Friday, December 31, 2010
However, my kids basically complained the entire time and didn't eat a thing. Baby D and Baby R ran screaming from the dinner table, and even yelled "Yuck!" and "Gross!" quite a few times. Nice, huh?
However, since our guests left we've eaten takeout 3 times in a row. And at each meal, my darling Baby D says, "We're having a nice dinner!" Dinners of takeout pizza, Taco Bell, and Chinese food.
The hubby even told me tonight, "You make great food. It just isn't stuff I like."
Unrefined palettes, folks.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I've been laboring over this crazy menu for the past 3 days. We are having guests for the holidays and it is always so hard to meet everyone's wants/needs/likes for food - especially during the holidays.
But, I think I've done it. Yay!
I used a variety of food blogs, cookbooks, and old-standbys. See menus below...and if you have any new ones to share, please do! I love new recipes!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
But, I'm really not emotionally prepared to talk about any of those things :)
Instead, I'll talk about what I'm going to get the boys for their birthdays.
Baby R turns 4 on November 13th. I bought him a leather jacket from Target - he wanted a "brown jacket." He's such a little fashionista! I am also buying him "Shark in the Dark." They listen to this at school and he recites it at home (scary voice and all!). Unfortunately, the audio CD isn't available anymore through amazon. Darn it!
Baby D turns 2 on October 29th and I'm torn between books and toys for him. He really loves books so that seems like the better plan! I'm going to keep searching for him.
My other item - for me and others! - is that I need to buy empty bottles with screw tops or corks. I'm making limoncello and orangecello in the basement. And I need to bottle it, with a simple syrup, and give them away as gifts this Christmas. I'm so excited about these!
Monday, August 2, 2010
It is so odd. And I get this feeling ALL THE TIME now. Which is making things difficult for me since I've basically decided that we will stop with 3 babies.
Please note that this is a very recent decision; made mostly after trying to heal from Baby A's birth. It was apparently more than I could take :)
But, seriously...I keep thinking there is someone missing. When we are loading up the car, I look for the 4th child. When I am putting the kids to sleep at night, I look for this 4th baby.
I don't know if I really want a 4th baby and this is my subconscious kicking in. Or, if I just have so many kids now that my mind is playing tricks on me :)
Either way, it is the oddest sensation/feeling to look at my 3 babies and say, "Wait, where did the other one go?"
Sunday, August 1, 2010
But, now I'm almost 32...and I wanna do something bad. I want to get in trouble!!!
I want to jump into my shopping cart at the supermarket and sail down the aisles. I want to stand up and sing a dirty song in the middle of a meeting. I want to sneak candy into a movie theatre...just because they say I can't. I want to cut the tags off my mattress. I want to eat raw cookie dough; lots of it!
I want to have a drink before 5pm. I want to eat dessert before dinner, and sometimes I want to tell the kids, "Forget those veggies. Let's have banana splits!"
I want to walk around in 4-inch heels and refer to them as my "hooker shoes." I want to ALWAYS cut the crusts from my PB&Js...and be proud of it!
I want to put a huge layer of butter on my toast in the mornings, and grin while I eat it because I know how bad it is for me.
I want to give crude comebacks to evil people. "Suck it!"
What is going on??? I've never been like this before.
Maybe I'm just happy. :)
Sunday, July 18, 2010
After one of his naps this weekend, he came in to sit beside of me on my bed. He snuggled up to my side and rested for a few moments. Then, we had the following conversation:
Baby R: "Do you have your hair in a ponytail?"
Me: "Um, yeah."
Baby R: "Put it down now! You know I don't like your hair in ponytails, Mommy!"
Me: "Okay, crazy boy."
After a few more moments...
Me: "Is this better?"
Baby R: "Yeah, but now let me smell your hair."
After sniffing my hair, he looks at me suspiciously...
Me: "Well, what does my hair smell like?"
Baby R: "Your hair smells like poptarts."
And then he gives me the cheesiest grin ever!
The 2nd situation came when we were watching Ratatouille for the 8,000th time. I looked at Baby R and said, "When you get bigger will you take Mommy to Paris, France?"
Baby R: "No way!"
Me: "Why not?"
Baby R: "Because I don't want to go."
After a few moments of serious thinking on his part...
Baby R: "Daddy and I will drop you off at Paris and then come back and pick you up."
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
- Zucchini and ricotta galette - this looks so yummy! And I love ricotta cheese. I'm not the greatest with creating dough, but hey???
- Candied citrus peels - I got this out of one of my Martha Stewart mags. I definitely want to try this. Plus, I want to then go a step further and try to make choc-covered candided citrus peels. Yum-o!
- Linguine alla Carbonara - If I could only find pancetta? Don't you just love all those recipes where Giada uses pancetta??? I guess I'll just use bacon. (Note that I'm not too disappointed. I mean, come on...it's bacon!)
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I love the idea of breaking down our kitchen waste and applying it to something useful (ex. our garden) vs. just contributing to a landfill. I've found several websites that talk about the pros and cons of creating your own compost bin vs. purchasing one.
This site gave me some cool ideas on indoor compost bins...but the red worm compost bin FREAKS me out. I just couldn't do it!
Plus, I was amazed by the statistic reported on this site - "Kitchen scraps account for 24% of Americans' trash..."
Sunday, June 27, 2010
She also mentioned the good food - fried chicken and peach cobbler. Yum!
When I was a kid, my grandmother would also hold a Sunday dinner. However, ours was more likely to be spaghetti and meatballs. Grandma would also add a salad made with green peppers and iceberg lettuce or my personal favorite...wilted lettuce made with sugar, bacon grease, and vinegar. Artery clogger!
And during the summer, my mother would sometimes contribute with a peach cobbler.
So, today, in honor of our childhood Sunday dinners I'm making peach cobbler.
