A Baby Story

Chilling in my hospital gown

Had my family guest-starred in the TLC show A Baby Story, you would have watched me beg negotiate with my OBGYN to schedule my 3rd c-section at my week 38 visit…and at the week 39…  Just when it seemed like the baby “would never come” I was scheduled to deliver Gabriel in my 40th week of pregnancy on January 16th.

The only difference between this scheduled c-section and the other two is that when I went to the hospital I didn’t know if I would be getting an epidural or be put to sleep under general anesthesia.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might have read about my issues with scoliosis.  While it doesn’t prevent me from any normal activity; my curvature makes it extremely difficult to administer an epidural, and it has left me with residual back and leg pain for weeks post delivery.

All hooked up, nowhere to go

Want to hear something ironic? About an hour before surgery, I went into labor! oh yeah.  They had me hooked onto the monitors and I had to watch (and feel) the contractions come and go as I waited to be wheeled in. Go figure.

After consulting with the anesthesia team and looking over my x-rays (yes, I come prepared) they decided to put me to sleep with general anesthesia.  It was kind of a bummer, because I missed the delivery and the first 8hrs post surgery are very blurry.

Dad, the one awake during surgery

I have to admit that I was scared to be put to sleep for the c-section. A few times the thought: what if I don’t wake up? crossed my mind.  In the end, I had no choice and I did wake up.  The biggest difference between induction, c-section with epidural and a c-section under general anesthesia is the post delivery pain management.

With my first and second c-sections, a pain relieving narcotic was administered through the catheter before removing the epidural.  This provided 24hours of pain relief (and I didn’t need a pain pump).  With the general anesthesia, when you wake up… well it’s painful. No amount of pain pump relieves the “I just got opened in half” pain.  Needless to say, the first 48hours were painful and blurry.  Even with the pain pump (which you must self administer every 6 minutes) I didn’t find pain relief until day two when it was removed and I moved on to oral medication (more than likely because I’d often “forget” to push the button to administer).

And the episode ends with a beautiful baby boy, happy siblings, and beyond grateful parents.  Shoot! I forgot to set my DVR!

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Sofia holding Gabriel

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Alex, thrilled to be a big brother

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Milk coma

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Going Home!

 

Searching for the Perfect Minivan

In three weeks I will outgrow my car. It’s a sad reality because my Acura MDX is fully paid for and I LOVE IT. Forbes Magazine even listed my MDX #1 in the top ten alternatives for a minivan! I love all the comforts and luxuries it offers; like seating 7 people, seats fold flat, cushy leather, XM radio…and so much more. When I bought it 3 years ago, I thought that would be all the car I’d need with my 2 kids. Enter surprise baby #3.

I’ve been making some preparations for his arrival; like buying cloth diapers, bringing down Alex’s baby clothes and washing them, buying another infant car seat and working a lot more to prepare MOMables for my part time absence…

The one thing I’m a bit nervous about is getting another car. I love my current car, I don’t like car payments, and I hate car shopping. Many of you have made comments and suggestions on Facebook about what I should do. Yes, I could get narrower car seats or take my 5 year old out of a car seat into a “booster” base to accommodate and give more room… but I am not willing to sacrifice safety. We spend way too much time in a car to compromise. The reality is that we are going to have 3 kids in $300 car seats. Boy, kids are expensive!

Another issue is finding myself with a new identity: the minivan mom. I have thought about buying a Suburban; but I already struggle to reach 5’2″ tall on a good day… taking the stroller in and out of the Suburban’s trunk, the infant seat and helping the other kids buckle and unbuckle… it’s just not practical and easy for someone of my petite-ness. Plus, financially… I’m not buying a Suburban until I am able to write it off and this isn’t the year.

Back to the minivan. There are so many of them out there and so many options! Used vs. New: NOBODY gets rid of their minivans within 100 miles of where we live unless they are over 4yrs old and loaded with miles! What gives? Come on people… I am waiting for you to get the itch and trade yours in! Sure, I could get an older van… but I dislike car shopping so I do not want to go through this process in 2 years. We are the type of people that pay off our cars and drive them till they are asking to be sold.

Will the minivan change how I see myself? Probably not. I used to worry about looking like a soccer mom… but that was before I traded my Manolo Blahniks for the perfect stroller. Now, I am the mom who needs convenience and function above all else; because I don’t have time to keep up with the Joneses. The minivan search has been an eye opening experience for me. I get it people… strop trying to convince me that a Tahoe or a Denali is the way to go… when it’s not. Not for my budget and needs.

