The Event

Again, the poor blog has been badly neglected. One would think that since I have nothing to do but sit around the NICU I would have oodles of time on my hands. Truth be told however, the days fly by so quickly and they have thus far all blurred together. The constant dings and beeps in the background are barely noticeable anymore- though I hear phantom dings when I am away from this place. I very much understand how this place could drive someone bonkers.

Toby's First NICU Night

Speaking of this place- you all probably want to know about the event that brought us here. We all knew Toby was going to be early, we just didn’t know when. I was on day 5 of the forced hospital hang out time and up until then, nothing super exciting sans the pool incident had happened.

Mini story: I had a migraine on day 2 of the hospital stay and they gave me a drug called dilaudid.  Turns out, it makes me violently ill, much like every other pain med out there. After throwing up food from last year in the morning, I had started to feel better and Josh joined sides with the nurses – insisting I go to my pool therapy. Begrudgingly, I went.

About 20 minuets into the pool, after having to be sized up and judged by the other pool moms, I got that funny taste in the back of my mouth. In my head I was screaming at myself not to do it. “Think happy thoughts. Think thoughts of anything so long as it didn’t involve being sick.” It wasn’t helping. Suddenly I knew it was going to happen, so I dashed (as much as one can dash in water up to their neck while 32 weeks pregnant) to the stairs, and hauled myself out of the pool, not bothering to take the stairs. The others were just staring at me.

I managed to make it into the locker room and ran to the one stall that was in there. I yanked on the door to open it, but it didn’t move. Confused, I yanked again. A voice called out, “Sorry, just a second.” I couldn’t even make a noise to respond, but instead panicked even more. Thankfully there was a trash can under the sink. The poor nurse came out of the stall to find me clinging to the sink, heaving into a trash can, dripping wet and shivering to death.  She didn’t know what to do, opened the door, yelled for help and then tried to make me feel better. Poor girl. I think I scarred her for life.

They finally got me out of there, covered in 4 robes, 3 heated blankets and more towels than Martha Stewart has at K-mart. The girls in the pool just continued to stare at me. Clearly, I had blown any chance of making friends. I think they should have been thrilled that I didn’t get sick INTO the pool. I think they owe me their friendship on that merit alone.

So, back to the main story: It was day 5 (Saturday) and absolutely nothing was going on. The morning non stress test and the early afternoon stress test had gone fine- and the dopplar check ultrasound the day before had been good. Our kids came to town, and they got to visit me in the hospital. Life was great.

Tolin Kids Visiting the Antepartum Unit

Later in the afternoon, I started to notice that Toby wasn’t moving as much, so I got up and took a shower, thinking I just needed to move around and get him going. Nothing changed.

The antepartum unit has a lemonade dispenser (I probably cleaned them out of lemonade in the 5 days I was there) – s0 I got a big tumbler full and proceeded to tell my nurse that I was going to put myself on the monitor early. I told her I couldn’t feel Toby, but maybe a huge dose of sugar would do the trick. She didn’t seem concerned but told me to go ahead with the plan.

The monitor showed him with a heartbeat of around 150- and while it was steady, he wasn’t having any accelerations. Which is bad. He had a few slight decelerations, which is normal, but the non accelerations was not. Normally, a baby should have several accelerations within a 20 minute period. Toby didn’t have any at all. My nurse Denise came back in, saw the strip and had me change positions. She didn’t like what she was seeing. After about an hour, she had me change sides again. We tried every position except hanging upside down.

I was starting to get nervous, but Josh kept assuring me that everything was fine and I was panicking for no reason. (Silly crazy wife.) He made me start playing Phase 10 to pass the time while we waited. I was in the middle of kicking his butt when they decided to start doing what is called a Bio Physical Profile (BPP). This is where they do a 30-minute ultrasound to look for movement and some other things. You need an 8 out of 10 to pass the test.

Toby wasn’t moving. He wasn’t doing breathing movements, and he had one singular hiccup. He scored a total of 2, which were for good fluid levels. Becky, the nurse practitioner who was running the test said that was it Toby was waving his white flag and it was time to go. We went from normal hangout stay to emergency c-section in just a matter of hours.

