Thursday, December 10, 2009

Too much of a good thing

If I hadnt dealt with this over supply/over active letdown issue before, I would have thought it odd that I woke up in a pool of breast milk this morning inspite of the super supportive bra I was wearing.

But, since I have been here before...I wasnt shocked.  Just very wet.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Post-Pregnancy Brain

Today I moved an entire load of laundry from the washer to the dryer before realizing that the clothes werent wet...I had forgotten to start the washer.  Oops.

Yesterday I threw a pair of socks into the trash can instead of the dirty clothes.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Daily update

Nursing is going great. 1000% improvement over my nursing start with Elliott.

Spencer's First peds appt was uneventful. We go back for a 2 month visit.

Spencer opened his eyes big and wide today-his eyes are dark slate blue. I suspect they will turn brown over time. He is becoming more alert and stays awake for longer periods of time. But overall sleeps a lot still. For the past 2 nights he has slept with me all or part of the night. I never felt comfortable sleeping with E. Perhaps because I was medicated post C-Section and my mobility was poor. Or perhaps I am just more confident this go-round, I don't know. But it has afforded us better sleep-for which I am appreciative.

Elliott is adjusting. He doesn't want to hold or touch Spencer. But isn't angry or hurtful to him either. We are trying to give Elliott that same amount of attention but of course that is near impossible. With both of us home it has been great-but when hubby goes back to work I suspect E will have it twice as hard. E loves spending time with Dad and will be sad when he goes having to share my time with S will be even more difficult for him. I should have some fun things planned for him that will also be easy on me. Maybe Gymboree classes or something like it.

I consider myself a good planner but this transition after hubby goes back to work will be difficult. Throw Christmas in the mix and I for sure will be tapped out.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The one with pictures

Spencer's Birth Day
November 28th, 2009
9 pounds 3 ounces
22 inches long

                                                                     One day old

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day one and two at home

We got home yesterday afternoon from the hospital. I was sooo excited to see Elliott. He was napping so we were able to settle in a bit before he woke.
We had a super relaxing transition home, ordered take out and went to bed early. The night was rough as Spencer didn't sleep until 2am but we slept from 2-5 great!
Other things to report-
My milk came in today!
My heartburn is almost gone.
The bloody toothbrush is gone.
The swollen gums are gone.
I lost 17.5 lbs since my last midwife visit.
Squating to pee is a lot easier than sitting and the urine avoids my stitches. Thank you Stroller Strides for making me do all those squats.

My wonderful husband bought me the most awesome "push prize". It arrived via UPS last night with perfect timing-its a Tiffany key and it balances out my charm necklace perfectly!

We put up our tree and Hubby and E put up light.

More soon and photo's.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Monday, November 30, 2009

11-28-09 updates on birth

This time around it was important to me to have an accurate account of the events and when they occurred. Partly because I am neurotic and partly because I like to look back as my memories fade quickly when no sleep is involved. So here is the technical update and the emotional one will come later.

3:30pm almost 10 cm dilated past zero station

3:45pm epidural is awesome and knowing what is coming- -I manage to nap for 20 minutes. Time/progress is slowing, I suspect allowing me to gather the energy for the next stage.

4:45pm full 10cm dialated and began light pushing. The 3 hour push time limit begins.

5:30pm they suggest and do drop the epi dose hoping to assist with more effective pushing. The thought being if I could feel more I would be more inclined and able to push. They went from a 16 down to 4 on the epi.

6:00-6:30pm My Midwife leaves to check on her other laboring patients and the epi is almost off. The pain is now back to being intense and causing me distress, anxiety and panic. They keep having me change positions to try and relieve some of the pain, but manage to loose the babies HR . It is also causing me exceeding discomfort. I start vomiting and they give me zofran. Panic ensues-my blood pressure drops, I have a low grade fever (100.7), and the room floods with docs trying to determine the cause of the problems. They even started to suspect the cord being wrapped around him. There was a lot of commotion and whispering.

6:45pm My midwife returns and I insist on being in a comfortable position for me. They also up the epi again and relief is almost instant. We resume our normal pushing pattern and are making progress again. But because of the scare we are being monitored by the MD's and are on a tight time limit-we are approaching our 3 hours.

7:00pm Things are back in swing-I am energized and pushing well.

7:45pm Docs visit again ready to call time on me but instead see my sons head and my effective pushing. Go me!

8:01pm Spencer is born! Laid on my chest where he promptly poops all over me. The cord is left to pulse. And we start our bonding. His apgars were 7 and 8. He got a slow start with crying and took a few minutes to pink up but quickly found his way. The placenta is birthed and the cord is later cut. All is well in my world.

Later the midwife, who is doubtful, but wants to be safe indicates I may have contracted chorioamnioitis from being ruptured for so long and the labor taking a while. They put me on 2 IV antibiotics and Spencer gets tested too.

We are both fine and recovering well. Photos and updates soon! Xoxoxoxo
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Sunday, November 29, 2009

11-28-09 1:45pm update

9 cm and station 0. She thinks in the next 2 hours I will deliver. They already wrote happy birthday spencer on the board in my room.

I started to cry - I feel nervous and excited and worried - all in the same breath.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Epidurals rock

From 3am to 9am I didn't have any consistent or real contractions.

When the shift changed and a new midwife came on board she suggested, rather than start me on pitocin or an enema or castor oil, to sweep my membranes again and break any bag of water left. She also checked my cervix and I was 3cm-that was around 9:45am.

Very soon thereafter I began having contractions-strong ones with hardly a break in between. Hubby made me keep standing and walking and I was getting pissed. I broke out in tears several times and by 10:30am I was ready for an epidural.

We agreed that I would wait till 11am and hope that I had dilated more. At 11am I was 4cm and really in a lot of pain. I asked for the epi.

Holy shit-why people labor without one is beyond me. It was painless to administer and I feel awesome.

My contractions are steady and progressing nicely. Its 1pm and the initial pain meds should be easing off and the epi itself kicking over. Then I should start to feel more of the contractions and less numb.

More details soon-hopefully the next update is news of a baby. But I suspect I have a bit of time.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

3 am update

3:30 am and I am checked in to Labor and Delivery.

Positive test on my water breaking-duh! ... And the 24 timer now starts. Already I feel anxious and under the gun to get my contractions moving and active.

Getting the IV was horrible. She poked around my right arm for a long while and didn't get it in. Then I needed a break because I thought I might vomit. Which I didnt-phew. Then a different nurse worked on the other side. It still feels uncomfortable. I hate needles and being prodded painfully.

If the contractions don't progress and cause cervical changes by 8 or 9 am then the midwife suggests taking castor oil or an enema. Or if I decline those I can start on pitocin.

So far the contractions are totally tolerable and about 3 minutes apart. It feels like a gradual tightening of my lower abdomen. They are steadily getting stronger the less anxiety I feel. My digestive system is still purging and I feel nauseas. Even as I am typing they are getting more frequent and harder.

Spencer is moving around fine and his heart rate is great. I feel a huge amount of love for Elliott right now-hormones? We had the best week together and compared with the 2 weeks prior-i am very grateful for that time. I feel like we really bonded and were able to reconnect.

Jeff is trying to nap while he can, and I am enjoying my hour in between the fetal monitoring to be alone with my contractions and anxiety.

