Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I'm Gonna Make this Place (my) Home

I have mentioned a few times that my house is kind of a nightmare. Here is show and tell.

"We" bought it a few days over 3 years ago, hub hadn't so much as crossed the threshold until after the papers were passed- on December 6th 2010- 2 days after his return from Iraq on December 4th 2010. I did everything- offer, counter-offer(s), inspection, Purchase and sales, repairs and ALL the paperwork all on my own. Truth be told, I was a little upset he made it home to actually sign, I felt I earned the right to say I bought the house by myself. The whole thing was actually a nightmare and Hub called the bank more than once from Iraq, you can only imagine how that call went. Anyway, after 3 months of wrangling, the house was ours.

Front of house, before removal of tree-bush

Ok, it isn't much, and it was even worse inside than out. BUT It's in the neighborhood we belong in: safe, clean and full of people we love. Many of the kids I grew up with have settled here as well, no small thing in a major city.  Best of all, we're just a few blocks from my parents... and we have this huge back yard!

Backyard 1 (My 30th birthday)

Backyard 2-- pictures taken at the same time, all this stuff was back there at once!

As it turns out, a lot of the trouble with houses are that they are old, at least they are if you live where I do and aren't a millionaire (literally).  This house had not one speck of insulation (that is a slight exaggeration, we found a few strips behind the living room walls where there was a fire years ago and some pour in insulation in the ceiling between the second floor and the attic.). The basement floor was partially torn up after the discovery of termites by the prior owner (a HUGE problem in this area- no surprise to us as buyers- but you couldn't have re-poured the floor?). There was little to no renovation or upkeep in the 60 years between building and our purchase, It had been in one family for all or almost all of that time.

See the can of Pledge? It was for the kitchen walls..

Living room, pet stained carpet coming up, Persian arches, awful mantel..

See the color difference on the wall behind vs in front of me? Yeah.. that's from washing off the nicotine

The problem is, I didn't see these as issues when I bought the house, a little paint (which we needed because there were 1 or 2 people smoking up to 3 packs of cigarettes EACH a DAY for the majority of this house's lifespan yuck), some work pulling up carpeting and refinishing floors and *ok fine* a complete kitchen re-haul (but I would never be able to afford a house in this area with a new kitchen- they were starting at 500,000 at the height of the recession) and we would be as good as new.

Problem one was the FIRE that happened years before my purchase. There is a massive burn hole under that gross carpet- the carpet is long gone due to the smoke and pet urine that soiled it. We keep the couch over it, as it is in our living room. It's fine...

Things I didn't know before I bought- 60 year-old horsehair plaster isn't nice, even if you put new paint on it. Also, insulation is way easier to put in with walls down, as is new electric work. By the way, if you buy a house that is older than your parents, you're going to need new wiring run most likely. Who knew?

So we started a room by room renovation. 

We've gone through this process with 4 of 7 rooms in the house. It's been a TON of work,  but we're now here with our living room:

Hub is building cabinets and a mantel for around the fireplace, and we are re-tiling after Christmas
You can't tell from here, but we widened the doorways and removed the arches (hub said they reminded him of Iraq.. oops). And here is the baby's room now. I don't have a 'before', but it was just as ugly as the rest of the house:

Doesn't hub do good work?

We have a lot to do (like that kitchen.. shudder) but we've come a long way, even on the outside!

We've replaced the door too :)

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Saturday, December 28, 2013

39 Weeks 2 Days: Anniversary of Day of Waiting

I am now 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I am feeling the start of cramps/ contractions and just plain not feeling well. I'm uncomfortable, impatient and rushed. There is still so, so much to do.

That said, I can't believe the difference between today and 2 years ago today.

Today, I cleaned the house (again) my mom's best friend and my parents came over to help. The place is the closest to spotless that will ever happen in the middle of the construction (currently on hold).
Then, the house was gross. The Christmas fallout was all over the place, the trash was overflowing. I was on strict couch rest 1 day post amnio. I was scared and miserable. I knew in my heart Blue Sunday was unhealthy.

Today, I have a John Grisham book sitting on my bedside table, barely opened. I just don't have the time to dive in.
Then. I was already on the second Hunger Games book since Christmas. I needed the distraction.

Today, I wait in eager anticipation of baby news- girl or boy? What day? How will labor go?
Then, I wait in abject fear- T18? T13? Some structural problem?

Both days though, I am cramp-y and cold.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Day After Christmas

Well here we are. The Day After Christmas.

Back in Blue Sunday's time and again, at the end of pregnancy.

The days of living memories: days of making memories.

10 days where the past and the present will be in particularly sharp focus.

2 years ago, right about now, I was just starting on this road. I had gotten off the phone with the doctor and gotten the awful 1:5 odds in the mid afternoon.

All day today, I just keep poking Take Two, waiting for him or her to poke back. Take Two is well behaved and always does poke back.

