Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Busy, Busy!

Lincoln has his first cold. He was up all night congested so neither of us got much rest.

I have been working for my mom since last week. We have managed not to kill one another so I'd say that constitutes a success! I spent one day working alongside a man with Aspberger's and he was a delight! He sang along to every Christmas song on the radio, told me all about Jesus and fawned over Lincoln. I learned a lot from him!

I got our Christmas cards ordered but I still need to make my way to the post office to buy postage and get Lincoln's Santa picture taken. I will never forgive myself if I worked like a mad woman to get the cards ordered, only to send them out late.

We had a light dusting of snow the past two nights so I am limited on when I can bring Lincoln out. I ordered a canopy which helps prevent the wind taking his breath away, and I also have this fleece Sherpa thingy. Both drive him crazy and I feel bad since he already despises riding in his car seat but I'm not about to let him freeze. I'm watching the news as I type this and they're reporting that following this past winter's disastrous lack of preparation for snow clearing, two counties actually bought snow plows. Too bad we don't live in either of those counties, lol. Maybe they will be nice and loan them out? Ha!

Time to catch up on all of you guys in my Reader! Ciao!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Call me Petty

I am irrationally annoyed with my parents so I did the most logical thing and ate the brownie "ribbon" out of their Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie.

That is all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Yuck!

I guess I take a long time to learn certain lessons.

Time after time, if I am rushed or feeling inconvenienced while out and about, I will try to feed Lincoln formula. It never, ever ends well. Never.

This last time, Lincoln didn't poop for two days, and when he finally did, he was miserable and uncomfortable ALL DAY. The results were...pretty epic. Poor baby! I need to just surrender to his needs and stop what I am doing and nurse him. His second breakfast of the day is during the time we are usually in church on Sundays so I have been relegated to sitting in the nursing "closet" which sucks but is bearable. I really wish they had a chair in their with arms, but the bright side is that I am working on my arm muscles!

Anyway, all this to say, I need to take my cues from Lincoln and work on my stubbornness. No more forcing the formula issue!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Texas State Fair 2011

My parents treated us to the Texas State Fair. I have to say, it didn't live up to my expectations. Granted, is was several times larger than the one I'd attended for years in California, but I think it was too hyped up. These pictures are simply awful, but, they're better than nothing! Since we only went for the food, here is a recap of what we ate:

Fried corn
Fried s'mores
Fried brownies
Brisket tacos
Chicken fried bacon
Frozen Arnold Palmer
Bratwurst
Deep fried margarita (actually, that was only my aunt as I don't consume tequila, ever.)
Rib sandwich (dumbest concept ever, BTW)



Friday, November 4, 2011

The Big Orange Pumpkin Farm

Since Lincoln is still so tiny, we didn't trick-or-treat (obviously) but I did want him to wear a costume to document his first Halloween. I wanted to get him a costume, but to be honest, we have some financial hurdles and there isn't much money to go around to buy one. So! He wore a more age-appropriate "costume" AKA glow in the dark pajamas! Our pumpkin experience was a far cry from what we were used to in California. The extent of our "patch" was usually in the parking lot of the local mall, or Target. Ha! The culture shock never ends around here... This was an actual farm. We rode on a hayride, ate a hot dog and interacted with animals that far exceeded a petting zoo. The owners of the farm are geniuses. For the price of your admission you get a hot dog and feed for the animals. If you visit on a weekday you also got a small pumpkin. They have devised a way to get you to pay directly for their animal feed. Smart business model! Anyway, here are some photos of our day:








Thursday, November 3, 2011

3 Months! Wow!

I can't believe my beloved Lincoln is now three months old! He is truly the love of my life! He "talks" up a storm and loves to shove his hands in his mouth. He is right on track develpmentally and I couldn't feel and more blessed to call him my son.




How did my little peanut get so big? Time is flying way too fast! And to think, it all started with the best day of my life:



Here he is at two months, too:



And just for fun, here is what Lincoln really thinks about his monthy photo shoots (or really, any photo I try to take!):


On Bed-Sharing

I jokingly mentioned in my last post about how "awful" bed-sharing is and thought I might elaborate a bit.

I don't actually think it is awful. In fact, Lincoln has slept in our bed quite a bit. I have read all the statistics, I know of all the dangers, and I actually fought the good fight against having him sleep with us, but in the beginning he did spend quite a bit of time with us.

Now, first and foremost, women have been sleeping with their babies since, well, ever, so I know that there is a primal urge for some of us to have our babies close. Secondly, Lincoln is breastfed; according to my research, babies who are bottle fed aren't supposed to bed-share because they are deeper sleepers (or something like that) and less likely to wake when in a precarious sleeping situation.

I am an incredibly light sleeper and if he so much as sighs in his sleep, I wake up. This holds true as he sleeps in his bassinet every night, too. It is actually problematic in terms of me getting consecutive rest, but I'm simply not interested in putting him in his nursery yet. We will be following the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation to keep him in our room till he is six months old.

For the majority of the time he slept in our bed, he was in a Nap Nanny. Now, I am sure if someone from their company stumbled upon this post they'd lose their $#!t because the Nap Nanny clearly states it should never be used in a bed. But! With the Nap Nanny between us, there was literally no way in hell it could've tipped over and spilled our most precious contents. It's supposed to be used on the floor but there is no way I'd put my baby on the floor.

Lastly, we never use linens that could smother him, etc. Our bed is a king and Lincoln and I are far sequestered from Rob so I feel it is safe. At this point, because of his reflux, Lincoln doesn't do well sleeping flat so he only comes to bed to nurse when I need a nap during the day. Frankly, I don't sleep well when he is in bed with us because I sleep in a position to shelter and accommodate him, so my back and arms hurt quite a bit. All this to say, we don't bed-share now because it isn't restful, not because I think it is truly awful. OK, there's my peace about that.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What's Been Going On 'Round These Parts?

Not much to report on around here. We are still doing Kindermusik class and Lincoln seems to love it. He has had extreme acid reflux today so we are on outfit number two, bib number two, etc. I messed up his medicinal syringe somehow and ended up spraying him and me with Prevacid. Disgusting, lemme tell ya!

My aunt is in town visiting, which is nice. She has helped me tremendously with Lincoln and it is nice to get a little break. He slept in our bed last night because after the third attempt at putting him in his cradle, he simply wouldn't cooperate. I know, I know, "bed-sharing is the devil." Whatever. LOL.

If i haven't commented on your blog lately, I'm sorry. I've barely even been able to read. Lincoln is a lot more alert now and spends a lot more time awake so I have to entertain him. He has decided sleeping is for wussies. He has barely napped allllll week and whereas he has always been an excellent sleeper during the night, he suddenly doesn't care to rest.

Question for the moms out there who live in colder weather: how do you keep your baby warm at night without a blanket, but without over-heating them? Last night it was 47 degrees so I put on a fleece jumper (it was very thin but very soft and snuggly) and I put a onesie on underneath it. When he sleeps in bed with me I don't use blankets/linens for obvious reasons but he did have a little bit of sheet covering his feet. When I changed his diaper during the night his feet felt really warm. We didn't turn on the heat because indoors it was 67 degrees and the nurses said to keep the temperature between 68-72 for SIDS prevention. His cradle is on the side of the room where the windows are so there is a slight draft and I am not sure what to do if it gets colder or snows like it did last year....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Awesome!

Just a quick "thank you" for all the great suggestions on meeting new people. Lincoln and I are taking a Kindermusik class in exchange for babysitting for the instructor (my girlfriend from church) and we had a lot of fun. Even being out of the house was nice!

Lincoln really loved the curriculum (as far as I could tell from a 9 week old, LOL) so we are going to look into Music Makers since we live literally next door to an LDS church. Nothing beats FREEEEE!