The irony in all of this is that the day before I went into labor with Elliott I ate at CPK for lunch. Tonight, before we went to the Del Mar Festival of Lights we also ate at CPK. We never eat at CPK. Today is also my BFF's daughters first birthday...will they share the day?

When we arrived home tonight I started to feel some mild contractions and felt compelled to show my MIL all the things she would need to know around the house and regarding Elliott. Then we went to bed early. I got 3 great hours of sleep and here we are.

I am ready to welcome this boy into the world. Bring it on. More soon.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Friday, November 27, 2009

Either I just wet my pants or my water just broke

Nope, I didn't wet my pants! Here we go...
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

39 weeks 3 days

Nothing yet. The baby is doing awesome, plenty of fluid, good heartbeats and fetal movement, still at 2 cm, 80% effaced, he is weighing in at 7-7 3/4 lbs.  And with all of the digestive clearing I lost 3 pounds since last week.  She also wrote me a RX for lidocaine for my hemorrhoids--yippee!!!

She swept my membranes again which while uncomfortable was not nearly as painful as the first time. And there wasn't any cramping this go round.

His head isn't engaged which isn't ideal as that was part of the problem with Elliott, but she thought labor would fix that. She will let me go to 41 weeks and then suggests breaking my water so that I don't end up in OB care (42 wks) where they give pitocin straightaway...and with pitocin the risk of uterine rupture for VBAC candidates increases from one to four percent.

More waiting. I hope the kid holds off till Friday now that we are so close to Thanksgiving as I have a yummy dinner planned.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nothing to report

39 weeks and 3 days tomorrow. 8am Non-stress test and Midwife appt. tomorrow.

Nothing new to report. Pressure, heaviness, light cramps, more digestive track emptying, the bloody show is more like mucous again and of course hemi's... The sucky part of all of this is that my lady parts are sore and I haven't even pushed a kid out yet. Epidural please!

Do I get my membranes swept again tomorrow or just let nature take its course?

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Please dont ask, there is nothing to report

Nope, nothing to report.  More show.  No Contractions.  No broken water bag.  Pelvic pressure, fatigue, irritation.  But no baby.

We are trying to enjoy our family of  3 during these last few hours or days.  All of my commitments and obligations have been fulfilled.  There is nothing left but to welcome this baby into the world.  I even got a good night of sleep last in preparation.

I promise to text everyone when it happens.  And, I am updating the blog regularly with details.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It was a movie kind of night

I skipped the social part of the evening last night, and ended up meeting everyone at the movie theatre.  I was nervous the whole time thinking my water was going to break.  But, alas nothing happened and the movie was enjoyable.  I didn't get home until after 1am and Elliott wakes at 5:30am so I am tired.  

The hubby and Elliott are at Sea World for some last minute one on one time.  I was glad to have them leave the house, but envious that I couldn't join them.  So, here I am -- home alone for what will likely be the last time for a while.  And all I can think to do is walk around the house in circles moving things from one place to another.  

I hate the waiting game.  More bloody show this morning, more digestive track clearing, more pelvic pressure and BH,  But, no contractions and no amniotic fluid.  I am stuck between wanting to just carry on with my life and go grocery shopping and the like.  Or just sit on the couch with my heating pad and do as little as possible.  I don’t want my water to break while I am shopping  or at the park with the kiddo…that would be super embarrassing….but I feel unproductive not doing anything.  And then inversely I am tired, and I know what lies ahead as far as work and sleeplessness so I think I should rest…but resting isn't helping the labor come on any faster.  It’s a vicious mental cycle.  ARRRGGHHH.

What did you do?  What would you do?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Am I having a baby or going to the movies tonight...?

No contractions yet.  My bag of water is still in tact.  But more bloody show and some crazy pelvic pressure right along with it.  My lower back is sore and I have been sitting on a heating pad all day.  My appetite ranges from feeling nauseated to feeling intermittently hungry.  The baby is moving around like normal.  And I am having BH with regularity.  The midwife said to expect my labor to start in 24-48 hours.  So, the irritating, anxious waiting game begins.

Now the only question is do I still go see the New Moon movie tonight at 10pm or not?  The evenings events begin at 6pm with appetizers and wine, then a showing of Twilight, then off to the movie at 10pm.  It might take my mind off the fact that I will be going into labor soon.  Or, I might die of embarrassment if my water breaks during any of these events.

Not to sound crazy or anything, but I have been saying for a while now that this baby will come right after I see the New Moon movie.  So, maybe seeing the movie is just the thing I need to get labor started...?

The beginning of the end

This morning around 7am I lost my entire mucous plug.  This is TMI for even me, but it was huge and red and liver-like.  I took a photo just so I would remember what it looked like. 

When I lost my mucous plug with Elliott it also happened in the early AM.  So, just to be prepared I took a shower and shaved all areas, washed my hair and lotioned up.  I asked the hubby to stay home, but he needed to go into work and finish up some things.  Plus, he wants to wait for more substantial evidence of labor starting.

It is now 8:30am and my digestive track is starting to clear itself out.  What a relief both physically and mentally.

All signs are pointing towards labor starting today.  If this labor is at all similar to my first I should be starting light, easy contractions any time now.  In 1000 ways I hope it is very different.  I will keep you posted!

Alternately, I am trying to enjoy the last days with my first born son--with it just being him and I.  He has had a fever for a few days and a decreased appetitie.  Today he seems in good spirits and is very loving--telling me often that he loves me followed by a big hug.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

38 weeks 3 days

Now that I am officially 'old' according to maternal medicine, I had to take my first Non-stress tests today.  The test itself was rather relaxing-sitting in a huge comfy recliner chair, listening to my son's heartbeat for 20 plus minutes and seeing the monitor pick up on his movements and increased heart rate.  The results were normal--he is moving and responding perfectly, though no contractions yet.  

I also had an ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid levels and a few other factors.  Again all is normal.  It was great to see him on screen again and take a look at all his parts.  The nurse was even able to point out that he had a lot of hair--WOW!  

After the NST, I had my midwife appointment.  She measured, poked and prodded.  She thought that perhaps this baby would be smaller than Elliott--for which I am grateful.  Although measuring the babe's weight in utero is highly inaccurate and more speculation that anything.  

She offered to check my cervix and I am 2 cm dilated.  I am also 75% effaced and my cervix is soft.  Since all things were in order, she offered to sweep my membranes, which I happily accepted!  If she hadn't offered I would have asked as I am ready to move forward and have this baby.  What I wasn't expecting though was how painful the process would be!  And the post cramping was horrible.  It has been 6 hours though and I already feel much better. Here is hoping that it actually brings labor on.

I am not nervous about labor or delivery--I am actually anxious and excited to get it started.  I feel confident this time around about what to expect and what my body is capable of.  I feel ready to have my body back, and will do what it takes to ensure that it is soon.  My other motivation is our hospitals new visitation policy due to the H1N1 virus--no children under 16 can visit at all.   So, I need to get in and out of the hospital fast so I can be with my boys.  I also know that I will be asking for an epidural this time around.  The fact that I feel confident enough this time around to ask for what I want/need is a change for me.  It is empowering.

I need to pack my hospital bag just in case it happens quickly.  I also would like to clear my digestive track out and possibly make some additional room.  Plus, perhaps a few days of relief for my hemorrhoids would help when the pushing parts happen.  So, in preparation I gave myself a glycerin suppository, but it didn't really do much...that isn't a good sign.  There is always tomorrow.

