wife to Jake, mommy to my 3 crazy munchkins, Lily (7), Jonah (5.5) and Kate (4). Taking this crazy blessed life one day at a time.


The Tree.

"I think we should get THIS one!"

The Tree!

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Kate's birth story.

3 years ago right now, I had a new little baby just 7 hours old. 

Kate's birth was the shortest of my 3 kids.  

I am sure many of you already know about my pregnancy with Kate, but if you don't, you can read it here.

Even though the risk of my water breaking anytime during my pregnancy was greatly increased, somehow I was still shocked when my water broke at 37 weeks. It was the only one of my pregnancies where I sort of freaked out when it was time to head to the hospital. I hadn't done anything on my "to do" list yet, our bags weren't fully packed yet, I just wasn't ready! 

With all 3 of my kids my water broke on its own. 

With Kate, Jake and I had JUST gotten back from a weekend away- our last hurrah. The night we got back, my water broke around 12:30am. We called Jake's sister, Beth, and she came over to watch Lily and Jonah. 

We headed into the hospital and, because of my previous to labors, told our midwife that I would need pitocin and an epidural. My body is not totally built for labor. With all 3 of my labors, I have intense contractions for hours, and then get stuck at 5cm. It is terribly frustrating, and I am pretty sure I cried during all 3 labors because of how hard and painful it was. So, with all 3, I had to get pitocin to get the labor moving along, and then the epidural so that my body could rest. Once I got the epidural and my body could rest from the contractions, I would start to dilate again. 

Also with all three labors, I was extremely lucky when it came time to push. With Lily, I only had to push for about 7 minutes. With Jonah, it was more like 4-5 minutes. And with Kate, it was about 2-3 minutes of pushing. I know, I am so lucky. Or just amazing at pushing. Yeah, let's go with that. I am amazing at pushing babies out. 

So, with our sweet little Kate, giving birth to her and the IUD was our last obstacle in our high risk pregnancy. My labor went pretty well. I labored for hours until I couldn't take it any longer and was stuck (once again) at 5 cm. I got the epidural, felt a million times better, and then just before 1:50pm, I started pushing, and at 1:50pm on November 16th, our newest little one was born. 

Kate Roxanne. 

Her middle name is for my mother-in-law, who passed away just year (almost to the day) before Kate was born.

They took her away, she cried a bit, and then the midwife had to make sure that I delivered the IUD as well. Thankfully it came out (and they asked me if I wanted to keep it.... I said NO- that tiny piece of plastic almost took my life and my baby's life!), and our 6 month high risk pregnancy was over. And we had a healthy little girl. It was a miracle. Literally. Kate beat all of the odds. According to every doctor we saw, she shouldn't exist. But she does. She is here. Living and thriving. We were beyond thrilled that our little girl was finally here and we knew that she was healthy. 

The only problem I had with my delivery was that my placenta wasn't detaching. I will spare you those details, but I will say that it was incredibly painful and time consuming. 

Moving on..... our little Kate was just perfect and didn't cry much. She was our little observer right off the bat. Looking all around the room, at everything going on.

Our little observer

I love that she is looking right at Jake.

The last few weeks before I delivered Kate, her growth was rapidly declining. The midwives didn't know why that was happening, so we were going to set an induction date at my next appointment. Thankfully, I went into labor on my own and Kate was born the day before we were to set that induction date. 

Since she had basically stopped growing in my belly, she was just 5 pounds 1 ounce when she was born. She was technically a full term baby, she made it by 2 days. 

Because of her small size, she had trouble nursing or taking bottles in the hospital. She also failed the car seat test twice. That means that when she was in her car seat, her breathing dropped too low, and we couldn't bring her home until she passed that test. Well, because she was much smaller than we had expected (Lily was 7lbs 7oz and Jonah was 7lbs 6oz), our infant car seat was too big for her. We had to borrow a special car seat from the hospital for about 3-4 weeks, until Kate was big enough for our seat. The hospital also had to make custom wedges to put next to Kate while she was in her car seat to keep her propped up so she could breathe. 

