Friday, October 24, 2014

Three Kid Diaries :: it's been 3 months

Well hello!

First I'd like to thank those of you who are new to the PRETTYblog for subscribing! I'm so glad that you did because some fun things are coming that I don't want you to miss. I think of you as family, so feel free to comment or email me anytime and about anything. I'm hoping to cultivate a community of Mama's who appreciate the pretty things in life, while also feeling safe to be open & honest about motherhood. It's not an easy thing, and certainly is not always PRETTY!

If you haven't yet subscribed {to receive posts by way of your email box} you can do so by clicking here. Esther and I are putting together a mama's mySTYLE giveaway, and there will be more details later this month.

However, Evley is 3 1/2 months now and an update is super past due. It's been none too glamorous around here. But, we are all alive and very well, so let's start from where I left off last:

the end of July
When Evley was sixteen days old {only 3 days after this photo shoot} I went to urgent care because I'd had a sore finger for a week. I will spare you the dramatics {because it was very dramatic, if not traumatic, for me}. I was ultimately diagnosed with paronychia {infection along the finger or toenail}; a culture was taken verifying that the cause was Serratia {a bacteria, and there are several types}. I'd had a hang nail and the bacteria likely got into it from scraping the bottom of my kitchen sink plug {to clean it out while doing dishes}.

The type of Serratia that infected me is a very common household bacteria, and one that the Doc deemed the best way to "kill someone with a household bacterial agent." It is the orange or red stuff you sometimes see build up in showers. Or the orange ring in a dirty toilet. But usually, should you come in contact with it, you'd wash it off with soap. And of course kill it with cleaning products when cleaning. However, it freakishly entered my body, infecting my finger, making it's way into my blood stream, and pissing off one of my lymph nodes {the tell tale sign for me that there was a problem}.

From that point on it was "tracking," according to Doc, which was real bad news. I had to get a shot in the ass then and there and then take a ten day course of antibiotics. Had that not improved my symptoms, I would have needed a stronger course of treatment via IV. Doc said that a bacterial infection was good news because if it weren't, he'd be looking at lymphoma or Hodgkin's Disease. I was looking at him like: Seriously dude[???], my finger hurts...


{paronychia- infection along fingernail- post culture}

Doesn't look like much, right? Yeah. It was just swollen around my finger nail. The only reason there is blood in the photo is because Doc sliced it open to get the culture. It was nasty for as innocent as it looked.

Below is what the tracking looked like about 24 hours after I had the shot in my rear...


{an infection "tracking" the course of a vein in my arm}

In the photo it looks like a sunburn or something. It felt like a bruise to the touch. It began in small splotches near the crease of my arm that eventually connected and followed the course of a vein, and the entire length of my arm. As it progressed {but I was on antibiotics} it spread out {got wider than in that pic} and looked even more like a sunburn. Several days later {almost a week} it stopped feeling like a bruise and itched like holy hell...but inside my arm. It was a very odd & bizarre experience and seemed to come out of nowhere. The severity of it was scary, and so was the choice to continue to breastfeed Evley. But, I did and luckily she didn't react to the antibiotics. And luckily, the antibiotics kicked the infection.

So, being just over 2 weeks postpartum you can probably imagine what a hormonal mess I was. That's the drama & trauma I mentioned above that I'll spare you. When Doc saw the swollen lymph node and realized the severity of things, he looked at me in an I'm looking at a dead woman sort of way and it was unnerving. Though he responded, after a pause where he was surely thinking something different, "Don't worry, we'll get you better." I held it together in the office and sobbed when I got to the truck.

Alrighty! Moving on!

August
True and Elle West fought, what felt like, non-stop.

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Then, on Wednesday the 13th, I put True to bed with what I thought was a cold with a cough. He coughed all night despite Tylenol & Robitussen. I mean all night. The kid didn't get any sleep and neither did I. When I'd put him to bed, going to the doctor hadn't crossed my mind. But by early morning, I knew that we needed to go that day. And by 7 a.m., I was getting the girls dressed and pacing around the house waiting for the pediatrician's office to open.

I had the truck running and the kids loaded before 8 when I made the call. That True's condition was an emergency hadn't crossed my mind until the receptionist told me that the first available appt. was at 10:40. I said, "I can't wait. He's not breathing right."

I took him to the same urgent care that I used for my finger. Gabe met me there so that he could get Elle West from me. Once I was done filling out paper work, True lie in my lap grunting for air. The receptionist looked at us from around her computer and asked, "Is that him?"

I said, "Yeah. He's not breathing right."

She said, "No, he's not."

From then on, I wasn't any longer alone. Everyone around us moved and responded with a sense of urgency.

We were in an exam room within minutes. After the nurse took an extremely low oxygen reading from True, the doctor was in the room within minutes. The Doc was able to get a higher oxygen reading {thank goodness}, but it was still too low. The Doc was administering oxygen to True within minutes- while explaining to me that he'd need to be transported to the emergency room. Minutes after that, the paramedics were there and carting True out of the exam room on a gurney.

