Sunday, March 31, 2013

The First Week

I have such a good baby.  Seriously.  She is so sweet.  And all she does is sleep all the time.  I know, newborns are supposed to sleep a lot.  But I don't think you ever met my first child, Baby.  Baby came out with her eyes open and never closed them.

Baby2 is much more laid back, adores her sleep, and I have to wake her up to feed her.  Then she will fall back asleep.  I'm slightly concerned, because she sleeps a TON, but I asked the Dr and he said newborns can sleep up to 21 hours a day.  I think Baby2 sleeps about 23, but I may be a little off.  It's a lot.

In terms of my recovery, it's been amazing.  I only need Ibuprofin for uterine contractions (which, ohmygoodness, hurt so much!).  But the good thing is that I can walk.  Hallelujah I can walk!  And sit.  That's important too.  With Baby (and yes, I will be comparing everything to how I was with Baby.  That's my point of reference), I literally could not walk for almost three weeks.  Husband would help carry me from room to room or to the bathroom.  And the bathroom was a nightmare.  Everything hurt.  I did the sitz baths multiple times a day, and when I sat, I used a second Boppy pillow because I couldn't bear to put any weight on myself.

Not this time.  I didn't need sitz baths, the numbing agents, or anything, really.  I can walk and move and sit and it's great!

We did some newborn pictures at this time and Baby2 was pretty cooperative.  She fell asleep and posed beautifully.  She let me put cute little hats on her head and headbands too.  I just love newborn baby pictures.

Two Day Checkup

When asked which pediatrician we wanted, I made sure to specify:  any doctor except the one Baby has (our views on parenting are not in sync, and I really need to switch.  However, she's the only one who's ever available on short notice).

We scheduled the appointment with Dr. T (who I had heard good things about) and took Baby2 in.  He was amazing.  So nice and calm and funny.  All four of use were there:  Husband, me, Baby, and Baby2.  Husband entertained Baby with the books that were in the office and I handled all of Baby2's needs.

Baby2 weighed in at seven pounds, thirteen ounces, which was normal.  She has been eating fine and producing lots of dirty diapers for us.  She has also been sleeping a ton.  It's weird.  She actually sleeps.  Like, all the time. 

Dr. T checked her out and said pretty much everything looked fine.  He was slightly concerned about her flexibility in her legs.  She doesn't stretch them out, even when prompted.  She always has them curled up into her.  I think it was because she was so squished inside of me and hasn't had a chance to loosen up yet.  Just my nonmedical mommy opinion.

He also noted Baby2 looked a little yellow and ordered a lab test to check her for jaundice. They had checked her at the birthing center, and all had looked fine.  Baby had a lot of jaundice issues, and I was hoping this time would be different.  

The Dr also asked me if I had any concerns.  Earlier I had noticed an indentation on her neck, which looked weird.  It was hidden under the folds of her neck, so Dr. checked it out.

He told us it was another hole, that would need follow up with an Ear, Nose, Throat doctor.  He put in a referral for us.  He said sometimes they are attached to something deep, sometimes not, so it's important to get it checked out and go from there.  She would most likely need a procedure to close it.  I asked if it would close on its own and he said no.  It's like an extra orifice, like a nostril.  It's not a wound.  We would also have to be extra careful with her because she has a higher risk of getting an infection there, so we need to make sure to keep it clean.

Overall, not the greatest appointment, but nothing extremely major.   

Saturday, March 30, 2013

March 2, 2013

After my appointment on Friday, Husband I walked around town and grabbed some lunch.  Then we picked up Baby and hung out at home.  We didn't think the baby was coming anytime soon.

That night I went to bed around 10, super tired and wanting to sleep.  Husband stayed up to try to beat a video game.

Around midnight I woke up and thought I might be having contractions.  I told Husband, who was still up playing,  and he was like, "I better go get some sleep!" and went to bed.  There wasn't anything he could do, anyway.  With Baby, I had to pace around the house for hours before the contractions were close enough together to go to the hospital.

I drew myself a bath and hung out there while contractions hit.  Then I decided to sit on the birthing ball and watch some TV in the living room to take my mind off of things.  I texted my mother that she might need to come over soon to stay with Baby.  I got in and out of the bath a few times, paced the kitchen a bunch, and sat on the birthing ball, all the while breathing through contractions.

