Tag archive for "casey"

Elasti-Girl Gets a Makeover

Giving Thanks

Elasti-Girl Gets a Makeover

4 Comments 04 December 2009

Pre-Quint Casey

Pre-Quint Casey

The picture you are viewing above is a picture of Ethan in a whole lot of trouble…no kidding!  This is a photo Casey took for her trainer after completing a six week, butt-busting, 5 am, six-day-a-week program to get into the best shape of her life…and she is going to KILL me when she finds out I posted it!  Sweet Casey is oh so modest…me, not so much!  I just had to show y’all how she looked one month before she got pregnant with the Fab Five…trouble or not!

And below is a photo taken a day or two before the Fab Five came into this world…whoa, look at that belly!!

The Belly!!

Alright, so I guess even Elasti-Girl has her limits…five babies was just too much for those belly muscles to handle!  If you do not know who Elasti-Girl is, follow this link before reading further: http://joneslife.net/wordpress2/2009/02/theres-a-new-superhero-in-town/.

As many of you now know, Casey underwent a mommy makeover on Monday and is well on her way to recovery!  She got nipped, tucked, zipped, and stitched by one of the finest surgeons in Houston, Dr. Jacob Varon, at the best hospital we have ever been involved with, South First Street Hospital in Bellaire (Houston), and in a few short months will be itching to go shopping for new bikinis…and I’ll be begging to tag along!

Tummy tuck…check!  Breast lift…check!  Many, many people have been so kind to point out that Casey is/was so skinny and tiny and did not need any of the above…the support was very sweet!  But Casey did have some pretty significant damage, mostly to her abdomen, that never would have been corrected through diet or exercise. There were three hernias that had to be repaired and her muscles had to be completely realigned because of the strain they endured during the pregnancy.  Dr. Varon explained to me that in some places there were gaps between her muscles that were greater than 5 inches apart…that is more than the length of an iPhone!

Now that she is home, Casey is facing about 4-6 weeks of pretty serious recovery and another 6-8 months where things just won’t be quite right.  She is not allowed to lift the babies for the first part of recovery, but after only five days, she is already regaining a lot of her mobility.  The pain is pretty intense at times, but she is able to manage it pretty well with her meds.  Hopefully those will not be necessary for too much longer!  I must say a huge THANK YOU to all of the volunteers for picking up extra shifts, cooking meals, and generally being totally awesome in helping us get through this recovery period!!!

Let's Do This!

Let's Do This!

And finally, a huge, Huge, HUGE THANK YOU to Dr. Varon (that is him with Casey above) and his staff as well as the wonderful folks at South First Street Hospital for donating, that’s right – DONATING – the entire cost of the operation and the post-op care!!!  They heard our story, they wanted to help, they had the resources, they offered them up…UNBELIEVABLE!!!  Not only are they incredibly generous, but also incredibly caring, professional, and skilled at the work that they do!  THANK YOU!!!!!

P.S.  I’d promise some “after” pics, but after posting the picture above, I may lose all computer privileges (along with a few fingers) for a good, long while…

Good Times

There’s a New Superhero in Town…

4 Comments 01 February 2009

Fair warning to the ladies reading this blog: DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING BLOG!!! I’m serious about this, don’t read it. If you love Casey and want to continue loving her, stop reading, close your webserver, and walk away. I promise reading the update below will definitely change the way you feel about her so please, please do not continue reading past this point!!

Now that we’ve gotten the fair warning out of the way, here goes. We’ve apparently got a new superhero in town and her name is Casey the Elasti-Girl. She can stretch her body to amazing lengths and pack on pounds like an NFL lineman in the off season all while nurturing five babies to good health inside her womb! Now that the babies have been born, we’ve discovered her new talents: snapping her skin back to its pre-pregnancy condition and dropping pounds like a beauty queen before the pageant!!

Ok, seriously, she weighed herself this morning and discovered that she had already lost 64 pounds. 64 pounds gone in just two weeks! For those of you keeping score at home, that’s 64 pounds gone out of the 72 that she gained while pregnant!!! I know, I know…it’s disgusting (unless you happen to be her husband!) and if you ignored my warnings you are probably plotting her demise at this very moment. You should have heeded my advice and just walked away, but you had to keep reading, didn’t you? Please, don’t hate her…!!

P.S. In all seriousness, part of the reason she lost the weight so quickly is that she lost a lot of muscle while she was on bedrest. We didn’t discover this until all of the swelling had subsided, but it is clear that her arms and legs are not near as muscular as they were before she got pregnant. She was actually in the best shape of her life when the pregnancy began. She is excited to get back in shape as soon as she is able…Go Elasti-Girl, GO!!

