Saturday, August 25, 2012

new babysitter, hard week

Life is a bit stressful at the moment.  We are trying to make decisions about the future, and just as I thought things fell into a good groove, something else came up, and I felt left in the air again.  Life is like that, nothing is aligned perfectly, probably ever, which is what makes living an art as opposed to a science, I suppose.

Emma is adapting to a new babysitter, and she has been very clingy the entire week.  This drives me a bit insane, as I cannot peel myself off her (or, more precisely, I cannot peel her off my leg to which she attaches herself to dear life).  Hence, the house was a mess for a few days as I could not tidy up with her stuck to my leg, and also we ate a whole lot of bread and butter instead of the usual cooked meals.  I have done my best to put dinner on the table every night, but for the rest of the meals, only Emma got something cooked each time, the rest of us ate bad carbs.

And we survived.  Note to self: next time we transition to a new babysitter arrangement, get a cleaning lady to come in twice or three times that week, as I cannot do squat other than reassure my child that I am not disappearing forever from her life.  And freeze some meals ahead of time.  And drop those standards way down low (that is the hardest one for me).

I need a holiday.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Today Emma got her one year shots.  It was quite different from the previous shots, because she was much more aware of what was going on, and she also remembers much better afterwards, making it harder for me to distract her.

We went to the Health Unit, which is just around the corner from my house, and registered.  A volunteer lady measured her weight and her height.  Emma got upset about being laid on a table to be measured like a sheep, and she started protesting, obviously oblivious to what was about to come.

We sat and waited, and she started playing with this tall toy that has wires and beads, you know the classic weird one that I thought no kids ever play with.  Well, apparently mine is very interested in that particular toy, to such an extent that when the nurse came to get us, she did not want to let go of it and hung onto the wires/bars for dear life.  I had to pry her off.  The nurse assured us that she had lots more toys in her office.  I thought to myself, sure, and some sharp needles alongside them.  In fact, I was in complete agreement with Emma, I also wanted to hang onto that toy for dear life.

But, we had to go.  Indeed, the nurses' office was full of nice toys, and soon enough Emma was talking up a storm, chatting with us, and handling every animated plastic animal and colourful item in that room.  The nurse plotted her along 97th percentile, and gave her her shots, which made her scream hysterically.  FOUR of them, to boot.  Then, she blew bubbles from a bubble gun, and that was quite effective at stopping the hysterical crying.  Apparently I also need to get a bubble gun on top of the weird toy with wires and beads.

In the waiting room, where we had to stay for 15 minutes, there was another one year old boy who had just gotten his shots, and was also crying.  Both of them sat wimpering side by side, looking at each other with snotty noses.  Then they decided to make friends, and played quite nicely with the weird wire-and-beads toy, until it fell over and both started crying loudly again.  At that point, both his mom and I decided that 15 minutes is too long to wait, allergies be damned, and we each parted on our merry ways.

Emma was cranky for the rest of the morning, but we took a 3 hour nap together and both of us recovered from the experience.  I have come to the conclusion that I should try to take the day off every time she gets her shots (I mean one more time at 18 months) as it is nice for her to have me around, and be clingy and feel safe and whiny.  This evening, I tried to tell her the story of the shots, and made whiny sounds as I was poking her shoulder with my finger, and she laughed in a sort of embarrassed way, which was so cute.  I was not laughing at her, just retelling the story, as we both needed to debrief and get over the traumatic event.  Phew.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


I had my hysteroscopy on Thursday, and I guess I should blog about it.  I am becoming so used to all these medical procedures, general anesthetics, hospitalizations and complications, that I forget that they are pretty significant events in my life.  The list of "previous surgeries" on my chart is a mile long.  All of them obs-gyne related, except for a lonely tonsillectomy that I decided to have before attempting to procreate.

On Wednesday morning I went for the pre anesthetic consult, and given my history of serious bleeding with both babies, they typed and cross matched me for some blood, just in case.  On Thursday, bright and early at 4:30 am I left for the hospital, and took very literally the recommendation to bring no valuables.  In fact, it was so early, that I forgot to bring anything at all, except for my own self, with the clothes I was wearing.  I got to the main desk and, without a CareCard or some ID they signed me in for the surgery anyway.  They had my insurance number from the doctor's office, but still, it was pretty remarkable anyway.

A gay nurse from the Philippines started my IV while chatting about Vancouver real estate.  Then the medical student working with the anesthesiologist came to take my history, and ran out of paper pretty quickly.  Then the anesthesiologist came, and declared me ill with some form of bleeding disorder or other, even though all of my bleeding screens came back negative.  I guess I will have to see a hematologist at some point in the future.  Then the OB resident came.  Then the OB chief resident.  And, somewhere in there, I briefly got to see my surgeon, whom I gave my husband's number back home and asked him to please phone him with the findings, as I am very unlikely to remember anything he might tell me right after I wake up (I had enough anesthetic hangovers).

