Friday, April 27, 2012

Non-Asked-For Opinions (It's Shakespearean)

If there is one thing I detest, it's non-asked-for opinions. Non-asked-for is an adjective I coined all by mine self. Call me Shakespeare :)

My mom can probably attest to this better than anyone. She's been on the receiving end of my wrath after giving a non-asked-for opinion enough that she knows :)

When we went wedding dress shopping I told everyone BEFORE we even left that non-asked-for opinions were not welcome, and if I needed guideance I would ask. I wasn't trying to be rude. Just saving everyone from a tense situation. If I try on a dress and I like it, I don't want it ruined for me by someone else giving me an "ehh." If I think it might make my butt look big and I say, "do you guys think this makes my butt look big?" then I want an honest answer. And I was very upfront about my expectations. It made for a wonderful experience :)

However, I don't have this "No non-asked-for opinions, please" policy tattooed on my forehead, so the general public is unaware of my little pet peeve. And you know how the general public is. They have an opinion on EVERYTHING.

Everyone's an expert.

Somehow being pregnant brings this out in people even more. Not when THEY are pregnant so much as when they come in contact with someone who is. I've been dealing with it my entire pregnancy.

"How are you feeling?" someone would ask. Without boring them with the gory details of life, but being honest, I would say, "I've been pretty sick, but I'm doing alright otherwise."

To which I then opened myself up to a plethora of "advice." And by advice I mean sentences that start with "You really need to..." and "When I was pregnant..." (never mind it was likely 15 to 40 years ago...) Rarely a "I'm sorry to hear that..." or "Have you tried..." or "Does it help if you..." Not from the general public, anyway.

No one wanted to know what I'd done or what was or wasn't working. All they wanted to do was impose their own opinions on me. Try crackers. Eat small meals. Pickles. Lemonade.

I just wanted to scream, "OH REALLY????? I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT!"

It's only been six years since my first pregnancy. I'm not new at this. I have a doctor. I have nurses. I was even seeing a nutritionist. I am NOT uneducated, though that's how I felt I was treated.

I finally just started saying I was fine. I had exhausted every old wives' tale and every suggestion and trick I knew. My doctor finally found a medicinal combination that worked for me and that's how I've coped the last three months and not killed anyone or lost any more weight.

And now that I'm nearing my due date, I'm getting them again. Everything from how I need to stop "wishing away my pregnancy" (I don't feel like I have done so at ALL, even though the end of it means no more daily nausea, no more six pills a day, no more gall bladder trouble [I hope], no more ligament pain, and sleeping on my stomach once again), to how to get the baby to come out. People constantly telling me I NEED to go walk. I know. I've heard that one, too. However, I'm perfectly content on the couch with my Oreos, just waiting :)

Patience is wearing thin, and I KNOW this is only the beginning. Babies bring on a lot of advice-giving as well. I guess I either need to work on thickening my skin, my come-backs, or my ability to lie (Oh she sleeps all night at 2 weeks old, never cries, and hasn't had a single diaper rash, I will say). Or maybe all three :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nesting or Psychosis?

I've heard of animals going kind of nuts-o when they lose babies. Sometimes they'll even take on a baby that isn't theirs. Some women have been known to do the same. I'm not calling them nuts (like the animals), but I've seen some strange things (like baby-doll obsessions, life-like dolls created to replace a child lost, etc.)

I realized today that my daughter may be suffering from some sort of psychological loss after having our false alarm over the weekend.

She's been prepared for this baby forever. Has been SO involved in choosing things, helping put things away, and arranging everything (the way SHE likes it, after Mommy has done it her way and left the room). She likes to go into the baby room just to look around, and sometimes she even snoops through the dresser drawers, although I know she's memorized each one by now.

When it was "time" for baby, she was ready, and when things didn't come through in the end, she was a little heart-broken. She took it well, and didn't seem too disappointed. In fact, she hasn't said a whole lot, and seems enthusiastic about the time coming (again). However, yesterday I went into the baby room to find this:

This is baby McKenna on the Boppy in the crib. She usually resides in Chloe's room in her little bassinet, and I rarely see her upstairs. I was instructed NOT to turn the lights on in there, because McKenna needed some quiet time.

