Friday, June 27, 2008

Wait and see

That's what we're doing. Taking the wait and see approach. I can deal with that.
Saw the neurologist this morning. Was scared out of my wits as I walked into his office. Shaking, actually.
I have about 15 lesions on my brain. I got to see them on the MRI films. I want to name them. I should, I guess. They're not going anywhere.

The doctor is saying that he's not overly concerned about MS at this point. We're going to go ahead and treat me for migraines. I'm on one medication to break this cycle of headaches. I have another to take if they come back. If neither medication works then I'll be set up with infusion therapy. Infusion therapy for headaches - at this neurological institute, at least - involves being hooked up to an IV for a couple of hours in a comfy chair in a quiet, darkened room with an eye mask. SIGN ME UP! Sounds like a vacation to me at this point. If THAT doesn't work, then we'll take another look at things - reevaluate symptoms, perhaps another MRI.

I can wait. I can see. Am I worried? Sure, a little, but it's not going to affect my every day living. It'll be back there in the darkest depths of my mind. I know MS is still a possibility. But I can be thankful for today, and thankful that the first few words out of his mouth weren't "I'm sorry to tell you...."

Thanks to all of you who commented and who sent me private e-mails wishing me luck and sending good thoughts. You'll never know how much they are appreciated.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This or that

This week seems to be taking forever to pass. I need it to be Friday. Not because I can't wait for the weekend to start, but because I feel like I can't wait any longer to find out, for once and for all, the current state of my health.

I saw my primary doctor for a chronic headache several weeks ago. At that time, the headache had been present for about 3 weeks. Slightly concerned, he scheduled a brain MRI. I had the MRI done last week - it was a real bitch. Not something I'd like to do again anytime soon. I'm not claustrophobic, but having to endure what sounded like a woodpecker on steroids for 25 minutes wasn't my bag, baby. I left the testing center thinking that the whole thing had been unnecessary. Apparently it wasn't.

I received a call from my doctor earlier this week with the results and a referral to a neurologist. Apparently the scan showed "numerous lesions" on my brain that are typically consistent with two conditions, one being migraines. The other? Multiple sclerosis. Bam. Just like that, my world turned upside down. I'm seeing a neurologist later this week to determine which of the two is causing these lesions. The lesions themselves are no big deal - apparently most people have lesions on their brains, and lesions can be caused by many things, including ingesting artificial sweeteners. It's the number and pattern of lesions causing the concern. I feel like I've been handed a death sentence, though, despite the fact that we don't know yet what's going on. MS, while manageable, is unpredictable and can be nasty. The thought of winding up in a wheelchair and becoming a burden to my family is sickening. The thought of not being there for my babies, or being there but not....there...that's even worse. I feel like I've been dealt a shitty hand with my health. Why me? When do I get a break? Can't I just be left alone to enjoy my life and my children...leave me alone!

I'm asking for prayers. For good thoughts. For an encouraging word or two. I'm not sure if I'll find out anything concrete on Friday, but the process of narrowing things down will begin.

'Til then...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Oh mama, Angelina Zooma Zoom

I fear my girl crush on Angelina Jolie may be coming to an end. She had to go and piss me off.

I recently read this article, and in it Angelina is quoted as giving the following response when asked why she thinks so many movie stars seem to be children of movie stars:
“Artists raise their kids differently,” she said. “We communicate to the point where we probably annoy our children. We have art around the house, we have books, we go to plays, we talk. Our focus is art and painting and dress-up and singing. It’s what we love. So I think you can see how artists in some way raise other artists.”

What the HELL? Why, Angelina, you hit that dang nail right on its head. I's neveh read MAH boy no books. And hell, I ain't neveh had a conversation with him. Art, well that's for them museum places - we ain't got no art here in our home. In our house, we watch the picture box nonstop, and the only books are the Reader's Digests we steal from our neighbor's trailer.

Come on now. In all honesty, I don't know any other mother who has spent more time talking to her child. I talked to Baby Boy nonstop from the day I found out I was pregnant. From the day he was born I would hold conversations with him - telling him what I was doing and so on and so forth. I did this in an effort to interact with him, and later on, to begin to teach him words, phrases, and concepts.

Books? Baby Boy has more books at the tender age of 19 months than I've had in my 31 years, and I love to read.

Talking? The boy probably wishes I would shut up once in a while.

Art? Well, we're certainly not the proud owners of an original Renoir, but I appreciate art and I'm sure my husband does as well. I'm sure we'll visit museums and galleries when he's older.

