We aren’t moving to Okinawa

 

We were supposed to fly to Okinawa next week. We had planned, gone through all the screenings, gotten passports and airplane tickets, we were ready. A couple of weeks ago, on a Monday morning, the movers came to pack our unaccompanied baggage, which is the stuff we wanted there when we got there. Before this we had all been sick, for about 2 weeks all 4 of us had been fighting a nasty cold. That day baby Paul was really fussy, but he was sick like the rest of us. As the day wore on, the movers came and left with about a quarter of our belongings, the baby seemed okay just cranky.

Later in the afternoon everyone was resting and I took the baby outside to play and I noticed he was randomly gagging, sort of dry heaving. I decided he should nap too. While trying to get him to sleep Paul noticed he was breathing rapidly, shortly after I couldn’t get him to latch on to breastfeed. This was the most concerning symptom because he’s never in his life refused the breast, but it was like he couldn’t latch because he was struggling to breathe.

I rushed him to the ER. I believe they thought he had RSV, he was immediately given a nebulizer, IV fluids and a chest x-ray, which came back normal. The next step was the doctor tested his blood sugar. At that point the doctor told me I needed to call my husband because my baby was going to need to be transferred to the pediatric ICU at the larger medical facility about an hour away. They said he was in Diabetic Ketoacidosis. I didn’t really know what any of this meant, except that he almost surely had Type 1 Diabetes, and if that were true everything was about to change.

Within a few hours we were in an ambulance being transferred to the hospital. Baby was stable but his blood sugar was still way too high, and he still had a huge amount of ketones in his blood, which were basically poisoning his kidneys and liver from what I understand. Once we got to the ICU we quickly met several doctors and nurses which told us there was almost no question he had Diabetes. We spent all night testing babys blood sugar hourly, checking the levels for ketones, and adjusting his insulin and glucose dosages. The first night they wouldn’t let me breastfeed him because they needed to be in control of his glucose and insulin while they rid his body of the ketones that were poising his blood. It was a very long night with pretty much no sleep.

The next few days are a blur. He was officially diagnosed with Type 1 (T1) Diabetes, and we rushed to get him enrolled in the military program that helps our family when we have a family member with special needs; EFMP– Exceptional Family Member Program, we needed to be enrolled so we could try to stop our move to Okinawa because they do not have the military medical professionals on the island to treat insulin dependent diabetes.  We knew right away, with Baby’s diagnosis the kids and I would not be moving, but we were desperately trying to make it so Paul wouldn’t have to go without us.

So that’s why we aren’t moving to Okinawa. I am still very sad, for a lot of reasons. I’ll write another post and finish the story later this weekend. I need to dry my eyes and drink some coffee right now. I’ll leave you with a picture of my precious little boy, being a brave dude with his little robot arm, that protected the only IV line that he didn’t blow out the first few days in the hospital.

Birth Story

I suppose I should jot this down before I forget. This will get a teeny  bit TMI, sorry.

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I would say my first signs of labor started on May 24th (my due date was the 28th). I was up early (about 6am) and I realized I had started to lose my mucus plug. So I called my mom, she was set to come out the following week, so she could watch Evelyn if I went into labor. I was more calling her out of excitement, but I was also a little panicked because I was afraid I would go into labor that night and we’d have to take Evey with us. By noon my mom had made the decision to head to us, just in case. Unfortunately I just had mild contractions, and mucus for the next few days. But we got a lot done, got the house picked up, had a nice time visiting. On Thursday and Friday mom and I went and got acupuncture, her for neck pain and me for labor induction. It was really one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve had in a long time. I fell asleep during my first session. I am not sure if it helped, but it sure felt good.

Friday the 27th I was so sick and tired of being pregnant. I was having intermittent contractions, I was peeing myself every time I coughed or sneezed, I was so incredibly uncomfortable, and I was sick with toddler cooties. I cried to Paul that night. I told him I was worried about ruining Memorial Day weekend, I was worried about having the baby and not being ready, I was worried about him not being ready. He had jokingly been telling me that he wasn’t ready all week. I took everything he was saying to heart, so that night I cried to him. It sounds silly now but I was asking him for permission in a way, to tell me it was okay for me to go into labor. He reassured me he had only been joking and he was ready for me to have our baby. I cried myself to sleep that night, I was so hot and uncomfortable.. and ready.

