Head above water…

Well it’s been ages since I posted, not much beyond the obvious to say. I had another baby. She came early, one of these days I”m sure i’ll end up posting that whole ordeal, but she came and she’s perfect.

Right now, this is pretty much what life is like: http://yourbestnestindy.com/2014/02/27/mommy-somebody-needs-you/

I’m exhausted but I remember how much this is the phase that’s so bittersweet. My body is finally down to wear I can fit into some of my jeans and my daughter is past the fetus phase (as in, she’ll actually interact)…but on the flip side, this is the countdown to going back to work. 6 effing weeks. I remember this feeling so much from last time, feeling like in 6 weeks my child will turn into a pumpkin and this wonderful time will be gone. Last time I had some solace that there would probably be another baby to enjoy this moment…this being my last time, I’m clutching every second because this is it.

This is it. Every sweet wonderful baby moment, this is it.

Some random thoughts:

  • Unlike my son who would take a pacifier, Dahlia (yes, after the flower no, not after the murdered actress) won’t take any. ANY. I can open a boutique for the number of pacifiers I’ve purchased. She wants the boob. Fortunately it’s getting a bit better (she’s discovering her fingers, more slobber but at least gives my boobs a break).
  • That also means the bottle is becoming an issue. I figured out that she only wants rubber nipples, not silicone which is what 99% of all bottles use. Through much trial and error, this leaves me using either the 97 cent walmart bottle or my beloved Playtex Drop-In rubber nipples, which are beyond impossible to find.
  • The above is especially important because making milk is still a huge issue. I’ll never be the woman who can pump more than even 4 ounces at a time (and that’s only happened once). I average around 2-3oz per pumping session. Certainly not enough to carry my child through childcare, but this time I’m not as panicky about giving over formula.
  • I bought a small chest freezer for the garage which may be one of my most favorite purchases. It was originally because I knew that breastmilk takes up a ton of room in the garage but now it’s turning out to be just so helpful when doing big grocery trips.
  • Potty training: it’s getting better. We’re on month…5?, and it’s finally going well. On the flip side, it’s REALLY hard to drop everything with a baby when you’re in potty training mode. Most of the past 3 months being at home meant that my son’s time on the potty included a screaming hysterical baby.
  • Actually, anything with my son involves a screaming baby, the poor girl gets ignored so much because she’s almost like an 11lbs prop because his needs are so much greater. That’s why I relate so much to the first part of that link above.
  • My disastis recti is horrific. I wish I could do stomach crunches. It’s taken me a LONG time to figure out how to work my inner corset ab muscles (the TVA muscles, aka, the ones that keep you from looking like an Ethiopian child from a World Vision commercial) and it’s still very difficult for me to exercise them.
  • I don’t want to go back to work and give up my sweet precious perfect little girl :(
  • Son is still in special ed preschool, we fought for more services and now he’s in school until 1:30 every day, getting extra speech therapy services.
  • I’ve barely had any time to decorate this house, my nesting instinct has finally kicked in. So my daughter’s room is getting a nursery while the rest of the house still looks awful.

Gotta go pump (ughghgh), but all I can say is:

When on maternity leave, one child is a beautiful stroll in the park. A toddler (or at least, a developmentally delayed one with sensory processing disorder) and a newborn is like a gauntlet in hell.


Pregnancy Week 38: all the ailments wrapped in a bow

Next week is my c-section and I can’t begin to tell you how badly I just want to be DONE with pregnancy. I don’t do pregnancy well that’s for sure.

Here are all the ailments I’ve got, head to toe:

Face: my whole face is a hot mess. I have the hairiest upper lip and today I plucked my eyebrows when I realized I was one step from being Bert and Ernie’s third roommate. My undereye circles are massive. This is in part to my inability to properly lean over the sink and wash my face (I have to contort my body when I do), thus leaving remnants of makeup on me each night before going to bed.

Shoulders and back: needless to say, a 45lbs bowling ball attached to your belly will totally f*ck up your back. We bought a brand new bed and I can’t even tell if it’s comfortable or not because I spend all night in pain.

Esophagus: oh heartburn. Fun times.

