Archive for the 'Family' Category

05
Nov
13

Healthy Holidays

It’s that time of year again! I’m thinking of and wishing well all preemie families who have started their lockdowns. It is so necessary and so unfun. You are doing something wonderful for your kid(s) though!

I think the hardest part of our two isolation seasons was the reactions of loved ones who just didn’t understand. Wanting to share our new family with the world and being unable to was rough, and it adds insult to injury when people closest to you treat you like an overprotective crazy person.

Hand to Hold posted an awesome article today about the dangers of RSV and cold and flu for preemie’s immature immune systems and lungs. I posted a sign on our front door, but the free printable they include looks so professional it may keep you from having to endure the “why do I have to wash my hands” talk. ­čÖé

http://handtohold.org/resources/helpful-articles/5-myths-rsv/

We had a windy, rainy Halloween. Luckily, the weather halted just long enough for the wizard (daddy), lion (mommy), and flying monkey (drake) to walk around to the neighbors. ┬áWith two years of being off the grid so to speak, I didn’t really know my neighbors. Halloween taught me just how kind many of them are as they watched at doors and rushed down driveways with candy so that kids could get some trick or treating in and avoid the severe weather.

We had an impromptu pizza and cupcake party at our house with gammy, great granny, a couple friends and us. Then gammy let D stay all night so we could go to a concert. It was an awesome night. Last year, we were changing belly dressings and trying to function on no sleep.

I’ll put some costume pics up soon!

 

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28
Oct
13

Candid Thoughts

This is a post about me. I honestly have spent most of the past two years trying not to think about me, or trying to process the fact that many people close to me wish I would just let the past go and move forward.

In some ways, I am 100 trillion times closer to the me I was in 2011. In some ways, I will never be that woman again. I have been working really hard on myself over the past couple months now that my son is in a “more” stable place.

Mental health, identity, my true feelings on things. These are not topics that I easily discuss in person.

1. I have a short fuse. If I get annoyed, the source of my annoyance is usually going to come out in a form of word vomit that despite my southern upbringing is not very ladylike.

2. Someone close to me got into the habit of telling me that I never have anything nice, positive, or loving to say. That wounded me in a way I doubt I will ever be able to express.

3. In addition to worrying over D’s weight, development, and birth, I worry that I am way too attached to him. And way too overprotective for his own good. I’m trying to work on it, but it’s very hard.

4. I am lucky. My son is strong. We have a great therapy and medical team. I have a decent support system. Why can’t I just get over it?

A FB friend recently posted about the night before her son’s birth. She and her husband didn’t sleep, excited over their new son whose birth had just been induced. Will I ever read that kind of update and just feel happy for the people? No NICU parents will ever have that memory.

Last October, I called my mom sobbing because there is so much I feel like I can’t remember of the night/morning Drake was born. She’s an RN and reminded me that some of that is probably shock or denial, but some is that the meds you areon are amnesiacs and it’s not my fault I can’t remember.

My husband is taking a developmental psychology class this semester. The second  chapter was all about genes, birth defects, and preterm deliveries. He aced the quiz, but said it was awful studying it.

I am going to a conference next month that is working with former NICU parents on family centered care practices. I hope feeling like I am giving back deals with some of this residual stuff.

5. We have NICU clinic follow-up and IFSP meetings coming up soon. We are at the cliff’s edge of “catch up by 2”. His Developmental Interventionist has taken to warning me that they will abruptly stop adjusting his age at the state level in February. I honestly just don’t know how I feel about that stuff.

6. I haven’t felt much like posting. I feel too thankful to write ranting posts. I feel this need to feel happy so I don’t really want to write like I did today about what I worry about.

7.  This is our first Halloween. Last year, it was the day after surgery. This year we are flying monkey, lion, and tin man. Let the treating begin!

8. I joined a gym. I completely wrecked my health last year. My blood pressure when I finally had a dizzy episode and went to the urgent care last December was 175/117. I was having panic attacks over hand washing. I’ve lost about 15 pounds with many still to go. As my health gets better, my husband starts talking about his desire for another child. I’m scared to get healthy because of it. As long as I medically “can’t” it’s a tabled discussion, but I want to be healthy and here for my family. I think I should consider adding a counselor to my team.

I don’t want to be disappointed in 10 years that I could’ve gotten healthy and talked to specialists and completed our family as we’d always planned. I don’t want to send another child to the NICU just to fulfill our desire for more children. I don’t know anything about adoption or my feelings or anyone else’s about it.

9. My best advice to NICU parents is get counseling. I wish I had. I wish someone close to me had told me to. Despite this post, I am in a very good place emotionally compared to last year, but I wish I hadn’t had to claw my way to the surface alone to get here.

World Prematurity Day is next month. Wouldn’t it be nice if all babies could have a healthy start?

24
Sep
13

Why I Will NEVER Wear Pants Without Pockets Again!

Some blog posts are rants, some are joyful celebrations, and some just plain write themselves.

I woke up on time this morning. So I got  to clean the kitchen, pack my gym bag, play with Drake, and walk the dog without feeling crazy.

