Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

What I Wore Sunday: December 1

Hi everyone, I’m sorry I didn’t post all week. Today I’m back with Fine Linen and Purple for the Sunday fashion linkup.

It was the week of Thanksgiving, so I will use that as my excuse for not posting, but also I’ve been super tired and lazy all week. At the end of the day, after visiting Agnes at the hospital and cooking dinner, and entertaining Stephen and putting him to bed, all I want to do is crash on the couch and read a novel. I probably could have found some stuff to write about, but I couldn’t muster the enthusiasm.

100_1901Well, anyway I do have some things to write about today! Let’s start with the fashion. I decided to repeat the outfit I wore a few weeks ago on the day we took Agnes through the Emergency Department. This is a skirt from Lane Bryant, bought on clearance. It was the only long skirt in my size so I’m really glad I like it! I’m also wearing a long-sleeve shirt from Motherhood Maternity, which still fits because of a horrible combination of unfitness and laundering shrinkage. As the top layer, I chose a black sleeveless sweater vest thing I received as a gift a couple years ago. I am also wearing my black Minnetonka Moccasins, but they aren’t quite visible. Finally, I’m wearing earrings! There’s a story there: I used to wear earrings all the time, every day, even when I was just hanging out at home. When we moved to Rio Rancho, I started to have problems with the earrings irritating my ears, becoming sore and producing a bit of drainage. Gross. So I tried cleaning all my earring posts with rubbing alcohol before putting them in. That didn’t help either, so I finally gave up and stopped wearing earrings entirely. This past week I put in a pair of earrings, and they didn’t hurt! My earring holes hadn’t closed up, the earrings were fine, and I was able to wear them all day! The next day, I tried a pair and they hurt. Boo. But today I’m having no trouble at all. I’m not sure what the difference is; these are the same earrings I’ve always worn in every city I’ve lived in. I’m not sure why I had trouble with one of the pairs I tried this week but not with the others. It’s a mystery, but I am happy to start wearing earrings again!

In my photo, I’m posing with Jeremy’s new car. It came upon us suddenly that we need all new vehicles. We’ve known for a while that we need a minivan to drive Agnes around with all her equipment. We’re actually pretty much ready to make that purchase within the week, once all the final donations trickle in. But in the midst of the van discussion, Jeremy’s VW started having trouble too. He already knew it was nearly time to replace it, and since it started having mechanical problems, he decided to replace it now! So with the help of a small loan through the dealership, he was able to get a “new” Suzuki Forenza, manual transmission. He’ll use it to deliver pizzas. I’ll learn how to drive it too, even though I will mostly use the van when we get it. I’m excited to learn how to drive a manual transmission car. I’ve never done that, but I feel like it’s something I should know how to do, to be a well-rounded person.

Speaking of Agnes, she has been doing well the past few days. She is stable on her home-going ventilator, and the doctors have successfully weaned her oxygen requirement down to 1 liter, which is about where she was before this admission. I am super happy about that. Jeremy and I are in the midst of training. Today we just got “checked off” for changing the ventilator tubing and stuff, and I passed the terminology quiz. We both still need to be checked off for bagging, and giving Agnes her inhaled medicine using the bag. Then we can do our 24 hour care. It looks like Agnes will be ready to come home around December 10, if she is medically ready and all the other stuff is done. Then we plan on keeping her home for Christmas. She hasn’t been home for any other holiday, except possibly Columbus Day and I’m not even sure about that. Hopefully with the ventilator she will be able to stay away from the hospital for longer than a few measly weeks.

We could really use continued prayers for Agnes and our family. Thank you everyone who has been praying for us and supporting us through these difficult months. There’s a new page on my blog with more info about that.

Head over to FLAP for more Sunday posts.

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What I Wore Sunday: November 17

Hi, I missed the link up last week because we spent 12 hours in the Emergency Department at Akron Children’s Hospital, but I’m happy to be back with Fine Linen and Purple.

