Saturday, December 31, 2011

The good. The bad. And the ugly.

2011 was a pretty crazy year, filled with insane ups and downs. In some senses, it was one of our best. In others, one of our hardest.
We started off by counting the days until viability with Ellen. An unexplained bleeding incident in early December had us scared and the situation would go either way - it was either something awful that would likely lead to is losing the pregnancy or it was nothing. Thank god it was nothing.
We sold our house. When we went to get the check for closing, the teller told us congratulations on buying a new house. It hurt to tell her that we were paying that much to sell our house!
And then began moving our entire house into a tiny apartment and storage unit with a 2 year old. While 24 weeks pregnant and on restrictions.
Our apartment living was difficult. Ryan missed having space to play and we missed having any space at all. But we did enjoy the swimming pool this summer!
We closed on our house, Ellen wad born, and Michael was laid off within 2 weeks. Looking back, I cannot believe we took that as well as we did. But Michael got a great new job and all is well.
Building our house was an intensely frustrating process. I know that I tend to micromanage and that plays into it. Now, 3 months post move, I finally feel at home and am happy yo have everything (almost) in it's place.
Ryan gave us some new parenting challenges this year, easily winning the "most difficult McFarlane" title for 2011. Pretty impressive considering his competition was a newborn for a good portion of the year. But he has returned to the awesome little guy we know and love and is exclusively using the potty.
We had an awesome vacation camping with Erin, Nate, Cole, and Grant. Everyone thought we were nuts taking a 4 month old camping, but she loved it and we had a blast.
We survived 2 stomach bugs within 3 months and my anxiety was much better than expected.
Our families faced illness and all appear to have luckily won their battles. We welcomed Maura into the family and enjoy having a partner in crime for Ellen.
Fellow preemie moms experienced loss beyond words and we all cried together. We celebrated each milestone as our kids kicked prematurity's butt.
I can't say that I'm sad to see 2011 go - it's been a wild ride. Here's to a boring 2012!

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, December 05, 2011


This is what an 8 day stomach bug + a weekend with guests + a newly potty trained 3 year old looks like.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Happy birthday eve monkey

Ryan's birthday will always be the best and worst day of my life. Which sucks. No one wants that.
This year has been easier. No dwelling on where I was last year or the year before. No crying. Just excitement about celebrating.
Until today. All of a sudden I wasn't feeling very well. Then I was feeling awful. I was scared my stomach bug was back. And then i was crying. Sobbing crying. I didn't want to cancel. I didn't want to miss ryan's party. I didn't want to screw up his third birthday the way I screwed up his day of birth.
and then it hit me - every time I think of anything about his birthday, I get nauseous. It is clearly anxiety. And in all the chaos of the last week, I didn't have time to think about these milestones. Until they hit me all at once, like a ton of bricks.
I was alone in my hospital room 3 years ago tonight, hunkering down for another 7 weeks. Contemplating the holidays in antepartum and missing my pups. Changing my cell phone plan to include my blackberry as a wireless modem. And none of it mattered - my baby boy was here 24 hours later.
Tomorrow, instead of being bedridden in a hospital, scared out of my mind, I will be at ryan's 3rd birthday party, watching him climb things and being scared of him falling. The sting of his prematurity will never go away, but it will always remind me of how lucky I am to have what I do today.
Happy birthday eve monkey man. I love you.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, December 01, 2011

pukefest 2011

is the title crass? yep. but honestly, it's way nicer than the actual experience was!

a couple of weeks ago, ryan got strep. there were 2 puke incidents. but then he was better! hooray!

then ellen puked twice on friday. oh well, all the kids at daycare had randomly thrown up at least once, so that must be her turn.

and then it became clear as day that we were under attack. no carpet, towel, sheet, clothing item, pet, or parent was safe.....

i took ryan to his well doctor appointment on monday afternoon. he weighed in at a solid 39lbs and is 42 inches tall. his weight is off the chart, his height is all the way up by where you write your name on the chart. he got a clean bill of health, we got some noodles, he went to nap, i went to work in the office.
and then it began - ryan began throwing up every 15-30 minutes. normally, especially after the incidents described above, i would freak out. my feet would immediately go numb and my stomach would be upset. instead, i handled it quite well.
but then it didn't stop. around 8pm, there were small flecks of blood in his vomit. ok, i know what isn't supposed to be in vomit, and blood is one of them. i called our doctor and she suggested that he go to the ER. michael took him in and after a few doses of zofran and some ice chips, he finally stopped.

and then i got it.

and then michael got it.

i'm thinking ellen's had to have been friday, right? nope.

i picked the kids up from daycare yesterday (which includes a very lengthy story about cleaning up even more puke that didn't belong to a mcfarlane, but that's for a different time) and i just had a feeling. it was the first time i was anxious.

i'm beginning to think anxiety might just be intuition instead.....

ryan puked again.

and then ellen puked again.

i went to walgreens at 10:45pm to pick up some pedialyte for miss ellen as the bottle we already had was surely turned into baby poison immediately upon entering its 49th hour of hanging out in my fridge. the cashier told me to have a good day.
i'm at walgreens at 10:45pm.
in sweatpants and glasses.
buying only pedialyte.
sir, i think it's safe to say that the "good day" ship has sailed and left me drowning in its wake.
but i appreciate the sentiment.

it is now 4:09pm on december 1st, and by my count, there has been no vomit in my life during the month of december. and, with a little luck and a lot of hand sanitizer, it will stay that way.