Friday, December 31, 2010

the thin line between crazy and resourceful

i love couponing. i'm a huge fan of putting together an organized shopping trip and executing it. paying full price for things like cereal, deodorant, and toothbrushes hurts my feelings. seeing a total bill of $100 come down to $5 rocks.
and then there are the crazy folks - the ones that have enough toilet paper to last them 30 years. do i have a lot of toilet paper in my basement - yes. enough to last 30 years - no way. actually, right now i'm low on toilet paper, but it's only a matter of time before there's another good deal. which is why i would never buy 30 years worth. 6 months? yes. a year? maybe. depends on how good the deal is. if it's free, i would definitely do a year - toilet paper is tough to find a good deal on. for example, last year target had the bounty basics paper towels for $0.99. some areas (not our area, so i had to order some coupons off the internet) had a $1 off any bounty paper towel target coupon. and then there's the $0.25 off bounty paper towels manufactuer coupon. net cost for a roll of paper towels - ($0.24). yes, that's right, they paid me $0.24 to carry each roll of paper towels out of the store. even after purchasing my coupons online, i still ended up ahead. and we use paper towels like nobody's business.
i just finished watching the new TLC show "Extreme Couponing." those folks are a bit crazy. one of the women acutally keeps a blog that i follow - the krazy coupon lady. anyways, some of these folks ended up checking out with 9 or so carts of stuff. that's a bit silly. there's NO need for 1,000 toothbrushes. seriously, leave some stuff on the shelves for the rest of us! even if you're going to donate some (which i do from time to time), that's still an awful lot of toothbrushes!
couponing is addicting - it's a game. and there's a thin line between going overboard and being resourceful. especially for OCD folks like myself that are already prone to going a bit overboard. :) thank goodness i have michael to keep me in check and remind me that we probably don't need anymore toothpaste for awhile.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NICU day

every december 29th, we celebrate the day ryan came home from the hospital. last year we went to lunch at the mall and ate some pizza and then went to build a bear. we have plans tonight, so we celebrated last night. we got some dinner at outback and ryan enjoyed their delicious mac n cheese. he even got his own sprite (don't tell anyone!). then we went off to toys r us to let ryan pick out a toy. any toy. we wandered around for about an hour. we looked at trains - nope, "put back!" we looked at books - nope, same response. we looked at pillow pets and snuggled them a bit, but nope. we looked at DVDs - nope. we looked at music - nope. we even looked at dance star mickey (which i have been not so secretly wanting to get him) - nope.

here's what we left with:

of all the toys at toys r us, we ended up with the $12 corn popper. he loves the thing! i guess the guy knows what he likes!

and, for comparisons sake, here's a picture of ryan the day we brought him home. he weighed just under 6lbs at the time, as compared to 34lbs, 10oz 2 years later.

this is my favorite picture of all time - i look like crap, you can see the tears coming down my face, but it's the most honest, emotionally raw picture i've ever seen. this exact moment is the best moment of my life - the moment i realized that all of my dreams had come true. i love you monkey!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

21 weeks

Pregnancy: 21 weeks

Weight Gain: due to some delicious chocolate chip cookies, i'm expecting last week's weight loss has diminished.

Sleep: i love to sleep, although the hips are starting to hurt again. i was thinking of a pregnancy body pillow, but there's no room in our bed!

Gender: Girl!!! ahh!

Name: she has a name, which everyone will learn on may 2nd. :) we tried to get ryan to say the name and he has a very cute nickname for her already.

Feeling: i caught ryan's cold and that's no fun!

Cravings: there's a new vietnamese restaurant nearby and i'm loving their chicken bun.

Health: still no more bleeding! hooray!!!! fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Movement: apparently my bladder/cervix is a trampoline and she's dancing it up in there! ouch!

Belly: getting bigger by the day - balancing the laptop on my lap is getting harder

Next Appointment: oh crap, i need to make our 24 week appointment!

