Sunday, March 1, 2015

So Long, February!

pride myself on not being one of those people who only focus on the bad. For instance, I never look back at a few bad things that have happened and say, "Man, 2014 was an awful year! I'm so glad it's over."  Because frankly, everyone could say that about pretty much everyday of their lives if they wanted.

Every single person has things go wrong during their day/week/month/year. If we all only focused on the bad, it would just be a lot of complaining all of the time. And don't you have those friends that only post the negative on Facebook of Instagram? Don't you read the blogs that only talk about all the terrible things that have happened to them that week? Guess what? I hide those friends and I stopped reading those blogs. 

I don't always want to read about the bad stuff. I'm not talking about the big stuff- I am glued to my Caring Bridge app and religiously check it 1,000,000 times a day for any updates on friends who are battling some pretty serious stuff. 

I'm talking about the mundane, every day, my-kid-only-napped-for-five-minutes stuff (and totally not playing holier than thou- I have written about that or posted that on several occasions!!). 

But when all you do is focus on the bad, it gets really old. Plus, one thing I learned? There is always someone out there who has had it worse than you. Always.

And look, I'm not someone who only lives life through rose-colored glasses. But I do try to wear them more often than not. 

All that being said, sometimes it just feels good to have a total poor-me, cry-it-out session. I truly believe those do a lot of good. Sometimes, there just is nothing better than a good ol' b****fest. 

Which is precisely what I'm about to do. :)

It's been a rough week. Actually, if I'm being honest and poor-me, it's been a rough month. 

The beginning of February was wonderful but busy with getting ready for Charley Kate's party. And as much as you think you are prepared, you just have more to do than you realize. 

One of my grandmothers was in town from Wisconsin. It was the most wonderful visit! She got to meet Molly for the first time and was here for almost two weeks! She came and hung out with just out little family on several occasions, she ran errands with me, she went along to gymnastics with us... She was just so fun to have around! It also helps that she gives incredible advice and is a really cool person in general! That Grammy is something special. I truly cherished my time with her this visit- and I probably appreciated it more than any other time I've been around her. 

But while she was here, my other grandmother was getting sicker and they were running more and more tests. I had CK's party to get ready for and between that and visiting with Grammy and going to visit MeeMaw, I just felt like we were going in a million different directions. 

Grammy left on CK's birthday and I cried. It was seriously the most fun visit and I realized how much I was going to miss having her around. My kids were equally in love with her and none of us were looking forward to her leaving. 

Later that night, once all the kids were in bed and Anthony had fallen asleep, I got the call from my mom telling me about the severity of MeeMaw's cancer. They were moving her to hospice the next day. 

I booked a babysitter and spent that Wednesday morning sitting by her bed talking to her and holding her hand and just hanging out with her. She talked some and asked questions about the kids, but mostly she just slept. I remember leaving to get back to relieve the sitter and MeeMaw was still asleep. I walked over to her and held her hand and told her I loved her and cried. I just had some feeling I needed to say a good goodbye. I didn't know it then, but that would be my last time to see her. I'm so glad I took the time to go sit with her, alone, one last time. Apparently when she woke up she asked where I was. Oh how that makes my heart hurt now. 

Friday morning was Valentine's parties at school. Molly and I ran a few quick errands, and as I was sitting in the parking lot at their school nursing M, I got a phone call from the school. They told me Jay looked very sick and had a fever. Which was weird because he was perfectly fine that morning.

Proof that he felt great that morning!

I walked into school and he was sitting in the office draped in blankets just shaking. His fever was 101.2 at the time. I got him home and by then his fever was 102.2 and he was feeling bad. I gave him Motrin and called the doc. By the time I got a call back (30 min) his fever was up to 103. The office told me they could get him in at 2:50 that afternoon! It was 1115!! He was complaining that his head hurt and his neck hurt and he had this high fever- I was in full-on panic mode thinking it was spinal meningitis! I took the dumb 2:50 appointment and asked if I should go to Urgent Care. They said it sounded like it was the flu and that he would be fine waiting. Another 1/2 hour went by and his fever was still going up. Now at 103.5 an hour after I gave him Motrin. 

Sleeping in the car while I was sitting in the driveway debating what to do. 

