Wednesday, August 29, 2012

37 candles and a crazy birthday

On Monday I turned 37 years old! I don't feel 37 but then again, what does 37 feel like? I feel pretty good to still be alive considering my shaky entry into the world. I came out breech and alone. The doctor wasn't present causing me not to breathe. Luckily, another doctor saw me and ran in to revive me. The lack of oxygen caused cerebral palsy.

Jeff and Laura decided to celebrate my birthday on Sunday. They thought since he had to work and she had school, it would be better. They got me a necklace with a locket that says Mom in shape of a heart. Also a manicure plus pedicure gift certificate.

I'm a bit apprehensive about the gift certificate simply because of my involuntary movements. I had a manicure at my wedding and it wasn't the easiest. But Jeff thought it would be nice for me to do. We will see!

They also got me a chocolate ice cream cake! It was very tasty.

My actual birthday wasn't very good. It was pouring when I woke Laura up for school. Rain shouldn't be that big of a deal but when you can't put on a jacket, your wheelchair might break from being too wet, and your ramp becomes so slippery that your chair slides - rain isn't fun.

I had Laura wait at the bus stop herself as I watched from my house. Not far at all.. However, her bus stop changed and was on the other side. She was confused and ended up missing the bus.

My attendant and I ended up taking her to school. She comes at 8 so Laura was 15 min late and marked tardy. Later in the morning, I took my van in the shop because it was shaking. Here it needed new brakes, new tire, and a water pump. Certainly didn't expect all that or the bill that went with it. We were there most of the day.

When I returned home, there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my dad. That made me smile. Then my second attendant went to pick up Laura from school only to find out she went by bus. The pick up line was so long too. We got back in time and I met her at the bus.

When she got off, her little eyes and face were red. I knew she was crying. She buried her head in my lap. She explained that the bus drove past our street but didn't stop. She was scared that she was forgotten. Laura made me promise to always pick her up. I did.

The evening went better. Jeff got me my favorite pizza and we all relaxed. My morning attendant said she would come in an hour early when Jeff goes in early to help me out. It's good especially rain and I don't look so haggered in the morning at the bus stop.

Friday, August 24, 2012

First week of school

Well, we survived the first week of school. The first day she went on the bus I cried after it left. I admit even on the third day as I walk back home, I feel a grip of sadness in my chest.

The first day I had help getting her off to the bus. The last two days Laura and I managed and did quite well. Unfortunately, as I get bigger in the pregnancy, getting in my chair is going to be harder. I get on my bed and then slide in my wheelchair. Then Laura helps me fasten my seatbelt and put down my foot rest. When I have a pretty pregnant belly, I am not sure I can even get in bed myself so I need to come up with solutions.

This week the bus came pretty early but next week it comes about 20min later. So we can both get a little more sleep. She wakes up pretty easily and showers plus dresses herself. She's very particular about her hair too. Then we go in the dining room and she eats cereal, rice cake and juice. Then we go out to the bus stop.

I like the special time in the morning. It's calm and flows very well. I'm only concerned about rainy weather. My wheelchair shouldn't get too wet, I can't put a rain jacket on myself and our ramp is hard to get up when wet. (Our contractor put it in not in code. We are working to resolve this but it's slow going.) Also, as I get bigger, getting in my chair might be a problem.

Laura likes school. This morning she told me that she misses me because she always misses me when I'm away. I said something positive to make her feel good. Walking back without her is sad. But I remind myself she's learning and growing. Her teacher thinks she's wonderful.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kindergarten crazy

As most  parents read this, you'll probably think I'm nuts. I feel crazy myself actually. I thought I'd write a quick blog before bed.

I can't seem to stop crying about Laura going to kindergarten. It happens at night and just hits out of no where. This is something I always knew was coming and even teared up a year ago just thinking about it. I never let her know and keep the excitement alive.

Why am I so emotional? I'm pregnant but can't even blame it all on that. I'm afraid of her safety on and off the bus. Why aren't there seat belts on buses? All 5 years she has been safely secure in a booster or car seat. Now her under 40 pound body will be on a bus without seat belts.

I'm not good with dramatic change when saying goodbye to someone I love. Yes, I'll see her at night but after devoting 18+ hours a day around her, this is a huge change.

I know logically she'll be fine and happy. It's just my emotions take over. I'm praying I'll be ok to see her off Wednesday because I know if I show any sadness then it'll be all over for her. And I definitely do not want to ruin it for Laura!