Christmas - Parts I, II, and III

christmas has been a bit bittersweet the last 2 years. in 2008, ryan was still in the NICU. in 2009, we took a christmas eve trip to the ER because he was wheezing. this year we were determined to have a hospital-free holiday!

our first christmas was with michael's mom on november 21st. we enjoyed our time together and ryan got some new choo choos, which are always a big hit.

next up was oshkosh christmas on december 18th. ryan had the flu right beforehand and i had come down with it midweek, so things were looking a little iffy as we neared saturday, but everyone was healthy and happy (until the next day when michael came down with the flu as well). ryan enjoyed dinner and went crazy over the beef tenderloin. he even shared some with the nutcracker at our table. we got some great stuff - too much to even mention! ryan loves playing with his new fish tank light and can't get enough of the mr. potato head playdoh. i can't wait to use my new boba carrier with baby OP and michael is loving having a new sweater to wear every day.

this year we had our first actual christmas day at our house. we went to all you can eat sushi with carrie and joe on christmas eve and ryan was difficult to say the least! he had started with a runny nose and some coughing, so we gave him some benadryl before bed. apparently he is the exception to the rule and benadryl makes him hyper - he was up partying like a rockstar from 1:30-3:30am! he got up for good at 7 and we came downstairs to see what santa had brought. ryan was thrilled with his new cardboard blocks and was super excited to open his presents. it took all of about 15 minutes to unwrap everything. we've been playing with his new tag jr books, chuck the truck, and moon lamp ever since. michael got me some pretty candle holders that i've wanted and a potato ricer and i got him a donald driver throwback jersey, which apparently brought good luck to the pack this weekend!

unfortunately, as the holiday went on, ryan's cold progressed and got passed to me (michael started the whole deal). he did have a bit of wheezing on christmas day, but we took care of it with his inhaler. finally we avoided the hospital! :) as of our doctors appointment yesterday, he has 1 full blown ear infection, 1 on the way, and pink eye. you wouldn't know it by watching him - he's in a great mood!

we have iowa christmas the weekend of january 8th and can't wait!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

ryan - 2 years old

to say i'm proud of how far ryan has come is the understatement of the year. 2 years ago i was holding him in the hospital, willing him to eat. i offered him puppies, ponies, money, everything i could think of. and nothing worked. today, i had to tell him that he had done enough snacking and that perhaps it was time for a break.

a few weeks ago, we had his 2 year appointment. he weighed in at 34lbs, 2oz and was 38 inches tall. that puts him on track to be 6'4" (they say your adult height is double your height at 2). he is in the 98th percentile for height and the 90th for weight. he has met or exceeded every milestone he should have at this point.

he was in the mood to end all moods today - smiling and laughing from the minute he woke up.
we played with his new puppy, "treats" (a kids meal toy from burger king), offering the new member of the family bites of our food, throwing him for the real puppies, and giving him lots of snuggles.
we colored.
we played with his new mr potato head, laughing about how funny it is to put the ear on the top of his head. we ate cheese and crackers for a snack. or should i say, i ate cheese and crackers and ryan just ate the cheese.
we played choo-choos and made sure to tell each train to be careful going down the hill.
we "argued" about who is funnier - ryan or mommy.
ryan hung a tag he found on the floor on the christmas tree, certain it was an ornament.
we moved the candy cane on our advent calendar to the next pocket.
ryan figured out how to use the boxes that daddy's pots came in as stairs.
during his bedtime story, he was sure to tell the very, very bad fish (from one fish, two fish) that he needed a time out.

it was a good day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

20 weeks

we had our anatomy scan yesterday! while we had covered most of the stuff during our scan at 17 weeks, it was still nice to see our babe again. all of the important stuff was there and looking perfect - kidneys, bladder, stomach, brain, spine, feet, nose, all the good stuff!
the only thing that was missing was a penis - we're having a GIRL! this will be the first girl after 8 boys in our family. we're excited, but a bit apprehensive as we have no experience with little girls! i *may* have gone to gymboree between the ultrasound and our doctor appointment and done a little shopping. :)

Pregnancy: 20 weeks

Weight Gain: down 7lbs total. i expect this to change very soon

Sleep: i love to sleep. :)

Gender: Girl!!! ahh!

Name: she has a name, which everyone will learn on may 2nd. :) we tried to get ryan to say the name and he has a very cute nickname for her already.

Feeling: feeling good!

Cravings: nothing too strong right now

Health: still no more bleeding! hooray!!!! fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Movement: definitely feeling more movement. she moves very differently than ryan did. he was very subtle, she is very muchso not subtle!

Belly: getting bigger by the day - balancing the laptop on my lap is getting harder

Next Appointment: i forgot to make it yesterday in all the excitement, but it will be in 4 weeks.

