Monday, November 26, 2007

How clean is your fridge?

I was rooting through the leftovers after the baby's late-night feed, and I came across a bowl of something scary. I don't know when it went in there, and I am sad it is a glass bowl because if it was plastic I would just toss it. So I root around, tossing out-of-date and near-empty items, and I notice that the shelves are kind of scummy. So I took everything out and removed the shelves. I got to know those shelves very well with some hot, soapy water. Steve will be so surprised in the morning! And I was able to get it all cleaned & washed between feeds. I just have to put the drawers back in the bottom. Little Miss Fat Cheeks would not wait one. more. minute. when she woke up hungry, so I had to abandon the last of my task.

She was very antsy during her feed and is taking forever to fall asleep. She is in my arms, swaddled, but she has her days and nights turned around and is more wakeful than sleepy. Sigh.

I am tired, and tomorrow will be busy. Jonathan and Katie have well-child visits directly after school and have to be picked up early from school. The doctor's office claims it never got the kids' shot records despite the fact that we have been going there for a year and a half, including last year's well-child visit. So I have to go to each child's school and ask their nurses for copies of their shot records, which the doctors should have because *I* don't have them, and obviously they are running around somewhere since I was able to enroll my kids in school. Grrrr!

I also have to make Katie's cake for her birthday on Tuesday. We will do a family-only cake on her special day, and then she has requested the tea party so I have to make reservations at the tea room tomorrow too. And Stephanie has a well-baby visit on Friday, complete with shots. Poor baby! And I need to get my car inspected! I cannot forget that! And the oil needs changing.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christmas card angst

So I decided to make our Christmas cards this year.

Some people make a few cards all year, either all different, or the same, a few at a time. Some start in July or August, making all the same card and in small batches. That makes it easy on a budget, I suppose. Not me. I never do anything in half-measures.

So I have card blanks, colored inks, a few holiday stamps, pretty papers, adhesives, and some extra frills if need be. And that's it. No creativity, no spark, no originality, no talent, no idea to make a pretty card. *cries*

After two days of gathering my supplies, looking online and stewing, I found a card that has potential. I can copy the style of the card and use my own stuff. I am not copying it exactly. It should not take too long to make.

We already has a humorous-yet-disastrous attempt at taking a holiday photo where I second-guessed myself about everything. The girls were in matching dresses, and Jonathan was dressed in a nice shirt and khakis but was it enough? Or should it have been holiday dressy-dressy clothes? Or any kind of clothes, so long as they were holiday colors? Because they weren't. Perfect poses, or was informality ok? Smiles? No fake ones, please. Hey! Look at ME! The camera is over here! *sigh* If one child didn't blink, the other did. Should we put the dogs in the picture? They like to lick the baby.

I ended up choosing a picture to print that I think represents like at my house. Not perfect, a little chaotic, but real.

In the end, I think I can churn out a nice card, even if it is not the professional caliber that I see on a stamping board that I visit. Those ladies rock! And I can take the picture that makes me smile, (even through its imperfections) and zoom it in, edit out the red-eye, and print out a load of copies to put in the cards. I give myself 10 days, and I can have the handmade cards with family pics sent out to be received well in time for Christmas. I think the most time consuming part will be rounding up addresses.

Why am I still online? I have cards to make!

Friday, November 23, 2007


So, late Wednesday night I remembered that I had forgotten to make my pies. So between the baby sleeping and needing another feed, I baked two deep dish pies--pumpkin and cherry. Then I set my alarm to insure that I'd wake up in time to start cooking. I had a very strict schedule to keep to wake, cook, and juggle feeding the baby. Plus I was trying two new recipes so I had to have it down to the minute.

I ended up turning the alarm off in my tired stupor and woke up an hour past my time. Steve already fed the baby and I had to pump. Ugh, now I would be behind another 30 minutes. I ended up getting the turkey in the oven three hours past when I had planned to, but no worries.

I know now there was no way to keep to my schedule. I couldn't have gotten that bird in the oven and that stuffing in the crock pot in such a short amout of time. But it turned out quite funny because I was so tired. I kept going into the living room to read the recipe off the compter, and then going back into the kitchen to cook. It didn't occur to me to bring the computer into the kitchen. I browned the sausage and set it aside. I began to chop the celery and onions but instead of putting it into the pan to saute, I put it in the sausage bowl?? Then I added it to the pan without melting the butter first. It doesn't sound so funny, but it was. My momma called to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving right when I had started laughing. It was just hilarious that I couldn't concentrate. And rather than get all mad, I realized there was no way I could keep to a schedule. And I started laughing as Steve started scooping little piles of minced celery out of the sausage bowl.

I made a roast turkey--the first year that I didn't brine it! I tried a new recipe. It had a nice flavor but I will probably brine again next year. I made stuffing in the crockpot, homemade mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, peas, carrots, roasted sweet potatoes with a brown suge glaze and toasted walnuts, cranberry sauce, rolls, and the 2 aforementioned pies. I think that's it.

We had a nice relaxed day. We didn't have to et up early or go anywhere. We didn't have to dress up, but the kids did so we could attempt our Christmas card photo. I had the girls in matching dresses. I love Hanna Anderson for making dresses that my seven year old and seven week old can wear, matching. Jonathan dressed in a nice shirt and khakis. I took at least 50 pictures in different poses. It was exasperating, because the baby woudl turn her head at the last minte, or Jonathan would blink, or Katie would make a fake smile. So I became part entertainer, part photographer, saying silly things to evoke some real smiles.

Now I am being critical of my pictures. Should I have set them up against a backdrop or was our living room ok? I wanted them to be cute but comfortable so they were barefoot. Is that too informal? Should I have dressed them in holiday clothes, or holiday colors? I am narrowing my selections down but I wonder if they are good enough?

Then I figure, who cares? People want to see the kids, so they'll see them. I am trying to pick a picture without hair sticking up, closed eyes, or vampire teeth, and I hope I can edit the red-eye right out of the picture.

So we had a nice, laid-back Thanksgiving. It was lovely. The parade was on, and later, football. We had a nice spread of yummy food. We got to just lay around the house, for which I am truly thankful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Things to do when you're bored

So it's snowing today, and that means I am trapped, bored senseless in the house. The baby is asleep and yeah I could clean the house, but no. I call my neighbor and tell her to poke her head out the door. Why? To see if she can hear the music I have jacked up quite loudly in my car. I turned the car on, cranked it up, and shut the door. The trees are empty of the leaves which provided insulation from noise. The snow makes for nice acoustics also. You can hear your neighbors talking on their porch when all is still. So I thought for sure, she could hear my song. And she did.

Yes, I am a dork. The weird things you think of when you're bored, right? And she said her dog was cocking her head at the noise. She could hear it but had no idea where it was coming from. Sorry Lola-dog, Miss Jenn is crazy.

What song, you ask? Crank That/Soulja Boy. Hey, it said crank it, so I did. It has a nice beat that makes me want to shake my butt. Thankfully I do that behind closed curtains. My neighbors don't need to see a butt of my large size shaking, no matter how dance-worthy the song.

I like to put my mp3 player in my ears and shimmy around the house. It makes the kids laugh at me. I like to dance. However I am no good at it, hence the high comedy.

I made a new recipe last night and it tasted awful. No one complained, though, which makes me suspicious. How many other times has my family pretended to like my cooking? *sigh* Maybe they liked it? The kids ate it, they didn't just push it around on their plates or anything. So maybe I am the only one who thought it tasted like crap. I don't know if Steve ate since I was in the shower by the time he finally got home. When I got out of the shower, he had scraped the crockpot and put it to soak. So he probably thought it tasted like the smell of vomit, and cleaned the pot to avoid leftovers.

I knew I would be making crock pot meals and I bought crock pot liners for easy cleanup. Then I forgot to use one. Duh. In other news, my puppy started chewing my couch yesterday. Bad dog! She has tons of chew toys in a basket on the floor and she goes and pulls them out all the time. But yesterday I caught her gnawing away on my couch. Little dork. But today she pooped outside! Good girl! Never a dull moment.

The baby is going to want to eat soon, so I'll close this for now.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I miss the real Navy. Bad.

That is all.

Ok, maybe not.

I do miss the Navy though. This is like no shore duty I have ever encontered before. A horrible commute, terrible hours, being very remote, nowhere near a real base or commissary, working weekends, and a "command" spread so thin that there is no sense of cohesion, family, or belonging. I know one other nearby military family. They actually live on my street, so it is nice when I want to talk Navy at someone.

But I miss housing, and being surrounded by nosy neighbors. The ones who tell you that so and so came home at 2 am and speculate about where she'd been. The ones who call and ask what the UPS truck delivered to you today, since they saw the truck in your drive. The ones that you see again, at some point, since it is a small Navy.

I miss carriers. I was watching youtube and this feeling intensified. I miss the blue and white speckled floors. I miss the smell of jet fuel on Steve's clothes. I miss him carrying his seabag and wearing his big boots. I miss command functions, like the kids' holiday parties and the open houses on teh ship. I miss duty days--who would have thought that I'd miss duty? I miss bringing Steve dinner with the kids and visiting his in his office. I miss underways too. Making a ton of cookies to send Steve, and making the paper loop chain--one loop for every day Daddy's away.