100_1894This Sunday I briefly considered wearing the outfit I wore last Sunday, just so I could post it up on here, because it was a really nice outfit. But I decided not to. Instead, I went for my tried and true outfit that I often fall back on. Shirt and skirt both thrift store finds and well loved by me. Shoes Minnetonka Moccasins. Pink watch, Relic. Ring, Kay Jewelers substitute wedding ring when I had lost my real wedding band about a year ago. It finally turned up, but I still wear this “fake” one when my hands are fat and my real one doesn’t fit.

Anyway, I’m sure most of you come here to get Agnes updates, so here it is. I haven’t posted much this week because I’ve been in a really awful place in my head where I almost feel like it’s time to give up the fight and stop delaying the inevitable. I feel so ashamed to admit that, but I’ve written honestly on this blog before and I think it’s important for other parents of special needs, medically fragile, and gravely ill children to read real accounts of what it’s like.

So, Agnes nearly died on Monday from what they call a “pulmonary hypertensive episode” which pretty much means she freaks out so much she forgets to breathe, oxygen doesn’t get from her lungs into her blood, and her heart has no oxygenated blood to pump to her body. That got us thinking about Agnes’ End of Life and what that might look like, and what would we do, and how much treatment is too much, and what kinds of things would we want to go forward with and what would we want to refuse.

Agnes did recover from that episode on Monday, and no one is thinking that now is the time we need to discuss The End, but Jeremy and I wanted to get the conversation started so that when the time does come, we know what we want.

So anyway, I’m just looking at Agnes’ life she’s had so far, and I’m sure it’s going to be more of the same in and out of the hospital, a surgery here and there, long recovery times, always the danger of imminent death if her shunt fails, if her bowel gets twisted again, if she gets a cold, if she throws up and aspirates, on and on. And I thought, how much more of this is going to be worth it? I’m already exhausted emotionally and mentally and physically. I can tell Agnes is unhappy and uncomfortable being in the hospital yet again. What can we do for her that is actually going to make a real difference and help her to live comfortably and enjoy even a few enriching experiences?

I don’t really have a good resolution to this narrative yet, but I do feel a little bit better about it today than I did earlier this week. I feel a little bit more able to fight for Agnes and do what it takes to keep her alive. Really it’s a minute-to-minute struggle. I feel like a horrible parent for even thinking that maybe I don’t want to keep fighting for Agnes. Don’t I love her? Isn’t she my baby? Shouldn’t I love her and fight for her no matter what? That’s what all the other moms do for their special needs kids with complicated medical problems. All the other moms yell at hospital doctors who suggest it’s time for “nature to take its course.” All the other moms heroically bear the inconvenience of bringing home a kid on a ventilator, or giving tube feeds continuously. All the other moms have faith in their children to overcome even the steepest odds to live beyond expectation and achieve developmental goals all the medical professionals said would be unattainable.

So, that’s why I haven’t been posting this week.

Agnes is going back to surgery tomorrow afternoon to have her shunt revised and replaced. Then she just has to recover from surgery. The doctors have opened the discussion of sending Agnes home on a ventilator; Jeremy and I have to decide what we want by Wednesday probably. I’m not sure we really have a choice, though the doc says we do.

I can’t even write any more right now. Would you all please pray for me? And for my family and for Agnes. Thank you.

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What I Wore Sunday: October 13

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple. I missed the link up last week but I’m happy to be back today.

Imma get the most exciting news out of the way first. Stephen now eats eggs again! Wooooo! This expands his meal repertoire by about 15% so I’m pretty happy.

Ha, I bet you were all expecting an Agnes update to be the “most exciting.” Well, I am happy to report that she has made great progress in the last 24 hours. For those of you just tuning in, Agnes went to have a shunt placed on Tuesday which went off perfectly fabulously, except she had some post-op complications that ended up with her in the Pediatric ICU dependent on a ventilator while she recovers from aspiration pneumonia. She has been getting x-rays to follow the healing progress of her lungs, and the scan from this morning showed noticeable improvement. The doctor was also able to reduce the settings on the ventilator with the hopeful goal of switching her to CPAP support by tonight or tomorrow morning, and off all machine-assisted respiration by later tomorrow.

