Torgesen Family Times

{We are trying to enjoy and record the moments that make life special}
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New word to add to dictionary, part 4

Reverse beaver verb
to crush or grind with the teeth when only the two bottom teeth are in (as in a baby) especially on the underneath edge of a unsuspecting coffee table.

Tree farm, cont.

Riding on the tractor to take the tree back to the car

Mama and Alex ride in the tractor, too.

Mama and Alex wait while Daddy straps the hurking 8 foot tree to the roof of the car

Daddy straps it to the roof of the car.
And we're done. It's now sitting in our garage sucking up some water and staying in the coolness of the garage for another week, until we have time to put it up.

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Tree farm

Today we went to a tree farm not far from our house, red-wood tree farm and picked out a Christmas tree.

Here is the tree for our house - Alex picked it out. He thought it was very nicely shaped with a good top for the star or angel (I can't remember which one we have?)

Daddy is cutting the tree down. It didn't take long and was really easy.

It's all done!

Daddy and Alex pose by the tree
See, continued story.
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Maternal Fetal Medicine visit

Tuesday I visited Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Evergreen Hospital after my initial appointment 3 weeks ago. These are the high-risk pregnancy doctors “perinatologists” (I can’t even imagine how much money they make an hour). I asked for a consult on my pre-eclamsia case and to tell me what the risks are for another pregnancy, if/when we choose to consider this in the future.

The most significant risk factors for pre-eclampsia are:
-Previous history of pre-eclampsia
-History of chronic high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disorder
-Family history of the disorder
-Women with greater than 30% Body Mass Index (BMI).
-Multiple gestation -Over 40 or under 18 years of age
-Polycystic ovarian syndrome
-Lupus or other autoimmune disorders

I don’t have any of the other risk factors except for the history of pre-eclamsia.

And this is why I wanted to go.

Also, when all this was happening to me so fast in the hospital and the many months after I’ve felt totally out of control with my health. I had no idea what was going on and I had to trust my doctor and many others around me to do the right thing, take care of me and make the right decision.

Partly, I think that I have been very healthy and to now NOT be healthy has been a shock. Also, it’s very cliché … but, when you have your health you don’t think about it much verses when you don’t have your health. And partly, I was so exhausted when Alex was first born I didn’t have the brain power and energy to do anything other that take care of him and myself. I was in pure survival mode.

I asked the doctor about my future likelihood of getting pre-eclamsia again, why it happened in the first place, and what would be different (in terms of monitoring me) if/when we decide to have another baby.

Overall, I was glad to hear what he told me. He told me that although my future likelihood of getting pre-eclamsia was higher, I would be monitored much more. Like ultrasounds at 6, 12, 18 weeks and beyond! I would be monitored by both the normal OB and the high-risk OB.
He told me that the pre-eclamsia can be caused by a deficiency in folic acid due to a problem with metabolizing it and that even though I was taking the recommended 800 micrograms of folic acid in my prenatal vitamins, that wasn’t enough.

They tested me for the gene marker for that folic acid deficiency and I came back homozygous (or positive) for one gene that controls this metabolism. There is data that also suggests that a clotting disorder might play a role in pre-eclamsia and so they tested me for this as well. This came back negative. But, he said that they are finding new genes every day so, just because the 10 or 15 markers that they tested me for came back negative – that doesn’t mean that years down the road when they have more markers to test for that I won’t come back positive for a clotting disorder, as well.

It is very complicated and although I don’t understand much at this point, I will try to explain.
He said that I was a “classic” case. 1) strong family history of high blood pressure (HBP) 2) migraines. He said that blood pressure/pulse rate and pre-eclamsia are connected as well as the clotting disorders, folic acid metabolism and migraines.

I am to take 2 mg of folic acid (4 mg if/when I were pregnant again), baby aspirin (for thinning blood) and 25 mg of Atenolol (beta-blocker for HBP/pulse) a day. These are to treat/prevent problems in the future. All of this medication, along with the fact it will treat/prevent problems related to pre-eclamsia/HBP/pulse/clotting/folic acid disorders, it should help me with my migraines!

Although it took about 6 weeks for my BP to come down to normal after Alex was born and since then it has been fine, the doctor told me that BP isn’t the only measure of heart system health - - - pulse rate is also a measure.

Guess what?

My pulse rate is high (resting pulse rate of ~92-104 bpm compared to the normal person of ~60-70).

I have “pre-hypertension” and that by treating this now it would be much better for me in the long run. Since I’ve been back to work and working hard at work, surviving the layoffs, and working hard at home with an active little boy - I’ve been feeling anxious. Or what I thought was anxiousness.

It seems like it could’ve been the high pulse rate. The feeling that your heart is pumping fast and you need to calm down. Even though, I felt like I didn’t need to calm down. I felt fine, mentally during these episodes.

I knew that I would have hypertension – because of my family history at some point. I just didn’t think it would be at 30 years old.

I guess it’s like the weight loss surgeries - - - the sooner you treat the problem, the better off you are because then you don’t have 20-30 years of damage. In my case, this could’ve been 20-30 years of HBP/High pulse rate taking their toll on my blood vessels and heart systems.
In the end, he said that there was a good likelihood that I would be just fine and that treating me now for these issues will prevent problems in the future.

He also told me to have my parents (MOM and DAD!) take more folic acid since the HBP and folic acid are connected, and that this could help them. I also got one copy of the bad folic acid gene from each of them.

It can’t hurt!

I am still trying to syntesize everything that the Dr. said. So much information!

New word to add to dictionary, part 3

Pirate eye [pahy-ruht ahy] noun Where only one of the organs of sight gets sealed shut because of mucusy-goop like flow from the orbits and excessive length of eyelashes not allowing the baby to open eye and use for seeing until Mother figure can clean the mucusy-goop off eyelashes.

