Jun 23 2016

lately…

//I wrote this about a month ago, but apparently having a newborn means I forget to publish things.//

I can’t really believe how fast this year is flying by.

Today I had my final midwife appointment (with the best midwife EVER. I’m a little sad about no more appointments!) and Sam is now 6 weeks old.

Our life has definitely been a whirlwind since Sam has arrived, but we are slowly starting to find a balance.

Because of Sam’s long labor and unique delivery, he ended up needing some major chiropractic care to help him feel a little happier.  I wasn’t really able to put him down without him screaming, and he ended up nursing constantly because it was the only way we could keep him happy.  Now he’s more content, cries a whole lot less and everyone is generally happier.

As for Lucy, I know I promised to update on her health a long time ago and I’ve had people asking a lot about it so here it is!

About a month before Sam was born, we finally got the results back of Lucy’s endoscopy, as well as a treatment plan.  The diagnosis as of now, is that she has something called “eosinophilic esophagitis”.  It’s a little difficult to explain (especially for someone like me who is not a doctor!) but essentially, her body doesn’t recognize certain things as food and it reacts to it.  It’s like an allergy in one sense, but it’s not anaphylactic so it’s very difficult to pinpoint what food is causing the problems.  The inflammation is slow which means that in order for us to figure out what is causing all the problems we need to work with an allergist and a dietician to do a full elimination diet to pinpoint the problem.  Right now she has been put on an oral steroid to control the inflammation in her esophagus so that she can get food down.  In fall, we will likely be starting the elimination diet to figure out what she can and can’t eat!  For now, she’s been eating like a (relatively) normal toddler.  She’s super picky, due to the fact that almost all her food has been pureed for the last two years, but we’re working in it and she’s getting more adventurous.  Still, she is able to keep most foods down on a regular basis.  We are just so thankful to finally have a direction for her health problems.

COMMENT.


Dec 29 2014

Project 52 Favourites

This past year I’ve been doing Project 52 alongside Jodi of Practicing Simplicity.  I’ve really loved the challenge of photographing Lucy every week and trying to keep things fresh and interesting–which isn’t always easy with a baby when sometimes all they do is sleep!  This is definitely a project I would recommend any new parent doing for at least the “first year” even if you aren’t a photographer.  Having so many memories of the everyday, as well as milestones is so important to me!  These are just a few of my favourite photos from the past year.  The top one was taken New Years Day, just before we ended up back in the Hospital with Lucy.  She was in quite a good mood, despite the fact that we couldn’t get her to eat almost anything!

I love this expression on her face. At this age, she was so easy to get reactions from.  She loved to hang out in her bumbo chair while I would do housework.

One of my favourites of Lucy, for a few reasons: She was being extra silly when I did this photo (along with others) and was making funny sounds.  It really shows off her goofy personality. This was also just after her cardiologist told us that she was officially a “normal” baby.  She had had her bandages from heart surgery off for a few weeks, was weaned off the feeding tube and things were looking up.

Minnie + Lucy.  Enough said.

Lucy’s love for water really started during this trip to Harrison Hot Springs.  She could have stayed in all day!

…and speaking of water, the Jolly Jumper in the pool was pretty much the highlight of the summer.

Her first camping trip, where she sat in the dirt and ate pinecones.

First Birthday!  She hated the cake, and didn’t like her hands getting dirty.

Can you tell that Lucy loves the water?  Bath time is her favourite.

Our sad little mouse on Halloween.  We didn’t do much–in fact, I made the costume that afternoon while she napped because I felt bad for not doing anything.  We went to grandparents and aunts and uncles places to say “hi” and she was pretty grumpy for most of it.

One of my most favourite pictures of all time of her.  She really loves the Christmas tree and seems to have no problem walking unassisted when it means she gets to reach for ornaments (but try to get her to walk on her own any other time and she crumples to the ground).

I’ll probably end up doing project 52 for 2015, but I’m not sure if I’ll be sharing it on the blog or not.  As I’ve mentioned before, we are making an effort to unplug more. I’m not sure exactly how that will translate for the blog though.

COMMENT.


Dec 25 2014

Merry Christmas!

[photo credit: jayme anne photgraphy]

1 comment


Apr 14 2014

monthly prompt: rain

**I am a part of a small blogger collective consisting of other mom bloggers and each month we are given a word “prompt” to write about.  This months prompt is “rain””**

If you are from the Pacific Northwest, the scenario I’m about to tell you will be familiar.  At the end of February, it looked like Spring was about to arrive.  We had some really beautiful days and it seemed like maybe winter would be over early.  Then on March 1st, we got a giant dump of snow.  Everyone despaired.  It seems to happen every year like this, and every year we seem to forget the outcome.  While to some the snow looked really beautiful, it was also March 1st and we were done with winter (meanwhile, everywhere else in Canada was still waist deep in snow, and we really had nothing to complain about).  Then as per usual, a few days after the snowfall it started raining. The days turned grey and the ground turned a mushy brown.  Any snow that was left over was patchy and discoloured.  Everything looked dismal.

