New blog

Due to our newest family member and space restrictions in WordPress, I’ve started a new blog to continue our story.

Check out new posts at Www.Ortizboys3.wordpress.com

Pumpkin patch 2020

Despite all the craziness of 2020, we made it to the pumpkin patch and had fun with Grandma and Papa.

We took lots of photos.

The boys chose pumpkins

But mostly we took pictures 🤣

Even a few after M decided he was done.

I forgot how hard it is to get babies to cooperate during pictures. All M wanted to do was chew on the pumpkins!

And his brothers had a hard time looking at the camera, they wanted to help get M’s attention- which was not helpful.

M is our first baby that wasn’t walking at his first pumpkin patch visit. Both TJ and G were early walkers and walked at 9 months which was October for both, since they were both January babies. But M held himself upright for a few Pics.

The big boys got to have some fun launching pumpkins at targets.

I got some cute picture of my parents too.

💜 Still in love, even after more than 50 years of marriage. They are a great example, showing us how to stick together through the good times and the bad with faith in God to get us through it all.

This picture would’ve been so cute, if the camera hadn’t decided to focus on the pumpkins instead of on M. 😢 he didn’t look up much, he mostly focused on trying to get the pumpkins into his mouth. 🤣

🎃🍁 Happy fall!

Lessons learned?

TJs new pump needs to be charged (his old one we replaced AA batteries). He has been told to charge it a little every day. We set up a station and said, anytime you sit here, plug in your pump.

Today the boys took forever to come downstairs. They played in their rooms every time I asked them to get dressed or brush their teeth.

Our morning routine is they get a smoothie while they work on math and after math, they get breakfast and then finish the rest of their subjects. TJ started drinking his smoothie (without poking or dosing, I found out later) at around 10am. By 10:30 I noticed how high his blood sugar was and asked him to dose. This is when he announces: “my pump died last night. It was at 20% when I went to bed.” I had him give himself an injection of 5 units with his backup insulin pen and asked him to change his pump site (it was due today anyway). When the Tslim dies, it makes you fill the pump tubing (one of the steps of putting in a new site). TJ tried to do this, but he only had 50 units left in his pump, so it wouldn’t let him pretend it was a new site. So, he changed his site. Then, instead of starting his math, he laid down complaining he didn’t feel well. So, I asked him to poke to make sure Dexcom is accurate, it showed his blood sugar at 368. TJs been 368 before without feeling sick, many times. I had him go upstairs for his ketone meter. He made it halfway up before laying there moaning. I got up to check on him and get the ketone meter for him-since he was struggling. By the time I got to the stairs he’d made it up and into his bathroom and thrown up. (Thank God he only splattered the floor in the bathroom and not the hallway before getting to the toilet!) I grabbed the ketone meter and he poked, he was at 1.2 ketones. Not good. Small to medium ketones, which can be dangerous for a type 1 diabetic.

I had TJ dose for his blood sugar again. Luckily his pump didn’t know about his pen dose of insulin, so it wasn’t counting it toward his active insulin. This pump keeps track of all active insulin (insulin in his body that hasn’t been in his system long enough to be done working at trying to bring his blood sugar down) it gave him a full dose for his blood sugar.

Oh, but I forgot to say, Dexcom stopped working now too. 🤪 Apparently you have to restart the Dexcom when you restart the pump from being powered off. Instead of starting it with no code, and letting it reconnect using the phones readings, he put the code in and the pump thought he was trying to start a new session and said “no restarts” which made the phone stop getting readings too. I had to pop the transmitter out with used test strips (usually Tony’s job) and leave it out for 20 minutes to restart it. Which means no reading for 2 hours and 20 minutes while we wait to put it back (so we trick it into thinking it’s new) and the 2 hour warmup.

Talk about a crazy morning and all because a pump wasn’t charged. And in the midst of all this insanity, I was still taking care of adorable little M and trying to get G to do his schoolwork.

I get that this is a learning curve. I understand that he’s only 11 and he has way more on his shoulders than most 11 year olds. But I worry about how he will take care of himself when he’s an adult. I’m hopeful that these slightly scared (or not quite life threatening) experiences will make a big impression. Will he learn to charge his devises regularly from this? I sure hope so.

A new way to zoo

We went to the members only preview of how the Point Defiance Zoo is operating due to the new social distancing rules. To start with, you have to schedule a time or for non-members, buy your entrance ticket with an entrance time. The Parking lot was closed for park access, only zoo goers were allowed to park there. They want you to park 15 minutes before your entry time and then be at the entrance exactly at your scheduled time.

