Monday, November 19, 2012

wishin' and prayin' and hopin'

It's been a crazy month. I know I've been hugely slack on blogging, but now that I've left the first trimester behind and I'm hoping entering better weeks ahead, I'm hoping to get back onto my feet. I've been in a daze of doctors visits, speech therapy with G, toddler-raising, teaching, and taking classes.

I'm about to finish my seventh week of Lovenox shots to counteract my three clotting factors. To put it mildly, the experience has given me a whole lot of respect for people with diabetes. I don't know how they go through that may shots a day with no end in sight. At least I know my shots won't last forever. But it's amazing what you'll go through when you have no choice, when you have to do it, and especially when you have to do it for the health and life of your child.

So every time I stick the needle in, I think about the baby and how I'm one shot closer to holding him or her in my arms.

There are some things I've learned about taking Lovenox that I wish I'd known ahead of time.
  1. Put the needle in slowly. You don't want to jab that half-inch thing in there. It seems terribly in theory to do it this way but trust me, you'll feel like you have more control. And don't worry about that weird bendy thing your skin will do before the needle finally breaks through your skin - no, it won't be difficult to puncture your skin.
  2. Ice liberally before and after. Like at least ten minutes before and after. If you don't want it to sting like a mofo afterward, you'd better ice.
  3. Oh yeah, the medicine will sting. It stings much worse than the needle going in (most of the time). The stinging will take your breath away, but don't forget to keep breathing and stay calm. When it hurts too much, stop putting the medicine in and wait a moment. It doesn't hurt to keep the needle in, so take your time when pressing the plunger. The first time, it stung for over 30 minutes. After that, I injected much more slowly and the stinging time has decreased.
  4. You'll bleed so be prepared. Keep tissues handy and tiny bandaids if you get a bleeder.
  5. Do the shots yourself. The hubs did mine for the first two weeks because I was a big chicken, but I swear, it's less traumatic to do it yourself. My hands were shaking so badly when I did my first one, but I feel like a pro by now.
  6. It hurts, but it doesn't hurt forever. The stinging eventually fades and you'll get a reprieve until you have to do it again the next day.
Also, the experience of giving yourself a Lovenox shot changes each time.

Sometimes it's a bleeder. When you take the needle out, a big bubble of blood follows. Don't put too much pressure on it as the bleeding will eventually stop on its own and you don't want to cause too much bruising.

Sometimes it's a bruiser. Luckily, I haven't gotten many of these, and only one has given me a huge bruise.

Sometimes it stings so badly you think you can't stand it. Along with the stinger can come the oh-my-god-this-needle-is-huge moment when that baby burns all the way in.

And then, every once in a while, you'll get the easy. The injection that you barely feeling going in, that hardly burns at all, and the only way you can identify the injection sight is by the tiny red dot.

But I'll take stingers and bruises every time if it means a healthy baby at the end of the journey. I know these shots will be like labor, and the memories of pain will fade with time. I can't feel the baby yet, but I know it's in there, bouncing around on my uterus and wiggling those skinny limbs like a crazy monkey.

So I let out a long breath as I slide the needle in. And I make a wish.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

fall days

I've spent most of the past few weeks hibernating. If I can be laying in bed and/or asleep, I take the opportunity. This pregnancy is totally kicking my butt, and I have the worst nausea I've ever had. That said, when the Zofran does its job, I do my best to get out and about with G. We've had a terrific fall so far.

Have I mentioned lately that my baby is huge? It feels weird to still call him my baby, especially since we have an actual baby on the way, but I guess he'll always be a baby to me.

I like how he looks like he's fishing with this stick. I couldn't get him to really smile for the camera, but at least he was willing to stand around for a while.

Kiddo even threw some leaves in the air for me.

I love this one.

Toward the end, he got tired of walking around and came to sit in my lap for a while. He took this photo of us, hence the fierce look of concentration on his face.

I hope I only have another month or so before my energy level goes back up and the nausea eases off. I'm 9 1/2 weeks, but since the symptoms kicked in high gear at 5 1/2 weeks, I feel like I've been at it forever.

More to come about this pregnancy, but I thought you might enjoy some cute pics of the kid.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

guest post: 10 Things I Think I Thought I Thunk

Since I'm spending most of my days 1) throwing up, 2) trying not to throw up, or 3) asleep so I'm not throwing, the husband is blogging for me today. I'm sorry for unleashing him on you yet again. ~Alicia

Hi everybody, the husband here again, blogging again as the wife tries not to throw up (and often fails). Failing having anything interesting to talk about (maybe next time), I thought I would share a few of the random items that bounce within my head.