2 years ago tomorrow was my last scan (and the amnio).
All day tomorrow is final baby prep- cleaning the house, buying a few last minute things.

2 years ago New Year's Eve was my first night of drinking since finding out I was pregnant. The diagnosis was confirmed and the termination set. I was closing the book on acting, feeling and truly being pregnant.
This NYE I will have closed or be closing the book on the last year without holding a child of my own.

2 years ago, 1/4/12 was my termination date.
1/4/14 is my due date.

Wheel indeed.

See it all the time
Where someone's last goodbye
Blends in with someone's sigh
Cause someone's coming home
In hand a single rose
And that's the way this wheel keeps working now
That's the way this wheel keeps working now
John Mayer, Wheel
 (I know I already used this one, but I just keep coming around to the same theme)

38 Weeks: Pregnancy Meme

Bi-weekly Update:

How far along: 38 Weeks, 6 days. Super late.. sorry I was holiday-ed

Baby is the size of a: GIANT baby. Seriously I think this kid is 20 pounds, judging from the weight in my pelvis. The websites tell me baby is the size of a leek and 6.5 pounds. And will be the size of a mini-watermelon tomorrow at 39 weeks. Mini my ass... 
Total weight gain: Up 21 pounds from lightest, 17 overall.

Maternity clothes:  Yeah.. And now I have nursing stuff.

Stretch marks: Still none. So far this is the most surprising part of pregnancy.

Sleep: Basically this is just getting worse. Christmas eve I slept may be an hour.
Best moment since last update: I'M DONE AT THE OFFICE. wooo-hoooo. I finished at 38 weeks exactly. Still working from home, but that's fine, we're off for the week between Christmas and New Year's.

Miss anything: Harpoon Winter Warmer. I can't wait to tuck into one of those bad boys post baby.

Movement: Starting to decrease. Baby is way low in my pelvis and we're both very cramped.

Food cravings: This just didn't happen for me. I really dislike eating, to be honest. I wish I was one of those ladies who wanted crazy stuff, but I just don't.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not at the moment actually :)

Have you started to show yet: hahaha oh yes

Sex: 1 week to go (give or take) for the big reveal!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH

Labor signs: At my appointment on Tuesday (38w4d) I was 2cm, baby was "locked and loaded" and I was thinned out. Didn't ask for specifics. It HURT. I was not a fan of that feeling up.

Belly button in or out: Still in, still odd and stretched.

Wedding rings on or off: Wedding rings are on, but my claddagh ring is off. I bent it years ago and it just fit too tightly with the tiny bit of swelling I have. 

Happy or moody most of the time: Excited!

Looking forward to: HAVING A BABY! Come on... !!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wrapping It Up

This is the week I've been waiting for.

A week from now, I will be free from office life for about 3.5 months. I spent today wrapping up some work and hanging out in my bed. I am just so tired and uncomfortable. Really, this isn't for the faint of heart. Baby is BIG and heavy at this point, I think we're both uncomfortable and cramped. Baby squirms around in there like I do when I'm trying to get to sleep, side to side, wiggle wiggle. I must say, it's quite the bonding experience. But please baby, get into my pelvis.

I'm 37 weeks today, "early term", whatever that means. I'm holding out until 42 weeks if baby doesn't come on his or her own. That's still 5 weeks.. that sounds unbearable but it's what both my mom and my MIL when through (both went into labor naturally at 42 weeks). I have not dropped. I am not seeing any labor signs. Just hanging tough.

The trim has been completed in the living room, yay. We are puttying holes this weekend and painting early next week. With a little luck, I can bring in my couch and a Christmas tree middle of next week.

Here I am, waiting and trying to wrap up my pre-baby life.

Monday, December 9, 2013

36 Weeks: Pregnancy Meme

Bi-weekly Update:

How far along: 36 Weeks, 3 days. Just Keep Swimming....

Baby is the size of a: head of romaine lettuce. A HARD, jointed head of romaine lettuce. My belly is really uncomfortable, it appears baby has no where to go but out. I'm getting pointy.
Total weight gain: Apparently I gained 5 pounds last week? 23 from nadir, 17 from start of pregnancy. I think this might go down tomorrow after I chug some prune juice today.
ETA- appears to have been a fluke up 1 pound since last check in (so down 4 from Monday) 19 from nadir, 13 total.

Maternity clothes:  Yeah.. I am getting a bit of a breeze under some of my maternity shirts. Giant baby.

Stretch marks: None yet, knock on wood.

Sleep: I feel like  the Barenaked Ladies are singing their song "Who Needs Sleep" to me:
Who needs sleep? Well you're never gonna get it
Who needs sleep? Tell me what's that for?
Who needs sleep? Be happy with what you're getting there's a guy been awak since the second world-war

Best moment since last update: I did baby's laundry! Getting closer to a real baby...

