Monthly Archives: October 2013


K’Leena’s Story Part 5: When I Woke Up

K’Leena’s Story parts Parts one, two, three, and four

When I awoke…

The first thing I remember when I started to wake up was the nurse telling me that Kendra was beautiful.  I said, “Kendra?  Don’t let Ryan name the baby!”  Then I went back to sleep.  Again when I woke another nurse said, “Kendra is beautiful.”  Again I said “Kendra?  No, no, no that is not her name!  Don’t let Ryan name the baby!”  Then I feel asleep again.  I’m not sure how long I was out but when I awoke the third time I was a little more lucid and asked how the baby was?  The nurse again told me that Kendra was fine, and this time I said, “where is Ryan?!  He is not allowed to name the baby!”

In Ryan’s defense because everything was so rushed we had not talked about naming the baby.  I just assumed we would talk about the name before making anything permanent.  When I talked to Ryan about the name he said he had already texted, emailed, and told everyone that her name was Kendra Elizabeth Mellor. Then with that they brought the baby in and I finally got to see and hold her.  She was beautiful and healthy. I was so happy.  I was worried because she was a month early and the amniocentesis results came back that her lungs were not ready, implying that she was going to have all kinds of problems but I was holding my perfect little baby girl and she was healthy.  No tubes hooked up to her and no visible problems.  Then because I wanted to have some say in her name I agreed to live with Kendra but changed her middle name to Nichole.  So now she was Kendra Nichole Mellor.  Born November 2, 2012 at 2:40pm.  Weighed 6 pound 15.5 ounces.  19.5 inches tall.  And just as I was holding Kendra for the first time my mom walked in to my room and held me.  I was so happy she was able to be there.

Minutes later doctors nurses kept coming in to check on me and Dr. Hancock said that they were still running some test on the cyst but that it did not look cancerous to him however there were some abnormalities that they were looking into.
After several doctors, nurses, and interns checked on me and the baby.  I was finally able to get some peace and quite with what felt like PAINFREE for the first time in a year.  When they would ask me how I felt I always said “GOOD, GREAT, VERY LITTLE PAIN”.  One doctor said I was the first patient he had ever talked to after birth and major surgery that described themselves as PAINFREE.  But after being in the pain I was in for so long I did really feel great.  Until I had to move then I realized yes I still have pain but I was hopeful that it would go away once I fully healed from the surgery.  Life was good.
Until I went in for my 3 week post surgery check up with Dr. Hancock….

Spit it Out: Thoughts on Child Therapy

‘Aight, so let’s shoot straight about the whole child therapy thang. Recently a friend of mine asked on facebook if she should seek help for her daughter, who is three, because she has a stuttering problem that seems to be getting worse. She wasn’t sure if this is something that her daughter would grow out of. I am no expert, but here is my experience about this whole, developmental progress thing.

Like I mentioned in this post my little Kacen seemed to be progressing fine for two years then he started to retrogress. I started to notice he wasn’t talking and all of his peers were. I mentioned this to some family and friends and most people said things like, “He is only three.” “Some kids are late bloomers, you know Jeanie up the street had a son who didn’t talk til he was five, not a word then one morning at breakfast he asked for bacon and eggs!” “Oh he will pick things up soon enough just give it time.” Yes, in some cases these things are true. And I do feel that in some ways we are too quick to rush our kids off to this or that specialist. But I also think that sometimes people are just trying to be nice and optimistic.

Heck I did it for a long time. When Kacen was two, nearing three, and still not using very many words I kept rationalizing, “Well when he is three, if he isn’t using A LOT of words then I will get help.” No one wants to feel like their kid is not “normal.” I believe most parents look at their kids and have high hopes and dreams for them. I often envisioned that Kacen would be such a cool kid, with lots of friends, he’d be super funny and smart, maybe even his Senior Class President, haha all the things I wanted for myself but drew up a little short on. Sort of silly things, but you know, I want him to be liked and to have friends. When your child is not up to par developmentally we all know that sometimes those social situations can be very difficult. Not to mention that in some ways I didn’t want to admit that he wasn’t “normal.” Often times we do that for other people, we just want to be so optimistic that their child will be “normal” or “fine” that we don’t want to offer the suggestion of seeking help.

My sister, K’Leena (who we have been hearing from), has a beautiful daughter Emily. Em is about a year older than Kacen and has also struggled with her speech and developmental milestones. So K’Leena told me right away to at least go get things check out. I drug my feet for a while but that third birthday was creeping up so I started the process of testing. And yep, the state took Kacen into their program right away for his speech and other developmental delays.

You know, Ky and I kept holding Kacen up to some imaginary line of normalcy. And our frustrations would mount when he wasn’t doing what we thought he aught to be able to do. However, recently K’Leena said something to me that was sort of profound and really made me re-evaluate how we treat Kacen and his skill level. She said, “I had to be honest with myself, Emily may never talk, but that is ok, whatever Emily does will be her normal, and that is the only standard she needs to be held to.”

