Wednesday, August 31, 2005
We have been so overwhelmed by all of your thoughts and prayers and good wishes. I told some of you that I really covet your prayers right now. They are really all we have to hold on to until we learn something. My internet friends are just so wonderful. It is heartening to know that people all over the world are praying for us and our family. What a blessing.
I am supposed to go away for my weekend with my friend, The Queen, next weekend. I have been feeling ashamed of my selfish feelings, hoping that I will still be able to go. I have so been looking forward to this time away to recharge and rest. I think that it will help me to be a better Mommy. But at the same time it does feel so selfish when I know what is going on down there. SugarDaddy was planning to leave the day after I got back to meet his dad back east and go to their hometown together. They wanted to be there for the anniversary of his mom's death eleven years ago. It will be good for both of them. They still haven't had a chance to finish grieving that loss. I hope that they will still be able to make the trip.
The sun finally came out today, thank heavens! My kids are outside right now playing. I need to get them in and showered. The boys are positively caked with sand. I noticed while we were eating supper that SugarBug has chunks of sand in his ears! I'm sure I'll be cleaning the bathroom tonight. So, I guess I'd better sign off. I promise to let you all know when we hear from the family.
Just to let you know, I am still working on memes from Scott, Sleeping Mommy, Joyful Mayhem, and Kiki. Jeepers! You people are ganging up on me! I haven't forgotten, I'm just slow and preoccupied.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
SugarPlum got off to school okay. The heavy rain held off until I had walked her there. She was so happy! As we came around the corner of the school, she saw the friend she had made at new student orientation. This girl's daddy is Air Force as well, so they have a lot in common. I'm mad at myself though, because I was so preoccupied, I forgot to take her picture before she left. I know I can take it after she gets home, but it's just not the same.
I've been working on this post all day now. SugarPlum is home from school. She had a wonderful day. She and the other new girl were glad to have each other. I was able to walk over to the school & walk home with her. We took her picture as soon as we got home. She had to hold a notebook in front of her because she got black Sharpie on her shirt at school. Sharpie. Yeah. On the shirt I just bought for her last night. No, I didn't get mad or anything. I just told her that she comes by that honestly. I have about 87 white tshirts with stains on them from the first time they were worn. I have a theory that there is a direct correlation between how much I spend on a shirt and how quickly I spill on it. I have a WalMart shirt that I have owned for several years, not a stain on it. The one from Dillards? I was lucky to make it out of the parking lot.
SugarDaddy just watched a video on the WLOX website showing Ocean Springs, and said that it looked like the area where his sister lives looks better than much of the news footage we have seen on TV. The houses at least looked to be standing. That's encouraging.
I will stop for now. Must check homework, etc. I cannot thank you all enough for all of your kind words and prayers. They really do mean more than I can express. I believe in the power of prayer. God is good and His power and love will be revealed even in this catastrophe, just watch. I promise to update again, if/when I know more.
Monday, August 29, 2005
We are trying to rein in our feelings and discussion around the kids. SugarPlum, especially, is very sensitive to these things. She is worried about her PopPop and Aunt, Uncle & cousins. She starts school tomorrow and we don't want her to be too preoccupied with this. No third grader should have to worry about whether her loved ones are alive or not.
I ran to Target tonight in hopes of finding some wellies for SugarPlum to wear to & from school since Katrina's rains should be starting here in the morning. But no luck. Rain boots are a spring item I suppose. She has snow boots, but they might look a little silly with her pink plaid "first day of school" capris. So, I guess she can slog back & forth in her sandals.
This Mark Shwartz guy on the Weather Channel drives me nuts. He thinks he is really cute and clever. I hate that. And who are these retarded reporters who were out in the hurricane as it hit? I hope that they don't have families, because I would be pissed! Honestly, I have no respect for that. My anxious ramblings are surely boring you. I will update when I have news.
According to the TV, Biloxi was catching the east side of the eye wall. That's not a good thing. One of the TV stations there went of the air because their roof was torn off. I haven't heard anything about the storm surge yet, but they were expecting about 20 to 24 feet. That's scary.
So, here we sit waiting for news of our family. Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers. And thank you Michele for recognizing my little Mommy Blog. I really feel honored! Or, in deference to you, I really feel honoured.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Do you ever wonder who in their right mind would stay in the path of a Category 5 hurricane? (If you live in a cave and are unsure what that might entail, Angel explains it all very clearly here) Well, I will tell you. My in-laws, that's who. They live just outside of Biloxi, MS. PopPop, SD's dad, told us that he has boarded up his house and has a generator and he'll be fine. After all, he's not right on the beach. He's one mile inland. Dumb ass. But the real kicker is my s.i.l. and b.i.l. They have two kids, aged 8 and 5, and they have decided to sit it out too. They tell us that they have a brick house, so they will be okay. Until about 7:00 tonight, PopPop was going to be at home alone. This man is diabetic, with a bad heart, and lost an arm in a horrible car accident about 2 1/2 years ago. He thought he'd go over to his daughter's if it got too bad. Finally, he was convinced that if it was that bad, he couldn't drive over to their house. So they are all together in the oh-so-sturdy brick house. For the record, the SuperDome is designed to withstand winds of 200 mph. Right now the winds are sustained at 160 mph with gusts of 230 mph. But that is a building that was built to sustain those winds. The in-laws house was not.
