Sunday, December 7, 2014
Today is Day 5
I awoke at 4:30 in the morning, excited with anticipation. Today was the day we would find out if we had another girl or a baby boy on the way. What made today even more special was that Lauren was coming with us. She was going to be there when, hopefully, baby would cooperate and we'd find out the gender. I was excited for me, baby, Lauren, and of course my sweet husband. Both Matt and I had no inclination or hunch as to what this baby might be but when you would ask Lauren if the baby was boy or girl she would like right at you and say plain as day "a girl." It was the same way my MIL looked at me when I was pregnant with Lauren and didn't yet know she was a sweet little girl. So she had me leaning towards girl when I would talk with her but other than that, again I had not a clue.
After running around the house trying to get everyone out the door by 7:30 am we were on our way to drop off Olivia with Esther and family while the rest of us headed on to the doctors. Although we arrived on time it was another half hour or so before we walked into the room. Baby was not making it easy for the US tech. She tried twice without success to get baby in the right position to reveal to us the gender. She took her measurements and we all enjoyed watching the baby move, wiggle, and stretch, as well as Lauren's comments and questions, like "is there a baby inside the baby?" or "So when the baby pops out..." or "Is that the baby's eyes" for the better part of the time. Finally baby got into position and revealed to us that Lauren was indeed correct- it was another sweet baby girl. Matt smiled his same smile of excitement since his little girls adore him and he them- he still says he wouldn't know what to do with a boy- but I know he'd be fine no matter what, he's a great daddy. We were all excited. I immediately started talking names. We were all smiles. We had a new healthy baby girl in the womb!!
To top it off, when the doctor came in to check everything out, she let Lauren use the wand and make the picture of her little sister show up on the screen. She loved it and I Matt and I couldn't get enough of the joy exuding from her as she got to be the doctor. It was amounting to a wonderful day. We had so much to celebrate and be grateful for!
We called Matt's mom first as we made our way to my OB GyN just the next building over. I wanted to tell her first since we're using her mother's name for the middle name- that is set in stone but the first name is still being debated. I then called my mom and embraced the joy from her as well. Nothing was killing this good mood, not even when the receptionist informed me that they didn't have me down for my 20 week appointment that I was suppose to go to that day. She fit us into the schedule and we should only have to wait 45 minutes- no biggy. I still had many more phone calls to make and Lauren still had lots of stuff to color and do on her activity mat. Each call I made I let Lauren tell the person that she was going to have a baby sister. I could have listened to that all day.
My mood did start to change after the wait turned into a almost two hours. Lauren was doing sooooo well until she dropped something and bumped her head when she was trying to retrieve it. Then she started flopping around with annoyance and so I ushered her and all the stuff we had into the hallway to minimize the fallout. Thank goodness when we walked back in after a few minute cool down period the nurse was there to usher us into a room. The receptionist probably called back and said get this lady in the back! Either way we could relax in private now. We were enjoying our goofiness when she was sitting on my lap and I noticed something in her hair. As I looked closer I saw a bug. I told her to sick still, reached for the tissues and got it out. I killed it, examined it and tried not to panic.
When I mentally talked myself down for panic we resumed the snuggles and chatter only for me to notice another one. This time though when I reached for a tissue it hid itself. Now I was starting to panic a bit. I put her on the counter and tried looking for it. I couldn't find it and of course this is when the doctor walks in. Just shy of two hour after arriving at the office. I couldn't focus on her and tried my hardest to answer her questions. She was in the room for less than five minutes and there was nothing I was concerned about and vise versa- I'm not sure it was worth the 2 hour wait. But off we went. Me trying to convince myself there was nothing wrong with Lauren and trying not to be too annoyed by the doctor visit wiat time.
We picked up lunch for everyone at good ol' McDonalds before arriving at Esther's house. We ate, played, and headed home for naptime. I told Esther about the bug incident but she agreed it was just a fluke. It wasn't until after putting Olivia down and getting ready to lay with Lauren for her book that it popped into my head again. I told her I just wanted to run a comb through her head to make sure it was nothing.
