What a Day

Photo by Viktor Hanacek. From http://www.picjumbo.com

Before I start, just a little disclaimer: this is not the post I planned to publish today. Instead, I needed to vent a little bit about my day so far. I will warn you, I do get a little graphic, so I’m sorry.

I woke up to the sound of my husband’s alarm clock at 6:00 a.m. because mine didn’t go off at 5:00 a.m. When I tried to roll out of bed (rolling my rotund form is easier than trying to sit up these days) I was struck by an awful leg cramp. Holy moly, that hurt. I limped my to the kitchen to start coffee and begin breakfast. Both my husband and daughter took three attempts to rouse them out of bed, so they also were late to get up, late to get ready.

As I was getting ready for work after my shower, brushing my teeth made me feel sick to my stomach. A few minutes later I puked up all of my breakfast and coffee. Yay, oatmeal with raisins- Not going to eat that again for a long while. I am a very violent vomiter (is that even a real word?) and when I looked in the mirror I noticed that I had broken several blood vessels in my face and have red spots all over my cheeks and around my eyes. Soon I get sick again and this time puke so hard that I pee on the floor. Ugh. Being pregnant is great sometimes. I gave in to my emotions and sat and cried for a few minutes.

After quickly taking another shower I get dressed and begin applying makeup. At this point I feel like I have something stuck in my throat and keep coughing. I drink water but it doesn’t help. Abby has to go potty so I sit her on the toilet and then the coughing makes me sick again. I quickly run for the other bathroom, luckily only steps away, as I try to cover my mouth and yell to her to stay on the potty at the same time. I lose the rest of my breakfast and clean up again. After placing Abby back on the potty (she got off to see where I was headed to so quickly), helping her put on a pull up, and then washing her hands, I look in the mirror to fix my hair, only to notice that my mascara has run and I now look like a cross between Alice Cooper and Humpty Dumpty.

By this point we are late and I try to make myself as presentable as possible. Abby has zero interest in being helpful as I try to get her socks and shoes on, saying that she does not want to go to the babysitter, she wants to stay home. When we get in the car she screams and acts like her car seat harness is too tight. She whines about not having her Moana doll for the next fifteen blocks as we drive to daycare. When we arrive she complains that we are at daycare and tells me I am mean. We go inside and she immediately runs to the babysitter for hugs and wants nothing to do with me. That feels great; woohoo, I feel like Mom of the Year.

I get to my office almost twenty minutes late. In less than an hour three different people ask me if I am feeling OK today, so I must look like a hot mess.

What else can go wrong today?

A Baby “Sprinkle”

Photo by Rodion Kustaev.  From www.unsplash.com

Having a baby “sprinkle,” or second baby shower- is it tacky or a fun idea?

A few years ago I was researching ideas for my sister’s baby shower on Pinterest when I first saw pins about baby sprinkles. They are called a “sprinkle” to differentiate them from a “shower.” They are supposed to be given for parents who have previously had a baby shower for a child of another gender or to celebrate a second (or more) pregnancy. Often they are limited to a smaller number of attendees, usually just close family and friends.

Online it seems that opinions are mixes on the appropriateness of having a second baby shower. Many people call it “greedy,” “rude,” and “tacky.” Others thought it was a “fun” or “sweet” idea to show how much you care. I don’t know anyone who has had one, where I live I never seen it done. But, opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one; some people like to show them off and others keep theirs hidden.

Three years ago I hosted a baby shower for my sister-in-law, Casey, when she was pregnant with her fourth child, Missy. While technically it was her second baby shower, she’d had her last child ten years before and had not planned on having more, so she was basically starting all over again and needed everything.

While pregnant with Abby, I had two showers, one for family and friends given by my sister and one at work put together and attended by my and my husband’s coworkers. They were both very nice and I am very grateful for everyone’s generosity and everything we received, which helped out so much when Abby arrived and as she grew. Being that it was only two years ago, I have much of what I will need for baby boy, except essentials like diapers and clothes.

A couple of weeks ago Casey asked me if I would mind if she threw me a sprinkle next month, since I had given her a shower. I told her that would be lovely, but secretly wondered how many people would come or feel like I thought I was acting entitled and asking for more presents? She seemed so excited about it that I didn’t want to tell her no. She asked me to register online and to give her a list of attendees and their addresses.