As soon as Becky called it, 15 different people started running in and out of the room doing stuff. Nurses I had never even seen before. Some from the NICU, some from the surgical side, heck some of them could have come from a different hospital for all I know. Josh got on the phone and started calling everyone while I signed my life away on 1,000 pieces of paper.

I really needed to get up and go to the bathroom, but they wouldn’t let me. Becky kept saying I would get a catheter. I still don’t understand why they wouldn’t let me up. I hadn’t had a spinal yet, and we were just camped out in my room.  One of the nurses came in and did a marvelous job of giving me an IV. And by marvelous, I mean, I wasn’t ready and it hurt like a ______________ (insert favorite word).

We started rolling to the OR, but our photographer wasn’t here yet. I was beyond worried that she wouldn’t make it in time and would miss everything. Josh was decked out in blue scrubs complemented by his cowboy boots. Earlier in the day, I had asked him if he brought his comfy shoes, because, “what if?” He laughed at me then, but I was the one laughing now. He looked, in a word, ridiculous.  Thankfully they gave him tall foot things to cover up the boots, so his fashion faux pas wasn’t apparent to everyone.

Josh wasn’t allowed in while they did the spinal block- so he waited for the photographer while I sat hunched over leaning on one of the nurses. I’m pretty sure she said to lean on her (at least that’s what I can remember) so I did. I had my head plunked square in the middle of her chest while she rubbed my arms and kept me from tensing up. Josh said it was very cute- but no one got a picture of it. I don’t know if she wanted me plunked on her boobs, but hey, there I was. She was super sweet about it regardless.

Not too long after that I was numb and laying mostly naked for the whole world to see. (Awkward!) I told the anesthesiologist that if I had any dignity, it sure as hell was gone now. He just laughed. I didn’t see what was so funny.

Josh and the photographer came in- they started, and in about 10 minuets they had him out. Of course, I couldn’t see anything, but I’m pretty sure if I could I would have had a heart attack and died. Josh watched and amazingly didn’t pass out. He deserves an award.

The biggest surprise of the night (besides the emergency c-section) was the knot in Toby’s cord. Every person in the room was shocked – and everyone had to come see it. Toby had a true knot (in his case a figure-eight knot, something you use for sailing or rock climbing). No one is sure how he did it. One thing is for absolute certain, however. The knot was so bad that Toby would not have done very well for very long. We were VERY lucky that we had been tossed into the hospital for monitoring. Otherwise, we would have never known there was a problem, and by the time the next check came, he might have been gone. It’s crazy to think about.

The Cord Knot © 2013 Michelle Garey Photography

The knot wasn’t what caused Toby’s IUGR, that much we know. The placenta was in very bad shape and we’re still waiting on pathology reports to come back. All we know is this: We have been beyond blessed. If we had luck, we’ve cashed it in. It has been a crazy ride, having to come back from Hungary, plan for every eventuality (yes, looking at funeral plots, too) and now living in the NICU.

We have been blessed to have friends and family by our side (near and far) every step of the way. I don’t know how we would have done it without them. We love you all, and are forever in debt to you!

 

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Hospital Captivity Days 3&4

It’s been pretty quiet with not much to report around here the last few days. I haven’t been sick again (which is awesome!) and I haven’t hit the pinnacle of boredom either. It’s coming though, I’m sure of it.

We’ve had a pretty healthy stream of visitors, including the Smaller & Tiniest Captors. We did our damnedest to keep them quiet, but we might have failed a few times. The Tiniest Captor (Who needs a new name!!!) got up and walked around the room for a while yesterday. It was pretty awesome to see and you can tell she is super proud of herself! Good thing, too, because practically ALL of her pants are worn through on the knees now. I’d go shopping, but I’m pretty sure the warden wouldn’t allow that.

The healthy stream of folks have also brought a healthy stream of snacks, which is doubly awesome. Pumpkin bread, fresh baked bread with butter and raspberry jam, cutie oranges, breakfast bars. . . I am going to get fat! (Fatter, really)

They did let me go down to the cafeteria in a “wheel chair ride” yesterday, and I seriously considered hatching an escape plan akin to the time my brother broke out of Landstuhl hospital in Germany, though I don’t think Hooters will be my destination. Although, in keeping with McClure tradition, it might have to be! It would be even better if he could be the one to break me out of here and stage the whole thing. . . *cough* *Hint-hint*

Yesterday the floor was packed because a ton of moms had scheduled c-sections for the date (4-4-14) and then things on the floor went from normal to crazy PLUS the scheduled moms. The nurses looked a tad frazzled and I hardly saw anyone all day. I had to go out and ask who my night time nurse was around 9:15 because no one had stopped in (they change at 7) and I needed my meds. Not a big deal at all, but that’s how busy it was.

