Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Life Lessons by Logan

The very first night home from the hospital I was getting ready to feed Logan. He was laying on my lap flat on his back. He suddenly threw up a lot, and was choking on it. He stopped breathing and I quickly sat him up as he struggled to take a breath for about 10 seconds. It was the longest and most terrifying 10 seconds of my newly mothered life. Rick was sitting right next to me when it all happened, and had run to get the bulb syringe so we could clear out his throat. By the time he ran back, Logan finally took a breath, and then started crying. It was a cry we hadn't heard from him before. It was his first time crying in fear. We joined right along with him, and all 3 of us sat in that bedroom and cried.

I remember always hearing about people who were afraid of the world, or afraid for their children. Afraid of the people in the world, the things that were happening, and the things that could happen. I never got it. I always felt like if you feel like the world is a scary, dangerous place, then it's going to be a scary, dangerous place. If you feel like the world is beautiful and filled with good people, then you are going to see the beauty and the good in people. For me, it was all about perspective. And then I had a kid, and now everything is scary as hell. The scariest things are the things I have no control over (like if he gets sick, or injured, or chokes on his throw up and stops breathing). Two weeks later, I was holding Logan and rocking him in the rocking chair. I noticed something moving on the floor and I thought it was a centipede because we had found one earlier that week (ON MY BED UNDER RICK'S PILLOW!) and it was the same color. I got up to look at it and it was an Arizona bark scorpion - the deadliest kind in North America. Rick killed it, and then minutes later went to work, leaving me alone and terrified with my brand new baby for the next 2 days. I went to bed crying that night, holding Logan tightly next to me, and dreamt that I heard him screaming and ran to his crib to find him being stung by scorpions and bitten by rattlesnakes.

For a few months I was living in fear at how fragile his itty bitty life was, and how I was 100% responsible for his well being. Coupled with a seemingly longer than normal recovery from childbirth, and wanting to punch everyone in the face who told me breastfeeding would be easy, it was kind of overwhelming. But it was also the must fun I've ever had. We made this beautiful little person and we get to keep him! I get to be his mom! I can style his hair any way I want! I get to hold him as much as I want! The most spiritual moments of my life came in the weeks following his birth. I felt like there was a piece of heaven in our home. I felt my loved ones who have passed on surrounding me in moments where I was having a breakdown over a scorpion. They were, and are, watching over us, and keeping us safe. This has helped me to worry less, especially about things I can't control. Worrying solves nothing. No amount of worrying that I do today will prevent bad things from happening later. That was the first lesson that Logan taught me - don't worry.

The second lesson is to be happy. This kid is always happy. He smiled early, he laughed early, and he loves everything and everyone. The only times he is upset is when he is hungry or tired (or today when I wouldn't let him eat dog food). He just has a very sweet, content, easy going personality. As he's getting older, it's so fun to see the world through his eyes. Things I never thought about are so fascinating to him (Ceiling fans! Keys! DOGS!) and I love watching his mind figure things out and seeing what he finds funny. He has such a tender heart, and I love it. He cries when other babies cry, or when someone says "no" to the dogs. He is very sensitive to the emotions of others. He is so sweet, and so, so happy.

Logan has also taught me to love others - always. When he was 6 months old I flew with him to Utah for a visit. On our way back to Arizona, we were settled in our seats when everyone else was still boarding. I was watching the other passengers get in their seats when I made eye contact with a guy walking our way. He saw Logan on my lap and was very obviously nervous. He sat down and got settled, then nervously looked at Logan, who gave him a huge smile. The man sighed, and said "Oh, he is so sweet. I was so nervous because usually when babies see me they cry. It's not their fault, they are just not used to black people in Utah (he was from Ghana). But look at him! He is so sweet!" They babbled and smiled at each other the entire flight. The man had tears in his eyes at one point and said to me "Is he always this happy? He is so sweet. Look at how he smiles at everyone. I've never met a baby so friendly!" And on queue, Logan reached out and put his hand on this kind man's hand. I mean, really? Where did this angel boy come from? This wasn't a rare incident. He smiles at everyone, and loves everyone.

