Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The optometry appointment

So, when I'm pregnant, I have an amazing sense of smell and incredible vision.  Love it.  Well, maybe not the smell part, but, I love the vision part.  Of course, now that the hormones have been out of my body for a bit, my vision is back to being yucky!

Which meant that I needed to heard to the vision center and get my eyes checked, taken care of and some new contacts.

Samantha was with me, and we got there at 10, for my 10 AM appt.  The optometrist was not.  He sauntered in around 10:25.  Do you know what 25 minutes can do to a 4 month old?  Luckily, she did pretty ok and the exam was really easy and fast.

But, it did have some levels of awkwardness.

As a breastfeeding mom, I am pretty careful about what I put into my body and ensure it isn't anything that can harm Samantha when she nurses.  I mean, what's the point of giving the best type of nourishment if you just taint it with crap?  Right?

Has anyone ever heard that eye drops can get into breastmilk?  I hadn't.  I had, however, agreed to have my eyes dilated.  The optometrist opposed it.  He said that the dilation drops have a lot of chemicals in it and there hasn't been enough research to support that it doesn't seep into your body and spread to your breastmilk causing adverse reactions in little ones.  Ummm....  exactly how much are you planning on putting in my eyes?

We checked my eyes, it took like 3 minutes.  Easiest eye exam ever.  It then led to the elderly (kinda) gentleman doctor asking if he could ask me a personal question.  Seriously, what is the point of this question? Has anyone ever said no?  Or does it just lead to an awkward moment?  Then came the question: "Was your baby born vaginally without medication?"  Um....  Um.....  Fluster a bit followed by some stammering.  Um, no, she was a repeat cesarean.  "Why?"  Well, our son was born cesarean after I ppromed at 23w5d, he was breech and stuck when I delivered at 33 weeks, after then suffering 3 m/c in a year, I reached the point in my pregnancy where she wasn't coming out on her own and I had the choice of waiting it out without anything to thin my clot prone blood and those risks or getting her out and in my arms where I can constantly feel her breathing.  Which was followed by him proclaiming that she looked like she was born without drugs or medical intervention because her eyes were so bright and wide.  Um.... Thanks?

The rest of our visit was laced with more of the same.  Boy, it was interesting haha!

The joys of a "rainbow" baby

I know, I've been an awful, terrible blogger.  Not on purpose though, life has just been crazy and as soon as I sit down to type I think of a gazillion other things I should be doing, need to do or the computer decides not to cooperate.  None of those have anything to do with what I've been thinking a lot about and at the same time, everything to do with it all.

Let's start with the term rainbow baby.  There was a time when I found the term almost offensive.  Rainbow?  How do you get passed the storm enough to see rainbows?  And what does that make your longed for baby?

I never in a gazillion years thought that a rainbow baby would take away the pain of losing Matthew.  I didn't want it to.  I don't think there is anything in the world that could ever replace him, his place in this family or fill the hole left in my heart.  It doesn't lessen how much I love my living children, and it isn't saying that I love any one child more than another, it's just how it is.

But, I will tell you, while the pain is still there, many parts of life are, well, easier? kinda with a rainbow baby?  But at the same time, some other things are so much harder.

It is harder knowing that I have 3 babies, but only 2 are going with me to the store, the mall, to see the Easter bunny, to play games, to run in the park, or on our trips this summer.  It is easier being so occupied with living children that I cannot allow myself to go to the cemetery every day.  It is harder answering the question "how many children do you have" or "Don't you want a boy?" with the truth and then either explaining where our middle child is or just leaving that sadness hang in the air.  It is easier to be so busy with day to day life, laundry and a baby that I cannot find time to play the what if game.  It's harder watching the girls play and knowing that there is a 3 year old missing in action.  It is easier being so occupied with my princesses that I cannot spend all day mending a broken heart.

It doesn't mean that he isn't on my mind every moment of every day, just like Kaitlyn and Samantha, it's just... different....  And so incredibly hard to explain.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I got lost

Not so much in the figurative sense, though I do feel as though I have a time or two.  But physically.

I have always lived in the Sacramento area.  ALWAYS.  And to me, Sacramento is easy to navigate.  Everything leads to everything else, you can always see a main road and you're always just a few miles from a major road or freeway.

Today, I was meeting an awesome friend for lunch, for possible the final time before her family of 3 becomes a family of 4.  And, to digress, it is really neat to watch, Carmen is about the same age Kaitlyn was when Matthew was born and it's nice to see that innocence in a sweet little girl and remember how Kaitlyn was at that age in that way.  But anywho...

I was leaving my house a tad bit early.  I was not only determined to be on time, but wanted to try a new route I had been wanting to see if was quicker after having it suggested by mapquest a while back.