I never thought that a shore duty would come along that I wouldn't relish. Savoring each day with Steve at home and not at sea, having him home for dinner every night, etc. I thought shore duty would fly by and be sorely missed. Instead, it is dragging and it is sea duty that's missed! Come on, July of 09!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My "baby" turned 11

I cannot believe it has been so long since he was born. I remember his birth. I was 17 and in high school. It was 6 weeks before my due date, so my mom was out of town caring for my sister's kids, whilst *she* was out of town. I went to work the day before, and I was a cleaning fool. It was cold, being half-November, and there I was in short sleeves, washing the windows! Outside, I mean. I worked at a restaurant and I can still see my reflection in the glass--brown hair pulled back into a bun, white buttoned workshirt, black pants and shoes, scrubbing away at those filthy windows, and any other surface in that restaurant that I thought needed cleaning. My manager Heidi even commented that she thought I was nesting.

I had a backache all that Saturday at work, but thought nothing of it. What third trimester lady doesn't have back pain? And I wasn't due for 6 weeks. I came home and completed my science project with my class partner Laura, and I remember joking, "Wouldn't it be funny if I wasn't at school on Monday because I had the baby early?" She did not think it was funny, because I was the one who was bringing the project itself to school. And I clearly remember my back hurting more frequently, and more sharply when we were working on the project. But I did not recognize them as contractions, merely backache, and they went away.

Laura went home and me, my dad and brother went out for dinner. IHOP, I think, and my brother made me laugh so much that I spit orange juice all over my plate. I was graceful. Later my brother went to a party. I didn't want him to go, and I begged him to stay home, which was odd. Who cared what he did, right? But for some reason, I wanted im home. He wasn't harsh or anything. Maybe he recognized my request as being out of character? He left a number where he'd be, and promised he'd be home in the morning.

I felt a little lousy and I went to bed. I left my dad asleep in his recliner. At 11 PM I woke up to use the toilet. When I wiped, the tissue was bloody and I groaned. Where were my pads? And how inconvenient was it to start my period in the middle of the night? Ugh.

But wait--my period?? Oh crap, this was that bloody show they were talking about in Lamaze class! But I had only taken 2 of those 6 classes and I still had six weeks! Disgruntled, I went downstairs and shook my dad awake. I told him about the bloody show--he had gone to the classes with me--and he asked if I was sure? Yes. Did I want to call my mom? We tried, no answer. I wanted to go lay down and I would wake him up if anything else happened. They told us in those Lamaze classes that one could lose one's mucus plug days prior to birth. OK.

I go to lay down, and the dog She is trying to drape herself across my belly and this, along with that nagging back pain, was making sleep difficult. I dozed off only to wake again at 4 AM to use the toilet again. And with the sound of a water balloon bursting, well, my water broke! And in my favorite sweatpants too! I had to change into my "ugly" ones to go to the hospital. I woke my dad and told him my water broke. We tried to call my mom again and finally there was an answer. It turns out that my sister's roommate turned the phone's ringer off while she was out for the evening, so any late callers would not disturb my mom. But she returned home at about 2 AM and turned the ringer back on, since she would be able to intercept any calls. So we got through to my mom, who freaked. My dad hopped in the shower. I called the doctor and packed a bag.

I threw in a book to read, in case I got bored between contractions, an apple in case I was hungry, some clothes for me and an outfit for my baby, who was supposed to be a girl. Stop laughing! Who knew what to pack? Not me!

We arrive at the hospital, I am admitted. I had a mean nurse who didn't like that I was unmarried. She started me on an IV, hooked me up to a monitor and started me on Pitocin. This was about 530 AM. I was stuck with the mean nurse until shift change, when I got a nice nurse named Jeri. I remember her eyes, which were my focal point.

I labored. We called my mom from the hospital and she tried to coach but she was in Florida. So Dad helped me, and chanted push-push-push-push in my ear at about 930 AM when I felt the urge. I held my legs back, knees to ears, chin to chest and pushed. All I had to deliver was the head and the doctor slid the baby's body out: a purple-skinned creature, covered in cream cheese, I mean vernix. His head was flopped to one side as the doctor held him, yes, HIM up to show me it was a boy. During delivery I had been grunting, "Come on Hannah!" Now I had a Jonathan, who was born at 10:12 AM, weighing a hefty 5 pounds, 12 ounces, measuring 18 inches. He was due December 30th and born November 17th. He had a little cap of black air at birth that quickly fell out. He had colic and would scream for hours. He liked to sleep rather than eat, and we had to fight to get him to eat. Once he outgrew his sleepiness he ate every three ours round the clock until the following June. He started sleeping through the night a week before final exams. I like to think it was a present for me.

I went back to school when he was 2 weeks old, and I took my SATs when he was 3 weeks old. 1310 isn't so bad for 3 weeks postpartum. And that science project? I called the school first thing Monday morning and left a message with the teacher that the project was completed, and I'd bring it in on Tuesday after I was discharged from the hospital. He later told me that Laura's face was priceless when she saw I was not in class.

So I made Jonathan a cake, his Omnitrix cake just like he wanted. He blew out all the candles in one go. I bought his favorite ice cream and a few party snacks. I had a little craft as a time filler. We had 2 neighbor families in and it was very low key. He enjoyed his gifts because they were exactly what he'd asked for. And the kicker? He is having a sleepover at someone else's house! Happy Birthday Jonathan. I love you.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Things to do

So here I am, wide awake after feeding the baby at midnight. She is still awake too, but I put her in her bed so she can learn to self soothe and fall asleep herself. Yes I am a mean mommy. I have a laundry list of things that need to be done so I figured I would write it down here.

Jonathan's birthday is on Saturday and I am debating baking his cake now, since I am up. I will decorate it later but I can do the baking ahead of time.

I was cleaning the entryway to the house when the midnight feeding rolled around. I was washing the walls with my beloved Magic Eraser, and sweeping off the stairs and floor. We will have people in on Saturday for cake and I want them to see a nice house, starting with a shiny entryway. I had my floor cloths and scrubber for the entryway linoleum. I need to wash the eight tiny windows too. We have a coat rack and a shoe cube for organization, so that's good.

Side note--I want to slap the guy in the Campbell's Soup To Go commercial, who is eating meatballs in the elevator. He is annoying. Also, the baby fussed until I thought she was going to wake up Steve so I picked her up and put her in her swing. Minimal fuss and a sleeping baby. Finally, my cable keeps going in and out and it is annoying. I am about to put a movie on for background noise. We have recently acquired Knocked Up, I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry, Ratatouille, and I Thee Wed. Back to my list.

I want to shampoo my carpets but I don't want to do them while it is wet out because I like to open my windows for a cross breeze to help the carpet dry, and I think if it is wet out, the damp air won't help the carpet dry any faster. It has been wet for two days, but it will be dry for the next three. I wonder if I can squeeze in the carpets tomorrow? Eh, I will try. But if so, I should really bake that cake now.

Oh crap! I threw out one of my round cake pans! I said to myself, "Ew, it's gross, I'll buy another." And I threw it away, and now I have to make a double layer round cake. Hmm. Who says it has to be a double layer? I can make the round cake and then use the remaining batter for cupcakes.

What else? I don't need to scrub the kitchen floor but I do need to scrub the baseboards around the bar and under the dishwasher. I also need to do the regular tidying in the bathroom. I need to do some in-depth things and some regular maintenance cleaning things.

Be right back--odd noises. OK back now--something fell in the bathtub, no big deal.

Anyway, I need to close this and get to doing something worthwhile or maybe even going to sleep! I am kind of tired but it seems like such a waste to go to sleep when the baby will wake up to eat in about 2 hours. I also need to find Katie some jeans or pants because she thinks she is wearing capris tomorrow. At 40 degrees. Grrrr!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad

This evening was Parent-Teacher conferences, and Jonathan said that one team in the school was calling themselves the Soapy Bubbles. There was a sign and everything welcoming the Soapy Bubble Parents.

I asked what his team was called and he said they had just voted on a name, but not in time for the teacher to hang the banner saying (mutter mutter mutter).

"Animal Crackers," I asked? I got a LOOK for that and I asked what did I do?

"Emerald Geckos, Mom!" We all busted up laughing right there in the hall.

Well it was funny to me! :-)

In other news, my skin is so terribly itchy and has been since the baby was born. My stretch marks are itchy, especially around the waist, so I guess they're shrinking. But all my skin itches and it feels like there are bugs crawling under my skin. I can sit there and feel an itch, and look, convinced it is a bug on me. Lo and behold, nothing. I am losing it! I am also going to be slathering on the lotion.

The past two days, giant spiders have tried to sneak into my house. Ineffectually, I might add. They wait, huge and lurking, right by my door. I step up and put the key in the lock and freeze in horror. *Insert full body shiver* Do they think I am going to step aside and let them precede me? Ugh.

I am loving the Knifty Knitter looms for making things. They just seem to churn out the yarned goods. But I feel as if I am cheating or not really knitting. I want to learn more than how to make scarves, when just using needles. I enjoy my loom though, because I can work for just short spurts of tie with a new baby, and I can see results quickly.

Lastly, it is after midnight, so Happy 21st Anniversary to my Mom & Dad! I hope you guys have a great day!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hello little face!

The baby scared me today!

We were having a little ni-nite this morning, and I bolted awake to her fire engine scream, but it was different--she was panicking. She was all of two feet away from my bed in her bassinet and I flew over there, to find her covered in foam? She was foaming at the mouth and nose. I snatched her up and ran into the nursery. I used the bulb syringe to suction her. She was trying to cry but couldn't draw air because she was choking on her foam. So she would do this horrible gurgling noise until she drew enough air, then let out the fire engine scream of panic. It seemed like forever but it was maybe only three minutes until I had her calm again, and she was peering up at me, wide eyed and grabbing at my finger with her tiny hand. I was thoroughly freaked out. I called the pediatrician to see if they thought anything sounded off, or could tell me where the foam came from? She doesn't spit up so I was at a loss. Was she really sick?

