Thursday, August 25, 2011

One of These Things is Not Like the Others

So to follow up on yesterday's post...I'm guessing that I'm not pregnant.  But notice that I say "guessing", because I'm still not convinced of the validity of the tests.  But the question is--which test is wrong?

This morning's re-re-test looked like yesterday's--in the sense that it was both negative and the control/test-line didn't emerge (and trust me, I know how to properly take a pregnancy test--so there was no user-error on my part).  I'm thinking that perhaps this was a bad batch of tests--perhaps Tuesday's positive test had too much dye (if such a thing is possible), or these last two didn't have enough.

With two out of three negative tests, and the fact that Tuesday's test was initially negative before somehow mysteriously turning positive, I'm guessing that I'm not actually pregnant.  I didn't think that a "false positive" was possible--I thought that there must be some HCG in the urine to make that line emerge--but maybe they do exist.  I'm not going to point fingers or name names, but let's just say that a certain brand that suggests "clarity" and a "color of the rainbow" was at fault.

I'll admit that I'm a little disappointed, but I'm still feeling a reassuring sense of peace that I know can only come from God.  I have been abundantly blessed with Ella.  I would love the chance to bless her with a brother or sister, but she's more amazing than I could imagine, and if she is the only child I ever get to welcome into this world, God is still so good in blessing me with her.

Yesterday's blessing was seeing a great lightning show on my way home from work.  It really was beautiful, and it was so great to watch it after a long day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Think God is Picking on Me

I'm still breastfeeding Ella, and still haven't had a new cycle, so really don't know if I am indeed ovulating.  So every once in a while, I take a cheap pregnancy test, just to check.  We're not actively trying again, but I would be absolutely thrilled to be pregnant, if that's what God has in store for us.  So I wasn't too horribly disappointed yesterday when it turned out negative.  I tossed it in the trash, and didn't think much of it.

Until 2:00 this morning when I woke up feeling nauseous.  For grins and giggles, I reached into the trash, just to check again, just in case.  Somewhere in the last 19 hours, a vertical line had emerged, turning the "-" into a "+".  What?!  Figuring that perhaps it was just an evaporation line or something, I resolved to wait until the morning to try again.  Well this morning, it was negative again...but that little "control indicator" that is supposed to show that the test was properly completed didn't change.  What?!

So like I said, I think God is picking on me.

I know He's not really picking on me, or testing me, or torturing me.  I have a surprising sense of peace, and I trust His plan for our lives.  I would be absolutely thrilled to be pregnant again, but I also don't want to get ahead of myself.  With two mysterious test results, I'm thinking that it could be a bad batch of tests.  I've got two more from the same box, so I might as well give one a try tomorrow and see what happens.  I'll keep you posted.

My blessing today was my husband's sincere "woohoo!" reaction at the possibility of a new pregnancy.  He fully understands that the two tests were conflicting and perhaps ridden with errors in one way or another, but it's still nice to know that he would be excited to start this adventure all over again.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Unfortunate Timing

Today was the first day of classes.  Kind of a big deal in my line of work.  Which is why it was rather unfortunate that Ella's daycare called me not even ten minutes after I walked into my office to tell me that Ella had thrown up three times in the twenty minutes since I had dropped her off. 

I don't know what happened--she was totally fine when I had left her!  Okay--maybe not "totally fine"--she had a bit of a cold over the weekend, but she definitely wasn't acting "sick".  But she did not look good when I picked her up.  She was zoning out, and her coloring just wasn't right.  I called my supervisor as we got back in the car to tell her that I was bringing Ella in to the doctor.  I can't blame her for sounding less than thrilled that her "#2" wouldn't be there for the amount of traffic that we were expecting to see, but she has two girls of her own, so she gets it.  I then called Ella's pediatrician office as I headed that direction and got the "thank you for holding--we'll get to you as soon as we can" automated response.  I was still hearing that repeating message as I pulled into the parking lot, at which time I just hung up and headed into the office.  Praise God--someone called to cancel their 9:00 am appointment, so they were able to see us.  Ella threw up a couple more times while we were there, and it seemed like it was mostly mucus--perhaps from her cold.  They think it's just a lingering virus.  She seemed to perk up a bit when the doctors and nurses came in, but she didn't want to nurse, and didn't want her bottle, and didn't want the Pedialyte they offered her.  That's when I started to get a little nervous.

She threw up again in the car, and then fell asleep.  I dropped by my office to confer with my supervisor, and decided it would be best for me to just bring her home, despite the unfortunate timing.  She slept in her carseat for another hour or so, which gave me time to get some work done.  When she finally woke up, she practically jumped out of my arms when I offered her the Pedialyte for a second time.  She downed it, and nursed, and took some water as well.  She's been happy ever since (except for when I attacked her boogers with the nasal aspirator), but my husband will stay home with her tomorrow just to be sure that she is feeling better.

