Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

It's 7pm here, so not quite new years yet, but I wanted to wish you all a happy new years before I forget. I hope 2011 is a year full of hope and dreams come true for everyone, as sappy as that sounds I mean it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Low Risk? Maybe Eventually

I had another OB appointment today, soon they will be every week. My blood work came back perfect, glucose and iron are right where they should be apparently. And my OB gave me the good news that if I can make it to 37 weeks I'll no longer be considered high risk and I can give birth in "a fancy birthing suite" as she put it. So that's my new goal with this baby, I know he'll decide when to come, but at the same time I'm hoping I can encourage him to stay in there until 37 weeks! I want a nice birth not in a sterile OR this time. I got a number to call for a tour of the maternity hospital since I didn't manage to go for one last time. And I had to reschedule my next appointment because Skyler has his first meeting with the new SLP (speech language pathologist) and C is going to be in court testifying. He witnessed some guy who stole a truck and got involved in a high speed chase with the cops.

After my appointment we went to the mall to see if we could upgrade my phone since I've had it since I was pregnant with Skyler and it's a hunk of junk. C got a blackberry for christmas, so I guess I have been a bit jealous. Unfortunately they said that I can't get out of my contract so no blackberry for me. After that we stopped by the play place in the mall. Skyler loved it. He hasn't been there since he was too small to enjoy it. Tonight I plan on going through all of Skyler's stuff and the baby's stuff and get it all sorted out. I want to put some in a donation pile, and organize the rest so he doesn't have to much clutter. I'm also going to put the bedding in the crib and the baby's clothes in his brand new drawers.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Skyler Bakes

For Christmas from my in-laws I asked for mini-muffin tins because they're just so cute! So here is Skyler (with hilarious bedhead hair) making his first batch of banana muffins today:







Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Cold That Doesn't End

Hah! You're going to laugh at this one. Or not believe me at all, whichever. My horrible cold turned ear infection, spread from one ear to the other, and also into my eyes. The puddle of water in my eyes turned into goo, which crusted my eyes shut yesterday morning, that was a fun one. I actually wandered around my home at 5am with my eyes crusted shut using all the techniques I've learned from working with people who are blind. I found that in my own home I am quite able to get up go to the bathroom, get the water pitcher from the fridge pour myself a glass of water and put it back away all without seeing a thing. And I didn't spill a drop, so there's something.

This is officially been the worst cold I have ever had in my life. I never get ear infections. I went to my NP, who checked me out and said it's early to tell if it's viral or bacterial, but she wrote me a scrip for antibiotics (which she said that there are no truly "safe" without any risks during pregnancy antibiotics) and said that I should probably wait a few days and if it starts to get worse, then go fill the scrip, and if not then just wait for it to pass. So I am waiting. The pain in my ears has gotten much better thankfully (I would have lost my mind if it hadn't) though the pressure is still there, and it gets worse when I blow my nose which is unfortunately quite frequently with this cold still here. My eyes were less crusty today, so I am hoping they are getting better. The NP took swabs of the goo, but I don't have any results yet. It's probably just an excess of mucus hopefully.

In good news, today was my last day of work. Last night we celebrated Yule/Winter solstice and aside from me being exhausted and wiped out from being sick and not being able to hear much, it was a great night. My brother even showed up and he has never been to my place and I've been here for like 2 years. So that was good. Lots of good food, good friends, good fun. On Christmas eve we're going to C's family celebration, then Christmas day will be spent with my mom. I'm excited but at the same time I am already feeling worn out from this virus coupled with pregnancy so I'm hoping it passes by without too much stress.

Skyler's communication really seems to be coming along. His receptive language is awesome, he really does seem to understand what we are saying almost all of the time. AND today I was on the couch relaxing for a moment after I got home from work, when he comes toddling down the hall and hands me his body wash from the bathroom. I looked at him and I said "oh you brought me your soap. Do you want a bath?" and he said "Bath time!" of course it sounded more like "da eh" or something to that effect, but I'm pretty sure he was trying to say bath time. Anyway I stripped him down and gave him a bath which he was happy to have. Later on he came up to me signing away with "more" asking for something. At one point he pulled a bag of chocolates out of a gift bag he found from last night and brought them to me because he wanted one. I love that he is trying his best to let me know what he wants. And he's succeeding a lot! It's making things much less frustrating for all of us.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What Next?

Remember my terrible cold? Well it's only gotten worse. It's reminded me that there are worse things than a sore throat such as ear infection. Now there is a pain I'd never like to feel again. I went through breaking my arm in half and waiting five hours with no pain killers, not a single tear. 20 some hours of labour with Skyler, not a peep from me, but last night when that ear ache struck I wanted to throw myself off a bridge. If it weren't for the fact that I have way too much to live for. What a terrible pain my lord. C had to come home from work to bring me Tylenol which my OB said I could have. And it did absolutely nothing for me. I ended up having him get me some ear drops, which the pharmacist said I could have.. He better be right.. Those finally let me get some sleep and by some sleep I mean like 2 or 3 hours at most which is all I've been getting any night this week because of this cold. Oh and to top it all off I woke up with a nice puddle of water around my eye this morning.

