Friday, June 5, 2015

Hello, again.

It's been a while. Way too long. Like 6 months too long.

The up-to-date-ing will definitely be broken up as 6m is way too much to pack into a single post.

Life has really been a whirlwind since Lucy's birth (probably before it if I'm totally honest). Ups and downs, lots of highs and possibly more lows. Lots of beginnings and too many ends.

There are other reasons I haven't written other than time because in truth, I could make time to do a few sentences if I had really wanted to. There were times that I came close, but just couldn't. I'm pretty certain I had a decent spell of PP depression. Whether that was compounded or caused by a host of issues including finances, nursing issues, reflux and dairy intolerance (for which I went and still am dairy-free in my diet) from Lucy, I'm not sure. I am sure that there was lots of crying in this house, though I don't know which of us 2 cried more.

Things would get better, then something would happen, and BAM- down I went. Some times it was something big, but mostly not. I felt guilty a lot for not truly enjoying Lucy like I did Em in that newborn honeymoon phase. Once the reflux and screaming/crying kicked up at ~2.5w, I was doubting myself as a mother, our decision to have a 2nd, everything almost.

Things got a bit better around 4-5m PP. Then lil miss over-achiever decides to start army crawling. Yes, at 5m. I was already having huge issues coming to terms with being done. This kid seems to feel the need to shove it back in my face by being in such a hurry to grow up and not let me revel in this last age of babydom. That hasn't slowed down any, either. She was sitting unassisted at 6m. Full on hands and knees crawling before 7m. Teeth at 7m. Pulling up at 7.5m. Edging before 8m. And now, just shy of 9m, she's been trying to stand unassisted and walk. She just doesn't understand "SLOW DOWN!"

Em is growing way too fast as well. She already get sarcasm. Can dress herself from head to toe on her own. Use the bathroom all alone. Grasp hard concepts like relationships like grandma= daddy's mom and aunt is cousin's mom, and harder ones like illness and death. She's been Forward facing in dad's car for a while now and about to turn in mine. Helps with chores, some unassisted and other big kid things that make me want to cry and cradle her like a newborn again.

The IF jealousy, frustration, and spite/rage have returned as people I know get knocked up on accident from just 1 time and other fertile-myrtle crap. I've also had to revisit the loss emotions in comforting several friends as they endured heart-wrenching losses- a missed miscarriage that required 2 D&Cs and a miscarriage from a surprise pregnancy after testicular cancer surgery and chemo treatment. That was all topped off with a friend of a friend (who lives a few neighborhoods over from me) having her labor end in a stillbirth.

While there has been so much joy in my life these last 6m, there has been so incredibly much loss and heartache. The biggest of which was the news my FIL had lung cancer, followed by it metastasizing to his liver, chemo not fully working and it spreading to his brain and bones which radiation helped with slightly until it spread systemically. We got the call at the tail end of good friend's wedding that we needed to go visit ASAP if we wanted to say goodbye. He passed 2 days later on May 4th. I still hurt for the Boy, for Em, for Lucy who will never really remember him, for my MIL who lost her best friend of almost 43yrs and for his faithful choc lab that is still waiting by the windows and doors for him to come home over a month later. Telling and explaining it to Emma was quite possibly the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Seeing her cry at his viewing about killed me. I still can't talk or write about any of that without immediately welling up with tears if not full blown crying or sobbing.

As it is now 10:30pm, I'm crying and have a headache from the immensity of those last 4 paragraphs, have been sleeping for crap due to a teething almost-9 month old, and need to go nurse said child to sleep now, I'll wind this "quick update" post that turned word- and emotion-vomit up.

Hello, again, blogging world. I've missed so much! Enjoy this picture.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lucy's birth story

Only 2m late...

I swore baby girl #2 would come early. They say subsequent babies tend to come sooner than 1st. I had been having strong Braxton hicks for almost half the pregnancy where I only really had them towards the end with Emma. Plus, so many people kept commenting on how she looked lower every few days. I even had the upset GI issues around 38w for 2 days and a few days that I felt “different.” It was hard to tell if I lost my mucus plug as I had pretty constant discharge the last 3 months. By 39w, I had resigned to being pregnant for next to forever and hoping not to be super late past due date. I was sure that baby was head down (as she had been for over a month now) as well as posterior based on belly mapping. Chiropractic and some home exercises didn’t get her to turn anterior.

