Sunday, December 26, 2010

One Month Old

Fastest month of my life!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Stella's Story

Well, here we are at four weeks.  Sheesh.  That was the fastest and longest four weeks of my life.  I hope the rest of my life doesn't go that fast now that I am a mom of three.  Adjustments are being made all around.  I asked Jac if things were getting back to normal or if they were still crazy.  He said, definitely still crazy.

Before I completely forget what happened, here is Stella's story.

At about 10am on the 21st of November, which just happened to be a Blue Moon, the real contractions started.  They were rhythmic and a bit longer in duration and by the way, they hurt a little.  I am not sure that I knew for sure that this was it, but I was going to make it happen because in just 48 hours I had elected to be induced and although in the end it was my choice I didn't want it to go down that way. 

So I started getting ready.  Repacking the bag that had warm weather clothes in it instead of cold weather, getting the baby book, charging the camera.  I told Jeff that I thought this was it and he wisely took a nap; which is exactly what I should have done.  I did think about hanging out at home longer but I was very worried that these contractions like all the ones in the past would just go away. 

At midnight we rallied the troops.  First, I called my neighbor, Mary.  There was a bit of confusion as her husband was on a conference call with his IT team in India and I sort of busted in on that.  But she had just gone to bed so was able to make it to our house in record time.  (We live about 30 seconds away from each other on a bad day.)  This is the same friend who had naked running through the dark to get to my house dreams, I was glad that her worrying wasn't for naught.  She got to have her midnight oncall appearance.  Then I called Jeff's parents.  My mother-in-law literally answered after the first ring.  I am not sure if she had the phone by the bed or what, but it was fast.  They were the second line of defense for the kiddos and would relieve my friend around 2am.

Then I called my mom, who again answered after half a ring, unbelievable.  I guess everyone was as anxious as I was for Stella to make an appearance. 

It was around 12:30 when we left and the contractions were five to seven minutes apart and didn't hurt terribly, but were uncomfortable enough.  We got to the hospital and Jeff suggested that maybe we should walk around before we went in.  So we took a walk, it was actually fairly warm although a cold front was on the way.  It was very windy and we walked through the parking garage and around the hospital until we got blocked by construction.  We walked back and I was antsy, so we went ahead and went up to registration. 

We were checked in around 1am and luckily didn't have to stop at triage.  Not because my labor was so quick, but simply because it was nice to get a room immediately.  They found out I was over 40 weeks, and due to be induced on Tuesday morning and said, "congratulations, you get a room!"  Too late to turn back now, I was officially in the system and would definitely be having a baby soon.  When they checked to see how dilated I was, I was a four.

I really think that everything would have gone very smooth if not for the IV access that had to be put in.  I have read quite a bit about natural child birth and if your cortisol levels and adrenaline levels are made to rise you can stop the labor or slow it down. This gives a mother in the wilderness being attacked by a bear a chance to get to safety and not have to deal with contractions while she is running for her life.  Well my bears were two nurses who thought for sure that they could get an IV in me even though I warned them that I was extremely difficult.  They each tried twice, which meant four blown veins, two on my left hand and one on my right hand and one on  my right arm.  By the time I actually got the IV by an anesthesiologist my contractions had completely stopped.  This was around 4:30 or 5am.

The nurse came in and basically said, what do you want to do?  We have to get this labor started again.  She checked me and I remained four centimeters dialated.  I admit it, I cried when I heard that news.  So I opted to rest until 6am and then have my water broken.  I was opposed to getting my water broken because then you were really on a timeline and also, contractions are supposedly much worse when you don't have the cushion of the bag of waters anymore.  But I decided that getting my water broken would be a better alternative than getting a Pitocin drip.  This is basically when I lost control of my labor.  I really didn't see any alternative, it was either that or go home.  I was getting really tired and am glad I took an hour to rest.  But at this point was pretty sure I should have just stayed home as long as possible.  Jeff and I had bet on when we would meet baby and his guess of 8am and my guess of 6am were looking like bad jokes at this point. 

At 6am the attending doctor for the floor came in and broke my water.  It is pretty gross when they do it and remains messy and gross until you actually deliver.  Enough said.

Then I started walking.  I walked the halls with Jeff and then would come back and rest on the birthing ball.  The ball felt good, took the pressure off a little and the walking hurt.  I could definitely tell I was progressing, at least from a pain standpoint.  My doctor arrived sometime midmorning.  She wanted me to get the Pitocin in order to move things along.  I really like my doctor, but I am sure much of it had to do with her having a full patient load that afternoon.  Although I do feel like she wanted me to deliver as soon as possible because I clearly was getting fatigued.  I said I would think about it, but that I really doubted my ability to deal with contractions if I was put on Pitocin.  I knew then and there if I opted for Pitocin I would need an epidural.

