Monday, January 27, 2014

Pregnancy Fun

Little E is an active little girl.  For my friends who have not been pregnant, I equate the early kicks to gas rumbles in your intestines/stomach.  The kicks I am feeling now however, feel like a live fish rolling around in my stomach.  While watching a movie with M last night, she was going to town, and although I am glad to feel her move, because I know she is alive - that much movement for me was really difficult, and quite uncomfortable.

It felt like she was having a seizure.  Like she kept jerking uncontrollably.  It was actually making me jump each time she did it.  It was hard to focus on anything but the uncontrollable movements inside of my belly.  I laid the recliner back thinking that if I gave her more room to wiggle, she may calm down - but the jerks became more intense.  They almost hurt.  This lasted for about 2-3 minutes (but felt like 10 minutes).  Then she was calm again.

At bedtime she was wiggling - but no where near as bad as before.  I have felt her wiggle this morning as well - but none of that jerking feeling that I really don't enjoy.  With this being my first time pregnant, I don't understand what she is doing in my belly.  I don't know if that jerking was hiccups.... or if babies really can have seizures in your belly.  I'm trying not to worry, as everything else in this pregnancy has been normal, no reason to start having problems now.  E is going to be healthy, and happy, and I am trying not to believe anything else.

I've been working on the registry, which is so overwhelming.  There are so many things on the "suggested" list that you "need" for baby.  Being a first time mom to a newborn, I am not entirely sure what I will "NEED" for E.  I don't want to register for stuff that is unnecessary.  So this has been a work in process reading reviews on these items, and trying to decide exactly what I want.

I am doing two registries.  One through Babies R Us, and another through Baby List online.  I really like the one through Baby List because I can register ANYTHING I want from ANYWHERE I want, and am not restricted to one store.  I have registered some soap from a local soap maker that is all natural and gentle for baby's skin.  I have registered gift cards to Joann Fabrics as I will be buying lots of fabric to make the baby's bedding, drapes, and cloth diapers.  I have registered a few books on Amazon.com, that will help us with labor/delivery, and even early parenting skills.  Next up I hope to tackle the car seat/stroller ordeal, with the help of a friend of mine who has given me some tips.

I have a great many friends who have offered their gently used baby stuff, and for that I am so grateful.  I would rather use that than get something brand new.  I just hope I remember who gave me what, so when the time comes I can get these items back home to their owners.  Might see if I can magic marker their name on it somewhere so I don't forget....

I hit 22 weeks on Wednesday.  I realized we have about 18 weeks until E will be here (if I go full term).  Which is pretty crazy.  So much to do in so little time!  I need to come up with a birth plan.  We finally scheduled prenatal classes, which by the way are not covered under health insurance, and I had to cough up $60.00 more to pay for.  Ugh.  I should start thinking about and working on a hospital bag for M, little E, and I, just in case I go early, I want to be ready.  I need to arrange emergency child care for DQ and V for when the big day (or night) comes.  I need to figure out for certain who I want to have in the room with me during labor (and since I am having such a hard time choosing... just how many people I CAN have...). 

On a less manic momma note, DQ and V are finally able to feel E.  They both seemed to enjoy it.  DQ kept telling (and trying to show) everyone what it felt like.  V still reads to her often, kisses my belly, and says things like, "Hi little E, it's your big sister V.  I love you."  She's pretty adorable when she does it.  DQ hasn't tried to talk to or feel my belly much, but I know she will enjoy it when she can begin to see E's hands and feet pushing on my skin.

I am officially showing.  People are officially touching my belly, and commenting on how high I am carrying her.  I don't have much torso to begin with, so it is what it is.

The gender reveal party was awesome.  I am very happy we decided to wait and reveal the gender with our family and friends.  They all seemed to really enjoy it as well.

E is measuring a little bigger than 22 weeks.  I however am certain I am right about the conception date, and I was a 9 lb baby, so I'm thinking she should just be a big baby.  So I am telling everyone to buy 1-3 months (or bigger) if you find something adorable you want to buy for her.  I have a gut feeling she won't be in newborn clothes/diapers at all.  I could be wrong.  But I would rather her swimming in her clothes than being uncomfortable in them, and with her being a summer baby, as a friend pointed out, she won't have to have them fit tightly to keep her warm.

I have glucose testing in a few weeks that I dread, but know I have to do.  Will let you know how that goes.  Hoping that I am able to steer clear of being diabetic during pregnancy.  It runs heavy in my family, so if I have it, I won't be shocked, but hoping not to!

Hope your days are going well!

Aunt TT

Friday, January 24, 2014

For Nae

Yesterday at work, my phone rang.  It was an 870 number, and I only know one person in that part of the country.  My sister.

