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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ellowyn's first smiles

In the past week or two, Ellowyn has really started smiling a lot.  And it's clearly in response to an external stimulus.  She likes it when we talk to her, tickle her, make faces at her.  

She also finds whistling to be pretty funny.  I was whistling at her while I took these pictures. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My uterus has had enough.

So, as many of you know, I've been on bed rest for the last month for a pretty severe prolapse of the uterus and bladder.  I have to say... bed rest SUCKS.  I don't like feeling as though I am being babysat in my own home.  I don't like having to ask someone for everything that I need.  And I really don't like not being able to be a mom and wife in every way that I'd like to be.  It's been a very big test of my patience.

That said, I realize that I am lucky that I have a support system capable of carrying me through that.  It would have been much more difficult if I hadn't had the help of family and friends keeping us stocked with prepared meals.  My parents were especially generous, coming to stay with me every week day to help with the kids while Brian was at work.

The first two weeks or so of my bed rest went well and I felt like things were getting better down there.  But then I got sick and spent the last two weeks of my bed rest with a bad cough.  I was downing cough syrup and cough drops constantly to try to control the cough, but still the cough had a really negative effect on my prolapse, basically undoing almost all of the improvement that I had previously seen.

So when I saw my Ob/Gyn on Monday, it was no surprise to me when he told me that there was not very much improvement.  It was a little better, but not enough better.  So we discussed treatment options, which consist of a pessary or surgery... or both, as may be the case for me.  He said that he wouldn't want to recommend surgery until after my normal menses had returned because that return to normal, non-pregnant hormones helps to tighten things up in the abdomen.  So until that has happened we won't know for sure how much my body will repair itself on its own.  In the mean time, he ordered me a pessary, which I am to use during the day and take out at night.  One nice thing about that is it will provide support during the day when I'm active, so I won't have to be on bed rest any more.  And it's possible that the pessary and some more time may be all that I need to fully recover.  We will re-evaluate after my regular cycle has returned and decide at that time whether surgery is necessary.

One big issue that keeps coming up is retaining my fertility and whether I want any more children.  Surgical correction of prolapse is not recommended in women who intend to have more children.  The big reason is that a lot of the time, surgical correction involves a hysterectomy.  But also, even if a hysterectomy is avoided, pregnancy will usually ruin the surgical repairs.  And the fact of the matter is that uncorrected prolapse only gets worse with subsequent pregnancies.  So if I were to have more children, afterward I would experience worse prolapse than what I'm already dealing with... and that idea is highly disturbing to me.

So Brian and I have decided that we are done having children.  Brian has even scheduled his vasectomy.  I thought that might be a difficult decision for me to make, but really I'm quite at peace with it.  We have two beautiful daughters who are healthy and happy, and I feel very fortunate to have them.  Wouldn't you feel lucky if these were yours?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mira's First Haircut

Mira got her first haircut!  I took her to this really cute kids' salon called Pigtails and Crewcuts.  They have barber chairs there that are shaped like automobiles.  Mira chose to sit in the airplane to get her hair cut.  She liked siting in the airplane, but then the stylist wanted to put the smock on her... That part was a little scary.  Luckily Aunt KK (my sister) was there with us cuz she put the smock on herself and modeled it for Mira.  After that, Mira decided the smock was ok.  Then the stylist pointed out the TV on the wall playing Finding Nemo.  It was all smooth sailing from there!  And at the end, they told Mira she could pick out a lollipop and a sticker... but she was too excited about the lollipop to be bothered with picking a sticker.  I was really pleased with the cut, too.  I think it looks super cute and a little sassy.  And now for the pics...




Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Reflux. Also I Rock.

It's been too long since I've blogged... There's a lot going on.

