Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Twas the Night Before

...my colonoscopy ...and let me tell you, creatures were stirring!

I debated writing about such a thing to the world, but then I decided, why not? Sometimes I deal with circumstances by trying to find the "humor" in them. If you don't want to know about it, hold your breath, close your eyes, and plug your ears... or you know, don't read. I know you're going to be disappointed, but no, I did not post the photos I was presented with afterwords, and believe it or not, I didn't on facebook either.

Hi, my name is Becky, I'm 27, and I had a colonoscopy last week (and no, spellcheck, I'm not trying to write "kaleidoscope"). It's been a crazy several months, and I guess I could say I'm ready for some normalcy around here, but then again, what is normal? I hope this doesn't come across as too off-color, but, I'm just talking about the human body. Remember the book, "Everybody Poops"? Kinda like that. Anyway, here's my story:

I was having some symptoms that my dear husband made me go to the Dr. about. There was blood in places it shouldn't be. Clear enough? I submitted to Matt (hoping he would change his mind?) and went. I hadn't even been to the office since before I had kids. A rectal exam wasn't exactly what I was looking forward to that day. All I can say is, I sure am glad I've had children...labor and delivery (as well as delivery repairs and other issues I've had) sort of keeps the modesty feelings in check. While I tried to distract myself and "relax" (ha!) in that odd position, I thought, it sure would be nice to someday go to the Dr's office and be able to keep my pants on (and is it too much to add keep their hands out as well?)! Anyway, I was sent on to a GI Dr. I cancelled the office appointment with him...knowing a colonoscopy was imminent...and there's no need to pay out of my pocket (or rear) any more than I have to. So, I might as well just get it over with.

To be completely honest, I was terrified of the whole prep process. They aren't joking when they want to flush you out! I counted and was up to almost 20 runs to the bathroom (with no "warning") before I went to bed around 9pm. The bathroom trips started around 6pm...do that math! I'm glad I was, a hem, caught up on laundry! I camped out upstairs (since our only bathroom is there), and I'm sure it sounded like the running of the bulls below me as I ran to the bathroom each time. Thankfully, Matt went out for some precious sensitive baby wipes for me. By the time of my procedure, I had gone 30 times. I kept my sense of humor through the night before, and at that point, I was still feeling physically fine. Sure beat being sick with the runs.

However, the next morning, I felt completely different. As I tried to drink my final doses, my body shook with exhaustion (I lost 4lbs overnight), and my stomach finally revolted. I "threw up" 7 or 8 times...who knows, probably more. Because I was not allowed to eat anything both days, there was nothing in my stomach but that Gatorade and miralax...and acid, and my body dug to the depths of my being to throw something, anything up. I cried while my body tried to rid itself once and for all of that nastiness, and in between retching, asked Matt to call the Dr. I was dearly hoping for the permission to stop, but of course, I was told take a little break, let my stomach settle, and...you know it, keep drinking. (I have a hard time with that one size fits all medical mentality. I'm not a 350 lb man, but I had to drink the same amount.) I was green that morning, literally....and pathetic. I packed "spares" in my purse and kept a garbage can in the van for emergencies on the trip to the hospital...seriously, people, it was *that* bad, and what are you gonna do?

We arrived at 1pm. I kept looking for the hidden cameras from this point on...because I'm sure someone somewhere was watching and laughing, as patients heading to "Endoscopy" walked stiff-legged. We had to go to the 3rd floor and wind our way around the hospital. Couldn't make it the first floor huh? The whole time I was praying I wouldn't have to "go," especially as the elevator bounced when we reached the 3rd floor. I had a black fleece conveniently tied around my waist ...because I'm a planner. We made it, and I checked in. I was told to take a seat with the others in the waiting area. The waiting area was packed with people clearly not as anxious as I was (or as young). We sat for not even one minute. I looked around and asked Matt where the bathroom was (you know, so I could make my mad dash when needed). We saw the sign pointing DOWN THE HALL! (I can hear the snickers from whoever is watching this on camera.) That was it, I was not sitting to wait for my name. I was going to be proactive and stand in the hallway, half way between the receptionist and the hallway that led to the bathroom. Everyone else was calm, cool, collected...and seated, and I was sweating bullets,standing in the hallway, muttering, "It's ok to be ridiculous, I'm never going to see these people again." The first person was called with the intercom. Hmm, wonder why they announce your name over a speaker? Because you could be a mile away in the bathroom, that's why! A half an hour later, my name was called. I stepped up, was asked to confirm that I was there to see Dr. so and so for a co-lo-nos-copy! Shout it from the rooftops won't ya? I'm not sure the physical therapy students joking around in the hallway heard that clearly enough!

