Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yep, I have 'that child"....and I bet you do too!

I have "that child." My son is the one who is into EVERYTHING. He laughs at our baby proofing attempts. He climbs over and on everything, he pushes things out of the way when he wants something, he digs through bags,boxes,and drawers pulling out everything until he finds what he was looking for. He is very determined and stubborn. Yet at the same time he is very laid back. When the house gets quite you know he has broken into a room or got something he wasn't supposed to. He puts anything and everything into his mouth. He eats anything you give him and never seems full. Yep - my 9 month old is "that child" and I couldn't be happier. I think this all means he is the coolest, most intelligent, funniest, 9 month old ever. Well, until we have another 9 month old then he or she will join those ranks. I bet you have "that child" too. Maybe "that child" to you is a daughter that is so quite and sweet that she doesn't make a peep in church. Maybe yours is so well behaived that you can leave him in a room by himself without worrying about him destroying the place or himself. Maybe you have the child that won't sit still for a second is always running,running,running. Whatever "that child" is to you - I bet that he or she is perfect for you and your family. And that you think he or she is the coolest, most intelligent, funniest kid ever! And you should! Because he or she is :)
I was in the physical therapy waiting room the other day and a boy and his mother came in. The boy was probably about 9 years old and was special needs. He walked in and talked to everyone in the waiting room saying "Hi, How are you? I am fine" before each person could respond. He bounced all over the place talking to everyone but no one at the same time. When he was called back by his physical therapist he jumped up and ran over and said to his mom "I can do this by myself - you can stay here!" That mom had nothing but pride, love, and joy in her eyes. She has "that child" too. I have learned in the past 9 months that no matter what child you are given, what obstacles you might face, nothing compares to knowing that you have "that child" - the one who is absolutely and totally perfect for you.
Now I have to run - Fisher is quiet and I bet he broke the baby proofing down and made it into the bedroom.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My labor and delivery - the gift that just keeps on giving

Labor and delivery truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Since I had my son 9 months ago I have had many complications and issues....

Yes, the overall end result was and is worth it. I am thankful for my son however that does not mean that I loved and/or am giddy about everything that has surrounded his birth and delivery. PSA OVER

I have been to the ER three times, for three separate post partum problems and I saw the OB 8 times post partum, had home health come to my house 8 times, had one (and now a second scheduled) MRI, apparently had a kidney infection for 6 weeks that caused my incision to not heal, blah, blah,blah.

Since January I have been dealing with back problems. I have been trying to go about my normal life and deal with it. My little sister is a physical therapist and she was pretty sure my symptoms involved disk problems so she has given me lots of exercises to do to help with the problems. I have been doing her suggested exercises and activities religiously and my back just continues to get worse and worse. This past week it has become hard to get out of bed in the morning and is really interfering with every aspect of my life. So I finally made an appointment with a doctor and she said that it appears I have some bulging disks and a pinched nerve. She said I probably messed up my disks while in labor or pushing for the two hours. It makes sense - if people can throw there back out by bending over to pick up a piece of trash - then surely labor could do it. I have an MRI scheduled for next week to see the extent of the damage and I am going to start going to Physical Therapy here to hopefully address some of the issues. I have my fingers crossed that my back can improve with physical therapy and I can get back to the active lifestyle that I enjoy!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Shawn's First Father's Day

From the moment I met Shawn I knew he would be a great dad. Maybe it is the way he treats his pets like royalty or that he is one of the most loyal people I have met or maybe it is how kids love him.
He has been a father for 9 months and has exceeded even my expectations. Fisher is incredibly lucky to have a dad who is so interactive, loving, and caring. From the moment Fisher was born, he loved his dad. In the midst all the chaos surrounded Fisher at his birth, he was looking straight at his dad while the nurses and doctors evaluated him. Shawn took a few pics of Fisher within a few minutes of his birth and Fisher had his eyes fixed on Shawn. Shawn can often calm Fisher down when I can't. For several months Shawn was the only one that put Fisher down to sleep - he would rock him to sleep for every nap and each night. He used to sneak upstairs quickly if Fisher woke up during the night and rock him back to sleep before I heard him and woke up. Every time Shawn goes to the store he buys Fisher a toy. I hear the pride in Shawn's voice when I hear him start a sentence with "My son." I see the happiness in his eyes when we are in public and a stranger fawns over Fisher.
It has been an awesome experience seeing the foundations of an amazing father/son relationship develop. Happy First Father's Day to Shawn!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Corralling the geese