She has heard through the grapevine that I am having a daughter.  Last text I received from her, I let her know that I was pregnant.  Whoever told her that M and I are expecting a girl, also told her the name, because she kept gushing about how she loved it, and it was perfect.  She told me she knows this baby girl will be just as beautiful as I am, and kept saying how happy she is for me that I am finally experiencing this for myself.

She asked me to forgive her.  I asked her what for?  She said for not being there for me through this.  I told her that I miss her, but I know she can't be here right now, and I am not angry with her at all. 

She started crying.  I bit back the tears and tried to stay strong for both of us.  She told me how she loved that I was there for the birth of her three, and she would love to be here for this one.  I told her I would love for her to be able to be here, but I know it's just not possible right now. 

She kept saying over and over how much she loves me, and misses me.  I told her I love her, and miss her too.  I truly do.  I always thought she would be in the room with me when I gave birth, and it makes me a little sad to have to come to grips with reality that she won't be.  She can't be.  My sister was the only one of my siblings who stuck by my side when I divorced my abusive ex husband.  She was always there for me when I needed her, and I tried to always be there for her.  Words cannot explain the Grand Canyon sized hole I have been trying to fill by loving her children heart and soul since she left. 

She didn't ask about DQ's recent birthday (she turned 9 last weekend).  She didn't ask about how V is doing.  She didn't ask that I send copies of school photos so she can see them.  She didn't ask about how dance/karate is going.  I think it hurts her too much to talk about it.  She can't bear to look at the fact that she can't be part of all of this. 

She told me that if I ever need to reach her, I can on the number she called me on.  She said it was a friend's number, and that they will make sure she gets any messages I leave.  I think she really wants me to call and talk to her more often.  I feel awkward doing it on someone else's phone, and I never know what to say.  I want to ask her how she and her nearly 4 year old baby are doing, but words always fail me. 

I realize life is short.  Could be a blink of an eye and we could be removed from this earth, and things will never be resolved.  I really wish she had the means to have internet access or her own cell phone.  Although some of the stuff in this blog may hurt her a little, I think it would also be good for her to see how DQ and V are doing, and see the photos I post on here of our lives.  This blog is a little piece of my soul.  It would be good for her to see that, as I just can't communicate it to her the few times I have talked to her since she left.

If you ever read this Nae, I love you.  I miss you.  I thank you for giving me the gift of raising your two girls.  I hope that one day we can both work through our feelings and fears, and have some kind of relationship again.  I don't think you were a bad mother.  I think you made bad decisions, but ultimately, you made the best (and hardest) one you could for your children, and left them to be cared for by someone who would do what you felt you could not.  I wish you would have let me help you more, but I know that you are my stubborn Nae, and will do things as you see fit.  I wish you all the best in life.  I truly do.

Love,
Aunt TT

Friday, January 17, 2014

Most Difficult Decisions

This is a very public blog.  Sometimes written about very private things.  Private things that are thrown out there for the world to read.  Some folks in the world that read this blog are friends and family.  Some are internet acquaintances.  Some are complete strangers.  One day these entries may be published into a book for two (in May... three) amazing little girls to read.  This blog is a real and true account of my life as a custodial auntie turned mom.  I honestly try to stay as unbiased as possible, and keep accurate details.  This blog may one day be used in an adoption battle.  It may one day be used to show an angry teenager just how much I love them.  It may just be a very real public journal of my life circa June 2009, for the day I shed this mortal coil. 

The bottom line - this very public blog holds a great many emotions.  Intense frustration to extreme elation, and it is all centered around raising the children who have been placed into my care.  However I don't put it ALL out there for everyone to see.  There are some things too private to share.  I pick and chose what I really want the world to know about our situation, and go from there.  I screen out things that should remain private. 

I can tell you this without making private things public.  The day this new baby was conceived, something terrible and tragic also happened within my family.  It has been a dark cloud that has lingered and made it very difficult to enjoy this pregnancy.  I can tell you that it is causing a large rift in my family.  All parties involved feel the need to protect their children, and are pulling away from each other in an effort to do so.  It truly breaks my heart.  This tragic event is the one thing I really wanted to protect my girls from being exposed to at such a young age.  It was a real blow to me as a mother.  I felt like I failed my girls.  I am still struggling with letting them go stay with families other than my own, because this tragedy happened while I was out with friends having fun, and the girls were staying with someone else.

So if I'm weird about my girls staying over at a friend's house, or politely decline your offers to watch them on a snow day, please know I am not trying to be rude, judgmental, or accusatory toward you.  I just want to keep them safe, and I'm sorry I am neurotic about it.  I thought they were safe, and I was wrong.  It is so hard for me to trust people (and this is not a new development - I've been like this for ages.)