And of course, meetup.com and the library. The libraries here are gorgeous so I am hoping to get started on instilling a love of reading with Lincoln very soon.

Lastly, I have to address the issue of PPD. I definitely have that on my radar, especially given my prior history of depression. Thank you for gently reminding me that my feelings could be related to that.

I have awesome cyber friends/readers!

P.S. RIP Steve Jobs. I know this doesn't fit with the theme of my post but I seriously HATE cancer.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lonely

I've been spoiled the last few years with some truly amazing friends. When I moved to Texas, I met even more amazing friends. As forewarning, this isn't a gripe about anyone in my life not doing enough for me so please don't think me an ingrate. I'm just...lonely.

My friendships here are different from what I am used to. The women I met here are loving, beautiful, smart, funny. Everything you would want in a friend. They love on me and my son and I am very thankful for them. But they're different types of friendships than what I had in California.

I miss the invites for lunch, laughing over a rare cocktail (I'm obviously not drinking now anyways, as I'm nursing, it's just the idea), I miss having other couples over for dinner and being invited over. It's harder for me to entertain here since I live with my family but surely if I were invited somewhere I would make an excellent dinner guest. A girl's night would do wonders for my spirit.

I want so desperately to acclimate but I must confess to being incredibly depressed. I don't want to be one of those needy, clingy people who invites themselves to things. And just as I had in California, I assume most of my friends have their long-standing inner circles and it is awkward to infiltrate. That's not to say anybody has been uninviting, it just becomes a matter of if it is a church activity, I am invited, but I don't get any invites for non-church stuff.

And really, my friends here bring a lot to my life and I don't expect them to be my entertainment committee. It really isn't about people not doing things for me, I'm just trying to communicate that I understand that most adults have different groups they socialize and sometimes it isn't often they mix. I don't want my friends to feel put upon and I don't want to invite myself to things.

Spending so much time indoors with Lincoln hasn't helped. I wouldn't change it but I do have some cabin fever. If I had few invites before, I have none now. Lincoln got an invite for a little friend's birthday party and even though I was in pain I busted my ass to make it there because I was so desperate for social interaction.

I just feel so sad. I'm starting a Kindermusik class with Lincoln this week and I will definitely try to find a mom's group on meetup.com but people have only had negative reactions to the mom's group idea thus far. Apparently the moms can be pretty clique-y. I know some women say they're closer friends with males but I am the opposite. I love female friendship/companionship. I just want someone to get a pedicure with or share a meal. I'm just going to try the groups and put myself out there, even if it turns out to be a bad idea. I figure I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I don't want the friends I do have here to feel burdened by me so it is imperative I find something else to occupy my friendship longings.

I just feel so sad and so lonely. It's crippling, really.

Part of my problem is I need to stop living in the past and remembering California. California is over and we live here now. Rob and I feel like we've been trying so incredibly hard to make friends that we must come across as desperate. Nobody wants to hang out with that! I just need to focus on making new friendships. Summer was practically awful for us because we had no invites for the 4th of July, the long holiday weekends, etc. One time someone invited us to their pool but otherwise we had not one BBQ, etc. We both have birthdays coming and I think we are not admitting to each other how depressed it makes us thinking we might not get to celebrate.

OK, time to get out of my own head and end this post. If you made it this far, you deserve a cyber cookie, LOL.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blecht

Man, that gallbladder surgery was rough. For further proof that our health care system is completely twacked, they discharged me after my surgery without the option to stay. I thought it was a simple procedure and had no qualms about that until they got to the part where they told me they re-wire your liver to your intestines. Yeah, if you're removing one organ and messing with two more, you should monitor the person for more than an hour afterwards.

I look and feel like I was rode hard and put away wet. Mr. Lincoln hasn't gotten the memo yet to not kick me. And, unbeknownst to me, one of the four incision sites is your bellybutton. Let me just share this conversation with you so you can adequately grasp what things look like post-surgery:

Me: Hmn, that's odd, I thought there would be four incisions?

Rob: The fourth one is in the area formerly known as your bellybutton.



Yeah....my stomach looks awesome after pregnancy, a c/s and now a second surgery I can't pronounce the technical name of. Don't look for me in a bikini any time soon!

Lincoln has been extremely stressed out by not being able to nurse. He never had a problem taking a bottle before but now it infuriates him. He doesn't understand why I am in the room but don't hold him, or why we are all giving him a bottle when my boobs are in the room, too. Each time I try to lay down with him he attempts to root and it is heartbreaking to watch. Therefore, for his sake I have stopped taking the pain meds cold turkey. I am in a lot of pain but I feel his needs should come first. The pain meds all carried warning that while "technically" safe, they can cause such sever sluggishness that I need to monitor him to ensure he doesn't stop breathing. Um, yeah, not gonna happen. Besides, how can I monitor him if they make me sluggish, too? So, I'm just gonna tough it out. My doctors were all shocked at how quickly I quit the pain meds after my c/s so I figure I can do it a second time and live to tell about it.

If you still have your gallbladder, take a quick minute to stop and thank it for doing its job, LOL!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Flack

I am about to share something with you for which I have caught a lot of flack. In fact, "a lot" is an understatement.

My son has never left the house except for doctor appointments.

Not once, in eight weeks.

We haven't stopped briefly into a Target or gone out to eat. We haven't window shopped the mall or purchased groceries.

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I tell people that I am a germ-phobe and hopefully it makes them laugh. This is not actually how I view myself but I try to lighten the mood, knowing full well what is likely to come. If I speak the real reason, it seems to invite a debate or negative, unsolicited opinions.This is another one of those issues that seems to divide people, but I don't know why. We're all just doing the best we can, right?

The reason I haven't taken Lincoln out is because he was not vaccinated until this week. When I explain to people that I fear him contracting something while we are out in heavily populated areas, they seem to take personal offense. A few kind souls have commiserated with me, and even more have assured me they are current on their own vaccinations, which is a friendly gesture. But really, many people have been insulted.

Particularly at church, a lot of friends have told me I am wrong to not bring Lincoln to church or other places. Someone told me that "God wouldn't allow anything bad to happen at church." To that I say, 'Hey, he gave us free choice. He won't compel anyone to wash their hands after they poop or make sure they get their TDAP.' My own husband doesn't have health insurance and it cost us a small fortune to have him vaccinated for whooping cough and I can't expect everyone else to make those sacrifices, especially if they don't have children of their own.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard, "You need to expose him to people and stuff to build his immune system" I'd be rich. This statement is only partially true. Yes, you do build an immunity to things from exposure. However, Lincoln is breastfed, therefore I pass antibodies to him based on my own exposure to those things. Also, your immune system doesn't stop producing antibodies so whenever he IS exposed to things after his immune system has had a chance to mature, he will still process them. It's not like he has a small window in which to be exposed to things before he will no longer be able to overcome them. I am simply not interested in risking exposure to things unnecessarily.

Lincoln's doctor also told me, in the hospital, that he prefers babies not to venture out before two months. After initial vaccinations, he prefers you avoid heavily populated places during peak hours. For example, shop the mall on a Tuesday morning not a Saturday afternoon. Obviously quarantining a child will be more difficult if there is an older, say toddler, in the mix, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. For now we are cautiously venturing out. Lincoln's doctor is not a quack. He has excellent credentials and through discussions with him, I am confident he keeps up to date on the most recent data and findings on various issues. I pay him for his expertise, yet that answer doesn't satiate some "moms with experience." Apparently their own experiences supersede my own or his medical training.

Lincoln will still get sick like any other person; it is ludicrous to think I can protect him from "everything" as someone suggested I was trying to do. However, I can still be prudent and diligent trying to control certain things. We are big hand washers here, for example. I would rather he fight the flu at 1 year as opposed to 1 month, for obvious reasons. I can see people labeling me "crazy pants" with their eyes as they inquire to Lincoln's whereabouts but I am fine being labeled a loon. A snarky label is a small price to pay for trying to do my part to ensure my child's good health.

