Monday, December 31, 2012

Postpartum

Many of you may have read on facebook that I have been going through a pretty rough time lately. I know people have their opinions about whether or not I should be sharing about my recent visit to the psych ward, my postpartum and my day to day struggles to cope with parenting Jacob without having major anxiety. Regardless of people's "advice" that I should be more private I am going to share what life has been like for me this past year and a half. People (probably well meaning people) have made me feel as though I should be ashamed, embarrassed and secretive about what I am going through. They have said that I should "never" have put anything on facebook about it, that it's no ones business. Others have thanked me for my openness, sent me encouraging messages, texts, calls or visited me. There have been times recently when I have been around people, crying, falling apart and everyone has ignored what is going on. I know that that is because they don't know what to do, can't understand what I am going through and think it's best for me to have my privacy. Everyones needs and wants are different when going through something like this. I need people. I need to feel supported. I need to feel like I have people I can call on in dark moments. I need people praying for me, rooting for me. I have some amazing people in my life right now who are helping me get through each day. Friends and family who are caring for Jacob, Steve and I. Friends who take me out so I can feel a little normal for a short time. Friends who I drop in at their houses when the noise at home is too much and I need to escape. I am so very thankful for these people. They have been a God send.

When Jacob was born I cried for weeks. I couldn't control the crying. I was so happy that he was here. That he was healthy. That he was beautiful and that he was ours. I was so protective of him. Didn't want him out of my sight. I was constantly checking to see if he was breathing when he was asleep. I was terrified of SIDS. I was scared to do anything wrong. I wanted to be the perfect mom and I was daily failing. When he was 6 weeks old he started crying and crying and crying. I could do nothing to stop him. I didn't know what was wrong. I hated that I didn't know and couldn't fix it. I would walk the halls rocking him for hours while he screamed and i cried. Steve would come home, I would pass Jacob off, lock myself in the bathroom with the shower on to block out the sound of the crying and cry some more myself. That went on for 6 weeks. I don't think I have ever felt so helpless and useless. Jacob cried more than he didn't during those long 6 weeks.

Once that ended all of Jacob's doctor appointments and testing started due to his shaky arms and very stiff body. It was really hard on me mentally and emotionally. I felt like I was constantly noticing the things that weren't "normal" about him. People would say "Wow, he is so strong he can already stand" when he was 3 months and I would be quick to chime in with "it's not that he's strong, it's that he is incredibly stiff." I was so scared and stressed about what life would look like for Jacob if he did indeed have cerebral palsy or a metabolic disease. Because I couldn't envision the future I felt out of control. I needed to know what was wrong with him. I needed to know how to fix it. I needed to know what it would mean for him when he goes to school. I was thinking so far ahead that I wasn't enjoying the present.

Jacob got better. All the stiffness and shaking went away (for no medical reason, thank you God) and our boy was given a clean bill of health other than needing to do a little bit of catch up developmentally. I still continued to compare him to every other child his age. Or ask parents what their kids were like at Jacob's age. When people expected him to be able to do something and he couldn't do it I felt like a failure of a mother. When he amazed people with what he could do I would think "yeah but he is still SO far behind in other areas". I couldn't, wouldn't let myself see the good. I was so caught up in thinking that I am the one who controls what Jacob can and can't do and I was doing a horrible job. The self-talk was toxic.

A couple moths ago my anxiety had gotten so bad that I was majorly affecting Steve. He was struggling to deal with me when I was overwhelmed or having panic attacks. Can't blame the poor guy, he was watching his wife unravel before him and was wise enough to know that we needed help. He told me that I had to do something soon because he couldn't deal anymore. So I took action (apparently I needed that push). We went for prayer at church. The couple who prayed with us came to our house a second time and prayed with us again. Our Bible study group prayed with us and supported us. I started life coaching with an amazing woman. I started reading lots, praying lots, figuring out my triggers for panic attacks, taking time for myself so I would be better able to cope with having to be selfless most of the day (or at least that's how I feel when it comes to parenting...you need to be totally selfless and I had such a hard time doing that and carried a lot of guilt for not doing it perfectly) and spending time talking to friends. The bad thing that I did was stay in my house whenever I was alone with Jacob. I pretty much didn't leave for 6 weeks. I get overwhelmed when I am out with Jacob (because he whines, cries, throws tantrums and I always think that everyone around me is thinking that I am the worst parent in the world) and because I was TERRIFIED of all the germs he would pick up this time of year. So I thought avoiding circumstances where I would feel so much anxiety was the way to go.

A few weeks ago Jacob got a horrible stomach flu (apparently keeping him away from germs did nothing). He threw up and had diarrhea for 4 days. We had to take him to the ER because he was dehydrated. This was my biggest fear coming true. I was consistently convinced that I was going to get sick. I washed my hands so many times that they were raw. They killed, were very red and dry. I poured olive oil over them to relieve the discomfort but in a matter of hours I had washed them so many times again that they just kept getting worse. I felt sick for days (even though I never actually got sick, neither did Steve). I didn't know how to care for such a sick kid. I was reading everything I could, calling the nurses help line, asking family for advice but I was so full of fear. My heart was constantly racing. Every time he whined or cried I immediately thought he was going to vomit and would cry and usually end up having a panic attack. I know this all sounds SO ridiculous but I was having a bit of a mental breakdown. Even though I knew my thoughts and body's reactions were irrational and over the top there was nothing I could do to stop. I was in deep.

I went to the doctor and he gave me some options. He upped my anti-depressants (which I had started a few weeks prior) and upped my other pill (for anxiety...i had only been taking it for about a week) and told me to come back and see him in 2 days and see if I feel any different or I could go to the hospital. I couldn't decide. I went home, cried and cried and cried (I had been crying for probably over 24 hours), talked with family and friends and made the decision to go to the hospital. My doctor faxed over the paper work. I sat in the ER for a few hours, met with a psychiatrist and a social worker and was admitted to the psych ward. I felt a lot of relief. Once I stepped foot in the psych ward that relief was quickly replaced with a lot of fear. I won't go in to all of the details about the wards rules, the people I met there and was rooming with but it didn't feel like the place for me. They were going to drug me up so much without me having any say about the pills, doses etc that I felt out of control again. I so desperately wanted to feel control and my world was spinning so fast around me that I couldn't keep up. I sat with Steve for a long time and contemplated what to do. I couldn't make a decision. We chatted with my nurse and she pushed for me to stay. I didn't want to stay but I didn't know if that was just because it was all new and new causes anxiety for me, or if it was because this really wasn't right for me. I was not in a position to make a decision rationally. All I knew was that I wanted to get out of there and get out of there quickly. I felt sick to my stomach telling the staff that I was leaving. Worried that I was disappointing them, annoying them, frustrating them because they had done all this paper work for me to get in there and I had only been there for hours before asking to leave. Because I wasn't a danger to myself or anyone else I was a voluntary patient and therefore allowed to discharge myself. I signed some paperwork and practically ran out of there.

