Friday, October 15, 2010

Need Prayer by the Buckets

So much drama lately... guess that is why I haven't had the time to write on my blog. My husband was gone 6 weeks this last time. I was home alone with a 2 week old and a 34 month old. I ended up hiring a neighbor lady, who was great with baby AD and my toddler, KD. She came and helped any day, weekday or weekend, any time I needed her. That was great, because so many times I was about to lose it. With the baby crying and needing to be nursed, and my daughter potty training and getting jealous of the attention and time I had to give the baby... I was going nuts. I didn't have much money to pay my neighbor, but she was volunteering to help me for free... so any money I gave her was appreciated. I just didn't feel like taking advantage of her help. By paying her I felt much better about picking up the phone at any un-godly hour or on the weekend and asking for help. And she was always happy to come on over. She only lives on the other side of the street I live on... one street over. So it didn't take her long to get to my place. But even with that stressful situation resolved that wasn't the end of the drama, much more to come.

My husband and I found out, near the end of his rotation, that the delivery of our son wasn't fully covered by our insurance and we owe thousands of dollars now! Plus, the two pediatrician visits in the hospital and the initial well baby check up wasn't covered at all. Come to find out JD's insurance through his company doesn't cover the new baby, and they won't add him on! If we want them to cover the baby we have to pay for the insurance ourselves up front for a whole year. So, we started looking for insurance in the states, instead of paying his employer for coverage. When we found a company to go with they all of a sudden decided to not cover new babies either, because of the new health coverage plan Obama is coming out with. I don't really get how all this stuff works, its just so annoying. All I know is our President's health care plan is screwing with our insurance companies and the ability of people like me to get health coverage for our new born!

Now we have submitted paperwork to another company to see if they will cover the baby before they change their policies. And of course, just after we did that JD's employer said we could pay monthly for baby AD's insurance through them. But we don't trust his employer and the insurance company they use anyway, and if JD gets a new job and we need to pay for coverage for our family our self then we need to get in the door now before the Obama plans take effect and the only option we have is to go through a government run insurance plan, which sounds like a nightmare to me. Well, this is only the beginning of the drama surrounding my life.

My older brother, the one who has stage 4 melanoma cancer, visited me recently. He was on a road trip that was suppose to last until he died... happy thought, right? And while on his way towards me he found out that he qualifies for a clinical trial that has a 60%+ success rate. So he was stoked about that and had to run off for more tests... shortly after arriving to my house on a Sunday, he had to leave Wednesday. When I saw my brother I was taken back a bit. He looks like a skeleton walking. He had no body fat and was very muscular before he went on this other clinical trial, which included chemo therapy and a trial drug. He lost 30 lbs and it aged him by at least 30 years, so now instead of a healthy 38 year old he looked like an aging 68 year old! His hair was growing in kind of patchy and was a strange dark gray color. And his beard was all wiry and salt and pepper gray.

Just before my brother left I took him and his girlfriend (who is amazing, by the way, and takes great care of him) out to dinner. The next morning they took off for San Francisco for the clinical trial tests. While on their way my brother realized he was missing his wallet. I looked through my house, my car, and called the restaurant where we ate... no wallet. It sucked for one major reason... I had just given him $100 from an account that I have for him of money from our Mother's estate, she passed a couple years ago. I was keeping it safe for him until he needed the money. He initially wasn't going to even ask for any of the money but I suggested he think about if he needed some extra cash for gas or food on his way back home. And then JD and I gave him $40 to help with parking when he got to his hotel in San Fran. So, now $140 was gone, and I didn't even need to be giving that to him in the first place, wish I just left the money suggestion to myself. And I took him out to eat and paid for the meal, if I had let him look for his wallet and pay for even a part of the meal he may have discovered his wallet had fallen out of his pocket, I am thinking it may have gotten lost at the restaurant and someone stole it and the cash inside. I feel like I made some stupid errors that caused this loss. On his way to the clinical trial, he was already stressed about passing all the pre-qualifying tests, he now was pissed off and cursing and feeling like God or fate or something was against him. I felt so bad for him. I now am hoping that the wallet turns up for him in his belongings. The restaurant manager has already said he would tear apart the booth where we were sitting to see if he can find it. I know I can't blame myself for this accidental loss of the money and his wallet and identifications etc., but I wish I could make it better for him so he wouldn't stress.

Then later the same day, my husband had just gotten home Wednesday after my brother took off (like two ships passing in the night), my sister-in-law and husband (JD's sister) said they would be bringing home the new baby they were adopting. She was born Saturday and they had just gotten the paperwork signed for the adoption and wanted us to come see their new baby girl. We were going to go with JD's parents, but then KD ended up still having a runny nose from her cold that she seemed to had just gotten a day before. So, I said we shouldn't go and visit another day when KD wasn't sick, didn't want the baby to get sick. JD's parents ended up going without us, and we were a little bummed about not being there for the baby's homecoming. And then later that night, as JD was giving KD her bath, we got a call from his sister, she was crying... that was not a good sign. I was getting nervous, wondering what had happened to her or the baby or both. JD hung up the phone and said he was going straight over to her house, Social Services were on their way to pick up the baby... the birth parents changed their minds and wanted her back!!! OMG! That was the worst news ever! I knew that was a possibility, but was praying constantly for that not to happen. JD was there as the baby was torn from their arms. Everyone was sobbing. Thankfully JD's parents got the news from him and turned the car around and went over as well. His sister's parents in law were also there, as well as her husband's sister. It was great that the whole family on both sides were able to be there for moral support and to counsel them through this rough time. I was at home with the kids alone again, which I was unhappy about, but I was more angry at the situation for my sister-in-law and wanted to cry.

I was able to get KD to bed, with no help from the crying baby. I almost lost it as he was crying and she was wanting to read this crazy flip out book while sitting on my lap, with the crying baby, and read it to her. It was just something I couldn't do for her... but kept it together after pacing KD's room and taking a deep breath. I told her I wasn't angry with her, but wanted her to help me out by choosing a "normal" book (one that didn't unfold into a mile long book and was hard to read while balancing two kids on my lap) and then I was able to get AD to stop crying long enough to read the new book to her. I was just upset because of the situation happening while I was at home. I wanted to run out the door with JD and hug his sister and hold her hand and be there for her and her husband. It was hard not to feel a bit resentful about being there with the kids, stuck. Seemed like a mini repeat of the previous weeks without JD home, plus the added stress of what was happening that very moment. I was not a happy camper. The next day JD said his sister and husband were feeling a bit better, but I have no idea how they could. I think they must be in shock and just all cried out over it.

Needless to say, that Wednesday was the worst ever. And it just capped off the whole stressful month before with a bang... but not a good one. I just prayed and prayed, and asked others to pray. I don't know why God allows these things to happen, but I have to believe its for a good reason and that my brother will beat the cancer and my sister-in-law will finally get her baby... and that JD and I will figure out a way to pay for all these bills and for the insurance, and that JD will get a better job, one that he isn't gone for a 5 to 6 weeks at a time. Until all those things happen I will be praying fervently. And if none of those things comes to be I will have to realize it wasn't God's will and I have to look for God's ultimate plan and meaning in it all. I know God loves me, and I won't let these things take away my faith in Him, and that in the end all things work for good for those who love Him. Amen.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Love in the Midst of Misery

With crazy zig zag tearing and 4 sutures in my "lady parts" I had quite a challenging first week after baby was born. At one point I felt so much pain I was in tears and the next day my husband made a call to my OB Doctor to see if he could prescribe a pain med for me. I have been taking 600 mg of Motrin every 6 hours and that was just not cutting it for me. Thankfully my Dr. asked me to come in to take a look and didn't just give me pain pills.

When I went in there were a couple stitches actually pulling at and cutting into my skin. The Dr. was able to cut and remove two right there in the examination room. As soon as he did that I felt immediate relief. But he still gave me a prescription for some pain meds anyways, luckily so. By the time JD and I got back to the car I was about to pass out just from the pain I experienced when he found the offending stitches (he had to press on them and investigate the cause of the pain and that caused further pain). I took a Vicodin when I got home and after a good nap I felt much better. And I only needed one more later that night and since then have avoided taking anymore.

Just when I thought the worst was over, the next day I felt horrible cramps in my abdomen, causing me a lot of misery. I was laying in bed, having only taken some Motrin at this point, when my daughter came and wanted to give me a hug. I found myself in tears as my daughter hugged me, and this caused the poor sensitive girl to cry as well. She probably thought she had hurt me, because I had been telling her not to push on me or touch me certain ways for the past few days. I told KD that I liked the hug and the tears were good tears. It was like a healing hug from her. I can't explain the power of that hug... I have no words. I pulled her into my chest again for a hug and we laid there together and just breathed the healing in.