The only reason I woke up so early (well aside from all the mucus and pain) is someone from C's work called in and I was sleeping in the living room and heard the message on the answering machine. C manages on Sundays so if something is wrong they call him. Apparently the guy opening slept in, yet again and the other guy who opens with him was stuck with no way of opening the store so even though C was supposed to start work at 2pm and we were supposed to go to church today to see the winter pageant, he is at work now. I'm not sure if he will decide to stay and work til 3 or if the kid who was supposed to show up in the first place will come in and he'll be able to leave.

Anyway enough ranting for now, the other night Skyler finally said his first 2 word sentence!! He woke up in the middle of the night of course, wandered into the hallway climbed into the carseat (the one in the picture from my last post.) which is his new favourite spot by the way, and he said "Go car!" it was soo cute and exciting. He repeated it several times. Even though it was 3am we were half tempted to take him out in the car for a ride just cause we were that excited. And once he finished with the car seat, he got up and climbed onto daddy's tool box in front of the closet door and started trying to open the door. The first time he's actually climbed up onto something aside from the couch or the stairs and stood on it. He also is able to climb up onto his little chairs that go with his chair and table set now. He stands on them! Slightly scary for mommy, but he always sits down when I say "on your bum please". Aside from him being sick like me, he's doing quite well. His development seems to coming along. Which is good news.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter Cold

Ugh I have this terrible headcold. Worst of all it came prepackaged with a killer sore throat which is my most hated part of any cold. And my head is so unbelievably stuffed up that it won't stop pounding. The most sleep I get at any one period is about an hour. All night long it's sleep an hour, wake up, cough, blow my nose, etc etc, finally fall back asleep and then wake up again. Poor little Skyler has it too, but he seems to be faring better than I am thankfully.

Here's hoping it goes away in time for next week. We're having our winter solstice celebration on the 21st of course and we're hosting it like usual. So there's lots of planning and baking/cooking to be done. I'm making a chocolate trifle. And I better be able to taste it.

We ordered a case of size one diapers a couple days ago in anticipation of this little ones arrival. I know we still have a couple months to go, but if this baby is impatient as the last one I don't want to be caught off guard. So as we were putting away some things in the storage room I guess we ran out of room because C put Skyler's rear-facing infant car sear on the floor in the hallway. Today while C was sewing some new curtains for Skyler's room I wandered down the hallway to see what Sky was up to, and I found him curled up in the baby's carseat. Too cute.


And an extremely rare shot of him wearing his glasses.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Update

The OB today said I shouldn't worry too much that it's not uncommon for women to experience a strange feeling like their baby is having seizures. She thinks the baby is doing some sort of weird exercise thing. I still think it feels suspicious, but there's not much we can do if the baby is having seizures, not until it's born anyway so it's probably best to stay calm until then. Also I need to decide if it's safe for me to continue working. The little one I work one on one with is occassionally violent and in fact a few weeks ago she kicked my coworker hard in the stomach. My doctor suggested I could wear some sort of padding around my stomach, but I have no idea where I would find such a thing.. Either that or not work with the girl. The thing is I don't have a job otherwise. So now it's time to think about what I'm going to do.. If I decide to risk it and work for January because we need the extra money or stop and make do with what we'll have.

I scheduled my next appointments, all of them up until the day of my due date. She wants to see me every two weeks now for a month and then every week up until the baby is born because of everything, to keep an eye on things. I really do love my OB she is great. They scheduled me an appointment on my birthday and my OB is away that week, so I'm seeing another doctor in her practice. I turned to Chuck in the car and said "Just watch the baby will decide to be born the week that my OB is away". I was sent for blood work today too. It was in the basement of the building and fortunately didn't take too long. The lab tech was super nice too, I felt like a jerk asking if she could change her gloves, but she said she didn't mind and that she's a germophobe so she asks people the same thing. That made me feel better. I just don't like the thought that maybe she forgot to change them or something. Last thing I need is an infection or something.

So yesterday morning when Skyler decided that he didn't need to sleep I taught him to consistently sign "more". He hasn't been signing much in the past year, but we've picked it back up. So he was sitting on the couch with me and I found the secret to getting him to sign was to simply give him an M&M whenever he signed for more. Except now he thinks that every time he's on the couch and he signs "more" he'll get an M&M. Probably not the healthiest thing to give him but whatever, it made him happy and he started signing again. It's not like I give him candy often.

