Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Back in the Loop

We returned yesterday from our lengthy Thanksgiving trip. Our flights were actually uneventful, and we were even able to get on an earlier flight, which meant that C & I didn't have to entertain Wild Man in the airport for 3 hours. Wild Man was so excited to be home, which surprised both of us a bit. He ran around the house for hours, chasing the cats and playing with his toys. All day long he would stop what he was doing and break into wonderful giggles! It was so sweet. C & I are equally glad to be home. It is much easier to take care of a toddler in our own home. Both of Wild Man's grandmother's have lots of breakables and neither home is baby proof. I'll write more about the visit later, but now I'm off to get caught up on my own work.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ladies' Night Out

Last night, Supadiscomama and I had an impromptu Ladies' Night Out--well, it was impromptu in the sense that I called her at 11:00 yesterday morning and invited her to join me to attend a dance performance I really wanted to see. The performance was fun, although not quite what either of us expected. Afterward we had drinks--my first cocktail (I'm not counting wine!) since I got pregnant! It was so fun, and I've decided I need to do that more. Wild Man and C were completely fine without me, and rather than making me a little sad, that knowledge actually makes me feel empowered. I am so looking forward to my night out with my best friend and my sister during our Thanksgiving trip!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Next week, C, Wild Man, and I are traveling to visit our families for the Thanksgiving holiday. The past few days have been incredibly stressful (including quite a few tears for me) for both of us as we try to negotiate with our families (well, primarily C's mom and sister) a visiting schedule. Every time we visit our families, we go through this process. We try to split the time as evenly as possible, but as I've discussed before, my family is laid-back to the point of passivity while C's family likes to plan things months in advance. C & I generally sit down and decide what nights were staying with whom, and since Wild Man's birth, we no longer move back and forth every night. We stay with one family half the time, and with the other the remainder. In my mind, this means that the days that correspond with those nights are reserved for which ever family we're staying with. Unfortunately, C's family (again, primarily his mom and sister) don't agree. Once he shares this schedule with them, they inevitably say "I want to do x on x day," regardless of whether it is a day earmarked for my family or not.

The planning for this visit has been particularly tense as my mom actually wanted to host Thanksgiving dinner this year. In the past, when we've been in our Home State for holidays, we've tried to get our two families together for the holiday dinner as it is easier than having 2 dinners and it makes it less stressful for everyone. Despite the tension around planning, our families actually get along together fairly well (at least when they're in the same room!). My mom, however, is not a big "party person," so she prefers to let C's mom host. This year, however, my mom wanted to host for a variety of reasons, the most of important to her and me is that I haven't eaten a holiday meal in my natal home in over 8 years. She was more than willing to have C's entire family over, and even 2 family friends who are always included in their holiday dinners. This, for whatever reason, was unacceptable to C's mom. She couldn't wrap her mind around this, so she went ahead and made plans to have Thanksgiving dinner at her house. Although both my mom and I were disappointed, we agreed to have dinner there. Then my sister unexpectedly announced that she and her 2 kids were flying in for the holiday. I was ecstatic, and my mom still has no idea as my sister wants to surprise her (for the record, I think these sorts of surprises are a bad idea!). The catch: my sister wants to have Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house. Totally cool with me, even though it means that C, Wild Man, & I will have to attend two dinners. The problem: C's mom is totally obsessing about what time my family is eating and making it very clear that she cannot move the time of her dinner either up or back to accommodate anyone--not even her grandson's schedule. So we adjusted. My family is eating very early, and we will only be spending about 2 hours with C's family as we have to account for Wild Man's nap and bedtime. Frustrating yes, but not the end of the world (admittedly, I'm saying this after I ranted and raved for about 30 minutes to my sister). In the end, my m-i-l is only hurting herself by refusing to compromise.

Now that I've gotten all of that out--I found it oddly cathartic to put all of that down in a logical, rational way, avoiding all the torrent of emotions I've been feeling about the visit. I am looking forward to a lot of things with this visit.

