Is it September yet?


Prepare yourselves.  This is just a negative Nancy post.  I need to let it all loose on you guys!!!

This MONTH has been rough.  Let me tell you about this month.

We have gone to about 10 (maybe more, but I’ve lost the ability to correctly count)  doctor related appointments IN 22 DAYS.

A few weeks ago, Harper started to wake up in the middle of the night around 2-3 am screaming.  She would be inconsolable sometimes.  I recognized this as abnormal and my brain went back to her previous cyst discovery a couple of months ago.  I thought surely it must be bothering her.  To my advantage, our pediatric gynocologist forgot to order an ultrasound for her when we had an appointment with him a couple of months ago.  I was able to call him and point out his mistake and promptly get Harper that ultrasound.  Go me.  Thanks for screwing up, doc.  Guess what, It WAS bigger. I was right.  Other than being right, that’s all the satisfaction I really got, because there’s not much to do about a cyst.  Fast forward from the cyst to a couple of weeks ago.  Harper was bipolar.  She was happy, mad, sad, angry, hurt, flirty, then enraged all in about 15 minutes.  Everyone noticed.  So we scurried off to the doctor for her sick appointment, and Buddy’s well check appointment all wrapped up into 1.  That was fun.  I got the whole “Harper has something viral, keep doing what your doing…blah blah blah…tylenol every 4 hours for her fever….blah blah blah….Oh yea we are going to give Buddy FOUR shots”.  We get home, all half dead, and try to get back to normal.  Both kids had 103 fevers the next day and are summoned back to the doctors office to be told to continue doing what we are already doing.  John goes on a guys lake weekend extravaganza while we all proceed to die at home.  Luckily my mother in law was able to take Harper off my hands that night that John was gone.  Buddy slept with me but did not sleep well at all.  He had a raging fever from his shots and was up about every hour or two.  That sunday, Harper was returned still feelin’ a little cruddy.  She sounded cruddy too.  SO WE GO BACK TO THE DOCTOR WITH 2 CHILDREN IN TOW.  By we, I mean MYSELF.  Harper has an ear infection.  Great.  We take home antibiotics.  In a few days she starts to sleep through the night again, making me think she feels a little better or is just too tired from all of this sickness to rebel anymore.

I celebrate my ability to be a mother and have 2 tame children in the same room around wednesday of last week.  Then my sick child sticks her pacifier in my well child’s mouth.  I stop celebrating my short lived victory.

By that friday night, my little Buddy is awake every couple of hours coughing and sneezing.

On Saturday morning he is immediately sent to the doctor with The Daddy.  I made that executive decision to skip the appointment.  I deserve a break.  When they return from their appointment, Buddy is visibly even more ill.  He has a double ear infection.  I am certain he is dying.  I send his  sister away to my mother in laws again and hold him ALL saturday.  He gets worse.  LIKE WAY WORSE.  He is so hoarse he can’t cry, he just whines in the SADDEST SOUND YOU’LL EVER HEAR IN YOUR LIFE.  I would compare it to the sound of a kitten dying.  SO. SAD.  I spent most of saturday cleaning massive amounts of vomit off the bed and crying while holding my sick baby.  I’d done all I could except cry with him.  So there we were.  Crying together.  I’d never experienced this type of sickness with Harper, she was lucky enough to live 366 days of her life illness free!  I was NOT prepared for a sick baby.  Harper returned on Sunday and everyone seemed to feel a little better, although not well.

Tuesday was Harper’s appointment with our geneticist.  He was able to talk to us more about her syndrome and what we need to expect in her future and when tests needed to be performed.  I alerted him that she had been waking up at night after we learned the cyst was larger, and that I thought it was bothering her.  I also let him know about some suspect discharge she was having.  When I say “I let him know” I mean, I was pushing him to get us more tests because I was sure she was about to start bleeding again.  He saw that I was not a doctor and just let me know we would do the tests in a month or so, no urgency necessary.  Ok.

