Friday, September 26, 2008

Hey Cougars! He's too sexy for his shirt!

We went to the Aldi today and Nathan was in the cart and Carson was walking beside me helping to toss things into the cart. While I was getting a pizza out of the frozen case I hear him say, "hello sweetie". I turn around and he's talking to a young woman. I'd say she was in her low 20's. She said, "hello" and he continued talking to her. He told her she was pretty and that she had nice pants. He asked to hold her hand and to put her ice cream in her cart for her. Then he said, "see my belly button" and lifted his shirt up to his neck. She laughed and laughed and said he was cute. As she walked away, he proudly said, "She said I was cute".

Now, this makes me think of some other things he's said. About a year ago we were at a restaurant with my inlaws and he points and says, "Like that!" We look and he's pointing at two teenage girls who are in completely trashy (sorry but they are) skirts that actually showed the very bottom of their butt cheeks as they walked. My inlaws laughed harder than I've ever seen them.

A couple months ago we were in line at a store and I was putting things on the belt and he pulls on me and says, "Mommy, Mommy" I said, what honey and he said, "That girl smiled at me" and lifted his eye brows and smiled big at her.

Isn't three a bit young to be picking up women. My husband NEVER makes comments about women and rarely says much to me about things other than, you look nice today. I don't know where it's coming from, but I absolutely love him and I love that he's looking for a cougar.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bye, Bye Toys!

Everyday I watch my oldest, Carson, play with the same toys, over and over. Not only does he play with the same things, but he plays with them in the same ways. There's little imagination. He doesn't watch TV everyday, but watches Veggie Tales at times or Super Why and it seems he only mimics those things he sees. He has little imagination of his own. At the previously mentioned play date I noticed that the other child who is his same age had a great imagination and really played with the toys he chose. He made up games and Carson was more than happy to join in, but Carson was not the one coming up with the ideas. They played school and then the pretended to be zoo animals after reading a book about the zoo.

I'm the first to admit that my boys have way too many toys. Many toys are packed up and some they've never laid eyes on. It is ridiculous. Nathan does enjoy playing with one thing for awhile and seems to be more creative, but I'm worried about Carson.

So, here's the plan. This weekend when they head to bed on Saturday night, the toys are going to disappear. There will be some cars and trucks left out, their big school bus, some play kitchen items, puzzles, and of course books, but what more do they really need? I figure they can have those and only those for a month or so and then those things can get tossed into totes and I'll pull out a few other things. Am I mean to just pack it up? I'm not pitching it, but the teacher in me knows that it's the right thing for them. It's just hard to take things from them (well him mostly, Nathan could care less). So I want to hear your comments. How many toys do your kids have? Do they really "play" with everything? Do they have great imaginations (Carson is 3, by the way). Am I a mean Mommy? Any other toys I should leave out? Come on, speak up. Good or bad, I'd like to know.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


A neighbor surprised us today with a knock on the door. She and her son who's the same age as Carson came to visit. The boys played amazing together. They had a great time and I was thrilled that there were no fights or injuries. Nathan was pretty shy and quiet. I felt good talking to our neighbor, Crystal, and having some company around. It was nice because we don't know a lot of people in our town. I'm hoping to have them pop in much more often.

Nathan mostly watched the boys and then decided he didn't want them around him so he kept shutting himself into Carson's room. Crystal and I were in Nathan's room. Then Nathan decided to bring every single book out of Carson's room one at a time and stack them up in front of us ladies. He was so proud each time he added one. I was amazed at how high he got his stack and it never fell over! He's getting so grown up.

Carson and Josh played with the tools and crawled under his bed and 'fixed' it with his hammer and drill and such. Then Josh taught him how to hang from his upper bunk and swing. This was fine with me b/c I've tried to show him before (naughty I know).

Okay so boring post, but we had a good day. They wore themselves out and are fast asleep now.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Memories of my boys

Well, there's very little to put in this post, but I am very happy to have these moments.

In the car one day (about June 08) Carson was in the back and informed me that he had a broken nail. At a stoplight I turned around to see and he had a little hang nail. I told him that when we got home, I would clip it. In a calm, but very serious voice he said, "No, I want it to grow long and get feet and eyes and walk around like everyone else." That is beyond a doubt the weirdest thing I've ever heard a child say. I swear he's a really intelligent child.

Carson's favorite song is "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls (yes I know, bad mommy). At the grocery store he was in the car type cart and singing "don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?" Which then became " like Mommy" Then in my most embarrassing child moment ever, he yelled out, "Dont's cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like Mommy and Daddy". It was hilarious and so wrong at the same time.