I can't wait to see what other lessons he has in store for me.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Blue Moon Baby

The last month or so of my pregnancy I had pretty intense back pain that would get worse everyday. It seemed that I was always in some type of pain, but certain positions made it worse. The worst position would be sitting in the car or on the rocking chair. I don’t know why but this killed my back. When we went anywhere in the car Rick would drive and I’d have to recline my seat back. As I approached my due date the pain would worsen. It got to the point where my back was hurting all the time. The only relief I got was when I would take a bath, but the second I stood up to get out the pain was back. I would also get some relief if I sat on my birthing ball. I actually fell asleep once while sitting on it. For the last week of my pregnancy I’d wake Rick up several times in the middle of the night to have him rub my back, and I’d get up and walk around the house to try to ease the pain. I was more than ready to have this baby.

I was due on Monday, August 19. I had an appointment scheduled for Thursday, August 22, and if I hadn’t had the baby by then (which I was sure I wouldn’t) then we would be scheduling an induction. On Wednesday, August 21 Rick went to work in Nogales. I was feeling the back pain again all day and that night it was really bad so I decided to go to the hospital. I got to the hospital just before midnight. The last time I had been checked I was dilated to a 1 and was 25% effaced. When they checked me at the hospital I was dilated to a 2 and 70% effaced. I was having contractions regularly but I wasn’t dilated enough for them to admit me. They told me I could go home or I could walk around for an hour and they’d check me again. I decided to walk around for an hour. I took that walk seriously. I was speed walking through the empty halls of the hospital, determined to get the ball rolling so I could have this baby. Rick got off work and met me at the hospital. He got there in time for them to check me, tell me I was still at a 2, and send me home. By then the back pain was worse, but there was nothing I could do except wait. I felt defeated, exhausted, and in pain. We drove home, but we drove home in 2 separate cars, and because I couldn’t recline my seat back I was in excruciating pain for the entire 45 minute drive.

I took a bath and then went to bed around 5am. At 8 I woke up feeling like an elephant was stepping on my tailbone. I got up and walked around to try to ease the pain. I didn’t think these were labor pains, I really thought that I had somehow broken my tailbone. The pain was constant, but I would have a contraction and the pain would worsen. I never felt pain in my abdomen when I had a contraction, only in my back, so I didn't think this was real labor. I woke up Rick and told him we were going back to the hospital because I needed some pain meds. I really didn’t think I was in labor, or that they would keep me at the hospital, but I could not stand the pain. While we were getting ready Rick stopped to give me a big hug. But then I threw up. Twice. We got everything packed up and headed back to the hospital. When we got there I looked at my nurse and said “Please don’t send me home, and I need something for the pain.” She checked me and I was still dilated to a 2 and 70% effaced. She said before she gave me anything she wanted me to walk around for an hour and a half. We walked around the hospital, and I cried the entire time. I can only imagine how pathetic I looked to everyone, and I had a few nurses stop me and say “Oh honey, it will get better, I promise.”

We stopped at the Hospital cafĂ© to get some lunch, and then continued to walk. I was walking so slow. This time I didn’t have the energy or determination. After only about 40 minutes of walking I wanted to go back to our triage room. It was while we were walking back that I realized I was still having horrible pain, but it wasn’t in my back anymore. Now it was in my lower abdomen, and radiated down my legs, and it was happening every few minutes. It wasn’t until then that I thought I might possibly be in active labor. We went back and with tears rolling down my face I asked if I could PLEASE have something for the pain. The nurse didn’t want to give me anything yet, but she did want to check me again. It had only been 40 minutes since she last checked me so I knew there wouldn’t have been any progress, but I didn’t want them to send me home again, especially since we live 45 minutes away from the hospital. She checked me and said “You’re at a 3, almost a 4. You’re not going home.” I was in shock that I had progressed so quickly. I said “I’m having a baby?” and she said “Yep, you’re gonna have this baby.” My tears of pain turned into tears of joy. She told me that it would be about 10 minutes before my room was ready, and that she would get me something for the pain before I got my epidural. I said “I only wanted pain meds because I thought you were going to send me home. If I can get my epidural soon then I won’t need anything else.”

Getting ready for the epidural.

