Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Just wanted to wish everyone Happy Holidays, whichever ones you may be celebrating!

Here are a couple more pics of our little linebacker to hopefully put a smile on your face!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Greatest Gift

Sorry for the long wait everyone. Surgery went ok, but our little guy turned out to be a linebacker so it was rough getting him out. Caused quite a bit of trauma inside and my recovery has been slow and painful. Not to mention that my spinal wore off during surgery and I ended up having a huge panic attack, resulting in something being put in my IV that basically knocked me out. I was seriously in a stupor when he finally made his arrival. But I was alert enough to hear the nurse say "It's definitely a boy and he has a full head of black hair!"
Possibly more details later, if anyone wants them, but for now I'll leave you with these pictures and some stats. Our little linebacker was born at 8:46AM Monday December 10, weighing in at 9pounds 6.6 ounces and measuring 21 inches long. He is truly everything we've hoped and prayed for and we couldn't be happier!


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Game Plan for Baby Boy

Had my pre-op appointment Thursday and got my labs drawn today. If everything goes according to plan, baby boy will make his arrival sometime between 8 and 9am. Here's how it should go down...
Call hospital at 4:30am to check we are still on schedule (meaning they haven't been bombarded with women in labor). We better still be on schedule!
Leave house around 4:45am.
Arrive at hospital at 5:30am, begin all the preparations. They'll check on the baby (non-stress test), shave and prep me, iv me, give me a spinal, and whatever else they need to do.
Hopefully we'll be in the OR by 8am. Since this is my second c-section it will take around an hour and be slightly more complicated than the first.
Once baby boy is stabilized, hubby should get to hold him so I can get a good look at him before they whisk him away.
Hubby will go with baby boy while they do all the things they need to do to him back in my room. I'll be stitched up and sent to recovery for 1-2 hours.
Once the spinal wears off I'll be taken to my room where I will hopefully get to hold my son in my arms for the first time! At that point, hubby will leave to pick our daughter up and bring her to the hospital to meet her baby brother!
I'll be in the hospital until Wednesday or Thursday, depending on how things go.

So, unless you hear from me sometime Monday you can safely assume our son is being born! I can't say for sure when I'll be able to update here.... not until I get home for sure. Sorry to leave ya'll hanging, I promise to post as soon as I have access!

Unless the plan changes, my next post will be a birth announcement!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's a scary world we're living in

I just read this news story and it scared the crap out of me. 2+ years ago we were living in Nebraska. We lived in the same town as the shooter in this story. We shopped at that mall. Some friends of ours just moved from there a few weeks ago. We have other friends who still live there. Hopefully, they were all at work and not shopping. Hopefully none of their family or friends were there either.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people affected by this tragedy in Omaha. Please lend yours as well. I really don't know what else to say right now, I'm a little bit in shock.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Big and small

Just for fun, here are some pictures of our biggest cat laying on top of our smallest cat. These two adore each other and lay together a lot. I just happened to catch this photo-op the other day...




See that bit of black sticking out from under his stomach? That's her tail! He's literally laying on top of the entire lower half of her tiny body!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We (finally) finished putting up our Christmas decorations this weekend. Here's how the house turned out this year:



It was a lot of work, but we're pretty happy with the results!

We also went this weekend and cut down our own Christmas tree. It was my first time ever doing that, though my husband said his family did it all the time growing up. We had a lot of fun choosing our tree, then my husband (with our daughter's 'help' of course) cut it down, they shook it for us and wrapped it, then we loaded it on the van and brought it home!
We had a hard time getting it to stand up in the tree stand, even going so far as to buy a different stand with no more luck. Finally, I looked it up on the web and discovered you should pound the stand into the base of the tree with a hammer (there are little spikes in the base) before tightening the screws and standing it all up. That finally did the trick!
Put the lights on it and decided to wait until the next day for ornaments because it was pretty late by then. Good thing, because we got up Sunday morning to find the cats had gotten into the tree, pulling 1/3 of the lights off and leaving some flattened spots where they were laying on the branches. I suspect it was our biggest cat laying in the tree because the flatted area was pretty big! So, we've decided we won't put any ornaments up. Hopefully the lights will stay on the tree from now on... we've been spraying them with water every time they go by it. I've tried some other 'remedies' to keep them away and it hasn't worked, so we're just going to have to rely on prayer to keep our tree standing!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Whining time

If you don't want to hear me bitching and moaning a lot, read no further...

I feel like crap. I've basically been sick for half this pregnancy. No idea what it is, except that my head always feels stuffy, I have headaches a lot, I can't ever breathe easily and I've had a cough for all but a couple weeks since around July. Did a round of antibiotics to no avail. Still taking my allergy meds. Cough medicine did nothing. So I suffer. Most mornings I feel like I've got the flu... by the evening I'm feeling better, but never normal. Also have a lot of heartburn. And have I mentioned the dreaded H word thanks to my screwed up system? Those of you who have been there know what I mean.

I'm exhausted. I barely sleep at all. The baby keeps me up until after 2am every night because he gets super-active and beats the crap out of me from the inside. Once I finally get comfortable enough to fall asleep, I have to pee. And so it begins again. Numerous times throughout the night. My daughter doesn't nap, so I can't either. A pregnant body needs more than the maybe 5 hours I'm managing most nights.

I'm in constant pain and discomfort. This kid feels huge and though my weight gain is right on track I'm huge. And it's all belly, all out in front. I can't get up from sitting without doing the as-seen-on-tv-rise (you know the one, where you skooch to the edge of the couch, then push your belly up in front of you), which I always thought was not real. I have to roll on my side and push up with my hands to get out of bed yet I still manage to hurt myself most times. Finding a comfortable position sitting or lying down is impossible. The baby has been pressing on my sciatic nerve for a long time so I constantly have pain, though oddly enough the worst of it runs into my thighs. Which makes it hard to stand and walk. Getting up from the floor is a joke. But I still have to do it several times a day. I can't bend over to do anything so I have to squat - which means it hurts like hell getting back up because my thighs hurt so bad. To empty the dryer I have to get down on my knees and press my belly into the dryer door to reach everything and pull it out. I have to squat down to help my daughter in the potty several times a day. It sucks.

Despite all that, I've gotten everything ready for the baby (nursery, washing and organizing clothes, making blankets and hats, recovering the glider), done all the Christmas shopping, wrapped and packed it all up and gotten it shipped, gone through all the stacks of mail, magazines, etc, re-organized drawers, done some much needed dusting (though not all), gotten baby announcements and Christmas cards ready to mail, done my best to keep up with my hyper-active 3 year old, and now at almost 38 weeks pregnant I've been outside helping put up all the Christmas lights and doing all the inside decorating, which still isn't done. It's crazy.

It's so hard to walk around stores and handle my daughter when we're out, that we are basically homebound. I'm sick of eating toast and chips for lunch every day the last several weeks when we used to go out for lunch a couple times a week. I'm starving, but I'm sick of the same crap all the time. And I'm going stir-crazy being stuck home all the time. My daughter and I are used to going out a couple times a week, even if just to walk around Target or something. The key is just getting out of the darned house on a regular basis. But it's too hard to do now. And she's suffering too, because I haven't been able to get down on the floor to play with her for some time now. She needs a change of scenery now and then too. She has taken to begging to go out to eat all the time, but we don't eat out very often. Macaroni & cheese and pizza have become the standard dinner food around here. Yuck.

I also attribute a lot of her attitude problem lately to not getting enough attention. She has been terrible to deal with and I'm sure a lot of it has to do with her barely getting played with and rarely getting out of the house. I know I get depressed spending all of my time in our living room, so I'm sure it affects her too. But it's not like I can just let her get away with being a snot, so I have to discipline her. Which turns into a huge ordeal every time. Which is hard on both of us.

Oh yeah, did I mention the swelling has gotten worse? I get this weird thing where my hands and most of the fingers turn a reddish color, but the knuckles look white. Like my fingers are striped. For the heck of it I tried to put my wedding ring on. Yeah, it goes about halfway to the second knuckle. Tried in on my little finger and it won't go all the way down.

