Sunday, January 30, 2011

Welcome Jaden Cuthbert!!!

Jaden Cuthbert arrived in dramatic fashion on Friday, January 28th at 6:55pm. He was born by emergency C-Section and weighed in at a whopping 1 pound 5 ounces! He is 12 inches long, and is 3 months premature.
I went to the doctors on Friday morning, and they were concerned that I might be developing preeclempsia so they transferred me to hospital for observations, and after some tests, they found out that I had extreme preeclempsia with HELLP syndrome and that I would have to deliver before the day was over or they would lose both baby and me. I was immediately transferred to a larger hospital with a level 3 NICU and they began preparing me for delivery. We were able to get a hold of Jake at boot camp and he not only got to call me but was granted 5 days emergency leave! I was so grateful!
Since his delivery, both Jaden and I are doing about as well as can be expected. I have recovered really well from the surgery, and Jaden has been responding really well. He is SUPER tiny, but SUPER adorable! He is drinking 1mL of my milk every 3 hours through a feeding tube, and he is on a ventilator to help him breath, but he is breathing a lot on his own too. He is expected to remain in the NICU for the next 3 months. I'll keep everyone updated on his progress, and of course post tonz of pictures! I know a lot of people want to know how they can help, but right now we would prefer not to have any visitors. Mostly, we just need prayers, especially for little Jaden. Jake goes back to boot camp on Wednesday, so I might start needing help then. We'll see. We love this little guy so much already!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Birthday Fun and A New Letter!

Happy birthday to me!! I had fun celebrating my birthday, although I was lonely without Jake. Luckily, I only have 31 more days before I get to see him again! I think I have a pretty cute niece! I'm definitely going to miss her when I move to Chicago.

Now for the highlights of Jake's latest letter:
The Best Part: "I can't wait to see your sexy pregoness!" That line just makes me smile every time!
The Worst Part: "The showers are the tree of life showers. The toilet stalls have curtains instead of doors and don't cover all the way." For those unfamiliar with the tree of life showers, they are the poles with 4 spigots and you just shower out in the open with lots of other people. Yuck.
He is very grateful for all of the letters he has received but he has limited time to write back, so if you don't get a letter from him, don't be offended. Your letters do help him through every day, so thank you for writing him, and keep the letters coming!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Holy Crap!! He Called!!!

Out of the blue, he called me today! Best birthday present ever!! He has a cold so he didn't sound like himself, but I'll take what I can get! Originally they were allowed an hour to call home, but every time the RDC's had to tell them to shut up over the last couple of days, they lost 3 minutes off of their time, so we got to talk for 36 minutes and 16 seconds. It was glorious to just hear from him!

He is doing well! From some of his last letters, it sounded like he was just about to be sent back in his training, but he said that isn't the case. Although he still wants everyone to pray that he graduates on time, he really isn't in jeopardy at this point. I guess there are only 2 recruits in his division that have perfect scores on all inspections and physical tests, and he is one of them! The only strike against him is that he had to have a mental health evaluation done early on because he was just so messed up about "abandoning" me, but his return appointment is tomorrow and he is doing much better now that he knows how I am coping, so that will be good.

I asked him about how many immunizations he had to have. The problem is that his immunization records from when he was a child we weren't able to locate so they just had to assume that he never got them. He said they weren't too bad because they use the new compression guns instead of needles. Except for the penicillin one. That one had to go in the butt, and although it didn't hurt at the time, it sure hurt later when he had to go outside and march holding two 70 pound bags!

He says he has the worst glasses ever! My bishop (who is also in the military) calls them BC glasses. Also known as Birth Control glasses! I guess they are about as unsexy as you can get! I also asked him about his hair, and he says he doesn't really have any! They pretty much shaved it all off when he first got there, and he says it's now about 2cm long. And apparently they'll cut it all off again soon. Oh well. That's the military for you I guess!

He loves being section leader! He says it's the best job ever! There is hardly any responsibility other than just managing some of the other recruits, he hardly ever gets yelled at, and there isn't a whole lot of work involved. I guess some recruits have the job of cleaning the bathrooms. Yuck! I'd rather be section leader too I guess.

