Friday, December 20, 2013

What's It Say?

I had no idea that at 2 years 8.5 months old I would have a kid who could read basic words.  I'm not talking words he learned from videos.  I'm talking words he has never seen.  He can sound out many 2 syllable words, in some cases 3 syllables.  We have trouble with side-by-side vowels and longer words, but really?  He's 2.  This is not surprising.

I can't take any of the credit.  It's all those damn alphabet learning videos with which he is obsessed.  Some of them teach kids to sound out words.  I never thought he paid much attention or could comprehend those.

Apparently he can.

So everything is "What's it say?" from him, and then 9 times out of 10 he will read it himself.  Street signs, books, t-shirts, movie titles on Hulu.  Seriously?  How did I get a kid who can read before he is 3???

I am so in trouble, aren't I?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Is Coming

I didn't really have any trouble around Thanksgiving, but Christmas is as usual throwing me for a loop.  And harder this year.

We are receiving gifts from the family and once again can't really contribute.  I have homemade gifts in the offing, but can't afford to send them or finish them right now, so everyone is getting their gifts at tax time.  I feel like such a loser.  Christmas is hard when you're poor.  Really hard.

I see signs at the school where I work that the kids have done about donating toys and clothes for those in need and it hits me because that's me.  Some of our gifts for the boys, the ones "from us" are coming from donations - I go "shopping" on Thursday.  I keep crying at work seeing those signs.

And the reality of my dad's death is hitting me hard right now.  First major holiday without him.  All the guilt I have surrounding the last year he was with us.  All he is missing with the boys.  I've cried a lot this week.  I know grief is a process, but goodness, it's hard.  So, so hard.

So Christmas is coming, and I'm excited, but I'm also so, so sad.  Perhaps next year will be better.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Not Allowed

Jim Croce wrote this amazing song back in the day called "Time in a Bottle."  Parenthood makes you want to be able to save that time in a bottle.

That itty bitty newborn.  Such an angel.  So sweet.  And all you want to do is watch him sleep all day.  Sleeping yourself means missing things and that's not okay.  So even though you should be asleep you just watch your baby sleep.  But all that baby does is eat, sleep, pee, and poop.  And you can't wait for the next stage and a smile.  But that means the baby is growing up, and that is NOT ALLOWED.

But then the baby smiles.  And it's the most beautiful thing in the world.  And was that a laugh?  Best sound ever.  Please don't ever leave this stage because it's perfection.  I thought the newborn stage was, but this is obviously perfection so what was I thinking?  But dear baby, you are getting bored so easily, so I wish you could sit or something so that you have more options.  But sitting means you are growing up, and that is NOT ALLOWED.

And then you are sitting, and trying to crawl, and reaching for things and interacting, and OMG could you be any more perfect?  I can predict your moods and needs now and you are so fun!  But you still get bored, so I can't wait for you to crawl because how cute is crawling?  But if you crawl, that means standing and walking follow and that means you are growing up, and that is NOT ALLOWED.

It goes on and on like this.  Each stage is pure perfection but it goes too fast and you want to save every single moment so that you can always have it.  Every perfect moment is bittersweet.

My toddler read a book the other day.  On his own.  That means he is growing up, and that is NOT ALLOWED.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Obsess, Obsess, It Really Is The Best

Phelan is obsessed with the alphabet.  I'm not sure I can emphasize too strongly how much he is obsessed.  And it's been going on for the better part of this year.  He makes us write out the letters over and over and over get the point...on his magnetic board.

Yesterday, at 2 years 8 months, and 2 weeks my son starting writing letters himself.  Not all of them yet, but at least half.  By. Him. Self.

I did the "I'm so proud of my son I can't stand still" dance repeatedly.  I was giddy.  I called AND texted my mom.  Because my 2 year old is WRITING.

Nevermind all the words he recognizes by sight.  Yup, he'll be reading within a year I bet.

Proud, proud mama.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Long Time No See

I logged on to look up something the other day and realized it's been nearly 3 months since I've written.  I'm not sure how that happened.  Other than being insanely busy.

I'm trying to figure out where to go with this.  I don't have the time to read others' blogs these days and feel guilty expecting someone to read mine.  I feel I have lost touch with this whole community and feel terrible about this!  By the time the kids go to bed I want a little down time and then I am usually in bed by 9.  Because if I want any sleep it has to be in the first few hours after they go down.  Because my kids don't sleep through the night.

So, I'm trying to figure out how to make this blog thing work again.  I certainly miss it!  Twitter has become my link to the world these days.  It's quick and dirty.  Which works better when you are a busy mama.  So what do I do?  This blog meant a lot to me for so long but it just feels lost right now.

Must. Figure. Out. What. To. Do.

By the way, the kiddos are great.  I'll try to get some recent pics up.  How is Finn 7 months old tomorrow????

Friday, September 6, 2013

Breastfeeding Win

Do you remember how hard I struggled with supply and pain issues, etc with Phelan?  How I fought for 7 months?

This week marked 4 months breastfeeding Finn.  And as of this week we are exclusive.  No donor milk.  He hasn't had formula since the hospital.  And now no more donor milk.  It's all me, baby.  I am ecstatic and so proud of myself.

I'm still fighting for every drop, but the point is, that it's all me and I'm doing it!!!

Go body!  (And if said body wants to lose 30lbs while it's at it, I wouldn't argue)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Bedtime ABCs

Phelan is obsessed with the ABCs.  OBSESSED.  Bedtime can be very difficult.  Last night we were BRILLIANT and came up with Bedtime ABCs.  Works like a charm.  We go through them and he totally settles down.  So, for posterity (and so I can somehow turn them into a book), here they are!

A is for All of us
B is for Bed
C is for Cuddles
D is for Dreams
E is for Everyone sleeps
F is for Family
G is for Goodnight
H is for Hugs
I is for I love you
J is for Joy
K is for Kisses
L is for Love
M is for Moon
N is for Night (or Nap at naptime)
O is for Off with the lights
P is for Pillow
Q is for Quiet
R is for Rest
S is for Stars
T is for Tired
U is for Under the covers
V is for Very sleepy
W is for Wishes
X is for eXtra special
Y is for Yawns
Z is for Zzzzz's

He loves it.  We feel brilliant.

Happy bedtime!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Candle, Both Ends

I got a job. 2, actually.  In addition to Fertility Authority, I am now working with an after school program called AlphaBest.  I started Monday.

And OMG.  I've been a SAHM for 18 months - 7 or 8 of which I was in intense therapy.  And now I'm having to be social, functional, and in charge of nearly 20 1st graders.  It's exhausting.  My house is a mess.  I miss my kids.  I have barely eaten because I can't seem to find enough time for basic self-care.

I am so overwhelmed!  I'm trying to give myself a break, though.  I know there is a transition period.  I KNOW this.  But the last 2 days have been so hard.  I just want to crawl into a hole at night.  And I'm training for Fertility Authority tomorrow!  I thought I was busy "just" with the kids.  Holy hell, I've opened a whole new door.

I'm trying not to overextend myself, but let me tell you, all of a sudden projects are lining up.

  • 2 jobs
  • assisting with a blog for the Frisco Moms group I'm in on FB
  • crocheting hats for a charity
  • working on getting my own crochet projects started again
  • POSSIBLY finally making some headway on the whole non-profit thing I wanted to do 
  • helping a neighbor's son get to school the mornings his dad/aunt can't take him
I think I actually forgot some.  I have to pump.  The house doesn't clean itself.  Food also does not make itself.  

How did I do this stuff before???  