Well it wasn't. My daughter had lice. I went into panic mode as soon as I used the internet to confirm that the bug I pulled out of her head with a comb was indeed a louse. I called the doctor to talk to the nurse but I had to leave a message. Then I called Matt and told him, and then told him he needed to head to the pharmacy stat to get the medicine needed to treat this situation. Being a wonderful husband he left work to grab it, with full intention of heading back. That however never happened. Poor sweet Lauren did the best she could but she didn't understand what was going on and why she needed to do what we were asking of her. We spent about three hours total tending to her head and pulling out bug after bug. It was gross.
Not to mention the embarrassment of calling everyone we knew that we had come in contact with during the last two weeks. I wanted to be sure if we did pass it on that they needed to keep an eye out for it.
After Olivia sat in her crib for what I'm sure was long time after waking up from nap, we were so busy with Lauren and she was quiet and content- my sweet little girl, we checked her head. We found only one bug but it was enough to make me feel faint and nauseous. My babies had bugs!!! Nasty!!! We then had to eat and get them into bed. Only to have Matt check my head- I, like Olivia, just had one bug. Again, NASTY!!!! Matt was free and clear. This has made me contemplate buzzing my head a few times...
By the time we were all cleaned up and on my seventh or eighth load of laundry it was midnight when my bug infested head hit the pillow. That was the end of day 1.
I woke up annoyed that a nurse from the doctors office never got back to me. But I was overjoyed that we already had Lauren's 4 year well visit scheduled for that morning. So I rushed everyone and got us out the door and to the doctors. There our fabulous pediatrician told me about Lice Doctors. I had so many questions for her. She told me that the chemicals we used only work at killing the bugs when they are on your head, which is only 10 minutes. We pulled a lot of live bugs off Lauren's head after putting that stuff on there. She told me that when her daughter got it they used this service and it was just a few weeks before all was back to normal, and going the chemical route could be six plus weeks. That right there was enough for me to give them a call. It was also a chemical free route which this pregnant lady liked- I'm not one for chemicals unless it's the only way. It was very expensive but worth every penny (as you'll read in day 3).
After getting back home from the doctors I blew up the air mattress and let the girls watch movie after movie. I made the soup I need to for church and I made about five hundred phone calls. I was very grateful for the outpour of support but if one more person asked if I knew where we got it...I was going to scream. I had no idea. If I did I wouldn't have been so caught of guard and we would have not gone to wherever that was. I've not heard of anyone I know having it, in fact I was the one telling my friends we had it and to check their children. No fun. Thankfully as of today we have not passed it on to anyone outside our nuclear family - and we were just at my sister's house for three day for Thanksgiving!
I also took the time to call the Lice Doctor service and make an appointment for the following day.
It was this day we started noticing Olivia wheezing a bit when she was breathing too. It didn't seem to slow her down any so we lumbered on.
I was exhausted as I went to bed that night. Glad that the lice doctor lady was coming the next day but overwhelmed with everything. I had a pile of clean laundry mounded on my couch. Piles in the office still left to do. And so much more left to be tended to. I had tried so hard that day to keep the laundry train going and keep everything in some sort of order. To get things systematically cleaned up but I just couldn't do enough.
I was exhausted with no one to help me with all the physical labor. Matt had stayed at work late that day to try and make up for leaving so early the day before, and coming in an hour late since we had the baby appointment. I felt like I just needed some more support than a phone call. I needed someone to battle with me. I kept praying to God for the blessings I had received so far. First, finding it before it had gotten that much worse for all of us. Having Lauren's doctor appointment scheduled and getting to see HER doctor- whom I trust and adore. The help people had given me to pick up the slack of not being able to continue any commitments I had outside of the house. Friends and family that did lend me an ear when I needed to vent all the craziness out. My loving husband who was there to help when he could be. My sweet girls who were surviving just fine even when there mama was going nuts before their eyes. And the fact that this is a situation that can be handled and dealt with- no death sentence here. I did try and cling onto these blessings and try to give thanks for them when I had the energy. But mostly I felt overwhelmed and out of energy.