I decided to hop in the shower while the baby was still asleep, and after KD felt better again. I figured a nice hot shower would help the cramping and I hoped I wouldn't need another Vicodin for the pain. While I was in the hot water I started crying again, just letting it out. And while I felt the misery I prayed and thanked God for the love in my life. I have a wonderful daughter, a healthy new baby boy, a husband who is doing everything around the house for me... taking care of me, our toddler and our new baby, as well as cooking and cleaning! I felt blessed by God, even though I was in a miserable state with all the stitches and the pains that come with your body attempting to snap back into it's former shape. It's a pain that seems like it has no purpose, but it does have meaning. It is a necessary pain when you have a child. To get the family that we want and to enjoy the blessing of a new baby I have to go through this pain.

I don't know why, but finding purpose in the pain makes it more bearable. Like enduring the pain of labor. I didn't get an epidural with either of my kids. I don't need one, my labor goes so fast! When I am feeling I am at the highest point of pain its over in 15 minutes anyway, so why get some drug put in me for just 15 minutes of pain that has a good purpose to it? I can handle it, so I figure I don't need the epidural. I don't hold it against any woman who wants the epidural... if I had 12 or 24 hours of labor and it took me an hour to push out my baby I would want it too!! But for me, the pain isn't meaningless and something I just want to push out of my mind. Its a part of the process, feeling the need to push, feeling the pressure of the baby coming down... all of that is information that helps me know when to push and informs me of what is going on. The pain, like I said, has a purpose. Therefore it is bearable. Plus I know it has an end... it will go away, it is not for an eternity.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Baby is Here! (the big story)

Ironically the same day I wrote the last blog entry I was actually in labor and didn't realize it yet. I had abdominal cramping when I woke up and was relaxing at home thinking they were Braxton Hicks contractions and waiting for them to go away. My husband had taken KD out with him to do a few errands and I stayed home hoping to feel better soon. But when I laid down they didn't stop. I decided to start timing the sharp pains when they hit, since they seemed to come and go, and at first there was no pattern, but kept timing things. I messaged JD on his Blackberry to let him have a heads up, just in case this was it.

I started timing things at 11:20am and by the time he was home, around noon, they seemed to be coming and going in a pattern. I was still unsure because I only felt sharp menstrual type pains and no rise and fall of labor pains, like I did with my first... there was a definite build up and a peak of pain and then a lowering and relaxing of the abdomen. But soon enough I started to get that feeling, that "I think another one is coming" feeling, and sure enough there emerged a pattern. At this point they were coming every 7 to 8 minutes apart and it was nearing 1pm. JD's sister arrived just as we were waiting for the contractions to be 5 min apart. JD and I agreed to wait until I felt two labor pains 5 minutes apart in a consecutive row before we left for the hospital. And by around 1pm I had felt that and we decided to head out the door. JD's Mom came over to go with us and JD's Dad took over KD watching and was ready to put her down for her nap for us.

We arrived at the hospital and they wheeled me in to the check-in office. There I filled out and signed all kinds of paperwork. I wasn't in hard labor, thank goodness... but the check in lady said she would send me right to my room if I needed to. My contractions were soon just 2 or 3 minutes apart when we finally got finished with the check in process. By the time we made it in the the L&D (labor and delivery) room it was 2:15pm. I crossed my fingers and hoped this was actually it and that they wouldn't be sending me home.

Once the nurse came in and checked me out I was 4cm dilated... hurray!! I could stay!! JD said he thought I would be at 4cm, I was at that point with our first when the contractions were as close. But I felt so relaxed, and nothing eventful had happened yet (like my water breaking or getting that "bloody show" thing), that I wasn't very sure. But I was happy this was the real deal and that it was finally confirmed.

I continued through the beginning stage of labor with a smile and good humor, knowing that the hard labor would be coming soon and that I wouldn't be doing much talking eventually. My sister-in-law and Mother-in-law stayed in the room and were there for the whole thing. JD was wonderfully supportive, as he always is, and my in-laws took turns letting me squeeze their hands or rubbing my arm or leg or whatever they could do for me... such as getting more ice chips and whatnot.

We warned the nurse that I had quick labor with my first and that the Doctor hadn't made it into the room last time. So, by the time she checked me and I was almost 8cm dilated (around 4pm) everyone was placing their bets that the baby would be coming in 15 to 30 minutes. When the nurse called the Doctor she told him to come right over and not stop to talk to anyone (his office is across the street from the hospital.) And just when he stepped into the room I had the urge to push!!

I had to breath "who who who" to try to stop from pushing until he got his gloves on, but that urge to push is very hard to stop. When he was pulled up to me and set to go I was already in the midst of another contraction and starting to push. I was still breathing a bit and grunting and he said to stop all noise and breathing to put my energy into pushing the baby out. While we waited for the next contraction to come the Doctor said the baby's heart rate was dropping and if I did it right the baby could come out in the next push. So I concentrated all my energy on getting baby A out (his name starts with an "A"). I knew it there was no time to mess around and ease him out. So with the next push I said in my head, "C'moooon baby A____!" and soon he popped right out with a gush of liquid. My water hadn't even really broken before this point, I had felt a small trickle of water earlier and the Doctor (I think) may have pierced it somewhere in all this commotion, I heard him say something about breaking my water and then saying "her water broke" but I am not sure when all that happened. But no matter, baby A was finally here... at 4:15pm!

He was weighed and we all gasped as the nurse called out "9 pounds 4 ounces!" He was also measured at 20" long. Big boy!! Then the Doctor started stitching me up, he said I tore in a zig zag all over the place and ended up using 4 suture spools! He told me that was due to a few things 1. I had scar tissue from the tears my first baby caused me, which doesn't stretch 2. I had a big baby and 3. I had to get him out fast and didn't have time to ease him out. So, that is the "fun" and painful mess I have to deal with now. But I was happy to finally have my baby boy in my arms.

When KD was brought in to see me and the baby for the first time she was very excited. She wanted to kiss and hug the baby. She looked at me and said, "He came out!" So cute. I had been saying to her for a couple weeks, "Tell your brother he can come out anytime now." So I guess she picked that up from me. I am glad she was so excited and took to him right away.

The next couple days in the hospital I was in a very good mood and was able to get minimal rest throughout the nights, but that was expected... I was happy for any amount of sleep. Baby A has been a very good nurser, just like his big sis KD. He even stayed in his bassinet without crying (KD didn't do that), so between feedings I could have him out of the bed to get some sleep without worrying about him in my bed or trying to hold him while sleeping.

When I was released from the hospital I was very impatient and ready to go home. I had to wait for everything, the nurse to come in and do the papers, the wheelchair to get there to wheel me out, and then JD had a struggle getting the baby's straps tight on his car seat, and I was ready to see KD and have lunch! I got pretty restless at this point. When we finally got home I was happy to see KD run up and greet me and get into the house with Baby A. JD's Dad leaned over to me and asked if I wanted my sandwich (which he had picked up for us for lunch) and I was very eager and said, "Yes! Please... ASAP!" Haha. And so concludes the birth story of my very big boy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Final Days of Waiting

I am now 39 1/2 weeks into my pregnancy, the baby is due in 5 more days. I am very uncomfortable and ready for this little guy to come out! My first only showed up 1 day before her due date, but I am hoping this baby will show up a few days early. I would like him to come Saturday or Sunday... or even Friday (tomorrow).

Every night is a challenge to sleep, I am very uncomfortable right now. I have insomnia issues most nights, and I can't turn off my brain if there is anything left to prepare before the baby's arrival. I am very emotional as well. There was some drama earlier this week when JD's parents (who live two houses down from us) started telling us that Grandpa wants to be at the hospital waiting for the baby to be born. Which doesn't sound like a big deal, but what made it a big deal to me is that Grandpa is the only person we can count on day or night to be here to take care of KD while we run off to the hospital. Grandma is one of the people that I am going to allow in the delivery room, so she will be running off with me and JD.

So there was one night that I didn't sleep AT ALL! I was upset that the grandparents were making their plans and demands and I just wanted to get tot he hospital and know KD was taken care of. I sent off a long email at 5:30am describing "the plan" for when I went into labor, the times people could be at the hospital, and who would be allowed in the labor and delivery room and when. I also mentioned who would be available to watch KD if it was a work night versus a weekend. Anyways, after that I was told KD is a priority and so am I and all will be taken care of. But then a call similar to the one that made me sleepless all night came again to JD from his Mom. I was pissed at this point. I get it already, JD's Dad wants to be at the hospital waiting for his first grandson to be born.

After crying to a couple people (while JD was out of the house) I called a couple neighbors that are Moms and have watched KD before for several hours. One of them actually offered to help even if it was in the middle of the night/ early morning! This was amazing and such a great relief to me, I can't even tell you. I absolutely trust her with KD and I know KD is very comfortable with her and her kids. So I email JD's Dad and let him know these two ladies could be called to hand off KD to and that the one could even take her in the middle of the night. I just asked that he be the one KD wakes up to. I don't want her waking up in a house without her Mommy and Daddy and a neighbor not a family member. She may need some reassureance that her Mommy is ok and have everything explained about her baby brother being on the way.

