So much news to share, and I am finally in the frame of mind to share it. Lots of updates, from my MRI to Crohns to Emmie’s 18 month check up on the Catch Up!
Two weeks ago, I shared my last Catch Up.
Catch Up 7/29
1). In Other News… Emmie is now 18 months!
We had her 18 month appointment on Thursday, and girl #nailedit. Physically, she is doing awesome at 32.5″ and 24 lbs. (76%tile and 60ish%tile, respectively) and her head has #stillgotit at just under 20″, good enough for 97%tile. TEAM BIG HEAD
She was talking up a storm and acting a fool at the appointment (try to get a toddler to stay still even for a diaper change!). Literally speaking of, her talking has taken OFF in the past few weeks. She started talking a bit more by the end of our trip and the week at home, and in the past 2 weeks, specifically the past few days, she has erupted! Favorite words include: dog-gee!, please, thank you (dee dah or dee doo), okay, blueberry (bluebee), ball, jelly (the name of her unicorn), bobby (stands for all manner of things), Daddy, (she can say Mommy but she gets excited about Daddy), Good Girl (to Ridley), Puppy, Ollie (the elephant). I also like it when she tries to say alligator.
In the past few weeks, I have updated a good deal of things to help her progress further: we have gotten a little toddler table and chairs after noticing she has no idea of what to do/no inclination to stay put for longer than 20 seconds (we have had some excellent play dates with friends lately!).
We also got a new travel/uber carseat and sent her infant carseat home (Mom came to visit!).
We got her a little shape sorter house that she both loves and gets frustrated by when the shape won’t go in and she knows it should. (thanks Grandmommy!)
She is running (her version, which reminds me more of how my mom used to run aka as if she was in pointe shoes), dancing (you know she loves a dance party), and spinning (her new favorite move) all over the place.
Emmie likes to take stuffed animals with her, and she even plays pretend with them! She feeds blueberries to Puppy and gives lots of hugs and kisses to her furry friends. And the occasional throw, lol. She tries to take them for rides on her little scooter, but that doesn’t always fare well.
I have started letting her watch a few shows, and she has a few games that she likes to play on the Kindle/iPad. She doesn’t quite get that you have to keep the other finger off of the screen, so they are usually lerss successful, but she is having fun and getting exposed to new words and learning about shapes and colors. She thoroughly enjoys Color Crew, and we talk about the colors while we watch. Right now she is very into bringing me my phone (so that she can look at pictures of herself), the remotes (to watch TV), finding the kindle or iPad (to play her games). I generall try to see if we can find some other form of entertainment, but am not always successful.
Bookswise, she still loves the Eric Carle farm animal noises book and Press Here by Henri Tullet. I HIGHLY recommend that book and the next level of it, Mix it Up, which she has just gotten into. They are amazing, simple, and the perfect gift for a kiddo to grow into. Highly interactive and beautifully done! (Thank you Aunt Jen for giving them to Emmie for her birthday!)
Speaking of mixing it up, After 8-9 months of her multigrain cereal with milk and PB for breakfast, Emmie said no more, and she now has an egg and a pb and butter sandwich for breakfast and occasionally also has yogurt with that! For lunch we are loving broccoli steamed in the microwave and either meatballs (leftovers) or grilled cheese. Snack has been the muffin of the week (this week was zucchini oat, this comming week is yogurt oat), yogurt/cottage cheese, or pb and j tortilla rolled up. Oh, and blueberries all day every day. We have gone through 3 quarts of blueberries between Emmie and myself this week alone. Also cherries.
I am making “jam” for her by boiling frozen frut and adding a little applesauce and a dash of maple syrup and then a TBSP of flax or chia seeds. I just feel better about her having that than regular jam (which she loves). We also switched her to Simply Heinz ketchup. It just makes me feel better giving her that, considering she has ketchup and or jelly at just about every meal.
In short, in the past 3 weeks, I have watched my baby/pre-toddler develop into a true little kid. She is recognizign colors, answering with meaning, and processing the world in a way that amazes me after so many months of her just observing and absorbing. It is completely crazy to me.
2) In other news… I am off steroids and staying well!