My next appointment is a week from today and is more of the same--NST, Ultrasound, and Midwife appt.  But, hopefully I wouldn't be needing any additional appointment.  Elliott was early--and I am hoping this one will be too!
Lots of pelvic pressure, lower back pain, braxton hicks like crazy, and a Mom that is ready.  Wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The home stretch!!!!

I have been putting off writing.  I think it is because once a certain amount of time passes--it becomes too difficult to catalogue everything into one post.  I don’t want to miss anything, but there is just too much to write about without putting it in list format.  So, to catch up here is my list:

1.  The Thursday before Halloween Elliott broke his clavicle.  He ran from his room, bounced into the couch, and fell on the floor (an activity that happens daily).  He complained and cried and couldn't sleep that night.  So, when Friday morning rolled around--we decided it was best to be safe and save ourselves a possible ER visit over the holiday weekend and called the doctor.  A few hours later and his second visit to the Radiologist and they confirmed the broken collarbone.  The RX was an arm sling, OTC pain relievers and light duty.  Let me say that being 37 weeks pregnant, actively potty training, trying to keep a 2 1/2 year old on light duty and having all of your in-laws at your house for the weekend is no easy task.  A week and a half later though and he is doing fine. He is still not actively using his left arm instead choosing to let it hang limp by his side and occasionally complains of pain--he isn't holding back as much as he was.

2. Baby #2 is head down and in position.  I can feel this intensely as the pain and pelvic pressure this last week is almost unbearable.  As I sit here and type I have a heating pad placed between my legs trying to ease some of the pain and discomfort.  Each time I get up, move or attempt to walk I am faced with a sharp pain.  This morning I tried to roll over in my sleep—only to wake myself up from a nice slumber with a jolting pain.  I feel lucky that I have felt so good for so long, but this certainly makes up for it.  I can only hope that this is my bodies way of saying that it is more ready to deliver this baby vaginally than the last go round.  If I could predict—I would say I am going to go into labor sometime next week.

3.  I went ahead and scheduled the remainder of my doctor’s appointments through 41 weeks.  Because I am ‘advanced maternal age’ I also have to start non-stress tests at 38 weeks—so I scheduled those as well.  All of the babies clothes are washed, the co-sleeper is set up, the swing is ready, the changing table is back in place, the infant car seat is installed in my car—the only thing I need is to pack my hospital bag and get newborn diapers.  I figure that I can do that this weekend (Saturday will be 38 weeks).  Once I buy diapers I expect to have this kiddo shortly after.  One can hope, right?

4. I am very much looking forward to having my body and self control back.  While I don’t mind hosting I am ready to have my mobility and lung capacity returned to me. Although I am not looking forward to dieting and working the 40 plus pounds I have gained off. I do long to put on a pair of my skinny jeans.

5. Our backyard remodel is almost complete!!!  The hubby has spent the greater part of the summer and fall working on it by himself.  We decided that based on the drought that San Diego has been experiencing for the last several years, and the increased cost of water that it would be best to reduce our overall consumption amount.  Our yard was a lush grassy oasis--and now it is a flagstone covered sanctuary.  Half the yard now has flagstone and some carefully placed planters.  While the other half we are trying to re-seed with low water grass.  We rid ourselves of many of the potted plants and that has also freed up space on the covered patio.  I am excited to   have the project completed, the tools and debris cleared and a new yard to enjoy. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

34 weeks and a Potty training update

34 week appointment this past Wednesday. It seems that all of a sudden all of the pregnancy symptoms have kicked into high gear. Backache-check. Exhaustion-check. Pelvic pressure-check. Hemorrhoids-check. Constipation(continued)- check. Heart Burn (so bad I cant sleep)-check. Restless Legs-check. Leg cramps-check. I do feel grateful that I have managed to keep these aches and pains at bay for so long. And they are only intermittent, and all things considered I really feel very good.  

After my Midwife appt. I actually felt relieved having voiced all of my concerns. It was as if what I really needed was for someone to hear my complaints. She offered some helpful suggestions--take Calcium/Magnesium for the RLS and take it easy for everything else.  

The baby was head down when she checked, and wants to wait until my 36 week appointment to confirm positioning. In spite of the evidence that he isn’t supposed to have much room in my uterus--he can still move around plenty and not without notice. Thursday he was hiccupping under my rib cage again. We spoke again about options since it is getting closer to my due date and Elliott came at 38.5 weeks.  

The options presented if he is still breech at 36/37 weeks are to schedule and perform a version (ECV) where they hook me up to an IV, and attempt to manually move him into head down position. I say attempt because occasionally babies don’t move. They can then place a support band around my tummy to 'hold' him in place until I deliver. Neither the ECV nor the band ensure he will not move again. If he moves again, they can perform the procedure again. Or I can wait.  I am most likely going to wait until I go into labor. If I present to L&D and he is still breech I will be having a C-section and if not, I will attempt a VBAC. The midwife seemed fine with this decision as she confirmed that babies can and do move from breech to head down up until labor. 

The potty training is hit or miss. Some days are great with few accidents and dry underwear for most of the day.  Other days (yesterday, for example) are accident after accident, fighting to get him on the potty, and frustration by all parties involved.  The successes are he will use public restrooms, isn’t afraid of the toilet flushing, and his aim is getting better.  He can also hold most of his pee all night long (8pm-6am).  The not so good parts are he is always wet after nap time, wont poop in the potty, and isn’t telling me all that often that he has to go pee. The other positive is that somehow potty training has improved our relationship in an awesome way.  I suspect the amount of one on one time we are spending together is having a positive influence on us both.  Plus, me being down on his level so much more, and all of the extra hugs and kisses and words of praise and encouragement.  Whatever it is—I am grateful for it.  

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Milestones and updates

We have been flying under the radar these days.  Elliott was going through a nap/bedtime refusal period where he wouldn't take a nap 3 out of 4 days.  He would get up repeatedly from his bed and play with his toys, or run around the house.  When I would try and put him back in, he would cry and scream and get out again. We fought like this for 2 weeks or so.  I decided to talk with his daycare provider, who in turn spoke with Elliott. And I spoke with all of my friends with kids.

They all suggested the same thing.  Once its time to go to bed--the child needs to stay there.  No exceptions.  So, we reestablished the rules of staying in bed (with the help of our daycare provider).  Then, if he got out once, I took a stuffed animal away.  If he got out again, I put him in his pack-n-play to sleep.    Needless to say--he hated being confined to the pack-n-play and after a couple of days in there, he was back on schedule.

But, then on top of the nap strike-- he wouldn't go to bed without kicking and screaming, crying and fighting.  He was sleep deprived and was getting up in the mornings around 5 or 5:30am.  Elliott is the classic kid where sleep begets sleep--the more sleep he gets, the happier he is, and the longer he naps and sleeps in.  If his naps get cut short, or we get out of our routine for to many days--he starts to wake early, nap short, and get very cranky.

We moved his bedtime to 8pm, reestablished the naps and the bedtimes solved themselves.  During the sleepless weeks, hubby thought it would be a good time to kick the Pacifier habit as well.  His logic was--as long as none of us were sleeping, we might as well bite the bullet and make the the change.  The last time we tried to get rid of the paci--none of us slept and one of us was traumatized.  This time it was an easy transition, and we haven't looked back.  There was hardly any talk of its absence.  WooT!  Three cheers for something good coming out of 2 weeks of struggle!