After the epidural kicked in.
About 10 minutes later a nurse came to get me and she took me into the delivery room. They had nice big rooms and a couch for Rick to sleep on. I walked around the room until the anesthesiologist came to give me my epidural, which only took about 15 minutes. The epidural was weird, but not painful. It was just freaky to know that a giant needle was going into my back. I was more nervous about getting the epidural than about anything else, for some reason, but the anesthesiologist was really nice, told me everything he was doing as he was doing it, told me everything I should feel, and the epidural worked perfectly. I could still feel and move my legs but I couldn’t feel any of the contractions. It was about 4pm by this time. Right after my epidural the on call Doctor came in and broke my water. After that, Rick fell asleep, I tried to sleep but the epidural made me really shaky for about an hour and after it calmed down and I stopped shaking I was too excited/nervous to sleep. At 5pm the nurse came and checked me and I was at a 6 and was 90% effaced. After that she told me that she wasn’t going to check me unless she really needed to since they had broken my water and she didn’t want to increase my chance of getting an infection. So after that we just waited. I was able to get some sleep at this point. After a few hours I told Rick to go get something to eat and to bring all the stuff in from the car. He left for about an hour and when he came back he showed me a picture he had taken of the full moon. I had remembered a few days earlier hearing that it was going to be a full moon on the 21st, but not only was it a full moon, it was a blue moon, which apparently means that there is a full moon twice in a month, and it only happens once every few years. It was cool to know he was going to be born on a blue moon.

Blue moon.

While we were waiting for the big show to get started, I started to feel pain with each contraction, but only on my left side. The nurse kept having me lay in different positions but it wasn’t going away and I was getting nervous because I didn’t want to be one of those people who only had the epidural work on half of their body. After a few hours, and several awkward laying positions later, we got the problem fixed and I was no longer feeling the pain. They left us and would come check on us every once in a while. We sat and talked, watched some TV, and were trying to keep our friends and family updated.

At midnight I felt something intense happening with my body. It’s as if things started to shift downward creating a lot of pressure. I focused on it for a few minutes to see if it would go away but it didn’t. It was time to push. We called the nurse in and told her I needed to push. She came in and got me ready and then I started pushing. After about an hour of pushing Rick and I started talking about the baby in between pushes, and we talked about how the ultrasound technician had told us 2 months earlier that our baby didn’t have hair. The nurse interrupted us and said “Someone told you he doesn’t have hair? Every time I’ve checked you I’ve touched his head, trust me, he has hair.” For the next push she had Rick look down and had me reach down to feel his head. Rick just started laughing and I asked him what he saw and he said “He has my hair!” When I reached down I could definitely feel his hair. Now I was even more anxious to meet this kid.

I don’t remember much of what happened next other than every time I pushed the baby’s heart rate would drop, they put me on oxygen, and I was freaking exhausted. I had 2 nurses in there, and every time I had a contraction they would stop and look at the monitors, and they both looked worried. This scared me to death, but luckily it was short lived. This only happened through a few contractions and then his heart rate was fine the rest of the time. I told the nurses that they needed to count out loud when I pushed, because if they counted out loud I could focus 100% on pushing, but if they didn’t then I was more focused on counting to 10 in my head than I was on pushing. For some reason they weren’t counting out loud while I was pushing. Instead they were talking to each other, mostly about how tall I was. This was really frustrating, but also really funny. Mainly because that is such a weird thing to talk about, and also, I’m not tall. I’ve never in my life been told I was tall. But I guess they both thought I was really tall. I told Rick I needed him to count out loud during each push, even though he was already holding one leg up, feeding me ice chips between pushes, wiping my face and neck with a cool washcloth, and telling me how awesome, strong, and beautiful I was.

After about an hour and a half of pushing I started to reach my breaking point. I kept asking the nurse how much longer I needed to push, and she kept telling me 15 minutes. FYI, when a nurse tells you it will be 15 more minutes, she’s lying.  She told me that it was almost time to call the Doctor. I think she only said that to get a few more good pushes out of me, but whatever, it worked. They called the Doctor, and when she came in I got my second wind and I was pumped, I knew that if the Doctor was in there then that meant that the baby would be born soon. I pushed, and I pushed until I saw stars and thought I was going to pass out. In between pushes I was literally falling asleep because I was so spent.

