Thursday, December 12, 2013

The House - Top Ten

When we began planning the new house, there were things that stood out to me that I was really excited to have.  I thought a few keys things were on top of my list, but as we get closer (like preparing to move in), it seems like EVERYTHING is exciting.  So here's my top ten in no particular order.

1. Parking in the garage! - We currently have a garage, in fact, it is considered a two car garage, but we have so much stuff that I can't park in it.  I can't wait to park in the garage so that on days it's raining, I don't have to worry with getting soaked (I don't use umbrellas...I lose them).  Or when it's cold and there's frost on the window, which is the morning I'm running late and do not have time to let the car warm up/defrost the windshield.  Or the summer mornings when the windows are foggy, and you have to use windshield wiper fluid constantly to remove the fog and be able to drive. Or when the kid refuses to go inside, I can at least contain him in the garage instead of running into the street.  The street would be too far away, so how about Aidan running to the tractor or boat that's parked two football fields away.  Though the containment only lasts if Aidan cannot reach the garage door button. Oy, I'm sure he can't wait to learn where it's located!

Cubbies...almost complete when
I took the picture a week ago
2. The Mud "Room" - Okay, so it's two cubbies near the entrance to the garage, but it's where the boys can (hopefully) store their coats, shoes, and backpacks.  No searching for these items constantly wondering where Aidan took his shoes off and hid them (again, hopefully).

3. TWO Washers and TWO Dryers - Don't you hate it when you get into the laundry groove, and when you finish putting away one load, you have to wait for the second load to dry? And the third load to finish washing?  And the forth load is on standby?  Seriously, I CANNOT WAIT until I can wash two loads of laundry at once, and get the folding and laundry putting away in a timely manner.   I plan my days around the laundry being dry because I want to take clothes out as soon as they are done to prevent wrinkles...and redrying a load of laundry is wasteful.  So yes, this mom is excited for double the work power in the laundry room.

4. Storage - We have so many cabinets and closets, I'm excited to have a place to hide stuff.  In fact, I may need to buy stuff to fill those storage places.  I mean, how can I let it set empty?  For example, in the breakfest nook, we have a built in bench that the top lifts up and there's tons of empty space.  I'm thinking I'll store the kids art supplies and board games here.  I cannot wait until playing board games on the weekend is what the kids look forward to doing.  Between the boys' rooms there are built in book shelves.  I plan on storing the boys' books, common toys, and decorative baby keepsakes here. In our bathroom, there is a huge linen closet....I don't think we have enough towels, wash clothes, and bed sheets to fill this closet, so who knows what else I will find to store in it.  Maybe I can hide laundry baskets full of dirty linens...Speaking of laundry, the laundry room (that I love) has cabinets and shelves galore.  I guess I'll need to stock up on TP and laundry detergent to fill the shelves, I mean, they can't possibly sit empty!  Though I'll also need to find stuff to store in the pedestals below the washers and dryers.  What a challenge I have in store.

5. The Kitchen - We will have a large kitchen, or at least I consider it large especially compared to our current kitchen.  I have an island - I have always wanted an island.  The island will be great prep space, and I can foresee lots of mixing for baked goods happening here. I have a double oven, and over it is a REAL vent.  The vent is quiet, more stupid microwave vent that recycles the air right back in your face.  But back to the oven; I'm excited that I can make small meals that need something put in the oven and NOT heat up the entire oven to do so.  I look forward to saving toaster oven, don't be surprised if you collect dust when we move to the new house. Speaking of small appliances, we will have an appliance garage, thanks to a suggestion by a friend.  All the (useful) small appliances can be conveniently stored on the counter for easy access, but out of sight.  Yup, there's an electrical outlet so everything stays hooked up.  Pull it out, use it, push it back - now you see it, now you don't!  We'll have plenty of counterspace, too.  Instead of fighting to find room when we have people over, there will be plenty of room to put the food out without reaching over three dishes to get to the one you want.  More counterspace usually means more junk piles up, though...

6. The Master Shower - We opted to not have a bath tub in the master bath.  Call us crazy, but the one we currently have is a glorified laundry basket. Seriously, dirty towels pile up in the master bath tub until it's laundry day.  We have used the bath maybe five times a year, and the most frequent user lately has been Aidan.  He likes to play in the bath tub on days we can't go swimming.  So in the new house, we will have a larger shower equipped with two shower heads and a nice bench seat.  The only question is - where do we put the dirty towels?

7. The Views - Sorry neighbors, I like ya, but I'd rather stare out and see beautiful trees, wildlife, and a running creek.  We are country folks, and we look forward to the privacy and sitting on our back porch looking towards the creek.  I foresee many mornings and evenings spent on the back porch just taking in the beauty of the outdoors while watching our boys play.

8. Exercise Room - I recently acquired a barely used elliptical, and I know I will love the convenience of being able to work out at home.  No worrying with gym hours/closures or needing someone to sit in my house while the boys nap, and I work out.  

9. The Dogs' Room - We have a sun room that is intended for our dogs, and unfortunately, we will only have one dog when we move out to the house.  Therefore, Bo has his own room.  Bo will have a doggy door he can go in and out whenever he wants, and the room will have A/C and heat, so he will be one spoiled dog.  It will be nice to not be woken up at 2am to let Bo outside because he heard something...though at the same time, we might be woken by him howling at a squirrel or deer.  Here's hoping Bo can keep his common sense, hah.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Facebook Etiquette?

Sometimes, I wonder why there isn't a list of written etiquette rules for Facebook.  Sure, Facebook has a list of its own rules, but no where does it say you can't post a picture of your kid on the toilet.  I am a parent, I get it, you're proud of your kid.  Heck, we share when our kids first crawl, first walk, so why not first pee on a toilet? Hmmm, that's where I have to draw the line, and I hope you can too, so my news feed has less gag worthy posts.

