That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!

niacin

It’s a lot.  You don’t have to read it.

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a change in me

A weird thing happened yesterday while I was singing in the shower.

Well wait, let me back up a bit.  When I got pregnant, my nose became very swollen and my voice got real deep.  I did a little research and tried to mention it to Dr. Wolanski.  This article describes my symptoms exactly and is what I believe that I had.  It’s all over my head, but, as the article mentions, once Bruce came into the world, the symptoms began to subside.

Fast-forward to present day.  My voice never did fully recover from pregnancy.  I can’t tell you how disheartening that has been.  I miss singing with the Disney Princesses.  I look at Bruce and just think, “well, I guess my new Gaston voice was worth it.”  I have always had pretty severe symptoms of what I believe is undiagnosed PCOS: facial hair, abnormal cycles, acne.  I’m 30, why do I still have acne?  I had even felt similar pain to that which I encountered that fateful Black Friday in 2011, but much less severe.  We were at Disney World in 2003.  I just could not get the crampiness to go away and was uncomfortable in every position.  In hindsight, I was playing with fire and should have gone to see a doctor.

Tom and I have taken a whole-body approach to health.  Maybe I could take a hormone to combat what I assume is high levels of testosterone that are producing many of these symptoms.  Or!  Maybe I could feed my body a diet of living, healthy, leafy deep green vegetables.  Maybe I can shrink the fat cells that (I assume) are producing some of the excess hormones that are doing this to me.  I believe Coca-Cola fed Mr. Nasty.  (You know, like the way Hexxus feeds on toxins and poisons in “Ferngully.”)  I believe my body wants to heal itself.  I believe my cells are slowly becoming more alive as I embrace the food that God gave us.

ANYWAY

While I was in the shower yesterday, I got a little frog in my throat while I was singing (badly).  I couldn’t seem to clear it.  I just kept singing (badly).  It felt different.  It sounded different.  Hmm, I wondered…  I tried an oldie but a goodie and suddenly I was singing (badly) along with songs that I haven’t been able to sing (at all) for a couple of years.

I may not know what I’m talking about, but I’m going to pretend that the amount of weight I’ve lost so far is already affecting me in positive ways.  I’m just going to assume this whole thing is slowly but surely beginning to impact my health.

I used to belt this out in the car, and Tom would say, “Dang! You sang the ass off that song!”  I’m not back to that level, but it’s really nice to be able to sing it, period:

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bloggin’ bloggin’ bloggin’

Tom and I took Bruce and Jasmine for a very unsuccessful walk last night with the new, way cool jogging stroller.  We usually do 5 laps around the big Bridle Trace circle.  Bruce started wailing on lap 1.  He was just really tired.  We were able to pacify him for a while, but Tom ended up taking him home early while I went on lap 3.  I walked up and down our street until I was able to get to 3 miles.

But the jogging stroller was cool.  It has rubber tires.  It’s very difficult to navigate.  For those of you keeping count, it’s Bruce’s 4th stroller.  This one isn’t like the others, though.  It’s basically useless except for running.  I told Tom that I feel bad about having bought 4 strollers, but this one doesn’t really count because it’s just like an exercise toy, or weights or something.  It would be really, really miserable to take this stroller to Disney World.  Or the mall.  Or anywhere really.  I cannot stress enough the inability to steer.

I started reading blogs yesterday of women with PCOS who are trying to conceive.  It dawned on me that my struggles with that might be relevant to someone somewhere on the internets.  So, I went back to my ol’ LiveJournal and collected everything that seemed relevant.  I don’t know how I feel about it.  I like this blog being about life with Bruce.  But at the same time, it IS relevant.  Part of the story is us trying, trying, trying.

So, if you’ve found me today and you’re into that sort of thing, you can search my tags for LJ to find the agonizing pre-baby ovarian cyst stuff.

