Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Positive Force

Be a positive force. Pollute the well with rainbows and hearts! And as soon as the dark tar of negativity enters your body, grind it up and get it out. Because whether you think so or not, what you project effects everyone around you and your energy can create a chain reaction for the better. We are all sensitive beings exchanging all sorts of signals all the time. Even though the world effects you as heavily as it does sometimes, you effect the world around you right back.

Being positive will change the world a lot more than you think it will. I used to feel paralyzed by the badness in the world, thinking, “What’s the point? Why even try to help a problem when it is never going to stop it...people are cyclically spreading badness and pain.” But they are not just doing that...sometimes it just seems that way, and a constant barrage of terrible news can really get to most of us.

I recently heard this quote, “If you save the life of one man, you save all of mankind.” (I replace man with person of course.) This to me profoundly answers the question, “Why even try?” Because hope and love are alive and they are the true foundation of the human soul that can heal all. If you can become a positive influence in this universe, it multiplies and reverberates in ways you cannot know or see or quantify. Love is what makes us different and amazing and in the face of all the conflicts and fears and fighting, it’s the only thing that matters. We are all born good but we sometimes become dulled and lost on our path. Keep the light bright and you help change the world. Your smile, your energy, your kindness soothes and cures the pain of others in the most subtle of ways. It reminds a stranger that we are all good, people mean well, and the future is bright.

I thank all those who remain positive despite their hardship and remain kind despite the brutality of others. Thank you for the people that hold elevators for strangers. Let people in, in traffic. That get screwed by people that are just out to scam them but then spend a lot of their energy evaporating that rage and letting it fly out the window. The people that don’t think money is the most important thing in the world. That want to be responsible, respectful and to uproot their prejudices. The people that smile at you when passing in a hallway at work. The people that tell you when they like something you’re wearing. The people that compliment you when you did something really great even though they are helplessly jealous. The people that admit they’re jealous. The people with generous laughs. The people that are somehow magically never unkind. People that weep at beauty. The people that celebrate their friends when they win the lottery, and they mean it. The people that are kind to the the troubled, even when they are afraid. Because you don’t know it, but you are saving the world by existing.

You represent the pure good we are all born with but that can get dulled along the way. I believe we can all get there and work to stay there, and if you tune your body and mind toward peace and balance this center inside you will grow stronger. It’s like there’s an evil force trying to pollute us all and in order to get rid of that crap you’ve gotta cough it out like ash. Whatever you do don’t spread it. There’s a lot of terrible stuff going on out there, and you know what? It’s always gonna be. You can either contribute to it or be a force for good. I firmly believe whatever you put out there will come back to you, and however you treat others they will be more inclined to treat you back. It’s fun to be nice. And it makes you feel awesome. You matter.


 
 
 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Three Months

Well, I blinked and another month went by.

I feel like I live in a time-warp. In a lot of ways, this month went by slowly. But it also feels like it it way too soon for me to have a 3 month old.

Did I do all the things I wanted to do with my newborn? Is he still considered a newborn now that he’s 3 months old? I mean, he’s still wearing some 0-3 months clothes so that has to count for something, right?


Newborn or not...there is no question that he is the cutest baby in the whole wide world. Want proof...


 

 



Happy weekend you lovely peoples!



 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Who Are These People and Do We Need Them?

Product label writers.
 
Who are they? Who employs them? What is their job description? Here's my thought...they work directly under the legal department of large companies and under the direction of counsel, write directions and warning labels fit for a zombie who just landed on earth and discovered our products for the first time. Because companies are required to provide ample warning of "foreseeable" dangers in their products, this must be a high paid position succeptable to brain strain and writer's block. Prerequisites for the job: Must be from earth, be able to type 5 wpm, and read.
 
