Monday, July 30, 2012

Let's Get This Started!

Today is the day! At 5:00 tonight I'll be getting induced. I'm extremely anxious. I was unsure of whether or not I was going to bother posting this morning but I feel that it's important to document my feelings so I don't forget them and so other first-time moms can see what I was feeling during this time. So, let's see...

What am I excited for? I get to meet my little girl so soon! I get to hold the child I've been growing inside me for the past nine months. I get to touch my toes again! I'll be able to shave my legs without getting winded. We'll be able to learn more about her heart condition and CCAM. I'll be able to eat pizza without getting heartburn that could burn a house down. I get to watch the Olympics while I'm in the hospital (don't laugh, we don't have any TV stations at our house and we're too cheap for cable)! 
What am I scared for? The IV, the epidural (still undecided about getting it at this point...), the possibility of a c-section, and the induction not working. I'm afraid of not being able to handle the stress of labor and that I'll have some sort of embarrassing panic attack. I'm afraid that a doctor I've never met will have to deliver her, even though one I've met is on call. I'm afraid that I'm going to make a complete fool of myself screaming like a maniac (Please don't sit here and tell me it's okay to be as obnoxious as I want. Yes, I understand that I'll be in labor and a little hysteria is to be expected, but I'd like to maintain a bit of composure. Call me crazy, call me stupid. I don't care. Just know that if you are going to start lecturing me about how it's completely acceptable to make myself look like an idiot, I will freak out on you. This is a goal I have for myself, don't tell me to give up on it.) 
What stresses me out the most? Not knowing if I've got everything I need packed and ready to go, and not knowing if we have everything we'll need for her. Not knowing what her health needs are going to be. 
What am I expecting? At our last measurement, one week ago, she was weighing in at 7lbs 10oz. I'm expecting her to weigh around 8lbs even at birth. I was dilated to 1cm last Monday so hopefully I'll have progressed some by now. I'm hoping to be at 2-3cm when they start induction. If I am at 3cm, I'm expecting labor to be between 15-18 hours. If I'm not at 3cm yet, I'm expecting closer to 25-30 hours. I'm wishing for closer to 12-15, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I'm expecting contractions to be awful, but I am hoping that my pain tolerance will surprise me (and everyone else) so I will be able to opt out of an epidural. I'm expecting that I'll probably end up caving in and getting it though, and then regretting it later(because I would love to do it without, not because I want the pain). I'm expecting to almost break my husband's fingers from squeezing them so tight. I'm expecting my phone to be ringing off the hook, but please know that I won't be answering it! If and when I want to talk to you, I'll call you. Please do not harass me while I'm in labor.
What am I not expecting? I'm not expecting it to be easy, but I'm not expecting a horror story either. Some people have told me awful stories about tearing so bad they need like 40 stitches, or bleeding so bad that they soak two pads an hour for weeks. I don't think it's going to be that bad. I've done a really good job about keeping myself in decent physical condition. I didn't let my body go too bad. I'm not expecting people to understand why I didn't have my family come down for today. It would be different if they could come for a few hours, then go home for the night and come back the next day. With military life, we don't really have that luxury. When family comes to visit, they're here. They're in our house, adding extra work whether they mean to or not. Usually that's fine, in fact, it's awesome! If it were a normal day, I would absolutely LOVE for my family to be here, but I'm not going to be up to taking care of an extra group of people, along with a newborn, right after delivery. Again, please don't lecture me and say that they'll be able to take care of themselves and they won't expect me to be up and social... My husband and I have made our decision. It would be a better investment for us and our families to have them wait until we're both adjusted to the life of parenthood. That way we'll actually be able to spend quality time with them. If you don't understand, that's fine, but please don't judge us for our decision. 
What else am I feeling? I'm somewhat irritated. I feel like I'm going to be judged for not having family here. I feel that I'm going to be judged for being young. I'm extremely appreciative of those who have been understanding through all of this and have let my husband and I make our own decisions. I'm thankful for those who haven't asked for a million explanations and haven't tried to force other decisions upon us. I'm thankful for those who have answered my questions about motherhood, labor and delivery,. I'm thankful for the support of some of the best friends I could ask for. I'm nervous that I won't be able to do enough for Adalin once she's here. I'm afraid that I won't be able to hold her right away because of her potential health problems. I'm hopeful that everything will go smoothly, but there's always the possibility of complications. I'm super excited and anxious and giddy!

