Monday, October 07, 2013

Nathan is five months old, Isaac's surgery, and the last little while

Oh my, I’m never caught up these days.  I’m combining the Nathan-is-five-months-old post with my attempt to recap the last little while.

Nathan quit nursing during the day (maybe because I was sick?) and so I’ve been doing my best to pump enough milk to keep him hydrated and happy (and praying fervently that he starts nursing again so we're not quite so tied down!!).  He won’t take a bottle, so I’ve been spoon-feeding him. A lot.  Fortunately (for his health if not my sleep) he’s still waking up a lot at night to nurse.  And yet he still continues to be the most darling and delightful little man—so many photos of him are blurred because he never stops moving.  He’s almost constantly giggling, and he just lights up whenever anyone smiles at him.  He and Abigail are sharing a room now and she is so sweet with him—she gets him his pacifier whenever he spits it out and occasionally picks him up and brings him in to me if he’s upset.  I don’t encourage the children to carry him around (in fact, I pretty actively discourage it), but I must admit that it’s really neat to see how trustingly and adoringly Nathan looks up at the older kids when they’re cradling him in their arms.  I can't get over how sweet and snuggly and darling he is.  Every new baby is such a miracle.  

 Here’s the last week or two in a nutshell:

Isaac had his tonsils and adenoids removed.  It has been a miserable ordeal for him and I feel so awful for him.  He was really excited to eat lots of ice cream and popsicles, but he’s been in so much pain (even with some pretty heavy-duty painkillers) that he’s eaten nary a bite of ice cream and only a single popsicle (we’re on day 8 post-op).  Every single dose of medication (every four hours) requires incredible negotiation, persuasion, bribery, etc.  And every time it's different.  It's pretty exhausting, actually.  I know that sounds like a silly thing to complain about in light of his pain, but it is getting really hard for me to figure out new ways to get him to swallow it down (thank heavens for Angry Birds in Space, which I purchased in the hospital out of sheer desperation--it is generally the only thing that can get him to stop shrieking at 3 am when the pain is super bad.  It's actually the only app I've ever purchased for my iPad, but boy, that was the best $2.99 I've ever spent in my life).

The kitten almost died and spent a day with an IV at the vet’s (I had a really awful morning going through all the possible options since the vet said it was about 50-50 on whether he would live), and I spent another four or five days force-feeding him with a syringe every few hours.  Thankfully he pulled through and is now happy and bouncy and playful and delightful (and most mornings I wake up to find him curled up on my feet purring happily.  He puts up with Luke “loving dah kiddy” all day and is therefore incredibly heroic, and every chance he gets at night he sneaks into Luke’s room and tries to go to sleep with Luke).  It was a really emotionally wrenching couple of weeks, but at the end of it I feel like we were able to save his life whereas he probably would have died if he had still been in the animal shelter.  He's gained almost a pound since he came to live with us two weeks ago (he was down to 1 lb 14 oz at one point right after we brought him home) and I really do feel like we've made a difference for this little kitten. 

Juliet slammed her hand in a door (when she was angry with me because I'd asked her to help fold some laundry--I know, I know, the audacity...) and lost the thumbnail.  You’d think that with a mother who’s missing part of a finger due to a door-slamming that my kids wouldn’t slam doors, right?  Maybe this will do the trick.

I nursed the kitten back to health, graded a giant stack of projects, ran about a bazillion miles, took my poor son to surgery, oversaw everyone’s daily life, and came down with bronchitis.  Fortunately my incredible mother was here helping out after Isaac’s surgery and helped me to hold everything together (I was soooo out of it the last couple of days she was here…). And she left right before General Conference, so Neil was home for the whole weekend when I basically went to bed for two days (whereas he normally would have been at work), plus I went running Saturday morning with a nurse friend who diagnosed me mid-run with bronchitis...tender mercies.

So all in all, it’s been pretty crazy.  But today I was looking around at my busy house and my active children and thinking how very very blessed I am.  I am so grateful for all of the people in my life and all of the learning and growing I’m able to do because of these opportunities.  Today after school I was hanging out on the playground with my children.  Nathan was on my lap, Luke was prattling away telling me some long involved story, Jules was shouting from the top of the slide all of the things she’d loved about school that day, Abigail was sitting next to me leaning her head on my shoulder and telling me about her day, and Isaac was sitting on my other side with my arm around him telling everyone who came near to go away because this was his spot with Mommy.  It was just as hectic as ever, but it was so wonderful to feel connected to all of my children in that moment.  

Yesterday was my sister's birthday, and we sent her this photo.  After the kids went to bed I kept staring at it and thinking oh my goodness, those are all my kids.  And they are beautiful, and bright, and fascinating, and I love being their mother.  Some days I think I won't survive being their mother, but boy, do those mountains make up for the valleys.


Elise Gray said...

Great post! I love it! I'm glad you were able to find time for the update. Still as addicted as ever! Love you guys!

Anonymous said...

I'm happy for many things in this last post: access to modern medical technology to help both you and Isaac, that Juliet is happy about anything at school, that Abagail wants to rest her head on your shoulder, that Luke is excited to share life with you, that Nathan eats well at night, that Meghan could be with you most of the week, that Neil could stay home with you and that most of the time he is willing and able to go to work instead, and--since you all love him and from Meghan's report he is delightful--that the kitten survived.
Thanks for the post.

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