I am just so frustrated by all this. If they didn't have kids, then fine, sit out what may be one of the deadliest hurricanes to hit the US. But don't inflict your poor judgment on your children. As I said last month I sat thru many hurricanes when we lived in NC. They were all very, very scary. But the biggest was a Cat 3 and we were about 95 miles inland. They were all still very destructive where we were. This will be so horrifying for those kids. It was to me an I was in my twenties. Another thing is that PopPop was with me during Hurricane Floyd in 1999. He saw what it did to our town. How could he possibly believe that he'd be okay through a Cat 5?? While sitting on the damn coast??!!
I just don't understand. I am really scared for them and really pissed at them for placing themselves unnecessarily in harm's way. I don't know what we would do if something should happen to one of them. So, once again, please keep my family and all of those in the path of Katrina in your prayers.
On the up side (what? you didn't think that there could be an up side to this?), SugarPlum is in full WeatherGirl mode. We have the Weather Channel (or as Busy Mom calls it "MTV for old people.") on full time. She can tell you the wind speeds, barometric pressure, probable strike zones, estimated damage and the history of other major hurricanes (Mom, were you alive when that hurricane hit in 1935?). She keeps calling this one "Catastrophic Katrina." We may have to start playing the Weather Channel Drinking Game.
Oh, and one last mini-rant...School starts Tuesday. The elementary is right across the street and SP is really looking forward to walking to school. Guess when Katrina is supposed to get up here to Ohio. Just guess. Stupid hurricane.
continued here, here, here, here, here and here.
Friday, August 26, 2005
ABBOTT: Ultimate Super Duper Computer Store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up a home office in the den and I'm thinking of buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No; my name is Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I'm trying to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you my name is Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Does it get stuffy?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What do I see when I look out the windows?
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and some software.
ABBOTT: Software that runs on Windows?
COSTELLO: No; on the computer. I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses. You know; run a business. What have you got?
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommended something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO: Okay; what did you recommend for my office?
COSTELLO: Yes; for my office.
ABBOTT: Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office and it has windows. Let's say I'm sitting at my computer and want to type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: If I'm writing a proposal, I'm going to need lots of words. But what program do I load?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: The Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue W.
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your big W if you don't give me a straight answer. Let's forget about word for a minute. What do I need if I want to watch a movie on the Internet?
COSTELLO: Maybe a real movie, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of your business. Now what do I need to watch it?
COSTELLO: If it's a long movie I'll also want to watch reels two, three and four. Can I watch reel four?
ABBOTT: Of course.
COSTELLO: Great! With what?
COSTELLO: Okay; so I'm at my computer and want to watch a movie. What do I do?
ABBOTT: You click the blue 1.
COSTELLO: I click the blue one what?
ABBOTT: The blue 1.
COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue W?
ABBOTT: Of course, it is. The blue 1 is RealOne. The blue W is Word.
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: But there's three words in office for windows.
ABBOTT: No; just one. But it's the most popular Word in the world.
COSTELLO: It is?
ABBOTT: Yes; although to be fair there aren't many other Words left. It pretty much wiped out all the other words.
COSTELLO: And that word is the real one?
ABBOTT: No. RealOne has nothing to do with Word. RealOne isn't even part of Office.
COSTELLO: Never mind. I don't want to get started with that again. But I also need something for bank accounts, loans and so on. What do you have to help me with my money?
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: Not really. It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What comes bundled with my computer?
COSTELLO: Money comes bundled with my computer?
ABBOTT: Exactly and no extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer at no extra charge?How much money do I get?
ABBOTT: Just one copy.
COSTELLO: I get a copy of money. Isn't that illegal?
ABBOTT: No. We have a license from Microsoft to make copies of Money.
COSTELLO: Microsoft can license you to make money?
ABBOTT: Why not? They own it.
COSTELLO: Well; it's great that I'm going to get free money, but I'll still need to track it. Do you have anything for managing your money?
ABBOTT: Managing Your Money? That program disappeared years ago.
COSTELLO: Well, what do you sell in its place?
COSTELLO: You sell money?
ABBOTT: Of course. But if you buy a computer from us, you get it for free.
COSTELLO: That's all very wonderful but I'll be running a business. Do you have any software for, you know, accounting?
ABBOTT: Simply Accounting.
COSTELLO: Probably, but it might get a little complicated.
ABBOTT: If you don't want Simply Accounting, you might try M.Y.O.B.
COSTELLO: MYOB? What does that stand for?
ABBOTT: Mind Your Own Business.
COSTELLO: I beg your pardon?
ABBOTT: No; that would be I.B.Y.P. I said M.Y.O.B.
COSTELLO: Look, I just need to do some accounting for my home business. You know ..... accounting? You do it with money.
ABBOTT: Of course you can do accounting with Money. But you may need more.
COSTELLO: More money?
ABBOTT: More than Money. Money can't do everything.
COSTELLO: I don't need a sermon! Okay? Let's forget about money for the moment. I'm worried that my computer might....what's the word? Crash. And if my computer crashes, what can I do to restore my data?
ABBOTT: Go Back.
