Monday, October 16, 2017

The Death Flu

I've been sick for the last week or so with what I call the Death Flu. I had something very similar to this about two years ago and was miserable.  I had to take a full week off of work and thought I was going to die or go crazy. During that time I was down I listened to a lot of the audio book of Carol, The Price of Salt and watched my first Korean drama, Fated to Love You.

The symptoms of this mysterious illness include the following:

  • Fever ranging from 102-104 that doesn't go down with ibuprofen. This alternates with extreme chills that leaves one's fingers purple and isn't ameliorated by a super hot bath and copious blankets
  • Sharp pain in legs, arms, wrists, and hands. Inability to stand or walk from pain in legs.
  • Vomiting everything, even water.
  • Insomnia from the pain and the fever.
  • Hives all over.
  • Recovery takes a full 7 days.
Does anyone else get the flu like this?! I had gone in and gotten my flu shot the afternoon before I came down with this illness. I know my science and I know you CANNOT get the flu from the flu shot, but I was wondering what in the world was going on when all these symptoms started raining down on me later that night. John called the nurse and she said I had probably already contracted the flu and that the shot just intensified it. 

One thing I was grateful for during this time of sickness was that I had hoarded old medications. I know this is looked down upon, but I've watched enough Walking Dead, Fear of the Walking Dead, and I Am Legend to know that in the event of a zombie apocalypse, besides your guns, food, and water, you're going to need meds.  I was so miserable and in so much pain that going to Instacare didn't seem like a desirable option. Luckily I was able to treat the vomiting with an anti-nausea medication sample from being pregnant, the fever with 800 mg ibuprofen tablets (which didn't really bring the fever down in the first couple of days) and the limb pain with some painkillers for the first 3 days.  

Since I couldn't sleep during the first few days of the Death Flu, I started getting a little hysterical at nights. Like the first night I started freaking out whenever my heart rate slowed down and thought I was dying. I'd then try to make a plea with God that I wasn't ready to go yet and needed to stay alive to raise Charlotte and help John. 

Anyway, I'm glad it's over. When I finally got out of the house last week it was super surreal. Being sick that long is really isolating and I think I was starting to get depressed. I have a hard time reading when I'm as miserable as I was so I finished all episodes of The Good Place. I also took care of Charlotte by laying on the ground and falling asleep until she woke me up with a scream to get my attention.  I'm really thankful for John. He took care of Charlotte any chance he could which gave me a chance to rest. 

Moral of the story. Keep your old meds. You never know when you might need them.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Baby Mine

Charlotte Kiku LeSueur was born March 30, 2017 at 11:03pm.  It was the day after my birthday.

The day before Charlotte was born I had a doctor's appointment in the morning and then went out to lunch to start my birthday celebrations. I had planned this for awhile and the list included the following activities:

  1. Lunch at Eva's Bakery
  2. Buy a cake from Tullie Bakery, 
  3. Pick up treats from Les Madeleine Bakery, 
  4. Shop  
  5. Watch a movie on the couch
  6. Go out for a nice dinner 
 We only checked off the first three items on the list.

When they placed Charlotte on my chest for the first time I had imagined I was going to be overwhelmed with emotion like I had seen in the many birth videos that John and I watched together in the many classes at the hospital that I signed us up for. I was surprised that I only felt a sense of calm. It was as if she had always been there. Instead of a rush of tears and hysterical happiness I only felt peace.

I haven't known exactly how to put into words how I feel about Charlotte's birth. I have waited so many years for her. I have prayed for her, wished for her, cried for her. My heart has been broken while waiting for her as other pregnancies slipped away and momentarily dashed hopes. There were many nights when I was curled up on my side of the bed silently crying and wondering why we had to go through this specific trial. Before we found out we were pregnant with Charlotte we had resolved to end our fertility treatments and look into adoption. We had hope in a future family and knew that somehow it would happen. Perhaps I had to be completely broken and work to slowly and sometimes painfully mend before she could come to us. I am inexpressibly thankful for Charlotte and for the opportunity I have to be her mother. Sometimes I have an irrational fear that she will be taken away from us at any moment because of those other times when we thought we were expecting and then had those plans end abruptly. So, even though motherhood obviously has it's own challenges as does any part of life, I am grateful that these are now my challenges because I know what the other side of not having them feels like. I try to cherish Charlotte each chance I get and it makes those little difficulties seem insignificant compared to the joy that we have now.