This is all meant in fun, and obvisiously if you're redirected from Facebook to read my blog, we're still friends.  So I'm not upset, only asking you to reconsider some of the things you post.  For humanity's sake...

So here are my rules
  1. No pictures of people on toilets. No hungover adults hanging over a toilet, and no kids learning to use the toilet.  Embarrassing and inappropriate, plus there are creeps out there, so do you really want that picture available to people on the world wide web?  In addition, no status updates about your kiddos ability to use the toilet.  I scroll Facebook during lunch, I really don't need to read about "#2" while eating.
  2. Selfies - Okay, I get posting a picture of yourself wait, I don't get it, but I'll accept.  However, it's not okay to post multiple takes of one selfie and repeat this three times a day. You quickly earned yourself "hide from newsfeed".  If you feel you need to take this many selfies, at least, put it on InstaGram.
  3. Speaking of InstaGram, is it really necessary to post every picture on IG to Facebook?  Aren't most of your followers and friends the same?  I can understand every once and a while posting in both places, BUT EVERY PICTURE?
  4. Reposting/sharing every news article you see.  This is especially annoying if it's apparent you're not reading the links, only the title, therefore spreading rumors, misconceptions, and hoaxes. 
  5. Tons of political posts (thankfully not the season for an overload of these, but I can't NOT mention this) - limit yourself. Also see Etiquette Rule No. 4. Read them first - reliable source? Real article?
  6. Lovey dovey wall posts to your significant other.  Really...Facebook? Sure, it's your anniversary or some other special occasion is acceptable. But daily? No way. Pick up the phone and call them, leave a special note, or text the message. Facebook doesn't need to see this, and it really makes me wonder if you're hiding something.  Note: Hacked Facebook account posts are okay and funny.
  7. Extremely bad grammar in your status updates.  Before the popularity of smart phones, we had phones that made us hit a button three times for a "c" and a lot of abbreviations were used, such as "where r u?"  However, most people have smart phones OR are typing from a computer, so such short hand language is not acceptable.  You look like an idiot.  I know I make mistakes, but no one mistakenly writes "r" for "are". So SPELL IT OUT, please.
  8. Your status updates are littered with tons of foul language  - is it really necessary? I hope your momma isn't your friend on Facebook, how embarrassing!
  9. Constant "woe is me" and vague posts that really just seek attention.  If you need help, ASK FOR IT.  If not, quit the negativity and DO SOMETHING about it.
  10. Constant status updates. Please, limit yourself to three a day...and that is a lot in my book.  We don't need to know your every move.  If you can't help yourself, get a Twitter account, please.
  11. After perusing Facebook when I shared this blog's link, I found I had to add of dead animals.  That's cool that you hunt, my husband does, but do we need to see the bloody deer?! :/
So what are your rules/annoyances for Facebook? Am I violating one of your rules?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Owen's Second Month

I admitted I would be late with the monthly blogs, and I dare not disappoint...over a week late. While trying to soak up the cuddles and enjoy the last month of maternity leave, I didn't give much thought to the blog. Oh well.
So we took Owen to his two month appointment - 14 lb 3 oz and 24.5" long. He's 1/4" shorter but a pound heavier than Aidan was at his 2 month appointment.

Owen has done well with sleeping through the night, which makes the morning so much easier!  He also goes to sleep a lot easier than his brother...I'm sure that will change one day.

Owen also gave us lots of smiles and laughter this past month.  It's a wonderful thing to see him smile and laugh.

Aidan LOVES his baby Owen.  He loves to rock with him in the glider.  He loves to hold him, and he insists on giving Owen his pacifier if Owen is crying.  Aidan likes to help with diaper changes, and pets Owen's head while I am changing Owen.

So What We Learned about Owen:

  • My neighbor was successful with the pacifier, and ever since, Owen has liked the pacifier.  Whew, I didn't want to be a pacifier
  • He outgrew his swaddling blankets, and I forgot to order larger sizes, but Owen has transitioned well.
  • Tummy time isn't so bad
  • Owen really loves his sleep, whether it's at night or his daily naps, he sleeps well
  • Owen needs 6+ month clothes.  The boy is growing, and some of the clothes Aidan wore last year around the same time, Owen can't fit into.  
  • He likes the changing table.  He parties on the table just like Aidan did.
All About Mom

  •  I continued to walk/jog an average of 15 miles per week...and I still pee myself when I run. Oy
  • Mastitis sucks, but it wasn't the end of the world. 
  • Bad pit BO still lingers, so do the night sweats
  • My hemaglobin finally returned to a normal level.
  • Linea nigera line is still present.
  • I have 8 lbs to lose to get back to the pre Owen weight.
  • I have caught up on (new to me) television shows while cuddling with Owen.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dear Owen

Dear Owen,

As I stare at your face with tears streaming down mine, I wonder where time has gone.  It seems like yesterday I was crying when I met you for the first time.  Now I'm laying you in your crib and hoping to fall asleep in a bed that feels too far away from you.

I hope to nurse you every morning, even if that means you sleep less at night. I yearn for that opportunity, that contact, those smiles before I rush off to work.  Give me those moments where time seems to stand still, where I can hear your noises as you nurse, and hold you until you burp and fall back asleep.  I look forward to our early encounters, I know it will help me get through the day, especially over the next few weeks as we both transition to our new routine.

I'll miss our days of endless cuddles, but don't think I won't make up for lost cuddles on the weekends, so be prepared.  Be prepared for kisses on your cheeks and big smiles...and big tears.  I won't mean to wake you with my crying, but I can't hold back the emotion.  So please, just smile at me and know that you healed my aching heart.

