Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion

My friend Lisa asked me to write a post for her blog about preparing for childbirth. So if anyone wants to read my thoughts about pregnancy and childbirth, check it out here: http://jeefamily.blogspot.com/2009/03/guest-post-preparing-for-childbirth.html

Friday, March 27, 2009

I'm convinced

I'm convinced that there is no better sound in the world than a baby's laugh. Today, just before bath time, I was tickling Max, and he erupted with an all-out body-shaking belly laugh for the first time. It made my whole day. Later on, I was tossing Max up in the air repeatedly to get him to laugh, then Tom was laughing at me for going to such great lengths for a giggle. But somehow, no matter how many crazy doctor appointments, muddy dog paw prints on the carpet, sassy five year olds, or how much stress over an impending surgery, one baby giggle puts it all in perspective.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Heard at my house, part 2

We were getting ready for bed tonight, and asked Abby to bring over the scriptures so we could start our nightly routine. Abby walks over to the bookshelf and says,

"Do I smell peanut butter cookies, or is it just Butt Paste?"

(For the uninitiated parents, Butt Paste is a type of diaper rash cream. And for the record, neither the Butt Paste or peanut butter cookes were anywhere near her. But we did get a good laugh out of it.)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Blogging under the influence, or, how our medical life just keeps getting weirder

Friday night, just before I went to bed, my face started feeling intensely itchy. I looked in a mirror to find that I had several raised welts all over the left side of my face. Nice. I've had an itchy, dry face for a few weeks now. I've switched moisturizers and then switched back. I've upped the moisturizer. I've tried not to scratch. But when I started looking like Will Smith in that scene from "Hitch," I knew things were getting bad.

Saturday, I woke up covered from head to toe in hives. There were hives all over my face, neck, arms, and even on the palms of my hands. (You don't know what crazy-making is until you have hives on the palms of your hands!) So began the quest. Since the only Doctors we've seen since we've lived here have been for the small people that live in our house, it took quite a bit of calling to find out that our little community hospital has a walk in clinic on Saturdays. So, since I hadn't met my quota of Doctor appointments for the week, I left all three kids with my husband and hauled myself to the urgent care.

The Doc who saw me was nice, but told me that they often can't pinpoint a cause for hives. I have't changed anything- soap, shampoo, moisturizer, clothing. No new foods, bedding, detergent, fabric softener. No signs of a cold and no new pets. No weird travels. The only thing we can think of is that the nedicine that I take to control my intercranial hypertension was recently switched to a generic, and because the formulations are slightly different, I may be reacting to the new drug. That could potentially be very bad news, because the brand name drug costs over $100 a month with our insurance, and our insurance won't cover the brand name now that there's a generic. And I was so excited to find a generic...

I left the Doctor's office with a prescription for prednisone and instructions to drink lots of water and take some bendryl at night to help ease the itchies so I can sleep. I have no energy, tolerance or patience to research more "cruncy" ways to get rid of the blotchiness and insane itchiness all over my body. So I'm sitting here tonight, slightly doped up on Benadryl, trying not to scratch my face off, and hoping that something starts to help soon. Heaven knows, I can only handle one weird medical crisis at a time, and its just not my turn.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Nine years ago yesterday, Tom and I were married in the Bountiful Temple. We went out for dinner with the kids last night and realized that in nine years we have had:

Five pregnancies,

Three kids,

Six full time jobs for Tom,

Seven cars,

One apartment,

Three houses,

Two trips to Disneyland,

Three family funerals,

and lots of crazy, fun times.

Our wedding day was one of the best, most magical days of my life. I couldn't have imagined then where these nine years have led. But I wouldn't change a thing.

This is just outside the temple after the ceremony. We were so happy!

Aren't we cute? (We look so young in this picture!)

Me and my siblings. Missing is my brother, Bryce, who was on active duty in the military.

The whole wedding party.

Happy Anniversary to us! Here's to many more good and exciting years to come!