Pray for me!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Changes in us

When I met Jeff, I was 33 and he was 29! I felt very old compared to him. I was a widow with a two year old. He was single and living life to the fullest. I was too serious and he was too carefree. Somehow we balanced each other out.

He opened me back up that life wasn't all bleak and bad endings. Life can be gentle, kind and fun. Something I lost in a 5 year difficult abusive marriage. I grounded him that family life is fun and rewarding. Structure and routine doesn't have to confine your life but enhance it.

Up until about a year ago, we liked getting to go out without Laura and taking more adult trips. Then something switched. Now it's more enjoyable to have her with us and when she's not, we really, really miss her. Don't get me wrong that date nights are still essential for a relationship. However, we toned down our craziness.

He has been a wonderful help with my pregnancy sickness and Laura. He tries to make me food I'll eat and cleans up everything after I get sick without complaining. He's very supportive.

Jeff has really transformed. He researches baby furniture and talks about budgets. Today is his birthday. Last night we went out dancing for his birthday. We went to our normal place but it felt anything but normal. I felt queasy and out of place.

He is 33 - the same age I was when we met. He's not doing anything wild or crazy. He's making room in our room for my computer so we can start putting together a nursery. He already purchased a swing from a consignment store and we've been to baby furniture stores.

This is a new adventure for all of us - kindergarten and a new baby! Dancing shoes might get dusted off again in about a year but we will have fun!

10 weeks pregnant with cerebral palsy

One of the most common questions I get is about being pregnant and having cerebral palsy. It's amazing how many people don't even believe its possible to get pregnant and have cerebral palsy. CP mainly only affects the body's fine and gross motor control. All other systems are intact and normally work fine.

I feel so blessed to not only have one child but two. When I was pregnant with Laura, I could hardly eat and keep anything down. It was pretty rough. This time around I'm 5 years older so I expected a more difficult time. Honestly, it hasn't been that bad.

The first week I knew I was pregnant, my lower back hurt and I had trouble sleeping at night. That passed and right around 6 weeks, morning sickness hit. On average, I throw up about once or twice a day. Some days not at all. Poor Jeff helped me with it in the car a few times. That wasn't fun. He didn't show any annoyance at all though even though I know the clean up wasn't pleasant.

I'm learning how to curb it. I need to keep pretty full at all times. I have a supply of twizzlers with me day and night. I'm hoping in a few weeks it'll be behind me. I also remember to eat a meal every 3 hours or I'm in trouble. It's annoying when things taste differently and smells are so powerful it can knock you out.

Yesterday marked ten weeks. Other than sickness, my energy has depleted significantly. I try to push through but it's hard. I also have laryngitis because I have acid reflux disease and whenever I get sick, the acid burns my vocal cords. I'm on medication but it's having a hard time keeping up.

A lack of voice can be depressing, frustrating and annoying. My speech isn't that well to begin with then add lack of sound. Thank goodness for my iPhone. I can write down what I need to say. But I need my voice back because I go back to teaching in a few weeks! I also miss singing and talking on the phone.

With all this said, yes I'm still happy to have another baby. Nine months really isn't that long to put up with some things compared to a child! It's well worth it.

End of summer update

I've neglected blogging the last month, and I apologize. It seems like a whirlwind of events have happened. After I found out I was pregnant, I was preparing to go to Ottawa, Canada. Laura had a trip coming up and wrapping up camp. Needless to say, this summer has been busy, hot and fast.

For the baby and I finding a doctor was very important. I loved my OB who delivered Laura but it turned out they just stopped taking my insurance. So to make a long story short, my mother in law gave me some good leads and now I just need to wait until September for my appointment. I needed to switch insurances and it won't be active until then. So unfortunately my first appointment will be about two weeks behind a typical first appointment but I think we will be okay.

Laura has been amazing as ever. I think we gave her a good summer. 4 weeks of camp, amusement parks, 4 fairs, lots of swimming, lots of crafts, movies and a week away with her aunt, uncle and cousin to pirate week. My only regret was we didn't get to the beach but I was happy to hear she had a beach to play at in New York.

Laura starts Kindergarten officially this Wednesday. On Tuesday I take her to meet her teacher and see her classroom. She's attending the Renaissance Academy charter school. On Wednesday she goes on the school bus very early but I pick her up at 11. On the 27th, she goes full day until 3:30. I decided to pick her up after school because if she takes the bus home, she won't be home until almost 4:30. The school is less than ten minutes away.

In another entry, I will tell you more about the Canada trip, pregnancy and changes for Jeff and me.