Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Workin' 9 to 5...

Well, more like 8:15 to 4:15, plus some work at home, but you get the idea. I've been back to work for a couple of weeks now and am feeling right back in the swing of things. I had forgotten how much I really do love my job, and have been reminded these last couple of weeks. Ryan has been home with the girls and they're all still alive and the house is still standing, and they're even smiling most days, so all is well in that area too. I also hadn't really realized how drained I was when I was pregnant. I just can't believe how much more energy I have at work than I did a year ago when I was just starting my 2nd trimester. It's amazing! And that's even with all the waking up at night thanks to the monster. I don't know what it is, lately she's back to eating every few hours around the clock. I have this theory that the reason she's hungry is that she doesn't get enough at any one feeding from me, so I keep nursing her when she wakes up to try to increase the milk supply, but all that seems to happen is she wakes up again in a few hours and I'm exhausted when I finally get up in the morning.

And I'm really tired of looking pregnant! I know, it took 9 months to gain the weight, so why shouldn't it take more than 6 to lose it, but it's not about the number on the scale. It's about the fact that I don't look fat, I look pregnant. I don't know why. I don't know if it's because I had c-sections and the abdominal muscles aren't healed, or because I only gained weight in my belly so that's the only place I need to lose it, or what. I'm almost back into the clothes I was wearing the summer before I got pregnant with Rylee (after the 12-week challenge) but I still look like I'm pregnant and I hate it. I know I should just focus on being healthy and not worry about my appearance, but there it is. I look like I'm pregnant and I'm not and I hate it.

Update on Tatiana - she did not have a very good weekend, but Carianne's was okay. She did go home and got to be with her boys, which helped her spirits. Some of the fluid had to be drained from the prosthesis in Tatiana's abdomen because she was just in too much pain, and apparently there's been some swelling, but Carianne was allowed to hold her again today. I'm hoping that's a good sign. I've passed on all the good wishes people have sent to me and ask that you continue to keep them in your thoughts/prayers.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The latest on Tatiana

Copied from the most recent email from Carianne:

Tatiana was transferred to a different hospital on april 18. She left the neonatal unit and is now in the pediatric critical care unit (PCCU). The doctor requested she be moved since she works out of the new location, can check on her frequently, rather than stopping in before or after her work day. I was okay with the move, like I had any choice anyways! The Victoria hospital is newer, larger, more spacious and the parking lot is right across from her room. Nice!

Since she has been on her antibiotics the past couple days she has been doing really well. Hopefully the infection is gone. This morning I sat with her for a few hours, enjoying the cuddle and watching her peacefully sleep in my arms. And the chair was a nice soft lazy boy lounger, not too hard to relax in.

We were told there would possibly be surgery today, april 19. But only if they could book some time in the operating room. 12:30. Call comes in and her time in the OR will be 1:00. Surgery shouldn’t take any more than 2 hours. We wait. Mom, rosalie and collin are with me. Finally at 4:00 the doc tells us all went well. The balloon type thing was inserted into her lower abdomen, they filled it with 80mls of liquid. A tube comes out of her so the doctor can keep filling the balloon till her abdomen is large enough that the omphalocele will fit into it. Not sure how long this will take. Maybe 20 days, or that is what the 2 other medical papers have stated that have tried this procedure. It’s a new way to try to fix this abnormality so I’m hoping it works well.

Me again. Carianne was going to go home this weekend to be with her husband and son, since there's not much she can do with or for Tatiana right now anyway. I will be passing on all the good wishes you've been sending to me. I know it will mean a lot to her.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More news on Tatiana

For those who were wondering about Tatiana, here is an update I copied from Carianne's last email:

The game plan: surgery 1: they will insert a prosthetic (balloon) into her lower abdomen. Over time they will pump this balloon up, hoping to increase her skin tissue and also her abdominal cavity. Once the cavity is large enough …

Surgery 2: they will remove the prosthetic, drop the omphalocele (her liver, stomach and bowel that is now on the outside of her body) into the abdominal cavity and hope that the skin stretches enough over the opening. Also over the opening they will use a board type thing to help keep the omphalocele where it is supposed to be, keeping her tummy a normal shape, so it doesn’t pop out.

