Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Remember, Mom

In the past week or so I've had to say that to myself a lot.  I now realize how much I'd forgotten about Bryton's 'training' process, that now makes him such an easy kid.  Granted, he's not potty trained yet, and he's not sleeping in his toddler bed (which we've not even initiated that yet), but he's SO easy to put to bed, to play independently, etc. 
Getting back into the bouncing, patting, shhshing, swaying thing has my back tired (it's amazingly how familiar that pain is now that it's back) and my mind racing (as I really don't want to start any 'bad' habits now that have to be broken later... really want to get this sleeping thing figured out before 8 months this time, all while trying to get sleep myself and make all of the right decisions as far as formula, naptime lengths, waketime lengths, bathing, etc.  Everything seems so 'new' again, yet so familiar at the same time.  It's really confusing.)
Which makes me have to say this to myself daily:
  • Remember, mom, formula only lasts 12 months, one down, 11 to go... and see how fast the first one went?
  • Remember, mom, kids do sleep through the night, eventually, regardless of what you do to 'train' them.  Bryton was swaddled, bounced, patted, paci'd and everything else in the book before you could ever just lay him down.  You're starting sooner with this one... that in itself is a good step. 
  • Remember, mom, how much you missed the gummy grins and the opportunity just to hold Bryton before he ran off?  You have that again... savor it while it's there. 
  • Remember, mom, the stress of all of the decisions just left you with stress.  Sure you made some good ones and some not so good ones with Bryton, but really, what sticks out in your mind that you really regret?  Exactly.  Trying a new formula and how to best soothe Ansley will one day just be decisions that you made... period.
  • Remember, mom, these moments really do come and go more quickly than anyone can ever imagine... even those of us who have been through them before.  I think that's why God gives us so many sleepless nights with babies... the time is so short before they get big, that He knew that we'd want as many memories with them at that age as possible... so when you are frustrated, try to enjoy it... It's really not like this for long...
  • Remember, mom, a year from now this little girl will be walking and playing and starting to talk.  You'll miss this then. 
  • Remember, mom, you know her better than anyone else on this planet.  You carried her, got her here, and spend more time with her than anyone else.  God has equipped you for all of this decision making... mom really does know best, stick to your gut. 
  • Remember, mom, don't forget dad.  You're more tired than ever... and at times more frustrated, but so is he... and he still needs you. 
  • Remember, mom, she really won't be eating steak one day and spitting up at the table.  This too shall pass. 
  • Remember, mom, in the haze of your exhaustion, that this is the beginning of your little girl... and you'll never get this back... 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Good Ole Days

These are those.  You know, the good ole days?  The days you hear people talk about when they are normally referring to high school.  (You all have heard my spill on that before.  Throw your family under the bus, why don't you?  Unless, of course, you married your High School sweetheart, then you are allowed to include high school in your good ole days.  Anyway...) I'm plenty glad to be out of high school... and plenty glad to be enjoying my life with my family. 

And Skate Zone - is ultimately - where my family started.  Sad, isn't it? :)  Back in high school (still not my 'good ole days') a good mutual friend introduced Aaron and I.  Fast forward through some church specials and a Florida mission trip, and Aaron and I were ICQing quite a bit.  (Yep, all of you youth kids have no idea what that even is.)  There was never 'that' kind of connection in the early years of our friendship.  In fact, he moved from friend, to employer, to youth pastor fairly quickly.  So - with 'employer' being mentioned... Aaron and I spent a lot of time at good ole Skate Zone. 

There is SO much I remember from that place:

I remember Aaron and Lance taping me to the pole in the middle of the skating floor.

I remember hanging out with Rachel, and the guys playing washers in the aisle. 

I remember watching hockey, and then attempting to play hockey.

I remember the cherry vanilla fruitopias we sold... *cough cough* stole... before we went swimming at the Morris'.

I remember Carrie B. getting down to 'Wobble wobble, shaky shaky' :)

And stealing Aaron's Chinese food from his office.

I remember Jason Reid jumping the skate counter. 

And late night trips to Steak n Shake after work.

