Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Everyone deserves one night, right?

My husband was nice enough to take over bug duty last night so that I could get out of the house. So where does one go at 9:00pm on a Tuesday in Western Kentucky? Walmart, of course!

Now, I have no stepped foot into our Walmart since the day I came home from the hospital. Hey, a girl needs her percocets, don't judge! I knew back then that they had started to renovate it, but with everything going on, it slipped to the back of my mind.

I walked in and they had one cart. Yes, one cart. The poor door man looked so lonely and I almost felt bad stealing his only responsibility. Almost is the operative word here. I needed to shop. I needed to shop.

So I soon found myself wandering around the store completely wide-eyed and with my jaw hanging. They have that place so torn apart, it's not even funny. They should hand out maps at the front door. They had toys where the pet aisle was. They had dog food where the towels and bath stuff used to be. The towels are where the purses and accessories used to be and I never found where the purses ended up.

They completely knocked down where the pharmacy used to be and built a new one, without any signage. So you could stand in line for 20 minutes just to find that you are in the pick-up line and you need to drop off. Great, huh?

They also knocked down and rebuilt (or are rebuilding) the bakery and meat counter. They're in the process of replacing the cases in the cold aisle. They have crime scene tape hanging from every which way and, get this, no lunch meat. I guess we're supposed to go without our bologna until they're done. Oh well.

The best part? I get to the checkout and there's two lines open. Really, Walmart? How about we take some of the money that you spent of this unnecessary reno and hire some more checkout people? While you're at it, how about a few more cart-pushers, too? Or maybe splurge on a few of those maps I spoke of so that my 10 minute shopping trip doesn't end up 45 minutes.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

All dressed up

So, Cadie met the Easter Bunny today. It was a pretty uneventful meeting, she just kind of sat in his arms and stared at him. I just had to share her beautiful Easter dress I picked up for a steal on Ebay. Her actual professional pics will be up in a bit!


I signed into my gmail account yesterday and got a surprise. They have a little list on the left that shows the status of your email contacts. Imagine my surprise when my mother in law's name was signed in. Now, I know my father in law has been using her account to keep in touch with some of her email contacts, but it was still weird to see that I could video chat with her.

I am all over the place. Some days I forget that she's gone. I wanted to send her an email the other day and had to stop myself. Some days, I feel so guilty. I was so irritable during my pregnancy and it seemed that every thing she did got on my last nerve. Granted, I would never, ever say anything to her face. I knew it was my hormones that made react that way to her. I get sad every time I go to check something on my Walmart baby registry because she hosted my baby shower.

Most of all, I'm angry. I am so utterly mad that I've been cheated out of the chance to mourn my mother in law the way I should have. I was so heavily medicated the days after Cadie was born, I almost felt like I was watching everyone else go through the grief of losing a loved one. I, on the other hand, felt nothing. I was numb. I wanted to cry and grieve, but I was incapable. I tried my hardest to help my husband and his father, but I couldn't even do that right.

I am off the pain medication now, ready for it all to hit me, but I'm feeling like I've been left behind. Everyone else is dealing with the loss, and I'm still here in shock. It never occurred to me just how much closure you get from a viewing and funeral. Why, oh why, do I still feel numb.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Isn't It Ironic?

I decided to sit down the other night and catch up on some of my shows my DVR has graciously recorded for me. First up was the Grey's Anatomy episode that aired the week that Cadie was born and Tom's mom passed away.

The first few minutes of every show, we meet the patients, learn what they are ailing from, and then some drama happens. Well, this particular episode, we meet a young man who has pulmonary fibrosis from radiation exposure. He needs new lungs, but for some reason they don't have spare ones just laying around for him to have. Because, you know, that's how organ transplants work.

Interesting. If you've kept up this far, you know that my mother in law suffered from pulmonary fibrosis. Weird that this episode would air days before she passed away, right? Well, it gets weirder.

Back when I was 14, I competed in pageants. My mom, ever supportive, would drive me an hour every other Saturday to take voice lessons. But not just voice lessons from anyone. No, I had to go to the best. I was a student with Sal Dupree, of The Duprees, for a little over two years.

Sal would go on and on about another one of his students. A boy a year older than me who he apparently thought was a perfect match. He would try to schedule our appointments so that I would be sitting in the waiting room when he was leaving the studio.

I never got to know that boy beyond looking at his pictures hanging on the wall of the waiting room. I would never forget his name though, and every now and then, I'd check on his IMDB page to see what he was up to.

