Jan 31, 2010

A great place to be

I am loving being a mom to three girls. It is fun to see the dynamic between them all. Princess Belle is a delightful big sister. She is devoted to both of her baby sisters and loves to be of help as much as she can.

Princess Magpie, gets a little jealous and needs to be cuddled when she is feeling left out but a mommy can never get too many cuddles so that really doesn't bother me. She is of the age that any bump or knock can be fixed with a great big hug and a kiss. She always comes running when she sees me feeding Princess Sleeps-a-lot so that she can give her a kiss on the head or the toe or whatever part of Princess Sleeps-a-lot's anatomy she happens to be able to reach.

Princess Sleeps-a-lot has been the perfect final addition to our family. She is so different than her sisters; dark to their lightness, small, dainty, a strawberry angioma birthmark on her belly, and eyes of some ever-changing mystery color that we can't seem to be able to narrow down.

I sometimes find myself staring at my girls, looking around my mostly untidy home filled with toys, clutter and love and laughter and feeling so darned lucky. I know that everything I ever dreamed of has come true. As a kid, I never dreamed of riches. I dream instead of having three children, a comfortable home, and husband that I love. I couldn't ask for more. I am even content with the knowledge that this is my last baby. As surprising as it is, it feels right. Now, I know I will be sad as she moves past each milestone, knowing that I will never get to experience this again and I want her to stay little as long as possible. I expect that. But as I look at the two smallest members of our family and remember how long we had to wait for them both. I look at Princess Magpie's shiny, excited, laughing face, I watch Princess Belle playing chase with her as gales of laughter ring through the air and I am just so happy. I sit in the darkness, cuddling and feeding Princess Sleeps-a-lot at 5 in the morning and I am completely content (tired but content).

It took a lot to get here, but this is a great place to be.

Jan 30, 2010

Finally Back!

Well so much has happened since I was last here, I don't know where to start.

I guess the first thing that happened is that I moved. What a fiasco that was! If it could go wrong it did! I can't even remember all the disastrous things that happened. I know that I ended up being at our new town staying with my in-laws for a LOT longer that I had anticipated before Prince Charming could join me. I love my in-laws, they are the best, but it was crowded and uncomfortable and NOT fun!

And when I finally got to my house, they had piled everything I owned in the living room and kitchen. I couldn't even get into those rooms, they were packed helter skelter from floor to ceiling and from front to back. I had to move a bunch of stuff just to make room to get our fridge and stove moved in. When I tried to do laundry, the washer hose sprayed water everywhere. It took months to get that fixed and then after a week of doing massive amounts laundry I realized that the washer was leaking and there was water under everything in my laundry room. I STILL don't have that fixed yet!!!! Before we left St. John's to come here to Loch Leven, we had arranged with the cable and internet company to have everything set up within two days of our getting here. Well, they kept changing our appointment and after a month, they finally turned up. When they got here, they pulled into the driveway, went up the pole, and then climbed down and drove away. As I saw them driving away, I called them to find out what was going on. It turns out that NO Cable and high speed internet company services our area and they didn't tell us that before we were waiting for a month to get hooked up!!! We then had to start at the beginning to find out our options. So we are now the proud users of a satellite dish and the reluctant residents dial-up internet hell.

When I was getting ready for my 34 week doctor's appointment, I had a sneaking suspicion that I should be prepared to be hospitalized (given my history of being hospitalized for high blood pressure at 35 weeks for both of my previous children). And, when I was at my appointment, I was right. My blood pressure had sky-rocketed and was at scary levels and I had suddenly developed gestational diabetes. I was hospitalized for the remainder of my pregnancy. The nurses were wonderful and kind. They gave me a private room so I wouldn't have to watch all those other women getting their babies and going home, and when I couldn't afford to pay for cable for all that time I was in the hospital, they went out and got me a tv and dvd player from one of the nurses meeting rooms and took turns bringing me movies from home. We got my diabetes under control with the help of insulin injections. But no matter how much medication we tried, we couldn't get my high blood pressure under control. We tried to make it to 38 weeks as that is the earliest time they recommend delivery for a gestational diabetes baby to assure that the baby's lungs are developed. In the meantime, I was getting weekly ultrasounds and daily stress to check on the baby and we realized that my baby was beginning to get awfully quiet in there. There were days that we did 3 stress test on the baby and we never did get one that was right. And even on the ultrasounds, she was getting awfully quiet. It was getting a little scary. And at 37 weeks, my doctor had had enough, the baby was breach, my blood pressure was way too high and the baby was showing signs of having had enough. So we went in for a C-section.