I can remember the way it smelled, the games we played, how my work shirt 'fit', and the combination to the moneybox.  (Duh, that one's easy.)

And trolli burgers / dogs... yeah, Aaron just bought those for us.

I can even hear the 'tap tap tapping' of quarters on the snack bar counter and the squealing of Zeke's boxing glove before it went bouncing across the rink with Zeke scooting after it trying to stop on the floor.  

We had the best dj's ever - Mabel, Radar, Aaron.

Then I can remember Aaron skating with Jayden when he was little bitty, shooting pucks into little bitty goals.  I can remember watching Aaron during sessions trying to teach someone to skate, or, at the beginning, helping me skate.  (What a great excuse to hold his hand ;)

And then we blinked, the rink got yanked from under him (turned out to be a God thing), we were married, and now we have two kids.  (It really just happened that fast!) 

And Tuesday we had the opportunity to take our first born skating, in that same rink, for the first time. 

Now I must say - for me to have not been hormonal at all during or after my pregnancy with Bryton - I've been completely the opposite with Ansley.   The only saving grace has been that I realize how emotional I've been.  That being said, even just walking in the door and smelling the familiar smell, but the feel being so 'different' brought tears to my eyes.  Even the 'creak' of the door felt familiar.  It was a 'good' familiar. 

So walking up to the skate counter, getting Bryton skates, and putting them on my son's feet to go skate with his daddy was kind of a wonderfully bitter sweet moment. 

I'm thankful for the reminder of my and Aaron's 'beginning'.  I'm glad the carpet and the back wall are the same.  I'm thankful, even, for the smell being the same.  I'm thankful for some of the same games played, for some of the same music played, etc. 

But more than anything, I'm thankful for the little boy that got to skate with the same person who was the reason that I loved the rink, and even more thankful that person happens to be his daddy. 

Sure - those were the 'good ole days', because they led me to these days... the days of interrupted sleep, strict budgets, and just the greatest blessings God has ever given.  These are the great days...

For that reason, Skate Zone will always have a special place in my heart. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pray for Wyatt William!

Hello blog readers!  Today is a special post that I hope you all will lend your hearts and ears to.  This particular blog post is a plea for prayer for a friend of mine and her little boy.  In an effort to get it all right, I'm copying and pasting her own words for you to read. 

If you conduct your own blog I'd ask that you would copy and paste this into your own blog today, as Wyatt William has a big day and a big doctor's appointment tomorrow.  My friend Rachel is asking for all of the prayers she can get! 

From Rachel:

On March 4, 2011 while teaching a 4th grade social studies class I received a phone call from my mother saying that 911 had just been called for my 16 month old little boy, Wyatt William. He was seizing and had stopped breathing. She wasn’t really sure what had happened. The 20 minute drive to the hospital seemed like an eternity. I kept imagining that I would get there and this would all be a big mistake. It would be someone else’s Wyatt or he would have just been teasing and acting silly. I would get to the hospital and everything would be just fine. But instead, I ran into an emergency triage room where my little boy was unconscious on a bed. He had tubes and needles and oxygen attached to him. He was only wearing a diaper and an arm band. I have never been so scared in my life. My husband was already there holding Wyatt’s little hand and looked terrified. After hours of assessment and tests and waiting it was ruled that my son had a febrile, or fever induced, seizure. Because we live in a small, rural town in Southern Illinois, we were sent to St. Louis Chidren’s Hospital to have Wyatt evaluated by a neurologist and monitored overnight.

