Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Saturn return

I've experienced a lot of life-changing things lately. Lucius's pregnancy and birth really spun my head around and I realized that having a safe, healthy mom and baby was a million times more important than how the baby arrived. Then he got sick and got sick again and I realized that doctors, hospitals and medicine aren't ALL bad, and that avoiding Western medicine like the plague actually prolonged our illness and suffering needlessly. I realized that it's okay to let some of the holy crunchy checklist slide, because the most important things are in my arms or asleep down the hall and everything else is just gravy. I realized a course of antibiotics to be rid of a sinus infection in a few days instead of suffering for weeks is actually a really nice thing, and that a pack of Pampers is worth its weight in gold to an exhausted stressed out mommy or daddy who simply does not have the energy to wash a load of diapers, change an outfit because the cloth diaper leaked, or wake up 5 times a night to change the cloth diapers. Here's a pretty big one: I realized a baby with a compromised immune system is better off being vaccinated than being at risk from dying of a preventable disease. I realized a moses basket, pack n play or yes even a crib can be a really nice place to lay a sleeping baby down while I clean, cook, shower or hug my other kids for a while. I realized that although wearing a newborn baby in a sling for a quick shopping trip totally works, a 2 1/2 shopping marathon, not so much. There are times when bringing the baby bucket into the store and using it to hold the baby even for a little while can help me to not feel like I've dislocated my arm. Also in the last few months, I've figured some things out that were causing so much extra work and money because I was being stubborn. I realized that shopping at Wal-Mart saves my family almost $100 a trip. I realized that corn dogs or chicken nuggets were okay for lunch sometimes.

Most of all, I've realized that I've been caring entirely too much about what people think about me and the choices I make for my family. I'm letting some things slide that I was very adamant about before, and I feel GOOD about it because I have more space in my heart and mind to tend to the little people in my life that matter a million times more than winning the crunchiest mom on Earth award.

I'm heading toward what they call the Saturn Return.

Wiki has a good explanation:

The Saturn Return is an astrological phenomenon that occurs at the ages of 27-30, 58-60, and finally from 86-88, coinciding with the time it takes the planet Saturn to make one orbit around the sun. It is believed by astrologers that as Saturn "returns" to the degree in which it occupied at the time of birth -- approximately every 29.5 years -- a person crosses over a major threshold and into the next stage of life. With the first Saturn Return, a person leaves youth behind and enter adulthood. With the second Return, maturity. And the third and usually final Return, a person enters wise old age.

The first Saturn Return is famous because it represents the first test of character and the structures a person has built their lives upon. According to traditions, should these structures be unsound or that a person is living out of touch with his or her true values, the Saturn Return will be a time of upheaval and limitations as Saturn forces him or her to jettison old concepts and worn out patterns of living. It is not uncommon for relationships and jobs to end during this time of life restructuring and reevaluation.

But the Saturn Return is not all about painful endings. During this time astrologers note that goals are consolidated and people tend to gain a better vision of where they are going in life. There are added responsibilities and a person may reap the rewards from his or her hard work. Many major life milestones seem to happen around the ages of 29 and 30. This is why astrologers believe that the thirtieth birthday is such a major rite of passage because it marks the true beginning of adulthood, self-evaluation, independence, ambition, and self actualization.

I'm definitely re-evaluating everything and finally figuring some things out. I've got a plan for the next few years and it feels good. It's a little scary because I'm making plans to do some things that are a bit outside what I had originally planned for my family but it's a good solid plan for us moving forward instead of staying stuck in the same place for god knows how long waiting for my husband to find a job.

I hope to be reporting back in this blog someday that all my plans and dreams came true.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I wish Stacy and Clinton would pay me a visit

I'm at that weird in-between stage of postpartum where I definitely don't need maternity clothes anymore, I can wear my pre-pregnancy jeans just fine but I feel so awkward and uncomfortable in my clothes that I end up wearing sweats and t-shirts most of the time and I am totally rocking the frumpy mom look. Sigh. I need a personal stylist, and while I'm at it I'd totally take the Bank of America card to go shopping with. :D


The MRI and EEG both came back completely normal. His primary care provider at the moment is incredibly incompetent and entirely too busy to actually pay attention to her patients so we are in the process of changing clinics and doctors and from there we will figure out what, if anything, needs to be done next.

I'm incredibly frustrated with our soon to be former clinic, but so relieved that at least his brain works right.

