Sunday, November 6, 2011

“I see the world, feel the chill… which way to go? Windowsill…”

** Today’s blog title has no real significance, I’m just on a total Pearl Jam kick since the Twenty documentary aired on PBS.

Hi friends and family! I suppose it’s time for my monthly (or sometimes bi-monthly) update. I’ll try not to blather on, like I sometimes do. You’re probably mostly here to see some cute pics anyway, right? I’ll try not to disappoint.

We began our fall with my last couple weeks at home with the kids. We tried to make the most of it…

And we took a trip to Syracuse for my beautiful sister Katie’s baby shower… she’s due in just 6 weeks!!

Sarai is totally kicking butt, I’m sure that’s no surprise. She’s started getting up on all 4’s in a crawling position and is rocking back and forth, she’s going to be crawling like a big girl before we know it!

She’s also able to pull herself up the stairs and onto the couch, with just a little bit of assistance. She’s really unsure of herself, her OT says it’s because she knows she can’t trust her body to react and catch herself if she falls. So if we just put our hands under her arms she’s confident enough to pull herself the rest of the way up. She’s getting so strong!

I can also tell you that her speech is just exploding!! She’s turned into a parrot, trying to repeat everything we say. It’s adorable and so exciting!

She’s doing awesome in her walker, she just doesn’t want to stop. Last month we got a new car, a big SUV, so we can take the walker (and her seating system) with us easily. I’ve taken her to the park a few times, taken it to her playgroup, she just loves it! And her PT says she sees a huge improvement in how she’s maneuvering it and her endurance has been great too. Go Sarai!!
(She's dancing to Super Bass in this one!)

(This is already longer than I wanted it to be, and I haven’t even talked about Halloween yet!!)

Right before I went back to work we took Sarai to three (yes, THREE) orthopedists and each one had a different opinion. We wanted to know if Sarai is a good candidate for surgery. She is SO motivated to move, but her legs are so stiff. The Botox works temporarily, but we don’t want her to suffer through that every few months. After the three different opinions, we decided we’d just wait on going to see any more doctors, stick with one specialist from the Hospital for Special Surgeries (HSS) in Manhattan, and we’ll follow up with him in a few months. She’s too young, she’s not ready for anything major.

Fall fun! Pumpkin picking!!

(Yes, those are actual (enormous) bags under my eyes, they were not photoshopped in)

Halloween was fun.

We went trick or treating with our friend Rose and her daughter. We got a foot of snow the day before Halloween! Thank goodness we had a bunch of trees taken down and branches cut back a month ago because we would have been in serious trouble if we had waited. Look at this!
(Couldn't tell if it was Christmas or Halloween, so we dressed them for both.)

It’s like Halloween in POMPEY!!

I’ve been back at work now for a month and that’s been good. I was ready. I’ve pretty much mastered getting up and in and out of the shower before both kids wake up. (Sometimes though I literally have to crawl out of the room on my hands and knees so Sarai doesn’t see my shadow (she’s in the pack and play in our room).) But they’re usually both up with me by 5:30, so we get some good quality time in before I even leave.

Did I just say “they?” That’s right, what about my other little beauty?? Caleb has been great. And speaking of Caleb, on our last trip home Bill had a surprise for him. Now, if you know Bill, you already know that he’s a pretty talented guy. He can build anything, fix anything… you name it, he can do it! But you might not have known that he’s an EXPERT nick-namer!! Sarai was given her nickname when she was still in the NICU…
We’ve been waiting for Bill to give Caleb his, and he finally did. Behold… I now give you…

Perfect, right?? I love it.

A little something you might not know about Tito.

See that little red thing on his stomach. Look closer…

He has a little raspberry in the shape of a perfect heart. If that stays with him, I’m sure he’s going to hate it. But a little heart on my boy is like a little love note from my dad, or God, saying that they’re watching out for us. Don’t you think? I sure do.

(Much longer than I expected this to be…. Sorry about that!)

** Congratulations to Christin and Steve on the birth of their baby, Dominic! He’s so sweet!

Enjoy your fall everyone! I know I am!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

“God hears "Amen," wherever we are, and I love you…Godspeed little man...”

It’s already September! And not-so-little-anymore Caleb is already 7 weeks old. The past few weeks have been a blur of trying to settle in and adjust to two children, but we’re getting there.

You guys probably already heard this through Facebook, but Caleb was just in the hospital for 5 days. He just wasn’t acting his super calm, best-baby-in-the-world self, so I gave the doctor a call. I was SURE that they would turn me out of the office laughing, that I would FINALLY hear the words I’ve so longed to hear… “Oh Mrs. Tirado, you’re worried over nothing! All babies get fussy, it’s totally NORMAL!” But no. Not us. Each trip to the doctor seems to automatically be a hospital admission. And this trip was no exception.

My children are full of lessons in medical terminology. Let’s take a walk down medical-memory lane…

Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM)

Premature Birth



Nasal Cannulas

Autologous Stem Cell Transplant

Infantile Spasms


… to name a few. Caleb wanted to be sure he had an opportunity to teach as well, so our new experience included…
A spinal tap.

He had a little fever, he was obviously VERY uncomfortable, and he was only 5 weeks old. The very first thing they have to do with a baby his age is rule out meningitis, so we headed straight to the hospital and he had a spinal tap. They did lots of other blood work and started him on antibiotics. To make a long story short, they finally figured out he had a UTI, and it turned out to be a group b strep infection. Any of you parents out there know that every mother is tested for group b strep at about 34 weeks, that it’s a very common bacteria that is harmless to the mother but can cause very serious problems if passed to a baby during delivery. I was negative for group b at 34 weeks, but must have been positive by the time he was born. We’re told we’re very lucky it didn’t turn into meningitis, pneumonia or a blood infection. I’m happy to tell you he’s back to his jolly old self.

