down the hall.  In a matter of minutes, the cesarean was underway and, at 3:45pm on Monday, September 28th, Lucas Andrew came into the world with a loud cry.  He weighed 8 pounds even and measured 20.75".  His APGAR was 9 and minutes later, he was nuzzling against my face.

In contrast to Michael's birth, Lucas and Peter stayed in the OR until nearly the end of my surgery.  They then went to the nursery for Lucas's assessment but were then taken to my recovery room.  (Previously, moms went to recovery until the anesthesia wore off, then were transported to postpartum to meet up with baby.)  The surgery went well, with one minor issue.  Apparently my old uterus was tired and didn't feel like contracting.  While waiting on the double dose of Cervidil to work, Dr. B. had to manually contract it.  I'm told the floor looked like a murder took place, but altogether, I only lost about 2 pints of blood.  Once I was in my room, they also hooked up a Pitocin bag to continue helping my uterus contract.  A side effect of all of this is that I've had no bleeding... None.  If you've had a baby, you know how weird that is!

Once in recovery, Peter and Lucas were there, and Lucas and I began our breastfeeding journey immediately.  As I began to feel my legs, we were moved to postpartum.  My IV blew (thanks crappy veins!) and they had to start another one on the other arm, which, because of placement flagged the IV machine every time I tried to nurse (because I was bending my arm).  Hence, my third IV of the day!  Peter went home for dinner and to help put the kids to bed, but then came back for the night.

Tuesday, the twins and my mother-in-law visited and, that afternoon, I discussed discharge with Dr. B.  By this point, I was already up and out of bed, had showered alone, and was in my own clothes.  Since there seemed to be zero complications for either Lucas or I, he agreed that I could go home on Wednesday.  Lucas was seen by the on call pediatrician Wednesday morning and his papers were filed around breakfast time; Dr. B. visited me at 9am, and mine were completed.  By 11am, we were squared away and ready to go home, less than 48 hours after delivery.

As we've done after all the discharges, Peter and I had lunch at our favorite burger joint and then came home, where we've spent the last 2 weeks settling in to life with 4 little ones!  Peter stayed home and goes back to work today.  It will be neat to see how life unfolds, especially when it is just me and the kiddos.

But, without further ado, here is another shot of the newest love of my life!

Sneak Peak: Maternity Pictures

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Last Wednesday, I met up with my friend and owner of ECP, Erica, for Lucas's maternity shots.  Since opening her photography business, Erica has done Michael's maternity and newborn shots, as well as our family photographs.  She's really gifted.  It helps that the kids know her, so she's able to truly capture them and keep them comfortable, but she just has a great eye.  I love looking at her work, and looking at her art on our walls, I'm always touched by how perfect she catches our family on film. 

Lucas's maternity shots will be no different if her sneak peak is any indication.  Just because of my schedule and hers (and my laziness, too), I am several weeks off the "target" maternity shoot.  I was 37w2d when I met her in her North Wales studio for the initial shots before we went to a local preserve for some outdoor, sunset pictures.  Yet, she made me feel comfortable and, even waddling around with I-don't-even-want-to-think-about-how-many-extra-pounds I'm carrying, she made me feel pretty and in my own skin. 

Last night, she posted this first of my maternity shots, and I'm super excited to see the rest in the weeks to come. 
Courtesy of Erica Colvin Photography

(Oh, and only 8 more days til 39 weeks!  3 more until October!  Woo Hoo!)

Single Digits!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

9 more days to go!!!!

I'm still super psyched to be pregnant: 37w5d today!  I'm pregnant a week longer than with Michael and 10 weeks longer than with Bobby & Maya. 

That being said, we had some excitement on Monday at 37w.  I've been feeling more contractions and definitely more pressure.  I bent down to pick up something that was on the floor and I felt a pop, followed by some intense pain in my lower belly/side/hip.  By 3:30, I called Peter at work and he came home early because I couldn't really get up after the kids.  As night rolled around, we were debating going in to the hospital.  I called the on-call doctor and he suggested, even though my contractions were irregular, that I go into L&D to get checked on the monitor.  We got there around 9:30 and ended up leaving around midnight.  Lucas responded well to the contractions, which stayed around 4 an hour, and the resident felt that all the pressure was from Lucas dropping so low in my pelvis.