Oh, and he's up another pound from last week to a whopping 12 pounds. At 6 weeks and 3 days old, that's pretty amazing to have gained 4 pounds already. Growing like a weed, my little man!

Monday, March 16, 2009

6 weeks

It has been 6 amazing, tumultuous, crazy, wonderful, harrowing, love-filled weeks since Lucius was born. It has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions and stress and still, I look at him every day with nothing but love and wonderment.

Thank you, sweet baby boy, for being my baby.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cautious hope

Tentatively letting out the breath I've been holding. The preliminary reports on the MRI and EEG appear normal. They need to be fully reviewed by the neurologist but she is cautiously saying his clonic seizures are not brain-induced and will likely go away on their own. I mis-typed earlier with calling them myoclonic seizures. One of the peds had called them that and also called them focal seizures but according to the neurologist they are clonic seizures. Anyway, I should have the full results in a few days but we're cautiously optimistic!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Not much of an update but the MRI is done

It took him longer to recover from the anesthesia than we expected, but otherwise everything went great. We're home now and I'll know the results within 2-3 business days so probably Friday or Monday. We have an EEG tomorrow, and the combination of the two will help us to have a better idea of how his brain is functioning and what, if anything, is wrong.

I appreciate everyone's support and kind words for my sweet little peanut. I promise I'll keep you posted as soon as I know anything.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

MRI tomorrow

Lucius will undergo an MRI with contrast under sedation tomorrow morning. If you have any prayers, good wishes or positive thoughts for him, we could sure use them now. I hope with all of my heart that this test comes back normal.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Another hospital visit, and some difficult news

We've all been sick with a horrible cold for weeks. Lucius got sick on Wednesday and started coughing a bit. Thursday he started sleeping a lot more, not feeding well and towards the evening showed signs of respiratory distress. Friday I took him to the doctor and she sent us to the ER. They admitted him with a diagnosis of RSV. But we are home from the hospital now. He kicked RSV's ass and stole its lunch money. He is home 2 days sooner than any of the doctors expected. Go Lucius!


God this is so hard to write.

There's something wrong with his brain. And his skull. And his eyes.

First, the brain:

Since he was born he's had these myoclonic seizures in his legs, but while he was sick the first time it got so much worse that I could finally show it to doctors. They seemed to feel it was in response to the illness and sure enough it settled down once he was better. He still had the tremors, just not as badly or as often so they said they were because of his immature nervous system and it would stop after a while. Just to be sure they did a CT of his head and it came back fine.

They came back really badly during this illness, to the point where it scared the shit out of me. So the doctors started really looking at it, and it turns out they can induce the tremors any time by pushing up on his toes. Normal newborn myoclonus is usually just a couple beats. They were able to induce up to 15 beats. They think he might have a seizure disorder or other neurological issue.

Also, he opens his eyes and looks around a lot in a twitchy, creepy way while he is sleeping, which could be nothing or it could be related to all of this and could be a sign of a serious neurological problem.

Second, his skull:

His skull is abnormally shaped and on the small side. His anterior fontanelle is very small and his posterior fontanelle cannot be felt by any of the doctors that have tried. It could possibly be related to the brain issues, it could be nothing or it could be another issue in and of itself.

Edited to add: I talked to the doctor today (3/10) and was told his particular cranial issue is called dolichocephaly. They feel he may have craniosynostosis, or may develop it at some point, but for now the fact that his anterior fontanelle is definitely still open and that his sutures are not overlapping is very encouraging that he may not end up needing surgery.

Third, his eyes:

He probably has strabismus, more specifically congenital estropia, which means his eye turns inward abnormally. He may need surgery to fix it. My husband has it so it probably is genetic.

He is recovering fine from the RSV but my heart may not recover from all of this.

Monday, March 2, 2009

1 month old

It has been a whirlwind of a month since Lucius was born. Scary doesn't even begin to describe some of it.

But again, I'm given the feeling that Lucius is here to teach me some lessons. I've learned a lot already in his short little life, so my eyes are wide open. He truly is wise far beyond his years and this is something I noticed from the moment he was born.

His name means "bringer of light" and I think it is true but not in the sense you normally think. More like shedding light on things I haven't thought of, and opening my mind to things I've previously been closed to. I can definitely see his purpose and place in my life already. I'm amazed. I'm in awe of my beautiful little boy who has taught me more in a month than I've learned in 9, almost 10 years, of motherhood.

I am honored to be his mommy, and so thankful for each moment I've had with him.