COSTELLO: Okay. I'm worried about my computer crashing and I need something to restore my data. What do you recommend?
ABBOTT: Go Back.
COSTELLO: How many times do I have to repeat myself?
ABBOTT: I never asked you to repeat yourself. All I said was Go Back.
COSTELLO: How can I go back if I haven't been anywhere? Okay, I'll go back. What do I need to write a proposal?
COSTELLO: But I'll need lots of words to write a proposal.
ABBOTT: No, you only need one Word - the Word in the Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: But that's three words in.....oh never mind.
ABBOTT: Hello? Hello? Customers! Why do they always hang up on me? Oh well.....Ultimate Super Duper Computer Store. Can I help you?
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
So here I am trying to find time with the Grandparents here, to do the dreaded "fashion show" that SugarPlum despises every year. I swear the child has grown three inches this summer. She is not a fashionista. As long as it is comfortable she will wear it. I should probably be thankful, but I'm not. She is forever griping about how something is itchy or tight or worst of all HOT. She is fairly opposed to sweaters. Which was fine in Texas. Not so much here in Ohio. So I am reeeaaalllly looking forward to that battle.
And shoes. How in the hell did we end up with so many freaking shoes in this house?! The girl wore only sneakers every day last year. They had PE every day and had to wear sneakers for it. She's not really into changing her shoes, so it was sneaks all day. I was very pleased that her N*kes lasted all year. This summer, she has rotated between her Teva$ and flip-flops. She actually has pool flip-flops and "dressy" flip-flops. (That phrase is almost offensive) My problem seems to be that we cannot get rid of the old shoes that don't fit. Several times, I have gotten them into a pile to eventually ship off to charity. Then SugarDaddy decides to pick up and they get put in with all of the rest of the shoes that we actually wear. And the wheel goes round and round.
And then we have the boys' clothes. There are Bear's clothes and Bug's clothes. Then there are the clothes that are too small for Bear but too big for Bug. Those get set aside with the intent to put them in a box out in the garage until Bug grows into them. Once again, they are somehow put into one drawer or another. Or, worst of all, they fall in the floor only to be scooped up and placed in the laundry pile and enter the endless cycle of wash, fold, stack, lather, rinse, repeat.
This has got to stop. If anyone out there is one of those professional organizers, I beseech you -come save me from myself! This is falling down around me. I haven't even told you about my bedroom, because the shame is overwhelming. Suffice to say that it leaves me little leverage in the "clean your room" war. If I don't answer, come on in and look under a pile. I'm here somewhere.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Where were the boys during and after the thunderstorm Saturday afternoon? On the back porch with GrayGray watching the storm. THEN, splashing in the mud puddles and becoming coated head to toe with an extremely adhesive mixture of mud and sand. All I know is that it took quite some time, soap and scrubbing to get the ground-in mud off of SugarBug's little body. And what were those black chunks of stuff glued to his scalp? No, don't tell me. I'm thinking ignorance is bliss on that account.
And evidently, I am not supposed to be angry when my daughter smarts off to me. After all, I did the exact same thing when I was eight. Let me tell you, there are a lot of things I did as a kid that I will not be giving a pass on.
Trust me. I know that this is what grandparents are for. I know that they won't ruin my kids. They need to have these special moments with the only people who will let them do this stuff. We are treasuring this time. Coveting the moments that the kids get to spend with my folks. Life is short, and visits with your GrayGray and Gram are even shorter. Might as well make every moment as enjoyable as possible.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Now we have been away from Texas for two months and everyone is going through withdrawal. I let the kids call the grandparents whenever they want, and talk as long as they want. We have always had that policy. Even when we lived in England, SugarPlum would call and talk forever to my Mom. She would take the phone out in the backyard, lay it down, climb on the swingset and say, "Look Gram!" They had all these little games that they would play on the phone. They would sing. In rounds.
Now the boys are getting in on the phone fun. SugarBear will get on with my dad and say, "Gray Gray, what stinks?" and then laugh hysterically. Then he will answer his own question, "Dog poop! Bug's diaper!!" Good times.
So, they will be here tomorrow and the SugarBabies can hardly contain their excitement. "Gray is going to the pool with us. Then we'll go fishing. And feed the ducks. And go to Friendly's to get ice cream. He's gonna like Friendly's. Then we'll go to the park and do the slides. And the next day..." It's going to be a long week for Gray Gray.
And Gram may well be stuck in the kitchen the whole time. "Gram is gonna make me french toast. And those good biscuits. And pasketti. And I'm gonna help!"
My only hope is that Gram and/or GrayGray will get up with the kids. Not likely though. I came by my Night Owl Syndrome quite honestly.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Then, you start to listen to your kids playing outside. Together. Nicely. Your boys are helping your daughter collect leaves for a "leaf picture" (don't ask me, I have no idea). Then they are playing in the same imaginary scenario. With the same imaginary friends. Making silly noises and giggling together, and just being happy. Being brothers and friends. Discovering how to play and love and laugh. You have this opportunity to eavesdrop on memories being made and relationships being strengthened. Joy.
And you realize that nothing you could have ever envisioned could be as perfect as this moment in time. And that you actually took the time to pay attention and realize what a gift it is.
