About Me

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Hi I’m Jen- I'm one lucky lady to be married to the most wonderful man, Jason. I am a mother to three beautiful children, Grant, Norah, who was born with hydrocephalus, and Mason. I love spending my time with my family. I also like to challenge myself with new things. I'm on a constant quest to become more organized, it may never happen but it's a dream. I currently work part-time as a RN in an emergency department. I love this journey of life that I am on with God by my side, knowing that all things are possible when you Believe.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Taking a Fall

Norah has been attempting to take 2-3 steps by herself in the last couple of weeks, exiciting right? Usually she steps away from her walker to the table or couch, sometimes a couple steps from the coffee table to the couch. Jason and I have loved watching her working on her balance and taking steps. This morning Norah was giggling at her brother playing with a toy and wanted in on the action. She was sitting on the couch, so she slide off and started taking two step to the coffee table. As soon as I saw her take her first step I knew this was going to end with a fall, mad dash to try a catch her. She fell right into the corner of the coffee table, I expected blood, thankfully none. The was a deep line down her forehead that let you now any more pressure with her fall and we would have been off for stitches. Just a minute later the bump and bruise had already started. I tried to get her to snuggle into an ice pack for a half hour. She would hold her head against it for a few seconds then situp again. So we'll keep a watchful eye on here (as always) to make sure no other concerning symptoms arise.

It doesn't look too awful now, hopefully by Therapy Thursday it's barely noticable, a girl can dream...

Happy Easter!

This year we celebrated Easter at home, without any other family to share in the celebration. The thought of having to sit in the car for nearly nine hours made me have a couple contractions. I guess that's the problem living so far away from family, you never get to see them as often as you would like too. The weekend was a little lonely without them at times (especially going to church Sunday morning, no one to fight over bathroom time :) ) but we filled the week with lots of fun.

This year we were able to dye the egg before Easter, unlike last year when we did the week after Easter.


We were ready for church with time to spare, so we let Grant and Norah open the Easter bags that Mimi and Grandpa Bill had sent to them.

We headed to the Cheesecake Factory for brunch after church. I missed having a big Easter dinner to sit down at, but it was nice to be served with no dishes to do at the end of the meal. Norah didn't make it through the meal. First she spilt chocolate milk all over her dress. Then she feel asleep. Meanwhile Grant began crying after he dropped his last strawberry on the floor and we would let him pick it up and eat it. The waiter was so nice, he brought him a second full plate of strawberries.

Back at home it was time for an egg hunt. Grant and Norah loved running around the yard collecting eggs. Grant help Norah fill her basket as well as his own basket.

He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Happy Easter from the Zehrung's

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

32 Weeks

32 weeks 5 days to be exact, not that I"m keeping track or anything.

I am nearing the end of this pregnancy. It has been by far my best pregnancy, maybe that's way it feels like it has flown by or maybe because it I too busy chasing after Grant and Norah to think about being pregnant. I have had very little morning sickness. Other than my dental abscess adventure a couple weeks ago, I have not been sick or had any complications. I am blessed to be growing a healthy baby boy.

Yesterday I went for a checkup with my OB. It was timed prefect. I had been feeling lousy since Sunday after finishing my weekend marathon of work. I usually bounce back from the long weekend of working 12 hour shifts by Monday afternoon, but not this time. I spent all of Monday and most of Tuesday resting with my feet up and experiencing lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions. I was very thankful that Jason was working from home most of those days just in case I needed so help. By Tuesday I felt like I had done 1000 sit ups and continued to just not feel right. I am one that will sit back and just see what happens versus calling to check in. I had one of my contractions right as the nurse came in the room. The doctor checked me, my cervix is starting to change, no surprise, I am nearing the end. Then just to make sure our little man was happy in his home I had a non-stress test. Well, my usually super active baby decided this was the best time to finally take a nap. It took awhile to get him moving enough to make the test reactive, but in the end everything checked out.