Back at home I continued to cry and be overwhelmed. I saw my doctor again and he agreed that I shouldn't be alone with Jacob right now. It's too much for me. Steve took a little time off work and then family and friends have been with Jacob whenever Steve can't be. It's been difficult to accept the help but very necessary. Sometimes I am home with Jacob and whoever is caring for him. Sometimes I am out with a friend or at a friend's house because the crying and whining is too much for me to handle. My heart still races when he is upset. My body's reactions to him are not normal. Not yet at least.

I feel like I am crying less and less. The pills seem to be stabilizing my emotions. My anxiety is still really really high. I don't sleep much but am tired constantly. My mind races all the time. I can't seem to slow my thinking down. I try and put myself together when I go out but inside I am still a mess.

This is postpartum. It has many faces. Everyone who deals with postpartum has different symptoms. I love my son. I love him more than I can bare sometimes but right now it is not best for him or for me to be alone together very much. He senses that I am struggling. He feels my anxiety. For days he refused to go near me because I was crying all the time and he was so confused. It broke my heart to see how I was affecting him. The last few days things have changed between he and I. He asks for "mama" a lot. He calls for me to calm him in the night. He wants me to feed him his bottle. He seems attached to me again and it feels good to be wanted and needed by him.

This is a journey. Possibly a long one. I am on my way to health but there are hills and valleys along the way. I need to give myself patience when I am in those valleys and tell myself that I am not failing. That I am doing my best. That I WILL get through this.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

His and Her: Q & A (Part 3)


What is your favorite/go-to YouTube video?

S: hardly go on youtube but i guess the piano guys
L: i go on ellen's page or prank vs prank

What is something you're scared of?
S: Lael and Jacob getting really hurt or sick 
L: vomit. 

What is a household chore you HATE doing?
S: recycling since it seems to be never ending
L: loading the dishwasher

What is something you feel guilty about or wish you had done better this week?

S: should have gotten up earlier in the morning with Jacob when he wanted to get up instead of lying in bed
L: playing with Jacob. i felt a little lazy this week

Who is your celebrity girl crush? (Yes both of you say what girl celebrity you're crushing on)
S: i can't even think of any celebrity names....(Lael names a whole bunch)...Jessica Biel
L: ....the female celebrity that makes me the happiest is ellen degeneres....i get pretty excited to see her 5 days a week :)

Future son's name?
S: Richard...just kidding. (L: Dick Dyck would be cruel) Logan
L: this is a toughie...Kaden

How did you two meet? (Tell your own versions.)

S: Band class in high school (L: no we did not meet in band). Whatever, same thing. She was taking attendance. (L: That's it? That's your whole version?) It asked how we met and that's how we met.
L: it was the beginning of september 2002 (my grade 12 year). my good friend emma called all the choir students to remind them that we had a choir practice the first day of school (at 6:45am...yup, it was early). she called this new student named Stephan and didn't know if it was "Steven or Stephan" but managed to get him on the phone anyways. She told me after that maybe THIS was going to be the guy for me. I laughed because I had just gone through a break up a few weeks before and was not interested in dating. The choir practice happened. I took attendance and met Steve. He ended up being part of our group of friends and we started dating just over a year later. :)

Describe a typical day in your life. (Weekday.)
S: Jacob cries. I bring him to our room. turn on the tv. i get his bottle (L: sometimes).  i feed jacob breakfast while lael showers. i eat breakfast and make a lunch for work. shower. go to work. (L: sell. sell. sell.) come home. hang out with jacob. try to give lael a bit of a break. put jacob to bed (L:sometimes....when you are home for bedtime)...yup. this is all "sometimes". eat and relax with lael at home and go to bed. 
L: jacob cries. Steve brings him to our room. One of us attempts to get him to stop crying while the other makes his bottle. listen to annoying cartoons, wishing i was still sleeping. dress jacob. shower. play with jacob and clean up from his breakfast and steve's. steve leaves. more playing with jacob. put jacob down for his nap. make and eat my breakfast while checking emails etc. jacob cries. entertain jacob. give him snacks. maybe run and errand. feed jacob lunch. play with jacob. clean up toys. put him down for second nap. make and eat lunch. tidy up. do some cleaning. watch some tv if i have time or read. jacob cries. feed him his bottle. give him his snack. play with jacob (maybe outside if it's not pouring). read to jacob. try and be creative for jacob. feed him dinner. play with him. hope steve comes home for bedtime. clean up toys. maybe put jacob to bed if steve isn't home. make and eat my dinner if i am alone. clean up dishes. sit down in front of tv and watch ridiculous shows. :)

What would you like to do when you retire?
S: travel with my wife. do a bunch of scuba diving and go to live jazz concerts regularly. 
L: travel with my husband. avoid scuba diving...haha. spend lots of time with my kids and grandkids (if i have any). and learn to photograph well.

What is a talent you wish you were better at?
S: saxophone and piano (L: he is already crazy talented with both of these instruments)
L: decorating

Describe your other half in 3 words.
S: loving. selfless. funny.
L: calm. genuine. thoughtful. 

How did your other half make you feel loved this past week?
S: got me new underwear and let me sleep in. 
L: has been over-the-top patient with me through many panic attacks. ugh! so thankful for his support.

What was your biggest hobby as a little kid?
S: stamps and carving wood
L: american girl

What about the world makes you sad?
S: that human nature is innately bad
L: the amount of orphans there ae re. 

What about the world makes you happy?
S: that God's grace can overcome the bad in us.
L: the ability we have to learn about so many cultures

What is your current favorite song?
S: Naina
L: probably something by Adele that I know the words to (S: you know the lyrics to songs?) not really. 

If you weren't currently married/dating your other half, where do you think you would you be?
S: I would have continued at Capilano College and wound up in $60,000 of student debt and eventually realized that as much as i enjoy jazz it's not my career calling.
L: working at LCS. living in an apartment with a friend. 

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

S: tennis
L: shopping at outlets....no? dang. maybe tennis or basketball
 
What was your favorite memory from the wedding celebration/reception? (NOT THE CEREMONY)
S: the shoe game.
L: this isn't my happiest memory of the day but it was very memorable and i still mention (cough complain cough) it. serving gelato to 230 (TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY) people BY MYSELF since SOMEONE ditched me to hang out with his groomsmen. Worst receiving line idea EVER. 

What are some traditions that you now share together?
S: make chocolate covered strawberries together. going for walks with lael and jacob up to tim hortons and getting jacob a timbit.
L: watch Elf every december. write each other a card to take on any over night away from each other. i get steve mazipan for every birthday. he gets me lindts or ferraro roches for my birthday. we started a new tradition last year for Jacob's first Christmas. we will always give him a book and pjs on christmas eve. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

His and Her: Q & A (Part 2)

If you missed part 1 you can find it here.

If you had $1,000,000 and you HAD to spend it, what would you do with it?S: Buy a bigger house. Take a great vacation.
L: Same as Steve but I would also set aside some money to hire someone to cook for us...even if it only lasted a month it would be worth it. :)

What does your dream vacation look like?
S: A cruise with Lael and a balcony cabin
L: a long cruise on a BIG ship with Steve and Jacob and a hired babysitter to take care of Jacob sometimes so Steve and I could actually have a break.