The ped office told me to come in to check her and make sure her lungs were clear. She had been snuffly for a few days and sneezing since yesterday, little rapid fire sneezes. We have had the humidifier going. Of course the instant I walked into the ped office she became all coos and smiles. I felt like an idiot and like I had never had a baby before! But the ped said no, it was good to come in and make sure her lungs were clear--the last thing we needed was to let some respiratory bug languish, undetected and untreated.

She now weighs 7 pounds, three ounces. She has gained eight ounces in the past six days! And she is nursing like it's her job. Well, I guess it is, huh? She is the little, tiny picture of health. See above!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A post before the baby wakes up

I signed up on one of my boards to do a post a day, and boy do I suck at it. I am teh Loser. Oh well. I forget, sometimes.

So I have been thinking about my kids' birthdays, which are this month and ten days apart. Katie wants to go to the beauty parlor for a hairdo and to get her nails painted. Since I enjoy torture, I will get my eyebrows waxed. Whee! Then she, I, the baby, Miss Meghan and Zoe are all going to a local tea room, full of frilly things and dainty tables, for a girls-only time. I am going to give them both little necklaces. Later, at home, we will eat whatever food she wants and then I will make a cake. I think I saw directions ot make a teapot shaped cake, so I might do that. She wants the Candyland cake I made for Miss Meghan but it was $50 to make that cake because of all the candy, so no. We are strapped as it is, for the rest of the year. Pick another cake, chica.

Jonathan wanted to go to a laser tag place, but now has changed his mind and wants a sleepover. We are going to tell him that he may have a one-person-only sleepover because of the baby. And he asked me months ago if I could make an Omnitrix cake--this little electronic bracelet thing, the watch/face part of the bracelet is round, and three colors. Oh, yes, I can make it, and easily, too. So we will do the cake at home thing, just like with Katie, and he wants a sleepover, so I can provide meal of choice, just like Katie, but I think she is getting more, and I am going nuts trying to think up another activity for him to do. I know he will do video games and movies and pizza or corn dogs and popcorn and stuff for the sleepover. It still seems like she is getting more, but he doesn't want to do a scavenger hunt, and there aren't any movies that he wants to see, and he is not into Build A Bear (which is what Katie wanted to do before she opted for a tea party). I don't know. I will think of something, I guess.

So I have been feeling "off" for a few days. It is hard to explain, but it weighs on me. I hate my house. I hate staring at the same four walls. You might think I am just housebound with a new baby, and that might be a small part of it, but not really. I have a car and can go where & when I need to. Yes it is hard since I have only been nursing for a week, and I cannot do it discreetly in public, so outings must revolve around the baby's feedings. But I can always bring a bottle of expressed milk if I need to be out longer. Stephie is a good baby. She is cute and sweet and doesn't cry much. She likes to sleep and doesn't demand much. I can just stare at her for a long time.

So I don't think my unhappiness is baby-related. We wanted her for over 3 years and are happy she is here, whole and healthy. It doesn't feel like it is about the baby. It is about the house. I don't like it here. I am remote and have few friends. One of my friends is moving next summer and I am dreading it because I will be left alone on this street full of townies with their demon kids.

I am stuck in this house. I have tried for two days to get out of the house and have not succeeded.

Friday I went to my six week check up and got my flu shot. Then we went out to dinner with MIL. We went to the store afterward, looking for a new coat for Katie and the store was closing and they kept announcing it over the loudspeaker, as if we would forget. We left, coatless, because the world as the Wal Mart workers knew it would end, if we didn't leave right.that.minute. Seriously we went in 30 minutes prior to closing and they were already announcing it. I hate that particular store, though. They always make us feel unwelcome.

I told Steve that I have started feeling here how I felt in Maryland-- I am trapped in the house and I dread going back to it. It doesn't help that the last few times we have tried to go out to shop or run errands, we have been rushed, either for stores closing, or to make sure we get home before the kids' bus drops them off, or because the baby needs to eat. I hate feeling so rushed, and it takes the joy right out of shopping for me. It's very frustrating. I told him it didn't matter that I was "only" shopping for groceries, and not getting anything for me. It was the rush factor. Especially rushing home. Ugh.

So what happened yesterday? I can't even remember. Well basically nothing. We didn't go anywhere. I sat in the same spot in my house, on my couch, with my nursing pillow and fed the baby every few hours. I did not do anything. I can't remember what I wore, or what time I woke up.

So today (Sunday) Steve woke me up and said if I wanted to go anywhere, I needed to wake up so we could get out the door and back before the birthday party that Jonathan had to attend. It was 10:30 AM. I had stayed up late with the baby and he did the morning feed so I could sleep in. So let's see, wake up, eat, feed the baby at some point, or pump. Dress and then make sure everyone else is dressed and clean. Then, where should we go? I had nowhere specific in mind. But by the time we got out the door, it would be yet another rush job. 30 minutes, minimum, to get anywhere from our house. Arrive at some as-yet-undecided location, then rush around to rush back home in time for the party. Yay. Isn't that fun? How 'bout no?

So we are going nowhere, at least until after the party's start time. We could drop Jonathan off and go...somewhere. Then we found out that the party was starting at 3, not two. So I was stuck in the house for another damn hour. And by the time the party rolled around, so had the baby's feeding time. Feed her, then it was nearing time-to-start-cooking-dinner time and supposed party ending time. I was going nowhere. Again. WTF?

I stared at the wall. Like I do every day, from my perch on the couch where I feed the baby. I stared at the striped curtains which look stupid. Who has striped and solid curtains in the same room? I am not an interior designer, and it shows. I hate those curtains. Steve asked what the matter was and I told him I was bored out my skull.

I went and put the baby in her bed and laid down in mine. If I was going to be bored to tears or bored to sleep, I could do it in my own bed. I cried. I slept. I woke up five hours later. Steve fed the kids. He also went out and got a paper. He fed the baby while I slept. I woke up and he went to sleep, and I have been awake ever since. I am waiting for the baby to wake up and eat, and then I'll go to bed. Yesterday I went to bed after 4 AM. Today should be about the same. I can see the baby stirring but I want her to wake up fully so it doesn't take forever to feed her. When she is sleepy it can take a while to make her eat.

So what will happen tomorrow? Who knows. But I didn't think I was going anywhere today. When I woke up and saw the time, and thought about what it would take to get us out the door, I just knew I wasn't going anywhere. It's not even about coordinating the effort to physically get out the door, it is the rushing. It is not worth all the get up and go, to rush to a destination, do whatever needs doing, and rush home. Why bother? It takes the fun out of shopping as well.

So I am stuck in the house that I cannot stand, because there is no point in leaving, because I won't enjoy wherever it is I am rushing to. This sucks.

And because I can't stand the house, why bother taking care of it? A piece of siding fell off during a storm. I stil haven't called the landlord to have it reaffixed. I have been meaning to either trim the shrubs in my mulch boxes, or hire a crew to do it for me, but I can't work up the give-a-damn to do either. I want to clean up the yard before winter hits, but not enough to do it. Does that make sense?

I could go on about the house, but I will just make myself feel like crap and I don't need that. I was thinking about my six week check, and they did a depression screening, asking some rather stupid and very broad questions. I even told Steve, they didn't ask the right questions. Who asks a new mother if they are tired? Or if they have trouble concentrating? Insert eyeroll here. Let's see, the baby wakes up round the clock to eat, but no, I'm not tired at all. And trouble concentrating? I couldn't remember my phone number the other day.

I really think their questions should be more specific. I feel like crap but I know if I need help, all I have to do is ask. But if I were some other woman and passed the depression screening, I woudn't understand why I feel the way I do. Because if I answered no to all their questions, I'm not depressed, right?

Well I passed their screening but I have no doubt that I am a little depressed. Do they (the doctors)have a clue? No. Not only because it predates my pregnancy, but also because they asked the wrong questions. Do I want to hurt myself or others? No. Am I tired? Yes. Do I have trouble concentrating? Yes, when I am sleep deprived. Do I feel like a failure to myself or others? I answered no, because I didn't, that day.

But I had some serious self-worth issues after the baby was born. I had screwed up again--my body rejects my babies too early and here I had given birth to a baby who had to stay in the hospital because my body didn't grow her well enough. Then I couldn't fed her, which was a huge, confusing blow. I was able to make milk but my breasts and her little mouth just couldn't meet in the middle. I think if I had a supply problem I would have lost it. But overall I felt that my body had betrayed me and it made me sad.

They should ask better questions, such as, "Are you disinterested in activities that you normally enjoy?" Or, in plainer language, "Do you just not give a damn?"

"Is getting dressed not worth the effort since you're not going anywhere anyway?"

"Do your days seem to stretch in front of you, an endless haze of the same boring crap?"

"Are you doing the bare minimum just to function?"

"Do you dread the phone ringng because it means you have to answer the phone and you want people just to leave you alone?"

See, I confuse myself. I want out of the house, yet stay in it. I want to be left alone, yet I do NOT want to feel lonely. I don't have a problem taking care of my kids, but I can't remember the last time I washed my hair. And I didn't get dressed today. I can't remember what I wore yesterday so I don't know if I got dressed. But my kids are clean, dressed, fed, play outdoors, go to bed on time, do well in school, and the baby doesn't go to school, but she's a bright-eyed girl.

I don't think I have full-blown PPD. I don't think I have PPD at all, because to me it implies blame on the baby, and she is not the source of my unhappiness. I blame the house. I think I have had mild depression that predated this pregnancy, stemmed from my infertility, and comes and goes. Sometimes I am fine. I get up, get dressed, do my daily routine, care for my kids, and have productive days. Most days are like that. Just not lately.

OK well I need to help the baby wake up and eat. She likes her swing too much. Don't worry y'all. I am fine. I just don't like my house.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Knotted knickers & throwing rank!

