Sunday, April 17, 2016

Living Life in the Fast Lane

Wow the whirlwind of this week is over. It started at about 4 am Monday morning on April 11 with contractions that convinced me in a little over an hour that maybe it was go time for baby boy's arrival. I couldn't and still can't believe that he came on the 11th. I spontaneously went into labor with all three kids and all three of their birthdays hit on our numbers, 3 and 11. If you remember we met in 11/2003 but our first date anniversary is 3/11. Our oldest was born 03/01/09, second 11/03/11, and now third 04/11/16.

I was suppose to be to the hospital four hours before I delivered to receive antibiotics for him to help in preventing passing a bacteria infection I tested positive for back at 30 weeks when I was having signs of early labor. I only ended up getting one of the two doses though as we made it to Labor and Delivery only three hours before he was born. They didn't seem too concerned that we never had time for the second dose. Timing wise I couldn't have asked for better timing as we were able to drop the girls off at daycare/school just a half hour early like it was any other Monday and my mother in law then had all day to drive down to pick them up later in the day for us to keep them for us in the days ahead. The contractions got worse way faster than I expected. Third baby and all I guess I should have expected that, but I just kept saying we have plenty of time because my labors always seem to take forever. After much teasing with Braxton Hicks for so long when he decided to come he was ready to do it the fast and furious fashion. We had an hour drive down into Baltimore during morning rush hour in the rain. Nate tried to get around all the sometimes stand still traffic with flashers and driving on the shoulder, which we later resulted in a completely flat tire in the tires I just bought in December. By the time we made it there I was definitely in labor at a 5 and with contractions coming one after the other. I was a seven in about another hour before they could even get me the damn epidural (Hats off to all those ladies that do this the good ole natural way without pain meds. I'm not that tough!). I finally around an eight got my epidural and got to catch my breath for maybe 45 minutes before it was go time. They didn't break my water because they were hoping that would help make it to the four mark for the second dose of antibiotics, but he was coming. Because they didn't break my water because it provides that protective barrier for him we all got an amniotic fluid bath when he came out. Good thing I brought Nate a change of clothes because he was in the splash zone.

Then because of the tumors on his heart a whole NICU team was there to evaluate him, but upon initial evaluation he passed and was left with us. And then began what I knew would be a bit of an overwhelming process. Due to the tumors found on his heart at 20 weeks gestation over the course of those three days in the hospital he would undergo six tests and we would meet with numerous doctors. As overwhelming as it was at times I was quite impressed with the coordination that was put in place by Hopkins to evaluate him, consult with us, and put together the referrals for future follow ups. Some of what we learned was what I/we expected; however, there were some things clarified for us that I think we were hoping wouldn't be.

The tumors they were seeing and diagnosing as rhabdomyoma tumors were confirmed with birth; however, it was also confirmed that they are still not interfering with the function of his heart. These tumors usually quit growing after birth and over time will more than likely shrink to the point they won't even be seen on an echo anymore. However, we knew the concern was for more than his heart if it was indeed this type of tumor. With it being a rhabdomyoma tumor it is more than likely he has something called tuberous sclerosis, which causes these tumors to grow in various organs. All the tests he underwent was to see if any other tumors were present on his other organs at this time. The tumors will show up on their heart in utero, but later in their life they can develop on their brain, eyes, skin, kidneys, and lungs for girls only though. Even though at this time no current tumors are growing anywhere else because the likelihood of him having TS due to the heart tumors being present we will follow up with testing and doctor consultations over the course of the next few years. If it never manifests itself in any other way I don't know if after five years they say he doesn't have it, but it doesn't sound like it as some people never learn they have it until they're an adult when tumors start showing up for the first time so he will have echos, MRIs, and ultrasounds probably at least once a year for his whole childhood.  I knew all the tests he underwent could only confirm he has it; it wouldn't be able to rule out that he doesn't. However, we had hoped a genetics could rule it out. I guess this is where our disappointment comes in because they can't 100% rule it out. They could either confirm it earlier for us or give us a probable no, but they can't guarantee that that no is 100% as his gene mutation could be a result of a gene they don't know about yet.