What felt like an eternity later, the nurse checked me again at 10am.  I was in real pain and was managing it by making a lot of noise; surely I was getting close.  I was a 5.5, boo.  I didn't cry this time, I got mad.  How could I be in so much pain and still not be in transition?  What was transition going to feel like if this was just plain old labor?  I started to freak out a bit.  This was when I threw in the towel.  I was tired and in a lot of pain and couldn't imagine going many more hours.  I said, let's do it.  All of it.  Give me the Pitocin but first get me an epidural so that I don't lose my mind when you turn that drip on.

The nurse said that anesthia would be called as soon as she pushed a bag of fluids through my IV.  Yikes.  My nurse, who I have failed to mention so far, was completely inept.  I am sure that she looked back on this birth and felt guilty.  She had forgotten to keep my IV access primed.  They are supposed to push fluids through it every hour or so to make sure it doesn't seal up.  Well, she was able to push fluids through it with a syringe but the IV wouldn't work with the regular machine.  Again, I started to freak a little.  I didn't think I could deal with getting another IV put in.  Somehow, she managed to pump fluids in me, but instead of the 15 minutes it is supposed to take it took at least 30, maybe more.  So there I was in LOTS of pain with contractions coming faster and more intense, waiting for these fluids. 

Enter the anesthesiologist.  She came in a few minutes before or after 11am.  She was not too impressed with the situation.  I was in real pain, moaning, etc.  She was talking to me and not getting a lot of responses.  I will say she was impressive.  She put an epidural in me really fast.  By 11:20 the epidural was in and she said she was going to give me a whopper.  She shot me up with an enormous dose of pain medicine, of which I don't know that I ever felt. 

As soon as the epidural was in they swung me back around on the bed and that one motion changed everything.  I immediately felt "the pressure".  I told everyone in the room, I feel pressure.  I hadn't been checked for dilation since 10am.  My lovely (hear sarcasm) nurse checked and announced that I was complete.  Lovely.   Actually all this would have been fantastic; I didn't have to have Pitocin, I made it through transition without pain meds and my over 12 hour labor was finally coming to a close.  Only one problem, they had only just called my doctor who was at the other hospital she attends delivering another baby.

At that point, Stella started to come.  There was absolutely nothing I could do.  This is where you remember that a woman in a coma can have a baby.  You don't really need to do anything, your body will take care of it.  Trying to tell me to not push was like telling the sea not rise at high tide.  The doctor left, presumably to get someone to deliver the baby.  My nurse, who although inept was the only in the room qualified to deliver the baby, tried to leave.  I remember yelling, you can't leave.  I thought she was crazy, clearly she didn't know that my husband COULD NOT deliver this baby.

Finally, a nurse who knew what she was doing joined us.  Lily, she was lovely.   She cut or ripped off the hospital underwear (yes, I was still wearing underwear).  She announced that the baby was crowning and literally with no effort on my part Stella's head popped out.  I heard something about no cord visible, which was good considering we had no doctor present and they told me to push.  I wasn't even contracting at that moment, but I said, what the heck, let's push.  There is no other relief in the world like the immediate relief you feel when baby is fully delivered.  It is a thank the Lord kind of relief.  It is complete and immediate, it is wonderful.  I believe at that point the attending doctor walked in. 

She suctioned Stella, cut the cord and handed her to me.  Stella promptly pooped all over me.  She was perfect.  She scored a 9 and a 9 on the Apgar, the best of all my children.  She cried a high pitch squeal that she has been perfecting over the past month.  They tried to take her and I wouldn't let them. 

It wasn't exactly how I envisioned her birth.  But it was our story and very memorable.  It was loud, mostly because I was screaming and then Stella was screaming.  It was messy, both mommy and baby again.  And it was beautiful, mommy, daddy and baby all cried.  It was perfect and so is Stella.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stella Photo Shoot

My very talented friend came over and took some lovely photos of Stella. 

We love it when she is like this.

But often, this is the face we get.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Just Like Her Big Brother

Jac at birth

Stella at birth
The resemblance is uncanny.  Stella is a female version of Jac, at least at the ripe old of age of 7 days.  Here are some photos to prove it! 



She also had very similar statistics as Jac.  They both weighed 8 lbs 2 oz, they both had a head circumference of 14 inches and Stella was a mere half inch shorter than Jac's 21.5 inches.  They make similar expressions and of course their first poop story was very similar!



On the day that we were supposed to take Jac to his first doctor's appointment, Jac hadn't pooped since the hospital.  He had had the normal bowel movements in the hospital, but once we were home, nothing.  We went in for his checkup and during his PKU blood draw, while I was holding him and he was screaming his little head off - he pooped, everywhere.  He exploded the diaper and actually managed to come out of his footies onto my shirt.  We tried to clean him up, but as first time parents we had 3 wipes and 1 diaper which we had already used to change his wet diaper at the beginning of the checkup.  We had no extra clothing.  Jeff and I gave each other a look that meant "I am in if you are in" and we zipped that poop up in his footies and hustled him out of there. 

His first poop, first doctor visit and first bath also conincided - just like Stella's.  And of course, I was thrilled!

