Friday, April 20, 2012

Babys First Easter

(Disclaimer: I apologize in advance for the lack of apostrophes, quotation marks and dashes. A little almost 3-month old who shall remain nameless spit up all over the upper right side of my keyboard when I held her up to the camera during a Skype session with Daddy. The aforementioned keys along with the Delete and Backspace buttons were compromised. Yuck! I'm going to do my best to add them in at the end via CharMap but apologize for any I miss ;) )

The week before Easter, I was at the mall looking for an Easter dress for myself when we came across the ol' Easter Bunny.  Though she wasn't in a cute spring dress, she did randomly have on a pink onesie with bunnies on it. So being a sucker for traditions, I actually <b>woke her up</b> from a nap to get the picture made.  I'm nuts, I know.  She actually did pretty well and we only had a couple hysterically crying pictures. I was tempted to select one of those for humor's sake, but figured there will be plenty of opportunities to get photos of her being tortured by a giant character of some sort down the road.

Don't they teach them to support the neck at Easter Bunny School?!
I emailed a picture of this picture to her Dad, thinking he would think it was adorable and love it! His response?
"I really hope she doesn't get sick from all the germs on that bunny and has to go the hospital and get a lumbar puncture."

Oh, pediatricians...

Later in the week my mom sent A and I a wonderful Easter Care Package filled with candy for me (SweeTarts Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies [which they CHANGED this year! Hmph!] and Peanut Butter Eggs) and some toys and dresses for Adrienne, including her very first Easter Dress and <u>MY</u> very FIRST dress! My mom had found the dress I wore home from the hospital and cleaned it all up and sent it to us. It fits perfect and I am so excited for her to wear it for a very special occasion coming up! {And yes, I was a chunky almost 10-pound baby so what I wore home from the hospital fits my almost three month old daughter ;)

That night we had a little fashion show before bed so we could send Grandma some pictures!

Aside from receiving wonderful Easter gifts, the lil sidekick and I were also lucky to be graced with a visit from Mimi & Pops for Easter!! Justin's parents drove in from Virginia on Friday and stayed with us until Tuesday. They hadn't seen Adrienne since she was 2 weeks old so it was great for them to see how much she has grown and changed.  We may have put Pops to work a lil bit as he tended to our lawn and even planted a tree for us! 

Being in a military town and in a military neighborhood, most people were away from their families for the holiday. Our street decided to have a cookout complete with Easter Egg hunt. It was mid-70s and absolutely perfect weather!

Pops & Mimi with Adrienne
I was a wee bit tired on Easter Sunday since I think we were experiencing a growth spurt over here and I was awakened by a cute lil girl every hour and a half from 9:30pm on. (Yes. EVERY. And thankfully it only lasted a couple days!) But we still had a great day. I cooked a teeny tiny ham for the three of us since our Champion Eater is still overseas and we of course had deviled eggs!

 We are definitely looking forward to having an Easter Egg hunter next year!

And to round out the post, a quick Easter story from years past...

When I was about 4 and my little brother was 2, my mom hid Easter Eggs for us on our deck. After we woke up and got our Easter Baskets, we went outside for the big hunt. I was SO into it! Seeking out the eggs from their little hiding spots and carefully placing them in my basket. My little brother was into it as well...following closely behind me and examining my loot. He had just learned a new word and was putting it to use. For every egg I would place in my basket, he would, unbeknownst to me, remove and slam on the ground, exclaiming "BALL!" I had no idea this was going on for the longest time but when I did realize, you examine the ish hit the fan! 

The best part? It is allll on video!

Birth Story - Part Two

When I left off, I was about to be taken to my room down the hall in L&D.

I had to wait a few minutes as they got my room ready. As I said earlier, they were SUPER busy. Dennis, the L&D Charge Nurse, came and gave me my lovely open-back gown to change into. Once I was ready, he gathered my bags (all of them...I'm not a light packer!) and we headed down the hall. I was surprised to be walking down to my room instead of being wheeled and I made sure to keep my trap door shut so I wouldn't give anyone a show!