I didn’t really mention it in my last post because I was nervous, but I took my last dose of steroids 2 weeks ago. Fortunately, I have been stable since, and I got Remicade the week after to help seal the deal. I will go back to my doctor in a few weeks for a check in and to run labs and such, and then I would guess we will check back in a few months from then to see what next steps are.
I am just so happy to be off of prednisone after 4 months. It has been a very long return to health for me.
3) In other news… I have been pretty depressed over the past few weeks, and my anxiety has been very high.
I was happy that I went off steroids (obviously), but my back just wouldn’t feel better. To make matters worse, Emmie really is not in the mood to stay still, plus the weather has been gorgeous. Oh, and did I mention that Alex has been working so hard recently? The last 2 weeks he was on (inpatient) service, he went several days without even seeing Emmie. And while I love my child very very much, being scared to move means that those long days weren’t always necessarily smooth. Thankfully, we had lots of playdates to look forward to–we have great friends with great kiddos and great backyards!
But I will admit that this has been hard for me–essentially, I have spent a large portion of every day trying to balance my fear of further injury and my current discomfort with entertain Emmie and offering her proper and sufficient stimulation.
I went back to the doctor last Tuesday and we both decided to do an MRI to figure out what we are dealing with.
4) In other news…. THE MRI WAS CLEAN
Basically, things are just eff’ed up in there, but my fracture has healed and there is no other injury to the bone. I actually still haven’t talked to my doctor yet but rather saw the preliminary results, but they state quite clearly that I am myself in the clear. I made Alex read the result several times to make sure!
For the first time in 2.5 months, I could and can breathe again. I can lift my child without worry. I don’t have to fret about going back to the fridge if she needs her milk or water or a snack. I don’t have to spend the time that she is asleep crutching the dog around and can instead take a shower. Seriously, don’t ask how many showers I’ve had of late.
A clean MRI means that I can accept what I am feeling, that the aches are just the soft tissue and bone getting used to movement and weight again, or whatever the hell is happening in there. That I am not doing further damage. That I won’t have to be in a wheel chair or on bed rest.
That I can go to the park with Emmie and not have to worry as much about logistics. Or we can take Ridley for a short walk with Emmie in the stroller. That I can get a freaking Starbucks. Try doing that on crutches.
I can finally start to get my life going again.
Now, it is going to be a long road, but at least we are started. I’m still driving places and walking from there (thank goodness for the car), and Fit4Mom is still a ways away for me (we are going to start with PT and weight training at the gym that has daycare). It will be a while before I am taking Ridley for her pond walks or walking to the grocery store. But we are starting.
I really don’t think I can explain or illustrate how much relief I feel over this news. This isn’t just about feeling chubby after months of steroids and steroid hunger and inactivity. I can now lift up my child when she asks, or is in danger, or I just feel like it. I don’t have to do a mental checklist to minimize trips in the apartment (do you have butter, jelly, pb, bread, her milk, and ketchup? don’t forget the egg!). We can play and dance (even though she hates when I dance with her, probably because she is now so used to me sitting it out) and go outside just for the joy of it.
I may not get to run again (either for a long time or ever), but I don’t care anymore. I am not Susie the Runner, I am Susie the Mom, and I finally get to be myself again.
5) In other news…. I don’t know if I will or can have another baby.
When you have spent 4 months of your toddler’s life ill and broken, you question what is the right next step for you and your family. I would love to have another baby, but if my body can’t do it, whether due to Crohns or bones, I have to respect that. At this point, I am also scared of getting pregnant–what if the pregnancy is completely different than the last and I am super sick? How will I take care of Emmie? What if I break something again?
An that is even if I can get pregnant again, let’s not forget about IVF. We have to o the whole shebang again, and that is a lot of needles and worry and juggling, this time with a kiddo and right as we will be moving (more on that later). But if we are going to do IVF, we need to do the retrieval at least before we leave Illinois, which means next spring. And then I would probably need to get pregnant right away so that there is as little lapse in my Methotrexate as possible and then I wouldn’t be able to breast feed as long because of my bones and….
racing thoughts. Even without the prednisone.
But, for now, I am just thankful to be mobile. I’m going to be a mom to the kiddo I have now.
And on that note, I am off. Emmie just woke up from her nap, and she is not happy!