Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Drat

I missed a day. I knew it would happen eventually. I have a good excuse though! My kitchen is not a disaster area! It was all day yesterday, but now it is not. The island is gone and the counters are replaced. Oh, the ceiling is painted, too. I still need to paint the walls, paint the cabinets, and buy a floor. The floor will have to wait a little while. We had planned on this being a free sprucing up, and so far, we're about $300 in. Not terrible, but also not budgeted for. Before we drop another $300 on flooring, we need to budget a bit.

Miss Em rolled over last evening. She was on her tummy, then she was on her back. She looked quite confused about the whole ordeal. I think 4 days short of 3 months is early for such things.

I need to get my crap together so I can go shopping. I'm going out with my mom and my aunt today. Sam's Club, here we come.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Magic...

Today, my daughter laughed for the first time.


video

There are no more words necessary.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Downtime

The kids are in bed. J is watching a movie. All I have the attention span for is random web surfing. Mostly Facebook, but a little of this and that as well.

Monk is FINALLY (at 3 and a half) pooping in the potty. No accidents for two days. He got to wear big boy underwear today and insisted on calling Mamaw and Daddy to tell them all about it. We are THRILLED. I have no clue what the hold up was, but I went all tough love on him, he did it, then I showered him with praise and rewards (five fruit snacks is like a jackpot to that kid). It worked. That's really all I care about right now. Since we're already firmly in TMI territory, I must share an amusing story from today. He had diarrhea this afternoon, after his nap. He was using the bathroom like a big boy, clearly having intestinal issues from the sounds of things, then I hear him yelling, "Mama!! My butt just got sick a lot!!!" It amused me greatly.

Em has discovered her hands. She's been watching her feet with great interest for a while now. Recently though, she found fingers. They wiggle! They move! They taste great! They can grab things! It's so amazing to watch her become a real human.

Painting the kitchen turned into remodeling the kitchen. The island is coming out, the dishwasher is being moved, and a cabinet is being relocated. Then we'll have to do something with the floor where the island USED to be and probably end up reflooring the entire kitchen/breakfast nook area. Without that stupid island, we'll actually have room for a table, though. Not having a dining table sucks wind.

Mark is coming back tomorrow, and taking Monk home. He's matured so much this week with us. Hell, he's pooping on the potty. He was also potty trained with us. Mark is lazy when it comes to Monk. I'll be so sad to see him go tomorrow. We'll be back to Thursdays and every other weekend. :-(

I think J's movie is almost done. I'm exhausted. The kids will be up an hour early tomorrow, according to the clock.... Better hit the bed running while I can.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Stressed

I am so stressed right now. Monkey is being very three. Em is not being difficult, but she is requiring much attention. My kitchen is halfway torn apart because we were starting to paint it before Mark decided to run off into the wild blue yonder. We were going to rebuild the deck this weekend, but it got delayed. J wants to work on the kitchen this weekend, but I'm just not sure how we're going to succeed in painting the walls and cabinets with Monk and Em here.

And now Em needs changed, and probably a nap. I might try again later, but I doubt I'll have time... This is hard sometimes.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ex-Husbands SUCK

Fucking Mark. His flavor of the month is moving in with him. From Houston. So at the very last possible minute, he decided he was going with her to pack her stuff and bring it up here. I'm certain that he knew all along, but didn't want to tell me. So X has been here. All is cool. Until...

I told Mark a month ago that I was NOT AVAILABLE this weekend. Mom was taking Em, I was turning my whitelist on on the phone so only Mom could call, and J and I were going to rebuild our deck. Done deal. No negotiating. Of course, he called today to tell me that he won't be back in town until Sunday, was that okay? I said, "No, I'm pissed. I told you a month ago that I was unavailable this weekend." Somehow, he turned it into my fault that I'm pissed. Because I won't just send Monk to spend the weekend with someone else. Mom can't take him because he's a handful all by himself, let alone with Em. She just doesn't feel comfortable with it. I don't love that, but I deal with it. Whatever. He was just going to call up a random friend and see if anyone would take him! Um, not just no. FUCK no. He stays with me, with Mark, and he goes to Head Start. He doesn't really go anywhere else. I'm not just going to shove him in the corner of someone else's house and forget him so I can do what I planned to do.

So my deck will not get rebuilt this weekend. At this point, it may not get done til spring because I doubt the weather will hold for long. Of course, Mark doesn't care in the least because he's with his latest booty call and her happiness is the only thing in the world that matters to him. Forget Monk, forget that I gave him advance notice that I had plans, forget everything that isn't the flavor of the month. I just want to scream. Loudly. For a long time.

Anyway, whatever. I need to just get over it because some shitheads never change. Writing prompt for today:

Can you listen to music and write? What song did you hear today?

I can listen to music and do just about anything. There are times I want silence, but since Em came along and demanded music at all times or she would not sleep, I have come to deal with a certain amount of background noise at all times. I mostly leave the radio in her room tuned to the local Top 40 station, but when she's up and about, we often listen to music on the computer. My current favorite is Adele - I just can't get over her. When I get mad at Mark, I like to listen to her Turning Tables. "I've braved a hundred storms to leave you. As hard as you try, no, I will not be knocked down. I can't keep up with your turning tables, under your thumb I can't breathe..." I listened to it just a bit ago, actually. It might be the thing that keeps me from texting him to tell him to go to hell.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In the Nick of Time

I only barely made it today. We spent the day at my mom's and we always get home late, then I had to get the kids to bed, then I needed to just CHILL for a while.

The prompt for the day:

If you knew that whatever you ate next would be your last meal, what would you want it to be?

I'm really not a big foodie. I miss this little country diner that used to be in my hometown. I always went there and ordered 2 eggs over easy with hashbrowns, sausage, and homemade toast. I miss that homemade toast so much. None of the others come close. I guess, if I had to choose something, then the gang at the old diner would have to make me my usual at the diner.

********************
We had a fantastic time at Mom's. Monk got tired and whiny, but I'm used to that. Em got tired and whiny, and I'm not used to that. She's typically so easy to get along with. The big problem was that I didn't have a great place to put her down. I took her pack n play, but the only place to put it was the living room. You know, the one with my screaming 3 year old in it? Yeah. You see the problem, I'm sure.

After that experience, it is most definitely time for Mama to have a nap.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaBloPoMo

November is here, and with it comes NaBloPoMo. It is time to really crack down on posting every day. I don't always have a ton of time, energy, or mental clarity, so I can't say I will use each day's writing prompt, but I'll try to cover them when I can. This is a good exercise to get me back in the habit of blogging. I miss it terribly. I miss my peeps. I don't have a lot of peeps anymore.

What is Your Favorite Part About Writing?

I think it's that I can just monologue. I talk to my husband about everything, but sometimes I have to be careful. I have to mind his feelings. I have to not sound so crazy. I have to pause for questions and opinions. I don't mind any of those things, but they slow a person down and sometimes derail my thoughts. When I write, it's more stream-of-consciousness. I can just go and explore my own mind and stick it on the page. So what if I sound crazy? If feelings get hurt, I can explain my thoughts. Questions and opinions come in the comment box, long after I've finished saying what I needed to say. It's a better outlet than therapy for me because I can just say what I need to, go down the rabbit hole, and find out what's really on my mind. It leads to a lot of introspection for me.

*************************************

Em is growing with insane speed. She's so big all of a sudden. She'll be 3 months old on Nov 10. Sometimes, I think, "Only three months?" It feels like I've had her forever. I asked J just last night, "Were we alive before she was born?" She's such a fixture in our lives. I know her schedule, her needs, what makes her laugh, what scares her. I can have the worst day and then she smiles at me, and it's okay. Other times, I think, "Has it been three months already?" It seems like just yesterday I was in the hospital, holding my squishy newborn. I was in shock that she was ours, that we were taking her home, that there would be no TPR to wait on or judge to approve our parenthood.

Monk is amazing. His conversational skills have absolutely exploded. And he has this way of cocking his head to the side and nodding sometimes, this weird reassuring gesture when he speaks. I asked him this morning what he wanted for breakfast, and he said he wasn't hungry. I said, "No cereal? Yogurt? Pop tart?" He thought about it and said, "Well, maybe I could just have some candies." Nodding his cocked head the whole time. He's also started to call things beautiful. "It's just so byoo'ful." Love it. He's started using the phrase my mother has been waiting for... "But Mooooommmmm." My mom is thrilled. I am amused. I'm sure that will wear off with a few more days of it. He's like a 12 year old in a 3 year old body.

I'm kind of bummed about the approaching holiday season. From the time I was born, every Christmas Eve was spent at Mamaw's house. After she became bed-bound, we moved the festivities into her room. Pictures from last year include a very pale and sick Manda sitting by her bed as we opened gifts. I was just barely pregnant and entirely sick. She was so happy for us. This will be the first holiday season without her. I have no clue what we'll do on Christmas Eve. Miss her. That's what we'll do. I'll miss her and think about how much I wish my daughter could have known her and wonder if she can see Em from where she is and I'll cry. Does heartbreak like that ever truly heal, or do you just get used to the pain?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Picture Post

I'm exhausted after a children's festival and trick or treating, so we're just going with a picture post tonight.

Monkey kept telling people, "I sink I'm a Spiderman."