I almost have everything arranged for the day we're scheduled. The bags are packed and I have the early morning shift covered for my daughter as well as the second shift running from when she wakes up to around 1pm. I haven't worked out after that yet, in case my husband can't make it back to pick my daughter up by then. Considering there's no absolute guarantee we won't get bumped until later in the day or to another day altogether, I'm pretty worried. It's not like I can just call my Mom or something last minute to watch my daughter. I have to work it out with friends and neighbors who need definite times on things because they have their own families to take care of. It's causing me quite a bit of stress worrying about this. I'm a little worried I'm going to end up alone in the OR and no one will be with my son while I'm in recovery. I'm also worried about being in the hospital after the baby is born. I'm having a c-section so I will be completely bedridden until at least the next day and then will still have a very hard time getting around. But I'll be alone at the hospital most of the day and all of the night. And the baby will be with me the whole time - there is no nursery, you are expected to keep the baby with you at all times. How am I supposed to care for a newborn when I can't get out of bed? Did I mention they also won't let you sleep with the baby in bed with you? Um, hello, what other choice will I have?

Damn it, I'm tired! I'm supposed to be taking it easy to prepare for after the baby comes, which is a tough time with no sleep and plenty of pain. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy about the baby, it's just that I am so ready to have this over. I want to be able to relax like I did with my first pregnancy, not constantly be on the go and doing stuff. And worrying about everything. It was so much easier the first time around. All I want to do is crawl into bed and not move for several days, but there's too much to do.

I'm ready for my reward now. If I had it my way, this baby would be born tonight. Once he's here and healthy, it will all be worth it.

Okay, I guess that's it for now. I can't promise there won't be more, but I promise I'll try not to unload too much. I know no one wants to hear me whining, especially when I'm lucky enough to have this to whine about.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I got it!

Went back to T@rget around 10am.... they had 5 of the tvs I wanted sitting in the front of the store! See, you don't have to wait in line all night! Apparently people who waited in line and got a number never picked up the tvs. I imagine some people just got numbers for a bunch of stuff and then decided what they wanted after getting in the store. Or perhaps gave up on waiting in line.

We were able to get a couple of other things we had wanted from the early bird specials too. Not everything, but we're pretty happy with the deals, considering the time we showed up at the stores. And we didn't even have to wait in line long! Actually, not at all at T@rget - we went straight through the express checkout. But K0h1s was still ridiculous after brunch at noon.... walked in, started towards the back and saw that the lines were still wrapped throughout the whole store, so I turned around and walked back out.

Crazy!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Bl@ck Frid@y

I've never gone out for the 'early bird specials' on Black Friday. Seriously, never once.

This morning I made an attempt.

Boy have my eyes been opened wide! I have come to the conclusion that Black Friday sales are for the clinically insane. Seriously, you must be insane to wait in those lines. I expected long lines at places like Be$t Buy. We drove by last night around 8:30 and the lines was already wrapping around the store, with tents set up and all that. This morning the line wrapped around the entire store and behind, down past the backs of several more stores. I expected that. I did not, however, expect there to be just as long of a line at T@rget this morning, almost an hour and a half before they opened. I definitely did not expect to arrive at K0h1s an hour after they opened to find the checkout lines wrapped all the way around the store. Seriously, there must have been 300+ people in line just to checkout!

Considering that there were probably 500 people (no joke people!) in line at T@rget, just waiting for the store to open, I opted to drive out to the other Target in a smaller town, hoping to catch a break. The line there was shorter.... by maybe 200 people. But still, 300+ people waiting in line before the store opened was too much for me. I opted to come home. Ye, if I had gotten in and gotten everything I wanted, I would have saved a couple hundred bucks. But to my 9 months pregnant a$$ I just didn't see how I could possibly do it. I value my time and sanity more than that.

So, being as that I am hopped up on caffeine (as is the little guy!) I'm going to see if I crash soon (doubt it)... and if not, the plan is to wake our daughter up a little early (maybe 8am), not too early because she went to bed late, get her a quick breakfast and head out as a family. If anything on our list is still available, awesome. If not, oh well, we'll grab some IH0P and maybe drive out to the cool yarn store some people we know own. Then hopefully we can come home and start pulling out the Christmas decorations! Or I'll take a much-needed nap.

So, that is my Black Friday experience. And may I just add that I will NEVER AGAIN make this mistake. At least not until my kids are older and I need to get the 'it' item. Maybe then.

Anyone want to share their experience with Black Friday? Good or bad?!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Just call me Suzy Homemaker...

Well, not really, since I don't really cook or clean very often. But hey, look what I can do:

I finally got the glider done! For someone who had no idea how to use a sewing machine, I think it turned out ok. Not perfect, but I'm happy with it! There's actually a second set of covers in a different pattern that isn't shown.





Here's another blanket I made for J... this one worked up so nice and quick! It took me less than a week to make...




I have to admit, I am very relieved to have the glider done. That was my biggest project for the nursery and I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to do it. Now that it is done, I can breathe a little easier - everything that technically has to be done before the baby comes home, is done. Of course, that doesn't mean I haven't started other projects! ;)

Monday, November 19, 2007

We have a date!

We scheduled my c-section at my appointment on Friday. I'm the first one on the schedule for December 10, so hopefully we will meet our little guy that morning. The doc did say that because of the shortage of doctors and such, it's not uncommon to get 'bumped', especially if there are emergencies, but since we are the first of the day we will take priority aside from emergencies. Hopefully, even if there is an emergency we will still be able to have the c-section sometime that day.

So, 3 weeks from today this little guy should be in my arms! I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The proof is in the shoes....

My feet are usually quite skinny, so they may not look swollen to most people.... but when you see them in my favorite comfy sandals that I've had for a year and a half you can tell something is wrong!

See how they are bulging out? They don't normally do that!

See the imprint they left?

My poor sausage feet. Think I'd better prop them up!

Monday, November 12, 2007

35 weeks (Correction at bottom)

Today is the 35 week mark for Baby J....

I am definitely feeling ready! I can't walk for long without being quite uncomfortable and in pain. Mainly in my thighs, oddly enough. And lower abdomen of course, where the baby is pushing down. I thought it would be my back... which does hurt, but not nearly as much as my thighs and abdomen always do! Sleep is very difficult to come by... once J finally settles down, usually after 2am, I still can't get comfortable. When I finally do, I have to pee! It's a never-ending cycle and I'm ready for my reward, this beautiful baby boy in my arms!

I've avoided taking my blood pressure when I've been out.... I suspect it is still a bit high, but I don't know that it is over the mark for preeclampsia. I'll find that out at my appointment next Monday. I'm definitely having more trouble with my feet and ankles swelling, which I remember being one of the things my doc noted the day I ended up being induced with my daughter. But my blood pressure was also high that day and ultrasound revealed my amniotic fluid level was low. And that was at 39 weeks.

I imagine I will probably be stuck hanging in there for another few weeks... but a hugely pregnant girl can dream right? ;)

Here's a pic I took last week, at 34wk4d:


CORRECTION: Turns out my appointment is this Friday! Good thing I double checked! ;)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My Story

This is my contribution to the My Story Project, as part of Infertility Awareness Week. As hard as I tried, I couldn't make it any shorter because it was a long, hard journey that had a huge impact on my life.

When my husband and I got married, we decided we wanted to start our family immediately. We both dreamed of having a family. We each even had a name picked out for our future children. Almost 2 1/2 heart-breaking years later, I finally got a referral to a gynecologist who specialized in infertility. Almost immediately she discovered what was wrong - I have PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, which causes irregular hormone levels, anovulation and various other health problems. I had officially received my diagnosis, and with it another one - infertility. My husband and I were absolutely crushed. Luckily, the doctor had an idea - Clomid. However, after 3 cycles of increasing doses and increasing side effects, I was still not ovulating. The gynecologist had exhausted her knowledge - we needed a reproductive endocrinologist.

