Jude’s Inguinal Hernia

Happy Tuesday! Today was Jude’s surgery day, and it started off with a bang. Let me explain how this came to be, first.

I had noticed a month or so ago that Jude had a bulge in his right testicle that didn’t look normal while changing his diaper. He is 2 yrs old. The right side was larger than the left side, slightly darker and the upper part was more swollen.  I figured I would just watch it to see if it went down on it’s own, and it didn’t after a week. I searched online for ‘swollen testicle 2 yr old’ and found a few pictures looking very similar to what we were seeing. I snapped a picture myself and sent it to the Pediatrician at Doernbecher through our online chart application. There was definitely a mass in there that was separate from the testes. He wasn’t in pain but pointed it out as, “Ouch.” only once while changing his diaper, early on.
The doctor’s nurse responded with warning signs to watch for and confirmed it did look very much like it could be a hernia but that many times it will come in and out on it’s own and frequently they let it go unless an emergency arises, such as the bowel being obstructed or cut off by the hole.
I made an appointment with the pediatrician and after manipulating things a little by a few doctors, it was confirmed to be an inguinal hernia with a hole that was large enough for the bowel to fall through. Jude did really well during the exam with the exception of the anal exam to feel the bowel. Yeah, he didn’t like that so much. He was a little backed up apparently and the pediatrician prescribed a stool softener. From there they put in an order for us to see the specialty doctor in the clinic next door to rule out a hydrocele -which is basically a sac of fluid- and we waited for them to contact us.

I passed up the stool softener and gave him a few bottles of milk that night, instead, knowing that it tends to give him looser bowels and it did the trick.

A few days later we got a call from the pediatric surgeon and made an appointment for a consult. Comically, the day before his appointment his testicle went back down to size as the bowel seemingly has receded back up into the abdomen leaving a bit of a sack  of something inside. I’m pretty sure cleaning out his bowels helped to contribute to this but I held back the urge to cancel his appointment knowing that a hernial hole probably isn’t something we want sticking around. They would know what to do.

The appointment was quick, some interns came in and looked at his scrotum with a light to check for a hydrocele and then looked up the picture I had taken before in his online chart to see the extent of the swelling to confirm it was, indeed, swollen prior with a mass inside since he was asymptomatic at the appointment. I can’t stress enough how important it is sometimes to document things like this for situations like this. Had I not taken the picture they may have just decided it wasn’t warranted because they couldn’t confirm it with their own eyes.

From there the surgeon came in and looked at him and then said they close hernia holes after diagnosis and that they would schedule a surgery date for November 3rd but not a time- they would call later to give us the time. After his appointment I went over to the pediatrician’s desk to talk to the head nurse about our options to get caught up on some past due immunizations during his surgery or while he was unconscious. And yes, they do things like this.

They called a few days ago with pre-surgery instructions and a check-in time of 6:00am. Cereal and milk items after 10:30pm the night before, only clear fluids like Jello, broth, and sports drinks after 1:30am, and nothing by mouth after 5:30am. Last night the nurse called and confirmed she would meet us there to administer his immunizations before he woke up.

Last night was really tough. I know this is a pretty minor surgery on the list of infant surgeries but any time you put a kiddo under anesthesia anything could happen. I mean, look at the case of the girl who underwent routine oral surgery and died. You really just never know.

imageMy brain was really more or less oatmeal all day. I was trying to figure out what I could do to prepare and I was Googling everything I could to find out information on the procedure. I found a really great blog entry on one woman’s son’s inguinal hernia surgery at Doernbecher that was so helpful! Go check out her blog sometime, called Only a Mama Knows. This is one reason I’m blogging this- I really hope to help another parent going through this, someday, too.
Insomniac JudeI originally had it in my mind to keep Jude up as long as possible the night before so he would be so tired he wouldn’t mind that he hadn’t eaten that morning- but you see, we just had daylight saving’s and everyone’s clock was really thrown off, including mine.

By 8:00pm I was done. I was so tired and so mind blown and nervous, I just took a bath and climbed into bed and grabbed my yarn and crochet hook. Jude, however, was not the least bit ready for bed. He proceeded to jump in his crib like a monkey and tear everything out for the next hour. Jumping up and down and throwing things everywhere, he refused to go to bed.