Friday, December 17, 2010

damsel in distress

i spent the better part of my life pretending that i didn't "need" anyone. i have an amazingly supportive family and amazing friends, but i wanted to take care of myself. and then i met michael. while the above remains mostly the same, he has shown me that depending on another person isn't a weakness.
this last week has been really, really difficult for me. the combination of ryan's flu (which drags on and on and on and on), pregnancy hormones, pregnancy yuckiness, the fact that i think i caught the bug from ryan, and the fact that i can't take my emergency medicine has added up to a big 'ol disaster more than once. i have completely freaked out almost daily. the sobbing, need to be held freaked out. i'm not proud of it, but it is what it is.
michael has held me and comforted me and not made me feel at all bad about the fact that i am seemingly crazy. he has cleaned the house for our showing tomorrow and fed ryan when i couldn't bring myself to do it. he has stepped in to cuddle when it all got to be too much.
to say that i couldn't do this without him is the understatement of the century. i need this guy. good thing i life having him around. :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

19 weeks

Pregnancy: 19 weeks

Weight Gain: probably down a bit more than the previous 4 lbs, thanks to ryan's flu.

Sleep: still sleeping, still have sore hips

Gender: we think we know, but we'll find out for sure on december 20th.

Name: we have a boy name and a girl name now, but we're not sharing. :)

Feeling: mostly good. the anxiety when ryan was sick sucked, especially without being able to use my "emergency pill." but we got through it!

Cravings: nothing too strong right now

Health: still no more bleeding! hooray!!!! fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Movement: still feeling blurps

Belly: getting bigger by the day!

Next Appointment: December 20th - eek! it's finally only a week away!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

in the trenches

OCD is a tricky thing. 99% of the time, i wander around completely fine. no problems or anxiety at all. and then there are weeks and weekends like the past few.

a couple of weeks ago, i was bleeding. some people would probably just freak out and meet with their dr and then relax when the dr said everything was fine. not this person. i continue to obsess long after the original episode, playing through every scenario, no matter how unlikely, in my head. i'm not a reliable source for what my symptoms are because i can trick my body into thinking it's feeling anything. am i cramping? well, let me think about it a minute...oh yeah, there was a slight twinge in my mid-section...but was that me making it happen or is there really a problem. additionally, the first thing to go when i start obsessing is my appetite. i don't eat. and then i don't feel well because i haven't eaten. so i don't want to eat. and so on and so forth.

the past 24 hours have been the most challenging OCD hours thus far. yesterday morning, ryan threw up. and then he threw up again. at that point, it was safe to say he had the flu. well, i've heard about this flu before and i am petrified. i know people don't like to get the flu and don't like to have their little ones sick, but this is different. this is full on fear. my heartrate as been above 100 for the better part of a day. i cannot, no matter how hard i try, relax. i am looking for any sign that ryan might be ready to be sick again, for any indication that michael may have caught it, and wondering constantly if i don't feel well because i'm freaking out or if i have a stomach flu in my future. i'm scared to be left alone with him tomorrow. i am scared of my kid.

i have completely lost it twice - full on sobbing. i think it's just the stress building up and then needing to be released. i think it's also the fact that it breaks my heart that i look at ryan with fear. i stay by him, i comfort him when he's throwing up, i cuddle him and take care of him, but i'm scared doing it. and that kills me. i'm scared of being alone with him tomorrow.

no amount of rationalization can help. i know that the stomach flu is normal, it sucks, but he's going to be fine. i know that he's going to puke on stuff, and i know how to do laundry. for crying out loud, he puked on everything for the first 9 months of his life and that didn't bother me. i know that michael and i might get sick, and as much as that would suck, we'd get over it. i know nothing bad is going to happen, but that doesn't stop the fear. the racing heart. the sweaty palms. the shaking hands. the upset stomach. and that's what makes it hard - if i had a specific rational fear, i could rationally explain it away. but it's really hard to convince the crazy part of your brain that it's being crazy.

so, here i am on day 2 of puke-fest (which has really been a pretty mild 4-incident experience), freaking out. ryan is sleeping in butler's dog bed, hopefully completely unaware of the craziness going through his mom's head. i sit in his room while michael stays with him, angry and upset that i can't control these feelings.

i suppose all i can do is to remember that this too shall pass...