While both the hubby and I are careful planners with some things...others things we are more whimsical about.  Deciding that NOW was the time to start potty training/learning was one of those whims for me.  Let me explain--we have been practicing the potty for about 4 months.  Sometimes he would use it while other times he declined.  The challenge was that he would only pee standing up--which was a mess to say the least.  Monday, after I picked him up from daycare I decided that we should start training him the next day.  I put all the diapers away, moved the changing table mat to our bedroom in prep for baby #2, and repacked the diaper bags with pull ups and changes of clothes.

Tuesday morning we told Elliott what to expect, put a pull up on him, and set the timer for 35 minute intervals.  We also went and bought a new potty chair because ours sucked.  I LOVE the new chair because it is easy to clean, sturdy, and he actually will sit on this one.  Elliott seams to like it because he can sit easily on it and not spray pee all over the place and he can empty to bowl into the big potty.  So, we have established a sitting only rule for the potty--and have had great success these last 2 days.  We have handed out many stickers and M and M's, cleaned up a few messes from diaper free time and my back is killing me from leaning over and squatting in the bathroom.  But, today he pooped in the potty for the first time; which I think took him by surprise because he looked totally shocked when he saw what was in the bowl.  And he seemed kinda nervous about what had just happened.  We also have taken him into public restrooms to pee yesterday and today and he seems fine with using public bathrooms.  Although I am still learning the best way to handle his penis spraying pee all of the place...All and all I think we are well on our way.

Nothing new to report on the pregnancy front--32 week appointment was uneventful.  Baby #2 is doing fine, he was head down yesterday as far as she could tell, his heart rate is normal.  In 2 weeks I go back and if the midwife isn't 100% certain of his position--she will do a quick ultrasound to confirm.  I told her that I was certain he can still move around as sometimes he has the hiccups and I can feel them in my ribs and sometimes  I feel them in my pelvis.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The emotionless pregnancy update

30 weeks down, working on 31 weeks.  Went to my midwife appointment today, where I learned that I was not immune to Chicken Pox any longer--so if you have it, or have been exposed to it, or Shingles-please stay away.  I need to be vaccinated again, but not until after I have the baby.  Sorry Mom, no contact till after this kid is born.

I am also slighly anemic.  Iron levels should be greater than 10, and mine are around 11.  She recommended taking a liquid Iron supplement that is easy on the tummy and doesn't cause additional constipation.  I will try eating more Iron Rich foods first since the supplement is $30 for a small bottle.  I do wonder if the slight anemia isn't the reason why I have fallen asleep reading my son books a couple of times.  I chalked it up to general pregnancy fatigue.

The kiddo is still in the breech position. We still have several weeks before any action needs to be taken or decisions made. But, I suspect that he will be staying in this spot.  Which, BTW, is painful.  Every time this kid moves it feels like my innards are going to be punctured.  I feel like he could just poke his foot out of my vagina (or worse, use your imagination)--it is that close and odd feeling.  And this kid moves ALL THE TIME.

I actually am having some real anxiety about the energy levels of this kid.  I keep hearing that children's behavior in utero is an indication of their energy levels later.  If that is the case, then I am in for a seriously HIGH energy child.  I know that I am being preemptive as well as paranoid.  But, Elliott was and still is a chill kiddo, and we are grateful each and every day for it.  The hubby and I joked (we don't joke any longer--now we look grim with despair) that our second kid would be a ball of energy coupled with an irrational/emotional streak.  More on that later of course.

Other than that, all is well.  According to the scale I didn't gain any weight.  But again, it was a different scale. I was able to get a flu shot, and the H1N1 vaccine will be available in October (for which I will qualify because I am prego).  Elliott is doing fantastic.  He is a wonderful person to be around, and I am trying to savor each day we get to spend with one another before our second son is born.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

28 weeks and counting

To add to my current list of anxiety and worry, I can now add a breech baby to my list.  Thank you Anon commenter--I know I should relax and enjoy and stress less -- you advice is well received and much appreciated!  I am doing much better at taking things in stride the last couple of weeks.  

I went to my 28 week Midwife appointment yesterday. On my list of things to discuss with her were my 2nd trimester bout of the blues, constipation, and when babies get into the head down position (34 weeks or so).

You see, I had a strong feeling in my stomach (pun intended) that this little guy was facing the wrong way.  She checked him, and he indeed is head up.  Of course, there is PLENTY of time for him to turn and face down.  But, from my day to day experiences with him--he seems to like being head up.  

This is one active baby though, and most days he is alert and moving like crazy from 4-11pm.  The midwife thought that perhaps the placental positioning was causing me to feel more movement that usual.  But, alas--its anterior which typically allows you to feel less movement.  

I am grateful that the wee one allows me to sleep very well, most nights I only wake to pee once.  My overall comfort level lately is good.  I attribute the additional comfort to the wide variety of yoga pants that I have recently acquired and wear on a daily basis without shame.  And the ever growing pillow palace I sleep with.  My back is starting to feel the pressure of the added weight, but I am hoping to continue to do Yoga and Stroller Strides to help alleviate my aches and pains.

I passed both of my glucose tests, so I can rest easy that I won't have to struggle with gestational diabetes.  The only test left is the Beta-Strep.  And now we move onto appointments every 2 weeks with the midwife.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

summiting K2--Elliott's 2nd dental visit

Today we took Elliott to his second dental appointment of his young life.  His first appointment was when he was 14 months old.  He didn't have any area's we were concerned about, but we do want him to become familiar with the experience and stave off any potential cavities.

We also have dental insurance that covers some of his visits, and found an incredible pediatric dentist. The office is designed for kids and adults alike.  There is a coffee machine in the waiting area with latte's and all the fixins.  There is a video game room, a TV area, and a play area for the little ones.  Very comfortable and relaxing.  

They give new patients an "I'm Special" sticker when they arrive.  They are very friendly and allow the children to get comfortable with the tools and office equipment before the dentist comes in.  They were careful to close the door when they heard other children crying.  The dentist himself took some time to talk with Elliott directly before starting the exam.  

Now the exam was something else all together for our wee lad.  He was hysterical for the 5 minutes it may have taken for the dentist to look at his teeth.  He was sweaty and stressed when it over.  He didn't want to look at or talk with the dentist for a full 10 minutes while he counseled us on good dental health, positive eating habits, and strongly advised us to kick the pacifier habit.  But, by the end, he said 'thank you' to the dentist and gave him a high five.  

He didn't notice any problem area's except for the front 2 upper teeth, which we admittedly have trouble brushing.  And the hygienist informed us that his upper lip was tightly affixed to the gums on the top and that may contribute to the challenge.  They recommended we floss the upper 2 teeth, but that a traditional cleaning wasn't needed as there was no plaque.

The dentist informed us that he had all 20 of his baby teeth (which was news to me--I thought we were still waiting for his big molars to come in).  Yes, I win the bad Mom award for the week.  Hmm, perhaps that was why he was so sensitive when I was in charge of brushing his teeth...  Now, I have a knot in my tummy for being not only a bad Mom, but an insensitive one as well.  Well, on the bright side we are done with teething!  Hooray for that.  

