Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Half Birthday Amelia!

I can't believe it's been 6 months.  It's strange... it feels like a long time since I was in the hospital, a long time since she was itty bitty, but it also feels like she's growing up in no time at all.  She's hilarious.  She finally rolled over on her own yesterday, at first it was accidental but then she realized she could do it on purpose so now she won't stay on her belly for more than 2 seconds.  She's still not rolling back to belly yet, but we'll get there. She can sit up on her own for a little while but still tips over.  We're working on that too.  For Christmas I got her/us a Baby Signing Time DVD to start working on a few signs since she's getting so good with her hands.  I've started using a few of the signs with her and she's fascinated with it and moves her hands, but not into the correct signs just yet.  We'll get there with that too, just so she has more ways to communicate before her mouth can form the words.  That'll be helpful on days like today when she's not happy with anything for more than 20 minutes and just whines.  Must be her teeth again or something.  Still no teeth poking through but that's all I can figure is making her uncomfortable.

At her 5 month appointment for her shots, she weighed 17lbs 8.5oz! Big girl!  We didn't get a length but we will next week at her 6 month appointment.  She is a very smiley girl most of the time, but for some reason she's not feeling great today or something.  Generally needier, like she was in her 4th month.  We had a few weeks of respite from the drooling/chomping/whining, then in the last week or so I've gotten her to sleep better at night by letting her completely wear herself out before taking her to bed.  The last few nights she's only been up twice to eat, and yesterday she took 2 huge naps, which coincided with her finally rolling over, and now today she's generally a grumpy butt and won't nap very long again even though she really needs to.  Grunt, fuss, whine, squirm, then she'll grin and kick... silly girl.  She just needs to nap!

We're still holding steady with the same jobs.  I'm still trying to squeeze in some writing here and there, and the holiday concert season is almost over so that will help.  They stayed at home the last time I went to Gillette and pumping all weekend was really hard on me and had my supply screwed up for days afterward, and she was downright depressed, so we won't do that again.  The first time she was just too little.  Now that I'm gone regularly for rehearsals they can do bedtime without me no problem.  I'm toying with the idea of working part-time at a tourist trap next summer to help out more with the income, but I still need to keep writing.  Going back to a "real" job around here doesn't work well for me, considering the jobs I can get for the crappy pay.  We might need another vehicle to make that work though, which we need anyway but getting that done has been impossible.  This car needs servicing, the cats need a vet visit, we both need glasses and teeth cleanings, etc etc. The list goes on and on.  I try not to panic about it.  Mom can't babysit for a few more weeks so I just have to hang in there.

For my birthday I found a bunch of Turbo Jam videos for cheap locally and I've been doing those for almost 2 weeks now and I'm feeling the difference, so hopefully it starts showing soon.  Exercise is free! ;)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Almost 5 months old!

Forgive the "drunk" eyes, but she's rockin a beanie I made!
Things were crazy for a while!  Not that life has calmed down all that much, but I feel like I have a little better handle on it now.  We've had job shifts, symphony started back up, and Mom had back surgery so she can't babysit alone for a couple more months and I need to help at her house a bunch.  We had a good Thanksgiving and now I'm working on getting both houses dressed up for Christmas a little bit at a time since Mom can't lift anything yet. 

1 month old: 10lb 1.5oz, 20in long
2 months old: 11lb 15.5oz, 24in long (yeah, we skipped over most of the 0-3 month size here lol)
3 months old: 14lbs, 25in long
4 months old: 15lbs 14.5oz, 25 7/8in long
5 months old: we'll find that out in a little over a week when she goes in for her next booster, but I think she grew long again in the last month.

She still makes this kissy face when she's sleep-stretching
As we can see, around the time of my last posting Amelia was having a HUGE growth spurt and basically skipped over most of her 0-3month size clothes and went into 3-6.  We're just now getting into 6-9 for most of it, but a few 3-6 still fit and some needs to be a 9.  Again with the huge discrepancy between brands.  Part of that is the extra fluff on her bum, but I'm happy to put her in a size up if it means I don't have to run to the store for diapers EVER.  There have been a lot of times when I was very glad to not have to borrow Mom's car, go to town, worry about whether we can afford them, wonder what size to get and what brand, and deal with the garbage.  It's much easier for me to just run a load of laundry when I'm down to 3-ish changes.

Around the middle of September she started
staring intently at her right fist.
As for development, she is currently at a bit of a plateau but I think she'll probably roll over, cut a tooth, and sit up on her own all on the same day.  She's been working on all of that very hard for a good month now and she's aaaaaaaaaaalmost there.  Her first smile (on purpose) came in August but her first belly laughs were in early October.  She's really ticklish sometimes and B can get huge laughs out of her.  I have videos of a lot of that but can't seem to upload them here, unfortunately.  She's become very vocal and likes to join in conversations and "sing" along, but of course she has no volume or pitch control yet.  It's rather hilarious.  She discovered her hands in mid-September and is now getting better every day controlling them.  She's drooling like a faucet and some days she's downright miserable until she gets a good gum massage and some tylenol, but I can't see a tooth coming through yet.  I wish it would hurry up, I think it's waking her up at night.  She still spits up a lot.  It was steadily getting better for a while there but it's getting bad again.  She's wearing a hazelwood necklace to theoretically help with that, but those do wear out, plus the extra saliva from teething probably makes matters worse.  Maybe I'll try an amber necklace next time to help with the teething and maybe the spitup will diminish again.  I've figured out that I have a strong milk ejection reflex, which she has to gulp to keep up with sometimes, so she swallows a lot of air.  Frequent smaller feedings help with that but burping more often doesn't do much, since the extra jostling pretty much guarantees a large spew.  She does much better if I watch for signs that she has a bubble and unlatch her, then keep her reclined for a little while.  Lately she's been sitting herself up after eating, which is fine if that's what she wants to do.  The bad spitups are usually an hour or so after eating, but they still won't put her on reflux meds.  I hope she just grows out of it soon.

Go go motor skills!  She's getting much better at
getting things to her mouth on the first try.
She was sleeping really well for a while.  For a whole week she slept through the night, but after that she was up every 2 hours again, then settled into getting up once for a month or so.  Now she'll sleep 4-6 hours at the beginning of the night, then be up every 2 hours after that.  She doesn't nap very well during the day despite my efforts.  Usually she'll sleep for 20-30 minutes max, then be fighting sleep an hour or 2 later so it takes forever to calm her down again so she can take another short nap.  She'll sleep for 2 hours down at Mom's house sometimes, and I'm not exactly sure what's so different down there but it works out fine when she gets a good nap there.  Some days we go down just to get a change of scenery and hope that she'll take a big nap so I can get a break and maybe get some work done.  I have music to compose and instruments to practice, not to mention trying to run my household and help with Mom's, then holiday stuff.  When I think I should get a job I have to remind myself that I'm going crazy trying to keep up as it is and kick myself.  

We're still going strong with nursing.  I don't get why people said "good luck with that" when I told them I wanted to nurse and cloth diaper.  It's honestly easier and a TON cheaper.  I have some trouble pumping though, unfortunately.  She nurses so often during the day that I don't really have time to pump between feedings unless I want to constantly have either her or the pump attached to me all day, plus the fact that she doesn't nap that well.  I need to pump when I get home from work or rehearsal, but if it's been too long I only get the thin foremilk, which I can't feed her or it really upsets her stomach.  It's like a switch flips around 4 hours after the last feeding and I can't pump the cream out anymore.  It's bizarre and I've tried lots of stuff to fix that, but the only thing that really does is to pump more often.  I'm not sure how to get that done during rehearsal, since it would be smack in the middle of rehearsal that I'd need to do it and it's not exactly a good thing for me to leave rehearsal to attempt to use the manual pump, which I can't get much out with anyway.  Because of the pumping issue, she gets formula when I'm not home.  She tolerates it well and spits up less from bottles anyway, but I had to get over the guilt of that and just forgive myself.  I was stressing out too much over trying to pump as much as she needs while I'm gone and it was hurting my supply to have my stress level be that high, which made it even harder.  I have some milk frozen but that needs to be saved for the long concert weekends in Gillette so she's not strictly on formula all weekend.  She and B came with me last time but she became inconsolable at the hotel while I was in rehearsal and it ended up being an expensive weekend, so next time I'm going alone.  I hope it works out okay... I'm not looking forward to spending all weekend with the pump, but we'll get a lot more money out of my paycheck from that if it's just me going and Amy will probably be more comfortable at home than in a strange hotel, even if I'm not around.