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a day that sucked

We walked away from that whole thing looking like the idiots… but I’m getting ahead of myself.  Maybe this should be a “you suuuck” post.

I didn’t sleep at all last night.  Thirty minutes, maybe.  Bruce literally kept me up all night.

Bruce had a follow-up appointment scheduled today about his butt.  You know, that whole thing at Levine?  They made an appointment to make sure everything healed up alright.  We didn’t schedule the appointment, they made it for us at the hospital.  We just did what we were told.  (And in hindsight, this whole Obamacare thing scares me even more.)  We already had an appointment scheduled for his 2 month check-up, happens to be tomorrow, at Providence Pediatrics, Bruce’s regular doctors.  They made this appointment in addition.  Okay, we thought, the doctor wants to follow-up.  Makes sense.  Dr. Wolanski was the same way with my c-section.  Bruce’s very first pediatrician in Virginia wanted to see him a couple of days after we left the hospital to check his weight and jaundice.  ANYWAY… we did what we were told, and what we assumed was the right thing, the best thing, for Bruce.

So, we get there and parking is ri-goll-darned-diculous.  There’s a garage, but not a lot of spaces and it’s just complicated.  Our appointment note said to arrive 20 minutes early, but we got there right on time.  As soon as we walked in I felt weird.  Why do so many people in here speak spanish?  ::Shrug::  Didn’t think much of it.  Tom went to registration, I took Bruce in his car seat and sat down with my back to the majority of the huge waiting room.  They asked for his parking pass and insurance card.

Tom came and sat down and the lady at the desk called him back after a minute or so.  Tom came back and had me lean in so he could whisper.  I forget his exact words, but he said that the lady said Bruce was kind of a special case, and most of the people there didn’t have healthcare.

GEE.  YA’ DON’T SAY.

Tom was like, “how did you know?”  I said, “well, look around.”  I’m not saying anything about anybody – just that it was just a rough crowd.  We sat in the waiting room for about an hour and a half, then in a patient room for another 30 minutes or so.  They asked if we had a recent height and weight.  Uh… you’re the nurse.  Aren’t you supposed to get that?

We saw the doctors and they were asking lots of leading questions.  Kind of coming at us with a, “so, what are you doing here?” attitude.  To which we responded with a kind of, “you asked us to come,” attitude.  It was kind of awkward.  At some point Tom said that we were just following up after the surgery, and they said that everything looks great.  Something like 10-30% of these things reoccur.  It was 30 seconds, “Hi, how are you? Let’s get a look.  Looks fine. Any questions?  You’re free to go.”  The doctor didn’t even shut the door behind him when he left.  Typically they let us know when we should come back and tell us to take our time if we need to feed or change Bruce.  There was none of that.  Just, “we’re done. Get out.”  Really awkward, really weird.

It’s stupid.  We were already scheduled to see his regular doctor the next day.  We thought we were seeing the surgeon, not just some random guy.  Bruce’s regular M.D. could have looked at his butt crack and said, “Everything looks fine.”  And we wouldn’t have had to wait 2 hours – on top of having to visit another doctor the very next day.

It’s all coming together.  We had to twist some arms to get them to send a hospital billing rep to our room when we were trying to check out of the hospital.  I guess they just assumed we had no insurance when they made the appointment because we hadn’t filed it yet.

We just looked so dumb.  And it was dumb.  We were taking valuable time away from poor people when we have a perfectly good doctor that we are scheduled to see in our fancy-schmancy Ballantyne area tomorrow anyway.  We trekked all the way to Uptown, struggled with parking, waited 2 hours, and then got WTF looks from everyone JUST for a lesson on sociology and economics.

Stupid.

They called Tom this afternoon, reiterated that CSC was a clinic, and didn’t know how to process his insurance.  LISTEN.  YOU GUYS told US to come there.  WORK IT OUT.

