Olivia’s 15 month update

On the 3rd Olivia turned 15 months! She has had a huge physical and cognitive growth spurt since she turned a year old but especially so in the last month and a half. I catch myself wondering where my baby girl has gone as I look at an active little girl coming into her toddler-hood very nicely.

Olivia gave me the best present on my birthday in July when she started walking. She gave me a musical toy that she wanted me to wind up and as I was doing so she walked right over to me to grab it. It was literally like she had been walking for several days. It was the coolest thing to watch and it really was a great birthday gift. Even though she did take her first steps on her birthday she really didn’t seem motivated to do much more. I was fully convinced we would go into her 15 month appointment without really walking. She has proven me wrong as she is now trying to run. I especially love when she thinks Luke or Walt is coming to get her and she *runs* as fast as she can to my arms with a huge smile on her face. She LOVES to climb but this is terrifying. If there is access to steps she’s going to attempt to climb up them. She climbs on chairs, stairs, playgrounds, and she loves it. She was totally keeping up with the big kids at Luke’s school picnic conquering the tunnels and trying her best to climb up the slide.

Because she is now very mobile she does NOT want to be confined to any one space for too long. Car rides more than 15 minutes are not ideal. Sitting in her booster seat (she refuses to go in the high chair now) for too long after she’s done eating is not going to make her happy and I find myself constantly having to change her scenery when we are at home. She really dislikes being “left out” which usually means an epic cry fest when she sees me walk out of a room she’s in. And like clockwork she will probably meltdown around the exact time I need to prepare lunch or dinner. Sometimes this is exhausting but I keep reminding myself both the good and bad moments are phases and there will always be new positives and new challenges.

Olivia has also gone through a major language explosion and it too seemed to happen overnight. She had 3-5 words at a year (and again I worried about this) but is now a little chatterbox. I’ve been keeping a running list and so far we are up to 30 words she either says on her own or will repeat. She’s really good at making animal noises and the newest one is the sound of a monkey. She will shake her head and say “ohhh ahhh ohhh ahhh.” She’s also in that stage of if we say “Olivia can you say….?” she will attempt to say the word. She also has her own little todderlese language that I LOVE hearing. I try to record it when she’s really having a conversation with herself or someone else so that I can watch it over and over again as she grows.

She also seems to understand most of what we are saying. She will throw something away when asked. She can get different toys and bring them to you. She will throw or kick a ball when asked to. She will give hugs and kisses and wipe her face and “clean up.” I forgot how adorable it is to watch them figure out the simplistic ways of the world.

She’s a great eater but becoming more picky. Her favorite foods are cheese, avocado, blueberries, sweet potatoes, and bread. She dislikes eggs but thankfully I’ve found ways to sneak them in as well as some of the vegetables we all eat daily (spinach, broccoli, peas, etc). She is learning to use a fork and spoon and it’s really a huge mess after each mealtime. She’s also starting to get upset if I cut her food up and would rather hold the entire piece of food in her mouth. So when I steam large carrots instead of cutting them into bite-sized pieces I give her a cut portion of an entire carrot and she’s happy. I would have NEVER done this with Luke as I was always so worried about choking but thankfully Olivia seems like she’s gotten the “just take a bite” thing down. I still watch her religiously but it’s kinda nice to see her graduate to a new stage of eating.

She’s down to one nap and continues to be a champion sleeper. Her transition from 2-1 nap was so much smoother than Luke’s was. This is probably because her morning nap was always on the go and very short compared to the 1-1.5 hours Luke would spend napping in the AM in his crib. She usually naps around 2-2.5 hours and sleeps 11-12 hours at night. I never thought this was possible with a toddler. I continue to be thankful she has been a good sleeper.

She’s starting her first solo music class this week (sans Luke as he’ll be in preschool) and I’m super excited to watch her in the class as she’s so fun to watch at story time. She loves music and dancing and will sing her own little versions of songs when asked. She’s also starting to hold her own when it comes to sharing toys and space with Luke. If he tries to take something away from her she will hold on tighter and scream. I should also say she’s MUCH better at sharing than Luke is which has been a great teaching example for him. That being said she absolutely LOVES playing with things that are his. She will sometimes sneak a toy or his water cup when he’s not looking and run as fast as she can to a “safe place.” It’s adorable and also helping Luke feel like he’s not always being singled out for taking things away from her as we have to say “Olivia, you know that toy is Luke’s special toy” etc.

