Saturday, December 28, 2013

Last one

Hopefully this is the last post on the subject for a while. I just feel like I should wrap things up in my mind a little bit. Truth be told, I was proud of myself for how well I handled the news of my results. I think getting the news on the eve of my aunt's death really helped me see the blessing of knowledge...had my aunt known, she could very well be alive today. Then there was all the excitement of Christmas on my mind. Now with nothing distracting my mind, I've been feeling kind of gloomy.  I still see the blessing, but I also see the news for what it's worth. Anyways, hopefully this is the last post on the subject for a while. For now, I just want to put it out of my mind until April when I go in for my yearly MRI.

Monday, I met with the geneticist again, and it felt totally surreal hearing recommendations for plastic surgeons, and learning that I was being referred out to a high risk gynecologist from now on. It mostly felt like we were talking about someone else. After my appointment, Joel and I went out and had a nice lunch date at the Olive Garden, laughed and had a great little hour without the kids.

And then, two days ago, I wanted to find out how common the mutation is (about .003-.001% of the population) and I saw that that teeny portion of people makes up for about 10% of all breast cancer and 15% of ovarian, and that's when the reality set in. This news stinks. I think what's been bothering me the most, is the fear that this is going to define my life, or at the least that it will always be on my mind. I'm thinking that the news is fresh, so maybe it will take some time.(I won't even get into how knowing all three of my babies have a 50% chance of having it makes me feel. That is hands down the worst of all my feelings.  I just keep telling myself there's gonna be a cure or at least prevention for cancer in 20 years.) Mostly though, this news does not fit with my five year plan, or how I envisioned the future. The good, logical side of me, just keeps reminding myself that I never owned a second of my future, but the other side just wants to pout and cry that not everything is going to follow my schedule. I'm trying hard to trust in God through this all, and to see that not a single one of my plans was ever anything but a plan. Just a few minutes ago, I came across some words written by a beautiful woman of God, and she had this reminder in there....Contentment is defined as "not desiring something more or different; happy enough with what one has or is; satisfied." So I guess right now that is my goal-learning to be happy with what is or will be...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas to all...

What a difference a year makes!
 Christmas Eve we had our traditional dinner, watched Despicable Me 2, and the kids opened up their stockings and Christmas jammies.
 

 I was so excited for this Christmas knowing that all three kids would have fun, that I was the one who woke up at 5:30 and couldn't go back to sleep. :) Owen was really into unwrapping gifts this year. Sam and Allie had to move fast otherwise Owen was opening theirs.
 
Thought this was funny...Sam really wanted a Minecraft stuffed toy (from a video game) but at $30-http://www.target.com/p/minecraft-creeper-plush-with-sound/-/A-14694798#prodSlot=medium_1_3&term=creeper -I decided I'd just make him one. Mine ended up being less than $4, but because I read measurements wrong, it ended up being waaaaaay bigger than it was supposed to be. Basically, his head was supposed to be the size of one of his feet. :P


My favorite find for Allie this year was some dollhouse furniture from Woodzeez.. If you know what I'm talking about, they're a lot like the Calico Creature stuff, but about half the price. Allie's been having a blast having her hairless Lego girls play in the bakery.


 

I thought this letter to Santa Sam wrote at school was sweet.

And finally, I tried to get some nice pictures of the kids, but it wasn't very successful. Here's only a few of the tries...:)



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

worse

Well, I got my test brca test results back, and it's not good news. I'm positive for the gene mutation. Even though my chances were 50/50, I think that deep down I was expecting to be negative. I don't know why...maybe because I feel fine? Because things like this happen to other people? Because "the girls" have served me well over the years, and it's hard to see them as time bombs now? That being said when I started the process four months ago to find out, I decided that I was going to do as much research as possible, so that if the day came and I found out, I'd be ready. I didn't want to be frightened, confused, and overwhelmed all at once. Instead, I've had those feelings spread out over the past few months, and I'm pretty sure it did help prepare me for yesterday. One of the things I think that helped me the most was finding a support group on facebook. There are several "previvor" groups, and they're filled with women going through the same thing. \Not that you want someone else to go through this, but there is comfort in knowing others have been where you are at, and made it through to the other side.

The past few months while I've been studying, I've actually been really vague with Joel. I figured there was no need to worry him unnecessarily because there was a good chance everything would be okay. So I was nervous when we had a real talk about what the future is going to look like. But I married a keeper, and we're going to be okay. There was nothing I threw at him that he couldn't handle. Even the stuff that took me weeks to be okay with, he was just like "if that's what it takes to keep you safe, that's what we're going to do." What a blessing this man is to me.

