Ahhhhh! Life! What a crazy ride!
Remember when I used to blog? Yeah, about that. Life kinda sucked me in and chewed me up for a bit. I mean, I am just doing the basics around here. But I am recently starting to attend to some beyond-basic goals, and I have been challenged to do something for me... something that makes me, ME. And once upon a time when there was a "me," I used to enjoy writing. I don't know if this actually counts as the kind I used to enjoy, but it's a start.
Let's get this party started with a review of "Being Summer Schaefer, 2012".
One day in early March I feel shaky and weak. Weird. Another day in March I feel shaky and weak. Weirder. I call the hubs and while I'm chatting with him telling him my bodily state, I rummage through the bathroom cabinet and find a pregnancy test. I pee on it. I'm still talking to Michael (don't judge) and he asks if I need to see a doctor. Right as he questions me, I see a distinct "positive" line show up on the pee-stick. So I reply, "Yes. I should probably see a doctor. I'm pregnant." He, of course, thought I was kidding because no where in our immediate agenda was pregnancy. We thought we were doing a fine job at preventing actually. After all, we had a 10 month old baby boy. But the minute that line announced the surprise, we were filled with oodles of freaked out excitement.
So, I scheduled an OB appointment with the best doc ever, Dr. Horsley. He ordered the standard blood-thinning shots I take in pregnancy due to my hereditary predisposition to clot. I was still getting maternity insurance in order, so I waited a handful of days (maybe 5) to pick them up from the pharmacy. But in those few days, I felt a strange (invisible) bruise in my upper inside calf. The next day, it was still invisible, but larger. I called the doc. They said to watch it. It got larger. So I went in for a sonogram on it. I had a blood clot. A superficial one all the way up to my groin. But superficial ones aren't dangerous. However, the clot was very close to my deep vein system, so to be safe, they upped my shot dosage substantially. I went in for another sonogram a few weeks later, and the clot had shrunk a ton. So a visiting high risk OB ordered my dosage to be lowered again. Dumb ass. After about a week on the lower dose, I felt the bruise grow again, this time all the way above my groin area. So I went in for another sonogram and sure enough I now had a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), the dangerous kind. The ultrasound tech called Dr. H to report the findings, but she couldn't get a hold of him. She said I wasn't allowed to leave the premises, so she made me promise to go sit in his office until he was available. When he finally came to see me, I thought he would simply re-up my meds. Nope. He just walked in and said, "We're going to wheel you upstairs to a hospital room for a few days." I of course respond with, "WHAT??? You're admitting me??? I feel fine! I can walk! What the????" But apparently immediate death was a viable possibility for the next few days, so I was wheeled off and placed in a bed that I was not allowed to leave without nurse assistance. Well, let me take you to the night before this clot was discovered. I was stressed out and overwhelmed to the max and I PRAYED and PRAYED for a break. And I sure got one! I layed in that hospital bed cruising the internet, watching TV, ordering food, and effortlessly weaning my baby! It was amazing! A-MAZ-ING!
Fast forward through that pregnancy. Tons of appointments due to the clot, but all went well and baby boy Schaefer grew just fine.
October comes, and baby #4 is due. I have a scheduled c-section for a few reasons. Most important to me was so that I wouldn't ruin my bladder sling in the delivery. Remember that I pee-ed my pants horribly for the past six years due to birth trauma with my first. I was not about to give up my new continent life for a measly delivery! Second, Dr. Horsley (a stake president who I trust completely) STRONGLY encouraged me to tie my tubes. He'd prefer I didn't have more babies and die. Okay. C-section with a tubal ligation it is then! Mom comes into town to help out for a couple weeks.