Wednesday, Harper is spotting in her diaper.  I promptly send the genetics doctor an “I TOLD YOU SO” email and called every single doctor that Harper has to get our tests ordered before I could make it to Children’s hospital.  The cyst is bigger, but not ruptured, leading me to wonder if the blood is from her cycle.   I still don’t know.

Thursday (aka yesterday) we encountered zero blood.  That’s good, but I still have no idea what happened and am just scared it’s going to hit us all of a sudden full force again.  I utilize our blood free day to take Buddy back to the doctor since he still has a fever and cough.  Harper joins us since she also still has a fever, although, she acts like she feels good.  The doctor told me that now THEY BOTH HAVE DOUBLE EAR INFECTIONS.  Oh yeah, and we need to order a chest Xray for John tyler.  That’s how bad his lungs sound.  I cry.  We figure out that he does not have pneumonia, but he does have something called bronchiolitis, it requires an inhaler.  They both require different antibiotics since the previously ordered meds are not working.

Today is friday.  Today I am not leaving the house.  Okay technically I left the house once, but it was to purchase black out shades for the kids windows to increase nap time.  If that’s not a step towards my well being, I don’t know what is.

 

Here are some pictures of my sick children:

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Let me tell ya about my friends.


I think that I rarely talk about them on here.  I always just assume my friends don’t especially want to be on the blog on a daily basis but I think they’ll like this one.  

Let’s start in order:  

My best friend N – She is my longest best friend in the world.  We met on the bus in the 7th (?) grade.  I didn’t like the girl.  I don’t know why, heck I was 11 years old I probably just wanted the bus seat to myself because I was selfish.  Then a few months later I got to know her.  YA’LL, SHE’S FREAKING FUNNY.  Soon after we were thick as thieves.  Singin’ dixie chicks and spice girls as loud as possible at her moms house.  Bless her mom.  She’s the girl who would give me the shirt off of her back to soak up my heartbroken tears.  SHE LET ME BLOW MY NOSE ON HER SHIRT.  That should tell you a lot about her.  She’s kind, loving, beautiful, A GREAT MOM, funny, and a true best friend.  I wrote her hundreds of notes during school.  HUNDREDS.  It broke my heart to see the girl ever sad.  My thing (it sounds cruel but it worked) was to laugh at her hysterically while she cried…until she started to laugh at how ridiculous I was being.  We did lots of crazy things, none of which will ever be discussed to outside parties.  They were fun.  She’s responsible for a lot of fun in my life!  I LOVE YOU N!!!

 

My best friend D – Oh man, I’ve spent A LOT of time with this girl.  We’ve gotten ourselves into some pretty crazy situations and lived a FUN life together!  I met her through my ex boyfriend, and luckily even after we broke up, she and I remained best friends.  She had my back even in my craziest ideas.  If I ever decided to kill someone, she would show up with a shovel.  (that didn’t actually happen)  She was there to tell me that some of my choices were crazy and irrational, but also stood by for when they failed and I needed someone.  Although it is rare for either one of us to hear/see the other one cry I always wanted to cry when she would cry.  She is an amazing girl.  She teaches, she’s athletic, she is in lots of way my twin, she’s a great mom, and an amazing singer- just like me.  I LOVE YOU D!!!

 

My best friend A- I met this girl under odd circumstances.  Actually, I was pretty sure she didn’t like me at all the first few times I saw her.  She dated my boyfriend at the time.  After a few visits with her I decided I’d like to start a relationship with her.  It started out with a couple of texts……then I was texting her more than my boyfriend!!!  A love blossomed.  🙂  She has gone above and beyond her friendship duties.  She has shown me that she truly cares about me in many ways, and i really appreciate her kindness and great advice.  Oh yea, and she’s really funny….and she thinks I’m funny too!  

 

My best friend K – I met this girl walking my great dane at my new apartment complex in birmingham.  She was my first birmingham friend.  Even better, she lived 600 feet away.   She has a good heart.  She’s the friend who would come over when I was at my lowest point with my favorite ice cream and a bottle of vodka.  Even if it was a work day, she would come over and drink wine and skype with my other friends with me to make me feel better.  I cried when she moved away from Birmingham!  I wanted her all to myself!  

