When Your Toddler Needs Surgery. Before, During, and After.

Finding out your child needs surgery can be hard. Super hard. Especially when your child is a toddler and doesn’t understand what is going on or why she will be in pain. I am no expert in child surgery. I am just a mom that recently went through this and wanted to share my story. In part of trying to prepare myself I tried to look up blog posts online from other parents that went through something similar, and couldn’t find much. So incase someone else travels down this path, I wanted to share.


Before:

Before surgery prepare yourself and your child. Have all your questions written down and make an appointment with your doctor just to ask questions if you need to. Talk with your child about it. The talking is as much for your as it is for them. Talk about having to go to the hospital, staying some place new for a few days. Keep it simple depending on your child’s age.
Depending on your child’s age show them the hospital before hand if you think that will help.
Make a list ( I love lists) of everything you will need, especially if you will be spending the night (or 2, or more).
Pack the night before. Have clothes laid out the night before, especially if your child’s surgery is first thing in the morning.
Buy your favourite snacks and/or candy. Pick up some new books or magazines. Depending on what surgery your child will have see if you can bring some of their favourite snacks for after surgery. Have their favourite foods at home waiting, or special foods like ice cream.
Do a deep clean of the house, depending on recovery you will not have much time for anything else other than your child after surgery.
Have some meals prepped and in the freezer for after.
Decide ahead of time if and when you will have visitors. We personally decided against visitors because it would upset our daughter when they had to leave and the crying and freaking out would hurt her throat even more.

During:

There isn’t much to do while your child is in surgery besides sit there and go crazy. Depending on your hospitals layout chances are the operating room may be on a different floor than where you may be staying, either way you will not want to carry a lot of stuff around with you. So pack your purse or bag wisely.
Speaking of your bag/purse, pack distractions for yourself in there. Pack some candy or snacks, magazines, books, new apps / games on your phone. Pack some of your favourite items, lip gloss, chapstick, jewelry. I have a piece of Sea Glass on a Necklace that I tend to play with and rub when stressed and worrying.
While your child is in surgery make sure you go to the bathroom! Seriously. Once your child comes out they will only want you. My daughter didn’t let go of me for hours, she slept, she cried, and she held on tight. I couldn’t get up for hours, and I never thought to use the bathroom before she finished surgery.

After:

Breathe. Deep, slow, breaths. Focus. Chances your child will be a little out of sorts, your child will be in pain, your child will be confused, and your heart will just break.
Prepare for cuddles. Lots of cuddles.
And don’t forget to breathe.

~ Michelle

When Your Toddler Needs Surgery

A few months back I found out that my toddler needed surgery. I knew it was coming. I knew what to expect when I walked into the doctors office that morning. What I wasn’t expecting was how crushed I was going to feel. How completely gutted. How completely helpless, how completely out of control, how much of a failure I would feel like. Anxiety and depression can make you think and feel crazy things like something like this is actually in your control, when in fact it is not. My daughter’s tonsils and adenoids were so large that they were almost blocking her airway completely. She also needed tubes put in both ears. Nothing I could have done would ever change this. This was out of my control. The only thing I could control was allowing her this surgery to correct the problem.

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My big boy had to have tubes put in when he was 4 years old. So I knew what to expect with regards to that. But the tonsils and adenoids, I had no idea. It was so scary not knowing. The not knowing of what would happen during surgery scared me, the not knowing what to expect during recovery scared me even more. I was told my daughter could spend any where from 1 day to a whole week in hospital. She ended up staying 4 days. 4 very long, extremely stressful days. Something I hope to never have to repeat. Ever.

When you find out that your child is having surgery it can be such a scary time no matter how big or minor it is. When the doctor asks, “Do you have any questions?”, chances are you will have a million, just not right at that moment. Make sure you write down all of your questions for your next appointment. Even have a dedicated notebook just for your questions so you have them all in one place.
I honestly can not tell you how many times I called my doctors office to ask them questions. Just like in school when they say, “There are no stupid questions.” that comes into play here, don’t be afraid to ask anything. It helped ease my anxiety knowing that I could ask anything and I would always get an answer. Just make sure to write them all down.