Everything seemed fine, even the neurologist thought so. She said this is actually more common than we realize and that it most likely wouldn’t ever happen again. She reassured me that febrile seizures only looked scary but that they didn’t cause any type of long term damage. We were happy, the doctors were happy. They moved us out of our room to do the whole discharge thing and then, it happened. Three doctors, one of which was our neurologist, approached us and directed us to a private, single room. They were dressed in NICU attire as I call it…gloves, yellow coats, masks…we were scared. They told us that the last blood test has come back and that what they had originally thought was a lab error turned out to be confirmed. My son, my 16 month old perfect little boy had no neutrophils. Now, if you are like me, I had never even heard the word neutrophil before that minute but it turns out those little guys are pretty important seeing as how they make up more than half of our immune systems. A healthy person has no less than 1,500 of them. In a matter of 5 minutes, our lives were flipped upside down. Because his white count was so low, we would be staying in the hospital on total isolation. We could not leave our room. And, because his white count was so low they were looking at a few of different things…anything from a simple viral infection to leukemia. Seriously? All I kept thinking was, “Did they just say that? Did they just tell me that my son, this precious little boy whom I had grown in my body, might have cancer?” I was sick. I was in shock. The days that have followed have been a nightmare. We were eventually discharged with strict orders of isolation. Wyatt can’t have any visitors. And for doctor visits or blood draws, he has to ‘suit up’ in his gloves, coat and mask. His twin sister, Paisley is pretty jealous. We have to let her have a mask, too to keep the calm in our house at this point. We have been praying feverently and hoping that Wyatt’s white blood count and neutrophils would go up but to no avail. He has gotten up to 200 and then bounced around back to 84 I think was the lowest. The fact that his numbers aren’t getting back to normal really has the doctors concerned. And us, too. We feel afraid. We feel helpless.

Now during our time of need, we are calling all our friends and family, all Christians really to pray with us during this rough patch. We are praying for Wyatt to be touched by the hand of our Almighty God and to be healed. God made his perfect little body and he has the power to heal him and make him whole once again. There is nothing too big for our Lord to fix. I ask you please, dear friends, join my husband Will, my daughter Paisley and I as we pray for good news for Wyatt as we meet with the Hematologist/Oncologist at St. Louis Children’s this Friday. Please pray Wyatt’s full recovery, for answers and for peace. Please pray that it is the Lord’s will that Wyatt does not have cancer in his little body, of any form. Please pray for the healing of my entire family. Pray that the Lord will show us all a miracle very soon, through Wyatt. Thank you in advance friends for taking the time to pray for my family, for my son. May the Lord bless us, each and every one. I pray that very soon I will have a testimony of God’s unyielding mercy to share with you all. I pray that I will be able to share the story of a true miracle.

Thank you, for everything.


Again, please copy and paste into your own blogs or relay this information on to your prayer warriors.  All of the prayers are greatly appreciated!  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Can't Believe the Similarities

Ok - so ever since the hospital put us in birthing room 2, the birthing room that Bryton was born in, to deliver Ansley, we've been finding crazy similarities about their births, etc.  So, we just have to share a few:
  • Both were born in birthing room 2 at the same hospital.
  • Both were born on the 3rd day of the month in which they were born. 
  • Bryton's birthday is 11/3/(08) - Ansley's is 3/3/11.
  • Bryton's birthday is within a week of another family member's, so is Ansley's.
And the one we just realized...
  • Bryton's birthday is within days of the end of daylight savings time, Ansley's is within days of the beginning of daylight savings time.
I don't think we could have planned those things if we wanted to!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Trauma for the Momma

Okay - another thing this mom has completely blocked out of her mind with Bryton:  the belly button.  And to be honest, now that I've remembered that I don't remember it, I still can't collect it.  I remember that it fell off (which I remember only because of it's current absence) and that he had one at one time (I have pictures to prove it.)  The caring for it and the event of it actually falling off I must have mentally blocked out due to absolute trauma and worry.
Now I'm being forced to relive this event I don't even remember.  Ansley's umbilical cord stump caused for my first traumatic event yesterday.  (Okay, traumatic may be a little bit of an exaggeration, but you must keep in mind that I'm still hormonal and you get very concerned with little things when your kids are little.)
It all started in the morning when Ansley woke up.  Picking her up I could smell her and thought, "Yay, she pooped!"  (Which she's not been doing much of lately.)  When I got into her clothing I realized she had a lot blood on the inside of her sleeper, and she had no dirty diaper.  The smell was coming from her cord and on moving her cord just slightly I could see very pink and fleshy skin underneath.  More like the appearance of an organ sticking out. 
So once I regained some clarity (and apologized to Ansley 100 times - I must be at fault for this somehow) I called the Dr.'s office.  On describing it they said it sounded pretty normal and to just wait until our appointment that was scheduled for today to have the doctor look at it.
Then she napped, woke up again, more blood, worse smell, and more of that fleshy organy looking area.  I called back and was on my way down to the doctor's office in 15 minutes, thinking to myself as I'm driving, "I've ruined her, she's going to have to have surgery, she has to be in so much pain (though she was snoozing away in the backseat), and she'll never look normal."  (Remember the hormones?  Ah hem.)
Long story short, the doctor assured me that her cord was not only fine but probably just days away from falling off (which I admit will be a traumatic event for me anyway - this whole thing kind of creeps me out anyway).  Apparently this fleshy organy appearance is normal and the smell is too as long as it's not accompanied by puss and fever, neither of which she has. 
No wonder my mind blocked this out.  I worried about her cord all night last night after the Dr. assured me it was okay.  Can't imagine how much I freaked with Bryton.  Apparently it's more traumatic that child birth because my mind won't let me recall it. 
I know this too shall pass, and she'll have that cute little belly button soon, so as proof of her 'newness' and the last little connection to me, I'll appreciate this with the rest. 


