Monday, October 17, 2011

She's Here!!

My little girl is two weeks old already, and I'm just now getting around to posting her birth story. It feels like I've known her forever.

She was due last Tuesday, but decided to show up ten days early. At my 37 week appointment, I found out that she was no longer breech. My OB confirmed it with an ultrasound and I was so excited about the possibility of being able to try a VBAC, provided I went into labor on my own before the 10th, my scheduled C-section date. A few days later, I began having irregular contractions that lasted throughout the whole week. That Friday, September 30th, I saw the doctor for a routine visit and mentioned the contractions. She casually said that it could mean something might happen soon, but wasn't overly concerned and didn't check for labor progress.

That evening around 5:30, the contractions started becoming more intense and closer together. Almost two hours later, I decided that these may be more than just Braxton Hicks and called my practice's answering service. While waiting for the on-call doctor to get back to me, I called Gregg who was almost an hour away at a meeting for one of his financial clients. The cell phone reception on his end was very spotty, so I wasn't sure if he could hear me say that I thought I was in labor. I heard back from the doctor right away and told her that my contractions were about two minutes apart and were starting to get difficult to breathe through. She told me to come to the hospital to get checked out, so I called Gregg back and relayed the message.

At this point, I started freaking out. I wasn't expecting her to come for another week and a half, and I still had a lot on my to-do list. I hadn't even packed a bag for the hospital! I didn't know what I should do first and ended up just succeeding in picking up the living room which was littered with toys, brushing my teeth, and getting Colton changed since he had a poopy diaper. I hadn't packed any of my stuff when Gregg arrived home, so I just had him bring my camera and laptop with us in case we ended up staying and having the baby then.

We got to the hospital just after 9:00pm, and my in-laws met us at the ER entrance to take Colton back home and stay with him overnight. They settled me into triage right away and began monitoring my contractions. I tried to get comfortable and remain calm during the next hour. Gregg and I watched some tv and talked a little bit, while intermittently watching the fetal monitor. Eventually, I was checked by one of the residents to see how far along I was, which hurt a lot. It turned out I was only 1 cm dilated and 10% effaced. Sometime in this time frame, my OB showed up. One of the nurses started an IV of fluids and said my doctor would be back to check on me in an hour. By 11:30pm, the contractions were starting to feel like bad period cramps and it was hard to concentrate on anything Gregg was saying.

Just after midnight, my doctor checked my progress again and I was still only dilated to 1 cm and my cervix wasn't softening. The baby was also very high up yet. The doctor explained that she couldn't give me anything to move labor along, since I had had a prior C-section (which I knew). The chance of uterine rupture was too great with the kind of intense contractions pitocin brings on. She basically gave me two options: go home and continue to labor, even though it would probably take another 14 to 20 hours before I would get to 10 cm, IF I even progressed to that point on my own, or have a repeat cesearan. We asked her what her medical opinion was, and she said she thought we should have this baby tonight. Someone else had just gone into the OR, so it would be a little while before I could have the C-section if that's what I chose. She left us to talk it over.

Gregg asked what I wanted to do, and I started crying saying that I wasn't ready to have her yet but I didn't want to go home and take my chances. When my doctor returned, I told her I wanted to have the C-section. I was given something to take the edge off my pain which made me feel as though I was drunk. Then we both filled out and signed a bunch of paperwork, and shortly after 2:00am they brought me down to the operating room while Gregg got into his scrubs. I got helped up onto the table and one of the nurses let me lean into her while the spinal was administered. It didn't hurt nearly as much as it had when Colton was born. The anethesia took effect almost immediately, making me feel heavy and even drowsier. The rest of the next hour was kind of a blur. I know that Gregg came into the room after they had prepped me and put the shield up. He sat to my left, holding my hand. I felt a lot of tugging and pressure as they delivered her and I remember my doctor saying, "Look at all that hair she has!" I was so relieved to know that she was actually, in fact, a girl. I didn't really suspect otherwise, but there was always a chance the sonographer could have been wrong at my 20 week ultrasound.

Rory Lynn was born at 2:51am on October 1, 6 lbs. 12 oz., 19 inches in length. I began crying when I heard her cry. One of the nurses brought her to my side once she was all cleaned up and bundled. After Gregg left to go with Rory to the nursery, the doctor stitched me up and I was so exhausted at that point I kept fading in and out. It felt almost like I was upside down, because of the angle of the table and the drugs they had given me. Once they moved me to recovery, I fell fast asleep. When I woke up, Gregg was in the room and I asked right away how Rory was. Then all of a sudden I had this horrible taste in my mouth, said I was going to be sick, and promptly threw up my dinner from the previous night.