100_1815So, long story short, we went to Liturgy this morning with only one kiddo in tow. I took the opportunity to sing with the choir while Jeremy wrangled Stephen in the pew. I guess it was all going fine with Stephen playing with his little friend Yuri, but after about 40 minutes a fight broke out regarding Yuri’s toy trucks he had brought. I did hear a little commotion from up in the choir loft…

Today I am wearing a mystery garment from the Savers thrift store in Albuquerque, NM. The tags have been removed; a common phenomenon with thrift store clothes for some reason. The dress has not disintegrated in the wash, so I continue to enjoy it. I wore this dress when I was pregnant with Agnes, and now that I am just the tiniest bit thinner, I just cinch the tie in the back a little more and it still fits. And my footwear….black Minnetonka Moccasins! It’s been warm again so I’m back to my trusty moccasins. Hopefully soon it will be cool enough for my pretty new boots.

My choices were pretty limited for wardrobe this morning because we have an overflowing laundry hamper, and most of the clothes in my closet are actually not fit to be worn. Yesterday I went through and removed all the maternity clothes I have no intention of wearing until I am pregnant again, as well as all the items that don’t fit right and I don’t foresee them fitting in the near future. That leaves me with about six tops, six to eight skirts, and maybe four dresses, plus whatever is in the hamper that I wore this week. That should be fine for me for a while. Maybe I won’t feel like I have nothing to wear because even though there aren’t many choices in the closet, I can choose any one of them. Before, I would flip through the hangers, rejecting all the options. I remember when we took our road trip from New Mexico to Ohio, we lived out of suitcases for like three to four weeks. That proves I don’t really need a lot of clothes.

I think that’s all I will write for now. Hopefully this week I will have some more good news about Agnes, and I will keep you updated. Also later this week, look for a new page on my blog. I’m thinking of projects to help my family while Jeremy is working hard at nursing school.

Thanks for reading, see you around the webs!

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What I Wore Sunday: September 29

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple.

Liturgy this week was a lot better than last week. Agnes fell asleep soon after we arrived at the church, and she slept through most of the liturgy. That means she wasn’t awake to be coughing and crying which is what leads to the need to suction. So she was easy to manage this week. Stephen was also better behaved compared to last week. He managed to bring a lightweight wood puzzle as his toy to church, which I’m not sure how we let that slip into the car, but we did! The puzzle didn’t cause that much disruption, as Stephen only dropped the pieces on the floor a couple times. After Liturgy, we did go down for coffee and so Stephen could play with the toys. That’s where the problems started: Stephen didn’t want to leave to come home! He cried the whole way home in the car. Jeremy distracted him a little by talking about pumpkins, but Stephen remembered he was mad and went back to fussing.

I’m really glad the recommended method of dealing with a tantrum is to ignore it. That’s what I want to do anyway!

I think the tricky thing with Stephen is that he generally listens to explanations and follows instructions, and willingly accepts suggestions. But, when he’s in his mood to tantrum, he just gets more and more worked up the more you try to talk to him, especially if you are saying things like, “why are you crying?” “what do you want?” or anything that is obviously designed to distract him from his fit. So, ignoring Stephen when he is in a snit really is most effective, I think.

2013-09-29 15.04.19Anyway, yesterday we forgot to do the picture right after church, but we remembered a little later, while we were enjoying our afternoon coffee. I’m teaching Stephen how to make coffee, and this time I made him a tiny cup that was mostly milk. He didn’t want to drink it which is a shame, because it would have been really cute!

I’m wearing a thrift store shirt with cut out tags, Old Navy pants I found in the Albuquerque Savers, and my beaded Minnetonka Moccasins. I love that shirt; it is loose and flattering, and I never feel self-conscious about my appearance when I wear it. The moccasins are at least 5 or 6 years old and still going strong. The beaded design is that of a bird.