When we first saw the RE, we were obviously excited... but we were also terrified. Because we had to see a civilian doctor, our milit@ry insurance was very limited in what it would cover in regards to Assisted Reproductive Technology. However, we found a loop hole, because based on their definition ART did not mean fertility medicine, it meant assistance in the physical process of reproduction, ie IUI and IVF. As long as we were relying solely on intercourse to put the sperm and egg together, then medication, testing, doctor visits, everything would be covered. The RE proceeded to do another trial of Clomid at the highest dose, combined with an injection of hCG to force my body to ovulate. I responded poorly to the Clomid again, but we went ahead with the hCG shot to try. As expected, we didn't get pregnant. At this point, the RE believed our only shot at pregnancy was through IUI, using injectable fertility medicine. However, the cost of the medicine alone was astounding and we didn't know how we could afford it. We decided to try one monitored cycle of injectable medicine before proceeding with the IUI. We figured that if I responded well to the new medication, we could justify the debt we would incur for the IUI next cycle. As luck would have it, after 2 straight weeks of injecting myself in the stomach every night followed by the hCG shot, I got pregnant and our beautiful daughter was born later. Our dream had come true. The RE was amazed that we had managed to conceive without the IUI. We were amazed that we were finally parents, 3 years after deciding to start our family.

Two years without birth control later we knew we needed help again. I went to see my doctor about my depression (caused by infertility) and left with a referral. Thankfully, we were now living near one of the few milit@ry hospitals that has a fertility clinic. Because we would be going to a milit@ry treatment facility, and not a civilian doctor, IUI would be covered. Another trial of Clomid revealed what we expected - I still did not respond well - but we did manage one IUI on Femara before I stopped responding to it as well. I ended up needing injectable medicine again. Because my husband was on short deployments a lot, it was very difficult trying to schedule my cycles around when he was home. Combined with the 'intercourse on demand only' and not having childcare for appointments, we were under a lot of stress. On our fourth IUI, we were told that after 3 cycles on the injectable medicines, we would not be allowed any more IUIs - our only option would be IVF, a good portion of which would not be covered by the insurance. Yes, it would be cheaper than what most other couples pay who have no coverage at all, but still a hefty amount. We knew there was no way we could do it. In other words, this cycle was our last chance.

Can you imagine the joy and relief when I got a positive pregnancy test that last cycle? If it hadn't worked, we would obviously have still been blessed to have our daughter, but our dream was to have two children. Thankfully, because of our insurance, our dream has come true. For the average couple, it is an easy dream. Having a family is taken for granted, because everyone assumes it will happen easily. When you learn that you may never have the family you have dreamed of, it is like someone has ripped your heart out and torn it to pieces. Both times we went through treatments it was painful and stressful - emotionally and physically - but compared to the unnecessary pain and stress that other couples without insurance face, we know we got off easy. Without our insurance coverage, we would not have the beautiful 3 year old girl who can make any day better with a silly grin. We would not be expecting the baby brother she is so excited about getting this December. We can't imagine our lives without our children and we can't believe that in this 'modern age', in a country so defined by family, so many people have to face a life without their dream because through no fault of their own they were given a medical condition rendering them infertile. Having children isn't necessary to live? Without my children, I wouldn't want to live.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Have I mentioned I have 4 cats?

Yeah, that's right, 4 cats.

Why am I stressing that? We got the results of my daughters allergy testing Friday.... she's extremely allergic to cat dander! And highly allergic to dog dander... not that we have plans to get a dog. Oh, and she's also moderately allergic to mice, which probably means she's allergic to our hamster. Great, we're just surrounding this poor girl!

For now, the new allergy meds seem to be working. Doc says as long as that is the case, and we are keeping the cats out of her room (we always have), we're ok. But if the meds stop working at some point.... which may be what happened to cause the doc visit this time, where we added a second allergy med.... then we'll have to take more extreme measures, because we are pretty much at the limit of what a 3 year old can take for allergies.

I love my cats....

but I love my daughter a lot more!

If we have to, we will get rid of the cats. For now we are keeping our kitties - she refuses to consider getting rid of any of them too, even the not-so-friendly one. She cries whenever we mention it. We do, however, plan to get an air purifier for downstairs, where we spend most of our time. I believe we already have some kind of central filtering system in the house too. And we'll have to be more diligent about cleaning the hamster cage (apparently the allergens get into the air when the urine dries - who knew?), and vacuuming. I used to vacuum every day, but the pregnancy has caused me to slack off big time. So, I'll be doing it more often again. I'm also planning to hit the pet store this week for some special shampoo or wipes that help eliminate/lower the amount of dander. According to the internet, they work.

Hopefully everything will be ok. She's been doing a lot better since we started the new meds. But God, am I dreading the day she starts becoming immune to those meds too! Pray that never happens!

Congratulations to....

Furrow! Miss Zora made her arrival on Nov 1. Please head over and take a peek at the beautiful baby girl and leave some congrats for the proud Mama!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I have no idea what time trick-or-treating starts, but we're already excited and ready to go! My daughter loves Halloween! I think I have one of the few 3 year olds on the planet who thinks monsters are great and really isn't afraid of much. She's always been that way, so Halloween has always been lots of fun. There's a neighborhood not far from us that really gets into Halloween - lots of houses decorate and set up spooky stuff, monsters will scare you when you come up the walk, stuff like that. Can't wait to see what they do this year!

I think I'm going to miss out on the fun though.... walking for any length of time is getting very painful. So odds are that Daddy will take her through our neighborhood while I hand out candy, then I'll pick them up and drive over to the other neighborhood... and probably crochet or something while they trick-or-treat.

:(

I'll leave you with some pictures of our jack-o-lanterns. The 'cutesy' one was the closest I could get to a Care Bear face. That was my daughter's request and I'm just not that good!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Who knew? (Breast pumping dilemmas)

I sure didn't...

My daughter was breastfed and since I had planned to return to work I purchased a good breast pump. However, I basically never used it because no matter how much time I spent I would get either no milk or very very little. I finally just gave up on it since I didn't end up going back to work. Considered it a nice big waste of money.

This time around, I would really like to make use of that pump. I'd like to be able to involve my daughter in the feedings and also allow my husband to bottle feed sometimes so I can have a break to sleep or whatever. So I've been researching possible problems that would cause me to not get any milk when pumping. Especially considering that I spent hours trying when it should only take 10-15 minutes!

Turns out that most breast pumps come with a 'standard' size breast shield, which doesn't fit many women. Some women need smaller ones, most women need bigger ones. Wow, sure would have been nice to know that before! I just went online and ordered the next size up... hopefully that will make a difference this time!

So, for any other women out there who are struggling with their breast pump, wondering why they can't get any milk out, or are barely getting any out, consider doing a little research on breast shield sizing - you may not be a 'standard' fit!

Friday, October 26, 2007

A bit of advice....

When you're almost 33 weeks pregnant, don't spend 6 hours walking around Se@ W0rld! You will be hurting long before the day is through.... and for how long after, I dread to find out! My goodness, my back, thighs and pelvis(?) have never hurt like this!

But, we had a great day. My little snickerdoodle had a blast, and even went on her first rollercoaster.... about 12 times!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

32 week update

I had my checkup on Friday so I thought I'd post the latest info....

BP 134/88 - nurse said this was a little high but not too high, yet. We may be heading towards another early delivery if it continues on this trend. Fine by me as long as he's healthy!

Weight Gain - 16 pounds, though it's been really picking up lately. I wouldn't be surprised if it hit 25 or 30 pounds by the time he's born.

Fundal Height - 33cm, so I'm finally starting to measure normal again. I was almost 32 weeks at the appointment so measuring a week or so ahead is no big deal. Unfortunately I can't continue my hope for a 37 week c-section because of measuring so large anymore. We're still looking at around 39 weeks, which would be December 10. Personally, I'm hoping for the week before, but I don't know how likely I am to get that wish. I really want to be well on my way to recovery so I can enjoy Christmas. I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to get down on the floor with her to open presents and play like I usually do. So, let's hope something non-health-threatening happens to allow for a slightly earlier than 39 week delivery!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nursery pics UPDATED

The nursery is almost done. Really, all I have left to do is organize a few things, recover the glider, and get some basics set up (like the sleep positioner in the crib, putting covers on the boppies and changing pad, things like that).
So, I thought I'd share some pictures and show you the results of our labor of love....



Here's the blanket I finally finished last week. It only took me something like 5 months!