Elliott had a less severe but still valiant meltdown when the hygienist brushed and flossed his teeth.  But was much happier there as he got to pick out his tooth brush and a toy.  

The dentist offered some good advice that I wanted to share with you, dear internet.  We have tried just about everything we could to get Elliott to warm up to the idea of tooth brushing.  He would throw K2 size tantrums when it came time to brush.  We tried different locations to brush, letting him brush first, letting him brush our teeth, singing a song, silence during brushing, changing the time we brushed, getting new toothbrushes and toothpaste, letting him pick them out, a musical tooth brush, forcing him to brush through restraint, sticker charts (for many, many months), prizes for a completed sticker chart, stickers as rewards for brushing, and shamefully last: fear tactics of eminent cavities and threats of black teeth.  Did I mention education in there also?  We have several books about teeth, dental heath and good brushing habits.

So, the advice he gave was to sing the ABC's while brushing.  He said the song is familiar, it lasts the correct amount of time, and there is a known end every time.  He also suggested brushing with your child post-bath when they are the most relaxed and with them wrapped in a towel, so you can restrain their hands and arms.  Lastly he said to get them in the habit of laying down to brush since this is how they will examine him at the dentist's office.

All and in, he scored a 94% on his dental report card which is far better than either of his parents scored on their latest visits with the dentist and hygienist.   Next visit--6 months.   

Saturday, September 5, 2009

3rd trimester jitters

I have just been hit by the wave.  The wave of realization that I am now, today, in my third trimester.  I am 28 weeks pregnant and in just a few weeks (I am counting on only 10 more weeks--not a day longer), I will be holding my wonderful new son in my arms.  I am relying on the fact that Elliott was 10 days early, and the rate this one is growing and moving should bring him sooner rather than later as well.

The parenting part, while daunting in its uncertainty, doesn't worry me.  I know that things will work out as they should.  The gear planning part is what I  was initially worried about. When should I put the car seat in? When should I start washing and organizing his clothes. Should I buy diapers now or later? What should I do to prepare Elliott for his arrival? What about the dog and cat?

I am also worried about who will take care of Elliott when I go into labor, or worse if I end up having to have another C-section.  We don't have any family in San Diego, and my family rarely, if ever, comes to visit.  The closest family we have is 3 hours away.  What if I go into labor at night while he is sleeping--who do we call?

What do most people do in this situation?  I struggle with the issue of asking for help.  I have a large network of friends, but most have small children of their own, as well as careers to think about. I also have 2 friends that are pregnant at the same time as I am -- one is due 5 weeks before me and the other is due 5 weeks after.  I cant ask them--they have enough to worry about. I also wouldn't want to leave Elliott with someone he barely knows, particularly during such a transitory time in his life.

I have mentioned in previous posts how very small our house is.  Being just 2 bedrooms/1 bathroom and 1000 sq feet--having people stay here is a logistical challenge.  And this applies spatially as well as personally for me.  When there are things in my life that I can not control (a new baby, sleeplessness, a stir crazy toddler, things our of place, etc.), I struggle to ensure order around me-and that usually starts with my home. Often times this is an endless hopeless battle, but I still will try to fight it.

So many of the little details are now upon me.  I need to start making decisions, rather than just pondering the what if's.  Any suggestions or advice is welcome.  De-lurk and add a comment!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I do my worst parenting when pregnant

I have heard from several Mom’s who have multiple children (that is more than one child, not twins) that they did their worst parenting while they were pregnant.  And then I heard that the Duggar’s are expecting their 19th child as well as their 1st grandchild. 

I wonder sometimes why I can’t do it all, why I feel so overwhelmed.  And then I feel guilty because I can’t seem to hold it together.  I lose my temper so easily.  And then that leads me into wondering if I am trying hard enough to be a good person (insert wife, mom, friend as needed).  Am I weak?  Am I a slacker, a cop-out?  I become riddled with guilt if I allow my son to watch a video because I am just to exhausted to explain to him (over and over until a meltdown ensues) about why we limit TV time.  I spend the entire day beating myself up for being short with my hubby.  I curse my lack of self control when I eat yet another cookie instead of an apple.  It reminds me why I don’t ask for help more often.  I suck at being vulnerable. 

And in the next breath, I am happy again with myself.  I am forgiven.  I feel like in any given day I do accomplish a lot.  I am a good parent.  I remind myself that my son is joyful, polite, clean, and kind.  I am a good wife and caring friend.  My house is clean and organized.  Our bills are paid.  Everyone’s doctor and dental visits are scheduled and attended.  Baby #2 is growing, kicking like a pro-soccer player and healthy.  I forgive myself for allowing my raging hormones to get the best the of me.  I visit my due date calculator as affirmation that this emotional struggle won't last forever, there is an end in sight.

And then something else happens to set the roller coaster in motion again.  Wee, off we go again.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Striving for more or never satisfied?

It has been said, by several people including my husband and my best friend, that I am never satisfied.

I never took this as an insult.  In fact, I always approached it as a positive part of my personality.  I think that striving to be better, constantly wanting to improve on what you are, and working and looking towards future goals are all very admirable traits to possess.

I understand however that it isn't meant as a compliment.  What they are really saying is that I am never happy with what I have and I cant ever be satisfied or appreciate the present.  I am unable to stop, and be thankful.  I can rarely be present because I am too busy looking ahead. I focus on what still needs to be done and not what has already been accomplished.

There are several parts about this situation that are difficult to address. The first is the basic differences in world views.  How do you resolve something so ingrained in your personality with your spouse or loved ones? Being raised with HUGELY different parenting styles we both have traits and characteristics that compliment one another and also challenge one another.

My MIL is a role model for positive behavior.  She has a knack for speaking only positive things, for making the best of each situation and for never vocalizing the negative.   While it is often difficult to know how she really feels about something-it is very enjoyable and pleasant to spend time with her.  My Mother on the other hand, has a special ability to be honest and forthcoming.  She always speaks her mind and you know where you stand with her.  She doesn't often take things personally and has a tough skin.  Of course, her honesty is one sided, and can often hurt those who are more sensitive than she is.

So when resolving a marital issue--do you ask the other person to change (assuming that a person can change) and moreover is it fair to even ask them to?  Do you accept this as part of their personality or do you work towards a common goal or compromise and if so, how and what?

Is this simply about perspective which can be resolved with a word choice. Is this about manipulating the words to affect the desired result.  When you are comfortable speaking your mind, is it worth taking the few extra moments to pause and think about what you are going to say and how it will perceived; and potentially alter the phrasing.  Or is that compromising your true self to satisfy others who have more fragile personalities.

In disagreements where both sides feel they are justified --  who is 'right' and how do you decide?

All of these are subjective, I know.  Each relationship is unique and one can not possibly advise on how to resolve a situation like this for another person.  I realize that I am asking questions that can not be answered by any another except the parties involved.

I also realize that when our words are hurting people we love, regardless of how or why, that we need to alter the phrasing and delivery.

So, what I am asking is that you provide suggestions for how you 'make the best' of situations even if they aren't going as planned.  How do you see and vocalize the positive when the first thing you see is what is wrong, not what is right?  How do you keep your mouth shut when something goes wrong, and look on the bright side?  Is there a way to offer suggestions without sounding like you are criticizing the progress.  For the ladies--how do you power through hormonal periods of your life and still remain positive and upbeat?