What was the point in asking us to get there early?  We really should have gotten there at 7:15 for our 8:45 appointment.  Who makes that big of a mistake?  How do you book someone an appointment at a free clinic without even asking them?  Why the heck wouldn’t we do a post-surgery follow-up with THE SURGEON?  I guess that’s a tough question to ask.  I guess they don’t want to call it the clinic because of the associated stigma.  Guess what, we didn’t have time to spend TWO HOURS in a free-clinic waiting room because Tom’s insurance-paying-self had A JOB to get to!  Got to get to work so he can pay those premiums, so we can sit in our South Charlotte waiting room for 15 minutes instead.

Ridiculous.

They had nothing to do with the surgery.  It’s just a regular pediatrics office.  What we did there we could have done anywhere!  We could have done that TOMORROW at our nice, cushy, local, regular pediatric office!  We are going there anyway!

http://www.snogglenews.com/shows/sunny/s01e02 Go to 05:10 and watch until about 06:30.

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levine children’s hospital

I wrote Tom a note recounting our brief stay at Levine Children’s Hospital earlier this month.  I wrote it almost as soon as we got home because I didn’t want to risk forgetting things like I did when Bruce was born.  I’ve recounted his birth story with all the details more or less in tact, it just would have been nice to have the sheer emotion that we experienced in writing.

So, here are tidbits from a letter that I wrote Tom dated Friday, November 16.

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enter the dragon

I feel bad.  I should be posting daily about each cute and perfect thing my new son, Bruce, does each day.  I’ve just had this daunting task of recounting his birth story looming over me, and I know it’s a long story and a lot to sit down and write, so I’ve been procrastinating.  It’s also really, really important so I feel guilty for not typing it up right away.  I did try in the hospital, I just could never get Tom to hand me the laptop.

I don’t know where to start.  Where did I leave off?  Oh, right… a terrified, anxious, scared little girl.  How can I have a kid?  I AM a kid.  I want my husband to myself… mehhhh.

On Sunday night, our last night of freedom, Tom and I went to see Finding Nemo in 3D.  It was really good.  I mean, it was well-done in 3D and it’s just a good movie, period.  It’s almost like we were supposed to see that movie that night.  It’s almost like it was destiny.  We spent 80 minutes watching a father love his son, you know?  It might be the most important movie I’ll ever see in my life.  I walked out of the theater and told Tom, “I think I can do this.”

I didn’t sleep at all on Sunday night.  We went to bed at around 12, and I woke up at about 3:30 tossing and turning.  Our plan was to be up at 5 and at the hospital by 6.  I kept trying to slide back into sleep mode and claim those precious few minutes, but I never did.

We got to the hospital around 6:05, or 6:10 or something.  They showed us to our room, 3048.  I changed into my hospital gown.  Someone came in and took blood samples and someone else hooked me up to an IV.  Mom, Dad and Lindsay came around 8 I think.

Surgery was supposed to be at 7:45, but I got pushed back because of an emergency that someone else was having.  I don’t remember waiting very long.  The wait time flew by.  I want to say they took me back around 8:45.

You know I was a wreck during the pregnancy.  That all culminated on Monday morning, right before surgery, with me not being very nice to Grandma.  No joke, it was so awful that she was about to leave 5 minutes before they took me into the operating room.  Leave.  Like, that’s it… and she’d go and I’d just go back into surgery and she wouldn’t be there.  Okay, honestly, I ruined it.  I took this beautiful moment, you know, all the excitement of getting ready to have a baby and basically made everyone in the room upset.  I’m, like, the best at being the WORST.  Everyone was worked up.

Then they came to collect me for surgery.

It was a complete disaster.

The doctors were fantastic.  It’s the patient that was a train wreck – all worked up.  Everything went by so fast.  I just kept crying and wishing I could take it all back.  I wasn’t at all focused on the fact that I was having a baby.  I was just thinking of that f-bomb that I dropped.  I was totally and completely out of it.  Depressed.  It was almost an out-of-body experience.  I kept looking at myself, and telling myself to get my head in the game.  It was like the halls and rooms were whizzing by and I couldn’t keep up.  Everyone was talking.  Everyone was telling me to do something.