At the same time that this was happening, Lucy had just come home from the hospital from her heart surgery.  We had just pulled out her NG tube and were doing a rapid wean to get her back to eating orally.  We were so excited that the hurdle of heart surgery was out of the way and that the feeding tube was out.  Things looked rosy at first.  But if you are familiar with any kind of recovery (especially with babies) you’ll know that there’s a motto: “one step forward, two steps back”.  I remember one particular day when she had been eating fairly miserably, I looked out the window at the grey mush that was our backyard and thought about how miserable things felt.  A phrase kept popping in my head though:

“Sometimes things have to get ugly before they can be made beautiful.”

We know that here in the PNW when we get a snowfall there will inevitably be that gross period of cold rain and mud.  We also know that in order to get the beautiful spring and summer that we love so much, that has to happen.  Never have we woken up one day after a snowfall to see that the snow is all gone, the ground is dry and it’s warm and sunny outside.

“Sometimes things have to get ugly before they can be made beautiful.”

Sometimes the rain has to come, to clear away the last vestiges of winter and make way for spring.

I’m pretty sure this phrase can apply to a lot of scenarios.  For us, it meant that we had to be prepared for Lucy’s eating to be bad in order for her to learn how to get better.

We had pretty miserable days (or weeks?) with weaning Lucy off of the feeding tube.  After all, she had spend more than half her life getting fed that way, so we were working against a lot.  We knew that she had to figure it out on her own though, and that meant having miserable days of her screaming constantly because she was hungry and just didn’t understand what it meant.  It was ugly.

Today though, she is over one month tube free and after months of miserable feeding, we are now on a normal schedule and our lives aren’t completely dictated by when/how well she eats.

Oh, and guess what?  Spring arrived.  Just like it always does every year, and it’s be-a-utiful!

 


“Rain” is the April writing prompt of The Mommy Blogger Collective. In addition to a monthly writing prompt, the collective hosts a monthly blogger featurette. This month we are featuring Katie of Hello, Little Bean. A few words from Katie — Hi! I’m Katie and I write a blog called ‘Hello, Little Bean.’ It’s about life as a new mom to my cute daughter, Lark Story. I’m California born and raised, but currently live in Michigan with my soon-to-be husband, James and my soon-to-be stepson, Brennan, as well as our little Lark and two kitties. I’m a full-time graphic designer who loves all things artistic and creative. I’m overly sensitive and sentimental, sarcastic and foul-mouthed at times, a foodie and a reality tv junkie who’s completely and utterly in love with motherhood. You can also find me on instagram, facebook, pinterest and our little online boutique, Bold Threads.

/// The Mommy Blogger Collective /// Christina, Courteney, Dena, Erica, Erin, Gillian, Katie, Misty, Nicole, and Renée. ///

3 comments


Nov 2 2013

introducing: lucy ann.

My ideal birth was that of an Ina May story.  All natural, in a comfortable setting (I initially wanted a home birth, something my husband ended up vetoing for our first) and laboring in water.

But instead, I got the most opposite of opposite experiences one could imagine.

In the last 3 weeks of being pregnant I got huge.  I went from fitting tight in maternity clothes to having about two or three stretchy things that still barely fit.  I was so uncomfortable and could barely move around properly.  I attributed this to me just being a wimp and soldiered on.  I also was experiencing braxton hicks a LOT.  My midwife said that some women just get them more and unless the got more frequent and stronger it wasn’t too concerning, so I tried to take it easy as much as I could handle (although in retrospect, I was a total busy body and didn’t take it easy at all).

On September 13th, when I was 34 weeks pregnant I noticed that I was having (what I thought was) braxton hicks fairly regularly.  I normally wouldn’t have been concerned about them, but these seemed a bit more intense than normal.  I spent the day laying on the couch, drinking water and timing them.  They were about 4-5 minutes apart but never got more intense or closer together.  Because I was only 34 weeks and stubborn I kept telling myself that it was fine and I just needed to suck it up.

On September 15th, I was beyond uncomfortable.  I had no idea how it would be possible for me to make it another 6 weeks.  At church that morning I told a friend that I would have my baby the next day.  We laughed and she teased me that first time moms usually go late.  The thought of being pregnant for up to 8 more weeks was overwhelming.

That evening we were having a family get together with my family.  One of my brothers and his family were moving to Montreal later that week so this was the last shindig with everyone before Christmastime.  He had noticed that my belly felt especially hard that night and noted to his wife that he thought something was off with me.  When they left, I joked that I’d have the baby quickly before they moved so he could see her.  As we were wrapping up the evening, my husband got a phone call from his mom who said that his sister had just had her baby, and we could come down to the hospital to visit that night.  I told him I was really tired and just wanted a quick visit because I needed to get some rest.  One of my other sisters-in-law told me (as we walked out the door) that I might as well have the baby while I was there.

If only we knew what was about to happen.

When we arrived in the hospital room of my husbands sister I made a point of staying out of the way and keeping to myself.  I had been so uncomfortable and whiny but this was my sister-in-law’s time and I didn’t want to make a scene.  Her boyfriend obviously noticed that I looked uncomfortable and got me a glass of water.

