Monday, March 30, 2009

The Nursing Debate

On Friday and Saturday I had to go to the hospital to get my series of two steroid shots. While I was there they also monitored me for any contractions. Which, praise God, I am not having any thus far. Both times, before I could leave, they ask you the same never-ending slew of questions and inputed my answers into their computer.

Is this your first pregnancy? How much do you weigh? What was your weight before you got pregnant? What is your due date? Do you have any allergies to drugs or latex? Do you have a living will? If you were in an emergency situation would you like a blood transfusion? Are you planning on having an epidural? What is your favorite color? Do you prefer pepperoni or sausage on your pizza?

Okay, just kidding about those last two. I was seeing if you were still paying attention. But seriously. Don't you have that all in there from the previous day? The one that always gets me is, "Do you plan on breast feeding, bottle feeding or both?" In which I shamefully lower my head and mumble, "Um, well, ahhhh, I guess bottle feed."

Even before I had children and we were thinking about starting a family I never had the "urge" to breast feed. Throughout my pregnancy with Kaiden I can honestly say that never once did I say, "I would really like to at least try." Hubs always encouraged me to give it a whirl before I ruled it out completely. I reluctantly agreed that would be the plan. I would try it and then make a definitive decision from there. Yes, I know it is absolutely the best thing for my babies. Yes, I know about all the benefits. Yes, I know that your kids will probably be smarter, healthier, thinner and less hyperactive then mine if you breast feed. And, yes, I felt, and still feel, extremely guilty that this desire still is just not within me.

So when Kaiden was born and whisked off to the NICU I never got a chance to actually start breast feeding. I did start pumping, however, the next day in hopes that my milk would come in. A few days later, and feeling like my chest would literally explode from the worst engorgement EVER (my mammary glands hurt just thinking about it), I finally got some supply going. I pumped around the clock every 2-3 hours and would take my milk to the hospital everyday so that they could feed it to Kaiden through his feeding tube.

Towards the end of Kaiden's stay in the NICU, they did let me try to get him to latch on for a bit but they still needed to monitor everything that he was ingesting. I never did have a great supply of milk, and by the end of his stay he was eating more than I could produce. I guess it's true when they say that your baby is your best pump. And quite honestly, even when I brought him home I can't say that I fully gave him a chance to really latch on to eat more than a few minutes. Eventually, two weeks after I brought him home, I dried up and we went to full bottles.

So, here I am with this pregnancy debating the same scenario. Do I give it a try again? Or knowing that my heart and mind just wasn't into it do I just stick with a bottle right from the beginning? It's a hard decision as I know how society makes you feel. I constantly get the question, "Are you going to breast feed? Did you breast feed your first born?" And every time I answer it I feel shameful. I often feel like I am a bad mom for not trying harder or not wanting to even consider it this time around.

I guess I will leave it up in the air and make that final decision once the little lady makes her way into this world. I haven't ruled out trying completely, but believe me, I am fully leaning on just going with bottles from the get-go.

On a slightly more positive note, I saw my OB again this morning. She checked my cervix and I am still about 1/2 cm dilated. My Fetal Fibronectin from Friday was negative! Which is a huge sigh of relief considering it is pretty accurate in predicting that I won't be going into labor within the next two weeks.

I survived my first weekend of bed rest, despite wanting to get up and do something. Anything, for that matter, other than lay around and feel completely unproductive! My husband has been a trooper and has handled Mommy AND Daddy duty like a champ. We know it is not forever and will keep trudging along for the sake of this princess.

Who, by the way, still doesn't have a name.

Friday, March 27, 2009

And I Thought It Would Be Fun

Bed rest. I thought it might actually be fun. No having to run around. No having to cook or clean. No having to do laundry. Just lay around all day long and watch TV. Blog. Read. Sleep. Sounds like the ultimate dream, right?!?! I am afraid I may be mistaken.

So I went to my weekly OB appointment today and, you guessed it, I am now on bed rest. At least for the time being. She checked my cervix and my inner cervix has dilated 1/2 cm. So, she shuffled me off to the hospital to begin "plan B," as she so eloquently called it. The first of two steroid shots (which I will have to go back in 24 hours for the second. This will help develop the baby's lungs quicker) and she also wanted to have me monitored for contractions. I haven't felt any, but that doesn't mean that there wasn't something going on. So, away I went.

