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Failure To Thrive


*I couldn’t read this back so there’s probably mistakes galore. And, sorry it’s so long.

Just typing this first sentence sends me into a panic from thinking about a terrifying moment one morning back in July. It’s been the main reason I had lost any interest in most things, including this blog. But things have been building inside my head and I need to be rid of them.

I’ve talked in the past about the hypoglycemic episodes we’ve had with my 6 year-old. Within 24 hours of her being born, she was rushed to the NICU for low blood sugar which was in its teens.

The hummingbird was taken off of medication within 2 months of being born and we thought that was the last of dealing with hypoglycemia.

Two years later, I went to get her up one morning and she was still sleeping, which was unusual. I woke her and while I was picking her up, she started twitching and crying while having spasms. She has never gone into a full-blown seizure though.

With each hypoglycemic episode she’s had over the years, there have been some where we could still treat her at home with honey and juice, and some where we would need to go to the emergency room. There were times where she would be released from the ER within 6-8 hours and other times when her blood sugar wouldn’t regulate and kept dropping to scary levels so she would have to be admitted for 1-2 weeks.

To this day, I worry 24/7 I worry about the possibility of her having a low blood sugar episode. Several of her episodes have been when she was sick but then there have been some episodes that have just come out of the blue.

The little bird has had so many tests and been to so many doctors but at the time, they didn’t seem to have many answers as to what was causing this. Also, the bird is small for her age so the specialists we’ve seen believed that there was another underlying issue but hadn’t been able to figure it out.

So, to be honest, I can feel like a wreck most days with the worry of whether or not she’s going to eat enough to keep her blood sugar up. She’s also very athletic and since she’s such a picky eater with not much of an appetite, that makes the worry and stress overwhelming at times.

We always make sure to have snacks with us wherever we go in case she may start showing signs of hypoglycemia. There have been times she had been so low upon waking up that we needed something much quicker to get the sugar into her because she can be very dazed and can’t follow simple instructions.

I usually dip my finger in honey and start wiping it on her lips and thankfully she has always responded to that by getting to where she can take it from a spoon. It’s probably only been a few minutes when dealing with these low blood sugar episodes but it feels like time stands still.

The bird didn’t have any severe episodes for a while and after we started seeing her most recent specialist, for the first time I’ve felt like I can ease up on the worry a tiny bit and I welcomed that.

When we go to her specialist, I cringe when I hear him say “failure to thrive”. It’s something we’ve been hearing over the years and I know it’s because of how small she is. She’s 6 but about the size of a 4 year-old. Hearing failure to thrive makes me fell like a failure as a parent even though I know we do our best. She’s just not a big eater.

Over the summer, my husband booked a cabin where we had stayed the previous year. It was really cool for us since living in Maine for the past few years, this was the first place we’ve lived where we’ve been here long enough to start traditions with our daughter.

We were also celebrating our 100th wedding anniversary in July so I was actually more excited than I was the previous year we went camping. And, yes. I think staying in a cabin is camping and that’s as close to “outdoorsy” as I’ll get.

I’m certain my kid was a fish in another life because she can swim for hours, which is what she and the husband did for the first few days.

We were all having a really great time, despite being a human mosquito buffet for 4 days and missing the comfort of my couch. My 6 year-old was eating pretty good and we were reconnecting as a family so I felt like I was finally able to unwind on our little vacation.

I promised her that we could sleep in the same bed the last few nights, which is a treat for her. I think it may have been my husband walking out of the bathroom that woke me up early that morning but within a few seconds, I felt the hummingbird twitching violently in the bed.

I took her in my arms to try and see if she was coherent but right away I saw that she was having a full-blown seizure. I want to throw up after typing that because all of the fear comes flooding back from that moment. I called to my husband to grab some honey but we found we didn’t have any. In fact, we only had things she would be able to drink, like juice, to help her get her blood sugar up but she was way past the point of being capable of drinking anything.

While I still had her in my arms, my husband rushed back with some strawberry jam that I started rubbing around her lips but she couldn’t even take that. That was the moment her eyes went into the back of her head and the hummingbird went limp. I feel terrible for even having this cross my mind at the time but I really thought the worst, I thought this was it. We had never experienced her in such a terrible state and I went in a state of shock, all while calling her name and trying to get her to come to.

