Wednesday, August 27, 2008


HappY 7Th BiRthdAy BuDdy!
Colton Ray Sorensen was our FIRST !!
Therefore he is the most photographed of the bunch (sorry does not mean we LOVE any of you less) --So be prepared for a PHOTO GALLERY of Colton! He entered the world on July 22, 2001
SUPER early in the a.m (1:38am)
weighing in at 8lbs. 4oz.
We brought him home (the 1st time) on July 24th (thus the patriotic outfit in the hospital)

Colton Ray Sorensen- 6 weeks

Colton Ray Sorensen-6 months

Colton Ray Sorensen-8 months
(this picture is how we told everyone we were expecting Sterling #2- I was already 2 months pregnant)

Colton Ray Sorensen- 1year

Colton Ray Sorensen-2 years

Colton Ray Sorensen- 3 years

Colton Ray Sorensen- 4 years

Colton Ray Sorensen- 5 years
Colton Ray Sorensen- 6 years
AND the story begins...

(Dan and Alicia tandem biking up Provo Canyon for Dan's birthday-a month and a half before Colton arrived)

Colton was tired of waiting for me to decide to marry Dan and joined our family as quickly as was absolutely possible. He was born 9 months and a couple of hours from our wedding day.Colton was the best wedding present Dan and I could have given each other. His pregnancy came as quite a happy surprise. We were absolutely ready for our family to grow, but considering the circumstances how he arrived, it was a 'miracle' of sorts.

(Check out my feet for balloons! The swelling got bad towards the end)

Colton's pregnancy was NOT textbook from the beginning. He taught me so much before he even entered the world. He taught me that my body would not be pregnant as I always envisioned it would be (a small ball out front). I gained 80 pounds his pregnancy and swelled up like a balloon.

I also learned what it meant to be a mom even before he arrived. At our 20 week ultrasound they discovered his right kidney to be allot larger than the average size. With a close eye on it, it began to be a problem-- and we were sent to a paranatologist (that's the word right? for specialized pre-born baby Dr's.) to see what our options where.

They were not sure what was causing the problem, BUT felt like it was not necessary to do surgery on him inutero. They felt an early arrival would be better. They decided that we needed to induce him AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and have him be born in a controlled environment with help nearby.

I was hoping for as natural delivery as possible, and had opted to go with hospital midwives in the American Fork Hospital. This type of pregnancy is typically against their protocol, but they kept me as a patient and worked with me. We had an amniocentesis done and discovered that Colton's lungs were not developed enough to deliver as early as they had hoped. So, instead I went in for weekly ultrasounds where they would measure the levels of amniotic fluid (which would be an immediate sign something was really wrong, if they went down) and stress tests. Colton was a very content little bug in my tummy.

However, all the things you worry about as a prego mom were coming true. I was not going to have a healthy baby, and I did not know the extent of what was in our future. I spent many nights worrying about him and his comfort.Wondering if Colton was hurting. Wanting to give Colton my kidney in return for his health. I started to realize what it was like to have your heart stretched and pulled that only motherhood brings. Motherhood is about tears.

(He came!!! Dan and I celebrating our first babY...COLTON ~although we did not know what his name would be until the next day, OR how we were going to spell it--we had to take votes!)

Because my babies ALWAYS measure big on ultrasounds they always have my due date set early (as we had NO other way to determine his time of conception on this pregnancy). They tried to move my due date up to before the 9 month anniversary of our wedding AND I KNEW that was absolutely impossible. Based upon their earliest ultrasound they decided to take Colton 2 days earlier.

My body was not ready, and I do not think Colton was ready either. I had my membranes stripped the day before and it did NOTHING (besides hurt). They started the 'pit' on July 21 and I thought that it was not so bad. I thought I might be one of those miracle deliveries where they hardly feel a thing-HA HA HA HA HA.