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Year Ago

A year ago, we were on our third cycle of clomid. I was on the maximus dosage after failing two cycles miserably, and was on my first cycle adding metformin. We had also recently decided it was our last cycle actively trying to conceive. We had been at it for over two years at that point, had one particularly awful miscarriage, and had decided that it was too expensive and too difficult emotionally to keep going. I was busy working as a doula, I had one daughter in kindergarten and one in preschool, and was starting to realize the value of having older kids. I actually got to the point in that cycle where I questioned why we were acutally doing this. I knew that our family wasn't complete, but I was done spending all my time and emotion on it. I was relieved and peaceful about the decision, and I peed on the pregnancy test to prove to myself that it was over. Shortly after, I wrote this post on one of the internet bulliten boards I belong to:

HOLY #$^&(!

Did you know that pregnancy tests have two lines? Did you know the second line actually appears?

Postive pregnancy test this morning at 12dpo.

Shocked doesn't even begin to describe it. I keep looking at the test- its still positive. My Husband can even see it.

We were done. This was our last cycle, which is why I haven't been around much. When my period came, we were going to throw out the meds, the thermometer, and just go on with our lives.

I'll be calling for a beta series and progesterone on Monday, and will have an early u/s as well. Feeling a very strong sense of disbelief right now.

It was a wild pregnancy, a wild birth, and its been a wild and amazing four months with him. But I wouldn't change a thing. Happy "We found out you were coming" day, buddy.

Monday, March 9, 2009

There's bad news, good news, and more good news

The bad news is, I got a stack (and I mean a stack!) of those "Explanation of Benefits" papers in the mail on Saturday. Yeah, medical care is expensive. We're talking $200-$300 per consult and $400-$600 each for the ultrasounds, swallow studies and scopes that we've had done. Gulp. We haven't seen the bills yet, but we now know how much they'll be for.

So the good news is that Max has already met his deductible for the year and then some. So everything having to do with the surgery will either be covered at 80% or 100% depending on how soon we reach our out of pocket maximum. And really, thanks heavens for AFLAC, (yes, the one with the annoying duck) because the policy we took out for Max will cover all of this once the surgery is done.

Another observation from the stack of EOBs? I should have been a radiologist. Seriously. There were 3-4 claims for Doctors that we have never seen. Turns out they were radiologists. Doctors that never have to see patients- they just sit in their offices, read xrays, ultrasounds etc, send a report, and then charge amazing amounts of money to do it. I need that job!

We had three Doctor appointments last week- one with the ENT clinic, one with the pediatric opthomologist and one with our pediatrician. We had another endoscopic test done, and they are so not pleasant (for me, and especially not for Max!), but the official word from the ENT and the speech pathologist is that we are cleared to resume "normal breastfeeding!" (Not that we have been doing anything but normal breastfeeding for a while now- its just good to be able to stop worrying about it!) The medication seems to be helping the swelling in his throat, and although things aren't normal yet, we're getting there. We also have a referral to the (wait for it...) GI clinic to see a gastroenterologist (Woo-hoo! Another specialty to add to our list!) because it turns out that reflux can be caused or exacerbated by constipation. Who knew? (Someday, Max is going to be so thrilled that I have the details of his pooping problmes posted all over my blog!)

Everything at the opthomologist was fine. No evidence of increased intercranial pressure, and everything is symmetrical with his eyes, so we're good to go as far as he's concerned. And at the pediatrician, we found out he's almost 15 pounds, 24 inches long, still has a little bitty head, and is right on track for his milestones. Go Max, go!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Yes, it is a weird day

So today I went to a doctor's appointment, out to lunch with my husband, taught two violin lessons, and went to the library before I realized that I had been wearing my shirt backwards all day.

See, told ya. Weird day.

The Irony

Today is pajama day at the girls's school. What's really funny about this is that we were out late to a concert last night, so both girls ended up falling asleep in their clothes. So when a happy-sunshine-morning-person Abby woke up at 6:15 this morning, I rolled over and told her to go get dressed.

"But Mom, it's pajama day today!" she whined.

So my seven year old took her regular clothes off, put her pajamas on, and went to school. Its a weird day.
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