Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Oh My Heavens - January, 2013

There's a dark side to being a parent that just flat out stinks.  It's inevitable, it's normal, everyone experiences it.  But it is awful.  It's the part when you have to watch your child suffer and there's really nothing you can do.

I type that and can't help but feel overly dramatic.  My family is healthy.  We are blessed in that way.  I know many families cannot say the same. But I will journal this experience nonetheless because it's our story.

Asher had his first concussion.  Long story short, he fell on ceramic tile, on the most tender part of his head - the side.  Smacked his cheek/ear/temple right down on it.  I could tell right away he was dizzy.  Unfortunately, as it always seems, this happened right before nap time.  We were at my parents house and set to leave anyway so after a few tests (walk to me, what's Gigi's dog's name, etc.) I felt he wasn't in immediate danger but I would call the pediatrician on the way home anyway.

Asher fell asleep in the car as I spoke with the pediatrician's office.  The doctor said just watch him and if he vomits, becomes confused or loses consciousness either call them or head straight to the ER, depending on the severity.  Well, I pulled into our driveway and he threw up.  So we headed into the doctor.  She looked him over and all seemed to be fine.  Eyes, ears, mobility, responsiveness.  But my mommy gut said, "Eeehhh, I don't know."  He was really clingy.  He's only clingy when there's something seriously wrong.   She said to take him home, monitor him and if things got worse, go to the ER.  (She also did say, you know your baby.  If it would make you feel better, go to the ER now.)  Well, the question of what to do was immediately answered when he got sick as I was pulling out of the doctor's parking lot.

In an attempt not to panic I pulled over, cleaned him up the best I could and tried to calm him.  He didn't look good.  His eyes were heavy.  I headed straight for Children's Hospital which, fortunately is minutes from our house.  I talked to him the whole way trying to keep him awake without scaring him. Without scaring me.

By some crazy grace of God the ER was empty when we got there.  They got us back and into a room.  While we waited he fell asleep on my chest.  I tried my best not to cry.  A broken bone, stitches, even a high fever (been there a few times) I can take.  The head, that's different.  That can change a person forever.  So of course I was fearing the worst.

The nurse gave him Zofran - apparently this magic drug that stops vomitting.  The ER doctor ordered a CT Scan.  Austin arrived and we headed down the hall to radiology.  The nurse swaddled him and I thought I was going to crumble.  He looked so scared and I could do nothing about it.  Partially because I was pregnant and couldn't stay in the room with him.  Logically, I realize he was fine, especially with daddy by his side, but as a mom it just tears your heart out.  

Over the course of our six hour stay he enjoyed a dose of Mortin, cartoons, apple juice, a popsicle and one more xray on his leg (he was acting like it was bothering him and the doc said there was a chance he could have a toddler fracture based on how he fell.)  Everything came back ok.  He stopped throwing up and looked more like himself, plus a sugar high.

His diagnosis: a concussion.  A seemingly bad one based on his recovery.  He was visibly a bit dizzy the following day and seems to be slowly recovering.  Although it's difficult to tell as two days after the incident he came down with the stomach bug.  Completely unrelated but threw up for 24 hours. It's true, it stinks.  It's the dark side of things.

What I will say is in those dark moments I suddenly appreciate more than ever, the messes, the tantrums, the teaching, the patience needed.  I will gladly take those over scary any day.  But as any parent knows, this is only the beginning.  I am humbled and incredibly grateful for Austin, an amazing husband and dad and our family and friends.  They make those dark sides to life much brighter.

The Holidays, 2012

We had an AWESOME holiday season this year.  We alternate our holidays with our families.  Thanksgiving with one side, Christmas with the other.  It's more of a formality as we still see the other side for the holiday it's just not on the actual day.  It started with...

...a very full Thanksgiving.  This Thanksgiving was with the Joneses and McCanns.  This meant that Austin's aunt, uncle and three cousins from Colorado came to stay with my in-laws and we got to celebrate with them TONS!  As cheesy as it sounds, it was just really fun.  The cousins have grown up so much in the last few years and this was also their first time to meet Asher.  We ate, played games, laughed and then ate some more.  Asher LOVED being around everyone and still asks about the McCann clan often.

...Christmas was long but in a good way.  It started on (Friday) the 21st for me this year.  Austin and I went on a double date with the Newtons, to which we attended concert called Yuletide.  Let me just tell you, the group Folk Angel has changed my life.  I thought I loved Christmas music before but MAN I love what they've done with all the old songs!  That night made my heart sing. (Pun intended.)

That weekend we were set to spend a bunch of time with my side of the family, including my grandparents who were in from Arizona.  Unfortunately, everyone came down with the stomach bug.  First my dad and grandpa, then my mom and grandma.  So, suddenly our weekend was open.  While we were sad to miss out on visiting with family, snuggling in with our own little unit was the sweetest gift.

Christmas eve we attended service at our church.  Asher love every minute of the music and wanted to go up and see each of the instruments.  He kept saying "That's a lot a instruments!" We came home, had Pasta Bolognese, cookies and then put Asher to bed.  Immediately following, Austin assemble Asher's first Christmas morning present.  A toddler motorcycle.  It's plastic, without a motor or batteries.  It was perfect.

On Christmas morning we I woke up before it was light.  I was so dang excited.  Thank goodness Asher started to stir shortly after.  We scooped him up and brought him out to the living room where he immediately spotted his stocking and the motorcycle.  We opened stockings, had breakfast, then opened presents, then had cinnamon rolls.  It was a precious morning spent together and I can't wait to do it all over again next year!

After all the excitement we headed to my parents' house.  We packed a "just in case" bag because the weather report said snow.  My dad laughed.  Then ate crow 'cause IT SNOWED!!!  A few inches in fact.  Northerners, don't laugh.  That's a lot for us Texans.  It made it a white Christmas and I felt like a kid.  We celebrated all afternoon and evening and ended up staying the night just to avoid the icy roads.  It was so nice to spend the time with the family and especially to see my grandparents with Asher.  It's a luxury to have the relationship I have with them and huge privilege for our son to know them.

I say it all the time but I never get tired of it, we are blessed.  The Lord has blessed us in so many ways and this holiday season was such a beautiful reminder of what He has given us.

It's been too long

So much has happened since I last wrote.  Enough to keep me from writing because the thought of digging in becomes immediately overwhelming.  But if I don't, then I'm cheating my daughter of the possibility of understanding what life was like.  Before she was born, when she was born, and how she grew.  So it's time to get back on that horse...

I leave this post to bridge the gap from the last entry.  Last time I wrote, Asher was a year and half, we were in our old house and we were headed into the holidays.  Austin and I took a quick trip to Florida at the beginning of December for a wedding.  It was a sweet getaway, time spent just the two of us.  Four weeks or so later we found out...well, you'll see.  But first I'll publish this and the other two posts that have been hanging out, waiting.