The L&D Rooms are HUGE! Tons of space. I hopped up onto my bed and the nurses, along with Dennis, were coming in and out, getting my info for paperwork and hooking me up to all the machines to monitor A and me. At this point I still hadn't talked to my husband and was still all alone, though Lindsey was on her way. I started to wonder if the nurses were all talking about me or feeling sorry for me, "the girl who was all alone," because almost every one who came in the room would ask, "Do you have support coming?" (Yes, they all used the word "support"). I assured them I did.

One of the worst parts of the whole experience was getting my IV put in. I'm a wuss when it comes to needles (but lets be real, who isn't?!) and thought it was EXTREMELY painful! Throughout all this, I enjoyed getting to know Dennis and filling him in on my situation. He was a funny guy and we joked around with Leigh, one of the midwives. From the get-go, I explained that my mom was going to be en route in the morning and to do whatever he possibly could to hold this lil girl off until she arrived.

Months back, Justin had given me two emergency contact numbers to call if I needed to. It wasn't a number you could just dial up yourself; you had to contact a military operator to dial it for you. I had Dennis help me try and call but both numbers kept ringing busy. I sent him an email at 11:09pm letting him know I was actually admitted and this was the real deal. At the same time, he had been emailing me, letting me know my plan to go in and get checked out and have my mom go ahead and come into town was a good idea. Along with some sweet words of encouragement, he also let me know that the phone connections were pretty bad but he would try calling me soon. I'm sure he got quite the surprise when he finished sending the email to see via his inbox that I was indeed in labor!

Through check-ins from Linds, I knew she was set to arrive between 2:30 and 3am. The nurses all encouraged me to try to get some sleep but it was nearly impossible with both my adrenaline running like crazy and the constant interruptions to check my vitals. I was able to catch small cat naps here and there but, truthfully, I enjoyed just being able to relax and catch my breath because I knew the next umpteen years would likely be void of a lot of peaceful alone time. I watched some Food Network, fooled around online thanks to hospital WiFi and texted back and forth with Courtney {who promised me she wouldn't be able to sleep thanks to a combo of excitement for me and anxiety from being away from Ev for the first time. At one point, she sent me a text saying "Its 3am and I'm up pumping and you're in labor. When did we grow up?!" }

I snapped this pic after shuffling back to bed after a bathroom pic {it isn't exactly easy walking across the room with cords and machines coming out of your body.}
Emailed to Justin with the caption
"Just to prove I'm not bluffing!"

Each time my vitals were checked, I would email all the #s to Justin. Being a nerd {read: doc}, I knew this would all be important info to him and would also make him feel part of the whole experience. Because of that, I have a lovely collection of emails containing tids & bits of information like this:

9:54pm BP 123/80, As heart rate 140
11:01 115/65 no signs or symptoms of PIH, rest comfortable
1:57am 106/57
4:36am 100/58 --- around time of epidural got down to 77/45 and 88/56. This was expected by the Nurse and CrNA so they gave me 10mg of ephedrine now at 4:50 115/65 nurse wanted me to make sure you knew Adrienne handled it beautifully. No signs of fetal deceleration

{Looking back, even though it was because he couldn't be there with me, I'm so glad I have all the emails between us. I'll treasure them always! It also helps remember the play-by-play and sequence of events since its been almost THREE MONTHS and Ive forgotten some of the details!}

Photo of what I referred to as the "Baby Cabana" emailed to Justin along with the caption:
"I cant believe our baby is going to be in there soon!"
{Foreshadowing: She never would be!}

Around 2am, after being awaken to get vitals, I thought I heard a voice out in the hallway. Sure enough, when the came back in the room, he was accompanied by my friend Lindsey. Seeing the familiar face of one of my dearest and oldest friends was so overwhelmingly comforting that I shed (quite) a few tears when she hugged me. I'm truly blessed to have the most amazing friends in the world! Once she arrived, my adrenaline was pumping so hard it was going to be hard to fall back asleep. Plus, I had just recently started feeling contractions and they began to get intense pretty fast! The nurses told me not to try and be brave if I already knew I was going to get an epidural. As soon as I started feeling too much pain, let em know and they'd get it flowin!

I did try to hold off as long as I could, simply because then I knew I would be bedridden until Miss A arrived and I wasn't sure I was at that point quite yet! Plus {TMI...}, once the epidural was in, the catheter would be too and I wanted to get some "business" done before that point.

