Sunday, May 31, 2009

I've completely lost it!

Like laces and shoes. Like vanilla and ice cream. Like a mustache and Tom Selleck. Like Lucy's mom and texting!

There are some things in life that just have to be together. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I would be addicted to technology in the future I would have told you that you were insane! 10 years ago I didn't even know how to turn on a computer and now I have a myspace account, Facebook, twitter and I am blogging! 10 years ago I didn't even own a cell phone!

I tragically left my other appendage in Idaho while visiting family. What is a girl to do without it? Do I actually have to call people and talk to them from a land line? I don't even have a single phone number memorized. They are all stored in my phone! What did I ever do without a mobile? Oh, now I remember! I actually had real conversations with real people. What a concept.

My phone and I will be reunited again on Tuesday evening. Until then, I think I might start brushing up on my phone conversation skills. You should be expecting a phone call soon.

Now if only I could find your number...

Friday, May 29, 2009


My daughter is fearless. I took her swimming today in the pool at our hotel. It is a really nice indoor heated pool since it snows in Boise in the winter. Today we were the only people in the pool so we got free reign! Thank goodness for that because she pooped in her swim diaper! Twice! Man, those things sure can hold a load.

As we were swimming, she kept insisting that she swim alone. Screaming "down" and "wim" "wim" she would push against me trying to get away on her own! I showed her what would happen if she went off by herself. Just like last summer at the swim school, we practiced jumping in from the side and going under water. I placed Lucy on the side wall of the pool and told her she was going to go under, counted to three and then dunked her! She came up with water in her nose and a smile on her face!! She coughed until she sneezed, sneezed again and then instructed me "MORE!"

My daughter has no fear when it comes to the water and life in general. As her mother, it scares the shit out of me that she is so brave but yet it makes me so very proud to know that she will grow up knowing that she can do anything she puts her mind to.She'll take life head on!! Having no fear when you have doctors taking blood, sticking needles in you and probing you all the time comes in handy. She still is a little wary when it comes to vaccines but, as many of you know, I don't allow more than two shots at a time so it is really not that tragic. A few seconds of crying and she's already over it.

I could take a few lessons from her. I'm the one that breaks down and sobs uncontrollably like a little girl in the middle of the night. I 'm the one that gets scared for her all the while she is happy-go-lucky 95% of the time. Needless to say, I have more melt downs than a toddler! Pretty sad but I'll just roll with it right now. I'm the kind of person that takes things day by day and try not to worry about tomorrow but GEEZ! My daughter is an exception to the rule. I worry all the time!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Da Ho

It very well could have been an 8 hour trip but driving with a 16 month old can drag the driving time well into 11 hours. With diaper changes, walks and snacks it took us ten and a half hours to get to Boise, Idaho.

The trip was called for because my cousin, Christy, is graduating from high school and we all decided to take the trip to watch her walk. She was accepted to Idaho University on full scholarship.

There is so much recreation up here! The town is nice with all the amenities and chalk full of outdoor things to do. We checked out a HUGE park in Boise today. The Boise River runs through it. There was a large playground for Lucy to run around to get nice a hot and a giant fountain for all the kids to play in to cool off.

I am always worried, especially with such high temperatures in the Sacramento valley, about her overheating. I load everything I can with salt. Apple juice with salt and all her food gets a sprinkle. Even her milk gets a little dash of salt. Being a busy toddler, she never stops to get a drink and lately she never even stops to eat. It is driving me absolutely insane. I try my hardest to pack her with calories and then she refuses to eat.

I realize that most toddlers go through a stage of picky eating and stubbornness but this is so frustrating for me!! I ended up bribing her to eat bites of her dinner with ice cream (that has lots of cals!)

I will continue doing the best I can and hope she comes back around with an appetite. I suppose she will eat when she's hungry and drink when she's thirsty. She's no dummy but the moment she starts losing weight she is gonna see ONE VICIOUS MOMMY coming at her with a fork full of food!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In the beginning...

The most logical thing to do is start at the beginning. I will try to be short and sweet and not leave anything out!

After the initial shock of being pregnant, I was elated by the thought of having a bun in the oven. Having children was always in my future. Having been a camp counselor at the YMCA for years, a babysitter for many families, and also a preschool teacher's assistant, I knew that I was fully prepared to have a kid.

My pregnancy was the BEST 40 weeks and 4 days of my life, and also the longest I had been sober since I turned 18! I quit smoking, quit drinking, and did all the things every pregnant woman should do to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. I even gave up eating sushi and blue cheese for 9 months! I worked as a bartender until two weeks before delivery. Everything had gone as planned with no complications. I was the happiest and healthiest I had ever been.