YOU KNOW WHAT? Yesterday I bought a pair of Manolos on ebay (for $45!), was gifted a new stroller and I will be getting a minivan soon. In the end, parenting is about keeping a balance of what’s important, what we want, need, and appreciating the little things that will make our lives easier. Bring on the minivan – If I can get a decent deal that is… Otherwise, I will deal and figure it out.

Want to laugh? Check out this video.

Preparing for Baby #3

Most of you know that I’ve been really busy this fall with the launch of MOMables™.  I am now working full time while the kids are at school and at night when dad takes over around 8pm.  Crazy? Yes, and I love it. Many of my friends have asked if I am excited to be having this surprise baby #3.  Ummm, let me think… YES!!!!! HELLLOOO!!!  While I might not be parading my joy around town, I love being pregnant (most of the time) and I absolutely LOVE having kids.  Seriously, I’d have lots of them if I could.  Sorry, back on topic.

With the arrival of baby #3 we will have to make some changes as a family.  I’ve come a LONG way since my first child.  I remember the days (pre-kids) where my bathrooms were cleaned with bleach (YIKES!) and I rarely gave toxins, additives, preservatives, chemicals and the stuff I can’t pronounce a second thought.  Yes, I’ve come around in the last 7 years.  If you are wondering what some of the changes we will be making around our house are are some of them and some tips on making the changes easier (they are in no particular order but the one my hormone filled brain can handle).

  1. Removing the carpets in the kid’s rooms.  Our house is 6 years old and it’s time.  We only have carpets in the bedrooms and I would like to get wood down like the other living areas.  Why? because cleaning wooden floors is such a breeze with the non-toxic products that are out there and I don’t have to have a $500 vacuum to make sure all the dirt and dust that is trapped in the carpet get sucked up.
  2. We are adding bunks in one of the kid’s rooms; whose room is undecided but one of their beds (that was a crib at one point) will be put in my bedroom for now.  That means, that I will bring down the bedding from the attic to wash and prepare.
  3. Bring down “boy 0-3 month” bag of clothes from the attic and wash it with a baby detergent.  My all time favorite baby detergent has been Seventh Generation Free & Clear laundry detergent.  I still use it for delicates, undergarments, and other people’s babies when they are around.
  4. I will be re-stocking the bathroom with organic baby care products although both of my kids are still using them.  Our tubs already get cleaned with non-toxic green cleaners like the tub and tile cleaner from Seventh Generation.
  5. Although my kids have never tried to stick their fingers in the electrical sockets (knocking on wood now) they have been covered with the very annoying caps for six years now.  They are not going anywhere now!
  6. We purchased another infant car seat and with two other kids in car seats it looks like I will be entering the world of minivans.  Yikes!
  7. Beg for a diapers and wipes shower.  While I’ve given away most of my baby gear and I now know that less is more.  What I can’t get around is the need for diapers and wipes.  I discovered Seventh Generation Free & Clear Diapers and I was happy to sport the brown/earthy colored diaper with both of my kids instead of the VERY annoying tv characters (a big pep peeve of mine).  I found that they absorbed extremely well and my kids didn’t go around from droopy diapers from that horrible gel standard diapers are filed with. 
  8. Stock up on target gift cards.  They sell all my favorite seventh generation supplies and hopping over to pick some up when I am low is always a welcomed escape.
  9. Get the older kid’s toys organized.  We have purchased a wall unit and storage boxes but I am always worried about “the little pieces” that linger as potential chocking hazards.
  10. Get some rest NOW.  Well, I try anyway.

I know preparing for more kids can seem overwhelming but now that we have two kids and a system that works for us, I am much less worried.  Knowing that my house is cleaned with non-toxic cleaners and that we are not breathing chemicals all the time is really important.  Having made many changes over the past 6 years instead of something drastic overnight has helped.  It also is great that I can find many of my supplies at local retailers and I don’t always have to depend on on-line shopping.

 

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While this is a sponsored post, the opinions listed and written above are my own. I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seventh Generation blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

A Little Pregnancy Humor

I am going to tell you in advance that this is not a “dirty” post and that I am not going to talk about bodily fluids, delivery, or food.  Why the sausage picture? You’ll see.  Many of you have continue to ask me “how are you doing?”  as if a 19 week pregnant woman in August should feel good… specially in this 100 degree+ heat!  Today, I figured I’d give you a little update on what’s happening in the pregnancy (no, we don’t know what the sex of the baby is).