I have my own bathroom and Adam has his own bathroom (his bathroom is an ensuite in our bedroom). Now because Adam is usually the only one that ever uses his bathroom, putting down the toilet seat is never on his "To Do List". Quietly, I crawled out of bed this morning at 5:30 am to use the bathroom and got ready to do what I have down to a science while still half asleep on any given night...when using my own bathroom but this particular morning for reasons unknown, I used Adam's bathroom...when my worst nightmare comes true. S P L A S H - arse first right in the bowl - and ladies you know, what do you do when you are falling into the toilet? You grab the slippery cold wet rim of the bowl. Something you've had an aversion to since those dark college nights (or in my case...army nights) of removing the demons you put there after a party. I can't help it...I yell - SONOFA....I compose myself not wanting to wake the baby up (must NOT wake the baby) but I've now bathed in my significant others toilet water, my arse is cold and wet not to mention totally contaminated.
 
The next logical thing in my mind is to say shag it and take a shower as I am a germaphobe anyways and the mere thought of touching or doing anything whilest someone else's toilet water trickles down my arsecrack is making me shudder. I get in the shower. It's early, I'm tired. I proceed to wash my hair and for whatever reason I turn the shampoo bottle over and read the back - why? I don't know but the directions are: Wet hair, apply shampoo from root to tip, massage, rinse. Bells go off! It clicks....wow...this is just like any other shampoo but I need to go from the root to the tip! So this is the salon secret I've been missing! I get to thinking. "Why do we need those instructions?" Is there ever going to be a time when we use shampoo and perhaps we should massage our heads first and then add the shampoo in one big dollup and be done? Oh noooo, I'm now thinking to much and didn't notice if I've applied it to my roots first and then tip or tip and then roots. I've totally failed the following directions part. I hope my hair doesn't fall out.
 
The next thing I notice is the 1-800 number at the bottom of the bottle. I can't help but wonder if someone's ever called it with questions. Is this why the very wealthy have the phones in their showers?
 
  • *Ring, Ring*
  • Thank you for calling Pantene hair products, how can I help you today?
  • Umm, hello, I'm afraid I've made a terrible mistake and applied your shampoo tip first and then roots. Any suggestions?
  • Ohhh that IS a problem. Were you not paying attention to the directions or did something happen that you reversed the order?
  • Yes, I just started thinking about other things...what do I do now?
  • Well, I'm afraid you'll have to go ahead and start the process over again only this time really try to follow those directions! Please call back if you have any other problems.
  • *Click*
 Do we actually need directions and warning labels? What are your thoughts?
 
 
 
It's been a while since I've had a non baby post but in my defense...that boy of mine is pretty blog worthy!
 
 
 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I'm throwing it back to December 4th, 2011...we were just a few days away from our second frozen embryo transfer (the one that ended in a chemical pregnancy) and I was in the midst of PIO injections. 

A lot sure can change in 3 years!




Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Flip Flops & Ping Pong

Today I learned that parenting is one of the more, um, emotionally schizophrenic experiences a person can have. (And coming from me, that means something.)

Today I flip-flopped from feeling to feeling like an attention-deficitted captain kangaroo. Emotions ping-ponged me over the head while the audience in my head hysterically laughed. I was...pissed right off, exhausted, tolerant, happy, impatient, lazy, contemplative, frustrated, bummed, exhilarated, refreshed, proud, thrilled, joyful, impatient again, curious, worried, anxious, lazy again, frustrated again, disappointed, sad, a little bit panicked, irritable, lonely, cautious, and now tense. There was also some hungry and thirsty in there, and I think once or twice I had to pee.

The point is, I had not anticipated how intense all my mom emotions would be, let alone how easily they would frantically run away...sometimes with me still attached. I can't keep up. The only constant is how much I love Lochlan...which isn't even constant, rather erratically and exponentially accelerating, which only increases my worry and general angst. See? Emotionally schizophrenic.

Days like today leave me so mentally worn out. I'm not sure how to take it all in...how does one absorb this? I feel like I have no room in my brain for anything unrelated to my mom-ness.

