About Laura

With five kids, one with special needs, a handsome son-in-law, a perfect grandchild (seriously, aren't ALL grandchildren perfect??), a even handsomer husband, my career as a NICU RN....what else would I be doing but juggling?

when you are three

When you are three you navigate this world the way that you want…

because you are three.

You eat what you want.

You wear what you want.

You even boldly change your name from Fallon to Caitlin because obviously your Mommy got it all wrong naming you Fallon because it is clear that you are Caitlin. You are especially vindicated when your Mima tells you how your own Mommy decided when she was a little girl that her Mommy Dearest spelled her name wrong on her birth certificate and then made the necessary corrections.

But the best thing about you when you are three is you can sing at the top of your lungs, I came in like a wrecking ball… over and over and over again while you are swinging on a swing because when you are three years old and you are you, it makes total sense.

Happy, happy birthday our perfect palindrome, darling monster, fancy Fallon Elizabeth! I know, your name is actually Caitlin but I am going to play the grandparent card and stubbornly refuse to acknowledge your true name or even the correct spelling as grandparents do sometimes.

ownership

Working this week on me being the sole proprietor of my thoughts, my memories, my words, my opinions with my therapist has been hard. A lifetime of being told these are not mine, not real, not true, not worthy of being shared takes it toll. It’s one of the reason why I stopped writing decades ago, much to the disappointment of a high school writing teacher who just recently reconnected via Facebook upon discovering that after high school I stopped writing altogether. I did stop, until I started blogging more than ten years ago. First in secret. Then with a faceless audience who seemed to like the words and thoughts I put out there. Then it grew and grew as did the audience some who know me very well and some who like to imagine that they know me even better than I know me and now, well sometimes it’s hard again. Most times I ignore it all as I remind myself that I am a grown-assed, accomplished woman with real thoughts and opinions and memories that have every right to be put out there with the words that I want to use. But sometimes that damn codependent-y, Golden Retriever in me comes out and, well, it’s hard.

Which is why this week we worked more on the truth that I am the owner of me. And as I reinforced this within myself I received this:

I’ve promised the one who shared this that Brad Pitt will be cast to portray him in the movie version.

adjusted for prematurity

Yes, today is World Prematurity Day because one in nine babies every day are born much too soon. Check out #WorldPrematurityDay and you shall see hundreds and hundreds of images of babies who literally can fit into your hands wearing diapers no bigger than a saltine cracker and you shall see pictures of some of those same tiny babies as smiling school aged children or teenagers or even adults. My own social media timelines are flooded with images of some co-workers own preemies and friends and the parents of former patients as we recognize the tiniest but mightiest humans we have ever known not necessarily to celebrate but to remind everyone that in spite of amazing strides in Perinatal and Neonatal medicine and nursing care, prematurity still happens and when it happens the adjustments for prematurity happen.

age 1 month/28 weeks adjusted age; 792 grams/1lb 7oz

I remember having to explain way too many times the adjusted age of Daniel during the first few years of his life. How that adjusted age seemed to annoy some as they would sarcastically question if we were going to be using his adjusted age when he was a grown man.

Perhaps.

Maybe.

What do you care?

As he has grown and developed, knowing Daniel’s adjusted age helped so much in understanding this life living on preemie time. It helped to have just a little more patience when he didn’t walk until age 30 months (26 months adjusted age) or when we struggled so mightily with potty training and eating. But the fact of the matter is that after the magical age of 2 or 3, adjusting does not abruptly end. Experience has taught me that these tiny humans carry so much more than the physical scars of needle pokes, TCM burns, healed incisions and chest tube scars. The bright lights, the loud, clanging alarms, the noxious smells, even certain touches remind them of the trauma they survived that was intended to help them survive. PTSD is readily accepted in adults after hospitalization, why would it not be valid for a tiny infant whose brain isn’t even fully developed and spends weeks, months even in an intensive care setting? Just because they can’t articulate it does not mean that it is not real.

The fact of the matter is for this child, this boy, there is always adjustments for his extreme premature birth. Adjustments in how he learns, how he expresses himself, how he eats, how he grows, how he handles noxious stimuli, how he reacts in stressful situations. Adjustments because he is who he is. We have come to learn and understand so much of who this boy is and what he is passionate about just by adjusting. He’ll never stop being an individual who was born 4 months too soon. He will always be that. Today, and every day, we honor that, we celebrate it, we accept it and, yes, we adjust.

I feared because it was too early, I cried because it was too soon. Yet I underestimated the strength in one as small as you. ~ Unknown

 

 

photo dump: walkabout edition

Home from our family reunion and celebration of Hazel the First’s life, the emotions are running on high and the energy is drained.

But coming to this place, so good.

It couldn’t have been a more perfect day.

A perfect day for a walkabout.

Come!

I don’t always shoot behind people’s backs.

But when I do I catch some pretty wonderful, unguarded moments like these.

Walking to Willow Point, so many memories of summers gone by were shared.

Childhood relived.

Did I tell you that it was a beautiful day?

The perfect day to stop and take a selfie. How else am I going to get into the picture?

All that walking makes you pretty hungry…thirsty too.

All so perfect and I am sure Mama approved.

and this guy, this guy wins ALL the marathons

Running the San Jose Rock and Roll Half in 2010, I totally remember running through this neighborhood…the same neighborhood where bacon and donuts was offered by cheering bystanders. God I wish that I had stopped because, hello, bacon! Meanwhile, Joe Bell definitely wins all the marathons without ever running a single step.

Meanwhile, I took a gulp, swallowed and signed up for the Modesto Half Marathon…you know, the one I did not finish back in 2011 because stupid pneumonia!

Definitely going to need something to display all the race medals earned from all the half marathons ran in the past and this one because I am running it this time.