Planning to start again…

How often in life do you get to plan a fresh start, with the knowledge of what lies ahead? In less than I week my husband will have his weight loss surgery. He will start his journey with is VSG. And he has the benefit of living with me and sharing my knowledge. While I’m excited to share my knowledge with him, I’m meeting resistance!!! WHAT? yep! I am! REALLY!

The man went to his pre-surgical meeting at the doctor’s office. He met with the surgeon’s team, the surgeon and their nutritionist. Now, I have to tell you, I love our surgeon. I do. I love the office and the support there. BUT… I do not agree with certain things that they teach. For instance… two flinstones vitamins a day? Really. Somebody please tell me how a child’s vitamin in a 400lb male body is sufficient? Now break it down to a post WLS body and tell me how it even begins to match up to what is needed. It doesn’t. Its dangerous information.  While I won’t pick apart every single aspect of what I disagree with, I will say that I have lived this life, done the research, met the experts and pride myself on the knowledge that I have. BUT… this man has gone to ONE meeting and is telling ME how things have to be.

I should sit back and not argue. I should let him take the lead in his own weight loss journey. I should let him find his own way. Right? Or… should I step in and beg him to listen?

I’m honestly a little befuddled. I don’t want to come across as strong arming the boy. I don’t want to come across as knowing better… but uh, I KNOW BETTER. Hello! I’ve struggled, I’ve lived it.. I am living it. YOU have MET my people! This man has been talked to about nutrition, about post WLS life, about just about everything… in a manner that has been casual and not about him. So why can’t he apply what he already knows to be true to his own life? UGH! I’m frustrated! I’m going to sick some of my folks on him!

So, ladies and gents….. your advice? Do I approach this as if I were approaching one of you? Do I tell him what I know to be true and tell him what I know is bad advice and what has been helpful? Do I STFU and let my friends do it? Or do I just let him fumble his way through the first few post op months on his own? (I wish I knew then what I knew now. He has the chance to have better knowledge than I did. Better insight. I wish I had a first hand perspective back then. I wish I knew.)

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Broke, Broke and Mad

My husband is our soul income. Work has been slow. I planned on finding a job as a waitress for weekends, but I have been a neurological mystery and am not fit to apply for a new job as I am right now.  We are broke, I am broke, and it is driving us mad. As in crazy. As in, we need income so that I can continue to see doctors and still be able to be home for my children, especially my medically fragile child. We need income to do these things so that we can stay sane.

BROKE: AKA lacking funds. AKA poor.

by_WelissaM

deviant art by WelissaM

I am broken (headaches and leg pain, cranky gut  issues, cranky ass husband syndrome), my laptop is broken (the connector to it is cracked.), this is driving me insane therefore I am mad.

this sucker is the bane of my existance

The insanity is running rampant as the hubby is home more often, and funds are low. My normal escape route is my laptop, which I apparently have an addiction to. Addicted to the laptop? But Michelle, you have an iphone and TWO desktops in the house. Surely you can connect?!

Yes, yes I CAN get connected. BUT… clearly I am spoiled. Sitting at a desk top is sort of claustrophobic. I feel like I’m in the corner. Wait, I sort of AM in a corner, facing a wall, with my back to the world. How did I live like this for so long prior to the laptop?

So, I am cranky, the husband is home and cranky, the majority of the children are in school. We can sit in the house and stare at each other, while anxious and annoyed or we could GO OUT. So, we go out. Where do we go? To stores, where we have little funds to purchase anything other than groceries. Which adds to the stress, which makes me want to eat, which makes me panic, which makes us go home. And when I get home? MY FREAKING LEGS ARE KILLING ME!

Wait! They make a pill for that!

we can just go numb, right?

Oh wait, my pill for that is codeine. I prefer to be cranky, weak and nervous.

I am admittedly a whiney mess. I have not talked to many people these last few days, because all that comes out of my brain is WHINE WHINE WHINE. This is not fun, nor is it who I am. But I am blogging about it, because it is me and this is my reality. <— those two sentences are an oximoron.

As always I will remind myself and you, that there is a bright side. Kailey didn’t get admitted to the hospital on Saturday. Her brain is fine, although achey. My children are fed, happy and bright. I have a roof over my head that is much easier to keep afloat than the old house would have been in similar times.