Well, with all the floods, one road was closed, you had to take the detour.  I thought I had.  Then, I went from a third of a tank of gas to the gas light on, on farm roads having absolutely no idea what way was up, down, east west and wondering how I've traveled for 60 miles to go 13 miles from home with no idea where I was.  I mean, NO IDEA.  I didn't know which way to turn.  I didn't know the name of the streets.  I didn't recognize anything.  There were houses every few miles.  There weren't any businesses anywhere and not a sign of a gas station to be seen.  I was terrified I was going to run out of gas, and if I did, how would I tell anyone where I was if I couldn't figure it out myself?  I almost stopped and went to a house to ask for directions.  But, of course that active imagination ran and convinced me that it would be a serial killer's house out in the middle of no where.

Finally, I found where I was.  18 miles outside of Wheatland.  WAY out of the way lol.  Here's a map to show you:

The red star is where I started.  The blue star is where I was going.  That green star is where I ended up.  Never before have I been so glad to pay $4.19 a gallon in gas....

That's a shortcut I won't be taking again!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

How are we already 20 days into March?

And I have only had 3 posts for the month?  I've sat down a few times to start and just not finished.  And seriously, I feel like it was just Christmas, I blinked and here we are nearly through with March.  Time should really consider slowing down.

So, let's see what is new.  Samantha had her 4 month appointment last Tuesday.  She weighed in at a whopping 15 lbs and 5 oz.  She was 25 inches long and I did not get her head measurement.  The office was so busy and instead of our normal nurse doing the measurements and what not, it was a floater.  Normally they write it down and give it to me on a "what to expect the next two months" sheet, but I didn't get it, didn't write it and well, time escaped me.

We discussed that she has another cold, and agreed we're so ready for cold and flu season to be done and over with.  We looked at the rash developing on Samantha's neck and determined that it is most likely yeast.  A powder was prescribed and has been helping, but we just can't seem to get it to go away! and we talked about her love for all things food!  It was a good appointment.

Samantha still isn't rolling over.  She was SO close, like a soft breeze would push her over the rest of the way.  Then, she found her toes.  And that was it.  Now she has absolutely no desire in even trying.  She loves being on her tummy, tries desperately to crawl, and is tripoding on her own really well.  Cloth diapering is going really well, I just LOVE it.  I wish we would have done it with Kaitlyn and Matthew.  I've also developed an addiction with them lol.  Nursing is going great.  She is pretty much nursing every 2 hours most of the time.  And once a day she gets baby food.  She hates stage 1 food, I have to thicken it with the organic rice cereal.  So far she has had peaches, bananas, squash, carrots and sweet potatoes.  Her favorite is a banana, peach and granola and the squash.  She will eat a whole 3.5 oz of it and then cry for more, after nursing before getting it.  She's just always hungry.  She still spits up quite a bit, and I've recently fell in love with Gripe Water (not only does it help with colic babys, but with hiccups, teething, sleeping, fevers and fussiness!)  Ever since getting bronchiolitis, she hasn't been sleeping through the night and is up every 2-3 hours to nurse.  But, it's alright, she goes back pretty easy after.  And I'm very proud (although slightly sad) she hasn't made it to our bed yet.  I know it's best, but I really loved cuddling with Kaitlyn and Matthew through the night.

Kaitlyn is doing great.  She had her first friend over after school the other day and was just so proud.  She stayed for a couple hours, talking, playing barbies and gossiping lol.  She was so glad to have her come by and basically talked about it non-stop since then.  She got her report card on Friday.  She got 6 A's and 1 B. Her B was in listening.  The same problem as before, she just goes into Kaitlyn's world sometimes and doesn't pay attention to the instructions for the day.  Her only other challenges were my fault: not signing off on her reading every night (although she is not only doing her school reading, but a lot of other reading every day, I just don't always remember to get the paper to sign) and she had 7 tardies.  I blame both of us :P

Daylight savings has really kicked our butts.  Having a sick baby and a bad cold on top of losing an hour, and having stormy ugly weather just does not work well for me.  I'm hoping this week is better!!

I have really been loving the Etsy store.  We reached 500 fans on facebook and it's really keeping me busy.  I have a whole stack of things cut that I want to put together to list, it's just a matter of having the time.  But, I'm excited with how much I've grown in my relationship with the sewing machine :)  Now, I just want/need a serger.  Then an embroidery machine!

