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Whirlwind

29 Jan

So the past few weeks since the last post have been an absolute whirlwind.

Christmas with all the various parts of the families.  I didn’t have to change a single diaper Christmas Eve OR Christmas. Win!

New Year’s. The only reason I was awake to ring in the new year was because someone was demanding to eat. Men! 🙂 D had issues maintaining and gaining weight. We were going in for weekly weight checks. 

Once the 2013 rolled around I figured the chaos was behind us and D and I could figure out and set a schedule for how our days were going to go.

Wrong!

A few days after the new year D started throwing up. Seriously throwing up. We started using blankets for burp cloths because regular burp cloths couldn’t contain the mess. It escalated to projectile vomiting after every. single. feed. I was up to at least one, if not two, pukey loads of clothes a day. D’s and mine. loathe doing laundry. Especially puke laundry. 

I tried everything to stop the vomiting. Smaller feeds. Burping after every ounce. Taking the bottle out of his mouth ever 30 seconds so D didn’t get too much at once. Smaller nip.ples on the bottle. Soy formula. Gas drops. Sitting up for 15, 30, 60 minutes after a feed. Everything twitter, facebook, family and friends suggested. None of it was helping and I was losing my mind.

I didn’t want to be the mom who constantly takes her child to the doctor for no reason. Sunday night D was still projectile puking and I decided I would make him an appointment just to be on the safe side. My gut was telling me this wasn’t normal and maybe he needed some reflux medication. I called Monday morning and the on call nurse agreed that with D’s vomiting and his sudden lack of wet diapers that D needed an appointment and we scheduled one for Monday afternoon. My sister came over to hang out Monday morning and decided to come with us to the appointment to spend more time with D before her class right around the corner from the doctor’s office.

The doctor asked why we were there and after giving D an exam He’d lost all the weight he’d fought so hard to put on and was back down below his birth weight. Again. she thought D may have something as simple as reflux but suspected he may have pyloric stenosis (thickening of the muscle between the stomach and small intestine that keeps food from being digested requiring surgery to fix) and sent us to the hospital for a stat ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis. Auntie A and I drove our cars to the hospital focusing on driving was the only thing keeping me from falling apart. and went straight from out patient testing back for the ultrasound. I hated having to call my sister and let her know we probably weren’t going to make it to the appointment to pick out bridesmaid dresses and see her in her wedding gown. Thankfully M was awesome at calming me down. And she was debating whether to cancel the whole appointment to come down to the hospital. Thank you, Tia. We love you!

Thank goodness Auntie A decided to come along for the appointment. B working, doesn’t have any cell reception in his building and was due to be leaving any minute. I sent him an email and text messages letting him know I needed him to call me asap. I didn’t want to focus on the worst case scenario, as hormonal, first time moms who are kicking themselves for waiting so long to take their kids to the doctor could possibly be, surgery, and tell him over the phone or in an email.

I finally got a hold of B and told him that D and I were okay but he needed to come to the hospital. I will never forget the sound of B’s voice when I told him what was going and that our son may need surgery. B was worried, but he was incredibly reassuring and supportive. And didn’t make any jokes about my cry voice over the phone.

B got there in time to hear the radiologist’s diagnosis- D did have pyloric stenosis and was going to be admitted straight from the ultrasound. My four week old son was going to have surgery.

Due to flu season being in full swing the peds floor was full and I ended up in the waiting room for 30 minutes with a baby who was starving and letting every person in the waiting know for a room to open up while B went home to pack bags. D couldn’t eat until after surgery…and we had no idea when that was going to be. Poor guy was starving, but he was a trooper!

Once we got a room the nurses took D’s vitals and needed to draw blood to see what his electrolyte levels were and to start an IV. They draw blood and start IVs in a procedure room so the parents can either stay and watch or as a reason to not have to see their child poked and prodded and to have all potentially needed tools in the same room. And it was painted with a really cool mural on the wall to put the kids at ease. I opted to go with for my peace of mind- to know that D wasn’t in too much pain and to make sure the nurses knew what they were doing. Not that I could do it myself. One nurse distracted him with one of the many toys in the room while another tried to start an IV, but because D was dehydrated his veins wouldn’t cooperate and he ended up with a scary looking one in his head. D’s labs came back and he was scheduled for surgery Tuesday morning at 11am.