(Please note that I'm leaving off the fried chicken and adding a twist to my own Sunday dinner...cedar-plank salmon on the grill. )
My house is warm from the oven and smells like cinnamon and peaches. I'm not sure I will be able to hold off on eating this before dessert time.
Update - I already dipped into the cobbler. Awesome!
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I'm also pretty keen this summer on roasted red peppers and Martini & Rossi's sparkling wine. Ahhh...contentment.
The grilled peaches made a great dessert earlier this week. And the roasted red peppers are super with corn and also pureed into homemade pizza sauce.
And the sparkling wine, well it speaks for itself.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
So, recently, he very seriously says, "Mommy, smell my armpits. Do I smell like a dirty hobo?"
Am I wrong for laughing at this? I mean, come on...that is kinda funny. It's not like I'm laughing at a curse word.
So, I very seriously answered back with, "Yep, you're a hobo. A dirty one. Ew."
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Okay, earlier in the week, I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. The hubby was being particularly annoying - he was maddening, in fact. I couldn't get a word in edgewise and I could feel my temper rise.
I finally had enough so I dropped everything in my hands except a squeeze container of mustard. I ripped the cap off and squeezed about a quarter of a bottle onto my hubby.
I recognize that this isn't normal behavior - but somehow I felt so much better. *cheesy grin*
The hubby didn't take it so well. He was COVERED in mustard. It was everywhere. And then Baby R came running around the corner. He tried to stop when he caught sight of his mustard-covered dad, but his momentum carried him forward. He fell into my hubby and ended up with mustard in his hair, his shirt, and along his arm.
They both just stood in the kitchen, staring at me in horror.
I'm not proud of my behavior yet I wonder if the hubby will think twice before pissing me off again. Hmm...
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The hubby and I were drawn into her sphere. She had her own landscaping/lawn mowing business, and the hubby started helping her out on a few jobs. We brought her into our lives as our friend; it was never anything more (even though some wondered!). She was truly just our friend, and sometimes we felt that we were almost her parents despite the fact that she was older.
M struggled with depression. She was also a recovering cutter. She was open about her "issues" and also about her sexuality. M was so good about not judging others, and she was always able to excuse others behavior/judgments.
M was a large part of our lives for so long. We spoke on the phone nearly everyday after the hubby and I moved to IL in early 2004. She was even one of my bridesmaids.
Yet, in late 2005 we started noticing that she was getting herself deeper and deeper into trouble. She had alot of drama: married lover, drug problems, and she was struggling with cutting and depression again.
She stayed with us briefly in late 2005 and into early January in 2006. During her visit, the hubby and I saw that we had drifted apart in our friendship with M. She was asking for $ for various debts she'd acquired, she was talking about buying drugs and bringing them into our home, she was talking about her married lover's spouse and how the spouse was trying to track her down to hurt her. Again, a lot of drama and not necessarily something we wanted in our lives.
We talked to her about it and tried to help her. She basically said she wasn't giving up the lover and she wasn't giving up the drugs. We were "okay" with the lover (her choice, but we were worried for her) but we couldn't condone the drug use. So, we asked her to leave.
That was the last time we saw her.
I spoke to her for the last time in late 2006, right before Baby R's birth. It was obviously the end of our friendship. However, the conversation was very friendly and just a little sad. We basically said goodbye and good luck to each other.
Over the last 4 years, as I've had my boys and grown in my life and career, I've thought of her. I've wondered if she was able to find love, if she was at peace with her life...
But, I've never tried to contact her.
Today, a friend sent me a note on FB and let me know that M had died. She committed suicide.
According to the obit I found, she died in January 2007. Our friend died and we didn't even know.
I'm feeling such guilt b/c I can't help but think that maybe we could have helped her. She must have felt so alone.
I don't know what else to say. I'm shocked, I'm sad. And I wish she were still here. I wish that she had found happiness in her life. I wish she'd never felt pain.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I stroke egos all day long with my sons:
- Great job!
- You're so smart!
- You're #1!
I may need to look into this gig.
Although, I should probably practice a little.
Missed opportunity: Yesterday, the hubby asked me if I wanted the maraschino cherry from his dessert. I should have said, "Give it to me!"
Friday, May 14, 2010
And on Sunday, my dad and stepmom are arriving from WV. I'm nervous, anxious, and excited all at the same time. I have visions of my dad trying to tell me how to raise, discipline, and feed my children - and I see myself going postal if he tries to do this. So, I'm anxious to see how we get along (as well as adding the stepmom into the mix).
And I have to admit to being excited because my kids love family. Baby R loves to talk about grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. He is really looking forward to "Grandpa Chuck's" visit. They will be staying with us for the next week and helping out while the hubby is in Chicago for training.
I have a few, fun recipes planned for this weekend and the coming week with my family:
- Baked chicken with salad, homemade croutons and panna cotta with raspberries - hands down my new fav dinner and dessert!
- Five-layer Italian dip - thanks to my friend, Amanda. She makes this for parties and such and it is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot say enough about this dip. I'll post the recipe below to spread the love.
- Cheese quesadillas with refried beans, and Mexican cheesy rice
Five Layer Italian Dip (recipe)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup pesto
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cream cheese and parm. Spread onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate or quiche dish. Layer remaining ingredients over cream cheese mixture. Bake 15 mins or until heated through. Serve hot with assorted crackers or sliced Italian bread.
Also, for a baby update - Baby A is doing very well. Although, he does have a little cold and continues to want to nurse every 30 minutes. He is becoming more alert and starting to focus on his surroundings. I love when his eyes finally focus on me and he just stares so intently. But, I also get a kick out of him staring at his nose, cross-eyed. :)
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Everyone from my family to the cashier at the supermarket has an opinion and they want to share it with me.
- "That baby is going to have a nickname...did you think of that?"