Miss anything: Comfort. I really miss just sitting still. As soon as I relax, my legs get restless. Also, I miss eating full meals. Whenever I do, I get horrible heartburn and reflux.
(NOTE from the great re-post re-read (10/30/14) HAHAHAHAHAHA I missed sitting still THEN)

Movement: Yes! It can hurt sometimes, but I really love it. It is one of the few things about pregnancy I really do feel lucky I get to experience (aside from my own genetic child, that goes without saying)

Food cravings: Not really.

Anything making you queasy or sick: I was really sick after a SALAD the other day... a salad. I just can't be full, that's the biggest sick trigger.

Have you started to show yet: Hugely, I am told you can't tell I'm pregnant from behind though. I wore my old pre-pregnancy pants with a belly band yesterday (I did baby's laundry but not my own). They still fit in thighs and bum :)

Sex: 4 weeks to go (give or take) for the big reveal!!!!! And then.. sexy time with hubby :)

Labor signs: I don't think so.

Belly button in or out: Still in, but gross. I wish it would pop.. right now it is just a long crank-mouth looking thing- like this \ only rotated 90 degrees.

Wedding rings on or off: On, no swelling at all, knock on wood.
Happy or moody most of the time: Stressed. Really stressed.

Looking forward to: 7 more work days and then leave starts. Also, HAVING A BABY! Holy crap.

Thought this was funny. See that black spot? It's a poppy seed- aka how big take two was when I found out I was expecting. Big change, eh?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Labor and Delivery Tour

At 34 weeks 2 days (about a week ago) hub and I took the L&D tour.

You're "supposed" to do this at the start of the 3rd trimester, since that's when babies are viable, and 28 weeks is my hospital's delivery limit. We were putting it off because we put everything baby related off.

At 32 weeks my midwife had a come to Jesus talk with me and recommended I get on taking these classes. So I have a breastfeeding class on Wednesday and we finally did our hospital tour.

We are so not ready for this.

We did the tour with another couple. They we there much earlier than us (we arrived a minute or two before start time). As they waited, they were making lists of questions for the nurse giving the tour. Hub and I were discussing how odd it was that the signs were first in English, then Russian (or some off-shoot the lettering was Cyrillic) then Spanish. We were trying to figure out the ethnic make-up of the community. No. I'm not kidding.

So eventually it's time for the tour. We head up to L&D, which is were we've had all of our ultrasounds for this pregnancy, easy enough. We met with a nice nurse who took us into one of the empty labor rooms. They are very big and comfortable looking. She went through some procedures and asked us if we had any questions. Hub and I didn't, but this other couple sure did.

How many anesthesiologists are on at any given time?
How many nurses are on duty usually? 
How many nurses per patient?
How often are both ORs in use?

On and on. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining that they asked.. I just felt like a bad parent. Is it wrong that I assume that a major L&D hospital (with a Level III NICU) in a major city can handle birthing babies? I mean, really, I'm more concerned about the things you really can't ask in front of normal people:

What's your procedure in the event of a still birth?
How many babies have you personally had die in the delivery process?
What is the anecdotal rate of birth-surprise birth defects?

You know, all the crazy BLM questions.

We kept our mouths shut, eventually joking that we were just winging it.

The nurse showed us some of their equipment, including the monitoring available to the nurses for the laboring mom's on the floor. Turns out there were two women pushing while we were there. As we were leaving to head to look at the OR, we heard one of the baby's first cry. I looked over to hub, who was as white as a sheet.

At the OR it was my turn to turn white. A healthy baby is my main goal and focus, but if I could have that AND avoid a C-section I would be pretty happy. Surgery usually takes 1.5 hours and you can't hold your baby (though dad can hold baby next to you). Let's recap- You're AWAKE in an OR for 1.5 hours while they reassemble your organs as you wait to hold your baby. No thanks. Please.

We went to the floor where we'll stay after birth, and talked about the room situation. It is what you expect and all rather boring. We went to leave, we passed the nursery, two tiny babies were hanging out in there, all wrapped up. Hub BOLTED for the doors. It was like he thought one would glom onto him and he would be stuck with it. When he was safely outside (after be scolded for running from pregnant wife by some lady) he asked "Is there something wrong with those babies? Why are they so small? UMMM that's how they come, hub.

Poor Take Two. What bad parents.

(Note from the great re-post re-read: The room that we had our L&D tour in was the MY room- the room bub was born in!)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

34 Weeks: Pregnancy Meme

Bi-weekly Update:

How far along: 34 Weeks, 2 days. Holy Crow.

Baby is the size of a: Cantaloupe. I feel HUGE. Also I feel a lot of pressure and BH contractions.. I'm a little worried. A Cantaloupe is big, but not quite big enough to be born.

Total weight gain: At last update, 2 weeks ago, I was up 15 from nadir, 9-ish from start of pregnancy. Now I am up another 2pounds- . 17 from nadir, 11-ish from start, I'd like to be closer to the .5 than the 1 of the gain .5 to 1 pound a week, but what can you do?