I need to rewind for a second. While we were at the hospital they had a shift change at 4pm, 5pm, and 6pm. We went through 4 different nurses and 3 different on call Doctors, but I loved every person that worked with us. This hospital had a great staff, and when we were first admitted I went over my birth plan with the nurse, and whenever there was a shift change the new nurse would come in and introduce herself, then tell me exactly what my birth plan was. Everyone was in the know and no one did anything without talking to me about it first. I never felt like they were the ones in charge and I was just going with whatever they said. They worked around me, and really helped me to trust my body. The main things on my birth plan were that I wanted to labor as long as I could without an epidural (hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha), I didn’t want an episiotomy, I didn’t want his cord clamped or cut until it was done pulsating, I wanted him placed on my chest immediately after he was born, and I didn’t want anyone to give him formula or a pacifier.

Having the Doctor coach me through pushing was really helpful, because she made it seem like each time I pushed that was going to be the last time and he was going to come out. After 15 minutes of her coaching me she stopped and told me that she understood why I didn’t want an episiotomy \ and normally she won’t do them unless she feels it’s necessary, but she was getting worried because his head kept almost coming out and then going back in and she was concerned about his shoulder getting stuck. She said that if we did an episiotomy he would be out in 1 push, and if not it would take probably 15 more minutes (remember how they lie when they say 15 minutes?) I told her to go ahead and do the episiotomy. She did and I closed my eyes and gave one big push and then I heard a cry. I opened my eyes and saw the most beautiful little boy cry for a few seconds and then look around curiously. My sweet little Logan was born! I turned and looked at Rick. He was crying and kept saying things like “Look at him, he’s so perfect” and “Look at what you did, you did that, you are amazing.” It was really incredible to get a front seat view of Rick falling in love with our little boy and thinking that I was a superhero for giving birth to him.

Rick cut the cord and then the Doctor placed him on my chest. He was immediately calm, and then he peed all over me. It was my initiation into parenthood. Rick took out his camera and was able to capture some amazing pictures of the first few moments of his life. After a while they took me to my recovery room and they took the baby to the nursery to have him cleaned, weighed, finger printed, etc. I told Rick to go with the baby and take pictures. They both came back about 2 hours later. He weighed 7lbs 13 oz and was 19 inches long, and I swear to you I heard one of the nurses say he was "tall, just like his mom." He was born at 2:12am on August 22, the day I was supposed to have my appointment to schedule an induction.

Our time in the hospital was nice because I had people helping me any time I needed it. My parents came down the next day, but Logan had jaundice and had to be under the lights all day, which was complete torture for me and was sad because my parents didn’t really get to hold him. After a day under the lights his levels evened out and we were able to go home. Going home from the hospital was both scary and a relief at the same time. I didn’t have a nurse that could come help me at the push of a button or a lactation consultant to help us figure out breastfeeding at home. It was just us. My parents came down for a week, and I don’t think I could have survived that week without my mom.

He’s a month old already, and up next will be a blog about adjusting to parenthood, loving this little guy, and why Rick and I bawled our eyes out our very first night home.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

House, Baby, and Just Wait

In February we started the process to build a house. We had been looking at this area outside of Tucson for about a year where the houses are super cheap because they are trying to get people to the community to get more houses built (hooray for Bluth Model Homes!...just kidding, but wouldn't that be the best?) We signed the papers and they started building. We moved in about a month ago, and I'm so happy to be in our very own home. For some reason I felt like way more of a grown-up when we closed on our home than with anything else in my life, including being pregnant. Lots of people can have a baby. 16 year olds have babies all the time, but you need permission from a bank to have a house. It's a big deal! We are pretty much unpacked. Except for half of our stuff that is still boxed up in the garage. It's the same stuff that has been sitting in our storage unit for a year, and I honestly don't even know what it all is. I got so used to living with the bare essentials that I feel like everything else is useless. I know that as I slowly open those boxes I will probably be really happy with what I find, like last week when I opened a box and thought to myself "Oh yeah! I forgot we used to have a toaster!"