Linds and I chatted for a bit and I updated her on everything that had happened since I checked in. Since she is a College of Charleston alum, we laughed about the events there earlier that day thanks to Stephen Colbert's "Rock You Like A Herman Cain" rally.

The PB&J I made myself before leaving the house wasnt doing anything to subside my hunger now at 3:30am. I was only allowed ice chips and Popsicles, one of which I was sick of and the other I didn't have. I demanded Linds offered to go get some for me but we didn't want to have to deal with her going on/off post in the middle of the night. So one of the sweet nurses drove her to the Shoppette and used her ID to buy me Popsicles. {SOAPBOX: This was just the beginning of the amazing gestures and acts of kindness I was shown! The staff at the hospital was just beyond words...I know military healthcare gets a bad reputation and most of the time when people are describing their experience, they're complaining about it. The fact of the matter is, it's healthcare. There are going to be good and bad things no matter where you are. I worked on the private side back in TX and I truthfully think we have it a LOT better over on the military side! Stepping down now...}

Yummm! Ice chips!
When Lindsey and Monique returned with my loot {Bonus! They also grabbed some SweeTarts & Sprees!}, they arrived in perfect time because contractions were intensifying and getting pretty strong! I was about at the point where I was ready to get a GIANT NEEDLE in my back.

I'm not one who would classify myself as afraid of needles. I'm just not a fan of pain and with needles usually comes pain. Now Lindsey on the other petrified, I mean DEATHLY PETRIFIED of needles. This is something that never crossed my mind (but probably crossed hers) all along while planning to have her be my back up. Medicated deliveries, which I was planning on having, usually involve quite a bit of needles. In fact, this never hit me until the CNA came into the room wielding a cart FULL of needles. I looked at Linds and said, "How are you gonna do this?!" Thankfully, Dennis and the CNA made sure no needles came into her line of vision, so we were good. ;)

I'm gonna be honest and say that I'm probably not the BEST listener in the world at moments when I should be. While Dennis was explaining the process of the epidural, my mind was kinda drifting in and out between thoughts of "Howmuchisthisgoingtohurt?” and "Icantbelievethisishappening."  So when I felt my body jump during the administration of the epidural, I got so upset and afraid that I had messed something up that I started crying! Even after Dennis told me, "I told you that was going to happen, remember?" {I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that I had drifted OUT during that portion of the explanation...} I was still a bit shaken up for about 15 minutes. 

All in all, it wasn't too bad. They had me sit on the side of the bed and Lindsey stood facing me. I kinda draped myself onto her and she braced me to help me remain still. Physically, I felt the first needle go in and then the burning of the medication before feeling a dull ache. Mentally, it was pretty weird. I was so scared of moving and being paralyzed for life. {Slim chance, I know, but still...} Plus it isn't exactly a calming feeling to know that a GIANT needle is going into your back.

Within almost seconds, my legs and toes started to tingle and the pain I was feeling from the contractions slipped away! Ahh, bliss. But then, my blood pressure started to rapidly decline and I got verrrry woozy and lightheaded. Since my BP had been on the lower side of normal, the nurses had an idea this would happen so they laid me on my back and then gave me some meds to balance everything out. Okay, now it was bliss.

The contractions had been a little too painful to sleep through earlier so we decided to go ahead and catch some Zzzz's while we had an opportunity. Saturday was going to be a loooong day and we would need all the energy we could get!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Birth Story - Part One

Who washes their hair, shaves their legs and paints their toenails after their water has broken, when they really should be heading to the hospital? Oh, that’s right. I do.

But let me back up first…

It was mid-January 2012 in Clarksville, TN and I was 38 weeks pregnant, still moving around, hitting the gym, walking the dog and getting stuff done as if I weren’t even pregnant, all in preparation for our first daughter to be born. Unfortunately, I was doing all of the nesting alone, as my other [and better] half is in Afghanistan serving our country [instead of serving me breakfast in bed. The nerve!]
During my 36 week appointment on January 3rd, I got a huge shock to my system when I was told I was measuring almost 5 weeks ahead. An ultrasound reassured me that I wasn’t a month off but that our little one was a bit big. Unlike most pregnant women, I was not in any rush for this little girl to come out. With Justin at a remote base temporarily, he had no access to Skype and little access to a telephone and I wanted him to be able to participate in the birth as much as possible. So I was staying away from everything known to induce labor…spicy food, red wine, balsamic vinegar, you name it. I also laid off the gym, which was very hard to do! Given my family history [my mom was three and a half weeks late with me], I was pretty sure she was going to come late. So sure, in fact, that I booked my mom’s flight to come out to Tennessee just three days before my due date. What can I say? I'm a gambler.