Maternity clothes:  Even they are starting to look a little pulled. Good grief.

Stretch marks: Nope, so far my last 2 posts about impending stretch marks were false alarms.

Sleep: I've resorted to an occasional (doctor approved) 1/2 benedryl for sleep. I can't get to sleep with the restless legs. It's awful.

Best moment since last update: So many good things! Parents home, shower happened, house is progressing!

Miss anything: I saw Harpoon Winter Warmer for sale at the hockey game last night. I nearly cried.

Movement: Yes, by far the best (only) good part of pregnancy.

Food cravings: Not really... except for the afternoon I drank a quart of milk. No wonder I'm gaining weight.

Anything making you queasy or sick: yes, anything fired, rich or spicy. Also water, because it gives me heartburn. AWESOME

Have you started to show yet: Giant Baby.

Sex: 6 weeks to go (give or take) for the big reveal!!!!!

Labor signs: ummm so about that. Contractions when walking around are normal (BH), but I'm also getting increase in discharge- not bloody, but increasing. Hoping this is not the start of a slow buildup.

Belly button in or out: Still in, but shallow and stretched.

Wedding rings on or off: On, no swelling at all, knock on wood.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy! and crazed. SO BUSY.

Looking forward to: Thanksgiving and 4.5 glorious days off of work. Baby related? Getting the baby's room situated, it's a mess from the shower gifts at the moment

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I'm So Excited

So, we had our baby shower on Sunday. I hardly freaked out at all when we were there. I did however, freak out after.

We're having a baby... in 6 weeks. I. HAVE. SO. MUCH. TO. DO.

First the shower: It was lovely.

I am very lucky and have wonderful friends and family. They apparently aren't that awesome at RSVPing, because there were more people there than were planned for, but it was all fine in the end.

There was a duck theme, because I love ducks, and they really are an excellent neutral-baby item. The cake was made by the 19 year-old neighbor of a friend of mine. Seriously, it was awesome:


It was held in a local bar/restaurant/function space and my mom and friends did an awesome job setting up:

One of my best out of town college friends was about to make it all the way from Pennsylvania, which meant all but one of the "BU Girls" were together again- first time since my wedding! (And come to think of it, the same girl was missing then too.. Ashley- when I was getting married it was her first week of Law School and now she is a lawyer in LA)

We got so much stuff, nearly everything off our registry and a whole basket of books! The opening of everything took forever and was a little overwhelming.

My BFF from highschool's dad is a carpenter and likes to make projects. He made us this scrabble board and our guests placed blocks into baby-themed words it was adorable.

Here are a few random shots of the day:

This says "I'm adorable" so hub thought it was for him

As you can see, it was great.

I did come home and lose it. I have so much to do. So much. I just don't know how we're going to be prepared for this little one. I already feel like I am doing him or her such a disservice. We are still renovating, and our energy (really hub's energy, I have no energy) has gone to that. This is the baby's room as of right now.

I am too afraid to do laundry for the baby, to buy decor and really settle into the thought that I am going to be a mom. I KNOW I have to come to terms with it, but I'm just not there. And I need to get there.. within the next 6 weeks.

I'm so excited
I'm so scared. 
Jessie Spano.. and you thought it was going to be "and I just can't hide it"

Monday, November 11, 2013

32 Weeks: Pregnancy Meme

Bi-weekly Update:

How far along: 32 Weeks, 2 days. Somehow it just hit me that I should have only 3 of these left, 34, 36 and 38. In theory 40 is delivery day right? A girl can dream....

Baby is the size of a: Squash! I don't like eating squash AT ALL.  The Internet tells me baby should be between 2.5- 3.8 lbs... Since baby was 2.14 at week 28 I'm thinking baby is on the big side if the scale. 

Total weight gain: At last update, 2 weeks ago, I was up 14 from nadir, 8-ish from start of pregnancy. Now I am up another pound. Slow and steady. If I can keep .5 a week, I'll Ganesh about 20 total... Which is fine by me. 

Maternity clothes: You know it. 

Stretch marks: Last time was a false alarm, but I swear I saw 3 new ones consorting with a few on my hip that appeared in puberty. The are inconspicuous enough, so it's fine by me at this point. 

Sleep: What I wouldn't give for a good sleep......

Best moment since last update: I got my first baby present from the registry!! My aunt (dad's sister) sent me the Ergo carrier. I am so excited!!! 

Miss anything: Being comfortable and sex. Just putting it out there. 

Movement: Yep, a lot. Having fun with guess the body part!

Food cravings: I had buffalo chicken dip for dinner Sunday :( gross, but yummy. 

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still getting sick at least twice a week. 

Have you started to show yet: Starting to get comments like "you won't make it to your due date." Apparently giant baby is starting to become giant mom

Sex: 8 weeks to go (give or take) for the big reveal

Labor signs: No, but I'm going to pack a bag soon

Belly button in or out: Still in, but shallow and stretched.

