Thursday, June 17, 2010

8 Months 3 Weeks, and a bunch of smiles

So first off I will apologize for the delay in writing an update as this blog is titled "Pregnancy - Male point of view" and I found out that that sometimes means we are really busy with the kid!

So the second surgery is done (phew). Jen and I were expecting it to be another 4 week stay in the hospital and we were really surprised when they told us best case scenario is 6-7 days! I guess as they get bigger and stronger the body recovers easier... Jane made it home in 6 days which was amazing. She did really well this time around - from the smile she gave us as they took her to the surgery prep room to the first smile we got when she was recovering, the entire time she was a "best case scenario".

*** We want to give a special acknowledgment to Auntie Nicki, Oma, John Bowman, Cyvil, Lindsay King and all of the friends and family that donated blood and/or got their friends to donate. I think Jane used 1 unit post surgery and now there will be plenty available for all of the other kids (and adults) that need it.***

Getting her home after this second surgery was really cool, but it definitely took some new adjusting to because for the first time since her birth there isn't a surgery looming and the medicine intake for her has decreased heavily... Therefore Jen and I had to find a new groove and a new routine to carry us through the next phase; well it only took a little bit of time and we have it down now: Eat, Crap, Play, Learn, Sleep and repeat. Jane's routine isn't far off from that either ;)

We discovered that Jane loves the zoo. It's pretty cute to see her face light up at the animals she likes (meerkats, pandas, peacocks) and it's especially cute seeing the Mad Dog Mulligan faces when she sees an animal she doesn't like (hippo, sea turtles)... For those of you that haven't met Jane yet or don't know her she is definitely a very visual baby (as are most I assume), but anyways she takes in every inch of her surroundings and the zoo is no different for her. I will say taking her to the zoo takes much more time because of the amount of people that stop us to comment on one of the outfits Jen has her in or just to see her smile or whatever reason it may be. It takes longer, but it's fun to see people interact with her... except why do every single one of them try to touch her? That's something I never noticed before I had a kid for sure...

So now that we are in a new groove I will be able to update the blog more frequently; keep looking out for them. As for her health right now she is doing great... all the stuff they hoped would happen post surgery has happened: she is breathing easier... her eating doubled and continues to... her color got much better and the only thing we are waiting on now is for her to get taller... that's the only area she is behind in. Other than that things are really good and we are very relieved to have 2 out of 3 surgeries behind us. It's been the best 8 1/2 months of our lives and we have loved every minute of it with this kid.

Having a child with congenitive heart disease isn't supposed to be easy and we are fortunate enough to say that in relative terms Jane has made it "easy" for us. Her strength, humor, and positive disposition made it so that we could focus on what we needed to do to get this far and know deep down that this tough kid was just taking it all in stride - living my and Jen's mantra of "What are you gonna do? It is what it is." She amazes us daily and keeps us laughing non stop and I can tell you this: between the three of us our laughs we sound like a cackling bunch of animals.

Maybe that's why she enjoys the zoo so much?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Olympics and Heart Disease...

So watching the Olympics last night, I learned two things: #1 The U.S. is fun to watch when we deliver on all the promises and prevent embarrassing media coverage... and #2 Shaun White was born with congenitive heart disease just like Jane! He had two open heart surgeries before he was 1 yr as will Jane - pretty cool! I was already a fan but just became an even bigger one.

So last week Jane had a catherization procedure (Cath Lab) where they basically put her under for a few hours, ran a line into an artery and were able to take pictures of her heart to see the things that won’t show up on a normal echocardiogram so that they know exactly what to anticipate for the next surgery. To be honest, taking a trip back to Rady’s for another procedure had neither Jen nor I sleeping well the night before... no matter how much time you spend there you just never get used to it. The procedure overall went really well; they said that everything that was done in the first surgery is doing exactly as it should, they were very pleased with what they saw and there are no new issues to deal with as we progress towards surgery #2. The only negative post surgery issue that came up is that it completely tossed around her sleeping schedule and she has been up at night pretty much every day since... we are slowly getting that in control at about the same speed I get out of bed in the morning...

