Thursday, March 31, 2011

Emotions of Bedrest

Bed rest.

Not words that a mother of a toddler wants to hear, ever, unless it is said mother telling toddler to go to BED and REST. The idea of sitting still and caring for a child in order to protect an unborn babe is just horrific. How can a mom explain to a 2 year old that mommy can not play right now, or hold you, or lift you, because of your baby sister? Toddlers do not get it. Shoot, mommies don't get it.

And then you wake up one day and find not only are you on bed rest, but you are on hospital bed rest, away from your toddler, only able to see her via the Internet technology of video chat. And although fabulous that we have this technology, still heart wrenching. And Momma is again forced to try and explain to a toddler that I can't hold you, hug you, kiss you right now because of the "phantom" baby sister whom you don't have the ability to comprehend right now needs momma to be still. Heart wrenching.

The flood of emotions has been unreal for me this week. I think I have just abut hit every emotion there is. Guilt, happiness, sadness, fear, shear terror, relief, anger, excitement, you name it, I have had it. And all at the same time too. Cool feelings, I tell you. I found myself sick with guilt because my darling Baby DIVA has to be without her momma for a while. And at the same moment I house this guilt inside me, I also house this relief that I am doing everything "mommypossible" to protect Critter2. Seriously, its bizarre to house both relief and guilt in the same instance. I hate to be apart from Baby DIVA, but knowing she is safe at home with her Grandma's and H4L also enables me to relax and provide a safe place for Critter2. And then more guilt sets in when I feel this relief because I also feel like I am taking away from my Baby DIVA.

And then there is the sadness because I have to be away from home. Away from my husband. I miss laying beside him and sleeping each night. Well, sort of. Pregnancy insomnia more or less has been hanging out for a while and I really just lay there and listen to him breathe all night, but nonetheless, here in the hospital all I hear is the beep beep of fetal monitors throughout the floor. I am saddened that I cant be home with him to share in the final weeks of this pregnancy with our daughter.

Fear. This is another big one that is running wild this week. I have several levels of fear. First, I fear for the safety of Critter2. We are still very early at 30 weeks 5 days, and if she has to be born now, NICU is a must. She will be tiny. Complications may present. And it is all out of my control. All I can do is give her my love and strength and stand by her side and will her to be strong and grow. And of course hope that Critter2 stays put and grows as long as possible her her womb cooker, eliminating these fears for all of us who love and care for her.

But my fear is not only aimed at the safety of Critter2's well being. I also fear for Baby DIVA and the repercussions of having momma gone for weeks in the hospital bed rested. Or having a baby sister born early that is in NICU. I am fearful about how I will be able to provide Baby DIVA with all the love and devotion she needs while I also provide Critter2 with the love and devotion she needs. Will Baby DIVA understand? Am I capable of being the best mom possible to her, even when I am terrified for the life of Critter2? I am fearful that I might fail my precious Baby DIVA and Critter2. I only want the best for both my girls in every aspect of their life. Can I do this?

And let us not forget my wonderful H4L. I worry about him too. How difficult it must be to be a dad. Especially when you are scared for your child and your wife, and still try and be strong for both when you really just want to sit down and weep. I count myself incredibly lucky that I have such a loving husband that he is a rock for me all the while he is going through the exact same fears and as me. I really couldn't be luckier!

And despite all these negative emotions I also find myself excited and joyful. My family is growing. Baby DIVA is going to be a big sister. I am going to be a mother to my second daughter. H4L is going to be the father to his second daughter. We are bringing a miracle into the world and it is such a blessing. Our family is thriving despite these complications in the getting there. I dream of future days and see H4L, Baby DIVA, myself and Critter2 laughing and smiling and goofing off and I feel surges of happiness and love. It overwhelms the fear and brings a smile to my face. Above all else this emotion supersedes them all. no matter what I am feeling, sad, angry, scared, I am incredibly excited and in love with both my children and my husband...and now have plenty of time to think about it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Big HELLO from hospital bedrest!!