Stephen is wearing size 3T clothes. He’s a huge kid. He’s been wearing 3T pajamas for a while, but he’s just now starting to fit into the 3T pants. We have to roll up the cuffs, but otherwise they fit.

And on the other hand, Agnes is a little peanut. She still wears newborn size or 0-3 month size sleepers. We have to roll up the arms of her clothes. The geneticist said she has shortened upper arms as part of her condition. I thought we just had to roll the sleeves because she’s a baby, but turns out she has an actual need for shorter sleeves. Whatd’you know?

 

I’ve really been enjoying Liturgy with our substitute priest. He is a great singer with a firm voice, clear intonation that is easy to follow, and an ear for the “key” we are singing in. Since the whole Liturgy is sung, these are all very important talents for a priest. I’ve always believed that anyone can learn to sing…I wonder if Fr. Sal would like some lessons to brush up when he returns from Ukraine? He’s not a bad singer, but a bit more confidence would go a long way. The choir can bully the key to where they would like to sing, so sometimes there is a fair portion of the Liturgy that sounds out of tune while the choir and Fr. Sal work out an agreement about the key to sing. Fr. Sal should be the boss of that, and if he sang with more confidence, the choir would be forced to sing in the key he chooses!

Maybe, just maybe I’ll mention it to him when he returns!

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What I Wore Sunday: September 8

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple.

We’ll do this “quick and dirty” as my Ear Training teacher in college used to say. Only she was referring to the sight-singing quizzes, and I’m referring to a blog post. Whatever, apples and oranges.

Stephen and me, in front of the iconostasis at Holy Ghost.

Stephen and me, in front of the iconostasis at Holy Ghost.

Liturgy was fine this morning, except the lady who leads the choir was out sick, so another lady started us on the troparion. But she sings alto so of course she started out with her own part, and all us sopranos were like “…..” so we sang the alto part too because we couldn’t find our way up to the soprano. For me, at first I didn’t realize we were all singing alto because I don’t know the music yet, and when I did realize it, I was stuck in the alto range with the alto notes in my ear and I couldn’t get out. Oh well. Now I know that when Anna leads, I should find my way up to the soprano part ASAP! Today was kind of interesting because in the Eastern Catholic calendar, we celebrate two events today: The Nativity of the Mother of God, and the┬ápre-feast for the Exultation of the Cross which occurs on September 14. I don’t fully understand the pre-feast thing yet, but I’m getting there. Anyway, we sang double stuff today to cover all the feasts. There were even two Epistle readings instead of one! Only one Gospel reading, though.

I finally managed to snag a photo of the interior of Holy Ghost. In the picture you can see the iconostasis, which is the gold screen across the front of the sanctuary. There are icons of major saints on the screen. As you face the screen, Jesus is to the right of the main doors, and Mary is on the left. I believe it is St. Stephen on the little door on the right, and St. Gabriel the Archangel on the little door on the left. The rest of the saints pictured are church fathers such as St. John Chrysostom. Across the top of the screen are scenes from Gospels. The painting on the dome above the sanctuary is an icon of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit rested as a tongue of flame over each apostle and Mary the BVM. The altar is not in view; it is behind the doors of the screen. The little table directly behind me is called the tetrapod, and it holds an icon for the feast day or liturgical season, and a cross. So there’s a little about Eastern Catholicism for you!

After liturgy we went to the hospital to visit Agnes. My parents were there already, in the midst of their twelve-hours of care. So Jeremy, Stephen, and I just hung out for awhile before coming home. It was at that point that Stephen decided to turn on all his annoying. He did take a brief nap, but he was ornery before, and he was ornery after, and he’s in bed for the night right at this moment and he’s still ornery. I’m choosing to ignore. As soon as I’m done here I plan to grab me an adult beverage and a snacky-snack and chill with some “Storage Wars” or something of that ilk.

