Friday, February 26, 2010

A common theme

I love my friends near and far in the blogging world. Before the days of facebook this was the one and only realistic way to stay connected since emailing all of you on a regular basis just does not happen. And now, even with facebook, I prefer to share the private things here with you. This is a much more personal site for me where I connect with my close friends who happen to be geographically far.

Dear Friends,

As I read each of your blogs and see various posts it appears there is a common trend among all of us. The winter has been long and we are all tired. Tired from deployments, husbands long days in the office, crying children, cold rainy days, and probably the most prevalent reason: being too hard on ourselves. Each one of us struggles with our own worst enemy: ourselves. The pressures we face to be a good wife, mother, sister, neighbor is sometimes overwhelming. I know I have these battles on a regular basis. I am pointing this out because I hope as you are reading this you can take a moment to realize that you are wonderful, caring, loving, and giving and that it is ok to need help and not do it all. I know this is a giant struggle of my own.

Some days are better than others- this probably sounds familiar. There are days where I just feel so defeated and overwhelmed and others where I think I have it all down. As I type this I am contemplating deleting it. It is as if putting this into words admits that I have weaknesses, or that I too struggle. It is hard to be vulnerable and it is even harder to let others know that you are vulnerable. I am not sure the level of detail to share ( I am just not sure what I am comfortable with), but I wanted to type this post for some burning reason. I don't have any answers or way of making the pressures magically disappear, but My faith in the Lord has gotten me through everything thus far and I am confident He will continue to provide for me.

I think the bottom line is that nobody can do it alone. Without getting cryptic and long winded I will end this with hope that each of you will find Peace and joy in the little and big things in your lives.

With love to you all-

Sunday, January 31, 2010

What we have been up to

It has been a very long time since I blogged. My home computer, which was lent to me by my sister in law after I had to give up my work laptop last year, has a security setting I can't fix that does not allow me to log into the blog and update. I use Mark's computer when I update. I truthfully could have updated a lot more often, but enjoy my evenings with Mark and Tess and don't often find myself online at night.

Tess is growing quickly. She is thriving on breast milk and at her two month check up had gained over 3 pounds and grown 2 inches! We did discover she is lactose intolerant. This is especially challenging for me since my diet consisted of cereal and milk every morning and yogurt and cheese at some point each day. I have not had dairy in over a week and may finally be getting over the cheese withdrawals. Tess is much happier and healthier without dairy, so it is all worth it. Her main symptoms were spitting up / borderline vomiting curdled milk, and chronic diarrhea accompanied by diaper rash. All of the symptoms are much better or gone in just one week with out dairy.

I am still working on my delivery recovery. Since I tore so badly and pushed so long I dislocated my tailbone. I have been in physical therapy since Christmas time and am still going weekly. Hopefully, one day soon I will sit down without pain.

I am starting to exercise more, but still have pain with long strides walking, so running is out at the moment. I am using the elliptical again and am hoping in a few weeks I will be able to run especially since I am planning to run the Cooper Bridge run in Charleston, SC in the end of March. It is a 10k, so as long as I can start running in a couple of weeks- or at least by the end of February I should be fine- just not as fast as I probably would like.

Tess is doing great. She smiles all the time. She giggles a little here and there and is working very hard on sucking her thumb. She likes her thumb and index finger combined. She has lost a lot of hair since her birth and most of it in the last few weeks. I really hope she does not lose much more because I lover her long brown hair on the top of her head. Tess has also rolled from her back to her side multiple times now. She is so fun to watch grow and change. We can't get enough of her!

Finally, here are some photos that were taken recently.

Tess looks so much like Mark it is scary! The hair is all I can claim!

Her first day in the bumbo! She is getting so strong. She is 11 weeks old in this photo.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tess Sophia's arrival

Here is the story as I recall it- as grammatically incorrect as it may be...

Wow what a whirlwind it has been for us...As you know Tess Sophia was born on 11/8, but I went into labor on 11/6. I spent all day Friday cramping and just in pain. By 8 pm I knew something was up and I went to bed. I woke up all night with contractions as they went from an hour apart to 15 minutes. By morning I was certain she was coming. It was the 7th- my due date. We joked at how fitting that someone like me who hates being late would have a baby right on time.