I kept waiting for the back pain to kick in, but my contractions were mainly in my abdomen.  I was very excited about this.  I really did not want the excruciating back pain that I had with Baby.  I didn't think I could go through that again. 

I got back in the tub again, and had a really intense contraction.  I decided to wake up Husband so we could head to the hospital.  I had attempted timing the contractions, but they were pretty sporadic.  Plus, the intensity wasn't consistent either.  I had no clue where I was, if I was dilated, or what was going on in me.

I texted my mother to come over, got Husband out of bed, and paced a little while longer until everyone was ready.  I already had the hospital bag and carseat in my car, we just had to get in.

We drove to the birthing center with  me breathing through contractions.  We arrived at 3:11. 

They checked me in (I was already in their system, yay!), and monitored the baby and my contractions for 20 minutes.  The contractions were actually a little milder than I remember them being with Baby.  And once again, I didn't have back labor (like, yay!).  The midwife checked me and I was dilated to almost 6 cm.  The words out of my mouth were, "Thank you, Jesus!"  Seriously, my biggest fear was getting there and discovering I was a wimp at only 2 cm and getting sent home.

Since they had my information, the doctor I had seen less than a day before had put in the system that I wanted a water birth.  The nurse informed me they were filling up the tub for me and we would move to the room with the tub when it was ready.  Yay!  I was going to get a water birth!

I breathed through a few more contractions, holding on to Husband, and we were able to go to the room with the tub.

The whole time I had been wearing comfy workout pants and one of Husband's old T-shirts.  We got to the room with the tub and I stripped down to a nursing bra.  Husband had already put on his bathing suit so he could get in with me if needed.

The birthing tub was in the back of the room, about five feet in diameter and about two and half feet tall.  It was lined with a plastic liner and had a cushioned section hanging over the side.  They finished filling it up and I jumped in.  The midwife sat on a chair next to the tub, and Husband sat in a chair next to the cushion.

There was a nurse and a midwife assigned to attend to me.  They dimmed the lights and lit a few candles to make it a more relaxing atmosphere.

I remember jumping in to the tub and leaning over the pillow on the side.  It was so nice and warm.  Then a contraction would hit and I would be clinging to Husband's hand and breathing through it.

The midwife was amazing, telling me to let my body do what it was supposed to.

Every so often the nurse would put a waterproof heart monitor on my belly to check the baby's heartbeat.

At one point, I felt something pop out of me.  I think it might have been my mucus plug.  My water probably broke at that point, too, but I didn't feel it come out of me.  The midwife checked me and discovered that my cervix was "gone."  That meant I was fully dilated and could start pushing.  The contractions also became way more intense.  With each contraction I was sqeezing Husband's hand as hard as I could, and ended up screaming a bit.  It hurt!!

I then discovered that it felt better to push while biting into the cushion on the side.  Let me tell you, I was definitely pushing because I was pushing out some excrement.  The poor nurse got to go around me with a little net to clean it up.  The midwife said that meant I was doing it correctly.  You want to use the muscles in that area.

She told me to focus my energy on moving the baby down.  Then she checked me again and said she could feel the baby's head.  She encouraged me to feel it too, but I couldn't feel anything.

I had a few more contractions and felt for a head again.  There was a solid head coming down me!  I could feel it and tried to focus on bringing it down.

It felt like I was pushing for a long time, and I mentioned it to the midwife.  She suggested a change of position and brought out the birthing stool.  Google it, because I have a hard time describing it.  Basically, like the outline of a toilet, kinda.

She set the stool up right outside the tub, laid towels around, and I sat on it.  Boy, did I feel that baby then!  I've read about feeling the ring of fire when the baby comes out, and I definitely experienced that feeling.  Oh my word, it hurt!  I pushed and out came the baby!  She was born at 447 am. The midwife caught her and gave her to me.  I held her while the placenta came out a few moments later.

Then I got to go lay down on the hospital bed, still holding the baby.  The midwife followed, with the placenta still attached.  After it stopped pulsing, she directed Husband where to cut the cord.

I remained holding the baby and bonding while the midwife checked me out.  I had torn about three cm so she gave me a local anesthetic and stitched me up.  The baby laid quietly on me the whole time.

Husband was slightly worried because the baby didn't start nursing right away, but the midwife said some babies take a little longer.

After the nurse and midwife cleaned up a bit, they weighed and measured the baby.  She was eight pounds, six ounces, and twenty and a quarter inches long.       