I hope that like parenting, if my arsenal is full of suggestions and ideas, then I can be better prepared to handle the pitfalls challenges when they arise.    Being prepared is a good place to start.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wheat Intolerance

I subject myself to torture.

On purpose.

Every few days.

It could easily be avoided, but I lack the self control to get a handle on it.

I have a wheat intolerance that causes severe abdominal cramps, pain that causes me to double over, and gas. Oh, and if that wasn't enough add in chronic constipation, heartburn, and bloating. Couple these with pregnancy and you have a recipe for a very grumpy human being.

Yet I still eat wheat knowing full well that I will be in pain as soon as the food hits my lower intestines. I suspect that because the reaction is delayed that I tend to 'overlook' it in favor of the instant gratification of the flavor on my tongue. I have compared my 'problem' to drinking too much, having a horrible hangover the next day, swearing you will never drink again, and then doing it all over-again and again. The cycle of self-abuse (is there such a thing?).

The short story is that I have always had digestive issues. Since I was in grade school, I have suffered from unexplained tummy aches, constipation, and overall intestinal distress. When I started college however is when it really seemed to spike out of control--I was often in constant pain.

I saw a doctor on campus who said I had IBS, and put me on meds to help regulate the peristalsis of my intestines. It helped with the constipation, but not the with the pain or other symptoms.

Then, about 4 years ago, I met Elizabeth. We were coworkers and friends and she convinced me to try giving up gluten. I gave it a try and after just 4 days I was totally pain free. After having abdominal pain most days for decades I couldn't believe how great I felt. I remember it like it was yesterday--feeling healthy and pain free for the first time.

So, why do I still eat wheat products--here are a few examples: bread, rolls, pasta, pastries, bagels, crackers, cookies, cake, baked goods, brownies (my personal favorite), Golden Grahams cereal, graham crackers, most cereals and cereal bars, soy sauce, pita bread, couscous, licorice, many candy bars and some ice cream...wheat flour is in practically every prepared food on the market.

I cook at home with frequency which helps to curb my appetite for these forbidden things. But, what about when I travel, or when I am not at home, or when we eat at someone else's home? Yes, I need to plan more. Yes, I need to have more self control. Yes, I need to be more prepared when I leave the house to resist the temptation.

But what I really want right now is for my tummy to stop hurting from the french roll I ate at lunch.

If you are curious about wheat or gluten intolerance, or want to find some great wheat and gluten free recipes look here, and here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Let's practice letting go, shall well?

Weakness and vulnerability have never been easy for me. I have often been called fiercely independent. This has worked in my favor for most of life; having left home when I was 14 years old, a girl needs to be strong. When I met my husband we clicked partly because we are both extremely independent and strong willed.

The down side of being uber independent is that any perceived weakness feels like I am open to vulnerability and I get protective over that space. Being vulnerable for me has always been a perceived weakness. Can you see where this is going...? Upon meeting the hubby though, he convinced me that allowing yourself to be emotionally vulnerable opened you up to people. These here blog entries have allowed me to be emotionally vulnerable without feeling weak or defensive. They have also allowed me to become more in touch with my feelings and have an easier time identifying them and sharing them.

What I wasn’t prepared for however, was my third trimester of pregnancy. I am actually only 24 weeks along and technically at the tail end of my second trimester, but I feel huge and my mobility and energy is becoming more limited. This decrease is physical abilities is tough for me. I don’t remember feeling this way the first time around, perhaps because I was working, and not chasing after a 25 month old. We had both a housekeeper and a gardener and our financial resources we far superior to now so we were eating out with frequency.

Whatever the reason, I am very touchy and sensitive about ‘keeping it together’ and ‘getting everything done’. Basically, I need to still be able to ‘do it all’ or I start to feel weak. And the cascade of emotions that occur if I feel like I am slipping or anyone critiques (perceived or real) my abilities…well, it is all over.

So, in preparation for baby#2 I am going to again practice letting go. Letting go of control, letting go of my obsessive need for order and balance, and letting go of my wretched need to ‘do it all’. Like all things that involve me and control—the best of luck.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Welcome to the family Ode!

I am feeling much better about myself these days. I am sorry to have left such a dreary, negative post up for so long. The past three weeks have been action packed.

Three weeks ago today, I was rear-ended. After work the hubby met Elliott and I for dinner. And after dinner, Elliott wanted to ride home with his Dad. The freeway was packed from commuter traffic ( we went to an early dinner and were done around 5:45pm), so I decided to take side streets home and Jeff followed me. Jeff drives faster than I do, and he ended up passing me before the lanes merged into one. We both stopped at a light to turn right, and he went, and I waited for on coming traffic to turn. As I eased out into the intersection to prepare for my turn, the gal behind me slammed into me.

We both pulled over, exchanged info professionally and politely, and went on our way. Neither of us was hurt and both of our vehicles were drivable. I have never been in an auto accident, or had so much as a ticket so I had no idea what was in store for me regarding insurance, etc. But, since my car was banged up badly, I filed a claim. The other gals insurance took 100% liability and cut me a check for $3200.

After doing some research and talking with several people and body shops--we decided to sell my car 'as is' and buy another vehicle. The timing for all of this was perfect since our Credit Union approved us for an auto loan on line and they were having a used car auto event that next week. I did some looking around at dealers, CarMax, Autotrader, etc. and then we went to the event. I was set on a Toyota Highlander that I found on line, but we walked out with a Honda Odyssey. Which was my husbands suggestion and preference.

It took a few weeks to get used to the fact that I now drive a mini-van, so after getting over the initial stigma I can say with confidence that I love the vehicle. It has all of the bells and whistles that we need for our growing family, and it gets the same gas mileage as my VW. I think that it actually makes me a safer driver too. I feel more parental and more responsible when I am driving the mini-van-therefore I drive slower and more cautiously.

The best part is that I put the VW up for sale on Friday, and sold it Sunday afternoon! I was saddened to see it go, since we have been together for 6 years. But, it went to a good home and the gal who bought it needed a car ASAP as she was in a car accident that totaled her car.

From a budgeting perspective we have no business adding a car payment to our tally. However, we put all of the insurance payout and the VW's sale towards Ode (my new car's name) and hope to pay it off as soon as possible. Neither of us like to have debt and work hard to payoff loans ASAP.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

20 week check up

I feel depressed and ugly.

I feel like shit about myself.

And my self esteem is in the toilet.

Yesterday was my 20 week appointment, and instead of being excited about my baby being healthy and hearing his heartbeat. I feel this way instead. I am selfish and self-absorbed.

The nurse who weighed me wrote my weight down as 10 pounds less than it actually was. I asked the midwife, and she was like, oh I thought you lost a pound. I said, crap...that means I actually gained 9 pounds, and she was like, uh-huh.

Granted, I weighed in on a different scale than I have been. And i had just eaten at Soup Plantation. But, come on... I thought I was eating well, with some small exceptions.

Except that my clothes are all fitting tight, especially in the legs and bum. Not in the belly where the weight should be accumulating.

I feel especially self conscious because I am close friends with 2 prego gals who both look great. And when I go to my Stroller Strides group, there are 3 more prego gals who look awesome. And then all of the postpartum moms who have rockin bods...