- "That is such a strange name. I would have named him...[insert their name choices]"
- "Just so you know, I am not going to call him that..."
I hope that when people tell me their name choice(s) that I say only positive things in response. "Great name!" or "Oh, that is my favorite name."
Come on, people. Have some tact.
Monday, May 10, 2010
I love the darn things - the bigger the better, of course!
I love to buy them, but I also really enjoy making them. Here are a few lessons-learned I've picked up from making my own:
- Chocolate - Only purchase the Hershey's chocolate shell coating. Any other brand will leave choc remnants on your wax paper vs. sticking to your strawberry. And use a small, child's cup (my fav is one of the sippy cups from Tupperware) to hold your choc so you can easily dip the strawberry into it.
- Strawberries - Cut the damn leaves off. It is annoying trying to eat around the leaves. As I said, I also like the bigger strawberries, yet the smaller ones are probably sweeter.
- Wax paper - I place my strawberries on wax paper over a cookie sheet. This keeps the strawberries from sticking to the pan.
- Quantity - If you believe your small family will only eat a dozen...make two dozen because you are dead wrong. That small family will devour those 12 strawberries and lift their heads to sniff out more. They will look like freaks from a horror movie, with strawberry juice dripping from their chins. The lesson here is to overdue it; buy 2 cartons of berries and dip them all!
- Announcing your dessert choice - I believing timing is key here. If I have one or two picky, dinner eaters I'm apt to announce my yummy, berry goodness as our dessert choice a little early in the meal. However, if I have a lazy eater (or two!) I will keep this a secret until the end of the meal, and watch them shovel their meals in their mouths in order to earn that yummy, berry goodness. As I said, timing is key.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
This is my ideal mother's gift. Hint, hint ST!
Basically, King has resurrected Sherlock Holmes and provided him with a female counterpart, Mary Russell. I love it!
I recommend starting with the first book, Beekeeper's Apprentice.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I watch the series on DVD almost every day (thank you ST for buying me the entire series).
But, I need someone else to love this show as much as I do so I can chat with them about it. My ST leaves the room as soon as he hears the opening sequence.
I am enamored of the men on this show - Leo, Toby, Joshua, Charlie. These guys are amazing. I love these characters. In fact, Baby A was almost a "Joshua."
Just watch the show already! You can catch re-runs on Bravo.
Monday, May 3, 2010
She bought them toys and craft supplies. And she played endless games of "ghost hunting" with Baby R.
I can never thank her enough for jumping in...and all this only weeks after she herself gave birth to her 2nd baby!
Thank you Laura! You are a truly special friend. I could fill up pages and pages of blog with praise for you as a friend, woman, and mother. You are amazing.
P.S. Special thanks to Aji for the new, Indian recipes!
Friday, April 30, 2010
Read at your leisure and peril (may contain TMI).
At 12:01 am, Friday, April 23rd (2010), I woke up to Baby R creeping into my room. I decided to make a bathroom trip and then put him back in his bed (thank you Supernanny!). As I sat down, I felt a pop and I immediately knew my water was broken.
My first thought was, "Damn you [insert ST's name]!" My ST was in Chicago last week for training/business trip. We'd talked about the possibility of me going into labor and how we (meaning me!) would manage that.
As I'm trying to decide how to proceed, Baby R insists that I get up b/c he has to use the toilet. Um, okay...and you won't believe this, but I did relinquish the throne to my son. Please note that I did this under duress b/c I didn't want to clean up his mess :)
So, I managed to get dressed, call my ST, and send out a frantic text msg to all friends in the area. I figured if one of them could watch my kids I could drive myself to the hospital.
No one answered my call, so I decided to call a neighbor directly. She answered and said she and her husband would be over soon. Thanks V!
V watched my babies while her husband took me to the hospital. Keep in mind that Baby R was out of his mind at this point and kept saying, "No, Mommy! You can't leave until Daddy gets here!" Traumatic moment for all involved.
I got to the hospital, and by this time my contractions were about 3 mins apart. The OB on call, Dr. B, decided that we would go ahead with a c-section and not wait for my ST to arrive. She did however, allow me to put my cell on speakerphone so my ST could hear everything during the delivery. Alternately a good and bad idea!
As they wheeled me in to surgery, I peppered them with all the details of my first two births. I was scared shi*tless that the spinal wouldn't work. The ane and his assistant were very nice and everyone kept saying, "We won't cut you until we are sure you are numb. We promise!"
At one point, I think I became a true nutcase and screamed, "Please, I'm begging you. Just knock me out. I can't do this!" I laugh about this now, but at the time I was freaking out. I couldn't believe I was doing this alone and w/o my ST. Plus, I thought I'd have 4 more days until our scheduled c-section. WTF!
After they and I were assured that I was numb, the surgery began. It lasted much longer than my other two, and I will forever be appreciative to the nurse who held my hand and kept updating me with details of the surgery. She was great and later on I was able to tell her so.
When they pulled down the curtain and showed me BabyA, I was so excited. He was perfect! And he looked right at me.
They cleaned him up and brought him next to my head. He was a little fussy but immediately quieted as I spoke to him. This is a baby after my heart. My other two were definitely daddy's boys. This baby responds to my voice and touch and makes my heart melt.
He was 8 lbs 6 0z, and 20 3/4 inches long.
Eventually hubby had to get off the phone and they finished the surgery. One of the weirdest sounds you will hear in the operating room - the sound of the air-powered stapler used to close you up. See, I told you TMI.
My ST arrived @ 3:30AM, and was able to join me in the recovery room. We then moved to my hospital room and cuddled with our new baby. We also looked at each other and said, "Uh, what do we name him???"
On Sunday afternoon, Baby A and I were able to go home. However, before going home I told the doctor on-call and the nurses that my incision didn't look or feel right. It just looked completely different from my previous two. And I was in a lot more pain than before. They all assured me that this was normal. Ha!