I walked down to the OR with the nurse.  Tom was close behind us trying to put on his moon suit and walk at the same time, but they made him wait outside for the spinal block anyway.

I sat on the table and was surrounded by happy, friendly people, but I just cried like a little baby.  I was losing it.  I sat on the operating table leaning forward, hunched over so the anesthesiologist could get the needle in my spine.  I didn’t realize how distracted I was until the nurse said, “calm down, just take a deep breath and relax.”  I did.  I laid down on the table.  I couldn’t feel my legs.  Am I having a baby?  Is this happening?  I was crying like I couldn’t catch my breath.  I can’t do this.  I felt so bad… like… knives in my eyes.  What had I done?

They brought Tom in.  Oh, sweet, wonderful, familiar Tom.

He was cute as hell in his cap, space suit, mask and booties.  He sat on my right side, held my hand and stroked my hair.

I just remember that it hurt.  Not like, “you’ll feel some pressure,” but like, cutting.  It hurt.  I was wincing.  Honestly, it was like i could feel them pulling the baby down from under my ribs.  I was numb to a certain height, but above that I still felt feelings… and it didn’t feel good at all.

Someone said, “Dad, you can take pictures.”  It was all happening really fast, like an oncoming train that I couldn’t escape.  Take pictures?  Pictures of what?  Baby?  Already?!  I am not ready to be a mom…  We thought we could only take pictures on the non-surgery side of the sheet.  Tom asked if he was allowed to take pictures of the surgery side, and the doctors said they didn’t mind 1 or 2.

 

I heard, “Alright, 9:06.”  Before I knew it, they were saying, “There he is!  That’s your son!”  I saw him sitting on a table past Tom.  He looked like an old Chinese man.  Great.  An ugly baby.  I told Tom to take his picture.

 

I felt sick.

Tom told Dr. Mathis, who was monitoring things by my head.  I felt like I was going to throw up.  My stomach was in knots.  I asked Dr. Mathis what to do – he said if I was going to do it, turn to the left.  I did, and I did.  He put a pink bowl by my face.  I was crying, wincing and hurting as they moved higher up my body pulling and tugging at stuff.  Dr. Mathis said, “I’m going to ask you to stop for a second,” to Dr. Wolanski.  Oh my gosh I was so sick…  Crying and nervous and just physically ill… violently ill.

He gave me something for the nausea and some morphine and we waited a minute.  I thought it was a quick second, Tom said it was about 5 minutes.  They kept asking if it was better, and when I finally said okay, they let Dr. Wolanski continue.

Someone said, “look to your left.”  I looked to my right first, at Tom, then to my left.

 

I saw the most beautiful little pink face… teeny-tiny, sweet, soft, perfect little face.  It was the most amazing thing that I’ve ever laid eyes on.

 

NOT AN UGLY BABY!

Everything else melted away.  They took him away to go take care of all the stuff they do to newborns.  They told Tom to come with them, but he asked if it would be okay if he stayed with me.  No one minded.  I was so relieved.  He continued holding my hand and rubbing his hand on my head.  Everything was going to be okay.

They lifted me onto another bed and carted me down to recovery and brought the baby in.  We tried nursing, but mostly we just held our little boy and spent the first two hours or so of his life getting to know each other a little bit.

 

 

When we made it back to our room, all that tension had melted away, too.

Everything feels so perfect.  It’s been two weeks and it still feels perfect… like this is how it was supposed to be all along.

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head down

Hook Hand Thug: Head down.
Flynn Rider: HEAD DOWN!
Hook Hand Thug: Arms In.
Flynn Rider: ARMS IN!
Hook Hand Thug: Knees apart.
Flynn Rider: KNEES APA – Knees Apart?

