About Me

I am an insane human being. I have been a wife for 15 plus years, and a mom for almost as long. I had 3 children early on...then struggled with life and IF and loss for 8 years. Thought our family was complete, so I compensated by adopting all the shelter pets. Then we were surprised that our luck changed. Our running total is Parents: 2, Kids: 5, Pets:4. My life is far from perfect, and much of our happiness was hard fought and won, from the death of a parent, job loss and marriage troubles, miscarriage and IF, we have been through it all, and dare I say we made it, with a lot of love and laughter, and not taking ourselves too seriously.

Monday, February 29, 2016

MicroBlog Monday's-Nancy

Scrolling through my blog reader today, I came upon Nancy's blog http://thenewlifeofnancy.blogspot.com (sorry,blogger is being wonky and I can't make it clickable or link-able right now) that hadn't been updated in 4 years. 4 years. Has she really been gone almost 4 years?? That seems impossible, and yet there it is. And I began wondering how her husband Tom was doing. And how those beautiful mini-me girls Ella and Allison were, and her little boy Karl who I guess isn't so little anymore.

I miss her. I miss her blog posts, I miss her support. I just miss her. Anyone who knew her still feels the same. She was such a wonderful, amazing, honest, funny human. She had such a colorful life and personality. She truly made the world brighter just by being in it. Her death rocked this community.

Is there anyone out there who has any updates on her family? Just to know that they are all doing ok would be nice. I never did here what happened to take her vibrant soul from this earth too soon. 4 years later, and it still makes me so sad to remember she is no longer here. Not having any real closure with her loss still naggles at me. It feels so unfinished, which I guess it was and always will be, forever frozen in time.

She lived for those kids. You just never know when your last hug is going to be your last. So make every hug count.

If anyone has an update on her family or knows someone who might, please leave a comment or pass this post along. I know many of us who would love to know. Or, just leave a memory about Nancy. Let's put some love out there for her and her family today.

Friday, February 26, 2016

A little Update-y

Let's start with my teenage daughter. Sigh. Just like so many of us with women's issues, the big diagnoses is "We don't know". Every test checked out fine, even the CD3 labs. So. Birth Control pills were prescribed to help regulate her cycle. I am not sure how I feel about that. Not because of the "permission to have sex" thing it sometime can imply for teens. More because it's adding artificial hormones to the mix. But I understand it's the best thing for her right now. Because being in a constant loop of bleeding and ovulating and bleeding some more with no break is ridiculous. It's been a loooong time since I was ever on the pill, so maybe it's better now?? Also, I had no copay for a 3 month supply, so that was nice. No idea how or why, but I'll take it!

We had a clog in our main line sewer, most likely caused by one of my kids. After 2 days last week of not being able to use water, it is fixed. Some water backed up into the basement, but it was thankfully contained to a small area near the laundry. A bit of carpet got ruined, but we were going to eventually replace it anyway. My homeowners insurance will cover the replacement of the entire basement carpeting and some low drywall they had to remove. The adjuster was out a week ago and cut me a check on the spot, which I didn't expect. So now I just need to price out carpet. They only had to remove the carpet by the laundry area, so the majority of the basement is still intact and useable, so it doesn't really look so bad down there. I really wanted to put laminate down, but as I wasn't anticipating doing the flooring right now, I don't think I will have enough insurance money to do that. We are debating waiting to do all the flooring until we can save up the difference, but my kids are making the argument that they like carpet down there better. So we will see.

Last week was nuts because of all of that, and this week has been one of those weeks where every single day I have been at the store. I have 4 stores I shop at for different things. The main grocery store is my lunch meats and a few other speciality things, a discount grocery is where I buy milk and most of my produce, Trader Joes has some snacks I love and a yogurt that is amazing, and I use a Super store for everything else. I don't usually need to visit all the stores every week, but it happened this week was one of them. And because of the little ones, I was only able to do one trip at a time. So every day I have shopped. I have to try to plan that better next time. Luckily all the stores are either a couple minutes from my house, or right by somewhere else I have needed to be so I didn't have to go out of my way really.