I can vaguely remember when Nathan was just a couple months old, I would lay him on my chest as I laid on the couch and he would sleep so soundly for hours, as I rested too. We did this in the afternoons when Carson would take his nap and many times Greg would get home before either of the boys had woken up and he would find Nathan and I cuddled together. It's really the only 'baby, baby' memory I have of him and I love to think about it.

When Nathan was a about 5 months and extremely drooly because of the teething, Carson made what he thought was a great suggestion. He said, "Let's put baby back in Mommy's tummy and get one that doesn't spitty so much." It was good that he wasn't upset about the idea of having a brother, but just the drool.

When Nathan was first trying to figure out the walking thing, he would try to walk holding onto the back of his tractor ride-on/walker, but it would always go too fast and he'd end up on his face. Then Carson decided to help him and Carson would sit on it and ride really slowly while Nathan would walk behind him. I loved seeing them working together.

I can remember when Nathan first began to walk on his own. He was 14 months old. As he would walk from Greg to I or vice-versa he would laugh and laugh so hard that sometimes it would make him fall. He was so thrilled with what he was doing. It took him until about 16 months to figure out how to stand up without holding onto something, but he got it worked out in his own time.

We went on vacation to SC/NC the beginning of July 2008. The first day we drove several hours and late into the night. When we stopped at a hotel the boys were asleep. We unloaded the car and Nathan woke up, but Carson stayed asleep as we carried him up to the room and put him into one of the two beds. Greg and I were in the other bed sleeping and Carson woke up around 3am. He began crying out, "Where's my living room? I want my living room?" Now I ask you, Why that? Why not, I want my bed or I want my Mommy or Daddy? Children's words can be so adorably cute. I have several memories from this trip of both the boys. I have hopes that things will go up from here.

I know that I need to look back through the sparse pictures and tiny bit of video we have and try to remember those moments, but I guess I'm afraid it would be more depressing to go through each picture and not come up with more memories. I disparately need to start a scrapbook for Nathan and add to Carson's which is just begun. I have looked at starting Nathan's several times, but don't really know what to put on the pages. With Carson's baby scrapbook, I would look through pictures and remember those moments and know that I wanted that photo in the book and could write a little description by it. When I look at starting things for Nathan, I just feel stuck. Where do I start? Anyone have that answer? I could use your comments, here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lost or Never There?

Due to the weight loss, lack of nutrition to both Nathan and I, and my hyperemesis not responding to any medications, Nathan was induced at 38 weeks 1 day. When I got to the hospital it took the nurse and then an anesthesiologist over 2 hours to start the IV because my veins were such a used up mess. Once they got it started, by using a pediatric IV needle, they began the pitocin and Dr. Chen broke my water. Nathan was in a hurry to get out of my useless, starving body. My labor was very quick. He was out in just 3 light pushes. From pitocin to Nathan on my chest was only 2 hours and a few minutes. As my birth plan called for, the nurses allowed me hold him for about an hour, before they began their usual tasks. He was all sticky and white and he wasn’t crying. He was just looking at me with the biggest brown eyes. Those brown eyes were so different from Carson’s baby blues. Looking into his eyes, and seeing his soul looking back at me is unforgettable. For which I am eternally grateful.

For 8 months prior to his birth I was taking the highest dose permitted for a woman my size of Reglan, Zofran, Protonix, Pepcid, and vitamins through my IV, pump, and Picc line. My Reglan was delivered via a pump in my stomach. My home health company told me that directly after his birth it could be removed. As soon as the nurse took Nathan from my arms, I sat up and in a celebration of victory, I pulled the tube from my stomach and Cory, my nurse, pulled out my IV. Finally after 32 weeks of tubes I was free! I was sitting in the shower feeling the emotions of motherhood, but even more so feeling the emotions of freedom. A freedom from the nausea, freedom from the tubes, freedom from the needles, freedom from the twice-weekly delivery of IV bags, needles, tubing, and medicine vials. Freedom from the plastic bags carried everywhere, freedom from the trashcans scattered about the house, freedom from the $30 daily co-pays and freedom from strangers staring in disgust when I got sick in public. An enormous smile of relief overcame me as I took my 6th shower in 8 months. I realized this meant the end of bedrest and starvation. As the water poured over me, I was crying my first happy tears in months. I knew that along with all the mess of childbirth, my worries, anxiety, loneliness, and depression were washing down that drain.

