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Welcome to my family blog. I have been married to Mike for over half of my life. I love my Savior, Jesus. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to six terrific, interesting children. My 3 oldest were born to me in my younger years, while my 3 youngest were given to me by God in my older years. I am very blessed. ~Cheri


Jack Turns 12!

Jack was my dream for over 4 years.  After losing our 2 daughters to premature delivery and 20 weeks of bed rest carrying Seth to term, I was done with children.  So, Mike and I made the decision to make it final and permanent.  No more children for us!  Then that tugging at my heart started when Seth was about 6 months old.  What have I done?  Surely, we made a mistake when we said, "no more".  I was a mom, a newly stay-at-home mom with 2 beautiful children.  How could I ask for more?  But, I did.  I prayed day and night for another child.  I had no desire for adopting, no desire for foster care.  I wanted to carry my child in my womb.  I researched infertility treatments and reversals.  I prayed a lot.


Finally, after 4 years of prayer and research, I found a doctor in our area, and we started IVF (in-vitro fertilization).  We were very fortunate in that our insurance actually paid for the procedure, which, at that time 12 years ago was unusual.  It was all interesting...the whole process with all the doctor visits.  But, our process was rather simple.  I did not have a fertility issue, my bridges were just out, and we needed a way to get "home", by going through an alternate route.  The big day came.  We decided ahead of time, that we'd only make babies we were willing to keep.  We did not do the "fertilize all the eggs, discard the ones that did not look good".   We just said "2".  Well, those 2 were placed in my womb, and we waited.

Two days before we were scheduled for the blood test, something appeared to be wrong.  Once we had the blood work completed, I was indeed pregnant, but the levels were very low.  The doctor said, "We can let mother nature take its course, and you will miscarry.  Or, we can start giving you progesterone, and hope for the best."  Well, the mama bear instinctively said, "Give me the meds!!"  So, I started on extra progesterone daily for a few more weeks.  My next blood test 4 days later showed my levels rising at the appropriate rate (apparently, they are supposed to double every 2 days).  I kept having my blood taken for the next week, every other day.  By the time I was 6 1/2 weeks along, I was ready for that first ultrasound.  I was so nervous.  But, on the screen, I saw the most beautiful image of the tiny heart of my son, blinking away.  My doctor responded, "This is really more than I could have hoped for.  I really felt that you would come in today and there would not be a heartbeat."  I told him that we had many people praying for us.

My pregnancy continued on, and as usual, my contractions also started before the 20th week.  I was medicated with an infusion pump in my leg (as with Seth's pregnancy), and I was in and out of the hospital a couple of times trying to keep my contractions limited to under 4 an hour so I would not dilate.  When I was 35 weeks pregnant, I was taken off my infusion pump.  Imagine the joy of being able to shower without that thing hooked into my leg.  I slept so well that night.

The next morning was Saturday.  I slowly took my time getting showered and dressed.  I remember sitting in the living room with Mike.  Then it felt like I wet my pants.  I went to the bathroom.  Nothing.  I sat back down, and it really felt like I wet my pants again.  I went back to the bathroom, and lots of water came out.  So, I knew THIS WAS IT!  I told Mike that my water had just broke.  We took our time getting to the hospital.  I thought since I'd been contracting for the last 20 weeks, I could last another few hours.  Once we arrived at the hospital, there was some concern about Jack being 5 weeks premature.  But, Mike and I walked the halls, played cards, and watch Wheel of Fortune.  Finally, I could bear the pain no longer, and asked for the epidural.  I received the reply that no woman in labor wanted to hear, "You are too far along for an epidural.  You will have to deliver without one."  What?!  I was exhausted, overweight, hungry, and in pain.  I wanted my epidural!  After dozing on and off between contractions, Jack was ready to be born.  But, my doctor was no where around.  The nurse told me "don't push".  Don't push?!!  The nurse proceeded to "hold" Jack inside, waiting for the doctor.  I ended up kicking the nurse.  The nurse ended up pushing the "emergency" button, bringing all the Neonatal Intensive Care team into my room.  The NICU doctor told the nurse, "go ahead and let her go".  Wow, thank you!  Another doctor was pulled from the hall to deliver Jack.  She was great!

