Saturday, December 29, 2012

Baby's First Christmas 2012

We started baby's first Christmas traditions on Christmas Eve when Evan got to open his first present--pajamas!--at the Packard Christmas party at Grandma and Grandpa Packard's house.

Evan and Uncle Austin show off their new pj's
 Evan woke up around 6:30 on Christmas morning, eager as ever to open presents.
We tried to let him unwrap presents on his own but he kinda failed so Mommy and Daddy helped him. Let me note here that I only bought Evan one present for Christmas: a rubber ducky. Let me also note that Evan had over 20 presents to open Christmas morning. He has very generous uncles and grandparents who are to blame for that. Consequently, present-opening took quite some time.

Really? A book for Christmas?
This is the point where Evan was so exhausted from opening his pile of presents that he sorta fell asleep. We let him open the rest with his eyes closed. His Giants and 49ers gear is from his Daddy and Uncle Josh. They must not know that Evan actually likes the Nationals and Redskins, like his Mommy.
Evan managed to wake up for a brief appearance on Skype to meet Uncle Nate who is in Bulgaria. Afterwards he tried to Skype with his Grandma Hudson to tell her about all the presents he got but he was a little too sleepy.
 We don't spoil our child.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

In lieu of a letter repeating the news and events you've read from us all year long, we mostly just want to express our gratitude for the love shown to us this year by so many people. In January I don't think I could have imagined a more unexpected year with so much heartache and so much joy from the hardest times our family has experienced so far. Thank you for your encouragement, prayers, cards, gifts, emails, diapers, and blog page views :)

When all is said and done, Isaiah and I feel we've ended this little journey closer to each other and closer with the Lord. My testimony of prayer and my faith in my Savior have been multiplied. I believe our Savior Jesus Christ lives and He loves us. I believe there is no more important knowledge than this to have as we begin raising our children and growing our family. We know God has been with us and has shown us many miracles in 2012 including blessing us with Evan. Here's to a less-eventful but equally testimony-strengthening year in 2013!

Merry Christmas!

Isaiah, Jenna, and Evan Hudson

Most believable Santa. Ever.
I'm the happiest Christmas tree! Ho Ho Ho! He He He!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Try Again

Bath #2

We bribed Evan to not cry during his bath by telling him he'd get to wear his new bathrobe afterwards if he was a good boy. It must have worked because there were no tears shed and he actually ended the bath cleaner than he started.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Evan and Aisley met this week. Their due dates are 16 weeks apart, but Aisley came late and Evan came early so they're only 9 weeks apart. Aisley is longer than Evan, but Evan beats her out on basically every other size measurement. He's no longer a preemie! However, Aisley beats Evan on smiles and giggles. When she gets in a laughing fit she'll laugh at just about anything you say and it's hilarious to watch!
Aisley: Hey Evan, give me some attention!
Evan: Umm...not interested
Evan: Aisley, lighten up! Watch me dance!
Aisley: We're certainly not in Boston anymore.
Austin: Babies love me.
Evan: Waaahh!

Grandma: I'm in heaven!
Aisley: I'm bored out of my mind!
Evan: I'm chubby!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Quick Health Update

I took Evan to his head ultrasound today. Long story short, no shunt yet! His ventricles have remained stable and, dare I say, maybe even shrunk a little bit?! We'll (always) continue monitoring and take him back in 2 weeks for another check-up and ultrasound. It's good to know he's on a close watch with the neurosurgeons at Primary Children's.

We also got really positive news from Orthopedics today. The doctor checked out Evan's past hip ultrasound and confirmed his hips look like they're in place. He felt Evan's hips and said they feel pretty secure now so I imagine we won't have any problems with them in the future. He also checked out Evan's feet and said he thinks they are positionally clubbed and can be fixed just by stretching them every day. He doesn't think they'll need casting or surgery like we expected. He also said this is the point where parents usually ask, "What will my child be able to do when he's 15? Walk? Play sports?" He said the biggest indicator or future mobility is the quads, and Evan's got great quads! The doctor said it's not a matter of if he can walk--the only question is if he'll need braces to help him. From an orthopedics standpoint Evan looks awesome!

When we got home from the doctor's I took off Evan's wound dressing and his cardio-respiratory monitor leads. For the first time EVER (except the first minute of his life) he was an accessory-free baby. No gauze, no tape, no wires, no tubes, no nothing. It was an overwhelming great feeling to hold just my baby.

Then I got a call from the Pulmonologist. We've been waiting for his call with the results from Evan's sleep study (when he was hooked up to a pulse oximeter to track his oxygen saturation while he was off oxygen for a night). We wanted to be justified for keeping the oxygen off even after the study was finished. He said the results were...slightly abnormal. Oh boy. I guess for 4% of the time Evan's oxygen saturation was in the 70's and 80's. That's just bad enough that the doctor doesn't feel comfortable recommending Evan to be off oxygen. He wants us to keep him on it and repeat the study in early February. I was really really disappointed. I'm glad, though, of all the negative news we could've received today, that the oxygen was the worst of it. Oxygen is just temporary--even if it's a few months longer than anticipated. It's just ironic to me that we were concerned about Spina Bifida but the only thing we're dealing with right now is oxygen--and that isn't even related to Spina Bifida.