God bless,
Ethan
www.JonesLife.net

The Fab Five

Baby and Casey Update

5 Comments 22 January 2009

I’m going to try to make this relatively quick because it’s late and I’ve had a crazy busy day, but I wanted everyone to have an update on things. In general, the babies continue to do very well with everything though they all still have their little issues. Lila’s leg sore is looking much better as are the Ryan and Jack’s belly buttons. Brooklyn, Jack, and Ryan are no longer on the Billy light (the light that helps them get rid of their jaundice).

We got a bit of GREAT news today when the doctors sonogrammed the babies’ brains. They do this to determine if there were any “brain bleeds”. These brain bleeds are known to cause cerebral palsy and are common in premature babies. Click here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebral_palsy) for more information on Cerebral Palsy. Evidence of a few brain bleeds in each of the babies would not have been surprising, though would not guarantee that they would have CP. The bleeds usually occur in the first 4 or 5 days of life and after that, the risk is greatly reduced. Well, the GREAT news is that none of the babies had any brain bleeds!!

There is one issue that I would like to ask for everyone to add to their prayer list. They have picked up a faint heart murmur on little Lila which means that one of her valves is leaking. Again, this is something that is common in premies, but can develop into something very serious, including heart surgery. Click here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_murmur) for more info on heart murmurs. Please pray for Lila’s heart to heal up on its own, without intervention from the doctors!!

Casey is still dealing with high blood pressure, swollen calves, and a lot of soreness from her incision though she continues to make good improvements every day. She spent most of the day at the hospital and got to hold Jack again. She got to hold Lila last night for the first time while Eliot was there – pictures coming soon – and tomorrow she should get to hold Brooklyn. Ryan and Britton should get their turn by the end of the weekend!!

I know I’ve said this a lot, but I’m going to keep on saying it – we can’t believe how blessed we have been through this process. Yes, having five babies all at once is incredibly stressful and at times overwhelming. However, there are so many things that could have happened along the way to make this journey exponentially more difficult. We are continually in awe of God’s work in our lives through these five little miracles!

More info and pics to come sometime this weekend!

God Bless,
Ethan

The Fab Five

Update on the Babies…and oh yeah, Casey, too!!

5 Comments 19 January 2009

Babies, babies, babies!!! Did I mention we have lots of babies?? Wow! That’s all I can say to sum up the last couple of days…WOW!!!

Alright, so here are some updates on the Fab Five:

- Brooklyn has been the most relaxed of the five…she’s just totally chill everytime we go up. She was moved to an isolette (incubator) to help her maintain her fluids and heat. Eventually, all of the babies will make this move and will stay in their isolette for several weeks.

- Britton is going to be our little beach bum – you can tell she has really enjoyed freedom from the womb! Several times when I’ve been up to the NICU, she’s been completely stretched out like she’s laying out at the beach…too funny! She has a little issue that popped up today that they are watching pretty closely. She has a raw spot on the inside of her right leg that was probably caused by some urine getting between her legs. With her skin being so sensitive, it caused a really nasty looking sore to develop. They are trying to keep her legs open so it can heal up and not get infected. She has also been in competition for the loudest and has already been awarded the most high maintenance award. The instant she has a wet diaper, this girl is letting the nurses know!!
- Jack is also a little chill bug. Everytime I’m up there, he is perfectly content and chilled out! He doesn’t fuss, he doesn’t squirm, he just lays back and takes it all in. He is probably doing the best of all of the babies which is surprising because usually the premie boys don’t do as well as the girls. He is the only one so far to take a feeding and actually digest the milk. That’s my Jack!! Did I mention how big his hands are…HUGE!! ;-)

- Lila Addison is also pretty relaxed. She doesn’t make much of a fuss and doesn’t seem to be bothered by much. Her jaundice has been worse than the other babies so they have had her under special blue lights to keep it under control.

- Ryan is in competition with Britton for the loudest one of all. She is the only baby who was making noise in the operating room and she hasn’t stopped yet! They are keeping a close watch on her belly button as it appears to be developing an infection. The doctors have put her on IV antibiotics and are keeping the area moist with some triple antibiotic cream. They are not too concerned at this point, but are really monitoring her closely.

In general, all of the babies are doing really well for their age and weights. They all have little issues that they are watching, but the doctors are very happy with how they are handling everything. Everytime we go up to the NICU, the nurses give us a full report on each baby – they really throw a lot at you! By the time this is all over with, Casey and I are going to be able to take over…yeah, right! The babies are expected to remain in the NICU until we near their original due date, March 27th. It’s a long time, but they are in really good hands so we are not complaining. There is no question that these babies would not survive if it weren’t for all of the amazing care they are receiving!

