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Saturday, May 29, 2010

there's an APP for that!

I can't remember whether or not I posted on here about my fantastic birthday gift from hubby.......

I love my new iPad, and have wasted spent an embarrassing amount of time getting to know everything it can do.  This week I was pretty excited to find a couple of FREE apps for keeping track of labor contractions.

Yes, there IS an app for that!

I installed both of the free apps and am playing with them now, to determine which is more user-friendly before I really NEED them.

Both apps have a button to press on the touch-screen when a contraction begins, and then press again (or press another button) when the contraction stops....this allows the apps to keep track of the duration of contractions, not just the time between them.

I don't know about you, but I think this is SO COOL!

As soon as I figure out which one is my favorite, I will post some kind of a review on here.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

new clothes

I finally broke down and spent (way too much) money on some new maternity clothes.

Don't get me wrong, I love shopping.....BUT I am normally a very frugal shopper.  I shop sale/clearance, and I use coupons, and when I actually make a purchase, I try to be sure I will get maximum use out of the item.

So it really almost broke my heart today to pay full price for maternity jeans - which I will wear for only a few months!  At least I got this bathing suit on sale - and will probably wear it again next summer:

I also got some cute shorts and a few t-shirts, including one that I plan to wear next time I go to The Price Is Right (it's an obsession, I will keep going back until they finally call me to 'COME ON DOWN')

I've been putting off buying new clothes, but after 3 straight weeks of constantly washing and re-washing the few things that FIT me, I caved.  So far, I am glad that I did (but ask me how I feel about this little splurge next week, when I am flat broke)

Monday, May 24, 2010

another one on the list

There are so many things I can't do now that I am pregnant.....can't drink, can't have caffeine, can't even go to a concert.

Can't sleep, really - at least not for more than a couple hours.  Baby-on-the-bladder is nature's way of preparing a mommy for the needs of a newborn baby.

And now, as of today, I officially can't do my own pedicure. 

I tried really hard - with near disastrous results.

It was kind funny, really - or must have looked pretty funny, anyway.  Especially the part where I grabbed my foot with my left hand to finish polishing the pinky-toe, then realized I was HOLDING onto my freshly polished big toe (OOPS)

The good news is that I now have a really great excuse to go to the nail salon for pedicures for at least the next 4 or 5 months. 


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Irritable Uterus?

OK I know it sounds weird, but Irritable Uterus is a very real condition....and I have it.

I'm a little discouraged, because now I know that I can expect the discomfort/annoyance of these FREQUENT contractions to continue throughout my remaining 18 weeks of pregnancy, but I am also relieved to know that I am NOT crazy/stupid/etc.

If you missed my recent posts about my first three births, I talked about the 'false labor' frustration in the final weeks of pregnancy with both of my sons.  The worst part of it was, as a 2nd time mom and 3rd time mom, I could not tell the difference between real labor and braxton hicks contractions.  I was hesitant to even go to the hospital when I was finally (really) ready to have the last one, because I didn't want to be told that, once again, I was wrong about what was happening with MY body.

So, while it may be harder for me to distinguish my false labor from real labor, at least this time I know I can go to the hospital as many times as I need to in the final weeks to find out if the contractions are doing anything to my cervix.  And I won't feel stupid if they tell me to go home again, because I now know I have this strange (but very real) condition.

I know that the contractions I have been having are not 'real' labor yet...aside from the fact that it is way too early, they are not regular (sometimes 4 or 5 in an hour, sometimes none for 2 or 3 hours) and they really aren't painful; just uncomfortable.

Seriously - it's real, you can google it if you don't believe me.

And if this is the only difficulty I face in this pregnancy, at my advanced age and my unhealthy weight, I would say I am definitely one LUCKY mommy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Birth Stories, part 3

**If you missed the previous installments, you can click for part 1 and then read part 2

When I found out I was pregnant with baby #3, my daughter was about to turn 9 years old, and my son was 4 1/2.  I was (finally) finishing my A.A. degree that summer, and had just gotten engaged to the man of my dreams after 2 years of dating.  While this baby was every bit as much of a 'surprise' as the first two, I think I was MORE excited about being pregnant this time - now that I knew what pregnancy/birth/mommying was really like.

I had the same heavy morningsickness in the first 5 months - losing almost 20 lbs in that time period.  Of course, I started each pregnancy 20 pounds heavier than the previous one, so that didn't concern me....and I managed to put the weight right back on, plus at least 10 lbs more, by the end of the pregnancy anyway.

This pregnancy was the first one that included heartburn for me, and thankfully only at the very end.

