My Love Below

my journey through motherhood and other complex matters

Archive for the tag “motherhood”

Hand, Foot and Mouth

We have finally returned to normalcy after 10 days. Miles caught the dreaded of all pre-school viruses, Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. It is horrible and honestly, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy’s children, much less my worst enemy.

Miles came to our bedroom one morning very lethargic. He didn’t even attempt to hop on our bed like he usually does. I assumed he wasn’t feeling well, but I had no idea what was to come. At about 11 a.m. that morning he complained about an itchy rash on his feet. I thought he might have had an allergic reaction to something or got bitten by an insect. I rubbed his the rash with Benadryl cream and kept it moving. That evening, we were at my parents house and Miles was super uncomfortable. He kept complaining about his feet and how itchy they were. By this time he was in tears as we tried everything to console him. By this point I had called his Pedi’s after-hours care for the third time. The nurse told me that if he was experiencing the same symptoms in the morning I should make an appointment to see his doctor. After I hung up the phone, I thought . . . this is crap! She wants my child to suffer through the night before I bring him to see his doctor who probably does not have the equipment to treat my him should this be something worse? Mother’s instinct told me to take him to the emergency room.

In the meantime, we hopped on the internet an attempted to diagnose our son. We scanned pictures of rashes comparing them to the rash that was on Miles’ feet and skipped over Hand, Foot and Mouth, because the description indicated that the rash was mild and not itchy. However, I thought otherwise. In fact, I called it.

When we got to the emergency room and the nurse came in, she immediately diagnosed Miles as having the viral infection, which has no real cure, but time. The rash, which turned into water blisters,  spread like the description said from his feet, to his hands, to around his mouth. He even experienced mouth sores and blisters on his knees. The mouth sores and blisters around his mouth went away in two to three days. The blisters on his feet lasted seven to eight and right now, the skin on his feet is shedding – part of the heeling process.

As a parent, I never felt so helpless. Miles was in such discomfort and anything we tried to help sooth his pain and irritability was temporary. We tried Benadryl, Motrin, Calamine lotion and oatmeal baths. I’m pregnant, so I made sure that if I caught the virus, it would not affect the baby and it wouldn’t, which was a relief.  The virus has an incubation period of three to six days and  could be spread when Miles experienced a fever. His fevers were very mild – 99 to 101 F. However, some experts revealed that fevers could get as high as 103 F.

I’m so happy that today Miles went back to school and he was happy to be there. Poor boy had been indoors for one whole week. The most important thing that kept me sane, besides my faith in God, was knowing that we would all come out on the other side, that his pain and discomfort (and ours to add) was temporary. Miles would get better. We would return to normalcy. There was light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

I thought it was important to post this experience to my blog, because let’s face it parenting can be hard. As a parent, I believe that you are supposed to be your child’s strongest advocate. I also believe that as a mother, it’s my desire to share real life experiences to let others know that hey, while it’s tough now, you will survive. We did!


My thoughts on having a girl

I’ll be honest. When I confirmed what my body was screaming all along — that I was having a girl — it took me a moment to be excited. I immediately thought, wow . . . girls go through so much. (Mind you, I’m the  only girl and a middle child and some in my family would argue that having a girl made me nervous, because I don’t want any competition.) They deal with having to see overtly sexual images of women on a daily basis, which can lead to  body image issues and lack of confidence, mean girls/bullying, peer pressure, gender discrimination (this takes place much earlier than the day she ever takes a seat at the corporate table) and loads of other adverse hurdles that I’m not so enthused about her jumping over or scurrying under. Writing this blog has me stressing about it all over again.

Let’s face it, its scary to raise a child these days — boy or girl, but something about raising a girl had me petrified.

The latest news stories haven’t helped the situation either. The whole Steubenville Rape Case and reports of  increase of sexual assault in the  military which have both lead to numerous discussions on whether we live in a rape society is pretty daunting. Not to mention the discussions on gender equality in the workplace and whether or not women can or can not have a blossoming career and raise children successfully, something I often ask myself and continue to struggle with finding an answer to. Thank you, Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer and Ursula Burns for being a catalyst for and pioneer of change, despite your views.  Ursula actually suggests that “we” marry a man 20 years our senior.   Thanks, but no thanks.

The more I think about it, having a daughter motivates me to take a hard look at all the decisions I’ve made as a working woman, because I now view myself as her prime example. Maybe that’s the thing that scares me the most.

Happy Go Texan Day!

He's all boy and all Texan, even if he looks a bit like a farmer. Love this kid!

He’s all boy and all Texan, even if he looks a bit like a farmer. Love this kid!


Today, I left my toddler at home with his dad, because he’d had another asthma episode last night. If you have ever seen a child so uncomfortable because he couldn’t breathe properly, you understand the type of anguish we go through. It’s pretty horrible. Despite this, I know that things can always be worse. Hopefully,  Miles will grow out of this. However, some experts say, you don’t grow out of having asthma, you just learn to manage your triggers and reduce your symptoms.

I write all this to say that while children are a blessing from God, there are times when being a parent can be ever so stressful. While pregnant with my second child, I’ve often said that raising a second baby will be easier. The first child was a run-through for those that follow. We can’t possible go through the same issues with the second that we experienced with the first. God wouldn’t allow us to deal with this a second time. Womp, womp, womp, womp, womp. Then reality sets in . . . nothing in life is guaranteed. You play the cards you are dealt. In my case, I say you do your best and let God do the rest.

When I was pregnant with Miles I was anticipation of something new and exciting. Now that I’m pregnant with the second baby, I’m wondering if I can continue to balance it all. For now, I’ll just continue to breathe.

Round Dos

I knew instantly when I got pregnant. Instantly! I mean, I pride myself on being that person who is very in-tune with their body. My parents, on the other hand, have once labeled me as  bit of a hypochondriac, but I don’t care. I was pregnant for the second time. I had cramps, I had constipation like I’ve never had before, but most importantly, I’d missed my period.

Who was I going to call first and could I keep this secret from James until Christmas? I knew the answer to the first question. I called my mom. By the tone of her voice I could tell she was “cautiously” excited. She was probably thinking, alright am I ready for a second one? You see, she watched Miles until he was 18 months old. If you know Miles, you know that he was a good baby, even though he didn’t sleep through the night until he was about 12 months. At 18 months, he proved to be a bit of a handful so we decided to enroll him in preschool (notice I didn’t say daycare . . . not for my money), so he can exert all of that wonderful toddler energy with little people of his same age, height and temperament. Thank God for Ms. Chriss!

But, I digress.

After telling my mom, I thought I could keep this secret from James until Christmas. What’s two months? Not long if you didn’t suffer from extreme fatigue, weren’t showing, didn’t have nausea or didn’t just happen to catch the flu. I didn’t make it to Christmas, let alone Thanksgiving. The look on James’ face was priceless, because I had mentioned being pregnant several times before it  actually sunk in. The chap didn’t believe me when I told him the first time. I told my immediate family next, followed by my in-laws, who were staying with us the weekend of Miles’ birthday. My father-in-law brought a bottle of wine and offered it to me, but I told him as much as I’d love to have a drink, I couldn’t share it with him anyway. My mother-in-law knew exactly what I was talking about. She lit up like a Christmas tree. It was pretty wonderful.

We are having another baby. Another baby. Another baby.

The first time I was pregnant I had so many emotions. This time, I’m like “cool”. We kinda know what to expect as far as pregnancy goes, but my concerns have more to do with the balancing act than the actually birth of Baby T. Our little family has our routine down packed. How will I manage having a second baby? Will I do all the things I did for the first one? How will my love grow?

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