Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The next day

Today is the next day in this journey. The day after we know a little bit more. The day that we begin to move on with "normal" life for the time being.

It has been an interesting handful of days since our ultrasound last Thursday. I wrote much here that evening, but haven't been able to bring myself to post it yet. It is a fairly lengthy burst of very raw emotion. Maybe I will be able to hit the publish button on it later this week.

The emotions of the weekend, and especially of that first day were overwhelming in a way I've not experienced before. Randomly bursting into tears, not trusting myself to be able to get through a conversation-about anything-without breaking down, trying to hold it together so as to not freak out my kids who didn't know anything....it was tiring.

Though each day since Thursday has lasted an eternity, as each night has come, so has a bit more acceptance, a bit more peace.

By Sunday, though my emotions were still unpredictable, I truly was doing ok. The intensity of everything I had been feeling for the days before seemed to finally be tapering. But I knew making it through church would not be easy. It was not because I was angry with God, not because I didn't want to be there. It was because I knew that my heart would be touched, and I didn't know if I was ready for that. If I was ready to be vulnerable to such tender things.

Church hadn't even started yet, but as we sat, the prelude music began. The first song I heard was "Be Still my Soul". So very fitting. The music continued, and so did the things spoken to my heart. Music has alway played a large part in my life, and I have found much comfort in hymns. I seem to be able to easily remember words to songs, especially to hymns. I have never been more grateful for this than as the prelude music played on Sunday morning and the words to the songs-each so very appropriate for my aching heart-floated through my head.

It was then that I knew that though things wouldn't be ok by the typical definition, that things would be all right. That even though Monday would come, and not bring better news, that it would not be more than I could bear. That I would be strengthened through that next day and will be in all the days ahead.

Our sweet little baby boy does have hydrocephalus. With the measurements taken yesterday it is actually worse than what we thought it was on Thursday. Not necessarily worse than some of the possibilities that were presented, but worse as far as raw numbers. There is no more "it might not have been an accurate measurement", or "maybe baby was in a bad position and they just didn't get the correct angle".
With the measurements yesterday we know that in his current state he sits in the 'moderate to severe' category. The perinatologist we consulted with yesterday was thankfully very direct with everything that we needed to be told, including that it would be unfair of her to instill any false hope in us that this might get better, or that this baby might be ok. Very best case at this point, he will make it to birth, a shunt will be placed, and he will live with moderate developmental delays. But that is the very best case, and not the most likely. We do know that if he lives to and through birth that there will be impairments, possibly on a very serious level. The dr did specifically mention that babies that proceed along the level of fluid retention that our baby is currently at have a very difficult time through the newborn period.

We do not know if by some miracle his ventricle enlargement will stay stagnant or if it will do as expected and increase. If it increases (which is what will most likely happen) we do not know if it will do so at a slow and gentle pace, or it if will increase rapidly and exponentially. Currently the pressure is causing his brain tissue to be compressed against the outer edges of his skull. What this means for his little developing brain we do not know. All of the proper and expected parts of his brain are there, and are developed correctly at this time, but the fluid is already at a level that is affecting the way his brain is sitting, and may be causing the sides of his brain to not sit separate from each other. We can see the division between the right and left brain below and above the fluid, but where the fluid sits in the greatest amount the division between the halves of his brain disappears.

One of the hardest parts of hydrocephalus is that it is not really a definitive diagnosis the way many other things are. As the dr mentioned yesterday, when you have a club foot or a cleft palate, you know what is wrong, and you know what to do to fix it. With hydrocephalus you know what the main problem is, but you don't know how bad it will get, you don't know up front what the cause is, or how it will alter the baby's existing brain structure. The only way to tell is to wait and to watch.

We will have our first follow-up in three weeks to see how much things have changed. Depending on the overall increase in fluid and pressure, the rate of the increase, and how it is affecting his brain tissue, we will decide if the next appointment will be sooner than three additional weeks or if we can safely wait four weeks until we check again. There may be an amnio involved in the coming weeks just to rule out any chromosomal causes, though there were no indications seen through ultrasound that this may be caused by that.

Ironically, every other part of his little body is absolutely perfect.

We are so very grateful for the outpouring of love and support that we have received over the past few days. Though receiving news like this could never be easy, I know that there is a reason that we are experiencing this now. Our family and friends and neighbors, our church family, the very close knit community in which we live; the experiences we have seen friends endure, those who have lost children themselves or live with the challenges of children with special needs... the support network that we have is nothing short of a miracle. So many have offered prayers in our behalf in recent days, for which we will be eternally grateful. We have been lifted up and comforted and blessed by your faith. Thank you.