 

My best friend (the other) A –  I feel so blessed to have met her.  I feel like God put her in my life when I needed a friend.  She never has anything negative to say about me.  She is always 100% supportive when I am questioning myself as a wife or a mother.  She loves my babies too and I’m pretty sure that her daughter is Harper’s best friend!  I hope we are together for many many years!  

 

A few of these girls got flowers today (my chattanooga peoples) and I just want to let them know I love them and appreciate them!  

 

How lucky am I?

XOXO

BELL

The F word


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FORMULA.

We are currently 100% breastfeeding the new baby.  I’m slowly but surely running dry.

I started having anxiety attacks last week when everyday we would take a bag of our freezer stash.  The freezer stash is no more.  It’s all me.  All of the time.

So everyday I am starting to realize that soon we will be supplementing with formula.

I don’t really judge people who formula feed their babies- it’s their choice/or it’s chosen for them from their bodies.

It’s not that I think formula is poison, it’s just that he’s done SO well and gotten SO big from my milk.  I want to continue being proud of making him that way!  I don’t want to give credit to similac or infamil!!!  I don’t want to take fenugreek because it makes me smell like pancakes and I don’t even notice much of a difference with it anyways.

When you get towards the end, you start living paycheck to paycheck so to speak.  I pump, then he drinks it all within an hour of me pumping it.

I said I wouldn’t be sensitive about formula this time, but  I’m wrong.  I don’t even want to talk about it with anyone.

 

Well, here’s to hoping I can live paycheck to paycheck a little longer without having to dip into the formula.

XOXO

BEll

4 Months Old


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Dear Buddy,

You are 4 months old this week.  I wish I knew the secret to stop time because I need you to stay this small and cuddly for The Mommy.  I sniff your head every day just to make sure that the newborn scent is still there.  It is.  It’s just not as strong as it once was.  Stop it.  Physically, you’re a big dude.  You weighed 14lbs last month.  I’m not sure what you’ll weigh when we go to your next dr appointment!  You are so happy when you are with me.

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You’re serious when you see others.

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You must really like me.  Who am I kidding?  You do REALLY like me.  You think I’m funny and you love the way I smell, even when I haven’t showered.  I actually think you like me more when I haven’t showered and washed all the good mommy smells off.  I won’t tell your friends about this when you’re older.  I think you’re going to be more like The Mommy than your sister is.  You already want to have a blankie like The Mommy.

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Somedays you really like your sister and think she’s funny.

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Most days you’re very concerned with her.  You have a look on your face when you hear her like “she’s RIGHT behind me isn’t she?”

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Even though I think you will be a lot like The Mommy, you look just like The Daddy.

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We will never need a paternity test.

Here are a few of your favorite things at 4 months old:

  • The Mommy.
  • Breastmilk.  LOTS of it.
  • Your hands.  I melt when you chew on your hands.  It’s one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.  IMG_6236
  • Blankets.  You have one.  You like mine as well.
  • Movies.
  • A twinkle twinkle little star video.  It was your sister’s FAVORITE thing ever.  She can sing along with it now!
  • Ribbon.  You manage my bow making business and are so intrigued when I hand you my spare ribbon.  It’s so bright and pretty!
  • Cuddling.

Things you dislike:

  • Pooping.  Apparently it’s a real bear.
  • To be set down.  You demand to be held at all times.
  • Rice cereal.  We tried it a few days ago in your breast milk…….you’re still not over it.
  • Loud sounds.

I can’t wait to see all of the new things you have in store for The Mommy and The Daddy.

I love my Buddy.

XOXO

The Mommy

McCune Albright Syndrome


I have been told by multiple people they’re concerned about my absenteeism on the blog lately. I just left you here. Cold turkey. No love note or anything. Sorry about that.

