Tuesday, October 18, 2016

NEW!!!! Whether that makes it good or not, it's NEW!!!

Like the over-long title suggests, I have something new.
I'm not sure anyone is still reading this, but that's okay, I'll post anyways.


That's right. If you do read (and bless you, BLESS YOU for that), all future postings can be found at The Fugitive Pen. New lifestyle kind of seemed like it called for a new blog, sooooooo here we are. Still figuring out how often I can/will post, but it's a start. Any Way the Wind Blows will stay here for multiple reasons, but it will no longer be active.

Does that make this a relaunch or a rebranding?
All these  Boss Lady terms I can't really follow. HEALTH! MOTIVATE! DETERMINATION!! POST ALL THE POSTS!!! MAKE THE MONEYS!!!! and here I am sipping my creamer-laden coffee just trying to figure out how the laundry keeps turning into Mount Everest.

ANYWAYS ..... if you're still reading--BLESS YOU!!!--hop on over and hopefully I'll get a blogging rhythm going again. For now, excuse me while I prevent my toddler from "accidentally" reprogramming the television via frantic remote button pushing.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Attempting . . .

Folks, I think it's been nearly a year since I updated.
Due to that simple fact, I'm not sure I can even use "folks" any more. In that case . . .
Hi me! Glad you're back, revisiting stuff. Maybe you'll find time to write more of it down at some point. Glad to see you're still kind of trying. Good for you. E for effort, all that jazz.

You see that kid in the pic above?
Kid not baby.
I know, it's killing me.
He's nearly 17 months old now. Last time you blogged, you had just finished his birth story. There's a lot in between there. I trust you have Facebook and Instagram posts to document that.
Well, I know you do because I'm you and you're me and we know what we've been up to.

Since that last post, I hav:

  • Bridesmaided another wedding
  • Cut my hair off (pixies for the win)
  • Got a tattoo (if you're in Central Florida, Zack at Ascension is AWESOME)
  • Had a stroke (yeah . . . weird . . . )
  • Moved back into the swamp cabin (you know, the one we lived in before the move to California)
  • Had a second stoke (nope, not kidding)
  • Threw a first birthday party one week after said stroke (thank the good Lord for mothers and mothers-in-law or that party never would have happened)
  • Saw a cardiologist who recommended a TEE (basically a colonoscopy of the heart, I forget the technical terms) 
  • Discovered via TEE that I had "vegetation" on my mitral valve that had poked a hole in it and faced possible open heart surgery ALL ONE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Plus--this was likely what caused the strokes.
  • After six nights in the hospital for evaluation, was sent home two days before Christmas with new meds
  • four days after release, went kayaking with the hubs and family down Weeki Wachi Springs (if you haven't done it, do it)
  • Six weeks later, chest echo revealed vegetation is likely dissolved (and, therefore, likely blood clots created by my clotting condition) and open heart surgery postponed until further notice (hopefully much further notice)
  • Chase around a toddler who is part Winnie the Pooh, part Godzilla, and part Jedi Knight. 
And that's the way the cookie crumbles. One day, we'll write it all down.

I guess it's quite the story.

All in all, God is good, all the time.
Even in crap so deep all you see and smell is crap.
There's light in the end of the tunnel, some day, you'll see it.
Oh, I hope you'll see it.

We found our light little by little. We still have questions--lots of questions--but we are so assured that God is good. Because there's a whole lot of sweetness here. We just had to dig for it a bit and then hold it, grip it tight for all we were worth.

It's all good in the end.
One day.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Ronan's Birth Story Part Three: There and Back Again (A NICU Tale)

Life and time both run away from you.
Priorities change. When my son naps, I have to make a decision. Do I:
A. Wash the dishes?
B. Watch one more episode?
C. Exercise to battle the baby weight?
D. Fold the mountain of laundry the cats are using as a nap site?
F. Vacuum?
G. Clean the bathroom?
H. Shower so I feel human?
I. Make dinner?
J. There's something else I used to do . . . what was it . . . BLOG?!

So, yeah, that's kind of life right now.
It's not a bad thing.
In fact, it's pretty much a GOOD thing.
It's just life.
And life is lovely, but it's filled with a ten-month-old who is crawling and exploring like energy is going out of style. Mine is, but his? Oh, laaaaaawd have mercy!

But it all started in the NICU. 
P.S. Want a brilliant description of the NICU? Read This

The NICU is . . . it's a different sort of place. A different state of being. You exist in that tiny room for as many hours a day as you can stand. Completely sanitized.  You hate leaving that room to eat or go to the bathroom because of the washing, the checking in, checking out, and, really you just hate leaving because your tiny little person is in there.  So you sit in that chair, snuggling that tiny, fragile person for as long as you are allowed, wondering if the scent you smell is him or the hospital.
I always heard stories about that "straight from heaven scent" newborns carry.
I don't know if Ronan every smelled like that. I mean, I liked his smell, but it seemed . . . sometimes I wonder if it was too sterile. If he smelled like hospital, like his islet and the tubes and the clean hospital blankets. Once he was home, I think he smelled differently. Now, he smells like himself and his chamomile baby wash. It's perfect.
But I'll never know his true brand-new smell.

You don't get to hold preemies the moment they're born, you know. They're whisked away--for their own safety--to their warm little nest, hooked up to IVs for nutrients since they may be too little to nurse, and, sometimes, there are the little oxygen masks.  32 weeks seems to be the tipping point for oxygen--before that, it's almost guaranteed that the preemie will need assistance breathing until his lungs are stronger. Once the baby hits 32 weeks, there's a strong chance that he can breathe on his own. Ronan was the latter--I don't know if it was the steroid shots they gave me that morning and evening or if he was just ready, or if was just God, but that tiny little body had strong lungs under that bird-sized ribcage. When he would hiccup, I was afraid his chest was going to explode then collapse, it was so violent in someone so small.

He was, shockingly, born with feathery hair all over his head, but no eyebrows or eyelashes.
We couldn't really take pictures of him except on our phones, and, even then, we had to sanitize our phones and then sanitize our hands. I used that little bottle of foaming sanitizer like it was going out of style.

Ronan spent one day in the most critical level of the NICU.  I couldn't bring myself to look around. The babies in there, so very, very tiny. Incredibly tiny.  Parents and doctors hovering.  I didn't want to see--I didn't want to see what he almost was. What he could have been. I still can't look at pictures of preemies without my chest constricting, aching. It scares me. I should have been braver, more understanding, but I was afraid. So I looked at him, and that was all.