Who is your celebrity role model and why?
S: Edward Norton...not cause of who he is but because of how good of an actor he is
L: Meryl Streep. I guess she isn't a role model but I just think she is crazy talented and I love evey movie I have ever seen her in.

If you had 24 hours left to live, what would you do and why?
S: Spend time with my family. Quality time with Jacob and you (Lael). Oh and I would order pizza.
L: I would HOPE that I would be spontaneous for once in my life but realistically I would chill at home with Steve and Jacob.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
S: Our wedding
L: you can read about it here

What is your favorite television show?
S: The Walking Dead
L: Parenthood

What is your guilty pleasure?
S: second hand smoke....i love the smell of it
L: Any Real Housewives tv show

When did you first know you were going to marry your spouse?
S: Before we even started dating
L: Wow....that's presumptuous of you Steve...
    After we made it through our first "big" fight on the drive home from visitin my grandma in Seattle. (We had been dating for 6 months by that point)

What is your fondest memory as a child?
S: lighting off firecrackers and fireworks in the old war field by our house (i grew up in Germany...hence the war field)
L: Family Christmases in Oregon. It felt so great to be with our big/extended family.
 
Your house is on fire. What five items do you grab before you leave?
S: Phone. Wallet. Cards from Lael. that's about it (he answered AFTER me...stole my card idea)
L: ...other than people right...?? I would grab our external hard drive with all of our pictures. Jacob's teddies because they are his security. My file of all of the cards Steve has ever written to me. My purse because it's just a pain to get all of those cards canceled and reordered and because my car keys are in it and we could then save our car. My iPhone.
    
If you could be/had to be the main character of any movie, who would you be?
S: A hero in an action movie. It's too broad....It's like picking paint colours
L: Probably a Disney movie because then I would be an animated character. PLUS I love Disney and love singing. :) I guess I would be Belle. (this is such a stupid answer....i can't come up with anything good)

What physical feature do you love most about yourself?
S: My dimples. Does that sound like an answer a guy would give? (clearly said with a sarcastic tone)
L: The colour of my eyes...? it seems weird just to answer this question

Tell us why your name is your name.
S: No idea.
L: My dad wanted a different name, a name my mom was not fond of (a name I am not fond of either) so my mom vetoed it and named me Lael (the name of one of her cousins) and my middle name is the name my dad wanted.

What is the greatest place you've ever traveled to?
S: Overall I would have to say Maui but the Caribbean was really nice though.
L: THIS IS SO HARD!!! I have been to many amazing places. Can I choose my top 3? Cause I am gonna. Maui was my favourite trip ever because it was so relaxing and we stayed in such an amazing resort (thanks to my aunt and uncle!). London was super fun, so much to do and so much history. The Cinque Terre in Italy is probably the most beautiful place I have ever been. I hope I visit all of these places again.

Are you a morning person or a night person?
S: Night....considering it takes me 3 hours and 2 cups of coffee to wake up in the morning
L: NIGHT!

Who is someone you wish you were closer to?
S: Lael
L: (And now I look like an idiot for saying the following) This is just weird because what if they read this? That's just plain awkward. SKIP

What quality do you have that you hope your kids inherit?
S:patience
L: another question that feels awkward to answer....right?.....organization maybe

What's your favorite memory with your childhood best friend?
S: In germany we took the train to school. We would push each other out of the train just as the doors were about to close to see if the other could make it into another door.
L: Playing store in Melissa's basement.

If you had to move out of the country where would you move to?
S: i dunno...hawaii, the caribbean or the bahamas or something
L: This is tough because I hate change so I kind of want to say Kirkland, Washington because I know the area the best and have family there. BUT if fear wasn't involved I would say London.
What is something weird your spouse does while asleep?
S: She is awake most of the night.
L: Poor Steve is going to be embarrassed about this. He does anything from yell and scream, to death grip my legs or arms or brings Jacob into our room in the middle of the night because he thinks it's morning (....i think I just figured out why Jacob has sleeping issues....jk Steve)

Monday, November 19, 2012

His and Her: Q & A

I found this blog entry via Pinterest and thought it would be fun to go through the 100 questions with Steve sometime. Tonight I decided to start by asking him the first 20 questions but he got so into it that he asked me to keep going and going and going until we finished all 100. haha. I have decided to post our answers to the 10 questions over the next while starting tonight with questions 1-20.

What would you be happy doing for hours on end?
 S: Drinking beer, eating food and playing pool.
L: Shopping for furniture and home decor

What is one thing you always disagree on as a couple?
S: Dishes
L: Yup, the dishes.

What is one thing you always agree on?
S: Deciding to eat out
L: We need more sleep

What is your favorite olympic event?
S: This is going to sounds super lame but Gymnastics
L: Summer: Gymnastics, Winter: Hockey

If you had the money to buy your significant other any one thing right now what would you buy them?
S: A cruise (L: YES PLEASE!)
L: A car so he could drive to work without getting wet and cold on the scooter

Would you rather be blind or deaf?
S: Deaf
L: Deaf

What is one thing you admire about your mother (or mother figure)?
S: She is always welcoming
L: Her knowledge of the Bible and how fast she reads!

What food do you HATE?
S: Peas!
L: Almost everything but seriously hate pickles and mustard

Who is your favorite superhero?
S: Spiderman (L: very convienient since you look so much like Tobey Maguire)
L: ....superman?

What value or principle, if any, are you a true advocate for?.
S: Integrity
L: Honesty


What will your firstborn daughters name be? (or what would your next daughter's name be?)
S: Avery
L: Stella (in reality it won't be either of these names since we clearly don't agree)


What is your biggest shopping pet peeve?
S: trying on clothes
L: finding parking when it's raining
 
If you could have any single superpower what would it be and why?
S: Flying cause flying is awesome. everyone's dream is to fly
L: ....not mine. I would want to be invisible so I can spy on Jacob when he is in the nursery at church without him seeing me. PLUS i just like being a fly on the wall....

If you got a life supply subscription to any magazine, what magazine would you choose?
S: Some electronic magazine
L: People or Martha Stewart Living

What was your favorite subject in elementary school? (lunch and recess don't count)
S: Pause. (L: What does that mean in English?) Recess. (L: ) Fine. Then I choose Music
L: PE

You just scored $5. What do you spend it on?
S: Breakfast sandwich at Starbucks
L: Cream soad slurpee and a Wonderbar

What were your thoughts when you first met your other half?
S: I don't remember but if I had to say 2 words I would say nice and outgoing
L: I don't remember if his name is Stephan or Steven. (a friend of mine told me that there was a new guy in choir and i saw him in our first choir practice that school year)

If you could punch a company/business in the face, who would you want to punch?
S: I would punch and high five Bose because of they are masterminds at brainwashing customers into thinking that their products are any good.
L: Cell phone companies....i have been with many and they all mess up my bills

Favorite classic Disney princess?
S: Aladdin (L: He is not a princess) Isn't there a princess in Aladdin (L: Yes, Jasmine) Yeah, her.
L: Belle. She saw the good in the Beast and made the best of her situation (plus the songs in that movie are so catchy).