2nd time ever, continued

Seems like Lance has tonsilitis, not strep. He is on antibiotics and is feeling better today.

Since he didn't really eat since Thursday of last week - he is feeling pretty weak and needs to regain his strength by eating healthy foods. So far, he says that mashed potatoes and gravy, soup, yogurt and frozen yogurt sound good.

He is back to work today - crazy Lance! Hopefully he will come home early and rest.

I'm going to need a vacation after all this----it reminds me of people who are single parents with babies. Up all night with baby, take care of everything during the day (work for me), come home and take care of the entire house, along with a sick husband - - - Repeat.

I haven't had a chance to rest, yet.

Hopefully this weekend.

2nd time ever

Lance is sick and called into work. When he called in at first - he said that he would try to make it in that afternoon. But, I reminded him of the fact below and he called back and said he wouldn't be coming in at all.

Fact: I've known Lance for 9 1/2 years and there was the 1st time Lance called in sick - bad Teriyaki - Food poisoning.

Then, today. The 2nd time ever.

He's had a fever since Thursday, fatigue, joint aches and a sore throat. Sunday his fever was about 103.2F. Seems like the flu, but his throat is really sore now, along with the fever from 5 days ago. We'll see what they say.

He's got a Doctor appt this morning at 10 am.

New word to add to dictionary, part 2

Sleep suck [sleep suhk] verb To draw something in by producing a partial vacuum in the mouth, esp. to draw milk from the breast but only while sleeping and/or dreaming.

pulling up

Alex is now pulling up to stand.

He still doesn't want to sit up for very long - like other babies his age.

Some of the theories out there are that he is too tall and falls over because of his high center of gravity or that he just wants to "go" instead of "just sitting around" and doing "nothing" (so boring!).

Either way, he much prefers to be on his tummy scooting around (almost crawling - more like pulling himself along the floor) or now pulling himself up on anything that is higher than ground level (your leg, stairs, furniture, etc).

Just yesterday we got a call from daycare saying he bumped his head becuase he was pulling to stand and fell over. He got a good bump on the left side of his head, but no broken bones or bleeding. Whew! (Still breaks Mama's heart, though) When Lance picked him up that day he was standing in his crib - first time ever!

New word to add to dictionary

Constacold [kon-stuh-kohld] noun

a respiratory disorder characterized by sneezing, sore throat, coughing, etc., caused by an allergic reaction or by a viral, bacterial, or mixed infection that is continuing without pause or letup or regularly recurrent; continual; persistent.

As used in this sentence-

Alex has a constacold with green snot.

Mamma and Daddy kid pictures

Allison ~ 4 months old

You tell me what you think - - - What features do you see in Alex that you see in our baby pictures. I see both of us in Alex. I see my smile in Alex and Lance's expressions and face shape. What's also funny is that I showed the picture of me and my Mom above to a good friend and she immediately said "you have the same hands as your Mom"! I know that I do and I think it's pretty cool. I remember my Mom always used to say that my sister and I have my Grandma's legs - long and slender.
Tell me what you see in these photos - post a comment. :)

Lance ~ 6 months old

lactation feedback

As I innocently picked up the mail the other day I saw a letter from Evergreen hospital stamped children’s services. My mind took me right back to that day Alex was born. What did they want now? Remembering tiny painful details and wishing that I would’ve done something different or that something more “normal” would’ve happened. I only read the first couple of lines and had to put it away….something about knowing that I was busy now and appreciating comments on our “stay” at the NICU.

I had to put it away for so many reasons. Sometimes I foolishly think “I’m over the trauma” and then realize I’m totally not. I probably never will be, either. Never TOTALLY over it.

I kept it in my purse for about a week and I just rediscovered it. I actually read the whole letter this time and they want feedback on the lactation part of the NICU experience. What was my goal about breastfeeding and did being in the NICU change this goal. What was supportive and what wasn’t. Although our experience was not one I would wish to repeat, I did have things to say about this topic (and I wish to give feedback other aspects of our “stay” at some point).

I wanted to tell them that this wasn’t supposed to have happened. I wanted to tell them how painful it is to not be able to hold your baby after he was born and have to wait 2 days. But, this isn’t what they are seeking.

I told them that instead of focusing on breastfeeding – I had to focus on pumping. I not only got up in the middle of the night to feed Alex when we were first home, but also pump. When I got home – it was really really hard. I brought home a 5 lb baby who could nurse with a nipple shield only. He had to have 5 fortified bottles of formula a day and I was recovering from a very urgent c-section along with high blood pressure that still hadn’t come down.

I also told them about my experience of having an obviously hungry baby at 2 hours into a 3 hour feeding schedule at the hospital and asking the nurse if I could feed him.

She said no. It would get his schedule all messed up.

Instead I had to comfort a baby who was sucking on a pacifier (instead of me or a bottle) just to keep him from screaming just because of a feeding schedule ?!? At home – there would be no schedule and there was very little transition in between the highly scheduled hospital and home.

Also, not allowing enough time to transition between the 3 hour feeding schedule and on-demand feeding at home.

If I could only go back in time and have the knowledge and guts that I have now….

In the end, I’m glad that I’m still breastfeeding. It sure was a struggle at first, but now it is pretty easy. I’m also glad to have the advice to supplement with formula when I’m back at work. I would NOT be able to make enough to waste in the bottles and he wouldn’t have enough to eat since we would be out of sync. It is something that I have chosen to not worry about now and I’m so glad for the advice.

Some people have asked when I plan to stop (some with the feeling that I “should" stop at some point, others with just a curiosity of when I think we’ll stop). My answer: I really have no idea. When we feel like it. I have no idea when that will be – 2 months from now or another year from now.

Right now I just love where we’re at with nursing.