I'm happy to finally be doing things that make me feel like I contribute in some way, but wow...just wow...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dear Finn

I call you our birds n the bees baby.  The baby that shouldn't have been possible.  But here you are, smiling, cooing.  With Phelan I had to hold him ALL THE TIME.  You will nap on your own.  I feel like you are night and day.  Certainly in appearance.  Not in a bad way, just you are very different.  I can't wait to watch you develop.

I worried I wouldn't love you as much.  But it turns out the heart has a capacity I never knew possible.  I feel guilty that you don't get as much attention as Phelan did, because I have you both to care for.  But in the moments when I can, I love to just breathe you in, let you sleep on me because it is as close to relaxation as I know to come these days.  I want to stroke your skin, smell your head, nibble your ears.  I want to eat you up.  That sounds weird, but I just want to consume as much of you as I can before you are a mover and shaker.  I pray that you remain as your brother did, a snuggler.

Today I worked for the first time in a long time.  With 6 year olds.  I both look forward to that growth in you and your brother, yet dread it, for with age comes a certain loss of innocence, dependence.  A loss of the peace that watching you gives me.  I hope that it never completely goes away.

Baby boy, you brought us a 2nd miracle.  You saved me.  Your smile makes me weep with joy. Your determined face makes me laugh out loud.  You suckling on my breast makes me feel complete, and yet sad because it's another thing that in time will go away.

Being your mother is so emotional.   Phelan was our first, and emotional for what it took to get him.  With you, our last, I want every moment to last forever because when it's gone, that's it.  So don't grow up to quickly.  Stay with me.  Be my baby boy.  Let me love you.

Let me love you.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

One Year Ago

A year ago yesterday I hit bottom.  Hard.  I scared the shit out of my friends and my family and could have left my children without a mother.  A year ago today I was checked into a psychiatric facility where I spent 9 days getting my meds sorted out.  We thought.  3 weeks after that I did it again.

I put everyone through so much, even my online friends.  I scared people.  I scared myself.  And I got help.  And then, miraculously, I got pregnant.  Finn saved my life.  I believe that.

A year later where am I?  Well, every day is a struggle.  I'm not sure that will ever change.  Because I was pregnant and now breastfeeding my meds are not where they could be.  And because I'm tired of being overweight because of them.  I'm terrified of working but desperate to get out of the house.  I haven't cut since that night a year ago, but every day I think about it.  I want to do it.  But I don't.

I want to be numb and hopped up on benzos most of the time.  But I'm not.  I want some freaking time to myself, but as a SAHM to the boys, right now that doesn't happen, so I find ways to get the me time I need, even if  for just a few minutes.

More than ever, my kids are my reason.  They keep me going.  I can't let them down.  I don't want to let them down.  I take a deep breath and remember what miracles they are, how blessed we have been.  And I hang on for one more day.

Do I hope that things will be less of a struggle for me in time?  Absolutely.  I will get there.  But I am so much better than a year ago, though some days it doesn't feel like it.  But I am.  I know I am.  I just have to remind myself of it sometimes.

I can transcend my illness.  I AM transcending it.  I can be more than it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Proud Mama Moment

A couple days ago at the pool, one of our neighbors brought those torpedo things you push toward each other under water that can go quite a distance.  One big one, and 4 brightly colored little ones.  P of course wanted ALL. THE. TORPEDOES.  Which for simplification I called rockets because he knows what those are.  The neighbor was really only using the big one, so P got lucky and was allowed all 4.

Yesterday, he had to learn limits.  Their daughter was playing with a couple, but again, P wanted ALL. THE. TORPEDOES.  There was a screaming crying tantrum.  In the pool.  I talked to him about it, comforted him, but told him they aren't in fact his and he can only have 2 today.  He calmed down, and we swam back to the neighbor, where ON HIS OWN he conducted a successful trade for the 2 colors he wanted the most and then he APOLOGIZED.

I am pretty sure if I had a Mom app there would be some sort of unlocked achievement for this.  Right??

In other news, Finn is such an easier baby at this point than P was.  He nurses a lot, BUT he regularly sleeps 4 or more hours straight, sometimes as much at 7!!!  What????  And he will sleep on his own now!  I am in shock.  He is growing like a fiend, and at 3 months and around 11.5 lbs he has doubled his birth weight.  I pump when I can, but he gets 1-2 bottles a day of either my milk (if i have any) or donor milk.  We are on our 4th donor, and this one will probably be a steady one.  I wish I had known of this with P.  Finn is so much less gassy and irritable than P and I think some of that is the exclusive BM.

Much like his brother he LOVES the water.  He is in every day we are at the pool for as long as his body temp stays okay.  When he gets cold, out he goes.  He adores it, though.  And he gets nursed while floating many days.  Baby bliss!

My mom arrives today for a short visit.  Not nearly long enough...or maybe just long enough.  3.5 days.  It's going to be uber emotional.  Especially when she leaves.  I think I will medicate before she leaves so I am not a total disaster.

I am starting as a PCA (Patient Care Advocate) with Fertility Authority this week, commission only, but it's a start, right?  I'm excited!  I get to do something I am passionate about, even if only for a little time each day.  And it is all thanks to Jay.  I got to speak with her on the phone and it was fabulous!!!  Always fun to connect with someone outside the internets.  We need the money, so pray or whatever, that I do well at it.  Also seeking PT morning work.  Gotta turn things around here.   

And yes, it's 5 am and I'm blogging.  Finn slept from 8-3:30.  I couldn't fall back to sleep so gave up and had some cereal and am enjoying quiet mommy time.  Which gave me time to hop on here!!! Woot.

Hope everyone is well!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

I Don't Want Him To Be Like Me

I can feel the panic rising in my throat like bile.  We are at the pool and P is showing off for a group of boys, trying desperately to be noticed and loved.  It brings it all back.  Being the social outcast from grade 3 on up.  The teasing, the ignoring, the bullying.  The tears.  The hours of wishing I could belong.  My only recourse was to NOT belong.  If they thought I was freak then I would be a freak.

He is 2.  Only 2.  Is that need to belong so deep inside our biology that it begins that early?  The tears are in my eyes now as I think of it.  Please don't let him be like me.  Please let him be okay.  Please let him not go through that.  It's not about being popular, but more about being okay.  I don't want him to go through that.  But I sure as hell don't want him at the other extreme, the type of person who made my school years hell.

I see him striving for attention, to be noticed, to be loved.  Already.  At 2.  Please don't let him be like me...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Toddler Sleep Avoidance 101

The techniques for avoiding sleep have been passed down through generations of toddlers by a secret network known only to toddlers.  This is a summary of those techniques.

  • Cry, scream, hit, bite, scratch.  Aim for sensitive parts.
  • Get off bed and run away.
  • Jump up and down on bed.
  • Start a pillow fight.
  • Ask for a blanket.  Spend at least 10 minutes arranging it just so.  Decide you are uncomfortable.  Move.  Start over.
  • Ask for more milk/juice/food.
  • Ask for your favorite toys.  
  • Pretend to fall asleep.  When the adult turns their back, sneak out and hide.  Full length window curtains work really well for this.  When caught, laugh and force adult to carry you.  Flail wildly.
  • Pretend to fall asleep.  Sneak out and into someone else's room.  See above for when caught.
  • Sing your favorite song over and over.
Feel free to add your own techniques.  

Note:  not all techniques need to be employed on any given night.  Mix and match for best adult patience-rattling results.  Repeat as necessary.  



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

One Day At A Time

Our laptop is on the fritz.  I can't transfer pics right now.  So I don't have any to share, BUT if you follow me on Instagram you can see lots and lots.  @Attilathehippie.  I think...That should be it.

Finn has been home nearly 2 weeks.  How is that possible?  It's a blur.  P - well, he has started occasionally acknowledging him, but doesn't really take pains to be careful around him.  His tantrums are epic and sadly we watch movies all the time.  Battle of wills regularly.  Sadly, he wins sometimes.  Nursing Finn is a full-time job.  Seriously.  I forgot.  I just have to choose my battles.