Things have just been crazy busy over here.  We just celebrated my grandma's 75th birthday, my sister is getting married in Vegas in 7 short weeks, we have March for Babies coming up, and everything that goes along with life in the meantime.  Because of how busy we are this year and how we don't have a single free weekend through June, with a ton of guilt, I realize that we won't be able to do a fundraiser for March for Babies this year :(  It just isn't going to pan out :(  I do have our shirt design ready though, so if you are walking with us, please sign up so I can make sure to get you an iron on to iron on to your favorite (or any) white t-shirt.

Last week, I went to a cloth diaper open house with an amazing friend and it was so close to the cemetery that we stopped by.  I snapped a quick picture of Samantha at Matthew's site.  It is heartbreaking to know they will never meet in this world and never have so much as a picture together.

The grass looked awful.  I called the cemetery to say "what the crap" and to try and get some suggestions on what to do.  They said they would replace it for us.  I then inquired (again) about us purchasing a memory bench to place near his site.  We were told that benches are still on hold while they re-work the cemetery.  I want to go and decorate for spring, but I'm terrified to go when it rains.  Several years ago, the cemetery flooded when it rained and many of the coffins came to surface.  Since hearing that, I've had nightmares about it and there is no way I could handle that!

I think that's about all for now...  I'm sure that when I'm in a less sleepy daze, I'll think of more ;)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A sweet surprise

As I have said before, I LOVE getting unexpected mail in the mail.  It brings a smile to my face and brings a lot of happiness.

Yesterday, I got a surprise in the mail from Katy at In Hannah's Honor.

It reads: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, Matthew Jackson before you were born I set you apart; Jeremiah 1:5."

I love it so much, thank you.

4 months old!

And yes, I know it's a couple days late.  To say I've been busy and slightly overwhelmed would be the understatement of the year lol.

One day about a week ago, we woke up.  I peeked over at Samantha, who was not only wide awake, but not crying to eat.  Not screeching for attention, just laying there, playing with her hands.  You could almost see her brain working.  And just like that, she wasn't a newborn anymore.  She was a baby.  A baby who was eager to gain some independence.  A baby who really wants to sit on her own.  A baby who knows what she wants.  A baby.

Lets see.  She is getting HUGE.  Her 4 month appointment is on Tuesday, so these are measurements based off of our scale and measuring tape.  I'm curious to see how close we are:

Length: 26" 95 percentile
Weight: 14 lbs 10 oz 75 percentile
Head: 16 1/2" (43.5 cm) 90 pecentile

Dusty thinks I'm way off with her length, I don't think so, especially since her feet are pushing out of her 3-6 month jammies.

We have started her on some baby food.  And my whole goal of it all being handmade went out the window. But, it is all organic lol.  She has had bananas and sweet potatoes.  She likes both ok.  We started her with stage one.  Actually we started her with me mashing them up, but she didn't care for them as much.  But, if I had brown rice cereal to it and thicken it, she's thrilled.  Last night she finished 1/2 container of Sweet potatoes and followed with 1/2 a container of Bananas and still wanted more.  This was after I not only thickened it, but nursed her before and after feeding.  She is just growing so fast.

Samantha has no problem rolling onto her side.  She just still hasn't mastered front to back or back to front.  That does not mean that if you put her on the floor on a blanket and turn your head for a few minutes, when you turn back she won't be halfway across the room!  She is a sneaky one, and so fast!

She loves her Baby Eisenstein activity center.  She can play with most of it and is slowly learning how to make her seat spin so she can change what she is playing in.  She's good in there for about 30 minutes at a time before she gets tired of it.  Her favorite part is the smiling sun.  She just talks to it forever.  She is getting good and tripoding herself up and I'm willing to bet she'll be sitting on her own before her 5 month update.  She also LOVES tummy time.  She reaches her hands and arms all the way out and pulls.  And kicks her legs.  Dusty swears if it wasn't for her big belly she would be crawling.

Samantha is a great sleeper.  She sleeps in one 6 hour stretch.  Of course, ever since the bronchiolitis it starts at 7 AM and then throughout most of the day she is wanting to nurse every hour and a half to two hours.  Which means nights have been rough and tiresome.  But, once she eats, she is back to sleep quickly and easily.  She just really likes to eat.  Can you blame her?

Yesterday we found out that insurance is no longer going to cover her Apnea monitor.  So, it has to go back on Monday.  Even though she hasn't had any bouts of apnea, I still like having it.  It will take some adjusting, but at least she will get to wear zip up jammies again.  That's a silver lining, right?  The majority of SIDS cases occur between 2 and 4 months.  In just a few weeks, she'll be 5 months old, maybe then the worrying will get better.

Samantha is probably the smiliest baby.  In the past month she's battled bronchiolitis and an eye infection of her lower eyelid and done all of it with a big ol' smile on her face.  She loves for people to pay attention to her, loves to have a fist in her mouth, is getting to the point where she hates her pacifier (and we may just get rid of them all together soon, better now than when she's a toddler), loves going for walks and if she is fussing, all you have to do is pick her up to get her to stop.

