What’s New?

I’ve lost 60 pounds! Holy smokes, y’all. My clothes are too big, my bra’s are too big, even my underwear is too big. Yet, I haven’t gone shopping for new clothes because I hate spending money on myself; my psychiatrist thinks that’s unusual (me not spending money on clothes, etc.). Honestly, I don’t even know what size I am because I continue to wear my old clothes, and plan to do so until they’re literally falling off of me (in which case, they’re starting to do… I wore one of Greg’s belts yesterday for the first time). This whole weight-loss surgery has been a ‘hurry up and wait’ thing for me. I’m excited to see where it will take me, and I want to get there as soon as possible, but I know it’s going to take time.

Greg starts his new job in a couple of weeks. It’ll be an adjustment to him going back to work after nearly 5 years (since being laid off), but we’re both excited. His training is going to be 4 weeks long! Then, afterwards, we hope he gets the schedule he’s selected which he’ll be working a night shift (until midnight).

With Greg working, Sofia will be going to daycare full-time for the first time in her 3.5 years of life. Also, since the training is 4 weeks long, Amelia will be going to my Mom’s for a month.

My job has been going well. We’re going to be moving offices towards the end of the year. It’ll be weird with a new commute; I’ve been doing the current one for nearly 10 years! But, I’m excited about the new office. It’ll be in downtown Baltimore, right on the water, with amazing views and a lot of new amenities.

Amelia is graduating from the 3rd grade next week. Good grief time is flying by. I can’t believe she’s nearly 10 years old, and nearing the end of her years in elementary school. I soo don’t feel old enough to have a soon-to-be middle school-er. Not at all. Also, Amelia made honor roll this entire school year. So proud of her! She’s doing really well in math (probably better than me), and reading (she’s above grade level).

Sofia has finally graduated to big-girl status by being 100% in underwear. No more pull-ups and diapers for this gal! I’m so proud of her as well. Even at bedtime. And, we haven’t had a single accident in the past 3-4 weeks that she’s been wearing undies.

Greg has completed his final ‘step’ in terms of medical clearance for his turn at the surgery. We’re just waiting for his next appointment with the surgeon to schedule his date.

This summer is going to fly by. A lot of new changes and routines, and I can’t wait!

2016 Already?

Geez, time is flying by too fast. This year marks 20 years since Greg graduated from high school! 20 freaking years! I don’t feel old enough to say 20 years has passed for any milestone.

Yet, 9 years ago tonight I was in labor. My water broke at 6pm and my Mom drove me to the hospital. When I was checked, and confirmed my water did indeed break, I was already 2cm dilated. Within 13 hours I was going to meet my baby girl.

Amelia is turning 9 years old. And, every year (just about) I write how I can’t believe how old she’s turning. And, every year it’s true. I don’t feel old enough to have a nearly 10 year old kid. In my heart (and mind), I’m still 27. And, it seems I’ll forever feel that way (all the while thinking it’s only 1997). 27 was a big age. I had a kid. I got the man of my dreams. Moved three times with a baby. Bought my first financed car. A lot of big things happened when I was 27.

When Greg and I were engaged and planning our wedding, I befriend a lot of other ladies doing the same. Recently, I noticed that a lot of those friends have divorced. It made me look at my relationship with Greg and how ours differs from others; even my first marriage. And, I am thankful that Greg and I have each other and that we can be who we are without judgement. Granted, our marriage hasn’t been easy and we’ve had a lot of challenges – many that I knew about before we became parents and then husband and wife – but, the one constant that has been in our relationship is support and love. Greg supports me and the events going on in my life; whether they’re positive or negative. And, while sometimes I may not agree with how Greg is handling something, I support him. I also tell him what I think could be improved upon, and he’ll listen, but it’s the open communication we have that allows us to support each other.

2016 is going to have a lot of changes. Not sure on all of the changes, but things have already been set into motion. First, I’ve been taking an anti-depressant for about a month and I finally feel better (somewhat). I definitely don’t feel as ‘broken’ as I did before, and I am able to handle stressful moments a lot better. There’s still some work in progress, as a family, to be more balanced. But, that’s all to come as well. I’ve made an appointment for Amelia to see a child psychologist for some things. Amelia can be a bit much, and it’s more than just ‘normal’ stuff. I mentioned this to the psychologist and he suggested she come in and I agreed. I told Greg and he agreed as well. We’ve talked, off an on, about seeing a family therapist, but wasn’t sure how that would work with two difference insurances. I’m glad, though, that we finally have something scheduled. And, I suggested, to Greg, that it couldn’t hurt if we met as a couple with a psychiatrist. The doc felt so, as well, since Greg is on an anti-depressant, too.