If you could reincarnate into any animal after you die, what animal would you want to be?
S: Easy! Lion!
L: Probably a dolphin because then I could explore the ocean OR a hummingbird so i could fly

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My cleaning routine

I was chatting with a few friends the other day about keeping up with cleaning when you have a baby or young kids at home. Before having Jacob it was simple for me to set aside 4 hours once a week to clean the whole house and a few hours another day for laundry. Now that we have Jacob that isn't realistic for me.

I feel like my house is at an ok level of cleanliness most of the time. I am not good at major cleaning projects like blinds, washing walls, scrubbing kitchen cabinets etc but I think my house looks relatively clean to anyone who doesn't live here.

Steve and I both like to live in an organized home and feel overwhelmed when our house gets to the point where cleaning feels daunting. I am thankful to be married to a man who not only appreciates a clean house but contributes to it!

Here are some of the ways we keep up with our house:
I do laundry about every 2 days. I don't wait until one of us is out of underwear or socks I do my best to always be one step ahead with the laundry. Since I am home a lot it's easy to throw in a load or 2 every 2 days and get it all put away that same day. If I don't have time to fold the laundry when the dryer is done I always put it on my bed so that I am forced to do it before i go to sleep.

Dishes- we run our dishwasher at night most of the time. Even if it isn't totally full we usually run it. I hate having dishes piled in my sink and often I won't have time to do the dishes during the day and will only get to it once J is in bed. If I think I will have a full days worth of dishes in my sink because my dishwasher is full (or almost full) and needs to be run before I can unload my sink dishes into the washer I will not be happy. If I run it at night I can unload it first thing in the morning before getting caught up in the daily routine.

Floors- I have a little hand held vacuum that is hung in our kitchen on the wall (it's between our buffet and a corner so that it's not seen). I use it DAILY. No joke. We don't have carpet on our main floor (just 2 small area rugs) and I feel like I am always seeing hair, crumbs and dust bunnies in corners and under my kitchen cabinets. I grab that little vacuum, whip around the main floor with it and it's done. It probably takes me less than 5 mins. We mop our floors usually every second Sunday. If Jacob makes a mess on the floor we wipe it up with water and I spot clean often but a major mop doesn't happen more than every other week. We vacuum our upstairs (which is carpeted) each Sunday as well.

Dusting- I dust probably every second day. We keep a micro fiber dust cloth in a drawer of our tv stand for dusting. It's easy to grab it and wipe down any dusty surfaces on our main floor regularly. We have a lot of dark wood furniture and it shows dust like crazy! Not to mention that the heat from our tv and other electronics seem to attract dust and our tv stand always looks dusty...it drives me crazy! I dust our upstairs once a week.

Kitchen- I am always cleaning the kitchen. Every day while Jacob is in his highchair I wipe down the counters and the stove and scrub the sink. We tend to pile random junk on the end of one counter so I declutter that on the weekend....or at least I try to. Hehe

Bathrooms- we have a toilet brush in all 3 bathrooms. I scrub the toilet with the toilet brush every 2-3 days (mainly because they will get pink coloured lines or rings if I don't keep up with it). Once a week I clean the counters, toilet seats, sinks, mirrors and floors.

Kid mess- toys...toys everywhere. I hate when Jacob ends up with all of his toys out. We recently bought a storage unit for J's toys from ikea. It is 2 cubes high by 4 cubes wide. 6 of the cubes have bins in them full of toys and the other 2 we use for book shelves. When J wants toys he gets 1 or 2 bins and that's it! Once he is done with those toys they get cleaned up before he gets new stuff out. Steve or I clean up his toys and books once Jacob is asleep too. By the time we sit down to relax the house is in good order and we aren't waking up the next day to a disaster. Any toys or books Jacob plays with in his room are tidied before he goes to bed so that we aren't tripping over them in the middle of the night.

Sunday- ...I kind of hate our cleaning time on Sunday each week but I also know it's necessary for my sanity so I suck it up. Steve's days off are Sunday and Monday. Since church fills a few hours on Sunday morning we use the rest of that day for cleaning and chores so that on Monday we can just have a family day. The routine is that I vacuum upstairs and clean the bathrooms and Steve mops our main floor (every other week). Once I am done vacuuming he hauls the vacuum down the stairs and does our area rugs and stairs (if needed). We also do our decluttering on Sunday and that usually means some filing...I hate it so Steve does it. :) Steve also cleans our shower once a week while he showers. I also dust our upstairs every Sunday. If it isn't a mopping week then Steve will often take Jacob to the grocery store with him and pick up whatever we need and then I can clean without having to deal with Mr. Jacob. We don't really use any chemicals for cleaning. We use Norwex cloths for almost everything! Works great and there is little hassle.

"There's a place for everything and everything has its place." This is true in our home. We know where everything goes. When we buy new stuff we talk about where we will keep/store it. I don't like clutter in our home so I do my best to avoid a lot of it.

I think that's it...it seems like a lot when I read it over but honestly it doesn't feel like I am cleaning all the time but it DOES feel like I have a handle on it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fun at the fair

On Saturday a local church who meets in the school up the hill from us had a summer festival. My neighbour asked if Jacob and I wanted to join her and her kids. We walked up to the school and I was rather surprised to see bouncy castles, lots of games, prizes and food. FREE FOOD! They even had a cake walk! We wandered around for a bit and bumped into our other neighbours. The kids all played on the playground while we enjoyed the free burgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks (there was cotton candy too but none of us needed the sugar high). The place was crazy busy with lots of families from the neighborhood and it was such a great way to spend our Saturday!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mustache Bash!

Today I was looking over some past posts and realized that I never blogged about Jacob's first birthday. GASP! Haha. Very belated but I am gonna blog about it anyways!

Jacob's party was planned for 2 days after his real birthday (May 18th) on Steve's birthday (May 20th). I really wanted to have his party at a park but seeing as it was May and we were not guaranteed nice weather, we decided to plan on having it at my parent's house (even though Steve assured me that it had "never" rained on his birthday before and therefore it would not rain this year). They have a large yard so if the weather was nice the kids could have their squirt guns and bubbles party favours at the beginning of the party and play outside, and if the weather sucked we would stay inside. Our house is way too small to accommodate all the parents and kids who we invited.

It POURED on the day of the party (ahem STEVE...jk)! I had put together some mustache decor for our little man's special day. He wore a tie onesie but wouldn't keep his mustache on...surprise surprise. We had mustaches for everyone who wanted to wear one, mustache cups, I made a banner and some signs with mustache stamps. I had a lot of fun planning and making stuff! That was probably more fun for me than the actual party. I am very comfortable hosting and I get stressed and hot and overwhelmed so the actual party was a little much for me but I LOVED planning it all!

Jacob seemed to enjoy being the center of attention (like he always does). We didn't get around to opening all the gifts because Jacob wasn't overly interested. But boy oh boy did the kid get a big loot of gifts!