Em seemed wholly unimpressed with the entire experience.


But they did look cute cuddled up together on the couch. It looks like Spiderman saved a tiny baby piglet. My stepdad says this picture reminds him of Charlotte's Web. My daughter was then known as Wilbur.

And then we all fell asleep with little to no fanfare at all.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Long Week Ahead

The ex is going out of town for the week, which means Monkey will be here. This is a good thing, don't get me wrong. It just changes up our schedule a lot because I have to drive him to school and pick him up every day. J is going to try to rearrange his work schedule so he can drop him and pick him up as he travels. I'm hoping that works out.

I'm excited for trick or treat this weekend. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and I can openly enjoy it again now that I have children. Can't wait to dress the kids up and go get some candy. I like candy.

Kind of annoyed with J right now. His friend needed someone to watch her kid because she has to work. He asked me if I would mind if we took this kid trick or treating with us on Sunday. I said fine, grudgingly. The kid is a monster. Doesn't listen to anything, has no manners, I just can't stand him. He's only 2. It's THAT bad. He's kind of like Mowgli or something. Anyway, whatever, we can take him. Then I hear him talking more to his friend about picking the kid up TONIGHT. Suddenly, the brat will be here all weekend. Not. Freaking. Cool. But what am I supposed to do? Start a fight, break his heart, and get my way? No. My gut says that's not fair to him, but making these plans without consulting me wasn't exactly fair on my end either. I'll be the bigger man. I'll put up with it this weekend. And I'll make it very very clear that it won't happen again. Thought I did that last time this happened in January, but apparently not.

I'm off to figure out what to make for dinner. Yes, I am that unprepared. It's 6:30 and I don't have a CLUE what we're having. Oops.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Not Great at Daily Posts

But I don't completely suck either. I'm trying.

When Em was born, my epidural got jacked up and became a spinal. My hip was hurting like a MOTHER after delivery, and I just chocked it up to the assault on my body. Childbirth is kind of intense. Then, 48 hours later, they pulled the catheter out of my spine. When that happened, my hip lit up like the fourth of July. We figured it must have been sitting on a nerve. It was like fire.

Fast forward 2 months... I hadn't had any issues with it. It was a little tender for a week or so, but nothing terrible and it went away. One day, Em was in the floor in her bouncy seat, and when I bent to pick her up, my hip lit up just like the day the pulled the catheter. White hot.

That was about 3 weeks ago now... I've been to my chiropractor twice. I'm thinking I might need to see an MD soon. I'm actually kind of worried that I got nerve damage or something. I can't take heavy duty pain meds because I have to be mama all the time. J has been working, doing general contractor things, and he's not home 24/7. I'm kind of out of ideas, other than finding a real doctor.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What Happened To One and Done?

The entire time I was pregnant, I swore I would never ever do that again. It was too hard on my body, my marriage (because I was a bitch), and my mental state. And, well, another pregnancy would mean giving birth again and I just couldn't imagine that being something I would want to do a second time.

Until.

Em is the world's best baby. I am not kidding. She's stunningly beautiful, loves to cuddle, is cool on her own (in her bouncy or on a playmat), sleeps 12 hours a night (from roughly 2 months), rarely cries (even when she's teething way too early)... And she's also growing up way too fast. It's strange, this place I'm in. I want my snuggly newborn back, but I'm also anxious for belly laughs, patty cake, first words, etc. I am madly in love and I want every moment with her at one time.

So I've been really contemplating the thought of having another baby someday. There's nothing saying we even CAN. Em was an unexpected miracle. The doctor said J would never have a child, and now his mini-me is sleeping in the next room. Is it wrong to even hope that it would happen again? Could I handle another pregnancy - this time with TWO other children? I would obviously wait a while. Maybe til she was 2 or so. I would try for a winter baby this time, too. Being pregnant during one of the hottest summers on record really added to my misery.

I know it isn't a decision I have to make right now. It's not even one I have to make in the next couple years. I'm 27, so I (probably) have several years of relatively good eggs left. I guess what's weighing on me is the realization that I'm NOT entirely against the idea. I'm really really thinking hard about it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Beginnings

This is the part where I vow to write every day, no matter how boring my life is, no matter how little anyone else would care to read it. I'm writing every day. Please hit me if I don't.

Today is Day One of the cloth diaper experience for my wee small infant. I wanted to do it from birth, but I just couldn't afford the up-front cost for all the diapers. Our income has changed and we have more Em-money available now. I bought 12 to get started from CottonBabies. I'm using the bumGenius 4.0 right now. They were on sale on a Buy 5 Get One Free promotion. Two free diapers? Yes please. At the moment, she is in her fourth cloth diaper of the day. I even survived a poopy one. I am quite pleased with myself.

I'm a bit taken aback by the bulkiness of cloth in comparison to disposables. I knew it would be different, but I didn't expect it to be THIS different. I'm sure I/we will get used to it in time.

Both my dogs were killed on Tuesday. It was a very awful day and I really don't have time to properly write about it... Maybe a post for another day. Suffice it to say there was much crying, a little yelling, and J stopped and bought me a bottle of Captain Morgan on the way home from work with the promise that he would be Em's primary caretaker for the night. (Side note: the booze only made me cry more.)

We got a cat on Wednesday. I can't live without a pet of some sort, and after what happened to the dogs, I didn't want another dog right now. (Okay, fine. It was a toxin. We don't know what or how. I only know they got out of the yard, they came back vomiting, within an hour they were both stumbling around like they were drunk, and they had to be put down.) The cat's name is Salem. He is coal black, but he has tiger stripes in the right light. Cute cat. Doesn't fill the massive void or heal the emotional damage.

Em, at 2.5 months old, is sleeping 12 hours a night. I've always been a believer in good sleep training from the start, and apparently I'm good at it. There has been zero CIO (though if you chose to utilize CIO, I don't think you're a bad parent - just not my preference), and very very few missed naps. She goes to bed between 7-8pm, gets up between 7-8am, has a morning nap around 10am and an afternoon nap around 1-2pm. She kind of cat naps in the evening between 2-7, but doesn't really SLEEP. Does that make sense?

She is growing so fast. It kills me. I want my newborn back, but at the same time, I love the way she smiles when I diaper her, the way she lights up when she sees me or J, and I'm looking forward to belly laughs. She's right around 12 pounds now, and at her 2 month appointment, was 23.5 inches long. We grow 'em big. She's smiling, cooing, and eating like crazy. I've never been more in love in my life.

I need to write a post on adoption vs. childbirth, but that is a deep subject and I don't have my hip waders on right now.

Monkey is... 3. Three is hard, people. Like, wow. He started Head Start, and it has only made things worse. I hoped it would make things better. Peers! Playtime! Structure! Not so much. He has learned things like Whining! I detest whining. He has become MUCH more verbal and conversational since beginning Head Start, so it's not all bad. We have entire conversations that make sense now. He's also growing like crazy. He is going to rocket off the growth chart eventually. Birthmom was over six feet tall, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. He and Em still have the exact same nose and when I have them both out in public, someone inevitably comments on how much she looks like her brother. God has a way of putting the right kids in the right family, even if by unconventional methods.

I'm doing much better. The postpartum issues are still there a bit. I'm still medicated. I still have my days. I never want to hurt anyone or anything. I just kind of cry a lot. I'm told it's normal. Doesn't exactly feel normal, but I can deal. I kind of can't believe I just had a baby 2.5 months ago. I feel amazing physically. I guess I expected to still feel like crap. But I don't. I'm good.

I'm down two pants sizes from my pre-pregnancy size. VERY happy about that. The general consensus is that pregnancy was hard on my body and took a lot of my fat stores. In the end, I got a ridiculously healthy and happy baby, and I feel great. So... not complaining. Don't want to do it AGAIN, but this one is totally worth everything it took to get her here.

And now, she is telling me (via the baby monitor) that she is finished with her nap and would like to get up now please. I need to go tend to my wee one. I WILL BE BACK TOMORROW. (Hit me if I'm not, remember?)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers: A Plague Upon Our House


