Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Better Safe than Sorry?

May 5, 2011

After a day and a half of no puking, I thought we were on the upside of the sickness. I started both kids on Probiotics and was ready to embrace healthiness. Just after awaking on Tuesday morning, it was back. K (who’s 5) was sick again. I called work, her school and E’s daycare to let them know we wouldn’t be there and waited for 8:30 am to roll around to call the pediatrician. Our doctor doesn’t work on Tuesdays so we were scheduled with another doctor in the office and headed over after two long hours of waiting for our appointment and another two episodes of upset stomach. Her inner ear was red and swollen (after being diagnosed 3 weeks prior with an ear infection and completed antibiotic regimen) so he prescribed antibiotic injections (since she was repeatedly vomiting) with the instructions to go to the ER if her stomach continued to hurt. In rare instances her symptoms have indicated appendicitis. He gave us anti-nausea medication and scheduled a follow up for the next morning.

A team of two nurses came in with a tray of needles and Band-Aids ready to inject. K was a little freaked out but handled it like a champ. She is such a brave girl and has a seemingly high pain tolerance which makes judging her symptoms even harder for me. She yelled “Ouch” at the nurses with intent as her brother looked on wide eyed. Once it was over, she was happy again and ready for her lollipop (they look forward to doctor’s appointments for this reason).

After a long afternoon nap, she was acting very lethargic and complaining of stomach pain. She wouldn’t let me touch her belly, didn’t want to get out of bed and declined a short walk to the garden to look for ladybugs (this was my ultimate test since she LOVES looking for lady bugs and their larvae). Worried about the possibility of appendicitis, I took her to the ER. Wonderful friends of ours took my little boy and we headed over around 7:30 pm. After checking in and giving her brief history, we waited. And we waited. Then we had a cup of peppermint tea. And played with the stickers and coloring sheet they provided. Finally, she was called back. We were lead throughout the ER, back onto the “patio” where makeshift stations were made with rolling beds and small dividers. They had gotten really busy as ambulances continued to roll in. The little girl to the right of us got staples in her head after falling onto a shopping cart at home. They didn’t speak English but the nurse translated so we got to hear the story followed by the little girl’s wails. Hearing a child cry is painful. When it is your own, it is heartbreaking. Some tears don’t faze me. I know my kid’s cries and the real ones hurt. The elderly lady to the left was admitted and taken upstairs to a room. K looked up to the rooms across the courtyard that were lit up and said, “I wish I could have a coffee. And a room with a TV.” Then she started singing about the Tweety bird Band-Aids she was removing from her earlier injections. I wondered if I really should have brought her in. The nurse warned us it would be awhile. Thankfully she wasn’t throwing up and not writhing in pain.

A long time later, the doctor came over and I recapped her symptoms and history. He ordered blood work and an ultrasound. As Kaila was verbally freaking out about the thought of having her blood drawn, a lady with salt and pepper braids rolled up in her wheel chair with one leg bandaged up and started up a conversation with K. She had tubes going into a contraption in the back of her wheel chair which apparently drained her blood and then replenished it. She’d been there since November and had multiple surgeries. They talked about Nascar, tattoos, dogs, and dreams she had of a boy she used to take care of who passed away and came to send her messages. A little heavy conversation to have with a five year old, but she said talking to K her made her night and she hadn’t smiled in a long time. I guess we were there for a reason.

Time passed by and we were finally rolled to ultrasound. Everyone was kind, gentle and friendly making our experience bearable if not entertaining at times. The ultrasound tech, Lindsay looked all through K’s belly and couldn’t find the appendix (good sign- they usually only see it if it’s inflamed) and answered my questions about what we were seeing. Her stomach looked like an underwater seascape with gushes and movements like currents through seaweed. She came upon an area that looked like pebbles (or boulders based on perspective) on the ocean floor and took a few images. Once she thoroughly examined her entire abdomen, she said she wanted to have the radiologist come in to take a look. I don’t have a vast medical background but I know when a radiologist is called in to take a look it isn’t a good thing. She was very sweet and reassuring and said that what appeared to be stones were swollen lymph nodes. She didn’t have great concern but they took multiple images and then sent us back for blood work. As we were waiting for the nurse to come “pick us up” and roll K back to the ER, her tummy was hurting and she dramatically said, “I want my life back!” We’d been there for three and a half hours and she wanted to go home.