The midwife showed me the placenta, which was really cool.  It was very large, in my opinion.  She also showed me where the umbilical cord was attached to it.  Apparently the cord is normally attached in the middle, and mine was off to the side.  She also mentioned that the baby came out superman style, with her hands next to her head.  The cord was wrapped around her neck, and she was possibly in a different position than normal and had to wriggle around a bit to fit through.  That explains to me why pushing was so difficult.

Then the nurse had to push on my uterus.  I hate hate hate that part.  It really hurts.

They were slightly concerned that I had too much blood, or clots, or something (don't really remember), and wanted to give me pitocin to help.  No way did I want pitocin.  I had come that far in my natural childbirth experience and had heard terrible things about pitocin.  Anyway, the midwife could clearly see that I didn't want it and said they would hold off for now.  Thankfully it wasn't mentioned again, but they really pushed on my uterus a lot.

Eventually we walked to the postpartum recovery room.  With our new baby!  I think I'll call her Baby2. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

I think I'd like a water birth, please

I had heard about water births before I had Baby.  However, it wasn't an option with her, even though the midwife who delivered her said I would be an excellent candidate.  I decided this time around I would like to try it.

Well, the current office that was handling all my prenatal visits required that I go to another city's hospital to deliver.  There wasn't a hospital in our insurance in our town.  However, the required hospital was not in a nice town and I didn't really want to go there.  Plus, I don't think they had birthing tubs.  It didn't really matter to me, though, since I had already made up my mind where I was going.  I was going to show up at the birthing center about twenty minutes away where I knew they had birthing tubs.

Since the baby hadn't come yet, I thought maybe it would be prudent of me to actually do some research about the facility I wanted to use.  I made some phone calls, and in order to have a water birth there, I had to be seen by one of their doctors, at their facility.  I also pre-registered online so I wouldn't have to fill out paperwork when I arrived, in the middle of contractions.  The earliest appointment that one of their doctors could see me was Friday, March 1.

March 1 came and Husband took the day off of work so he could hang out with me.  It was also Baby's last scheduled day at daycare, so Husband and I had some time to ourselves.

I went to the appointment and come to find out that in order to have a water birth there you have to be tested for Hepatitis C.  Something about it being able to be passed through water and you have to test negative for it.  This test is not commonly ordered for all pregnant women, only if you want a water birth.  Thus, he ordered me the lab test that day.

I went down to the lab, had my blood drawn, and asked how long it took to the get the lab results.  The lab tech estimated about three days.  Eek.  Now this baby had to stay in me for three more days in order for me to have a water birth.  I should have researched this earlier.  My procrastinating self was kicking herself.

More waiting.   

I went to the lab

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I'm not working, where's the baby?

The baby didn't come over the weekend, like I had hoped.  Husband was still working, waiting to get the call that I was in labor. 

Baby went to daycare a few days so I could sleep.  I was so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open.  On top of that, I wasn't feeling very well.  My nausea had come back and I had developed a cough that was keeping me up at night. 

Since the baby didn't show any sign of coming, I decided to be productive.  Baby had her three year old physical and I signed her up for preschool in the fall (she's growing up so fast!).  I also decided to make and freeze a bunch of meals for when she came. 

I asked around and decided to make and freeze a bunch of crockpot meals that I could just throw in the crockpot and be done.  I found this website: http://whoneedsacape.com/2012/11/crockpot-freezer-cooking/
and used most of those recipes, along with a few of my own.  I spent an entire day, with the help of my mother, shopping and prepping.  I'm not sure if it was worth it, since it really wore me out, but I'll let you know what I think of the meals after we eat them. 


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pregnancy Number Two, February 2013

Eeek, due in a month!  How did this happen? 

I was not looking forward to leaving my classes.  As I've said before, I had great classes this year and really bonded with these students. 

I decided my last day would be February 22.  That gave me ten days until my due date (March 4).  Baby came a week early, so if this one was anything like the first, then hopefully my timing was correct. 

Insomnia was still in full swing, along with indigestion.  I also couldn't breathe at night because I was so congested.  My new nighttime routine consisted of giving Baby her bath, then taking one of my own.  My tummy was growing huge and not comfortable. 

I was so uncomfortable, in fact, that I started sleeping in Baby's bed (she has our old queen bed) just so I could get some sleep. 

