Sunday, 30 December 2012

.my worst fear.

When Nyah was just a few days old, I found a lump above her left eye. I remember running my fingers over it again and again trying to convince myself it was nothing. Kissing it, wishing it away. In my heart, I knew it was something so I made an appointment to see our doctor. Jay and I didn't tell many people about the lump, I think out of fear that if we talked about it then it might be serious. While I was pregnant, I was so worried about her having a big birth mark or something on her face so for me this felt like my worst fear. At the time, our doctor was unable to give us any help as he wasn't sure what it could be. He referred us to a paediatrician who would call us to make an appointment. I can't remember exactly how long this took but the wait felt like forever. The paediatrician turned out to be a girl I graduated high school with. Unfortunately when we went to see her, she couldn't say for sure what this lump was and recommended we go for an ultrasound at BC Children's Hospital. I prayed every night to god, to the universe... to anyone "out there" listening that it would go away or turn out to be nothing. The technician at the ultrasound was very kind and extremely understanding. She explained to us that it looked to be a dermoid cyst. My immediate thought as a mother was oh my god.... cyst?!.... cancer?..... I think the technician could see the worry on my face because she followed up with that most dermoid cyst were benign. Even with this piece of information, my mind was already in overdrive with worry. She said our doctor would follow up with us once she received the images. On the car ride home, I researched dermoid cysts on my iphone.  I found the following definition on wiki.... "A dermoid cyst is a cystic teratoma that contains developmentally mature skin complete with hair follicles and sweat glands, sometimes clumps of long hair, and often pockets of sebum, blood, fat, bone, nails, teeth, eyes, cartilage, and thyroid tissue." I think this definition may have freaked me out even more!

A couple days later the paediatrician called us and said she received the images and said she also thought it was cyst but that she didn't have much experience dealing with them and was going to refer us to a plastic surgeon cause it may need to come out. The thought of my little baby having to have surgery terrified me. On our visit with the plastic surgeon, he confirmed it was a cyst and that it should come out. He said that it could grow larger and cause serious problems later on in life, maybe even becoming cancerous. Because she was so young, he wanted to hold off on the surgery. They typically like to wait until the child is over a year old if it's not urgent and said his office would be in contact with us closer to her first birthday.

That night (and a lot of other nights) I cried myself to sleep. I knew that I should have been so thankful because she was healthy and it could have be way worse but I was still worried. No mother ever wants to see anything happen to their baby and this was scary. Everyday I checked the lump to see if it changed or went away. After a couple months, it felt smaller! A few times, I couldn't feel it anymore! I was so happy that maybe it was going to go away on it's own. I called the surgeons office and made an appointment. I guess you could say that I wished and hoped and convinced myself it was gone cause when the surgeon checked her it was still there. That day we got our date for surgery. I can remember crying in the handicap bathroom while cuddling Nyah, devastated that I was wrong and it was still there. I had truly convinced myself it was gone and I believed it. November 23rd was our surgery date, right after her 1st birthday on the 18th.

Surgery day came very quickly. We hardly slept the night before and had to be up early to be at the hospital for 6am. Nyah was in a great mood so it made the morning easier. The staff at Children's hospital were amazing! They really took the time to make it comfortable and as stress free as possible for Nyah. Our nurse even taught us the proper words to the song "wheels on the bus"... who knew we had been singing it wrong this whole time!! When the time came for her to go into surgery, Jay stayed with our stuff and I went in with her. I held her in my arms as they administered the medicine to put her to sleep and blew bubbles to distract her. I will never forget the feeling of having her put to sleep in my arms, her body just slowly collapsing into mine and then handing her over to the doctors and nurses. This was the first time we had left Nyah with anyone other than myself or Jay. The plastic surgeon was waiting outside the room while the anesthesiologist got her settled and on my way out ,through my tears, I touched his arm and tried to ask him to take good care of my girl.

The surgery went really well. During our post op meeting with the doctor, he shared pictures of the cyst with us and said he was very pleased with the outcome. The cyst had been quite a bit larger than he had initially thought (the size of a marble) and went quite deep. He said that had he known he would have done the incision in a different spot but all in all it went very well. We were able to be with Nyah a few minutes after the surgery was over and I was able to nurse her as soon as she was stable. Jay and I are so thankful for all the amazing doctors and nurses that helped our baby girl. It's very difficult to hand over control and not be able to "fix" the problem yourself but the staff make you feel so comfortable throughout the whole procedure. We are 38 days post op and Nyah is healing very well. Once the bandages come off (she still has on a small steri strip), I will post pictures of her healing. Until then, here's a picture taking in the days following her surgery. Be warned, it looks worse than it was :)

p.s The results came back from the biopsy after the surgery and it's confirmed it's benign!! So incredibly thankful!!

My brave girl 

with a smile :)

Monday, 17 December 2012

.nyah is one.