Back in the ER, she went pee to give a urine sample, and then the nurses came to draw blood. Armed with stickers and a playful male nurse, she was hesitant but allowed the needle without any major restraint. They left an IV in after drawing blood which was later used for a bag of fluids. The fluid dosage was a 40 minute procedure, enough time for the blood work to be processed. It was about ten minutes to midnight when it began. About ¾ of the way through the IV injection, the doctor returned to review K’s lab work and discuss the ultrasound. Other than signs of dehydration, slightly low iron, and decreased liver function everything was okay. Her white blood cell count was fine and there were no obvious signs of major infection. He said the swollen lymph nodes could be a result of viral infection and related to the vomiting. We were given the okay to be released with a prescription for Zofran once her fluids were complete and to follow up with our pediatrician in the morning. K finally fell asleep just after midnight with the glaring lights over head, only to be woken up an hour later to go home. I am thankful it wasn’t appendicitis (we watched Madeline on Netflix before leaving to be prepared just in case) and now we have a baseline to work from. I’m hoping this was the worst and we can go back to embracing healthiness. I’m not one to rush to the doctor, especially the ER but when it could be something big, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

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Staving off the Sickies

May 1, 2011

One of the hardest parts of being a parent is having a sick child. This is my daughter’s first year in school (Pre-K) and she has come down with just about everything in the book. Two weeks ago it was a double ear infection followed by pink eye and this weekend she has been unable to keep anything down. There’s no fever, she wants to eat and drink but whatever goes in comes right back up. She is such a strong girl and it’s so hard to see her miserable. Though neither of us slept much last night, to make things easier, I covered the top of the bed and her pillow with towels so anything that didn’t make it into the bowl could be rolled up and removed without having to change the sheets thirty times at night.

The best way to handle sick kids is preparedness. Once we get through this bout of infection, I’m focusing entirely on prevention. Being prepared makes life a lot easier, especially being a single parent where you can’t just run to the store. When we do end up needing a prescription (which has been a total of three times in the past five years with two kids) I have them filled at the grocery store pharmacy so I can stock up on food, drinks and a movie for the sick kiddo from Redbox all in one stop. I have cold pillows in the freezer (rice filled bags that can be thrown into the microwave when heat therapy is needed) that come in handy for all sorts of ailments. They are very easy to make and I love giving these as gifts for mommies to be. I’ve made mini square ones for bumps and bruises too.

I try to keep Pedialyte Pops, Gatorade, Vitamin water, saltines and soup on hand and have a thermometer, Vick’s Vapor Rub, Children’s Tylenol, diaper rash ointment and eardrops in my medicine bag at all times. Thankfully, my kids rebound quickly but all of this sickness is wearing me out. It’s time to build up their immune systems and fight off these bugs before they bring them down! I’m looking into probiotics but any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Our Hospital Stay

December 10, 2010

Our doctor has been fabulous from the beginning and our hospital experience with her was no different. We brought up getting a room that mom to be could stay in as well at one of our checkups and she recommended waiting until we were there at the hospital to make the request based on her past experiences with those in charge. After the delivery, we spoke to the nurses about the mom getting to room in with her new baby. They said they’d recently had a similar situation and it wasn’t approved so they suggested our OB make the request. She came back once to give us the options and we were soon all resting up in a huge ward room with four beds and plenty of space for all of us. Mom, baby and I shared a room, which worked out nicely as we had nurses coming in throughout the night to check temperatures, blood pressure and the baby’s eating and wet diapers. I started pumping and did so every three hours and managed to get a bit of colostrum which was bottle fed to “C”.

