Thursday, April 29, 2010
Thanks for waiting, now please wait some more.
I was told to go "pick up" the films from my CT scan on my way to my appointment this morning. When I got there I was informed that you're supposed to call ahead, but my doctor never tells his paitents this. After an hour and a half of anxious waiting I was told that if my doctor would accept a disc it would have taken 5min, but because they had to print out ALOT of films including 3D scans it a long time. In the meantime I called the doctor's office to let them know I was going to be late because I was still waiting.
They usually don't see paitents on Thursdays so I was very worried the doctor would leave before I got there. Well, it turns out he was there, but didn't want to see me. The rep from the company making my hip would come pick up the films and the surgery scheduling lady promised me a call this afternoon...
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The test is done. It took 10min there was no contrast dye so I don't have to pump and dump. I called and got a follow up for Thursday morning. All good.
The Ob can't give me anything for pain because they can only offer Tylenol 3 and I'm allergic to Codeine. I missed my mom's group. I'm feeling generally anxious and sad. Not so good.
Riley went to my dad's house with her Grandma while I had the test. Holy Cow, was she wailing when I came back. Apparently she was slightly concerned when I left, but played and took a 30min nap. She woke up crying and Joanne gave her a bottle and that's when I got back. She was crying really hard when I came in and then sat happily in my lap and finished her bottle. Then I handed her to my dad so I could pack up our stuff and she started wailing. He tried to pass her to Joanne, but she was literally trying to leap out of her arms to me so I carried her to the car. Separation anxiety?
Monday, April 26, 2010
Wasn't I just dreading a medical test, stressed about pumping, surgery up in the air and overwhelmed with pain? Oh that's right I was.
There are some major differences. I have survived this once before which is a double edged sword. Can I do it? Of course. Do I want to? I'd rather give birth again.
Also, thanks to some hard work from some amazing friends my house is clean. It's incredibly serene. I can put the baby down on any floor in the house. I'm not confined to the "clean rooms" even if I am going between my bed and the couch. I feel so relieved. It really means a lot to have that support because pain can be so alienating. I don't know if it's related or not, but I'm much calmer than last time. I haven't had the anxiety attack I was anticipating. I'm staying awake to pump in preparation for 72hrs of no breast feeding and pump and dump, but I'm not filed with dread just anger. I lived through this it shouldn't be happening again. Fairness doesn't enter the equation.
I know Riley and I can get through it because we have to, but we shouldn't have to.
I remember getting new white sneakers as a kid and wiping them off the first few times I wore them outside because I wanted them to stay new and perfect forever. I also remember my mother teasing me for this. That's what a new baby's like too.
You don't want dirt to ever touch them. You don't want them to ever feel sadness or pain. You want to shield them and keep new and perfect for always. And people make fun of you for it.
I remember feeling my heart break when they drew her blood for the first time in the NICU. I remember the first time she bumped her head, or got hungry when I couldn't feed her right away, I remember her first shots at two months and the time Cookie Monster scared her.
I remember this time in the NICU I was by myself getting ready to feed Riley. I changed her and took her temp. I very carefully scooped her up out of the crib and sat down to feed her. All the sudden she was crying. I checked all of the monitor cords, etc and that's when I noticed blood on my stomach. A lot of blood. I wiped it off thinking maybe I scratched myself when I picked up the baby. A few seconds later she was still crying and there was more blood on my stomach and the Boppy and everywhere! I screamed for the nurse and two of them came running. It was everywhere and it turned out the band aids from her little heel sticks had been pulled off right before I came in and somehow they were disturbed enough to bleed. I was shaking and crying by the time they wiped us down and assured me she was fine. A tight swaddle and some breastmilk later Riley had forgotten anything had ever happened, I on the other hand probably never will.
Her life was perfect when she was born. I wanted it to always be. I have learned much like shoes babies get "scuffed up" despite lots of love and care. She will skin her knees and get her heart broken no matter how much I love her. In fact I'll probably cry more than she does.
It's the way it's supposed to be. Kids try things, get hurt and make mistakes. Moms worry. It's gets easier to kiss their boo-boos without feeling like the worst mom on the planet, but I don't think it'll ever not hurt.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
There are two areas of a woman's brain in play when it comes to babies: 1)The rational logistical part 2)The primal cave woman life-or-death need to reproduce.
Most girls in my generation have a similar story either they didn't want kids at all or didn't think they were ready yet. Then they had a "scare" which turns out be nothing but sparks up those cave woman instincts and they suddenly feel an overwhelming need that wasn't there before. I never thought I'd have kids. I knew I'd have a terrible time with pregnancy and I had a career that was just gaining momentum. I've always loved kids and spent most of my life taking care of other people's but I couldn't imagine having one of my own. I had the "scare" which after so many years of believing getting pregnant was the worst thing that could happen to me was completely earth shattering to realize I was sad more than I was relieved.