I have to do some continuing education credits for my job. I purchased an ebook and the test, but when I went to download I must have clicked run instead of save. I printed off the test, and then couldn't access the text the next day. Read the email again and it has a big disclaimer about limited downloads and know how to use your device, ect. So I had to call and say I'm an idiot and beg for an extra download. Then I get that download saved and all is well until last night when my laptop had a black screen. Google didn't help me fix it, so I was going to take it to a local place. When I called the guy said he was closing his business but was nice enough to give me some tips to try, and I finally got it fixed. I was so afraid I was going to have to call and beg for another free download. Good grief. I need to get this test done before anything else happens.

Going back to work and otherwise balancing my family has been pretty easy. I can tell I am out of practice working long hours on my feet because my body is just SORE by the end of the weekend. Mondays are usually a hang in my pjs kind of day. But I actually went back kind of seemlessly on all fronts, other than getting up at 4am to give me time to shower, dress, nurse, and pump before getting out the door. And it still feels like I am rushing. But I can NOT get up in the 3 o'clock hour, that's just not happening.

My former best friend who went a bit nuts on me and ended our friendship before I had the baby went back to texting me pretty quickly after all of that as if nothing ever happened and said she thought I misunderstood her, which I didn't but whatever. She had even asked to visit me in the hospital, which I declined. I periodically receive texts from her and it's clear she is having a rough go of life and also doesn't really comprehend that all the stuff that happened that she instigated really pushed me away from her. I haven't really said much back because there isn't really a whole lot I could even say. And I am ok with that.

My 2 year old is SO two. It is exasperating, and sweet. He is definitely showing some of that jealousy and regression from having a new baby. It didn't really hit until I went back to work. He is very stuck on me. He doesn't get mad at the baby, he just wedges himself in when we nurse. I hold both of them together ALOT. Sometimes I get a little frustrated by it, but mostly I am really trying to embrace it and be patient because I know one day I will miss it. And man, he is just SO sweet looking at me with his bright baby blues. Melts me.

The baby boy is seriously the happiest, chattiest, laid back little guy ever. He makes it so easy to say I could do this again if I could choose to. Toddler boy was and still is more on the grumpy pissed off, high maintenance side, and so I definitely don't take this for granted at all. The first couple months are always hard adjusting to a new one, but the 3 month mark everything really started falling into place and it's been so nice.

My middle girl is 11. She has recently decided she wants to learn how to bake, which is about the age I started. She helped a ton at Christmas, so I have been letting her try new things. She needed to make cookies for school last week and I wrote down the ingredients (I don't often cook with actual recipes or measurements) and she did it all on her own and cleaned up after herself. The cookies came out very well for her first ever try. It's been fun because I come home from work to all kinds of treats that she tries. My teen is taking a cooking class in highschool, so she uses the weekends to do the home projects. It's not helping me lose the baby weight though. I wanted them to have a special treat tomorrow morning, so I am going to surprise middle girl with a recipe for cinnamon buns and we will work on those tonight.

Speaking of losing the baby weight...I was trying to do the 30 changes thing. I do pretty well with food logging and what I eat. I find I don't have time to do actual workouts. I don't know how to fit them in. Because Toddler can't be left alone, and he no longer sleeps in a crib I can't do a dedicated workout unless he falls asleep. By the time everyone is settled for the night, I have to have some down time. So much time is spent sitting:nursing, playing with toys, reading. I know that will change with warmer weather, so I really just have to realize that this is where my life is right now and give myself some slack. Being depressed/stressed about baby weight isn't going to help. Plus, limiting calories doesn't work because breastfeeding makes me SO HUNGRY. So I eat until I am full, and try to make the best choices I can. As long as I continue to hold steady and not gain I am going to be ok with that for now, and hopefully as the weather gets better and I can be out and about more the scale will move down. Also...stupid Fitbit trackers aren't as accurate when you push a stroller or shopping cart, so that's really frustrating when I know I have walked more than 200 steps in the grocery store!!

