health updates

hypothyroidism… the pendulum has swung and my TSH is now double the normal range, almost 8x what my historical levels were… and free t4 is low.  synthroid it is… probably for the rest of my life.  could be worse, but definitely adds another layer of complexity for future pregnancies.

never wrote about this one, but started getting random joint pain a couple of weeks after i went back to work (at the same time i had another psoriasis flare on my face).  at first it was mainly my wrists, which i attributed to using the keyboard for 8 hours a day after a 6 month break.  then my knees started hurting, then finger joints.  i spoke to my primary care, who was concerned that it could be psoriatic arthritis.  she ran some blood tests, most of which came back normal, although i am vitamin d deficient.  she referred me to a rheumatologist anyway, as blood work usually appears normal in psoriatic arthritis.  at first look, the rheumatologist thinks this is all related to my immune system going haywire postpartum (that’s what postpartum thyroiditis is caused by). he did order some additional tests to check for joint inflammation, i should get the results later this week.  he also put me on an anti inflammatory drug to see if it helped with the pain.  it did, but then i stopped taking it after a few days because i was taking every OTC medication under the sun for a cold, started synthroid, started an antibiotic, and drum roll please… started birth control again.  so, because the NSAID helped, i fear the worst that there is real inflammation.

on to the next thing, finally got a normal pap smear after over a year of abnormal results with cell changes due to high risk HPV {thank you, husband – still not completely over this one yet}.  although, i’m not holding my breath as i will have HPV for life and it could show up again at any point unannounced.  you know what’s so messed up about this situation {besides me making the right decisions and dealing with the consequences of husband’s poor decisions}?  i got the gardisil shot in high school.  apparently it does not cover all strains of high risk HPV.  abstinence is the only thing that will do people, and you better believe i’m preaching this to my offspring.  i think another reason i’m having such a hard time getting over this one is that i could’ve made different choices too.  i knew some came before, but didn’t think it was a big deal.  wrong, it is a big deal.  it is a big deal because i have yet another health problem to deal with.  life is messy.  it just is.  prime example of my ever growing need to part with perfection.  and to forgive.  why is it hardest to forgive the ones you’re closest too?  including yourself?

moving on, i went to see my RE thinking i would need metformon again since i have a history of PCOS.  and guess what, apparently research shows that it’s only really beneficial for ladies with PCOS that are overweight and boarderline diabetic, which so far is not me {i’ve learned to never say never}.  we discussed the goal of future FET(s) and decided it was best for me to resume taking birth control so that my body will be at baseline when we’re ready to move forward.  i have mixed emotions about this… after all that we’ve been through, it just seems wrong to prevent pregnancy.  however, i truly feel that God gave us the number of embryos we have for a reason and i do not want to waste them.  and to be honest, i don’t want to even think about having another ectopic pregnancy experience.  3 months of being fake pregnant and methotrexate to shut it all down, not fun.  further, the odds are against us for natural conception – even if my PCOS were magically cured, the husband has pretty terrible swimmers {a result of HPV?  kidding.  but really, he should have some sort of consequence}.  {also, if you know me in real life, i kindly ask you not to broadcast this whole HPV thing to the world, or anyone really.}

oh, i almost forgot the best detail yet about this appointment with my RE.  i stopped breastfeeding 2 months ago, but still hadn’t started my period.  until the evening before my appointment with my RE, same day i had the repeat pap actually.  my OB was a bit concerned and told me that if i didn’t start by january, to give him a call.  life has a funny way of organizing events sometimes.  oh, and the first period after you’re done breastfeeding, it’s no joke.

