Delivery Uncertainty

Photo by Daan Stevens. From

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

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

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?  


Potty Training Isn’t for Pussies

Photo by Dana Watson. From

Abby has been in the process of potty training for a while now. Some days I would say, “F-yeah! This is going awesome!” because she seems to be doing so well and other days it feels like I am fighting a losing battle. Sometimes 5:00 a.m. seems too early to deal with shit that isn’t mine.

Take yesterday morning, for example. Abby sat on the toilet every half hour after waking. Each time we sat for several minutes, talking, reading books, singing songs, etc., but not once did she actually use the potty. Ok, fine, that’s cool. But each time she left the bathroom she either peed or pooped in her pull-up right away.

Last night as I was cooking supper she ran into the kitchen with one side of her pull-up flapping in the wind, shouting “Poop! Mommy, poop!” before running to the bathroom. I ran after her with food covered hands praying that poop hadn’t and wouldn’t leave a trail behind her. Luckily, it turns out that she had just peed and had started removing her pull-up.

The evening before she was sitting on the toilet and I needed to go around the corner to get some wipes. She had pooped in her diaper but said that she still needed to go more so she was on the potty. I needed a wipe because she had poop all over her bottom. I was gone for less than thirty seconds, but in that time she had hopped off of the toilet and began fingerpainting all over the toilet with poop. That was fun to clean up.

I’m glad I am not squeamish about bodily fluids. I am glad I am past the point in my pregnancy where all things poop made me puke, or we’d really be in trouble. I know it is going to take time. I know that she is learning. I know she is on the verge of turning two. No matter how hard it is we will trudge on and get through it.

Potty Training TimeĀ 

I had bought a small potty chair and Elmo seat that sits on the toilet a few months ago.   For a few weeks it was novel and Abby wanted to sit on the potty all the time, but now it has been around long enough that the newness and curiosity bout them has worn off.  She has still sat on the potty chair when I am using the restroom, but has never really used it for anything other than a chair.  Once at my Mom’s house over Easter she peed on the toilet but hasn’t done anything since.

For the last week or so Abby has been starting to tell me when she has pooped or is in the process of pooping.  Last night she let me know when she was pooping, so we rushed to the bathroom and she finished pooping and also peed on the toilet.  She was very proud.

We started sitting on the toilet every half hour and she will continue the same routine at the babysitter’s house.  I try to read a couple of books or sing some songs to keep her attention and get her to sit longer.

As an incentive for her to want to use the toilet rather than her diaper, last night we put together a plastic container with M&Ms in it and small items (A couple bracelets from my jewelry box, a balloon, an old Happy Meal toy I found in my closet, some small Finding Dory puzzles from the dollar store, etc.) and decorated the outside with colored letter stickers spelling her name and other stickers.  If she pees in the toilet she gets a couple M&Ms, if she poops she gets to pick a toy.

This morning she peed one of the three times she sat on the toilet and was delighted with her two M&M’s.

How did you potty train your daughter? What worked and what didn’t work?  Do you have any helpful hints to share? 

Still Dealing with a Bully

Bullying is an important issue for kids that I don’t think gets all the attention it deserves.  I think it is on the public radar now more than ever due to kids’ access to electronic devices and social media, but still should be talked about and dealt with.

I was bullied growing up- quite a bit, actually.  I haven’t really thought about bullying in years, until today.  I never imagined I would be facing it at thirty-five and on a professional level.

One time in second grade a boy in my class cornered me as I was walking through the empty schoolyard on the way to my mom’s car.  He pushed me down, sat on my back, and forced me to eat nasty dry dead grass.  The same boy also enjoyed pulling my chair out from underneath me as I sat down.  I wore tortoise shell rimmed glasses and was made fun of daily by the same kid.  “Anti-snake eyes,” he would call me, because he thought the tortoise she’ll looked like snake skin and he apparently didn’t know the meaning of “anti.”