So, with apologies to my wife, here’s my “10 Things I Think I Thought I Thunk.”

Stop laughing. Thunk is a word. Just like Squozen. After you squeeze something, it is squozen. Just sayin’.

Buckle up people, here we go!

1. – I’m finding it far too amusing that the best shows we’re watching right now are cartoons. I’m not sure what that says about us or the current state of television, but I feel like it’s been this way for a while now.
Transformers Prime, Bob’s Burgers, the new Turtles. All quality. What else are we going to watch - Honey Boo Boo?

Heck, even some of Grayson’s shows beat the pants off of 95% of the drivel on TV right now. I’ll take Phineas and Ferb over just about every network’s prime-time line up any day.

2. – My child falls for the Bugs Bunny argument trick. I’m not sure if I’m proud or sad.
Me: “Come here.”
G: “No.”
Me: “Yes.”
G: “No.”
Me: “Yes.”
G: “No.”
Me: “No.”
G: *pause* *nods enthusiastically* *comes over*

I can’t wait until he’s older and we can have the “Wabbit season / Duck season” debate.

3. – It’s about time that someone else in our household gets an introduction. Meet Teddy:

Teddy is G’s best friend. Teddy joined our family on G’s 2nd birthday and G loved him instantly, carrying him through the mall after we made the little bear. 

Teddy was G’s first bedtime companion, and still keeps him company every night. He’s never thrown him out and has often used him as a pillow… but who hasn’t used their best friend for a pillow from time to time, right?

Teddy is far from a security blanket, and G tends to largely ignore him (and all his stuffed animals, to be fair) unless he’s actively playing a game with them, but still, he’s the best friend that the boy’s got.

Teddy is also occasionally a projectile. But, again… who hasn’t occasionally chucked their friend at their parents? 

Behold the cuteness!

4.Toodee stares at me every day. Toodee, from Yo Gabba Gabba. Yup, that Toodee. Every day I open the shower curtain and BAM.

It’s like some sort of weird Hitchcock movie in reverse. Staring children’s stars in giant costumes. Next one is Barney in reverse “Rear Window,” where Barney sings as he slowly crawls back home from a neighbor’s house and gets a cast taken off.

I don’t really know where I was going with that. Pretend it was funny.


So there Toodee is, in the shower, every day for over a year now. But hey, at least that one’s at eye level. The other Toodee is at a very unfortunate level, as you can tell by her shocked expression.

5. – Serious alert. 

I hate the fact that I haven’t really enjoyed us being pregnant since baby 2 (our first loss). I hate that I feel like I’m just waiting for things to go wrong again. I hate that I did that with baby 3, and then we lost it. I wish I could enjoy every minute, every nauseous, vomity, tiring minute. 

I try to enjoy it when I can. When she complains about feeling horrible, I give sympathy while also being extremely happy at the nice strong symptoms. I try to gently remind her (and myself) that all her problems are because BABY, but that only goes so far.

Oop, and I’m being sent out for a McDonald’s double cheeseburger (pickles only) at 11pm. Be right back.

6. – I’m back. Ok, so on a less serious note, I write most of this post as I watch a football game. The Tennessee Titans are miserable this year. Amazingly, I don’t really care, and I watch every game to the end. People ask me how I can do that, and I just respond with the fact that I’m also a Cubs fan… so I’m completely used to rooting for losing teams. 

And drinking. Drinking during the games helps quite a lot too. 

(the Titans went on to win, which only made me all the happier)

7. – Every once in a while I wonder if I’m confusing my child because I tend to do voices and accents when I read to him. Everyone in The Hobbit talks in an English or Scottish accent (Hobbits and wizards = English, Dwarves = Scottish. Really. I shouldn’t even have to explain this to people). Tom O’Malley (the alley cat in Disney’s “Aristocats’) talks in an Irish accent (because: O’Malley). Everyone in Anastasia talks with Russian ones, for some reason Tinker Bell is Swedish… you get the point. 

I can’t help it. I like to do voices. Someday he’ll really appreciate it. Or beg me to stop. Either way.

8. – Every night during my goodnights to G I paraphrase ‘Blazing Saddles.’ Some day he’ll realize this. Someday I hope it will amuse him as much as it amuses me. Some day he’ll properly squeak back at me, and I will die from pride. 