The house has been great except for all the freaking bugs we weren't expecting. We've now had the house sprayed 3 times, and I think it's finally getting rid of them. We got the baby's room painted. And then we decided that we will never paint another room in this house again because it's too much work and I'm content with eggshell colored walls for the rest of my life. But at least the baby gets a cool colored room. Lucky kid. We painted 3 of the walls grey and 1 baby blue. When his nursery is all done I'll post pictures. And when my house is all clean I'll post pictures of that too. Which will probably be never. Along with the bugs, we've also had 2 emergency level dust storms (known as Haboobs). It's monsoon/haboob season here in Arizona. Because the only thing missing from 117 degree weather, is dust and humidity. Always a good time. We also had a break in last week. Although since talking to our neighbors we think it might have just been people assuming that no one lives here and coming to look through the house. Both of our cars were gone and we don't have any decorations or anything on the outside that would make you think someone lives here. Since this area has so many houses being built, it's very common to have people walking through the houses to check things out. We walked through a house a few hours before a lady got the keys to it because was the same layout as our house (that was in the early process of being built) and we wanted to see what it would look like in the flesh. The break in happened in the middle of the day. I left the door unlocked because I had a Doctors appointment but Rick's parents were coming to visit us and they would beat me home and we didn't have a spare key made yet. So I unlocked the front door, but set the alarm. Whoever it was came into our house and they were in and out in 7 seconds (our alarm system tells us every time a door is opened or closed). Everyone should get an alarm system. I'm a believer.

We recently celebrated our 4th Anniversary. I can't believe it's been 4 years already (I will probably say that every year for the rest of our lives). We went to a little town close to the border called Tubac. Rick shot a wedding there once and they have cute little resorts and restaurants down there. He found a really cute bed and breakfast for us to stay at and the owner was very friendly. He and Rick got to talking and they started talking about photography. Rick showed him his website and the guy said that if Rick took pictures of all the rooms for him, our stay would be free! Rick went around and took all the pictures for the guy's website, and we got a free stay out of it. The best part was that Rick didn't have his camera with him so he took all his pictures with just his iphone. He's a talented man. We had a nice relaxing trip. Rick found some amazing places for us to eat at and he booked massages for us. I got an hour long prenatal massage and they had a big pillow with a hole in it so I could finally lay on my belly. It was awesome. I miss laying on my stomach more than I realized I would. I told my massage therapist that I was carrying him in my back and it was causing me lots of pain, she said she'd get him to the front and she wasn't kidding. She worked her magic and the next morning my stomach had popped, and he was no longer grinding his face into my spine. Bless her for that.

The pregnancy is going well. The second trimester was heaven. I wasn't sick, I had a belly big enough that people knew I was pregnant but not so big that I was uncomfortable, and I only had a few mild discomforts. I'm in the third trimester now, and I can say with complete honesty that after the first trimester and with the symptoms I have now that I am absolutely awful at being pregnant. I feel guilty because everyone is like "Enjoy it! It's so magical!" but I'm not enjoying it and I don't feel magical. I mostly feel hot, barfy, and in pain. I love that I get to be a mom and that my body will let me make a baby, and I realize how huge of a blessing that is, but I do not enjoy being pregnant. Truth be told, I don't want to do this ever again. But I know I probably will, because babies are just so damn cute. I look at those women who have 5, 6, 7 kids and I think that either they had easy pregnancies or they are way better women than me. I still definitely have moments when I get overwhelmed with love and appreciation for this miracle that is happening with my body, like when I can't sleep and neither can the baby so we do morse code with each other, or when Rick puts his hands on my belly and asks how his little guy is doing, and then the baby answers his question with a nice kick. But I also have moments when all I can do is sit and cry because I'm in so much pain, or because I'm hungry, or because it's 115 degrees outside and I have to go run errands. Since we're in the new house and we've started getting the nursery put together I'm finally feeling like the end is near. I've washed all his clothes, the crib is set up, things are almost ready for him. I just want to fast forward to August and see his little face. I've had Braxton Hick's contractions frequently since 20 weeks, and the other day I felt awful and sick and just off so I decided to go to the hospital to get checked out. Turns out I was having contractions every 2-5 minutes. They were able to stop them, but it makes me wonder if this kid is going to make it all the way to his due date. My hope is that I won't go past my due date. We'll see when he decides to make his debut.