The next surgery will probably happen sometime in March/April. This will be another major full open heart surgery to do some plumbing fixes on the heart and make permanent fixes to the stuff they did in the first surgery... Jen and I are both having a hard time coming to terms with the next surgery as Jane is obviously more aware of us and alert to her surroundings, but we understand the necessity of the situation and we have had the benefit of seeing how tough our Jane is.

Man she is so much like her Momma...

Other than that she is finally figuring out how to hold up the enormous thing on top of her shoulders (the pediatrician said her head was in the 75th percentile for her age) and we are starting to see her neck as well! She “talks” non stop, smiles at everything, laughs when Jen kisses her and she loves her time at night with me. (She told me so).

We have been keeping a good routine with seeing as much family/friends as possible and attempting to catch up on rest when we can but that part’s not that important...

Well that’s about it for now, I'll update again when I know the dates of the next surgery and thank you to all of you who are keeping Jane in your thoughts. She’s a really special girl, and we are looking forward to holding her hand through all of this and then watching her grow! (Not her head, that can stay where it's at).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jane and the Holiday's

The Holidays and Jane.

So first I need to apologize for the delay in updating everyone on the current happenings in the world of Jane. I guess no news is good news, right? So the past month or so has been really great. The holidays were a blur as I’m sure they were for everyone. We spent Christmas Eve at Pop's and Jane got clothes. Christmas day at Momma’s and Jane got clothes. The next week Jane and Jen were up in the Bay Area with her family and yep, Jane got clothes... well kind of... she got a Princess Leia costume and a Star Trek onesie - So it looks like her future high school struggle begins now. ;)

Jen and I have both been doing really well; work has been crazy as usual but seriously if it wasn’t called work I’m sure none of us would call it crazy. Jane has been really funny lately and I realized how happy I am to have her because she loves to listen to the guitar and (more importantly) she loves it when I sing out of key to her! It truly takes no effort to make my voice sound out of key either because that’s naturally how it comes out. So with the Star Trek onsie and me teaching her to sing out of key things are really looking up for her.

She is really starting to mimic everything we do with our mouths, which is adorable because... well it's just adorable.

This past weekend we had a Politically Incorrect Party for my 30th and our friend Wallis’s 25th (again) birthdays. Those that know us know that we all like to laugh and what better way to do it than to dress up in a very politically incorrect outfit and enjoy making fun of stereotypes all night... I was a drunk, gambling "Native American" (Indian = feather) and Jen was a Sprint customer service rep (Indian = Dot). Jane wore a sign on hat that read, "Now that I'm safe, I'm pro-choice". It was at this party I realized that Jane is gonna be a handful... man she wants to be involved with everything that’s going on! If there are people around then no nap time for Jane, she wants to be a part of everything. She slept in till 7am on Sunday so maybe she was hung over...

Once again now to being serious: Jane is growing! I think she is 10lbs 4oz now and eating like a champ. Her last doctor appointments have all gone well, so that means the surgery served its purpose and hopefully we can make it out of swine flu season until the next one so that the grandparents can actually visit her in the NICU. I'll keep everyone posted on when the next one comes along...

Other than that all is well and thanks again for the support, Jane loves it!

-Ryan, Jen, and Jane

Friday, December 11, 2009

Movin' and Shakin'

So a lot of things are happening around my neck of the woods right now... Life is buzzin' for sure thanks to the arrival of Jane of course... and I am almost 30 and excited about that... and the three hundred other things that Jen and I have managed to walk from unscathed this past year rolled up with some laughs and consistent reminders of who we are and what we are capable of as people.

(If sentiments make you sick, then just skip the next paragraph as the following paragraph basically just talks about going to the gym and taking Jane to her first UFC fight)

So today was the first time I really saw my parents' jobs from a different angle, due to becoming a parent myself of course. They did a wonderful job with me, seriously... a good job - I can't think of any complaints I have on anything they did as parents except for holding back on some of their funniest stories because I was 7... Today I had my "first as a parent" somewhat heartfelt chat with my mom about just life (and all the madness of the past few months) and the year for her... especially since her mother/my grandmother passed away before Jane's birth... and I realized for the first time in 29 years that the conversation she just had with me was the best part of her day (as it was mine) and the #1 priority on her list is me... (yes Linda, my wonderful sister, you and I share that same spot) ;) I always "knew" that in the past but I never "understood" it til Jane...

