Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Wonder of the Wonder Bar

There are many uses for the wonderful wonder bar and Andy recently discovered another one! He used the bar to measure the thickness of his skin tissue on his forehead. Unfortunately, he didn't apply enough force to split the skin all the way to the bone to get an accurate reading, but he did get three stitches in the attempt!

In all seriousnes, we are grateful that God protected Andy from injuring his eye. Andy and my dad were working on framing our basement when the accident happened. We're so thankful it wasn't serious!


Uh oh, here comes big brother... What is he going to do now?

Ok, maybe just sharing a toy, not so bad.

At least he isn't trying to "gently" pat my head.

Survived once again!

Liam Playing

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, my parents were able to be out with us for Thanksgiving. We all went over to the Dirkse's for a big feast. The Kims had been visiting them and we all got to celebrate God's goodness together!

We ate gooood!

The Dirkse and Kim Families

Our Gracious Hosts

Emma and Liam

Harvest Bible Chapel, here's your pastor :) As a disclaimer for John, one of his kids took this picture and he never would have guessed it would end up on the web!

Pictures of Asher

Monday, November 24, 2008

Kidney Update

We are rejoicing over the news we got from the pediatric urologist today! We went in to see a specialist at Loyola University about Asher's kidney. When he got his ultrasound after birth, it showed that the left kidney had moderate to severe hydronephrosis. The doctor reassured us that right now, it is nothing critical. He explained that as infants grow, their kidneys grow as well, and often times the problem is corrected, allowing the kidneys to drain properly and the hydronehprosis to resolve. He said we are still in the process of waiting-waiting to see if it will get better and resolve on its own or get worse and need intervention. Asher will be taking low dose antibiotics on a long term basis to prevent urinary or kidney infections.

The doctor is having us get several tests done on Asher's kidneys throughout the next several months to evaluate what exactly is causing the problem, and to keep track if it is getting worse or better. One test that he'll have in the next month is called a voiding cystourethrogram. They put a catheter into his bladder, inject dye, and take x-rays which will show where there may be a structural problem. After a few months, he'll also get a renogram, which is where they inject a substance in his blood, allowing them to see if the kidneys are being perfused by blood well. This can also pin point where the problem lies. Asher will also be getting ultrasounds periodically to see if the condition is getting better or worse. The doctor is not making us come to Chicago to do the tests (which is great because it is about 1.5 hours each way) because he says our local hospital has the capacity to perform the tests. He even said that he's looked into some of the studies that they've done at our hospital and has been pleased with their level of expertise.

We're very thankful for the report and are continuing to wait on the Lord. We keep praying that this will resolve, but are thankful that Asher has a good doctor close by if he does need surgery. Thanks for keeping on praying with us!

Asher's Story

So, for those who are interested... here's the story. We were told to be at Swedish American Hospital at 8 am on Wednesday for the induction. We show up at 8 am only to be told that they didn't have room for us and we'd need to go home until something opened up. This was not what we were wanting to hear after getting all ready to meet our baby. We were hoping that it would be just a few hours, so we headed to the church so we could both stay busy. Andy was able to get some work done and I attended a ladies' parenting Bible study that I've never gone to before. We kept waiting around but didn't hear anything so I called my doctor's office around noon, and again around 2. They got back to me around 2:30 and told me that Swedes wasn't opening up, but they were trying to get me into another, nicer hospital that said they'd take me. We were just waiting to see if our insurance would cover it. I gave up and went to the Dirkse's to pick up Liam. Before I left with Liam, the office called me and told me to head to St. Anthony's and they'd start as soon as I got there! The insurance had okayed it!

I picked up Andy from church and we went to the hospital to find that it was just me and one other lady on the whole labor and delivery unit! It had quite a different feel from our experience with Liam in LA. Let's just say that we like health care in Rockford better :)

At 6 pm, they started the pitocin to get my contractions going. By 10 pm, my contractions were painful and the doctor was coming to break the water. He had said I could get a epidural whenever I wanted, so even though I was only at 3 cm, I decided to go for it. Some of this decision came from my experience with Liam-after I got an epidural and my water broken, I progressed very quickly. I've heard its faster with the following babies, so I thought I might as well get one when I knew I still could. The doctor broke my water after getting an epidural, but I was finding that the epidural wasn't working well. I could feel my whole left side and I could definitely feel the contractions.

