Third

The third night of sleep training is always supposed to be the worst apparently… I am going to have to agree, and I can back up my claim with proof. I would like to bring to your attention my first piece of evidence:

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And my second piece of evidence for you to examine…

Yes, that is a big blank space. That blank space represents my mind, I’ve lost it, it’s blank, doesn’t exist anymore. As you can see from the photo, he was a whole lot easier to put down the first time. Silly me, I walked around proud as a peacock, thinking of course that he was “getting it,” and of course that he would sleep four hours again. Nope. The little bugger was just messing with my mind.

So there you have it, the third night has by far been the worst!

Once he came into our bed I didn’t bother trying him in the crib again. I was so exhausted. Before I started this whole sleep training thing I thought that I had nothing left to loose, he wasn’t sleeping for long periods anyway. But oh yes, there was more to loose. You see, there is that precious time in between.

When he is in bed, I only need to roll to the side and he latches on like a sucker fish, and then I fall back to sleep. When he is in his crib it’s more of a process. He takes 20 to 80 minutes to put to sleep and sleeps either 6 minutes, 45 minutes or 4 hours. The Vegas odds on the 4 hour stretch is currently 24 to 1. So each time I put him down, it’s a big gamble. I find it discouraging to put 80 minutes into putting him down to only get 6 minutes of sleep… Call me crazy.

It’s a good thing they’re cute.

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On the second night…

Night two started off more challenging than night one. It took 80 minutes to put Matty down the first time, and then he slept for 6 minutes. Yep, 6 minutes. Just long enough for me to return a phone call to Everly’s preschool teacher. Another 20 minutes of rocking and soothing and he was down again. This stretch of sleep lasted 4 hours. Yep, 4 hours. He went down around 8:45 and was up around 12:45. And of course I figured he would be up in 45 minutes so I read a book in bed waiting for him. When I finished the book, I realized that a considerable amount of time had passed. Isn’t it amazing how quickly times flies when you are reading a good book!? I looked at the clock and noticed that it had been 2 hours! It was 10:45, wow. Time to go to sleep. And I fell asleep before I could reach the 70’s (to turn my brain off I will often count backwards from 100 with “ha” breathing in between numbers). I was shocked when I woke at 12:45. I spent another 50 minutes trying to put him back down in his crib, I even nursed him. When it was pushing 2:00am I gave up. He came back to bed with me. I nursed him again and he fell back asleep right away. I had high hopes, I’m not gonna lie. And the high hopes came to a crashing halt when he proceeded to wake up every hour for the rest of the night. He was up for the day at 7:57am.

I felt very discouraged. I tried to focus on the 4 hour stretch (which has happened less times than I have fingers), but I felt completely unmotivated to continue. My feels were evident apparently, as while I was changing Matty’s diaper B gave me a big hug. We decided that we will just keep doing what we are doing. Trying to put him down in his crib and hoping that he sleeps longer stretches. When it gets to be too much, he can come back to our bed. I forgot how discouraging sleep training is. At least this time I don’t have the guilt of letting him cry, that’s a bonus, lol, ah the little silver lining.

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The First Night

So our first night had some success. Matty slept in his crib twice, he slept some longer stretches in bed with us, and twice he put himself back to sleep without nursing. And of course there were challenges… The first time I put him down it took 30 minutes and he slept for 45. The second time it took me 80 minutes and he slept for another 45. I was a little discouraged after this and B was helpful in offering to take over. Matty would have none of it and began screaming. After giving them a few minutes to sort it out, I walked into Matty’s room and scooped him up to be nursed back to sleep in our bed! Agh, I know. Where is the consistency. Well consistency left while heart and survival took over. Funny how that happens. We are going to stick to our plan tonight, (there’s your consistency), and I have no qualms with bringing him back to bed again. What I am hoping for is longer and longer stretches on his own. In 10 days I hope to see some difference. Below I have attached a photo of how the night went…

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Sleep Logs

So the first step in our seep training process was to log night wakings and nap times. The book said to just do one day and night, but I did three nights and three days because I thought it would give me a better picture of how things are. Three full days gives some wiggle room for schedule changes and various other things that might pop up last minute (which in effect is a more realistic representation of our daily life!). So below are logs of Matthew’s night wakings and his naps:

NIGHT WAKINGS

January 24

9:04 Put down in bed, woke crying

9:16 Asleep (nursed)

9:53 Wakes nurses back to sleep

10:30 Evie briefly wakes him, goes back to sleep on his own

12:54 Wakes nurses back to sleep

1:58 Wakes nurses back to sleep

3:54 Wakes nurses back to sleep

4:48 Wakes nurses back to sleep

5:02 Wakes nurses back to sleep

5:45 Wakes nurses back to sleep

6:53 Wakes nurses back to sleep

8:26 Up for the day

TOTAL: 10h, 40m

January 25

9:00 Falls asleep nursing

9:40 Wakes up

10:12 Falls asleep nursing

11:06 Wakes nurses back to sleep

1:44 Wakes nurses back to sleep

3:02 Wakes nurses back to sleep

3:23 Wakes nurses back to sleep

4:14 Wakes nurses back to sleep

4:23 Wakes nurses back to sleep

5:55 Wakes nurses back to sleep

6:57 Wakes nurses back to sleep

8:20 Up for the day

TOTAL: 11h, 20m

January 26

8:30 Falls asleep nursing

9: 24 Wakes nurses back to sleep

10:15 Falls asleep

1:00 Wakes nurses back to sleep

2:32 Wakes nurses back to sleep

3:08 Wakes nurses back to sleep

3:50 Wakes nurses back to sleep

4:53 Wakes nurses back to sleep

5:41 Wakes nurses back to sleep

6:33 Wakes nurses back to sleep

6:49 Falls asleep

7:30 Wakes nurses back to sleep

8:15 Up for the day

TOTAL: 10h, 10m

NAP LOG

January 24 (no preschool)

8:45 am – up for the day.

10:48 am – down for nap, fell asleep nursing, put in vibrating chair.

11:20 am – wakes up happy cooing.

1:30 pm – down for nap, fell asleep nursing, put in vibrating chair.

2:00 pm – wakes up cooing, then cries.

4:15 pm – down for nap, fell asleep nursing then moved to vibrating chair, he woke so I bounced it and he went to sleep.

4:40 pm – wakes from nap, coos.

7:51 pm – falls asleep nursing.

8:20 pm – wakes and I put him on other breast. Drinks a bit, pulls off, stares into space and falls asleep.

