(Journaling About May 2013)
My mom arrived to Columbus when McKinley was a week old. I am quite sure that she had no idea that she was coming to be our cook, slave, laundress, cleaner, psychologist, etc. If my mom hadn't been there the second week of McKinley's life, I think I would have completely lost it. I will never be able to thank her enough for the time, sacrifice and money she spent by coming to Columbus to help our family.
Months ago we found out Ammon has mild sleep apnea and after years and years of snoring and not breathing occassionally while he sleeps, I begged him to finally do something for himself and go to the doctor. We learned that for years now he had had almost a closed septum on the left side of his nose and was getting very little air through his nose passageways. It explained why he's always woken up with bloodshot eyes and why whenever he got a cold, it was extra miserable for him. I felt awful learning this news and knowing we waited so long to learn this, especially for a doctor who gets very little sleep as it is.
We learned that he needed to have surgery and so we planned it for the week McKinley was born. I know...crazy right? But we knew Ammon needed a week of recovery and didn't know when he would get another week off between finishing residency and starting a new job. When McKinley arrived a week early by surprise, it threw us off for a bit. We kept Ammon's paternity leave and surgery the same, knowing if I could get through that first week, my mom would be here to help with everything during Ammon's surgery. And thank goodness she was.
Before surgery Monday morning, we celebrated Mother's Day by having Grandma here. It was such a treat to have my mom here on Mother's Day and fun to make her a special breakfast and dinner that night. I am truly grateful for the two Mother's I have in my life and for their example of love and service that they provide. I am extremely lucky to be associated with them.
Our family of 8 on Mother's Day.
Monday morning arrived and I was a basket case. Ammon and I had to leave for the hospital at 4:30am. My angel mother got all six kids ready, three off to school and took care of everything else that morning so I could completely focus on Ammon. I was a serious emotional mess. I am so, SO thankful McKinley had come a week early. I was 9 days post pardum by this point. I can't imagine if I had been only three like we originally had planned. I could barely keep it together. I was so worried that something would happen to Ammon during the surgery or that he wouldn't wake up due to the fact that he had never undergone anything major medically or had surgery before. That was one difficult morning for me and seeing him in a hospital gown was almost too much. Can you tell by my puffy eyes?
Thankfully, Ammon's surgery went well. It was so weird to be on the patient side of things with Ammon. He normally is in the OR and back in preop and post op as the doctor checking on his patients. It was so strange to have everyone checking on him. I think he gained a little patient empathy that day! The doctors and staff were so nice. He had a surgeon who he operates with sometimes do the surgery as well as an anethsiologist that he works with in the room. We were touched when several of the doctors Ammon works with daily came to check on him and well as his resident friends. I was grateful as I was waiting in the waiting room with all the other families, that three of our resident friends came out in their scrubs to come and sit with me and wait out the time. One of the chiefs even got me snacks while I waited and checked on Ammon. How grateful we are for the medical family we have as well. They take such good care of us.
When I was finally invited back to the post op/recovery area, I was greeted by a very tired, pale looking Ammon. In twelve years of marriage this was the first time I had ever seen him looking so worn out and as the person normally in the hospital gown, it was a bit strange to turn the tables a bit.
The next two weeks, especially the first week was rough. On top of packing and caring for a newborn and a toddler who was trying to find a new place in the family, Ammon's recovery was difficult. He was so miserable, couldn't breath and even passed out at his check up appointment three days after surgery due to the pain. The days were long and the nights even longer. I made several trips to the grocery store in attempt to find something that Ammon could eat or swallow. We learned later that this is a truly brutal surgery he had done.
And then, even with Ammon's surgery behind us, the week got even more emotional as McKinley got her first awful cold. At one week old, and me not nursing, it was one of the scariest things I've been through. I couldn't sleep and she couldn't breathe. There were several different occasions were we almost took her to the ER because of difficulty breathing, looking pale and being lethargic. It was awful. Mentally I was so spent...having just delivered a baby, starting to pack, taking care of Ammon, not getting naps and an extremely sick newborn on top of it. The hours of saline drops we had to do, keeping McKinley upright and suctioning her nose was long and tedious but finally a week later, she pulled through. We love this beautiful little girl!
So thankful for Grandma and all of her hard work and sacrifice getting us through this emotional, taxing week!
These kids have done such a great job of handling a move, a new sister and the end of the school year.
Also in the middle of the week, was the culmination of Ethan's fifth grade musical, the highlight of the year for these kids. The title was the Granny Awards and it was such a hit! It was an amazing production and Ethan did an INCREDIBLE job!!! He had a solo singing part as Gaston from Beauty and the Beast and he did so well in front of a packed audience. It brought tears to my eyes. We were able to sneak in the back during the dress rehersal to see the performance with a five day old baby, a husband with gauze all over his nose and a toddler that needed a nap!! ;-) All in the life of a mother with lots of kiddos!
Gaston (Ethan) is on the left in red...
Ethan will all of his best friends...I sure love these boys!
It was hard to say goodbye to my mom at the end of the week. I was so tired and emotionally drained but as life has taught me through residency, that's when you have to pick up the pieces and keep going. I'll never be able to thank my mom for her visit. She saved me in so many ways and kept me going and sacrificed a whole week of work and vacation time to come help us. I hope I can be the same way to my kiddos because experience has taught me that they will go through many things, and though I can't protect them from anything, I sure hope to be there for them always just like my mom has been for me.