I probably am forgetting other stuff I wanted to say, but I just realized I forgot to feed myself lunch, and the doctor called saying she wants more labs done on my daughter, so I have to run out the door as soon as she gets home in 10 minutes.


Monday, February 22, 2016

MicroBlog Monday's:Deja Vu

Every since I can remember, I have always counted the month by my cycle days. It has always been on my radar where I am in my cycle. I have never been someone who would be surprised when AF showed up, completely unprepared. Even in my teen years, I was always acutely aware of when that was going to happen. I knew when I was ovulating based on all my signs, especially in my later teens when I had a recurring problem of hemorrhagic cysts, amoung other things. I became familiar with all things cycle and fertility related very early on, and had my first transvaginal ultrasound when I was 16, my first lap at 18. I have been in some form of TTC mode almost continuously for over 16 years now. It is so ingrained that it's almost subconscious in that I probably could never truly cop to a totally surprise pregnancy, because whether I am aware of it or not, tracking my cycle and BDing accordingly likely always happens. I don't know how to NOT be aware of this and shut it off. No, this post is not some sort of weird announcement, not at all.

Now 3.5 months postpartum in my later 30's, waiting for my cycle to return and see what my hormones are going to look like this time, I find myself thinking about whether we will ever TTC again, and if I can handle all that comes with it once more. Only time will tell, which is what I tell all the ridiculous people who feel the need to ask if I'm done having kids. While I am in my own limbo, I still find myself at the lab, getting cycle day 3 bloodwork, along with a host of other labs as well...thyroid and iron panel amoung others, for my teen. At almost 15.5, her cycles have decided to creep closer and closer together, until they are now under 2 weeks apart. She is tired, moody, and just generally out of sorts. She is getting a crash course in all the things women go through just so we can maybe have children someday. And she is silently thankful I insisted on knowing her CD1s so I can keep track for her and know when there is a red flag. We see her doctor Thursday.

It is a really weird place to be, having a child old enough to have the same hormone imbalances as me, and seeing doctors to straighten them out for two totally different reasons. It is also weird to be thinking so much about this at a time when my own body is on breastfeeding hold and the issues at the moment aren't mine. I also have my other daughter who is close to starting her cycles for the first time. So lots of wonky hormones in my house right now.

My teen just wants to feel better now, which I want, too. But I also want to identify any potential issues now, so that maybe when her time comes she doesn't have to struggle to have a child if she wants one. This is really some of the weirdest deja vu ever. We will see what news Thursday brings. I suppose for the next several years, I will be counting cycle days for all of us.

Monday, February 15, 2016

MicroBlog Monday-Injustice

There are parts of my job that never, ever get easier.

This weekend I had to take care of a newborn in withdrawal. A baby born addicted to everything under the sun. The worst type of withdrawal to deal with. One in which using dosages of morphine only marginally helps. Violent shaking, uncontrollable wailing. My God, it's so hard to see. All I wanted to do was pick this baby up in my arms and comfort him and soothe it away. It made me sad. And so, so, SO angry. Furious with rage for a woman I have never met. A biological mother who did nothing to protect her baby, and only hurt him in the very worst of ways. This innocent child spending his first days on earth this way. He is so beautiful, so innocent. And so very sick.

I know so many people who so desperately want a child and just can't. So many still waiting, so many who decided on a childless life, so many who spent thousands and thousands of dollars trying to reach that goal, some successful, some not. All the years that I tried to have a child and just couldn't. But someone who willingly throws poison into one's body so easily gets pregnant and continues to abuse. It is just so unbalanced and unfair.

Did you know that the majority of these babies get sent back into the situations they came from. Because there are too many of them, and it is too costly for the state to go through the steps to wrangle custody, and there are too many of them and not enough homes. Even though so many people are waiting for babies...just not babies like this then?? If there are, how can they not find each other?

