Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hearing Update

Since we moved to Salt Lake we have had access to so many more resources for our little Weston. We live 15 minutes from both schools for the deaf, the deaf community center, and Primary Children's Hospital, who have the countries leading pediatric audiology department. It has truly been a great blessing (which both of our moms made a point of before we even realized how much was available to us).

When we started early intervention services here in SLC they immediately referred us to the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind to do some further testing. This is an awesome resource. They are a public school that uses a large majority of their budget to keep an up-to-date audiology clinic in their main office! They offer free testing for kids with hearing loss in the Salt Lake area and are sooooooo kind!

We took Weston there to do a sound booth test. Which is basically what it sounds like. They put the child in a sound proof booth and put fancy medical ear buds into their ears. They then play sounds ranging in volume, frequency, and type and check for a response from the child. While this test is helpful, with someone as small as Weston there is a margin of error of about 10db in either direction. A lack of response can be attributed to a boring sounds, loss of interest, sleepiness, etc. His sound booth results were showing that he was responding at 110db in his right ear and 50-60db in his left. (If you remember from previous posts normal hearing range is from 0-20db and speech sounds occur at about 40-55 db.) After looking at his tests the audiologists at the school referred us to Primary Children's to have another ABR done.

What is a ABR you ask? An ABR is an auditory brainstem response. While the child is still/sleeping they hook electrodes to the babies head. They are checking the response from the brain which reflects the response of the inner most part of the ear. They again put in fancy medical ear buds and play sound of different type, frequency, and pitch and check for a response. This test is more accurate because the child is sleeping and the responses are more like a reflex that the brain automatically produces.

Now that Weston is older getting an ABR isn't as easy as it once was. Because he is so active to get proper results they have to use sedation. They use whats called conscious sedation. Basically a deep nap where he still has control over his own breathing. We had to be admitted to the hospital to perform this test because the drug is administered through an IV. We got there at 9:30am and were there until 1:30. It was a long day! Weston couldn't eat for 6 hours before the test and went more than 12 hours without food. When he woke up from the sedation he was mad!! And very very hungry! They weren't successful with the first IV and had to do a second, he didn't love that. And he kept waking up from the sedation in a crying daze (kinds of like a night terror kind of reaction). But other than that it went really well and we got really accurate responses/results.

We had an ABR done when Weston was 2 weeks and again when Weston was 4 weeks. Both of those showed that Weston's left ear was hearing well within normal range and that his right ear was registering sound at 75db. His newest ABR shows that his left ear is hearing at 60-70db and that his righ ear is showing less than 90bd (90db is the lowest an ABR can detect and at this level Weston had no response). Needless to say, his hearing has gotten much much worse, dropping below hearing speech in both ears.

Game Plan: We went to see our new audiologist who fitted Weston for a new hearing aid and 2 new ear molds. We bought his first hearing aid when Weston was 2 months old which is decently high powered. They are going to move this aid to his left ear and we are borrowing another, more high powered, hearing aid from Primary Children's for his right ear. We will see how he does with that. In six months or so we will go see a cochlear implant specialist and explore that option. Tomorrow we are going to see an ENT who will explore more medical possibilities of the hearing loss and work to find a cause. He will most likely do a scan of Weston's ears for which Weston will have to be sedated again. Since he will already be sedated we will try to do another ABR at that time. Because the eyes and the ears of a fetus develop at the same time we will also go to see an optometrist just to make sure everything is fine there.

We are at the very beginning of a long process of doctors, tests, potential surgeries, etc. BUT at least we are on a path. In Rexburg we weren't moving forward or doing anything about his hearing, we just didn't have the resources. Moving to Salt Lake has been such a blessing for Weston. We are finally moving forward!!

