3 years ago

The party don’t start ’til someone busts their teeth.

I feel like the new year is starting just this week for me and mine.  Beginning right after Emmett’s birthday, The family Svellinger kind of unraveled with a trip to the ER, fevers for everyone, and then a nice and gory busting of some two front teeth. It’s a photo documentary you want, you say? Well sure, iPhone-ready mom’s got one right up her sleeve. No one has time for reading these days anyway.  But just in case, you’ll find some words there, too.


So remember our Emmett, right?  He was diagnosed with autism one year ago, on par with the developmental level of an 18 month old (though we could have easily argued younger than that). And while the idea of celebrating a birthday party piques his excitement, we’re not sure he understood it was HIS birthday.

He’s not much interested in the idea of unwrapping presents, so we joined his cousins for a few hours at an indoor play place filled with enormous inflatable shark-slides and jump houses.  His cup of tea.Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Every child’s cup of tea, if you ask me.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Then we annoyed the restaurant workers at a local pizza place decorated in vomitable carpet (as if the above is any better, really) by coming in on the Eve of Christmas Eve to eat a pizza, enjoy the BEST COOKIES EVER and sing happy birthday to our sweet 4 year old.  Apparently, no one goes for pizza the 23rd of December.
Except for us.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

All was fine and dandy. Christmas Eve came the next day and we spent the first half of the day with my Dad’s extended family.  But it was on the drive to Craig’s parent’s house that evening when I started feeling party-poop-ier than usual.

You’ll see no pictures of the boys joyfully opening presents here, because I was busy trying to understand a ridiculous pain that started piercing my lower chest, radiating through my back, in between my shoulder blades, down my arms, making them feel like rubber, and then aching up into my jaw. This sharp pain, accompanied by an intense headache, sudden, out of the blue cough, and a creeping fever.
What is this? Can’t be heartburn, I’ve been through three pregnancies and done bff’d the heartburn.
It’s not my stomach. It’s not muscular.
It felt like my lungs were the only parts left to consider. I couldn’t move any more, and started to hyperventilate and cry in anger and surprise.
I’m the typical mom- I don’t get sick, my children do, my husband does, but I generally don’t.  I was angry at myself for having a foreign pain.

We make it back home and suddenly I’m remembering Jennifer Fulwiler and her pulmonary embolisms, so I called my OB hotline and they told me to head into the ER because if I was dealing with a blood clot, I could drop dead at any moment, and that wouldn’t do well on Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning for that matter.
Re-cue photo documentary back into the story:

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

I thanked every hospital worker for being there for crazies like me who came in on Christmas Eve– and the halls were buzzing with all sorts of shouting crazies. Seriously, doctors and nurses are heroes.
I tested negative for the flu, good-to-go on the EKG, negative for chest x-ray of my lungs, but then something funny came back in my blood work which couldn’t rule out the existence of blood clots.  Ugh.  So at 3am on Christmas morning, I was laying there like a crazy person, baby in my belly covered up, getting a cat scan of my chest.

Aaaand nothing.
I was given some Tylenol (for the first time in my entire pregnancy! For some reason, I’m proud of that.) and the chest pains subsided.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

I knew I could never marry a man who wasn’t still handsome at 3am.  I’m glad his standards are different, however.

4:30am Christmas morning, we crashed into bed with our sleeping babies, and I was told I simply had some random virus and unexplained chest pains. The next morning, the pains returned but went away with some more Tylenol –and slowly but surely, heartburn started rearing its little pissy head.


Probably. Spawn of satan, that indigestion. Seriously, what IS THAT? Who gets that on a regular basis? Because it’s awful.
Unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
No thank you.
Regardless, thank YOU, hospital workers, for being there on Christmas Eve for ludicrous pregnant women like me who don’t know indigestion when it hits her.

So with that drama under our belt, we missed Christmas day mass, sleepily opened unwrapped presents and made a mess in my parent’s living room.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger


Then, Collin got the sickness love as I continued to feel tired and head-cold-y. Commence super-cling-on-whiny mode from Collin for 24/7.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Then New Years Eve we partied hard down the gargantuan aisles of Costco in search of gargantuan pillows because I’ve reached the sleep-sitting phase of my pregnancy, else I wake jolting upright to save myself from choking on my own bile. Costco provided some good fluffy-yet-supportive ones.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Happy 2015 (live from my pajamas at 8:30pm):

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

We made it to Mass (hooray!) for New Year’s day and I got to wear my green maternity dress I’d saved for Chirstmas- but no photographic evidence because Emmett was audibly not happy about being there at all, and Collin was continuing his newborn cling-to-mom thing, so that was kind of a circus act and we tore out of there in a hurry.

