Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Blinking Red 20

Hi, my name's Holly, and I'm addicted to XM Radio.
I seriously LOVE it!  I am currently addicted to Oprah radio (channel 156, Ya'll!), and I listen to Gayle King's show, Dr. Oz, old Oprah reruns (or do-overs), Maya Angelou, Even Laura Berman (only if I'm alone!), and Lisa Kogan (she's only on when I'm almost never in the van).  So Good!  I've learned about trying to hug my boy, even if he doesn't want it, and today I learned about a woman who was learning to cook with Iraqi women, bonding with them during the war.  Current events, health, and family stuff-so far, worth the fee.  (Ask me again in 3 months when it renews!)
Ches may be on the up-swing.  He's out of the bed (thank the Lord), so there's promise.  He went back to the doctor today, and now they think since he broke out with some rashy spots, that it might be a tick-borne illness.  They hesitate to call it Lyme Disease, but they gave him some antibiotics, since testing for the two or three things it could be takes time, and it's easier to just medicate him to see if it helps.  He got some pain pills for the pain and inflamed joints also.
I hate to be negative.  But.  This illness has been really hard on me.  I've made him food, brought him a little lap desk, cleaned up food remains, cleaned the nightstand of Icky Stuff, changed the pillowcase, cleaned the bed of crumbs, straightened up the bed (if he's up for a bath), I'm taking care of the kids all alone, and I'm not getting any sleep since he's watching tv all day and night or shaking out some pills from his bottles or eating, and I'm so worn out! (although last night I took a Xanax and slept like a log, cause one of us had to get some relief!)
So, it occurred to me..I'm wondering if this is how hard it was when I was down and out four weeks ago.  It's tough!  And what goes around does come around..

Ok, I have a sticky situation, and you can advise me.  I have been lazy (honesty: come and get it here!) lately, and haven't listened to my answering machine in almost a month.  I do scroll the call list, but I've felt like I'm under no obligation, due to circumstances.  I've kinda given myself some room.  (and because some of them-maybe only 2-were Ethan telling us he loved us-too precious to delete!)  Well.  I finally listened to most of them on Saturday evening, and there was one from a good friend asking to play.  I have no idea when she called!  It could've been when we were out of town, maybe during the surgery time, maybe she didn't know.  I don't know!  But she asked to play, and said if I didn't want to play not to call back.  (!)  I feel awful!  I would never not call back, but now I haven't called back.  What a mess.  That blinky *20* on there is starting to get to me.  I gotta pull it together and get back in the game.  That Mommy Game of play with people and socialize and smile-maybe I drew the Go To Jail (Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200) card, and have just rolled for the third time. (and maybe I'm headed towards hotels..eek!)  So.  What would you do?
I'm off to bed (maybe early?), Woo Hoo!  I just LOVE my bed.  Well, I love it when it's clean and I get to actually sleep in it..

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Growing Diabetes

I'm learning the diabetes world gets bigger every day.  Two weeks ago, a friend's two-year-old son was diagnosed with diabetes, and the story is always the same.  They had no idea what was wrong, they started drinking a lot, peeing a lot, losing weight, and slowly losing energy. Yesterday I met another mom whose son was diagnosed with diabetes.  Same story.  I got the call that yet another child was diagnosed.  This time the sweet boy was eleven.  He's had a good childhood, so he knows what life without this insipid disease is like.  Sad.  At least when they get it young, they never really know the difference.

Anyway, I called the mom and we talked for a couple hours.  There's so much in the beginning.  I remember crying on and off for over a year.  I just couldn't believe it, and it was so hard to manage daily.  The many blood checks, the multiple insulin shots, counting carbs, watching for lows, checking her in the night, etc.  It seemed there was no end, and no mastery.  I feel better now, and I tried to give the new mom some insight.  I think (just like a death), you have to get over the anger (in your own time), and just deal with what life throws your way.  It wasn't going to go away, and I had to choose the attitude to show my daughter.
Mary Claire doesn't know the difference, as she doesn't remember eating before two years old anyway.  I think it's a tiny blessing-she got used to shots, needles, blood checks, and asking me before she ate at an early age.  She's not mad about it (although she asks why God made her different-and I tell her God knew she could handle it!), and isn't nervous to let other people know about her life.  Her pump is just like her right hand-always attached and just part of her.  I can really appreciate how brave she is, as I can be nervous in front of people (hilarious, I know).
I still really think God has a plan, and I still think it's better than what we could plan for ourselves.  I think it's just blind faith.  If I knew the outcome, it wouldn't require faith.  Of course I still struggle with why He allows things sometimes, but I will stand strong.  I'll know when I see Him in Heaven.  I think all the pieces will fall into place.
So, for now, I accept the diabetes (whom I called my third child until Ethan came along..), all the other chaos I am learning to love.  I think it's part of being a parent and human on Earth.  I certainly chose to be a parent, and rocky road (with marshmallows, please!) or not, I'll take it.  I receive so many blessings each day from these precious kids I get to call my own (including but not limited to: warm morning hugs, wet kisses, I-got-out-of-bed-just-to-see-you hugs, cheesy smiles, sweaty sleeping heads, chubby toes to wash, little colored socks to match, worn lovey blankets, freshly bathed skin, adorable freckles, big blue eyes even when they are puppy-dog-eyes, cuddles on the couch sharing a blanket, little surprise notes on my nightstand, ahhh..I think I could go on and on, a very good thing).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.  Ephesians 1:3
*and it continues bringing us even more peace*
Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.  Ephesians 1:11