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The 2nd Time Around

Remembering back to when Bryton was born, I can recall having this overwhelming sense of joy.  The details I remember from that time period are so very vivid that they rival only those surrounding the 'newlywededness" Aaron and I shared many years ago. 

I can remember how our apartment smelled when you opened the door, exactly where Bryton's bouncy sat in our bedroom.  I can remember the sound of his cry the entire time I showered, every day of my life, for probably the first 6 months.  I can remember the glow of the Christmas tree in the corner, and the bask of light that illuminated his face from the star on his playmat.  I can even remember the feel of the carpet under my feet when I walked back and forth and back and forth from his room in the middle of the night. 

But there were so many things I had forgotten... until now. 

Ansley's arrival has brought back floods of memories of my first baby that my mind had forgotten or stored away in a place that I couldn't remember.  Some things were good, like the velvety softness of a babies hair, and how their heads wrinkle against your arm when you hold them, the way their eyes don't really focus on anything for sometime, and the almost unbearable overwhelming joy that comes with a babies gummy grin.  Gassy or not. 

Other things were things I thought I'd rather forget like the smell of formula burped up on my clothes, little feet that kick and flail themselves into exceedingly dirty diapers, and the feeling of exhaustion and frustration when the crying just won't stop in the middle of the night.

I had stored those memories somewhere in the "unpleasantness of parenthood" part of my brain to never be retrieved again.  Dumb, first time parent mistake. 

I realize now how quickly those phases come and go, how with each day that goes by that head wrinkle is getting smaller and smaller, the velvety hair is getting more course, and it's just one more day closer to being done with formula forever.

Though every stage is wonderful, Ansley's arrival makes me see even more how big Bryton really is, and I mean it when I say that I now appreciate that formula smell burped in my face, the filthy diapers, the shrieking cries, and even the nights awake.  Not that it's never frustrating, but I now realize how fast it is really gone.  If I could keep her this age forever, I would.  I dread that a month from now this tiny newborn will be an 'infant', and 11 months after that she'll be a toddler.  Though I can't stop her from growing up, I can do my very very best to remember every little smell, touch, and sound of this little girl who, though not my first, has completely turned my world upside down... in the best way possible. 

Sure there will be nights that I really want sleep, and meals that I'd really like to eat when everyone else does, but I have the rest of my life to do those things.  For now I'll bask and marvel and try to remember every awesome little thing about having a newborn... and I won't miss the other stuff at all. 


Monday, March 7, 2011

Ansley's Delivery

Here's kind of a no hold's barred, long version of how Thursday's induction went.  I'll say now that it really was a really great labor / delivery minus the last 3 minutes or so.  (Well, 3 minutes and then after her delivery I guess haha.)
So here it goes:

We received the phone call at 5:08 from Dr. Schneider on Wednesday saying that we were inducing on Thursday morning.  (You'll see how awesome this is and what a God thing this was later.)We were supposed to be there at 8:00 a.m., which Aaron joked that was 'too early'.  (Too early, my rear end, I'm in pain here ;) 

We finished Wednesday night getting things packed up, making plans for the next couple days, and mentally preparing.  (Labor and delivery are completely different the second time around.  You actually have a vague idea as to what to expect.)  I also had pretty consistent contractions on Wednesday night for several hours.  Made for not much sleep for Momma. 