This day began very early. It was 12:33 am when I was startled awake by the worst cough imaginable. Olivia sounded like a little barking sea lion. She was sick with Croup. I picked up my wheezing baby and took her to our bed. There her and I took small catnaps as we lay there, me trying to elevate her head so she could breath. I wish I would have known that taking her into the cold night air would have helped relax her airways, but I didn't. Matt helped me a few times but taking her to his side of the bed so I could get some small bouts of rest- but she would slip down and start coughing and wheezing again, only to wake me up before I would scoop her back to my side.
My exhausted body woke up a little late that morning. I heard Matt giving Lauren breakfast as Olivia and I stumbled out of the room.
I spent most of this day trying to regain some order around the house and tending to the girls. Olivia's temperature was spiking all day long. The acetaminophen helped her but she just wanted to snuggle and I tried to take time to do that, but I didn't get to as much as I would have liked. Lauren was too wired to nap and I just ured for some quiet time I was not going to get.
I also spent time preparing Lauren about the lady coming and what she was going to do, so Lauren wouldn't be so overwhelmed when she got here. I tried to remain positive. We received another blessing when my step-mom offered to pay some of the super high bill we were about to pay for the service. It would cut our out of pocket expenses for it in half. I also was grateful that we were able to use our flex spending account to pay for the service as well- this will be the first year we will have used that up before the new year began (we have a grace period and have until March of the following year to use it up).
I did regain some order before Jane got here. She was another blessing. You would have thought it was her pleasure to remove bugs from our hair. The three hour process seemed to go pretty smoothly as we went through the family. It took her an hour to do my head and an hour to do Laurens. Then she did Matt, Olivia, and then the dry check on all three of us girls in the last hour. She was a preschool teacher by day and did this to supplement her income. We talked back and forth about everything under the sun, and I enjoyed the social interaction since I had been cooped up for the last few days.
When she left I had a positive outlook and felt like our money (and my parents money) was well spent. I can do this!
She left with the follow up instructions that has me putting Olive Oil in the girls and my hair each evening for seven days. Then every morning I need to go through our hair with a $17 nit comb I purchased at out local beauty store after she left (another blessing was the coupon I had for the store). I also purchased a few different kinds of "hair dresser" clips to help me be able to systematically go through each head. I also got a catsup bottle from bed, bath, and beyond to dispense the olive oil with more control. All that totalled to just over $20 and has been a huge help. After I go through their hair and Matt goes through mine, we wash our heads with blue dawn and shampoo. This process takes me close to a half hour each night, applying the olive oil to our three heads and then about two plus hours each morning combing and washing/bathing each of us clean. Then I've also been washing our towels and pillow cases, along with having new pj's each night. This amounts to lots-o- extra laundry.
This morning started just like the last, Olivia waking in the middle of the night with coughing fits and then Lauren joined in on the middle of the night fun too since the shower cap we had covering her hair was bothering her but of course we didn't figure this out until after the twenty minute temper tantrum of frustration came out first. Thankfully everyone did sleep in their own beds after medicine was administered and the shower cap removed. But the morning still seemed to come too soon.
I spent the entire morning tending to breakfast and hair and bath. When I came downstairs after getting everyone dressed it was lunch time. I then tended to lunch and it was nap. I got Olivia down- she was so tired, her temperature continued to spike throughout the day and when it did she just wanted to be in mommy's arms or asleep. I couldn't blame a girl. I was grateful I was able to tend to her more than the day before.
Lauren did, God bless, nap on this day. Allowing me the same joy. I took an hour nap on the couch- now clean of the laundry mound (some of which had moved to baskets and my bed but other that had been put away). I was awoken by Olivia's cough and cry. I went to get her still tired body and just rocked with her. The house was quiet, the small fake Christmas tree lite the hallway and I just didn't want the moment to pass. I knew I should wake Lauren so she would fall asleep before midnight but I just couldn't bring myself to put Olivia's warm, sweet, sick self down. So I didn't. About 45 minutes later Matt pulled up and join Olivia and I as she became more alert and awake. He woke Lauren and then entertained the kids while I put together dinner.