This morning I had an ultrasound to check out the baby's growth by the perinatalogist I have been seeing with this pregnancy. The baby is measuring a week ahead, which is fine. I know he'll be here at least a week early if not a couple. I also will be having a csection again so I don't have to worry about him being to big to push out. I have to say I was disappointed that this baby did not want to show his face for the ultrasound. His current position, which he most likely stay, in head down and tucked in looking to the back. He also has his legs crossed and tucked in so we couldn't check just one last time to make sure we are still having a boy. Everything else looks great, so much so I am no longer being followed by the perinatalogist. I will just be checking in with my OB. I was nice to leave not having to schedule another appointment.

The plan for now is to try and keep working, minimizing the amount of heavily lifting and pushing I do. Also making sure I stay hydrated while at work. I am trying to not to carry Grant and Norah, but when it's sleeting and I'm on my way into Target, and Grant falls and Norah can't walk I find myself carrying and extra fifty pounds. I will try not to overdo it, and ask for help...sometimes most of the time I find that hard.  

Just one month left to....
  • enjoy little baby kicks, hiccups and punches
  • find a comfortable position to sleep in. Oh the tossing and turning and moving the half a dozen pillows I have to find just the spot.
  • dig out baby clothes that I saved after Grant had outgrown them
  • pull out the cradle and put it together
  • finish the blanket I have been crocheting
....oh my, this list could get long quick, maybe I'll stop and go work on some of it and the hundreds of other things that could be added, like getting the house on the market to sell....

Monday, April 11, 2011

Opening Doors

No hiding behind closed doors from Norah anymore. Jason was the first to find out this weekend. While using the bathroom, Norah decided that daddy wasn't to be left alone. She usually sits outside the door and plays knock-knock, but that will no longer do. She Wants In!

I thought I captured the picture while the door was actually open, but just a split sencond to late for the camera. Norah was playing peek-a-boo with Grant, while he was hiding behind the door to his bedroom. You couldn't help but smile after hearing the marvelous giggles that came from the two of them. The best part no fingers were pinched in the door!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Feeding Frustrations

After months of working with Norah on eating solid foods, a definate problem has emerged.

Yup. That's Norah holding all her food in her mouth about to spit out everything, after she has turned in to mush. Gross, huh? Ok it could have been a worse picture but I don't want to gross you out. No wonder this girl is so slow to gain any weight. We have shared our concerns with Norah's doctors in the past, but have decided something is obviously wrong and needs to address sooner rather than later.

Last week Norah has a feeding evaluation with one of the speech therapist through her Birth to 3 program. The result - Norah doesn't know how to chew. She knows how to bite into food to get a bite, but once in that's where it goes downhill. She keeps the food in her mouth and will move it around, but if it isn't soft enough or dissolve on its own, once she's had enough she'll graciously approach Jason or I and spit her leftovers into our hand. Yumm-o! Nothing better that a handful of partially chew food to keep your appetite up to finish your own meal.

The plan is to start working on this with a speech therapist on the same morning as Norah's physical therapy to get her chewing.

Not the Week I Had Planned

This week has been a long one to endure for this mom who hates giving in, especially when I have to ask for help.

It all began at 3:05AM last Saturday morning when I awoke from sleeping with a painful toothache. I took some Tylenol and snuggled into bed before heading off to the ER to work my weekend of 12 hour shifts. I made through the day somehow, with a little giggle to myself and increased sympathy to all the patients that checked into the ER for dental pain that day. After little sleep it was Sunday, and back off to work not feeling any better.  I made few phones calls to my husband looking for encouragement to make it through the day, and was thankful to leave on Sunday evening.  I called on right away Monday morning to get into the dentist office, they were able to squeeze me in at 3pm. How was I going to take care of Grant and Norah until then, the pain was getting out of control. Hold it together woman and focus, you can do this.

I arrived at the dentist office promptly at 3pm, desperate for the relief I needed. One xray later and little numbing medication to hold me over was sent to an endodotist down the road. The appointment was an hour later, by the time I was sitting in her chair for my root canal, all the pain medication had worn off and there were only tears to be had, sheer pain was all I felt. She did the root canal, but very little relief was felt. She told me that the abcess that had began above the tooth was only going to get worse and I needed to see an oral surgeon in the morning. Seriously! Ugg, this day wasn't ending in the way I expected. My past experience is root canal = relief.