I got up at 6:00 a.m. to get a shower, get ready and eat breakfast.  Aaron got up at 6:30 to do the same, and by 7:15 we were packed, loaded and at my parents to drop off Bryton.  We took a quick "last time as a family of 3" picture, and off we went. 

We got checked in at registration, they sent us up stairs, and in minutes we were in a birthing room.  (The same birthing room that Bryton was born in exactly 2 years and 4 months prior.) 
We spent the next couple of hours getting questions answered, the IV inserted, my platelet level taken (praying for an epidural this time), and getting checked.  I was dilated to a 3 on arrival and having consistent contractions still!

Pitocin was started at 10:00 a.m.  10:00 - 11:00 wasn't too bad, but not long after 11:00 contractions were coming quick and hard, taking my breath away and making me unable to speak.  The pain continued to get worse and worse, contractions coming just a minute or two apart.  It was time to see about the epidural.  (And I made certain I didn't get the walking epidural this time!)

Come to find out my platelet levels had fallen to 104,000 (down from 119,000 from Monday!).  Platelet levels have to be over 100,000 to have an epidural.  Phew, just made it.  Had I not gotten in when I had, there's a great chance I wouldn't have had the option for an epidural. (We'll see why that's so important later.)

I checked out at a 4 at about 12:15, and about 30 minutes later my new favorite person was coming in, my anesthesiologist.  (Love that guy!)

Not having had a 'good epidural' (to say the least) with Bryton, I wasn't really sure what to expect after the insertion of the epi.  I had the 'procedure' itself down, just didn't really know what to expect with the effects.  (How long it would take to kick in, etc.)

Let's just say after about 4 hard contractions during the epidural (which makes it interesting to say the least), as I was turning to get sat back in my bed I noticed the monitor which was still showing the same hard, timely contractions that I'd been having before, and I didn't even feel them!  Oh my goodness, this thing was magic! 

Aaron walked in as my new favorite person was leaving, and laughed as he saw how good I was feeling.  Oh yes, I was a happy camper. 

The rest of the afternoon was a lot of waiting and talking.  My doctor came and checked on me several times.  (My second favorite person that day.  She was amaaaazing!)

At about 4:45 Dr. Schneider checked me to see that I was dilated to a 6 and Ansley's head was far enough down that we could safely break my water!  Woo hoo!  Everyone had told me this would speed it all up, and at this point I'm sweating having a really long labor (though I wasn't feeling it much at all :)  Dr. Schneider assured me that she believed I'd have a baby either before dark or just shortly after.  (Little did she know about my previous delivery promise of having a baby before midnight, then pushing 2 1/2 hours to make it 1:15 a.m. when Bryton was born.  Little did I know the Dr. Schneider knew better this time along :)

By 5:00 the nurse was breaking down the room for delivery, and at 5:15 I was checked to see that I was at a 10.  (6 to a 10 in 1/2 hour, I'll take that!) 

Dr. Schneider was in shortly after 5:30 and said we were going to try some practice pushes to see what happened.  Ansley's head was fairly high and she didn't want me pushing forever for the sake of trying to move her head down, when she would likely do that on her own. 

After 3 or 4 contractions of pushing, we decided it may be better to wait it out another 45 minutes to an hour as to not waste my energy pushing and see if she moved down on her own.  I was asked not to push my epidural button during this time... welcome back, contractions.  (This made me nervous to say the least... maybe I wasn't pushing 'right'.)

At 6:25 or so Dr. Schneider hopped (quite literally) back into the room saying, "Let's have a baby!" and by 6:35 we were attempting to do just that.  (With more pushing of course.) I was promised I could push my epi button if I had a few sets of good pushes. 