Finally, at 4 months old, tummy time isn't torture!
A few minutes' worth, anyway.  I think she wants to
skip crawling entirely.
We started feeding Amy applesauce a couple of weeks ago.  :)  Mom and I sometimes get produce from Bountiful Baskets and one of those times we got a big box of apples.  We ate about half of them and the rest became applesauce.  Amelia, being the way she is, insists on being a part of dinnertime, so she's much happier getting a little applesauce than just watching everybody else eat.  It's not for nutrition, and as much as she loves it I don't let her have much at a time, and of course I'm getting "the talk" from the nurse/practitioner that we've been seeing for her shots about her not needing food yet.  I know she doesn't need solids, but she's showing all kinds of signs that tell me she's ready to eat at the dinner table with the family, so I'm letting her do it.  I'm going to try and get her appointments moved back to Dr. S after her next booster... the nurse is nice enough but she's said a lot of things that completely undermine my instincts and sense of what's right to do for my daughter.  For example, she can't possibly be teething until the tooth is ready to erupt.  How, then, do we explain the drooling, gnawing, and misery that comes and goes?  I realize I'm not a medical professional but I know when my baby's mouth hurts.

B's new job is working out much better.  Nuff said.  :)  I picked up a side job placing banner and floor ads in local grocery stores, which ends up being 15-20 hours a month or so but I can do it mostly on weekends when B's home so I don't have to get a babysitter or wait for Dad to be home.  I'm playing all 4 concerts in the Powder River Symphony this year and didn't play in the October concert in the Black Hills Symphony but I'm on horn for the one coming up next weekend, and possibly for the rest of the season since one of my fellow hornists is VERY pregnant and due shortly after the concert. :) I'm very happy for her and equally happy that I might get to stay in the horn section for a while instead of working on both horn and cello all the time.  I don't get a whole lot of practice time so it helps a lot to only need to practice one instrument.

Mom's back surgery went very well and has already removed several years' worth of pinched nerve pain, and I suspect that pain has been going on for 15 years or something so by the time she fully recovers from the surgery she'll be in less pain than she was 15 years ago.  Hooray for that!  At least we got the surgery done before Amelia becomes mobile, so we're not chasing her around the house just yet.

Hopefully the next update will be soon, since theoretically things should start to calm down in a little while.  By then, I'll probably have a scooter... yikes!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Growing up so fast...

Tomorrow Amelia will be 7 weeks old already.  It's gone too fast, but at the same time it's been a long couple of months trying to get us into a rhythm and get myself healed up.  She's really chunked up a lot!  She's looking more like a baby and less like a newborn and the last time she was weighed, at 5 1/2 weeks for my postpartum checkup, she weighed 10lbs 1.5oz!  She must easily be up to 11lbs by now but she doesn't have another checkup for a couple more weeks so I won't know for sure until then.  I do know that she's outgrown some of her newborn size clothes and a couple outfits that fit now are 3mo size.  What's with that?  Why do the sizes vary so widely from brand to brand?  It's ridiculous!  Mostly she's into 0-3 now but a few of her newborn onesies still fit really well.  Strange and annoying!

We're having a hard day today, but overall we're doing really well.  She has days when she can't eat enough, and sometimes I'm bottle feeding her on those days to give myself a break so I know she's eating a lot, so she must be growing a lot.  She still spits up a lot though, and even though her doctor says not to worry about it, it's ridiculous sometimes.  Like, we're talking Exorcist-style, can't keep anything down then screams because she's still hungry.  Today isn't one of those, just eating tons.  I'm burping her more often and that's helping some, but I really think she's got some reflux issues.  I know all babies spit up and because their systems are immature they all have a bit of reflux, but it seems to be pretty painful for her sometimes.  Those bad days happen 1-2 times a week, and don't seem to be connected to anything I've eaten.  I think she gulps too fast sometimes.  She seems to spit up less from a bottle, but it's not really practical for me to just pump all the time to bottle feed her.  I got a loaner hospital-grade pump from WIC and that has helped a lot!  I just keep finding reasons to use my bottles rather than putting the milk in the freezer... I need to get better about that.


Finishing this post 2 days later... yeah, that's how things go around here lol.  She slept like a rock that night and yesterday was much easier on everyone.  Today has been up and down but we were down at Mom's house for the afternoon so Amy refused to just nap, as she's becoming more aware and wanting to be involved in whatever is going on.  This morning I got my post-natal yoga out finally even though I'm still a little sore down there, and it felt amazing.  However, Amy wouldn't settle down and let me do it until I put her on the floor in her floor gym, then she contentedly kicked around and batted at her toys for a good half hour while I finished up the yoga.  It was pretty funny that she just wanted to be exercising with me instead of in her swing.

She must weigh over 11lbs by now and I'm practically back at my starting weight (not sure what it was exactly to begin with so I can never say for sure).  My arms are getting stronger thanks to her but the rest of me is weak and my now-flabby belly looks like a road map.  I can fit into my old jeans as well as I could before, but they were tight then so I have some work to do.  I'd like to get another 20 pounds off with the help of nursing, mostly so clothes shopping is easier. I'm almost too big for the Misses department but too small for Plus, varying by brand of course.  I'm sick of it.  I'm also sick of hurting... I've had a very stubborn yeast infection that hurts a lot and the popped stitch spot still gets sore.  Exercising today didn't make it worse, but it's still persisting.

B's job has been iffy lately.  They have lots of work contracted but the materials for all of them are back-ordered, so there's nothing to do.  Meanwhile the other guys have been quitting because of the lack of work so B's almost the last one there.  It's a tough spot to be in and I'm debating taking a postal carrier job to help out.  Not full-time, but to fill in when the regular carriers are on vacation or whatever.  It could probably work if I have enough of a freezer milk supply, except for the vehicle situation.  B's been promised a work truck, but it's in the process of getting the engine replaced and there's no ETA on it so I'm not holding my breath.  He needs a truck and we need another vehicle, but he's not making enough at work for us to save up for anything yet, we're just barely getting the bills done, still with the help of my parents.  Let me tell you how ready I am to be done with that too.

We're doing alright, a day at a time.  :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

One month old!

Wide awake with very busy hands, in
a dress from B's mom which is still too big
Here is Amelia today, and tomorrow she'll be one month old! On Wednesday she went in for her checkup, not because she really needed to but I had scheduled it because I was sure I'd have questions.  First, about her weight.  At birth, she weighed 7lb 0.2oz and the next Monday she was down to 6lb 6oz so I wanted to see how much she had gained.  I knew she was gaining because of the leg and chin pudge, but I wasn't prepared for how much... 8lb 8oz!  Holy crap!  I have no reason at all to worry about her eating or my milk supply apparently, even though I can't pump much at a time.  She's just far more efficient at getting it out of me than the pump is. She's been spitting up a bit so we're working on that.  She has some baby acne going on, which drives me nuts but there isn't much to do for it and it'll apparently go away on its own. Hormone thing.  Yay.  Overall, she's great!  She's spot on for development and she's working very hard on holding her head up.  Her vocabulary is mostly grunts and squeals and we're slowly getting her hands out of the way for feedings.  She gets overstimulated after some time on her play mat so we need to cuddle for a while to calm down.

