Nauseating Bliss..

It does go on…
At my doctor’s appointment they are VERY nice (as in more so than usual). I feel like they are expecting something to be wrong again just like I am…

But nothing is (at least not yet..it’s very EARLY).

The black and white blob is there, just like last time though…very visible…

But this time (weeks before) there is a heartbeat (but I know that doesn’t mean that we are safe yet, definitely NOT, at the next appointment there might not be a heartbeat at all).

But there IS…

The summer is awful. This sounds bad, I know. BUT; there is just no other way to explain it. I KNOW this is just plain wrong to say and admit out loud (especially after what just happened) but I have never felt this bad (read:sick) in my whole entire life. I am so beyond grateful that baby is continuing to grow-I really truly am (and growing it does by the time I am eight week, I look like at least 18… which also make this harder to hide)…

During my latest pregnancy I unfortunately packed on the pounds and continued to eat a lot more (and a lot more unhealthy-let’s be honest) after I lost the baby, which is not an ideal start for another pregnancy.

I have never been this big or felt so sick. I’m dissatisfied and disappointed in myself and then I’m disgusted by the way I’m feeling, realizing I should be happy that I’m growing, a so far, healthy baby inside!

Everything we do is interrupted by to completely gross- vomiting!

I put my oldest kids in swim school where I frequent the ladies room emptying my insides with a variation of my offspring watching me do so!

I once throw up in the diaper bag (yup!) while my little crazy “walker” runs in between the huge pools like a toddler on a suicide mission!

It’s hard to forget the extreme nausea and vomiting no matter how happy I am (we really, really wanted a second chance for a fourth didn’t we…?). I can seriously barely function. This debilitating state has never been the case in previous pregnancies (yes I threw up on occasion and felt sick in the first trimester but never like this). It’s difficult to ignore the little voice whispering “ha ha, you got what you wanted” – mocking me. AND “You are still never ever safe”…

But the louder voice wins more and more as every doctor’s appointment (every single week), seem more and more routine and everything continues to look good.

Except of course the giant blood filled cyst on my left ovary (that I don’t even want to discuss) complicating things…

In September we travel to my sister and I am huge. I love seeing my sister and spending quality time with her! BUT: our youngest is going through some subtle (not so subtle) changes from sweet little baby boy to evil monster villain (I swear), complete with the loudest screaming fits, scheming plots, flailing arms and legs, scary (mean really) laughs, head banging, some serious biting, hitting and scratching. He brings his bag of tricks on the plane.

People feel seriously bad for us (me) but some change their mind as they see my big tummy. I can literally “hear them think” it our own damn fault and “really?? One more?”

Experiencing this trip where our youngest forget that sleep is essential-not only for himself-but others, and especially the flights (filled with fun layovers, missed flights and delayed ones because of storms) we seriously second guess our decision to have another baby.
Especially since we now know it’s another BOY!!!

The nurse asks if I wanted a daughter…well…
She laughs and says-“that is something we as moms don’t get to admit right!?”
“I bet you already have a boy?”

“Well, I have…TWO”!!

But of course you can’t regret a thing, it’s a life, a wish, a blessing-all we want is healthy OF COURSE  and we really don’t regret a thing…but just saying, (and nobody has ever said it is-I know) it’s NOT easy!

 

Triple dose of hell…

Thursday night I feel exactly like I felt before my son was born, dizzy, nauseous and achy. My stomach is upset and I feel like I’m coming down with a stomach flu. I’m up all night, throwing up and feeling particularly clammy and sweaty and quite miserable. This is it I think, this most be it!!

No other signs follow however, no mucus plug or bloody show (gross I know, sorry), no big gushes of water or contractions. Since I know I have another doctors’ appointment in the morning to check both fluid and do the stress test I make it through the night. I know that they will take good care of me at the appointment and will take every precaution if something is truly “happening”.

By the time of the appointment I feel shaky and am having what can best be described as bad menstrual cramps. They check my water first and the ultrasound technician is asking again if I’m feeling like I’m leaking?
Next up is the stress test where my contractions start coming about ten minutes apart. The nurse eventually count six in twenty minutes and has to call the doctor, scared that it is the real deal.

