Thursday, December 1, 2011

the nitty gritty of my c-section

Having a c-section was not in my plan book. I am not sure what exactly I thought my plan book for having a baby was, but hearing that I would be having a scheduled surgery upset me, scared me and honestly kind of pissed me off.

I think the pissing off part was when I had to tell people when I was due in that last few weeks that I knew he would be coming on the 16th, oh scratch that, 19th when the doctors put me on the schedule. I felt like I had to clarify that he was breech and I wasn’t some vagina birth wimp. Most likely people weren’t even thinking about that when they asked my due date, but I tend to overshare.

But I was disappointed all the same. I wanted the baby to come when he was ready. HA HA how little I knew at that point. I started frantically looking into c-sections and breech babies once I found out my little guy would be making his entrance via knife instead of private lady parts. I had people tell me about c-section births by choice (baby was late) and not by choice (mama pushed and tried but no baby) or the old giant baby c-section. Some people thought a c-section was awful and others acted like it was no big deal. Perhaps I fall somewhere in between. I have nothing to compare it to and imaging stitches in my lady parts sounds much much worse than stitches at the top of my pubic area.

My sister laughed at my husband and told him that he would appreciate a c-section if he ever wanted to have another child or the act that created the first child. She had a baby both ways and kept telling me that it would be okay and I would be fine with the c-section after it happened. I tried not to doubt the older sister wisdom but it was hard to accept. I knew since he was breech that there wasn’t any choice but that didn’t keep me from wishing for something else.

All of that being said, my c-section didn’t exactly happen how it was planned out to happen and I pretty much got my natural birth (minus the whole pushing out the baby and getting stitches deal) on the baby’s timeline that I wanted.

When given the spinal tap, you are numb from the waist down. I could feel some sensation but not pain. Supposedly they stick you with a pin in the foot but they stuck me in the stomach area and honestly less than two minutes after the spinal was started I felt a little twinge but nothing else. I felt the pulling and tugging that they talking about but it was in a third person sense. The pulling and tugging I felt was not where they actually were pulling and tugging but I suppose where the baby was being moved around and pulled out.

After the baby was out, they started stitching me up and again I was so numb that we all just chit chatted while they did it. Kind of odd I suppose but I would rather that then just silence. I think at this point is when they put the catheter in since I don’t remember them doing it after surgery. The catheter was one thing I was nervous about.

Once taken back to the regular room they started removing and adding iv fluids and medicines. Then I was outfitted with battery powered leg compression things. Yes, it was as beautiful as it sounds. Also, noisy. By this time it was early morning and the spinal was still in full force. I was moved to a mother and baby room within a few hours which they would have taken me to right after surgery but they were completely full until around lunch time.

The nurses told me that I could feel itching as the spinal wore off but they had medicine they could give me. I didn’t start itching until late afternoon and it was minor, just a little here and there on my face. It was very similar to the itching that I feel after numbing from dental procedures.

The compression stockings were more annoying than anything simply because they were noisy and my legs got hot in them. I had to leave them on overnite and the battery of course started beeping in the middle of the nite right after we had fallen back asleep. They came off after twenty four hours.

I had the catheter in until the middle of the nite/early morning, so perhaps 18 to 24 hours. I was afraid that it would hurt but it was just one of those weird sensations that you go through in life like getting stitches out. Not painful just odd. An hour or so after the catheter was out, they removed the IV. Having the IV in my arm instead of the hand was so much better. I didn’t hit it on things like I had with a previous IV. It was a pain to hold L with it just because of the length of it and it seemed to get twisted all around me and him.

Once the catheter was removed it was a short amount of time until I needed to go to the bathroom. And wow. No one had mentioned to me that initial rising and how awful it would be. My nurse, who had the personality of a turnip, suggested that I hold a pillow against myself. When I stood up I thought I was going to fall over. There was such a burning sensation and intense pulling that you would think I hadn’t moved in weeks and that my gut was stretched taut instead of having post baby puff.

Later that morning I got a shower and I have to say that between the pain of the water hitting my boobs and the need to stand half bent in the shower, it was not the soothing experience that I thought it would be. I washed my hair and that was it. I remember muffling a wail when I tried to bend over and get something off the floor. I learned quickly that my toes could grab things just fine. Sitting down to go to the bathroom was painful also, so I sat as quickly as possible which could also be known as plopping yourself down without falling into the toilet. I think that was the moment I realized why there is that string to pull for help in the bathrooms at hospitals.

After the shower I put on regular clothes and by regular I mean loose and unattractive. They still hurt. When I came out of the bathroom after it taking longer to get dressed than the actual shower, I felt like I had run a marathon. A really awful – my arms were shaking, legs were queasy- marathon. My sister had warned me to get some big girl panties that were a bit high waisted but at that point I was still wearing those gauzey boy short things they give you. I know lots of people like them and say about stealing as many as possible from the hospital before you leave, but as someone who hates full underwear, they weren’t that great. By the time I left the hospital on Monday I was in regular aka big ass granny panties.

They checked the gauze and incision sight at the beginning of each shift, so maybe four times a day? It had a weird numb sensation which I assume is from the nerves being cut. I think that the numbness is pretty much gone now at ten weeks but it felt more normalish at around 8 weeks or so. The first time I put on regular jeans it was a really odd and uncomfortable sensation and I believe I was walking like a hunched up duck.

My sister had suggested getting a stepstool to get in and out of bed, which was a wise idea. Too bad I didn’t get one. It was extremely hard to get into a sitting position and I eventually used my bent leg to pull myself up with. At the beginning I had Brooks help pull me into a sitting position. That discomfort was definitely worse the first week after getting home and after three weeks I would say that I didn’t really notice it at all.

Then there is the broth and food situation. Somehow the movies always glamorize someone eating a big cheeseburger after they give birth. Um, I had beef flavored broth if that counts. The worst part? I had that damn broth for two days. Two days that really was longer since I hadn’t eaten anything since dinner on Thursday and I finally ate a meal on Saturday after I cried when they brought me broth. Broth for breakfast, broth for lunch and broth for dinner. FUN.

Want to know why I got broth for two days? To help lose the baby weight real quick? No. This girl didn’t fart and apparently there is a strict no farts no food policy.

After the nurse saw me crying to Brooks about no food again Saturday at dinner time I lied and said I farted so that I could get something to eat. Brooks offered to stink up the room with his own brew but I declined his offer. Seriously, when do you ever lie about farting? Word to the wise, I never farted the entire time I was at the hospital. What would they have done if I hadn’t told them I had? Withheld food until Monday when I was discharged?

So that is the nitty gritty of my c-section. Wondering anything else?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How it went for me.

I think I am far enough out of those first few awful weeks to look back at becoming a parent more objectively. It is unreal how I knew I loved the baby when he was in me but then once he was on the outside he was real. A little person. I know, shocker.

Everyone tells you how amazing it is and how much you love the baby. But what most people fail to mention how truly hard those first few weeks are. Heck, maybe in the months territory. I’ll let you know after I make it through a few more months. But as of right now, today as compared to the first month is a breeze. The funny thing is that no matter how much everyone else could drive me crazy in those first few weeks, I never felt anything but this pure and simple love for L.

I think one of the things that brand new moms should know is about how breastfeeding is at the beginning. People tell you that it will be hard, but not really the whole story. So here is mine, which of course might not be yours, but it also might make you realize you aren’t alone.