9. – It’s starting to seem like every day G is saying (ok, telling) a new word. Today we were driving to the mall (one of his favorite places because of the play area). As it came into view, G pointed with excitement and yelled, “Mall! Mall!” It’s more than kinda awesome.  

10. – I feel like I haven’t been funny enough in this post. So here’s my absolute favorite joke ever:

A small town in the middle of nowhere is in crisis. It seems that whenever anyone enters a local flower shop, they never come back out. Suspicion is that the pair of monks that run the shop are killing all their customers.
The police chief is frazzled, and is about to quit his job when a man walks into his office.
“Chief,” says the man, “I am here to help.”
“And just who the hell are you?” asks the chief.
“My name is Hugh, and I will put an end to this town’s nightmare.”
“We’ve lost over a dozen police and an entire SWAT team, what makes you think you’ll fare any differently?” asks the chief.
“Chief, you’ll just have to trust me,” replies Hugh, “I can handle these monks.”
For some reason the chief believes the man, and he takes him to the flower shop immediately. Hugh takes a long look and strides purposely towards the shop. The police beg him to stop, but he waves them off, and with a final wink, he pushes open the door and disappears inside.
Minutes pass and the police get worried, but finally the door swings open again and out steps Hugh, carrying the unconscious bodies of the two monks.
Hugh drops them at the chief’s feet, and without a word, he walks away… never to be heard from again.
The moral of this story?
Only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

Yup. Ending it with a pun. A grand pun. A glorious pun.

I’m amazed that my wife let me post it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

so my reason is...

Okay, I promise there's an awesome reason for my absence the past couple of weeks.

It starts with "preg" and ends with "nant."

I'm pregnant!

I'm 7 weeks, to be more specific. We had our first ultrasound a couple days ago and everything looks great! Baby's heartbeat was perfect and we're so excited. Dave might have cried when we saw the heartbeat. Don't tell him I told you.

We weren't able to get any of our ultrasound pics, but we have another one this coming Wednesday. Maybe I'll have something to post then! I've also got a post in the works concerning my daily Lovenox shots, of which I've had three so far.

Mostly, I've been extremely tired and nauseous 24/7. That's mostly why I haven't been on. I spend most of my time trying to 1) not throw up, and 2) stay awake. I got some Zofran today, so I hope I'll be more coherent now.

But anyway, welcome to baby #5!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

playground drama, take two

This afternoon, G and I headed out for a quick jaunt to our closest playground, the one at the library. It was the scene of G's first encounter with a bully. There were several other kids there, mostly older toddlers or pre-schoolers. One set was a mom with a baby in a carrier and her three year old son. Another set involved a grandfather with a 4-5 year old boy and a 3 year old girl.

I started talking with the mom after our boys collided accidentally. No one was hurt, and they both went back to playing pretty quickly. While G was playing, I noticed every once in a while the grandfather would try to instruct one of the two kids he was with. He would say things like, "Don't climb up the slide because that kid wants to come down" or "stop running into the road." For the most part, his two grandchildren ignored him. Most of the time, they laughed at his meager attempts at discipline and ran off.

At one point, I noticed the grandfather's little girl try to pick a fight with the mom's little boy. She shoved him, and the mom separated them. She shoved him again, and he went to shove back, so the mom separated them and herded the boy off to another area to get away from her.

G decided he wanted to go down the curly cue slide. He sat down and got himself all prepped to push off when the little girl came up behind him. She sat down behind G and started pushing, yelling at him to move out of the way. After a moment of that, he started getting upset and just wanted to abort the attempt to slide, but she kept on pushing and yelling. I was standing below them, on the ground, and she was watching me. I told her to stop pushing him. She looked at me, raised her hands, and pushed some more. I told her again, and she lifted her feet, and while watching me, kicked him hard in the back. I rushed to the nearest stairs and climbed up, but by the time I got there, G had run off, upset.

Soon after that, the little girl ran after the mom's son who she had shoved earlier. She pushed him hard, and the mom immediately stepped over, saying that was unacceptable. The girl continued, chasing the boy around the playground and pushing him repeatedly. The boy was crying and yelling, "No, stop!" over and over, but the girl ignored him. The mom called over to the grandfather to do something, saying the girl would not leave her son alone. He verbally reprimanded the girl without even going over to her.