My husband being home has its upside. We get to spend some time together, discussing options, forming plans of action, bonding. He will be having his WLS soon, and we are able to get a little more in depth when discussing that, because I’m harping on him about it. Because I’m bored. But these things need said and discussed, so.. bright side… they have been.

VSGMOM confesses to being absolutely bat shit crazy. Thanks.

huh?

 

Bari-Family

Once upon a time, a sort of big guy dated a sort of chubby girl, they got married, had babies and got obese together. The now obese wife decided that life was meant for living, and decided to have bariatric surgery to help her reach her goals of living.

A few months later, the obese wife, became a smaller version of her former self, and resembled her younger self more and more. The obese husband struggled with his emotions, trying to deal with the changes that were happening before his very eyes.

Eventually the obese husband discussed the possibilities of bariatric surgery for himself, first with his doctor then with his wife. While apprehensive to under go any form of surgery, he realized that at the rate he was going, he wouldn’t see his children graduate high school. Having lost his own father, much earlier than he should have, he decided to go forward with his plan to have weight loss surgery.

Today the obese husband has been under doctor’s care for  5 months. He went for all of his pre surgical testing, his surgeon consult and his nutritionist appointment. Today, it all became real for him, as he left the doctor’s office and the doctor said “next time I see you will be on the day of your surgery”

One month from now, he will hand in the last of his paper work and it will be submitted to the insurance company. With in the next few months we will be a bariatric family. Hopefully the changes we make in our lives now, will keep our children from struggling with obesity and poor eating habits and behaviors.

Up to this point, I was not sure he would go forward with this. In the past he has lost weight on his own.

When Kailey was born, the man was skinny!

As I have written previously, having a child with medical issues certainly contributed to both of our stress eating tendencies. It is very easy to fill the “helpless” feelings with food. I am hopeful that today marks the beginning of the changes my husband needs to live a happy life.

We're on our way... together.

 

I brought them to water…

and they had a blast!

I have been making an effort to get out and hike as often as possible. It usually happens on the weekend, and lately we have been busy, so my favorite place has been neglected. I normally take Ruby and head down to the lake. There is a park there that is rough terrain, wooded trails and they lead to different parts of the lake.

Ruby loves this time together, although she is not a fan of the work out. She does love the water. I have never let her run free though, because of leash laws and the fact that she would totally go home with somebody else. Anybody who had a car would be suitable. She isn’t picky. Her leash is a standard 6′ lead. She never gets to really get down and dirty in the water.

This morning Kevin surprised me and told me that his mom was coming by to watch the kids and that we were going to go for a hike! WE as in BOTH of us! Now, this is sort of a mind blowing phenomenon for multiple reasons. FIRST: Saturdays = my husband’s day to sink into the couch and watch REALLY bad TV (hello swamp people, World’s Dumbest, Cops). Second: Its July, in Georgia and its HOT AS HELL, while my hubby can work his way around a 150 degree kitchen with no problem, getting him outside in the summer is damn near impossible. Finally, its the WOODS, NATURE and there are BUGS.

I didn’t dare question it. I quickly got dressed, threw on my running shoes, threw the hair up and popped downstairs just in time for the mother in law to arrive! A quick hello, a speedy “see ya later” and we were off. Kevin, Ruby and I.

I requested a tripe to Home Depot first. I wanted to get Rubylicious a nice long rope, so that she could really enjoy the lake at the end of the trails. We found a nice, cheap, hot pink 50′ rope and a clasp. We were off and on our way. I was pretty giddy and Ruby was fairly worked up herself. She knew where we were going!

We hit the trail, and I brought Kevin on the shortest one first. We spent some time on the shore and let Ruby explore and play!

Gonna get those splashes!

Oh this is great!

Then, much to my delight, we conquered the entire hike, from one trail to the next, up hill and down, climbing down the rocks, and through the trees… my husband was happy because I was not connected to anything digital and I was thrilled because my husband was by my side! Even Ruby kept up the pace.

We came out to an area where the water is usually higher, and had an opportunity to get down on the rocks and out to the lake. It was beautiful, and blissful and for sure to be one of my favorite memories yet.

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And we all went home, happy and proud!

joy

Oh, and… I also got quite a few compliments on the shape of my uh, rear! My husband rocks.