Quick note to say that both boys immediately loved Baby A. They hugged and kissed him and wouldn't stop touching him. So thankful that my big boys are so loving!
Took Baby A to the hospital to have his bilirubin levels checked. They were a little high prior to checking out, so we were checking again.
I also made an appt with Dr. OB to get his opinion on my incision. He immediately ripped off the tape holding my incision together (staples were removed prior to leaving the hospital) and started poking around. He said my incision wasn't healing the way it should; I was healing from the outside-in vs. inside-out. Apparently, this is a big no-no and would never heal if I didn't take care of it. That means that every day for the next two weeks (or more) my ST needs to "dress" my incision...twice a day.
I cannot tell you how disturbing this is for me. I HATE IT!!!!!
Enough said on that.
Tuesday 5:30 PM
Received a phone call from the lab @ the hospital. Baby A's bili levels were at 19.5. He was considered high-risk at this point and we were told to get to the hospital immediately.
Baby R started crying. I think he was a little traumatized by everything and really just needed us to get back to our routine. Luckily, our friends from Chicago were there to watch the boys. They arrived the day of Baby A's birth and stepped in to save the day!
So, from Tuesday night until Thursday night we were in the hospital with Baby A. They put him under 4 phototherapy lights and over the course of those three days we were able to get his levels down to 10.4 before leaving the hospital.
We go back on Saturday to check his levels but everything should be good-to-go.
At this point, I'm just glad to be home. I hope this stupid incision heals soon, and I'm ready to be a family of five :)
Now...what do I make for dinner tonight?
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
- Anxiety - I'm so anxious about this surgery. I know I shouldn't be, but the closer I get to the date the more anxious I get. My biggest fear is that I will feel them cutting. This is all based on Baby R's birth and emergency c-section. *sigh* Dr. OB said that if I started feeling "buggy" that I could ask the ane for something. I think I will, thank you very much! :)
- 4th pregnancy - I spoke to Dr. OB about Dr. Cardio's recommendation to not have a 4th baby. Dr. OB said he was more concerned @ this time with my scar tissue. He recommended that we wait to discuss a 4th baby until after he sees what my scar tissue is like next week. If the scar tissue is "a mess" then he too will recommend that I not have a 4th pregnancy. Keep in mind that after Baby D's birth, he said my scar tissue looked great.
On a separate note, today is my MIL's masectomy (surgery). Everyone please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. As a wonderful gift, she sent us a fat check so that we could bring our housekeeper back. I've been w/o my Housekeeper Extaordinaire (HE) since Jan 2009. Could there be a better present???? :)
HE is coming tomorrow morning @8AM. Woot! Woot!
Baby D's Birth Story - Long, long post below
Our hospital's policy is that you have to have a scheduled c-section if you want to deliver in their facility - if you've had previous c-sections. So, we scheduled Baby D's birth for the end of Oct 2008.
My MIL arrived to take care of Baby R a few days before the surgery. I was so relieved b/c I needed to know that someone I trusted was watching my firstborn. This was the first time I'd ever been away from Baby R overnight. It was difficult to leave him - for many reasons; all tied to a mother's guilt.
The morning of the surgery I was petrified. Everyone told me, "Oh, this will be so different. You will have a spinal and you won't feel a thing!" Seriously, everyone said these same words to me. "You won't feel a thing." But, it wasn't enough to hear others say it, even Dr. OB. I wanted to experience it!
When they prep you for a c-section, they have to give you an IV. To do this, they have to use a huge-a** needle. Much larger b/c of all the meds they have to pump in you during the surgery. Nice.
Let's just say I was crying by the 4th stick. It takes alot for me to get a good stick while I'm preggers. Don't ask me why - any other time I bleed freely :)
During your pre-op, a million people come in to chat with you - the ane, the ane's assistant, Dr. OB, Dr. OB's assisting doc, all the nurses, etc. Everyone wants you to talk about your fears, any questions you may have, etc. This was all good for me. B/c I had a million questions about the spinal, and I wanted EVERYONE to know my fear of feeling that first cut!
The surgery room is freezing cold. Freezing! Like walking into an indoor freezer. And after they wheel you in, then the party gets started. They are in a hurry to get baby out. I can understand this. Why drag it out? Plus, the doc needs to get to his first 8:00AM appt with patients. I have no prob with this...except, that you generally feel left out of all the discussion while you're laying there.
You feel like there is a flurry of activity all around you and you have no idea what is going on. Questions like, "When will they start cutting? Why do they need that? What should I be doing?" all float around in your head.The ane's assistant and one of the nurses stood by my head. My ST wasn't in the room yet. These two women were so wonderful. They kept asking me how I was feeling, and tried to assure me that everything would be fine.
The ane came in and we did the spinal. Okay, a spinal...this doesn't necessarily hurt. It stings a little but more than that it just feels funky to have something rooting around near your spine. It almost (almost!) tickles.
So, after your spinal, they lay you back down and wait for it to take effect. I started to feel all warm and tingly from the chest down, but I was still able to feel the assisting doc pinching around my groin area. I looked at the nurse and I said, "I can feel pinching." She said as much to the docs and the assisting doc leaned over with a look of "Come on, really?" Right then, I could have died. I thought that it was all going to happen again. I was going to feel them cut me. He had such a disbelieving look on his face.
So, every few seconds he'd pinch me again and I was very vocal about saying where he was pinching and when.
Finally, the ane decided to give me another spinal. Everyone took my arms and hauled me up to bend over my belly. Not easy to do when you're 9 mos...I was so uncomfortable.
After the 2nd spinal, I was laid back on the table and I heard some movement. I turned my head and saw my ST come into the room and stand by my head. He said, "Oh my God, he has so much hair!" I thought he was kidding. I even said, "Are you joking? They haven't started cutting yet."
My ST assured me that the baby was almost out - he was standing and watching everything. I couldn't believe that they'd already started cutting...why didn't they ask me if I felt the pinching again. Did they just take it for granted that the 2nd spinal would do it????????????
Well, I guess it worked. Thank you Jesus!
I know, I sound overly dramatic. But, Baby R's birth was enough to put the fear of God into me for any future surgeries. Especially those surgeries where you are awake.
As I looked at my ST, I was so grossed out that he was watching everything. I said, "Isn't it gross?" And he said, "Yeah, it is." He was grimacing the entire time and I could see vague shadows of everything through the whites of his eyes. I was grossed out!
But, then they held up Baby D and he was huge with all this black, curly hair. He was so big. I heard one of the nurses say that she thought for sure I'd only have a 6-pounder in there. Instead he was 8 lbs 12 oz.
They bundled him up and brought him to my head. I just wanted to hold him and touch his little face, and baby lips. I wanted to give him kisses and whisper in his ear. And I couldn't. This is the bummer of having a c-section.
And at that moment, my body decided I was ready to be sick. They very quickly took Baby R away as I started dry-heaving. They also ushered my ST out of the room and into the nursery with Baby R. Not my best moment, I'll admit. But, hey. I had 2 guys rooting around playing with my internal organs. I couldn't expect much less, right?
As they were closing me up, one of the nurses brought me a picture of Baby D. She propped it on the blanket on my chest so I could see him. They told me they were taking me to recovery and said that the baby had to stay in the nursery; no babies allowed in recovery.
The ane's assistant said, "As I wheel you by the nursery, I'll ask one of the nurses to bring your baby to the window so you can say goodbye." So thoughtful. I really, really liked this woman.
But, as she wheeled me by the nursery and asked someone to hold up Baby D I heard one of the nurses respond with, "We can't...her baby is in level II...breathing troubles..." And then I didn't hear anything. I got really frantic and I couldn't find my ST. The ane's assistant said she would find out more.
This is not a moment that is fun to re-live, as you can imagine. Fearful that something was wrong with my little boy and totally incapable of rushing in there to find out what was going on. All I could do was stare at his little picture and try to recover as fast as possible.
In the recovery room, they wheeled me into a corner and left me. With a spinal, you have this heavy-weight feeling in your chest. I kept feeling afraid that I would stop breathing. I watched the clock overhead, looked at my baby's picture, and started beating my fists against my thighs. I was trying to get the blood-flow moving in my legs b/c you cannot leave recovery until you can at least wriggle your toes. I was determined to beat the 90 mins they said it would take to recover.
It took me 3 hours to recover. This is why I alternative love and hate that 2nd spinal.
When they wheeled me into my room, my ST wasn't there. I asked if I could go see my baby and they said I wasn't allowed to sit up for 5 hours so I had to stay here. They said Baby D had a pneumothorax and wasn't allowed out of the Level II nursery.
My ST came in as I was crying and showed me pics, brought me up-to-speed on what the docs were saying, etc. He had me record a message for Baby D and he ran back and played it for him. Awesome, right???
He then came back in the room with me and we waited for the 5 hours until I could see Baby D. Keep in mind, I kept sending my ST back to see Baby D to make sure he was okay. Poor guy was running the halls the entire day.
During this 5 hours, I was feeling pretty doped. I was scared, sad, weepy, and ready to fight. I wanted to get out of that dam* bed and see my baby. Everyone kept telling me to sleep. Unfortunately, after a c-section, they hook you up to a heart monitor. This heart monitor lets out a series of very loud, annoying beeps if your heart rate drops to a certain level; which mine did everytime I started to close my eyes.
After my 5 hours were up, I had my ST and the nurse help me into a wheelchair and they wheeled me to the Level II nursery. This nursery is beside of the regular baby nursery - the only thing it has in common with the regular nursery is the name "nursery." You have to "scrub in" before you can enter - every time.
You also have to put on a special gown. Once they wheeled me back, my Baby D was the only baby in Level II. He was under an oxygen hood and he had a ton of tubes and stickers all over him. He had a couple tubes down his nose and his little chest was pumping up and down fast as he was drawing air. It was the saddest sight to see, but also the sweetest.
I wasn't allowed to pick him up, but I could rub his arms and legs and talk to him. The Level II "specialist" came in and talked to us about Baby D's condition:
- a pneumothorax was detected soon after he was born. They noticed this b/c his nostrils were flaring each time he tried to breathe in.
- X-rays confirmed the pneumothorax - a small air pocket in his lungs.
- the oxygen hood was 100% oxygen. He would gradually (over the next 24-36 hours) be brought back down to our normal, oxygen level (~27% - I can't remember the exact #).
- basically, the oxygen ensured that his lungs would reabsorb the air pocket and allow him to breathe on his own
Over the next few days, my ST and I would walk to see Baby D, and 36 hours after he was born I was able to hold him. I started nursing every 2 hours after that. I think this walking was what allowed me to heal from the c-section so rapidly.
Five days after he was born, Baby D was allowed to come back to our room. An hour later, they dismissed us from the hospital.
Not an ideal birth story, yet it had a happy ending. Baby D was able to get past the pneumothorax, and we were able to leave the hosp with our baby.
Plus, Baby R said his first full sentence that afternoon while holding Baby D for the first time.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Update on cardio appt - Yesterday, Dr. Cardio's office called to let me know my results:
- Echocardiogram - clean! Yeah!
- Heart monitor results - my heart rate recorded 140 bpm. This is "cause for concern" but not "alarming." Please note that I'm using the nurse's words. Apparently, 150 is when they become alarmed.
Basically, she said they would be putting me on some meds, but since I'm due to give birth next Tuesday they are going to hold off. Works for me!