My healing hasn't been going too well.  Last week I realized that I had been at the same level of pain for quite a while, no noticeable change for probably 2 weeks.  I went to see Sue to have it checked out and lo and behold, one of my stitches had come out and I had exposed nerves.  No wonder! She got me some topical lidocaine and a sitz bath so now it's finally healing up from the inside.  She didn't stitch it up because it looked like it was trying to brew an infection.  Now the last couple of days I've been a lot more sore again but farther inside so I called Dr. B wondering if she wanted to take a look since she's the one who stitched me up in the first place.  She blew me off again, saying it was probably the stitches dissolving and working their way out and to wait it out over the weekend.  Meanwhile, my limited mobility was halved because my entire pelvic floor is constantly sore, worse when I try to do something like get groceries.  How dare I, right?  I went back to my clinic and the nurse there took a look for me, and she's pretty sure it's another yeast infection.  Thanks again for nothing, Dr. B.  Lord.

We're doing pretty well.  I'm just sick of being in pain after such minimal labor trauma.  We'll see if the Monistat takes care of it so I can function a little.  Dare I ask for such a thing?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Diaper switch time!

Our first attempt at tummy time on the floor,
wearing her Softbums Echo in Lilac
I know many people will think I'm crazy for using cloth diapers.  Honestly, I hadn't even considered it as an option until my BFF/sister Sara tried them a couple years ago for her son, who was horribly allergic to EVERYTHING.  After that, I started looking around at the different styles and found out that a few of my other friends use cloth also.  By the time I found out I was pregnant, there was no question in my mind that I'd go with cloth, and especially after buying a couple weeks' worth of diapers to use while Amelia's belly button healed up (less than a week's worth for $30? excusemeverymuch???!!! how do people afford that?) I was still happy with my decision.  She's never been a fan of diaper changes but once we get it on she's fine, so the only real difference is that when the diaper pail is full (or I'm almost out of inserts, which needs to be remedied soon!), they go in the washer instead of the garbage.  I have some more shells and inserts ordered so we'll be in better shape in a few days and I won't have to wash quite so often.  I had no idea what would fit her so I got just a little bit of everything to get started with.  The disposables I did have didn't fit very well anyway, the newborn ones were getting too small and the size 1s were too big (and resulted in blowouts), so it works out well that I can adjust these to fit perfectly every time.

In other news, she's now 18 days old and we're all doing very well!  We attempted some tummy time on the floor today, but she didn't know what to do with that so her legs were going but her top half was confused lol.  She lifts her head a lot when I'm holding her on my chest, so I thought it was worth a try to get some of those muscles built up a little bit.  We'll try again tomorrow to see if she gets the idea.  I think I got some real smiles out of her today too!  She's napping at the moment and I'm attempting to figure out what we should do for dinner.  She's been doing pretty well with sleeping at night, even if it's not solid sleep yet.  She gets up about every 2-3 hours, but it doesn't take long to change and feed her and get back to bed.  It's about on par with how often I had to get up to pee while pregnant so I'm already kinda used to it.  Once I figure out dinner I'll grab a little nap.  I've been running laundry all day (mostly clothes and sheets, plus a load of diapers) so I at least feel somewhat productive.  Yesterday B and I worked outside, him with the weedeater and me in my garden pulling weeds and harvesting potatoes.

Could that paragraph have wandered any more?  Maybe I'm more sleep-deprived than I thought. :P

Friday, July 13, 2012

36 weeks... and BIRTH STORY!

 A lot of it is a bit fuzzy, but I do remember feeling a lot more tired, achy, immobile, and just generally blah in the week or so leading up to my 36-week checkup.   My belly was hanging pretty low (swing loooowwww, sweet jelly bean!), there was a lot of pressure on the front of my pelvis that made it very difficult to walk some days, and I swear I could feel a "pinching" in my cervix when I laid down.  I got checked by Dr. B on Tuesday the 26th and she checked for dilation, and I was 1cm and 50% effaced.  Getting checked was a highly uncomfortable experience so between that, the 107 degree day, running Mom to her appointments, and mattress shopping (I bought one! It's heavenly!), I was pretty miserable the rest of the day with the pelvis pressure and contractions.  The contractions went away overnight, but I still had to sleep all morning the next day for whatever reason.  

That evening B and I made some stuffed-crust pizza, which was amazing, and while I was cleaning up the kitchen later I started to feel something that felt like a period gush, which I thought was strange, but I thought I should wait it out.  It kept happening, and a couple of times it felt like I had peed myself, but to rule that out it happened while I was on the toilet also so it obviously wasn't that.  I started to think that maybe my water had broken, but I was torn because it started at 9:30pm and I didn't want to drag everyone up to RC Regional an hour away in the middle of the night for nothing.  I called Sue to get her opinion on it, but it took her a while to call back so I woke B up, called Mom, and started packing a bag.

I resigned myself to not panic.  At all.  I'm no expert on any of this, but everything I had heard and read pointed to the fact that staying calm made everything much easier, so if it was time, it was time and freaking out would do absolutely nothing.  Sue called back and said that it did sound like my water had broken.  I could wait until morning if I wanted to, but instructions from Dr. B were that if I thought my water had broken that I needed to go to the ER because if it had, they want delivery to happen shortly afterward.  As the little gushes kept happening and filling pads and I started to get semi-regular contractions, I decided we should go.  Mom stayed behind to get some rest and clean out her car and B and I packed up my car and got on the road at about 11:30pm.  While we were on the road my contractions became more regular and were about 3 minutes apart but not painful yet.  When I finally got checked in and everything, I was dilated to 2cm and 70% effaced, but my contractions had stopped.  Once they were sure my water had broken, I got moved to a delivery room at about 2am so they could start the pitocin and get my contractions going again.  Once the water breaks, they want delivery within 24 hours to avoid infection.  Unfortunately, this put the kebash on my birth plan because I had to be on monitors and an IV the whole time, mostly stuck in bed, couldn't get into the tub or anything, and didn't get to do any of the laboring at home.  I wanted to stick to med-free, but because of the pitocin I left my mind open to IV pain meds if it got too rough.

I had two nurses because one was training for her RN, so I was lucky there to have all that help.  My blood pressure was a little high when I checked into triage, so the automatic blood pressure cuff thought it had to squeeze my arm to death every time it checked me.  Honestly, the pain from that was worse than the contractions until the back labor started.  The IV in my hand was At first, they had me on external monitors, one for my contractions and one for Amelia to make sure she was tolerating everything okay, but the contraction monitor wasn't picking everything up like it should have so they put in an internal monitor instead that went between her head and my uterine wall.  That was horribly uncomfortable and made it difficult to get to the bathroom without making me worry about pulling it out accidentally.  They kept upping the pitocin so that my contractions were at the intensity level they wanted and the nurses helped me to breathe through it all.

Mom got to the hospital that morning and she and B were the best support tag team ever!  They took turns rubbing my back and helping me get to the bathroom and relieved each other for lunch and such.  B had helped me smuggle in some craisins since I knew they wouldn't let me eat, so he'd help me sneak a handful here and there.  I get that they don't want you to throw up during labor and for an emergency c-section they need an empty stomach for anesthesia dosage, but I'm far more likely to get nauseous and sick on a completely empty stomach than if I have a little something in there.  That did kick in later though, when I was fully dilated and involuntarily pushing, but at that point the only thing in my system was water and it just wouldn't stay down.