I went onto the platforms to follow G around, and when he ran down one area, the little girl followed. I hurried after him, but I was too late. The girl shoved him hard in the chest and down he went. He sat up, looking at her like she was crazy, and started crying. At that point, I was pissed. I yelled at the girl, who was still putting hands on my son, to go away and leave him alone.

I picked G up as the grandfather walked over, and I just lost it. I said, "She is going around pushing other kids and being very mean. You need to do something other than just standing around. Our kids can't even play!" He didn't even reply. He just stood there looking bewildered.

It took a while to calm G down, and by then, his nerves were shot. He just wanted to go home. He signed for water and pointed at the car, so we headed out. In the parking lot, I met up with the other mom who had also been chased off by the crazy child. Neither of us could understand why the grandfather would just stand there and allow these children to terrorize others. It's not like he wasn't paying attention; he was constantly following them around, verbally trying to instruct them to get of the road and leave other children alone. At one point, he even said they were leaving, but of course he did nothing to make that happen.

I understand that, being a grandparent, this man really might not have known what to do with these kids. Maybe he doesn't watch them often. Maybe they're so out of control that he just doesn't have a clue what to do. But when your child is hurting other children on the playground, you need to physically step in and remove that child. He had two moms complain that the little girl was shoving others, but he just stood there and did nothing.

Frankly, it was just lazy parenting. He didn't want to have to go in and stop them from doing anything. And he was too lazy and ignorant about the whole situation to pack up the kids and leave. What will that three year old be like if you allow her to hurt other people now? It's really not that hard to follow up on your threats, people.

All I know is, as we pulled out of the parking lot, they were still playing there without a care in the world.

Monday, September 17, 2012

yard sale-ing

How cute is this pic of G with his two grandmas? Totally cute. My mom on the left and Dave's mom on the right.

My mom came into town Friday night to watch G while we had our yard sale Saturday. We had been collecting other people's stuff for weeks, ever since we discovered that our insurance will not cover any of our maternal/fetal specialist's doctor visits, ultrasounds, or lab work. We plan on fighting our insurance in whatever way we can, but even if they do cave in and cover these items, we're still looking at bare minimum of $10,000 for our next baby. Assuming we can carry to term, anyway.

We were so lucky to get tons of donations for our yard sale. While we didn't have as big of a turn-out as we were hoping, we actually sold a ton of stuff! In fact, we sold $600 worth! We donated our leftovers to Goodwill while keeping what we think we can sell on eBay or Craigslist.

I'm so grateful that our yard sale was such a success. We spent a lot of time sorting through items, placing prices, and of course, hauling everything outside and setting up. G got to spend some much-wanted time with my mom who he doesn't get to see very often. And we got to cover a month's worth of doctor's bills! Woo!

(As a side note, if anyone knows if blood clotting disorders are covered under the "pregnancy complications" of insurance, do let me know. We're gearing up to fight our insurance since it's not listed either way on our explanation of benefits. We don't have a maternity rider as our insurance company doesn't offer one. Also, when I spoke to someone from my insurance company, all she would say is that they couldn't theorize on covered benefits until it actually happened because it depended upon the physician who reviewed my claims. Uh-huh.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

proud mama is proud

On Monday, G and I returned to the playground where he was bullied last week.

A group of kids were already playing there, most of them at least a few years older than him. They seemed to know each other, as did their moms, so I wondered if they were all brothers or cousins. As soon as G approached, one of them came near, asking if G wanted to be his superhero side-kick. It was cute, but G is way too young to have any idea what that means. When G ran off to play, the kid followed, making pew-pew gun noises.

Of course, it freaked G out. The kid was loud and jumping around G, and my poor child had no idea why another kid was targeting him. G, almost crying, ran over to me and clung to my leg. I bent down, trying to explain that the other kid was being nice and only wanted to play. When the other kid persisted, though, I told him that G was too little.

It didn't really help that a few minutes later, one of the oldest of the group accidentally knocked G over. Once he calmed down from crying, he was on high alert.  One of the group pushed a hand into his chest, saying, "Tag, you're it!" G was having none of it. I finally just told all of them in the nicest way possible to bug off and leave G alone. One of them even asked me, "What's wrong with him?" as though it's G's fault that he hasn't had the best experiences with older kids.

But after a while, G had had enough. When three of the kids came over to him, trying to see if he wanted to play, he yelled, "NO!" G doesn't say no very often, only when he means it. Usually it's said in a way that's joking, like "ooooh, noooo." The boys backed off after that, and we didn't have anymore problems.