He finally fell asleep and I fell asleep… and I slept so hard that I didn’t wake up until my husband yelled, “Get up! We’re late!”  It was 5:30am and it takes an HOUR to drive to OHSU. Not only that, but we have one vehicle and my husband had to drive back to take the kids a mile down from the house to their bus stop for school. He had to drop us off and drive back in time to catch the bus.
We’re screwed, you have to reschedule.” he said to me.
I’m calling and letting them know we’re going to be late.” I responded. There was NO WAY on God’s beautiful wonderful earth I was going to go through another night like last night.
Doernbecher was great, they said, “See you when you get here.” and we were off.


Jude was in good spirits when we left. He was calm and content. It was a nice drive into the city.




Doernbecher has free valet parking for those who need it as well as wagons to pull your kids and things in.


With some time to spare, my husband got us out of the car, Jude buckled in and he was off to head back home to get the kids off.
As we entered the hospital, we checked in at the front desk with reception. She confirmed his name and birth date and thanked me for our pre-registration. She gave me a questionnaire and printed out our name bands double checking the names, again. She also asked what his condition needing surgery was and if it was part of an accident. I explained it wasn’t understanding that sometimes car accidents require separate insurance billing but she continue to dig in and inquire HOW he got the hernia.image
Um… it just happened? I don’t know, I guess these things just happen?” *Awkward silence.*
She stared at me and I stared back… beginning to wonder why she needed to know this detailed information thinking she was somehow an important part of the process and needed to judge how a child would get a hernia on his own. Mind  you- my pediatrician was not surprised at his hernia or inquiring of any injury he may have sustained so really, I think these things sometimes just happen.

She moved on, finally, telling me to go to floor 8. Bypassing Starbucks was really hard at this stage, as I was groggy and craving caffeine but seeing how we were late I continued onto the elevator.


I took a right towards surgery and checked in at the desk there. The surgery receptionist rechecked my name and his name and birth date and made sure we had our bands. Then she gave me a pager and explained how to read the board with the number we were given to check the status of his surgery.  From there Jude promptly noted the toy car and signaled he no longer desired the beautiful red wagon he was in and now wanted the red shiny car across the waiting room.

After a few minutes we were called back into the pre-op rooms where they weighed him and took his blood pressure and vitals. Everything went quickly because we were already running late.

The anesthesiologists came in and explained what they were going to do. They explained how they were going to give him medicine to make him relax… a lot…. and that they would administer more anesthesia via a mask that would put him to sleep. Then they would put in his IV line and a tube down his throat to help him breathe. Sometimes the tube can make their  throats sore or lips swollen, and rarely even chip teeth or cut tongues. It’s just a risk.
Then a nurse came with a syringe of yummy orange looking medication and we fed it to him.

Then they had me take 4 cloths that were medicated and warm and wash him down in certain areas according to a chart. One for his arms and chest, one for his legs, one for his back and one for his groin. After that we put a nice hospital jammy on him.

Within about 5-10 minutes Jude was already looking at people weird. The funniest thing to him was the nurse’s hair net cap. And he pointed at it and giggled. He started getting wiggly and moving around so I picked him up

At this point he was throwing his whole upper body back going, “Wheeee!” and I knew he was high on happy. I gave him a last hug love and kiss and passed him off to the nurse. He waved bye happy to see the streaming blurred lines as he went. Wheee! this is FUN! No clue what I’m doing here, but I LIKE IT!

Pulling my wagon of things and one of his blankets out alone… was hard. I was shaking. I needed coffee, NOW. I went out through the waiting room and then back to the elevator and downstairs to the lobby where Starbucks was waiting.
Starbucks. I love you. Even if the barista DID spell my name ‘JAYN’ and ask how my day was going as I grasped at words that weren’t really how my day was going so that the next customer could order and I wouldn’t be the poor sop there. She must be new.
I sat down and drank my venti house coffee (because it’s good, dark, and you get it right there at the counter instead of waiting in the high-maintenance people’s line) and egg and sausage sandwich on the chairs.
Well, I couldn’t really eat right away. I felt like a ghost in a room holding a pager and an empty wagon.