I guess I am writing this blog because I find it mildly irritating that people think I am somehow harming my child by not taking him out before he was vaccinated. The fact is, were he to contract something for which he was not vaccinated, the mortality rate is not good. These diseases are so life-threatening that they found a way to make a vaccine; they're not simple maladies such as a cold. When I see a week-old baby in the grocery store I don't stop and tell that mom I think she is insane in the membrane. Rather, I keep walking and respect her right to make decisions for her own child. Who am I to piss in her Cheerios? I did my own research on vaccines and consulted with his physician before I even consented to him being vaccinated, period. In particular, I did NOT consent to the initial treatments prescribed for newborns in the hospital so in some respects he is behind in treatment. That was my choice. At the end of the day, if something were to go wrong, I would need to live with my decision. I remain flabbergasted that people have the gall to comment on other people's parenting decisions in this way, and I know there is no end in sight. I had heard of this phenomenon prior to his birth and I am dismayed it is so true. If someone engages me in discussion I will certainly speak my truth but otherwise I butt out.

So, here is me soliciting your opinion: am I a Looney Tune for sequestering my child till he was vaccinated? You can speak your truth, I can handle it! ;)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gah! My Gallbladder!

Last weekend I was up all night with a pain in my abdomen that would NOT quit. I thought maybe it was food poisoning but since I had complications with the incision from my cesarean section Rob insisted I go to the e.r. in the morning. Long story short, my gallbladder needs to come out.

My gallbladder itself is not diseased, but it is full of gallstones that resulted from pregnancy, which is apparently very common. My mom had her gallbladders out shortly after birthing me, and many of my female friends have come forward with similar stories. The doctor in the e.r., my OB and my surgeon all blame pregnancy. Joy! If I try to procrastinate on having the surgery then my gallbladder itself will become diseased, making the removal much more complicated.

So! Since I already paid my astronomical deductible and am starting new insurance next month with a new astronomical deductible, the race is on to get this bad boy removed.

I am scared only because I have a child now. I don't like the idea of being under anesthesia as it is and being a mom compounds my fears. But! Onward, ho! I am having it removed the 26th. I am busy preparing a milk stash for Lincoln and praying he doesn't reject the breast after taking a bottle for so long. Hopefully because he has been nursing for two months now, he won't give it up without a fight. And yes, I am very thankful he takes a bottle with ease, as I know many nursing babies won't have it.

So, that explains my absence. I have lots I want to write about but I am unsure of what I will be up for this week prior to the surgery. Ciao!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cultural Differences, A Conversation

I was getting my nails done by a friendly Vietnamese woman when this conversation happened (no really):

Lady: You want me to tell you how to lose all your baby weight?

Me: Well, I already did but sure, I could always stand to lose more!

Lady: You have to salt the weight off your body! Salt, salt, salt! (She then proceeds to go into an entire Eastern medicine schpeal.)

Me: I see. Well, maybe I can try it.

Lady: So....you... (Gestures to her breast to indicate breast feeding.)

Me: Yes, I breastfeed my baby.

Lady: Oh. Then you will have saggy breasts!

Me: It's OK, I will just buy a new pair!

Lady: Oh no, no. You do like my people! You go to the Walmart and get birth control. It should be $9. It will make your breasts look better. Much better! And it will make sure you never have more than two kids. My people! I swear it! That's what we do!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

To Nap Nanny or To Not

My pediatrician recommended we get a Nap Nanny to help with Lincoln's reflux. I was all set till I saw there had been a recall. I am fine with the safety of the new models (I think) but I don't like that it needs to sit on the floor. Try as I might to keep a tidy room, things have fallen to the wayside with little sleep and even less time for chores. Plus, we have pets. I don't typically allow my dogs in our room, and when I do they stay in one spot, but still...It's one thing to encourage his immunity to allergies with exposure to pet dander and it is another to have him sleeping mere inches from it, ya know?

So, if you had a Nap Nanny did it work out for you? I am desperate with this reflux situation. I thought it was getting better but now it is back to being pretty bad. We are trying a new medicine but I'm not keen to pump my infant full of drugs and I want a natural remedy. Even with burping him for twenty minutes and keeping him upright, he almost always vomits in his bed at night. Poor baby! And while I am at it, anybody know where to get the good burp cloths? Ya know, the super thick, old-school ones? We do A LOT of barf remediation up in here!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Oh, The Reflux!

As I mentioned earlier this week, I took Lincoln to the doctor for projectile vomiting. Thankfully, we were able to rule out Pyloric Stenosis, which runs in my family. I don't want to minimize his condition, but I am thankful it wasn't this.

Lincoln has reflux.

He has it bad.

He is in a lot of pain and we waste a lot of Liquid Gold (AKA breast milk.)

We are taking some disgusting medicine twice a day and implementing other techniques such as feeding at an angle, sleeping at an angle, pretty much living at an angle. Oh, and we have to burp him for a minimum of twenty minutes a day. Talk about making a night feeding drag on even more!

I still maintain I am thrilled it was not something worse. My girlfriend's baby had Pyloric Stenosis mere weeks ago and it require surgery. How she survived the fear of her newborn requiring surgery is beyond me, but she has my respect for her strength!

I have reflux as an adult so it breaks my heart to see him screaming in pain from the acid in his throat. If you're so inclined, please say a prayer or send a warm fuzzy for my baby!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Yay/Nay: Clothes Addition

I told you I lost weight nursing, right? Lincoln is now 5.5 weeks and I am down 13 pounds. I now weight what I did around 2007/2008. When it gets cool outside (ha!) and I am cleared, I intend to power walk with him. Part of the weight loss has been that I very rarely get time to eat, let alone completely finish a meal. I have also cut out a lot of soda because my son can't tolerate any caffeine whatsoever. Officially, though, breastfeeding gets the majority credit. Here we go:

Yay: I lost 13 pounds and look better!

Nay: I have no clothes that fit (literally) and no budget in which to purchase more.



***I don't remember who's blog started the Nay/Yay theme but if it was yours, thank you for the inspiration and feel free to credit yourself in the comments.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Obligatory Post About Breastfeeding

Since breastfeeding completely consumes my entire day, I began to feel a push to share my experience. Before I do, I want to acknowledge that breastfeeding is a polarizing topic. For my part, I have no idea why. Each mother is responsible for making the best decision for her infant. Breastfeeding is best for my baby. If it wasn't best for your baby, I, for one, am not judging you. Promise.

Moving on...

Prior to Lincoln's birth, if I am being honest, breastfeeding creeped me out a bit. Not because I viewed breasts as exclusively sexual, but because it seemed awkward and intrusive. Maybe I was scared of the intimacy? I can't quite pinpoint it except to say I was never frightened of the work involved, only of the interaction. That said, I decided I was going to try my best to nurse my son.

My decision was made based upon the health benefits Lincoln receives such as antibodies, but also for the bonding and health benefits for myself. Nursing has helped me lose weight, but it is also thought to thwart certain cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer. With my brother having had cancer, the thought of not utilizing this free opportunity outweighed any fears I had.

As soon as he was put to my breast immediately following surgery, Lincoln latched. The nurse even remarked on what a good latch it was. For those not in the know, a baby's latch plays a HUGE role in the success of breastfeeding. A bad latch is painful, frustrating and counter-productive.

The hospital I delivered at has a full-time staff of Lactation Consultants and one visited with me every single day of my stay. Even though he had a good latch, there were growing pains the first three days. Despite what the experts in breastfeeding class said, my colostrum was not enough to satiate his appetite. Additionally, even with his good latch, finding a comfortable position and lack of experience lead to some extreme frustration on both our parts. The wicked nurse I mentioned in his birth story also must've felt frustrated because the reason I had her removed was because she manhandled Lincoln onto my nipple, causing it to tear and bleed. Unacceptable. It IS true that if you're doing it right, breastfeeding should not hurt.