Things happened in their own time and looking back I'm amazed at my good fortune. I don't think I could have conceived and carried a baby at any other point in my life. When I went to my first OB appt I told them I wanted my tubes tied. They gave me the standard lecture about tubal regret, but I persisted. Mike asked me if I wanted to hold off "just in case" anything happened to the baby. I persisted. I survived preterm labor from 23wks-34wks and when they brought me the C-Section consent and had me re-sign consent for the tubal the doctor leaned in and whispered "you're doing the right thing."
My attitude always was that if I was meant to have a healthy baby I would and no matter what I was only doing this once. I'm not sure if this translates in writing so let me re-phrase I had complete faith that I would have the baby I was meant to and completely realistic ideas about what I could endure physically.
Now don't get me wrong it wasn't 8months of complete misery. I loved my big belly and feeling her kick. I still pour over my belly photos and get warm and fuzzy. I'm still a woman and tying the tubes doesn't short out the cave women need. I still get sad that it's over forever. I still wish my body could handle more pregnancies. I felt beautiful pregnant when I could forget or ignore the pain for a moment. I love Riley so much I feel like I could burst. I mourn all those potential little ones I could have made. I think about if Riley had been a little boy what little Maverick would have been like. I wish I could love dozens more babies and maybe I will, but not babies I gave birth to.
I think when you find perfection it's a good time to stop anyway.
Friday, April 23, 2010
The day was not going well already. I folded two baskets of clothes and then put the baby down for a nap. I was laying down myself when it started. Unbearable stabbing pain in my back. I screamed and cried in my bed for awhile and then I got up to go to the bathroom and my hip got in on the act. It was a miserable day, but I kept telling myself it's not much longer.
The doctor told me when I scheduled the surgery a month ago I'd get a titanium on titanium hip and I might need to be custom because of my size. Wednesday when I discussed the surgery with the PA she also said it would probably be custom. The doctor's office called this afternoon and said we have to put off the surgery. WHAT!?!?
Apparently, it was confirmed without a shadow of a doubt that I need a custom hip. She informed me I have to have a CT scan (yup 72 MORE hours of pump and dump) because my x-rays, etc weren't sufficient to make the hip. So I have to go Tuesday have another test, more needles and wait again for the report and follow-up appointment with doctor before we can re-schedule. It's going to take between 2-4weeks for the hip to be made!! WHAT!?!?
He still won't give me anything for pain so I finally called my OBGYN and explained the situation. Hopefully they'll take pity on me and give me something to get me through.
I can't do this for 4 more weeks! I don't wait to pump and dump for 3 days again! I don't wait more needles and tests! I don't want all my plans postponed! I hate the whole world right now. I've had ENOUGH.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
So, the ball, my friends, is rolling...
Wednesday I got my "medical clearance" to have surgery thanks to all that super fun lab work. My primary care kept saying "Hip replacement. How old are you again?" Yup, I'm the lucky girl getting a hip or two replaced before my 30th birthday. Then he told me about Bo Jackson having to have a hip replacement young. "He had avascular necrosis, but people were always smashing into him." So, great I get the same diagnosis from walking around that this guy got from playing football. I think his way sounds more fun. My doc also went on to make sure I knew that I'd have to have this done again as they "don't last forever."
I also met with the physician's assistant to the Ortho that's performing the operation. We're all set for Thursday the 29th at 7:30am. They have to remove the plate and pins from the femur rotation I had as a teenager first and then they'll be replacing my left hip with a titanium one. She said they have to custom order one my size. It made me laugh, I guess pediatric hip replacements aren't so common. On that note she kept answers questions and then adding "But you're not our typical patient." Between my age, my size, my 13 previous orthopedic surgeries/CP and the fact that I'm a breastfeeding mother I'm proving quite the challenge.
She also informed me that this procedure has a high risk of blood clots so I have to be on injectable blood thinners for 3 weeks. Did I mention how much I hate needles. When I reacted with shock at the idea of sticking myself everyday she said in that eye rolling tone of voice "oh, come on you had a baby." Of course it wasn't until I got home that it occurred to me this might be a problem for breastfeeding. I called and got the name of the one they're using. Here's what the Internet said:
There are no data on the excretion of fondaparinux into human milk. The effects in the nursing infant are unknown. The manufacturer recommends that caution be used when administering fondaparinux to nursing women
Wonderfully informative as that is I called the lactation department at the hospital. They came up with the same thing, but their information said that although the blood thinner would be in my milk the, but doctor doesn't think it would be digested by the baby. She recommended I call the pediatrician so my research into this continues...
