Friday, September 17, 2010

Josh's Urology Report, etc.

WARNING: This post makes frequent mention of the male reproductive organ and the body part it's "housed" in. :)

Josh had his urology appointment in Phoenix this afternoon for his retractile testicles problem (for more info refer to the post about Josh a few more down). It went okay. We didn't really get anywhere new, but basically the urologist isn't concerned because they can feel them and know where they are and can get them down, so he wants us to keep an eye on them for the next six months and if there's no change, we will come back then and go from there.

The only thing they can do is surgery to bring them down and then they fix them permanently in the sack so that they can't "escape" back up. He said we could get it now if we want to, but (and he's also the surgeon) that he isn't really concerned at this point and if it were his own child, he wouldn't do the surgery yet. And as Josh's mom, I don't feel good about it now either. I want to do whatever is best for Joshua and I don't want to jump to any rash actions and cause more trauma to the testicles if he doesn't really need it. So I feel content about waiting.

Dave, however, doesn't know how he feels. He is a little more concerned because of his own history. He had the same problem when he was Josh's age and they kept waiting and waiting, until finally, at the age of three, they fully descended on their own. Then when he was sixteen he got testicular cancer and though they will never know the real cause of it, they said that issue could have been why.

But Dr. Chang (the urologist) said it is highly unlikely that a testicle can get cancer from a retractile problem, since it can spend some of the time in the sack. However, there is speculation out there that if it was a testicle that didn't descend at all for a long time, then because of the extra heat of being up inside the body for so long, cancer could probably form (though they really don't know). So since Josh's are just retractile and can come down, he feels it's highly unlikely. Also, he says they would never let it get to the point where Josh is still having this problem when he's three, like Dave did. He said by that age they should be spending all or most of their time down, and that they would never let it get that far with Josh.

He said they usually like to keep tabs on and check back with the kids that have retractile testicles about every six months to a year, so we decided to take his advice and watch it for the time being. We made an appointment for six months from now to come back and check it further.

Earlier in the appointment the NP said that usually if they haven't fully descended by this age (19 months), they probably won't on their own...but then the doctor says to wait. So I don't know what to think.

I don't really see how that much will change in six months, honestly, especially because over the last year nothing has changed and 98% of the time they are up. But he is the professional so we feel inclined just to kind of take his word for it and wait. And since the idea of jumping into surgery right now feels all wrong to me, I'm okay with that.

We are staying with the Stewarts over this weekend and Dave has a training all week this next week here in Phoenix so I decided to stay here with him, with the kids of course, and use it as a sort of "get away." Plus, I really don't like not having him home, and lately, with the way I've been feeling, being alone all week with the kids is the last thing I want. So we are staying in a suite at the Residence Inn all week and Dave won't have to come back to an empty hotel room every night after his training...and he's pretty happy about that (and no, he's not just saying that). :)

One thing we need to do before the baby is born is buy a new vehicle...which we decided will be a van because that just makes the most logical sense. We don't want to have to buy another vehicle for a long time, so we want one that we can have as we expand our family (yes, I said "expand our family"...even though the idea of baring anymore children after this makes me want to rip my hair out). We don't want to buy a new one because of the cost, but the used one we get we want to be newer, if possible. We really like the Siennas, but we know they can be a little pricey, so we need to start shopping around. I got some great websites and advice about car shopping from my all-knowing brother-in-law, Mike, so I will start there.

Another reason I want to make a jump on it is because we want to go to Colorado for Thanksgiving and spending 28+ hours in our tiny Saturn in my "condition" makes me...well...let's just say I'd rather sit alone in Bagdad while my family has fun in Colorado without me. And that's saying A LOT.

This pregnancy has been really difficult for me, and I thought after my last one it couldn't get worse. But I was SO wrong. I already had spine/lower back problems before I got pregnant and they warned me before I had kids that my pregnancies would be extremely difficult because of it, but I had no idea it would hurt this much and effect the way I feel this much. Every step I take is like torture. And with every step, everything down there--spine, tail bone, pelvis--shifts and grinds together, leaving me with a popping sensation at every movement. I can even hear it when I walk if it's quiet. :)

I also have another problem that's pretty miserable, and also embarrassing, but unfortunately it's a problem that a handful of women get, called varicose veins. And no, I don't mean in my legs. I won't go into detail. If you're really that curious, look it up or ask a doctor. :)

I had these problems when I was pregnant with Josh but they didn't surface until my third trimester, near the end. This time, however, the symptoms started showing when I hit my 19-20 week mark...and by now, 23 weeks, I feel worse than I did at week 39 with Josh. On top of looking and feeling huge, I feel like this baby should already be coming out of me...but in depressing reality, I actually have almost half my pregnancy to go. Ugh. And there's NOTHING they can do about these issues. Not even a chiropractor will help, except for temporary relief, because with one slight movement of me or the baby, or even the baby just growing, everything can be thrown out again. Icing myself is a good temporary relief too, but again it's temporary. As soon as I'm on my feet again, which is all the time, it's as though I never iced.