The labor wasn't too bad, except for the blood pressure cuff and the internal monitor, until about 2pm when I was dilated to about a 7 and the back labor was starting to kick in.  At that point I was exhausted to the point of tears and asked for IV pain meds so I could get back on top of it.  That helped immensely, since I was able to get a few cat-naps between contractions for the next hour or so.  I got another dose a little later on, but that ended up being all.  I thought about getting an epidural, but at that point it was probably too late and the back labor was so intense that I didn't think putting something else in my back would really make my back feel better anyway.  Amelia wasn't completely face-up, but she was turned enough that the contractions wrapped around my back.  Mom and B helped by pushing on my lower back during the contractions and we found a couple of positions that helped.  My favorite was sitting on the edge of the bed leaning slightly forward, but the problem with that was that it made my feet swell worse than they already were so I couldn't do that for long, unfortunately.    That whole stage felt like an eternity.  I kept asking if it would ever end.  But, I never yelled at anyone during the whole thing.  I'm pretty proud of myself for that. :)

When it came time to push, I had one nurse on each leg and Mom and B helping lift up my shoulders.  In my original plan, I didn't want to do all the pushing while laying on my back, but at that point my legs were too shaky to do anything else so I didn't fight it. Laying on my side meant that what little water I'd managed to drink would come right back up, so that didn't work very well either.  I pushed for an hour, which I'd compare to the worst constipation you've ever had in your life.  I know I pooped on the table a little about 6 times, but I had tried to pass that earlier and it wouldn't happen with the contractions.  I know it happens, and I didn't care much at the time, but it was annoying and I felt bad for the nurses.  Apparently Amelia had hiccups while in the birth canal, which I didn't notice but Mom told me about it later.  Dr. B was called too early so she was just kinda hanging around until the last 20 minutes or so of pushing.  Proof again that the nurses really do all the work.  B snuck a peek while I was pushing her out and his jaw dropped!

When it was finally over at 5:39pm 6/28/12, Amelia let out a little squeal and arched her back the way she had done a thousand times in utero.  I was amazed by how strong she was already, but thinking about it I wasn't very surprised.  B cut the cord and followed the nurses over to the warming table while they checked her out and she gripped his finger right away.  She was 19 inches, 7lbs 0.2oz, and her 5-minute Apgar test was a 9 out of 10!  Meanwhile I delivered the placenta, which was nothing compared to delivering her, but it was a strange sensation anyway.  I ended up with a few little grade 2 tears so Dr. B had to stitch me up.  She said I did great, made one last comment about my weight, and they put Amelia on my chest so she could nurse.

She latched on pretty well right away while Dr. B and the nurses pushed on my belly (painfully, I might add) to help shrink my uterus back down.  They did that every half hour for a while in the hospital too, but it got less painful each time.  After nursing, the nurses took her up to the nursery (lol that sounds strange) to get her cleaned up or do some blood work or something, so I got to take a shower.  It was heaven.  It hadn't been that long since I had showered, but after 15 hours of pitocin it felt amazing.  I got wheeled over to my recovery room, B went home to get some rest (he had tried to nap on the couch-thing in the delivery room but it was hard as a rock and he worked hard with me through the whole labor) and Mom got some food then met me in my room before going home.  She would've stayed if I asked her to, but I felt comfortable enough there that I let her go home and get some rest herself.

I let the nurses keep her in the nursery overnight so I could get some good rest and take advantage of the help while I had it.  They brought her in to feed and worked with us on her latch and I slept as much as I could.  Mostly, I just slept as much as I could, which was hard to do since they kept coming in and checking my vitals and pushing on my uterus.

Amelia's blood work turned out great, except her bilirubin levels were a little bit high so she had a touch of jaundice.  It wasn't enough for them to recommend treatment aside from feeding her as much as I could and sitting in a sunny window with her occasionally.  She bruised pretty badly on her head during delivery so that was a lot of it.

Isn't she beautiful?  We had joked about her having red hair because we both have redheads in our family, and here she is with dark strawberry blond curls!  She has my lips for sure, but aside from that I can't really tell what she got from who.  I can't wait to see her eye color when it comes out.

I opted to stay at the hospital one extra night to get more help from the nurses and lactation consultant on her latch since it was still hurting.  The lactation consultant didn't help a whole lot, and each nurse had a different technique, but I'm glad I stayed because my overnight nurse on Friday night got us to make some real progress so I felt a lot more comfortable going home.  Amelia stayed in the nursery for a little while that night too.  B came up to take us home around noon on Saturday, but he brought the convertible carseat that came in the mail from my cousin Jon a few days earlier instead of the infant carrier and he forgot the infant insert... oops!  I sat in the back seat with her holding her head up and praying that nothing happened.

Mom is beside herself finally being a grandma.  She's been bugging me about grandbabies for years, but partly because when I was little I promised her my firstborn in exchange for something I wanted... probably a popsicle or something similarly banal.  She never let me forget about that... so now when I leave Amelia with mom to run to town, I remind her that I held up my end of the bargain!

Yesterday Amy turned 2 weeks old already.  Her first doctor visit the Monday after she was born went very well, but her weight was down to 6lb 6oz and she was still a little yellow.  I took her with me to my WIC appointment the other day and now she's back up to 7lb 2oz!  Once she really figured out how to latch on nursing has been pretty smooth sailing.  She will have some chunks of time where she can't seem to eat enough, but then she'll sleep for a good while so maybe those are mini growth spurts, but I can still pump enough for an occasional bottle feeding with daddy or grandma.  

Here she is at 2 weeks old, my lovely daughter.  It took me almost this long to make sense of the fact that a short time ago she was inside me, and that she's a whole brand new person that I grew from nothing.  It's pretty incredible and sometimes I choke up just from looking at her.  Does that ever go away?  Or is that just the name of the mommy game from now on?

My feet are back to their normal size, but the skin is still a bit tender from being stretched so tight for so long.  I'm only 6lbs from my starting weight, which considering all the flak I caught from Dr. B about that makes me feel good.  I want to rub it in her face... if I had gained way too much like she kept saying I had, would it all come off so quickly?  I'm sure a good 10lbs of it was just from extra water weight in my legs.  From the knee down my calves, ankles, and feet were tight like sausages.

I'll try to keep updating, it's just hard to do when she's this little and nursing as much as she does, but I'll do what I can do.  I'm officially a mom... and really, it does just come to you.  It's not as hard (at this stage) as I thought it would be.  Newborns have very low expectations. ;)  Hopefully in a few more days her belly button will be all healed up and we can switch over to the cloth diapers!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

35 Weeks

Down to one hand's worth of counting the weeks... eeeeeeeek!  Maybe less, if she decides she doesn't want to wait that long!  Of the 36 mamas in my due-in-July Facebook group, 9 have popped already so we have 10 babies!  It's been crazy and though I don't have any of the symptoms/issues that the others have had, it still freaks me out that it could realistically happen any time now!

I'm trying to bump up my productivity now that I'm feeling better.  It took all last week for the ear infection to clear up, and the whole time I was taking the antibiotics I felt pretty crappy even though I was avoiding dairy and taking them with food and all that.  I'm sure they also caused the raging yeast infection I'm dealing with now.  I was uncomfortable enough from that and leftover ear pain that I had a lot of trouble sleeping last week.  Now that I'm off the antibiotics and on yeast infection cream I'm feeling tons better.  It must have been causing more discomfort than I expected because I slept like a rock the first night for the first time in weeks!

On Monday I saw Sue and everything looked okay, except my blood pressure was creeping up, so with that and the incessant foot swelling she decided to test me for pre-eclampsia.  The prospect of that scared me to death, since that's the reason several of my July girls were induced this early, but luckily the labs looked okay and Amelia's non stress test was perfect.  Still waiting to hear back on the 24-hour urine test since they wanted me to start it Tuesday morning, so it got dropped off this morning.  I see Sue again tomorrow to follow up, probably to check blood pressure again and do another non stress test.  I'm suspecting my blood pressure was more from the lack of sleep and the general feeling of unwell-ness over the last couple of weeks than from anything else, so we'll see how it looks after a few good nights of sleep.  Then next Tuesday I go back and see Dr. B, and she'll check for dilation and stuff and we'll figure out a plan for appointments so I can still save some gas and see Sue a few more times before the main event.  I'm far more comfortable with Sue than I am with Dr. B.

My feet are ridiculous.  I'm afraid to take a picture but I probably should at some point.  I've been avoiding salt (which is hard enough, but to do that while also avoiding dairy made for some interesting half-meals the last couple of weeks), drinking a crap ton of water (evidenced in my 24-hour urine test, which I had to sacrifice a Tupperware for because I filled up the jug they gave me even though I attempted to drink less... TMI, I know, sorry!), keeping them up when I can (noticed that the computer chair is the worst possible chair for me to sit in for my feet, but my back loves it), and trying both ice baths and warm baths.  I think I've narrowed it down to a circulation issue since the ice baths did nothing, avoiding salt did nothing, and drowning myself in jugs upon jugs of water didn't seem to help much either.  Sue thinks that possibly Amelia is compressing some veins so that the extra fluid can't really get pumped back up my legs.  Possibly compounded by my heart murmur, which everyone keeps telling me not to worry about.  A warm bath before bed does help the swelling go down a bit more in the night, so I'll stick to doing that since that's the only thing that helps.  

