Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baby and the City

How much do I want one of these if we have a girl?


Colleen

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Rapidly Dwindling Diet

Here's what I've been able to squeeze down the hatch the last few days:
  • Pop Tarts
  • Chicken Nuggets (with french fries)
  • Red Gatorade (no other color)
  • Rice Krispie Treats
  • Cheerios (no milk)
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Rolaids/Tums (they are now their own food group)
  • PB&J
  • Peanut Butter Toast
  • Peanut Butter Crackers
  • Sprite
  • Ginger ale
  • Hot Chocolate (water, not milk)
So basically, I'm eating the same foods as a 3 year old.  Aboslutely no cravings with this pregnancy yet (Coach is surprised, last time it was all about Strawberries and Ice Cream, coudln't get enough).  Got blood work back from the doctor. Everything is clear except my white blood cells were elevated, so they want to draw them again on Wednesday to make sure I don't have an infection. I think it's just allergies.  Also reminded that I'm A-pos blood type and that I won't have to take rogam--sweet.  They tested me for a whole slew of stuff (even my rubella markers, which I'm good for; also AIDS, which was an oogy factor more than anything).  But I'm not anemic (yay). 
 
Due to the excitement of the weekend I didn't get to bed at my usual bedtime (8pm), and have been having insane nausea.  The more sleep I get the better I feel, although even that is relative.  My nurse asked how I was feeling and I told her I was very nauseous, she told me to quit trying to tough it out and take the Zofran. They're worried about my weight-loss (about 4 pounds as of this morning), so I'm going to take it this afternoon so I can actually make dinner for the first time in 2 weeks. The evenings are the hardest.  I'm thinking pot-pie since it's smell in the microwave for leftovers is not toxic to the tummy. bland is good.   Well, Back to my chicken-nuggets. Gotta squeeze a few more down otherwise Coach will yell at me via text msg.  Gotta keep Poppy safe.
 
still can't believe this little parasite baby is happening.  Looking forward to when I start to show. Right now I just feel bloated but look totally normal.  Then comes the "she looks like she ate too many cookies" phase, then "maybe she's pregnant" phase, then "wabbo that is a baby" phase.  I have some cute maternity jeans I'm excited to try out.  :)
 
Colleen
 
 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Since I Kinda Dropped A Bomb

So I had no idea more than 3 people read my blog. Apparently there's a few of you lurkers out there (Beth, you Austin Ladies) and I've inadvertently created quite a few questions. So here's the ones I can answer comfortably:

We're very early along. Everything with this pregnancy has been extremely different than the last and all in good ways. A lot of it has to do with the care I'm receiving from my doctor.

I have had some minor problems but they put me on Prometrium (a Progesterone supplement) to help baby Poppy stick around. This won't prevent the fetus from aborting if there is something wrong with it, but it keeps my body from doing anything retarded.

I'm also on Zofran now for my nausea. It's been pretty gnarly but I've been trying to tough it out. Poppy is worth it is my mantra. I'm trying it today so I don't hurl on Caitlins wedding dress.

I've already seen the doctor and will go back almost weekly until I made it to about 14 weeks.

The babies heartbeat is precious. I was terrified we wouldn't hear anything but we did and that amazing woosh-woosh gave me such a relief I cannot even describe. Lucky for Caitlin because I practically squeezed her hand off during the ultrasound out of sheer panic and she'll need that hand to hold her little niece/nephew. And to be my birth coach, that's what sisters are for. :)

I found out I was pregnant the week we found out moms cancer was back. I got to work on Monday after being in the hospital all weekend and looked at what day it was and freaked out, and took a half dozen tests (might be exaggerating, but not by much) that night which all came up positive. God has a funny sense of humor.

It's been hard to keep quiet as I'm so visibly sick all day and I'm constantly putting my hand over my mouth to prevent myself from spewing like the Exorcist. I'm convinced people who wait until the 2nd trimester and say no one knew, obviously have very unobservant friends and family or they're jerks who don't have morning sickness (aka all day sickness). Everyone who sees me regularly has guessed and congratulated me. Me and the parasite baby are being prayed for a lot and I'll take every good thought there is.