This unfortunately makes carving out time for Adam and I a much larger task than even I had expected. Although we've managed to slip in some quick lovely moments over the past days/weeks/months... the truth of the matter is that most things I do feel like chores. Mostly because they are chores, and in some cases gigantic life-dependent responsibilities.

Some activities do feel like a brief respite from chores (such as watching Big Brother Australia and a hot bubble bath) but these are basically survival tactics to which I cling for sanity. In any case, they usually get interrupted and almost always carry guilt right along with them.

I haven't yet learned how to be a whole person again. Right now I'm just a mom, very barely a wife, and basically nothing of a me but I know it'll get better...just gotta keep chugging along


(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

My hand is stuck in a jar of salsa right now. I'm just gonna leave it in there. This is who I am now. I'm tired of fighting.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Well, blow me down...Lochlan James is now...

2 months 16 days
or 11 weeks 0 days
or 77 days
or 1,848 hours
or 110,880 minutes
or 6,652,800 seconds old

When you have a baby, you enter this strange vortex where time flies except when he’s crying. When he's crying time feels like it's so very slowly ticking by! There are other things that change as well once you've had your wee bundle for a wee while. Here are three things I've learned with a two month old...

You begin to revert back to your childhood bedtime
Remember when having to go to bed felt like a punishment and you went kicking and screaming? Or when you had to go to bed in the summer before it was dark? Ahhh, memories. With a 2 month old baby, you either quickly learn to sleep when he sleeps, or you slowly wither away into a sleep-deprived, former shell of yourself. Lochlan going to bed at 8:30? Sounds great, let me hop into my jammies! The little man is going to nap all afternoon? I’m all in, where’s my favorite blankie? Of course, on the flip side of this is that the 6 to 8 hours of continuous sleep that you used to strive for is now a distant memory that you sometimes dream about during your cat naps.

You will sink to new comedic lows, just to make your baby laugh 
Whether I am right or wrong, I consider myself to have a pretty sophisticated sense of humor. While it is true that I have a sweet spot for poop references and fart jokes, I tend to prefer something more cerebral. The problem here is that little babies do not have a sophisticated sense of humor...trust me, I've tried everything. Maybe they just don't have the mental capacity to follow a long set up, perhaps they miss the subtle twists and play on words or maybe they're just easily distracted. For example, just the other night we watched an episode of Mrs. Browns Boys together and he didn't laugh once, though he did fart a few times (which made me laugh, per usual). When a little baby starts to cry though, you will do anything to make him stop. This includes sticking out your tongue to performing grade school level slapstick. When I say anything, I mean anything!

You will be awakened at sunrise, every single day
Now I understand why babies don't have jobs (it’s because they stink at Excel, right?), but if they did, I believe that they would have a better appreciation for weekends. They would understand the joy, no the need, of sleeping in on Saturdays and Sundays. Instead, they wake as soon as the sun peaks it’s intrusive rays through every little opening in the window treatments. They coo their cute little baby coos and grin their cute little baby grins. If you ignore their performance then the encore will surely grab your attention. That’s the point when cooing turns into full on crying. So you get up and get the day started. After some standard baby maintenance (feeding, changing etc.), you get your breakfast and a cup of coffee. Once the caffeine kicks in, you feel better than expected so you decide to play with the little tyke. Guess what? He’s now enjoying his first of many naps.

I've also learned that having a two month old leaves me little time for blogging but I'm working on that...promise...but right now I've got to go and cuddle my sweet boy!












Wednesday, October 29, 2014

You're Doing Great

Lochlan was six weeks old last Friday. This means many things, but the most all-consuming thing of the sixth week of life has been his six-week growth spurt which we are in the midst of. I lovingly refer to this as the “growth spurt from hell” as it seems to be the most difficult one of all thus far. In happier news, once this growth spurt has passed we move on to happier times.
 
First, though, we must get through this growth spurt. It's the one where I decided that my milk supply is vanishing, that my baby actually hates me...but not as much as baby hates anyone (Adam) who attempts to hold him without a breast for him to latch onto. 
 
