Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sometimes, there are unsurvivable crashes.

Last Saturday, a friend of mine was on the highway and hit a patch of ice. She skidded, flipped, and went over a fence, hit a water tower and slid some more, landing sideways. Her two year old son was in the car. He was properly restrained in his car seat, which was correctly installed. He was unharmed in a crash that could have been fatal if he had not been. I was so glad to hear that. I knew my time teaching her had been well spent, and this little boy I love had benefited from it.

But sometimes, there are unsurvivable crashes. The big rig's brakes go out and it smashes into the minivan, which plows into another truck or a building. The force is so great that there is nothing anyone can do. The children can all be in proper car seats, and they die anyway.

This week, we had an unsurvivable crash in our own life, though not in a vehicle.

Once there was a little girl named Rebecca Irene, but everyone called her Becky. She had a personality. She didn't like pepperoni, but she loved fruit and she liked chocolate cake, too. She danced a lot. She especially enjoyed The Wiggles, and A Christmas Cornucopia, the new Christmas album by Annie Lennox. She liked warm baths. She knew her father's voice and would wiggle when she heard him. She liked to hear her sisters talk or sing or giggle, and got agitated when they fought or screamed. She was a joyful child and she knew love when she experienced the sound or feel of it.

She was also very active. Last Sunday night, she decided to do a flip. She turned upside down, then sideways, then back down again, as she had done many times before. But this time, she was getting cramped. Like her mommy, grandpa, and sisters, she had a very long umbilical cord. She was running out of room and somehow, when she flipped this time, she tightened a knot that had been tied in her cord a long time back, and the cord also wrapped around her neck three times, whether before or after this, we don't know.

By the next morning she was getting sleepy. Her kicking slowed down, and her mommy thought she was getting a little quiet because it was almost time for her to be born (her due date was later that week, after all.) Soon she stopped moving altogether. Her brain went to sleep; she lost function in her body as slowly the non-essential, then many of the essential parts of her brain shut down. Her mommy thought she was napping, as she did sometimes. Then her mommy started to worry a little. Her mommy listened to her heart, and was reassured to hear her heartbeat. Her mommy also felt her move once in a while, though later her mommy would find out that these movements were most likely reflexive muscle contractions and actually weren't what we would think of as "movements" at all. Her mommy worried enough to call the doctor. The doctor's call service had a problem, and she didn't get a call back. But her mommy fell asleep.

The next morning, Becky still didn't move. Her mommy worried a lot, and counted the minutes until the doctor's office opened. She called as soon as they did, and they told the mommy to come in. The mommy called the daddy and the grandma, and as soon as grandma got home to stay with Becky's sisters, the mommy and daddy went to the doctor's office.

At the office, the nurse put a monitor on Becky. They found a heartbeat, all right. But, it wasn't doing what it was supposed to. Even when they buzzed a loud noise at her and fed her mommy juice, the heartbeat didn't change. The doctor was very worried. He sent the mommy to the hospital, and she went up to L&D. They put another monitor on. Becky had one of her reflexive movements right about this time, though she was still asleep. No one knew that she was already so sleepy there was no chance she would ever wake. There was no way to know. But when no more heart variations came after that last one, the doctor came in and told the mommy that something was wrong. The mommy agreed it was time for Becky to come out, and they began an induction.

After a few hours of the induction, the doctor came in again. They were having trouble keeping the monitor in the right place as the mommy tried to remain comfortable and moved around. The doctor said it was very important to find out what was going on. He asked, and she agreed, to break the mommy's bag of amniotic fluid, and put internal monitors in.

When the water was broken, the doctor got even more worried. There was a lot of meconium. It was what he called "plus four meconium." That meant there was a whole lot of it, and it had probably happened a long time ago. Becky's bowels probably released when her brain first went to sleep.

After a few minutes, the nurses realized that Becky was not tolerating the contractions. They called the doctor. They gave the mommy a medicine to stop the contractions, and the doctor came in and told the mommy that it was time to get the baby out by c-section.

The mommy was very scared and angry. She did not want a c-section. She had a great fear of them. She asked her doctor to please tell her the risks of a c-section (which she already knew) and the risks of not doing a c-section. The doctor still thought there was a good chance to save the baby at this point. He didn't know her brain was already asleep, or that it had probably been that way since yesterday. He told the mommy and daddy what they needed to know, and then he sent the anesthesiologist in.

The mommy didn't like the anesthesiologist. The mommy has a fear of female doctors. She was already panicking and this made it worse. She was given a choice: spinal block or general anesthesia. Again, she discussed the risks and benefits. Then she asked for the doctor to leave while she talked to the daddy.

The mommy was very, very, very scared. She called her mommy. She couldn't make herself make the decision she needed to. She called the anesthesiologist back in to ask if she had the spinal block, could she change her mind. The doctor said yes, but it would be easier on her to do the general in the first place if she thought she'd end up with it-- and that after talking to the mommy, she thought that was likely.