I had already scheduled a massage appointment for that day at 1pm, so as I sat waiting for my massage my contractions had moved from 6-8 minutes apart- but were not excruciating yet. We went home and I laid on the couch groaning...Mark convinced me around 4 or 4:30 to call the doctor (mind you I was at the doctor on Friday and they said there was no way my body was ready to deliver a baby). I called and the doctor advised me to come to the hospital.

We got to the hospital around 5pm. When the doctor checked me I still was barely dilated...he was considering sending me home. When he left the room I cried for a good 20 minutes at the thought of going home to have contractions for days...Once I stopped crying we went for a walk- as we walked the halls of the hospital the contractions continued. When we returned to the room it did not take long for them to start becoming "excruciating." I went from breathing throught them to clenching my eyes closed and bracing myself through them.

The nurse told me at around 8pm I was staying and the doctor would "check me" again around 10. Well, at 10pm with no doctor in sight I finally took some pain medication-whoa. Whatever it was made me absolutely wasted! Holy cow. I was affraid to open my eyes it was so strong. I could hear myself slurring my words and there was nothing I could do about it. The best quote from the drugs (as Mark so kindly reminded me): "Mark, you need to say the prayers now. I am too wasted to pray." So, I laid there wasted, but still feeling contractions. The doctor visited around 11 or 12. I wouldn't know since I was affraid to open my eyes. He told me he saw a change (that is all I remember) and then he broke my water. I do remember the contractions becoming much worse after that.

At around midnight or 1am the anesthesiologist came in to give me an epidural. With my eyes clenched shut and my contractions getting closer together I shoved my face in Mark's stomach as he stood over me and tried to remain still. Of course, the first time the epidural went in they hit a vein- what does the anesthesiologist say: I couldn't have done that if I tried. I will have to do the epidural again. So, it took what seemed like forever to get the darn epidural, but once I did it was so worth it. I managed to sleep until around 5 am.

By morning my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and I was 6-7 cm dilated. My doctor had come on duty and she ordered some pitocin to speed up my slowly dilating body. I was told to plan to push around 11am. 11 came and went and no doctor in sight...Finally at nearly 12 I began pushing. I was told that Tess had moved so low I should not have to push long. After just a couple of pushes they could see her head- and I was told she had lots of brown hair! I opted out of the mirror so I could just focus. I pushed for an hour and there was no progress.The doctor then realized that Tess was face up in the birth canal, not face down. Face up is much more difficult to deliver. The doctor then asked me if I needed a break. I said yes- and exhausted and fearful of a c-section I rested for 20 minutes. Words could not express how tired I was at this point. The nurse came back and I pushed for an hour more- with no additional progress. when the doctor came in I begged her for a vacuum extraction or forceps. I just couldn't get her out on my own. She said a vacuum was not an option since she was face up- they could not attach the vacuum in this position. So, the forceps was the only choice before a c-section. Once the forceps were in place I pushed one time- I kid you not- and her head was out. The doctor asked me to hold- which was nearly impossible- and then I pushed her the rest of the way out. What a sensation. I sware it felt like she flew out of me. All 8lbs 2oz. of her. They rested her on my chest, but quickly whisked her away.

Little Tess was not crying. She was having a "difficult transition" out of the womb and her breathing was labored. She was not able to breast feed because they said she was not breathing well enough. So, they called the NICU and told me they were taking her to intensive care as a precaution. My doctor was busy sewing up my miserable tear, but was great at comforting me as I could not even see my baby at this point never mind hold my baby. Over the next half an hour - all the while I am being sewn back together - Tess managed to get control of her breathing and did not have to go to the NICU. Thank GOD!

The rest is just plain gory and bloody, but the outcome is a beautiful baby girl who I love more than words.
We left the hospital on Tuesday morning only to return to the children's hospital Wednesday evening with Tess so they could place her "under the lights" for her jaundice. We saw the doctor a lot in her first week, but she is now doing great! We love every minute with her although we are exhausted!