The MOM part of VSGMOM

I am a proud, albeit often exhausted and out smarted, mother of 4 . My babies range in age from 9-3. They are so much more than words can describe. I have made mention of them here and there, more Kailey than the others, because well, she is unique unto herself and has traveled a journey of her own. So, I shall share with you a little about my babes. How my surgery has impacted or not impacted them, and how my life revolves around them. They are my “job” my passion, my hobby, my pride.

Kevin Jr. is 9 years old. He was named after his daddy, but he was also named after my brother Kevin who passed away at the young age of 16. I have never met a Kevin I didn’t like. Ever.

Kevin is a very sweet, very concerned child. He didn’t have very long as an only child, and the glory that should be only childhood was cut short when he was 9 months old and Kailey’s diagnoses came to light. He was just a babe, but it affected him. Momma was suddenly not the center of his world, Nana and Pop and Grandma and Daddy were. Momma shut down.

Kevin is needy, looking for attention and always wanting to be loved. He is both a people pleaser and a skootch. He is brilliant, really he is. This kid can get down and dirty talking politics and geography. He knows populations in random states. He loves maps and astronomy, loves family and wishes I had a better family tree to study, and sometimes he quietly thinks about things for quite a while before hitting us with the big questions that send me to google for answers.

At age 4, he got on a two wheeler bike and took off, never needing training wheels. He can skateboard, and caster board, inline skate, and do stunts with his scooter. He is amazing on these type of things. However, if you throw a ball at him, he will DUCK!

Kevin on his caster board. Only kid on the block to rock one of these.

Kevin's bike, some snot wad stole it, but still... it was as awesome as he is.

At his age he has seen far too much sadness and worry. He understands the fragility of life, and has witnessed his sister’s struggle with life enough that even when she is healthy, it weighs on his heart and his mind. He is a very good big brother, and a very darling loving little boy. (another time I will tell you of the day he painted the back door with grape jelly and broke a dozen eggs in the bay window).

Kailey is a spit fire. She has strength, will, and sassiness. She is fresh, brilliant, a go getter. Kailey doesn’t take the words “you can’t” well, and will go out of her way to prove that not only CAN she, but she WILL and she will do it better than anybody else. Kailey is my child all things techy. She can hop on the computer and read the weather radar, find games and master them, pick up angry birds and get the high score after her Daddy has played all weekend long. Kailey loves musicals and dancing. Hair Spray is one of her favorite movies.

For many years she insisted that she was a princess, and was to be called one as well. Then one day she changed her mind and said she was no longer a princess, but some day she will be a ballerina.

beautiful Kailey

Rock Star fishing woman!


Kailey’s story is long and detailed. She was not expected to live one day. Today she is eight years old and lives her life to the fullest. She has changed people’s opinions of disabled children, and she has proved time and again that she is just a typical kid who happens to be medically fragile.

Her medical issues include spina bifida (she uses a wheelchair), hydrocephalus (has a vp shunt), was born with a deformed mitral valve (she is on replacement #2 and when the room is quiet you can hear her valve tick like a clock as the blood passes through the leaflets. It’s kind of awesome), and a double outlet right ventricle (her aorta was on the wrong side). She had a unilateral cleft lip and a bilateral cleft palate. She has a very rare form of ectodermal dysplacia called Hay-Wells Syndrome (AKA AEC Syndrome).  While these things all impact her life greatly, they do not define her AT ALL. Kailey is stronger than anybody you have ever met. She is incredible. A snot wad, but incredible all the same!
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TJ is baby number 3. A major life decision. Do we try for another baby, after all of Kailey’s medical issues? Doctors assured us it was not genetic. A random mutation, and so we went forth and TJ came along!

TJ is short for Thomas John. He is not a Tommy, a Tom, a Thomas. He is a TJ. He is adorable, sweet, tough and funny! This past week he had a bunch of grown people licking their own arm pits. Why? Because he asked “Is it possible for a human being to lick their own arm pit?” and like a bunch of idiots, each time, we all tried it. Yep, go ahead, he would laugh at you, but go for it. You can. I promise.

TJ is a rough and tumble kind of kid. He can throw a ball and catch a ball, climb anything, ride anything. He is the play in the mud kind of kid that you use to see back when we were kids. He is carefree and happy as a clam. He is convinced that he is the best looking child to ever grace the face of the earth, and refers to his face as “the money maker”. We have not discouraged this behavior because well, he is handsome as can be, and it is quite funny… for now.