January 25 (preschool)

8:30 – wakes

9:30 – falls asleep in car

9:40 – wakes

10:15 – falls asleep in car

10:35 – wakes

11:30 – falls asleep in stroller

12:20 – wakes

3:00 – goes down being bounced in vibrating chair

4:00 – wakes up cooing

6:30 – down for nap

7:00 – wakes from nap quiet alert

January 26 (preschool & swimming)

9:30 falls asleep in car

9:40 wakes upon arrival

10:55 falls asleep in car

11:40 wakes

1:55 falls asleep nursing, put in vibrating chair

2:46 wakes up

7:50 falls asleep nursing

8:25 wakes up crying

In case you are wondering- YES, I do wish we had a gas oven some mornings. But then I sit back and reframe it. I am lucky to have my healthy baby, and he is a typical baby. Recently I had a date with a fellow mom and we talked about how the baby that wakes during the night is actually the “normal” baby, not the one that sleeps 12 hours uninterrupted. Research it, you will find the same. But for some reason, us walking dead moms have “abnormal” and “bad” babies. My friend and I both agreed that it raises our backs to have people make comments like this, as there is NOTHING wrong with our babies. The problem is that our babies’ sleep cycles do not coincide with ours and so we are tired! That’s mother nature’s fault if you ask me! I will never again have these days with Matthew, so I refuse to be negative about them because I am not getting any sleep.

Now with that said, here we go with sleep training, lol. Like I mentioned before, we are sleep training because it is time for Matthew to be in his own bed. After six months of co-seeping, I am seeing signs that it is time to make the switch. Some of these signs?? Well for one, I am waking him through the night as I roll about in my sleep. Additionally, he is starting to go down earlier for the night than I do (8:00pm) and so it makes sense that he should be put to bed in a safe and quiet place. Also, I don’t think that him sleeping next to the all night buffet is helping the night waking situation at all! Oh and one more- I am so exhausted I don’t think it’s safe for me to continue on like this. There have been days where I feel like I am on drugs or drunk, there have been days I have not driven the car because it didn’t feel safe. It’s time for some full adult sleep cycles and regenerative sleep.

Now onto our plan… The plan starts tonight. It involves three strategies really:

1) pull Matthew off the breast before he fully falls asleep. Although sucking to soothe is a great reflex, being a human pacifier all night long is really tiring! My intention is to help Matthew learn that he can fall asleep in another way.

2) at a night waking, I will wait 2 minutes to see if he is actually awake, if awake I will rock him back to sleep instead of nursing. I am choosing to use the rocking chair, as he really seems to respond well to motion. And I am going to start out with me rocking him, but if he gets too pissed off with being denied the boob this may become dad’s job so that it isn’t so hard on him.

3) a bedtime routing. We don’t have one right now, well not a consistent one. His night time routine will begin around 7:30 (depending on the time of his third nap), he will have a bath, short massage, song, book and then nursed.

Once we have night time sleep under control we will work on naps. Matthew is an inconsistent napper and it makes sense that he would be as his days are really inconsistent. I feel like I only have the energy to tackle one issue at a time so we are starting with night time. I can handle having a snack napper again. So, for daytime sleep I am going to continue to do whatever I need to do to get him to sleep and I am not going to worry about how he gets to sleep and where he sleeps. Sleep begets sleep, so my Hope is that if he gets enough daytime sleep it will help us at night time.  And yes, that is hope with a capital “H.”

Oh and did I mention that Evie will be undergoing some sleep training of her own this week as well? I didn’t… well she is. For the last 6 months B has been sleeping in bed with her so that he could actually get a decent night’s sleep. So now Everly is used to having someone sleep next to her. She is a typical toddler in that she will go to bed and sleep on her own until the wee hours of the morning, and then she sounds the air raid sirens. B sleeping next to her has kind of killed two birds with one stone. We knew it was a dangerous deal we were making; all deals come with a cost/reward and this was one time that we felt that the reward outweighed the cost.

We figured that we might as well tackle both issues at once, no point in going through two individual weeks of hell when we can have a combined couple weeks of hell right. But then maybe it will go better than we anticipate. Now’s the time to think positive. Wish us luck! Will report on the first night in the crib and Evie solo sleeping.

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Sleep

Sleep is a hot commodity in our house, even more so than gold, and we like our gold. Everly slept like a dream baby right from day one. She never slept shorter than a five hour stretch; by the time she was six weeks old she was sleeping seven to eight hour stretches with twelve hours of night time sleep over all. So, naturally when we had Matthew we expected that we had the whole sleep thing down, and he would be the same. Ha ha ha ha ha (insert the most evil villian laugh that you can think of here). Parent bubble burst! We are not amazing baby sleep machine parents, we just got lucky. Matthew thinks that sleep is for mere mortals, and he has no desire for his mother to be a mere mortal.

We have tried all the tips over the last six months; white noise, swaddle, increasing milk supply, soothers, dream feeds, warm baths, lavender, co-sleeping, solid foods… the list goes on. I think the only exception would be the old formula before bed trick, we decided to stay away from that one because there is no proof that it works, on the contrary there is proof that formula will upset his breastfed tummy and cause gas. I know how pleasant gas is, we decided to spare the baby. So, tips, tricks and old wives’ tales aside, here we are now at six months post birth and still not sleeping.

It’s time for a revolution. It’s time to overthrow the sleep dictator. His six month reign of terror is over. It’s time for a plan. Our house is an “attachment parenting” home, so there will be no crying it out or tough love. We tried this method with Everly and it didn’t work and I still feel SICK when I think about the whole process. I don’t have it in my heart and soul to do that again. Sorry Evie, you were the unfortunate test pilot of your parents and we shit the bed on that one. From my lengthy research on sleep gurus the last time around, I know what else is out there and I know that there is a “method” the gels better with my conscience. Now back up the truck before you think I am being all judgmental, I am not saying that the cry it out methods can’t work, don’t work, or are cruel. Cry it out methods have worked beautifully for some families that I know and I think that’s wonderful! It just doesn’t work for our family.

This is probably the point in the blog post where you are saying to yourself, “last time, again- hunh?” Yes we made the same “mistake” twice and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Sleeping for 6 months with each of my babies curled up next to me is something that I will NEVER regret. So although I make it sound like he is the bad guy, I know he isn’t. He’s just a typical baby who has adapted to the world that we have created. And now we are the jerks who are going to change everything. Why change everything now? Isn’t that cruel? Well no it’s not, because he isn’t sleeping as well as he could be and I am not either. Both of us need to sleep to be happy and healthy members of our family. If he were sleeping 8 hours next to me all night I can guarantee that I would not be attempting to put him into his own bed!