I was also frustrated because Lincoln needed formula to be supplemented his first two days with formula and I was terrified of the nipple confusion some babies experience. I also refused a pacifier but he would return from the nursery with one in his mouth. I have discussed this with my pediatrician and he has explained that babies either have nipple confusion or they don't. You won't know till you see which type of baby you get. Blessedly, Lincoln does not have that problem. He has been taking a bottle since we were in the hospital. I began leaving him home with my mom so I could run errands starting at two weeks, and he takes a bottle for her with ease. Praise Jesus! LOL!!! Also, unbeknownst to me, breastfed babies have a more difficult time battling jaundice, which Lincoln did. In the case of jaundice, formula is better (the explanation is long but I will elaborate if anyone really wants me to.)

Trying to nurse him comfortably has been my biggest issue. When he was first born, the football hold worked just fine, and really helped alleviate any pressure off my tender stomach. By the time we got home, that position was not working for us. The Lactation Consultants were helpful but it took my mom situating Lincoln and literally helping maneuver my breast for us to get it right. We now nurse most often with him laying on my lap. Many women raved to me about how wonderful it is to nurse while laying in bed but I find it extremely difficult to get comfortable.

All that said, I would say nursing has been incredibly easy for us. I have had no problems with my supply, and Lincoln is thriving and gaining weight. I have taken several pictures of him nursing so I can remember the special times. What once made me uncomfortable, now brings joy to my heart. I love to watch my son nurse. My inhibitions are gone. My biggest complaint is nipple sensitivity both while nursing and when not. Again, it is not painful, just uncomfortable.

I heard a lot of horror stories prior to attempting breastfeeding but I am glad I stuck it out despite my concerns. If it was intimacy I feared, I now relish it. I am the sole source of nutrition for my son and I am proud during his weight checks to know my body provided for him adequately. Another favorite Casey of mine desperately wanted to nurse but couldn't, documenting her struggles in great depth; my heart breaks for her over that. I am thankful everyday that it worked out for us the way I had hoped.

I didn't invent the wheel by trying to nurse, but if any of you need support or encouragement, I would be happy to provide it. Having an extremely easy c-section and easy time breastfeeding have taught my a lot about not letting my fears take over. I have learned important life lessons about not worrying about the unknown.

In closing, the only downside worth mentioning is the commitment. There is no place I'd rather be than nursing my son, but it IS a massive commitment. we nurse more hours of the day than we don't. In there I try to find time to pump, too,so that I may leave the house on occasion. No easy feat, lemme tell ya!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

1 Month Old!

Where on Earth does the time go? Lincoln turned one month on the 26th! At his doctor appointment they said he was 20 1/4 inches long and 8 pounds, 11 ounces, which is a decent growth from his birth (6 pounds, 11 ounces and 19 1/4 inches.)


He thinks he can hold a bottle himself:



He finally fell asleep after that epic night when I tried to photograph him at 4 weeks old and all he'd do is scream:



This is on his actual month-birthday. I know people don't like crying shots but I think it is adorable!:



He's like, "You lookin' at me?":



Lastly, just because it is my blog and I can, here is my cute son:


My First Scare

For a few weeks now Lincoln has been projectile vomiting. Not like what I imagine normal baby "spit up" to be, but ounces at a time. He does an excellent impersonation of the girl from The Exorcist!

I have heard theories that he is not burped enough (not true, we do a minimum of twenty minutes, even in the middle of the night, and sometimes we even interrupt a feeding to burp.) That he is at the wrong angle (we never nurse flat unless we're in bed.) A lactation consultant told me he may be getting too quick of a flow on one side (nothing I can do about that! Changing positions didn't help!) Regardless of what I do, he barfs A LOT each meal and I often have to re-feed him. I will cry if they tell me it is because he is eating too much because he will eat voraciously after he barfs. Good grief.

All this to say, I'm taking him to the doctor today to ensure he is not losing weight. He is plumping up nicely but he could potentially gain more and I won't know until I rule out reflux, etc. All warm wishes are greatly appreciated. We are very nervous!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Naming Lincoln

A couple of people have asked how we came about choosing the name Lincoln for our son. Let me first say that Rob and I did not agree for most our my pregnancy. He would suggest names like "Mordecai" (baby wizard, anyone?) and I would get angry and tell him he wouldn't get a vote if kept up those shenanigans!

Initially we said we'd pick our top favorite two names and name him once we met him. That would've worked had we been able to agree on more than one name. My entire pregnancy I wanted to name him "Atticus" after Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. However, people were vehemently against this. At my first baby shower, I literally had three guests comment on how "horrific" of a choice it was. One yelled to me as she was leaving, (in front of everyone!), "Make sure you don't go with that stoopid name of Atticus! Dreadful!" (Side note, have to love British people, LOL!)

Since this was our first child and a beloved son, I wanted my husband to feel like he chose the name. So, I dragged him to a bookstore and we attempted to compile a list. He was bored within minutes, which only served to infuriate me. Choosing a name is important business and should be a respected process! My son could be President one day so his name better be one that can be taken seriously! (it would be sooo ironic if he were President given, well, his name. Ha!)

Most people don't know this about me but I am a huge civil war buff. Not to mention, I hope my son one day eschews some of the virtues President Lincoln possessed; he was a complicated man who survived and flourished through the loss of a child, a bi-polar wife, and much, much more. He was also pretty kooky by all accounts. Weird but brilliant sounds like a perfect person to me!

So, there you have it! My husband solidified it as the name of choice. Before we were married we discussed potential baby names and we had said for five years that our son would have a particular name. Leave it to my husband to renege on that agreement once I actually got pregnant with a son. Harumph! Doesn't matter now because I love and adore the name Lincoln, it has special meaning to me, and I wouldn't change it for the world!

Oh, and as a side note, in exchange for getting to find out Lincoln's gender in anticipation of his birth, my husband had to allow all subsequent babies to be "surprises" ANNNNNND he agreed to let me give all our children two middle names. My husband and father both think having two middle names (like myself!) is totally lame. How nice for them then that his two middle names are their names. Maybe they'll be quiet about the notion now!

Darn!

I ordered Lincoln's birth announcements from Tiny Prints and I am honestly disappointed in them. I spent a small fortune and I didn't realize they'd look like something I made from home (and not in the good, crafty way!) If you're a new mom I would avoid them. Blah. Lesson learned! I am not going to express my disappointment to Rob since he basically has to work SEVERAL hours in the heat to justify me purchasing them. Sadness. I just had to vent somewhere. If you get one of my announcements, please pretend you love it, LOL! I have gotten a higher quality product from Vista Print, yikes!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lincoln's Birth Story

***Warning: Graphic c-section pictures to follow!***

The day before Lincoln's birthday, I feel I was still very much in denial about what was about to take place. To wit, I did laundry, nested a little, grabbed lunch from Subway, etc. In other words, I acted like it was No Big Deal. I was so wrong! By 10 p.m. that night the panic set in! We were about to have a baby! To distract myself I straightened my hair at 11 p.m., thinking I wanted to look presentable for pictures the next day. Ha! Vanity thy name is woman! My surgery had already been pushed back another hour so in my mind I didn't really think we would kick off on time.

As we drove to the hospital, the only word to describe my feelings is "surreal." I was going through the motions, but still very much in denial. I don't know who I was fooling! I think Rob must've been more nervous than he let on because despite numerous visits to the hospital prior, he made a wrong turn on our short route! We casually chit-chatted and continued pretending it was business as usual.