Okay, since I'm getting closer to Baby #3s arrival, I wanted to share birth stories of my first two babies.
CAUTION: The following post may contain TMI. Plus, it is a really, really, really long story. I wanted to give all the details though :)
Baby R's Birth Story
In November of 2006, I woke up @7AM; four days prior to my due date. I woke up to a feeling that my water was breaking. I had my sweet-tart (hereby to be referred to as ST) push me out of bed (literally) and confirmed that I was in labor.
ST was so excited. He ran around, getting my bag ready, getting dressed, and telling me to get out of the bathroom! I was so afraid to stand up from the toilet. My water was just gushing out...I had no idea what to do. Ugh!
After dressing, we got in the car and drove the 5 mins to the hospital. Labor & Delivery confirmed that my water had broken (litmus test) and we were put into our private room. This is the room where we would deliver and also where we would stay for the duration of our hosp visit.
Right around 8AM, my contractions started and were pretty consistent. The doc put me on pitocin to ensure that I would deliver the baby before he left for the day @5PM. Gotta love docs!
The pitocin made things so much more intense. Plus, my ST decided to start joking around and talking during my contractions. Apparently, this was a no-no for me. No talking during contractions! I was basically hateful. At one point, during a really bad contraction, my ST was trying to talk and be funny and the nurse looked at him and said, "I think your wife said you needed to be quiet." Awesome!
Around 11AM, I received an epidural (dilated at 4cm). It took them 3 tries to get the epidural in (first time hit a nerve, 2nd time hit a blood vessel). My ST has this on video. I can barely watch it.
I was feeling great from 11AM until around 2PM. I also ate 10 popsicles during this time (cherry and banana - big mistake considering how sick I felt from them later).
That's when the epidural basically wore off. From 2PM until 4PM, I basically thought Baby R had taken a wrong turn somewhere and decided to come out of my behind :) I know, TMI!!!!
Around 4PM, I started pushing. I pushed until around 5:30 and then Baby R's heart rate started to drop dramatically. The doc decided that I needed a c-section to get the baby out, and I was whisked off to surgery; after signing about a million forms.
Keep in mind that during this time, every time I had a contraction, I was pulling my knees up to my chest and pushing on my own. It just made me feel better.
When they wheeled me into the surgery room, they tied my legs down. I was screaming b/c the contractions were awful and I was basically tied down (by then, my arms were also tied down).
I remember a flurry of activity and the anesthesiologist introducing himself. Then, I remember crazy, crazy pain. The kind where I truly felt myself leave my body. It was as if my brain couldn't handle the pain and I just needed to get away from it. They were cutting into my abdomen. I heard the anestesiologist say, "Is this really necessary?"
I was telling them where I was hurting and then they held up Baby R. He was all black eyes, and pink hands and feet...and screaming. So beautiful! I wanted to hold him, I wanted to count his fingers and toes, everything.
Then, I don't remember anything until I woke up in recovery. My throat was sore and I wanted a drink of water or an ice chip. They told me I couldn't have anything in recovery and I'd need to wait until I got back to my room.
When, they wheeled me back to my room I kept asking my ST, "Why weren't you in the room? Where's the baby?"
He said that they didn't let him in b/c I was screaming and they couldn't get my pain under control. Apparently, they are worried that the husbands will go beserk when their wives are like this during the surgery. Poor ST!
My friend, EE, was there when they brought Baby R in. She'd been watching him for me in the nursery b/c I had a phobia about someone stealing him. I have the best girlfriends.
When I met this little boy, he was so adorable. He started nursing right away and I just fell in love with him. My ST and I fell in love instantly :)
The next morning, the anesthesiologist came in to check on me. I asked him what happened, and he said that b/c they had to take the baby so quickly (it went from urgent to an emergency c-section b/c of Baby R's continued heart rate decrease) they didn't have time to ensure that I would be numb. When I was screaming they decided to give me a sedative to knock me out.
So, there ya have it. Baby R's birth story. Lots of details and TMI...but so glad I recorded it. I don't think I've ever given anyone all of these details.
Monday, April 19, 2010
However, last Tuesday night my girlfriends were able to surprise me with the best gifts! So unexpected!
They bought diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, and carrying bins! All stuff that I truly need for baby #3.
It is very hard to live so far away from my family. I truly rely on my friends to build that "extended family" feel for our children. And my friends are wonderful :)
Thank you ladies for being so awesome! I appreciate your friendship and I appreciate your kindness!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, Baby D doesn't seem to like crowds. Nor does he like to be held for long periods of time. *sigh*
So, we paid $15 (each) for my husband and I to get into the circus; kids are free with a coupon. We enter and hear that there is only standing room left on the floor. Ugh! So, with Baby D starting to get cranky and Baby R whining b/c he can't see, we settle in to watch the show.
Eventually, I have to buy Baby D a useless toy for $8 to keep him quiet. Lots of people around us were starting to give us the evil eye - "Shut that kid up!"
The toy soon began to lose its lustre so, I eventually had to take Baby D back to the car. My husband and Baby R stayed behind to watch the show.
*note that I was almost secretly glad to be back in the car b/c I had so many contractions while standing and I was so, so uncomfortable*
While Baby D bounced around the car - no joke, he launched himself from the front driver's seat into the backseat multiple times, my eldest was able to live out his dream. Baby R rode on an elephant for $5 and was able to pretend that he was Indiana Jones (his hero!). Yeah!!!!
For those of you unaware of this movie clip, check out Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Although, Baby R was upset that Indy was able to ride his elephant outdoors while Baby R's elephant-ride was restricted to indoors.
I hate that I missed this moment and unfortunately, pictures were not allowed during the show or ride. Darn it!
But, I love that Baby R was able to enjoy this. He talked about it the entire evening. This morning, when asked about the experience he said, "The elephant had big ears...that's all I could see!"