Side note: For those of you who didn't know, we kind of got the job in SLC out of nowhere. Jesse applied for the job with no expectations of even being considered for the position. When we got it (and when every other more hopeful application fell through), we felt like the Lord was directing us to Utah for some reason (and we were very reluctant to leave). We didn't know why for a really long time, but now we see that the Lord was very directly looking out for our family. Thanks to everyone who has been fasting and praying for us and Weston. Even though things haven't turned out the way we hoped, we have been filled with peace and have been blessed with resources to help us along the way.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Why Having a Child with Developmental Delays is Hard

Warning: This post is long but I have included pictures (that have nothing to do with this post) of potentially the cutest baby to ever live to help you get through it.

The Developmental Delays:
If you're following our blog (or our lives) you already know that Weston was born with profound hearing loss in his right ear. While we have remained optimistic of a fairly normal life and development, as he gets older we are learning that some adjustments may need to be made in our thinking. Since we've moved to Utah (oh, and if you didn't know, we moved to Utah. A blog about that will come in the future) we have been in contact with DDI Vantage, Utah's early intervention program. After several rounds of tests we are learning that Weston is actually a lot farther behind in his receptive and expressive communication than we thought. We assumed that with his hearing aid and his one good ear that he would hear close to normally and develop normally. However, his therapists are worried there may be something we aren't catching in his hearing tests to date, a ringing or static in his hears or deficits in his left ear as well, etc. Weston's receptive language (what he understands ie: his own name, common words, etc) is measuring at a 5 month old level. Example: Weston does not even respond to his own name. His expressive language (how he communicates) is measuring at a 3 month level. Example: he still doesn't make any consonant or babbling sounds. Overall, Weston is a lot farther behind than he should be having one good ear and an aided ear. Conclusion: there is something we are missing and the unknown about his condition just got that much larger.

Now, why being a parent to a child with developmental delays is hard. This is no longer just about hearing loss but I imagine all parents who have children with delays have felt something like this at some point.

1. Responsibility
I feel a great weight of responsibility. In that, even though I know his condition was probably unpreventable I still feel like somehow it was my fault. That being said, as children develop there are things parents can do to help aid the process (games, certain toys, face to face time etc) and its here that I feel the greatest weight of responsibility. As a parent with a child with any sort of delay you are going to experience a million tests. When your kids are younger a lot of these tests are performed by asking the parents questions about the child. The more questions you are forced to answer "no" to the worse you feel as a parent. You feel like you're not being a parent at all, that you're not spending enough time working with your child, or that you're not helping your child enough. You start to wonder about all the things you're doing that could be holding them back or all of the things you're not doing to propel them forward developmentally. While feelings of inadequacy among all parents is common, a parent of a developmentally delayed child calls into question every parenting decision they've ever made and forms stories in their head of how those decisions caused the child's delay. The challenge then lies in dealing with and ignoring these feelings.

2. The Unkown
The unknown is potentially the worst part. Not knowing what your child's future will be like. Not knowing how to help them. Not even knowing what's wrong and what's causing their delays. Not knowing the answers to peoples questions. It is hard to patiently wait in the dark for the next test results that may or may not help you understand. I don't know how to describe it except just that. Not knowing is hard it leaves too much room for "what ifs."

3. Protection
Any parent feels an overwhelming amount of pride in their children. Us parents, we're a protective bragging bunch. Even though my baby is 10 months old I have already spent a significant amount of time worrying about how people will treat him. Since he is not speaking yet our therapists suspect he may have an accent (another unkown), he will most likely have a hearing aid, he may have an interpreter at school, etc etc. Anyone who knows my son knows that he is just a little angel. Seriously, the sweetest little boy. But he's also very very sensitive. The thought of my child being hurt because of someone's cruelty or ignorance breaks my heart. My mother bear instincts have already kicked in and I'm sure they will only continue to grow as I am forced to fight for my son.