Lochlan is divinely unpleasant, fussy, and does not believe at all in the idea of sleep...at least at night (he's been asleep all morning). He switches sides constantly and is pretty vocal about his annoyance when there is not enough milk or when there is too much milk. He flails his little limbs in displeasure, and pummels me with his fists while tsking at me like an angry squirrel.

I know that this is a growth spurt and I know we will pass through it and while we wait to pass through this spurt, here are things I know and will try my best to remember...
  • I know that you are getting enough.
  • I know that the contents of my milk adjust across time to meet your needs, and that your fussiness is not because you’re starving but because your body and mine are communicating and modifying my supply to meet your needs.
  • I know that the way that I make this easier for both you and for me is to listen, to go through the motions, to switch you from side to side, to talk to you, to soothe you in all the ways I can, and to soldier on through trusting both your body and mine to do what needs to be done.
  • I know from the poopy and wet diapers that you are putting out that not only are you getting enough, you’re practically drowning in milk. I know that the frequency of your nursing is making sure that you get the highest fat milk from my body.
  • I know that how you are acting is not an indicator of my supply, nor is it a judgment of my ability to provide for you. It is how breastfeeding works. It is an indication that things are perfect and as nature designed. You nurse frequently to keep me there with you. You nurse frequently to keep my breasts empty so that my body will produce more milk rather than releasing a protein that decreases lactation. You nurse frequently so that the milk you drink is all high fat, not foremilk. You nurse frequently so that your belly will fill more slowly from a less full breast, so that you will digest more slowly and use every iota of what my milk provides for you, rather than gulping it down only to poop it out as quickly as you can eat.
Knowing all of this doesn't make it any easier. Lochlan and I are deeply loved by people that care a tremendous deal about us. No one likes to hear him whimper while he nurses (most of all me). His displeasure is obvious. No one likes to see me exhausted with bags under my eyes. No one likes offering to hold Loch to give me a break only to have him cry moments later because he needs to nurse again. Out of love they ask if maybe my milk supply is low. I refer them to the stack of diapers that disappears so quickly across the day that your growth spurt means we are running through a significant amount of diapers per day. He's eating so much, pooping and peeing so much. He's getting enough. My supply is fine.

You’re doing great, beautiful mama and boy.

You’re doing great.




(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I like the word funfetti because it takes confetti and it repurposes it for fun!



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lessons Learned

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the things I've learned during Lochlan’s first 6 weeks of life. Here's a sampling... 
  • Yes. My baby really is the cutest baby ever. Cutest baby in the whole world, in fact.
  • Even though I'm a horrible singer, Lochlan loves to hear my voice.
  • For the most natural thing in the world, breastfeeding does not always come naturally. I've read books and reached out to a lactation consultant and didn't put too much pressure on myself.
  • Let Adam do as much of the childcare as possible, even if I secretly think he's doing it “wrong.” He probably isn't...he's just doing it differently than me and he worst thing I can do is make him feel obsolete or useless.
  • For the most natural thing in the world, breastfeeding does not always come naturally. Read books, surround yourself with good and helpful examples, and reach out to a lactation consultant.
  • I desperately, desperately, DESPERATELY want to feel, look, and act like my ‘old self.’ Don’t forget to remind myself that I JUST HAD A BABY. Don’t put too much pressure on myself.
  • Don’t compare my behind-the-scenes mom footage to someone else’s highlight reel.
  • Even when Lochlan is happily sleeping, I'm still going to wake up in a panic and make sure he's still breathing. This may last for months and months I think.
  • My house is going to be a disaster. It’s okay. There’s plenty of time to clean up later.
  • I don’t have to change his diaper just because it has a drop of pee in it. It's taken me six weeks to realize this! Oh, and there's SO. MUCH. POOP.
The best part...I still have a whole lot of exciting learning to do!

Mamas milk makes me dopey!