I was so proud of G. I swear I felt my mama heart swell with pride. He didn't want to play with the other kids, and he told them the best way he could with his limited vocabulary. I can't wait to tell his speech therapist on Friday what he did. Using a word for actual communication is a huge step forward for G. He didn't have to stomp his feet, push his way through, grunt, act angry. He just said, "NO," and that was that!

Monday, September 3, 2012

playground bully (or, mama bear wanted to punch a face)

To enjoy the break in the slight drizzle outside, G and I headed to one of our favorite playgrounds at our local library. We go here probably at least once a week because it's so close and easy to pop in and out. Plus, G loves this playground. It has wide, open walkways where he can run in a large circle, many slides, and several different sets of stairs. Really, if the place had some swings, it would be perfect.

When we arrived, a father and son were playing with some toy (a slingshot, maybe?) in the empty parking lot. G proceeded to do his thing, screaming happily and running in circles. I tried to engage him in a game of tic-tac-toe, but he became distracted by the boy walking into the playground area. His dad stayed in the parking lot, playing on his phone. The boy seemed to be about four years old, about a head taller than G. He said "hi" to G, and I asked G to say "hi" back - of course, G only waved. He's starting to notice other kids more and more, so he watched the other boy for a bit.

At one point, the boy jabbed a finger into G's chest. Now that I think about it, it was probably to move G away from the top of a small set of stairs that G was standing nearby. G looked at me and back at the kid and back at me, like what was his problem, mom? G didn't seem hurt, so I told him it was okay, to go ahead and keep playing.

The boy went down the set of stairs, and G wanted to follow. G headed down a few steps before the boy rushed back, telling G, "You can't go down these stairs. No stairs. No slides. You can't get on the ground." He said this over and over.

I thought, okay, we've dealt with this before. Some kids get possessive over certain parts of the playground. I told G he could go down the stairs if he wanted. But there were other steps to use to get down as well. I pointed him toward another set, but he felt like being a little stubborn and standing his ground. I wasn't about to discourage him; G is notorious to giving up ground to any kid who even walks past him, so the fact that he wasn't running away was a huge step in the right direction.

I told G to just wait his turn and let the boy get off the stairs first. The boy did, but again, as soon as G tried to go down, the boy would rush back and yell at Grayson. At this point, I was encouraging G to just use another set of stairs and he decided to agree. G started to walk off, but the boy followed, still talking about what G could and couldn't do. He was getting right up in G's face, and G was really started to get unnerved by this boy. I told the boy, "You need to leave my kid alone."

The boy started to stomp close to G's feet like he was trying to hurt him. He was grunting, swinging his arms around, trying to intimidate G. I put my hand up, saying, "Do not touch my kid. If you touch my kid, I will not hesitate to push you away." He continued to stomp and make threatening gestures at my son.

I looked for his father who was oblivious and called over to him. "Sir, you need to come talk to your son. He is bothering my kid."

The man started walking over. "What's he doing?"

"He's not letting my son play. He's being a bully." Yeah, I used the b-word. But it was true. It was bully behavior.

The man looked at his son, who had backed off. "If you can't play nice, we're going to leave." His kid started whining and saying he hadn't done anything. When G tried to go down the stairs again, the boy immediately tried to prevent him from going down. His father (I'm assuming here) stopped him, saying, "Okay, we're going home." The kid took off, yelling. The man said, "Come get your shoe." It was on the steps and he was too large to get it; I actually went and got it for him, eager for the kid to go.

This continued for a while, with the father telling his kid to do something, and his son repeatedly whining and saying no. Once, the kid ran off saying "Don't hit me, don't hit me!" and the father replied, "I won't if you leave the other boy alone." The father eventually gave up, though he did hover nearby on the ground, finally keeping an eye on his son.

G relaxed and began to run in circles along the top platforms. The boy began to chase him, following about half a circle behind but slowly catching up. G would notice and start running faster, trying to get away from him. When G would run over to me, the boy would stop and yell at G to keep running. OMG, seriously!

After a few rounds, G got upset, making the noises he makes when he's scared. He didn't cry, but man, he was close. He came over and clung to my leg, staring at the other boy like he was psycho. I told the boy, "Leave him alone. You are scaring him." His father came over to say basically the same thing and demand that they leave. Of course, the kid refused.

At that point, I held G close to me. Either we were going to leave, or they were. The father eventually managed to catch his kid, hoisting him over his shoulder and carrying him back to the car. The kid screamed bloody murder the entire time he was being strapped into his carseat, and I could hear him still screaming as they drove out of the parking lot and onto the main rode.

Why are some kids this horrible? The boy couldn't have been older than 5 at most, and he was probably more like 4. We've met some pushy kids before, including two I've had to physically block from touching G. But this is the first time I've come across an actual bully. It was like he smelled blood in the water, and as a shark, he was compelled to circle. Or maybe something about G just screamed easy victim. Or maybe he was bored and G was the only other kid around. While his father tried to control his kid, he was mostly ineffective. Following through with your threats when you first make them is kinda Parenting 101. I can't help but blame the parent for at least part of the kid's behavior.

I wasn't sure how to get G to handle it. I've always told him, "Do what you want. Take turns, but don't let someone push you off your toy." But he's just passive that way. At the mall that morning, he asked to leave the play area after some more kids arrived because he couldn't be assertive enough to use the slide. Being passive is just part of G - it's a large reason as to why he hasn't started talking much yet. It's part of his kind and gentle nature.

I don't want my kid to be bullied because he can't stand up for himself. I know it's unreasonable to demand a two-year-old to stand up to a bully, but I won't always be there at his side. I want to teach him some skills now, but how do you do that with a child who doesn't talk? I read something about just teaching them to say "No" loudly, and I'm going to work on that with G.

Our first encounter with a bully broke my heart. I'm glad that I managed to keep my emotions in check, but inside, I was burning with mama bear rage. I had to push aside my angry tears to be strong for G, and to not lose my cool with a kid who was still so young.

What would you do if your kid was being bullied on the playground? Any tips for this mama?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

oh, the places you'll go

We just finished our first round of therapy at KidTalk, the speech therapy program at Vanderbilt University. I have to say, I am amazed at the change I already see in Grayson.

He's had three real sessions, two there and one at home yesterday. During the sessions at the university, we have been learning our first strategies. Our biggest concern right now is stepping back and letting G take the reigns in play and in communication. We've been focusing on back and forth conversation, where we put a word to something that he says. If he's being very quiet, we mirror his actions and name them. We're not supposed to ask questions unless we just really have to throughout the day.

I didn't see a whole lot of response from him until we did our first home session. He just lit up. I'm guessing he was more relaxed at home, or maybe he was paying more attention to the words rather than the cool new toys at the university. But my boy, my little boy with only ten words he'll attempt, said "push" and "ball" for the first time. When he would say the word without getting the first sound correct, she would get him to focus on making the sound and often he'd then get it right. I was amazed that he even tried intimidating. I was even more amazed at his attempts to correct himself and pronounce the sound.

I might have cried right then. Just a little.

His therapist's assessment of him is right on par with ours. He's a thinker and he contemplates everything. He's incredibly sweet and often hilarious. He loves to be helpful and clean up after himself, often doing so without being asked. He's passive to a fault, sometimes giving up too quickly or being too comfortable with how things are, which is at least part of the reason he hasn't started talking much yet.

One thing we learned, that was kind of hard to swallow, was her confidence that he will need even more speech therapy. This program focuses on motivating children to talk and giving them (and their parents) the tools to start talking. She sees it as a great stepping stone to transition G into real speech therapy, where you work on actual phonemes, in the future. I guess I was hoping he'd get it after some practice. People kept talking about that magical switch that would flip one day, and G would start talking like most of the other kids his age. But it doesn't happen like that. My kid has trouble talking. That doesn't go away overnight.

Here is an updated list of what G says:
Blue (buu)
Cheese (geese)
Five (iiii)
Moo (buuu)
Bak, bak (like a chicken, ba ba)
Baa (like a sheep)
Beep (eee)
Boom (boo)
Push (puuus)

Since he's turning 27 months next week, it's not near long enough of a list. But I'm so so proud of my buggy. He's been doing so well with his therapy, really paying attention and being so cooperative. Most of those words he's learned in the past month, so clearly him and language are clicking better.

I can't wait to see what else he can do in this program. And even if G needs years of speech therapy, we'll be there with him step by step, cheering at every new words he says and every new sound he learns.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

bath time is apparently hilarious

At therapy on Friday, I was asked to name three things I love about my kid.

I said,
1) he's very affectionate and loving.
2) he loves to read as much as I do.
3) he's so stinkin' happy.

 He loves to smile and laugh while talking. Often it seems like he's telling his own jokes.