My kids came to visit around 7:30 pm and were so nonchalant about the entire experience. They awed over the baby and said how cute she was but were more interested in seeing me and checking out my wristbands and IV. They had been playing with the presents they opened up after nap time and were fine with having me away for the night as they were in good hands with a close family friend. They had picked out their gifts months ago, a big Tonka helicopter for my little boy and a huge set of Littlest Pet Shop animals for my daughter. We wrapped them up together, decorated the packages and they had been excitedly awaiting the birth ever since so they could open them up. My grandma had left Idaho early that morning, before I even started having contractions. We figured she’d be here with plenty of time to spare and we’d be waiting around for labor to start since I was still two weeks from our due date. She was just outside of Portland when the baby was born and had another day and a half of driving to go.

It was so sweet seeing the little girl that I carried finally with her parents. Holding her when she was just hours old didn’t feel like she was in any way “my” baby. It was weird to think that I had just gone from pregnant to not pregnant but I wasn’t missing having a baby. The next morning, the doctor on call who delivered my daughter five years prior came in to check me and okay my release, followed by the lactation consultant, nurse for a final check and lastly the hospital social worker. He was so kind and thanked us all for allowing the hospital to be a part of such a wonderful experience. I was packed and ready to go around one o’clock and “C’s” dad offered to drop me off at home as he was on his way out to pick up a few things they needed. We stopped at the grocery store on our way so I could pick up my prescription for pain medication and he stocked up on diapers and formula. It was a bit surreal as I was there at the same store the day before grocery shopping with my kids and had since had a baby and was already heading home. The girl that rang us up at the pharmacy counter asked if someone just had a baby. I smiled and said, “He did”.

The Last Hurrah!

November 18, 2010

With the okay from our doctor and the parents to be (since it’s a little farther than our contract’s allowable travel and quite an adventure in itself), I took my kids to Disneyland on Sunday with a friend and her daughter. I had a ticket from volunteering for Give a Day, Get a Day that expires December 15th and I didn’t want to pass up going. The day was way easier than I anticipated it to be and we managed to get in nine rides (I skipped two of them), visited Toon Town and saw the magical lighting of the castle and snow display right before we left. She had the MouseWait app on her iPhone, and is a pass holder (aka Disneyland expert) allowing us to get the most out of our day. This was my first time going as an adult during the holidays when it is all decked out, so I enjoyed all of the little details and didn’t miss going on the “big rides” at all. The kids were wonderfully behaved and had “the best day ever”! Since my daughter’s birthday is a few weeks away, we got her a Happy Birthday pin from the ticket window and made it her special day. I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do for her actual birthday yet, since it’s only five days before our due date. I’ve already let the baby know she can come before or after, as long as I’m not in the hospital on her birthday, it’ll all be good.

Monday we were back to school and work and by the end of the day I was exhausted! My feet swelled up again, I’m sure hugely in part from the low heels I wore and have not been the same since. I got a pedicure yesterday, which felt amazing and bought a pair of stretchy flats to get me though these next few weeks when filp flops won’t do. We had our 36 week check up today. Blood pressure and weight were good. Baby’s heart beat was strong and I’m measuring 37 weeks (the same as last week, so perhaps she’s dropped). I had a little protein in my urine but not enough to worry the doctor, and without any other negative symptoms it seems to be okay. She did the Group B Strep test as well, and hopefully that will come back negative so I can avoid antibiotics during labor, especially since mine tend to be so quick. This coming Saturday, baby girl will be considered full term, then the waiting begins! It’s time to pack my bag, get the house in order, the kid’s back up care lined up (if great grandma doesn’t make it in time) and then wait and wonder when her birthday will come.

Back to School Bugs

September 9, 2010

Our first week getting into the groove of getting up at 7 am and out of the house by 8 for school and work was a breeze. Both of the kids were happy as can be at drop off and pick up time and I was able to put in more time at the office. Everything was going so smoothly and we were excited for a new week after labor day weekend.