There is something about being pregnant that makes people think they can give you all the unsolicited advice they can think of. Advice about pregnancy, advice about labor, advice about parenting, they pretty much tell you whatever they want and expect you to agree or think they're brilliant. I've been given a lot of advice, and most of it I take in what I think is worth it and throw the rest away. It didn't start to bother me until we went to the bed and breakfast place for our anniversary. The guy who owned the place asked me when I was due, and I told him August (it was May at the time). He told me that I looked great and that I had "gained the perfect amount of weight, just don't get any bigger. If you're thin, you win!" What the hell? If you're thin you win? Please tell me you didn't raise daughters with that mentality. And don't gain anymore weight? I was 6 months pregnant when he told me that. I still had 3 months to go. You know what you do the last 3 months of pregnancy? Gain weight and get bigger.

A few days ago Rick and I went out to dinner. I slowly followed our waitress to the table, waddling as fast as I could to keep up with her, then I loudly grunted as I tried to get situated comfortably in the booth. She asked me when I was due and I told her August, then she asked me if it was our first and I said yes. She started laughing. I smiled, unsure of why she was laughing, and then she said "Oh man, your life is over. Like kids are great, but yeah your life is totally over. And you better get ready for a ton of pain."

People are awesome.

My favorite piece of advice lately is people telling me to sleep as much as I can now. As if there is some sort of sleep bank where I can store my extra sleep for the days where I'm up all night with a screaming baby and I'm exhausted. The amount of sleep I get now isn't going to change how I feel then. I understand that this advice usually comes from parents who are exhausted and wish they could have uninterrupted sleep. Truthfully, I wish I could have uninterrupted sleep too. My baby isn't born yet, but that doesn't mean he doesn't kick me in the ribs EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT from 2-5am, and it doesn't mean that I don't wake up every 2 hours to pee, and it doesn't mean that I don't roll from one side to the other every hour or else I wake up feeling like my hip is going to snap in half, and it doesn't mean that I don't have a dog who wakes me up every morning between 6 and 8 to take her potty.

The absolute worst, though, is people telling us to "just wait until *insert unpleasant experience*". This started before we were even pregnant. Some would tell us to enjoy the time we had now without kids, and so we would do things like go on vacations or spontaneous road trips, and then those same people would tell us "just wait until you have kids, you won't be able to go on these fun vacations." I'm still not sure the mindset of people who throw out the "just wait" comments. Is it bitterness? Exhaustion? Or are they just unaware of how weird of a comment it is? These comments happen most often during some sort of unpleasant experience, like when someone asks me how I feel and I say I'm in pain and tired, it's followed by "just wait until the baby gets here, then you'll know what being in pain and tired is." I'm always taken aback by this because first off, what do you even say to that? And second, that's not helpful. I'm aware that having a baby will be painful and I will be tired, but that doesn't mean I'm not in pain or tired right now. When someone has a colicky newborn and they need advice and you tell them "just wait until they're older and they start getting into everything" how is this helpful? All it does is tell them "Yeah things are hard now but it's just going to get harder" which induces panic and it diminishes the problem at hand. No, they are not dealing with a toddler that just spilled an entire bag of flour all over the freshly cleaned kitchen floor, or they're not dealing with a teenager who is being rebellious, but they still have a problem that they're facing. That's like if you tell me you have the flu and my response is "Just wait until you're dying, then you'll know what it's like to be really sick." Wouldn't that be super weird and absolutely not helpful?

Sometimes I feel like people think we went into parenthood thinking "You know what won't cost us any money, will never stress us out or make us frustrated, and will get us lots of extra sleep? Having a baby." I'm going to be exhausted, it's going to hurt, I'm going to freak out from time to time, and even now as I type this, I'm probably greatly underestimating just how tired I'll be or how much pain I'll be in or how often I'll freak out, but that's okay. I'll figure it out, just like you did, just like your parents did, just like their parents did.

There are some "just waits" that I love hearing. "Just wait until your baby smiles at you for the first time." "Just wait until you hear his first cry." "Just wait until you see your husband as a father." These are the "just waits" that I can't get enough of. I'm going to be a mom, and soon. It's going to be hard, and tiring, and frustrating, and wonderful, and amazing, and the best thing that will ever happen to me.