Because of this, I have had to make some very difficult decisions.  My difficult decisions have wound up hurting people that I wish I didn't have to hurt.  My job above everything else is to protect my children, and give them a good childhood, so I have had to weigh that higher than the hurt of others.  This breaks my heart.  This makes it difficult to enjoy what should be a joyous time in life.  Being a parent is truly one of the hardest things I have ever done, and I really hope I am doing right by my daughters.  Only time will tell.  

Please don't mistake me.  I am glad to have the chance to feel life grow inside me before my ovaries completely quit working.  I have friends who would desperately love to be in my shoes, so I feel the need to state that  I am not ungrateful for this.  I am only saddened about events surrounding the conception of my daughter.  I am finally able to start bonding with my little E now that I know she's a girl, and although she makes me uncomfortable, can find some happiness in her kicks, or hearing her heartbeat on my monthly sonogram.  I am sure that once I hold E in my arms, I will fall completely in love with her.  I'm just not happy about the world I am bringing this child into.  But I can't change the past.  Can only move on with the future. 

As much as I hate it - this is a part of our life, and so I am documenting it in my blog.  I want to make a public apology to anyone I have hurt the feelings of.  The well being of these two little girls is my main concern, and for that I can not be sorry.  I can only do what I think is best for them. 

To end this blog on a good note, I believe E is now (faintly) able to be felt outside my womb.  I am going to test this tonight with DQ and V.  She is a very active little girl.  I reached the 21 week point on Wednesday, and told a co-worker that it is all downhill from here.  He laughed and corrected me saying, "no, it's all uphill from here."  He's probably right, but I was trying to be positive about this getting fatter thing.  My pants are getting too snug, and I really need to dedicate some time to altering them to fit better.

DQ and her dance team are gearing up for their first competition (about a month away).  I can't wait to see costumes, etc.  We have all ready booked our hotel room for the first competition.  Now if only I could get DQ to practice her solo without complaining!  She is insistent she will grow up to be a famous dancer, but I wonder if she has the drive sometimes.

V and her karate team are gearing up for their first karate meet of the year (In February).  This will be the first one V will be ready to attend.  I am so proud of her.  The medicine she is on is still doing a good job, and if she has another good day today (5 in a row), her karate sensi has promised her he will stop smoking for a week in celebration of her doing such a good job.  We love sensi, and he loves all of his kids.  He's amazing.  If you need a karate instructor in our area, I will get you info. 

I have been working on a baby registry, as M's mom is going to throw little E a baby shower.  That is such a task!   I need to finish DQ's dance costume, maybe that will inspire her to practice more.  I have a project involving a Minnie Mouse applique for a friend's daughter's 1st birthday to sew.  I really should focus on how tight my pants are.... and do the tutorials to rid myself of a waistband.  So very much to do!  Good thing M is away on an annual bus trip in Michigan this weekend (that I am terribly sad I can not go on).  Will hopefully give me more time to focus on the tasks at hand.

Have a wonderful day today!!!

Aunt TT

Friday, January 10, 2014

Medication Plantation

A friend of mine recently had a FB thread that spoke a bit about medicating children.  I want to say that I am glad thus far we have decided to medicate V.  We can tell when the dose is wearing off (or when we have missed a dose.... which did happen once or twice over the crazy holiday break...  oops.), because she isn't as able to focus without her current med (Concerta). 

Has it been a magic wand that fixes all our problems?  Ummmm.  No.  And I knew it wouldn't be.  HOWEVER, it helps V to be able to focus.  It helps her to do simple tasks like listen to directions, although sometimes she still chooses NOT to listen to those directions.  Like, this morning.
Me:  "V please put your coat on it is time to leave."
V - continues to pet cat as if I didn't even speak
Me:  giving her a few moments to process what I have said and do what I asked.
V - still petting cat - I clearly don't exist.
Me:  "V - put your coat on.  It is time to leave."
V - cat is way more important than coat - or mommy speaking to me.
Me:  voice more stern, "V - put your coat on now."
V - finally pulls away from cat, and rolls her eyes at me.  BUT puts her coat on.

The medicine helps her to not feel as overwhelmed in stressful situations.  It helps her to slow her little mind down from 250mph to maybe 175mph.  If your child truly has some ADD or ADHD, then yes - medication can help.  Are the side effects greater than how much it helps?  For us, yes.  Medicating your child is a personal decision, and a hard one at that.  You know your child best and what he/she needs, so trust your gut.  If you have tried everything else, and are at a point where you are feeling like "everything else" has not helped your child, then maybe it is time to medicate. 

