April 25, 2008

Shameless Solicitation

In the last 3 years, four of my closest, in real life friends have given birth to children that spent time in their hospital's NICU unit. Other close friends and family members have had their babies spend time in the special care nursery. Today all of these kids are boisterous, amazing little people. They've all celebrated milestones and reached goals that we weren't sure they would ever have the chance to strive for. I smile constantly because of the incredible things they do and say.

To celebrate these miracles, KT and I are participating in this year's, March for Babies walk for the March of Dimes. The money we raise will support lifesaving research, services, education and advocacy that will help ALL babies get a healthy start.

If you're so inclined, please help by donating today!

(For those of you viewing this through a blog reader...there is a badge on my blog that will take you directly to my sponsor page.)

April 24, 2008

Surgical Seething

I'm beginning to think that my surgeon wasn't overly concerned with the neatness of his work. I know, I know. He is a general surgeon after all; his education is not in cosmetic surgery. But you would think that he'd try to minimize the appearance of the scars. You'd think.

There are 4 incisions -- 1 at my belly button, 1 just under my sternum and 2 that "stair-step" down long the contour of my right rib cage. All incisions have internal, dissolvable stitches and were externally covered with dermabond (skin adhesive). The dermabond has completely fallen off and I'm able to get a better look at the wounds.

What upsets me the most right now is the incision at my belly button. When the surgeon sutured the site, the two skin flaps were NOT pulled together well. The bottom edge of skin -- bottom as in closer to my belly button -- sits between 1/16th and 1/8th of an inch higher than the upper edge. It creates this nice little ridge. I was told that it might even itself over time, but not likely. There's not a doubt in my mind that this body will never see a bikini in public again. That was decided long before this surgery. I know that very few people will ever see it. But it's just the whole idea that now the scar will be even worse.

The other gripe is more of an "ewwwwww" issue than anything else. Last night I was looking at the middle incision up along my ribcage. It had been bothering me yesterday. Periodically it felt as though a scab from the incision was catching on my t-shirt. Closer inspection (yes, I was pulling on it) revealed that it was not a scab at all. It was part of the internal suture, poking it's tail up through the incision. Yuck, yuck, yuck. That realization made me immediately weak in the knees and somewhat nauseous. Yuck. I went squealing out to the living room, clad in very little, to demand C come take a look. My dear husband became squeamish IMMEDIATELY when he realized what was going on but gallantly offered and proceeded to clip the suture end off with cuticle scissors. It hurts today and has become red and angry where that suture is. Perhaps one of these days I will learn a valuable lesson about picking at things that should not be picked at.


Overall, healing is going well. The sites are tender to the touch and there are good sized "knots" under each one. The surgeon said that these "areas of healing" will take a couple of months to reduce in size. No biggy. But they are aggravated nicely when a certain toddler jabs her feet/knees/elbows into them.

My sister, the middle one who got married when I was hugely pregnant with KT, surprised me and flew out to help for a week. It was heaven having an extra set of hands to help when C went back to work. Especially since my daughter listened to Aunt K much more than either Mom or Dad during her visit. Although I had told people over and over again that we didn't need any help, it was incredibly nice (and helpful!) to have someone here.

April 12, 2008

Slow and Steady

Surgery went well. Recovery is slow but every day is progress. Hopefully I'll feel okay enough to tend to the little one when C goes back to work on Monday....

April 8, 2008

Sometimes the Love is Overwhelming

There are days where I want to cry myself to sleep when I collapse into bed at night. Days where I feel like I go head to head all day long with a feisty, strong willed toddler and end up losing time and time again. Days where I wonder if I was cut out to be a parent.

I'm not perfect. Far from it. I make my fair share of mistakes. But sometimes my patience gets so thin that I find myself taking my frustration out on her. When I feel myself doing so I try to take a step back, take a deep breath in an attempt to clear my head and remind myself that I need to stay calm and grounded. She's just a child. I'm the parent. I should know better.

Lately I've found my patience to be unceasingly thin. And I lose my days when I get like this. I forget to take the time to appreciate the little things. I forget to remember how much I love her.

She hasn't slept well for almost 2 weeks now. Why? We're not sure. But I find myself getting upset when she cries at 10pm, midnight, 2am, 4am, or whenever. We try to go into the nursery and get back out with as little intervention as possible. And the frustration builds as the minutes go by.

Last night I was getting ready to shut down the computer and head to bed when she woke. As her cries escalated, the following verse began to play on XM (which I had playing in another browser window):

"Just the other night the baby was cryin
So I got out of bed rocked her awhile and I held her tight
And I told her it would be all right

My mind went back to a few years ago
We tried so long, we almost gave up hope
And I remember you comin' in and tellin me the news
Oh man we were livin, goin crazy in the kitchen
We danced and screamed and held each other tight
We laughed until we cried."

So I went downstairs, wiped her tears and rocked her for an hour.