That's about it. It was so good to hear his voice, even if it didn't sound like him. He thanks everyone for their prayers and letters! Keep 'em coming!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Not just one, but THREE new letters!!!!

It's like Christmas all over again! I went to the mailbox today and found 3 whole letters waiting for me! And not just form letters, but real handwritten letters with Jake's awful handwriting and horrible spelling! I was overjoyed! Here is what he told me:
  • He is doing a lot better. He was having a really hard time at first, not because of the physical hardships, not because of the yelling, not because of the insults, not because of the "prison-like atmosphere", but because he missed me so much. That made me feel good! And it comes as a big surprise to both of us - I definitely didn't expect him to miss me very much, especially when he told me he never got homesick on his mission. But after he decided to turn his worries and problems over to the Lord, it has gotten a lot easier.
  • He wants everyone to specifically pray that he won't get ASMO'd. Basically, it means he will get set back in his training and not graduate on time. Apparently, his RDC (drill instructor) is SUPER tough and is known as the ASMO king. He specifically looks for things that he can use to send recruits back in their training. Right now, the only thing keeping him going is the thought that it will all be over soon and he will see me. So pray he graduates on time!
  • He mentioned how many lines he feels like he has to wait in! Just line after line after line.
  • One of the exercises they make him do is called "swim on the floor" where they lay down on the floor with their arms extended in front of them off the floor and their legs are off the ground as well and then they have to move them up and down while singing the theme song to Sponge Bob Square Pants! My brother got a kick out of that!
  • He is a section leader, but basically it just means that when they march, he marches in the front of the group. He said that when they get the marching just right, it's really fun!
  • He got his dog tags, and for his religion, they put "Freewill Baptist Convention". There is one other Mormon kid in his division, and he had the same thing put on his dog tags. He can't get it changed until after Boot Camp.
  • He finally was allowed to go to church on January 2nd, and it was so good! He got to take the Sacrament and get a priesthood blessing. The schedule is Priesthood/Relief Society and then Sacrament Meeting, so church there is only 2 hours and 15 minutes long. He went with the other LDS kid (who has Portuguese parents, but doesn't speak Portuguese) in his division. He said he enjoys church so much partly because it is such a contrast to life with the RDC's. It is so peaceful and quiet and the Spirit is plentiful.
  • The food there is pretty decent. Apparently they are fed by Goodwill. Sure surprised me! They have fruits, veggies, salads, cereals, and desserts always available, and then some hot dishes for each meal.
  • It is SUPER cold there (not a big surprise since it's north of Chicago) but he isn't cold because anytime they go outside they make them wear a big coat, a scarf, a ski mask, a beanie, and gloves.
  • His daily schedule is pretty much when he wakes up (reveille), shaves, makes his bed, and goes to chow (his meal). Then sometimes they go to the computer lab to study, sometimes they exercise, sometimes they drill (march) outside. It just depends.

Wow! That's a lot I know, but it's from 3 long letters. I will leave you with his parting words, and don't forget - keep writing him and praying for him!

"I can take the standing for hours, the being pushed around like cattle, not being able to talk to people around me, but the most difficult thing I have ever been through in my life has happened here. That is being away from Mari, not knowing how she is, or being able to communicate with her for a few weeks. I never had homesickness on the mission but I miss Mari so much. That caught me off guard. You never know how good you have it till you go without. Cherish your families. You will miss them when they are away. So, now that my back is a little stronger, my bladder 3 times as big (I guess they make you wait to go to the bathroom a lot), and my faith is in God, I'm ready to do this. Thanks for your love and prayers, they are felt."I love my Sailor!

Monday, January 3, 2011

I Got a Letter! Sort of...

So all I have gotten from Jake so far was his initial form letter letting me know all about graduation. Today I got another letter, but once again, it's mostly forms. It has all of the paperwork I need to get my military ID and become enrolled with the military insurance. But it did have his signature on the bottom, so at least I know he's alive! :) And I'm still waiting on that promised phone call...

P.S. I just made my plane reservations for graduation! I've been watching airline prices like a hawk the past couple of weeks, and they just went down by quite a bit, so I booked my flight and car! Now I just need to pray that Jake graduates on time! :)