Though the coming days, months, and hopefully years will not be easy, we are grateful that our Heavenly Father trusts us to bring this sweet little spirit into our family. We know that we will be carried through the hard days, and that he has a plan for us. There will be sadness, there will tears. But we know that there will be joy and comfort and blessings that we cannot imagine at this time.
I have never been more grateful in my life for the things that I know are real, the things that are important....to actually know and not just believe. For a knowledge of the existence of a loving Heavenly Father who knows each of us. For a knowledge that our Savior Jesus Christ lives, and that through him life beyond this earth is possible. For the knowledge that families are eternal, and that despite what happens with this baby, no matter how long or short his life on this earth is, that we will be with him again.
The timing of this all in relation to Easter, and to General Conference is such a comfort-we anxiously await the beautiful spirit of hope and love that will be abundant as we focus on our Savior's life and resurrection at this time.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Race Envy and a Fabulous Four

I just got back from a run. The first time I've run outside in weeks. Between being entirely too sick still and the frigid temps, I just didn't have it in me.

But the elliptical has been my friend during these cold days. Thank goodness! Still, just not the same as running.

And then last night Aaron and I were headed home from the store. Our would be date night. Hey, when going to the grocery store to pick up your favorite foods to come home and enjoy after the kids are in bed is all that's available, it's worth it!

And so we went to get THE pizza (Freschetta-if you haven't tried it, you must), and I happened to snag a few other things I realized I was craving once I got there (Chips Ahoy, Chunky Chips Ahoy, Lucky Charms, Milky Way, Coconut M&Ms, Simply Lemonade, Sprite, Lime Sherbet, garlic bread....you know, just a few of the basics. Hey-baby is hungry!).

Point being:
On the way home from the store we took the back roads. And all along the back roads were the cones. The stacks and stacks of big orange cones. My heart went pitter patter. And then we passed the Port-a-Potty. Seriously? The thing almost made me swoon. My legs got all jittery and I wanted more than anything to go run!! It was dark and frigid and starting to snow, and I wanted to run. We were driving down the road where the local half marathon would be tomorrow. The half I wanted to run since the day I found out about it. The "this will be my only pregnancy distance race I swear!" half marathon.

But alas, winter plus never ending morning (all day) sickness plus fatigue equals not nearly enough miles to be ready to run a half. Especially pregnant. *sigh* Being one of those all or nothing people-either I run the whole distance or it's not worth it-and knowing that I would likely end up walking too much of it for me to stand, I had to let go.

Which was ok when it was frigid this morning and I got the race report (from my favorite crazy runner friend who rocked it again at just over 1:30!!) that it went up every possible hill.

And especially because I got out to run on my own this afternoon.

I made my husband drop me off so I could just home instead of out and back. It was so sunny I was able to run in capris and a tee! wahoo! The fields were beautiful-a million different colors of yellow.
And I kid you not-as I was thinking to myself, "wow! the valley looks so beautiful today, so many colors of yellow and gold!"-a gold balloon came floating toward me. In the middle of nowhere. Right towards my face. What the heck? It was great.

So though it was way short of the 13.1 I had hoped to have under my belt today, all things considered it was an amazing run. Four fabulous miles, of feeling amazing, keeping a good pace, and running with a smile on my face.

You know it's good when you are singing along with the good old ipod at the top of your lungs.

(I can do that out here. I run in the middle of nowhere. There's not many people around. Except the cyclist who flew past me in the middle of belting it out.
Dear cyclist in the orange jacket: I hope you enjoyed my serenade in the middle of your ride today. I got a good laugh out of the fact that someone caught me singing. I hope you did too.
Sincerely, Me)

It's been so many weeks since I've gotten in a good outdoor run that I'd forgotten the high I get from it. I am SO happy that we are getting a taste of better weather, and hope that the weather, and my body will cooperate for many weeks to come so I can get my running fix in there!

Also, I didn't wet my pants which was an awesome bonus.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

For Today-what's your guess?

I am blogging this entry. Not much of anything.

I have 7 posts saved to draft mode. Because I can't figure out how to get pics from my phone to my computer (blue tooth), nor can I find the adapter for the camcorder so I can get something else up there. Thus it's been quiet around these parts.
Once those things get worked out (read: once my hubby gets those things worked out), I'll have a slew of posts for you to read.