I do just want to point out one thing about my church outfit: I’m wearing shoes that are not black Minnetonka Moccasins.

The rest of my gear: Top from Old Navy. Green skirt from an Albuquerque thrift store. Veil I made myself!

Stephen picked out his own duds for church. I was flipping through his (four) nice shirts in his closet and he told me, “red shirt, red shirt.” Then I offered him blue jeans or navy slacks and he chose the navy slacks. Kid’s got style.

Finally before I sign off, the latest on Agnes is she continues to need a bit of oxygen. They did wean her off briefly a couple days ago, but when she gets made, her sats drop and she needs a bit of an oxygen boost. I don’t know if she will come off of oxygen before we bring her home this week. She needs less than she did at the beginning of the week, so it’s already an improvement from where she was. We’ll see. She will hopefully be coming home Tuesday; if not Tuesday, then certainly by the weekend. We’re just waiting on the home care nursing. Praying it all gets sorted out!

Head over to FLAP for more link-ups.

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What I Wore Sunday: September 1

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple.

Happy New Year! Today in the Eastern Catholic Rite, we celebrate the beginning of the church year. I’m not sure why September 1 is the beginning of the new year; in the Roman Rite the first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the church year. It is handy that the date is always the same. Though I wonder what happens when September 1 is not on a Sunday? Is it a big deal? We did sing a special kontakion for the feast day, but everything else was for a regular Sunday. I sang in the choir again this week and it was fun. There was a visiting priest celebrating Divine Liturgy with Fr. Sal, and no offense to Fr. Sal, but the visiting priest was a really good singer! I enjoyed singing the responses even more than usual. I guess the visitor was the parish’s former pastor who had moved to a different parish in Cleveland. I really like Fr. Sal, but I wish I had known this other guy, too. His wife sang with the choir today as well, and she was just lovely. She is going to pray for Agnes!

Sunday 9-1-13For church, I decided to wear this dress I found in an Albuquerque thrift store. I really like the design and the colors, and the dress is cool without being too revealing. I wore my long Spanish mantilla with it. And I probably don’t even need to tell you what shoes I chose. Okay, fine, I will. My black Minnetonka Moccasins! Seriously, these shoes are the greatest. They conform to my feet, they don’t slip off my heels when I walk, they are nice enough to wear with dressy clothes, and casual to wear with jeans and t-shirts. I’ve worn them to church, to the hospital, to clean the bathroom. I actually wouldn’t recommend that, but in my defense, I hadn’t planned to scour the shower stall with Ajax when I went in there wearing my moccasins. I got carried away. But, good news: a damp towel was all I needed to wipe the Ajax spots off the moccasins and they’re good as new. And finally, I’ve owned these for just over a year, and they show no sign of wearing out, bursting a seam, splitting away from the sole, or discoloration. And my pictures week after week prove that I wear these shoes all the freakin’ time. Okay, I’m done raving. If you have the opportunity to purchase a pair, I recommend. That’s all.

Today my family’s fun event was visiting the hospital! Whoo! We completed some more parent education about caring for our trach baby, Agnes. I had my turn to change Agnes’ trach tube and do the care of her stoma (the hole in her neck) and change the ties. Jeremy and I also practiced listening to Agnes’ breath sounds and suctioning again. We rounded that out with some brief instruction regarding Agnes’ g-tube and the feeding pump. We are almost “checked off” on all the required pieces. We just need to check off on g-tube care, feeding pump, bagging with the bag (yes, nurses actually say this), and the CPR class. Then we can do our 12-hour stay. Then and only then can Agnes come home! She will probably come home in about 9 days. Maybe Tuesday September 10. Here’s hoping.

Toodle on over to FLAP for more link ups.

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What I Wore Sunday: August 25

If I wasn’t doing a fashion link up, I would definitely not include a picture of what I wore, but since that’s the whole point of this post…fine.