I'm barely supplementing.  Only when I can't seem to get him satisfied, and then no more than 1.5oz.  I THINK he's gaining.  He hasn't been weighed in over a week, so not sure.  I hope he is!  He certainly screams until his belly is full, so I have to assume it's going alright.  Oh, and what I am supplementing is with donor milk right now, so woot!  WIC has us on formula for June, so at least I can stock up on that in case.

And fuck the "pediatrician".  Medicaid madness leads to having a hard time finding a doctor and what a nightmare she was.  NOT going back.  Except to use their scale.  I'm not even going to get into it.  I wanted to do a post on it, but no time.  Still, it's insurance, so I'm grateful.

Hubby starts full time work with Ikea this weekend.  It's initially seasonal.  But he stands a good chance of getting hired on permanently.  The pay is not great, but if he gets the full 40 hours a week we should be okay.  We have a lot of catching up to do, but it means that for now I can be home with the boys...for what that's worth.  I just hope we can get caught up and take care of some things that HAVE to get done in the next month.  I'm losing my storage unit (and all the photos in it from, you know, my life up until 10 years ago) due to money.  Sigh.  It is what it is.

I have an intake appointment on June 19 at the mental health clinic.  I'm supposed to be calling to check for cancellations and I keep forgetting.  Shit, I can't even remember to call my grandmother.  Tomorrow morning is phone calls and I'll set a reminder to call the clinic Friday.  No way are my meds lasting that long.  I'm weaning even more...but started on Zoloft thank god, so keeping it together.  No major meltdowns in a week.  That's good!

This is a really random update post and I'm sorry.  Just wanted to hop on while I had 10 minutes because I lucked out and both boys are asleep.  Now I'm off to put more patches on P's lovey since he is asleep before 10.

Seriously, pics galore on Instagram.  I promise.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pity Party For One

We Skyped with Nana and Papa this evening.  Nana cried.  I held it back.  Until we were done.  Now I can't stop.

Everything that could have gone wrong with this move has, and we can't go back.  So we must push forward.

I am job hunting.  Way sooner than I would have liked but I don't see another option unless this job that Hubby interviewed for today comes through.  None of the others have.  He's still working about 25-30 hours a week - at minimum wage, basically.  So we have to try to get on the lease so we can at least show that we have to pay rent so that when we report his income we ATlose food stamps.

We can't right now buy stuff that isn't food. You know, like garbage bags, get the idea.   Laundry is a burden.  At least at my mom's we had a little wiggle room.  We could pay the car insurance, for instance.  I hate this.

I am hormonal.  And scared.  And fucking sweaty because the a/c SUCKS.

I have my 2 gorgeous kiddos (though right now P is stinky, sweaty, and prone to massive temper tantrums...that's for another day), and Hubby is busting butt trying to make this work.  With one car we can't both work days because bloody Texas doesn't like public transportation.  No buses.  Nada.  Well, that and the fact that daycare is crazy expensive.  So it's a moot point.  So, we will never see each other obviously.

I really didn't mean this to be a whiny "woe is me" post.  It's been a rough month.  I know Hubby is feeling the stress but he's big on "we will figure it out."  I need a PLAN.  And that is not forthcoming, not really.

Why did we do this?  Maybe if we'd stayed Finn wouldn't be here yet.

I know better.  What if's don't help ANYONE.

Tomorrow I will be alone with the kiddos for the majority of the day.  This is a terrifying thought.

Please send us a little luck, will ya?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Coming Home

Tomorrow, 12 days after his entry into this world, baby Finn will be coming home.

I have so many emotions surrounding this.  I feel like the last 2 weeks I have been neglecting P, but there was no way around it.  I know he's missed me.  And tomorrow I'm going to turn his world upside down in another way by bringing home a BABY.  I feel guilty about this!

I'm also terrified.  Since I have to supplement right now (hopefully not forever!!!) it takes an hour easily to nurse, give bottle, and pump.  An hour.  Every 3.  I guess it could be worse.  And P really is very independent.  I just have to make an effort to spend more time focused on him when F is sleeping.

And squeeze in chores, and cooking food again...right. No problem.  I will get a groove going.  Oh, and apply for jobs.  Because I REALLY need to get another income coming into the house.  Desperately.  Not that I want to leave the boys, but I just don't see any other option.  I really don't want to leave F this early, especially, but it could take several weeks for anything to really come through, so I'm applying now.  I use pumping time to do applications.

I can't believe he's coming home.  I  can't believe there will be 2 kids in my house.  Life is surreal...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It's Been One Week...

...Since my toddler jumped on my belly and forced the early delivery of my new LO.  I'm not sure where the week went.  Into some abyss of time that happens when your life is a blur of short naps and living between 2 places.

My pumping output still sucks ass.  I started Fenugreek and Mother's Milk tea.  Going to add in brewer's yeast and Red Raspberry Leaf tea.  I have found donor milk, though.  Just need to somehow make room for it in the freezer shared by 4 adults...yikes!  Also have a UTI from the damn catheter.  But the antibiotics make my pee lime yellow, so that's fun.

Today we got the okay to feed on demand with Finn going no longer than 3 hours between feeds.  I could only do that for a few feedings today before needing to leave, so we will see what happens.  Hopefully no weight loss since last night.  Tomorrow I will go in again for 24 hours and as long as we have a feeding plan that works, he could be home Monday or Tuesday.  I need to get a lot done in that time!

He did have 1 Brady today, not sure if before or after doc came as we can't remember, so not sure how that will affect his homecoming.  P is still not interested in him AT ALL, but it's another "we'll see" sort of thing.

Some pics from the last couple days of my boys, big and small.

When I got up to pump the other night I saw this.  Cuteness overload.

That is the light they use at the OB to look up your va-jay-jay.  For him,
a fun toy that makes shadows on the wall.

First photo without his IV and NG tube, this morning.

Caught this sleep smile right before I left today.  Heart.  Melted.

Taken on the stupid phone (as opposed to smart phone) .
Daddy holding him for the first time a week ago.

Staring me down.  We have alert time now!!!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

By The Numbers

Life in the NICU is all about numbers.  Daily weight checks, regular temperature checks, how many mls of milk he gets, how many I pump, if he desats or bradys.  You get the idea.  It's infuriating.  But this week has had so many of them, I thought I'd give you an idea of my week by the numbers.

I said Saturday, "You can't be born on freaking Star Wars Day.  I forbid it.": At least 10
I said, "So much for not being born on Star Wars Day.": 2
I said, "I can FEEL that!" during surgery.": at least 5

they said, "Really? You can feel that?": 2
the Anesthesiologist pinched me to make sure what the doc was doing didn't hurt as much: 1

I said, "Fuck you!" to a nurse: 1
I apologized to said nurse: 1
I had panic attacks: 2
I cried uncontrollably: 4???
I felt guilty for having to split my time between my boys: still counting
Finn peed on medical staff: 2, including right as they were pulling him out of me.
Finn desat'd or brady'd: I think we are at 5 or 6 now.  His HR is low - he is super chill and tends to zonk out               and forget to breathe.
Finn nursed today on demand: 4
I've been annoyed at my shit supply (again): 417 or so
I've called Finn Phelan: 4
I've told the story about my toddler putting me into labor: 10-20 - it's become the story of the week
I've looked at Finn trying to figure out who the hell he looks like: 3042, give or take
Hubby has held Finn: 1 - juggling childcare makes it hard.  He will see him again tomorrow.