We are lucky and Kacen is making marked improvements in his speech and behavior but K’Leena was totally right, as long as Kacen is working his hardest and we are exhausting our efforts to help him achieve his best, what he does will be his normal and I need to be ok with that. Optimism is great, but I have learned not to hold too many visions of what my kids will be, instead I should nurture who they are now. Kace is such a special kid, just so sweet and so energetic, we love him to pieces. Feeling at peace with his skill level has really opened my heart, it has really lifted a burden that I feel in this competitive world. Yeah it is scary to think that my kid might get teased because of his speech but that is why I need to work right now to help him feel and know that our home is a safe place, a place of refuge, love and happiness.

K’Leena’s Story Part 4: The Whirlwind of Doctors and The Birth

Part Four of my sisters amazing story. Parts one, two and three
The Whirlwind of Doctors and The Birth
After the ultrasound showing that my cyst was now so huge that it no longer could be measured I was wheeled off to room to wait, not allowed to leave the doctor office but just wait.  I was so glad my dad was with me at this time because I was in a fog of emotions and pain, I could only remember parts of what the doctor were telling me.  A team of doctor were quickly assembled to review my case and consult on the best path for me to take.  They determined that by the weekend I would need to deliver the baby and have the cyst removed.

Since I was not full term I was sent to the Hartford Hospital to get a amniocentesis done, so they could determine if the baby’s lungs were going to be developed enough for delivery.  This time Ryan took me to the hospital and we got a little turned around so Ryan stopped to asked the police/security at the Hospital where we needed to go, without stopping to think we found ourselves with police escort to the valet parking.  Where security meet us at the car and I was then whisked away by them left to wonder where Ryan was but at the same time not worried to much I knew he would find me, he always does.  In the end we made it together to get the procedure done.  At this point my pain level had increased 10 fold.  The narcotics were no longer working and breathing cause so much pain that I had a constant flow of tears running down my face.  I was mess.

After preforming the procedure the doctor asked me if she could call my doctor and let him know how much pain I was in.  She said if you were my patient I would deliver you right away regardless of what the results of the test were.  As I waited in the hospital bed being monitored after the procedure and waiting for my doctor to let me know what I needed to do next, all I wanted was to have my mother by side.  Ryan was great however the nurses showed him some techniques he could do to help lessen my pain and he called my mom who left immediately to be with me.

Of course Dr. Hancock said that I needed to go right away to the Manchester Hospital without stopping, where my team of doctors were being assembled prepping for my delivery.  When we arrived I no longer could move on my own accord.  Things were moving so fast, I was so scared.  It was not how I had envisioned my birth.  I wanted to do a all natural water birth with no stress where everything goes exactly as I planned and the baby was healthy with no complications.  But instead I found my self hooked up to IV with even heavy drugs/ narcotics being pumped into me and signing my life away when I consented for them to do a C-section and major surgery removing whatever they felt needed to when they got in there.  Things like having a full hysterectomy, removing my gallbladder, my appendix, along with all kinds of other body parts.  Also I had determined the best thing for me to do was to be completed knocked out.  Which meant I would not remember the birth of the baby but it allowed them the time to take care of the cyst removal and whatever else they needed to do.

I remember there was one intern who kept coming in with all my doctors prior to the surgery and he was so excited.  He told me that he was the lucky intern that got picked to follow my case.  He said that all the other interns really wanted my case because it was rare.  Thanks intern you really know how to calm a persons nerves.  They prepped me for surgery, Ryan gave me a blessing.  My dad brought Emily by to see.  I gave hugs and kisses to all and was told that my mom would be here before I woke up for surgery.  And with that I was taken away.

The OR was so cold.  They lifted me onto the operating table, extended my arms outstretched and strapped them down as well as the rest of body.  The anesthesiologist asked me what music I wanted to listen to I choose country.  He turned the music on.  I looked to my left and saw about 20 interns filling into the OR as happy and excited as Christmas morning in the pack the one lucky intern who was in my room earlier.  As turned back to look at Dr.  Hancock he said they were all so excited to get to see not only a C-section but major surgery.  And I heard their teacher or the doctor in charge of them start explain how this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for them.  I’m just glad I could provided that experience for those interns.

Then shaking because of the cold Dr. Hancock told me that normally they would wait tell I went under to prep my belly but that they needed to now before I went under so that the could deliver that baby the fastest as possible.  They did not want the baby to get any of the anesthesia drugs, so they had to be fast he said.  Then they proceeded to wash my belly with even more cold stuff.  I was shaking so much and was so scared.  I wished I could see Ryan and that he could stroke my face and calm me down, but he was not allowed in the OR.  The assured me he was waiting right outside the OR and that the baby would be taken to him as soon as it was delivered.  So I focused on Taylor Swift singing “It’s a love story” and I was gone.