Wedding rings on or off: On, no swelling at all, knock on wood.
Happy or moody most of the time: Sick, so not so happy at the moment

Looking forward to: My shower and my parents coming home from vacation. Parents are back tomorrow and shower is Sunday!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Just a Little Bit

Just a Little Bit: Updates from around my life for your Friday afternoon.

I am starting to get excited for baby's entrance. Not just "yeah, it's exciting to have a baby on the way but.... but... but" but actually EXCITED! Every so often I have this moment where I can feel a part of the Take Two-- Back? Bum? as it presses into me and I can sort of pat baby and it hits me that this is a real baby. My real baby. The surrealness of this whole situation lifts for just an instance and I get a little glimpse of what it might have been like to do this with Blue Sunday.

Fall is here: Halloween has passed and Thanksgiving is on it's way. Take Two is coming in less than 3 months, even if I go the allowed 2 weeks overdue. I'm 9 weeks- single digits!- from due date. The weather is a little warm for it to feel like it's nearly winter, but it's coming. Last year Halloween was really hard and I was dreading the upcoming holiday season.  This year, I can't wait.. and I feel like a traitor for it.

While on traitorous thoughts: JAM is pregnant and due the first week of March. His sister (who married a good friend of ours- I think I'll call him Officer Friendly) is also pregnant and due in mid April. Last night we went to JAM's for a Reality TV themed Halloween party (Hub and I were 16 and pregnant), Officer Friendly was there and we were all talking about the impending baby boom. 3 babies in just over 3 months- the men have been friends since they were little. I found myself thinking how awesome and fun this will be- built in mom friends, play dates and parenting support. 3 couples transitioning at the same moment. Not to mention College Friend and Ray who have just welcomed little ones. Then I felt just awful. Blue Sunday would have been born at a time when we were far and away the only one's trying. Now, with an 18 month old we should just be having friends join us in the parenting world. May be we'd be looking at number 2. That wouldn't have been bad, or less fun. Just different.. right? Being happy to have friends join us in parenting doesn't mean I wouldn't have been happy if we had Blue Sunday here with us. I felt guilty anyway.

Little Bit More:

Today is the birth date of a little boy, Leo. He was freed by TFMR a year ago. His mom is now cautiously, happily expecting twin girls. Spare a thought for her today- it is so hard to mark these anniversaries. (NOTE from the great re-post: These little girls are here and thriving :) )

Just a little
Just a little bit
Little bit more
Just a little bit  

Gina G, Just a little bit 

Monday, October 28, 2013

30 weeks: Pregnancy meme

Bi-weekly Update:

How far along: 30 Weeks, 3 days. Can you believe it? (In the Joe Castiglione voice)

Baby is the size of a:  Head of Cabbage. Yum... the problem with comparing your child with food.. sometimes it makes you hungry.
Total weight gain: Up 14, so 3 more pounds in the last 2 weeks. I really haven't changed my eating habits at all!
Maternity clothes: You know it. 
Stretch marks: May beeeeee... saw something this morning. Not sure if it was a sleep line or a stretch mark. I am thinking sleep line because it faded away when I checked a minute ago.. but it's in different light now.
Sleep: Harder to get to and stay asleep. I'm sore and restless
Best moment since last update: Cheating and looking at my registry, a few things have been purchased! SO exciting.
Miss anything: Sleep; hot chocolate and Baily's
Movement: Yep, a lot. I get nervous when I don't feel baby now. Once in awhile it hurts now.
Food cravings: Salty! yummmm salt. Not swollen so I'm calling it ok
Anything making you queasy or sick: Yes, but it's random. I threw up my whole dinner the other night :(
Have you started to show yet: Yes- a lot.
Sex: 10 weeks to go (give or take) for the big reveal

Labor signs: No, but I'm going to pack a bag soon
Belly button in or out: Still in, but shallow and stretched.

Wedding rings on or off: On, no swelling at all, knock on wood.
Happy or moody most of the time: Sick, so not so happy at the moment
Looking forward to: My shower and my parents coming home from vacation. I don't like that they're away :(

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

28 Weeks: Pregnancy Meme

Bi-weekly Update:

How far along: 28 Weeks, 5 days: I know I'm late.. I was waiting on our growth scan- which was yesterday :)

Baby is the size of an: Eggplant per the baby sites, but as of yesterday baby was 2lbs 14oz... big and measuring ahead! 2.91lbs is the average for 30 weeks!
Total weight gain: Up 11, that's 4 pounds in 2.5 weeks. Yikes. Be careful what you wish for.
Maternity clothes: You know it. 
Stretch marks: None yet.. hoping to stay that way
Sleep: Harder to get to and stay asleep. I'm sore and restless
Best moment since last update: Seeing baby on the scan- all looking good :)
Miss anything: Sleep
Movement: Yep, a lot. I get nervous when I don't feel baby now.
Food cravings: No cravings. Sometimes I'm hungry, other times not so much. I still am throwing up occasionally. This will never change I think.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Yes, but it's random.
Have you started to show yet: Yes
Sex: I almost asked yesterday, happy I didn't.. now hub would be mad if we found out. Trying to decide how we want to be told- by the midwife? Will hub peak and tell me? Should I look and tell him? Look together? EXCITING

Labor signs: No, but I have hub on the "you better answer your phone in case I'm in labor" leash.
Belly button in or out: Still in, but shallow and stretched.