Well I have gone and done it. DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA! I should really change my name. Yesterday I had another "attack", as you recall my Naked Ambulance shenanigans from last week. Well, I stayed home and H4L distracted Baby DIVA so that I could scream through the pain. 2 hours later the episode wrapped up and I came back to reality. And yes, I did get naked again. I don't know what my problem is...but at least this time it was in the privacy of my own bedroom!

So this morning (Monday) I headed in to my OB appt with Dr. K. I told him about my wild ride last week and about yesterdays attack. He wanted me to consult with a super surgeon about this gallbladder issue. Then we discovered some protein in my urine and a blood pressure of 160/108 "ish". No more talking. I was being admitted to the hospital. Pre-Eclampsia the diagnosis.

I got to L & D and immediately got a room. Many tests commenced. The surgeon showed up to consult about my gallbladder. I was put on NPO "in case" which I was not impressed with. A u/s of the gallbladder was ordered...again. The neurology team came to consult, only because of my prior autoimmune issues. Labs were drawn, questions were asked. theoretical were tossed around. But my dr assured me as of right now, Critter2 and myself were safe and in not significant danger.

My bp staying elevated and the discovery of stones led the dr to inform me that Critter2 will be coming early. I was given the first of 2 steroid shots to help mature her lungs. NICU came to consult to tell me what to expect if she is born this week, next week and up to 34 weeks (the gestational age Baby DIVA was born at). I cried. I am scared. But Critter2 is measuring super big and is healthy and active, all positives for a possible preemie.

As the day progressed more test results came in and my liver enzymes were found to not be as they should, indicative or pre-eclampsia. Awesome. So I spent another long, long, long time only being allowed to eat clear foods waiting until another liver test. Not cool man! i survived on jello and vegetable broth today. Me! a HIPPO pregnant gal. Uncool. At this point I was told I most definitely will be here in the hospital until Critter2 is born. Whether that be tomorrow or in June. (and as always we ALL know how medical conditions work, this is all subject to change at any moment)

The results of my gallbladder ultrasound came back and this time (3rd times the charm) showed that hidden inside all that "sludge" was lots of little stones. Answer to the horrid pain! SCORE. The surgeon, although skilled in 3rd trimester gallbladder removal, would like to wait until post baby birth if we can. I am in total agreement with this. Right now it is uncomfortable, but is not causing problems for Critter2. Id like to keep it that way. Hopefully rest and diet can keep the attacks away and we can coast to delivery.

Baby DIVA came up to see me and bring me big hugs and kisses. I showed her my IV and told her momma has to stay here for a little while. She was all smiles and giggles. Later this evening before she went to bed, she called momma and I "tucked" her in. Then I cried. But she is with H4L and grandma and hopefully will have so much fun she won't even notice me gone!

And this is where we sit tonight. High BP. Critter2 bouncing around a healthy little gal. Bed rested and trapped in the hospital until further notice. But honestly, I will do just about anything to get Critter2 to a safe and healthy weight and delivery. So, although it breaks my heart to be away from Baby DIVA and my H4L, I will lay here, quiet, still and calm, and let this baby cook as long as we can!

Breast Feeding Dolls?

A friend of mine shared a link to this article on facebook. After reading the article and then taking a surf around the website that makes this product, I find my self more and more appalled. Is this for real? A breast feeding doll?

Now, many of you know my thoughts on the boob feeding situation. I am all for it. I look forward to giving it a try with Critter2, but I am not a bad mom for allowing formula supplements in, or if Critter2 is not a boob gal switching altogether. I know the debate is long going that "breast is best", but in reality just providing your child with the proper nutrition is really what is best. Boob or bottle.

So back to this doll. I have no problem with an older sibling picking up a baby doll and mimicking mommy. And who cares if the older sibling is male or female, its a learning process for our tots. I, do however, think this doll is ridiculous on a number of levels.