I'll try not to pet your head too much -  I love your little peach fuzz.  And I know I'll stare at your photo every chance I get. I'll miss you so much, baby boy.

I can't remember what our family was like before you came; you complete us. I'll miss watching your big brother kiss you good bye and saying "I love you, baby Owen." before he goes to school. He absolutely adores you, and it makes my love even stronger for both of you.  I can't wait to see what best friends y'all become but at this moment, I want to freeze time.  Right now, I want Sunday to be every day and for you to stay my baby..though I do look forward to you growing up and all the great things you'll do.  It's just tonight, mom's heart aches, but I'll get through this with the strength of my boys.

I love you baby, Owen, I love you so much.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Three Quickies

Local Celebrity

So there was a little buzz in my friend's circle on Facebook and numerous texts about being a news celebrityYes, I was on the news, but it wasn't for anything good.  My car was broken into on the Saturday/Sunday that we change the time (DST).  Sometime between 11 PM and 5AM, someone pulled on my door handle, found it was unlocked, and proceeded to throw the contents of my car everywhere while looking for valuables.

Mind you, I always almost always lock my car doors.  I picked the one day to forget when someone decided to hit our neighborhood.  What did I lose? A Microsoft Zune, which apparently isn't manufactured anymore.  I also lost a little sense of security and felt my personal space had been violated.  My collection of ketchup packets was EVERYWHERE.  At least one didn't bust, that would have been quite the mess to clean up.  The worst part is I was trying to get two boys out the door to meet my dad, and I had to stop to clean up the car and try to contain my anger.  Yes, I left the door unlocked, but the criminals violated my space.  Oy, not a fun morning.
Current stockpile of ketchup in my console

But I did land myself on the news...and I was complimented for using proper grammar and having all of my teeth.  Well, it wasn't national news, people!  National news would have found the person who didn't complete middle school and only had four teeth...yes, they would become a YouTube sensation.

I did send the news crew away the first time since I was still sipping on coffee and waking up with my newborn.  I was in sweats, with the pockets of pants hanging out.  Not tv ready.  When they came back, I was at least in a t shirt and threw on some jeans. Video and Article

Maternity Leave

While recovering from giving birth and enjoying cuddles with my newborn, I also bonded with my couch.  Hey, Owen wanted to be held, so when I wasn't always staring at him, I was:
  • Started and finished Breaking Bad
  • Watched all the current episodes of Orange is the New Black
  • Caught up on Bones since I was a few seasons behind
  • Caught up on The Arrested Development since new episodes were on Netflix only
  • Watched all of the current episodes of The Walking Dead
  • Watched all the current episodes of Scandal
 But I didn't let my brain rot on entertaining TV only, I also read 10+ books, mostly James Patterson novels but I also caught up on the Game of Thrones series.

And to be somewhat productive, I began packing up our house...taking down personal photos and boxing up the stuff we can live without for a few months.  In addition, I took several loads to Goodwill.

Beyond the Gym

I let my membership expire because our new home will have a room we are making an exercise room.  We'll also have plenty of acres to walk/run/bike ride, and I would rather run outside than on a treadmill inside at least on the warm days.

So part of my challenge is finding ways to recreate the weight training I had access to at the gym.  For most arm exercises, weights should suffice, but legs are more difficult.  I can't own all the machines the gym had, and even a smith machine rack would take up too much precious floor space.

So free weights and resistance bands are key elements of my work out routine, but I will have to slowly acquire these things.  A general rule of thumb is a dumbbell will cost at least $1/lb, so to own two 10 lb dumb bells is at least $20.  So if I want 5lb, 8lb, 10lb, 12lb, 15lb and 20lb and 25lb sets, I'll need to shell out $200.  These weights are mostly for my then I need more resistance bands for my legs and the costs add up.

So creativity and variety are key.  Finding exercises that utilize the least amount of equipment is what I am looking for.  Body weight exercises...for that, I have found myself using my Wii and two games that are exercise related.  These help expand my knowledge base for exercises and their proper form.  I also throw in a third game for cardio because who wants to run/walk all the time?

In addition, I bought the original version of P90X on discount from  I hope to start the routine at the new house when I have a room where I can crank up the volume above a whisper and not risk waking anyone, especially the toddler types.

So I hope between the fitness books I have, the small amount of fitness equipment I have, and the fitness discs I bought, I can maintain my work out routine and not be bored or frustrated.  The only thing I will not be able to replace from the gym is the pool and being able to swim laps.  But I won't miss the people who don't wipe down equipment, hog the equipment, and broken "we're fixing this" sign posted for a month.  I will also be able to work out while the boys are sleeping, but AJ is out working.  Who knows...maybe I'll "sleep in" and work out at night when while watching my mindless television entertainment.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Owen's First Month

You know blog writing is a tad more difficult with two kids, so while I wrote a weekly blog on Aidan while on maternity leave, I'll have to stick to a monthly blog on Owen...and even then, it will probably be late. :) Oops.

Mom and I did the traditional month birthday celebration which is eating a cookie from the Great American Cookie Company.  Aidan was lucky and able to enjoy a cookie, too.  Mom and I also went to Gymboree, which is what we did with Aidan's first month.

So we took Owen to two doctor appointments -  one at 4 days old and another at 2 weeks.  At two week's, Owen was 10 lb 6 oz and 22" long, which is a pound heavier than Aidan was at two weeks.