After about 6 hours of regular contractions and NO dilation they decided to break my water-OUCH! The 'pit' was on the highest it could go... and labor hit me FULL FORCE. I could not even get a breather between contractions at times. I had no working up to hard labor (and I had never felt labor before)--it was a SHOCK! We tried the bathtub w/ no jets (because they had to monitor the baby VERY consistently), then I tried the ball, then I really wanted to die... and it became very apparent that I was going to need an extra hand to get through this. We finally ordered the epidural. I had been stuck at a 6 for over an hour. Soon as the epidural kicked in I jumped to a 8 and then a 10 within the hour. I needed the epidural to allow my body to dialate. Little did I know that this was going to be the easy part.

The pushing began. I pushed and pushed and pushed AND pushed. I always prided myself in being athletic (pre-baby). I knew what the hardest workout felt like, dry heaving and all~ and I liked the BURN, BUT NOTHING could have prepared me for the stamina and strength it was going to take to get Colton out. Finally, one of the nurses tied the end of a bed sheet and had me pull on one end when pushing while she held on the other end. We did a little tug-of-war with each other. I had kicked my mom at one point, who was holding one of my legs. I had never been asked, physically, to go this far... EVER. I was getting torn apart. After 2.5 hours of pushing they called in the doctor who was over my midwife, and they were consulting about a c-section. Luckily my body finally gave in, and I was able to get sweet Colton out--I sobbed. There is nothing that can describe that first little cry for the baby I had worked so hard and worried about so much already! Colton arrived long fingered, long toed and long bodied! My blue-eyed, blondie beauty!

His poor little head was as long as my foot-he looked like an alien!! He had what they call molding, when a baby is in the birth canal for long periods of time. IF it had hurt me so badly, what had it done to him? He had the saddest little cry when he came out-but then immediately he was alert and content to be held.

*THIS PARAGRAPH is EXPLICIT-SKIP if you have a weak stomach! I could NOT walk. I was so swollen I could not go to the bathroom, so they had to place a catheter in me, and that hurt about as bad as birth! I am a bleeder and bleed quite a bit during birth. I quickly wanted to pass out. I had pushed my cervix right out and they had to place it back in while stitching my tear (I still have never heard of this so it sounds weird to say it). IF I did not have such physical pain and postpartum, the next week or so would have been allot smoother!

But he was HERE! My life was NEVER going to be the same and I was IN LOVE

(Back in the hospital again w/ little Colton all tubed and covered-poor sick baby!)
I was determined Colton was going to be the best breastfed baby EVER. Nursing did not start out so bad. I nursed him, and thought he was getting colostrum (even though you can't typically see it).I had taken all the La Leche a League courses and I was ready. Only on my second pregnancy did we discover with lactation consultants that my body does not produce colostrum until my actual milk arrives.Ummm, my milk came in and I was ON FIRE and hard as a rock (sorry, too explicit again). I was running a good fever and making less than an ounce of milk for about 2 days (this is typical EVERY time I have a baby).
Colton went home with jaundice and the next day was admitted back into the hospital for dehydration. He was listless and unresponsive. He pee'd crystals, and his jaundice numbers had shot above dangerous. He had a high fever for a baby. They had to do a spinal tap (try sitting through that one with post partum) and were not sure what was going on. They had to place an IV in his head, poke his heels and draw blood MILLIONS of times a day-he would just scream and scream. They also had to catheterize him to get a pure sample of urine to determine if he had a bladder infection, and if his kidneys were causing the problems. At one point I could not take it any more and I ran down the hall and laid on the bathroom floor and cried until they were done taking his blood. I was pretty traumatized with this whole ordeal.
However, I know Heavenly Father even listens to the small pleas of new mommies. After trying to catheterize Colton for the 3rd time and his crying scream, Dan and I prayed that they would be able to get it in the next time they tried. They did. At that point I knew Heavenly Father cared about my needs, which were so small compared to the rest of the BIG WORLD problems going on. He loved me.
I pumped during this time at the hospital because Colton needed milk. He was under billiruben lights (they did not have the blankets yet) and had IV's and chords, etc. all over--It made it very hard to nurse him adequately enough to get the jaundice out. Now, I am an advocate of formula and hospital grade breast pumps, because it saved Colton's life! I struggled with nursing the entire time with him, even with hours of feeding him, pumping, taking medications to increase milk supply, drinking pineapple juice...sometimes some of us aren't the best nursers despite the professional advice (I CAN say this because I have had 2 good nursers AFTER really really fighting for it, and 2 bad nursers!!).
Colton finally regained some weight and came back clear on his spinals, blood work and urinalysis. His Jaundice was controlled (only a few more visits to the hospital and heel pricks) He was eating and we were released after about a week in the hospital. Thank goodness Dan was working in the clinic out back of the hospital. I could see it out our window. It was a very hard time for me as a new mother. BUT... Colton has been worth every second of that pain.

