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36 Weeks and Counting!

We have reached 36 weeks in this pregnancy and are slowly trudging our way towards 37!  Catriona has spent the last few weeks stubbornly not growing (she ended up dropping 4 weeks of growth total prior to this weeks doctors appointment).  So this week we did an ultrasound to check on her growth and the amniotic fluid levels.  Thankfully everything came out well.  She is estimated to be around 6 pounds 11 ounces at this point (which is amazing considering how small my bump is compared to when I was pregnant with Liam!) and while my amniotic fluid levels are on the lower end of normal they should be fine for the remainder of the pregnancy.  Her head is down, the contractions are becoming more frequent, and we are playing a waiting game to meet her.

I continue to have (what has become) my normal migraines, tachycardia, and passing out.  For the last week my symptoms have been somewhat relieved, I even had 3 good days in a row where I was able to be up and about without any chest or head pain, but for an added treat these last few days I have been enjoying some third trimester sickness (which is amazingly just like the first trimester was).   I have a cardiology consult tomorrow and am hopeful to find some answers to what can be done for this chronic chest pressure, shoulder pain, and episodes of tachycardia.  That said, I am very aware that any medication that could be given to relieve those symptoms for me has to wait until after Catriona’s arrival, so I am learning to live with it and take it easy when things really start to act up.

On Monday my sister-in-law came over to the house to take some maternity picture for us since we are currently unable to travel to the photographer that we used to do the maternity shoot we did when pregnant with Liam (Linden Photography in Central NH).  I spent some time this morning playing around on Photoshop and touching up the lighting on the pictures.  I am pretty happy with the results, and so thankful to Aunty Moonshine for taking them for us.  Though this has been a difficult pregnancy we are planning on it being my last pregnancy and I want to be able to look back on this time and remember how it has helped us grow as a family later on.  I wish I had enough Photoshop talent to reduce the (well-earned) shadows and bags under my eyes… you would think someone who spends as much time in bed as I have been lately wouldn’t have any but I can’t seem to sleep for more than two hours at a time thanks to our little girls efforts to escape the womb.

We continue to be grateful for everyone’s prayers and well wishes.  The support of our family and friends  has truly have been an amazing help in us pulling through this pregnancy!

30 Weeks; an update on Catriona and life in general

30 weeks is here!  Our original goal date of March 10th has come and gone and Catriona is still hanging in there, though she is making her requests to join us a little more firm every day.  Over the last week she has dropped, and landed squarely on my bladder, so every step I take now makes me need to use the bathroom…. I should buy stock in Charmin.  I am home from work until Catriona does decide to show up at this point.  Between the late fusion, infection, and now constant hormone induced migraines I am currently spending more time lying down than I have in years.  The medication I am taking to control the migraines (which were raising my blood pressure to dangerous levels) knocks me out.  I think I may have actually caught up on sleep from the last two years… I am sure I will miss all this extra sleep in a few months.

I passed my glucose test!  Which I celebrated by eating a half of a bag of Jelly Beans…

It is so hard to stop once you get started.

 

So I hang out at home, with the kiddos for company, and an awesome support system helping me pick up the slack.   Thanks to the internet I have yet to become bored, and have managed (finally, today) to finish ordering the last of the things we needed to get before Catriona arrives.  We are now fully stocked on a starting supply of diapers, creams, clothing, shampoos, bottles, blanket, and anything else you can imagine.  The list has been quadruple checked and I am fairly confident I have managed to not forget anything this time around!  My next project is to stock the freezer full of pre-planned and prepared (as much as possible) crock pot meals to make the upcoming months easier.  I am also taking the opportunity to update my MDS and RAC certifications, because I really don’t want to get bored.  School is on break until late September when I start my MS in Healthcare Administration, but I don’t want to get out of practice with studying… and also, after 12 years of college, I am pretty sure I just don’t know how to stop!  The next check up is in two weeks.  We will be keeping our fingers crossed for an uneventful two weeks!

 

24 Weeks and Counting, an update

Well, it has been a rough couple of weeks for me.  As it turns out, I am REALLY bad about taking it easy without constantly giving myself reminders.  My husband has become a professional at telling me not to do things I am not supposed to do, and reminding me to stop and take breaks.  I have become crabby, which is not a usual thing for me and I don’t like it.  The kids, well, they have really taken to the encouraged independence.  Liam and The Bean now put themselves to bed at nap and bedtime.  I am trying to not miss the snuggles I use to steal when carrying them upstairs too much.

For Catriona things are going well, or at least as good as we can hope for!  We had a very positive checkup at 23 weeks where she measured exactly on target (which is amazing for a little girl who is most likely going to be tiny!) and her heart rate was a lovely 145.  Her kick counts have been perfect.  The only concerning thing that has come up recently have been frequent Braxton Hicks contractions.  Thankfully they are not following any pattern at this point and have only been over the 6 an hour allowed at this stage of pregnancy a handful of times.  At the 23 week appointment they found an infection so I am hopeful that after a week of antibiotics things will calm down in the contraction department.  Our next ultrasound is at 27 weeks and I am still hoping for a miracle!  At this point, however, I am simply thankful to have made it this far.