The daddy and mommy talked. The mommy told the daddy that she was sorry. She wanted the daddy to be able to be in the room for the baby's birth. But she couldn't make herself do it. The daddy loved the mommy very much. He knew how scared she was. He told her that he wanted her to do whatever would make it okay for her. She got mad and said it wasn't okay. He said he knew. But it had to be done.

The doctor came back in. He said the baby's heart was getting worse. He understood this was a hard decision but it needed to be made now, and he would make it if she couldn't. The mommy finally told him, "Just put me under. I can't do this awake." He told her he understood as he ran out of the room and began to scrub in the OR down the hall.

The nurses ran in. They began to move the bed. The daddy walked into the hall with the mommy, and then he had to kiss her and go back. The mommy was very, very scared. She felt like this couldn't be happening.

She got to the OR and they tried to put a catheter in as the anesthesiologist got ready. It didn't go in the first time and the doctor ordered them to give up. A little pee was the least of his worries and he needed them doing more important things RIGHT NOW. The mommy got more scared but at that point, the anesthesiologist (who really wasn't a bad person; just in the wrong place at the wrong time or the mommy might have liked her) apologized that this was going to hurt. A nurse came and held her throat as the medicine began to burn in her arm and chest. As the mommy fell asleep, the nurse held her hand and stroked it, and looked her in the eyes. She whispered, "It's all right. I know you're scared. I'm sorry."

The next thing the mommy knew, she was in a strange room with strange people. Her doctor whom she trusted was not there. There was a strange nurse who was talking loudly to her. She didn't like it. She felt empty in her tummy and her heart. Her throat hurt, and her body was very tense. It was so tense that she was grabbing the bedrails, which her wrists were strapped to, and could not let go, and her body was shaking so violently that she thought there were vibrating cushions in the bed. She knew something was horrible. She moaned, "I want to go back to sleep. Please let me go back to sleep."

The nurse came over with a shot and said, "I am going to give you a shot for pain, ok?" The mommy yelled, "No! I don't want the shot!" She was still not thinking very clearly. She asked, "Where is my baby? Is my baby okay?" No one answered her. In the other bed she heard an old man being taken upstairs after his surgery. The lights were very bright in her eyes. She still couldn't let go of the bed rails. The nurse unstrapped her wrists and told her to let go. She couldn't make herself do it. She asked again, "Is my baby okay? Is my baby okay?" The nurse said, "Honey, I wasn't in the room. I'm just in Recovery." That wasn't really an answer. The mommy felt that she should know the answer. She asked, "Would you please look in my chart?" The nurse seemed not to hear. At this point, the mommy gave up. She was pretty sure that the nurse knew where her baby was and didn't want to tell her. She hoped that the baby was being life-flighted to a NICU. But in the bottom of her heart, the mommy feared that what she had felt when she woke up was true-- that her baby was gone from this life.

The mommy started to think a little more clearly. She said, "I want the shot now." The nurse gave her the shot. She relaxed enough to let go of the bedrails when asked, though she did not want to. She waited a little longer, pretending that she was calming down, while inside she felt more and more like screaming. She asked what floor they were on. For some reason she needed to know. Tears ran down the mommy's face. They wheeled the mommy back upstairs, and in the elevator the mommy asked what time it was, and found out that about an hour had passed since she went to sleep.

When the mommy got to the room, the daddy was there waiting. She couldn't see his face, as she had taken off her glasses before surgery. She asked for her glasses. The daddy went to find them. He said, "I know they're in one of these bags." As the daddy looked she grew impatient. She said, "What happened?" He said, "Let me find your glasses. Then I'll tell you." She knew then that he didn't want to tell her. But she had to know. She almost yelled at him, "I need to know! Tell me what happened!" It wasn't angry screaming. She wasn't scared. She was terrified.

The daddy came back, and sat down. He held the mommy's hand. He said, "She didn't make it." He cried. She cried. She asked again, "What happened?"

The daddy said that he had waited in the room, then went out and was directed to the waiting room. Half an hour later the doctor came in. The daddy knew it was very bad when the doctor asked the other man in the room to leave. The doctor told the daddy that Becky was born less than ten minutes after the mommy went in the room. She never took a breath, and her heart never beat outside the womb. It turned out that the umbilical cord with the knot had sustained just enough function that it was like life support. When the cord was cut, the plug was pulled on the life support machines. Becky's brain had already died. It couldn't make her heart beat on its own. The doctor told the daddy that they tried for 20 minutes to make Becky's heart beat and make her breathe.

The mommy couldn't quite believe this was happening. She asked again for her glasses. The daddy found them and she put them on. The mommy began to cry again. She said, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." Then the doctor walked in. He asked, "Does she know?" The daddy choked down a sob and nodded.

