Halfway Mark

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We’ve made it to the halfway point with our little pea-in-the-pod. Despite the sickness, I’ve been so busy that it seems to have passed so quickly!

I had the anatomy scan this past week and it was a bit adventurous. Our little one wasn’t shy about sharing her gender, but she was curled up such a way that we weren’t able to get a good enough scan. I’ll go back in a few weeks for another. Hopefully this time she won’t be in the same position!

After my appointment I wanted to do something fun to share baby’s gender with the kids, so I put some balloons in a box for them to open. It was fun, and their excitement was really contagious. I was a bit disappointed that they tore it open before I was camera-ready. But it was worth it just to see them excited. They watched a few float away.

AGirl

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cocktailToday was another adventurous time at the dr. It was my first official appointment at the Naval Hospital and, lets just say, I was less than impressed. Actually if I could avoid going back I would. It was not the best experience. In the long run, the only reason I put myself through it was so that I could get some drugs to help me survive and avoid ending up in the ER again. My HG has been so bad that I’ve been mostly in bed for the last two months. When I’m up I’m throwing up or dry heaving, and continuously nauseous. I’ve been dysfunctional. My mom, bless her heart, has been an angel taking care of everything while I’ve been in bed. I feel like I wasted away the kids summer. I can only try to make up for it now. The doctor signed off on giving me drugs that they give to chemo patients to help fend off nausea for cancer treatments. It’s a crazy combination, but I am feeling better already and I’ve only had one dose. It’s a combination of 4 different medications and some others to counteract some side effects. I hate taking medication, but in this instance I’m grateful both for myself and my kids. And my mom too!

Making the night useful.

ourchildren

My two older children are having a sleepover at the neighbors house, and for whatever reason, (Ok, nausea), I can’t sleep.

For a moment or two I lay in my bed feeling really angry and annoyed that I was awake, and then the thought crossed my mind that I should be doing something “useful”. So I started to think of each of my kids. What did they need? Clothes for winter, school supplies, new coats. I went down a list, mentally, of what they needed. But what do they really need? They need me to pray for them. They need me to pray that I can do right for them. So what do they really need?

  • This child needs courage to do what is right when they are feeling the pressure to just conform. Give him courage, Lord. And help me to teach this child correctly how to do that.
  • That child needs to learn humility and patience. Intolerance is hurting this ones relationships and could have huge a impact on this ones future. Lord, teach me how to show/teach humility and tolerance/understanding for others shortcomings.
  • And this child? Lord, give ME perseverance to guide this one correctly both in words and actions so that through my example this one will SEE and understand love, gentleness, compassion, forgiveness, humility and every other virtue that they might need throughout life.

These are truly things that my children need. They need me to teach them how to love! Of course my children need the basics, like every other child. But they need me to care for their souls as well. It’s quite the responsibility, and I’m humbled by the fact that I’ve been called to do so. I feel so blessed that I’m able to help them through, and to be a guide for them. No doubt my imperfect humanity will show through quite often as I try my best to raise them, but I try to keep my eye on the fact that there is something greater than myself which is calling me to be more and better for their sake. I pray I can provide them with a good foundation.

 

My health and NFP.

nfp

When we got married I had a vague understanding of NFP. Enough to understand my fertility and how everything works. Over time I’ve come to understand it even better. I know my body, and could thoroughly educate a doctor or nurse on my body and cycle, pinpoint my days of fertility, and the days that I’ve conceived. What I’ve found is that usually the main-stream dr or nurse is skeptical of my knowledge.

When I was in the hospital last week the nurse practitioner doubted my dates when I told her my due date and the date of my last period. She saw that my belly was larger in her opinion than what it should be at 12 weeks and from there assumed I didn’t know what I was talking about. It took an ultrasound and measurements of the baby for her to conclude that “So yes, your dates seem spot on with how baby is measuring. It’s the cyst/fibroid that are enlarging your uterus to the size they are.” Here is where it is thrilling for me. Not only were they able to “scientifically” confirm what I already knew, but we were able to find underlying causes for the pain and discomfort and enlargement of my uterus. That is amazing and wonderful because that information is essential for my future health-care. We may never have found those things if they hadn’t gone specifically looking for some underlying cause to my pain. The wonderful thing about using Natural Family Planning is that you are taking away all the artificial reasons for symptoms (like side effects of synthetic hormonal birth control) and focusing on the actual health of the patient.

Information on the the form of NFP that I use can be found here.

Adventures at the ER.

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Isn’t it usually the children that you’re having to visit the ER for? For most parents it is!

My own few visits to the ER have always ended up being for something pretty serious: severe migraines that have lasted weeks, strep throat that turned into a thyroid cancer diagnosis, pain or contractions during pregnancy.

I ended up giving in to going to the ER last Saturday. The evening before I’d had pretty severe cramping. It went away as I slept, but when I woke up the next morning my nausea was gone completely and I had some more cramping. I was fearing the worst, so we headed to the hospital. I needed some reassurance that everything was ok. No matter what was going on I was intent on remaining calm so as not to alarm the kids. They didn’t need to be concerned. We were just going to check on the baby and see how everything was going, I informed them.