That's what I love.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
I am so happy for you, babe! Oh, and it's about damn time.
Now, no fugly bridesmaid dress, k? Remember, I was very nice to you when I got married. A loooooong time ago. Okay, I'll stop rubbing it in. Or it's a big bow on the butt for me, I'm afraid.
Monday, August 15, 2005
- Feet on the floor.
- Sand stays in the sandbox.
- No, it is nearly suppertime.
- I said NO IT'S NEARLY SUPPERTIME!
- Have you gone potty yet?
- Sit on your bottom.
- You better rethink that attitude, missy!
- Okay, nobody touching anybody else. Is that clear?!
- No playing in the dogs' water.
- Who has stinky pants?
- Don't put rocks in the air conditioner unit.
- Are you making good choices?
- No more Mighty Machines until this is picked up.
- That's for looking at, not touching.
- Did you wipe your hiney?
- It's nap nap time.
- Take your hand out of my shirt. (okay, I will admit that I had to say this a couple of times in college, but in the last 15 years, it has been exclusively used on my children.)
- I think maybe your underwear is on backwards.(ditto remarks above)
- Who loves you most in the whole wide world?
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Thanks for being patient with me. I was surprised at how emotional that made me. We'll see if I can get through this last part. I can promise you a happy ending!
It was several hours (or at least it seemed like it) since I had seen my baby. I finally went down to the nursery to see if I could catch a glimpse of him. I could hear him screaming. I wanted to die. I washed my hands at the basin & went in. I asked if I could go into the critical care area with SugarBug. They said of course. There were several nurses around him trying to get an IV in to start the antibiotics and blood transfusion. They had tried his arm, leg, foot, and head. He was screaming so loudly and intensely that it was all I could do not to punch one of them and scream at them to stop it. Instead, I stuck my pinky in his mouth for him to suck, told them to try it in his head again and, BINGO, the IV was in. All he needed was his Mommy.
They started the blood transfusion. Then they hooked him up to a heart monitor and a pulse oximeter. There he lay hooked up to all of these machines. Then they told me that I might not be able to stay at the hospital. The ward was full and they might need my room. I swore that they would see me on way or another. If I didn't have a room, then I would just camp on the couches in the waiting room. But, once again, God is good. One by one, the ward emptied and miraculously, our insurance agreed to pay for the extra days since I was nursing. (This is a big deal for TriCare. They are notorious tight asses!)
The nurses were all so nice. Particularly the night nurse. She sent me to bed. She said that I was no good to him exhausted. She called me every couple of hours to nurse him and talked with me while I rocked him. She was so encouraging. SugarBug started to "pink up." Earlier in the evening I met my folks and kids out in the waiting room so that I could see SugarBear without passing his virus on to the baby. We let him look in the nursery window at his brother. I took SugarPlum back to visit Bug. She was so sweet. He started to get fussy and she sang to him the lullaby that she sang while he was in my belly. The little guy started to calm down immediately. His heart rate slowed and he went to sleep. I nearly melted.
The next day the pediatrician, Dr L, came in to catch me up on what he had found out. None of the tests had shown any reason for him having so little blood. No indications of any internal bleeding, no sign of infection. He talked to Dr. Dingbat, who told him that there was nothing unusual about the birth except that there was a lot of blood. Idiot. I told him about the placenta having two lobes. Since she hadn't sent it to pathology, there was no way to know.
On the fourth day, my little pink baby and I got to go home. I have never been so happy or relieved. I told the nurses that, while they were very nice, I hoped that I would never have to see them again, unless they wanted to have a nice lunch someday. They laughed and said that they understood! We had several pediatric appointments over the next few weeks. SugarBug was great. His blood count stayed up and he was healthy and hearty. I thank God every day for this outcome. I know that so many families aren't so lucky.
Several weeks after we came home, I was reading the paper about a woman who's baby died in childbirth. It was a condition called Vasa Previa . The circumstances sounded so much like SugarBug's that I started to do more research. What happens is that some of fetal the blood vessels are exposed and unprotected by the umbilical cord and the coating around it. When my contractions started or at the latest, when my water broke, the blood vessels ruptured and started hemorrhaging. If may labor had been longer or if I hadn't pushed him out so quickly, he would have most likely bled to death. I know that that is why my epidural wore off. If I hadn't hurt so much, I wouldn't have felt the need to push and make it stop. I see God's hand in so much of this as I look back. The mortality rate among babies with the condition is 50 to 100% . This is why we call him our miracle baby.
Here is the most infuriating part. A multi-lobed placenta is a hallmark of vasa previa. Obstetricians learn this in medical school. It is something they all should know. Did Dr. Dingbat miss that day? Or, is she just, quite simply a grossly inadequate, incompetent, IDIOTIC obstetrician? She got lucky. If my baby had died, you can bet your ass I would have raised some hell. No amount of money would have made up for her unbelievably poor judgment and abysmal standard of care.
I made it my mission while we were at that base to keep women away from her. People must have thought I was crazy. If I saw a pregnant woman on base, I would ask her who she had seen at OB and told her to stay away from Dr. D. I had at least two friends who insisted that another doctor be called when they went into labor. One friend called me crying when her water broke and Dr. D was on call. Her husband called back and made it clear that that woman would NOT be delivering his baby. SugarDaddy had spread the word as well, I learned.