They’ve continued the torture of more steroid shots (yippee!) which aren’t THAT bad compared to the amnio. They just screw me up and make me not sleep and feel kinda crummy in general.

Example: I just sneezed so hard I knocked Toby off the heart monitor and triggered a contraction. Whoops!

I wish I had some comical things to write about, but so far, zilch. Que es triste?

Got any good ideas for a new name for the Tiniest Captor? Seeing as how Toby really will be the tiniest, I think Miss Sarah will need to graduate to a new name. So let’s hear your suggestions!!

 

 

 

 

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Day 2 of my newest captivity

I’m sitting here watching the snow gracefully and quietly fall down from a grey sky. It’s quiet out there, but in here, a quick but steady thump-thump-thump plays on. I have to sit attached to these monitors for an hour, three times a day. Toby seems wound up this morning. His heartbeat has been in the high 150′s or low 160′s. I bet if he could see the snow, he would be calmer.

Yesterday was Day 1 of my newest captivity- it didn’t go so hot. I had planned to jump right back into the mode of the previous “captivity” blogs from when I was on bed rest with Sarah, but I think it was their goal to break me on day one so I would comply with whatever they wanted me to do. And oh, how it has worked!

The first night here was wretched. I had a headache that wasn’t backing down (turns out it was a migraine in infancy stages) and this bed is full of air, so when you move, it adds or removes air as needed. During the day, it’s not such an issue, but at night- every time you move a muscle, this bed says “whhiirrrrr” and re-adjusts. Not very conducive for sleeping, of this, you can be sure.

Needless to say, when I had “woken” up my headache was in full blown trying to kill me mode. Tylenol wasn’t cutting it- coffee didn’t help- and I had made Josh shut all the blinds and turn all the lights off. I was considering going to go hide in the bathroom.

The medical staff finally convinced me to take something for my head- the something was called Dilaudid and they gave it to me with some anti nausea stuff. Thought it would make me feel better. WRONG.

Sure, it made my head feel a little bit better, but soon I was paralyzed with fear because I was so nauseated. I had Josh get me some crackers and just the act of opening them sent me running to the bathroom. Not my finest hour.

Later, I felt better albeit hungry. So I tried to eat some lunch and take it easy for a bit. Since I was feeling better, Josh insisted I go to my “pool therapy” session. Begrudgingly, I went.

There were three other girls in the pool. I was the fresh meat. It was easy to see who was the queen bee of the group. They sized me up pretty quickly and during that time I started to feel a bit sick again. Determined to make it through, I clung to the wall, sipping cold water from my jug, while answering their spanish inquisition.

Then it happened. It was coming and I was powerless to stop it. Do you have any idea how hard it is to waddle out of a pool when you are in water up to your neck? Not easy folks, I assure you. But I made it out, grabbing the stair railings and pulling myself up and out without using the stairs and practically throwing myself through the locker room door. Unfortunately someone was in the single stall so I found a trash can. The poor nurse came out to find a dripping wet heaving girl clinging to the sink- whimpering.

When I could finally hold myself together, the nice nurse who stumbled upon me got me covered in robes and tons of warm blankets from the cath lab (they share the locker room). Then they got my nurse from the L&D to come get me. The girls in the pool just looked at me funny when I came out of the locker room. I don’t think I will make the cut to be “in” the group.  It should be interesting  when I go back this afternoon. I’m considering faking being asleep or suddenly coming down with a disease so I don’t have to go.

When I came back up to the room Josh felt horrible for making me go- and apologized about a million times. After that it was pretty much lay around and try not to be sick. Fun times to be had by all.

For the night, they gave me an ambien so I could sleep. Hopefully sleeping would help get rid of the headache since the drugs only sort of helped but getting sick just increased the pressure in my head. Miraculously, I did sleep! It felt so good, I think it was the best I have slept in weeks, honestly.