Monday, April 26, 2010

Missing His Help

Today could be the big day-the day the bleeding stops!  That could be a small victory in itself.  Really.  Do you remember the old saying about 'how can anything bleed for seven days and not die'?  Well, I'm at three and a half weeks-amazing.  And I'm not dead yet!  (ok..curiosity got the best of me..apparently George Carlin said it on one of his albums in the seventies, then more recently it was on South Park).
Ches has been sick since Sunday morning.  We aren't sure what's wrong.  He went to the doctor today for a flu test and blood work.  We only know he doesn't have the flu, maybe a virus, and the bloodwork results should come back by tomorrow.  He has a fever (around 102 on tylenol and ibuprofen), headache and muscle aches.  I think the headache is better, but body aches may be worse.  He's such a good helper around the house that I'm really missing him.  It's hard to do all the work myself! : )
We opened the pool last week, and now we have one more thing to take care of.  We keep testing the water, and it's off.  The pH is off and so is alkalinity (they go together..)-and we just got the salt level up high enough to turn on the salt water generator (it's a salt water pool, and generates chlorine as it breaks down the salt).  I think we added at least 50 pounds of salt!  You'll be thanking me if you're swimming with us this summer! : )
My computer is down to 13%, so I won't be typing much more.. I don't want it to die!
I've seen TOO much twin stuff lately, bad memories...today I flipped to channel 48 for two seconds-long enough to see that now there is a show called.. something like Bringing Home Multiples.  I watched a few crazy minutes, and turned off the tv.  Then we got the American Doll catalog, and they sell twins.  I'm sure I'm just in a more heightened state of awareness (fancy talk for I'm seeing them everywhere!!).
Mary Claire asked why our babies keep dying tonight-what do you say to a sweet little girl?  I can't remember where the conversation was going, but I told her that it wasn't going to bring them back to get mad and yell and complain, so we had to move on.  She asked if I still prayed for a baby, and I said yes, if God wants to give us one.  I think I'm past my mad phase.  Finally.   Progress.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Communing with Christ

I'm sure I don't have to tell you..it's been busy!  We have been getting ready for Mary Claire's First Holy Communion this week.  Today was her big day.  We got up by 8am to get started!  Think: Prom.  We bathed her, practiced communion, rolled her hair, got her nails done (clear 'diamonds' for her fingers, and hot pink with two coats of diamonds for her toes), served her lunch, then began to get dressed, curled the hair that didn't take the rollers too well, and hurried off to church!
We were in such a hurry, I didn't even get to take my requisite picture outside the garage or front door. : (  She said, "Why don't you take one now?"  So I did.  Driving out of our neighborhood!  We caught a beautiful car I noticed as I looked at the photos tonight.  I can see it was in front of Damian Williams house-don't know who's car it is..  
It just ruins a beautiful dress to crunch it into a seatbelt, but I wouldn't dream of driving her around without one!  We rushed (and I mean, sped) to the church, only to W-A-I-T.  We made it on time (meaning no pictures outside, no changing my clothes 14 times, no time to try on clothes that fit...), and then they didn't start taking photos!  We were only the third in line, and by 2:20, I went in to see why we were moving (as we had to run to Rick's to pick up her cake between pictures and 3:15 for the group picture line-up!), and his daughter told me he'd forgotten the camera at home.  Umm..if your job relies on your camera, don't you pack it first?  I mean, I even remembered mine.
 This is my picture of her getting her picture made..I really wanted her standing up-with her dress in the picture.  This was Terrell Rohrbach's first year taking (our First Communion pictures) individuals, so maybe next year's kids will have a different pose option?
Anyway, then we saw the sun!!  We were leaving the church to go get the aforementioned cake (and fast!) but we stopped outside to take a few more pictures right outside the church.  Clay had taken so many beautiful ones last year out in that exact spot, so I wanted her to have some there too.  We had some sweet friends take a couple of me and Mary Claire together too-thank you, Sandy!
Then in the crazy Fayetteville traffic, we encountered Arkansas State Troopers stopping traffic for a motorcade of big charter buses-I mean, only when when you're in a hurry!  They informed us that the cake should NOT be left in the car for three hours, so I had to call Ches and ask him to bring a cooler to the church!  We made it back late (surprised?), but in time for the group picture.  There were so many kids, I don't know if I'll be able to see Mary Claire's face in the tiny 5x7 I ordered her!  I didn't realize it wouldn't be just her class.  I learn something every day.  This is her in the crowd:
I'm not so good on the red-eye removal, so sorry.  At least the camera caught her, it was really zoomed out!  Then there were no pictures in Mass, but we ordered the video, so we'll see it another day.  I couldn't really see her receive communion since her teacher was guiding the class, and we ended up on the first row.  I thought it'd be a great seat with a good view, but there's not a perfect seat.  Ethan was pretty good, I hesitate to say that, but compared to some weeks, it was pretty okay.  He really wanted his sissy, but we made it.
Then we stayed late and of course-took more pictures (you can see more of the pictures in the slide show below)!
Then we let her pick where we went, and she wanted to eat at IHOP!  What a cutie.  She saw a commercial on tv this afternoon, and it was about the kids meals, and there was no changing her mind!  There was (luckily) a new IHOP in our area (Ches looked it up online, since we weren't sure where one was!), and we all had breakfast-dinner: her favorite!  And it was all about her today.
Then we headed home for cake!  Does it get any better?  Stuffing yourself with pancakes, only to chase it down with cake and hot tea? Yum!  Rick's did an amazing job on the cake-I loved it!  The only thing better? The taste of perfection!  Ahh, so good.
Well, the picture doesn't show it so well, but it was beautiful!  Finally, we wound down with a game of Clifford Bingo.  A precious end to a precious day.
Thank you, God, for my sweet daughter who is so excited to be a part of your family.  We are all one body in Christ.  I can't wait to see all my other children in Heaven.  What a blessed day it'll be, when we all get to Heaven.. (a treasured song from my church childhood sings in my heart and head..)
..so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Romans 12:5
 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Late..and Tagged