They hooked me up to measure the baby's heart rate and any contractions that I may be having. Thankfully, the nurse said she only saw one small contraction the whole time I was there. So, at least that is a good sign. They gave me my shot (I am starting to feel like a lab rat with all these shots) and away I went to begin my weekend in bed.

Doc did another Fetal Fibronectin while I was at the office and I will get those results back on Monday since she wants me back into the office for a follow up. Hopefully they are negative!!! She did say that depending on how my cervix continues to progress (or not) she may lift the bed rest restriction a bit, but at this point she is being extra careful since we are in that "red zone" of when I delivered Kaiden.

I have only been at home for a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes. In that time, hubs made me lunch and put Kaiden down for a nap. Then I headed straight to the bedroom, being the good patient that I am, to start my bed rest. I have a feeling that this isn't going to be as easy as I once thought. I already have had urges to get up to throw a load of laundry in, clean the hall bathroom and tidy up the toys. It's gonna be a long few weeks or as long as I can hold this kiddo in.

Pray for me. I may need some Divine Intervention to get through this!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pregnancy Update: Week 28

I've finally hit the final trimester. The final stretch. Let's hope that doesn't mean stretch marks. If you know what I mean. I didn't get any with Kaiden and my mom said she didn't get them. They say it runs in the family. If your mom had 'em, you can pretty much thank her for those genetics. So far I have been left untouched and I'd like to keep it that way if at all possible. Thankyouverymuch.

So, I can honestly say that I am one very uncomfortable mama. Miserable with a capital "M." Admittedly, I have not thoroughly enjoyed this pregnancy as much as I enjoyed being pregnant with Kaiden. Sue me. I am sure that has a lot to do with the fact that I am completely paranoid about everything this time around. Every movement, twinge, cramp, etc. Amongst the fact that chasing a 17 month old around the house while all I would rather do most days is relax with my feet up doesn't help. But, hey, whatcha gonna do?

My weekly appointments are going well. Last Friday my doc told me that the outside of my cervix has started to dialate. I didn't even know that was possible, but after I gave her a look of horror, she assured me that she wasn't that concerned about it. Apparently since I have had a baby before, and things have been stretched out before, it is common for that to happen with the weight of the baby pressing down. No need to worry at this point. I put my full trust in her.

My doctor also informed me that she doesn't expect me to go full term, given my history, but at this point just wants to get me farther along then I was with Kaiden. And as I am only a week away from that fateful day, I get more and more nervous that things could happen at any time, but also have a sense of relief that "at least" I have made it to the same point....any more is a bonus!

I have gained 15 pounds so far and weigh in at *cough* 145 pounds *cough* of pure butt, belly and boobs. I have been pretty on track with gaining a pound a week the past couple of appointments, so by the end I should settle into that 25-30 lb range that they like to see. Although, there is still a long way to go and a lot of ice cream to be had. So if a few more pounds creap on there by the end then I have two new friends to blame it on. Ben and Jerry.

My belly button has almost fully popped out. Quite honestly, I don't think the inside of my belly button has ever been cleaner.

I am getting that exhaustion back that I had in the first trimester. Ugh. About mid afternoon, once Kaiden goes down for his nap, all I can think about is a nap for myself. And I sleep...a good two hours sleep.

My face has miraculously begun to clear up on it's own. I am guessing those nasty hormones are now regulating themselves and not causing my face to "freak out." Thank goodness for that. Maybe now I won't be mistaken for a 13 year old going through puberty.

Food cravings have suddenly turned from Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips to chewy candy things. Like Mike and Ike's, gummy bears, gummy worms, JuJi Fruits, Swedish Fish, etc. It is rare that I don't have some in the house. Wait, no it isn't. Cause I usually finish off the box or bag by the time I get home from the store.

We finally got the nursery cleared out (with some cracking of the whip!) and need to finalize the decor in that room. I am hoping to find a really great crib/dresser that is slightly used so that we don't have to go out and buy a new one. So, if you live in Phoenix, and know anyone who is selling...let me know.

