Today is a good place to be.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Little Miss Kathryn Goes to the Hospital!

So cute in her PJ's provided by the hospital- of course all the nurses fell in love with this little cutie- how couldn't they?

Thursday we took Kathryn in for her second VCUG- and hopefully her last. When we came around the corner to her little cubical in the children's surgical center at the Gerry Frank Center at St. V's and there was a new teddy bear and a sticker with her name on it waiting for her. She quickly introduced "pearly" to Elmo and had them kiss complete with kissy noises made by her. We changed her into her hospital provided PJ's, which were very soft and cuddly and waited for the nurse to come take vitals.

When we had the VCUG when she was 5 months old they took us directly back to the procedure. Since she is older and definitely in need of some help with her anxiety we choose to get her some versed. It worked wonders. Not only does Kathryn have anxiety in general with other women, she wasn't too comfortable in this setting. She knew something had to be up! She refused any vital taking. After the drugs got in her system(orally) 10 minutes later we were able to get her vitals taken to make sure she was OK for the procedure. She got pretty silly and laughed at a lot of things- especially Daddy- and the nurse didn't bother her one bit. We found out the nurse has a daughter named EllaKathryn. How cute is that?

The VCUG was a bummer- the meds calmed her, but she still felt pain. She still fussed the entire time(we tried to distract with an Elmo DVD, but it wasn't enough). You know how it feels when your baby gets a shot and they look at you with those eyes, wondering why you allowed someone to inflict pain on them? Try to do that for 40 minutes straight. I am thankful I was allowed to be in there with her. I did cry a bit with her too. Poor poor baby. Thankfully the drugs have an amnesia effect and she won't be remember any of this.

Back in her cubical she was able to relax and have a Popsicle. She was very happy for that, but very grumpy and clingy. And that is OK. After vitals again we were able to dress her, collect the results and head out to meet with her doctor. We had a little time in-between(not enough to get home and relax though)and Jeremy and I had strange visions of actually getting to go somewhere nice to eat, but our darling didn't want to get out of her car seat, so we settled for drive-thru, a drive out in the country, and headed back to the Doctor.

The Doctor said the reflux on the left side is actually improving, but the kidney is not growing. He is worried about the non-growth on this kidney and suggested we go ahead and do the surgery to correct the reflux to give us two things: 1-it might help the kidney start growing, 2- it will definitely keep her from having more infections and preserve and protect the state of her kidney at this point. He said we could wait another 6 months and see if the reflux improves anymore, but if it were his child, he would go ahead and take care of it. The good news is that this surgery is 99% successful. We would check by ultra sound a month after the surgery to make sure everything is OK. If it looks good we would check again in 6 months and again at 1 year. If it looked good at the 1 month mark she could go off the antibiotic treatment she has been on since last summer. We talked about another option that didn't sound as successful. Her right kidney hasn't changed much, but he isn't worried about it, since its only a level 2.

So we have a lot to think about and decide. I want to discuss with her pediatrician too. But mostly I just want a healthy baby. The thought we could be done with all this very soon is a relief. I just want to make sure I am making the right decision for her and for our family. When we do decide to go forward the Doctor schedules his surgeries out about a month.

I haven't discussed my feelings or emotions about her situation since her ultrasound the beginning of August. I would like to say I have been a strong woman with immovable faith and have little concern. But, as I am writing this story out for my posterity I want them to know I am afraid. When I found out Kathryn's kidney wasn't growing and it was in fact shrinking my heart broke. I know she is healthy and strong, but something inside of her isn't right, and its up to me, her mommy to make sure it gets fixed. The responsibility of that feels huge and back on August 2nd(the day of the ultrasound) it was huge and overwhelming to me. I have to say I am very thankful we discovered it quickly last summer as she was a baby. The funny thing is, as I tried not to talk about her issue and was putting on a brave front(and my way of doing that is denial), I found a few key people talking to me about it and helping me put into words my concerns and thoughts really did help. I am still quite anxious, but I feel better having the additional information and the expertise of the medical community.

I love this baby. Its an honor to be her mommy and I am thankful I get to take care of her. Thanks to so many of my friends and family who take care of me and the rest of my family so I can be my best.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Who needs Doctors?