100_1750Here’s an outfit that is church-appropriate, even though the fit is not too great. Lately I’m having a hard time picking clothes that flatter my figure. I feel like nothing in my closet fits right now. Today I ended up wearing an Old Navy top, a thrift store skirt, and my beaded Minnetonka Moccasins. The veil is the one I made for myself! At least the veil fits pretty well, and flatters my ‘do!

This Sunday I did manage to sing with the choir and it was really fun! There was nothing surprising with the music since it was just a regular Sunday with no important feast days. I practiced a little last night and things went smoothly this morning. I really enjoyed singing with the group. All the music at Holy Ghost is done a cappella so it was stimulating to follow the leader and sing in harmony without any help from a piano or organ. Jeremy and I tried to sit as a family up in the choir loft, but for some reason Stephen was not happy with that solution. Jeremy ended up sitting with Stephen down in the church. Maybe next week we can convince Stephen it’s fun to sit up high.

Since Agnes has been in the hospital it’s been hard to hit the gym as much as I want to. I did go four mornings, but I wasn’t able to stay for long each time because we had to get to the hospital early in the mornings if we wanted to talk with the doctors. I ran on an elliptical and it did feel good to exercise, but really it just made me feel even more like an out-of-shape elephant. Hopefully this week will be more affirming, and a reasonable workout won’t feel so difficult! The whole reason I wanted to start an exercise routine was to feel better about myself, but so far I think I feel the same if not worse, because now I have actual proof that I’m terribly out of shape. I’m not even going to weigh myself this week because I’m sure the numbers will be discouraging. I do tend to stress-eat, and Agnes went to surgery on Wednesday, and I spent the night at the hospital a couple nights, so I’m pretty sure my diet was mostly crap even though I vowed to “turn over a new leaf” or whatever.

But I won’t get discouraged! It’s a new week and Agnes is recovering well. I can do it. I can do it.

The only problem is Stephen has picked this week to develop some obnoxiousness. He is flat refusing naps, and his new favorite noise to make is difficult to describe, but trust me, it would be less annoying if he had decided to cry at the top of his lungs. Also it looks like maybe he is suddenly afraid of the dark. He wakes up sobbing. I’m not sure what to do about this since he already has a bright night light on the white noise machine in his room. And he also a randomly picky eater. Like, he suddenly refuses foods that used to be his favorites. This afternoon he refused to eat cheese. Cheese. Who is this kid?

But really, I love children. I love my children. School of charity, yadda yadda.

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple. Head over for some other Sunday posts!

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What I Wore Sunday: August 18

sunday 8-18-13

dark hospital room lighting.

Well, yesterday was Agnes’ two-month birthday, and today we had to go to church infant-less once again. It was kind of strange, people just asked us who was taking care of the baby, was she with Grandma? I guess that might be a normal question but I was just thinking that if we had Agnes in our care she would definitely be coming to church with us. Anyway, we had to tell folks that she is back in the hospital. It’s sad. Poor Helena, Fr. Sal’s wife. She weeps every time I tell her sad news about Agnes. I can’t wait until I have something good to tell her! We went to the hospital after liturgy and took the WIWS photos there. I’m wearing that mysterious dress from the thrift store in Albuquerque. The one with absolutely no labels anywhere in the garment. So far it hasn’t disintegrated in the wash, so I guess I’m laundering well enough. I also wore my cream colored veil that I made myself. I took it off in the parking lot of the hospital! And my black Minnetonka Moccasins. You may have noticed that I didn’t wear them last week–proof that I do own other shoes. I would also like to point out my hospital armband, a fine accessory for any look, any season.

sunday 8-18-13 with stephen

Reading a story about an alligator raised by birds.