Also, because I was so sure I was not going to be delivering anytime soon, I procrastinated doing all my pre-admission paperwork and getting my name changed on my military ID to reflect my husband’s last name, not my maiden name. [We got my military ID before I did all the name change stuff so that I could get on and off base without my husband {read: he wouldn’t have to go to the commissary anymore} so it’s had my maiden name on it. I had the fullest intentions to get it changed before now, really I did. But there were many more important things to do, like watch Real Housewives and shop online.]

I took a lot of comfort in the fact that I was still not experiencing any Braxton Hicks contractions, I didn’t feel a super-full-speed nesting urge kick in, there was no sign of a mucus plug being lost and people were telling me I was still carrying high and she hadn’t dropped yet. Sweet. I had my 37 week appointment on Tuesday, January 17th and stopped in to say hello to everyone in Justin’s Clinic. They all noticed I had indeed grown since they saw me before Christmas but agreed with me that she was still flying high in the sky. Their medical opinions sealed the deal - we were staying put for a few more weeks.

I woke up on the morning of Friday, January 20th and looked in the mirror as I passed to make my way to my second home, the bathroom. Whoa…she totally grew overnight! I snapped a quick picture of my belly to email to my husband then went to pee for what would probably be the first of 27 occurrences that day.January 20 - 8am

For comparison, here I am just three days earlier...

I saw via Twitter that Courtney was watching Stephen Colbert on Morning Joe so I turned it on to start my morning off with a barrel of laughs, while texting Court throughout.

I called Justin’s Grandma to update her and left a voicemail sharing my confidence that the first member of our next generation wasn’t arriving anytime soon. (I also made a mental note to text Justin’s parents and also tell them I was in good shape but never got around to it that day.) I then went to the commissary to stock up on some groceries but was extremely pissed off when I realized I had left the majority of my freshly printed and cut coupons at home on the desk. “But that’s ok…I guess I’ll come back later this afternoon or tomorrow morning.”

After getting the groceries put away and spending some time doing little things around the house, I relaxed in the glider in the nursery and had a catch up phone call with Lindsey. We talked all about the pregnancy and how we couldn’t believe I was almost done. I’ve been very honest with people about how easy my pregnancy had been and this conversation was no different. I bragged about my lack of waddling, feet swelling, stretch marks and heartburn but did confide in her that I had been struck by one pregnancy demon in the last few days: WRETCHED gas. She’s a BFF so it’s okay to share that kinda stuff with her. We talked about Lindsey’s plans for the weekend (she had none) but I again relayed my confidence in the fact that Adrienne wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. This was important for her to know since, being 4.5 hours away in Atlanta, Lindsey was my emergency contact should I happen to go in labor before my mom was here. The first thing I was supposed to do was call Lindsey so she could hit the road and be here for me. But that didn’t matter because, AGAIN, Adrienne wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We got off the phone when I realized the sun was going down and I still needed to take my sweet puppster on a walk. I nixed the idea of going back to the store out of sheer laziness. Looking back, I do remember feeling a teensy, and I mean TEENSY, tinge of nausea when I started up the car. I'm also pretty sure I remember thinking “They say you get nauseous before labor. I need to remember that…”

I bundled up and took Lily to a little elementary school down the street to let her roam, sniff and do her bidness. It was my 2nd to last Friday alone EVER since my mom would be arriving next Saturday so I decided to stop at the Dollar General for some candy on the way home. (I had cleared the house of ALL sweets since the weeks before had brought on some chocolate massacres that I was extremely ashamed of.) Our walk was uneventful and I noted how good I felt. Some walks in the previous months had led to a small bit of muscle discomfort since the puppster sometimes likes to walk a little fast. We walked around for almost 45 minutes and then made our way to Dollar General.

I pulled into the parking lot and reached over to grab my wallet out of my purse in the floorboard. I sat back up and turned off the ignition and then, at 6:55, I felt it.

Holy crap. I just peed in my pants!

