Monday, June 14, 2010

Savannah

I'm back! Oh man was that needed!! I truly enjoyed myself - every minute. I left the house at the same time my mother left with my youngest. We pulled out onto the main road together, me turning towards interstate 75, her towards interstate 575...and I cried. I just didn't see how I would like being away from my boys and didn't understand why I had even agreed to do it.
Then I met up with my honey at the gas station. He ran over to my car and pumped my gas. Then he gave a kiss - a REAL GOOD kiss. ;) Yep - I'm alright now...let's go! We followed each other down, luckily missing the headache of Atlanta traffic. We were passing through Atlanta at 2:30pm on a Friday and only slowed down to about 30 for about 10 miles...which if you are familiar with Atlanta traffic, you know that is NOTHING. It took about 30 minutes to go to 10 miles instead of it taking 2 hrs like it can!
We get checked into our hotel (courtesy of the USCG - thank you!) and head out for a local hang out that my hubby frequents for lunch with the other guys. We walked the 8 blocks together holding hands and taking in the scenery. Not really caring that it was 95 degrees at 7pm. Just happy to be together and having an adult conversation. Afterwards, we took a leisurely walk around some of the squares and residential sections. My favorite being near the John the Baptist Cathedral (see pic).

The next day I slept in until 9am, took a 40 minute shower with NO interruptions and then met my handsome man in uniform for lunch! After walking back to the hotel, I just played on facebook, watched nonsense tv programs and curled up in bed with a magazine. It was HEAVEN!!! My honey came home around 4pm and off to a romantic sea-side dinner at Tybee Island. The food was OK, but the company was fantastic! Then we headed down to walk to Riverfront. Honestly, I found Savannah gorgeous...but their riverwalk was less than desirable. Maybe Wilmington spoiled me, but they really need to take some pointers from the old Coast Guard City to the north of them!
I didn't even take any pictures, because it honestly was nothing to take a picture of! Like I said Wilmington's is MUCH better! And man it made me and Ian both very nostalgic for the Cape Fear.
Ian and I have said we would do this once a year - a trip down to Savannah together. It helped rejuvenate us, rekindle the romance (and the spice). ;) I cried harder pulling away from the MSU where my husband was working than I did when I left home. It made me realize how much I really love him despite all the drama that gets in the way at home. He is my soul mate, the man I was made for, and the father I would give 10 more babies to - if I had a nanny. :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Guilt trip?

So, my husband and I have the opportunity to go out of town for the weekend without our kids. When I say "go out of town", I mean I will accompany him on his reserve duty down in Savannah. No amusement parks, no villas, no spas. Just 2 evenings spent together as a couple without kids, because he will be working during the day. I'm getting a little flack for this. Not much and not enough to phase me in any shape, but enough to go - "really??".
The longest my husband and I have been away from our kids is 19 hrs. The farthest we've actually gone is one hour away. We've been "gone" twice. Once we left in the evening and returned before lunch for our 5 year wedding anniversary at our wedding night hotel. The other was a day in Chattanooga for my 30th birthday last year.
I honestly do NOT like being away from my kids. I'm kind of a control freak like that. :)Matthew has a very structured day and William is a homebody.
From October 09 til April 10, I didn't leave the house unless we went to the hospital. That was it. I couldn't risk getting sick and bringing it home to one of my kids. Couldn't risk missing transplant or "killing" the kidney with a simple cold virus that is NEVER simple in an immunosuppressed child. I have worried since February 18, 2008 when our lives changed forever. I can count on one hand how many times I have slept through the night since Matthew was born. And if I'm going to be honest - they were because I completely and totally drugged myself to sleep. The count is 4. Four nights in total of 733. Not because my kids aren't great sleepers - they really are! But because of the way my son eats...through a tube in his stomach. Milk products only last so long when exposed to room temperature you know. Gotta get up and change it out twice every night.
I put my kids first, before me, before my husband, before my house. Some don't agree with that and others do. I don't do that for anyone, but my kids and myself. I have my reasons. Whenever someone would tell me, make time for yourself or make time for you as a couple. I would honestly think - how selfish. If I go out it is after my kids have had dinner and are either getting ready for bed, or are already asleep. It just makes me feel like a bad mom to go out and "have fun" while they are awake and staying home. But now, I'm about to do just that.
And I don't feel guilty about it.
I might once I get ready to leave, or when I drop the boys off with their grandparents...but really - I need this. My husband and I both NEED this. Do you know how much strain comes onto a marriage when you have a sick child? When you spend weeks at a time at the hospital away from each other? When you have to find extra money to put aside to pay for medications when the state insurance program runs out? When dad has to choose between going to work to keep a job that pays the bills or going to the OR waiting room with me? Have you ever had to "catergorize" your son's surgeries into low grade and high grade to see if dad truly needs to be there in the event your son doesn't wake up? Have you gone to sleep with a pager in your hand? Do you have four different doctors, two nurses, two therapists and a transplant coordinator taped to your refrigerator, but know the numbers by heart?
I love my life, I love my sons, and I love my husband. I am doing this for all of us. I need to recharge my battery. Ian will be staying another week in Savannah when I get back. This is hard to do by yourself. All the meds, all the diapers, all the boluses, and the nighttime duties too. I've learned so much because of this wonderful and sometimes frightening journey. Now I'm learning to step back. To trust others and let it be known that it doesn't have to be on me 100% of the time. Matthew is at his healthiest he has ever been and I'm learning to trust that. I'm still used to the "old" days where he could spin out of control in a moment's notice due to his congestive heart failure, his 7.8 creatinine or his 160/110 blood pressure readings. But now his days consist of playtime and temper tantrums (could really do without those!) and things even seem (dare I say) normal! This is our chance before the surgeries start again. Upwards of 5 additional surgeries making a grand total of 25 in his little lifetime. Yes, I need a recharge, some down time.
I'm sending my supermom cape to the dry cleaners for the weekend. I'll pick it up and wear it with pride when I get back. It will be shiny and new and ready to face all the challenges and trials. It just needs a little TLC too.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Time flies