I don't have too much time-I just spent an hour filling out the paperwork/forms for my specialist appointment.  There were almost as many forms as there were to register Ethan for preschool!  There weren't enough lines for all my pregnancies (sad), so I had to draw an arrow, and turn over the form.  I wonder if they get that often?
Today I had Mother's Day Out, drove around running errands, and found a sticker on my shirt with the size-on my way from taking Mary Claire to gymnastics this afternoon..I'm wondering if anyone saw it and they were just too polite to pull it off or tell me?  How embarrassing.  I'm not too far out there for you to tell me!
We had fun at Bunco, and we all learned new things!  It was fun, and I needed a good evening.  We didn't talk babies, and for that tiny thing, I'm a little thankful.  I talked to three good friends earlier today, and had good conversation.  I do know I need to talk about it in order to cope and heal, so I'm trying.  I'm getting better.
Sleep well, and I'll check in tomorrow. : )

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hope for Things Unseen

Well, I must say I've had a much better day today.  I think it was everything together, mixed with a better attitude.  I didn't sleep well last night-I was up from 3 till after 5am, just thinking.  Lots of stuff running through my head!  I have had bad dreams for the last couple of nights (so I took a Xanax just a few minutes ago-I need some sleep tonight!), and I was feeling bad for getting on to Mary Claire yesterday morning.
When I got the kids up, I apologized to Mary Claire.  She's so sweet and loving; I don't even know how I can get mad at her.  I mean, she is messy, but she is sooo sweet.  She just hugs on me and loves me, and tells me how much she loves her family, and that she doesn't want any other family (yeah-even after me getting onto her yesterday!).  What a precious child of God.  It's definitely His influence, and not my crazy one!
We got around pretty well this morning, I got the beds made, and we weren't late-we did have a time with a heel booboo, and a bandaid, and a new shoe...
I finally got Ethan's school registration forms (9!) filled out, and took them to the church this morning.  He was excited, and wanted to go to the nursery!  I'm excited for him.  I think he'll love it-and he needs the challenge.  He's very smart, but needs a good schedule and some work.  I just love on him since he's the baby, and I think he's already smart.  But..he needs to be writing his name, and following directions.  He'll do well.  It will help me to have a couple days a week (well-three!) to run errands and do stuff at home.  I can't imagine having three kids at school, and having time to myself.  It seems like Ethan's been here since Clay and Mary Claire went to school, so it'll be like having free time or something!
I think God has plans for me.  I feel like I have hope today.  Maybe I'm supposed to have a little free time first.  I don't know, but I'm going with it.  I have finished my three books, and I have a plan.  I think we'll be okay next time, and if not, we'll go to Plan B.  I read about this "Power of Love" study in my most recent book, Avoiding Miscarriage.  It's about these two different studies (one in Norway, one in New Zealand) where the all the women have already had three previous, consecutive miscarriages.  The control group of women get the same care they've always received, and the experimental group received more support and care (including increased medical care, psychological support including weekly medical exams and counseling).  The control groups in each study had a 33% success rate (ending with a live baby) and the experimental groups in each study had an 86% success rate-Amazing results!  They aren't sure why.. maybe it has a beneficial effect on hormones or maybe it bolsters immune response.  But, I'll be making sure I have my support system in place (including some more exercise, a counselor, a maternal-fetal specialist, and seeing my doctor so much he has to shoo me away!).
Since I finished my three books, I need my next goal/project to keep me busy.  I have to sort out something to do with the office.  We will move some furniture in there to use it for tv or maybe set up the kids a desk, since we have a couple extra computers not getting used right now.  I want to monitor the kids, but they'd enjoy some computer time.  I never let them get online, but I know they like to watch videos and play games.  I figure they get time at school, and I get so nervous for their safety!
Anyway, my next project may be the hearth room.  I think I'm going to paint it.  It's a greenish-gray color, and I think I'd like to go bluish-grayish.  I know, clear as mud.  It's just not very cheerful, and I want new slipcovers for my furniture.  I bought furniture with red slipcovers a few years ago with the intention of buying more colors of slipcovers, but never have!  I think it's time.  Maybe white or cream.  I have the swatches, but never made a decision.  The store has cream on right now, and I like them-maybe since I can't decide between all the creams and ivories, I'll go with what they picked!  (All the floral pillows they have right now are pretty too!)
Ok, if you still wanted to know, although it's old news..  My doctor visit went pretty well on Friday.  It was my follow-up after my d&c.  I was still bleeding (really gross on its own, even grosser when you have to sit, half-naked on the paper sheet-thing, and get examined).  Embarrassing?  Yep.  Especially when you tell the doctor you are still bleeding, and he tells you, "but it's getting darker, that's good!" (and he knows because he's seen it.  Ick.) Anyway..he did not have the babies tested.  He said there was no way for the lab to tell the tissue apart/to tell one baby from the other to analyze each one.  So they did nothing.  I was pretty disappointed about that.
Then I got to ask my questions.  I had about 20, really.  I wanted to know all about my labwork from January (what I was tested for, and how each one came out), my labwork from the week (week 11) before the bad ultrasound, and whether they ran a progesterone test (no).  The labwork from the week of (week 12), and progesterone (no), antiphospholipid antibodies (no), etc.  Some tests were run in January (like the antinuclear antibodies (negative!), but others weren't run (Factor V Leiden).  I'll get more testing done when I see the specialist.  My doctor wants to wait till I see the specialist, so we don't have to rerun tests-he'll get the lab results, and I'll see my regular ob on May 18 to follow up.
He gave me some Methyline (8 pills: one every 6 hours) to help clot the bleeding to finish it off.  It worked while I was taking them, but now I'm back to bleeding...  Maybe it'll end soon?  He said it could last 6 weeks, until I start a regular period.  I asked how I'd know it was a period since it's all blood from here to there?!  He didn't think it was so funny.
All in all, I didn't get a ton of answers.  I do think he's doing what he can.  I asked if I'd had heparin if my placenta would've made the transition better if I was clotting, and he said we did the best we could with the information we had at the time.  I know he doesn't want that responsibility (none of us do), so I understand.  I just wonder...
Now, I paint, and make lists, and wait for the next doctor's appointment, and pray for his wisdom.  I pray that God guides his hands and mind, prepares us for what he has to say, and that he puts us on the right path.  We still pray for a healthy child for our family.  We just don't feel finished.  I remember praying last spring and summer for God's guidance and will for our family.  I wanted to know if we should have another child.  Now, I got what I wanted-I feel like we are absolutely supposed to have another.  I also prayed in December and January if we weren't supposed to have more kids to take this desire away from me.  It's still here.  So..we continue until we are content that it's over.  It's weird how sometimes our hearts know things that our minds don't (and vice-versa..).
So, today I have hope for things unseen.  I guess that's faith.
For we walk by faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Turn Your Day Around

The doctor's appointment on Friday went well-I'll update on that later. It's been busy, we had a day of friends yesterday, and Laundry is threatening to take over the house!
Today is kinda yucky.  Sad feelings keep bubbling up.  Lots to do, Mary Claire destroyed her room after I had started cleaning it yesterday (she makes all these bags/boxes of stuff that I've already cleaned-3-just since yesterday-a baby bag of notebooks and desk stuff, a lunch box of ziplocs of play-doh and spoons (yes, my whole box of ziplocs from the kitchen!), and a box of junk-that I had stuff in!)  Arrgghhh...
If my morning goes roughly, it's so hard to get the day turned around.  I'm sure church will help, but Ahhh.  It's like once the bad stuff starts happening, you see all the yuck, and I have a to-do list a mile long.  I know we just got home, but there's soo much to do!
I used to have this student in my class years ago, the cutest little boy, but he had some problems.  When he'd come in, and start having a rough day (even the smallest things could ruffle his feathers), I'd tell him to turn his day around, to start over.  He would mull it over, then decide to try again.  It usually worked, and I'd have to play with or tease him till he smiled.  It is harder to do than you think!  I should take my own advice, and turn my day around.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Marking Time

 
We will head back to Arkansas soon.  We are on our way to the airport.  We’ve explored Downtown Disney again, ate at TRex again (think Rainforest CafĂ© only with dinosaurs and meteor showers), and shopped a little.  Clay had really wanted to get another monorail, but we’d been against it.   Last year, they had their monorails separated and parts lost within a week.  I don’t even know if either boy has all four sections!  Anyway, we had to go back to check them out.  Clay had picked out one with an orange stripe, and Ethan picked out a train with Mickey, Goofy, and Donald hanging out the windows.
 
Mary Claire chose some clothing (and a tiara) for her babies to wear.  By the time we left, they’d changed their minds about a hundred times! Clay ended up with Toy Story army men (that I tried to explain were cheaper at Wal-Mart, but to no avail), and Ethan left wailing (even after he got his train) since he saw a bigger train at the exit.  He picked up the handle, and started out the door with it!  We had to take it away, and he was so mad!  Then he didn’t want his little train.  Ahh, only when you’re three does your momma understand you.  I just couldn't get mad at him.
We had to have a little talk on the way back to the car.  We explained spoiled and greedy, and self-control.  I think it went over Ethan’s head, but Clay and Mary Claire were very sweet.  I think they get that they can’t fit all they toys they wish for into their rooms!  I explained that we have to teach them self-control so that when they grow up, they’ll have it.  They won’t always be able to have whatever they want.  I think they got it.  Mary Claire even recognized when she used to cry when she came out of a store with nothing.  She said she likes to come out with something.  I get that feeling. That’s why we let her take in her Bella and Violet when we go somewhere-she gets to leave with them!
We’ve had fun in Florida, and it was good for a diversion for all of us.  Today marks two weeks since they took my sweet babies out.  I was a little moody this morning, but I’m okay-I swear this medicine is good.  It can’t just be me.  More double strollers at Downtown Disney today-I guess I’ll always feel something.  I’m sure I’ll mark time in weeks, months, due dates, and tiny moments for a while.  I read last night that the cure for a miscarriage is another baby-ha.  When they seem so unattainable, how can that be the only cure?  I have to find more to do with my time.  I’m almost finished with my second miscarriage book-the last chapter.  I have my follow-up regular ob/gyn appt. tomorrow: my two-weeks-after appointment.  I’m nervous, but hoping to get some answers.  I think they tested the babies, and maybe they’ll tell me something?  I also have to tell him we are seeing a specialist on 5/3, and that he has to copy my files.  I did learn (in the most recent book) that I still see him and the specialist.  I only see the specialist until around 35 weeks, or until everything looks fine.  The regular doctor will deliver me (well, you know, if).  Ok, gotta stop there.  Just too much.
And could I get no more formula in the mail?  Why do they do that?  How did they get my address?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not Quite Tall Enough, but Brave Enough!