October 15th (18 months to the day after Eli's arrival) and our SWEET, PERFECT Christian Michael Schaefer was born. All seemed to go well with the delivery, except for the fact that I did not like the drugs they gave me. And I'm usually a fan of drugs. Huh. Whatever. I was released from the hospital later that week. But, I got home and the following day, noticed a spot of blood on my undies right where the c-sec incision was. I looked and saw about a 2 inch tear. Not good. A few minutes after that discovery, I twisted wrong, and felt a RIP. Uh, very not good. As far as we knew, the tear was small, but my Mom and I headed to the ER. By the time I was seen, my incision had torn all the way across. HOLY BLOODY MESS!!! Sickity-sickerson! I guess my skin wouldn't seal shut because of the thinners I was on. They stitched me up and boy, was I relieved.
I saw Doc H the following Monday regarding the incident. And... he was NOT HAPPY that they restitched me! He basically said it was now a hot-mess of a situation and he didn't know how to handle it, so he sent me to the Wound Clinic. Basically I was now ripe for infection. Dr. WoundClinicGuy didn't know what to do either because to reverse the stitches, I would need a surgery, and surgeries aren't good for clotters on thinners. So he sent me to a surgeon. The surgeon seemed much more confident (thank goodness) and scheduled a surgery to clean out extra blood clots and NOT RE-STITCH me! That's right. It had to heal from the inside out. I was to pack it with gauze daily for a couple months. When I say "I" was to pack it, I mean anybody but me got to do the honors.
The surgery went well. I actually enjoy minor surgery. DRUGS!!!! Mmmmmm.......! As we realized that my birthing recovery had just been elongated, my sweet, heroic mom decided to postpone her trip home. So she played Mom to all FOUR of my sweet and crazy kids while I slept the days away! My body was hammered. Now, you might feel sorry for me at this point, but DON'T! When in your adult life as a mother can you be laid up in bed PEACEFULLY while someone else waits on you and your kids. NEVER! THANK YOU MOM! I dare say, aside from the physical pain, it was almost enjoyable!
Turns out that my Aunt Coral got wind of the happenings. She had years before had the same thing happen to her after a hysterectomy. So she kindly came right on up and spent a week with us tending to my wound. Thanks Aunt C!
And I have to say that Michael was SUCH A TROOPER packing my disgusting incision, although it did cause him to occasionally skip his dinner!
Since Mom's say was so elongated, Dad came up for Thanksgiving. I may have been in a sad state, but truth be told, my wildest dream was about to come true! You see, Black Friday is my VERY favorite day of the year! I LOVE IT! I love it so much that I never miss, even on years I have to brave the cold and crowds by myself. So when I realized that by some amazing grace, both my parents would be here for that eventful day, I somehow conned them into going BF shopping with me! Michael agreed to stay home with all the kiddos (including our new baby) all night and let us sleep the next day! What a guy, right?!!! I may have been a bit of a cripple, but I sure felt great that night! Dad made it about half way through, and Mom made it from 7pm to 10am! FUNNEST NIGHT EVER EVER EVER!
Well, I was beginning to get around better, so my mom was scheduled to leave the Wednesday after Thanksgiving with my dad. I guess it was about time for her to leave me to my own devices. Boo! HOWEVER (are you shocked), we were sitting at church on the Sunday before her departure and she pointed to her legs. One leg happened to be swollen while the other did not. Uh, that's not good. I'm very familiar with blood clots at this point, so I'm concerned at this tell-tale sign. She's not too concerned however b/c she's had a clot before and this one feels different. In fact, it hardly felt like anything at all to her. But I strong-armed her and promptly accompanied her to the ER after church. Incidentally, we had blessed Christian that morning and Shane and his family were visiting for the day from their Thanksgiving spent with Amy's sister. I felt bad having to take Mom away from them, but I felt strongly about the situation. So...YOU GUESSED IT! Mom had a DVT! You know, the possible insta-killer. So she was hospitalized and instructed not to travel for a time. Looks like she'd be sticking around longer. I have to say that assuming she would be fine, I was quite pleased that I wouldn't have to give her up yet, but in all fairness, I did feel guilty that now she was STUCK at my house and would not be able to go to Arizona over Christmas as planned to see my brothers. As luck would have it, Dad returned to Florida without her and Mom continued her crazy long stay.