The doctor was in shock. He looked it, and he said it. He said in 26 years this had never happened. He had had babies that he knew would not make it die, but he had never expected that Becky would not live. He had expected that she would be saved. The mommy said that she should have done something sooner. She should have gone in on Monday. Gently the doctor explained that it wouldn't have made a difference. Becky's brain was already asleep. When that happened, by the time the mommy could notice that something was wrong, it was too late already. The same thing would have happened, just a day earlier. The doctor sat with them for a long time, and he answered a lot of questions. He said he was very, very sorry. The mommy could see that the doctor was sad. She said, "I think you feel almost as bad as us." The doctor said, "I can't imagine how you feel. But I do feel very bad. I'm so, so sorry. I never thought this would happen. None of us wanted this. We tried our best and it wasn't enough." The mommy was not angry at the doctor. She trusted the doctor with her life, and her babies' lives. She knew that if he was not able to save Becky, she could not be saved. And she knew that he was telling her the truth. Though she still felt like a bad mommy for waiting so long, for that one extra day of not worrying enough, she knew, in her heart, that the doctor would not lie just to make her feel better. He was not hedging. He told her straight out that Becky was already gone by the time anyone could know something was wrong, and that nothing would have made a difference.

The doctor left, telling the mommy and daddy that he knew they would have more questions the next day, and that he would make extra time to talk to them as much as they needed. Then the mommy and daddy were alone in the room.

The mommy began to say sad and angry things. She said a lot that she didn't remember later, though she knew she probably said some things that hurt the daddy some. She mostly cried. And she said over and over that she was sorry. She knew it wasn't her fault but she was still sorry. She felt like she had failed to protect her baby.

After a while a nurse came in. She gave the mommy more pain medicine. The mommy's body was still very tense, and as her uterus contracted she stiffened all over and it hurt. But she couldn't focus on the pain in her body, because the pain in her heart hurt too much. The mommy and daddy cried together. The nurse came back, and asked gently if they wanted the baby in the room. They were not ready yet to meet Becky.

The mommy got her phone. The daddy had already called the relatives to let them know. The mommy called a friend. Her friend cried. The mommy was sorry but she couldn't talk much. She posted on Facebook. It was hard but she knew people would want to know. She knew people were worried for her and Becky and they deserved the truth.

The grandma came by with Becky's sisters. When they walked in they wanted to know where the baby was. The mommy explained that Becky's body had stopped working and that she was dead. The sisters had a lot of questions. Well, the older two did. The mommy answered them. The littlest sister just looked at the mommy. She was scared to see the mommy lying in the bed crying. The mommy's heart hurt for Becky, and it hurt because she had to tell the sisters news that was going to make them sad.

After a while the mommy and daddy asked for Becky to be brought in. They asked if the sisters wanted to stay or go. Two of them decided to go in the hall. The oldest sister stayed. The baby was brought in. Becky looked like she was asleep. The sister did not want to touch her. That was okay. The mommy asked to hold the baby. Then the daddy held her. Then the mommy held her some more. The next sister walked in and wondered why the baby was asleep. The mommy had to explain again. The two oldest sisters left. The daddy went out to be with them and the grandma came in. She held the baby too for a while. After a while the littlest sister came in with the daddy. She looked at the baby. She wanted to kiss the mommy but didn't like leaning over to do it. The daddy asked the sisters to say goodbye to Becky. The middle sister didn't understand why Becky couldn't come home, and the mommy explained again. The biggest two sisters said goodbye, and the grandma and daddy took the sisters home. The grandpa came by. He held the baby too. He talked to her, and to the mommy. The mommy told him all the most horrible thoughts she had had, and why she felt so bad. He told her that it was okay. We all think and say things when we are scared, that we don't mean. She knew that he meant it. She was comforted.

The daddy slept on the chair that folded out in the room that night. The mommy didn't sleep much. Most of the night she held Becky. She sang songs in the long, long rainy night. She sang all the favorite songs that she had looked forward to singing to Becky once she was born. She had wondered which would be Becky's favorite and now she would never know. But she sang the songs anyway, to get through the painful, rainy, sad night. She was in a lot of pain. She kept getting the daddy up to help her. She felt bad doing so, and apologized each time. But she needed help and tonight, she needed him. She could not ask a nurse, a stranger, to come in and help with little things. She only wanted the daddy to help.

The next day people started asking to help. The mommy accepted their help. A very nice photographer came from the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation. The night before a friend had contacted them and the daddy had called. He couldn't call again, he was too upset, so the friend kindly made the hard phone calls for the mommy and daddy. The daddy left and the grandma came, and helped wash and dress the baby, and the pictures were taken. The great-grandma was there too. The mommy dressed Becky in the Christmas dress and bow she had bought for her, that matched her sisters' dresses. The mommy and grandma cried. The photographs done, the photographer left. The great-grandma left. The grandma stayed with the mommy until the nurse came to take the baby down to the morgue so that she could stay the way she was, until the daddy was ready to come say goodbye.

That night the daddy and mommy said goodbye to Becky. They signed some release papers to let Becky go to the people who would take care of her for her burial preparations. They told her they loved her. They told her everything they needed to tell her. They kissed her, and they called the nurse in. The nurse tucked her in lovingly and gently. Then she wheeled her away, and the daddy and mommy held hands and cried together. It was probably the hardest thing they had ever done, to let her go out that door. The daddy went home to be with the sisters, and the grandma came to sit with the mommy.

