Monday, January 11, 2016

Dear Letti: 4 month

Dear miss Letti,
You are such a ball of light and happiness. You are giggling and rolling over on your own. You had your first ear infection and cold. You are still sleeping in mama's bed 1/2 the night and your rock n play the first 1/2 of the night. We are going to work on transitioning you into your room and crib in the next month or so. Your reflux is still eh. We are just dealing with it right now, hoping you grow out of it soon so you can be more comfortable. You are grabbing at stuff and pulling things toward your mouth. You adore your older sister. You track her everywhere and smile when she talks to you. I love seeing your relationship grow! You love to be read, talked, and sung to. We went and saw Santa after Thanksgiving. We went to Champaign for Thanksgiving and you did great in the car ride!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dear Colette: 3 Month Letter

Dear sweet Colette,
Your third month went by with flying colors. You are simply a joy to be around. You smile all the time and you started to giggle. Daddy made you giggle first. Mommy tried and tried, but he is funnier than I am, I suppose. You started grabbing the toys on your playgym thing. You also started rolling onto your side and I'm guessing in the next few days you will start rolling onto your tummy all by yourself. You do it now with a little assistance.
You are around 11lbs 2oz. We have had a couple set backs when it comes to your reflux and weight gain, but I think we may have sorted it out because this past week you gained an oz a day!!! You like to sleep with mommy at night and you nurse 1-2x a night. I love the sweet snuggles.
we read stories together at night in Lilah's bed
you are so happy and expressive 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dear Letti: One & Two Month letter

Dear Letti,
The first month literally flew by and I'm shocked! Where has the time gone? I am combining your first two months into one letter because time just got away from me. I'm learning to adjust to having you and your sister and trying to find our new normal. Its been hard but I wouldn't change it for anything!
You are so easy going and you have such a sweet disposition. You were the smilest newborn I have ever seen! We had a little bit of a rough start... You were coombs positive and developed jaundice. You wore a biliblanket starting day one. By day 3, your bilirubin levels were still climbing, so you were admitted into the NICU for 24 hrs for triple light therapy. We got to come home on day 4! From the very beginning, I had pain when you breastfed. We got you evaluated when you were 11 days old for a lip and tongue tie.  You had both. They were both pretty severe and restricted. We got them revised by Dr. Mindy, who was amazing. We took a family road trip to Morrison, IL to see her because she was a specialist and highly recommended. It was totally worth the trip. You had a bit of a rough recovery and it took us a couple weeks to get the hang of breastfeeding. We had a lactation consultant come to the house a couple times. She helped assure me that I was doing everything right, we just needed to give you some time to heal and learn how to use your tongue. She also recommended that we get you evaluated by early intervention. She thought a speech pathologist could really help you with your oral motor skills. She also noticed some sensory/transition concerns that OT may be able to help with. We got you evaluated at 7 weeks and you qualified for speech, OT, and a nutritionist, who is going to help us with your reflux. We started you on medication for reflux around one month because you were not gaining the amount of weight the dr wanted to see. You are still very uncomfortable but gaining weight spectacularly! We are going to change your medication and see if that helps your symptoms better. I also went on a diet (no dairy, eggs, soy, or nuts) to help you and it seems to be working. Once we get your reflux under control, I'll try to reintroduce foods.
You rolled from your tummy to your back around 6 weeks old, and you have done it on several other occasions. I think you think you are bigger than you are. slow down please!!
You had your real first smile at 5 weeks old. You are a social butterfly. You make the sweetest coo sounds. You make me light up! You are just so easy going, despite everything going on with you. You are just so wonderful! It's amazing to watch you with Lilah. You smile at her and follow her with your eyes whenever shes around. She started sitting by your feet so you can kick her back and Lilah thinks its hilarious. She wants to play with you and she's finding ways :) I know you guys will be best friends, even though you may fight. I'm glad you guys will always have each other.

One Month: 7lbs 8oz, 20.75 in
Two Months: 9lbs 15oz, 22in

First time Lilah met you

4 long days in the hospital

13 days old


one month!