Last week I went to the doctor and everything looks fine.  I got the “your uterus is expanding nicely” talk as if things shouldn’t expand much faster during the 3rd pregnancy.  Anyways, my blood pressure was fine 88/62 and I’ve gained weight at the same speed as I did for the past two pregnancies.  So, what’s with the sausage? I’m getting there.

Right before I got up for the table I  mentioned to my doctor that sometimes the veins in my legs swell.  The conversation went like this:

Dr: Where exactly do your veins swell?

Me: Well, the ones in my lower calf and the big one in my upper inner thigh.

Dr: Hmmmm.  Let me see your femoral artery. Dr is looking. Oooohh. That’s not good.

Me: What’s not good? Is it going to burst?

Dr: No, but it’s early in the pregnancy for them to swell so I want you to stay off your feet as much as you can.  No standing for long periods of time (2+hrs) and I need you to put your legs up and rest them.  I also want you to start a low dose aspirin regimen (baby aspirin) to start preventing clots now.  AND, you need to get compression stockings and tights now.

I looked at him in shock and said, OK.  Does he know I am currently cooking up over 100 MOMables menus?  Better yet, he must have forgotten what it’s like to actually do stuff with your young kids!  It doesn’t work well from the sofa.  On the way I stopped at the pharmacy for baby aspirin and at Destination Maternity for pressure stockings.  That night, I ordered compression tights (they are footless) online.  I held off using the stockings until the tights arrived.  I’ve never been a stockings kind of gal, not even in winter during my suit wearing days.  What’s up with the sausage?  Yes, I know you are still wondering about that.

I can honestly say I know how the meat feels when it’s being stuffed in the sausage casing!  Getting those compression tights on is no easy task and one I do not wish to have an audience for.  The hot coals?  DO YOU KNOW HOW HOT IT IS OUTSIDE WHEN WEARING BLACK COMPRESSION TIGHTS IN 100 + DEGREE WEATHER?  Enough said.

 

Handling the Unexpected

We didn’t “just” find out I’m pregnant.  I’m 13 weeks 2 days to be exact (thanks to my phone app).  What we did find out recently is that I am not pregnant with twins.  I had an ultrasound due to serious cramping around week 7 and it revealed two sacks.  Dr. said that sometimes, one dissolves and it’s no big deal.  No big deal? I’d have to wait another 5 weeks for my next appointment to find out if it would “hold”?  Craziness.

Between traveling and summer outings we’ve been quite busy.  I have to admit that it was fun to think of the possibility to double the number of kids in one shot.  However, when I wasn’t overpowered by the crazy hormones… I realized that twins and the launch of my new business would be nearly impossible.  I mean, one baby  is enough work, but two? Yikes!

I am human and there is only so much I can do before chaos and exhaustion takes over.  My youngest is only 3, but I still remember the sleepless nights and the dazed state after 3 or 4 days of little sleep.  Even though twins would further “expand” the family, I think it would have been too many changes at once.  I’d have to introduce myself to the world of mom-driven minivans, purchase everything twice, and breastfeed and pump at twice the rate.  Let’s not mention that I cloth diaper my kids… that’s twice the washings!  All worth it, of course.

This was seriously unplanned.  While Eric and I have had conversations about having more kids, we are both content with our lives and just enjoy living a grateful-for-what-we-have life.  I have sold all my g-diapers on ebay, given away my infant car seat, a stroller, bottles, baby gear, and high chair (I’m sure there are many other things but I just can’t recall them all).  Dumb, dumb, and dumb! Oh well, it’s just “stuff.”  It gives me an excuse to have a diaper shower and purchase the rest, right?

How did this happen? Well, even though we are all adults I will not discuss the details…ahem! BUT if you must know… here is the conversation that took place sometime at the beginning of May:

Laura:  You know… I just wish I knew for sure if I was meant to have more kids or not.  I envy my girlfriends (whom I won’t name) that know they are done.

Eric:  Huney, some things are better left to prayer.

Laura: Well, I have been praying for an answer.  I just wish God would make up His mind for me because apparently I can’t.  Then: “Dear God, please send me a clear sign if you want us to have more kids or not.  Apparently I’m not that great at deciphering prayer.”

Three weeks later with almost zero to no chance of getting pregnant, the stick showed two lines.  Go figure.  Prayer is powerful, even more so when prayed out loud.