We have decided to use the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. This method worked best with Everly and Matty seems to be having the same issues that she did- namely not being able to go to sleep on their own. Now this wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for all those brief awakenings during the night. Damn the shortened sleep cycles of babies and their stupid brief awakenings! At least Evie took a soother, Matthew has opinions of soothers that are similar to his opinions of daytime naps and night time sleep… My children are so stubborn and I have no clue where they get it :)-

For the last two days have been collecting our sleep data. I have been recording all of Matthew’s naps and night time sleep. When I see these numbers I think, “holy shit, no wonder I am so zombie, fried, dead tired.” NO WONDER! I will share the results at the end of the three days, along with our plan!

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Gut Tales

For most of my life I have been a selective eater; even a self-proclaimed garbage guts. There might have been one drunken night in which I ate nearly an entire package of bacon… Might have been. I loved food, mainly the bad for you variety. A slowly climbing number on the scale and clothing sizes in the double digits did not deter me. I felt that life was too short. I often said that I would rather be plump and happy, than thin and bitchy. Nachos, milkshakes, chicken wings, sour patch kids, mcflurries; yum. I wouldn’t say that I was addicted to junk food though. I did eat nutritious balanced meals for the majority of my caloric intake and I could push away the bag of sour patch kids before it neared empty. But I loved my treats.

When I hit my mid-twenties, strange things started to happen to my digestive system. First was beef. Every time I ate it I was sent racing to the washroom within an hour. Then onions, then raw veggies, then dairy. I was eventually diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. With the help of a dietician I identified trigger foods and eliminated them from my diet.

I got pregnant with Everly about 8 months after I had been following my new eating plan. I had horrible morning sickness with Everly; the kind where you puke if you move. I lost 8 pounds during my first 10 weeks of being pregnant, and morning sickness didn’t start until 6 weeks! I was not feeling up to eating anything. Once in a while I would get a craving for something, but more often than not it was on my restricted list; Murphy’s Law. A few more weeks of vomiting and a few more pounds lost and I said screw it. I was puking up most of what I was eating anyway was the way I saw it. So garbage guts was back and in full effect. I enjoyed my third trimester of pregnancy. I ate what I wanted and was taking the maximum dose of Diclectin. My tummy hurt once in a while, but the food I was able to eat again was worth the infrequent discomfort.

Within 3 months of Everly’s birth all of my issues steadily returned. Bye-bye Mac Grill penne Alfredo 😦 Good-bye old friends, good-bye; and yes I said good-bye with the dramatic flair of a Southern Belle. Within another 5 months with increasingly worse symptoms, I was in the hospital with nasty gut pain, my appendix had burst. Yay! Such an invigorating experience to have a ruptured appendix while caring for your 8 month old with your husband out of town. Thank God for family! From the time of that surgery my digestive health got steadily worse.

By the time Everly was 14 months old I could barely eat anything. I was on the toilet multiple times each day, sometimes for up to an hour at a time. I would bring toys into the bathroom along with Everly to make sure I could keep an eye on her. I nursed her while on the toilet. Poor thing. And my body would never get the memo that there was no more molten-lava-liquid-blood-poop inside me, spasms would continue for hours afterwards.

The spasms and blood in my stool led me to my doctor and eventually my local Emergency Room for help multiple times. They pumped me full of fluids, painkillers and ran tests. Blood, Ultrasound and stool. The blood test results suggested that there was some sort of infection present in my body and my liver functioning was elevated, suggesting that my body was processing a large amount of toxins. The ultrasound showed sludge in my gall bladder, sludge eventually turns to stones. And the poop, well the poop was clear of parasites and signs of infection. And then I became a episode of house.

My life became incredibly stressful. I never knew when I was going to have an “episode.” When I did have episodes they came on at the snap of your fingers and I would need to get to a toilet in 30 seconds. A few times I had episodes in public. Now there’s an experience to scrapbook about. Never again will I giggle at the sounds of someone taking a dump in a public bathroom, because I have been that person. I was the Llyod Christmas creating inhuman sounds from the fourth stall on the left. A few times I drove home with one of Everly’s diapers in my pants. As you can imagine, I became increasingly anxious. I started to be afraid to go for walks, to drive my car, to grocery shop, to work; basically to live my life. This fear cost me a major career opportunity, a friendship, and overall quality of life. I felt like I was in prison.

During the summer of 2010, I visited the ER every few weeks for spasms and poop that would not stop. I was eventually connected to a GI and in typical medical model fashion, he ordered scopes on both ends and a CT. I was told to do what I could to help with my symptoms and wait for the tests. I became Imodium and hot water bottle dependent. There were anti-spasmodics that I was prescribed, but I could not take them as long as I was breastfeeding. And child of mine would not tolerate any milk alternative product. Everly has eczema, and dairy products cause it to flare up. Her doctor also had said that breast milk helps control eczema. Rock and a hard place. I picked her nutrition and needs over mine (duh).

Around the same time of my referral to the GI, I had started seeing a naturopath. She immediately wanted to do allergy testing and put me on a hypoallergenic diet. She thought that my high white blood cell count and elevated liver function were the result of my body fighting allergies and sensitivities. So I started the meal plan immediately and sent away the blood for allergy screening. From the beginning of August to the end of September I lost 15 pounds. Both my doctor and naturopath were concerned about the rapid weight loss, but I assured them both that it was due to the change in my diet. My exact words were, “no, I really ate that much garbage food!” My activity level decreased if anything, and my digestion was slowing down, so I wasn’t pooping nutrition out faster than I could use it. No, I really ate that much junk.

My naturopath also recommended connecting with a mental health professional due to my increased anxiety. She wondered if my anxiety might be causing some of my digestive issues. A real chicken and the egg conundrum. So I did, immediately. By this point I was so tired of living like a victim, I was ready to “take back my happy.” After two months of bi-weekly visits and an Ativan prescription, my psychiatrist was certain that the root of my anxiety was my digestive health and the fear of an “accident.” I told her that the Ativan didn’t stop episodes, I just felt stoned while I was on the toilet. So I stopped the Ativan, but continued on with the therapy, why not? I definitely had a lot to talk about, that much I had discovered, lol!!

My allergy testing came back and tons of things were in level two and level three. Diet modifications continued. Corn and cane sugar left my diet, along with peas, nuts, bananas and cranberry. Corn and cane sugar really hurt. Really, really hurt. Cutting out sugar was epically difficult. I had given up alcohol a few months prior and that was a cinch compared to my dear old friend sugar. I went through withdrawal and was a horrible person to live and work with I am sure! This kind of scared me, to think that sugar has that much of a stronghold in our bodies! Yikes. After I took out the foods that I tested allergic and sensitive too, the bowel movements from Hell slowed down considerably. The only thing that remained were the abdominal cramps. I continued to take Imodium and use heat along with Tylenol for the pain.