I didn't think a whole lot about it. Found it kind of cute that she was playing baby in there. Then this morning when I went in to use the full-length mirror, I saw this:

Baby McKenna had mysteriously moved.

I guess Chloe decided that she was going to have that baby sister one way or another, and if I didn't bring one home, she would continue as if I had. It's comforting to see that McKenna is well cared-for. She wears a diaper and real baby clothes. She spends time on her tummy, but always sleeps on her back. And it looks like she's getting plenty of play time in the swing ;)

My daughter may be having some kind of psychological coping problem...or maybe it's just her way of nesting. Either way, I think it's pretty cute, and she's going to be a great big sister very soon. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Don't (be a) Jerk

I already wrote about my false alarm with Bebe over the weekend. I mentioned a little, ah hem, incident, with my IVs, and told you that was a story for another day. Today is that day ;)

While the other nurses were flitting around making up baby beds and calling up doctors, the nurse who checked me in brought in her IV kit. She was a very nice lady, chatty, but not annoying. She got all ready to do the IV, and I turned my head away, telling her this part was about as bad as having the baby. I've never had bad luck with an IV. I have pretty 'bulgy' veins in my arms, and even at my lowest, most dehydrated pitiful weight when my veins seemed to be shriveled up to nothing, the nurses were able to find one for blood.

She got started with the initial sting on my lower left arm. I froze, gritted my teeth, and waited for the pain to subside, but it didn't. There was some jabbing and digging. Then a sigh.

"Well your vein started to cooperate, but now it just won't," she said. I looked over to see the vial with just a few bloody bubbles inside. Ew. "Your veins roll really easily here," she said. "I'll put one in your hand, that should work better," she tried to console.

Great, I thought. I don't want the IV in my hand. It's too hard to keep it from setting off the alarm. Every time I bend my wrist or move, it will pull. Ugh.

(Note to self: Be careful what you wish for....)

"Ok, I'm about to start. Try not to jerk this time."

Um what? I thought, locking my jaw again. I'm pretty sure I didn't jerk anything.

I began to become irritated, but I kept a lid on it. Tried to let it roll and not get flustered.

The sting again.

And the digging.


More stinging.

Tears welled up in my eyes. She kept saying sorry, but I didn't acknowledge her this time. I sat, gaze fixed away, trying not to let the tears fall.

"UGGGGGH!" she groaned. "Your veins are NOT cooperating and I am getting VERY FRUSTRATED!" she said with a little fury.

Oh I'm sorry. Let me give them a stern talking-to and see if they are a little more cooperative for you...

 "I won't try more than twice. You'll hate me the rest of the time you're here," she said. I smirked a little, thinking one more try probably wouldn't make me hate her any MORE than I already did at that point. I probably could've over-looked it if she hadn't made that comment about jerking. Or *MY* uncooperative veins. I wasn't going to blame her, but she jumped right into blaming my body, so I figured tit for tat.

"I'll send someone else in to try," she said.

I looked down at my arm, red already, a knot on my hand, and the tears stung almost as much as the needle.

First attempt...

Second try =/

And in came Miss P. She was the nurse who was with me when I delivered Chloe. I felt so comforted. I knew she'd been nursing there for a long time, and I felt like if anyone could help, she could. She not only slid the IV in with one quick swoop, but she also sensed my mood and knew how to talk to me. She said she'd heard I'd been tested as a pin cushion and wasn't liking it very much. She was kind, yet still had a sense of humor. She was gentle, yet did what she needed to do.

She pulled three vials of blood for testing and never once crammed the needle further into my vein. She left nothing more than a little pin-hole when she was finished. I thanked her, and she said anytime I need an IV just holler at her. She'd be glad to stick me ;)

And the spot where I actually *had* an IV for almost 24 hours...

Lesson learned. When I go in again to have this Bebe, I will be requesting Miss P :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A False Alarm

I've known all along this baby had a mind of her own. From day one she has been completely different from my daughter and my first pregnancy in every way. I was sick and lost 18lbs the first 6 months (and still medicate for that), we almost lost her at 13 weeks, she gave me gall bladder trouble, plagued me with Braxton Hicks, and has been unusually active in-utero.