I'm so happy that we are able to provide these little moments for our kids. Believe me, as a kid growing up in WV I never experienced anything like that...especially not at age 3. The best I managed was a ride on the family mule - Jenny :) No joke! My dad would tie a piece of bailing twine around her neck and lead me around the farm.
Ah, the good 'ole days!
Friday, April 16, 2010
In her email, my friend encouraged me to ensure that our newborn (when he arrives) receives a pulse ox test. Please read an excerpt of her email below...I hope this may help others as well! I plan to definitely ask for this test when our new baby arrives!
...I did want to ask you to consider asking for a pulse ox test after your children are born. Heart defects are the number one birth defect in this country. A majority of the doctors and hospitals do not test for heart defects and many babies are sent home and the defects are not caught until weeks or months later... A pulse oximeter is a red light taped to the babies toe or foot and the light reads how much oxygen is in the babies blood. The good range for a newborn is 94-97%, it will increase to 100% as the days pass and an open valve between the pulmonary artery and aorta closes(which is typical for all newborns). Ashley’s was at 88% even on oxygen when she was born but she had a noticeable heart murmur. I’m not sure how much a hospital would charge for this test but my pediatrician charged our insurance $50 for a pulse ox in the office. If a pulse ox is not done please know some of the warning sign of heart defects are bluish color, poor weight gain, poor eating, difficulty breathing...
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I was dizzy and had to sit on the chair vs. the examining table. The doc decided to send me to see a cardiologist to ensure everything was okay. At this point, he and I both think it is the same thing I had when I was preggers with baby D; hypotension (low-blood pressure).
This hypotension is what is causing me to pass out, and generally be a wuss! :)
I saw a cardiologist and went through all the same tests with Baby D, but my OB decided it was worth it to take another look.
So, yesterday, my sweet-tart and I got to the cardiologist's office a little after 8AM. I was basically there until around 3:15 PM (we did leave for lunch).
These are the tests we did:
- EKG - they hook you up with about 10 stickers on your legs, arms, and chest. Then they hook up these "electrodes" to a machine for about 10 mins. It's painless, but annoying b/c I'm flashing my breasts for anyone in the room...for 10 mins :)
- Echocardiogram - this is basically an ultrasound of your heart. You have to lay on your side for this exam, and also flash your girly bits to everyone in the room. I had to ask for a pillow to support the baby belly b/c I was so uncomfortable. They basically use the ultrasound wand on your sides, chest, and throat. This exam took about an hour the first time I had it done. This time it was about 30 minutes. But, there is always all this prep so I was in that room for about an hour.
- Heart monitor - I am now hooked up to a heart monitor. Again, stickers on my chest all hooked up to electrodes leading to a pocket-sized heart monitor. I am allergic to the stickers so I've been itching like crazy! I keep this on for 24 hours and it records your heart during that time. I can take it off today around 2:30 and then I need to return it to the hospital; along with a journal of what time I went to bed, how many times I got up during the night, and if I engaged in any strenuous activity and for how long (please note that the nurse winked at me when she mentioned this one!)
I know it all sounds pretty weird; especially for someone in their 30s with no history of heart problems. Truly, it is all painless, but it makes me feel better to know that a specialist is looking at me and will give me the clear/go for the c-section on the 27th.
I asked the cardiologist, "Could my blood pressure drop so low that I die during the c-section?" He was kinda comforting...he said, "After they get that baby out, they will do everything they can for you. That means you can have all the medicine you need that we just can't give you now. Not good for you or baby right now."
He was a little vague on the not-dying thing, but somehow I was comforted :)
He also basically told us that we shouldn't have a 4th baby. As he pointed out, this hypotension seems to get worse with each pregnancy. He told us about a case where a woman had to have her baby early just to escape the hypotension since it got so bad.
So, this really bothered me. I'm so sad as I write this right now. We really want(ed) 4 kids, for multiple reasons. To hear a doctor, a specialist, tell me that I shouldn't have another baby, that I shouldn't be pregnant...ever again!...is a little heart-wrenching.
I will need to really think about this. My mind was looking for loopholes in his statement. He didn't say that I couldn't (or wasn't allowed to) get pregnant. He just said that I shouldn't. Again, lots of thought needed b/c I can totally rationalize this whole situation to suit my own needs :)
Anyways, here's how you "treat" hypotension when you're preggers:
- if you feel dizzy, lay down immediately on your left-side
- if you get heart palpitations, lay down immediately on your left-side
- if you have shortness of breath, lay down immediately on your left-side
I often get all 3 of these in the shower, and my sweet-tart likes to tell me, "Just lay down in the tub immediately. Don't try to get to the bed." Okay, I just cannot picture me comfortably fitting with my baby belly curled on my left-side on the bottom of the tub with the shower running. I'm sorry, but this doesn't seem like the idea scenario to me.
So, everytime this happens I try to make it out of the bathroom and into my bedroom to the bed. This is invariably when I pass out; in other words, my ideal scenario generally turns into my wussy moment of the day :) Here are some recent incidents to prove how dumb I am:
- had a contraction in the tub and was feeling sick - when I bent over with the contraction, I got dizzy and topped forward to hit my head on the faucet of the tub.
- after the tub incident, I decided to make my way to my bed where I proceeded to pass out on the way to the bed. I woke up with my towel wrapped around my arm and head.
- I managed to get to the bed and laid there for about 20 mins (note that I also got my cell phone and called Eric and my doc at this time to report my stupidity). I then got up, dressed, and started to walk down the hall. I passed out again through the doorway of Baby's R's bedroom. Stupid, stupid, stupid!
So when my hubby brings this up to cardiologist, he agrees with him! Yes, I should just lay down right in the tub when I start to feel faint. Great, now I have to do it his way. I mean, geesh...the cardiologist said the same thing. Grrr.
