Monday, October 28, 2013

Boo @ The Zoo

We went to Boo at the Zoo today. We had never been before and we probably won't go again. We got there for the 8am opening for Zoo Booster members. Even getting there early it was already quite crowded and we had to wait in a line that wrapped around the parking lot to get into the zoo. The whole trick-or-treating things was really waiting in lines throughout the whole zoo to be given candy at different corporate sponsored booths. We left after an hour, having been to the lines that were manageable and seeing the few animals that were out or in warmed buildings. By the time we left at 9, which is when it opened to general members and the public, the zoo was one long line from booth to booth. If you didn't stay in that line there was almost no way to get back in. 


 


We rode the carousel before we left and that was the only opportunity I had to get pictures. While I think the boys would have stayed longer, my body was beyond done and I paid for that excursion for the rest of the day. It was quite chilly. I thought I was fairly prepared and I just wasn't. I forgot how much longer it takes for the sun to come up over the mountains when you are in the shadow there, and there was enough breeze. Aiden was in a full body costume, with gloves and a hat and he was still cold. But they braved on. Aiden hates to ride an actual animal on the carousel so he is crying in these pictures--unfortunately, the benches had already been taken.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Week of Fall







   

On Tuesday, we were able to go to Tracy Aviary on our pass of all passes. It was an amazing fall morning and we saw lots of birds including the owl hollow, fed ducks, fed swans, fed pelicans, and finally fed the sun conures. It was a lot of fun. I made it through fairly well with only needing to sit down a couple times and since it is fall break for Evan, we were able to go because he could help me with the kids.

    


If you ever go, feed the sun conures. One of the rules is that you have to stay still because the birds will land on the ground and you don't want to step on them. It was hard for Aiden to stay still and when the birds would fly towards him he would get squirrely.  So I held his arms and he had a ton of birds. Kyle was a perfect statue, but the staff still had to bring birds to him, and after a few minutes, Kyle got scared and wanted to be done. Overall though, it was my favorite outing of the week. 

On Wednesday, I took the boys to Gardner Village, which is a quaint little shopping village made out of old polygamist houses and historic houses right around the corner from our new apartment. September and October is a big time of year for them and they go all out on witch decorations. For the past several years, since Aiden and Addison were born, my sister and I have taken our kids there in their costumes for some awesome photo ops.

 

   


Unfortunately, it was a hard day for my breathing, I couldn't stay long. We got some pictures together---but I am too lazy to try to get them on here. You can see Addison in the corner on the last picture. If you could see Claire (who does not like to smile for pictures), she is the cutest little one year old watermelon around!!! 

On Saturday night, we made the annual pilgrimage to Cornbelly's at Thanksgiving Point. Last year, we did more of an afternoon adventure--this year with the boys in love with Halloween and Aiden loving to be scared---I wanted to go in the evening/night. 


 

   

 


It was fun. We did the hay ride, see all of us above. We did lots of cutout pictures, we did some activities, and we tromped through the corn maze under the full moon. By the end of a few hours, my body began to protest loudly, Aiden was melting down, but Kyle was still unsatisfied. Next year, I'd like to do our favorites and try to get in more activities (They have so many there). I think we need an afternoon & an evening & a night to get it all done. But it was not disappointing in the least. They got free baby punkin's on the way out and Aiden even slept with his once home.

It was such a nice fall week. It is my favorite week of the year. It was the first we have been able to get out and do some seasonal activities. It was such a good week, and lived up to adding to why I love this time of year so much!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Summer of Pregnancy Recap


It has been a year. It has been a serious year. A year that started of with a move, an impermanent move to a friend's house. If that wasn't hard enough living temporarily with all your things in storage, I found out I was pregnant in the middle of May. It was exciting news. Something Evan and I had been praying and working on for two and a half years.

I know that my pregnancy with Kyle was rough; however, I had no one else to take care of and although my house wasn't unpacked until the day that I left to give birth to Kyle (8 months, in case you were wondering how long we lived unpacked), I could lay in bed all day and vomit to my hearts content. Aiden was a dream pregnancy with only one episode of vomiting. I had him at home and I thought, my other pregnancies would be like that. I thought Kyle was a fluke with my gallbladder.

Then we moved into this new apartment, and it was all down hill from there.

I found out sometime after Aiden was born that although I did not have a gallbladder anymore, I could still produce gallstones in my common bile duct.

I had several attacks that would take Evan and I to the ER for pain medication and anti-nausea drugs. The first time I had one, a few weeks after I had Aiden, I remember crawling down the hallway when we lived in our apartment in Taylorsville and wondering what it could possibly be. I had already had my gallbladder out, was it my appendix. These attacks came about 9-12 months apart for the next several years. I thought there was nothing to do but live with them.

Then after I got pregnant with this baby, I knew that it was turning out to be a lot like with Kyle. I was sick. Everything I ate came up, the thought of food turned me off and eating was becoming increasingly painful. I talked to my OB about it, he referred me to a GI doctor that they use frequently. In the meantime, waiting for that doctor's appointment, the ER visits started. I was taking in 300 calories a day, but not all of it stayed down, and a few ounces of liquid a day. I began to lose weight. 