The Case of the Missing Poop

Yes, I said poop.  Don't you know that as soon as you have children, or pets for that matter, poop becomes one of the things you talk about, regularly.  You are responsible for another person and nothing says healthy like a regular bowel movement! 

Well, first off.  Stella is very healthy.  She was over 40 weeks gestational age and she is very alert, a great eater and seems to be taking to the outside world very nicely.  Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to want to poop. 

Here is the whole story.  She came out rather dramatically (I promise, more to come on her birth) and fast and as soon as she was placed on my belly she pooped!  A lot.  She pooped all over me, herself, the bed the bed clothes, everything was covered in the black meconium poop.  She was cleaned up and no worse for wear.  She did have one other poop in the hospital.  After that, nothing.

We have had lots of nice wet diapers, over the amount that indicates she is getting plenty to eat.  So we definitely know she isn't dehydrated.  We went to the doctor's yesterday for her first checkup.  This is mostly a checkup to determine if she is getting enough to eat and regaining weight.  She was 7 lbs 10 oz, which is the weight we went home at.  This indicates that more than likely she dipped below this the first couple of days she was home and is back on an upswing toward her birth weight of 8 lbs 2 oz.  Her vitals were good, her jaundice test was normal and in general she is very alert and "normal".  So what gives? 

The doctor was actually not concerned.  I was worried (which is what I do, I am a professional) that she would make me supplement with formula.  But our lovely doctor just wanted us to follow up in two days if she hadn't pooped.  She recommended using a rectal thermometer to gently remind Stella of her duty to poop! 

In general yesterday, Stella was a bit fussy and didn't sleep as much as she normally does, hmmm.  Around 5pm she really acted tired, but just wouldn't settle.  I put her down in one of her many chairs in the house and about 10 minutes later, lo and behold, wiggle and squirm and with much fanfair, she pooped! 

She pooped a lot.  If of course would not be contained by her diaper.  It came screaming out both legs and up her tummy.  It was first bath worthy.  She turned the water brown.  Yuck.  We got her all cleaned up and bundled and she promptly fell asleep.  Good girl.  Now mommy can find something else to worry about.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Welcome Stella Jane!

Much more to come on this little girl's arrival.  But here are some pictures that are long overdue. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Documenting Baby #3s Birth Story

Saturday, November 20th - Went for a really long walk with my neighbor.  Probably walked about 2 miles (which is really long for me these days) with hills.  Raked leaves and shoveled them into bags with the whole family for at least an hour, maybe longer.  Sat on the exercise ball I bought on Friday as much as I could stand during afternoon and evening.  Evacuated my bowels, nice way of saying I had diarrhea sometime around 5pm with some pretty serious contractions.  Thought to myself, this is it!  Didn't eat dinner, but was hungry by 8pm so had a snack.  Went to bed at 10:30 with some mild contractions, but nothing regular. 

Sunday, November 21st - Woke up several time with contractions that were uncomfortable.  Was up with Mia at 4:30 because she had a bad dream.  Starving, came downstairs and ate a peanut butter sandwich.  Started blogging and timing contractions at 4:45.  They are currently eight to ten minutes apart, not very intense though.  Haven't heard from Mia, assume she is back to sleep.

During the day today, I pulled weeds and cleaned up a couple of flower beds.  I also learned that the barometric pressure is falling in St Louis as I type and it is a Blue Moon tonight (3rd full moon of a season with four).  It would be a great night to have a baby.

The Lack of a Sucking Sound in My House - Well, It Can Suck

I know, I know.  I should be thanking my lucky stars and sticking my tongue out at all the dentists in town.  But I am not.  I really just wasn't ready for this.  I feel like her babyhood is slipping through my fingers and it makes me sad.

Mia stopped sucking her thumb. 

Just like that, easy peasy.  Well, there definitely was a series of events that led up to this historic moment.  If you need to figure out how to get your four year old to stop using her thumb this is what you do:

1.  Have her walk up a slide in Crocs that are too big for her over and over until she slips and falls and smacks her mouth on the slide.
2.  Make sure the fall is hard enough to move the tooth and makes it wiggly and definitely throw in a fat lip and some blood.
3.  Take her to the dentist and make sure she has a very healthy fear of "the chair", "the bubbles" (aka flouride), and "the pictures".  (This you need to work on years in advance to instill the proper level of hatred of the whole place.)
4.  Have the scary dentist whisk her away even though Mommy promised she would stay with her the whole time.
5.  Have the dentist make her cry, at least a little.
6.  Have the dentist scare her into thinking if she sucks her thumb ANYMORE her tooth will fall out.
7.  Make it hurt a little to suck her thumb.
8.  A couple of weeks later leave blankie at school overnight to truly break the blankie/thumb sucking in the middle of the night cycle.

Voila!  Now you have a four year old little girl who no longer sucks her thumb, at all.  She doesn't suck it during the day, she doesn't suck it to go to sleep, and as far as I can tell she doesn't suck it at night to go back to sleep.  This could be why she has been calling out for Mommy after any bad dream or when she wakes up, normally at 4am. 