Monday, December 06, 2010

18 weeks

Pregnancy: 18 weeks

Weight Gain: down 4 lbs, but i'm betting a good bit of that is from anxiety (see below)

Sleep: still sleeping, still have sore hips

Gender: we think we know, but we'll find out for sure on december 20th.

Name: we have a boy name and a girl name now, but we're not sharing. :)

Feeling: i've been having quite a bit more anxiety, but other than that, i'm feeling better more often than not. haven't needed a zofran for almost a week!

Cravings: nothing too strong right now

Health: well, the boring pregnancy was nice while it lasted. i had a small bleeding episode at 15 weeks, but the doctor didn't think it was a problem and gave me a few restrictions to be safe. then, on wednesday last week (at 17w2d), i woke up bleeding (not a lot, but enough). given i was sleeping beforehand and not doing anything that should cause bleeding, it was scary. we saw the doctor and he thought i had an irritable cervix. he put some silver nitrate on the cervix (which causes some serious cramping - ouch!), gave me even more restrictions, and off we went. that night i had some bright red bleeding and called the office again. the on-call doctor thought it might be the scab from the silver nitrate coming off and not to worry. dr bear called on thursday and wanted to see us again on friday - after an ultrasound - to make sure there wasn't an abruption issue.
we had our ultrasound and it was great. the baby looks perfect and was moving around a lot. there were no obvious issues. the tech couldn't say for sure whether it is a boy or girl, so i guess we'll have to wait until the 20th! dr bear thinks there is 1 of 2 things going on. the first, which he thinks is 70% likely, is that my cervix is just being stupid and bleeding. that would be the good option. the other, 30% option is that the bag of membranes is partially separating from the uterine wall. while it's likely that the separation will heal within 2-6 weeks like any other wound, it can also cause a lot of problems like premature rupture of membranes and premature labor - both of which have a pretty grim outlook. so, there's a small possibility that the small possibility could cause a serious problem. while that might seem like pretty good odds, i'm usually the outlier and tend to fall into the exception group pretty consistently, so we're treating this as the worst case scenario. cue even more restrictions.
so now we wait. and hopefully nothing will happen. as of this morning, there was no more bleeding. hopefully it will stay that way and this will be the last issue we see. until then, any thoughts and prayers would be welcome.

Movement: still feeling blurps

Belly: getting bigger by the day!

Next Appointment: December 20th (god willing)

Friday, December 03, 2010

2 year ago today....

two years ago today, i didn't know you.

two years ago today, i didn't know the sound of your laugh, your smile, your cry.

two years ago today, i didn't know how much a smile could really mean.

two years ago today, i didn't know that my favorite thing to do would be to hold you.

two years ago today, i didn't know what true love meant.

two years ago today, i didn't know all the words to the mickey mouse clubhouse theme song.

two years ago today, i didn't know what true fear was.

two years ago today, i didn't know how beautiful you would be.

two years ago today, everything changed. two years ago today, i was just kate. two years ago today, you were born.

happy birthday baby boy, i love you more than anything.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

17 weeks

Not much change this week. Just plugging along!

Pregnancy: 17 weeks

Weight Gain: still the same. not much change

Sleep: still sleeping, still have sore hips

Gender: unknown - we find out on December 20th!

Name: we have a boy name and a girl name now, but we're not sharing. :)

Feeling: still feel crappy about every other day. boo.

Cravings: right now i have a serious hankering for some KFC mashed potatoes....

Health: so far so good.

Movement: still feeling blurps

Belly: getting bigger by the day!

Next Appointment: December 20th

Thursday, November 25, 2010


two years ago, i spent thanksgiving pregnant and happy. after battling infertility, i was blessed to be 32 weeks pregnant with my little guy. i had an amazing husband, 2great dogs, a great family, a kid on the way, and a house. finally, i had it all.
then i woke up the next morning bleeding. a lot more than i ever had before. i ditched my black friday plans to go buy a temporal thermometer at babies r us and rushed to the hospital instead. they checked me over and, much to my surprise, sent me home. i delivered 6 days later.
thanksgiving will always be bittersweet to me. it will always remind me of the last day i spent in blissful ignorance. it will always be the day before the you know what hit the fan. this year, as i am pregnant again, it's hard not to remember that time in my last pregnancy. but, in light of those things, thanksgiving will also always be a day that i remember just how much i have to be thankful for.
so today, i am thankful for all the same things i was 2 years ago - my husband, my son, a new baby, my pups, my family, my house. but now i know how easily it could all have fallen apart, and the fact that it didn't is what i'm most thankful for.
happy thanksgiving everyone.