Wedding rings on or off: On, no swelling at all, knock on wood.
Happy or moody most of the time: Most of the time I'm just emotional.. I cry at everything.
Looking forward to: My shower? I'll be 33 weeks and a few days then. I've hit the end of the micro preemie fears. Next goal is now 32 weeks when the baby would no longer be "very premature".

Per this graphic from the BJM paper "Prediction of survival for preterm births by weight and gestational age: retrospective population based study" with my 1304gram 29(ish) week baby, we're looking at a 90% survival rate, at 32 weeks, even if baby doesn't gain an ounce (in theory) survival is at 99%. CRAZY.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 15th

It's pregnancy and infant loss awareness day.

Remembering today my friends and family members who have experienced loss and their babies along with my Blue Sunday. 

Especially for JAM and their baby Cory Alex, and all others on their first Remembrance Day. I am happy to say, JAM are now 20 weeks with a healthy little one on the way! 

This is my bamboo plant, sent to me with much love by my army wife family. I'll post a pic of it now, once I'm home. It's still thriving and reminding me daily that there is life after loss. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

On (My) Loss: Why the "pain olympics" are insane- and harmful

It is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month here in the USA.

I've decided against any of the memorial, month-long challenges for the sake of my dwindling sanity, but I can't let it pass saying nothing. What I'm saying though, might not conform.

I'll start this way: I was reading an online message board and there was a poll "Which is worse, to lose your spouse or your child". This question blew my mind. First, it is totally wrong-thinking. You can't compare losing your spouse to losing your child. They are totally different. It's like asking: "would you rather be stranded in outer space or lose your limbs". They aren't comparable in any real way. Apples and Boats. A child is a part of you, figuratively and literally, your spouse is (ideally) your best friend, lover, co-parent and partner. What "lose your child " referred to in this question was first trimester pregnancy loss. I was blown away by the results:

* I am fortunate enough to  have had my hub return home safely from a war zone. Before getting him back, I contemplated really losing him. I don't know what it would be like, but I have had to plan his funeral.

The results were (to me) stunning:

Which would be worse
Loss of a husband
Lose of a child
Both as devastating
Total Votes: 220

Hub and I had a series of very serious conversations at the start of our TTC journey, one of which was "If it is a save mom or save the baby" situation in the birth room, what are we going to do. The answer was save me.

It was a hard decision to come to, but at the end of the day, my hub said he couldn't go on without me, raising a baby that took my place in the world. It would have been a Pyrrhic victory on my part- have a child I can never live in the same world as. We can always try again, we thought.

As it turns out, it was never that easy. We had our own bout of wrong thinking. I miss my baby. I still miss Blue Sunday. Take Two is not Blue Sunday, and never will be. You can't just "try again". That said.... trading my spouse of (then) five years, my best friend and partner of 12 for my unborn baby....it's an impossible choice.

Luckily, usually you don't get to choose, not in any real way. This person or that one? This disease or that accident? Fast or slow? Sooner or later? Early miscarriage, late miscarriage or infant loss? Sure, we "chose" to let Blue Sunday go, but only because that was inevitable. If I could have bestowed on my child good health, no matter the material cost, it would have been done.

Even choosing to let Blue Sunday go, it hurt. Horribly. If (please no) something were to happen where hub would really need to chose between Take Two and me at the end of pregnancy, I don't know what he'd chose. I don't know if his decision would change after we get to know the baby for days, weeks or years.

It would been horrible for him either way.

This was all to come to what I wanted to say: I always felt out of step with the loss community. I lost my Blue Sunday, that is unquestionably true. However, I had the ability to control the situation an iota. Some don't think TFMR moms "count".

In some small way I had a choice, a choice to lose my child, and I chose to let Blue Sunday go.
It was terrible none-the-less.

I was in a situation where some women would chose to give the life of the person they married and started a family with rather than live through.

I am still a loss mom.

I belong.

Miscarriage is a horrible, awful experience. I mourned my own miscarriage, though the pregnancy was woefully timed. I experienced a TFMR and mourned that as well. I don't think it is a worthy exercise to play which is worse. I think there are levels of bad in this situation, but it doesn't really matter what I think. Everyone who is hurting deserves to feel that hurt is acknowledged and valid. If you lost a pregnancy at 3weeks and 5days there is no reason you don't belong as much as I do, or a full term still birth mom does. Life doesn't often let us choose how, who and when we lose/ experience loss- for those of us who have been in that situation, it is heartbreaking none-the-less.