I'm going to ask one last time that nobody lectures me about anything I've said in this blog. I have goal for myself. I have fears. I have expectations. I have feelings that nobody will be able to change. I ask that you all be supportive of this. If you've got something to say that you have the slightest feeling might tick me off, please don't say it. Please don't ruin this experience for my husband and I. I really don't want to look back on this event and think, "Wow! Do you remember how obnoxious so-and-so was when we were in the hospital?" or "Remember how I cussed out this person because they kept doing... while I was in labor?" Let my husband and I have this experience and make the most of it, please. We will be posting pictures on our Facebook pages, and on here as soon as I'm able. As long as baby and I are both doing well, I'll try to post a short entry the day after she's born. No promises though!

Wish me luck! Seven hours to go!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Saturday, July 28, 2012

This is It!

As long as all goes well, this will be my last weekend as a non-parent. I'm scheduled to be induced Monday night at 5pm, so we're expecting Adalin to arrive sometime on Tuesday if she doesn't decided to come this weekend.
I've been contracting all week long, but not enough to go to labor and delivery. On Monday I was dilated to 1 cm, but I'm hoping that I'll have progressed to at least two or three naturally before induction. My doctor said that the further I can get on my own, the faster the induction will go. I've heard horror stories about women who were induced and spent three or four days contracting like crazy, but not progressing and getting sent home to wait it out. I'm praying that won't happen to me.
My anxiety is at an all time high for the time span of this pregnancy. Although all of you may laugh at me, I'm absolutely horrified about getting an IV. The biggest medical procedure I've ever had done was getting my wisdom teeth (there's the link to that blog) pulled. That was horrible enough to last me a lifetime. I had some other medical procedures done as an infant, but obviously don't remember them so I'm not traumatized by them. I'm so terrified about having an IV, you wouldn't believe the knots in my stomach from just thinking about it.
I'm still undecided about an epidural as well. One thing that is a major contributor to my anxiety is the lack of control. I wish I were able to just say, "Okay, Adalin. It's time to come out now," and then bam! she'd come. We all know it doesn't work that way though. The idea of not being able to control my legs after getting an epidural is almost as scary as the idea of the epidural itself. So the choice I have is to either a) get the epidural and lose control of my legs, but feel much much better through the delivery process or b) don't get the epidural and be in oodles and oodles of pain, but still get to feel and control my legs.  To me, it seems like most people would say screw controlling my legs, get rid of the pain. It's just not that easy for me though.
I fully admit that I'm a control freak. I like things to go as planned (not necessarily "my way," but just as scheduled). I don't think that I'm mean or obnoxious about it, but I just like things to flow like they should. I have this ever-burning need to know when things are going to happen, where they're going to happen, and how it's all going to go down. If any part of that puzzle is missing, you might as well hit me with a bus. I don't know exactly when this baby is going to decide to come. Thankfully, I know where she'll be delivered. Unfortunately, I don't know how. Doctors don't seem worried about me having to have a c-section,  but I am at risk for one. Even though Adalin has been head down since I was 25 weeks along, all pregnancies are said to have at least a 30% chance of needing a c-section. Being induced adds another 10% to that. I'm trying to ignore that, but I know that I need to be somewhat mentally prepared for that possibility because it is just that, a possibility.
Any way, I'm going to try my hardest to enjoy these last two days with my husband in a quite, child-free house. The next month or so should be pretty hectic. Our tentative schedule is delivery next week, then (mom and baby's health permitting) a two trip to Florida to see my husband's grandparents. I've never met them so I'm really excited! After that weekend, my parents and brother are coming down for a few days. The following week, my husband's mom and siblings are coming to visit too. After that, it's all up in the air. All I can say is that I'm going to be one tired woman by the end of August.
I'm off to go clean the rest of the house, I'm still in nesting mode. I will do my best to post an update from the hospital after Adalin is born, but I can't make any promises. If I'm doing well and all of Adalin's potential health problems are cleared, I'll post lots of pictures by the end of next week!