UPDATE: The bed is there because (1)This used to be our guest room (2) The mattresses will hopefully be used for a future guest room when we move (3)I will be sleeping here until I recover from the c-section after J's born - our king size bed sits way too high to climb in and out of after major abdominal surgery.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Christmas in October

Can you believe that, with the exception of a few new addresses I need to get, I have all of my Christmas cards ready to mail? All 32 of them. Well, they need stamps, but otherwise they are ready!

And to amaze you even further.... all but a few of my baby announcements are addressed and stamped!

Now I just have to make sure I don't accidentally mail out the Christmas cards before the baby announcements have been filled in and sent (and the baby born of course!).... because I signed them with baby boy's name too and I don't want to ruin the surprise!

Oh yeah, I finished the baby blanket too! I'll post pictures soon.... maybe some nursery shots too since it's almost all ready, with the exception of the cushions for the glider. I'm so excited to show off my hard work!

I'm determined to get everything done early... because the way I've been feeling, I can't imagine this boy making it the full 39-40 weeks. I'm seriously hoping that once I'm past the 36 week mark they'll find a reason to go ahead with the c-section. As long as he's ready, which he already seems to be! He's been trying to dig his way out for awhile now! I can't believe how different everything has been this time around. I got big(ger) so much faster, and have had a lot more discomfort (and pain) this time around. Not to mention the acrobatic moves this little guy is constantly performing in there!

Pics coming soon....

Congrats and Prayers requested...

for my blogging buddy, Mony. She and I were due right around the same time, but due to kidney problems on her end her baby boy was delivered by c-section at 32 weeks. Please head over and extend your congratulations and best wishes for Mony and Cooper to have a speedy recovery! Thanks!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What the hell was that?

Ok, so apparently I finally got spam comments. Of course, I would have to get the longest, preachiest, least-sense-making spam. I couldn't even get through the whole thing just trying to skim it. I gave up.
Seriously, if you're going to spam me or preach to me or whatever the heck you were trying to do, at least make it relevant and understandable. And less than, I don't know, 100 words?
Sheesh.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

30 Weeks

Time is flying by. I know I've been neglecting everyone here and I'm sorry! I keep meaning to post, but then I don't get around to it.
So here's a rundown of what's been going on:

The nursery is almost done - really, a lot of progress has been made! I'll post pitcures when it gets a little more done on it. It's just a little cluttery still.

I haven't started on the cushion covers for the glider. I do have the fabric, and the cushions have been cut, but I still haven't gotten the new sewing machine out of the box.

The granny square blanket for the baby is finally coming along. I finished the last of the squares 2 days ago and now I just need to get them all connected.

The shopping for baby stuff is almost done. At least as far as what will be needed for the first 3-6 months. Let me tell you, I am so thankful we had 3 baby showers thrown for us when pregnant with my daughter because there is no way our finances at the time would have allowed for everything we needed. This time around, because we are having a boy, we are still having to buy almost everything new. Turns out almost everything we had was pink or purple. Thankfully we are able to reuse the crib, infant carseat, a monitor, bouncy seat and some blankets. Basically everything else has been slowly purchased over the past several months. Including a dresser. I'm afraid to go back through my receipts and see the ridiculous amount of money that has been spent... and there's more to get! Until you have to actually get everything for a new baby yourself, you will never know what a wonderful gift a baby shower is! Not that I'm complaining - I'm having a blast picking out all the cute boy stuff, and we are lucky that we've been able to get by with only pulling a bit from savings. And I will admit that there are extras that weren't completely necessary that we've gotten anyways. All I'm saying is YOWZA, there is a lot to get for a baby! This is another prime example though of things that make me proud of how we manage our finances. That we are able to afford to do this on a single income, without charging anything, is a big accomplishment in my eyes. My husband and I both come from families that didn't do that great financially - money management being the primary problem in my family, lack of money the problem in his. So we are always very proud of what we've been able to accomplish for ourselves.

Is it just me or did that sort of turn into a 'yea us, we rock' post? Sorry!

For your viewing pleasure....

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Names

Thank you so much to everyone who voted for a name! It definitely helped me to know that a lot of people like the name Julian. It's still not my favorite, but I'm more comfortable with it now. It's still my husband's favorite and all of a sudden my daughter has decided she likes Julian Alexander, after repeatedly saying she didn't like any of the names. I suspected some coaching by Daddy but he denies it. I can't even get her to accept Julian Nathaniel as a possibility - she is insisting on Julian Alexander. Hubby still hasn't told me his final decision so I don't know, but I am assuming Baby Boy's name will probably be Julian. I think I should get to decide on the middle name and I am quite partial to Nathaniel because of it's meaning (Gift of God).

I'm trying to call him by Julian every now and then but it still doesn't feel right to me. I'm sure that will change after he is born!

Friday, September 21, 2007

28 week visit

Today I am 27 weeks and 4 days pregnant....
Blood Pressure: 138/82, up from 118/70-something 4 weeks ago
Weight: up 6.6 pounds from 4 weeks ago
Fundal Height: 31cm
Baby's Heart Rate: 167
So.... I'm measuring very large at this point. Almost 3 1/2 weeks ahead, and we all know it isn't because my due date is off. It's also not because I've gained too much weight, because I've only gained about 14 pounds, although the weight gain has definitely picked up in the past couple weeks. So, I'm a bit concerned about gestational diabetes, being as that I am high risk for it. I take the test next week so I guess we'll see. The nurse wasn't concerned about anything, but she also couldn't really be bothered to devote much time to me, as usual. I think that consistently measuring further and further ahead is a possible concern. I also think my blood pressure is a possible concern, since I'm borderline for hypertension right now. 140/90 is the point at which you are considered for preeclampsia. I'm quite surprised and a bit ticked that they aren't bothering to even test my urine for protein (they never tested it when I was pregnant with my daughter too - I thought it was something you were supposed to get every visit???) or do anything else to make sure everything is ok. Guess that unless I actually develop preeclampsia, and end up in Labor & Delivery, they probably won't concern themselves with anything. That'd be the norm for the quality of care we get.

Right now I'm just going to assume that everything is fine and just keep an eye on my symptoms (shortness of breath, headaches, high blood pressure, somewhat rapid weight gain, all signs which they are ignoring). I still think the headaches and shortness of breath are because I've been sick for a month, so hopefully the antibiotic they finally gave me will help with that. And it doesn't help that I seem to have a linebacker cooking in the oven which limits my lung capacity! I swear, this boy might be a 9 pounder or more! I hope not, because I have some cute newborn clothes for him!

I guess what I'm saying is that everything appears to be fine right now, so I'm not too worried!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Nursery progress

Here is what the room looked like originally.

First step was to remove the old furniture. Then we painted the blue.

Last night, we spent about 2 hours putting the border on 2 1/2 walls. Only 1 1/2 to go!

Boy am I beat! I've been trying to do too much.... but there is so much to do! I feel like I'm running out of time. The c-section should be in 11 weeks give or take a few days! In that time, here are some of the 'projects' that have to be completed:
-Finish putting up the border
-Reassemble crib
-Buy dresser
-Decide on room arrangement
-Finish shopping for essentials
-Wash everything, put bedding on crib and the queen mattress I'll be sleeping on
-Organize all the clothes, blankets, etc
-Finish crocheting blanket, which won't be quick or easy
-Cut and shape cushions for glider
-Buy sewing machine and learn how to use it
-Make cushion covers
-Probably redecorate daughters room so she doesn't feel left out
And anything else that we think of or happens to come up!

Can you see why I'm stressed? I am, however, very excited about the projects. The nursery is coming together just the way I wanted, so hopefully everything else will too!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sewing Help

I bought a glider today. Used, not in great shape but works fine. Cushions are disgusting, even after washing. So, I plan to make new cushions. I've even picked out the fabric and plan to get it tomorrow. I am assuming that I can use polyfoam for the cushions and just sew covers for them.

Does anyone know anything about this? I don't sew - I've been considering a sewing machine for a long time, and if anyone can advise me on how to make these cushion covers I have no problem buying a machine to do it. Hopefully it will be easy to learn. I certainly have other uses for the sewing machine (I'm constantly hemming my daughters clothes by hand) so it would be money well spent.

My only alternative is probably hiring someone to make them. I looked on Cr@igs1ist and found someone advertising 35 yrs sewing experience so I can call her, but I'm not completely comfortable trusting that, plus I'd much rather save the money (assuming she'll charge a decent amount).

