Sunday, November 14, 2010

Labor of love

Mom-nesia = the blessed occurrence that has to happen before we are willing to go through the trials of pregnancy and labor all over again. Had it not, there would be many more single child households out there!
May I see a show of hands of how many women upon receiving stitches to their hoo-ha said I immediately want to do that again. Mmmm-kay. Now raise your hand if you were one of the c-section mommies that upon your first sneeze after your pain meds wore off, you were game to go again in 9 months. I see you flinching from the recollection of that feeling... ;) I've been through both and neither time did I raise my hand! Honestly, I kept my hands bound and taped to my sides until my rugrats slept through the night! :P
But yes, eventually my memory of pain, vomiting and stitches (both times) were chipped away and replaced with warm fuzzies. I look back now and think - that wasn't so bad. Just like the pregnant lady that has to endure 6 months of torturous morning sickness only to say that she now misses being pregnant. (that was not me by the way - I'm one of the weird ones that loved my growing belly...and growing bust line too)
Turns out that happens in other ways of life too.
Today marks 10 months of kidney function for my son. Ten months since his transplant from Marie. Ten months since everything we knew and were familiar with flew out the window! And now, it is starting to get a little hazy.
Don't get me wrong - I could still set up PD, I know the process for getting him on hemo and I still cringe thinking of dressing changes on Mondays. But the rawness is leaving. The hole in my heart is mending. The feeling of being overwhelmed isn't with me every day anymore. And if need be (though with God's grace it won't come to that) I could do this again. Talking about Matthew only there. ;)
We've done it before and we've survived it. We were all made better people because of it. And if an 8 month old can endure being strapped into a crib for three hours - then surely an 8 year old can...well...with the help of the Gamecube or PlayStation. Not that I have to worry about that at all since I just know this kidney has a 20 year life span with the way it's kept going through the hard knocks! :)
I'm so proud of my little fighter and everything he has gone through. With the best of smiles on his face :) Happy 10 months lovebug!

Monday, November 1, 2010

what a treat

Halloween - the day everything started happening last year. The day I noticed dangerous signs in my son.
We had gone over to my in-laws house to trick or treat with Woody the cowboy and a frog. The night ended with my husband and I taking turns listening to our son sleep in the night and making sure he was still breathing. The day before, Matthew had been to Egleston for dialysis. We were supposed to trick or treat there on the transplant floor. He came in costume and we got lots of oohs and ahhs. :)I took a picture with my phone of my little frog. That was the only picture we got of him in costume. He never got to go trick or treating on the transplant floor after his hemo session. He didn't get to go the following night on Halloween either.
An hour into dialysis, Matthew's catheter began to "suck" - meaning air was being pulled instead of blood. When that happens your blood clots. A clot during dialysis can be deadly. They flushed huge amounts of saline into his lines to keep the flow going...but it still clotted off.
Our dialysis session lasted 6 hours - but in that time we only had one hour of dialysis. Matthew was severely overloaded with fluid and was having problems breathing on Halloween night. They scheduled a permacath replacement for Monday morning. Twenty four hours after the new dialysis catheter was placed we were told our son had congestive heart failure. The fluid in his lungs was causing the breathing issues. We stayed at the hospital for 10 days - having a 4 hour dialysis run every one of those days except one off day and we added numerous blood pressure meds. I was given the news my son was fading and we had to find a donor - quick!
I've had many "worst days" - that ranks number one. I've been told my son wouldn't survive fetal surgeries, birth, dialysis, surgery when his potassium was critically high...but in all of those I had hope. All of the things we were doing, we were doing it to help him out. Now what was "helping" him (dialysis) was slowly killing him. It was much too harsh on his tiny body. The nephs told me at the beginning that the chance of him making it to one year on hemodialysis at his size and age were practically non-existent. He made it 13 months. :) But he wouldn't have made it much longer I'm sure...
Last year was HARD at this time. Very, very hard. Being a mom is hard, being a caretaker for someone that is sick is hard, being an advocate is hard - being all three at once - its indescribable.
This Halloween I took a racecar driver and a stink bug out to trick or treat. Both were running up driveways carrying pumpkins and making adults everywhere laugh out loud at there antics. Matthew would "treat, treat" whenever a door was opened and happily shout "appy Howie ween". He stayed up late and we divided candy. We watched Wow Wow Wubbzy's Halloween episode on tv and just laughed and cuddled, going back and forth between couch and floor depending on where big brother was. (Matthew can't get enough of his big brother!)
Halloween is now my new favorite holiday because it will now symbolize nothing but treats for our family. Good memories, sweet moments and the cutest little boys having so much fun together. Yep - surely beats last year...hands down!

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