In the interest of saving my sanity (and personal space) I have been working on having the two toddlers nap in the same room for the last few weeks. It had been going pretty well. They usually play for a half an hour or so, read each other books, and when I creepily tell them (through the monitor I am spying on them with) to turn off the lights and go to bed they listen. I do wonder what they think is happening when all the sudden my voice comes out of nowhere and I apparently can see everything they are doing.
Today something different happened. I put the kids down and they both yelled they needed to “go potty” 5 minutes later. Since we are encouraging potty training I went upstairs and brought them to the potty. One adult size poop (thankfully in the toilet!) from one child and pee from the other one and then they were back to bed… And immediately into the toys when I shut the door. I went downstairs with my monitor for some toddler TV, but then Catriona woke up and needed my attention. During that brief 5 minute period when I was taking care of Catriona the terrible twosome opened up a dresser drawer and found a forgotten tube of diaper cream from when they were babies. I got Catriona settled and then tuned back into toddler watching. Liam was sitting on the bed talking to The Bean. He appeared to be rubbing his belly which I though was a little odd, but the video was too grainy to see exactly what he was doing so I zoomed in. That’s when I saw it… There was a tube in his hand. I ran up the stairs with agility I did not know I still had and found Liam covered from head to toe in diaper cream. The nice thick white stuff with lots of zinc in it that barely comes off a babies bottom when you wash it. It was in his hair, on his arms, nicely coating his stomach and (Thank God) not anywhere near his mouth or eyes. The Bean had one little dollop on her dress, but otherwise was clean.
I grabbed Liam and the tube and rushed downstairs. My husband, who was lounging on the couch having recently returned home from the store, took one look at him and helped me get him stripped and in the tub. He washed the diaper cream off of Liams body with soap and a wash cloth while I stripped The Bean and took a baby wipe to clean off the minuscule (in comparison) spot on her arm. Liam started screaming. There is nothing the child hates in the world more than getting his hair washed and daddy was trying to really scrub out the diaper cream. We tried every shampoo, conditioner, and Internet remedy I could quickly find that we had supplies for in the house (which mostly centered around vinegar and lemon juice as we did not have any Dawn soap). Nothing worked. We just ended up making dread locks with his hair from all the scrubbing. So my husband hopped into his sandals and drove down to the nearest store to pick up a razor to cut his hair with. Once he returned we gave Liam his first buzz cut. He loves it. I want to cry for the loss of his hair. He now has less hair than what he was born with.
We have hit the 27 week mark and celebrated the last week of the second trimester with a big appointment at the OB office, complete with a follow-up ultrasound. I have spent the last week in frequent contact with my OB office and on frequent bed rest due to a headache that wouldn’t go away, blurred vision, and high blood pressures. All of these are unfortunately signs of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition that can affect 5-8% of pregnancies, but that typically starts later in the third trimester (Preeclampsia Foundation). For me to be having signs of this condition this early into the pregnancy was scary to say the least. Thankfully my blood pressure has been staying down with bed rest. Unfortunately Tylenol has not been effective for the headaches or blurred vision for me and I stopped taking it after a few days due to the ineffectiveness and some right upper quadrant abdominal pain (which can indicate liver problems). So I ventured into this appointment with my Mom at my side (my husband was unable to take the day off of work) with a bit of trepidation.
First up was the ultrasound. Catriona is a bit of a mover and a shaker so it created a challenge for picture-taking, but everything look great. The fluid levels were good, the placenta is healthy, her head is down and she is ready to roll and the best news of all is that the membranes fused! Although there are still some (slight) risks for early delivery that go along with a late fusion we are now talking a week or two early as opposed to months early which technically means we have an excellent chance for a full term (after 37 weeks) healthy and happy baby. Now lets just hope that she doesn’t come on Liam’s birthday! Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers for the last few months that we would get our miracle, they certainly helped to get us through this stressful time. We feel so lucky to have this great news to share and to see how healthy our little girl is now that my body has decided to behave properly!