Does V still try to lie? Yup.  Does she still try to be in complete control of every situation?  Yup.  Is she still a bit of a bully at times with other children?  Unfortunately.  Does she still make crazy decisions that I will never ever understand? (ie: trying to poop in a plastic water bottle, or do something she knows is wrong, knows I am watching, but can not resist the compulsion?)  Yes Siree Bob!  Does she still scream, and call people names when she is angry?  Yup!  Does it all still drive me a little crazy?  Certainly.

But it is a little easier to manage now.   The level of craziness in the house has been reduced by a bit.  It isn't a huge life altering difference, but a large enough difference, that we are glad we decided to try this. 

Ask me all of this again once the baby is here, and I am a nervous wreck because she isn't listening to me when I tell her to leave it's little head alone.  Hopefully I will feel the same way.  Hopefully I won't need to be medicated by then.  *wink*

DQ is SO excited about the gender reveal party this weekend.  I will be posting a live feed website link for our long distance loved ones, and blog followers.  M has worked hard and found a good quality feed with good sound quality.  The only drawback is that it has a 20 second delay.  So it won't be exactly the same time, and I don't know why that bothers me so bad, because I should be thankful that the technology is there for us to do this, and quit worrying about 20 measly seconds.  Bottom line is that we will all know soon if we will be welcoming a baby sister or a baby brother into the household.  Then I can get started buying baby things, and attempting to make cloth diapers!! The party will be at 2:30p EST on Sunday the 12th.

There might be some other big changes happening in our lives.  I can't go into detail until I have all the details myself, but I am rather excited about these other changes.  As soon as I am certain about what will or will not be happening, there will be a blog.

Have a fantastic day today!

Aunt TT

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Baby's 1st Ultrasound

A little before 4p today I laid in this comfy recliner type chair, and a technician put warmed (thank you!!!) ultrasound medium on my tummy and proceeded to show me that there is indeed a baby growing in my belly.

Yes... up till then I was still in a bit of a state of shock.  Guess I still am.

She measured the head, while I stared in awe.  Seeing it's stub little nose, watching it open it's little mouth, the outline of an ear, it's little arm up under it's head like a pillow, and the other arm wiggling around above it's head.  I saw what looked like four fingers and a thumb on that little hand.  She then moved on to measure it's humerus bone.  Baby wiggled a lot.  I can attest to this - she/he does move a lot.  She looked at it's heart (which appeared to me to have all four chambers).  She let us listen to it's heart (146 bpm).  She checked out the kidneys - there appeared to be two.  She tried to measure the tummy, but baby wouldn't sit still, so she moved to the feet.  We then saw dainty little toes.  A long - well proportioned femur, and not much else.  Baby was laying with it's legs crossed.  The technician moved back up to the stomach, and baby still kept wiggling, but after some time and patience, she was able to measure the stomach.  She moved back to the feet a bit more, then was done.

The technician left the room to calculate the size of the baby, and the amniotic fluid.  Mom, Z-man, DQ, V, M and I chatted with each other.  V was worried that the procedure hurt me, and although I kept reassuring her it didn't, she was putting on one heck of a show for mamaw, and trying to convince me that she was scared.  Z-man has been to an ultrasound before, and I couldn't really gauge his reaction.  DQ seemed very happy, and after we got home, had tons of questions for me about the placenta and how it comes out after the baby.  I think my mom took a little trip back in time explaining to the kids a little bit about her pregnancies.  M kept asking me if I was OK - and he got to see how active this baby is.  It sounded active the first time we heard the heartbeat, but seeing it wiggling all over the place is quite another story.

I through it all was scrutinizing every little detail.  I wanted to see for myself four chambers to the heart, two kidneys, strong healthy bones, etc.  I tried to figure out if the nose was mine or M's, as that was the most prominent feature I could discern. The placenta is attached at the top of my uterus, which is good because I have read about them attaching near the cervix, and how much harder that makes labor/delivery.  I'm aiming for a low risk - calm and nurturing delivery as I possibly can.  (love Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - thank you Lina!).

When the technician came back, she said that baby weighs 12.5oz, seems to be healthy, and there is plenty of amniotic fluid for him/her to dance around in.  She showed us out, and we all headed home.

We don't know the gender yet.  I honestly couldn't tell looking at it, especially with the criss crossed legs.  I did try to see if I could figure it out.  The technician however said she knew the gender and wrote it down on a little card we brought her - then sealed it in a little envelope.  I promptly took the envelope to the lady who will be making our gender reveal cupcakes because having it in my possession would just be too great a temptation to look.  We will have a gender reveal party for our close friends/family on Sunday - then I will reveal to you all if we will be expecting a boy or a girl.  I can't tell you how excited I am to find that out.  I can start making girl or boy diapers - and build our registry.  All those fun things.

The photo you all have been waiting for:

Our newest little one.  <3
Aunt TT