Baby in a pot...why not!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

My salad for lunch is missing one key ingredient which would make it perfect. Donuts.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

See Saw

I've read that parenting can feel a lot like riding on a roller coaster. I certainly see why. However, when you're on a roller coaster, you have absolutely no control over your situation. I happen to think it's a bit more like riding on a seesaw. You go up and down, up and down. For a while, it's fun. You get the hang of it. You learn to control parts of your ascent and descent...relying on the other kid (in our case, baby Loch.) to participate. To help out and keep the ride going.

On the ups, it's all smiles and giggles.

The downs are made bearable because you've learned together how to go up again.

Sometimes when you're up...that other kid jumps off without warning. You crash to the ground. You're rattled. Your butt hurts. You cry because whatever just happened happened so fast. But you walk it off. The next day at recess, you forget all of that. You ride the seesaw again with that same kid.

That's where we are today.

Girl Cat Design via Etsy


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Finding A New Normal

I started typing this post last Wednesday...it’s now Sunday and I'm finally finishing it up. It’s kind of comical how long it actually took. Hopefully I will find the time to blog more frequently, but right now, my life is consumed with all things baby and I am trying to soak up every last minute of this adventure.

I love this 8 pound, 5 ounce nugget (his weight at his our visit last week with the lactation consultant) more than I ever dreamed I would. It’s shiny (total Firefly reference for my Captain Tightpants readers). Holy crap, my tiny human is so, so amazing and he smells so good. Life with a newborn is also the single most difficult thing I have ever done. Taking care of someone who is 100% dependent on you for every single aspect of their well-being is overwhelming. There are so many things to figure out...why is my baby crying, how do I feed my baby, is this a normal diaper, where should my baby sleep? Every single thing you encounter is something you have never done before.

We’re five weeks and two days into our “new” family dynamic now. One of the major things that you have to do is find a “new normal” with this new family member. The family dynamic changes...must change...with the addition of a new person. The family is a compilation of all the people in it, so things change when a new member joins, no matter how small.

While there are some difficult parts of having an infant, there are just as many wonderful things. Here is just sampling to take us out on a positive note...

  • Lochlan calms immediately when he lays his head on my chest and hears my heart beat. 
  • The smell of his head 
  • When I kiss his feet, his tiny toes curl around my upper lip. 
  • Dark blue baby eyes. 
  • Triangle toe nails. 
  • The sound of breast feeding. (You may think it’s weird, but I think it is amazing.) 
  • The look on Adam's face when he looks at Lochlan...amazing. 
I will try to come back again soon to tell you more about my adventures. you know, in that 4% of my time that I'm not staring at my baby. He’s got me wrapped around his teeny, tiny finger. and I couldn't be happier.





Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The First Day

I'm in a constant state of bliss these days...soaking up every moment with Lochlan...so I please ask that you forgive my absence...but I'll be back soon!

While you wait...here are a few pictures of Lochlan's first day...

Last bump pic at 39 weeks 1 day. This was taken an hour before my c-section


These were taken a couple of hours after Lochlan was born. This is the first time that I held him and it would be only one of the two times I held him that day. I'll tell the story of why we were separated for the first 36 hours soon...still trying to process.

Adam was able to spend the day with Lochlan in the NICU and would text me pictures while I was downstairs in the PACU (post anesthesia care unit).



This was the second time that Adam was able to bring Lochlan down to the PACU (with a NICU nurse in tow). I was able to attempt breast feeding and Adam burped him. I was sobbing while taking this picture...being apart from him when I was expecting to be with him 24/7 was incredibly difficult.


This was my goodnight picture from Adam.

To be continued...



Friday, September 19, 2014

He's Here!

Lochlan James
September 12th, 2014
9:26 am
6 pounds 7 ounces 
18 3/4 inches long

It's been a whirlwind of week and we are head over heels in love with this little man of ours. 

I'll be back shortly to share his birth story and pictures (of which we have many...all posted to Instagram). As you can imagine we have been a little busy and oh so sleepy but I'll be back  very soon!