Colette Elaine: Birth Story

I was 39 weeks pregnant and the serious prodromal labor started. I say serious because I have had real contractions since about 21 weeks pregnant and was diagnosed with irritable uterus. The contractions never got more intense until 39 weeks and they were not causing changes to my cervix.  Every night I would go to bed saying, if they wake me up, I'll call the midwife. On Wednesday I told Zach I had a feeling I would go into labor on Thursday (my due date was on Saturday). Thursday came and I was having contractions but nothing unmanageable. I made cookies after Lilah went down and we went to bed around 10 pm. 11:30, I woke up with contractions (STILL THURSDAY!) I took a bath to see if I was having false labor and they slowed down a bit. As soon as I got out of the tub, the intensity picked up. By 1am, I was on the phone with the midwife because the contractions had gotten so intense. She told us to come in. We arrived around 3a and we were admitted! I was 4 cm. Lilah had to come with us to the hospital because we couldn't get a hold of anyone to stay with her at the house. Our friend came and got her from the hospital around 4a. We let Zach's mother know that I was in labor and she came up to stay with Lilah while we were in the hospital. I took a shower to try and relieve some of the pain, but nothing really helped. I was nauseous and vomiting and my body wouldn't stop shaking. Around 7a I was still at 4cm. We decided to get an epidural. Around 8:30a, I had the best anesthesiologist insert the epidural! I could still feel everything but the intense pain and nausea went away. I was able to move my feet and legs still. I had to breathe through every contraction. I still felt in control. It was the perfect combo. Letti was rotated along my right side, which put her at a high risk for being born posterior, so we tried some different positions and got her to flip so her back was on my left side. Around 8cm my contractions spaced out a lot, causing some concern. The midwife suggested we break my bag of water to see if we could get the process moving again. we decided to go ahead and break my water since Letti was in a good position and I didn't want to have other interventions. This happened around 11am. It was like the flood gates opened. The midwife left the room to chart and seconds later I was pushing. She ran back in the room, and Letti was born at 11:34a. While I was pushing, Letti was in distress and I had to wear oxygen. She had the cord wrapped around her neck and was blue for a little while after she was born. She was immediately placed on my chest. I said right then and there, Let's do this again! Everything was perfect. I would not have changed a single thing about it.

Colette Elaine Fiscus
Friday, August 14, 2015
6lbs 10oz, 20 inches long

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My "Jaw Journey"

I was thinking the other day... for a 27 year old, I have been through a lot... actually for a person, regardless of age, I've been through a lot. I've never really dove into all the details but I think I'm going to start. I need to share my experiences with others so I can encourage and empower people! First off I have to say that my faith and relationship in God has been the majority of my strength. I can't imagine going though it all with no hope or promise of something better.
So lets start at the beginning of my "jaw journey".... Once upon a time... haha
When I was a freshman in college (I had been in school for about a month), my dentist saw a growth on my jaw at a normal routine cleaning visit. I had no idea why she seemed so concerned and started urgently scheduling tests. I didn't even know it was there. Within a week I had a bone biopsy done. Luckily they told me they were pretty sure it was something that would resolve by the time I was 20 and should cause no more issues. The oral surgeon tried to shave down the growth so that it was smaller and less noticeable. It was so painful. I would say its was worse that wisdom teeth removal but I wouldn't know-the Lord blessed me with 0 wisdom teeth. One less surgery for my poor jaw.
Anyway, flash forward 4 years to about a month before our wedding. I kept bleeding every time I ate and it was painful, so back to the oral surgeon I went. We didn't want to do another biopsy before the wedding, so we scheduled one for when we got back from our honeymoon. 2 weeks after the honeymoon I had 1 bone biopsy done, 3 days later they called and said it was inconclusive and needed to do another. So 2 days later they did 2 more biopsies and explained that it could either be 1 of 2 things... The one option was the growth that would stop growing or a more aggressive growth that would need removal. A few days later I received the bad news that it was the aggressive growth. They informed me that is was a cemento ossifying fibroma and its extremely rare (lucky me). I had to have it removed, which meant removal of my jaw bone. So lets set yourself in my shoes for a moment. We hadn't even been married for a month and I found out I am going to have my jaw bone removed from the outside of my neck. scary. life-changing news. If I opted out of the surgery they told me it would keep growing and impair my ability to swallow because of its placement on my lower jaw. The growth was about 7cm x 4cm. pretty large. They had to remove all 4 molars on my right lower jaw in March (we found out in February, married in January). It was so much to deal with. We had just moved to Chicago, gotten married, left our friends and families, Zach had started a new job... I was however extremely thankful that it was not cancer!
My bone had to heal before they could remove the growth so the actual surgery took place in August. It was a 10.5 hour surgery. They removed 1/2 of my lower jaw through the outside of my neck. They replaced the bone with bone from my hip, cadaver bone, and a large titanium plate. I was wired shut for 4 weeks. I lost some of my nerves so I no longer have feeling in 1/2 of my lip, chin, or front teeth. My tongue and motion nerves went undamaged. Although the trauma from surgery caused my motion nerves to not function for about 3 months.
This whole situation changed our lives. I had trouble looking down, lifting, turning side to side, etc. I couldn't drive, do dishes, laundry, read... I still have muscle issues and nerve pain. I am still in physical therapy for chronic pain (over 4 years later).