Trust me, I was perfectly fine with the thumb sucking.

Oh, and to update you on the tooth.  It is definitely out of place, which apparantly is no big deal.  It has stopped changing color, so she won't have to get a new grill or have it pulled.  It just is slightly duller than her other pearly whites.  Gives her character.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just Another Day

So today was my due date.  It's 9pm and no sign of baby.

A lot of people don't understand why I am okay with this.  They wonder why my doctor won't induce me.  But the thing is; she will, she actually offered to induce me two weeks ago.  I said no.

This seems odd to many people; that I would say no.  But I have a few reasons.  First of all, I am not very uncomfortable.  I know what it is like to be uncomfortable in the ninth month of pregnancy.  With Jac, I was swollen to the gills, not used to losing sleep and in general just pretty anxious about the whole thing.  But I really am not that uncomfortable with this third baby.  I am very mobile, no swelling to speak of, eating well - I don't sleep anyway, so this is truly one of those babies that its just easier to have her in than out. 

There are other reasons I am okay with going overdue.  One, I really want the spontaneous labor, the 2am contractions, the frantic drive to the hospital - all the drama.  It seems so clinical and controlled to be picking dates and times and methods of induction. I read a book this week that said, should labor and delivery be something that is done to your body or something your body does?  But even if spontaneous labor wasn't enough of an incentive for me not to want to be induced I truly believe that if I am on a Pit drip I will cave and get an epidural.  I haven't really talked about this with many people because a lot of women either think you are truly nuts or they just think you want to be Supermom if you want to deliver naturally.  That isn't it at all.  I may be nuts, but Supermom is not on my radar.  I can go through the reasons that I want to labor naturally or to put a finer point on it, with as few interventions as possible, but I will save that for another day.  The point is, it is my body, my baby and my labor.  If I want to labor out in the woods, it is my decision.  And I know that with one intervention you are pretty much setting yourself up for more.  The Pit drip automatically leads to more aggressive labor than most women's bodies would do naturally making it more difficult to turn down the epidural.  So that is a big reason for me to not want the iduction.

The other reason, which has less backing than just my gut instinct is that I think baby has her own timeline and she will be happier, healthier and just ready when she is ready. 

That all being said.  I am now scheduled to be induced next Tuesday.  So say your prayers that this baby makes an appearance before then, and barring that; that this induction goes as well as it possibly can with as few interventions as possible. 

Oh - one last thing for all you statistics geeks out there.  A baby is considered full term anywhere between 38 and 42 weeks.  Ninety-five percent of women will deliver their babies within this time frame and the other five percent will deliver early or late.  This is a normal curve.  The 40 week mark is simply the average, the mid point.  So now, after realizing that I am simply at the midpoint (I have no idea why I didn't realize this during my first two pregnancies.) of the normal curve for delivery I don't feel so overdue.  Overdue really shouldn't be used at all to describe going bast your due date.  Due date is really a bad term also, it implies that an uncomfortable, fat, hormonal woman who may or may not have had eight hours of uninterrupted sleep in months is somehow defective if her body has not gone into labor by this date.  Enough said about that.

Nesting in Full Swing

I really am feeling quite good at this point.  I do have some aches and pains, but considering my size and the fact that I am 5 days away from my due date I am very mobile.  I keep telling people that a month ago I didn't feel well at all.  Between the belly button pain and the medication I wasn't too happy.  Don't get me wrong I have a myriad of lovely pregnancy symptoms, but all in all it has been a really good week or two. 

I have a lot of energy, I am sleeping well and I have a lot of motivation!  I truly believe that the motivation comes from the nesting instinct.  I have had A LOT of Braxton Hicks, so I feel like I am within at least a 5 day window!  Surely this will happen soon. 

Here is one of the projects that I have had a lot of help from everyone.  The room.  We decided to keep our guest room intact for the most part and just add lot of baby furniture.  Eveyone has helped out with the room - Jeff's parents, my sister, the kiddos.  My mom made the bedding, which I am so pleased with. 

Okay baby, we are officially ready for you.  Come on out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cowboy/Cowgirl Day

This is the way I sent Mia to school yesterday for Cowboy Day.  So much fun!

Thanks to our friend for supplying this outfit!

Week 39

Well, we have one more week until the big Due Date.  Not that I believe in due dates.  Did you know that only 5% of women have their babies on their due dates? 

I saw the doctor yesterday and it was a nonevent.  I had myself wound up pretty tightly about it.  I just knew that my doctor was going to turn into a pushy mean lady who would make me pick a date to induce.  I was also worried that she was going to try and get me started in her office.  There are things that I have heard about, but never had done to me that I was terrified of, I think I would have had to ask for Nurse Hilde to come in and hold my hand. 

