Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bringing the Outdoors In

I’m all for nature and bugs and whatnot.  I’m just not a huge fan when outside things come inside my house.  Today, Addalee and I were playing and putting blocks and other things in a basket.  I pulled the last of the blocks out to find a lizard. 

Lizards don’t really bother me, when they’re OUTSIDE.  I mean, they’ll sometimes give me a good startle, because they move so quickly and are kind of snakey for a second until my mind catches up to them. 

When I found this one, at first I just stared at it.  I guess I was trying to decide how such a life-like plastic lizard had gotten into this toy basket.  And when did I buy that, anyway?  Wait, that’s real!?!  These thoughts were followed by a horribly and amazingly slight girly scream and a throw of the basket.  Gah!  I picked up Addalee so that she wasn’t on the floor with the "horrible creature," and she cried.  I scared her.  The stupid lizard scared me, and I screamed like a little girl and scared my kiddo.  Boo.

Once we both got calmed down, I went over to the basket to take the "beast" outside.  As I picked up the basket, it ran under the couch.  Awesome.  And I then discovered poop in the basket.  Gah-ross!  If you’re going to come into my house uninvited, at least don’t poop where the kid plays!  Come on!

So, that’s our adventure in indoor nature today.  Neither of us was a big fan.  But I think we’ll both survive!

Our adventure in picture book mode:
(photo credits in links under pictures)

 Which, sadly led to pitiful Addalee doing this.

And that made mama feel like this.
(picture of me being pretty unhappy on a camping trip a long time ago! :) )

But before long, Addalee was back to this, whew!

P.S. Hopefully, I'll have pictures of Addalee's first birthday party up soon! Yay!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Addalee's Birthday (And Birth Story)

One year ago.  It’s already been a whole year, and I can hardly believe it.  This entire year has flown by.

I haven't shared a birth story yet, so decided it was about time!

On August 22, 2011, I was filled with nerves, excitement, fear, anticipation, and hope.  We’d made it through 36 of some of the hardest weeks of my life.  Pregnancy after a full term stillbirth is not for the faint of heart.  There were days that I preemptively grieved this little girl, as a way to almost prepare myself for if she didn’t make it, like her big sister.  It was a protective reflex, not something I wanted, just some PTSD, I’m guessing. 

We’d been to the doctor the previous Thursday for an ultrasound and NST.  Addalee was looking good, but not great.  Her growth was tapering off.  It was getting to the point where she was better off out than in.  We were told to come to the office first thing Monday, 8/22/11, with our hospital bag, for another ultrasound evaluation of Addalee’s growth and overall health.  That was a long and stressful weekend, but we’d made it.  Turns out, she’d grown, but not a ton.  It was Addalee’s birthday!  We were sent over to the hospital to get checked in and start induction.  So we called our families.  With happy news this time, and it felt amazing.

Checking in was bittersweet.  The last time I’d sat in that chair was the night I’d gone in knowing that something was terribly wrong with Caroline.  (We didn’t know for sure that she was gone at that point, but I suspected and didn’t want to believe it.)  I had requested to not be in the same room in which we’d delivered Caroline, so at least I knew that wasn’t going to be an issue.  I was so full of hope for the baby girl I was carrying, and so full of grief for the baby girl I’d delivered in that same hospital less than a year before.  Everyone was so good to me.  I’m sure that my nurse friends had gone ahead of us and told people of our situation, but it seemed like everyone was extra nice to us.

I got settled into the room.  I put on that super smoking hospital gown and started getting IV fluids in preparation for the epidural (‘cause that’s how I roll).  I got hooked up to the external monitor, and it was semi-comforting.  Addalee kept running from the monitor, so it alarmed several times, which was terrifying, but we were assured that it was just the baby moving around.  We got some meds started to get the ball rolling and I just laid back and went with it (like I was really that relaxed!). 

Dang, I was looking good! 

A little while later, I was feeling some contractions.  I was asked if I was ready for the epidural and I said, “Yes, please!”  I got the epidural and I wish I could say that I was feeling good, but I was feeling pretty horrible.  My nurse was checking something, I’m not sure, but she was talking and I could hear her like she was miles away.  The lights started to get really dim.  I was passing out.  My blood pressure dropped significantly after the epidural.  Apparently this is something that can happen, but I wasn’t expecting it.  So after several doses of epinephrine, I was feeling shaky and nauseous, but awake. 