This part of delivery was completely different than that with Bryton.  I was much more relaxed (thanks epidural) and the whole 'feel' in the room was much more laid back.  Entertainment Tonight was telling us all about Charlie Sheen, whom we talked about all during the break between contractions, Dr. Schneider was a good 'coach', being able to tell me what was working most effectively and encouraging me along the way, we laughed about several things, and overall, I was really rested during most of it!  At about 6:50, the nurse was calling baby nurses to make their way to the room because we were going to have a baby soon.  (Shut up!  I've only been pushing 15 minutes!  I was ecstatic to say the least!)

Baby nurses made their way in, and at around 6:05 Ansley's head was out.  From my experience with Bryton, this meant one more easy push and she'd be here!  Dr. Schneider commented on how big her head was and keeping the intensity going asked me to give some short easier pushes. 
Everything went down hill from there.  Within seconds Dr. Schneider was up out of her chair, a nurse was up on the right side of my bed pushing all of her weight on my stomach, another on the left side, and Dr. Schneider was telling me to push as hard as I possibly could.  I had no idea what was going on.  I just knew with Bryton one short push got him there after his head was delivered and that something was wrong.

1 minute and 50 seconds after Ansley's head entered the world, the rest of her body did too.  Dr. cut the cord immediately, the nurses were rushing her to the table, and Dr. Schneider ordered them to bring her back and put her on my belly, not so I could see her, but so she could check her.  The room got very chaotic very quickly. 

Dr. Schneider continued telling me, "Hun, you just had a very large baby,"  over and over and over again.  My mind was still trying to process everything.  The delivery was so much faster and so much less painful (thank you epidural, whose button I had got to push again, thank you Jesus) than Bryton's. She couldn't be that much bigger, right?  Dr. Schneider was assessing my 'damage' and was telling me there would be a lot of stitching to do.  I asked her what kind of tear I had, to which she grimaced.  Before she could answer I asked the question that was my biggest fear going in, "Is it 4th degree?"  She nodded compassionately.  I then asked, "Are we glad, still, that we did it this way as opposed to a c-section?" She shook her head and said, "No." 

Minutes later I asked how much this 'very large baby' weighed, and they responded 10 pounds, 1.1 oz.  Almost two pounds more than the ultrasound read the day before.  A few minutes later I had to know how long she was (still trying to assess my own damage, if she was 10 pounds she better be 3 feet long, not 14 inches!)  21 1/2 inches.  She was at least pretty long. 

It was in the minutes following Dr. Schneider was explaining a potential problem with Ansley.  They were getting no response from her left arm.  Her fingers would move, but her arm would not.  She was explaining that her collar bone was not broken, but nerve damage can happen when a baby is cramped for so long. I was warned that the damage could be permanent but was later assured since she had shown some movement with that arm that it would probably take some time, but she would probably be fine.

Being that I was being worked on myself and had not had the opportunity to see her for myself, I asked Aaron if he was getting a lot of pictures.  He hesitated and said he was not getting too many, and said that Ansley was severely bruised so we'd probably not post them for the sake of making people things were much worse than they were.  So of course, I was scared yet again.

It took over an hour to stitch me up, a call to another floor for whatever the medical name for "potato starch" is (to try to make my tissue hold together for the sutures), and a lot of explaining from the doctor as to how to care for the damage.  The 4th degree tear the doctor thought I had got "downgraded" to a 3rd degree, but 'only by a hairline'.  She said it was the worst it could be without being a 4.  Great. 

Aaron had the opportunity to hold and feed Ansley during my sutures.  I tried to see her but my bed rail was in the way.  Finally, after the damage was repaired (with encouragement from Dr. Schneider that she was very happy with the sutures and thought all should heal up 'just fine') I finally could hold my little girl. 

It was awesome, and immediately worth it. 

The rest of the night was a blur.  A shook for a long time after they took her to the nursery... apparently the combination of lots of adrenaline and the epidural.  They had decided, since the delivery had been so traumatic on my body (especially my bladder, which may have received trauma when the nurses were pushing on my belly trying to release Ansley) to put the cath back in and let my body 'rest' for the night.  Fine with me... I wasn't looking forward to using the bathroom at that point. 

