Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Yesterday's usual Monday blog was kind of a heavy hitter, and I still have the writing bug this week so I figured I'd follow it up with something a little easier on the eyes.
In recent news,
I still haven't been scheduled for the 3 hour GTT (that reminds me, I need to call the doctor's office today). I suppose it's just as likely that they forgot about me, but I like to imagine that it's because Dr. W. isn't concerned. Part of me is tempted to forget, too, but if I do have gestational diabeetus I want to know about it, so Wilford Brimley and the fine folks at Liberty Medical can immediately start helping me live a better life.
I'm also working this week to try and get some more things done in the nursery (anything, for starters). We have a chest of drawers that was in Jeremy's nursery when he was a baby that I'm going to be sanding to get ready to paint white (it's a brown/wood grainy finish now). It's a little banged up from use over the years, but the drawers are all in good shape and I don't feel like I have to be able to bench 250 to get them to close. I've never been opposed, per se, to white furniture, but in the beginning I wanted to do furniture with dark wood - close to an espresso color. For some reason this seemed more 'unisex' to me, and I figured if we ever get a little boy I'd like to have something I can make more masculine with a different crib set. This went out the window for a couple of reasons.
One, the crib I initially selected as the cornerstone of my room design idea (that only comes in dark finishes) is kind of expensive. Okay, it's a lot expensive. Generally, this wouldn't be the hill my nursery died on because (let's face it) I am a stubborn woman and I want what I want, but there is a very specific alcove in her room where I wanted to put the crib. Not negotiable. I've tried putting the imaginary crib in other areas in the room, and it just doesn't work. The crib I picked out is about 5 inches too long to fit (I'd selected a convertible crib with a changer on the end). And it's really expensive (did I mention that??).
Two, I realized that it's a little ridiculous to assign a gender role to the absence of color. That, and if we're ever blessed with Baby Boy Jones, I'm sure he wouldn't give any of his many, many daily craps that he's sleeping in a crib that's white and not 'espresso'. If this turns out to not be the case, I'll eat my hat and the cost of the years of therapy he will undoubtedly need. I wonder sometimes if I would have had this worry before the unfriendly amounts of pregnancy hormones flooded my system. Somehow I doubt that fathers everywhere sit amongst themselves and debate the social ramifications of letting their sons sleep in white cribs.
For any that are wondering, the theme I finally decided to go with is muted spring colors and birds. Not the scary Alfred Hitchcock kind - the fat, happy kind. The bright, cartoonish version of little sparrows and finches and such. Bananafish makes a crib set called "Love Bird" that is the basis of my idea. It is mostly pink, but a light pink, and there are a lot of different accent colors - green, blue, purple, etcetera. I didn't want my (I mean HER... it's HER nursery, of course...) nursery to look like I was running an illegal Pepto Bismol lab that exploded.
Anyway, now that I have a clear idea of what I want it to look like in there, it's easy to be excited about buying things. I'm waiting until much closer to due date (and after the shower) to finish up with everything, but I'm looking forward to being able to have everything in its place. As soon as that happens, I'll have pictures to put up.
Nope. Not too much longer, now!
Monday, March 28, 2011
But on occasion, my mind traipses down paths that I've purposely sequestered from myself and it manifests in the form of a nightmare or long-hidden memory that pops up unbidden while I'm doing something routine. It serves to remind me of one more thing I can add to my "who am I" list...
The Offender (as far as I know) was never prosecuted because of a lack of physical evidence at the time it was reported. I ended up shouldering a lot of the guilt, and I spent the next several years punishing myself. I self-medicated, which led to a whole new slew of problems.
Monday, March 21, 2011
I'm white (believe it or not, race is a determination in risk factor), under 25 years old (not by much, but still...), had a normal BMI and exercised regularly before pregnancy, am gaining weight at the pace my doctor dictated, have never had high blood sugar results before, haven't had any previous pregnancies, and have a normal blood pressure. I have a fairly healthy diet (although I do love my carbs and could eat a little more protein), with lots of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and I don't drink soda, sweetened tea or sugary fruit juices.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
It's been kind of a rough week so far - I feel like a crazy person. I find myself stuck on small things lately (tasks that I want to complete, to be specific) and I know I'm creating stress for J. It's like an unbearable itch, though. I was this way before to a certain degree (worrying about things until they're done), but pregnancy has unleashed the obsessive control freak in me! It doesn't matter what time it is, what I'm in the middle of, what it disrupts, etc., if I think of something I want to get done I have to cater to the compulsion or it feels like a mosquito bite just out of reach. I hate it. And then, as if that in itself isn't whack-a-doo enough, if for some reason I am unable to complete whatever little menial task I'm fixated on, I get so grouchy! I recognize that I am not acting rationally, but it's such a strong urge I have trouble not giving in.
I hope things get better soon. We definitely need a baby-moon before Junebug shows up, so we can both relax.