I’m excited to see where the next several months take Olivia! She’s a doll and I continue to be thankful for everything she has taught me. She is truly a perfect addition to our family.

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The last hurrah.

I have a memory of putting away Olivia’s baby stuff when she was 6 months old. Walt, Luke, Olivia, and I were in her bedroom. The act of packing away stuff she was too big for prompted the conversation of “will we try one more time?” I’ve always wanted 4 children and while Oliver isn’t living he is my first born son. But we’ve been so blessed (really just lucky) would trying again be tempting fate?

Walt and I talked extensively about our decision to try again while I was pregnant with Olivia. If we decided we didn’t want to try for a 4th child I wanted/needed to get in the mindset of “this is my last pregnancy.”  We discussed the risks involved and whether or not we were ready to stop trying. We decided to ask my OB to look at my uterus during Olivia’s delivery to see if he thought I could carry another pregnancy. We asked about this while in the hospital with her and again at my 6 week follow up appointment. The doctor thought that since I had no problems with Luke and Olivia’s pregnancy (and after looking at my uterus during Olivia’s delivery) carrying another pregnancy would be doable.

Back to packing up baby stuff….I’m pretty sure right then and there in her nursery we decided we did want to try again. While we would be content with just our two living children adding one more little one to the mix is what we wanted to try to do. I think Walt would have been ready then but I wanted to wait until Olivia was a year old. I knew though that time was not on our side as I’ve always wanted to be done having children at the age of 35 (something that will happen next July). We decided to wait a few months and then discuss our plan when Olivia turned one.

I found out I was pregnant in April. After a bout of vomiting and a delayed period I decided to test at 3:30am and saw those lines that meant I had a life growing inside of me. I was incredibly taken aback and nervous. I did all the things one who has a history like mine does (ran through my fears, wondered if this was going to work, called the OB, and waited). I had an ultrasound done at 8 weeks but knew even before that there this was going to be a positive experience. The symptoms (fatigue, ohhh fatigue, the nausea, and lack of appetite) gave it away. I hoped for good news but braced myself for what I’ve heard too many times. Before going to the appointment I told Walt that regardless of how things turn out this would be my last attempt.

I was reassured that all was well and so began the journey of our last pregnancy.

I’ve had good appointments so far (I am 21w4d) and my care is the same as it was with Luke and Olivia (progesterone injections starting at 16 weeks, routine cervical checks, and a 37 week delivery). Early genetic screening and a flawless anatomy scan was flawless with no issues or complications so far. And while the positive doctor’s appointments have been so reassuring I am still anxious and ready for this baby to be in my arms.

So if all goes well the last baby Whitworth will be here the first week of December. Olivia will be protected by all her brothers.

Emotions

I have been experiences a lot of emotions recently. I know a lot of it has to do with Oliver’s birthday just passing. I spent most of the days before and after feeling the wide range of emotions those who have lost a child feel throughout any given year.

Anger, sadness, gratitude, I felt them all.
On the day of his birthday, August 5th, I listened to Invisibilia, a podcast which ran a 2
part series on emotions. Sidenote: this podcast is really good and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for podcasts. You can find the episodes here: https://www.npr.org/programs/invisibilia/530718193/emotions
This episode featured the story of two people whose lives became intertwined after a fatal car accident. It was extremely difficult to listen to but very thought provoking.

You see, there was a lawsuit that came after the car accident. However, the person suing for damages was not the family whose 3 year old daughter died. The lawsuit was filed by the driver of the truck that the family’s car hit. It was filed by the driver who walked away with no physical damage.  The driver of the truck was so scarred (mentally) from the accident that he was unable to work for several months and sued for lost wages. I won’t go into the details of the lawsuit in case you’d like to listen but I wonder if the ruling would still stand had those who decided the outcome listened to this podcast.