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Monday night was quite possibly the longest night of my life. D was beyond hungry, would not. stop. crying. and I was running solo. It was the night of the Notre Dame/Alabama championship game, the televisions at the hospital are itty bitty, it was not going to be quiet for B to hear the commentary and these sick little kids did not need to see/hear the adult temper tantrum that was a possibility if the game did not go well for ND so I sent B home. Definitely the right choice!  

Tuesday morning finally rolled around and my Dad came to keep me company while I waited for B to get to the hospital. There was someone coming to appraise the house to refinance our mortgage. Interest rates are LOW, yo! I was incredibly thankful my parents were with me. My youngest sister had emergency brain surgery at 2 weeks old and they know exactly how it feels for your child to need a surgical procedure out of the blue and how helpless to do anything you feel. 

D went back to pre-op at 10 and I managed to keep it together. Definitely helped that I got to carry him instead of walking behind him being wheeled down in the bed that looked like a cage. D’s surgeon was an amazing man who sat down, looked me in the eye told me step for step what he was going to be doing, in terms that I could understand without a medical degree. He told us that D would probably be taken back for surgery about 11am, the procedure would take roughly an hour, D would be post-op and we could hold our son by 12:15pm plus/minus 15 minutes. We could lay eyes on our son and hold him by 12:30. Definitely reassuring to know exactly what was happening and when we could see D. B made it to pre-op in time to hold D and spend a few minutes with him. The surgical nurses came in, commented on how adorable D was (naturally), and took our little baby away. Then, I lost it.  

My parents, B and I checked in to the surgical waiting room and the waiting game began. There was an adorable  little girl not much older than D in the waiting room and I lost it all over again. After a few minutes one of the nurses came out to let us know D’s surgery had started. Right on time. 90 minutes until we could see our sweet boy, tops.

Thank goodness for technology and wireless internet!

Right at noon the surgeon came out to let us know the procedure went well and let us know D was in recovery and was starting to wake up. He even showed us photos from the surgery! Another nurse came out and took us back to see D.

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D in recovery. Hard to see our son like this, but nice knowing he was on his way to feeling much, much better.

D was going to be in recovery for at least an hour and my parents were anxious to see D as well. B and I ran down to the cafeteria to get a quick bite to eat while the grandparents spent some time with D and he was back in his room before we could finish eating.

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Daddy holding his son for the first time post-op.

D had to wait 3 hours after surgery to eat for the swelling to go down and potentially keep food down. B gave D his first single ounce of food in over 24 hours. For the first time in days  D kept food down! I held D after he ate and kept the bottle down. He looked me right in the face and smiles for the first time. There was no doubt in my mind that D was feeling tons better.

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Feeeeeeeeeeeed me!

The next few feedings did not go as well as the first. The surgeon had told us that 90% of patients go home the day after surgery. D needed to keep 2 oz down for 3 feedings in a row in order to go home and he earned himself an extra night in the hospital. I had a lot of guilt about D needing to stay the extra day. I felt like a really bad mom for not listening to my instincts and taking him to the doctor sooner. But that’s another story.  

After lots of tears D’s and mine D finally kept his 2 oz down for the 3rd time the wee hours on Thursday morning and the three of us finally got to go home! B burned through vacation days to stay at the hospital with D and in support of me. I did the ugly cry more than once in the days were in the hospital. I am forever thankful for how supportive B and our families were.

I was more than a little nervous to take D home and take are of him, but this face was a definite step in the right direction.

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Pregnancy Guilt

13 Sep

Is it wrong to feel guilty about being pregnant when so many friends in real life and the infertility community on twitter are struggling to get and stay pregnant?

Each couple’s infertility story and journey is different and unique to them.

Comparatively, our journey could be a lot different.

I stopped taking birth control pills shortly after our first anniversary summer of 2010. We weren’t trying, but we weren’t not trying either.

Then I missed my period.

Holy crap!

The pregnancy test was negative.

No big deal, my body just needs time to adjust. I’d been on the pill for about 5 years to help with extreme cramping and really heavy periods.

My period never came.

I took pregnancy tests every few weeks on the off chance that I was somehow pregnant. Always trying to prepare myself to see the one line but hoping to see those two lines saying I was pregnant.