I was sent home on Friday and that night the first anxiety attack hit me. I was shaking uncontrollably, crying, terrified, curled with my knees at my chest. I didn’t know why, didn’t know what I was upset about. I already had a three year old son. It wasn’t the thought of motherhood that was causing this. Greg called my OB, who called in a prescription for Lexapro. On Saturday, my in-laws came into town to meet our newest arrival. I was not feeling quite right that day either. I thought I was just tired from being up at night nursing Nathan. That afternoon another panic attack started. I was curled up again with the same shaking and crying. This time was worse. This time my muscles were tighter, I could barely stand. Greg called my mother to meet us at the hospital and my wonderful MIL took care of Nathan. At the hospital they gave me Ativan, which meant I could no longer try to breastfeed. I knew that after 8 months of starvation I would most likely never make the milk he needed so I agreed to take it. I knew I couldn’t care for him while I was panicking. My mother, mother-in-law, and sister comforted me, called me, visited me, and made sure I had help daily. My father and father-in-law (who rarely speaks and never shows emotion) drove me to appointments with therapists and psychiatrists.

I am still fighting whatever it is that is causing this anxiety and depression and Nathan is now 15 months old. It seems each doctor, psychiatrist, and therapist labels it a different way. I’ve been told that I have postpartum depression, manic-depression, postpartum anxiety disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, clinical depression, withdrawl from the medications (particularly the Reglan), hormonal imbalances of estrogen and progesterone, generalized anxiety disorder and every combination of those. Most currently, my psych says that I am not bi-polar and that's an overused label. I have major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and b/c my hormones are obviously highly involved as well, I "am a complicated case". I don’t care what label they want to put on me. I’m not ashamed. I just want them to ‘fix’ me.

These long two first posts bring me to the reason I created this blog. There is very little that I can remember about Nathan’s first year of life. He’s 15 months old and I cannot believe it. It’s not the way that all mother’s say, “Wow the first year flew by and I barely remember it.” There really isn’t much in my brain from that time. Not only is Nathan’s first year very blank, but that also means Carson’s second year is a big static fuzz. I do not remember when he rolled over or crawled, I do not remember his first tooth, I do not remember who his first visitors were, baby gifts, the outfits he wore. I don’t know what kind of baby foods he loved and which he hated. However this is the hardest thing for me to admit: I mentioned to my husband that I am so excited to have a Christmas tree this year because we didn’t have one last year on account of my being so sick. He looked puzzled and said, “No that was the year before.” We had a tree last year for Nathan’s first Christmas. That’s when it hit me. I don’t remember Nathan having a first Christmas. For months I’ve been thinking that his first Christmas was approaching. Yes, in my head I can do the basic math and I know that he must have had a first Christmas, but where did it go?

Are those memories lost or were they never there?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Coming Home

This will likely be a long first post, but once I cover the background behind this blog I won't be this long winded. Let me tell you a little about myself and my family. I have the most amazing, sacrificing husband and no one can tell me different. His name is Greg and we've been married for 5 years. We were married in May of 2003. We moved to be near my family and away from the severe allergies I had in South Carolina and are now living an hour north of St. Louis. I was excited to move and be near my family. I knew that it would mean building a closer relationship with my sister who is my best friend. I knew it meant trying to strengthen my relationship with my mom and have a grown up relationship with her and not just the mom/little girl kind. I knew it would put me back where I could see my Daddy smile and I could feel his giant squashing hug. I knew all these things, but I never could have known that it was not just a blessing to be near them, but that God lead me here....home to save my life. To save my family that wasn't even fully here yet.

In September of 2004, at my niece's birthday party I can remember sitting there watching people eat cake. I tasted my cake, from a bakery my sister commonly uses that I generally love, and it made me want to puke. I can remember vividly sitting there with this cake on a paper plate in my hand just looking around the room and seeing people eating their cake and it was so nauseating to me. I could actually feel that very wet mouth you get before you throw up and although I knew it wasn't rationale, I couldn't help but think that those family members, friends, and children were disgusting. How on earth could they be eating this cake? I truly was sickened by the idea that people could consume such a thing. On our drive home I told my husband to stop and get a pregnancy test because although I didn't think I could possibly have gotten pregnant so quickly (we only started trying the end of July), I knew the feelings I'd had about the cake were not 'normal'. We picked one up late that night. While Greg was in the kitchen, I went upstairs and took the test (the one I said I wouldn't take until the morning when you're supposed to take them) and instantly, I do mean instantly, that test turned positive. There was no doubt. I came running down the stairs screaming, "Greg, Greg!" and crying. He was in the kitchen and a terrified look was on his face. "What's wrong?" he yelled. I showed him the test and we both hugged and I'm pretty sure he teared up some too.