TJ is momma’s boy. He pledges his love for me 100 times a day. When he grows up, he wants to marry me. When I told him that was not possible, I’m already married to Daddy and he will want to go out an find a wife all his own, he told me he will never move out. He can’t stand to be away from me. For now, this idea has not been discouraged either. Someday I will be some beautiful girl’s worst nightmare. The mother who never cut the cord. Yeah, well.. too bad! I had to deal with it, somebody else can too.

TJ is all about being the cool kid. This has led to quite the debate with in the family. How long do you let the six year old call the shots? He, uh, doesn’t want to cut his hair. Like EVER. This battle will end soon, but here he is with his long hair glory:

Shaggy not for long

After a life changing move to Georgia, we decided that we had a 5 bedroom house, we were insane anyway, and what the hell! Lets have a baby!!

Enter Alison. The one and only baby to be born with colic! Came out screaming and cried for then next 4 months. I really started to question my sanity and the possibility that she would cry constantly until she was 21. I’m pretty sure that at some point in my years as a naughty child, my mother wished upon me a child who cried every single day. Somehow the universe misunderstood and I got one that cried every waking moment of every single day.

Then, one day it stopped. And she smiled! And she has not stopped smiling since! Alison is a diva. A princess, a shoe lover, an accessory queen. She is ultra girly and I’m not really sure where it comes from. For real. She loves music, loves to dance, loves to wear dresses. She loves make up and jewelry,  all things sparkly, and pretty much anything pink. At 3 years old she can identify Katy Perry by voice and sight, Ke$ha (lord help me) and Pink. She dances and dances and dances her butt off. If the room is quiet she is sure to be singing something or telling a story that ALWAYS begins with “One time…” < Yes I also think American Pie and “Once when i was in band camp”. LOL. Yep yep, that’s my baby.

Alison is home with me while the bigger kids go to school. She was born past the school cut off date and will be home with me one year more than the other kids were. I’m not disappointed by this. I love every second with her. She cracks me up. She is pushy and bossy with the other kids, but when she is home with out them, she is blissful. She is content to be the only child. She is so much fun, and I have no doubt that as she gets older, her heart will be in the arts.

The princess

It should be noted that upon sight of a camera, she will stop crying and smile instantly. Always ready to pose.

My weight loss has played a role in my children’s lives, although they may not realize it. Little Kevin has heard from his friends and his friend’s parents that his mom looks great. He realizes that I get out a lot more and together as a family we are out more often than not. Kailey is indifferent on my weight loss. She says she prefers me skinnier, but really she doesn’t care one way or the other. TJ has always thought I was super awesome and beautiful. To him, I am the same. He loves me and thats all that matters to him. Alison has become a make up enthusiast. She sees me get ready every day. She notices the simplest changes, from hair style to earrings. She tells me every time she sees me “You look buuuu-fuw momma” and she  makes me shine.

Last but not least, the fur baby. The walking partner, the hiking trail explorer, the lake lover… this is Ruby. She is my unconditional love. She is loved and adored and she loves us like no other.

Ruby getting comfy on TJ

As simple as a laugh…

Sometimes we get so caught up with our crazy selves, that we snowball into even crazier chaos. Such is the state of my marriage. As I wrote last week, its a struggle, and post op life has a large impact on married life. Should it be that way, not really, but it is. And its common.

Once again, I was surrounded by friends, support, love and inspiration. This time I was lucky enough to have a weekend with some of my BBGC girls here in my home.  A late night on Saturday, some girl talk, men in the other room laughing at us, laughing at ourselves. Oh, the conversations were precarious and hilarious at the same time, and much to my surprise, my husband was willing to be lured in, giggled at, and eventually he was fueling the fire.

Before I knew it, my friends were laughing, I was laughing and my husband was laughing too. LAUGHING… Together? What is this dynamic taking place? When was the last time the laughter wasn’t forced or light? This was “pee your pants” laughter.

I asked Julie tonight, when was the last time she saw Kevin and I laugh together, like that? She said “New Year’s Eve”. Wow. SIX MONTHS, nearly seven. I remember the laughter that night, it was much like the laughter last night. And last night’s laughter carried into today, and today into tonight.  And I realized…..