I awoke very early the next morning, on the 28th with contractions again. But this time they were more serious. They continued to get more and more serious throughout the day. I spent the day moving from the couch to my bed, trying to rest, having serious contractions, timing them, and wondering if it was real. I really think  until we left to go to the hospital I thought it was false labor. But that shit was real. And it really hurt. Through the day since I was still unconvinced that I was really in labor, between contractions I told Paul to go ahead and make dinner, he was going to smoke a tri-tip on the grill, a several hour process. My mom had to take it off the grill when it was done, because we were already gone by then.

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Shortly before we left for the hospital. I’m mid contraction, this one I think came as a surprise because I am on the floor, leaning on the couch, holding Aiko, while Evey holds me. I am pretty sure I am crying too.

I was a champ though, I think so at least. I labored at home all day, it wasn’t until about 3-4 pm that I couldn’t take it anymore and I wanted to go to the hospital. We got there and I quickly was evaluated and placed in a room. I was already at 5+ centimeters. I got settled into my room, got my monitoring set up and continued to have contractions for a little while, within about an hour I gave in and asked for pain meds, I just couldn’t take it any longer.

Our hospital has recently introduced nitrous oxide as pain management for labor. But there’s a trick to it, You cant just strap it to your face and breathe, and you can’t have anyone else hold it to your face. You have to be able to hold it to your own face, with your hands and you need to remove it between contractions. Also the timing is tricky, you have to start breathing it in just when the contraction starts, or it doesn’t really take full effect during the contraction. It doesn’t fully eliminate the pain, but it dulls it. Through my tears I requested to try the nitrous for pain management.

This only lasted a few hours, by 7 I requested an epidural. Looking back the laughing gas would have been great in early labor, like while I was at home, and when I first got to the hospital, when the pain sucked but was still barely bearable.

Unfortunately by the time I requested the epidural, I was already having contractions that were very close together, and for an epidural you need to sit completely still long enough to get a needle shoved into your spine. I was also already 8 centimeters and I was getting close to time to push. But we went for it, it took two tries and the guy did a spinal block first, but he got it in. within moments I was completely numb from my belly button down. Also shortly after the epidural they ruptured my water sac.

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The numbness was pretty awesome, I couldn’t feel anything, which also meant I couldn’t feel my contractions at all, so I couldn’t push when it was time. In hindsight I should have either gotten the epidural earlier, or just gotten the spinal block and no epidural. I had to wait over an hour to get feeling back in my legs enough that I could start pushing. During that time we just laid around waiting, and resting, at one point all the staff came rushing into the room because Baby Paul’s heart rate had dropped, they moved me onto one side, and then the other, gave me a shot to temporarily stop my contractions, this shot gave me horrible, uncontrollable shakes, it felt like I was shivering uncontrollably, this let up after about half an hour or so, but I continued to have short bouts of trembling through the night. But they got his heart rate back up and soon it was time to push. And at about 10 pm the nurse came in and I started to push.

I really enjoyed my experience at the Navel Hospital for the main fact that when I was in labor, it was just Paul and I. We were checked on periodically, but it was just us, quietly experiencing labor, you know quietly… except for my crying out in pain every 2-5 minutes with my contractions. Also when it was time to push we had one nurse (midwife?) come in and assist. It was her, Paul and I, she was helping and coaching me, as was Paul. All the way until it was time for her to get the doctors to “catch the baby”. When he was ready to make his appearance she went and got my doctors, who more or less caught Baby Paul.

He came out perfectly. 9 pounds 9 oz and 20 ish inches long. Just before 11pm.

Baby Paul Wk 1

 

And now we know!

Our next teeny terror will be a boy!

To say we were shocked would be an understatement. I know I said in my last post that I felt like it was a boy, but that was wishful thinking. It would explain how my symptoms have been increasingly different than last time. But going in to that appointment I was sure it would be a girl. I mean I have 6 Rubbermaid tubs of girl clothes stored away, expecting another girl.
But alas, nature has other plans. And now I have 6 tubs of baby girl clothing I need to sort through and sell. Because we aren’t going to need them any time soon.

I am getting more and more excited as each day goes by. We are working on getting Evey used to the idea of a brother, for the longest time she was convinced I was having bunnies. Multiple. Or at least multiple babies. We have her just about convinced there is only one. Now we are working on “it’s going to be your brother” to which she replies “no, my sister.”
It’s okay we will work it out eventually.