As a parent there are a million things to worry about. As a parent of a child with developmental delays it adds an extra oomph to the worries, fears, and heartaches. We love our son. He is a blessing and we would not take him any other way. Raising him will have some extra challenges. However, knowing the struggles at the beginning of and throughout the journey make the success that much more sweet!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Weston's Ears

If you read our last post you know that Weston had struggles after birth. His fever was so high that they gave him an antibiotic. Before giving him the drug I was required to sign a waver agreeing to give him the drug because it has been known to cause hearing loss (1 in every 10,000 cases). Because he was given this drug they were required to do a brainwave hearing test before he could leave the hospital. Which Weston passed in his left ear but failed in his right. It is actually common for babies to fail the hearing test in the hospital because of fluid stuck behind the ears etc. So from there we were sent to a hearing specialist who retested his hearing.

When we arrived at the hearing specialist he was confident that Weston would pass because 98% of the babies he retests from the hospital do. I knew something was wrong right away. Our doctor kept looking at the screen then going over and rechecking to make sure everything was hooked up right. He explained that Weston wasn't responding at all to speech level sound in his right ear and compared it to the results from his left. After that he did a pressure test to make sure all the parts of Weston's ear were functioning and that there wasn't liquid from birth stuck there. Weston passed that test which means that his hearing loss is not because of a damaged ear but is caused by nerve damage. Though all the parts of his ear are functioning because the nerves are damaged they are not sending signals to the brain so his brain doesn't register that sound is there. Of course we were the 2% that didn't pass the hearing test and the 1 in 10,000 that is affected by the antibiotic.

Once we discovered that this was not just a fluke we were sent to see a pediatric hearing specialist to see what we could do about helping him. She retested his ear to see exactly at what levels he was hearing. Ears are really complicated and I'm still learning myself but I'll give you a crash course on how it works.

Hearing test results are charted on an audiogram which measures both volume and pitch. Below is an illustrated version that kind of gives you an idea of where everyday sounds would be charted.

Weston's right ear shows a pretty flat horizontal line right on the border of severe and profound hearing loss ( around 100 dB). Meaning when he is about 50 ft away from the sound he can hear a truck, lawn mower, chain saw, motorcycle. airplane, siren, jack hammer, band, and firecrackers. Just like vision decreases overtime hearing also decreases over time. It is expected that Weston's ear will only get worse and not better. Our pediatric specialist suggested we fit him with an aid as soon as possible in order to keep the nerves working and slow down the deterioration process. So when he was 2 months old he got his first hearing aid. 

That brings us to a discussion on hearing aids. While hearing aids are great tools they do not restore perfect hearing to the ear. Hearing aids as a general rule only restore up to half of what is lost. So with his hearing aid Weston is able to hear around 50dB. As you can see in the chart that is right around where speech becomes audible. So even with his hearing aid Weston will struggle to understand conversation from his right side. The other thing that people don't realize about hearing aids is they are extremely annoying, especially in young kids. Hearing aids work like a microphone. So if Weston lays on it or puts his ear right up to something it will give feedback just like a squeaky microphone. It's also tricky to take it in and out for naps, baths, and bedtime. And because they run on batteries it will be just your luck that you forget an extra when your out for the day or on vacation and the battery dies. Also, they aren't water proof and keeping it out of a six month old's mouth is quite the challenge!!!

Ideally Weston will benefit from the hearing aid and enjoy using both of his ears. However, many people who have perfect hearing in one ear say that the artificial noise from the hearing aid is distracting and choose to just adapt to their one ear. Having hearing only in one ear can cause balance and spacial issues (which we have already started to see in Weston). Weston is a little behind developmentally because he can't balance. So he's not sitting up, crawling, rolling over, etc. He also gets really confused when he hears loud sound. When sound is made he almost always turns towards his left and continues to turn in that direction until he has located the sound. 

That being said Weston also has extra abilities and strengths. His eyes (in compensation from his ears) are extremely alert, open, and focused. He recognizes even just the slightest emotion from facial expression. He can mimic facial expressions and has a never ending plethora on hilarious expressions. He is extremely focused. He doesn't get easily distracted by sound so as long as whatever he is looking at is visually stimulating he will stare uninterrupted for hours. He also sleeps really well. We live right on the railroad tracks and even though a train rolls through our backyard in the middle of nap time Weston sleeps on. 