Last month, our little girl turned one. It seems like not that long ago, I held her in my arms for the first time and she filled our hearts with more love than we ever imagined possible. Everyday since that moment has been so special. I have really tried to hang on to and cherish every minute. The weeks leading up to her birthday were very emotional for me. I can't tell you how many times I laid with her, watching her sleep, listening to every one of her breaths (trying to cry silent tears so I wouldn't wake her up) wondering how I got so lucky. What an amazing first year we have had.

I pretty much had Nyah's birthday planned by the time she was 2 hours old. Ok.... maybe not that soon but you get the idea! I had my theme and decorations all planned. The theme was going to be "little lamb" and the colours were blush, cream and browns. I ordered our invitations off Etsy and it came with a bunch of different decorations that we could print... bunting flags, favor tags, food cards etc... It was awesome! Because the theme was "little lamb" I wanted to incorporate wool into the decor so I had this great idea to make yarn balls to display in glass vases and a yarn covered letter "N". Who knew I would be so terrible at crafts!!!! Luckily, Jay was Martha Stewart in a previous life and totally made ALL the wool decorations. He even painted a large canvas painting to put above the fire place that matched our invitations!

The party was on her actual birthday, Sunday, November 18 from 11am till 2:00pm, so I had planned to serve a lovely brunch. I had these great ideas... mini caramel apples, cinnamon bun pops with cream cheese dip, french toast skewers, mini pancakes...etc...  that all went out the window! The Thursday night before the party I got really sick. I'm not talking "cough cough" sick, take a tylenol and feel better sick... I mean really sick. I was throwing up every hour and to make it even worse Nyah was of course still nursing throughout the night so I would just finish losing my cookies in bathroom and then I would have to nurse her. Talk about draining. I wanted to die. Thank goodness the worst of it only lasted 24 hours. The timing of this flu bug couldn't have been worse. I had to readjust some of my ideas and had to rely on a lot of people for help.

When it came to the actual day of the party, I was in way over my head. There was so much to do and so little time. Thankfully Jay recognized that I was on the verge of a serious meltdown and called in his family to help with the set up. And luckily a few weeks before I had recruited Deanne "the party planning expert" to come early and help me. Without their help, everyone would have starved and I probably would have had to been hospitalized in the padded room for the crazies!!

All in all, the party was a success. Nyah had so much fun and I got to enjoy watching my girl celebrate her first birthday with the people she loves (But we were missing my mom and dad because my mom wasn't feeling well enough to make the trip from Kamloops).

One of the best decisions we made was to hire a photographer to come and capture the party for us. It was so nice to not have to stress out about missing important photo opportunities. We have worked with Roger from m&m photographie before and his work is amazing. Enjoy his photos... there are lots... it was too hard to choose just a few!

The back of her invitation
Some sweets for my sweet
My attempt at fancy cupcakes... thank goodness the toppers make them look cute!
 Nyah's birthday cake... designed after her invitation
Brunch table
Brunch Table
Nyah's special birthday water bottles

Nyah's "smash" cake
Awww.... my sweet girl! I can't believe she didn't cry when everyone was signing! True be told... I was choking back tears!

She loved her candle... she even tried to grab it! Yikes!

She melts my heart every day!

It took her a while to dig into her smash cake but once she got a taste for it, she wanted to dive right in!

Happy birthday lovey!



Devyn... such a serious face!

The twins.... Devyn and Kieran
Big brother Liam

Brody sporting his tie!

Nyah with the beautiful Kate

Auntie Deanne and Uncle Julius

Outfit change after the cake smash

Present time! 

 Miss Aleena

A group shot (just missing Ms. Libonati)

Loving her new toys!

I love this girl more than any photo can capture... but this gets pretty close :)


A quick family photo... Mommy really wishes she had had time to do her hair!!

All tuckered out after a great day!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

.here fishy fishy.

Last month, we made the trip downtown to visit the Vancouver Aquarium. We had a coupon from the Entertainment Book that I had been dying to use but it wasn't valid during the summer which I guess was for the best as Nyah still would have been a little young. The Aquarium is such a magical place. I always find it so interesting to see how life carries about in the ocean. Here are a few photos from our visit. I have to give all the photo credit to Jay as he was the camera guy on this visit!

A little out of focus.... but super amazing!

Nyah thought they were really cool!

I don't know why we stopped to look at ths guy! I hate snakes!!!!! Luckly, he was behind glass so we were safe! Haha!


The rainforest exhibit is one of my favorites! There are butterflies all around, birds flying, turtles and sloth's slothing!

And who doesn't love dolphins? Such a great show!

I was so excited for Nyah to see the Beluga's but to be honest she was more interested in the grate on the floor and the people behind us! But at least we were able to get the famous "under water" photo!

One day she will appreciate this experience!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

.fall is here.

Fall has officially arrived.  I love this time of year before the rain really sets in. The leaves are changing color and falling. Pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks (along with an amazing pumpkin scone that I've just discovered this year!) and shoe stores are filled with boots. It won't be long now until winter blows in and someone's first birthday is here!

We took at trip to the Aquarium and Stanley Park today and got some amazing fall shots in the leaves. I'm so glad we made the effort to hop out of the car and take some pictures even though Miss. Nyah was getting sleepy.