Friday, September 30, 2011

Memory card surprise!

I love finding pictures I've forgotten about! I have about four memory cards (not nearly as many as some people I know...*coughMOM!cough*), and every once in awhile one of them gets stuck in my bag and forgets to be uploaded with the rest of them! It makes for a fun surprise :o) So, for those of you not on facebook, here are a couple favorites!

Playing with his GG and Papa's doggies:

 Mom, do I HAVE to be nice?
 Okay, fine...
Finding his reflection in the oven door...
 Little boy, I will forever be obsessed with those big eyes!
 Watching cars as they go by, his whoozit friend in tow, of course!
 Hahaha I don't even know how he made this's on my desktop now though!
 waving hello!
 then, of course, you have to wave to all the cars that go by...
 the epitome of Nathan...this is what he does most of the time:
 being a brave boy and touching the grass! :o)
 Probably my favorite. Almost a smile! :o)

As far as the PTSD I've been working through, I feel like it couldn't be going any better! Every day I feel more and more like my old, pre-baby self! Most of the issues I had in the beginning are gone, and there are only a few things I'm still working through. My counselor has been amazing. I was concerned about having a male counselor, afraid that he wouldn't understand all the womanly birth emotions, but his wife has actually had a lot of complications with their babies, and he's helped her through them. So, now he's able to help me perfectly. It's amazing how our trials can bless the lives of others. I'll most likely never meet his wife, but she's blessed me just by what she's been through.

My counselor has explained PTSD to me as a tight knot of an experience that your brain burrows away until it feels like you can deal with it. The reason I get stuck in flashbacks and thoughts (sometimes for hours) is because all the emotions that were present in the experience are stowed away, too. So, not only am I re-living the experience through thoughts, but through emotions, too. It's very draining and I am so grateful to be feeling better. This "knot" has layers like an onion (or an ogre lol) and as we unwrap and unravel, new things about the experience come out. I was sitting in counseling yesterday and remembered something I'd never thought about since it happened! It's like it came out of nowhere!

I'll try to keep you guys posted on everything, but it takes a lot of time and thought to write about it, and with Nathan, school, chores, etc., writing about it kind of takes a back burner!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

22 and meditation

On Sept. 20th I turned 22. It was a pretty good day! I love birthdays, but I don't really know why. I just love the feeling that this one day of the year is YOURS and, mostly likely, no one else's in your family. We're always still waiting for grant money on my birthday so it's never been a big deal around our house, but we did set aside money to buy one special gift. I didn't have much on my list this year, which was convenient. (Turns out I'd much rather buy for Nathan than myself these days!)

The one thing I did have on my list was Modern Family season 2 on DVD. Some people don't agree with this show; I just think about it differently. I really don't consider it justification just so I feel okay about watching it; I really have thought about it this way ever since I started watching it. 

This show is about an extended family. It happens to be the most awarded comedy on tv right now! It's also a pretty clean one, and one that Mitch and I both like to watch (a rare find for two people with completely opposite tastes...). One of the members of the extended family is gay, and lives with his partner. They have an adopted little girl from Vietnam. I think this is the main reason that people judge this show. However, one of the first episodes I saw was when this extended family member, named Mitchell (although he's different in every way from MY Mitchell!), is having issues with his father. His dad ("Al Bundy" from Married with Children) is having issues with Mitchell's lifestyle. All in all, for me, this show is about what would happen to a family if a curve ball was thrown, like one of the children "coming out." How would I deal with this in my own family? Hopefully as well as this family does. They support the family member and still show them inclusion and love, but make it known in their own individual families that they don't agree with the idea. It matches my own set of beliefs, so I've always found this show somewhat familiar and inviting. 

**Disclaimer: this is in no way political. I have a set of personal and religious beliefs that I try to live by, and I am stating them on my own personal blog. I am not trying to discriminate against anyone who may have different beliefs, but recognize that this is a platform on which I am able to voice my own. **
Here are a few of my favorite Modern Family moments, both the Oscar promos from 2010 and 2011:


Also, I have been going to counseling for PTSD. It has been going better than I ever expected it could! I already feel like I'm over everything that happened (or didn't happen) the day Nathan was born, and the aftermath of everything, but we're working to make sure I didn't just suppress things that will inevitably come out later. I have been on medication but haven't built up enough in my system to see any effects. However, my counselor and I have discussed the possibility of not needing it, since I'm already feeling so much better on my own. It just feels great to be validated, ya know? I still need to journal everything as part of the process. I've put it off so far because I know it will take a lot out of me to do it, but I also know it needs to be done sometime soon, before I forget all the emotion that was involved.