I decided to try breastfeeding and even went to one of those boobie type meetings a month or so before L was born. Think the Spanish word for milk and that is the meeting I went to. The girls there were nice and it was more of a bunch of moms talking about their boobs and being a mother with some random nursing going on here and there than the crazy boob freaks I had expected. There were mainly newish moms there with babies under the age of 6 months, which was nice and I saw myself going back after L was born maybe making friends with some of them eventually. We all know how hard adult friends can be to find and maintain.

I started bfing in the hospital and it seemed to be going well. L lost weight, but all babies do because they aren’t living in a wading pool anymore. The only bad experience with a nurse that I had was one that fussed at me for not waking L up one nite within their three hour window. Most were super supportive and told me that it would be hard but at the same time the hard awful part wouldn’t last for more than a few weeks.

We came home from the hospital on Monday, exhausted but okay. My boobs were sore and those gel soothies were glorious. Showers were miserable and torturous because of the pain to your boobs. I didn’t even turn to face the shower for quite a while, maybe two weeks at least.

L was waking up to eat every 2 hours nite and day, which is as awful as it sounds and perhaps worse. When I say two hours, I mean at 8 he would wake and eat for 40 minutes and then fall asleepish in 15 or so minutes. Then I would try to go back to sleep for the about one hour that he gave us until he woke us up again around 10. There was little cuddling and cooing, more screaming (on his part) and boob shoving (on my part). It was harder than I expected just simply because of the sheer exhaustion of no sleep. Then my boobs started really hurting every single time he latched on. So at least 12 times a day for about the first few minutes on each side I was in tear inducing pain. After twenty or so minutes on one side after I had worked through the pain, I had to work up the courage to move him to the other side and endure the pain there.

I decided by Wednesday after a chunk of my nip and some blood came off in L’s mouth that it was time to call the LC. I was in such pain I didn’t even want to feed him on the one side. The LC gave us a hospital grade pump for the immediate future and we talked about some strategies to make the pain less severe. We decided to go visit her on Friday because I was still in pain and she wanted to make sure he wasn’t tongue tied and see how he was latching. You would think driving up to someone’s house and sitting in their living room with your boob out would be awkward, but that lady had seen so many boobs, mine was nothing. She made me comfortable and I am a fairly modest person in regards to people seeing my goods.

We talked about his latch and seeing if he was getting enough milk etc. She actually weighed him before and after a feed and he was getting about two ounces, which was perfect. She gave me some tips and physically showed me how to put my boob in his mouth, which was really helpful. I made sure Brooks watched so that he would remember what I forgot- see above for sleep deprivation related stupidity.

I went home and felt pretty good about things. Feeding was still hard but it would get better, right? And it did. Some.

When we had L’s second day home visit with the pediatrician, he had gained weight really well, five ounces. Who knew I would be so happy about him gaining five little ounces. We had to come back at one week to see how he was doing, aka basically a weight check. He had only gained 2 ounces but that was okay, not great but okay. They typically want a baby to gain half to one ounce a day. We talked to the pediatrician’s LC about what to do and she said to supplement with one bottle a day of two ounces and just pump during that feeding instead. That sounds easy!

Well, that would be easy but there was a catch. I had a two week old baby that wanted to cry nonstop during that 30 minute pump session. If you are the only one home with the baby that makes it tricky. But I stuck it out. I just thought it would be a good prepper for when I went back to work and had to pump all the time to keep up with the eating machine.

In the meantime, my boobs were not feeling any better. There was a short period where it was okay and then it went downhill. The pain was so intense that I went back to the LC. She suggested a nipple shield and when I tried it, it was miraculous. The pain was so reduced from his serious latch that I could tolerate it after the initial clamp down. YAY!

Then we went back to check his weight and he had gained 5 ounces with the help of the bottle. We were giving him what I had pumped after a regular feeding when he still seemed hungry but after I had nursed him for forty minutes. Things seemed to be going better but it was still tough. Then the two day nursefest happened. I know clusterfeeding is common, so I googled it and intended to stick it out. After those two days, it seemed like L couldn’t get enough.

I was pumping for a few minutes after nursing to increase my supply and then still was doing the one bottle a day where I would pump instead of nursing. But somehow my pumping began to decrease. The first week I was getting one to two ounces. Then it became closer to one ounce. Then I was barely getting half an ounce. It was mental torture because the thought that L wasn’t getting enough from me since after almost every feeding of nearly an hour he would still seem hungry. My baby. I am supposed to be providing for him. I am supposed to be the one that feeds him. What kind of mother am I if I can’t simply feed him.

It was hard enough to give him that first bottle after the LC and pediatrician suggested it in the second week. It was heart breaking to think he wasn’t getting more than half an ounce at a time from me. I kept telling myself that the pump isn’t as effective as a baby. But then I would question why it had done so well the first few weeks when I would get one or two ounces.

I would sit in the rocking chair holding him and cry. Cry because it hurt. Cry because he was always still hungry after he ate from me. Cry because I wasn’t doing what a mother is meant to do. Cry because I wasn’t sleeping enough.

After six weeks of nursing, I was getting only drops out of my leftie and maybe a quarter of an ounce out of the right. I had talked to the LC several times and she told me one thing that I have kept in my mind every time I have doubt. First and foremost, the baby needs to eat. Plain and simple. We tried some herbal supplements but nothing seemed to make a difference.

If only it were so easy to tell your brain that formula was fine for the baby, that I wasn’t giving up. I kept trying to nurse for another week with the amounts decreasing still when I would pump. What happened to supply and demand? Apparently my supply and demand didn’t get the memo that there was supposed to be more supply. At eight weeks, I finally conceded that my body wasn’t doing things well and bottles would be okay. I cried so many times during mixing up bottles that I can’t even tell you how many times I cried. I felt like a failure even if no one was calling me one. I felt like a failure even though it was obvious that L was so much happier. He was sleeping better, napping more and just generally happier.

I read about how to stop nursing because I imagined it would be painful. Old leftie honestly felt little to no pain in less than two days. A sure sign that it wasn’t producing the way it should have been. My right boob was a bit longer but in less than a week I wasn’t nursing at all and my boobs were flat as could be.

On some level I wanted someone to just tell me to stop or someone to tell me to just stick it out. But no one would. I had to make that decision on my own and every time I thought about stopping I felt like a failure. Then everytime I counted the minutes that L was nursing I felt like a horrible person to be wanting to rush my newborn baby and get him off of me and my useless boobs. I wasn’t enjoying anything but so many people said that it got better so I thought I was just being a wimp.

One of my closest friends and I talked about everything about a month into it and one thing that we both determined was that if you were dealing with only one thing at a time, everything would be so much easier. But you aren’t. You are exhausted from a lack of sleep. Your boobs are aching and a mess. Your hormones are completely out of wack and you can cry at the slightest thing. Plus you are recovering from either a major surgery or a natural birth, neither of which are anything too easy. On top of that I got an infection at the incision less than ten days after birth. Happy 30th Birthday – here’s some antibiotics for your hootch.

I still feel self induced guilt over not sticking it out and what I perhaps missed by not breastfeeding longer. That bonding time with L that I am missing. But I just have to keep telling myself the same thing that the LC said to me – first and foremost, the baby must eat.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The rest of that birth story. Okay, at least part of it.