The morning of September 10th, I woke up and used the bathroom, per the usual morning routine at this point. Except it wasn’t quite a normal urination, more like an open-closed valve instead of tapering off. Other than seeming odd, I felt fine and got myself and Emma ready. Strangely enough, I posted in a FB group that morning about being worried I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between all the strong brackton hicks I had been having for months now and real contractions.

I started feeling “off” on the way to Em’s daycare, but dropped her off and headed into work. I wanted to wrap a few things up and planned to leave shortly after getting there, so I parked behind the building instead of the parking deck. Besides, I didn't want to walk all the way from the deck to the building.

Shortly after getting to work, the brackton hicks started up again, but a bit stronger feeling that usual. They actually seemed to be almost regular, so I started timing them. They were about 10 min apart and actually regular. I started thinking this could be it. By 10:30a, they were closer to 6-8 min apart and getting a bit stronger, lasting about 20-30 seconds each. Since things were picking up, I sent my doula a text as well as my MW with those numbers. The MW was finishing up at another birth and would head to our place when finished. I left work a bit before 11:30a after passing off all the urgent and critical work items and emailing my boss and the other PhD in the lab that I was heading home early as I thought this could be it. Plus, my co-workers were starting to freak that I’d give birth in the lab.

I had been texting with Chris throughout the morning and when I was getting ready to leave work, he was going to leave work to pick up Emma from daycare. I got home and brought out the hot/cold pack from the freezer and birth ball as contraction intensity had picked up on the ride home. I found I had to do a good bit of side swaying or bouncy squats through them since it was all in my lower back and the birth ball was not helping to relieve the discomfort. I started vocalizing with some low “ooo”s. Emma, who was home by this point and watching cartoons, apparently didn’t appreciate my sounds and told me to “stop singing like a cow mommy!” She also very much wanted to help with putting the heat pack that was thawing on my back, which started to piss me off as it was sooo cold!

At around noon, the MW called to say she was leaving from the other birth and on her way to our house. The assistant MW was also on her way. I went to change from my clothes into a sleep dress that was super light, soft and comfortable. During that time, my doula arrived, and I filled her on how I was feeling and how uncomfortable the back labor was. She heated up her more awesome heat pad and started doing counter pressure, which I had to tell her to push harder on to help with the pain. During this, Chris was getting the foam mattress covered and into the dining room and moved the dining table to the wall by the back door.

About 12:30p, the asst MW arrived. The contractions were really getting intense and about 2-3min apart. I was really having to concentrate through them as leaning on the counters and swaying and squatting wasn’t as effective as it was before. I felt a pressing urge to go pee, so went to the bathroom. I didn’t really pee but rather had show, so I kept my underwear off at this point. I informed the ladies in the kitchen, and the asst MW started getting everything prepped. I asked Chris to put the dogs out and close the curtains, and either the MW or doula turned out the lights. This is where things get a bit fuzzy for me, so I was likely in transition.

The asst MW was having a bit of trouble getting a heart beat on the Doppler so asked if I could lay down for her. A really strong contraction came on and the pain from the back labor caused me to pretty much collapse onto the mat anyways. The heartbeat was good and strong still as I was lying in a sort of child’s pose position. I started to have a few light urges to push and the asst MW said to gently do what my body felt it needed. So different and much much better than being told at the hospital with Emma to just breathe through them and not push. After a few light pushes the urge started getting stronger. Somewhere during this my absolute favorite moment occurred and one of the few clear memories I have after the show. Emma came up to me on the mat whiel I was lying down, stroked my hair and gently said “you are doing good, mommy. I love you,” kisses my forehead, and then walks off the mattress.T

The asst MW was taking vitals again when my MW arrived just shortly before 1p. As she was updating the MW and started saying “but her water hasn’t broken yet.” Right then, a strong contraction came on and when I pushed with it, my water broke, right at her and the doula. Things were really bustling at this point! Chris had been doing great at keeping Em occupied and at this point, she was so interested and was a bit down from the mat watching the whole thing intently. I remember calling out “I think she’s coming!” to which the MWs replied “uh, yeah, she’s crowning!” I called for Chris to come hold my hand and the doula took over Emma duty. I pushed 2 or 3, maybe 4 times max. After the 2nd or 3rd push the MW told me to make the next one count as baby needed to come out (I don’t remember her exact wording or reason). I did and baby girl came flying out at 1:09p.

