Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My New Normal

The statement "Everything is relative" has never been truer. A friend once told me that my normal is someone else's screwed up reality. This is a fair assessment and I'm ok with that. I have overcome a milestone with this pregnancy...accepting my new normal. My new normal is that I feel exactly the way I did when I went into preterm labor with the boys...every.single.day. I have come to terms with this new normal. Its ok to have regular contractions every 3 minutes. Its ok to have cramping and pressure associated with said contractions. That's just how it is now.

I had a similar problem with Colin's pregnancy. My new normal of the third trimester was spontaneous bleeding. It just became my new normal. I had been check into the hospital and monitored. Checked in my OB's office and checked again. Everything was fine, there was no catastrophic cause for my bleeding and they actually couldn't even figure out why I was bleeding. All they knew was that it wasn't doing any harm. I had to accept this fact and just deal with it.

Here I am again, just dealing with these symptoms that would make a normal person surpass me in the frequent flyer status. Surely they would be knocking on the hospital door at least once, sometimes twice a day. Oh and my new normal includes the lobster leg effect. That's charming, no? Whatever, that will stop soon enough.

Here's another little bit of normalcy to adjust to these days. Raph is on vacation without us. Lucky boy got a trip with Nana and his cousin Jenna to Yellowstone. I talked to him on the phone and it was a typical stream of consciousness conversation. The only difference was instead of talking about cartoon characters and friends from school it went something like this, "Hi Mommy! Today we went on a stagecoach ride, and then we saw a black bear AND a grizzly bear. Later on I plan on seeing a gray woof. Tomorrow we are going on David and Betty's boat and then we get to go on top of a mountain. There was ice cream but I couldn't eat it because it had cow milk in it. Oh and we saw a moose......" My favorite part of that conversation was that he talked about a stagecoach ride in the most nonchalant way and he planned on seeing a gray woof. There was no doubt in his voice that he wouldn't see that woof. (He did see it by the way)

Jenna and Raph on the first day of their adventure standing in front of the Grand Tetons.

Meanwhile back on the home front, Colin is an only child. Once he got over the initial blow of being left behind he started to see the benefits of being the only kid in the house. He has been so snugly and sweet and fully enjoying our undivided attention. He does ask every day where Nana and Raph are but only in a fact finding mission, not in a real worried kind of way. He's taken up residence in Raph's seat at the dinner table, gets to read Elmo and Eric Carl books all day, and gets to pick which cartoons are on TV. Ahhh the good life.

I will say this is a nice calm before the storm. Raph comes home today and I will resume my roll as a very pregnant mother of 2 boys. Next week I go back to my doctor and assuming things have remained static I will breath another sigh of relief...if not I will panic and eat mass quantities of ice cream. I've already turned in my official letter of resignation at work and now I have an end in sight. I realized yesterday that I will only have, at most, FIVE more butt shots left! That's just one little vial! Yippee!! Sometimes its the little things. See, that is so not everyone else's normal. I'm excited at the prospect of *only* five more shots to the rear. I think Mike will miss those shots...

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Mommy Has Red Limbs

Looking back, Colin never stood a chance. He's the namesake of this blog b/c of his purple limbs but it seems his ability to change color might have been genetic. You see, I have RED limbs. My new keep-the-baby-in-drug gives me red legs. About 2o minutes after I take it my legs turn lobster red for an hour or two. Its pretty impressive to have what looks like the most hideously painful sunburn of your life...only on your legs. Someone at my office said, "Wow it would be HILARIOUS if it was your whole body!" Yeah, hilarious.

Here I am at 30 weeks, hoping for 6 more sporting technicolor limbs. Good times. I keep repeating to myself, 'boring is good. boring is good. boring is good.....' Maybe it will sink in, just maybe.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Reason

I am a firm believer in Divine Providence. I think on some level most people have a similar belief though they may not believe in the God part. They might call it Karma or Buddha or Chance or just seeing the best in any given situation...there is always a silver lining. Sometimes you just can't know what good could possibly come of it. Every now and then you get a little taste of what good comes from bad.

Colin's NICU stay and problems after he was born were obviously hard to deal with on many levels. I know that things could have been much worse and for that I'm grateful and I do feel very lucky. BUT it still was horrible and something I never want to relive (are you paying attention in there little baby!?)

Raph's first meeting with Colin. The nurses let him touch Colin's feet in a mess of wires.

Once when I had a doctors appointment and I had Colin with me who was 8 months old. Since we were at the hospital we stopped by the NICU to say 'Hi' to the nurses and show him how well he was doing. It seemed like a bust because I didn't really know any of the nurses that were working, save one. Then on my way out I saw a couple who had come from the NICU. I said Hi to them and asked if their baby was in the NICU. They said yes and their little girl was the exact gestational age as Colin and had similar problems. Colin was in a stroller playing with his feet and smiling at them. They both dropped to their knees when I told him that he had been in the exact same place 8 months prior. They started crying, on their knees smiling at Colin and holding his hands. They thanked me repeatedly for talking to them and giving them hope. The man hugged his wife and sort of whispered into her hair, "See, she's going to be just fine. She's going to be just like him some day. It will all be ok." Right then I knew that was my moment, that was what we were meant for. We were meant to be on that elevator, on that day, at that time to give that couple hope on their darkest day.