The first week, we used the disposable diapers sent home from the hospital since we needed to protect his circumcision with lots of vaseline.  The second week, we started cloth diapering, which
was soooo much easier the second time around.  I knew what I was doing, I knew what diapers I liked, and I knew the process.  However, I did have to adjust all of the elastics in my FuzziBunz cloth diapers, which took several iterations until I had the right fit.  THEN...Owen grew and I had to adjust them again. 

Since Aidan reached, more like exceeded, his birth weight by two weeks, the pediatrician gave us the go ahead to bottle feed Owen several times a week since nursing is also going well.  He took his first bottle from my neighbor while I was being tortured by the dentist, and the second time my dad fed Owen with Aidan's help.  He took the bottle like a champ, so it looks like bottle feeding and nursing won't be a problem - I want to continue to nurse when I go back to work and not just pump.

Within 8 days, the cord stump fell off so Owen could have a real bath.  He seemed to like his first bath and every bath after that.  He is not a fan of getting out of the bath, much like his brother.  I love how wide awake he seems to be when he is in the bath.

Aidan has been great with Owen.  He doesn't seem to show signs of jealousy and loves to hold his brother.  Before Aidan goes to bed or to school, he kisses, hugs and tells Owen he loves him.  On his month birthday, before eating his cookie, Aidan sang Happy Birthday to Owen.  Aidan gets very concerned if Owen is crying, too. 

Owen is a great burper, and I am so thankful for that.  I remember being up long hours during the night because Aidan was crying because of trapped air.  Owen seems to give up a burp easier and our night time feedings don't seem to last as long.  In fact, I remember not being able to drag myself out of bed until 11 am with Aidan, where as with Owen, I can get up by 7am/8am.  I feel well rested, even on nights when Owen feeds every 3 hours.  In addition, Owen hasn't hit the period where he cries for 4 hours and I need the 5 S's to soothe him.  I was expecting this, and maybe the time is coming, but so far, Owen seems easier.  Or it could be that we are experienced parents?!

Owen goes for walks well, which is nice because I have been walking a lot in order to get out of the house.  The weather has been great so it's nice to soak up the sun and walk.  Some days, I jogged a little with Owen, too.  When I would slow down, he would start to fuss so I would have to pick up the pace, thanks Owen for being a motivator.

So What We Learned about Owen:

  • He refuses the pacifier and uses me as a human pacifier.
  • He loves to be swaddled but with his arms out
  • Tummy time isn't so bad
  • Cosleeping isn't necessary and I seem to disturb him - his time between feedings is shorter.
  • Owen was too big for newborn clothes and some 3 month clothes.  I'm already packing up clothes to give away or determine the outfits I want to keep.
  • It's easier to watch Owen and Aidan on my own if I had a friend with a kid the same age over at the house.  I need to schedule more play dates on the weekend when AJ has to work...that or grandparent time!
All About Mom

  • I cannot believe how much easier it has been to recover from this pregnancy compared to Aidan's.  I felt great the day after I was discharged from the hospital and have managed to at least walk/jog 15 miles per week since I have been home.  
  • I remember sitting hurt a lot last time, but I have not had any issues with the stitches.
  • I still have the night sweats.  I wake up with bad arm pit BO.
  • The 'rhoids seemed to reduce in size due to the prescription RX, and they're not thrombosed, so for now, no lancing needed.
  • My hemaglobin levels were still low at my 1 month Post partum appointment, so I had to go for additional lab work and a follow up appointment in a month.  The levels are low despite me continuing to take two doses of iron daily.
  • By one month, the engorgement with breast feeding had pretty much disappeared, but my body seems to still be adjusting.  Owen has gone several long stretches at night (5 hours), and I had to wake up to pump because I was hurting.  
  • Linea nigera line is still present.
  • I have 14 lbs to lose to get back to the pre Owen weight...with Aidan it was 8 lbs by this point.  Oh well, I did gain about 5 more pounds with Owen.  No biggie since my doctor did clear me for working out with weights.
  •  I wear Poise pads for running.  I can't help but pee myself with running/jogging, so I decided to bite the bullet and buy some Target brand Poise pads.  And ya know what, they work.  I'll never do cardio without them.
  • I have caught up on Breaking Bad and have started watching The Walking Dead (with AJ).  Owen loves to cuddle during the day and sleep on me so I take advantage of the time and read or watch shows on Netflix.

Almost There!

I thought once I was on maternity leave, the progress of the house would seem slower, but there were a couple weeks I missed going to the house and the progress seemed like a huge jump!  Further more, it's quite the opposite since Owen keeps me occupied, I feel like we're almost there.  There being complete, there being in the house, and there living the dream.

So the last post which was well over a month ago, was talking about the colors and the selections we made and had to make.  So here are pictures of the selections we made:

Master Shower and Master Bathroom Tile - We chose a dark tile for the shower and contrasted it with a light floor tile since the vanity was dark and there is limited natural lighting.  We liked the dark tile since it was close to a rock like feel.

 Sunroom, Laundry, and Remaining Bathroom Tile - We chose a more economical tile for the remaining areas, most of the tile being the 13" x 13" with the larger tile in the Sunroom since it was a larger space.

Sunroom and Laundry Room

Hardwood Floors, Wall, Doors, and Trim - We went with a dark hardwood floor, a dark beige color on the wall, a bronze door color and white trim.

Master Bedroom
Accent Walls in the Office and Master Bedroom - There were also stained dark and are similar to the beams in the living room, though different wood species stain differently.

Master Bedroom

Ceilings!  Some of the ceilings were left natural while others were stained contrasting colors.  Pictured below is the kitchen bead board ceiling, the dining room hitchcock ceiling, and the living room exposed beam and heartwood pine ceiling.