They painted arrows on the ground, because you are no longer allowed to wander freely around the zoo looking at the animals you most want to see. They are trying to make the path one way, but there were some areas that it didn’t work and we were forced to walk near other people. They also painted paw prints for your family to stand at to look at the animals while staying away from other zoo visitors.

Many exhibits were closed, to keep people outside, and from touching things other people would touch. No aquariums, or budgies, which are our favorites.

We did get to see some animals though.

The clouded Leopard was napping in plain sight, usually we can’t find him.

The tiger was out and got up and walked around, looking scared or ready to attack. And Tony taght G how to use the big camera to take a picture. 💜

The penguins looked like they were nesting, most of them were in their little cave homes.

And the monkeys were out having fun today.

Our favorite part-the new aquarium 😢

We lucked out, the weather was dry for most of our visit.

And we got to see the otters 🦦

But then the rain hit. Tony was prepared and brought umbrellas, which the boys were excited to be in charge of.

Until it got dangerous, then tony took over. 🤣

M wasn’t happy in the stroller for long. He wanted back in the moby wrap, where he seemed to enjoy the rain.

They even roped off Ivan, so no kids could climb on him.

It was a different way to see the zoo, but we still had fun, even in the rain. 😊

A Pandemic Birth Story

He was due on April 20, 2020, but my OB wanted me to deliver him during my 38th week of pregnancy because of my blood pressure issues and liver enzymes- which were all in range during my pregnancy. She told me at my appointment that she wanted to schedule my induction for 2 weeks from that day. Because of the corona virus, I had asked her for a letter so Tony could take 2 weeks off before the baby’s birth so we could quarantine and make sure no one was sick. Not only for the baby, but also so we didn’t spread anything at the hospital or to my parents who were going to watch TJ and G while we were at the hospital. When the Dr stepped out to write the letter, I texted Tony. I told him today would be his last day at work, not the following Monday or Tuesday, we were planning on. When she brought the letter back I texted him a picture of the letter to turn in to HR also. I asked her what the earliest time that the hospital would call us in was. 8 am? She said yes, 8 am. After my appointment, I had to wait 2 weeks. In my house, with my immediate family, not working, or going out to visit friends, or to shop. And this was the first time I would know when my baby would be born.

This is such a crazy time to have a baby. I had already been told that we could have no visitors at the hospital, not even M’s big brothers or grandparents. We quarantined at home for 2 weeks, getting groceries delivered, my sister filling our prescriptions for us, leaving the house only to go for a walk or for me to go to my Dr appointments. We helped the boys with their school work, baked some sourdough, and tried to live our normal life while preparing for Easter.

Finally the day arrived, we got the call from the hospital (at 5:15 am) “can we be there by 6 am?” , She asked. “Uhhh… no, sorry. Everyone is asleep and we need to drop the big kids off with grandparents on our way in.” I replied. “Maybe by 7?” She said that would work, so I jumped out of bed as into the shower. No time to waste! We packed up what wasn’t already in suitcases, loaded the car and headed out. We made a quick stop at Starbucks for breakfast (and a chai) and took the big boys to my parents house. Then we headed to the hospital. We were not there at 7 but pretty close. 😜 at the hospital entrance we told them who we were and why we were there. They took our temperatures, asked about Covid 19 symptoms and then walked us back to Labor and Delivery. After we checked in there and got to our room it was a waiting game. We waited for the nurse to come in and we waited for meds to start the induction. I was put on contraction and fetal heart rate monitors from the time the nurse came in until M was born. It was a little frustrating, having to unplug wires every time I had o use the restroom, I also felt tied to the bed, like I shouldn’t get up unnecessarily. This kid kept hiding from the monitor. That poor first nurse was in our room about 100 times, moving the monitor around on my belly trying to track down his heart rate. The night nurse was in quite a few times for the same reason. That was the longest day ever! We watched the hallmark, discovery, and history channels, tried to read, texted family and friends updated, tried to nap and waited for the meds to work.

By midnight, I had taken 3 doses of miso 6 hours apart. Miso is a pill they use to thin the cervix before giving Pitocin to start contractions. I was contracting without Pitocin and they were coming every 2-3 minutes, but I was able to get some sleep.