At the end of September 2010, I had a CT scan and both scopes (down the throat and up the butt). The tests came back clear of the big C’s; Cancer, Crohns and Colitis. Excellent, amazing news… But wtf was the issue then? When I visited the naturopath she said that she was not super shocked that they came up clear. By the time I did these tests I had been on my allergy diet, probiotics and digestive enzymes for two months. She said that inflammation would have significantly decreased. She was quite certain that I had Leaky Gut Syndrome and that it was progressing into something more serious until I made extreme lifestyle changes. We talked about full Leaky Gut treatment. I was on board.

I visited the GI to talk about the test results the following day. He pish-poshed Leaky Gut Syndrome and said that likely I had a stomach bug and it would go away soon. Or that my intestines were over active for some reason and peristalsis was put of control; likely functional diarrhea. He also asked what I ate, so I told him and he said, “your diet is too restrictive, try working foods back in when your symptoms go away.” I said yep, that’s what I am waiting for… Well that and for you to display any evidence of having attended medical school. I sat there and stared at him. I was hoping he was going to help me. He told me to take some time off work and stop taking Imodium, do some bowel training and focus on limiting the stress in my life (something my NP also suggested). My job at the time involved home visiting, and lots of driving; so kinda stressful for someone having digestive issues. The GI asked me to schedule a follow up appointment for 3 months. I left that appointment feeling very defeated. I was hoping he would give me a magic cure that would allow me to eat sugar again.

So, I took time off work. If it was in fact functional diarrhea, limiting the amount of stress in my life was supposed to help right? Um nope. But, the bowel training that I was able to do did help. Once I stopped taking the Imodium and didn’t have the worry of having episode at a client’s house, things got a lot better.

And then I got pregnant. And then my mom died.

My pregnancy with Matthew is that scene in the movie where the couple runs through a wildflower field, holding hands, and smiling on a sunny summer day. Slowly I discovered that I could eat pretty much anything I wanted again! I made this discovery the week after my mom passed. I was obviously quite upset and I just wanted some plain old comfort food. My psychiatrist said that my issue was definitely not functional diarrhea, as the death of a parent ranks up there real high on the stress index and I did not see an increase in symptoms- in fact I was constipated for like 8 days. So I ate the bad stuff. Fizzy drinks, beef and onions were still out, but the rest- like SUGAR, was IN! Oh glorious, glorious day. Oh and I wasn’t constipated anymore either (just in case you were wondering, which I know you were). I ate nachos twice a week, I washed them down with Fruitopia and chocolate. I gained a whopping 50 pounds, and I could have cared less. I received some flack about my pregnancy diet and I told the flack givers to flack themselves. I still ate plenty of healthy foods and took all of my vitamins.

I asked my doctor and midwife why my symptoms decreased while pregnant. I was told that there were a few reasons. One was the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy that I was experiencing, apparently retching all day long empties your gall bladder, which keeps your gall bladder happy! Plus, I was taking boatloads of Diclectin which can cause constipation. And on top of that pregnancy changes your digestion, slowing it down so that you can get every last nutrient out of the food you eat- this can also cause constipation. Well what backs up the average pregnant lady only made me into a typical person. Halleluiah, this was one gravy train that I was riding (literally, I ate tons of gravy).

I was advised by the health care professionals in my life to wean off the bad foods about a month before baby was due to arrive. The thought was that it was going to be challenging enough during the post-partum period, I didn’t need to be going through sugar and corn and nacho withdrawal. Fair enough. So I planned to do that. I was due August 7. The weeks clicked by to July 7 pretty quickly, too quickly. And then… July 13, 2011 Matty made his way into the world, it was a happy day 🙂

Ten days after he was born, I found myself stuck nursing him in a porta-powder room at my cousin’s wedding after eating a piece of cheesecake. I sobbed in that outhouse. I sobbed because my ten day old baby was in an outhouse (gross) and eating (double gross) and I sobbed because I knew what this meant. That was a pretty painful episode and after that I was on the path to clean eating again. Suck it up you big baby I thought, it’s not the end of the world.

With the return of symptoms I began to see my GI again. Further testing at the end of this year revealed multiple food intolerance, Leaky Gut Syndrome and abnormalities in the structure of my large intestine (it should be in a straight line, and mine is all twisted and curved meaning a large amount of pressure has to build up to, um, move things and then my intestines start to spasm as a result). I will begin Leaky Gut treatment once Matthew is taking solids consistently so that my caloric needs for breastfeeding are not as high. As it is now I have to eat a ton of food and take supplements to keep my milk supply up. And then the therapy for the abnormality is more bowel training and medication that will hopefully help to straighten it out. I am so, So, SO incredibly happy that this is all it was.

It’s very likely that I will never be able to eat like a typical person, but I am okay with that. I am actually ten times healthier now anyway and that’s a good thing. I do have days where I get really bitter because I want a McFlurry, or steak. But I just ask myself the question- is it worth it? Usually it isn’t. A nice result of cleaner living has been a decrease in my size, crazy low blood pressure (90/58), more energy, clearer skin and less sickness. When I got pregnant with Everly I wore a size 10 bottoms and a Large top. Now I wear a 2 or a 4 for bottoms and am a S top. So I might not have as many food choices, by my clothing choices have expanded, lol! The one downside of this: clothing is more expensive than food!

This would have been handy!

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A Year in Review

Today is the first anniversary of my mom’s death. In some ways it feels like forever ago, and in other ways it feels like 12 hours ago. As I was nursing Matthew at 1:51am this morning, I thought to myself, “this is a much better reason to be awake at this hour, on this day.”  When he finished we both drifted back to sleep… until an hour later when he wanted to eat again! Although I wrote about the early process of my grief thoroughly, words really can’t express how much that one event broke my heart. But, at that moment in time I had my babies to keep me focused, especially the wee one in my belly that was relying on me to create his environment. I sucked it up and I went back to work two weeks later. And I say sucked it up, because that’s exactly how it went. I felt as though I could make two choices; 1- to let it destroy me, and 2- to be sad, but not dwell. My mom was gone, there was no changing it. My mom had enough guilt during her lifetime for things that she did, I didn’t want to think of her feeling bad, watching me suffer. That’s the last thing my mom would have wanted; for me to dwell.