My doctor comes to see me from her office on the first floor. She hasn’t been wanting to do an internal exam since the beginning of my pregnancy because of several reasons. I am strep B positive which can transfer to the baby, she doesn’t want the water to completely rupture or start labor in any way. Judging by my contractions however she says that she suspect the labor process might have already begun, so she carefully checks my dilation and cervix. I am at 3 cm!

Well, the doctor announces that I probably won’t make it through the weekend. The nurse rushes to get all my paperwork in order should I need to check into the hospital before Monday and my doc reminds me when to go in; big gush of rest of/whole bag of water breaking, bleeding or feeling sick dizzy etc. Oh, I know the drill by now!

Since I’m only 36 weeks and this baby is still not considered “term”, the doctor tells me to go have another progesterone shot. If we are lucky the shot will prolong labor or stall it for another week at least. She does suggest the steroids for the baby’s lungs as well as magnesium if the contractions pick up.  She adds that if the fluid goes ANY lower this baby will be forced to vacate following my appointment next week, while the nurse whispers “you’ll never make it that far” and my doc agrees, “it’s a miracle that baby is even inside you still!”

I go downstairs for the shot and the contractions start getting uncomfortable in the elevator. I really hope this doesn’t keep getting worse or I will have no other choice than checking myself into triage.

As I reach floor one’s doctors office they want to monitor the baby again while also checking my blood pressure, pulse and vitals. Luckily the numbers have all come down to just a “slightly elevated level”.

The registered nurse taking care of me decides that since I have more progesterone left and it is usually recommended to take these shots until at least week 37, sometimes 38, she will give me what is left in hopes that this will stop the labor process right away and carry us through to full term. At this point I agree since I don’t want another premature baby and I just want us both to be okay!

I get my triple shot and as I lay on my side sipping water, I start to feel better.

It is only on the car ride home that I have time to think; well if one single dose of the shot would win us another week, what would this much do? Will I go past due instead of delivering early? Will the shot not only stop labor but also all the symptoms with it? I certainly hope so!
It is important to know that progesterone is the pure female pregnancy hormone and getting a shot of this very thick, potent “liquid” will trick your body into thinking it is pregnant- even if your pregnancy would have ended otherwise (if you hadn’t taken the shot).this is kind of the whole idea…

It works all right, the injections! If I was “iffy” before that is no longer the case. The goal you see is to PROLONG your pregnancy. The longer, the better. To fool your body with the very hormone essential for and in pregnancy. Except I am still pregnant in week 36 and I almost made the goal, won the race, made it until term when I get this “over dose” of the pregnancy hormone directly into my butt muscle, straight into my system! Yes, my contractions subside, yes things slow down…but this is the start of a very prolonged, drawn out, miserable week of labor trying to start and my body’s natural signals trying to compete with this outside intervention of the triple dose injection…

I come home to two (incredibly cute, blond) siblings fighting. They are usually the best of friends…until they are NOT! The little one adores her big brother to no end but also annoys him until he snaps and he can get quite rough with her. As I tell their father to separate them (the only cure at this point), I also add “we might have a third one before the weekend is over!!!”

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Monster Trucks and Insomnia

Has anyone else been woken up in the middle of the night (especially during pregnancy when sleep is so hard to come by) of a monster voice (completely loud, scary and distorted)? Been forced to face your fears (toddler in tow) sneaking around the house (slightly terrified and not so slightly exhausted) just to find the source of this hellish sound? No? Doesn’t ring a bell? Hmm,
Well…
What if I tell you the source was a battery operated (freaking) toy!!! Maybe now you follow me??
I seriously looked everywhere- EVERYWHERE before I found it, tripping on boxes and random stuff (did I mention we are moving??) and stepped on my fair share of little Legos (ouch! Why will they be the last thing we pack?)
Guess where I found this Devils device?
In the completely natural, as well as logical, place for a black and orange toy truck…- in the shower!

That was my night last night, unable to fall back asleep, even if my princess (no way that was her nickname in the pitch black house where everyone else seemed to be sleeping just fine) eventually did. I laid their cursing my inability to relax my body enough to just slip away- and then- as usual the thoughts come. The scare that is pregnancy, the lack of control, the worry, the fear of history repeating itself- except this time way, way worse…

It had been kind of a weird week, it started with something really odd happening. I felt that I at least had to mention it to my nurse but like I told her the “story” was kinda hard to explain without the Lego cars and Duplo people (that is how I explained to mom over Skype and hubby after work).

