Thursday, November 8, 2018


Mr Cameron Eugene!

Shirley Anne Photography 

He was born after an induction at 41 weeks 4 days (eeeekkkkkk)   Labor was quick and easy and I’ve decided that I just don’t go into labor on my own. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get, and now never will get, the water breaking and rushing to the hospital moment, but having a safe delivery was obviously paramount.

I cannot believe I am the mother of three living children. Holding Cam and watching my two “big” kids play at the moment and it still doesn’t feel real. He’s 11 days old now and still all sleepy newborn sweetness. I’ve done this enough to know these early days fly and am trying to enjoy it all knowing my childbearing years are over. (I’ve already asked Hub for one more and he looked at me like I was out of my mind)  To be fair, I doubt I’ll want another in a few months.

Birth story to follow but in short we had a planned induction that was pushed back several hours, prodromal labor for almost 2 weeks, a pitocen induction at 3cm, epidural at 6cm and delivery 3 hours later. Cameron is perfect, loved by all. We had a photographer at his birth and it is literally one of the best things I’ve ever done. If your on the fence about it- DO IT. I’ve only gotten the sneak peek but I’m in love:

Shirley Anne Photography
Shirley Anne Photography

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

38 Weeks 6 Days

(I am so grateful to be pregnant)

I hate being pregnant SO much.

I am burning with heartburn, want to vomit, have insomnia (yet am so tired) and am GIANT.

MG's birthday was Friday (how is my baby girl TWO?!?!) and her party Saturday. I had been hoping to make it through those days and into October before baby arrives. Well we're here. Let's get a move on, baby.

Our photographer has been on call since Thursday.  (Did I mention I hired a birth photographer? I did. I'm VERY excited. I love labor/ birth). Though I have been having a lot of contractions, they aren't consistent so I haven't let her or the hospital know yet. I have an appointment tomorrow and will have them check me. Hoping for some progress (I was a one when I was checked a week ago based on the same fake contractions).

The good news is is that my midwife is back from her vacation- she takes the same two weeks every year. 2 years ago, it was the week before and the week of MG's birth. This time it appears she'll have just made it back.

ugh. Come on baby. Or at least give me a break from these contractions!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Burn Baby Burn

There are some tough-to-look at pictures in here. If you're squeamish- stop here!

The two cutest little kiddos on the planet! (so the preview isn't graphic):

Back in January, we had quite the vacation. The surprise baby was conceived, but the day after that my poor little MG was burned by hot water. It seemed at the time like it was going to be quite bad.

It was a 100% accident, unfortunate location and timing. She was sleeping in her stroller and someone bumped into someone else who was holding water fresh from a hot water machine. The water went right across her whole chest armpit to armpit- fortunately above the nipple line and avoiding her face.

             Day 2 (I didn't take a day one picture)

I wasn't even WITH her when it happened. Hub and I were off the boat in the pouring rain having drinks and chips for a rare moment alone. We get back onto the boat, where you go through security (they check your ship ID, put your bags through and x-ray and walk through a metal detector. When they scan my card and alert comes up "SEE NURSE" . I drop all my stuff onto hub and run through the body scanner (Hub told me after I caused an incident- but I didn't give a flying F). The guy in front of me in the scanner dropped a plastic bag- had nothing in it, mind you, he had been using it as a cover in the aforementioned pouring rain. He asked me to get it for him. I pushed past him instead.

After getting past security, I came around a corner and was right at the medical area. My mom called out for me and I guess I looked terrified (I also didn't realize that's where I was until I saw everyone there). I saw kinsy right away and my mom saw me looking and said "She is fine". Up until that point I thought potentially that: my dad had a heart attack again, some other adult had a heart attack for the first time, kinsy broke his arm, someone fell off the boat. In my mind someone was DEFINITELY dead, or broken, but probably dead.

I ran through the waiting area into the back where I could hear her crying, pulling off my soaked coat and yelling "what happened to my baby?" I saw MG and my dad when I walked in from behind. MG was screaming, standing up in his lap and my dad was holding her and had been crying. She was BRIGHT red across her upper chest with two spots (2 of the 3 second degree second degree sections) already covered with some type of ointment. My dad was like "I'm sorry, I'm sorry". And I'm like "What HAPPENED to my baby"

I got the story above (hot water on her chest). through tears and fumbling around medical staff to get my MG from my dad to me. I was crying (obviously, right) and MG was crying (ditto). And the doctor was like "Mom it will be better for the baby if you leave. You're upsetting her".