While discussing the story of the two families, the episode centered around emotions. It addressed questions like “where do our emotions come from and do we have any control over them?” This got me thinking about my own emotions and how I have dealt with them throughout my lifetime. I would say in general I am very in control of my emotions. I know when it is appropriate to give into my emotions and when to hold back. However, after losing Oliver I often felt hijacked by my emotions (something I wrote about a few times in the first year my loss).

 

The episode features a psychologist, Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett who has a different way of looking at emotions. She discusses at length how societies’ attitude about emotions revolve around the idea that they are innate. She says society believes we can’t choose how we respond to events we just do and that emotions are just natural reactions to events. However, she believes that our emotions are built on prior concepts we have developed throughout our lifetime and that if we change our concepts we can change our emotions or at least the way we deal/cope with our emotions.

 

This episode got me thinking about how I dealt with Oliver’s death in the first few days, weeks, months, and now years. It also made me think about how I continue to cope with the fact my first born child is not living. Even more so, the episode has made me think about the ways I would like to teach my children to deal with their emotions.

 

I do not think I would have agreed that emotions are just our natural reactions to events (that wouldn’t explain why certain things set people off while have no effect on others). And I do not think I would have agreed that we are always fully in control of our emotions (I think a lot of that deals with the temperament and motivation of the person who is experiencing the emotion). I do believe emotions can be controlled but in order to have the intelligence to do that you have to give into and honor your emotions. I also think that a lot of people aren’t taught how to cope with their emotions so they end up letting the emotion control them while others suppress their emotions entirely.

If nothing else I do hope I can teach my children it’s okay to give into emotions but to do so appropriately and in a way that will help resolve the situation at hand. I have also been encouraged to step back and look at the way I respond to not only my own emotions but to others.

Now that he is officially 2 1/2 months old I thought it was time for a Luke update!

Wow oh wow! The last 6 months has brought about some major physical and cognitive changes for Luke. I feel like we are out of the toddler/terrible two phase and in a smooth sailing period right now. He is truly like a mini person that you can reason (sometimes) with. We still have our bouts of tantrums, especially in the past week, but they are usually short lived. It’s also helpful that we can explain and ask him questions about why he is behaving a certain way.

I feel like he’s going through yet another language growth spurt. He picks up on everything adults say which has meant we’ve had to caution ourselves a lot and spell out some words. He says words that I have no idea how he knows. For example he told me he was building a boat out of playdoh that he was going to sail to the dock. He described a fire truck as being “so beautiful.” And just recently after telling us he loves us he’ll say “you’re the best!” which melts my heart. He picks up on new words, remembers them very quickly, and incorporates them in daily play. We went to the farmers market a few weeks ago and he played with a jump rope and now anything that is a string and long is his jump rope. He is into pretend play and will often tell us “I’ll be right back, I have to go to Target.” He uses the babydoll stroller we have as a wheelbarrow and constantly tells us “I have to go work on a project.” (something he does often with Walt). I love this imaginary play and hope it continues.

His relationship with Olivia has changed dramatically over the last few months. He now sees her as a playmate which is adorable. I will be honest and say that we have been through some rough times with him. There were episodes of pushing, hitting, and biting. At her 9 month appointment I was in tears with the doctor over some of the things I was dealing with at the time. And while sharing is still a CONSTANT daily issues and conversation we have, the more aggressive behavior has lessened dramatically. His nurturing side has come out with her. I often see him acting in ways that I would describe as “classical big brother” behaviors. The other day I was trying to throw dinner together and Olivia was hysterical. He came over to her and said “it’s okay Olivia, don’t cry, Mommy’s just cooking dinner.” When she didn’t calm down he got a bit flustered and asked me what he should do. One of my favorite things is hearing them chatter and giggle on car rides. Luke loves to make her laugh and is highly motivated to get her to react. If he wakes up before her he usually asks “where’s baby?” and enjoys going in to greet her when she gets up.

He’s in the “Mommy, watch this” stage which is funny. He likes to do tricks and loves the praise that comes with each new thing he tries to do. His latest obsession is riding his bike. He has a bike with training wheels and after 3-4 sessions he has mastered the skill of riding a bike. I absolutely loves this because we can now go to so many of the paved trails in our city. He rides his bike, we push Olivia on a tricycle and we walk. It’s SO fun! The other day he biked over 1.5 miles. I love this new skill he has and I can’t wait to be able to go on family bike rides together.