My plan for labor was a simple one. Little or NO intervention from the doctors; an all natural, drug-free birth in a free-standing birth center. I had planned to give birth in a tub filled with warm water. I ended up laboring in that tub FOREVER! Almost 12 hours! The midwives were fabulous. I did not even see an OB until my water broke at 9 centimeters. When my water broke there was meconium (baby poop) so I was not able to have the baby in the water. Due to the meconium surrounding the baby the midwives called in respiratory specialists in case of any complications. I squatted on the bed with the support of a squatting bar, and after 24 hours of labor and 40 minutes of pushing, my baby Lucy was born.

When the midwife placed my baby on my chest for the first time, Lucy and I immediately locked eyes. I knew then that something was very wrong but the blissful high I had from labor and delivery kept me calm and happy to have her in my arms. Lucy was crying and VERY alert for being a few seconds old yet she was a little blue in color and had a very, very bloated belly. They wiped her down, sucked out her nose, and ripped her from my arms to go inspect her. Until then, I had never been so scared or felt so helpless. While I was being cleaned up in the delivery room they had transferred Lucy into another room for observation and x-rays. There they put her on oxygen and started pumping her stomach. The x-ray showed that her lungs were under stress due to her stomach being so full of gunk.

This is Lucy just 3 hours after joining us earth-side...

After being cleaned and stitched up (I had some very minor tearing), I was finally able to go see my baby. At one hour old, she was already hooked up to monitors and machines checking her oxygen levels and having green mucus pumped from her little tummy. I was informed that she was to be transferred to another hospital in Sacramento, a NICU, about 20 minutes away. The labor and delivery nurses then informed me that they would prefer it if I stayed for monitoring in case of blood loss after delivery. Four hours after delivery, I checked myself out of the hospital against medical advice and followed my newborn child to Sacramento. They wouldn't even let me ride in the ambulance with her. All I could do was stare out the window and cry.
I was utterly exhausted from a 24 hour labor and the emotional roller coaster of having my newborn child torn from my arms. I was loopy from exhaustion, unsteady and could barely hold a conversation. I can vividly remember telling the nurse in the NICU that I hadn't even gone pee yet, and it had been over 5 hours since delivery. I had to find a toilet! I spoke with Lucy's doctor and he advised that I go home and rest because tomorrow would be a long day. At 18 hours old, Lucy was to go in for surgery to repair multiple intestinal blockages called Meconium Ileus. At the time, I had no idea that this was a symptom/side effect of having Cystic Fibrosis.

Lucy made it through surgery and was in recovery in the NICU for over 3 weeks. The first two weeks, she was not able to ingest anything and was fed intravenously while I pumped my mommy milk and stored it in the NICU freezer. I was adamant about breastfeeding before Lucy was even born. I pumped every 3 hours around the clock to make sure my milk came in. I wanted to guarantee that my milk would be ready to go whenever she healed up inside. It would be two weeks before she would be able to ingest anything by mouth, but she took to it like she had been breastfeeding for months!

The hospital provided RV parking on site so I was able to borrow an RV for the 23 day stay. I would not be leaving my child for anything. Although we had just met, I knew Lucy needed me and I needed her. I wasn't going anywhere! I would only travel home every few days when I couldn't stand my own stench anymore...just to take a shower.

After many tests that include a sweat test and DNA test, Lucy was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at 2 weeks old. I had no idea I was even a carrier, and to find out that Lucy's dad is a carrier also!? I was devastated! I wondered what the odds actually were that I would meet and procreate with another CF carrier. I thought, "Why me?"

The "why me?" phase was short lived because I had a newborn baby to take care of. I had no time for self-pity. We were finally able to take Lucy home! Breastfeeding was a success and went off without a hitch. We are still breastfeeding at 3 years, and I have no plans on weaning anytime soon. We practice child-led weaning, and Lucy now nurses about 1-2 times a day. I believe breastfeeding has played a major role in keeping her so healthy thus far.

Lucy is now 20 months old (in this picture below) and the adjustment of having a kid with CF has been fairly easy and without incident. It is certainly different then what I had expected life to be with a child, but luckily she will never know anything different. It is what it is and we can't change it. I can only hope to raise a happy, well-rounded, down-to-earth child that grows into an adult with gigantic self-confidence and a greater understanding of the world around her, not just her own world.

I have created this blog, not only as an outlet for me to "get it all out," but also create awareness about cystic fibrosis(CF), and what it means to live with it, live with it in your family, and what raising a child with CF entails (and other random thoughts I may have!)
I hope people laugh. I hope people cry. I hope people read it and learn a little more every day about the little girl who means so much to me. The little girl that has changed my life for the better. The bravest, strongest little girl that I call LUCY!

If you ever have any questions, please feel free to email me!

Thank you for reading!

~Kacie Tuck

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