Monday, November 22, 2010

16 weeks

16 weeks already! it's going so fast, but so painstakingly slow at the same time! i'm trying to enjoy the pregnancy, as it's likely my last, but that's hard to do with a toddler. honestly, i forget half the time that i'm pregnant because i'm so busy with ryan. but then the nausea kicks in again. :)

i had my 16 week appointment today and everything looks great. the doctor thinks the placenta might be anterior because he always has a hard time finding the heartbeat with the doppler. i swear, it feels like eternity waiting for that whoosha-whoosha-whoosha to come across the speaker. today's heartrate was 160.

we officially have the c-section scheduled for may 2nd at 7:30am. it's strange to have an official end date - it makes everything feel much more real! now, we just keep our fingers crossed that this baby doesn't get any crazy ideas about coming earlier.

Pregnancy: 16 weeks

Weight Gain: according to the dr, i'm down 2lbs overall. apparently i lost 4lbs last appointment and gained 2 back this appointment. my scale has been pretty steady.

Sleep: still sleeping, still have sore hips

Gender: unknown - we find out on December 20th!

Name: we have a boy name and a girl name now, but we're not sharing. :)

Feeling: we are now 3 weeks overdue for feeling 100%. i don't need the zofran every day though, so i suppose i have that going for me.

Cravings: not as much lately. not terribly interested in food in general.

Health: so far so good.

Movement: still feeling blurps

Belly: getting bigger by the day!

Next Appointment: December 20th for the big reveal!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Prematurity Awareness Day

Today, November 17, is prematurity awareness day. Ryan was born at 32w6d (32 weeks and 6 days) due to bleeding from a placenta previa. He weighed a hefty 4lbs, 14oz. I had received 2 rounds of steroids to help his lung development, however, not in enough time to be fully effective. He received a dose of surfactant within hours of birth. He spent a day on the CPAP and a few days on the nasal cannula. He was under the bililights for a short time and struggled with apnea and bradycardia episodes. After 26 days, he was released from the NICU. He received a shot of Synagis to help prevent RSV for each month until May. We had countless weight checks to monitor growth. We have been evaluated twice by the hospital for developmental delays in occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy.

There are 2 sides to his story – the side I’ve shared before where I remained positive and strong. And then there’s this side – the ugly, vulnerable, scary side. The side where I feel guilty for not protecting my baby boy. The side where we were forced to consider our child’s mortality just moments after his birth. The side where we held our child as his heart rate slowed and his breathing stopped.

I remember when my nephew Dylan cried for the first time. It’s the most amazing thing. At first there’s no one. Just a couple of adults and a few doctors. The next moment there is this beautiful new person. A person that you love for no reason other than because they are family. Not because of who they are or what their beliefs are or the fact that they make you laugh, but because they are yours. I remember Ryan’s first cry. It was glorious. It was MY baby crying. I was his mommy. At that point, everything became completely worth it. Not too many people experience the worst and best moment of their lives within hours of each other.

I didn’t realize at that point how much of the birth experience I would miss out on.
I didn’t get so big that I was uncomfortable.
I didn’t get to go into labor (at least not “real” labor).
I didn’t get to tell Michael it was time.
I didn’t get to send Michael to the waiting room to tell our eagerly waiting families that the newest McFarlane was here.
I didn’t have anyone waiting all day to hear the announcement of our new arrival.
I didn’t have a doctor announce happily that it was a boy. In fact, the doctor didn’t even mention that he had been born until I asked her directly.
I didn’t get to try to breastfeed until a few days later.
I didn’t get to hold my son until over 24 hours later. I was so excited to hold him and then they sent me back to the room because they had just settled him down. I would have given anything to help settle him down.
I don’t have any pictures of the new family; I took our first picture using the timer on the camera the next day.
And, perhaps the worst, I left the hospital without my baby. I left without my tiny bundle in his giant car seat. I walked out next to a woman that was leaving with her baby. I would be back the very next day and for 20 some days thereafter to sit next to my miracle.
Thank god I didn’t realize most of what I was missing.