It turns out the doctor they referred me to is the doctor that before I was pregnant with Kyle never referred me to have my gallbladder out, cost me thousands of dollars of tests that never showed any issues with my gallbladder, the doctor who had me have exploratory pelvic surgery, and who finally said I needed a psychiatrist because the pain was in my head. Awesome! Such my luck. The tests he ordered, showed nothing, he was unwilling to admit me to the hospital when my OB wanted to. He wouldn't prescribe me any medication. He finally said, I am done, nothing is wrong.

I saw another GI. He was so nice. But had no room to take me on as a patient and told me the problem was the pregnancy. He would have done a simple scoping procedure to cut open my bile duct and flush it out. Unfortunately, the complication is a 10% risk of pancreatitis. If the pancreatitis occurred late enough in my pregnancy--the baby could die. I had this confirmed this with several doctors who had actually seen this happen to some very unfortunate women. Plus, to top it off, of course, none of the tests ordered confirmed anything. He said come back after I am not pregnant and he would take care of it. 

So I was stuck. And seriously sick. Evan wasn't going to work. I wasn't able to shower. I wasn't getting out of bed. Aiden was learning to bring me his sippy and the soy milk tetra to my bed. I had moved snacks to a shelf they could reach. If the kids were dressed by dinner, it was a good day. Every week, we lived out of the clean laundry basket without it ever being folded or put away. I didn't cook dinner for my family between June and well.....now. I am up to cooking once a week. 

The change came when my OB ordered me home IV fluids and anti-nausea drugs (zofran). This allowed me to take my pain and stronger anti-nausea meds by mouth and keep them down. As I kept blowing IV lines in my arm and under advice from my home health nurse, I asked for a PICC line....


It is a line that goes up my arm, across my shoulder and terminates right close to my heart. They are designed to last up to 12 months. They are used for all kind of conditions such as cystic fibrosis and cancer. I immediately started having some other complications. They landed on a nerve, it took several days to move the line enough to get the pain to stop, I have an adhesive allergy and had to use an adhesive to keep my site sterile--itchy, then through advice from the PICC placement nurse and my home health nurse I was flushing my line with saline. It clotted off, that Saturday I spent 6 hours in the ER unclotting it. Several weeks went by. 

I was getting out of bed. I was folding and putting away laundry. I vacuumed. I cleaned the tubs. I went four weeks without vomitting. I gained the few pounds I lost and 4 more (at 25 weeks I have still only gained 4 pounds total). Then one of my lumens (the orange and white lines coming out of my PICC) started to leak. 

I had to go back in and have it replaced. Luckily, they did not have to totally pull it and replace it, just run a wire up it, pull the line, and thread a new one. It was uncomfortable and took a few more days to get the line to move off that pesky nerve. However, it could have been worse. 

Then on Saturday, I couldn't get a full breath. It lasted for an hour. I called the OB. He said I had to go into the ER because with the pregnancy and PICC line, I could have a blood clot. Evan dropped me off, after an ultrasound and chest X-ray, it was confirmed. I did have a blood clot in my arm adjacent to my PICC line. They kept me overnight and started me on blood thinner shots.


Sunday morning, before I left the hospital. I told my nurse that my left arm had gone painfully numb. She said that was normal. I went home. The pain stayed. My mother-in-law thought my forearm was looking swollen. I called the OB. I had to go back to the ER and he wanted my PICC line pulled this time. I went, they pulled the line, they said the clots weren't there anymore, but I still had to keep up the twice daily shots. The pain in my arm did not get better and my other arm started being painfully numb too. 

My doctor the next morning confirmed the baby is fine. However, even without the PICC line I have to continue the shots twice daily. See the above shot. Twice a day. I still can't do it, luckily Evan is great at it. The needle going in is fine, but the medicine burns for thirty minutes and you can't rub it--plus they bruise like crazy. So now, with a pregnant belly that bumps into everything, it hurts because it is bruised all over. 

Not only that, but with the shots, I have to get frequent ultrasounds to check the babies growth. I also have to have a scheduled induction and continue the shots 6 weeks after birth. I also have to see the high risk OB to decide whether to do another PICC line and to make sure things are okay with the blood thinner shots. So that is what I know and don't know.

I think the worse thing is that I do not feel like myself. I feel like I am failing everyone with my limitations. I am costing us lots of money by being unable to cook most nights. I get lectures from ER nurses about how my pain meds cross the placental barrier and the baby gets them too. I feel like I am failing my boys. They should go out and do fun things--I lost all my opportunities to do fun things I planned this summer and fall is going by fast. Most days I don't have energy to take them out and play and Kyle desperately needs that. We have no friends in our new place after 4 months and our house still isn't unpacked. 

Every place that I turn points out how much I am failing. How far below expectations I am. Someone told me I was lucky that Kyle is 12 days too young for kindergarten, if he was in kindergarten he would be behind because he doesn't read yet. I frequently hear about how much house is not unpacked and totally put together. I make goals and plans, and they come and go without anything happening. And things keep changing, I had Aiden at home, this baby has to be born in a hospital, now she has to be induced too. It feels like it is out of control and there just isn't much joy to hold onto anymore. Not much to be excited about. Good meaning people tell me, "it will all be worth it." And while I am sure that I will love her and cherish her, she is only one of four other people in my family. The other three people have been ignored, disappointed, and affected by how hard this pregnancy has been--that might never be worthwhile. 

There is more to be said, but the meds are kicking in, which is why I certainly don't have many blog posts from this summer. I'll leave you with my arm without a PICC line, healing from the allergic reaction to betadine and adhesive.