Well I have to pee again and my super-thirst requires some more water. And I forgot my crackers so I've got to scrounge some of those before my stomach realizes there's nothing in it and starts rebelling.

Love you all!


Colleen, Coach, & Baby Poppy

Friday, October 22, 2010

This Weekend

So this weekend my little sister is getting married.  I feel so old.  I am so excited for her, you wouldn't believe. She's such an amazing lady and her man is great.  They are perfect for each other.  But I have to say, when they first started dating I had great fear this little Army Enlisted peon would hurt little Caitlin's heart.  he was just back from Iraq, and although they'd been friends for a long time I had my doubts. Big ones. Especially since he's closer to my age than hers.
 
MUST.PROTECT.LITTLE.SIBLING.
 
But then I met him. And saw the way they looked at each other. And they've been grossly happy every since.  He's finishing school this may and then she'll be an officers wife.  Continuing the Gilmore tradition of serving the military the best way we know how: by nagging our husbands so hardcore they enjoy going to war instead of being at home. I kid. I kid. 
 
I'm incredibly proud of the service he provides to our country.  The sacrifices he made during his deployments when he was so young, the lives he saw lost. I hope so sincerely that our children can grow up without the fear that we had--that we won't lose these great men and women to a war we can't even see fought, for an enemy who hates use beyond our comprehension.  I hope their children never know the loss Caitlin and I do. 
 
I know that when he does get deployed I will dress our children as we were always dressed growing up: constantly with a yellow ribbon in our hair, on our jacket, on our backpack. Always with a gold/silver bracelet that says "my ____ is serving our country".  I'm so honored to know someone so brave. 
 
I'm so happy he'll be a part of this crazy family we have.  That our children will call him their Uncle.  That we will spend all our vacation time visiting them in all their different locations, that this is how our children will get to see the world--just as we did.  And to my little sister: that you may always have the happiness you have found here in this wonderful marriage.  That your blessings abound.  May your life always be filled with the bloom of hope and love.
 
Sappy I know.  But to bring you back to center here is something completely unrelated: I look forward to the day when I finally can poop like a regular human being again.  This is ridiculous.  But worth it. :)
The End. :) 
 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy 26th

This year has been so hard and so joyful.  I don't even know where to go with everything because I don't really feel like celebrating because my mom is so sick.  So here's what's happened while I was 25 (in no particular order):
  1. I got married
  2. We went to Maui on our honeymoon
  3. We moved into our new house.  Where I'm never leaving.
  4. I did the Big-D Climb and saw Preston smiling at the top.
  5. We put new floors in the house and saved my allergies.
  6. My mom had her stomach removed
  7. We decided to try and have a baby.
  8. I had a miscarriage.
  9. My friend Preston died of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
  10. My mom's cancer came back.  She only has a few months.
  11. We're having a baby due in June
  12. I went back to my PhD, at a new program at Oklahoma State
  13. I got super crafty with the sewing machine and home improvements

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Carseat Rant

After helping to install a car seat that was HORRENDOUSLY installed today, I have to take a derailment from my Cancer blogging of late. 