 So those are the color selections we made and are very happy with how they have turned out.  The painters have plenty of work left as there are interior columns to stain and the exterior beams and columns to paint and stain.  We think we know what those colors will be but are waiting for other painting activities to be complete before we are sure.  In addition, the carpet was picked out for the boys' room, but it won't be installed until near the end of construction.

Also, do you remember the mantel piece I mentioned many months back?  It was a piece of pecky cypress wood AJ acquired.  We had the cabinet builder finish the mantel, and it is gorgeous.

So what are we waiting on?

Well the cabinets have to go in so the plumbing and electrical can be wrapped up.  The insulation has to be completed (boooooring :) ), the painters have staining, minor painting, and touch up to do, the grading has to be completed, and appliances have to be installed.  There are probably more smaller items I'm not remembering, but these are the big changes upcoming.

We hope to be in the house by Christmas, which is sooner than the original contract duration, and we're excited.  Let's hope there's no major hiccups, especially with the bank and it not having its act together.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Laboring Through the Night

Continued from Owen's Birth Story: Part II

Once I was admitted around 8PM on Friday, September 13th, AJ looked at the clock and made a comment how Owen had 4 hours to wait until he could be born, ya know, so he was a Friday the 13th baby.  I was fine either way since I now knew the labor was real and could relax and wait on the wonderful moment when Aidan would choose his debut.

My throat was parched, so I munched on ice chips, talked with my dad and AJ, and breathed through my contractions. Apparently my contractions slowed to 6 minutes apart, but as long as the contractions continued along with dilation, then everything was good. Shortly after midnight, the nurse was going to check me, but she needed me to lay back, and when I did the fetal monitor stopped working.  The monitor's alarm kept beeping as the nurse tried to reposition the monitor.  The head nurse came in to find out what was going on.  She decided she would check me - she must not have read the board to see that I wasn't on any pain meds.  She was not gentle when she checked me, and her check hurt worse than any of the contractions!  Ya know, when my doc checks me, it is quite the uncomfortable feeling because my doc is a man, therefore his hand are bigger.  I was prepared for my doctor's check...I was not prepared for the head nurse's check - glad it was the first and last time she checked me!  Anyway, she stated I was a strong 5 cm, but she emphasized I was between a 5 and 6.  Thus, I had dilated at least one centimeter since being admitted.  This could be a long labor - 1 cm every 4 hours meant 20 hours left! But I knew the contractions would eventually pick up.

I was breathing and relaxing through each contraction - I was imagining my happy place and focusing on the contraction.  I felt I was managing well, and while there was pain, as long as I was breathing and able to relax my mind, I was fine.  However, Around 1:15 AM, I began to feel the pain of the contractions in my quads.  I knew the feeling - I had it with Aidan, and I knew the pain would move down and cause tense Charley horses in my calves.  Since the anesthesiologist was on call and at least 25 minutes away, I told the nurse I thought we should get him here. As the time passed, I suddenly had the urge to go...go #2.  Since I was sitting up, I thought maybe it's a just a feeling as a result from the contractions.  So as I was second guessing what my body wanted to do, I kept thinking, what if I go while pushing? With that lingering thought, I asked the nurse to help me get out of the bed so I could go to the bathroom.  While in the bathroom, I had several contractions, and I thought I was in the safe zone when I stood up. Nope. Thank goodness for the toilet being behind me because the contraction and sciatic pain hit me hard and my legs gave out.  I fell backwards.  As soon as the contraction passed, I hurried up to wash my hands and return to the hospital bed so I didn't fall and hurt myself or Owen.

Around 2 AM, the epidural was in place and the pain quickly faded away.  At this point I was 7 cm and my membranes were bulging according to the nurse. I asked AJ to brush my hair and pull it back because I figured I would get sweaty and would want my hair of my neck.  After AJ helped me, I took the opportunity to take a nap while I could - I slept until 3:30  amI thought the feeling was coming back in my toes...then sure enough I felt the Charley horses in my calves and soon the pain returned all over.  The nurse notified the anesthesiologist so he could redose the epidural.  Again, he was on call so he had to come from his house to administer the dose.  I received the second dose around 4 AM, and I was nearly 10 cm dilated.  I tried to sleep, but I was in and out.  Around 5AM, I was told that  Owen was at station 0 and there only a little remaining cervix, so again, near 10 cm dilated.

At 6AM, the epidural appeared to be wearing off, however, the doctor had arrived, and the nurse thought he would be delivering Owen soon.  If Owen was being delivered soon, the epidural could not be redosed.  However, another woman had come in shortly before the doctor arrived and appeared to be crowning so the doctor had to attend to her first.  The nurse attempted to get the doctor to break my water before making the other delivery, however, there wasn't time.  So once this information was known, probably around 6:30, the anesthesiologist was called.  However, during that time between 6am and re administering the epidural around 7 am, I experienced the worse pain imaginable.

OA on right, OP on left
You see, when the nurse checked Owen at shortly before 6am, she thought he might be OP.  OP is occiput posterior.  This meant that Owen's back was against my back, and you need the baby to present anterior.  According to Spinning Babies, "A posterior presentation aims the top of the head into the pelvis, like an oblong, rather than the circle of the crown."

Owen apparently decided that when the epidural wore off and shortly before birth that he would turn to present to anterior to make delivery easier.  However, he made labor excruciating painful.  The only way to offset the pain of Owen hitting my back and trying to turn was to have AJ put all the force behind his fist and press into my lower back.  In the mean time, I was trying to breath and relax through the contractions, which was not made easy by the sciatic nerve being pressed on simultaneously.  Previously, I was breathing, closing my eyes, and focusing on happy thoughts to manage the contractions.  This pain wasn't subdued by efforts - no, I had to grab the side of the hospital bed, breath loudly, and then shouting and grunting.  Yup, I was one of those screaming women because there was no other way I could manage.  I had to let the pain escape through my mouth.  At this point, the contractions were coming two minutes apart and lasting one minute to a one and half minutes.  I thought the contractions would never stop. 