This is not to say that it's all bad - we have some very positive things happening right now. J has been able to work overtime lately (thank you, H.H.!) and although we're not in the place we want to be financially, we are making distinct headway towards our goal. Hopefully I will be able to start back to work in April (the plan as of right now is for me to work at the country club until baby girl gets here- we could really use the money right now, and I'm kind of looking forward to going back). All of our needs are being met right now, we have a little bit set back for baby things, and there are several expenses that are slated to go away in a few months. Some bills will be increasing a little after the baby is here but with the money we're saving in other areas, we should still be able to continue adding to savings and paying down debt. Although we're not following Dave Ramsey's plan exactly right now (he even says that things are a little different when you have a baby on the way), we are applying a lot of his principles to the way we manage our finances, and it's paying off.
What I'm hoping to do while I'm working is to bank most of my paycheck into savings and continue to live mostly off of J's paycheck. This will help us build up a little nest egg that will hopefully cover unexpected expenses and little things we need during the half of the year that I will not be working.
I'm hoping the compromise of working half of the year will work for our family. We are not in a position right now for me to be able to stay at home with the baby year round, but this way I will be able to stay with her during the winter, at least, and maybe do a few catering or cleaning jobs like I have in winters past to help out. I'm also currently looking for things I can do from home to add to our income. Obviously, if we end up not being able to pay bills in the winter I will return to work, but hopefully this will be a solution.
To be honest, if we lived hand to mouth we would 'technically' be able to afford for me to stay home year round, but J and I agree that we want to provide a certain standard of living for Carys and her future siblings. We want to be able to take our kids on trips to visit family, take fun vacations, be able to give them gifts (within reason) for birthdays and Christmas, and be able to be prepared for the unexpected as much as possible without any of these events financially crippling our family or pushing the rest of our budget out of balance. We want to be able to just enjoy life with our kids without the added strain on our relationship that having strapped finances brings. We've been to that town, and we don't want to live there!
It would be different if we didn't have such a wealth of trusted family and friends that are willing to help us with babysitting during the summer. With the way our work schedules are right now, it will probably only be a day or two a week that someone will need to watch her. J's weekend schedule, though inconvenient for a lot of things, means that he will be home watching baby girl during the week days that I'm working, and her greatgrandparents and grandparents will be around for any weekends that we're both working. For anything else not covered, there are other family members/family friends that have volunteered to watch her that I absolutely trust.
It just feels really good to have a plan.
The timing and circumstances surrounding the pregnancy and the time that she's due are really great in retrospection- God really knows what he was doing. I had a hard time seeing that as we were going through all of the infertility treatments and the heartache that brought, but it's clear to me now. Giving up on trying was the most productive thing we did throughout the whole process! Our timetable was created from the vantage point of two imperfect beings with no knowledge of the future, and in hindsight, we are thankful that God doesn't work on our time. We may not have planned for Carys to come along when she did, but Someone else did, and His plan is good and perfect.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Today is 25 weeks!
This week her lungs are continuing to develop, and her nostrils have opened to allow practice 'breaths'. Apparently, she's also looking a little more pink due to the formation and filling of blood of new capillaries.
Every day that passes now is extra time for her lungs to grow and mature. According to viability statistics, she now has a 50% chance of survival if born this week. Next week the rate of survival will jump to 80%. I am painfully aware as ever that nothing is guaranteed, but those numbers make it a lot easier to sleep at night.
In other news, if I wasn't feeling pregnant before I definitely am now. There was a brief honeymoon period in between the first trimester and now because I wasn't suffering from morning (morning/noon/night sickness... who the heck decided to mislead first time moms by alluding that you only get sick in the morning?!) sickness, my appetite was back and I wasn't big enough to be uncomfortable yet. Well, as they say, the honeymoon is over -- I have to eat several small meals and try to space out my water intake over the day or I am too uncomfortable to sit. Her kicks are forceful enough to be painful if she hits the right spot these days, and regular sleep is a thing of the past!
J told me in no uncertain terms the other day that he is ready for me to not be pregnant anymore. I don't blame him, I know I'm not fun to be around right now. Being uncomfortable most of the time makes me grouchy, and it's hard to not be snappish and whiny. I know he's ready to have his wife back and I'm eager to have her here and to try and get my comfortable, pre-pregnancy body back. Right now I feel like just an incubator! More than anything, it's important to both of us that she stay in and cook until she's good and ready, but pregnancy is not the warm, fuzzy experience I always imagined it to be. Don't get me wrong, I love that I'm pregnant- I love getting to feel my baby move and watching my body change to accomodate her, but there are a host of uncomfortable side effects that come with carrying another person around that I never knew about! I guess some part of my naive subconscious thought that my pregnancy would be the exception to the rule and I'd coast through it like a warm knife through butter. :)
She's so worth it, though. To be honest, I wouldn't trade this experience for the world- labor scares, painful back, itchy skin, morning sickness (and on and on) and all!! And some day, when we're ready to expand our little family again, I'll happily (well, mostly) go through the process all over again.
The countdown is at 105 days, we still have quite a ways to go. Hopefully hubby will continue patiently putting up with me, mood swings and all, until she gets here!
Friday, March 11, 2011
I love reading about the experiences other mothers are having with their kids, though- on some level I hope that hearing about some of their struggles will better equip me to deal with the newness of parenthood in three and a half months.