Please remember those who terminated for what they deemed as necessity on these loss days. It is heartbreaking for us, too. No one benefits when we compare loss and keep score of what is worse. It all sucks.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Empty Room- An Update

I wrote this post back in March- about a month before we conceived Take Two.

You should go ahead and read it so that I don't have to do a re-hash. I'll wait....

So the cycle after removing that condom tin from my walls, I was pregnant. Coincidence? Most definitely, but an intriguing one, right? Still, progress in that room was moving at a glacial pace, even as pregnancy progressed. Walls were down the snow hindering our rubble removal melted and little changed. Hub didn't really have the heart to start on the room in earnest. There was always an excuse, a more pressing project, or just one more appointment-hurdle to jump before we could 'really start'.

Then all the excuses started melting away: Confirmation it was just one baby, passing the NT scan (minus Next Tuesday being herself), clear Panorama test, crossing into the 'safe' zone of the second trimester,and then  finally the clear anatomy scan. Though all these hurdles, we slowly, slowly worked on the room. Dry wall went up, was tapped and mudded, was primed and painted. The floors were finished, the trim cut, hung, primed and painted. Finally this weekend the finishing touches are being made- new doors, last touch-up coat of paint, new ceiling lamp fixture.

Oh yeah.. and this....

There is a crib in what was the nursery, and then the cats' room, and then the empty room... and now again is finally the nursery.

This is hub, transitioning to daddy....

It's all so weird.

(NOTE from the great re-posting re-read: This made me cry. It's been so long since I'd thought about that room as anything but Bub's room. It was such a painful room.. and now holds some of my happiest moments of the day)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


I am so overwhelmed.

I know people say this all the time, but I mean I am overwhelmed in a chronically, almost debilitating way.
This isn't: OMG I have 2 finals, Christmas shopping and family drama to deal with.
This is: OMG my entire life is about to change while simultaneously falling apart!

I am nearly crying at my desk because I am interviewing people to fill in for me over my leave and I don't want either of them to be disappointed. Seriously.

When I get overwhelmed I do this really maladaptive thing where I take on more new tasks so that I can accomplish something I want to get done. Like right now, I am writing a new blog post instead of choosing a candidate, answering e-mails, registering for baby stuff, dealing with finances and scheduling the rest of my day. On top of that behavior, I also become a flighty, unfocused space cadet. Essentially, I become the stereotypical blonde that I have never been. I have TWO emails open, this post and three articles I am "reading".

I thought may be addressing all the reasons I'm stressed will help. I like seeing things in lists. So here you are- my life:

1) Construction Destruction- My house is under serious renovation. There is no living room, hallway, walls or ceiling in the stair way or upstairs foyer. All those places are studs and flooring. Really, that's it. The living room windows will take another week to come in, the eletrician needs another 5 days or so and we need to insulate. THEN we can hire a dry-waller. This leads to issue 2.

2) Our Government Sucks Balls- I'm from the USA (obviously?) and not especially political (NOTE from the great re-posting: Bald-faced lie. I am very political- I just hate all of them). I really don't like either party, but I'm not apathetic by any means. I get that people who go into politics are a type- egocentric, right-fighters, have strongly held beliefs. Those attributes don't make compromise, humility and working together very easy... but that's their job. Because they can't do their job, my hub doesn't have drill this month- that's about 500$- also known about the remainder due to the electrician. We are fortunate that because hub was deployed the government pays him to go to school. I'm not saying this is something that we need to have provided to us as a vet family, but it is something that is 1) offered and 2) promised. They are now saying that GI Bill benefits will continued to be paid but- oops- they might not actually have the cash on hand to pay it.... so it won't be paid, right? That's 1300.... also know as about what we will owe a dry-waller. I am reasonably sure this means DIY construction completion.. at least we gain a weekend..?

3) Work Does Too- I have super awesome peers. Everything else is a nightmare. I am immersed in a project that is going to take about 8 hours of work.. that I KNOW no one is going to look at. It is a "need to have it now" emergency to produce it. Are we aware of #2? The reason for #2 is a government shutdown. This includes Federal Drug Regulation authorities. There is no one to process new trials IF we decided to do one based on the work I'm doing that no one is going to look at anyways. Yesterday we FedEx'ed something to the government. it was closed and Fed-Ex returned to sender. Almost funny.. almost. My bonus is tied to meeting certain deadlines as a company.. getting this in was one of them. We have now missed the goal.

4) Apparently I Might Get a Baby... And That Means A LOT of Planning- This is a great news/ slightly stressful news situation. Overall this a totally wonderful, awesome, fantastic things. Clearly. That said, after having a loss, and being so close and losing it all, it's hard to be purely excited. There is always the fear of something awful happening again.I focus on the small details.. and it is making me crazy. I am now stuck in a state of mild panic- I want to plan the little details (curtain color? rug? stroller type?) but I'm too afraid of hexing my good luck thus far.