My right leg stayed numb for a long time due to the epidural.  I was completely happy with that, and they ended up bringing my bed over from the mom and baby suite and moving me from my delivery bed to that one so I wouldn't have to sit in a wheel chair. 

In our new room they brought Ansley in to see us for about a half hour before they took her back to the nursery and encouraged us to get some sleep.  (I had the greatest nurses ever... the last of which came in for the end of my delivery - so she knew what was going on - and then was transferred over to the other side and was my nurse in our mom and baby room.) I slept better that night than I had in a month!

The next morning they removed the cath and decided we would stay an extra day for the sake of allowing my body to heal some and to have the help of nurses.  Aaron agreed that it was a good idea. 

We spent all day with Ansley in our room, visiting with company, and me learning what my new 'norm' was going to be like for the next couple of weeks.

We are now home, and I'm learning that I need to back off on doing so much and allow my body to rest and heal.  Too much too fast is a bad thing.  I go Wednesday to see the doctor and see how the healing process is going.  I'll know more about my restrictions at that point.

Ansley on the other hand is great.  We are of course trying to figure each other out.  She eats like crazy and likes to be held or have her pacifier to sleep (which was difficult last night).  But she'll figure it out :) And so will we. 

I'm sure I'll keep you posted, but since I've kept you forever now I'll make it until then...


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An Update: Today's Appointment and Most Recent News

Today was our growth ultrasound and meeting with the doctor about an induction.
The growth ultrasound went well, except Ansley was all over the place, so it felt good to know someone finally knew how I've felt the last, oh, 20 weeks or so.  The tech had to work very hard to get the pictures she needed.  We did get a glimpse a few times of one thing, she has big cheeks like her brother.  :)  Ansley is currently measuring 8 lbs 2 or 3 oz according to the ultrasound (let's pray it's right or even a little high, though the dr later said that is wishful thinking.)

Anyway, on to my meeting with the dr.  She first made fun of my t-shirt, which she stated "no longer fits."  She's such a joker :) She then listened to babies heart and measured me and commented, "Wow, your poor belly, no stretch marks but you can't get any bigger."  She decided to go ahead and check me just to see "where things were."  Turns out I've gone from 1/2 cm Monday to 2 cm today (yay for some progress).  While she was 'in there' she went ahead and stretched my cervix in order to hopefully get things moving.

We then talked induction.  She mentioned inducing tomorrow, but had to call labor and delivery to see if that was available.  When she came back she had no news... labor and delivery was full today so she told me not to get my hopes up and that she'd either call me back tonight or tomorrow regarding a time for induction.  I joked with her and told her anytime would be great that I didn't think I could deal with "this" (pointing to my belly) much longer.  She laughed and said, "Yeah you look pretty miserable.  I'm not going to lie, if I had that belly I'd be bumming too."  Again, I love my doctor.  She's a great advocate at the end of pregnancy!

She called at just about 5 and asked how 8 am tomorrow morning sounds.  Of course, great!  So that's when we go in...

Or at least we think.  I've been having contractions every 2-5 minutes for the past 3 hours consistently.  They aren't bad enough that I can't talk through them, but they are more uncomfortable than they were.  Now I'd really like to make it to 8 in the morning for the sake of the 'plan'.  (I'm very type A.)  But at this point my body has a mind of its own so we'll see what happens. 

Here's to quick and easy labor and delivery and healthy family all around!


Before I Find Relief I Should Say

There's something about the end of pregnancy that brings out the worst in you.  Maybe it's the consistent miserableness, maybe it's anxiety, maybe it's the exhaustion that comes from carrying around extra weight, not sleeping, and then being expected to deliver a small (or in my case large) human being.  Maybe it's a combination of all of them.  Whatever it is I can assure you this:  you miss it when it's over. 