Kate in her special car seat with her wedges
(The PJ's she is wearing are preemie and they were still huge on her!)
Also, because of her trouble eating, we had a get a fancy pump (well, our insurance had to buy us a pump- thanks blue cross!) and I had to pump. Something that I never really did with my other 2 kids. Thankfully, I didn't have to pump too long and Kate finally took to nursing. Kate also had a bit of a jaundice problem, but that also was resolved quickly.

Considering all that Kate and I were up against during my pregnancy, we are so lucky that our only real troubles were the car seat , jaundice, and nursing problems. All of which are not major issues compared to what we could have faced. 

I was very sad that Lily and Jonah were not allowed to visit us in the hospital because of the swine flu outbreak. I was disappointed that I couldn't get that classic picture of mom, kids and new baby on the hospital bed. And I missed them! Jonah was just 17 months old and Lily had just turned 3. But somehow we managed to come home late Tuesday night, just a day and a half after Kate was born. So, they got to stay up late that night and meet their new baby sister.

Meeting their new sister for the first time!

Kate is truly a gift from God. A little person that we were not planning on, but  is once instance where we are so glad that the plans we made did not work out  :) 

Happy Birthday Miss Kate! We love you!

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That is how many people are feeling about last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy. 

Many people that suffer from Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome are upset with the portrayal of  CVS on the show. 

CVS is not that mild. For some people, CVS is a beast and life altering. Kids miss so much school that they need to be home schooled. Adults can't hold a job, yet must struggle and fight the courts for disability. 

I will say that if Kate does have CVS, hers is mild compared to so many others that suffer from it. And I would say that Kate's is even much worse than it was on the show. In the show, it showed the patient vomit once, and then he was talking to the doctor. The reality is that the vomiting is constant. For some people it is so severe and painful that they can't even talk- they just can just lie down. Kate's vomiting is almost constant, maybe a break for a few minutes between vomiting, for hours. Not just vomiting here and there, with lots of time feeling fine in between.

So, I would just like to say that last night's show was NOT an accurate depiction of what patients with cyclic vomiting actually go through. But I will say that everyone has different levels of symptoms.

We are thankful that the show did get the same of cyclic vomiting out there, but now patients are afraid that family and friends are going to think that what they go through really isn't that bad and that they are over exaggerating things, which is NOT TRUE. 

But if there are people out there that are finally able to put a name to their illness and get treatment because of watching the show last night, then that is great and is one of the things we wanted to get out of this episode.

The show was about awareness.

Hopefully this is just the beginning of getting cyclic vomiting known to everyone!

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Tomorrow, my baby girl turns 3. 

On November 16th, 2009, my tiny 5 pound girl was born. 

Tomorrow she will be my 28 pound 3 year old. 

Happy Birthday baby girl!! We love you more than words could ever express! 

Kate's first day home!

Look at this little peanut!!!

10 days old and still so tiny.

Kate and her BF Mason :) 

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Tonight is the night!

Everyone watch Grey's Anatomy tonight and help bring awareness to Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome!

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Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Awareness.

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) is not very well known.

 A lot of people suffer for years without a diagnosis because not many doctors know of it. 

We were very lucky to be at an amazing hospital that knows about CVS and after examining Kate, their first thought was that she had CVS. Now just over a year later, we are one test away from our diagnosis.

This Thursday, Grey's Anatomy will air an episode featuring CVS! 

"The episode will be about an older gentleman 
who repeatedly comes into the ER with the same episode 
and symptoms. Through a pediatric doctor’s experience, 
the episodes get properly identified as CVS. His quality of life has been severely impacted by his CVS and Migraines and hopefully his life going forward can get better now that 
he has an action plan."

This is very exciting for the CVS community as we are hoping it will help shed light on this subject and make people more aware of this very real illness. 

Chandra Wilson, the spokesperson for CVS, will be directing the episode! 

She will also be on "The Talk"(on CBS) on Thursday Nov. 15th to talk about the Grey's Anatomy episode. 

(Go HERE for more info)

I hope you will watch it with me and help spread the word! 

::: I had to turn on word verification for any comments because of spam, but don't let that stop you- I still love your comments! :::

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Changes are happening in our house, friends.

 My baby girl is turning 3 on Friday. THREE. 

Say it ain't so!

We have no more babies in our house. Dare I say, we have no toddlers anymore either? 