At 23-24 weeks babies begin making a substance called surfactant.  This is used by the body to help stabilize the alveoli in the lungs (The alveoli help oxygen get from the air to the bloodstream, but in order to do this they need to be nice and plump like a grape, surfactants help keep them from collapsing when you exhale).  With the production of surfactant comes the chance for survival with pre-term births, so if something were to happen tonight Catriona would have a fighting chance, especially with the awesome hospitals in this area.  24 weeks was a big milestone for us.  I celebrated with a braided chicken pot pie bread with Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for dessert 🙂

On a personal note, because I am carrying so low this time (thanks to the less than stable environment my body created for Catriona) life is becoming uncomfortable.  There are definitely times where it already feels like the last (everlasting) month of pregnancy.  clothing is also becoming uncomfortable.  Maternity pants with the cloth panel fall off of me because my belly isn’t quite large enough for them, but the ones with the low band are too tight for me to wear and do essential things like breathe, or not walk like a penguin.  My go to pants of choice for this pregnancy are becoming yoga pants.  I could sing a song for how much I love them lately.  I see a lot of dresses coming up in my future as well.  The plus side? My maternity scrubs are the most comfortable articles of clothing ever (even if one pocket does oddly fall right on the center of my expanding stomach).

15 months later…

I can’t believe how the time has flown, Liam is 15 months already! It has been so exciting to watch him play, grow, and learn these last few months. Everything happens so fast at this point, it’s like a neural explosion. Over the last 3 months Liam has:

  • Gone from stumbling to run-stumbling
  • Learned to say over 25 words, although he mostly refers to animals by the sounds they make, except our youngest dog, Bruise, who he calls Rooze.
  • Learned how to walk backwards and spin in a circle
  • Begun helping Conan and I with simple tasks (carrying light things mostly)

His favorite things right now are:

  • Reading… By himself, to the bear, to Conan and I… This little boy loves to be the one reading the story.
  • His big white bear, “Baby”… When Liam was born Conan’s company sent us a present, a giant white polar bear which I never named because I figured it would be too big to drag around. Liam has proven me wrong and he has named it “Baby”. The other stuffed animals are babies too, but there is only one Baby and he goes everywhere with Liam.
  • Yogurt, cereal bars, and berries
  • Going to the park
  • The tub, this little guy loves his baths (and his bath toys)

He has had a lot of adventures over the last three months, including:

  • His first sleepovers with Grammy and Grampy F.
  • His second annual Flynnstock with Conan
  • His first trip to the beach!

While I have tried (desperately sometimes) to be there for every single event it just hasn’t been possible and sometimes Conan and Liam are a two man team while I am at home with the puppy brothers doing homework or at work.  We do our best with the time we have and try to make every moment count.

Today the three of us went out to lunch to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants and then to the park for some quality time (and to exhaust Liam before his nap).  It was suppose to rain all day today so it was a pleasant surprise to be able to get out and about.  My park plan however backfired as it was not just Liam that needed the nap when we got home 😉

And now a parting message from Liam himself and a few more of my favorite pictures from the last few months….

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I can’t wait to see what the next three months brings!

Who Needs Diapers?

So today, after I woke up from a lovely sleep in (this a huge shout out to my awesomely understanding husband who totally gets the fact that sometimes I don’t get home from work until 3am, and if I can sleep I will) I had just enough time to turn on the Keurig before Liam woke up from his morning nap and started playing with his dolls in his crib.  He sounded like he was in an awesome mood so I headed right up to get him so we could have some fun.  That is when I walked into a naked butt in the air as he was working on standing up.

That is right… a NAKED BUTT!

My jaw may have literally dropped.  Casually tossed over the edge of the crib was his diaper… he decided the shirt could stay on.

Because Liam is only 14 months old there was no hope in the universe that he did not pee all over the bed.  So I gingerly reached a hand down and did the touch test… yes, it was wet.  Awesome.

As my dreams of packing up the family for a trip to York’s Wild Animal Kingdom flew out the window and visions of endless loads of laundry jumped into my head I picked up my kiddo at arms length, brought him into his bathroom, placed him into the tub and proceeded to break one of the two cardinal child bathing rules that have been drilled into my head since I was a young girl who was slightly obsessed with The Babysitter’s Club, I turned on the water while he was in the tub.  No, I did not burn my child, but his bubble bath might have been a little colder than usual.  Honestly, he didn’t seem to mind.

Conan very nicely brought me a cup of coffee while I was supervising the tub time.  He can be totally credited with saving my sanity with that one small act.  (yes, yes, I know, I have a caffeine “problem”)

Does anyone else have any diaper removal stories?  Are there any hints or tricks to getting the little guy to not keep doing it?  He was so very impressed with himself when I found him, and although I did not make a big deal out of it (to him anyway) I have a feeling that my stubborn little one will keep up the trick now that he has figured it out.