Right now we are trying to keep his nerves active in an effort to save his hearing by using his hearing aid. People often ask about sign. While he should be able to carry on an intimate conversation normally, group settings will be a challenge. So I am learning sign language so I can more easily communicate with him in these types of settings. 

While his ears have been somewhat of a challenge they have also been a blessing. I'm learning a skill that is blessing my life immensely that I would have never learned otherwise. Weston will also be blessed with challenges that will build his character. People often have a lot of questions so feel free to ask anything!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Weston Samuel Hyde- Birth Story

Here is both mine and Jesse's account of Weston's birth. It's really long but overall a good read. If you want the details of the birth read my account. If you want the emotional experience of the birth read Jesse's. Better yet just be well rounded and read both!

Weston's birth from mommy's eyes:

It was the 12th of November and it was for me, just another school day. I woke up feeling pretty good. I went to class at 7:45 in the morning. Towards the end of the class I started to feel uncomfortable. By my 9:45 class my back felt like someone was stabbing me with a knife. I spend most of my second class listening to the lecture from the hallway, pacing, and stretching. By the time I got home my back was absolutely killing me! I had barely sat down with my heat pack when Jesse called. Our real estate agent had a house she wanted to show us. So I met Jesse at her office and we drove out to the middle of no where to look at this house (luckily her car had heated seats). When we got home I got my heat pack and laid down to take a nap.

I was woken up a short time later by the dull stabbing in my back. Jesse called to see if he could get anything on his way home from work and I told him about my back. I jokingly said, "I think I'm in labor!" Though I never imagined I was actually IN labor. The contractions started to come and I was still uncertain I was in labor. I kept thinking they were just braxton hicks. I wasn't due for 2 weeks and everyone said my first baby would be late. I think I was trying to pretend I wasn't in labor because I wasn't ready to have a baby. We hadn't even packed the hospital bag or typed our birth plan!

When Jesse got home we started timing my contractions they were 2 minutes apart but were only lasting 30-45 seconds. I took a shower while Jesse started typing our birth plan. Soon my contractions were a minute and a half apart but still only lasting 30-45 seconds. We decided that now would probably be a good time to pack the bags. That's when things started moving faster than I was ready for. (Warning: if your not comfortable with birth or descriptions of the bodily fluids skip to the next paragraph.) At about 6:30 pm I started bleeding more than just typical labor spotting. I called my midwife and she said I should come up to the hopsital to be on the safe side. We left thinking we would be back and didn't take anything with us. When we got there I was only dilated to a 3 but my contractions were a minute apart.  My midwife said the bleeding wasn't normal but wasn't super concerning either. Since I was almost a four (the minimum they like you to be dilated to before letting you stay at the hospital) my midwife said I should go walk and then they would check me again. At that point if I hadn't progressed they would send me home to labor for awhile more. I went for my walk, came back, and was only monitored for a few minutes before Weston's heart rate fell practically off the charts. They continued to monitor me for the standard 20 minutes and his heart rate dropped twice more and the bleeding became more heavy. Even though I was still only dilated to a 3 my midwife came in to inform me that the bleeding combined with his little heart rate stunts meant I was at the hospital to stay until I had the baby (this was about 8pm). ***Shout out to Ben for finishing packing our hospital bag and bringing it up to us!!

Every time I stood up, changed positions, or tried to walk around Weston's heart rate plummeted. So I was confined to my bed, hooked up to machines, for the rest of labor. My original intention was to do a natural labor. However, my plan was to use movement, hot tubs, and back massage/pressure to help me get through it. Not only was I stuck in bed but I had to lay in very specific positions without moving in order to keep his heart rate in a healthy zone and avoid a c-section. I labored like that for about 2 hours but finally threw in the towel. I was having extreme back labor and in the positions I was laying Jesse couldn't even reach my back to apply pressure. Despite what I had originally wanted I went ahead and got the epidural. After that things seemed to fly by. Occasionally Weston's heart would dip and a team of nurses would come in to rotate my position. I tried to sleep but only slept for 4-5 hours. It was worse than waiting for Christmas, I was so excited I couldn't manage to stay asleep. While Jesse slept I watched movies. Finally at 7:30 the morning of the 13th I was so bored I made Jesse get up and play cards with me. As soon as we started playing my midwife came in and checked me and said I was ready to push. For someone who has been laboring for 21+ hours that is great news!