OK. My husband is a Chief. He is in the Navy and to me, it's a big deal. He didn't just take a test for promotion, or stand a board, he did both. And he had to do the initiation period, which was 6 weeks' worth of hard slog. I am proud of him and I lived through the misery that was Chief's Initiation with him, helping him when I could and supporting him as much as possible. It was emotionally trying, physically exhausting and... very rewarding. The pinning ceremony was one of the very few times that I drove the interstate. One of the other times was when I was in labor. So it ranks up there on my Big Deal-O-Meter.

So what has my knickers in a knot? A lady on a board I visit, in the military area of this board. She is irking me. What makes it worse is that she is a Navy wife as well. Sigh.

It started out innocently. The Navy ladies were talking about the Khaki Ball and one of the Army ladies asked what it was, and later, asked what a Chief was. Because Chiefs are unique to the Navy. So this lady comes and says that a Chief is an E7, which is basically the boss of E6 and below. Jaws dropped.

Yes, in payscale a Chief is an E7, and I suppose is also the boss of those under him. But what a simplistic and insulting answer. And I told her so. She objected to being told she was wrong and insinuated that I was throwing rank around.

Do what?

Well if she knows how to insult a Chief, why am I surprised when she insults a spouse? It is insulting to tell a Chief that they are an E7, and it's quite a slap to be accused of wearing your spouse's rank. Basically she is calling me a snob. She is accusing me of being "Navier-than-thou."

Ehhh, bite me. A bitch I may be. A snob, no.

A snob would be a past acquaintance of mine who, upon learning that her husband made Chief, decided she needed a new wardrobe. To quote her, she needed "Chief's wife's clothes." Really lady? I wasn't aware that your husband made Admiral. :eyeroll:

She was an uppity little thing and it galls me that I am being tarred with the same brush. I was simply illustrating to this lady that her answer was wrong, and all of a sudden I am a snob? She also said that her dad was a Chief and he wouldn't have batted an eyelash at being called an E7.

Well maybe her dad *was* simply an E7. Or maybe she is wrong about that, too.

Chiefs are special. Unique. The Navy is the only branch who has them. If they weren't special, they'd be in all branches. They act as a go-between for the enlistedmen and the officers. They act as mentors to the JO's. They are not promoted simply--it is a multi-step process and Chiefs are appointed by Congress. It is not a simple "you were an E6, now it's time for promotion, so you go to the next rung on the ladder: E7."

When this lady so cheaply defines a Chief, she minimizes the long road it takes to get there. She implies it is easily achievable, commonplace, and no big deal. I beg to differ. Becoming a Chief is an emotionally charged time for Selectees and their spouses.

Ok, so her dad was a Chief. Well I can tell you that my kids are not as affected as I am by my husband making Chief. Sure they're proud of their dad, but the enormity of the situation escapes them, and I am sure it escaped her, concerning her dad.

She just does *not* get it. Ehh, I will get off my blue and gold soapbox for now. Now I need a caricature of myself. Picture a hefty, angry woman with a large wedgie, throwing anchors to and fro. Bwahahahahahahaha!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Crap, it's after midnight!

I signed up on one of my boards to post every day and now I think have lost 3 days! Ugh! It is weird to say I have been too busy, but I have. Doing nothing, but still busy.

I still mean to shampoo my carpets and I actually got around to asking my neighbor to borrow the cleaner, and I vaccuumed the carpet in preparation. I even have cleaner fluid. I just need to go get the cleaner itself.

The baby decided to start nursing two days ago, and I am happy. My nipples burn like hellfire, but I am happy. I feel a little less like a failure now. I am retaining water like crazy again, since my supply has increased a ton. First I was making twice what she ate, then she started eating more and my supply appeared to be decreasing and I lamented. I increased my water intake and tried to pump more frequently. Then she decided to nurse. Supply issue apparently solved.

Here are some random thoghts. I have my six week check on Friday. Steve is working hard, preparing for an inspection at work. I spent too much money at the grocery store. I am making a hat to match the scarf I made for my recipient in the December Gift Exchange. After I nurse the baby, I am starving. I just finished feedign her before I started posting and my stomach HURTS. Sucking down water is not helping.

Ok so this was a boring post. No one said I had to be scintillating, right? Next post will be better, I promise.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Dr. visit update, and some guilt

The baby will be 5 weeks on Sunday. At her appointment today she weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces and finally measured her original (incorrect) length of 18.5 inches. At her ultrasound, her hips were declared to be just fine, as her eyes were yesterday at the eye appt. And tonight she nursed enthusiastically for a few minutes on each side. It is a slow going but those few minutes did loads to make me feel like less of a failure.

I have had alot of guilt about a lot of things and I think it comes part & parcel with being a mom. I was supposed to carve pumpkins with my kids, the night before Halloween. And I fell asleep. So I had to carve them up quick Halloween afternoon, and I wasn't able to put a lot of effort into them and I felt like Halloween was rushed and not a lot of fun.

We went to a local mall to trick or treat since we live out in bumblehoo, and by the time we got there, most of the retailers were out of candy. And it was a small mall. So we had to take the kids to Target and let them choose a bag of candy for themselves. Seriously they might have gotten ten pieces of candy at the mall. So I felt bad about that.

I feel bad for being so tired, for not cleaning the house, for not wanting to cook dinner, for not having gone grocery shopping yesterday because we need more food in the house, because the house is messy, for meaning to shampoo the carpets for 10 days now but not having done it yet, or not being able to carry my babies to term, for not being able to nurse Stephie immediately & successfully, for being so tired that my dogs have to whine to go out, rather than me just being able to remember to take them out, etc. I just feel bad that I am so tired and I am not superhuman.

People tell me that I just had a baby and cut myself some slack but is there anyone who is easy on themselves? We are our own worst critic, right? I know I am. I have a lot of things that I want to do, but I have yet to put into practice and they weigh on me. Sigh. Well I am tired so I will close for now.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sleep deprivation sets in

I was re-reading my last few blog entries and I saw that I didn't say when Stephanie came home. She has been home for a while, and I have posted pictures, but I never posted about being able to bring her home! Duh, me!

She was born on Sunday, September 30th and came home on Friday, October 12th. She was in the NICU for 5 days and then went to the CCN. She weighed 4 pounds, 11 ounces upon discharge, and the following Monday she had her first doctor's appointment, where she weighed 5 pounds even. She was incorrectly measured at 18.5 inches at birth, but only measured 16.5 inches at two weeks old. She has had her adorable fat cheeks since before she was born--we saw them on the 3D ultrasound!

We went to the eye doctor today and they put eye drops in her eyes to dilate the pupils and then put a numbing drop in each eye. Then he put some scary-looking, spring-loaded, tiny salad tongs on her eyelids to keep them open while he looked *in* her eye. I was horrified, but her eyes are healthy and we go back in a year for an eye checkup.

Tomorrow we go for 2 appointments--a well-baby check in the morning and then a hip ultrasound in the afternoon to check and make sure her Gumby legs are ok.

Life around the house is settling down a little. I have come to realize that if I do not write something down, it does not get remembered, or done. This includes taking my poor weenie dogs outside. They will be whining at me, fit to burst, and I stare at them, puzzled, until I get a clue and take them out. They normally stay close to me and the baby all day. They are good dogs and have adjusted well to the "new puppy."

Like the title says, sleep deprivation has set in. I try to clean something each day, in addition to caring for the dogs and the baby, and then keeping a routine with my older kids which includes an hour of outdoor play per day. But sometimes I can't think straight. Today a lady asked my husband's birthday. I stared at her, blank. Steve had to tell her himself.

This afternoon when we went outside to play it was a little windy so I grabbed my cape. Underneath the cape I had a hoodie fleece on, and when we got to the neighbor's house, I put my hood on to keep the wind from blowing my face. My legs were freezing because I thought it would be a good idea to wear capris today??? So imagine me, wearing capris with my legs that desperately need a shave, and wearing a black fleece with the hood pulled up, and a tan walking cape complete with (faux) fur trim around my neck. I carried a green canvas bag with various things like snacks for the kids and let me tell you , in that getup I looked like a bag lady. Who goes out in public that way? Sleep deprived me, apparently.

So what can I do? I write down the time when I pump or when the baby eats, so I can know when to expect to pump or feed the baby again. I think I am going to start setting a timer to take the dogs out every few hours. I can't really ask Steve to help me not look like a bag lady since he saw me leave the house, cape in hand, and said nothing. He is just as foggy as I am. Today we were in the store trying to decide whether or not to buy something. We stood there, hemming and hawing, staring at each other, both of us unable to make a decision.

Some days I am with it, or remember something without having it written down, and I impress ourselves. Then days like today happen, and I feel like a dork. Never a dull moment.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another picture! Ok, two!

Here is Miss Stephanie, having a snooze right next to me, and along comes Cookie, our new puppy we got this summer. Cookie has sprouted like a weed and is now the same size as Max, though she is 2 years younger than he is. She is longer than the baby is, and here she is laying next to her, (down a little since she knows not to be in the baby's face) protecting "her puppy."
ETA: another picture, this one is a close up of paws and feet!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Finally, a picture...

Here she is, just waiting for her Hogwarts letter to arrive! She was about 2 weeks old when I took this, so it is a week and a half old. I must get some current pictures uploaded! She is the size of a loaf of bread and weighs 5 pounds--as much as a bag of sugar! Her foot is as long as my pinky. Her hands are small, her butt is the smallest I've ever see, even her cry is small! The only thing that's big on her are those fat cheeks!!! I can't believe she will be a month old on the 30th!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

She is here!

I will add pics tomorrow, or look at my Myspace or FaceBook.