So last night I didn’t cry; but I did get angry. I thought, “damn you mom for missing this.” Anger has been a big part of my grief. I guess because I feel that the whole situation is completely unfair, and unfair makes me angry. I am a fighter by nature. It isn’t in me to give up, to pack ‘er in and lock myself away crying all the time. It makes sense that I would approach death in this way also. I have always had a hard time understanding the people who don’t fight. I know that people are unique and I strongly believe that people should be given the space to do what they need to in order to work through their grief; but I don’t get it. And I would just like to add here that just because I don’t get it, that doesn’t mean I think it is not okay or unhealthy; I just don’t get it.

As well as being a fighter, I am a do’er. If something is bothering me, I try to find a solution, I might leave room for a little pity party, but there is some serious solution focused thinking that follows. I was already connected to a psychiatrist when my mom passed, I was fortunate in this because I was able to begin my grief work right away. I was ready to deal with it right away. I have said many times before that I am not patient and I sure as hell was not going to be patient with the kind of pain that I was in. People told me to be gentle with myself, to give it time. And with this encouragement, I felt that I did. During those first few months of grief work I was a very angry person. I saved all my energy for “being nice” for my work clients and my daughter. Everyone else got the fall out. Most people in my life were extremely understanding, others were not. To the others that were not, I don’t wish this experience upon them, but I do hope that they remember how harsh they were towards me when they go through this Hell. It’s interesting to me that people will tolerate someone being depressed, but not angry. Why do the angry grievers not get as much leeway as the criers? The emotion is coming from the same place. If I were crying instead of swearing would people have been nicer? Or would they have begun to not tolerate my crying all the time either. Reminds me of that movie The Beach when they move the injured guy into the bush so that no one has to hear his cries of pain. I get it. I hope that this experience allows me to show more compassion. Humans are interesting creatures.

Hitting the “events” of the last year has been challenging for me. My birthday, mother’s day, my mom’s birthday, Everly’s birthday, Matty’s shower, Matty’s birth (that was a toughie), Christmas; it’s when I most notice that she is not physically here to celebrate with anymore. I saw my mom once every few weeks, and never for any huge length of time, so I wasn’t used to seeing her a ton. A lot of the time she didn’t have a phone, so I didn’t get used to talking with her on the phone all the time either. One moron suggested that this should make my grieving easier, you know, since I wasn’t used to her being a major part of my daily life. Well, thank you for that tidbit moron, I will now invite you to kiss my ass once you pull your head out of your own. Seriously that was the stupidest thing that anyone has ever said to me. But, heart-warming story aside, I was used to seeing her at every event during the last two years of her life, so her absence has been noticed.

It was only in these last few years that my mom really cleaned up her life. Until then she was in and out for nearly 20 years. Some of that time I didn’t even know where she was, and some of that time I didn’t care to. Only when I became pregnant did I really start to rebuild a relationship with her. She saw Everly as her chance to do things over properly. So, more so than the “events,” I miss her when I want to call her and tell her what one of the kids did. I feel so achingly sad when I can’t just pick up the phone and call her to say, “mom- Evie said the funniest thing today,” or “mom- Matty is rolling over and sitting up.” The things that these children do, although quite mundane, would have lit up her life. I know this because I watch how they light up the lives of their remaining grandparents.More than anyone my  mom would have got a kick out of Everly’s crafts or how she sits down to “read” books. My mom was collecting books for her, and craft kits, in the hopes that one day they would use these things together. There are also the moments that I have with my daughter. Those times when we are cuddling, reading, cooking, shopping; doing fun things and enjoying each others company. I always wonder if I had similar ones with my mom. I have positive memories of her; of her challenging my spelling and teaching me the rules of glitter. I would love to have just 30 minutes to talk to her, to ask her. I would ask her what her dreams were for me and if I made her proud. These were conversations that we didn’t really get to have. People have told me that she is watching, that she sees these things, and that I can talk to her anytime I want. And I guess that’s a nice thought, but it’s not super comforting to me because try as I might, I can’t get the air to talk back.

I thought I saw her in a crowd at Superstore. Isn’t that weird. I saw a woman from behind and I was like, what’s mom doing at Superstore? And then the woman turned around. Doh, mom’s dead, she’s not at Superstore idiot. I thought I saw her at Chapters when I was Christmas shopping too! I think it takes our brains a little while to phase out noticing someone in a crowd. Or at least my sleep deprived brain. And as crazy as it sounds there are times when I do feel like she is with me. I dream of her often and she tells me things. During one such dream, I asked here where she was living and she told me Jaclyn at Chris. So of course when I got up I Google mapped this location and it turned up she is quite close; in Puget Sound to be exact. Is it possible that she was telling me her drifted ashes have made it here from Mexico? Wouldn’t that be fun. Oh brain, you keep me laughing and on my toes.

For Christmas my dad and I visited her grave site. I left her a Christmas card, a photo of the kids with Santa and a Christmas tree ornament that Everly and I had made together. Oh how she would have treasured that ornament. I left everything there  in an extra large Ziploc bag so that this nasty West Coast rain wouldn’t destroy it. The thought of it decomposing just didn’t sit well with me. Oh the irony. We were only there for a few minutes. What else could we do but drop our stuff and go, it’s not like she has furniture set out for company or margaritas ready to go in the blender.

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The Proudness

Everly started preschool on Monday.It didn’t quite go how I thought it would.

This Fall I read a ton of posts on Facebook about mothers’ feelings towards their child’s first day of preschool or primary school; they were all sad. I found myself at home with a toddler and newborn and thought Preschool would be such a hot ticket commodity, and why would you ever be sad to go from two kids to one! I commented on these posts that I was going to dance a happy jig on the day that Everly started preschool. Famous last words!

As the Fall wore on, it became increasingly obvious that Everly needed a more stimulating environment than I could offer her at home. She is so bright, and quick and full of energy and curiosity. Although these are indeed gifts, any parent with a child like this knows that without harnessing, these gifts spell Trouble! It seemed like every five minutes that I was putting her in the “take a break” chair for some misdemeanor. The child definitely has a gift for extorting her surroundings to cause mischief (she gets that one from her dad). Half of the things she did made me laugh, like climbing onto the counter and telling me that it is 6:30 and she needs an orange and a knife to cut it. The other half not so much, like pulling her brother off of a couch onto his head.

Preschool was like the holy grail; I needed to get her into preschool. I knew that in Preschool she would get the routine and environment that would keep her little mind busy and her little self out of trouble. So we applied and had to jump through a few hoops due to her age. Once we sent in developmental assessment paperwork proving that she could handle it, we were in! She was allowed to start November 14. B and I both did a happy jig in the kitchen. Woo-hoo, off to Preschool Everly would go.