I didn’t know what to do…I REALLY wanted some candy so I contemplated how I could maneuver this without being known as “Pregnant Pee Pants Girl” around town. I was wearing black leggings so it wouldn’t really show…but was my jacket long enough? I decided it wasn’t and my vanity trumped my craving. I guess I would just have to pour some chocolate syrup down my throat and call it a day. Humph. My heart was racing a bit but not once did the thought of my water breaking cross my mind at this point.

I made the 2 minute drive home and as I got closer to the house, I felt the urge to pee more. I held it in (barely) but when the garage door shut, I tore out of the car faster than ever and made a beeline for the bathroom. As I stopped to turn off the alarm, I felt the wet spot on my leggings spread even further down my legs and a huge gush of water went into the toilet right as I sat down. This was humiliating. I took off my leggings and went to clean up some trickles that had landed on the floor. There was a pair of cotton pants hanging over the back of the couch so I put them on and sat down on the couch next to Lily, feeling dejected. And three years old. Then it happened again.

WHY COULDN’T I FEEL THE URGE TO PEE?!?!?! I ran to the bathroom and as I was peeing, started Googling my butt off. “Bladder control third trimester”, “I can’t feel the urge to pee while pregnant”, etc. etc. etc. My jaw dropped as I realized I was the victim of the bitch named Karma. I had bragged to Lindsey about how easy and joyous this pregnancy was and here I was, 38 weeks pregnant, and would have to wear a diaper for the remainder of my pregnancy. Tons of thoughts went through my head…”I have a TON of stuff to return to Target tomorrow and I have to go back to the commissary! I can’t do that if I’m peeing all over the place!” “Should I call Courtney and see if she went through this?!” And finally, “Hmm…I wonder if this is my water breaking.”

It couldn’t be. This was a TON of fluid and I was habitually drinking over a hundred ounces of water a day. I decided to do my own experiment and stop drinking water for the next couple hours and see if it continued to happen.

Feeling all “pee-y” I headed upstairs to take a shower and sulk and mourn the loss of my carefree pregnancy since I would be strapped to the John for the next couple weeks. Lily followed and I noticed she had a bit of a concerned look on her face. She had been attached to me at the hip for the past couple days and I think she knew something was definitely up. I had to stop off at the toilet again before making my way into the shower. I got out and threw on some comfy pants and one of my husband’s sweaters and headed downstairs to watch TV. I had planned on having a yummy dinner of Annie’s White Cheddar Shells that I had mixed with Brussels Sprouts and Turkey Sausage but I had no appetite.

When I felt leakage for about the 7th time, I decided to pick up the phone and call my mom. It was around 7:10 when I made the call and as soon as she answered the phone I said, “Okay…don’t freak out…I’m either leaking urine or my water just broke.” She stayed surprisingly calm as did I. I told her I wasn’t sure what was going on and asked if there was any way she could go ahead and come tomorrow morning instead of next Saturday. She said absolutely and I tasked her with communicating with Southwest to change her flight while I called Courtney to get her thoughts. If need be, I would call the hospital as well to see what they told me to do.
We got off the phone with our to-do lists and I then immediately emailed Justin:

From: Shelby Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 7:19 PM
To: Justin

Subject: Can you call me please?!
I'm okay...but some things are starting to happen and I would like to speak with you! I've changed my mom's flight to come in tomorrow morning instead of next weekend. I'm leaking some stuff and I don't know if it's urine or amniotic fluid but I'm going to go in tonight to get checked. I’m holding off on calling your parents since it’s late and I don’t want to worry them if it’s nothing. I don't think that's completely necessary at this point. I'm going to have Anna and Jeff look after Lily and Shoshanna is the backup.

I'll keep you posted...I love you so much!!!


I then called Courtney, who I knew was on her way to D.C. for her first overnight without Evelyn. I think she heard the calm panic in my voice and immediately asked, “Are you in labor?” I risked sounding like a paranoid first time mom but responded, "I think so!” I explained what had happened and she said to call the hospital and get their opinion and call her back. I really couldn’t believe this was all happening. Was I really calling the hospital? Could this little girl really be coming early? I picked up the phone and told the story a third time, this time to the L&D Advice Nurse at Blanchfield. Her instructions were to put on a pad and if I saturated the pad in 30 minutes to come in and get checked out.

