Saturday, April 28, 2012

alopecia...hairy luca

        Luca is about to grow all of his hair back. And oddly enough, I feel indifferent. I don’t care if he grows it back or not. Don’t get me wrong, I do fear him having to face obstacles of “standing out”. But I just don’t see it that way anymore. I see an opportunity to raise a little boy who is down with his bad self no matter what-hair or not. And that will carry him through anything and everything all the way through adulthood. I still fear any insecurities or pain he may (or may not) experience in his school years. But that doesn’t make me wish for his hair to grow back. It’s made me realize that I want to raise my children to find validity, acceptance and confidence in anything and everything except for school yard kids…hair or not. So my goal in parenting and fears for both of my children in the future remain the same, whether he has hair or not! If it’s not a bald head, it would be something else. At the beginning I was so sad that he would have to face something at a young age and learn and early lesson. But through his alopecia, I’ve developed a different mindset and have actually embraced the opportunity for Luca to have something impacting his life that supports my goal in raising him to focus on the things that matter.


            All that being said, there’s nothing wrong with having hair. Just like there’s nothing wrong with not having hair.  I have become neutral to hair! The one thing I am super excited about is seeing his little swirl in the front again.
        It’s the first thing I noticed when he was born (other than his big broad chest that brought immediate panic at the pain I would feel after my glorious epidural wore off) HA! . Anyway, most would probably say, “I bet you are SO happy his hair is growing back!” I feel like anyone who says that is probably thinking, “so he can be normal!” If that’s what they think-it’s honestly ok. I know what they are thinking…they are thinking they don’t want him to be teased or feel different. But as his mama-I got over that a long time ago because I was forced to truly consider how to raise my child to take pride in the things that matter. I do no know if I will be successful in my goal that I have set forth. I honestly have no idea what I’m doing! But I do know God chose me to be Luca’s mommy so he must have thought I could do a good job with it J
            So back to the hair…honestly, when we shaved it…I was sad to see his hair that used to spike so high go. 
        I think that’s normal. It was pretty dad-gum cute.
 But I also thought he looked so stinkin cute after we shaved it. 
And his big eyes looked even bigger than big and I LOVED kissing that bald little head! 
     I’ve been in love with his hair since day one so I’m happy, but I sure do miss kissing that sweet little bald head! I think It’s safe to say I think there are 2 beautiful versions of my sweet Luca baby…hairy and bald J
            If you are still reading this post…that’s incredible! I’m just rambling through the emotional mommy  thoughts running through my brain as I watch him grow all this hair back. I WAS thankful he was balding so young so that as he grew into his toddlerhood and “defined” himself, he would be bald or have bald spots…and that would be “normal” for him vs. him having to lose his hair in middle school (like most kids with alopecia)-that would be hard. Now I’m fearful that we will lose that “early onset” advantage and he will not remember this and will have to face losing his hair during his developmental years that he will remember and I don’t want that to be traumatizing for him. I don’t really know the pattern of his alopecia yet…every case is different! It may never happen again, it could be once a year, it could be reoccurring sporadically with little spots, or it could progress to universal alopecia ( no hair anywhere ever)…we will just see! I don’t know if it’s his diet, hair meds, or none of the above that is making his hair grow now. Please pray that we learn what is actually working so we don’t waste time or money do anything unnecessary.   I’ve considered adding the casein back to his diet to see if it makes a difference and I think that’s our next step. I know he misses ice cream, gold fish crackers and REAL milk J So to sum this up…

Luca is growing a full head of hair. Yay!
Will he loose it agin later? I dunno.
Does it matter? No.

Everything remains the same for us.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

just thinking

Molar pregnancies are already rare...highly unlikely you could say. But even within a molar pregnancy, there are "normal" molar pregnancies and "rare" things that can happen in a molar pregnancy. Of course I had the rarest situation in an already rare type of pregnancy. I don't dwell on it anymore, but sometimes my mind goes back to it and it just frustrates me. I'm also forced to think about it again as we consider the possibility of another baby. Maybe, maybe not. I'm trying not to make decisions out of fear. The odds of it happening again are "rare" but I don't exactly feel comfortable with statistics anymore. If anything, it scares me even more because if I can fall into the >1% of molar pregnancies (having the rarest version at that) I can easily fall into the "10-20%" of normal miscarriages right? I'm sure it doesn't make sense to most people for me to think that way, but after going through something like this, that is where my mind goes. This is what I'm talking about...