Today though the poor kid has been sick. His nose hasn't stopped running and he's been a bit warm (not a fever, but not normal temperature either) and I've started coughing and am getting a sore throat too. He started puking this evening before bed too, fun times. I managed to step in about 4 puddles of puke, caught one in my hands, and wiped another off the couch. Thankfully after his last dose of stress pred he put himself to bed and hasn't puked since then (not yet anyway, fingers crossed). And I have to go back to work tomorrow. Honestly I'm not looking forward to waking up early. I haven't had nearly enough sleep in the last 6 days and now I'm coming down with something too. Ick.

I'm going to try to keep my mind off the weird movements that baby was doing, though today he's hardly moved at all which also has me worried (of course). Hopefully I am just paranoid.

It's Always Something..

I know I try to keep things light around here and I'm usually rather positive, but it's 4am I've been up with Skyler since 2, and I think he may have possibly gone back to sleep maybe (fingers crossed) and I'm feeling rather sleep deprived. What's on my mind is baby number two. I feel him moving around in there quite a lot now but over the last few days I've started to feel something other than kicking/punching and hiccups.. It feels like a rapid, shaking, convulsing kind of movement. It happens in two places usually, at the same time. Like his top half and his bottom half are both doing it at once. It's too fast to be hiccups and it feels different, and it's much too fast to be kicking. I never had that feeling with Skyler.. To be honest it feels like I imagine a seizure would feel like.

I have an appointment with my OB in the morning so obviously I'm going to tell her then. I'm just freaking out a bit and since someone else won't let me sleep I felt the need to vent. (Skyler is definitely not sleeping.. sigh) I'm not sure what to do, I've googled fetal seizures and the things I'm finding are not reassuring, the case studies done on it say that the prognosis is poor. Some posts say it could be the uterus spasming, but it doesn't feel like that to me. Here's hoping I'm wrong. There's a chance that this baby has CNS abnormalities, if he is seizing in the womb. One of the reasons I'm worried is because what Skyler has can cause seizures. We just got lucky with him and he has never had one. And though the ultrasound showed that this baby seems healthy, there's no way of knowing for sure because the area of the brain they need to see is too small until sometime after birth.

I know that I said going into this that I wasn't afraid of this baby having special needs.. I know that if he does we won't love him any less.. I just really was hoping for a break. Or at least that he'd have the same type of thing as Skyler, something known is less scary I guess. And I know that he may have what Skyler has, but just a worse version of it if he's seizing already. I'm just freaking out a bit because seizures are scary and it could signal something much worse. Here's hoping I'm just being hormonal and paranoid.. I guess I'll have a better idea in the morning when I see my OB.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Workshops Can Be Fun!

Good Morning

Of course on the one day that I don't actually need to wake up at 7am I am awake at 6:30, so here I am writing a post since I can't seem to get back to sleep. Yesterday instead of going to work I got to go to a workshop at the CNIB. It was actually the most fun I've ever had at a workshop. It was a whole day of learning how to make tactile books for visually impaired and blind children. The CNIB had brought in a class of grade 12 students from a local highschool (who apparently now require 40 hours of volunteer work to graduate, so they were there for credits) and put them to work making books for children 6 and under who have visual impairments.

Our son's OT had asked if I would be interested in going a few weeks back and of course I jumped on the opportunity. When I got there she told me she forgot to mention that the volunteer coordinator running it was hoping I'd speak to the kids about the importance of tactile books for the visually impaired from the perspective of a parent. I said of course I would say a few things. Now I'm not sure if you know, but I have panic attack disorder, and I usually keep it under control but speaking in front of people without much prep kind of triggers my panic reflexes. I was okay for the first few seconds and then I kind of started babbling a bit, but I think I made it through without too much confusion and I know I did much better than I would have a few years ago.

After that awkwardness was out of the way, and they had finished explaining how to make the books we got to work. There was a table loaded with craft stuff! I was in heaven. I think I've replaced scrapbooking in my art closet. At first I was a bit overwhelmed and couldn't decide what to make so I did a very simple counting book that will be useful for the little girl I work with (it's all tactile, and very simple so someone without any sight at all can use it) and then once I got into a groove I decided to try something more creative and I started to come up with some better ideas.

There was one other girl there about my age who was an inclusion worker with a low vision child as well, so her and I and our OT sat together and I chatted with her while I worked. It was actually kind of cool being there as a parent, I had a unique perspective and everyone in the room came to me to ask if what they were doing would be suitable for a blind child. I was like some sort of expert, haha. All the books made by the highschool students were to be kept by the CNIB and used by people like my OT to bring out on visits with their clients. Except for me and the other inclusion worker, our OT said we might as well keep our books since we work/live with their clients anyway. Though the OT asked if I could pretty please make her some books to use as well because she loved mine.