You lucky people you.

Actually, a couple of them are good. Really and truly. And this post itself would be much better if one of them was up, but you'll just have to deal with that.

So then, for today.....


The Big Ultrasound is one week from today. To be exact, one week from three hours ago.

So, which will it be? Pink

or Blue?

(also, cheaters are not allowed to vote. *ahem*)


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This is the blog that never ends


There is a blog that I chose to follow in order to enter a killer giveaway.
I know, I know.
The rest of the blogs I follow I follow because I enjoy them. This one....nope.

Thus as a follower it is in my Google Reader.
Except that it is not worth my time anymore, doesn't really hold my interest all that much, and I don't want to follow it anymore. I don't want it on my reader list.

So I deleted it.

Two days later it was back.

So I unsubscribed from it.

Oh, look at that! Two days later, back again! With 13 new posts.

I have also "unjoined" on Blogger.
I have now unsubbed or deleted this blog over a dozen times.
Because it keeps coming back!!


Go away!

How does one get rid of a feed on Google Reader when delete and unsubscribe don't do squat?


The Princess and the Frog

I'm sure this post is going to really bug some people. And tick a few of you off. And make most, if not all of you roll your eyes.

It's all good!
Most of you already know I'm nuts, so no harm no foul.

Am I the only person who didn't love this movie? Specifically, am I the only person out there was bugged by the Voo-doo? Seriously-to the point that my kids haven't seen this movie. We are big Disney movie people, we get them all. We will not be getting this movie.

I loved some of the characters, I enjoyed some parts of the movie. And kudos to Tiana for not selling out for what she thought she wanted most. But really-not enough to get me over how dark and evil all the voo-doo was. NOT cool. At all. Just not.

I am also floored at how many people who have caused a stink about other Disney movies (this princess is too immodest, this movie has too much sexual innuendo, this villain is too scary) just loooove this movie so much. Really?

I thought maybe since I was multi-tasking the first time I saw it that I just happened to catch all the dark parts and miss the rest. So I tried it again, and let two of my boys watch part of it with me.

Nope. Feelings didn't change. And the parts that the boys saw bothered them. Hmmm....

Of course I was the one that people looked at funny because the voo-doo stuff in the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie bothered me. *shrug*

Just sayin'.


Friday, March 12, 2010

And there it is!

At 16 weeks and change there are plenty of people who aren't even feeling their baby move yet. Heck, if you go by the books, it looks like most people aren't. During a couple of my pregnancies that has been the case for me.

Apparently I'm growing a super active one in there this time.

Not only did I start feeling strong pronounced movement earlier than with any of my others (12 weeks), last night Aaron felt baby moving already! Hello! Not usually something that happens for a few more weeks.

Baby was being so jumpy that I though I'd give it a shot. My hand was on my belly and I couldn't quite tell if I was just really feeling it on the inside or if I was actually feeling it outside too. So I grabbed his hand and put it right over baby.

"Do you feel that?!"

Not 3 seconds passed when he said "Oh yeah! It's faint out here still, but I feel it!"

And there you have it. Yet one more child who is trying to outdo it's siblings. And getting a very early start at it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


You know what they say about paybacks.

That part about them resembling my most frequently visited emotional state as of late.

And so it is only fair that I share the experience I had this week.

You see, I was a procrastinator as a child.

Ha-I say "was" like I don't do it anymore. Uh, of course I don't....yeah....

But I'm specifically thinking of school projects. I was awful. I just put them off and put them off....I remember in 8th grade not even doing my science fair project until the night before.
I know. Don't tell my kids.
And yes, I owe my parents an apology.

So it was only fair that last night we would be frantically working to help my son get his County report finished. And the big display poster that went with it.
And again this morning.

But it got done!
And it looked good!
And he really did do the work! (though I will admit I typed much of it for him as he dictated)

The stress....OH, the stress! It was awful.
This will not happen again. ever!

But here's the real kicker. He came home today and shared this lovely little tidbit.
The due date was the 17th. That's right. NEXT week.
What the heck?! How did we do that?

At least we won't be up all hours of the night on the 16th doing the project.


Monday, March 8, 2010

I made it so far.....