I'm not sure what she was implying here. Maybe nothing - maybe pregnancy brain got the best of her, but to me there's a hidden element of "we're more educated than the average parent" in there somewhere, and I bet she catches a lot of criticism for it. I love to read. If I had the time I would read more. I love theater. I love theater so much that we blew a ton of money on Broadway shows when we lived in NYC. I've had the pleasure of seeing a certain musical 5 or 6 times.

So Angelina, though it may break your heart, I think I might have to quit you. Your statement hit a nerve for some reason, and I don't know if I can forgive you.

Besides - I've started watching Lost, and I totally have think I may have a
girl crush on Evangeline Lily now.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Back to sleep

I would love to go BACK to SLEEP, but my daughter refuses to go back to SLEEP when I put her on her BACK to SLEEP. Thank you, Back to Sleep Campaign, for ensuring that no one in this house will ever get back. to. sleep. Ever again.

I realize that this campaign was started in an effort to drastically reduce the incidence of SIDS - and my heart goes out to anyone who has ever lost a child to this awful phenomenon, so please don't mistake my exhaustion and and annoyance for lack sympathy - but the fear of God has been instilled in all parents now, making anyone afraid of bedtime for babies.

S hates to sleep. I think she's a wee bit colicky. She currently dislikes her swing, her pack 'n play, her bouncer, and her infant seat. Loves to be on my chest (can you blame her?) or Daddy's. If she were my only child I'd have no problem toting her around all day, but with Baby Boy, it's just not feasible. So, being the rebel that I am, I put her on her stomach in her pack 'n play a few days ago, and lo and behold, the little angel drifted off to sleep herself. And she's still alive. Sure, I checked on her eighty million times to be sure that her face wasn't down in the sheets, but she survived. I've put her down to nap on her stomach several times since then, and each time she settles right now. She's a tummy sleeper, just like her mama. So now the question remains - do I try this at night, potentially putting her at risk? I have a pretty spot-on mommy instinct. I'd say my instinct is correct 99% of the time - has been since I found out I was pregnant with Nathanael. Do I trust this, or do I listen to the AAP, the pediatricians, and everyone else screaming at me to not put my baby to sleep on her back, or else?

Do YOU follow every piece of advice given by the "professionals?" Or do you tend to go with your gut and trust yourself?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

End of an era

I had my post partum check today. The good news is that I've lost 14 pounds. About a zillion more to go, and then I'll be good. I have to admit, though - it made me a bit sad. I think we're probably done having kids. My pregnancies are awful. Being pregnant takes too much of a toll on my body, and I don't know if it would even be healthy for me to ever attempt it again. We're a one-income family for now, and while I hope we'll get to the point of being financially comfortable at some point, we're not there yet. Hubs is 37. He thinks he's getting too old to have anymore kids.

For as awful as my pregnancies have been, though, there's nothing in the world like knowing that your body is playing hostess to an amazing tiny creature that was, hopefully, created out of love. Nothing like those first faint bubbles of baby's movement. Nothing like seeing your belly pooch out, knowing that the little bean is tucked safely away, nestled and warm and being protected by your body and your love. The thought of not being able to experience that ever again tears me up inside a bit, despite the fact that I have two beautiful children here. Even through the depths of my exhaustion in the middle of the night, I find myself holding S extra tight against my chest, knowing that these moments of snuggling a newborn this tiny and this close won't last forever, and she'll likely be my last baby.

My doctor and I discussed long-term birth control options today. Because of my clotting disorder I'm not a candidate for anything containing hormones. Because of my uterine anomaly, she won't insert an IUD. Because the part of my brain that controls spatial relation is defunct, I don't trust myself with a diaphragm. So what's left?

What's that I hear? Snip snip.

Unfortunately, Hubs works for a Catholic company, and our insurance won't cover sterilization procedures. Pretty lame, eh? So I guess it'll be back to the ol' latex. Not sure if I trust my ability to track my own cycle by counting days - that's how I wound up pregnant both times.

Que sera sera. If I'm meant to have another baby, then it'll happen. For now, though, I'm enjoying the two I have, and trying not to die inside a little bit more every day as I watch them grow before my eyes.

Friday, June 13, 2008

He-wo Guy

Okay. Sesame Street.

I grew up watching Sesame Street. I learned to read watching this show. I learned basic Spanish watching this show. All before I was in kindergarten. I love the fact that my children will be able to have a similar experience with this show as I had - the educational experience.