So, can anyone offer me any help or suggestions? Pretty please?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Working on the Nursery

Have I told you our plans for the nursery yet? Well, let me enlighten you! I'm so excited because we finally got started on it yesterday.

Our spare room is/was green. Very bright green. The color is called Honeydew and let me tell you it definitely brightens up a room! While I like the color, it was a bit much for me. I really want to do something to detract from the bright green, but wasn't sure what to do. Originally I thought about striping the room with another, darker green. Then I thought about painting the bottom half of the walls darker green. Then I had my best idea yet and thought maybe I could find a nice border with that bright green and some other color in it so I could bring another color onto the walls. After a little research, I found the perfect border here. Went to the actual store (which was an adventure in itself thanks to part of the highway being closed) and luckily they had it! It's a discontinued item so I was worried.

So, after finding the border, I got a zillion paint samples and we matched up the blue that's on the border. Yesterday we painted the top 1/3 or so of the wall blue. Now we just have to get the border up (it's going to divide the two colors). If we can do it (never done a border before) I think it'll turn out really cute! I'm super excited to get it done and terrified to get started because I'm afraid we're going to screw up the border. Wish us lots of luck please!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wake Up Call

Every morning for a week, my daughter has woken me up by shouting "MAMA I GOT TO GO PEE" over and over until I get to her room. Now I'm sure some of you are saying, wow that's great that she tells you she needs to pee instead of peeing in her bed. Yes, that is great.... except that for 6 months or more she would hold her pee all night, wake up, play with her stuffed animals, I'd hear her playing quietly, I'd get up, wash my face, get dressed, then go get her, usually 10-15 minutes after she woke up. All of a sudden, she can't wait in the morning.

The big problem? I am not a morning person. Not in the slightest. Under normal circumstances I am not capable of jumping out of bed and, well, functioning, as soon as I wake up. Add in the pregnancy waking me up 1-2 times a night to pee, and the cough waking me up another 2-3 times, all this after I finally even manage to get to sleep, and I am not doing well in the morning. I am extremely crabby and tired. I do not appreciate being shouted at to wake up. I do not like having to immediately jump out of bed and race to her room, every morning.

Possible solutions? The only one my husband and I have thought of is teaching her to go use the potty by herself. The problems with that? She doesn't know how to wipe and she also can't seem to get her p@anties up past her butt - they get all twisted. Not to mention that she never gets out of bed without permission and I kind of like that. I like not having to worry about her leaving her room in the middle of the night.... because she won't even leave her bed. If she drops a stuffed animal, she calls for me to get it.

Oh, and I've thought about setting an alarm so I wake up before her, but she wakes up at different times every morning. This week it's been 8-8:30 every morning, but in a normal week it can be anywhere from 8:30-10am.

Also, we do limit her fluid intake in the evenings. Once dinner is over the juice/water is put away (usually an hour or more before bed), then she gets a very small drink of water right before bed, and also uses the potty.

So, I'm seeking advice, because I don't know how many more mornings I can handle being woken up by shouting and having to leap right out of bed. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Name Poll

My husband asked me to poll ya'll about our name picks. Obviously we each have our favorite, but we're curious as to what others think. Without involving all the people who know us because we're considering keeping it a surprise. So here are the choices:

Alexander Jaiden
Jaiden Alexander
Jaiden Nathaniel
Julian Alexander
Julian Nathaniel

Please tell me what you like best.... and why. All of you who don't usually comment, please come out of the shadows for this one, we could really use your input! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

3D/4D Ultrasound

I made my appointment today! September 28. Unfortunately I have to drive almost an hour and a half to get to the appointment, but it should be well worth it! We did this when I was pregnant with my daughter too and it was amazing! I highly recommend it, if you can do it. I have to get my doctor to sign an authorization, which I didn't need last time (though he gave his approval, it just wasn't required), so I have to remember to get that at my next appointment.
Here's what we'll be getting.... more than we'd get if we paid $60 more and went to the place closer to home:
• Complete Limited Diagnostic Ultrasound Session
• Two colorized thermal prints of your baby/babies.
• Gender Determination* (Upon request)
• CD with 15-30 high-resolution 3D still images suitable for
printing and emailing to family and friends.
• DVD video of your ultrasound including: 2D, 3D & 4D segments (as appropriate), set to music
• One year FREE access to BabyPeeks™, a customized online Baby Website. Everything you need to share your pregnancy experience with friends and family online! ($49.95 value)

I think this will be especially good this time because our daughter will be able to clearly see a baby on the screen, moving around. She truly seems to understand the whole "baby brother in Mama's belly" thing and we've told her about how when the baby is big enough Mama will have to go to the hospital so the doctors can take the baby out of Mama's belly. She's very smart... and adorable with how she talks to her baby brother and tells him she loves him. She hugs my belly all the time and sometimes gives him kisses. So I really hope she enjoys this. It might be hard at the appointment, trying to see on the little screen, but we'll be able to put it on the big screen at home and point everything out to her.

Anyways, I'm so excited! I'm pretty sure, based on the profile ultrasound pic, that this little guy looks a lot like my husband. It'll be interesting to see the shape of his face!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I love free food and great service!

We were out running errands all afternoon yesterday, into the evening. Around 5 we decided to get some dinner. Went to one of our favorite places. Right off the bat our service was terrible. We were taken to our seats by the hostess and told she'd be back with bread as soon as it was ready (sometimes they run out and you wait a few minutes for the next batch). No big deal, she brought it right over within minutes. So our waiter finally comes to the table and takes our drink order. We told him we'd like some plates and could also use some more bread and extra butter, as we'd already gone through half of it. We waited for a while and he didn't come back. My husband went to the bathroom, returned and the waiter still hadn't come back. How long does it take to get a Dr Pepper and Iced Tea? So, finally after about 10 minutes he brings our drinks and takes our order. We told him we still needed plates and more bread and could we also please get straws for our drinks? Of course he says and walks away. We waited some more. Daughter had to go potty so my husband took her. Taking a child potty for #2 isn't super fast but when they returned our waiter still had not come back with our plates, bread, or straws. Meanwhile I had been watching the other tables around us be given fresh bread by their servers. And staring at my drink wishing I had a straw because I was thirsty! We don't like putting our mouths on restaurant glasses - we're finicky like that. So we said screw this and decided to leave. Obviously the service was probably not going to improve and we weren't going to deal with that lack of service for an entire meal.

We decided to make the manager aware (especially since we'd already ordered) so we tracked him down after having another server point him out. We explained that we were leaving and told him what had happened so far. He immediately said that he would take care of us personally from then on if we would sit back down. I was quite starving so we said ok. He directed us to a table, one booth over from where we were (the other one was already cleared off), brought us new drinks, with straws, and fresh bread and butter, with plates. Asked if we were ready to order and when we said we had given the other server our order he checked on that and verified it with us. He brought us new drinks before ours were half gone. Fresh bread and butter before we had finished our basket. Twice. Checked on us numerous times, even going so far as to apologize that the kitchen was so busy and our food was taking a long time. Which we understood, we have no problem waiting for our food on a busy night, but to wait for 20 minutes for bread, straws and plates was unacceptable!

Anyways, the food was great, the service was great, and when he brought us our check he told us he had taken care of it for our trouble. Now that's service! And that is why we love this place so much - the food is great and any time we've had a problem management has done an excellent job of taking care of it and making us happy!

That's great customer service and that's how you keep people coming back!

In case anyone is wondering, the restaurant is Tex@s R0@dhouse. Nice, casual, loud atmosphere that is perfect for bringing a toddler along and great food at realistic prices! And they obviously care about their customers!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

24.5 week update

Here is a photo of a beached whale:


Looks much smaller from the front:


Definitely got a big boy cooking in there!

In other news:

The cough is still here... I think I mentioned it, but if not I have now! Just can't seem to kick it. Keep coughing up icky stuff - though doc earlier this week said my lungs sound clear. May call doc again Tuesday if it continues.

The thumb is still recovering. Last night I peeled it. Gross huh? Pretty much the entire top half of my thumb was covered in dead skin so I've gradually been 'encouraging' it off and last night a lot of it came off. It looks much better now! Still not completely healed but definitely well on it's way.