There should be a system in place from the start. If your baby is born addicted, you don't get to have that baby. There should be families waiting for babies like these, so that they get someone right away who can give them the love and the comfort and stability newborns need, so that they are never alone. I know that this isn't the way, and that people deserve a second chance...but isn't part of the problem all the second (and third, forth, fifth??) chances abusers, addicts, rapists, murderers, and criminals get?? Taking a baby and putting them back into that situation because there is nothing better for them??? NO! Someone has to break the cycle. The kids don't ever stand a chance.

The doctor I was talking to mentioned how these babies can still be irritable when they go home, so then you are sending an extra-fussy newborn home with addicts who are barely functioning. What happens to those babies then? It just rips a hole in my heart to think about. This is the best the United States can do for our children, our future? What the hell kind of screwed up world do we live in? I said to the doctor I guess all we can do is pray that these babies get a better shot. That they get placed into better homes. One has to hope, right?

I couldn't get this baby out of my head. I got tears every time I walked by his room and heard him wailing. Saturday night as soon as I was off work I went to my baby and put him to my breast when he cried. I sat in Church with him cuddled against my chest snug in his wrap, my head bowed down kissing the top of his head. And I cried for that baby at work. And I prayed for that baby, and all babies like him. And I prayed for all those still waiting for their babies. And I prayed for a solution to this broken system of waiting families, babies that need real homes and families, a system that fails both of these over and over. And I prayed for the injustice of those that want and so desperately can't, and those that can and do so easily but don't take care of that precious life.

Friday, February 12, 2016

3 Months Later- Baby Boy's Birth Story

Better late than never, right?? I am going to start with the weekend before he was born, which was Halloween. We had gone to the pumpkin farm a few weeks before, which ended up being a windy, freezing cold day. We opted to not do our usual tradition of a hayride, and apple picking was also scarce so we didn't do that either, and decided we would come back on Halloween, because we always get a family picture on the hayride every year. This day ended up being quite a bit warmer, and it being Halloween it wasn't crowded at all. This was the last weekend of the season that the farm would be open and they had one last crop of apples to pick, so we made sure we got to the fields early. We got to get all of the apples we wanted, do our hayride and got a great family picture( although I do look like quite the beached whale on the hayride haha) and we even got to have lunch at the farm as they had food trucks. We took our time and really enjoyed the last big family outing before baby.
After we got home I had to head to the hospital to get my pre-op bloodwork done. I got home in time to make chicken pot pie and get everyone fed before trick or treating. I decided to hang back at the house so I took lots of pictures and sent everyone on their way. The 3 older kids went by themselves and my husband took Toddler Boy, who really wasn't into wearing his costume or cooperating in general really. Just give him some candy and call it a day! So it was probably one of the more relaxing Halloween evenings I have ever had.

The next day we went to church and I got to see a couple friends there and get well wishes for the next day. We just kind of hung out the rest of the day and I threw some more things in my hospital bag. I had decided I wanted my last meal to be ham, so I made a big dinner with a huge ham, mashed potatoes and a veggie I can't remember right now. My mother in law came for dinner as she was staying the night so she could be with the kids while we left for the hospital. We had decided it was easier to keep the kids home from school the next day so she didn't have to run all around doing drop off and pick up while wrangling a toddler. It worked out well because we let the middle two kids camp out in the basement and she got one of their rooms.