Wild Man gets to meet his maternal cousins for the first time.

C & I get to see our niece and nephew for the first time in almost 2 1/2 years.

My entire family will be under the same roof for the first time in almost 2 1/2 years--minus my brother-in-law who couldn't get time off for the trip.

I get to see my niece's latest hair-do in person (she's 13, and her hair has been 5 colors in as many months!).

We're taking Wild Man to a Famous Park that I loved as a child.

I get to eat at my favorite restaurant in the whole world.

I'm going out to dinner and who knows what else with my best friend (the woman I've known since we were 8!).

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Umm, What do I do with this?

*I've deleted this post because I've realized I spend a lot of time griping about my mother-in-law, and I really don't want to be the sort of daughter-in-law who does nothing but gripe about her m-i-l. I'm sure I will gripe again, and I'm sure I will do so in the blog. For now thought, I'm going to try to focus on the things about my m-i-l that I like, such as her generosity, her love of travel, and her love of books.

Something to be thankful for. . .

C, Wild Man, and I have been planning a trip to our Home State for Thanksgiving since September. Such trips are always stressful as our parents live about 35 miles apart--too far apart to make traveling back and forth daily convenient but too close together to not see both in a single visit. The week becomes complicated as each family jockeys for time with us. Our families handle it in different ways--mine is so non-confrontational and passive that it is seriously annoying, and C's just makes plans for us. I just got some news that will inevitably add to the stress of the week, yet it makes me very, very happy. My sister, who lives on the West Coast, and her two kids are going to be visiting as well. I'll miss seeing my brother-in-law, as he has to work, but I'm really excited to see my sister and my niece and nephew. I'm really thankful that she decided to make this trip. It has been almost 3 years since my parents, my siblings, and I have all been together. It should be a very exciting visit!


Um, so does anyone else find it ironic this story (which I've been following very, very closely) a bit ironic, given our country's stance on torture and the treatment of "suspected" terrorists? I sometimes marvel at the hypocrisy of our government. . .

Saturday, November 03, 2007

My Little Chicken

I had to do it. I had to put Wild Man in his Halloween costume long enough to get some pictures. Surprisingly he seemed to like the tights. In fact, he wandered around the house in just the tights for about 15 minutes before I managed to get them off. He looked a bit like the Strong Man from carnivals.

*Warning: per an agreement with C, these pictures will only be up for a few days.

*Sorry if you missed the photos!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Halloween in the hospital

I had intended to break my policy of not posting pictures of Wild Man and post of picture of him in his Halloween costume—a cute yellow chicken outfit that my mom bought for him, complete with orange and yellow striped tights and orange chicken feet slippers. Unfortunately, Wild Man never got to wear his costume. Instead, we spent Halloween in our pajamas, snuggled together in a hospital room, desperately wanting to be home. Wednesday was a very, very long day for our family.

It started out simply enough. C was up and gone by 6:30—he teaches at 8:00, and as he commutes an hour each way, he is typically gone by 6:30 two mornings a week. Wild Man had woken up at 5:00 to nurse and had promptly gone back to sleep in our bed, and when I woke up at 6:45, he was still sound asleep. I got up, surrounded him with pillows, rearranged the baby monitor to an optimal location, and started my morning routine. By 7:30, he was still not awake, so I began the process of waking him up. Like me, Wild Man does not wake up easily or happily. After a few minutes, however, he was up and happily chasing one of our cats, calling out "Purrie" as he ran after Pearlie. We ate breakfast and were out the door a bit earlier than usual. Before taking him to school, we had to go by the doctor's office so he could get his 1 year vaccinations and a flu shot. He'd had his check-up the Friday before, but the clinic was out of flu shots. If he had gotten his vaccinations that day, he would have had to wait a month to get the flu vaccine (something about a potential reaction if the MMR and flu vaccines weren't given on the same day), so his doctor advised waiting until the clinic had more of the preservative-free flu vaccine in. Wild Man happily played in the waiting room until we were called back. When we were called back to an exam room, I began taking off his jacket as the nurse explained the shots to me. I immediately asked if the flu shot was the preservative free one. As the nurse and I discussed this, Wild Man walked over to the corner of the exam room and played quietly with is toy MP3 player (it plays "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" over and over, and he loves it). The nurse explained that she didn't have the preservative free shot, but that she would go double check to see if they had any in.