Grab the popcorn, it's long:

OK, so off we went to the Khaki Ball on Saturday night. I got to wear my pretty dress and eat a yummy dinner. There was another pregnant lady there, and she actually delivered her Eliza Jane on Wednesday October 3rd. But people were taking bets on which one of us would go first, that night. Steve asked how I felt, and I said fine. So he had a few beers with oh, everyone else except me and the other pregnant lady there. I drove back to the hotel. Yes, we were away from home that night! I gave myself my insulin injection at 11. Steve went to sleep and I had quite a lovely shower with a rainfall showerhead. Must acquire one for home...but I digress.

At midnight I crawled into bed, achy in the back. A niggling fear was in the back of my head, but I went to sleep. Or rather, I tossed and turned. At 2 AM, I kinda shifted my weight a bit and felt a small, warm, wet gush. Holy crap, I am in a hotel bed, did I pee again? Is this a repeat of 29 weeks? I go to the bathroom and wipe, no blood. OK. I go back to the bed, where thankfully I had been sleeping with a pad on so it is soaked and so are my undies, but not the bed! I thought perhaps I just peed. But I have these pains that come and go, and now they have teeth. They're not just a backache. And then there is that odd trickle down my leg. Well, crap! I wake Steve and ask him if his two hours of sleep had been enough? He is not amused. Neither am I, since I will now have to drive the damn interstate to get to the hospital! Me! I don't drive the interstate--I am a huge chicken! And gee, I am in labor! My contractions are every 3-4 minutes. And they have teeth! Sharp ones!

In denial, I lay down with a towel between my legs. If it was water breakage, I will leak a little. So I lay down for a bit, tensing with contractions under Steve's bleary and narrowed eye. He and I inspect the now-wet towel. It is streaked with pink. This is it. So I call the doctor's answering service, and am instructed to go to the hospital. We pack it up and check out. I drive the interstate with Steve telling me where to drive, since I have no idea where I am going.

We arrive safely, thank goodness! I am triaged and deemed to be truly in labor. The nursing staff think that I am amusing, since I am laughing and joking. By about 5 am I am in a room--they kept me in the triage area for a while. This is my first labor without Pitocin-they decide I don't need any, and we will see how my labor goes. Ok! And I am allowed to use a birth ball, and am allowed intermittent monitoring, despite the baby's "young" age! Whee! I feel free! I can walk and stretch and do whatever!

I can also swear like a sailor on shore leave! We now know that she took what felt like forever to descend because she was bent in half. Remember the 3d ultrasound pictures where she was grabbing her feet? She descended that way, headfirst. I feel like a huge whiner, but Steve says he thinks I did good. He says I was louder than when I delivered Katie, but he didn't think anything of it. And my language was foul, but that seemed to amuse the nurses. Gone was the laughing, happy patient. She had been replaced by an angry woman who wanted to know why the M-F the urge to push wouldn't come, because she was at her G-D limit!

Did I mention my MIL was there? She called to ask if she could come. I thought for sure I would deliver by the time she got there, and I knew she'd want to see the baby, and plus I was in pain and didn't give a hoot who was in the room. Yeah, I must have been delirious. And guess who drove her? SIL! The two women who are the bane of my existence were there. And I didn't even care. When I was in transition, I threw up. I gave a warning retch and MIL held the barf tub for me. It was the only time she came near me, which was fine. The nurses in the room were trying to take the tub away and she said she was a nurse and it didn't faze her. And I threw up all of my lovely dinner. I was mad. I want another plate, please!

So time passes and once again, I am yowling, swearing and begging the baby to please drop and give me the urge to push. Please? My OB comes in and wants to check me, maybe add some Pitocin to my IV to finish things up, and also wants to put a monitor in the baby's head. OK. Just please check me quickly, because it hurts. He checks me and then screws the monitor in the baby's head. He steps back and I freak out, yelling his name! He is cool as a cucumber, "I'm right here."

"Catch her! Catch her!" I scream. Loudly. Because he jostled her right into postion by putting in that monitor and she came flying out like a freight train. He stared at my hoohoo as if it were a good TV show to see that she was descending, and ever so calmly reached for his gowns. The nurses saw him gowning out and freaked--it was a slow day and I had quite a few nurses popping in, and a student nurse who was learning, too. They hit the "get down here right now" button for the NICU because of Stephanie's age, and I am still yelling for my OB to catch her.

What I didn't know was that he was supervising another doctor, and she was going to help deliver. So I am shrieking at him and thinking he is not taking me seriously and then I look and see the lady crouched, catcher's mitt in hand. He was right there at the ready, but she was getting a turn first.

I know now why this delivery seemed so much more painful than my other two, but right then I couldn't figure out why in the hell I didn't get the relieved "it feels good to push" feeling. She had a tiny little head but her body was all balled up. Friggin' ow! She popped out and I was *sure* I must be tearing. The doctor was telling me to push small pushes and Steve was saying the same. I had a death grip on his hand the whole labor, and he says at this time I started punching him in the neck/chest while gripping his hand. I don't remember that but I do remember telling him No! No! No! so I might have been whacking the hell out of him at the same time. Out she flies, with only a small tear that doesn't even merit stiches. Steve gets to cut the cord.

Stephanie Juliet was born at 10:53 AM on Sunday September 30, 2007, weighing 4 pounds, 9 ounces and measuring 18.5 inches.

Stephanie's legs were horribly bowed. She looked like an anchor. Her legs appeared rotated and her knees bent backward too. Holy hyperextension, batman! The NICU arrived just after the birth and thought she was a breech birth. No. They also gave her oxygen in a nasal cannula as a precaution, and took her upstairs. We had to wait a few hours to see her. I had penicillin in my IV since I had only had my GBS test that Friday and the results weren't in yet. She got her own batch of antibiotics in the NICU. She was taken off the oxygen but sugar water was put in her IV because her sugar was low, from my diabetes. We were really freaked out about her legs--were they broken? Would she need surgery? Would she ever walk? We cried.

Steve had to go home to relieve our sitter--she thought she had the kids overnight for the Khaki Ball and got them for a bit longer! So he didn't get to see that within 8 hours of birth, the baby voluntarily put her legs down straight. If you disturbed her she would flail her legs and bend the knees the wrong way. As the days have passed, she has retained a normal position and keeps her knees bent the right way. She is very flexy and I call her Gumby. Steve is not amused.

They stopped testing her blood sugar so frequently. She finished her round of antibiotics and her IV was removed. She regulates her temperature just fine now. She moved from the big flat wide open bed for sicker babies, to the box bed with hand holes for less sick babies, to a regular crib. She is currently trying to decide if she wants to be orange like a pumpkin. Also, she has a tube down her nose since she likes to sleep rather than eat. So I pump my milk, which has come in nicely, and if she won't nurse, or drink my milk from a bottle because she is too tired, they put it down her tube. She is getting tons of rest and growing, and is more actively trying to nurse now. As soon as she eats without the tube long enough to make the doctors happy, we can go home. She only lost three ounces since birth, which is fantabulous! And she was moved from teh NICU to the Continuous Care Nursery, which is one step closer to home.

That's about it. I love her to pieces, and so do many, many people across the globe. She is popular! My weenie dogs are very protective of the blanket we brought home for them to smell. Jonathan & Katie have met her and then Katie was diagnosed with strep so now both kids are not allowed back until she is better.

She is cute, tiny perfection with huge cheeks. I miss her and cannot sleep but I am going to try now here in a minute. It was very hard to leave her "all alone" and that's why I stayed in a family room in the hospital for a night after I was discharged. But I needed to come home. And since I came home, I have gotten squat done. Sigh.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

In a holding pattern

I am going to keep this short, since I need to clean the house, but I wanted to let you all know that I am 34 1/2 weeks. This is "the week" where I try to have my babies, and this pregnancy is no different. On one of my many doctor visits this week, I was checked and found to be 80% effaced and 1-2 cm dilated. The baby has almost no cervix left holding her in, and the doctor says when it happens, it will be fast. I was also advised to take it easy, but was not put on any specific restrictions.

Times have changed. Katie tried to come at 34 weeks and they gave me drugs to stop my labor. They worked and I was put on strict bedrest and she stayed in for another 3 weeks. Now, the medical powers-that-be feel that the risks of stopping labor outweigh the benefits, when one is so close to term. So if Stephanie decides she wants to come, they will not stop her.

I am hoping to make it to Tuesday, when I will be 35 weeks and can deliver at the birth center, rather than the hospital. I have been asking the baby to stay in place until October, please. I realize it's only a few days away, but no matter. She is cooperating just fine, and I am going to the Khaki Ball tonight! This has been a goal of mine, and it appears I will make it. I am going to close now and straighten up the house before it is time to leave. I will post pictures tomorrow of me & Steve all dressed up!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The week of doctor's visits!

Monday I went for my dietician's checkup. She said I am eating well, hitting all the food groups and eating in the right combinations. It is getting easier now, and I have to look at my food guides less and less. I now can eyeball a portion size, and also can basically remember which groups to eat at what time. I think that I can keep this up after the baby comes and it will help me eat better. But my blood sugar is high in the mornings, so I was put on insulin at bedtime.

On Wednesday I had to go to an appointment that taught me how to inject myself. It is one overnight dose, injected at bedtime and is slow-acting and supposed to combat the rising blood sugar. So I went and learned how to do it, and injected myself with saline as a practice. I did it with the real stuff for the first time last night, and it wasn't bad. It hurts more to do the fingersticks 4 times a day.