Number of times I pump a day: 8 or so
Amount of milk I get: 20-30ml each session
Number of staples holding my gut together: 25!!!  The incision is bigger this time
Days I waited after release to drive: 0
Weeks early Finn is: 5 weeks 3 days
Possible UTI from catheter: 1
Hours I sleep at a time: 1
Finn's weight at birth: 5lbs 13oz (he would have been 8lbs easy)
Ounces he's lost: 5
Weight gained back: 0 as of right now but not losing, so that's good.
Photos my phone is holding captive that I really want: 1
Weight I GAINED in the hospital: 5 lbs
Chairs P colored on with crayon (which I didn't know was possible): 2

So...that's a little bit of a breakdown of my week.  Kind of.  Mostly for posterity.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Blessed But Bitter

As I was hobbling out of my room on my tree trunk fluid filled legs (thank you c-section) to head to the NICU a mom holding her just born baby was wheeled into the room next to me.  And I thought, "So that's what it's like to hold your baby right away and take him with you immediately."  I was happy for her, for her family.  And not a little bit resentful >_>.

Our family building journey has been, well, a journey.  All kinds of ups and downs and tangents.  Despite all of our struggles, though, I try to remember how blessed and lucky we really are.  One IVF.  One.  And we got P.  It was a rough pregnancy, and P came early with an unwanted c-section, and I didn't get to hold him right away.  But he didn't need time in the NICU and after that initial yuck, he was with me.  So, bitter, yes, but it could have been so much worse.

Finn was, as we know, a complete surprise.  And an uncomplicated pregnancy.  Until, you know, P decided it was time for him to come. And another (horrid) unwanted c-section.  But this time he is in the NICU and I'm trying to split my time between home and NICU.  I can't be there 24/7, not with P at home and Hubby working, albeit it very little.  I want more than anything to have him with me.  I don't want to pump and pray it's enough for him.  I don't want to see him with an NG tube.  But again, I know we are lucky.  He could be worse.  We're looking at another week in NICU as opposed to friends of mine who have gone through MONTHS of this.

We seem to get a taste of the horrid as opposed to the really horrid.  But I'm still bitter.  I know we're lucky, but I'm bitter.  I'll get over it, but I mourn what could have been.  I feel terrible that my body apparently can't stay pregnant full term.  Someone said, "well maybe next time."  I'm done.  There is no more next time.  I only ever wanted 2 children.  I can't handle more.  And even if I did, I'm not sure I trust my body.  I know I don't.

I feel like I sound whiny.  But it's 4 am.  I'm pumping.  My toddler is wide the fuck awake, and my baby is in a fucking warming crib in the hospital.  I'm entitled.  A little, maybe.  I'm also stupid hormonal.

I just wish it could have been different.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Baby Boom

I still have so much to write about and process.  So much.  And I want to document Finn's progress, my progress, but today is a brief detour.
A friend of mine was in early labor when I went into the hospital after P jumped me.  I was joking with her throughout the day that I was going to beat her if she didn't hurry up (she was 38 weeks or just 39 weeks).  I beat her, but about 15 hours later her little boy was born.  He's also in the NICU but hopefully not for long.  And she is in Houston, so perhaps we can have a little boy meet up at some point.  All our boys are similar in age!  You can find her on Twitter @SuperCheMom.

This morning, another dear friend from a blog who was a fellow 35-week mom with me with our first sons, gave birth to son #2, very healthy, nearly 39 weeks.(Yes, I keep beating those due before me again!).  I feel a special connection to Di, and I'm so happy that her son was born healthy and full term this time.  Unfortunately she lives in FL, so no huge rambunctious boy playdate, but my fellow sister is joining me in newborn glow this morning :-)  You can find Di at A Little Bit Of Life.

Like I said, I have so much to write out but it's hectic.  And as I discharge this morning, about to get MORE hectic!  And man on man do I need caffeine.

I will try for more pics later.  They are getting a bit redundant as he is still tubed and looks, well, the same.  Sleepy, LOL.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hanging On By A Thread

Not Finn, me.  I promise he's okay.

He met his big brother today...who was NOT impressed and barely made an effort.  He misses me.  He's confused and stressed and overwhelmed.  Much like me.  Much like Hubby.

Finn also pulled out his NG tube twice, and undid his diaper so he could pee all over everyone.  Basically...he's just as much trouble as his big brother already.  Send help.

I've spent the day gathering information from LC's and a pediatrician friend and doula friends regarding my medication laced boob milk.  The neonatologist won't let me use it.  I won't let him fight me.  I won't get into it here, but I have the support I need and since I plan on breastfeeding when I leave the hospital, why fight me here?  The hospital LC will be available tomorrow and I am ready to do battle.

In between information gathering sessions, I was hobbling over to the NICU to pump and cuddle.  I got in 4 pumping sessions today (not as much as I wanted, but I'm doing my best here!).  First one I was so encouraged - got nearly 7ml of colostrum.  5ml the 2nd.  1.5ml the third.  None the fourth.  Sigh.  I realize that I am just past the 24 hour mark with a preemie c-section delivery, but it's frustrating.  So much.  Can't it just go right just once?

Finn is enjoying the kangaroo care...he is so tiny.  Bigger than P was, but next to giganto toddler, he seems just as little.

I'm exhausted.  Ambien tonight.  Might be my only chance for sleep for goodness knows how long.  I am feeling terribly alone.  Twitter and Facebook were my saviors today.  Hubby has no phone right now.  He worked this morning, brought P here for 10 minutes and had to turn around and go home.  It's a half hour drive.  He has his hands full with P and work.  I don't even know what we're going to do tomorrow!  Hopefully roomie can come home early from work for when Hubby goes in.

We just weren't ready for this yet.  I don't have containers for my breast pump.  I'm so glad my friend came Thursday and we got so much done or we'd be up shit creek! P is not dealing well.  I'm going to be leaving before Finn, and then have to juggle pumping, a toddler, and somehow getting here to see Finn.  Didn't I say last week I wasn't ready?  I guess P thought I was.  Still shaking my head over the fact that P made me go into labor.

This NICU stuff is hard, and Finn is really only JUST needing it.  I don't know how my friends who have spent weeks or months in the NICU did it.  I'm going bonkers.

Speaking of which, it's time to head back over for the last time tonight.  One more pump and cuddle before I turn in.  Hoping I wake up a couple times to be able to pump overnight.

I leave you with some photos of today!

P is NOT impressed.  All he wants is a cuddle from Mama...which is not going well.

Kangaroo care

Eyes open for a minute.  

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Finn Is Here!

This morning while lazing about in bed, P stood up and belly flopped onto my bump.  I started cramping and having low back pain that didn't go away with fluids or lying on my side.  I called the OB who I hadn't even met yet, and ended up in L&D.

When I arrived I was contracting, though not painfully, and cervix was closed.  We checked my placenta because of the chance of abruption, but all was well, thank goodness.  

Unfortunately, I kept contracting, and it didn't slow down.  I also started dilating.  We did procardia and turbutaline, but contractions were still going strong.  We did morphine and phenergen to force me to relax and hopefully calm my ute.  Fail.  We did a magnesium sulfate bolus followed by maintenance dose.  Fail.

Because I hadn't met and actually consulted with OB yet, I was told no option for VBAC (and also due to Medicaid, no option for tubal ligation during c-section) so it was time for a c-section.  

This c-section was painful.  I just didn't get nearly as numb, and the "pressure" was more than that.  I was yelling at them.  Hubby actually watched this time, though.  As soon as I heard his cry I cried.  And then within minutes knocked out for about 15 minutes.  

He is in the NICU, but doing very well.  5lb 13oz, 18" long.  Perfect.  He is breathing on his own.  They have him on monitors, IV fluids, and a tube to siphon fluid out of his tummy.  I hate that he is in there.  But I got to hold him at last.  