For her part, Casey is still dealing with a lot of pain and discomfort. Her belly is extremely sore, her legs are still swollen, and it is still really difficult for her to do just about anything. It is a team effort to get her up out of bed and then back in again. It is frustrating for her because she isn’t able to stay on her feet for long which means she can not go up to see the babies very often. We made it up twice today for a total of about an hour and a half. Ladies, can you imagine only being able to see your newborn for an hour and a half every day? And not being able to hold them?? Not cool…

The good news, however, is that Casey will get to hold a couple of the babies starting tomorrow. They will do skin-to-skin holding with the two healthiest babies for about 30 minutes each. Studies have shown that this contact helps the babies grow better and helps Casey’s milk to come in better. It also allows Casey to come into contact with the germs that the babies are exposed to which will cause her body to build up antibodies to fight these germs. Casey will then pass these antibodies to the babies through her milk…AMAZING! Unfortunately, since there is no medical benefit to the babies, I won’t get to hold them for a few more days.

All in all, life is very good being a father of six! The days have been hectic and stressful, but it feels really good to know we’ve got five healthy babies working overtime to enhance the quality of our lives for years to come. It’s only been 3+ days and these five have us hooked!

Please continue to pray for Casey’s quick recovery, the babies’ health, and the well-being of the NICU doctors and nurses!

God Bless,
Ethan

The Pregnancy

Update on Casey 1/15 and Austin American Statesman Article

Comments Off 15 January 2009

Life is good! Casey had another good night, though not as good as the previous two. She didn’t sleep quite as well, but her contractions have been fairly well spaced and not as intense as they have been. They decided not to do labs again until tomorrow so we live another day without the threat of delivery unless her body takes a turn for the worse. The doctors are actually talking as if she can hold out another week to ten days…WOOHOO!!

We are also very excited about the FRONT PAGE news article the Austin American Statesman did on us this morning! The reporter, Andrea Ball, did a wonderful job of conveying our story and keeping the facts straight which is a big relief. They also did an on-line video story that was really well done. Check out the stories here:

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/01/15/0115quints.html

The video link is off to the left side of the article under “More on This Story”.

I have to say, however, there is a good bit of disappointment we’re dealing with this morning in regards to the response to the article. If you read many of the readers comments on-line below the article, you will get a good idea of what direction the topic of discussion went on 590 KLBJ this morning. There was quite a bit of hateful, self-serving feedback which, unfortunately, was mostly predicated on misinformation that people either deducted from the article or got from what was mis-reported on the radio this morning. Disheartening to say the least.

Because we know first and foremost that these comments do not represent the truth, nor do we believe that the hearts of Austin are as jaded as these comments suggest, I would like to ask for a little help. If you have the time, please log onto the article and register as a user so that you can post your own comment to the article. It may be a small token, maybe just a blip on the radar, but maybe it will change the direction of the conversation. And maybe, just maybe, it will allow God to work in the hearts of some of the folks who posted a negative comment this morning. I have already emailed KLBJ to offer my time to help answer some of the critics and provide the accurate information that was not reported this morning. Though I know we will never change everyone’s mind, I at least want one opportunity to set the record straight.

The main reason that we decided to publicize our story is because we believed that God could use us to impact lives that we otherwise would not be able to reach. I believe that he is doing this and I believe he will continue to do this as long as we keep the focus squarely on him. For our part, we will continue to get our story out to further this goal. Until we are led in a different direction, this is our call, and we will do everything that God allows us to do to answer that call.

God Bless,
Ethan
http://www.joneslife.net/

The Pregnancy

No News is Good News

4 Comments 14 January 2009

I have very little to report this morning…yeah! Casey had another great night sleep and seems to be settling into some sort of pattern. Good night sleep, decent morning, awful afternoon, decent evening has been the course over the last couple of days so we’ll see if that continues today.

Contractions are her constant companion, but they vary in frequency which makes a huge difference in her condition. Both Monday and yesterday, starting in early afternoon and lasting until early evening, the spacing was every 2-3 minutes. These are the roughest patches she goes through and they get everyone’s senses up that maybe the time has come. Yet, so far at least, the time has not come and the contractions back off to every 12 or 15 minutes by early evening.

She is still Pre-eclamptic, but she is stable and they will not be checking labs again today. Therefore, the only thing that would force delivery is if she goes into full out labor, the contractions never back down on their frequency, and her cervix begins to dilate. The exciting news about her cervix dilating: Casey’s was sewn shut at week 14 and if it begins to dilate, the suture will hold, while her cervix will not. While this does not present a significant health risk, the hope is that her labor will not progress so rapidly that this happens as it is certain to be incredibly painful…fun times!

Please continue to pray for Casey’s health and the health of the babies. The mental aspect of this fight is going to take its toll eventually and Casey will need all of the strength she has to keep her sanity. She’s one tough mama, but everyone has their breaking point. Let’s pray that this does not happen before her body decides it has had enough!!

God Bless,
Ethan

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