After NICU took Jack to check him out, I got myself cleaned up, and waited for the nurses to bring my son to me.  I waited, waited.  Finally, when I asked for him, a nurse came to my room.  She said he had to be taken to NICU to be put on antibiotics as a precaution to his irregular breathing.  Imagine my panic?  I quickly headed to NICU to nurse my baby.  He looked beautiful and perfect despite the big blood hematoma on his head from the nurse holding him in.  Yes, he had an IV in his forehead, wires all over his body, but he was just perfect.  After Jack's results came back negative, he was sent to regular nursery and his IV's were removed.  Then he became jaundice.  Very jaundice.  He could not go home with me on Monday.  So, when Monday came and I was discharged, I stayed at the hospital until late that night.  Early Tuesday morning, I headed back to the hospital and spent the whole day with him.  Jack was able to come home on Wednesday morning.  So, I was up early, ready to head out the door with everyone else to be together as a family of 5.

I was so fearful.  I was worried about Jack.  He was 5 weeks early, but seemed to be a healthy baby boy.  He slept about 22 hours a day those first few weeks.  He was slow to do the normal activities of my other children.  He did not sit up well until he was about 8 months.  He finally crawled at 11 months and walked at 14 months.  His first sentence was not spoken until the age of 3.  To this day, Jack is a young man with few words for anyone.  He really has to know someone well before he will have a conversation with you.  Even saying thank you to his sister, Jordan, is like pulling teeth!  A friend once said that his goal in life was to have Jack start a conversation with him.  It never happened.  Jack is a man without guile.  He always speaks the obvious truth, even if it hurts.  He's currently engrossed with geography, populations, mountain elevations.  He knows all 50 states, and a bit of information about each.  He wants to move to Alaska, or some place with large mountains with snow on top, pine trees, and grizzly bears.  Mike's job probably won't move him to Anchorage, but that is where Jack wants to go.  Or Barrow or Nome, Alaska.  Anyone out there living in Alaska or Pacific Northwest with a view of Mount McKinley, Mount Hood, Ranier, and want some visitors, please let me know.

Jack picked out the dirt/mountain cake with worms

We played this geography/culture/language/customs game only about 6 times in the last 24 hours.  Jack now knows that the president who was also an actor was Ronald Reagan, not Bill Clinton.

Jack is my sweetie.  I love talking to him.  On our rides in the car alone together, he talks and asks dozens of questions.  Are people rich in Wyoming?  Why is the population there less that 1/2 a million people?  Does everyone who lives in Alaska know how to ski?  Can I breathe in high elevations?  Is there hot water in Nome, Alaska?  How long does it take to heat the water?  What kind of heat do they have?  Is there always snow on Mt. McKinley?  I get over an hour of questions while we are in the car together.  I just love hearing his inquisitive mind speak.  Thank you, Jesus, for my son, Jack.

7 kind words:


Happy Birthday, Jack!! I hope you have a great day.
Love the dirt cake. :)


He's so handsome! His baby picture...oh my how cute. I would of thought he was a girl, he's so beautiful. :) Shsshhs don't tell him I said that. :)

Learning Together at Home

What a wonderful story! Happy Birthday Jack! Happy Mama's Day to you Cheri!

Serving the King

That was beautiful! Happy Birthday Jack! He's such a cutie!

Mike and Barb

Happy Birthday, Jack!!
What an "overcomer" you are!
And yes, people in Wyoming are VERY RICH *LOL* - NOT! Well some are, some aren't, just like everywhere else. And why are there only 500,000 people living here? Because it's bare, and hot, and you have winter 6 months or more out of the year. And you have to be happy with shopping at Wal Mart. And with driving a LOT. But you get to see the most beautiful skies. The longest shadows, and the most colorful sunsets. And you will have people ask you which state Wyoming is in.
And I could go on.....


What a lovely tribute to Jack! How well I remember all of that! He is a blessing and please give him all our love!!! Happy Birthday, Jack-sandwich!!! =)
The Reid's


WOW!! Thank you for sharing Jack's story of his coming into your family! Powerful all that you went through, but the Lord has mighty plans for that boy! :)

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