Unless, of course, you count Baby Bear.

Baby Bear is one of the newer muppets in the hood on the Street. He has a speech impediment. A bad, BAD speech impediment. I don't know what the hell he's saying half the time. I understand the importance of inclusion on this show. There are characters of every color, and the real-life inhabitants of this happy place in Brooklyn are from every race and ethnicity known to man. Except a Pakistani. I don't think I've ever seen a Pakistani saunter up to Oscar and ask how life in the can has been.

But I digress.

I even understand the importance of having the "brothers" Noodle on there. You know, Mr. Noodle, and his "brother" Mr. Noodle? I'm sure many of the young kids watching the show these days are being raised by two "brothers." Hey - who am I to judge? To each his own. His own noodle, that is. Ha ha.

Why, though, do the powers that be feel the need to include segments led by this bear? What is this teaching my son - that baby talk is normal? That it's cute or funny to speak in a way that no one understands? Honest to God, Sesame Workshop - send the bear to speech therapy!

And how 'bout Baby Bear's friend that he draws - Hero Guy, or, when pronounced by the bear, "He-wo Guy-eee." He-wo Guy-eee even has his own theme song, sung by Baby Bear. And it goes a little somethin' like this:

He's a he-wo, he's a guy-eee, he's a HE-wo, he's a guy-eee....he's HE-WO GUY-EEEEEE!"

No shit. A hero AND a guy, you say? Get outta here.

Hero Guy has the same inflection, cadence, speech impediment...what have Baby Bear, making it equally, if not more, annoying to listen to. Baby Boy looks at these characters like they're crazy. I made it perfectly clear from the beginning that we wouldn't do the baby talk thing, and made sure anyone who tried to do so with him understood that we were teaching our son to speak normally. As it is, if someone speaks to him using the baby talk voice (our pedi does it - drives me nuts, and BB thinks he's a wacko), Baby Boy will look at the person in such a way that you know he's thinking Man, this person's an idiot.

I urge you, creators of Sesame Street. Give Baby Bear the yank. He's not doing anything for the educational value of the show, and that's what you pride yourselves on, right? If you insist on keeping him, though, why don't you chronicle Baby Bear's experience with attending speech therapy, with a special episode following his teachers writing up an IEP/inclusion plan?

Cutest. Toddler. Ever.

It's hard work being gorgeous.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

High maintenance

By some awful force of karma, I appear to have a girly girl on my hands.

Savannah doesn't enjoy sleeping. If she does sleep, it's on her terms. No crib or pack 'n play. It's either the swing or with her head nestled between Mama's boobs.

She doesn't like being outside. I guess she wants to protect her milky white complexion. She'd much prefer to be inside, in her swing, pink blanket wrapped nicely around her legs, thankyouverymuch, and if you come near me with a pacifier, Mama, I will surely scream.

Yeah. She doesn't enjoy the sucker. Her brother, on the other hand, will have his in his mouth when he accepts the Democratic party nomination for the Presidential election in.....well, you get it. I don't have the brain cells to sit here and figure out what year it could potentially be.

She enjoys being groomed. Immensely. Although changing her diaper appears to be some sort of sadistic ritual, S enjoys being washed and having her hair gently brushed.

High maintenance I get. I can relate. My husband has told me I'm high maintenance and for the longest time I was in denial. But girly-girl high maintenance? God help me. The teenage years are going to be a real bitch. Maybe she'll have a mouth like a trucker. At least we'd have something in common.

I'm not an idiot, but you are: an open letter

To the nurse at the pediatrician's office:

When I call the office, despite my paralyzing fear of speaking to people over the telephone, with a genuine question out of concern for my infant daughter, DON'T sit there and give me a five minute lecture on the importance of burping my child and how to properly do so. And REALLY don't lecture me in that monotone voice - it makes you sound like you're reading from The Manual For Idiot First Time Moms Who Call The Doctor WAY Too Often. Because, really? My fluctuating hormones and brain tumor and effed-up thyroid are making me a bit manic today and now I really want to hunt you down and torture you, and...oh, I don't know - cover YOU in the same smelly, pearlescent ecru liquid that my daughter continues to cover me in. I'm glad you didn't identify yourself because then I'd have to be a real bitch if I encounter you in the office at some point. Are you sure you're not the cleaning lady?

Smell you later,

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Scent of a woman

When I was pregnant with Baby Boy in 2006 there was a television commercial that offended me to no end. It was for Tide laundry detergent, and its tag line was as follows:

Because there's a difference between smelling like a mom and smelling like a woman.