I gave her a list with my friends, sister, mom, and aunts. I registered online at Target and Wal-Mart, adding diapers in two sizes, wipes, Diaper Genie refills, and onesies and sleepers in size 0-3 and 3-6 months. I didn’t feel right adding other more “frivolous” feeling items.

I decided not to care what other people think. I know it will be fun. Even if no one but my mom, sister, mother-in-law, and Casey come, we will celebrate my new little man and have a good time.

Have you ever been to a baby shower for someone who is having a second child? What are your thoughts?

Getting Ready for my Little Monster: Decorating Baby’s Bedroom

I have been anxious to get baby boy’s bedroom decorated and ready for him to come home to, or as my husband said recently, “nesting like crazy.” Part of it is because I am excited, part of it is because I want it to be done if he were to be born early. My cousin recently had a baby girl born several weeks premature due to preeclampsia, so not having things done or close to done for him makes me feel nervous.

The room has been used for the past two years as a guest room, so we had to do some rearranging and take all of the furniture that was in the room downstairs to an extra room in the basement that we had previously used for storage.

When we moved into our house this room had been wallpapered with a tacky striped paper and a sports-themed border. We removed both and painted the room a greige color. I didn’t want to repaint the room since we had so recently painted it, so we left the walls as they were. I found some cute vinyl decals of monsters on Wal-Mart’s website.

I painted two pictures to hang in the room, based on a similar project I had seen on Pinterest.

I found a cute monster-themed alphabet print in Etsy and framed it.

A fingerpainting that my nephew had made and had given to me for Christmas was already hanging in the room and I decided to leave it because it is colorful.

I couldn’t find any fabric with monsters on it at Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby, but found some with a cute pattern at JoAnn’s on an out of town trip. I sewed a valance for the curtains using it. It turned out to be a little long, but it will do. The blue curtains had already been hanging in the room.

 

We brought in the crib and rocking chair formerly in Abby’s room. Before Abby was born I had recovered the rocking chair cushions in gray fleece. The bookshelf was my husband’s from when he was a kid.  I would like to paint it but I’m not sure I will get that done any time soon. I added a couple fabric storage cubes with monsters on them from Dollar General. The other I had and previously used in Abby’s room. The teal hamper I bought at Walmart.

Right now the room is a little bit crowded because the swing and Pack and Play are being stored in there until the baby arrives, then they will be moved to the living room for use.

Did you go through a nesting phase while you were expecting?

Delivery Uncertainty

Photo by Daan Stevens. From http://www.unsplash.com

When I was pregnant with Abby lab tests showed that I had low platelets in the last few weeks of my pregnancy.  I was warned that if my platelet count fell too low that I would not have the choice to get an epidural, as low platelet count affects the body’s ability to clot blood, and they didn’t want to give me an epidural and then have hard to control bleeding on my spine.  That was not a comforting thought, but I wanted a medication-free birth anyways, so I was OK with it.  

After almost 20 hours of contractions I changed my mind and I asked the anesthesiologist if I could have an epidural since I was exausted.  My platelet count was on the border of being too low, but he let me make the choice to get it or not and I did.  It was an immediate relief.

My OB/GYN has been monitoring my platelets closely during this pregnancy and I have been diagnosed with gestational thrombocytopenia.  Thrombocytopenia is a condition where blood does not clot notmally, caused by a low platelet count.  It is diagnosed by blood tests.  Gestational thrombocytopenia happens during pregnancy.   According to my doctor, it occurs in only 7 to 10% of pregnancies and generally appears in the mid-second to third trimester.  It poses no harm to the baby and should resolve by six weeks after the baby is born.

Since my hospital does not perform VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean) I will have to deliver via a planned c-section with a transfusion of platelets first.  My doctor has warned me that if my platelets are too low when I enter the hospital I will have to be put to sleep using general anesthesia, rather than being given an epidural or spinal anesthesia and being able to be awake for my child’s birth.  

I am hoping that I don’t have to have general anesthesia; I want to be awake and witness my baby boy’s first moments of life.  I want to be able to do immediate skin-to-skin and breastfeed right away, I don’t want to be groggy and tired and miss such an important event.  Plus, anesthesia often makes me nauseous, and I don’t even want to imagine puking with an incision in my abdomen.  Don’t get me wrong, the hour of chills and shaking after my precious c-section sucked.  I felt so cold, even with several heated blankets on me.  The anesthesia made me shake so hard that I was afraid that I would drop my baby when she was placed in my arms in Recovery.