Surgery 3 + ?: the next surgery or more will be to remove the board and keep stretching the skin till it covers over the opening. It will depend on how fast her skin grows to be able to cover the opening whether it will be 1 or more surgeries.

We went to see her on the weekend. I got to look at her in her little incubator in the NICU, and you'd never guess there was anything wrong. She's adorable, her colour looked good to me, she was wrapped in a blanket so you couldn't see the omphalocele, she was just a little smaller than most babies I've seen (but we tend to have babies the size of toddlers around here!) Carianne was allowed to hold her on the weekend, and was even starting to try to nurse, but that's been stopped now.

My mother in law called tonight to say that Tatiana was supposed to go for surgery today but it had to be cancelled as she is running a fever due to an infection. She is being moved to the hospital in London where her surgeon is, so that she can be wheeled into surgery at a moment's notice if need be. I'm not sure if they know where the infection is.

It seems Carianne was told that the doctor has seen this maybe 10 times in her career, and that anything they've done before hasn't worked too well, so they're trying something different. Understandably, Carianne is having a very rough go. She's staying in London to be near Tatiana, away from her husband, her son and most of her immediate family (although her brother is in London, and some extended family). Please keep praying for Tatiana, or thinking good thoughts, or whatever works for you. She still needs it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Thank heaven for little girls

Tatiana Jayne Brophy arrived today, on her mommy's birthday. Happily, it seems that she is even healthier than expected. She needs surgery because she was born with her liver, intestines and stomach outside of her body, but the good news is that the doctors seem to think that's the only thing wrong. The surgery was supposed to be on Friday but now it might be earlier because the doctors think she can handle it, and has no other issues they need to worry about. Thank you to anyone who sent prayers and wishes to Carianne. Ryan and I are Tatiana's godparents, so Ryan went to London today to see her and be there for the baptism.

Welcome baby girl!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Back in the saddle

I started back to work today. It went quite well - someone said it was like I never left. The grade 4/5 class swarmed me when I walked in on supervision duty, and when I showed up to teach their class they all told me how happy they were that I was back, even the gr 5 boys that I wouldn't have expected it from. It was an ego boost, to say the least.

I was a little surprised at how easily I got back in the routine. I guess it's because I was off for a shorter leave this time (six months, as opposed to 8 or 9) and because I started the school year with these kids and am now finishing it with them. Besides, I've taught most of these kids for three years now, so I know them and they know me.

I was supposed to start yoga tonight but there was just too much going on - Ryan had two meetings, one of which overlapped with yoga, I had plans to prepare, the girls needed a bath (Sammie has school pictures tomorrow), I had housework I was hoping to tackle...something had to give. I decided it would be yoga, which I will probably not do now for this session. I've already missed the first two classes, and will likely have conflicts once baseball starts. I figured I had to choose, and I chose baseball. I've already committed to playing ball, and I can always do yoga in the fall.

Rylee is still a monster when it comes to sleep. I don't know why I bother mentioning it. I should just post about the times she actually does sleep. Actually, she slept quite well at the in-laws this past weekend. I think it might be because she was in a dark room, but I'm not sure yet. She's been sleeping for about 3 hours now, so maybe we're in for a better night. Maybe. I should be sleeping too, but I was feeding my addiction (yay facebook!) and checking OHL scores (Rangers lost - boo) and decided to post about my first day back.

Before I head off to sleep, I'm asking for prayers and good wishes for my sister-in-law, who is giving birth to her second child tomorrow. The baby has medical issues that will require surgery within a couple of days. We're hoping there are no other issues that the ultrasound didn't show. Please send happy thoughts in the general direction of London.