I can only hope, that she'll never question how much I love her. Even when my actions are clouded with frustration.

Yeah, it's country. Sorry for my non country friends. And it's not the video that goes with the song. But it gets the message across.

April 6, 2008

Logistics Win

Although opinions were fairly evenly divided in terms of red versus green, the green will win out due solely to logistical issues.

There are 2 different styles of the red shoes, the ones that I posted with the grey and another darker red with tan (which I like better). Unfortunately neither one is available in my size, anywhere that I can find. It looks like they were 2007 colors and have very limited availability.

Oh well. The green ones first caught my eye a couple of weeks ago anyways.

April 5, 2008

Fashion Apathy

When I had a "normal" 8-5 job that required me to dress nicely, I loved shopping for my work wardrobe. I was confined to pants and closed-toed shoes (I worked in a lab) but managed to make it fun. Dress pants were usually somewhat "classic" trousers -- GAP were my standby -- but I dressed them up with fun blouses, fantastic accessories and delicious shoes. Well, as delicious as one could be with closed-toes. I would wear heels in the lab and love it, even though I'm sure it was some sort of a safety hazard.

Since I now work at home, my interest in fashion has waned considerably. It's almost non-existent. My work wardrobe typically consists of workout pants, t-shirts and hoodies. Pretty apathetic, isn't it? A dress up day is usually jeans and a t-shirt. I know that I've fallen into that ever so popular mindset that allows comfort to overrule fashion. If my daily outings most often consist of me going to the gym, why should I spend gads of money on fashion forward clothes for every day wear?

Don't get me wrong. I do have "dressier" clothes for when I go out. That includes a couple of nice pairs of jeans, some blouses, button down shirts and sweaters for cooler weather. Certainly not anything that's going to land me national attention for my fantastic wardrobe though.

When I buy pieces, I try to combine fun and functional. I'm not going to go overboard and spend thousands of dollars on shoes to liven up my stale closet, but I do try to buy ones that will add some interest. I need something that I can wear to grocery shop, to chase a little one around in at the park and yet be able to wear out to dinner if need be.

I've had my eye on these two pairs lately. I can't justify buying both (they wouldn't get enough use to make it worthwhile) and can't decide which pair to go with. Obviously, some people will immediately be turned off by the style. But I love them. They're super comfortable and easily fit my wide feet.

So which do you like better?


Or red?

April 1, 2008

Biliary What What?

Biliary dyskinesia: Spasms of the gallbladder or its ducts that impair filling or emptying and are caused by intrinsic or extrinsic disease. Also defined as a motility disorder that affects the gallbladder and sphincter of Oddi. Once dyskinesia has been diagnosed, there are few treatment options other than cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), because pharmacotherapy does not provide relief.

In layman's terms? My gallbladder isn't working. At all. It should function (ie. dump bile into the stomach) at more than a 50% rate in order to be considered "efficient". So after eating a meal it will contract and empty at least 50% of its bile content into your stomach to aid in the digestion of the food. Mine functions at 0%. It just sits there and spasms but does not dump any bile.

Some people can modify their diet (usually cutting out fats, dairy and items with pectin) and minimize the attacks.
My problem is that there is no correlation with attacks and diet. I ate lunch yesterday afternoon from Wendy's but the unbuttered, whole grain toast this morning sent me into spasms. The other day I was sick after eating spinach, sick after eating cheese but okay when eating peanut butter. Since there isn't any correlation to diet, my options are leave it in and deal with random attacks or have it removed.

I'm supposed to be at the hospital next week at 8:30am on April 9th. This sucker is coming out. Success rate of symptom elimination is about 90% after surgery.

After conferring with some buddies on a website I frequented when pregnant, it appears that gallbladder disease is extraordinarily high in women who suffer from hyperemesis while pregnant. They're not sure exactly why. It just appears to be another lovely side effect.

I'll just add it to the list of body parts that got beat up when I threw up almost daily for 34.5 weeks.

The Toddler Equivalent of Holding Your Hair

It's been a rough morning around here. A combination of a monster migraine and a gallbladder attack found me spending the better part of 2 hours throwing up.

When I could, I left KT in the (fairly) safe haven of the living room. It's nearly impossible to keep her out of mischief in either the master bath or bedroom while I'm otherwise occupied. I just jump the babygate, tend to matters and return as quickly as I can.

One time this morning it was unavoidable. I'd had her in our room to change her, sat her down on the floor and made a beeline to the bathroom. As I'm crouched over heaving, I hear the distinctive sound of her hands slapping the floor as she crawled towards me. She pulled herself up on my leg and stood next to me with a concerned (and confused) look on her face.

"Ma-ma? Ma-ma?" She asked.

"Ma-ma sick." I replied between heaves.

Her confused look dissolved into one of full concern and she patted me on the shoulder. "Ma-ma sih."

And at that point, Mama's heart melted and I found relief in such a simple gesture.