Little Happy’s head is down… “That boy has assumed the position!”  I don’t know how anyone can tell that by looking at my stomach, but apparently Dr. Wolanski can.  Feeling kind of crampy, but now that I think about it, it’s not as bad as regular period cramps, but it is a sign that my body’s getting ready to get this wagon train a-rollin’.  Everyone says when it’s labor you will definitely know – so I’m not worried about that.  Dr. Wolanski said he’s 95% sure this week will be uneventful and it’s safe to go back to Charlotte, so that’s what we did.  Doc also said that if the worst should happen, you know, if my water does break – we have plenty of time.  Just call him, tell him what’s happening and he’ll tell us what to do.

So, this week will be spent packing and cleaning and packing some more.  I need to buy a car seat, probably from Craigslist for the time-being.  I also need a solid name.

I want a really good name, like Thomas Andrew La or Wendy Michelle Johnson.  I had so many excellent girl names.  Oh boy, what am I going to do.

I think I also need to print and fill out one of those birth plans.  How does that work?  Does anyone in the hospital actually read/honor those?  I spent a lot of time telling Tom my demands last night on the way home.  It’s nice to have that dude in my corner 24/7.  An example is, okay, there will be hundreds of thousands of photos taken of this kid throughout his lifetime… I want Daddy to take the very first one.  I can’t think of other things on the birth plan.  Drugs, yes.  Water birth, no… although I really would like an excuse to get in the Jacuzzi in my MJH birth room.  Keep the placenta, HELLLLLLLL NO.

I get updates from different baby websites in my inbox, today: “Especially for you this week on thebump.com: CRAZY Labor and Delivery Stories!”  Really, thebump.com?  Why the HELL would you think I want to read that right now?

Uncle Haley turned 22 on the 22nd.  Dee Dee came and it was like, “Birthdays all around!”  She brought me a birthday present and Mom a birthday present and Haley a birthday present and Baby a birthday present!  She had some things off the registry including the first thing I registered for (back when I thought we were pregnant in Sept. 2011):

 

It makes me SO happy, and is going to look great in his room next to his orange lamp.  It reminds me how devastated I was when my period came that time, and how elated we were to finally get that positive test a few months later.  She bought a Finding Nemo sleeper that features Bruce and the other sharks, it really makes me want to name him Bruce.  That thing is SO much cuter in person than online!  It’s no longer in stock, and I feel like I want to find it in every size now.

I need to finish the changing table.  It’s almost all sanded… and I need to paint it.  I was always planning dark blue and lime green, even back when I was sure my baby was a girl.  I never bought newborn cloth diapers.  I think I’ll just have to use the disposables while we’re in VA and work out the cloth when we get back home.

I’m slowly, and I mean slowly getting excited about seeing his face.  This surprise has been building for months and months… and is finally about to be revealed.  You know that I’m crazy and have only been cautiously optimistic all this time.  I start thinking about how “all this time” goes back to the Super Bowl.  Tom and I were both in the bathroom and just cried and cried.  Happy crying!  Really, I thought something might be up when Dad, Lindsay, Haley and I went to Daytona for the Rolex 24.

We went over to WDW and took this picture at Animal Kingdom the day before the race.  Look at my face.  I’m thinking, “they don’t even KNOW!”

Yeah. Right now it’s a cartoon lion baby. Give it 9 months.

I’m not sure why Dad’s yawning.

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phew! glad that’s over! (almost)

  • Chocolate Milkshake from Baskin Robbins
  • M & M Minis
  • M & M or Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen
  • McDonald’s Fries
  • Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie
  • Mei Wah Roll
  • Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries
  • A big, soft, ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie
  • Serious Dark Chocolate from Lindt or Ghirardelli
  • Phish Food and Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream from Ben & Jerry’s
  • Bread from Topeka’s Steakhouse

The MJH Diabetes Nurse Educator suggested I make a list of things from Tom to bring me in the hospital after the baby is born.  That is what I’ve got so far.  I’ve been writing it down in the back of the log book that came with my meter.  I should also put granola cereal and lots and lots of fruit on there, because that has also raised my blood sugar so I haven’t been able to have it.