So, now that that is all taken care of I feel much better. I don't have to worry if its a work day or a weekend that the baby decides to come, or what time of day. During the work week KD's Uncle wouldn't be able to do much if the time frame ran into the hours he has to be at work. He was the only other person besides Grandpa, who is a family member, that could be here when she wakes up and be a reassurance to her. I know that Grandpa is the go to person for KD and I can rush out the door with JD and Grandma knowing he has people I trust to call once KD is awake to take over watching her.

Now its just the waiting game. Every night I go to bed I wonder if that will be the night. And every time we make a plan to go somewhere or do something I wonder if we will be having a baby instead of making the appointment/ date. Its hard to keep myself busy when I feel so miserable (lots of pressure on my hips and sharp shooting pains in my pelvis when the baby lowers a little bit more...) but if I sit around the house 24 hrs a day it only makes the waiting seem even longer. A pizza/movie party may be in order soon... when we did that when waiting for KD she came the next day! And it was a great way to get my mind off the wait and to hang out with friends.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bad Preggie Day

Thursday I woke up and took KD to Vacation Bible School (VBS) at church. I started having a Braxton Hicks contraction as soon as I dropped her off. BH contractions usually don't happen to me until around 6pm at night. They have been doing that pretty steadily for around a month now. It freaked me out at first, that I was doing to much... but they seemed to come whether or not I did a lot that day or did nothing. So I just gave into the fact that that was going to be happening on a regular basis. Fortunately I have had help for most of July, while JD is gone, in the evenings. A friend has been staying with me and helping with dinner, cleaning dishes, picking up toys, wiping down surfaces with cleansers that I wish to not inhale right now, and giving KD her baths and getting her in her PJs. All stuff that adds up to a lot for me right now.

Anyways, as I was saying... Thursday the BHs were coming every hour or so and only would go away if I laid down. I picked up KD from VBS at noon and then after lunch we both took a long nap. That evening happened to be one where my friend wasn't going to be home until late. So, I was trying my best to cope with the stomach tightening at every move and feeding KD and getting her ready for bed. But when it got to be KD's bed time I couldn't even bend down to get her PJs on her and I just sat down in the rocking recliner in the living room. She was playing around me, having a good time, and as my stomach was tightening she ran over to me and simply bent her head down and tapped into my hands that were laying on my belly. The simple tap of her head sent this searing pain through my belly and I just had to cry. I couldn't help it, it hurt that much! Poor kid, she said sorry and gave me kisses, and wiped tears off my cheek. (She is so stinkin' sweet.) I assured her it wasn't her fault and she didn't do anything wrong to apologize for, but I appreciated the hugs and kisses.

At that point I decided my ability to get KD ready for bed just wasn't going to happen. I called my in-laws two houses down. Thank God for them being so close. I try not to bother them unless I really need them (or I would be calling every day, every minute). Grandma was ready and willing to come to my rescue. I got to lay down in bed as she dressed KD and rocked her for a while to calm her down.

Unfortunately it got to be 10pm at night and KD was still up with Grandma in the living room. I walked out there wondering when Grandma was going to be taking KD into her room to put her into bed. I guess she was waiting for my friend to come home and help out??? Anyways, at that point I said I would take KD to her room and do the deed myself. Grandma offered to stay just in case I needed help, which was good. I told her that if KD was running around and not calming down there was no way I was going to be dealing with that. I was just going to turn on KD's music and rock her with the lights out for a couple songs and then put her into bed, that was it. If I had to get out of that rocking chair I was going to go grab Grandma and have her deal with getting KD settled back down and putting her into bed. Fortunately KD actually did go straight to bed after the few minutes of rocking. So, I guess Grandma needed a bit more instruction on what I wanted and needed her to do. But at least the intentions of helping me were there. I tried to not let it get to me too much.

That night my friend came home with another close friend to stay the night. They were staying over because the next day they were throwing a baby shower for me. It was just easier for everything to get done if they stayed, and I didn't mind that! And as it happened I needed the extra help all day the next day to rest and recuperate from Thursday.

What did peeve me off a bit was the next morning... the "other close friend" that I mentioned informed me that my husband had posted "worried" as his status on Facebook and she then started instant messaging him to see why. Well, its because Grandma (my husband's mother, the worrier) decided to freak him out and say I was having contractions the night before and was in a lot of pain. She was thinking I was going to go into labor, or that I had pre-eclampsia or whatever. And he is on the other side of the world and can't do anything about it. UGH! Since when did she become a doctor? She does this a lot, she diagnoses you with something instead of being calm and just saying, "Call the doctor." I had told her the night before that my Doctor knows about the BHs and his instructions were, "If they go away when you sit or lay down you are fine. If you start feeling them 5 minutes apart for an hour then go to the hospital." And the only reason I was in pain was because KD tapped her head against my belly at the same moment my stomach was getting hard as a basketball. The BHs are annoying, but not THAT painful.

So I had to start messaging JD that I was okay and that his Mom was over reacting. His Mom, while I was talking to him, called and asked if she could bring over her blood pressure machine for me. I said, "Whatever helps you sleep at night." I knew it would be fine. And after she took it she said, "Its good... now we know its not pre-eclampsia." LOL!! I just had to laugh at the woman. Again, at least she means well. Better that she is over protective than not care about me at all. But the down side is that she has sent my husband into worry mode. So I gave the Doctor's office a call and talked to the nurse. She said everything that I was saying about it and mentioned a couple practical tips. She said being dehydrated can irritate the uterus too, so make sure to drink plenty of water. And I must admit, the day before I didn't drink much water. I had helped out at VBS that one day... Wednesday, and though I just sat for 3 hours pushing a soundtrack button and occasionally stood to write on a white board or pass out a snack, I didn't do much at all! But what I didn't do, and should have, was drink anything or eat anything during those few hours. And even though that doesn't sound like a big deal, for me at 36 weeks preggers it apparently was a big deal. My body was just yelling at me the next day to take it easy. The nurse also said that me taking care of a toddler on my own (for the majority of the day and month) takes its toll and I am probably doing too much. She said, "Let your friends and in-laws do the laundry, wash the dishes, cook dinner, and pick up the toys." I was thinking, yeah right. I mean, I have my friend there doing that most nights, but not all. And my in-laws can't baby me all day long and do my house work and take care of KD for me. I take advantage of the help when I can, but its not around 24/7!! At this point I would need JD to come back home for that kind of help. And he won't be back for another week and a half.

I guess I will have to figure out how to pare things down as best I can, not over work myself (even though it seems like I am barely doing anything already), and drink plenty of water and get as much rest as possible. I have called friends and neighbors, and signed up Grandma, for time to take KD for a few hours or to come over and make dinner or help out as needed during the day or night. Hopefully the few hours of help a day will be enough to keep the all day BH contractions at bay. I don't want to trigger early labor... baby has to stay put until Daddy comes home! The nurse told me at this point if I do go into labor they won't stop it, the baby is at a point that he would be fine if he came early. But I won't be!! And JD would be so upset if he missed the birth of his son when he was planning on being home 20 days before the due date anyways! OMG... don't let that happen! I just have to make it through a little while longer and then all will be fine. JD will take care of me and KD and our baby will be born at full term, as he is meant to be.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Toddler's Imagination

Tonight, as I was rocking KD in her room before bed, KD told me about a dream she had. She started out with a comment, "Cars don't fit in my room." I said, "No, you are right, they don't." (This was from a conversation over a week ago that I had with her when she heard loud cars or motorcycles outside. I told her that she didn't need to be afraid of loud cars because even if the sound scares her the cars don't fit in the house, they can't fit in our house. They stay on the street.) Then she started talking about a green car that fell upside down and hit her closet doors and got a boo boo on it. Then she said there was also a pink car, a yellow car, and a blue car there too. I said, "A green car was in your room and hit your closet doors?" And she said, "Yeah!" I told her that was a dream, and that she is right about cars not being able to fit in her room. I told her it was her imagination and when she wakes up it ends and she can go back to sleep knowing it was just a dream and she is okay. Then she told me more. "I was at the beach and I saw a dolphin. I waved, 'H!i' Then a whale jumped out of the water and flew over my head and got my hand." I wasn't sure if she meant he bit her hand or what, but she would just repeat that he "got it." Then she said the dolphin turned a pink color. I asked her if the dolphin and whale dream made her feel happy or sad, she said it made her feel sad. So I knew that was another bad dream she must have had.

No wonder she has been waking up crying at night! What a wild and vivid imagination she has. I've been trying to get her to talk about her bad dreams when she wakes up, but she usually says nothing. But I am able to calm her down pretty quickly and get her back to sleep in 5 minutes or less. I am glad she finally talked about her bad dreams, I was wondering what was going on in that head of hers. And this way we can talk about what is real versus what is imagined and how to handle bad dreams. I also found her imagination fascinating.