I pushed for about 50 minutes or so. It was pretty intense though. We were trying to push as hard and fast as possible because Weston had been/was so stressed. His heart dipped a million times during pushing and all I could think was if I don't push this baby out soon they're going to have to do a c-section. That was great motivation. Before I knew what was happening Weston was out and crying, I was crying, and Jesse was crying. Weston only got to stay with us for 5 minutes before he was taken to be weighed, measured, etc. During all of that they were trying to get him to breath to a point where they could pass him. He was only breathing at 80% efficiency and to be cleared babies have to be breathing at at least 90% efficiency. They took him to the NICU to see if they could clear his lungs to improve his breathing. While there, they discovered he also had a very high fever. Unable to improve his breathing combined with his fever he was admitted to the NICU. Jesse got to go in and see him (not hold him) but I had to wait until I had taken a shower, after my epidural wore off. Even though my epidural had only worn off half (at this point I was really regretting getting it) I insisted they help me into the shower so I could leave my delivery room and go see my baby! It was the most tortuous hour of my life.

I remember being wheeled into the NICU. I was on one side of Weston and Jesse on the other. Surrounded by tons of machines and only being able to reach in with my finger and touch him and Jesse doing the same. At that moment I tried to comprehend what was happening. I was a mother. At that point I remember feeling extremely guilty. In every birth story ever told the mother talks about how when she first held the baby she was filled with an incomprehensible love for that child. I loved Weston from the moment I saw him but it wasn't as "lay down my life" intense as I imagined it would be. I assure all moms out there that if you don't feel it at first it will come. Without even realizing it you will look at your perfect miracle one day and feel the most powerful serge of intense and warming love for them.

Jesse and I didn't get to hold Weston for the first 24 hours of his life. Holding him was hardly the experience I thought it would be. With all the wires and tubes it was so hard to hold him let alone feed him. Despite the difficulty it was worth it to have that baby close to me.

Weston's birth was scary. I was upset when I didn't have the natural peaceful personal experience I wanted with my husband and our new son. I wanted so many things from the experience that I ended up getting, just not in the way I expected. Jesse and I had spent 9 months praying and pondering decisions about Weston's birth, though I felt like hardly any of our decisions mattered. Throughout the whole experience I remember feeling so calm. I wasn't worried about Weston and I was happy in a way that he was in the NICU because I knew they were helping him to be healthy and strong. I know that I could not have felt the peace I felt throughout the whole experience if it wasn't for my Heavenly Father. I knew he had a plan for me and for my family. I knew that I would have all eternity to hold my baby and make up for the time lost right after his birth. I knew that Weston would come home healthy and strong. My blessing was to be able, in that moment, to see through Heavenly Father's eyes. To see the whole picture and because I could see it, I was calm. As a new mother that was the greatest gift I could have had. I for some reason am having troubles writing my feelings about this experience. It was such a special and spiritual experience that I am blocked from recalling all the emotional details. However, I can say that this experience was like taking a little glimpse into heaven.

Weston's birth from daddy's view:

The whole experience to me taught me two things: childbirth is a miracle and my wife (and womanhood) is amazing.

Everyone always talks about how childbirth is a miracle and that you won't know what that means until it happens. I have to agree. We had taken the local child-birthing class, read a few books, counseled with friends and family, and made our (very specific) plans. We thought we were as good as child-birthing pros. But in the end, all that stuff hardly mattered. Not so say preparation for such an event is unnecessary - quite the contrary - but I'll get to that later.

