Thursday, October 30, 2008

Surprise, Surprise.

This is a tribute to Owen's big sister. Zoe is amazing! So far we haven't had any jealousy issues and she always tries her best to be soft. She even reminds Mommy to do so. Best of all, she has reached a whole new level of entertaining herself (without destroying the house, mind you). She is endlessly patient with me when I'm busy with Owen and I think I probably take it for granted a lot of the time. More than anything, she is constantly using her little imagination in ways that not only surprise me, but make me smile. Here are a few surprises she's had for me in the last week:

The Literary Critic

Always Willing to Share

She Loves Unloading the Dishwasher

How Did I Miss Out On the Family Snuggle?

And now for a video. In a few months Owen is totally going to love this...maybe.

So, what goes on with the newest addition? Well, he eats a ton and poops a ton and lately he has been more alert during the day - hence the sparse postings around here. He has already grown an inch and gained two whole pounds! This kid is going to be huge. Here are some shots just of him:

He loved this for a whole minute before James got the camera.

Attempting a Smile

Working Hard

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Don't worry - we're all alive and doing very well. Sorry about not really updating. I've got a couple things in the works and then of course we have Halloween coming up this week along with a visit from Grandma Cathy and Zoe's impending haircut, so things will really start jumping around here soon (hopefully).

In the meantime, I just wanted to make sure you are all aware of one of the best shows on television. It's called Pushing Daisies and James and I have been enthralled with it since the pilot. It's witty, fast-paced, clean, and visually stunning. It has won some awards, is critically acclaimed, so of course the ratings are low and rumors abound that ABC is thinking of kicking it to the curb. If you're not watching it already, please check it out. Though there is an on-going storyline, it's not so intricate that you miss much jumping into the middle of the second season. The writing, characters, and costumes are all simply amazing. So while you're waiting for me to update this blog with things pertaining to us, check out the show. It's on ABC on Wednesdays at 8/7 central (in Utah it's 7). Thanks!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Hairy Situation

It's time to get down to an important issue around here - What should I do with Zoe's hair? It is really really ridiculously long. Do I cut it? If I do, how much should I take off? Or should I just leave it alone? I really don't have enough brain cells left to make this decision, so I'm relying on all of you in Blogger-land to weigh in. Please vote in the poll on the side and tell us your opinion. And if you have any experience cutting children's hair, give me some tips. Keep in mind that Zoe doesn't watch movies, cartoons, or television of any sort, so keeping her still for longer than 30 seconds will be my main issue (aside from the fact that I have no idea what I'm doing).

To give you some reference on the hair issue at hand, here are some pictures I had taken of her in an actual studio a month ago. I meant to do it closer to her birthday but, uh, I didn't. And if I had known they would ask me to be in the shot I probably would have done my hair. Maybe.

In other hair-related news, here is Zoe's prayer as I was doing her hair for church Sunday morning:

Dear Heavenly Father
Thank you for the day
Thank you for church
Thank you for hair
Thank you for nap

Other things that she has been thankful for recently: Mommy and Daddy, Zoe and Baby, Grandma, Stories, and Family. Could she be any cuter?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I usually try to keep things upbeat and family-friendly around here but I am at a breaking point today. Remember how I was so excited to get my catheter out? Well, I failed to mention that I was less than thrilled with the doctor taking it out - I had to wait for 2 hours for my appointment, with both the kids (thankfully my mom and James were there to help) only to see the doctor for about 3 minutes. The nurse removed the thing and said the doctor was considering putting me on an antibiotic just to be safe. I said that would be a great idea since my recent operation - more like something out of Frankenstein - left me at an increased risk for kidney infection. I didn't see the doctor again and apparently he decided that an antibiotic wasn't necessary and I went home.

Fast forward to Wednesday at 1:00 am. I woke up shaking uncontrollably. After a while we called the doctor and she said it sounded like a bladder infection. I could come into her office later in the morning or go to the ER if it got worse. Once the shaking stopped thanks to a hefty dose of Motrin, I took my temperature and was running a fever of 102.3. I NEVER have fevers so we decided to go into the hospital. This time we left Zoe with a neighbor and headed out. Again at 3 am. Why can't this stuff happen during the day?