They pointed me in the direction of the room and told me that if I would have been having a natural birth this is where it would have happened. At that point, I was still having quite a few natural birth contractions so I didn’t really give a crap about what room I was wheeled to. I could have stayed in the elevator and been just as comfortable.

The nurse asked if I was planning to breastfeed and gave me a gown to change into. This particular gown was of the regular ginormous variety but had the extra special two slits in the front for your boobies to slide right out of. Those hospitals, they know how to make a big pregnant girl feel good don’t they? As I went into the bathroom to change, lord knows why I was all modest, I heard Brooks on the phone in a mock whisper about just getting to the hospital and how I was in the bathroom changing. I am pretty sure he was talking to my dad since he is the only person that would call at almost 4 in the morning.

I fussed at Brooks to get my clothes off the floor since the effort of bending down was too much. I held onto the sink several times as the contractions rolled over me. Since my beautiful gown was open in the back, again with the modesty, I asked Brooks to tie it for me.

The nurse came in and asked a few questions but directed me to lay down so they could start an IV and check my progress. Everyone seemed to be moving quickly but not in any real hurry. They helped me breath through the contractions which amazingly enough did seem to help. I was still groaning and feeling the pain but I was okay.

The nurse checked me and at that point things went into warp speed for me. She told me that I was ten centimeters dilated and fully effaced but that my water hadn’t broken and she didn’t want to anything more that might break my water. I barely remember the next few minutes because it was a barrage of the nurses flying around trying to get things done quickly. Apparently breech baby and fully ready to go mama means HURRY THE HELL UP.

It seemed like my contractions went from groaning and bearable to holysh#tmotherf*cker in a matter of moments. The nurse was having trouble getting the IV in my left hand so they went to my right. They couldn’t get it in there and so they moved to my left arm. I thought there were three or four of them working on me at one point, all in a hustle bustle. Then I heard it.

“Okay, someone check on Dad over there. He’s not looking too good.”

There it was. Brooks thought he was going to pass out. I looked over and he was a lovely shade of gray. He had changed into scrubs and was being pushed into a chair. I didn’t realize this but my nurse count was a bit off. There were at least six or seven nurses doing various things to me but in my state and with my eyes being clamped shut because of the pain I didn’t notice. There was also blood and apparently the nurses were a lot more frantic than I realized. The doctor came in to check me and at that point I thought I wasn’t going to make it through contractions. They were coming so fast and the pain was unreal. I am not a screamer but there was screaming. Serious screaming. All of that and frantic pace everything was happening at was enough to make my dear husband afraid for both me and the baby. I don’t think it is too often that nurses and doctors really work that quickly.

I can remember feeling the baby drop down and immediately the contractions got even worse, which I am not sure how was possible at this point. The nurse right next to me just kept saying breathe honey, breathe. I told her that I couldn’t do it anymore. I don’t know what I thought I couldn’t do but apparently I was done with contractions and was ready for them to stop. Apparently it doesn’t work that way.

The next thing I know the nurse says to me – DO NOT PUSH! DO NOT PUSH! As soon as the doctor checked me and verified my dilation and effacement I was immediately rolled into surgery. I can remember not even being able to give Brooks a kiss but I wasn’t even thinking about that. I just told him to make sure that he brought the camera with him.

As soon as I was in the room and on the surgery bed, I heard the doctor start doing a head count of basically every one of her staff that needed to be in the room. She was definitely not wasting any time calling out who all she needed there. They immediately started prepping me for the spinal tap. The anesthesiologist started to introduce himself to me and I can only remember yelling at him – I don’t care WHAT your name is. He launched into the verbal consent for the spinal. Then they made me sit up and hump over like a cat. Well let me tell you that when you are having contractions and are as big as a house, arching your back like a cat is not the easiest. It took two tries for them to get the spinal in and within moments I felt relief. Relief and nothing. It was like the skies opened up and the most glorious pain relief that was ever invented just rolled itself over me.

I immediately apologized to the anesthesiologist for being so mean and told him that I wasn’t usually like that. That was apparently when I got it together.

The doctor was working quickly to get me cut open and the baby out. Brooks came in at this point and I think he was relieved and astounded that I, who was screaming like no other five minutes before, was splayed out on the table in a zen state. I professed my love for the spinal over and over.

I heard my ob say here he is. But no crying. None. I can remember feeling panic because you always hear the baby cry right away, don’t you? I kept saying – is he okay? Why isn’t he crying? Why don’t I hear him crying?

No one would answer me. Not Brooks, not the doctors, no one.

And then after a few minutes, which felt like hours, he cried. Apparently there was merconium, likely from the stress of the last hour or so, in his lungs and they were working to suction it out. Brooks could see them doing that but I think he was paralyzed with the same fear I was but also didn’t know exactly what they were doing either.

Immediately I felt a crazy happiness that my baby was okay and here safely. At the time I didn’t realize the stress and pressure that the medical staff had been under to get me and the baby safely through the csection. It seemed like there was a sort of jovialness in the room right after the baby started crying. They did it! The baby was safe! Mom was okay! If high fives would have been appropriate I think they would have been flying.

After cleaning up the baby for a moment and Brooks cutting the cord, they brought him over for me to look at. He was so red and sweet. I loved him already.

I only got to see him for a few minutes before they took him down to the nursery and out of the operating room but it was the most amazing few moments of my life. Our baby. I was a mother in that moment. It is cliché and ridiculous but that is how I felt.

That and exhausted.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I don't know about your damn deodorant.

The next time I have to "poop" five or more times in 45 minutes and I am five days from my due date, tell me to go to the damn hospital already. 

On Thursday the 15th, I felt miserable.  I had been to the doctor the day before and my blood pressure was nice and high 140/90.  My swelling was increasing and I was sent for blood tests that showed my kidneys weren't too happy about being pregnant.  I was headed back to the doctor Friday for more blood pressure tests and another blood draw. But all day Thursday my head was pounding and I just felt awful most of the day. At one point I crawled from my office chair (at home) to the floor and just cried a little.  I was sure the headache was from the high blood pressure and with a big headache everything feels worse. 

Thursday evening my headache finally broke and I told Brooks that I wanted to go to the grocery store for our big prebaby stockup shopping trip.  He suggested that I just wait until Friday since it was just such a rough day.  I gave in and we lazed around the house.  By 1:30 I woke up with what I thought was um, poop pains. I had been sleeping so poorly and up at least three or four nites a week so I thought nothing of it.  I headed downstairs, let the pup out to pee and fed the cat.  For some reason, the poop pains I was having weren't quite normal and I was going to try to poop quite a few times in a short amount of time.  I headed to Dr. Google and imagine this - lots of the forums suggested that I could be in labor.  After a few more trips to the bathroom I realized that I should at least wake Brooks and we should call the doctor.  Maybe these were Braxton Hicks?

It had been about 45 minutes since I first woke before I headed upstairs to talk to Brooks. I tapped him on the shoulder and whispered that I thought I was having contractions.  He looked at me in a state of befuddlement before the sleep haze cleared and he asked me a few questions as he climbed out of bed.  I told him we needed to get our bags finished packed and I wanted to get a shower.  At this point I was still going into the bathroom every few minutes because of the pressure I was having.  I wasn't sure why it felt like I needed to go to the bathroom but I wasn't going to risk it and poop my pants.  Brooks started getting somethings together and I gave him the mission of calling the doctor's office.  Brooks has the habit of making little funnies when he is nervous or trying to seem not worried.  Believe me, I did not want to hear his little funnies about the baby wanting to come on the 16th like originally planned.  I just wanted a damn shower and the bags packed.