All this being said, there are still a lot of uncertainties. We have an appointment with the genetic counselor on Monday, so we'll see what our next step is. Even though I have an idea of what I'm going to do, nothing has actually been decided at this point. I don't know what my timeline is, but I know that I'm not going to rush into anything. While none of this is anything I would have chosen I feel pretty thankful right now. A few months ago I was sure that I was going to leave this to chance, hope for the best & get by off of self-exams. Knowing what I do now, I am so grateful I had a change of heart and got tested. Today is actually the six year anniversary of the passing of my Aunt Ivy, and I am so clearly reminded that I have been given a gift of foresight that others have not been as fortunate to have.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

1,2,3

Monday I had my first ever trip to the emergency room with any of my kids. Owen stuck a bead high and tight in his nose. There was no way I was getting that baby out, so I let a professional handle it. That evening I was contemplating life, and how none of my other kids have ever done things like that, and I realized maybe that was because they never had the opportunity presented to them like the baby of the family has. So that got me thinking about other differences that I've noticed between parenting/life and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd child.

Coming home:
1st: With Sam, I felt like I was playing house. It was blissful. I went from working full time to being a stay at home mom, and it felt awesome getting to stay home. I made sure to sleep when baby slept, and had nothing to do during the day except take care of the baby. All was well in life.
2nd: Allie was definitely harder than Sam, but in general, I don't remember feeling too overwhelmed with her. Sam was still on a good schedule, so I got a nap just about every day while Sam played quietly in his room.
3rd: Owen's arrival is the clear winner on things being hard. We actually got out of the house a lot after he was born (thinking back, I'm impressed that I took all three kids to the pool at least once a week). It was more out of necessity though, because when we were out, I didn't have to worry about my messy house or the fact that Allie was watching her 12th episode of Barney for the day.
 

Mommy Paranoia:
1st: I had normal first time mom jitters with Sam. I remember checking the poor boys temperature all.the.time. Thankfully, he was born during the age of dial-up, so I was spared a lot of internet panic with him. I do remember putting him in his car seat and dragging him into the bathroom the first time I took a shower. New moms. Gotta love them. ;)
2nd: Two words: Web M.D.
3rd: By the time Owen rolled around, I figured out that for the most part there's not a lot doctors will do besides tell you to give Tylenol and keep an eye on them. I've decided to skip waiting in a cramped office for two hours to get that advice unless there is something really wrong.


Baby Food:
1st: I stuck to the age recommendations like his life depended on it.When he was one I panicked when my mom handed him a whole banana. I was still cutting each small slice into 8 teeny tiny pieces. I also remember Sam eating a lot of spaghettios.
2nd: With her, I made up for all the bad food choices I made with Sam. (ahem, spaghettios...). She never touched a drop of jarred baby food, and we had months worth of baby food stashed away in the freezer.
3rd: I made a few purees at the very beginning, but he pretty much ended up eating whatever we were having mushed and watered down. Where I knew every single food babies were supposed to avoid with Sam, I really don't remember worrying about it with Owen. 
 
 
Newborn Schedule
1st: If there was an award for sticking to a schedule, I would have won it with Sam. I literally set the alarm clock every night to make sure he ate every three hours (eventually our pediatrician told me that was a little crazy). I also made sure to put him to bed while he was still slightly awake, because the book I read said to.
2nd: A little vague on the details, but I stuck to a schedule that was rational. I still tried to put Allie to bed slightly awake, but ended up staying there and patting her on the back forever until she finally drifted off.
3rd: There was no schedule with Owen. We were on survival mode with that boy. He pretty much got fed any time he cried, and slept whenever he wanted. Because of Owen's colic, he was rocked to sleep every night, and I would take five minutes to lay him down so he wouldn't realize the transition, while praying fervently that he would stay asleep. I should have bought this:
 
 
"Official" Playgroups:
1st: We were at playgroup twice a week, every week.
2nd: Playgroup ended as soon as Allie started taking naps during playgroup time. She actually just started going to playgroup now that she's 4.
3rd: We've actually started going again recently, but honestly, I go because I can sit on a rocking chair while they're entertained with new toys to make sure my children are properly socialized.
 
 
Pacifier
1st: I read in a book that binkies cause trouble because babies drop them and then wake up to find them, so I actually worked to teach him how to suck his thumb. I firmly believed no child should have a binkie past the age of one.
2nd: Realizing I lucked out with Sam (he weaned himself from thumb sucking at 6 months) and went the binkie route with her. I learned a little humility when she still had the binkie at 19 months.
3rd: Poor Owen. One night at 5 months I lost his millionth binkie and decided it was time for him to do without because I was tired of making store runs for new ones.
 
 
 
Diapers
1st: With Sam, we were living off of $9 an hour, so we saved money every way possible. One of those ways was buying Walmart brand diapers. I remember feeling pretty guilty since your bombarded with things like "baby deserves best" the second you get pregnant. I felt like a subpar mom because my baby got Walmart brand. Not the best...
2nd: I made up for being a horrible mother with Allie, and she wore Huggies.  
3rd: The novelty of buying expensive diapers wore off with baby after he got out of the teeny tiny newborn diapers. He gets Target brand, partly because they are better than WM ones, partly because I like having an excuse to go to Target, but mostly because they're half the price of the other ones. ( fyi, I do love Target brand wipes more than any other wipes)
 
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