At the ER they weren't totally convinced that I had an infection because I didn't have any of the "classic" symptoms, besides the fever. The triage nurse said that my medical history was the longest she'd ever taken. I got in quickly and the doctor soon got my labs back showing "a lot of infection" and with my temperature so high if the infection wasn't in my kidneys it was headed that way. So now I have a cool IV port in my forearm and I get to go back to Provo 3 times for IV antibiotics.

We got home by 5:30 am only to have Owen wake up - he slept through all of this - and after eating he threw up pretty badly. It was coming out of his nose and then he was so congested he just cried for about 15 minutes until I could get him completely suctioned out. I spent the rest of the day sleeping in 2-hour increments, never leaving the bedroom except to use the bathroom and for my first trip for the antibiotics. Luckily we had dinner from the ward tonight and they also arranged rides to Provo for me so James can stay home with the kids.

My question is this: When will this personal hell I'm living in end? It seems like just as things are about to get back to normal I get the rug pulled out from under me. This is absolutely the worst I've felt since I woke up from surgery with no pain medication. I am so sick of doctors using me for some twisted psychological experiment - Just how much physical and emotional (and financial) trauma can we inflict on this lady? I am really reaching the point where if anything else goes wrong I am just going to fall off this mental cliff that I've been toeing the edge of lately. But I do have to thank all the amazing people who have been helping us out lately. We are quickly getting to meet a lot of people in our ward. It just stinks that my mom left one measly day before this all happened.

So I'm sorry that my posts have turned into whiney rants revolving around my medical woes. And I don't even put up pictures. How dare I! Please just cross all your fingers and keep us in your prayers that our lives might one day return to normal - or as normal as it ever is for us.

Monday, October 13, 2008

We All Have Eyes...And Heads!

Ahh the wisdom of a 2-year old.

In other news, I got my catheter taken out today so I am happy. No more urine-filled bags strapped to these legs! Was that too much information? Maybe. I don't care, I'm just glad to be controlling my bladder again!

Oh, and credit for Zoe's hair over the last two weeks goes to my mom (seen rushing off to the kitchen and the forgotten pancakes on the stove). Thanks mom!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

One Week Older and Wiser Too

While this does apply to Owen, I'd say it's more the rest of us that are doing most of the learning around here. Here's what we've learned in the short time Owen has been with us:

For Mommy:

Alternative Toddler Interaction - the No Lifting Approach

Poopy Diapers 101 (wait, that's just how many
Owen has on a daily basis)

Breast Pump = Chew Toy No More!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The REST of The Story....

Here goes....

Sunday night I started having contractions but it was nothing major - not very painful and not regular. So I figured something might be starting to happen, but I still thought we had plenty of time, maybe even days. Around 11:30 they started getting pretty regular and intense but I didn't want to get turned away by the hospital like we did with Zoe so I decided to tough it out a while longer. At 1 am - after contractions had been 3 minutes apart and hard to talk through for hours- I decided we should probably head to the hospital. We packed up the last few things and started calling our friends to take care of Zoe. We jumped in the car not knowing what to do with her, but we figured we should better get on the road.

Instead of stopping by our friends' house unannounced in the middle of the night (and delaying our arrival at the hospital) we decided to go straight to the hospital and figure things out there. We got in around 2 am. The first nurse that checked me told me I was at a "fingertip." I nearly slapped her. Then she had another nurse check me because "something seemed strange." The second nurse told me I was a six and asked if I knew that the baby was breech. QUE??? Absolutely no idea on that one. So that was my ticket to an automatic C-section. By the time they got me prepped and the epidural in I was completely dilated and ready to push. But of course I couldn't so I just waited "patiently" on the table for them to yank the kid out of me. At this point Zoe was who knows where and James was trying not to faint at the sight of my blood.

Soon enough Owen was here (at exactly 3 am). Only no one bothered to tell me he was out. They were too busy trying to control massive amounts of bleeding and repair a pretty gnarly tear in my uterus. Owen was so far down (because I was ready to deliver) that they literally had to pull him up and out and my uterus tore perpendicular to the incision. Owen was in pretty bad shape himself - folded completely in half, bruised, covered in prenatal poop, and having some problems breathing. After a while we were both feeling better and James took Zoe home to catch up on some sleep.