He starts preschool in September and while it’s only 3 hours a day for 2 days a week I’m starting to get anxious about the transition. I’ve been with him all of his life and aside from the occasional babysitter here or there he’s never been without me. I know he will be fine and it will likely be a lot harder on me. I honestly think he will blossom once in school and I hope it helps refine some of his cognitive and social skills. He’s also starting a soccer program in the fall and I have high hopes he will be able to swim independently by this time next year with the help of some private swim lessons.

He’s into learning his letters right now which really excites me. I tried around his 2nd birthday to teach him letters and he didn’t really have an interest. He loved learning how to spell his own name but aside from L-U-K-E he didn’t really care. Thanks to the Llama Llama Loves to Read book and the Netflix series he is ALL about his letters now. He can recognize 10-12 of them which is neat. He often attempts to draw his letters and I must say his U is on point. He also likes to draw Ms but it ends up looking like an EKG read out. I’ve recently found some apps that I hope help him start to learn to write his letters and in the meantime I’ll soak up the fact he is motivated to learn.

He’s pretty set in his ways. We are on a “only mommy can put me to bed” streak and it’s wearing me down. He’s also become a master bedtime staller but I’ve found being firm and consistent is key. He’s still in the crib and we are just now starting to talk about transitioning him to a toddler bed. He’s never tried to climb out of his crib so I’m hopeful once that railing it’s all the way there he’ll continue to stay put. He’s still napping but we cap it at 2 hours and even then he’s often “reading” or chatting away in his crib for an hour at night. I know within the next year he will probably drop his nap but right now he (and I) need that break. I hope once he isn’t napping anymore we will still do some type of quiet time which I feel like is a really important skill for children to learn.

We recently had a very successful trip to the hair cutting place. Getting Luke’s hair cut has been a huge challenge. We are talking about screaming and crying. It was something I dreaded doing and resorted to attempting to cut it myself here at home. A friend randomly mentioned she took her son and he got a balloon. Luke overheard this and could not stop talking about it. So we took him and he did WONDERFUL! I don’t know if it was the balloon or the fact that he’s older now but I was so happy we got it done. I’m curious how our dentist appointment this week will go. The last time he wouldn’t even let them look in his mouth. The successful hair cut gives me hope that maybe the appt won’t be too painful.

Luke is full of energy these days and while his personality shines at home he continues to be more of an observer when we are out in public. He has to feel very comfortable with someone in order to open up. I hope this quality serves him well throughout his life.

It’s hard to believe we will have a 3 year old in half a year!

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4 years later

We are less than a month away from August 5th. It will be the 4th year since we lost our first-born son. Four years passed by so quickly but in an instant I can be brought back to both the happiness and the darkness that year brought us.

Four years ago I was pregnant with a baby boy. After trying to get pregnant for 9 months and going through one early miscarriage it seemed like life was falling into place. Walt was finishing residency and we were excited to celebrate so many things that summer.

And then our lives changed forever.

As we approach Oliver’s birthday I find myself going through all the emotions. Angry, sad, confused, and thankful. I also think about how my grief has changed over the years. Sometimes I wish I could get back to the healing that I so greatly needed in the first year after he died. You see, while I don’t spend as much time actively grieving the loss of my first-born son it’s still something I think about every single day. It has changed my life in both negative and positive ways and I am a different person because of my experiences.

I expect the next few weeks to be emotional taxing but such is life. I wish he was here. I wish I didn’t have to go through losing a baby but I will continue to remember the lessons he has taught me and to be thankful I am his mom.

 

Olivia is ONE!

And just like that my sweet little Olivia is a one year old! I look at her and see how much she has changed since we brought her home and even though that was an entire year ago it feels like it happened just yesterday.