But, yet again, I was worrying for nothing.  She did check my progress, which hasn't changed.  I am still a 3 and not very effaced although baby is firmly in position in my pelvis. She did not try any "procedures" on me to hurry things along.  She did ask me if I was still wanting to go into labor spontaneously.  We talked about what would happen next week when I reached the magic number.  Most doctors have a firm date that they don't like to go past because of the increase in risk of still birth.  So we talked about how induction would work and what days of the week it would be on, all the practical stuff.

Now I just have to figure out how to go into labor before we get to next week.  I certainly don't want to endanger my baby.  But I also don't want to induce just for convenience sake.  I know so many people who go overdue without any issues.  I truly hope that this decision is taken out of my hands. 

The good news is that I feel great.  I felt awful a month ago and couldn't imagine making it this far.  But it hasn't been bad.  I have definitely reached the 'big as a whale' stage where I couldn't possibly ever be attractive again.  But as far as sleeping, that is fine.  My kids wake me up more than my bladder.  And I don't have much pain any more, no sciatica, no belly button pain.  I am just ungainly and can't reach anything south of the border.  I am definitely ready, but of all the pregnancy weeks and ups and downs, this past one hasn't been bad.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reunited And it Feels So Good

Note to self:  do not allow Mia to take her blanket to school. 

Sounds simple, straight forward and logical.  Don't underestimate the power of a four year old's tears on a pregnant woman's psyche.  She asked to take it, I obviously didn't say no, the rest is a sleepless night.

Right around bedtime we realized that Blankie was not in the building.  There were tears, lots of tears.  She actually went to sleep fairly easily.  But I was under no illusion that she would stay asleep.  We made it until 1:30 when she woke up basically screaming.  We all ended up in one bed, except the defector, Daddy.  I am sure that he didn't get a fantastic night's sleep, but I am also sure that his rated much higher than mine. 

I called early this morning to make sure that said Blankie had truly spent the night in Mia's cubby at school.  If not, I had a much bigger issue on my hands.  One requiring a plan, maybe even a night nanny or boarding school.  But Blankie, although lonely was still at school waiting for Mia.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lest We Forget I Had a Birthday

Subconciously, I was going to slip that little birthday under the rug.  I really don't get freaked about my birthday.  There have been numbers that have seemed more significant than others.  But in general, I look forward to my birthday.  I look forward to Halloween and all of the festivities that come with it, I look forward to feeling a little special and receiving wishes and cards and gifts.  But let's be honest folks, birthdays do become a bit stale the more you have.  And now, being on the other side of 30 - numbers prior to this were still low 30s.  I am officially on the other side, in the upper 30s and it feels a bit odd.  I know that 40 is just around the bend. 

My DH did a great job on my birthday.  He did all of the things that make the day a little different than the next.  He let me sleep in, he made me breakfast, he let me dictate the days activities, he took the kiddos off in another direction while I went to the mall and out to lunch with my sister.  He bought a ridiculously large cake that we all adored.  And of course, he gave me a lovely gift that was very thoughtful.  A watch.  I haven't had a 'fancy' watch (Mia's description) in a long time.  It's perfect.

Of course, when I was digging for a complement and asked him, "How does it feel to be married to a 36 year old?"  My smooth, romantic husband said, "It sounds old.  Especially, considering I stopped aging at 28."  Hm.

Here are the things I learned during my 36th year:
  • I have known this for awhile, but every year it seems to solidify, my family truly is the most important thing to me.  I have been blessed with an amazing, talented and funny husband who supports me and challenges me; and he just happens to be pretty easy on the eyes.  And somehow we were given two amazing kids with another on the way.
  • Pregnancy becomes harder the older you get.  Sometimes the spirit is willing but the body is just not able.
  • I have an amazing support group of friends and family and am constantly humbled by the acts of service that they provide.
  • Kids grow up fast.
  • My energy for fighting battles in life has diminished, I need to regroup and pick the ones that are truly worthwhile. 
  • Even at the ripe old age of 36, a five year old and a four year will be the two people that try my patience on a daily basis.  Not the global financial meltdown, not the sluggish race reform in our country, not the mom's at the PTO, not the speed of my internet connection - oh no, definitely the five year old and the four year that I live with.
  • Try, try, try to live in the moment.  Because it can all be gone in the blink of an eye. 
Wow - I got all serious today.  Thanks to everyone for making my birthday great.  Now I have to get used to checking the 36-44 box on surveys, yuk.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sock Issues, Among Other Things

I believe everyone is aware that I am not a patient person.  I try.  Children have definitely helped me in this arena, especially my eldest.  In case you didn't know, children and parents are paired up somewhere in the great beyond for their strengths and weaknesses.  If your baby tries you at every turn and knows how to push your buttons right around 18 months it is because you are supposed to be working on something.  I am fairly certain that Jac will be teaching me lessons in patience well into his adulthood.  I can't wait.

