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!!!