I've gotten some decent cleaning done today plus swimming with Mom and didn't feel the overwhelming need to nap, but it's creeping up on me now so I should probably give in for a little while. ;)  I've been typing up a template contract for composing music for a web series, which is taking a lot longer than I anticipated but once it's done I won't have to do it all again.  Then, maybe I can start working on some episodes soon!  I should have something else coming up too, helping a friend's dad write his second book (typing, research, probably some editing), so we'll see how that goes once we get started.  At least he'll pay me a little bit for it and it's definitely something I can do from home on the couch :)

Work is still going well for B. His ankle is bothering him some, but mostly he's doing fine. :) He should get his first full paycheck tomorrow or Friday, which is good because bills are due and I'm all kinds of antsy about that!  We should be able to take care of the end-of-the-month bills and the beginning-of-the-month bills, then we'll be on a regular schedule for stuff, but this extra week waiting for a paycheck has about driven me insane.  I need to work in some other bills that have been taken care of by our parents, but I can't really do that until I see what a typical paycheck is like.  Then we'll work on a new mattress and getting him a little pickup.  Naptime, even though Amelia's going crazy at the moment!

Friday, June 15, 2012

34 weeks

I had all kinds of energy that first day B went to work!  I got a lot done that day.  My productivity dwindled quite a bit after that and my naps got longer and longer... once it hit me that I'm at home now, it really felt like the week after finals or something and I just needed tons of sleep.  I guess that's not necessarily a bad thing, I wish I had gotten more done last week but oh well.  My ear didn't get any better with the drops.  Actually, it got worse, so I ended up going in last Friday to get antibiotics.  It still bothers me a little but it doesn't hurt like it did.  Unfortunately, the side effects of being on antibiotics are worse with pregnancy than they are normally, which contributed greatly to my need for naps... ugh.  Good thing I'm seeing Sue again next week.  My feet are still swelling quite a bit daily and they don't go down much overnight unless I make a conscious effort to prop them way up for several hours, an angle which causes a weird...stretching? in my cervix, so that makes me a tad nervous.  I'm starting to feel that when I stand up too, so we'll see if Sue thinks that's anything to worry about.

Mom recently found out that the Motel 6 in town will let people swim in their pool for $2 per visit!  She's been going 2-3 times a week with a friend to do exercises and relieve the gravity pressure from her back and hips.  I went with her on Wednesday and it felt AMAZING.  Until it was time to get out that is, then gravity hit full-force and I could barely walk. :/  I borrowed an old suit of hers that doesn't fit very well since I didn't see the point in buying one this late in the game.  Then yesterday she found a maternity tankini on sale that fits perfectly!  Next time I go I'll wear it and since I intend to labor in Mom's hot tub (with the temp turned way down, of course) it will definitely come in handy.  Until then, I'll probably wear the top a lot anyway because it's comfy!

B's incision abscesses healed up perfectly and the little scabs are almost gone.  Yesterday he had his final appointment with Dr. G, who proudly pronounced him healed!  We pretty much knew it was done, but it helped to hear it from the surgeon.  We expected them to at least run some blood work or something to make sure, but it ended up being a couple questions and a couple pokes.  He didn't bat an eye at the sugar treatment we did for the incision so it must not be unheard of... okay whatever, it worked!  It's hard to believe that almost 5 months later we're finally done with all that.  He still has some aches and he has to build up more strength, but he's doing really well at work.  He was very sore for a few days last week but we worked through it.

Last Saturday was my birth class at the hospital.  Most of the information was the same as I've heard/read, but at least now I know what the hospital policies are and that they'll support me in my efforts to have a med-free birth and to get breastfeeding right away.  Mom and B went with me and there were probably 25 other couples there.  The chairs were horrible!  Sitting there from 9-4 made my feet puff up like sausages and I had to get down on the floor for a while in the afternoon.  I can't believe I was the only one in the room with that problem, but I was the only one that got out of the chair for a while except for the tour of maternity.  The breastfeeding class was scheduled for last night but after B's appointment, I decided not to go.  I've read plenty and watched videos so I'm perfectly comfortable with what to do until she gets here, and it'll be a whole new ball game then.  There will be a lactation consultant at the hospital and I'll get lots of help from the WIC office and Sue, so I couldn't justify going out to dinner and wasting all kinds of time in Rapid waiting for a class that would've gotten us home late.  I didn't sign up for that one anyway, I was going to wait until after she was born but because it came free with the birth class they just signed me up for it anyway.  It just seemed pointless, so home we came to relax.

I finally caught back up with Robin for exercising and we've done something almost every day this week.  She has some sort of nerve/muscle issue going on that they haven't diagnosed yet, so we're running at about the same speed, which works out well for both of us.  I'm meeting her for yoga this morning.  I'm hoping that stepping up my exercising I'll get more energy to get the house ready and curb my weight gain a little.  I'm still steadily gaining, but I'm sure some of it now is due to retaining water in my legs that I just can't seem to really clear up.  Next on my list of stuff to do at home is go through my old toys for stuff to sell so I can move some other stuff into the shed to make room for baby stuff.  It's not a gigantic project, but bigger than I've wanted to do since my ear has been bothering me.  Hopefully I'll get somewhere with that today after yoga.  Tomorrow my friend Krystal is coming to town to take maternity photos at Kidney Springs, so that should be fun!

I have less than 2 weeks left on my indiegogo fundraiser, so one more share would be appreciated! :)  B's paychecks are much better than mine were but we still have some catching up to do.  His bills are still in limbo so we'll be dealing with that for a while.  TGIF!

Monday, June 4, 2012

32 and 33 weeks

33 weeks, in one of Mom's old dresses.
I have 2 of these and fully expect to live in them all summer.
Last week was a little on the crazy side so a post didn't happen, sorry!  My last day at work was Thursday so now I'm officially a stay-at-home-mom.  Or, work-at-home-mom, if you figure in music writing and little side jobs here and there.  Whatever.  I didn't fully announce this before, but my boss moved the office to a smaller place, basically a desk inside another office, and decided he didn't have room for me there.  So, I've been laid off.  I thought I should be more upset about it, and I do sort of wish that it could've waited another paycheck or two, but honestly, this is okay.  My job ended just as B's job started (he started this morning and will be staying the night at the job site) and I'm pretty sure he'll make something like twice what I did, so we'll be fine one way or another.  Mom and I decided to expand her online book consignment business a little bit to include a local bookstore, so that will bump that up and help both houses.  We might let it become a big thing, we might not, it just depends on how manageable we can keep it.  So, now my job is to get the house ready for Amelia, keep us fed with fresh homecooked food (with Mom's help of course, we share food a lot), and work on scheduling my exercise and writing into my day so that it all gets done.  I'll do really well once I've established a routine.

We had a little scare with B last weekend.  His incision, which had been healed up nicely for 2 weeks, was red, hard, and looked like a giant blister.  We debated going to the ER, going to the local clinic when it opened next (of course, this was over Memorial Day weekend), or waiting until we could get an appointment with the surgeon to look at it.  We ended up having to drain a bunch of stuff out of it on Sunday because it looked like it was going to break open on its own, which made me nervous but it helped a lot, and since he wasn't feverish or anything we waited until Tuesday to get into the clinic.  It turned out to be the right thing to do, since the doctor that was there that day has dealt with a lot of infected wounds and knew exactly what to do.  Dr. G has been trying to get B to go to his own doctor anyway so we figured this was as good a time as any.  It turns out that the scar tissue from the incision trapped a few pockets of infection where the antibiotics couldn't get to them, and once he was off the antibiotics those little pockets went nuts with staph.  Treatment is strange, but simple and extremely effective... he cleaned out each little abscess, opened each of them up with a q-tip, and shoved a clump of brown cane sugar into each one.  The infection and dead tissue gets drawn out immediately into the gauze dressing, so we just need to rinse it in the shower then repack the sugar daily until the holes close up.  This has been by far the simplest recovery of anything we've had to do, and the weirdest treatment, but it works!  It should all be healed up sometime in the next few days.  Oh, how I wish we could've done this for his liver abscess... I suspect it would've worked SOOOOOO much better than what they did... but oh well.  His next (and hopefully final) appointment with Dr. G is next Thursday, then hopefully none of us will have to see him again.