Please keep Hubby and I in your prayers. In three days our lives will change forever.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Today, I've felt really strange. I'm itchy all over; my feet, hands, arms, legs, stomach (that's the worst), back, and everything in between feel like there are bugs crawling all over them. All I want to do is scratch but I don't want to itch myself raw. I feel helpless really.
I've been super anxious about everything today. As many of you know, we've been dealing with some housing issues since the middle of May. A random wind storm blew off a large portion of the shingles on one side of our house, causing some (what I considered major, but apparently it wasn't) water damage in our garage. When the inspector came to check it out, he found that the previous tenants had drilled holes the size of quarters into the roof (on the other side of the house) to put in Dish which voids the contract. When they moved, and took their dish with them, they neglected to fill these holes. So... When a tropical storm came through the area, lots of water came in and saturated one wall of our living room. The contractor said that the chimney actually needs to be rebuilt because it's so rotted, but he doubted that the owners would go for that, so he put caulking over the holes and sealed it as best as he could. This was finally dealt with in mid-June, a month after we first reported it. I was told that he would be returning on June 15-18 to fix the drywall that was wrecked and to repaint half of our living room... When I didn't hear anything for two weeks, I decided to go back into the rental company to find out what happened. Apparently, "He was pulled to an 'emergency job' somewhere" but would be back to our house within the week. Three weeks later... I've still heard nothing. I called them today and was told that they'll "deal with us when they can." In other words, they aren't concerned at all. I chewed the woman out because there's now way in hell I'm letting them come into our house to tear down walls and repaint right after I bring home a newborn with a lung problem. It's been over two months; this is not okay.
Moral of the story: Never rent through Holtzman Real Estate if you're at/around Fort Stewart. They're crap. 
 I'm really stressing out about it because I highly doubt that they're going to have this fixed in the next nine days. That's another thing. Only nine more days until I get induced! I've been walking like a mad woman trying to get the process rolling, but nothing is working. I guess my gut instinct about her coming early was wrong. I'm trying so hard to have everything ready, but there's still a few things we need like a baby monitor, bottle brushes, blinds for her room, and a few other things. 

So now, I'm off to walk again. Here's to hoping this will speed up the process! 

God Bless ♥ Vi 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Let's Be Idiots and Speak Whale

One of the things that I love most about my husband is how he gets after he's sleep deprived. Since I'm at the end of my pregnancy, I don't sleep a whole lot just because it's nearly impossible for me to get comfortable. You know how they say, "When mamma ain't happy, nobody happy..." Well, in our house it's "When mamma don't sleep, nobody sleeps." So after not sleeping two nights ago, Hubby and I were both sort of giggly last night. He yelled at me for sleeping on top of the covers "like a beached whale" and it all went downhill from there. He proceeded to say things like "dead but not lifeless" trying to dig himself out of that hole. When I finally got settled I decided to (attempt to) be like Dory from Finding Nemo and call out to my other "beached whale" friends. Let's observe:
That didn't go quite as planned, as I sounded more like I was birthing a cow than talking with whales... I was speaking upset-stomach or humpback. We then sat there and laughed hysterically trying to figure out exactly how Dory does this. We failed. My husband then began singing some awful songs from Family Guy which caused me to start bawling because I was laughing so hard. 
It took us a while before we could calm down and actually fall asleep. I love being stupid like that with my husband though. There aren't a lot of people in this world that I'm comfortable enough to make whale noises around. I am so lucky to have found someone who makes me this happy. My life is so much better than I ever imagined. I hope that all of you have someone in your life to speak whale with. 
I'm off for the day to hang out with Hubby. We've got some cleaning to do before the baby arrives (11 more days!). I'm still not dilated yet, but I've continued to thin. We're getting close! My last appointment is next Tuesday. Hello home stretch!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Comparing Lives