The website boasts information about why this doll is a must have. One particular section frustrates me to no end. The section entitled "Why little girls NEED to learn to breastfeed." It leads with "little girls need to learn to breastfeed". No, they don't. They need to learn from young adulthood proper nutrition and the proper way to get it for themselves and to provide it for their child. However at 3 and 4 years old all I want my child to do is eat the peas off her plate and play pretend diaper changes with her doll, i expect no more and no less. She is a CHILD. Mimicking my behavior is one thing. Allowing a baby doll to suckle her 4 year old undeveloped woman areas is a little un-called for.

Allowing little girls to grow up their entire life with the knowledge that ONLY breast is best is horrific. What if the little girl grows up and her milk does not come in post birth? What if she is sick and can not breastfeed? What if, God forbid, her child is ill and breast milk, or bottle milk for that matter, is just not an option at the beginning?

I know from personal experience as well as watching my personal friends go through torture that not being able to breastfeed your child because of situations out of your control, with the constant demand of society to do so, it only leads to feelings of inadequacy. Instead of feeling glorious about this new life your are holding, loving and nurturing with the nutrients it needs to grow into a thriving adult via formula, a woman is then forced to sob and feel like a failure because she is unable to provide "breast is best" to her new baby. When really she is providing what is best to her child, nutrition is the best way possible! She is a fabulous mom, but not by society standards.

Instead of teaching our children that only one way is best, let us teach them the overall goal and show them various options to reach that goal. Let us allow them to use their minds and imaginations and pick up their own baby dolls and mimic mommy breast feeding or bottle feeding. Let them build these concepts on their own and learn and ask questions and investigate childhood through the eyes of a child. Then as their parent is is our duty to provide them with ALL the information they need to be better informed individuals as they grow into adults. Let us allow them to be children and not thrust more and more adult centered behaviors upon them, no matter how natural it may or may not be.

Friday, March 25, 2011

She loves Babies...for now

There is no doubt that in less than 75 days Baby DIVA is going to be a BIG SISTER! Lately she has been very in tune with all things baby. She sees babies in the street and tells me "Bay-bay momma". She brings me her pull ups and wipes and wants to change her "bay bay's" dipey. She races up to me and kisses her baby sister without prompting. And recently she grabbed her newborn snapshot and tried to feed it her sippy cup. All of this tugs at my heartstrings and I think it is just adorable!

Feeding her "Bay Bay"

Changing her "Bay Bay"

A few days ago Baby DIVA enjoyed some playtime with her cousin for his 1st birthday. Now, let me remind you that my Baby DIVA is a jolly green giant and is super tall but she is also kind thin. Her cousin however is a beast. He actually weights more than her. But, she loves "bay bay's" and kept trying to hold him. After a few minutes she became very agitated and started to throw a big tantrum because she could figure out how to hold her "baby" cousin. I haven't laughed that hard in a long, long time.

Please let me hold you Baby cousin!!!!

Once Critter2 arrives I sure hope this love of babies trend continues, but I'm betting when she realizes that "bay bay" sister never leaves she will change her tune. What do you think?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Naked ambulance ride!!!

Only me. These random weird things only happen to me. SERIOUSLY! Let me share with you my wonderful Thursday afternoon.

Baby DIVA is sporting a fever. We have had a small outbreak of Hand, foot and Mouth in our social circle, so one can assume the spike in fever from Baby DIVA yesterday of 103 plus could only be this lovely childhood illness plaguing us, right? We settled in to "ride" it out today at home. Inside, Motrin, fluids, backyardigans, fun filled day for us. I was feeling pretty good myself and although I don't like the circumstances, enjoyed the snuggle time with Baby DIVA.

I took the opportunity to "refresh the pink" aka bleach my roots and prepare to dye my hair, while Baby DIVA napped. Refreshing the pink is a 3 step process for me. Bleach roots. Dye the pink portion, dye the under hairs black. long process. So it is usually done over the period of a whole day. So step one concluded around 1230 during nap. Baby DIVA awoke promptly at 1pm and we had lunch, followed by snuggles. Bleach roots air drying, just FYI.