Just after he came home, about 15 minutes before hurricane Irene hit, Caleb had his baptism.

(Michy and Swel, godparents)

He was baptized in the gown my grandmother made…. I wore it, most of my cousins wore it, Sarai wore it too, I think it’s the neatest tradition!
(And my mom made the beautiful christening cap!)

No one could travel here because of the incoming hurricane, and I guess it’s a good thing because we needed all those leftovers to feed the extra 7 people who were stranded here for 3 days because roads to the city were closed.

And little missy Sarai… you might have also seen on Facebook that she just started Hippotherapy, basically physical therapy on a horse.

It’s great exercise for her and really challenges the muscles in her core. She doesn’t like it yet, it takes her a while to get used to new things and new people, but once she’s used to it I think she’ll love it! Of course we had to bling out her riding helmet…

Only the best for my baby!

School is starting in just a couple days, I’ll be home for 5 more weeks and then back to work I go. Hopefully my little lovies will be able to stay out of the hospital for a while!

Monday, August 1, 2011

“On the day that you were born the angels got together, and decided to create a dream come true!”

Happy August everyone! By now you probably already know our big news…. Caleb Michael Tirado was born on July 15 at 10:35am, weighing 7 lbs 12 oz! A TERMIE! And a big one!! We’re so proud!

Let’s talk about the night I went into labor…

Adam works nights, so we’ve had a lot of talks about what if I went into labor while he was at work and it was the middle of the night. We spoke to Yvonne, and she was our back up in case that happened. But I’ve told myself a million times, labor hardly ever happens out of the blue. I’ll feel lousy for hours before anything happens, I’ll have plenty of time to tell Adam that we’d probably have to head to the hospital later in the day, or the next afternoon. Of course that is exactly what DIDN’T happen.

At 2 a.m. I woke up and realized I was bleeding, pretty badly, but not having any contractions. After my heart almost stopped, I called the doctor who reluctantly told me to come to the hospital, but said that, “It’s probably nothing, I’m sure it’s fine.” This had never happened to me before, and I’m no doctor, but I was pretty sure this meant the baby would be coming sooner than later. I called Adam. No answer, no response to text messages. I called Yvonne, no answer, no response to text messages. I called Yvonne 6 MORE TIMES, no answer. Who could watch Sarai?? I called my neighbor (who didn’t even realize she was a back up, heck, I didn’t either!), she’s in Maine on vacation! So I called my principal, she lives right in the village and gave me her number in case of emergency… disconnected!! (She just retired and had moved to NC the day before!) I called 3 more coworkers and friends… automatic pick-up. Doesn’t anyone leave their phone on in the middle of the night???

In all this chaos, I called Adam’s job. He was napping somewhere in the building, they found him, he called, and headed home. My doctor called me back, twice, now suddenly more concerned and wanted me to go to the nearest hospital instead of going to my hospital (a difference of about 10 minutes). I scrolled through my phone looking for someone, anyone!, who lives close who might answer their phone. I called Rose, she was Sarai’s OT temp for a few weeks, and she lives right in the village. She answered! And she headed over to watch Sarai. She tried to convince me to drive me to the hospital, but I said I could drive myself. I still wasn’t feeling contractions, I felt fine really.

At the hospital I was hooked up to the monitor right away, I was having contractions and was 4 cm dilated. The bleeding didn’t really alarm anyone, and in fact, no one really had an answer for where it was coming from. An ultrasound didn’t show that I had a placental abruption. Adam got to the hospital around 4 a.m., contractions suddenly got stronger and things really took off. We called my mom, who headed down from Syracuse right away. I got an epidural… (Halleluiah! The best epidural on the planet!)… suddenly, 7 cm dilated… I had some ice chips…. Suddenly 10 cm dilated! I pushed for a while, and my mom made it! 15 minutes after she got to the hospital, Caleb was born!

With blonde hair and blue eyes, he looks NOTHING like Sarai.

Know who he DOES look like?? My dad! I don’t have a good picture to show you the similarity, but trust me, they look a lot alike! It’s very weird, and very cool.

The transition to two kids has been pretty good. Adam has been home, thank goodness, and will be home for a couple more weeks. That has made things much easier. Sarai has been pretty good with Caleb, and Caleb is a perfect baby! He’s calm, he’s a good sleeper, I didn’t know babies could be this good! It’s not easy to be alone with both kids. Today I took them both out alone for the first time, and just getting them both in and out of the car is VERY difficult. But it’s something we’ll all have to get used to.

We’re trying to keep Sarai to her schedule as much as possible, keeping her therapies and taking her to playgroup. She recently got new braces, AFO’s, that seem to help keep her toes from dragging when she walks. The botox has made her muscles more loose and she scissors her feet less when walking. And we got her cool kitty-crocs to jazz-up the AFO’s!
Super cute!!

Reading stories and doing art projects keep her busy too…

Outing at the park…

She is officially off of Sabril… no more meds for her! Whoo hoo!!

We’ve had lots of visitors come to visit our new little guy, and our old big girl!

We’re still looking into alternative therapies for Sarai. We’re still considering acupuncture, we will be starting swim therapy through early intervention in September, and I’m trying to work on getting insurance to maybe pay for hippotherapy. Hippotherapy is on a horse, and is supposed to be very beneficial for kids with CP in improving muscle tone and balance. I’ll keep you posted!

I hope you’re all staying cool out there and enjoying your summer!

Love and kisses to you and your families! Muuuuah!!