The next morning around 8 the contractions started getting stronger, and I asked for IV pain meds. They gave me something different from what I had with TJ and G. It made me feel woozy, but it did take the edge off if the contractions. I was ready for another dose when this one wore off. It only lasted about an hour, whatever they gave me with my first 2 births worked much better. I didn’t feel them wear off, but I was also on a continuous drip for those deliveries, with M they pushed it in my IV from a syringe, I wasn’t even on continuous fluids. Around 10:00, I was stopping my body from pushing during contractions. The Dr on call came into my room and checked me. I was only at an 8 and he said, “If you push before your at a 10, it’s like opening a door that won’t close again. It could take an hour or 2 to dilate to a 10, I’ll come back when you’re closer”. What?!? I didn’t have much choice but to keep breathing and trying to not push when my body kept taking over. The nurse checked me again later and said I hadn’t changed, to keep breathing through the contractions. She had me try hands and knees but my body kept trying to push M out. During one of my contractions when my body started pushing on it’s own, he crowned. After that the nurse checked me again and said I was at a 10. No kidding, his head forced my cervix open. I crowned 3 times before the Dr came back and at least twice, while he got set up to deliver M. He kept telling me that I was alright. Umm.. no, I wasn’t! The baby should only crown once during delivery! It hurt every time and I was scared I was going to deliver before he was ready to help me. Eventually the Dr was ready, M crowned for the 6th time and then was delivered the rest of the way too. He had an issue with his cord being compressed (I was a little out of it, and they didn’t explain anything, just clipped his cord and rubbed him to get him to cry).

I tore again along the scars from G’s birth and a couple other areas. The Dr told me I tore “in a very sensitive area” (where I tore with G) he gave me a couple shots of lidocaine and started stitching me up. He didn’t wait for the lidocaine to numb me. I felt those stitches, especially the ones in my “sensitive area”. He is definitely not a Dr I would recommend, unfortunately you get whichever Dr is on call when you are in labor. I was surprise by this, I thought since it was scheduled, that my Dr would plan to be there to deliver M.

This was my toughest delivery. I thought G’s was bad, but at least my Dr for his delivery listened to me when I said my body was pushing and I had to keep stopping it. This Dr complained to the nurse about me not being his patient, like I had a choice. I did tear way worse with G, which made recovery much tougher, but the delivery was not as traumatic.

This little boy was definitely worth everything I went through.

Blood sugar battles

I’ve been asked before if TJs numbers are stable now, and sadly, the answer is always: “he has his ups and downs”. We do get weeks (or days) where we figure out all his ratios and get his pump programmed to give him the perfect amount of insulin to keep him in range 80% of the time. But then we have weeks like this week. His numbers have been high, no matter how much we up his insulin and no matter how much extra insulin we give him.

Look at that graph! 😥 he was over 300 from 8am until 3pm. He had lots of extra doses of insulin, but it did not help until 2pm. And even after 2 he didn’t drop below 200. The graph doesn’t show it but after dinner he spiked again and spent most of the night over 300. These are not healthy, in range numbers. Ideally his blood sugar would be around 100 all day and night, but type 1 diabetics typically aim for 120-150.

The next day it was the same thing. Since it was starting to become a pattern, I started adjusting his ratios in his pump. His blood sugars never came down after breakfast or dinner and his correction boluses (extra insulin based on his current blood sugar that should bring him down into range) were not bringing him down at all. Based on that information, I told his pump to give him more insulin for meals (I adjusted the carb ratio) and I also told it to give him more insulin for correcting high blood sugars (his sensitivity factor).

His numbers were a little lower after that, but still not in range much. But he also had a hard crash after lunch–oops too much change there!– So I changed his carb ratios again last night, I gave him even more insulin for breakfast but took away a little of the extra insulin for lunch.

His dinner ratio worked perfectly last night, so I don’t need to adjust that one again. But today, I wait and see what will happen after breakfast and after lunch-and I’ll pray that the dinner ratio wasn’t a fluke, so we can have in range numbers over night again.

This disease is all a guessing game, we can’t know everything that is effecting his blood sugars. Every growth spurt, activity, or stressor can change his numbers and leave us to decide if we should change pump settings or wait to see if it’s just a one or two day thing that will self correct. There are no easy answers. We play with numbers and the dosing amounts of a hormone that keeps him alive, but could also kill him. Too little or too much insulin could very easily be fatal. It’s an all day every day worry, and we have to make dosing decisions multiple times a day.