Secondly, I have my weight loss surgery scheduled in March. It’s tentative, at the moment, since my ‘case’ hasn’t been submitted to the insurance company just yet. But, the doc’s office doesn’t see any reason why there wouldn’t been a rejection. I’m excited and a bit freaked out about this surgery. The exciting part is the changes that will occur; I’ll loose weight, finally, and keep it off. The ‘freaked out’ part is that I am permanently altering my stomach; there’s no going back once this is done. My Mom is excited that I’m made this decision. Greg, while supportive of my choice, was initially against it for himself. However, the idea has warmed up to him (which, I believe is in part to his anti-depressants), and depending on how it goes with me, he’s even willing to consider it for himself. In the meantime, Greg has been going to the gym three days a week and has changed his eating habits, including a drastic reduction in soda consumption. Granted, Greg and I drink diet soda only, soda was our ‘addition’. Since Greg has been on his anti-depressants, his soda consumption has decreased; he just doesn’t desire it anymore. The same is starting to affect me. I used to drink about 4-5 cans of soda a day (along with about 50-60 ounces of water), now I may have 1-2 cans of soda. I just don’t desire them like I used to.

Third, the office is moving. This won’t occur until the end of the year, but it’s still a big change. Additionally, we’re moving into a brand new building in downtown Baltimore (it’s still under construction)! I see this move as an opportunity for networking, and hopefully, advancement. The new environment will require me to dress professionally, which I am somewhat excited about since I’ll have a new body to dress.

It’s getting late. I’ll finish up another time.

 

I need a vacation

I have never felt so much stress in my life as I have over the past 10 weeks or so. I can pinpoint what happened to cause this feeling, but I can’t understand  why I felt this way when I’ve been under much more stressful situations (such as when Greg was laid off in 2011, the car accident and then the death of my uncle all in less than a month’s time).

So, like many other humans under stress, I went shopping. Except, I didn’t buy shoes, or clothes, or some new gadget or toy. Instead, I decided to book a vacation. It took me a few weeks to decide the where and what of the vacation. Disney World is on our list (because Amelia wants to take Sofia), but there is no relaxing at Disney World. Besides, Greg and I agreed that our next vacation was going to be on a cruise ship… just, which cruise line?

Then, last week, I received an offer for a Disney Visa card. The last thing I need to be doing is opening up a new credit card account; however, the perks, such as the 0% interest for 6 months if you use the card to pay for your Disney vacation, was enticing. And, after a little due diligence in research, I caved and opened an account. 

Now, it was time to decide if we wanted to do the Disney parks or the cruise and use the Disney card. Again, I weighed the pros and cons, did the price comparison, and just thinking in general which would be more relaxing and calm especially since Sofia will be less than 2 when we travel.

After two days of debating on which to choose and then having a hellish day at the office, I just went ahead and booked a Disney Cruise for next year. This will my first Disney Cruise, as well as a cruise for the girls. I’m excited about it! I called my Mom after work and told her what I did and she states she wants to go too! My Mom never accepts our offers to include her in our vacations; she claims she can’t leave the animals (horse, 2 dogs, a cat, and some fish). So, this came as a surprise. Then, we started talking about my brother and if he’d like to join us and finally have a full family vacation.

So, as it stands now, my brother says he has no interest in a Disney Cruise saying “there’ll be to many kids” or ” too much Disney in your face.” My Mom could care less about the cruise line, but it’s on her “bucket list” to take a cruise before her MS makes it difficult to travel. Now, I just have to educate my brother, and myself, about the Disney Cruise line and how it’s not just for kids.

What’s Happening?

How was your summer?

Ours was busy. And, to my dismay, we didn’t make it to the beach (even for a day trip).

I took 2 classes over the summer; Algebra and Human Biology. Greg had to help with the Algebra; math just isn’t my thing (well, math that requires x’s and y’s and plotting graph’s, etc).

Amelia attended our county’s summer camp program and loved it! Such a huge difference in willingness to participate this year than last year. We picked a somewhat different program that had field trips every week and we also picked a different school (one by my office) and I think that made the difference. We’ll probably do the same next summer.