Belly: it hurts. A ton. Covered in stretch marks. After 2 doctor’s appointments, it has been determined that I have a stretched nerve. Whenever people would tell me about nerve pain or pinched nerves, I didn’t think it was a big deal. OHHHHH how wrong I was. This is single-handedly the most painful thing I’ve experienced in all my pregnancies. Worse than the tailbone pain, worse than c-section pain, worse than every papercut on the planet. It feels like a stab, a rip, and a burn all at the same time. I feel the pain all the time: from Braxton Hicks contractions, when I cough, when I twist my body, when something presses against my stomach, sometimes just breathing. The only relief I get is when I ice it, which isn’t something I can do all the time because I spend a chunk of my time out of the house taking my son to his therapies. The odd day that I can just lay down, ice it, and have my husband watch my son is like complete heaven.

Oh and the Braxton Hicks on their own are no walk in the park on their own.

Hips: still feeling some pain, mostly related to my legs (which are apparently not even in their sockets according to the physical therapist I saw). If I stand up without paying attention, my right leg will turn inward, causing a stabbing pain through my entire leg.

Ass: same ol’ sob story about tailbone pain. Let’s add to that some serious hemorrhoids. I didn’t get them with my last pregnancy. Right now they’re so big, my butt looks like an un-neutered  bulldog’s balls. I think it’s all the excess weight when I sit down. It’s not from constipation, which at this point I just use a suppository to take care of business. My butt very much wants the excess weight off of my body.

Vajayjay: when I toss and turn at night, it’s like i’m ripping my girl part apart. I think it ties back to the hips widening. To top it off, i’m dripping goo like it’s no man’s business. There are days I’ll feel a “gush” and next thing I know, it’s like 2-3 tablespoons of girly goo leaked out of me. I swiped some test strips from my obgyn’s office to test to make sure this goo isn’t from my water breaking.

Legs: all this extra weight fatigues my leg big time. Top that off, there’s a sh*t ton of extra blood volume going through me. I drink on average 2L of liquid a day, I’ve been so incredibly thirsty. All that excess blood will put a number on your veins. Compression stockings are a huge help, however I only have one pair and they need to air-dry when washed. Plus they take around 15 minutes to put on…getting dressed is already hard enough as it is. Still, they’re wonderful whenever I do wear them.

Feet: nothing to say other than i could be a foot model for anyone needing a Hobbit stand-in.

One week, 2 days to go….

The Packed Hospital Bag

This is an image of everything that will NOT be in my hospital bag, minus the anti-perspirant.

This is an image of everything that will NOT be in my hospital bag, minus the anti-perspirant.

After my husband had a freak out that I was going into labor last night (Braxton Hicks contractions…basically faux contractions for the purpose of freaking out your spouse), my husband ripped on me for not having my hospital bag packed.

I guess I could argue back that neither does he, but my bag is more important than his.

I was curious to see what I’d written last time about the hospital bag, but the only post i found was this one. Which is also pretty handy and I’m glad I wrote it.

Here’s my checklist for the hospital bag. For things that I’m still using, I’m going to do what i did last time which was to write a post-it list and place it on top of the bag so that I know what else needs to be grabbed last-minute (like the iPad and charger).
1. iPad and charger. We brought a laptop last time but this will be SO much more convenient. Free hospital internet = lots of Breaking Bad since I’ll be by myself a lot.

2. Cell phone charger.

3. Coming home outfit for me: underwear, socks, baggy track pants, tshirt (I’d add a hoodie, but odds are pretty good I’ll be wearing one on my way in).

4. Coming home outfit for the baby.

5. 2-3 outfits for the baby. Nothing crazy, but all of our photos of my son for the first few days have him in the same hospital top. Might be nice to mix it up.

6. Cute Aiden & Anais swaddle blanket. Mostly for photographs since the hospital will hook you up with a trillion generic ones.

7. Nipple balm, I prefer The First Years Lanolin Free Nipple Butter over Lansinoh since I’m allergic to wool (which is where Lanolin comes from). I used Lansinoh last time and my nipples look like they had been burned by the time I got home.