so back to doctor appointments.  daycare is rough.  especially the daycare germs.  they are super germs that don’t give up until they’ve got you pinned.  brian got a cold, turned double ear infection.  husband caught he cold next, but eventually got over it.  i thought i was going to sneak by.  false.  it got me, and it got me good.  it turned to a sinus infection, and i’m pretty sure the worst sinus infection i’ve had to date.  my primary care was off the day i felt the sickest, so i got luck of the draw at the doctor office.  the man i saw is an idiot.  he said “you just have a cold and giving you an antibiotic would be like killing a fly with a machine gun.”  he wrote a prescription for an antibiotic anyway, but told me not to fill it unless things got worse and lasted several more days.  so after two days of having a fever and feeling like crap, i decided to fill the antibiotic.  i made the right choice, because i kid you not, the biggest most disgusting ball of mucus i have ever seen managed to exit my right nostril about 30 minutes after i got back from the pharmacy.  it was green, streaked with blood, firm in the middle, and the size of a quarter in diameter.  so i started taking the antibiotic, until a family member tipped me off that this antibiotic wasn’t strong enough for a sinus infection.   after two days of taking it with no improvement other than the fever going away, i practically had to beg my primary care to switch the antibiotic.  she finally agreed, and it has literally taken an additional 4 days to feel human again.  everything that comes out of my face is green.  with that, i will just reiterate that daycare germs are super germs.

i’m sure the world wide web isn’t all that concerned with what’s going on with my health, but on the off chance that someone is, there you have it, folks.

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happy 7 months

baby brian,

happy 7 months, little love!  no surprise here, but you are still growing, growing!  you are at such a fun age.  you are so interactive, not quite mobile yet (other than rolling many times over), and your personality is getting bigger by the day.  you love music, being carried around, playing in the saucer and jumperoo, walks outside, and bath time.  you get so very distracted when eating or getting your diaper changed.  you can’t quite sit up yet, so mommy feeds you in the bumbo – you spent too much time trying to sit up in the bouncy seat, but the bumbo has challenges too.  you try to grab the buckles to put in your mouth, you try to reach down to touch the table, you try to grab the food and spoon if mommy sets it down, you try to put your bib and hands in your mouth, the list goes on.  even during bottle feedings, you have a newfound interest in touching mommy’s hair and face.  when you reach your little hand up, i give it a loud kiss and you giggle away.  i wouldn’t trade those moments for the world!  during diaper changes, you are so intrigued by the containers of lotion and cream in the little cubbies on either side of your changing pad.  you always try to turn and grab them, sometimes you’re successful.  you’re definitely strong enough that it’s hard to keep you facing forward so mommy can finish the diaper change.  back to sitting up, we’re working on it!  you’re definitely strong enough, you just don’t understand that if you throw yourself back you will fall.  earlier today, you did sit up by yourself for 5 seconds… you have to start somewhere.

you are less interested in eating than you have been in the past.  i’m fairly sure that part of it is that you are ready to move to a 4 hour schedule instead of eating every 3 hours.  however, since you’ve been at daycare, it’s hard for mommy to know what you really need.  maybe over thanksgiving break in a few weeks i can work on adjusting things.  you eat all sorts of veggies and fruits now.  i mix them with rice to make them a bit thicker, which you do better with.  you also eat baby yogurt.  the first time you tried it, you had a funny look on your face, but then you ate it like a champ!  it is quite possibly the messiest food to feed you though!  anyway, for now you get three small meals of solids and 5 six ounce bottles a day.

you still sleep pretty well at night, although i think you had your first bad dream a few nights ago… you started crying pretty hard at 11:30 pm.  because you had been sick with ear infections, mommy thought it was prudent to check on you, turns out you were sound asleep and felt cool as a cucumber with no fever.  i picked you up to calm you down and you nestled into my shoulder and fell right back asleep (being your mom is seriously the best).  you take 3 good naps a day at home, but only 2 small ones at daycare.  i think daycare is exhausting for all of us, but daddy and i hope to make some changes soon.

