The Story of #3

I took the test on a Sunday morning. There was this stubborn thought that wouldn’t quite leave: what if? The one straggler I had under the sink had been expired for six months. Three minutes later, there was something there. Or was there? My eyes were crossing and it was so faint, it barely existed. Evaporation line? Or the beginning of a real one? So all day, I thought: what if? I went through the day, thinking so much, and at the end of a long Sunday, I made a pit stop for some non-expired tests. Back home in the bathroom, two lines. Barely. But it was there. And I didn’t even have to squint. I’d re-test in the morning, just to be sure.

At the crack of dawn, I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. I took a digital test and minutes later, a harsh “NO” was displayed on the screen. What?? Maybe the others were a fluke? I took another of the conventional variety. Two light lines (okay, so obviously I spent $40 at the drugstore). Shouldn’t this be a little darker than last night? How am I failing at pregnancy tests right now? Naturally, I was more confused than when I started. A yes and a no- I guess the digital wasn’t as sensitive? Or maybe it was accurate and the other was just wrong? I’d have to wait (obviously my forte) until later.

I lived in my anxiety all day that Monday. Distraction was the theme of the day, and by 2 p.m., I couldn’t take it any longer. I went to the drug store again and bought the fanciest pack of digital tests ever created and took one in the bathroom at work.

After the longest three minutes of my life, the answer was clear:

I tucked that happy little test into my purse, trying to figure out how to tell Trevor that we brought home a little souvenir from our beach vacation. I didn’t just want to blurt it out, but I didn’t want it to be a spectacle, either. When I got home, we started to prep for dinner. The boys were in the other room, shrieking and playing happily. Trevor and I have started getting dinner ready together- he wants to learn more about cooking, and is a great sous chef. He keeps my knives sharpened and is always up for chopping vegetables. So as he sliced mushrooms and onions, I felt the butterflies return, and I knew how to do it. I kissed his cheek and slid the test out of my pocket and into his. He reached over his pocket and felt the addition. He had a confused look on his face when, suddenly: realization.

“Are you serious?!!!”

I smiled. His whole face lit up. He pulled me in close for a hug. We stayed there for a while like that. Then we laughed. Because this is crazy. We are crazy. And we are so happy.

I never thought I’d experience a surprise like this one with our fertility history- we each have our own issues, and my PCOS demanded that I be medicated to conceive both times before. There were specialists, pills, charts, basal thermometers, time, tears and more tears. We worked hard to get those two boys!

We didn’t think it would happen like this, but we weren’t opposed to it, either. We weren’t going to intentionally try for another, but if it happened, we’d welcome it. An unexpected blessing is a blessing just the same.

This time, there was no stress. No calculating. No timing. No devastating moments crying over what hadn’t happened… .again. This time, there was only the best surprise of our lives.

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8 week ultrasound (July 8, 2015)

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12 week ultrasound (August 4, 2015)

Welcome to our family, sweet baby. We love you already.

 

Their first movie

Last week, we got brave and decided to take Knox and Brody to their first movie together. We tried a while back with Knox, and it was a disaster. We took him to “Monsters University” and lasted maybe 15 minutes before we had to abandon ship. I believe he was almost four at the time, but it was obviously too soon for him to sit still and quiet! Now, with Knox being 5 1/2 and Brody at 3 1/2, we decided that it may be a good time to try again. They are very into Minions, so we thought that movie may hold their interest enough for us to attempt it. First, we took them out to lunch and told them if they were really good, we’d go get to see the Minions movie- I don’t think they understood what a movie theater was, but they were very excited to find out since they got to see Minions when they got there.

I stopped at CVS for some candy first (sorry, I don’t pay $4 for an overpriced box of candy I can get for $1 and bring in my purse) as leverage, then we headed there. We were about 15 minutes early, but the kids sat pretty well in the theater through the pre-previews. Once the previews started, we gave them their candy. Man, oh, man. The excitement over that candy! Normally, candy is reserved for a potty treat or special occasions at our house, so the fact that they each had their own entire pack was huge news. Brody is an M&M man and Knox prefers Swedish Fish, in case you wondered.