Of course we ended up spending most of the day there. My mom took care of the kids while I had an ultra sound and other tests. We confirmed that baby is A-Ok. The Dr. thought I was measuring LARGE, like almost 20 weeks. That is impossible. Physically impossible. I track/chart my fertility using NFP and know my cycle well. And given that Kevin is only home for certain lengths of time that sort of limits the window of opportunity. Not that dr’s believe me ever. I’m certain that they see infidelity all the time…but I for one and faithful. So after I explained that, she told me it was likely I was carrying multiples. My eyes must have been as big as saucers! No. Way. The ultra sound confirmed only one baby is living in there! A wiggly one too. And my dates are correct. They could hardly capture a picture. That put my heart at ease. I could go through hell as long as baby is ok, is my feeling. (Although, I really would love if they could make this constant sickness go away!) They did find some cysts and a fibroid on my uterus. Honestly that explained a whole lot! It explains my uterus being enlarged, and it explains my pain during my menstrual cycle, and now this pain that’s been pretty consistent for the last week now.

Despite the pain, and the sickness, (and being made sick-er by the pain) I’m happy. There’s nothing worse than uncertainty. Put together uncertainty, lots of pain, and crazy pregnancy dreams and you have a recipe for a paranoid woman!

Thank you, you funny ER nurses, for putting up with my paranoia and putting my mind at ease. I hope I don’t see any of you for a very long time!

Next time I’d like to talk a little bit about NFP and how its affected my medical care.

12 weeks down!

12weeks

Well hello there little bubbly belly! I can still suck you in a little, but it’s easier just to let you hang around. My kids like to come and hug my belly. It’s pretty darn cute. “Good night baby”, they exclaim as they hug my belly goodnight. They love this baby SO much already. I love that. They see cute little baby clothes, or a baby in a stroller and they just make the cutest little exclamations of delight. Even my ten year old. He’s just in love with babies.

So here’s where this delighting mama is at:

24/7 sickness and vomiting. Zofran only takes the top off a little.

I’ve found that Gatorade, sipped, makes me feel a tiny bit better. For a few minutes.

I’m super forgetful, scattered, and feeling a bit “childlike”. Sort of like “I want to hug my mommy and have her make it all better.

I cry at the drop of a hat. Actually, I cry at commercials on tv, cute kitties, the thought of 6 more months of being pregnant, the thought of holding a new baby, my husband not here, the fact that I will be seeing a different dr for the duration of my pregnancy, that I can’t keep anything down,  & insert anything remotely emotional. Basically…everything.

I hiccup. A lot. While trying to suppress throwing up, I hiccup instead. In the end…just letting myself throw up is better than hiccups.

But on a high note I’ve been feeling the flutter of baby feet pummeling my belly. It’s still not apparent from the outside, but bubble-baby is definitely active! It puts my mind at ease to know he/she is busy growing despite how sick I’ve been!

Kick on, little one.

 

 

morning sickness

This mama would make a great paper weight. Or an anchor. I do anchor my little family in place, that is for sure. I’ve been pretty sick. Thankfully not enough to end me in the hospital, but enough to keep me mostly bedridden. We’ve been blessed to have the kids keeping busy with kids in the neighborhood. I have no problem with them playing noisily. I know what they are doing and that they are ok. I’m frustrated with my inability to get up and take them somewhere, but I get so tired so fast. The waves of nausea that hit when I get out of bed are enough to send me right back to the bathroom and then back to bed to recover.

The good news is that I can finally feel my little bundle-bubble growing in my belly. Finally something to show for all the sick I’ve been experiencing! Am I the only mama who feels super duper excited once a bubble-belly starts to show? Sweet sweet external proof of what’s going on! It’s almost like vindication 🙂

It’s ironic.

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I had a good little laugh this morning. Let me share.

So the nausea from being pregnant really started to get so bad that I was having a hard time functioning over the last few weeks. My doctor finally gave me Zofran, and it’s taken the edge off. But I still wake up feeling very sick, and go throughout the day and night with quite a bit of nausea as well. It wasn’t any different this morning. I was trying to lay as still as possible, as long as possible to avoid throwing up or having to get up and struggle to the kitchen for another pill. And then my little guy woke up. Sometime during the night he had climbed into bed next to me. I heard him roll out of my bed and head into the hallway. And then I heard him start to gag and dry heave. OH NO. I tried not to be sick myself as I rushed out of bed as fast as I could and get him to the bathroom. He was gagging. I was gagging because he was gagging.

Then I walked into the kitchen and saw what my mom and kids had hung up for me. Happy Birthday to me!

Haha…great way to start the celebration!

The Mommy-Sitter

duke

My dog loves me. I can tell by the fact that he hardly leaves my side. He even waits outside the bathroom for me, sometimes nudging the door ajar. Since I’ve been spending so much time laying in bed he either is on my bed (which drives me a little bonkers because he’s usually on me, too, and he’s heavy), or laying right next to me on the floor. He’s a kind sweet dog. I think he senses the fact that I’m not feeling so great and so he stays nearby.

This isn’t the first time he’s tried to take care of me.

About a year ago, I came down with a really bad flu. It was spring time and already really hot outside. In the 80’s, I believe. I remember I was sitting on the porch wrapped in a blanket watching my littlest one playing outside and I was shivering like crazy. When I finally came inside, all I could do was lay still, try not to throw up and try to get warm. But I just couldn’t seem to get warm. My dog climbed up on the couch and lay right on top of me, keeping me warm. He stayed there for hours, until my husband came home from work and took me to the hospital with a 104 fever.

He’s a good dog. I wonder how he’ll be with a new one in the house.