I oscillate between thinking "she's tough--she'll be fine" and "crap--I'm a bad mom".  I know I'm not a bad mom--I know that bringing her home with me was the right thing to do.  But it's just so hard to see my baby looking so sad and sick.  I can't help but wonder if there is more that I could have been doing to prevent it in the first place.

Today's blessing was the appointment cancellation so that the pediatrician could see Ella when I just showed up without calling (or at least without speaking with someone over the phone).  We live 30 minutes away, so it would have been hard to go home, then come back, just to turn around and go home again, so I'm so glad that they were able to see us.  And it's a blessing to see Ella smiling and laughing and being happy again after seeing her so sad earlier today.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kauai Vacation Pictures

 I wanted to share some of our vacation pictures:

My amazing sister-in-law and my new niece, Brooke, on one of our early morning walks (while the daddies slept in).
I had such an amazing time hanging out and exploring with my brothers. 
My husband and me in front of one of many waterfalls we saw on our trip.
Exploring the many tide-pools at Queen's Bath.
Ella loved playing in the sand...she didn't enjoy the waves as much.
Horseback riding on our "Ride and Glide" adventure.
Ziplining on our "Ride and Glide" adventure.
Beautiful cardinals right off our lanai.
Ella loved the birds.  She kept doing a sign for them...granted, it was the sign for "dog", but hey--at least she recognized that they were some sort of animal!
My husband and me on our Na Pali Coast Sunset Cruise.
I love this man.
Na Pali Coast.

Sunset.  (I admit that I had a half of a half of a glass of champagne at sunset...then hand-expressed into the sink since I hadn't brought my pump).
Bird of Paradise.  My husband and I have determined that he can be in charge of the scenery pictures, and I'll be in charge of the portrait photos.

Cliffs near our timeshare (we hiked down to the water...without the babies, of course).

Another waterfall.

Spouting Horn.

My husband had fun playing around with the manual focus on his fancy camera.

Waimea Canyon (gorgeous...but not nearly as impressive as our Grand Canyon).

Beautiful blue Hydrangeas (my favorite flower--and used in my bridal bouquet) at Kalalau Lookout).

Na Pali Coast from Kalalau Lookout.
I have other great pictures...but for whatever reason, Blogger is changing all of my portraits to landscape.  Oh well.  You still get the idea of the beauty of the island.

It was such a blessing to spend time with my family, and to have my parents watch Ella so that we could go on our various adventures.  Vacationing with a baby is a totally different experience!  I'm glad that they were so willing to hold her or stay back at the timeshare with her when we went out on our longer excursions.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Horrible Mom

I feel like a horrible mom right now.

Perhaps I'm being too hard on myself, but I still feel bad for not paying more attention to Ella's symptoms.

Yesterday, I got a call from daycare mid-morning saying that she had a temperature of 100.7.  I finished up with the student I was seeing, and headed over to get her within a half an hour.  When I got there, she felt a little warm, but seemed perfectly fine.  But I brought her back to work with me (praise God that my supervisor is so supportive!).  She wasn't too interested in eating at lunchtime, but I figured it was because I was offering her cold pasta (which I wouldn't want to eat either).  She played nicely by herself, came to me for hugs from time to time, then settled in for a nap.  Sounds normal, right?  My husband left work early to pick her up so I could stay late to get caught up on work, but she was playing happily with him when I made it home.  At dinner, she again wasn't very interested in food, which is weird, because she usually loves to eat.  After her bath, she nursed just fine and went to sleep without any problems, so I figured that the fussiness and fever from earlier in the day must be related to teething (her upper gums so super swollen, and I keep waiting for all four top teeth to poke on through any day now).

This morning, her temperature was 98.7, and she seemed just fine, so in to daycare we went.  When I went to nurse her at lunch, they said that she had been really clingy all day, and wanted to be held all the time.  I gave her some Baby Tylenol and an extra kiss, and headed back to work.  She made it through the afternoon...but then threw up all over the car before I even got on the freeway. 

Poor thing.  She was coughing and gagging and vomiting and shaking, and I couldn't pull over fast enough to comfort her.  I ended up parking all crazy in an auto-body parking lot in a not-so-nice part of town as the crew was leaving for the day.  I must have been quite the sight, but I didn't care--I had to take care of my sick baby.  The manager was very kind and checked to see if I needed any rags or water, but my husband is a genius and had a roll of paper towels in the car (and I'm so glad that I was driving his car with the easier-to-clean leather seats instead of my car with fabric interior).  I drove the rest of the way home with my arm draped backwards over the carseat, stroking her cheek, until both she and my arm fell asleep.