It's dumb, really?  How does that make any sense?  I'm up before 6 a.m. and have been up for more than an hour for good.  I went to bed at 10:30 to try to get some sleep and escape my misery just to find I was waking up every 20 minutes to either pee, readjust because my hips or back was hurting, a contraction had woken me up, or my head just hurt bad enough to not even be able to close my eyes.  (And please don't tell me this is 'getting me ready' for all the nights up.  I personally think that is the lamest thing ever.  Getting me ready would mean me sleeping so I'm refreshed for delivery and to care for my kid.  Saying that weeks worth of nights laying awake at night gets you ready for all of the nights you will be getting up at night makes about as much sense as saying that to prepare for working 3rd shift you will just never sleep at all.  AND - I personally think it does not encourage, at all, a new mom or soon to be mom who is tired and exhausted.  That's my soapbox.) 

Anyway... even after a night like this, having had one child already (which by no means makes me an expert) I know one thing... you miss pregnancy when it's over.  You watch your baby grow up, even in the days following delivery, and you realize that you may never have the experience to carry a child again.  You mourn the movements you no longer feel.  You try to remember how tiny they were and how fragile they were.  You mourn the loss of excitement that came with every milestone: baby has fingernails now, baby can suck his thumb now, baby's gender is specific now. 

At the end with Bryton I think it is safe to say I was much less miserable.  Swelling had the only painful affect on me at that particular time (which is not fun, mind you), but I was still able to find comfort somehow.  (though not in bed)  This time around I have minimal swelling, but I hurt all over otherwise, and have been having these 'early contractions' for long enough now to have surely pushed out a small child.  It all gets very annoying. 

But even with that being said, I say it to make this point.  Whether this pregnancy ends for me today or 10 days from now (gag me with a spoon), history has proven to me that I"ll miss it when it's over.  Being a mom to two will bring a whole new set of challenges, though probably not as painful, and I'll look back on pregnancy in a totally jaded view and think to myself, "It wasn't that bad," and "I sure do miss that." 

It just happens...

So as relieved as I'll be to be able to actually sleep, lay down, find comfort, and wear clothes that actually cover my belly again, somewhere in the back of my mind I'll be able to look back with joy on this pregnancy...


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kroger Deals

So it's not a fantastic week at Kroger, but it's definitely worth running in for! 

Yesterday I bought:

--Charmin 12 double Rolls Toilet Paper
--Bounty 8 count Paper Towels
--Cascade 20 Pack of Dishwasher Tablets
--2 Cans of Pringles
--Salt (I know, random.  We needed it.)
--Crest Toothpaste
--Secret Deoderant
--Old Spice Deoderant
--Herbal Essence Shampoo

After coupons (both digital and paper) my total was $14.01.  Not bad considering all of the paper products, dishwasher tabs and toiletries!  Saved 70%!

Hint: if you have the new, very thick, P & G Coupon booklet, you'll find coupons for everything listed above except the salt ;)


I Stink At Music

Seriously.  My husband struck out in that category.  Mr. Drum Playing, Rascal Flatts singing, guitar playing worship leader has a wife that can hardly, if ever, carry a tune and has no ability to play any instrument.  (I can clap on beat, though, thank you.) I hope my kids are different.  Bryton is already showing huge interest in music, and I love that.

But you don't have to be good at music to love and to appreciate it.  Music for me has been an incredible means as to which I can express myself through my own methods.  (Listened to Among Thorns the entire time I was writing my book... all of my videos I make with Bryton, etc, all have to be to music and the music has to be 'just right', etc.)

It's amazing how music can take you back to exactly a point and moment in time.  For example, Beautiful Life by Fisher was the commercial song for John and Kate Plus 8 (whenever it was a fun show to watch) when Bryton was just born.  Everytime I hear that song I can remember sitting in our little apartment, him in his bouncy, Christmas lights up... just in awe of this little addition to our family.  Now the song brings tears to my eyes because the memories are so vivid, but Bryton is definitely not that little baby anymore.  He's a little boy. 

Oddly enough, I even have flashbacks to my doctor's appointments with him when certain songs come on the radio that played over the radio while I was there.  It really seems like yesterday, but apparently it was about 2 years and 4 months ago worth of yesterdays. 

So I may not be able to play a bunch of instruments, I may not be able to sing a lick, but music is my time machine to the past... the way in which I recollect and relive those moments that seem like yesterday but weren't. 

I wonder what music will remind me of Ansley's pregnancy and babyhood???