I am recovering still- My tear was the worst kind. I asked the nurse how many stiches I had and she said, "Honey, I couldn't even begin to count!" Not what I expected to hear.

I knew labor would be tough, but I did not expect the whirlwind that was my labor and delivery. As a matter of fact, the nurse who checked us in on the 7th finished her shift, went home and returned to work only to find me still in the delivery room 21 hours later!

As for the timely delivery- we decided she started coming on her due date since she is my daughter, but since mark is late for everything she didn't arrive until the 8th!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A blogging Glitch

I have not been able to post / log-in to my blog for some time now since my loaner laptop has some odd security setting I am unable to control. I am able to use Mark's work computer (when it is free) to update the blog, but that ends up being a rare occasion. I plan to have my glitch fixed someday, so the blog will not be abandoned. Sorry to everyone for not posting for nearly 3 months!

We are almost ready for baby at this house. I think we have all the necessities and then some, but the little one has about 4 weeks left to hang out in my belly. I am between 36 and 37 weeks right now and I have been truly blessed with a good pregnancy. I have recently had a few unpleasant side effects, but the worst of it is swelling. Although it is extremely unpleasant to not have ankles anymore and fingers that feel like sausages, in the grand scheme of things I am pretty fortunate.

I will see about getting online soon to post some photos and provide more updates. I hope everyone is well.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Babies first quilt

I have been having some blogging issues where I Can't log into my account from my home PC to updae the blog. This photo was taken at almost 22 weeks. Tomorrow I am 25 weeks. I am starting to feel large although I know I have a long way to go.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

photo worthy?

It is exciting to think that I am a couple of days shy of half way through my pregnancy. All along I have heard from people how "tiny" my belly is. Despite what others have said, I went to put on one of my "big" t-shirts last night and found that it was surprisingly small. I was slightly impressed with the bump and decided to have Mark take a photo to show our baby girl's progress. Don't mind my face in the photo as it was the end of a long day and I was exhausted.

This past week I feel like I have developed a slew of new symptoms and since this is all new to me and most of you will be able to relate just humor me. The most notable change is my no longer wanting to bend over to pick something up off of the floor. I used to not let the dogs eat any food that dropped on the floor and I would instead bend over to pick it up. This week I decided that they are helping me out if they eat what falls on the floor when I am cooking so I don't have to bend down to get it! It is not that I can't bend, but it just isn't the best feeling. I am also learning that squatting is a lot more comfortable than bending. This will be good for my butt which I fear is taking on a new shape of its own!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pink or blue?

Friday was a very exciting day for Mark and I. My appointment was at 11, but of course the ultra sound technician was running late. We waited a bit and then were placed in the room. Sitting there Mark and I were so nervous and excited all at once. All along boy votes were casted by family and friends and even though everyone is just guessing it is very convincing. So, naturally we sat there waiting to confirm every one's assumptions.
The technician seemed to look at everything except what we were aching to know. It seemed like forever went by...although we were loving every minute of seeing the spine,the hands, the feet...but we really wanted to cut to the chase! Finally, at the very end she said she had looked a few minutes ago (we obviously were clueless) and she could not tell.

She gave it another shot and then said, "I think I know...yep I know."

All I could think was spit it out! She then went on to say do you see those three lines? And of course we said yes, but thought, "What the heck does that mean?" And for those of you with babies you may know...the three little lines means girl! She then continued on writing "girl" all over the images of the tiny ultrasound screen. There it was in writing- she is a girl!

After listening to our family and friends for so long I was honestly surprised it is not a boy. My response to the technician? "Really?"

We are overjoyed! I couldn't have been happier either way, but now my 7 month niece will have a new best friend!

Amazingly I did not cry when I found out the news, but I am so excited that I can now refer to the baby as her...I hated using it and have apologized to HER for any times a may have used HE in the last 18 weeks!

There is so much love in our hearts for this little girl. I can't wait to meet her in November!