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday we went to my mommy group. My friends all wanted to help and show support. They kept asking me what they could do.
I hate that question in general, I never know what to say. By Tuesday I really felt like my brain had blown a fuse. The logistics of the kids, Mike's work, drug/breastfeeding interactions, pain/mobility issues, scheduling, the house and so on... I stared blankly and they decided the default "we'll drop off dinner" would be the plan for now.
I enjoyed socializing and not talking about the surgery for a few hours. I was relaxing a little when a grumpy hungry Mike called and asked why I didn't tell him I was getting lunch with my friends. I thought informing him of the sweet offer my friends had made would cheer him up, wrong. He got all offended because he thought I meant that my friends didn't believe he was capable of fending for himself while I was in the hospital. I unruffled his feathers and explained they were offering to help once I'm discharged.
It all seemed pretty 50's to me. Don't we, in this age of convenience and technology, expect everyone regardless of their gender to be able to fend for themselves? Ok, I digress...
Please, don't think me ungrateful. Heaven forbid everyone quit asking how they can help God knows I'm drowning already and the surgery is still a week away.
Monday I went for the lab work. I HATE needles. I can handle anything, but I hide my eyes when they poke people on House. I had an awesome lab tech who reminded me of Franklin from Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead. He come out to the waiting room and said "I'm gonna draw some blood." Which I answered with a sarcastically enthusiastic Woohoo! When we got where we were going he said "Ok, which arm? And it can't be mine." I sympathized that he heard that terrible joke a lot and told him to do whatever would make it go by faster. He did his thing and I was breathing deeply and looking the other way when I heard "Uh-oh." Not a great moment for me. He assured me that it wasn't me (isn't that always the way?!?) Anyway, the tube was defective he switched it and apologized. He also added that "it never happens to the cranky old man it has to be the sweet little blonde."
Then "Franklin" informed me he needed a urine sample as well. This sounds simple enough, but let me paint you a picture of me in my wheelchair and my round little friend trying to maneuver in a bathroom that is only slightly larger than a port-a-potty. Well I got in there and peed without breaking my ankles, but then I couldn't get out! No kidding I was trapped (think the scene in Austin Powers when he backs the golf cart up and hits the wall, pulls forward and hits the wall repeatedly). I was banging into walls inside and "Franklin" was banging the door against the wheelchair trying to help me escape. Somehow I got out laughing my head off and the rest of my tests (chest x-ray, EKG...) happened without incident.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
We went to ToysRUs last week because Isaac had a girl's birthday party Saturday and a boy's party Sunday. I did my best mom sleuthing and based on very limited (and not altogether reliable) intel from Isaac and the invitations I decided the general category of gifts we needed. I took Riley and headed down the girl toy aisle and sent Isaac and Mike over to the boy toys with specific instructions. They found a cool helicopter disc toy thingy and I picked a "Fashionista Barbie."
I gave my approval to the boys' choice and then Mike narrowed his eyes at the pink box on my lap.
"You got a Barbie."
"Yeah, she'll love it."
"But what does it do?"
"It doesn't do anything, it's a Barbie."
"Ok...I guess...if that's what you want to get."
"But it doesn't do anything?"
I then had a conversation all way home about all the awesome toys we grew up with that required you to use your imagination and in case you were wondering Barbie was a hit.
PS: I can't wait for Riley to be old enough for Barbies!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
When Isaac was a toddler he loved "sckicks." He used to come home with pockets full of mulch from the playground. Sticks were his "thing."
When Riley was a few weeks old we discovered her incredible fondness for hair. It was the first clearly articulated word she ever said.
So, even though Mike's already raised a baby through infancy and knows it all and I'm a fully enlightened modern woman, etc we acknowledge there are gender differences. Don't get me wrong Riley has had a pair of dinosaur jammies in every size so far and she has a space camp Barbie waiting in her closet because I don't believe in limiting her in any way because of her gender. I want my kids to have choices. That being said the choices the kids make are different from each other.
Without any encouragement Riley lusts after purses and is fascinated by little girls with long hair. Recently a little girl gave her a baby doll and Riley loved on it like crazy. She also adores her stuffed bug. She's just like her mom. I always tell Mike I may not be a super high maintenance girly girl, but I am still a girl. For all her interest in the outdoors and adventure Riley is still a girl. And thank goodness!
