Thursday, November 29, 2012

Things No One Tells You

When you are pregnant or have a new baby, there's always someone there to tell you the secrets of being a mom. You get hints on how to bathe her, feed her, change her, play with her, get her to sleep. But there are things people don't tell you, and you don't think about until they happen. Some things I didn't know:
  • Apparently, when you become a mother, you now have this intrinsic love for babies, real or fake. And when one is in trouble (yes, the fake ones, specifically Renesme) your heart immediately goes into protection mode (hello, fake baby!!!). 
  • Vomit/drool is nothing to be concerned about. Yeah, so what if I have a drool mark on my black shirt? I'll be wearing it to work anyway because who the hell has time to do laundry?
  •  Your baby's poop is completely different than other babies' poo. Now I am definitely not saying ANY poop is awesome, but for some reason, hers isn't nearly as bad as someone else's dirty diaper.
  • You make up things your kid "likes". Yup, Callista likes giraffes. Because I like giraffes. So obviously she does too. I'm sure she will have a complex later in life because I've forced these upon her. 
  • No matter how bad of a day you have, one tiny little smile from your child can erase it. Seriously, just one.
  • Babies make you do incredibly stupid things. Make squeaky noises with your teeth. Hang your tongue out the side of your mouth. Make ridiculous sounds with your nose. All of those things that everyone else would think look incredibly stupid, but you don't care because it makes her laugh. And then  you laugh. And she laughs harder. And then you all look like a bunch of ninnies anyway.
  • Babies speak at highly inapprorpriate times. All the time. That moment of silence in church? Not for her! Sermon takes too long? We shall yell and tell him to wrap it up! Doctors are sharing information with mommy and daddy? Oh no, it's all about her, and she let's you know. 
I'm sure I have more to add, but right now, these are what come to mind. Callista's daddy and I went out to do something for ourselves last night for the first time in a long time. We saw Breaking Dawn (excellent!) and I was glad we got some time away. But darn was I glad to be home to see Callie after a long day away. Of course, mommy is having a strange allergic reaction to something since Saturday and at any random time during the day I look like I've gotten a bad dose of botox in my face and my arms and legs are a beautiful shade of pink/red. Total hotness.

After that super cute description, I'll end on a positive note. My baby girl is ten months old! *GASP* I am not sure how this happened. I am not sure why I am now pinning a million and one "first birthday" themed items on Pinterest. Where did the time go? We aren't reaching our milestones on time, but make progress everyday. Our new therapy goals are to have Callie sitting assisted by her first birthday and first bracing by 18 months. Our other goal is to have her eating some by mouth by her first birthday (everyone loves cake!). Wish us luck in meeting these goals and making progress!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Happy First Butt Day!

Yes, you read that right. Today is Callista's butt day. What is a butt day, you ask? It's the celebration of the first day that Callie's little bottom first entered the world. One year ago today we were in Tennessee at the wonderful Vanderbilt children's hospital prepping for surgery. One year ago today my baby girl was 22 weeks along and had her very first surgery. One year ago today this mommy was a huge mess but found the strength to go through with something that had the possibility of changing our lives for the best or for the worst. And I don't regret a moment of it.

I can't say it was easy. It was by far the scariest day of my life. But was it worth it? Hell yes it was! Our little girl has an L1 lesion with no normal spine anywhere below that. Should she be able to move her legs? Wiggle her toes? Probably not. But she does, and we are so thankful.

None of this would be possible without my amazing doctor, Dr. Mingeone. Without him, we'd have probably found out about fetal surgery on our own, but his encouragement really led to the decision to do it. His faith in Callista before she was even born was just astounding. The staff at his office were so supportive and I can't say anything but praise for the positive attitudes. I was so thankful to be able to come home after the surgery thanks to this awesome team being here to take care of us! I also want to thank Mary from Vanderbilt. She was so honest with us, and so informative even over the phone just talking us through the initial steps. She put up with my endless calls, endless questions, and endless breakdowns while on bed rest afterward even! Of course, everyone on the Vanderbilt fetal surgery team has my never ending gratefulness (if that's a word!) for doing such a fantastic job.

So happy butt day my darling daughter! You sure are loved!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Plague Monster

The plague monster has struck our house! Poor Callista has been so sick for about a week now. Her nose is stuffy, she is throwing everything up, and she just all around doesn't feel good. We took her to the ER Monday afternoon because her secretions were making her choke. Of course, in true ER style, they can't just look at the symptoms of her, everything is OBVIOUSLY caused by spina bifida. So we spent seven hours waiting on them to x-ray her shunt, MRI her brain, and ultimately get a head ultrasound. She wasn't having any of the MRI and held her breath. They decided to do a head ultrasound instead so that I could hold her. It turned out her ventricles are actually smaller than the last one, so we were pretty excited to hear that. After they sucked our insurance dry, they said the problem could be: 1) a cold. 2) a bad case of reflux. And then we went home with a script for a suction machine.

Thursday we took her to her regular pediatrician. It was supposed to be a well baby check but she obviously wasn't well. She still got her shots and growth charting done. She weighs 16 lb, 10 oz and is 26 inches long. She is in pretty low percentiles but the doctor says as long as she is on a curve, that's what matters. I supose SOMEONE has to be the 9th percentile, right? He said her bad reaction to the cold can be caused by her reflux because the cold causes her to gag, the gag causes her to reflux, and then the reflux causes the mucus from her cold to be thicker. Vicious cycle I guess. It's been about a week now and we see no end in sight for her yucky cold. What's worse is now Daddy has it too I think.

For now, we are just going to stay holed up in the house for the weekend with our humidifier, some zofran, her favorite blanket, and mommy cuddles. Here's hoping she kicks this thing soon!