When your toddler needs surgery the internet can be your best friend and worst enemy. While I suggest knowing about any surgery your child will need, I do suggest having your husband, check websites with you, or before you. I made the mistake of looking up my daughters surgery and ended up on every bad news, horrible story, worst case ever, story, nothing really of real information all a sort of dooms day. If you have severe anxiety like me, have someone with you when you turn to the internet.

At the end of the day, nothing can really prepare you for your child, let alone toddler who doesn’t fully understand whats going on, to have surgery. Trust in yourself, your partner, your doctor, and if you believe in God or higher power.

~ Michelle

Reasons Why I Did Not Accomplish Anything Today

Every night I go to bed with a million plans for the next day. I write out lists, and those lists will have lists. I plan and plan. And then the next day comes, and… nothing.

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Here are some reasons why I didn’t accomplish anythingΒ today:

  • My baby/toddler/child didn’t sleep last night, again.
  • There wasn’t enough coffee in the house to make me human.
  • My toddler wanted a snack, but not the one she pointed to, a different one, but not that one either.
  • My toddler has decided that everything will piss her off today and today shall be full of meltdowns.
  • It was such a nice day outside we played outside all day instead.
  • A Disney movie marathon seemed like such a better idea, and now I don’t know what day it is.
  • My motivation and energy levels are in the negative. My kids sucked them out of me at night.
  • One of the kids is sick.
  • Netflix just seemed like such a better option at the time and now the day is over.
  • My pjs and the sofa have accepted me as one of their own and I need to keep their trust, so nothing else will get accomplished today.
  • I ruined the day when I put my toddler in the clothes she picked out.
  • Today seemed like a good day to do fun things instead.
  • Crafts are so much more fun than work.

But mostly because:

  • Anxiety and depression are bitches.

So far today much hasn’t been accomplished, but there is still time.

~ Michelle

Cheers To 2017

2017 came in with full force. And not a very good force. I had every intention of starting the year out with an awesome kick ass blog post about how I was going to rock this year. I was going to have a New Years Resolution. I was going to have a focus word. It was going to rock. Completely and totally rock your socks off.

Then reality came. On January 1st I lost an aunt to cancer. Another aunt was in hospital (she is out and better now). And yet another Aunts health is failing. It has been a lot to deal with. My anxiety has been so bad. So hard to deal with at times. This invisible monster is leaving visible scars.

This year I have no idea what will happen. I have no idea what my goals are. I do know that whatever happens, I want to make the most of it. So cliche isn’t it?! But it is true. 2017 is already proving how precious life is, how important it is to take advantage of every day, tell people you love them, let go of things, move forward no matter how scary. My anxiety and depression monsters will not control and dominate me this year. Their lies will not weaken me. (Easier said than done!)

This weekend I will be traveling to the states with my parents and my toddler. Sounds easy enough right? Tell that to my anxiety. I am having non stop anxiety and panic attacks about it. This will be the longest my toddler has been away from my husband. She will not be happy to be away from her daddy and brothers for so long. And I have never had to take her to a funeral before. All of this causing so much anxiety on top of the grieving. The truth of it all? None of this is about me, despite all my anxiety crushing me, this is about a life lost and going to honour this persons amazing life. Like I said before, life is too short, I will move forward no matter how scary. I will face my anxiety monster head on and go on this trip with my daughter.

Days after getting back my daughter has a pre-op appointment and then the next week she will have surgery. My anxiety is not giving me a break this month so far. I will not let this monster have me. My daughter needs me, my sons need me, my husband needs me. Heck, I need me!

So maybe I do have a goal? Kick my monsters butts? Or maybe my goal is more simply put, to take it one day at a time, to survive, to rise above and soar?

Despite not having clear goals written down, not having a focus word, despite the hard start to 2017, I will try my damnedest to rock this year.

~ Michelle

Reindeer Food

Every year we make Reindeer Food. Every year on Christmas Eve before the kids go to bed they go outside to spread out the food. They leave it all over the yard, just to make sure the Reindeer find it! They love this tradition. It is so much fun.

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Here is our recipe for (super special, super magical) Reindeer Food.