No more crocheting since I got sick. More projects to come.... I hope! Trying to convince myself to work with the yarn I have instead of buying new colors. But I think I need a dark blue. For another hat, of course!

The lovely Furrow named me a "Rockin' Girl Blogger"! I am honored! Alas, I do not know how to post the icon on my sidebar. Admittedly I haven't tried, but only because I don't think I can do it. If I figure it out, I will move ahead with nominations of my own. Perhaps when I feel better!

Well, that's about it! Off to the airport to pick up hubby!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

He's a fiend, but he's so cute!

This adorable little fiend....

can't seem to stay out of trouble! He's always picking on the other cats (he's the baby). He climbs on me when I'm trying to do things - like crocheting. Push him off, he comes right back. Throw him off, he comes right back. He's a little thief too - he steals the little rugs and pillows from my daughter's dollhouse. He'll steal food from your plate if you take your eyes off it for 2 seconds.
So, last night I made cookies. I wrapped 2 of them in a paper towel and put them on a plate on the counter as a special treat for my daughter today. We came downstairs this morning and there was something all over the rug in the living room. Upon further inspection, I discovered it was pieces of cookie, everywhere! There was even most of 1 cookie still in one piece under the coffee table. The little fiend had gotten on the counter, somehow unwrapped the cookies (paper towel was still on the plate) and tried to eat them! Seriously, chocolate chip cookies!
I know I can't prove it was him, but I know it was. The other cats know not to go on the counters and they aren't little thieves like this guy.
What am I supposed to do when he looks at me with those adorable eyes? I want to wring his neck, but I can't bring myself to do it!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Current and Recent Projects

I've been meaning to post about this for a while now, but I just haven't done it. A couple weeks ago I decided I had to figure out a way to crochet despite the injured thumb. So I tried to make my first baby hat ever. And it worked! It was a little awkward not using my left thumb, but I managed! Since then I have made 2 more hats. I've also been working on a baby blanket since I found out I was pregnant. It's much harder to do without a thumb but I'm slowly making a little progress. The picture below shows the 2 baby hats and different portions of the blanket. When it's done (if I ever get there!) the blanket will consist of squares of alternating colors, all connected by the multi-colored yarn. Something I've never done before so it will be interesting! I still have to put the border on the blue and yellow ones and I haven't even started on the green and blue ones. Hopefully by the time the baby is born I'll be done!

I missed my blogoversary!

I knew it was sometime around now that I started this blog last year.... so I just looked it up. August 2! I missed my own blogoversary! Oh well.
Since I'm sick today (and have been for 4-5 days now), humor me and do some virtual celebrating with me even if it's belated! In the virtual world I'm not hacking up my lungs and my thumb isn't the most disgusting slow-healing thing on the planet. So, drinks are on me and I insist everyone have some form of chocolate. Me, I'm thinking French Silk Pie and hot chocolate because it feels so good on my throat!

Now, who wants to do my grocery shopping for me? I need milk and robitussin among other things but I don't want to cough my germs all over everyone and everything at the store! Hubby is out of town all week so he can't go. Any volunteers? ;)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Quick update w/ a great pic!

Sorry I didn't get back sooner to let you know how the ultrasound went....

Our son is fine! They saw everything they needed to see and we even got pictures this time (thanks to my sweet talking the tech into sneaking me into the room with a working camera)!

This is very short because it's after 2am and today is my daughter's 3rd birthday so we've got a big day planned. I just finished up the cupcakes and the cleanup so I've got to get to bed!

Here's the latest picture of our little boy!

Monday, August 06, 2007

The thumb, revisited

3 weeks later, and it is still in bad shape. Definitely feels (and is) a thousand times better (because it really was bad!), but it is healing so slowly it's driving me insane! I still can't do squat with it as it is very tender. I'm dying to get back to crocheting, especially now that we know we are having a boy - the blanket I was making is going to be perfect! We also were considering a short weekend trip in just under 2 weeks and I was going to take our daughter swimming while my husband hooked up with some friends at a gaming convention of sorts.... but I'm not supposed to submerge my thumb in water and I'm sure chlorine wouldn't feel wonderful either. Not too sure what to do as far as those plans go...

I think I now officially have one of the ugliest thumbs in the world!

Don't scroll down if you don't want to see...
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

21 weeks, my how time flies!

Got a call from radiology this morning asking if I can come in Wednesday at 2pm for my ultrasound. Of course I said yes! I haven't heard from the doctor yet.... she came back from leave today so hopefully I'll get a call. But I have a feeling (just knowing the way the mi1it@ry clinics work) that she won't bother calling. She probably figures that I'm getting the ultrasound, what else would I need to talk to her for. Gee, maybe a little reassurance? Especially since when I talked to the OB clinic last Monday they told me I wouldn't get the next ultrasound until my 24 week appointment. I told them that radiology told me to come back in 2 weeks, so they said they'd leave a note for the doctor but I'd have to wait to talk to her. Since I haven't talked to her, just got a call basically saying come in asap for our next available ultrasound appointment, I don't know if she saw something in the other ultrasound to be concerned about or if she's just humoring my request to get in sooner. I'm still not really worrying about it, but I do hope that she calls today anyways. I'll feel a little better after finally talking to a doctor!

This little boy has got to be the most active in-utero baby ever! He is already keeping me up at night with his antics, and he is so strong and active that my husband got to feel him kick 2 weeks ago and my daughter felt him last week. I sit in bed at night and watch my stomach jump from him dancing around. I love it! But this seems really early for visible movement that can be felt by people from outside the belly (at 19 weeks?!), so I'm a little concerned that he might be really big or something. He sure feels like he's filling my belly up completely!

For those of you who are curious.... here's a new belly shot, taken this morning. I'm getting huge huh?

Monday, July 30, 2007

UPDATED: Majority rules and life sometimes sucks

So, counting my family's predictions, that's 5 votes for boy and 2 for girl.

It's a boy!

Got some possible bad news at the ultrasound. They couldn't 'see' the 4 chambers of the heart. All we could see were 3 - what appeared to be 2 top chambers and 1 large bottom chamber. Ultrasound tech of course says don't worry, we'll just have you come back in a couple weeks to try again. I of course leave freaked out. I don't understand how we could clearly see the heart beating from multiple views and could clearly see the 2 top chambers but would just "not be able to get a clear view of the 4 separate chambers." Seems if you can see the heart pretty well, you should be able to see all of it. But I could be wrong.
Minimal research has shown me that a 3 chamber heart is usually called "Hypoplastic Heart Syndrome". It's not good. It's a major heart defect and would definitely require numerous surgeries. I'm waiting for a dr to call me so I can try to get more information. Perhaps it is just that they weren't able to get a clear picture. Maybe there is nothing wrong. But until I know for sure, I'm going to be pretty freaked out. It's easy to say "Don't worry, there's probably nothing wrong," but it's a lot harder to actually do it!

Please pray for my little guy.

UPDATE:
My hubby went up to the OB clinic, told them what happened and that I was freaking out. We got lucky in that the nurse on duty was not only 28 weeks pregnant, but had also had a similar thing happen to her and her husband worked in radiology. So she called down to radiology and got the scoop. Then she called me, telling me my hubby should get major points because if he hadn't gone up there, I would not have been called today.
Basically, they were not able to see 4 chambers in the heart, as we already knew. However, everything else appears to be fine and as of right now they don't see a reason to be concerned. While it is true that we won't know for sure until at least the next ultrasound, they aren't concerned right now because sometimes these things happen, where they just can't get a good view. It's not common, but it does happen. SO they cannot tell me for sure that there is nothing wrong, because they could not see 4 chambers, but they don't think there is anything wrong.