I went for an ultrasound today. I thought I was going to get a weight estimate on the baby but no, the doctor has ordered a biophysical profile. Whatever, you lay on the table for either procedure! I got to watch the baby do practice breathing movements, and I saw her ribs, spine, heart, and little kidneys! She was being uncooperative concerning measurements so we wouldn't have been able to get good estimate on the weight anyway.
I did get the perfect picture of her little foot. See the picture at the top? I don't know what is going on at the left--it looks like ET-- but her foot is on the right. We saw her curling and uncurling her perfect, tiny toes. I am so excited to see her in person, but not til October, at least! Just stay in a few more days at least, so I can make it to the Khaki Ball!

Finally tomorrow I have my regular weekly OB appointment at 9 AM. I think this is just a quick in and out appointment with urine, my weight, listening to the baby's heart, measuring my belly and see you in a week. I don't think he is doing a repeat Ffn--I think we finished that last week. I don't know if he will want to check for dilation or not. I will be sure to update.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

An update on the doctor's visits

I have moved to weekly visits. Week 34 is fast approaching and in my past pregnancies, it has been the magic week so the doctor is keeping an eye on me. I test my urine for ketones every day, and I test my blood sugar 4 times a day, and eat prescribed combinations of foods. I showed the doctor my numbers and he was not happy with my morning numbers-they are always high. So I am going to yet another appointment to learn how to inject myself with insulin--a single dose at bedtime. My amniotic fluid was acceptable, but low, so I am sucking down water to keep the baby comfy. I have asked her to stay where she is until at least Oct 1st. If she cannot wait, Sept 30th will suffice, since we have to go to the Khaki Ball on Sept 29th! My mom bought me a nice maternity dress, and I have a wrap, jewelry, shoes, a purse and a matching hair clip. I am all set. As long as she stays put, I am good to go! She dropped on Tuesday the 11th and is hanging out, VERY low, beneath my belly button, and very far in the back. Walking is fun! My hips hurt if I sit, sleep or stand, and they pop. I have sciatica and round ligament paid an SPD pain too, all exascerbated by how low she is. That's about it. I still use the doppler when she is having a quiet day, and I love to feel her movements. Also I am not dilated yet--just so you know!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Baby Stephanie's 3D ultrasound pictures

We had the 3D ultrasound done this evening and here are a few pictures! It is so great to be pregnant when this technology is around. Miss Stephanie was a little stubborn thing who didn't want to show her face, and I was a little low on the amniotic fluid so I didn't produce the sharpest images but we still had a great time!
The top picture is of her pursed lips and fat cheeks, and her chubby little arm and hand are curled up under her chin, and her hand is grasping her foot. The second picture is of a smiling little face, with 2 fists and a knee curled up under her chin. The bottom one made us laugh. She is sticking her tongue out at us! Her eyes were opened and the white circle is the apple of her fat little cheek. She was smiling and stuck her tongue out, all the time with her fist up to her chin. It was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Just a note, a day late.

So. Yesterday was September 11th. I watched some tributes online and it all came back, flooding me with horror. We let Katie watch a tribute that wasn't graphic, and she thought it had happened yesterday. She was just under a year old when it happened so she doesn't remember. I remember in 2001, turning off the TV after a few days because the news coverage and replays were so bleak. My dad said that I shouldn't shield the kids from it. When he was a kid, his parents gave their kids a front row seat to the news, even if it was bad news, and didn't sugarcoat it. I agreed on one level, but on another, I didn't want my house to be so gloomy for my kids. It is a little less daunting, less overwhelming to look back and see the events now, so I let my kids watch and have respect for those who died.

Years have passed and at this time last year, the girls were born. So September 11th means more than a national tragedy for me, it is also a cause for celebration at the birth of two beautiful twins girls who captivated my heart at first sight. Yesterday, in addition to watching tributes, I also went back and looked at last September's posts and pictures. I remember how small they were, and how strong. I have watched them grow and change and thrive with their foster mom. They are beautiful, still strong, and have such cheery dispositions. It's been a roller coaster of a first year, and even though I don't like it here, I am glad we will be close enough to see them grow and change for another year or so. I love those girls. I am going to load up some pictures from June, when they were 9 months old. I will post more recent pictures when we see them next. And no matter how I try, pics always load at the top of the post instead of at the bottom where I want them. Oh well. That's Miss Alyssa on the top, and Miss MacKenzie on the bottom.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Gestational Diabetes

I went to the doctor on Friday, where they did the early-labor test and the doctor said if it is positive they will call me, otherwise assume it is negative and I see him again in 2 weeks, Sept 14th. No calls yet, and even though I go early, it's still too early for me and I am assuming it will be negative.

I got my referral for my diabetes class, but of course it came right before a holiday weekend. I will call on Monday and at least leave a voicemail if no one is in the office.

I have been a whiny little thing for the past week, afraid to eat anything. And it is hard to find something that I *can* eat. If it is not forbidden because it hurts my stomach--fast food in all forms, fried foods, etc--it is forbidden because of pregnancy--lunch/deli meat, unpasteurized stuff, hot dogs, caffeine--then it is forbidden because of the diabetes--anything else that tastes good.

I know that fast food, hot dogs, soda, Sunday morning donuts with the paper, all of these things aren't good for me at all, pregnant or not. I am sure that by the time the baby comes my taste buds will have changed and I won't want so much garbage. I am just afraid to eat. I can't wait to take this class and learn how to break food down into balanced groups and eat optimally. After the baby comes, I can continue eating similarly but maybe add back in a few things. Like a dessert now and then.

I have just been paranoid that every bite I take has the potential to hurt the baby. I read online that if it has sugar as one of the first three ingredients, don't eat it. That has been easy to follow, so it feels like I am doing something. I have been eating small things every few hours, and trying to balance starches and proteins. It's a pain in the butt. Oh well. I am in no mood to have a mammoth-sized baby.

So I get an ultrasound to monitor the baby's growth the night before my appointment, and I will post pictures then. I will have to go in for biophysical profiles too, soon.

Last night I bought some egg salad from the deli and it was rotten. I cried. No big surprise since I cried all day yesterday. I am sure I was a bucket of fun to be around. Steve has taken the egg salad back to the store. I told him that I do not want a replacement product either. The egg salad I bought was within the sell by date and still spoiled so I don't trust the deli with egg salad no more. It is sad because now I have to make it myself. Sigh.

I am just worn out. I am going to look for a diabetic-friendly smoothie recipe. I have milk, plain nonfat yogurt and a ton of fresh fruit. Maybe I can make a little smoothie that won't be too bad for me? We'll see!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lookee, a baby bat!

I was walking past Barnes & Noble and I saw what I thought was a large hairy moth with folded wings. But no, it was a baby bat, sleeping upside down. The large end at the top is the bum! I peered closely in like a crazy lady to see the little hands and a bit of the face. I thought it was very cute. It was about 2 inches long.

A midnight ramble

Hi y'all. The kids' first day of school is tomorrow. They laid out their clothes, and I have their bookbags all ready to go. As a treat they will be allowed to buy lunches for this short week, but after that, they will be packing lunches from home. I have new lunch kits for them and new sandwich boxes to keep their sandwiches from being crushed.

I made banana bread tonight to use up some overripe bananas. I used a new recipe that took forever to bake and now I am too tired to sleep.

Some other moms and I are going out for lunch to celebrate school starting tomorrow and I laid out my clothes. I'm excited! I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes today so I will be watching what I eat and drink, I promise. Steve came home and did his part to encourage me to eat better by giving me the evil eye for drinking soda. I had to finish the last bit inteh house, and savor it, right? And he and the kids finished off the last of the ice cream in the house. It's ok--I had some previously, and I didn't want any. :-)

It is going to be hard to give up soda cold turkey. Sigh. And Steve gets us donuts on some Sunday mornings. Oh well. I am in no mood to birth a 10 or 12 pound baby!

I shampooed the carpets the other night, after everyone was asleep. It looks nice. The kitchen floor needs mopping again though.

We have internet after two days of not having connectivity. Our provider stinks, but they have a monopoly in our area, so what can we do?

Tomorrow night's dinner (or is it tonight, since it is after midnight?) is chicken and corn sauce. Sounds nasty, but tastes good. I promise.

Steve was pretty ill last night and today and I think he is slowly feeling better. Just some random bug that affected only him, thankfully. But poor Steve!

I change weeks every Tuesday so today (yesterday?) I hit 30 weeks. Steve told me on Monday that I have "popped." Yeah, my belly pokes out a little!

My next doctor's appointment is on Friday. I will learn more about GD and how to handle it, as well as get the Ffn (fetal fibronectin) test for early labor. I am doing ok. I am moving ever slower as each day passes. I still have the achy joints and my hips and pelvis get ready for delivery. I'm excited--will I go early again or actually make it past 37 weeks? If I don't, I cannot deliver at the birth center and I must deliver at the actual hospital. We shall see what happens!

So when the kids go to school tomorrow, I can do my maintenance cleaning on the main floor, and fold the laundry waiting on my folding table, and feel productive, and probably before 10 AM! Yay for the first day of school--because I am excited, I will be able to pop out of bed! Of course I will end up exhausted tomorrow afternoon, but oh well.

I need to find my camera. It is either on my nightstand or downstairs in my Winnie the Pooh bag. I think. But I need pictures of the kids on their first day! Jonathan will be in 6th grade, which would be middle school in other places but is still elementary here. I remember his first day of school, where his bookbag was standard size and swallowed him up, and he was mad because they had an orientation where we all drove to school. He wanted to ride the bus, thank you!

And Katie will be in the second grade. I remember her first day of school--we showed up early to peek in the window before her day ended and her hair was in pony tails, and they were so droopy by then, and so were her shoulders. She was sad from missing us by then--and it was only a half day!