Thirty minutes? That sucker would be filled in five! I called my mom back and told her I was going to head to the hospital, just to be safe. Her flight was switched and she would now be arriving the next morning around 9:30am. She asked if I was going to call Lindsey and get her to head out here but I wanted to wait until I knew for sure. I would hate to have her drive all the way here for nothing on a Friday night. I gave Courtney the same update I gave my mom and she kept expressing her excitement for me. I promised to keep her in the loop as much as possible and we hung up the phone.

I then looked around my house and got a bit stressed. Tomorrow, Saturday, was going to be my final “cleaning and nesting day” and the house definitely needed it. I decided that since I wasn’t feeling any contractions or pressure or anything else that would make me feel like it was urgent to get to the hospital, I would take 20 minutes to straighten up as much as I could. If this was the real deal, this place was in no condition to welcome a newborn!

I went full speed ahead – emptying the dishwasher, wiping the counters, sweeping the floor, putting away laundry and cleaning the toilets. Once I was satisfied with how the house looked, I glanced in the mirror at my 4-days since last washed hair, a face that was in dire need of exfoliating, legs begging for a shave and toenails screaming for some polish. I was definitely in no condition to welcome a newborn!

I decided that since I was still feeling no pain and there was no sign of blood or anything, I would be safe to shower and get myself ready. At this point, I called and notified my neighbor across the street, Shoshanna, that I was feeling some laborish symptoms. Her excitement was hard to hide and she immediately offered her assistance in getting me ready. I told her I was good but I would need her help with Lily that evening and the next morning possibly. She couldn’t believe how calm I was and was even more shocked that I was going to take a shower and get ready! I told her I would call her when I was ready to go so I could give her the tour and info on Lily. At this point, Courtney called and asked if I was on the road to the hospital yet.

“Um no…I’m getting ready to take a shower.”

“Okay well take a quick one. And get. to. the. hospital.”

She also asked if I had called Lindsey. No, I hadn't. Because I wasn't. in. labor.

I showered and started putting myself together. As I was bustling around the bathroom and bedroom, I also added finishing touches to my overnight bag and Adrienne’s bag. Thankfully our bags were about 80% packed so there wasn’t much I needed to add.

As I was blow drying my hair, my phone rang again. This time it was Lindsey.

“Ummm…what are you doing?”

Dammit Courtney! I knew immediately that she knew. I told Lindsey I was getting ready to go get checked at the hospital and she said, “And what were you supposed to do if and when you had to head to the hospital early?” I told her I didn’t want her driving all the way for nothing but she said that was the point! If I were in labor she didn’t want me to be alone. I promised her I would call her on the way to the hospital and we would discuss if/when she should get on the road.

I tried to continue getting ready but my neighbor Shoshanna called again to check on me. I assured her I was fine but needed this time to myself. Hopefully, she’d get the hint and let me finish getting ready in peace. (Foreshadowing: she didn’t.)
While I was getting ready, I loved on little puppster Lily, knowing this would be the last time she’d have my full attention. I knew she was going to be scared and confused since her Dad was already gone. Now I’d be leaving her too!

My goal was to leave the house at 9pm. A few minutes before 9, I put the finishing touches on myself, grabbed my bags and headed downstairs to load up the car. (For my memory’s sake, I was wearing Citizens of Humanity “Kelly” Maternity jeans, a purple long sleeve top from Motherhood and my tan Revas.) I greeted my neighbor outside and brought her in to give her instructions for the dog, alarm, etc. I made a PB&J sandwich and threw a banana and coconut water in my bag since I had no idea when I’d be eating next. I kissed my sweet doggie goodbye and said adios to what could be a babyless house. I got in the car, got ready to drive away and…CRAP! I forgot the carseat. (Totally wasn’t installed yet…truth be told there is a fire station on the way to the hospital so my plan all along had been, “Hey, I can just stop off on the way!” But now that it was the real deal, it wasn’t happening.) Ran inside, grabbed the carrier and carseat base and threw them, literally, in the backseat.

And with the close of the garage door, I was on my way.

I talked to Lindsey on the way there and we got a game plan together. We both kinda knew I wouldn’t be heading home that night so she told me she was going to go ahead and pack her bags and hit the road. I also called Courtney and gave her the update that I had in fact put down the straightener and was on the way to the hospital. Both were SO excited for me!