It looks easy from the out side, you see us counting carbs and enter that and a blood sugar into his pump and then he eats. But every meal, snack, active moment (and more)of his day changes how much insulin he needs and the pump doesn’t account for those. We have to decide if he needs less insulin at lunch because he was running around all morning. Or if he needs a little more because he has a stubborn high blood sugar that didn’t come down earlier or whether we should spread his dinner insulin over 4 hours because he’s having pizza and that causes highs 3-4 hours after he eats. If we get it wrong it could cause even more problems.

This month is diabetes awareness month, I hope that spreading awareness about how awful this is will help motivate people to find a cure. The only way we will not have to make these decisions and fight to keep TJs blood sugars in range is for a cure to be found. Until then, we will continue to loose sleep, make tough choices, and fight every blood sugar battle we have to in order to keep TJ alive and healthy.

Halloween 2019

For the first time ever, the boys were allowed to wear their costumes to school. I never wanted them distracted when homeschooled and last year TJs school didn’t allow costumes. This year, in middle school, TJ was allowed to dress up. I didn’t let him wear his new costume, because I didn’t want him to get it dirty or rip a whole in it before trick or treating. He chose last years Capt. America costume for at school. I also let G wear a costume during his homeschool day. He wore a hand me down costume from his cousin, a storm trooper. I left early to teach at the high school, and Tony was home to teach G. I meant to get a picture of the boys in their school costumes, but the morning got away from me.

I got home around 1:40 pm and found, not a storm trooper, but Spider-Man in my house. G decided to change costumes after finishing his school work. TJ came home around 3 and then we started getting ready to go to grandma and papa’s for dinner. I put some green beans in a bowl, grabbed a couple strips of bacon, and threw a bagged salad kit in a bowl, before we started loading up the car. Last minute I remembered pillow cases for the boys to trick or treat with. We were already 20 minutes late. We got 3 minutes from home and Tony realizes he forgot his warm coat, then he says we forgot the camera, and TJ needs to use the bathroom. U-turn time. TJ actually had forgotten his phone (which is how we know what his blood sugars are without finger pokes). We got everything we forgot, got back in the car and made it to grandmas, only 45 minutes late.

After a delicious dinner with grandma, papa, and Uncle Joe (which took G forever to eat) the boys got into their costumes and we took some pictures.

The dynamic duo looked ready to fight crime (or get candy).

We captured some shots of Grandma and Papa in their Halloween outfits too, before heading over to my sisters house to trick or treat with the cousins (Spider-Man and Super Cat)

The kids were running from door to door on our way to my other sisters house. It’s so nice having family close by! Then they continued running from door to door screaming “trick or treat” and whispering “thank you” (at least they said they were saying it, I didn’t hear it much). TJs blood sugars were in range the whole time! He didn’t need any candy to bring him up (he was disappointed about that).

They had lots of fun with their cousins, and got quite a haul of candy. They each got 1 piece of candy before we walked back over to my parents house to pack up and head home. The boys changed into pjs and we all headed home, it was way past my kids bedtime and I was exhausted.

We sent the boys to bed when we got home. We didn’t even go through their candy yet. Tony started a movie and I fell asleep on the couch. The next thing I know, Tony’s calling me to get a juice from the top of the stairs. TJs blood sugar was 39↘️. Tony gave him 4 tabs (16 carbs) and half a Gatorade (11 carbs) before he started coming up. He leveled off at 155 for awhile but slowly dropped back down to 80 overnight. Not low enough to need more sugar, but when he woke up and poked in the morning he was 75, so he did get to finish the Gatorade.

TJs school district scheduled a teacher in service day the day after Halloween. So TJ has no school! Tony took the day off, so, today we get to go through their candy, take the boys to the dentist, and hang out as a family. I hope you had a wonderful Halloween!

On a side note: this is the first Halloween EVER that I had no candy! I did not eat a single piece! When I got home and wanted something sweet, I cleaned some strawberries and snacked on those. 😊 Tony didn’t eat any candy either (although he did eat (and enjoy) bread and baked beans with dinner.

Pumpkin carving 2019

We carved our pumpkins!

Uncle Joe came over to help.

He and Tony did all the dirty work: cutting off tops, most of the scooping, and assisted with the carving.

I got to sit back and watch and take pictures.

G chose a skull stencil for his pumpkin.

TJ wanted to do his by himself. Scooping, designing, and carving.

Everyone had fun!