Around 5:oo that morning they wheeled me from recovery to my hospital room, and I got to hold my daughter for the first time. She was perfect and so beautiful. For the next few hours I slept, in between getting checked by nurses and continuing to puke. By about 9:30, Gregg's parents brought Colton in to meet his baby sister. He looked huge to me compared to Rory. My in-laws took several pictures of the four of us and traded off holding the baby. Later that afternoon, my mother and step-father came to visit. Gregg ended up going back home that night to stay with Colton so he could keep his routine the same as much as possible, and after snuggling with Rory for a little while, I asked her nurse to take her to the nursery so I could get some sleep.

Over the next few days, I expected to feel hit by this wave of depression like I had right after Colton was born. But it didn't come. In fact, except for the pain from the surgery (which wasn't nearly as bad as the first time), I felt pretty great. Like I was in love. Everything felt right with the world. My daughter had arrived, safe and sound, more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I felt like our family was truly complete, and that this was what I had been put on this earth to do: give birth to these two precious children and raise them. It's only within the last couple of days that I've experienced the inevitable baby blues. Lack of sleep, emotional instability, and trying to juggle the needs of a three-year-old and a newborn while also trying to not let the house fall down around me has left me pretty spent. I'm also feeling guilty about having, essentially, turned Colton's world as he knew it upside down. For three years, it was just me and him. Now he has to share me, and I hate that.

But I know Rory will eventually be sleeping through the night, Colton will be a great big brother, and I will get a routine down. I am so grateful that my husband took off two weeks from work to be here helping me. He is the most wonderful, amazing man and father. Taking over without complaining household chores and baby & toddler duty. Still loving me fiercely even after seeing all of my organs laid out. Every time I look at our daughter, I know that we created her together. God has blessed us immensely.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Fall Second Chances

September already! This is my favorite time of the year, when the summer weather gives way to cooler autumn days. Growing up, it was always a little bittersweet. It meant the end of summer vacation, but a return to school where I would see all of my friends again on a daily basis and soak up all the learning I could.

For me now, the beginning of fall weather signifies that I am getting closer to meeting my baby girl. I'll be honest, I am ready to be done with this pregnancy. DONE. Not because I'm prepared to have a newborn tomorrow or anything; I'm just in a lot of discomfort nearly all the time. Sciatica, shortness of breath, restless legs, my tummy being stretched further and further like a rubber band, lack of intimacy with my husband because he can't get around this huge belly, etc.

Stick a fork in me.

I had physical discomforts towards the end when I was pregnant with Colton, too. The difference is, I didn't have a three-year-old to look after at the same time. He's a pretty amazing kid, but it's still a demanding job parenting a toddler. He has officially entered the "But why?" and "What's that?" stage. The tantrums have decreased, thank goodness, but he's become a little bossy and if I had a penny for every time I had to remind him to say please and thank you, I'd be a millionaire.

I've been trying to do at least one baby related thing every day, to take my mind off of the pain and focus on the joy of actually having my little girl, whether it be visiting my WTE October 2011 Message Board, or organizing the nursery. I finally sorted through all the gifts we received at the "sprinkle" and categorized clothes by size, so I'd know what she still needs. The crib was delivered to my in-laws' and we're going to pick it up this weekend! I can't wait for it to be all set up. This past Saturday, we converted Colton's crib to a full size bed and moved the crib mattress and glider out of his room into the baby's. He's been doing really well with his new bed so far. He was so excited to sleep in it the first night.

This morning, I had my 34 week appointment and found out that Baby Girl is still breech. Not that I was surprised. She's been moving around exactly like Colton did, and I continue to get kicked in my girly parts on a regular basis. The doctor didn't have to tell me; I already knew there's a slim chance of her turning at this point. She recommended scheduling a repeat C-section today, instead of waiting until my next appointment at 36 weeks. She told me I could choose any (week)day between my 39th and 40th week. When I went to check out, the receptionist asked if I had any preference for one doctor over another to do the surgery. I chose my two favorites and the 6th of October was offered first, but since I was adamant about the section being early in the morning and this particular doctor wasn't available then, I went with the 10th instead.

I am a little disappointed that I probably won't get to try a VBAC, and I even possibly will never get to experience what labor is like. But all I really care about is that my daughter arrives healthy into this world, however the delivery. I know that it doesn't make me less of a woman or a mother. And I'm not just saying this. I really do feel this way. It's taken me about three years to come to terms with, but I am completely okay with the idea. Plus I know what to expect from another c-section, and recognize the things I can do differently to make it a more pleasant procedure. I also feel empowered that I was able to make my own choice about which doctor and what time I want the cesearean, and that it will be as close to my original due date as possible. It has always bothered me that my previous c-section was scheduled an entire week before Colton was due. I won't be, nor was I then, just a passive patient on an operating table. I will be actively participating in the birth of my child.