The latest trial we have been going through is about socks and shoes, but mostly just socks.  Summer is a great time, bare footedness and Crocs are fantastic for people with sensitive toes.  You don't have to worry about seams or wrinkles or the heel or seams, did I mention seams?   We have been in school for approximately 10 weeks, give or take.  It is a requirement that the kids wear closed toed shoes for recess and rubber non marking soled shoes for PE.  We are lucky and get to have PE every other day.  The class gets a recess outside almost every day also.  Even if the school didn't have these rules, I would make Jac wear socks and tennis shoes to school, simply so that he could be fast and sure and play his hardest if he wanted to. 

For 10 weeks we have had minor issues.  It is a battle pretty much every day to choose a pair of socks that will feel good.  And trust me, we have a variety of socks.  That is not the problem, I buy socks constantly in hopes of finding the one truly comfortable pair of socks for Jac.  Hanes are terrible, don't ever buy them.  Champion are better but too thick if your feet are getting a little big for your shoes.  The thin athletic socks that are wicking, generally not made of cotton seem to be the best, however they do tend to hug the toes a bit too much for Jac's liking. 

It took us about 30 minutes yesterday to find a pair of socks that were suitable.  I had actually gotten some new socks from Stride Rite that boasted a "comfort seam".  The seam was truly nonexistent, barely there.  I wanted Jac to try these socks out before putting on his shoes, big mistake.  My big take away from this is that Jac will never be the kid who runs around in his socks.  He ditches both shoes and socks as soon as he arrives home from school.  He then will be either barefoot or slip his Crocs on for the rest of the day.  So having him test run his new socks thirty minutes before the bus, was torture.  I didn't realize that.  Big lesson, regardless of the sock; as soon as you put on the sock put a shoe on over.  It seems to deaden the sensitivity a bit. 

Surely someone out there has this issue themselves or has dealt with it in their children.  I have a lot of questions!  What socks do you buy?  I just recently bought some super 'spensive socks for him that aren't here yet from a website for kids with sensory issues.  We'll see.  Surely there is something better and cheaper out there. 

My other question is, how do you desensitize?  We have tag issues, underwear issues (Jac actually went to school without underpants yesterday because we literally could not face another clothing battle.), coat issues (can't be too bulky), pajama issues, shoe issues and pretty much clothing issues in general if they are too big or too little. 

It makes me wonder about when he was an infant if his witching hour in the evenings where he would cry from 5pm to 8pm was because he had finally had it with whatever uncomfortable outfit I had him in that day. 

My other question is, how did kids like Jac cope with wooden clogs, a sock that was home made/spun and then darned a hundred times or wearing wool all the time because you live on a sheep farm, etc. etc.  Seems like my little suburban guy has it easy.....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Waiting Game

It is just a matter of time.  Baby Girl Carey will be coming out to join us very soon and everyone wants to know when!  We have had some contractions that wouldn't go away (8 hours).  We have had a full moon and the lowest barometric pressure in history (yikes).  Coming off of my medication I was very active, with Halloween, a birthday celebration, pumpkin patches, trying to make my house less of a pit among other things.  None of these have helped a seemingly very anxious girl to come out. 

Last week, I was dilated to a 2 and my doctor had me crawling backwards off the table (envision something out of the exorcist) and sweating bullets when she "checked" me.  This week, she was a little kinder although far from gentle when she said I was a "good 3". 

All signs say that labor and delivery are imminent.  My legs could snap off at the hips like a Barbie doll they are so loose.  Baby has rotated to a nice position so she won't be delivered sunny side up.  My energy levels are high, indicating nesting is starting to happen (I did buy a fire extinguisher last week).  My milk is coming in.  It would appear that, yes, in the next couple of weeks I should deliver a baby.  Exactly. 

I am not a patient person.  I have a tendency to want to control the situation, just a tad.  So today is yard work day.  A surefire method to throw me into labor.  I am going to protect my belly button which is still sore since little girl's bum rests up against it all day long.  I am not going to lift anything heavy or do any twisting, I can already hear all you naysayers.  After the yard work, I may go on a long brisk walk. 

My doctor offered to schedule an induction next week, she was not pushy or anything and said it was totally up to me  (but come on, I am only 38 weeks!).  If anyone has the option of turning down Pitocin I recommend it.  It is an evil, evil drug that makes even the most anethetized birth excruciating and exhausting.  So "no", I will wait it out and baby will come when baby wants to come.  (Or at least I will try 101 natural ways to kickstart this labor before resorting to drugs.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Fun

We had a great time this Halloween! 

Mia's pumpkin, prepared for carving!
Pumpkin carving is serious business.

Neighborhood parade

We didn't have a six in the candle drawer, shoot!

Awww - pumpkin kisses.

Aunt Daphne came and helped, thank goodness!

The haul, we may have candy until Christmas.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Halloween

Halloween is a fun time these days, if maybe just a TAD overdone.  And this come from the Halloween Queen.  I am born on Halloween afterall, I believe that I have experienced most of the Halloween excitement that there is to experience.  I love Halloween, I admit.  But wow, we officially have Halloween coming out our ears.