As excited as I was for this big event, I was also nervous. I was worried about how she would get along with the little friends that she would meet. Everly isn’t known for sharing or being the most gentle of souls. I was almost convinced that she was bordering on Sociopath until a recent trip to Vancouver; a little guy on the playground fell and was crying and she walked up to him and gave him a big hug. I was shocked. This was the first time she had displayed a real genuine act of empathy all on her own. I am not sure there has been anything else that I have been more proud of her doing. I wanted to jump up from my seat and shout, that is my child, she showed empathy! EMPATHY! And did I mention she is two and a half, ha ha ha.

So Monday November 14 arrives. I made plans to leave Matty with my Nana so that I could focus all of my energy on Everly if need be, and I was pretty sure the need would be. We arrived 15 minutes before start time to get her aquainted with the educators and the space. She started playing right away; in fact, her eyes lit up like saucers and she bolted for the toys. I talked with one of the educators, let her know Everly’s toileting habits and shared that she has never been in a group setting like this on her own. I said that I wasn’t sure how she would do, so I kept my morning open to be there to support her if she needed me to.

The friends arrived, saucer eyes got even wider. Breakfast snack arrived, saucer eyes popped out of her head. She seemed comfortable so I told her that I was going to go use the washroom and would be back; the classic parent fib. She didn’t need to know that my bathroom break would be three hours, she doesn’t understand three hours. I put it in terms she would understand and be familiar with. She said okay mom. So I repeated myself. She said, it’s okay for you to leave mom. Ah, my child, why are you so smart.

So I left. I walked down the hall and I started to cry. Those embarrassing alligator tears that stop for nothing. My baby didn’t need me. What a jerk! What a stinking, stinking jerk! I could not help but feel a little bit pissed off too. Where were the tears and the mommy don’t go’s? I was prepared for a real outburst of separation anxiety and Miss Drama Queen. And instead I got Miss Well-Adjusted and Ready for School. I was baffled. I should not have been baffled though, Everly has a talent for polarized reactions and I always seem to guess the wrong one!

I walked down towards the preschool room and sat on the stairs so I could listen for screaming. I was now confident that since the outburst hadn’t happened right away it was bound to happen soon. One of the educators came out of the classroom. I asked her how things were going. She told me that about 10 minutes after I left Everly went to her coat and put it on. They asked her where she was going, she said she was leaving to go get her mom. And when they told her that wasn’t going to happen she started to cry. The educator assured me that she was quickly comforted and redirected and now was happy as a clam with her new friends. Then she took a long look at me and asked, and how are you? Ohhh, you sneaky, sneaky preschool educator. How was I? I said well I am proud of her for doing well, but I am sad that she can do this on her own, does that make sense. She assured me that I was 100% completely normal.

As I was leaving the preschool grounds I texted my dad to let him know that the transition had gone well and that Everly was having fun. He texted back that this was great news (I think that everyone thought that she was going to throw the fit of fits). I wrote back, if it’s so good, why do I feel so sad. I wrote that I felt like she doesn’t need me. He said that he was too (when I went). He then wrote that I should have got her dad to bring her. I started laughing immediately. (Brandon has a history of having to be the guy who sees to it that the not so fun jobs get done. He was the one who brought the dog to get neutered, he brought Matthew to get circumcised and he was with Matthew for the medical intervention he needed at birth. So naturally my dad signed him up for another difficult job. Oh dad. I wrote back, thank you for knowing what to say to make me laugh. He wrote, anytime. And then I had a giant a-ha moment and laughed even more. Who did I turn to when I was upset and needed someone? My dad. And who made me feel better? My dad. I realized then and there that when she does need me, she will come to me, and I will be there waiting to help her.

I then spent the next two hours blasting music in my home office while I edited a photo session from the weekend. You gotta love found time.

When I picked her up from Preschool the educator told me that she did amazing for her first day. She told me that the staff was impressed with her abilities for her age, most noticeably her ability to express herself with her words. The educator said, Everly is really good at making sure her needs are met. Bahahahahahah. Yeah, I think that’s preschool educator slang for “your child is bossy!” There were no toilet accidents either- woo-hoo! I was so proud of her it was hard to not start crying all over again. I was consumed with The Proudness.

Out front ready to go in!

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Spotty Training

Everly is officially potty trained. Wahoo. We made our first attempt over May long weekend, that ended in pee and poop, a laughing toddler and two discouraged parents. Our second attempt was Thanksgiving weekend, which started with pee, poop, a laughing toddler and two discouraged parents, but ended in a house trained Evie. So what happened with all that time in the middle? Hmmm.

I originally was blaming it on Everly. Saying to myself that she just wouldn’t cooperate. She just didn’t want to listen to me and use the potty. She wouldn’t tell me when she had to go, so I just figured that she didn’t want to. In the meantime, she potty trained all her dolls and commented when B and I would use the toilet. She would say “good job!” and “ooh that’s a big one.” She even offered us prizes. So clearly she understood, but she just didn’t do it herself.

As my due date with Matthew approached we realized that we were going to have two kids in diapers. I knew that I should probably give toileting another try, but I just could not muster up the energy to be cleaning dirty underpants. And you know how everyone says that they will revert back to diapers if you try to train them close to the new baby’s arrival, I didn’t want that to happen. So we complained about it, but really did nothing to change it. One of my pet peeves.

Fast forward to October and Everly’s pending early preschool admission application. It is recommended that children be potty trained before entering preschool. I really need her to be in preschool. She really needs to be in preschool. The child believes that sleep is for the weak and has enough energy to solve the energy crisis (if only it could be harnessed). So now I am a woman on a mission, it’s go time.

I read a few guides and books. Surprise, surprise, they all said different things. So I said screw it, we are doing our own thing and if it doesn’t work, well we will try one of these. So Saturday October 8 out went the diapers and on went the underpants. Saturday was a messy day. Sunday started off the same, but kind of got better towards the end. Monday was pretty damn fantastic and Tuesday October 11 was the last time she pooped in her underpants (to date). What did we do? We bribed her, rewarded her, scared her, pumped her full of monitored fluids and put her on the toilet every 30 minutes.

It might not be a coincidence that the last poop in her underpants was in fact the last poop in her underpants. I might have told her that dragons eat underpants with poop in it (she’s afraid of dragons). Now before you judge me, which I know some of you will… I would like to point out that 1- I tell her dragons aren’t real about a million times each day, 2- it worked and 3- I grew up with a bit of fear and it honestly didn’t hurt me. Yep,  I am pulling the old school card. She will not die of cancer or kill anyone because I told her that dragons eat pooped in underpants.