Turns out that was a good thing. Right about the time I started being more mobile, I did something to my right foot. I have no idea what was wrong, but it was very painful to walk on it. I saw the doc and he thought I may have a hairline fracture, so he gave me a boot. The next morning I was getting out of bed to change the baby at about 6am and I stepped on that blasted boot. I stepped on it with my good foot, but I uttered a naughty word or two and went on my way. That is until Michael heard some commotion and came to see what was going on. He pointed out the blood on the floor, so I sat to look at my foot. I had sliced a toe of mine DEEP. So, my sweet mom and I headed again to the ER. Holy crap. Stitches. AND...another boot! You can't make this stuff up! I was quite a sight for sore eyes. Of course those stitches came out within the day making me wear that boot about a week longer. Cool.
During my boot sentence, I woke up one morning with the most bizarre pain behind my ear. Yeah, it felt like a monster bruise, as if I had whopped my head with a hammer! So I sheepishly went to see Doc Stevens and told him I had an invisible bruise that I had no recollection of getting. Turns out I
had mastoiditis. Well, what's mastoiditis? Oh, no big deal. Its just an infection in the bone behind your ear that is incredibly hard to clear and was the number one killer of children before antibiotics. He promptly had his nurse give me a mother of a shot in the buttocks and sent me away with mega-antibiotics. He warned me to be diligent with the meds or this infection would surely lead to a bone scraping surgery. Wow. Serious???
Don't worry! The drama is almost over. Almost. So, my good friend Crazy Mary was visiting Utah from Cali and organized a reunion with our good friends from our years in Hawaii. This was the Sunday before New Years. We made the 2 hour plus drive down to our friend's house for said reunion and pot-luck. On the way down, my upper stomach was cramping quite a bit. We stopped on the drive and I hurled a bit. I felt better after though and we continued. What a fun reunion! They are never long enough. So we began the journey back home and arrived close to midnight without incident. My mom and dad (he was back for Christmas since my mom was still out) were waiting for us since they had watched the baby to save him from the long drive. But within a few minutes after arriving home, the stomach cramps resumed, this time with much more furor. HOLY CRAP! The pain was so intense I had to breathe through it. SHOCKER. Off to the ER again. Dad took me this time. Gallstones. Freaking gallstones. Really??? I've never had an issue with gallstones. Apparently pregnancy is a naughty little catalyst for such an event. The doc told me I would have to have my gallbladder removed since stones don't go away and most likely I would now continue to have attacks. Unbelievable!!! But now early morning Dec. 31 and incidentally my last day of insurance. Wowza. I mentioned that to the ER doc and he ever-so-kindly said that was not his problem. He did however agree to call a surgeon and see if I could be fit in for later that day. The surgeon said he had no prob fitting me in for a surgery that afternoon. So I was admitted and drugged. Sweeeeeeeet! I do like drugs. Have I mentioned that? More drugs and a surgery followed by more drugs. Mmmmmm..... . So that worked out. Cool. I dragged my drugged butt out of the hospital at 10pm that night so I would be sure not be there at midnight when I no longer had hospital coverage. I was so very tired, and I layed on my dad's shoulder on the drive home. I am absolutely convinced that the timing there was divine intervention.
I got home and my mom had just used up my last bit of pumped milk to feed the baby. She was very tired as she had stayed up with the baby the night before. So I sent her to bed. Soon enough, Christian was hungry, but I was not allowed to nurse him due to the drugs (mmmmmm....) in my system, so I started preparing his first bottle of formula. Boy was I tired as I fed him that bottle. Yet I noticed as he drank that he started getting red around his lips. Then down his chin. Then splotchy all over his face. Then his ears started swelling. Pretty soon his whole tiny body was covered in hives and he was getting very lethargic. He began to cough and vomit. I freaked out. So I googled like any good little mom would do. I then proceeded to freak out more and rushed to the very hospital I had just checked out from. My tired mom came with me to visit the nice desk receptionist who had checked me in the night before and waved good-bye just a couple hours earlier. Poor Christian was given antihistamines and steroids through an IV and watched until he cleared up around 4am! Talk about scary, exhausting, and ridiculous! So no more normal formula for that little guy! Sheesh!