Then guess who came down with nice n’ hot fevers that afternoon? Sirs Lexington and Emmett, naturally.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Baths and bedtime came, and I prepared to be up nursing fevers that night, but not before blood-curdling screams were filling my ears and I find Collin face down on the floor, blood pouring from his mouth. Flowing. 

Yes, we busted our two front teeth and made them all wiggly, and made mom so nauseous that she became utterly useless and pathetically ill –and the blood and the smell of the blood. Everywhere blood. I’ll spare you the photos that I couldn’t muster to take, but Craig could.

Craig consulted with his mom, and my parents, as I could scarce utter a word without my ears ringing and feeling like I would pass out, and we decided to leave a message with the dentist –of course the next day was a Saturday and the dentist office would be closed–, and sleep it out.

Collin passed out, and mouth breathed his bloody breath on me all night, and Emmett and Lexington ran a boiling fever and night time anxiety and nausea got the best of me as I sat in bed on the brink of consciousness thinking about what might become of Collin and his potentially dead teeth. It took me a while, but I realized I must have a psychological hyper-sensitivity to mouth injuries: lengthy personal history of tooth injuries and orthodontia work.

The next morning, Craig took Collin to the dentist and I continued to be light-headed just thinking of it, but dentist summary short, everyone thinks he’ll be okay.  It’s a regimen of mushy foods and eating like a 6 month old for the next few weeks- and we’re trying to capitalize on the achy teeth and the head colds by weaning our C & E from their beloved pacifiers.

Today’s Monday, and the blood’s gone -my mom’s sick now- but the blood’s gone. Collin’s not as clingy, Emmett’s still sickly, but his fever’s down, and Lexington’s back to “work” on his LEGOs and I feel like the new year is just beginning for us.

property of Carolyn Svellinger

In the grand picture, I know these are tiny events of dust. I’ve got to toughen my mama skin because, HELLO THREE BOYS WHO LIKE TO RUN AND JUMP, and there are others among us morning the loss of their beloved angels.

Anyway, I’m gettin’ back to it, late as usual.
Here’s our virtual Christmas card I never got to share-  I can’t convince myself to do the real thing, like with the stamps, and the mail.  I hope YOU are starting your year off counting your blessings, or at least finding a place to re-start it slowly and refreshed.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger



  1. The first thing I thought of (after “Oh! Those poor souls!”) was that this is what my holidays have looked like for the past 10 years or so. So I read with relative calm (that is how I usually feel right before I pass out or start screaming) and had an extra wave of gratitude for our unusually calm season. And I just want to throw out the digital fist bump for the demonstration of mommy superpowers… you are living through it AND blogging about it. Don’t forget to offer it up. These times are like intercessory prayer opportunities on steroids. Praying for your family. Happy New Year!

  2. Carolyn, I’m so sorry to hear all this! Praise the Lord you survived it all and are all well now. Can’t believe how you spent Christmas morning. And my goodness, what a week the kids had?!!! I can relate a little…Christmas and the New Year did not happen how I expected either. My mom went to the hospital on Christmas Eve and was there for 3 days. A couple days after Christmas, Sofia got a fever, followed by Ezra (his lasted a week!!!). Of course it’s not important, but none of us really got to wear all our cute outfits I bought ;) We’re going out on Friday to celebrate the New Year. So blessed and so thankful to God for His mercy and gifts. Many blessings to you all in 2015!

  3. Aww poor svel family! :( That seriously sounds like something that would happen to me with my medical track record. Well let’s hope that’s the worst thing to happen this year. I think i would have passed out of i saw the tooth thing. *shivers* I’m with you on traumatizing tooth matters. I hope everyone gets to feeling better soon! (And me too I’ve also got the sickness, just in time for my move) happy new year to you, my friend. :)

  4. oh my gosh…lol. You had holidays like us. minus the teeth. We didn’t have the blood. just sickness and puking and…yeah.

    Also, if you’ve got some lemon essential oil, you can rub that on your chest/throat area where it burns during heartburn. Saved my life during pregnancy :-) You can also try sniffing peppermint. But I found the lemon to work better.

  5. My sweet neice, God love ya!! Hang in there, things will get better!! You’re doing a wonderful job with your boyos! Hope the pillows are helping with the heartburn. I’ve been praying for you and will continue to do so! Love you all so very much!!

  6. Gosh, I cannot even imagine! My soon to be two year old busted his upper lip frenulum?..Blood everywhere while he was playing like it was the happiest of days. Bleh. But that plus preggo plus sick you plus sick kiddos…so sorry! Prayers for the start of the new year and for you and sweet baby! Also, that christmas card! Perfect, fun, and lovely!

  7. First of all, Lexington in the card…I love it! Second, be very careful with the Pierre (spelling eludes me) water. I love it, but when I’m having heartburn issues, it makes things so much worse!

  8. I would rather do cold calling for State Farm on Christmas Eve than deal with blood and loose teeth. *shiver* Good job getting past that. :)


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