Thursday, March 31, 2011

Letters to Kherington

Dear Kherington,

These days you all Go! Go! Go! 

You usually don't even care if I'm behind you.

But I always am... keeping you safe, helping you learn, and marveling at your inborn sense of wonder. 

You just want to Go! See! Do!  And I celebrate that.

Sometimes I am dragging my weary, nauseated body along and then it happens...

You reach your pudgy little hand up for mine expectantly.

And it melts my heart every time. Twenty times a day.

Sometimes you just want help down the stairs, like I taught you.

Sometimes you want to lead me to your high chair or your changing table, more aware of your own needs than I am.

But sometimes...

Sometimes you want to lead me on an adventure. You are going exploring, and I get the supreme privilege of tagging along.

We visit the horses or pick flowers or chase puppies. We inspect bugs or pop bubbles or bury our toes in the dirt. We point at airplanes or taste grass or find out what a goat horn feels like. We look under rocks or splash in puddles or feel the wind on our faces.

We are Adventurers! Explorers! Discoverers! Imaginers of all things magical.

I cherish those times with you, sweet girl. 

Some day you will prefer to explore without me.  And I will still be proud of you. 

But for now I will cling tightly to your sticky little hand and know that I'm the luckiest Mom in the world.

Thanks for letting me be a part of your magic.  Love, Mama

Monday, March 28, 2011

From My Front Porch...

Napping with my nephew...


On the front porch swing...


in early Spring. Ah, happiness.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Blogs, Babies, & Blood

Sorry I've been MIA.  I've been hosting guests from out of state, cramming crackers to ease the nausea, and of course... chasing an active toddler.

But I'm back for an update on babies and blood. I hope I don't bore you...

A few years ago, before I became pregnant with Kherington and after the miscarriages, I was diagnosed with some blood disorders by my fertility doctor.  I was told I have 2 copies of the MTHFR mutation, and a protein S deficiency.  So I was put on heparin injections while pregnant, and high doses of folic acid and a low dose aspirin every day for the rest of my life.

Well last month I finally made an appointment with a hematologist, just to speak with a specialist in the field and get some details my fertility doctor couldn't provide.  I scheduled it early this year, thinking it would be a smart thing to do before I got pregant again.  But... you know, things happen!  :-)

Most hematologists are also oncologists, or at least work in cancer centers.  So as I sat in the waiting room of South Texas Cancer Center, I found myself surrounded by elderly cancer patients, with their worried grown children holding their tissue-thin hands.  I felt guilty as a healthy woman in my prime with a thriving toddler and a new life growing inside me. I sat and silently prayed.  Giving thanks for what I have, and praying for those who need it more than I.

I felt guilty taking the doctor's time, but I also felt relieved to have answers. She reviewed my original bloodwork and ordered more.  They took a ridiculous amount of blood... from a woozy pregnant woman with a history of passing out during blood draws. They poked both arms.  Nightmares ensued.

What the hematologist found is that the MTHFR remains... it is hereditary and will never change. But she found that my fertility doctor was misled by my protein S levels.  They were normal in my original bloodwork, and normal this second time.  (even though pregnancy can make them deceptively low)  So she confidently recommended that I stop the heparin injections.  She believes my condition can be completely managed by the folic acid, and the aspirin is just a safety net. She suggested I confirm stopping the heparin with my high risk doctor.

So... while nervous, I quit the heparin.  Skip wishes I wouldn't.  But to be honest, I just feel at peace with this decision. I think it is right for us. 

And as a nice little bonus, it will save us about $7,000... just this pregnancy alone!

I see my regular OB tomorrow and have that high risk doc appt on April 5th.

NOW... back to my other baby. 

Kherington has had some irregular bloodwork over the last few months, mainly low iron levels.   Her pediatrician put her on an iron supplement and checked her levels several times.  She also went to the hospital for some in depth bloodwork.  She referred these results to a pediatric hematologist.

If I thought I felt guilty sitting among the elderly cancer patients... it was 1000 times worse taking my healthy child into a pediatric oncologist's office.  There is no place more heartbreaking.  I blame it on my hormones, but I literally squeezed Kherington against me and tried to hide tears.  Oh how we take our healthy children for granted!

Dr. Patel was wonderful. Kherington was tired and hungry and grumpy, but he had her in fits and giggles. He reviewed the blood tests and was slightly concerned that either Kherington's bone marrow wasn't working properly or that she had a genetic blood disorder affecting iron absorption and blood cell size.  I didn't breathe for a good 20 minutes.

He ordered more blood work. Luckily it was done in-office.  But unfortunately a woozy, pregnant mom holding a wiggling (freakishly strong) toddler while they poke both of her tiny arms isn't fun.

One test was run right away, and it looked good.  Dr. Patel explained everything to me like the intelligent, concerned Mom that I am.  He is now 99.9% sure that the only thing we are dealing with is low iron.  No scary causes, no further invasive tests.  We are doing another iron regimen, and will see him again in a month.

And despite my better judgment, I squeezed him for his opinion on my heparin situation.  And he agreed that I don't need it!  He believed folic acid is necessary, but that the aspirin is my saving grace.  Just hearing it again makes my life a little easier.

So that's the blood and baby update. Are you still with me?  Oh, just you, Mom?  Oh well.  You love me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Mardi Gras!

I know this is all sorts of wrong...

And she is going to kill me for it one day...


But it's just so cute!


And I imagine she'll get me back for it eventually!


Monday, March 7, 2011

A Picket Fence and 2.5 Kids

Heard multiple times a day:

Them: "You're pregnant?! Oh, wow. Congrats!"

Me: "Thank you! We are so excited."

Them: "Was this an 'oops'?"

Me: "Nope, this is a blessing. A miracle, really."

Them: "You are really going to have your hands full."

Me: "Yes. It should be an adventure!"

Them: "Now you can have your little boy and be done. The perfect family."

Well.... maybe. 

And maybe we have another girl and that is our perfect family. 

Or maybe we find that three children completes our family.

I don't know, yet.

But it sure is fun finding out!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

{Nearly...okay, not even close to} Wordless Wednesday

Sissy and Tai-Pan after Kherington's big announcement...

I love that they are just as excited about grandchild number SIX as they were about the very first one!

We are so blessed.

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