while i’m on the subject of daycare, it pains me to write that your “teachers” are not taking care of you like mommy would.  aside from the poor nap routine (i get it, daycare is just different than home), your onesies are often completely soaked with drool despite my efforts to take you every morning with a bib on.  your teachers also told me that you are biting other children. but you’re not mobile yet, so they must be putting other babies on top of you.  plus, everything goes in your mouth – you’re too little to know that another human is not fair game like a toy.  your teachers also seem to not be able to feed you solids at the right mealtime, so you actually had no solids for dinner the other night.  my favorite is probably this: your teachers told me that you are having a hard time playing independently and that you’re too fussy.  i responded that you’re probably fussy from the lack of good naps… doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.  there is another little boy close to your age in your class, henry.  your teachers are always comparing you to him and suggesting your schedule should be like his.  but you are not henry!  most days, you are crying when i come to pick you up.  monday this week was the icing on the cake… a different teacher was in the classroom when i came to get you.  i heard you wailing as i came down the hall, signed you out, and covered my shoes.  i walked in the room to see that you had slipped from this big boppy that they often use to help you sit up.  you also had no toys around you, and you were sitting in a huge poppy diaper.  meanwhile, the daycare worker just sat on a rocking chair and rocked another baby who was not eating or upset, as she stared into space.  the daycare has a policy to check IDs if they are not familiar with who is picking up the child, and this lady just completely ignored us.  i started to put you in your carseat outside the classroom, but you spit up.  i went back in to get a wipe and the teacher said “what’s the baby’s name?”  clearly she did not know us and should’ve checked my ID to make sure i was actually your mommy.  another parent was picking up his son when all of this was happening.  we left the classroom together and i asked him if you had been crying like that the whole time he was in the room, and he said yes.  it’s hard to hand you over to someone for 10 hours a day and trust that they are doing the best thing for you.  we tried it for a month, it did not work, so your “teachers” will not be your teachers for much longer.

we’ve had lots of doctor visits since last month.  your routine well child checkup – you are a tall one (seems like your chubbiness goes away pretty quickly as you gain more length).  another quick visit to get your first flu shot.  two sick visits, one because you scratched your eye, and one for double ear infections (october 23rd) that came from a nasty daycare cold.  in fact, the cold was so nasty that mommy and daddy got it too and mommy ended up with a sinus infection.  we also had two appointments with the cranial banding specialist.  it’s a good thing we did because even though the neurologist tried to convince us that your plagiocephaly is mild, according to the actual measurements, its technically severe on the asymmetry measurement and the cranial band is covered by insurance.  you have been measured at this point and we’re waiting for your helmet to arrive!  the plain band is pretty ugly, so we plan to get yours painted… maybe for the carolina panthers (they are actually having a good season this year, and you do like to watch football with daddy).  reflux is still an issue, but daddy and mommy pray everyday that it parts ways with you soon.

we did do some fun things this past month.  we had your 6 month photos taken.  they turned out so great… probably because you are so handsome!  and we also dressed you up like a bear for our church’s “trunk or treat” the day before halloween and for trick or treating on actual halloween.  you didn’t love getting in the costume, but you didn’t mind it once it was on.  and boy were you the cutest bear i’ve ever seen!

we have lots of other prayers for you – for your growth and development, for your health and safety, for you to have wisdom, for you to love and serve the Lord.

i love you so much, baby buddy.  you are my favorite and i’m so grateful God chose me to be your mama.

love,

mommy

happy 6 months

baby brian,

how am i already writing this?  how are you 6 months old?  i want to freeze time and keep you my little baby for a little while longer.  every night before bed, i look at pictures of you from the day and sometimes go all the way back to your newborn photos… i can’t believe how much you’ve changed from just a few months ago.  but growing up is good.  and growing up is what you are doing!  this month you found your feet (september 14th).  you can even get them to your mouth, because everything must go to your mouth!  two more teeth also came in – the upper and lower right lateral incisors (september 22nd).  i think you really want to crawl, but you just can’t figure it out yet.  instead, you put your arms out to the side and flail and kick… daddy calls this your supermans!  it’s funny because when you are wiggling around in your crib, you know to tuck your legs up under your butt, you just don’t know that this is necessary to crawl too.  physically, you are a bit chunkier at about 17 pounds and your hair is starting to come in more.  as much as i hoped you would have beautiful dark hair, it seems to be on the lighter side of brown (although still beautiful).  you look more like mommy and my side of the the family everyday. 