The other day, my husband and I were looking through our high school yearbooks seeing where everyone we graduated with has ended up. I can't believe how much different our two classes are. It's amazing how much just one year changes things. For those of you who don't know me personally, my husband graduated a year before I did. The people in his class (as a majority) are working or going to school and working. My guess is that it's safe to say that well over half of his graduating class has jobs and is moved out of their parents house. They've been on their own for two years now, most of them have it together decently well. Only a few of them are married, but I don't think that's strange since most of them are under 21 still. More of them have babies, but still not a ton.
My class on the other hand is a completely different story... A lot of them are doing absolutely nothing with their lives. No school. No job. No "life experience." Nothing. I'm not saying that you need to have everything figured out by the time you're a year out of high school, but you should be doing something. I would honestly be going crazy if I didn't go to school. Even with getting married and moving to Georgia, I absolutely need something to do every day or I go insane. I don't know how people do it. I need to be involved in something at all times. It doesn't matter what it is, photography, school, babies, work, cleaning... I will take what I can get. I just need something to do.

I'm really proud of the life that Hubby and I have made for ourselves. We're financially independent, have our own cars, rent our own house, have a dog, have a baby on the way, and have plans for the future. We've turned our house into a home. I'm pursuing an education even while becoming a new mom. Hubby is starting school online after he completes a deployment. We're doing well for ourselves and I'm not afraid to say how proud I am of us. We have goals, we have dreams, we have plans. 

To me, a person without goals, dreams, and plans is worthless. If you don't have something you're aiming for, what good are you doing? You don't have to have it all figured out. After all, who really does? However, having somewhere to start is important. You don't need to know that you want to go to medical school to become a brain surgeon, but you should know that you want to go to college (and then you should actually go to college!). You don't need to know that you want to start a business in.... dog toys...? but you should at least know that you like dogs and you want to do something for their benefit.

I challenge my followers, figure something out.  It doesn't have to be your life plan for the next fifty years, but maybe try to figure out the next few months, or even the next few weeks. Set a goal, and achieve it. Be like Nike, just do it. Stop making excuses for yourself, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and do something.

Baby Update: If Adalin doesn't make her grand appearance in the next 13 days, I will be induced on July 30th. I have an appointment tomorrow to see if I'm progressing at all. At my appointment last week, I wasn't dilating at all yet, but I was thinning. As of last Tuesday, I've gained 26 pounds which is okay with me. I'd like to stay under 30 pounds gained, but I won't be upset if I gain up to 35. Since I've only got 13 days to go, I'm really hoping that I won't gain another ten pounds, but I suppose it's possible. She's kicking like crazy still and getting cramped in there. I finally took out my belly ring for good until she arrives. I have a few more stretch marks now, including where my belly ring was. The majority of my stomach is stretch mark-free, but the underside has a few. I was hopeful to make it through the whole pregnancy without them, but I didn't quite make it. Oh well, I'm a tiger who earned her stripes!

God Bless ♥ Vi.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

What They Don't Tell You About Pregnancy

Through the last 36 weeks, I've come across a lot of things that people don't really talk about when discussing pregnancy. There are always the typical discussions about weight gain, stretch marks, and labor... but what about everything else? Pregnancy is so much more than that!

(Men, if you continue to read this you will probably learn more about your woman (and me) than you'll ever want to know. It may be in your best interest to stop reading now.)