Very special day for our very special little man, Jacob! (ok...maybe the party was more for us than for him since he had no idea what was going on. ;) haha)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fibromyalgia

A lot of people don't know that I have fibromyalgia. Maybe you have heard about it on a commercial for some drug. Maybe you know someone who has it. Maybe this is the first time you have heard the word. Even though I was diagnosed years ago I still feel like I have a lot to learn about it. It is classified as "long-term, body-wide pain". Here is a little bit of my story with fibro.

After high school I started to have a lot of body ache. There would be times when the pain in my legs was so bad that I couldn't walk or the pain in my arms would be so bad that I was unable to carry anything or move my arms much. I always referred to this pain as "growing pains" because my parents had called it that when I was a kid and it is a similar but more intense version of that childhood pain. I basically wrote the pain off as being normal for a long time. One day (years later) Steve said to me "how can you still be having growing pains when you are in your 20s?" I don't know how I had never thought of that! Steve witnessed many evenings of me lying on the couch or in bed in tears because the pain was too much for me to handle. He convinced me that it was time to see a doctor.

My doctor talked to me extensively and ran a lot of tests. After a few appointments he told me that I have FM (fibromyalgia). He gave me a huge book to read and sent me on my way. I am not good with medical jargon so I only read sections of the book that I was really interested in, such as sleep. I have been a bad sleeper for as long as I can remember and this book basically linked my sleep issues with fibro. My anxiety and (sometimes) depression was also linked to fibro. And of course my pain. Since being diagnosed my pain levels have fluctuated a lot. There are seasons in my life where my pain is minimal. I can go for 2 weeks with very little pain. Other times I am in pain all day every day.

Usually the pain I experience starts in my knees or elbows and then spreads up and down my leg or arm. Most of the time I only have pain in one leg or one arm at a time. The pain is a deep aching pain that can start out dull and and gets more intense over time. Once it gets to be really bad (like barely-able-to-breathe-through-the-pain kind of bad) it goes away quickly. The bad pain normally lasts no more than an hour or so. The build up to that bad pain can be 20 mins or 6 hours...I never know what to expect. It feels like the muscle/s are being squeezed as hard as they can be. As if I am having a major muscle cramp. Moving makes the pain worse.

I am lucky that usually this pain only comes on in the evenings or in the night. I almost never have this pain in the morning. I have general back, neck and hip pain but that is just "normal" to me.

I talked with my doctor about lots of pain management options. I tried a few of them too. Nothing was effective enough that didn't give me unpleasant side affects for me to continue on the drug. I can take Tylenol or Advil every time I have pain but I would be taking it way too often and eventually it would lose its effectiveness as well. I choose to take meds when I have pain during the day and need to be able to function better than I am in that moment. It never takes the pain away but sometimes it dulls the pain enough for me to get by. My doctor also recommended that I work only part time so that my body can rest more. I worked 4 days a week from then on until having Jacob.

I have been having more pain lately than I usually do. The worst part about that is that my energy levels are WAY down! Today has been particularly bad. I did a TON of stuff this morning and I clearly overdid it because I paid for it majorly this afternoon. By around 11:30 I was feeling my right leg start to ache. I went to a friends at 3pm and by then it was slowly getting worse. I felt very low on energy. By 5pm I was lying on the floor in my kitchen listening to the timer go off on my oven and didn't know how I was going to get up and turn it off and take my food out. I knew I had to feed Jacob and I knew that continuing to lie there was not an option. The pain was almost at its worst and I knew that it wouldn't be long before I would really be unable to deal with Jacob. I did my best to feed him while sitting in a chair. My neighbour knocked on my door and I made the poor decision of getting up, going down my stairs, out to my garage and getting him the zap strap he was needing. By the time I was walking up the stairs I couldn't hide my limp and I was crying. I came inside and crumbled on my couch bawling my eyes out waiting for the climax of pain to be over. I managed to get up, get J out of his high chair and lie back down but I made it so much worse! This is when having a kid and having fibro don't mix. By 6:30 I was feeling a lot of relief. Now it is 7:30 and although I still have pain and don't want to walk I am ok. By 8:30/9 I will probably be feeling fine.

There is a little bit more of a glimpse into my life and a little bit of knowledge for you as to what fibromyalgia is and how it can affect people.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Am I failing?

Last night a friend sent me a link to a blog post. It is titled "Dear sweet mom who feels like she is failing". Sigh. Immediately upon reading the title I was in tears. I do feel like I am failing on a daily basis. I know my kid is healthy, clean (well as clean as you can expect a 15 month old boy to be who plays outside everyday), fed, changed and relatively happy...but regardless I feel like I have failed him. You see I have a bad attitude. I have SUCH a hard time enjoying playing with him, going places with him and just doing the day to day mundane things. My bad attitude all stems from fear. Fear of a meltdown. Fear of drawing attention to myself and him in a negative way. I don't want others to think that I am failing. I don't want to be judged by them. I will instantly assume that I am being judged if Jacob is fussy, crying or tantrumming in public. I also fear that people will judge me for what he wears, how much he talks, how i do or don't punish or what I do or don't feed him. I stress about what he eats A LOT! In fact I probably think about his food more than I think about anything else all day. Between his 3 meals and 3 snacks everyday it feels like a full time job.

I also feel like I am failing to keep my house clean. It's clean...but not white glove clean. Please don't look at my blinds or I may die of absolute embarrassment. Sure I could clean them, but I don't want to. I don't feel like I have the energy to.

I also feel like I am failing at feeding Steve and me. Because I put so much thought into Jacob's food I often forget to plan meals for Steve and I. We don't eat as a family during the week because Steve isn't home early enough from work for that to happen. He usually gets home just before Jacob goes to bed or after he is in bed. Therefore Jacob doesn't eat the same dinner as us. Steve and I have dinner together once Jacob is in bed. I am SO bad at planning ahead for meals...and thawing meat is pretty important if you want dinner (at least it is for Steve since he is a HUGE carnivore). (Also I feel the constant need to defend myself and the choices that I make...like I feel the need to tell you that I know Jacob should eat with us as a family since it creates a better relationship with food and a better understanding of meals BUT I also need time with Steve and dinner is the only way that happens consistently.)

...anyway...after reading the blog post I felt a little less alone and I feel like I need to give myself a little more slack. Going back to work will be a bit of an escape from sitting in my house and seeing all the things that I am "failing" at.