Baby turned Three!!  I planned a fun birthday party for her at the gymnastics center again.  We had a great turnout and my sister arranged to have some of her friends who run a Princess Party business stop by.  Baby had the best time following real life Belle and Ariel around. 

Everything is ready for the new baby.  Her room is ready, all clothes and items are sorted and washed (the great thing about having another girl is that I already have everything), carseat is installed, hospital bag is packed, diapers are ready to go.  I got a pedicure so that I can have pretty toes when I'm in the delivery room. 

My last day of work was pretty sad.  The kids were so sweet.  I let them throw me a party in a couple of the class periods.  A group of them made me a sweet poster with their pictures.  I got a ton of chocolate (they know that's one of my major food groups), and a few cards.  The past few weeks I had been having a group of students stay after school to help me load all my teaching supplies into my car.  No way was I leaving anything of mine in a classroom with a sub, and one that I was potentially not returning to for a year and a half.  Right now there are piles of books and supplies hanging out in the garage that I need to go through and store. 

Now to have a baby. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pregnancy Number Two, January 2013

I've had a blast decorating the nursery.  Granted, Husband had to do all the heavy stuff, but I am very excited about the final product. 

Husband painted the walls a soft lavender color.  We moved Baby's old cherrywood crib in there, and ordered a matching dresser.  There is also a small love seat in there that I was hoping to move out, but we have nowhere else to put it. 

I found some fun curtains with circle designs and hung those over the windows. I hemmed them and used the leftover fabric from the curtains to create a matching bedskirt for the crib. 

Going on the circle theme, I bought some canvasses and did some circle art for the walls.  One canvass is a conglomeration of a different size circles.  Another is a flower, created from one circle in the center, then a group of circles the same size going around it.  Baby painted her little sister one of the canvasses in an abstract fashion.  Another canvass has a scripture on it. 

I also created a mobile out of different size and color circles that I saw on Pinterest.  I was pretty proud of myself for that one as well. 

I found three dimensional white flowers and decorated above the crib with those. 

Not to have Baby feel left out, Husband painted her a pink wall and we got her new pink curtains and rearranged her room. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Potty Training

I had a few weeks off for Christmas Break, so I figured it would be the perfect time to potty train Baby.  We had tried halfheartedly in the past, but I wasn't super proactive, Baby had two many accidents when I did put her in panties, and it was hard to follow through when she was going back and forth to daycare.  Thus, I decided one of my goals over the break was to potty train Baby.

We had relatives here for Christmas, so I soon realized trying anything wasn't going to work.  I had let Baby pick out cute Princess Panties, and she had been getting a tiny M&M for using the potty, but with all the excitement and traveling places, I wasn't able to really buckle down on her until after the family left.

Hard core potty training began December 28, 2012.

I put Baby in panties and made her sit on the potty every hour.  She had her own little potty that was just her size, complete with a lid just like Mommy and Daddy's potty.  She got an M&M every time she peed.  The first day was pretty good.  She had one accident.  The second day was great.  No accidents, and we were pretty proud.

We did go out in public after that, and she was always very excited to use the public restrooms.  Although I have a love/hate relationship with automatic flushing toilets.  They are very scary to a two year old.  Loud and unpredictable, you never know what movement will set them off.  Once they flush, the two year old is out of there.

Baby also loved washing her hands in the public restrooms.  It is always especially exciting when there is a stool that she can stand on, or a sink that is lower to the ground that she can reach all by herself.

We never had any accidents out in public.  She would tell us she had to go potty, and we would run her through the store and into the bathroom as fast as we could.  I also put a town on her carseat, just in case.  I did not want to clean pee off of anything.  Yuck.

I read that kids have an easier time peeing in the potty and it takes some time before they tackle the business of number two in there.  Not my child.  We've always been a little backwards.  She had mastered number two a while ago.  She's always had a hard time going, so in order to "help" her we had been putting her on the potty and giving her books to read while she did her business. 

Eventually we phased out the M&Ms and switched to Princess Fruit Snacks.  If she went all day without any accidents, then she got a Princess Fruit Snack at the end of the day.  That went very well.  My child works well with bribes.

I soon discovered that I was the one who was more on top of things than she was.  I would be the one to tell her when to go potty.  She wasn't telling me when she had to go.  I was fine with that, and it eventually switched to where she rebelled when I told her to go potty.  She would tell me she didn't have to.  Sometimes I made her, sometimes I didn't, depending on what we were doing.