So, that’s pretty much day 1. I wasn’t expecting it to be a day of torture, but, I was wrong. And that will teach me to have expectations! Toby is still safe and sound inside. Tomorrow they will look at fluid levels and his dopplar values. More to come on that.

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Things

I was going to put up a blog a few days ago, but things kinda got out of hand. If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen the drama. But here’s a re-cap in case you missed it.

Oliver went across the field to the park around 10:30am on Friday. (There wasn’t any school)  The playground is line of sight and he has been over there multiple times by himself without incident since we’ve returned to Cheyenne. Around 12:30, he hadn’t come back, and we couldn’t see him running around bu the equipment, so Grandpa went over to get him and bring him back for lunch before they were supposed to go bowling. At 1pm- Grandpa called and said Oliver was no where to be found in the park. He had checked the bathrooms, all the structures, everything. I called Josh and our friend Jeff, told them both that Ollie was missing and they were on their way- I also called the police department figuring that the second I got off the phone with them, he would come bobbling across the field. But no.

Pretty soon, the entire neighborhood was full of police cars searching for him. The park had been scoured numerous times, and the K-9 disturbance dog had lost Oliver’s tracks. People came from all over town, including the Air Guard, the Postal Carriers, some former speech and debate student’s parents, other friends, etc. No one could find him anywhere. The Air Guard kept checking tapes and cameras, as did the folks at the BLM building.

Hours went by and he didn’t turn up. Josh, Jeff, and the police started the door to door search while others stopped every person they could find on foot, and checked out places like the bowling alley, skating rink, the mall, etc. The police were very concerned that Oliver might have fallen through the ice somewhere in the park because it was so warm out.

Around 3:45, Josh knocked on a door and was met by a woman named Kim, who didn’t automatically admit that Oliver was there. (this was good- she wasn’t going to just fork him over to a stranger) Once she knew that Josh knew Oliver’s name, description, etc, she let him in. She explained that Oliver had told her that his parents knew where he was- a complete lie.

The search was called off and after not too long the fleet of law enforcement vehicles tapered away. Josh brought Oliver home and spoke to the detectives (there were 2 of them) and that was it. I thought for sure we’d be getting yelled at, or a ticket or something for the kid disappearing, but they were really nice about it. The one officer just simply said, “It’s our job.”

My. Nerves. Are. Shot. I am fried emotionally. Josh was a wreck through the whole search, and I couldn’t even register an emotion. Everyone said I was just very quiet and stiff. But I guess that’s how I deal with things. Like when my brother was shot in Afghanistan, my mom was a wreck, but I had to keep it together. I don’t know what else to do these days.

At any rate, on to the the what I was going to write about yesterday, though this incident definitely fits right in.

I don’t wish what we are going through on anyone, not even those people who I would love to stick with a fork. I don’t wish Friday’s events on anyone either. That fear/panic/worry/disbelief/pick-an-emotion sucks in a HUGE way. Couple that with the already wrecked nerves and emotions from our current situation with Toby.

What I DO wish upon everyone though, is the love and support that has been outpouring from all over the globe. I wish for each and every one of you (even the people I want to poke with a fork) that you someday feel this same thing-  without it having to come from a bad situation. If everyone could feel this sort of love, the world would be such an amazing, happy place.  I wish I could bottle some of this love up, and send it out to those who need it. I really do.

People have donated to the Toby Tolin Fund from all over the place; friends, family, c0-workers, and even strangers. We are so grateful for everyone who has pitched in- we are forever indebted to all of you.  I don’t know how we will every be able to say thank-you enough, or repay you all for the kindness.  I will forever be baking cookies for people.

So many people came out to search for Oliver when he was missing- the response was overwhelming. We are a strong community here- I know that isn’t the case in a lot of places. I know so many people complain about Cheyenne for a number of reasons, but we have it so good here! Get out there and be part of your community and it will pay you back in ways you can’t even imagine!

So here’s my challenge to you all- share the love. Let others feel the same way you have made us feel, and in turn, others will make you feel the same way. You will feel so awesome, even when things aren’t. I promise.

 

 

 

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Joshua Tolin and The Sorcerer’s Kidney Stone

Josh said last week it was too soon to poke fun at him for the kidney stone. I asked when “too soon” would be over. He said never. I said, whatever. It’s been a week, and he’s fine so. . .