It also seems like a majority of people we talk to had some sort of complication or scare during pregnancy or delivery. Most making reference to their "miracle baby." The fact is, every child is a miracle. There really are so many things that can (and do) go wrong. The fact that Weston made it through some of the hard things he went through during pregnancy and birth is truly a miracle. And by "miracle" I mean a gift given through God's grace. There is simply no other explanation. Weston came into our lives through God's will. It was completely in his hands (well, you know, after we did our little part there at the beginning).

Since he came two weeks early, it all just kind of sprung up on us so quickly. We were upset/distressed/concerned combined with about 50 other different emotions when his little heart started to show some issues. It was so hard to believe that it was actually happening. And absolutely nothing was going how we planned. I don't think I actually grasped what was going on until I saw the top of his little head stick out. That's also when I realized, "Oh crap, I have no idea how to take care of this little guy." But little by little, push after push, Weston started to make his way into the earth. When he finally made it out, all fear was gone for a moment and all that was left were love and joy. For a minute, that place was like a temple to me. I stood bawling in amazement at what had just happened. God had entrusted me with one of His special little children. And he was absolutely beautiful. That is an indescribable feeling.

This is where the second part comes in. Rachel is an amazing woman. We men think we are tough, but I'll tell you what, I don't think I could have handled what Rachel went through as well as she did (if at all). Not just the pain of having a baby pushed out of your body. But her attitude and her spirit were so bright, so positive, so faithful. Though she was in pain and nothing was going right, she showed such faith in herself, in her God given gifts, and in her Heavenly Father who she knew was in control.

Even though it was far from the best delivery experience, I really am happy that we took the classes and read the books and stuff. I can't imagine what it would have been like to go into that experience ignorantly. I don't think we would have been able to be as calm as we were. Not only were our minds at ease (mostly), our spirits were open to the comfort and peace of the Savior.

Rachel got to hold Weston for a few minutes right after he was born but I didn't even get to touch him before he was rushed off to the NICU. I got to go see him while Rachel was recuperating and it just broke my heart to see him lying there all hooked up to who knows what. I went back to Rachel and just sat there and cried. I'm still not really sure why I was so upset. I guess I was a little scared. It was like the most glorious thing in my life was right in front of me and I couldn't enjoy it. I guess I just get a little tender when it comes to my kid. I still didn't even get to hold him until the next morning.

Through all of the worry and stuff, Rachel was my rock. She was entitled to be the one to hold him close and feed him and bond with him and share these special moments with him, but she couldn't. But she was so patient and calm and comforting to me. I always knew I married an angel. That day, I really saw her amazing power and strength. And I've continued to see it in the past months as she has cared for him with such love and patience.

We love our Weston and are so grateful for the blessing he is in our lives. What a joy these past six months have been! He was indeed worth it!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Our Lovely Living Quarters

For those of you who are unable to take a tour in real life, here is a virtual tour of our new space!

 The view of the living room from the front door
 *take note of our sexy curtains
View of the kitchen from the front door
 Close up of the kitchen and all its glory. It truly was a selling point for us. Isn't it awesome!! I'm in love (with it and the fact that I have a real kitchen for the first time in 1.5 years).
 Dining Space

 Cute decor Jesse made for me!
 front door from the kitchen
 Hallway from the wood stove
The bathroom (obviously)
From the bathroom, turn right and you'll find the very messy guest bedroom
 Our sweet washer and dryer that we scored for $100. Complete (or not so complete) with missing front panel.
 View of the playroom from the washer/dryer
 The playroom complete with a sectional we scored for $30 from Jesse's coworker. doesn't look half bad after an extremely large amount of leather conditioner! Also note that our curtains have majesty.
 View of the master bedroom from the playroom
 Sweet private staircase to the master bath and our ridiculously small closet.
The master bathroom (obviously) 

*Weston does have a room, it's just not shown because he was sleeping while we were taking pictures. You're not missing anything though, it looks identical to the guest bedroom, mess and all!! We're working on lots of projects for him. We'll show ya'll the finished product later (aka like 3 months).