She was placed immediately on my chest and given a bit of a rub down after which we were covered up with towels. Emma came over and we got to introduce her to her new baby sister. The MW filled me in on her emergence while we waited for the placenta to be delivered- the 1st view of her head was the crown, but the 2nd was her face. She was sunny-side up! She was posterior, just as I though, and the back labor was from. Emma got to help Chris cut the cord, and the MW did a print of the placenta with her. During this time, we decided on her name. Lucy Arden as she didn’t look like a Charlie Jean to me at all.

The asst MW started making me scrambled eggs and bacon, which Emma ate all the bacon slices. The MW started getting Lucy’s stats and recording her various measurements. At some point shortly after, my mom stopped by, uninvited, as Chris sent everyone a pic text and my mom is technologically challenged and 8min away. Shortly after she left, I moved from the kitchen to my bed. I was still bleeding pretty good and had one big gush that made me light-headed so I got an injection of Pitocin in my thigh. Other than that, the MWs were cleaning up and stayed in the kitchen until leaving around 430/5p.

Lucy’s home birth was so incredible, and I couldn't imagine having done it not surrounded by my little family! (Also, I realized a few weeks after, I wasn't checked once during this pregnancy, so I have no clue where I was when I went into labor  )

Saturday, October 4, 2014

And 4 is Something Else Entirely!

It's been quite a while since my last post. The last several months of this pregnancy went by way too fast. I hadn't really felt up to writing. I didn't really know what to write without constantly complaining, was unmotivated to write, and was scraping the barrel when it came to energy in the evenings after work and then wrangling a toddler.

All but the complaining still hold true with some bonus reasons, but I had to share this.

Lucy Arden was born at home on 9/10 at 1:09pm.

6lbs 11oz

Her labor was pretty quick as well. About 4hrs in total. Except for the back labor and posterior presentation, Lucy's birth was pretty similar to Em's. Similar length of time, bloody show shortly before birth, water broke right before pushing, and a similar sized baby born 2d before her due date.

Em is in love with her sister, maybe a bit too much. I'm tired, but recovery has been great; healing was much quicker than it was after Em, even through Lucy came sunny-side up. Lucy is growing well, but has some silent reflux issues and had an upper lip and tongue tie that we had taken care of this past Thursday.

I'm not going to lie and say things are happy and perfect. Far from it. Breastfeeding has been alright, but the crying has been really trying. I will admit that there have been moments where I've felt like breaking down and that having a 2nd might have been a mistake. In clearer moments, I'm head over heels in love with Lucy. I love the interaction between the girls.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mixed emotions about it all

It's been a while... It's not that there hasn't been anything going on, but more so that I haven't had the motivation or the foggiest idea what to blog about. I really feel jumbled about life these days.

My feelings about work depend on the day you ask and what co-workers have (or more likely, haven't) done.

I'm experiencing the crazy hormonal mood changes that "every" pregnant woman has very frequently, compared to the handful of times total during Em's pregnancy.

I still haven't wrapped my head around the idea of baby#2, even though the stinker moves practically non-stop, all day long. I fluctuate between being excited for a newborn again to dread of how Em will handle everything and then to fear that maybe this pregnancy was a big mistake and we're not ready for another kid yet. Just a big ol' pendulum of anxiety really.

I'm a bit disappointed about baby's gender. I really thought finding out would make me feel more connected to the being growing inside me, but I actually became a bit more detached. I really thought that since everything was soo different this preg, it was a boy. I could only think of boy names. When the sonographer showed the image on the screen of the "goods", my heart sank a bit. It took about a solid month for me to not be upset that we are having another girl. That I'll never get to experience a son. That the Hubs will never have a son to teach to be a man and will be the only guy in his family not to have a boy. I still mourn for the little boy that will never be in our family. I grieve for the loss of something that will never be. It still gets to me, like now, but overall, I've made some peace with having daughters only.

Time is flying, and things are moving too fast. There is too much to do, not enough time or energy to do it, and far too little funds in the banking account.

The house feels like it is falling apart around us. We need roof work done, had to replace gutters, really could use resurfacing the floors, a super deep clean and organize, not to mention a fresh coat of paint in all the rooms but Em's. The house and the cars are the 2 reasons are bank account is really wounded these days.

That and having to pay out of pocket for the midwife visits that will be reimbursed for by insurance, but only after the birth. Oh, and I'm panicking trying to figure out where in the house I'd want to give birth and if I want a water birth or not, a doula or not, and several other things.