The story isn't over. There is another day, and another, and another. Next week the mommy and daddy will go to a cemetary with their Stake President, whom they have known for a long time (he knew them before they married; he witnessed their wedding certificate in the Temple and he performed their ring ceremony; he has known each of their girls as a baby, and he was looking forward to meeting Becky.) He will consecrate her grave and they will put her body in the ground. There will be a place where people can go, and know that Rebecca Irene, whom everyone always called Becky, existed. There will be no way for them to know her, and they will not be able to see, looking at her grave marker, how joyful her very short time with her family was. They will probably never even know that she never took a breath or had a heartbeat outside of the womb. But they will know that she had a name, and a family who love her, and who wrote her name down so that people can see that she was here, and part of their family.

Becky will always be a part of the family. She may not be seen, but she will be present in their lives. The mommy and daddy and sisters were brought joy by her life. They always have and always will love her. And they believe that they will see her one day. The wait will be hard, but it will be worth it. And they will know her when they get there. They don't know how that will happen, but they know it will happen. They will know Becky, and Becky will know them. And once again, there will be joy.


This is the first photograph we have. There are many more but the photographer rush edited it so we would have it right away.

Rebecca Irene
Born still on Dec. 21, 2010 at 5:32 PM
7 lbs., 0 oz.
20 inches long

We will love her forever.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Tarring babywearing with a broad brush?

It's recently come to my attention that the CPSC may be using scare tactics and bullying to go after a reputable manufacturer of baby slings.

There was a VALID recall of a certain type of padded "bag" sling, which is NOT safe. I completely agree with this recall; the slings in question did not allow proper positioning of the infant's head (chin should not hit chest), proper airflow, or freedom of movement for the infant to reposition to a safer position if necessary, nor did they allow parents to easily check on baby.

This does not mean that babywearing by other methods-- front or back carriers such as Mei Tais and Ergos, wraps such as Moby Wraps, ring slings (such as Maya Wraps) or pouch slings such as Hotslings, and many others (when properly fitted for the mother/caregiver and properly used with baby) are not safe. It means they should be used properly, and any incidents investigated. The CPSC stepping in to bully without logic or science on their side is tarring all these products with the same brush as one unsafe product-- which could be a detriment to the health of many a baby.

Not only does babywearing promote bonding, help soothe refluxers (when worn upright), allow mom to get work done, it also helps prevent SIDS and positional plagiocephaly. Babies who are left to sleep in a car seat or swing or EVEN A CRIB are at much higher risk for SIDS and other methods of death than babies who are worn in a properly used and fitted carrier, wrap, or sling. Wearing baby allows parent or caregiver to constantly be aware of baby's breathing, sleep pattern, etc. Positional plagiocephaly (flattening of the head due to lying in one position for too long) has been on the rise since the "Back to Sleep" came in, coinciding with the use of multiple baby "devices" in most homes. Babies should be out of "devices" such as swings, infant seats, and bouncers as much as possible; time in them should be limited, and one way to keep baby happy while limiting time in these devices is to wear baby! I modeled a while back for a "do's and don't's" slide presentation for my mom's colleague (she works in craniofacial)-- and one of the "do's" was showing me wearing baby in a sling! Wearing baby can also promote emotional and language development, as babies worn close to mom (or dad, or caregiver) are more likely to be talked and sung to, and feel comfortable and safe.

I urge those of you who would like to read more on what's going on to check out the thread here with more information on what's going on, and what you can do about it.

Babywearing is important, for the health and well-being of babies, and the sanity of parents. The CPSC is not following their own protocols if they are bullying and harassing companies rather than following their mandate to look simply into injuries and prevent more by investigating them and potentially dangerous products. BABY WEARING IS NOT DANGEROUS when done properly. Let's stand up for it!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things I love about Hypnobabies so far

So, this pregnancy, instead of opting for an epidural, I've decided to try Hypnobabies. There are several reasons but the most important one is the lasting side effects I've had from my 3 epidurals, and my desire to prevent that from worsening. (I have scarring in the epidural space. The anesthesiologist was actually unable to give me an epidural in the standard place last time and had to go up quite a ways to not cause me excrutiating pain. I have throbbing pain at the sites of the scarring when I get a migraine.)

I've been doing the program (we're doing the Home Study course) for over a week now. Yes, just my second week! (It's a 6 week course.) Already, I have found so many benefits to it. I can't believe I never discovered this sooner.

I had pubis symphasis disfunction my last pregnancy. This time the aching pain in the hips and pelvis had started up, the hips popping every time I moved, etc. Within ONE NIGHT of listening to my Pregnancy Affirmations cd-- just one night! One listen!-- I woke up the next morning, heard my hips pop-- and felt no pain. Instead, I had the thought, "This is normal for the stage of pregnancy I am in. My body is preparing for my birthing time." So the physical state I was in remained the same-- but my Pregnancy Affirmations (one of which is "my bodily functions remain normal for the stage of pregnancy that I am in) re-programmed my brain after ONE listen to re-interpret that as a wonderful normal sign of getting ready to birth my baby, not pain. Wow!

