Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hooray for Today

Today I have so much to be thankful for.

I am walking. That's right... this nearly 30-year-old woman has learned to walk again! YES!

Then, I logged on to check on some of my bloggy friends, and the first thing I read is STELLAR news! (Luckies! I still can't quit smiling for you!!!)

And then... my BIL called to ask if I would mind watching my nephew once a week until our baby comes. Um, YES! Seriously, it's not even a competition. I have the CUTEST nieces and nephews on the planet. I am so excited! I can't wait for Thursday!

To make this week even more exciting, LJ's Spectrum play is this Friday. She has had so many amazing opportunities this year in the Gifted and Talented program. She has excelled even more than we expected and I think she's found her place. She has a part as a Sneetch (from the Dr. Seuss book) and is beyond excited. I may even post a picture of her in costume. I doubt anyone IRL would recognize her. I can't wait!

Oh, and there's the little place that DH found. It's a small restaurant that serves baked potatoes. JUST baked potatoes. They offer so many delicious toppings that I'm practically drooling just thinking about it. We've been there twice in the last week. Yes, I gimped my way there TWICE! It is SOOO GOOD! (Really, people. It's the little things!)

And to top things off, this Wee One who, sadly, still does not have a name, is becoming more predictable in her movements. I'm sure people think I'm a lunatic because I often find myself giggling for what I'm sure appears to be no particular reason. In all reality it is because she just plain makes me happy and I am beyond grateful for the little reminders that she's still there. Alive and (literally) kicking.

I am feeling so very, very blessed today. =)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Taste of Things to Come

I'm not sure if I've mentioned before, but my back is a piece of crap. (Thanks, Mom)

I have been through physical therapy and generally speaking, as long as I'm careful I don't usually have many issues other than an occasional flare. Granted, the flares are AWFUL and leave me basically paralyzed for a number of days followed by shooting pains and leg numbness. It's awesome! I know that you're totally jealous!

Normally, my doctor would give me a shot (or two, or three) of Tor.e.dol, a healthy dose of muscle relaxers, and a course of steroids (sometimes 2). Usually this works.

Sunday morning, I was sitting at the edge of my bed just getting ready to leave. I bent down to pick up my shoes, and when I sat up (no twisting motion, no awkward position... nothing) I felt the oh too familiar feeling of a nerve getting pissed off. Fire shot down both of my legs, across my hips, and up and over my shoulders. It passed quickly but left me frozen in my sitting position, scared to move. After a few moments I tried to stand. HAHAHAHAHA! I was basically stuck in the sitting position, only standing, and I could barely lift my legs. Oh, and I was home alone.

Although painful, I could still walk. I gingerly made my way downstairs and out to my car. I drove a few blocks to my Dad's house and sat with him for a couple of hours while I tried to decide what to do. By this point, I couldn't raise my feet, and was mostly in tears. Finally, I called the OB on call and told her what had happened. She called in a prescription of the steroid that I usually take, but told me that because of the pregnancy the only other thing I could do was take Ty.le.nol, cuddle up with heat/ice packs and pray.

My step-mom helped me back out to my car and I went to pick up the prescription (thank heaven for drive-thru pharmacies). By the time I made it home, DH and LJ were home. Imagine the look on his face when he met me at the car and saw my crippled self sitting in the driver's seat. Poor guy. He didn't know what to do. It took me close to an hour to get in the house and situated in my bed.

Although this flare has been awful in a lot of ways, I think the physical therapy that I did after the last bad flare has taught my muscles how to support the structures in my spine well enough to heal faster. Monday, I stood in front of DH, thinking he'd be so proud that I was actually able to stand up straight. That was, until he pointed out that I wasn't straight. I was tipped to the right. My hips were so uneven that even though from a side view I was upright, looking straight on I was leaning. Apparently, this is what the muscle relaxers prevent. My Dr. told us that it is caused by a severe muscle spasm that essentially pulls the leg up, making it shorter. Funny thing is, I couldn't tell at all unless I looked in the mirror.

