Thursday, December 11, 2014

Roundup of Events

Sometimes I forget what life is like with a newborn in the house, with the holding, loving, changing, and busyness in the house.  And then it happens, and I think, "Oh yes.  NOW I remember!"  When there is a moment to spare, the laundry, dishes, and dirty floors call my name.  Now, I don't always answer them, as you can PLAINLY see in my house, but I do know they call me.  But, I have a moment, and two hands, so let's see if I can give you a quick review of life in the last few weeks, with an update from all the pictures on my phone.
  • Thanksgiving was spent with Tommy's family in the Warrenton area.  It felt a little odd not hosting this year, but we hosted so much last year that I think they can give us a little break.  And, we can play the "newborn" card a little longer, I think.  
     I am not often artistic, or even creative, but I am good at imitating other people's good ideas!  As usual, there was too much food, lots of fun games, and one called "Do you like your neighbors?"  It involved lots of laughter, silly ideas ("I do, but I don't like anyone wearing glasses!" and those people have to switch seats), and a little like musical chairs with someone always left out.  Even the kids could play, which makes it even better.
  • We have lots of coos, smiles and sweet noises coming from Lucy, and the little boys in the house are especially sweet with her.  She always has a smile for them, and they are usually in her general area (of! her! face!) of where she is and smother her with kisses.

  • Our season of Advent began, and I was excited that I got the candles and wreath out before it started, as well as our manger for good deeds for the kids to get motivated. 
    My plan is to be better about planning meals for the family, and it has been a struggle some days to get to the store, or just think ahead, but it has been a good goal for me in my home life.  It was especially tricky the first week of advent because our van sprung a leak and had to be towed away.  It was the coolant line, and the tune of over $800 was repaired.  Sigh.  Yep, my ability to get around with the kids is my gift under the tree.
  • St. Nicholas day came and we decided to make cookies on his feast day. We usually make them before his day, but I was exhausted as was Tommy.  It was fun to make it with yet another older child, and to have everyone home to help, so it was different than last year.  We are still working on our family traditions and celebrations.  I feel like a terrible mom since I didn't have anything to put in their shoes at all.  I even was at the store and totally forgot.  The kids were super sweet about it, and maybe I can make up for it and they will forget once Christmas rolls around.
     James could have played with the flour all day, and William was eating all the dough (no eggs, so no worries) and Patrick was eating all the cookies on the racks cooling.  Emma was an expert roller, as well as Tommy, and I was able to man the oven and trays for them.  We made a good team!

  • On Thanksgiving, I was looking at my (large) family during Mass, and thinking about when the kids are bigger, going off to college and coming home for holidays.  Growing up, my mom was the one to take care of the holidays with the kids, and my sisters would bring friends, boyfriends, girlfriends and anyone else was welcome.  I don't remember going to a cousin's house, especially as the siblings got older.  I wondered about how our future will look with my kids, when will it turn to my job to host all the grown up kids, and when the family unit is just us.  Oh yes, it made me very weepy and prayerful.  Feelings of inadequacy are creeping up so quickly lately, and I just want to know that we are doing well, that my kids are on the right track and we are helping them get to their ultimate goal the best way we can.  Yeah, it was an emotional day.

  • Scouts are still in full swing in the house, with more activities with both boys.  We had a fire station visit with William, and a boy scout Christmas party complete with games picked by Tommy.  Patrick and his friends had a competition to create something Christmas related and the boys had a blast. 

  • I have been doing a lot of internet shopping for Christmas, and I forgot what it is like to take the kids out to the stores to walk the aisles.  We do it with some kids, and I get frustrated that they are constantly asking for something, and it's usually not super bad, but I am focused and trying to stay to my list.  But, I am taking James and Lucy with me most places, and that carrier fits in the cart so James is walking (I need to bring my ergo carrier!) and talking with me about what we are buying.  The conversation goes like this: "I want that!  Can we buy that?"  "No, James, we can't, we are waiting for Christmas/buying for someone else."  "Okay."  "Can we buy that?"  "No, we can't." "Okay."  That boy is the most understandingly sweet child!  I turn to mush when I realize how good he is in the stores, and he usually ends up with a liiiittle something extra in the cart.  I know.  It's terrible, but he is so sweet! 
  • A very special friend of our family offered to take photos for us (YAY!) that we used on our Christmas cards.  They all looked really good, and then it came down to choosing for the card.  Hmm.  I realized that I am all about options.  Choices.  Not that I am able to make any at any time, or quickly, but I always have trouble picking the best family shot, and I want everyone to look good, or to have a good option.  So I usually put a lot of pictures in. It's so hard to choose, and I am having Christmas card remorse.  I don't think I did the best layout, or picked the "best" one for the family.  Can't do anything about it NOW, but I can fret a little, right?  Maybe I'll do better next year.  LOL  "Tomorrow is another day."  Yes, Scarlet, we know.
  • On a quick personal level, I am back to exercising!  It feels SOO good to be back with such supportive ladies and my good friends and to feel strong again! I have never had such a quick rebound after pregnancy, and I know the workouts helped.  I am super blessed to be able to continue, and it is such a good kick to get me going! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

2 months!