Monday, it went from my belly being up near my breastbone, to me having about a hand in-between my breast and belly.  Now?  I have about 2 and a half "hands" between my breasts and belly!  This kid is settling in low!  Several vendors at this morning's Farmer's Market commented on it, as did the cashier at the local supermarket this afternoon.

I'm having more pain at night (probably in response to being active and doing stuff during the day) and then I tend to be up every hour until 2am or so (to go to the bathroom), then get 2-3 hour stretches of sleep.  Peter's been trying to let me stay in bed until 8am or so (I was in bed until 9am today), to try and catch up on some solid sleep. 

This is his last full week at work until he takes some of his paternity leave.  I have an appointment with Dr. B. on Monday morning at 38 weeks- my LAST OB APPOINTMENT OF THIS PREGNANCY!!!!  Oh my goodness, we are there!  That is another goal completely checked off!  Once we hit October 1st, that is my next to last goal; and then, making it to October 5th.  I really can't believe we are so close to meeting Lucas.  It's amazing to be here. 

Outstanding Goals:
___38 weeks  (33 hours)
___Last OB appointment   (43 hours/2 days)
___Making it until October (4 days)
___Making it until 39 weeks (Oct. 5) (9 days)

37 Weeks

Monday, September 21, 2015


We've done it!!!!!  We've made it to 37 weeks!!!!  As of 12:30ish on Saturday (36w5d), I was more pregnant than I'd ever been before.  We've hit the "Term" mark and, as of today, if Lucas were to be born, he would be considered "Early Full Term".  I can't believe it.  There's a part of me that wants to just cry.

The weekend was tough; I had a lot of contractions and, at one point, we were discussing going to L&D.  Thankfully, that situation passed and, although I'm tired, I feel really good today.  14 days to go.... We've got this!

37 weeks!!!!
The only real change is that I had my platelets checked at my 36w appointment.  They've dropped to 119K.  So, not great, but still high enough for the c/s.  Dr. B. called today.  Based on how long it took them to fall, he's thinking we're still going to be okay.  We'll check at my next appointment (38 weeks... 1 week away!) and go from there if we need to do an IVIG infusion before the cesarean.  Hopefully, we won't.  I'll continue doing my papaya supplementation and hoping that slows the falling or keeps it at bay, and then it really is just a matter of doing what we need to do.  I don't want general anesthesia, which means Peter cant be in the OR and that Lucas would automatically go to the NICU for observation.  I'd much rather have the experience I'm used to and the one that is safer for both of us!

But, we are here.  We are almost to single digits in the waiting-to-meet-Lucas journey.  The kids are super excited and counting it down, and so are we.  Everything is ready; all we are missing is this little guy on the outside!

Shameless Plug

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

So, Maya is a Daisy Girl Scout (a second year) and is selling candy, nuts, and magazines to help with our fall Troop Fundraising.  It's a fundraiser... not much else I can say about that.  Here are the links if you'd like to purchase any candy or nuts or if you'd like to purchase magazines.  She's adorable and would be most appreciative!


Monday, September 14, 2015


36 weeks!!!  Only 21 more days to go!  We are almost there, and I still can't believe it. :)

I've definitely been having more contractions than normal, sleeping is more difficult (I'm up about once an hour), and I'm uncomfortable most of the time.  But Lucas is still baking away and happy, so all is good!  Michael was born in 5 days; if Lucas opts to make his appearance at the same time, he'd be born on would have been Peter's maternal grandmother's 99th birthday... which is kind of cool!  I'm hoping for at least another full week to bring us to the "37" mark, but I am really holding out for October.  #OctoberOrBust

My OB appointment was rescheduled from this morning to tomorrow due to an issue with Dr. B., so we'll probably end up discussing the "plan" if I go into labor before my next (38w) appointment.  Otherwise, I can't imagine there will be too much going on.  I'll take my hospital bag and toss it in the car, just in case there is a reason we go to L&D.  The car seat base is installed as of last week (CRAZY!) and we are really ready to go whenever Lucas is.

