Saturday, January 31, 2015

Omphalocele Awareness Day 2015

Happy O Day 2015!  The support group is petitioning to get January 31st recognized nationally as the official awareness day.  [Before I was a member] they adopted the cow print, cows, and black/white theme because the group is called "Mothers/Moms of Omphaloceles"  = MOO's.  hence, the cow.   New members will ask what's up with the cows when they join.  Last year, the group had close to 1,000 members (including a few relatives, fathers, grandmothers, etc) and this year it has risen to almost 1,500 members.   We wear black/white or cow print clothes to bring awareness to ALL the people that have never heard of this birth defect.  We support you but I/most of us are also "pro-O" in that obviously none of us chose to have an abortion.  We want you to give them a chance at overcoming their obstacles.  No its not fair.  Yes its the hardest thing any of us has ever done.  Its heartbreaking.  Its soul-wrenching.  Its faith-testing.  But its also a miracle.  And we are stronger mothers and individuals because of the journey no matter how it turns out.

Here is this year's Awareness Video on YouTube.  The second link is the music.  The video alone has no music so you must play both links at the same time (something about copyright issues).  You should be able to access the music link through this one.  Merritt's page is around the 9:30 mark I think (close to a 40 min video total).

Merritt is 2 1/2 years old and doing wonderful!  She weighs about 24 pounds now.  Not really sure how tall she is but I'd say average.  Her height has never been severely affected.  She takes a daily dose of OTC Miralax for chronic constipation and Rx Prevacid for reflux.   Her VSD (a hole in her heart) has never caused any major issues and last we checked (over 6 months ago) it was so small the cardiologist could barely see it.   She sleeps on her belly all night long.

She is petite for her age.  Nothing holds her back.  Small girl with a BIG personality.  Where there is a will there is a way!  She has always eaten well and better than my other 2 "normal" kids.  I won't lie - we live in the deep South - and I let her eat pretty much whatever she wants.  Mainly because I know she still likes her veggies and healthy foods, but I don't think twice about giving her fattening foods.  I still give her whole milk for the fat and calorie content (pediatrician agreed).   She is like her mommy in the way she loves southern-homestyle cooking.  She loves her casseroles, mashed potatoes, chicken of any kind, green beans, etc.

Here's to another great year for our miracle Merritt.  There were SO many O babies born this past year that we know about thanks to social media that has brought about awareness.  Even 3 years ago when I was pregnant, there was not much information out there.  I came across a few blogs and then found the Facebook group that only had about ~400 members at the time.  One day, I will get to meet the other wonderful O mommies I call friends now.  I thank them from the bottom of my heart for sharing their stories and answering my questions when we were going through the valley.  To Danielle, Kelly, Brooke, and a few others:  xOxO!

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Baby #4 FAQ's

I had every intention of blogging more with the new year, but January has been rough around here!   My dishwasher has flooded my kitchen not once… not twice… but THREE times in a week.  And almost 3 weeks later, it STILL isn't fixed.  We were under the impression that I could still use the sink and even that flooded through the dishwasher somehow.  I've been having to carry the dishes and wash them in the LAUNDRY ROOM!  Between that and the on-going laundry in there, not much else has been getting done.

Then Merritt came down with the stomach bug yesterday.  Vomiting and high fever.  Poor girl.  She breaks my heart when she doesn't feel well.

I blog for alot of reasons, but one reason is I hate to repeat myself (imagine having kids with that issue! haha).  So I've been asked the same questions lately, and here are my answers:

What is baby #4's name?  Mason Paul Miley.  Paul is Matt's middle name.  And we usually give them all their "own" name.  And it starts with an M to keep with tradition.  Mason is the only name we ALL agree on.  I like it… don't love it… but will go with it because I'm tired of thinking and debating with Matt.  And I can't really think of any horrible nickname associated with it.  I'm big on nicknames (in avoiding them that is).

Am I having a FOURTH C-section?  Why yes I am!  I am not worried about it and not looking forward to it.  It is what it is.  I don't dilate (at all) so even trying a VBAC is out of the question really.  Each section has been unique in its own way too.  With Mati Claire, my spinal block did not "take" and I was put under general anesthesia.  I woke up and had no clue I had a baby and thought I was still pregnant.  Couldn't remember a thing.  Couldn't pull myself together to get out of recovery.  Very heartbreaking and traumatic for me.  I didn't want another kid for 2 years because of that experience.  With Mattox, overall it was a piece of cake.  No drama.  I did learn that morphine does nothing for me and I itched like crazy for 2 days after.   With Merritt, I can't say I enjoyed that section at all.  With nerves and emotions already all over the place, they tilted my table for blood pressure reasons and I felt like I would fall off the operating table (even though I was strapped everywhere).  Very weird feeling.  Then afterwards I got really sick - have you ever tried vomiting while strapped to your back?  So not fun.  I think I pulled a muscle in my neck from doing that and I literally couldn't turn my head which turned into a massive headache.  Overall very weird and different than the others.  

#4 will be at the same hospital with the same doctor that I had with Mattox!  yay!! I am hoping and praying that this one will be similar to that experience… except:

Am I getting my tubes tied?  YES I am!  So add that to the list of how each section is different.  I'm a little nervous about it, but no hesitation about actually getting it done.

Where is new baby sleeping/room?  Good question.  He'll be in my room for awhile.  Til I feel like he doesn't need me hovering over him and watching him while he sleeps.  Then I will move him somewhere!  We are thinking about turning our old exercise room into a very small bedroom for him until he can share a room with Mattox for a little while.  Or until Mattox is old enough to live in the new room above our garage.  There is a spiral staircase and a waist-high railing at the top = Mattox is not trustworthy yet.  Mattox will have jumped off the railing from the second story or Spidermanned his way down the spiral staircase in the middle of the night.  EVENTUALLY he will be in that room, and Mason can have Mattox's old room off the kitchen.  But in the meantime, we think Mason will be fine with what used to be the exercise room (no window and no bathroom but will fit necessary furniture).

What is like to have 4 kids? Although our experience is not the same, this video pretty much sums it up accurately and my fourth isn't even here yet!  But I have noticed the lack of congratulating, people start treating you like you're Amish or Mormon or Catholic.   The "look" people give you pretty much says it all.  "Was it a surprise?"  nope.   Anyway, this video is absolutely HILARIOUS!  and so true!  I posted it on FB, but its definitely worth sharing again.  Enjoy!

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