Monday, January 26, 2009

Hamming It Up for the Camera

Little Husband is going to be one of the "poster babies" for an upcoming charity gala. Here are the results of today's photo shoot. He looks like he's cooking up trouble in that last photo!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Up to Something

He has my poker face.

He Made It!

I was milling around my kitchen, absentmindedly cleaning up and praying for Owen. Little Husband was sleeping on his car seat on the counter in front of me. He looked like an angel. I thought about the parallel lives that Owen and Little Husband lead. I'd no sooner thought "It's as if whatever happens to Owen happens to Little Husband" than an email came in on my Blackberry. It was from Tobacco Brunette. Owen survived the surgery! He survived! I leaned against the counter and wept with joy.

He survived.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

And so the clouds lifted

As some of you know, Tobacco Brunette (TB), who is becoming rather dear to me, is in the same predicament I am in terms of having a young son diagnosed with ToF. I've been religiously following TB's blog as it gives me a possible glimpse into what the future may hold for Little Husband. TB and I also correspond via email several times per week and, among other things, we share the results of our baby's doctor's visits. Until yesterday, everything was going well for both of us. Then TB's son had a "tet spell" and everything changed.

TB's son is slated for surgery within the next few weeks. Please, please say a prayer for her sweet, little baby boy Owen. As common as the surgery is, no one can ever predict what the outcome will be, and that's what strikes the most fear in her (and my) heart. The thought that we may never see our little men smile and coo and sleep and breathe those sweet baby breaths is often too much to bear. I handle it by keeping those thoughts to myself or pushing them away. But still, they live with me every day--make no mistake about that. When I comfort Little Husband in the early morning hours with the only illumination being the moon, I'm am wondering if our nights together are numbered. This is the greatest fear I have ever known: losing someone I love as much as I love my little baby. That shouldn't be discounted.

After reading about TB's experience yesterday with Owen and his tet spell, I had a minor breakdown. Fortunately, Husband is the calm one so he comforted me back to sanity. Owen wasn't supposed to get sick, you see. Owen's test results are great--near perfect. Just Like Little Husband's. Owen shows no signs of turning blue, just like Little Husband. Owen was simply supposed to have surgery with no outward signs of having a congenital heart defect.

At least, that's what I told myself. Owen's hospitalization smacked some sense into me.

Today I took action! I learned all about what to do during a tet spell (net result: call 911! No ER heroics for me, I'll leave that to the experts). Husband and I signed up for a CPR course. We happened to have an appointment with the pediatric cardiologist and we peppered him with all sorts of questions. Even though Little Husbands blood-oxygen levels were at 100% (100%!), I outright told the cardiologist that I no longer trust those numbers based on what happened to TB.

Side bar: our cardiologist was blown away that I have a friend whose son is only three weeks older than LH and has the same diagnosis. As a result, he took my fears seriously and never once tried to down play my concerns due to the fact that Little Husband's test results are looking so good.

Unfortunately, today's echo cardiogram revealed that Little Husband has a muscle in his heart that is thickening. One month ago it wasn't so bad, in fact, last month the cardiologist thought we might get lucky and never see a tet spell. Today he had to retract that statement.

The mood around our house this afternoon has been rather somber. I've been piddling around, doing housework and watching Little Husband sleep. Husband had to go back to the office. Both of us got online and performed a little research on surgeons and pediatric heart hospitals. What we found is very encouraging. In fact, inasmuch as one can be excited about open heart surgery, I feel that we are in a very fortunate place. The hospital that our cardiologist recommends, Texas Children's Hospital, has been listed as one of the best in US News and World Report. The surgeon that our cardiologist promised to put us in contact with happens to be the one featured in the article.

For the longest time I was having trouble conjuring up images of Little Husband post surgery. I tried so hard to imagine him taking his first steps or getting on the bus to kindergarten but my brain simply would not produce the images. I began to fear (greatly) that this meant that these things were never going to happen. Today, after this simple set of coincidences, I have a little hope and I'm clinging to it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Milk Monster and Me

At noon today Husband and I took The Milk Monster (TMM) to the Alamo Drafthouse to watch a movie. TMM did not care about the movie (Marley and Me) opting instead to sleep the entire time. Husband and I enjoyed a wonderful lunch and a hilarous movie. Well, I thought it was hilarious although I seemed to be the only one laughing: I was that moron in the back row laughing loud. Of course, I cried a river during the sad parts--how could I not with all these post natal hormones surging through my body? Side bar: what exactly does "natal" mean? I'm familiar with the state of being pre-natal and post-natal but I don't ever remember being natal. Anyway, I want to thank The Drafthouse for introducing "Baby Day" during Tuesday and Friday matinee shows. I can now take the baby to the movies without judgment. I can also eat a fabulous meal while I watch the movie. I will not have to join the ranks of new parents who proudly (or sadly) declare that they haven't seen a movie or read a book since their baby was born (I read when I nurse, eat, take a bath, blow-dry my hair and any other opportunity I can find to do so).

Anyway, in honor of this momentous event, I dressed Little Husband like Husband (hey--it's better than dressing him like Little Lord Fauntleroy).

After the movie we went to an outdoor coffee shop near our house.

Much like his daddy, Little Husband has important work to do, even while at home. Unlike Daddy, Little Husband does not tolerate interruptions. Here he is with his new laptop. Did you need something?

Little Husband is a big believer in a work/life balance:

Life's not all about work and play. One must exercise as well. Little Husband enjoys a good walk from time-to-time:

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Milk Monster Montage

As usual, clamoring to be nursed.

I don't know what he did, exactly, but he looks guilty.

Please note that my thighs are as wide as his shoulders. Yes, it's an optical illusion but let's give a recently pregnant woman a break, shall we?

He's beautiful. Just like his daddy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The New Year

2008 was an incredible year for me and Husband. I was laid off from a job that I didn't know I hated until I was laid off. I got pregnant soon thereafter. Husband and I traveled extensively. And we welcomed Little Husband into this world.

Makes me almost scared for what's to come in 2009. How will it ever compare?

Tonight was one of the best New Year's Eves I've ever had. It was refreshingly simple: we went over to a friend's house for a dinner party. They were cool enough to let us bring the baby. It was a night filled with great stories, a lot of laughter and much relaxation.

I met some very inspiring people tonight. I met a woman who manages a home where children with terminal cancer go to live out their last days. I met a man who develops unique propeties all over Austin. The host is an entrepreneur whose product is designed to help advance the Hispanic community. Husband just got promoted at work.

And I? I can't think of one single significant contribution I've made in my life, except this:

Time to change that. As a rule, I don't make New Year's resolutions but I'll make an exception this time. My resolution is to spend the next year figuring out how I'm going to put my stamp on this world.