And again, I waited. That was when I noticed prep and recovery room #2 was in the back, behind the reception area through a door (like normal...for privacy) and...where was #1? #1 was in the hallway where we were standing. Apparently #1 was an afterthought. And, I had to crack the joke about how of course they made room #2 first for such a procedure...it was on the mind, and I was nervous. Matt laughed with me? at me? the whole time. Either way, I reminded him, "Someday, this will be you!"

They called me back (to the prep room #1 that lacks privacy of course), and had me change into a gown. It was a room full of beds and the little curtains. The nurse showed me where to put my belongings under the bed and closed the curtain. I changed into my lovely gown keeping it untied in the back per instructions, bent over, and laughed...and laughed. My poor, weak body still had a little laughter left. Of course they ask you to put your belongings under the bed after changing into the gown and the curtains around the bed crowd you and only hang as low as mid calf! There was no way to prevent this bare bottom of mine from hanging out below the curtain. I stopped trying to hold my gown in place as I squatted and bent to put my clothes under the bed. If this was the way it was gonna be, fine then! I wondered how many bare bottoms they must see everyday just from putting belongings away. And cue hidden cameras to curtain area #1, span wide!

After the iv was in, they wheeled me into the room to have it done. I got my nose oxygen put in (technical term of course)...just to feel a bit more ridiculous. At this point, the short male nurse looking through my papers behind my bed says, "Oh, I know where you live! My fiance lives right around the corner from you on North St." Umm, awkward!! (I mean, how do you respond to this in such a situation?) I reel my hooked up body and head around the back of my lifted hospital bed with that thing filling my nose and said...just as awkwardly, "Oh. Really?" I turned back around thinking, "Why don't you stop by some time, but it's not like you'll recognize me by my FACE!" The Dr wanted me to fill him in once more about why I was there. and then he gave a pause and look like I probably didn't need this. Nice. After this, the other nurse told me to roll on my side. I looked at her and looked at the door...the open door, which was directly behind where my behind would be. "You going to close the door?" She smiled and said, "Don't worry, I'll be sure you're covered up." So reassuring considering my rear is the entry point for your 6 foot long camera. So that's where that hidden camera was! A few moments later I was out and don't remember anything except saying "oww" a few times in my "sleep" and feeling like my stomach was being pushed on. I have no idea if they ever closed the door.

When I woke up (sorta), Matt was by my side, and I was told I was just fine and was shown the pictures of my insides.

So, I'm thankful I'm healthy, and the actual thing wasn't so bad. And hey, at least I don't have to endure that for another lifetime hopefully (23 years ish?).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Precious Lydia

Precious Lydia,

You will be 5 months old tomorrow! It is surely time I sit down and write a letter to my precious little girl. I still can't believe I have a little girl! I thought I might have several boys before a girl may join our family, and here you are! Lydia was a name I hoped to use one day...to have a little Lyddie.

Your smile absolutely brightens my day and certainly brightens each moment I am able to see it. Your curly grin goes right up to your eyes which join that smile in complete sweetness. Sometimes, you wrinkle your nose and that sweet face offers a cheesey grin...so similar to the way your Daddy makes his goofy smile to you kids. Boy oh boy (or girl oh girl) do you look like your Daddy! You certainly are Daddy's girl too!

You seem to be a bit of a snuggler, and oh do I soak that up! (Daddy too) You have on rare occasion joined us in the wee hours of the morning in bed...trying to give your brother an opportunity to get sleep. You roll into me and snuggle in, and of course, I can't sleep a wink! Sometimes you curl up when I'm holding you with your arms tucked in and sticking your little bottom out to find that perfect cozy spot and sort of hum to try to go to sleep.

You've been sleeping about 10 1/2- 11 hours at night for awhile now. You may sleep longer if you had your own room, but nevertheless, you have the fun of sharing a room with your big brother. In the morning, I hear Stevie jabbering and you cooing. He likes to peek over your crib in the morning and greet you! You give him a big smile because you know he's there even though your eyes are still trying to adjust to the light.

Right now your favorite things are your feet and just being a part of the group. You seem to like me or Daddy to sing you to sleep for naps. You're getting good with your hands, putting the pacifier in and out of your mouth (sometimes successfully the right way and sometimes not) as well as other toys. You have your first cold right now. Despite the buggery nose, you're still pretty cheerful.

I am so thankful to see that smile and hear that sweet giggle come from your belly. You often like to do a belly, clear your throat sort of "ha" laugh to get our attention and to get us to pick you up. After those long months of colicky crying, I savor each bout of cheerfulness you show now. Stevie lights up and smiles when you smile, giggle, and talk too. He loves to rub your little head and say, "Nice. Nice." You two sure are a pair in the backseat of the van or in your cribs in your room. It's either joyful or unhappy noises from the both of you. When you cry, your tender hearted big brother is usually sharing your tears. If he's not sharing your tears, he says, "It's ok. It's ok." to you. I hope and pray you will continue to be a close team, playing together, lifting each other up and encouraging each other through the harder times, and rejoicing together in the good times.

I love you so much Lydia Faith. Your name means beautiful and of noble kind, and of course, faithful. You are a princess of the most high King, and you are fearfully and wonderfully made, a true beauty! May your beauty and faith grow as you grow in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and man. Your name verses share our prayer for your life: "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9). "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12). I'm confident God has amazing plans for your life, Lydia. I'm so glad He chose to put you in our family, so that we can be a part of your growing and a part of the plans He has for you. So my Lydia, hold onto your sweetness and smile, grow in your faith, and realize your precious worth in the eyes of your Creator and in the eyes of your family.

Love always and with a kiss,

Friday, September 9, 2011

Scuff, Scuff, Scuff

...is what I heard behind me the other day, and I knew this is what I'd see:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ordering our Days

I did not want to title this post "updates" like so many of my previous ones. Every time (ok, the few times), I pop in here, it's been a long time since my last post. I'm finding it very difficult to either have time to blog, energy to blog, or I have a ginormous case of writer's block. Our days are so incredibly busy, so I'm sure there are things to share, but nevertheless, my days end without a new post.

To be completely honest, part of me has been feeling swallowed up by my days. We are finally getting into a rhythm I think...the rhythm of our family of 4 on "normal" days or weeks. This Spring and Summer was one activity after another since Lydia was born, and I guess I need some down time...or quiet time. We went to Michigan for our family reunion, we had VBS, we had our church basketball camp, and weekends out of town most of the summer for additional extended family time, etc. I guess it's just life...always changing.

First of all, our house needs work! I need time to clean it top to bottom. Really clean and organize. It's just very difficult to do right now. Stevie occupies himself quite well...until I attempt to get something done and another mess is made by his 2 year old hands. :) Lydia often speaks up when I'm trying to get things done too. I've learned I have 30.2 seconds to throw a diaper away, wash a bottle, and use the bathroom myself. And, I only have 2 children.

So, I suppose I'll share some of the changes going on here...that are helping me not feel so swallowed by my days.

Lydia is growing up! She has nearly gotten over the colicky-ness she had! Umm, that's a big reason there wasn't much blogging going on! After 4 months, I've figured out chocolate is a doosey for her. (Oreos, cookies, chocolate ice cream,and chocolate animal crackers in particular...) And all the crying left this Mama in search of chocolate! What a terrible cycle we were stuck in until I figured it out. We thought it may be milk so I cut out quite a bit from my diet, but it didn't help every time. And sometimes, we were all out stumped by the cause (apparently part of the definition of colic). At 3 months, she was a lot better, and at 4 months...sooo much better and happier. She is so much less gassy, and her diapers smell more normal, haha.

Lydia's also getting about half formula now (regular formula...another reason we don't believe milk to have been the issue) and half me. After so many sacrifices, I had to finally just let what happens, happen. I'm not a crazy breastfeeding lady. I just want to give my kids the health benefits of nursing for at least 6 months, and my body is dead-set against keeping up with my kids. The herbs really helped, but we hit that terrible hot week/s in July while we were camping in Michigan and it was over. I drank and drank water, took my herbs, and pumped for a half hour to barely get an oz. What broke this camel's back, was coming home to find our freezer door was left unsealed...and the contents were thawed, some refrozen...including the tears, sweat, and work of 11 bags of milk stored (a little less by that point because she was eating more). I pumped and pumped and tried feeding her all day during growth spurts. I was even getting up at night to pump while she slept (and yes, that is absolutely insane). I've also had other nursing issues I'm not going to get into here. So, if there are other mothers who have gone through the same, I understand!

Anyway, now she gets "only" a bottle at dinner time, and I don't even pump! The feeling of this...well, it's enough to topple me over with joy! I can "fix" dinner (with intermittent interruptions) and give her a bottle without pumping after! It's really the break I need. So, on the nice weather days, I lace up my shoes, give Matt the bottle and our sweet little girl, and I head out for a run! 15 minutes (haha, for now...boy does having babies change this body) of rejuvenation! I love my kids dearly, and those 15 minutes away, renews me and energizes me. Yup, even if it's only 15 minutes. Then I come in and Matt usually takes his turn to go for a run or bike ride and take Stevie, which he loves! It's a win, win, win. I really treasure the time I have with Matt when he gets home from work, so I used to drag my feet about going out for a run (and you know, not go!). Then I realized how little time I'm actually away and how much better I feel, and well, I'm hooked. (On most days...so far..., I'm back to being hooked. ;) )

Another thing I've done is...ok, don't laugh... I've signed up for chore lists that come in a daily email. I actually look forward to seeing what things are on the list each day. You see, when I make my own to-do list, I write everything that needs to be done and am discouraged if I don't finish it...let alone get past the first 2 things. The email focuses on one "room" in the house per day and gives 9 "options". The goal is to complete 3. I love it. You pick 3 and that's your goal...completing any tasks beyond that is also very encouraging for this gal! (So, it doesn't always take much for me.) I have a manageable goal each day for this season of my life! If you're interested, I'll share the site.

I have also implemented "Table Time" for Stevie each day around 10am. (The teacher in me can't stay away for too long.) The first week or so has gone pretty well. He sits in his booster seat at the table with a snack first. Then he has a little art caddy (thank you Target dollar bins!) that contains a few items for him to do or play with each day. I try to coordinate this with Lydia's morning nap (that also seems to last 30.2 seconds, haha, where does the time go?). Stevie gets some extra attention and special time from me while I set him up. Some of the things in his box (only 2 or 3 each day) are different books, magnetic ABC's and a tin to stick them to, construction trucks and quick oats, play-doh, coloring books and markers/crayons, a white board, little cars, etc. (I'll probably do a whole post about this with pictures.) This table time serves a few purposes. I really felt like Stevie needed some extra special time now that he's a big brother especially. With Lydia being so needy since her arrival, I want to be sure he knows how special he is too. So, he gets a little extra attention and time away from his sister... and also away from his beloved Bob and Larry and the t.v.! He gets to play with some different things than usual, and after he's set playing, I'm a little more free to throw a load of laundry in or get something done. I also figure it's not bad for him to have some organized sitting time too. We encourage him to sit with us during church with his church bag most Sundays, but we also let him play in the nursery when he needs to get extra wiggles out. Another perk of this time is knowing where he is and what kind of mess he's making. ;) So far, he's really liked it.

I guess overall, I've been really encouraged with more structure to our day, and Matt and I are working on our goals for our family days for now and in the future. I am still definitely open to fun "extras" and ditching the schedule every now and then, but I think this just helps us run better. I'll take any tips from other moms...especially moms of more children (who may or may not be laughing about my getting the swing of 2 kids).