Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Post surgery report...

So, Sebastian made it through his surgery with flying colours. He was awesome and such a trooper. Today, you almost wouldn't even know he had surgery, except that he still has his hospital bracelet on, a couple little steri strips where they cut him open and strict orders to be as inactive as possible for the next THREE weeks!! So, all in all, the experience was fine.

We arrived at the hospital with plenty of time to spare, got checked in, and headed up to day surgery. The nurse assessed him, took his vitals, chatted with us and we learned very quickly, that in our preparations to get him ready for the hospital (ex, they will give you special medicine to make you sleep, they will check your blood pressure, they will listen to your heart, you will wear special hospital pjs, they will take your temperature), we neglected to mention one small thing to him. We forgot to tell him that he would be getting a hospital bracelet with his name on it. So, when this step came up, he wasn't ready for it, and freaked out a bit. The nurse was awesome though. She went and made up a new bracelet with the name Morris on it, for his moose that he brought to the hospital with him. Once Morris got a bracelet on his leg, suddenly, it wasn't quite as scary for Sebastian to get one on his (which he continues to wear today even). He was bumped up and ended up going in for surgery an hour earlier than planned, which was fine by us!! 

The porter came and wheeled his bed, and he loved this ride!! We waited in the pre-OR area and the put you to sleep resident came to assess Sebastian. He has had a bit of a cough, so we knew he might not be a candidate for surgery for that. Well, his lungs were "mostly" clear, so she said the risks would be higher but still very low. She double checked with the doctor and all was well. 

One parent got to go into the operating room with him, and he picked mom. So, I carried him down there and stayed with him while they knocked him out. I gave him a kiss, and then the tears trickled down my cheeks. I met back up with Jeremy in the pre-OR area. 

Afterwards, we waited in the waiting room, where there was a board of patients and their statuses. When the surgeon was done his portion, he came and gave us an update. And after that, you watched the board, eagerly waiting for your child to return. It was sort of like being at an airport. You waited around and watched your child's status go from green (operating room), to pink (recovery room), to brown (heading back to day surgery). Once it turned brown, our pager went off, which was our queue to head back to day surgery for his arrival. 

We arrived as they were wheeling him in, popsicle in hand. He had Morris with him, and seemed to be doing all right. We had to wait a couple more hours to make sure that all was good, which of course, it was. He's a little super trooper and came through beautifully. We gave him his present that we showed him first thing in the morning, and promised he could open when his surgery was done. He was sooooooo excited for that. We had purchased a couple DVDs for him (Wall-E and Kung Fu Panda), and immediately began watching one, while we waited. He had to consume some apple juice before they'd take the IV out, and they gave him some codeine to try to make sure he didn't react to that. Once all of that was good, we were free to go. 

Oh, and a small side note here. They gave him an epidural style anaesthetic as well as a general. This was to lessen the pain, but the end result was he wouldn't be able to fully use his legs for about six hours. He totally didn't understand this, and it was kind of amusing, but also a bit scary as we didn't want him hurting himself. But again, trying to hold back a two year old is nearly impossible!! Oh well, he did great, and I'm so proud of him for being the super trooper that I knew he would be!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Looking at the finish line...

So, my little son has to have surgery tomorrow. I know it is only day surgery and it is very routine and all that good stuff, but it's amazing how much it has actually been stressing me tonight. Without it even meaning to. But, I have also been taking steps to ensure I have done the steps I can to make it easier for him and me. So, rather than share all my stressed out thoughts, which there are a bunch of, I thought I would share some of the things I have been doing to make the most of this experience.

1. Be informed. It is important to understand what you are walking in to. I like to be armed with knowledge so that if anything strays from the norm, I have been informed of all the different scenarios and am ready to deal with things.

2. Plan ahead for the after party.  I bought Sebastian a little present to give him after he wakes up from his surgery. I told him about it, so he has something to look forward to. Also, by doing this, and getting a bunch of activities lined up for him that are low key (ie colouring, movies, books, playdoh etc), I know we'll have fun in the days ahead while he is recovering. 