I drove my kids to my son’s school as usual in the morning- kinda late- also as usual. When I park I see that someone is sitting in the car next to me, she appeared to be on her phone and without kids in the car- obviously she hadn’t been late. As I rush my 4 year old and his “why questions” out of the car armed with his latest art project, lunch boxes (snack AND lunch), going back to the front seat for the “lunch bunch ticket”, putting shoes back on (at least I didn’t forget them), I see in the corner of my eye that the mom in the next car puts her phone down and turns her car on. I am late so I attempt to catch her eye. Maintaining eye contact, assuming that we get each other I move my way into the tight space (remember I’m not exactly skinny mini nowadays…not that I ever was…but…just saying). She is in one of those ginormous SUVs (black and hard to distinguish from all the rest) sitting very high up. I judge that I can still get darling daughter out of her car seat (and in my arms) but I did NOT count on her starting to back out. I must say I have a split second to panic slightly- she sees us right? Again I think we are on the same page as I signal to her that I will move me and my son out of the way so that she can pull out. As I close the door on my girl I realize that the driver and I are not on the same page- AT ALL…

I push my (luckily very skinny) son flush against the car while I turn towards the huge car in the very tight space as she rapidly reverses-taking the corner- AND my stomach with some speed. I actually scream, flailing my arms for her stop as my big tummy pretty much gets smashed by the left front of her vehicle…

She does see my then- looking surprised and slightly confused…did she not see the whale with feet trying to safely get her kids to school on time?

She then tries to pull forward again, making it worse by squishing my baby bump yet again. I yell for her to stop and she comes to an abrupt halt- actually looking appropriately scared now.

I managed to squeeze myself (not easy people) as I push my son (who is completely fine by the way) back towards the back of my own car. As soon as my sore stomach, son and I have reached the back of our car she reversed again and speeds away…

I get my daughter and we speed away ourselves- by foot that is- towards class.

Hours later I can actually feel the pain. I google the heck out of what I had just experienced but I think google is even more confused than myself.

What the heck happened this morning??
I know however that baby is probably perfectly fine in her (his?)  cushiony cocoon- me- not so much.

Later on both my sister and my mom agree that baby should be okay but that I should ask the nurse just in case, that the mom driver probably sat up too high to see my huge belly…but why oh why did I not even take her license plate number…? (I guess that was the last thing on my mind…and anyways what would that help?!?)

The week continues with another urinary tract infection and I wouldn’t even be worried except during my last pregnancy  a UTI developed into a full blown kidney infection…which might have been what caused my water to break prematurely…so yeah- worried!
We had to stop by the pharmacy to pick up my prescription on the way back from my son’s school.

Both kids are in rare form. My daughter refuses the cart and decides to run around pushing everything off the shelves while my son is whiny and super loud- asking (yelling) for some cookies. I rather not hold my girl too much right now but the adorable toddler turned shoplifting maniac doesn’t give me much choice as she stuffs her clothes with chocolate and some random medication (wait are those…condoms?). Returning the stuff is challenging while holding the squirming animal, bending and lifting while simultaneously managing a preschooler who screams that I am leaving him and that I’m being a bad mama! (Pleasant isn’t he!?). As we stand in line (kind of- at least I am trying) to finally pick up the antibiotics I can both see and feel the stares. This man actually goes as far as asking the old guy in front of him “can you even stand these screaming kids?” I want to snap back but I’m all out of energy, besides they are both being REALLY annoying. Even the pharmacist promises several times that we are almost done with the transaction and that I absolutely don’t need a consultation on how to take these pills. Who is he trying to convince me or himself. As my son screams for me to stop pushing him when I simply try to steer him towards the automatic doors I see the mixed looks of pity, understanding and pure irritation. They are all probably looking at my huge belly, thinking I can’t even handle the two I already have!!