Once I got sucker punched in the stomach and had the wind knocked out of me just because I couldn’t remember the name of the new kid I was playing with.  I told my babysitter, the mom of the kid who had punched me, and she did nothing.

After I moved to a new town I was bullied by a mean kid that picked on all the new or “weird” kids in our school.  I remember walking home from school one snowy day and he appeared out of nowhere, throwing rock filled snowballs, which hurt like hell.

I was made fun of because I began puberty sooner than other girls.  I was body shamed about my weight and my breasts because I looked womanly when other girls were still small and flat-chested.  In middle school, the anti-snake eyes idiot loudly embarrassed me in the gym in front of the entire school after an assembly asking how big my boobs were and if I had to buy bras in the old lady section at the store, and more.

In my high school Geometry class I sat next to a girl who didn’t like me and only positively interacted with me when I had my homework done and she didn’t.  If I had mine done she would make me feel as though I had to give her my homework so she could copy it before class started.  If I didn’t she was mean and made fun of me.  She never realized that the joke was on her because I hated Geometry and didn’t try at all, hence my C grade instead of an A like I got in all my other classes.

When I was younger I never thought there was anything that could be done against a bully.  Trying to tell a teacher or principal just made the situation worse.  Telling other adults got me horrible advice like, “Sometimes boys tease you when they like you,” and, “Just ignore it and eventually they will get tired of it and stop.”

Today as I was sitting at my desk after a meeting I realized that a person I work with is just like the Geometry girl from high school.  She only acts friendly and nice towards me if I have something she needs or if I can do something for her.   If she has nothing to benefit from interacting with me then she ignores me entirely or is not pleasant.  In fact, lately she has been downright rude and mean because I have disagreed with her and I stood my ground and didn’t back down when she disrespected me in front of others.  Today in a meeting at work I dared to question something she said and she yelled at me in front of everyone.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was in shock.  My boss was on vacation so she wasn’t there to back me up, my boss’ boss didn’t say a word, and her boss didn’t say anything either.  After she yelled at me she moved on and acted as though it didn’t happen.

I won’t lie, in that moment I felt transported back to that playground in second grade with a bully on my back stuffing grass in my mouth.  I felt four feet tall and helpless.   I didn’t know how to react, but also felt that if I did allow myself to I would say something inappropriate to the situation and get myself in trouble.   So I did nothing.  It was horrible.

What can I do about it?  I don’t know,  probably nothing.  But it won’t stop me from standing up for myself in the future.   

Feeling Twitchy

I have had an eye twitch since Friday.  It has not stopped, only varied in intensity over the whole weekend.  It is incredibly annoying and distracting.  

My first thought after my twitch did not go away after a day was of my sister.  A few years ago she developed an eye twitch and found out that she had Bell’s Palsy.  I text her about my eye this morning and she recommended that I go see my doctor to get checked out.  

I saw the doctor who told me she thought my twitch was caused by stress and not Bell’s Palsy, although she did write me a prescription for steroids to fill just in case I start having any other symptoms.   “Reduce your stress,” she said.  Gee, why hadn’t I thought of trying that?

Work has been extremely stressful over the past few weeks, and, I suppose it would stand to reason that my twitch would begin after a particularly stressful day on Friday.  

I am to give a presentation today for a large group of people.  Now, I hate public speaking, but I am not too worried about that part of my presentation.  Without getting too deep into the details, the part that has me stressed to the max is that I am waiting on someone to fix something so that I can actually finish.  Without her assistance I cannot conduct my presentation.  I have only a quarter of it completed, with less than three hours to go.  It is crunch time. 

This person has been actively ignoring my phone calls and e-mails for days.  When I tracked her down in person on Friday afternoon she seemed annoyed that I came to her.  She helped me with a small portion of what I needed, but when I returned to my desk three floors away, I noticed that not everything had been corrected and when I tried to call her she had already left work early for the weekend.  I feel like I am sounding paranoid, but the situation has almost gotten to the point where it seems overt and intentional.