(Colton on his blessing day)

We FINALLY could 'play house' with our new baby! We were a family.

(Proud momma and pappa on Colton's blessing day)

(Our final moments together as a family before Dan had to take off for Houston in our car and I stayed behind)

Our weeks of "play" quickly came to an end-- as we were having to pack up our house and move to Houston --for Dan to attend graduate school at TWU to get his masters.He had been accepted into the Physical Therapy program. We were not able to make an appointment with SLC Primary Children's Hospital until after Dan had to be in school. We also had to keep us covered under our health insurance for Colton's kidney needs. Dan went to Houston before us, and I stayed behind w/ Colton and lived with Grandma Rawson (Dan's Grandma).

It was HARD. I was still trying to get the baby thing down, and I was lonely without my best friend and helpmate. The tests they had to run at the children's hospital were hard too. They had to run an IV and catheter while radio graphing his kidneys working (somehow). They also did ultrasounds and x-rays. I let my Aunt Sally (my moms sister) go in with Colton because I could not do it anymore. My Aunt Sally had children of her own that had medical needs, so it was so comforting having her there with me. This is what was to be the beginning of our relationship with hospitals and surgery. During this time Colton started having blood in his stool and was bleeding from his belly button.

They did find out that Colton's kidney was indeed getting bigger, and it was a UPJ blockage. The ureter that drains the kidney, while forming, had pinched shut and only allowed the kidney to drain slowly.They typically did not operate on these blockages until 8 months old. While waiting we developed a strong relationship with a pediatric urologist. We got the insurance in place and doctor found in Houston--and Colton and I were back with DADDY! We had just had our 6 week appointments. So much in so little time!

(Moving is tiring!!! Colton sleeping while we unpacked our apartment in Houston)

Colton turned into THE BEST baby. He was a good sleeper (once or twice up in the night~ 2 naps a day w/ one being about 4 hours long), and took everything in stride. He was easily pacified. He was a flirt, and enjoyed people. I did not realize how good I had it with him until I have had a few babies that were NOT easy babies.

(Colton should have gotten his PT lisc. as well-for all the hours he spent on daddy's chest 'hitting the books' while daddy studied)
(Colton's first Halloween compliments of Great Gma Sorensen)
(This is what a little morphine can do to you! Colton Drugged up after surgery!)
The time arrived for Colton's surgery, and I was so nervous and sick (I found out during this time I was pregnant). We had, had time to prepare ourselves for that day. We had grown to trust and like our surgeon/specialist. For the first time in my life I realized what it meant to trust in the "arm's of flesh". I was handing my baby over to strangers TRUSTING them that they would be able to fix what was wrong and that NOTHING would go wrong while they were doing it (when they intubate a baby, they breathe for them). I don't remember all the details. But I do remember how cute Colton looked in his hospital gown, as they wheeled him out of the room blowing bubbles to distract him. I believe Colton was in surgery for 4 plus hours. I remember sitting in the waiting room trying to distract myself. I remember how much I HATE the smell of my babies when coming out of anesthesia (sp)-it has a funky smell to it. How pale they are, and sad their cries. It was ecspecially hard not knowing what was hurting or how much it was hurting him.(Sleep it off Colton, Sleep it off!)
That night both Dan and I slept next to him in the window seat and chair. Every time he let out a cry we would start to pump the pain meds. We did not want him to feel a thing! It was a long night. I was very impressed w/ the facilities. They were state-of-the-art. It helped put everything in perspective when I saw other children who were almost permanent residents there. Colton had a hard time not being sick on the pain medication and could not keep his food down. So they kept him in a day longer and were able to swtich his medication. He came home, and we thought it was FIXED!