I feel better knowing that nothing else appeared to be wrong and that they are not concerned. However, if they were not at all concerned, they wouldn't bother with another ultrasound. And they would have told me that there is definitely nothing wrong. So until I see a healthy normal heart I will be worried. We are going to assume that our son is just fine, because we have no reason to believe otherwise. But in the back of my mind, there is going to be that little nagging thing called doubt. So please keep the prayers up until we know for sure that he is ok!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

General update

I finally got the stitches out Thursday. It wasn't fun. The skin around the wound had died off and the stitches had pulled through it so that they were down inside the wound and wrapped around raw inside skin instead of a nice healed outer edge like they were supposed to. Since they pulled through, the wound had opened up some and there is a gap of raw skin. The stitches were impossible to cut with scissors from a regular suture kit because there was no slack in them - they were in so tight and down into the wound so there was no way to get the scissors under them to snip. The nurse went to go get a scalpel and returned with what she said were smaller scissors. I questioned it because they looked too curved to be scissors. But what do I know, right? So I used the tweezers to pull up as much as possible on a stitch and she used the 'scissors' to try and cut it. Yeah, what she had was a clamp, not scissors, so they locked closed on the stitch and caused quite a bit of pain and some bleeding before she got them unlocked.
So next she tried a scalpel. All she kept accomplishing with that was to cut my raw skin and make it bleed. I finally told her I couldn't take it anymore, it was hurting to bad and obviously the stitches weren't coming out this way. Sos he got the doctor, who also tried with the scalpel, but the wound was just too raw to pull on the stitches enough to get the scalpel in. So he ended up giving me 2 shots of lidocaine in my thumb to try to numb it. It didn't numb it, but it took the edge off the pain so I was able to tug the stitches up enough that the nurse was able to cut them with the scalpel. By the time we were done, I had been there for an hour and I was covered in sweat from the pain.
I swear, I don't think it helped at all to have the stitches in. My thumb right now doesn't look any better than I think it would have if I had just bandaged it up to let it heal without going to the ER. Instead of the nice smooth scar the ER doc told me I would have, I've got an open wound that still has a lot of healing to do, and I will probably have a decent sized (for a thumb anyways), possibly lumpy, scar when it's all done. It still hurts, pretty bad at times, and I still can't do much with my left hand because moving the hand wrong causes to tendons and skin to pull on my thumb. For example, I can't put my left hand flat on the coffee table to help me get up from the floor. SO I'm still feeling pretty useless. And I have no idea when I'll be able to crochet, or do anything else with my thumb for that matter, again. It's been almost exactly 2 weeks since I hurt it and I am so ready to be done with all this crap!

Okay, enough bitching. On a lighter note, my 20 week ultrasound is tomorrow morning at 11am. I'm still sad that my hubby and daughter can't go in with me, but we are very excited to find out if we are having a boy or a girl, and I am thrilled that I'll get to see the growing baby. It's been a long time since the last ultrasound! I just hope s/he cooperates with us so we can see everything!

I've also finally started reading the new Harry Potter book (thanks MamaChristy!). I'd guess I'm around 1/5 of the way through it. I promise though, no spoilers! If I decide to talk about the book at all, I will warn you in the title and again in the beginning of the post so I don't ruin anything for you!

Well, that's about it for now. Wish me luck for tomorrow! And feel free to make some predictions as to whether this baby is a boy or a girl! Actually, I think I might withhold the results until at least a couple people make a guess! Come on, humor me! You've got a 50% chance of being right! If it helps, I'll get you started: hubby thinks it's a girl, my daughter and I both think it is a boy. And my mom thinks it's a boy. Of course, we've all been wrong before! ;)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

They grew up fast!

Baby Mockingbird Update....

Here is how they looked a couple days after hatching.


They are all grown up!


Cute huh?

We had a big storm the other day and the nest was basically obliterated. We found one bird sitting right by the nest (that's him in the pics), another one lower down in the tree, wedged among some branches, and there were 2 missing. After much searching we found one more in the grass next to our neighbors' driveway. He seemed to possibly have an injured leg. We rebuilt the nest as best we could and put the 3 birds in it. We never found the 4th baby. BTW, that's what the advice online suggested - touching the babies does not cause the parents to abandon them.

The next morning one of them was dead in the grass (I'm guessing the injured one) and 2 remained in the tree. Later that day only 1 remained in the tree and by the end of the day they were all gone.

I believe, according to the internet, the babies were of the age where they would be leaving the nest. They were not ready to fly yet, but apparently they leave the nest and live in the shrubbery while momma bird teaches them to forage for food and such. Though we have not seen the 2 other babies, we hope they have survived! Unfortunately, with all the rain we've had they've gotten some odds stacked against them - lots of crickets have led to a big frog population which in turn has brought out the snakes and lizards. I hope the little birdies have managed to avoid the snakes and lizards! I sure try to!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Stitches are staying around...

Went to get them out today and the doc wants to wait a few more days, though 10 is the max on stitches - that'll be Thursday - because there is some dead skin on the top section of the laceration and it's not going to hold it shut once the stitches come out. So we wait as long as possible before taking the stitches out because I'm going to have an open wound once they are out and we want it to heal as much as possible before then. Sounds fun huh?

Placenta brain is getting worse - last night I dropped a bowl and it shattered all over the kitchen floor. My hubby is wondering what's next! Hopefully no more trips to the ER!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

That just might be a boy....

that's what my husband said last night, for the first time this entire pregnancy. He has been insisting this baby is another girl. Anyways, I called him upstairs last night (really, I called him on the phone, he's been kicked out of the bed since I got hurt) because the baby was moving around again. S/he is very active late at night. So, he puts his hand on my belly, low down where I was feeling the baby. A very short time later, he was rewarded with a huge kick! I mean seriously, this baby is a kicker! Right away he said that we just might have a boy in there. Obviously, strength of kick is no way to tell, but it was funny to hear him actually say it could be a boy.

SO yes, definitely feeling baby moving. Mainly late at night. It's weird, because this is right around the time I first started feeling my daughter move, yet I've been feeling this baby for 6-7 weeks already. And feeling it strongly for at least a week. Strange how different some things are with the second pregnancy. I certainly didn't expect to feel strong kicks already and definitely not strong enough so my husband could feel them! Very pleasant surprise.

Stitches coming out tomorrow morning. Thumb is feeling much better, though I'm terrifed of getting the stitched out because it just doesn't seem healed much. Gentle cleaning causes minor bleeding - I've learned not to touch the incision itself in any way, just clean around it and run soapy water over it. Also, if I move my hand wrong or try to do too much, it pulls open a little and bleeds. I'm kind of hoping they decide the stitched should stay a couple more days, but at the same time I'm sick of them. I'm ready for it to be healed.... but from what I've read, it won't be completely healed for 6 months. I imagine most of that is stuff occurring under the skin and all that I won't really be aware of. I hope!

My daughter has a bit of an upset tummy tonight... please pray she feels better tomorrow! I'm just not up to dealing with a sick child....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Creative Solutions...

I dozed off on the couch (perc0cet does that) & inadvertently clenched my fingers... right into my thumb. Ouch! To hopefully prevent such events in the future, I taped my 1st 2 fingers together with a popsicle stick, so I can't bend them.


Creativity or desperate act? As long as it works I don't care!

A prettier picture...

Not of my thumb, I promise.

I promised one of my best friends that I'd make her a necklace for her birthday... which was in March... so though I am very late with the gift, I did finally get it made last week. But with the thumb incident, I'm not sure when I'll get to the post office. So if she checks this blog in the meantime, at least she can see what it looks like. With a bonus bracelet because I feel horrible that it's so late! Happy Birthday!

Because I'm gross like that....

So in case anyone has a strong sense of curiousity....

and a strong stomach to go with it....

Here is a picture of my stitched up thumb laceration....

Because I'm gross and weird like that....

And my curiousity gets the best of me....

So I would want to see....

Though I'm trying to give you plenty of warning....

So if you don't want to see....

Don't scroll down any further....

Because you might be grossed out....

Okay, if you're still reading, you must want to see....

So here it is....

Taken Tuesday night when we changed the bandage...

Which was again stuck to the wound...

Though thankfully not as bad....

Wow, you really do want to see it huh?

Okay....



Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Finally, some relief!

I went to the dr today.... my laceration was still bleeding when the ER doc bandaged it so it had scabbed onto the gauze pad. The slightest movement was causing the gauze to move and pull on my stitches. After much effort and much pain, we finally got the gauze off. The nurse cleaned it up and between the 2 of us we got it bandaged back up. Doc gave me the strongest pain med they had at the clinic and was "safe" during pregnancy. A couple hours after taking it, I finally felt some relief! For the first time since I hurt it (~10:30pm Sunday), the pain is bearable. Obviously it still hurts and will for a while, but it's not so bad that I am gasping in pain and moaning all the time! I am so grateful!

