What I’ve Been Up To

My last post was August 1st. Considering that tomorrow is November 1st, this post could be titled How to Let a Blog Die. Instead, I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to these past 3 months.

Thaddeus, at 4 weeks

On August 22nd, I gave birth to my 4th child, this one at home (first time). He was born just before midnight, and after about 50 hours of labor. 9lbs, 5oz was quite a bundle to push out, but I had no complications. My midwife with 2 nurse attendants were on hand, as well as my husband and mother. Little Thaddeus arrived, and was tucked into bed with me about an hour later; what a sweet prize after all that work!

My mom was able to stay for a week after Thaddeus was born, and when she left my 15-year-old sister Johannah stayed for another 3 weeks. Wow! what a blessing they were!

Thad has done fabulously; he gained about a pound a week his first 6 weeks (breastfeeding only), and sleep schedule is going well too.

However, we have had quite a learning experience with Pertussis (Whooping Cough). My three children began to show symptoms the week before Thaddeus was due (we knew we had been exposed) so we all took antibiotics to wipe out any bacteria that would be contagious to others, particularly the baby who was due any day. Unfortunately, the antibiotic doesn’t help the disease process in the patient, so all 3 children had a dreadful, scary cough (worse at night), which has only now begun to subside (11 weeks later). However, I was very grateful that we were able to catch it, and avoid exposing our infant.

But, 5 weeks later, Thaddeus began to have the same funny tiny cough the children had started with…a culture showed that he was now positive for Pertussis! This was outside the window for disease gestation, so we don’t believe that he could have even contracted it from our own family; it is obviously a highly contagious disease for him to have come down with it from casual exposure outside our home. It is quite dangerous in infants, with 87% requiring hospitalization. 8 infants have died in California already this season (it is an epidemic year for this).

However, Thaddeus has weathered Pertussis marvelously, perhaps better than the 3 older children. Many, many people were praying for him: family and friends across the country, and even many people who don’t know us (thank you if you were one of them). We thank the Lord for being so gracious to him and to us, and sparing him from hospitalization or even death. I’m also grateful for excellent and prompt medical care, and for the excellent diet I was able to pass on to him in breast milk.

We found that Vit. C, cod liver oil, and Guafinasin were helpful supplements for the children, as well as eucalyptus chest rub. And the silver lining on this experience is that these 4 children now have lifetime immunity, which is more than my husband and I can boast of through vaccination, which is only about 80% effective for about 10 years, they now believe.

In addition to all this, in September I began the school year with our 2 oldest (1st grade), hosted 2 waves of out-of-town relatives/guests, attended an out-of-town wedding, and experienced mastitis for the first time (probably because I was too busy doing all the above).

October has slowed down quite a bit and we’ve fallen into a good routine with school in the mornings, naps in the afternoons (I try to get one a week!). I’m still trying to cook in healthier ways, and taking pictures of the results to share with you. I think my house is more green than clean right now…hmm.

Yesterday was my birthday, and I spent the whole day with my husband redeeming Chinook Book coupons (green living coupons in Portland); will share all about it soon.

So I’ve been busy…but I’m back to blogging!