Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dear Violet,

Well, Violet, we did it.  We survived our first multi-day span apart.  You shocked me with how well you did.  I knew we'd all survive, but I had my doubts about a few things.

Your dad and I went to Riviera Maya, Mexico because I was shooting his cousin Summer's wedding there (and of course, being that it was at a luxury resort on the beach, I needed him to come along to be my 'assistant').  We left early early Thursday morning and got back in town late Sunday night.  This was by far longer than the 24 hour max we've been apart so far.  You spent the first 2 days with Amy, and all the nights and the last 2 days with Nana (and half the day Sunday with Catherine while Nana and Papa ran the LR Half Marathon).  I was worried about 1) The initial goodbye, because it was early and we were carrying bags, so I was worried you might think we were leaving forever, and you were with Amy, whom you adore, but again, it was early and it's not your routine, 2) Napping during the day.  You're ALWAYS at home when you nap, so I was worried you wouldn't ever be able to feel comfortable enough at Amy's to go to sleep, 3) Going from Nana to Amy on Friday morning, because it was a whole day without us and I thought you might start freaking out at this point, 4) Going from Nana to Catherine on Sunday morning because it had been several days without us and I figured you'd be really starting to wonder if we'd left you forever.  However, none of these worries were worth anything.  According to your caretakers, you did absolutely fine.  More than fine, great!  You've been asking for all your friends since we've been home!  Well, asking for your friends and cake, because apparently aunt Sarah made the best cupcakes you've ever had and you couldn't get enough of them!  I had to ask my mom if she fed you cake because the first 2 days you were home, you kept saying "Cake?  Cake!  Nummy nummy nummy.  Cake!"  Nana said you threw quite a dramatic fit when she tried to stop you from inhaling several mini cupcakes.  That's my girl...

Your dad and I had such a wonderful, relaxing time on the beach.  I'll remember it forever.  It was a beautiful wedding, and Mimi and Pawpaw were there too and we got some really nice visiting time with them.  It was quite a special trip.  Your dad is already planning our next beach getaway.  Haha!

I'm now over halfway done with being pregnant with your brother, and the horrific 3+ month long morning sickness is finally over!  It went away JUST in time for our trip.  He was mean!  I was incredibly ill for 3 solid months, from about 4 weeks to about 17 weeks.  With you it was from about 9 weeks to 17 weeks, so he'd better be at least as cute as you to make up for it.  Hahah!  Along with the horrific morning sickness, he also gave us a good scare this past month too (another reason the relaxing trip was perfect timing).  At our ultrasound when we found out his gender, they didn't mention anything was wrong with any of the photos or images they saw, but 2 days later I got a call from Dr. Hubach saying that they did see a few things wrong with his kidneys.  She said the left one was incorrectly positioned, still in the pelvis and had fluid around it.  The right one appeared swollen.  We scheduled a level 2 ultrasound for the following week, and that entire week I was wondering how old he'd have to be for me to give him my kidney, and spent countless hours worrying over google search after google search on "ectopic kidneys," which is the term to describe a kidney that failed to ascend into the right position near the spine.  The only thing that was certain was that the left kidney was definitely not where it was supposed to be.  Fluid can sometimes appear dangerous in one ultrasound and upon further inspection be concluded to be perfectly normal, and the right kidney appearing swollen could've been just the moment in time the image was captured as well.  But there was no doubt that there was not a kidney where a left kidney should be.  This scared me.  If his left kidney was blocking anything in the urinary tract or tangled in somewhere it shouldn't be, we would be facing some tough decisions on what options we'd have.  At the level 2 ultrasound, I was so incredibly relieved to discover that the right kidney was perfectly normal and functioning properly.  The left kidney, as it turns out, is not even able to be technically considered a "kidney" at this point, because it never developed enough to function as a kidney.  It's called a displastic kidney.  At this point, it doesn't appear to be blocking anything- the bladder is getting everything it needs, and the right kidney is filtering everything successfully.  So baby boy will be born with only one kidney.  Pawpaw has lived perfectly fine for over 20 years with one kidney, as he courageously, selflessly and lovingly gave it to his brother when they were in their 20's.  Your uncle Devin's brother also lives with one kidney after surviving cancer as a toddler.  Living with one kidney is obviously not something I'd choose for anyone, but it's something that we will absolutely be capable of handling successfully.  There are soooooo very many things that a mother worries about with her babies, and I literally feel as if I won the lottery with how healthy you are, and even with baby boy's kidney, he will be ridiculously beautiful and healthy as well.  We have so much to feel fortunate about, and I'm at peace with the situation.  We'll have to wait until he's born to discover whether or not we'll have to remove the displastic kidney, because if there is no pain, discomfort or infections caused by the organ, there's no need to risk surgery.  Everything else about him appeared perfect, and believe me, after 4+ hours of searching every centimeter of his little body through every kind of ultrasound you can think of, I trust that's the case!  I go back in a few weeks to confirm that everything is still functioning well, and I look forward to seeing his little profile again.  I pulled out your ultrasound photos the other day and compared it to his, and so far you two look IDENTICAL.  Sure, it's a black and white ultrasound profile, but the lips and cute little button nose are shared by you both.  It's going to be such a joy to meet him, and watch YOU meet him!!!

Yesterday we began our journey towards non-pacifier status...  and so far so good!!  You have been QUITE attached to that paci since about 5 months old ("attached" doesn't even accurately describe it), so I've been nervous for this moment.  I want to try to get rid of it before your brother gets here, or I fear I'll miss the boat for a while, and I don't want anything happening to those pretty teeth of yours.  I'd hate to take away something that soothes you right as something so new enters your life and you need it the most!  This way you'll have had time to figure out other ways to soothe yourself (I guess I can't take away your belly button, and you still have that!).  I've let you have it at naptime and bedtime, and that's it.  There have been a few restless moments where you've asked for it, but you've been fairly easy to distract (mostly with pretzels, Emma and books).  I'm going to give it about a week for you to adjust to paci-time only when you sleep, and then we'll work on going to sleep without the paci.  THAT will be the ultimate test.  I'm very afraid.  I know you though, and I'm certain you'll surprise me as you always do.

Bye bye, paci!

I love you!