I have already told my husband that if I do have to sleep through delivery I want him to do immediate skin-to-skin with our son until I am awake and able to myself.   

 So much of pregnancy is waiting.  I have already waited twenty-nine weeks to get this far.  I can wait longer, but the more I wait, the more anxious I become.  I just hate the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen.   I hate waiting another ten weeks to know.

The Name Game

Photo by Drew Hays. From http://www.unsplash.com

Decisions, decisions.  

When I asked Abby what her ideas for baby names were, she said Elmo and Coco.  Sorry, kid, those aren’t going to make th cut.  With only ten weeks left before delivery, my husband and I have finally gotten serious about picking out a name for our new baby.  

Well, maybe.  Last week he finally wrote out a list of boy names that he likes.  I had to restrain myself and wait a week before asking him if he was trying to play a long-running joke on me, as he included some pretty far out names on the list, like Apollo, Ulysses, and Magnus.  No offense to anyone who likes those names, of course,  but they seem a little grandiose for me.  He swears he is not trying to play a joke on me, although I still have my doubts… 

Coming up with names is difficult!  We didn’t want to go down the road of using family names, unless they were middle names.  Multiple names on our combined list just scream “nerd parents!” Because there are comic book character names, more than one Star Trek character names, and musician names.  

It is so hard for me to narrow down the list.  There are only three names on the list that I actually really like.  I never put too much thought into picking boy names over the years; you might remember that I have mentioned that I naively always believed that I would only have girls.  The name I am most attached to, Julian, is a name that my husband used to like but now says he feels like it is a name our kid will get picked on for having.  My second favorite is Oliver, which he for not care for.  My third is Liam, which he says is only so-so.  My husband favors Logan, which I just don’t like at all.

In order to weed out a lot of duds we took turns using each name in a sentence, like, “Quentin, quit picking on your sister,” Or, “Carter, just close your eyes and go to sleep.”  There were many names I couldn’t picture saying or just didn’t sound right.  Finally we were able to cut the list down to six.

Now it’s time to get down and dirty as the real discussion and debate begins.  I have no idea how long it will take us to settle on one, but hopefully it will be soon, or before we head to the hospital anyway!
   

 

Mom Needs a Vacation

Photo by Sergei Akulich. From http://www.unsplash.com.

Mom needs a vacation.  Or maybe just fifteen minutes locked alone in the quiet bathroom.  I will take what I can get.  

It seems lately I am one step away from losing my shit.  I keep waiting for that one thing each day that will send me over the edge.  If you see me sitting in the middle of the floor crying somewhere, just move along.

Will it be kicking the bedpost?  (Seriously, how do I have toes left at this point?) Watching Finding Dory for the one hundred and fiftieth time?  Crying over not getting a second cookie as a snack?  Getting cut off in traffic?  Are we out of butter again?  Being growled at by Ursula,  the evil sea with at work?  Spilling my hot coffee on my belly?  Hearing “Eww, yuck!” twenty times at supper?  Going to the bathroom with a kid on my lap because she won’t let me have a minute to pee?

Work has been very stressful.  I feel like I don’t have enough time to spend with my husband and child.  I feel like I don’t have enough time to take care of household duties.  I don’t have any time to spend on myself, let alone time to dedicate to blog or paint or read.  I feel so exhausted at the end of the evening that I just want to sleep.
I love being a wife.  I love being a mom.  I love my job.  I love being pregnant.  I love getting ready for the new baby.  It has been extremely difficult to balance it all and stay sane.  I can’t even imagine what it will be like when there is a newborn in the mix.

How do all you mommas out there do it?  

  

Transitioning to a Big Kid Bed

Saturday we took the step to transition Abby from her crib to a twin bed.  It was necessary to change because while she still fit in the crib and never (to my knowledge) tried to climb out, she was getting big enough to be too heavy for me to lift over the crib rail and my belly is now too big to comfortably and easily lift her over the crib rail.  

Abby was so incredibly excited when she saw her new bed.  Immediately she wanted to jump on the bed, play with her toys in bed, read books in bed, and pretend that she was sleeping in bed.  The one thing she hasn’t wanted to do is actually sleep in bed.  At least, not alone.

Therein lies the problem.  Each night I have put her to bed she has refused to sleep alone.  If I put her to bed already asleep, she often wakes as I am leaving the room or shutting the door.  If I lay with her until she falls asleep, most of the time she will wake as I get out of bed.  Sometimes it takes two or three attempts to get her to fall asleep and stay asleep.  If I try to put her in bed awake she will get right up and try to follow me out of the room or bang on the door and throw a fit.  She refuses to let Dad lay with her, so each time it is me.