Going back to daycare, I was pretty worried.  She had done great for the couple of weeks I was home, but I wasn't sure how she would react to the change of schedule.  She did pee once on the carpet at daycare, but I think that was because she didn't want to stop what she was doing.  After that, I don't think there were any more accidents.

Our next issue was time outs.  She discovered that if she got time out, she could get more attention if she peed on herself at that time.  Yuck.

Thankfully she outgrew that phase (she didn't like feeling wet), and now she just ends up going in time out, telling us she has to go potty, going potty, then back to time out.

I put her in pull ups at night because I really don't want to clean up any accidents in the bed, but she wakes up dry and uses the potty in the mornings, so I don't think it's too big of a deal.

I do know in the beginning we were stressing her out.  She would wake in the middle of the night thinking she had peed in her panties and freak out (when really she was half asleep and had a diaper on), but she's outgrown that.

Altogether, I'm pretty proud of her.  I was thinking that we were getting too old for diapers when I would hear of other two year olds who were fully potty trained, but I think our timing turned out to be just right.  


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pregnancy Number Two, December 2012

Had my glucose test (I passed!  Although I really don't know how.  I was eating sugar with this baby like no tomorrow).

Also had my iron checked.  Borderline low, so the OB told me to eat more red meat.  Hooray for not having to take extra iron pills.  I'll just make sure I eat more iron rich foods. 

Got the infamous RhoGam shot so my body doesn't decide to fight this baby.  I think I reacted a tad to getting the shot because I felt sick for a day or two after.

We had Christmas at our house.  A few in laws came and stayed with us, which was fun.  Baby has a blast getting presents.  I think she's a bit spoiled in that aspect.

Insomnia has hit.  It's weird.  I have never ever ever had a problem with sleeping.  It's the weirdest thing just lying there in bed, not being able to fall asleep, not even being tired.  Maybe my body is preparing me for when the baby comes and I have to wake up multiple times to feed her.

I also have yucky acid indigestion with this one.  I didn't have that before.  It will rise into my throat, and up to my ears, making my ears burn.  Not fun.

My belly is definitely growing larger, that's for sure.  I've been trying to figure out how I survived my first pregnancy with as few maternity clothes as I have.  I have been blessed by a friend who has loaned me quite a few clothes.  I still refuse to go out and buy things that I won't use for that long.  Although I did find a great deal on a pair of maternity skinny jeans.  I needed something to wear with my cute boots!      

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Contractions

I started having contractions off and on around 20 weeks pregnant.  I remember having them during school hours, and they lasted for about an hour or two. 

The first couple of times it happened I attributed it to having Chai Tea.  I love chai tea, but it can contain star anise, a substance that can bring on contractions.  No more chai for me. 

Then I thought it was just from having Starbucks in general.  Something about their coffee?  Don't worry, it was decaf. 

I also realized I wasn't drinking enough water and I was on my feet a lot.  Usually when I had the contractions, I would have to sit and teach through them, while gulping down water.  They would stop after a while.  And no, these were not Braxton Hicks.  These hurt! 

One night, Husband and Baby and I went out to dinner.  I started having contractions and they started getting worse and worse.  I decided maybe it was time for a hospital visit.  We grabbed our food to go, met my parents at our place so they could watch Baby, and drove to the birthing center about twenty minutes away.  By this time, I had consumed about ten glasses of water to try to get them to stop. 

We checked in and I was hooked up to lots of monitors.  The baby's heartbeat was fine, and I didn't have any other contractions while there.  The cool thing, though, was the movement the baby was making.  She didn't like the monitors on my belly and kept kicking them.  That was neat to me because I hadn't really been feeling her move. 

After monitoring me for a while with no contractions, they sent me home with instructions to drink lots and lots of water.  I didn't get checked to see if I was dilated or anything.  I didn't want to because sometimes that can cause more harm. 

From then on, Husband was constantly asking me if I had my water.  As were all the other family members that were aware of me getting admitted.  I felt really dumb, that my own not thinking had caused so much ruckus.  



Friday, March 22, 2013

Level Two Ultrasound

We were sent to a company in the city for the level two ultrasound.  This was to be performed by a neonatologist, not an ultrasound technician.  A level two ultrasound is also known as an anatomy scan because they carefully look at the anatomy of the unborn child. 