That man, that laugh, that good sport… he is worth the world to me. How did it get to a point of being so caught up in everything else, that we forgot to laugh?

I have a decal on the back of my truck. It says “Live, Laugh, Love” . I also have a piece on my wall that says “live, laugh, love” and another that says “family, the love of family makes life beautiful”. Simple reminders that I look at EVERY DAY, and yet, they elude me.

Live laught love, Photo credit, FrolickingDirtChild

I am blessed with friends who keep it real, while being supportive. I am blessed with family that is loving, and supportive, despite my ornery disposition. I am blessed with a husband, who in the past six months has not laughed a good hearty laugh, because his wife has been too caught up with nonsense to kick back and relax.

Today is a new chapter, as is every day. A new beginning, a chance to be better, to do better, to strive for more. A chance to put in place small goals that when attained will be rewarding spiritually and mentally.

Tomorrow, I will make sure I remember to laugh.

 

Marriage post WLS

In my previous post I spoke of our relationship leading up to my weight loss surgery. Somewhere in between being the young fun loving, social girl I was before marriage and the mom of 4 (one with many special needs) I was after marriage, I lost my way. I lost myself, my sense of self. I lost esteem and I lost interest. I became a shut in, I didn’t trust people, I feared what tomorrow held, and I guarded my sorrows as much as I guarded my children. I ate for comfort, I ate because I liked food, I ate because I was bored, I ate and ate and ate. With each additional pound, I lost interest in myself more and more.

While I was busy losing my way, my husband worked his tail off and when he was home he was content with shutting in and shutting down right along with me. This was our life. We loved our life, our children and each other.

I contemplated WLS for a while, did some quiet research, and kept the thought of actually pursuing it to myself. I realized that my children were getting older and active. I was attending more and more school functions, meeting neighbors, and being forced to get outside of my comfort zone. I had dieted, I always gained it back. My mind was made up, I was going to do this… and that is exactly how I approached Kevin with the news.

There was no discussion to be had. I was not asking permission or asking him to look into it. I was not asking anything. I was very bluntly telling him “I am going to have weight loss surgery. I go to a seminar next month, I should have surgery by summer.” I didn’t want to have to defend my decision to do this, and I certainly didn’t want to hear his discontent with the whole idea or how I presented it to him.

Admittedly, I am not the easiest person to get along with. I am strong in my convictions, I don’t bend easily, and I’m not nice when challenged. Can you see where these personality traits could be a problem? Yeah.. I know, I know.

Kevin was NOT in favor of my having surgery. He worried about me dying on the table and leaving behind him and four children. He worried that it was not a necessary surgery, and that as a result I could have a life time of ill effects. He worried that I wouldn’t be prepared for the way my life was going to change. He worried and worried and worried. I dismissed, dismissed, dismissed.

By the time my surgery rolled around, he was nervous but supportive. He knew that there was no turning around. I had started to make life changes before going under the knife. I had set my mind to it, and this was going to happen. On the day of surgery I was confident and calm, while Kevin was pale and quiet.

My initial post op life was a bit bumpy. There was the typical healing, but there were other health issues creeping to the surface. I had only just healed from VSG surgery when I had to have a complete hysterectomy. My poor husband was beside himself again. Worrying about my having another surgery, worrying about my health, and worrying about my healing.

Healing from the hysterectomy was a challenge. I was a mess. It was a long, difficult part of my post op life and I didn’t lose a lot of weight while recovering from the second surgery. In this time, Kevin watched with concern as I needed more help than I had ever needed before. He worried as I seemed to not heal as quickly as I had always healed before. His prior concerns had come to fruition in a way. He wouldn’t dare say “told ya so”, but I think in his gut he was more concerned with “what now”.

I did eventually heal, and every day I started to feel better, I gained confidence. The weight started to come off quickly, I got a little more sassy and before I knew it I was no longer the shut in I had been for the previous 10 years.

Dress sizes dropped, I started paying attention to my appearance, I ditched the yoga pants and tee shirts for jeans and cute tops, dresses and shoes. I did my hair every day and put on my face before going out. We started to have friends over more often, and eventually I started to go out more and more. As I submersed myself in rediscovering who I was, my husband was left with worries that he was losing his wife.