I was not able to accompany True in the ambulance because I had Evley. The paramedics weren't even sure that I'd be aloud to enter the emergency room with her since she was so little. I followed the ambulance in my truck and tried to get a hold of Gabe. I couldn't.

The ER receptionists, nurses & Docs let me in with Evley. I kept her in her carseat aside for quick feedings. After hours of breathing treatments, True's oxygen level stabilized while on oxygen. It would plummet without oxygen. Gabe finally arrived a few hours later with Elle West. I took the girls and left True and Gabe in the emergency room. When I got in the truck I sobbed.

That day was the single most awful thing I've been through to date. I've worried about my kids getting hit by cars, drowning and choking. Never once had I ever thought that they might just stop breathing. All the docs that morning kept asking me, "Have you ever heard him wheeze?" No. No, I'd never heard him wheeze.

To slim this part of the update down a bit, True spent three days and three nights in the hospital. Gabe left his side one time, for two hours, to go to the office and home to shower. Evley and I sat with him. The girls and I had been visiting every day, morning and evening. How Gabe did what he did and came back in two hours is beyond me. When I returned home that evening, I found that he had done the dishes while he was home, too.

{True showing off the flowers from Grandma & Grandpa}

True came home on Sunday the 17th. He was on oxygen 24/7 for three days, and was aloud to start school on the 20th without it. He was on it at night for a couple more weeks.

The prognosis? Asthma until he proves otherwise. He has an asthma plan and things have been going well and have been fairly uneventful in that department since the attack.

However, I was consumed by it for about a month. Questioning everything; looking at everything he did differently. Living in fear on account of him showing no symptoms until it was to a very scary point.

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So, he started kindergarten the Wednesday after he came home. He loves it and hasn't looked back...

{True posing for a picture the first day of school}

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The 5th Annual Family 5k Walk/Run was that next Saturday. Thank heavens that my Mom came to help me the week leading up to it. With True coming home on oxygen, his starting school, two doctor appts., and the 5k all in one week {oh! and only being six weeks postpartum with 3 kids!} I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

However, I kept it together, and the event was spectacular. I will do an update post soon to tell you more about it. But, it's a local fundraiser that friends and I started five years ago, which benefits the Durango Pregnancy Center and Best for Babes. Two organizations that are extremely close to my heart.

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{Elle West & Evley in their adorable matching wrap dresses}

Elle West continues to be an amazing big sister, and Evley Love and incredible baby!! Both girls enjoy their days at home with Mama {and I with them!}.

Elle West stopped wearing diapers in August and we did a lot of singing and dancing! You can see our "No More Diapers" song here.

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September
On September 1st, I turned 34. I have not a clue what we did...if anything. But, G gave me a handsome chunk of change to go shopping with which was delightful. I likely had a birthday margarita. Oh!! I know that I didNOT have a birthday mocha because it was Labor Day and the Tuning Fork was closed!! Woe was me! But a margarita isn't so bad. Plus I have a mocha every other day, so I suppose that's just what I get.

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Each day is wildly intense with hormonal fluctuations as well as just with the nature of having kids. Some moments are blissful and I think, how did I get so lucky? and others are horrid and I wonder, how will I possibly survive another minute?

The fluctuations in intensity and emotion in a single day are, honestly, down right exhausting. We are told, as mothers of small children, to cherish every moment...it goes by so fast, they say. Well yes, I can see that it does. However, in the past three months I almost feel as if I've aged a decade and the going ons in a single day sometimes feel like a weeks worth.

I undoubtedly will miss my kids being this age. I will miss being able to hold and snuggle them with all of my heart. I will miss them running to me after I've left them at the sitters for the day...

{photo actually taken in October}

...and reading them books. I will miss our walks and them wanting me to watch them when they discover how to do new things. I will miss watching them.

But, I won't miss the cracks in my hands from all the dishes I do. I won't miss all the laundry. I won't miss dirty toilets after each and every use, or wiping butts. I won't miss screeching and screaming and whining and fighting and thumping. I am almost certain that I won't miss our nightly bedtime routine that begins after our nightly bedtime routine. I hope I'm able to sleep through the night once my kids are grown, because...I would love to sleep through the night.

Of course, if this all stopped right now, before it's due time, I would miss it. I don't want to miss out on raising my children and the nature of it- all that is wonderful and all that is challenging. But, when they are grown, there are very certainly things I'm convinced I will *not* miss. 

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In early September a family friend was in a terrible auto accident and was badly injured. He is recovering more quickly than expected which is fantastic. But, we all wonder if he'll ever be the same as we remember him. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt. 

I made up a jingle to remind myself to wear my seatbelt, and with the hope that it would leave a lasting impression on my kids. We sing it a lot and it inspired me to start posting our little songs to YouTube. You can see our "Seat Belt Song" here.

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October
October brings bright colors and fun crunchy leaves, and it also brings hungry bears to our neighborhood. Most who know me well know that fall is far from my favorite. I love summer. And the nuisance bears only give me another thing to huff & puff about regarding the coming of fall. 

Giant black bears come almost nightly this time of year and dump everyone's trash. I, being particularly hormonal and fearful most recently {my nature only intensified by having small children}, have been extremely bothered by the bear's visits- mostly from a fear perspective. Plus, picking up our trash after it's been thrown out already is not fun, nor does it feel like a productive use of time.