Luckily, I am improving. The steroids seem to be working, and I am getting a bit more mobile everyday. I really am lucky. The last flare that felt as bad as this did on Sunday, left me unable to walk for nearly 2 months. This is only my 4th day, and I think I will be back to at least sitting in the next day or so. I can walk short distances relatively normally. It's just that my legs aren't doing so well at supporting me when I stand. All of the sudden they give out, and falling is the LAST thing I want to do.

My orthopedic Dr. warned me that this is likely only the first flare that will happen during this pregnancy. As the baby gets heavier, she will be putting more pressure directly on my injured discs. I'm not going to lie. He warned me years ago that pregnancy was a "bad idea" and that I was "one bad lift" away from blowing the discs completely. But seriously? There was no way I was going to give up. This is not life-threatening. It is merely an inconvenience (albeit a painful one). I can take it. Worst case scenario is that it speeds up the deterioration of the discs and I have to have surgery sooner than I'd like. Big whoop. It's going to happen eventually anyway. And let's be real. This is NOT the worst thing that has happened to me in the last 8 years!

And she's SO worth it!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's a...

I can't believe we have made it this far. I could barely sleep Thursday night, and then when I did manage to nod off, I had a schmuck-load of crazy dreams.

We decided to let LJ ditch school so that she could come to the appointment with us. We arrived 20 minutes early, hopeful that we would be able to get back with a tech before our actual appointment time seeing as I had another appointment scheduled exactly 1 hour after the ultrasound (not by choice). Well, no such luck. My appointment was at 10:30, and we weren't called back until 11:10.

The ultrasound tech wasn't the best, and didn't really try to get all the shots that we needed. It only took a minute to determine the gender, and then we quickly moved on to all of the other little things that they measure. When she was finished with the scan, she exited the room to consult with the doctor and make sure that the images were suitable. She came back, told me to go ahead and clean up and we were ready to go. Oh, and we'd have to come back. She wasn't able to get clear enough images of a few of the structures. "Which ones?" I asked. "Just the heart and brain" she said. Like it was no biggie. Sigh. I know that if it was something major that the Dr. wouldn't have let us go, and from what we could tell everything looked good. (The tech agreed. She said that coming back is really just a technicality.)

Honestly, I spent more time watching the look on LJ's face than I did the ultrasound. She was so excited. The experience is one that I will never forget. Every time the baby would move, LJ would either make a tiny squeaking noise or gasp. It was delightful. When she got dressed that morning she made sure to put on her "Girls Rule Everything" shirt, hoping to sway fate in that direction.

Well, apparently it worked. We are thrilled to welcome another little princess into our family in August. We are all very happy. I know that pretty much everyone IRL was hoping that we'd "get our boy", but honestly... this is lovely. I am not even slightly disappointed. I am beyond grateful that this baby is healthy, and just as happy that LJ gets a little sister.

Life is so good right now.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The New Tom Cruise?

So, I think it's pretty obvious that Charlie Sheen has flipped his lid. Remember when Tom Cruise was jumping on Oprah's couch? I'm pretty sure that's Charlie's next move.

I think it's hilarious that his insults consist of calling people "contaminated maggots", and "trolls", but if you're cool in his book, you're a "warlock" or "goddess". And what the hell is with the obsession with tiger's blood?

According to Charlie, Jon Cryer is one of the "trolls" that so badly irks him. Most of the people that have been verbally attacked by Charlie aren't commenting. But Jon decided to set the record straight.

See for yourself:

I totally needed that laugh today. Thanks, Jon!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tender Mercies

My legs are folded in front of me, body slightly hunched over with my abdomen bent to the right so that my arm rests on the headrest of the couch seat next to me.

I have been savoring the last few drops of my 20 oz. Coke, praying that the bottle will miraculously refill itself.

And... I can't stop crying or wipe the smile off my face.

My VERY REAL baby is moving, and...

I can feel it!

Gratitude doesn't begin to cover it.