So why would I be surprised when she decided to make her entrance (or lack-there-of) just as dramatic and just as much on HER terms.

Friday morning I woke up at about 6:30 and was having contractions. No big deal. Like I said, I've been having them for well over a month and they've not been anything alarming. It was unusual, though, because usually they are sparked by excessive walking, being more active than normal, or doing a lot of bending (aka laundry). I'd been under strict orders to take it easy and stay off my feet this past week because I was already 3cm and my Doc didn't want me delivering this week.

On top of that, my mom would be out of town Friday and Saturday, and the entire Chaney clan was scheduled to be gone Saturday and Sunday. So it was an inopportune time for bebe. And I took it easy. Nothing sparked these babies except for, well, the bebe and her strong will.

I monitored them throughout the morning when I noticed they weren't stopping. I had gone on to work (I stay off my feet better there than at home hehe) and by lunch time they were 10-12 minutes apart. I rode with hubby to get gravel after lunch, and told him that I might go home, because they were coming about every 8 mins now and I thought I should rest. He didn't seem too concerned, and they weren't really painful, so I waited.

By 2 I decided to call my doctor's office. I was becoming paranoid about everyone being gone the next day, and thought I'd feel better if she'd just check me. When I told the nurse the situation, she explained that my doctor was out of the office, and that she'd like me to go be monitored for an hour or so at the hospital. They would be able to watch the contractions and check me, and I could have some peace of mind.

When I arrived I was 4cm, which didn't surprise me since I'd been 3 on Monday. I was having contractions about every 6 minutes. The nurse had me go walk for an hour, then wanted to check me again at 3:30.

When she checked me again, I was 5cm and still contracting. She called Dr. B who was on call, and he told her to admit me.

"You're not going anywhere, missy," she told me. She and the other nurses began to (somewhat frantically) prepare the room. They stocked the closet and then they put a sheet and blanket in a baby bed and wheeled it in. And that did it for me.

I called hubbs at work and told him the final verdict, instructed him what to do with Miss Chloe and had him get my things. He was there within an hour.

In the mean time the nurse had blown two of my veins (OUCH!) (and possibly blamed me for it??? that's for another story), got another nurse to IV me correctly, and asked about my birth plan (nurses and drugs, remember?). She was talking like we could expect Bebe before morning.

Bebe would've been 22 days early, but they didn't seem concerned. 37 weeks is considered term, and even though she is small, they were confident she'd be ok.

When hubby arrived he explained the situation with Chloe, we discussed what to do with her for the remainder of the weekend, and we informed our families about what was happening. Then he pulled out the baby name book.

"We have to name this baby," he said, smiling. We talked for a couple of hours off and on, and I'm pleased to tell you that bebe actually HAS a name now :)

My contractions began picking up in intensity, and were beginning to make me uncomfortable.

Hubby's family came later in the evening and brought Chloe for a visit. They took hubby to get some dinner and then came by to say goodbye and drop off some drinks for me. By that time I was sure I was in the beginning stages of labor. I was uncomfortable with my contractions, they were coming about 3 minutes apart, and I was getting irritable ;)

By the time they checked me at 10:30, though, I hadn't changed a bit. They called Dr. B and he said to keep me overnight for sure. The nurse had asked him if they could break my water or something to move things along, but he said no. Being only 37 weeks they didn't want to take even the slightest chance of forcing her if her lungs weren't ready. I understood, but felt that delivery was going to happen either way, so was hoping they would help it along in that way.

Dr. B said to watch me over night.

And as the night progressed, my contractions became less uncomfortable.

And then farther apart.

And at about the same rate she got me to the height of that situation, she took me right back to square one.

Dr. B. said I was welcome to stay or go home, whatever was my desire, and was completely surprised that this had happened. He explained that if I were a couple weeks farther along he would break my water and it would be done, but he knew forcing it wasn't a good idea (plus I know my doctor would also disapprove of that, especially since she wasn't there). I agreed with him and told him I'd rather go home. He told me goodbye, and said he wouldn't be surprised to see me back in a day or two, but explained I could go longer than that. Stranger things have happened.