I was horrified. I assumed that there was a man in the driver's seat of that ad campaign. After I had BB, I never once noticed that I smelled. Never. Hubs never implied that I was stinky.

Now? With a second child? Holy hell. I haven't showered since Monday. I'm pretty sure I've at least rolled on some fresh deodorant and changed my underwear, but one never knows. I've been projectile-vomited on several times, peed on, and pooped on twice - therefore I'm pretty sure I smell like a NYC subway tunnel during the hottest summer heat wave...with a hint of Coppertone Kids SPF 50. And so, to you, creators of the Tide campaign that pissed me off every single time I saw your commercial, I offer a sincere apology. There certainly is a difference between smelling like a mom and smelling like a woman. The latter? The memory of that scent is long gone. Perfume? What's that? Hubs used to tell me all the time - back in our pre-spawn days - that he loved my natural smell. He doesn't say that to me anymore. The former? Well, I don't think we'll find a bottle of "MOM" on the list of Demeter's prospective scents.

I forgot how much fun it was to really play with my son. I couldn't run and play while pregnant because I was either barfing and not wanting to jostle the contents of my stomach anymore than they were already being jostled, or I was too huge or in too much discomfort. I actually haven't had the chance to run around and play with him since he started walking (he was a late walker). The painful part of c-section recovery seems to finally be over and done with, so running and jumping (in all my jiggly glory) is quite feasible. I love love love playing with him outside. He invented his own version of a chasing game called "Getchoo Keesyoo." Translation? I get you and I kiss you. I don't think I've ever had more fun playing outside with anyone, childhood friends included. Who knew?

Baby girl has started smiling for real. She smiles when she hears my voice. I forgot how heartwarming that was. Baby boy appears to love her more and more each day. He's very protective of her and it's amazing to watch him interact with her. Baby boy is an old soul, I think, and it makes me proud to watch him as he comes into his own more and more. I do hope they grow to be close.

I buckled and made an appointment to have my hair cut this weekend. I haven't had a haircut since - wait for it - November 2006. I need a style. Like I have time to style. Right now it's long and brown and wavy. And coarse and dry and probably dragging my looks down. My looks. Ha. Like I have looks. Plain Jane is more like it. You saw the pictures a few posts ago - you get the general idea. Good lips. Pouty. Angelina-esque. Baby boy has beautiful lips. I love Angelina's lips. They're so...full and pouty and sexy and....


From baby boy to the bow-chicka-bow-wow in a matter of nanoseconds. Oops. Not good.

Where was I?

Am I alone in that I come up with the greatest blog posts in the middle of the night when I'm nowhere near the computer? Lately it's during the middle of the night feeding. Something pops into my head and I think Ooo - that would make a great post. Perhaps it's because I'm still in the Lortab-induced alternate universe of consciousness, and there's no limit to where my mind can go. *You may be thinking Wait, didn't she say she's having no more pain from the c-section? Why, then, is she still taking the Lortab?

Waste not, want not, I always say.
Pharmacist sister - let's say - hypothetically, of course - that my doctor gave me my friend 50 pills of Lortab 10, and she took one every night for 50 nights until they were gone. Am I going to go through withdrawal?

Why is it that the sun is out all morning long when the little darlings and I are playing outside, yet when they're both asleep in the afternoon, you know, when I have a chance to actually sit and relax and get a skin cancer tan, the sun goes in? Every damn day this week.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Your body is a wonderland

But mine is more like the tricked-out fun house at some skeevy amusement park.

Let me explain. First of all, two c-sections in two years. Damn. My stomach looks like what I imagine the scary creature from the first season of Lost to look like. *My husband and I just started watching the first season. I have no idea what it is they're all running from, so I'm left to use my imagination. I'm pretty certain, though, that it looks like my saggy, droopy, stretch mark-adorned stomach. If anyone who reads this spoils what happens in the 1st-4th seasons, I'll kill you. Or at least make you kiss my bare stomach.

Next - my hair. WTF? Pregnancy is supposed to make your hair thick and luscious. My first pregnancy did. Not the second one, though. It's dry and dull and too long. I think I'm going to cut it off.

Dry skin. Sharp and prickly, like a cactus.