You should take a gander...it's a good one.
Read blog post here

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

the dreaded car

jacob has hated the car since his first car ride. no joke. we never considered taking him for car rides as a baby to put him to sleep. we loathed taking him in the car because he would cry and scream and be miserable. i find it close to impossible to block out the crying when driving. not only does it get under my skin but it creates a lot of anxiety for me. he will now cry until he vomits which is absolutely awful for someone who has a phobia of barf. i basically stopped taking long car rides without having another person in the car who can distract jacob....yeah...it was getting ridiculous. about a month ago i had planned to go down to Seattle to visit my grandma and knew that i needed something to distract jacob or my mom and i would be pulling our hair out. i borrowed a friend's portable DVD player and some sesame street DVDs. WOW!! jacob barely made a peep. it was a very peaceful drive.
so now i want a DVD player for the car but we can't afford one. thankfully i have a husband who knew how important it was for me to be able to go places with J and have him be calm. he decided to try and get some cartoons on our tablet. steve spent HOURS on it. he had a few friends (who are very educated on computer stuff) help him and finally he was able to get some sesame street episodes on our tablet. yesterday i drove to abbotsford and back and jacob watched sesame street the whole time. so peaceful! i know a lot of people don't agree with tv in the car but i don't care at this point. the stress of driving with J was too much that i was avoiding all drives that were longer than 10 mins. now i can visit family and friends without having to pull over a million times, without having to clean up barf and without having to feel anxious the whole drive. it's worth it to me.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

gluten free...

as of wednesday i have been on a gluten free diet. why? i don't think anyone wants to really know the details but basically i have had an unpredictable/sensitive digestive system for as long as i can remember and as of about a month ago it has gotten extremely worse! i went to my doctor on tuesday and after chatting with him about all of my "issues" he told me that it is likely that i have celiac disease and would need to be on a gluten free diet for life. eeekkkkk!!!! i was told to get a blood test done and that he would call me with the results. i decided to have pizza for dinner that night and see how my body reacted. HOLY MOLY, BAD IDEA!!!! i was up ALL night from 10:30pm-6:30am sick! it was AWFUL! the next morning i got my blood test and decided i was starting the gluten free diet right then and there. man this diet is brutal! i had no idea that gluten is in basically everything....like literally EVERYTHING! i would never have guessed that french fries and potato chips would be a no-no. it's a big learning curve but i know i can't continue on feeling the way i have been feeling. so hopefully the switch over will be worth it.

since i cut out gluten 4 days ago i have had ZERO symptoms! i have felt relatively normal...until today that is. today i was hit again! i was so confused because i know i didn't eat anything with gluten. i did some more reading. turns out that it takes 6-8 weeks for all of the gluten to get out of your tissue and make you relatively symptom free and another 6-8 weeks for the intestine to heal. i could be looking at almost 2 more months of feeling nasty. shoot.

of course there is still the possibility that i don't have celiac disease. i don't want to have it, but i want to be better. if the test comes back negative then i guess i can add gluten back in and see what happens. if it is positive i have learned that a biopsy of the intestine is still needed to confirm. booo! not sure i want to do that.

one awesome thing that i learned yesterday is the Boston Pizza has gluten free pizza! so amazing! if i do end up gluten free for life at least i can eat there! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Feeding tactics

jacob has decided that he hates eating. he screams and cries whenever food comes his way. he will be starving but when he is in the highchair he reaches for everything in sight and won't eat. we tried powering through the crying but he either gets so upset that he barfs or he just won't stop crying. shoveling the food in his mouth while he cries also leads to barfing. we decided to try more solids (even though previously he always gagged and barfed on any food that wasn't puréed. we figured that if he is barfing during most meals from crying we might has well try the solids cause it all equals barf). there was lots of gagging at first but slowly he was able to handle some solid food without up-chucking. oh progress!! :)

he will eat solids without crying because he really enjoys feeding himself the only problem is that he has such a short attention span for food. he will literally eat about 10 small bites of food and then starts crying again and whining and reaching for anything he can see. we are so sick of meals being like this that we have caved and now try and get him watching tv while we feed him or read him stories while he eats (which is his favourite thing ever!). we are at a complete loss as to how to get past this. it's not that he isn't hungry. he is hungry! he is sometimes absolutely starving. in fact if he is interested in a show or a book he will eat loads of food. i don't get him and this whole eating thing. we have even started to have to feed him in the night lately because he can't make it to his morning bottle or breakfast. He is up so much in the night crying and if we feed him a bottle he will actually sleep until 6:15ish (which for him is sleeping in).

here are some pics of him eating while watching tv or being read to.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

the question everyone is asking me

jacob turned one on may 18th. it's still hard to believe that he is already one and yet i also find it hard to believe that he has only been a part of our lives for one year. funny how that works. ;) i feel like as soon as i returned to work and J had his birthday i have been getting asked almost daily when we will have a second baby. this is a tough question for me. i am never sure how to answer it. don't get me wrong, i don't mind being asked i just don't know how to respond when i myself don't know the answer.

this year with jacob has been insanely rewarding and yet extremely hard on me. i have learned a lot about myself and honestly i have really let myself down this year. i had HIGH expectations for myself as a mom. i have worked with babies, kids and teens for YEARS and felt like i was as ready as i could possibly be for being a mom. WRONG! nothing can really prepare you for this switch. i have learned that i am a very selfish person. i like time to myself, time with friends and time with steve. i have felt like i no longer have much of any of that....or at least not to the extent that i want/feel i need. i have worked hard to change this about myself but it hasn't come easily. there really is not enough time in the day. currently work is my time for me and my time to be with friends. time with steve? that doesn't happen very much. even for our 5 year anniversary (FIVE YEARS PEOPLE.....seems like a big anniversary to me) all we had time for was dinner (and it sucked). i really enjoy time away from the house with just steve and i and that barely ever happens.

i thought i would love sitting on the floor with my little guy and playing with him all day long. again i am disappointed with myself because after i have built towers for him to knock over a million times and had the same "my baby elephant" book passed to me 20 times to be read i am finished playing and want to do something else. i feel crummy for being bored. i feel frustrated when he stands next to me grabbing my leg whining because i put the book out of reach.i feel down right angry at myself for not sucking it up and getting myself back on the floor with my kid and reading the book again until HE decides that it is enough. why can't i just enjoy all of this more? why can't i really take in these moments with him and just be happy to be reading to him while he still wants me to?

i can't stop looking around my house and seeing the MILLION things that need to be done. the dishes, cleaning bottles, dusting, mopping the floors, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, cleaning windows, laundry....it never ends and i feel like i can never be ahead of the game.

i feel like i am constantly second guessing whether or not i am feeding him a balanced diet, feeding him enough, is he getting enough sleep, should i let him cry, should i scoop him up as soon as he cries, do i play with him enough, do i carry him enough, do i show him enough affection, am i teaching him anything, am i expecting too much or too little from him, does he spend enough time outside, does he even like me....i could go on forever. seriously. i never feel at peace. peace is what i crave.

back to the reason i started this post...do i feel like i am ready for another kid....NOT AT ALL. i know it wouldn't be fair to jacob right now. he doesn't have my full attention and he is the only kid i have. how can i divide the attention he does get with another child when i already feel guilty about not spending enough quality time with him. i feel too tense, too stressed, too anxious to have jacob AND a baby. i remember how consuming jacob was as a newborn. how much he cried. how much his health issues scared me and stressed me out. i know i don't have it in me to do that again and take care of jacob the way i want to at the same time

i have a big fear. what if i never feel ready for another? i don't want jacob to be an only child. but if i won't ever feel ready then i will just have to force myself to do it so that he won't be an only child. and if i am going to have to force myself at some point then maybe i should just do it soon so that he will be close in age to his brother or sister....ok....that statement scares me a lot! i know i can't handle being pregnant again "soon". is this normal? do other first time moms feel this way? does there really actually come a time when i will feel "ready"? why does it seem like other moms around me can have a second baby soon after their first and not seem to be scared and stressed? eeeekkkkk!!!! this whole having babies thing is a pretty big deal.