The nurse kept taking my temperature, my heart rate, and blood pressure.  She became concerned when I was 99 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and started applying cold, wet cloths to my body.  I admit I would have felt better if she had stripped my hospital gown off and poured buckets of ice chips all over me.  I swear I asked for this, but maybe it was a mental thought while the only noise that came out with another scream.  I was pouring sweat, screaming, and every time I heard footsteps, asking if it was Butch.  Butch was the anesthesiologist.  Then I heard he's here. Relief I thought...nope, he was the doctor.  He came in to check on me.  He was even bold enough to grab my hand and tell me that I was doing a good job.  Doesn't he know I will squeeze his hand and possibly break it at this point?!

I'm not sure if the doctor broke my water or whether it broke on it's own.  There's a lot that probably happened in the hour it took to receive another dose of the epidural, but most of it's a blur.  All I remember is clinging to the bed rail, screaming, and redirecting AJ's fists in my back.  I also thought that there's no way I will have the energy to push if I have to continue to fight off this pain.

Finally!At 7 am Butch showed up, and I know I was in a lot of pain, beyond a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, hah!  But when I saw Butch I smiled, I probably laughed a little.  Butch was wearing an orange shirt under his scrubs, which made me like him even more.  The epidural set in, and I finally stopped feeling the pain.  I could feel pressure in the pelvic area, but not pain.  The nurse believes this pressure was from Owen having turned to the anterior position, and when she checked me, she said I was definitely at 10 cm.  However, the doctor elected to let me rest, especially since it was a shift change.  I clung to the side of the bed rail for the next 45 minutes, while the nurses applied cold cloths to me and fed me ice.  I dozed periodically, and finally, I was woken at 7:45 am.  The nurse who checked me said Owen had dropped even farther and could easily see and feel Owen's head.  She said it was time to push, but before she asked the doctor to come in, she asked me to give one easy push.  She confirmed that Owen was ready, then began setting up the bed for delivery.

The doctor came in and we were set to deliver.  The nurse and AJ lifted my leg into place; AJ stated that he could see Owen's head already.  So I took a deep breath and pushed, then another deep breath and pushed. Owen's head was out, and the doctor remarked that Owen had really broad shoulders. Greaaaat.  I took another breath and sortof pushed, and Owen made his debut at 8 am on the dot!  Owen decided that once his shoulders were out that he would do a flip.  The doctor had to push his chair back to react and actually catch Owen.  Aerobatic Owen, way to make your debut.  I immediately saw some chunky knees, then the nurse put Owen on my chest as AJ asked to cut the cord.  AJ and I both said we thought Owen was bigger than Aidan weight wise.

AJ brushed my hair before taking pictures
Soon the nurses took Owen to clean him up and weigh him.  The nurse confirmed our suspicions as Owen weighed in at 9 lbs 1 ounce!  The nurse gave Owen back to me as another nurse help deliver my placenta.  Then the doctor sewed up my tear, only 2nd degree this time.  My bleeding subsided quickly, and the stitches were quickly in place.  I was able to enjoy Owen and finally able to drink some water! Owen latched and nursed well.

Owen was officially 9 lb 1 oz, 21.5" and head was 13.5".  As soon as the nurse could I requested a menu because I was hungry!  But this time, I avoided the eggs and cheese in hopes of avoiding a gassy and upset baby.  Thus, I ordered french toast and sausage links, and they were delicious...

Glad to finally meet Owen
Aidan wanted to hold Owen

Here's Aidan's Birth story just for comparison.  There are many similarities, however, the end of labor and pushing differ greatly along with the immediate recovery.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

100% Loaded???

 Continued from Owen's Birth Story: Part I

I should have added a "?"
I admit, I was frustrated Friday morning when the contractions were nonexistent.  I was so excited and hopeful on Thursday.  I just knew that when the contractions were around 4 minutes apart, there was no way it could be false labor.  Or perhaps Owen had some way at looking at a calendar and decided debuting on Friday the 13th was not his plan.  Perhaps he wanted to be more like his big brother and come on a Saturday.  Either way, Owen had decided he was not ready yet.

However, I was BOUND and DETERMINED to try as many Old Wives Tales to restart labor.  As soon as AJ took Aidan off to daycare (around 9AM), I harnessed up Bo and went for a walk around the neighborhood.  Bo is only good for a little over a mile, so we walked about 1.33 miles in 25 minutes.  I felt some tightening, but no contractions.

So I thought, I would pretend like I cared to nest and began a load of laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, and cleaning the hardwood floors.  I figured the scrubbing and mopping motions would be helpful.  Time passed and several more loads of laundry later, nothing.  So for lunch, I opted for pineapple and spicy food.  Still nothing.  In addition, whenever I decided to sit down, I was sitting on my yoga ball bouncing. Reading, eating, or just trying to jump start labor - bouncing away on my yoga ball.

Have you heard the saying "what got you in this situation can help you get out of this situation" in regards to being pregnant.  Well, count that as an OWT attempt.  Then around 2 PM, I decided to go for another walk, sans Bo.  I figured I needed at least two miles and a better pace, ya know, since I don't have a need to stop and pee on bushes like Bo does.  I might have the urge to pee...but I would keep walking.  So while I was walking, I felt tightening, and occasionally something more, but I dared not to have hope or excitement.  Also, one of my friends who is also pregnant suggested walking one foot on the curb and one foot off.  While we don't have concrete sidewalks and curbs, the asphalt is slightly banked, and I tried to walk uneven so it would have a similar affect as if there were a concrete curb.  Also due to this suggestion, when I arrived home and thought hey, that might be a contraction, I busted out the Wii and did some step aerobics while I cautiously time contractions.