  • Monkey was kind enough to get the sniffles. I noticed it last Thursday. By Friday night, J was mad sick. By Sunday night, I was sick. The baby remains perfectly healthy. Lucky baby.
  • Monk and I are much better. J has an appointment scheduled for Wednesday, but I still might make him go to the hospital before that. I'm relatively certain his cold has turned to bronchitis. Still no fever, but the hacking won't stop.
  • Em had her one month check-up yesterday. How is that possible?! I was just pregnant last week, it seems.
  • She is growing like a champ, up to 9lb 3oz and 23 inches long. She's 90% for height. Middle of the road for everything else.
  • Oh. Yeah. By the way. My kid is SO advanced that she is teething at 4 weeks old. The mind, it boggles. It's rare, but not unheard of in the least. I googled it when I noticed what looked like tooth buds at about 3 weeks, and there are other bloggers who mention it. Doc confirmed tooth buds yesterday.
  • She remains a blissed out baby. I am one lucky mama.
  • This weekend is my 10 year high school reunion. I graduated in 2002. Which means this is 9 years. There has been much Facebook drama over this fact because apparently, some people give a shit about high school reunions. I do not.
  • My current BFF (we barely knew each other's names in high school) married the senior class president, and she organized most of the weekend's events. She really would like me to go to the reunion to hang with her. The thing is, those people from high school? They were mean to me. I was overweight and my mom held down 2 minimum wage jobs to be able to pay the bills. My idea of a huge shopping trip came in the fall when the state gave us a $15o clothing voucher to spend on school clothes at Walmart. I wasn't like everyone else. Now, my life is absolutely perfect. We aren't rich by any means, and there's plenty of month left at the end of the money, but I am happy. So so happy. I have a husband that I'm thankful for every day and two amazing kids who found their way to me. I don't need Linkthe old high school crew in my life again. Ever.
  • Of course, there is a part of me who wants to go because I have become friends with a couple of people from high school since we graduated. Including my BFF. Yay Facebook!
  • I had my postpartum checkup yesterday, too. Yes, at 4 weeks. People seem to be astounded that the old 6-week rule doesn't still hold true. I had a relatively easy delivery without stitches - 4 weeks is good. Doc released me. I picked Monk up and put him on my hip at the absolute first opportunity. It felt good. (And reminded me how out of shape I got while gestating.)
  • J and the wee child are sleeping. I could be sleeping, but then I would be awake til the wee hours of the morning, and Em doesn't seem to care much about what time I went to bed. When she's hungry, she lets me know.
  • On the other hand, the doctor released me yesterday and J is starting to feel better and maybe being up all night wouldn't be a bad thing at all. I have missed him so much.
  • One year ago tonight, I saw him for the first time in my life. He walked into the bar that I worked at. I wasn't working that night, but my aunt and I had gone to watch karaoke. These two guys walked in... Big ugly creepy dude, and a hot bald guy. The place was packed, and our table had a few of the only empty seats in the joint, so the bald guy asked if they could sit with us. I told him they could. And then they did. And then my aunt bailed on me because she couldn't breathe in the smoky bar... And then the bald guy said something like, "I like your glasses." Eventually, we went separate directions. Later in the night, I saw him dancing with some other chick and it caused this weird pang of sadness. When they parted ways, it was my turn to ask if I could sit with him. He obliged. We sat there for an hour or more, nearly screaming over the loud music, trying to get to know each other. We danced. We talked some more. He kept my soda full (I was driving, so I couldn't be boozing). And then, at last call, he walked me to my car and gave me a kiss goodnight. It was another 2 weeks before we had a real first date, and even that wasn't a "date" as much as it was sitting in a truck by the lake talking til daybreak. But it was the beginning. The beginning of something more amazing than either of us ever could have imagined.
Go check in with Danifred to see what everyone else is talking about on this lazy Friday evening...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Because I Never Want to Forget

It's been super hot here the past couple days, and we've been closing the energy saver drapes in the living room to keep some of the heat out and reduce the load on the AC (and our bank account). Tonight, I pulled the curtains open to look out before bed, and there was an itty bitty plastic dinosaur, perched on the sill. It was dutifully pointed toward the street, standing guard. He constantly tells me that there are robots (or dinosaurs) outside - he stands at the window and tells me fantastical stories about all manner of creatures who live in my yard. I can only assume that this particular dinosaur (a brachiosaurus not much larger than a 50 cent piece) was protecting us from the robots.

I love his imagination.

I love everything about him.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

In A Good Place... Sometimes.

I'm going to do my complaining first so that I might end my night on a high note.

I. Complaining

Lochia? Fucking sick of lochia. I'm so ready to jump my husband, it's not even funny. I swear on all that is holy, if this lasts 6-8 weeks, I may jump off a bridge. I'm 3 weeks out and I'm just completely fed up with it. I have a couple days where it looks like it's about over with, and then it comes back with a vengeance. Grrr.

II. The Good Stuff

I feel great physically. I honestly expected to feel like death on a platter after childbirth, but it wasn't so bad. I felt like I had road rash for a few days, then it got better. The dreaded hemorrhoid is even mostly healed. I feel good. I feel strong. I quite like this.

I've dropped 40 pounds in the 3 weeks since Em was born. Most of it is obviously water weight since it has come off so quickly and with no effort on my part. I hadn't realized how truly huge and swollen I was when she was born. Then I looked at the pictures from the hospital. Wow.

My legs and ankles and feet are back and better than ever. I will be rocking a short skirt again in no time. SO EXCITED ABOUT THAT.

My skin and nails are in much better shape since having Em. They're better than before I got pregnant, even. My skin is super soft and my nails are growing so fast I can hardly keep up with them. I hope that lasts. I like it.

Em is still about the best baby ever. She sleeps 4 hours at a stretch at night. She rarely fusses. She eats and grows like a champ. We had some reflux issues (during which, she still wasn't fussy - merely projectile vomiting), but we've managed to mostly resolve that without medication. Our pediatrician is amazed with her... She's making eye contact, holding up her head for short periods of time, already establishing a schedule. At her first appointment, at 6 days old, she was already on the developmental level of a one-month-old. We have a tiny baby genius on our hands.

She makes me laugh every day, already. When she's hungry, I put a bib or burp cloth on her chest and tuck it under her chin, and she gets so excited. Her mouth opens and her eyes light up and her arms start flapping. And don't get your hand in the way, because she will try to nurse anything in her way. She's awake several hours a day already, and I can't stop staring into her eyes when she is. They captivate me.

Monk is doing well with her. I've had to learn to juggle a little, but every parent does. He likes to watch her, he tries to give her her paci when she fusses, and he's fascinated by her eating habits. (A bottle? Really? Wouldn't a peanut butter sandwich be better?) The other day, we were in the car and she had a rare fussy spell (she was hungry), and he tried so hard to comfort her from his carseat. "It's okay, baby," he cooed. "I'm here. It's all gonna be okay." And my heart melted.

He begins Head Start on Tuesday. I'm excited for him because he's looking forward to it so much, but I'm also heartbroken that my tiny baby Monkey is going to school. I'm convinced he'll be asking to borrow the car any day now.

Now, I'll leave you with a couple pictures from our first home photo shoot with Em. I am quite blessed to have such beautiful children, but doubly blessed that I have a talented husband who can capture that beauty on the screen...



Friday, August 19, 2011

Bits and Pieces

Spinal Headache - OMFG ouch. I had a massive migraine-like headache that started the night she was born and continued until Monday night/Tuesday morning. That's five full days, in case you were counting. It was easily a 9 on the pain scale, a 10 at times. There were moments that it felt something like a 437. Laying down was the only thing that would make it stop. I would be happily sleeping, then she would need to be fed, I would sit up in bed, and it was like someone dropped a cinder block on top of my head. NOT recommended. A procedure called a blood patch would have fixed it, but instead, I lied my fool head off to everyone and told them it was just sinus pressure or pain from a strained neck. Tuesday morning, I got up with no pain. I felt like a million bucks compared to the days prior. Since then, it has stayed away. It should be over for good.

Newborn Sleep - The first couple nights were really rough. She would sleep like a champ in her pack n play all day long. Three or four hours at a time, even. Then we put her in her bed. I was lucky if she slept an hour and a half between wakings. That really wasn't working for me. I took the first part of the night, and J took over around 3am so I could sleep a bit. I started tossing ideas around with my mom the other day, and we figured out that there is noise of some sort in the living room all the time. The TV, Monkey, us talking, something... So we put a radio in Em's room the third night. She slept 3-4 hours at a stretch, only waking for feedings and changes. I function much better like this.

PPD - The baby blues hit me like a ton of bricks on Wednesday. Suddenly, I was convinced that J was going to leave me, something would happen to the baby, etc etc etc. I cried most of the day. I called my OB's office and they immediately called in the same anti-depressant I was on pre-pregnancy. I started it last night, and I hope to start getting back to normal soon. As normal as I get, anyway...

Hemorrhoids - Pushing was not kind to me. I had some minor 'roid issues during pregnancy, but this is ridiculous. Witch hazel is my new best friend. I didn't realize that if it doesn't go away relatively soon, I may need surgery for it. Yikes. Any tips to get it to go away super fast would be greatly appreciated.

Mother of Two - The transition hasn't been as hard as I feared it would be. I love both my kids to the end of the earth and back. It's hard sometimes when I'm feeding the baby and Monk needs a drink right this very second. Monk is definitely having to learn to have a bit more patience with me, and that's actually going really well. He did tell me today that the baby is not cute or pretty - she is just a baby. But he loves touching her and holding her, and every time she squeaks, he runs to the pack n play and asks me, "What's wrong wif it?" It's the beginning of a beautiful relationship, I'm sure.

Marriage - I know that my hormones are out of whack, and that evolution provides us with certain feelings so that we don't all end up single parents... But damn I love my husband. I was talking with my BFF yesterday, and the best way I came up with to explain it was that it feels like every feeling I have right now is magnified. I feel so much more in love with him now than I did in the seconds before her birth. I don't know if it's completely hormonal or what. I think this is what led to a lot of the crying and fear of him leaving. I'm just so much more attached right now. I want to crawl inside his skin and stay there. Nothing else feels close enough.