I had my 33 week appointment with Sue today and that went well.  Everything looks fine, except my ear has been bugging me since I got sick 2 weeks ago, so she got me some ear drops to take care of that.  I got two grocery runs done today, the first one when I dropped B off at his carpool rendezvous point and the second after my appointment (because I forgot my WIC checks at home this morning... oops).  I'm taking a break now from attempting to get the kitchen under control after groceries and neglect.  I'm making a conscious effort to sit down and put my feet up several times a day since they get swollen so easily, especially when it's 95 outside and 80 inside.  I'm attempting to keep it cool in here but I'm not having much luck lately.  Normally I can open up the windows at night and the cool night air will cool down the house considerably, but last night there was no breeze whatsoever and the night before we had a storm but it didn't cool down much, so i haven't been able to cool the house off at night so during the day this aluminum box of a house just cooks.  I hate running the air conditioners more than a couple hours per day but lately if I don't turn them on the minute it starts to warm up outside the house gets almost as hot as outside.  Especially doesn't help if I'm trying to cook or run laundry or clean or something.

Speaking of which... the kitchen still needs help and it's about dinner time.  If you have a moment, please look at my sister Sara's indiegogo fundraiser to help with her ovarian cancer surgery.  Her insurance company made her and her doctors jump through all kinds of hoops in order for them to approve the procedure, which wasted a lot of time and nearly resulted in the cancer spreading to her stomach and spine, then after the surgery was done denied the claim.  She's fighting them about that now, but she's on oral chemotherapy and has lots of follow-up appointments to go to so any help you could spread her direction will be deeply appreciated.  I still have a few weeks left on my fundraisers, but I imagine you're all sick of looking at links to them. ;) Have a good week, and I'll attempt to be a good little SAHM :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

31 Weeks

The time is drawing near, I can now count the weeks until our due date on my fingers!  Am I ready to be a mom? Nope.  Am I getting nervous for labor and all that? Not really.  Anxiety only makes labor worse so I just won't let myself go there. 

I had my appointment with Sue yesterday and it went well.  I'm still gaining too fast, but she's not very worried about it if I'm making the effort to eat well and be active.  I could be doing better on both fronts... now that concerts and everything are over that will help me get back on track.  When I'm pulled in too many directions the first thing to go is my exercise regimen, second is meal planning.  Work will be done soon (sooner than I would've liked but oh well) so that will help too.  Overall, my iron is a little low so I need to bump up the iron in my diet, otherwise everything else is looking good.  I'm measuring 1.5cm big (which translates to 1.5 weeks ahead), which is pretty consistent with the last couple of measurements so she's not worried about it and it's not a big deal unless it's 3cm+ more.  Monday was a rough day.  I felt generally crappy all day, breakfast came right back up (which is extremely strange for me, considering I made it all the way thru my first trimester and the 10 years prior without throwing up), and all I wanted to do was stay in bed.  I didn't feel actually sick with body aches and everything, but just low enough that I knew I had to take it easy.  I have been fine since, so maybe it was just the stress from the previous week being so crazy.  I always knew that stress made me sick, so apparently that plus pregnancy makes for a bad combo.  Surprised that it didn't happen this way before considering everything that's happened, but maybe I'm more delicate in the 3rd trimester than I was in the 2nd.

Amelia is head-down and squirmy!  Her new favorite thing to do is stick her little butt out right above my belly button.  She does this every few hours during the day and it's pretty funny.  I'm feeling all of the kicks on the right side, so Sue confirmed that her back is along my left side for now.  Very strong heartbeat and very active, so that's all good.  I've been having some Braxton Hicks contractions, which really just feels like I suddenly have more room to breathe.  It's a wonderful feeling, actually!  She's not showing any signs of coming early yet so hopefully it all stays this way for a while.

I'm really hoping the job that B has lined up pulls through.  No reason why it shouldn't, but I'm always nervous about this stuff before it actually gets going.  He needs to put some real effort into getting up and about more so that he can keep up with the new job without pushing himself too hard.  I should be able to get unemployment for a while so that will help. 

I got a new diaper in the mail today!  It's a bit ridiculous how excited I get about new diapers.  Not sure if I've talked about it before, but we'll be using cloth diapers!  There are still plenty of naysayers (often the same people that say maybe I can't breastfeed, and most of them don't have kids... what??) but I'm gung-ho on this.  The initial investment is higher, but in the long run they'll save us THOUSANDS and we can reuse them for future kids and/or sell them.  Try doing that with a disposable. :P  Plus, customized fit and absorbancy, complete control over the chemicals that come in contact with her little bum, and look at how freaking CUTE that print is!  I've decided to go with Softbums because they can be used with a pocket or not, since the insert snaps in, and I didn't want to have to wash the whole diaper every time like you do with pockets or all-in-ones but didn't want the hassle of messing with prefolds (yet... I may experiment with that down the road, we'll see).  I've got a good starting stash of these now, in lavender, mint green, and brown plus this "Miss Kitty."  I've registered for white and two different blues and B wants a bright green one, so I'll pick one of those up at some point too.  I've been getting myself about one a month to build up the stash before she gets here without putting too much stress on the budget.  They don't often have prints, mostly it's just the solids, but when I saw this one I couldn't resist!  It was on sale too, with free shipping! :)  These aren't the cheapest brand but they got great reviews on Padded Tush Stats and I'm even more in love with them now that I have some.  I can even use different inserts with them if I want to, I just like theirs because they come in different sizes and the huge ones fold over for more absorbancy but still dry quickly.  Next thing I need to figure out is a clothesline.  Specifically, where I want to put it...  I'm pretty sure I can get one at Ace for pretty cheap.

We've got about a month left on our online fundraisers at indiegogo and giveforward and it may be time to start looking at bankruptcy attorneys even though all the final bills aren't in yet, at least to get a consultation.  I'm pretty sure we'll need those funds either for filing his bankruptcy or to offset the fact that I'm losing a month of paychecks before Amelia is even born, and I'm unsure about going back to work afterwards or not.  I'm putting off that decision until she's here and she and I have a good rhythm set.  That also depends on what B will be making, and we can't know that until he's been there for a little while.  I'm trying not to worry about it, I know things will work out one way or another. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

30 Weeks

Big progress this week!  Sunday we received the check from the church fundraiser and it was something like twice what we were expecting!  How incredibly humbling and exciting that we can finally take care of the little niggling bills that have fallen behind.  The propane bill is taken care of and I requested another fill-up so we'll take care of that bill also then be set for the summer.  My bill from my first doctor visit to confirm pregnancy has been paid off finally (for some reason, my Medicaid didn't backtrack that far so I owed for that appointment), I'm signed up for the birth class at the hospital, and we went to Target for some toy storage!  Then on Tuesday we spent the whole day cleaning up the office, setting up the cube shelves, and moving the dresser out of the bedroom and into the office so now we have a half-nursery corner with the dresser/changing table and toy storage drawers/shelves, which then opened up enough space in the bedroom for me to go through my summery clothes finally and find what I had that could still work for the summer.  That was one heck of a day but I was so relieved to get all that done!  Nesting must have hit me full-force or something.  Bedroom is next on the list, then possibly trying to sell the big armchair in the living room to make space for the baby furniture that's starting to come in!  It's getting exciting!