Kevin worried that I would start to get attention from other men, that maybe they would capture my attention as well. He worried that maybe somebody would be more appealing to me. After all, I was suddenly more social and more self confident, and he was still shut in, where I had been with him, but no longer was.

Our emotions were raw, nerves exposed. Simple comments such as “Oh, why are you wearing a dress?” were interpreted as “who are you trying to impress?”. My pleas to “lets go out and DO something” were interpreted as “life around here is not good enough”. Hackles were up, we were/are/have been in defense mode. Communication has been strained. My feelings are easily hurt, as I feel my joy is being crushed. My raw emotions have left him in a place of feeling as though he can never say the right thing.

I have embraced a new way of life for myself. I have been supported and empowered by friends, and with that support I have found confidence to push myself further where exercise is concerned. I have found a source of peace and serenity in the outdoors, despite how high the temperatures may be. I open windows and breathe in fresh air and soak in sunshine. This is not at all the person I had been. These new habits starkly contradict the shut in lifestyle we had carved out for ourselves. I’m inpatient and I want him to jump in with me. Lets get up, lets go out, lets do something. Lets be outside, we can go to a park, maybe the lake, how about the falls? Lets just GO… SOMEWHERE… PLEASE?

Only, he doesn’t want to go out. That is not his comfort zone. That is not the life we carved out. That is not his idea of a nice relaxing day, especially in the heat of summer.

And so, right now, we teeter on the brink of understanding. We see where the other comes from. Neither really willing to bend much in the other’s direction. We seem to talk in circles. Each listening to how the other sees their side of things, neither doing a whole lot to meet in the middle.

Currently Kevin is in his 3rd month of pre-op appointments required for the VSG surgery. He thinks that the surgery will help bridge the gap. I worry that with out life changes before surgery, life after surgery will be more difficult. Now I’m the one with the concerns, and he is the one saying “this is going to happen.”

There is no telling somebody that they way they feel is incorrect. Their feelings are THEIR feelings. Emotions run deep, and change hurts, and life gets rocky.

Despite everything we have been through as parents, especially of parents of a sick child, we have never been in a place like this. Where a sick child is concerned, there is sorrow, but not blame. In the post WLS life, there is change, which leads to discovery, which can’t happen with out shaking things up a whole lot, which leads to blame or guilt or both.

While we seem to be in different places, on different pages, in completely different books even… there has never been a lack of love. Change does not erase history. We are a family. We are going through growing pains. We may not be our most graceful right now, but we will make it through with bumps and bruises and a few war wounds. But we will make it through, won’t we?

Hold on babe, hold on


Relationship Before WLS

We all read about it before we go under the knife. We all wonder what exactly WLS can do to a marriage or a relationship. Why would anything change simply because my weight has changed. The answer is, first of all, so much more than your weight changes. Second of all, your new found sense of self impacts every single relationship you have, especially the one with your significant other. The following is all about my life BEFORE WLS. The After will be in another blog.

Kevin and I started dating in ’97.  After a sad break up and a whole lot of partying  a year earlier, I had packed on some pounds. I was probably wearing a size 14/16 when I started to date Kevin. Kevin was a big guy. 6’3 or so and probably about 280lbs. I would say that we were both slightly overweight, but I wouldn’t call us obese (yet).

We dated for 2 years before we got married. In those two years we did a lot of eating out, theme parks, movies, socializing. We were a typical young couple having fun and enjoying life. As our relationship evolved into a place of comfort, some pounds were packed on. It didn’t matter to either of us. When we got married in 2000, we were a cute, slightly chubby couple. We honeymooned in Disney and had no problem sitting on a plane or going on rides. We were not too big to do an amusement park. I say that, because I know so many of us in the obese community look at ads for amusement parks and wish we could fit on a ride, and spend a day or two being a big kid. Its a way of measuring ourselves. We all do it. We eyeball something and think “I’d get stuck”. At the point of our honeymoon, getting stuck was not a worry.

When we had our first child in 2002, we were both still comfortably chubby. Blissfully happy, madly in love and blessed with the sweetest little boy that ever existed (till he was bout 10 months, then the evil mastermind came out).