Physically - I'm actually doing really well. Most of the perineal pain is gone. I still have bruising, but the stinging is over. The hemorrhoids suck, and that is probably my single biggest discomfort right now. I think it's a cruel joke that my sex drive came back before my ability to satisfy it did. Anxious to be able to do that again. I'm also anxious to get back to the gym, drag my laundry up and down the stairs, take Monk out on his bike, etc. Four weeks is much too long and I don't know that I'll last. Something physically demanding will occur before that. I feel too damn good to just sit on my butt.

Tubal - I'm seriously thinking about not having it done. J was supposedly sterile (as discovered by an army doctor in Germany), and hadn't ever had children before. This is through two marriages and countless other relationships. At 45, this is his first. I just think that our Em is a miracle baby, and lightening doesn't strike twice. I don't know. I'm too hormonally jacked up to make any kind of reasonable decision right now. The doctor won't do it until after 6 weeks now anyway, so we have time to think it through.

And now, my tiny smooshy baby is hungry again. Monk and I will watch Rango (AGAIN) while I feed her, and then J will be back home and he and Monk will play like they're both toddlers. I may live in a zoo, but it's mine and I love it dearly...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Birth Story

We reported to the hospital as scheduled on Tuesday (Aug 9) at 7:30am. I was a nervous wreck. I ate breakfast, and was terrified I'd lose it before I even got there. From registration, they sent me to the lab to have roughly 9 gallons of blood drawn, as well as a urine sample. Then we went upstairs...

Our hospital uses LDPP rooms, so you get to stay in the same room the whole time - none of that delivery room nonsense. It was daunting to walk in and see the monitors, the delivery bed, the isolette. They gave me a gown and told me to change, then put me in my bed. They started an IV, put me on fluids, monitored baby, and asked me every question on the planet.

Around 9, the doctor came to check me, and I was still at 3cm, 70% and -2 station, as I had been for a week. They started the pitocin. It was very uneventful. I expected more somehow... Instant contractions, something like that. I don't know. I did finally start having regular contractions, but they were just uncomfortable. Around 3pm I guess, I started having real pain. It was very manageable, but it hurt. I asked for something to take the edge off, and they gave me IV pain meds. THEN I took a nap. That was some seriously good stuff. I can see how that could be quite enjoyable.

By shift change at 7pm, I was at *drum roll please* FOUR centimeters! Woo freakin' hoo. The night nurse asked if I wanted to go ahead and stop the pit for the night so I could eat and get some rest. We talked about it and decided it was for the best. Without food or rest, delivery would only be worse. Baby was doing well, and I needed to just have some time to recuperate. J went and got me some food and I got a relatively good rest.

The next morning, J brought me breakfast and we got ready to start the pit again. My doctor came over and broke my water, then they turned the IV back on around 8. Doc said I could have the epidural whenever I was ready. This time, contractions were immediately pretty serious. By 10am, I asked for the epidural.

The lady came up and got me ready. Mom stayed with me because I felt like she would be more likely to tell me to STFU and sit still. They cleaned my back, did the local (OUCH!), and went for the money shot. And nothing happened. No numbness. No tingling. No nothing. They kept asking if I was feeling any better or if my legs were heavy or anything. Nothing. No change at all. They called for another person, and she came up. Asked me if I could lift my legs. I proved that pregnant women are plenty flexible. Both legs were able to shoot straight up.

So, we had to start over. They peeled off the giant back-size piece of tape, pulled the catheter out, and off we went again. Part TWO. J stayed this time, pulled his chair up in front of me, and talked to me the whole time. It was actually an almost spiritual thing between me and him. With his help, I was able to block out almost everything going on around us. He talked about Monkey and our home and then I asked him to tell me about the wedding. I'm crying just typing it out. (This post was saved as a draft, and I was re-reading it before continuing. Made me cry all over again. Love that man.) He was amazing. Anyway, they redid the local and put the needle in for the epidural again. They found out I had a "false space" in front of my epidural space. That was where the first dose had ended up. When she got into the epidural space, I had a contraction. Just the contracting within my body caused the needle to slip. She went into my spinal space instead. It would have been fine if she had been using a spinal needle, but it was an epidural needle, which is too big. This apparently occurs in about 1% of all epidurals. It causes a spinal fluid leak and that can cause a killer headache from hell (PDPH - post-dural puncture headache). Because of that, I had to lay flat on my back for 24 hours. SUCK.

Around 2:30, I started feeling a lot of pressure. I said the words that every laboring woman with an epidural apparently says - "I feel like I need to poop." The nurse decided she should probably check me, even though I was at 6 cm just a short while ago. Then her eyes got really big and she called in the OTHER nurse to check me. Then HER eyes got big and they decided it was probably time to call the doctor over from the office. He came in, checked, and they started breaking the bed down. It was time. They got me in the stirrups and all that. Mom stood by my head and J held my right leg. The nurse took my left leg. The doctor said it was time to push. He and I kind of worked together to know when to push. I could feel it, but he knew when it was building before I did. It only took about six contractions. The doctor kept telling me that she was getting closer, but she was sunny side up. Because of that, she kept sliding back between pushes. Her heart rate was falling, so the doctor decided to get the vacuum to help us. He didn't pull her out with it, he just held her in place between pushes so we weren't losing ground. Then there was crowning. OMFG. Burn, baby, burn. Everyone suddenly turned into a cheerleader. The doctor, the nurse, J, my mom... Everyone was cheering us on, telling me how close she was. The urge to push was something like the urge to puke. It was completely involuntary.

Mom was curling her arm up under my head pushing me forward while I pushed. HUGE help, by the way. She had sworn she wasn't going to watch the baby come out, she didn't want to violate my privacy. In the moment, I really didn't care and she couldn't look away. It's funny, in retrospect. Anyway, she and J were both telling me that the baby was right there, that they could see her, just a little bit more. Everything in me wanted to quit. I was exhausted, I was in unbelievable pain (I found out afterwards that they shut the spinal off during the last 10 minutes), and I just didn't think I had the strength left to finish what we started. Then it hit me again - harder, stronger - I had to push NOW. I screamed (I'm not ashamed to admit it) and with one more push, she was out. I'm not going to lie - the pain was incredible. It hurt so bad. But then it was over. She was there. I had a daughter.

They suctioned her and wiped her face and put her on my belly. My tiny squirming purple slimy child. And my God... She was perfect. We were all crying, all amazed.

They took her off to the side to clean her up and get her vitals. Everything about her was just right. Ten fingers, ten toes, breathing like a champ, already looking for food. J went to be with her and Mom stayed by my side - ever faithful, that woman. Cute new baby in the world, and she stuck with HER baby. I don't remember a ton from this period... I remember telling my mom that I was so tired. She said, "It's a good tired though, huh?" I nodded, but what I really thought was that I was just too tired for it to be good or bad. Good and bad were over with. I was ready for a nap.

When it was time to deliver the placenta, I was scared that it would hurt. The doctor told me the contraction was coming and told me to give him a small push. Then that part was over, and it didn't hurt at all. Felt really awful in a gross kind of way, but it didn't hurt. I waited for him to get the sutures. Surely, as bad as that hurt - as certain as I was in the moment that I was freaking dying - I had torn. Then he said it: "No tears at all. Little skid marks, but nothing that needs stitched." Holy freaking shit! The doctors had told me that my parts were too small to deliver vaginally, that I would end up with a tear of epic proportions.... And I did it. No tearing. No cutting. No c-section. Just me and my daughter.

The nurses took her to weigh her, mom and J left the room while my nurses cleaned me up and my anesthesiologist checked my drugs. This is when they reminded me that I was to stay as flat as possible in my bed for the first 24 hours. Huge bummer.

They brought her back, and said she weighed 7lb 7oz and was 21 inches long. I had called it at 7lb 8oz weeks ago, so I was pretty pleased with myself. After the night nurse came on, they took her again to do a real bath and assess her again. She came back in and said, "There was an error with the scale earlier. I'm sorry. Really. The power cord was trapped between the cradle and the base, so the weight wasn't accurate at all. She's actually 8lb 4oz. And she's probably lost at least an ounce since birth, but we're going to record her birth weight as 8lb 4oz." I told them to bring me my cape because yes, I am Wonder Woman.

This is already way too long and it's taken me a week to write it, so I think I'm done for now. Childbirth was easily the most incredible thing I've ever done. It was also the most painful and physically demanding thing I've ever done. I didn't have my tubal immediately after birth due to the spinal issue, but I'm still planning on having it done later. I love my daughter to the ends of the earth and I stand in awe of what my body managed to do, but I don't think it's something I want to do again. That was seriously hard work.

And now, I must go. Monkey is watching Scooby Doo, and the wee one is starting to stir. For some reason, she feels the need to eat every 3 hours or so. Babies are so unreasonable. This is, without a doubt, my crazy beautiful dream come true.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Best Kind of Exhaustion

I don't have time for a real update because I really really want to go sleep in my bed. I just wanted to drop by and say that on Wednesday, August 10, at 3:01pm, I met the most incredible person...

I was 39w4d, and she came in at 8lb, 4oz. Birth story as soon as I have a waking moment that isn't spent staring at chubby baby cheeks.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Membrane Strip

I had my OB appointment yesterday (38w3d). She hadn't looked at my chart yet and had forgotten that I was dilating and effacing. She gave me the schedule for the induction and asked if we were doing Cervadil. I reminded her that at last check, I was 2cm. She immediately remembered that it was membrane stripping day. As nervous as I was about the strip, my BP was very good. Pretty pleased with that fact.