I will start pumping tomorrow morning, and with any luck will be able to nurse him by Monday.  Chances are he will stay here when I go home, hopefully not for very long.  This is devastating to me.  It's killing me that I can't have him brought to feed, that he has to be all alone in there.  

I can't believe my toddler put me in labor.  

I can't believe he is here.

Finnegan Shae

First touch

Got to hold him for a bit

Friday, May 3, 2013


My dad passed just over 3 months ago.  I haven't really written about it because at the time I didn't have a space where blogging really was possible.  (Notice more writing now that I have that space???)  And I have a lot of guilt.  I cried.  I did all the usual things.  I totally lost it in the bathroom at the funeral home.  And then I've sort of tucked away the grief.

My dad and I were estranged for 7 months or so leading up to his death.  There were arguments, nasty emails from him.  It was even worse for Sister.  Littlest took his side and it became this horrid family feud. Birthdays were ignored.  Holidays were super awkward.  We didn't call each other for the big stuff.  He made one attempt to reach out, but it was random and short notice and made me even angrier.  The last year of his life we spent fighting.  And then he was just gone.

Therapy 3x/week and I didn't really talk about it.  Just breezed over it.  Lalala.  He's gone.  It sucks.  Moving on.

But it's not that easy.  He rarely saw P.   Or Niece, but that's not my story.  P didn't know him that well.  He didn't make much of an effort to see him.  But neither did we.  The phone works both ways.  I found out when going through things that he knew I was in the hospital.  I didn't tell him.  He'd been on my case for months but didn't EVER ask how I was or why things were the way they were.  He didn't really seem to care that I was sick, that my life was a disaster, too.  There was so much anger.

We saw him the week before Christmas.  So awkward.  No hugs.  Barely spoke.  And a little over a month later he was gone.  And now I'm left with this guilt.  When we went to the hospital that morning Sister and I didn't go in to say goodbye.  Because it wasn't him.  I feel very strongly about that.  He wasn't there.  Just his shell.  And a shell I didn't recognize because they'd shaved his face in prep for surgery the next day.  Except for photos of him when he was young, I'd never seen his face.  Not really. Full beard my whole life.  And he was intubated.  Why couldn't they take out the damn tube?  It doesn't matter.  It wasn't him.

And now his 2nd grandson is weeks away from being born.  And all of a sudden, a song or a book I ended up with that was his, inscribed to him, will just send me over the edge.  He pops up suddenly.  My grandparents do the same, my MamaLea and DaddyLea, and sometimes Opa.  They don't make me cry - it's more of a conversation.  They lived long, fulfilling lives.  I remember them with joy, with a deep love and respect for all they showed me, taught me.

Dad...he wasn't happy.  He was always searching, fighting.  I think it's his wanderlust I have.  At his service his best friend talked about how he always talked about us, even through the hell, with pride and joy.  About his grandchildren.  But he just was always fighting.  Talking to him became a chore in the last years.  He was always unhappy, and those conversations were draining.  He had a very difficult time seeing us as adults, maybe because he had limited contact with us after he and my mom divorced.  We were always his little girls. He didn't handle change very well.

When I remember how sad he was, how a way I'm glad it's over for him.  But to end so suddenly, so many things left unsaid...I feel this horrid oppressing guilt.  I was so tired of being the one to forgive, of letting him slide on his behavior when it was inappropriate.  So tired of being the adult in our relationship.  But maybe I didn't try hard enough?  I don't know.  And I don't know how to forgive myself.

How do I let the guilt go?  Knowing that I didn't even get a chance to call him in the hospital when he was admitted.  I'd spent the day he was in at the ER myself with a heart scare.  I was going to call him that morning.  Tell him good luck on the surgery.  Arrange care for P so I could go see him after his surgery.  But instead, I got a call at 6:15 am.  He was in cardiac arrest.  They'd been doing CPR and whatnot for 45 minutes.  They were going for a few more minutes until Littlest got there, but he was gone.  I knew it.  They were just pumping blood.  He was gone.

P looks just like he did as a child.  So did I.  I got my love of music from him.  My wanderlust.  My incredible stubbornness.  My name, a name that ends here in the USA with him.  We sisters are the last of it.  2 of us anyway.  I didn't pass it on.  I doubt that Littlest will.  Soon I will be the only one with the last name in the whole country.  It's just a name, but...I don't know.

Soon Finn will be here.  His 2nd grandson, 4th grandchild.  And he will never know him.  Someday we will have our forever home and I will spread his ashes, along with the grandparents (and eventually my mom, my step-dad) in our garden.  And the boys will know why there is a special place there.

But I don't know how to get past the guilt.  I don't know how to forgive myself for letting his life end that way, so lonely, so much unsettled.  How do I forgive myself?  How?

Thursday, May 2, 2013


This has been a fruitful couple of days.  Medicaid kicked in yesterday for me and the boys.  I got my card, and our food stamp card today.  Just waiting on the rest of the paperwork so I know what is actually covered.  Hubby has been interviewing like mad, and has a 2nd interview tomorrow for what I think is a full time job.  I hope.  We shall see.  Guy said many of the other interviewees have not shown up so I like the odds.

And today an old friend (from college - who I haven't seen in 17 years!!!) came by with her 2 kids (A, 5yo, big helper; and R, 2yo, perfect playmate for P) and she and I busted some serious ass on the unpacking.  Mainly organizing which is where Hubby shuts down.  The 2 boys speak toddler-speak at the same level (only a month apart) and A is good at corralling them.  It was a little nuts with the 3 of them running around, but there were no serious meltdowns and we got so much done.  I am so grateful to her.  And it's kinda fun, all these years and states later, to reunite down here as full-fledged adults with kids n stuff.

I have more work to do, but it's much easier now, and if Finn comes early at least I feel like we are kinda ready.  More than we were this morning.  Now if someone would just make a couch and a stackable washer/dryer appear for free...

I made a lot of calls to OBs in the area.  Many on the Medicaid list were there incorrectly.  Not surprising.  Finally called one further away than I wanted but who I knew for sure takes the Medicaid, and I have an appointment Tuesday, at 35w exactly.  1 day before I had P...eep. I would deliver at Baylor Medical McKinney, which if I'm stuck doing this in a hospital, is completely a nice place to deliver.  Now if only this kid would turn...

I also have no idea at this point if the new OB is VBAC friendly (you know, if Finn (ahem ahem!!!) turns his butt around) but I'm going to push the point.  I did read some reviews and it seems he is well-liked.  Which is  encouraging.  Plus, he was the person Frisco Women's Health was sending people on Medicaid, too, and they are awesome, so I can hope they at least don't send you to some hack.  Right?  I hope.

So...that's where we're at.  The last 2 days, today especially, have cheered me up a bit.  I'm still uber worried about money, but we are going to make it.  We have to.  And OMG, I'm running out of time in this pregnancy...a baby is coming.  GAH!!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

The End...Or Not

I think part of what has me feeling ready to be done being pregnant is that last time, I was nearly done at this point.  I only had 9 days more!  So I feel there.

Which is also where the freak out about not being ready is.  9 days simply isn't enough!

It's a weird place to be in.

My friend Heather voiced concerns about my weaning off meds.  I started it simply because I wasn't sure when I would be able to get a doctor to prescribe more - and on its own it is a $700/month medication.  And cold turkey is BAD.  I'm not worried about being on it while breastfeeding - I looked into that months ago.  I had an ICLBC friend look it up for me.  It's actually considered safer breastfeeding than in pregnancy it looks like, so I let that worry go.

I really am trying to balance everything here.  I am.