We bought a new (to us) car! Greg and I would daydream about our next car purchase. What did we want in the car, such as the size (sedan vs. SUV. vs minivan), features and options, and manufacturer. So many factors to consider! And, after this experience I’ve learned that I hate car shopping. Hate it! But, in the end of our adventure (that’s a whole other post to share), we got the car that fits our family’s needs and that we enjoy driving as well.

Sofia. My goodness is this girl getting big! I wouldn’t be surprised is she’s already 25lbs and 30 inches tall. I keep telling Greg that we need to move her into a bigger carseat, but he doesn’t want to give up the carrier (even though its ridiculously heavy with her in it). That, and it would admit that she’s no longer a ‘baby’ and she’s in her way to be a toddler. Sofia does have 2 teethe in and just last week, or the week. For, she’s begun crawling!

Well, this is all the time I have for an update. I have several drafts written…one day ill get to them.

She’s Here!

**this post was started on January 12, 2013. So, some things my be a little ‘old’**

 

Sofia arrived on December 20, 2012 at 12:49pm weighing in at a healthy 8lbs and 9 ounces and 20.5 inches long. I wasn’t expecting such a big baby! Especially since Amelia only weighed 6lbs and 14 ounces and 18 inches. Nor, was I expecting a blonde/reddish-haired baby.

My anxiety and fears made me so freaked out about my csection, but in reality it wasn’t all that bad. The only ‘issues’ I’ve had have been with the JP Drain and the incision site (three weeks later and it still hurts).

Here’s the story of Sofia’s birthday:

The morning started out as normal; we got up and got Amelia off to school. Greg and I did a quick run to Target.

We arrived at the hospital a little after 9:30am and the staff was ready for us. I was taken to the recovery room and got hooked up to the IV and monitoring belt. I hate those baby monitoring belts more than anything else in the world (while pregnant). Fortunately, since baby girl was doing so well, they unhooked me after an hour or so.

Once I was off the machine, I got up and stretched a little and Greg took my last pregnant belly photo:

Belly

My csection was scheduled for 11am. Well, my OB was not on schedule (due to no fault of her own). As the time passed, my anxiety increased. Finally, at 12:02pm I was escorted into the OR room (there’s a clock on the back wall and I was watching it like a hawk). Then I went into overdrive. The nurses were amazing and tried their hardest to make me comfortable and calm… I was too far gone. My blood pressure, which the cuff was going off, like, every three minutes, steadily increased which made me panic even more (I was afraid I was going to literally have a heart attack because of my anxiety and panic). Plus, Greg wasn’t with me yet and that made me more scared.

The anesthesiologist was amazing. I hardly felt the needle going into my spine and the epidural and spinal block were 99% effective. Once the first part of my anxiety was over, I was more calm. However, the second part of my anxiety, the effectiveness of the medication, began.

Slowly I felt the medication working. It starts with a warming sensation in your legs. Mine started with the left side. It took a little longer than I would have liked for it to work on the right side. Slowly, but surly, I began to feel the numbness increase — which had the feeling of your legs falling asleep with the pins and needles sensation. I asked the nurses and who ever else was in there (still no Greg) if this feeling was normal and if I would constantly feel it. The answer given was yes. Well, this increased my anxiety again because I was afraid that I would feel the pins and needles with every cut.

By the way, once the spinal medicine was in my blood pressure dropped. A lot. I asked the room if this was normal as well and if how much it was dropping was normal (at times, I saw my blood pressure 94/7X when, prior, it was 18X/100). Again, the answer was yes.

The OB came in, did her prep stuff, and the next thing I hear is my skin being cut. I asked if she had begun and she said yes. Thank goodness I didn’t feel the cutting. And, as soon as this part began Greg was let in.

Once Greg was next to me everything calmed down. I was so happy to see him and have him holding my hand. Plus, he could give me the descriptions of what was going on (since I had a little curtain blocking my view).

Unfortunately, Greg got to see a lot more than he bargained for. He didn’t have a curtain to block his view. Unfortunately for me, Greg didn’t want to see what was going on and focused more on me. Greg did see when my water was broken; his comments were “it was like a geyser going off” and some did get on the doctor. Apparently, there was a lot of fluid.

Next thing I heard was Sofia’s feet were out and that she was pee’ing on the doc. There seemed to be a bit of a struggle to get Sofia completely out because she was in such an awkward position and so high up. Plus, she had the cord wrapped around her neck. Greg stated he was panicking a little because of how long she was head-in and was worried she wasn’t getting any oxygen. But, in reality, it took all of 30 seconds to get her out.