The company was not in the best part of town.  We went inside and checked in.  I remember thinking that we did not belong there.  There was a couple sitting across from us with a small, germy child (yes, I do think all children are germy, but this one really looked germy) running around the room and touching everything.  The mom looked practically homeless.  She had baggy clothes, unkempt hair, and was missing multiple teeth.  Another couple came in and you could smell the marijuana on them from across the room.  I really hope for the sake of the unborn child that it was the male and not her who was high.  Then there was us, a regular WASPy couple.  See how we didn't belong?  These people had other issues that would make their babies have anomalies.  Not us.

Can we say denial?

However, there were reasons I was worried.  First of all, this baby didn't move.  I didn't feel any movement, or if I did I was never sure if it was the baby or not.  Although all my OB appointments had shown a strong heartbeat, everything I had read said usually you feel the second child a lot earlier than you felt the first.  Nope, not me.

Second, this baby was a lot bigger than the first.  My belly was growing so much larger than it did with Baby.  I know that they say this is normal in second pregnancies, but this seemed a bit extreme to me.

Third, the percentages of it all.  My uber rare blood type that all the nurses and doctors like to point out to me puts me in a small percentage of the population.  On top of that, I fell into the tiny percentage of having a baby with choroid plexus cysts found during ultrasound.  Why wouldn't it follow that I would also fall into the percentage of having a child with Down Syndrome or Trisomy 18?  

Anyway, we were finally called back.  Surprisingly, for this ultrasound they didn't care what you ate or drank in advance.  I didn't need to have a full bladder. 

The doctor was very matter of fact.  I imagine she has to deal with distraught parents and deliver unpleasant news quite often.  The first thing she did was check for the cysts.

They were gone, resolved on their own.   

Then she went through the full anatomy of the baby, from head to toe, inside and out, looking for any other signs that could indicate abnormal development.  Once again, she confirmed we were having a girl (I'll admit, I was secretly hoping the first ultrasound tech had been incorrect and she would find some boy parts in there.).  She declared the baby very healthy and sent us on our way.

Hallelujah!  

(Although I still have some trepidations that something will pop up in the near future.)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pregnancy Number Two, November 2012

Remember how I was supposed to receive a phone call about scheduling the level two ultrasound within a week of our possible life-shattering news about our baby? 

Yeah, that didn't happen.

A week went by without a phone call, so I called the OB to see what was going on.  Of course she was on vacation.  Someone else pulled up my file and said there was no record of a referral.  I would have to wait for the OB to come back. 

I called back the next week and spoke with the OB.  Of course she had put in the referral, I should hear back within a week. 

A week went by.  No phone call.  I called the actual company they were referring me to.  They didn't have any referrals pending. 

I called the OB again.  She put in another referral.

Can I tell you how frustrating this was?  This was for potential news about our unborn child, how our lives would completely change based on what this next ultrasound would find.  And they couldn't even get me scheduled for it.

Eventually I did receive a phone call.  We were scheduled for November 27, 2012.   

Decisions

When Baby was born, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to stay home with her instead of returning to work.  However, that was not possible financially, so I returned to working when she was six months old. 

Since then, Husband has changed jobs and we are now financially able to make this a possibility. 

However, I have also switched schools and have been teaching at a place I absolutely love.  I have amazing coworkers, the best classes, I get along well with the principal who values my opinion, and I am the Mathematics Department Chair at my school where I am involved in leadership and able to make decisions that affect the entire math department and culture of the school.

I love my job.

But I also love my children, and want to do what's best for my family.  Especially after getting the news about the new baby.  I want to be there to help her with whatever struggles she will have, or any extra medical attention she will need.

I struggled back and forth, talking it over with Husband, going in circles about what to do.  Here was something I had been wanting for so long, but my situation had changed and now I was in a happy place at work.  However, my children will only be young once.  I'm pretty sure math teachers will still be needed for years to come.  

I applied to take the rest of the 2012-2013 school year off, AND the entire 2013-2014 school year off.  Sort of like a trial stay at home mom deal.   

It used to be common practice for my school district to approve a leave of absence for an entire school year.  However, they recently changed their policies and it is on a case by case basis.  Thus, in my application, I wrote that I wanted to stay home to take care of a newborn with possible health issues.

I was approved for the entire leave of absence.     

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

One of those phone calls you don't ever want...

A few days after the twenty week ultrasound, I received a call from my OB.   I was working at the time so she had left a message asking me to call her back. 