Another affirmation is "My blood pressure remains normal every day and every night." I'd been having low blood pressure dizzy spells pretty frequently (I get those a lot when pregnant.) I haven't had one in over a week (they were every day, sometimes twice a day, for the last month before that.)

This week I have learned the "Finger Drop Technique" to put myself into a state of deep hypnotic relaxation instantly for as long as I want, tune out everything but emergency-type input, and experience anesthesia all through my body (by turning my "light switch" off to shut down all non-essential-for-life muscles etc.) It is incredible! So relaxing, comfortable, and takes away all the discomforts, aches, etc. I am feeling. It cured my migraine the other day!

I also am healing emotionally from what I went through after Maggie's birth (now believed to be PTSD. I meet all the criteria...) I have not had nightmares at all, or anxious thoughts or panic attacks about my birth or being separated from my baby, in the last week. This is incredible and wonderful. I can't wait until later on in the program when I get to do the "Fear Clearing" sessions and hopefully let go and heal even more. I have been thinking only positively and with joy and loving anticipation of what a wonderful birth I am going to have, instead!

So, um, yeah, by the time I'm ready for my birth I am going to sound like a walking Hypnobabies infomercial, I'm sure. But really, this is GOOD stuff! If you're interested you can learn more on their website, and they have wonderful birth stories on there too. I will be thrilled to be able to write mine! I'm sure I'm going to have a beautiful, comfortable birth with the help of the self-hypnosis techniques I'm learning and the relaxing, wonderful scripts from Hypnobabies.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I'm weird.

This comes home to me several times a day right now.

I don't "nest" like most women do at the end of my pregnancy, typically; I do it now, at the end of the second/beginning of the third trimester, and it takes the form of buying lots of baby clothes and an urge to scrub the bathtubs and sinks out frequently.

I don't consider essential many things many parents do for their babies; we registered at Babies R Us and we won't have a crib, won't have an infant seat, won't have baby gates (well I suppose we might put up the one we got for the top of the stairs, and never put up), won't have plug covers, won't have a nursing cover (HATE), won't have a baby bathtub, won't have sooo many things (though I do have a breast pump and will have bottles this time, but not by choice; so that baby can be supplemented with colostrum during her too-jaundiced-to-nurse-effectively period, not formula)... On the other hand, I could NOT live without a ring sling with a newborn! And we did buy a cover for our mattress, since baby will be sleeping on it with us. (Yes, we're co-sleeping-- without a co-sleeper. Again.)

I know many women who have problems with high blood pressure while pregnant. I, on the other hand, have problems with LOW blood pressure.

In all, some of these things are out of my control; some are choices I make. Some I am proud of, some I don't care, some I would change if I could. In the end, I'm glad my family loves me as I am, and I think that the world would be a better place if there was sometimes less expectation of "normality..."

(Ask me sometime about the Naked School of Socialism if you want a laugh, though. ;) )

Friday, August 06, 2010

At least she cares about her little sister.

Last night Emma had a HORRIBLE nightmare. The kind where she was shouting and yelling but not awake.

What was she shouting?

"NO! MAGGIE NO! IT HAS SOY! MOMMY MAGGIE IS IN THE FOOD AND IT HAS SOY!!!" Over and over. Apparently in her dream someone had left food with soy in it on the table and Maggie was trying to get into it. I had to reassure her, "I'm right here! It's okay! Maggie doesn't have the food with soy, I will make sure she doesn't get into any! She's not going to get sick, don't worry!"

It was rather sweet, in a way. Eventually she calmed down, without waking, laid back down and resumed peaceful sleep.

If the kids are ever separated from us at least I know Emma will make sure no one gives Maggie anything with soy in it! She really worries when Maggie gets a reaction and has to take an antihistimine, or when people offer them food. Even though she grumbles about the fact that we can't have certain foods in the house or go out to eat certain places because of her sister's allergy, I know she really understands that that's not as important as Maggie not getting sick. I love her caring, nurturing little spirit.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

And it's a...


Yep, we'll be having a fourth girl join us probably in late December (maybe early January if she wants to annoy her Abba. ;) ) She is healthy and whole and developing well. I'm very excited. :D

I have a notch on my placenta, which apparently puts me at higher risk for high blood pressure later in the pregnancy. Normally Dr. Devore would recommend a regimen of daily baby asprin, but I have asthma so it's contraindicated. So, just have to live healthy, I guess. Since I'm trying to do that anyway (and losing weight so far!) it hopefully won't be a problem.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Fireworks on the 4th of July, or close to it, in a professional show= beautiful.

Fireworks set off at the same time set off by people down the street= illegal and kind of stupid, but whatever.