You would think I was letting her watch cop shows and shark week on the National Geographic channel!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

33 Weeks and Counting

I have just about competed 33 weeks of pregnancy. I can't believe I only have 7 weeks to go until I meet my baby boy! Amazing how time flies! I still have issues with sleep. Last few nights have been really rough. Two nights ago I didn't even get a wink of sleep until after 4am. Last night I fell asleep after midnight sometime, but then KD decided to wake up just before 6am and I wasn't ready to get up. After a few nights of poor sleep its seems to get all backed up on you. I was able to get a snooze on the couch while she ate her breakfast, and then she snuggled up next to me and ended up sleeping a little too.

After being up today for a few hours I still felt like I could fall asleep any second and wasn't very entertaining for KD. She was getting bored (tossing around crayons and toys) and not listening to me when I said to stop doing something she shouldn't. I decided to call a neighbor for some interventions before I went nuts and KD ended up getting time outs or spankings for poor behavior. Thankfully I found a neighbor home and willing to take KD on an outing with her two kids and another neighbor's kid that she was doing anyways. I got to stay home and sleep for a couple hours and then she said after KD's nap I could bring her over again, if I needed more time to recoup. So I ended up taking her up on that offer as well and had KD stay over at her house until dinner time. That woman is a Godsend... a veritable saint! I am so blessed to have her as my neighbor.

Besides my own sleep issues, KD has been waking up crying almost every night. I think she is having nightmares, but I have no idea how to help her stop. Last night she said something about falling, so perhaps she is having that dream where you feel like you are falling, and then waking up in a dark room feeling disoriented? I go in and rock her for a few minutes and she is okay again, but I feel so helpless. I may go find a night light for her soon and see if that helps. If she wakes up and sees familiar surroundings perhaps that will help soothe her and just go back to sleep on her own. Unfortunately, many times she wakes up just when I am about to fall asleep myself, or even before I get any sleep at all! Like the night I didn't sleep until after 4am, she woke up with a nightmare. That doesn't really help me sleep too well, my heart races when I hear that cry. Its so guttural and I can tell she is frightened and needs me. It makes me really feel empathy for her when she cries like that. I hope these bad dreams end soon for her.

JD left for his 35 day rotation again just last week. I have a friend coming over at night to stay with me this week. She has to go out of town for work next week, but will be back for another week, and then gone again for about 5 days, then back again until JD is home. I was happy for her help, even if she has to leave for work a couple weeks this month. Since Braxton Hicks contractions seem to be hitting me in the evening I am letting her do any bending, stooping, giving KD a bath and any cleaning she can help with. Those things all set off the BH contractions. My Doctor says they are fine, as long as they are going away when I change a position or stop activity. So, for now, its just another annoying thing to have to put up with. Along with the shortness of breath from just a short walk. I can't even go half way up my street without feeling winded and a BH contraction! "Really?!" Is what I say to that. It's just ridiculous, I am not doing anything strenuous!

In other news, my oldest brother, who has stage 4 Melanoma cancer, is going to be starting Chemo tomorrow. It's part of a clinical trial he has decided to go ahead and participate in. He has been told nothing will permenantly take away the Melanoma and at first he wasn't sure if he wanted to put himself through any chemo and be sick during what few precious months he has left. But I am glad he decided to try something out. Who knows, maybe a miracle will happen, or he will get some extra time to live. Even if it doesn't cure him, hopefully this can help them find a cure for the next person. And to top off this "wonderful news," July 1st was the anniverary of my Mom's death. I am handling the year marker okay, but I can't imagine its helping my brother cope with things any easier. For some reason I think it hit him the hardest. Probably because he lived farther away and was less of a communicator and wishes he had spent more time with her or calling her. I am sure the stress of her death has been a factor in the reappearance of his cancer. For me Mother's Day this year was harder than the anniversary of her death.

My husband has been looking for a new job, and if you have read my older blog postings you know we almost made a move to Jeddah. But that job seems to have taken a nose dive. The company, which is a new start up, is not doing as well as his friend had hoped. (His friend is their Director of Ops and was hoping to hire JD on as soon as they got some planes purchased and ready to go.) Now this same friend has been approached by another guy that wants to start a commuter/ business flight company out of Carlsbad, California. JD's friend has accepted that position and is in the midst of background checks etc. If he ends up working as their Director of Ops he is going to see what they are willing to pay for a Captain position and see if its worth it for JD to start working there.

I told JD that even if this new company doesn't end up being successful that he should take the job. We can even deal with a small paycut for a while. JD needs to get out of the Middle East. The company he is working for treats their pilots horribly... and financially they seem to be going down hill fast too. And JD and I really want him to work closer to home so we can see each other more. This Carlsbad company is only a couple hours drive from our house and the owner says that he wants his pilots to be home every night. Apperantly he is a big family man, which is a HUGE difference than what he has to deal with now. JD's current company couldn't care less about their pilot's wives or children.

It would be amazing to have my husband home every night. And it sounds like if this happens it will be in September! Right after the baby is born!! Such good timing. I am praying hard for that to happen. I know the job may not be around forever, but it would get JD home and buy him more time to look for something else that will work for us. I also think that getting paid less is worth it for him to be home every night. I just can't handle this 5 weeks gone, 4 weeks home situation anymore, especially with a 2nd child on the way. I have no idea how I am going to cope without him.

Well, that's my news for now. Here's to some good sleep, miracle healings, and husband being home more! Cheers! (Imagine a glass of wine in our hands and me clinking it with you... except mine has sparkling cider in it, haha.)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Good News and Bad News

My third trimester just started recently. The baby boy in my tummy has been rolling around and jabbing me in the middle of the night, making sleep a difficult task... thus the reason why I decided to get up and write in my blog at 2am. I have all the typical "joys" of pregnancy: heartburn, hemorrhoids, difficulty sleeping, occasional Braxton Hicks contractions, and the overpowering nesting instinct.

The nesting instinct is very strong in me right now. My husband just got home from his long 5 week rotation and we finally are starting the baby's room. It has been our office/ junk collector for the past 6 years. I haven't used the computer in the office for a while, pretty much since I got my laptop. The computer moves so slow I just can't stand it. You click on something to open and close and literally 15- 20 minutes later the computer reacts... very annoying. So the only thing that has been happening in there is bills gets filed, and mail gets stacked, magazines and other items that I don't know what to do with yet gets plopped down on the desk or floor until I have the time to get to it. And the closet is full of books my husband and I want to keep for reference for our jobs, and art supplies that I rarely get a chance to use, as well as the place where electronics seem to go to die. Why we keep phones and cords and boxes from new phones and electronics in there forever and ever is a mystery to me.

I have been very frustrated with not being able to implement my nesting instinct and clean out the office on my own, while JD was working this past month. But there is no way I could move all that junk out to the garage on my own, nor could I move any of the heavy pieces of furniture and file cabinets on my own. So, I had to wait patiently for him to get back home to help me out. When we started, a couple days ago, JD kept on getting side tracked with phone calls coming in and other things on his "to do" list, and I was getting very irritated and upset. I think that is part of the nesting instinct, the anger. For some reason we are mad at all the mess and piles, when in the nesting mode, and I don't know what that is about. JD was really starting to wonder about my sanity after a few things sent me into a tizzy and as I was muttering profanities under my breath at any little thing that set me off (very unlike me). He practically demanded I take a nap as soon as KD was down for hers. But in my defense I also had a very poor nights sleep the night before as well. I tossed and turned until 3am and only slept until 8am the next morning. But still, the attitude was pretty bad.

Yesterday we finally got the office to the point that I was hoping to get it to, and I felt lest irritable. All the junk is in the garage, and there is a "mini-office" set up in our dining room now. I have a little desk and our main file drawer in there. And the rest is lying around the garage in boxes or bags waiting to be sorted... practically calling my name to come out there and do just that. My home is an Interior Designer's nightmare right now. I would not call my home a showcase for my talents in that area. Wall to wall furniture, poor task lighting (on one wall in the dining room I have 4 lamps, and the overhead light is only ambient... of no use at all), kids toys shoved into every nook and cranny. Its really bad. But it is organized. And if that is all I can accomplish at the moment, then I will take it. The Interior Designer in me will just have to take a back seat to the Mommy right now.

Its interesting how the good and the bad seem to happen at the same time in my life. While I am happily buzzing around my home, making it a welcoming place for the baby due in a few months, I got the news from my Dad that my oldest brother's cancer has returned. About 5 years ago he had a huge chunk taken out of his thigh due to Melanoma. He has been regularly checked out since then, and unfortunately they found something. He has Melanoma cancer cells now residing in his abdominal wall. My Dad told me just a little bit last week and then this week I called my brother to find out further information, since he was having tests done and waiting for more news.

