Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kindergarten – A Sigh of Relief!

I’m proud to say I am surviving Kindergarten!

I will be the first to admit, I did a lot of worrying over the summer about Emma’s transition to Kindergarten. She had been going to Bright Horizons, located on our work campus, with only work people’s kids since she was 16 months old. I had formed relationships with teachers, staff and parents and felt fully comfortable and content with the way things were.  Kindergarten and Elementary School seemed like a whole new foreign world to me and I harbored a lot of anxiety in the weeks and days leading up to the first day of school. Part of it was also due to Emma’s own reluctance. She was not looking forward to the change and that multiplied my own anxiety. I tried to keep it positive for Emma, though.  In preparation, we talked a lot about all the friends she would make, and things she would be doing and learning in Kindergarten. We shopped for clothes, supplies and lunch box staples. We visited her classroom and met her teachers. When the first day of school came around, Emma was terrified. She clung to us as we walked her in and the tears started as soon as we got to her classroom. After getting her somewhat settled, assuring her it was going to be ok and a final hug, kiss and I love you, I walked out the door and my own tears started flowing. I had been nervous about this whole thing, but I hadn’t expected to be that emotional. I was somewhat embarrassed, so I kept my head down and made a bee line for the car with poor Todd walking behind. He assured me she was going to be ok, but I was so sad to leave her crying and scared. I rode to work with such a heavy heart. Then…I missed a call from the school and panicked because they didn’t leave a message. I did end up getting in touch with her teacher and she said she called me to reassure me that Emma was doing great and stopped crying shortly after I left. She said she doesn’t usually do that, but she could see it in my eyes that I needed some reassurance. I am so grateful for that because I was able to get on with me day feeling a lot better. Todd was home sick, so he went to pick her up instead of having her go to the After School Program. They called me when they got home and Emma chattered on happily about the things she did and the new friends she made. WHEW! That made my day. On the way home I stopped and got her flowers, balloons and an ice cream cake to celebrate a successful first day!

Since then, things have been running very smooth and we have fallen into a good routine. She is more tired at night due to getting up earlier, no nap and increased activity. Last night she was sleeping by 8:30, and although we were not quite sure what to do with ourselves at first, Todd and I enjoyed a little peace and quiet to unwind and relax. Something we definitely were not used to since she has always been a NIGHTHAWK!!! She loves to help me pack her lunch and pick out her clothes the night before and genuinely seems to be enjoying the Kindergarten experience. This morning, we got out of the house on time and in peace since we were all rested and relaxed. Todd asked us if he came home with the wrong family last night!!!! We do have some work to do on drop off. I am still walking her in. She is clearly not ready to hop out of the car in the drop off lane (although I KNOW she could do it). We are trying to take it a step at a time. She still cries a little when I drop her, but I have toughened up and don’t feel the need to stay until she calms down (b/c I know that will only prolong it). I am getting over my desire to stay and make it better because I know she is capable of pulling herself together on her own and this is building up confidence in her that she can do it. 

Kindergarten isn’t so bad after all! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

What Doesn’t Kill us Makes us Stronger

Well, ain’t that the truth?

 In my last post, I spoke of my readiness and hope to get pregnant again. Well….just a short time after that, my prayers were answered and we were absolutely relieved, excited and terrified to confirm I was pregnant and we were on our way towards fulfilling our wishes to add to our loving family! My due date was February 24th and as the weeks went by we were cautiously optimistic about the good times ahead, with our hopes and dreams of Emma finally getting a chance to be a big sister!! I knew it was going to be a long 9 months of worry and anxiety, particularly as we approached the 38 week mark when Isla passed away. But I was full of courage and knew that I had the full support of Todd and friends and family as we anticipated Baby Santello’s safe arrival. We eventually told Emma the news and she was absolutely delighted to have another chance at being the big sister and immediately talked of how she was going to take on all duties pertaining to taking care of a baby! Todd and I were going to have it made!! We told some close family and friends, but I was very hesitant to make this news “public” before I heard a heartbeat or saw an ultrasound with a wiggling baby. I know most people do wait until at least the first trimester is over…but last time I think I spilled the beans around 9 or 10 weeks. This time I was so afraid to jinx it.  I visited the doctor at 9 weeks and thought they may listen for the heartbeat…but they didn’t. At that time, I think there is a 50/50 chance of hearing it, and I believe they didn’t even want to try in case they couldn’t because that would have really caused me to worry, even though I know it’s not guaranteed at that point.  I was disappointed since I had really been hoping to be assured of some sign of life. But, I was feeling tired and nauseous and cranky…so I figured, no news is good news, right?! I was having an ultrasound soon, so we’d just wait for our reassurance then.

At the beginning of my 11th week, I noticed some slight spotting. It wasn’t totally worrisome, as that can be common in early pregnancy, but I felt the need to call my doctor because she had assured me she was there for me whenever I needed her. So I told her what was going on and she wasn’t too concerned but told me to come on in for an ultrasound in the office for reassurance. I was a bit nervous b/c it would be the same room that I learned of Isla’s fate. I tried to remain positive. However, I cannot deny that I had a really bad feeling as I was driving to the doctor. I had thought about having Todd come with me…but once again…I just wanted to stay positive and was trying to be brave.  I just couldn’t get the nagging feeling out of my head that I was going to see nothing up on the ultrasound screen.  I tried to chalk it up to being nervous about this pregnancy in light of what we’d been through…that it would be pretty normal to be so nervous. Anyway…yeah….when the image came up on the ultrasound screen, it was a big empty hole.  Sadly, where we should’ve seen what looked like a jumping bean, there was nothing. I knew…even though they had to send me to my Perinatologist for a more in depth ultrasound and confirmation.  Todd was waiting for my call and I didn’t have to say anything since he knew from my sobs that my fears were true.

This little one was not meant to be. He/She stopped developing at 6 weeks and just didn’t have what it needed to continue on.  Thankfully nothing was wrong with me…other than a broken heart and dampened spirit. The doctor’s said that sometimes these things happen and still see no reason for me to think I can’t go on to have another healthy pregnancy and baby.

After a few days of healing physically and emotionally, I came to terms with the fact that this wasn’t meant to be.  I am trying not to dwell on it and know that sometimes in life there are misfortunes we must face on the way to where we are going. This was definitely a blow to our family to have to deal with this so soon after losing Isla. But we have each other…so I know we are going to be OK.