The kids love it, of course.  My wish for them is that they take away fun memories with family and friends outside of the ridiculous amounts of candy.  I also hope they walk a little taller knowing their mommy made their costumes (because more than likely it is the last time!)  And maybe, just maybe I can squeeze in some discussions about how we are donating to various charities at some of the events that we go to. 

Mia was the cutest pumpkin at school (she did have some competition from one of her teachers) at her Halloween party and parade yesterday. 

Mia and I got together with her classmates at the pumpkin patch.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

37 Week Doctor Appointment

Well, I made it 37 weeks.  That is awesome.  Now baby doesn't have to worry about being poked and prodded so much when she comes out, she is officially full term and they can just throw her up on my chest instead of whisking her away like poor Mia.  Her activity level just keeps increasing every day, I hope that means that when she is delivered that she won't be so sleepy.  If she is more alert there is a chance I might be successful this time with the breastfeeding.

Everything is good with the doctor.  I asked a few more burning questions, made sure I knew who the oncall doctor was this weekend and found out that I am dilated to a 2 now.  Baby is down and no longer "floaty".

I feel huge and cumbersome and am definitely ready for baby to come.  I would prefer, however, to not share my birthday!  Jeff and I discussed it last night and we would like to wait until next week! (Not sure we have that much control over the whole thing.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

36 Week Doctor Appointment

I am officially off of the medication.  Yay!  It really wasn't too bad, I wasn't having any more headaches.  But I didn't like setting an alarm to take it in the middle of the night.  I guess I have at least a few more nights to eat and sleep as much as I want to.  That may not last for long.

I am one centimeter dilated but not a lot of other action.  With Mia when she sent me home at week 36 I was a 2 or a 3, so a little further along.  I did gain weight this last week, which I hadn't been doing.  Good for baby.  My belly is pretty textbook size at 36 cm.  I am right where I should be! 

The only problem is that I don't have a lot of incentive to bake her much longer.  My belly button hurts!  I am like a turtle on my back trying to get out of bed or up from a chair.  I am not swollen, thank goodness, but I do have enormous difficulty in getting anything off the floor, shaving my legs or tying my shoes.  I would love to be able to pick up Jac and Mia, but that is a thing of the past for now.  I guess the incentive to keep her in there is if I go one more week, she is considered full term and there will be a lot less tests at delivery and while in the hospital.  She may also be more alert than my sleepy little Mia was for the first weeks. 

Good news, we have a name, including a middle name!  We will share it with you in it's finality when the big day arrives.  Bad news, if the ultrasound at 19 weeks was wrong and we are having a boy, we don't have a name.  Jeff and I have talked a little at least, but are pretty far apart still when it comes to boy names.  We also have the crib put together, the car seat cover washed and I have diapers and bottles.  There are still plenty of things to do to be completely prepared, but the necessities are taken care of.

I don't know if I am nesting or if I just have gotten completely disgusted with our house.  Regardless, every day that the baby stays in is one more day I can put things in order.  Some toilets need cleaning and some floors need mopping, along with a lot more! 

The last thing to think about is that Friday is a full moon.  Jac was born close to a new moon (as was Jeff) but my water broke due to a big storm that came through.  Mia was born smack on a full moon (as was I).  So Thursday, Friday and Saturday are all good guesses.  Or I could have a November baby, who knows?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Field Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Jac had so much fun on his first school field trip.  They went to the pumpkin patch and then to the park for lunch.  His first quesiton when he got hom was, "When is our next field trip?" 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Little Workers

Don't underestimate what a four year old and five year old can do.  I have received help from a lot of people this week.  Friends bringing me things and offering to bring me things, offers to walk Trucker, child care and bus services, prayers; all of it wonderful.  But to receive the understanding and help from the tiniest of people, that is also amazing. 

Jac and Mia have helped with the dishes, unloading mostly. They have helped me endlessly pick things up off the floor, which sometimes seems like the most insurmountable of tasks.  They have helped me with the laundry, switching it out and carrying to a nice high counter to be folded.  They have really helped in the self care, often getting their own snacks, trying to put their shoes on by themselves, washing their own hair and the list goes on. 

It makes me wonder why I didn't have them doing this stuff before?  But all in good time, they are becoming responsible little people that only whine about their workload every once in awhile.  They do ask for money a lot, so they aren't entirely altruistic! 

It takes a village, and even the tiniest are part of the village. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Final Countdown

So, Jeff and I had an interesting weekend.  I guess it shouldn't be considered that interesting considering we have done it two times before.  I was having contractions on Friday evening that just wouldn't go away regardless of what I did.  So around 10pm we decided to call the doctor and she said to go ahead and head to the hospital. 

Long story short, everything is fine.  Baby is fine and they were able to stop the contractions with medication.  I am on medication until next week when I will be 36 weeks.  36 weeks is not exactly full term but you have a very high percentage of babies who don't have any lung issues at 36 weeks.  Mia was born 24 hours after I stopped the medication at 36 weeks. 