The latest, though, is the headache. The headache and the noise distortion I'm hearing through my ears whenever someone speaks to me. Started shortly after I got home from the hospital. The headache hasn't gone away, so we're talking close to three weeks. I finally saw my doctor for it today, and he's going to treat me for a severe sinus infection (I have no congestion - go figure), but well, "we're also not going to rule out a brain bleed." Oh, okay - a brain ble....WHAT? Dude - don't you read my blog? You don't mention BRAIN BLEED with someone whose blog title has the word WORRYWART in it. He starts to explain that something called Sheehan's Syndrome can result when a woman's blood pressure drops too low during delivery (my BP dropped way low, but not until 2 days post c-section), and this Sheehan's Syndrome is another name for a small brain bleed. Wow. Okay. So his course of action? He's treating me for a sinus infection first - a powerful steroid. If nothing is better by Wednesday then I am to call him so that we can get me into an ENT, and he will also schedule me for a MRI to rule out a brain bleed. (Hello - if you suspect this in the slightest, shouldn't we, I don't know, go ahead and schedule it NOW?) He wrote a script for some blood work and sent me on my way. On the drive to the lab, and the drive home, I was panicky. All I kept hearing in my mind was brain bleed. The first thing I did upon arriving home was to Google Sheehan's Syndrome. Imagine my surprise (and relief) when I learned that this syndrome sounds nothing like what he was describing. Where'd you get your MD, doc? TARGET?

Why do I always seem to find myself with doctors who just don't seem up to par? I'm wondering, though - is he just generally confused, or is he thinking of something else and just got the name wrong? Is my brain bleeding? Would I be sitting here with the ability to type if my brain were bleeding? Damn. I guess I'll have to wait until Wednesday to find out.

My steri-strips still haven't fallen off. I had staples to close the outer incision but they were removed the day I was discharged. I was told the strips would fall off in about a week, but nope - they're holding on tight. They must like my creepy stomach. I started to pull some of them off the other day, but was quite certain that I felt my incision rip open as I was doing so, and I stopped. Not before I got one strip off, though. It was caked with dried blood and my curiosity got the best of me and I held it to my nose and sniffed. Oh hell - after I regained consciousness I questioned how anything could smell so bad, and was kindly reminded by Hubs that the strips had dried guts on them. I briefly contemplated whether or not that was more disgusting than my sister eating a grub in her salad from The Cheesecake Factory. Now I can't touch my stomach without thinking about grubs and innards.

I should totally post a picture of my first c-section. You can see all sorts of grossness!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

While the children sleep...

I should be napping. But no - for my own amusement, I visited this site, using my headshot from what seems like a zillion years ago. For your amusement, I present you with the following:

Sex-ay. In the style of Alphonse Mucha.

Baby face. Thank God my children don't look like this. I'd send 'em back.

This looks like my friend Steven. He just won $25,000 on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

If I were a Pokemon character.

If my father had been Bubbles the Chimp.

Hey Hubs - see what you have to look forward to?

This one, however, melts my heart.


On multiple children:
My wife and I have five children and the reason why we have five children is because we do not want six. ~Bill Cosby

I can see how parents get tricked into going from one child to two, but really - WHY would anyone choose to have more than two children? Are you gluttons for punishment? I always thought I wanted a big family, but I'm quite certain that I'd be driven insane. Have you ever had an opportunity to view Bill Cosby: Himself? If so, think back to the portion of the program where Cosby refers to motherhood making a woman crazy, and explaining how his wife - once an intelligent, sane woman - became a nut job after the birth of her children - talking to herself and adopting a crazy look in her eyes. I am now that woman.

On cleaning girly bits:

Why does this make me feel like an inadequate mother? Cleaning a little boy's bits was a piece of cake. This one, though - whew. For some reason I feel like a stranger in a foreign land. An alien creature on its first trip to a new planet. I have these same parts, yet I appear to be incapable of doing a suitable job of finding every little nook and cranny to clean the accumulated funk. And why, in God's name, does she smell like Seneca Lake with a hint of rotted cheese?

On swaddling:

Why is my husband better at this than I am? I purchased the uber-expensive, ultra-trendy swaddling blankets in an attempt to make it easier to wrap baby girl like a burrito. I still can't manage to secure the blanket in a way that won't allow her to push her skinny little arms out of the top within seconds. The Hubs? No one could break out of that wrap, not even Houdini himself.