Once Sofia was out and in the warming station, Greg went to be with her. I kept asking what does she look like because I was expecting her to look just like Amelia. I was shocked when they said she was a strawberry blonde and that she weighed over eight pounds! It took days for me to wrap my head around this.

Sofia

Eventually, once Sofia was given the all-clear I got too see her for the first time:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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They tested Sofia’s sugar and it was low (I was told they treat babies that are 45 or less and Sofia was 43), so they gave her a bottle and all was well.

Greg asked me if I wanted him to stay with me or to go with Sofia. I could tell by the excitement in his voice that he wanted to be with Sofia so I told him to go with her. While Greg was with Sofia, I was on the OR table getting stitched up. If you’re wondering, I did opt for a tubal so there will be no more babies for me (unless the tubal isn’t successful).

The rest of the stay was okay. We did learn, while trying to breastfeed Sofia, that she was ‘tongue tied‘ and it was causing some difficulties with her latching on. So, a specialist came and and examined her and decided she needed to have a minor cut done to allow her to stick her tongue more for a better latch. I was worried that it was going to be painful and Sofia wouldn’t be able to properly eat for days while it heals, etc. But, none of that was necessary. The had Sofia for less than a half hour and she didn’t even cry. Unfortunately, breastfeed wasn’t as successful as I hoped. Sofia needed formula to supplement because she was loosing too much weight. When we left the hospital, Sofia nearly lost a pound! By the time Sofia was 5 weeks old she was 100% formula fed. My milk never came in, or wasn’t enough to keep up with her demands.  And, we had to switch Sofia to a soy based formula due to her reflux (same with Amelia).

Other than the above, Sofia has been amazing! She’s very alert and aware of her surroundings. She LOVES Amelia and giver her big sister the biggest smile when Amelia enters her field of vision or when Amelia reads to her.

My recovery was uneventful. I occasionally feel pain where my incision is but those are becoming less frequent.

My maternity leave went by way too quick. Greg and I enjoyed our time together with Sofia. We were both sad that I had to go back to work.

Greg is doing an amazing job being a SAHD (stay at home dad). He loves that he gets to spend so much time with both girls. Plus, it’s saving us SO much money since we don’t need daycare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Fun

It was a beautiful weekend. The sun shined bright, the skies were clear, and the temperature was great.

Saturday, on a whim, we decided to head to The Maryland Zoo. It’s been years since I last visited. As a mater of fact, I don’t think Amelia was even 2 years old the last time we went as a family. Unfortunately, the zoo isn’t what it used to be. Half of the attractions are no longer in place & are closed off. But, that didn’t stop us from buying an annual pass. This is the first year we’ve bought the family pass. I figured since we would have paid nearly $50 in admission fees, the family pass would have paid for itself after two trips. Plus, since Greg is now a stay-at-home daddy, he can take the girls anytime he wants.

Amelia had fun and was asking to go back today. Also, given all the walking we did yesterday (including a trip to the grocery store after visiting the zoo) Amelia slept in for the first time in a long time! We all slept in, except for Sofia.

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Sofia fell asleep as soon as we reached the children’s area

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Indoor cave

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Hungry giraffe.

Today, we went to Ft. Smallwood Park. It’s one of my favorite county parks to visit. It has a nice play area and lots of grills for charcoal cooking. Plus, it’s nice to watch the ships come and go.

Greg and I did a first: we let Amelia play at the play area all by herself. Don’t worry, Greg was watching the area like a hawk (very protective of his girls). It was scary yet exciting to let our daughter experience independence. I am happy to report she did very well. Interestingly, she came back to us after about a half hour & hung out with us the rest of our time there.

Overall, it was a great weekend. We didn’t do any chores other than a load or two of laundry and we spent a lot of time together.

It’s Time

I received a call from my OB’s office informing me that have received his test results… and… “everything was within normal range”! Of course, I’d like to know the actual. Umber because I’m curious like that, but I’m excited that, reproductive wise, we’re all good!

The nurse advised me that the doc was going to send a prescription to my pharmacy for the Clomid; she was giving me 3 cycles to ‘try’ and if we’re not lucky then we will re-evaluate. The instructions are to take the Clomid on cycle days 3-7 and then have sex every other day.

I’m really crossing my fingers that this will be a quick ‘cycle’ and all we needed was that little ‘boost’ to get us pregnant.

While excited, I’m freakin’ out just a little. Kind of a disbelief freak out in that this is actually happening; were actually trying to get pregnant!