So we came home. We were exhausted and uncomfortable. I hadn't eaten in 24 hours, was needing my meds from home for nausea and heart burn, and was soooooooo tired.

On the way home I had grand plans of finishing up some things around the house, eating some food, going for a walk, and maybe even mowing (among other things...winky wink hehe) to spur her back into a pattern.

But as soon as I finished my sandwich and got comfy on the couch every bit of that planned changed. I just wanted to sleep.

And sleep I did :)

People consoled me and sent sweet messages and phone calls my way. I appreciated them very much. I was commended on my high spirits and my ability to 'keep it together' after having to come home empty-handed.

But the truth was that even though I WAS very disappointed (really it was the made-up baby bed that got my mommy clock tickin') I was so glad to be home. I know that no one has ever stayed pregnant forever, and at the most I have 3 weeks to go. Being 5 cm makes me believe I won't go nearly that long. So I know she's coming.

Hubby and I had the luxury of a test-run. We worked out some kinks. We know what we forgot and have it packed, now. We know what we needed to do at home and have it done now. We realized no one packed a bag for Chloe, and we have her ready now.

And we named our baby :)

So when we do go, even if it's in the middle of the night, we are better prepared than we were. Every day we wait is a day for her to grow and get stronger, and a day to relieve some of my anxiety over the possibility she's not ready. And. I have hope that MY doctor will be the one delivering her, which would not have been the case this weekend. Also? Our entire family won't be out of town anytime in the next 3 weeks.

In the end, I try not to look at it as time wasted, but as a saving grace. It was a learning experience. It was better safe than sorry (because Lord knows if Hubbs had gone out of town she would've come full steam ahead...we already know this girl's personality!), and it was productive, even if not in the way of bringing home a baby.

Now I wait. Patiently as I can :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Our First Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to the Mister and me! What I wrote on our wedding day basically sums up our relationship, and though it has grown and changed over the past year, I feel like that post is "us" and always will be. There's not much I can say about him or us that I haven't said already.

What I can say, is what a journey this year has been. I had come to see marriage as merely a "legal technicality" in a way. We had lived together 16 months before we wed. I didn't think that our commitment was changing or that marriage was going to be any different from what we already had.

I was wrong.

I can honestly say that "piece of paper" makes a huge difference in a relationship. It provides security, yes. And it also takes away independence. There were times that this year I truly understood the whole "the first year is the worst" statement, even though I thought our first year living together should've counted (and it was far from difficult!).

But that first year of marriage IS different. Suddenly there's no 'escape clause.' You don't have the freedom of thinking that you can draw a line and walk away if it gets difficult. Suddenly you have to weigh every disagreement and disappointment against the consequences of leaving, which is now a legal step.

Suddenly you feel a little more secure knowing your partner also has to weigh those consequences.

You fight a little less fair. You test each other a little more. You push the boundaries a little harder.

This year wasn't always easy. It certainly wasn't perfect. It was equally rewarding and difficult.

But at the end of our first year together, I can honestly say we are closer. We love each other more, and in new ways. We've learned about each other the things we may have never known had we not been married. We've grown and changed individually and as a couple. As a family. More than anything, we walked through the good times and the bad and we are happy.

I look SO forward to many more years together, full of love and hope. The best thing is knowing we can get through the tough times. Knowing no matter how rough things get, we are in this together, we love each other, and we value our relationship and our family enough to MAKE it work even when the world seems to be against us. Having that one person by your side who knows you, loves you, irritates you, pushes you, holds you, helps you, and lives FOR you.

I'm blessed. I'm happy. And for the first time in my life I truly understand marriage. It is a LOT of work, but the rewards far outweigh the effort put into it.

Happy Anniversary Mister. I love you.

Friday, April 13, 2012

5QF: mowing and spaghetti...what more could I ask for??

It's Friday, yay! Hubbs and I are holding down the shop by ourselves today, and this weekend is our anniversary weekend :) I'm so pregnant and the weather's so nasty there isn't a lot we can do, but all the Mister's family and Chloe will be gone this weekend so we will be totally on our own for two days. I can't wait!
Until then, I'll pass some time with 5QF.