Instead, I had to ask permission to hold my child.
I had to ask permission to change his diaper and feed him.
Our birth announcement was met with uncomfortable silence and concern.
I had to pump every 3 hours, around the clock, to make sure my milk supply didn’t dwindle.
I quit my pain medication early so that I could drive to the NICU every day.
My every move was monitored closely by a nurse. I learned how to care for my son under the careful watch of a medical professional, every mistake pointed out.
My very first act as a parent was to fail my child, causing him pain, potentially setting him behind, and putting his health in serious danger. And the rational side of me didn’t give a damn that there’s was nothing I could have done to prevent it.
All of my pictures from Ryan’s first month include tubes and wires.
The sight of a Wheaton Franciscan hospital band or the smell of the hospital soap can still, 2 years later, make my heart stop and instantly tears come to my eyes.
I hauled around an apnea monitor for the first five months of his life.
I visited my son in the hospital on his 1st Christmas.

I waited and tried so hard not to get my hopes up that he would be home by Christmas. I still cannot bear to think of my beautiful baby boy laying in his crib in the hospital, alone, on Christmas. My baby boy, the miracle that he is, deserved better than that. I know that he didn’t know any different, but that’s not how it’s supposed to be. A baby’s first Christmas is supposed to be filled with anticipation and wonder and ridiculous 1st Christmas outfits and too many presents. Not bottle feedings and apnea monitors.
The day I finally accepted that he wouldn’t be home was one of the hardest days. Christmas music was everywhere, taunting me and reminding me that while everyone else was enjoying the most wonderful time of the year, I was dying inside. I was going to have to leave my baby on Christmas and try to move on. We put up a pretty strong front that day. Michael stood by me, telling everyone happy Thursday with me. Immature, yes. Necessary for survival, yes. Two years later, my eyes still tear up thinking of that first Christmas.

The day I brought him home, I sat in the corner of the couch with my tiny baby in my arms and cried.
I cried for the months I didn’t think I could have a baby.
I cried for every drop of blood that I lost.
I cried for every moment I spent in the hospital, thinking I would be there a hundred times longer.
I cried for all of the things I lost out on.
I cried for every minute I spent in the NICU.
I cried for my baby’s first Christmas.
And most of all, I cried because I was happy. I cried because I didn’t think I would ever get to this point. To the point where things finally felt normal. And, I think for the first time since December 4, 2007, I breathed a sigh of relief.

Every milestone that he achieves makes my heart swell. Every time I see him smile, I can’t help but think that I am the luckiest person alive. I had a 10% chance and nothing but problems and I am lucky enough to end up with the most amazing baby boy.
I am lucky that there are no feeding tubes or oxygen requirements.
I am lucky that his reflux, although messy, was effectively managed with the first drug we tried.
I’m lucky that we’ve only been to the ER for wheezing twice and that his lung issues are easily controlled with an inhaler.
I’m lucky that he has grown to be at the top of the charts for his actual age.
I’m lucky that he shows no signs of developmental delay.
I’m lucky that I’ve found an amazing group of preemie moms who understand what we’ve been through and have supported us along the way, celebrating what would seem like the smallest accomplishments.
I’m lucky that he is alive. Thousands of mommies every year never bring their babies home.

Would I do it all again, yes. In an instant. Because being Ryan’s mommy is exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. He is everything I never knew I needed. When I look at those gorgeous, big, blue eyes, everything else is just secondary.

Please consider supporting the March of Dimes. For Ryan. For Rebecca Ann. For Robbie, Cameron, Evan, Lily, Carter, Aldon, Erin, Lucy, Garrett, Charlie, Lily, Robinson, Evan, Gunner, Emma, Campbell, Savannah, Kevin, Cooper, Hunger, Natalie, Ben, Fiona, Andrew, Brandon, Wren, Jacob, Layla, Eli, Hazel, Maddy, Marino, Skylar, Ella, Sara, Lillian, Chelsea, Sam, Jake, Leo, Jax, Claire, Kiera, and all of the other preemies out there.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

14-15 weeks

i meant to update every week, but apparently that's too lofty of a goal for me right now. :) so we'll just try to do every other week.

things are going well. my last OB appointment was outstanding. the baby was being a bit difficult with the doppler, which is the exact opposite of how ryan was. he always jumped right up like he was saying "here i am mommy!" not so much with this one. this one made the doctor work for it. but the heartbeat was there and measured at 167, which is actually quite low for this baby (but still perfect!) as we've been at about 180 every other time.

we officially have our delivery date - may 2nd, 2011. my maternal grandmother will turn 90 on the same day. ryan was supposed to be born on my paternal grandfather's birthday, but we all know how that turned out! hopefully this birth will be less dramatic. at this point, there is no indication that the pregnancy will be anything but normal.