I have been amazed at her cognitive growth in the last month. Child development is something I’ve always found interesting but even more so with my own children. It seems like in the last few weeks she truly understands what we are saying and has picked up several new abilities. She can stomp her feet and does the appropriate hand and feet movements to songs (i.e. If You’re Happy and You Know It). She pretends to talk on the phone and she gives kisses which is especially adorable as she makes the “muaahhhh” sound. She can correctly identify things in books such as dogs, balls, ladybugs by pointing when asked. She knows who her Nana and Pop Pop (as well as me, Walt, and Luke) are and will look outside when hearing the sound of an airplane or rain. In addition to her increase in understanding language she has picked up two new words “UH-OH” (although she says this one sporadically) and “DAH” or dog which she says all the time when seeing our own dog.

She’s coming into that early toddler-hood period that can be a bit challenging as their personality and attitude comes out. She has a fit if she gets a hold of a phone that is then taken away. If she’s hungry or tired and is given a toy she will often swat at it as if saying “this is not what I want!” Diaper changes continue to be a struggle and getting her in a car seat is no easy task. It’s kinda cool to see this side of her as she has been such a patient and easy going baby (and don’t get me wrong she still is).

She’s still only has 4 teeth but I think may be working on a few more. She weighed 20.8 ounces and measured 30 inches tall at her 1 year appointment. This is almost exactly what Luke was at his 1 year appointment. She continues to fall in his foot steps with head circumference coming in at the 98th percentile. I guess I should be thankful they were c-section babies…..

Despite hitting a major growth spurt in the last 9 months she isn’t walking. However, she did take her first steps on her 1st birthday. She’s been pushing herself to a standing position for over 2 months but seems to have no real interest in walking somewhere. She does “finger” walk with us and will walk when we are only holding one of her hands but it kinda frustrates her and she would just assume slowly lower herself down and crawl where she wants to go. One of the things that I have had to STOP myself from doing is comparing her to Luke which is way easier said than done. On one hand I feel it’s totally normal for her to not be walking but on the other hand I can’t help but worry even though she is devleoping just normally. I really think it comes down her personality. She’s super laid back which is probably the key factor in her not being “ready” to walk. She does love (and is really good at) climbing. She can climb our stairs (I’m walking behind her of course) and even scales the steps of a playground at a park. It’s kinda cool to watch and something I don’t ever remember Luke doing that much of.

This girl LOVES to eat. Like LOVES to eat which is really nice considering we are going through the “I don’t want to eat anything” phase with Luke. Her favorite foods are sweet potatoes, avocado, any kind of fruit. Thankfully we’ve done all of the high allergenic foods and she’s done just fine with them. We’ve started her on whole milk in a cup, no more bottles, no more nursing, and she’s done great with that too.

She loves reading books and listening to music. I always find myself watching her face when I read to her. It’s as though she is truly taking it all in. When she hears a familiar song she will dance to it which makes me excited since Luke loves to dance too. She enjoys going to the library for story time, and music class, and loves to play in water. Luke and Olivia are slowly starting to “play” with each other more and more and it’s really adorable. I envision a time where I can leave them both in the playroom to fold laundry or make a phone call without having to say “what happened?” I think that time will come soon although I can also see myself telling them “unless someone is bleeding or has been bitten do not come tattle telling!”

Her favorite toys are really anything she can chew on. She likes to push buttons on toys that make noise and has a sincere interest in a ride on excavator we’ve had since Luke was her age. She enjoys playing our play kitchen and has really had fun with her Black and Decker workshop bench she got from my parents for her birthday. She likes splashing in water and really enjoys being outside. Everything she picks up is a new experience to her and I’m so excited to watch her interests grow in the next several months.

I’m hoping to have some pictures of her 1st Birthday party soon. Her theme was rainbows which I thought was fitting given she is one of our rainbow babies.

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11 down!

Olivia is now 11 months old! I’m not sure how the last month has passed so quickly and it’s hard to believe she is rapidly approaching toddlerhood.

In the last month she has gotten her top two front teeth rounding out her chomper total to 4. For some reason I have a feeling she’s going to start getting them at rapid fire speed now but maybe not. Luke had 7 teeth at one year old and I hope that we don’t get 3 more in the next few weeks.