(Sweet Sweet Colton carting around his urine on his back! Never complained once about it!)

But.. a week or so later while I was changing Colton-he looked like he was pregnant. When I pushed on his stomach it was hard as a rock. I called Dan in and he said we had to get Colton in immediatly. We got him in to the dr. later that day and Colton had developed a urnioma in his stomach (pocket of urnine in his stomach cavity). Somehow his surgery site had developed scar tissue and it had closed off the ureter, so his urine was leaking out and collecting in his body.

I learned that everything in medicine is not always textbook. They try one thing and if it does not work, they move to the next...maybe that is why it is a science. Colton was scheduled to go into surgery the next day. They went in and placed a stint (straw) IN the ureter to open it up and then placed two holes w/ drainage tubes. One into his stomach, and one into the kidney. The urine would now drain into those while the ureter was repairing.
Sweet sweet Colton was SUCH a trooper! He carted his pee on his back for weeks and he did not play with it, pull on it, or give himself problems sleeping. He was very temperate with his treatments. You could never tell he had a surgery a few hours after (unless he was really drugged). He did not cry and was not fussy about not being able to eat either (very typcial for surgeries)
Later he went for surgery to remove the stint, as your body will reject foriegn objects, AND then one more time to remove the drainage tubes. It was a waiting game after, to see if the stint helped the ureter stay open while healing.
IT WORKED!!!! We finally got clearance over a year ago (2006/2007) from his pediatric urologist from Houston (who ironically has moved to Phoenix) to never come visit again. Before that, it was tests at least once a year! It will take years for his kidney to finally be back down to normal size.
Medicine is a miracle, and at times I am still skeptical. Any time Colton runs a fever or complains of a side ache I wonder if it his kidney. Secretly I want to keep myself super healthy to give him my kidney IF he ever needs it in the future. But, he won't AND he has definetly has continued GROWING!
Colton would eat oranges peel and all!
(Sterlings birth announcement picture--Colton LOVED having a partner in crime!)

Colton is the PERFECT beginnig to our family! I always worried about having boys first, as they don't come with the natural maternal instinct. But, Colton has taken the responsiblity on like a champ! Colton was our only child for a short time (16 months) BUT he has NEVER shown any form of aggression or jealousy for his new siblings. He adores them and is so gentle. He seems to feel ownership of them.

(Colton and Sterling started wrestling at a young age and LOVED it--)
Colton LOVES having more to play with. Sterling and Colton were the cutest little dudes together. I LOVE watching them grow up. They were close in age and have been the best little buds (and fighting partners). It was almost what I would envision twins would be like at SOME moments.

(The Sorensen Family while living in Houston,Texas ~LtoR: Colton, Alicia, Dan and Sterling, at the temple)

Colton would walk up to any stranger and walk away with them. He had no fear of people. He was our only child that literally ran into nursery every week and tried getting IN earlier then when it was his time (18 months). He LOVES friends and new toys.