And then today my body decided to just not fight it anymore. I've been fighting throwing up for a lot of weeks. a LOT of weeks. 12 full weeks to be exact. Despite being sick as a dog and gagging and heaving all day long, I've kept it down. Well, more often than not I've kept it down.

Gullett of steel I'm tellin' ya.
It takes a lot of work to choke back vomit that many times for that many weeks.
(I really, really, really hate throwing up. Despite the fact that this is the second post in a row talking about it. Sorry about that. I hope you weren't reading and eating.)

And so it is sad, and yet ironically funny that today, the day before I hit 16 weeks, well after I "should" be past this stage, my body finally said "enough already!"

The vomit wins.

Happy 16 weeks. *blech*


Tonsillectomy-the next generation

Jacob went in for his tonsillectomy last Friday.

My biggest fear has been that he'd hurt the way I did. I just kept banking on the fact that everyone says it's easier for kids than adults.

Despite an early start, and the fact that he was begging me to stop when we drove past Krispy Kreme on the way to the surgical center (he had to skip breakfast), the morning went quite well. We waited entirely too long for a child that age, but hey, I guess it could have been longer. You take what you can get.

The good news: Jacob makes a much cuter tonsillectomy patient than I do.
(I'm sorry to dredge up those visual reminders that you had hopefully purged from your brain)


Here he is happy watching Toy Story while waiting for the fun to begin.

I am jealous. I just got to listen to the weirdos around me.
(there weren't many people there so early in the morning this time. No fun conversations to eavesdrop on. Except the lady right next to us who sounded relieved when her pregnancy test came back negative and started talking about how her husband was trying to convince her to "try" the night before. Umm, thanks for sharing. Those curtain walls are thin lady!)

Anyway, the procedure went exceptionally well from everything his surgeon said.

Waking up from anesthesia....well.....that was a different story.

Apparently Jacob and general anesthesia don't mix. At least not pleasantly.

They got me back to recovery just as he was starting to wake up.
And just in time for the thrashing and screaming and crying to begin. And with his asthma-type issues, just after intubation with screaming and crying, the coughing kicked in. Hard. Which hurt and then scared him.....it took me along with a nurse and a good five minutes to get him settled down.
It was a very long five minutes.

Also, it made me glad he was a small child. If he ever needs a procedure with a general when he's older (read: bigger), I'll be nervous!

The norm is about 45 minutes of observation after surgery and the five minutes of instructions before you head home.
With the struggle to get him functioning after waking up, it took a little longer. Shortly after we hit an hour post surgery, and as we were preparing to go, he started doing some major puking.
Not good!
Back to the beginning of the prescribed post-op time, a few minutes from leaving.....and he started puking.
Lather, rinse, repeat.

Finally, over three hours after surgery, we got the thumbs up to head home. Thankfully he was responsive and a bit more functional as each minute passed, so he was doing pretty good by the time we left.

I should stop here to tell you that he was still begging for Krispy Kreme. From the minute he was the least bit coherent after waking, he was asking for KK. Literally seconds after puking, he was asking for KK. As the nurse was wheeling him out to the car all he talked about was, that's right, donuts from Krispy Kreme.
Loaded in the car with a bucket on his lap (thank goodness. he needed it multiple times on the drive home), the conversation was the same.

Appetizing, isn't it?

Staying true to my word, I stopped at Krispy Kreme on the way home, assuming he wouldn't be able to eat anything for a couple of days and that they'd just be a treat for the rest of the kids.

He stayed sick the rest of the night, until about 9 o'clock. Poor kid.

But-shocker!-the thing he was still asking for was a donut. Sure, why not? It's Krispy Kreme donuts. They practically melt in your mouth anyway.

And guess what? After he ate that donut, he quit getting sick. Who knew?

Krispy Kremes really do fix everything.

He's doing all right now a few days later. He wakes up in a lot of pain every morning, and it just kills me to hear him crying about how much it hurts because I remember all too well just what it feels like.
Hopefully he'll stay on the upswing and not have the crash that I had. I would really hate to see him have to deal with that. We'll see!


Friday, March 5, 2010


I saw this shirt yesterday:

And it's frighteningly true.

And it reminded me that just a few days ago I was reflecting on some of the most amazing things in life.

This sound:
(enter video of baby's heartbeat via doppler but I still can't find the rest of the cord for the camera!)

The feeling of little flutters of a life growing inside you.

This sight:

Feeling those little flutters become more pronounced kicks, jabs and jumps. Talk about making my day. No, my week!