The nap had given me back a better outlook with my new revived energy level. I talked to Matt's mom after dinner and it felt like a little escape since Matt played with the girls and I got to enjoy a small bit of adult talk.
I was still a little sad since it was this evening that I was suppose to leave and help chaperone the high school youth retreat. I had been looking forward to this weekend since early fall. I lead them in a Bible study each Wednesday night at church and have really enjoyed getting to know each them. I was looking forward to seeing them grow that much closer to God through the retreat and be there to again support their growth. I was also looking forward to a weekend away from being in charge since that role would be on Lisa, our youth leader. On top of it all, I didn't have to cook, clean, or change a single diaper, it would be a few days to enjoy being Jennifer. I love being mommy and wife but every now and then it is nice to be Jennifer.
So anyway, we put the girls down and enjoyed our first night of uninterrupted sleep in three days!
So I thought that the sleep would help my outlook but today I woke up on the cranky side of the crib. I think me getting sleep gave my brain a chance to process all that had happened and all that I was about to endure as I continue to pull bugs out of my daughters head.
Lauren began the morning well, as did I. However, that did not last. She became extremely demanding and rude as the morning progressed- not usually her character and I just continued to get more irritated with each selfish remark. I sent her to her room at one point because I could feel my patience slip away from me. Even her apology after she calmed and we talked was uncharacteristically insincere. That should have prewarned me her bad attitude was going to continue and my patience was going to disappear. It ended with me screaming at her in anger and going into my room, closing the door, and crying. I was starting to feel the emotions I had no energy to feel over the past four days. I was upset that we have been so overwhelmed with bugs that my role as mommy just seemed overloaded. We haven't had a chance to embrace and enjoy the good news of our newest baby girl. I was missing out on a chance to get away and replenish myself with my God and friends. We were going to have to endure more canceled plans because it is going to take me two plus hours to get through the morning routine for the next five days. I felt awful for yelling with such anger at my daughter who yes was not being her best, but for sure didn't deserve the weight of mommy's world yelled at her.
As I cried in bed Matt came to check on me. I told him I just was looking forward to a little time away and instead I just got more added mommy responsibilities. I just was upset and frustrated by the change of plans. I was trying to calm myself with scripture but I just couldn't summons up anything that would bring me comfort- why was He calling me to stay home? Why couldn't I just have a little break? Why was I wondering why when I knew that His plan is always better? I felt like Lauren, I knew to do better but I just wanted to do it my way- I just wanted to grumble, fuss, and complain.
I think I feel asleep for a bit and then emerged from my room to eat my breakfast, at 10:45. I've taken a back seat to the parenting thing and let Matt run the show for the day. I've spent plenty of time on here getting my feelings and thought out, in hopes that I will be able to regain some sanity and reflect on the blessings I've seen in the last few days.
Today's blessings continue to come. I've had quiet time, I've chatted with a great friend- who herself had been though the lice fun with her girls just a few years back, I've had a wonderful husband who has put himself last today in order for me to take a backseat, I've had some snuggle time with my still sick Olivia, I've enjoyed the smell of the crock pot meal Matt put together for dinner, I've enjoyed hearing the giggles and play that Lauren has had with her daddy.
I'm a blessed woman and I know this. I just sometimes need to remind myself. I also need to remind myself that as much as I can feel alone, I'm not. I might not have gotten the physical helping hand that would have helped me through these five days but I did receive a lot of prayer help and a lot of people were there for me in a different way.
I also need to remember that often times after Lauren has gone through a physical growth spurt she often goes through a mental/emotional one where she retests all the boundaries to make sure they're still there and that might very well what we're dealing with here, just an old updated version- bless my soul. So prayer and patience and perseverance are the only things that are going to get us through such a time.
Off to tend to the little ones and come out of 'hiding' for a bit. Time to remind myself what a blessed lady I am by hugging those little girls and that big guy too!
"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise-- in God I trust and am not afraid." 56:3-4a