The doctor suggested that I head in but talked to Brooks and didn't seem overly concerned. So I wasn't overly concerned.  I got in the shower knowing that I wouldn't be able to get a shower for quite a while if I was truly in labor but didn't realize that standing in the shower would be such a task.  I just wanted to wash my hair.  Maybe shave my armpits.  I had high priorities.  I couldn't see my bikini area at that point because of my belly so I wasn't worried about prettying that area up. 

At one point I yelled for Brooks because I wanted him to be putting things in the bag for me but he wouldn't answer.  That pissed me off.  I learned later that he was downstairs washing the dishes.  Seriously, we both had priorities before heading to the hospital.  Mine was washing my tends to get greasy hair and his was the dishes. 

As I got out of the shower and stood pantsless next to the bed, another wave of pain came over me.  They were quickly getting worse and just standing up was an effort.  I got dressed as quickly as possible and as I was getting some things together, Brooks asked me if I had packed his deoderant.  I honestly said to him - "Are you f-ing kidding me?  I don't know."  There was no abbreviation in what I really said though. 

We knew we needed to take the Jetta which meant the cars needed to be moved around in the driveway and also meant that we had to get gas in the car.  Yes, the gauge read 25 when I parked it the day before and 12 miles remaining when Brooks started it that morning.  I didn't care at that point and just wanted to get to the damn hospital.  Sidenote- keep a full tank of gas near your due date. 

I was having contractions around five minutes or less apart at this point and they were so strong that the only thing I could do was grip the car door handle, breathe and watch my legs shake. Since it was three something in the morning, there wasn't much traffic which was a good thing considering how fast Brooks was driving.  At one point I looked over and he was doing 75 on a road that I would normally drive 40ish on.  I actually fussed at him for going so fast and said that if he killed us getting the hospital it would defeat the purpose. 

We pulled into the parking lot of the hospital.  It was a mess because of construction.  Brooks ran to the main entrance to get a chair - bwahaha he asked if I needed a chair.  Dude, I can not walk at this point.  He then came running back to the car frantic to tell me that the entrance was closed and he couldn't get a chair.  He said it in a what will we ever do manner. I am pretty sure that I yelled at him - then go to the other damn entrance.  I kept thinking that I was going to kill him if he asked me one more stupid question.  It was a good thing we were at the hospital. 

After getting a chair, we headed up to the fourth floor on the elevator with a phlebotomist who told me she would see me later.  As Brooks wheeled me into Labor and Delivery, the nurse asked if I was Stephanie and once we confirmed that, she said that they had been waiting for us.  Apparently spontaneous labor and Breech baby means a warm welcome at nearly 4:00 in the morning. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The day gets closer yet further away.

I am a worrier by nature which is not good when you are pregnant.  I think about where the seatbelt is positioned on my ever expanding waistline, I worry about the dog jumping up on me and bumping my stomach.  I worry about my husband driving two hours away when I could have the baby soon.  Worry worry worry.  It is my nature. 

Last week I headed to my 38 week appointment with another new doctor at the practice.  I really didn't care that I was meeting a doctor that I hadn't met before because - I'm having a c section with a doctor I know. Next week even! The visit started as usual, weight (just don't even look at the scale anymore, seriously), pee, strip from the waist down.  After I plopped my white pasty butt down on the table and delicately ripped the "sheet" as I attempted to tuck it around my arse the doctor came in.  I kept thinking about how my behemoth rear was peaking out the back and attempted to pull my shirt down just a little further.

The doctor started in on the regular details of my urine looking good, my blood pressure has started to go back down a bit, etc.  Then she said that she saw that my version was successful.  I looked at her like she had lost her marbles.  Lady, I didn't even try for a version because I don't have enough fluid, baby is too far down in my body to try to turn, etc. I thought that since we had the consultation, perhaps that is why she thought it was successful.  Oh well, chalk it up to poor record keeping.

Then I asked her if it was possible to learn the time that the c-section would be occurring on the 16th since my MIL is coming in from 9 hours away and we would like to do a little planning.  She then seemed to have a slap her head kind of moment like DOH!  Somehow they overbooked the cesareans for that day and lucky me I was the one to be bumped. Um, say what now?  But no worries, we can move it to the next week with Dr. X, Dr. X or Dr. X.  Fan freaking tastic but I have never met any of those doctors and I had plans dearie.  Plans, you hear me? 

I was already flustered a bit from explaining to her that I did not have a successful version and then she tells me that they are changing the date of the Cesarean.  In reality, not a big deal but it was the fact that they waited a week and a half after my appointment where the Cesarean was scheduled to let me know.  A week and a half after we started making all kinds of plans - like people coming in from nine hours away kind of plans.  I was equal parts mad and upset.  I didn't want to be at this appointment by myself picking a random date without my husband there. 

So I cried a little and she told me that we could head down and meet the one doctor that was there and we would schedule the Cesarean for that doctor.  Better than nothing I suppose. But first, let's check on that baby.  She started the doppler on my stomach and for a while had a little frownie on her face and moved the doppler around a bit. Since I was already flustered and worrisome, the time that it took her to wander around my stomach and find the quiet heartbeat were agonizing.  I was there on the table by myself thinking the worst thoughts possible.

Everything was okay in the end.  I am meeting the new c-section doctor this week and once next week the day before the surgery.  I chose the new date without my husband there.  I heard the quiet heartbeat.  But I still went to my car and cried. 

My heart has been so heavy lately thinking of Janet. I think about Baby Miller so often.  I can't imagine the pain and aching in their family right now and it makes me feel as though my little worries of what date to tell my mother in law for the c-section is ridiculous.  My little worries are just that - little worries.  I think about the true devastation that a young family is feeling right now and ache to take some of it away with my simple words and thoughts.  But I can't.  So instead, I send my love and thoughts their direction 100 times each day.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Doctor makes a difference

Since Dr. Google had freaked me out about not only having a breech baby but also c-sections in general, I was nervous going in to my follow up appointment. The option of turning the baby also produced some general gloom and doom like feelings as well. 

It is interesting how various people and websites will make you feel like a cesarian is the wrong choice no matter what. That you should of course try to turn the baby. That c-sections are for pansies who simply don't want the joy of ripping their goods. It's funny how people have opinions about your situation before they know the whole story. 

I was able to schedule my follow up appointment with one of my favorite doctor's at the practice.  The practice encourages a consultation about turning the baby and trying for a vaginal birth before they will schedule a c-section.  The one good part about this is that you get an unplanned ultrasound. Ultrasounds are like money when it comes to a pregnancy.  Pregnant ladies want to "see" the baby as many times as possible via ultrasound. After hearing about the options and learning about how they try to turn the baby but are prepared to deliver the baby immediately if there are issues, we headed for a visit with the ultrasound tech. 

The tech was pretty quick but explained what we were seeing and what she was looking for.  When considering turning a baby, there has to be enough fluid around the baby.  Think about it like a water balloon with a toy inside it.  If there is lots of water, the toy turns easier.  Not lots of water, not lots of turning. They also look for the placement of the placenta and to see how far down into the pelvis the baby is.  Those are the three biggest factors when determining if you are a candidate for the old baby spinnaroo. 