Right now, Em is sick with a mild case of strep throat. I am just getting over a 36hr GI bug I had while we were out of town visiting family. Oh, and turning 31 last week.

Can I just run away from being an adult for a little bit and let things work themselves out?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Busy, busy

Wow, I hadn't realized it's been 2 months since I last wrote. Life and work have been really busy, and I honestly haven't felt like there was much to share.

I had my 12w and 16w prenatal checks. Things look and sound good there. Saw the back-up Dr. at the hospital, took the STD urine test (all clear). Found out that I can take 15 Jelly.Belly jellybeans instead of the drink for my Glucola testing around 28w. We had just squeezed in to get the 1st tri NT screening in. Nuchal fold was in normal range, and baby was measuring perfect for date. Only negative was how uncooperative baby was; the tech nor I could get it to move much so no too many great shots that time.

During all this, work has been a crazy, busy, almost unbearable mess. I have ZERO patience for the "new" tech that started in October and still isn't up to speed or good to go on most things unsupervised. It's beyond frustrating as I can't finish everything else I need to do as I have to randomly help her finish stuff up that shouldn't have taken as long as they do because she doesn't fully listen. *Sigh*

Besides being very busy with work, a very rambunctious 2yr old who is growing by leaps and bounds (read: way way too fast!), I just haven't had much motivation to write. I haven't been feeling super connected or involved in this pregnancy. I started feeling some movements around 14/15w, but wasn't sure if it was baby or gas, even after having gone through it before. Where as I would use the doppler with Em's pregnancy every few days, I've only done it about 10x since that 1st attempt, and most of those were at Em's prompting to hear "boomp, boomp, baby heart." We decided to find out gender this time at the anatomy scan so we can either keep or sell off some of Em's old baby things, and possibly in hopes of becoming more connected to this baby. We both are really hoping for boy this time as this is likely going to be the last one, unless something miraculous happens in the future. While we'd be happy either way, as long at it's healthy, I'd like to be able to experience both. I am not having a huge feeling either way, but thinking since things are so different this time, it might be a boy.

We are 1 day into knowing, and I do feel a bit more in touch with the baby, hoping that continues as time goes on. I'll spill the beans here after we've told both sets of grandparents. For right now, we are keeping it a bit of a secret.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

So much stuff...

So much stuff going on with life these days.

We've had 2 snow storms in the last 3wks. The 1st was nice. We had ~4in of soft, powdery snow that we had a snow day as a family to enjoy. Em loves snow. The dogs loved it, too. The 3 of them together was hilarious and adorable! It was my favorite type of snow. Came in soft and pretty and practically melted in a day or 2!

Yesterday, we got about 8in in about 4-5hrs. It was ridiculous. I left work when it started snowing, and it was coating the roads in the 5-10min it took for me to get my stuff together and get to my car. I then took 30min to make it the mile to Em's daycare that normally takes 5-10min. The rest of the drive home was unreal. We finally made it home 3hrs after leaving the care center. Can I say how much that sucked? A hungry, bored toddler stuck in the car that was pretty much not moving. She ate all my snacks, so it sucked even more as I was starving since I didn't get lunch before leaving work. I should have just stayed home yesterday. I was in the car longer than I was working, and it wasn't a super productive day. We plan to just hibernate and not leave the house unless absolutely necessary until the roads are all better and clear. I am so over this winter!

Unrelated to the weather, we've started to tell family and some very close friends about the pregnancy. While we were with his parents, we went over Em's stats from her 2yr appt and mentioned that she's a completely happy and healthy big sister. His mom flipped and was super excited and happy! She was hoping we were going to say something when they came up for her birthday, but things were too uncertain then. We went out that Saturday to Once.upon.a.child for their grab bag sale. I was absent-mindedly looking at the maternity clothes. My mom was talking about how they are comfortable and could be worn when not pregnant or I could get them now for if we'd need them sometime later. All I replied with was "maybe" and she came back with "Or sooner?" My reply was a sly "maybe?" That's not exactly how I had wanted to tell them, but they were excited too. She even guessed how far along I was, strangely enough.

Boy told his brother and SIL when we were over for Super Bowl Sunday. Their reactions were lukewarm at best. All his other brothers and their wives were happy and excited for us as were my sisters. Our friends that have a little girl 2w younger then Em were excited for us too. I filled my boss in since it means there are certain lab protocols I can't do any more. He was very happy for us.