Like #2, the final weeks of this pregnancy were marked with false labor, but this baby trumped the others.....while number 1 and number 2 finally arrived 'under threat of induction' - with natural labor starting just in time to avoid pitocin - number 3 taught me that there IS such a thing as a 'failed induction'.

First false labor trip to the hospital was 4 days before the Jan 16th due date...contractions stayed regular for two hours after I was strapped to the monitors, but my cervix would not budge - same story I had heard for a couple of weeks, 2cm and 10% to 15% effaced.  At the end of those two very convincing hours, though, the 8-minutes-apart contractions became irregular again, and I was eventually sent home with that familiar mix of disappointment and frustration.  I really honestly thought this was the real thing!

Nearly a week later, on January 18th, I went to the hospital for a scheduled induction.  Pitocin drip was started at 7AM, and some very painful contractions ensued.  Initially they were 8 or 9 minutes apart, and by 10 AM they were coming 5 minutes apart.  My OB came in to check my cervix and had some really upsetting news: 2cm dilated, 10% effaced.  REALLY?  I mean, these contractions really HURT.  A LOT.  Worse than I remembered the 'real' ones from the previous two births.  But then, I had been told that pitocin contractions could be more painful than natural ones, so I just grimaced and nodded when the dr. increased my dosage and the contractions came stronger - and by noon, they had gotten faster - barely 3 minutes apart. 

Another examination showed slight progress - still only 2cm dilated, but roughly 20% effaced.  So at least my cervix seemed to be thinning a little, even if it did not want to open up yet.  A nurse asked me if I wanted something for the pain, and I declined - I figured, if this was anything like the first two times, then I was within a few hours of giving birth, and would tough it out.  Instead, with contractions 2-3 minutes apart, and another exam showing NO further change in my cervix, my doctor made the decision to send me home.  Again.  Pitocin was stopped just after 7 PM, and by 8 PM I was at home, crying. 

There was a total lunar eclipse two days later (January 20, now four days past my due date) and we videotaped part of it - and videotaped me going into labor....or so we thought.  The contractions did not hurt as bad as the pitocin ones, but they were definitely more on the pain side than on the 'discomfort' side.  We waited until they had been regular for a couple of hours, and went in again.  This was my 3rd visit to labor and delivery in this pregnancy, and each time I was admitted to a different room; this hospital has 5 "LDR" rooms (Labor, Delivery, and Recovery) and I had now been in 3 of the 5.

I waited anxiously to be examined - and was happy to see that the pattern of my contractions was continuing after I was hooked up to the belly monitors.  And the exam this time showed......yes, you guessed it: 2cm and 20% effaced.  We went home, no longer awed by the remaining effects of the eclipse, just exhausted and disappointed. 

Over the next 8 days, I had more contractions, and  *almost* went to the hospital 3 more times that week - but by now I was feeling so stupid for not even being able to tell the difference between 'real' labor and 'false' labor, that I was reluctant to GO to the hospital.  Finally on a Thursday night, around 8 PM, I was having strong enough contractions, regular enough, that I really knew it was 'real'.  In fact, I was so convinced this was it, that I decided to eat really well before going to the hospital (knowing they would not let me eat once I was there).  I had made 'enchilada bake' for dinner that evening, so I heated up some leftovers and ate as much as I could, and put a new paperback book into my labor bag to replace the book I had started in the hospital the day of the induction - since I had finished that book already.

We left for the hospital around 10 PM, but stopped on the way to buy magazines for my fiance, and we didn't arrive at the hospital until around 10:45.  I was upset to learn that my own OB was not available for the delivery (just like with baby #2) but at least this time the nurses gave up their fight to hook me up to a useless i.v.  I may or may not have threatened to go have the baby by myself in the hospital parking lot if they did not "get that needle away from me"!

First exam upon arrival showed me at 4cm and over 60% effaced, and my bag of waters broke during this exam.  I laughed at my fiance and told him he wasn't going to have time to read any of those magazines!  He found the History Channel on the TV, so he didn't care.  He was actually awesome, helping me breathe through the contractions, rubbing my back just like they taught him in the childbirth classes.

At midnight I asked to be checked again for progress, but by the time they got around to it it was almost 1 am, and my contractions were barely 3 minutes apart.

9 cm, 100% effaced. 

The nurse who checked me asked me to try pushing against her hand, while she had it inside of me - talk about PAIN!  Ouch.  I guess the little push that I managed before I screamed in pain was enough to convince her that the baby was coming, and quick.  She called for another nurse, who summoned the on-call OB.  In moments, the now-familiar flurry of activity as the staff prepped the room for the actual birth was enough to distract me from some very painful contractions.

My first push, around 1:20 AM brought the baby's head within view, but the burning pain kept me from holding that postion, and he slipped ever-so-slightly back up the birth canal.  I caught my breath through the rest of that contraction, and when the next one hit a moment later, I pushed through the whole thing - it helped so much to hear the nurses and my fiance counting out the seconds as I pushed.  Just when I thought I could not bear the pain, his head popped out.  I screamed once, then halfway laughed at the relief from the pressure I had felt seconds before.

In another instant, a contraction gripped me and the doctor told me to push.  He guided my newborn son smoothly up onto my belly before we could even count to 3 on that push. 

1:25 AM......another PERFECT baby. 

2 1/2 hours after I arrived at the hospital.

2 pushes.

and only 12 days after his due date!

My fiance (now husband) wanted to videotape the birth, but the nurses asked him to help hold my right leg back for pushing - so he set the camera on the bedside table (still rolling) and we at least got audio of the birth. 

This child (now ten years old) is the one I affectionately call 'Knucklehead' here in blogworld - not to be confused with older brother, 'Bonehead'.   And he can't WAIT to be a big brother when baby #4 arrives in September

.....or October, if this one pulls a Knucklehead and comes way late!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

(almost) 22 weeks

Today I had my OB checkup....everything looks GREAT, but the doc wants to check out a few things based on my way-too-frequent Braxton Hicks contractions.  She even hinted at the thing I'm really dreading, possible BEDREST later on.

But for now, all is well.  Blood pressure was great, weight still holding (though I am reaching the point in pregnancy when I normally start packing on the pounds) and baby's heart rate was normal - 161. 

So cute, he had the hiccups when we listened to his heartbeat! :)

Stay tuned for the next birth stories post, coming soon!

(like, in the next 24 hours, just need to finish typing it)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Birth Stories - part 2

A couple days ago I posted about my first childbirth experience - if you missed it, you can click here to read it.

This post is the birth story of my son, "Bonehead", now 15 years old.

I had a pretty fantastic second pregnancy - lots of morningsickness for the first 5 months, but everything else was awesome!  I was thrilled to learn that I was having a boy, and my 4 1/2 year old daughter was SO excited to become a big sister.  She even wanted to be there, in the delivery room to be among the first to welcome him.

One of my closest friends was studying to become a midwife, and really wanted to be there when my son was born - not as a birth attendant, but as a 'witness' and to support me in any way I might need.  Since my due date was Thanksgiving Day, we were hoping for an early delivery, allowing my friend to still travel to be with her family for Thanksgiving, without missing my son's birth.  She dragged me around to walk for what seemed like HOURS in the days leading up to the due date.

I had three separate 'false alarms' with this one - all false labor, but very convincing.  Each time I felt so STUPID for not being able to tell the difference between Braxton-Hicks contractions and the real thing.  But even more, each time I was so incredibly disappointed to be heading home STILL PREGNANT, carrying my baby in my belly, instead of in my arms.

Finally, the morning before the due date, I awoke early to go to the bathroom and felt a SMALL trickle of fluid running down my thigh.  I didn't think my water had broken - but surely I could not have peed on myself without knowing, could I?  I called my doctor's office and left a message with the answering service, and got a call back almost immediately, telling me to go to the hospital.  I called ahead to let them know I was on my way, and was in a hospital bed less than 20 minutes later, being strapped to monitors.  The nurses used some kind of pH test strip to determine if the fluid leaking out of me was, indeed, amniotic fluid. AFFIRMATIVE.  But it was only a tiny bit, a 'high leak', as my OB later told me.

I had a few contractions while on the monitors, but they weren't regular AT ALL, so I was sent home a fourth time to WAIT.  My friend was leaving late that night for the holiday weekend, so she was desperate to get me INTO active labor immediately.  I had already been warned at the hospital that I needed to deliver the baby within 24 hours, as the risk of infection was going up exponentially with each hour that passed since my water 'broke'.  So I didn't argue when she wanted me to walk AGAIN.  We went window-shopping, and grocery shopping, and had lunch (she agreed with me that I needed to have a FULL stomach before leaving for the hospital, sine they would not let me eat once I arrived in full labor)

We walked.  And walked, and walked.  And nothing happened! She finally had to leave for her trip, and I went to bed early, knowing that I would be going in for a pitocin induction early in the morning.  I barely slept, and when my alarm went off at 6 AM, I was already dressed and heading out the door, but wasnt feeling fantastic. I was having some pretty good contractions, about 8 minutes apart - but they were all in my low back, so it felt very different from the labor contractions I had had with my daughter almost 5 years earlier. 

When I arrived at the hospital, I told the labor and delivery nurses that I was scheduled for induction, but was already having contractions.One of the nurses there had been on duty the night of my most recent false alarm, and she looked at me with a "yeah, right!" expression. 

I was examined, and found that I was, indeed, progressing with active labor - 3 cm dilated, and at least 40% effaced!  So, no pitocin.  :)  Unfortunately my own OB was sick, so one of her partners was on-call for her patients that day.

My doctor had promised me that I would not have to deal with the dreaded i.v. (have I mentioned that I HATE needles?) but of course the on-call doctor did not back me up when I tried to tell the nurses that I did NOT need an i.v.  Procedure, blah blah blah.  The main thing I hated about this was that my mobility was severely limited once I was hooked up, so I didn't walk as much as I could have/should have.

I also could not have the bathtub therapy that worked so well my first time around (even if this hospital offered, it which it did NOT) since my water had already broken.

My sister was my labor coach for this birth.  She arrived around 9 AM with my daughter, so we talked, did some puzzles to pass the time, and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV.  As the contractions worsened, my daughter seemed to get more and more worried/upset, but she was SO sweet about everything. 

At about 10:30, I was checked again - 4 cm dilated, 90% effaced.  After the exam my contractions seemed to intensify, and by 11:30 I felt the urge to push.  I was moaning through the contractions again, and my daughter became frightened - my sister took her to the waiting room where thankfully she was able to leave her with other family members who had gathered in anticipation.  I had my 'labor coach' back by my side by 11:45, when the nurses and other staff were busily prepping the room, converting the bed to a delivery table, and summoning the OB.

I could not hold back much longer, as the pressure to push became SO intense. The doctor walked into the room as I was in the middle of a seriously painful contraction, and I was kind of freaking out at this point.  He pulled on his gloves and instructed me to push, and I was SO relieved!

With the next contraction I pushed for a count of ten, then took a breath and pushed to another count of ten (my sister was AMAZING helping me, especially considering she had never seen a birth before).

The nurses told me what I good job I was doing, and with the next contraction I was told to push REALLY hard.  About 3 seconds into pushing, I felt a burning, tearing sensation, and someone (a nurse?  the OB?  my sister?  not sure) said ,"I can see the head!" so I pushed through - with a loud scream, and out popped my son's head.

Yes, on the second push.  The doctor barely had time to angle his little shoulder before his whole body slipped out - WITHOUT any pushing from me!

12:03 PM, perfect little boy. 

My daughter missed the actual birth, but in the end that was probably a good thing.  It really was more than she could handle, seeing me in so much pain. 

The phone beside my bed rang just minutes after the birth - it was the hospital cafeteria calling to ask which dessert I wanted with my 'Thanksgiving Lunch".....pumpkin pie, or chocolate cake?  (I was STARVING by this point!) Of course I asked for BOTH, but they made me choose, and pumpkin pie sounded pretty darned good. 

It was.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Birth Stories - part 1

I have so enjoyed reading other women's birth stories lately (and watching all the birth shows on TLC and Discovery) that I have decided to share with you my first three experiences with childbirth - this will be a three-parter, obviously.

Part one is dedicated to my daughter, now almost 20 years old.

When I found out that I was pregnant the first time around, I was urged by family members to give the child up for adoption.  As a teen mom, single (but 'in love' with my boyfriend) I pretended to consider this option, but in my heart I knew that I just could not do it.  I already loved my baby, and could not picture that an adoptive parent could possibly love her as much as I already did!  So I instead studied like mad to learn everything I could possibly find out about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.

*Obviously I am still learning, but that is another story!*

My boyfriend went with me to the 'prepared childbirth' classes, but he basically slept through them.  I learned a little about Lamaze, Bradley, and everything in between.  Epidurals, breastfeeding, diapering, caring for the umbilical 'stump'....all fascinated me.

I completed the CHSPE to finish high school day before my due date.  It was funny, actually - the proctor administering the test was explaining about it being a timed test, no bathroom breaks, etc. (I think the total test was like 2 1/2 or 3 hours long!) and she looked right at my big belly and said, "exceptions can be made in extreme circumstances".  And yes, the other students all stared at me.  In the end, I finished the test without a potty break and then waddled my way to the bathroom with a HUGE sigh of relief. 

I had a checkup 2 days later, and the OB told me that I was dilated to 2 cm and about 10% effaced (just like the previous 2 checkups).  In other words, NO PROGRESS.  This was already a day after my due date, so I was hoping the dr. would send me to the hospital for induction (yes, I studied up on that, too!) I was so disappointed to be making another appointment to come back the following week, "unless anything happens sooner". 

I went home and timed my contractions, hoping for SOME night that week, I had contractions that got down to 6 minutes apart, and after 5 or 6 of these, I told my boyfriend it was time to go to the hospital.  But by the time we had my hospital bag and our shoes, car keys, etc, the contractions had stopped.  I was so upset I cried half the night.  I was tired of being a heffalump, and I really wanted to hold my baby in my arms!

The next Tuesday, I went back to my OB, and this time she strapped the monitors around my belly to record my contractions and keep track of baby's heart rate.  I had a few 'good' contractions, about 12 minutes apart, before she examined me.  This time, when she said "2cm and 10% effaced" I wanted to HIT her.  Not that it was her fault or anything, but I was now 9 days past my due date!  She informed me that she was going to 'stir things up a little' while doing the exam, and then told me to report to the hospital at 6 AM the next morning, if nothing happened overnight.

I tried to sleep that night, really I did!  I had more contractions, but none of them seemed regular.  It would be, like 12 minutes apart, then 11 minutes, then jump to 20 minutes apart.  I got up around 4 AM to go to the bathroom.  I felt constipated, and sat there on the toilet for a bit before I realized I was having contractions 4 minutes apart!  We raced to the hospital, made the 45 minute drive in just over 30 minutes, and got me checked in and monitored for a bit.  The labor nurse confirmed that my contractions were regular and  strong, and then she gave me the dreaded exam.....but this time the news was better: 3cm, and 50% effaced!  YAY!

I was encouraged to walk to speed things up, so by 6 AM I was cruising the hallways of the labor floor with my boyfriend trying really hard to help - he was sooooo lost after sleeping through those classes!  I walked for an hour before the low back pain made me begin to re-think my 'no drugs' birth plan.  I waddled my way back to my LDRP room (yes, it was all four in one room - Labor, Delivery. Recovery, AND Postpartum!) and begged the nurse to check me again.  This time I was still only dilated 3cm, but was more than 80% effaced. 

My water had not broken yet, so the nurse suggested a bath to ease the pain....there were jets in the bathub, and I did NOT want to get out!  Of course the water got cool quickly, since it had started out warm - not hot - but I stayed in it until I was pruny.  Those low back pains were no match for the water and the jets.  The nurse didn't want to check me again so soon, so I waited in the bed, trying to get comfortable, until my OB showed up around 9 AM.  My contractions were about 2 minutes apart and really starting to hurt, so I was shocked to hear that in those 2 hours, I had only dilated another centimeter. 

The doctor broke my bag of water with a tool that reminded me of a crochet hook, and told me she would be back to check on me "in another hour or two".  The first contraction after that exam hurt like hell!  This is when I started moaning through the contractions, as if the noise I made could somehow drown out the pain.  I remember being shocked at how bad the pain was.  I had psyched myself up for this, telling myself for months that I was stronger than this pain could ever be.  And suddenly, in that moment, I wasn't.  I was ready to cave in and ask for an epidural by 9:15 AM.  The contractions seemed to come on top of one another, with no break in between.  The nurse asked me if I was sure that I wanted drugs, and I remember yelling "Yes! No! OOOOOOWWWW!". 

I did not know it at the time, but I was going through transition already.  I literally went from 4 cm to 10 cm in less than 15 minutes, as soon as the water was broken.  This was confirmed by a nurse who had just come on shift, and recognized the symptoms of transition.  She asked me if I felt like pushing, and I gave her the same "Yes! No! OOOOOOWWWW!" answer that I had given the other nurse when asked about pain killers.  This is when she examined me, felt the baby's head crowning, and called for the doctor. 

Out of nowhere, staff came rushing in to prep for the delivery.  It was a good thing they had this routine down to such a science, because I was, indeed ready to push by the time they separated my bed to make it a delivery table, and set up the warming table for baby, etc.  The doctor walked in, clearly surprised that I was already ready to push - hadn't she JUST broken my water herself?  Of course, by the time she got there, it had been half an hour since the whole crochet-hook thing.

I remember the intense pressure as the baby's head caused that 'ring of fire' sensation I had read and heard so much about.  There was a nurse shouting at me to push, and my boyfriend tried (and failed miserably, at least at first) to hold my leg back.  The nurse had my other leg, and I thought for sure she was trying to make me into one of those giant pretzels, with the way she lifted my leg all the way up to my chest.  The doctor positioned herself in front of me and told me to push through the next contraction - which hit me just as she was saying this.  I pushed, as hard as I could, and in that one push I decided I no longer wanted to get this baby OUT of me.  It suddenly seemed better to somehow convince her to go back IN.  The nurse who held my leg was so awesome - she saw me ready to give up after, maybe 10 seconds of pushing, and she pointed to a large mirror that had been placed near the foot of my bed-turned-delivery-table. 