The second book I made specifically with Skyler in mind, and I loved how that allowed me to tailor it specifically to his interests and abilities. After the workshop was over I stayed to help clean up and the volunteer coordinator asked if she could do a videotaped interview with me. This time I was much less nervous, all those high school kids had left and it was just me and her. I showed off my book and talked about making it and what I got out of the workshop. I mentioned how it's important in a book for a totally blind child to use very simple illustrations because what might look interesting to us can be very confusing to someone who can't see. She then pointed out that my book was actually rather complex, and I said that that was the beauty of being able to make it for my specific child, it meant I was able to put together something that would be challenging and interesting for him since he does have some sight. All in all it was a great experience, and if you like crafts I would suggest you give it a try cause it's a lot of fun.

And here for your viewing pleasure is Skyler's newest tactile book. I've titled it "Find the Button" and the object here is you guessed it, to find the button on each page.

A foam flower shaped piece with a button in the middle, the stem is a chenille stem and the leaves are microfibre

The tree top is felt, the apples are a broadcloth type material, and one button. The trunk is corregated cardboard and the grass is like that astroturf kind of stuff you'd use as an outdoor carpet.

This Christmas tree is made from a dollar store dish scrubbie (never been used) corrugated cardboard for the trunk, sparkly pipe cleaners & a small button for the decorations. A plastic candy cane, a tiny decorative present and a piece of carpet remnant.

In this scene the button is peeking out from behind a cotton ball cloud. The sun is a piece of shiny gold paper, the water is broadcloth, the boat is foam with a straw and some red cloth for the mast, and the beach is sandpaper with real seashells.

And this page is a simple lift the flap page because Skyler loves flaps and squeakers, so the top piece of fabric is velvet with a squeaker under it, the second is microfibre with a wooden heart under it, and the last is felt with a pink button.


So while I'm no artistic genius, I really did enjoy this craft and I hope when Skyler wakes up he will enjoy his new book. If you do find yourself interested in making a book like this and you need some tips feel free to ask, I learned quite a bit. And the CNIB would happily accept any books you might make if you don't have a visually impaired child yourself.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Neuro

So on Thursday I typed up a 4 page document about Skyler's development at his 24 month/2 year mark. I figured it would be good to have especially since he'll be seeing a new SLP hopefully soon. Basically it just describes where he's at, the things he's doing at 2 years. Friday morning I got a call from the neurologist's office asking if they could see Skyler on Monday (today). So I asked my coworker if she'd cover for me and she said yes, and I took the day off for his appointment. Suddenly I was glad I had written up that document the day before.

We got there exactly on time, and we got seen as soon as we came in which is always a bonus. I love his neurologist to be honest. He's another great part of Skyler's medical team. I brought him the document that I printed on Thursday and he was of course impressed with how organized we are. He asked us a few questions about where Skyler's at, watched him walk around the room, tested his reflexes and we talked for a little bit. He said he isn't too concerned about Skyler's development. Yes he is lagging a little behind on the speech development, but we agreed that it's probably just the vision thing that has him behind in any areas. It's harder to develop speech when you don't have "normal" vision.

We discussed doing another MRI. He doesn't think we will find too much in the MRI, but we will get a better look at his optic nerves. I inquired about the possibility of his condition affecting his corpus callosum and the neuro agreed that indeed in some people SOD does affect their corpus callosum, he doesn't think Skyler's is affected though. He was surprised that I even knew that, and said that he will definitely look for that in the MRI and let me know if there are any abnormalities. So we decided to go ahead with it, it'll be in about 6 months or so depending on the waiting list. He said we'll be able to get a look at the speech areas of the brain too and check that out, though he thinks Skyler will develop normally.

He said he's seen some patients with SOD who simply have the optic nerve and pituitary problems and develop a little bit slower, but normally. And he's had some patients with epilepsy and seizures and other major issues that cause them not to develop typically. He's thinking that Skyler is of the former and not the latter. Thankfully he doesn't have the epilepsy (so far at least) and he seems to be "coming along quite well" in terms of where he's at in his development. The doctor also asked again what our occupations are, and remarked that we're "more educated than educated people." He is just in awe of us it seems and how much we know about our child and his condition. He told Skyler that he's lucky to have us. Of course we are lucky to have him too.

All in all it was a good visit. I am slightly worried about the MRI as I know Skyler will have to be sedated. The doctor said not to worry too much as he does it all the time, with kids a lot younger than Skyler, and Sky has had an MRI before (at 2 months, or 0 months corrected). It's probably scarier for the parents at this age than it is for him. Hopefully it all goes well. Our next appointment will be when he turns 3. Except after the MRI, he said we can call him to get the results or go in for an appointment if we want, since it would suck to wait 6 months for results. Anyway overall I'm glad his specialists are so great.