This was Colin at 8 months, around the same time that we saw couple in the hospital. Insidentally he's wearing the hat that was given to him in the NICU that was way to big for his tiny head at the time and had to be taped in the back so it would stay on.

Now, one of my dearest friends had her baby last week and he's struggling in the NICU. I got to talk to her on Saturday for a bit and she told me about her baby and how he was doing. I gave her a little advice, shared with her my experiences in a new light and we even laughed a bit. It felt good to be there for her even though I can't be *there* for her since she now lives in Ohio.

She sent me this email today: Has Marcella Jr. settled down yet? I'm thinking about you and your baby all the time. Also your advice and encouraging words have been helping me through my toughest moments and have really given me some perspective on this whole experience that no one else could give me. I'd be a lot worse off right now if it weren't for you.

That right there makes me want to cry. I was just being her friend but I helped her because of what I've been through. I don't feel like I've done any grand deed I was just talking to her for a few minutes. Its in moments like these that you gain a little perspective for yourself and your circumstance. It helps you to see the good in the bad...even if it is over 2 years later. I forget sometimes about Colin's beginnings. Looking at him now you would never know he was a struggling preemie. Now he's an active, healthy and mischievous 2 year old who sometimes makes me crazy but we are so very very lucky that he is the way he is.

Colin this past weekend with sprinkles on his face and enjoying life.

All that said, I'm content with one story to share and I'd be perfectly happy to have no more stories to share with anyone at any time. Got that baby? Stay put! And quit giving me gray hairs! A good colorist costs money!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fun Fact Friday

I'm stealing this idea from Erin ( http://momommy.blogspot.com/ ) because its the perfect type of post for me today.

*I am 29 weeks pregnant and I've already made not one but TWO trips to Labor and Delivery. The fun just doesn't stop!

*Yesterday I had a moment where you feel like you do when you take your car in for an oil change and the service manager tells you that you need new brakes. That was me at my OB's office yesterday. I went in for stabbing pain in my side and came out with contractions every 4 minutes, a steroid shot in the butt, prescription to stop contractions and a doctor who keeps telling me that boring is GOOD. I try, I try, really I do.

* I am currently on 4 different prescriptions to keep this baby in and healthy, plus one to manage side effects. Awesome.

*Colin has a new found obsession with squeezing his nose closed and saying, "Ewwww kunk poop!" Somehow a Curious George episode about a skunk spraying George got turned into a skunk pooping on George. He will proclaim "KUNK POOP!" then cackle his little goofy head off.
*Raph inherited my crazy dream gene. Each morning he will recount his convoluted weird ass dreams to me and laugh at how silly they are. Last night's dream included multicolored dogs, squirrels, guinea pigs and Raph all in some sort of bounce house.

*In less than 2 weeks my baby boy is going on his first trip with Nana. He will be spending a week in Yellowstone with his Nana and cousin Jenna. He's about to implode with anticipation. He will have such a great time while he's there but we will miss him.

*Colin still likes to have people call him a baby duck. And if he's extra special that day a "cue body duck" because he is about as cute as a baby duck.

*Normally I'm really annoyed when stores start putting school supplies out in JUNE but this year I am grateful. (See first few bullet points) We already got Raph's new Transformers lunch box and thermos. He is beyond excited for Kindergarten to start in August. My only hope is that I am able to be with him on that momentous day and not in a hospital. Timing is everything and the arrival of this new baby girl couldn't be at a more inopportune time.

*Colin has a girlfriend at school named Bella. There has never been a more appropriate name for a little girl because every time you see her you just want to say, "Awww che bella!" She's beautiful, even as a newborn she was quite striking.

*My grandparents recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary. We should all be so luck, happy, healthy and loved as those two. My grandpa wanted me to tell Mike, " I've been married for 62 years. Keep that in mind because you've got a loooooong road ahead of you." I think had my grandma been within ear shot she would have smacked him for that.

*Both my boys have a hording tendency when it comes to stuffed animals. Really I'm not sure how they sleep with so many animals in their bed nor how they continue to want more. I recently got a gift of a stuffed animal for the new baby. They have fought over that stuffed animal and its not even for them. I hope this baby has a strong grip because she's got two baby stealers in the house.

*Raph completed his first research project and presentation this week. He had to research Italy and present his findings to his class. It was so much fun teaching him and watching him make his own conclusions on the topic. A boy after my own heart enjoyed the artists. Did you know Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael aren't just Ninja Turtles? Oh and Raph's favorite picture on the Sistine Chapel ceiling was the Temptation and Expulsion of Adam and Eve. Or as Raph puts it, "You know, the one where they are all naked." He must not have looked closely at the rest of the ceiling because clothing items are few and far between.

*Playing on our bed is one of the boys' favorite activities. Colin will taunt you with, "Na-na. Boo." and then they fall over and hide under covers and laugh themselves silly. Who knew a bed could be so much fun?

*Happy Fourth of July. Enjoy some BBQ, fireworks and try not to burn anything down!