On parenting magazines/e-mails/message boards, along with the What to Expect...books and Baby 411:

Suck it. Don't tell me how much weight I should've lost by now. Don't tell me to multiply 2.5 by the baby's weight to know how much she should be drinking. Don't presume to know what is and isn't normal for my child(ren) right now at this time. Don't tell me to ignore my child's accomplishments and not offer him praise - that's perhaps the most inane piece of advice you could offer. Really. I can only imagine how emotionally stable YOUR children will grow up to be. Save a tree - stop publishing.

On Lortab:

Thank God I still have half of a bottle left.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Birth story...2 1/2 weeks later

I've gotten quite a few private e-mails asking for Savannah's birth story, so I thought I'd finally take the time to share it.

If you recall, I was scheduled for a c-section on May 14th. I had a pre-op appointment with my OB on the 13th. NST showed that the baby was fine. Ultrasound showed that the little stinker was still breech. The c-section was a go. Standard late-pregnancy appointment, but also received my instructions for preparing for surgery the next day - no eating after midnight, no blood thinner injection the morning of the surgery, arrive at the hospital no later than 9:30 a.m. for a 1 p.m. surgery...things like that. I made a point of asking my OB twice during this appointment if she'd be the doctor performing the know, just for clarification. And sure enough, yes indeedy, she'd be making the cut. As the appointment came to a close, she patted my knee, told me to rest, and said she'd see me the next day.

So the night of the 13th was a bit bittersweet for me. My "last night" just with Baby Boy...of course much of it was spent in tears, a lot of hugging and kissing Baby Boy. I had no appetite for much of the day, but of course was starving as soon as the clock struck midnight.

The drive to the hospital the next morning was filled with sadness, anxiety, and excitement. Anxiety over the fact that my guts would be laid out on a table in a few hours. Sadness over being away from Baby Boy and the thought of him having a hard time with the new baby's arrival, and excitement, obviously, over the arrival of the new baby. We arrived at 9:30 as we were told - took the trip on the elevator to the third floor...only the elevator skipped the floor and went right on to the next. Hmmm, I thought. That's not a good sign. I pressed the button again, and this time the elevator went to the correct floor - only the doors didn't open right away. I should've known right then that this day was not going to go well.

Up to the registration desk I went, feeling like an inmate on death row, and announced that I was there for a scheduled c-section. The lady behind the desk looked at me funny, but I chalked it up to potentially being on her period (even though she was about 100 years old), and filled out the paperwork she pushed my way. Twenty seconds later, a nurse with the disposition of a drill sergeant marched over and asked why I was there. I politely stated - again - that I was there for a scheduled c-section. She asked my name, looked at the chart, and told me no, I wasn't on their schedule.

STOP. Excuse me? The nurse looked at the schedule again and repeated that I wasn't on the schedule. In fact, she told me, that hospital doesn't perform scheduled sections on Wednesdays. Oh really? Well lookie here, nursie - I happen to have a note from my doctor that has today's date on it. Wednesday, May 14th. 1 p.m. Read it and weep. I didn't exactly put it that way, but I wanted to. With a few added expletives. It turns out that I was on the schedule for the 15th. In fact, they already had all of my paperwork raring to go - I was even written on the white board for the 15th. I went through a roller coaster of emotions the night before for nothing? I went without eating FOR NOTHING? They got my doctor on the phone - she apologized. She made up some ridiculous story. She spoke with anesthesia and they told her that they weren't comfortable performing the surgery with only 24 hours off the blood thinner. Really, you freaking ass-thesiologists? Why, then, when I called you for a consult, did you TELL ME specifically to only stop the blood thinner 24 hours prior to the surgery? A fake doctor resident from anesthesia came to speak with me to tell me the risks associated with performing the surgery, including the development of a hematoma on my spinal cord, if they were to administer a spinal that day. Yes, Doogie, I know the risks - this will be my second spinal. But you TOLD ME TO STOP YESTERDAY. NOT BEFORE! And WHY did my doctor, a supposed world-class doctor and surgeon, make this mistake?? In any case, I was told that I could have the surgery that day - they'd make arrangements for it to happen - but I'd have to be put under general anesthesia AND my doctor wouldn't be performing the surgery. I passed. And I went home. But not before I sat hooked up to a fetal monitor to "just make sure the baby is okay." For 3 hours. My doctor's genius idea. And I experienced the same roller coaster of emotions for the rest of that day and night.