Last week we headed down to Denver the night before our appointment for Toby because the weather turned to absolute poo. (Let’s face it though, it’s Wyoming & Colorado in January- so crap weather should surprise no one. And if it does, you should live somewhere else. Just sayin)

Around 3 am, Josh sat straight up and declared “I’m awake!” Even though it was dark, I gave him my “what is wrong with you” face, and he knew it, because without missing a beat he added, “I don’t know why, so don’t ask.” I shrugged, point taken, and rolled back over to go back to sleep. About that time however, Josh ran to the bathroom and started worshiping the porcelain gods. I thought perhaps his tribute had given him food poisoning and he was just sick. Wrong.

The guy started moaning and pacing back and forth. He tried to lay down, he tried to stand up. I put him in the tub, thinking maybe the warm water would help a bit. He kept saying it felt like someone hauled back and kicked him in the balls. (his words, not mine) The way he was moving, groaning, and not able to stand all the way up, you would have thought he was in active labor. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how I felt with Sarah last year once my water broke.

But, Josh is clearly not carrying a baby.  Unless it’s a food baby.

I tried talking to him to get more info on what was really the matter. Finally he was able to explain how his back to his front hurt and how low it was in his abdomen.  Instantly I though kidney stone. Over in Hungary we’ve had a number of guys get them due to the super high calcium levels in the water. He’s been drinking that water for a year and a half.

I suggested we go to the ER and he told me no. Approximately 7 minuets later he changed his mind and said he wanted to go.  He must have been in some serious pain because this guy won’t even take tylenol when his head hurts, or allergy meds when he is miserable. Glutton for punishment, much?

It took a few minuets to get all the snow off the car and get it thawed out, but before long we were on our way. The roads. Were. Crap. It had rained, then sleeted, frozen, then snowed on top of that. Upon stopping at a red light, Josh started telling me to just run it as he writhed in pain in the passenger seat.  I told him unless he was dying or bleeding out, I wasn’t running red lights, on an ice rink. If I did, there would surely be a snowplow coming that I didn’t see.

We made it to the ER, though it turns out it was the wrong one. I meant to go to PSL where we were having our appointment later that morning, but apparently there are several hospitals in those 3 city blocks, so we wound up at St. Joseph’s. No big deal though, it was empty in there.

They asked Josh a few questions and had me give them his insurance information. He was in intake for all of 2 minuets, but he swears it was much longer and was getting very grumpy. His sense of time is skewed badly when he’s in pain.

Pretty quickly we had him back in a room, and the nurse was there trying to get him to get onto the gurney, but he wasn’t having it since he was in the middle of getting sick again. The nurse was pretty worried he was going to fall and hit his head since he was leaning so far over. The poor girl couldn’t even get him to hold still so she could get an IV into his arm.

Once she did, they got him on morphine, which made him stop moving at least, though it didn’t dent the pain a whole lot. So they gave him MORE. And then it was quiet. Very quiet.

A nice guy came and whisked Josh off for a CT scan and I waited. Noticing that it was still, very, very empty in the ER. Odd, I thought, because with all this crap weather, there HAD to be accidents. Curiosity got the best of me, so I asked. Turns out the ER isn’t a trauma ER, so they don’t get the accidents. What they DO get however, are the mental patients.

Ah, how fitting for us. . .

Josh was back pretty soon, quiet and now on oxygen since they had loaded his system up with so many drugs. Before too long, the doc came back and confirmed it was a kidney stone. I laughed (inappropriate, I know) and declared 10 points for the wife for guessing what was wrong. The doc just looked at me and continued on. He shouldn’t be surprised though, they DID say the ER sees mental patients after all!

They wanted to get the whole bag of IV fluid into Josh before he left, so while we waited Josh gave me his sad puppy dog eyes and proceeded to apologize profusely and lament that he was old, because now he has to see a urologist. Silly man. At least they weren’t going to make him stay. I was afraid they’d keep him and I’d have to go to the baby appointment alone. Instead, I just got to take a drugged up man to the appointment. You should see his notes he took while we were there. If someone has a drugged attorney handwriting decoder, let me know?

By 1pm that day, you wouldn’t have known anything had happened, sans the bags under both our eyes.  I suppose all’s well that ends well?