When we checked in my husband was a total gentleman and left the room all twenty times they asked for my weight. To my surprise, there were very few forms to fill out. How that is possible, I'll never know, but I had been hoping for a longer distraction! The Nurse Anesthetist came in and further frightened me on the epidural procedures. Now, let me just say, I like to be informed when making medical decisions but when there are no other options, less can be more. For my next baby, I will kindly ask them to tell me the bare minimum required by law so I don't have to marinate on paralysis, etc. I had talked with him on the phone the night before and he'd had me crying in fear in the Walmart parking lot as he explained that they do a "double numbing." I had what I believe was a spinal block and an epidural. I might be writing that out wrong but in any case, they numbed me two ways via the spine, whereas I suppose the more routine procedure is to numb one way. To the delight of the hospital staff, I came prepared with my own Power of Attorney, Living Wills, etc. Rob kept telling me it was morbid to bring all that stuff but coming from my prior career, I wanted to be in charge of my own health decisions even if I was incapacitated. Several nurses commented that they'd never seen someone as young as myself with all their "affairs in order." I took this as a massive compliment, naturally.

This might seem odd but I was never scared of the surgery itself. What frightened me most was the idea of the catheter. I insisted they not do it till the last possible moment and they obliged. Thank GOD! Here is Rob and I before I walked into the operating room:



When we got into the operating room I suddenly felt very emotional. I suspect I was having a mild panic attack of sorts. The hospital I delivered at encourages your spouse to be there for literally every step, so while many hospitals prohibit people from being present for anesthesia, prep, etc., that was not the case now.

The first thing I noticed was how tiny the room was. It struck me as odd but with no prior experience maybe they're all small? I was also expecting it to be very cold but it wasn't. I had literally walked from my pre-op room into the o.r. and the o.r. had lots of windows for any random person to take a gander as they walked to their recovery room. Recovery was built off of the o.r. so to get to the o.r. you had to pass through it, and I was surprised when I saw a woman in there. No such thing as privacy, I guess. The hospital might seem janky the way I'm poorly describing it but in actuality it is a top hospital and it is brand new. It is the nicest hospital I have ever been to. (Side note: the cafeteria makes amazing food and lots of random people go there for lunch, as I may have mentioned. Several of our friends all asked if they could visit during dinner hours, LOL!)

So, anyway, here I am in the o.r. and things start moving quickly. They swapped Rob out for another support person during my epidural. I was miffed because the nurse was texting while offering her "support." I guess in the end we got the job done but I was displeased with the distraction!

Getting the epidural was stressful. There was a placement problem due to some mild scoliosis so it was always too far to the right. The clicking feeling was extremely unnerving. While I wouldn't say it "hurt" I would definitely say it was an entirely uncomfortable sensation. It definitely increased my anxiety that the Nurse Anesthetist couldn't place it. Meanwhile, an actual Anesthesiologist was sitting directly next to me fussing with his Blackberry. He finally stepped in and had it placed in seconds. This annoyed me greatly as I now sit in anticipation from separate bills from them, LOL.

Whatever drugs they gave me were good. I definitely turned into a chatterbox, after telling my doctor, 'This sucks, I feel like garbage.' They quickly remedied the "garbage" feeling with some anti-nausea drugs. Next I said, "Am I being cauterized? I smell me burning!' My doctor thought I said "meat burning" not "me burning" and she was quick to tell me, "Don't worry, we're getting to the baby part soon, nobody is eating you!"

Now, normally video cameras and such are not allowed in the o.r. for liability reasons but the Nurse Anesthetist offered to take some photos for us. This was a very relaxed surgery, let me tell you. Throughout the entire procedure the two surgeons and other staff all discussed who got drunk at who's wedding. Ha! As an aside, the lady took some very graphic photos. I have my placenta shot from multiple angles, if that tells you anything. (After my surgery someone put my placenta, in a bucket, on my bed, then promptly forgot about it. Someone came looking for it later in recovery. Whoops!)

Here is the first shot she offered to take, as Lincoln's head is pulled from my abdomen (I just now noticed the doctor's finger in his mouth):



Annnnd he's OUT:



I absolutely HATE when newborns are held in this position but it is par for the course:



Now, I had no real concept of time during the surgery but it seemed to me to be over quite quickly. Like, shockingly quick! Here we are in our first photo as a family:



And of course, my gorgeous cherub:



Many women have told me that with their c-sections they did not get access to their baby right away. My hospital is adamant that mothers get their babies right away and I was only apart for him long enough for him to be cleaned off. Mere minutes. Immediately after leaving the delivery room he was placed on my breast. His temperature was poor so shortly after Rob left with him to the nursery to give him some supplemental formula. This had me in tears, immediately, of course. I was left alone in the recovery room so of course I called my mom to cry that they took him and he was eating from something other than me. Thankfully he came back quickly.

We were moved to a massive post-partum room thanks to my girlfriend who works at the hospital. My parents showed up and everyone remarked on how well I was doing post-op. I was chatting, texting and emailing, etc. I felt no pain, but I was sure tired! I didn't want to be rude and ask anyone to leave so I just toughed it out.

Many people told me to stand as soon as I could and at first I was resistant to them leaving the sedation in till the next day, but the staff promised me it would not be detrimental to my recovery. I was dying to get that catheter out so I requested they pull the meds first thing the next morning. I stood up within twenty minutes of it wearing off.

I really only had one bad time when Nurse Ratchet forced me to walk when I was under-medicated. At our hospital all patients are assigned a nurse and all babies are assigned a nurse. There is a constant parade of people, as I expected there would be. Lincoln had one miserable nurse who man-handled him and I so I immediately requested she be removed from caring for him. I guess word spread quickly that I had "fired" her, despite my best efforts to be professional. Oh well. Later, Rob was walking down the hall and since she didn't know he was my husband, she had no problem openly complaining about me in front of him! Ha ha!

Everyone told me I would get over my fears and modesty issues after giving birth. They were right. I will nurse in front of everyone except my male family members, and I even allowed a sweet woman from Trinidad named Corinne to give me a shower. Hey, no pride here! I was dying to bathe!

The pain has been totally fine. I quit the pain meds cold turkey the day I left the hospital and I don't regret it. Two things have happened post-surgery that are worth mentioning. 1. I ripped my incision open over this past weekend. My incision was fine and pain-free until I did this, and now it is sore. My doctor did an excellent job with my incision and it is very, very tiny. Hardly noticeable! 2. Sorry to be graphic, but my bowels are on strike. I am hoping they return to normalcy in the near future. In the meantime, I am choking down SunSweets like it's my job. Gah!

I was second-guessing my decisions to have a c-section right until I walked into the o.r. but I am thrilled I had it. The recovery was extremely easy and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I would do it over the same way time and again.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yesterday

Yesterday after Lincoln's doctor appointment I wanted to write his birth story. But then, he was being a cutie so I figured I'd just write about his appointment and post a sweet picture explaining that I preferred to spend my time sniffing his hair and kissing his cheeks.

But then...

Some of the magic wore off or something because yesterday was not such a good day. By the time Rob got home from work I was in tears over my perceived ineptitude in caring for Lincoln, my exhaustion, etc. I put myself to bed early and tried to promise myself to do better the next day. I know this is bad, but I put him in his babysitter, er, the swing so I could type this up. I didn't have a baby so I could shirk my duties in caring for him but Rob bought a swing over the weekend and it has afforded me the tiniest bit of freedom, and I am thankful.

Yesterday was so bad, in fact, that the only photos I got were of him screaming his head off.

Please pray and maybe send chocolate, LOL.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gah! Guilt!

I promise I am working on Lincoln's birth story! I wanted to include lots of the pictures we took from the day as well as some recent ones, but as things happen to go I use a MAC and I am not quite sure of what I am doing. My usual go-to person offered some suggestions so as soon as I get a moment I will finish it up before I forget. As it is, I birthed a baby who doesn't like to sleep so free time is few and far between.