For me, it's kind of like getting a "do-over". I know enough now to make informed choices about what types of medication to receive, rooming in, and feeding. I'm also going to ask that the baby be brought to my side right after they clean her up, even if I can't hold her right away. So, I'm excited. If everything stays the same, we are anticipating Baby Girl's arrival on Columbus Day. Only about 5 more weeks to go!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summertime and the Livin' is Busy

I'm finally getting around to posting after almost two months. To say this summer has been busy would be an understatement. We moved into our house at the end of June. It is so much bigger than our condo and we're only paying $100 more in rent. I love that Colton has a playroom and a backyard to run around in. We unpacked and settled in pretty quickly. There's definitely more to clean, but I'm enjoying the extra space!

I've also been busier than usual with MOMS Club since being elected Vice President at the beginning of July. I'm responsible for coordinating service projects and finding speakers for our monthly meetings, as well as attending the board meeting once a month. It is incredibly rewarding and we have a wonderful executive board this year who has a lot of great ideas and focus.

Of course, I'm just busy daily taking care of a soon-to-be three year old and growing his baby sister inside of me. I'm now 31 weeks pregnant and feel like "Large Marge". I get pain in my lower back, hips, legs, and feet frequently. I'm also feeling Braxton Hicks at least once a day, usually in the evening. Baby Girl is moving around almost all the time, mostly at night when I'm lying in bed. It sometimes feels like she's trying to kick or punch her way out. I've started going to the doctor every two weeks and will until my 36th week, when I begin going every week until my due date.

The nursery is starting to fill up with stuff. Two Saturdays ago, my mom and sister threw a "sprinkle" for me and I ended up with a ton of super cute girl clothes. She is going to be one well dressed baby! The crib and dresser are being ordered at the end of this month, courtesy of both sets of grandparents. I'm excited for her arrival, yet also apprehensive about the changes that will take place in our family. I wonder how in the world I'm going to take care of two children. It seems like one is hard enough.

I know I'm not going to go through this alone, however. I have plenty of support from my friends in the MOMS Club, several of whom just recently had their second child. My sister is also pregnant and due in January so our babies will be two or three months apart (depending on whether she delivers early again)! It will be really awesome if she also has a girl.

Colton turns three on Sunday, and we're having about 50 people here tomorrow for his birthday party. After cleaning the house and filling goody bags for 18 children, I am exhausted. I'm looking forward to it though. Colton is excited to have his friends over to "have cake and sing the cake song (Happy Birthday to You)". I can't believe my little boy is going to be three! It feels like just yesterday that he was a tiny newborn. Now he's speaking in paragraphs and using the big people potty. I don't know where the time went…

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Back From Vacation

I figured that since I actually have some spare time in between vacation and moving, I would write a quick post. We are back from Sesame Place and had a GREAT time. Colton loved going on all the rides (even a roller coaster that I thought he would be scared of) and meeting the Sesame characters, especially Elmo! The look on his face when he saw Elmo for the first time is one I will remember for the rest of my life. He was so happy to give Elmo a hug and a high five, then take him by the hand to try to take a walk.

Due to my condition (a.k.a. pregnancy), the only rides I could go on were the carousel and Big Bird's Lazy River where I just sat in a giant tube and floated down the water, but it was still fun seeing Colton have a blast and experience everything through his child's eyes. I remember Sesame Place being a lot bigger, but that was more than 20 years ago. We had pretty good weather while we were there also- not too hot or too cool- and because we went before school lets out, it wasn't that crowded. It rained for a little bit on our third day, so we decided to drive out to the Crayola Factory and spend a few hours there. Our last day was finally hot enough to enjoy the water rides, and Colton couldn't wait to splash around in the toddler sized tidal pool area.

We left on Wednesday and as soon as we pulled onto the highway, Colton fell asleep. Naps were not a regular occurrence during our trip, but he did fairly well anyway. We tried to head off a meltdown on our second day, which was our longest day in the park, by leaving after lunch and going for a drive. Colton ended up sleeping for about an hour, and then we went back.

Because we had season passes, we could come and go whenever we felt like it. We also didn't pay for parking since we upgraded them. The passes also gave us a 30% discount on food and merchandise. The really nice thing is that we can go back at another time for just a day, if we want, up until October 30.