She was throwing up before she lost consciousness so the jam I was able to get into her just came back up. The panic set in since she wasn’t responding and during this whole time, my husband was trying to get cell reception which was non-existent. The hummingbird started to show some signs of coming to… after what seemed like ages when in reality this episode was maybe about a few minutes. It’s strange how time seems to go in slow motion in an incident like this.

I was finally able to give her more strawberry jam on her lips and she was able to lick it off her lips but she still wasn’t responding to anything we said and in a daze. Understandably. The jam was all over the bed and the two of us were covered in it.

We knew we had to get her to the ER but since we were in the middle of nowhere and not familiar with the area, it made a very terrifying situation even worse. My husband found that the nearest hospital was over 45 minutes away and we had to rush the decision of what to do and decided it would be faster to take her to the hospital.

The hummingbird was still throwing up and in between, she started to accept the strawberry jam I was feeding her with my fingers. It was the car drive that lasted what felt like forever. We finally made it to the ER and thankfully, the little bird was in a much better state but my adrenaline was pumping like crazy and I still felt like I was going to throw up my heart.

They told us that her blood sugar was still pretty low at that point and we spent the next six hours there. This episode with her low blood sugar and seizure left my husband and I stunned but we had actually handled it more calmly than previous times with her hypoglycemia.

Reality hit me after a few hours while I was sitting beside my 6 year-old’s bedside. Seeing my child in that kind of medical emergency for the first time when it came to her seizure has honestly fucked me up. Feeling completely helpless while she had been lying in my arms and thinking the worst has guaranteed that my heart will never go back into my chest again.

I was asking the ER doctor all sorts of questions about seizures and having confirmation that there is absolutely nothing that you can do while someone has one made me angry. I felt that this is my child that I protect and love more than anything, yet I just have to let her ride it out was bullshit. I was irrationally angry about it for quite a while. It made the every day stress of dealing with her hypoglycemia shoot up with thoughts of not only dealing with her symptoms of low blood sugar but that now seizures were something that she might experience again.

When we went to see her specialist within the week, he told us that the chance of her having another seizure was high for the next two weeks and it was two weeks of hell. I didn’t want her to leave my sight. We are really lucky that she has the doctor she does because he is fantastic and has this soothing way about him. Although, after that visit, I was on edge.

To help the hummingbird’s blood sugar stay stable over the night, her doctor has us add a few tablespoons of uncooked cornstarch in yogurt that we give my daughter as a snack before bed. The cornstarch helps slows the digestion of what she eats and so far, she hasn’t had any episodes of hypoglycemia since. We’ve been back to her doctor for a second time and it seems like she’s doing much better with the addition of cornstarch. She’s even gaining a little more weight.

There have still been times since that we felt the need to check her blood sugar if she’s acting unusually tired and yes, that weird noise you may have heard a few weeks ago was probably my kid screaming at the top of her lungs. She still hates getting it checked and my heart breaks every time.

I’ve been teaching her more about nutrition and how important it is for everyone, especially for her because of these episodes she has. Things are sinking in for her that while candy is a treat, it’s so important to make healthier choices with food, like sliced avocado or cashews with craisans.

Every day I still feel like I’m teetering over the edge with the worry that this day may be the day her blood sugar takes a dive. It’s not easy when my anxiety already eats at me as it is. I just want to hug every parent out there who also has kids who have a health condition. And then sit down with a big glass of wine and a very loud ‘cheers’ because parenting isn’t easy.

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Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Since I had hyperemesis gravidarum with my first pregnancy, with the little hummingbird, I’ve called it “that Harry Potter sounding spell”. I’ve since had it with each pregnancy and let me say this.

It is NOT “bad morning sickness”.

HG isn’t anywhere in the same category. One of the ways that I’ve tried to describe it to my husband is that it’s like comparing a paper cut on your finger to breaking your hand.

I much rather refer to hyperemesis gravidarum as extreme pregnancy sickness. Not that morning sickness is a walk in the park but HG is horrible and something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

While I was thankfully never hospitalized for it, last year when I was pregnant, it was agony for many months. The only thing that I could really keep down was iced tea lemonade and I remember how my ob/gyn became really concerned when I lost over 10 pounds in just a few weeks.