Well it is 1 AM now, so I am going to try and get some sleep before tomorrow!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Steve and I were both nesting today, doing tons of things. one of the things was actually hanging the altered letters on the nursery wall. I am going to get some butterfly wall clings to liven it up, because the wall is a little bare, but here they are! Hope you all like them. It's late and I am beat. Will post later!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Appointment update

So I went in at 9, swilled down the orange slop, sat there for an hour with both kids and then got my blood drawn. We killed time at a few stores, went out to lunch, then it was back to the doctor for test results and RhoGam. I failed my glucose test and have to do a redo next week, the 3 hour test this time. I lost 5 pounds of water weigh in 7 days since I have been there last--holy cankles, Batman! I also had to give a second urine sample when the first showed blood in it?? I have no idea what that is about. I am not spotting, I have no pain. Maybe it is a budding bladder infection? I gave a second sample so they are going to grow cultures in it and see what's going on. That's about it. I expected a ho-hum, in and out appointment, and I was there all day. My blood pressure is better though. And I start going every 2 weeks now. I will keep you updated, but right now, I am tired and want to go lay down.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


OK I will write a little while I wait for my pictures to load up...

Tomorrow is my doctor's appointment, and I am drinking a ton of water for two reasons--one, I enjoy waking several times a night to use the toilet, and two, to hydrate myself for tomorrow's blood draw. I have to fast after midnight until my blood is drawn so I am trying to fill up with water so maybe my veins will be more cooperative tomorrow. Eh, yeah right!

I am trying to upload my 28 weeks / 7 months pregnant picture. Yay for the third trimester!ETA: It is uploaded and is an okay shot, but does not have the best background. I just told Steve to take it with me standing in front of a chair. You can barely see the chair, but at least you can see the fridge in the background--I am not that big yet! Sorry for the blinding light from the kitchen!

The other 2 pictures are of the new puppy--a face shot and then one of her curled up on Max, the long-suffering big-brother dog. My cell phone is SLOW. OK they are uploaded at the top now!

So what else? I can't wait for school to start! The kids have new backpacks and lunch kits, and a few school supplies, but we are waiting for specific lists from the teachers. We got new socks and underwear and a new outfit each. Maybe tomorrow we will get some new shoes. Maybe not tomorrow. I don't know.

I am so tired lately--it has been 7 years since I was this pregnant and I forget how tired one becomes just doing small things. Stephanie will be here in a few weeks! Whee!

A few of you have been asking how I have been doing. I finished my prednisone prescription and the inflammation is greatly reduced. It hurts to talk, so I haven't been on the phone much. My teeth still feel "electric"and eating is a challenge to keep them from touching, lest I end up on the floor, writhing. Just kidding! I do have to eat carefully, but as days pass, fewer teeth feel like they are live wires. As long as I don't think about anything that drives me insane, or get worked up at anything and raise my voice, my face does not start the "death twitch."
That's about it. I will update after tomorrow's appointment, but I don't expect it to be too exciting. Off to chug water before bed! --Jenn

Friday, August 10, 2007

Two appointment updates for y'all

I could not wait until today's appointment to get my facial pain attended to. I went in on Wednesday. I have been diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia, (look it up, it is interseting and it sucks, too) which in my case is caused and exascerbated by stress. So those three stressful event basically made my face explode or erupt or something. I am under doctor's orders to have NO stress for the remainder of my pregnancy, and to minimize it thereafter because it can certainly recur.

Steve is under orders to be my stress-interceptor for the pregnancy. He has seen me in some serious pain, and I know he will do all he can to keep it from coming back and putting me through that again. I know he wanted to help me, but there was nothing he could do to alleviate my pain. There still isn't anything anyone can do. I cannot take narcotics because of the baby. I am on prednisone for a few days to try to lay the smack down on my inflamed nerves. Hopefully it will work ok and I will start meditating or something because I can't do that pain any more. It is debilitating. I can give birth unmedicated but with this all I could do was lay in a ball and sob, and live in fear of the next attack. Yesterday I had a few episodes but I felt so much better that I made a cherry pie, 3 loaves of homemade bread, and my first homemade chicken pot pie.

So today I went to the OB, and everything is ok for now. We listened to the baby's heartbeat, I am measuring right on schedule, and I go back next week for my glucose test and Rhogam shot. Because I am a little swollen and my blood pressure is a little up, they will also screen me for toxemia. The doctor is not too alarmed yet, because my pain might be what is raising my BP, and also swelling is normal at this stage in the game. He says he is just being careful.

That's about it. I think next week's lab tests will determine if I am still at monthly appointments or if I go to 2 week appointments, and I will keep you posted. For now I am going to take my sore face and lay down. Oh yeah--Baby is doing well, and getting big. She should be about 2 pounds and 14 inches long. The other day she kicked me in my boob! Woohoo! Also, I promised a belly pic--I will have Steve take one tonight and post it later.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Um, ow. My face hurts.

Ok I am going to complain for a minute here. My face hurts on the right side. It is a nerve gone haywire and it has been a bad few days. I first noticed it a couple of months ago. I would wake up in the middle of the night with horrible face pain. I thought it was a sinus thing and brought it up to the doctor at my next visit. He told me some medicine I could take, but I didn't because the pain didn't recur. Fast forward to the past two weeks, where these episodes have increased in frequency and severity. I am in throbbing pain (and tears) multiple times a day. It is a pain to cry silently (with a cold compress against my face) so I don't scare my kids.

I described my face pain on the internet to my message boards. One board is a group of pregnant women, and I asked if anyone else had pain like mine--coming suddenly, intense pain that radiated from the temple/eye, down through the nose and lips, and the whole upper and lower jaw, and making my teeth feel electric. Lather, rinse, repeat countless times a day.

A lady said that it sounded like I have what she has--Trigeminal neuralgia. I looked it up and there is an illustration of the face, and the trigeminal nerve. Lo and behold it goes all over where my pain is!

I don't know if my OB has ever heard of this, but I am taking a printout of the description with me to my appointment on Friday, to either get it ruled out or to get a diagnosis. Either way I need some pain relief because Tylenol is not touching this pain. The pain laughs when I take Tylenol. Loudly.

I wonder if it gets worse with stress? Because I was pain-free for a couple of months and then all of a sudden, in the past week, when I have had three very stressful issues crop up and get my hormones raging. For te past three days, here I am with a face full of pain. I hope it goes away when the baby is born, if it is pregnancy-related, or sooner if it is stress-related. I will take up meditation if I have to. I have got to do something about this pain. I thought my pregnancy aches were bad? Please. I still have them and they are overshadowed by this face pain.

You know what's funny? I would rather trade my sciatic nerve pain and my crotch pain o' doom (thanks for the term, RockPrincess) every day for the rest of this pregnancy, *and* go 2 weeks overdue than have my face hurt even one more time. Please, G-d? Please? I need some prayers y'all because this face pain HURTS.

Off to meditate, and try to sleep.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Six and a half months

It has been a few weeks since I updated. I cannot sleep much at night because of SPD pain. Basically, everything around my pubic bone is stretching and growing and loosening, and it can cause some major pain. I didn't have this with my previous pregnancies. It's a whole new ball game. Couple that with sciatica, which is also new to me, and walking is fun! Walking, sitting, standing, sleeping. I spend couple hours in the bathtub at night, because the warm water helps, but after I haul myself out of the tub, I get stiff again. I spend part of the night in my bed, and usually end up sleeping sitting up in my big blue chair. It is a nice, overstuffed monstrosity, and sheer exhaustion makes it a nice place to try to sleep. I get about 4 or 5 hours a night, then Steve and the kids get up. I am alert for a while, but then I snooze for a while to make up for lost sleep. Not complaining, just updating.

I did whine to Steve the other day, and he (nicely, not verbatim) asked me didn't I know what I was getting into when I got pregnant again? Isn't he a funny man! I told him I didn't have these same problems before. Otherwise it would not have been such a surprise.

I have a burning to the left of my belly button. There is a nerve just under the skin and when the baby kicks it, oh man, does it hurt! Morning sickness decreased for about two weeks, to where I was only throwing up 2 or three days a week. It has returned, bringing with it my old friend nausea.

According to the internet, the baby is about 14 inches long from head to toe and weighs about two pounds. I am 26 weeks and two days on Thursday, which is about 30 minutes from now. I told Steve that I feel like we have 10 good weeks before I feel like I am on borrowed time.

The other night I was very upset about something. It was not anything silly like me bursting into tears because I wanted a burrito--this was a real problem. No pregnancy hormones involved. I tried talking about it with my mom, Steve and a neighbor for advice and I still couldn't see a peaceful resoltion. I was very agitated. Then I had a few stabby cramps in my cervix and freaked right out. I drank a load of water and took a warm bath and also laid on my left side and "let go" of the agitation. No way was I in the mood to have a micropreemie! I had some pretty scary, tight Braxton-Hicks for over an hour, but they lessened in severity ater 45 minutes, and would only recur if I moved. So I went to sleep. Lesson to self: don't get so spun up over stuff, even if it is actually a big deal.

I feel bad for the doctor, who I go to see again on August 10th. For the past months I have been a quick, in-and-out, no-problems patient, and this visit I get to go in with a laundry list! Pitting edema and high blood pressure about a week ago which took three days of water guzzling and major salt reduction to fix, recurrent edema (but not to the level of pitting because I am still reducing salt and guzzling water), horrible SPD pain, Sciatica, persistent morning sickness, Braxton-Hicks, etc. I am going to ask when I will go on light duty and/or bed rest. I feel like it will be soon and I told Steve that I need to get a few things done before I go to the doctor. I am afraid he will hear my litany and say "Go lay down!"