you are still drinking 6 oz in each bottle, 5 times a day.  we also feed you veggies first thing in the morning and at your next to last feeding for “dinner.”  so far you’ve had carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, and peas.  i don’t really think you have a favorite, you did make some funny faces when you first tried carrots.  we used to give you rice cereal, but it was constipating you even with prune juice mixed in, so your doctor told me to just stick with fruits and veggies.  after one more day of peas, we will work our way through the fruits.  your reflux seems to be worse than ever, so i’d rather not stuff you full of solids anyway.

you still love baths – you kick and splash the whole time you’re in your little tub! and you love tummy time, but it aggravates your reflux.  you also like to be outside.

you are sleeping 11 hours at night still, but we will see if daycare changes that for us.  you have been napping 3 times a day, but daycare will probably change that for us too… you only slept for 50 minutes total during your first full day.  even before daycare, you could use that fourth nap some nights, but you won’t take it anymore… no matter how tired you are.  instead, you just fuss at mommy and daddy.  the evenings are rough, but i remind myself that there will come a time when you won’t want us to hold you and entertain you, and i will miss it.  so even if you are a bit fussy, i’ll take it!

going back to daycare, you have been two full day now.  mommy took you for two half days a couple of weeks ago, and that was enough to give you your first cold.  call me soft, i kept you home the next week so you could recover and be well for your dedication at church (september 27th).  the following week we visited pop pop and gigi for a couple of days, so i kept you home too.  you did great at pop pop and gigi’s house.  you had your first nights away from home (september 29th and 30th) and night without us (september 30th).  pop pop and gigi have a little dog, which you didn’t seem to mind either.

your dedication was a beautiful and special event.  so many of our family and friends were there to watch mommy and daddy commit to raise you in a Christian home.  our church’s children minister read the verse we chose for you.  it is such a special verse, it carried me through waiting for you to be in mommy’s belly and waiting for you to arrive in this world.  this verse reminds me that even on the scariest and worst of days, God is the mightiest.  i pray that one day you will know this truth too and surrender your life to Him, because as much as i wish this won’t be true for you, there will be hard days.  here is the verse: ah, Lord God! behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. there is nothing too hard for You. {Jeremiah 32:17}

as far as doctor visits go, we had two follow ups for your misshapen head.  after the first visit, the doctor suggested we wait one more month to see if it evens, but it hasn’t really.  i thought today they would recommend a helmet, but the doctor said no!  your poor little ears are even crooked… mommy and daddy don’t want you to be self conscious about that, so we may end up self referring anyway.  i also took you to the doctor for your spitting up. it is kind of out of control.  it’s definitely worse with formula and solids, but they are harder to digest.  now you’re more mobile, and it seems as though you are just jiggling the contents of your little belly too much.  the doctor said there’s not much we can do besides get more burp cloths.  we’re praying things improve soon!

i pray for you every day, little love.  i pray that God is preparing your heart to accept Him.  i pray for your health and safety.  i pray for the resources and wisdom to raise you.  i pray for your head and reflux and dimple.  i pray that you will get adjusted to daycare and eventually nap.  

i love you millions and millions!

mommy

i shouldn’t have worn mascara

i took brian for his first half day at daycare today.  i have been crying all day long – it began this morning just thinking about taking him to daycare, while at daycare getting him all settled in {didn’t help that he was crying}, after leaving daycare to run errands, while driving around in the process of running errands {twice}, after i got home from running errands {also twice}, and that brings me to the present.  i miss my little man.  the house is so quiet with just me here.  no sound machine running over the monitor during nap time, no baby toys with cheesy songs singing to me, no baby babble, no crying.

i go back to work on october 5th, and need us both to get adjusted before then.  i could see me not showing up to work on 10/5 if i waited until then for brian to have his first day at daycare.  my plan is to continue half days in the mornings until 10/5, maybe i’ll keep him home with me on 10/2.