Well. Mama don't play.

My response was "What would be best for her is for her to be with her mother. She's upset because she is hurt. She is reaching for ME". I held my baby. Doc didn’t mess with me again (and actually treated MG SO wonderfully. I can’t say enough)

Eventually, and I can't say when, the full story came out. She was sleeping in her stroller and someone bumped into someone else who was hold water fresh from a hot water machine. The water went right across her. My dad and his friend took her clothes off and poured (stolen) cool bottled water across the burned area. They ran her downstairs to my mom (basically on the way), who called the doctor as they brought her down and then joined them. She was essentially in a doctor's hands within 10 minutes of the accident.  They gave her pain reliever (a lot) and were just starting to apply medication and gauze when I arrived. It sounds like my arrival was about an hour after the burn occurred.

We were right at the cusp of being sent off the boat as a medical emergency. In retrospect, I think we would have been sent off if we were in a less remote port of call. We were in Costa Maya, Mexico which we were told is nearly 2 hours from a hospital that could have accommodate us. I left the infirmary with the intent of calling our pedi, and getting off the boat. I was talked down by the pedi and hub, but agreed to just one more day. Pedi said that she was probably better cared for on the  boat than she would be in a rural Mexican hospital and she didn't want us flying. She said burns develop over 24 hours, so no one would know what we were dealing with until the next morning and the boat’s med staff was doing everything she would.

I spent a miserable afternoon (still raining) playing cards and drinking beers.

I didn't get a first day picture, but we needed to bring her back to the clinic the next morning and I took the picture above.

The next morning we went to the clinic really early. We were the first ones there and they escorted us right in. I got my first full look at the burn. The section right above her right nipple was the worst. It was a hole which was white inside, I was told that indicated a third degree burn and that there were areas of second degree burn around it, and more second degree in her mid-chest and under her left armpit. Blisters were forming under her armpit. They put on an ointment and said that we could stay onboard since she was fever free and the non-3rd degree burn area looked “really good”. The burn overall was less severe than they were expecting. They credited the cool water poured on her immediately after the hot and the essentially immediate treatment with the docs. This day we were in Cozumel, Mexico and closer to a major airport and so a major hospital. I wanted to abandon ship (still). I was encouraged by our pedi (who I called back the second they opened) to stay on board, so long as our second opinion agreed. She had me call Boston's Shriners (which has a world renowned burn clinic). They said that everything we were doing is all they would do and they would see us the day after we arrived home. We went to the beach. MG hates the beach and was content to sit in the shade and play with my mom and hub. Kinsy LOVES the beach and the ocean, so I was with him.

We were due back to the clinic on ship the next morning (a sea day) for a ointment reapplication and bandage change. She looked much better across the majority of the burn, it looked more like a sun burn. The parts that were second/ third degree though looked awful. Poor MG. They were able to lessen her bandages to keep the less burned areas open to the air. Unfortunately, it made one section blister. I assume there was a healing blister that we didn’t see rise and start to heal, but when it rubbed on her clothes it tore. So we were down twice on our last full day on the boat and by the end of it she was back in the shirt style bandages.

That night we got our room bill and I was terrified. Cruises are notoriously expensive for clinic care on board (and you know, everything). I’ve heard 25$ for Band-Aids or aspirin and the like. However, they didn’t charge us a cent. Not for the time, the bandages, the Tylenol and motrin bottles they gave us, the ointment, or the percentage of the doctor’s salaries. Not one cent.  I was blown away by their care, regardless of the cost.  That they did it for free was truly surprising and wonderful and only amplifies the gratitude I feel for the care my sweet girl received.

We had one more check in the morning we were heading home (mixed feelings there, sad to leave behind vacation. Happy to get to our own MDs). Burns were redressed and remedicated. They still looked awful to me, but everyone was optimistic about her recovery. She stayed infection-free on board and one of the burns were stating to heal. This is what I was told when one of the second degree burn spots started to bleed. The third degree spot started to pink up around the edges (in the hole of the wound) which was taken as a great sign, and perhaps a sign that not all of the skin was dead inside (which would make it not third degree).