After I got back to mostly normal, my doctor came in to break my water.  This was going to speed things up significantly.  It also made it to where we could have the internal monitor, which was significantly more reliable than the external.  I was still having some pain from the contractions on my left side, so they had to boost my epidural, which meant another dose of epinephrine.  But once they gave me another bump, I was feeling NOTHING.  Like seriously, NOTHING at all.  Except that my legs weighed about 2 tons each.  (ha)

It was nearing dinner time, and I knew that the family members who were waiting with us were getting hungry.  I felt like it was still going to be a while, so I told them to go on and get something to eat.  I almost had everyone convinced, then the nurse came in to check me.  I had only been at like 6cm an hour before, so I wasn’t expecting much.  She asked me if I felt any pressure, and I didn’t.  Then, she looked at me and said, “Don’t push!”  “Let’s get the doctor in here, now.”  I was much further along than 6cm!  And since I couldn’t feel anything at all, I had no idea!  Glad the family didn’t listen to me!

So, the doctor was there, as well as the rest of the team, including some NICU nurses just in case, since she was a month early.  We were ready; it was time to push (OH MY GOSH!).  I pushed for a fairly short time, and she had her cord around her neck, and my heart sank when I heard the doctor say that.  But he was able to slip it over her head, and we proceeded with pushing.  A few minutes later, she was here.  She only cried a tiny quiet cry, but it was the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard in my entire life.  She was placed directly on my chest.  She was breathing.  She was moving.  She was tiny and perfect.  She had Caroline’s face, those precious cheeks.  That moment that I’d been waiting for, finally was here!

Our first (almost) family picture.
Birth Announcement
This year has been full of a zillion emotions, and thankfully a lot of joy with this girl.  She’s provided a light in the darkness of grief.  She’s given me love and laughter, and there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not thankful for her.

A photo for each month, newborn to 12 months.

Happy 1st birthday, Addalee.  Mama love you more each day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


This is the picture I originally wanted to share, but just couldn't hold my horses!  So anyhow, I'm sure some of you saw this on Facebook, but I wanted to share it here.  I was pleased with how it turned out.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Almost a Year!

Addalee’s birthday is just around the corner.  Her first birthday.  It’s exciting.  It’s happy.  It’s awesome.  And I’m having trouble planning the party.  Why?

Well, I think part of my problem is that I procrastinate like it’s going out of style when I feel overwhelmed.  So instead of being productive and actually accomplishing something (ANYTHING), I choose to watch TV or play with Addalee (which actually is productive, but you know). 

I also have a crazy busy (or wonderfully exhausting) 11 month old and some pretty nasty morning sickness (thankfully).

Then, there’s the fact that I have all these ideas, and they sound wonderful, but how do I accomplish them?  Some are expensive, others time consuming to make, or maybe just too complicated and fussy.  I want the party to be perfect.  I think I need it to be something that I’ve built up in my mind, for almost 2 years.

Yes, this is Addalee’s first birthday, but our family has already celebrated one daughter’s first birthday.  Caroline’s first birthday was NOTHING like what I wanted and dreamed of when I was carrying her.  We did a balloon release and had so many family members and loved ones here to celebrate and remember, but it fell short.  We thankfully had Addalee here for her big sister’s birthday to help fill our arms, but we ached for our first girl.  Telling your little girl, “Happy birthday,” through prayers just isn’t what you ever expect.

But, because I really am very excited, I’ve made myself a to-do list, and I’m trying to chip away at it each day.  I’ve been busy, and I kind of feel like I’m losing my mind…but that’s how you’re supposed to feel as a mom, right?!  I can’t wait to share pictures with you all!

In other news, we had a little scare with Baby Ramsey 3 over the weekend.  Ain’t that just about right?  It wasn’t too bad, but I had a little bit of spotting.  I felt pretty confident going into this pregnancy that I had basically seen it all in my other 2 pregnancies.  Never did I have any spotting, so I was a little worried.  Come to find out, after being examined and having an ultrasound, I have a marginal placenta (and it’s expected to be anterior again…OF COURSE), which means it covers a portion of the opening of my cervix, but it’s likely going to move up as my uterus grows.  So this isn’t a real complication, yet.  But seriously, it would be nice to have a smooth pregnancy!  Honestly though, my pregnancy with Caroline was beautiful and text book, and the end result was, well we all know.  So, in some sick way, I take these little hiccups as a good sign.