Confucius said "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." I agree with him in a lot of ways - I really do love my job and some days it doesn't feel much like work at all! However, some days it does - especially now that I am a full time mom and wildlife biologist - wow juggling work with mommihood really does feel like work sometimes.
Regardless, the last few days I have been able to get back out in the field for the first time since having Fisher. I went on a couple of goose corrals. What is a good corral? Good question.
There are a couple of weeks during the summer when goose molt (lose their feathers and grow new ones). During this time they can't fly. So we go in during these two weeks and remove geese from golf courses, parks, schools, and other places where they are being a nuisance. How are they being a nuisance? Geese poop more than you can imagine!! Each goose can poop up to 3 lbs a day!! So if you have 100 geese on your little park, that is 300 lbs of poop a day that they are leaving behind for people to step in, kids to eat, and all of that fun stuff. Anyway, during the time they can't fly we are able to very gently guide them into a corral type cage because they can't fly away from us. Then we can relocate them to a wetland area far away where they can do their goose duty of pooping 3 lbs a day without causing damage. It is pretty cool to see it done - because it is so quiet and actually kind of peaceful. There are four of five people quietly herding the geese into the pen. We try to be calm to keep the geese calm because if they get upset then they will split up. So anyway - I have been out on a couple of these the last two days. It has been so great to get back outside and work with animals again!
I guess the only difference is - I had to pump on the way to each corral. ha ha ha. We have to meet up at 6 am and I am not getting up any earlier than I already have to. I have gotten pretty good at pumping and driving. I am sure lots of working, traveling moms have mastered that technique as well!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My first time I felt like a good mom...

I guess I will follow up my bad mom post with a good mom post though I promise I do think about things other than being a mom. However, it is on my mind a lot as is Fisher's birth and delivery since we are dealing with his birth injuries again. We had to go to Cincinnati Children's Hospital yesterday so he could see a Pediatric Plastic Surgeon. We found out that he will need to have more surgeries in the future to place nasal stents in his nostrils to try to increase their size. However, the doctor stated that the surgeries will likely be more successful if we can wait until he is older, maybe three or four. So the last few days have been a little rough for me. While I am so ecstatic to have a healthy, happy, absolutely amazing son - I hate that we can't be finished with the birth injury phase for good.

Regardless - the first time I felt like a good mom (and to be honest, I feel like a good mom a lot more than I feel like a bad one!). Again, Fisher was in the NICU the first four days of his life. I am incredibly thankful that the hospital where he was born has a great NICU and it is on the same floor as the maternity rooms. Parents were allowed to be in the NICU with their children as much as they wanted which was great. I was very lucky to have great lactation consultants who worked with me and Fisher in the NICU to help us with breastfeeding - something I really wanted to do. Fisher thank God took right to it, because if he would have had even the slightest trouble they would have recommended bottle feeding or a feeding tube. Anyway, I was extra happy to be able to breastfeed him while he was in the NICU because it was about the only thing I could to help him. Being in the NICU he was on a strict schedule of eating every three hours so I would be there every three hours like clockwork. During the day I would often make the long walk to the NICU by myself and feed him. At night Shawn would always get up and go with me and we would sleepily feed him, hold him, change his diaper and then go back to our room. By the time I had fed him and cared for his needs I only had an hour and a half or so until the next time I had to be there. So all day and all night I was going back and forth from my room to the NICU. I would feed him and then walk back to my room to eat, shower, make phone calls, send emails, brag about how adorable and strong Fisher was, I was pretty much doing anything BUT sleeping. Anyway - that walk (more like a hobble, I was pretty beat up myself)to the NICU was something I looked forward to. In the hallway I passed lots of other new moms walking around with their babies, daddies getting things for their wives, excited friends and family on their way to see the newest addition. Though I was often jealous of their healthy babies that got to stay in the room with their mom, I was also excited about getting to hold and feed my new son. Each time I got to go spend that hour with him I felt like I was the luckiest mom in the world.
Fast forward six months.....Fisher is healthy and happy. I request my medical records from the hospital and was looking through them. I noticed that almost every nurses note said something like "Mother is not in room, she is visiting son in NICU", "Mother spends a lot of time in NICU","Stopped by room - Mother was on the way out to feed son in NICU", "Mother said she would shower when she got back from the NICU." Reading all those nurses notes made me smile. For all the people who say it is harder to bond with your baby if you had a c-section, or you don't breastfeed, or you are separated for hours after birth, or your baby is in the NICU, or whatever the case may be and your birth didn't go as "perfect" as you hoped - I say never underestimate the drive, dedication, and love of a new mom.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My first time I felt like a bad mom...