Infant Car Seats
  • These should be rear facing people! You should not use one that is older, safety models have increased dramatically.  I would not recommend buying one from a garage sale or one used, once a car seat has been in an accident it should be discarded (much like a bike helmet) and you don't know what's happened to this seat. 
  • Buy a infant seat with the highest weight limit possible. My favorite for many reasons has a limit of 30 lbs, verses the very common 22lbs.  You want that baby rear facing in an infant seat AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.  If that child reaches a year old and they are still not at the weigh limit, keep them in that seat until they are! It's not 1 year old and 22 lbs, which ever happens FIRST--it's whatever happens LAST.
  • Please bring these seats to a licensed installer at least 3-4 weeks before your due date.  We will install it and show you how to reinstall it.  You do not want to go into labor early and not know how to install your seat.  This happens way too often.  Think ahead.
  • Hospitals will not send you home without a car seat, plan ahead. See bullet #3
  • If you are a two car family and will both be transporting baby, I'd recommend investing in a second "base" unit.  It makes it so much easier and you don't have to worry about if you've installed it right into 2 different cars. They're cheap ($60?)
Toddler Seats / Booster Seats
  • Your child should be in a rear facing booster until 2 years old at least, or until they hit that weight limit at rear facing (again, whatever happens LAST). 
  • When you buy these booster seats and it has "tether", make sure to look at how it tethers.  There is a very popular brand that tethers over the baby's head when the seat is rear facing. I'd say about 85% of people who bring these seats to us return them because they are impossible to install (just difficult) and the overhead tether makes it incredibly difficult to get the baby in and out. It's a huge design flaw. HUGE!
  • When you move that child to front facing, make sure to adjust the tilt mechanism accordingly.  Read that owners manual!
  • Please reference the LATCH section below. don't use the outside latch mechanisms to latch the seat in the middle, you're just compromised the safety of the seat.
LATCH Systems
Don't know what LATCH is? get in your back seat, feel between the seat cushions on the sides: you should feel metal hooks (if your car was manufactured after 2003).  These little hooks are (essentially) little secure devices bolted to your frame.  New car seats use these LATCH devices to make the car more secure.  They're required now in cars.  However, most cars still do not have LATCH in the center seat.  You CANNOT use the outside hooks on the window seats to latch a seat in the center, the distance is too wide and the seat is NOT secure (unless your vehicle's owners manual says you can, which is rare if ever).  You MUST use a seat-belt if you do not have center latch and want to put the car seat in the center.  This seat-belt must also have a locking mechanism (the thing that keeps you from flying forward when you stop quickly) in order to keep the seat in place.  Check your car's owners manual to find out if your vehicle has center latch.  There are many SUVs that you would assume have the LATCH system in the center, but do not.  Many cars as well. 

Basics
  • Read the owners manual for both the car seat AND the vehicle.  Please.  If you can't figure out how to install it, please call someone who does.  Double knotting the tethers to the headrest (no joke), wedging the seat between the front seat and the back seat (also not joking), using bungies (wish I was joking), etc are DANGEROUS TO YOUR CHILD.
  • You don't have to pay a lot for a good car seat. 
  • Keep your kiddo rear facing as long as humanly possible. 
  • If you do not have center latch in your vehicle, using the seat-belt is fine!  But do not try to jury rig the LATCH in the other seats to work on that center seat.
  • Once installed, the rule is, the seat cannot move more than 1 inch from side to side or front to back.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Feeling Kinda "Blah"

I'm so tired.  I kinda feel like Donnies face right here.  Trying to pep myself up. 

Coach got me a spin bike for an early birthday present and it's awesome. I pedaled away on it last night during Glee.  I'm trying to take care of myself during all this.  I might have a nice post around Wednesday/Thursday of next week. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Always Listening for a Lesson of Truth

I was down in Houston over the weekend.  Mom is exhausted and worn out.  She had her stomach drained again on Friday and more chemo.  She has a blood transfusion today.  She even did the service on Sunday and it pushed her too far.  She needs to stop forcing herself to do this stuff, she can barely hold her head up and away as it is.  But it's her decision.  It's just hard to watch her when we know it's making her sicker.  But anyway, I'm not one of those people who ever reads the bible.  I know it, I've read it before obviously at some point, but I don't spout from it and if you ask me to recite a passage I'll laugh and tell you to pass the beer.  But the second reading yesterday kind of made me pay attention and I don't know why.
 
2 Timothy 2:8-15
8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, 9 for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11The saying is sure:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he will also deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
14 Remind them of this, and warn them before God that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.

So I'm sorry to those who aren't into God, but I kind of liked that.  Watch what you say, speak kindly, live a good life, because if you speak harshly or gossip all you are doing is ruining those around you who dare to listen.  Kind of a nice lesson with all this bullying stuff in the media, eh?  So hey Christians, see what He writes: it is not your place to judge, to speak harshly, to deny anyone.  All you are doing is passing your hatred onto others.  Let God do the judging, since He is the only one who can. 

