29 June 2012

The Princess and the Pea

The Princess

The Pea

I can't possibly communicate how awesomely insane life is with these two ...but I'm going to try!

Abigail is two and one half year now, and while my original plan was to have her potty-trained by 18 months, our new goal is to keep her peeing IN the diaper instead of the bed. She only seems bothered by a wet diaper when she is in bed, at which time she removes her diaper and wets the bed. So we are now using super-tight, 24-mo-sized onesies  to prevent her from removing the diaper. However, since we only have three, and our laundry is a little behind ...imagine a 6-ft-high pile ...we have had to resort to taping the diaper on.

Abigail is really blossoming! She is talking non-stop, and her imagination is fascinating. She imagines castles and rivers where there are grocery stores and parking lots. She builds "big, Big, giant" boats and trains and houses from blocks. And she tells me the shspes, letters and colors of signs as we drive down the roads. Best of all, she loves her sister, and she tells me about it daily. 

Naomi is a pretty easy baby. She has been a very frequent nurser and has had a couple of medical challenges, but she is happy most of the time. What a joy! Her medical challenges do not scare me terribly. She has been a slow grower, and at 8 weeks is still not quite 9 lbs, but she's getting long and lean and is acting like a perfectly healthy 2-month-old! Because of her slow growth, I am having to pump and feed the extra to her by bottle after most feeds.

She has a mysterious lump on the side of her neck, for which she has had an ultrasound, lots of labs, and a day admitted to the pediatric ICU. All of the scary stuff has been ruled out, and the docs think it is muscular and resolvable.

And she has some type of allergy or sensitivity to something I am eating because her "output" isn't totally normal.

Our house is not doing nearly as well as our children! I mentioned the laundry. Our kitchen has dished piled around on the counters and is generally kind of hard to function in. I clean sections of it to cook, but it never seems done. The living room looks more like a toy box. And our bedroom is looking like a pumping room in a hospital - items of convenience near my nursing/pumping chair, baby laundry, a baby changing station, and a pack-n-play bassinet have all come to live in our room. Slowly, we will get back to the routine I had worked out before Naomi got here, but until, life is chaotic, to say the least.

The thing that has changed the most now that we have two is the amount of time I am focusing on children. Also, I have found that I am less worried about each child, and especially about the little things with Naomi. For example, the weird gurgles or odd chokes with Abigail sent us to the doctor almost twice weekly for the first month or two. With Naomi, we have only gone when they told us to come, or when a problem didn't resolve itself in a couple of weeks. I am significantly more confident in my mom-sense, and I trust my own judgement so much more! I actually feel like I know what I am doing with Naomi. Now, if I could just figure out how to do it all faster so I could clean my house!

Is this everything I thought it would be? Not even close!
It is SO much more.

More chaos for sure!
(I am wondering if I will ever recover to normal life again.)

And more passion than I could even fathom existed. I can love more passionately than I knew possible. And all in one day I can be passionately loving, protective, annoyed, afraid, and amused.

I wouldn't trade this for the world!

10 June 2012

From 3 to 4

In my last post, I talked about the fears that I experienced during the first trimester of my 4th pregnancy. To continue...

Once we got past the 13th week, I felt a little more sure that this pregnancy would result in a baby rather than heartbreak. I was still very much hypersensitive about every cramp or pain or weird feeling. I had been to Labor and Delivery at least 3 times by the end of the second trimester.

By 33 weeks, I was becoming accustomed to feeling like the baby was going to fall out, and stopped worrying so much about it. So the day of my OB appointment at 33 weeks, I was not terribly concerned that I felt terrible.

That morning, I took Abigail to a play group at the park, and it was unbearably hot. We went from there to Chic-fil-A for lunch and to wait for my appointment. I must have looked terrible because the Chic-fil-A workers were asking if I needed to go to the hospital.

Turns out, those ladies at Chic-fil-A knew more than me....

Just a few hours later, my OB found that I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. She sent me to the hospital for observation and determined that I was having regular contractions. So I got a series of shots: a set of steroids to boost the baby's lung maturity and a series of shots to stop the contractions. They told me I would likely only be pregnant for another week to 9 days.

Boy were they wrong! After lots of prayer and one week of bedrest, I stayed pregnant until 39 weeks.

I finally got to experience all of the parts of pregnancy I had always heard about but never experienced:

  • Growing obscenely large
  • Stretch marks
  • Bring SUPER emotional (just ask my closest friends and husband)
  • Wanting desperately to deliver because I was so uncomfortable

And then there was a new fear ...I was so afraid that the baby was going to be in danger in my womb. I cried a lot at 37 and 38 weeks because of that fear. It was a completely irrational fear because my OB and the high risk doc were monitoring the baby very closely.

Their only concern was that the baby was getting very large. At 33 weeks, the US tech told me that the baby was already about 5 lb, and the high risk doc said 6.5 lb at 35. They were predicting her weight to be around 9 lb if we managed to get to 39 weeks. 

At 37 weeks, I started having regular contractions about ever 10 minutes, and I thought for sure we would be having a baby within the day. Turns out the contractions weren't making any changes to my cervix, so I just kept having them with no change for about a week. Then at 38 weeks, they got closer together, to about every 5 minutes. Again, I thought I was going to have the baby within the day. But the change to my cervix was only very minor. 

I was 2 cm and 80% effaced and having regular contractions at my last appointment on Friday, April 27. Since the baby was expected to be large, we decided to induce the following Tuesday. I was excited, and SO ready after having contractions for 2 weeks.

On Tuesday morning we went into the hospital. I was already contracting regularly, but they gave me pitocin around 8:30AM to get the process jump started. My goal was to do it without pain medicine or an epidural. So I asked them not to break my water early on. However, since the pitocin wasn't doing much, I let the doctor break my water around noon. Things really got to moving at that point, and the pain started getting really harsh. I ended up demanding the epidural a couple of hours later because the pitocin contractions were too much to handle. The epidural started working about 10 minutes after they put it in, and I was much more comfortable. Then about 20 minutes later, around 2:45PM, the nurse checked me. I was already 8cm, so she started prepping the room. About the time she finished prepping the room, the pain changed, and the nurse checked me again. I was fully dilated and ready to go!

At 3:42PM, on May 1, Naomi Virginia Puckett joined our family. She was 7lb 5oz and 19.5 inches long. And our little family of 3 became 4.