Stay tuned because next time I'm going to share Weston's birth story in celebration of his 6 month birthday. Don't judge me. I'm an awesome blogger.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

16 Weeks, List Style

The last time we posted I was 30 weeks pregnant and now my baby is 8 weeks old. Surprise! I'm sure all of you faithful blog readers are also faithful facebook stalkers and already know this ;) So what has changed in the past 16 weeks?? A LOT!!! Lets just make a list.

1. Rachel goes to Boise for her Food Management class and while there goes to the Boise Temple open house.... AMAZING!
2. Weston Samuel Hyde was born 11-13-12 at 8:50 am. He weighed 7lbs 11oz (which is the exact opposite of the 11lbs 7oz birth weight of his dad) and 20.5 inches (more details to come in another post about his birth story)

3. Rachel and Jesse take turns babysitting so they can attend the dedication of the Boise temple
4. Rachel skipped a week of school to recover from having a baby
5. We enjoyed our first Thanksgiving as a new family. We stayed in Rexburg with Ben and Bonnie and had some friends over. 
6. The Andersons come to visit and meet baby Weston. Baby Jesse and Weston become instant best friends (as Jared and Jesse always hoped and expected).

7. Rachel returns to school
8. Aunt Haley comes to visit, babysit, and help out with Weston so Rachel can go to class

9. Rachel finally gets caught up in all her classes
10. Rachel schedules surgery (to get her gallbladder removed) for the 17th of December
11. Grandma Hyde comes to visit and babysit Sophie and Olivia. I realized when I was writing this that we didn't take a picture :(
12. Grandma Hobson comes to visit and babysit Weston so Rachel can finish up school

13. Rachel has sudden bout of pain from her gallbladder and surgery is moved up to December 4th
14. Rachel begins passing gallstones
15. Rachel skips more school because she is sick and Jesse skips work to help Rachel and Weston
16. Rachel has her gallbladder removed!
17. Rachel goes to the ER because she can't breath and is throwing up like a mad woman
18. They give Rachel a shot and send her home
19. Rachel goes to the ER again because all the symptoms come rushing back and she's also passing out and muttering strange things
20. They CT scan Rachel to make sure it's not her liver. They tell her it's air bubbles from surgery and will go away in 24 hours
21. 48 hours later Rachel is back in the ER
22. They check Rachel into the hospital
23. They monitor Rachel for 24 hours and do more blood tests
24. Conclusion: during surgery stones slipped into the bile duct, were lodged, and slowly passed through.
25. Jesse teaches the youth a dance for the ward Christmas party (it was great!!!)
26. Rachel is sore from surgery and having 8 IV's in a period of 3 weeks and takes an additional week and a half off of school
27. Rachel writes 3 papers, takes 3 tests, and finishes 2 projects and graduates with her Bachelors
28. Jesse and Rachel finally get to relax with their new baby!!!!
29. Jesse and Rachel begin house hunting and get pre-approved for a loan
30. Weston goes on his first trip! Boise for Christmas! He handled the car ride like a champ

31. We all enjoy Weston's first Christmas (he slept through it) and a nice break from all the craziness of late

32. Weston outgrows newborn diapers (growing too fast!), is awake and alert, smiles in response to a smile, coo's, and giggles. His favorite game is when we shake his legs really fast. He also loves to arch his head really far back... he's our curious George. Check out all of his adorableness!

33. Jesse got to go skiing again
34. Weston is blessed in Boise on the same day as his new cousin Paige (also happened to be our 2nd anniversary). He looked adorable in a sweater made for him by Grandma Hobson

29. Jesse and I celebrate our 2 year anniversary while aunts, uncles, and grandparents helped babysit (we saw Les Mis and it was AWESOME!)

30. We ring in the new year with all the Hobson siblings and all 9 Hobson grandchildren

31. We return to Rexburg where Jesse still works full time at his job and Rachel tries to figure out life as a full time wife and mother.

Well, now you're up to speed on the craziness that is our life!