End of soapbox for the day,
Colleen
 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I am so TIRED

I'm so exhausted.  My mom is home and doing a little better.  She didn't get home until Tuesday because insurance got tied up in getting her TPN (liquid food) order set up through the home-health service.  She's still in some pain and is not sleeping as well as she probably needs to be. My grandparents are with her and I'll go down tomorrow to spend the weekend. I'm glad to go down, I want to spend time with her, but I'm also craving a whole day in bed with my full DVR.  Selfish.  Caitlin is going next weekend so I'll catch up on this filthy house then.  

Caitlin's wedding is going to be on the 23rd of this month because there is no way mom is going to make it to May 14.  It'll still be really nice.  We'll have a small reception at Sorento's, which is the amazing restaurant my mom and Bob had theirs at.  Best food in Houston, at least to me. 

I have so much going on and so much I don't feel comfortable putting here right now, maybe in a few more weeks when things are more solid.  Which kills me because I feel the need to talk about it here for the 2 people who read, but I am not comfortable with it yet at the same time.  So sorry... but keep checking back. 

UPDATE: mom just called. she's having her stomach drained again tomorrow and has to be at the hospital at 7:30.  Then she has chemo after that. So I drive down, then I'll just wait for her and my grandmother to return. I'm worried about her being with my grandmother during all that because she usually needs help and my grandmother is not super mobile either.  It's kind of worrying me.  Not to mention that my grandmother is A HORRIFIC driver and she's going to be driving around downtown Houston? If my mother doesn't kill her I'll be surprised.  What a mess... which I could have gotten down there today to take her to all these appointments.  I don't feel good about her being with my grandmother because she can't even get her out of a car or doesn't even know where anything is! I know, paranoid right?

Monday, October 4, 2010

God Has a Sick Sense of Humor

I didn't set this to publish until after our first appointment, but I wrote it just minutes after finding out we were pregnant.  Luckily everything seems ok!
See that little blue thing? Yeah... that would be a positive pregnancy test.  Insert shocked face.  Then as my heart started racing and my tears began running, I couldn't believe it.  That this would happen now.  So I of course peed on a more expensive one. 
Do I tell you? Do I tell my mom? Do I tell anyone?  Will I lose this little life too, this time because of stress?  Whirling thoughts.  Then it hits me: slow your heart-rate down, breathe.  God wouldn't give me this life without knowing I could do it.  Without knowing He was giving me a reason to see the joy in this awful time right now.  To force me to stay calm, to stay centered, to love my mother for the gifts she gave me and the memories I will give this life.  Peace....

Kindness

We left Houston around 3pm yesterday and made good time home.  I was glad to get the whole car ride with just Coach.  We haven't had very much time together since all this has happened, I'm so fucking irritated by football and the whole system he's forced to participate in right now.  I never see him and I need him so badly right now.

Anyway, mom was exhausted Friday and Saturday, but finally had a little energy (I mean very little, but at least more than the rest of our visit) Sunday.  Caitlin and her fiance left around 2.  I got to talk to my mom for the first time all weekend.  I was wanting to talk to her about how she is dealing with all this and hadn't gotten that chance with everyone there and her being so tired.  So even though it probably wasn't 5 minutes I felt much better seeing her talk to me and discuss all this insanity for the first time since we'd arrived.  She said she's not afraid of dying, she's afraid of leaving--she doesn't want to leave us.  It was probably the first time all weekend I couldn't hold the tears back and that just killed me. It feels so selfish to cry right now, it's not me having to go through such a horrible and painful event.  Not me having to say goodbye to everyone I love. 

My stepdad just broke down every night at dinner but you can tell he's holding it together in front of my mom and is the most convincing of all of us.  I feel so awful for him.  He'll be there all alone when she's gone.  I want him to come up and live near us where we can continue to be a family.  It's ironic how when you get the family you've always wanted it gets riped away, with such little warning. 

I feel like a heartless bitch watching everyone around me break down, but like I said before I just can't go down that road now.  She's my mom and she raised me to be tough and strong, and I feel like I need to help this family as much as I can now.  Not that I'm not devastated, not that I'm not so deeply scared and hurt, not that I'm not breaking down, but outwardly I am trying to remember everything good about my Mom--which, as she requested yesterday, is how we will do this. 