I’ve been very conflicted on whether to post on things that have been on my mind because it’s pretty heavy. I feel like now, I can clue everyone in on what’s been happening over here at Birmingham Bell.

As you saw- we have a new beautiful baby boy, John Tyler. He’s my buddy. He knows this too.

A month after we had my buddy there were a series of events that I wish on no parents.

A thursday evening I took Harper to go tinkle on her potty and noticed some brown discharge coming from her lady parts. It was a little gross, so I just made note to call her DR in the am when they open to see if this is normal or what they think about it. The world didn’t appear to be ending at the time I saw it.

Friday morning I go grab Harper from her crib and take her to my big potty to tinkle. She always “wipes” herself, then I’ll take her to the bed and really wipe her and put a diaper on. Well, I noticed a more pinkish discharge this time and that was my reminder to call the doc. I did leave her a message. I then went to go flush the toilet. In the toilet was BRIGHT RED clotty blood.

This is the part where I flip my $*%&. I call the dr and we both agree I need to load everyone up and head to their office asap. Keep in mind I have a newborn with me. This is a daunting task. John decides to meet me, and he showed up right in time. Both kids were screaming bloody murder and staff were buzzing around trying to help me out because they could see I was struggling.

Doctors always try to be optomistic when talking about your childs health. So ours said “it could be that she fell on top of a toy and nicked her lady parts, it could be a uti, it could be some other infection”… I was clear with her. It was none of those things. What I saw with my own eyes was menstral cycle blood. There’s nothing like it. THAT’S WHAT IT WAS. After a few tests and investigating further- AND seeing the picture I took of what was in our toilet, she agreed that I was correct. This was not a simple thing. It was huge. Our baby girl was bleeding. A lot.

We were sent to the children’s hospital for a series of tests and bloodwork. It was awful. It was basically 4 hours of John holding Harper down while she wailed.

We got home and made sure to spend extra time with her. We were both scared. She was still bleeding. I cried myself to sleep that night. Babies aren’t supposed to bleed.

We got the test results the next day. She had a cyst that had ruptured, but is still there. She also had elevated estrogen levels, and her uterus is visibly showing it’s been getting estrogen to it. None of this is good. She shouldn’t’ have estrogen in her uterus yet.

We flop back to a diagnosis we had discussed when she was just 4 weeks old. She has cafe au lait spots on her back. Only on the left side. This is a big indicator of 2 different syndromes. The first is neurofibromatosis, and the other is McCune Albright Syndrome. NF is the worst of the 2 because it affects the brain and parts of the brain that stimulate hormones. Tumors are common with this. The McCune albright syndrome is where we were leaning now because a symptom of that syndrome is precocious puberty. Although she hasn’t actually started a cycle yet, she is showing signs of precocious puberty in the form of too much estrogen. Armed with all the right symptoms for McCune Albright’s, our dr officially diagnosed her with it. I would cry every time I changed her diaper the week it happened.

It’s not ideal, but it’s better than the other diagnosis. We have to be extra careful because children with this syndrome have bones that will break easily because of the estrogen that weakens them. We have to always keep an eye out for symptoms of another cyst or a cycle. We avoided medications for now since it was a cyst and not a cycle. If she ever were to start a cycle very early she would be on medication until she is around 10. I don’t want that.

Thank goodness we are past that. Thank God for our doctor who kept an eye on this syndrome since Harper was 4 weeks old. Friends and family would tell me that our dr was just trying to scare me. They were wrong. I trusted her with everything I had, and she didn’t fail me.

Moms, trust your instincts. I knew something wasn’t right, but it wasn’t wrong enough for me to ask my dr to run tests on her at the time.

If you know anyone at all with McCune Albright Syndrom please have them email me at birminghambellblog@gmail.com I can’t really find anyone in real life that has this. It’s very rare 1 in 200 million I believe!

Pray that we keep getting the good answers and that none of the bad ones come our way.

XOXO

Bell

PS I almost deleted this whole thing because I have the hippocratic oath engrained in my head. Here I am sharing someone’s medical information! Shame on me!

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