Speaking of strangers...complete strangers would walk up to us and comment on Colton's calves when he was a toddler...he has rockin' calves! (he is going to die when he reads this)

(Uncle Russ styling Coltons hair for church while we lived with M&D Sorensen)

Colton worked hard at making everyone laugh. He use to pull the funniest faces in his high chair trying to make us all laugh. His favorite thing to do (out of nowhere one day) was say, "look momma, look!" and I looked over to find him completely cross-eyed. He did it often. He likes people to laugh at, and with him!

(Look Momma Look!)
(Colton and Sterling welcoming their 3rd partner in crime...Ryland!)
Colton is the best big brother. He has never said hurtful things about adding to our family. He is always excited. In fact, he was the one who was absolutely sure Dacie was a girl. He runs and gets diapers, feeds them bottles, holds them, takes diapers out to the trash, gets kids out of bed and into high chairs, he will feed them and wipe them if I am no where to be seen, he brushes their teeth, marks their chore charts, locks them into car seats, reads to them. He is a responsible kid. He takes responsiblity seriously (even though he is a boy, and tends to get distracted).

Colton use to be ABSOLUTELY addicted to trains when he was younger. He is passionate about what he loves. He has an addictive personality. Now--it would be video games IF I allowed him!
(Visitng Thomas the Train and Sir Topham Hat up in Williams, AZ.)
(Colton and Sterling at a Father and Son campout in Flagg)

Colton is UP for ANY FORM of fun! If you organize it-he is GAME!

Colton doe not electively choose to sing. He does it, and CAN carry a tune. However, he has told me he wants to take piano lessons. Hmmm, maybe those long fingers may come in super handy!
Colton LOVES sugar. Sugar meaning jam, and sugar candy (like nerds, sweet tarts, gobstoppers, etc.) He LOVES ice cream. He LOVES carbs, ecspecially good rolls and bread-they are GONE!
Colton likes to pretend at times as well. Here he is as an undercover detective!
Colton is thankful and gracious. When he says thank you, or writes notes he is sincere. Like I said, he is easily distracted by fun and things around him...but when he is in the mood-it is for real.
He really looks up to his Uncle Brednon as an 'older brother' figure-since they are the closest in age. He thinks all his uncles are cool, and I catch him saying or doing things he mimicks from them--ecspecially the single ones! Colton was meant to be the first born-there is something about his personality. He is the leader of the pack! He is responsible, likes to take charge, be sure everything is fair, and his siblings are obeying the rules. I typcially have and extra set of eyes (and mouth) when he is around!

(Spending time in Sedona-Colton fell in the water and had to be rescued by MOM here!)

Colton thinks Dan is cool, and is probably most like Dan in personality.

(Colton and Ryland enjoying yellowstone)
I can trust Colton to watch his siblings.

Colton is detailed oreinted. He is typically a 'clean boy' (if there is such a thing). He is very academic, and has picked up on things naturally. It takes very little teaching for him to grasp the concept. He is reading Chronicles of Narnia, Spiderwick Chronicles, Charlie and the Chocolate Factories (barely being 7) and is dying for us to let him start reading the Lord of the Rings. He also tested into the gifted program at school this year. We are so proud of him. He comes right home from school and gets his homework done, without any prodding (typically).

I always worried that Ryland would be the 3rd wheel when he was born. Since Colton and Sterling were so close in age and had more time together before Ryland was born. BUT it is so fun for me to see them pick up this trio (as naughty as it may be at times), Ryland picks up where the other two leave off of each other.
Colton LOVES Star Wars, Pokemon, and Transformers
Colton also LOVES family trips. He LOVES going to fun places and being together as a family.
Colton is also a great helper and cleaner. Where his brothers might lack in detail. Colton is pretty good about getting the job done right! He has been a lifesaver in our home!
(Colton sledding in the snow in Flagg)

Colton would play any season, all day, any day, ANY hour--he LOVES activites (including crafts, and projects inside, making books, etc.)

(Roasting marshmallows w/ visiting family)

Colton LOVES his boy cousins (Kayden and Boston)-the only ones closest to his age. He is ECSTATIC to get together with them. They are often the thoughts in his creative dreams and adventures he plans.