Such a ray of sunshine for us!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

God Bless Our Lucy Margaret

 Godparents: My sister Celeste and Dave, Jenn's husband.
We were thrilled that Father Juan agreed to do our baptism, and give our ceremony a little "Latino flavor" as he called it. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Lucy's Birth(day) Story

While I know that natural births have a way better story, and can even be put into many blog posts, I want to write down Lucy's story to be sure that I don't forget; even the embarrassing moments.  I wish I could say that I was calm throughout the whole ordeal, but I was not.  Each thing seemed to add up. 

On Friday, October 3rd, I got up nice and early.  We were due at the hospital around 7AM, and I barely slept the night before.  I am always nervous, but I seemed to be awake a lot more than the other births.  It was about 5:15 when I got up, and I found some lights already on down the hallway, in my boys' room.  Patrick was up and dressed!  It seems that he wasn't the only child excited, as before we left (about 6:20) all three school kids were already up and dressed! 

It's not a short drive to our hospital, as I have mentioned before, and I try really hard not to fuss at Tommy for the way he drives, but when I am nervous, it always seems like  the cars are soo close and he's going soo fast.  I didn't feel too bad for him, as he was enjoying a delicious breakfast of chicken in a port wine sauce and rice, made for our family by my sweet trainer and friend who owns a catering company.  SUCH a treat to have her food in the house, but very hard to smell while you are the one who has to fast! 

Tommy dropped me off, and I made my way upstairs, pushed the little intercom button, and told them I was there for my C-section.  "You're early!"  Um, it's only 6:45.  "Have a seat in the waiting room.  We'll come and get you."  Okay.  We have a couple friends who work at the hospital in labor and delivery and the lactation area, and they both came out to say hello.  Both were just getting off the night shift so they wouldn't be there for the birth, but it was sweet of them to stop by. It seemed that the hospital was extra busy that morning, but they did find a bed for me in the pre-op room pretty quickly.  It was the absolute tiniest corner of the room (they have up to 3 moms in there) and was nice for me because I could go through my nervous energy/mood swings pretty privately.  I am always nervous about the spinal, and just all that leads up to the surgery and I was trying to pray and stay calm, but it was tough.  Especially when the nurse says to me that there are over 200 pre-op questions!  While going through all those, another nurse comes in to give me my IV.  She says, "I don't want to do it in your hand" (though I didn't mind) and proceeds to try to do it in top of my wrist, near where I had an IV before (I think William's birth) and there is still a scar.  Whatever she did was INCREDIBLY painful (mind you, I get TONS of IVs now, with all the dealings with the nephrostomy tube, and all my hospital stays and they aren't a big deal) and the pain radiated all the way down my knuckles and fingers.  It was so bad and I was so freaked out (bad patient, I know) that she took it out.  I HATE to be a bother, but it really threw me for a loop.  So she found another spot (on my forearm? that was a first) and we waited.  (Can you feel the stress today?) 

My doctor comes in, we discuss a few things, ESPECIALLY the tube, and the urologist that we are hoping will order a test to check the tube, and remove it while we are in the hospital.  He reassures me that he will talk to the doctor and we continue waiting, and continue with our 472 pre-op questions.  Dr. B comes back and says the urologist decided not to take the tube out.  Um, what?  He won't even order the test to see if the ureter is clear, and will wait a little while.  I immediately start crying and was really upset.  I was so focused on that and I wasn't even really thinking about anything else.  Dr. B even says he tried to talk to the IR department himself and order the test, but no go. (I think it came down to "we didn't put it in, we won't take it out.")  I told him he should have waited to tell me that AFTER the baby came out.  Mentally, I knew that I should not have gotten my hopes up, but I really had my heart set on it.  (And it keeps rising)

More waiting.  My anesthesiologist was a pregnant mommy as well, and made a comment like "I can tell you are sensitive."  I am, I know, but I always hope that I can do some offering up to help someone who needs my prayers.  But I was failing at it. My surgery was for 8:30, and I don't think we went back until after 9. We put on our little OR outfits and got ready to go.  Always very stylish.