I took our two bags and Drake out to the car, and was strapping him in for our drive to work. ┬áSince my pants didn’t have any pockets, I laid my phone on the seat next to the car seat and handed Drake the keys because I know he loves them. Since we were having such a good morning, I didn’t want it spoiled with a power struggle over car seat straps and it worked.

Usually the car keys and phone are in my pocket, and Drake is playing with “his” keys, a set of old ones I put together for him.

I wanted my round hairbrush out of my bag in the back and in my gym bag, so I grabbed the brush, shut the hatch to the CRV and as I reached for the driver door handle I heard “click.”

Oh no, oh s*&t. This is not happening.

I also usually leave my door open until the getting the 19 month old into the car act is completed.

So of course I try cajoling first. “C’mon Drake, push the other button. You’re so awesome push the other button.” ┬áHe smiles at me repeatedly pushing the lock button.

Da*&^t.

So I go knock on the neighbors door. No one home. I go and try to kick our back door in for the spare key. Nope.

I go back to the car, and plead. “You can do it. Hit more buttons. C’mon buddy!” The panic alarm starts going off. Whooo wooo wooo Whoooss a dummy. Whooos a dummy.

Then after another click the alarm turns off. Then one more click and the door opens when I pull the handle.

“YOU ARE AWESOME! But no more keys.”

Daddy’s response, “I told you giving him the car keys was a bad idea.”

Thank goodness it was only 55 degrees this morning. Yay fall.

05
Sep
13

Weekend Adventures

I am super duper excited.

This weekend our family is working my art college’s booth at the Cincinnati Comic Con!

That’s right! Not only are we preemie parents we’re huge geeks.

Drake’s even got his very own mini superhero outfit:

Drake, Super Preemie

Drake, Super Preemie

 

I know our family is going to have a blast doing something we love. This time last year we were already in RSV isolation due to early flu outbreaks.

What a difference a year can bring. ­čÖé

Happy Weekend!

20
Aug
13

Eighteen Months Old

To my awesome dragon,

Time flies.

I almost forgot today was your month day. Since you started Early Intervention, I’ve relaxed a little. I like having the weekly interaction that tells me what we’re working on well and what we can improve on. I feel like there are a couple more people on our team.

Here’s a few facts about you as you hit 1.5 years old:

Drake’s favorite toy: A mini broom. I’ve been informed that this desire to help clean will not last. Sadface.

Drake’s New Milestones: Now that we have you in new supportive shoes you are walking all over. You were so frustrated just a month ago, and it’s so awesome to see you toddle around giggling.

Drake’s favorite game: Peek-a-boo, you like to hide behind furniture and pop out laughing.

Drake’s favorite food: Cottage Cheese. You love, love it. Aunt Amy was eating some in front of you on Skype and you demanded it quite clearly. “DAT!”

Drake’s least favorite thing: Nite-Nite Shoes. No more laying still letting me put them on. It takes me, Daddy, a cup of formula, and a song. But you fall immediately asleep after.

Drake’s Teeth: 4 on top, 4 on bottom and starting 2 of big bottom ones.

Every day you look more like a little boy, and less like my 2lb baby.

Love,

Mommy

17
Aug
13

Saturdays

Someone posted a saying on facebook the other day that caught my eye.

“There are only 940 Saturdays with your child from birth to age 18. Make each one count.”

Wow. My crazy accounting nerd side loves facts and figures.

A smart mom then posted, “Make that until age 13. Around that time they want their friends or activities more than quality time.”

Sure we lost a couple of Saturdays to NICU days, isolation, and hospital readmission, but just think of the potential for adventures.

This year on Saturdays we’ve ….

1. Visited the Grand Canyon

2. Explored the Cincinnati Zoo

3. Gone to get ice cream

4. People watched at the mall

5. Had a picnic lunch

6. Seen a Reds game

7. Visited downtown Cincy

We still have on our list to go to Krohn Conservatory. The kid loves plants. As in, rubs his face with leaves and squeals in delight or touches lightly and stares in awe loves plants. He doesn’t get this from his father or I. We enjoy a nice walk or hike through nature, but…

The Plant story. The summer before I was pregnant, we had a ivy someone had gifted us with. We had a plant hanger my husband had made 20 years ago in scouts and the people in our house before us had left one of those hooks in the ceiling. Up went the hanger and the plant.

One random day, my husband proudly announced he was going to water our plant. He called me over to it. What had once been a green, thriving ivy was an inch long dried out stem. Now we have plastic flowers.

Poor plant. And I guess D is lucky that he has to have such a strict feeding schedule.

Daddy has to work tomorrow, so I’m thinking tomorrow’s Saturday adventure involves swinging at the park and a trip to the dairy hut and it’s 24 soft serve flavors!

 

08
Aug
13

Everyday Miracles

Today was an ordinary day.

Great Grandma came over and we took a walk.

Drake wore a baseball hat without freaking out for the first time.

We went and had Blizzards for miracle treat day! Our local CMN hospital is Cincinnati Children’s. Home to his NICU neonatologists and his follow up specialists.

A regular day. We sang songs and ate homemade pizza. We practiced our therapy exercises and he asked to take a walk! (Wahk, wahk?)

I love living a miracle. Every. Day.

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Drake’s 3rd Birthday

February 20th, 2015

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