I haven't written in a very, very long time.
Part of that is because I haven't felt the urge. I've had plenty to write about - meaningful thoughts, inward commentary, general ideas that could easily be shared with the world - but I haven't been compelled to share them. To a degree, I think the things I've experienced in the last year have had a lot to do with that, but some of it too has been the state of general depression that has set into our family. In October we moved to our own house and in January we welcomed baby #3 and our last child, baby boy E. He's an amazing little baby, nearly four months old now, and I've no doubt that he'll be as brilliant and amazing as his older brothers.
After his birth I experienced a rather traumatic incident involving multiple pulmonary embolisms. I had blood clots in every lobe of both lungs, leading to a hospital stay while trying to continue breastfeeding that was both unpleasant and emotionally challenging. That, in turn, has led to a three month hiatus from work in which I have had to fight tooth and nail to force my doctor's office to submit the required paperwork in time for each continuation that has been necessary (most recently, I have yet again had to appeal my disability being closed out, because the doctor's office didn't submit information in time, meaning we are going without a LOT of my pay, on top of the 40% cut I receive simply for being on disability). The whole situation has been beyond anything I ever would have expected when it came to reasonable challenges, and while people have continuously reassured me that we would never be handed more than we could handle I feel I must argue with that after this series of insanely unfortunate events.
On the plus side, it has offered me the chance to be a stay at home mom to my youngest longer than I had previously anticipated; originally I was to return to work just before six weeks had passed, but now we are nearing four months and I'm still here. The side effects of my medication have led me to make some self-guided decisions for my health and sanity. In short, things have been rough.
But there have been moments of quiet beauty. Brief as they are, and difficult as they are to see given our near-constant state of concern, fear, and hesitation, they have been amazing and soothing. Moments seeing all three of our children together, interacting; watching the older boys hug and cling to their tiny sibling with a love I never thought I'd see either express until they were parents themselves. I have taken pride in the fact that despite the mountains we've had to climb, and after he got down to 7 lbs 5 oz (after being born at 8 lbs 1 oz) that now at nearly four months old he is 15 lbs 10 oz - a huge jump that I know is thanks to my breast milk, my body producing what he needs to grow and thrive. After two miserable, difficult breastfeeding experiences, my time with E has been a welcome change.
There are, of course, other things. A has been having trouble hearing, something that bothers us considerably as he is nearly five and already has a clear and noticeable speech impediment. After struggling with him for some time and after he failed a requested hearing test at school we took him to the audiologist and confirmed severe hearing loss; his left ear drum isn't moving and his right is only barely functioning, while simultaneously they are in bad shape. He has fluid behind both eardrums, and his doctor assumes this is because his Eustachian tubes simply never figured out how to clear themselves and "pop" as our ears do. We hope to soon enlist the assistance of a chiropractor to try to clear them out, but if that doesn't work he will likely be having tubes put in. I had tubes when I was little, and I remember them most clearly as being a huge pain in the butt for numerous reasons. I don't wish this on him, but obviously we will do whatever we need to.
E has also recently gotten sick, what appears to be a nasty upper respiratory infection that is causing his eyes to goop up too. We confirmed (thankfully) that it isn't RSV, although his doctor's office says they can't really test for anything else, but the gunk in his lungs has led to us getting him a nebulizer to try to clear him up enough to make him more comfortable as he recovers from his first illness.
So there you are. I won't rant on about our troubles right now; that seems to be all I do anyway. Just an update, if anyone is still out there.