We headed home (long day, as travel days always are) and eagerly anticipated our appointment the next morning. I really can’t say enough about Shriner’s Boston. First off, parking is available and free. UNHEARD of in the city. They have heavy security and check us in and then sent us up with guide. Note to readers: Graphic. No experience I have ever had made me so deeply thankful for the life I have, after sitting in the waiting room of that hospital. The photos they display and testimonials are powerful. Some kids treated there have had devastating injuries. I almost felt self-conscious being there with my girl, who you couldn’t tell her injury in the waiting room (she had a shirt on). One young person had lost her hands and had badly burned arms, a little toddler lacked eyelids and most of his nose – all given over to burn tissue which covered his face.

We were not made to feel as if we didn’t belong there, however. Everyone was compassionate. The care team led us into a room and everyone introduced themselves, an MD (the same I spoke to in my panic on the ship), a nurse, a child life therapist who played with MG while we discussed her accident and a photographer- who took pictures of the burn while she was exposed. I was told that this is so whenever I called, and before any appointments they could look at her pictures and we would all be talking about the same thing. Simple, but smart, right?

They asked us to describe the burn, and I did them one better and showed them the pictures I had taken. They were pleased that I had done so and while each person inspected the photos in turn the MD explained that they like to keep the wounds covered as much as possible, so knowing what it looked like let them prep their tools. Based on the photos they outlined 2 options- one for if she needed significant wound cleaning and one if she didn’t. They told us that to speed care and pain, they would talk to us only minimally, but would recap everything after. I held MG on my lap, who did cry, but not terribly. Fortunately, they were very pleased with the way the burn looked and she needed minimal touching of the burn areas, limiting the crying. They put on a silver pad over the whole chest and wrapped her in a crazy dressing. She did look adorable though.

They asked us to leave the pad on until the next week when we would see them again- 2 weeks after the accident. We were told the two critical windows are the first 24 hours, when the goal is to stop the burn process and 2 weeks after, when they can tell from healing what additional interventions will be needed, if any.

They told us that MG’s aftercare was excellent and that they expected much worse injury given the location, size and method of burn. They said without a doubt the cool water being put on her so quickly and the medical care on the boat saved her from surgery and probably any significant scaring. They said that at the next appointment they would give a better idea of future expectations.

We were supposed to keep hands (and so eyes) off the burn, easier said than done. Over the next several days I took a few peeks. There was signs of healing as it started to scab over. (yuck).

Finally the appointment arrived. We followed much of the same process as with the first appointment, without the introductions. They took off the dressing and the pad and they were REALLY pleased with the healing. They replaced the giant bandages with a small covering just for the part over the nipple (which was bleeding, and they were thrilled). The rest was to be massaged and covered in aquaphor twice a day and whenever it felt dry. The other dressing could come off when the scab was gone.

They said that the majority should heal with no scarring at all. The place above her nipple had a chance of healing without issue, but would remain red for 6 months to a year and would act as a mood ring- reddening when hot or agitated. After that, we would be able to tell more clearly what it would be like long term. They said they doubted she would need surgery as puberty hits and her chest begins to expand, and anticipate needing laser treatments at most if it puckers as she grows. They released us from care and MG picked a present from a treasure chest. (A hand-sewn pillowcase with boats on it. I laughed at the irony)

It's been about 8 months now and she looks GREAT. If you didn't know, I doubt on an average day you could even tell she was burned. If she gets overheated or too cold, has been crying or running laps it does get redder. I think it's SUPER sensitive, even with tons of sunblock and a sun shirt the burn gets red if she’s in the sun (just in one place, not the whole thing). There are 2 areas, the one over her nipple and the one in the center of her chest that are a little rougher than the rest of her. Overall though, she healed REALLY well. We couldn’t be more thankful for the excellent care she received both on the ship (by lay people and medical staff!) and back in Boston at Shriners. 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Go Big...or Go Home!

Go Big OR 

Hub and I have always done things in bunches. He came home from war, closed on our home (two days later!), I changed jobs, he got one and we started TTC within 5 months back in 2014. A few years later we were expecting kinsy, renovating the living room and hallways of our home, I was completing the last of my Master's program and hub headed back to school. So it's no surprise that now we're doing a bunch of big crazy things:

I'm 35 (!!!) weeks pregnant, our kitchen remodel is starting to wrap up (finally), we are both working on major projects at work and..

we bought a vacation home!

Go Home (North)

A few snaps from our new New England Hide-away.
Kids' room
Us on purchase day

* not our lake. 

entry way

Dining area and (empty) livingrooom

Amazing ice cream place down the street

Kids playing out front (have 3 acres, play in the driveway...)

