True Life: I'm a [Mommy] Blogger

A few weeks ago I linked-up my general/catch-all blog for the "True Life: I'm a General Blogger" link-up that Tara and Mrs Monologues were hosting... this week they're hosting a "True Life: I'm a Mommy Blogger" link-up!

For all the newbies from the link-up, welcome!

I'm Rachel, we live in northern Illinois and I am a new mommy to 6 and a half month old Jaydran Alexander (we call him Jay for short), born on February 4, 2011.

August 14, at his 1st county fair!
My son's name is quite unique (our last name is Johnson, so we felt he needed a unique 1st name since there's a million and one Johnsons in our town!) and if you do a Google search you'll find that he's the only one with that name too! The story behind it is that my husband came up with it. He writes sci-fi as a hobby (and hopefully professionally someday!) and when he played baseball as a kid, one of the boys on his team had a sister named Jaydra. Liking the unique-ness of the name, he decided to make Jaydran the male version of it and use it for his writings. And yes, it's also the name of his World of Warcraft character, which caused me to initially veto the name but it grew on me and it seems to fit Jay as well, as he's quite an awesome little boy!

So this is my mommy/personal blog, as I chronicled our journey of trying to have a baby, my pregnancy and our adventures of being a family!

Having dealt with quite a bit so far (gestational diabetes, "failure to thrive" and eating troubles, breastfeeding woes, hydrophrenosis and a UVJ Obstruction requiring eventual surgery), I hope that by sharing my experiences and struggles I might be able to help other moms experiencing what I have and give them answers and insight to things they might be wondering (I know I tend to Google a lot when I'm looking for an answer or someone who's been there, done that and can offer insight on what I can expect).

Anyways, Jay is a special little guy who's had quite a rough start in life.

He LOVES Elmo!
Before he was born they were concerned about his femurs being a little a on the short side and his left kidney appeared to be enlarged. Due to a lack of growth between weeks 30 and 37 they decided to induce me at 37weeks, 5 days so he was a few weeks early. To be honest, labor was pretty easy - took just under 9 hours and was natural (but with a dose of dilauted to help with the back labor) and I honestly didn't feel much of anything until the last few hours, not to mention I went from 7-10cm dilated in about 10 minutes and the last half hour just flew by (you can read his full birth story here). His kidney was still enlarged though so they diagnosed him with hydronephrosis and had us start seeing a local urologist.

We also tried breastfeeding for the 1st few weeks however instead of gaining weight he lost weight! Then he gained a little back but not much so the doctor had us spend a week in the hospital while we tried to figure out why kiddo wasn't eating enough to grow. I found out at my 6 week post-partum check-up that they failed to mention to us that there was a knot in the umbilical cord, which would explain his eating problem - he got used to eating just enough to survive and his stomach never got big enough to take in more! Ever since the week in the hospital with him hooked up to a feeding tube to stretch his stomach out he's been quite the eater now, eating several full bottles a day, 2 servings of rice cereal for breakfast and veggies and fruits for dinner (he hates peas though, lol...).

He had a little too much fun
with his peaches!
As far as his enlarged kidney... the local urologist sent us up to the children's hospital in Madison for further testing where we learned that the blockage is at his bladder and not up at the kidney like we initially thought but that there is no reflux which is good. They referred us to a pediatric urology specialist at the children's hospital up there who has us coming up there every 3-4 months to check on it, saying that it appears to be a UVJ ureter obstruction. He'll most likely need to have surgery by the time he's 2 to correct it though, as his left ureter tube is pinched off at the bladder and they'll go in, take it off, snip it and reattach it to the bladder.

The idea of my baby having surgery so young is something I try not to think about, as I don't want to worry about it until it's time, however the specialist was very comforting and made me feel confident about it, saying he's done it plenty of times and has always been successful so far. I am not too thrilled though that he'll have a surgery scar though. Not gonna lie, with his week long stay in the hospital and all the testing they've done on his kidney, it's been really hard having to watch them do all this stuff to him... fortunately he's so little he probably won't remember it when he's older, although it wouldn't surprise me if it's what causes his monthly night terrors (he's had 1 a month since he was born, where he freaks out in his sleep for several minutes and won't wake up out of it).

Chillin' with daddy!
My hubby works a lot (he has both a day job as an inventory & purchasing manager for a Verizon authorized retailer and works 3rd shift as a part-time UPS supervisor - we're hoping he goes full-time there soon though so he can quit the day job) leaving me to take care of Jay most of the time during the week. I do work part-time though at The Children's Place which is pretty nice as I get 25% off Jay's clothes (and sometimes 40% when they do employee appreciation weekends!) on top of whatever the sale price is - he is quite the well dressed little guy! Fortunately my parents don't live too far from us so my mom babysits Jay when hubby and I both have work so we don't we have to worry about daycare.We also have a domestic Egyptian Mau kitty named Tiger and she will be 3 years old in October and we just bought and moved into our first house back in April! Needless to say, it's been quite a year for us!

Showing off his shades!
For now, Jay is our only child and we've discussed it and decided that we'll most likely wait until after his kidney/ureter issue is resolved before we decide to try for another (so probably when he's close to 3). Ultimately we'd like to have at least 1 more kid and maybe a 3rd (I love Jay despite my lack of experience with little boys however I would like to have a little girl too).

Jay is quite the well-behaved baby though, only really crying when his mouth hurts (due to teething - he currently has both his bottom front teeth) or he's hungry or overly tired - he behaves very well in public! He loves Elmo and anything with Elmo's face on it, he enjoys staring at pictures and playing in his baby walker. He is also VERY curious about electronics such as smartphones, computers, the remote control and the PS3 controllers! He doesn't crawl yet, but is very close (he drags/scoots himself across the floor instead!) and he does like to roll EVERYWHERE! His bedroom is being painted to look like world 1-1 from Super Mario Bros and he has various Mario Bros and Star Wars collectibles throughout his room!

 And some more pictures of Baby Jay:
One of his 1st pics, 6lbs 7oz, 19inches long & a full head of hair!
One of my favorite pics - Jay & daddy
He was soooo little!!
My poor baby with his feeding tube in,
pumping his tummy full of milkies
Being all cute during our move from
a 1 bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom house!
Our little family (minus Tiger our kitty!)


  1. I'm so glad his doing well now and I just love his name!


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