Through this experience I learned that the problem was not Everly, it was us. We were being lazy parents. We didn’t want to put in the effort, we didn’t want to clean underpants (how to solve that problem? cut them off and throw them in the garbage). SOOO at the end of the day, we should not have been complaining about it. I don’t think that it is a random occurance that she potty trained once we put our full effort into it (duh). I kick myself in the ass for this now. I don’t know what I was waiting for. Oh wait yes I do, I was waiting for someone to rescue me. I was waiting for the day that Everly would just up and say, “I need to pee pee” and hop on the potty, yeah right, dream on. We could have done this months ago (gives forehead some keyboard). Oh well, too late now. But lesson learned. Oh- she says, “I need to go pee” and “I need to go poop!” and runs to the toilet now all by herself now. Funny how that happened.

Barring any genuine medical condition, it’s not them; it’s you. And if you still think it’s them, you need to buck up buddy and admit the truth. Our kids are the product of our parenting (just like dogs and computers). All of us take credit when they do the good stuff, but we point the finger when they do the not so savory stuff (like wiping poo on the wall).

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Bellybutton

Will someone please tell little Matthew that “House” is not looking for little babypatients.
It looks as though he is set to take after his mama in having weird things go wrong.

Matty was diagnosed with a herniated umbilicus at the end of August and within a few weeks we were
at the hospital for his surgery. Umbilical hernias are very common. I had seen a ton of them before
I saw Matthews, and so I really didn’t think anything of it. I knew the doctor would say, “wait until
he is two and if it doesn’t close up by then he might need corrective surgery, but it will likely close
up before then anyway.” But then something happened; cue the music in the tv show that makes you interested
because there is a mystery to solve…

B was home with both kids while I was out doing a photography consultation with my partner Emily. He called me as
I was finishing up, he told me I needed to get home quick, that Matthew would not stop screaming. Two things
about this situation communicated emergency to me, 1- B was freaking out, B never freaks out and 2- the baby
was crying that horrid newborn scream that you aren’t quite sure how they do without passing out because they
don’t really seem to be breathing at the same time because there is no pause in deafening noise. I said I would
be home as soon as traffic would let me. What a fun ride home that was. In a panic I drove at standard operational
speed and pulled some possibly illegal maneuvers. Emily kept me chatting so that my mind would be busy.
Can you tell she’s a mom too and knew exactly what needed to be done!

I arrived home to the car seat at the door waiting and Matthew whaling in B’s arms. Everly streaked by, yes streaked
and there was poop on her bum. Oh no, not good. B said that Matty’s belly button was sticking straight out and
hard and purple and that he would not stop crying. I took the baby and strapped him in the car seat. Emily said
she would come with me and she took soother duty in the backseat. We were prepared for a loud car ride.

We made it to the hospital with just a few whimpers. I registered him with the Emergency Room nurse and he started
seriously squaking. I tool him to the waiting room and then fed him and massaged his belly. He was on day two of not
pooping and I wondered if that might be making him uncomfortable. He seemed to settle.

We were brought to a room and Matthew was asleep in my arms. The nurse looked at Emily and I and said, so this is the
inconsolable baby? I replied yes a little bashfully. Thanks Matthew, thanks. Yes I was happy he wasn’t crying anymore
but I was a little bit annoyed that he had chosen this moment to do so. Why not one hour ago while at home with his father?
The nurse shared that his daughter had a herniated umbilicus and that she had surgery when she was two to correct it.
Of course she did, and that’s what we would hear today too.

Matthew continued to eat and sleep as he usually did. The attending physician came in and had a look at him. She announced
that yes in fact this was a herniated belly button. She gave me the same “when he’s two” prognosis. As she examined him more
she said that she thought he was breathing a bit laboured and that he looked jaundiced still. She ordered a chest x-ray and
blood work.

Hold up… What the f&*k? We were here for a belly button and now this? She stared asking me if we have a family history of
rare blood disorders or chromosomal disorders. Um no we don’t. She asked if he has been well. Yes, he has. She “hmphed” to herself
you could see her take a moment to ponder all the clues. I wanted to yell, “bitch what the hell do you think is wrong with my
baby.” But I didn’t, because that could have gotten us kicked out of the ER, there are signs that say so.

We did the x-ray, Matthew loved it. And when I say loved it, I mean that he screamed and flailed the whole time. We did the blood test.
Oh he loved that even more than the x-ray. I was crying and feeling so guilty. Turns out he is like his sister and does not
appreciate any medical intervention; not even a temp check under the armpit please. My children both have a good set of lungs. I know this
to be super true as multiple medical professionals have told me. Do you think that is what doctors and nurses say to you when
they want to say, man your kid is a loud mouth screamer and I wish you would shut them up. I think so. That’s usually why I use the phrase, “good lungs.”

By this point Emily and I were pretty tired and pretty hungry. She went on a food and drink finding mission. We ate our little snack
and guzzled our bottles of water. At that point we had been there for nearly 5 hours. The pediatrician came in and shared the news…
the x-ray comes back normal and the blood work comes back with elevated bilirubin, which we expected as he still does look yellow.
She asked me a ton of questions about his belly button, many more than anyone else had. The pediatrician felt that Matthew had an
episode of incarcerated bowel. This means that his little intestines had slipped through the umbilicus hernia and got stuck and blood supply was
being cut off. Now you don’t have to be a doctor, or even watch doctor shows on tv to know that blood supply cutoff to a body part is not a good thing.
She too, gave us the same “when he’s two” story, but also said that she was going to refer us to a pediatric surgeon for further consultation.
Pediatric surgeon, great. Anxiety rising. Emily and I both looked at each other. I said, oh he’ll be fine, the surgeon will say the same thing.

Two days later we visited with the pediatric surgeon, I remembered thinking, wow that was quick! She started off by explaining to me what
had happened inside Matty’s belly and told me that it would happen again. She said this wasn’t an “if it happens again scenario, it was a when
it happens again scenario.” She explained the dangers of incarcerated bowel and told me that our best course of action would be to do corrective
surgery as soon as possible. Sign us up I said. I was pretty scared at this point and crying. She said, well, there is some concern about his age and
surgery, there is an increased likelihood that he will experience apnea after the surgery and require medical intervention to breathe.
Oh right, just that, well that’s not a big deal. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? If we went for surgery right away he would have to stay in hospital at least 24
hours following the surgery for observation. She said that 52 weeks was the age that doctors agreed was safer to have surgery, and after 52 weeks they need no observation time.
At that point Matthew was 43 weeks (they go by gestational age). She told me that we could wait until he was 52 weeks and that if he had another episode
in that time we would just have to bring him to the ER right away. I was leaning towards that. And then she says… but it only takes 4 to 6 hours for
incarcerated bowel to die, so you do risk that if you don’t catch it right away. The complications of bowel surgery are much greater than hernia surgery.
I was leaning back towards surgery asap again.