Much love to all,
Janet, Adam and Lochlan
xoxo



Thursday, September 11, 2014

This Time Tomorrow

Well this is it. Today marks the last day of my pregnancy. One chapter is ending and a whole new chapter is about to begin. It has been a pretty eventful nine months, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

As I write this, by this time tomorrow I will have a baby in my arms.

Knowing the exact date your baby is going to be born is quite a surreal experience. But knowing the date and counting down, working through a crazy to do list until your house is shiny and everything is ready just seems so odd. Knowing that in approximately 18 hours I’ll be holding my sweet baby boy in my arms...is at times a little incomprehensible.

I'm scared, nervous, anxious, excited, happy and a million other things in between. I can not believe that tomorrow I will finally get to hold and snuggle my son who I have been so excited to meet from the moment I saw a positive on that pregnancy test way back in January.

Until then...I'm going to....




Thursday, September 4, 2014

In The Home Stretch

 Wow.

I mean, really, wow. As of tomorrow, I have one week until this baby is born.

7 days

8 nights

168 hours

I've spent the last 38 weeks watching in amazement, as my body changes and adapts, to grow another human. I've been horribly sick, more tired than I ever though possible, and discovered what it really means to have a aching body. Yes, this pregnancy has been a bit rough on me, even that is a understatement. I am waving my white flag quite often these days, collapsing into a heap of emotionally and physically exhausted Janet at the end of every day but I'm also the happiest I've ever been.

I have this renewed bond and intense love for my family. I find myself daydreaming even more about adventures we will take together, projects we can take on...our little family. I am excited to see Adam with a little boy, to witness their growing together, that unique father-son dynamic. I am curious to see if he will look like Adam, or take more after me. I am anxious to see how our everyday life shifts and changes, as we adjust to life with a new baby. I’m interested to see how/if it will change the dynamic of our relationship...will it strengthen and reinforce the deep bond that we have?

My body yearns for the snuggly, grunting, warm, heavenly-smelling body of a squishy newborn to be nestled into me. I made this. We made this. How incredible.

I have been experiencing a lot of early labor signs, making my comfort level questionable at best. Constantly being on high alert is exhausting and is starting to drain me. I had an OB appointment yesterday and knowing I have only a week left, if that, I have made a conscious decision to give in to the process. If I am going to go into real, proper labor before my scheduled c-section date of September 12th, so be it. If I don’t and these contractions, cramping and nausea keep up for the last, I've lost count of days...that is also out of my hands. I refuse to let this last week break me, because I know one day, probably sooner than I think, I will miss parts of this.

We are ready when you are, little man, and we can not wait to meet you.

37 Week belly
The contractions continue
Crib is ready for baby


38 week belly



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thirty Six

36 weeks ~ some days it’s hard to believe I’m this far into the journey and so close to meeting my child. What do you mean I’m going to be a parent?! I mean, I knew we were having a baby, but it’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that we are bringing a human into the world. A human that is half of me and half of Adam. A human that we will be solely responsible for. A human we are expected to teach right from wrong, prepare for the world and love unconditionally. I know we can do the last part because we already do. I’m going to have a son. Wow! 

And then, on the other hand, I feel so ready. We have the ‘stuff’. We've (I mean Adam) have read books. We are ready to meet our little one. Parenthood...bring it!

It’s strange not knowing which pregnancy post will be my last, so I wanted to talk a little about the symptoms I've experienced throughout pregnancy. This interests me because I always thought everyone felt the same things. Well, they don’t...every woman's experience really is unique to her alone.

I have experienced some of the common symptoms, including headaches, 1st trimester exhaustion, food aversions and even a fun craving or two and even the odd not fun craving. Then there were some symptoms that I never knew came with pregnancy, but evidently they can be common. Some of my weirdest symptoms have been...

