Monday, April 27, 2009

Six Years Ago

Today as I watched the pollen fall like rain, it reminded me that my first spring in DC I almost died. My life was spared and, in a way, Desmond's was as well.

One morning in the spring of 2003 I woke up feeling terrible. Since I couldn't pinpoint the source of the lousy feeling, I chalked it up to silliness and went to work. Halfway through the day I couldn't walk 10 yards without gasping for breath. "Shortness of breath" as a symptom of illness always puzzled me until I experienced it. I coughed up a bit of blood. I felt weak. Yet because none of my symptoms fit any illness known to me, I ignored it.

I spent the weekend taking it easy. As I laid on the couch, I would notice my heart beating erratically. Yet I ignored it.

Three days later, I went to the doctor who said I probably had exercise induced asthma. To be on the safe side, he referred me to a pulmonary specialist. Perturbed that I might have asthma, I waited three weeks to see the specialist. The only reason I finally went is because every time I tried to run, I would wildly gasp for breath.

I distinctly remember trying to jog along the George Washington Parkway one day after work. Trees and flowers were blooming in full force, like they have been this week. Pollen hung thickly in the air; everywhere you went there was a sticky sweet smell. As I tried to jog along the river, I gasped for breath. A man older than dirt passed me....he was walking. I berated myself for "being out of shape." I thought, "Come on - you're a Knight; you're tough." (It took a year or so of being married before I stopped using my maiden name when internally chastising myself.)

When I eventually saw the specialist, he was concerned about the abrupt onset of shortness of breath and sent me over to the hospital for further tests. I assumed he was over reacting. After all, my symptoms had mostly subsided. I was young. Nothing could be so serious that I would need to visit a hospital. All I could think about was that I needed to get back to work.

Dutifully, I went to the hospital. After an array of tests, the doctor told me they were admitting me immediately. I had multiple pulmonary embolisms, meaning several blood clots that had moved from my legs into my lungs. Serious stuff.

As the nurses and doctors heard my story, they were amazed at my stupidity for waiting three weeks to be seen by a doctor. Of course they were more diplomatic, but that was the general gist of things.

As it turns out, I have a genetic mutation that makes me prone to blood clots under certain conditions - particularly when taking birth control pills or being pregnant. Women with this condition who become pregnant often have repeat miscarriages before the problem is diagnosed. Because I knew to get tested, I avoided that painful path.

Trials are a (inevitable?) part of life, but it's easy to resent them. Sometimes those trials bring joys we never would have foreseen. Because of my sickness six years ago, I didn't have to run the risk of loosing Desmond.

So now when the height of spring hits DC, I remember stubbornly jogging when my life was in danger. I praise God I was spared and rejoice in the wonderful blessings that resulted from that trial.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Fish and Chips

I'm making baby food for Desmond. I've really enjoyed steaming and puréeing different foods. Food is so colorful and fresh when you make it yourself.

See the bright colors of the peas and carrots.

Desmond has been very flexible in trying different foods. The more "exotic" flavors include tomato/basil/onion, tofu, lentils/celery/garlic, and spinach/sweet potato. For those of you who recall that I don't particularly like cheese, you'll be glad to hear I even made him cauliflower with cheese. We haven't tried meat yet, but it's not far off.

The boy has quite an appetite! And even though every toy goes right into his mouth, Desmond hasn't figured out that the cubes of tofu or soft fruit are supposed to be eaten. All in good time.

Des loves his mushy peas. All he needs is some fish n' chips to go with them!

Got Some Toes

Desmond has five teeth now (and another on the way) – three on top and two on the bottom. Anything is a candidate for going in his mouth. Anything.

Playing the blanket game with Dad on the floor.

Des knows what he wants. Will Dad let him have it?

Ooooh yeah.

Hopefully I can get a shot of Desmond's own feet in his mouth. Much cleaner.

Seven Months

Desmond turned seven months today. He has come so far in seven months. Lately he rolls from his back to his tummy all the time. He hasn't figured out the reverse, so I frequently have to rescue him from his tummy.

He also gives us a steady stream of babbling. You can feel he's just dying to communicate more with us.

March was full of family visits. Almost all of the grandparents were able to stay with us. It was so much fun for all of us to spend time together.

Our two blue eyed guys hang out together.

Babci and Vovo squeeze out a few more minutes with Des before heading to the airport.

Gleeful smiles with Grandma Judy!

Aunt Megan came to love on Desmond after her toxicology conference.