I went ahead and ordered a "bear proof trash cart" from our waste management company. How a regular trash can could be bear proof, I wasn't sure. But I figured that it was worth a try. Despite their being unable to commit to the availability of any of those cans, one was delivered a week later. It has filled me with intense gratification ever since...

{a failed attempt of our neighborhood bear to get into our trash}

...in the photo you can see that the bear really gave the can a run for the money! It is upside down, and it was FULL mind you {heavy, but nothing for the bear}. Not only that, but it is about 15 feet from where we'd left it the night before. You can see that our neighbor's trash is dumped in the background. 

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At the very beginning of October, I also had a pregnancy scare. I normally am very sensitive to using language like that. I know what a blessing pregnancy is and that some may never experience it. So, I try to be careful, and even during "the scare" I was extremely conflicted about not wanting to be pregnant. After all, what if there was a baby growing in there? I'd undoubtedly love it to pieces and wouldn't be able to imagine my life without him/her a measly ten months later.

But, this is my update post and I did not want to be pregnant. 

I always get my period 6-8 weeks after having a baby despite breastfeeding. And my cycles work like clockwork. 98% of the time, my period comes the day it's due. So, when it was a day late I cried. For four days I went back and forth between convincing my self that I was or was not pregnant. The idea was consuming and I learned from it how sure I am that I don't want to be pregnant again. I'd be far better off being handed an infant tomorrow than being pregnant for another 40 weeks. 

By the fifth day and having had taken two negative tests, I'd fairly well let it go. Well, it wasn't consuming my every thought at least. I was attributing my irregularity to being postpartum. My pregnancy tests have always been right on, so that I'd taken two false ones settled my nerves. Then my period came a few days later. Big sigh. Calmness. Relief. All is well and wonderful in the world again.

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Another trip to the doctor for True. He had Impetigo {don't ask}, I'm tiring of this. 

{True at the doctor's office for what we thought was a cold sore; family photos rescheduled}

And a stomach bug has made its rounds.

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This post seems to have a generally glum hue cast upon it. Which seems about right for me and that it's fall. But actually, the days, even the rainy ones, have been absolutely beautiful. We've been spending lots of time outside and I'm feeling like my non-pregnant self again, and that is a wonderful thing!

I've cleaned out my closet and can wear all my old favorites, have gotten rid of lots, and have some nice new things. I re-soled my boots and have energy again {despite nightly feedings}.

I've cleaned up & out the house. I've gotten started on & have finished some projects that were haunting me. I'm inspired to create & write and I actually have the time to do a little of each. Evley is SO sweet, happy, and content. And has remained wildly healthy.

{Evley Love}

True & Elle West are equal parts fun and tough for me right now; each in different ways on account of their personalities and respective ages. And perhaps on account of my personality and perspective age. I take responsibility for both the sweet and terrible things that come out of their mouths. I'm a very long way from a perfect person or mother. But, I'm here everyday. And despite feeling like I'm being bent until I'm on the verge of snapping, I don't. I become more flexible. When I think there isn't enough of me to go around, I grow. I get creative, more efficient, and delegate in ways I never thought I would.

And when Esther sent me this picture, I was reminded of what a beautiful family I have...

{a sneak peek from this month's mySTYLE shoot}

...one that I once thought was meant for another life.

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That, my friends, is 3 months in with 3 kids, for me. Posting to this blog helps me feel less lonely & isolated, as a mother, whether anyone reads or not. But I love that people read, so thank you. It's not all doom and gloom around here and next week I can hardly wait for! Subscribe to receive PRETTYblog posts in your email box by clicking here {if you haven't already}. I don't mean to pester you about it, but if you're like me you'll likely miss the link on FB...and I'd be bummed for you to if you enjoy these little visits as much as I do. 

All my love,
JL

6 comments:

  1. Love your beautiful amazing fall filled head!! I miss you and am so sad that I am missing all crazy action!

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    1. Thank you, Shelly, I WISH you were here, too! The photos from Danny's most recent visit made me want to be there...trouble is that I don't seem to go anywhere further than Farmington!! I want a girls' night out including margaritas in the worst way. Definitely let me know when you are planning to come out next! xo

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  2. I have said this before...I must say it again, I LOVE YOUR writing and your honesty. The world needs more of this. It is not all sunshine and roses :-). I am amazed at all that your family has been through these past few months and yet your still smiling every time I see you. I am a firm believer that what one puts out into the world, one receives! While you have had a lot of negative health related issues going on, I do believe that happiness surrounds you and perhaps a huge part of that is your smile!

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    1. Mrs. Hodlmair, thank you so much!! I really appreciate it. It's hard to share the hard stuff. But, I think it's so important so that women don't feel alone with all of this. While I like all the "sunshine & roses" the best, the rest is part of what makes life so meaningful. Thanks again for your comment and, of course, for reading in the first place :)

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  3. Love you Jenny L. Candelaria! That's all.

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    1. ...and I love you. Gosh, would love a visit so much. Sleepover style like the old days!

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