Monday, August 30, 2010

I love this graphic!

I saw this on a fellow bloggers, blog and just love the graphic. Interesting little blog/link if you follow it too. Sums up all the things I love in one. I also always really go for simple, two tone graphics. Though if I could I would modify to saw EAT BLOG COFFEE, that would sum me up even better.

Hopefully I will blog more later, work is kicking me in the tail right now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mommy Milestones.

I have had milestones on the brain lately. I could go into the details of all the different issues Kate and I have with milestones. Which ones she struggles with, which ones we are working on, or I could just whine about all the development hoopla a micro preemie has. But, maybe out of boredom with my own preemie issues, my mind drifts to another line of thinking.

Think if we as mothers were analyzed with the same level of criticism and time table. Now I know the differences here, and I do appreciate the importance of early intervention. So on a silly tangent, what would a mommy growth curve look like? Really what type of therapy would be recommended for me? Would I get PT, OT, maybe even a little time with mental health specialist?

I can tell you that I would be delayed in a few areas. Such as personal hygiene. Now I don't smell and I know how to take care of the basics, so I would pass on a basic level on the mommy skill test. I just recently bought my first hair dryer, so on the whole Kate should not look to me for advice on the beauty front. I am beyond delayed in being high maintenance. I can teach her how to curve the brim of a baseball cap, and fix a mean pony tail but beyond that she is going to have rely on her peers.

I also never developed a good dinner cooking skill. Sure I have enough for survival. But to be honest if I lived alone I would be eating cereal, rice and salads most nights. I hate the grocery store and in general fall short of coming up with the whole meal. I do make a good dessert, and I am a great eater. Again though, put me down for delayed in another category.

And then finally there is the growth curve and percentiles chart. Well, lets see I stopped growing in height when I was 16. And that wasn't exactly a great height to stop at, since I barely hit five foot three. So I'd be in the lower percentiles for that. As far as weight, well that seems to be just going up over the years so if being in the upper percentiles is good then I'd be doing great. Unfortunately for mom's they start doing that whole BMI thing, and frankly I am not going to talk about.

Lastly I leave you with this thought, what would Kate be talking about with her other preemie friends? Would she be talking about how delayed her mother is? Would she be discussing how concerned she is with how I don't seem to be getting it like other mothers? I bet not, I bet she would be having fun enjoying the moment. And maybe there is a lesson in that for me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

365 days later.

We came home from the hospital one year ago. Its another moment to mark that we have made it a full year from. We weren't ever re-admitted. In fact she has never been to a doctor for being sick since we left the NICU.

I can't help but remember the day that we left the NICU. I had pictured it a bit different than how it went. After being there for close to 3 months, on tuesday the doctor said "How would you like to go home this weekend?". This just hit me out of no where, I had always been planning on her due date so to be going home a whole month ahead of schedule blew me away.

There was complete chaos in the following days to get an extra car over to us, find a car seat that she could fit into, having her pass a 3 hour car seat test. Trying to cordinate and get everything we needed back home ready for her, as I was some 300 miles away. It was a whirl of all types of final test she had to have at the hospital, as well we were still mastering the bottle feedings.

And then the day came. The doctor came and did one last check of her. It was a sunday so most of the nurses we had worked with weren't there. Ed went and got the car. Then for the first time in her whole life they detached the ECG and pulse ox monitor. After 3 months she didn't have any wires attached to her and she was all mine. We now had a 6 hour car ride in front of us, and I was going home for the first time in 3 months.

She was so small, and squinted her eyes as we went outside. The first time sun had ever hit her face. It was such a surreal experience. I wasn't overly excited, I wasn't overly scared or sad. I was simply ready. We loaded up in the car, as only first time parents can, very slowly and careful. And then we finally went home.

I still carry the NICU phone number card in my wallet, I recently found a hospital parking pass in my car. I look and feels Kate's IV scars at least once a week. Time has moved on and we have too, but we still some have a little bit of baggage to slowly put away.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fair Fun.

We are off to the FAIR!!! I am not sure what the fair is, but mom and dad seem pretty excited to go. I am glad I just took a good nap, and did my hair up because this is going to be an adventure. Watch out fair, here I come.

Okay, they aren't messing around. They put me in the backpack for this adventure. Thus far not bad, lots to look at and the sun is out. I hear a bunch of different noises, and can't really figure out what I am smelling.

I thought Mom was excited to go to the fair, then I watched her stuff these things down her throat. Boy, she really can pack it in when she wants to. Maybe someday I will eat as good as she does. I have no clue what these little things she was eating are. She was nice enough to offer me up one, not knowing what it was I of course threw it on the ground. I guess she was trying to be nice, but I don't always trust that lady and what she is feeding me.

Finally, I am starting to enjoy myself here. Amazing, they have a grassy field here at the fair. And the grass is the same fun texture as we have in the backyard. Dad is super fun too.