I thought being pregnant was going to be the most fantastic time. I loved the idea of the cute pregnant belly. Unlike most women I’ve talked to (including my sister), the idea of a stranger unexpectedly rubbing my belly while in line at the Walmart brought huge smiles to my face. I wondered since I am such a picky eater if I would crave things I wouldn’t have eaten before: pickles, ranch dressing, salmon, grapefruit... I suppose that, in my mind, I really glamorized the whole idea of pregnancy. Well, so much for the glamour… What a waste all those dreams and wishes were to me.

Within only a few days of that cake filled birthday party I began getting sick. We aren’t talking about morning sickness. We aren’t talking about ‘eat some crackers’ sickness. I was vomiting at least 10 times a day. The look of food made me vomit, the smell of food made me vomit, the talk of food made me vomit. I heard it all: eat crackers, eat small meals, drink ginger ale, smell peppermint oil, eat peppermints, eat ginger cookies, take ginger capsules, get preggo pops, the list could go on even longer than this post. I thought that surely the ‘morning sickness’ would go away by 12 weeks, just a few more weeks and I’d be craving the pickles and ice cream. No, that didn’t happen. My weight was dropping and I could not eat, did not want to eat even though all I wanted to do was eat. It’s a feeling that cannot be described to someone who has not experienced it, but I will make a sad attempt to give you some understanding. Imagine wanting, so badly to eat that piece of cake, knowing that the cake was magical with no calories, that it was your favorite kind of cake ever, and that if you ate it all your wishes and hopes would suddenly come true, but regardless of all of that your brain would not move your hand. Okay, there was someone there to put that cake right on the fork and hand it to you, but still it would not move to your mouth. Okay, they’d feed it to you, but your tongue would not swallow it and worse it brought up all the burning acid in your stomach as you ran for the bathroom. Horrible thought, but that’s the reality of it. My OB told me it was hyperemesis gravidarum and prescribed Zofran which is commonly given to patients undergoing chemo. It supposedly blocks the messages to the brain that tell your stomach to retch and thus you do not vomit and it also should make you less nauseaous. Well, it was a waste of our money and the insurance company's as well (not that I ever feel sorry for those people). With all that I was still losing weight.

For Christmas my parents got me a ton of maternity clothes. They didn’t get them for me because I was outgrowing my clothes, but because my clothes had outgrown me. If I stood up and pulled down on my jeans or pants without unbuttoning or unzipping them, they would slip right off. I was excited to have the maternity clothes, even though I felt like crap, I figured I could look better. I was 5 months pregnant. Well, I tried them on and they were all too big. Motherhood was wonderful at letting me exchange them. I remember being in the fitting room and trying on a pair of stretch khaki pants in a medium (I weighed 172 pounds when I got pregnant) and they fit wonderfully. I even had the room needed in the waste for my belly to grow out. After I got them on, I stepped out of the fitting room to show my husband and remarked at how skinny I was. The other pregnant women looked at me like I was insane.

I was teaching that year in Berkeley, MO., avery low income school, in a self-contained class for students (all boys) with behavioral and emotional disabilities. When they found out I was pregnant they became wonderful care givers. The school was amazing at accommodating me and I spent a lot of time in the bathroom, but we got through it. Largely because of my students who would make me eat Popsicles and candy which were my OB’s instructions. My husband and I were living with my parents and building a house and I was so glad to have them there to help take care of me. (Could have lived without my dad frying onions one night, but I’m sure I’d have thrown up anyway.) My parents cared for me the best they could, but mostly served to just comfort me after long periods on the bathroom floor. Despite all sickness and lack of nutrition or vitamins (my OB told me not to try to take them), Carson was born at exactly 37 weeks, healthy, and strong. He was 6 pounds and 1 little ounce. I was down 38 pounds. He was my blessing and totally worth all I’d been through.

If you are still reading this then, wow, I’m impressed with your commitment. Thank you.

Well fast forward to summer of 2006. We decided to try for baby number 2. I expected to be sick, as I was with Carson, but my OB I had with Carson's pregnancy had told me that it was very severe and led me to believe that it was as bad as it could ever be. I knew what I was in for and I was ready if the hyperemesis struck again. I’d handled it before as a working woman and I was planning to stay home with Carson that year so I assumed it would all be fine. Well, you know what people say about assuming.