We are still all okay.  I had a rough afternoon yesterday-then I realized I'd forgotten my medicine.  I took it late, and it worked.  I think seeing pregnant women and sets of twins just caused me some stress and sadness.  I'll get through it.  I'm still happy to be here with the kids I have and watch them have fun.
We went to Hollywood Studios yesterday, rode the crazy, scary rides, ate double-dip mint chocolate chip ice cream cones, saw Mickey, Donald and Daisy Duck, Minnie Mouse, Mater and Lightning McQueen and got a little rained on-not too bad.  The big rain came when we went back at night for the Wishes Fireworks-it really rained on us!  We ran to the car after we got off the tram, and there was a smell in the car...was it us or the wet upholstery?  Ick.
Today we went to Universal Studios.  It was fun, better than I thought it'd be.  It was un-Disney and not-so-sweet, but okay.  Suess-land was cute, and Ethan and the kids loved the rides.  There were several that they weren't tall enough for, so it's meant for a taller (grown-up) crowd.  The two big roller coasters he had to be 54" to ride, and he's about 53-53.5", and they said it wasn't enough.  He was soo disappointed. Mary Claire didn't want to go on anyway, so she didn't care.  I felt bad for him, as he's a thrill-seeker.  He did go on one alone, that I just couldn't handle.  It was Dr. Doom's free fall or something.  It was like Tower of Terror-free falling, and I got really scared yesterday, and didn't want to do it today!  We'd bought express passes ($25 each for one wait-free ride on each ride, or $62 for unlimited line-free waiting on anything), so he walked right up, go on, and did it alone.  It was a milestone that I wasn't ready for him to make.  But he did it, and loved it.
We are resting, then back out for dinner and a night out.  It's either swimming or Downtown Disney...they get to vote. : )  We're democratic like that. heehee
ps-more pix are in the Disney set, and I posted Universal Pix.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Most Magical Place on Earth-Just what I needed!

We've had a long day already, and it's not over yet!  We've been at Magic Kingdom all day, and the kids were so tired..and Ches was hungry for non-Disney food.  I'd planned to stay till the fireworks at 10, but it wasn't going to work.. We still have two hours, so we're resting up.  We went to eat dinner, and Ethan and Mary Claire fell asleep and took short naps in the car.  All Ethan wanted to do was go back to the hotel!  He still hasn't eaten his boxed-up dinner.
I called my doctor's office early this morning to see if I could ride rides, since they make Ches sick.  It was okay, so we got fast passes to Space Mountain first (Clay's choice).  Then we piddled around, rode the Transit Authority, got a picture with Buzz Lightyear (after Ethan talking about just this for two weeks), then he freaked out, and wouldn't stand with Buzz!

We did the best we could, and Ches got him in the picture.  I think he'll regret it tomorrow, but he'll still have a picture.

Then we split up.  Ches took Ethan to ride the Buzz Lightyear ride (and shoot at aliens, which he loved), and I took Clay and Mary Claire to ride on Space Mountain in the dark.  Clay loved it so much, he begged to get more fast passes as soon as we got off of it!  So, Ches got more passes for him, Mary Claire, and Ethan for the Buzz ride, and she went with them the next time.  (Roller Coasters in the dark are not her thing.  But she tried it again, which she gets bonus points for!)
We also waited to see the Fairies-which we hadn't seen before.  They were cute, and Tinkerbell was nicer than I had heard she'd be!  She was still very sassy, but it was okay.  Mary Claire just got so quiet, and didn't hardly say a word!  They asked her if she was always this quiet, and I had to say, "No!"  She was nervous about Tink I think.
See?  It turned out cute, but she was sooo shy! : )
Then we got snacks (don't get the frozen banana covered in chocolate and nuts), and headed over to meet Ches, Clay, and Ethan in Frontier Land.  They'd ridden the train over there, so we picked up the stroller they'd left, and headed across the park.  We found out where Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen were, but by the time we got there, they'd closed the line, and started a new one (I know, amazing.), but I wasn't willing to wait another hour till they started up again, and she didn't care to wait either.  We found Woody and Jessie, and asked if Ethan wanted to see them.  He did!  He said he'd shake Woody's hand and take a picture with him.  Soo..we waited in that very long line, and when it was our turn, Ethan took off!  Literally, ran away.   Ches chased him down, and there the characters stood.  So, Clay, Mary Claire and I took a picture with Woody and Jessie.

I had to go looking for Ches and Ethan!  Crazy.  So, no more do I believe he'll wait and take pictures.  I've learned (well, it only took me two tries.)
Anyway, we rode the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Mary Claire loved it!  I was so glad she found one she liked.  We hung around for a while longer, then rode the train around the park back to the front.  They were doing work/safety checks on the monorails, so it took a long time.  By the time we got off to go to our car, they'd stopped all monorails and told the people in line that they'd find alternate transportation for them (Scary!).  I don't know what was going on, but after that wreck last year, I guess it's safer to stop them than let them run unsafely.
Ok, we gotta decide what to do, and get to doing it-it's already 8:30!
ps-I posted a Flickr slideshow down below of some of today's pictures! : )

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Teensy Vacation

I know it's been a long time...
We're grieving in our own way.  It involves being busy to take our minds off things.  Clay has baseball about 4-5 times a week (not exaggeration), we have the other usual things, we're avoiding people (sorry), and I went to Branson yesterday, and we leave for Florida tomorrow.
We'd planned this Disney trip for the kids Summer Vacation since we wouldn't be able to travel in their real summer.  Problem is, now we could go this summer, but this is already booked.  We already paid for the airfare and hotel, so we can go and enjoy, or stay home and think about what we could be doing.  We are choosing to go.  We'll have fun with the kids I'm sure.  They are excited, and I can't imagine letting them down (again).
I went to Branson to pick up her First Communion dress, and to do a little shopping.  I took Ethan, which turned out to be a good day.  He threw a couple fits, but it was still a good trip.  He made me laugh out loud so many times, and I needed that.  He walked around picking up tons of clothes saying, "Sissy needs this!" and hanging them on the stoller handle (our portable clothing rack).  He found a shirt he liked (that I didn't like), and he wanted it.  I hung it on the "rack" and we kept walking.  When he wasn't looking, I put it back.  Then a few minutes later, I heard him saying, "Mommy, I'm so mad at you.  You put my shirt back!"  Ha!  He caught me.  I got it down, and did the same thing again.  Heehee
The other laugh-out-loud thing was when he saw a big long-sleeve shirt hanging alone down low.  While I wasn't looking, he got inside it, put his arms inside the sleeves, and starting waving the arms saying, "Wooo-ooo" all ghosty-like.  So funny.  I took a picture, and had to tell him to be still, since the camera couldn't catch the arms moving!  The neck on the shirt was too high for his head, so it looked like the headless horseman.  Eventually the hanger snapped (not-so-funny), and he fell down.  He was upset, and it scared us both, but it was still funny.  I sooo needed the laugh.  He was great-very lovable and pretty agreeable except around five-o'clock: the normal tantrum time if he hasn't had a nap (which he didn't).