So if you see me waddling it's because every step is stiff and painful...not because I had an "accident." :)

And back to the car thing: just driving to Prescott (1.5 hours away) effects it so badly that for the whole next day I'm "feeling it" (along with numerous contractions...which hadn't started at this point with Josh either). We drove three hours to Phoenix today and right now pain shoots all throughout my back (and other areas) with every breath. Soooo...driving in our tiny, cramped, uncomfortable Saturn for hours and hours on end is something that I don't want to do.

It's also something my doctor doesn't recommend. Heck, my doctor recommends I keep my feet elevated most of the day, but I have two kids so that's impossible. Anyway, so if we can purchase a van by then, I would love it. That way, I'd have leg room to move my legs and feet when we are driving and I can shift positions by reclining, etc. So when we get back from Phoenix next week...the vehicle search begins!!

And now that I've complained, I have to plug that I really am grateful for this baby and this pregnancy. I really do have a lot to be grateful for. The baby is totally healthy so far, from what they can see, and besides the way I feel and the affect pregnancy has on my body, I have really great, smooth pregnancies. So I am definitely grateful for that, and grateful to be expanding our family with another beautiful baby boy. He is in constant movement inside of me, it seems, and I already love him so much. So, these sacrifices, minor in the grand scheme of things, are SO worth it. The pregnancy, and all the junk that goes along with it, is temporary!! (A constant reminder)

And that's all folks!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things...

Sam's Funnies:

"Dad, I'm a white guy." (Said loudly in the middle of the passing of the sacrament in church yesterday...when it was silent)

"We're home now Grandma, so I don't want you to talk to me anymore, bye." (He'd been talking to Grandma Coltharp on the phone while we were driving and when we pulled into our driveway, he interrupted their conversation with this)

"Mom, will you go in your room so you don't see me playing with the hose outside?" (Because he thinks I'm stupid...)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sam's First Testimony

Today there was hardly anyone at church due to Labor Day weekend, which meant testimony meeting was a little slow. During the awkward silence, when no one was getting up, Sam decided he wanted to bear his testimony (after seeing his friend, Daniel, do it). Basically, we learned our son is a natural speaker and has no problem getting up to speak in front of people, and to our surprise, as soon as he got to the microphone, he just started talking up a storm, bearing his testimony of goldfish and his brother going to time-out, etc. I can't remember it all because, frankly, I was a little embarrassed (anyone there probably knows that because my face was SO red!), but here's the gist of it:

Good morning everyone! (copying what Daniel said) My name is Sam! And I just ate goldfishies, but Daddy had to take brother to time out, and I read books...

Anyway, he went on and on, and the reason I was embarrassed is because we all know a testimony meeting isn't a talent show for our children and Dave was just letting him go on and on because he was laughing too hard to stop him. So amidst laughing and being the proudest mom for thinking I have the cutest kid alive, I was thinking "wrap it up!"

Then finally Dave leaned down and Sam finished with loving Jesus and Heavenly Father and his family. Anyway, it was just adorable and I was so proud of my son, who just seems to be a natural-born speaker. Hopefully that doesn't mean he will be a politician....

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Reunited and it feels so good...

I decided I was going to get back into the routine of blogging again like I used to, not just updating bits here and there with months in between. And I figured the first step is to redo my layout and update everything else on my page that hasn't been updated in a year! Yes, I know it's early for Halloween layouts, but I love Halloween and I love Fall and I didn't have the patience to wait! Besides, the black kitty on the layout looks like the new addition to our family, Bauer. I put a picture of her on this post (it's not great, but it's the best I got at this point), because I thought it was fitting with my new layout. :)

I have to admit that part of the reason I feel the desire to spend time on my blog today is that Dave took the boys to Prescott and left me alone for the first time in FOREVER (or it feels like forever...really it's just been many months). WOO HOO! I have to say that since I never get to be at home alone, I am loving the peace, quiet, and solitude. I got to take a shower and actually get ready afterward without kids getting into all the bathroom stuff and feeling rushed, I got to prepare my lesson for church tomorrow without ANY INTERRUPTIONS, and I get to sit here and play on the computer. I thought I'd use this alone time to write or work on my query letter, but I just didn't feel like it, which is surprising.

I realized too that in my blogging absence, I haven't posted anything about my pregnancy at all! So here's a rundown: I am 21 weeks along and we found out 2 weeks ago that we are having our THIRD BOY (Due 1/11/11)! And wow...I'm not going to lie; I was holding out for that girl that I know is out there somewhere, and I was definitely a little disappointed. It's hard to explain, because I wasn't sad about the boy, or depressed by any means...I was happy about it, but at the same time disappointed, if that makes any sense. But I am really excited to have another little guy because I love my boys so much, and though I will be even more out-numbered than now (4 against 1), I have to admit I love that. I actually will love being the only chic...for now. And I love that my boys can be the Three Amigos and be close. Another big plus is that we already have all the boy stuff (even though I was looking forward to buying all the girlie stuff...)! So, yes I know there is a girl out there and I will get her some day, but right now I am so excited to meet this little guy!