I am convinced if we had an Apocalypse(Jeremy and I have been watching that genre of movie lately and its been on my mind) and all the good doctors in the world were wiped out, the good mothers in the world would simply get together and exchange their knowledge and our children for the most part would thrive.

I have a dear friend with a child with CF- the knowledge she has come to with living with this disease and being her child's advocate and strongest support is vast.

I have a dear friend whose baby(younger than mine) had open heart surgery this past year. She too knows way more than anyone without a medical degree should know about heart issues, symptoms and odd bits of knowledge.

I have many friends who have gone the asthma and allergy route. Many friends who are working through the autism spectrum. Friends who deal with other issues that they painstakingly watching and learning about their children- being ever vigilant to get them the medical attention they need.

I have several friends I would completely trust to birth my babies(even though I am done having babies-- except after an Apocalypse birth control might be a bit unreliable and well... you know me and my fertility issues... I would likely have a few more babies).

Not to mention the friends who have suffered emotional trauma and have vast insight to the logic of the heart and the mind and need to love and comfort to heal unseen wounds.

We would take care of each other wouldn't we? Nothing to fear.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Visiting Great Grandpa Frederick

Not many kids have a great-grandpa to visit- my kids must be special. Today we went and visited him at his place in Salem. He sure enjoyed seeing my kids. Call me crazy, but it seemed to me that my kids realized that it is special to have a great-grandpa. They were a bit shy at first, but they warmed up and kept telling him thier names every time he asked. They liked looking at all his cool stuff too. Of course we got to spend some quality time with Grandma and Grandpa Frederick, who are GREAT too.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bringing over old posts

I didn't get every post from my previous blog brought over-- for those of you who use google reader please note I am making an effort to bring over the last two months of 2008 to blogger. I am getting my blog printed into books and my previous blog service doesn't have a user friendly way to do so... so I am finally finishing up my project so I can get my books ordered.

Don't be alarmed when you hear news of the baby-- that was Kathryn... ;o>

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What ya doing?

Kathryn, What ya doing?

Oh, Just running some errands.....

Kathryn turned 18 months old this month. She is on target with all the developmental milestones. My favorite one they don't ask me about is if she can jump. She can. Sort of. She squats down and then pops up on her tippy toes- her feet never really leaving the floor. But she smiles and laughs as if she jumped so high she touched the sky! (Leila jumped like this too!)
She is talking a lot. She is repeating a lot. She loves to follow and learn by example. She thinks she is a big kid and likes to be treated like a big kid. In fact, when Daddy is around she won't even sit in her high chair. That is how big she is. But she is little enough sitting on his lap taking a bit of his meal is being big enough.

Her measurements are grand: 32.5 inches tall & 26 lbs 14 oz ~ this is not our usual 90# + percentile that we are used to with our kids. Her growth has slowed down a little bit. But the doctor has assured me this is normal. I am not convinced. We took her into the urologist the beginning of the month and her left kidney is not growing like it should be. In fact, it appears to be shrinking. With her kidney reflux issues this is not OK. I haven't blogged or updated many people about this because I am dealing with a bit(actually a TON) of anxiety about the whole thing and prefer not to talk about it. I am confident in her doctors, but so very fearful of the unknown. We have another VCUG scheduled for the 26th and will discuss the results with the doctor that day and will have answers as to what the problem is and how to go forward with treatment. At this point we know very little. Hopefully we will know a lot more in a few days.

Both her pediatrician and I have decided if it were not for this darn kidney issue, she would be the worlds most perfect baby.

I love you Baby Kathryn. More than you could ever know!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Trip to the River

Lots of pics-- we took a vacation down to the River Grandparents this month and had a blast. No trip is complete without a trip on Grandpa's boat. The kids were lucky and got two!

Nathan even DROVE!

We spent a day going around- stopping at Belknap Hot Springs (Grandma making sure the baby didn't get into too much trouble)

The Two Falls:

The Lava Lands at the Dee Wright Observatory(not pictured our stop in Sisters!)