1. Who mows your grass?
I do! I do! I love to mow. Even 9 months pregnant you can drive by our house and see me bouncing my baby bump around on the lawn mower. It's my me time. I can plug in my ear phones, listen to my "mow" play list (Jamey Johnson, beachy songs, Hank Jr, and I'm Yours are my MUST LISTEN songs) and just ride, not being interrupted or bothered. Hubby is kind enough to take care of the weeds, and since I've been pregnant he's been mowing the ditches and the steep parts. He mowed while I was visiting family a couple of weekends ago and I pouted for two days. He laughed and told me I had to be the only wife who would throw a fit and get mad because her husband mowed the yard :) And yet he still loves me.

2. Do you have a picture wall or picture gallery in your house (show us! <--- my addition to the question)?
I have a few pictures on the two "big" walls in our living room. I really want to make a picture wall in the dining area, but right now it's occupied by turkey fans and a coon. I'm not sure my picture wall will fit into our woodsy themed decor =/

I have a really cute frame set that I want to put up, but again with the not matching. Maybe one day we will re-do our room and I can do one in there :) Until then, it's just the most important pictures above the couch, and a hodge-podge of eclectic shots and mis-matched frames on a built-in bookshelf in the hall.

3. What book has influenced your thinking the most? Or, what blog? (I want to read what gets people thinking!)
I don't think there is any book or blog that I would say influences my thinking. There are books and blogs that make me think. Some of which have been "The Deadline," "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," and "The Atonement Child" as well as Mama M (most specifically her "Talkin' Shop" posts) and Chibi Jeebs because she just gets it, and always has a fresh perspective :)

4. Do you have allergies? If so, how do you handle it this time of year?
I do. And with the mowing, they are even worse (and yet I still LOVE it!). My fall allergies are worse than my summer ones, but they all give me fits. Alamast eye drops and Benadryl are my friends.

5. What's your go to meal to cook in an hurry?
Spaghetti and tacos. Hubby doesn't care for spaghetti, Chlo and I don't really like tacos, so we eat them on the same night. I come home, grab a bag of burger, fry it up and boil my noodles. I take out a little meat for our spaghetti, then make the taco meat for hubbs and we have a meal ready lickety split. I always keep spaghetti and taco fixin's on hand so we can have a dinner in a pinch.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A year ago...

A year ago at this time I was less than a week away from my wedding day. I was cutting calories (and carbs!), exercising, and thriving on stress. I was planning and preparing and struggling with sleepless nights trying to get everything done, both in my brain and in the real world. I'm so glad now that I blogged about the little mundane things, because they are lost in my memory banks somewhere far far away now.

And this year, this week is much the same in a very different way. I'm still frying food for the Mister and having to substitute for myself. But now instead of subbing a big salad and a bowl of fruit, I'm eating extra mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy, and ice cream or strawberry shortcake to make up for my inability to consume fried things :)

I'm still watching my waist line, but instead of measuring it daily to see if it's shrunk, I'm watching happily as it grows and becomes more round with each day. Rather than digging out my skinny jeans, I'm putting them away and opting for stretchy things (finally hehe).

Exercise? Well, I'm not running. I'm not even walking. But I waddle now and then :) Burning calories these days means climbing the stairs or taking the laundry to the laundry room.

Spending? It all goes to Target hehe. We needed lots and lots of baby things, and slowly but surely we have acquired at least the basic necessities. I'm not shelling out money for a beautiful dress or decorations. Now I'm buying diapers and blankies and everything in between.

Stress? Yes. But now I'm worrying about baby names and bedroom things rather than flowers and cake. Mmmm. Cake......

Oh and I'm a bit distractable ;)

It's funny how much can change in a year.