Alone

Sometimes I get my best blog ideas while I am lying in bed at night, just before I fall asleep.

You tell yourself, man that’s a great idea, I wont forget it!

The next morning it’s gone.

Thankfully I’ve started writing those ideas down. So now you can know what I think about when I lie in bed at night.

#FroYo date with my girl.

A photo posted by Alana ? (@alanamarie26) on

Last week I had the rare opportunity to go to Target all by myself. I don’t think I’ve been to target alone since last Christmas season. It was strange though. I still felt rushed. I had to get in and get out, no screwing around. Even though I really did have plenty of time. I am so rarely alone now that I have conditioned myself to just get done what I need to do so I can get out of the store before little miss throws an epic tantrum, or takes off running.

6 not so long years ago, while Paul and I were living in Okinawa, he was deployed to Afghanistan. I was alone. All alone. For the better part of 9 months. I had my sister visit for a few months, and I had friends. But I lived alone, I woke up alone, I went to the store alone. I could go a days without speaking to another human if I didn’t go anywhere.

Now I wake up with, and spend my whole day with a little person. I am rarely alone. You see lots of funny cartoons on the internet of parents hiding in closets to eat chocolate, or begging to be left alone just to use the bathroom. This isn’t a joke. That’s real life.

I’m not complaining. Well not right now. I don’t really mind being with Evey most of the time. But sometimes it’s nice to be alone. I often get a quick trip to the commissary, or the corner store, not very long, but that’s about all I really need. Just about an hour of me time. With no one yelling at me, screaming or crying, or begging for things.

It’s strange to look at how much things have changed, and so drastically. But I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Solo Road Tripping with a Toddler In 7 Easy Steps

I recently hit the road to drive from San Diego to Southern Arizona to visit my family. Paul had to work so I decided to go solo. I haven’t driven this far alone in a very long time, 10 years maybe. This time I had a toddler in tow. So I had to find some way to make the 6 hour drive bearable for the two of us.

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(not the view from our drive)
  1. Pandora- I am a huge fan of the kids songs stations like Raffi and Disney. Pandora has plenty of kids stations. But there are about two separate stretches, about an hour each, that I don’t have cell service, that means no Pandora. Evey also really enjoyed the music when I was singing along, so we listened to a lot of disney, because I know the words to those.
  2. Books- Especially books that have never been seen before. Target has a great selection of books for a dollar usually. I was very lucky that we got a package from my Mother In Law the day before we left and it had some books in it. The new books kept her attention much longer than the books that I had in the car already.
  3. Snacks- I tried to keep it healthy this trip. I sliced up a bunch of strawberries and raspberries, I packed fresh mandarine oranges and bananas. I also had several flavors of granola bars and pouches of applesauce. But the only thing she wanted was the peanut butter crackers, which I ran out of pretty quick. I also had some lunchables and Red Bull, but they were for me.
  4. Nap Time- Driving in the middle of the day works for us because when she naps it’s around noon, and she naps best in the car. So As soon as she started getting cranky, I turned on my radio (podcasts) and handed her a book. She fussed a little, for about 20 minutes, but she soon fell asleep. Unfortunately she only slept for about an hour.
  5. Plan stops- I get really nervous traveling alone, and on the way out I only stopped for gas. I didn’t use the restroom. When I arrived I had to pee so bad my head hurt. On the way home I wished I had planned gas stops better. I didn’t stop in the usual town and moved on to the last town before a hundred of nothingness, This town I could not find a gas station that allowed credit cards at the pump. I still don’t understand the logic, but whatever. Dragging a todder into the store to pay for gas was a huge pain in the ass, but now I know to gas before I get to that town.
  6. Baby Backpack- Tula, Ergo, Kinderpack, Any of these can make a bathroom trip easier. Wearing E would allow me to quickly go into the bathroom, do my business and get out, without her running around and touching things, or getting into nasty bathroom cooties.
  7. iPad- I tried to not go digital, but there comes a point when you can only pay attention to a needy toddler so much, and you need to focus on the drive. The iPad can be a lifesaver. I keep mine loaded with Wonder Pets and Dora, and some apps that don’t require internet access because my iPad is the Wi-Fi only version.