I'm feeling about the same as last week.  Good thing I have a belly support belt now, it's helpful if I wear it for a couple hours a day to give my back a rest.  I ordered a nursing bra online, but it doesn't fit and I can't return it, so I figure I'll try it on again a couple months into breastfeeding in case the "girls" shrink down a little, and if not I'll try to sell it.  It has the tags on and everything still.  This is why I hate ordering clothes online.   I ordered a nursing-friendly maternity shirt at the same time, and it's huge!  I don't mind the way it drapes, but the neckline is super wide so the shoulders don't stay up.  Mom and I figured out that if we attach a ribbon at the shoulder seams I can tie it behind my neck and that should help.  Hemming the shoulders up would have been a nightmare. 

There is news on the job/maternity leave front, but I'm not sure how public I should be about it yet.  For now, let's just say we got my maternity leave worked out.  Details later.  But, B contacted his new future boss and they'll get everything set up so he can start working around June 1st, which will be great!  He got his last drain tube out on Monday at his appointment and needs to check back in a month, but Dr. G is pretty confident that we're done with all the surgeries!  Good thing too, it's about time we were able to focus on Amelia's arrival!

I was able to make my appointment next week with my midwife Sue instead of Dr. B, which is fine by me!  Sue is far more helpful.  I don't need to drive an hour each way to get 20 seconds of "oh don't worry about that" and "everything looks fine" every time.  I'm definitely finding a different doctor next time. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

29 Weeks

Oy, my hair needs some serious help.  I'm thinking I'll let it grow out so it's easier to tie back like I had it when I was working at the store, but the bangs will take a long time to get there and the rest could use a reshaping.  And highlight touch-ups before my maternity shoot.  It all seems like wishful thinking at this point!

So.  I'm feeling about the same as I have been, just feeling the sleepiness creep up on me more and more.  Amelia is still very active, and I can tell she's still vertical but can't tell which end is which.  I think I'll make an appointment with Sue, my midwife, for next week now that she's back from surgery so we can get things going there.  Maybe I can do most of my laboring at home then get in the car, but I want to know how much she's willing to help before I go up to the hospital so we can get some sort of game plan set up there.  Since Dr. B cares so little for birth plans, I'll just need to stick with Sue for that part.  I also need to quit procrastinating and get signed up for the hospital birth class before it fills up.  I've been putting it off because I don't want to write the check for it yet, but now that we're on food stamps it should be fine after this next paycheck.

Still nothing from the church fundraiser yet.  The foundation is certainly taking its sweet time getting everything processed... I've promised the gas company payment from that and haven't been able to pay them yet.  I had no idea it would take so long.  I asked my boss today about how he wants to handle my maternity leave and what my concerns were, and he said he hadn't thought about it at all yet.  Hopefully he'll think on it now so we can come up with something.  Mom had an idea yesterday that I could work some extra days now so that I don't miss as many full paychecks when I'm off, but I'm not sure he'll go for that.  It's not like I can schedule when I go into labor (well, I could, but it's completely unnecessary!) or how long it takes to recover.  Frankly, I'd love nothing more than to stay home with my baby girl and write and garden, but that may not be in the cards.

The good news is that B has a job lined up for when he can go back to work!  He'll be on the contractor crew for all the window and door installations for Lowe's in Rapid City!  This means some travel, but we think he'll be able to carpool to the sites most of the time (and might have to until he gets his own vehicle, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it) and hotels and such are covered.  No benefits of course, but what job around here has any?  He'll be working with some guys he knows from his old job so they know what he's been through and will work with him as far as his physical capabilities are concerned until he gets back in shape and completely healed up.  We're not sure what kind of hours or schedule it will end up being until he's been there for a while, but maybe it'll be good enough to afford me some sort of maternity leave longer than 2 weeks.  That would be nice.  It won't take much to get us there actually, since we've been surviving solely on my paychecks and some direct donations, and both online fundraisers will run out in July and distribute their funds then.  Maybe we'll be okay after all. 

No word yet on the hospital's financial aid.  Maybe they're folding this last batch of bills in with that or something.  No bills from this hospital or ambulance since the first ones, so we have no idea how much he actually owes yet.  Not that we could pay it anyway, but it would be nice to know at least.  I think my nesting instinct is going to include the hospital bills too... it would be very nice to get all that sorted out long before Amelia comes.

Well, I guess I've rambled enough for one day.  Only 11 weeks left... EEK!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

28 Weeks

Well, here we all are!  Family pic at 28 weeks!  I was practicing wrapping my new Moby (thanks Bubble!!!) and showed B how the baby will fit in there using the American Girl doll I saved my allowance for months to buy when I was 7 (I was always ridiculously proud of that doll for some reason).  I'll be spending a lot of time in that dress this summer too, even though it's not technically a maternity dress.  It'll work until my belly is absolutely huge. :)

Yesterday was my 28 week appointment with Dr. B.  According to their scale, I only gained 5lbs in the last month, which is still too much but she said 3 when she was talking to me (not sure why, but I wasn't about to correct her!).  At least I managed to slow the gain down by half.  Everything's looking good, Amelia's heart rate was nice and strong, and she's such a wiggleworm that it's a little strange when she's not moving around in there.  I brought my birth plan to discuss with her, but she basically dismissed most of it saying "well, just keep and open mind and stay flexible, nothing goes according to plan." I don't like how she's still dismissing most things I say, but oh well.  It'll go how it goes and it's up to me to prepare anyway.  She doesn't think it's necessary to get a hotel room for labor, but unfortunately there are no tubs at the hospital. :( She thinks we'll have plenty of time to get to the hospital when the contractions are close enough since first labors typically take forever. So, I guess I'll be laboring at home, or possibly at Mom's house since they have a much nicer tub than mine, and trying not to panic in the car for the hour drive when contractions are 3-5 minutes apart.  It's mandatory to get an IV also... that doesn't make me happy either since it'll get in the way of movement, so I guess I'll just wait as long as possible before going in and not worry about the drive.  Hopefully my midwife can help with laboring so I don't freak out too much.

B came home from the hospital on Monday.  He's feeling much better this time around now that all the infection is out of there.  The chest tube has to stay in until the abscess cavity closes up completely and there's no chance of the infection building back up.  It's a big tube, but luckily it's in a better spot on his back than the other tubes were so it doesn't hurt him as much.  He's anxious to be back to normal and is helping around at home as much as he can.  We did manage to get him back up to his starting weight but now he needs to build his muscles back up.  He's been sleeping heavily at night, which is a good thing for his healing, but he's feeling good enough during the day to skip pain meds.  That was very much not the case the first 2 times he came home from the hospital.

As far as I know, the hospital is still working on approving our financial aid.  I haven't heard anything from them lately about it but now they're probably working on adding the most recent surgery and hospitalization.  There's been wonderful progress on indiegogo and giveforward as well as some direct donations so THANK YOU EVERYONE who has helped us out!  I can't stress enough, without your help we would have no hope of staying afloat!  The church benefit is done now so we're waiting for the check with matching funds from the foundation.  I have no idea how much that ended up being, but hopefully that can help us take care of some bills at least.  Once B can go back to work we'll need another vehicle too, so I'm keeping my eye out for a little pickup for $1500 or less.  Might be a futile effort there, but it's worth looking, right?  We'll probably have to get a few of his paychecks under our belts first so transportation to work will be interesting for a while if we're working on the same days, but we'll figure it out. 

I got my rep display kit yesterday and my first Park Lane paycheck today!  I'm so excited!  Now I just need some parties scheduled people!  Hostess bonuses are ridiculous! ;)

Feeling good this week, but tired.  Starting to feel the crunch until Amelia Belle's arrival.  Now that B's feeling better maybe we can start really getting the house ready!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

27 weeks

I think the 3rd trimester is creeping up on me.  It's getting more difficult to move around, get comfortable, and to keep up with fluids (which is probably more weather-related than anything else, it was 90 here the last 3 days!) and it's almost starting to feel like crunch time.  I still need to get the office rearranged to make room for the dresser, which will include cleaning off the jewelry desk to make room for the sewing machine.  It turned into a sort of catch-all when we redid the closet unfortunately, so I need to work on that, which will probably involve cleaning out my plastic office drawers too so they're actually functional.  See why I haven't started yet? I keep backtracking to figure out where to start!