Today in our session I learned relaxation and meditation techniques. Holy cow, that stuff is better than sleep! The goal is to practice this enough that, when the next baby is coming along, I don't feel completely as out of control with the pain like I did last time. Also, if another emergency c-section were to happen, I will have the tools I need to calm myself and focus on what needs my attention.

Well, that's it I guess! It's way past little man's bedtime; he stayed up late playing with a friend, so now I get to deal with that!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sharing can sometimes also be caring...

I'm a pretty public person. I've been grilled by sisters for talking about things they don't care about or can't relate to. Or are grossed out by because they're weird. (haha love you guys!)

Anyway, I don't keep much to myself. I am always wanting advice from those I trust. I feel like blogging is a great way to do this. So, I'll catch you all up on what's going on in my dark little corner of life for the last ten months.

A couple days ago I talked to a counselor. She told me everything pointed to a textbook case of 
Postpartum Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

What? That exists?

Now what?

I've been having random night(day?)mares and flashbacks since about three months after Nathan was born. I don't know why they haven't stopped. In fact, they've gotten worse. They occupy most of my thoughts, and recently I've discovered that I can sit down in a class, picture all the traumatic things that happened the day Nathan was born, and all of a sudden class is over. That's going to be a problem with all the credits I'm taking.

It's hard to explain and I don't feel like going into detail right now, but I knew I needed help when I found myself with only two options:

1) I want a do-over delivery NOW. Not another pregnancy, just another delivery so that I know that normal is possible for me.


2) I shouldn't have any more babies because I'm damaged from the c-section and I'm no good to have any more.

Neither one is practical. The first one isn't even healthy for me at this point.

I had an appointment today with a nurse practitioner at the practice that delivered Nathan. She was so fantastic. She verified every one of my concerns and feelings and gave great advice. It was nice to hear medical facts about what happened on November 2nd (for more details read the story here; remember, I wasn't traumatized yet at this point.) 

I have a prescription for an anti-anxiety, anti-depressant medication. I also have an appointment with a psychiatrist on Friday. I'll ask him about the prescription, just to get a second opinion, and fill it if I feel like it's right.

I really don't know how to write all this, but I'm trying. So if it sounds awkward, that's why. The nurse practitioner today told me it would be therapeutic to write everything down and talk about it.

Linda (the nurse practitioner...tired of typing that!) has spent her time mainly studying postpartum depression in all of its forms. It affects 15% of all women who have a baby, every year. Postpartum PTSD affects only 2% of new mothers every year. That explains why I thought I was making it up. I don't have any serious, self-damaging thoughts or anything, it's just the thought processes and flashbacks that I get stuck in. I end up in a sobbing mess most nights and can't get back to sleep for hours. Finally, my son is sleeping through the night...and I'm still sleeping like I have a newborn!

Linda thinks that with counseling and medication (I have an extremely low dose right now, a tiny bit above the amount they give children), I'll be completely healed in a year. I kept saying "completely normal" and she kept correcting me. So I guess I'm not the wreck that I am in my head, but I'll get to agreeing with that thought later.

Our plans at this point are to continue treatment. My medication will last for six months. Then I'll be reevaluated and weaned off of it for the next six months. Hopefully this will help me move on so I can have other healthy pregnancies, and *fingers crossed* normal deliveries.

I know I'm scaring about a dozen of my pregnant friends right now. I'm really sorry; I don't mean to. This only happens to a tiny minority of new mothers. My advice to expectant moms, especially first-timers, is to research c-sections. Find out all about them. Prepare for one. Hopefully you won't need all the preparation, but it can't hurt. Doctors don't tell you about them unless you ask (or your baby is breech or you need to have a scheduled one or something).

I knew nothing in that operating room, and it scared me to death. It can happen to anyone. The first eight hours of my labor were smooth sailing. Then when his heart rate plummeted for the last four hours, my blood pressure went sky-high and preeclampsia set in. I had nowhere to go mentally and I just lost it. I couldn't push him out, even when I was at a 9 1/2. They said congenital heart failure in my baby, I apparently said ten months of internal struggle, then a year of counseling and meds. 

To new moms, get help if you need it. Find the help you need, no matter how embarrassing you think it is. It was very embarrassing for me to start this process today and get my "official diagnosis." I'm just very grateful that this is most likely a temporary, one-time depressive state. After a year of help, hopefully I'll be ready to contemplate and mentally handle another pregnancy, delivery, and baby. At this point, my "no more babies!" side is winning!

Here's the big question: do you bloggers want to hear about the process? Or do you not care? It's okay if you don't. I'll write about it privately or publicly. If I can help someone, it is worth it to me to have details out on the table. Should I make a separate blog for it, that way people that don't care or don't want to know, don't have to? Let me know what you think.