Friday, April 6, 2007

25 random things you might not know about me

1. My youngest daughter was almost named Danielle.
2. I have lived in Haukipudas and Oulu, Finland and in Nantes, France.
3. I have been to Oregon and California, but no further west in Canada than Thunder Bay.
4. If I could live in any country in Europe, it would be the Netherlands.
5. I had a small crush on my Canadian history prof in 4th year.
6. I am the 2nd youngest teacher at my school.
7. I can say I love you in about 10 different languages.
8. I did gr 3 and gr 4 in one year.
9. I once ran up a $200 phone bill in teacher's college.
10. I am great at talking myself out of buying things.
11. I am first generation Canadian on my dad's side.
12. I have TMJ disorder. Also chondromalasia patella (sp?)
13. I want to be on What Not to Wear. And Jeopardy.
14. I like being tickled.
15. The Les Miserables soundtrack makes me cry.
16. In high school I played clarinet, alto sax and baritone sax.
17. I was mentioned in the liner notes of a CD (Us & Wilbur - Through These Walls)
18. I am a huge fan of Dave Barry.
19. I have been to the northernmost point of mainland Britain.
20. My first concert was Glass Tiger.
21. I have never broken a bone.
22. My favourite game is Trivial Pursuit (okay, if you know me at ALL, you probably knew that one)
23. I have only once in my life lied to my mother and gotten away with it.
24. My favourite colour is blue.
25. My confirmation name is Angela.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Easter what?!?

Just had to share this Hailey-ism. It's a two parter.

Sammie and Hailey are playing behind Daddy's chair when they are supposed to be cleaning up their toys. I ask them to come out from behind the chair and ask what they're doing. Sammie, still holding a book, tells me she's reading a story. Hailey looks at me and with a perfectly straight face, not trying to be funny, says, "I'm the Easter egg piggy." Trying hard not to laugh, I ask, "You're the what?" Sammie says, "She's the Easter pig," still not joking, at the same time that Hailey repeats, "I'm the Easter egg piggy." And I thought it was funny when they said Easter egg bunny. Hailey also referred to Christmas recently as Santa Claus Day, so maybe we need to work on the meaning of Christmas around here. And Easter.

Takes place immediately after part the first. I remind the girls that they are supposed to be cleaning up and tell them to get started. Hailey holds up her hands, waves them around, still not trying to make a joke, and says very seriously, "The Easter egg piggy doesn't have any hands."

YOU try to keep a straight face at that point. The funniest part was, I really don't think she was even trying to get out of cleaning up her toys. She just saw a real problem with this since she was the Easter egg piggy and the Easter egg piggy doesn't have any hands. Too funny.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

And where have YOU been?

I gave up. I have been letting her have the soother and, wonder of wonders, it seems to soothe her. Rylee is now settling into a sort of pattern where she goes to sleep, wakes up a few hours later, falls asleep again fairly quickly when you stick the soother back in her mouth, and sleeps a while longer. How much longer varies, but I'm not on hourly search-and-rescue missions anymore. Hooray.

On Friday I went to a conference in Toronto for modern language teachers - the only work-related travel I ever do, and at my own expense, of course. It was great. I went with my friend Carrie, also a French teacher, and stayed over. You can usually find people you went to school with, or taught with, but this year I even found someone I went on exchange with! The person who handled my check-in at the hotel was the guy who went on exchange from the same Rotary club as me, the same year. It was good to see him - he seems like time has been kind to him, and he's happy with himself and his life now. Carrie and I had a good time (or at least I did - I think she did too) being without kids for once, doing girly things.

This is my last week before I go back to work. I guess I should be getting some stuff ready. I will try to do so this week, but with Ryan gone, it may be difficult. I get so run-down when he's gone, it's hard to motivate myself to do anything. Oh well.

We bought a tent trailer this weekend. I wasn't sure I wanted to, but Ryan convinced me. I really like the one we ended up getting. Now I'm looking forward to the summer more than ever.

Not much else to say. I will try to be more interesting next time.