My Park Lane party went well, all told.  I ended up turning it into a Facebook party and got enough in sales to qualify as a Fashion Director and earn my first little commission!  My friends are AWESOME!  The trick now is to get some parties scheduled.  Hint, hint!  If it's within a day's drive we can plan a weekend visit! ;)  I'm hoping I can get enough from this to be able to afford more than 3 weeks of maternity leave.  It might be a long shot but I have to try.

No gestational diabetes!  All is fine there!  I was very good about exercising last week.  I did my yoga three times, did some daily squats and cat/cow stretches, and worked a little harder on meals.  I've kept gaining but I don't think it's been as much as it was last month.  We'll see how that looks on Tuesday and how bad of a reaming I get from Dr. B.  B is almost back up to his weight before the accident so he's happy about that and he was pretty good about helping out when he could, though he still has no stamina. 

B had his surgery on Tuesday.  We had to get up at 4am to get him there, but it's done and even the surgeon seemed relieved.  The abscess cavity was still pretty big, but he got it all cleaned out and they placed another chest drain to keep the blood from building up and an epidural for the pain.  Today he's off the epidural (it fell out in the night...) and on a morphine drip, but he's up and moving around well.  The general plan is to get him home on Tuesday, but he can go home as soon as he can handle the pain without the heavy narcotics, which I suspect means as soon as we get the drain out since that's probably a major factor in his pain.  Dr. G mentioned after the surgery that he might be going home with the drain... personally, I hope they take it out before he goes home because he'll heal up very quickly once the hunk of plastic is gone. 

Un-fun but not entirely unexpected news, they did a culture on the infection and while the yeast is gone it did come up with some staph.  Eew.  We knew it was still infected in there but it didn't smell yeasty anymore, so we weren't very surprised about that.  This just means different antibiotics.  The infection doctor admitted that the heavy use of antibiotics in the first place caused the yeast to grow, but staph is very common in a liver abscess.  B made her promise not to keep him in the hospital just because she was worried about us affording the medication again.  We'll get the meds, there's no point in racking up the hospital bill any more than absolutely necessary. 

Tonight, I need to get groceries and stay home and catch up on the dishes and such that has been neglected since Monday.  I'll do some yoga too.  That will probably do me in for the night lol.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

26 Weeks

Nearing the third trimester and starting to feel the need to nest!  Of course, a lot of the cleaning I did yesterday was to get ready for my Park Lane party, but it felt good to get it all done.  The kitchen and living room look fantastic!  The kitchen cupboards do need a good cleanout though, and probably some reorganization.  It's time for that anyway, whether I'm turning into a cleaning freak or not.  I know there were mice in there. 

The dresser/changing table that mom used for me is now at my house filled with clothes!  One of mom's friends from church gave us 2 large tubs of hand-me-down baby girl clothes and after a full day of sorting it looks like we're pretty much set for clothes from preemie to 9mo size!  Of course, some of those are seasonal so it might not work depending on when it fits her, but we can't know that for sure yet.  We can fill in around the edges as we need to.  Unfortunately, the dresser doesn't quite fit in the bedroom where I wanted to put it and there aren't any other corners that I can move it to that would work any better, so it will probably have to go to the office.  I guess that's alright, since her toys will have to live in there too, so it can be a half-nursery.  Changings will be less likely to wake up whoever is napping that way too.  It should probably work fine, it just requires a little rearranging of the office and a plan for toy storage.  I think there's a cube shelving system with cloth drawers at Target that will work about perfectly for what we need to do. :)  I'm thinking it over in the back of my mind until I figure out exactly how to make that work.

I also have mom's old sewing machine now so I can get started on wipes and burp rags!  She offered it to me a few years ago but I was still moving too much to make it worth the trouble so we both thought she had given it away or sold it or something but it was up in the garage attic.  It just needs to be dusted off and it'll work fine for my purposes.  We also took all of my old baby clothes (which I used for dolls for years and years) and toys down from the attic also, cleaned it all up, and moved it up to my house.  I'll be selling a good number of the stuffed animals that are still in excellent shape.  I'm sure she'll accumulate enough toys on her own without having a stash of mine to start with!  We could definitely use the extra cash too.  That will probably sometime in May but we haven't figured out a day yet.  We probably need to take the SmartPots stuff too so Mom and I need to get planning on that.  I think I can get a bunch of baby furniture from a former neighbor for super cheap, so I'm just waiting to hear back from her on what all is included to see whether I'd need it all or not.  Not much point in buying something I won't need, even if it's for ridiculously cheap.  I'd probably just try to turn around and sell it anyway considering how little space we have to work with.

The birth class DVD/CD set came!  Mom has watched more of it than I have, but she's had a lot more free time this last week since I have.  I watched the toning video and it's not so much an exercise video as it is a demonstration of exercises that should be done throughout the day every day.  That's good, although I probably won't get the recommended number of each exercise done.  Ever.  Last night I got my yoga out and did that, it was much easier this time than it was the last few times I tried to do it.  I think Jelly Bean is now vertical instead of diagonal so it's much easier to move around and my ab muscles actually work again!  I just need to step up the exercising and do little things occasionally at work.  Hopefully she's head down, but she has time to turn if not.  I always feel thumps low, middle, and high, so I can never really tell which end is feet and which end is head.  At least it's not such a chore just sitting up like it has been for the last couple of months.  That will make exercising easier.

Update on B:  He continues to feel better and better every day without the tube but his side is still draining a lot of infection.  He went to see Dr. G on Monday, who told us that he could do the procedure.  Words from his mouth: "I used to do these all the time at the university."  Ummmmmm... what??? Why were you trying to pawn us off on someone else then???  Why didn't we do this surgery a month ago when we knew the drain wasn't working?  We were dumbstruck when he said that but at this point we just want it done and we're happy to not deal with another hospital's worth of bills.  It's out of control enough already.  So,  they checked his blood work for elevated white blood cell count, which it obviously was a little high considering he's still actively draining infection out of his side... why did they even bother?  They then waited 2 hours to call us back and tell us he needed a CT scan the next day instead of in 2 weeks.  They should've just done it all on Monday and skipped the blood work, honestly, so we were pretty upset with him after that considering how much of a pain it is to run up there every day.  Nothing new came up on the CT scan we guess, since we didn't hear anything afterward, but Dr. G should be getting ahold of us in the next week or so to schedule the surgery and get all this over with.  Three months of this is really getting old... pretty much my entire second trimester has been spent dealing with it.  We just need him healed!  Hopefully the surgery will take care of it and we can call it done. 

I had my glucose tolerance test yesterday and I'm guessing since I haven't heard anything back that it was fine.  If it was way out of whack, I'm sure Dr. B would've called right away to get me scheduled to take the 3-hour test.  Hopefully all is well, but maybe I'll call just to make sure.  Drinking that stuff made me feel pretty bad... I was almost certain I was reacting to it for a while.  Guess we'll see what they say.

My Park Lane party last night went pretty well, considering only three people came.  It was fun!  Maybe I can get a couple more orders pulled together this week and qualify to sign up as a rep, so I'll try for that.  If you want, look at and let me know what pieces you like and we can work it out from there.  The online catalog doesn't show prices but the final pricing also depends on what bonus buys and free items you can get, so don't hesitate to ask and I'll figure it out for you.  I'll close out my party on Sunday or Monday and if I can get a few more orders in by then I'll have a good shot at getting started with this as a business.  Remember, graduations and Mother's Day are coming up, so don't look just for you! /end shameless plug. lol!

One more concert to go, which is a one-weekend thing in Gillette, but the crunch time to the Mahler is over.  Sigh of relief!  That concert was hard!  This means I can relax, focus on prepping for July, bump up the exercising, all these things I need to be doing better.  Tonight I fully intend to be lazy.  Maybe yoga again.  Sounds good to me!