I know it is inevitable...every mom has that first moment that they feel like a bad mom. I have heard countless stories of moms who looked away for a second and their child fell off the couch. And what mom hasn't tried to sneak a shower only to hear the baby wake up halfway through your shampoo? There is nothing like trying to frantically shower while envisioning the life long damage you are doing to your child as he or she is forced to cry alone in the crib for 5 minutes. I will never forget the first time I felt like a bad mom. It is one of the most real, raw feelings I have ever had and I am actually curious if any other moms have had a similar experience.

My first "bad mom" experience happened after I had only been a mom for 2 hours. I had a really long, really horrible, really traumatic labor and delivery (that story is for another day). My son was born and taken straight to the NICU. I was sewn up from the c-section and had to go to the recovery room for two hours. At the hospital where I delivered they let healthy babies go to the recovery room with the mom after a c-section so they could bond and try to nurse. Those two hours in that recovery room were probably the loneliest two hours I can ever imagine. I was laying there wondering where my baby was, what was happening to him, and I just had this overwhelming feeling that he NEEDED me. I knew that he was hurt and in pain and I knew that I was the only one that could comfort him. After about 30 minutes a NICU nurse brought me a picture of him. It was the first time I saw him and though the picture is pretty gruesome and sad because of his birth injuries, it is one I will keep forever. I held that picture for the rest of my time in the recovery room and stared at it. I took a picture of it and texted it to my friends.

After I left the recovery room the nurse got permission from the NICU to wheel my entire bed into the NICU so I could see Fisher for the first time. I was SO excited, I couldn't wait to see him and comfort him. The nurse wheeled me into the NICU and there was a line of babies in their incubators against the wall. The nurse didn't know which one was Fisher and the NICU nurses were busy with other babies. So there was this awkward moment of trying to figure out which baby was mine. The nurse rolled me by the babies and we looked at them trying to determine which one was Fisher. This is when I felt like a bad mom for the first time. I was so afraid I would roll by him and not realize it was him! It doesn't make sense now but at that moment it hit me like a ton of bricks that I had been carrying this child for 9 months. My body had MADE him and I felt like I was a failure because I had no idea which baby was mine. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I felt so bad that this little baby had been born, beat up, hurt, and now his mom didn't even know who he was. If I couldn't figure out which baby was mine then how in the world was I going to be able to take care of a baby????
When the NICU nurse finally pointed at the baby that was mine - I was a little worried that she had pointed at the wrong baby. And then what would I say - "that is not my baby!" Of course when I was wheeled over to the baby I realized it was the correct one (it was the only one that had been beat up during birth and also the only baby that wasn't below 5 lbs!). Fisher was crying a little when I was rolled up to him but I talked to him and gently rubbed his head and he calmed down. As he calmed down I did too and realized that maybe I could do this.

Where do I begin???

I have been wanting to start a blog for a long time. There are so many times where I just want a place to type things out and get it out there. Even if no one reads my posts, there is something very cathartic about getting things off my chest.
I don't know where else to start than with Fisher. He is my 9 month old son and as so many parents say - he changed my world. But not in ways I expected. I expected the mundane things like getting less sleep, be busier, and discover what it means to have someone completely depend on you. I never realized that I would get angry at people in the table next to us at a restaurant because they are cursing loudly. I never expected to consider the safety factor and side curtain airbags when buying a car. In a million years I did not expect to wake up one day and realize that I could be perfectly happy if I quit my job and stayed at home with Fisher full time. Honestly, that one shocked me the most. It is something I am not going to do - but just the fact that I COULD is huge. I love my job and my field. I have worked hard and moved countless times to get where I am and I could now give that all up to clean up poop, do laundry, cook, chase around a crazy little boy? Shocking, even to me! But all the unexpected happened and continues to happen all the time and I find myself happily surprised at the little revelations I have.