108 days to go. That blows my mind. The closer we get, the more I am aware that we are not ready! Her room is not anywhere close to being ready- we're still using it as storage until we have a chance to move the rest of our winter things to my in-law's attic. The only thing in there that is baby related at all is a twin sized bed (for visitors or myself to sleep in when she moves from our room to her own) a few outfits hanging in her closet and a box of newborn diapers. That is it. Beyond the physical preparedness, though, I feel overwhelmed by the changes that are coming. The focus of my entire life is shifting to this tiny little person inside of me. She is the subject of the vast majority of my thoughts, and every little plan I make now is with her in mind. I hope that I am able to take care of her the way she deserves to be taken care of. If my daughter loves me even a fraction as much as I love her, it will be more than enough. I am still getting used to those words.
I've heard stories all my life about the love parents have for their children, and up until this point I thought I understood. It was like my love for my own parents, my siblings, or for my grandparents. And it is, in a way. I love her just for being who she is.
I even likened it to the love I have for my husband- he is my family and when I imagined having children in the past, I always thought of the depth of the love I have for my husband as comparison for how much I would love my child. He is my soulmate, my best friend. I love being around him, I love continuing to get to know him, and I love the journey we're on together.
But it is so much more.
I have always kind of been the protective mama hen to my 5 siblings and I still am. I fought for them when we were kids on a fairly regular basis. Make no mistake, I am still protective of them, even as they transition, one by one, into adulthood. I feel a sense of responsibility for them, and pride at watching them grow and take their own paths in life. I love them more than life and would sacrifice myself for them without giving it a second thought.
But my love for my baby- there is a savage fierceness to it that I have never experienced and didn't expect. Kind of a primal maternal bond, even though I have yet to hold her in my arms. I get the mama bear reference now. Everything I do, everything I am from this point forward plays a supportive role to the most important job I've ever had - mother.
I know I say this a lot, but it's only because it's still as true now as it ever was. I am so thankful that her daddy is who he is. I am so thankful that she has the grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., that she has.
We may not have a lot of money, but Carys is being born into a wealth of loving family.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
Today we had our 24 (almost) week appointment with Dr. W. Although all of the physicians at the Womens' Center are competent, fantastic physicians, Dr. W is special to me because she has been with since the beginning of our journey. She is the one that helped us through infertility treatments, and she knows who I am. A brag on the Womens' Center - I have never felt like just a chart number at their office (this is a big deal to me after a harrowing experience with an uncaring OB/GYN in TX that put me through the wringer). Dr. W knows who I am, she remembers specific details about me without having to refer to my chart, and she was genuinely thrilled for us when she found out that we'd conceived on our own. She also accurately predicted Carys' gender at 8 weeks - she said she got a 'girl vibe' from her, and she was right!
So anyway, we talked briefly about the hospital visit. She said that she wasn't concerned at the moment about the contractions because of our negative result on the fFN (fetal fibronectin) test but wanted to be cautious. I will be switching early from checkups every 4 weeks to checkups every 2 weeks and a fFN test at every visit to watch for signs of premature labor. She told me that because I was small when I got pregnant that my body (and back in particular) is having a difficult time adjusting to carrying the extra weight, especially as far forward as the baby is. Her thoughts were that a bigger part of my problem was the back pain I was having and so she recommended that I continue taking the muscle relaxer they gave me in my first trimester as needed and that I continue resting when I start to hurt or feel like I need it. Her exact words were, "Sometimes we're not smart enough to stop when something hurts..." ha ha - can she see into my house?! I have a very difficult time stopping what I'm doing when I'm right in the middle of a project. She didn't see any reason for me to be on bedrest at this time(Yippee!). She told me bedrest was the worst thing they do to pregnant women. She's right, I'm sure! It may sound like a picnic to just lay around and watch t.v. all day, but it gets really old, really fast, especially when your brain is screaming at you to clean and organize. I'm glad to still be able to do some of the things I want. Overall, it was a very positive appointment and I'm happy at the outcome. I feel like J and I will be able to be more relaxed if we have a negative fFN test every two weeks. It is a very accurate determination of preterm labor, and Dr. W said that if you have a negative result, you can take it to the bank that you will not be delivering for at least two weeks. I am worried about the cost of the additional visits because our insurance doesn't cover 100% after our deductible, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter much. What does matter is a happy, healthy little Junebug. :)
Speaking of Carys, we also got the opportunity to attend an early run for the Wee Cycle Childrens' Consignment Sale. I was hoping to find some bigger pieces of furniture because the things there are considerably cheaper than buying new! They are all gently used items but you can get really nice things at a fraction of the original retail price and for a family living on one income at the moment, that is a BIG selling point. I didn't find a crib or bedding set that I loved (I don't know what my malfunction is with finding bedding for her nursery - I see a lot of things that I like 'okay', but I keep feeling like I'm going to find 'the one' so I hold out... lol... geez - should not be this complicated!!) but we found this bouncer (that retailed for $50.00) for $15.00.
Ours is the same exact model but the accent colors are a little different - it's gender neutral, though, so if we are blessed with a little boy next time it'll be his, too!
Today was a busy day and I'm tired, but happy! I can't wait to get baby girl's nursery finished.