Onto the morning of the 15th. Arrived at the same hospital, at the same time...wearing the same damn clothes, even. Mom and Dad were there, as they had driven in the day before to watch Baby Boy during the surgery that was supposed to have taken place. I was admitted. I was hooked up to the IV. I was told that Dr. Vayas would be performing the surgery. Okay, Yes, Dr. Vay....wait a minute. That's not MY doctor. MY doctor is cutting me open. She told me so. I was told that it's unlikely my doctor would be the surgeon. She rarely performs surgeries because she's a high-risk doctor. Only in the most extreme cases would she be in the OR. Oh, contraire, nurse-lady. Unless you want to see my head spin and get your scrubs covered in pea soup, get my doctor on the phone NOW. She did. The doctor would be there. This was apparently a major deal. Lots of people came in to see the young woman that Dr. Lele would be performing the surgery on. I became a bit of a celebrity. I had an ultrasound...except the rent-a-doc resident couldn't find her head. Oh baby no longer has a head? CAN THIS WHOLE EXPERIENCE GET ANY WORSE?? The resident was having a hard time getting anything because the baby was so low. Wait a minute - what did you say? She's LOW? You can't find the head - isn't it right up in my ribs, where it has been for much of the pregnancy? No head in the ribs. The resident asked if I minded if she examined me. Oh, please - yes, that would make my stay at Chez Women and Children's Hospital SO much better. Not only was the baby low, but she was engaged. I was dilated to a 2, and about 75% effaced. What? WHAT?! She turned? THAT must've been what I felt last night. Unhook me - I'm not having the surgery. Hasty decision, no? I consulted with the attending. I consulted with my own OB. Induction was a possibility, but I needed to understand the risks. My OB felt it was in my best interest (and in the best interest of her checkbook, I'm sure) to just have the surgery. Hubs didn't want me to have the surgery. My mom said, "Let's have this baby today." I didn't know what I wanted. After some praying and some thinking, I opted for the surgery. I was convinced that God had listened - He gave me the opportunity to try it on my own, like I had been asking for the entire pregnancy - and I was hoping that it wasn't some message telling me not to have the surgery.

And so away I went. The surgery was a much more...enjoyable (?)...experience than the first time. The spinal wasn't painful this time. The anesthesiologist kept on top of the drops in blood pressure as a result of the spinal and I wasn't loopy or googly this time, so I remember the entire experience. I cried when I heard my baby girl's cry. I stared at her, in awe of her beauty, when I saw her the first time. She stopped crying and turned her head when she heard my voice for the first time. I was in love. I got to hold her myself when I was wheeled from the OR to recovery. I spent about an hour with her before the took her off to be cleaned up.

Recovery was a bitch. I spent 3 or 4 hours under a warming blanket because my temperature refused to rise above 95.4...the nurses' slight looks of concern made me a bit nervous, but I was so doped up that I didn't panic. My parents and Baby Boy got to come in immediately to meet the baby. Once I warmed up and could wiggle my toes I was moved to my room.

That was a Thursday. I was released on Monday. The few days in between were spent eating bad food, struggling with nursing and trying to make a difficult decision, missing Baby Boy like crazy, awful drops in blood pressure (one nurse's exact words were Well, that can't be right. If it were, you'd be dead.), and a constant flow of people coming in and out of my room. My private room was rarely private. The nurses on the Mother-Baby unit were wonderful. Angels, really. My experience was so different from the first time around, and for that I was grateful. It made the perfect ending for a less-than-perfect pregnancy.

And I got this perfect little creature in the end:

Monday, June 02, 2008

Just another manic Monday

Okay. Hubs just left for work. It's just me. Me and the children. Alone. For the first time. God help me.

I've decided to update throughout the day, mostly as a way to keep my sanity, but also to provide amusement for some of you, I'm sure, as I join the exclusive and special club made up only of stay-at-home moms of two under two.

So far so good. The day started off with Nat sneezing on my English muffin. Savannah is sleeping away in her swing. The dining room table is newly stocked with arts and crafts items for Nat and I to play with together. The air is filled with the stink of fresh poop.

This will be my first day sans least during the daylight hours. I'm hoping that I don't exert myself to the point of ripping open my incision. Then I'd have to worry about Nat running and slipping on my guts, and I'm pretty sure "guts" isn't among the list of stains that Resolve or Zout are proven to remove from carpets.

So - 8:51 a.m. Mama's sanity is intact, as are the children.

Stay tuned.

***We interrupt this blog to announce that Mama is currently doing the happy dance of joy because BOTH children are napping, hopefully for the next three hours.***

So it's 1 p.m. I'm ready to chop my head off with an axe.

Savannah pooped on the couch. Thrice. In a two minute period.

