The title of this blog comes from a quote. I have a minor TV addiction. I also love to read, I write poetry and I enjoy crafts. All of them are escape mechanisms for me. But TV is like a dirty little secret. I have my DVR record lots of different shows and when I am folding laundry, taking down time to re-charge or doing any number of other things I will have the TV playing one of my shows. This particular quote is from Grey’s Anatomy. “You think that true love is the only thing that can crush your heart; that will take your life and light it up or destroy it. Then you become a mother.” ~Meredith Grey (Grey’s Anatomy) I love that quote. It describes exactly how I feel about having my children. They are my greatest joy, but they also bring huge amounts of stress into my life. Yes having 3 kids can get complicated for anyone but ours like to keep us guessing.
Our oldest (TD) was a charming and happy baby, exceptionally easy-going and a real charmer. But he was hiding a few things those first few months. He was almost totally silent. Yes part of it was because he was not big into crying. He could cry, but he just didn’t do it often. He also just didn’t babble much, if at all. Then at about 6 months old one day I heard a rattle to his breathing. It got worse over the course of two weeks. He started to lose weight,. He was headed down a road I didn’t want to go. But like being the passenger in a car, there isn’t a lot of choice. It was about a year of visits to various specialists and trialing various breathing medications and doing lots of testing. Eventually he started to grow again and we got his breathing under control. They never really could explain it. It was like one day a switch flipped and he just was a very sick little boy. In the same way it just flipped on it also eventually started responding to the medications magically one day. Unfortunately the switch didn’t flip off, but it dimmed. We now control his breathing with asthma medication and his weight gain with nutritional supplements and he sees a GI. In the middle of all the medical drama the pediatrician and I noticed that TD was not progressing in speech. In fact at 18 months he had no words and had only just begun to babble. Fortunately early intervention is wonderful! Now you would never know he had such a significant delay. Overall, TD is in good health. He is also a smart little boy who is loving Kindergarten this year. His teacher says he is very popular, and very funny. She says he has a wonderful smile and can always make her laugh. He does struggle with some impulse control and behavior issues, but we are blessed with a caring and amazing teacher who is really taking the time to work with him!
Our second child was a beautiful and demanding little girl (BK). She came into this world with a bang and not much stops her from being that way to this day. She was delivered via emergency c-section after a placental abruption during labor. She had trouble maintaining her oxygen and almost had to be flown from our small community hospital where she was born to a “big city” hospital for NICU care. Fortunately she stayed at our local hospital in the special care nursery and with a few days of oxygen support seemed to recover. She nursed like a champ and all seemed well with her. We noticed some staring spells and I tried to ignore them. She seemed to have a gross motor delay, it had been a challenge to teach her to sit up, and she could not roll over at 7 months. She started Physical Therapy (PT) with the Infants and Toddlers program. They were coming out two times a month to work with her. I had to cancel our second appointment though because we were in the PICU down in the city. BK had a convulsive seizure one morning while I chatted with my mother on the phone. I had to hang up on Mom and call 911. She had 2 more seizures that day and we spent 3 days going though lots of testing. They sent us home “hoping” it was a fluke. It was not. Two months later she seized again. The neurologist we had seen for a follow-up visit after our PICU stay started her on the anticonvulsant Keppra. She went on to have seizures several more times. Unfortunately when BK has a seizure its usually the first of a series of them. We usually have to give heavy medications in hospital to get them stopped. The amazing and wonderful thing is that BK is now doing so well that she no longer takes Keppra. Its still a wait and see game. It’s only been a few months, but right now she seems stable with no medication! She also is a walking, talking amazing 3-year-old who knows how to get what she wants in life. Unfortunately since 3 year olds don’t unusually have much real control she usually tries to use tantrums to get her way currently. I am trying to teach her the idea that you get more flies with honey. She uses this to her advantage at school and they find her charming at preschool. Unfortunately with Mommy and Daddy the tantrum is still her preferred means to an end. BK is also no longer in PT. After the first set of seizures we added in private Physical Therapy. She had PT three times a week for months. But it worked. I admit she is a tad clumsy still, but most people would never know she had such a rough start or was so delayed physically. She did not roll over till she was over 12 months. She walked at 16 months and was running only weeks later.
Having a child with Epilepsy puts things into perspective. I will always worry that something could happen to BK when we least expect it leaving our son alone. Because of this we entertained on and off for a while the idea of having a third child. We were blessed with JK just 13 short months ago. It’s amazing how fast time flies! It seems like just yesterday she was a tiny infant who nursed every 1 to 2 hours and needed my constant care and attention. Now JK is walking. However, she is not talking. She has started to babble, but is definitely behind in the expressive language department. Because of our previous experience we have her in weekly speech therapy. She also seems to have some food intolerance or allergies. But that is a whole post in itself!
As you can see life in our home is rarely if ever dull. But each of our children is a blessing and the complications they bring with them are fortunately minor in the grand scheme of things. One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog though was so I had somewhere to write about all my kids’ ups and downs. I read another blog this week about the difference between the outside and the inside. That amazing mom of two boys has a son that is a beautiful and adorable little boy, and looks totally normal on the outside. However he is battling medical issues and on the inside things are not as wonderful as they seem on the outside. She talked in her post about how things like Facebook are there it seems only for us to brag about how wonderful things are. And I too find my self only wanting to post the good things. I need a place to put the rest of it. A place for those who love and support us to come and read about what is really happening here. Is it all going to be bad news here? NO WAY! We are blessed, we have 3 funny and amazing children and a very nice life. It’s not all bad, but it’s not all sunshine and roses either.