My C-section was not even routine. It took 5 tries to get the IV hooked up and even then they had to put it in the wrong hand. They had a heck of a time giving me the anesthesia. They tried several times and it was only after he hit a nerve that sent an electric shock down my leg and made me jump did he get it in the right place. When they did the surgery, they had troubles with scar tissue and I ended up bleeding a LOT. They never told me during the surgery but they were worried about the bleeding. The only signs I had is that they asked me about my willingness to get a blood transfusion and I started to feel my blood pressure dropping really low. I couldn't breath and I started to get weak and I could feel myself starting to pass out, my eyes were getting too heavy to keep open. The anesthesiologist gave me something to bring it up but it dropped several times throughout the surgery. After my beautiful 8 lb 3 oz baby girl, Princess Sleeps-a-lot, was born, they had to take a long time to clean all the blood out of me. They were moving organs and lifting them up and really giving a working over. The anesthesiologist apologized to me for the pain but said that this part of my body wasn't effected by anything he could give me in my spine. He also asked me if this was my last child. When I told him it was, he looked at me and said that given how this surgery went, it was probably a good idea. At one point, they were lifting and moving things in there like crazy and it turned out that they had left a sponge in there underneath one of my organs and they had to find it!!! When I awoke the next day, it felt like I had been beaten up from my neck down. I was in considerable more pain than I was after having Princess Magpie 17 months previously. The doctor and the anesthesiologist said it was because of all the moving and digging around they had to do in there.

I was released from hospital a day early on Christmas Eve (21 days after I was first admitted!!) but I was under doctor's orders to get the baby's weight checked the next day on Christmas Day because she was still losing weight and I was breast feeding and supplementing with formula. We had her checked daily for the next while and she kept losing weight. Finally, I got too worried to keep breast feeding and I decided to switch to directly feeding formula only. For the next day or so, she still only drank the amount of formula she was drinking when I was trying to breast feed, which tells me she wasn't getting much of anything when I was trying to breast feed. I finally managed to increase her formula intake and her weight started to creep up. She had gotten down to below 7 lbs!! She still isn't the greatest eater in the world, and not everyone can make her eat at all. But we are working it out together and she is at least gaining weight now. She is up to 9.6 lbs!! I am so proud of her. She sleeps almost all the time, sometimes even taking her bottle in her sleep. She has a full head of dark curly hair and we still can't make out what color her eyes are. I am leaning towards hazel or steel gray. I wish there was a eye color specialist who could look at them and give us a definitive answer as hers seem to change depending on the light. She hates getting baths but loves cuddling. She is slightly over a month and lifts her head, smiles at you and even giggles in her sleep (which is the cutest thing you have ever seen!).

Princess Magpie is so sweet as a big sister. When ever she sees me holding Princess Sleeps-a-lot, she comes over with her lips puckered to give her a kiss and the promptly declares herself a "Good Girl"! She has smiles for everyone and loves to dance to any music she hears. I love to watch the way she walks. It is about the cutest thing I have ever seen. And while both her sisters are on the small side, Princess Magpie is out big girl. She has the cutest little chubby cheeks and legs I have ever seen. She just makes me smile on a regular basis. She has Grandpa Grumpy completely won over. They light up when they see each other and she is the first one Grandpa Grumpy asks for when he sees us.

When we got here, we listened to our friends and family and tried to put Princess Belle in Public school. There are not that many children around here, it is a much smaller school and they seemed willing to work with us to make it easier for her. But truthfully it has been a disaster of monstrous proportions. It has broken my heart to see just how hard it has been for her. Every day, she is getting notes about how "defiant and disruptive" she has been. On two separate occasions, she has ended up under furniture, crying and screaming hysterically, trying to hide and wanting to be left alone. I knew this was NOT normal behavior for any 8 year old child. And I knew that she had to be under extreme stress to be acting this way. We have decided to try to get her through the remainder of the year but we will be returning to homeschooling starting in September. We finally got our ADOS test which tests where children are on the Autism Spectrum Scale. An average child would get a score of about 0 or 1 and a child with an extreme case of Autism would get a 22. Princess Belle got a 10, which puts her smack dab where a child with Aspergers would be. They said that they also feel she was ADHD but wanted to primarily work with the Aspergers at this point. I am glad to have a diagnosis so that we can work with her. She is my special girl, and I am sad that life can't be easy for her, but I want to do what I can to make it easier for her. Homeschooling will help with that. I wanted her to get socialization, but all she is learning right now is that she is "a bad girl and she is weird". (It is heartbreaking, but those are her words.) I don't want her to go through her school years feeling that was. I want her to know how special and smart she really is. The Pediatric Development Specialist said that she agrees with our decision to homeschool and that the majority of patients she has with this condition are homeschooled.

As for me, I am back to losing weight and getting healthy. I am already 13 lbs below my pregnancy weight. I had found that since having the baby some of my stomach troubles have resurfaced and I have had to return to a vegetarian diet. I feel so much better and have so much more energy since doing that! I am contented with my rural life and with the fact that this was my last baby. I am loving my life, my family, and my house (although I will love the house more, once I finish getting it all organized!).

Well that is my not so brief update. I know there is more that I wanted to tell you, but that will have to do for today. (I will try to come back and update this post with pics as soon as I can)