He moves like CRAZY. I swear, he never stops. He moves more than either Sam or Josh moved, and I thought Sam moved a lot! My pregnancy is going well, considering. I do have pretty horrible back issues that flare up at the end of my pregnancies and, unfortunately, already started flaring up halfway through with this one. I have many other issues of pain down there, and even experience contractions quite often already, too, but really, other than being stiff and miserable most of the time (I say most because I'm trying to be positive...hehe), it's going extremely well and I can only feel blessed. So far, everything is going the way it's supposed to and everything is at the right size and in the right place. I'm just excited to get this little guy out of me and start the addition to our family!

A thing I struggle with, especially lately for some reason (probably those darned pregnancy hormones) is self-esteem because of what pregnancy does to your body...and I feel like it's just torn me apart and left me with a distorted body and flabby...well...everything. But I've been really trying to place all the expectations of society and the media aside and accept that having a baby has actually made me more beautiful. I have given live to three of God's children and what is more beautiful than that?

I tell you that nothing is. I feel so privileged and special to be blessed with these wonderful spirits and to have been able to nurture them and bond with them, that I wouldn't trade the best body in the world for this. After all, this is why we are on this earth as women, right--to bear God's children. And what a blessing it is! I don't take it for granted at all...

Not even when I'm laying lifeless on the couch because I can't move as the kids trash the house around me. It's all about sacrifice, right? My kids better thank me some day for all I go through to bring them into the world... ;)

There have been a lot of things going on around us, a lot of unfortunate circumstances with friends, or health problems with friends and family that really have us looking at life differently, and it's hard not to get down. It's hard not to ever think, "I'm done having kids after this, because why would I want to bring children into this unforgiving world???" But unfortunately, this is life, and though I question with "why does this happen to this person" a lot, there is nothing we can do about it and we will never have all the answers. All we can do is get through this life like intended, prove ourselves and strive for faith--which at a lot of times feels non-existent, I admit.

But even in all these things happening around us and to us, and through all the wavering, I do love my Heavenly Father and this gospel, and am so appreciative to Him and our Savior. I don't get it sometimes, I don't have answers, but I do have to strive to have faith and know that He is at the helm--no matter how bleak. I am SO extremely blessed, and I pray I will never lose sight of that. I have the most wonderful husband and children I could have ever asked for, a family I never before thought I deserved. We are healthy and well (for the most part) and provided for in so many ways. I am grateful everyday for the blessings we have and how fortunate we really are.

And to anyone who I might have been cold to or offended at all, I am truly sorry. I'm not always the best kind of friend and don't always have the best things to say (or even know what to say in general sometimes), but I do love you all and you each have made an impact on my life that I will never forget.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

More on Josh

A quick update on Josh: A woman from Arizona Early Intervention program came by to do an assessment on Joshua. Not only did she ask me questions (she had a questionnaire she was filling out), but she also gave Josh certain toys to test different abilities and interacted with him. The results were that he is low in the communication area (as we expected), but average or high in every other area. Right off the bat, that isn't enough to enroll him in their evaluation/therapy program, because even his low communication score wasn't at its lowest. But based on the fact that he can't make a variety of vowel or consonant sounds (basically all he can do is "dada" type of sounds), she can put him in. It's a concern to her, but not a grave concern.

So my options were to get him going in the process, or to wait a few more months and see how he progresses. I felt best to wait at this point. She is going to send me some information on what I can be doing with him to help and a 22 month evaluation questionnaire, and in 3 months if I feel he hasn't made any progress at all, I will call her and they'll get the evaluation process going.

It is possible that with his speech and communication abilities being so low, he has a slow speech developmental issue, but it might be too early to tell. I'm not really that worried about it. He has a big brother who is bossy, overbearing, and extremely vocal, so in my opinion, he just might not feel the need to talk yet. So we will see. Hopefully in the next few months he shows signs of progression.

On the up side, he is very smart in other areas...smarter than I thought! I'm glad she came out here because it helped me realized how advanced he actually is. He understands a lot of what we are saying, but it's just hard to tell because he doesn't verbalize any of it. One of the toys he was playing with, she said he took the time to figure it out, and then understood it, and she said that in that sense, he's at a two-year-old level. Most 18-month-olds can't do it yet. Also, she showed him a book with sets of pictures and asked him to point to a certain thing (a ball, or a flower, etc.), and he got every one right! It surprised me, because I had NO idea he knew what all those things were! So I am very relieved to know that at least he is picking up on things and knowing what they are.

As far as the children's urologist (his testicles), he has an appointment with them down in Phoenix next weekend, so I will give updates on that then!