I pulled out my computer and logged onto the hospital’s free wi-fi- successfully locked myself out of my own website. My security methods are a little too stringent, I think. I’m going to change that.
As time went on and I updated my husband and troubleshooted a few things, I got a page.


I love the accountability, but the suspense is REALLY unnerving. In a way I just wanted to know he went in, everything was great, and he came out ans was ready for mama. On the other hand, this was sufficient at lighting up my imagination as to WHAT they were doing in the procedure RIGHT NOW.
Yeah, I don’t recommend doing that. My saving grace was the doctor’s conversation to my right that interrupted my own thought process. Seriously, any little thing probably could have ignited a gush of tears at any moment- distractions were good. I decided to eat my breakfast and drink my coffee and focus on what I was doing and not the wagon or anything related to a scalpel touching my son’s virgin abdomen, and 25 minutes later I got a page that he was finished and to come up to waiting.

I sat and waited crocheting more of my project and the waiting room got busier. I got up and inquired on if they had administered the immunizations and a nurse came out to tell me it had been done and taken care of. My husband was on his way back so he greeted me with my 4 yr old, Justus. Then the nurse came out and had me come back as he was waking up.

He was starting to try and pull out his lines and the band-aids on his arms. I bent down and whispered, “Hey bubuh! Shhhh, mama’s here go nigh nigh.” and he stuck his thumb into his mouth and relaxed as we put a warm blanket over him. He rubbed his eye a bit- apparently they put tape over their eyes so they don’t get a corneal abrasion from lines and equipment going over their face.
He started throwing off the blankets and tugging at the lines more so they grabbed me a rocking chair and allowed me to hold him as he drank some apple juice. She took out his IV line and he did great.



After this we transferred to a room a few steps down so my husband and son could come out and hang with us. At this point we were waiting on a wet diaper to show his bowels were working again.

My husband was able to hold him and he was relaxed most of the time with 0 pain. A nurse came in and brought Jude another cup of juice as well as juice for my 4 yr old. I handed my coffee to my husband and it was a great Kodak moment.


They also have a handy little television that moves all over for the kids to watch. Interestingly, there are 3 ESPN channels but only 2 kid’s channels. image

Jude would go in and out of sleep as the anesthesia wore off. Still waiting on pee.


Eventually it was all over. He wanted down, and he wanted in the wagon NOW. He was instantly temperamental. He didn’t want the gown on, didn’t want the blanket, but he wanted in the wagon and for Justus to NOT touch the wagon and he wanted to GO!

He also, apparently, wanted my coffee and gladly took a nice big gulp. Oh well, I guess it wont hurt our need for him to pee.


We finally got some gassy pops and some pee and got him dressed into his PJs. The nurse came over to check his vitals again and let us go.


Time to go!


On the way out were were told to pick out a hat. There was a pink and a purple available and he picked purple.


As soon as we got downstairs it was apparent he was SUPER sensitive.


Everything set him off.
Getting him into the car was very difficult. He didn’t want to be there.

We decided to stop off and get some lunch since none of us had eaten very much. So pretty much the rest of this evening is consisting of him being totally fine but easy to anger with a LOT of stomping. We are administering Tylenol on a schedule to control pain, but otherwise he is normal! Doesn’t even seem to have noticed his bandage however his legs where he got shots DO hurt.

One of them was a tetanus so I can understand. Still it’s something we REALLY need, living on a farm. So for now our biggest feat will be keeping him calm! Haha!



While you were watching fireworks…

I was making my own.

So as this was my 8th child, there was nothing ‘routine’ about going into labor. Just because I’ve been pregnant for 14 years doesn’t mean that each pregnancy or labor gets easier. Each one is not only different, but each one changes my my body a little more making the pregnancy and births definitely more interesting.

With Jude, I was in labor for  T W O  W E E K S before my body finally woke up and said, “Oh, you mean now?
This was insufferable. When I say two weeks of labor, I mean bloody show, contractions- the whole works. The only thing that didnt seem to happen was I didn’t efface much more than I was and my water didn’t break. I did, however, walk around almost 6 cent. dilated with my bags of water bulging. Yeeehah, that was not fun. Needless to say I finally feel like my quiver is full!