Monday morning I got up really early full of excitement. I showerd and got ready, throwing the last couple things in my bag. As I was heading downstairs I heard a lot of commotion. When I got downstairs I found my Middle girl at the bathroom door. Her brother had been gorging himself on Halloween candy (that we tried in vain to hide) and it had acted like a laxative, so he wasn't feeling good. Instead of getting us she was trying to take care of him, poor thing. I had to make sure he was ok and situated back to bed, so we ended up leaving way late for the hospital, but we still ended up making it there by 6:30. We took my husband's work truck, and it was a bumpy ride. So bumpy, I joked he was going to bounce the baby out! Haha My mom was already inside, but the guard wouldn't let her back with us. I told her I would have a nurse come get her once I got to the back. I checked in and a few moments after 6:45 they took me to the back. For the next 45 minutes or so I was getting hooked up to the monitors,going over the medical history, signing forms, ect. When they hooked me up to the monitors I realized my joke of my husband's truck bouncing the baby out hadn't been too far off. While the baby had been on my right side all night and morning, the baby was now completely on my left side, which it never had been before!! I had a ton of people around because it was both night shift and day shift staff there. At some point my mom showed up back there;the guard inexplicably told her to come in back? I don't know it was weird. Since my sister, who has always been with me and in the OR with me and my husband wasn't able to make it, my mom was there in her place. I thought she was just wanting to be at the hospital, but around now I realized she wanted to go into the OR with me too. I was shocked but totally ok with it, we just had to ask like we always do but they are always ok with it. Heck, my doctor thinks the more the merrier and I had my husband, my sister, AND my mom in the OR when I had my first! (More than one support person in the OR is extremely rare almost anywhere.) I also asked about getting my baby right away to nurse in recovery (which doesn't always happen) and they offered to let me do skin to skin in the OR if I wanted. I said I normally get sick right after the baby is out but as long as I could have him in recovery right away I was good with that.

Anesthesia came in next. This is what I was really anxious for, since I know what works for me and what doesn't. There were 3 people, the head of OB anesthesia, the attending, and a resident. The head of OB is new, but the attending has done a couple of my C-sections before. The new head was amazing! She listened to everything I said and addressed my concerns of where we could do better. My biggest issue is I tend to get VERY sick after the baby is out, but I don't want them to drug me so much I am too out of it to hold my baby in recovery. She promised she would do her best. My second issue was pain management afterwards, because I can't have a certain drug in my spinal that they normally use that helps with extended pain relief. She gave me some alternative options and what she suggested kept my pain managed extremely well through my entire hospital stay. She assured me she would hold my hand and take care of me.

I was all done and prepped and signed so we had about a 30 minute wait for my doctor to get there before we could get going. I made sure to tell the resident I wasn't going anywhere without my doctor. Repeat C-sections can be risky and I am only ok with having my 5th one because of my doctor. Period. He got there right around 8am to his usual fanfare. He checked with me that I had anesthesia straight, ok'd my mom being there, asked anesthesia who said "whatever this mom wants" and with that they got me up to walk to the OR. My doctor and husband were talking football, specifically the game the day before my doctor actually went to, and I said "Sorry to interrupt but can I have a kiss before I go?" And my doctor joked "Football is more important!" I got my kiss and on I went.

It is SO weird to walk yourself into the OR. Especially because of my job, I am so used to the OR but on the opposite side of things. I got up on the table where they started the spinal and an extra IV in my hand. The resident stood in front of me holding my shoulders down. I am always SO nervous during this part but my lovely anesthesiologist gives me some anxiety medicine to relax beforehand and it helps so much. (This isn't routine. I was given it once before so I made sure to ask for it!) As epidurals don't work for me, I have learned to help them doing the spinal by telling them which side I feel pressure on and it helps them get it in the correct spot quicker, so I did that this time and soon felt the numbing take effect. They laid me down and got me to work prepping me. I wasn't getting numb quite as fast as I have in the past, so she made sure to do the ice test over and over. (My first baby, I wasn't completely numb before they started and it was a bit traumatic!)

My doctor and everyone appeared. I had my husband right next to me and my mom just to the side of him. And I had this wonderful angel of an anesthesiologist next to me. They started and I talked to my doctor through it. He told me because he was going through scar tissue he was going to have to be a little more rough, so expect a harder recovery. I always ask about adhesions (build up of scar tissue) because my family is prone to them and my doctor joked how nosey I am, that I can't just lay there like everyone else lol. He commented Uterus looks good (always a concern after so many surgeries!) and I asked if I had a window (dangerous uterine thinning over previous incision sites) and he said no at first and then said no, there is a small window. He told me he wasn't even going to have to cut open my uterus because it was so thin in that spot he could just use his fingers to open me up, which would be less bleeding which is always a good thing. And then...