It has changed Zach and I for the better. It has made us courageous and strong. We are each others support systems. No one else knows what this situation is like and it has drawn us closer together and to God. It truly was a blessing in disguise, because our marriage is better than I ever could have imagined. God has a plan and a purpose.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.                                                               Romans 8:28

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

dental update

Again, weekly. Someday it will improve but for now this is what I have to offer, apparently.

Dental update: The final molds were made for my partial denture and its not very exciting. I am unable to get a metal denture, so we are trying a Flexi-denture instead. Its a little bit more pliable and is plastic. I won't get into all the details, but its not a great situation to be in. The dentist told me with my current  condition, I still wouldn't be able to chew on the right side of my mouth... probably ever. This is pretty discouraging considering I am only 27 yrs old and I haven't been able to chew using my whole mouth since I was 22. She is hopeful that this will give me some relief in regards to all the pain and issues I have been having since the surgery in 2010. I'm trying to be positive and optimistic... lots of praying.

 that is all I can elaborate on tonight...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Small Victories

Well I am showing improvement on posting, but once a week isn't what I had in mind. I was hoping for daily or every other day.. baby steps.
This past week has been difficult to post because nap time hasn't been happening like it should be. Lilah has been going down around 9 or 10 in the morning for her only nap.. that gives me enough time to shower and pick up the house. I'm hoping this is a phase. We have gotten black-out curtains in her room and we have moved bedtime to 7:15 from 8:00. She was getting up around 5:30a and now she is getting up around 7a, so I would say we have had some success! Now to get her to move nap time to after lunch. Our goal is 11:30-2. She has never been a great napper. Ill take what I can get, small victories.

Last week I received pretty discouraging news about my jaw/tooth situation. After my first dental implant attempt in January, I got a bone infection which caused the implants to fail and they had to be removed in late February. Because I had a large bone graft in 2010 from my first surgery, there isn't much blood supply (which is why they think I got the bone infection in the first place) and I lost a lot of bone from the infection. When I went back to the oral surgeon last week, he concluded there was not enough bone left to put implants in successfully. So now I'm in the process of getting a partial denture so I can finally chew on the right side of my mouth again. This is a very complicated case and I'm pretty upset that I have to deal with this for the rest of my life (pending medical advances). I am hoping that the dentist I am working with will be able to get the denture to fit comfortably so I can use it. Hopefully this will help a lot of my underlying pain problems associated with the first surgery. I have about a 50/50 chance that this will work out great... I'm trying to be positive and see the good in it, but it is still very hard to wrap my head around.