Tommy is always one for watching the surgery.  He loves that stuff.  This OR was really small, and it seemed like Tommy's head was really close to my belly.  He made sure that it was okay that he watched, and I knew he would.  They begin the list of what they are doing, and he cuts them off to correct the name.  "Fuzzy, she is Fuzzy."  LOL  Dr. B starts working, and says things like "I'm cutting through such and such, or this."  That was when I had to ask him to stop.  "I know what you are doing, but I don't want to KNOW what you are doing."

Now, this is where I need to mention something that was happening all morning, but increased during surgery.  No, not the events that kept coming to increase my frustration and stress.  It's actually better!  Everyone has been complimenting me today.  Well, not ME, but, apparently my "veins are beautiful."  I have a "lovely spine."  As Dr. B is working, he is saying, "Oh Fuzzy, this is beautiful.  You brought your 'A' game today!  What a perfect uterus!  No scarring....." He went on and on.  It brought me a little bit of relief to focus on something good, even though it was not exactly what I was hoping for.  LOL

The all tell me it's almost time for her to come out, and I can hear her crying!  It's a little gurgley cry, but she is crying, and of course, so am I.  They put her head above the blue drape, and I am just thrown by how SMALL she looks!!  She has a great cry, and I am so relieved, and it's amazing how light my belly feels already.  They weigh her, and at 8 lb 7 oz she is my smallest baby!  The nurses kind of laugh at me, but I am amazed at how little she is, and her head especially.  Meanwhile, I still hear such praise of my insides, and the conversation turns to something about our parish (very odd how it did that), and I hear all these nurses talk about their parish in the area, their priests, and whatnot.  It was a nice break from some of the things that I was feeling, and fretting over.

Lucy and Tommy leave as I am being stitched up, so there is about 15-20 minutes when I don't have them with me, and as I am wheeled into the recovery room (which coincidently is the pre-op room) I see Tommy has Lucy in his arms and is feeding her a bottle.  Insert mental freak out, and before I can even get any words out, the nurse and Tommy tell me that her blood sugar numbers are low.  Really low.  In the 20's low.  If she was anything below 20 she would have been sent off to the NICU.  (insert MAJOR freak out, barometer keeps rising, and holding back tears)  They will keep testing her, and she needs 3 numbers above 50 to tell us she is okay.  As soon as they hand her to me to hold, I attempt to nurse her, as I am trying help my girl.  She is my earliest one to latch on so well, and she was a champ.  But, now I am feeling like I have hurt my sweet baby.  She is barely hours old and she is already dealing with crap from me.  I feel so terrible, and am so worried.  The nurses tell me it's not me, but it doesn't make me feel any better.  I hated those moments.  The waiting for the blood work and knowing that they had to prick her heel again and again.  Poor little thing.  Thankfully, we had a good number, and I could go to a regular room.
I am not quite calmed down when we get to the room, and when the poor nurse tells me that I have to wait a whole day before I can have a regular meal, I admit that I kind of yelled at her, "What do you mean, A WHOLE DAY?!?!  I know.  So terrible.  I had a whole flood of emotions come through me, all those issues just kept mounting higher and higher (dad-blasted hormones) and I just started bawling when Tommy told me I had forgotten to leave a key to my house for his parents who were helping with the kids, and the kids were going to arrive much sooner than I had hoped.  That nurse was in the corner of the room, typing away ("this new momma needs a Xanax!"), as I went through my complete and total release of emotions and meltdown (about a key!).  It was so stupid, embarrassing, and frustrating.  Considering how much I have cried this whole pregnancy, it should not have come as a surprise that I was still a mess, even after the baby came.

I get to spend 3 days at the hospital with surgery, and it is great to have someone else take care of the food and cleaning, and I'm able to just nurse the baby and take care of me.  To be honest, the nurses and THIS hospital stay was so different than my last hospital stay.  The nurses helped me with my nephrostomy tube, helped me shower, flush it, and were so much more understanding of all the issues.  I was not in too much pain, and kept getting out of bed without calling the nurses.  I got in trouble for that a few times.  LOL  But really, this hospital is what I prefer!  It was a quiet stay, and the kids were so sweet with the baby when they came to visit. 
The hardest part about homecoming was that we had 2 with strep, so Tommy was running to and from the doctor's, pharmacy, drop off and pick up of the kids and keeping us fed, as well as all his meetings.  Poor James had it twice in October, and it was terrible for the kids to be told they can't hold or kiss the baby!
5 weeks!  Her cheeks are much chubbier.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Our Little One is One Month!

10 1/2 pounds!


Photo overload, but she was such a sweet subject.