  1. Pregnancy nose- This is more discussed than many of the points that I'll make, but you can smell so much more while you're pregnant. There have been many times that I've asked my husband "Do you smell that? It's disgusting!" and he just laughs and says no. I swear, if there is a barbecue within half a mile, I will be able to tell you (mostly because the smell of meat makes me sick). 
  2. You're not really eating for two-You do need extra calories every day, but not an extra 2,000. As one of my nurses said, "put down the second burger." There's really no need to eat double portions unless you're trying to double in size in a matter of 9 months. On that note...
  3. It is possible to not gain a million pounds- At 35 weeks and 5 days, I've gained a grand total of 28 pounds. Adalin weighs right close to 6 pounds now. Between the baby and all the fluid and whatnot that comes out at delivery, I'm hoping to only have between 15 and 20 pounds to lose after delivery. What has been my secret? Well, a few things... First, Carnation Instant Breakfast for breakfast or lunch every day. I hate milk so it has really helped me get the calcium I need. Second, walking, walking, walking! Although I haven't been walking as much the past few weeks because it gives me contractions, I was really active through well over half of the pregnancy. If you can manage to walk a mile or two every day, you'll feel a lot better. Third, heartburn. Sometimes it got to the point where I actually couldn't  eat without wanting to throw up so I just limited myself to smaller, more frequent, meals that were extremely plain. It's worked for me so far. 
  4. Heartburn and nausea don't always stop after the first trimester- In all honesty, my heartburn has been far worse during the third trimester than it was during the first. I have to take Zantac 150 twice every day, along with Tums after every meal, in order to keep it under control. From what little reading I've done, my situation isn't entirely uncommon because all your organs get squished up closer to your throat during the end of pregnancy. There's less room for food and everything else inside of you so you're more likely to have issues with that. 
  5. Constipation and hemroids are the norm in pregnancy- I have been super lucky to have not had issues with either. I never heard anything about this in my random girl talks about pregnancy and babies until after I was pregnant. I think it's one of those well kept secrets that people like to spring on the newly-pregnant lady. As you can imagine, I freaked out when I heard this. As long as you keep your fiber intake up and don't eat things you know don't agree with you, you might be okay. Some prenatal vitamins are known to make constipation worse, but doctors can give you stuff for that. Like I said, I've been super super lucky. Most of the women I talk to who are pregnant or have kids rant about how much the last trimester sucked because they couldn't poop. I feel blessed! 
  6. Doctors will hound you about taking prenatal vitamins- They are important, yes. But if you're unlucky like me, they will make you sick as a dog. As I already said, my heartburn has been so intense through the whole pregnancy, I have to do everything I can to keep it under control. This includes not taking my prenatals every day. I try my hardest to take them at least 3 or 4 times each week, but it doesn't always happen. I don't feel quite as bad because the Carnation Instant Breakfasts have a lot of vitamins in them, and I drink V8 Splash like it's going out of style, so I am getting a decent amount of vitamins in my normal diet. 
  7. Your due date is an estimate- Just because you're due on a certain day doesn't mean that you'll actually give birth that day. My "estimated" due date has changed at every measurement ultrasound because the baby is measuring larger than what a baby due on August 6th "usually" would measure. The earliest that they've actually changed it to is July 29th, even though she was measuring at the 24th. She's never measured small though. They keep my original due date on file because that is the statistically most accurate measurement (based on my last period). 
  8. You probably won't get tons of ultrasounds- I've been fortunate to have ultrasounds about every other week, but the reason is far less fortunate. Since Adalin has some health concerns, they have to monitor her more closely. Most of the time, in a non-high-risk pregnancy, insurance companies cover between 2-4 ultrasounds (from my understanding). You'll usually get one within the first trimester to make sure everything looks okay from the beginning, but mine wasn't that great detail-wise. The next one comes around 20 week. That's when you find out the sex (if baby cooperates and you want to know) and they check for any abnormalities. The last one (or next one, if you go longer) comes towards the end. I'm not exactly sure when because my ultrasound schedule changed at 20 weeks. 
  9. You're not supposed to go in hot tubs while pregnant- The hot water can basically cook the baby (from my understanding). So, it's a big no-no during pregnancy. You actually have to be careful that your bath water isn't too hot too. You can still take warm baths, but not super hot ones. 
  10. You can't change cat litter- Darn! Really though, there's a bacteria in it that is not good for you to be around. If you don't have someone who can change the cat litter for you, you might have to re-home kitty for the extent of the pregnancy. One article I read actually recommended to eliminate all contact with cats through pregnancy because they do walk in the litter, therefore, carry the bacteria everywhere they go... I'm not a doctor so I'm not going to tell you to get rid of Fluffy, but definitely do your reading. 
  11. Itchy belly syndrome- Because your skin stretches so much during pregnancy, you might feel very itchy. Since I've been religiously lotioning my stomach and hips twice every day since I was about 6 weeks along, I haven't been too itchy. I have noticed that since I started laying out on our patio to work up a tan, I am slightly more itchy. I know it's because tanning dries your skin out. The solution is just to lotion as much as possible. Try not to scratch too hard. 
  12. Everything heals slower- I have an ant bite on my leg from the beginning of May. It's still not entirely healed yet (It's JULY now!). Any random scrapes and bruises take longer to heal too. 
  13. You can't take a lot of medicines while pregnant- This seems like common sense to me now, but I was shocked at some of the things that you aren't supposed to take while pregnant. Ibuprofen and asprin are not looked highly upon. Any muscle relaxers, anti-depressants,  or other psychological drugs aren't really accepted either. Your doctor will fill you in on all that. 
  14. Caffeine intake is supposed to be limited- my doctor says it's okay to drink up to one cup/can of caffeine each day. Caffeine restricts blood flow to the baby, which can be problematic during pregnancy (especially the first trimester). 
I'm wanting to add more to this list, so please comment with things that surprised you during pregnancy. My experience is limited to my pregnancy (and the stories friends have told me). I'm not a doctor so none of this is official. This is simply based on what has (or hasn't) happened to me. 