The contractions came back at 4 minutes apart lasting under 1 minute, but I was going to get my hopes up.  I did call AJ to tell him the news just in case.  I continued to time contractions and wait for AJ and Aidan to come home.  I didn't know if Owen was serious or tricking me again, but I decided I should eat dinner.  When Aidan came home, I told AJ I thought this time was real labor since I was now meeting the 4 1 1 requirement.

In addition, I lost part of my mucus plug.  I really thought I had peed myself, but when I went to the bathroom, I was surprised by what I saw.  At first, I was hesitant and not sure what I was seeing, but a quick google search (I suggest not doing that unless you really need to) confirmed it was part of my mucus plug.  And I was under the belief that if I was losing my plug surely these contractions caused me to dilate.  I knew I needed to be at least 4 cm dilated and experiencing contractions to be admitted to the hospital.

AJ showered while Aidan and I hung out in the bedroom.  I put on Elmo for Aidan and let him eat dinner in the bed!  I know, I was spoiling him, but he did not seem to mind.

The contractions were definitely a sharper pain and lasting over a minute.  After AJ was out of the shower, he packed up the truck to get ready for the hospital.  I called my dad to see if he was around to meet us at the hospital just in case I was actually admitted.

I asked that dad not call or alert anyone else because I could be experiencing another episode of false labor.  Dad was in the midst of fixing dinner and needed a shower, too, so the timing would be perfect if I was admitted.

AJ, Aidan and I scurried off to the hospital.  It was a difference experience walking into the hospital with it still light out and not stopping because I couldn't walk due to the sciatic nerve pain.

We arrive at Labor and Delivery and begin the checking in process.  There was a lady giving birth, and Aidan could hear her.  His facial expression was priceless - he wasn't sure what was happening, but you could tell he wanted no part in finding out!  After checking in, they move us to a labor room where I would have to undress and receive monitors for the baby and the contractions.  The nurse asked me all sorts of questions and finally she checked my cervix.

I was nervous...I didn't want to go home, I wanted this to be the real thing.  I was ready to get the show on the road and meet Owen soon.  So as the nurse checked and then rechecked, I was hesitant that there was going to be good news.

Then the nurse said, you're 4 to 5 cm's, we're admitting you.  The wait was over!  Now it was time to see what those contractions would do and how fast this labor would move!  With the good news, AJ and Aidan left to go meet my dad while I continued to answer another million questions the nurse had.

Owen's Birth Story: Part III

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


So I took this picture early Friday morning thinking at some point I would wake Anthony, call my neighbor to come watch Aidan, and head to the hospital.  But like Tuesday, Owen was only preparing for birth, and he wasn’t ready to make his debut yet.
Keeping track of CX on Tuesday
Flash back to Tuesday, I woke up with mild contractions spaced 30 minutes to 45 minutes apart.  In addition, my back was sore and I know I woke up a lot throughout the night. While I knew the contractions had to get closer together and more intense, I also had pelvic pressure much like I did with Aidan the day before I gave birth to him.  As the day went on, the contractions did get closer together, but then they tapered off.  However, the contractions did DO something – I dilated 1 to 2 cm from the last week I was checked, which put me at 2 to 3 cm.
Wednesday was a quiet day, and if the doctor had not told me that my cervix had progressed, I would have thought I was the crazy pregnant lady reading into every little thing when I knew Braxton Hick contractions and prodomal labor could occur and give false hope.

Then Thursday morning started out like Tuesday – sporadic, mild contractions throughout the morning.  But unlike Tuesday, some of the contractions were sharp and time between them was definitely growing shorter.  Around 3 PM, I had a meeting with coworkers to provide turnover on my work just in case I had Owen before Monday.  The last few weeks, I had provided my boss a just in case email, but this week took a more serious turn because my due date was only 4 days away.  My boss also found out that I was having contractions insert freak out here by him, but again, they could be false like Tuesday or never get close enough to mean anything.  However, that was not the case on Thursday afternoon.  When the meeting appeared to take longer than I could withstand, I finally said it’s probably a good idea that I leave work since my contractions were less than 5 minutes apart and just under a minute in length. Insert more freakouts by male coworkers.  Guys, I’m not going to have the baby right here, but I need to get home in order to be able to get to the hospital if this is real.  Well, they were concerned, and sent another coworker to follow me home just in case I couldn’t drive through the contractions. I could, again, very manageable at this point.
I called AJ and told him about the contractions.  He left where he was at to pick up Aidan so I could head straight home.  I made it home with no issues, as I expected, and waved good bye to my coworker.  Aidan greeted me at the door, put his hand on my stomach and said “baby coming”.  He had me tear up.  
AJ jumped in the shower while Aidan and I played in his room.  I continued to track my contractions, and all signs pointed to this being the real deal.  However, I wasn’t at the 4 1 1 stage yet.  Contractions less than 4 minutes apart, lasting at least 1 minutes, for 1 hour.  So I took my bath and gave Aidan one, too, because I didn’t know when I would be able to give him one again (assuming I would give birth).  Then we went out to eat at a restaurant near the hospital just in case.  I had pizza, wings and a Diet Pepsi, seemed like a fitting meal.  The contractions actually picked up intensity and were near the 4 minute spacing, however, I still felt I wasn’t there yet.  We finished dinner, then headed home where I figured I would continue to manage the contractions.

