Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Ryan Ostomy Reversal Update & Life Update

I was reminded a few days ago by Silvia that I hadn't posted a Ryan update recently!  Gideon sort of showed up on the scene and hi-jacked this blog with his beautiful baby face :)

So post-ostomy's been about 9 months since Ryan had his ileostomy taken down.  WOW!!!  We sometimes look at the huge scars on his lower abdomen and are like, "Can you believe you pooped into a bag for 3+ years?!"

Ryan's work was discussing with him about traveling to Guatemala for a few days and it felt so much less stressful because he doesn't have to worry about ostomy changes and having enough supplies and all the headache that came with traveling internationally with an ostomy.

So these days Ryan is strong.  VERY STRONG!  He is doing 350 push ups per day as a part of a fundraiser he's doing and that's making him real buff and dreamy.  We walk about 2 miles every single night after dinner around parks near our house and once a week Ryan plays ultimate frisbee with a league. 

On the whole he feels good, but has negative symptoms maybe 1-2 days per week.  Diarrhea if he's had too much fiber, stomach aches that we actually can't really figure out the root cause of, and sometimes just a general "sick feeling" but I think that comes with the Crohn's territory.  He still gets Remicade every 8 weeks and that seems to be working well for him.

The main concerns with an ostomy reversal were the frequency of bowel movements (many people complain of 15-20 poops per day) and Ryan is more in the 2-4 range.  A huge blessing!  

Overall, I think he is feeling very free after his reversal, a minimum amount of symptoms, and just generally good health.

Here are a few pics of our life lately:

Gideon and I share the same hair color.  So I made him a toupee the other day.  Doesn't he look like such a creeper!?!  We laughed and laughed at him. 

Gideon is getting much more curious and has such amazing dexterity with his chubby fingers.  So I am needing to create new ways to help him explore and learn and satisfy his constant curiosity.  I made him a few homemade toys the other day that he seems to really enjoy.

This is his "kitchen".  It's literally all free stuff from my kichen.  Water bottles with colored water, a whisk, rubber kitchen tools, glass jars filled with lentils, rice, etc, a metal tea tin, and some plastic baby eating utensils.  He will play with this kit for 40 minutes happily!

The other thing that keeps him happy for a LONG time is putting various small toys into a cupcake tin and for some reason this just captures his attention.  He loves to take them out of the holes, bang on the tray, and he seems to just explore everything with more interest.

My mom's birthday was this week so we had a birthday brunch that was out of this world!  it was a really classy brunch.  Ryan and Justin ate their weight in crab legs and I ate mine in biscuits!

Just more of Gideon playing, reading, and generally enjoying life.  I've heard that "play is the work of children" and it brings me a lot of joy to help him grow and develop through new ways of play.  I think that Montessori is a philosophy of development would subscribe to ;)

Um, is he handsome or what?!

We are so blessed to have the time and space each week to meet up with friends for playdates.  Myself, Ashley and Amanda all met up with our littles ones for a breakfast and playtime together.  Our kiddos Penny (4.5 months), Gideon (7 months), and Chloe (3 months) are so sweet together.  

We were all preggo together through nursing school so it's an even greater blessing to now have these babies here and better than we even dreamed!!

Ok I think that about does it.  I'm feeling so much peace not working and have been coming back to myself more and more every day that I'm recovering from the awful night shift.  Im not actively looking for work and truly just soaking up the SAHM gig.  We are blessed and loving spring time with a baby cakes!

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal

Isaiah 26:4

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Gideon 7 Month Update

Age: 7 months!! Gideon Decker you are a wild, wonderful little man.  While in the past months we have seen more of his skills blossom, I would say this month we are truly seeing this kid's personality just explode.  He has quirks and preferences, likes and dislikes, we know what makes him laugh and what makes him mad, and can more reliably predict how he'll respond in different situations or environments.

He's serious in big groups and with those he doesn't see every day and VERY silly and smiley esepcailly with Mom and Dad.  He loves facial hair, his silicone feeder, singing to himself in the morning, blowing out his diaper on the way to the library (every time), any time we spend outside, and putting everything he can in his mouth.