My daughter woke up Tuesday morning with an ear infection and I felt out of sorts after a terrible night’s sleep from her waking up numerous times. She had a fever so I had to call the school, daycare for my son, work and her doctor. We got in to the doctor early that morning and she was given a prescription for antibiotics, and recommendations of heat (we use our rice pillow) and Tylenol. I love our pediatrician, especially the fact that she doesn’t over prescribe (and she was a referred to me from Grandma and Mom to be when my daughter was born, so she’ll most likely be this baby’s doctor too). She said I could wait a day, see if it improves and fill it if necessary but with the pain my daughter was in, and the lingering cough she’d had for over a week I wanted to knock out what ever infection was lingering and keep it from spreading.

I ended up getting sick twice that day and couldn’t keep food down. No fever or any other symptoms. I’m hoping that was just a little immunity boost and we are all done being sick for the year. In the last two weeks we’ve had colds, coughs, an ear infection, and a stomach bug come to visit. That’s quite enough.

Today all was well, and we were back to school, work, childcare and everyone is feeling fine…just in time for the weekend. Baby girl is now big enough to see the movements from the outside. She either loves story time every night or is trying to tell us to quiet down with all her wiggling around. It’s time to go in for the glucose tolerance test to screen for gestational diabetes, along with our regular check up early next week. As of this Saturday, we’ll be in the third trimester!

Oh, How They Grow!

September 1, 2010

I can’t believe it is already September 1st and what a week it has been! My daughter started Pre-K on Monday and loves her school. We have been counting down the days for months and she was excited to say goodbye on her first day. She enjoyed it so much she didn’t want to leave when I went to pick her up. Tuesday, I thought would be my challenging day dropping my two year old off at a new sitter’s. It is right around the corner from my daughter’s school making drop offs and pickups a breeze. When I told him that I was going to work, he said, “Bye Mom” and that was that. I am so excited to see their independence and growth as we enter the school years of their lives.

My little boy has shown no interest in potty training other than taking apart his potty chair and throwing the pieces across the room. Today when I was changing his diaper and he started to pee, I covered him quickly with the diaper and asked if he wanted to go on the potty. He said, “Yes!” We ran to the bathroom, he sat on his little potty and PEED! He was so proud of himself (thanks to the cheers from his sister and me) and so was I! I can’t wait for the day that we are diaper free. It’s time to get out the m&m jar and fill it up for a sweet incentive for him to go on the potty all the time. Since his sister doesn’t need the incentive and to avoid her wanting m&ms all day long, she’ll get one too each time he goes for encouraging him to be a big boy. I’m not expecting him to be potty trained anytime soon but this is a huge start.

When writing my last post, I had major pregnancy brain and mentioned my weight gain without realizing that was based on weighing myself that night. I fluctuate so much throughout the day that I like to only count what I weigh in the morning before drinking gallons of water and eating all day long. If I weighed myself this morning, I don’t remember what it was as we were out the door by 8 am. I am not a morning person and don’t think I am really awake on a functioning level until at least 8:30. While my belly is definitely expanding, I’m feeling good, eating healthily and am not worried about the baby weight. Tonight we had grilled shrimp, beet greens and steamed mashed sweet potato for dinner. I just bought a cast iron grill that covers two burners and absolutely love it! One side is flat for pancakes and the other has grooves for the bbq effect. My grandma used hers for a few delicious meals when we were up in Idaho this summer and I knew I had to have one. Bed, Bath and Beyond had a few ranging from $49-$150 but I found this one at Cost Plus World Market for $19 and am so happy I did!

All is well with baby girl. She’s a mellow one but her movements are getting more pronounced. I’ve been trying to get an idea of her positioning but have no clue. One moment I feel something near my bladder then the next up way above my belly button. As long as she’s head down when we get closer to the due date, she can move around all she wants until then. Only 101 days to go!

Life

July 8, 2010

This past weekend, two dear friends of mine passed away in a boating accident. There are not words to describe the hurt that comes with the loss of such wonderful people and I am heartbroken for their families. Amber and Darby we’re such magnetic people and had so much joy for life. I love Amber like a sister and will forever cherish the many memories I have of her and the happiness she spread. The next day, a magnificent double rainbow appeared over the site of their accident. Below is a photo her mother has shared.