So imagine my surprise when his name shows up as the pulmonary fibrosis patient. So not only did Grey's Anatomy use pulmonary fibrosis as a story line the week my mother in law passed, but I have a connection to the actor who was the main character. Now, isn't that ironic?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dreams and Expectations

I've been thinking about the day that I finally broke down and took a pregnancy test. I had gone crazy cleaning the kitchen, even getting down on my hands and knees to scrub the floor with Clorox wipes. If you know me at all, you know that this is very out of character for me, so I shouldn't have been surprised when my husband started bugging me to test.

As soon as that second line showed up on the test, I was filled with all sorts of thoughts and dreams. Would it be a boy or a girl? Would they have my husband's fantastic hair? What kind of person would they grow up to be? The dreams only became more real when we found out that we were expecting a little girl. I look forward to having the same bond that me and my own mom have.

When I shared that Cadie's cystic fibrosis test came back slightly elevated, we received a lot of thoughts and prayers. Friends shared stories of people they knew that are not only living with the disease, but thriving. I know that they meant well, but to hear of someone who at 19 has already outlived their life expectancy, as a new mom who faces the same reality, it tore me up inside.

I want to buy Cadie her first car and teach her to drive. We've already started saving to put her through college. I want to stand at the front door, fight tears, and watch as my little girl leaves for her first date. I want her to fall in love, get married, have kids. I want her to bury me, like it's supposed to be.

Living to 19 with a disease that previously children wouldn't reach adulthood is fantastic. That means that we are slowly figuring it out, getting closer to maybe not a cure, but a way to live with it. I just don't want that for my child. When she celebrates her 19th birthday, I don't want to be sitting there thinking it might be the last.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

An upbeat post

So I've been feeling a little down in the dumps. I don't think it's postpartum depression, just the accumulation of everything that's been going on in our lives finally catching up with me. When I read my previous posts, it's hard to believe it's all real. How could two people have such bad luck?

Well, I decided that this post needed something to spruce it up. A little ray of sunshine, if you will. So here are a few of my favorite pictures of my darling daughter, Cadence. Ok, so it's a bunch of pictures, but she's just so darned cute!

Back from the doctor's

Ok, we'll do the fun stuff first- Cadie has grown! Oh boy has she grown! She's now 9 lbs, 11.2 ounces and 20 1/8 inches long! That's over a pound in weight gain. The doctor seemed really impressed. We talked about Cadie's inconsistent feedings. She'll eat anywhere from an ounce to 5 ounces in one feeding. She'd gone an hour to 6 hours between them. The doctor wants us to feed on demand (when she wants it, no need to wake her to feed her) but to go no less than 3 hours between. Is she wants to go longer, than we should let her.

And now the not-so-fun part. Cadie scored a 71.9 on her cystic fibrosis test. Anything below 58 is considered normal. Doctor said that most CF cases he sees the children score above 100, sometimes in the 200 range. So while it's looking ok, we still have reason to worry. We had the test redone yesterday after our appointment and it should be 2-3 weeks until we find anything out on it. If she scores above a 50 this time, then we'll be sent to a CF specialist in either St. Louis, Louisville, or Nashville. Since Tom's mom dealt with Vandy through her pulmonary fibrosis, that's probably where we'd go. Heck, we already know so many of the doctors in that department.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I don't know what to think...

With one phone call, my world has completely stopped.

Cadie's newborn test results came in and she passed all but one. Her cystic fibrosis test came back slightly elevated. Her two week appointment is tomorrow and they plan on redoing the test and we should have the results in 2-3 weeks.

I am all kinds of mixed up right now. I hope that it's just a fluke thing... that something went wrong with the testing and it's all just some big mistake. I'll even settle for her being a carrier. But how can I look at my beautiful, seemingly healthy little girl and see anything but?

It's not fair. It's not fair to watch someone you love succumb to a lung disease and then have to wait with fingers crossed that it won't happen again. Why this and why now?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

When one door closes...

Another one opens. In our case, they were two humongous doors.

Everyone experiences life changing events. Whether it's buying a new house or getting married, there are events that happen in our lives that change who we are and how we go on from there. Two of the biggest life changing moments are the birth of a child and the death of a parent. One deals with the beginning of life and the other with the end of it. For us, these two events are now forever connected.

Tom's mom was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis in 2003. It's a disease where the air sacs in the lungs become scarred. That scar tissue gradually grows thicker which makes it harder for the tissue to transfer oxygen to the bloodstream. There is no cure and there's no way to reverse the damage.