Who knows when Finn will arrive, how he will arrive.  I need to stop focusing on that and start making sure I'm ready.  You know, in the next 9 days.  Just in case.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Not Ready

I am a crazy hormonal mess.  I am weaning off meds.  So far a week of half my normal dose.  It's not helping with the hormonal crazy.  I'm not sure sometimes if it's the meds or the hormones.  I have no energy.  We are  unpacking like mad people and I hit a wall.  I can't stand to do anymore.  Today one of the dogs pooped and peed on the living room floor, P's diaper leaked all over the bed and a couple throw pillows and then the toilet overflowed.  Luckily we had a plunger.  Not helping the crazy.

The crib is not side-car'd yet.  The cradle is not ready.  Nothing is washed.  I AM making progress on weeding through the baby clothes and I should have benefits next week.

I am NOT READY.  I feel a hot mess.  And I'm NOT READY to have another baby to handle.  All I keep thinking is that P was here a little more than a week more into pregnancy than where I am now.  10 days.  No, just no.

I know he'll come when he is ready, but I'M NOT READY.

I am actually terrified.  Terrified I won't figure out how to handle my demanding toddler and a newborn.  Terrified I'll go off the deep end again when the postpartum hormones hit.  Terrified I won't produce enough milk again and feel terrible about that body fail again.  Terrified I will make milk but P will flip at the lack of attention.  Terrified that P will flip about the lack of attention anyway.

I'm ready to be done being pregnant.  I'm not used to being active this far into pregnancy.  I'm woefully out of shape.  It makes me exhausted.  And since Finn is stubbornly breech, I'm rather uncomfortable.  So that part - I'm ready to be done.  But I'm just not ready for what comes after.

I know a lot of this is normal fears.  But with my all too recent history...ugh.

Tell me I can do this.  Moms do it all the time.  I'm so scared...

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Plea To My Unborn Child

Dear Finn,

I know that realistically you don't need to be head down for a couple more weeks yet, but I beg of you...please turn around.

Your head in my ribs did damage, which thankfully has abated a bit recently.  However, it's still incredibly uncomfortable.  And your knees are seemingly bent (ha ha, get it? bent?) on injuring my stomach.  It's already pretty smooshed.  When you knee me there, well, it makes me very unhappy.  Seriously.

I am trying the inversion technique, and will be upping that in regularity.  I'm desperate, you see.

You came to us as a surprise.  No treatments.  Just an OMG WE'RE PREGNANT HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN WE FEEL LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE thing.  I would like you to come out naturally, too. I really do.  No c-section.  Mama no likey.  Mama has your older brother to chase around, too, and that would really make things difficult.

So really, could you turn around?  Please?  Plant that hard-ass head of yours in my pelvis where it belongs?  I would be so appreciative.  So would all those who put up with me on a daily basis.  I'm very cranky.  I don't want to be cranky.  So PLEASE...



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Join The Movement: Putting It Out There

For so many, the journey through Infertility is a long, painful, SILENT one.  Infertility is often a "silent disease" for a number of reasons.  You can't SEE it.  People don't like to talk about it because it involves highly personal issues and decisions, and those things also make others uncomfortable.  Which just perpetuates the silence.

I was never quiet about it.  But we all know I have TMI issues.  But what I learned by being open about it was that it made others comfortable enough to talk about their struggles.  I became a "go-to" person.
 Which made me feel great!  We could help each other out!

No one should have to be alone in their struggles.  I'm not saying go out and advocate publicly.  It's a personal decision.  But even in a small capacity - a private blog, a private Twitter account (love me some Twitter!!!) - you can find support and BE support.  

You are not alone.  I promise.  You aren't.

Put it out there.

The Basics of Infertility
National Infertility Awareness Week 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This Week Brought To You By The Letter V

****Major TMI warning****

You were warned.

Still here?

Okay.  Your choice.

2 weeks ago I was helping Hubby load stuff to take to the storage unit for transport to our new home.  At one point I started getting shooting pains in my crotch.  And when not shooting pains, severe aches.  Like when you have a lot of sex and you feel like your crotch is bruised.  But there was no sex.

I talked to my sister who was also pregnant at the time (not now!!  Niece 2.0 arrived Thursday!!!)  She mentioned varicose veins.  WHAT???  What indignity is this??

It turns out that Vulvar Varicose Veins happen to about 10% (reported) of pregnant women, especially in 2nd and subsequent pregnancies.  I probably triggered them lifting.  I think the percentage must be higher, but who wants to talk about "lightning crotch" to their doctor???

Let me repeat that.


With unpacking and moving around this week it has become horrid.  I am swollen and sore and when I have to pee the pressure is awful.  I spend time every day now with an ice pack in between my legs.  Blargh.

To make things MORE fun, because I wasn't miserable enough, today I seem to have developed what we women all love: a zit in my labia.  It's between the folds.  I, of course, can't see it.  But I can feel it.  And it feels like a mosquito biting my lady bits.  A lot.  And with the swelling from the previous issue...sigh.  I just want to lie in bed and weep.

So I am faced with a particularly odd dilemma.  Warm wet compress for the zit...which will make the swelling worse, or just the ice and hope the zit sorts itself out.  Soon.  For the love of Pete, soon!!!

I mean, really?  Varicose veins and a zit?  At the same time?  Either one is horrid.  Together?  I'm wondering who I pissed off karmically.

33 weeks pregnant and counting.  I have benefits next week.  But no money for a midwife so hoping I can track down, quickly, an OB covered by Medicaid who will agree to a VBAC.  That, or I wait until I go into labor and go in at the last possible moment.  So I can push a baby out my very swollen, painful vagina.

I wanted this, right?  Right.

Right now I'm ready to be done.  Just sayin'.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

SNAFU - Color Me Surprised

So, the moving guys show up today to pick up all our crap.  A lot of crap.  But crap we have tried to let the sales guy know about and whose response was usually "okay okay".  First thing is they hand Hubby an envelope and say "how much do you want to do for gratuity?"  Ummm....what?  This is your job douchebag.  Big guys.  Guys who tell him the standard is 10% of the total move...which they have now told him will be TWICE AS MUCH.  So they want extra up front.  And these are BIG GUYS.  So Hubby gives them the money. 

And the damn sales guy was no help.  Told him to give them the money and he'd sort it out after the load came in to figure out costs.  WHAT???

He spoke with the owner.  Who was sort of helpful. 

What does all this mean?  We will most likely have no backup money for rent until Hubby gets work.  He needs to find a job IMMEDIATELY.  You know, no pressure.  Just the exact issue we were trying to avoid.  

And it means me giving up the idea of hiring a midwife for a homebirth (which I haven't even had a chance to write about). 

I learned today that not only does exhaustion bring on contractions.  So does me having a total meltdown. 

Seriously....every time we try to plan stuff out...


Tuesday, April 16, 2013


It's been a while - packing and preparing to move us 1500 miles has taken up all my time.  That being said, today P and I flew to our new home in TX. 


I am 32 weeks pregnant today.  8 months.  P doesn't do restraint.  He weighs 30+ pounds.  I had a carseat, carry-on, diaper bag, purse, and him.  Did I mention I am 32 weeks pregnant?

Hubby got us in to the check-in counter and then to Security.  Which sounds lovely, and it was.  Except that it took the noobs at the counter half an hour at least to check us in.  We're talking trainee, trainer, and manager.  HALF AN HOUR.  Meanwhile, P is running around like a crazy child alternately happy and screaming bloody murder and Hubby is chasing him and trying to entertain him. 

I flew SPIRIT airlines.  And yes, I'm going to bad mouth them.  The rates were GREAT.  Couldn't choose seats ahead of time without paying, which I found out when I called Customer Service...that is, when I finally found a phone number for them.  The man was useless regarding information about checking a carseat.  Now, I've worked customer service for a long time.  At this point, it would have been nice if he mentioned, "oh, you should go online and check your bags ahead of time and save yourself a lot of money."  $45 for my crazy heavy checked bag (hey, I'm moving cross-country here!) and ... wait for it ... $50 for my 1 carry-on bag.  Yeah, you read that right.  $50.  I believe the words out of my mouth were "Are you shitting me????!!!!!"  So, that's $95.  I should have bought the next fare up on a more established airline. 