I'm doing okay.  Better with the medication.  I didn't choose to be on it, or want to be, but it's helping me day-to-day.  I don't know how long I'll be on it, and it's an issue with me.  I feel different than the person I was a week ago.  It's weird.  I feel like it was all a dream, and I'm not that person, like I wan't really pregnant.  I'm not sure if that's the meds talking, or if it's just very surreal, and I'm still in unbelief.
We are making it, and just now Ches is telling me about how he feels and what people have said to him at work.  It's hard to get outside yourself and think about someone else when you are hurting, but I've kinda expected him to care about me, so it's his turn.  He's not got it easy either.
I'm almost finished reading one of the miscarriage books I bought, and I feel more educated and a little hopeful.  I'm pinning a lot of hope on my May 3rd appointment with the specialist, so I hope I learn something.  I have a follow-up appointment with my doctor next Friday, so maybe he can tell me if he got news back on my babies, and if he has a theory about what happened.  I have questions for him, and I'll tell him we are seeing a specialist.  I'd like him to keep my original file, and just send copies.  I don't know what standard procedure is with patient files, but I'll request just the same.
I'm just about done packing (clothes are in there), so we are almost ready to go.  I have to call Disney to add more days to our passes, and I'll call my doctor on Monday to see if I can ride the roller coasters with Clay (they make Ches ultra-sick).  We'll have fun, and bond with each other some more.  We need some fun time away, just us.  I hate that they are missing some school, but we do need a diversion.  Hug your kids, and love your family-I'm learning that not everything is a sure thing.
 
I will not forget you!  See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hand.  ..Isaiah 49:15-16

Oh, and I forgot to tell you about allll the things he rode on..quite a fun, coin-filled day!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Breathe In, Breathe Out-Slowly

I've got a few minutes before I get the kids up for school.  Yesterday was the most horrible day yet.  I think it was everything together.  April fifth is when we would have had the first baby (from July), and my hormones were (are) crashing, I woke up at 6 am (my new inner alarm clock-hasn't failed yet) after an awful dream, we had a rough morning with the kids, I woke with a headache (that didn't leave me till I fell asleep at 9 last night), and then I lost it after the kids went to school.  I think I had an anxiety attack.  It started easily enough-just crying.  Feeling bad after the kids left.  I sat down to eat breakfast, and stupid Bringing Home Baby was on TLC (and who left the tv on 48?), and stupider me watched part of if it.  I think I realized that it sucks to actually have (give birth) to the baby, but then you have the baby.  I don't have a baby to be my "reward" for all the pain.
Then I talked to Angie on the phone, told her what was going on (me losing it), I got off the phone and took a shower.  Somewhere in that time frame, I just lost it (I truly don't have better words).  I was crying, but then I couldn't catch my breath, so I was breathing fast/really heavy.  Then I didn't have the strength to stand up, so I sat.  Then I still couldn't get enough air-I think I was getting dizzy from breathing hard.  It's still hard to look back on it, but it helps me see what happened.
Ethan came in, since Ches was getting ready to take him to Mother's Day Out.  I felt horrible, I couldn't talk to him or say bye.  They just left.  I finally pulled it together, and got out.  After I had some control, I called the doctor's office and asked for some anti-anxiety medication that I could take in the day that didn't make me sleepy.  They called in some Lexapro, and I lost it a little when she said that it wouldn't fully work for a month (geez, can I wait that long?) Anyway, I started it yesterday, so I hope it starts to work soon.
I felt myself getting really upset when I came home from picking Ethan up yesterday, but I was able to concentrate on breathing, and I was fine.  I just get overwhelmed.  Too many things to think about-and on top of all stuff baby, and not understanding, I can't find clothes to wear.  Yesterday, I got dressed, but was still crazy sweating, and I could smell b.o.-even after I used my deodorant!  I grossed out, threw the shirt in the laundry, washed off, and tried a better deodorant (not the silly moisturizing one)!  And what to cover my tummy with?
Today my stomach is a little smaller.  Good, but sad.  Maybe I can wear some of my regular pants today?  I weighed, and I had gained weight-go figure.  Guess it's all the sleeping I did over the past few days?  I'll work on it.  Just keep breathing.
So, I'm hoping today is better.  (I really don't think it could get worse.)
It's time to get the kids going, so I'd better go.  (And take my meds!)  Ha.  It's not funny, but it's all I have to laugh at.  ..Let's be happy for something small today.  I'll try to find the tiny things.  What can you find?
**Update:  I am having a better day-I feel more like myself.  Busy, accomplishing things, making beds and breakfast.  Just better.  Thanks for your prayers.  They are working!**