Today we were a little late for church because we were ready to leave ten minutes early. Wait a sec, this will make sense in a minute, I promise. So we were ready to leave ten minutes early, and we decided to hang out a little before leaving because one time we got to the church twenty minutes before liturgy and the doors were still locked. So we hung out for a while, then left maybe five minutes later than we should have. Then about .2 miles from our house, the “low fuel” alarm on the car starts beeping. Curses. So we had to stop for gas. Then we were late to church. Because we were late, I didn’t go up and join the choir this week. Next week I will! It’s okay though, because I studied the worship book carefully last night and figured out which tone to use (tone 4) and placed my ribbons, and even practiced the troparion, kantakion, theotokion, and prokemion. However. Apparently we are still in the post-feast period for Dormition of Mary (Assumption) so the music was a little different. I figured it out pretty quickly during liturgy, but I wasn’t prepared for it ahead of time. Next week I will be a good choir member!

I did go over to Planet Fitness and sign up for a membership. They are running a promotion for $20 a month for 12 months, with no start up fee. Remember I said I was due for something good around here? Well, Planet Fitness bills the monthly dues on the 17th each month, and they don’t prorate the membership when you sign up, so my first payment won’t be until September 17th! One month of free gym time! I’m excited to start tomorrow. I also need to go buy some fresh athletic wear so I don’t look so frumpy at the gym. Oh darn, shopping. Poor me. Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple like y’do.

 

Agnes from a few days ago. It's been awhile since I posted a recent pic.

Agnes from a few days ago. It’s been awhile since I posted a recent pic.

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What I Wore Sunday: July 28 Baby Eve Redux

Six weeks ago I linked up with Fine Linen and Purple for my “baby eve” what I wore Sunday. That time six weeks ago, I was headed to the hospital for Agnes’ birth. Today I’m linking up again for my “baby eve” because tomorrow we are finally bringing Agnes home for the first time! Tomorrow will be her first time breathing fresh air, riding in her car seat, meeting the pets, and sleeping at home. I won’t lie: I’m really extremely very nervous. But also excited! Tomorrow will be a whirlwind of talking to all the hospital folks I have been trying to speak to ahead of time, getting last minute instructions, taking a baby CPR class, picking up medical equipment and verifying medication instructions. Hopefully we’ll get her home before Stephen goes to bed!

100_1700Anyway, in honor of today being “baby eve” again, we did the photo at the hospital in Agnes’ little room!

I was wearing my black mantilla for church, but I took it off after liturgy and didn’t put it back on in the hospital. Other clothes:

Dress from the Goodwill store in Billings, MT. I think it might be Coldwater Creek, but don’t quote me. Neato detail: the dress is reversible. The other side is yellow with large red flowers. You can kind of see the flowers peeking through if you look closely at the picture. Another neato detail: this dress is technically part of my “pre-pregnancy” wardrobe. It was a little tight; I almost thought I wanted to change clothes but it wasn’t bad enough for me to bother. I decided to wear a dress today to celebrate the fact that I am done with that infernal breast pump. I did one final pumping this morning and now it is packed away, hopefully for a very very long time.

Black sweater from Target many years ago. I like that it covers my shoulders and arms without being a warm sweater. I can wear it in July.

Minnetonka Moccasins. Did you even need to ask?

Agnes is wearing a cute sleeper by Carters. It has little zebra faces on the feet and a patch that says “mommy loves me.” It also features built-in mittens which is why you can’t see her hands in the photo. In the picture, Agnes is wearing heart rate and respiration rate monitors which are connected to the screen by that thick blue cable. I will be very happy when I don’t have to thread wires through the buttons and zippers of her clothes. Plus it will make diaper changing a lot easier when I don’t have to be careful of the wires when her diaper is open and she is frantically kicking her legs.

In other Agnes news, she ate an entire bottle for the first time ever this afternoon! I was worried she wouldn’t eat anything because she was super mad when we were getting started. It took about five or seven minutes for her to calm down enough to even think about sucking on the bottle. After a couple false starts she finally did take it and begin drinking. She dribbled a lot while sucking, but the couple times I tried to take away the bottle so she would have a chance to swallow the milk in her mouth, she didn’t let me remove the bottle! She really wanted to keep going. After she finished, she looked pretty worn out! I expect her progress will continue to be slow; I’m thinking she might drink one full bottle for every 24 hour period for a few days, maybe a week. After that, she might gradually start adding full bottles to the count until she can finally eat exclusively by mouth. That’ll be the day!

