I knew that motherhood would be an adventure. However, I thought I was prepared. At least a little bit.
I was prepared for ear infections and copious amounts of the pink bubblegum medicine. I was prepared for the random broken bone. I was prepared for check ups at doctor's offices and dentists. I was prepared for the laundry. I was prepared for fights over not wanting to eat things, not wanting to wear things, or just wanting something so much and throwing a tantrum over it in public. I was prepared for late night talks with Peter over Jason wanting a car and Kayla wanting to pierce her ears.
This week has shown me that I'm really not prepared. At all.
Let's start with Kayla first.
At Kayla's three month wellness check up yesterday, she weighed 13 lb 3 oz and measured 25". Amazing. Last month at this time we were so worried that she wouldn't gain weight because of the laryngomalagia... but she gained a few pounds and grew an inch or so, putting her at the 75% for weight and 90% for height. That's my girl. Her breathing has been quieting, and she's been able to eat 8 oz for her morning bottle. A month and a half ago, we'd have to force her to eat 2 oz a time, so that's been great progress.
I then brought up to the doctor that about a month and a half ago, I noticed this small little flap of skin on the inside of her cheek, really close to her lips. It didn't seem like a big deal last month... breathing and eating took precedence... but I wanted to point it out this time. He opened her mouth, and oh my goodness. I felt like a terrible mother. The little flap of skin was the size of a pencil eraser, and looked like a balloon full of bright red fluid.
My little girl has a cyst. In her mouth. And the doctor was worried that it could blow up to 5 times the size of a pencil eraser and burst. In her mouth. Ew.
Luckily, an ENT is who you'd go to to fix it, and we already have one! So, even though the cyst burst sometime between last night and this morning and drained a bit, I took Kayla back to see the ENT today. He confirmed the diagnosis, and told me that the only way it would not grow back is to have surgery. And they'd have to put her to sleep with anesthesia, cut it out, and put disovlable stiches in her mouth. Oh, and while she's asleep, they could look in her throat even more to see what's going on. Oh, and while they're looking, they could easily do a small procedure to help her breathe better, and that would require her to stay overnight in the hospital.
The saving grace: this is in no way life threatening. It can be done sometime in the next few months, not the next few days. As long as it doesn't get HUGE, get in her way of eating, or cause her pain, I'm hoping to wait until she's at least 6 months old, and the pediatrician agrees. And that other procedure to help her breathe better? As long as her breathing doesn't get more labored, it won't be necessary.
On to Jason.
Tomorrow is the day. We knew this day was coming since the moment he was born. Tomorrow is more of a milestone than his first birthday or his first step. Tomorrow, my little man will only have 10 fingers.
Jason was born with an extra thumb on his right hand. It grew along with his hand, and had a bone in it and a nail on it, but it couldn't move. It started off really helping him. When he was an infant and just learning how to get his hands to his mouth, he'd drag that finger across his mouth and get it stuck in the corner of his lips and sucked on it. Hooray! Built in pacifer! But really, since then, he's never used it for any purpose. I know that he rubs his eye differently with his right hand... if he rubbed it the same as his left, he'd poke himself in the eye with his extra finger. It's been hard to hold his hand when he's walking... I hold it at the wrist. It's been hard putting long sleeved shirts on him because the finger drags. But other than those small inconvienences, it's never been a big deal.
Lately, when we've been at places with other kids, 2 and 3 year olds have come up and started talking to Jason. He doesn't reply, but he's usually the same height as them, so I get why they're confused when he doesn't talk. Summer is quickly approaching, and I don't want children his age or a bit older to notice. It's weird. Yeah, yeah, I'm his mama, and I'm not supposed to talk like that, but it is. And, I'm getting tired of explaining it to people. I don't want Jason to be labeled as "different" because of it.
So, tomorrow at 6:15 AM, we'll be at the hospital, getting ready for Jason's surgery at 7:45. We've packed loose fitting clothes, a sippy cup, his glow worm, and a few other favorite toys. The surgery itself should be between a half hour to an hour. Then, one of us gets to be with him during phase 1 of recovery... when he's still all hooked up and stuff and just waking up. Peter and I decided it would be me... I've been home a lot, and he's become very attached. Peter asked if I was ready for it... I said yes. Internally, I might be a bit of a mess, but not bad enough that I couldn't handle it. Then, when he's awake, Peter will join us in phase 2 of recovery in a different room until they tell us we all can go home... where 6 new DVDs (sesame street, yo gaba gaba and tom and jerry), popsicles, jello, and a few new toys await. I can't wait to love on him and give him cuddles.
I know we're doing the right thing. The finger serves no purpose, and he would face constant questioning. I'm a teacher. I see how cruel kids can be. (I've also seen how wonderful kids can be... an old student of mine totally defended Jason and made another kid see that just because he was born with something weird doesn't mean that JASON is weird... MC will be one of the students that I'll remember for a life time.) Right now though, the thought of my little man being hooked up to IV's and going into surgery and being totally knocked out is making me feel like garbage. I'm hoping tomorrow when he wakes up and sees me that I can give him comfort, and he won't hate me for it.
When I was pregnant with Jason, I thought I was prepared. I never thought I'd deal with premature deliveries, extra digits, laryngomalagia, or oral cysts.
I've learned that although I'm not prepared, it doesn't mean I can't handle it with grace. It doesn't mean I'm a bad mama.
I also wasn't prepared for the intense love that I feel for my children... how I'm willing, ready, and able to do everything I can to make them happy and safe, and feel loved. How I love being needed by them, love knowing that I bring them comfort and joy.
I'm sure that there will be more surprises, good and bad, as my little ones grow and grow. I can try to prepare, but I know I won't be able to. Sometimes, the surprises are fun... and they come right when you need them most, like this one: