Tuesday, October 25, 2011

First Time Mother, Second Time Parent.

I get all sorts of attention with my Little One, being a first time mother is overwhelming. First for me was the realization that I was completely in love with this other being and WHOA, my mother felt the same way about me. It makes all the bad decisions I have made in my life sting just a little bit. But it makes me understand the answer to the question of "Why?" with "Because I love you." I understand now.

Second while I am a first time mother I am second time parent. You see that gangly little boy over there? Yeah, he isn't as "cute" as the Little One right now, he has scraped up knees and his feet seem too large for his body. He is almost as tall as me but weights like 70 pounds soaking wet. Currently he sports a fo-hawk and only wears skate shoes. He doesn't like girls yet but has a best friend who might as well move in because I hardly ever see one without the other. The Kidlet is mine as well. I know it isn't this way for everyone. Plenty of stepmothers I know have such difficult relationships with their stepchildren or the biological mothers of their step kids that they hold back. I don't. I haven't ever had too, I am blessed and I know it.

The Kidlet has a mother, I am not her. I respect her position in his life and have never felt the need to usurp her. The Kidlet loves his mother, I want him too. I was taught that there is no such thing as too much love. So the Kidlet has a mother who loves him, a stepmother who loves him, a father who loves him and a stepfather who loves him. Along with the Little One and his other sibling and in the respective families, grandparents, aunts and uncles and this is one loved kid!

The Kidlet was 18 months old when I met Michael. He was just a rolly polly little guy, already running a million miles an hour and still wearing diapers. He had these big, blond curls and the biggest blue eyes you have ever seen, Little One has the same thing only her eyes aren't blue. He was in love with The Wiggles and I have forever memorized the words to Hot Potato.

I have been here through all kinds of firsts; potty training (but I will give all the credit to his mom for that) preschool, kindergarten, riding a bike before the age of 3, first concussion, lost teeth. Nightmares, friend problems, being teases, moving and making new friends. Haircuts, bad haircuts, out growing shoes, shoe fads, stinky shoes. Spongebob, Pokemon, Cars, skateboards, rip sticks, bikes and snowboards.

I have been here through all this and I will be here for all the other firsts; driving, dating, broken heart, graduation and with any luck I will get to be here when he becomes a parent and I will love his children with all the love I have shared with him. That is my blessing of being a first time mother but a second time parent.

and he loves his sister, which makes me love him even more

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Baby Story

So now that you are all caught up on my pregnancy let me share the story of my little ones birth.

Dr. S,  my sarcastic, awesome OB had told me around 36 weeks that my little one was measuring 2 weeks ahead. I could have told him that, I was huge! I know that ultrasound measurement can be inaccurate so it was taken with a grain of salt but after all those months I was ready to have my little one in my arms and no longer in my stretch marked, sore, gigantic belly.

I walked, I used a yoga ball, I ate eggplant Parmesan, I did everything I was comfortable with to bring my little one here as soon as she was ready (and not one second sooner) I was ready but then, I wasn't ready. I was scared, I was doubtful of my ability to be a good mother (even though I know I am a wonderful mother already) I was hormonal. I was a mess.

At my 38 week appointment I had another ultrasound. It showed my little one was still measuring ahead and it also revealed that she was very, very low on amniotic fluid. He could only find two pockets one around her face and one around her back. He was worried about her and wanted her to arrive the next day.

I chose to have a c-section, basically I was not willing to put my little one in any danger by forcing an induction. She wasn't far enough down into my pelvis for my doctor and I to think that an induction would even be successful. We discussed infant mortality rates, complications and emergencies. In a perfect world I would have loved to have her come naturally but I am comfortable with my choice and appreciate that the option was there.

I left his office with an appointment for 2 p.m. the next day at the same hospital I stayed in during my treatment for MRSA. I was not thrilled, I didn't want anything from that time in my life to cloud what should be the joy of my daughters birth but it did. The hospital didn't complete it's paperwork the summer before so I was listed as still having an active case of MRSA, I found this out when the charge nurse in Labor and Delivery triage yelled it to my primary nurse (HIPPA anyone?) even though I had completed all my treatments and taken my recovery very seriously the hospital had to treat me like I was still active and potentially contagious.

Everyone who came into contact with me had to wear PPE (personal protective equipment) gowns, gloves, hairnets, masks. All the precious first pictures of my daughter are forever tainted with memories of the lowest point in my life because the hospital is incapable of keeping accurate, up to date records.

Sorry for the tangent, I was prepped and wheeled into the delivery room and delivered a healthy baby girl at 3:45 p.m. on June 8th. She came into the world at 8 pounds 7 ounces and measuring 19-3/4 inches long. She cried and I felt surreal. They showed her to me and I kissed her cheek before she had to be taken so I could be closed up.

I chose a c-section to protect her but it was the worst experience for me. Right after my child was born she was taken from me and I was forced to wait in recovery for almost 3 hours because they had to clean a room for me. I was anxious, beginning to get sore, scared, alone and sad. I was alone, a nurse would come in and out but basically I was alone and I wanted to be with my baby. Finally I was taken to a room in the Maternity Ward, my family was waiting in all their PPE and I was at last allowed to hold my Madeline Adele. I cried, I was exhausted, we tried breastfeeding. My best friend came in and laughed when I apologized for my boob hanging out. Mom, Dad, Michael, my sister and brother in law, my cousin, it was all a wonderful blur of hugs and pictures and love.

And then everyone left and it was just us. Just our little family and just beginning the worst hospital stay. One of the drugs I was given for pain has a side effect of dysphoria, basically it is the last thing a brand new mother should ever have to feel. During the night when my little one wouldn't latch on right away and I am crying because I feel like a failure already, I am loopy enough to consider going to String Cheese Incident concert and the only person there to help is Michael. I decided that IF we ever decide to do this again it will be on my terms. The rest of my hospital stay just confirmed that.

Somewhere between the terrible food, inability to get water when I asked for it, extra days because of my little ones jaundice, the rude nurses, the nurse who forgot about me and was well over an hour late with my pain meds and then yelled at me because she was with patients until my pediatrician came into the room and found me crying to my sister, in which case he got the charge nurse and I was finally given my IBUPROFEN (I wasn't just drug seeking, I had just had abdominal surgery!!!) being treated like a drug seeker every time I was due pain meds (they were never just given, I had to ask for them every single time) everyone having to gown up because I was still considered to be in isolation. The only ray of light I had was Michael, he was beyond amazing! I changed one diaper my whole time in there and he is a master swaddler! Dr. S brought some humor when he told the charge nurse to shove it because he wasn't wearing the PPE and since he had been "elbow deep inside her (me)"

Being in isolation meant that when my little one was diagnosed with jaundice and ordered to be under the billi lights for 24 hours (although no one told me how long they would be taking her when they first came to me and told me she had jaundice) I couldn't go to the nursery to feed her, they brought her to me every 3 hours for 30 minutes so I could feed her. I cried for half an hour before they brought her to me and half an hour after they took her from me. They also supplemented her with formula to help the jaundice but I felt so uninformed. I didn't get to see a lactation consultant until my second day in the hospital.

I watched The Business of Being Born before giving birth to my little one and at the time I didn't think that I was cut out for a natural or home birth but after my experiences I have learned that I should have been much more knowledgeable and more demanding about what I wanted to happen. I wish I had spent less time reading pregnancy book and read more about breast feeding. I wish I had attended a Le Leche League meeting before giving birth. I wish I had educated myself further I wish I had researched more about a Doula because I am disappointed that I didn't have a wonderful birth experience but in the end, I got my wonderful little girl and it was all worth it.

I can't begin to tell you how wonderful she is but I will try, give me time!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Pregnancy in Pictures

Last picture taken that I know I wasn't preggo in Sept. 2010

Just found out and hanging out.
About 5 months
Bought my first onsie for her!
Rubbing the bellies
Hanging out at the Grifin while I still can! Make mine a Shirley Temple!
At a Black Keys concert

About 7 months

 My niece AKA Smuches

Love that little one!

About 8 month
About 8-1/2 months

Smunches is checking out the dinner menu
Posing at Viva Las Vegas

About 9 months
I cut my hair off!
Graduating from my Dental Assisting Program

In the bathroom before leaving for the hospital

Last Picture Before Leaving for the Hospital
Last one before she is here!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice and a Giant Needle

The Turtleburgular
Here you can see my little one, waving hello!

So shortly into my second trimester I had blood work and an ultrasound done to make sure things were developing normally. It is the fear of every pregnant woman that something about their pregnancy would not develop normally and something would be wrong.

I had 11 vials of blood drawn, I peed in a cup (which would become standard practice every time I went to the doctor) they preformed an ultrasound. My doctor told me that everything looked normal on the ultrasound and barring anything coming up from the blood work, he would see me next month.

I got a phone call 3 days later that my doctor would like to see me in his office. Now I know I have a sparkling, magnetic personality but I was pretty sure my doctor didn't just miss me and want to see me early. I immediately started crying and his nurse reassured me that it was probably nothing but one of my levels was testing high. On the phone with the girl trying to schedule an appointment for the next day, I was so upset that I got a return phone call from the nurse explaining that everything was probably fine, it was just one of the proteins used to detect downs syndrome was testing higher than normal. Very reassuring. I curled into the fetal position and called Michael and then called my mom.

My mom tried to reassure me that this was just a blood test and that everything else looked normal. So to relieve my fears I did what every sane, rational, pregnant blogger would do. I starting looking things up on the internet. Before you stop reading and grab the largest book by your computer to smash into your head for being friends with someone who would do something so stereotypical, let me explain. I mentioned before that I pick at little areas when I am under stress and picking at finding out what is wrong is no different for me, I did basically calm myself down.

At the meeting with my OB, Michael and I were together, united at least. He explained that the level was indeed high but structurally everything looked fine. He told us that the odds of having a child with a disability were about 1:200, the odds of something going wrong during an amniocentesis were about 1:275. He wanted to give us the option of having an amnio to find out exactly what was going on or we could just leave it alone.

We really aren't "leave it alone" kind of people, I knew I would never relax until I knew if the baby was OK. So we agreed and I was scheduled. The only upside to having to have the amnio done was we would be able to find out if the baby was male or female.

On the morning of the procedure I was nervous. I got to the doctors, peed in a cup, was weighted and sent into the ultrasound room. The Ultrasound tech is a really funny guy named George, one of the reasons I picked my OB is because he is funny and sarcastic (when he did the initial ultrasound he couldn't figure out why the portable machine wasn't working... it wasn't plugged in. I looked at him and said "8 years of medical school huh?" to which he replied "Foiled by Mr. Edison again") George was reassuring me that Dr. S has never stuck any of the babies he was preforming an amnio on, how it would be easy because George would be there to guide him and it shouldn't be too uncomfortable because they would give me a shot of lidocaine before they started.

I was given the shot of lidocaine, I was prepped and then Dr. S came in to preform everything. First thing he mentions after sticking me with the giant (GIANT) needle is about how he totally nailed a baby in the leg with the needle last week. Comforting, caring, nailing babies with giant needles, OK so maybe it won't be their new office motto. I looked at George and said "I thought you just told me he never hits the babies" Dr.S "That was different, this baby was full term" (the baby was fine, just thought the exchange was funny)

I was told I would get the results in a few days, as long as everything was normal she would tell me over the phone and if anything came up we would sit down and discuss our options. Waiting seemed to take forever but on Friday, I got a call and I was told "All the results are normal in regards to the female fetus"

I was having a girl!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Admitting Publically That I *Might* Have Been Wrong

I know it is a little grainy and hard to tell but apparently I was wrong and Michael was right. I was preggers. About 7 weeks along and the little one had a strong heartbeat.

I immediately started celebrating by eating everything in sight, I am told it looked vaguely like Godzilla attacking Tokyo but my victory was short lived because it turns out there was only room for one movie monster in this body of mine and I was about to learn it was totally in charge of things from here on out.

This is real footage from the delivery room!

I was like every single other pregnant woman in history. I had morning sickness, smells bothered me, I was exhausted and found myself crying at commercials for deodorant and male hair color.

We wanted to find a special way to tell my Parental Units but wanted to wait until after we had the first doctors appointment. I had already told Carrie when I called her back with a shocked "it's positive" and she screamed and danced around her house with her little flower (her daughter) laughing and singing (or at least that is what I picture) while Nate sat by the computer thinking we were playing a joke on him.

I next told Bean in what will go down in the annals of our friendship as the most boneheaded move on my part.
I sent her a text message.
She text back and asked me if I was pregnant or getting another dog, probably not the best way to tell your best friend she is going to be a godmother.

When my sister and brother in law told my parents they were expecting, they brought cards and bibs and knowing Krystal she probably brought flowers and tissues and a camera and made the day really beautiful and special.

I pretended I bought the Heir Apparent a squirrel costume.

I don't know what it says about Michael and I that my parents didn't find it too odd that we bought a costume for their dog and wanted them both there when we brought it over. I did include the picture from the ultrasound in the Halloween card we got them, which was addressed to Grandma and Grandpa but they thought it was in reference to the Kidlet.

We called his dad and then his mom, we called his brothers and it got out to our circle of friends. We decided to keep the news low key until I was in my second trimester because bad things can happen and nothing is worse than going through a private devastation than having to deal with it publicly. I worked one shift at my retail job but they were unaware, I was barely 10 weeks.

I did have to inform my school right away because I was enrolled in a Dental Radiology class at the time and we wore dosimeters and I was now required to wear a fetal dosimeter as well as the thyroid dosimeter. My instructors were very happy for me and very helpful. Because of my due date it looked like I would be able to complete my program. I would graduate from the program in May and my due date was in June.

Last but certainly not least, we had to tell the Kidlet that he was no longer going to be our one and only. We waited until the best night to deliver information like this to an 8 year old boy, Halloween. He was excited but it could have been the candy talking. We knew once the Kidlet had been told that Bio-Mom would know, the Kidlet has a little sister and she called to congratulate us.

We were down to the waiting game that is pregnancy.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Day Peeing Changed My Life

Last I talked with you my lovelies, I shared how Micahel and I got through the roughest summer our relationship has ever been through to this point. The decision was made to make our relationship the priority and since I was no longer being scheduled to work I was just focusing on school.

I have suffered with irregularity during my cycle for most of my adult life. I don't take hormonal birth control because it messes with my liver and also because it messes with my mind (and the environment!) I have used basal body temperature to measure my ovulation cycle in the past and it was long 21+ days on average, if I ovulated at all. Also my uterus tilts backwards and the doctor who diagnosed this said it was pretty normal but might cause it take longer for me to get pregnant than if my uterus were normal.

All this, along with blood work done by OB/GYN 2 years prior had lead me and my "abnormal uterus" to believe that getting knocked up without some sort of medical intervention would be more difficult than potty training a cat. Michael and I had been together 7 years without any real pregnancy scares. So I processed my grief, my sister had recently become pregnant and I was looking forward to being the best Auntie in the whole, wide world! Although everyone told me it was different, I had the Kidlet and damn it, I love him enough that if he was all I was blessed with then I could accept that. And if you can remember way-back yonder to when I was posting with the regularity of a prune farmer, then you might remember that I had made the decision to finish my Dental Assisting classes and immediately begin pursuing my degree in Dental Hygiene.

I noticed I was out of sorts. Shark Week hadn't started but with my recent stay at the ICU hotel, I wasn't surprised but still something seemed different. I told Michael I was about a week late and he looked up at me from the couch and said "You're pregnant." I said "I can't be, I don't think so, I think it is just stress" he said "you're pregnant".

I decided to go and get a pregnancy test, just to prove to him how wrong he was. We had tried to get pregnant the summer before and it had amounted to nothing but a lot of pregnancy tests in the trash. I had followed doctors orders, taking vitamins and hormones to try to regulate my ovulation. I was taking my basal temperature every morning and logging all actives. We tried until I was sick of trying, I was sick of hoping and nothing happening. We had made a decision to not really share that we had been trying because I didn't want the pressure or the disappointment from anyone else weighting on us.My own disappointment was enough ("Pity? Party of 1? Your table is this way...")

So I got the test, since I knew he was wrong I splurged on the digital read out. I was on the phone with my friend Carrie while I was at the store and told her what was going on and how Michael was totally wrong and how silly boys are but how happy I was that things had been so wonderful for us lately. Because things were good; we were laughing, talking, sharing our feelings and lives fully. All the little things that we had let get in our way were behind us and things were gloriously good right at that moment, even if he was wrong.

I promised to call her if, "if" the test was positive but otherwise I would just talk to her later to catch up. I wish I had some dramatic Juno, drinking gallons of Sunny Delight before taking the pregnancy test story but nope, I just peed in a cup and dipped the stick in (much more sanitary, in my humble opinion) I didn't even have to wait anything like the 5 minutes the box recommended:


Monday, October 3, 2011

17 Days in Ashes

So I promised the tale of finding out I was going to become a mother but I have to start with my 17 day stay in the hospital.

As mentioned before; I was feeling run down, Dear Hubby and I had a challenging summer. Working two jobs quickly burned me out, Dear Hubby and I barely saw each other and the only communication we were having at a certain point were arguments. We planned for our annual trip to visit his clan and we were hoping that the time away would be good for us and it was. We hit complete rock bottom on that trip. We came home and had previously agreed to watch my Parental Units house and the Heir Apparent because while my parents think he can do no wrong the lack of opposable thumbs makes it difficult for him to feed himself.

During the week staying at my parents house I was feeling worse and worse. I had noticed a small bump on the back of my head before we left but assumed it was a pimple. I have a tendency to pick at things, especially when stressed and since we spent 5 days out of town with Dear Hubby's clan with the tension between us so thick you could cut it with a knife, I was picking. Before leaving for our vacation I had a cardiac stress test scheduled at my doctors office, while I was there I mentioned to the nurse I had a painful spot on the back of my head. He suggested it was folliculitus and that I should stop messing with it but had the doctor give me a prescription for an antibiotic. It didn't get better and 3 days after being back home I went to the doctors office again, this is where I should mention that while I like my GP, normally he won't touch you with a 10 foot pole. He will run almost every test under the sun on you yearly but if he could just email you the results of what is wrong I think he would prefer it, he does not have the best bedside manner but he is a damn good doctor.

He looked at the area, which I will admit was hard to see because I have really thick hair, I explained that I could barely move my neck I was in so much pain. He thought it was still folliculitis and I needed another round of a stronger antibiotics but before leaving he ordered a blood test. I got a phone call with 45 minutes telling me to go the closest Emergency Room because he was admitting me. My white blood count was over 3 times as high as normal.

17 days in Sunrise Hospital. I had a particularly nasty MRSA infection.

I got to stay in isolation in the ICU which the only nice thing was that meant I had my own room. It also meant everyone who was exposed to me had to be completely covered in PPE (personal protective equipment) gloves, gowns, masks. Everyone; Doctors, nurses, orderlies, my family and my friends. I don't know if you have ever spent 17 days in one room (Because having me leave the room wasn't an option) I only left for cat-scans. I had to have a PICC line inserted because I kept blowing out my IV's. I was miserable and Dear Hubby and I were still scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as our relationship went.

I missed my first week of classes, I went home with IV antibiotics. Literally I have never been sicker in my whole life. The fear and the reason for the long stay was that the area of the infection was so close to the brain stem that if the infection wasn't controlled quickly the doctors were afraid it would spread and your blogger would be worm food.

I obviously couldn't work during this time but like most corporate retail establishments my job acted like I was faking it.  So I could booze it up while hanging out at nightclubs and tanning at casino pool parties. I had to provide so much documentation and they still acted odd towards me. I worked 3 more shifts after being medically released and then they just never scheduled me again. I called and I tried to talk to the manager and the scheduler but everyone was always busy and no one would call me back. I took it as a sign that it was time to move on with life. My census job had ended before our vacation and Dear Hubby and I had finally got down to the nitty gritty in our relationship.

I mentioned we hit rock bottom on our trip, the things about rock bottom is you sometimes don't realize that it is rock bottom for a little while. We were very touch and go but ultimately we both honestly communicated that neither one of us had any desire to be with anyone else, that our marriage was most important and that both of us had to let go of some baggage we had been carrying around for years. My always working had caused distance, my fears that I needed to be perfect caused me to be a fake version of myself. There were just a lot of little things, we were both to blame but this is my story to tell and you would have to ask Dear Hubby if you wanted details from his perspective.

Like a phoenix our relationship rose from the ashes.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Miss Me?

It has been over a year since I last posted and you my lovelies will not even begin to guess the changes that have taken place since I last spoke with you.

I will come out with the biggest change of all right away and quench your curiosity.

Your dear blogger has become a mother.

Not a stepmother. Although I am still the most kick ass stepmother that The Kidlet has ever met, but a life form living inside my body using my bladder as a punching bag and causing irreparable damage to the skin on my stomach, kind of mother!

I am also finished with Dental Assisting school, spending my last semester knocked up wasn't probably my brightest idea but I kicked ass none the less and graduated with the award for "Best Clinician".

I am no longer employed at my ladies intimates retail store, in fact I am no longer employed anywhere! I spend my days lazing around, eating chocolate while lying on a Tempurpedic with a 4 inch feather bed topper. I often enjoy long days of reading and sleeping, cuddling with the cat while warm in our safe haven during a rain storm or laughing and rolling around in our gauzy white sheets with the Dear Hubby.

Which is to tell you that shortly after my last post I spent 17 days in ICU with a MRSA infection on the back of my head. No joke, my hair fell out on the back of my neck/head and when it grew back it came back in adorable ringlets which totally make doing my hair a pain because all of the hair on the underside is cute curls while all the hair on the top is almost stick straight. Does anyone know where I could get my hands on some ringworms because I am thinking of infecting the rest of my head because that is how my Dad claims he got his redheadfro.

I started my second to last semester of school late, I quickly caught up but then found myself becoming more and more and more exhausted. I was emotional, ok more emotional than usual, and as I have already shared I was preggo.

I am not going to get into the preggo story tonight, I want to do it justice and I want to have some material to write about for the next week.

So until next time!