None of the conditions of her room have changed, other than the bed.  I still have her nightlights positioned in the same spots.  I still play white noise to help her sleep.  I still close the door so the noise from the TV or me doing chores does not wake her.  

When she still slept in the crib I could put her in bed wide awake or drowsy and she would lay right down and go to sleep without any problem.

I know that Abby is adjusting to something new and will take time for her to become comfortable with sleeping in her new bed, but it is currently a frustrating situation. 

I spoke with my coworker Sammy about it yesterday.  She said her son had done the exact same thing when he was transitioned from a crib to a bed.  Each time she would put him to bed she would set an alarm and go in two minutes later to put him back in bed.  Gradually she would increase the number of minutes waiting to go back into his room until he learned to stay in bed.  This is basically the same approach I took when I began to place Abby in her crib awake at night.  It sucked for a few nights but eventually got better.  I think I may suck it up and try it again.

Have you ever been in this situation before?  What helped?  What advice would you give?  

It’s a… Whole New World

Photo by Aditya Romansa. From http://www.unsplash.com

At my 19 week prenatal appointment my OB/GYN ordered a sonogram.  I was very excited to finally get our first look at our new little one.  Later that week we went to the radiology department of the hospital.  The technologist asked if we wanted to find out the baby’s sex, which we did.  

It’s a boy!

Boy, was I not ready for that surprise.  No pun intended.

I always thought I would have another girl.  I never considered the fact that it could be a boy.  I mean, I knew it was technically possible, of course.  I just never thought it would happen to me.  

When I was a kid and played house I never pretended to have a boy baby.  I grew up with just a little sister and thought that boys were weird and gross; they talked about poop and farts and boogers and liked to burp, kick each other in the crotch, and to scare girls.  I never even considered what it would be like to have a boy until my amazing nephew came along nine years ago.  He made me think thay maybe a boy wouldn’t be so bad.

I had just naively assumed this baby would be a girl too.  I thought I was ahead of the game and so prepared because I wouldn’t have to buy any clothes.  I would have everything I needed for the baby.  I would have two girls that could play together like my sister and I did.

I am not trying to be silly or dramatic, but it took about a week for me to process and for reality to set in.  I’m having a boy.  Abby will have a little brother.  

I am totally not prepared for a boy!  I don’t have any boy clothes.  I don’t know how to take care of a little boy.  All I know about is being a girl.  Boys are so much different than girls!  Over Memorial Day weekend we took Abby to the zoo.  When we were looking at the giant tortoise exhibit a little boy yelled, “Did you see his butt hole?  Did you see it?  COULD YOU SEE IT, MOMMY?”  Oh Lord, am I ready for this? 

It’s a whole new world.   Ready or not, here it comes!

A Step in the Right Direction, a Weaning Update 

Photo: Ricardo Pilati/Unsplash

Initially, I took a slow and step-by-step approach to weaning Abby from breastfeeding.  When that sort of came to a standstill I decided to take a leap and quit cold turkey; while not offering to nurse, I would not refuse if she asked. 

Today is day twelve of my full time weaning efforts.  I am happy to report that Abby is doing fantastic!  I am really proud of how well she has done.  She has accepted drinking milk out of a cup at night if she asks for milk.  

Abby has not once asked to nurse, which really has surprised me, but just goes to prove my suspicion that she was wanting to breastfeed at night out of habit and for comfort rather out of necessity. 

It is so nice and so much more convenient to not have to pump each day.  Since I was taking certain medications I would have to pump before coming home to Abby or if I had a migraine I would have to pump if I took my migraine medicine.  

It feels very liberating to no longer be breastfeeding.  After so long it really began to feel like a chore.  I loved to do it, and I am happy I was able to do it for so long, but it wore on me after a certain point.  

I thought that perhaps my breasts would become engorged and I would feel uncomfortable,  but that has never happened.  I noticed when I became pregnant again that my nipples were constantly sore, no matter if I used ice, lanolin, or time without nursing pads or a bra, nothing I did made them feel better.  Now all the soreness has completely disappeared.  I think my body was as ready to quit as I was mentally.

I’m really happy with how we are progressing, but we’ll continue to take it one day, one step at a time.