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!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

on the eve of your due date

Dear baby #2,

Your due date is tomorrow. August 15th.

Almost forty weeks ago, your mama was beginning the cycle that would conceive you, and your daddy and I were so so happy to finally be trying for a second child. It took two months of trying and I remember how thrilled I was to see those two pink lines. You were my 11/11/11 wish. A little girl I didn't know asked me if I had a baby in my tummy two days before I tested positive with you, and I almost said, "Yes!" You were the baby we told friends and family about on my 30th birthday party and the timing was so perfect to surprise everyone. You were the perfect piece to finish our family.

On Valentine's Day, I threw up all over myself on the way to tutor a second grader. I was almost 14 weeks pregnant with you. That evening, your older brother split open his eyelid on our coffee table and we went the next four hours in the emergency room. I sat in the lobby, rubbing my belly, touching you to reassure myself because I was so scared about G. I didn't know at that moment you were likely already gone from me. The next day, we went in for a routine check-up, expecting to hear your heartbeat for the first time. We heard nothing.

It's only gotten worse since then, second-baby. Your mama is trying, she's trying so hard. But we lost your brother-sister in June, and I feel like this nightmare will never end. I'm tired of charting my basal temperatures and trying to have more babies. I'm tired of wondering how many more I'll have to lose before we either get our take-home baby or give up in despair. I'm tired of peeing on tests to see if they're positive or negative, or trying to figure out if every twinge in my stomach is good or bad.

On your due date, on Wednesday, we have a doctor's appointment with a specialist who will try to help us from losing more babies. I might have to have daily or twice daily shots in my stomach, which is kinda ironic considering my belly is the source of all my hope and all my sadness. I hope I can keep from crying. I hope I can keep from screaming. Because all I really want is to have you back inside me, tucked safely under my ribs. Or better yet, since your due date is tomorrow, to have you alive and well in my arms.

More than anything, I wish you were snuggled against my chest right now, and I would be typing about happier things. Maybe I would be editing pictures from your birth day. Maybe I would be dozing along with you. Maybe I would be still trying to find the breastfeeding angle that you liked best, tucking my nipple down and against your lips so you could feed for the fifth time today. I know that these wants are hopeless and impossible, but I want them nonetheless. I don't want you to feel bad about how much I still grieve for you. I know you're in such a happy place right now, and I know I'll get there eventually, but it's hard to see that perspective right now.

I hope one day that you'll forgive me for not fighting harder to hold you in my arms when you were born. You came into the world in such an awful way. I should have been awake to see you. I should have birthed you at home. My doctor did suggest at the last moment, right before they hooked up my IV, if I wanted her to get me into labor and delivery; I could have been induced and could have seen you. I could have held you. I could have taken you home with me and buried you. But I didn't. Mommy was so scared. I didn't think I could handle being in the same ward as other moms giving birth to healthy babies. I didn't think I could go through a painful miscarriage at home at 14 weeks along, so I did the D&C instead. I'm sorry I never found out if you were a boy or a girl. Or what really happened to you.

I'm sorry I wasn't stronger for you.

Second-baby, can you please give baby #3 a giant hug for me? I know you had to become an older sibling so quickly to another angel baby. But sister-brother really needs you. Mommy hasn't been able to properly grieve for them, not like I have you. I guess I'm still too stuck on missing and wanting you to attach myself to other babies right now. Please tell your sister-brother that Mommy loves them and she wanted them badly, even if maybe she hasn't talked about it much. We had such a short time together, only seven weeks, and mommy wanted so much longer.

You would be so proud of your older brother, second child of mine. He has done so well when mommy was sad and couldn't play, or when I wouldn't let him run around very much for fear he would get hurt. I feel like he understands that when I say, "Be careful please," what I really mean is "I miss your siblings."

I can't promise you to do better than I am. But I can at least promise to keep doing as well as I am. I can promise to eventually get rid of the bitterness I feel toward others and brush aside my feelings of being ignored. Not everyone understands the pain of loss, and the fact that it never goes away. I want to be more forgiving, but it's difficult to do that right now.

I miss you, child of mine. I miss you terribly. I love you, I love you, I love you.

Happy Birthday.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Amazon Giftcard Giveaway!

Our Many Colored Moments is doing its first giveaway!

I admit, I got a Kindle for Christmas but I really didn't know what to do with it. I'm a purest when it comes to books, so the idea of buying books only to have to read them on a screen wasn't appealing. I love my book collection. I love holding the paper in my hand! But then I realized that many libraries, including mine in Nashville, let you check out eBooks for free.

Of course, my two year old loves the Kindle. Since we have Amazon Prime, he can watch the first two seasons of Yo Gabba Gabba for free. He knows how to play all sorts of games on it too, including ABC flashcard games since he's obsessed with the alphabet.

I just recently realized the Kindle was a huge help in the kitchen too! I can pop on the Internet, pull up a recipe I pinned in Pinterest, and stand up my Kindle on the counter. Way easier than using my laptop or phone.

So because I love Amazon, I'm giving one of you a $25 Kindle Giftcard to Amazon!
You can use it on many Kindle products, as well as millions of other items available on!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends midnight on Friday, August 31st!

Our Many Colored Moments has no affiliation with Amazon. I'm not receiving any compensation to do this giveaway. I'm just a happy Amazon customer!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

these last days of summer

The past couple of days have had glorious weather in the 80s instead of the high 90s and 100s we've suffered through since late Spring. I'm feeling the need to do all the things I wanted to do this summer that I haven't already. Once of those was taking G to Cumberland Park, which is right next to the Titans stadium, just across the river from downtown Nashville.