The tech first verified that the baby was still breech and what type of breech position.  He is considered frank breech, which sounds miserably uncomfortable to me. His head and feet are both at the top.  Basically he is sitting in a v shape.  Secondly, she started measuring the amount of fluid surrounding the baby.  The standard cutoff for fluid needed is 15.  I am at 11.  Phewwy. Then finally, she checked to see how far down the baby was. Once she got pretty far down in to my pelvis she stated that he was so far down she wasn't even able to go further with the ultrasound machine and get an accurate reading.  Phewwy number two.

The one good part of an ultrasound at this point is that she quickly pointed out a few things that were easily visible like the ribs and spine.  She made the comment of - oh my goodness- which is nothing you want to hear at any baby related appointment. But then laughed and said that she could tell us that the baby has a lot of hair on the back of his head. He may be sporting a mullet - which would be awesome in it's own way - but there is for sure a lot of hair. The way he is squeezed in there didn't let her see the front of his head, though I am guessing there is a lot of hair there as well. Not a surprise if you have seen the amount of hair on my husband's head.

We headed back to chat with the doctor and while she told us it was entirely up to us in regards to a c-section versus trying to turn the baby, it seemed fairly obvious to us that the baby would not be easy to turn.  She made me feel better about having a c-section by saying that she had the same situation with her oldest and then later had a VBAC with her second.  It is amazing what bedside manner can do to a nervous patient.

With all of that done, she broke out the calendar and we literally sat there and picked the date for our baby to be born.  It was slightly unreal and crazy to think that we picked his birthday.  Now if only we could pick his name.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And now by c-section

The month of September is a big birthday month.  I think our calendar has over 20 birthdays for family and friends on it and our newest family member is set to arrive this month.  Last week I headed to the doctor for my 36 week visit.  I was meeting with a new doctor in the hopes of meeting all of them prior to having the baby so that I could at least recognize the person that is going to become intimate with my private parts in a very big way. I hadn't asked that Brooks go to too many visits with me other than the big ones but for some reason I kept pushing him to come to this one.  He has been working about 1/2 hour away and it always seemed silly for him to come to a visit where I peed in a cup, got weighed and briefly listened to the heartbeat.  But 36 weeks seemed like a bigger one and he was luckily working nearby.  I was being checked (internally, yay!) and they were checking for a strep B infection, blah blah blah.  I just felt like this was a more than 15 minute appointment and I wanted him there.

Um and let me tell you in advance if you don't know, the group B strep test isn't a blood test.  It is a swab test.  In personal areas. TWO personal areas. I didn't see that one coming.  Half way through the appointment with my somewhat dumpy doctor, she began doing the internal exam after pushing around on my stomach some.  I had heard that the internal exams weren't that bad but nothing of great fun for sure. Similar to a yearly exam but a bit more invasive - as in they use their hand and check things out. I think I am a wuss because that internal exam was somewhat painful.  She even apologized, which made me think that she was being a bit more in depth than usual. 

Then she got that look on her face like she was about to tell me something not so fun. And she did.

The littlest one, she believed, was breech. Bottom down, head up. After heading to their quickie ultrasound room she confirmed it, presented us with the options that were available and we were on our way. The options were try to turn the baby and hope he stayed put for a vaginal delivery or a c-section. 

I am not going to deny that I was so grateful that Brooks was there. I am an emotional crying kind of girl and then add to the fact that I had planned on a fun little - you might be dilated - kind of visit and it turned into a hey your baby is bottom down and now you get to have a c-section.  The doctor was nice enough but fairly blunt in the perspective that her quick ultrasound didn't show a lot of fluid around the baby and that his butt was nice and deeply settled into my pelvis so turning him was likely not an option. She also made me a bit nervous about trying to turn the baby and the harm that it could cause both the baby and I. 

We scheduled an appointment for the following Tuesday and went on our merry way. Merry as in I started crying before we were a mile away from the office.  My perspective on c-sections was that you had them when it was an emergency or otherwise medically necessary.  And by medically necessary I really thought giant babies, odd shaped pelvis, distress to mother or baby.  Not baby butt first which seems like the wimpiest of ways to require a c-section. I was getting ready to laugh like a 13 year old with my husband at the childbirth classes, not fill out forms and pick a date for the baby to be born. 

It felt like it wouldn't be the experience I expected. I suppose it was more of the shock of the bluntness of the doctor and the unexpected change of events. They do c-sections at 39 weeks, which would make our time to get ready for baby even shorter. Somehow all of those little things made a difference.  I worried about not holding the baby right after he was born (your arms are strapped down, I hear). Not being able to see him when they were doing measurements and the like. Brooks leaving me to go with the baby and being on a surgical table all by myself (and lots of doctors and nurses).   Would breastfeeding come naturally?  Just all of those things overwhelmed me. So I cried.

And then I began googling.  I will be honest that I never really looked at the c-section part of books, websites or emails because that wasn't how my birth was going to go - according to me. Then I started looking into breech babies.  Well don't do that. I fell victim to Dr. Google.

By yesterday's appointment I was sure that the baby was too small, his hips and legs were not formed correctly, I was leaking amniotic fluid and I was headed to have the baby immediately after having the appointment. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Week 25/26

When my chair groans at work, I really feel like I am 26 weeks into this pregnancy.  Also, this makes me feel like I am well on my way to a lovely shape of round.

Brooks has been working so hard to get the basement finished which is hard to just sit and watch him do all the work while I wear a mask and flop around upstairs trying to be busy.  We usually work on projects together but so far, this one has been pretty much him.  Thank goodness for an awesome husband. 

We are getting ready for our upcoming fourth of July cookout and this year we are throwing in a casual men and women's baby shower for our little family. My sister is insistent that there be cake and at least a game or two.  I always look forward to this party, but this year, I am thrilled that a good friend from Tennessee will be up for a few days before the party.  This is a friend that has survived living nine hours apart for four and a half years.  When you were only friends for about two years to start with, it is awesome to me that we are still close. She's one of those girls that I miss all the time.

My best friend from high school is going to try to come up for the cookout and I am so hoping she is able.  We have been friends for nearly 20 years and there is something that comes with that kind of friendship. A sense of comfort, I suppose?  She has three kids and between her and my sister, I feel like I am going to be asking a lot of questions in the next few months. Or years, likely.

It feels as though this summer is already flying by. June is half way over.  Really? There have been no great plans for this summer since we knew we would be in major life change mode, but it seems like somehow we are major overhauling our house, having a baby and getting a puppy and it is all happening now. No pressure. No stress.  Right?! 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

21 weeks

 Last Saturday this sweet lady - Lily - worked really hard for her Mother's Day.  Have you ever seen a face so sad. 

Lily and our dog made these beautiful pups. These pictures are from the morning right after they were born. There were ten but one didn't make it.  Brooks and I are now charged with picking out one.  ONE!  Out of nine sweet little pups. They don't have stinky breath yet, which is something I never figured out.  How do all dogs have the same stinky breath as a puppy.  We are headed out to see them again this weekend for our weekly dose of puppy, so there will be new pictures soon.

As I roll along in this pregnancy, it seems to be going by quicker and quicker. I feel huge and yet somehow every week I get bigger and bigger. Evidence. Week of January 30 versus the week of May 4th. 