"Look sweetie, I can see the baby's head!  Look at all that hair!"

That nurse was a genius!  Or, at least she had been to a few births before, because she knew exactly what was needed of her, and when.  The sight of my daughter's head 'peeking' at me was enough to strengthen my resolve, and I pushed as hard as I could, watching in amazement as the little strip of matted hair grew wider and bigger, until suddenly the whole head popped out.  I mean, it didn't make a 'pop' sound, but it FELT like a pop!  Maybe it did make a pop sound, but no one could hear if over my shreik of pain?  I definitely screamed.

So, after pushing through just one contraction, my baby's head was all the way out.  The doctor's voice took an urgent tone as she said, "ok, now, DON'T push for a second here..."  She deftly grabbed my daughter's head in both hands, worked her fingers down around the neck, and located baby's shoulders, on the verge of ripping me.  Yes, I am aware that would have seriously HURT.  She turned the baby just a little, angled one tiny shoulder to come out first, and said, "OK, big push now".  I pushed and screamed, which got me a dirty look from the nurse, but I didn't care because I saw my daughter slip and PLOP out into the doctor's hands. 

Literally on the second contraction that I was 'allowed' to push through.


9:40 AM.....about 5 1/2 hours after I first realized I was in labor.  No drugs.  Just a beautiful, PERFECT baby.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Contractions (!)

My Braxton Hicks contractions have intensified, but still are not 'painful'.  With the extra stress over the past day or two, they've come as frequently as 5 minutes apart (and a couple that seemed to be right on top of each other) but still aren't REGULAR for more than about half an hour at a time.

The thing that worries me about this now - considering I still have 19 weeks to go - is that I don't want to become de-sensitized to these contractions, so that I ignore actual labor until it gets to the point that I don't have time to even GET to the hospital.  So even though I know (duh!) that this is not real labor, I am still making myself time them - keeping track on a little notepad.  Someone told me "there's an app for that" so I may look into that for my new iPad! LOL

And then I have to make sure that timing them is not going to contribute to even more stress (creating more contractions....)

I don't think I like where this cycle is going. 

Maybe I could run away from all the stress instead?  I'm thinking a nice relaxing spa resort somewhere, or perhaps a really really really long cruise.  *sigh* Unfortunately not an option, but maybe I can still go squeeze in that massage I have been promising myself.

Friday, May 14, 2010

LAST CHANCE! Vote for me (PLEASE!)

Hey everyone, if you enjoyed my entry in Christina's contest please take a second to vote for me! Poll closes tonight (May 14) at 11:59 PM EST.

In the right hand sidebar on Christina's blog, click my title "Deployment (again)" and then click VOTE!

Thanks so much, and I will be back with a new post tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


OK, over on my other blog, I entered a contest this week, and now I need all my followers to go VOTE FOR ME!

Christina at Married to a Sailor started this great contest for military wives, asking us to write about what it means to us to be military wives.

My competitive nature is coming out in a BIG WAY, now I really really really want to win!

Please be sure to read my entry, and if you don't like it, obviously please don't vote for me.  :)  But you can vote for more than one, so I hope you at least like mine enough to give me ONE of your votes.

If you LOVE it, I would love a comment at the end to tell me so (in addition to your vote).  If you hate it, I don't really want to hear it.  Just kidding, I welcome all comments!  Unless you comment anonymously......those comments will be deleted - I'm just sayin.

The actual vote is on the sidebar on the right, and my entry is under "Deployment (again)"


more cravings (bad mommy!)

I really DID have a list with me when I went to Costco today, but you wouldn't know it to look at all the crap that I brought home.

My worst purchase:

Yes, I do feel a little ashamed, but I will get over it.

I also bought a bunch more 'convenience' food - junk that we normally don't eat, but since I have already felt somewhat lazy since the deployment started last week, I figure I better at least make sure my kids can eat SOMETHING when I don't feel like cooking.  The boys love 'easy mac' so I picked up a case of that - even though it costs more for 18 individual servings than it costs for 15 family-size boxes.  Bought some 'cup noodles' too....with zero nutritional value and a whole day's worth of fat per serving.  But the boys can make those on their own, so as long as its not every day, I think I will get over that guilt.

Now I just have to remember to walk walk walk walk walk so I can burn off some of the extra red vines calories, and then rest as much as I can so I can continue to maintain my weight and enjoy being pregnant.