The hospital is just an 8 minute drive away, door to door, but as luck would have it, it started pouring rain as soon as I pulled into the parking lot. Great. Because that’s just what a 9-months pregnant and in labor woman with two leather bags and leather shoes needs.

I headed up to L&D on the 3rd Floor and checked in with the front desk. They had me wait in the waiting area for a few minutes. While there, I eavesdropped on a couple family members who had been waiting for a few hours. Whomever they were waiting on had just started to push. They called my name and I was taken back to a triage area and this is where I met one of my favorite midwives of the weekend, Leigh. She had me drop trou, and then hooked my belly up to a couple monitors. I could hear another couple on the other side of the curtain being given the “close, but no cigar” diagnosis. She was 3cm dilated but her water hadn’t broken yet so they were being sent home.

Leigh checked me out and confirmed that I, too, was 3cm dilated but because my water had indeed broken, I wasn’t going anywhere. They told me I would have to wait a few minutes I had to wait a few minutes before being taken to my delivery room because the wing was full. (A huge unit had returned from Afghanistan about 10months ago and thus a huge baby boom began. I was told they were very close to shutting down and diverting patients to the nearby city hospital, Gateway.) Leigh left my curtained off area and went to begin paperwork [my pre-admission paperwork I never got around to. Oops!]

I lay there kinda pinching myself, not really believing this was all about to happen. And then they came…the tears.

Holy shit. I was about to have a baby. And I was alone. And terrified!


It's been over a month since my last update.

Did I call it or what?

In all seriousness, I had the absolute best intentions of returning to blogging but that seemed difficult to manage when my 5-week old daughter decided to accelerate her Baby Bulimia* and drop back down to her birth weight so that she could still fit into her cute Newborn Size Cupcake Onesie for a lil while longer.

Balancing 2-hour feedings round the clock while pumping (because she was only taking pumped milk so that we could know exactly how much she was taking in) plus sterilizing everything for 20 minutes (because, of course, the thrush decided to return again) plus remembering to feed myself and the dog plus keeping a freaked out Pediatrician father up-to-date in Afghanistan didn't exactly leave tons of time for blogging.

But a visit this past weekend from my dear friend, Accelerated Mom got me rejuvenated again since I realize the Pregnancy Brain has now turned into Mommy Brain and I'm slowly but surely forgetting all the details I want to remember. So I'm gonna keep on truckin!

Still to come [slash FINISH slash BEGIN...]
- The longest, most detailed birth story known to mankind (not gross-y detailed, more like "I was wearing my Royal Tan Revas with my COH maternity jeans and carrying a Makers Mark umbrella when I walked in the hospital and greeted the security guard named Tom" detailed...)
- One Month and Two Month Updates
- A special visit from a special person alllll the way from a land of lots of sand!
- Spit up. Lots and lots of spit up.

While you wait, a picture that makes my neck hurt just to look at it.

*I know bulimia is something to be taken seriously. I use this term only as a joke because it's the only way I won't burst into hysterical tears and blame myself for being a bad mom and her dropping weight like mad. Not meant to offend anyone, yo.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Longest. Update. Ever.

(I warned you...)

The self proclaimed (and probably proclaimed by others, too) worst blogger in the world is giving it one more shot. I've not been able to stick with any other blogs I've started, so why is this one different? Well, truthfully, it probably isn't. Ha! But I've had enough life changes going on that deserve to be remembered and between the lack of sleep and the wine, unless I write them down I won't be able to. Kidding, kidding.

I truthfully had the best of intentions to document my pregnancy in some way but things never settled down enough for that to come to fruition. I enjoy reading about others' pregnancies but I mostly love the idea since it is a way to look back, years later, and remember all the details that time will most likely take away.

As I write this, I've been a mom for five weeks. And there is so much that has gone on in these five weeks alone that I have no idea how I'll remember a thing about the past by the time she's four. So I don't care if anyone ever reads this, I just want to remember this experience and be able to share it with the rest of my family.

Some of these life happenings may get their own post, but knowing how dedicated I am to blogging, they probably won't. This may never even get published, who knows! But let's give it a whirl.