Thanks so much!
Thanks, all, for reading and for dealing with me :o)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

You would think

That my son was having a near-death experience whenever he comes in contact with grass. It's the funniest, not-too-uncommon (or so I'm told) thing! Well, get ready, little boy, because winter is COMING! It gets down to the 30s or 40s every night, and stays about in the 70s low 80s during the day. Pretty fantastic, as far as I'm concerned!

Today we went outside around 7:00 to get some pictures, before the days start becoming too short. This little man was so upset, and being outside always seems to brighten his moods a bit. Okay, so I used his not-feeling-up-to-anything, must-go-outside mood to snap some pictures. Who wouldn't with gorgeous evening light!?

This post is mostly for those who don't get on facebook enough to see pictures. Because I just posted them all there. They're bigger here, but there's also fewer of them. Take your pick and enjoy! I dressed him in a cute green plaid shirt so his skin and eyes would really pop.

 I love it when I can catch a smile! It almost never happens! My mom asked me once why he was such a somber boy. He's not, he's really very happy, he just doesn't like to smile at a black camera.
 Mitch likes to try and "toughen him up" by sprinkling grass on him. Or piling it in his lap. It's pretty funny. I love the facial expressions as he's trying to climb off the blanket, only to realize that molten lava grass is surrounding him! (Like in the picture above.)

I'm debating which of the last two to put up in his room. I have a verse of a favorite children's song up on one wall right now, but now that we have the closet door shut all the time, and the vinyl letters are more exposed, I really don't like it. I'd rather have a large print there. I found a GREAT place that will print anything and charge you $2/square foot, so prints are CHEAP! They come out very high-quality if you pay a bit extra (nothing much), so I could pay for an 11x20 or something out of spare change from my car! Our neighbors have a couple in their apartment and I love them. So, which one?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Adventures of the Puke-Covered (Exhausted) Parents

Sorry, not many pictures with this post. Not that you'd want any. We're all puke-covered today anyway!

I have been vomited on three times today. Pooped on twice. Beat that. It's like I have a newborn again!
Nathan has had this weird bug that hasn't sent a fever spiking and hasn't affected his little mojo much, so his doctor said it "shouldn't be contagious."

Thanks, doc. Really comforting. Do you know I start school in 4 days? Do you know that Nathan was sick with bronchitis/lung infection at the beginning of LAST semester, and that the work I missed set me back about a month? 

Nope, didn't think so. Please be more helpful next time.

Ugh. I'm really about ready to switch doctors. Maybe when his insurance ends in November. But that's another story.

Our poor guy woke up on Tuesday at about 1:30 puking his guts out. All over EVERYTHING. It went THROUGH his bedsheet, matress protector (it said waterproof...guess not), his little mattress pad under that and onto his mattress. Gross. He's sitting up and spewing and holding his arms out for me to comfort him.

And because I remember being so sick and only wanting mom, and mom hugging me even when I was gross, I did it. Again and again. Thanks, mom, for teaching me how to show sympathy for a sick little one!

We threw him in the tub. He was very surprised and immediately splashed up a storm and "drank" from his little bath cup. What a great nighttime surprise!

Then he threw up again at 2 am. Then again at 2:30. We didn't know what to do, or what the flu looked like in a little one (aka, when it really got serious), so we headed to the ER. He has great insurance and we knew it wouldn't cost us a dime. What a blessing!

He was absolutely the only patient there, in his stained little hole-y onesie (the one night he wears a hobo onesie, of course!). Then he threw up all over triage. And the little hospital room they put us in. Poor little man. They sent us home with 4 doses of anti-nausea meds.

All that night he threw up, about every hour. My little Old Faithful. He and I slept (ha...slept.) on the couch in our whites (undies) with towels covering everything. I think we did a couple loads of laundry that night, and I think Nathan got 3 baths in 24 hours! Most of the vomiting didn't nail him too bad, but when it rained, it poured! (Haha gross wording. Sorry.)

The last time he threw up was Tuesday at 8 am. Then today we (Nathan and I) were at Walmart. 

Anyone in Rexburg right now knows not to head to Walmart. The aisles are lined with boxes and boxes of hanger packs and pillows and Redvines and socks and every other college "necessity." School starts Monday, so it is "Bring Your Parents to Walmart/the Grocery Store" weekend. We really wanted to avoid it. But, we couldn't. Mitch had a migraine so we left him home. I took Nathan so he could get some rest.

I took Nathan inside in his carseat, instead of leaving it in the car, because he was almost asleep. I should've left it in the car! When we were getting our cart and I hoisted his 28 lb (self+carseat) into the back of it, he spewed EVERYTHING he had just eaten. 

Let me paint a visual. You know you want help picturing this. He ate pureed ham, sweet potatoes, and pears for lunch. He sprayed thick, orange, fruity-smelling toxic waste all over, JUST as I hoisted him into the cart. Picture a sprinkler.