Without further adieu, here is a picture of me at 28 weeks preggo.Just kidding. But, HOLY COW, how would you like to be that pregnant?

Seriously, here I am at 28 weeks pregnant.

Well, not exactly. But that's how I feel most days.

Ok, I'll quit messing around. Here I am, for real, at 28 weeks preggo.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Some Days I Question My Sanity

I'm taking a deep breath.
Slowly exhaling.
I'm counting to 10.
Okay, I think I might feel a bit better now.

Can I just vent for a second? Wait, why am I asking that question? Of course I can. Last time I checked it was my blog and that's one of the reasons that I started this darn thing. To vent. So here I go.

I am having one of those days. You know the type. The ones that you have beaten down to a bloody pulp. The ones where you think you would rather pull out each one of the hairs on your head. One by one. The ones that you feel compelled to drink. Heavily. And you want to do this all before breakfast. Yeah. One of those days.

So, Kaiden woke up again covered in his own throw up. For over a week now he has been fighting a stomach bug, complete with some of the nastiest diapers you will ever see in your life. Also, a few nights he has thrown up in his crib, but hasn't cried about it. So, I have gone in to get him in the morning and there is vomit all over him and the bed. Yuck. But despite all that, he hasn't been in too bad of a mood and hasn't seemed to be feeling yucky other than not being able to keep his food down.

Until today. He has been crabbier then EVER! I even tried to venture outside with him thinking it would get his mind off of being crabby, only to head back home after a melt down in front of everyone. I just don't have the energy to deal with that today, so I packed us up after 30 minutes of being out and headed home.

So, while I am blessed with a napping toddler right now, and a chance to finally put my feet up and rest, I am anxiously awaiting our doctors appointment this afternoon. Cause after a week with a case of the "bug" I feel like he should be getting better by now. But, until bedtime I am going to breath. Deep breaths. And hope that I make it through this day.

Pray for me. I need all the help I can get.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lasagna Rolls-WFMW

A friend of mine just recently had a baby and to help her out I volunteered to take her family a meal. Cause we all know when you have a new baby, and a toddler running around, cooking dinner is the last thing on your mind.

I had been wanting to make a batch of my famous lasagna rolls for a while now so that I had some on hand for "grab and go" type of last minute meals.

*Okay, confession, they aren't exactly "famous" but when hubs and I open our smoothie/egg sandwich/omelet/grilled ham and cheese/lasagna joint they certainly will be. You watch.*

So anyways, I decided this recipe is always a hit with my preggo-turned-mommy-I-don't-have-time-to-cook-tonight friends, so I figured to just take an afternoon to make up a batch of these yummies, deliver a pan to her, have lasagna for my family last night and still have some left on hand to freeze for dire emergencies.

I make my lasagna in individual type of "rolls." I think that this is so much easier than making a large pan of lasagna. Admittedly, we are not a "left over" type of family, so a large pan of lasagna would undoubtedly go to waste. I often freeze them in either a pan of 4 rolls with sauce and cheese all ready to go in the oven, or flash freeze each roll and store them in a Ziploc bag. This allows me to pull a few rolls out for hubs and I when I am in a pinch for a quick meal. Just add them to a pan with sauce, sprinkle some cheese over top and Voila!....lasagna for two. Or three if Kaiden isn't being too picky that day.

So here it is, complete with pictures so you know exactly how I make them.

Filling:
  • 3/8 c (6T) Parmesan cheese
  • 2 lbs (4 c) Ricotta cheese
  • 12 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (or can use some oregano, thyme, basil combo)

Cook and drain 1 box of lasagna noodles (I cook 1/2 box at a time). Drain well and lay out each noodle on wax paper.

Spread about 1/3 c filling on each noodle. Just so it's not oozing out the sides when you roll it up.

Place some spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a greased pan. Add some rolls-seam side down. Top with additional sauce and Parmesan and mozzarella. Cover with foil. Either freeze like this or if you are ready to eat that day, bake 40 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove foil and bake 5-10 minutes more.
Or place rolls on a cookie sheet with wax paper. Flash freeze them (place in the freezer for about an hour on the cookie sheet until they are hard) and then place in a Ziploc bag in the freezer for later use.