Ok, my bitch fest is over. Now, I am off to work out and hopefully feel better.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Digger Party

On his actual birthday, thanks Grandma!

Elliott and I before the festivities began.

Singing time!

Dad and Elliott in the pool

What a wonderful weekend, filled with family, love, and relaxation. Oh, and lots of diggers and construction trucks.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

16 week check-up and related rants

Yesterday was my 16 week Midwife appointment. Not much to report really-the baby is growing, the heart rate is normal, I feel good.

The only downsides were that since my last visit I gained 8 lbs and there was blood in my urine. If my blood pressure was elevated, it could be an early sign of pre-eclampsia, but since my BP was 100/50 it is likely an a-symptomatic UTI. They will send the urine to the lab, and have results back on Friday. If I have a UTI, its a 7 or 10 day cycle of antibiotics and then back to normal.

As for the weight gain...well, I didn't want to gain 8 pounds in 5 weeks. But, it was not really a surprise given the amount of food I have been eating. Since the morning sickness has subsided I have been eating a more diverse list of foods (including sweets, which made me sick during the first trimester). This seems typical for this stage of my pregnancy, given the weight gain at a similar time the last go round.

On a separate but similar note, UCSD Medical Center has left a bad taste in my mouth after our horrible experience in the ER with Elliott 2 weeks ago. I didn't write about it, because I was so traumatized about the event that I really just wanted it to disappear from my memory. It has not disappeared, and inversely has become poisonous and is tainting my feelings about the care I receive. I wrote a letter identifying my reasons for feeling this way and sent it to UCSD, but have yet to hear anything. If I wasn't already in my second trimester, I would consider switching hospitals.

As it stands now, I am going to attempt to switch from Hillcrest to La Jolla. The facilities in La Jolla are newer and more up to date. The people are friendlier and appear more sanitary (both the staff and the patients) and it is only 10 minutes farther for us to drive. Plus, the couple times I have been there so far were WAY better than Hillcrest.

Oh, and did I mention that we changed insurance earlier this year? We were on an HMO plan for the last 6 years that was great. But, with the new plans being offered we had to choose a PPO as they were the only plan that accepted UCSD. I have never been on a PPO plan, but our CPA/Tax Planner gave us a fancy spreadsheet that demonstrated the company and personal savings we would encounter if we switched to the PPO. The PPO plan comes with an HSA account, and we are dumping the monthly cost savings from the old HMO plan into the new HSA account. All was fine until I realized that maternity care wasn't covered until we reach our deductible (which BTW is $6000!!!!). I clearly should have taken more time to read and research this decision. I feel jilted.

Oh, and throw in an ER visit and a couple of X-rays for Elliott when he fell off the curb and couldn't walk for 2 days and, well...we should be reaching our deductible soon (very soon). Just the preliminary blood tests alone from my first Midwife visit were $2000 (and that already includes the preferred discount). I had an Ultrasound for dating (purely elective on my part) and it cost $900, and the US tech was a cold hearted bitch with zero bedside manner. Add all of this in with my negative feelings towards UCSD and to the HUGE amount of money we will be paying out of pocket (for horrible care) and I am left feeling bitter and nervous.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Where are we going, dear readers?

My reasons for blogging have changed a lot over the last several years, and that has left me confused with where to take this blog.

I formerly shared deep, dark secrets and feelings knowing that no one was reading. And moreover, not really minding if people I knew were reading. However, more so lately, I have become more coveted about my inner most feelings. I often sit down to write and think about my readers (hi friends and family!), and how what I say could impact them. My former candor has taken a backseat to other peoples feelings and perceptions.

Now, this is a double edged sword. It is certainly a benefit for me to be thinking of other people's feelings, when I so often have been tagged as selfish. On the other side, it limits the amount of freedom I have when it comes to raw self expression.

I also understand that not everything is designed to be shared, particularly on the world wide web. There is no privacy when you publish your inner most details on the Internet. There is occasionally, ever danger or risk.

However, I feel lonely not sharing my feelings...even if it is solely with the abyss that is the web and the few who dare to post comments. A determination has not been made on how to proceed. But, I will certainly continue to post updates and family details as they transpire, but the diary-like nature may change for the conservative.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Race Log

During my bout with insomnia the other night, I thought a valid use of my time would be to write down the running races that I have participated in over the last several years.

I did the best I could trying to recount the names and years, but I am certain to have left something out (it was 3 o'clock in the mornin' after all). I used the bibs from the races, the medals and my running logs for years past. This is certainly one for my record book more than for any one's enjoyment. But, should you enjoy it...well, then, we have a win-win.

Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot (2002)
Simi Valley Days 10K Charity Run (2002)
The Great Pumpkin Run 5k (2002)
Universal Studio's Backlot 10k (2002)
Santa Barbara News Press 1/2 Marathon (2002 and 2004)
Morgan Stanley Lake Tahoe 10K (2003)
Race for Literacy 8k (2003)
Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon (2003 and 2004)
San Diego Marathon 26.2 miles (2004)
Coronado Independence Day 15K (2004)
Liberty Run/Walk 5K (2004)
Agoura Great Race 5K (2004)
AFC 1/2 Marathon (2005)
Palos Verdes 1/2 marathon (2005)
Camp Pendleton ASYMCA Mud Run 10K (2006 and 2007)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

14 week update

Now that my morning sickness is gone (for the most part), this pregnancy seems to be moving along pretty quickly!  I have now moved on to new aches and pains--the heart burn has begun, but only at night.  I have had one sleepless night due to restless leg syndrome.  I am exhausted most days--not tired, but just fatigued.  And, the worst new complaint is I feel like my back is going to give out.  It is twinge-y (is that a word?) and aches day and night.  I know that this is likely due to the baby pushing on my lower back and pelvis.  But, sheesh, already--enough.

I haven't mentioned Elliott or given any status updates on his amazing development in a LONG time. There is so much to share.  He is talking like crazy, 4 and 5 letter sentences, using I and me when he speaks about himself.  He talks about things he sees, what he wants, and makes solid decisive decisions when given a couple of options.  He knows his ABC's- both the song and he can identify most letters by sight.  He can do the same for numbers up to 10.  And can count forward and backward.  This kid has the most amazing memory for people's names.

He fell off of a small curb in Balboa Park a few weeks ago and couldn't stand on his foot or walk. So, I took him to the doctor and she wanted him to get a couple of X-rays.  We went to the X-ray place, and because I am pregnant I couldn't go in with him.  I told him the tech's name (Bryant), and said he would take good care of him and I stepped outside of the door.  The process lasted only a few minutes and then we were on our way.  I reminded Elliott to say Thank You and Bye Bye.  So, he says, "Bye Bye Bryant" and waves as we are leaving.  My mouth dropped to the floor.  This is just one short term example of this kids memory.  Amazing.   He didn't break any bones and was back walking in a couple of days, although tentatively.

Over the last few months Elliott has grown into a little boy.  All of his 18 and 24 month clothes are too small and even some of his 2T clothes are too little for his long torso.  For the first time since his birth I had to purchase clothes for him out of necessity and not desire.  