The fat pants aren't cutting it anymore at almost 22 weeks and I am going to have to go to all out maternity pants soon. Hairbands dig into my skin and some how walking around with my pants hanging open doesn't sound like a good plan.  I have been sleeping like crap lately and no amount or size of pillows seems to help.  And really I don't want to hear anything about how this is just preparing me for a baby. I am pretty sure that when I am not sleeping at all at nite because of a baby crying that my back won't feel like crap, my eyes just won't be able to stay open. 

Since finding out that we are having a little boy, I have just been thinking about how little I know about little boys.  I am basing that statement on the fact that I have never been a little boy.  Sure, my little brother and nephew have exposed me to the world of little boys, but I am pretty sure that was not enough exposure. So pretty much Brooks is in charge of all things that are more little boyish like potty training and rough housing.

Names are not coming along at all.  I spent an hour throwing out names the other nite and Brooks actually looked at me like I was crazy for some of them.  I did find it amusing that when I was browsing unique names that started with "B" that Brooks showed up in the list.  Somehow this seems like the most important thing to accomplish at this point since we are over half way there and are no closer to a first name than we were about 20 weeks ago.  I am just happy that there is only one because I couldn't name more than one, ecspecially of the same gender.  Somehow before we knew the gender, girls names came really easy and we even semi agreed on one.  That should have been our indicator that it was a boy.  I guess we can just store that for the next one?  If not, the next female dog of ours has a great name ready!

We registered last weekend and it was a combination of awful and ohmygawwd this stuff is so expensive. My sister was nice enough to give me a list of things that we actually need so we didn't just wonder down the aisles aimlessly.  But at the same time it is so hard to know really what you are going to need.  When she told me to get an expensive thermometer, she didn't tell me what kind.  Ear, butt, armpit or mouth. AGH. Expensive is that anything beyond the $2.99 one or is that the $79.99 one?  Geesh.  But we are semi registered, which is what seems to matter. And can I just say that both Brooks and I survived our childhoods with what I imagine was a lot less crap than we registered for, so I am betting this little one will be okay too. 

As a final note, strawberries have come into season and it seems like there was an alarming amount of strawberry shortcake consumed at our house this week.  Two large packages of strawberries seems like a bit much for two people, doesn't it?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Week 19

It seems like being pregnant is both rushing by and yet dragging on.  I hit 19 weeks this week which included having my first glucose test, my four month check up and scheduling the anatomy ultrasound. Brooks didn't go to this visit since it was a quick ten minute visit.  I met another doctor today and the nurse jokingly said that she was one of her favorites.  She was great to chat with and though I don't really have any great concerns at this point, she sat and chatted with me for a bit, which is not required what so ever yet really appreciated.  She talked about feeling the first movements and how they will be sporadic for a while but in a few weeks it will be almost a constant.  I think the best part was her just letting me hear the heartbeat for a moment.  Hearing that little woosh woosh is possibly the most amazing thing ever. I remember the moment I heard my little brother's and my neice's.  It just fills my heart every single time. Hearing her say a healthy 150 bpm was simply lovely. I couldn't help but tear up a bit! Brooks has only heard the heartbeat once when we had the first ultrasound.  I can't wait until he hears it again at the ultrasound, this time I am going to break my eyes from the screen and look at him!

 Here is my abdominal region for posterity.  I've officially moved beyond a food baby. 

The anatomy ultrasound is scheduled for Monday, which holy smokes seems extremely soon!  Brooks will not even make a single guess as to what the gender is because he thinks he will jinx it if he guesses.  I have two guesses.  One being a boy because of my baby gender theory involving the father and the first baby.  Basically this theory is that the father determines the gender and a good predictor is the first child of the males in the father's family.  Brooks' dad and uncle both had boys first. My sister's in laws work with this theory also.  My family follow this theory too.  My second guess is a girl.  I am not sure where this guess is coming from but it just seems like there might be a little girl in there.  I suppose one of my guesses will be right, ha! 

Next comes picking a name, which should be a big fat challenge knowing Brooks and I!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

See - Not an amoeba

Perhaps yesterday when I talked about being able to actually tell that the baby was a baby in my stomach I should have included a picture.  Crazy idea, I know.  The little baby growing in my ever expanding waistline has sort of an alien like large head but hello.  I could at least pick out the head and arms. I can also pick out a single leg but I haven't determined if the other thing is the cord or a leg.  Brooks likes to pretend it is a private part.  I pointed out that the baby doesn't have any external male or female parts at this point and he was a bit disappointed.  And those two floaty things on the left near the foot, um... I don't know. Maybe that is just from where the baby was moving around?

So I also just had the shocker realization that my weight should be increasing by a pound a week after next week. HOLY CRAP. It is kind of crazy to watch my weight willingly go up. Right now I am up about three pounds which is not scary since I am still in a normal weight range but I can't imagine how I will feel when I am up near the 150s or so since I have not been that weight in quite a while.  I know that it is healthy and normal but it is still hard to let go.  

That being said, I hope that once August hits and the local ice cream place goes into full swing I am able to reel myself in from eating too many treats.  Heck I like ice cream when I'm not pregnant and chubby.  Let's just ponder this.  I'll be eight months pregnant in August. That should be fun.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Making it real

Being pregnant is one of those things that just doesn't seem real until a certain point. I am not sure what that point is, but I would imagine feeling the baby move for the first time and getting a nursery ready are some of those moments. I had my first prenatal visit today and while the information that they asked about and gave was nothing more than what most books will tell you about, it was still a big deal.  Having your husband see you have your annual exam done is an interesting experience.  After all the question asking and exams, the doctor broke out the doppler to hear the baby's heartbeat. After about five minutes of some strong pushing around on my stomach and upper pubic area, we still hadn't heard anything.  She told me that it wasn't a big deal but that they were going to send me down to have an ultrasound and that I didn't need to be worried.  I don't think I realized that it was kind of a big deal. 

We were taken back to the ultrasound room where she did an external ultrasound and quickly said that there was no reason to be worried because that little baby had a strong heart beat. She showed us on the screen and when I looked I'll be honest I figured it would be some sort of amoeba like blob that I would have to lie and say I saw the whatever it was that she was pointing to.  But immediately, I could pick out the head and some flailing limbs.  Then she pointed out the healthy strong beating heart and I felt the tears begin to slide down my cheek as I grabbed Brooks' hand.  There was no way I could take my eyes from the screen to even look and see what Brooks was experiencing. I didn't realize how much it would have meant and devastated me until that moment when I saw that strong flickering of our baby's heart.

She then proceeded to do an internal ultrasound, which I'll be honest just looked like a big ummm, pleasure device that I had to insert.  Hey, no one told me about that business. She did a variety of measurements and captured a bunch of images for the ObGyn office upstairs and then proceeded to talk to us about what measurement she was taking and how fast the heartbeat was.  Then she offered us a three dimensional picture which was not at all the amoeba I expected. Yes, the baby at this point looks semi alien like with it's big head and fat torso, but there are moving arms and legs.

Right now, the photo tucked away at home has made it real. Those 167 beats per minute make it real. September 19, 2011 makes it real.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Walls come tumbling down

One of the biggest things that I struggled with when Brooks and I were planning our wedding was the fact that we had this huge life event happening but you can only work so far ahead without coming to a standstill of things to do to prepare. I am now learning that apparently pregnancy is the same way. There are so many things to do before having a baby but you can only do so many things early. You can’t buy clothes that are on great sale for the next year until you know the gender. Obviously we don’t know the gender of this baby yet so I can’t go hog wild on any great clearance because there are about three gender neutral things out there and none of them are on clearance. You can’t plan a nursery until you buy the furniture. There is no reason to buy the furniture until after you clean out the room and move the current things in the room to somewhere else.