When I last left off, I was sharing my shoe drama with the world. Lots more dramz occurred when planning the wedding but for your sake, I'll spare you. (They were all along the same level of importance as Badgley Mischka-Gate so you're not missing much.)

The wedding went off without a hitch on April 30, 2011...we both showed up (which is always a good start), both said yes (another win), and we both got just intoxicated enough to have a good time but still remain (slightly) classy.

We had an awesome honeymoon...

And then came back to Texas to settle in what was supposed to be a pretty relaxing couple of months before Justin would graduate from Residency and we would move to Clarksville, TN.

Until the end of May, when we found out that this little homegirl wanted to join the party...(Spoiler alert: she isn't born looking like the stegosaurus she resembles in this picture.)

Thankfully we found out our family would be expanding just in time (as in twelve hours before we'd board our flight) for us to adjust our house-hunting plans in our new city. But that ended up not mattering because we didn't find a house anyway.
Our 1st picture after finding out we were going to be PARENTS. Of like, a human.

At the beginning of June, the overachiever of the relationship (read: not me) graduated from the US Army's Pediatrics Residency Program and we surprised our parents with the news that they would be grandparents the same weekend.

At the end of June, we the Army Movers packed up our crap...
and moved it from Texas to Tennessee.

And at the beginning of July, we packed up our cars and made the trip to Tennessee to join our crap. When we pulled into town at 11pm on a Thursday to find that our temporary housing plans had gone down the [rhymes with Twitter], we were forced to shack up in some luxury accommodations while we found a permanent place to reside.

As if getting married and becoming parents didn't make us grown up enough, we decided to buy a house! The first time home buying process, though annoying at times, was made relatively simple thanks to the help of my parents who combined have over, like, 100 years in the real estate industry. (Okay, maybe not 100. More like 90.)
We closed in August. And yes, we've since mowed our lawn.

So after a sometimes tumultous past three years of residency combined with the whirlwind of the past five months, we were ready to relax and get settled in to our new military life. Kinda put life on Auto Pilot for a little bit. Enjoy some peace and quiet and each other before our little one was to join us in the New Year. Sounds pretty good, right?

Enter September 8th.

My husband arrived home from work on that Thursday and had to deliver the heartbreaking news that he was being deployed to Afghanistan. In November. For seven months.

This is not news that any wife would take well. But if you do the math, or look at a calendar, this is news that especially would not be well taken by a pregnant wife. Due in four months.

Once again, the joke was on us and we were put in our place, quickly being reminded that life is going to take the twists and turns it wants and your only job is to hold on tight and not fall off the ride.

This being our first deployment, we had no idea there was so much to do to prepare. Weeklong training courses, daylong training sessions, paperwork, paperwork, paperwork, meetings, meetings, meetings, etc. etc. etc. As if that weren't bad enough, my husband still had to see patients all day on most days and to throw some more salt on the wound, he was set to take his Pediatric Boards in October. But, as I've learned with being a new mom, when things happen and you have to get through them, you just do it. You get through them.

We got everything set for him to leave, he studied his butt off and PASSED(!!) his Boards and we spent as much time together as possible before he left from Fort Benning for his first deployment on November 11, 2011. Veteran's Day, ironically.
Our last picture together as a family of three! (Cut me some slack, it was 4am.)

So, aside from the fun of Christmas and a sober New Year's Eve where I was in bed before the ball dropped, you're caught up on 2011. 2012 has started off to be rather interesting so it's deserving of its own posts. Thus, aside from a hopefully-to-come Pregnancy Post, you're all caught up!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


So I'm definitely not planning a wedding anymore. And I don't live in Texas anymore. I do, however, still love margaritas.

Need to do some updating to the ol' blog's asthetics.

In due time, my friends.
So...let's get real. I suck at this blogging thing. Don't believe me? Check out my last post back in good ol' September 2010.

But, I'm going to give it one more try. Mainly because I just had a baby and I'm just narcissistic enough to think that people want to read about her all the time. (AND WHY WOULDN'T THEY!?!) I'm also not a huge phone person and this cuts out on telling the same stories over and over again. Still, the select few that would have been in my Sprint Calling Circle back in '95 will get to hear me blab on and on. They're welcome.

I'm going to try to do some kinda "Where Are We Now" update to bring all four of you readers up to speed on what has been going on since I started ignoring this blog like my red-headed stepchild.