(putting the red vines down now.....)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Stalker Mom

Last night I posted on my other blog about my daughter, who left home at the age of 17 1/2 and has not spoken to me since.  She will be 20 years old in three weeks, and I find myself not only missing her, but being nostalgic about the good ole days, and looking through baby books, scrapbooks, etc. 

And stalking her on Facebook.

Okay, not really stalking, per se, I am just checking up on her, want to see how she is doing - make sure she is still ALIVE and all that, you know?  So, today I learned that she is doing some small spokesmodel jobs, including some that I would never have included in that category (like being the ring-girl at a big MMA fight).  I am proud of her, but also worried - is she making the right choices, is she using her beauty for good and not evil, and most of all, doesn't she look a tad anorexic in these photos?

She always wanted to be a big movie star - if she makes it big, you all will recognize her from these photos (and you can say, "hey I know her mom - the one she refuses to speak to!") Anyway, for your viewing pleasure (and for everyone else's viewing pleasure, since she has plastered these all on FB and on the miss coconuts site and God only KNOWS where else)......


Sunday, May 9, 2010

20 weeks (!!!)

OK so after consulting my calendar (and counting weeks more times than a pregnant brain should be allowed to) I discovered I have been counting weeks WRONG, and instead of being 19 weeks + 2 days, I am actually 20 weeks along.  HALF WAY BABY!

Here is a picture of my 20 week baby bump, taken last night after I got all beautified for my girls night out (belated birthday celebration) More pics from last night are on my other blog - click here to see them.

I am still holding at my pre-pregnancy weight, and hoping to maintain that for the next 20 weeks.  My appetite seems to be leveling out a little, so as long as I can stay active, I should be OK.

Sleep is still hit-and-miss, but I am getting better at taking naps.

Missing my hubby like crazy, and had some crappy drama with my teenager the other night.....not ready to blog about that yet.

Oh, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all you beatiful mommies out there!

Friday, May 7, 2010

19 weeks

Today I am 19 weeks along!  No new pics to post, but I will take a 20 week belly pic next week, OK?

I only have a minute to post here, but have a quick question for mommies or mommies-to-be:

Did you buy a Maternity Bthing Suit, or just use bikinis/tankinis?

We are enjoying some beautiful southern california weather and I want to hit the beach/pool with my boys - need to decide which solution makes more sense right now.  I don't want to pay a ridiculous amount of money on a maternity bathing suit that I will only wear for one summer, but at the same time, I don't want to buy a cheaper tankini/bikini that won't support my bulging belly and boobs.

Any input or advice?

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I received this award from he lovely girls at Growing Up Mommies the other day, and have not had a chance to pass it on - so sorry for the delay!

The award rules are to pass it on to as many cool moms as you'd like to, and re-post this article:

When the good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of overtime, when an angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one." And the Lord said, "Have you read the spec on this one? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic; have 180 movable parts, all replaceable; run on black coffee and leftovers; have a lap that disappears when she stands up; a kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair; and six pair of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of way."

"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord. “It's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have."

"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. "One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, 'What are you kids doing in there?' when she already knows. Another here, in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't, but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say, 'I understand and I love you,' without so much as uttering a word."

"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve gently, "Rest for now. Tomorrow...."

"I can't," said the Lord. "I'm so close to creating something close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick, can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger, and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower."

The angel circled the model of the mother very slowly. "She's too soft," she sighed.

“But tough!" said the Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what the mother can do or endure."

"Can she think?"

"Not only think, but she can reason and compromise," said the Creator.

Finally the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told you, you were trying to put too much into this model."

"It's not a leak," said the Lord. "It's a tear."

"What's it for?"

"It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride."
"You're a genius," said the angel.

"The Lord looked somber, "I didn't put it there."

By Erma Bombeck

I would now like to pass this mommy award on to some blogger mommies who are doing the 'single' mom thing like me (and they ROCK at this!)
1. Rachel at A Little Pink In a World of Camo (she's a super STRONG newly widowed Marine Wife, raising her beautiful baby all by herself)
2. Amber at Goodnight Moon (her husband is a deployed Marine, and she juggles everything by herself)
3. Expat Girl at The Sand Is Different Here (she is pregnant and due in a couple weeks with her first baby, and crossing her fingers that her hubby will come home in time to meet their little girl during his leave - and then he has to go back to finish his deployment.)
I know there are a million more mommies who deserve this award, but I will leave that up to these recipients to help pass on.  THANKS FOR BEING GREAT MOMMIES, you all inspire me!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

switching gears

OK so I am back to being a single mommy again for awhile.......I HATE THIS PART.

