Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wahooo! & Ahhh!

Wahoo!

Yesterday I had a phone appointment with Emma's rheumatologist. We discussed the fact that Em has been doing wonderfully with no active arthritis for six months now. In the rheumatology world, once you've reached that six month mark, they consider you to be in medicated remission.

That is correct. Emma's mean, ugly Juvenile Arthritis is now in MEDICATED REMISSION!!!!!

Em's "Wahoo!" Face.
Keep in mind that there is no cure for this auto-immune disease, so the goal here is remission. We've reached the first step towards that goal. Hallelujah!

Em's been on two medications for a while now, methotrexate (mtx) and Enbrel. Studies have shown that they work better together, but in adult studies the amount of mtx needed varied widely depending on the patient. We're going to reduce her mtx dose to half of what she's currently getting and see if her joints stay quiet and calm. In case you forgot, methotrexate is a chemotherapy drug. Chemo drugs are scary. I am elated that we get to reduce her dose.

If she is still in medicated remission at the beginning of 2013 and has enjoyed one entire year with no active arthritis, we will take the next step and get her off both drugs. If her joints flare, then we'll have to start her on the meds again. If her arthritis stays quiet... well... I don't even know how to express what I will feel. Let's just pray that it stays away. We'll do a happy dance together if that day comes.

In the mean time, Emma and I will chant, "It doesn't hurt! It doesn't hurt!" every Sunday afternoon during her two injections. Keep your fingers crossed for her and be grateful that you can cross those little fingers without any stiffness or pain.

Ahhh!

Last week, at 32 weeks preggo.
My boy child will be born in exactly six weeks! I think I'm ready, only I'll never be ready. His bedding is washed, and his clothes (teeny, tiny clothes!) are clean and put away. I even cleaned pacifiers, the bouncy chair, the baby swing. I still need to pack my hospital bag, but I think I have time enough for that.

Emma seems fully aware of the fact that this brother person will be coming into her life. She even understands that some things are his and not for her to touch. She's potty trained and doing really well, so that's one less thing I have to stress about with two kids. Em's also been out of the crib and sleeping in a twin bed for the past five nights and is doing a magnificent job, thank goodness. If I can't stand having Liam in a cradle in my room, I can move him to the crib without displacing Emma and causing drama.

As for Liam, he's on the move ALL THE TIME right now. Emma and I have a little joke that he is dancing "The Hokey Pokey" in there. Well, to me it's a joke. I'm certain Em thinks he's actually doing "The Hokey Pokey." I'm okay with that.

Six weeks to go. That's 42 days. Let's hope I can survive the summer heat before then.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tick-Tock

All expecting mothers eventually reach a point in their pregnancy when, instead of counting how many weeks they've been pregnant, they begin to count how many weeks they have left. I have definitely reached that point.

Today, I am exactly EIGHT weeks away from meeting my second child.

HOLY CRAP.

I think most moms have a slight fear when it comes to delivering a baby. We hope we can do it, we believe in our bodies' power and ability, but we secretly fear that something will go wrong. As mothers, our instincts to protect our families kick in very, very early and that slight fear is a powerful force with which to be reckoned. I think c-sections are scary because I don't get to trust in my body's innate abilities, but instead I have to trust in the abilities of my surgical team. Heaven help them.

Anyway, at this time eight weeks from now, I'll be lying in a hospital bed, regaining feeling in my toes, recovering from major abdominal surgery, asking for pain meds, and trying not to scratch my brains out. (The spinal meds made me itch like a crazy last time and I have developed an allergy to the adhesive used in medical tape and band aids. Awesome.) I'll also be nursing *fingers crossed* a newborn, changing tiny diapers, feeling exhausted but too wired to sleep, missing my big girl, and nervous about leaving the helpful staff of the hospital behind.

Only eight weeks left until all craziness breaks loose.