  • Nose bleeds - They were never severe, but I’m not the kind of person who gets these so they freaked me out at first. Apparently they are incredibly normal with the increased blood volume you get during pregnancy. Also...super stuffy nose for the last nine months. 
  • Furry belly - No, my tummy doesn't look like an ape, but once I became pregnant I noticed the fine, light hairs I had on my belly turned a little darker and more noticeable.
  • Sensitive tongue - Though it hasn't stopped me from eating whatever I want, I've noticed eating tomatoes, garlic, citrus and a few other strong flavors that my tongue gets irritated. I hope this goes away after I deliver. 
  • Dreams - I expected my dreams to be a bit weird and vivid in the first trimester but now that I'm in my third...they are off the chain. I wake up often just shaking my head at the weirdness of them!

Where are we now?

  • 36 weeks and 2 days pregnant
  • As far as we know...still 2 cm dilated and 90% effaced. My OB didn't check last week, thankfully.
  • Blood pressure...low and hoping it stays that way.
  • Contractions...All. The. Time.
  • Feeling a lot of pressure in my pelvis and sometimes Baby JaAdam feels he's trying to escape. It makes walking very uncomfortable. 
  • Total pounds gained...23. Although none in the last month so I'm now on the Ensure diet...blech!
  • Hours spent of Etsy...too too many!


What weird or unexpected symptoms have you experienced?


Friday, August 22, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Thirty Five Weeks & an Update

Today I am 35 weeks 4 days pregnant. Wow. Still surreal to be here...especially given that I've now been having contractions on and off since July 26th when I was admitted to the hospital (for the first time). When I last updated on the 12th, I had a scheduled ultrasound and appointment the following day.

The ultrasound reassured us that all is well with baby boy! My appointment however, brought some unsettling news. I had been contracting all morning and after checking me, it showed that I was dilated to 2 cm and was 80% effaced. This earned me another trip to Labor & Delivery. It really looked for a few hours that we were going to have the baby that day but once again...despite my uterus being miserable and cranky...my cervix was a rock star and held steady at 2 cm until things calmed down later that night. 

I was once again admitted to the antepartum floor where I stayed until Friday afternoon. I was having some difficultly with the thought of staying in the hospital until delivery so my OB team and I came up with a plan that we were both comfortable with.

The Plan - I was to have an ultrasound before being discharged just to ensure that all was well with baby boy. If he passed the biophysical and my cervix hadn't made any change...I could go home. Baby boy looked great and although he's on the small side, in the 25th percentile at around 5lbs...he passed with flying colors. Cervix was the same...cause she's a rock star! The other part of the plan was sending me home with a prescription for a small amount of pain meds. If I started to contract again, I would take the pain meds and up my fluid intake in the hope that things would settle as this seemed to work in the hospital. I was happy, my OB team was happy. I was discharged Friday afternoon. 

It's now Monday and I'm happy to report that I am still at home and still very much pregnant ☺

My next appointment is Wednesday morning. It's so surreal to be so close to meeting baby boy...I'm thrilled, excited and anxious all rolled into one!

35 week belly






Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rock, Paper, Scissors

I understand that Scissors can beat Paper, and I get how Rock can beat Scissors, but there's no way Paper can beat Rock. Paper is supposed to magically wrap around Rock leaving it immobile? Why the hell can't paper do this to scissors? Screw scissors, why can't paper do this to people? Why aren't sheets of college-ruled notebook paper constantly suffocating students as they attempt to take notes in class? I'll tell you why, because paper can't beat anybody, a rock would tear it up up in 2 seconds. When I play Rock, Paper,  Scissors I always choose rock. Then when somebody claims to have beaten me with their paper I can punch them in the face with my already clenched fist and say "oh I'm sorry I thought paper would protect you.
Rock, Paper, Scissors by Amanda Catherine Designs via Etsy

P.S. 35 week update and drama coming soon!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Thirty Four Weeks

Today I'm 34 weeks 5 days pregnant. It feels great to be here. When I was admitted to the hospital at 32 weeks 2 days...34 weeks felt so far away but here we are...it feels amazing!