So, now you know all about SugarBug and his many, many miracles. The baby who should have never been conceived. Should have never made it past 7 weeks gestation. Should have never survived childbirth. He beat the odds to become the funny, smart, clever, beautiful blessing to our lives. God is good. He is so, so very good.
After I came home from the hospital, I was very weak and very tired. The effects of early pregnancy paired with profound anemia from the blood loss left me exhausted and unable to do much. Luckily, SugarDaddy was in a training program that was pretty easy and was able to take on the bulk of childcare and housekeeping. I had a lot of "morning sickness. With SugarBear, I lost 10 lbs before I started gaining any weight. Seems like I lost even more this time, but I can't remember.
We waited a long time to tell SugarPlum about this baby. The ectopic before SugarBear, we told her as soon as we knew and were faced with having to explain why there was no longer a baby. We told her about the baby we lost but not the on that was growing now in my belly. Most of my family knew, so we decided to tell her after Thanksgiving, to avoid any awkward situations at Christmas. She was happy and said that she hoped it was a girl. I did, too. I was already having "middle child guilt" over SugarBear and if he couldn't be the youngest or oldest, I hoped that at least he could be the only boy. My due date was on his birthday.
The rest of my pregnancy progressed rather unremarkably, thankfully. I went to my OB appointments, avoiding Dr. Dingbat as much as possible. The other two base OBs were very good. One was very dreamy looking and had a soothing, confidence inspiring personality. The other was very tall and had a dry sense of humor that I always appreciated. He is the one I saw after my first trip to the ER. I didn't like him then, but I probably wouldn't have liked anyone then. After I figured out his personality, I enjoyed my appointments with him. He was very competent and treated me like I knew what I was talking about. I always hate being treated like an idiot. This was my third baby & I know what to expect, for the most part. The other person I saw was the Nurse Practitioner. Whenever I mentioned Dr. Dingbat, they all kind of smiled nervously and changed the subject. It was like they knew she was incompetent & it just wasn't discussed. Something you should know is that military doctors cannot be sued for malpractice. So, the bad ones tend to stick around, because it is safe. That's socialized medicine for you.
I had the normal 20 week ultrasound and found out that it was a boy. We were a little disappointed, but overjoyed to know that he looked healthy and perfect. SugarPlum suggested that perhaps it was a girl "who just had her finger sticking out down there." We got a good giggle from that. The OB said that the placenta looked a little low and ordered another ultrasound a few weeks later. Things looked better after that one and the sonographer printed a picture of SugarBug that said, "Still a boy!" for SP. I was relieved that he was okay. My good feelings about him started to outweigh my bad ones. I was still conflicted, but could see God's hand in this. How could you not?! We joked that we were going to name him "Will" since it seemed to be God's will that he come into our family. I said that I was going to name him Braxton-Hicks because from about 22 weeks on I had contractions almost every day. I still find pieces of paper with times written in a row, from timing contractions.
My first two babies were three weeks early. I fully expected him to be at least that early. Mostly I didn't want to be in the hospital on SugarBear's birthday. I had them start "checking me at 36 weeks. I was at 2 cm forever. The OB offered to strip my membranes at 37 weeks, but I told him to wait, because I wanted to be able to go to SugarPlum's school picnic. But at my next appointment, I told him to strip away because I was beyond ready! My mom had already been in town for a week or two so that we wouldn't have to worry about the kids. I went home from my appointment that morning and started having contractions late that afternoon. My labor with SugarPlum was 28 hours from the time I woke up with the first contraction. With Bear, it was about 14 hours. Going on the "half theory" I figured I had 7 or 8 hours this time. I called SD, who was at church for something & he told me he would be home as soon as he could. I called the clinic to have them page the doctor on duty. Guess who it was. Yep. Dr. Dingbat. I cussed a blue streak right there in the kitchen, right in front of my kids. In retrospect I should have demanded someone else. I had no idea that I could do that.
We got to the hospital sometime around 7:30. They took me into triage to check me & I was at 4 cm and nearly 80%. And my contractions were already pretty strong & regular. I was happy because I would be getting an epidural soon. From the man with zero personality or sense of humor. I swear I tried everything to get that man to smile & he just looked at me like I was an idiot and I was totally inconveniencing him with my request for anesthesia. Dude, isn't that your JOB? You know you are going to be dealing with laboring women, at least fake a smile for us.
So there we sat in the labor room. We talked, played solitaire, then watched the news. The epidural started to wear off & the nurse checked me. I was complete & ready to push. It was about then that Dr. Dingbat showed up. And she brought a friend! Seriously. She had been out and just brought this other chick with her to the hospital. Me = not pleased. She went to gown up. In the meantime the contractions were making me nauseated and the nurse put the oxygen mask on me. I also demanded an emesis basin just in time to puke my guts up. Dr. D got back and asked if I wanted the mirror so that I could see the birth. That was cool. I'd never seen it before. It hurt like hell. I wanted that baby OUT and pushed like I had never pushed before. She kept telling me to slow down, but I was getting him out now. I saw all of this white blonde hair when he crowned. I was really surprised at how blonde it was and how much hair there was. I only pushed for 15 minutes. We know this because SD pointed out that the weather was just over when I started & the news was signing off as I finished. HA! I remember thinking that I never realized how much blood there was when a baby was born.