K, seriously, all this drama is just about over, I promise. Just one little side note of a hitch. My parents took us out to a big meal at TX Roadhouse the Saturday before they were going to leave (for real this time). We ate like kings...or pigs. Apparently that was not a bright idea with a freshly removed gall bladder! The next day, I was getting ready for church and pushing through some serious nausea. Until I started puking and quit pushing. And I continued to "empty" that stomach for the next three days in the most painful and horrific manner I have ever experienced. On the bright side, I lost 14 lbs. So as not to make people jealous, I made sure to gain about half back upon recovery. But I have to say that the DVT, delivery, wound rip, wound rip surgery, foot issues, and gallbladder removal were so very much more enjoyable that the raging insides I pansied through for those 3 days. JUST AWFUL!
You know what I believe? I believe God is in charge. I believe he tries us to help us grow. I also believe he doesn't give us more than we can handle. All the health garbage actually wasn't too bad because my Mom was there the whole time and I had a great deal of help from church, friends, Dad, Coral, and of course Michael. And I believe God packed those trials in for me because it was a time I really could handle them given my mom's stay and the fabulous insurance. Now I believe life will slow down and I'll be healthy as a horse until God deems its time for more stretching in that way. And if he sees fit to try me like that again, He again will provide ways for me to get through it all.
I will try to write more later about the other happenings in the Schaefer household, because of course there is more going on in this family than just my piece of crazy. Someday. Maybe sooner than later.
A peek into our window
- Quincy says "Where's Avy? I dunno." She talks sooo much and she's so small (5th percentile) that is seems like she shouldn't be talking at all.
- She roams wildly during church and has become quite the scavenger approaching anyone with food. Its embarrasingly adorable!
- Quincy's vocab has exploded to include the words, "please, thank you, outside, sucker, candy, Avery, Grandpa, slide, ride, hold you, ni-night, water, bird, doggie, airplane, etc.....! She seems so little!
- One of the most "wow" things she has done is climb one of those HUGE blow-up slides and slide down REPEATEDLY, ALL BY HERSELF!!!
- Quincy (with great effort) threw the upper couch cushions on the floor and then proceeded to dive off couch, climb back up, repeat.
- She says"I want: cookie, go, this, that, drink, wa-wa, play." She also says no, baby, hello, bye-bye, and peek-a-boo. And of course she says "Mom and Da."
- Quincy talks a lot now. But first thing in the day and then 100 more times: "I want coo-kie." Very telling about her love affair with food.
- A day after being educated, Avery pulled down his pants and touched his boyhood saying, "Hey Grandma, these are my private parts." HA-larious!
- (After using the bathroom) "I made a waterfall. Then I made it stop."
- "Hey Dad. This is my [invisible] friend Caillou. Will you be a monster and scare us?"
- "Grandpa, what's in your belly?" says Avery. Mom says, "What do you think is in there?" "A baby?" guesses Avery. "Nope. Just lots of cherries," says Grandpa Schaefer. HAH!
- Quincy was crying in the middle of the night and Avery said, "Take a deep breath, Quincy." It was sweet.
- Quincy was screaming like a pterodactyl for Avery's food, so he snapped "Chill Out Quincy!"
- In Avery's first attempt at being a smart-a, he was playing with his friend Jaden Knight and we were asking the boys their full names. Avery responded that his name was Avery James Day. Might have had to be there.
- Avery still tries to stick his hand down my shirt. When I won't let him, he occasionally asks if he can stick his foot down my shirt instead.
- I told Avery that Heavenly Father lived in heaven. He thought I said he lived 'with Kevin', so in alarm he asked, "With Kevin and Melissa?!!!"
- Avery was out cold and we had to go. It was odd how I couldn't wake him, so I threw him over my shoulder and started heading out. All of the sudden with startling gusto, he yelled "I see Jesus." I thought he was a visionary, but turns out he woke up just as I walked past a picture of Christ.