What is a molar pregnancy?
A molar pregnancy is an abnormality of the placenta, caused by a problem when the egg and sperm join together at fertilization. Molar pregnancies are rare, occurring in 1 out of every 1,000 pregnancies.
A molar pregnancy is the result of a genetic error during the fertilization process that leads to growth of abnormal tissue within the uterus. Molar pregnancies rarely involve a developing embryo (mine did), and the growth of this material is rapid compared to normal fetal growth. It has the appearance of a large and random collection of grape-like cell clusters. There are two types of molar pregnancies, “complete,” and “partial”, with the partial being more rare. (That would be me-partial molar pregnancy).
What is a partial molar pregnancy?
  • Partial Mole occurs when the mass contains both the abnormal cells and an embryo that has severe defects. In this case the fetus will be overcome by the growing abnormal mass rather quickly. (this is the "normal" kind)
  • An extremely rare version of a partial mole (me again) is when twins are conceived but one embryo begins to develop normally while the other is a mole. In these cases, the healthy embryo will very quickly be consumed by the abnormal growth. (this one would be me. a completely healthy baby and a twin that did not form correctly producing a molar mass that took over the placenta of the healthy baby cutting off it's lifeline at 11ish weeks).

Who is at risk for a molar pregnancy?

  • In the US, approximately 1 out of 1,000 pregnancies is a molar pregnancy (that's not very many especially when you consider the factors below) 
  • Mexico, Southeast Asia, and the Philippines have higher rates than the US for molar pregnancies in women (not me)
  • White women in the US are at higher risk than black women (pretty much the only thing that classifies me in this pregnancy)
  • Women over the age of 40 (not me)
  • Women who have had a prior molar pregnancy (not me)
  • Women with a history of miscarriage (not me)

What are the symptoms of a molar pregnancy?

  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding (didn't happen)
  • Nausea and vomiting (oh heck yes...just like both prior pregnancies...typical)
  • Develop rare complications like thyroid disease (nope)
  • Early preeclampsia (high blood pressure) (nope)
  • Increased hCG levels (not until we found out...blood work all normal at first)
  • No fetal movement or heart tone detected (baby was strong, healthy, heartbeat and all)
I just don't understand it! Dr. Wells saw from my labs and sonos after we found out we lost the baby that this is what it was. But he wouldn't confirm it until after the D&C so he could send it to the lab to make sure. I'm pretty sure it's because it didn't make sense to him either! The only thing I can say is I've been sick with every pregnancy, but this one was a little worse. And my uterus measured large...but I also had just had a baby 9 months previous. Nothing too crazy was going on--we were just blindsided. So. That's that. I really am ok now and I'm not still dwelling on it or living it it. Sometimes I think back to it all (usually thinking about our blessings and how far we've come) and when I really let myself thing about it all it just bugs me. It will always hurt some. I'm just blogging from a pure medical frustration about what should be and what wasn't.  
Of course I still think about our baby boy who would now be a couple of months old. And I want him so badly. The type A personality in me wants it all to have been perfect and normal "according to plan" (even though he was unplanned haha). I want to know him (the him here on this earth) know what kind of baby he would be, what he'd look like and how he would have fit with Ella and Luca and to raise him as my child. But I am growing into a different perception of it now. While I'll always want those things, I can say now I feel like I do know him. I feel like I know him and a very complete and special the most important way...for the way he's changed me and his purpose in our lives and I really do know him as my child and I know I'll see him again and fully know him. I can't really describe it and maybe I shouldn't try. All of that to say I think about it differently-I want him and I want to take all of this back and make it different, but I also have peace about it (most of the time) knowing God is in complete control and I've seen His hand all over this. I know as time goes on I'll continue to see our baby's purpose and impact in our lives. I'll never understand the molar pregnancy factor, but I can understand that God had a perfect plan for him and even though it's not what we would have chosen, it can still bring so many blessings.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easter 2012

I'm typing this post with one hand as I relish in something lovely and oh so wonderful (but rare these days)...Luca is sitting in my arms and cuddling with me!!! this boy doesn't sit still much these days. So needless to say, there will be minimal stories and the tying will be brief! A story in pictures you could say :)

We got to have two Easter's this year!!! This was our Easter in Van Buren...
Easter Sunday
by this point, we had had so much fun for 2 days straight and Luca baby was DONE WITH FUN!!! However, my party girl didn't stop until we were back to Texas :)

this is one of my favorite pics because it tells the story like it is...get em Sophie!!!

This was our Easter in Springdale...
We prepared by making eggs...pinterest inpired eggs! Pinterest will surely put Martha Stewart out of business...these ideas actually work. Now I consider myself a pretty crafty person and I still think Martha is full of it! haha

we had a lot of down time so we played outside a lot. The weather was beautiful! We were so excited. Our Easter's are usually cold and/or rainy.
Ella noticed her Easter basket was missing. Then shortly after we found them outside! Sneaky Easter bunny =:0)

Nana B and her babies!

When the family all arrived, the games and feasting began! I love that my kids hunt eggs in the same yard as I did growing up. memories...warm, lovely memories.

here comes Peter Cotton Tail...
this girl was a pro this year! she even found the silver prize egg! she got her colors confused and thought she had the gold so even better for her! She thinks she won the gold-HA!

Luca and Papa Bo...

and Blake brought his girlfriend home for the first time!

then end!