Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy 7th Birthday Colton Jack!

Complete opposites, they are. Nolan and Colton. Nolan took over two years to conceive. With that knowledge tucked away, when Nolan was 15 months, we stopped birth control. Colton, was the one-trick wonder. So I wasn't on the look out for him. But when September 11th, 2001 happened, I wept for days. I couldn't get a grip. I couldn't eat, feeling sick to my stomach. I felt what I imagined, the rest of the world felt.

Late one afternoon, I propped myself on the couch, one eye on the news, the other on Nolan playing with his golf clubs... and I conked out. I slept like the dead, deeply, soundly, till a I awoke to a small child wiggling my toe. OH MY! How did that happen? I hadn't slept like that since... I was pregnant with Nolan. One test. One plus sign. I did the math in my head... another May baby!

I had done so well carrying Nolan. I was sick with Colton from the start. I started with morning sickness that evolved into all day sickness. By 4 months, I was ready to be done! And Colton decided he was about done too :) So at 26 weeks I started to bleed and cramp and show signs of early labor. Dr. Johnson put me on bed rest and we determined that rest slowed all of the symptoms down. And activity, brought them back. The next few months were 1 part bedrest, 1 part blur. Our office manager became 1 part office gal, 1 part nanny to Nolan. We got through.

Colton in the meantime was growing. At just over a week before his due date, Dr. Johnson examined me and discovered I was already almost 5 centimeters dilated and the baby was already 8 pounds. She felt we should induce. She let me go home for Nolan's birthday, the 11th, but thought very possibly I may not make it through the party.

The day of the party the part I remember the most, is how desperately I tried to NOT go into labor, as if I could control it. But, Colton held off and we went in for induction on the 14th. If you compared the two births together, Nolan's overall was more difficult. But Colton saved all of the drama for the delivery. Just as he was about to enter this world, there was a big deceleration in his heart rate. It went low, and stayed low for almost 10 minutes as we worked to get him the last little bit out. After several pushes, Dr. Johnson said very firmly, I can't set up for a C-section fast enough... YOU have to push with everything you have and get him out! And I did. Between the two of us he came out, grayish blue, and a loop of cord around his neck.

As they worked on him he started to cry, and he pinked up. But as they went to pass a tube through his nose, it was met with resistance. They tried and tried. His little nostrils flared and he turned red in the face. They whisked him off to the NICU to examine him more fully. Over the course of the next few days, Colton was determined to have something called Choanal Atresia. Its a birth defect, where the back of the nasal passage (choana) is blocked, usually by abnormal bony or soft tissue formed during fetal development.

The only treatment for choanal atresia, is surgery, in which they make an opening through the tissue and bone and then try to place a stent in to keep it open. Ideally, the surgery happens when they are 5 or 6. To date, we have not faced having the surgery done. We deal with his breathing when he gets stuffed and can't move air efficiently. We know how to reposition him when he starts snoring and has apnea in his sleep. And the only part truly visible to the average person is the stringy discharge from his nose that most often he tries to just ignore.

But that aside, Colton is a pure joy. He spent his whole first year of his life sleeping in my bed so that I could suction his nose every couple of hours and we have been attached ever since. He is more contemplative and quiet. He is a good student and has a propensity for learning. He makes friends easily. Plus, depsite some harsh treatment from big brother on occasion, he remains loyal to him and always wants to play with him. Yet, he can play imaginary games alone for hours. He is a big mommy's boy and is such a little friend to me. I even see the resemblance he has to my side of the family, especially my younger brother.

There is something so pure about him. So refreshing and understated. He centers me. He grounds me. He delights me.

Happy 7th Birthday Bubba Jack! We love ya to the moon and back!

(I'll be at the cardiologist in the morning. I'll let you know what I find out when I return.)


I just got back from the cardiologist. The first thing he asked me about was if I knew Rick Westra, as Rick used to pitch and he would always throw the baseball hard at Dr. Pierce. He said he always thought Rick would get picked up by the Minnesota Twins some day. So I told him that Rick was indeed my husband and that despite a couple of tryouts for the Twins, that fast ball of Ricks was only in the 8o's (mph) and you need to throw 90's for pro baseball.

And then I got a thorough exam! He asked copious questions about my health history. Ironically, I used to have a history of fainting, which was always dismissed as anything related to my heart. But he said that could be a good indicator of something amiss and that needs to be checked. He then said I had 4 significant events of tachycardia during my holter monitor test. However, the rhythm of the beat was normal. Overall, my heart rate was higher than what they would consider normal.

So before he prescribes any kind of beta blocker to slow my heart rate down, he wants more tests. He also noted my liver function tests are elevated and I need to go back to Dr. Twedt for that. *sigh*

He asked about my preference for the tests and I said since we're paying out of pocket, I preferred the "cheap" ones. He laughed, but he also carefully explored the options with me before we proceeded.

So next week I will have an echocardiogram to look for any enlargement of the heart and for the shortness of breath and lightheadedness I'll do a stress test. I felt like he listened and asked a lot of questions, and he didn't make it seem overly serious, but he wasn't dismissive either.

Have any of you had a stress test? Does anyone take beta blockers? Anyone want to weigh in with their experience, I'm all ears! Thank you all for your prayers and concern :)


  1. Happy Birthday, sweet boy!!! Riley and I hope you have a day full of fun surprises :)

    [anxious to hear how the appt. goes, Vicky... will be praying for you.]

  2. Oh thank you for the Colton history! Happy Birthday Sweetie I'm so glad you were born!
    I was just coming over to find out about your appt. (thought you already had it.) Want to hear ASAP!
    love and hugs~Robin

  3. Does Colton have a monitor when he sleeps now? I know we as mums get use to broken sleep but it must become very different when you have to ensure the airways of your child are clear. I can only imagine the tiredness you must feel.

    Truth be told for me… I think I appreciate the things my children do more than I would if they didn’t have issues.

    You understand just how precious they really are.

    Enjoy the birthday celebrations.

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, COLTON!! I LOVE your name! My "Hunter" was almost a Colton!

    He sounds like a precious boy, Vicky, and I'm so glad God gives us just what we need. My son and I are so very close, too, and he's 14 now.

    Will they be able to do his surgery now or is that not something you guys are even looking at anymore?

    And I will be checking back to see what the doctor says to you this morning. I really want to know what's going on. Of course, we ALL do!

  5. Thank you, Gitz and Robin, for all the love and prayers!

    Liss, Colton does not have a monitor. His breathing is at its worst when he is stuffed up or he goes on his back or left side. But he has learned to roll over and reposition himself so well that we don't get up every time anymore, and he has a lot of nights he sleeps well all night. The first year I was a walking zombie :) And yes, they are precious!

    Robynn, we do need to find a surgeon to do the surgery, but since it isn't imperative right now, we've held off, partly too, out of the expense of it. Someday.

  6. Happy Birthday Colton! Love the pics!
    I take the blockers! They have worked for me!
    Will be praying for you!

  7. If it would be an ENT doctor you need, have I got the BEST one for you...Dr. Frisk. He was so good to me when Olivia broke my eardrum & when she was hit with a baseball bat.
    Happy Birthday to Colton. God gives us "easier" kiddos to compensate for our more "difficult" ones huh?

  8. Thanks Missy, good to know.

    Bonnie, the kids balance out, don't they! My mom used to see Dr. Frisk and really liked him, I'll have to keep that in mind, thanks for telling me.


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