I am not sure about all these animals at this place. Mom seems to really like them, and she is slowing us down by looking at them all. Last time I noticed she was off staring at some giant horse. I do like these little guys, they seem to be just my size and speed.

Thank goodness Dad is here to carry me through all these barns. So many things to stare at, much easier when I am in my dad's arms. MOO- over people we've got some cows to see!

Oh, finally back to my stuffed horse. That was fun and all but I am glad to be back to wrestle with my friend. I swing you, I smack you and I....

I pass out! That was exhausting.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Strawberry Market

We grow a lot of berries here in the Skagit Valley. We grow strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and a types of varieties of each. I am an absolute fruit nut. When I was a little girl, you could get a job picking strawberries in the summer. It wasn't a lot of money but, we would do it to earn school clothes money. When I picked strawberries, my mom said I didn't even cover my lunch money. I am surprised I didn't get fired because I just sat out in the field and ate strawberries all day. Well, I did like to talk a lot too. I remember one day when a friends dad came to pick us up to go home, the field manager said I couldn't leave until I finished picking a flat. The dad objected, until he heard I hadn't picked a single flat all day.

Needless to say, I fill up every year when the berries are ripe. I've already made going to the Strawberry market a big outing for Kate too. Its a outdoor farm stand, that has you pick fields. I like to go there because I can buy lots of fresh veggies too, and well the strawberry shortcake, shakes and sundaes are awesome. They have little mini picnic tables out behind the ice cream shack, and Kate loves to climb all over them. The pictures are from our Sunday outing to the strawberry market. She is doing one of her latest things, have squat and scream at mom. But she did think the strawberry sundae was good. Amazing how much she will eat off a spoon when she likes it.

It was a nice morning. And I hate to admit it but, I've eaten almost a whole flat of strawberries in four days.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The beauties in the garden.

This is what you shall do: love the earth and sun, and animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence towards the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to any man or number of men; go freely with the powerful uneducated persons, and with the young, and mothers, of families: read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life: re-examine all you have been told at school or church, or in any books, and dismiss whatever insults your soul.”

Walt Whitman quotes ( Poet, 1819-1892)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Those darn emotions.

I used to wonder why some people couldn't seem to get over some event in their lives. You know that person that seems bitter about their divorce even though it happened 5 years ago. Or the friend that still seems to hold on to some of the trauma of their childhood, even though they are adults. I also never fully understood people that had a lot of anger in them. I am a very peaceful, and very non-violent. I hate yelling, so to be angry at everybody and everything never really made sense to me.

That was until I had the 'preemie' experience. And even though I have had other really difficult situations in my life, and I dare to even traumatic experiences. For some reason this one finally stuck the anger cord in me. Thus after years of never really being angry about much, I finally understand why somebody could be angry, bitter and struggle to let something go.

Here it has been over a year since our daughters birth. She is doing great, thriving even. Our lives have settled down and really I am blessed. I know how different our story could be. I know that tomorrow I could even be faced with something much worse than I have seen or lived. That all said, I still have a bit of anger in me. A little bit of something I just haven't worked out.

Anger is an emotion, I had so rarely really felt that I wasn't even understanding what I was feeling. It would just creep out when I least expected it. A quick answer to a co-worker, a eye roll to the annoying person that cut me off, a tiff with Ed but mostly it has been draining me of energy and interest in others. It traps me in a my mind, and then boils out of me mostly on runs. Its a nervous energy, with an edge.

We've been out of the hospital for so long. But today in the middle of the day, something set my mind racing. I think it was an alarm on the blood pressure machine on one of my patients. And there in the middle of a busy day, I was back in the dark corner of the NICU. I was standing there by myself as three nurses stood over my little baby. My little baby that I had never held who had so many wires connected to her. They are 'bagging' her, the alarms are so loud. More nurses are coming in asking if everything is okay. I am standing there alone, watching her heart rate drop lower, and her oxygen saturation drop even lower. I just stand there. I can feel the fear and absolute loneliness that I felt in that moment and so many of the days burn in my throat.

And then I am back in the clinic with a co-worker asking me a question.

And that same coworker is now talking about how her crib is being delivered this weekend. I smile the best I can, as she talks about her excitement. And now I feel that new emotion I've learned in the last year, I feel anger. I don't feel sadness, I don't feel sorry for myself. No I feel anger. And I am not angry at my coworker. But, I feel a bitter anger that makes me want to punch something. I walk away instead, then later I go for a run, and of course I throw in a few tears.

Now I understand why some people have so much anger in them. I understand it isn't something that you can just snap your fingers and be done with. And even though maybe the whole world has moved on, there are thoughts, moments and feeling in each on of us that sometimes need to bubble to the surface. Because I've also realized the more I let these emotions bubble to the surface the easier it becomes for me to live with them.