Here we are, 4 months old.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Getting into the routine of things...

Kaitlyn was back in school this week.  Which was nice.  Not because I don't love spending time with her, but because I know she needs school and I know she likes school and it means that we get the opportunity to get into a routine close to what real life is like now.

As I've posted about before, I started an Etsy store.  Which has been so much fun.  I love making things, sharing with people, and the opportunities that it presents.  However, it is starting to get busy and I went back to work this week to start working on a mini documentary about the 1974 hostage prison takeover in Huntsville Prison in Texas, so things have been crazy busy and I need to find a balance.

Right now, I get up every morning at 6:30.  I make sure laundry is washed, dried and folded and all the dishes are done.  I get in the shower and try to have all that done by 7:15.  Then, I get Kaitlyn up and in the shower for school.  I throw on some make-up and get her out, dressed, fed, hair dried and ready to go.  Then, Samantha normally gets up and I get her ready, make sure I have everything I need for the day and we get in the car.  We have to be in the car by 8:10.  Kaitlyn goes to school and Samantha and I go into work.  I work in the office until about 11:30, I do research, compile things, transfer what work I did at home and all that jazz.  Then, I head into the gym with one of my best friend's, Daphne, where we get to work out (and for me, that's not much haha), talk and all that jazz.  I usually leave by 1, get Dusty lunch and get home by 1:30.  Samantha is fed and I sew and prep any orders to be mailed out that day.  I leave at 2:30 to go to the post office on the way to get Kaitlyn and get to Kaitlyn's school by 2:45 (if you are not 20-30 min early you do not get a parking space) to pick her up.  We head home, I get her snack and she starts on homework.  I get to sew until about 4:30, then I start dinner.  We eat when Dusty gets home, I clean it up, and work on the DVD for a few hours until Samantha goes to bed.  She is normally in bed by 8:30-9 PM, and so is Kaitlyn.  Then, I sew until about 11, which is the first time Samantha wakes up to eat.  I nurse her with the laptop so I can also work on the DVD, and usually I'm in bed by midnight, get her a few times in the night and start over the next day.

For the most part, it's not bad.  Of course, it's Saturday, 1 PM and I haven't taken a shower yet, but oh well. I did clean the house and get a card box made for my Grandma's party tonight.

So, obviously, my time for the extra stuff (like Oregon Trail on FB, blogging) has been limited.  Which stinks. But, I'm also so grateful for all the support the store has received.

So, while I have a free few moments, I get to write :)

Samantha is doing so much better.  Yesterday, while I waited for Dusty's lunch order to be completed, I took her to get her ear's pierced.  She cried.  I knew she would, it is part of what has kept me from going.  But, only for a moment and not nearly as bad as I anticipated.  After, I walked with her, showed her a mirror and she was happy as can be.  She has another cold, but it is a little one and she is doing ok with it.  She is growing like a weed!!  She has been nursing every hour for over a week now, and I think she has easily made up the weight she lost when she had bronchiolitis and then some.  I won't be surprised if she is in 6/9 month clothing in the next month.  She has her 4 month appointment a week from Tuesday and I'm so curious to see where she is on their growth chart.  She is a happy baby and soooo close to rolling over lol!  I wouldn't be shocked if she is sitting on her own in the next week or so :)  She has had some bananas and is starting to love them, I'll post the video soon :)

Kaitlyn is doing great!  She is excelling in school, loves her friends, has a ton of them, is reading everything you put in her face and is starting to develop an attitude that is making me dread her high school years.  Her punishment is no TV and she's starting to miss it.  Of course, now we also have to take away the DS, barbies, and anything else.  We are going to have to institute grounding here soon lol!  She is selling girl scout cookies and loving it!  She is just getting so grown.

That's it really.  We have so many things going on and I'm so thankful for everything we have been blessed with.  Matthew is missed everyday, Samantha made a face at me the other night that looked just like him, I mean, scary how much alike it looked.  I wish I could have captured a photo of it.  We're gearing up for March for Babies and all that entails.  This year for his birthday I want to have everyone help make a large donation of things to somewhere.  I'm torn between blankets and such to the NICU or toys, clothes and such to the receiving house in Sacramento.  Decisions Decisions!

There have been a lot of "it's not fair" moments this week.  I just really, really, really wish Matthew was here to enjoy.  I wish we could play with him, talk to him, see him, hug him and love on him.  It's just not fair he isn't.  But, that is part of another post I'm working on.

Have a great weekend everyone!!