So that's enough trauma for one delivery, right? Oh it gets better. The next day was fine. I was feeling great and I had all the nurses wowed at how well I was moving around. I had an IVP (an x-ray for your kidneys) to make sure that my bladder hadn't been affected by the tear and I wasn't leaking urine anywhere. By this time I had decided that C-sections were the way to go because my recovery had been so smooth after only a day.

The results of the IVP were inconclusive so the next day I went back for more. They took pictures at every angle but still seemed a little perplexed. The day went on as normal. I was feeling great and even got a shower. That's when it all went sour. I had been out of the shower for about 2 minutes when the nurse was pounding down my door telling me that my doctor wanted to talk to me pronto. Dr. Gordon told me that there was an obstruction in my ureter and a urologist was coming to talk to me about "options." I felt like I had been side swiped. Before the doctor came the anesthegiologist already had me signing consent forms. I waited and waited for the doctor and eventually my mom came to keep me company (she drove up that day). Finally a nurse informed me that the doctor would be there in a half hour and then I would be transferred. TRANSFERRED? Yes, I was going to another hospital. To have surgury. For some unknown reason. And the nurse wasn't sure if I could take Owen with me. Of course I was livid and I had a pretty major melt down.

Eventually (hours later) the doctors came by - the doctor who delivered Owen and the urologist - and that did nothing to set my mind at ease. Apparently the block in my ureter was a suture from the repair job on my uterus. The doctor didn't want to operate at Orem Community so I had to transfer hospitals. Fortunately I was able to bring Owen with me and my mom got to take us there - otherwise I would have had to pay for an ambulance. Meanwhile, my doctor had told me not to eat in case I went into surgery that night so I hadn't eaten anything for about 9 hours. One good thing about the transfer is that I made them give me a new IV. My original one was in a tender spot and had casued a lot of bruising.

So now the adventure continues down the road at UVRMC. We were off to a bad start when my mom pulls in to unload me and the staff tells her, "Oh no, she's coming in an ambulance." And they had no idea Owen would be with us. And they had different addresses for me and James. And no admit papers for Owen. What a delight. I got a crusty sandwich and then couldn't eat again since I would be "on call" for surgery (read: they would cut me open whenever they had a few minutes to spare). James made it to the hospital the next morning just before I went under the knife. The scariest part was that the doctors didn't really know what they were going to find or how exactly they were going to fix me - though they had their theories. They ended up cutting my ureter above the stitch and reimplanting it on my bladder. Otherwise they would have had to undo the stitching on my uterus, which would have meant lots of bleeding again.

The worst part of the surgery was that the recovery nurses and orderlies completely ignored me when I woke up and I literally had NO pain medication. It took me an hour to convince anyone that I wasn't getting the right amount of medication and then another hour for the nurses to fix it. Then there were a few miscommunications between the two surgeons involved resulting in some more unneccessary discomfort. It was pretty much a nightmare all around.

Again recovery went quickly and smoothly and I was determined to get out of that place by Friday. I did, with the forces of the entire hospital working against me - forgetful nurses, multiple pharmacy mixups, etc. Now I have a few follow-up appointments with both surgeons and an increased risk for kidney infection, but at least I'm home. And the nurses gave me some lovely guilt, I mean GIFT baskets. I'm thinking we might adopt from here on out....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Welcome to This World...

James Owen Gillice III

Hello Family, Friends and Fans...

James II here. We were expecting things to get a little crazy around here once Owen was born. What we were not expecting were the following:
  • Breech Baby
  • Emergency C-section (3am Monday)
  • Torn Uterus
  • Botched Repair Job
  • Emergency Surgery (Wednesday)
  • Days/Weeks of Recovery from that
I'm sure Desta will have quite a few more details to dish out when she is up and operating again. The good news is that she should be fine and Baby Owen is doing great. We are hoping to have both of them back home with us tomorrow.

Here are a few pictures taken in the last few days. Hopefully these will satiate the waiting masses.