I was outside watching my 2 1/2 year old daughter play on her slide while I made the phone call. As my brother proceeded to tell me the latest news I started to get tears in my eyes and did my best to not let it show to my daughter, or to let my voice crack over the phone. He told me that chemo would not cure it, it would kill it off in 1 to 10 people but that in all cases it returned still anyway. And he said radiation wouldn't get rid of it either. So, neither of those things were viable options for him. And he said that he didn't know how long he has left to live. They are doing another scan in a month to see how quickly the cancer is progressing and will see if it has moved into any major organs, which at this time it isn't in any major organ. Its hard to take in the news and also have no idea how long you have left with a loved one. I don't know if he will be around to see his nephew be born or not, or if he will be around for many more years to come. It makes me want to fly him out here ASAP so I can be sure I see him at least one more time before anything horrible happens to him. I can't fly to him, and I am definitely not going on any road trips any time soon, and he lives in Northern California... which may as well be across the country.

At least he isn't feeling any pain. He said the worst thing is that he has a little less energy and that his appetite isn't as good as it was. But he is still active, hiking and teaching yoga. He is a very BIG outdoors man. He loves to climb rocks, and go hiking, and spend time in the forest camping. And he said he may be going off on his own into the woods sometime over the next month to collect his thoughts. I would be doing the same if I was him. He isn't married, he does have a girlfriend, and he has no kids. I can't imagine going through a trial like this in life pretty much alone. He does have me, our brother, and our Dad. But none of us live very close to each other. My Dad moved back to CA recently, so we live the closest to each other, he use to live in NM where my Grandma lived for a few years before she passed away in 2008. He is just about a 2 hour drive away now. My other brother and his wife and 2 kids live on the East coast, where he is happy as a clam and fits in very well. But I guess my brother has his friends, and his girlfriend (whom he lives with), and the forest... and the ocean. Plus he has always been an independent guy. Not a loner really, he attracts people like flies to honey, but someone who likes to have a lot of alone time to recharge his battery.

I guess I have the right to feel angry. Even if it is a part of nesting, I think some of it is knowing that my brother is dying... but not knowing how quickly this cancer will take him. And I feel frustrated that he lives so far away and I can't do much more than give him a phone call and tell him I love him. But I also feel happy that I have a baby boy on the way, and that my daughter and husband are around to keep me busy and loved. So, its all just a big jumbled emotional mess right now. Happy for the future of my family, and sad for the future without my brother. He is an amazing and talented person, I will have to write more about him later.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mother's Day Blues

Last week was Mother's Day, it wasn't such a happy day for me. It was the first Mother's Day without my Mom (she passed away July last year). I was okay until I hopped on Facebook and saw everyone's status comments about where they were taking their Mom for dinner or what they were getting or doing for Mother's Day. It just sucked because I realized I have no Mom to buy anything for or to call to wish a Happy Mother's Day, or to take to lunch. And then on top of that my husband is gone this month, so I had no one to do that for me either. I have my 2 1/2 year old and I am pregnant, so its not like I am going to be getting any special treatment from my kids any time soon.

The night before Mother's Day is when it hit me and I started weeping, not just crying... weeping. Unfortunately KD saw me crying and it made her cry. I sunk onto the floor in the hallway as she turned and saw me crying, and then walked toward me and started to cry herself. She sat in my lap and I tried my best to find the words to tell my 2 1/2 year old why her Mommy was crying. I ended up telling her, "I miss my Mommy. She is in Heaven with Jesus." Then I explained that my Mommy was her Grandma Lois and showed her pictures. And for the past week every once in a while she would say, "I sad, I miss Mommy Lois." Such a sweetie. I would say back, "I miss her too, but she is happy. Jesus loves her and is taking care of her. Don't be sad."

On the actual day of Mother's Day I went to choir practice at church and ended up crying through most of the rehearsal. I eventually started cracking jokes to get my mind off the sad thoughts in my mind. The people in the choir are a fun bunch and we like to give each other a hard time. So, I ended up with a smile on my face. A few, of course, did give me hugs and words of encouragement. When I went to pick up KD from Sunday School she handed me a handmade card and a gift back. She said, "I made you this!" and was all proud. She actually said, "Happy Mother's Day," which I didn't think I would be hearing out of her mouth at all. And in the bag was a little candle that they had made in class. When I got home my Mother-in-law gave me some yellow tulips (my favorite) and a homemade card that she and KD had worked on together. The card had a finger painting done by KD on it. And she also gave me some lilies that a friend from church dropped off to give to me. So, my little pity party about having no one to wish me a Mother's Day was very unfounded. And the lilies in memory of my Mother was very touching.

Then my in-laws took me and KD to lunch at Olive Garden, one of my favorite places to eat, and when we got home my Aunt and Uncle were driving down our street! They turned around when they realized I was on my way home. They were visiting friends in a nearby city and on their way back home decided to make a surprise visit. I had almost called my Aunt the night before when I was missing my Mom, she is my Mom's sister and the one who got in a horrible car accident a few months before my Mom passed, but I didn't want to make her sad and cry too. It was so wonderful to see her and talk to her in person, I hadn't seen her for a couple months! She is like a Mother to me and I have missed her terribly. She is such a sweet spirit, I love being around her.

So, I guess Mother's Day ended up not being to horrible after all. But that was rough the night before. Not only did I cry that night in front of my daughter, but I had woken up at 3am and started bawling into my pillow for a while and it was hard to get a good nights sleep. You just never know what is going to hit you and make you miss a loved one. One day I am doing fine and the next something will happen or come up that makes me not only remember her but miss her to my core!

I love you and miss you, Mom. xoxo

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Ever Changing News

So... I mentioned in earlier posts about a possible move to Saudi Arabia. And Now I don't think it will happen. If things go down the way my husband thinks they will then I will end up staying at home. Thank the Lord! But we won't know for sure for another couple weeks, at least.

His friend, the newly hired Director of Ops of the new company, is saying that they should be adding more planes than originally projected and will be starting rotations sooner than JD had thought. But its all hinging on a couple decisions that are yet to be solidified, of course. He is hoping to hire some other guy to be the president of the company and I guess this new person effects a lot of these decisions. So I can't say anything for sure about our future situation and where we will be living. But I do know that our goal is to keep the family where we are if at all possible, but not at the sacrifice of being together as much as possible.

If JD gets this new job then he says within a year they should have rotation schedules, which is good. If he is on-call, part of the only crew for the one plane they have so far, then we have no idea when he will be able to fly back home to the states to be with us. Thus the pressure to move us all to Saudi Arabia where he would be based. But, if its going to be less than a year we have to wait for him to get a rotation like he has now, 5 weeks on 4 weeks off, then we don't feel it's prudent to pick up and move us all over with him. What we do need to figure out is how often I will be able to come visit him with the kids and make sure he has a two bedroom home, at least, in his offer so we have a place to stay with him when we go over there. And then I would hope he would occasionally have some time off to come back here for a few weeks in the States. It would royally suck to have him gone that first year with an unpredictable schedule, but we will see how this all plays out.

So many unknowns still. And everything is just talk at this point. Tomorrow, or next week, he could give me a whole different story. I am just praying I don't have to move to Saudi and uproot myself and my kids from friends and family. Every day I think about all the people and things I would miss if we moved. Even just the conveniences and familiar things we have now that we wouldn't have there, like a huge Babies R Us to get all the baby stuff from, or Dairy Queen LOL. Plus there is the fact that we have this awesome dog, Chewie, that we would be leaving behind and I know he would be so depressed if we left him, even if just for a year. And if we left for a long period of time we may have to give him up, and that would be depressing. I would hope we could find someone to take care of him for us while we are away, but there is that possiblity that no one would be willing to do that for us and we would have to find him a new home.

For now I am at least breathing a bit easier and not on edge waiting for the news to come that, "Yes, honey, I got the job and we need to start planning the move to Saudi." I suppose that could still happen, but I sure hope not!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scheduling Time for Sanity

I have decided, until I know for sure about the move to Saudi and JD's job, I need to make some plans that will keep me sane until the baby is born, and the couple months following. I know for sure we aren't moving until baby boy is born, so why not do something about the here and now?

Recently I have felt more lonely and even bored when JD leaves. Usually I am pretty independent, don't mind the alone time, and even enjoy that at night I can type away on my computer in bed without bothering him, or keep the TV on at a level where I can actually hear my recorded TV shows, and not hear him snoring louder than either of those activities. But I think pregnancy, combined with the fact that I have a very active toddler on my hands, has made me a bit more needy for companionship than usual.

I have put out an "APB" to four Moms to schedule in play dates with me once a week during the 35 day rotations Jason is gone... for the couple months left before baby is due that he is gone and one more rotation that he is gone shortly after the baby is born. For my own sanity I believe this is necessary. I am trying to find a pre-school for KD to attend during the week, and the one that I really want her to go to hasn't gotten back to me yet... and I know there is a waiting list. I also am looking into the local city community guide, that we get in the mail, for some activities I can sign KD up for that will fill her time. I've done one class with her before and she loved it. But besides KD needing some stimulation I need some too! I thought of four Moms that I like to hang out with and talk to that have kids that like to play with KD. So far two have replied and will get back to me with some dates to hang out. That is a good start.