I read a lot online about having the procedure done. Some people said it was the most painful thing they had ever done, worse than childbirth, etc. Others said it didn't hurt at all. I had no clue what to expect. I can definitely say that it wasn't pleasant. It was much more painful than a regular cervical exam, but it kind of felt like ripping of bandaids or tape. Kind of a pulling, stinging feeling. Definitely uncomfortable, and it hurt, but by no means was it the worst thing I've ever been through.

She warned me that I might bleed a fair bit after the strip. I had zero bleeding. Now, last week, I had a regular exam (a rough one, with some stretching, but not like this) and I spotted for about 36 hours. This time, she specifically said I would be bleeding a lot, and there was nothing. Weird.

She also said that if I had intercourse, it would increase the odds of this working and putting me into labor within 24 hours, but that didn't happen. We finished at the doctor, went grocery shopping, and we were both exhausted. I think people forget what it feels like to be 38+ weeks pregnant. They tell you to have sex, but they can't possibly remember how very tired you are when they say that. Or how hard it is to move when you're this big.

Anyway, I had maybe 2 good contractions after she stripped me. One during the procedure, and another a few minutes later... Then they stopped. I had a lot of back pain last evening, and I was hoping it would turn into something much more painful like, say, childbirth, but it didn't. I went to bed and only woke up for my bathroom trips and Tums snacks.

If I haven't done anything by August 9, then we are to report to the hospital, bags packed, at 7:30am to begin an induction. That means that in six days, we will hold our daughter. I can't possibly wrap my mind around that.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

No Worries - Still Pregnant

Yesterday, I hit the 38 week mark. Next week, I'm being induced.

If one more fucking person asks if I've had the baby yet, I'm going to stab them in the face with a fork.

If one more person gives me their GUARANTEED labor induction techniques (sex, walking, yoga ball, evening primrose oil, pineapple...), I'm going to stab them in the face with a fork. The relief of doing that will probably relax my body enough to release enough oxytocin to get this show on the road. Then I can tell everyone else how to go into labor.

At my last appointment, I didn't gain any weight at all from the previous week. I am a "good" 2cm dilated and still 70-75% effaced. She thinks I'm "very favorable" for induction. She also knows that I am DONE being pregnant. Either Aug 8 or 9, we'll begin the process.

At my appointment this coming Tuesday (Aug 2, 38w3d), she will strip my membranes in an effort to get me started on my own. She did instruct us to have sex after that. That sounds kind of like going to the dentist, having a tooth pulled, and being told to go home and eat popcorn. Just doesn't sound like it'll be fun. And how is sex fun at 38 weeks anyway? I'm roughly the size of a developing nation, and my junk is so swollen that everything feels foreign. Blah.

I'm in a bad mood. Can you tell? Let's talk about more awesome things...

Tomorrow is J's birthday. He will be 45. Monkey came over today to help us celebrate. I asked Monk, "What do you want to get J for his birthday?" He said, "A present!" I said, "Yes, but what should the present be?" He thought for a moment, then said, "I sink.... candies. And he can share wif me." So, in addition to his birthday present, he also got a bunch of the giant chewy sweet tarts that he and Monk love so much. And wouldn't you know it, J shared wif him.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Exhausted

Had an OB appointment yesterday, with a doctor I haven't seen since 12 weeks or so. Maybe 16. I realized that I do not miss him.

He refused to check my cervix, stating that he wouldn't do it again until 38 weeks. He had zero interest in the fact that I'm 36 weeks (at a point where weight gain should slow down or even stop) and I gained more weight in a WEEK than I did in two weeks previously (4 pounds in 6 days). That's a fuckload of fluid, ladies and gentlemen. I have also moved from just annoyingly huge edema to pitting edema. I laid my legs across J's lap on the couch the other day, like I usually do. He rested his hands on my shin/calf, like he always does... Except when he moved them, there was a perfect imprint of both hands on my leg. About 1/8-1/4 inch deep. Awesome.

Everyone I talk to who DOESN'T work at my practice has asked me when they're going to take her, because my body is obviously not doing well with this. And my practice keeps saying that they will not do a damn thing before 39 weeks.

Last night, the circumference of my ankles surpassed that of my knees. My legs were numb to the touch from mid-calf down.

But I'll be fine for another 3 weeks. The fucking doctor said so.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Two Posts in One Day? Really?

I went to my OB appointment. They did the GBS swab, measured fundal height, and checked my cervix. I am definitely 1cm dilated, and definitely about 75% effaced. The doctor (not the one I normally see, but they require you to see all 3 doctors who may be on call at delivery) grabbed The Critter by the butt from the outside, and wiggled her around. "Feels like a six pound baby to me." Then he told me her butt is in my liver most of the time. Ew. Liver butt.

For my birthday, I did get pretty good news. "The way things look, you definitely aren't going to go another month." Praise every cotton picking thing that is holy. And, "I'll see you next week, if you make it that far." I'm still holding out hope for Friday's full moon. J and I had our first date on a full moon, and we got married on a full moon. If this child has an ounce of style, she'll get here Friday sometime.

I've had several painful contractions. Nothing I can't deal with yet, and definitely nothing regular, but the cervix pain makes me think they are at least somewhat productive. I've been trying to move around as much as I can, but the swollen legs are pretty hurty. The project I'm currently taking a break from is cleaning up our bedroom and getting the hospital bag packed. The baby's bag is done and in her car seat, but I haven't even started on ours.

Anyway, after my appointment, we picked up Monk and met my aunt for lunch. The waitress overheard something about my birthday, and asked my name when I ordered. I told her, with the caveat, "If you sing to me, I'll hit you. I'm pregnant. I'm not kidding." When they brought the food, they hummed Happy Birthday instead. Touche.

Then we ran to Lowe's to get a few fittings that J needed. Monk has been really enjoying "helping" J dig in the yard lately. The big shovel is just too much for him and none of the department stores have a kids' shovel that is worth a damn. Lowe's totally did. We put it in the racecar cart with him, and he told everyone in the store, "Dis is my FAIBRIT (favorite) shovel!" After his nap, he will go dig in the dirt with J. He will be pleased.

Later, I think we're going to order pizza for dinner and maybe go out for ice cream. It's funny, when you become a parent. I don't care what happens "for me" on my birthday - no presents or special treatment or anything like that is necessary. What I really want is to see my son smile and laugh and play and have an amazing day.

Progress?

I spent most of the afternoon in the car yesterday. J had to take his mom to an appointment, and I didn't want to be left home alone, so I rode along. I just felt kind of off, I guess. Kind of nauseous and wimpy. Everything went fine, but I was glad to not be home alone.

After we got home, I went to the bathroom and noticed some light pink spotting on the toilet paper. Nothing in my underwear or anything, just on the paper. I went ahead and called my OB nurse, figuring she would tell me to wait and tell my doctor about it at my appointment the next day. No. She told me to go to L&D immediately and get checked.

Urine test is still ugly. Apparently Macrobid isn't going to work for me. The on-call put me on Keflex instead. I asked the nurses if they would check my cervix, just to see where we're at. They got permission from the doctor, and off we went.

As of 5pm yesterday, I was 1cm dilated and about 70% effaced. Progress! Of course, I'm still not having anything resembling regular contractions, but it's something. When we came home, we went for a long walk to see if it would stimulate anything. It didn't, but it was good to get out and move around. Turned into a nice moonlit stroll on the way home, too.

I'm off to my regular OB appointment in just a little bit, so hopefully I'll get good news. Like more dilating or effacing or something. It's my birthday today - I deserve some good news.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Still Alive and Pregnant

Queenie pointed out that I haven't posted... Sorry. I think I've reached the "I just don't give a fuck" portion of my pregnancy. I'm miserable, my body hurts, I have contractions every day, and I still stay pregnant. Guess I'm just tired of talking about it. I'm tired of people tracking me down on Facebook to ask if I'm still pregnant. I'm tired of text messages and phone calls. I'm just tired. Of everything.

I went to the OB on Wednesday (34w4d), and she checked my cervix. It was "very mushy" but still posterior, and she confirmed that the baby is engaging. No sugar or protein in my urine at all. Blood pressure was in the 130's over 80's, where it stays most of the time now.

After the appointment, I had a lot of cramping and constant abdominal pain. I kept waiting for it to get better, but it only got worse. I had the expecting brownish blood after the cervix check, but no other bleeding or anything. In the evening, I was miserable, so I went ahead to L&D to make sure I was okay. The nurse checked me again, and my cervix was still closed, but had become very anterior and she could feel the baby pressing against it. She's THAT low. I was on the monitor for about 30 minutes, and had 2 contractions. Not enough to do anything about. The urine test, of course, came back bad. I'm on my third bottle of Macrobid in six weeks, I think. Wicked awesome.

Had quite a few painful contractions last night, but the closest they got was 7 minutes, and that only lasted for 3 contractions. Then it was 15 minutes, then 21, then 30, then 50. Then all done, and off to bed.