A few minutes after that…

I exploded.

Thankfully there was a nurse in the room when it happened.  Everyone was shouting “Her water! Her water!”   The nurse, realizing right away what was happening, grabbed me and pulled me into the washroom, stripped me down, put a gown on me and brought me to triage.  The entire way down the hall I was like a faucet on full blast.  The nurses later said they had never seen so much water come out of a person before (I apologized profusely to the nurses as I was being dragged down the hall, slipping in the amniotic fluid).

Needless to say, I was completely and totally shell shocked.  I kept saying “This wasn’t in the plan.  This wasn’t supposed to happen today.”

They hooked me up to a monitor to make sure that Lucy was still ok, and she was.  My midwife was called, and the on call OB was brought in to assess the situation.  I told the OB right away that I thought the baby was breech.  My midwife felt around, and the OB felt around and the both said that I was wrong and that baby was head down.  I felt such a relief.  I could still have the birth that I wanted.  The OB said she wanted to do a quick ultrasound though to confirm position.  Unfortunately, I was right in my intuition.  What they thought was Lucy’s head was her bum.  A c-section was imminent, and my midwife unfortunately agreed.  I tried to fight it and asked if they could move her, but with all the amniotic fluid gone it was not only virtually impossible, but excruciatingly painful.  At this time, I should point out, I was also in hard labor and experiencing contractions every 2-3 minutes.  I thankfully had the wherewithal to get my husband to contact my birth photographer (Jaydene of Cradled Creations Birth Photography) who came down right away, so that we could at least get a few shots of the process.


At just after midnight, I was wheeled down to the OR, still in denial that I was about to have a baby.  They asked me questions about family history and spinals, to which I honestly couldn’t remember if there was problems in my family with being put out.  I later remembered as they were about to do the incision that there had been issues with my dad and one of my brothers waking up while in surgery.  I immediately panicked and told my husband “Don’t let them cut me open!!  I don’t know what’s going to happen!!” and then seconds later I heard Lucy’s cries.  I had no idea they were even doing anything.


Lucy was wrapped up and brought to me a couple minutes later.  They kept saying how much she looked like me, but all I could see was the teeniest bit of her face since her little hat was way too big on her.

Lucy was placed in the NICU immediately for a heightened heart rate and temperature and put on antibiotics, since the doctors thought she may have had an infection.  Thankfully, all her tests came back clean of infection.  But that was just the beginning of Lucy’s story…

When she was just two days old, one of the nurses noticed that her stomach looked distended and checked to see how much was in it.  Unfortunately she discovered that everything we had fed Lucy in the last two days had just stayed in her stomach and hadn’t been digested.  The pediatrician was called and did another check and agreed that there was some sort of blockage.  He also noticed an irregularity with her heartbeat.  They were not set up to deal with these kinds of issues in our local hospital, so she was sent straight to the BC Childrens Hospital in Vancouver an hour away from where we live.  We were set up to stay at some government funded housing that is 4 blocks away from the hospital.

Test after test, diagnosis after diagnosis and eventually what the doctors have come up with is this: 1, Lucy has a heart murmur; (a VSD, or ventricular septal defect).  This will likely require heart surgery when she is 3-6 months old depending on her size and how it’s affecting her.

2, Lucy’s stomach and intestines did not connect properly when forming (called duodenal atresia) When she was being scanned, the technician asked if I had excess fluid when she was born (ha!  Try, an entire ocean-full!)  She explained that when there is a block in the intestines, the levels of amniotic fluid just keep getting higher and higher, eventually leading to premature rupture of membranes. She had surgery to correct it when she was 6 days old.  It took her 12 days before she was able to start eating food again, and even then it was only by tube.  By the time Lucy started eating orally she was almost a month old!  Learning that skill has been slow going and quite difficult.  Because the doctors didn’t want to push her with her heart condition we were only allowed a small amount of time to work on oral feeds initially.  At 5 1/2 weeks we were finally approved for a transfer back to the Abbotsford hospital where we would spend the next week working on getting Lucy to feed 100% orally.  After what felt like forever and a day, Lucy was finally approved for discharge at 6 1/2 weeks old.

Feeding is still a challenge.  Not only is Lucy not fabulous at it (she spurts everywhere, even with a slow nipple), but the doctors want her to be getting a certain number of calories a day (in order for her to be of an adequate size for her surgery).  This means that strictly breastfeeding is out of the question because everything (or mostly everything) that Lucy takes in has to be fortified with extra calories.  Which means pumping up to 8 times a day, then mixing that with a powder, then feeding Lucy.  To make things slightly more simple, we have decided to give some feeds formula (which smells gross and I wish we didn’t have to).

We are happy (understatement?) to be home with our little one.  The only way we managed through the last 6 weeks was with the prayers and support of so many people.  We can’t thank you all enough for everything.

So because Lucy is so freaking cute, our way of showing our utter gratitude to everyone is an overload of pictures of her.





4 comments