He was just beautiful. So blonde, so fair. Just perfect. They took him over to weigh him and SugarDaddy followed to take video and pictures (it was done in the same room). While that was going on, I got the fun job of delivering the placenta and being stitched up. whee! Dr. Dingbat commented, "Huh! How weird! Your placenta has two lobes!" The nurse asked if it should be saved and sent to pathology. Dr. D said, "Nah!"
I got to nurse the baby almost immediately. He latched on and ate like a champ. My dad showed up shortly after that (he had just gotten into town and came straight to the hospital). We marveled at SugarBug and his big wondering eyes. He talked and cooed like he had so much to tell us. I called my grandmother and she was tickled to hear him talk to her. We called a couple of other friends. then it was time to move to a post partum room. The nurses commented on how fair he was and check his oxygen level a couple of times. They noticed that I was very fair and said that they would tell the nursery nurses so that he wouldn't have to have any unnecessary blood tests.
Those first days were good except that SugarBear had a nasty stomach bug and couldn't come to the hospital to see me or the baby. I felt guilty that I couldn't be with him when he was so sick, but my Mom was there and he felt safe with her. The nurses all commented on how fair SugarBug was. One of them said that he was "white as snow." The second day, a very nice nurse named Patrice came to take him down for his circumcision and PKU test. I was feeling pretty mad right then, because SD said that he would be there for that and he hadn't shown up yet. I signed the paperwork for the circ & she took him. A while later, she came back to tell me that he was looking so pale that she had asked the pediatrician to order a blood test. His blood count was pretty low and the doctor would be in soon to talk with me about it. I felt the room spinning out of control. I couldn't breathe. SD still wasn't there and I couldn't reach him on his cell. I called my house and my dad rushed as soon as he could. When SD called I told him what the nurse had said.
The pediatrician was so awesome. He told me that Bug's blood count should be, at a minimum 18. His was 6. He wasn't sure why, he was ordering tests- blood cultures, ultrasound, EKG- to determine the cause. However, the cause was secondary. My little baby needed blood. Now. He had ordered a transfusion, which must be done in two separate parts, and two rounds of IV antibiotics. It might or might not be an infection, but we didn't have time to sit around and wait for test results. I have never been so scared in my whole life. Here was this baby I didn't even want at first and now I might lose him. I prayed and prayed. I felt so guilty for all I had said and thought and prayed about this pregnancy. And now I might lose my beautiful, perfect boy. My miracle baby had defeated so many odds to even be conceived and born. How could this happen?
I'm sorry. I didn't plan on leaving you with another cliffhanger, but I really can't write any more about this right now. I will finish tonight or tomorrow I promise. I need a break from these feelings though. I'm going to go hold my boy.
Part 3<-----click here
Friday, August 12, 2005
Thursday, August 11, 2005
After SugarBear was born, I was fairly certain that I didn't want any more kids. I was very happy with two. SugarDaddy offered more than once to get a vasectomy. I still had that little "maybe" in the back of my head. Perhaps in four or five years, I would want another baby. So, I told him to wait. I was on the pill and I was nursing. I was proud of my decisions and confident in them. We moved back to the states when Bear was 14 months old. The kids and I came a month before SD so that I could find us a house in Texas. That all went fairly well. SD flew back right after Labor Day & we met him in our new city. We spent our first night back together (kids & all) in a suite at the Holiday Inn.
A couple of weeks later, we moved into our house & SugarPlum started in her new school. I was at Target and realized that I was "late." I have never been late that I wasn't pregnant, but as I had been under a great deal of stress, I thought surely it's just that. Remember, I was nursing and on the pill. So, right there in the Target restroom, I peed on the stick, put it back in the little Target bag, put the bag in my purse & drove to pick SugarPlum up from school. I had actually forgotten for a minute about that test. I pulled out a magazine & started to read when I thought I would check the test to confirm that it was negative. It wasn't.
I was a little freaked out. So I did what any girl does when she finds herself unexpectedly pregnant. I called my Mom crying. I bought another test and sure enough, two little pink lines. I was angry. I had so many plans now that I was back in Texas. My best friends and I were going to do so many things. I was confused. How could I possibly be pregnant? I was using birth control. I had been with my husband exactly twice! One person who is very close to me - I can't bring myself to tell you who, because I still can't believe it - told me that I had "other options." I was floored. No, I didn't have other options. I am and have always been very pro-life. I won't shove it down your throat, but will argue my point if provoked. For someone who knows and loves me as much as this person to say that to me felt almost like a betrayal. I was scared. I had an ectopic pregnancy before I had SugarBear. I was terrified that it could happen again.
My father-in-law had come to town to help us move in. My dad was in town. My best friend, Elizabeth had come to help us paint. And I was trying to act like nothing was wrong. I locked myself in the bedroom to cry. I took several showers - to cry. Elizabeth found the EPT box and came to ask if there was anything I needed to talk about. She held me while I cried. Everyone needs a friend like that. I called my one of my other best friends, The Queen. She listened while I talked and cried and gave me those good "phone hugs" that only your best friends can.