34 weeks belly
I was re-admitted Saturday once again with contractions and thankfully, we were able to stop them and I came home yesterday. My uterus may be cranky but my cervix has been a rock star and is doing an amazing job of keeping baby boy right where he belongs!

Tomorrow morning I have an ultrasound to check my cervical length and see how baby is doing. After that, I have my OB appointment. If my cervix has changed, I'll likely be admitted and will stay until I deliver. If not, I'll get to stay at home. My gut is telling me that we will meet this baby sooner rather then later...I can't really explain the feeling. It's odd. The good news...while baby boy will still be premature, we are now into late premature and baby should do very well. Ideally though...we are hoping to make it to 36 weeks. Will we get there? I hope so but I am also preparing for an early arrival. 

Hang in there baby boy...for just a little bit longer!




Monday, August 11, 2014

Surviving

When I had got pregnant with baby JaAdam, I could have never imagined what a “roller coaster ride” would ensue. Things were normal at first, but quickly changed when I was admitted to the hospital at 32 weeks 2 days pregnant with preterm labor. After spending a total of 12 days in the hospital on strict bed rest and then again the past couple of days with perhaps more to come after my appointment this coming Wednesday...I learned how to survive.

I am not saying that it wasn't difficult, because it was (especially spending your 39th birthday in the hospital). But, how you handle any unplanned situation (such as hospital bed rest) during your pregnancy can make all the difference.

Be thankful
- One of the first things that I did upon learning I was to be admitted was to be thankful for the intervention. Unfortunately, many women with compromised pregnancies, don’t get the opportunity go on bed rest and the situation can turn more dire than it began. Mandated bed rest is an opportunity to give your baby the best chance at being totally equipped to face the world ahead.

Keep a routine - Everyone one has a routine. While some routines are more extensive and detailed than others, they are our own. Keeping up with your “normal” routine is pretty simple when you are in your own environment and you can walk around and do things for yourself. But, what happens when your sense of normalcy is shaken? You develop a new sense of normal. When I was on hospital bed rest, it was the first time since coming into adulthood that I had to be totally reliant on someone else. But, you know what? I got over my ego really quickly. I realized that this journey that I was on was so was so much bigger than myself and my ego. So, I developed a routine. My routine involved waking up at a specific time each day, even if my only job at the time was to stay in the hospital bed and provide a warm place for my baby to grow.

Document the memories - Keeping a wall calendar or whiteboard is essential to get though your “temporary” and I stress “temporary stay”. Depending on your situation, your “care team” may not even tell you when you will be going home. When I was admitted, no one would tell me about anything pertaining to going home. Seeing my nurses write how many days pregnant I was, on the whiteboard after each passing day made me feel a sense of victory… a sense of accomplishment. I looked forward to every morning when the nurse would add a 2 and then a 3 and this morning a 4 after 34 weeks.

Make your space your own
- One of the best pieces of advice that I got in the hospital was to think of the hospital as my “my residence, my home away from home”. I initially thought it was a “load of crap”, but that advice from my nurse really went a long way. I had Adam bring me in my favoite pillow from home. I made a conscious effort to only watch TV during a designated one hour period…supposedly preventing my brain from turning to mush. I used the small dresser beside my bed and kept it stocked with my favorite cereals, snacks and fruit. Believe me when I say, “You should not solely depend on the hospital food for your nourishment”. One of the best feel good things...wearing my own clothes! This had a huge impact on my mental well being!

Stop playing the blame game - What if I had done this? If only I would have done that, then maybe I would have not been in this predicament? You know what? I could go on and on but I quickly realized that it wasn't going change my circumstance. While I could speculate all I want, not even the doctors always know why some things end up like they do. So I did myself a favor and stopped blaming myself. Self pity and guilt wasn't/isn't going to get me anywhere.


At the end of the day when things have been tough I remind myself that I am very blessed and fortunate to be where I am.


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