3. Be open and honest. I have told Sebastian about what will happen tomorrow. He knows he is going to the hospital. He knows both his parents will be there with him. He knows he will wear special pj's at the hospital. He knows they will give him medicine to make him sleep. He knows he is having surgery. He knows he might not feel good afterward. He knows he gets a present when he wakes up from surgery. He also knows he can bring a stuffed toy with him. These are important things to share with him. I don't want him thinking we tricked him into anything. 

4. Acknowledge your emotions. I have been really emotional tonight. I think this surgery is bringing back lots of memories from when he was first born. I also know his surgeon is a bit of a doom and gloom doctor (but one of the best surgeons there is). I am trying not to concentrate on the potential side effects. I know they are there, but I keep reminding myself that he's been through surgery before, and come out fine, and he will again tomorrow. But wow, as I was laying there with Sebastian, I was overcome with emotions and tears were streaming down my face as I stroked his hair, and told him he was my best little buddy, and that I loved him sooooo much. He said "it's okay mommy". It was so cute. He has come so far from where he started and I am so proud of the incredible little boy that he is. It pains me to think he will be hurting after his surgery, yet I know in the long run, it is the best thing for him. 

5. Don't be afraid to ask for some positive energy or prayers. I know that things are going to go fine, yet I am perfectly willing to accept any and all prayers or energy directed towards Sebastian. He is a super trooper, but it never hurts to have people rooting for him!! And, it's nice to know that he is loved!!

So, as I go into tomorrow, I will be strong, or try very hard to be. I will be as brave as I can, so that Sebastian knows his parents are both there for him, and love him with all their hearts. But I also know that if I get a bit emotional, that's okay too, and I am so fortunate to have my husband there to give me a hug and tell me it's okay to be emotional and that really, it just means I care!! So, hopefully this came across as being hopeful and positive. It's what I am trying to be, but wow, what a huge range of emotions in the meantime!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Play time!!

I had fun this morning. I played with Sebastian. We played Animal Farm, we played with mega blocks building towers, we read our puzzle book. It was fun. I don't see him tomorrow, because of how my shifts fall, so I had to make sure we got some good quality play time in this morning!! Oh, and we cuddled while he ate half my cereal. Turns out he likes Froot Loops (okay, so I know it's not the best choice of cereal, but sometimes you just need a fun treat!!). 

He weighed 28 pounds yesterday and this morning. Granted, that is only on our scale, but that is huge. That is practically gigantic, and for his standards that is amazing!! That was very exciting. Some days it is such a challenge to get him to eat, that when he actually gains some kind of weight, I'm so excited!! I'm pretty sure that plots him on the growth chart for sure!!

Today I had a doctor appointment and it went well. Things still looking good. Who knew how exciting it could be to complain about swelling and sheer exhaustion...I love it!!

Oh, and at work, I was on a call for over 4 hours tonight. It was great though. A lot of the recent training applied entirely, so that was really neat. Maybe next year I'll be attending one of those calls rather than merely dispatching it!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

10 things I'm truly grateful for...

I want to remind myself to be grateful for the amazing things that this life has to offer. To often it's easy to get caught up in the day to day of life and we forget to appreciate the amazing little things that life has to offer, so here's a list of things I'm grateful for, and hopefully that will spark some other things that other people are grateful for as well...

1. Cookies fresh from the oven. Today I made cookies with my son and my husband. It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed eating some of them while the chocolate chips were still warm. It was fun getting Sebastian to help with various steps along the way.

2. Unconditional love from my dog. Truly, Cronos makes me feel loved every day. Even if he gets very little of our time, he still makes an effort to give you a nudge with his nose and just let you know that he's there and he loves you, no matter what!!

3. The snow. I'm not a huge fan of winter, yet there is something truly special and magical about waking up to snow. It's so pretty, and it just makes you want to have a hot chocolate, or cookies straight from the oven, or to go outside and make snow angels. 

4. Kisses from my son. He will spontaneously come up and give me a kiss. It's so sweet, and unprompted and just makes me feel loved inside, like maybe, just maybe I'm doing something right as a parent that he wants to let me know he cares.

5. Cuddling on the rocking chair. Again, with my son. He'll come snuggle so we can read a story, or watch some Backyardigans or whatever, but he just loves being close to me or his dad.

6. A husband who will help around the house. Even though he complains and makes it very clear that there are plenty of other things he'd rather be doing on his days off than clean, in the end, he does help out and now, our house is beautiful from top to bottom, and I'm grateful for that. Even if it was like pulling teeth to get the help in the first place.