A little after 130ish I felt the gallbladder pain I have come to know all to well beginning to sneak up on me. I thought to myself "Oh poo" the next 30 minutes are gonna suck. I hate this pain. Well, boy was that an understatement. The pain came on with the quickness. I went from nothing to pain so severe I couldn't breathe. I tried walking, laying down, drinking water, contorting myself into awkward positions, sitting, everything, nothing was working. I think it was anywhere from 15-30 minutes before I decided that nothing could be done to stop this pain. The pain just increased and air became harder and harder to grasp no matter what I did.

Baby DIVA quickly realized that something was going on too. She begin to follow my pacing moves asking "o tay momma, o tay"? She would hug me and kiss me and pat me and was right by my side. This broke my heart. I did everything I could to stay calm and tried to tell her through garbled breaths that Momma was okay. Really, I was scared shitless. I began to get really hot. My face flushed. Air was hard to grab. The pain grew in intensity and I felt that I might blackout any moment. Fear for my child overwhelmed me. What is going to happen if I pass out. My 2 year old can not be left alone. She cant see me like this. Panic.

I went down the list of close friends and family. No one really to contact. Shit! I called my mom and tried to tell her what was wrong. She was headed my way before we hung up, however she is a good half hour drive at least. I tried to wait. The pain grew. Baby DIVA questioned me more, "o tay momma, momma o tay"?. All the while caressing me, showing me her sweet side, not her 2 year old monster side.

Out of shear fear I finally just made the adult decision and dialed 911. It was difficult to talk, but I managed to tell them who I was, where I was, and that I was alone with my 2 year old. Moments later help arrived. The pain grew more and more to such an intensity, death seemed to be the only thing that could stop the pain. The paramedics loaded me up, grabbed Baby DIVA and some toys and we were out there door.

I guess at this point I realized my daughter was safe, in the comforting arms of the lady paramedic, sitting close to me, subconscious realization though, as the pain grew more and I begin to scream. I have never felt such intense pain in my life, not even during the birth of Baby DIVA. I begged for the paramedics to make it stop. Pleaded with them. No luck. Then the nice paramedic took my hand and said I do not want you to panic, but it appears you are in labor. Do not be alarmed when we arrive at the hospital. More panic. I'm only 30 weeks. NOOOOOO! This cant be happening.

Terror and panic and PAIN swept over me. Honestly, I'm not sure where my mind went at this time. The pain and terror took over and I think my screaming may have been heard across the country at this point. I also found myself incredibly hot. For some reason I needed to be naked because the clothes were just too hot. So I stripped. Right there in the back of the ambulance. YES, I DID. I then demanded cold towels and ice packs because it was so hot and I was in so much pain. At one point reality hit and I looked up. I realized i was sitting up in the back of an ambulance being transported to a hospital butt ass naked, momma boobs flopping in front of the windows for the entire world to see. Pain hit again and I no longer cared. Free Boob flop show for all afternoon commuter courtesy of me.

We arrive at the hospital. I overheard the paramedics on the phone several times during the ride telling the hospital my "contractions" were less than 2 minutes apart. What freaking contractions? There are no contractions it is just constant throbbing pain man. The paramedic tells me he is going to cover me up with a sheet, the other paramedic says "i don't think she cares". We roll in the hospital. Me still sitting up NAKED, SCREAMING, sheet falls, boobs flopping everywhere, I roll up into the ER, loud and obnoxious and in so much pain. I bet I was quite a sight!

The ER is by-passed and off we go to Labor and delivery. The pain is tortuous. So much so that at this point I have no care as to where my 2 year old Baby DIVA is. I'm taken to a room. Tons of doctors and nurses swarm me. Someone tells me they are with the preemie team, another tells me he is a Dr, another tells she is gonna do this and that. I don't care. Make this pain stop. The nurses help me get a grip on my breathing. Help me cover my momma boobs with cool towels and work on getting me to calm down. They have skills because I was demon pink. Not happy, in pain and NAKED!

H4L and my mom arrive. Someone says Baby DIVA is safe. I thought, "oh ya i have a child, shit!" Tests are done. Evaluations are made. Pain is incredible. Finally I hear someone say they are going to give me some pain medication. Relief flushes over me as I hear this news between these death pains. And then, just like that, the pain stops...before they even give me the medicine. Literally like a light switch has been turned off. It stopped almost as quickly as it came on. I am able to catch my breath and breathe again. I am able to calm myself down and think clearly. My body temperature drops. Critter2 is safe. No contractions. Heat rate is perfect. She is a little pissed off but looks perfect.