And, um, motherhood is HARD. I am frequently second-guessing myself. More so, when I am unable to soothe him I really feel insecure. I don't think I know him well enough to know what is wrong some times.

In other news, breast feeding is going really well. I am almost 7 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. I also credit the Belly Bandit for saving my guts, literally. I underestimated how much loose skin would jiggle during every day activities such as moving or laughing. I know a lot of people think compression binding is silly but it holds my guts in place and makes me feel like my incision is safe and secure.

I also never posted my final week of pregnancy post. The guilt is killing me over all this so I just keep reminding myself I am doing the best I can. It is more important to be present in the moment with my son than worry about the other stuff, right? Right! Aside from the blog, I have started my own personal journal to recall his milestones, my random thoughts, etc. so that has been getting a bit more attention.

More to come...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

He's Here!!!

Introducing, the Great Love of My Life, Lincoln:



Today is his two-week birthday and I don't know where the time went! He's growing so fast! There is a lot of eating, sleeping and pooping going down 'round these parts but not much else, including blogging (obviously.) Here is a photo from a shoot we had done over the weekend:



I know everybody likes to see the "perfect" photos to show off their bundle of joy, but this is a real life photo! Lincoln was NOT enjoying being photographed; he's very good-natured but he was O-V-E-R it!

I am so in love. All I want to do is stare at him all day. We seem to be on the same page because that's about the extent of what he allows me to do! Ha!

Thank you so much, everyone, for the prayers and well wishes. I really appreciate all the support-it has meant the world to me!

Monday, July 25, 2011

1

1 more day till (further) proof of God's love is in my arms instead of my belly.

1 more sleep, or rather, attempt at sleep till the witching hour of departing for the hospital.

1 more day of family life as two, before three!

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Quote & A Compliment

I was texting with my friend Bobbi last night about my pregnancy (she is due shortly after me with her 2nd) and she said, "It seems to be the slowest, fastest time ever." The quote was fitting. For the longest time it felt like pregnancy lasted forever, and we had plenty of time to get it together before le bebe arrives. Now, we literally have three days till he is here and it feels nothing short of surreal. Where did the time go? How is it possible we only have a few days left?

God willing I will get to enjoy a minimum of one more pregnancy after this. But regardless of the future, I can say with all honesty that this has been an amazing pregnancy. I have enjoyed every minute. Despite many negative events transpiring while I was pregnant that got me upset, my pregnancy itself has been nothing short of miraculous. I honestly didn't know if I'd ever be able to have a baby, so this easy pregnancy has been such a praised blessing.

People keep asking me if I am excited. I feel guilty for this, but I feel kind of strange about the entire thing. On the one hand, I do have some first-timer nerves. On the other, I like having him to myself inside my belly. Perhaps since his birth is so organized and because there is no element of true surprise (for which I am thankful!), I feel more like I am in the eye of the storm; we don't know what lies ahead but we do know it will be difficult and very cool. I am terribly excited to meet him and I know the joy to come is beyond my current comprehension. It could be that I am in denial, I'm not sure. I think people expect me to be either ecstatic or a complete wreck with nerves. I am ecstatic but because this has been such a terrific pregnancy I am in no rush to get it over with. Does that make any sense?

And vaguely along those lines, my dad asked me last night if I am scared. I replied, 'No.' I mean, on some level I guess I have some sense of terror (LOL) but really I am feeling calm. My dad bestowed upon me one of the best compliments Ive ever been given. He said, "That's my girl! I always thought you would've made an excellent settler. You know how to keep your wits about you." Now, I don't know if that last part is true but the people who have settled land have always fascinated me and I am thrilled by the comparison!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Manufacturers, Listen Up!

With the consensus being that crib bumpers are very dangerous and raise the risk of SIDS, I am very confused as to why manufacturers put them in bedding sets. We were told at the hospital that the baby needs to stay in our room for 6 months to be safe. So, I asked if the bumpers are to be used when baby is older, such as a pre-toddler, for their comfort. I was told, unequivocally, NO. In fact, they said older babies and toddlers shouldn't have them in cribs because they can use them to launch themselves out while climbing. Gee, that's great.

So what the heck? I've got this beautiful bedding that wasn't cheap, and I can't use 25% of what I paid for. I think the manufacturers need to get with the program. They could include either a breathable bumper in a coordinating color, or an extra sheet, AKA something useful. What a waste of money!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Randomness

I had my final ultrasound and NST this morning. Here are some shots of le bebe:





Baby gave me a run for my money and wasn't very active, but with an extremely high heartbeat during the NST so the nurse had to stay with me and get me some juice. So stressful! He had to make the last visit memorable, I think!

They are estimating his weight to be about 7.5 pounds. This means I only have one week left to try to fatten him up. Turns out I didn't gain any weight in the past week despite the added eating. I am holding strong at 17 pounds. I also got to see his little face in high resolution (I saved my tears of joy for the car, ha!) They think he won't have much, if any, hair. I really wanted a baby with troll hair but he was so precious looking I think I am OK with baldness.

I washed alllll his clothes yesterday. I started to put it away but Rob came home sick so my day ended basically right then. I also put the linens in his bassinet and crib. My to-do list is getting shorter and shorter. Slowly but surely.... My goal is to have everything done by the weekend so Rob and I can relax. Oh, and get this! Rob says to me, "I got invited to Hurricane Harbor this weekend (a water park.)" He was actually hoping I would say for him to go! He must be out of his mind. If I went into labor on my own I wouldn't even be able to call him because obviously you don't keep your phone on you on a waterslide. Not to mention, it is our last weekend together and my feelings were hurt he wanted to spend his day with co-workers. Whatever.

I don't want to end this post on a sad note so I will just say that I was so thrilled and excited to see my little man. Of course I'm partial but I thought he was beautiful!

My Belly Is An Alien Cone!

Again, these pictures are for my records, mostly. Sorry if they creep anybody out-my brothers are both appalled at the mere sight. Rob and I just laugh and laugh and laugh some more at the way my stomach distorts when I try to lift my body from a laying-down position using what used to be my abs (yes, I'm pretending like I've seen my abs in the last few years. For those of you who know me IRL, play along! Ha!) Please excuse the picture where I look possessed. I tried to edit them the best I could, but again, these are for me. Oh! And I don't know what's up with the picture where the shadow makes it look like I have a mustache but I promise I don't, LOL!






Monday, July 18, 2011

NSTs

This post is really for myself. I just wanted photo documentation of me having one of my weekly NSTs so I would always remember how thankful I am for modern medicine and the ability to carry a child to term, two things I hope to never forget or take for granted!



Sunday, July 17, 2011

37 Weeks




(Don't mind the BRIGHT PINK activity center. It's a much-appreciated hand me down!)
(P.S. Rob likes when I include a photo that is "up close." )

How Far Along: 37 Weeks.

Size of baby: Watermelon. How fitting considering it looks like I'm smuggling one everywhere I go!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I didn't weigh myself out of fear for what the number would read. I'm realllllly re-thinking that stoopid idea to try to fatten my baby up...

Maternity Clothes: Oh yeah!

Gender: A beloved son!

Movement: He is still nice and busy in there. I love it! I was talking with a friend this week telling her how all cheesiness factor aside, pregnancy truly is a miracle. She adeptly replied, "It's the biggest trip you can't possibly describe!"

Sleep: I am now up to a minimum of two pee breaks per night. Ugh. Oh well.

What I miss: Nothing, really, seeing as I am in the home stretch! I only have nine more days left from here!

Cravings: I made my way back to chicken wings. No surprise there! Having them once was enough, though. None of this second trimester business of eating them three times in one week! Special shout out to Chili's for sending me a coupon for a free molten cake! Ha! Thankfully Rob ate half!

Symptoms: A BIG baby belly!