So, here we are!
36 weeks... Only 21 days until we meet this little guy!

And here's the montage.  I think the fact that he's dropping and pooching out is quite apparent now!


Thursday, September 10, 2015

I'm  sitting here in shock.  Six.  Six years old.  My "babies" are 6. 

Six years ago, I was spending my last day in the hospital with Bobby and Maya on the "inside".  By 7pm, I was in the OR and twenty minutes later, my sweet little two pounders were being taken out of my body and into the "NICU womb" that would care for them for nearly 9 weeks.  Even now, I get choked up thinking about it.  I read their birth story and couldn't not cry. How was that 6 years ago?  How did that happen?  It feels like yesterday, like forever ago, like a dream. 

Suddenly, my just-shy-of-3-lbs-son is now 65+ pounds, his legs hit below my knees when I snuggle him, and, although he is behind developmentally, the last few weeks have seen such huge leaps in both language and behavior.  Bobby loves to write and has beautiful handwriting; his memory is amazing and he can memorize things like it's no big deal.  He really enjoys cooking and, if commercial art were still a field, I could see him going into something like that with his love for logos and design.

In the blink of an eye, my barely-over-2-lbs-daughter is now 37 pounds, long and lanky like her dad with her size 6 skinny jeans but 3T cinched waist.  Maya loves being a Girl Scout and has Peter's scientifically leaning mind.  Science and Math make her happy like nothing else!  She loves to garden and her gift of gab comes straight from me.  She is the princess in our house (although she thinks of herself as Queen Elsa) and I think she puts her value as "big sister" above everything else.  She's my minime at times and it's amazing to talk to her as we snuggle and hear her views on everything from God to space to her best friend.

We went from zero to six in what feels like seconds...
...and I'm not ready.

I'm not ready for them to be well into second grade and preparing for First Penance and First Communion.  I'm not ready for them to be so opinionated and expressive.  I'm not ready for them to be responsible.  In my head, I'm still holding two babies but they are clearly two "kids".  Two kids who want to have their own choices and decisions.  It's hard to let them make them, even though I know they have to... they need to.

So, happy birthday, Bobby and Maya!  Today, we will celebrate you for all the wonderful things you are and the beautiful things you bring into our lives!  May you have many, many more wonderful celebrations of the lives you have blessed us with.

Red Letter Day

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sometimes, I forgot just how shitty autism can be.   Days like today remind me.