 

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Crazy x 2

Yesterday, if you read the All I Am Thankful For post, you saw where I thanked my darling husband for being able to be married to a crazy person. I thought I should explain a little. Don’t worry, this isn’t a sad or deep post, but rather a few examples of exactly HOW crazy I have been as of late.

Yes, I know it’s pregnancy hormones mixed with a crazy level of stress- but some of these things are funny when you can step back and look at them. And hey, if you can find the humor in things, that’s a good sign right? I mean, I’ve not reached some deep hole of sadness that I can’t pull myself out of, so I think that’s a plus. Maybe just a deep hole of crazy. . .

Without further ado:

1.The other day I was getting some Cheerios out for Sarah and I got all sad pants. No idea why, I mean for crying out loud (which I was)  the first word in the name is Cheer! They aren’t Sad-ios. But there I was sniffling over a Tupperware bowl of cereal while baby Sarah clung to my legs trying to reach her little baby hands up to get some.

2.We had to get Ollie’s glasses fixed the other day, so while we were at Sears, Josh found a really cute fancy dress for Sarah, but I told him no, she didn’t need a fancy dress- where would she wear it? Then I got all teary because I asked him to put it back and felt bad about it. Usually people have regret from purchasing things, not from NOT purchasing things. Weird huh?

3. I bought Ollie all the school supplies he needs off the list the school district publishes. I was super proud that he was all ready to go, then Josh came home and was confused as to why I bought them. Apparently right after the principal at the school told me where the list was, the secretary said not to purchase them because they aggregate all the supplies and he might not need anything. I seriously have no recollection of her saying that. Whoops!

4. I can’t make up my mind about ANYTHING. Let’s cook at home, no wait, let’s go out. No let’s not go out, I’m not even hungry. . . I can’t even keep up with me!

5. I make lists for the grocery store and STILL forget to get the items, even though the list is in front of my face. I have no excuse. . .

I know these aren’t all that extreme, but it’s stuff like this that happens all the time. Throw those in with the being scared/sad fits and imagine how it is around here. One moment I’m crazy, then sad, then laughing about something inappropriate.  If I’m not careful I might wind up with some new padded digs sans furniture.

If you see/email/call Josh, tell him he’s doing a great job as husband. (and try to convince him not to have me committed!) :D

 

 

 

 

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All I Am Thankful For

With all that has happened in these few short weeks, we have been overwhelmed with love and support from near and far. And while I may not have said thank you right off the bat, please know that I (we) are forever grateful for the help. I just wanted to take a quick second to try and list out some of the awesome things that people have done for us. So in no particular order. . .

To my Grandma, Ione- thank you for letting us live in your house, even though you aren’t here. We’re pretty much homeless, but we feel like we have a home to come to here, and not having to stress over this while we stress over everything else is a huge (bigger than words can say) weight off our shoulders. We wish you were here with us! We love you!!

Joals & Jeremy, thank you for letting us use one of your cars for us to get around. Rentals can be super duper expensive, and this helps out immensely! Thank you for taking Ollie and letting him live with you when we are in Denver, (and for not making him sleep with the chickens ;) ) ALSO, thank you for helping us get him into the school so he can be with Dexter and closer to you. You guys have done so much for us, we are forever owing you!

Madre, thank you for being our errand runner and couch hanger-outer. I know we haven’t talked lots while you are here in the house, but sometimes it’s just nice to sit with company even if we’re not talking. I know I don’t always say it, but I appreciate everything you do and have done for us, I hope you know that. Love you momma.

Vickie & Don, thank you for taking Miss Sarah and loving on her lots. I miss her terribly when she is gone, but I know she is being loved on every moment, and spoiled rotten. She loves you guys (as do we!) and it is great not to worry about her. (Though I will be sad if she walks for you and not for me!) Thank you for having her Skype with me every day, it’s comforting to see her baby face, even if she’s busy doing things.

To our dear Miss Brigi- thank you for staying with the pups and keeping an eye on things, even though your job was for Sarah. It is comforting to know you love them as much as we do and are there to protect them and our casa. I know it’s probably very boring, but I hope you can relax and knock out some school stuff!

My bestest Miss Lindsay- thank you for putting up with me since 5th grade and being there ever since. Thank you for being with me at the doctor’s office, and keeping me sane- I don’t know how you do it, but you do. You are an angel on earth. Everyone should be as lucky to have a friend like you!