Not long after our 1st son was born, we were completely shocked and surprised to learn that we were expecting baby #2 and she would be due before baby #1 even turned a year old! HOLY HELL! Yeah, momma sort of freaked out. Daddy on the other hand, was challenged by a friend to lose over 100lbs by a certain date, and he immersed himself in a life style of health and fitness. I on the other hand immersed myself in life as a gestating stay at home mom. Cutting out carbs was never going to happen in MY world. NO WAY!

4 months into my pregnancy with baby #2 we learned that our precious little girl had a number of health issues and birth defects. The hardest time of our lives was about to begin, and together we would learn how to weather the storm. Our baby girl was not expected to live. Not more than a few hours at most. “Incompatible with life” is the term we heard over and over again. Our hearts broke. We learned what true despair felt like.  We had one baby who needed his happy mommy and daddy, because that was all he knew, and we grieved for the baby who grew with in, kicking and spinning just like every other baby does.

Kailey was born Feb 2003. Just 4 days short of her big brother’s 1st birthday. Nothing could have prepared us for the roller coaster that lie ahead. Kailey lived more than a day. Kailey had medical experts all around and has made medical journals. Kailey is now 8 years old, and while she is considered medically fragile, no body ever told her that. You can check out Kailey’s story at www.kaileyrose.com. While her story is a pivotal part of “OUR” story, this blog is not about our wheelchair warrior. It is about us.

Daddy lost a boat load of weight by the time Kailey was born

While Kevin lost a boat load of weight by the time Kailey was born, I started to steadily pack on the pounds. Food became a source of comfort and coping for me.

new baby, new chins

At this point, the story turns a little. As our baby fought for her life, time and again, we fought to learn how to cope, communicate and grow.  Kevin threw himself into working multiple jobs, so that I could stay home with the two little ones. Our days consisted of therapy after therapy and doctor appointment after doctor appointment. We learned to accept the hospital as a home away from home, and together we stopped caring so much about our own health and focused on the health of our children.

We had growing pains. When your heart is heavy, and what tomorrow holds in scary, you tend to lash out at the one you love the most. While nobody else in the world could understand what we were going through more than the other, we struggled to connect, afraid that sharing our sorry or fears would hurt the other more. But life fell into a rhythm and we lived day by day, thankful for our beautiful little family.

In 2005 baby #3 was born. By this time, we had relied on food to fill the dark spots within our hearts. While we rejoiced in every single day that our baby girl was alive and well, we feared that tomorrow would be the day that the floor dropped from beneath us. We put on brave faces, but behind closed doors, we were filled with fear.

Our precious #3 brought new light into our lives. He was the happiest baby alive. HUGE, but happy. Life started to even out a bit, but the two of us were offically now obese.

Happy family

Over the years, we learned to communicate again. Our relationship was strengthened by the trials we endured. Our love was multiplied by the joy of our children. Despite the fear of what tomorrow held, we had bliss. Our lives were forever changed, but we had each other and we coped in similar ways.

We no longer went out, instead we shut in. We dove into parenthood and happily played with our children in the comfort of our home. We rarely went out, for fear of leaving the children. We were tried and true attachment parents. Baby wearing, cosleeping, breast feeding attachment parenting at its finest.

In 2006 we moved from NY to Ga. Another roller coaster of emotion. Leaving behind everything we ever knew, and moving to a place where life was completely different. Kailey’s health took a turn, Children’s Health Care of Atlanta became our second home. She has spent more time there than she did in all of her years in NY.  Unhealthy eating increased, as did anxiety and sadly so did our shut in behavior.

At the end of 2007 we welcomed baby #4 into the world. The one and only girl who was born with colic! I tell ya, that child came out screaming and did not stop until she was 4 months old! She is now a very vibrant, very social, extremely happy 3 year old. But ugh, colic… just one more thing I was never prepared to deal with.

My husband has been my best friend, every step of the way. We have been to hell and back living life with a sick child. We have had greater joys than most will ever experience, because we take such joy in everything our children do and are. We are surrounded by family and friends that love us, and don’t fear that our tomorrow may effect them.

This is all important to write about, because up next, I am going to share how Weight Loss Surgery has effected our marriage, our relationship, our harmony. We are trying to find out footing. I never would have expected that dealing with a sick child could be easier on a marriage than the changes that weight loss surgery has brought on.

Stay tuned. It will take a bit of soul searching to get this next blog out, but it will come from the heart and it may hurt to own my end of things.