I called the doctor back and really pushed for an earlier appointment time- even with a different doctor. They said they could do 1:00, but that was it. I called my oldest sister, Jennifer, who was out with my mom helping to take care of MeeMaw. I was supposed to be picking my littlest sister up from the airport and heading out to my aunt's to see MeeMaw. So we are scrambling to make other plans and Jennifer came back this way to take care of Molly and Charley Kate for me. 

Meanwhile Jay is going down, down, down. His fever is up 104.4 and he is becoming pretty unresponsive. He can't stand up and is just so sick. Poor poor baby. I load him up and he is deadweight- I pushed him in our old school stroller because I didn't think he'd fit in our umbrella. We walked into the office looking pretty pathetic. 

They did a flu test (negative) but the doctor said there was no way it wasn't the flu. He said they get more false negatives than not, and prescribed him some Tamiflu. He said if he didn't perk up after a dose of Tamiflu and one more dose of motrin, to take him straight to the ER. Yikes. Y'all, he was THAT bad.

We got our Tamiflu ($1,000,000 later) and got some in him. He rested, he took more meds, and while "perk up" isn't the word I would use, he definitely didn't need to go into the ER that night. But good Lord, that child was sick.

The next morning was Valentine's Day. Happy Valentine's Day to us, right? Sick kid, canceled family dinner, you know... I would have asked myself what else, but I didn't even have time. We got word that MeeMaw had passed away. All the sisters just happened to be at our house that morning, and I am so thankful they were. We all just sat around the kitchen table crying together and telling stories. The husbands were so helpful with the kids. We all four went out to my aunt's house to be with my parents and aunt/uncle and cousin. We just cried some more. It was definitely not the Valentine's Day I was expecting.

MeeMaw's bed right after she passed away. 
I love this picture and hate it at the same time. 

Over the next few days, Jay improved and funeral plans got underway. We were so so so so busy- our house sort of became Grand Central Station for people coming and going and family in town.

Let me just tell you, there is more good in people than I could ever imagine. I feel like people go out of their way to be good and helpful and kind in two particular situations- births and deaths. I have experienced the goodness of people in all three of my children's births, but I haven't had to go through a death (since I've been a grown up).

I tell you what, people are so kind. We had more food than we knew what to do with (well, not really, we ate really really well for a long time). Flowers, cookies, donations, babysitting offers- you name it, we had it. Not to mention that Anthony's mother drove down just to help us out with the kids and be with us. I was central to planning and helping with arrangements, and Anthony was working and was a pallbearer during the service. No way we could have watched over the kids through all of this time, and it was so amazing having an extension of us here with our kids. I had such peace of mind throughout all of this because she was here. Thank goodness.

And you know what, it's really funny how funerals and bad things can bring out so much good. God does that for a reason, you know? He uses our sad times to draw us closer to him and to open wonderful doors. I had a blast getting to visit with my wonderful cousin and her children so much. What I wouldn't give to have her close to us in Houston. Lots of wonderful family bonding time. Lots of fun stories about MeeMaw. Lots of laughter through all the tears. That's what it's about.

Things got settled after the funeral and life got back to "normal" for a few days.

Then, last Sunday it all blew up again. Jay started throwing up and didn't stop. He threw up for 12 straight hours- no joke. Every single sip of water he had came right back up. After about 8 hours of this (and probably 15 vomit sessions) he was desperately begging for water but couldn't keep any down. No popsicles, no ice- everything came back up. I called the on-call doc that Sunday night and was thisclose to taking him to the ER for dehydration. I am NOT a rush to the ER kind of gal- I would do anything in my power before taking my kids and needlessly having them poked with IVs and having to sit around in germ-infested waiting rooms for hours. I asked her if there was anything else I could do, and she agreed to let me give him 1/2 of my Zofran tablets. If he threw up again I was to take him straight in (his lips were starting to peel because of dehydration and his little tear ducts were dried up- it was awful). He was pretty lifeless and couldn't walk at all. It was awful. This is the kid who rarely gets sick!!!!

He made it without throwing up that night, but was still looking pretty terrible the next morning. I took him in first thing and the doc and I agreed that I probably should have taken him in to the ER. Of course I felt so guilty and that I made the wrong decision and he was so sweet and said, "Don't let that mom guilt get you. He's fine and you didn't cause him any harm by not taking him in. But I think it would have been beneficial for him to be in and getting fluids and under observation." Agh.. I still feel terrible about this.