I want to post more, but I just heard my sweet boy squawk letting me know his is awake from his nap.  So, off I go to guy help my little practice the potty.  I love you my sweet, sensitive boy.  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nuchal Translucency Screening

Yesterday was our Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound. We weren't offered this test the first time around, and they explained that this test was newer and because I will be greater than 35 when I deliver, I am at an increased risk for having a child with Down Syndrome.

The test is put under the big header of the AFP test, but it is really 4 tests and they called it a
Quad Screening.  It involves 2 blood draws at different stages in the pregnancy, and an Ultrasound.  Then they combine all of the results together to give you the odds of having a baby with a life threatening disease.  The test is a screening test, but if the odds are high enough, you can opt for an Amnio to make a firm determination.

The US was exciting for me, even though they were looking for something serious.  The baby wasn't cooperating and it took them a LONG time to measure the nuchal fold.  But, that gave me more time to gaze at my baby on the screen.  The babe was moving around a ton, turning and moving its arms and legs.  It was very exciting to see.

I tried to talk the technician into telling me the sex, but she said she couldn't tell...and she said she doesn't like to be wrong.   So, we will wait another 6 or 8 weeks until we can find out.

The baby is measuring exactly on schedule.  All tests were negative so far (CF, Tay-Sachs, etc.), and our odds were so slim that the perinatolgist said not to worry at all.  

Our next appointment isn't for a few weeks, so I can relax and enjoying my growing belly for a bit.  

So long sickness

Last Friday I felt horrible. I felt the worst that I had felt since my Morning Sickness started. It started around 3pm and continued even as I slept. I woke in the middle of the night, and I was nauseous beyond belief.

Then on Friday morning, I felt better. Saturday no morning sickness, Sunday the same. And since last week I have been feeling better and better. I was hesitant at first to say that the phase was over. But, it has been a week and while I still have a twinge of nausea, I feel vastly improved. I think that Thursday was the final hormone surge before tapering off.

The sweet, metallic, hyper saliva phase is almost over also (I was beginning to wonder if that would last my entire pregnancy). I still get a yuck-o taste in my mouth if I eat dairy products, yogurt in particular, but it's minute.

My patience level is better as well. I haven't been losing my tempter as much with Elliott, and in turn he has been behaving better. It is incredible how much children can perceive from their environment.

With the loss of the morning sickness I have gained an overall feeling of fatigue. One where no matter how much sleep or rest I get I still feel tired. Most days I can power through and just get things done. But, some days it is exhausting.

I feel very happy and finally feel at peace with being pregnant. With both pregnancies it seems to have taken me about until the 12th week to get used to the idea that I am knocked up.

My appetite is still strong, but the ravenous hunger I was experiencing has mellowed out as well. At my last appointment I had only gained 1 pound so far. I suspect she is calculating wrong, but I wasnt going to tell her.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Body Image Issues-- rediscovered

I have spent my entire life trying to manage my weight.  Diet drugs when I was younger, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, exercise, and fad diets.  It wasn't until shortly before I was pregnant with Elliott that I learned how much food and how much exercise I needed to maintain my ideal weight.  I was finally free of the emotional/boredom eating roller coaster.  

When I got pregnant with Elliott I had morning sickness BAD.  Except that unlike most folks where nausea makes them avoid food--it did the opposite for me.  I ate as if every meal was my last.  I also felt hungry more often than before and I felt like a bottomless pit-never satiated. Food was constantly on my mind and I while I felt guilty for indulging, I also couldn't help myself.  

When I got married in 2005, I was at my heaviest weight to date--185 lbs approx.  I was also running with frequency, going to a personal trainer 3 mornings a week, but eating out most nights and consuming a fair amount of alcoholic beverages.  When I found out I was pregnant with Elliott 1.5 years later I was down to 165lbs.  It was my lowest *natural weight since High School.  And I say *natural because during the fen-phen (or was it phen-fen?) glory days, I was down to 145lbs.  But, that was drug induced.

After 9 months of pregnancy bliss, I had gained about 55 lbs.  I cant even write the number it is so embarrassing for me.  But, you are smart, do the math.  When I left the hospital after my C-Section, and delivering an 8 lb baby--I had only lost 6 lbs.  I was hugely bloated and swollen. 

Over the next several months to a year, I lost all the weight I had gained and then some.  I was down to a very happy 155 lbs.  I suspect that anxiety, breastfeeding, and a new lifestyle helped me shed all my pregnancy weight.  

I was able to keep it off for a bit, but when I lost my job in November and then the holidays came around...well, I gained a few pounds back--6 or so.  Then over the next few months I gained a couple more as I adjusted to being home full time.  And well, then I discovered I was pregnant again.   Which is ironic since I was exactly the same weight that I was when I got pregnant the first time.

You may be wondering why I just disclosed my weight loss and gain yo-yo.  You may be thinking, isn't this type of thing you are supposed to keep to yourself?  Well, I want to be up front (mostly to myself and so when I look back I have it in writing) about the fact that I am likely going to gain a substantial amount of weight while pregnant.  But, hopefully, I will again be able to lose it like I did the first time around.  This is my mental prep for coming to terms with my new body.

I have already gained 5 lbs and I am only 11 weeks.  I am listening to my body, and it is saying I am hungry--so I eat.  The kicker is that I am choosing foods that are not the best for my body or my growing baby.  I know this in my head, but I cant reason with my hormones--they always win.  

And so it begins again...the power struggle.  The best thing for me to do is just let go and hope that it turns out the way it should.  Wish me luck.  

**the photo is at 11 weeks pregnant

Saturday, April 25, 2009

1st Trimester times two

I haven't been writing much lately.  I have been trying to keep my head above water with parenting combined with morning sickness, coupled with fatigue.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for parents of multiple children.  

All in all, I feel far better than I did the first go round.  Most days I wake up feeling good, and as the day progresses I start to feel worse.  By the time evening rolls around I am wishing to be horizontal.

You always hear people say how each of their pregnancies are different.  But, for me, until I experience something I can't relate.  Well, I am here to report that this pregnancy is very different from my first one.  I know that each pregnancy is different, but there are some glaring differences for me.  With Elliott I had heartburn every day--I ate thousands of tums throughout the months.  Post-pregnancy, I could barely eat a tum without gaging.  But, this time around I hardly have any heartburn at all.  With Elliott I had to avoid juice, carbonated beverages, spicy foods, coffee, even the smell of red wine--however, not this time around.  I feel like I can eat whatever and not have to worry about getting heartburn.

I am also not yet experiencing the constipation I did the first time.  I suspect it is because I opted out of the pre-natal vitamins.  Instead I am taking the gummi-vites that Trader Joes sells. They seem much easier to digest and my system tolerates them better.

The morning sickness, while present, is NOTHING like it was with Elliott.  It is manageable, and not ruining my life.  My appetite is also different.  I felt insatiably hungry with Elliott, and this time around I feel particularly hungry. The difference is with Elliott I ate everything I could get my hands on, and this time around I want specific things.  

I also feel like I am showing already (picture soon!)--I can still fit into my jeans but I cant button most of them comfortably. I have been slowing acquiring back all of my loaned maternity clothes and anticipate needing them sooner this time around.  Although, I am going to wear regular clothes as long as possible!!!

We are very excited about this baby, but in a vastly different way than we were with Elliott. This time around we have an idea of what to expect, and aren't as worried.  Perhaps the reduced anxiety had allowed me to feel better this time around?  Thoughts, feedback?