Stitches should come out Monday.... I expect it will be a few weeks before I can crochet again! I'll just be happy when I can do my own hair again....

Hope everyone else had a great weekend and is doing well!

Monday, July 16, 2007

7 hours & 7 stitches later..... *updated*

Yup, I spent last night in th ER. Stupid me sliced my thumb on a can of diced tomatoes. I so totally know better than to pull a lid up, but apparently placenta brain struck. Thumb looks pretty nasty and hurts like a sonofabe-atch. Because of the baby, they were hesitant to give me anything too strong for the pain - came home with the lidocaine completely worn off already (started fading before the last 2 stitches were in) and some vic0din that is not working. Called ER and OB clinic and all I can do is go back to the ER for a re-evaluation. I made an appt for tomorrow with the regular general care dr for 11am, but I'm seriously considering the ER again. The pain is almost more than I can take but I don't want to spend 10 hours at the ER for them to tell me tough crap (mi1it@ry hates giving out pain meds - motrin should fix everything in their opinion). So, I'm here, suffering, not sure yet what I'll do. Probably wait til tomorrow because I must sleep tonight (1 3/4 hrs this morning didn't cut it) and that won't happen if I go to the ER.

Please pray the pain lessens and/or they give me something better tomorrow! Thanks!

*UPDATE* hubby came home a little early & let me go to bed, despite having had zero sleep himself. I asked him to wake me up at pill time, planning to let him snatch an hour or 2 as well, but I just couldn't get up. I finally got up at ~7:15 to help with bedtime and that wonderful man was coming up the stairs with my dinner! Sweet huh? And it wasn't spaghetti - that's what we were making last night, for tonights dinner.... when he mentioned picking the missing ingredients up on his way home from work I started crying and told him I would throw up if he made me eat spaghetti tonight. The thought of the can of diced tomatoes and the freshness of everything in my head just filled me with dread. So we had frozen pizza.
Anyways, still hurting, and planning on seeing the doc tomorrow at 11am. Figure if nothing else, they can take care of cleaning my ouchy and rebandaging it.
Alas, I cannot ice it Furrow - no removing the bandage for 24-48 hours and no water except a little to wash it then.
I'm keeping it elevated nicely and have had wonderful help. MamaChristy (sorry, no link with one hand) raced over at our urgent call last night and stayed until we got hom... then she came back before my daughter woke up and helped with everything - feeding us, helping my daughter on the potty, pulling my hair back for me - and that's on top of cleaning my bloody kitchen last night! And from what I remember and what she said, there was blood everywhere! Thank God for good friends. You truly do find out who's a real friend in times of need - I don't know what we would have done without her!
Thanks for everyones concern and sympathy! I'll definitely keep you posted (want gory pics?), but the one handed typing is tough so it may not be as much next time. Thanks again everyone.

Oh, one more thing - definite baby movement now and even some felt by my hand on my belly! Very cool!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Anemia incident continued.....

Okay, some of you mentioned taking action against the clinic (writing a letter, or lawsuit-type action if something bad comes of it).... here's my dilemma: We are mi1it@ry and therefore we go to a g0vernment hospital on a mi1it@ry base. The g0v foots our bill and most of the staff are also mi1it@ry. While I could write a letter to the commander or whoever in charge of the hospital, I have to worry that anything I may stir up could fall back badly on my husband. As far as lawsuits go, I'm not even sure it'd be possible in this situation.... anyone know?
I think what I'm going to do (as soon as I remember during business hours) is call the clinic (even though it's a hospital, there are all the different clinics, like OB, peds, radiology, etc) and see what else I can find out about this "low CBC" - if they can give me what exactly was low, like hemoglobin or what - and how low it was. Then I'll look it up on Dr G00gle and see how bad it is, or if I don't really need to worry as much. I'm just concerned because of the possible consequences of the anemia and the fact that they put me on a fairly hefty dose of supplements.
Thanks for all of the concern everyone! Hopefully I am worrying for nothing.... as soon as I know more I will of course let you all know!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pregnancy-related Anemia

I think I mentioned before that I found out at my last OB appointment that my blood tests indicated I was anemic. So, even though they discovered this 6 weeks prior, they didn't bother telling me about it until my next appointment. Upon research, I have discovered the following things which really cause me to be extra ticked off that they didn't call me:

1. If you remain anemic during the first two trimesters, you're at a higher risk for having a preterm delivery or a low-birthweight baby, so it is something to take seriously. And if you're severely deficient, it could affect your baby's iron stores at birth, increasing his risk for anemia later in infancy.
Iron-deficiency anemia affects your health as well. It can sap your energy and make it harder for your body to fight infection. And if you're anemic later in pregnancy, you're more likely to have problems if you lose a lot of blood when you give birth. You may feel dizzy, have a rapid heart rate, or have other symptoms that require you to stay in the hospital an extra day or two. You're also more likely to need a blood transfusion.
Info taken from here.

2. Once the patient is started on oral iron therapy, it takes about 6 - 10 weeks for hemoglobin to return to normal level. However in IDA, iron stores are exhausted and need to be replenished. Replenishment of iron stores begins only after hemoglobin returns to normal. Hence stopping iron soon after hemoglobin is normal means inadequate therapy and predisposes patient to recurrence. Absorption of iron diminishes after hemoglobin returns to normal and hence replenishing iron stores is a very slow process and takes about 3 - 4 months. Thus iron therapy should be continued for 5 - 6 months. Info taken from here.

So basically, even though it takes at least 6 weeks for levels to begin returning to normal, they didn't bother calling me to allow me that extra 6 weeks of time. Since I didn't start on the iron supplements until I was 16 weeks pregnant, that means I will be 22 weeks pregnant before my levels start rising back to normal. I will be approaching (or in) my third trimester by the time my levels are back to where they should be. So thanks to the stupid clinic not bothering to call me, I could technically remain anemic for the first 2 trimesters, which puts me at risk for pre-term labor and a low birth weight baby. And possibly a blood transfusion, since I assume I'll lose a decent amount of blood with the c-section. Wonderful, thank you so much. I swear I just want to slap someone in that office.

Now, I don't know what my levels were - she just said my CBC came back low. I didn't know enough at the time to ask for specifics. Hey, to me low is low, and if they thought it was low enough to put me on an extra 130mg of iron a day (65mg twice daily), on top of what is in my prenatals, then it must have been fairly low. And of course, just because the bad things are possible, it doesn't mean they will happen. But still, doesn't this seem like something that they should have contacted me about? The policy at the clinic is that they will only call you if there is something wrong with your test results - they specifically tell you that if you don't hear from them, it means everything came back normal. Obviously everything wasn't normal, yet they didn't feel the need to call me. Or more likely, nobody thought of it, since you see a different doctor or nurse every time so your chart just gets passed around.

So, now I have to time my life around these pills - They are to be taken on an empty stomach and I can't have dairy, coffee, tea, among other things, for at least an hour before and 2 hours after I take them, so my meals are being planned around my pills. Great side effects too - stomach cramps, constipation, wonderful stuff. Of course, it is all worth it for my baby, but I must say I miss my 2-3 times a week coffee and I am darned sick of being exhausted all the time. I hope those levels set a record in returning to normal fast! Not that I expect the clinic to even bother checking.....

So, does anyone have any info about this whole anemia in pregnancy? Anything to enlighten me, or to make me feel less concerned?

Sorry for all the bitching, but I'm just a little peeved at my clinic right now. On top of all this anemia crap, I went to have bloodwork done, and now I find out they didn't do all the tests they were supposed to because the doctor forgot to put one in. SO now I have to go back, driving 45 minutes each way and waiting up to an hour for my turn, and give blood again so I can get the triple screen, or quad screen, whatever it is called. My veins are not good, and I seem to always get the newbie who can't get my one good vein so insists on poking around at several others before finally agreeing to let someone else do it. Even though I always tell them straight off that I only have that one good vein and many have tried and many have failed at getting any other vein. Argh!