Hours of constant pain have finally ceased. It is only at this point I begin to recall that I just sped down the main street in my town NAKED in the back of an ambulance with half dyed hair, 30 weeks pregnant screaming like a crazy woman. Seriously? Mortifying. I stripped myself down naked in front of total strangers and acted a fool without alcohol? :)

I immediately begin to apologize to anyone and everyone. I fret about wanting to hunt down the paramedics and thank them (which I will be doing this weekend, somehow or someway) for dealing with my afternoon insanity. Evaluations are made and I am monitored and told I can go home. On strict full bed rest until I see my regular OB on Monday morning. Awesomeness. But, Critter2 is safe and sound. I'm okay for now. No definitive answers were made. Many tests and many results but all to be looked at by mt regular OB before decisions are to be made. So as long as we are safe I can handle sitting on my butt all weekend. I might even couch surf naked, for old time sake. :)

Oh and did I mention that during all of this my blood pressure is 122/79! HA! How about that? So how was your day?

H.A.L.S Family fun

Our calendar is a hot mess. Baby DIVA seems to be quite the social butterfly and her presence is requested at so many affairs, it is hard to keep up. Couple that with momma's insane need to expose her to every kind of tot fun in the city and she is one tired tot scooting around town, but she sure is cute and loves it!

Last Saturday H4L and I took Baby DIVA to a fun family outing, between rsvp'd birthday bashes, that I have been dying to try since she was just a tiny infant. We introduced her to train riding. The bright spring sunshine, crisp breeze and blue skies only enriched the experience, allowing us to enjoy a bit of relaxing calm before resuming out tight tot schedule.

H.A.L.S., Houston Area Live Steamers provides a wonderful family event the third Saturday of every month during the warmer months of the year, March through November. Enthusiasts and hobbyists alike, who share a passion for are things locomotive, can find a piece of happiness via H.A.L.S. Members construct their own engines and delightfully allow the general public to come out once a month a take a ride on their creations. We were just 3 of the many local folks who went out last Saturday to support this great organization.

4700 feet of tracks, many, many engines and ride on cars escorted us around Zube park
in the beauty of the day. We basked in gorgeous rays of enjoyment as Baby DIVA squealed with delight on the "choooo choooo's". We felt the wind slap against our skin as we sped around the park watching families fly kites, enjoy picnics, play games together while laughing and giggling and soaking up the spring air. The incredible members of this organization offer this wonderful experience at no charge. Donations and souvenir purchase are available and appreciated, however you can see that the fine folks of H.A.L.S are kind people who have such an enormous passion for their trains that the smiles of all the kids is what keeps them going.

So if you are local, and are looking for a way to spend the gorgeous spring days, head out to Zube park on a H.A.L.S. Public Run Day. Pack a fabulous picnic lunch for the family, load up the kites and spend all day enjoying each others company as you ride the rails and build wonderful memories.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Picasso in the Bath

My grungy little tot, Baby DIVA, has decided she hates baths. It became a problem. Not only because my Hippo size self with Critter2 protruding from my mid-section is starting to have a hard time reaching Baby DIVA down in the bathtub, but because Baby DIVA would scream and cry and thrash about when bath time rolled around. It took me and H4L, as a team, to get this stinky girl bathed. Not so fun. And this is not cool because my kid is a dirty kid. She likes dirt. No bueno.

Luckily for us this phase passed almost as quickly as it came about. But it didn't stop us from researching and prowling the net for ideas to help spark our tots interest in bath time during this short month long phase. And that is when we found it. Homemade Bath paint. Let our Baby DIVA "destroy" the walls of the tub and she just might want to bathe again. hmmm. This might be a winner we thought. And we were right!