And besides those four Moms I have my in-laws next door. Sometimes they can help out, and sometimes they can't. They aren't retired and have stuff of their own to attend to. But today my MIL called to say she can watch KD from 11:30am to 2pm for me, and the break was nice. So, I can count on her for times I need occasional alone time. And I have a neighbor that I can run over to anytime they are home and their two girls love to play with KD. They are very hospitable. So, I don't have to schedule anything for them really. If I am bored and need to visit with someone I can just walk next door and see if they are home, or call to see if its a good time for a visit. So those are two more people that I have as "flexible" play dates, or people to go to for "me time".

I am also thinking of asking my in-laws if they can take KD for an overnight once a week to give me a break and one night of assured rest. But I may not ask until I really feel I need that. right now its mostly during the day that I need some distractions from the fact that my husband isn't home. I already have a friend lined up for July to come over 4 nights a week and help with dinner and getting KD up in the morning before she goes to work. (I am paying her.) That will be my 8th month of pregnancy. So, perhaps the in-laws can help out that month as well and do the overnight idea. We will see.

Well... that is the plan to keep me sane over the next 4 months and the 2 months following after the baby is born. Sounds like a good one to me :-) Then after that I can think of how to keep my sanity with a new baby and a toddler in Saudi Arabia... YIKES! If that even happens.

Friday, April 16, 2010

More on the Move

So... I've been pondering this move and all the pros and cons that come with moving to Saudi Arabia. And no matter how many cons are stacked against it the pros still are stronger than any con I can come up with.

The pros for my husbands career are blaring at us and are obviously the best thing for him to do... of course he hasn't gotten an official offer yet, and until that happens all my thoughts about this move are still just a practice in theory. And I know if JD could get a job that didn't require him to move us to Saudi he would do it in a second. But no other opportunity is going to be coming our way (as far as we know) that provides us with the income and stability and set him up as wonderfully for his career in the future as this job opportunity will provide. That is a huge part of this whole decision.

The pros for me is that I will see my husband more if I move to Saudi. If I stay in the States I will never know when I will see him, since he won't have a rotation schedule and the times off won't be worth the travel back and forth from California to Saudi. And there is no "pro" that is stronger than keeping the family unit close together. I can't be without my husband indefinitely and I can't do that to our kids either. My kids need their Daddy in their life more than anyone else in the world, including Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, or friends. Even though extended family is a blessing to have around its not the MOST important relationship compared to the one with their own Daddy.

I can think of a hundred things in a day that I would miss doing, or having, or people I would miss seeing, but nothing can keep me here over being with my husband. That is the bottom line for me. There is no other choice to make but to move to Saudi. So, no matter how uncomfortable it may be, or what sacrifices I will have to make, I have to do it. I just simply HAVE to. And I am not unhappy about that either. I am not bitter about it. I am actually at peace about that decision. It feels right in my bones, in my gut... and the same goes for JD.

So, for now... we wait. But I really think that this job offer will come by the end of the year and the move by the first couple months of next year the latest. I hate waiting for life changing news, this is going to stink. But I suppose the longer the wait for the offer the more time we have to research things and to get questions answered as they pop up and to be prepared. But... I still hate waiting ;-)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Possible Move

I know I am not the first pilot's wife to have to consider the real possibility of uprooting from my home and move to a foreign country, but its all new to me. JD may be getting a new job in the next few months that would require us all to move to Saudi Arabia. That would be quite a change! Not my first choice in foreign countries to live in either.

He is working for a company that is in that area already, but he has a rotation of 35 days working and 30 days home, so it didn't make any sense to uproot me and the family when he is pretty much home half the time. This new job wouldn't have more than one crew to man the one plane they have, so he would be on call and therefore no rotation schedule. The good thing is that a good friend of his has accepted the Director of Operations position there, so he is second in command. And that means he would be hiring JD and negotiating his contract, so we would be taken care of and not have to worry about the horrible politics that are going on with his current company. Plus, his current company seem to not be doing too well financially and who knows how secure his job or pay or current rotation schedule would be if he stayed? And the new company is just starting up, so JD would be on the top of the seniority list, and that is always a good thing.

But this is such a new thing for me that I had a million questions about what it would be like if we moved. I don't like the idea of leaving friends and family and all the comforts of home, but we are talking about it being only a year to 3 years at most. So, really... its short term. He would get great experience in a bigger plane and a possible future move to management within the company, when they need a training captain. This would make him very marketable here in the USA. That is all good stuff. And I suppose if I have to suck it up for a few years in the best interest of our family and JD's career I will do it. What's most important is my family being together as much as possible and to look towards the future and do what will benefit us the most there as well.

Too many things going through my brain to process and write down. I will have to write more later when it all congeals a bit more.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's a......!!

Saturday night we had our "Baby Gender Reveal Party" and I found out the gender of my baby finally. JD found out last Monday at the ultrasound and decided on a way to surprise me at the party. He was actually quite clever about it. And while waiting to find out the news, and as all our friends were asking, "Do you know the sex yet?" I felt like I was in labor and everyone was in the waiting room or sitting by the phone to find out if it's a boy or a girl.

We had dinner with family and then waited for some of our close friends to come over later (they had other plans that kept them from arriving for dinner). They had some late dinner and then finally everyone had eaten and I motioned to JD to get the ball rolling. He handed me a pen and a paper and passed out eggs to our guests that he had put either a pink ring or a blue ring into. I kept a tally of how many pink vs. how many blue rings there were as people opened their eggs. JD had enough for a couple rounds, so the second round I got really confused because some people started telling me both colors they had gotten and I had no idea what color that had given me first. JD was very pleased at the confusion. He asked me how many I had of each, I showed 9 blue and 10 pink, he said there should be 9 blue and 9 pink. Then he handed KD, our two year old, the final egg that would reveal the gender.

When she opened the egg I called her over to see what color the ring was, when I looked in her hands she was holding a toy airplane, not a ring. Most people were like, "What does that mean?" But I knew it meant we are having a boy. I said, "It's a boy!" and everyone got all excited and cheered. My Dad was actually the only other one who got the plane reference as meaning specifically "boy." My friends were confused by the color, it looked blue and pink and yellow in the lighting we had, and they were looking for something either blue or pink. So it was perfect, the way the whole thing happened. Everyone was in anticipation, got confused, didn't know what was going on, and in the end I was the one who got to break the news to everyone.

Isn't my husband clever? I loved how it all happened. All my fears about hearing "boy" or "girl" and if I was going to feel any disappiointment didn't happen. And the surprise element was definitely there and a close second to finding out on the day of the baby's birth. I am happy we have our boy, I know my husband was really wanting a boy and I don't plan on getting pregnant again, I am done at two. So, this way I know we are both happy, I got my girl first, then he got his boy. And now, as they say, we have a "perfect set." haha... like we are buying a salt and pepper shaker set. But I must say I am very happy to have one of each gender. I feel like we are really done with having kids and there is no question as to whether we should try for another child later. It feels like our family is very complete and well balanced. God has blessed us.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Husband Has a Secret

On Monday my husband, my daughter, and I went to the ultrasound appointment for baby. KD enjoyed seeing the baby on the screen, but got a bit squirmy after a few minutes. JD was dying to know the gender of the baby so we told the technician to let him know but not me. At the end of the ultrasound she wrote it down on a piece of paper for him. She handed me a pic of the baby's face, a front view that looked like a skull, or an alien, and not much like a baby. I don't know why she thought that would make a good keepsake, but JD did notice the baby never really got into a good position for a side pic. And then she handed him a full body pic with the baby front faced still, looked like a skull and a belly and some folded legs. But he quickly pocketed it, saying I may be able to tell what the sex of the baby is if I look at it. That made me think it must be a boy, but I really wasn't ready for the news yet. So I tried to push that out of my mind.

This Saturday we will be throwing the "Baby Gender Reveal Party" and I will know for sure at that point. JD is thinking of another idea of how to break the news to me, so it may not be a present wrapped up for a boy or a girl, as I had thought I was going to get. Should be interesting. All I get to plan is the decorations and the food, the revealing part is up to him. He said he ran his idea by a few people to see if it was a good idea and everyone likes it so far. I don't care how he does it, as long as I know in the end. I am just preparing myself for the news to go either way. I think its a boy at this point, but if the news comes out that its a girl I don't want to feel disappointed. So, I am trying to be open minded to the idea of a girl still.

In other news, today KD decided to throw the fit of all fits and I am so glad JD was home to help me handle the situation. I think it happened due to poor sleep patterns over the past few days and the fact that last night was the first night she had her Binky (pacifier) taken away overnight. And due to the fact that she hasn't been wanting to eat much. She was having a mini fit this morning over the fact that she wanted to wear her pajamas all day and we told her no because we were going to meet her Auntie for lunch. She was okay when we left and during lunch she did fine, but while we were waiting for the check I took her to the arcade area in the restaurant (they had a few games in the lobby). When her Daddy and Auntie came over to tell us we were ready to go she didn't want to leave. But I picked her up and took her out anyways, after a few warnings to say goodbye to the games and leave on her own. In the car she had a full melt down over not getting her way. She was hitting herself in the face, slapping her arms and legs and kicking her feet. I had to sit in the back next to her and hold her hands to her side so she would stop doing that. We told her she was getting a time out when she got home and a spanking if she kept up the hitting. It just got worse and worse during the 20 minute ride home and she was turning red and screaming. At home it was a battle just to keep her in the time out and she got a spanking at one point when she got up and ran around the house to get away from her time out.