What you will need:

Bird Seed
Coloured Sugar (A whole mix of colours, or just red and green)
Little Plastic Bags

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We get a bag of bird seed and coloured sugar from Bulk Barn. That way you can decide how much of each item you need.

Next pour your sugar into the bag with the bird seed and mix together.

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Make sure you have your bags ready, we make one bag for each child. Pour in the amount you want in each bag.

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Wait for Christmas Eve and go out side and sprinkle the special treat on your lawn.

Enjoy!

~ Michelle

Adoption And The Holidays

Being a Birth Mom is never easy. It is not glamours. It never leaves you. It changes you forever. Your heart is forever missing a piece. Sometimes it is really hard. Sometimes it hits you like a brick wall. Sometimes you feel like you can’t breathe with the missing piece. Sometimes you feel like you are falling apart.

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I am a Birth Mom. My son was placed for adoption right at birth. His mom was at the hospital during my labour, heck, she even stood by my side while I pushed. I ended up in an emergency c-section and she was actually able to see him first and spend time with him before I was. They were always meant to be a family. I love my son. But he was always destined to be her son. But that doesn’t make it any easier. I miss him every day. I think about him every day. I always think “what if?!” Always. All my children are always on my mind, every day, every single day. I sometimes even set a place at the table for him. Its hard.

I am so incredible thankful that he does have the family he has. As much as I miss him, as much as my heart breaks, as much as I feel like I am missing out on everything, I also feel connected. My sons mother has always included me. Sent me photos, videos, visits, phone calls, FaceTime, anything that connects us. I am forever grateful.

Last week she went above and beyond. Although I am not sure she knows just how above and beyond it was. How much it truly meant to me. How much it completely broke my heart, shattered it, and yet made me feel whole all at once. This incredible woman, whom I love so deeply, sent me videos and pictures during his school Christmas concert. It was the most beautiful thing. She didn’t have to. She could have waited till it was over. She could have just told me about it. She could have just enjoyed it for herself. But she didn’t. She included me. She shared with me.

I sat there and cried, I cried sad tears, heartbroken tears, proud mom tears, happy tears, so many different emotions. I held my daughter as we watched together. She didn’t grasp just how important all of this was, but I sure did. It was a moment I will never forget. A moment I am forever thankful for.

I wasn’t able to physically be there, I hardly ever am, but I was and always am there in spirit. This made the connection for me even stronger.

Being a Birth Mom during the holidays is extra hard. When you are surrounded by family, and someone is still missing, a part of you is missing, your mind is always wondering what that person is doing, wishing you could be with them. This little action of her sharing with me made me feel so connected and complete during such a hard time.

It really is the small things that mean the most. Small acts that have the biggest impact.

~ Michelle

 

Depression And The Holidays

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

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One step closer to Christmas, and yet I feel like I took 50 backwards. How is that even possible?Β One of life’s great mysteries, along with were they socks in the dryer go, or where toddlers who don’t sleep at night still get all their energy from.

Last week I did really well with working out. It was much fun to get back into it on a daily base. I was feeling really good. Happy. Then I went out dinner Saturday night, and then out to the movies Sunday afternoon. Hello unhealthy food. So gross. This week is about eating healthy and working out. Which I admit is a bit hard to do before the holidays. All I want to do is drink hot chocolate, and eat cookies and comfort food while wearing comfy clothes and hiding under a blanket. A warm cozy, crazy soft blanket.

With the holidays quickly approaching, depression and anxiety and go into overdrive. I am trying to get a jump on it by staying active and eating right, but like I said, I want all the cookies and junk food. I’ve also started to make a point to have some ‘me time’. Nothing major, just little stuff I can fit in during the day, facial masks, painting my nails, reading, bubble baths, journaling. Anything small that I think can help. You know what they say, its the little things that matter the most.

The holidays are always hard. Mix in everything going on, mix in being a birth mother. I sometimes have to try extra hard to get out of bed and put a smile on my face. Its not that I don’t want to, its not that I’m not happy. Its just that it is hard. Its hard to explain to some who doesn’t understand or has experienced it. I can be happy, but still be so physically and emotional drained that it is hard to show just how happy I actually am.

I have a feeling this holiday season will be the most exhausting holiday yet.

~ Michelle