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Future and a Hope

It's been busy.  Well, not that it's ever not.
Saturday was a long day, and I slept on and off.  I got up to make baked potato soup that morning, to fill the crock pot.  There was pain, and I started bleeding a lot more by afternoon.  I stressed out and went to bed.  I got up around 3:30, as Easter doesn't wait on me to feel better, and we started our little rituals.  I boiled a couple dozen eggs-maybe 28? and then we cooled them, made the dye and laid out stickers.  Clay was at baseball practice, and we didn't want to start without him.  While we waited, we made 4 dozen sugar cookies to frost.  About the time they came out, Clay came in and they started coloring eggs.  I was hurting worse, so I asked Ches to help out.  I got dinner ready, we ate, then I finished frosting/sprinkling cookies-the kids took off outside-it was so nice.
I got up Sunday with more blood, and called the hospital, then paged the nurse on call at my doctor's office.  I was really getting worried.  It'd been going so well, then downhill.  I was in pain (even on my medicine), and was scared to be up too long.  We didn't end up going to church, and the kids just played.  I missed going.  I knew it'd be a hard day when we saw our church friends again, as they'd either not know, and I'd have to tell them, or they would, and I'd cry.  It was probably better we didn't go.  I didn't know if I'd make it physically, or emotionally.  I'd planned to wear this toile maternity dress, and it would've made me cry too.  Mary Claire was disappointed about not wearing her new dress we got in Dallas, but there was nothing I could do.
We went to Mom's for lunch, and the kids played and hid eggs all afternoon.  I came home, got ready for bed, and was asleep by 7:45.  What a day!  It's the most I've been awake since last Wednesday. : )
Today, I have been up-someone had to sort all those clothes in the dining room to get them cleared out-what a mess!  Tomorrow, I have to get to packing.  We leave for Disney on Sunday, and it's kinda been on the back burner.  It's time to pack up-laundry's done, but my sweet girl is growing out of her clothes!  I have to find at least 6 or 7 outfits to get us through.
I am planning to make a run to Branson to get the kids some clothes on Friday.  My goal had been to go in late April/early May when we found out what the babies were, so I was waiting..well, she needs clothes now.  The boys need some shorts too.  And..I have to pick up her first communion dress at Strasburg.  They've been holding in since the first of January, and I haven't had it shipped yet, since there was a tiny chance I'd be up there.  Even if it's a quick trip, it'll work.  I'm planning to take Ethan.  He has such fits when he's not with me, so I feel bad leaving me.  It might not go quite as smoothly, but he's a sweetie.  I think he'll be fine.  As long as I get some kid clothes and her dress, it'll be okay.  I can save shopping for me till another day.
Ok, getting sleepy...I'm still going, so everything is okay.
I have scheduled an appointment with a high-risk specialty doctor in Little Rock for May 3rd.  I am hoping he can give us some insight into what might be happening, and what our chances are for a successful pregnancy in the future.  We need more input.  Please pray for some answers, our discernment, and healing for all of us.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11 (yes, again-emphasis on future tonight)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pain and Preparing

I have about 25 minutes till the Xanax kicks in to help me sleep.  The old-fashioned way is just not working.
I made it through another day.  I had my hair appointment this morning (if I'd rescheduled, it'd have been a good month to wait for a new time, and no thanks), so Ches drove me.  He didn't work today, and I did need it.  We got some pizza for lunch, and I laid down as soon as we got home.  I didn't realize I'd let my pain medicine lapse, so by 6:30 this evening, I was in awful pain.  It took almost an hour to start working since I'd just eaten, but it's better.  I just don't want to take it all then run out, or get used to a lot, then they won't work when I'm hurting badly.  But I'll try not to go so long if I can remember.  I'm trying to tell someone when I take something (I always have this ambulance vision, where they ask what I've had.  I want them to know!).
I've done more thinking-about everything.  I don't know if I mentioned it (I don't think so), but I had a doctor's appointment last Monday (the 22nd), and the nurse said if it'd ease my mind (since I was crying), she'd try to check for fetal heart tones.  She said it was just for fun, and if it'd scare me if we heard nothing (which was possible, she said), then we shouldn't check.  I thought for a few minutes and told her I wanted to try to hear them because the benefits of easing my mind would be worth a lot.  We tried, and heard nothing.  She had me go to the bathroom to empty my bladder, then we listened again.  She was pushing so hard on my body, it was hurting, but I wanted to hear as badly as she did.  Still nothing.  I didn't get too upset in the office, since she'd told me it might still be too early.  But when I got in the van, I called Ches.  I was upset.  I tried to think reasonably, and I'd already felt them (all 8 legs and arms, and such a small space I guess), so I didn't worry too much more about it.  She said I could come back on Thursday to try to listen again, but I thought if I still didn't hear them, it would be agony waiting for my ultrasound till the next Monday.  I tried to be mature and patient, and waited till the next Monday.
I'm wondering if yuckiness was in the back of my mind, and I didn't want to give the thought room in my head.  I also had a bad dream last Thursday.  I woke up to a dream of Ethan falling off a huge ledge, and I'll spare you all the gory details, but he died in my dream.  I couldn't catch my breath, I jumped out of bed, and panicked.  I prayed for it to go away, for me to forget it.  (I was having really bad dreams all week, but I read it was normal with the hormones running rampant.)  Now all these things come back to me.  Were they my body's way of preparing me?  Was there something happening that I just didn't know?  What if I'd insisted on an ultrasound the week before?  What would I have found?
Now we found tons more info today about everything from miscarriages (I ordered three more books) to progesterone (did you know it rises all through pregnancy?), to fetal and maternal medicine specialists (we called the office in Little Rock for an appointment-at 4:30 today-and they had already turned on the machine for the weekend, they close at 4:30 every day).  I am thankful to even know that I haven't lost hope.
I'm tired of crying, it wears me out.  I want to be strong, and focus on the future-on what I can DO, but then what I had planned keeps creeping in.  I lost not just two precious lives, but the dreams and hopes I had for them.  I had worked out so many scenarios-like how to let them both wear the baptismal gown we had made almost 10 years ago-that all our kids have worn, how to get them both out of the car if I'm alone, how to feed them both, we studied options for another bed, for double strollers.  It all seems so vain now.  Why did I spend my time praying for two placentas so they'd be safest on my way to the last ultrasound, when I took for granted they were even alive?  I mean, when do you slip from thank God for this day being pregnant to please let them be healthy and safe?  We begin to take a tiny bit for granted, and it just feels wrong now.
I miss them already.  I know I already lost five pounds, and it doesn't make me happy.  My tummy is going down, but I'd gotten used to sleeping with my hand on my tummy at night.  I'm totally less sleepy, but my doctor says it's because my mind can't slow down (but is it dropping hormones?).
I'm starting to relax and get sleepy, so I guess it's been 30 minutes.  I pray for my kids, that they weather the storm (they see me damaged, Ches stressed, extra people here, their schedule modified), for our families' patience and time with us, and for us to not go overboard on a mission.  We pray for our friends to stay strong, to not lose hope because of us, and for all the other families suffering at this same time.  It's hard to reach out and minister to others when you are in pain, so we are of no help to anyone else right now.  It's like all other things become unimportant, invisible even.  The pain is blinding.  I'm sorry if I'm failing you; I can't promise to do any better any time soon.
Today, Good Friday, Mary watched her Son carry his cross and die his earthly death-the agony in her heart is palpable.  I can feel it.  He was taken down, wrapped in linen, and laid in the tomb.  We eagerly wait for the day we roll back the stone, and see the empty tomb.  We can't wait to celebrate Him rising.  May I humble myself again in awe and appreciation-and prepare.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  John 14:3