I want to go for a walk to get things stimulated, but it's over 90 outside, and with the blood pressure problems I've already had, that seems unsafe. I don't want to endanger anyone, I just want my daughter OUT. Now. Soon. In the next couple days would be fantastic. I'm thinking about seeing if J would take me to the mall later so we can walk some. Maybe get things moving...

The full moon is Friday, and my mom is convinced that that will be the day. I would be okay with that if I KNEW it was happening. But this no-end-in-sight feeling is killing me. The soonest the OB will induce or anything is 39 weeks. That's 26 days. I go back on Wednesday (weekly appointments now) and I'm going to set a date for induction so I KNOW the end is near. So that I can say, if I haven't had her by such and such date, she will be here then. This restless nesting is driving me up the wall and the constant irregular contractions are wearing me out in a big way.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Parts

I. The Shower

The shower was wonderful. We were completely overwhelmed with the generosity of our family and friends. My mom told everyone that we needed receiving blankets and crib sheets... Apparently everyone thought everyone else was getting those. Almost everyone bought clothes and diapers. It was actually funny. By the time it was over, J and I were both completely exhausted, and we had so many gift bags that the back of our SUV was completely full. Monk was the only thing that kept us from going to bed at 6pm.

II. The Test Results

All the blood work was good. The doctor's office called at 9am today with the urine protein results. Pre-e is diagnosed at 300mg of protein. I'm at 257mg right now. I asked her to look at my results from a month ago when I did the last 24 hour catch, and it was 232mg then. It's coming up, slowly. At this rate, I *should* be able to make it to my due date without developing full pre-e. I'm guessing that this wasn't my last 24 hour catch. They'll repeat my blood work every couple weeks, most likely, to make sure that my kidneys are holding steady. If anything looks amiss, they'll take her early.

III. The Baby

According to the internet (and my last ultrasound), she should be over 5 pounds this week. That would mean that she wouldn't have much of a NICU stay should she be born now. That is SUCH a relief. That is assuming, of course, that she's eating and breathing on her own and we don't have any problems with infection or the like. I'll take those odds. She's getting a bit less active as time goes on. Some days are more active than others. I keep wondering if she's resting up to make her big debut.

IV. The New Car

The more we drive it, the more we love it. J's statement was that he should have bought a Nitro years ago. It's so much bigger than it looks from the outside, and it's just so damn functional. Buying tires, brake pads, and a performance air filter next week, then it'll be even better. Yay!

V. Bed Rest

This is boring. I just eat, drink water, and sit on my butt. Blah. I did get permission to jump my husband on occasion though. Now we just need to stay awake long enough for such things. We're both exhausted lately. I think it might just be the stress of the tail end of pregnancy.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers


  • Since I haven't been to sleep yet, it is technically still Friday night. It is really truly still Friday night in the central time zone. I'm using that as a fall-back. Not my fault I live so close to the east coast.
  • My baby shower is tomorrow. That feels totally bizarre.
  • I got my blood test results. I had to go about it in kind of a backwards way, but I did it. The stupid lab had the results within an hour, but sat around NOT faxing them for another 2-3 hours. Of course, by that point, the doctor was out for the day. So... I called L&D at my hospital. I explained that they were testing me for HELLP and since I really didn't want to die at my baby shower, could they please give me my results. They did. I'm fine.
  • Starting another 24 hour urine catch in the morning. My life is exciting.
  • My son said "damn it" today. In proper context. Oops. Since he was already in time out (hence the frustration), there wasn't a ton I could do about it. We just had a talk about "grown up words" and how he shouldn't even have to hear them, but he definitely shouldn't repeat them.
  • I'd like to blame Mark, but it could just as well be my own stinking fault.
  • My foot hurts like a mother. I haven't done anything to it. I've been sitting on my butt, so it's pretty hard to hurt a toe. The place where my big toe attaches to my foot is just all achy and owie. I hope it stops soon.
  • The contractions seem to be getting better. Granted, I don't get up and move around a lot, which is what seems to set them off, but my body seems slightly more tolerant of movement now.
  • The Critter is still squirming away in her humble abode. I'm so anxious to hold her.
  • A couple days ago, I was putting away freshly washed baby clothes. I still don't think I believe that I'm going to get a newborn baby of my very own. Monk was 8 months old when he came home, so this tiny baby business is new to me.
  • Still terrified of labor. For real.
  • I should get some sleep. Monk will be up in less than 8 hours, and for some reason, he thinks I should be up too. Maybe I'll update after my shower....
  • P.S., I think my child will be born around the middle of July. Just want to get that out there so no one calls me crazy later.
Now go check out things at Danifred's Place!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Just Kind of Bummed

First, someone left a comment on my last post trying to drag me into a fundraiser. Don't come into MY space, especially on an entry that is full of emotional stuff for me, and ask me for money. Seriously. It's just rude.

Second, I started having frothy urine last night. This can apparently be a really good sign of shedding protein. I called my OB's office (as directed by the internet), and she ordered more blood work. They're testing everything, basically. Starting another 24-hour urine catch tomorrow.

Tomorrow, of course, is my baby shower. If I have to pee during that time, I'll have to do it in a jug. I know it sounds stupid and small, but I'm really bothered by this.

I'm already tired of bed rest, and I'm only on modified bed rest. I can't imagine how hard it is for women who are on strict or hospital bed rest. It has to be really really hard. Especially with other children. Without Monk, I could manage a bit better. I guess I just feel like I'm letting him down by not being able to play like we used to, and I'm letting the baby down if I don't stay put. I can't win for losing.

Instead of more bitching, I'm going to go watch Wonder Pets with Monk. He tries to do the little cheer at the beginning. It's ridiculously cute. I kind of just want to repeatedly watch the beginning so he'll keep cheering.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Worst Blogger Ever

I should post so much more often, but I have the WORST case of baby brain. I just can't seem to function.

It's been an eventful 12 days or so since I last posted. Monday, we took Monk to the pediatric dental surgeon for his root canal. Luckily, we didn't have to have ANY work done. The original dentist didn't do x-rays, and just assumed that the discoloration was decay due to a broken root. The new dentist did x-rays and found that the discoloration is basically a bruise within the tooth. No signs of decay. We made it out with just x-rays. They were still kind of traumatic because Mark had to hold Monk down for them, but at least there was no sedation or surgery.

I got back home, Mark and Monk went home, J was helping his friend on his farm waaay outside of cell coverage. Of course, that is when my body chose to start having contractions. I drove myself to the hospital and they put me on the monitors - letting me know that if my water had broken or if I had more than 6 contractions an hour, I would be airlifted to the nearest hospital with a NICU (which is like an hour from my house). They tested for amniotic fluid, and I wasn't leaking. I had 4 contractions in the hour I was on the monitors. It appears that my last round of antibiotics didn't kill the urinary tract infection. They think my inflamed bladder is causing contractions. They put me on bed rest until my appointment this morning...

Went to the OB this morning (32w4d) and my blood pressure is still creeping upwards. The first time they took it, it was 144/84. The doctor checked my cervix (closed, not softening, this is good), measured me (at 35.5 weeks), and checked for her heartbeat (155, just like always). I had a mini meltdown and told her about how I feel like I'm letting J and The Critter down by sucking at pregnancy. She assured me that sometimes, things just happen, and that it's normal to feel this way. She even kind of teared up when she was recalling her own pregnancy issues. They took my blood pressure again at the end of the visit, and it had dropped to 138/80. Enough that they let me go and didn't make me start drugs.

I have to go later this week or beginning of next week for another pre-e workup and 24 hour urine catch. She really thinks I'm going to end up with pre-e, we just haven't had clinical proof yet. I'm also on modified bed rest until my next appointment, mostly for the blood pressure issues. I'm allowed to get out of my bed, I just can't do anything but sit on the couch and get up to pee. Exciting!

At this point, no one seems to think that I'm staying pregnant until August 13, which was the original due date. If I end up with pre-e, they will likely induce or do a scheduled c-section for sometime between 36-38 weeks. Even without that, she thinks I may just go into labor early all on my own. Damn good thing I got all the furniture and the car seat...