I feel like my soul is glazed over.  With my dad everything was so sudden, you were forced headlong into it without a wait.  I honestly do not know which is worse.  Experiencing both.... I want to be with her until the end.  I'm taking as much time off as I need, working remotely (work has been great), and spending weekends with her to make sure I don't regret a moment.  I have enough baby time saved up from before, and it's never a question of using that time now.  She's my mom.  I hate seeing her this way.  This is not how she wants to do this, in so much pain needing so much help.  But I'll be there to make it as painless, filled with love, as I can.  I know we all will.

But my stepdad said it best: This is SO FUCKED UP.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A True Partner

A True Partner

The thing I keep seeing is how thankful I am for Bob, my stepdad. They got married a month and a half before her initial diagnosis. They just celebrated their first wedding anniversary. Throughout this he has been full of support and love for my mother. Absolutely unwavering. His constant humor has brought my mom out of such pain, constantly.

He is about to lose his wife. They were supposed to grow old together. How do you live with losing your best friend, your partner in crime, your soul mate? Watch them battle, watch them go through this. They're in so much pain but he is so caring, so loving. How? How is this fair?

We're here and I realize I just posted but I think this writing is really cathartic. It's helping me center myself. Watching him come in, put his arm around her and her whole body lean into him--that she has that is beyond my greatest wish for her. I only hope that everyone in these horrible situations is lucky enough to have that.

Even if we know it's only a short time left--heads up, chests out, march on.


Colleen

Sent from my iPhone

New News is Good News? Or Something

Update on The Rev 10-1-2010

Since my first post we've found out a little more.  She has to go back on the TPN (nutrition she receives through a port) and it's too hard to administer chemotherapy through IV (especially since she's having it every day), so today she had a port put in and her abdomen drained again. She's having chemotherapy every day for 2 weeks, then 1 week off, repeat for 6 weeks (2 rounds)--this will shrink the polyp-like tumors on her peritoneal cavity that are creating all the fluid. Which will then reduce all the pain she is in from the fluid that the tumors produce. Giving her (hopefully) good quality of life for her last few months. We're exploring other options and will meet with doctors from MD Anderson (Which is right next to St Lukes) soon.  Stomach cancer metastasis are the worst there are so she has limited possibilities.  Medically, that's where we are at.

My sister and I just made it to Houston to see her, make some family decisions (both with her and with my Stepdad). The boys are driving down tomorrow morning. She started chemotherapy yesterday. She's exhausted and weak, but we're in her room while she is resting and I'm glad we are here. There's a lot going on but it's still unsure. We know she has about 6 months. Caitlin is moving her wedding up to next month-ish. She won't make it to may.

I'm still kind of in shock, but I'm dealing with so much trying to deal with Caitlin's sadness, both of our constant emotions and crisis management feelings that I don't think it'll hit me for a long time. I'm in crisis management mode, everyone is going to me for help and guidance. I have a few moments here and there to deal with my thoughts but I'm just getting things done. As usual. Plus, if I try to break that wall down there is too much behind it and I need to be strong for myself. I can't make this about what this will do to me, be selfish about it. No one asks for this. I really refuse to spend these last few months crying. It won't help, I need to remember the woman who raised me to be who I am, strong and hopeful and true, her death won't change that. Although I know it will change me forever.

We're going to stop trying to get pregnant. I'd lose the baby even if, by some miracle, I did conceive. Plus, my pumping isn't working right and hasn't been and the solution is hormones, so maybe this will give my body enough to heal itself. My children are going to miss out on a great lady. It kills me. But she'll be watching out for them too. I just have to have faith that this is the right choice. It seems like the only choice, I can't bring a child into this world when I'm hurting so deeply. It isn't fair, to anyone.

Honestly, i don't think I have even grieved for Preston yet and can't even begin to handle this. I'm the caretaker, the problem solver. And Jonathan can't get out of football even for this, which he hates and is so messed up about, but it means I don't even have him like I did last year when she got diagnosed.

I'm in her room now and she looks so small and ... The only word I can think of is defeated but that isn't quite right in the current sense. I don't know.

Thanks for the prayers, I'll probably just keep updating my blog with info. We might start a caringbridge but I duhno yet. Love you,

Colleen