"Fluid is clear" "Dad, tell us what it is" "It's a boy! It's a boy!" I had tears at this point. "Is he ok? How does he look?" "He looks good, he's huge." "Really?" "Yeah, he's huge. But he's fine" I hear him cry. I cry. My doctor mentions that he has a short foreskin. It's some weird genetic thing, I seem to produce boys with no or short foreskin. So no circumcision or very little of one is ever needed. Weird, right? He also notes that he has a thick umbilical cord, and that I still had lots of amniotic fluid left. Totally normal, just noting his findings.

At this point they are starting to try and dislodge the placenta. I start feeling sick from the weird bouncing. I have the baby against my cheek, and my anesthesiologist in my other ear asking me if I want drugs. I nod yes because I feel too sick to talk. She has my hand and is whispering in my ear that the drugs are in and she's got me. Thanks God. I hear things and am not asleep but I'm not there for the next minutes as they finish and close me up. I start to come out of my fog as they are getting ready to get me off the table. My doctor tells me my hematologist will be happy as I didn't lose much blood at all. Just like she promised, I was clear-headed by the time I got to recovery. I immediately got my baby and nursed him and had a lot of skin to skin time with him less than an hour after he was born. I was getting a push of pain meds every few minutes so I was a little loopy but we face timed with my sister at work. Turns out my gown was not covering me so her whole office got to see my boobs and baby but oh well! We tried to talk names but my mom was there and she loves to give her input so we just didn't worry about it right them.

When I was coming down to my last few doses of pain meds, before they hooked me up to my continuous pain med drip, my pain wasn't under control. Because I didn't have the one drug in my spinal, every time they would press on my uterus the pain would increase (and my blood pressure) and we would be starting over trying to get it under control. All of the narcotics made me sick, like always, so then I was sweating and dry heaving. It was around now that they took the baby to the nursery to do all his stuff, and they got me stable enough to move to my room. As they were wheeling me down the hall, an employee who looked familiar said Hi to me with a bright smile but I was way too high to figure out who she was. We did all the check in stuff and I got my baby back. My husband left to go home to our other kids so my mom was there for a little while.

Baby boy was pretty lazy nursing. He would latch and start off great but doze off quickly. I worked super hard in the hospital to keep him awake and feeding him as often as possible to get my milk in and keep him from being jaundice, and get his weight back up. We did skin to skin the entire stay it seems. I never had any nurses fuss at me for keeping him on my chest in bed, even though I know that's not "allowed". They also told me I didn't have to have anyone stay with me in the hospital the first night if I didn't want to, which was different from previous times. (This is supposed to be post-C-section protocol for the first night if you want the baby in the room with you.) I still had my best friend come, she has had 3 c-sections herself and isn't squeamish and can deal with a hospital. Plus I knew she'd be good for not getting much sleep, as her kids are older. My mom wanted to spend the night with me, but as she was watching Toddler boy I wanted her to get real sleep.

Other than having my friend stay that first night, my mil the first day, and my mom, I didn't have any other visitors. I am not one who really likes having a big party of people in and out all day every day. With my first kid I had people who wouldn't leave after I said I was tired and expected me to sleep with them all there, and it bothered me. My husband actually only brought all of the kids the first 2 nights only because it became really difficult trying to deal with that many kids in a hospital environment. The room is pretty small to begin with, and even the older ones create quite a circus. And my Toddler boy was so off from missing me and not having me there the short confined visits made things worse. I did end up turning down a lot of people who requested to come visit, like I always do. So I am sure some people got their feeing hurt. But oh well!

So I had a pretty great hospital stay, really just staying doped up on pain meds, eating 3 hot meals a day, and keeping my sweet new baby on my chest as much as possible. The only weird thing that happened was that I slept weird the second day and had a tight muscle in my neck. Lots of heating packs and Tylenol later it finally loosened up. This time was seriously the best experience ever because it went so incredibly smoothly. I never had to ask for pain meds, we stuck with the drug and dosage that worked the best, and every single nurse I had was amazing. I can't believe this was already 3 months ago!!