So at this point we continue to monitor the heart tumors and hope that we are past the scariest part of those, which in most all cases is utero when they could cause sudden problems with no time for intervention. And we watch for seizures for any sign of tumor growth on his little brain, and we will repeat most of the testing in a couple of months. One of my friends asked me, "How will I ever sleep again?" When all of this was first brought to me back in December I'm pretty sure it was the reason for my sleepless nights and those weird panic attacks I experienced. I know some may think I'm crazy, but I've had such strong intuition and dreams with this kid and I have continued to put my faith in God in whatever his plan has been with all of this since we started this journey to meeting this little boy a year and a half ago. I just know we're going to be okay. Even if it manifests itself again later, it's going to be manageable and we'll be able to handle it and Baby Lincoln will be okay. Do I hate to have to see him go through all these tests over and over again and possible whatever other medical interventions he may have to face to resolve any issues these tumors may cause? Yes! But I think this kid is going to surprise us with who he is and what he can handle and do.

He's my last baby. I'm not going to let fear and worry steal these precious moments from me. We'll take it as it comes but I have faith that God will see us through just like He has to this point. It's going to be okay. We were picked for him for a reason and he was picked for us for a reason. We're going to love on each other, and just like anything else in life we'll cross what hurdles we have to when we get there. Life is an uncertain road anyway; so we have something to be on the lookout for now that we didn't before, but the fears of the what ifs can't steal the joy of the right nows.

On top of all that this week Nate received a call late last Friday afternoon for a long awaited opportunity to interview for our school district's principal pool. It's the second to last step in a long process to getting an assistant principal position. Once accepted into the pool he will finally be considered and placed in the various principal openings that our school system is anticipating over the next two years. So we had a baby on Monday, then he had to prepare a three page narrative backed with data to submit in by 3:00 pm Tuesday so because he didn't know this until the weekend and we were a little busy having a baby on Monday he had to spend all day Tuesday at work getting all that prepared while Lincoln and I were at the hospital tackling all these tests and specialist consultations. Then Wed morning he had his interview at 9 so finally by noon on Wed he was able to rejoin us without interruption. Then this Friday afternoon he got another call that he has been accepted into the hiring pool for assistant principal! Even though he has one more step to go; getting placed in a school this was a huge step in the right direction of getting there. He has worked really hard for this opportunity, and I'm so excited and proud of him. He's going to be a great administrator and I'm so thankful he's worked for a boss this year  that has really supported him in his goals and ambitions in educational leadership.

We were finally released from the hospital at 7pm Wed night and jumped right back into our life with softball game for our oldest on Thursday night, fire with the neighbors and grandma Friday night, daddy/daughters movie date on Saturday, and lunch date with our Baltimore friends on Sunday. 

It's been a memorable week. I know our families worry about us at times out here by ourselves without any family within six hours with now three kids, busy careers, and just everything else in life that gets thrown at all of us at different times. But we got this. I know parents want to "fix" things or "take care" of things for their kids, and our families are just being parents that worry about us. I also like to think at this point though they know what we're capable of and believe that we can handle the road ahead.   Not only that but we have a wonderful support system. Whether it's our daycare providers, neighbors, or friends we've made in Baltimore and now in the last few years in this little town we chose to raise our family we have amazing people in our lives. But not only is it the people here that have stepped in like family at times, but this past week has shown us also how strong our support systems from back home is for us too. Whether it's our childhood and college friends or the adults that use to cheer us on the sidelines of our youth games so many supported and encouraged us on in this marathon week of life we just lived.

We are so incredibly blessed on so many different levels. Thanks to all our family and friends for loving us and supporting us not just this week but on this neverending journey that is our Glenn family story.


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