Poor SugarDaddy. I totally took out all of my feelings on him. I didn't want him anywhere near me. I got angry when he wasn't there to hold me. When he asked what he could do for me, I actually said to him, "I think you've done enough." What a bitch.
A few days later, my fears began to be realized. I started spotting and cramping. This was all very familiar. I am ashamed to say that part of me hoped that I was losing this baby. It was all so far out of my plan and my head was still spinning. However, I was certain that this pregnancy was in my fallopian tube, like the last time. I went to the ER and told them my history of ectopic pregnancy. They drew blood to determine that I was indeed pregnant & did the very pleasant pelvic exam then ordered an ultrasound. The u/s tech saw what she thought might be a yolk sac in my uterus, but it was so early that she couldn't tell. She didn't see anything in my tube, but again, it was early. I was told to make an OB appt the next day. I went there the next day & had another pelvic ultrasound. The doctor told me that I did indeed have a uterine pregnancy and that he was pretty sure that the cramping and bleeding was from a twin that had miscarried. I was still not completely convinced, but I went home and cried some more. I didn't know how I felt.
Some days later, I can't even tell you how many because that time is all such a blur now, I was still bleeding and the cramping was getting worse and more localized. I knew that I had an ectopic pregnancy. I had felt these pains before. I had researched it after the first one. But nobody would listen to me. Finally one night, I was up all night, throwing up and writhing in pain. After we took SugarPlum to school the next morning, SD took me BACK to the ER. That was my first encounter with the woman I now lovingly call Dr. Dingbat. That's my nice name for her.
When I checked in, I told them my symptoms (nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, dizziness, lightheaded) and my history. They took me right back. Dr. Dingbat came in and told me that the chances of me having an ectopic pregnancy at the same time as a uterine on were about one in 50,000. She thought that maybe I had appendicitis. This is in spite of the fact that the acute pain was in my left side. She sent me for another ultrasound. The same tech was there to do the ultrasound. She frowned. She called in the radiologist. There was blood and fluid loose in my abdomen. Perhaps from a ruptured fallopian tube? No, Dr. Dingbat was sticking with her appendicitis diagnosis. She called in a surgeon who was hesitant to operate on a pregnant woman. Luckily Dr. D prevailed in this, even if it was for the wrong reason.
So I went into surgery. Guess what. My appendix? A-OK. Oops. They opened look in the other side. My fallopian tube? Not faring so well. They cleaned up my insides and put things back together as best they could. I lost a LOT of blood. If I remember correctly, my hemoglobin was eleven. Dr. Dingbat asked me if I thought I needed a blood transfusion. Ummm, excuse me? Who is the doctor here? If someone might need a blood transfusion, are they in a condition to make that decision? I didn't get one. I should have. I went home the next day with vicodin and other drugs. I was supposed to go back the following week to see how I was doing and if the baby survived the ordeal. Surely it hadn't.
At her office the next week, idiot doctor checks my incisions. There were several, because she looked at my appendix first. Then, she got the ultrasound machine out to check the baby. If you have been pregnant, you probably know that you can't see or hear a baby at seven weeks except with an internal ultrasound. Einstein puts the gel on my belly and says, "Let's check and see if we still have a baby in here." I'm thinking lady, have you lost your mind? You are not going to see anything that way. Everybody knows that! Well, folks, God is amazing, because right there on that screen, clear as day was a teeny little bit of a baby with the strongest heartbeat I have ever seen. Miracle baby.
But that's only the beginning of the miracle...
Click here for ------->> Part 2 Part 3
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
So, I am asking you, internet friends for suggestions of things to do, see and places to eat while we are enjoying our kid-free weekend. Remember, we are military wives, not trust-fund babies. While we aren't going to be pinching pennies, we can't be too, too extravagant. Any ideas??
Monday, August 08, 2005
I knew before I ever got pregnant the first time that I wanted to breastfeed my kids. My mom did not nurse us. But I was the kids who "nursed" baby dolls. So when I was pregnant, I took the class, bought The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I shopped for nursing bras as soon as I was in my third trimester. After Sugarplum was born, I nursed her as soon as I could. Boy, that was hard! But she did great those couple of days, but then my milk came in. And she did NOT like that. They wouldn't let me go home until she ate & she wasn't gonna. Finally, I lied. (shhhh, don't tell) They tell you that a newborn should nurse about every two to three hours. She would eat maybe every eight hours. I was so hormonal & stressed. I knew she was going to die. I went upstairs and cried & prayed. Okay, SugarDaddy will tell you that I wailed. So loudly that he could hear me over the baby's cries. Fortunately for us, the base's lactation consultant lived across the street form us. SD called her at 11:00 that night and she came over and helped me. She was so nice. She told me to bring SP up to the hospital the next morning to have her weighed & do a little more consulting. We did & SP had gained weight in that time, not lost. After that, we all relaxed & I learned to enjoy nursing my baby. I nursed her for 13 months. I had to have oral surgery & was told I had to stop for two weeks following, so I didn't see the point in resuming.