On Thursday, we slept in and ran some errands during the afternoon. We stopped for lunch at Panera Bread, which turned out to be ill fated. Gregg and I both ended up with food poisoning. He had it worse than I did, which I only attribute to the fact that I'm pregnant and am currently not (ahem!) regular. Thank goodness Colton didn't also get sick, but it wiped the two of us out for the following day. My throat and chest still hurt from all the vomiting. I was worried about it affecting the baby, so I tried to stay as hydrated as possible even though I couldn't keep food down. She seems to be doing fine though, kicking the tar out of me when she's awake.

In other news, we decided on a name for Baby Girl! We're not revealing it until she's born, like we did with Colton. I am surprised that we were able to choose a name at 23 weeks when we couldn't decide on Colton's until 38. I go for my 24 week appointment next Friday, and then shortly after that I'll be in my third trimester already. I can't believe she'll be here in less than four months. :)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Everything but the White Picket Fence

I was thinking recently about the fact that I am right where I want to be at this stage of life. In my early 30s, with a great husband I've been with for almost a decade, and a mother to a beautiful little boy and a baby girl on the way. I have supportive friends, a great church, and live in a nice community. Things haven't always been easy during these past several years, and there have certainly been a lot of twists and turns along the way, but the pieces have pretty much fallen into place.

And I don't deserve any of it. I am blessed, to say the least. After we found out we were having a daughter, I thought that the only thing missing from our lives was a house. We've been looking to move out of our condo since the beginning of March. It has been wonderful living here, but as I mentioned in a previous post, since our family is growing, we need more space. For a few months, it seemed that every place we looked at was either out of our budget, too outdated, or in an undesirable location. I know that it's somewhat slim pickings around here, because we're renting instead of buying, but I was beginning to get discouraged.

Last Monday we went to look at a rental property advertised on Craiglist that's located in the next town over. After seeing it, I knew it was the place for us. 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, a full finished basement with an office, updated interior, newer appliances, and a nice yard in a kid friendly neighborhood. It was a little out of our price range, so Gregg emailed the people renting it out to ask if they could possibly lower the rent some. They wrote back saying they would be able to, that they had other applications in for the full amount but thought we were a great fit for the place. So after criminal and credit checks were done, we were offered the house yesterday! We are stopping by tomorrow night to sign the lease and put down the security deposit.

I am really looking forward to living in a house again. No neighbors upstairs or in adjoining units, making all kinds of noise which freaks the dog out. I can just let Tess outside in the backyard to do her business, instead of walking her in bad or cold weather. Colton can play in the yard, splashing in his water table or riding one of his toy vehicles around. The previous tenants actually left behind a swing set and an outdoor playhouse, too. He'll also have a designated play room where we can stash most of his toys, instead of them crowding his bedroom or taking over the living room.

I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed, faced with the task of packing while being 6 months pregnant and taking care of a 2 1/2 year old! I just want to hire somebody to do it for me. I know that we're only moving 10 minutes away, instead of out-of-state like we've done before, so it shouldn't be that bad. And we are going to hire movers, instead of enlisting the help of family and friends. I just hate packing. And then unpacking. Blech. In the middle of all this, we also leave for vacation next week! We are going to Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA for a few days. We haven't had a real vacation in seven years. I really think Colton is going to love it, since it's geared for small kids and has all of his favorite characters.

That's it for now. I'm not sure how much updating I'll be doing these next few weeks... it's going to be a very busy June!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sugar and Spice

I had my 20 week ultrasound yesterday morning, and found out that we're having a girl!!! I really didn't have a strong feeling towards either gender this time. When I was pregnant with Colton, I would have bet money that I was having a boy. I really couldn't guess with this pregnancy. The ultrasound tech asked if we wanted to know the baby's gender, and since I said yes, she told us that she couldn't find anything indicating it was a boy so it was most likely a girl! Tears started welling up in my eyes.

It felt really good to ask how big "she" was measuring- 12 ounces and two days ahead of my due date (Gregg's birthday!) Everything else with the exam went perfectly. Baby Girl kept moving around so much that it was hard for the tech to get all the measurements she needed, especially for the heart. We got several pictures to take home with us, but they didn't do any 3D ones, which I was disappointed about. Oh well, I'll get to see my daughter in person just five months from now.

My daughter. I get tears in my eyes again just thinking it. I really, really wanted a girl but I knew I was going to be okay if I ended up having two boys. I feel like our family is complete now. I was pretty sure I only wanted two kids, and now I'm definitely sure that we're done. I feel incredibly blessed to have been given two healthy children and for the privilege of raising both a son and a daughter.

Of course, after the appointment I got on the phone right away to call and text family and friends. My mother started getting choked up when I told her she was having a granddaughter. She can't wait to go out and buy pink clothes! Speaking of which, we need a lot of since nearly all of Colton's outfits are either blue or plastered with puppies, sports or cars. My friend Laura has two girls and offered to let me have their clothing before she tries to sell it in a garage sale. All of the gear we registered for when I was preggo with Colton is non-gender specific, so we can reuse all of that.