It is a longer process of making lasagna. Plan to spend about an hour or more to get it all made and stored. Especially if you are flash freezing as that alone takes about an hour for them to be solid enough to put in the Ziploc bags. But, believe me, it's worth the time to have a big batch of lasagna on hand for future use!

Works for me!

Monday, March 16, 2009

What's In A Name?


It's official. This little princess may be born and be known as "baby girl" for the rest of her life. Why? Only because her daddy and mommy couldn't decide on a name for her.

I don't remember having this much trouble deciding on a name with Kaiden. We saw the name in a book, put it in our top three and wham...that was it. I guess maybe it helped that I went into labor early so we were pretty much forced to have made a decision pretty darn quick. But that's not the point. We had a name for goodness sakes and we actually agreed on it.

So here we are with baby #2 coming in about 13 short weeks and we have, well, nothing. A list. A list that at some points we narrow down to our top 3 then it turns into a list that keeps growing with names that we either keep on there forever or cross of immediately and we get no closer to one that sticks. I like the cutesy names, hubs likes the trendy, common names. I tend to gravitate towards something that can be shortened into a nickname, hubs wants something that "goes" with Kaiden (whatever that means). We pick one out and try it for a couple of days. I like it and think it's a keeper, hubs thinks that we better keep looking. Hubs likes names that just happen to be names of relatives or friends kids. I refuse to entertain those names because, well, it's just wrong. I suggest some names. Hubs doesn't like them. Hubs suggests some names. I don't like them. So, you see where I am going with this? Basically back to square one. We just can't agree.

It's really frustrating actually. I am running out of ideas. In fact, to date, I really haven't had a name that has hit me and I said, "oh, yes, I really LOVE that name." I don't know what the deal is. I feel like at this point we may just have to "settle" on something just for the sake of this poor kid having a name!

So, I am looking to you my faithful readers. Does anyone have some suggestions for this poor little princess that, as it looks now, may spend the first few weeks being referred to "baby R" because her parents spent the past 20 weeks debating over an ever growing list of names? I need guidance my friends. And, if this continues, maybe some marriage counseling as well.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Day To Myself

Shhh....do you hear that?

No? Listen closer.

Now do you hear it?

That, my friends, is the brilliant sound of silence.

And you know what goes along with that brilliance?

Sanity.

Ahhhh. I love that sound.

Today I took my little boy to his first trial day of day care. Hubs and I thought it might be worth enrolling him once a week or once every other week for a 1/2-full day. This might be a good opportunity not only for me to have some "alone time" and get some napping, blogging, Internet searching and uninterrupted TV watching done much needed household chores accomplished that have been hovering on my "to do" list for months now, as well as getting Kaiden exposed to a environment with other little kids with plenty of learning opportunities.

I have been dreading this day for a week now. Ever since we did a visit to the day care and we decided today we would take them up on their offer for a free trial day I have been anxious. Will he nap there? Will he eat okay? Will he catch every germ in that place and be sick for weeks afterward? Will he act up or be a good little boy with the other kiddos? But when I dropped him off this morning and he headed straight for the plastic rocking horse and didn't even flinch at the fact that mommy was walking out the door I feel a whole lot better. I won't mention that despite my outward "tough mommy" appearance while in the day care, I did shed a few tears as I drove away.

It's simply amazing to me what I can actually get accomplished without a toddler getting into everything around this place. In the span of 4 hours I have already made a leisurely trip to the OB, stopped for a decaf mocha latte at Starbucks, washed 2 loads of laundry, folded 3 loads of laundry, vacuumed the entire house, mopped the kitchen floor, hung up some new baby outfits in the nursery, put away and organized Kaiden's toys in his room and checked my email. Whew. That's a weeks worth of tasks all crammed into 4 measly hours. And I still have 3 hours all to myself to finish making our bed with new sheets, clean and mop the bathroom floors and, of course, sit on my butt to watch a little Dr Phil and Oprah. Man, I forgot that I could actually get so excited about cleaning and organizing!

On a side note, I have the pleasant joy of visiting my OB once a week now. At these appointments she has begun to check my cervix each time. From one mom to another, is there anything more uncomfortable than getting your cervix checked? I mean, come on?!?! I feel like saying to her, "Uh, and while you're up there, can you check to see if my sinuses are clear?" Good gracious, batman.