We celebrated Evan's last moments of freedom by taking his first ever real bath. He hated it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bein' a Mom

Sometimes Evan doesn't seem like a human being. He's just an eat, poop, and sleep machine that I try to keep oiled and running smoothly. If it works well then I've succeeded. Then sometimes when I look at Evan the moment transcends what is actually happening and I feel like I can glimpse his soul and his emerging personality, and boy is my son hilarious! He makes the funniest expressions and my mind imagines what he would be saying and I just start laughing.

Tomorrow we're supposed to get a call telling us whether we can take off Evan's oxygen or not. Don't tell the doctors, but we already took it off almost a week ago. There's a lot of baby things that probably would have seemed inconvenient or hard had we not experienced them with oxygen on top of it. For example, carrying a car seat is hard. Carrying a car seat and an oxygen tank is even harder. So now that we only have to carry the car seat we love it!! It's so simple! Another example: Dressing a newborn is hard. Dressing a newborn from the bottom-up to avoid the oxygen tubes around his head is even harder. I thought pulling his clothes over his head would be a nice change, but his 99th percentile head is actually not that easy to pull clothes over, so I'm sticking with the bottom-up method for now.

Speaking of his big head (no offense, Evan), tomorrow we're going to get another head ultrasound to see if Evan's ventricles are getting too large for him to handle. If they start affecting his behavior then we'll look into getting a shunt in his brain. We were initially scared about getting a shunt, but now we realize that it's scarier if he needs a shunt and doesn't get one. We've noticed a few of the signs for needing a shunt including increased fussiness, changes in his sleeping pattern, sunsetting eyes (I'll try to get a picture of this), and increasing head size. Most of these signs can be explained away by other things and could just be "normal baby things," but since we've seen multiple signs we're a little concerned which is why we're having the ultrasound done. We just want Evan to be the baby he's meant to be.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Don't Cry Over Spilt Milk

Tonight I spilled a bottle of my pumped breast milk and didn't cry.

Now I will share a previously-untold story to show why this event was significant.

Date: Saturday, October 13, 2012
Time: Late at night
Place: Family house in San Francisco
Event: Phone call with Isaiah

Me: (bawling) Isaiah, the WORST THING EVER happened to me today.
(pause a moment to think about what is running through Isaiah's mind at this point. Our 5-day old baby is staying in the NICU.)
Isaiah: (very concerned) What?
Me: First, you had to leave today. But that's not the worst part. After your family dropped you off at the airport they came to the hospital to help me pack my things to take them to the family house. They had to leave before I was discharged so they took over my luggage and left it in my room there.
Isaiah: (confused) Was that the worst thing ever?
Me: NO. It gets worse. I wasn't discharged until after 5 so I was sitting around with nothing to do, just watching TV in an empty bedroom waiting for the doctors to give the discharge order.
Isaiah: Was that the worst thing ever?
Me: NO. The doctor came in to do a final discharge exam and I was feeling all emotional and stressed out about finally leaving the hospital so I was just crying to her and she probably thought I was crazy. Then my nurse came in and I was still emotional so I was just crying to her and she probably thought I was pathetic too.
Me: (rambling, and still bawling) When I was finally discharged it was after hours at the pharmacy so I couldn't pick up my pain meds. The nurse gave me one pill before I left but I won't have anything all night and I don't want to move because it hurts and that made me cry. And then I had to leave Evan in the NICU and I won't get to see him until tomorrow morning and I didn't have enough milk to leave him so he might have to have some formula tonight and I feel bad so that made me cry too. Then I got on the shuttle and the driver tried to talk to me but he just made me cry even more and then I finally got to the family house and I was hungry but I don't have any food here but then there was food left in the communal fridge from a meal some volunteers brought in. It was so nice but then that made me cry even more that people are so nice and the family house is really nice but also since it's after hours there was nobody here for me to rent a breast pump from so I had to use my hand pump. It was hard and my hand hurt and it took forever but then I had a totally full bottle and then when I was almost done it dropped and SPILLED...all over the bed and on the ground.
(pause while I start sobbing hysterically)
Isaiah: (hesitantly) Was that the worst thing ever?
Me: (upset that Isaiah didn't see the enormity of the tragedy that just occurred) YES!! It made me so sad and it took SO long to pump and my hand hurt and I had a full bottle and I'm not going to have enough milk for Evan tomorrow and it's the WORST!!
Isaiah: (very relieved nothing worse happened and trying not to laugh at his hormonal, emotional wife) Well don't cry over spilt milk!

Of course that made me cry even more! It was a long, hard night where I felt like the worst mother ever for leaving my child and for not keeping up with Evan's milk needs. Fellow beginning-breastfeeding-mothers will sympathize with me here. I figured I'd laugh about this experience eventually and tonight when I spilled that milk I did laugh at myself. And I didn't cry. This story may make me seem pathetic, I realize, but I hope to show how far I've come as a breastfeeding mom. I've got milk aplenty and even if I didn't I know my child would survive with a bottle of formula.

The end.