I am very excited that we're having a little girl. Gregg and I are actually agreeing on names this time! We couldn't settle on a name for Coltie until the week before he was born. I'm thinking pink and brown for the nursery too. Now all we need is to find a house to rent in the next couple of months!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Almost Halfway...

... through this pregnancy, that is. I can't believe I'm well into my 18th week when it seems like just yesterday those two pink lines appeared on a stick. I've been feeling the baby move around consistently for about two weeks now, feeling him or her more when I sit down for a while, particularly when I'm leaning foward. My big ultrasound is scheduled for May 24, and I cannot wait! Hopefully baby #2 will cooperate and we'll find out if Colton is going to have a little brother or a little sister. So far on Gregg's side of the family, there is an even number of boys and girls. All the grandchildren have also been born in perfect girl/boy order, so according to this "trend" the next one should be a girl! Either way, this baby will be the tie breaker.

In other news, I've been really frustrated lately with Colton's behavior. I'm struggling with how to respond to him in the best way, without completely losing my temper. Every request is met with a no, and he is constantly testing his limits. Sometimes I think he's being obstinate just for the heck of it, trying to be as independent as he can be. He'll refuse to get a new diaper put on, eat his food, get dressed, etc. The tantrums have also risen to a new level. Over everything. Over nothing. When we have to leave some place to come home or when I don't let him do or have something he wants, it is mass hysteria.

We're also potty training which is driving me nuts. Colton started to express an interest in going on the potty a few weeks ago. So I went with it, not wanting to discourage him and perhaps miss a golden opportunity. Whenever I take his diaper off, he proclaims he wants to "go pee pee on the potty". He can tell me when he's wet and is dirty, needs privacy to poop, knows the body parts that the pee and poop come out of and calls them by their proper names, and can even undress himself with a little bit of help. He is also more than happy to flush the toilet for me. But there's nothing actually happening while he sits on the potty. Nada, zero, zilch.

I try to have him sit there no more than 3 to 5 minutes, because any longer and it becomes a way for him to stall something. I've tried letting him run around the house naked, so that I might "catch him in the act" and be able to redirect him to the potty but when I wasn't paying attention he peed on the carpet in his room. He did come and find me right away to tell me he had "made a mess" though, which I praised him for and then reminded him that pee pee goes in the potty. I've tried to strenghten the connection between "going" and the potty by emptying the contents of his poopy diapers into the big toilet and letting him flush them. I'll sit on the toilet while he sits on his potty and we'll talk about how it feels to know when the pee pee is coming. I've even done live demonstrations and talked about everything as it's happening! Now I really just want to let him pick out his own underwear, and maybe if he's uncomfortable being wet in them he'll ask to go on the potty when he actually has to go, not just when his diaper is taken off. I don't know. I know this process can take a frustrating amount of time, but I'm at a loss. Any dreams of Colton being trained, at least during the day, by the time the new baby comes are fading quickly. Sigh.

It can be easy to focus on the bad even while there is so much good. It's easy to forget how beautiful and wonderful this child is when I'm exasperated by another meltdown or the fact that he won't listen. But he is. I continue to be amazed by him. Not that long ago, Colton could barely string two words together and now he's talking in complete sentences. Making up jokes. Recounting the day's events to his daddy at night before bed. Saying please and thank you without being prompted. Suddenly pronouncing several words correctly that he could not before. He knows many of his colors, though he still gets red mixed up with pink and yellow with orange. He can also identify several letters and knows all of his animal sounds. He also likes to sing along to his Toddler Tunes cd, which he must play every morning while he's getting ready and every night before bedtime.

I know this challenging phase will pass eventually. I need to treasure the time I have with Colton while he's so young. One day when he's a teenager and "too cool" for his mom, I'll be longing for the days when he felt comfortable enough with me to throw an epic tantrum.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Storm Has Passed

Whew. That was one of the most trying weeks I've had as a parent so far. A close second would be when Colton was cutting his first year molars last March and I got a total of ten hours of sleep. Yep, and I wanted another child.

After sticking to the B.R.A.T. diet (much to Colton's dismay since I wouldn't let him have his beloved milk) my little boy finally showed signs of returning to normal by Wednesday night. I've never been so happy NOT to see a poopy diaper. And then, I got sick. I still don't know if it was a very mild case of Colton's bug, or pregnancy induced nausea, but suddenly I couldn't stand to smell, eat, or look at food. I was pretty useless over Thursday and Friday, but by that time Gregg had returned home from his business trip and was able to help me out.

Now that the plague of sickness has passed by our house, I feel like I'm able to focus on and enjoy this pregnancy. I am 15 weeks along today, and have been in maternity clothes now for two. It's pretty obvious already to everyone that I'm having a baby. With my first pregnancy, I almost felt like an impostor at 16 weeks going to Babies 'R Us to register because I was barely showing. Call me crazy, but I think I felt a kick yesterday too. Things are happening so much quicker this time around!

I heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time at my 12 week appointment on April 1. It was strong and in the 170's! People keep telling me that, based on the heart rate, I'm having a girl. I know it's just an old wives tale, but it's fun to believe. I still really want a daughter. We should find out sometime in May!

I'm starting to look at new furniture for the nursery, along with double strollers (yikes). I am also beginning to gather some information on breastfeeding, so I'll be more prepared this time. I haven't made the solid decision yet whether I want to try it again, but I feel okay either way. Colton flourished on formula and has been a pretty healthy kid, so I'm not worried. I think, though, that I have decided I'd like to try a VBAC if I go into labor on my own. That's all up to my body and baby's timing, which I understand. No matter how this child is delivered and fed, the most important thing of all to me is that he or she is healthy at birth and that I do not experience PPD again. I am honestly not overly concerned about it coming back, because I think a lot of the pressures and lack of knowledge I felt as a first time mom just won't be there. But I don't want to be naive, either. I want to be able to recognize the signs and ask for help when I need it, instead of suffering silently.

Since we learned baby #2 was on the way, we have also been planning to move from the condo into a house. Right now we only have two bedrooms and absolutely no yard. We haven't found anything great in our price range yet, but our landlord is in no hurry to see us leave since he still has a mortgage on this place and the market is flooded with rentals right now. He actually offered to reduce our rent if we stayed longer.

While looking for another place to live, Gregg and I actually had a discussion (more like an argument) about moving back to Florida. This past winter was horrible, and things aren't getting any cheaper. It might actually make sense if we didn't have a kid and one on the way. But reality is, Gregg has a very good job up here and we have an invaluable support system. Last summer and fall when we were facing the possibility of Gregg losing his job or being transferred due to the buyout, I had a lot of peace that we were supposed to stay here. That, in fact, God was not calling us to leave New Jersey and would move all the pieces into place so that we could continue living here. And He did just that. So in seeking Him again for whether a relocation was in the plan this time, I clearly heard that the answer was no. God has many more opportunities for us to minister and be ministered to here. Gregg also (though more reluctantly) felt the same answer.

Though I hate feeling at odds with my husband, this was a chance for us to really confront and pray through an issue that has been lurking in our marriage. I know that Gregg has this spirit of adventure within him. John Eldredge says in his book, Wild at Heart, that "adventure is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of a man." It has been given to him by God and right now Gregg feels stuck in a lot of ways, particularly at work, and that he's not able to do enough because of how tight our finances still are living in one of the most expensive areas of the country. God has shown me how I can empathize with my husband, instead of judging him, and speak to him in a way that opens up communication rather than shuts it down.

Wow, that was a lot of writing. I guess I'm making up for all those months where I hardly blogged at all!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I'll admit it. I'm spent. After three and a half days taking care of a sick toddler, while my husband is away on business, and battling a cold myself being four months pregnant, I. am. done. There have been more than a few times in the past several hours that I've wanted to call my mom to come take care of me. How come THIS was never in any of the What to Expect books? Colton is finally getting over a nasty stomach virus, which started early Saturday morning.

Thankfully the puking only lasted for that one day, but the diarrhea continued through until late last night. In the middle of all this, Gregg left for a business trip and won't be home until Thursday. I called the doctor twice to ask what I should do, and was told to keep Colton hydrated and on the B.R.A.T. (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) diet. So he's been living on bananas, crackers, and Pedialyte for the past 72 hours. His poop has firmed up a little bit and the horrible diaper rash has gotten much better since then, thanks to Boudreaux's Butt Paste.

I almost had a breakdown last night on the phone to Gregg, who calmly reassured me that I was doing everything I could do for our son. I hate when he's sick. I hate that I can't do much about it. I hate that I've thrown myself a pity party. The past few days have really highlighted the differences between my two pregnancies. With the first one, I was blissfully dreaming about motherhood, taking belly pictures every single week, never forgetting to read about how the baby was developing or which fruit's size it had grown to that particular week. This time, I have to stop myself and ask "wait, what week is this?" I've taken a total of one photo of my growing tummy. I'm too busy trying to meet the demanding needs of a 2 1/2 year old to even remember that I'm pregnant.