7. My family. I love all my family. My parents, my brother, my grandparents, my other brother and sister, my other parents, my in-laws, my incredible aunts and uncles, my cousins. I feel so fortunate to have the family that I do. It might not be entirely normal, but I am so grateful for the relationships that I have with the people I am related to. And glad that I have had the chance to get to know some other family members better in the last little while. 

8. The care I'm getting with my pregnancy. It's been at times, stressful, yet I have an incredible doctor, one that actually has conversations with me about life, and checks in on how I'm handling the stress, and just makes me feel good as a patient. And the people at the ultrasound clinic, they are fantastic. It's nice that they are keeping a close eye on me even though everything might be fine in the end. I'm glad that we live in a country where I can get that sort of care and it doesn't cost me anything. 

9. Running. I haven't been able to run lately, but I am so glad that normally I can, and do. It's such a great way to relieve stress, sort out things in my brain and get a bit of exercise at the same time. I love races and look forward to whatever race is next up on my radar. I know that this year again, the Mother's Day race is supporting Neonatal Intensive Care, and since that cause is very obviously close to my heart, I will of course be running it again. Hopefully I might even have a personal best that race... once I can start running again, it will be one of the ones I'm training for!!

10. Prison Break. Okay, so that's lame, but hey, it's an excellent show on television and I look forward to it every week. And then, it goes by so fast. The plot is fantastic, the action is intense and the cast, well, they are all pretty attractive, especially that Wentworth Miller guy. Ah, I could look at him all day!!

There's so much more I am grateful for, but hey, it's late, I need my sleep and that's what I've got for right now. Now I'm happy. I'm also grateful that the baby to be gave me 10 good kicks tonight!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Christmas is coming...

I am so excited for the holidays this year. Sebastian enjoyed Halloween so much, and I am just sure he is going to love Christmas this year. It's so neat that he's old enough to get excited about things now. Tonight we drove around our neighbourhood looking at Christmas lights. I realize it's only the middle of November, but within a one block radius of our house, there were at least 7 houses with lights on. How crazy is that!!

I am so grateful to have that little boy. He just makes my heart soar. I love when he comes over to me, just to give me a kiss or a hug. Tonight, as he was going to bed, he kissed my belly, so his little brother got a kiss too. He is a funny little guy too. Sometimes he'll put on his glasses upside down just cause he knows it will make us laugh. He's amazing, and he's only two and half. Oh, and his cold is almost gone too, yippee!! Only a few days on the puffers and he's practically cough free. Tomorrow I think we'll go to the library and try and find a book about someone going to the hospital, since he has that experience coming up in a couple weeks (less than that actually!!). 

And next up, is making a list for my ipod of all my favourite Christmas songs. I love this time of year. Red cups at Starbucks (filled with yummy things like Peppermint White Mochas or Chai Eggnog lattes....mmmmmm), sales, chances to watch Christmas shows on tv, decorating the Christmas tree, putting up the Christmas lights (tomorrow I hope!!), planning out Christmas cookies and other baking, and just plain having fun and enjoying the season!! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cold season has begun...

Sebastian did so good for not getting sick for about 6 months and of course, that was too good to last forever, and in the last couple days he has succumbed to his first cold of this season. He's still pretty much himself, but his nose is running and he coughing a lot. It's so hard to see. I know it's totally typical for this time of year but it's very frustrating. He doesn't have really strong lungs so it's really tough to watch him battling through it. Plus, last winter, he ended up with about 4 or 5 ear infections and a lung infection. It's tough because his immune system is not very strong yet so it takes him awhile to get over it. And then, he ends up with something else soon afterwards. I really hope this year isn't like last year. Sometimes the leftovers of his preemie start are not so fun!!

In other news though, his future baby brother is doing well, weighing in at around four pounds now. Is still a big baby, but now at about the 80th percentile, so the growth has slowed down a little bit anyhow, but not too much. Still getting followed closely and go back for another ultrasound in two weeks. My legs are quite puffy and swollen. It's actually kind of gross. You can push into the skin and it leaves a mark. They asked if I was working still, and I may have to stop soon, so there is more time in the day to keep my feet up!! Oh to experience the quirks of a third trimester (this is all very new to me!!).