Even Uncle Joe. 😜

Tony helped G to get a perfect skull.

And TJ designed a jack o lantern with Batman’s symbol for a mouth.

They both look pretty cool!

Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin patch 2019

TJ has been sick with a nasty cough and sore throat this week, he missed 3 days of school. (I’m sure I’ll get a letter this semester, saying he’s missed too many days 🙄). I was thinking of trying a different pumpkin patch this year, the one we always go to, rearranged their pumpkin field. They moved it, made it smaller and I didn’t think it was as picturesque as years past. But, since TJ still had a cough, and because I wasn’t feeling very adventurous, we went back to the same place.

It wasn’t too bad, it was small, but we got some cute shots.

It’s pretty funny how busy it got while we were there.

It was pretty empty when we got there., so we got some pictures of just us.

The boys got to pick out a big pumpkin each, to carve later.

TJ got so show his wheelbarrow skills, rolling those pumpkins up to be weighed.

Sadly, our boys are too big for the cute kids in the wheelbarrow pics. 😢 they grow up so fast!!

Luckily they still cooperated with having their pictures taken (with just a little bribery).

It was fun to see the farm animals again. Those pigs were just tiny piglets when we were here for pumpkins last year!

We ended up picking out 3 different types of pumpkins for our porch. Two for carving, two sugar pumpkins (smaller) and two of the tiny decorative pumpkins.

It’s crazy how big these boys are getting! I’m glad they are still young enough to enjoy family outings. Those teen years are approaching quickly, I hope they aren’t as bad as I’ve heard they can be.

Here’s to another year! I’m already looking forward to next years pumpkin patch pics.

It’s a photo-op I have enjoyed since TJ was a baby. Plus, once we go, we have pumpkins to carve! Another fun family event.

Happy fall! 🍁 🎃🧡💛❤️

Miscarriage fears, faith, and a great God

Warning: girl problems and body parts discussed read at your own risk.

At 12 weeks in my third pregnancy I had a miscarriage. Today I’m 12 weeks 4 days and I’ve had some miscarriage symptoms along with some odd bladder issues. A little spotting, some cramping, and difficulty urinating over the last two days. I wasn’t too worried about it even with the cramping yesterday, I figured it was gas from eating something new the night before. This morning I was scared. Some flesh was blocking my vaginal opening, and I was bleeding around that flesh. I called the emergency OB number as talked to the triage nurse, who recommended being seen today. Unfortunately, that meant I had to cancel my sub job at the last minute, to be available, since I couldn’t schedule the appointment until 9am (my job started at 8:30).

I didn’t call my husband and I didn’t tell my parents (one of the few people who know we are expecting). I didn’t want to say it out loud. I may be having a miscarriage. I just kept moving and kept praying.

I still dropped G off at my parents and then headed home to drink the breakfast smoothie I forgot in the fridge on my way out the door and to wait impatiently for 9am when I could call the Dr and schedule something. Instead of sitting here crying, I prayed. I asked St Gerard and St Nicholas to protect my baby and I asked God to help me to trust him and accept his plan for our family.

A little after 8:30 I got a call from the OBs office, she had a message from the triage nurse and was calling to fit me in to the schedule. 11 am was the earliest appointment they had, so I took it. I divided time between reading (to distract myself) researching my symptoms on the internet, and repeating my prayers from earlier.

At 10:45, I got up and headed to the Dr. after leaving a urine sample and waiting for the nurse/Dr to be ready, I was called back. Weighed in, BP checked, meds reviewed, the usual nurse chit chat and then more waiting for the Dr.

She came in and I told her all my symptoms from the last few days. She decides to do a pelvic exam, and says, “it sounds like prolapse”. Which was exactly what I read online, it means my pelvic floor muscles are weak (and lazy) and my uterus is no longer up where it should be. My cervix is hanging down at by Vaginal opening and sometimes poking through the opening. (You can read a better description here https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305971.php)

So, my cervix is blocking my vaginal opening, but the blood was not from my uterus (which I heard as good news). This issue is what is causing my bladder issues. She did an ultrasound while I was there and the baby was low and hard to see, but it was moving around and had a good heartbeat.

Thank you God!

The treatment is Kegel exercises for now and physical therapy to strengthen my pelvic floor after the pregnancy. If that doesn’t work, then surgery. But hopefully it will work.

My prayers were answered today, the baby is fine, and I will continue to offer up my fears to God and ask for the strength to trust Gods plan-whatever it may be.

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