This really, really nice mom was right there and helped me mop up the floor till the cleaning guys got there. She said she had six kids and even offered to hold him. I told her no way, as EVERY inch of him and that carseat was caked with vomit, and neither one of us had any on it. At least one of us could escape clean!

Here's another visual. This one not as gross. I also promise this story's almost over!
They were handing out maps of the store as I walked in. Thousands of kids came back to school this weekend, all bombarding the one (small, dinky, pitiful) Walmart (not even a SUPER!) in Rexburg. And my kid throws up in front of the cart feeder thing, blocking the whole row of available carts with orange goop. NO one's getting a cart now, sorry! Better grow some muscles to carry the groceries mom and pop are buying ya!

Nathan got a sink bath in the Walmart bathroom. Every moment of that trip was disgusting. My mom also happened to call when I was cleaning him up. I missed her first call, in which case she would usually just text to call her later. I'm glad she went ahead and called again, because she helped me a bunch with all of her encouragement/"I've been there, you'll get through it!" advice!

He also had a massive case of the runs, well, THREE, in the last couple days. No "real" signs of dehydration yet, but his bedsheets have been changed about 8 times since Tuesday. Yay for clean linens. And removable bumper pad covers. And two whoozit friends so he can have his best friend to comfort his sick little self.

I called urgent care tonight, just to ask when I should consider taking him to see someone. Again, we know nothing. When is a kid too dehydrated? They told me he isn't yet. What are the signs? Apparently he has none of them, and as long as his diapers are wet, we should be okay. 

OHH, and amid all of it, his little man parts got very swollen and infected. He had a  "unique" circumcision and they had to "correct" it in the dr's office yesterday. Basically meaning they tortured my baby and I had to watch. It was awful, and I'm not even being dramatic! That's the last time I let a man in his mid-seventies with a shaky handshake circumcise my baby. Why aren't you retired?

For now, we're keeping our fingers crossed that his little self heals quickly. Also, if anyone needs laundry done, we are currently doing about 5 loads per day. I swear I could have five CHILDREN and not do this much laundry!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Summer Trip: Sand Hollow

 I'm going to try and post more pictures on this blog. My mom doesn't get on Facebook enough to see pictures, and my father-in-law gets on all the time and just doesn't SHOW my mother-in-law the new pictures. She doesn't have a Facebook...shame on them both! (Kidding of course, guys!) In any case, pictures are fun. So here you go!

We went to this amazing place called Sand Hollow. I don't know exactly where it is, but we left St. George, Utah to get there and didn't spend all that much time driving. So, it must be close by. I swear I'm the only Mormon who doesn't have a map of Utah in my brain! :o)

We were so excited to see what Nathan would think. He had this dark blue and orange swimsuit with matching tshirt, sandals that happened to match, and a dark blue hat and sunglasses that wouldn't stay on. What a stinker! So, he had to stay in the shade...with SPF 100 of course :o)
The sand was so ORANGE! Because I was born and raised in Kansas, one of the states furthest from any coastline, any beach will always amaze me. I love them. I love to swim and tube off of boats and float around in inner tubes. I appreciate all the work that goes into making a beach trip fun. I think I've gained that in the last year after going on some fun beach trips!
Nathan absolutely loved the sand and HATED the water. The sand pictures are adorable, and the water pictures might just be a little bit mean.
 Chillin' with his GG!
 Trying to grab handfuls of sand

 If you click on this picture you can see all the sand caught in his eyebrows and face and arms! It made him look a bit sunburnt!

 Trying out the (really cold) water...
 Daddies can be mean...this little boy is scared of everything...
...really, all we're trying to do is toughen you up, little man!

 Okay, we're done.
We had so much fun tubing off Mitch's grandparents' boat! The boys jumped off tall rocks/cliffs (the most fun part of Sand Hollow, I'm told!) while the girls tubed, floated along the shore, and chilled on the beach. It was awesome! I'll put the captions below the pictures.
Danny, our brother-in-law, sitting on top of Jayna, Mitch's sister, on the tube. (Trying to hold her on...)

Jayna, in all of her balancing glory :o)
My mother-in-law and I on the tube. It was so fun!!
"I'm gonna fall off! I'm gonna fall off!!!!"
...and then she did :o)
Jayna and I. People describe us as awesome. Well, we do, anyway!
Me trying to balance with Jayna on the tube. The boat wasn't even moving and I'm still pulling her over!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

This post...

...can completely speak for itself. No title needed.

When we were in Kansas City visiting my family we started letting Nathan eat what we were eating. He doesn't have any teeth yet, so eating big people food is hard. One night we were eating boneless pork ribs, so guess who got one? Well, one of mom's...

Turns out he is making both his father and his Kansas City family proud...this boy LOVES anything doused in barbecue sauce!