After a quick bath, she threw up again, but all she had left in her poor little belly was just clear bile.  She nursed, and then started to perk up a bit.  In fact, we witnessed her standing up by herself--unassisted--for a good five seconds when she let go of the ottoman to take a drink of water from her sippy cup!  She seemed a little more interested in food at dinner, though not quite back to her regular appetite.  She's now sleeping peacefully...but I did turn the monitor on tonight, just in case (our house is small enough that we typically don't need it...but I helps me listen for those little "sick noises" that I'm not accustomed to hearing).

I know I'm not a horrible mom...but I feel that way.  I probably should have just brought her home straight from daycare yesterday morning and stayed home with her all day today to ensure that she really was healthy.  I didn't think it was bad enough to bring her in to the doctors--and really, she really wasn't exhibiting many symptoms yesterday...or at least I didn't think so at the time.  Looking back, maybe I should have been more concerned. 

But now I know.  Now I'm being careful.  I already sent my supervisor a text message saying that I would head in early--with Ella--to get things started for tomorrow's Orientation, but I would then bring the rest of my work home with me so that I could properly care for I probably should have been doing all along.

Today's blessing is that my supervisor and colleagues are so understanding and accommodating when Ella is sick (or when I get sick from Ella).  My supervisor and my big-boss-lady both have two daughters each, so I know that they've been here as well, and it really means so much to me that they are so supportive and understanding. 

Update on my very-dear friend...she lost the baby.  She sent me a text on Tuesday saying that she had started bleeding.  My heart goes out to her, but yet, I'm "relieved" that things happened naturally so she didn't have to face the horrors of a D&C or Cytotec.  She is a beautiful and amazingly strong woman of faith, and I know that God will bring her through this.  Loss changes all of us, and I pray that she is able to rebound, in time, from this experience.  I didn't want her to join this club to which we all belong, and I pray that the words I shared with her via email can bring comfort and not more pain.  Please pray for her as she continued to heal, both physically and emotionally.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Prayers For My Very-Dear Friend

Please pray for my very-dear friend...the one who had a baby two weeks after Ella was born, and recently moved to Florida to start her residency in Pediatrics.

She called on Friday to share the shocking news that she was pregnant again (despite their attempts to not be). She and her husband both just started their residency programs and are beyond busy enough with two careers and one baby already, but they excitedly welcomed this surprising news as a blessing.

Yesterday she sent me a text saying that she was trying not to, but admitted she was really worried. The chief resident in OB did an ultrasound for her and didn't see anything. By her calculations, she should be 5 weeks, 5 days, so it is still a little on the early side. But she took two more tests last night--the line on the cheap test is there but fainter than a few days ago, and the digital says "not pregnant".

So now she is left wondering--as so many of us have--is it just too early? Is the test wrong? (And if so, which one?). What if I try again in the morning? What would my Beta numbers be? Am I losing this baby?

She has the blessing (and the curse) of being in the medical field. The OB chief resident gave her the ultrasound as a "favor", and kindly suggested she make a real appointment to figure things out. My heart goes out to her--I know how overwhelming, confusing, and consuming these days of waiting, wondering, and worrying can be. Please pray for her.

Today's blessing was a wonderful family vacation in Hawaii with my husband, Ella, and the rest of my family. We leave tonight to return home (so prayers for a happy and sleepy baby would be appreciated for the six hour red-eye). We had a wonderful time together; and though my family drives me a little crazy at times, I still cherish the time I get to spend with them. And my husband is amazing for all that he does for me to make my vacation special.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

You're Not Supposed to Tell Me That!

We have very clear instructions with our daycare providers that they are not to tell me if Ella reaches any milestones for the first time at daycare without me there to witness it. As a working mom, nothing scares me more than the thought of missing Ella's first steps or first real word (aside from the "mamamama" and "dadadada" sounds she already makes). They might think I'm silly, but they play along and let me think that ignorance is bliss, and I can believe that I was a part of all of Ella's various firsts.

I apparently didn't give my patents the same memo, because the first thing my dad told me when I walked in the door after our horseback riding and ziplining adventure was that Ella stood up, unassisted, all by herself for a few brief moments while we were gone. He was so excited for her--and for me--but I'm sad I missed it.

I know I can't always be there, and I know that she'll only continue to get better and better in the days to come. And if my husband and I aren't home to witness her accomplishments, then I'm at least glad that it was my parents who got to encourage and congratulate her. It makes me look forward to so many other occasions--sporting events, recitals, graduations, weddings--that they will get to celebrate with her.

Today's blessing was my husband's willingness and ability to comfort my fussy niece tonight while I nursed Ella. We stayed home with the kids so the rest of my family could go out, and my niece woke up the minute my brother and sister-in-law left. I don't think I had realized just how good he hadn't gotten with Ella. He definitely has the right touch!