Somersworth Children’s Festival

So I am a little behind in keeping up with the blog.. I blame the awesomely hot weather (and my subsequent desire to spend my life in the splash pool with the toddlers).

I also am prepping to head back to school in a big way next week after taking the spring semester off (it was so nice!).  I have a year left of classes, and a year left of an internship before I can take my administrator boards, so it is all serious all the time starting next week.  It really is a shame I can’t (safely) bring the laptop into the splash pool with me.  That would be some amazing multitasking.

This group of pictures is from the annual International Children’s Festival in Somersworth NH that we went to with a pretty big group of the family a few weeks ago.   It was an absolute blast and if you are in the seacoast NH region on the 3rd Saturday in June you should definitely make plans to bring your family!  The activities there were definitely geared to the 10 an under crowd, but even the 1 year olds had a blast dancing and hanging out with the animals at the miniature petting zoo.  As a parent the events on the various stages kept me entertained as well, and it was so much fun to see the kids enjoying themselves.  I think this is going to be a yearly trip for us.

Want more information about the festival?  Visit the website for the Somersworth Festival Association.

And without further adieu… pictures!

 

First stop for us was the Wildlife Encounters area.  There were animals and a mini petting zoo for the kids.. a hit with all of them.  The folks over at wildlife encounters were super busy, but also super nice.  they do Birthday Parties in the area and my sister-in-law who works at a local day care center said that their visits to the daycare are always a kid/parent favorite.  Personally I loved the staffing ratio they had, despite all of the kids that were milling around they were able to keep everything well organized, the animals not overcrowded, and everyone happy and safe.

After the animals we had some fun on the playground, drawing pictures in the shade, and then cooled off with the splash pool that was set up before taking a long walk down to the second site of the festival (note* there was a trolley that we did not know about that would have taken us down minus the hike… good to know for next year!)

Next up for us was a nice cold drink and snack time while we watched a Jamaican band and then the TaeKwon Do demo put on by Mr. B’s school.  The older kids were fascinated, the toddlers wanted to risk life and limb to run out among all the kicking and punching people.  Apparently it looked like fun!

The second site had all the normal fair like activities, including rides, face painting, games, fair food and balloon animals.  There also was a pretty cool craft fair inside the school and a tented area that highlighted the cultural trends of different nationalities.

This is where Liam passed out (literally, while walking), so Conan and I trudged back to the car and went to go pick up pizza while everyone else got to enjoy a lovely trolley ride and some more fun!

Day 9

Day 9 of the selfie challenge: 365 Days of Momma
Coming in just under the wire, though the pictures were taken this morning… I can see that the weekends are going to be especially challenging with posting though taking the pictures is easy enough. I have two shots for you today.

The first is Bruiser, mid panic attack first thing this morning.

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Poor baby. Morning are hard.

The next is Liam and I in matching tie dye…

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Sometimes we are just that cool.

It was a hectic Sunday… And Monday is looking to be just as busy!

A Long Journey In Nursing Part 2, The Love/Hate Relationship

So as I mentioned before I currently have a love/hate relationship with my job. I think this is something that every mom who chooses to go back to work can relate to. I love going to work. I love my job. Practicing the art of nursing is vital to my overall happiness and well being. I hate leaving my son….
I know! I can’t have it both ways, and it really doesn’t make any sense to love going to work but hate leaving my son, but that is how it is. Every day that I pack up my lunch and head out the door I do so with a sense of anticipation regarding what that evening will bring at work. One of the joys of nursing is that no two nights are ever the same. Nursing is certainly not a dull career; it’s a career for those with a sense of adventure. There I also a little part of me that is just happy to be heading out the door to spend some time with adults.
Now don’t get me wrong, I cherish every little moment Liam and I have together. Every dance party, music party, play time party (we like to party), and snuggle-fest are part of those little moments I like to try and capture to carry with me. I fully realize that he is only going to be 9 months old once, and I don’t want to miss anything. I hate to leave him for fear that I will miss that “first” that I so desperately want to be there for.
I also know that if I need to go to work to take on the challenges it provides: advocating for my patients, catching that patient’s start of urosepsis before it gets too bad, educating my staff, building relationships within the nursing team, and a million other little things that help make life better for those that are entrusted to my care. If I didn’t my personal view of myself would change in a negative way. I don’t feel like I could be as good of a mom to Liam and wife to my husband without meeting the challenge of balancing a career and a family.
So what does that say about me that part of my sense of self worth is based on a title that I hold and a job that I perform?
Honestly , I am really not sure. Part of me feels like it’s ok, I have worked really hard (and paid a lot of money) to earn these degrees with the intention that I would use them. I continue to work hard to further my education and career because my parents taught me the value of hard work, and to enjoy the satisfaction that performing a difficult task provides. I firmly believe that the harder you have to work for something the more enjoyment it will bring in the long run (and the more appreciative you will be for it). I hope that the example I set for my son as a working mom by choice will be a good one and will encourage him to have similar ambitions and drive. At the same time I worry that by not staying at home to satisfy my need to work I will somehow miss something that he needs to grow into a productive and responsible adult.
Only time will tell…

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