Knowing just a little bit more about who that person is inside you, despite the fact that it won't be in plain sight for roughly 24 more weeks.
Even if it may not ever get a name until after it arrives.

Everything is Amazing.
And I am happy.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A picture

Well two actually. For your viewing pleasure.

I remember taking the first picture, but had forgotten about the second until I was going through iPhoto looking for something the other day.

Funny the difference two years makes.....


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

When will the lure of the $10 gift card no longer be enough?

I have issues with Target.

First off, who doesn't love Target? Hello? Exactly. Everyone loves Target.

The closest Target is roughly 25 minutes away from my house. Not exactly convenient. That's fine, it's within a minute of the closest Home Depot, Lowes and Costco. Also Cafe Rio. Which is worth the drive by itself. Mmmm.....Cafe Rio......

But I digress. When you live in the middle of nowhere, 25 minutes isn't that far away. You get used to it. We are there often enough. I try to combine trips and rarely go just to Target. I'll go on my monthly Costco shopping day, or when I'm already out that direction for something else.
(like maybe Cafe Rio....mmmm....Cafe Rio....)

Enter the Target bribery.

The coupon calls to me.... "fill your prescription here and get a $10 gift card!"

Who doesn't want a $10 gift card to Target? That's right-nobody! Everyone is happy with a Target gift card! Especially when the clearance racks are stacked! Woo-hoo Target clearance!

Darn Target gift cards.

When the stars align and I am out that direction, AND happen to need a prescription filled, AND have the coupon.....well, it's a trifecta of elements that create the perfect storm. It's too good to resist.

I hate the Target Pharmacy. Not all of them per se, but the one at the Target closest to me. Really hate it. HATE it.

First time we filled there for benefit of the gift card?

Second time? Not so flawless. They put my Rx under a different person's name. My birthdate and phone number, different name. Good thing I knew exactly what I was there for. It took nearly 10 minutes, and a call to my dr to straighten everything out. Not sure why I'd lie about Prednisone and Erythromycin-it's not like I was picking up something fun like Percocet. Anyway, after finally clearing up the mix-up (or so I thought), they reconfirmed my name, birthdate and address. They got my name right. Back to square one.
And then I realized two days later that I was shorted a few prednisone. Whatever. I adjusted the taper of the dosage myself (yes, my dr knew, it was safe I promise). It was absolutely not worth the drive back up there.

Third try was this week. I was sick as a dog (like I am most days still-ugh), but let's face it, when grocery shopping needs to be done, it needs to be done. The monthly shopping trip, plus Costco run. THE shopping trip. You know, the one that often involves two shopping carts for me. That one.
4 kids in tow, me feeling like garbage and 30 minutes later, the Target pharmacy tells me that my son has been cancelled from our insurance plan. Excuse me? Oh also, since he's been canceled, they are telling my his Rx will cost $160. Uh....NO. So the pharmacy assistant (who is likely all of 12 years old, and has the social skills of that age set) says "let me check again."
5 seconds pass. My children are now trying to eat each other and I am trying not to vomit all over them or just pass out from the sheer exhaustion of hauling my seriously fatigued and nauseous hiney out of the house.
"Yep, it's not there. It will be $160."
Also, there are roughly 173 people now in line behind me and my little angels that are being threatened through my clenched teeth to knock it off or suffer the consequences.

I leave.

The prescription is still there. Three days later. I called the pharmacy back to make sure they had the correct information-which it turns out they DID-on my file, which is where they supposedly got the information in the first place. One slight change in our insurance info this year. When my Rx there was filled-also this year- it all was fine. But suddenly, the world is over and we have no coverage. Thank you 12 year old pharmacy assistant.

(also I came to my senses and just went home. Then dragged my husband out after the children were in bed that night and made him do shopping with me. It was lovely. I'm sure he thoroughly enjoyed the couponing/price-matching madness. at 10pm. Just ask him.)

Target, you try my patience.
You and your darn $10 gift card with new or transferred prescription.

I do not believe I will ever be able to ignore the call of the red bullseye, but your pharmacy? No longer worth it. I will now gladly fork over an extra $10 to cover my purchase, and move my drugs back over to my local grocery store where I can count on the excitable middle aged guy with hair like Einstein's to fill them properly. Thankyouverymuch.

(aka-the angry elf drowning in a sea of pregnancy hormones)

Monday, March 1, 2010


My little 8ball