Anyways, on a lighter note I have to point out that I think my hubby and I were the youngest people in the cardiologist's waiting room, by about 30 years or more! My sweet-tart and I had a fun time making fun of the other inhabitants. Mean, I know! But, it was a great stress-reliever.
One woman came in and seemed pretty belligerent. The receptionist has to ask questions like, "Are you here because you were experienced an injury while working?" After each question this lady answered with a very offended, "No!" So, finally the receptionist said, "I'm sorry, but I have to ask these questions." The lady answered, "Oh, I know. No problem." And she sounded so understanding and nice. The hubs and I kept looking at each other with our eyebrows raised and chuckling.
To close, I should have my tests results by Friday. I'll be sure to post something about those; especially if it is good news.
P.S. Please be thinking of my sister this weekend. She is 6 weeks behind me in her pregnancy and Saturday is her baby shower. I totally wish I could be there with her and for her! Send good thoughts and wishes her way!
Monday, April 12, 2010
1. I am getting our bedroom ready for the baby:
- mini, co-sleeper
- pack 'n play with the diaper changer on top
- NB clothes
I still need to buy some diapers...and then we should be set. Whew! So much easier with the 3rd.
2. Bunk beds are coming along nicely. Set them up in the boys' room this weekend, but Baby D won't sleep in his. But, I remember that Baby R was hesitant to give up his crib too. We still need to do some type of canopy on top. I hope to post pics soon.
3. This is my last week of working at home. I am giving myself a week off before the birth. Next week, my sweet-tart will be in Aurora for the entire week so I knew I couldn't work and take care of the boys w/o going bonkers!
4. Sending positive thoughts to my MIL (hope she doesn't mind that I'm sharing - she's a reader of this blog too!). She was diagnosed last week with breast cancer. Unfortunately, we can't be in FL w/her right now. So, I'll highlight some wonderful things about her in this post...shout-out!
- She is the best g-ma to my kids. They call her G.G.
- I love how she devotes herself to my kids
Check out the pics below...
G.G., we appreciate you! Thinking of you this week :)
5. G.G. was planning to fly up here and stay with the boys while I was in the hospital. However, since she cannot make it, our wonderful friends from Chicago will be driving down to help out! We are so blessed to have such great friends.
6. Yesterday, we went to the park and a Japanese garden for family pics. We setup a session with a local photographer, Tia Wind. I am extremely excited to see our pics (approx 1 week). Tia did a great job although, Baby R refused to smile. *sigh*
Baby D tried to ham it up a few times though. And I think we may have gotten a belly shot with Baby R hugging me...Baby D was being stubborn; he just wanted to explore the grass, flowers, and run after big brother!
I'll leave you with this...we moved the patio furniture outside this weekend, and ate most of our meals out there. I love eating outside...why is that? Why is that so fun?
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Now that I've been working from home for the past week, my hours are all wonky. I find myself working in spurts, and using those other hours to read blogs.
The blogs I'm reading are alternately sad and yet inspring; and totally suck me in!!! I cannot stop reading them.
So, I've decided to start my own. I want to share things about myself, about raising two toddlers (with another baby on the way - countdown!!!), and also incite discussion with friends and strangely enough...with strangers :)
I'm 31, with a penchant for acting 12. I'm also a constant contradiction:
- I love working, yet I relish vacation/holiday time away from work.
- I love my boys, but sometimes I wish they came with a mute button.
- I am in love with my husband's sexy, brilliant mind yet I sometimes, okay often, want to poke him in the eye (repeatedly) for being so anal.
I am extremely jealous of my friends who have close relationships with their mothers. Jealous. I won't say too much. It is not a pretty story and I'm sure that the woman who gave birth to me would find a way to sue me if she found me trash-talking her. Instead, I'll just say that I'm totally jealous of those women who can call their mom and say, "Hey, the baby is coming, can you come and watch my kids?" Or, "Mom, daycare called and the baby is sick. Can you stay with him until I get home from work?"
Okay, to end on a happy note. Below are some recent fun things with my baby boys!
- Baby R loves the movie, Iron Man. He told me this weekend, "Mommy, you need to buy me an Iron Man suit. I want to fly up in the air like Tony Stark."When I told him that only Tony Stark could fly in the air like that, he looked at me like I was the stupidest person and said, "That's why I'm going to pretend to be Tony Stark." All that he forgot was the "duh" tacked on at the end.
- Baby D loves to read. He is always bringing me books to read to him. So, so sweet. This baby definitely inherited my love of reading.
- Baby D also seems to like to bite. No kidding. When he is angry, he will screech and then lead down to put his open mouth against your arm or your leg. He doesn't chomp down, but I don't know what is stopping him. It makes me so afraid that I'm going to get a phone call from daycare soon.
- Baby R loves to wear a clip-on tie. Daycare picture day is his favorite, because we generally dress up the boys in suits and/or sweater vests with ties. He loves them. He will wear them clipped to his T-shirts and to his jammies. He also begs me to let him wear his dress shoes. Today he went to school in a green, button down short-sleeved shirt that said "Aloha" on the back, a pair of black camo shorts, white socks, and his black dress shoes. No joke!
- My sweet-tart is building the boys a bunk bed. I am so excited!!! They are not tall bunk beds, but we saw something similar at Ikea in Schaumburg a few months ago and immediately starting thinking about them for the boys. I think we are going to make it a Jeep-themed bunk bed, with canvas, tires, and a canopy top.
- I titled this blog, "I made the bed...is that enough?" because that is generally all I can do throughout the week in terms of cleaning. My house is generally a disaster. But, my sweet-tart and I are generally always able to get our bed made. Nice, huh? :)
Okay, I'll stop now. More to come later. I have a feeling I'll be on here alot with posts over the next couple of weeks until Baby #3 makes his appearance. Our scheduled c-section date is April 27th.