This is the back of the house

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

"Monthly" Pregnancy Update: 32 Weeks

Commentary: Still working on the kitchen (the pit of sadness). BUT we have walls! with paint on them. And cabinets, without doors on them.

Baby's size: Armadillo 

How far along? 
32 weeks! I can't believe it!

Total weight gain/loss:
I'm up about 13 pounds. Feeling really heavy. 

Maternity clothes?
Yes. I’m HUGE.

Very, very tired. MG still doesn't sleep through the night. It's getting hard to sleep because I'm so uncomfortable. The two combined aren't working well. 

Best moment this month:
Baby was breech at the 30 week u/s but turned at 31. Hoping baby is still vertex at my ultrasound tomorrow. 

Have you told family and friends:
Yes, if I see them in real life. For the most part though, the news isn't on social media or anything like that.

Yes, consistent and strong, starting to hurt at times. 

Food cravings:
Chocolate, ice cream, deviled ham sandwiches

Anything making you queasy or sick:
Yeah. still. Always. 

Have you started to show yet:
You know it

Gender prediction?
Boy is my gut instinct still

Happy or Moody most of the time:

Getting very flat-ish

On, but I have taken them off a few times at night- to be fair it's 97 today. SO. HOT.

Miss anything:
Beer, wine, eating a normal amount. Shaving with the ability to see what I'm doing

Looking forward to:
We're buying a vacation home on Friday!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Struggling: My troubled mind


I try to keep a happy face, particularly in this miraculous pregnancy. But I am really struggling.

I can't put a finger on why. Exhaustion? Fear? Overwhelmed with work and home life? Frustration with our continued lack of a kitchen? Missing my people while I'm busy with the new job/ busy kids etc? All of the above?

The straw that broke me was finding a deer tick embedded in MG. We went to a family wedding on Saturday- in the woods. (obligatory adorable wedding picture of the kiddos)

The kids played with their new, distant cousins all day in grass. We came home to them sleeping so popped them in bed. I thought I gave them a bath on Sunday.. but I guess not? Monday we had a bath, but Tuesday morning we found the tick burrowed in. I assume it was there from Saturday and burrowed in Sunday or Monday before bath time? Which means it was there with plenty of time to get a full meal off my little girl and transmit Lyme if infected (36-ish hours).

We called the pedi (actually to be clear my parents found it, googled treatment course, waited for hub to come home, told him about it, they all waited for me to come home told me and I said "So who called the pedi"... crickets) pedi said MG is too little to have preventative abx so we just have to wait a month and do a blood test. So the internet was right and it wasn't actually a "call the pedi right now" situation... but it was to me. I'm going to die.

I can't handle this. I hate waiting. I hate the worry. I have crushing anxiety in pregnancy anyway. This is putting me out of my mind.  What if she has Lyme? I'll feel horrible, and responsible. I know we live in the Northeast and that this is the reality of outdoor living here. But MG is my baby.

I know this doesn't sound reasonable. Lyme is treatable and we are watching her so it isn't going to go untreated... but I can't help my worried mind.

I took a walk around the world to
Ease my troubled mind
Kryptonite, 3 Doors Down

Thursday, May 31, 2018

EBD 6: Divine Providence

Another Year. In another time and place I would have a 6 year old.

I actually am at work today. I think it’s the first EBD that I came into the office. I think I should have stayed home. Way back when I had a rule “No crying at work” I no longer bother with that rule, which is a good thing on days like today.

I was ok, sad and cranky, but ok- until I read the May 31st posts of the past. This is a complicated feeling: Grief and longing mixing with joy at the family I have built and relief that I didn’t bring a child into the world to quickly and painfully pass away. As time passes I am more sure of my decision, it was the right one for our family. That eases the burden.

Also easing my burden this year: the baby I carry. A true miracle. I say that with the full gravity of that word. A naturally conceived, chromosomally and structurally normal baby. With my DOR, POF, and an additional 7 YEARS my eggs have managed what they couldn’t at 28. They said at the time it was a fluke, and then in the IVF process I was told Blue Sunday’s T18 and my infertility were connected. (They were kind enough to not say my fault). This baby feels like it was meant to be. A cosmic apology, divine providence.

This is probably fueling my boy vibe, Blue Sunday, Liberty always imagined as boys.

So here’s to you Blue Sunday. Wishing today and always that you know the depth of my love and know that I wish we were celebrating today and not quietly mourning.