I was a bit emotional about all of it.  Part of that is just, hello I am pregnant, and part is the medication makes me feel weird and gives me a headache.  I don't get headaches and don't deal well with them.  Also, even though I was taking the medicine yesterday I was contracting again in the evening, and I thought, great, I am going to have to labor with this viscious headache.  How would that work? 

But headache has gotten better and I have had a wonderful day of telling a lot of people what I won't be able to do over the next two weeks.  You can really clear your calendar when you need to, it's amazing.  I have also had so many people offer help and provide help, it is very humbling.  I know that it is a pay it forward event, because there is no way to repay all of my wonderful friends and family individually. 

So get ready folks, we are probably going to have an October baby.  Which day do you think it will be?  I am 36 weeks on Tuesday and that is when my next doctor's appointment is.  I will stop the meds that day assuming all is well.  It could be that day, but I doubt it.  But perhaps by the weekend we could have another bouncing baby!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Apple Picking

I have wanted to go apple picking for awhile.  I didn't think that it was going to happen this year, because of a busy fall and a big belly.  My DH asked if the family would want to go apple picking this weekend.  Yay!  What seemed daunting on my own now was easy with Jeff.

So we went to Illinois, the kids got a kick out of that; saying we needed to find some apples to pick in Missouri.  We had a great time with all of the fun things to do at the farm, but my favority was the actual apple picking. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Real Story of the Oil Spill

With a title like that you may think this is another big business hating post from yours truly.  Au contraire.  My five year old knows how it really went down.

If you look closely at the atlas that he has been coloring.  (Yes, Jac and Mia play with an old atlas lying around because in our house Santa brings my husband a new atlas every year; in case a road changes.)  I wasn't here to listen to the complete story, but down the Atlantic coast there is another highway, drawn in blue and green.  A car, presumably a large one, was driving down that highway and made it to the Gulf only to crash!  All of it's oil spilled out, causing the large purple stain that you see in the Gulf. 

There you have it.  Jac's version of the Gulf oil spill.  Who knew he even was aware of the oil spill?  Better start watch what I am saying in front of him!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Now That's Domestic!

For some unknown reason I decided to make Jac and Mia's Halloween costumes this year.  This project was supposed to be completed sometime in July so that I wouldn't be worrying about costumes in October, so much for that.  Maybe, if I were to be completely honest, I would admit that there are certain Mommy duties that I am not 100% comfortable with (like making Halloween costumes).  In order to be the best Mommy I can be, I do feel that at some point I should be able to make a Halloween costume or put together some random costume for the school play. 

Regardless, I have already spent a ton of time and money creating these costumes for the kids.  Jac's was completed with my mom's help in July.  Batman.  Felt cape, felt hood, throw on some black pants and a Batman t-shirt, voila.  Mia's pumpkin costume, however, is not complete.

As crunch time nears, I realize I need to get this done. Sooooooo, today I tackled it.  I say that like I just went to the store and bought stuff today.  Oh, no.  I have been cutting and pinning and reading directions over and over again for a good two weeks.  It was the sewing part that I tacked today.  I was nervous and downright scared to bust out the sewing machine that my mom gave me for my birthday.  I am familiar with this machine, it was my mom's for probably 30 years or more.  I used it to sew random projects when I was a kid and other random things as an adult.  I never liked sewing, requires too much patience.

I say that I have sewed things.  The problem with this statement is that I literally would sit down at the machine after my mom had threaded it and gotten it ready with the required stitch, needle, bobbin, etc.  Then I would take the material that she helped me cut, maybe even cut herself, pinned together herself, ironed and whatnot and I would sew a seam.  Needless to say, I am less than an expert.

But I did it!  Mia and I went downstairs today armed with new sewing scissors and a spool of orange thread.  I got the machine turned on and pulled out the thread that was in it.  I unwound a bobbin and read the directions on how to load thread on it.  I followed the directions and watched as magically the thread went up and down on the bobbin.  I threaded the needle successfully the first time.  All was good until I actually started to sew.  Not a lot of drama though, I just got a knot underneath by the bobbin that I had to pull out and get rid of.  A rethread of the needle and I was off and running.

Mia asked, why is it taking so long?  Indeed. 

I completed two seams that were neither crooked nor curvy.  I successfully laid out the other pieces and have them pinned and ready to go.  I also used Stich Witchery to applique the Jack O'Lantern face on the front of the costume.  Yay me!  I still have to put the rest of it together and also there is some sort of gathering, elastic, hem thing at the bottom that has me in a twist.  But one step at a time. 

Will I do it again?  I don't know. Maybe if I can't find what I want at the store.  The problem is Pottery Barn has this adorable pumpkin costume that looks suspiciously like the one I am making only with a straighter more evenly placed face, for $30 (my fabric and pattern were definitely more than $30).  Hmm. 

What I do like about this is having the kids help me make it, learn the process and watch their Mommy struggle with something.   They also enjoy (at least for now) knowing that I made it just for them.