Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I'm gonna be real for a minute.....this is hard

It's been over a year since I have written a blog, that makes me kinda sad. But, I'm gonna just be real and honest, this last year has been REALLY hard! I'll hit the highlights for you.

Quinn....very difficult baby. After 2months of what we thought were constant stomach bugs we discovered that she had acid reflux. This creates a twice daily medication and a change in formula and bottle brand. We are excited that this will make things easier now that we know what is wrong we can manage it and maybe our precious baby will be less fussy and actually sleep for a change. WRONG!! She still has extremely bad eczema, not sleeping, fussy more than not, still not sleeping, always gassy. This goes on for months, mind you this whole time we don't go a night without her ending up in our bed because that is just easier than getting up every hour and disturbing Sadie at least this way we can stay warm and comfy in our bed adjusting her and comforting her when she wakes up every couple hours. 

In the meantime Sadie begins to have severe headaches. I attribute them to allergies and the newness of the baby. She continues well past allergy season and they become more frequent. So in August we take her to the doctor for it and we end up at a Neurologist after being told by the Eye Doctor that her being slightly farsighted isn't enough to be causing her headaches but that glasses wouldn't be a bad idea. Her Neurologist calls for a sedation MRI with dye so that was fun....not. That MRI shows white spots on her brain that aren't suppose to be there, that requires blood work. Blood work comes back normal so we are diagnosed with Migraines at the age of 4 and by the way you need to have that MRI repeated regularly to make sure there is no change in the spots. Said spots were probably caused by damage done by a febrile seizure she had a 2 years prior to the headaches starting. Great!

So now we are in the midst of this testing at beginning of September, something good happens :) Scott was offered a position as a Youth Pastor at Cleveland First Baptist Church!! He was officially Ordained in October and we could not be happier with where we are! Y'all this place is amazing! Day 1 we have felt nothing but love and the youth there, I love them like my own! God is doing great things there and I am so grateful to be a part of the journey!

Also in September we had Sadie's 4th Birthday, which I may or may not have cried over a little bit. It was Mary Poppins themed and we had a blast! She is still on the whole I am super tiny but way too smart for my age thing but it works for her I guess :) 

Alright into October we finally say we have had enough with Quinn's issues and something has to be done. Her pediatrician suggests allergy testing for the eczema since, even after medicated ointments and steroids we cannot get it to clear up, this panel was limited to common allergens based on her surroundings. Two blown veins later they finally send us to the hospital to get the blood draw and the following week we have answers. Those answers came directly from her doctor who immediately had an Epi Pen prescribed for us to pick up right away and a referral to an Allergist. Yay. The results showed peanuts, dogs, milk, and eggs. Her peanut allergy got her the Epi Pen, dog was one level down and milk and eggs were very low. Turns out after a visit to the allergist that milk and egg was a false positive, thank God! However, after several visits with the chiropractor for both girls we did discover that she is Lactose Intolerant. The allergist informed us that she has a very high overall Ige level I believe it is called and basically in his words "She is a very allergic child" meaning she will have to be tested regularly because it is easy for her to develop new allergies and for her current ones to worsen. 

Life with an "Allergic Child" is hard y'all. I live in constant fear of everything she comes in contact with. I have read more labels than I can count. Every label of everything she eats and drinks has to be read because even though it doesn't have nuts in it, it was probably made in a factory that processes them and that folks is cross contamination which is a peanut allergy person's worst nightmare! Better yet if you eat something with nuts in it, you have to brush your teeth and wash your hands before touching her again, that is how bad that allergy is. Then on top of that, heaven forbid it have dairy in it, then we are up all night with severe gas and stomach pain. That narrows down this child's menu tremendously! Not only am I constantly reading labels, I am constantly sniffing out dog hair. I never in my life thought I would be so paranoid about a dog, seeing as how I have spent my whole life up until about 2years ago loving on them, but I am now and it makes me really sad. Did you know it takes 6 months for a dog dander protein to die? Neither did I, until we took her back to the allergist for a checkup after Thanksgiving and she had been sick for 2wks. Scott's Aunt took every possible measure that we had been told would work for cleaning so that Quinn could enjoy Thanksgiving with that side of our family. I mean she had it like professionally cleaned and kept the dog outside after it had been cleaned and everything. I mean that place was immaculate, we just could not make sense of why she still got sick. I felt so terrible because everyone worked so hard to accommodate her and still she had a reaction. To put it into perspective even more a couple weeks ago we were in Walmart and a service dog passed by us, never touched us, never got closer than 2ft from us, she immediately got red, watery eyes and started coughing. Thankfully that only lasted a couple of hours but still she was miserable. Good news is there is a very small percentage of a chance that she could outgrow that allergy and I pray to God that she does because these are two of the hardest things to avoid in day to day life. We go back to the allergist in July I believe to have a skin test done to get a more detailed spectrum of her allergies and what exactly she is allergic to from each item and ways to avoid/treat each thing. As of now she is not old enough or big enough weight wise for any shots or medications other than small dose of generic Zyrtech. So hopefully by July we will have an answer as far as ways to treat reactions as well.  