Since Ellowyn was born, she's been really spitty.  She spits up often and in great quantity.  But at first it didn't seem to be bothering her.  She was a "happy spitter", as our pediatrician put it.  But over time, she seemed to be getting more and more irritated with it.  It started with just being a 30 minute period every evening when she would be fussy.  Then 30 minutes slowly turned into an hour... then longer... then it wasn't just fussing, but screaming... then it started happening in the morning too... finally it was so bad that she'd spend an hour in the morning being fussy and then THREE hours at night fussing or even screaming.  But I had some clues about what was going on.  The big one was that whenever she'd nurse, she'd latch and then shortly after I'd let down, she'd start crying and arching away.  Also, she'd be fussy after eating and both before and after burping.  I could also hear a lot of "wet burps" whenever she'd cry.  All that indicated to me that her problems were related to her reflux.  So we got in to see the pediatrician and he agreed with my assessment: her tummy was producing too much acid, causing her to have painful heartburn during and after eating.  So he prescribed Zantac.  Well... we got Ellowyn on the Zantac and it's like I have my baby back.  For a few days there she was abducted by a screaming monster but now she's back and it's wonderful.  I am so pleased with how well the reflux meds are working.  I was actually gloating to Brian the other night: "I am such an awesome mommy.  Ellowyn was having trouble with reflux and I figured it out and now problem solved.  How cool am I?"  And really, that's the best feeling a mom can have: something is wrong and mommy fixes it and then everyone is happier because of mommy.  

Also, last weekend we gave Ellowyn her first bottle.  (See pics below.)  She took it really well.  Her second bottle (the next day) she only drank half of and then wanted to nurse.  So maybe it will take her some adjusting, but we wanted to wait to introduce a bottle in order to make sure that breastfeeding was really well established.  And it is.  So that's good.

And I can't believe how beautiful Mira is getting....  Isn't she gorgeous?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Here's how we're doing....

Ellowyn is great.  At risk of getting punched in the face by all my friends who have had difficult babies, I'm going to go ahead and say: I think we won the baby lottery again.  She is a great sleeper, a great nurser, and she is generally happy and easy.  She naps a lot during the day and at night she sleeps well, usually one long 4 hour stretch followed by two shorter two hour stretches.  And when she is up at night, she just nurses and goes right back down easily.  I sometimes don't even have to wait for her to fall asleep before I set her down, she'll often drift off on her own.  I freely admit that I must be the luckiest mom alive.

So now for the less good part.  I have been diagnosed with a prolapse of both the uterus and the bladder.  It is every bit as disturbing as it sounds.  Last week is when the problem started and I saw my Ob/Gyn about it immediately.  In addition to prescribing lots of water and frequent Kegel exercises, he put me on bed rest for a month, saying that it's possible that the problem could correct itself given adequate time to recover from pregnancy and delivery.  I'm supposed to stay sitting, reclined or laying down as much as possible and avoid heavy lifting, which means I'm not supposed to pick up Mira.  As you can imagine, this is not the easiest prescription to follow.  Brian was still on paternity leave for the first week of my bed rest and he was wonderful, doing all of my tasks with Mira and all of my chores in addition to his own.  By the time he went back to work, he was so ready for a break.  My family has been a big help ever since Brian went back to work.  My parents are taking family medical leave to help me during the day and my sister is helping on the evenings and weekends when she can (she's still in high school, so daytime assistance is not an option for her).  I don't know how I would manage without them.  Because of my lifting requirements, I can't put Mira in or out of her booster chair, her crib, her carseat.  And the bed rest means that I can't really play with her the way  I normally would.  Mira's actually had a much harder time adjusting to me being on bed rest than she had to being a sister.  I've also had a lot of help from friends in the form of prepared meals.  Which has been really nice because it means less dishes and cooking for Brian.  I'm very lucky to have so many people around willing to help.

I've got 3 more weeks of bed rest, then my doctor wants to see me back to evaluate whether the prolapse is getting better or whether we need to intervene in some way.  Unfortunately, the most effective intervention is surgery, so hopefully this bed rest will pay off and I can avoid a surgery with a long recovery.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!