Regarding work, things are going ok. Busy as usual. One of the grad students (the slacker and jinxed one) is also pregnant, 3w behind me. This should be interesting... My initial reaction was a huff and eye-roll that I had to really force to suppress. She wanted to make sure what she had to be concerned about lab-wise regarding staying safe for her and the baby. I have to applaud her on that as the last pregnant co-worker didn't seem to care about that, never mentioned it to me, and I had to bring it up after other lab members filled me in when she went FB public. [Not that mentioning concerns about reagents or protocols changed how or what that person did, at all.]

As far as my pregnancy, we are both doing good so far. I had my 1st bout of queasy and sick last weekend/early this week. I didn't eat immediately after getting up and ended up throwing up one morning. It was hard to keep eating for the rest of that day. Ick. So I've since realized that I need to eat almost constantly, but at least every 2hrs. If I wake up at night, I need to eat. When I wake up in the morning, I need to eat within 10min of waking, as well as eat breakfast with some form of protein. Prior to going to bed, I also need to eat again; lately, it's been a bagel with cream cheese. Oh, and I've had cravings this go round. I didn't' really have any with Em, but this time, there are things that I NEED to eat when I think about them or see them.

I've also meet with a Certified Nursing Midwife (CNM) in the area. She was really great, smart, and funny. She was ok with my weight, even checked Em's weight on the scale, too and took both of our blood pressures. All I have to do is sign a form when she sends it to me and do the copay, then I'll be all set for preparing for a home birth. I've researched it since I learned about them a few months after Em was born. It looks like a really good option in my situation as I had a very low risk pregnancy last time that ended in a quick and complication-less delivery. Plus, as a friend pointed out, even if the CNM isn't able to make it the house in time if this (hopeful) birth goes faster, I'll have supplies here and be in the comfort of my own home rather than popping a baby out on the side of the road. We won't have to worry about having someone to watch Em or the pets for the day or 2 we are in the hospital. Also, since this is 99% sure to be our last pregnancy and baby, I'll get the chance to experience a different birth scenario and location than the hospital. I initially looked into going to the "local" birth center, but it is about an hour drive just to get there.

I've been checking off and on with the doppler over the last week or so to see if I can pick up a heartbeat on my own. I got one with Em at a little over 9w, so was curious as to when I could catch one this time. Last night, laying in bed before trying to go to sleep, I gave it another whirl. I heard it! It sounded like a freight train. Chugga chugga chugga. Love it. Hubs wanted to see if I could catch it again this morning for Em to hear. I did eventually; she was only slightly interested. It was such a relief though to be able to hear it. In a local parenting and birth FB group, several women that are about my gestation have had missed miscarriages, and it had me a bit worried. *Sigh* I really hate loss and infertility.

And since it's been a winter wonderland/nightmare here, some obligatory snow pics!

Enjoying it coming down before bedtime

1st snowman!
Laundry basket sledding!
Snow angels!
This afternoon's round of snow on top of the 8" we got yesterday...

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Today was a big appointment day for us all here.

Em had her 2yr well check. She was great until things actually needed doing while there. Where it is usually hard to keep clothes on this child, she was very reluctant to take a single thing off in the office. She went ballistic for her weight check, height check and head circumference. Then, she was a peach. She's right on target for her. She's about 34in tall (48th percentile), 24lbs (25th percentile), and 47cm head circumference (43rd percentile). She's gained percentiles! She's getting so big. Too big...

She was ok for the Dr, even tolerated the stethescope better this time. Probably because we've been playing with the basic one I've had for ages at the house. She loves to listen to our "haarts, babbumph." The shot, on the other hand, she was NOT a fan of, at all. It had an equivalent effect on her as if the doctor broke her leg. She couldn't, or rather wouldn't, comfortably walk on it and kept showing and talking about her boo-boo. The stickers were a big hit, though.

My big appt was this morning. There was growth there, as well. A heartbeat, too. I was given the option of either being released back to the OB/GYN's office or coming back next week. Initially, I was going to have them transfer me back, but over the course of the walk from the exam room to the check-out counter, I had a change of heart. I go back next week for one last check.

On a last note, I realized that the 3rd anniversary of that 1st pregnancy, that 1st surprise that it was even possible, is approaching. Maybe that played in to my need for the additional scan? I'll fill you in on how that one goes.

ps- the PIO shots are the worst this time. Butt knots galore.