I told her to go ahead and book him in for the procedure. I felt that if something were to happen, I would rather it be in the controlled environment of the hospital
rather than the uncontrolled environment of our home. She asked me if I wanted to ask his dad, I said no thanks. I was sure that B would agree with the
choice that I had made. I knew deep down that he would have made the choice for surgery faster than I had, as he had seen Matthew in so much pain 3 days prior.

We waited a week to find out when the date was. We watched him like dogs watch a treat in your hand. And the date came up quickly. Really quickly.

I was really worried about how he was going to do with the 6 hours of fasting leading up to his surgery. Matthew likes his food. So much so that he will
neglect sleeping in order to eat more (but more on that later). He typically eats every 1 to 2 hours in the wee hours of the morning. By my calculations
that meant 2 to 4 feedings that he was going to miss. Oh my good God. I was scared. Before we went to bed that night I said a little prayer to my bedroom walls,
this prayer was intended for anyone who would answer it; I am never picky about which religion or spiritual group/belief system answers my pleading prayers. I asked
that Matthew sleep. And you know what, he did awesome. He actually slept a 4 hour stretch, after which I fed him (his last feeding allowed) and then he slept another 3 hours.
I layed him on my chest and patted his back for the next hour, which kept him asleep until it was time to put him in the car seat for the hospital.

The car seat, uh oh. I was convinced that this is where it would all come apart. He is notorious for not liking his car seat. But the little stinker just stared back at me.
He remained in a quiet alert state for the entire ride to the hospital, he didn’t make a peep. I said to B that his body, being such an efficient little gainer likely was in
hibernate mode so that it didn’t burn any necessary calories while none were being taken in, lol. We made it though the hospital pre-op procedures easily as well. He was given
some Tylenol at 8:00 and then proceeded to fall back asleep in my arms while I rocked in a rocking chair. He didn’t wake up until it was time for him to be handed to the
anesthesiologist.

Sleeping

Handing over your baby to a blue gowned stranger who is going to put him to sleep is not something that I would recommend for a new mother. I held my breath to keep from crying
until B and I were out of the room. I had wanted to go with Matthew, but they wouldn’t let me because of his age. Did you know that it is hospital policy? The nurse tried to make
me feel better about it by telling me that moms and dads get very upset when they are in the room with their child. No shit. How do you think the child feels? How do
you think the child feels without their parent there? It seems like just because they are babies, the doctors think that they don’t care as much. Well newsflash, THEY DO.
Yeah it might have made me upset to see him put to sleep, but if it helped him to be more comfortable, I would have sucked it up ten times over and I would have been there,
that’s part of being a parent.

The hour that he was in there was the longest. We got hot chocolate and chocolate chip muffins, neither of which I am allowed to eat but I figured I was already in the hospital for
the next 24 hours so I might as well. If there was ever a time to cheat that was it. The sweet, sweet goodness of the sugar was so comforting. I know that’s bad to say, but it
was and I will own it. I pumped off both boobs while we waited. I was near exploding after going 6 hours with no feedings! While I was pumping I started to worry again, and
I thought about how it must be for parents who have children in precarious health and for parents who have children in lengthy serious surgeries. I said to B, this is only one hour,
imagine how my parents felt when I was in a lengthy and serious spinal surgery at BC Children’s. The surgeon was flown in from Ontario for that, and I was in hospital for weeks.
It’s interesting how becoming a parent makes you look at your parents differently. I had so much empathy for them in that moment, when in the past I had only had my own feelings
from my own experience. I quickly decided that I would rather be the person getting the surgery than the one waiting in the sterile waiting room. I understood how my dad really felt
when he told me he would take it all away if he could, and how he felt when he said he wished it was him who had lost an eye and not me. I get it now.

Just as I had put my milk in a fridge I saw the surgeon. I read her face and posture and knew instantly that everything had gone well. Watching Grey’s Anatomy teaches you these things.
She announced that he was fine and would be in peds intensive care shortly.

Off we went to peds intensive care. We waited there for 45 minutes. I heard him crying. My boobs started pinching. When I walked out into the hall, there he was being wheeled
down the hallway. Yay! Well it was yay for a moment until the PICU nurses told me I wasn’t allowed in the room yet? Excuse me? Apparently they needed to get him settled. Really?
He’s a freaking baby, what will settle him is FOOD you morons. I waited outside the door for 6 minutes that felt like 600 minutes. I took a deep breath and turned to walk in,
I had decided I didn’t care what they said, he is my son and I will feed him when I want to provided it is not life or death. Just at the same time the nurse was coming out the door,
she said cheerily, I was just coming to get you! Yeah, you were, yeah you were. I didn’t bother telling her that I was coming to get her too, and it would not have been a cheery
exchange.

And there was my poor boy, screaming at the top of his lungs. I quickly scooped him up and started to feed him, he settled right away, chugged back a ton of milk and then went to sleep.
I held him all afternoon. He did so well. His IV was out that night and we went home the next morning. There was never even the tiniest blip in his stats. He is one healthy, chunky
monkey that’s for sure.

After surgery

The night we were there, a nurse decided to play fairy godmother and she fed him with my pumped breast milk through the night. She offered to do this! I had to hold back with the
strength of The Hulk to keep from hopping into her arms and kissing her. I said, are you sure, he is up every one to two hours. She said, I am up the whole time, makes no difference to me.
He went down for the night at 11:00pm and didn’t get up to eat until 5:30am of course. Yes, the longest sleep of his life was also the one I had off. Yay. I slept like crap
in my parent room on my plastic coated, hard as a slab of wood bed. But at least I did actually get to stay there with him, I was thankful for that. I think after being in the
every 1 to 2 hours routine my body is just used to it. I imagine it would take a few nights of him sleeping extended periods before I got back into it.

IV is about to come out.

When it was time to go, we packed him up and happily left. He fussed the whole way home. Seriously buddy? He was fine on the way there after not eating for such an extended amount of
time, and then fusses on the way home. Babies. Man I try to understand them, but sometimes I am at a complete loss, lol.

His bandage is off and we see the surgeon again on October 11. He is healing up great and didn’t appear to be in any pain at all. We are so thankful that this is
behind us and that we have a tough little guy. Our friends and family were there to support us in everything and we couldn’t be more lucky.

At home and happy

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