Jeff, Uncle Jeff, Jeff-eroo, (pick a name) Thank you for always being here, and stepping in to help with anything needed, even if it’s just someone to play cards with, go to Sam’s with, push the child down in the snow (he needs it) etc. You are family- always.

Miss Heni, Viki& Tamas, köszönöm, hogy segítettél Brigi óra után, a kölykök, és nem veszik figyelembe a házat, míg elmegyünk. Hiányzol minden szépen! Jó tudni, hogy van jó szomszédok számíthatunk!

To all the friends, family and strangers who have sent messages, cards, & called. Thank you all for the support, the offers of places to stay, helping hands and the kind words. They make a heart feel good and help keep it strong. Positive thinking can do wonders and having the support of so many helps me to keep my head up, when all I want to do is cry.

To all my counter-parts at work, thank you for the overwhelming support and complete understanding. Not having to think and worry about work while going through all of this is a huge relief. I miss you all, and appreciate all the checking in you all do! You guys are really the best group a person could ever work with. We are a family there!

Finally, last but absolutely not least, to my darling husband. Thank you for being here and with me while we go through this. I love you more than you will ever know. I know there are days that I am miserable and probably no fun to be around. The most random things make me cry, and I can’t help it. You probably feel like you are married to a crazy person (newsflash: you are)

If I left someone out, please know it was not intentional, my brain is pretty much broken most of the time as of late. I appreciate each and every one of you, so please know that. One day, hopefully we will be able to thank you all in person and re-pay you for all the love you’ve shown.

My love to you all.

 

 

 

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Life As I Know It

The lead up:

It’s been 5 days since we’ve met the 2nd sonographer who gave us the rather un-informative news about Toby.

What he told us was that the baby is extremely small, but that the organs have been developing normally- heart beat was strong, brain was looking good, and he couldn’t see any physical abnormalities sans the smallness. He looked at the placenta and said it is about 1/2 of what it should be, and the blood flow within it is poor. My blood flow to it is good, I am giving it everything I should be.

We asked to find out the sex of the baby even though we previously said we weren’t going to because if things were bad then baby needed a name. The baby is just as much a person as any of us and a name really makes the baby real. Not that he wasn’t real before, but when there is a name, it changes the situation. I don’t know if you understand what I mean, but hopefully you understand.

We learned then that he was a boy. I was totally wrong about the baby being a girl. Then he said “He probably will not make it, you’ll probably choose termination.” That was a shock. We asked some more questions and he relented and explained that  the baby is coping for the time being but the placenta wouldn’t hold out but didn’t say how long. All he would say is that we could cross our fingers and wait 4-5 weeks to come back and check.

Two things: One, Termination isn’t something we wouldn’t consider unless Toby was in very bad shape and suffering. That isn’t something the guy could say was going on. He said the opposite, that he was coping and doing fine for the moment. Two, sitting and waiting around isn’t something we agree with either. This is our baby and we will do anything and everything to give him EVERY chance possible, so sitting and doing nothing is not on the agenda.

We discussed it with our regular OB who explained that there aren’t a ton of specialists who can deal with pregnancies like this nor facilities. Those that do exist are very complicated to navigate being on the state system (in Austria). She recommended that we would probably feel more comfortable coming home to where there are multiple specialists and hospitals dedicated to the care of high risk pregnancies and babies- which was something we privately were talking about anyway.

The Present:

So here I am at home- Josh and the kids get here on Wednesday since we couldn’t get the house/dogs situated to be able to all fly together.  I have an appointment with the head perinatologist at St. Luke’s/Presbyterian in Denver. I can’t say how much I wish it were Tuesday all ready.

Waiting the few days is agony. Waiting to see him and hear him is almost more than I can take. Every time I sit and don’t feel him move for a while, I panic. When he does move, it’s a relief, but part of me worries that I might be wrong about it being him.

Emotionally I am wrecked. I’m in a state of trying to maintain, to be positive and not worry. But that is hard, I am a worrier by nature. It is what I do best. When I am not busy or trying to keep my mind occupied the dark “what-if” thoughts come creeping in. What if he doesn’t make it? What if I go on Tuesday and he is gone already? What if he’s there but they don’t think he can hold on 3 more weeks?

I swing from being distraught, sad, and worried, to being able to laugh at a joke. It doesn’t feel right. But I think it’s perhaps part of a coping mechanism. I don’t know.