Monday, September 30, 2013

26 weeks: Pregnacy Meme

Bi-weekly Update:

How far along: 26 Weeks, 3 days
Baby is the size of an:  A head of lettuce

Total weight gain: Up 7 and breaking even with my original weight!
Maternity clothes: You know it.
Stretch marks: None yet.. hoping to stay that way
Sleep: Hard to get to sleep. I'm sore and restless
Best moment since last update: Less than 100 days to go.. crazy!
Miss anything: Just the usual
Movement: Yep, a lot. Now I'm starting to get nervous if I DON'T feel movemnet.. if it's not one thing, it's the other.
Food cravings: No cravings. Sometimes I'm hungry, other times not so much. I still am throwing up occasionally. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: Yes, but it's random.
Have you started to show yet: Yes
Sex: Not finding out about baby, trying to re-kindle a sex life of my very own.

Labor signs: Not until at least 37 weeks please.
Belly button in or out: Still weird but in. It's getting out of shape.. I don't like it

Wedding rings on or off: Off today.. but it's because I forgot to put them back on after house work yesterday. By house work, I mean painting, pulling out plaster and lathe and pulling out 1000s of nails.. not laundry and dishes. More in a later post
Happy or moody most of the time: Emotional. Happy, scared, tired, crying, mostly overwhelmed. I have no living room, no entryway, no hall ways (up or down) and no stairway walls. STRESSFUL
Looking forward to: Getting to the point that we would unquestionably use available medical intervention if the baby was born. 2 weeks to go!!!!!!!! It looks like healthy survival rates are about equal between 26 and 28 weeks (28 and 30 weeks from LMP, which is how  measure it.. so by this graphic I'm 24 weeks). Before then, we would determine interventions based on brain, lung, intestinal function etc.


Weeks Survival Long Term
  <23 <5% 70%   24 30% 55%   25 60% 40%   26 85% 20+%   27 90% 20+%   28 >90% <20% - See more at: http://www.babymed.com/blogs/dramos/preterm-birth-survival-and-disability-data#sthash.44LRI8qC.dpuf

Friday, September 27, 2013

Double Digits and Denial

So I've been quite. I am really, deeply in denial.

I can't believe that I'm almost into my third trimester.

I can't believe I have 12 weeks left of work before leave.

I can't believe I have less than 100 days to go in this pregnancy.

I still can't believe what happened to Blue Sunday. I acknowledge that things happened, but I can't get to the place where I can believe that it all happened to me. Is that how this pregnancy/ baby thing is going to be? Will I ever accept that I am having/ have had (hopefully!) a baby?

I know that Mrs. Wonderful said she is still taken aback by what happened to her daughter and that she now has a son. He'll be turning one right around when Take Two is due. This isn't a new thing for her anymore.

I am still consumed with what-ifs. I am still terrified that baby will be born and something will be horribly wrong. It happens all the time. We (BLMs) aren't excluded from this. I know a TFMR mom whose rainbow baby died after birth, an issue diagnosed in utero. I know another whose baby was just born ill after a 'perfect' pregnancy.

It is a lie that a pregnancy after a loss fixes nothing. It made my loss easier to bear. However, it didn't fix everything. We shouldn't overlook that either.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

24 Weeks and an Update on Baby Ray

Update on Ray's baby:

Here, Healthy and Beautiful.

No issues, though small at 5lb 9oz.

Hopefully, I make a post with the same first 4 words about myself in a few months.

Bi-weekly Update:

How far along: 24 Weeks, 2 days
Baby is the size of an:  An ear of corn!

Total weight gain: Up 5! That's from my lowest weight, not my starting point. From starting point I'm down only 1 pound.
Maternity clothes: You know it. I have to wear hub's clothes to bed :/
Stretch marks: I think may be one is starting on my hip, but it could be a red mark from leaning against something, or an old one
Sleep: Up 1-2 times a night to pee, but OK otherwise
Best moment since last update: Viability! And adding 2-3% of survival likelihood every day
Miss anything: Sam Adams Oktoberfest. The Winter Sam is my least favorite of all Sam beers.. I am pretty sad I'm coming back into drinking on that one. There is a Harpoon Winterwarmer in my future though.
Movement: Yep, a lot. I can even see it now!
Food cravings: I don't hate food as much as I did, but I don't have much of an appetite
Anything making you queasy or sick: Anything fried or spicy.. so everything
Have you started to show yet: Yes
Sex: None for me, thanks.
Labor signs: Not until at least 37 weeks please.
Belly button in or out: Still weird but in

Wedding rings on or off: On, I really hope they remain so.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy, Happy.. and tired
Looking forward to: Getting to the point that we would actually resuscitate if the baby was born. It depends on the baby of course, but this date is more like 28 weeks than the 24 of viability.