Nathanael fell and hit his cheek on the side of his stupid LeapFrigFrog table. Nathanael also saw fit to paw through the garbage when I had my back turned for two seconds, happily settling on the egg carton that had two shells and remnants of raw egg inside of it. Amused, he held out his hands with the slimy goo all over, asking me, "What is it?" Salmonella, anyone?

If I trip over one more damn toy, they're all going in the trash.

So - 1:12 p.m. Kids - 2. Mama - 0. I need a drink.

3:13 p.m. - Of course they both see fit to piss and moan in their sleep all afternoon. ALL afternoon. Also? I'm convinced that Savannah will grow up to be a linebacker some day. She can't seem to get enough to eat. Me? The only thing I've eaten today is the sneezed-upon English muffin, and that was about 8 hours ago.

The UPS man almost lost his life today. Dude - DON'T RING MY DAMN DOORBELL DURING NAP TIME! See my tired eyes? See me limping in pain? I just had my insides ripped out 2 1/2 weeks ago. I need to rest. Don't make me get up off the couch. Leave it on the doorstep and back the hell away. NOW! I'm gonna give you to the count of 10 to get your lying, yellow, no-good keister off my property before I pump your guts full of lead! **if you can name which movie within a movie i took that from, then you get a prize

Is it normal for a newborn baby to make sounds that rival Regan's in The Exorcist? 'Cause she's starting to scare me. I'm convinced that a) she's possessed or 2) she's part pterodactyl.

5 p.m. - Calgon, take me away!!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Flying solo

I never knew such levels of exhaustion existed. I have a feeling that only mothers of multiple children know what I'm talking about. I'm so tired that I'm sitting here watching - and enjoying - a J Lo movie. Oh, the horror!

The kiddos and I will be on our own tomorrow for the first time. My mom was here all last week, taking care of me, taking care of the babies, and making sure I kept my sanity as I slowly become used to being a mother of two. There's something about your mom taking care of you - I don't care how old you are - that makes you long for the days of your own childhood again, wishing that, even if for just one day, you could go back in time when things were easier. Watching Baby Boy love and adore his Gran (or "Gew," as he calls her) was the best thing in the world. Mama was a non-entity when Gew was around. It was a bittersweet time, really. I loved watching my mom interact with my own children, but it made me sad that I'm so grown up now that I have my own kids, making me realize even more that times are changing, we're all growing older, etc.

I have to admit that I'm a bit terrified of being the one in charge tomorrow. Baby Boy has definitely come around with me - most of the time it's like things haven't changed and he's my sweet little boy again. But wow, those terrible twos have decided to come early. The boy has a temper, and he can misbehave with the best of them. All of it is forgotten, though, as I put him to sleep and he starts with his new routine. Mama, no more doctor. No more hosipah. (hospital). Nope - no more hospital, buddy. Mama will be here when you wake up. Always always? Always, buddy. I promise. Mama lovey dovey. I love you too, buddy. Heart? Yes, with all of my heart. Only 19 months old, and already so sweet. Stay sweet, baby boy. Stay sweet.

Yes, he turned 19 months old yesterday. Baby Girl turned two weeks old last week. She's beautiful. Perfect. Makes the most disgusting yet wonderful baby noises. She's so aware - loves to stare at her hands and at the lights and at my checkered blanket. Loathes having her diaper changed. Adores her big brother already - she looks and looks and looks at him whenever he's near her, which is quite often. He returns her affection. He adores her. Loves to give her kisses, loves to stroke her hair and her tiny fingers. All fears I had about the two of them getting along have dissipated. He is a great big brother and she'll be lucky to have him around when she's older.

I'm still hurting a fair amount. I've neglected the doctors instructions to take it easy, of course, and have been picking up my son since my second or third day home from the hospital. I'm a little concerned that I did something to something...every time I turn a certain way I feel quite a bit of pain slightly above my incision. I'm guessing if it's anything it's muscle, but I'm too afraid to call the doctor, so I'll save it until my 4-week check.

I'll end with a funny story. I won't leave Baby Boy alone with his sister...not until I'm 100% certain he won't try to fling her around by her arms - and so he comes into the bathroom with me when I have to go. On Friday morning, he was particularly interested in Mama going potty, and as I stood up to wipe, he excitedly exclaimed, "Hair-do!! Hair-do!!" He loves to potty with Mama now, and every time he sees the toilet he happily accounces to the world, "Mama hair-do!!" I can see the therapy bills now...