She has officially started to say momma. It’s the cutest little thing ever but only comes out when she’s fussy or wants me to pick her up. It’s her first word and I’m really excited to see what she starts saying next. I’m almost 99% sure she’s also saying “hey” in the appropriate context but only time will tell if it truly is her 2nd word. She has become very chatty these days and I love hearing her baby babble.

She’s becoming less baby like and more like a little girl. She’s curious and wants to explore her surroundings. She is truly engaged in books now and one of my most favorite times with her is when she sits in my lap and we “read” together. She continues to point to things and grunts and loves to turn the pages. She loves playing with trucks and balls and wants whatever her brother has (and vice versa). She gets so excited when she realizes she’s going to take a bath and melts down when it’s over. She’s also started to dance which is so cute and she gets the biggest smile on her face when she hears a song (or book) she recognizes.

We took her to the zoo for the first time and she enjoyed seeing the animals and riding on the carousel. She also went strawberry picking recently and has loved eating the delicious fruit.

This time next month I’ll have TWO toddlers!!

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Olivia’s 10 months old!

Olivia is in the double digits! She turned 10 months old on the 3rd.

Boy oh boy has life become more ​exciting/challenging now that she is on the move. It is so exciting to see her explore her environment in new ways every day.

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She’s starting to stand on her own but lacks the confidence to let go of our hands. She’s actually quite steady on her feet but as soon as she knows I’m no longer holding on she slowly lowers herself back to a seated position. She’s also walking with her walker

​ and furniture walking to things she’d like to get to.​

I’m not a betting woman but I think she’ll be walking by her first birthday and if not that’s totally fine!

She loves reading books (especially anything by Jane Cabrera) and is starting to point at things in the books and grunt “huh” as if she’s asking “what’s that mom?”

​She’s also starting to turn the pages herself which I love watching. ​

She can clap and wave on command. She loves singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider and will follow along with the movements by putting her fingers together and lifting her arms up and down.

​ She will sometimes say “da da” when asked and is starting to mimic “momma” but right now it sounds like “rawl rawl.” ​
She’s starting to get more determined as she approaches toddler hood. She’s no longer okay with Luke trading toys for her and will let you know if she doesn’t like something. Changing her diaper is becoming difficult and wiping her down after a meal will lead to tears every single time.​ If she has something she’s not supposed to (which is often) she has an epic meltdown when it’s taken away from her. Thankfully the tears don’t last too long as she’s still easily distracted.
We are still breastfeeding and I’m beginning to think I will have to wean her when the time is like unlike Luke who weaned himself. Thankfully she’s been a great eater so far and seems to be growing just fine. She’s sleeping great and is often a 7-7 baby. Her morning nap is still in the carrier and always pretty short but her afternoon nap is often 2+ hours which is much appreciated. I hesitate to even type that out as she’s asleep right now and I feel like I’m going to jinx it today.
She’s a doll baby and we had fun celebrating her first Easter!
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Photo taken by Kelly Ginn PhotographyKGP-34
Photo taken by Kelly Ginn Photography

Health Scare

It’s taken me a week to write this. I’m okay now but over two weeks ago I was not.

It started with a horrible head cold- sore throat, low energy, cough….nothing that makes you stay in bed but still frustrating to deal with. The cold got better but I had what felt like an awful sinus pressure headache for two days. It was so bad that on the second day I was in tears from the pressure in my head. I’m not one to take medicine but I did end up taking some Alieve which lessened the pressure. I seemed fine the next day but then began experiencing some intense eye pain. It felt like my right eye was extremely strained and hurt to look in any direction. Then came blurry vision in that eye. I’ve never had vision issues and after talking with Walt we decided it would be best if I tried to see an ophthalmologist.

I was able to get in with an eye doctor two days after the eye issues started. I was terrified. I feel like after you’ve experienced a traumatic event (for us losing a baby) you can’t help but think about what the worst case scenario would be. Unfortunately, my worry was not lessened after seeing the doctor.

