Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Medical student

Today I am seeing my neurologist to talk about my pain in my legs and medication options. Before the Dr came in I had the pleasure of having a medical student talk to me and do my exam. Being at Stanford I am pretty used to this and have come to really appreciate it. The medical students and residents are always very nice and have the time to give a bit longer explanations of things. They also are learning so they do things a bit slower, more in depth and explain what they are doing more. I enjoy knowing that what I'm going through might help this student to be a better dr. My BIL is in medical school and I would want his patients to give him the time and opportunity to learn like I do. 

I'm writing this while waiting for the dr to come in to talk. Since it was a last minute add appt I have had to wait longer than normal. For some reason today more than others I felt very nervous and anxious about my appt. I guess the fear that the dr could tell me that the way my legs feel is my new normal or just the idea of having something else wrong and needing more meds that could make it so we can't get pregnant for longer. In the end I think my biggest fear right now is ending up in a wheelchair and not being able to take care of myself or Caleb. I know I'm not there yet or really close but it's a hard thought to shake. 

Friday, July 18, 2014


Today is day three of three for a steroid infusion of Solumedrol. I had noticed on saturday last week that I had some numbness in my right leg. I didn't think much of it because it was mostly sensitivity to temperature. Then by Sunday night I figured out it was another flair up. Same feelings as the last time. I talked to my Neurologist and after she looked at my MRI results and saw a new lesion on the right side of my brain she suggested an infusion. This will hopefully help the one in my brain from remaining active and for the numbness in my leg to go away.

During my initial diagnosis last year we decided to wait to start any of the disease modifying drugs until after we got pregnant and had another baby. We knew we wanted to start trying soon so it wasn't a problem. Well now that it has been a year and 8 mo of trying with out any luck I am looking at starting the one drug they say is safe while trying to get pregnant. Once I get pregnant I won't need to take the drugs because women are protected during pregnancy from MS flair ups.

The Drug we are looking at and I will be talking to my Dr about next week is called Copaxone. It is an every other day injection that I will have to learn to give myself. It will definitely be something to get used to but its better than having more and more lesions and flair ups.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I'm Back Again

It has been around 2 1/2 years since I last posted anything and so many thing have happened. Caleb will be 3 in Nov and will hopefully be starting preschool in september. He is so smart, funny, loving and very testing of my patience. He loves to be naked which I think was a huge help in him getting potty trained around his 2nd birthday. He is very healthy and weighs in at about 36lbs right now. He is a great eater and likes lots of different types of food. his favorites right now are tofu, caesar salad, sushi, chipotle and veggie sandwiches from subway.

Since my last post Mike and I have had some major changes. We decided to add 400 sq ft to the back of our house with a master bathroom, a laundry room and an office. We are still in the process of finishing the project. Mike's job changed so we now have better benefits and things and the ship he has been on for a while is on the west coast which is nice. We are also looking to grow our family soon with another baby (I'll post more about all of that later).
The biggest thing I am dealing with right now is my newly diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis. In July of 2013 I was diagnosed with MS after many MRI's and various tests. So far other than some slight memory, processing and balance issues I am the same as I always have been. Many people in my life know I was diagnosed but not everyone because until now I haven't really talked about it openly to the world. I didn't post it on Facebook or anything because I didn't want people to feel bad for me or say the wrong things while I was still processing what this means for my future. I hope talking about it now helps others and helps me to find more people who are dealing with this disease. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012


 These pictures were taken when Caleb was 3 weeks old. the first four were taken during a photo shoot with Jessica Quintal. The last four were taken by my sister. I was going to write more but Caleb is crying and would like if I fed him. He is a very predictable every 2 hour eater during the day. I will try to post again soon.

His Thanksgiving day outfit. The front of his shirt said Gobble gobble gobble.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Quick note

Just a quick post to tell everyone about the baby gizmo giveaway of a bugaboo donkey stroller. Check it out

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Since the last few weeks of my pregnancy I have been very emotional. Since I delivered it has only gotten worse. I cry over any and everything. Recovery overall hasn't been easy by any means.

For me the whole C-section experience comes with a lot of disappointment and sadness. I had looked forward to giving birth. I wanted to see Mike cut the umbilical cord and get to have Caleb lay on my chest when we was first born. There were so many things I looked forward to.

When I gave birth to Zoey it was not a happy time. Mike wasn't there, nobody cut her cord (well the Dr. did I think), the Dr wasn't excited, I got to hold her but I was surrounded by sad faces and crying not happy excited people. I had looked forward to delivering her as well and felt like that experience was taken from me. I had hoped that this time around it would be different and I would get to experience all the things I had hoped for.
I was there when my sister delivered, when my friend Tara delivered, and I was there during labor and shortly after delivery for two other friends all who had normal vaginal deliveries. I knew what it could be like.

When I was told I was having a C-section I was once again surrounded by worried faces. After he was born I didn't get to hold him, I barely got to see him, Mike didn't get to cut the cord, our family and friends didn't get to celebrate with us after he was born. Since I was having such problems I didn't get to hold him until the next day. The Dr. waited so long to decide to give me a C-section that by the time he was born our friends and family all had to leave so they could only see him through the window in the nursery while they washed him and did various things. ( I was in surgery still so I;m not sure what all they did). I don't have pictures of all our family holding him that day and because of the stress in the hospital i don't have pictures of my family holding him at all.

I know having a C-section was the best thing for him and me. If I had delivered him vaginally he might not have made it because the Dr found his umbilical cord around his neck twice. I remind myself that having a healthy baby was the most important thing how it happened was not. As much as I know this it is still hard sometimes. 