The Day before birth

The day before I went into labor


I went into full labor on the night of July 3rd, 2013. My husband took to kids to our normal Wednesday night bible study and I stayed home with my 2 yr old Justus. I refuse to have a baby at church, that is not the legacy I wanted to leave. So I took Justus for the millionth walk to the park a few blocks away just as I had every day for the past few weeks to try and get things moving. I felt like the weight of the world was on my hips! Every step was lead filled but along I trodded away.

When I got home, I gave Justus dinner and then put him down for the night while I streamed church on the computer and cleaned the house. Every day for weeks it was the same announcement.

“Hurry up and get the house clean in case today/this morning/tonight is the night!”

After a while, the effect wore off and the kids were moaning and groaning on how ‘that’s what I said last week’. Still I had to prepare. If people were coming in my house to help while I was in the hospital, I would rather not have a ton of chores hanging around! My contractions felt the same in intensity but I got that little hint of consistency that was lacking before.
The family got home around 10pm as usual, and I told my husband about the consistency and how I felt a little more adrenaline.
Well I better shave in case we have to go in…” was his response.

I finished up what I was doing and at about 11:30pm checked on Gracie who was on her computer and sent her to bed. Then I went to bed to try and get some sleep in case I really was in labor. “I am praying that I can go to sleep, labor throughout the night, and be ready to go into the hospital come morning just like we did with Emmalia!” I told my husband.
I closed my eyes and tried to drift off to sleep. Once and a while a contraction would build and then it would subside. Ebb and flow.
At midnight I decided to time them and every time I would feel one coming on, I would open my eyes and watch the clock. 5 minutes apart.
12:07… 12:12… 12:17… 12:22…. well, darn. I wasn’t planning on going into labor at NIGHT, I thought. I had no sleep, my husband had no sleep, my daughter had no sleep and she was supposed to be the one filming me! How can I be going into labor NOW? Can’t I hold it off a bit? But I didnt want to wait so long that I wouldnt make it for at least one bag of antibiotics, as I had Group B Strep.

I got up, went into the bathroom and called my midwife. I sat on my toilette and talked to her for a bit while the contractions got a little more oomphy. After much debating and finagling about disturbing my family, my midwife said from the other side of the phone,

Jyn. Come in and have your baby.

Fine.” I responded. “I just have to go wake up my husband.
I’m already up…” he called from the bedroom. “You are really loud and I couldn’t sleep.
See, that’s the thing with a houseful of people. You never really have somewhere private to go where you can be quiet and have a conversation.

I gathered more things together to take to the hospital. By the time I was finished I looked like I was going on a small vacation to a third world country for a month. We woke up Gracie as I texted my mom and we waited for her to get to the house before we left.

The contractions were not painful yet, just consistent. We drove to the hospital, parked, and headed down to the ER where we had to page an escort to take us to labor and delivery. I have to say, I’m glad I didn’t wait! We had a ways to walk. It was already 2am on the 4th of July.

My bath was already waiting for me but I had to labor in the bed for a bit while they monitored me before I got in. The contractions were getting harder and I was feeling them more in my back now. Uh oh- back labor! Now it was around 3:30.


Jyn laboring in the tub.

Jyn laboring in the tub.

Back labor is scary. It makes everything uncomfortable.  It wasn’t long before they were coming faster and were feeling more unmanageable. I would try and rock to move and turn the baby during each contraction, but soon the pain was needing management as it felt like he was coming out my back-end. Finally, like a sonic boom, my water broke underwater. I was already about 9 centimeters dilated and with each contraction I would hold myself in on my backside with my right hand since my left hand had an IV in it. At around 6am I could feel him coming, and I forewarned the midwife in training that my main midwife might want to get there. She got there right away and by this time I was actually reaching inside myself easing my cervix around his head. It really helped, actually. I was super worried that he would pull my uterus down with him as my last son had done, and I did not want that to happen. Everything was going quick but everything was where it need to be!

I felt drunk and panicky, “Come on baby!” I would say, “Move down… open up...”. As he started to crown I would pant inbetween contractions- desperately trying to give him oxygen while I waited and endured until the next contraction when I could push. Finally His head came… and then…

Jyn Meyer Birth of Baby 8

Jyn Meyer Birth of Baby 8


He was here… my Jude… this child who would kick me at all hours and seemingly dance to the swing music we would put on during the day. The fourth of my boys and creation of God.



At this point I was holding my beautiful, warm, solid, slippery son in my arms and we were waiting for the umbilical cord to finish pumping. But as time went on, I could feel my body bleeding out. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. The midwife looked down and made the call to bring me out onto the bed next to me. The bath water was quite hot so I figure that played a part in that.



He was such a little man. His placenta was huge with 2 lobes to it (like a heart) and the umbilical cord was very very long and thick. The midwives even commented on it.


My husband with Baby Jude

My husband with Baby Jude

Soon it was time to take me to my postpartum room. Unfortunately, a lot of the wards were full so off they wheeled me far away across the hospital over to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for the overflow parking as I called it.

Doernbecher ride

My ride through the hospital to Deornbecher



Everyone was pretty exhausted, especially my husband and Gracie.

I stayed a hallway down from where my, now 4 yr old, had been after a serious accident. My room was the exact layout of her recovery room. I cant say it wasn’t eerie.

IMG_2555 IMG_2553


Everyone was getting to know our new little addition. That night was the 4th of July. My room was facing inside the courtyard of the Children’s hospital and had an awning covering most of the outside of the window so I didnt get to see any fireworks, but I stared at my own for the rest of my stay there. :)



The rest of my stay was pretty tough. My afterpains were basicly unmanageable and the meds they gave me barely touched the pain. I wasn’t able to sleep and I threw up quite a bit. It didn’t get much better when I got home. I was in so much pain and I couldn’t sleep- nursing was going poorly, I was not a happy mama.


But my baby was so wonderful. I loved him so much.

Jude sleeping in the bassinet we made him.

Jude sleeping in the bassinet we made him.

Jude sleeping in the bassinet we made him.

Jude sleeping in the bassinet we made him.

Jude sleeping in the bassinet we made him.

Jude sleeping in the bassinet we made him.


Eventually things settled down, and I was finally recouperating! It seemed like it was so much harder this time around to do so. I an definitely feeling the tug of doneness! My body needs a break. :) -Jyn


Mama bliss!

Mama bliss!


When life gives you iodine, you write your name.

Today was Gracie’s birthday. For her birthday she had some special friends over and they gave her this really neat knife they found from a 2nd hand store. It was really cool! So later on in the day, Gracie comes up to me and says:

Mom, I have tried the best I can but I cant seem to get my finger to stop bleeding.

That surprised me. She had been bleeding through bandages, apparently, but I never knew she cut herself in the first place. I look at it and all I could say was, “Gracie- that needs stitches. Bandaids wont stop that from bleeding.”
So off to the ER we went, posse in tow. This is how it went:


IMG_2108 IMG_2115

968873_10151628631086211_1557308659_n IMG_2116 IMG_2117



“What’s with all this giggling back here? This is an ER, a place for wailing and gnashing of teeth- not happiness!”




No, this is not blood- this is iodine.


When the doctors came in, they looked at the iodine written name and said, “Oh what happened here?”

“Sorry I spilled a little….”



The stylish retro colors of the OHSU ER.

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The verdict? “this was the BEST BIRTHDAY PARTY I’ve ever been to!” Gracie’s friends said.

A year ago today…

A YEAR AGO TODAY- I had a fear in my heart I had never known before and I was asked to trust in God with ultimate ‘Even-If’ faith. Even if my sweet little daughter did not live, God was still good- and He BLESSED us with friends and family praying around the world, with fast healing and recovery, and with new friendships and opportunities to share our Lord with others in need in ways we never could under normal circumstances. Most of all- he blessed us with Emma. I pray today, as Sweet Emma picks out her prettiest girly-tutu to wear to church, that parents can remember our plight and be weary of 2nd story open screen windows as the nice weather moves in. I also pray that people can find it in them to see God in EVERY situation- traumatic or not, and use it to strengthen each other.


bruised hand


Today I tripped while a friend was visiting and caught my pregnant self on the doorway of my bedroom jam. I bit my lip and bore it while I waved goodbye to her, but inside I was screaming! This is one of the more painful injuries Ive had in a long time. And now, this is what it looks like. I seriously am debating getting an xray because it feels broken!

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