We traded in our truck yesterday. I love the new car - don't get me wrong. We had to have a 4x4 that both car seats would fit in. Winters here aren't kind. But that truck? J picked me up for our first date in that truck. We spent hours by the lake, til the wee small hours of morning, talking and learning about each other in that truck. In all honesty, we made love in that truck. It was OUR truck. It was where I fell in love with him. And we had to trade it in. I'm bummed. I'll miss it. But, as I told him, I may have fallen in love with him in that truck, but we will bring our daughter home in the new one. It's just a new chapter of us.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers: One Of Those Days


  • The not-hot tub is finished! We filled it three times before we were done, due to various plumbing issues, but it works now. We're quite pleased.
  • We found that it's the perfect size for our tiny yard. We couldn't have one of those vinyl pool things because the dogs would eat it, and our yard is too small for a regular pool. This is an excellent compromise.
  • Monkey, until today, had done really well with it. He's afraid of the water, but I got him one of those swim suit/life vest thingies and it was working out.
  • Today, we had some family over for a cookout, and Monk managed to ruin my evening by refusing to put on his swim suit so we could go in the pool. Rule is no floaties, no swimming.
  • Of course, since he refused to get dressed, it meant I didn't get to get in the pool.
  • A wise person does not deny a pregnant woman water when it's 90 degrees outside.
  • For those of you with toddlers... Do you ever have a perfectly reasonable tiny human before nap, then a complete holy terror evil hell beast after nap? We've had a lot of days like that lately, and I just don't understand. He was tired, I put him down, he slept, he woke up, he was a different kid. Blah.
  • Feet... HUGE. Scary huge. Not even gonna bother worrying about it because apparently I just suck at being pregnant.
  • The OB gave me a script for Pepcid. That's awesome, yes? Except the fact that I can only take it 10 days at a time. Fuck that noise.
  • 31 weeks tomorrow. Only 9 weeks until I can finally hold my second child and never be pregnant again. YAY.
  • It sucks to be emotionally DONE already. I just want to hide somewhere and cry. I feel like crap, the legs that used to be some of the best in the county (no joke) are now completely misshapen and they HURT, and I can't even think about food without getting heartburn. I'm done. I can do another 9 weeks, right? Pep talk, anyone?
Go check out the rest of the leftovers at Danifred's place.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ringless

I had to take off my wedding rings yesterday. Really, I guess I should be grateful that I was able to wear them up to 30 weeks. My doctor recommended that I take them off after she saw my fluid retention. Sure enough, they were pretty difficult to remove. Since I likely won't be able to wear them until some unforeseen date after her birth, I needed to find another option. I LOVE my wedding set. J and I picked them out together and it was the only piece that made us both light up. Those are THE rings for me. Buying a cheap ring in a larger size wasn't the right choice for me personally. So my husband, sweet loving soul that he is, cut down the chain on his dog tags from the Army and they are now around my neck. He served for 20 years, through two previous marriages and god only knows how many courtships... And he had never given anyone his tags. He gave them to me when we were dating, before we found out about the pregnancy. I just didn't wear them because the chain was SO long. Last night, he cut it down so it's comfortable.

He's a good husband. I like him.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

OB: 30w3d

Guess who is measuring 4 weeks ahead again... Oh yeah, it's me. I am measuring somewhere between 34-35 weeks. They're doing an ultrasound one week from today to check on her size. They did tell me today that no matter what her size is or how far ahead either one of us measure, they won't change our due date. Ever. So if I already have a six pound fetus, they are still saying she isn't due for another 10 weeks. Fucking brilliant.

I actually took pictures of my giant feet last night so the doctor could see just how bad it gets. J calls it scary big. She looked at them, her eyes got the size of golf balls, and she was like, "Wow. That's HUGE! I'm sorry." End of discussion.

BP was 136/75. At the ER, it was down to 98/47. Just all depends on what I'm doing and who I'm with, I guess.

I'm in a really truly horrible mood today. I'm tired of not having any shoes that fit because my feet are fucking cartoon big. I want to go out with my husband tonight, but I HAVE to wear flip flops. Nothing else will fit. I have 3 shirts that I can really wear out. There is a 4th, but it has long sleeves. All my normal pre-pregnancy shirts are WAY too short. People who can wear their normal clothes all through pregnancy must have dressed in parachutes before - that's all I've got to say. I have 3 pairs of maternity pants. Aside from yoga pants and pajamas, that's all I've got to wear. I'm just tired of being beat to shit, I guess. I want her here, I want her healthy, and I want to never be pregnant again. Oh, and I want all of it to happen right now.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Myriad

Scheduled Monk's dental appointment today. June 20 (West Virginia Day), he will get all his work done. I equally dread it and look forward to it (only because then it will be over). I cried like a fool just hearing about the procedure. Blah...

I ordered several things today. Crib, mattress, changing table, glider, bedding, pack & play, and car seat. Can't wait to have a baby to put in them...

Went to the ER yesterday because, no shit, I just didn't feel good. My blood pressure was ridiculously low, my heart rate ridiculously fast, and they decided I was primarily dehydrated. A bag of fluids and a urinalysis later, they decided I also had a pretty yucky UTI. Antibiotics for 10 days and I should be all better.

Off to the OB tomorrow. 30 weeks, only 10 left. I'm stoked.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers


  • We took Monk to the dentist today. The news was mixed... The tooth is dying, due to root damage during the fall. Bad. The good news is that we can save the tooth (good), but it requires a baby root canal (bad) and a resin crown for cosmetics. This will keep the tooth intact and looking normal until his adult tooth comes in.
  • I have cried over this a lot. I feel like it's all my fault. Kids fall, I understand that... But this is MY kid, and it was in MY house, and his tooth is impacted now for the next 3 years or so. Sad.
  • I think Tucker (whom we believe to be a rottweiler/beagle mix) has a p.eni.s infection. We're working on getting him in to see a vet tomorrow. There is an emergency vet, but they charge $125 just to walk in the door - that doesn't count treatment. I don't have that in my budget right now, thanks to several other things I didn't have room for in my budget.
  • The next time someone asks Tucker's breed, I'm going to tell them he's a teacup rottweiler. He looks like a rott, but he's only 40 pounds. I think it would be funny.
  • The hot tub is finally almost finished. My dear J has busted his ass on this thing and we're almost at payoff point. We're not going to heat it this year, as I'm not allowed in hot tubs due to blood pressure concerns, but it'll make a kickass soaking pool this summer.
  • The heartburn keeps getting worse. Woke up choking on stomach acid again last night, with more nose-tube involvement. OUCH.
  • I really love my husband quite a lot. I've been an emotional train wreck lately, and he's been working a lot, so it feels like we're distant sometimes. But there are still moments where I just about fall over when I realize how much I love him. A lot. He's my favorite husband ever.
  • Did I mention that the not-hot tub has 20 jets, fiber optic lighting, and a lion head fountain? I can't stop thinking about how awesome it is. I'm stoked.
  • Unfortunately, I must go now because I'm also suddenly starving. (You know you're in the third trimester when, the more you eat, the hungrier you get...)
Now go see Danifred!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Stay Puft

I'm feeling a lot like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man lately. My ankles are gone, replaced entirely with cankles. My feet are huge and my toes are like sausages that happen to stick off the end of the massive foot-structure. This is not amusing. Good news is that all the pre-e testing came back clean. I'm good to go. Blood pressure at home isn't elevated, so I really should be fine. Maybe I've just developed white coat hypertension? I had an ultrasound of my leg yesterday to check for blood clots, thanks to all this puffiness. No clots either. My theory is that I'm overweight, pregnant, and it's 90 degrees outside. Find me someone meeting those criteria who ISN'T swollen.

I'm taking Monk to the dentist tomorrow. I noticed this afternoon that his left front tooth is discolored - kind of gray in comparison with his other bright white toddler teeth. Pretty sure he damaged the root/blood supply for that tooth during the big fall-and-bust-his-mouth incident a couple weeks ago. This SUCKS. I feel insanely guilty. I realize that I can't protect him from everything in his world, but I still feel so so responsible for this. I just can't deal with the thought that his fall may have wrecked that tooth for good. I also realize it's a baby tooth, but still. I don't want it to decay away before his adult teeth begin to erupt. I'm stressing in a big way. I suppose there's not much I can do now aside from take him to the dentist and see what happens. Feeling like a failure today.

I've had some stabby kind of pains in my cervix today. Last night brought some nifty BH, and one even kind of hurt a little. Doc said to go to L&D if there are more than 4 in an hour, but they stopped at 3. Then I went to sleep. Today, in the car, it kind of felt like The Critter was stabbing me in the cervix with a toothpick. I called my OB's office and the nurse said to prepare for all kinds of weird aches and pains now that I've entered the third trimester. No real worries unless there's a fluid leak, blood, or regular contractions. Of course, she told me that I can always go to L&D to be checked if I'm very concerned. Of course I'm concerned - I would like this baby to stay on the inside until she's old enough to avoid a NICU stay. Not only is that what's best for her, but there's also the fact that my state has TWO NICUs, and the closest one is 90 minutes from my house. Not exactly convenient. So, dear fetus, stay put til at least 36 weeks, okee dokee? Thank you very much. (That also buys mama enough time to buy that crib we keep talking about.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Since I Missed Friday Night Leftovers...

...this will just be a Sunday morning brain dump.

  • I didn't sleep much last night. The heartburn was so bad that I woke up with acid in the tube between my nose and throat. That burns like fire, just in case you were wondering.
  • If I have to tell Monk to get off the dogs one more time this morning, I may jump out the window. Do they just LOOK like furniture? I'm at a loss.
  • My baby shower is officially set for June 25. We aimed a bit early because of the doctor's concern that she may come before her due date. And this way, we still have plenty of time to buy the things we need.
  • I STILL haven't bought a crib. It's on my to-do list for June. I've been too busy sitting around on my butt.
  • Ditto for car seat, stroller, pack and play, etc.
  • We went to my mom's yesterday for a cookout. It was really nice to be able to just sit around on her porch and talk to everyone. She's going to ban me from her house at the end of June, so I need to visit as much as possible. (My mom lives 5 miles from pavement - about an hour from the nearest hospital.)
  • We've been watching Leapfrog movies on Netflix. Monk is obsessed with Numbers Ahoy, because it includes pirates. "Where's da piyate go?" At least he falls on my side of the pirates vs. ninjas debate. Pirates win. J is disappointed.
  • The Critter's movements have changed a lot in the last week or so. Kick counts are still good, it just feels different. She's obviously getting bigger every day. Instead of erratic flutters, it kind of feels like purposeful readjustment. Also, I think she may be made entirely of knees and elbows.
  • I'm torn on the crib thing... Do we buy middle of June when we have a nice chunk of change coming in, or do we wait until after the shower in case we get gift cards that may reduce our out-of-pocket cost? I think I'll go ahead and buy before. It's not like there's not other things we will need that we can use the cards for.
  • Mark is coming to get Monk in just a few minutes, so I guess I should get him out of his pajamas and into something more reasonable for a Sunday lunch date.
You should still go see Danifred, just because she's cool. (And it's not her fault that I'm unable to remember to blog on Fridays.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

OB Update

My OB appointments are becoming slightly less mundane. Not in a good way.