Best Moment this week: I had my first (and likely only) internal exam as well as the Strep B swab. Both were non-events. Yay! When you're pregnant people like to tell you lots of horror stories but they really only took a matter of seconds and were not painful in the least. Awkward? Yes, totally, but not painful. Bonus: they were over literally within seconds.

Interesting...

My aunt saw my on Skype today and started to cry, telling me I look the best I have ever looked. So, I had Rob take my picture. Call me vain like that! Anyhow, here I am:



And darnit if I don't feel pretty, too!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yikes!

Less than two weeks and baby will be here. I'm still unprepared. Well, I take that back. I decided to work on organizing our papers and financial affairs before tackling the nursery. I want my ducks in a row in the event something were to happen to me. I'm not trying to be morbid, just realistic that I am having surgery and have a blood clotting disorder. If something did happen, Rob would be so stressed that the very last thing he would need is to deal with financial chaos, too.

I did buy special soap so that hopefully tomorrow I can start on organizing and inventorying. Rob has plans tonight to play softball and tomorrow he is meeting a friend for their "accountability" meeting so that leaves me two days and nights with no excuses for why things are not getting accomplished. Next week I have to go to the DMV and afterwards I don't want to do anything except relax before baby arrives. Rob also works Saturday so really I have three days. Everyone please send vibes that I can get my act together. No time like the present!

And for those of you interested, here is a glimpse of the nursery bedding:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Thought I Was Losing My Mind!

Three weeks ago my kid flipped breach. NBD since I'm having a c/s. In the middle of the night I was woken up by an extreme pain. It hurt so bad I literally sat straight up in bed.

I looked at my stomach and I could see that my baby was in a transverse position. I've always, always said I am not one of those women who can accurately tell you where baby is positioned, which parts are which, etc. Because of this I wasn't 100% confident and thought maybe I was losing my mind. He seemed very intent on whatever he was doing in there so I switched positions hoping it would help him or encourage him to keep on moving.

Lo, I went for my weekly ultrasound this morning and the tech confirmed that he was now head down, "ready, locked and loaded." My belly looks entirely different, too. If I lay flat and use what used to be my abs to raise my body, it looks like an alien cone. I saw the doctor just yesterday and he was nowhere near being in position and in a matter of a few hours, he went and did "his thing." And dayum if it didn't hurt! Good thing this wimp isn't birthing him traditionally!

Monday, July 11, 2011

17

Well, I guess I took my task of fattening up my son to heart because at the doctor this morning they said I am up three pounds, for a total of 17. This post is more for my own memory. I would be fine with gaining 20 pounds this pregnancy so coupled with the amount of time I have left in this pregnancy, I think we will end up on track.

Uh...fingers crossed one of those pounds went to the baby, ha! I will say this: we ate like kings (pigs?) this weekend at Cracker Barrel, Starbucks and a fancy brunch place. We were determined to eat out before those days are over. Ha!

It's Getting There

The nursery is still under construction. Over the past few days I have been to ten stores in search of an appropriate rug. Alas, even with the internet, I didn't fall in love with anything. We settled on a rug from Ikea, which is amazing to me since it is extremely rare that they have any products I like.

Rob placed all the furniture and vacuumed, my mom washed the baseboards, and now I begin the tedious process of washing the bedding and all all his clothes so I can set things up. I still (desperately) need to do an inventory to see what I have left to buy. Since the majority of our clothes are upcycled from friends, I need to go through and label stuff so I can return it when the baby outgrows it.

We bought a glider and an ottoman off of Craig's List and we need to recover the cushion-it is absolutely the ugliest of the ugly but as soon as that is done I can show some pictures. I 2 weeks so I'd better get on it!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

36 Weeks







How Far Along: 36 Weeks.

Size of baby: Large cantaloupe (still.)

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I haven't weighted myself yet this week. I'm sure it is a scary number. I had Starbucks for breakfast and Cracker Barrel for lunch so you do the math...

Maternity Clothes: Yup. And I got three new dresses this week from Targhetto to see me through the post-partum phase.

Gender: A beloved son!

Movement: Considering his lack of room I'd say he's still pretty busy in there doing his thing!

Sleep: I have not been sleeping at all. It isn't the peeing or the heartburn, it is the racing brain.

What I miss: Not struggling to make it in the heat. I have never been someone who thrives when it is hot but this heat has limited me severely. I also miss being able to rotate my body while driving. My range of motion seems very limited!

Cravings: None this week.

Symptoms: Last week I wore the same outfit in my 35 week picture to church and THREE people told me I was too small to be delivering in less than 3 weeks. Last night I wore a form-fitting pregnancy tank and THREE different people all asked if I was planning to deliver that very night. What a difference an outfit can make, right? So, I guess the biggest symptom is a burgeoning belly.

Best Moment this week: During my NST they kept trying to tell me I was having epic contractions on par with labor. I kept insisting I was not! I knew better than them in this instance. Turns out the sensors were picking up my breathing movements. Silly!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Guests!

Immediately after baby's birth, my MIL and BIL will be visiting; BIL is bringing his girlfriend. I am glad to see them since it has been quite a while but I am very nervous. Well, not so much nervous about my MIL, as she has given birth and knows how exhausting it can be. I have received lots of excellent advice to just focus on my baby and let everyone fend for themselves but they will be here for a week and I don't like for people to be disappointed. Under any other circumstances we'd love to go out and explore/play!

Since Rob started a new job he literally has ZERO time off. So, my in-laws will not get to see him much. My BIL is only 22 and his girlfriend is barely 21 so I am sure they are not going to want to sit around the house with me, which is not something I want, either. It will really put me on edge to have an audience. I am thinking of compiling a list of places that might interest them. This is the land of countless water parks and malls, after all!

My MIL is going to cook my favorite dish of her hers so that is exciting. Since both my parents work odd, long hours they haven't really prepared any of the foods I crave from their repertoires. If a restaurant doesn't make it, I don't get to eat it, LOL!

My FIL is coming a few days after MIL and BIL leave. I am leaving that visit up to my husband!

At all of our hospital classes they have really been driving home the "You do not need help holding your baby. You need help with cooking and cleaning" point so I am thankful that my MIL called Rob and told him she wants to make sure she is helpful, etc. It is easy for me to set boundaries with my own family because I can say what I want and know they won't be offended but I was super worried my ILs would think we didn't want them to visit, or that they were an imposition, etc. Rob and I are simply scared out of our minds to become parents. And I am scared to get into the scheme of nursing.

Everything always works out the way it is supposed to. That said, if any DFW locals know of a fun place for young twenty-somethings to venture off to, I'd love to add them to my list! Thank you for all the kind advice and encouragement of late. I keep reminding myself I only need to focus on the baby!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Random

Here are some tidbits floating in my mind today:

1. Tonight we have our final baby class at the hospital. We have taken quite a few, including Daddy Bootcamp (for Rob), Safety & CPR, and Breastfeeding 101. Tonight is Baby Care, where presumably they will tell us how to prevent dropping him and doing anything else stoopid. The cafeteria at the hospital is locally famous for having delicious food so we are thrilled to be having dinner there again. I know stereotypes abound about hospital food but their is stuff is genuinely delectable. People come from neighboring businesses just to eat there! On the night your baby is delivered they bring you steak and lobster. I, of course, will be on a liquid diet for two days but Rob is sure excited about it. He had a delicious cheese steak at last week's class and I enjoyed strawberry shortcake, LOL.

2. I was telling the ultrasound tech how nervous we are that the baby will be small due to the Heparin. During my weekly ultrasounds they don't measure for his weight because doing so week to week would be pointless. She knows how scared we are so she secretly measured to determine a guess of his weight and had the nurse give it to me. She is estimating him to be 6 pounds, 4 ounces. So tiny! This made me super sad. He doesn't get the benefit of 2 extra weeks in utero, where typically they put on the most weight, so I am bound and determined to do whatever I can to fatten him up.