To round up my week- my big ultrasound followed by my regular obgyn check up imagedidn’t exactly go as expected…

 

Quite Chaotic

Thanksgiving comes and goes in that rushed end of the year frenzy. I’m feeling calm and happy and yes, since you ask; just a little bit glowing!
I’m reaching the middle of this journey and can’t believe I made it this far and hoping that the worst is behind me; that from now on it will be an “easy” (never is, is it?) “normal” (ha), healthy adventure!

I feel hopeful and joyful and although life has taught me to be cautious I’m also allowing myself to think that maybe what people say is true; the third IS the easy one!

I feel grounded in the life plan (gift from above!?) to have another child and I feel better about my ability to do this with the help of my family and support of my friends. Yes, it will be difficult and yes I don’t have much help but I finally feel like I landed in the feeling that I can do this and that everything will be okay- good even. Kids are challenging but they are also quite awesome (I’m glad you didn’t ask me during my first trimester). I’m starting a better routine for my children and myself and start planning for a stricter (!) schedule for after the holidays and for the new year! Darling daughter will have to get a functional bedtime routine, a “big girl bed” and she will also have to sleep in it…alone…and all through the night!
Darling son will have to start eating FOOD…with real utensils…at meal times…
And drink out of a BIG boy cup (aka real glass…is anyone else out there tired of sippy cups!?)
Those are just examples and tip of the iceberg but you have to start somewhere!

Yes I know I will simultaneously have a kindergartener, a terrible two “potty trainer” AND a newborn (how is that for a plan)…so what?!? It will all be fine because it WILL- because it HAS to.

Jump forward from those very “small” concerns to the real stuff; my 20 week’s ultrasound!

My sister came as a wonderful birthday wish for a long weekend. Too bad we had to squish in some less than wonderful shoots (not the fun kind- the long needle kind) with some very unfriendly side effects (don’t ask…) and the big anatomy scan.
We are also currently in a state of chaos because someone decide to randomly put our house on the market just to “see what happens” (well we have a PLAN …sort of…) in the middle of pregnancy, a major trip to Sweden, CHRISTMAS and with two kiddos and a dog! You have no idea the work it entails to make your house ready for photos and a “virtual tour” as well as open houses! We have lived here over five years of puppyhood, babyhood, toddlerhood and preschool…eh hood!? After all…

It is a very very nice house but still the little fixes and to schedule them in the midst of cleaning, sorting and throwing while planning, hosting and attending holiday parties, dinners and functions is less than ideal. Did I tell you darling husband is out of town during this ?! Noo?? Well our planning is impeccable isn’t it! Did I also mention the trip to another continent?…and that I’m pregnant with worries such as preeclampsia, UTIs and “fluid level issues”. Yes, well okay… Maybe now you get it!? At least kind of/sort of!

Anyways I do my very best to welcome my sister “auntie” with open arms as do my children who are delighted that she is here for some fun and snuggle time. Little girl is finally ready for other arms to hold her (no more “only mommy” which is totally bittersweet) and little boy is an excited ball of energy (what else is new). We laugh, we eat and we do get some sister time to just re-connect, talk and be us which is quite amazing and totally worth the short trip (hopefully for both of us) in the middle of all the “life stuff” (we do use her as a sitter, drag her to doctor’s appointments and even to look at a house).

I’m worried about this big ultrasound, especially since no one can come with me and I feel vulnerable somehow doing it alone (I mean even my husband attended my other ones because this is the big important one where they check that everything is really okay! And sis who I would have loved to bring has to watch the kids who are not under any circumstances allowed…hmm) but shouldn’t have any reasons to. They have never seen anything (other than “IT”) before and my fluid level has been acceptable and cervix length good (again, if you don’t get it- no need to ask for clarification…no really!)
I still go in slightly anxious about it all but at the same time preoccupied with my sister being here, a house we are about to look at with great potential and all the holiday stuff (loving this time of year). Not preparing for anything our of the ordinary really…

Unfortunately it isn’t the underlying fears for what could show up at the ultrasound (as not seeing certain features or body parts clearly as my daughter’s spine or the fluid being too low) but something extremely unexpected- something a lot different…

Sisterly Love and Adulthood

Last week we made (the long overdue) trip to see my little sister (in my eyes she is still 15…or more like 5…but she is not anymore..). So much has happened in her life lately and is seems like I’m missing so much. Actually we are missing so much in each other’s lives and I can’t help feeling sad about it. I mean I know that is what happens and that its natural and even a normal, healthy progression of life but it doesn’t mean it’s easy.