anyway, the daycare “teachers” {let’s face it, they are babysitters at this age} are all so sweet.  they’ve sent me pictures throughout the afternoon – some when he should’ve been napping… but i guess he will eventually adjust.  brian and i, we’ve had our routine. i hate to shake things up, i just pray that he is still an excellent sleeper at night and that he doesn’t get too sick.

i’m counting down the minutes until it’s time to pick him up.  i hope he’s in a good enough mood to take a walk with mommy!

happy 5 months

baby brian,

today you are 5 months old.  i can’t believe that yet another month has come and gone.  you are my big baby!  every week you grow and change by leaps and bounds, so i can’t call you my little baby any more!  you now have 6 teeth.  the top middle two started to come in on august 13th, the lower left lateral incisor made an appearance on august 30th, and the upper left lateral incisor started to peak through on september 3rd.  you have finally started to bear weight on your legs when we hold you up (august 19th), which is a great sign for hoping the sacral dimple amounts to nothing more than a dimple.  you had your first moment of stranger anxiety when mommy and daddy took you to our sunday school pool party and mrs. donna held you (august 16th).  but honestly, it made mommy feel good – you must know who i am.  your hand-eye coordination is improving every day – you can now get most toys to your mouth, which is helpful for all of these teeth!

we’ve had some issues with feeding over the past month.  mommy’s milk turned into fat free milk and had too much lactose, so you started to get diarrhea and your weight gain slowed.  at first i thought the strange poop was due to all of the teething, but with the help of judy at your pediatrician’s office, we figured out that it was my milk.  after striving for improvement for over a week with little luck, daddy and i decided that it was best to switch to the frozen supply.  things instantly improved, and now we are feeding you half breastmilk half formula {mixed together so you don’t reject my lipase breastmilk}.  we had started rice cereal {although not much was making it to your tummy} during this time (august 10th), but we decided to hold off until we could sort out the digestive issues.  now that your tummy seems to be on the mends, we are back to trying rice cereal.  as of yesterday, you successfully ate one tablespoon of rice cereal before your mid-morning bottle.  it was pretty cute, you let the first few spoonfuls hang out in your mouth, but once you got the idea, you would kick your legs with excitement.  you are still drinking 6-6.25 oz in every bottle.

you are sleeping pretty well at night.  we’ve had a few instances of crying a couple of hours after you’ve gone to bed, probably due to pain from teething.  instead of feeding you every 3 hours, you usually have one longer nap during the day, which gives us 3.5 and 2.5 hours between some feedings.  apparently at this age, it is more important for you to get the sleep you need than it is for you to eat at even intervals.  when you nap well throughout the day, we are able to drop the last nap of the day, but sometimes you need just 20 or 30 minutes of rest because you are too fussy.

we’ve had lots of doctor visits over the past month.  we had your four month appointment and neurologist appointment, which were planned.  the neurologist said your head is shaped like a parallelogram, but he thinks it will correct.  we go back in just a few days to see if things are improving on their own or if you need a helmet.  mommy and daddy have seen some improvement, but it’s not quite round yet.  additionally, you had 3 other appointments.  two for the feeding/tummy issues and teething, and one for teething alone.  after the top two teeth came in, we didn’t think you would have any more teeth for a while, so when you were inconsoable one saturday afternoon, we thought something else was wrong.  turns out it was just more teeth.  while you are teething, you run low fevers in the 99.5-100.6 range.

you officially have a space at daycare, but mommy doesn’t go back to work until october 5th.  i’ll probably start taking you soon for half days so we can both get used to it.  i’m absolutely dreading work and daycare.  it will be a huge adjustment for us both, and mommy will certainly miss spending our days together.  mommy has been praying that the transition isn’t terrible for both of us and that you aren’t constantly sick this winter.

i love you millions, baby buddy.  i can’t help but to kiss your cheeks hundreds of times each day.  you are my favorite baby boy.

love,

mommy