Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Crush

Well, I figured I would take advantage of our brief holiday respite (got home two days ago, in-laws land in a couple of hours) to squeeze a quick blog post in.

I have to say we had a decent vacation. There were some sad feelings about J not being around, but my family did a great job of making it all seem not so bad. They helped with B (I actually got to see a movie!) and I got lots of time to rest and recover. B got more toys than he could ever play with in an entire year and I got some really nice presents as well. Lots of books, flannel sheets, and some time at the spa. Perfect!

Now that we are back, I realized with a great sense of dread...we are 8 weeks to baby. I had been using Christmas as a buffer, just saying, oh, I'll get to that after Christmas. Well, it's after Christmas and we are WAY behind where we were with B. I think that last time, we were just about done by now. This time, I haven't even started yet. Now, don't get me wrong, there isn't a bunch that we have to get. A double stroller, another car seat, and a dresser are all that come to mind (two boys in a row = money saver), but there is a bunch that has to be done. Clothes washed, massive reorganizations, and just mental preparations. Last time, I had a birth plan and doula all sorted out by now. Not this time. There's time, of course, but not much. I have to get my behindy in gear.

But there's more to it that just all the prep work, there's the fact that my little boy needs to get ready for the big shift. As an oldest of four, everything is totally different once the next one comes home. There is a shift to not being the sole spot in Mommy's eye. I'm not sure B is ready for that. Since it is just me and him right now, he gets my attention full time. He and I are a team, we are surviving this deployment together and now I feel like I am going to ruin that in some ways for him. I know I need to get extra cuddle, play, and love time in with him, because no matter what, it will never be like this again. And, in some ways, I don't want to lose that great connection that we have, which we may not, but still, I am a little worried. But, how do you explain to a 19 month old to prepare himself?

Oh well, questions for another day I guess. I have to get ready for the in-laws so I can put this off for a little longer, right?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Captain Itchy Pants

I hate to type these words, but I’m starting to feel a little itchy. It isn’t terrible yet, but it’s there. And after what happened last time, I am SUPER sensitive to itching.

During my last pregnancy, I developed a very uncommon complication, cholestasis, that more or less means that my liver stops functioning in the proper manner. It doesn’t clear bile, which then builds up under the skin and causes severe itchiness (like so bad you can’t sleep for days) and can cause major issues for baby (including stillbirth). So, any indications of itching set me on alert.

Thankfully, my Dr. caught it early last time and my midwife is on alert for it this time. I know the meds I am supposed to take, I know the tricks to help me sleep. But, I am just not looking forward to going through this again. Last time, I was so sleep deprived I felt like a crazy person. Literally, I was afraid I was going insane after not sleeping for three days. I was afraid to drive, I was totally cooped up in the house by myself with the dog (J was in RI), it was horrible.

I can’t be like that this time. I have to take care of B and five pets and manage a house while J is on deployment. I simply don’t have the luxury to go crazy this time. So, I am heading into the OB tomorrow for my first itching visit. I am going to start the meds immediately and hopefully be able to take something to help me sleep somewhat regularly. But, at the same time, I am steeling myself for the possibility that I am just going to have to put on my big girl panties and gut through the next 10 weeks. Anybody can do anything for ten weeks, right?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Emerging from the mist of Illness

Today, I can safely say that B and I have survived his first serious health issue without Dad around. On Monday, the nanny called that B had a 104 degree fever that wasn’t going down at all with Tylenol. So, we headed into the Dr office expecting to get a diagnoses of virus and came out with a chest xray, numerous medications and a pneumonia riddled little boy. B was very sick. His little boy was so hot, I could feel the heat radiating through his clothing. He didn’t want to do anything but be held. Upon sight, I could tell that something was wrong with my little boy. Needless to say, I was very, very worried.

We had a couple of sleepless nights and challenging days, but I think that B is starting come out the other side of the illness. He still hasn’t regained his appetite (even chicken nuggets and tater tots didn’t tempt him), but no fever for almost 12 hours and an increased energy level is a big win in my book.

I learned a couple of things in the experience. One, not being the TRICARE person makes it really hard to get registered at the hospital (where he had his x-rays done) and to fill prescriptions. I had to explain that he was under my husband’s TRICARE, that he was on deployment, and that I knew his social security number numerous times. I totally understand why this is challenging to the medical community, most people have insurance cards and the like, but it was very frustrating to keep battling to get my boy what he needed. Two, being single parent to a really sick kid is VERY hard. During the first two days, B wanted nothing but to be snuggled with on the couch. I could not be out of arms reach. This made simple things like going to the bathroom near impossible. Also, giving an 18 month old nasty tasting medicine was a straight up battle. Long story short, it involved a headlock, very angry baby and very frazzled mommy. Third, it’s really hard to be the dad who has to hear his child is so sick and there is nothing that he can do. I felt so bad for J. He was so worried and frustrated that he couldn’t be there. He called and emailed constantly wanting updates. You could hear in his voice that he wanted to be able to help.

It was a couple of tough days, but we made it. I have to applaud every single parent out there who does this all the time and all the other military parents who have even worse issues that they have to deal with on their own. You miss your partner every single day they are gone, but on days like these you realize how much you rely on them and how much a part of your life that they are.