Pregnancy: 14w3d

Weight Gain: none, although a few more chocolate chip cookies and we're going to have to change that answer.

Sleep: still a big fan. the hips have been better the last couple of weeks.

Gender: unknown, although i have my money on girl

Name: we have a boy name and a girl name now, but we're not sharing. :)

Feeling: still tired and nauseous. seriously baby OP, mommy likes to feel better at 13 weeks. we're now 10 days overdue. please stop.

Cravings: still big on nacho cheese chalupas. except i like mine with pizza hut breadsticks, which are located a good distance away. it's ridiculous really.

Health: so far so good

Movement: i *might* be feeling some blurps every now and again, but i can't be sure yet.

Belly: getting bigger by the day!

Next Appointment: Nov. 22nd for our 16 week appt.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We're expanding

well, i guess i should say that i'm expanding. :) we are expecting our 2nd little one at the beginning of may. technically my due date is may 9th, but we'll likely deliver the week before due to the need for a c-section.

this pregnancy has been so different than my experience with ryan. i had occasional nausea with him and never was tired or had any cravings. this time around, i'm tired, and the baby is relentless with the cravings, that is when i'm not overcome with nausea. thank god that my fertility doctor was willing to give me zofran. i'm telling you, that stuff is a miracle drug.

the most amazing thing is that i had an ultrasound last week and we found that the placenta is at the top of my uterus, which is about the best case scenario. god willing, there won't be any other complications...

Pregnancy: 12 weeks, also known as 1 week until i feel much, much better (or at least i did with ryan)

Weight Gain: none

Sleep: still a big fan. my hips hurt sometimes from laying on my side, but not too bad

Gender: unknown, although i have my money on girl

Name: tbd

Feeling: tired and nauseous. thank goodness ryan is only 2 and won't likely remember me being a slacker of a mommy.

Cravings: lobster cigars from wasabi. seriously. this stupid appetizer costs $12. this is ridiculous. i'm also a big fan of nacho cheese chalupas from taco bell and pizza hut breadsticks. and chocolate milk and fruity candy. i said things were different this time....

Health: so far so good

Movement: not yet

Belly: i started wearing my maternity pants about 2 weeks ago. i mostly just look fat, but i'm imagining it won't be long till we move on to pregnant.

Next Appointment: tomorrow. then i have no appointments for a whole 4 weeks!

Monday, July 12, 2010


I am going to be 30 in 23 short days. Although I must admit that the blow of such a huge age milestone is dampened by my husband's arrival a whole 1 and a half years before me, it still is a big deal. I remember when my parents were in their 30s. And now here I go.
I am exactly where I thought I would be when I was 30, plus or minus a few things. I want a new house. I want another kid (or 2, who knows). I wouldn't turn down getting paid more money, but mostly because I want to pay down debt, not because I want anything fancy. But, for all intents and purposes, I'm 100% happy where I am.
That being said, there are a few personal goals I would like to achieve before I turn 31.

- Get a bigger house
- Pay down some debt
- Have 3 photographs I can really be proud of
- Pass the stupid CPA exam
- Have a 2nd kid (those of you that know Ryan's story know that it's not as easy as it looks over here)
- Run a 5K (which could be complicated by the goal above)

And I'm already working on it. I started the couch to 5K program with a bunch of wonderful preemie moms I've gotten to know. I watched a CPA video during my lunch today. As for the kid and the house, there's only so much I can do, but hopefully these things will just fall into place (yeah right, not my style).

Look out 30, it's going to be a crazy ride.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

it's all a matter of perspective

it all started on december 4, 2007. we went to the OB for our first preconception appointment. she handed us some clomid and some specific instructions then told us she'd see us in 3 months if we weren't pregnant. knowing it isn't that easy, i took control of the situation and made an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist. after a bunch of tests, a seriously disappointment discussion regarding costs, and a lot of crying, we got pregnant on our first cycle with the RE. not bad for only having a 10% change of conception. we were thrilled.

at our 20w appointment we found out the placenta was low and told that we might need a c-section if it didn't move. after all we had been through, i figured no big deal, right? the control freak side of me thought a c-section might be better anyways.