I should have waited until after I was off of work.  But curiosity got the better of me.  During my fifth period prep I called her back. 

She told me the ultrasound had turned up some abnormalities in the baby's development.  They had discovered choroid plexus cysts in the baby's brain. 

Doctor told me not to worry, that it usually turns out to be nothing, but they wanted to do a level two ultrasound to investigate further.  She was sending out the referral and we should be contacted about an appointment within a week. 

I hung up and totally bawled my eyes out.  Something was wrong with my baby!

I contemplated grabbing someone to cover my sixth period class, but I pulled myself together and made it through the day. 

I called Husband and told him the news.  I think we were both cried out when we got home from our respective jobs. 

Of course, I then had to Google everything I could about choroid plexus cysts.  Here's what Wikipedia said:

"Choroid plexus cysts (CPCs) are cysts that occur within choroid plexus of the brain. The brain contains pockets or spaces called ventricles with a spongy layer of cells and blood vessels called the choroid plexus. This is in the middle of the fetal brain. The choroid plexus has the important function of producing a fluid called cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid produced by the cells of the choroid plexus fills the ventricles and then flows around the brain and the spinal cord to provide a cushion of fluid around these structures."

And ucsfhealth.org says:

"What are choroid plexus cysts?
The choroid plexus is the part of the brain that makes cerebrospinal fluid, the fluid that normally bathes and protects the brain and spinal column. In about 1 to 2 percent of normal babies — 1 out of 50 to 100 — a tiny bubble of fluid is pinched off as the choroid plexus forms. This appears as a cyst inside the choroid plexus at the time of ultrasound."

Basically, whenever choroid plexus cysts are seen in an ultrasound, a follow up is ordered to check for other abnormalities.  The presence of the cysts could indicate a chromosomal abnormality, such as Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) or Trisomy 18 (of which most babies are stillborn). 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pregnancy Number Two, 20 Week Ultrasound


They called me in advance to remind me to have 32 ounces of water.  I still don't know why.  I suppose I could Google it, but that would take way too much energy.  Maybe it has something to do with making sure the baby is nice and squished so they can take better measurements. 

Husband went with me to the appointment.  We had decided in advance that we wanted to know the sex of the baby.  I really really really wanted a boy.  We already had a girl and a boy would balance things out.  Plus, we're not sure about having anymore children, so one of each would be great.  I had even had people tall me they thought I was carrying a boy, and I was pretty sure of it myself. 

The technician was really nice.  She did her measurements, then went through and showed us all the body parts of the baby.  Then she asked what we thought it was. Turns out,


It's a girl! 

In the words of the nurse, we could clearly see her "hoo-hoo."  She printed out three pictures for us (only three!  I was super disappointed.  With Baby we were given ten or so.).

Now we had to decide on a name.   
 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pregnancy Number Two, October 2012

Headaches and nausea are no fun. 

Husband has been wonderful.  He has taken over cooking (well, for himself and Baby.  I can't stomach anything).  He's been great with taking care of Baby in the evenings as well.  If it's my turn, I end up lying on a towel on the floor next to the bath while Baby splashes away. 

Baby likes to tell me how big my tummy is and wants to pull up my shirt to touch it all the time. 

For Halloween, I was a black cat with a fishbowl belly.  Baby chose to dress up like Cinderella (again), and had a blast walking around the neighborhood and getting candy.  The cutest part of the night was when she forgot what to say and said, "Trick or... Happy Candy!"  She was all about filling her bucket with candy.  We had more than one candy bucket, and Baby discovered that she could get more candy if she emptied her bucket into ours after each house and went up to the next house with an empty bucket.  Ha.   


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pregnancy Number Two, September 2012

Still sick.  And working.  Able to hold it together throughout the day, but totally dead by the time I get home.
Lost three pounds due to not eating and throwing up.

Baby likes to tell me to not throw up in the car, but save it for the potty.

Ice cream seems to make me feel better.  Mint chocolate chip, to be exact.  

When I run to the bathroom to throw up, Baby will be right on my heels.  After I finish, she'll say, "My turn!"  Then lean over and spit into the toilet.  I hope I'm not teaching her to be bulimic.   

Also, my tummy is definitely growing a lot quicker than with the first.  I had a student finally ask if I was pregnant.    






Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pregnancy Number Two, August 2012

Sick, sick, sick. 

Although I only threw up once in the morning.  This one is different.  I wake up nauseated, it builds and builds and builds, and come dinner time everything comes back up. 