Dear Charlotte, please know that your mom and dad love you and have been waiting for you for so long. We are so happy that you are finally here with us and are in awe of the love and wisdom of our Heavenly Father that saw us through a difficult path that led us to you.

First look.

Day 2. Under the warming lights.

First bath. 

Snuggling with dad.

Going home.

Monday, October 2, 2017

March: The home stretch!

I haven't been writing in my journal or Charlotte's baby book lately and that made me realize I never finished up here. March was still very busy. Even though it was the last month of pregnancy I had a lot to do to set up my classroom so that I could take maternity leave and I was VERY uncomfortable and tired. Teaching was definitely harder and I felt a little bad for my students because I didn't have a ton of energy by the time I got down to those last few weeks before I left. I was still throwing up, but this time from heart burn.  I was also frequently laying down on the floor of my stockroom between class periods and during my prep when I had the time. At the same time, I was also getting very excited to meet Charlotte.

I had one last shower put on by my dear friends Angelica and JP.  It was a co-ed shower and there ended up being more men than women which was amusing!

Game where we were supposed to sculpt a baby with play dough. Nephi won with his minimalist style. 

Fondue bar.

Dressing the baby game. John got kind of competitive!

I made Asian food with my science PLC team. I wasn't the one leading here. Tammi and her sister Monique taught me and Erin how to make steamed pork buns and bulgolgi. It was delicious! I wish I had time to make the pork buns more often. We also watched an anime afterward to fit the theme of the day.

Our dough crimping skills might be lacking but they tasted good! 
Wringing out the juices from the veggies.
Grandpa Alf passed away at ninety seven years old. He had a beautiful funeral service and it was wonderful to hear about his life from the memories of his children and grandchildren.  We loved Grandpa and it's still strange to go to Provo and know that he's not there to drop by and visit. Both John and I were so grateful that we were able to see him before he passed at the shower Grandma Joyce threw for us.  I remember that he reflected on how proud he was of all his children and their spouses and was amazed at his posterity.  His last words of advice to us were that the most important thing in being a parent was to make sure our children know that we love them.

Grandpa Alf's children: Brian, Mary, Robert, and Doug.

We attended my Aunty Meg's 96th birthday. She's as beautiful and genki as ever! 

I finished up the last weeks of teaching which was very surreal.  It was hard to get out of the daily groove of working in the school and classroom. I miss these two girls and working with 7th graders a lot! Luckily I got called to be the  teacher for the 14 year old Sunday School class at church and that has been fun and given me a chance to use my teaching abilities and lesson planning.

The last bump pictures! 

36 weeks
39 weeks
The start of setting up the nursery.

Up next . . . Charlotte!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Rest of February

Most of this month was just hanging on in there. I had student teacher conferences that month. We tested out the new baby monitor by putting it in the office room and using it to spy on the bunny. We didn't really celebrate Valentine's Day because I had bad acid reflux and didn't want to waste a good meal by throwing it up. We keep telling ourselves that we'll make up our Valentine's and our birthday celebrations later this year since we didn't do anything for any of those occasions, but we haven't had a chance yet.  Hopefully we can do something later this summer when my parents come to visit.

32 wks
33 wks.

34 wks.
35 wks.

Nest Cam spying on John and Jasmine.

Chocolate covered strawberries that I requested from John for Valentine's Day.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mori Family and Friends Baby Shower

My sisters and mom were so sweet to throw me a baby shower in San Diego! They all have impeccable taste and so everything from the food to the decorations was super cute and well thought out. It was really special to be able to be surrounded by people who have been close to me since childhood. Everyone who came was family to me and they were all extremely happy for us to be welcoming Charlotte to the world. I regret that I didn't get a picture of everyone that was there!

Jen came all the way from Chino Hills. Thanks for making the long drive Jen! 

Lisa planned the decorations, appetizers, and take home favors. It was so thoughtful of her to put together this delicious cheese plate that was all pregnancy safe!

Michelle planned the games. We all got a little competitive with the baby animal one. Do you know what baby animal a cria is?

February San Diego Trip

At the beginning of February John and I went to San Diego for a baby shower my family was throwing for me. It was a short three day visit, but it's always so nice to spend time with family and also so nice to escape the cold, polluted Utah winters.

My parents backyard. I wish Utah had green winters! 

Cement from when the house was first built.

Roses from my parents garden in February! They smell amazing!

Obligatory Mitsuwa visit. They had a special stand set up selling dorayaki. 

I have yet to try the crepes here, but when I do I'm sure I won't be getting those top two flavors!

Ollie playing with Leah's bird Gingko.

That smile!