Kate has been wearing her big girl underwear ("It's not UNDIES! It's underwear!!" -Kate) now since June. 

She had her very last day in the church nursery yesterday (tear.) and will start going to Little Lambs with her big brother next week. 

She is extremely verbal and independent. I think the fact that she is the youngest of three kids that are close in age plays a big role in that. 

She is a feisty little one that knows what she wants. And is really good at letting you know things she doesn't like.

It is so hard for us to believe that my crazy pregnancy with her began 3 1/2 years ago. How could that possibly be that long ago. Even though they all melted away once she was born, those fears and worries and statistics still sting and we are continually amazed that our sweet munchkin is here with us.

Despite a difficult year trying to figure out what has been causing Kate's vomiting, she has been a seriously amazing little trooper and has handled everything perfectly. 

Our little family is changing, shifting out of the baby/toddler stage, and into the school-age phase. I'm not sure  how I feel about this. It is fun and exciting, but we are also sad that there are no more babies around. I guess that's just how it goes, but it certainly isn't easy. 

My littlest girl is quickly becoming a big girl, even faster than she should because of her older brother and sister. Kids try to grow up a million times faster than they should. 

Even though she tries to sing along to a One Direction song with Lily or joke about poop with her brother, I am embracing the remaining "little girl"aspects of her, like her love of little babies and taking care of them, her love of coloring and dress up, her love of her little stuffed animals and blankets, and her sweet little voice.

We are moving on, into a new stage of life, and leaving this old one behind. Thankfully we have hundreds of pictures to look back on to remind us of this crazy, fun, sweet, adorable stage we are saying goodbye to. 

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Update on Kate

Kate went in yesterday for a follow-up with her neurologist. We had a great appointment. For some reason, despite all she has gone through, Kate loves going to the doctor, especially to Children's. I am so thankful for that. Our appointment was at 4, and she was looking forward to it all day. What a sweet girl. 

We had a great appointment, and all of my questions were answered. Her neurologist, Dr. Peter, is always amazed at how great and healthy she looks, and how verbal and independent she is. Kate was awesome and did everything that was asked of her happily. 

We talked about all of the episodes she had since we last saw Dr. Peter. She had 4 in the last 6 months, 3 of which were in a 5 week period. She had one episode that lasted 2 days, then had 4 months episode free, and then had 3 within 5 weeks (the most recent being last Tuesday). Her episodes are short now that she is on Periactin, so those 4 episodes means a total of 5 mornings vomiting (in the past 6 months) and a total of between 15-20 hours of vomiting, just in those 5 mornings (and this is almost constant vomiting). All of her episodes are over by 7 or 8am. 

We talked about what would happen at the clinic she is going to in December. This is a neuro-metabolic clinic, where 2 doctors (one neurologist and one metabolic specialist) will look at Kate and her lab work and  determine if she has a metabolic disorder. Dr. Peter told me that "they are geniuses at metabolic disorders", so I feel very good about seeing them. Going to this clinic is our last test before Kate is officially "diagnosed" with Cyclic Vomiting. I will be very happy when we are out of the testing phase and can move on with a diagnosis. If the doctors at the clinic look at her labs and think that it is a metabolic disorder, then we will proceed from there. But if they look at it and think that it is not, then Kate has CVS. So, we are not quite there yet, but we are close to finally figuring this thing out and also ruling out all the other causes of this vomiting. CVS is only diagnosed after they rule everything else out, hence all of the testing. 

We also talked about Kate's meds, and whether or not we should still use them "as-needed", like we are now, or if we should give them to her everyday and see if her episodes dramatically decrease or even stop all together. We decided to continue to use them as needed, and see how the next month or two goes. I agreed to call Dr. Peter if Kate's episodes continue to be as frequent as they have been the past month, and we'll see what happens at the clinic as well. 

Overall, we had a great visit, Kate looks wonderful and somehow managed to gain 3 1/2 pounds in the last 6 months! Aside from this bizarre disorder, Kate is doing great, and we are so thankful for that. 

We are also so thankful that our baby girl is turning THREE next week!! How is that even possible?? 

Thank you to all that are praying for us and our little girl! 

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