Sunday, January 24, 2016

Our Special Needs Journey: Part 27 - Pregnancy, Surgeries, & Discoveries

I'll open with this - because, well, precious.

 In typical Nicole style, I have allowed far too much time to pass since my last post! We've been the usual amount of busy.  The biggest thing, for me, is that I'm now 13 weeks pregnant and have been very sick.  I thought that would have given me ample opportunity to blog  however I could barely sit up or open my eyes. Sick. Really sick.

So here I am, finally getting to blogging.  Never one to be pithy the following post is long. I apologize.  In an attempt to have fewer needless details and not waste time I feel this all comes off a bit dry and void of emotion.  It could be the sickness/worn out or due to a recent conversation where I was told I over share, talk too much, and give too much detail, but at any rate I feel out of my element today.

I'm emerging from the sickness; it's still pretty miserable, nausea almost constantly, but I am partially functioning again! This is all part of the process and what matters is that the baby is doing really well right now.  Measuring on track, healthy heartbeat, early screenings all show no defects or concerns.

As much as I wanted this - this child, I am not immune from the desire to complain about all the challenges and ailments that come with pregnancy.  Like "pelvic girdle pain" - it already hurts to walk and feels like I have a bowling ball weighing on my pelvic bones. Or like my new label of Grand Muliparity (having delivered 5 or more children - makes my uterus sound like a used car)!

I decidedly do not glow - unless sweat glows. The daily blood thinner injections are causing some bruising and a horridly itchy eczema rash on my abdomen.  I'm gonna have to give mad props to my hubby for sticking with me all these pregnancies.  I'm not at my sexiest - or sanest. Thanks also to the rest of the world for putting up with me!

 I'm only 13 weeks along but now that I am able to eat and drink again the belly popped right out.  I'm sure it's fat, bloat, and water weight but the ONE positive I get from this process is claiming this is "not fat, it's pregnancy." [I take very poor pictures & know nothing of angles and lighting and makeup, give me some grace.]

 We got to meet Chase & Marshall from Paw Patrol.  Some kids get snow days; we have must-attend-this-activity days!

Ever since our pediatrician retired we have been very unhappy with our replacement so I found a new one at Children's Hospital and all 4 kids FINALLY had their New Patient visits! While Julia hasn't gained any more weight (and is having other developmental & medical delays), before we got too concerned the Doc had her do a bone age x-ray.

Taylor has been through this for years.  Her issue is the exact opposite - her bone age is advanced by several years. So we are familiar with the process.  An x-ray of the hand is done and the bone growth is measured and a chronological age is given based on the bone size. 

Julia was 14 years 6 months at the time of the x-ray and her bone age is 13 years.  If you adjust the growth chart by plotting her weight and other stats into the age 13 chart things align up much better and we have less concern about her development.  It basically gives her an extra year to catch up. 

Julia was recently diagnosed with Tachyphemia - also called cluttering, a speech disorder related to fluency & rapid frequency of speech. This explains the mumbling, incomplete words & thoughts, running words together, speaking too fast, etc.  AND why she is not aware of it and is so frustrated when asked to speak slower and not mumble.  Her speech therapist plans to target this specific issue as the primary goal. The outcome is apparently not very good though.

We were pretty low-key this Halloween - but Bruce got to meet Spiderman! In other big news - Dean wore a costume! First REAL costume EVER!

During our long wait (we were erroneously given the wrong check in time and had 5 hours to kill) for Julia's surgery we got our crafty on and decorated canvas bags with fabric markers!

I was so proud of coordinating things so perfectly that Julia & Bruce's surgeries were scheduled for the same day, 90 minutes apart.  They would be in neighboring rooms at Children's Hospital and I could be there for both my kids but only need to cancel ONE day of our usual appointments. Sigh.  Bruce got really sick 2 days after his pre-op exam (as he always does going to that place - so glad we now have a new Pediatrician) and at the last minute his surgery needed to be cancelled! GRR!

Julia's procedure was short and simple - tonsils and adenoids removed.  The ENT wasn't confident how much this would help with her sleep apnea and her narcolepsy symptoms but it was worth a go.  We will repeat her sleep study in about 4 months.  I will say that between the surgery and her diffuser of Breathe blend oils each night she feels she is breathing and sleeping better so that's a win! She is having far less daytime sleepiness!

We had the talented Meagan Wanschura take some long overdue family photos in our backyard.
Photo Credit Meagan Wanschura
Nov 1st, 2015
Julia - 14 yrs, 8th grade 
Taylor - 11 yrs, 6th grade
Dean - 6 yrs, 1st grade
Bruce - 2 years   
I must have blinked! This photo is proof the days may be long but the years are indeed short!

Thanksgiving 2015: I LOVE having a large family! Meet my siblings & mommy.  Dan (my hubby), Patti (mom), Bruce, Allie (sister), Bethany (sister), Matthew (brother), Me, Dean, Julia, Taylor, and Robert (brother).

Master Bruce wearing his Batman pjs and opening his Batman stocking.
Merry Christmas! My baby brother is also a very cool uncle - and doubles as Spiderman! My boys LOVED it!
Gramma & Grampa hit a home run with this Hot Wheels race track!

Imholte Family Christmas: A crowd of us (not me) wore Ugly Sweaters.  My family is so fun!
We've been visiting the same Santa at ECFE for 9 year!

Several months later, in January 2016, it's time for Bruce's rescheduled oral surgery.  The upside to being soooo sick (pregnancy) is that Dan decided to join me.  My 2 PCAs are amazing and this morning Thuy went above and beyond  - taking the other 3 kids to their Fraser appointments so Dan & I could both go to the hospital.

It was actually a wonderful morning! Bruce scored a new coloring book & Dan & I both got to play Paw Patrol with him! After a LONG conversation with my favorite anesthesiologist we were able to sort out a 6 year mess involving a misdiagnosis of Malignant Hypothermia (a big, bad thing if going under anesthesia). This is a HUGE deal and I am SO grateful to not deal with this nightmare every 3 months when a child has a surgery. 

The best part of the morning was a breakfast date with my man.  When your hubby works 70 + hours a week, you're too sick to get out of bed, and the family has over a dozen appointments a week you take your date nights when you can!  Made to order omelet & French toast - because this hospital makes a mean breakfast!

Bruce is having some hardcore issues with his carseat.  I have to pull over frequenctly to fix his buckle because he tantrums and pulls his arms out of the top buckle.  I ordered a lock to prevent him from unbuckling it himself.  This Batman carseat is less restricting and bulky and way more fun! I'm hoping this is a good start in dealing with this struggle.

We just had his IEP meeting - discussing the changes upcoming for turning 3 and graduating from an IFSP to an IEP.  He will continue to attend an ECFE class weekly with special ed services mostly occurring during that time for the duration of the school year.  This is helpful while I'm pregnant and avoids an extra transition and change for Bruce during this stressful time.  Plus, we get to work with the birth-3 teacher 6 months longer! We do love her and will be sad to move on.  In the fall he will begin preschool with 2 days of special ed and 2 days of inclusion, just as Taylor and Dean have before him.