Next up was the visit with the nurse midwife and the OB. It was a tag team visit due to the high blood pressures today, that ended up with a trip to the hospital. While we have an excellent health care system up here in the Northeast, and some of the best prenatal care in the country, it is still very concerning to have more than a week of high blood pressures and headaches, so it was off to the hospital for me to test for preeclampsia ( a set of tests that includes a urine collection, liver function panel, creatinine, and CBC), and calling out of work for at least the next week until my next OB visit. The midwife and OB were hopeful that the headaches, blurred vision, and high blood pressures (because they were not critically high and were only pre-hypertensive) could be due to a migraine headache caused by increased estrogen levels rather than preeclampsia because it was so early in the pregnancy. After a couple of hours in the hospital, and a couple of blood draws we had our second round of good news for the day, no preeclampsia! I am now on migraine medication and monitoring side effects, but my blood pressure is almost back to normal and right now I am pain free for the first time in 8 days (though a bit foggy and tired from the medication).
For me the best part of the day was being able to make it home in time to tuck my little guy into bed. He loved seeing the new pictures of his sister and was so happy to get some extra Momma snuggles tonight!
Conan and I are thrilled with the news, and are very hopeful that after the next week life will get back to as close to normal as we can! Thank you again to everyone for the thoughts and prayers! Lets hope the remainder of the pregnancy is now stress free!
*****Preeclampsia is a pretty scary and potentially life threatening condition that affects 5-8% of pregnancies in the United States and accounts for approximately 18% of maternal deaths in this country. To educate yourself more on this condition please visit preeclampsia.org which provides excellent resources in learning the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia. Also keep in mind that while giving birth does solve the problems caused by preeclampsia for your infant it does not always solve the problems caused by it for mothers. Be aware and educate yourself on the potential post birth problems that can occur for mothers who experience this condition.*****
Preeclampsia Foundation. (n.d.). Preeclampsia Foundation. Retrieved February 19, 2015, from Preeclampsia Fact Sheet : http://www.preeclampsia.org/pdf/Preeclampsia%20Fact%20sheet%20v2.pdf
It is such as short and simple word, but is so full of meaning in today’s society. It brings to mind people who are too good to be true, angelic almost, or without fault. A state that every person, even the most saintly among us, would find difficult at best to achieve. In society today being a virtuous person often has negative undertones.
Yet I believe that everyone should strive to be a virtuous person.
When I say that I refer to the meaning of virtue from the times if the great Greek philosophers. In the time of Socrates the word virtue had no negative connotations like it can carry today. To be a virtuous person was simply to be a person who strived for excellence in everything they do on a regular basis. This state is achieved through the creation of good habits, proper choices, and the development of good character.
A person of virtue is a person who holds themselves accountable, strives to do their best every day, actively participates in life and learning, and does not allow themselves to become victims to the circumstance they are born into, instead choosing to develop a good character despite any road blocks in their way.
One thing that absolutely baffles me about modern attitudes toward character is the thought that it is something that people are born with and cannot be changed. With all of the research regarding nature versus nurture over the years that has repetitively shown that neither nature nor nurture is the sole answer for what determines personality, how is it that society still thinks of character as something that is solely determined by nature?
This common attitude is crippling our society. It creates too many convenient excuses for people and throws personal accountability out the door. The “he can’t help it, he was born this way attitude” is a great contributor to the “affluenza” afflicted youth we are seeing come of age at this time. It is the type of attitude that teaches our children that personal growth is not a possibility for them, so they really shouldn’t bother to try.
I propose that instead of teaching our children that living a life of virtue is an impossibility and boring (because nobody wants to be a goody two shoes) we should educate them on the old meaning of the word. Virtuosity is not something we should be ashamed of; it is something every person should strive for. Imagine all of the good we could do as a society if every person strived for excellency on a daily basis? Imagine if every person had a sense of personal accountability for their actions and always strived to do what was best not only for themselves, but also for their community?
It would be amazing.