Snuggling before bedtime
I put Aidan to sleep.  Normally, we read to him, give him hugs and kisses, and finally tuck him in and leave the room.  Not tonight, I felt like it was our last night as a family of three, so I rocked him to sleep and cried while do so.  It was an emotional moment, but I was glad I had the opportunity to do it.  Our world was about to change, and I wanted to savor the last few moments.
AJ went to bed while I stayed up.  I watched a little bit of the TCU game before closing my eyes to try and rest.  I slept on and off for maybe 5 hours. I slept on the couch because my back was hurting, and I was moving around a lot, so I was trying to allow AJ to sleep.  Though I swear Bo rolled his eyes at me each time he felt he needed to get up and move because I did.  I would occasionally have a stronger contraction that would wake me, and then I would be up for another 15 to 20 minutes to time the contractions.  At 4am, I could no longer sleep, therefore, I decided to fold laundry while bouncing on a yoga ball, clean the kitchen, and make sure the nursery was ready.  Contractions were about 10 minutes apart, but by 6am, they were virtually nonexistent.  When AJ and Aidan woke up around 7:30 am, the contractions were gone. Even the back pain was gone.
So we were back to waiting

Owen's Birth Story: Part II

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week 39

I am writing this blog post as I am timing contractions.  So it'll be short because there will be a birth story post that will be more detailed.

How far along: 39 weeks 4 days

How big is baby?:
According to the APP, I'm Expecting: Started the Week 38 as the size of a Mini Watermelon
and is about to be a Small Pumpkin. 
Weight gain?: 1 this week, 34 total

Stretch marks?: Still lucky - none so far

Sleep has been good but I wake often.  I get uncomfortable sleeping on my shoulder goes to sleep and my hips ache, so I need to change sides.

Best moment?:  Spending our last evening as a family of 3.

Aidan eating apple sauce and watching Elmo

Worst moment?: None this week!

Food cravings?: More salty foods

Symptoms?:  RLP, some morning sickness, acne, exhaustion, getting up to pee, some swelling, pelvic pressure

walked at least 3 miles that I tracked plus some extra walking for work.  No weight lifting this week - also, my gym membership expires September 15 after 7 years.

Movement?: Lots of kicking...apparently Owen was not a fan of contractions.

Belly button?:
100% outie, but almost non existent.

What I miss?: Being able to put on my shoes easily.  When Owen dropped a little lower, he made it difficult to put on shoes (or pee in a cup or wipe).

Labor signs?
: On Tuesday, I had sporadic contractions that tapered off in the evening, then disappeared.  However, per my doc, I was dilated 2 to 3 cm on Wednesday.  Then on Thursday, sporadic contractions started and as the day went on, they became closer and stronger.

What I'm looking forward to?
Meeting Owen!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week 38

As I post this, there is less than 8 days until my due date!  Single digit count down.

 Have I mentioned that if Owen comes on a Tuesday, we will all celebrate our birthdays on the same day of the week?!

So there was a moment this week where I thought early labor was starting, but it was silly BH contractions...and my first thought was it's Wednesday, you missed Tuesday by a few hours, Owen!  But it was a false alarm.  Anyway, September 10th and 17th looks great if you're listening to me, Owen. 

How far along: 38 weeks 6 days

How big is baby?:
According to the APP, I'm Expecting: Started the Week 38 as the size of a Celery Bunch
and is about to be a Mini Watermelon. 
Weight gain?: 1 this week, 33 total

Stretch marks?: Still lucky - none so far

I can't seem to sleep through the night without waking!  Whether I need to get up to pee or am just wide awake.  I also seem to wake just before 6 am on my days off and then toss and turn until Aidan gets up.

Best moment?:  Enjoying a lazy Labor Day with neighbors and getting quality time with Aidan.  I also enjoyed picking Aidan up on his birthday and taking him home to celebrate.

My little fish

He wanted me to rock him to sleep, and I obliged

Worst moment?:  Aidan being diagnosed with croup and an ear infection at his 2 year appointment.  When he woke up at 3 am with a cough and sounding like a seal, we were suspicious.  The doctor confirmed he had croup.

I know Aidan isn't feeling well when he goes for a wagon ride and doesn't try to climb out 2 seconds down the road.

Food cravings?: Salty foods and after all the weekend outings, hot dogs.  Neither craving is a good one.

Symptoms?:  RLP, some morning sickness, acne, exhaustion

I can still wear my steel toed boots and can see my ankles, I seriously think the 200+ ounces of water is the difference this time.  I am walking a lot for work, more than I was last time, so not swelling isn't due to me resting more.

I walked a lot for work, and added in another 4+ miles at home.  I was able to get to the gym once to lift weights, so I did a full body weight routine instead of focusing on the upper or lower body.

Movement?: Lots of kicking and what feels like rolling/shifting. 

Belly button?:
100% outie, but almost non existent.

What I miss?: Being able to easily back up out of a parking space.  It's hard to turn around to back up, especially when I am in a work truck that has more blind spots.  I try to find parking spaces where I can pull through - I'll walk much farther if it means no backing up!

Labor signs?
:More Braxton Hicks and some back pain, but it went away when I walked around, and then BH contractions have been non existent.
My doc did say my cervix was softening, though no additional dilation.

So, I'm trying out the Old Wives' Tales - so far, spicy food, walking and pineapple.

TMI: I thought labor was also near since my body has been cleaning itself out, which happened just a few days before I went into labor with Aidan.  Guess not!

What I'm looking forward to?
If Owen stays put until the weekend, AJ and I might take Aidan to the circus that is coming to town.  It's AJ's weekend off, and Clemson isn't playing, so we would love to have one last family outing just the three of us.