Well, I best be off and finish my cleaning. Then I am going to sit back and admire my work for all of about 5 minutes. Cause once the troops get home, that's about as long as it will stay so clean.

Toodles!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A "Quick" Trip To The Vet

Can your day get any worse then when you are stuck in the tiny little exam room at the veterinarian's office for 45 minutes before a doctor comes in to see you with a 17 month old who is crawling on the floor and proceeds to get covered in dog and cat hair because there is nothing else to do in a vet's office exam room other than empty out the contents of his mother's purse on the floor while the family chihuahua spends that time shaking in the corner of the room because he knows that he is about to get a thermometer shoved up his butt and a few needles poked into his legs?

And while you are waiting for said doctor to come and take the 2 minutes it normally takes her to examine your pooch and give him his yearly shots you hear a woman walking in with her dog to the reception desk and request to make an appointment. "I need to make an appointment for my dog," she states. "He just needs his anal glands cleaned out, that's all."

That's all? That's all? If I were that pooch I would spend the better part of today trying to figure out how to high tail it out of the house and find myself a new family that doesn't feel it necessary to take me to the vet to get my anal glands cleared out. Best of luck with that one, buddy. I am pretty sure it may feel better to poke your eyes out with a dull butter knife.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Gone Crazy

When I first entered motherhood all I heard was "the first year is the hardest. It'll get easier after that." I seriously am contemplating whether that statement holds any truth to it. In the past few weeks I feel like Kaiden has gotten busier, more "emotional" and adventurous causing me to seriously think that we must be a little crazy to add another child to the mix so soon.

In the past few days Kaiden has really gotten into climbing. On many occations I have turned around only to gasp in fear as I watch him standing on the coffee table, running from side to side on the couch or jumping on the ottoman. I have kissed more boo-boos in the past couple of days than I ever thought imaginable. Yesterday, I looked outside to find that he had pushed my laundry basket out the sliding glass door that leads to our back yard and so neatly piled my clothing on the porch (thankyouverymuch) while he continued to push the basket around the yard. I am tired of retrieving dog food from my son's mouth which he happens to "taste test" several times a day. My dog has now grown to astronomical weights for a Chihuahua because all the food that Kaiden is supposed to eat gets fed to Paco by our generous and giving son. I have cleaned up bits of toilet paper from the floor that he has picked off the roll or papers that he has pulled out of my drawers. I have wiped up water off the floor from him splashing in the dog bowl and my voice is hoarse from yelling "Kaiden, please come back in here" or "No, we don't _____ (fill in the blank)." Will it ever end cause quite frankly, I'm exhausted.

With all that said, I really am thinking that this is by far the most enjoyable time that we have had in the past 17 months. It is fun to watch Kaiden learn and discover something new everyday. He has really taken to the playground and begun to climb the stairs and brave the sliding board. He has become so loving and wants to kiss and hug Mommy, Daddy and Paco all that he can. He has finally mastered drinking from a straw and juice boxes have now become the coolest thing ever. He is really starting to "communicate" better with us and understands simple commands like, "go outside," "get your shoes," "turn around," "close the door," "where's your truck?" and "do you want some water?" Bath time has felt more like a trip at the local water park then a quick dip in the bathtub. The small things that I forget to stop and notice anymore I have rediscovered. Flowers, bugs, carpet fuzz, sprinklers, rocks and sand are all on the list of "Wow, buddy, that is really cool, isn't it?"

So where am I going with this all? Frankly I am not quite sure. All I know is that most days I'm exhausted, annoyed, impatient and Kaiden is driving me crazy more and more everyday...and I love every second of it. Well, maybe not the times that he throws himself on the floor in a fit because he is hungry or tired, but you get the point. I get sad to see him growing up so fast and often wonder where the time has gone. I look forward to each day and want to hold on to the memories because I know that one day I'll look back and realize 10 years has gone by in the blink of an eye. I am blessed. I love my job.

On another note, it's my birthday today and I deserve a break. So I'm turning off my phone and every chance I get I'm putting my feet up and enjoying my milk and cookies. And in case you were wondering, yes, I am 29. Again.