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sebastian's new leaf...

So, Sebastian appears to have turned over a new leaf when it comes to his dayhome. On four different days now, I have dropped him off, given him a kiss, gotten a kiss from him, and been on my way with no sign of waterworks. It's fantastic!! I felt so good the first time, and now I think he's come to realize that he actually does have fun there and so he enjoys it.

On the flipside however, when Jeremy has gone to pick him up, twice he has burst into tears and been really upset that he has to leave. Jeremy felt sooooo bad!! So, Sebastian hasn't quite figured out the whole thing yet, but as the parent who mostly drops him off, I am so happy that he's no longer upset by this. Yesterday, I also picked him up (it was only a quick visit of 3 hours), and he didn't want to leave. He said "no leave Gracy's", but I took off my shoes, went inside and told him we had a play date and we had to go. So, he reluctantly agreed and we left without incident. I think maybe he just likes things to stay the same, and the switch back and forth from the dayhome to home is not entirely easy for him. Oh well, it's a huge improvement!!

And, the playdate was super fun. We went to a play group in Airdrie and Sebastian just loved it!! They had a bunch of different stations set up, including a water station, where Sebastian spent the majority of his time (he's a fish, I swear it, well, maybe a dolphin...either way, he love love love love loves playing with water). He also loved the story they read, and even ate the snack!!

Oh, and he now has new glasses. Pair number 2. Here's hoping he doesn't lose these ones!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A milestone of sorts...

So, depending on which fancy due date calculator you use, I am now either 29 weeks pregnant or 28 weeks and 6 days. Either way, that's past the 28 weeks and 5 days that Sebastian was born at. So, every day from here on in, is an extra day. A bonus day in the womb for this child. Something my body has never experienced. 

Do I still stress? Yes, it's in the back of my mind all the time. Every cramp, ache, or something out of place puts me into a whole realm of "what if" questions. However, I am so glad that we've come this far. Hopefully nothing will happen to this child, and the problems that plagued Sebastian will be not an issue for this little guy (well, I should say big guy since this baby is so huge!!). Oh, and the gestational diabetes screen came back as normal, therefore, this is just a big baby!!

We had a lot of fun with Halloween this year. We had a party in the morning at our house, with 9 kids in attendance ranging in age from 4 months to 4 years. They played and had a good time in their costumes (rat (my little guy), unicorn, teddy bear, dragon, chef, scarecrow, jaguar, bug, and fireman). I made a worms in dirt cake for the kids and served a sort of brunch for lunch. Of course all the other kids ate, but not my silly Sebastian!! He's going through a rough eating phase again, and has become super sensitive to textures and size, nearly gagging if something is just a little bit too big. I'll see how the next week goes and if it's still like this, then we might have to put in a call to the dietician and see if they have any ideas. Maybe it's just his age, but I know preemies and textures are a challenge on a good day, so we'll see!! Anyhow, in the evening, I was working, so Jeremy was at home with Sebastian. He asked if he wanted to go out, and he said no. Then, four kids came to the door trick or treating and suddenly Sebastian wanted to go out. So they did. And he loved it!! He took in everything. Went up to the houses, rang the doorbells, said trick or treat, even wanted to go in the houses. Said thank you. He had a great time!! Got to stop by his dayhome, and then afterwards Jeremy drove over to a friend's house with a yard all decorated up. Sebastian was a little afraid of the moving skeleton pirate, but otherwise had a great time. He truly made the most of his Halloween. And wow, do people ever give two year olds a lot of candy. He (or should I say we), will be set for at least a couple of months now!!

In the meantime, the countdown is on. I have only 17 days of work left. I am really okay with that. I mean truly okay with that. My workplace is still rough on a good day, and perhaps, after these 17 days, I might never have to go back again. And if I do, then likely it would only be part time. But I don't have to worry about that right now. 

For now, I will focus on starting to prepare for Christmas. It is truly my favourite time of year. I love the baking, I love the decorations, the lights, the general more positive feeling people have for one another, choosing the perfect gifts for the important people in my life, advent calendars, Christmas Mickey dishes, decorating the tree, listening to the music, watching the tv specials, you name it, I love it. And now, there's less than 2 months until the big day!!