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When the movie started, I was surprised at how well they did. They were wiggly, but attentive. About halfway through, the real movement started. Brody kept standing up and Trevor was getting visibly stressed- this was kind of funny to me since Brody is all of three feet tall and his head barely clears the back of a chair- he was definitely in no one’s way! But he did prefer to swing from the back of the chair in front of him, which was a bit much! Knox ended up on my lap for a bit, which helped, but then he kept pointing to the exit sign and asking “go that way, Mommy?” with about 45 minutes left. Still, we managed to last until the end with no crying or huge interruptions, so I was really happy with that! I do believe we can do movies together again, so I am happy to have one more fun family thing to do together.

Getting  a picture of these kids together is impossible. And when Knox smiles, he does something embarrassing like grab his crotch and Brody looks away, but you know what, THIS IS MY LIFE. Sorry, y’all have to get crotch-grabbing pictures sometimes.

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How old were your kids when you first took them to a movie successfully? How often do you go together now? We seriously hadn’t been to a movie in years until our vacation in May, and we used to go all the time! I love it, but Trevor says movies make him tired. LOL- my poor old man. I’m looking forward to going again soon.

Life update

Hey there, friends. So my last post about Knox’s Vitiligo and us getting him gluten-free was a couple weeks ago. Since then, we have temporarily abandoned ship on gluten-free. You guys, it was a NIGHTMARE. Eight varieties of GF chicken nuggets later, and our big victory was getting him to eat one whole nugget for an ice cream cone. It took a painful hour of convincing and lots of tears on his part. He was quite literally starving himself in lieu of eating something uncomfortable for him. I was able to duplicate with great success homemade baked goods thanks to Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF Flour, so he would eat a muffin or pound cake, but his “acceptable” foods for lunch and dinner are chicken nuggets, grilled cheese and deli meat sandwiches. Bread is a staple item for him, and cutting that meant cutting out 2/3 of what he eats.

I had an epiphany a few days into this that we were going about this the wrong way for Knox. Now, if this was Brody, I would cold turkey it, without a doubt. He’d have a few grumpy days and be on his way. Knox is a different story. His Autism and sensory issues with food run deep, and before he will try something new, he will just quit eating. So, we decided to go back to his regular food BUT start introducing him to new ones, as well. We need to build his food repertoire before we can start cutting gluten out totally. It’s going to be a SLOW process, and I hate that, but I can’t starve him- we’re going to try to do some food therapy, as well, to help. In the meantime, I have Knox on some high quality multivitamins, including methyl-folate and b12, in addition to Vitamin D3 and a good probiotic. We’re hoping those really make a difference for him, as well. I think he is nutrient deficient in a few areas with his limited diet. So far, I think one or two of his spots have grown a tiny bit, and he has a new one popping up on his arm. They’re all smaller than a kernel of corn at this point, except for the one on his ankle, which is about two inches wide (pictured in the last post).

And let me tell you, there’s nothing like this kind of diagnosis that will make you lose your mind and start seeing spots everywhere. Poor Brody, I look him over all the time (he currently has some spots on his elbow, but I am pretty sure they’re not the same thing at all), and I know I have looked at my own skin 2,457 times out of sheer paranoia. It’s made a total basket case out of me, I won’t lie. Not that it takes much, I am kind of predisposed to freaking out.

Knox is supposed to start school on the 17th, and we’ve yet to get a date for his IEP meeting, so yay for having no clue what’s going on in that area. I still contemplate just moving to a remote island where he doesn’t need to go to school, but I figure that’s taking it a bit far. He’ll do fine, this is harder for moms than the kids!

As far as my sweet Brody goes, that kid is a mess!! He has personality coming out of his ears, and also lots and lots of opinions. He’s very passionate and needs to get his way or he has a fit. We have loads of fits going on right now, in case you wondered. Because typically, Brody will request very irrational things (I feel like he’s baiting us) and then get furious when we don’t give in to these demands. He’s quite the negotiator! He’s also a huge instigator with Knox- he will do anything to rile up his brother. Their current favorite game is arguing over what to watch on TV. Knox gets SO angry if you don’t let him pick what comes on- namely because if you chose a movie he likes, he knows he will have to sit still and watch it, so he generally requests something that will not hold his attention (aka lame stuff). This irritates Brody, who wants to watch the good stuff. So when Knox cries and gets angry, Brody will then taunt him by repeating the name of the movie that Knox doesn’t want to see. It’s super fun. Still, some days they get along great and play together, despite their differences of opinion.