(Some of the Hutchings Cousins on St. Patty Day)

Colton pretty much has a bad set of teeth, all the way from spacing to cavities. His genetics were a bit off in that department I am afraid. Thank goodness we have a ROCKIN' dentist and assistant (Grandma)!

Colton enjoys sports. I believe he will be a great basketball player (I am not biased or anything). He really gets into the competition and winning part of it. He was a big fan of the USA teams for the Olympics. Could not find a more notewrothy USA fan for sure!

He LOVES anything to do with golfing too. I don't think his dad had any part in that play! ha ha

Last, but not least Colton is sensitive. He will cry at sad parts of movies. When I am crying he is the one who gets super tender. He was the one who cried while the baby chick was dying. He gets embarassed to show this side of him...but it is there. He will every so often still like cuddling with me, and I will take that for as long as I can. I remember when he was younger and we would lay down together for naps. He would always say "hold me". I will treasure those afternoons where I got to hold my little BIGGEST boy.

(Colton's 7th Birthday in California)

I look at these pictures and wonder where time has gone.
But I am also so excited for his future, because I LOVE the boy and man I see him becoming already.

Colton--Thank you for coming to our family RIGHT when you did. I needed you.

We love you!
Happy Birthday
Binka (nick name before he was born)
and Pooka (his nick name after as a baby)!


TexasTwinsTwice said...

It's so cute how all his baby pictures look just like him..only smaller! WOW--is all I can say about all that medical stuff. I knew you guys went through a lot, but i didn't know all the details! I'm glad it's all behind him (&you) now. It was fun to get to know him better through this sweet post.

Angie said...

What a sweet little boy you have!!

The bows that I use now are mostly from Walmart and Target--super cheap!!

The Gordon Bunch said...

We love Colton! He will always be one of Dallin's special friends! Happy Birthday, Colton! You are such a sweet boy.

Aaron & Jayme said...

Alicia I had no idea you had such a hard pregnancy and delivery! You are amazing! I hope Colton had an awesome birthday!

The Greers said...

I will always have fond thoughts of Colton's birthday as it was the day we meet you!
What an awesome kid.

Princess Muhmah and The Clan: said...

Isabel loves Thomas! Where is Williams? Could we make it be on our way to CA, or would it be way out of the way?

"...they were consulting about a c-section. Luckily my body finally gave in..."

Okay, having had three c-sections, and then reading your post...Bring on the c-sections! Holy Cow! I can't imagine going through that much pain!

I remember the worries during the pregnancy. I remember the surgeries after he was born. I don't remember hearing about the horrible delivery you went through! Now I can add that to my list of things to be thankful for. Whenever I start feeling sorry for myself, I think..."I'm thankful for three healthy children, that I haven't had to go through the health trials that Dan and Alicia have gone through so many times." Having read about the birth of Colton, I can now be thankful that I didn't go through that!

Happy Birthday Colton! We'll still plan on meeting up with you at the MTC in about 12 years. Ouch! Just 12 years? Have the boys really grown that fast?


wonderful pictures! sounds like Colton is a great boy! Happy birthday!

Emily said...

This was a very emotional entry. When I read about all that you and Colton had to go through during your pregnancy and after, I sat here at my computer crying like a baby. I'm so glad that everything is okay with him now and that he is such a terrific kid. I definitely know how hard it is to have these kinds of hard ships. You handled yours beautifully!

Janae Gordon said...

i love Colton's life history with pics!! We were there seeing Thomas, too! Carter loves Thomas!
Hope he had a special day!

Allison Barry said...

that was so sweet, Alicia. I always remember thinking Colton was the world's most beautiful baby. Now I think he looks like Marcus and I think Sterling looks like Russ.

Carca said...

I cannot believe how much you went thru....and as first time! what a nice, long have inspired me to try to document more about my kids!