As far as my experience with it, something as simple as water is completely and utterly repulsive when you have HG. Even smelling water was horrible. Yes, water had a smell to me.

Sounds and movement even aggravate HG. Like when I would lay on the couch and my daughter would hop around by me. I would be in agony. Or I would still be in bed and my husband would be talking to the hummingbird and his deep voice would seem amplified and actually make me sick.

Hyperemesis gravidarum is like when you drink too much and get the spins and say “I’m never drinking again”. But instead, you have this awful motion sickness feeling 24/7 for several months.

Pregnancy should be such a happy time. Being excited about seeing the beautiful life that you’ve created and hopeful when it comes to the future with your child.

Every single day, I felt like I wanted to die when it came to having HG. Sure, I thought I would die because of how sick I felt. But at times, I would think being dead would be much better than dealing with the day-to-day sickness that was completely overwhelming when it comes to having hyperemesis gravidarum.

The so-called “happy time” in my life was such a nightmare for me. I tried everything possible to help with this awful pregnancy sickness. I’m allergic to the more common anti-nausea medication but would take another kind and still, it did very little to ease the HG.

Nothing helped my issue with hyperemesis gravidarum.

I have given so much thought when it comes to having another child because of dealing with hyperemesis gravidarum. It’s truly the hardest decision I’ve had to make. Especially with having a 6 year-old to care for.

Despite wanting to have another child more than anything in the world, having HG with my last pregnancy was more brutal than the previous times and that concerns me.

Time is ticking away to try one last time. I’ve been trying to convince myself that it will be perfectly fine if I just have one child. It makes me feel ungrateful at times to want another, especially when so many people go through heartache and many years to try for a baby.

But honestly, I long to have another child… even if it means my head will be in the toilet for 9 months.

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1 Year

It’s been a year since we lost Ben. He would have been 9 months old. I find it hard not to think about how life would be if he was in it.

He would have an adoring older sister who would give him plenty of attention, love, and lots of kisses.

He would be crawling and using one of the cats as a chew toy.

He would have that adorably adorable drool dripping smile.

He would have irresistible chubby baby legs.

For the longest time I was internalizing the grief. But last week I started thinking about him and just sat where I had been standing and was crying for the longest time.

Even though we were supposed to box these up months ago, his clothes are still in my bottom dresser drawer. His crib bedding and swaddling blankets are still in the office closet.

My head is telling me it’s time to accept it and put away his things.

My heart is telling me it’s not ready.

*Just Breathe

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Essential Oil Junkie

A few years ago, I became a major tea freak and went crazy for everything Teavana. This time around it’s essential oils. I’ve used them for years in the skin care products I make, in my favorite non-toxic cleaner, and soap bars. For several months now, I’ve been using them on myself and recently started to diffuse in the house.

After trying several different brands, I found I like doTerra the best. I’m not getting paid way to say that by the way. I was a little worried about getting a proprietary oil since I’m very particular about smell and the first oil I decided on was Serenity. Among the blend is lavender, roman chamomile, and vanilla bean.


I decided to buy the oils straight from doTerra since I read what seemed like too many comments on Amazon saying some of the oils seem fake.

I also go these glass roll on bottles along with fractionated coconut oil to mix in with the oil. It makes for a less messy application. The hummingbird was seeing me put this on my feet every night and now she loves to use it too. When in doubt about where to place essential oils, place it on the bottom of your feet, under your big toe. Feet have the largest pores so it sucks that oil right up.

After so long, I decided to try doTerra Balance and Breathe since I had the flu (using OnGuard is great too) and couldn’t stop coughing, plus asthma. I also finally got a diffuser.

The first diffuser I got works really well but it’s small and only last for 3 hours at the most. I realized that I need to spend more money for one that will last through the night. So, I just got this one that I’m very happy with and it lasts several hours. I’ve already put the smaller diffuser in the hummingbird’s room, which she really likes.

The only issue I had with the new diffuser, which was my own fault, is that I didn’t put the lid on very well so water sloshed all over the place.

I’ve been very pleased with the smells of the oils I’ve gotten so far. I have the nose of a dog and can gag at perfume smells especially if it’s to overpowering but I haven’t had that problem with these oils. It can take a few tries to get used to the smell though.

During the day, I diffuse Balance, which has spruce, blue tansy, and frankincense. It promotes calmness and tranquility.