We made it through the day, and Tuesday was not any better. He still couldn't eat or drink, but was having horrible diarrhea now. I took him into the doc again, and he had already lost 4 pounds. For whatever reason, while we were there, he asked for gatorade (which I had on hand!) and started sitting up for the first time since Sunday. That afternoon he slept four hours, and was back down again.

Just in time for Charley Kate to start throwing up everywhere! All over the walls, the bed, the carpet, the bathroom- everywhere. She threw up 9 times from 12am-6am. NINE TIMES. I got less sleep that night than I ever had with any newborn. This was awful. Poor girl was so so sick.

Oh, and did I mention I had a migraine? Like, head pounding so hard I thought it was going to explode off of my body. I haven't had a migraine in years and years and years. Anthony came home from work at 8:30 am to help out (at the urging of his once again wonderful mother!). I desperately needed to get some sleep, so as soon as Molly fell asleep for her morning nap, I passed out for about twenty minutes with her while he was on CK duty. Once I woke up, I felt much better. I popped about a trillion excedrin migraines that day (not even close to helping). My mom came by, and I sent Anthony back to work for the afternoon. All three kids took naps (and I tried, but my head was pounding so hard it was just awful). Anthony came home a little early and we were just shocked by the recent days.

Molly started to get really unexplainable fussy that night... I should have known.

I got little sleep that night due to a fussy Molly and a throbbing head- but it eventually wore off sometime around 5 am! Finally!

We had well-checks the next day, which was actually a sick visit for CK. Third trip to pedi in four days- and talking to them on the days off! Woohoo!

We swung by my mom's after their appointment. Molly had had a few diarrhea diapers and hadn't nursed much. She just laid her head on my chest and sat there- for twenty minutes which is SO unlike her. I knew it was coming. I just knew.

Once she woke up I finally convinced her to nurse. She was in the middle of it and stopped. She looked at me and just looked weird. And I knew it was coming! Projectile VOMIT! All over me. All over her. All over my dad's chair. EVERYWHERE. Another one bites the dust! Since we were stuck at my parents' house, I had no clothes. So I grabbed the first shirt I saw and some of my mom's leggings...

Sweet outfit combo!

How I spent Thursday and Friday (not in those clothes, though!)

Jay ate his first meal Friday afternoon- and hasn't stopped since! He lost a little over 5 pounds. Saturday for lunch he had 15 chicken nuggets at a birthday party (!!!!!!!) followed by an adult 8 piece chicken nugget meal about an hour later! Charley Kate lost a little over 2 pounds, and Molly lost about a half pound. I SWEAR on my life Molly didn't get it as badly because she is still nursing. I believe that with all of my being. By Sunday afternoon, Charley Kate FINALLY nibbled on some food. Molly started eating a little better tonight (Sunday), but hasn't nursed or taken a bottle except 2-3 times throughout the entire day!!

Y'all, when it rains, it POURS sometimes. I am not a glass half-empty person. I am not a why me person. I am not negative. But I can tell you I was tested harder than I think I have ever been tested this month (and especially these last two weeks). Luckily, I have a mighty God whom I can call on at any time of any day who will listen to me cry and beg and plead. I have never been so worried about my babies. And all three of them!

Thank goodness for my husband, my mother, my mother-in-law, my sister (who watched my kids while I took various ones into the doctor and now her own daughter is sick with this!), and good friends who brought meals and toys and DVDs by. I don't know what I would do without this support system.

See now, there is always something positive to find- sometimes you just have to look a whole lot harder for it. Bring it on, March!

PS- I am SO sorry for the length of this post. Once I got started it just became so dang therapeutic to get it all out. Plus, I wanted to include every single detail so I can look back one day and remember that if I can make it through this, I can make it through anything! :)


the blogivers said...

And thank goodness for a new month to start with a clean slate! Surely it will be better - surely!!

ChelseaSalomone said...

Oh Courtney this is horrible. Anyone would be completely beat down. You went through a LOT in the last couple of weeks. I am so sorry for the loss of your grandmother, I can only imagine the hole that must make in your heart. :( I'm literally saying a prayer for you right now, for a fresh month of good health and peace. XO

The Torno's said...

Oh my goodness. So glad for you that it's over!!!

Kate said...

You need a new month!! So sorry you went through all this. Hoping March is much calmer.

Jason and Jenny said...

Wow. That was A LOT to get through. I am so glad you are on the other side and hopefully you've paid your stomach bug dues Forever!

Casey Charles said...

Bless you sweet friend! Here's to things looking up in March!