Hello all…Thanks for checking out this week’s Monday’s Mommas feature.
It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Jen Rudd from HalfwayHomemaker.com. Jen is a Work-From-Home wife and mom of two kids and two beagles from Redondo Beach, California. In addition to running her own Business Development firm, she also blogs about her experiences being a full time mom as well as a business owner. When she isn’t stressing about deadlines or preschool homework (why does a three year old have homework?!?), she enjoys long walks on the beach, making overly ambitious cakes for birthdays and reality television.
Read Jen’s touching post about the love for her children.
You Are My Sunshine
My favorite lullaby for my kids has always been “You Are My Sunshine.” I remember it as a child and it is etched in my memory as a song that has always soothed me.
In my post-partum haze after my son was born, I actually looked up the lyrics – I wanted to sing more than 1 ½ verses to him. What I found surprised me. It is a pretty sad song, about a scorned lover. It really doesn’t seem to be appropriate for a child’s lullaby, but it still holds true to me.
My favorite two verses are:
The other night dear
As I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you
In my arms
When I awoke dear
I was mistaken
and I hung my head and cried
You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are grey
You’ll never know dear
How much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away
I sing them over and over to my children. The song sometimes brings a little tear to my eyes – the thought of losing them is so frightening to me.
It is frightening because I almost lost both of them.
Both of my children had a rough first couple of months. My pregnancies were awful – I was being tested for pre-eclampsia at thirty weeks for both and they were both induced.
My daughter had a pretty bad start. She was born with fluid on her lungs and spent the first night in the nursery. She went home with jaundice light belts and was tested every day because she was not gaining weight. I thought her spit up was just a part of being a baby. It was a rough few weeks. But at 4 weeks, I felt we were out of the woods. I could start to relax. I actually slept for a few hours at night.
But then the shoe dropped.
We were playing on the floor and she just stopped moving and her lips turned blue. I picked her up in shock and she started moving again. It took me a few minutes to realize something serious had happened, and I called my husband in from the other room and took her to see the doctor. She was admitted to the hospital immediately.
After 3 days of testing, she was diagnosed with milk protein allergy, and SEVERE acid reflux. I found out later that her ALTE (Apparent Life Threatening Event – turning blue) was what was called a diver’s reflex. When the acid gets so bad, they actually hold their breath so they don’t swallow it. It was horrible with her in the hospital and all the testing, but I was glad to have answers and a course of action. Eventually she went on hypoallergenic (expensive) formula and medication and finally outgrew the acid reflux.
My son had a little better entrance. He got to come with me to our mother baby closet suite and seemed to be thriving.
Well for 12 hours at least. After my disastrous time with nursing and a hyper sensitive daughter, I still tried nursing him. Well, 12 hours after he was born, he was projectile-vomiting. It was hitting the side of the bassinet as he lay swaddled on his side (a technique I learned with my daughter. His bassinet was also raised at an angle).
After X-rays to rule out blockage, I immediately requested the pediatrician approve him for hypoallergenic formula. We immediately set him up with a gastroenterologist (from the same practice my daughter went to for the first year of her life) and thought we were doing everything to prevent another episode. We held off putting him on medication until he was a month old due to the side effects it could cause in newborns.
At exactly a month old, he had his ALTE.
I had just put him in his bassinet by my bed and settled down to watch a show with my hubby. I heard some strange noises and looked in his bassinet. He was bubbling and gasping for air. He was a strange shade of purple and struggling. I picked him up and we immediately started trying to get him to breathe. I found out later that blowing in their face helps snap the child out of out of the diver’s reflex episode. We called 911 and he started to come out of the episode. My husband thought we were going to lose him that night.
After the ambulance came and we spent the night in the county hospital (they took us there because the hospital was the closest one that dealt with ALTE pediatric cases) we went to the nearby children’s hospital for testing. He also had severe reflux and allergies.
Going through so much to get our kids to a good place has given me so much to be thankful for, but I also am painfully aware how easily they can be taken away. The days are long with a three and a one year old, but gosh, I am so supremely lucky that they are here to drive me nuts.
So every night, when I put them to bed, I hold them a little too tight as I sing my favorite lullaby…
Please don’t take my sunshine away.