I wonder how on earth I'm going to take care of a toddler and a newborn at the same time. And how I could possibly love this baby as much as I love the child I already have. I know I won't pay as much attention to all of the firsts, or take nearly as many pictures of him or her. But I also won't be coming off some ridiculously high, disillusioned concept of motherhood with this one. I won't expect to bond right away, and will know that this is perfectly okay. I'll be more relaxed about the fact that he or she didn't meet a milestone within the "average" limits. I will know that while parenting can be incredibly frustrating, it can also be wonderfully rewarding simultaneously.

So while I can't quite see the end of the tunnel to Colton's present illness, I need to remember that this too shall pass. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and choose to focus instead on my blessings, which are in abundance. While my toddler has suddenly developed a case of mine-itis and continually pushes boundaries, I am happy that he is speaking in full sentences, knows most of his colors, and recognizes several letters of the alphabet. It may be just small potatoes, but at this stage it makes me one proud mama. I know he'll be a great big brother too.

Monday, March 07, 2011


So everything went great at my doctor's appointment last Friday. We saw our little sweet pea and his or her heart beating away! It was very reassuring. We told Colton that the baby was on "tv", and he said "baby?" and then asked for the remote!

It turns out that I'm further along than I thought. The baby was measuring at 9w2d, when the date of my LMP put me at 8w3d. I told the doctor I was pretty sure that I ovulated early in my last cycle, on day 12. But that still doesn't make up an entire week! After not getting pregnant our first month of trying, I started paying super close attention to everything once I got my period at the beginning of January. I wanted to see if there was anything I could do naturally to help the process along, and stumbled across the Billings Ovulation Method. You basically observe and record the amount & consistency of cervical mucus from the first day of your cycle to the end. By charting, you're then able to tell when your most fertile days are. I started noticing a change from a basic infertile pattern to a fertile one two days after my period ended, so I am almost positive that I did ovulate on day 12. The Billings Method is a little confusing to figure out at first (and sounds gross), but I highly recommend it. I always just assumed that I o'd midway through my cycle on day 14 or 15, and if I had stayed with that assumption, our timing would have been off. It's also useful for preventing pregnancy, too.

Anyway, the doctor did not see a need to change my due date yet. She said we would wait and see if the baby continues to measure that far ahead in the months that follow. After the ultrasound we met with her in her office to discuss delivery options. She told me that they will not induce a woman who has had a prior C-section, because of the risk of uterine rupture that violent contractions could bring on. So I'm not allowed to go past my due date, but if I go into labor on my own before then they'll let me try a VBAC. At this point, I think I've decided that I want to try a vaginal birth if it's possible. I feel so much better knowing that I actually have a choice. The C-section totally sucked, but for some reason I don't think delivering "naturally" will be all that much better either. I really don't want to tear down there. But I also don't want to go through another major abdominal surgery and be so drugged up I can barely hold my newborn child. I still have 7 more months to weigh my options.

For now I am just so glad that baby #2 is growing and developing correctly. God is good!

Thursday, March 03, 2011


I am so glad that it's finally March and almost springtime!! The weather is getting warmer already, and I'm daydreaming about taking walks outside and going to the playground with Colton. Almost all of the snow around here has melted... hopefully we won't have any last minute snow falls!

As of Valentine's Day, Colton is 2 1/2- that age every parent dreads. It's only been a few weeks, but I've already started noticing some subtle changes in his behavior. Not nearly as bad as when he turned 18 months though. That was like someone literally flipped a switch, and he went from sweet as can be to trouble maker. He is getting really particular about things, which is becoming annoying. I can't decide if it's just because he's two, or if he is really as anal retentive as his mommy! At his 30 month well visit, he weighed 28 lbs 3 0z and was 35 1/2 inches tall. Still only in the 25th percentile for both height and weight.

In other news, come this October our family is going to get just a little bit bigger. I found out that we are expecting baby #2 on Groundhog Day! The Groundhog saw a shadow; I saw two lines. I've been busting to tell the news on here, but Gregg wanted to wait until I was further along. I am excited for Colton to be a big brother, although I can't picture him as the older brother yet. To me, he's still my baby. Of course, he hasn't grasped the concept yet that there is a baby growing inside Mommy's tummy.

So far, I've felt worse during this pregnancy than I did with Colton. Nauseous, bloated, and exhausted nearly all of the time. Which leads me to believe this baby might possibly be a girl, if the saying is true. I would be lying if I said I didn't care either way. Yes, ultimately I want the baby to be healthy. But... it would be nice to be on the pink team this go-round. It would also be nice for Colton to have a little buddy though!

As of today, I am 8 weeks and 2 days pregnant and my jeans are already getting a little tight. I'm also starting to "pop" a little, which is only noticeable to me and the hubs right now. I may have to break out my maternity pants before the first trimester is even over. They say that you start showing sooner the second time around.