Friday, April 6, 2012

5QF: Dinner plans, Easter treats, and life

I've been a lazy blogger lately. Just the other day I had a great post RD'd in my head, but now I can't remember what it was even ABOUT. Not for the life of me. Sigh. Pregnancy brain. I only have five more weeks to blame it on something other than old-age or poor brain cells :)

Anyway, it's Friday, so I'm going to do five questions and call it good :)

1. Would you prefer having people over for dinner or going to their house?
I would prefer to have dinner at "their" house, whoever "their" might be. For many reasons, most of them selfish and somewhat snobby :) First of all, I'd much rather bring a dish or a dessert than cook for other people. I get all nervous when I'm cooking for someone else, and in my attempt to make my dish perfect, I usually screw it up somehow. Something I've cooked amazingly for my family a million times becomes something too dry or too brown or too salty when other people get involved.

Also? Dishes. I'll help load your dish washer and rinse your dishes if we can eat at your house so I don't have to scrub pots and pans and dishes in my sink at home. Because I'm sans dishwasher. And I'm NOT bitter. At all ;)

Finally, and this is the snobby-ish rude one, but the one you'll nod your head at and say, "Oh yes that sounds like Andrea." By coming to your house I can end the night whenever I want. And no, I'm not intending on wearing out my welcome. I HATE when you have people over and they JUST WON'T LEAVE. I'm like a two year old when it comes to socializing. When I'm done, I'm done, and any further interaction just annoys me. So if I come to you I can say, "Well we better get going. I have to get Chloe in bed," or something similar. And you'll be happy. And I'll be happy. And as long as you don't say "OH NO! You can't rush off yet!" we'll be good to go :)

2. Favorite Bible verse and why?
I really don't have a "favorite" one. There are some that I memorized growing up. In fact I think we had to memorize a whole chapter or book or something one time....and while I remember the content, I don't remember the locations of all of them. But I guess if I had to pick one that I like best, or that always fits is the one from 1st Corinthians 13. ...and now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.  <3

3. What was the first concert you ever attended, and the most recent one?
I'm not sure on my time-frames, but I'm pretty sure the first one I ever went to was Alan Jackson/Randy Travis with my granny and dad. My grandma saw Alan Jackson on Star Search or something and she fell madly in love with him. And they've been having this one-way affair ever since ;) I've been with her to see him probably six times over the years, if not more. She's in love. Back then he was a nobody, and was opening for Randy Travis at the MO State Fair. When Alan was done Granny was ready to leave, and my dad was irritated because we hadn't even seen the "good" act yet hehe.

And the most recent one?  Hahahahahahaha. Ironically, you guessed it....Alan Jackson. This time with Jerrod Niemann opening for him, and a million new songs since that first album. What's funny is that I wouldn't necessarily consider myself an AJ "fan," but I've seen him lots of times.

4. The year is 2025. What are you doing, and what have you done?
Well, I've probably had some sort of melt-down over my age. Geesh. Forty-four. But hopefully aside from my melt-downs I will have been a good farm wife and mommy, and will be in the home-stretch of raising two (maybe three?) wonderful children. Chloe will be 19 and will have been out of school for a year, and hopefully have some college courses under her belt, or else be an actress or dancer or something extremely profitable ;)

If you ask her, though, we will all be living in her mansion on Pensacola Beach. The one she attained by marrying a rich handsome prince AND being a tv star like Victorious. And by "all living," I mean Hubbs and I, the bebe and her, as well as her Nana, Uncle Coco, and anyone else she invites into this communal family. If she's right, I may be having a meltdown much more epic than the 44 one ;) Even living on the beach wouldn't make it easy to cram all of our extended family under one (enormous) roof.
But back to reality. I will be starting the Dark Ages aka teen years with bebe by then, so hopefully I will be of sound mind :)

Either way, all I really hope to have accomplished is to raise happy children in a loving home who are indpenedent (but still need their Mama sometimes) and self-assured. The rest is just life.

5. What's your favorite Easter treat?
Before I was preggo I would've said Reeses Eggs for sure. Last year I ate them by the bundles! They were definitely my PMS go-to food and calmed many a raging hormone. But since I've been pregnant peanut butter tastes weird to me. It's more....nutty? than normal. I don't know. It's not sweet enough or something and I don't care much for it.

As a kid I always loved those Sweet Tart chick/bunny treats. They were my favorite thing to get in my Easter basket. And once I learned the truth about Mr. Bunny, I started telling 'him' directly just to hook me up with a couple bags of those ;)

Happy Good Friday :)