So, after 30 minutes of training and confusion and fuck-ups, I finally was given my boarding passes.  So back up the elevator we go, with P in the carseat strapped to the carry-on FREAKING OUT.  I finally pulled out his lovey and sippy (read: paci) and he calmed down.  Which got us to the entrance to Security.  Hubby leaves us.  And now I am on my own.  I'm already nearly in tears.

Security:  Okay, you know when you're out and you see that mom that looks like she'd like a stiff drink and her child is screaming and running around or lying on the ground throwing a fit and she looks like she might just join him and cry and you think either, "that poor woman," or "what the fuck is wrong with her kid?"  THAT.  He was FINALLY calm.  And then I had to put everything on that damn conveyor belt.  4 bins plus the carry-on and the carseat.  Which had to be inspected by hand.  I had to unstrap everything, pile it all on, and TAKE AWAY THE LOVEY AND SIPPY.  Holy fuck, you would have thought the world ended. 

They let me carry him through and then I had to try to keep him calm and corral all my stuff again. 

This was an epic failure.  By now, not only am I holding back tears, but I'm sweating bullets and I can barely breathe.  And P is alternately lying on the floor screaming or running away screaming.  Someone helped me get everything to a bench and I strapped him back in and I'm yelling, "I need that pillow and sippy cup!!!!"  Get him settled, realize boarding passes disappeared.  Nice Security guy saw me frantically searching and deduced the ones they had just found must be mine. 

At this point I need a drink.  Or at least some f'ing coffee.  Nope.  Our gate is the first one (actually a relief - pulling that carry-on and him was rough!) and it's 15 minutes to board time at this point.  It took AN HOUR to check in and get through security. 

I stopped across from the gate and bought a ton of chocolate milk, juice, and beverages for me.  I had snacks packed.  Went to the gate, let the monster out of the cage - and he immediately charmed everyone.  Of course.  I changed him right there - the 2 women seated there were fine with it - and within minutes we were boarding.  One of the women, Kathy (bless this woman!!!) dealt with the carry-on/carseat combo and I wrestled P and the other 2 bags.  Once we got to the plane I unstrapped and this saint of a woman carried both down the aisle while I carried a now freaking out P to our aisle. 

Where I had to figure out how to strap in the carseat.  I finally finagled it and a woman comes up and I realize this poor woman is supposed to be in the window seat.  Which is completely inaccessible thanks to the carseat.  Thankfully, not a full flight, so she just moved up a row.  Strap unruly child back in and for the first time ALL DAY kind of relax. 

The flight was the easy part.  As was getting off (with flight staff assistance) and to baggage claim where P happily played chase with a couple other "freed" toddlers from the flight.  My roomie, Holly, was a saint with him and it was a breeze.  You would never have known that this was the same kid from the morning.  Unless you looked at me.  And then you could tell.

I never want to do that again.  Not alone.  Not pregnant.  Not with so much shit.  NEVER FUCKING AGAIN.

Anyway, we made it.  We're safe.  My body hates me.  I have been contracting like mad, but nothing painful and if I put my feet up they go away.  Good thing they don't scare me anymore! 

Now that I have a living room to escape into after P goes to sleep, I hope to be on here more.  And with any luck actually read some of what y'all are up to! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Birthday, P

I'm not sure where the time has gone, but my little tiny baby is all of a sudden 2 years old today.  How did this happen?

Baby boy, you amaze me every day.  Language acquisition is a joy...and a frustration as I try to figure out what a word is since it very rarely is correctly pronounced.  But there are new ones every day.  I have to say, I'm not a fan of "want" but I'm guessing it's good you can at least verbalize that.  You may have walked late, but you took no time in transitioning that to running and you have no fear.  None.  You take off after strangers because they interest you.  You climb, jump off of things, and run headlong into walls, corners, name it.  There aren't many days that go by that you don't acquire new bruises on your legs, arms, HEAD, and last week you got your first black eye.  It took me 27 years to do that!  You greet me when I come home as though you haven't seen me in days.  You spend time every day giving me hugs around the neck that make me melt.  And you infuriate me just as often by throwing, hitting, and otherwise being destructive.  You've been balls to the wall from day 1 my little guy, and I know you will continue to keep me on my toes.  Soon you'll be a big brother, and I can't wait to see how you handle that, and how you teach your brother to be like you.  I am so lucky to be your mom.  I love you.

You, in retrospect!

You are one of these gorgeous embryos!

Less than a day old - gorgeous right off the bat.

You got so chubby!!!  So. Chubby. 6 months old.

12 months old!  

18 months old - hair, slimmed down from finally walking.  

Your 2nd birthday celebration last weekend - you thought the cake was so beautiful .  You didn't even want to touch it.

First time I've seen a kid try to hug a cake.  

Nana took the cake to cut it.  You were very upset.

Who needs cake when you have gumdrops and candles.  
Happy Birthday my gorgeous boy.  You are so loved.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Uncharted Territory

Monday marked 26w6d into this pregnancy.  The point at which I went into labor initially with P.  It's a milestone for which I've been holding my breath.  I've been able to take it so much easier this pregnancy being a SAHM in a tiny apartment.  Sadly, this means I am also woefully out of shape.  BUT!  Here I am, 27w1d and no labor!  I am so excited!

2 years ago with P I was in the hospital working on calming down my uterus.  Now?  I lift my 30lb almost 2 year old (next week WHAT???) on a regular basis and have only occasional BH cx.  Which, by the way, are totally different than I thought since last time they were REGULAR LABOR CONTRACTIONS.  Mostly occur if I REALLY need to pee.

It's amazing how different this pregnancy has been.  My mom has a theory that P had to fight to be conceived, fight to stay in, then fight to come out, and that has shaped him into quite the fiesty little boy.  This time, it all just HAPPENED.  And the pregnancy has been complication free.

Don't get me wrong...there are still moments.  But I have little to no heartburn.  Morning sickness was minimal.  Simply amazing.  If I didn't already know that boy #2 was in there I would swear this is a girl.  Same?  This kiddo has himself firmly wedged under the right side of my ribcage, and got there much earlier this time.  Holy moly it is painful.  I also got much bigger much faster, some of which I attribute to being at near-delivery weight from the last go 'round.  Ugh.  Meds plus baby weight?  I've got my work cut out for me after this guy comes.

This is 26w0d with P.  I popped a 2nd time about 2 weeks after this. I was 40lbs lighter than I am this time around.

This is 26w3d with F.  I am noticeably bigger.  And boy am I feeling it.  Just in the last couple days I have had a more difficult time moving around, getting up from sitting, and let me tell you, wiping my ass after pooping is getting quite difficult.  I look as big as I did when I delivered P at 35w1d.  I'm going to get huge, obviously.

Because of my history I start weekly NSTs next week.  I will get in 4 of them before it's time for me to be leavin' on a jet plane with Mr. P for Texas.  So, dear body, please continue to cooperate.

I still don't believe I will make it full term.  I'm not trying to jinx myself, rather just don't want to be disappointed.  Anything past 35w I will consider a bonus :-)

90 days left.  90 days.  I feel like I've been pregnant forever.  But I know when I look back on this a year from now I will wonder where the time has gone.  Stay in there kiddo.  I want you fully baked!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

There is sleep regression and then there is SLEEP REGRESSION.