Around 1 am, they checked me again and I was only 4 cm!!! I didn't know what to think about that not-so-exciting news since I was having quite painful contractions even with my epidural (and since the epidural and AROM was what seemed to progress me rapidly with Liam). The anesthesiologist came back up and readjusted the epidural catheter and gave me a bunch extra medication. This took the edge off a lot for about 30 minutes and I was almost able to sleep between contractions (and had told Andy to get some sleep too while he could), but after that blessed 30 minutes, those contractions started getting nasty again! And this time, I was feeling a lot of pressure with each contraction. After about an hour of intense contractions, I told the nurse that I had been feeling a lot of pressure for awhile. Yes, I definitely should have mentioned that earlier. She checked me and I was at 10 cm and she was calling the doctor to come in. I woke up Andy and told him it was time, which understandably confused him a bit since just about an hour ago I was only at 4 cm. The doctor got there at 3 am and by 3:36 our little man was born looking good at 8 lb 1/2 oz and 21.5 inches long with a 14 inch around head!

Asher and I stayed in the hospital until Saturday and Andy stayed with us until Friday night. The Dirkses and Provosts watched Liam for us for days so Andy could stay and enjoy the experience! We appreciate them so much and Liam is loving his time with them! He's definitely at home with these two wonderful families!

Asher is super laid back. He barely ever cries, basically only if he is hungry. He picked up nursing from the first time we tried and has been so easy ever since. We love our mellow little boy!


We got away to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, before Asher was born. The Dirkses were kind enough to watch Liam for several days so we could have time just the two of us before it became the four of us! We relaxed in our hotel, ate, walked around town, and watched our rented documentary, Planet Earth. It definitely rested us up before the big plunge!

This is me eating fudge. There was actually a better pic than this, but I think this more accurately reflected my energy level. We've decided before each baby we should take a picture of me eating fudge. If you want to see Liam's fudge picture, go back in the archives to October of 2007. That one is much better because you can see my ginormous stomach and Andy's expression at me eating a whole brick of fudge.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Asher's Kidney

The radiologist looked at the ultrasound and concluded, "The left kidney displays moderate to severe hydronephrosis." That means that his kidney is swollen, which is what we understood the problem to be from the beginning. So, they're referring us to a pediatric urologist at Loyola University Medical Center near Chicago. This problem is not uncommon and is medically treatable. We actually have an appointment scheduled for Monday. We just need all the insurance paperwork to be pushed through in a timely manner. Thank you for continuing in prayer with us. "I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Psalm 34:1).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Asher and Liam

Liam, meet your brother.

Liam met his new little brother this evening. He didn't quite know what to think, but when we put them together for the pictures he seemed to enjoy this strange new addition.

Introducing Asher James

With thankfulness in our hearts to the Lord we gladly introduce the newest member of the Tobin family: Asher James. He was born at 3:36 AM on Thursday, November 20. He is 8 pounds 1/2 ounce and 21.5 inches. Arianna and Asher are doing great. He appears to be a healthy little guy. We should get results on his kidney in the next few days. Thanks for praying - what an encouragement that was to have so many seeking God on our behalf!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Baby on the Way? Really?

We are heading off once again to the hospital, but to a different one this time-OSF St. Anthony's, which is supposed much nicer. It sounds like this time we'll get to stay as there is only one other woman there. Thanks for your continued prayers!

Baby Not on the Way

This morning we get at the hospital at 8 am, excited and ready to go. The nurses turn around and look at us a bit blankly and ask if we got the message on our phone. We hadn't, so they explained that they only had one room open and couldn't take me since I was to be induced. The room has to be saved in case someone goes into real labor, which of course, doesn't apply to me. So, they sent us away and said they'd call us if a room opens up. We are waiting around, trying to keep busy, but not knowing even if we'll get to go back today. One problem is that my doctor leaves on vacation tomorrow (Thursday) evening and didn't want to induce me past today. It almost seems sort of comical right now, but it really isn't. Please pray we can get in!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Baby on the Way

We head to the hospital this Wednesday at 8 am to be induced! Please pray for a good and safe delivery as well as the baby's kidney to be fine.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Candy Changes Everything

Liam may be unfortunately a bit too much like me... having a sweet can make us both a whole lot sweeter. When we first gave him a sucker to try, he was quite interested in this new world of sugar, by the end he was screaming with joy!

Troubled Turkey

Terrified Tiger

Happy Halloween?

Liam had two costumes for Halloween this year because he has two sets of grandparents that make sure he is the cutest kid on the block! However, as you can see, he had a hard time actually wearing the costumes. We just went to three houses on the block and he was dressed up for the trick or treaters that came to our house.