Just wait.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

You Are My Sonshine

From the second that we found out I was pregnant, we both just knew it was a girl. I had dreams about my baby girl. We had her name picked out. We figured out how we were going to decorate the nursery. Occasionally we would say something like "should we come up with some boy names, just in case?" And we never would because we just knew we wouldn't need to bother with any boy related stuff. We were having a girl, no questions asked.

The night before the anatomy scan where they would be looking over the baby from head to toe to make sure it was healthy, and where we would be having them confirm that our baby was indeed a girl, I made myself get in the mindset of having a boy. I daydreamed about having a son. I pictured Rick coming home from work in the middle of the night, picking up his son, then rocking him in the rocking chair while he sang to him. Then of course Rick would fall asleep in the rocking chair and in the morning that's where I would find both of my boys. Rick has already admitted that this will definitely happen. He'll come home from work now, lay on the ground "for a minute" to play with the dog, and 5 hours later I'll find them both asleep on the floor. I day dreamed about having a mama's boy who will scare me to death when he wants to jump out of swings or climb rocks or hunt for scorpions. I thought about going to sporting events, or concerts, or whatever he would be interested in. As I was thinking about all of these things, I started to fall asleep, and for a split second I had a dream where I walked into my house and saw a house full of boys. And I was so, so happy. I texted Rick that night and told him that if by some small chance our baby actually was a boy, it would be so much fun and I would be so happy with a house full of boys.

We got to the appointment and the ultrasound tech started to look everything over. She was going to check everything from head to toe, but save the gender check for the last thing. We loved to see that sweet little face, those big beautiful lips and the wide nose (both traits from Rick). Everything about this babe was perfectly healthy, and we were so happy. While she was checking the belly, suddenly the baby did a crazy flip and we were looking right at 2 legs and a little bum. She said "This kid is giving me a shot of the goods, you want to know now?" We were so excited and told her to tell us. "There is no denying it - you're having a BOY!" We were both shocked and we couldn't help but laugh. We kept asking her if she was sure and she checked 2 more times. Rick said "This isn't going to be one of those things where you tell me that it's a boy but then when it's born it's a girl, right?" She said "Trust me, it's a boy. I've been doing this for a long time and I haven't been wrong yet."

We've had a few weeks to wrap our heads around having a boy, and we can't wait to meet this little guy. We haven't bought any baby stuff yet because we live in a teeny 1 bedroom apartment with no room for anything. We're moving in June and decided to wait until then to buy any baby stuff. I went up to Utah for a few weeks and while I was there I had a baby shower where we celebrated this little dude, and seeing those tiny outfits made it so much more real and exciting. I thought that they only made cute stuff for girls, but I was wrong, boy stuff is to die for.

He has a name. Probably. I think. I still think I will need to see his face to know for sure, but for right now we're 99% positive we've got his name picked out.

I'm feeling better, but still sick. Every day I tell Rick I just want him here. I want him healthy and happy, but I don't want to be pregnant anymore. Some women are awesome at being pregnant. I'm not one of them. I did have a 6 week stretch where I felt awesome and only got nauseous or threw up about once a week, but I fear that those 6 weeks might have been a fluke. Or a blessing. Whichever. I also just want him here because I'm dying to know if this kid is going to have hair or not. I don't know why he wouldn't have hair, but still, what if?    

Look at that beautiful face! Love this boy.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Pregnancy Expectation:

Pregnancy Reality:

For nearly 25 years I've learned how to deal with my body. I've known how it works, what it needs, what it likes, what makes it feel better when it's sick, and overall how it functions day to day. In the last 14 weeks that has all changed drastically. My body has been hijacked by something so cute and tiny and it's changing everything. My body is no longer mine. Sometimes sharing is hard.

These are some of the symptoms I've experienced over the last 14 weeks. This isn't all of them, these are only the ones I'm not too embarrassed to openly discuss.