I started my antibiotics and settled into another night of pain after I called in sick for my Tuesday nursing shift. Oh how I hate to call in, but there was no way to avoid this one. The bright side of calling in, it meant Jason would be home all day to help look after the kids so I could go to the oral surgeon and get some rest.

I called the oral surgeon right away in the morning, who then want a note from my OB to clear me for the procedure since I was pregnant. They also needed the xrays from the day before, otherwise they were going to take more. I didn't want to harm the baby anymore than I already had so multiple phone call were made, a little back and forth, the appointment was finally set for 2pm.  Oh relief is in site! I always tell my patients how much better they'll feel after there abcess is drained. Later I would learn never to use that line again. 

To occupy my time and distract me from the pain, Jason and I took the kids with us to vote, my vote counted if you haven't heard of the controversal Wisconsin election for the State Supreme Court. Our polling place is just a two blocks away in the park and it was a nice spring day so the kids spent a little bit at the park on the was home.

After my visit to the oral surgeon, I was nice a numb again, Thank goodness! but left with a tube in my mouth to keep draining the abcess. Yuck!  Also the doctor told me this is going to get worse before it gets better. What? I'm supposed to feel better after this is drained. Homeward bound, I enjoyed my few moments of being numb, still thinking I was on the mend. I was looking foward to the last appointment of the day, my 30 week OB visit. Tonight I would get to check in on the baby, who hadn't been to happy with me the last few days. I had hardly ate, what I did eat had little nutritional value, nothing but jello, pudding, mashed potatoes and soup broth. Anything that required any chewing was out.

By the time I got to my OB appointment the tears were back, the pain was at it's worst and my face was becoming more swollen by the minute. There was a quick meausrement and doppler of the baby's heart rate, then a prescription written for some serious pain medication so I could get some relief, and boy did I need it. This was becoming worse that labor, there was no end in site.

In my opinion, when you take two narcotic pain pills your pain should go away, at least for more than a hour, but not my experience this time. After a loooong, painful and sleepless night, I then had to turn to my husband and tell him there was no way I could take care of the kids that day. I felt horrible guilt, my primary job to take care of our kids so my husband could work, I couldn't do. I apologize a few times for causing such chaos in our life this week. I spent most of Wednesday sleeping.  Not to keep all the fun to myself, Wednesday night Norah had a fever and Grant was now coughing and sounded congested. Looking for the bright side, at least I could cancel Norah's therapy for tomorrow and not feel solely responsible for why we were going to miss.

Thursday, really it's Thursday, I should be getting better, but I'm not. I had a followup appointment with the oral surgeon in the afternoon. There was no way I was going to ask Jason to stay home again to take care of the kids. So I made a comfy spot on the couch and set Grant and Norah up with activities and planned to have the TV help me keep the kids entertained for the day. They are also still sick, Norah's fever broke in the middle of the night but she's still sleepy. Well, I didn't last long before I was dozing in and out of conscionsness. Then an hour later, I am half watching the events unfold before I fully grasp what I'm watching. Grant had decided that the glider in the living room needed a makeover and he was giving it some color with his markers. Oh, where was this day going, only a hour had past. Well, let's just say the kids weren't going to let mom sleep on the couch all day.

I did ask Jason to be home in time to cart me back to the oral surgeon's office to have my drain removed. The doctor removed the drain and squeezed my cheeck one finally time, oh the pain again!! Then sent me on my way, telling me I should be great by Monday. That is so hard to believe right now.

Well, it's Friday. There will still be no pictures of me taken, as I look like I may have had a stroke. The left side of my face is twice the size of the right. The is no movement of my lips or cheek if I try to smile, which I try not to do because that too is painful. I however am starting to feel better. I have take much better care of the kids today, towers have been built, tea parties had, and lunch was made. Now, I am enjoying the peace and quiet of nap time.

The biggest bummer that all the fun of this week has brought is that we are not all currently packed into the car for an eight hour drive to my brother's house and going to get to see all of my family. We will be missing our newest nephew's baptism this weekend. We are so sorry, Jeff and Sara, that we cannot be there this weekend.

Graham, welcome to God's family!