Fireworks set off by same people, every few hours through the night= make me super angry, especially when they scare my kids into wetting the bed, falling out of bed, nightmares, etc.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reno, due date, and heat wave

Yes, it's a dumb title. No, I don't feel like coming up with something else. :p

We went to Reno for Jeff's "Super Seminar" CE conference. He didn't take afternoon classes, so he was "home" at the hotel every day by 3:30. It was nice! We went swimming while there, went to their Planetarium (where we saw a pretty decent film about Saturn, and then Emma and I watched a truly EXCELLENT film called "Mysteries of the Nile" about white-water rafting from the source of the Nile all the way to the Mediterranian (Jeff was with Bridey and Maggie who were not up for another hour in the theater, though later Bridey wanted to come in-- oops, too bad. But maybe we can find it on Netflix or something because it was really good, I'd watch it again and I think Jeff would enjoy it!) Before we left we visited the Reno 1st Ward's Sacrament Meeting, and the Bishop there (whom Jeff had called earlier in the week) was so kind as to hunt out soy-free bread for the Sacrament so Maggie and I could take it. It was really wonderful how happy he was to help us!

The drive there and back, however, was NOT fun. It was hot. Our A/C didn't work at full capacity. And we passed through much stinky farm land, not fun at the best of times but abominable with my pregnancy-heightened super-smell and nausea. Also, on the way there I discovered that sitting in the same position in the car for 10 hours makes me swell up really badly right now. I moved around as much as possible, but it took 24 hours of lying around with my feet up to drain all that fluid from my legs! While in Reno, we found a maternity store where I could buy compression stockings. I wore them on the way back and they did help. Of course by the end of the drive back since my legs and feet couldn't swell, my HANDS started to instead! Ick.

This past Saturday I had an ultrasound to determine my due date (since my last period was in November...) I am a bit further along than I thought! My EDD is December 23! That means today, I am 12 weeks 4 days. Wow! We got a great shot, you can see facial features already! Hopefully I'll be able to get coverage and go to see my doctor SOON.

We had a nice cool overcast Saturday, but Sunday it burned off and yesterday was HOT. Today is shaping up to be the same. I have to say I prefer heat to cold-- but I am glad we have central air in the house we're in now, when things get bad! Last night I put some clothes on the line at 5:30. When Jeff brought them in at 8, they were all bone-dry already, even the jeans! Wow! Thankfully we're approaching the longest day of the year (also our wedding anniversary :) ) so soon it will start to get dark a wee bit earlier again (though that always seems to happen slower than the sudden way it seems to stay light so long!)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Things that irritate me when I'm pregnant (a vent)

1. The cat keeps pooping in the corner of the bathroom instead of the litter box. It is bad enough when it is in the litter box but without any absorption whatsoever it STINKS. I am super smell sensitive when pregnant, moreso even than usual, and that's just not nice.

2. The kids keep changing clothes just for the heck of it. I am so tired I'm not even keeping up with NORMAL amounts of laundry, much less that generated by 3 girls changing clothes 4 times a day.

3. It's awful hard to make dinner when you have severe food aversions all over the place.

4. It is SO HARD to get health coverage for the pregnancy. Especially when you didn't have a period and you don't therefore have an easy-to-calculate due date. They REQUIRE a due date to get coverage. If we don't figure something out I'm just gonna have to make up a "last period" date based on how far along I think I am. I don't like having to do stuff like that.

5. I hate that my migraines get worse when I'm pregnant. Isn't it bad enough being pregnant, without adding migraines into the mix? When not pregnant I get maybe 2-4 a year. When pregnant, I get at least 2 a month. Often more. Gah.

6. Women who tell me, "Oh, I've had 3 kids, and I was never sick more than a day with any of them!" Good for you. Go jump in a lake.

7. People who assume I want a boy. (I actually want a girl. Jeff wants a boy. Of course we'll be happy either way.) We were not "trying for that boy." We were trying for a BABY. So shut up. Along the same lines, "So if it's a girl, are you done, or are you going to KEEP trying for a boy?"

8. People who ask if I'm going to have my tubes tied after this. (This hasn't happened yet. Just wait until I get big and have 3 little kids out with me. It will. It happened last time, and that was only my third! I do get a kick out of asking those rude people if they've heard of the Duggars, though... They usually go into shock and I walk away laughing.)

9. People who find out what I have an aversion to, and keep talking about it on purpose. It's really not funny to make me puke. It hurts.

10. People who touch my tummy. If you're not my husband, and you're not my child, please don't.

It's a darned good thing that I get a baby at the end of this. That's what makes it worth it. But in the mean time some things really suck.

Monday, May 24, 2010

So, um, need to make a small correction...

In my birthday post I mentioned that I wasn't pregnant yet. Well, on the morning of the 22nd I took a pregnancy test for kicks and giggles and because I'd been throwing up a bit, tired, cranky, forgetful.

This was the result:

So, um, yeah. It was positive as soon as the pee crossed the test window (and it said "read at 3 minutes!")