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Here’s Brody’s face whilst making an irrational request. How pitiful is that?!

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On the potty training front, they are doing amazing! Brody holds it all night long and hasn’t had an accident in quite some time. Knox hasn’t had any accidents, either, aside from peeing in a pull-up at night when he’s asleep. I am super proud of their progress! Though we still have to work on the putting your clothes back on part.

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When the News Isn’t Good

What a rough week. Earlier this summer, we noticed some strange white splotches on Knox’s ankles. This was right after our vacation, so he’d been in the sun a lot and was pretty tan. It looked like someone had dribbled sunscreen on his ankles and left these odd spots. I noticed a few others scattered around: two behind his knee, on two of his fingers, on his neck, his back and his shin. I quickly Googled and figured this must be some sort of common eczema-related thing, seeing that there were lots of posts about it, saying it was noticeable in the summer months when skin was darker.

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I kept it in mind, but tried not to fret over it. The past couple weeks, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I asked anyone I could think of with some sort of medical knowledge, and I finally took Knox to the pediatrician Tuesday. He thought it looked like an inflammatory response to eczema that caused some hypopigmentation. That should have made me feel better, but I had this gut-feeling that it was more than that.

My stepdad is friends with a dermatologist and called for her opinion. She said that I should send her some pictures of Knox’s spots, so I did. Her response? “Looks like early Vitiligo, but I’ll need to see him to be sure.” The thing I’ve feared all along, coming into focus. I was pretty hysterical, even though I had been pretty sure that’s what it was. It was a rough night of crying, fervent praying and more crying.

The next morning, I drove Knox into the dermatologist’s office where she confirmed her suspicions and mine. We were told that there is nothing that can be done, it may spread, it may not, we’ll have to wait and see. If you don’t know, this disorder causes depigmentation of the skin and can spread all over the body, across the face, torso, extremities, etc. It’s not a “health” problem per se, but it can be a major psychological one for anyone, especially a child, dealing with a marked difference in their appearance. As parents, we only want our children to have a good life, and I just cannot stomach the idea of this taking over my beautiful boy and causing him any sort of hardship or difficulty.

Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder. I’ve been dealing with my own mystery autoimmune issue for the past year of my life, and let me tell you this with certainty: AUTOIMMUNE STUFF SUCKS. But I also know this- when autoimmune issues are at play, nutrition absolutely can make a difference. I’ve read so many stories of people reversing their autoimmune diseases by going Paleo and reducing the inflammation in their bodies. So for now, we are focusing on getting Knox great vitamins and nutrition- that means eliminating Gluten fully from his diet (this is a bread-addicted child) and moving towards Paleo. His pickiness is extreme, and I’ve met failure head-on many, many times already in the past couple weeks attempting to switch his chicken nuggets to a gluten-free variety (I’ve had suspicions of a another issue for a while now and decided to act on it). He has yet to eat a single bite, and I’ve probably tried five different kinds, including homemade.

I don’t know what this is going to look like. I beg God to spare my children from this stuff. I pray this is an isolated incident that will not spread further, and that my sweet Brody will be spared from any health issues. It’s very scary when things happen to your children that are outside of your control. Knox is already dealing with Autism, and the thought of adding one more hard thing to his life is killing me and breaking my heart.

I am so thankful for Knox’s sweet spirit. He exudes happiness, and he has no idea about any of this. Our next step is to take Knox to a pediatric rheumatologist to make sure there is nothing else lurking (please join us in praying that there is not!!), then we’ll look for another dermatologist that has experience with the laser therapy to treat his existing areas. My main concern is to keep them from spreading and from anything new occurring. The areas he has now aren’t super noticeable, and I just hope it stays that way!

Please be in prayer for Knox and for the health of our family, in general, as we walk through this new diagnosis and try to do what we can for Knox. This boy melts my heart, and I just want his life to be everything that he deserves.2015-07-21 17.40.33-1

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