We say it every single day...Gideon is the best!  We can't imagine life without this sweet little boy.

Weight: 22 lbs

Length: 27.5 inches

Sizes (diapers, onesies):  Size 4 diapers, 12 & 18 month onsies and tops, 12 month pants, 2-3T socks, and any big kid sized hat.  

Eyes:  Blue-bright beautiful blue! *schwoon*

Hair: Yay Gideon is getting more hair!  It's still very wispy and soft but it's really filling in and I can even fo-hawk it in the bath.  It's red/strawberry blonde and he gets many compliments on it every time we are out and about.  Just this last week several different people told him how much he looks like his mama these days and that makes me SO happy!  He is obviously a mini-Ryan but I like to think there is a little of my DNA in there somewhere ;)

Sleeping: With this time change business he's on a nice new schedule.  He does a bath from 6:00-6:30 and then we start nursing to sleep at 6:30.  He is usually fully asleep by 6:45-7:00 pm.

I dream feed him at 10:00, he wakes up around 3:00 am to eat and then again at 6:30 am to eat but he's up for the morning at this point.  He still does 3 naps per day and is a rockstar at those.  He loves to sleep on his stomach and we almost always find him on his tummy or side when we peek on him or go in to get him.

Eating: Baby Led Weaning is the bomb diggity.  Don't puree stuff!!!  It's too much work and every kid wants to rub their food all over their chest.

New foods this month: asparagus, blueberries, cucumber, homemade smoothies, and oatmeal.  He still loves his bananas, sweet potato, and other fruits and veggies.  I would say his top favorites are the asparagus and bananas.  I made a homemade smoothie for him in the Vitamix: 1 banana, 1/4 c blueberries, 3 oz cold breastmilk and blended until smooth.  He gobbled it up!!!

Also, this kid is finally bottle trained!  Praise the high heavens hallelujiah!  His daddy has been working with him every single day for the last 6 weeks or so and he will reliably take 3-4 oz when he's motivated.  I actually pack a bottle when we run errands because he gets too distracted to nurse but he loves to hold his bottle in a shopping cart or stroller and feed himself.  Who is this child?!?!

Milestones:  So many new things!  He is really "half-way" crawling like a champion. He will pull a leg under him and lunge forward very disgracefully but can get some momentum and movement going.  He really has a strong "plank" position and can hold himself up high for quite a long time! Going to get some biceps soon.  He scoots backwards, forwards, and can turn all around on his tummy.  I have to keep an eye on him because he can cover a few feet in just a minute.

Gideon's favorite thing is to use a spoon to "feed himself".  He loves if I put some smoothie or yogurt on the spoon and he can pretty accurately make it into his mouth!  It's messy but hilarious.  He holds his own bottle or sippy cup too and knows he is big stuff doing that

He loves to sit in his boppy and we put a basket of toys in front of him to pull out and inspect.  He really likes his Sophie giraffe,  this great teething necklace that really soft, a book that has a mirror in it, mom and dad's cell phones, and anything that looks or sounds like keys!

Memorable outings:  I'm always so boring on this one.  We have had a cousin birthday party last week, we will go to the zoo this week, and a hike this weekend.  Mostly we don't do any huge outings that are too memorable at this point but I'm sure we will have more adventures in the future.

Favorite toys/activities:  Now that it's warming up we are back in the habit of walking for about 45 minutes every night after dinner.  Gideon loves to face outward in his stroller and see the whole world.  He will sit contentedly the whole time.

He still loves his bath time and splashing the biggest splashes he can!!  He has some squishy bath letters his Grammy got him and he favors the green "O's" for some reason ha! He has also really warmed up to child care when we go to MOPS twice a month and is a favorite baby with all the volunteers.  They call him Mr. Serious and always tell me how he will be a doctor or engineer.  