Friday, April 27, 2012

feeding jacob

sssiiiigggghhhhh.....not sure how else to express how i feel about feeding my child. jacob is 11 months old now. i fully expected that by this age he would be eating table food and at least be able to somewhat feed himself finger foods. nope. jacob has no teeth. obviously this makes eating finger foods difficult but not impossible. i asked a friend (whose son also didn't have teeth around this age) what kinds of finger foods i could give jacob. she sent me a list of tons of great ideas. all things that worked for her little man. jacob was eating cheerios for a while but would sometimes choke on them. all of a sudden he started choking on EVERYTHING. i had a few VERY scary meals with jacob. i have had to quickly get him out of his high chair, flip him over and hit his back until the food would come out (this first 2 times this happened i was with friends and they were the ones who did it. i was thankful that i was taught what to do before being in a situation where i had to do it myself). his face would go all red and you could tell he was scared. sometimes he would cough and gag so much that he would vomit. i became WAY too scared to feed him. over a month ago we went back to only giving him pureed foods until we saw the doctor. he told us to stop giving jacob foods that aren't pureed until he gets teeth.....which he still doesn't have. i honestly hate only giving him pureed foods. i SO BADLY want to give him finger foods. i know he would love to feed himself. i have let him suck on apple slices but sometimes he gets a piece off and we have to fish it out of his mouth (which freaks me out).

i have some fears around this issue. 1.) will he know how to eat non-pureed foods when the time comes or will he be so used to just swallowing his food as soon as it gets into his mouth that he won't chew? 2.) what if he chokes BADLY?? we have been lucky so far and he has been able to get the food out but it's SO scary and just thinking about giving him actual solid chunks of food makes me feel instantly nervous! i will not be ok feeding him finger foods unless i have someone else here with me for the first few times to make sure he can do it and so that i have someone here to call 911 if need be (yes, i always think worst case scenario)......maybe i should take a baby first aid class....do those exist?

has anyone else been through this with their kid/s? i don't want to be feeding him pureed food until he is 10 ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

off to work i go

wow....it's been 3 months since i have written a post. honestly i have become lazy, a little discouraged and somewhat overwhelmed at the thought of coming up with something to write about. i was over-thinking it. i don't want to come on here and write stuff that comes across as being all complaints or judgey...so i avoided it. i am going to attempt to give it another go. 

what's new in my world?? i am going back to work (insert doom sounding music here)...how do i feel about it? VERY MIXED!!! i am SUPER excited on the one hand and on the other i am petrified. i rarely leave Jacob with other people. i am a micro-managing-controlling mom who over thinks absolutely everything. J is just starting to act like he needs me...me specifically, not just anyone like before. even with steve sometimes J reaches out for me and can only be comforted by me. i feel like this all started when he began crawling. he bangs his head a lot now and gets hurt, cries and needs to be held. he has decided that i need to comfort him, not daddy, it needs to be mom. this worries me. i am going to be leaving him 5 days a week from 7:30am-3:30 pm. i am praying that it goes ok. what has been really helpful so far is that i know i am only back to work for 6 weeks and 3 days. there is a light at the end of the tunnel. i have also been telling myself that most moms now go back to work after their 1 year mat leave and they all leave their kids. i have yet to see any kids who seem damaged by this therefore my kid will also be fine. he won't hate me forever because i went back to work for a bit and he won't forget me either. i will have 4 hours with him before bed each day, all day saturday alone with him and then sunday both steve and i will be home. it will be fine. it will be fine. IT WILL BE FINE! 

why did i decide to go back? i have a complicated answer to this question. a lot of things played into this. steve has been looking for a new job for MONTHS now and still has yet to find the right match. me going back to work and continuing to make some income until june will take a little pressure off him. another reason is that i am starting to feel like i NEED something else in my life. i can't seem to find a hobby that really interests me and uses my brain in a different way (and isn't awfully expensive) so back to work i go. i love my job. i love the people. i love the kids. so why not? and the third reason is a BIG one. i thought about going back to my old position (which would have meant that i had to return to work last week) but i know that i want to be a stay-at-home mom and only wanted to return to work short term (until the end of the school year). if i took my old job back i would be taking someone else's job away. for what? for 3 months? i didn't think it was fair to take her job and then for me to not return in september. i also didn't think it would be fair to the kids i would be with or the teachers. it takes a good month to feel accustomed to a new job. i would have been with past students (who i ADORE and miss terribly) but at a new campus....so much to learn when you go to a new school (and honestly anything new is VERY anxiety provoking for me). the job that i am taking for 6 weeks and 3 days is my friend's job. she is going on maternity leave. i am not taking her job away from her. also, i know the school already, i have worked with 3 of the 4 kids before and worked in one of the classrooms last year. i feel like it's a win-win for me and the school. they don't have to train a new person. i just need to be shown where the kids are at and get used to one new classroom. (....plus i think going to work should/would/could/hopefully WILL help me to calm down and give up some control and trust that everything will be just fine.)

who is looking after jacob? great question. steve's days off are currently sunday and monday. he will have jacob on mondays. he also works 2 late shifts a week (meaning he leaves for work at noon) so those 2 days he will have jacob until 12pm at which time a babysitter (michelle) will come over and watch jacob until i get home at 3:30-ish. the other 2 days he will be with either my mom or steve's mom (there are some exceptions to this but generally this is how it will work).  

may 7th is my first day back. anxiously preparing myself for this BIG (but short lived) change. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

MRI results and next steps


steve and i had very mixed feelings about today's appointment. after jacob's last appointment we felt like we would be told one of 2 things today. 1. the MRI showed that there is a brain injury and jacob has cerebral palsy (which according to the neurologist at the last appointment that would be the BETTER option and the most likely option). or 2. the MRI showed nothing and we need to continue testing and look for a metabolic disease. we had been told that the next step would be a spinal tap.

both options sucked. we were of course wanting the MRI to show nothing AND for the doctor to say that he wasn't going to test jacob any more. however, this seemed like an unrealistic option since we had been told that he would NOT grow out of the symptoms he has.

in the past 3 months we have noticed that the shaking in jacob's arms has been less and less noticeable. in fact, in the past couple of weeks i have only seen his arms shake a few times. the shaking used to happen VERY often (probably at least 30x/day). the stiffness in his legs is still an issue. he does not bend his knees when standing (and he loves to stand). you can try and bounce him on a soft surface to get him to jump and his legs stay very stiff and he will not bend his knees. it's also difficult to get his knees to bend when changing his clothes and when he is very excited his whole body stiffens. the stiffness was the neurologist's main concern at the appointment in october.

today we saw the doctor again. he immediately said that he is SHOCKED that jacob already had his MRI. he told us that he expected it to take at least 1 year. he asked us some questions about jacob's development since his appointment in october. he then told us that the MRI was 100% normal and showed that jacob's brain is "perfect". amazing words to hear! (although at this point both steve and i were freaking out on the inside because we were expecting to hear that he has a metabolic disease.) he told us that jacob is only slightly behind on his development now and to him jacob doesn't feel as stiff as he did a few months ago. if he had a metabolic disease we shouldn't see a decrease in his symptoms. the next part was THE BEST! he said "i guess i was wrong. he will probably grow out of these symptoms." BEST WORDS WE COULD HAVE HEARD!!!!!! he was wrong. there is a third option and jacob is growing out of the stiffness. no cerebral palsy and most likely no metabolic disease. he told us that even though we don't know what is causing the stiffness he isn't worried about it after seeing jacob today. he does want to follow up with us and see jacob again when he is 18 months old or if we notice anything unusual with the stiffness or his development between now and then.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

jacob @ 8 months...