I was stronger for this goodbye than I have ever been - didn't cry last night, even when hubby put his face against my belly and said a sweet goodbye to the baby.  Didn't cry this morning until the car was out of sight (hubby's dad drove him to his bus, since it is a couple hours away and I have to work this morning).

Not sure how I am going to WORK, even for a one hour shift, with this big hole in my heart, but I know I now have to begin that process of changing my whole mindset, to become that 'independent' single mom I hate being.  I don't mind the independent part, but the lonely SINGLE part I could definitely do without.

I know I can do this, but the whole pregnancy thing - having the baby all by myself - is a new and terrifying twist to the whole deployment nightmare.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Working Girl

I almost went an entire year without a job - but finally got hired in a very part-time position, just 2 days shy of my one year anniversary since losing my Preschool Director job.  I applied for everything I could think of, starting within the child development field and then branching out.  I even applied to be a census taker, and literally ACED their stupid exam, but they never called me back.  That's when I began considering a life of crime.  OK maybe not quite, but I understood every nuance in the term 'desperate for a job'! 

So, for two hours a day I work in a field I never imagined I would even seek out.  Not that it is 'beneath me'....I just wanted something a little more fulfilling, with a more substantial paycheck.

I started work yesterday.....

As I stood on the street corner for my first shift, I nervously scanned passing cars, deliberately making eye contact with certain drivers.

I thought this would be easy, but there really is a lot to consider.

I wondered if I was dressed appropriately. 

And did I bring enough protection?

Hmmm, yep, this should do it.  LOL

I'm a CROSSING GUARD, gutter mind!  What did you think I was talking about?????

Unfortunately the job will only last about 6 weeks before school is out for the summer, and then I should be able to work another 6 weeks or so before the baby is born.  If they will let me WEAR the baby in a sling while I work, I will continue to work after he arrives, but otherwise, that's all she wrote.  For awhile.

And then I will have to either find a work-from-home option, or will continue looking for preschool jobs, narrowing my search to programs with on-site infant care so I can take little Thomas to work with me.

I can't imagine leaving an infant in the care of strangers while I go to work - unless I happen to be working in the next ROOM, and can nurse him on my breaks, etc.

I always managed to stay home with my babies until they were at least walking and talking, and then always took them to work WITH me.  That's actually how I got into the child development field!  I took my kids to preschool and they left me there.  But I do love it!  I actually miss the classroom, and am hoping to be able to teach three-year-olds again someday.

In the meantime, I will be out there on the street corner for an hour every morning and an hour every afternoon, squeaking out a little spending money.  And I will definitely be taking NAPS in between, on a regular basis.  :)

Monday, May 3, 2010


OK so at 18 weeks, is it normal to have Braxton-Hicks contractions?

They are not regular, and they really don't hurt - just uncomfortable - but they are definitely THERE.


I think the earliest I ever felt them before was maybe around 30 weeks.

But then, I have never been under quite this much STRESS during pregnancy!

Hubby is about to deploy, I am starting a new (PART TIME) job today, and yesterday was my birthday.  It was a pretty BLAH birthday, the highlight of which was SLEEPING IN after staying up til 1 AM with hubby helping him sort and pack his gear.

And my house is a DISASTER.  I am not a neat freak - by a looong shot - but I do have my limits, and I think I have figured out my clutter tolerance level (reached it and PASSED it sometime yesterday).

I know in a few days things will be much more calm, so I am just doing some more deep breathing (and a little crying, but I can still blame hormones for that, right?).

I'm a little afraid to call the doctor about these contractions, because I don't want to be put on bedrest or anything dramatic like that.  My other pregnancies have all been so HEALTHY!  But I will be calling just as soon as her office opens, just to make sure this is really nothing - or really just STRESS, I should say.

OOOOOHHHH just had a fantastic idea!  I think I can use the stress/contractions as an excuse to get a MASSAGE!  MMMMMM I feel better just thinking about it.  :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010


We took our little mini-vacation to Disneyland, gone for 2 days......3 days later I am STILL catching up on everything I should have been doing instead of vacation....

So I am not going to have time to blog much for the next few days.  I promise to be back, with DAILY posts, before the end of this week.

In the meantime, here is this week's ultrasound picture:

And my latest fun symptom....and thankfully easy cure (pregnancy friendly):

I posted this pic on the deployment blog with some others, but here is my baby bump at 18 weeks (in my shirt with the blog title on it: Does this baby make me look fat?)

I will be back SOON! 

Oh, and I want to welcome all my new followers...will be following you back in the next few days!