Friday, April 16, 2010
Let's just start by saying I've had enough "you're a real trooper" to last me a lifetime. I've lived through 13 orthopedic surgeries, being hit by a bus, emergency abdominal surgery, high risk pregnancy, c-section and a two week NICU stay.
I'm tough that's just a fact. Hit by a bus and made it to rehearsal that night tough. I always get through it because I have to. Everything changes when you become a parent. The stakes become much higher and motavation becomes selfish and selfless.
When I had the emergency abdominal surgery I was living alone in LA. I had a long lonely recovery. The memory of the pain haunts me and I'm pretty tough. Even before I got pregnant I knew I would have to have a C-Section. I was hysterical with worry towards the end of my pregnancy. I didn't think I could do it again. Somehow I made it through. And then there was Riley.
The night I had Riley I had a fair amount of pain, but then they told me if I could sit in a chair I could go see her. I don't remember much pain after that. I got to my baby the first second they'd let me and stayed with her every moment I could. I got around so well for Riley's sake that I was discharged before I knew it. I was at her bedside every minute I could and I only remember thinking about my pain a few brief moments. I had to get better, I had to smile more than I cried, and I had to keep moving because of Riley.I am terrified of my upcoming hip replacement. I am sick at the thought of it, but I'll get through it. Riley's gift to me is that I have to smile more than I cry she just won't have it any other way. I think recording of Riley laughing could be the cure for depression. Her cuddles cure all and there is no greater inspiration than to be able to be the best parent possible for her. So, thanks to my beautiful girl I know I will get through this faster than I ever would before her and with alot more laughter.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I've been really down the last two days the pain is really awful now. I'm so depressed. I want to be the person I was a month ago. I want to get up and clean up the mess. I'm no longer able to push through it. I can't do anything about it and I can't suppress the emotions anymore. I am exausted.
So, I decided to take a bath with the baby.I haven't taken a bath with the bay since she could sit up. Riley loves the water. I took her swimming in a pool yesterday for the first time. She's such a happy little fish. Riley was sitting up playing in the tub and she started to lean forward a little so I put my arm in front of her just in case, but she didn't fall. She stood up! From sitting to standing all by herself!! Amazing. And miracle of miracles Mike just happened to have come in to ask me a question a minute before. I immediately grabed on to her waist to keep her up and screamed "Did you see that?!?" I let her beam proudly for as long as I could stand it and then I hugged my amazing girl for as long as she'd let me. So special.
Riley's been growing steadily all this time and even with a memory stick full of pictures I forget how tiny she was.
She turned 7mo yesterday so I cast her footprints in plaster. They came out great, but when I compared them to the footprints from the day she was born it was staggering. She's about outgrown her baby swing too. I remember thinking she was too small for it and now we're going to be done with it.
I asked Michael if it made him sad that Riley had grown so much and he said he was pretty sure that was a girl thing. Which got me thinking...I don't often hear daddies bemoaning their children's growth. In fact I often hear (and occasionally think to myself) women saying their baby growing up makes them want more babies. Maybe women feel this way so that the species keeps going. Where as men look forward to increased bonding time when their kids become more independent from their mothers.
All of the irrational emotions aside I'm so grateful to have a big 7mo old girl instead of a newborn. She's amazing. I was (don't judge me) watching the episode of Tori and Dean yesterday where they throw Stella's first birthday party and I started getting excited about Riley's birthday. I wonder if she'll be walking by then? Even though 5mo seems far away 7 have passed since she was born and 15 have passed since she was conceived!
Friday, April 2, 2010
Insert your favorite joke here.
Seriously, in my opinion we've taken huge leaps and bounds as far as "co-parenting" goes. Pretty well gone are the days when people are limited by their gender roles as far as parents. No more sperm donor and sole breadwinner with no parental responsibilities. Even if one parent is working and the other stays with the kids they share the parenting job these days. But I'm not about to get off on a college woman's studies class inspired rant about equally in the nuclear family, no just wanted to make this particular observation...
I was feeling jealous that when Riley's with me we spend a lot of time getting down to business (eating, bathing, changing, etc) and less playing. Daddy's first priority is always to make her laugh first then change the diaper. He's more relaxed about a lot of things.
Specifically, he pushes my boundaries. If I'm frantically trying to keep one hand on Riley and do 20 other things he'll say "she's ok, let go." That's the moment I look around and think it over. He's right most of the time if she falls back on her nice soft carpet she'll be fine, if I let her sit in the tub while I'm right there (and keep her away from the faucet) she's fine...You're getting the picture. In general it's ok for me to back off a little. It's good for me to test and re-test my comfort level and her independence.
So thanks to Daddies everywhere.