Our house is another thing that we are attempting to prepare for the big change of having a baby. We started the process of total house demolition. Fine, one room right now but holy crap the mess and dust is awful. This is also known as tearing down a big dang wall, completely ripping another wall apart, replacing lots of drywall and then about 700 sq ft of new flooring. I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense that we are working on our living and dining rooms when we have a basement to finish so that we can move the office downstairs to make a nursery. It is all one project at a time to get to the next one. But there was a bunch of wiring in the basement that feeds the living and dining room that we needed to remain exposed before we closed up the walls and ceiling in the basement.

Right now our house sits in a mini state of flux, the living room is tore apart until we get scaffolding to put up drywall. Apparently happening this week while I am out of town. Next is picking out flooring that we can actually settle on. Maybe we should have done that before we tore down the wall? The basement waits on the living room project to be finished. The office move to the basement waits on that space to be finished. Again, it is all that hurry up and wait. The exact thing that drove me crazy when we were getting married.

I should admit that I pretty much mean Brooks in every sentence in the last two paragraphs. He has deemed pregnant as incapable of doing anything but fetching Raspberry Simply Lemonade. He keeps recruiting family and friends for these projects, which is awesome but also leaves me standing there like a dingleberry. I actually went upstairs and watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy on the laptop while they tore the walls apart on Sunday.

So here I sit with my stomach that looks like I have a food baby, which honestly could just be a food baby, with not much to do besides entertain myself by looking at nurseries online. Not that I can pick out anything yet. But the “Baby Ideas” document is growing.

I booked our flights to Tennessee for the end of March to tell our family and friends there that we are having a baby. I will be about fourteen weeks then, which makes me think it may be extremely obvious that I am packing some extra pounds, but who knows. It was the only time that our schedule worked with the immediate family’s schedule. We have booked the trip under the impression that husband has some work that he needs to do with a few folks from his old job/research and we had airline miles that were going to expire so we are both coming along. Apparently this is believable so far. I have almost banned my husband from talking to his family about the trip because he is 1)AWFUL at secrets, especially when they are big exciting ones like a baby and 2) he cannot for the life of him make up a realistic good cover story. He came up with the idea of him needing to travel down there because of his former workplace, which we have done for real in the past, but thought nothing past that, like why would I come along or why would we fly when we have driven every single other time.

I am hoping that he can be elusive enough with his mother and sister to keep the secret, but I am realistic enough that it likely won’t happen. We have had two other times when the secrets almost came out and I really think that one person already knows. The first happened when a friend showed up unplanned at our house and I had bought him a book about being a dad and a onesie that said something to the jist of Dad loves me. He had put them on the entertainment center and as the friend was going to our garage to get something to drink I dashed upstairs with cookie dough covered hands to tell him to HIDE THAT STUFF FAST. Our friend, male friend I should add, now strongly believes that we are hiding something a bit more risque than a baby onsie from him. We’ve decided that when we tell this friend we are having a baby that we will bag up the things we hid from him and ask if he really wants to know what we hid from him. I am pretty sure he won’t be expecting what is in the bag.

The second incident came just this week when a neighbor came over to help with the shutting off of some plumbing and Brooks sent him upstairs to open all the faucets. In the master bath I had written a note in eyeliner on the mirror to Brooks saying “We are having a baby!” Unless the neighbor just opened the faucet quickly and walked right back out of the bathroom, I am almost certain that he saw the note. Ah well. What do you do?

Since we are hoping to tell most of our family in about a month, we are really trying to plan a fun way to tell them. Anyone have any suggestions? We are thinking about telling my family at a family dinner and ask everyone to get together for a nice picture and since our camera also has a kick ass video option actually set it to record. Then husband will be behind the camera and instead of telling them to say cheese, he will tell them to say “We’re having a baby!” or “Steph’s pregnant”. Something to that effect all caught on video. I like the thought of catching it all on video but think it may be hard with schedules to get everyone there for dinner.

With my in-laws, we have another plan. My MIL has been saying/joking for about two years that the first one of her sane children to give her a grandchild she will give $5000 to. We thought it would be entertaining to create an invoice payable to us for $5000 and give it to her. The entire family is going to be together at some point that weekend so we want to tell everyone at once. I am wondering if she will get it quick enough or if it will be too hard for her to follow.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Like the lottery

So yesterday.  Hmmm.  I'm betting that wasn't as big of a surprise for you all as it was for us.  I think that I just needed to tell someone, anyone since we are holding off on the big reveal to our families until I am safely out of the first trimester and then the rest of the world will know since we have families with BIG mouths. That being said, my little orange seed or whatever the crap food this little being is called this week on whatever random baby site you read or book you read, is about 7 - 8 weeks.  I don't know for sure since there is all of that weird date of conception versus date of last period jazz.  I know that I wanted my 30th birthday to be a big deal but I really wasn't think a baby due the same week as my birthday.  Life throws some crazy stuff at you some time. 

So I'm going to break it down for you. 


- Morning sickness was right on schedule and started about a week ago. And this stuff don't kid around. Week one and a half of it and I surrender.  I have sat in my cubicle thinking I was just going to vomit in the trashcan because there was no way I was barfing in that piss pot that other nasty people put their stank butts on.  I have also pulled off of the side of the road because it was so overpowering.  I can't wait for the next five or so weeks of this good stuff. 

- Constipation.  Enough said.

- My fairly large girl parts are already larger and uncomfortable.  This does not bode well for a few months from now.



- Repeat, repeat, repeat.

- I think my husband said it best when I told him that we were going to wait a while to tell people and his response was "That sucks. It's like we won the lottery and we can't tell people." Seriously, he compared winning the lottery to having a baby.  I think that tells you that he agrees with the first bullet.

On a serious note, thank you all for your sweet emails and comments.  I am so overwhelmed with worry and happiness that I think I may burst at any moment.  I don't know how my coworkers and family can't just look at me and tell that I am pregnant.  But I know it is so early which is why I need to will this little being happy and healthy in my stomach until safe arrival.  Since no one is even aware of this, that will is especially important for the next few weeks. 

For good times, here is the tummy at the beginning. I'm thinking that this may get too embarrassing to do this with the shirt up in the future. Week 6.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It gets better

Remember how I said that 2011 is going to be a good year.  I think that it's already looking better. Perhaps it is just that 2010 was a tough year but I am still feeling like 2011 is better already.

Brooks is getting so close to getting his FINAL degree completed that we both are starting to freak out a little about it. He is freaking out because he has so much work left to do and still working on funding to do it.  I am freaking out because I am realizing that soon we will have two real incomes.  I know he has to finish his field work, lab studies, write that pesky dissertation and complete comps but still. It is so close in relative - this has already taken four years - terms. One plus for 2011. 

We are planning a trip to Tennessee at the end of March, which mean we should get to see some of our friends from there that we weren't able to see when we breezed through at Christmas.  Another plus for 2011.

The basement project that I mentioned in my last post is slowly becoming a reality.  It will be pretty awesome to have a living area and a completed laundry space and storage versus just a holding ground for a cat litter pan, patio furniture and storage tubs.  We'll probably move my husband's office down there as well.  Another plus for 2011. 