On a lighter note, my baby boy turned two today and we celebrated with a little pizza party on our back patio.  He had a blast with lots of balloons, bubbles, and a few of his little buddies. After we sang happy birthday, he looked up and asked, “Blow?” Wondering if it was time to blow out the candles. I am so thankful for my children, they are such light in my life and I am so proud to be their mom.

My belly continues to grow and I am happy to say my food aversions have subsided. I’m enjoying salads again and love all of the fresh summer produce. I’ve been feeling a little movement from the baby, usually at night when I lay down to relax.

When faced with death, it makes me look more closely at life and realize how fleeting it can be. We need to cherish those we love and appreciate each day, for we never know when it will be our last. Amber and Darby, you will be missed greatly and forever remembered.

Still Sleepy

June 26, 2010

I am very thankful to have my appetite back and nearly all of the nausea gone. I can’t seem to get over the late afternoon / early evening drowsiness though. My kids still take 2 hour naps, so when I nap with them all is good. If not, I hit a wall around dinner time and become unable to function properly. I love taking naps, I just feel like there is so much I could and should be getting done during my free time.

Our last doctors appointment went well, it was the first time she used the doppler rather than ultrasound. This little girl was so squirmy, it took her forever to find the heart beat. Every time she’d get close, it would fade off and she’d have to track it down again. Once she did get in a good spot, we heard it beating beautifully and strong. We have our 18-20 week ultrasound scheduled for mid July, then back to the OB toward the end of the month.

I’m still in the “between stage” where I don’t quite look pregnant, just like I’ve gained ten pounds – all in the midsection. We’re 16 weeks today and she’s about the size of an avocado. I’m looking forward to the belly popping out so I look pregnant rather than pudgy. We went swimming yesterday and it felt so good to be in the water. My four year old daughter, who put me through torture last summer during swim lessons said she wants to take them again. It was two weeks of misery, as she’d protest even getting in the water. She had always loved the water but didn’t like swim lessons one bit. Now she’s holding her nose and going under (this is huge because she doesn’t like getting water even near her eyes in the bathtub) and will swim holding onto a noodle or with me just supporting her belly. I just don’t want lessons to make her digress as she likes to do things her way and on her time. The little girl in my belly is due five days after my daughter – I think they are going to have a feisty little girl too!

Transitions

June 13, 2010

This weekend I moved my four year old daughter into a full size bed (which will come in handy for guests too), and my soon to be two year old son into her toddler bed and sold the crib! It’s fun to be pregnant without having to think about all of the things that come along with babies. While I definitely feel pregnant, I don’t have the usual inclinations that come with pregnancy like pondering over every name I hear and checking out strollers as they pass by. I get to enjoy my not so little ones and love their increasing independence.

I still get occasional bouts of nausea and feel like I’m going to be sick but it passes fairly quickly. I’m looking forward to the pregnancy reminders changing from queasiness to little kicks and punches.

Happy Baby Dance

May 25, 2010

We went in for a check up with our OB today and had an ultrasound to make sure everything is healthy in the womb since discontinuing the progesterone and delestrogen injections. Mom and Dad to be were there and we got to see the baby moving around like crazy! It looked like it was dancing, moving its arms around and rolling from side to back. It is absolutely amazing to see how developed a fetus is at 11 weeks and it’s only the size of a fig!

Last week my kids took turns getting sick and now I am fighting a nasty cold. We’ve had lots of wind and pollen in the air so it feels like I have allergies mixed into it all. My appetite is slowly coming back and I’m hoping as we venture into the second trimester I’ll start to feel fabulous.

We are now like a normal, healthy pregnancy and don’t have another doctor’s appointment for four weeks. Like our doctor said today in regards to parenting, “The days seem long but the years fly by”, the days are definitely dragging but the weeks are starting to fly by for this surrogacy journey.