As she got up, Wild Man stood up from a sitting position, lost his balance, and fell to the right, hitting his head on the wall. The nurse walked out, he cried a little bit, and I bent down to pick him up, calling him by his name. This isn't the first time he's taken a tumble in the doctor's office, so I knew what to do to distract him from being upset. I walked him over to the full length mirror on the wall and tried to get him to look in the mirror. He was silent and unresponsive. I looked at his face on my shoulder, and my perfect little boy's eyes had rolled back in his head and he was a pale shade of blue. I called his name several times, and when I got no response, I carried him into the hallway, screaming for a nurse. Three nurses and a doctor were by my side in seconds. One nurse took him from me and lied him down on the floor. By now he was completely rigid and arching his back. Another nurse held his head while the doctor tried to listen to his heart. After what seemed like hours, but I know was only a minute or two, he relaxed and seemed to go straight to sleep. The first nurse, a wonderful woman named Katy, carried him into an observation room, and the doctor began to give him some oxygen. The third nurse hooked his finger up to a pulse ox machine to measure his oxygen levels. His color improved immediately, and the doctor began quizzing me. The nurse who had been in the exam room with us helped me answer the questions, and I told the doctor what I just described here. The doctor explained that Wild Man seemed to have had a mild seizure, the biggest of indicator was how he had gone immediately to sleep (and my little guy, who is a light sleeper, slept soundly for 20 minutes will the doctor and nurses poked and prodded him). She reassured me that he had never stopped breathing, and I could see for myself from the pulse ox machine that his oxygen level never went below 98%. She said, let's keep him here for a while and see what he does and then decide what to do. She left, and Katy stayed with me. I was finally able to think for a minute and said, "I need to call my husband." My cell phone wouldn't work in the building, so they let me use the phone at the nurse's station. Katy stayed right beside Wild Man as she could see I was uncomfortable leaving him alone.

I got a hold of C just as he was leaving his first class. I told him, "Everything seems to be fine right now, but Wild Man had a seizure in the doctor's office. I need you to come home now." He simply said, "I'm leaving now; I'll be there as soon as I can." That was the extent of the conversation.

I returned to Wild Man's side, and watched him while Katy filled out some paperwork. I repeatedly asked her, "He is just sleeping, right?" She continually reassured me, and she didn't leave me until he had finally woken up and was snuggled in my arms. She returned every 5 minutes or so to check on us and to ask more questions. Wild Man soon began sticking his hand down my top, so I asked Katy if I could nurse him. She went to check with the doctor and told me I could. After that, Wild Man seemed like his normal self. He wanted to get down and get into things, but as the exam room was far from baby proof, I tried to occupy him in other ways. The doctor returned to examine him again. She looked at every inch of his head, and asked me again and again where he hit. I had to tell her the truth. I was talking to the nurse about the flu shot; I didn't see precisely where he hit. She asked about a bruise on his cheek, and I said that is old—he likes to slide down the sliding board head first, which is where the small scratch on the top of his head is from. I told her several times that as far as I could tell there was not a mark on him where he hit his head about 40 minutes earlier. She said, "I don’t think we're going to find an explanation for this, but I want to admit him to the hospital for tests to rule everything out." She then went on to explain that sometimes babies' brains "misfire," her word. Apparently at key developmental changes, like 12 months, there is so much activity in a baby's brain that the brain sort of short circuits. As she explained all this, C arrived and began asking so many questions, which I was glad of. By then, I couldn't think anymore. I just wanted to hold my little boy in my arms and never let him go. In the next 15 minutes, we were packed up and headed over to the hospital.