and then at 22w, it started. bleeding. and then more bleeding, and then more bleeding. until finally, at 32w6d, we delivered. at almost exactly a year, our infertility battle was over and another even more difficult battle was beginning. i felt angry. i felt disappointed, i felt guilty for not being able to carry my baby boy to 40 weeks. i hated the NICU. i hated the apnea monitor. i hated the synagis shots and the hand sanitizer and the weight checks. and on one level or another, i was carrying those feelings with me all this time. why couldn't anything just be simple?

and then today, it all changed. i read a story about another preemie. he was also born at 32 weeks (they don't count the days in gestational age, even though i insist on counting them because they were a long 6 days!) and had a twin sister. his sister was doing wonderfully, but not the little boy. he was 10 months and had a bunch of medical problems, none of which are uncommon for a preemie. he passed away a few days ago from complications from RSV, a serious "baby cold" that is even more serious for preemies because of their underdeveloped lungs and weak immune systems.

ryan had RSV a few weeks ago, despite our best efforts to keep him away as he wasn't approved for synagis shots this year (a monthly shot that decreases the effects of RSV). he didn't experience any breathing problems and our biggest hurdle were the high temps he kept having. but our baby boy came through without any problems.

today it hit me - i'm not unlucky, i'm the luckiest person alive. we got pregnant even though we only had a 10% chance. we made it to 32w6d even though we started having problems at 22w. it so easily could have been my baby boy that had health problsm, but instead we have a perfect, healthy baby boy. i get to chase and hold and snuggle and love my perfect baby boy every single day. and that makes me the luckiest, regardless of what hurdles we had to overcome to get to this point.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

god grant me the patience

ryan is, hands down, the most important thing in my world. followed very closely by michael, butler, molly, and the rest of my family and friends. being his mom is truly an honor and a responsibility that i take more seriously than i could ever have imagined i would. i once read a quote about how the bond between mother and child is so special because the baby is the only one to have ever heard the mommy's heart beat from the inside.

i understand mama animals now - i understand why the mommy animal tries to attack anything that comes near her fragile babies. and i think this feeling is special to moms. i know that my husband loves ryan as much as i do, but i don't think he has that same, for lack of a better word, maternal instinct to protect.

i think there's a very fine line between caring for your child and allowing your child to make mistakes and take risks that will eventually make them into the person they will grow up to be. it is the hardest thing in the world to stand by and watch as your child makes a bad decision. whether that decision is something as harmless as not taking a nap or as potentially dangerous as diving off the edge of a chair onto the hardwood floors.

given my love of control, i think i am finding this balance particularly difficult. i can't protect him from everything or everyone. i can't control how people treat him, how they feel about him, or how his relationships evolve. i want nothing but happiness and love for my little boy, but even i know that's unreasonable. he will be hurt. he will cry. he will know love beyond words.

but there's one thing that i can control - the fact that my son will never, ever have to doubt that i love him. even for a second. no matter what. and all i can do is hope that's enough. and all i can ask is for god to grant me the patience to accept the things i cannot change.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

blog overhaul and the grand ah ha! moment

after i had ryan, i started feeling a lot of anxiety. i have had some anxiety here and there for a long time, but never to this extent. so, off to the doctor i went. after explaining the things that cause me anxiety, the doctor told me that i did not have an anxiety disorder, instead i have obsessive compulsive disorder. i laughed. when she asked what i was laughing about (probably while considering a completely different diagnosis!), i told her that i was relieved. you see, i've always known on one level or another that i was obsessive compulsive and it was just a matter of time until it because a disorder - knowing that i didn't have an anxiety disorder in addition to OCD was great!

as i've explored my diagnosis in the last few months, a lot of things have become clear. for instance, did you know that having my socks stuck to the bottom of my feet drives me insane? honestly. i will take off my shoes at work and just wear socks if it gets bad enough. and stuffed animals. i have always felt bad picking up a stuffed animal and then leaving it at the store. don't even get me started on looking at puppies!

and of course, there's the big one - sickness. it used to just be puking. if someone was nauseous, i was out of there. if i was nauseous, i was in a panic. it's expanded to include all types of sickness since i had ryan.

what do all of these things have in common? control. i don't do well when i don't have a plan and i don't have control of what's happening in my life. and in the last 2 years of my life, it has become more and more obvious that i can't control most things and i need to figure out how to misplace control.