After asking some questions and doing some vision tests (visual field test, color test) I was told that while my vision is 20/15 the results of my visual field test were not normal given my age. The ophthalmologist recommended an MRI to rule out things that could be causing my pain and vision issues. The big two were:

  1. Brain tumor. As soon as he said he wanted to order an MRI I started to cry. A brain tumor is what I was worried about the most. He assured me that the chances I had a brain tumor were very low. This was somewhat comforting to hear but still terrifying.
  2. Optic Neuritis. This is inflammation that occurs in the optic nerve and causes pain and vision loss. My doctor explained ON is that it is often a very early sign of multiple sclerosis In fact, 50% of people that have ON and an MRI scan that shows brain lesions will be diagnosed with MS.

The doctor was nice enough to give us his cell phone number and Walt was able to talk to him later on that evening about things. We were both extremely devastated. I have never felt so vulnerable in my life.

Thankfully we were able to get in with an imaging center just a week after I saw my doctor. Needless to say that week wait was extremely hard. On the upside during that week wait my eye pain and vision issues went away completely. This was reassuring to us however often ON does go away on it’s own but doesn’t mean MS could be ruled out.

What I worried about most was how my health would impact the kids. I have never worried about their future more than I have in that week. I would have moments in a day where I felt like everything was going to be fine and then I would have moments where I was convinced the MRI would show lesions. I imagined me not be able to physically or emotionally be there for our kids as they grew older. Dreams we have of traveling and doing all the active things we love to do would be shattered given an MS diagnosis. I know it sounds dramatic but that week wait took a toll on me in ways I never new possible.

So we had the MRI done and were able to get the images read STAT. I met with my doctor the same afternoon the scan was done and we were relieved to learn that the scan showed NO signs of brain lesions for MS and no inflammation of the optic nerve. This is exactly what we had hoped for.

We still aren’t sure what went on but I truly feel like it was related to the head cold and headache I experienced. Some people have mentioned ocular migraines which it could have been but my doctor says the vision issues with those usually don’t last as long as mine did (4 days).

This entire event has reminded me that life is fragile. After losing a baby you learn that but sometimes it is not on the forefront of your mind like it once was. We’ve had so many positive things happen to us over the last 2+ years that I do often find myself worrying when the other shoe will drop. When I’m thinking logically I know there is no benefit in walking around life worrying about things you have no control over but when you’ve been through a traumatic experience it changes your outlook on everything.

Here’s to being healthy!

Oh and really cool outcome of this is that I have over 600 images of my brain! As a psych major and former psych teacher this is extremely exciting for me!

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Olivia 9 months old!

One of these days I’m going to sit down and write something other than a monthly update. To be truthful my time is so limited and precious that most of my inner thoughts stay jumbled in my head. I often think about what I want to write but there never seems to be enough time to actually get it on the screen. One day.

Olivia is 9 months old! She is now officially crawling and boy is she into everything. Having two mobile children makes life a bit harder but also so fun. She loves exploring and as you can guess goes right to the thing she shouldn’t have (paper, small toys, etc). She is also pulling up on things and is in that dangerous zone where you always have to watch her as she could easily hurt herself. I wish I could capture on video how excited she gets when she stands up. Her favorite thing to pull up on is me and if I extend my arms out while holding her hands she will take steps to get to my lap. It’s adorable and I’m considering it her first attempt at showing affection in the form of a big hug.

She’s babbling more but no words although I swear she has said “momma” three times while having an epic cry fest. She babbles “dada” but the word association with Walt isn’t there yet. I’m beginning to realize just how verbal Luke was at her age and even younger. I guess I didn’t realize that until seeing how Olivia has been.

She loves food and I’m a bit more relaxed about giving her chunks of food than I was with Luke. She has taken to a sippy cup/straw cup like she’s been doing it before she was born. She looks so grown up when she drinks her water out of a cup. I love it! We are still nursing and it’s going well although I can tell she’s nursing less and less at each feed. She’s holding strong with only two teeth and I am okay with that!

She and Luke are starting to play more and more together. It’s adorable but I also feel exhausted from having to watch them both constantly. He’s been known to take things away from her and sometimes even bite (he’s always been a biter but through another child into the mix and it becomes a really frustrating thing to deal with). And she’s been known to scratch him and pull his hair (not on purpose of course). My favorite part of the day is when she sees him for the first time in the morning. Her smile is so big and her eyes light up.

Here’s to another month in the books!!

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