Yes, it was a full on def-con 5 level tantrum. JD was great with her. Towards the end of her time out he just held her and walked around the house until it was done. Then we went into soothing mode to calm her down and I got her some fruit snacks and some milk to get some food in her. She was due for a nap soon, and we knew that is what she really needed. After a two hour nap she woke up smiling and back to her cuddly self. She even ate pretty well during dinner. She is now asleep without her Binky again for the 2nd night in a row, I just hope she sleeps well and doesn't get up at 3am like she has been. We are able to get her back to sleep again after she wakes up, but I think that the disruption in her sleep isn't good for her. Anyways, so far so good... she hasn't woken up crying (like last night, from 9:30pm to 11:30pm where she cried every time I left her room). I just hope this behavior gets out of her system before the baby arrives. Its exhausting!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Emotional Breakdown

Last night I had a rough time with KD. She was challenging me all afternoon, saying "no" to every request and refusing to obey me or do what I asked. I think this is a normal part of childhood and what kids just do, test their boundaries. But I don't like dealing with it. I finally put her in a time out, after multiple warnings to coax her into obeying me several times already, when we were about to head out the door and she had a fit about the shoes I had put on her. She had a melt down actually. So I said, "Forget it then, we are staying home and you can just stay there in a time out." Then I took off the shoes she was so upset about and left her there in her time out spot. And then while she was in a time out she threw herself on the ground and held one of her shoes and was crying that she wanted it back on. I came over while she was on the ground pouting and gave her one good swat on the butt, I was fed up with the whole show and she needed to know I meant business. Goodness! What goes on in that 2 year old brain of hers I will never know. One minute she hates her shoes and the other she wants them back on (probably so we could go out). And such drama over, what seems to me, nothing.

I was upset, but remained calm the rest of the evening while I got some dinner stuff out for her and told her she had to eat what I gave her or she would be going to bed hungry (we were on our way out the door for tacos). She was pleasant and cuddly with me and wanted my hugs and affection the rest of the night. I think she realized she was being a pill and she wanted reassurance that I still loved her and wasn't mad anymore. I was drained though, I was ready for her bed time to come quick. She did finally eat what I put out for her, 5 minutes before she had to get ready for bed of course. So, I patiently waited for her to eat and then ushered her into her room to get her pajamas on and read her books and all that. She still stretched my patience as she decided on one pair of pajamas and just before I was about to stop rocking her and put her down on her bed she said she wanted a different pair of pajamas. So, we changed, and then I layed her down and gave her hugs and kisses. Then, 15 minutes later she was crying for me. When I went in to her room she said she wanted her hair brushed (which I had done after each pajama dressing already). I appeased her and then told her it was time for her to sleep. I was ready to crawl into bed and just curl up in a ball by that point. My patience and my energy had been taxed to the max.

Then I ate what was left of my Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies (comfort food) and watched a brainless show on TV to wind down. While I was watching TV JD messaged me on my Blackberry and the subject came up on our plans for learning the sex of the baby. When he comes home (next week Thursday) we have an ultrasound the following Monday and we will most likely be able to find out the sex of the baby. He can't wait to know and I want to find out on the day the baby is born, or at least delay the information as long as possible. Maybe once we go shopping for crib stuff and start setting up the baby's room I will finally want to know for sure. But right now I am in no hurry to find out. And another person that is dying to find out is JD's Mom, almost more than he wants to find out. I can understand his desire, he is gone a month at a time and this would be a way to start bonding with his future baby and to connect to the pregnancy more. I get it. His Mom, she's just impatient and I don't know why it matters so much to her.

We had been talking about how to reveal the gender to me, and everyone else, and had decided just the evening before to find out this way: JD would be told by the technician doing the ultrasound what we are having. He keeps secrets really well, so I am not worried about him spilling the beans early to me. Then he will go out and buy a gift for the baby that is gender appropriate. (I had the idea of him buying either pink booties or blue booties and then he suggested a little toy or gift for the baby. Which is cute too.) Then, he will wrap it up and give it to me as a gift at a party with our family and close friends there. The idea sounded more fun than me laying there on the table with the gel on my belly and the Doctor telling us what we are having. We did that with KD, and it was fine, but I want it to be more fun and exciting this time.

Well, last night we were talking and I told JD that half the people have responded to the potential dates of the BBQ that they wouldn't be able to come. One of which is his sister, which we are both very close to. I don't like that she won't be able to be there. And half of the friends I asked couldn't come either, and the friends I invited are as close to family as it gets. So its all turning into a let down, in my eyes. I told JD I didn't want some half-assed party thrown together without the people we want to be there. I only have one chance to find out the baby's sex and I don't want it to be a disappointing affair. I want it to be joyous and exciting, I want people there anxious to find out what we are having and then to burst out with joy as the news is revealed.

So, after the chat I tried to go to sleep but I started crying. I wasn't sure if it was due to lack of sleep (haven't been able to get to sleep at a decent hour for several nights, and KD keeps getting up early these days) or if it was the pregnancy hormones or if there a valid reason for the tears. Was I really that upset that I wasn't going to be able to wait until the baby is born to find out? Why did it matter if I found out now rather later? What was the big deal?

I figured it out. I like fantasizing and dreaming about the possibility of having another girl, and then fantasizing about having a boy the next moment. When I do find out then one of those dreams is going to pop like a bubble. And I am not having another child after this, as far as I can help it. So if its two girls, that's it. Or if its a girl and a boy then yippee, we have one of each. And I am happy with either scenario. But its nice to wonder and not know and be able to have a little dream of each in my heart. I remember when we found out our first was a girl, a little disappointment came over me, because I really wanted a boy first. But then I was happy because then for sure I knew I was going to have the little girl I always wanted. With the next one if its not a boy then there are no more chances for another boy. I am not going to keep getting pregnant in the hopes of having a boy, I am not into that idea at all. I think that is crazy... we could end up with a house full of hormonal teenage girls! And one bathroom for them all to share! No way am I going to head down that road. Haha

I guess I think that by waiting for the day the baby is born I won't have a chance to feel that tinge of disappointment. I will hear my baby cry, someone will yell, "It's a ____ !" and I be filled with joy and love as I hold my baby and look at their face for the first time. It won't matter at all, the little boy dream or the little girl dream that is gone. They have arrived, they are here, and its all a new adventure to be discovered. Nothing but pure joy and bliss. That is the dream I have in my head about about waiting. And maybe that will be the way it goes, and maybe not. Who really knows? But its a nice little dream, isn't it?

So, there you have it. I am going to have to get over this dream thing and just deal with what happens with the reveal day and whoever can come to the party, and whoever can't, I will just have to be happy with what we get as a turn out. The important thing is that I am surprised, that there is no spoiler and that I have a few people to share the happy (and the somewhat sad) moment. I need a couple friends there that understand the little sad bit that will be there and be able to smile and congratulate me and point me towards happy thoughts about the future little girl or boy that is on their way. I know I can't change what he or she is anyways. Its not like waiting is going to change the baby's gender. And no matter what way I want it to go in my heart, at the moment I find out, it is what it is. And I know I will be happy with either way it goes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baby Dreams/ Genetics Scare

I had my first dream about my future baby a few nights ago. I am just starting into my 2nd trimester now and there is an ultrasound coming up at the end of March (around week 19) that may confirm if we are having a boy or a girl. Apparently my subconscious thinks I am having a boy. In my dream that is what I had.

It was a strange dream. At first I thought I was having two babies, and then I realized I was only having one baby. But I was in the hospital for some reason and had to be put under. When I woke up from whatever surgery I had to undergo I had my baby sitting in front of me. I was like, "Wow! There is my baby! What happened?" I was told that they had to take the baby out early. I had a healthy baby boy and he was chubby and cherub like with blonde hair and light green eyes. I said, "He's a big baby for being born early. He is only 20 weeks!" And the nurse said, "Yes he is big for 20 weeks." He was sitting upright in my dream and I could see his chubby legs and cute little face. Weird how dreams are. There is no way I would have a chubby, healthy baby if they took him out at 20 weeks. But there you have it.