This 4D ultrasound was taken just two days before Matthew was born. It was taken about 9 weeks before I was really supposed to see him. Surprise!
Two years ago, Ian and I got up at 4:30 am and got ready to head out to Northside Hospital in Atlanta. We had a 6am appointment time, even though they don't open until 8am normally. (yeah, me and my MFM were tight like that) ;) He usually only worked at the Atlanta office on Monday's and Friday's, but it was a Tuesday and baby boy needed some fluid (even though I had just had some on the Friday before - he was a little fish). So Dr Gomez came down and opened up just for us.
I've described infusions before - they are not fun, but they are SO rewarding. I just LOVED seeing Matthew go from no fluid to LOTS of fluid. You could almost hear the chuckles and see the smiles of happiness on the ultrasound. How he would reach out his hand or kick with his feet to the needle where the fluid was pouring in from. You could see his little hands waving back and forth to make bubbles. You could watch the shunts he had pulled out at various times post-surgeries float up and around my uterus...sigh.
That morning Dr Gomez was playing his Rolling Stones cd. Matthew was enjoying it and "dancing" away. Whenever we need to do something close to him or the umbilical cord, we had to turn down the music so he would be still. :) And sure enough, about 5 seconds after the music stopped - so would he. It was like he got quiet to listen to see where it had gone. :)
For our early morning wake up call, Dr Gomez ordered us breakfast while I was on the monitor for 30 minutes. I was having contractions. I had them a lot the last week of the infusions. Of course I had three infusions in 7 days - so that might have had something to do with it too. ;) More meds to stop them, yummy breakfast, apologies to Dr Gomez as he called Northside satellite office in Alpharetta. It was already 8:15 and he obviously wasn't there... Infusion took a lot longer to do once Matthew as past the 28 week. He used up his fluid so much faster after having received his steriod shots. They said that was how it was supposed to be as he was practicing his breathing more frequently. He was bigger, there was less room to place the needle without causing damage to the cord, the baby or the placenta. So instead of it taking an hour, it would sometimes take upwards to two. Especially that last when I was having contractions that pushed the needle out - causing them to re-sterilize my tummy, get a new needle and find a new place to begin again.
Lisa, our favorite ultrasound tech, sprung me loose after receiving Viki's blessing that the contractions were slowing down. Down the hallway to a room I hadn't been in yet, I'd been in most! It was the FUN room. The 4D ultrasound room. Lisa spent half an hour giving us picture after picture of our little guy. He was gorgeous. Looked like a doll. I was SO excited to meet him. Little did I know it would only be 48 hours away.
But that's another story...
Thank you to the Maternal Fetal Medicine department at Northside Atlanta. Without your steady hands, your genuine concern and your willingness to put up with my bad jokes (and my laughing and shaking belly while you are trying to operate) Matthew's birth was filled with hope. The hope that pushed me to keep pushing for him.

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