And then there is this.  Another plus for 2011.  A big plus I think. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A project

I like a good project.  A household project that requires some tearing out, some mess and then an awesome result.  I'm just going to ignore the part that includes the fact that I never cut or nail anything.  That is Brooks' job.  He also does the plumbing and electrical if required.  He uses the tools.  I typically tear things out like trim and tile.  I am also in charge of painting.  I don't cut in because he is neater about it but I always try to be as helpful as possible.  Sometimes being helpful means bringing up a Mt. Dew for him to drink.  That and not getting in the way.

Every year we do a project of decent size.  Last year on New Year's eve we tore apart a bathroom.  Please note the gorgeous baby blue tile with cracked grout.

Then it turned into this.

We decided to replace the ceiling fan in our bedroom from the basic boring white one to this. We also replaced all the trim in that room with a new white trim and painted all the doors to match. 

The year before we (I am using that term very loosely since I was out of town for much of this project) installed a paver patio out our kitchen door.

This year we have two projects up for completion.  They are two big projects that come with big price tags.  The first is our living and dining space.  The original kitchen was on our second level and tiny.  The last owners of our house were nice enough to give us a huge kitchen where a formal living room once was.  The original kitchen was tucked away between the living and dining room. The kitchen was squeezed into the wall in the picture below where all the pictures are. 

Our plans for this room are to tear down the wall, since the former kitchen is all gone. Tearing down the wall will require us also to tear out the tile and carpet you see above in the picture.  The room is about 650 sq ft.  That is a lot of tile.  If you have ever tore out tile you know what I am talking about.  We're going to put in some sort of flooring, either hardwood or laminate, to make the room one open space only divided by furniture. 

The other project is the basement.  The basement is the same size as the area in the living room and dining room, 650 sq ft. The basement will require a lot of work.  Right now it is concrete block and two windows.  The space will be broken into three rooms, a laundry room/storage room, an office/guest bedroom and a living space. We will have to do everything to this space - waterproof, frame, drywall, flooring, lighting, electrical and replace the original windows. Oooof. Even though we have friends and family that can do all of the work, we still have to buy the supplies.  Double ooof. 

But I can't help myself from browsing Home Depot and Lowes on the weekends. The Habitat restore near us has awesome stuff that I would love to incorporate into our house. 
The basement project is my dream project, meaning that it likely won't happen any time soon.  The ideas are swirling though! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's only January

I like the winter.  I know, most people don't have good feelings about cold weather but I do - to an extent.  See - there is my smiling face last year in snow number 42. 

Winter means warm belly filling meals, making cookies, snuggling up near the fireplace, playing with the dog in the snow, warming my husband's side of the bed since I am nice like that and warm cozy clothes.  I know that it also means my car is barely warm when I get to my office, my leg hairs growing at a rapid pace when I get goosebumps, my nose is runny 3/4 of the time from November to March, my legs are ashy and lotion only helps for five minutes and my car is constantly salty looking.  I might get a bit of the SAD but only if there isn't snow on the ground.  Today, there is snow on the ground and by the looks of things the snow is going to stay for a while.

Living in Pennsylvania means that you get four full seasons, which I love but that also means that in the winter you better be finding yourself something to occupy your time indoors or you are going to be a sad puppy.  So what I need to know is what you all do in the winter that is either free or super cheap.  Here is what we do already.

- Go to Barnes and Noble, read their magazines or browse their books. It is free unless we actually buy something which is rare.
- Window shop at home improvement stores. We just did this on Sunday.  There was a need to get out of the house and these stores always have something to look at.  We are planning a big messy house project this year and it is fun to pretend like we are going to be able to afford the $8/sq ft flooring.  HA!
- Play cards.  Hooooboy.  We play a lot of cards; uno, rummy, poker and a variety of other card games. 
- House projects. This is neither cheap or free.  But it is fun to an extent. Every winter we seem to do some project that burns us out until Spring when we start digging in the flower beds. Last year it was the bathroom project we started on New Years Eve.  I know, we live wild on the drinking holidays. We tore out a bathroom and put it back together.  The bathroom was mine to decorate so I got to chose the vanity, beadboard, paint and decor.  I love it a year later, so I guess I pleased myself.
- Plan the spring flower/garden extravaganza. We seem to get all of these ideas together in the winter months and then try execute a decent number of them.  Nursery magazines just started coming in the mail, so this will start in full shortly. It is free until we start planting and aching from all the digging.
- Redbox and Blockbuster Express.  Cheap movies that we pick up on Friday and return on Saturday.  Awesome excuse to snuggle up and be bums on Friday nite.
- Walk the dog. Again, I know it is cold but the dog needs walking so every nite we bundle up as soon as we get home from work and take him out for a walk.  Some nites it is the short loop and other nites it is longer depending on our wussiness.
-Have friends over.  We have people over a lot, we play games, we watch big basketball games, we eat a lot.  Pretty much we just hang out with other people as our entertainment.

Maybe there is more that we do in the winter that I am forgetting like watching lots of college basketball and other mindless television. I imagine there is a lot more we could be doing.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I see you

I'm a big smiler. A big laugher.  Evidence here.

This is the picture that I want to represent me.  This is how I want other people to see me.  Well maybe not the jammies, morning breath and non bathed part but that happiness. 

How do you want people to see you? 

Recently a friend who has been going through a breakup and I were talking about what makes relationships work and how some people just aren't matched.  The guy I was talking to is a good friend of Brooks'.  He dated a girl for over four years and I could have told you three and a half years ago when I met them both that they weren't a great fit for each other. 

I was talking about Brooks and I's relationship to this guy and he told me that we always seemed so comfortable together and content.  It made my day.  It is how I feel in our relationship.  Thank goodness for him.  I went home after that conversation, grabbed Brooks and sniffled that we are lucky to have each other.  Lucky indeed.

Monday, January 3, 2011

It's going to be a good one.

It is officially 2011 and I am always one to jump on the for or against New Year's Resolutions about one week after everyone else forgets their resolutions.  Most times I think of something haphazardly about three days into the New Year and then forget about it two days later.  This year I actually have a goal in mind and have stuck to it for three whole days.  Pretty darn awesome for a non goal kind of girl. 

When I sit and think about all the things happening in 2011 it is easy to get overwhelmed and at the same time be really excited. This year is going to be stuffed full of big moments.  I will get a new job, I will turn 30 (so will my husband only a week later), we plan to start making babies towards the end of the year, Brooks will be very close to graduating if not completely graduated with a Dr. in front of his name by spring of 2012.  With just that happening alone, big changes will occur.  He will be job seeking for the first time ever at the age of 30 - isn't that unreal for those of us who have been working for close to ten years!? We will either move to another place entirely which entails buying and selling a home and me getting another job or we will establish ourselves a bit more long term in our current town.  That might mean selling our house or it might mean sticking to the one we have for a little while longer.  Babies, jobs, houses and turning 30 are some big events for one year.  I am excited / semi freaking out about all of it. 

Since I try to be honest, here is a scary one.  We are going to try to get pregnant this year with the hopes of having a baby in the spring to early summer of next year.  That would be six months after my husband's graduation and hopefully give us a little time to settle ourselves into life at that point. I think most people in our situation feel similar to us that we have put off having a baby for so long what we worry it won't happen when we want it to.  Here's hoping for none of those worries!