Sunday, March 18, 2012

Emma's Amazing Boo-Boo Shot

I've said it before, I'll say it again: My daughter is amazing.

Today, while getting ready for her weekly injections, I asked Emma what song she wanted me to sing to her as a distraction. She said, "No. Emma sing it."

So, while I injected foul methotrexate into her arm, she sang the ABCs happily and didn't put up a fight. Then, while she watched me inject icky Enbrel into her leg, she sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and didn't put up a fight.

When it was all over I was very aware of my heart pounding.

Dealing with a screaming, crying toddler while getting a shot makes sense. It isn't fun for a parent, but it seems normal that these small, fragile people should hurt when stabbed with a needle.

Watching my brave, resilient toddler get two shots without flinching breaks my heart a little. No two year old should have to be so strong. I can only imagine the kind of strength she will develop as she grows.

Em & Winter
Help us fight Juvenile Arthritis and all forms of arthritis. Walk with us on May 5th in Livermore. Join our team or donate here: TEAM EMMA

Friday, March 16, 2012

I've Been Tagged!

Here are the rules of the challenge:
1 - You must post the rules.
2 - Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3 - Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
4 - Tag eleven people and link them on your post
5 - Let them know you've tagged them!
 
Okay, then. I'm not really sure how this is all going to work out, or if I can even come up with eleven people to tag, but I'll give it a shot. 
 
My Fun Facts
  1. I am left-handed but find specialty products that are designed for left-handed people to be a waste of energy, except college desks and coffee mugs.
  2. I have never broken a bone in my body. 
  3. I allow myself to put my child's and pets' needs before my own and am constantly sleep deprived as a result. 
  4. I love reading as much as I love wasting time on the internet. 
  5. I find out Baby #2's gender in 3 days! 
  6. I am prone to getting warts on my fingers. 
  7. I miss teaching elementary school kids, but I don't miss planning or grading. 
  8. My coworkers call me Sarah Sunshine because they (usually) only see my positive, happy side. My husband is not so lucky.
  9. I have a horrible sweet tooth and very little self control. 
  10. As a little girl, I hated my freckles. Now, they're one of my favorite features. 
  11. My husband and I are very likely going to buy a minivan. I'm a soccer-mom in the making!
 My Answers to Nikki's Questions

1. If you could be an animal, what and why? An indoor cat. I would get to sleep all day, have someone else feed me, and sleep all day. (This answer was highly influenced by fun fact #3)

2. If you could LIVE in another country, where would it be? Ireland. It's the home of my ancestors and I wouldn't have to learn an entirely new language to survive there.

3. What is one name that you would NEVER name your child? Beulah. Or Barry III.
4. What is your dream job? Seriously? I think I've got all of my dream jobs in my grasp. Mother to a beautiful daughter and part-time veterinary assistant with amazing people and animals. I wouldn't mind higher pay for either, though.

5. What is the last book you read? The Gift of Grace by Amy Clipston for my book group. It was alright. I'm currently reading The Stand by Stephen King. The only other Stephen King book I tried to read was The Shining and I had to stop that one a few chapters in so I wouldn't have nightmares. We'll see how I do with The Stand.

6. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pepperoni Pizza. I'm not kidding.

7.  Who is your favorite American Idol? I've never watched American Idol so I don't have a favorite. Sorry. 
 
8.  What's the last movie you saw at a theater? Um... I'm thinking... Probably Breaking Dawn Part 1. We don't go on very many dates these days. 
 
9. What is your favorite place you've traveled? France. Absolutely. It was beautiful, fun, and a grand adventure. I could wander around in those French museums all day, every day.

10. If you could speak in one accent, what would it be? Scottish. Have you heard Ewan McGregor talk? Swoon worthy. 
 
11. If you could pick a celebrity crush (without judgement from anyone), who is it? My celebrity crushes are Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie. They're beautiful, smart, and talented actors. 
 
Now I'm supposed to tag eleven people and give them eleven questions, but I think I'm going to let the game die on my end. Sorry. I'm a poor sport. I'm also swiftly approaching my sleep deprived bedtime and would like to read a little bit of my current book before then. 
 
(Apparently, one of my fun facts should be "I don't follow the rules of online games." Now you know.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Girly Parts

I'm special. So is Captain.


Everyone is special in their own unique way, right? I'm special internally, and today I feel like telling you more about it.