We were once so close and I now treasure those years that we both took for granted, looking back we seemed to have it all but of course we were then too young and dumb to realize that. We grew up close but with 4 and a half years between us, she was always so much younger. In our twenties however the gap wasn’t so big and we started enjoying the same things.

The moment my sister decided to extend her summer trip in the sun visiting me to actually starting school here and moving in with me was one of my luckiest! We had years of fun, bonding time that neither one of us will ever forget. Sure it was the heartaches and the lack of money and the exams and some hardcore studying (partying) and numerous disappointments but overall it was our years in paradise. Basically no responsibilities, we were in our prime, pretty, blonde, smart, tanned, carefree and overall happy. Our biggest problems included “when will that cute guy call?” “where should we go out tonight?” “how to ace the next test”, “what movie should we watch?” “this dress or that one?” and “what to eat for dinner?”

It’s not like we just fluttered around supported and without ambition and goals, we were both in school full time and we both worked having rent and bills and “hobbies” to pay for (with tremendous help from our parents of course). How lucky were we to have each other? Sisters who didn’t only love each other because we were family, but honestly best friends! We seriously were almost always on the same page and got along better than anyone could or would have expected. We made new friends, bought and sold cars, saved up for special shopping trips, spent holidays in a foreign country away from the rest of our family, lived on little, cooked for each other and helped each other out with everything from school work to nannying to being the “designated driver”.

I went from completing my Masters program to starting my journey towards becoming a doctor of psychology while my sister worked on completing her bachelor degree in business by both working at the school and nannying. I went from nannying to internships to actually small but legit psychology jobs. We shared everything from food to jobs to laughs and most importantly friendship (and in some cases boys… kidding…sort of…).

Now we have been a part for well over five years first surviving her moving back to Sweden for a while and then to a completely different state- very far away while I met my man (had to stay for this one…) here and put down roots-becoming an American myself and everything!

My sister has been here of course but when you work and is a horse and dog mommy (read that right: my sister is not a horse…) you have REAL responsibilities you all of a sudden can’t ignore, it gets more difficult to leave your life for constant trips back and forth. When you get married, get a house, a dog and kid(s) – forget about it. We haven’t missed the huge stuff like her moving into a new house, my firstborn’s homecoming, my bed rest as well as random celebrations of Christmas and birthdays but it’s not the same as seeing each other and being there for each other every single day!

I get sad when I know I’m about to miss some crucial milestones in her life (me being older I know I pretty much have the big ones out of the way!) I was devastated that it took us a year to introduce my sister to my baby daughter… but I know that is life. As an adult you have to work and be responsible and you can’t just drop everything at the drop of a hat. I appreciate my adult life, I really do(wouldn’t change it for the world) and as a big sister, I’m immensely proud of hers!

I’ve always felt some responsibility in being the older sister and before I had kids (and even now I must admit) I worry about my little sister a lot, and I think about her and I naturally only want what is best for her! I can’t believe she made herself into the strong, ambitious and beautiful woman that she is today. Quite the careers lady with a horse and a dog to take care of, a house and a huge white truck!

She had planned an amazing stay for us in one of  the coziest and most charming little village part of her big city, where she now lives. With boat and bus tours for the kids downtown, amazing restaurants, yummy ice cream and treats and endless entertainment. We really, truly had a wonderful time (even the kids “semi” behaved. Me and my husband joked that a couple of days are plenty and very much enough with our kids- maybe you will even still like them at the end of the stay!).
The constant diaper changes (and blow-outs), car seats and strollers, wants and needs, potty breaks (and potty humor), picky eating, toys and tantrums wear you down after a while (but it’s good practice guys!)

Asking my little sister if she was ready for babies (and don’t you just love mine!!? – as they were running like crazy at a rather fancy restaurant) she looked at me with a (very) hesitant look, taking her time to answer…
– well maybe, I think….it’s different when you have your own!

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I just hope I can be there for her now as she embarks on the journey of “real” adulthood and all the huge and great milestones that lay ahead!

Love you Sis!

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