8. General toiletries kit (contact lens solution, facial cleanser, toothbrush, etc).

9. Camera. While we use our cell phones a lot, a camera is still the best IMO for those important moments.

10. Camcorder + charger.

11. Can of Diet Pepsi. yes, still avoiding the stuff this pregnancy. I know lots of people opt to drink it while pregnant but lord knows that stuff is awful for you as an adult, I’m not risking the most crucial developmental time in someone’s life just because i’m jonesin’ for some fizz.

12. A few Parenting magazines that i’ll probably never get around to reading but will take a long with me in hopes of getting that pile of unread magazines down to a manageable level.

13. Glasses

What am i not packing with me?

1. Random music device. Even without the planned c-section, I don’t need to block out the sound of everyone. In fact, I’d rather hear everything so in the loop of what’s goin’ on.

2. Cute hospital gown. All the power to anyone who wants to blow $50 on something they’re only going to wear for 2-4 days, ever. I would rather use hospital gowns to get all nasty and blood-covered. Plus, I don’t need more stuff to wash. I have plenty of laundry. I’ll take the free hospital gown, get it bloodied up, and let them deal with cleaning it.

I’ve heard stories that bringing something for the nurses is a nice gesture, maybe we’ll bring something for them too if I remember it, like cookies. Or an apology card.

15q13.3 Update

Every now and then I scour the web for any new news related to my son’s (and my own) chromosome disorder (15q13.3 microduplication syndrome).

Someone created a FB page for it, which has been pretty interesting. You sometimes feel like you’re in a bubble with something this specific. Most of our friends that we’ve met along the way with special ed kids all have autistic children, which has enough differences to still make us feel alone in some of our struggles (such as getting services, since your insurance can’t deny you anything if you’re autistic…but if you have a chromosome disorder very similar and possibly related to autism, you’re screwed).

One of the FB peeps referenced this information booklet, which I may or may not have seen before but it was definitely a great informational read for anyone new to the topic. There are people on that FB feed who just got diagnosed; I feel for them. I remember everything about where I was and how I reacted when the geneticist called and told me the news. It has completely impacted our life compared to our life pre-diagnosis. I’m relieved to be past that phase because we’re much less like confused zombies going through the various stages of emotion.

It also allowed us to plan (as best we could) for the new baby. Granted who knows what the future may hold, but getting her tested in utero allowed us to strategize a bit better our life. If she had the same chromosome disorder, then we probably wouldn’t have bought as big of a house (figuring that we should hedge our bets that one of us would just need to be a stay at home parent to care for both of them). Of course, that could still happen with some other condition, but it allowed us to see more cards in the hand.

Speaking of babies, my GOD I miss being able to wear jeans with zippers.

Cooking: freezer-friendly foods for maternity leave

Last time I was pregnant, we were delusional when it came to the idea of food. We had absolutely nothing in our fridge when my son was born. We like to blame it on his early arrival, but that was a whopping 2 days early. Maybe because we didn’t anticipate the c-section, where I needed more help and my husband was pretty much house-bound with me.

So I survived on a lot of Luna bars. Anyone who came by to visit was required to hook me up with a box. I had wrappers around my house for weeks.

This time around, eff that. We usually focus so much of our grocery energy trying to find stuff that my son will eat (what with all his effing sensory/food issues) that we never really get anything of substance for us.

I’ve vowed to max out my crockpot now that I don’t live in a ghetto house with a nonexistent kitchen to stock up on foods for the kitchen.

This weekend I made two recipes:

Crockpot Chicken Curry: this is almost identical to the recipe, minus the coconut.

Vegetables and Garbanzo Curry: super duper simple.

I find that crockpot food gets more liquid-y than usual since all that liquid has no room to escape so I’ve been adding cornstarch towards the end to thicken up the sauces. After the stuff cools down, I put them in 1 quart freezer bags, which I then put in a big gallon freezer bag (in case the bags leak), then lay them flat in the freezer. Freezing food flat in bags in the freezer allows them later to be stored upright (almost like books) and takes up WAYYY  less space. My goal is to get a chest freezer at some point because my freezer is so tiny, my pumped milk will take up at least half of it. I grew up with a chest freezer and big-batch cooking, which my limited time I really need to figure out a solution to making more homemade food that I can freeze.

Note to self: write a review for Reynolds crockpot liners. In a nutshell, they SUCK.