This kid loves laughing with all of his heart!  I gobble his arms, Daddy throws him, kissing his tummy, popping out from behind something, etc all make him giggle and giggle!   He will happily play in his bouncer and loves to figure out how the toys spin or make noise.  Finally, Gideon adores music time with Dad.  Ryan will play the guitar and sing to him and he could sit for an hour and listen to that.  Many times he will "sing" back!  He loves church too mostly because lots of people come to say hi to him and he likes the loud worship music at the beginning and end!

Words/sounds:  Lots of yelling and screaming! He likes to be heard.  I swear he says "Mom" but I know it's not on purpose.  Just sounds like it.  He grunts, squeals, coos, babbles, blows raspberries with his lips, and generally makes lots of commotion.

Nicknames:  Little Love, Giddy Con Queso (from daddy), Giddy Lou Who (from Aunt Linny), Giddy Puff (from Aunt Linny), Giddy Face (from Maggie), Giddy Pantz (from Maggie)
The usuals...Giddy Bear, Giddy Up, Gid, Giddy, Itty Giddy Titty Monster with the tiny hiney, G (from Uncle Clint), Mister, Man Cub

Funny moments: This kid loves to cross his ankles and it cracks me up every single time.  When he's asleep in his carseat, being nursed, or just lounging on his back for a few minutes, those ankles cross and lock and it's too dang cute!

Looking forward to:  I can't wait to just explore the outside with this kid! We will garden this summer, hit up more parks to try out the swings and walking paths, and get out to a few swimming pools.  We have spent so much time inside this winter that I can't wait for him to feel grass, play in the dirt, and really get a summer-time experience.

Also very excited to see him pulling up on things and start cruising along even faster than he already does.  What a big kid!  It will be August and I'll have a 1 year old before I know it!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

February & March: Learning From Hardship

February and March were pretty ugly for me.  For us  I suppose because Ryan is really sweet at entering into hard things with me, but mostly just on my end.

I started the job I was really excited about working as a pediatric RN. And quickly, very quickly, learned what a terrible fit it was.  Not my patient or the actual nursing work...that part I ADORED!!!!! I would assess, give meds, chart, learn ventilators etc all day long.  

Nursing is clearly my calling and something I remain very passionate about.

But what was so hard was the hours I was working.  I worked 11 pm - 7 am twice a week and I really thought that would be a great fit for our family.  I would leave after dream feeding Gideon and be back shortly after he woke up in the morning.  

But the night shift wreaked absolute havoc on my health.  Like alarmingly and abnormally so.

Crazy migraines, joint swelling all over my body, dizziness to the point of near black-outs, nausea that wouldn't subside, fatigue that is totally disproportionate to my sleep, and tremendous amounts of anxiety knowing these symptoms are coming. 

 I tell myself that I'm clearly not a wimp since I birthed a baby naturally and all ;)  At least that comforts me a little. The symptoms truly scared and concerned me and honestly were making me an unfit night nurse.  It took days to recover from a single shift so not only was I compromising my health and actual RN abilities but I wasn't a present mama and wife at home.

It was miserable for everyone.

I submitted my 2 weeks notice and left this job after just 6 weeks...and it's pretty disappointing to say that.  I'm not sure what happens now since my manager (who was non-clinical and could not understand the safety side of these physical side effects as an RN) was pretty unprofessional/furious unhappy with me.  But that's a whole other mess.

All that to say, here is where I've landed:  

I'm really glad that I had the night experience even just for a small while because it showed me what I can take on as a nurse and mama.  I'm so aware now of making sure I shadow future positions to know exactly what the environment and hours are like and how I'll respond.  The learning curve has been tremendous and I've honestly bummed pretty hard about it not working out 

I've played every mental game there is..."that now my resume is wrecked, there will never be a good nursing fit for me, what a wimp I am" etc etc etc...LIES!!!  But I know the Lord has another job in mind for my future when ever that is!  For now I am recovering from a month of horrible symptoms which led to a nasty batch of a flu turned cold.  Bah!  

It's a privilege to stay home exclusively with Gideon right now and I'm SOOOO thankful for a husband who has set us up financially where I don't have to work.  It's a dream of mine to work again, and in the near future, as an RN so until then I'm learning from this sour experience and remaining hopeful for what's next!

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand
Proverbs 19:21


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