I started this post about 2 weeks ago now so everything above this was written earlier. In the last couple weeks I have been able to come to terms more with my feelings on how his delivery went. I am still disappointed about all the things I mentioned above and it is still hard to watch those baby shows where women give birth and everything goes perfect. But some words of wisdom from another mom who had C-sections helped me alot. She told me that "normal is different for everyone. They make giving birth sound like everyone has a great vaginal birth but not everyone does. Having had a C-section was my normal". This seemed obvious but hearing someone else who had been through it tell me that helped. I hope if we have another baby (which at this point both mike and I are at the hell no we aren't having any more stage but everyone swears that passes) I can have a vaginal birth but I know now what to be prepared for if I don't.

Monday, November 28, 2011

C Section

I wanted to share what it was like for me to have a C Section. Mike and I hadn't really read a lot about it and weren't really prepared for me to have to have one. It was a shock when I wasn't progressing and the Dr. finally decided I needed one. Once I was told that was what was best everything went really quickly. Multiple Dr's came in to talk to me or to do things to me. A nurse came in and shaved the area where the incision would be. This was a little odd because I couldn't really see what she was doing and I'm not sure who was in the room at this point but whoever was there was seeing it. (since starting this post I saw pictures today and found out pretty much everyone was there).  Mike was given a shirt, pants, mask and cap to put on. I had to put on a hair net type cap.

Once I was ready to go they wheeled me down the hall and into the operating room. Mike got to stay at my side the whole time. I was glad he was there because I have seen lots of hospitals where the dad has to wait till the mom is on the table and ready. The nurses and some other people probably residents or interns lifted me and pulled me onto the operating table since my legs were numb from the epidural. The position they put you in is very uncomfortable. My arms were out to the sides and my head was on a pillow thing. I had IV's, a blood pressure cuff that went off every few minutes, a pulse ox monitor on my finger and the epidural catheter in my back. They also had me wear an oxygen mask until after Caleb was born.

There were lots of people in the room, I don't know if that is normal but I assume there were more people there because Stanford is a teaching hospital so there were attendings and residents and some people that seemed to just stand around and watch. The only people I could see because of the curtain across my chest were the 4 anesthesiologists. Most of the time one of them attended to me and the rest stood around and chatted about who knows what but not me. Before everything started Mike and I asked the resident closest to us how long the surgery would take and he said the baby will be out in 20 min but the surgery can take between 1 and 2 hours. I was a little shocked because I had no idea it took that long.

The first thing i remember once the Dr came in and the surgery started is the horrible smell of burning flesh. Mike and I were both caught off guard by it. Later we asked and the Dr told us they use a scalpel to cut but then they cauterize any bleeding that happens and that was the smell. It was about 20 minutes in that the Dr. asked for the table to be lowered and tilted with my head down slightly so they could get Caleb out. I could feel them pulling and pushing but no pain of any kind. Once Caleb was out Mike was able to go straight over to him and see him get weighed and cleaned up on the warmer. Caleb was crying for a little bit but not tons. We heard the Dr say something that neither one of us knew the meaning of until later. He was explaining to the resident that Caleb's cord was wrapped around his neck 2 times and that it was rare to see. (of course he used big medical words we didn't know). Mike came back and forth between me and Caleb to tell me about him and then he was able to bring him over to me. Mike and I were both tearing up getting to see him for the first time. He was so quiet and had his eyes open really big looking at me. I gave him a kiss, we took a picture and a few minutes after that he had to go to the nursery. Mike left at that point to stay with him which was one of the few things we had talked about before even going to the hospital was that I would want Mike to stay with him and not me.

After they left a bunch of the people in the OR left as well. The group of anesthesiologists went down to just one resident who apparently was on call because he was answering his cell phone the whole time. Laying on the table was really uncomfortable. My back and shoulders started to get really sore and I was freezing cold especially my right hand since it was the one hooked up to all the monitors. I could also feel the cold liquid as it entered my epidural catheter and ran down my back, i think they did that a handful of times.  The sounds of the surgery were also surprising to me. I could hear things, I assume liquids, hitting the curtain at my chest and I heard them staple the incision at the end. I also felt a little uneasy at one point when I heard the Dr counting the instruments and gauze and heard him ask about a pair of scissors. I heard him ask everyone to look for them and to even look at their feet. They did find them thank god but it wasn't what I wanted to hear. This part of the surgery seemed to take forever and I remember asking the anesthesiologist a couple times how much longer or how far they were.

After I was done I got moved onto another bed and then taken to the recovery area in L&D. That is where they found out I had an infection and started the antibiotics. They also massaged my abdomen t ohelp with bleeding or something. This is one of the most painful things they had to stop even touching my abdomen at one point because I was so sore. I was in recovery for around an hour. My mom and sister were able to come see me for a few minutes but because it was past visiting hours they all had to leave. Mike came and saw me and at one point brought Caleb with him but I was in so much pain and having problems I couldn't hold him or anything.

The last major thing that happened was when Mike was with Caleb in the nursery and the nurses were getting me settled in the postpartum room, which I didn't have to share because I had a C section. The nurses were moving me from one bed to the other and I couldn't really help so they slid me over on this air mattress thing. Then when they had to remove the air mattress they had me roll to one side and then the other. When I rolled to the second side I was unable to breathe it felt like my throat had closed up. I was gasping for air and the nurses had to give me oxygen and just before they were about to push the emergency button I was able to take a breath and start breathing again. Nobody knows why I stopped being able to breathe but once I could again they didn't seem to worry anymore.