It is not quite nesting, it is just fear that I will be confined before I can scrub my baseboards. I already scrubbed out my refrigerator gasket with a toothbrush. How does it get so nasty? Heh. Maybe it *is* nesting. I also want to bake things, like a cherry pie, which I got the fixins for today, and bread from scratch like I used to. I am going to make a chicken pot pie too, and I have never made one before. I made blueberry jam last week.

I have yammered on long enough. I will update again after the doctor's visit. I am going to try and lay down. Oh yeah--Stop and Shop's brand of Maple Cinnamon bread is divine. That is all.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Altered letters!

So here are the letters! I held each one up as I finished inking their edges. Pay no attention to my messy worktable. I scrapbook, make cards and alter things all on my worktable and it is a cluttery mess.
I papered them, added fibers to them, affixed heart-shaped paper, buttons and gems to most of them as well as some words stickers to some of them. Each of them will be held up on the wall with skinny pink and purple ribbons. I have to decide where I want the letters hung and then I will take another picture of them all on the wall for you to see.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Just popping in...

We went to CT this past Sunday to see the ILs and I got to see the girls again! MIL gave us some professional pics they had made of the girls and they are darling! I tried to scan them and the scanner has decided not to work?? I debated taking a picture with my cell phone but it wouldn't do them justice. I also burned a roll and a half of film while I was there--the ILs had their curtains open and there was nice lighting in the living room to snap pictures. The girls are 10 months old and MacKenzie is crawling, and they both are teething and have such cute personalities. It was a nice visit, can you believe it?

MIL has offered/promised us tons of stuff that she bought for the girls for when they thought the girls would be coming home with them. They're too big for it now. And she gave us some stuff to take home with us too. My mom has bought lots of stuff too, and we have picked up a few things. Here is a list of what we have so far:

A crib, a changing table, a bouncy seat, the Gossamer Wings bedding set, matching rug and curtains, an heirloom rocking chair that Steve was rocked in over 30 years ago, a baby monitor, a diaper pail, a basket with diapers and lavender wash inside, and we are starting to accumulate clothes! New, hand me downs, or from yard sales, we aren't picky--we are blessed and grateful!

When my mom came to visit, I registered, which felt odd, because this is not my first baby. But there is a 7 year gap between my last child and this one, so I went ahead. I felt kind of piggish though. Oh well, it's a wish list, right? I did register for a car seat as well as the car seat-stroller combo, in the hopes that someone might buy us one of the two.

We have the fetal echo on Thursday to check the baby's heart. MIL gets to come to this u/s since my mom got to come to the last one.

What else? I bought wooden letters that spell "Stephanie" and I am whitewashing them before I alter them, to hang as a decoration on the baby's wall. I am going to put stripes, polka dots, and random brushstrokes of paint on them (in pink or purple, haven't decided yet) and also glue cut-from-cardstock flowers, skinny ribbon, decorative little woodcuts and/or shaped brads on the fronts of the letters. Then I am going to hang them from fat ribbon, on the wall. I will certainly post pictures of them, even if I can only capture them on my cell phone, so you all can see!

Well that's about it for now. I will post an update on Thursday afternoon about the echo and I hope everyone has a Happy 4th of July! Be safe!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

We have a name!

Our little girl will be named...

Stephanie Juliet !

We like the name Stephanie and Juliet is to honor my friend Julie. Stephanie Julie sounded a little funny and Juliet had a better flow to it, while still being able to honor Julie.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's a girl !

So in we went to the ultrasound. We have a girl, and the tech is quite convinced that there are no dangly bits hiding anywhere. This little girl was not shy about mooning us all, and rolling around to where the tech got a perfect view at all angles, and pointed them out to us, baby butt crack, baby legs, nothing between the legs. The tech even took a picture of the baby's bottom so we can see, it is a girl. LOL! The baby was awake during the scan so she was running around all over and we got a facial picture of her on the fly, with her hands curled up by her face. I will upload it. At one point, the baby laid her head on one of her opened hands and I said she looked jut like Steve! That's how he lays, when he sleeps--on his hand. The baby has a 3 vessel cord, as is normal, a 4 chambered heart, 2 kidneys, a full bladder and tummy, and has a cute little face.

We did some shopping, and we registered at BabiesRus. My mom was so excited to be there and see it, and go shopping and help me decide which item to "doot doot" next on the registry. It was odd to register, since this is baby number three, but my kids will be 7 and 11 when the baby is born, and I have no more baby things left.

Today my mom took Jonathan home for a three week visit, and so my little boy should be up in the air on his first flight ever, right now. Of course he is not so little anymore--he will be 11!
That's about it for me right now. Steve took Katie to her baseball game and I am having some quiet time, putting my sausage feet up to keep the swelling down.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Belly pic at 20 weeks

So here I am at 20 weeks. I was waiting at the airport for my mom's plane to land--she s here visiting for a week. Ignore how wrinkly the shirt is, ok?
People have been asking me if I think it is twins, because of the two-heartbeat thing? I am of two minds. Either it is twins because sometimes I feel movement in two places at one time, and I hear two distinct heartbeats in two separate areas of my belly--far right, and low left, OR I am feeling gas and am too stupid to tell the difference between gas and movement, and the doppler is just really sensitive and is picking up an echo of the same heartbeat.
Who knows? We will find out on Friday! Whether it is one baby or if we are doubly blessed, I will still be thrilled with one healthy child of either gender. After 5 losses, I'm happy to be pregnant at all. Even with my sausage feet! A second baby would be the best bonus though!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It was just a joke! Now it's not funny anymore!

OK I need a swift slap of reality.

I started teasing Steve that we were having twins, saying my morning sickness should have let up by now, and when his mom had twins, she said she was so sick, for so long. I also got a flier in the mail from a local car dealership that said, "we will buy your vehicle, if you buy one of ours." I told Steve to go trade in our sedan for a minivan, since we were going to have twins. Ha ha ha, right?

Then I had a dream that I carried to 38 weeks, and I was excited--that's a nice time to deliver! In my dream I was able to see that the baby was a girl, and weighed 5 pounds, 5 ounces. I thought it was odd that I carried the baby later than my other 2 pregnancies, yet the baby was smaller, and the dream kind of hit "rewind" to my big ultrasound (which hasn't taken place yet). There we were--me on the table, Steve, my kids & my mom, and the screen shows *two* babies. Cue shouts of disbelief and happiness! What a nice surprise! What a big shock!

Then the dream hits "fast-forward" back to my delivery, where it showed me the baby girl and her small-for-a-singleton-but-nice-for-a-twin birthweight. I woke up before being allowed to see the gender of the second baby.

I woke up and told Steve that if my dream was right, I would carry until 38 weeks. I held back the other information for a while but it eventually came out. He is less amused by the joke now, and is afraid of my dream.

So we have a doppler lent to us by a friend. I listen every day to the baby's heartbeat. The baby's heartbeat was between 150 and 160 when we first started listening, but lately it is 155 or so, and then the baby will swim away and when we find the heartbeat again, it is 140. What?

The other night we were listening and I would have sworn I felt the baby kicking on the opposite side of my belly where we were hearing the heartbeat. The baby is not long enough to do that yet. I started laughing and teased Steve more.

So tonight I was listening and Steve was snoozing. I heard the heartbeat on the bottom right as usual. Then I put the wand on the right side of my belly and what? was? that? It *must* have been an echo, right? Not a second heartbeat, right? I repeat this scenario a few times and I am starting to get the willies. So I just go back to the bottom right, and listen to that sweet sound. I felt movement on the left, moving toward the right. Then I thought I heard another heartbeat, and I felt a flurry of movement. The heartbeat would come in and fade out, over and over, and it was all over the place, anywhere between 138 and 158.

That is when I woke Steve up, and said, "OK, you are the voice of reason. You tell me the *second* heartbeat is just the baby moving around fast. And if I hear it in two spots again, you tell me I am just hearing an echo."

So I listen in the one spot for awhile, and the *second* heartbeat returns. I poke Steve to make sure he is hearing this. My heartbeat (when I pass over a blood vessel of mine) is a slow whooosh, whooosh, whooosh, about 80 BPM. The baby's heartbeat is woo-woo-woo, and when the *second* one came around it made it go from the normal woo-woo-woo to a new sound: too-too, too-too, too-too, too-too.

Steve was wide awake and with eyes narrowed, told me to turn off the doppler. It must need a new battery or something. I kinda laughed. Now he is asleep. I had a shower to wash off the goo and now I am kind of freaking out.

This was a joke! My HCG was never significantly high, but what can we tell from numbers? My progesterone was so low but I still got pregnant. My Beta didn't double properly but I still stayed pregnant. I've got a fighter in there but is it really possible that I have 2 fighters???

My SIL previously claimed that she had an ultrasound where the doctor said it was one baby, a boy. Turns out it was 2 babies, both girls, and the second baby had been hiding behind the first, except for a limb had been sticking up just a little to resemble a penis, and for the OB to proclaim it one boy. Now I take everything she says with a grain of salt, and lord knows I don't want to be like her, but is this really common?

I know all I can do is wait until my ultrasound in two weeks. I would feel doubly blessed with twins, but for right now, I am just saying to myself that I am a nutter, and it is an echo that I am hearing, and the baby is just moving around too much and is confusing the doppler, and it needs a new battery, and my numbers would have been higher, and I have had three ultrasounds already and surely the tech would have seen something, and that babies don't really hide behind one another. Run-on sentence, I know. Any opinions?

Side note--If you leave a reply, it will not show up right away--I have the blog set to where the comments come to my email and I have to click "Publish." This keeps the spambots and advertisements for Viagra and home loans at bay. Just so you know.

Jenn, who loves feeling the stronger movements coming from her belly!