But now I know how it feels to be on the other end of that... I have realized being back at work that if Jen sends me a text and says "Jane's bottom just blew out again and she shit on her nipples" that for that moment that's the best shit that has ever occurred in my life; it doesn't matter that it's about shit, it's that it's Jane and that's a helluva feeling... and my goodness does she love to shit ;)

With that, we are all doing well. Jane's been home for about 11 days and she is doing great and sleeping a bit better at night. She keeps us entertained when she is awake and she is developing just like every other baby... by as much as she wants and makes effort to talk (I wonder where that came from) - it looks like she will say her first word in the next few days or so; we will keep you and the Guinness book of World Records posted... Jen and I are hoping for "burrito" but will settle on anything that's understandable, or English, or Spanish since I can speak it like a 2ND grader... or pig Latin.

What if the first thing she said was burrito? Who knows... I'd probably be too hungry to notice... ;)

Ryan, Jen, and Jane.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jane in the NICU - Still Smiling!

Here's a quick video of Jane doing what she does... listen to the nurses in the background... we love it!

Friday, November 20, 2009


So I started this blog in order to really get a handle on my thoughts and feeling about the process of growing into a father and being able to share them with those that know our family, and even some that don’t. The process of actually having a child has been a really powerful thing... It's fun and exciting and challenging and I love the “unknowns”... what will she look like, what will her voice sound like, and is she gonna put us in a home, or maybe attempt to take care of us while I’m relishing in being an old man that can’t control his temper let alone his bowels... ;)

So for the parents that read the above statement, I’m sure every one of you can relate with what it's like becoming a parent and yet, our experience is completely unnatural and completely different then a “normal” birth that most go through... but the fundamental aspect of what it feels like and means to be a parent is still the same. I just think that’s pretty cool and that it's something I feel a lot of people lose sight of as life starts getting in the way. Anywho enough rambling on that...

Jane had her first surgery on November 6th. The procedure that was done was called a Damus Kaye Stansel, or as we called it: ”Plumbing” They basically did some things to the heart to allow her to grow and eat and progress until the next surgery sometime next spring...

She did great, man she is tough... tougher than Jen and I that’s for sure! The recovery is going great, we had a little hiccup on Sunday that really wore on Jen and I, but Jane has bounced back heavily from that also (like she seems to do with everything). I guess due to the heart surgery, there was a little bit of blood in her brain that caused her to have some mild seizures where she would basically hold her breath and not stop holding her breath... The docs said that there is no worry of any long time effects so that’s good.

Jane is still everyone in the NICU’s favorite baby, she has quite a fan club from nurses and doctors... it doesn’t hurt that she smiles at everyone she makes eye contact with! She is recovering well and we should have her home again soon which will be awesome!

Also the NICU has been great, Jen managed to get into a little scuffle with a nurse that I think was Grateful Dead’s tour nurse because her skin looked like something that would hang between moccasins and leather purses, her hair looked like Dumbledore’s, and she smelled like she slept with the Marlboro man. Jen took care of it very professionally with a “Do you want to feed her or are you going to let me feed my child?!” It was very warranted on Jen’s part and any of us would have done the same... of course they waited to exchange words while I was washing my hands, but they gave us a new nurse so that was great.

Well all in all she is doing well, we appreciate the love and support and I will update everyone when she comes home!

PS – We call her “Tug” because every time we walk up she smiles and Jen said it “tugs” on her heart...

-The Mulligans.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Surgery 1 - Accomplished

So today Jane had her first surgery, and everything went as planned! This is short as we are exhausted, and enjoy the video of Jane at home in her elements!

-Ryan, Jen, and Jane