B knew that something was going on, but I took great lengths to hide all the pregnancy tests and tried not to show him how scared I was that I would never be able to give him the kids he wanted. In the back of my mind I didn’t want him to regret marrying someone who couldn’t make him a Dad.  Tampon boxes are the perfect hiding place. 

By November I still hadn’t had a period. I scheduled an appointment to see my doctor and have all the tests done.

Thanksgiving weekend 2010, the bottom fell out of my world. My parents separated. The family unit I had known my entire life was changing. A few days later I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and was told the chances of my getting pregnant without significant medical intervention were slim to none.  And two days after that I turned 25. Happy freaking birthday to me.

Telling Brian I wasn’t going to be able to have children was far and away the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I don’t know if it was the wine or the hours and hours of crying but I felt like absolute ca-ca the next morning. Emotional hangover mixed with wine hangover- no bueno!

I started meds for the treatment of the pcos and prenatal vitamins for the other symptoms I was experiencing. (Acne, hair loss, facial hair, bumpy and brittle finger nails) I wanted to punch the pharmacy tech who congratulated me on my pregnancy and need for prenatals. Jackhole.

After several months of missed periods and then periods that lasted 2+ weeks my family doctor sent me to a fertility specialist. After looking at my temperature charts and being monitored by the specialist, she wanted me to start taking Clomid December of 2011 and go from there. After failed Clomid cycles I wanted to hold off on doing another until we figured out how and if B’s new epilepsy meds were going to affect  his fertility. I didn’t see the point in spending time, money, energy and heartache until we knew for sure something else wasn’t going on.

After taking the Clomid I had 2 regular periods. I was really excited that my body was actually starting to function in the way it was supposed to, but cautiously optimistic. I didn’t want to get my hopes up on to have my heart broken. Again.

My period was due 10th-20th of March if things were going to keep going regularly, but it never came.

I finally decided to take a pregnancy test April 7th, 2012 just to see what was going on.

Holy shit, it was positive. As were the next 6 tests I took. 

I was pregnant.

I’ve only had minor complications, right at and just after viability.

 

Getting pregnant definitely wasn’t wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am easy.  But it wasn’t failed fertility treatment after failed fertility treatment after miscarriage after miscarriage, or (so far) dealt with serious complications to me or Nugget.

For that, I feel guilty. It’s not fair that I’m pregnant and will have a baby after 2 years at 27 years old. There are TONS of women who have tried for 2, 6, 8 times longer.

I definitely don’t wish away this miracle pregnancy. I  feel guilty for feeling guilty. But I feel guilty all the same.

I just wish I could wave a magic wand and take away the heartache and financial and emotional cost of infertility and give everyone who wanted it a happy, healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy.

Infertility just sucks a big one.

 

 

Please feel free to comment but note that these are my genuine thoughts and feelings- word vomit or not. Please be kind. 

 

Hope

2 Jun

One Christmas after my infertility diagnosis my mother gave me this as a present.

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This Easter I got a serious surprise in my Easter basket.

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This year, this little Nugget will be the best Christmas present ever!

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Hopefully Nugget decides to come on his/her due date. Having a birthday of 12/12/12 would be pretty awesome!

 

 

Sorry about the poor picture quality. Note to self- phone posts aren’t the best.

Mean People Suck.

15 Sep

I am beyond outraged.

In January I wrote a post about a little girl who is very precious to me.

This amazing young lady and her brother and sister were micro preemie triplets.

Thanks to amazing medical advancements the trips are happy, healthy 10 year olds. Holy crap I feel old. I’m now that person I promised myself I’d NEVER be. That You’re How Old?! I Remember When You Were Born person. 

A precious miracle that has had endure a lot in her life.

Being born super early and some of the medical issues that come with it.

Now add cyber bullying.

Below is a video Emma’s mom, Melissa, posted on youtube to share some of Emma’s story and showing kids and grownups alike how hurtful comments can be because someone sounds a little different. Melissa and Mike (Melissa’s husband and the trips poppa) are getting awful, hurtful, ignorant, hateful comments on the video.

A video of a 10 year old girl just asking for some acceptance. Something we all need and look for.

Please watch the video and leave a positive comment in support of this awesome family.

 

 

Mamavation Monday 6

21 Feb

Dooooooooooooood. What. A. Week.