3. I feel like a bag of bricks. The iron pills were helping for a while but I am hitting the wall quicker each day! I'm sure some of this has to do with being 9 months (tomorrow) and living in 105+ degree heat, but having never been pregnant before I have nothing to compare it to.

4. I realllllly need to stop procrastinating on doing the nursery. An inventory is desperately needed. I have an emotional hang-up on not having the right rug so I can put the furniture in the positions I want so I can start filling drawers. Silly, I know! My nesting instinct sucks! Ha!

5. In other news, I am starting to get super nervous. I can't believe God is going to loan me a baby. I'm so happy I can hardly stand it but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to being terrified, too. I remember a few years ago I saw my friend Carrie before she delivered her daughter. She had that gorgeous pregnancy glow and she was cool, calm and collected. I always hoped I'd be the same. Instead I am sweaty and nervous. Ha!

6. I am nervous to have out-of-town guests so quickly after delivering. I won't be in a position to play tour guide and I feel badly since Rob's brother, in particular, is viewing the trip as a summer vacation. I am also scared to try to learn to mother and nurse with an audience. People keep telling me I will lose all sense of modesty, and in many ways I have lightened up, but I am still nervous about my body being on display.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

35 Weeks



Do Y'all love all the baby gear in the background? Rob was up till midnight last night with a friend assembling all the nursery furniture and this week I inventory it all and set up the room. I have a lot of work ahead of me! Nothing like waiting till the last minute! Now to our regularly scheduled programming....



How Far Along: 35 Weeks. (Picture taken at 35w3d)

Size of baby: Large cantaloupe (still.)

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 14 pounds.

Maternity Clothes: Pretttty much. i mean, I'm over 8 months pregnant so how awful must I look squeezed into too-tight clothes?

Gender: A beloved son!

Movement: Yesssss!

Sleep: Getting up like clockwork to pee. I have to make sure I don't limit my water intake out of fear of exhaustion. This comes with the territory so I just need to accept it!

What I miss: When rolling over in bed didn't threaten to toss my husband off the mattress! ;) In all seriousness, my range of motion is severely compromised. Sometimes going from a sitting to standing position requires help, LOL

Cravings: Frozen custard.

Symptoms: Soreness and nausea.

Best Moment this week: We read a few months ago that once baby can hear in utero, they will recognize voices, etc. It also said that if you listen to certain music, they will recognize it outside of the womb. My husband plays "In the Jungle" allllll the time and I am convinced the baby recognizes it. When we hold the speaker to my belly he gets very excited and today he even kicked the speaker off. There's one other song my husband plays that I don't recall the name of but the reason I am convinced those two songs are recognized is because he doesn't react to just any music, regardless of proximity of the speaker.

Friday, July 1, 2011

People Change

Before getting pregnant, I used to fantasize about how I would dress my kids, the cool baby gear I would buy, etc. I was very focused on the material aspect of having a baby. I won't lie-baby gear is cute and I wanted it all!

Obviously circumstances have changed my ability to make most purchases.

And I am so thankful.

I am thankful for the lessons I have learned from having less money. Even though ideally we would have more money, I think it has been invaluable to my personal growth to have these experiences. I am a much more appreciative, realistic person. I am more grateful and I am quicker to acknowledge my blessings.

I am currently 34w6d pregnant and I have made only one purchase, a mattress. Well, two if you count paying shipping for a free sling and nursing cover. While I still need to do an inventory (and inevitably make some purchases) I can say that we have been gifted with most everything we need. One of Rob's co-workers gave him two giant trash bags filled with clothes, many new. The clothes were from the co-worker's sister, a woman we have never even met! A friend from church also loaned us a bunch of equipment such as swings and slings. All in all, we have received a lot.

Words can't express our gratitude. The hardest part for us will be finding a way to adequately pay it forward.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sam Is A Bad Boy

The last time I had to refill the syringes for my injections, Rob picked them up for me from Sam's Club. I used a few of them and then opened one that had what seemed like a very long needle. I wrote it off as a figment of my imagination until I noted there were quite a few of these long needles. I confirmed the different sizes on the packaging.

I told Rob I was worried they might be too long to be safe for the baby, given that I inject directly into my belly, but he convinced me it would be fine.

By chance I was doing my injection in front of one of my doctor's nurses and she was appalled at the length of the needle. Come to find out, not only did they give me the wrong size needle, but mixing different lengths in a prescription is never supposed to happen. So, now I have to go dramatize with them. I'm more pissed I will have to drive all the way down there in the heat, and that I paid for a bunch of needles I can't use. Good grief.

Update: I let the pharmacy know I was not too thrilled with the prospect of doing a home amniocentesis. They replaced all of the bad needles and apologized. There have been quite a few mishaps with this pharmacy, including them giving me medicine with someone else's information on it a few months ago. Now, I know I am my own best advocate so I am definitely monitoring what I put into my body given to me by them (or anyone) but at some point you need to be able to trust your pharmacy. I see a switch in my near future.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Breech

I should start by saying that I am not one of those women who purports to know exactly where her baby is positioned. In fact, I am not reliable to tell you anything related to where baby is and every week when I have my ultrasound I ask them to tell me.

For the past three weeks, baby has been head down. A few days ago, I could've sworn I felt him move. I didn't think much of it since I am not adept at guessing.

At today's ultrasound the tech says, "Is this baby ever going to move?"

I asked her to clarify and she said, "Well, he's breech!"

Now, obviously there is plenty of time for him to move to the "proper" position. And even more obvious, it doesn't matter what position he is in since I am not delivering vaginally. I was just so proud of myself for recognizing that he had moved on my own!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

34 Weeks

I know these photos aren't the most flattering but I thought it was super cute how intrigues Miss Paris was with my having my photo taken. She is too cute for words!








How Far Along: 34 Weeks.

Size of baby: Large cantaloupe (not to be confused with a small cantaloupe, LOL!)

Total Weight Gain/Loss: According to my bi-weekly appointment I have lost 2 pounds. So, 13 pounds give or take. I'm still eating like every meal is the last supper so expect this amount to change by the time I post my 35 week update. And, in case anyone is wondering why there is such inconsistency on these updates, I do take the picture on the actual turnover day but I'm lazy about writing updates.

Maternity Clothes: My entire outfit today is non-maternity so that has me feeling good. That said, I had saved a lot of the clothes I wore when I was heavier, which I have been wearing in lieu of maternity clothes. At a birthing class last night someone complimented me on my jean skirt and while I was entirely flattered, by the time I got home after wearing it for several hours I looked at Rob and said, 'Time to retire this skirt. It had a good run.' Can we say TIIIIIGHT?

Gender: A beloved son!

Movement: He's running out of room, obviously, but some days he's still pretty active. I felt him change positions a few days ago!

Sleep: Despite a ton of energy in the first trimester, when most women are exhausted, I have hit a wall. I require a daily nap which is totally out of character!

What I miss: Not having to worry about glamorous things such as hemorrhoids. Ugh.

Cravings: Ice cream, which I attribute to it being hotter than hell on a Sunday. The heat is relentless; we're talking nearly 100 degrees at 10 p.m.

Symptoms: I can't stand for more than five minutes without feeling like I need to stab someone. Oh, and I am entirely cranky. Like, unreasonably so. I don't think pregnancy is an excuse to mistreat people so I have been having to sequester myself.

Best Moment this week: Yesterday's doctor appointment was good because I got to ask some questions related to my surgery. That was a relief. It is also nice to hear the baby's heartbeat. The weekly ultrasound and NST I had this morning were both awful appointments and I thought I was going to yell in the doctor's office. This is rare for me because typically I never mind waiting in a doctor's office because I know emergencies arise and I also know I'd want the same attention and to not feel rushed. In this case, three people who came after me were serviced first and I was livid. Rob said my true "angry" isn't really angry but I sure felt mad! Ha!