I think I'm not too far along, but I haven't really got a clue, since I wasn't keeping track of ovulation, and I'm so irregular in my cycles (my last actual period was in November. The one before that in May of last year.) So I'll have to have that dated when I make it in to the doctor's. But I'm guessing late Jan. to early Feb.-ish would be right, possibly? We'll see. :)

Anyway, I'm thrilled, even though I'm sick. So, yeah, I was totally wrong.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Getting older, maybe wiser?

Tomorrow is my 27th birthday. It's been a good year in many ways. Since last year, I've done a lot of volunteering as a CPST (I was barely certified my last birthday), Emma has gotten much better (we were still worried about her health this time last year), we've moved to a big house with a back yard and a washer/dryer, Maggie has grown into a little talkative PERSON instead of a baby, I've pretty much recovered (mostly) from the PTSD or whatever I had after having her (at least it seems so, I hope so), we've figured out how to eat almost anything we want to soy-free, which makes her much healthier, I've made some new friends, Jeff has gotten a new job at which he is very happy, I got released from the calling I hated and got a new one, Emma learned to ride in a booster and to read, my uncle's book was published which is very awesome for him, and we've been able to do many other fun things.

There have been a few disappointments. I'm still not pregnant (at least as of last time I tested, last month); I was hoping to have had another baby by now, this time last year. In a way that's been a good thing too. We STILL don't have a bigger car, and much as the kids are content most of the time, sometimes when they're fighting it sure would be nice. ;) And we're not unpacked yet, and of course the house is always a constant struggle between clean and messy. That never ends, I don't think! Maggie isn't quite weaned which is a good thing in many ways, but also means I can't sneak the odd soy-containing treat here or there when I want to without sickening her. And there always seem to be small disappointments and setbacks to go with the joys and triumphs, of course.

But overall, a good year. And what's the point if we don't have things to work toward and look forward to, anyway?

I remember as a little kid being amazed that you could be a WHOLE YEAR older and not feel any older at all. Now as a "grown up" I realize that getting older, growing up, takes place so slowly we don't even notice it. It happens through the day to day, the making choices, the things you learn and do. And darned if one day you don't realize you've matured in a way you never thought you would-- and yet at heart you're still the same person you were when you were a kid. Amazing. And kind of cool. But it almost seems like it does when you see kids you don't see every month after a few months and they've grown two inches, while you hardly notice your own getting taller at all-- maybe someone from the outside notices growth more than you do yourself. To God we must all be like little kids that he watches growing slowly, rejoices in our small milestones and big ones, but I wonder is there someone with Him that points out to Him how much we've grown because they don't see us as often? Maybe. Maybe not. In any case, the growth does happen, whether we notice or not. I'm glad I've been given another year here to learn, and grow, and enjoy my kids doing the same. I hope I can do even better in the year to come. I hope we all can. :)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Hope everyone is enjoying theirs.

I woke up with a killer sore back, and missed church. But other than that it's been a good day (especially since pain relief from the Advil and heating pad finally kicked in.)

The kids made me cards. All hand-drawn. I especially love one Emma made me (I love them all but the message in this one, written all by herself, is what is so special.) It says, "Thank you for being a good mom. Luv, Emma"

I'm saving that one for ten years from now, when she tells me that I've always been a horrible mother. I'll have proof. ;)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

To all my online friends who are recently pregnant (even though you probably don't read my blog)

I'm very happy for you. I really am. I wish you a healthy pregnancy and birth and baby, and as little discomfort and pain as possible.

I'm also kind of sad for myself. You see, I've been not preventing and/or trying actively to concieve for a year and a half now. This is the longest I've ever gone without being pregnant since I was married, and it's hard. Even though I relish the extra time babying Maggie, especially after what I went through her first year (now suspected to be PTSD), I'd really like another baby soon; I think we're ready.

So that's why I haven't posted on your threads to congratulate you yet, I'll try to get over myself and do it soon. Or at least by the time you have your babies be able to go in THOSE threads to congratulate you.

I do love all of you and your babies. Good luck! It's my problem, not yours.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

And so I begin to regret the $3 toy from Target.

Bridget had a birthday yesterday. Her present from her sisters was a toy microphone from Target (that amplifies the voice a bit.) All I've heard since is, "She has my microphone! Give me back my microphone! Mommy, she took it!"

Aaaagh. You'd think after 4 years they'd have learned to share, but no...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I am counting the days...

...until tax season is over.

It's been much easier this year than last but still, I'm about ready for it to be done! Jeff has started working "real tax season hours" the past few weeks, and it's getting to all of us. Maggie asks for him all the time, wants to hear his voice on the phone (even if he's not talking to her, but to a client, she'll just walk around listening to him for half an hour.) Emma and Bridget are cranky and restless. I am short-tempered (well, more than usual...) Jeff is exhausted and even his infinite patience begins to wear a bit thinner.

Luckily, next week it's over for the year. Yay!