I was excited to have my best friend April and her daughters join us for a few days too:

We did a lot of walking around the forest- baby sometimes was OK with not walking- other times she was NOT OK with NOT walking:

The Kiddos:

A time of being OK:

Hugging A Tree:

I felt kind of bad this summer we couldn't afford a vacation for the kids or for us- but we are so lucky to have the constant hospitality of our parents and their home in such a beautiful peaceful setting. The McKenzie River is truly a gorgeous place were I can forget about the daily stresses and enjoy some relaxing time with the family. Thanks again Carl and Sue for having us!

Other activities not pictured: Countless trips down to the river(we ran out of clean / dry clothes for Nathan on the first day, countless walks through the forest, mommy's jogging trips(yay for me), playing with the puppy(all of us- whether we liked it or not), lots of story and book reading with Grandma, dress up, yummy meals, lots of laughter and love.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Trimming Those Nails

I mean really... what else to do on a long car ride?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tri-athlete- TWICE!

On July 31, 2010 I participated in the Blue Lake All Womens Tri-it Tri-athlon. My Second Triathlon was a different experience resulting in the same exciting sense of accomplishment. Overall I felt much more prepared because I knew no matter how crazy I felt inside, it would all work out OK and I would finish(rather I would not DIE on the course).
This time was different because my dear friend Melia and I committed to doing this race together over dinner one night. We quickly talked my sister Amy into joining us(She almost did the Lebanon Race with me, but wasn't quite ready- I knew she would be joining me very soon). Amy talked my Aunt Renetta into joining us even though Renetta was not OK with swimming in the Lake rather than a pool. My dear friend Vixie also participated- this was her sixth year!
We participated in the Tri-it which is 1/4 mile swim, 12.5 bike, 3.5 mile run. The difference between this and the sprint was the swimming distance only- 1/2 mile.

Having a cheering section really helped me out. Almost my entire family showed up! And my very dear friend Marcie who took my very favorite picture of all came too.

The swim was different from the pool swim at my previous race- but I enjoyed it. The water was 71 degrees and felt great(especially after standing out on the beach for half an hour waiting for our turn to go). The water was murky, so ended up swimming on my back or my side through most of the race and was pleased with my time. I was totally stressing about not having my glasses with me as I am completely blind without them. My niece Adrienne held them for me and handing them over as I came out of the water.

Vixie and I drove the bike course the week before so I had a good idea how long the trek was- and it was LONG! And there was a brutal cross wind. We biked up to Marine Drive and biked clear down past the 205 bridge, then we turned and came back. Being on a straight-away I couldn't tell how much longer it would take me to get back- but finally I made it! Only a couple of prayers were uttered on this trip. I did hoot and holler under the bridge because of the awesome echo it made! My time was almost the same as the time in my previous race- not bad for only biking twice since then!
Back to the transition area my family was greeting me with a poster and cheers! It was exactly what I needed to keep going. My legs were sore and I was pretty tired. In fact, I would have been just fine laying down in the grass and taking a little snooze. Off I went on the run- I didn't run as much of it as I wanted. I am not sure if I was a bit dehydrated at this point or not, but my calves were really tight and not wanting to work for me. The run course was beautiful. I was running with my equals- a lot of the ladies were run/walking too and it made me feel very good about my own fitness level. The path tricked me and lead me back down towards the lake and it seemed like it should have ended much sooner - in fact at one point I was running all by myself wondering if I had gotten off the path or something. It reminded me of the personal journey this has been for me. I kept on going.

Finally I get close to the finish line and see my friend Vixie and her kids waving and cheering for me, I see Melia's family cheering for me, I see Marcie cheering for me, I see my family all cheering for me. I was elated! I hear the announcer say my name, my age, my home town and I felt so HAPPY! I crossed the finish line and caught my breath before I went and collected my baby and got congratulation hugs.
I waited for my dear friends to join me at the finish line and it was sweet to see these amazing women I love accomplish so much for themselves. I admire Renetta, Melia, Amy and Vixie for sure. I am thankful for their examples to me. I am thankful to my friends and family for loving and supporting me and putting up with me.

After the race we milled around a bit at the stores, got some food for the "athletes" and checked my time. I was happy with my time. The kids played really well with their cousins. The baby was tired and ready for bed, so we headed home- and it was great to get a good shower and nap in.