I asked the nurse to snap a photo of Agnes with her empty bottle. I’m totally giving one to Dr. Ahmann, he who doubted Agnes could do it.

Next week we can all go to church as a family! That will be really fun. All the nice folks at Holy Ghost have been praying for Agnes and asking me every week how she is doing. It will be fun to show her off to our parish!

100_1703

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What I Wore Sunday: June 16 Baby Eve!

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple as usual on a Sunday! Head over there to read the other linkers-up. Link-uppers. Linkers. Whatever.

100_1680Let’s talk about my clothes first, this week. This is the big billowy dress my mom bought for my birthday a couple weeks ago. It is really lightweight and comfortable. Today is also my last chance to wear a dress for awhile since I intend to nurse Agnes when she makes her debut tomorrow. My mom bought the dress from a catalogue, maybe Woman Within or Romans or something. I’m not really sure.

I’m also wearing my brand new authentic Spanish mantilla! My in-laws just returned from a whirlwind trip to Spain and Portugal, and they were kind enough to bring me a mantilla in black lace. I have the little white lace one that I made, and I wear woven scarves a lot too. I’m really excited to wear a real mantilla from Spain! The lace is super soft and drapes nicely around my face. I did pin it to my head with bobby pins to prevent slippage. I really like that it covers my shoulders and arms as well. The shape is not what I expected–it’s a long narrow rectangle rather than a square or semi-circle–but it is a really convenient shape for wearing on the head. Because it doesn’t hang down a lot in back, it slides off less easily than a wider piece of fabric would. It still slides a lot if I don’t pin it, but the shape does help in that department.

And I’m wearing my black Minnetonka Moccasins. I promise, I do own other pairs of shoes. But why mess with perfection?

Stephen was excited to stay outside for a few minutes when we got home from church. He adores blowing bubbles. He is wearing a thrift store shirt, thrift store pants, and his new sneakers with lights on the sides that flash when he walks. They’re size 9 toddler shoes. Holy moly.

 

Today Jeremy, Stephen and I were officially welcomed as new parishioners at Holy Ghost! Fr. Sal made an announcement at the end of the liturgy, and gave us our welcome present: a box of donation envelopes! It was cute. Then we all went downstairs for cake. No, the cake wasn’t for us; it was to celebrate Fathers’ Day, but everyone was allowed to enjoy it, even the mothers and the babies.

2013-05-21 19.56.46Today is also my last day without an infant. Tomorrow at 8 a.m. we go to the hospital for my induction. I’m really nervous about it, and I’m afraid that every decision I will want to make about my labor will be taken away from me for medical reasons I don’t know about, or because something comes up that makes what I want an impossible course of action. I’m nervous because the labor will be induced and my body will be forced to comply with the doctors’ wishes that labor begin at a specific time and progress at a certain rate, and nothing will be allowed to unfold naturally. I’m nervous because the neonatologist told me a team of specialists will descend as soon as Agnes pops out. I think he thought he was being reassuring, telling me a lot of doctors will be around to make sure Agnes thrives. But I’m not reassured. All I want to do is snuggle Agnes on my chest and let her try to nurse. I don’t want her to be whisked away to the NICU and stuck with an I.V. and tubes. I’m hoping and praying she defies all the expectations and arrives screaming and flailing her limbs and otherwise being a completely normal newborn. I’m also hoping and praying I can keep my head in the game and do what is necessary. I’m just scared that I will mentally “give up,” especially if the doctors take away all my choices and decision-making opportunities.

I’ll probably see y’all in a few days, after the excitement dies down. Unless labor goes really fast and Agnes debuts by lunchtime tomorrow! Then I might be able to post tomorrow, especially if the locust swarm specialists take her away for testing.

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us. Saint Agnes, pray for us. Saint Maria Goretti, pray for us.

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