We watched as she battled the disease. She was eventually put on supplemental oxygen and had to medically retire from the teaching position she had held for several years. She was put on the lung transfer list at Vanderbilt University Hospital in September of 2007. She received her new lungs in January 2009.

With her new lungs came a second chance. She no longer needed to be on oxygen. She could take long walks, where before even a trip to the bathroom left her breathless. She wanted to take day trips again. She wanted to live again. She was a new person with new hopes for the future. Sure, her health was always a number one priority, but it wasn't her entire life anymore.

Just 20 short hours after Cadie entered this world, her grandma passed from multiple organ failure. We like to believe that she got to see pictures of her first grandchild that my father in law showed her. She was so looking forward to spending time with Cadie, which makes the timing all that more sad.

Cadie will know her grandma. I plan on creating a children's book with pictures of her and with a little story about her life. Just a little something to sit down and read together, to keep her memory alive.

I believe that Cadie was sent to help us through this hard time. All you have to do is look at my husband or father in law hold her, cuddle her, love her, and you see a little bit of the pain ease up. She is definitely a little ray of light in a dark time and we are truly blessed to have her in our lives.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Induction / C-Section Story

We scheduled my induction to start at 8:00 Sunday night. They had some issues getting the iv in, which caused a lot of blood, which in turn sent me into an anxiety attack (I'm deathly afraid of needles). I was still 1 cm dilated. Cadie's heartbeat went sky-high. She's usually in the 140-150 range, but she was measuring in the 180-190s. They decided not to insert the cervidil and instead monitor me over night and start me on pitocin early Monday morning. Over night, my body started contracting on it's own. The nurse explained that this was a good thing and that my body was doing the work they expected the cervidil to do.

They started the pitocin drip at 8:30 the next morning. They decided to start out slowly, monitor her reaction to it, and then increase it as the day went on. Pretty soon, her heartbeat was rising where it should be and we were a go. By 10:20 my contractions were a little stronger and more frequent. They felt a lot like really bad menstrual cramps and some I didn't even feel at all. I was contracting 2 minutes apart by 1:45 and was 2 cm when they checked. At that check, the doctor tried to break my water but couldn't. She said the bag was too tough, but she felt like she nicked it a little. Contractions were a little stronger, but still manageable. They gave me some medicine via IV (started with an S- forget the name, sorry) which helped me nap through the contractions.

At 5:00, I was breathing through the contractions, but they still weren't quite so bad during the down time. I was sitting in bed when my water broke (my doctor counted 12:00 the official time since she nicked it). The contractions got really painful at this time, so I requested the epidural. It took her many tries to get it in. Every time I would lean down, I'd have a contraction and I had a huge problem sitting still. They finally got it in and the contractions were coming less than 2 minutes apart at this point. My entire left leg was numb, but I could still feel the right. Even worse, I could feel the catheter and with every contraction, it would sting like someone was stabbing me.

I continued to labor until about 10:30. I kept having to switch sides because the pain was so high I was having problems breathing. At this point, the doctor came and talked to me. The epi wasn't helping any and I had stalled at 5 cm dilated. Cadie's heartbeat had started rising again, this time reaching over 200. My body was exhausted and I was running a 102 degree fever. The doctor was concerned enough to highly recommend a c-section, which I agreed to.

They prepared me and DH for the c-section. They buckled me down and started inserting the numbing medicine through the epidural. The doctor started pinching me to gauge how the medicine was working. It took them pushing really hard on my abdomen to realize that they had already cut. Cadie entered the world at at 11:16pm on March 8th at 8 pounds, 6 ounces, 19.5 inches long. DH was completely fascinated with her and all reservations of cutting the cord went out the window. He proudly walked her down to the nursery. She's absolutely beautiful!

Recovery is going fantastic for both me and my girl. I was up out of bed yesterday and even got a shower. I could compare my pains to those of a bad period, but most of the time the pains meds knock those out. I did have an issue last night where my iv infiltrated. My left arm was so swollen, I couldn't bend my fingers. It actually looked like a cabbage patch doll's arm. They removed the iv and my hand has been on heating pads/ice since to try to get the painful swelling down. I always knew it would be the IV that gets me! My girl, on the other hand, has really taken to her formula. Her doctor told me today that she has gained an ounce since her birth, which is rare because usually babies lose a little weight the first week.