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Valley of the Shadow of Death

Well, I made it.  I have lived through some things that I truly thought would kill me.  I've faced ugly fears and lived to tell about it.  I can't say I was good about it though.
I went in for my d & c today.  I was so thirsty (and had some forbidden water around 5:30 this morning), but wasn't starving.  My mind was too busy.  I was a baby about my iv.  We had agreed (I'd told the doctor, and he agreed) that I'd get something (shot, sedative, etc.) before I got the iv, but it didn't happen.  The anesthesiologist came in and said (all annoyed) that I could have some valium, but then it'd take 30 minutes to work, and then my surgery would get bumped.  Decisions.  I told the nurse she could have one try, then I wanted the valium and bumped surgery.  She gave me some lidocaine, and got the iv in the first time (yes, I've had them taking multiple stabs at me).  I was pretty much hyperventilating (kinda like I do at the dentist), crying, and not being so good.  I just get scared, and can't control it.  They pushed some stuff in my iv, but my adrenaline was so high, I never felt it.
They took me to surgery (with me not really wanting to go, as I liked the babies just fine where they were), and it was freezing.  I was shaking so badly, and the nurse asked if I was anxious or cold (they could've hung meat in there! and why does it have to be so cold?).  I told her both, but mostly freezing.  She untied my gown, took off my robe, and moved me over to the freezer-bed.  Before long, the anesthesiologist came in, gave me "oxygen", and a shot of a very painful medicine in my iv, and I was sucking in the crazy gas.  I was out pretty quick.
The next thing I knew was waking up in the recovery room crying.  I was hurting.  I told them my pain was a 2 or 3, but apparently that wasn't the right thing to say (and I realized I should've studied those little face pictures with the numbers they gave me yesterday).  I kept rocking from side to side holding my tummy (still crying, no meds), and she asked again, so I upped it to 3 or 4.  Finally, she gave me something, and within a couple minutes the pain slowly lessened.  Within five minutes (when I was just thinking I could take a nap), she took off my leg massagers (to prevent blood clots-and no, I couldn't feel massaging), pulled back the blankets, and swung my legs over the side of the bed to get up (already?).  She walked me to the bathroom, told me to go, then told me my clothes were in the chair, and I needed to get dressed.  I did what she told me, then opened the door ('cause, what now?).  She walked me to a chair, got Ches (yes, he came), gave him exit instructions, and told him to get the car.  Angie got the van, and I got in.  She tried to send the blanket home with me, but I didn't really want it.
We went to Collier's and filled my prescription for Percocet.  I was nervous not to have any medication at home.  We went home, and mom made me some chicken soup (I hadn't eaten since yesterday!), and I laid in bed.
I stayed in bed all day/night, and did fine.  I took more medicine around 4, then around 9:30.  I have taken one each time-I don't want to take too much!  I'm waiting on this one to start working before I go to sleep-I don't want to wake up in pain.
Jenifer came and made dinner-Mama Z's spaghetti (she made the sauce!), bread and salad-sooo good.  I was starving by then, and ate tons.  She'd said last night she'd make food, so I didn't bother to make anything this morning.  We all ate so much, but there's more left!  Ahh, I'm requesting (and begging for!) the recipe.  It's so good.  I think if you've grown up eating it, it makes it even better.  Mmmm...I needed something good. 
I've done better than I thought I would.  I thought I'd be in horrible pain, sleeping, and whiny.  But it's been okay (as okay as it could be).  I can feel my tummy is empty, and I'm dealing with it.  It's still kinda big, but not all round-y and firm like it was.  I already miss them.  I did ask what they would do with them, and if I could see them.  He said he's had people ask to have their babies, but he doesn't recommend it.  He said they don't look like you think they do.
We also asked if he could tell what sex they were, and he said probably not.  He said he couldn't tell (and I wonder about the whole process really, and if that's why they can't tell).  I am trying not to think about it.
I'm mentally okay too and thankful.  It could go either way in the next week or so, but I'm trying not to lose all hope.  I didn't lose my uterus, and that's a move in the right direction.  The doctor said that there was a lot of tissue and blood, and he's glad I let him do the d&c.  It went fine.  He said if we try again, we need to wait at least 3 months.  A year=the soonest we'd have a child.  Now, I have all sorts of other things to sort out.
I think my medicine is kicking in, I have no pain, and I should sleep.  Tomorrow is a new day.  I'm supposed to take it easy, and Saturday should be better.
My admissions nurse had a quote above her desk (on a teensy post-it) which I've read before, but it's reassuring to read again: The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.  I can't find scripture reference, as it seems to be a quote, but here are the two nearest references.  It still makes me think, and you just want to believe it.  Of course it made me cry (especially since it was just up there for her personal reminder, but it helped me too).  God put it there, and I know.


No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11