Okay, okay, my phones been a-ringing which means I am certainly past due for a post!
Braeden's "Welcome Home Party" on July 7th was a great success! The boys had an absolute blast, which was the whole intention. A HUGE thank you to Dave Wicks (Crazy4Bouncers) for donating one of his Bouncy Castles to us for the day after hearing why we were having the party! The kids all got one heck of a workout! Thank you to those of you that came and for those of you that didn't, you were missed. I was able to have a relatively stress-free time due to the amazing support and hard work from my favourite sister-in-law, Angela (who was able to get time off to fly in from Vancouver) and one of the best friends you could have, Lorna. Also an enormous thank you to Kelsey for volunteering to do face paint for the kids, she did an amazing job! Kelsey also put together a 'Wishing Tree' for Mr.B in which guest could write down a wish for B or the family and hang it on the tree. I've got the wishes now for keepsakes and am going to put them in a book for him to read at a later time. (If anyone else wants to send us a wish for him to add to the book then we'd love to have it. Just write a wish on a small-ish piece of paper, we used hearts, and send it to me at: 5628-4 St NW, PO Box 64174 Thorncliffe PO, Calgary, AB T2K 6J1) We had a wonderful surprise appearance by Michael's Uncle Everett who also stayed and helped us clean up (alongside Mike Neufeld). Guess it's time to start the planning for the 1st Birthday party now...
We've had a busy couple of weeks with summer being here. We've been going out on adventures when we can to keep T and Ry occupied (and to see friends). Mr.B is such a great sport through it all, he's getting a taste of the 'real life' that's for sure! I find it amusing (for the most part) of the different responses and questions we get when we are out. It's not like B looks all that different (I don't think) but people get really thrown by a kid with oxygen. I love, love, love the innocence of children that come up and ask me about Braeden. Children's curiosity goes a long way to getting them prepared for acceptance of kids that may be different in their lives. I am also gaining confidence when having him out so that things like where to hanging the feeding supply bag becomes just part of my routine. Have feed bag, will travel!
We've had a relatively good couple of weeks healthwise but we are still settling into what is Braeden's 'normal'. We had a run to the Emerg again on the 6th due to a partial intestinal blockage. The thing with Mr.B is that he is happy 98% of the time and if he's not happy there is a pretty good reason for it! When he was screaming in back-arching pain it didn't take long to make the decision to take him into be checked out. I had him into the G-tube clinic already that day to have that looked at as I thought that was the problem. It turned out it wasn't the g-tube it was the feed going into the stomach and then not having anywhere to go that was causing the issue. A good ol' enema cleared it up temporarily so that he certainly felt better but we've been having issues with it since. He is going back and forth between being backed up to going non-stop, poor boy with a sore bum to boot! He's also not putting on weight fast enough which I find frustrating because I am feeding him Q3 (every three hours) but I struggle with him not knowing what the feeling of 'hunger' is. If he wants to sleep through the night, then I let him! I could feed him while he's sleeping (the joy of having a g-tube) but if I don't vent him first (which will certainly wake him) then we run into other issues. Of course it is hard to gain weight when your intestines are acting up as well.
One of the hardest issues though that I've been dealing with is my sister's diagnosis of a very rare and (can be) aggressive form of uterine cancer. My sister's news really shook me to the core, it was not news I was anticipating by any means. My first response (and she tells me I had the best reaction) was anger (and a lot of tears and even more swear words). I love that my sister was comforting me while telling me she had cancer, not the way it is supposed to be. I was so angry that so much had been going on that the universe had to throw this in too. Oh wait, that's a little self-absorbed is it not? The part of being the youngest of 4, self-absorption! It's not about me at all, but I was just so frustrated that all three of my sisters are going through difficult, life changing situations and it seems just too much. My sisters and I are the four parts that make a whole and they are the most amazing, strong and willful women I know. They are also my voices of reason, my biggest bosses (bossy bootersons), my biggest fans and not to mention my best friends. Without them I would not be the woman I am today, they have helped to mold me and shape me into who I am through their nurture, love, support and overall bossiness. It pains me that I am so far away from them all, sometimes ya just need to hug your sister! It's not my story to tell, but the good news thus far is that the cancer has been removed (fingers and toes crossed so hard it hurts), and so far she doesn't need any other form of treatment (the positive of having the tumour contained).
I've not felt much like writing for the past few weeks and I think it is really due to the fact that I wasn't feeling all that positive when I sat down at the computer. It's not that I'm not having a ton of positives in my day, Mr.B is life personified and I can't hold him or kiss him enough (which also goes for the other two), but when it came down to just me, I seemed to lose the positivity. It could certainly be chalked up to sheer exhaustion as Braeden is a full-time job in and of himself but it is certainly also the emotional toll of being away from family as well. Life is hard right now, I won't contest that but it is what it is, it would just be a whole lot easier if we lived closer to family. That being said of course we have to be thankful for all of our wonderful friends that we do have here that have been so supportive and helpful throughout this journey! I was watching a program the other day on children with cancer (uplifting I know) and there was one Mom that stuck out for me. She said she asks every single day, "Why my daughter? Why us?". That struck me as a horrible way to live! You'll never get the answer you seek and my thought is why not? I've had people tell me that they are sorry that we are going through this, and I do appreciate it, but if not me than who? No one person deserves heartache but we all have to experience it, some just have to do it in bigger doses all at once. I also believe strongly that through heartache comes the ability to receive great joy, you just have to be open to it which is more than half the battle. All three of my boys inspire me to be a better person and Mom each day (even on the days that I threaten to hang them by their toes). I've had three separate people comment to me on my parenting in the past 24 hours and I find it so funny. None of these people see me at my worst, when I'm barking orders out (which I vowed I would never do!) at the end of the day when I am so far past done! My patience is certainly not where it used to be, or should be for that matter, but I am hoping it will come back some day soon. In the meantime I have to look at the fact that I have three children that adore one another and (for the most part) are pretty good kids. If anything at all they will be grow to be well-adjusted and tolerant (of their Mother mostly).
I think that part of my frustration and stress these days comes from the fact that it is also time for me to go back to work. The deal was that I could stay home while Braeden was in the hospital but the reality is that I don't have a mat leave since B came so early and I need to look at going back. I can't express how sick it makes me feel when I think about leaving B for hours on end. It's not like he wouldn't be in good hands, he'll be with his Dad for pete's sake but it still shakes me. The big question is what to do and where to go? I willingly gave up my career after having Ry to work retail in the evenings and weekends to keep them out of daycare but the thought of returning to it isn't all that appealing right now. I am certainly not looking to do any homebased businesses but it would be really phenominal to work from home (as I'm sure is the dreams of many parents). If anyone has any ideas or knows someone looking for help then let me know, I'm up to doing something new that's for sure! Will work for diapers??