I asked him where mama was, and he laughed and pointed.

Doing his "cute" face.

Gotta love that toothy smile!

Friday, August 17, 2012

where do I even start?

The last couple of days have been a whirlwind of revelations and sadness. If you're tired of hearing about my miscarriages and related troubles, you probably want to move on. I promise the posts for the rest of the month will turn to happier subjects.

On Tuesday, I got a positive pregnancy test. It was so faint that we really thought we were just seeing things, so we didn't tell anyone and quietly hoped. I did call my OB and got an appointment to come in for bloodwork the next day.

On Wednesday, I got more positive pregnancy tests, this time much more obvious. I had my blood drawn to test my HCG levels, then headed up to my first visit with maternal/fetal medicine. Dr. K was pretty awesome; she actually has the same OB/GYN as me, which was great. We went over everything my test results showed, which was more than I had originally thought.

I knew that I had one genetic marker for Factor V Leiden, a disorder that can cause blood clots. Dr. K was pretty sure this was why G only weighed 6.3 ounces at 38 weeks and why I got pre-eclampsia with him. She was amazed that I didn't get pre-e earlier. :( Another reason I'm so so thankful for my healthy toddler!

However, I discovered that I have two markers for MTHFR. I didn't hear which kind, but she said it was not the "worst type" but the "medium." Since MTHFR blocks the absorption of folic acid, this might have been what caused baby #2's base of the brain problems. We'll never know for sure, but there you go. I also have two markers for PAI 4G/4G, which she said wasn't a big deal except when combined with other factors.

So, awesome, right?

Anyway, we formed a game plan for my next successful pregnancy:
  • 4000 mcg extra folic acid
  • 40 ml of Lovenox in a daily injection
  • 500 mg extra calcium (once I start Lovenox)
  • 1 daily baby aspirin during pregnancy (and for the rest of my life)
  • Lovenox is started as soon as we get a heartbeat at 6-7 weeks. I would get bloodwork and an ultrasound done every month to check the baby and my red blood cell counts. At 32 weeks, the ultrasounds become bi-weekly.
  • Switch to Heparin before delivery so I could have an epidural if wanted or stay awake during a c-section.
  • Induction around 38 weeks. I would then switch over to blood thinner in the form of pills for the next 6 weeks.
Whew! A mouthful, right? But it's worth it, if it'll get us another baby... Wednesday was also baby #2's due date. I did break down in Dr K's office because there was a lot of talk about baby #2. Also, the office was the same one where we had our extensive ultrasound to diagnose baby #2's miscarriage. Stepping into that waiting room literally took my breath away (we had no idea), and I'm pretty sure the hubs cursed.

On Thursday, I had another positive pregnancy test, but it was fainter. I called my OB for my test results. The nurse called back to say that my blood HCG test had came back negative. In fact, my HCG was only 3. Of course, I was shocked. I thought maybe my tests were too faint and they weren't getting darker, but I thought maybe the baby was just a late implanter. Not so.

Later that day, I started having horrible backache and spotting.

Today, I'm still spotting. I took one pregnancy test this morning which was negative. I'm guessing I'll get my period eventually... or the miscarriage... or whatever you call it when it's a chemical pregnancy (which, by the way, is a nasty term for a very early miscarriage). Should I call it baby #4? I don't even know. Maybe my body just wasn't ready to be pregnant again two months after my last miscarriage? I don't know that either. All I know is that I'm tired of being on the shit side of life's percentages of chance. I want something to go right for once. I need it to go right.

Anyway, I'm gonna take a break from talking about all of this. We'll start trying again immediately, but of course it'll be about a month before we know if we're successful. All of this waiting definitely doesn't help.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

grayson says, I love the park!

Grayson says,

I love going to the park! It's been really hot this summer so we haven't gone out except on great days. But when we go, it's awesome.

I love to run in circles. Circles are the best. I mostly only draw circles too.

And then I climb up and down these stairs.

Sometimes I'll sit and pose for mama.

And then I'll run some more!

 This wheel thing is hilarious.

This wheel thingy is hilarious too!

Oh mama, did you say this was the way back to the car?

Oh wait, what's that?

Haha, psyche. We're not going back to the car yet. Silly mama.

I gotta show you these alphabet letters first. You know I stinkin' love the alphabet.

Here is the W. That's my favorite.

Um. (So much pressure.)

Here is the A.

And there you have it. The alphabet!

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