I haven’t stepped on a scale in a few weeks. I could feel myself sliding down the slippery eating disorder slope I ventured down in high school. I’m making changes in my life to get HEALTHY. Part of that is losing weight, but that’s only one part of the big picture. I’ve been working out more often and for longer periods of time. I’m drinking water like it’s my job. I’ve been averaging 2 liters of water a day. All the extra water means more frequent bathroom trips which means I’m up and active more. I’m making a conscious effort to move more while working my 12 shifts.

I had my much-anticipated appointment with the doctor this week. I don’t mind going to the doctor, but I’m not so much a fan of getting my blood pressure and weight taken and marked down forever in my chart. Ugh.

 I make sure to get on the scale backwards. I don’t want to know the number. I know it’s higher than it should be, but I DON’T WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH HIGHER.

My blood pressure gets taken after the scale. Of course my blood pressure is going to be a little higher than it should be. I get nervous when I’m in the office. Up goes my blood pressure. I had high-ish blood pressure the last time I was here and I’m anxious about that. Oh, see that? There it goes again! I just stepped of that d*&$ scale and I’m here about my fertility. I’m kinda tripping balls with anxiety about life in general. Seriously. It’s going to be high.

You could have knocked me over with a feather when the nurse doing my vitals told me my blood pressure was 110/70. (That blood pressure reading is one of the few ‘normal’ things about me.)

Two months ago I started some medications to help my body absorb the insulin it makes and hopefully jump-start my periods and help me regain some fertility. This was my 2 month med check. I didn’t feel like the meds were working. I wasn’t seeing changes. I skipped a monthly cycle, then got a 2 week period. (That was anything but fun) My hair is still falling out. (Bald patches as a 25-year-old woman really take serious hits on your self-esteem.) All of a sudden at 25 the Acne Fairy decided to pay me a visit. (Um, where did that b$&#% come from?!?!)

I was totally discouraged. I know these meds aren’t magic pills that are going to fix things overnight, but I was hoping for at least something.

I got my something. I’m down 12 lbs in 2 months! I actually CAN lose weight! The meds are doing their job, slowly but surely. The doctor tweaked dosage and a few other things, but they’re working. My test showed my levels are evening out and I should be seeing some improvements in the hair loss and acne soon with increased fertility and continued ability for weight loss to follow. I can lose weight, but I have to work for it. It’s not just going to happen all on its own.

Constant weight gain to down 12 lbs. Slim chance of pregnancy to more and more increased fertility. Maybe those pills have a little magic in them after all. Knowing that what I’m doing is working. I’m seeing results. Putting in blood and sweat, making lifestyle changes to be a healthier daughter, sister, friend, wife and eventually mom.  THAT’S what motivates me to get going and keeps me motivated.

**This post is sponsored by SEARS FitStudio and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway hosted by Mamavation and sponsored by Sears.**

Today kicks ass!

18 Feb

It’s Friday.

The 2 week-long, never-ending period FINALLY ended.

I’m having an awesome hair day.

I’m wearing pants that didn’t fit two months ago.

With NO MUFFIN TOP!

The one light I always hit red no matter what time I leave for work was GREEN today!

I’m feeling refreshed and energized despite my lack of sleep last night.

Hubster slept facing me. Meaning his refried beans and chili stank ass were not.

My appointment with the doctor yesterday went very well.

I’m down 12 lbs.

My body IS responding to the meds.

Stress is exaggerating the side effects.

The doctor gave me some tools to reduce stress and a script for Xanax “for when I really feel like I’m going to tear my hair out.”

But I’m not sure if I want to take them.

The meds, and the tweaks just made, are working to the point where the doctor said she would be surprised if I wasn’t pregnant in 6 months. (Holy crap. Holy crap. holy crap.)

Hubster is excited but holy crapping, too.

Just because we can doesn’t meant we will.

Practice makes perfect right?

Today totally kicks ass.

Surgery Update

30 Jan

We made it to Ann Arbor safe and sound.

I didn’t get car sick. (Woooooohooooo! Throwing up in a blizzard on the side of the highway is NOT my idea of a fun Thursday night.)

I actually slept a few hours.

I didn’t cry when Hubster went into the operating room. Total miracle.

I was insanely glad the in-laws were there.

Not only were they incredibly supportive, but the three of us had some really good conversations. It was a really good bonding experience for the three of us.

Surgery went very VERY well.

Hubster is feeling pretty good. (I’m not sure if that’s the pain meds, or if he’s really feeling okay…but I’ll take it either way!)