Four and a half years later, SugarBear was born. The nursery was very busy, so we spent several hours in the L/D room after he was born. This was good, because I was able to nurse him two or three times before he was taken to be weighed, etc. I never,ever had a problem with nursing him, except for the sore nipples. Oh, and thrush. My little guy had that purple stuff on his lips and in his mouth. He looked like a little goth baby. And the purple nipples nearly sent me over the edge. But, other than that, I absolutely loved breastfeeding that child. I nursed him for 16 months. The last time I nursed him was the night before I went to the ER with an ectopic pregnancy. I wasn't able to after that. I was so worried, but surprisingly, it didn't seem to phase him. He was such a little trouper. A cup of warm milk at bedtime and he was fine.
SugarBug was born ten days before SugarBear turned two. He was another good nurser. It probably saved his life. He is such a miracle baby for so many reasons. (This post is getting too long, so I will save that amazing and infuriating story for another time) He is still a good nurser. He is so sweet now at bedtime. When he is done on one side, he will tell me "Nurt side?" And when he accidently gets his teeth in the way, I make him stop. And he will say "Owie Nurt?" But honestly, it is getting a little freaky.
My point? Gee, do I have a point? I guess to express how wonderful breastfeeding is. But also I feel like I need to clarify that I am not one of the "bo*ob na*zis." (sorry, the random hits I have gotten lately are creeping me out). If you want to nurse your baby, I am so excited & will encourage and help you any way I can. If you aren't sure, I will try to talk you into it. It is so good for your baby, it is so good for you, it saves sooooo much money. If you are dead set against it & my attempt at persuasion will only piss you off, that's fine, too. One of my very best friends, the princess' mommy, had a little boy two months before SugarBear was born. She chose to bottle feed Jack & I was fine with that. We talked about it once or twice and she will tell you that it was never an issue for me. My feeling is that a baby benefits most from a mommy who is happy and under the minimal amount of stress possible. So you do what works for you. And I will suport you wholeheartedly But, if you have any ideas on how I can stop, please share, cause I think I'm about done. SugarBug? Not so much.
Friday, August 05, 2005
So, SugarDaddy decided that it would be fun for her to visit our local TV station and meet the weather girl there. Her name is Randi Rico (sounds like an exotic dancer, no?) and she was so very gracious and wonderful to my girl. She showed SugarPlum around the station, demonstrated how they do the Weather on TV and let her try it. At the end of the noon newscast, she even let SP appear on camera! Look how grown up she looks.
SP has always loved putting on shows and being the center of attention. She also loves science and lately has expressed a ken interest in meteorology. So, when the news anchor asked her - on camera! - what she wanted to be when she grows up, I figured she'd say a TV weather person. Nope, she knocked their socks off and said "A hurricane hunter!" And, then proceeded in a witty conversation with these two news professionals. No, I'm not proud or anything!
Thursday, August 04, 2005
"Why do you have to brush my hair so HARD?" to make you cry of course!
"You're just mean & never want me to have any fun!" yeah, that's it. You have figured out my dirty little secret.
"I like my shoes on deese feet."
and, my personal favorite,
"I hate you. And I really mean it! I have been wanting to say that for a long time!!!!!" accompanied by not one, but two door slams.
To balance that, I have also heard:
"Oh, thank you Mommy for dis pasta you cooked for me. Dat's my favorite!"
"I gonna be your Bear forever Mommy."
"You are the best Mom in the world." this from the same child who really hates me
"I love you so much, Mommy."
At the end of the night, I still come out ahead. Exhausted, but ahead.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Monday, August 01, 2005
Flank steak and/or boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Mesquite flavored Liquid Smoke
FIESTA BRAND Fajita Seasoning **(I have tried other brands, & this is the absolute best!)
Bell peppers in various colors
Okay, put your steak or chicken on a platter & pour a little tequila over it. Then douse with worcestershire and liquid smoke. Now, sprinkle liberally with fajita seasoning. Be sure to do both sides. Unless you plan on eating only one side. Put the meat in a ziplock bag & pour remaining liquid from platter in with it.
Slice peppers and onions into strips and out into another ziplock. Pour some of the tequila, worcestershire, liquid smoke & fajita seasoning into bag. Seal & shake to coat veggies.
Put it all in the fridge for at least 4 hours. (In a pinch it can be less, but I like to marinate the meat overnight, if I remember)
Grill. I have no idea how long or at what temperature. SugarDaddy is the grillmaster here, so maybe when he gets a blog, he will tell you. We have a basket thingy that he grills the vegetables in. (Sorry for all of the technical jargon!) Please don't even let me hear about how you cook them on the stove. It is an affront to the fajita god.
Serve with tortillas (my friend Billy says that he grills the tortillas, too, but I just nuke 'em), sour cream, guacamole, cheese, salsa, black olives (a must in our house!), jalapenos, etc.
Oh, and margaritas. Gotta have the margaritas. Use up the rest of that tequila. Watch for the bambinos trying to mooch lemonade tho. Unless it's close to bedtime, then a little in a sippy cup might be welcome. Be forewarned, however, that salt is a bitch to get on a sippy cup.
**You can order this online thru their site. They also make Uncle Chris' Gourmet Steak Seasoning. It is amazing. I use it on steak & grilled portabello mushrooms. mmmmmmm Actually, everything I have ever gotten from them is good. It is all widely available in Texas, but now that I am up here with the Yankees, I am just thankful that I can get it online!