Let's go back to when I was a developing fetus, shall we? So much happens during those first few months of development, it's mind boggling, so I'll just focus on internal reproductive organs. (Don't worry! This post is rated PG13 and won't gross you out, AND you might learn something.) We all start with two sets of tubes. Between the 6th and 9th weeks of development for a typical girl, the "boy" ducts dissolve, while the "girl" ducts start to develop. The two tubes fuse together vertically, forming the uterus and top 80% of the vaginal canal. Then, the tissue in the middle dissolves, and by the 12th week of development, that little baby girl has a normal looking uterus.

It sounds straight-forward, but think of how many things could go wrong! What if only one tube develops? What if the tubes don't fuse right? What if the cells in the middle don't dissolve? Well, my friends, then we have something called a Mullerian Duct Anomaly.

I got this picture off of radiology.rsna.org
When I was 18 my doctor discovered something suspicious "down there" during my first PAP exam. I was referred to an OB/GYN and she confirmed that I had a vaginal septum. We scheduled an MRI and the findings state that I have a bicornuate uterus (Picture IV) with complete duplication and separation of two uterine halves. The separation extends all the way down and includes a duplication of the cervix. No other abnormalities were found. What does that mean? The good news: I have both kidneys, normal looking ovaries, and aside from being malformed, normal uterine tissue. The really fascinating news: My uterus is divided in HALF and I have TWO CERVICES! (I'm so cool.) I had the vaginal septum surgically removed a few months later, but the rest of my weirdness remains the same.

For a long time, my doctor and I took this to mean that I actually had a uterus didelphys (Picture III). That means that during development, my tubes didn't fuse at all and developed side by side. They're so independent.

It's not a party mask! It's the two halves of my uterus!
Shortly after getting married, I went to a reproductive specialist for a consultation so I would know what I was getting myself into before we started trying to have babies. That doctor did an ultrasound and decided that I have a complete uterine septum (Picture V) rather than a uterus didelphys because he didn't see two separate tops to my uterus. Okay. So, that means that during development, my tubes fused together correctly, but the tissue in between didn't dissolve at all.

Fast forward to February 2010. My beautiful daughter was just delivered by c-section and, while my ob/gyn still had me opened up, she took a little peek at things. She said I had a heart-shaped uterus. "Perfect for Valentine's Day." (Yes, she really said that.) However, that means that I do indeed have two "tops" to my uterus and that the reproductive specialist wasn't right. So, I guess that goes back to implying I have uterus didelphys after all.

I'm so confused.

With Baby #2 I am seeing a new ob/gyn and this doctor stands by the simple reasoning that if I have to cervices I must have a didelphic uterus. Except, that I have read that a duplicated cervix is possible with a septate uterus as well, and my first ob/gyn didn't mention that my uterine halves were completely disconnected while she was physically looking at them. Also, the initial MRI report stated bicornuate, which implies some fusion. This is why I am still confused.

Here's what I do know: I know that my girly parts are split in half. I know that the right side worked well to carry one baby full-term and that Baby #2 is occupying the same space. I know that I have less space to carry a baby, which means I have higher risks of early labor, miscarriage, and babies with low birth weights. I know that none of those problems happened with Emma, so I am hopeful that pregnancy #2 will continue successfully. I know that the limited space means a higher chance of a breech baby, which means delivery via c-section. I know that I can survive one of those again, no problem.

At this point, it doesn't really matter what kind of uterus I have, as long as it does it's job correctly. However, I think I'll pursue further diagnosis once my uterus is no longer occupied. All of this speculation and uncertainty is a little bit annoying. It's my body, and I'd like to really know exactly how special it is.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I Can't Think of a Title

This is the ninth week of 2012. Seven of the past nine weeks have held some type of medical appointment for my pregnant self or Emma. Seriously? This is our normal life now?

Week 1: Free time equaled fun time, because it's important to start the year off right.
Week 2: Physical Therapy for Emma & The Doctor for me/baby #2 - in the same day!
Week 3: Rheumatologist for Emma
Week 4: Doctor for Emma because of her rash & The Dentist for me - in the same day!
Week 5: First Trimester Screening ultrasound for me/baby #2. That was fun, except for having to keep my bladder full.
Week 6: I didn't see any medical professionals that week! Barry went to the dentist though.
Week 7: Emma's 2 year check up, blood work, & our first visit to her Dermatologist. Stupid rash.
Week 8: My doctor for me/baby #2 & more blood work for Emma.
Week 9: Physical Therapy for Emma & Ophthalmologist for Emma. Stupid JIA.
Her eyes are still free of inflammation!
Wow.

Emma should get a break until April, but I'll be going in soon for another ultrasound! Yay!

Maybe all of this time inside medical buildings will inspire my daughter to become a doctor?