I found this recipe online and tweaked it a bit. I used baby soap instead. I mixed the soap, cornstarch and food coloring and Voila, bath paint. Then H4L and I swooped in and scooped up the Baby DIVA and tossed her in the tub, with the paint. We demonstrated to her the skills mastered by our 80's roots of the art of splatter paint, and she took right to it. That is MY girl! Giggles ensued. No screams. H4L was able to get her scrubbed clean without a thrash fight. My hippo self was able to stand nearby and snap pictures. No one needed Tylenol or vodka after the bath. It was glorious. Baby DIVA completed her masterpiece with a smile and we haven't had any bath troubles since.


And cleanup was a snap and left Baby DIVA's bath tub sparkly clean!


Simple ingredients we all have around the house!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Nutella playdate

Recently Baby DIVA and I happily accepted an invitation to a fabulous shindig at lovetoshopmom's casa. Love To Shop Mom and her Little Miss Diva in training hosted a nutella party. And oh my goodness, this is one way to throw a happening playdate. The kiddo's played and played and then dined on scrumptious treats whipped up by love to shop mom. And Critter2 might have enjoyed this delicious treat too! Whilst I enjoyed the adult conversation! Fun Fun!


Snacking on Nutella Brownies

The yummy spread courtesy of Love To Shop Mom

Two Diva's swapping Nutella recipes!

Thank you Love To Shop Mom for having us over for such a wonderful playdate!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Critter 2 update: 29 weeks

Last week we had an ultrasound of Critter2. A growth check. We also were able to see her in the 3d view. I will admit, even though I find this technology freaky, when it is MY child up there on the screen, it is amazing. Unfortunately, I am a big idiot and forgot to grab the CD of pics they gave us before taking off after the appt. At my Dr appt this week I had hoped the u/s tech had slipped the CD into my chart, but no such luck. So until our next growth check you will have to just rely on my word that Critter2 is absolutely beautiful. :)

In fabulous news, my BP is waaaaaaay down. Almost normal actually. I am not on any restrictions anymore, no bed rest, nada. Although the doc says we are not 100% out of the danger of bp issues, he is now leaning more and more towards a healthy FULL TERM delivery! How about that! Go me! Exciting news now but in a few weeks I am sure I will not be so excited about being a giant Hippo until June.

Both Critter2 and I are very healthy and trucking along just fine. Oh and I finally gained a pound!

Happy Go Lucky!

Happy Saint Patty's Day to everyone!

Baby DIVA awoke this morning to a fun game of Leprechaun hunting. Followed by a fabulous breakfast of rainbow cake. Holidays are too much fun when you have a toddler!


Leprechaun Catcher


Yummy Rainbow cake
Do you have any special plans for this lucky day?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pressure washer nesting

H4L is on a mission to purchase me a pressure washer and exterior house paint. WHY??

Because I am a crazy lunatic nesting woman who can not get organized enough. Seriously, as we flew through the 2nd trimester, dropped the barfs off, unloaded the every other day migraines and gained massive amounts of energy as we continued to drop weight, I have become a pregzilla in a new form. I CAN NOT stop "nesting". I am organizing everything. Labeling everything. Putting everything in its rightful spot. Cleaning every crevice in our home that might be lurking a tiny fragment of dust or dirt that could only be seen by a microscope. I am a nut. And, its not enough. nope. I am not being satisfied at all by this clean organizing craving. I have now moved on to updating every aspect of our home. I did not have these intense urges with Baby DIVA. Perhaps the hospital bed rest played a factor in Baby DIVA's nesting period, but I still don't recall this insane desire to fluff my nest.

H4L thinks it is insane. He told me I am going to make him croak with all my Honey do lists and projects. Then he came up with the bright idea of getting me a pressure washer and exterior paint so that i can nest the outside. Nah. Not interested.

I guess you might want to see some of the projects that have been monopolizing my time huh?

Entry Before

Entry During

Entry After

Living area before

Living during

Living after

A little glimpse at my obsession in the closets: this is my crafting closet

Oh and did I mention that the entry and living room make-overs came to a grand total of less than $20 to complete!! Bargains, coupons and sales are amazing, even for an insane nester!! On to my next project...

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