I go for my first ultrasound tomorrow afternoon. Gregg is taking the day off so he can go with me and Colton. I'm both excited and nervous. I have no reason to suspect anything might be wrong (all these symptoms assure me that there is a baby growing in there the way he/she should), but since Colton was born I've read a lot of horror stories. I was blissfully naiive during my first pregnancy, but now I know better. I know I am VERY blessed to have a healthy child, when there are a lot of mothers who aren't so fortunate. I will definitely be praising God all the more for another healthy child. I thank Him every night that he has given us another baby, and I'm looking forward to seeing how another son or daughter grows and develops. :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Life Is Good!

So I thought it was time for an update... I know Christmas was ages ago (okay, only a month) but I figured I would start with that. We had a good time visiting with all of Gregg's family on Christmas Day and then mine the second weekend of January. Colton received several very LARGE and very LOUD presents that we had to rent another condo to fit them all in- just kidding! There is currently a train table taking up half of our living room, though, and his bedroom is busting with so many toys, I don't know where to put them all. I think next year I'm telling people to get him books and clothes... practical, quiet, and SMALL. I mean really, do people consider the size of our current living quarters before they purchase these gifts? Anyway, I am appreciative of our family's generosity and that this kid has want of nothing. My sister bought him his own V-tech laptop so he can sit at the table just like mom and dad, typing away and practicing his phonics.

I think it snowed 10 out of 14 days these past couple of weeks and Not a big fan of winter to begin with, and this just all the more makes me want to move back down to Florida. It's not fun to be stuck in the house. :( Today, despite temperatures in the teens and low 20s, we bundled ourselves up to go to the mall and return a few Christmas gifts. After scoring some great store credit to be used in the future, we grabbed lunch and then splurged on Starbucks coffee, which Gregg & I drank while Colton played in the mall's Kid Zone. It was a nice family afternoon out that I desperately needed.

My little boy is going to be two and a half in only a few short weeks. 2 1/2! Where did the time go? I'm having (mostly) a blast watching him grow up. Colton can say about 140 words now, and his vocabulary has tripled in the past five months. The words are coming so fast these days that I hardly have time to write them down! He's also starting to put three and four words together in sentences and can identify a few letters, such as A, B, C, L, O, and P. Colton is obsessed with trains and Curious George. He asks to watch "mo-nee" every night before bed. He also LOVES to read. Well, have us read to him at least. I borrowed a Curious George book from the library last month that was 46 pages, and he sat there every day (sometimes twice a day) through the entire thing, paying close attention and pointing out pictures. I found that reading together at least once a day has really improved his vocabulary.

We broke down and bought a potty a few weeks ago, but the truth is he just isn't ready yet. And I'm okay with that. He's growing up so fast as it is. I dreaded the "terrible twos", but you know what, two is actually pretty terrific. Colton definitely has his bad days when he's cranky and nothing pleases him, but I've noticed that he seems to be much more socially and emotionally mature than most boys his age. He doesn't grab toys away from other kids, he rarely has meltdowns when he doesn't get his way, and he can adapt pretty easily to changes in routine. I joke that we shouldn't "mess with perfection" by having a second one, ha ha! But seriously, Colton is not perfect- he can be outright defiant at times, tries to run away from me in public places, and gets so worked up if the opposite parent puts him to bed that he pukes all over the place. Last Sunday I was at a baby shower, so Gregg had to put him down for a nap and Colton was anxious about me being gone so much he made himself sick. In the middle of December, Gregg needed to work late several days in a row and wasn't available to put Coltie to bed as he always does, so when I did it instead his anxiety got the best of him... and you guessed it, he blew chunks. I can't tell you how many times we've had to wash the crib bumper over the past 10 months! Thank goodness we've got a front loader.

Gregg and I celebrated our 8th anniversary on January 11. I really can't believe we've been married that long already. We're finding ourselves in a unique place in our marriage these days, in that we are the most financially stable we have ever been. Gregg has wholeheartedly adopted the Vertical Vision mantra (, and it has radically changed the way we both view our finances and money in general. We have a good budget in place and have a month's worth of money in the bank before the month even starts. We also have savings and an emergency fund. We used to live paycheck to paycheck and were always afraid of running out of money before the month ended. Also, we stopped using credit cards!! The only debt we have now is a student loan and Gregg's car loan, which we hope to pay off within the next two years. I can't tell you how good it feels to be on our way towards financial freedom.

Anyway, I think that's it for now. I want to start posting more often... blogging has taken a backseat to Facebook, house cleaning, and taking care of a toddler, but I think I should make the effort to squeeze it in more!