I didn't sleep well last night (that has nothing to do with autism... just some background).  I was up every hour to pee (thanks, Lucas!) and then woke up at 3:40 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep.  Eventually, around 5:30, I crashed and by 6:30, I think I was out and didn't wake up until 8.  Which would have been fine, except that I was due to start a Bible Study today, which included a drop off program for the kids- which meant leaving at 8:30 so that we could drop Peter at work and get on our way to the church (not ours), which is half an hour from him.
I was going to ditch but Maya was actually really excited about the kids program.  They have a nursery, a program from 1yo, 2yo, then PreK/K, 1st/2nd homeschooled, and 3-6 homeschooled.  For whatever reason, she was psyched, so we rushed around and got the kids dressed and ready, and left 10 minutes behind schedule.  Not too shabby, since I had to shower still.  But, it meant no one had breakfast.  So, once we left Peter, I stopped off and got the kids pancakes and juice, and they ate in the car on the way.  It all seemed to be good. I reiterated the morning schedule, Bobby repeated me, all was well.
We got to the church (which also houses a large play area that the kids enjoy) and that is when it all went downhill.  Bobby cried from the moment we got out of the car.  We ended up making it to the sidewalk, where he had a complete meltdown that included hitting me in the stomach before he ran away- right into Michael and Maya who were holding hands.  Michael was trampled and pushed down on the sidewalk, which scraped his knee.  By this point, Bobby was a disaster; part of it was the meltdown and I think part of it was realizing he hurt Michael.  He is so tenderhearted that, when he melts down and cannot control himself, he gets more upset as he starts to come out of it and realize that he either had the meltdown in the first place or that he has hurt someone.  He was still in the middle of it but I could also see that he was trying to fight it, too, and that is nearly as heartbreaking.  I grabbed him,  to stop him from running in the street, to drag him back to where Michael is on the ground sobbing.  I'm trying to comfort Michael while Bobby is still flinging himself and, in doing so, is pushing me off the sidewalk and into the street.  Then, to complete the meltdown, Bobby starts peeing on himself.  (This seems to be how most meltdowns end; it's almost as though he can no longer hold whatever is driving him inside, and he just physically expels himself.  While it's awful, it's also usually a sign that the worst is over.)
Maya helped me get Michael back to the car, so that I could help Bobby, who is now crying uncontrollably and apologizing, changed. Once I got him cleaned up at the trunk, I just held him against my chest while he cried.  He wanted to go to the play land and I said that we were going home.  He begged to go to his class with Maya, then to the play area (which was our initial plan), and Maya echoed that.  At this point, all I wanted to do was throw in the towel, but we were already there and Bobby seemed to be calm, so I said we would try. 
We go in and after what felt like forever (because at this point, we are quite late), I find the class listed as "Tuesday Homeschool".  The teacher says the class is for 8y and older and that we are in a different room.  So, we go to the other class, which turns out to be the PreK/K class.  The teacher explains that they canceled the 1/2 class because they didn't have enough adults volunteer.  She was very nice and says she is fine with the kids being in class, since they have ages 4-5 and a few kids about to turn 6 who are in K.  So, I take Michael to his class, and he's fine.  He went right with the teacher and started playing with the other two year olds.  I walked Bobby and Maya back; they went inside, but both refused to participate.  Bobby stood by the door and Maya  clung to his arm.  She is typically shy, but this was a different level- especially since she really wanted to go.  I think she was just emotionally done from the morning too.  I stayed to try and encourage them to play with the other kids but then Maya attached herself to me and wouldn't let go, while Bobby just kept saying "No class.  Go home."  So, I gave up after a few minutes, thanked the teacher (who really was lovely and offered for us to try again next week), and went and got Michael.  His class was about to go to the gym to play with balls, and the teacher said he was doing well for the short time he was there. 
By this point, I was the one of the verge of tears.  Just so exhausted from fighting and struggling to get to this stupid class that I was looking forward to, tired from a lack of sleep, contracting from the stress of dealing with it all and the physical impact from Bobby, and just wanting to sit down.  So, we went to the play area, which was fairly empty and they played for about 30 minutes. 
When we have so many good days, it makes the moments like today seem so far removed.  And then, they come back and smack you in the face, and you remember what it is like to have an atypical child.  He does so well for days and even weeks, and then something like this blows everything up.  It doesn't matter on these days how much you tell yourself "It's going to get better" because, in the moment, all you want is the "better".  I look at Bobby and I see how far he has come, even on the bad days, but in the throws of it all, I just want to cry and curl up under a rock. 
I wasn't the shining example of special needs motherhood, either.  As he was falling apart, I was yelling to be heard and ended up having to hold his face to get him to look at me, which I hate.  It feels so mean to me, even though it is the only way, when he's flailing, that I'm able to get him to pause and look into my eyes.  Holding him, as he's crying and telling me he's sorry, I cant tell him "It's okay" enough, especially when all I want to do is take whatever it is that he's feeling away.  Knowing, as his mother, that I cant really do much except hold him until it passes... it breaks my heart. 
Everyone seems much better now.  They are decompressing with some educational games on their tablet (except for Michael, who is playing with a book).  I'm about to make lunch and am hopeful that the rest of the day will get better.  Our big plan is to make a cake for the Virgin Mary's birthday. :)  The kids are pretty excited about that, and Maya said they should make birthday cards.  So, hopefully once I feel settled and lunch is over, we can get that started. 
Here's to hoping there is a better day post-lunch!