All in all, it was a great weekend. It went better than I could have dreamed!

Dear Monday

24 Jan

Dear Monday,

You’re the first day of the work week. You and I don’t usually get along. I’m usually grumpy, I don’t want to get up and the 12 hours at work seem to drag by oh so slowly with you.

 Today a miracle happened.

I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I sucked it up when Hubster gently kissed me on the forehead and told me it was time to get up and actually got out of bed.

Then I drive to work. You were unusually good to me today and I managed to hit every single light green! Thank you! Because you were so uncharacteristically wonderful to me, I had time to get some coffee. Wonder, delicious, amazing smelling coffee coursed through my veins and sent a shock to my brain and eyelids. It was glorious!

And Monday, every time I looked at the clock today I was pleasantly surprised at what time it was. These 12 hours have FLOWN  and here I sit with a mere 45 minutes between myself and sweet, sweet freedom- time with Hubster, the televised Notre Dame basketball game and a Skype date with 5 of my favorite people.

Monday, thank you for being so good to me this week. I very much appreciate it.

Until we meet again next week,

Laura

Thankful

15 Jan

For all the crazy, messed up things going on right now there are a few people I know I can count on. This is a shout out to two of those people.
This holiday season has been less than joyous. Between my health, my meds, my family and various Christmas celebrations with all parts of extended families Christmas this year has made me want to curl up in a ball and cry. When I wasn’t crying, I was probably screaming at/to Brian about something/someone completely out of his control.

AND HE’S BEEN FABULOUS! I mean, beyond amazing, rock-freaking-solid, more than I could ever dream of, shoulder to cry on, hugs me just because, cuddle on the couch, rub my back, LET ME WATCH CHICK FLICKS WHEN SPORTS WERE ON amazing.

Not that Brian isn’t typically amazing and awesome, he’s just been going above and beyond anything I ever dreamed.

I had a lot of trouble deciding what I wanted to do for Christmas, and if I even wanted to do Christmas, with my family. My parents’ separation has really thrown me and it’s affecting EVERY aspect of my life with each member of the family in different ways.
Brian always left it up to me what we did. He helped me see the pros and cons of each possible situation. He told me it was my comfort level that mattered. He said he would be there no matter what. And he was.

My meds have been screwing with my system HARDCORE. The holidays were spent kneeling or sitting on/in front of the toilet. Brian got me crackers, Sprite, The Puke Bowl and anything and everything I could have needed- at our house, in the car, at the place formerly known as my parent’s house, in the car again, at his parent’s house, at his grandparent’s house, everywhere. He knows my I’m Don’t Feel Well face and does everything in his power to help in any way he knows possible.

I met Brian four years ago while home from school on Christmas break. He proposed three Christmases (Christmasi?) ago. His birthday is Christmas day. Brian is by far the best Christmas present I’ve EVER gotten.

Oh, Rachel. I don’t even know where to being. Rachel, aka my bff and mother extraordinaire, and I met in middle school. We became friends partly because we’re SO  much a like it’s scary and because we’re pretty freaking awesome.

Rachel was my friend and confidante all through middle school, when a real, solid friend is the best thing a girl could ask for. She got me through. I really don’t know what I would have done without her!

Fast forward to adulthood. Rachel has been there for me through boy troubles, school, moves, meeting/dating/marrying Brian, my health issues, infertility,  Brian’s health issues, family spats, my parents separation, and any and all times I’ve needed a laugh or a shoulder to cry on.  I really wish I could clone her because everyone deserves a phenomenal friend like her! She’s my fourth sister.

I am beyond thankful and blessed to have these two people in my life.  My world is a little brighter because these two are in it. Thank you for being who you are!

Emma

13 Jan

Meet Emma. Emma likes swimming and dancing and horses.

Emma is a triplet. Sarah, Ryan and Emma  were born Feb 28, 2001.

Their due date was in June.

Imagine a stick and a half of butter.

Dad could take his wedding ring and fit it up to their shoulders.

Precious Emma has had countless surgeries and had a trach for a lot of her life. She needed the trach to breathe. The trach that helped her breathe also paralyzed one of her vocal cords.

The trips are normal 9 year olds. And other 9 year olds, and even adults, who don’t know what Emma has been through make fun of her voice. They think she’s being funny. Please watch this video in support of Emma.