  • All day sickness - I don't know who decided to call it "morning sickness" but they are a liar. I didn't actually think I would be one of those few lucky women who didn't have to deal with this. I have a weak stomach and get sick easily, so I figured I would be sick during pregnancy, but this is a whole new level of sick. This is nausea and vomiting like I've never ever experienced. It is violent and horrific. It makes me pee my pants, pops blood vessels in my eyes, and gives me bloody noses. It starts when I wake up and ends when I fall asleep. I tried every remedy I could and nothing worked, and my doctor gave me 4 different medications to try and nothing worked. Finally after a trip to the Emergency Room they gave me a shot of phenergan and so far it has been the only thing that helps. Thankfully, the nausea and vomiting has slacked off over the last week, affecting me now only every other day or every few days. My hope is that it continues to die down as I progress in my pregnancy.
  • Fatigue - I am tired. Always. And I can easily sleep for 16 hours a day, and sometimes I do. This pregnancy has been difficult, but I am so so so so blessed that I don't have to work right now. Honestly, there would be no way I could do it. I am so lucky that Rick has such a good job that allows me to stay home and take care of myself. 
  • Dizziness - The first 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant this was one of my worst symptoms. I could do nothing except for lay down and close my eyes, unless I was throwing up. I would lay in bed and if I would shift at all it felt like I was on a roller coaster. This did not help with the nausea. Luckily I discovered sea band bracelets and when I wear them I'm not dizzy.
  • Shortness of Breath - This was really bad in the beginning and isn't as bad now, except for the one time last week that I was carrying in groceries and had to stop every 10 steps to catch my breath. You should see me walk up stairs.
  • Rash - Every time I throw up I get a rash all over my face, chest, and arms. Super sexy.
  • Lightning Crotch - This is a real thing. Google it. Or maybe don't, that could be dangerous. It's where suddenly you feel like someone hit you in the crotch with a metal bat. The only thing that makes it stop is to rub the affected area. I hate it when this happens, especially at church.
  • Excess Saliva - You guys, this is so gross. Suddenly my saliva glands are working double time. But the worst part is that my saliva is basically poison. If I swallow it I will throw up, so I have to spit it out, but that is gross so it makes me throw up either way.
  • Sweaty Teeth - This is different from excess saliva, and the best way to explain it is that my teeth are sweaty. Basically I get thick gooey stuff only on my teeth and it tastes like a dumpster. I've heard that pregnancy makes plaque on your teeth worse, but this is so much grosser than just excess plaque.
  • Heartburn - Every time I eat popsicles I get heartburn. How does that even make sense?
  • Limbs Falling Asleep - My arms, legs, toes, and fingers all fall asleep so easily.
  • Fainting - I haven't actually fainted yet, but I've come close 3 times. Luckily Rick is a good catch and he just lays me down quickly before I actually pass out. 
  • Canker Sores -  Every day when I wake up I think "Did I get new braces put on yesterday?" I have never had canker sores this bad in my life. My mouth is covered, and as a result I no longer drink Orange Juice.
  • Body Odor - Good hell. I smell like a 15 year old boy after wrestling practice. I don't even do anything all day so I don't know where this is coming from. It was really bad for a while there but luckily it's starting to go away. Either that or the toxic scent has burned my sense of smell and I'll be one of those people who stinks but doesn't know they stink.
  • Cravings - These haven't been too bad yet. They were worse earlier on which was weird because I'd be puking and in between heaves I'd think "Wow watermelon sounds so good right now." One time my friend posted a picture of chicken and waffles on instagram and I couldn't stop thinking about it for like 6 hours and I finally woke Rick up at 3am and begged him to take me to IHOP. He took me, even though he had work that day. He's the best.
  • Emotional capacity of a Toddler - I was crying when I was begging Rick to take me to IHOP.
Overall, pregnancy has been hard. But I wouldn't change it. We wanted this for a long time, and I know that each horrible symptom means my body is working hard to keep my baby safe. Women get pregnant and have babies so often that I don't think people realize just how amazing it is. It takes a million things going right to create a healthy little person. It's amazing. It is a miracle. No wonder I feel awful, my body is doing something awesome.

And on the days when I feel really horrible, the only thing that has actually helped is to watch this video over and over. Seriously, it's actually made my nausea go away. Pretty amazing.