As a heads up, I can’t deal with emotional people. I’m not in a place where I can comfort others, (besides my husband) right now. So as harsh as it might sound, if you need to be sad and mopey I need you to do it somewhere else not around me. I need strength, not pity and more sadness.

We’ve done the research on what needs to be done if Toby leaves us, and that’s the last I will think about it. I’m not talking about it again unless it happens.

Instead I am focusing on the positive and what could be. Maybe he’s small, maybe he spends some time in a NICU, maybe there is more we can do to help him. I’ve already flown over 5,000 miles to try and give him any chance possible, and I will continue to do anything that needs to be done for him. I am not giving up.

Maybe one day Toby will be bigger than all of us, and we can call him Tiny Toby as a joke.

 

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The Cheesecake That Wasn’t

I had a good one for you guys today. But I screwed it up. Sorry bout that. I am a failure (today)

There has been a recipe in the Facebook news feed this last week for a Red Velvet Cheesecake and it looks to die for. So I thought I would make it for you all, but do it in a video blog (vlog) so you could see all the steps and whatnot. I spent all day working on this damn thing. The cake part turned out great, but the cheesecake- not-so-much.

I don’t know what happened to it. I used my own recipe, but something went awry- it is crumbly/watery at the same time and kinda eggy in taste. Josh said to use it anyway, but I decided to wait and get it right. I want it to be beautiful and creamy, like the caramel cheesecake I made for Christmas a few weeks ago. THAT was the perfect texture/taste.  This cake is a sad, pathetic, deformed something that can’t even really be called cheesecake. It’s like a cream cheese quiche.

The baby at least loves it and has been chowing down.  One happy customer I suppose. Though this does nothing to build my repertoire of  cheesecake recipes so one day when I win the lottery I can open up my own shop and work for myself.

In any event, good news, there is red velvet cake in the freezer for when I can re-try the cheesecake. Bad news, cream cheese is mad expensive here. Keep your fingers crossed that Josh gets his physical scheduled soon so I can just go to the commissary and get a whole bunch.

At least I can spend some time learning how to edit the video on this thing. Which reminds me, if you’d like to see a video on something from here in Hungary, leave me some suggestions here or on Facebook!

 

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Jet Lag, Babies, and Being Sick

The title pretty much sums up my life for this last week since we’ve returned to Hungary.

The only person who seems to be sleeping regularly is the Smaller Captor, Oliver. Though, he’s beyond extra slow in the mornings. So slow, it’s painful. At least he gets a full night of sleep I guess.

The poor baby has been sick since the plane trip. She had been asleep for a while on the flight from Denver to Frankfurt and woke up needing a pants change. I took her, changed her and noticed she was a touch warm. I didn’t think much of it though because she was sleeping on us, so it would be easy to get rather toasty. As we got back to our row, the Bigger Captor was sitting there with a tray full of napkins, and empty food containers. And when the baby proceeded to start throwing up on me about 2 minuets later he just sat there and watched rather than try and grab something to help minimize the damage.

*Grumble*

By the time we got home, I was covered in baby throw up, spaghetti sauce the baby flicked on me from the plane food, and pickle juice that the Bigger Captor dumped on me. Ode de airplane!

Since then though, the poor thing has been super sick, high fevers, not sleeping, snot factory, etc. At least she only threw up the one time. She doesn’t sleep for beans though- and wants to be in our bed, or held.

Night before last, I had finally gotten her to stop tossing and turning on the bed and lay across my chest. She had been quiet and baby snoring for about 10 minutes when the Bigger Captor decided to roll himself over and take her feet off of him. This of course woke her up. (Internal scream)  The Bigger Captor says he was pretty sure I was about to make him go sleep on the couch with the puppy. I should have.

Yesterday I had to call in late to work to take a nap in the morning before coming in since I had been up with the girl all night. I couldn’t even see straight. I planned my nap time carefully and I had banked on the fact that my hair was in decent shape from the day before so I wouldn’t have to wash it meaning I could sleep longer. But as I got up and started getting ready I noticed that one side of my hair was matted to the side of my head. Matted because it was full of dried baby snot.

I would say gross, but all I can do is shrug and go re-shampoo. I am so tired, I don’t even care.

 

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