At night, I alternate with Breathe, which has lemon, peppermint, and cardamom, and Serenity.


Because of my anxiety and insomnia, I feel like some of the oils I’ve been using have helped to lessen the effects of all my nighttime worry, stress, and panic I have once I hit the bed.

There are several more doTerra oils I want to try out but because of the expense, I’m trying not to go crazy. I’m still on an anti-depressant but it’s nice to incorporate something more natural to help with my anxious feelings.

Something else I started using since the winters are so tough here and I have SAD during this season is an energy light lamp. I wish I had gotten one sooner. I finally decided on Lightphoria which is pricey but I wanted to get something that wasn’t going to break within a week.

So, while essential oils and light therapy doesn’t miraculously cure you overnight and I still have my bad days, I’m finding that it has been helping to make things a little less overwhelming.

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And Why Is This A Problem?!

So, I get stuck with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety, and seasonal affective disorder.

But these women get stuck with too many orgasms, most which don’t require sex.

I was flipping through the channels the other night and came hahaha across this show.

Really, now? Really?!

Just think of all the money you would save on Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to get a similar effect.


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Kindergarten Hummingbird

Her first day of Kindergarten has finally arrived. Yes, I cried. I was fine… mostly… this morning. But when the school bus got here and when it was her turn to walk up the steps, the little bird looked up at me as if to say “Screw this, mom!”

After I took her hand to get her on the bus and as it drove away, I wanted to yell “OH MY GOD, MY BABY IS ON THE BUS!!” as I fell to my knees and shook my fists at the sky.

You know, for the full effect.

So, of course we had to go outside while the husband and I took a zillion photos of this first day.

Hold it together! Hold it together! Don’t cry!


Comic relief. Her backpack is bigger than her!


Aaaand there goes the hummingbird. Thankfully, I had a therapy appointment right after so I could sob, whine, and babble about my baby growing up… Oh wait, whining and babbling is what I do on my blog too!


Then I had a shit load of errands to run and her soccer practice that we had to go to after she got home from school. I thought once she starts school, I would have more time. Ha!

I wanted to do something special for her when she got off the bus so I got some flowers for her… she looks less than thrilled.

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Holy hell, this new schedule is such an adjustment. And she has her first soccer game this weekend. And her gymnastics class starts soon! Agghh! Fingers crossed that we don’t get in the same class as Kate Gosselin 2.0 like last time.

How have you been adjusting to school starting for your kids? Are you a new Kindergarten parent like me? Do I need to stock up on more alcohol and chocolate from all of these crazy new happenings in our schedule?

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How To Survive A Visit From Your In Laws

1324012756612_5703688My in laws have finally left and surprisingly, I survived. I pretty much avoided them and stayed out of their way as much as possible. Unless of course they took us out to eat. Because HELLO, FREE FOOD! Who the hell doesn’t like a free meal?! Nobody, that’s who.

If I didn’t avoid them as much as I was able to, I would probably be writing this with pencil and paper from a prison cell. I would’ve been all Orange Is The New Black but really though, orange just isn’t my color.

Well, it isn’t really anyone’s color, except for maybe super hotties like Mark Ruffalo, Ryan Gosling, Chris Hemsworth, Liev Schrieber, or perhaps even the always gorgeous Kerry Washington and Robin Wright.

But I’m totally getting off point here.

For the low, low price of zilch, zero, nada, you too can follow these easy steps to survive your visiting in laws.

Take notes, people! There may be a pop quiz later on.

Step 1: Drink… A Lot. Vodka or wine in a coffee mug is a great choice. Especially one that has been hand painted by your child. It will look sweet and innocent but at the same time, you’ll be getting plastered. It’s a win win.

Hiding your alcohol intake will be one less thing your mother in law will judge you by and bitch about. It will also make it more tolerable and entertaining when your in laws tell you stories about your spouse growing up that you’ve heard 1oo times before.

Step 2: Fake an illness (cramps, bloating, pms, mad cow disease, problematic anal warts) and hide out in your bedroom with chocolate and a good book. Make sure to let out a few groans of pain in their presence.

Step 3: Fake raging diarrhea and hide out in your bedroom with chocolate and a good book. Nobody questions diarrhea. Ever.

Step 4: See steps 1-3.

Happy visiting!

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