God Bless ♥ Vi

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Hot! Hot! Hot!

From what I've gathered, it's been extremely hot pretty much everywhere around the country right now. Saturday, my husband's phone said that it was 119 degrees (it's not entirely accurate, but it's close). Sunday was around 100 again, and yesterday was 96. What does this mean? I'm hot and swollen.
A lot of our area lost power on Sunday night due to a completely random storm. There wasn't even a chance of rain until they issued a severe thunderstorm warning. After Hubby and I left the beach, it started pouring with a beautiful lightening show and extremely strong winds. I felt like we were in the middle of a hurricane. We (luckily) didn't have any damage done though. Our roof is finally fixed, but the inside water damage is still on our land lord's waiting list (at this point, we've been waiting almost two months).
Because of this crazy heat wave, I've been swelling and aching horribly. I'm cranky and all I want to do is sleep. My math class is killing me too. I did pretty well with the first half of the class, but now we're getting into more complicated statistics and I don't understand all of the procedures. I have to take my second midterm on Thursday and I don't have the best feeling about it. As long as I can pass (I have an 80% average right now, so that shouldn't be a problem), I'll be happy. I was really hoping to 4.0 both of my classes this semester, but I'm not sure that it's going to happen now.
There are lots of festivities planned for the Fourth of July tomorrow on post. I'm not sure exactly what we'll be doing, but I do know that it's going to be hot and this mamma isn't going to feel like walking. I'm sure that we'll still have fun though. I've really enjoyed our 3 day anniversary celebration. We had a cookout, went to the beach, and went mini-golfing. With how well Hubby did, I really don't believe that it was his first time playing put-put. I'm not a sore loser though, he won fair and square.
I'm off to try to comprehend this math class now and try to stay cool. I see some much needed pool time in my future this afternoon!

God Bless ♥ Vi