When I was pregnant with KD I had a dream about her birth too. In that dream I was on a couch and all my family was crowded around me and I refused to push her out until Jason got there. I was looking for him and very perturbed that he wasn't there yet. When he got there and I pushed she came out in what looked like a mailing tube... LOL. And I pushed her through the tube with my hand and then she expanded, like those toys that are sponges and you add water and watch them expand. And she went from infant to a toddler in a few seconds. In that dream she was standing up in her crib and looking at me, she had curly reddish brown hair and blue eyes. What is interesting is that she had reddish brown hair when she was born, although it is blonde now. And she has blue eyes and a little curl to her hair too, not as much as in the dream. Makes me wonder if my dream about the boy will come true. JD has light hazel eyes, he says to KD that they are green all the time.. but they are more like the color of honey. So perhaps that is where I got the light green thought from. So, perhaps we will have a boy with JD's eye color this time. (KD has the color of my Mom's eyes. I have brown eyes, the color of my Maternal Grandmother's eyes. My Dad has light blue eyes.) Anyways... just a few interesting thoughts. It's fun to dream about my future baby.

What IS NOT fun is genetics testing. I was going to write about this a few days ago when we found out some news. But now JD and I are kinda over it. But what happened is we got a first trimester blood screen done by a genetics center and my chances went from 1 in 384 of having a baby with Down Syndrome to 1 in 68. Its because I will be 35 when this baby is born that the statistics are worse than what I had with KD. The number scared JD and he was stressing out. I wasn't worried that much about it, but his concern transferred to me a bit. But when we were told about the tests that can be done, there is one that takes placenta tissue to figure out if your baby actually has Downs and the Amnioscentesis that can be done later, I didn't want to do the first test because that has a 1 in 100 chance of a miscarriage. The Amnio isn't as bad, a 1 in 400 chance, but I was thinking about it and I told JD that it seemed silly to even do the test and chance a miscarriage when we both agree that if the child does have Downs we wouldn't terminate the pregnancy. He was like, "NO... we wouldn't terminate it, but it would be nice to know and to prepare." I wasn't convinced it was necessary to know 100% beforehand, and to freak out over a number like a 1 in 68 chance, or to introduce a chance of a miscarriage to a baby that I would be distraught over if I lost it just because I wanted to know "for sure." So we waited to see the OBGYN and get his opinion.

The Doctor thought the way I did. He asked, "If you did the Amnio and found out the baby has Downs Syndrome what would you do about it?" He then said, "If you wouldn't terminate the pregnancy then there is no point to performing the procedure." I agreed and the only thing JD was thinking was that it would be nice to know ahead of time to prepare and be sure. The Doctor said that if the baby is born with Downs there would be plenty of support and information given to us to be able to properly take care of our baby and there isn't much pre-planning that one can do beforehand. So, that settled the issue for both of us. Plus, the Doctor said that chances are we will have a perfectly healthy baby and the genetics testing just freaked us out for no reason. I agree.

I think if I were to do it over again I would tell them to go ahead and test for the more detrimental genetic problems, like the ones that would show your baby is going to die within 3 months of birth due to a lack of a certain gene, and to leave the info on the Downs out of the picture. Even if they had to do the test I wouldn't want to know the results. I know there is a higher risk as I get older for me having a baby with Downs Syndrome, but I don't need to know my statistical number. There is still a greater chance for me to have a normally healthy baby than for me to have a Downs baby. And even if I have a Downs baby there is no way I would love him or her any less. I already love this baby! Plus, having the Amnio doesn't tell you how severe the Downs is. There is such a large spectrum of mild to severe problems that come with that, you wouldn't even be able to know until they are born, or even until they were older and could have their I.Q. tested. And Downs people are so sweet and good natured. I think I would be able to handle it if I had a kid with DS. If that is what God chooses to give me then I will gladly take on the challenge. I mean, after all, the baby is here already. Whatever he or she is or has is set already. Nothing can be done to change that outcome. Nothing I can do now to make my baby a boy or a girl, or to choose their hair color, or their eye color, or if they are perfectly healthy or have some kind of genetic problem or other physical problem. The baby is here, he/ she is coming, and I love him/ her already. And that is that. Whatever happens I know God has prepared me to be this child's Mother. I was meant to have this child in my life and everything will be fine. If the child needs extra special care over it's lifetime the Lord will provide the means to support that. I have that faith in God to take care of it all. It's out of my control anyway, no use in worrying about it. Worrying is useless. I think JD is starting to see that too. I really hope he is able to stop being concerned about this and put it in God's hands.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

First Trimester Coming to an End!

I have one week left and the first trimester is over! I am going to be very happy to see the preggie sickness go away. I am approaching the end of the 12th week and already my energy has picked up. I still have moments of feeling queasy, but even that seems to have lessened. Today I actually didn't nap!

My husband came home January 18th and has been doing EVERYTHING around the house as I crawl into bed every chance I get. He has been home to see me have severe migraines and throw up and to feel ill all day and all night. It gets worse right around 6pm and I don't have the strength to even make dinner. Tonight was the first night I have cooked dinner since he got home, and the first day I didn't take a nap in the middle of the day along with KD. There were even nights when I just had to crawl into bed and let him do all the work of giving KD her bath and getting her ready for bed. I know he can handle it, I just feel like I should be there doing that along side him and to be there for KD. But Jason has been a really great help.

There was one night, about a week after JD got home, that I cried after he crawled into bed after me. I had been sucking it up for a month and holding myself together as much as possible to keep the house clean and take care of KD and myself. When JD gets home I try to help him acclimate because he has sever jet lag and I want to give him time to rest. Well, after a week of continuing to "hold it together" for KD and JD and be "Super Mom" I started to get migraines almost every night. This one night I had left to go lie down for a bit before it was time to get KD ready for bed. When I went in to help JD put KD in her pajamas and to help read her books, KD looked at me and knew I didn't feel well. She asked, "Mommy sick?" I said, "My head hurts" and she reached up and started to rub my forehead, very sweet of her. JD then looked at KD and jokingly said, "Tell Mommy to suck it up." I took offense to that and said, "You've never had a migraine before have you? You have no idea what this is like." I finished up story time and hugs with KD and then crawled back into bed in our pitch black bedroom. Once JD came in he turned on the bathroom light and left the door open as he proceeded to get ready for a shower. I balked at him and said, "Shut the door!" The light over the sink bounces over to the mirrored closet doors and directly into my eyes. I then thought to myself, "What a jerk!"

When he finally crawled into bed and asked if it was okay to watch TV (which also hurts my head, even with my eyes shut, when I have a migraine) I groaned and pulled the covers over my head. He groaned impatiently back and then turned on the TV. I then proceeded to cry. The thing about starting to cry when you are pregnant is that it is hard to stop. As I was blubbering, he turned off the TV, I told him that I HAVE been "sucking it up" for a month and holding it together for a month while he was gone. I was angry that he couldn't see how I was in pain and that it was bad enough of a pain for me to not participate in evening activities with him and KD. I had hoped that he would see me suffering and say, "Honey why don't you go to bed, I can take care of KD and put her to bed tonight." But I also realized expecting your husband to have the emotional awareness of a woman is not a realistic expectation. I took the blame for not voicing my discomfort and not simply telling him "I cannot handle this right now, I feel sick to my stomach and I have a migraine, I need to go to bed and be in complete darkness and quiet." He said that if I need to do that then he can handle the bed time stuff, even though KD may not be too happy about it. And I agreed to participate in the book reading time and the final hugs goodnight if he did everything else and didn't get me until all the lights were off except her dim side table lamp... in the event of a future migraine or major stomach sickness. I also take the blame for thinking I have to be "Super Mom" and try to do everything for KD, even when JD is home. I know he can handle the bedtime routine without me. He is a big boy. And if KD cries about me leaving to go lie down, then tough crackers. Mommy needs to take care of herself sometimes. So... the crying stopped and he apologized. I joked, "Why can't you act like a woman sometimes?" and we went to bed.

Other than that particular night it has been a great help to have Jason home. He has done all the laundry, washed all the dishes, cooked all the dinners, gone grocery shopping with me (which he hates to do) taken KD to her swim lessons when I was too sick to go, and has cleaned and vacuumed the house several times over while he has been home. So, I really do have a great husband. I am very happy that he has been here to do all that. Now I am crossing my fingers that after next week I will feel like my normal self again. Then when he leaves February 18th I won't have to "suck it up" again when I feel like I am about to fall apart.

Oh, and exciting news... I have an ultrasound coming up on Monday. We may be able to find out if we are having a boy or a girl at that time! I know I have said that I would like to wait, but I know JD wants to find out and if we can find out this time, right before he leaves for work again, I think that would be a great early Valentine's gift for each other. And I gotta admit, I am curious if this is a boy that has been giving me such a hassle or if we are having another girl. And then I can stop thinking about possible boy and girl names and just focus on one gender's name. And the other bonus is starting to decide on how to decorate the baby's room and plan out what I am going to paint as a mural over this baby's bed, like I did in KD's room. Ahhhh, I love that part. So, I am glad we are going to find out early. Well, if the baby cooperates and the technician can tell us. I know its possible that we may not find out this time around. Finding out on the day the baby is born would be very exciting and something that I would like to experience, but... there are pros and cons to either scenario. And as JD is excited to find out, I am starting to get excited as well.