Friday, December 11, 2009

Never did I imagine....

First, a huge thank you for the prayers, gifts, food, help.....with Noah in the hospital for almost 2 weeks now, we couldn't have done this without the support.  
Never did I imagine...

-our little boy would be admitted to Alberta Children's Hospital on November 29.  We were sent by the Public Health Nurse who came to our home upon our discharge from Rockyview.  She was concerned about his high respiratory rate and his very poor feedings.  Upon being in emergency, he had a lumbar tap, a catheter, blood work, chest films, nasal secretion test.....and so on.

-we've have met over 20 professionals for a variety of theories as to what is going on with Noah.  More tests and medications followed as the days unfolded - upper GI, reflux medication, etc.  

-I am pumping, bottle feeding, breast feeding, cup feeding, tube feeding- anything to help our little guy eat.  

-OT assess him daily for his "disorganized suck" and "chompy jaw."  He works WAY to hard eating and uses all his calories just trying to eat.  Its sad, hard and frustrating to watch and participate in.  

-be ever so grateful to be parents to our Noah Pieter.  He is an absolute sweet pea and so beautiful.  We will forgot all about this when its over.  Right now, its just hour by hour and praying he will get better soon.  

For now, 

Dar, Jared and Noah!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Turning 7

So today is Tuesday and one week ago, just after noon, Noah was born.  

We didn't expect he'd be in the hospital all but one of those days, and from what we've heard, he may be there a few more.

He really is doing a great job being a baby, but as you can see he's hopped up on oxygen.  We can't help but wonder if his use of this performance-enhancing drug is giving him an edge--I'm sure he would win hands-down at any Olympic event in the seven-days-and-under category.

The troube is, he clearly needs the oxygen, and everyone would love to know why.  He's endured the full set of tests, LP, bloodwork, and prettymuch every other testable fluid he could unwillingly donate, and now we wait for the results.  I find it an odd position to be in, not knowing what to hope for.  You see him there feeding well and being so adorable, and it doesn't seem like he should be there at all.  We can take a lot of comfort in the fact that he doesn't appear unwell at all.  And being in the children's hospital, you don't have to look far to see all the unplanned/unexpected things that can and do happen.  Should we hope one of the tests come back positive so he can be treated for something, or hope they're negative?  I'm not sure.  We have heard of very similar things happening to new babies though, so we're not too worried; we would just like be a bit selfish and have little Noah spend some more time at home.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Welcoming Noah

Noah Pieter Dykstra 
November 24, 2009 - 8 pounds 13 ounces

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Times in between

There are many times that I felt life was "in between."  These seasons were not without purpose, enjoyment, or importance but were all significant moments for their own reasons.  

We are in one of those seasons right now in baby-waiting mode.  I'm actually okay with being overdue, truly I am.  It is fun to get all the tips to induce labour, feeling the anticipation that in less than one week we'll DEFINITELY have our peanut born, and simply relishing in time as "just" a married couple.  This season will never be again :-)

I was thinking about the other times in between and wondering if I savored and reflected on those situations the same way I'm doing right now.  

1.  The year off I took between high school and paralegal training....I worked at a bunch of random jobs that were fun and full of interesting people.  It was a stress-free and a really random time that I'm glad I had. 

2.  Going to Nigeria.  I took a leave from my job as a paralegal.  Actually I quit my job but my boss convinced me to come back to work when I was back in Calgary.  This time in between would help to shape me spiritually and it was integral in setting the scene for years to come. 

3.  Trinity Western University.  I call this a time in between because I really wasn't sure how to approach my university career.  It turned out to be an exceptional year of learning, development of friendships, musical encounters and pure joy.  Thankfully, most of my classes transferred to U of C when I decided to complete my degrees in Calgary!

4.  Dating Jared.  I'll admit we talked about the future pretty early on in our journey so we knew where things were headed  - hence the time in between label.  'Twas a lovely few months of choosing to love one another.  Side note to this season:  I almost failed Eco Biology and just barely finished 2 correspondence courses after buying all the possible extensions they offer.  We still laugh about that.

There you have it.  I'm sure the list could be longer but hey, clarity of thought isn't necessarily my strong suit right now.  By the way, what's on your list?

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Thanks to the sacrifices of our military past and present, my sister's kidlets were off school yesterday. Jared was working the holiday to maximize days off when babe shows up so aside from my weekly cleaning date with my mother (thank you!), I was glad my sister suggested going for lunch as an outing.

We head out to "Avocado," a spot which would accommodate the dietary needs of K. Despite his constant objections including "I not come out to lunch," we all walked hand in hand to the restaurant. Finding that many others had a similar plan for the holiday, a 20 minute wait was ahead of us. There is no way we were waiting with 2 hungry kiddies so we make a quick turn back to the vehicle to reorganize ourselves.

And then it happened. L spotted the golden arches across the parking lot and began the cheers for a happy meal. K didn't really react but did seem more on board with this plan than our original healthy plan. We caved. It was too easy, quick, cheap....our Dutch natures got the better of us and our chain of 4 moved towards the entrance of McDonalds. L easily settled on his standard cheeseburger happy meal, K got the chicken fillet burger without the bun, sauce, or veggies (so a cooked chicken breast), and my sister orders herself a happy meal - just so each kid would have a toy.