So now I am taking a ten minute lunch, rather than my normal hour, figuring that I will need the extra time to work and hopefully get a lot accomplished.  I am trying to sit and relax in the peace and quiet of my office before trudging down to the basement to see if I can make any headway.  We’ll see what happens.

Finger Painting Father’s Day Project

With Father’s Day coming up, Abby and I decided to get creative this morning and make a present for my husband.  He doesn’t buy new clothes very often, so we had already bought him a shirt, but we wanted to give him something homemade as well.  We had to be a little sneaky and work on it while he was occupied, as it is Sunday and he was home with us.

I looked at several cute ideas on Pinterest, but several of the ideas required items I did not have.  I wanted to try to use supplies we already had at home if possible. 

Abby loves to finger paint, so we got out a piece of 8 x 10 construction paper and acrylic paint.  We decided to use different shades of green, which is my husband’s favorite color.  I draped her high chair and the table in plastic and placed an old towel on the floor.  At first she daintily stuck her index finger in the paint and made polka dots on the paper like she was afraid to get dirty, but eventually she got into it.

Abby’s finished painting, below.

After the paint dried we added some leftover colored letters from Hobby Lobby that I had used for another project.  The letters are a tad crooked and not quite evenly spaced, but we had fun.  She is learning her alphabet so we had to review all the letters several times and she was very picky about what colors we used.

Lastly, I framed the painting with a black 8 x 10 frame.  I could not find an empty frame in storage so I ended up buying a $2.00 frame at Walmart.

Abby is pretty proud and excited to give her picture to Daddy!

Are you making any projects for Father’s Day?  I would love to hear about them!

Making Friends

I have written about this subject before, so please forgive me if it seems duplicative or redundant.  

My husband has friends he is able to call and talk to, go out for a beer with, hang out with, or workout with.  I don’t have any friends like that.  I will say it plainly, it sucks.  

It just feels weird, nay, wrong, to honestly say that I have no friends.  It’s lonely.  It feels pathetic. 

It would be nice to have a mom friend to have play dates with or to be able to say, “hey, my kid just did ____, has your kid ever done that?  What do I do?”  I would like someone to go out to lunch or coffee with, someone to call after I have had a bad day, or to call if I know that she’s had a bad day.  I would like someone to talk to about important things, random things, dumb things.  

When you’re a kid it is easy to make friends.  There are kids in your neighborhood to play outside or ride bikes with.  At school each day you are in classes or riding the bus with the same kids.  If you are on a sports team you are always around the same group of kids.  When you are an adult it becomes different.  How do you make friends after a certain age?  Real friends?

Yesterday I picked up Abby from the local aquatic park where she had been swimming with her fellow daycare kids.  As I was pulling out from my parking spot I noticed the mom parked next to us.  She appeared to be close to my age.  She was carrying a young baby boy and leading a toddler girl.  Wrapped around her waist was a Star Trek beach towel.  I immediately thought, she looks like someone I could be friends with.  We seemed to have several things in common.  But how weird would it be to stop the car, get out, and start up a conversation with this random stranger in a parking lot, “Hey you don’t know me, but you look cool.  Can we be friends?”  I would look like a crazy person. 

So how is it done?  I don’t know.  Honestly, it is a question that has always baffled me, but I never had an issue until after high school. 

When I first started working at my current place of employment sixteen years ago, I worked with a very sweet lady named Kathy.  She mentioned to me several times that she thought I and her daughters would get along very well and she wanted us to be friends.  Finally I gave in and accepted her invitation to come to her house and hang out with them.  The whole evening was totally awkward.  We didn’t have anything in common and struggled to make conversation.  It was worse than a blind first date.  

I have tried to set up a game night at my house on a weekend and invited people, but it never really works.  I tried joining a mom group but there was not much interest and it disbanded.  

I don’t know, I guess I am at a loss at what to do.  

Have you ever felt this way and overcome It?  What did you do?