Got those psi band bracelets to try to help.  Also Preggie Pops, B-Natal lollipops (those worked for about ten minutes), and tons of ginger ale.  Taking Epsom Salt baths has been helping a tiny bit. 

A few of my August Facebook Posts: 
"Last night I dreamed that I was seasick on a rocking boat in the middle of the ocean. My subconscious seems to be good at analogies. Let's see what tonight brings.."
"Can someone please let me off the spinning teacup ride?"
"And the carousel goes around and around and around and around..."
"If the boat is a rockin....Beth is heaving over the side. Sigh."
"Figuratively stuck on a roller coaster with never ending loops and loops and loops and loops..."
"Dear baby in my tummy,
Thanks for making life interesting. Without you, I would have never thrown up all my dinner into the toilet, only to have the toilet start to overflow while I freak out. One can only imagine what adventures we will have once you breathe air.
Love,
Mommy"
"Dear dinner,
I would really like to get to know you a little better. You come in, then go right back out the same way. Perhaps we can work on this.
Sincerely,
Beth"
"First official day of school done. How fun to be back at work! Staved off morning sickness til this evening. Goodbye healthy snack. At least I didn't throw up in front of the children."
"Had a great day at the beach! Only threw up once on the car ride home..."
"Twelve weeks today. I've been throwing up practically every day for the past six weeks. That's more than forty days. I know how the animals felt on Noah's ark. I'm ready for dry land."
"So sick of being sick and throwing up. Too tired to come up with an analogy. Anyone else want to have a go?"
"Dear dinner,
I miss you. I look forward to reconciling.
Sincerely,
Beth"
"I have a baby in my tummy. And it's already a picky eater."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Friday, March 15, 2013

Pregnancy Number Two, July 2012

Soooo tired.  I know people talked about how tired they were while pregnant, but I didn't experience this with the first one.  With this one, I was so tired I had to work really hard not to fall asleep while driving. 

I would sit down on the couch and be able to fall asleep in seconds. 

On top of that, morning sickness kicked in.  I was really hoping this one would be different.  But nope.  Nausea, vomiting, headaches, fatigue, chills, hot flashes....and this is only the first month! 

I was really thankful for Husband's mom in town during the onset of morning sickness.  When we returned from Disneyland it hit full swing.  I remember throwing up for the first time.  I barely made it to the garbage can and up came all the sour cream and onion chips I had just eaten.  Blech.  Luckily, family entertained Baby while I lay on the couch in misery. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Weaning Baby

Before I had Baby, I hadn't given too much thought to the length of time I would breastfeed.  Everyone says you should nurse for at least a year, so I figured that was my goal.  I had friends with children who had weaned themselves around that time, so I thought that would happen with me.

Then I had Baby.

This child was one who you hear stories of; babies who crawl from the womb straight up to their mother to latch on.  That was Baby.  She came out, the midwife placed her on my tummy, and she wiggled herself right up to nurse.  Crazy how nature works. 

From then on, she was stuck there.  Really, I'm not kidding. 

She had severe jaundice, so the doctors said to nurse, nurse, nurse.  So I did.  Every time she opened her mouth, I latched her on. 

She fell asleep latched on.  She awoke latched on.  I know, I'm a crazy parent.  For practically two years she slept right at my side....latched on. 

She would only take a bottle from daycare, other than that she was stuck to me night and day.  Name a location and I probably discretely nursed Baby there. 

Then I night weaned her.  You can read more about that in a previous post.  That was extremely liberating.  You know, to not sleep with a child attached to me. 

I had always thought Baby would naturally wean herself.  Isn't that how it's supposed to work?  Nobody ever mentions weaning.  The focus is always on establishing breastfeeding in the first place.  I got that part.

When trying for Baby Number Two, I semi-considered the possibility of tandem nursing.  Baby was so attached to me, and I felt very guilty about not letting her wean "naturally."  However, after much deliberation, I decided I was done.

The day I found out I was pregnant was the last day Baby nursed.  I had been slowly phasing out feedings, so that morning before we went to Disneyland was her last.

Disneyland was a great distraction.  She was so tired out that she would fall asleep without nursing.  If she asked, we would distract her with a ride or some other attraction.  After our time in Disneyland and we came home, she would still ask, but I'd tell her she was a big girl and big girls didn't have "mama."

Slowly she stopped asking.