Ups and Downs

Life seems to be full of roller coaster moments, lots of ups and downs. I guess you can’t know the ups without the downs, but I much prefer the ups.

Four months ago I was in the hospital on bed rest. Three and a half months ago I had a c-section. Two and half weeks ago I was in the hospital again for surgery. The medical downs of the last four months for me have been a little on the high side. I was just coming back up from the c-section surgery when I found a breast lump. The month of August was spent treating it. Sadly, it didn’t respond to the two rounds of antibiotics, nor the needle aspiration (that was fun – NOT). After the surgery we learned why: it was so deep the doc said he had to go almost to the chest wall, nearly 5 cm deep. The cultures defined a staff infection (grateful it wasn’t a cancer or something worse), and the treatment after surgery has been drainage which means daily trips to the hospital PT clinic for wound packing/dressing changes (also NOT fun). It’s taken two and a half weeks, but the wound is finally on the fast track for healing, even had a record breaking gain of .6 cm in only two days this week bringing the depth up to 2.9 cm. Today’s gain was only to a 2.8, but I get tomorrow off as well as both Sat and Sun after Friday’s appointment. I’m hopeful that Monday the doctor will say we’re in the home stretch and can seal it up and be done. I suppose this is attributed to mastitis per breastfeeding, although I never had any signs or symptoms of any infection – just found a lump one day that wouldn’t go away and kept growing. Everyone keeps telling me how rare it is, to which I reply “yeah, ’cause I’m a stranger to rare?!” I’ve tried to joke that Jaimee just doesn’t want me to miss out on anything, but I’d do it a million times again for her.

Death has been a regular visitor this year too. In 3 months time, my dad, uncle and a couple friends have passed away. It’s a stark contrast to the blessings of new little spirits coming to the world. In the same time frame both myself and baby sister have had babies. Additionally, more than one family member and friend have received sad news about cancer conditions in varying degrees, while others have announced good news in their lives. I’m constantly in awe of the pendulum swing.

On the upside, I have to report on all good things in my little family. Jaimee is an absolute joy and we all love spoiling her. Grandparents, friends, siblings and cousins all wait for the chance to love on her. She is such a miracle and we all celebrate that every day we’re with her.

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She is such an amazing little baby! She’s so peaceful, so happy and such a good little thing. She’s been so flexible and adapts to everything effortlessly. She’s hit some big milestones recently, like sleeping longer stretches at night for which mommy and daddy are oh so grateful! Is there anything more awesome than a sleeping baby?!

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She has the most kissable little cheeks ever! She’s learning to grab things, has enjoyed sitting up in her bumbo chair, has found her fist for sucking and absolutely loves to smile at you. Daddy’s even gotten the cutest starts of a giggle from her. She loves playing and can maneuver a basic roll over almost completely on her own.

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She’s so good that yesterday we knew something was wrong. We took her to the doctor and sure enough she has her first little stomach bug, a gastro intestinal virus that had her little bowels gurgling and cramping like crazy. Yet, even with that, she only had two fits of inconsolable crying in the first half of the day and both lasted less than 10 minutes. She responded to the pedialite substitution for milk without missing a beat and has just been her happy self since yesterday afternoon. I mean, does this look like the face of a baby with a tummy bug?

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Wish I could be that happy when I’m battling a virus! This is just 12 lbs 12 oz of lovable joy. I am overwhelmed at the blessing to be her mommy.  She was so worth the 22 year wait. At my six week checkup the doctor asked us what form of birth control we were going to use. This is a question we’ve never had to answer. Does lightening strike twice? If it does is it supposed to? I don’t have any answers. I just look at this little miracle and know she’s here exactly when she’s suppose to be for her and no matter how hard the last four months for me have been physically I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. Nursing through the month of August with the growing lump was difficult and painful, especially after the needle biopsy. On top of that, it was probably the cause for the infection in the first place, yet I felt an unexpected sadness to have it end with the surgery. I’m grateful for the pumping I’d done previously as we worked through her dairy sensitivity. The range of emotions and experiences has truly been full of ups and downs. I often reflect on how it’s possible to experience so many things that seem opposed yet magically connect to one another, it’s an odd phenomenon to me and I know I’m doing a terrible job trying to explain it. It’s just crazy to see how love conquers logic.

In the meantime, the kids continue to grow. Homework still has to be done. Meals still have to be cooked and dishes still have to be done.

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That’s what it’s all about, life keeps moving. At the end of the day, I’ll take those miserable downs because the ups are absolutely incredible! I truly am blessed beyond measure.

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