Another wonderful nurse named John explained the tests to us: blood work, a CT scan, and an EEG. He assured us that he'd make sure everything was done as quickly as possible. He wanted to take Wild Man to another room to draw blood and insert a hep lock, in the event that he needed an IV. He said that one or both of us could go with Wild Man, but then he said that generally it is more upsetting to the baby if a parent is present as he would have to be restrained. I said, "Please do what will be least traumatic for him." He took Wild Man from me and said they'd be back in about 30 minutes. C hugged me, and I was finally able to cry. Wild Man, however, has a set of lungs, and as soon as I heard him crying from I have no idea where, I got out of the room and walked down the hall. Coincidentally our very good friends had their baby the night before, so I walked down the hall to visit them. They were wonderful as they distracted me with all the details of their birth. Their little girl was in the NICU due to some complications, so they were as stressed out as I was, if not more so. After 10 minutes I walked back down the hall, and 10 minutes later, a nurse brought Wild Man to me. His right arm was covered in a maroon sock, and he was not happy at all. He wanted to nurse again, and I knew he wanted lunch, which I asked about. He didn't have time to nurse or to eat anything as a radiology tech came to escort us down to radiology for his CT scan. C and I were both able to be in the room with him, and this was the second most horrifying experience of the day—almost as bad as the seizure itself. The tech, who was very nice and had gotten married on Wild Man's first birthday, basically had to tie him to the machine. He screamed the entire time, while we feebly attempted to comfort him. C sang "The Wheels on the Bus" over and over while I rubbed his toes. When the test was over, we had him out of the machine before the tech even left her control room. We took him back to the hospital room and waited for the next test. The lunch they brought him was nothing he was going to eat—and he is not a picky eater. Luckily I had his lunch that I was going to send to school with him with me, so we fed him that. He was happy for a little while, eating peaches, cheerios, and chunks of chicken. Then another tech came in to give him the EEG.

Someone, somewhere has to invent a better way to give a baby an EEG. Wild Man had to have 26 individual wires attached to his head. By this time, he was cranky and exhausted. He simply wanted to take a nap. After 15 minutes of trying to get him to lie on his back and hold still, C looked at the tech and said, "I'm sorry, but you're going to have to get over seeing my wife's breast. She's going to kneel over Wild Man, so he can nurse. This is the only think that will calm him down right now. While he nurses, you can attach the wires and run the test." The tech, a 50-something woman, looked a little shocked, but agreed. C sat on the edge of the bed and helped me keep my balance while I nursed Wild Man. Once she got the first half of the wires in place, the tech told me we could turn Wild Man on his side, putting us both in a more comfortable position. Wild Man eventually fell asleep, making it much easier on the tech to run the test. In fact, he slept for the next 2 hours, waking up just as C returned from a trip home, with clothes for all of us and toys for Wild Man. We spent the night and most of the next morning at the hospital.

All of his tests came back good. There is no explainable reason why our little boy had a seizure, and there is absolutely no indication that he'll ever have another. By Thursday morning he was, however, quite cranky—he simply wanted to get down and play. C and I did the best we could to keep him occupied, but he wanted to be in his own space. He kept calling out "Purrie," which meant he wanted to chase Pearlie around. When we finally got him home, he proceeded to pull out every single one of his toys, eat a huge lunch, and take a 2 hour nap. We spent the afternoon at the park, where he played on the swings and went down the slides—although we made him go down sitting on his bottom.

Neither C nor I have ever been so scared in our entire lives. I never, never want to see my son like that again. We've spent the past two days showering him with kisses and hugging him as much as he will let us. The saddest part of this whole experience is that my fearless Wild Man has developed some stranger and separation anxiety. I had to sit with him for 30 minutes this morning at school before I could leave him. I called about 30 minutes later to check on him, and he was, as I suspected, happily playing with his friends.

I'm sorry for the enormously long post; I think I needed to get all of this out to let it go in some strange way. I love that little boy more than I can put into words.