...can do many new things!

he can sit up all by himself
(but we still need to stay nice and close because he does occasionally tip)

he can hit his toys together

he can go from a sitting position onto his belly....just not very gracefully

he pivots on his tummy





one thing is still the same though....he is still THE CUTEST!

Monday, January 9, 2012

post MRI

first of all i would like to thank all of our amazing friends and family who were thinking of us, praying for us, wished us luck, sent us texts, phoned us and/or wrote us on facebook today. THANK YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH!!!! we couldn't ask for better people in our lives and we felt so blessed today to know that so many people had us in their thoughts.

we have been stressed and anxiously waiting for this day for 3 months. we are really happy to have it behind us. here is what our day and the days leading up to today looked like. ** if you want background info as to why this MRI was necessary click here.

last friday the hospital called to give me instructions. we were told that he could not have any formula for the 6 hours prior to the test and he could only have water or apple juice up to 2 hours prior. we were also told that there should be 2 of us so that on the drive home one of us could be in the back helping jacob because he would most likely be vomiting. awesome. jacob really hasn't had any water before so i tried giving him some on the weekend but he would not drink it. i went and bought some apple juice (from the baby food section) and mixed a little bit in with some water and tried to feed that to him last night. he threw up all over our couch and carpet.....he has never vomited before!! shoot!! i was now at a loss. how is it going to be possible for him to go from 4:30am-10:30am without eating??? jacob is a kid who usually starts getting whiny 3 hours after a feeding. he was not going to last 6 hours!! this was a big stresser for me because i didn't know what to expect and knew that i wouldn't be able to fix it. i hate not knowing what to expect and not being in control (am i ever really in control though??....nope)

jacob went to bed last night. i madly packed everything i could think of that we might possibly need taking practically every worst case scenario into account. i had toys, a blanket, receiving blankets, wet and dry cloths, a plastic bib, 2 garbage bags, toys, 4 bottles, formula, mum mums, 2 changes of clothes for jacob, a new top for both steve and i (in case he barfed on us), apple juice....i am sure there was more but i think you get the picture. i was prepared! we went to bed and set our alarm for 4:15am.

i barely slept all night. i was up feeling sick because i was crazy nervous and could not put my mind to rest. 4:15 came. we fed him more than he normally eats in one feeding and tried to get back to sleep. no such luck for either of us. we got up just before 7. i tried to get water into jacob. he wouldn't take it. i tried a water and apple juice mix. he wouldn't take it. steve tried. nope. we tried spoon feeding it to him and he took 2 spoonfuls and started crying. he would cry, i would put a spoonful in his mouth while he was crying and it would all pour out. dang.

we put a very hungry jacob in the car at 8:15am and i knew we only had 15 mins to get clear fluids into him before he wouldn't be allowed anything else to drink. i decided that there was no point trying to force feed him. he was miserable already and i was only making it worse by trying to make him drink something he didn't want to. he was fussy for half of the drive to children's hospital. he finally fell asleep 20 mins before we arrived.

we suited jacob up in his hospital gown (i don't think anyone could possibly look so good in a hospital gown).
the nurse put his hospital bracelet on his ankle. jacob loved playing with it and eventually got it off his foot! she also put some numbing cream on his right foot and hand so that the IV wouldn't hurt as much.
she tried to take his blood pressure but he was way too squirmy. then she tried to listen to his heart and he had the hiccups and was moving so much that she had a lot of trouble. finally she weighed him and because he was moving a ton his weight fluctuated by 2 lbs. we could not get him to stay still. everything was new and he wanted to see it all and touch it all.

we then went into the waiting room until someone came and called us to radiology. again we waited (for another 45 mins....we were 30 mins past his appointment time when they finally came for him). they told us that we couldn't go with him because he wasn't a year old yet. we were both sad and relieved to get that news. we didn't want to see him in pain when they did the IV but we also wanted to be there with him to try and comfort him while he was getting the IV done. we were sent to a waiting room and told that he would be out in 20 mins but "don't panic if you don't see him for 25-30 mins." there was a sign in the room that said that in case of an emergency the wait could be as long as 1 hours. we waited....30 mins passed, nothing. 40 mins, nothing. 50 mins, nothing. 1 hour hit and i was ready to freak out. finally a nurse came in and called "JACOB'S PARENTS?" we hopped up and were told to go to the "post anesthesia" room. we (sped) walked down there. the room was one big open space with 8-10 beds. each bed had a child in it and a nurse beside every bed. it was silent except for one screaming kid. i instantly knew that scream. it was our little boy's scream. we rushed over to his bed where the nurse was trying to bottle feed him sugar water but he wasn't having any of it. i asked if i could pick him up and felt huge relief when she said yes. i scooped him into my arms and tried desperately to calm him. he was a different child. he was super floppy, couldn't hold his head up and was a blubbering mess. she pushed his bed down to the recovery room and we followed her, me carrying him. she left and original nurse returned. our nurse said we could feed him a bottle but to really dilute the formula and only give him a couple ozs. he gobbled down 3 ozs and continued to scream when we took the bottle away. we fed him some sugar water and he really wasn't enjoying it but did his best to chug some back. the crying continued. finally after 20 mins of crying he settled. i actually put him into the rocking position i used to carry him in as an infant. he hasn't let us carry him like that for months. he calmed right down as i rocked him.
once his body relaxed i sat and enjoyed cradling our little one for a bit. after 5 mins he dozed off. the nurse came in a while later and was happy that he hadn't thrown up. she said "if he was going to he would have by now". YAY!! she took his IV out and he didn't even wake up. we were then told that we could dress him and take him home.

the car ride home was one of the best car rides we have had in a long time. he was out of it enough that he was calm but not so out of it that he was cranky.

he has been cranky on and off the rest of the day but all things considered he has been amazing!

when we undressed him for his bath this evening we found this rash (which wasn't there when we dressed him before leaving the hospital). we didn't even know that he had anything on his chest during the MRI. hopefully it will be gone by tomorrow. poor little guy went through a lot today. may he rest well tonight and feel 100% normal tomorrow!

oh and why did the MRI take so long? we have NO idea! we were not given any info about how any of that went. we will however get the results on jan. 25th when we see the neurologist again.