So now we are in January celebrating Quinn's Winter Wonderland 1st Birthday!

Quinn absolutely hated her party! She cried pretty much the whole entire time. For that reason there are pretty much zero pictures of her actual party but thanks to Chelsea we always have fantastic birthday photo shoots!

Once again being honest, January should have been a happy time for us but it wasn't. Instead of celebrating my birthday and Quinn's I was super stressed. I had to make a career change again, I went back to scrubs working as a CNA in the first nursing home that would hire me so that I would be able to bring in some income. We moved back in with my parents before we had planned to because we could not afford rent anymore. I hated leaving the girls each morning for the job because there was too much drama and I felt like I couldn't even do my job effectively. I began feeling like I wasn't called to do this kind of work anymore. My heart just wasn't in it and I was too worn out to do what I felt like I was being called to do. I literally spent the whole month of January torn. I knew my mom wasn't well enough to watch the girls and felt like me working was more of a burden than it was worth. I decided to only work every other weekend so that Scott could keep them and childcare wouldn't be an issue. That was ending up even more burdensome than working during the week. We had to plan youth events around it and I was missing church and spending time with family. This struggle went well into February and finally Scott and I did a whole lot of praying and talking and listening. We came to the conclusion that God was calling me to stay home for a while and somehow miraculously we were actually able to afford it. Once that decision was made and I worked my last weekend a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. For about a month now I have been a Stay-at-Home mom and I have loved it. I know that this was a God thing because never in my life have I ever dreamt about wanting to do this but God changed my heart and following His plan is great!
As of now I am caring for my girls and helping my mom out, this week we are starting home school preschool with Sadie and I am stoked! My mom is facing one, hopefully two surgeries in the next few months and I am thankful that I will be able to focus on helping her through all of it. She has taken care of me my whole life and bent over backwards on more than one occasion to help us with the girls. She loves them and even through all of her health issues she was still watching them until I realized how bad it was and stopped letting her. I couldn't imagine doing anything else during her time of need than helping her get well and being here for her through all of this. 

So where are we today? Better, much better. This last year has truly taken its toll on me. Quinn is a handful and it's not her fault and there is nothing we can do about it right now. We don't sleep because she doesn't sleep, we miss out on a lot of great food because it isn't worth not being able to hold and kiss her, we don't play with dogs because it's not worth her getting sick over, we don't spend a lot of time outside or around things that are popular allergens because the adventure isn't worth the risk. Our whole world has been turned upside down thanks to her, but you know what, she is totally 100% worth it and I will go without sleep, peanuts, dogs, adventures with unknowns and anything else that shows up on her tests to insure that she as healthy as can be! Sadie is a freaking trooper and obsessed with her sister! She is sooo loving and understanding about the cans and can'ts with Quinn other than carrying her around haha! Sadie is so smart and loves learning she is excited about school and we are controlling headaches rather well these days. Scott is amazing! I fall more in love with him everyday! I love seeing him in his element with the youth, I love listening to him come up with lessons and games for them. He adores his girls and makes sure they know it every day. He has been such an encouragement and help to me over the last year that I don't know if I would have made it through without him. As for me? I am tired, always, and I worry, a lot, but I am right where God wants me. I love being able to care for my family every day and being able to invest time into the youth group. I struggle often with the "why us" questions and the "do you really 'got this' God" question because honestly, sometimes it's all overwhelming. However I am quickly reminded that God has always provided for us and He is the only reason that we have made it this far. I am daily trusting in God to provide for us and keep us sane! I am genuinely excited about the road He has us on because it is completely different from where I thought we would be. I am finally becoming okay with this whole not being in control thing and it feels good!

Stay tuned for what I am sure will be more craziness on our journey!
Until next time Blogspot!!                

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