Then, we're going to Disneyland. Because, we're not tired enough. :p

Monday, March 29, 2010

A very sad cat song, by Bridget

Bridget likes to sing very long, storytelling ballad type songs that she makes up on the spot. She sang one tonight that was particularly sad. It even had a sad melody-- kind of minor, ending each verse with a note that didn't resolve the tension. Kind of like "Fair and Tender Ladies," if you know that one. And it just got sadder and sadder.

It went like this, as best as I can remember it:

There was a cat, she was hungry,
She went looking for her food.
There was no food in her bowl,
So she couldn't eat and she was hungry.

She tried to open her food,
But she didn't know how,
So her food stayed closed,
And she couldn't eat it.

Then the man came,
He said her food was outside,
He said to come get her food.
She slipped going out of the house.

She slipped going out of the house,
And she fell in the mud.
The little girl kitten was covered in mud,
So the man wouldn't feed her.

Then the policeman came,
He was taking kittens in a firefighter truck,
He took the cat into the truck,
And he took her to jail.

The little girl cat cried in jail,
Because she was locked up,
She was in jail,
And they didn't give her any food either.

Then the cat cried and cried,
She cried for her daddy,
But he wasn't there.
Only her mommy was there.

Her mommy was mad that she was in jail,
So she wouldn't let the little girl cat out,
And she wouldn't give her any food,
And the little cat sat and cried. Meow! Meow!

Depressing, huh? After each verse I'd say "How sad!" And Bridget would say, "Yeah, it's a sad song!" Then she'd burst out laughing, then continue. Silly child. Now she's running around pretending to be Thomas the Tank Engine with Maggie.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Gosh, it's been a long time...

...since I posted. About 1/3 of a year.

I keep meaning to, and then not...

What's up?

We've moved. To a house. We are loving it. Lost a pool but gained a backyard, extra bedroom (used as playroom/tv room/guestroom) and washer/dryer. Plus clothesline. Totally worth it.

Maggie has started reacting to soy through breastmilk (yes I'm still nursing her) as well as in her regular diet. So she and I are both 100% soy-free. Thankfully I've found more soy-free foods-- even tater tots, and fast food, when we want junk. ;) Also graham crackers, saltines, etc.

Jeff's work is going GREAT. He even gets home before 10 most nights even though it's tax season. And he gets along SO WELL with his boss. He's realized that his boss being from the South makes a difference-- he "gets" Jeff's attitude (which is kind of more laid-back and externally calm than most people out here are used to.)

I'm doing a lot more CPST work. USA Baby in Burbank has my cards and I get a lot of calls and occasional e-mails. I also do the occasional presentation/lecture/Q&A session there. Loving it. Sometimes since we're in tax season I do checks in our garage (oh yes, we also have a 2 car garage, though currently 1 car's worth is full of, um, stuff we haven't unpacked and my car seat collection) and that is great for me, adult interaction is wonderful.

We keep getting sick but I think we're finally on the upswing. Dratted colds.

I got a new stroller, Mountain Buggy Urban Double. After a period of panic even though I got it at a great price because it wasn't love at first push, I've begun to really appreciate it. We can still walk to the park and store when we want to and even down to Arnie's Cafe or my dad's. It's great to have a really easy-to-push stroller for that kind of stuff. I do recommend it if you're in the market for an all-terrain stroller; it has it's downfalls but it really does push like a dream. Definitely one to consider.

Emma has booster-trained, though she sometimes still wants to ride in a harness. She and Bridey have both passed 40 lbs. now and we still haven't had the money to get a Radian 80SL or XTSL so they have to forward-face. Maggie is 36 lbs. and rear-facing. As she approaches 40 we WILL find the money for a higher-weight rear-facing seat, because I will NOT turn her so young!

Emma got 3 teeth extracted. Her permanent teeth are coming in behind instead of below, and so won't push the baby teeth out, but the baby teeth get in the way. So they have to be pulled. Jeff had the same thing. She also lost a front tooth naturally. So now she's all gappy and impish-looking. It's cute and strange at the same time. Definitely makes her look older.

I've been on the compy a lot less because there is so much more to keep up with! But, the house is staying in reasonable condition. So much so in fact, that we are hosting Easter dinner and egg hunt this year, for my mom's family and some of our friends. Lots to plan, followed by 2 birthday parties (a "Ladybugs' Picnic" and a "Luau." Fun!)

Emma is reading really well. About second-grade level stuff now. We've pulled back on writing for now. Once she's an independent reader at a 2nd or 3rd grade level, we'll focus on writing. Then math. I aim to have no more than 15 minutes of sit-down "work" a day right now, and lots of outside running around and playing. Since we moved here our grocery bill has about tripled because the children EAT ALL THE TIME. They have also grown like weeds. I'm counting this as a good thing.

As you can see I still have a weird sleep schedule. Sometimes I can sleep, sometimes I can't... It's usually better but every once in a while I have one of these weird nights when I'm just not able to sleep no matter how exhausted.

So, that's it. And hopefully I'll come back to blogging in the next few months, I think it's nice to get everything spit out on the screen. Cathartic, kind of. ;)