Cumberland Park is fantastic because of its water jets and wading pool. It's perfect especially for tiny kids, so I was hoping G would love it. At first, he clung to me like a monkey, but he reluctantly let me put him down after a bit. He had a tight grip on my hand for a while after that, and then eventually he was off on his own. He'd return now and then to touch my leg, as though reassuring himself, and then he was off again.

I know he looks pretty serious in most of these pictures, but I swear he was loving it by the end. He didn't want to go and protested having to leave. We had already been there for over an hour, and our feet were very wrinkly!

I didn't really want to leave either... but it was taco night. Nothing really stands in the way of taco night.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

talk, baby, talk

If you're wondering why G's chest looks funny in the above pic, he's wearing what's called a LENA, or voice recorder. On Monday, we recorded everything G said and heard the entire day. Yes, I was on my best behavior!

(P.S. G's reading How I Became A Pirate by Melinda Long, one of his favorite books. It's sorta kinda awesome.)

After being denied by our state's early intervention program, despite the fact that G only scored one point in expressive communication, we were accepted by KidTalk! KidTalk is a research program at Vanderbilt University. Part of what they do is provide speech therapy for free to toddlers who need it - in fact, they pay you for the times they review progress.

We've been going through preliminary testing this week as we get ready for the real therapy to start week after next. Mostly, they've been testing him for autism (they do this for all the kids) and getting a baseline for G's speech abilities right now. The LENA helps determine what he's saying right now so we can weight that with what he learns over the next four months.

KidTalk only lasts four months, but I'm hoping one of the main things is accomplishes is teaching me what to do to help G. We spend time at the Vanderbilt clinic each week as the therapist teaches me techniques to use with G. Then we have a session at home where we practice using those techniques.

I've discovered a few things about G this week as he has gone through testing:
- He thinks Play-doh is awesome.
- When a puppet ducky asks to eat his tummy, he obliges by raising his shirt, without missing a beat, sending everyone into stitches while laughing.
- Baby dolls are his newest favorite toy. I'm on the lookout for a great set to get him.
- My kid can go through over 2 hours of extensive play-based testing with only a short cuddle play break with mommy.
- Other people think he's the best kid ever as much as I do.

I can't wait to see how KidTalk benefits both G and me. I see only good things coming from this fantastic opportunity, and I'm so so so thankful to have figured out a way to help out my kiddo.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

OMCM now has a Facebook page!

You can now "like" Our Many Colored Moments on Facebook.

Check it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

my trip to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in pictures

1. Soooo hard to leave this kid behind.
2. But I know he's in good hands with my Mum.
3. And then we hit the road at 6:30am. Time for our first baby-free weekend!

4. Almost 4 hours later, we're on a tram! Hold on! Old dude is crackin' jokes but please just get us there safely, m'kay?
5. Time for a quick shot of the two of us. Aw.
6. And we made it into the park!

7. The entrance to the eagle.
8. The eagle ride at Dollywood is %&^$^# awesome. You feel like you're flying. And about to die. But mostly flying. The wooden roller coaster was mostly "I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die," the tornado was all "I can't see because I'm dizzy G force omg," the mining roller coaster was so cool we rode it again almost immediately, and the indoor only other mining ride was like the beginning of a horror movie where the ride breaks down and there's fire everywhere and screaming, lots of screaming.

9. It stormed on us both days, causing us to leave. But we spent half a day at Dollywood plus most of a second day. Under the train tracks? Not a great place to wait out a thunderstorm.
10. The mostly empty theater was better.
11. A duck.

12. The hot tub at our cabin rocked the socks off my sore feet. I spent every night here. I should've spent every day, too.
13. The view off our balcony. We had a few neighbors but our cabin was one of the most secluded around. I wanted to stay in that rocking chair forever.
14. A tunnel through the Smokies. Honk honk!

15. When we got rained out the first day, we headed to Ripley's Seaquarium. It was cool. This is Dave is the tunnel o' fish. Seeing sharks from upside down = sweetness.
16. Atreyu the penguin.
17. I'm also in a fish tunnel! I look excited!

18: Jellyfish = among the coolest things at the aquarium.
19: Another jellyfish.
20: A sharkface only a sharkmama could love.
21: Sleeping seahorse.

22: Convinced my heights-phobic husband to go on the sky lift with me.
23: On the way up!
24: Aw. <3

25: At the top. Most of Gatlinburg down below.
26: On the way down. Way scarier!
27: Another view from the top. Just gorgeous.

28: Another view from the top. Gotta love the Smoky Mountains.
29: Ate here. I was starving, so it was tasty. Margaritas weren't as good as our local Casa Fiesta, though.
30: 1977 Bumblebee, actually used in the first Transformers movie! I made Dave drive back to Gatlinburg on our last day when I saw it was there in a car museum. Luckily, we didn't even have to pay to see it. I gave him a pat.

32: A shot right before my first of two holes in one.
33: Yeah, we had to go through these clouds to go home. The hours of rain weren't fun.

  • Huge amounts of fudge.
  • A giant blister on the bottom of my foot. Ow.
  • Holding a pregnant woman's four-year-old while she held her sleeping two-year-old on the Dollywood tram - the hubs held all of her stuff. It was pouring and the tram was packed. The four-year-old dealt well with me holding him, though he kept giving me half-awake "who the hell are you?" looks.
  • Huge amounts of food. And alcohol.
  • A shower with two separate shower heads. Awesome.
  • Every picture on every roller coaster looked the same. Me: eyes closed, mouth wide open while I'm screaming. Hubs: relaxed and smiling as though he was going in for a headshot.
  • Having my son run across the room to fly into my arms. Coming home is as fantastic as going away.
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