I’m just too damn sweet.

I’ve gotten in the habit now of eating meat and vegetables and not much else.  I can’t imagine that it’s very good for me to have so much red meat.  (Before you say anything, I have had enough chicken!)  I wonder how hard it will be to revert back to cereal and applesauce for breakfast.  A sub would be nice.  I miss sandwiches.

BUT!

My numbers this week have been declining.  I’m thrilled.  I’ve gone from 135 – 170 on 9/4-9/6 to 87 – 127 so far this week.  I guess, that doesn’t mean anything to you unless you are diabetic, but I’m supposed to keep it under 120.  The MJH DNE said the placental hormone production peaks at 36 weeks, which was 9/9.

So although we’re not done pricking and bleeding and metering and logging yet… we’re getting there.  Won’t be long now and Tom can bring me all the things on that list!  I was so frustrated with the whole thing, I’m glad to have a handle on it.

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it’s a secret mission in uncharted space!

No one knows that we think we’re knocked up, so we did a lot of sneaking around to visit the doctor and get a confirmation.

Tom tried to make appointments with a decent doctor here in Charlotte, but the one I picked (based on some online reviews) was not accepting new patients.  I was like, “I just want to know – and we can take it from there.”  So we made an appointment with Ananda at the Charlottesville Wellness Center and were able to get in within the week.  She’s not my favorite, but I know her.  The appointment was Friday afternoon, so we drove up Thursday night, slept at my Dad’s house, had lunch at Chipotle with Matt on Friday and hired Matt to dog-sit for a little while.  To our surprise, Dad never showed up at his house on Thursday night, he slept at MJH.  Our secret was safe.

It felt so good to walk into that ol’ building that is the Wellness Center.  No huge water fountain in a cold slate waiting room with a grand staircase… but everything I am familiar with.  I told Tom it felt good to be home.

So, I peed in the cup and we waited and waited and waited.  My appointment was at 2:45, and we were there early – so by 2:45 I had already submitted my sample and everything.  And then, we waited…  I told Tom I felt like it would be an episode of “The Maury Show.”  Tom, you ARE going to be a father!  There was so much hype, such a build-up.

About 20 or 25 minutes later, Ananda walked in grinning from ear to ear, “Congratulations!”

I told her I hope I remember the look on her face for the rest of my life.  She was so elated.  She said a lot of things.  She said 25% of pregnancies don’t make it through the first trimester, so we should hold off on telling people.  She said she couldn’t believe it.  She got the note from Dr. Stadler (the doc who was elbows deep inside my abdominal cavity to remove Mr. Nasty for those of you who don’t know her by name) and just couldn’t believe we were able to get pregnant already!  She said that she looked at the chart and just thought, “oh this poor girl,” but was so delighted to see that we ACTUALLY ARE PREGNANT.

BOOM BABY.

YEAH.  WHAT.

I’M HAVING TOM’S BABY.  AAAAW YEEEEAH.

I’m proud of myself.  BOOM.  First try.  TAKE THAT, MR. NASTY!  Stick that in my destroyed ovary and fallopian tube and smoke it!

Two positive home tests, and OFFICIAL confirmation from the doctor’s office.

WE’RE PREGNANT!  AAAAHHHHH!

And, as my Valentine from Haley said, there was much rejoicing in the village.

I spent most of the month of January Googling, “how soon after an oophorectomy (or laparotomy) can I get pregnant?”  There’s not a lot of information about when it’s possible.  Most of the results were whiny sissies who recounted how much they were suffering post-surgery and said that they waited many, many months to start trying.  The answer, to anyone Googling it and finding this post, is immediately.

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