There wasn't a seat in the house since half the city had the same plan for lunch. After hovering over a few tables hoping they might become vacant, I suggested we head outside to the patio where a couple tables were available. Putting K in charge of straws, L in charge of holding the door, I thought I was being like a "real" parent and empowering my little lunch companions to help out. Except that was the moment I spilled one of the ketchup dixie cups on my rather large belly, and another one landed on the floor. "I'll help you Auntie," shouts L, attempting to smear it around on the floor. Thankfully my sister comes to the rescue with napkins. She mentions to a fellow sweeping the floor that some had spilled and he replied "I'm fine." I don't think the message got through. She also mentions it to the fellow taking her order. "Thanks" he replies, followed by "next!" I bet stains of my handiwork remain today.

We sit down outside, coat on for some, off for others. L leads the lunch prayer of "we fold our hands and softly say, thank you God for our lunch today." I think K was already eating. We get to munching and K proclaims several times that his "sandwich" is bigger than Auntie's. Fine with me.

I ask them both "did you imagine having a picnic lunch today of all days?" L gives with a toothy grin. K looks straight at me (another milestone) with his big eyes and says "its a beautiful day." It sure is, K, it sure is. I've never enjoyed McDonald's more than that lunch. Oh, and sis, I think I still owe you for the hamburger :-)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Piano - random act of kindness

As a teen, there was a nice little upright piano in my mom's den where I would compose songs, work on worship music and pretend to practice for my Royal Conservatory exams (sorry, Mom - at least I did well "on the fly").

One year the cost of tuning and the general need for cash caused the piano to be sold and replaced with a small keyboard. Now, this was certainly not as traumatic as it sounds - I was fine with it and life went on.

When I married Jared, he had this idea that a "real" piano was a splendid idea. Initially I dismissed it in favour of travel and well, a second university degree. I actually had forgotten about it until we began down the path of starting a family.

Enter piano chapter #1: sitting in a friend's backyard, her sister says she has a piano for sale. I get very excited and show a genuine interest in purchasing same. As the weeks pass, however, I realize that moving a piano from another city is more costly than I thought. Consequently, we let this one go.

Piano chapter #2: Jared puts the piano seeking into full gear, finds the "perfect" piano that is affordable. We move it to our living room. For whatever reason, I mention this new piece of furniture to very few folks.

This results in chapter #3: several weeks later, a lovely gal at church (who was present during chapter #1) brings Jared into her secret plan. The piano of #1 was going to be delivered from Edmonton via her husband who was on his way as they spoke. She had comprised a plan with several other folks to give us a "happy baby gift." Needless to say, we were speechless, followed by shock, followed by sheepish. "Um, er, well, we actually have a piano," was his response. The kind husband turned the truck around on the highway to head back home. No hard feelings.

We were left feeling very loved by this random act of kindness. Especially since it was composed primarily by folks we didn't know that well.

So, thank you MW, CW, LS and ES - you blessed us and showed us what kindness in action means. Sorry to have foiled your plan!

Here is the chapter #2 piano in our living room:

Monday, November 9, 2009

39 weeks, 4 days!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

K the great!

We have two lovely nephews, 7 & 5 years old. Now I must admit that I spent much more time with the older of the two in his first years of life. In my own defense, I was single at the time, lived 2 minutes away from my sister, and her home always had a wide variety and abundance of food available. Since I was in my 2nd year of university, you can understand why the food part was important. Thanks, sis! Point being, I feel like I know much more of L's personality, his passions (art, animals, advanced vocabulary etc), and what makes him tick.

So, it is always a pleasure to spend a little quality time with the younger of the two when I have a chance. Recently I had such opportunities thanks to maternity leave. Now, its probably worth mentioning that K, the 5 year old, is autistic. I have the utmost admiration for my sister and her family for advocating up the wazoo for this kidlet. Yes, Alberta is definitely the place to be for services but you still have to put tons of energy into obtaining the best situation possible for your child.

K thrives on routine and repetition which makes sense considering his diagnosis. For example, he has some consistent favourite things in life - his parents, his brother, my mom (Oma), his room, anything dangerous, a kitten named Rocket, and a select few dance tunes to name just a few. He has a few things he cannot stand: the framed picture in our basement stairwell, the library, L's hockey games, and barking dogs top the list. He likes to talk with a loud volume level which I love - each and every word he utters seems miraculous considering how hard he, his parents, therapists and caregivers worked to help him find his voice and the words to communicate in that voice. I take great delight in his "sayings" and here are my two recent favourite "K quotes."

1. On Halloween, when uttering the traditional "treat or trick" he added "I can't have chocolate!" This certainly left homeowners at a loss for words. He had nothing to worry about - his smart mommy traded chocolate for gummy candy at the end of the evening.

2. When seeing Little Caesar's pizza on his brother's plate - "that pizza makes me sick. I not eat it." He then happily munches on his gluten free/dairy free/nut free/chocolate free bread with special margarine and brown sugar.

I've always loved being an Auntie to these 2 boys. I hope I will honour the role and welcome our siblings into our children's lives the same way my sister has for me (& in the last years, Jared too)!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Here we go....

Hey there all you fellow bloggers and readers. It seems as though I've been drawn into the blogging society - perhaps it is the impending birth of baby Dykstra or the immense amount of time spent on my couch this pregnancy....whatever the case may be, here we are.

I'll give myself time to get acquainted with this process - I'll be sure to post the random thoughts that pop into my head, the interesting encounters and conversations with others, and of course some baby type stuff like pictures.