A pretty nurse from Hong Kong wheeled me into the OR and on the way we chatted about her lack of boyfriends for the past few years, and generally about the lack of eligible men in Vancouver.  The anesthesiologist asked me how much I weighed, and I said 74.9 kg, which he proceeded to round up to 75kg, despite my protests.  Then, I got some fentanyl, and felt nicely drowsy.  The oxygen mask, then bye bye a few seconds later.  When I woke up in recovery an hour later, the surgeon tried to tell me that he found adhesions, but I really could not form any memories at that point.  I slept for most of the day, and in the evening I was allowed to go home after proving that I could void.  I was extraordinarily hungry and all I got was two crackers and a can of ginger ale.  It was worse than Air Canada domestic flights.  I decided right then and there that, although it was nice to have all this uninterrupted sleep (I got out of the recovery room at 9 am and slept until 2:30 pm non stop), I had to get some chow, so I took out my own IV and left.  I got my dad to pick me up, and to stop at a gas station on the long way home so that I could get a pack of Pringles (they were multigrain, hm).  (I hate Pringles, but there wasn't much choice there, it was either that or chocolate).

So, the summary that I got from my husband is that I had a large fibrotic mass at the entrance in the uterus, where the cerclage had eroded through.  He separated the adhesions and created an entrance to the uterus.  The fundus looked ok, and generally the uterine cavity was fine, so if I do not re-adhere and there is a way into the uterus, I can get pregnant via IVF again.  He left a balloon catheter in the uterus for a week, and gave me antibiotics.

I feel fine, except for the occasional discomfort and mild spotting.  I resumed caring for Emma right away, and other than feeling very tired and weighing 5 lb more the following day, the surgery did not leave me with too many sequellae.  In fact, given my colourful history, it went remarkably smoothly. If in six weeks the uterus is still open enough to pass a catheter through, then he will be replacing the cerclage, and that will be a more involved surgery, with an overnight stay.  If they give me more than a pack of crackers to eat, that is.

Friday, August 10, 2012

First birthday

My little girl turned one today!  One year ago, she was emerging from my belly and crying "lustily" (as the OB wrote in the delivery note).   One year ago, I was getting to know her.  On her second night I cried when I saw how strong she was, how much she wanted to live, and how long she was wailing because I did not have milk.  If only I knew then what I know now, she would have been sleeping peacefully.  But, anyway, that was then, this is now: she is alive, strong, healthy, smart, and beautiful.  And so cute!!!

I am so very much in love with my daughter.  She is my everything.  With her, I feel like I am complete, and I thank her so much for existing.  She is a true blessing!  I don't know how she chose me, but I am thanking my lucky stars that she did.

Tomorrow we are going to have a little party for her, and we are going to cut a few little hairs from her head, by Romanian tradition.  This is symbolic of something, I just don't yet know what of.  I guess I'd better go do my research.  (Don't worry, MrH, we are not cutting her beautiful blond hair, you won't even notice...besides, I love her hair just as much as you do).

Thursday, August 2, 2012

on fear and trusting

Emma is going to be one in a few days, specifically in just 8 more days (August 10 is her birthday).  She is walking about four to five steps, and can use a spoon, although not always without spilling.  She is a sweet, sweet child, although sometimes she scratches me and slaps me quite hard when she is excited, so I look like an abused mother at the moment, with marks on my left cheek.  We have worked hard on touching softly, not throwing objects, and not scratching or slapping, and things are going well, except for when she is too excited to remember.  She is still a baby and does not have good control over her limbs yet.  As for words, she says mama, dada, tata, and kak (for caca=poop).  Of all things, the kak is funny.

Last night, while my husband, my mom and myself were in the dining room talking, Emma, who was on the floor next to us, wrapped an electrical cord that connected the speakers to the amplifiers around her neck, and by the time she started to cry the cord was pretty tight.  I nearly froze.  I unwrapped it, and my husband who was also terrified of the whole thing, cut the cord with a knife and we now have no speakers.  Scary stuff.  An accident could have happened with me right there!

This of course scares me to no end.  I worry about Emma having to go to another person's house, in another person's care, especially that it looks like I might have to increase my work hours in the not-so-distant future.  I had a chat with my husband about this, and he told me that he does not think that another person will be any less careful than me, and that obviously things can happen even if you are all the time with your child.  You never know when the one second of inattention can lead to a very bad thing.

I guess this lead me to think about God providing for us, a fact that I have come to forget lately.  I worry about the future, and I find it hard, without practice, to give my worries to God and to trust that He will provide, just has He always has, in some way, shape or form.  God will direct me towards good child care.  He will also let me know if I should work more or less.  I am forever torn between my duty to my patients and my duty to my daughter, and both are callings for me, but of course my daughter is the one that takes priority, since I am the only one that can be her mother, while as my patients can have another doctor.  However, it was through the grace of God that I have learned to do what I do, and I owe it to Him not to waste my skill and knowledge either, but to serve others.  That being said, life is long, and everything has its own season.

So many thoughts are running through my head... On top of everything, my hysteroscopy date is August 9, and it is approaching fast, so I am very nervous about that.  Not about the procedure, but about the possibility of waking up from the anesthetic to hear that my uterine cavity is all scarred up with Asherman's adhesions.  Again, something that I should better leave in God's hands.