We got rid of our sofa so we could move the bed into the living room so that P would sleep through the night. If we were in the room he would want to be with us.  A few months ago that stopped working.  And he would be in bed with us at some point every night.  Now he refuses to sleep alone.  And since he is  was in a toddler bed, he could get out and come bang on the door and scream.

So now he's back in bed with us.

This is incredibly different than sleeping with an infant.  He tosses, he turns, he sleeps sideways.  I woke up one night with him using my face as a pillow.  Other nights my face is a foot rest.  He also wakes hungry at least once.  And we leak through nighttime diapers because of all the milk.  How we are going to fit in a newborn, too is beyond me.

But this week we have entered a whole new era.  NIGHT TERRORS.  He has nightmares.  He whimpers in his sleep.  Sometimes he talks in his sleep.  But night terrors?  Oh. Em. Gee.  He wakes screaming after 45 minutes of sleep.  Screaming, kicking, crying, thrashing about.  It can take us up to 20 minutes of this joy to wake him in order to get him back to sleep.  It is heart-wrenching and exhausting.

Monday night this happened for 3 or 4 cycles.  It caused me to have panic attacks.  Hubby worked with him.  Tuesday night was only once like that, plus his usual hunger wake up.

Then there was last night.  Hell.

Started winding him down at 8pm.  This process now includes melatonin in his milk.

9:30 pm he finally gave up the phone because it died, cried, and finally fell asleep.

10:30 pm nightmare.  Luckily a quick one, back to sleep within 5 minutes.

11:15 pm I sneezed.  It triggered the night terror.

11:45 pm he finally calmed down a bit.  Hubby wasn't convinced and let him have the tablet.  Not a good idea.

12:15 am I took away the tablet.  He screamed and cried.  Then he built a pillow fort on the bed.

1:00 am we killed all soothing music, anything that could stimulate him.

1:15 am we all were asleep.

:Then he slept for 8 hours straight.  But oh, my god.  Night Terror.  Temper Tantrum.  Sheer refusal to sleep. I have been sick all week.  I was desperate to sleep.

So, he is finally asleep.  45 minutes later I wake up.  Thank you pregnancy insomnia and pregnancy bladder. Again at 3:45.  And 5:15.  and 7 am.  I went back to dozing on and off from 8:30-9:30.

I cannot even remember what a full night's sleep is like.

I have repeatedly told P and my body that I don't need a newborn prep period.  I remember.  I'd rather sleep now while I can.  Apparently this is not to be.  P has been asleep for about half an hour.  Waiting to see if he makes it past the 45 minute mark tonight.  Cross your fingers.  Mama needs the sleep.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Head Em Up Move Em Out

Well, after a very long time tossing around moving out of state, including one epic failure at an attempt to move to Ohio, we are in a place to make it happen.

It has some scary things to overcome, but they would be there now or after baby, except after baby there will be a BABY and a toddler.  So, before it is.  Those things are insurance, and related, medications.  My case manager is trying to find out some information for me on that stuff.  And we're squeezing in what we can before we leave.

The good news is that at this point no contractions, not really even BH.  So that is reassuring.  The current OB wants weekly NSTs starting at 28 weeks - looks like I will squeeze 2 in.

Because we are outta here by mid April at the latest.  30 weeks pregnant.  Eep.  My mother's response was "I don't approve."  Shocker.

The best part?  I am not bothered by it!  So I guess therapy is doing a little bit of good!  I don't need her approval nor am I disappointed by not receiving it!  I do feel guilty about taking her grandchildren away, but hell, Hubby's family has never met P except on Skype and via pictures, so she can get over it.  We need the change.  We can't do this tiny apartment anymore.  The lack of job opportunities.  We won't survive it with a newborn in the picture, too.

Where are we headed?

Wait for it...

Because it's kinda funny given who I am...


Go ahead, laugh.  It's funny.

But hear me out.  Texas has a lower cost of living.  My child who hates clothes will be appropriately attired now.  The job market is actually growing there. We have friends with whom we are going to house share - meaning they can do some legwork before we actually get there.  My friend already has a circle of friends with whom we will blend quite nicely.  We need that.  We need something other than doctors and one room.    We need to make something happen.  Because seriously, this last year can suck it.  It's time to take some control.  We are languishing here.

So...sometime in a month-ish we are packing up our crap with movers, piling 2 adults, a toddler, 2 cats, and a dog, and moving 1500 miles away.  While I'm pregnant.  LOL.  In for a penny, in for a pound, right?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's Been A While

I'm sorry for the absence.  Quite honestly, P has stopped sleeping alone and I spend hours some nights getting him to calm down.  And I'm tired - pregnancy does that.

I've lost my mojo.  It's difficult to find time to write.  My brain has been on overload.  I can't focus.

Okay.  My dad died 4 weeks ago today.  Suddenly, yet not terribly surprisingly.  My insurance has been a hot mess, missing W2, rib pain from baby boy with his butt in my ribcage (just like P was, only Finn has it going on much earlier), Hubby and I are not doing well because of money and lack of space, we are going to move because my settlement came in...

Point being, there is a lot going on and I sleep whenever I can because pregnancy nightmares are in full swing.  I just wish I could get my mojo back.

It looks like I will be spending much of the next month helping Hubby find a job, purging,

In pregnancy land, I hit 24 weeks this week.  Viability!  I was excited.  P turned 23 months old this week.  Blargh.  How is that even possible?  He will be 2.  TWO.  I'm not ready to admit that.

I am going to try to post more regularly, after P falls asleep but before I do - a very small window.

I will leave you with pics of P and Finn the other day.

A little blurry, but that's because if I use the flash he squints.  He calls
that teddy "bady" and he wrapped them up together to snuggle.  

Finn at 24w gestation.  I don't think so far that he looks anything like
P. But he is active like P was!

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Angel Baby Fund

I know, I have been absent.  Since the Sandy Hook thing.  And really, I was working on surviving the holidays.  And feeling overwhelmed with our situation and a baby on the way and ...I could go on.  It doesn't matter.

On New Year Day my best friend went into labor at 14 weeks.  Her water broke.  A sonogram showed no heartbeat and she had to deliver her tiny little son.  I felt helpless to help.  She is 2000 miles away.  She talks to me every day, and I do what I can.  I made a memory blanket for her little boy and finally got it out in the mail.

Yesterday, a beloved Tweep, known by many more than I realized, miscarried their 5th.  I wrote about her last year after she lost her 2nd set of twins to preterm delivery.  She was given the option to do IVF one last time before a hysterectomy, and it was successful.  She was right around 12 weeks.  The Twitterverse is in shock.  And yet again, I felt helpless.

I am done feeling helpless.  I am done standing by offering nothing but empty words.

Last night I put the feelers out and began a group for our friend, Love For Lis, on FB to raise money to put something together for her.  When I went to bed we had 25 members.  When I woke up we had 75, and more have joined today.

And I thought, "wow...this is an incredible outpouring of love."  And I thought about how many women in our community have suffered through an early loss in silence, through stillbirth, through infant or child death, and how hard it is to support them through it.  And I thought...this group doesn't have to stop here.

And so, with another woman or 2, and with the help of an amazing community donating web design services, possible lawyer services, etc...The Angel Baby Fund shall be born.

I am starting a non-profit.  A group that will take monetary donations, as well as handmade gifts, or gift cards, or whatever people can/want to contribute.  And when someone experiences a loss, their loved ones can contact us and we can send something.

I have a lot to do.  Set up with the county.  Set up with the IRS.  Find a bank to use (since we may move in a few months, one that is national).  Buy domain.  Set up website.  Etc etc.  But we are going to make this happen.  This feels right.  And I think it is a much needed thing.  There are small sites out there that do specific items for people.  We can link up with them maybe.  Refer to them for their specific products.  But it is going to happen.  I am starting a non-profit.

The Angel Baby Fund (or something along those lines).