Today, my blood pressure was 132/80. That combined with the epic swelling I've been experiencing has led the doctor to do another pre-e workup. In addition to the 2 vials of blood I lost today, I also have to do a 24-hour urine catch so they can check for total protein. Grrrreat. There was no protein or sugar in my urine at the appointment today, so I'm kind of annoyed at having to do a 24-hour catch. I want what's best for the baby, and I want to know that I'm healthy enough to carry her to term. I just feel like my doc is being REALLY cautious. She also wants me to start doing a BP log. Anything top number over 160 or bottom number over 100 sends me directly to the hospital.

I'm still way down on weight gain. She's cool with that, considering my starting weight. I'm considered healthy right now, not obese. Yay me.

I'm only measuring ONE week ahead now, instead of four. Just a week. This is good.

Based on the results of my last ultrasound (26 weeks), she is going to talk with another doctor at the practice about the fact that the dates might be wrong.

We talked about my delivery fears. She really discourages planned c-sections. She had one herself, and found the recovery to be miserable. She told me that we'll try vaginally (unless a condition arises that requires a c-section, like a ridiculously large baby or an emergency due to pre-e), and that if I don't progress or the baby doesn't engage, I can ask for a c-section at any time. Assuming, of course, that I haven't passed the point of no return. I'm satisfied with this.

I know this sounds silly coming from a former infertile, but I also signed the paperwork for a tubal today. Pregnancy has not agreed with my body, we don't want to split our time/attention/money between three children, and we only have a three bedroom house. We have talked about it at length, and feel that a tubal is the best option. A doctor in Germany (when J was stationed there in the army) once told J that the odds of him ever fathering a child were slim to none. J can't remember the exact explanation, but it had to do with broken blood vessels. I'm guessing a varicocele. Without being terribly blunt, I think it was more of a consistency issue for him. We changed a few things, changed the consistency, and kerblammo, we were pregnant. I honestly think that the odds of that happening again are slim to none, but we really want to be sure without me having to suck down hormonal birth control (or temp) for the rest of my menstruating life. SO tubal will be done the day after delivery, unless I have a c-section, in which case they'll just do it while they're in there.

I'm off to bed now. We bought a 1977 Corvette yesterday and spent most of the day driving around. It was spectacular, and I think it wore us both out. (That, or giving both dogs a bath tonight.)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

28 Weeks

I haven't done any real documenting of this pregnancy. I don't really feel BAD about it because I kind of suck at documentation. It's just part of who I am. I've been taking belly pics for a while, on and off since the first bit of belly really started at 16 weeks (being a big girl to start with, I didn't show as fast as some).

My week changes on Saturday, so that's normally when I try to get a picture. J is better at remembering than I am, but sometimes I just don't feel like doing the pics. Makes me feel more like a side show.

Anyway, after all the swelling this past week and the fact that I've made it to the third trimester (and viability), I am kind of proud of my belly today. This has been hard work - I'm not one of those people who just gestates without realizing it. I am reminded every day in some way, whether it's heartburn or round ligament pain or toes that look like sausages. I choose to celebrate this milestone. While I wish the celebration could include a large glass of wine, instead I'll just share a belly shot.


I go back to the OB on Tuesday, and I'm curious to see how far ahead I'm measuring now. Last time, I was measuring 4 weeks ahead. I definitely think that looks like more than 28 weeks...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Don't Rain On My Parade

We took Monk to the short parade last night. Short, but still a little over an hour long. We walked around the carnival for maybe an hour before that. By the time we were finished, I was miserable. Hands and feet were swollen to epic proportions and my hips hurt really bad. I had some shaved ice and a bottle of water and a cup of soda during all of it, I sat down for the duration of the parade, and I was still miserable. I guess parades are just not for me this year. I'm going to line up a babysitter for The Critter next year so I can go enjoy it. (My mother will kill to babysit - I know this already.)

Mark opted to go ahead and go to today's parade because his dad wanted to go. His dad is incapable of caring for himself in a fully stocked house, so he can't be left alone at a parade. So, Monk is with me and J all day while Mark and his pops hang out on the side of the road for a few hours. Exciting stuff. So far, we've already had several time-outs. He was up past his normal bedtime last night and my stupid dogs woke him up before his normal waking time. I'm just trying to bide my time until it's reasonable to put him down for a nap. Then I might take a nap, too...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers



  • I'm fascinated by the comments on Jen's latest post. If you haven't read them, you should, and then jump in on a discussion. It's turned into kind of an infertility mixer over there. It feels like a bunch of people sitting around a living room talking. I dig it.
  • I forgot to mention it, but we found out at court on Tuesday that the court records are sealed on Monkey's case. There is no "legal" way for him to find his biological parents if he ever decides to pursue that. Of course, we have copies of everything and we know their names. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, though I honestly doubt they will still be alive by the time he's 18.
  • I've been trying to save money lately. At the grocery store last night, I compared the price per load on powder vs. liquid laundry detergent. The savings is only two cents per load. I'm sticking to liquid.
  • I'm stepping back my iron supplements. My guts are rebelling. I finally remembered to ask what the number was, and it was 10.3. It wasn't THAT bad to begin with, so I'm pretty sure I can just change my diet and remedy most of it.
  • I dreamed about the baby last night. She always looks the same in every dream - bright blue eyes and a head full of coal black hair. I know all babies have blue eyes, so that's probably pretty normal. Last night's dream was meeting her for the first time. Someone laid her on my chest and I swooned. I tried desperately to go back to sleep and recapture the moment, but it was gone. How can I miss someone I've never met? I have an incredible longing to meet her, hold her, touch her... The next 3.5 months are going to go really slowly, I fear.
  • I caught a glimpse of my profile in shadow last night. Wow. I mean, I feel the giant belly tugging on me and I touch it constantly, but I hardly ever really LOOK at it. That was a little strange.
  • In the shower, I'm always a little amazed by it. I've always just been "fat." Now, my belly is tight and almost perfectly round. I'm not the pregnant woman in the magazines or anything, but I have a very iconic shape right now. It's almost surreal to be in this place.
  • My dogs need a bath. They smell weird. It's been raining for like, a month, and they play outside a lot. I hate bath nights.
  • It's Strawberry Festival time around here. Tonight, we're going to the Fireman's Parade with Mark and Monkey (and ex-father-in-law, yay). Monk is very excited to see the "pietrutts."
  • Monk's lip is looking a bit better. There's still a piece of stray skin hanging, but it's kind of like when your lips are really chapped. It would probably help if he stopped sucking on it all the time.
  • I'm kind of bummed about Festival this year. Tomorrow is supposed to be the one nice day (pretty much all month), and there is a huge parade (like 4 hours, people - it's serious). Problem is that it's supposed to be 80 degrees, and anytime it gets over 70, I swell like a blow fish. I really want to see the parade, but I really DON'T want to make myself miserable in the process. I need something like an air conditioned glass box so I can watch the parade from the comfort of air conditioning.
Go check in with Danifred for more Friday Night Leftovers.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

Monkey arrived shortly after I posted yesterday, and J got home not long after that... We were playing around and having fun before dinner, and Monkey was running through the house. He was running full tilt in the living room when he tripped over his tricycle and face planted into a speaker. Of course, the corner of the speaker hit him right in the mouth. He was on his knees with his hands over his mouth, and I grabbed him up. When I was finally able to pull him away from me long enough to look at his face, I saw that he was bleeding. Lots. Not scary amounts, but mouth wounds bleed a lot.

I carried him to the bathroom and J tried to help me get him cleaned up. THAT wasn't happening. Monk told J in no uncertain terms, "Go in da udder woom!" We finally peeled his sweaty bloody clothes off at least and got him in something cooler. During the screaming, we were able to look in his mouth. No broken teeth, but a big hunk missing out of the inside of his lip. As I was struggling to wipe his face off, I found the missing piece. On his forehead. Oops.

J had put the dogs out when it all started because they didn't know WHAT to do with a screaming injured kid. When Monk started to get his wits about him, he wanted his dogs back inside. J told him that the screaming scared them, so if we let them back in, he had to try to stop screaming. It worked, by golly. The screaming stopped and he finally asked for a drink. Then a banana. Then some medicine because "my mouf hurts, Mama."

Today, he has a REALLY fat lip and he has to watch how he eats things so as not to hurt the lip, but I think we'll survive. If I can never see him that miserable again, that would be excellent.