We started trying to get pregnant in late July. We just did the every other day thing, we didn’t do anything special to try and time things right. I got pregnant right away, to my surprise. Just a couple weeks later I had a positive pregnancy test. I was so excited and slipped a surprise note into my husband’s lunch for the next day. He called at lunch very thrilled. Then just about a week later the bleeding started, got heavier, and stopped just a few days before my first appointment to see my new OB. I knew what it was. I was devastated. I hate people who think that an early miscarriage is not painful or that if you have a successful pregnancy later that it’s forgotten. That child is not forgotten to me and won’t ever be. Yes, I know the whole, “almost every woman has early miscarriages that they don’t even know about.” But that doesn’t change the fact that I knew about a baby inside of me and that the blood I saw was the loss of that baby. Gross to you, but it’s the reality.

Luckily, I did get pregnant again right away, in fact, the next month without ever having a period in between. I had an appointment at that new OB for a pap the week that I got that new positive test. I was in the office and told the nurse that I was there for a pap, but I actually think I’m pregnant. She explained that the test could have been wrong due hormones left in my body from the baby I had just lost and had me take a test. She came back quickly and said, “yes you are pregnant!” My new OB, Dr. Chen, came in and talked to me and did an u/s that day. I told him that we’d only had sex a couple times in between the m/c and the new positive and he asked me why I had tested if we weren’t trying. I told him because I was feeling sick, very sick. I gave him my history with Carson’s pregnancy. He monitored me very closely and I came in weekly for the first few months and every other week after that. By 6 weeks (only 2-3 weeks into knowing about my pregnancy) he started me on home health nursing because the vomiting had gotten so bad. I had a wonderful nurse through Matria, named Julie. She was wonderful as was the entire staff there. The real blessing however was being near my family. My care required 24/7 IV therapy and a pump inserted in my belly. Not a moment off it unless it infiltrated and I had to wait for Julie to come stick me again. I stayed with my parents on all their days off. My mom got little done with having to work, then care for Carson and I on her only time off. In just a couple weeks the doctor and home nurse knew this wasn’t going to get better with meds or IV’s and I’d run out of veins that hadn’t been bruised or blown so they sent me for a PICC line to be inserted. I was so terrified of it because foolish me read all about PICC lines and complications on the internet before my appointment. My dad drove me to the appointment and waited with me until my sister arrived. My father is awful at the sight of blood. I can remember having a mole removed as a child and he passed out while at my side. Despite his fear of blood, my sister was running late and he wasn't backing down, wasn't cutting out, even when they called me back to the area. He was in this for me and ready to go the distance. Lucky for him my sister arrived in time. She held my hand and stood next to me for the actually very quick and painless procedure. I know that I'd have been a crying ball of nerves aggravating the doctor if she hadn't been there with me. Being cooped up for a couple months in a house hooked to tubes and meds was making me crazy. I was so happy the day that my mom looked at me and knew I needed out of the house. I was weak and tired and needed to preserve the few calories I took in through the PICC so I never went anywhere besides the doctor, home, and my parents. One day, my mom put Carson and I in her van and took us to the mall. She got me a wheelchair from the mall. I’m not a huge shopper, but being there and buying baby clothes was what I needed. She new that. We had the occasional trip to Target and here and there. She made sure I was sitting, rolling, and resting. She watched my face and coloring and was quick to make me rest when I needed too. She even caught me when I thought I was holding my screaming, thrashing 2 year old through a haircut and passed out. She asked me several times if I was okay and despite my telling her yes, she was mindful that I thought I was tougher than I was and was there to catch me and lean me into a chair.

My sister and my mom were there for the birth of both of my boys. My mom was there to calm me and support both Greg and I. My sister was very calming to me and she made me feel cared for because she’s outspoken and made sure that I got what I needed. It meant Greg never had to leave my side and that’s what I needed. I always thought I’d want to be with only Greg in the delivery room. Even up until the moment I went into labor with Carson. My mom and sister knew that I wanted them and whomever else at the hospital, but not in the room and they didn’t expect to be in the room, pressure me to be there, or even ask. I made them stay, and told them not to leave me during Carson's labor and I’m glad I did. They weren’t really involved and stood far back taking pictures, but the idea that they were there was important to me. I planned for them to be there with Nathan’s birth. My again, very wonderful husband, did not care. He wanted me to have what would make me feel best and that’s all that mattered to him.

There's some background on my family and in the next couple days, I'll post again and let you (as if anyone is reading this) know why I speak of forgetting and the pain that comes from the forgotten.