Sunday, November 23, 2014

Old Wives Tales

2 posts in 1 day!  It must be a holiday!

I think its a ton of fun to read old wives tales on pregnancy.  I thought I had heard them all, and still come across unfamiliar ones with each new baby.  Would love to talk to my neighbor that has 10 kids and see what her opinion is on this.

I don't take them seriously, mainly because none of them have ever been true for me.  But still fun to play around with.

False tales for me:  the Chinese gender predictor calendar, the ring test, sweet vs. salty, weight gain distribution, nausea predictor or lack thereof, skin and beauty signs, hair signs, etc.

I've craved sweet stuff with ALL of them.  Although specific cravings varied among all of them,  the overall craving was definitely on sweets.

I've been really sick with 1 boy and 1 girl (Mattox and Merritt); and not sick with the other two.

My face did break out and stayed in that condition the entire pregnancy with all 3.  Number 4 is the only one that it cleared up and is actually better than normal for a change.

Number 4 is the only one that has really had a huge impact on my hair.  I have to shave my legs and other areas every.single.day.   My hair is unruly and growing at superhuman speeds right now.  My aesthetician that does my bikini and eyebrow waxes is laughing her head off!  I have referred to myself as Chewbaca many times and changed my ringtone on Matt's phone to the noise Chewy makes.  I've read that testosterone can affect this.  I don't recall Mattox having this much effect on me so I'm a little scared of the testosterone levels about to enter our house if thats the case!  I've never been more thankful this Thanksgiving holiday for razors and wax!!!!

I don't really gain weight at all so I can't really say about where the distribution lies.  I was my biggest with Mati Claire all over.  But these last 3 have proven otherwise.

I've always been too scared to attempt the Drano test.  I'm not really into explosives or possibly blowing myself up just to see a gender prediction.  lol!

True tales for me:  the side you sleep on.  and pickles.

Weird, huh?  With both girls, I absolutely HAD to sleep on my right side.  And left for the boys.  It's not just sporadic - its every.single.night.or.i.can't.sleep.

Pickles.  Pickles are my sign.  I craved them with the girls, and absolutely despised them with the boys. A couple of weeks ago, I texted my mom on the day after I noticed I had slept on my left side and then gagged on the taste of pickles on my hamburger I was eating while sitting in car rider line.

Also, not an old wives tale, but the Walgreens' Gender Predictor Kit was accurate on this baby.  My hairdresser told me about it and I had never done it before. Thought it would be fun to try.   I didn't know it at the time, but it was right!

Cravings are always fun to see because they just blow my mind.  So does the nesting instinct.
Just to have a record of this for me and my kids:
Mati Claire:  Pickles and ice cream!  She was so much fun to be pregnant with because everything tasted better with her.  I also craved sweet tea, sandwiches/hamburgers, Pop tarts, Eggs.  Not together obviously.  
Mattox:  potatoes.  Seriously, he was so not fun after being pregnant with MC.  I didn't crave anything really except baked potatoes and potato soup.  and water.  strawberry cake from Newks, pop tarts.
Merritt:  hamburgers and french fries; pickles; strawberry flavored candy; Coca-Cola/Dr.Pepper
#4 (would be great if he had a name right?):  mashed potatoes!  Soul - so not good for you - good ole fashioned down home southern cooking.  I want my meat, veggies, and some mashed potatoes!  Anything full of grease and maybe cobbler for dessert.  PB&J sandwiches are a favorite too.

Dreams were a good indicator at times, but they varied.
Mati Claire:  I dreamed about celebrities most of that pregnancy.  weird, i know.
Mattox:  don't even get me started on the meaning of this because yes, I am aware.  I dreamed about snakes every.single.night.  Terrifying, variety, wake up screaming…. snakes.  Apparently Sigmund Freud postulates that there is a link/symbolism between the male penis and snake.  Can we say testosterone induced dreams and "the one eyed snake"??? hahahahaha!
Merritt:  I dreamed about traveling and horrible things happening to all of my kids.  Ex:  traveled to New York City and we lost Mati Claire in a crowd.  In another dream we traveled to Africa and we all died for some reason.  Didn't realize it at the time, but I do think it was symbolic of my fears of something terrible happening to Merritt during/after birth and wanting to escape the reality of our situation.
Baby #4:  at least its not snakes.  I'm not afraid to admit it because I totally blame it on the testosterone, but I have sex dreams almost every single night.  Ladies, when you hear that guys think about it 24 hours a day, they are born that way!  From conception I tell ya!  I don't normally dream about that, but geez!

So there ya go.  Wives tales, cravings, and dreams for my 4.  Very few things have proven true but fun nonetheless to hear hundreds/thousands of years worth of women's opinions on this.







post signature

How Do You Know?

Mati Claire has asked me some mind-blowing questions and/or comments in her 7 years.  Usually they occur while I'm driving and I've had to pull over on the side of the road a few times.

"Momma, that's weed….  weed, you know - the stuff that's bad for you."  ~age 3
"How do you make babies?  And don't give me the God answer."  ~age 6

That's just the two that stick out in my mind that I'm likely to never forget.  Today's question wasn't as mind blowing but still one I wasn't comfortable with explaining to her (and not to scare other mommies out there with kids in her class, no, I did not tell her anything and pleaded the Fifth.)

She was watching me get dressed - and as usual - she is fascinated with my boobs.  She starts asking me about breastfeeding the new baby -- which isn't anything new to her.  Without thinking, I said "yes, but this will be the LAST time."  She responded with "How do you know its the last baby?"

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not a Duggar.  I'm not Catholic.  But I do believe God "will close the womb" when its time.  Luckily for us we live in the age of modern medicine and I think He will give and/or take away the desire to have more kids.   For most of my friends, that hits around kid #2.   When I met Matt, he told me he wanted 4 and I told him he was crazy.  We compromised on 3 and well, here we are with #4 on the way.  Most people have responded better than I expected, but instead of getting asked "Why?" I have been mainly asked "Was this one planned?"  Yes, he was.   Shocking to some people.

But with each one before, I was never struck with the thought "this is the last one!"  With Merritt, I will say we thought about it seriously.  During my C-section with her, my doctor asked me one more time if this was it.  For the life of me I could not answer her.  I wasn't ready to make it final.

Unfortunately for me, ALL types of birth control don't work for me.  I even tried an IUD and it was the most painful experience I've ever had.  Needless to say, they had to remove it and we learned that I have a 'tilted uterus.'

TMI?  Probably so.  Blame it on the hormones.

My point?  After going through the journey with Merritt and then experiencing another ~2 weeks of stress thinking baby #4 might have genetic abnormalities…. I can honestly say:   I. Am. Done.   I can NOT take the stress of doctor appointments and ultrasounds anymore.  I know I know… you would think Merritt would have done me in the first time, right?  Apparently not.  If anything, she did the opposite.  She gave me hope in all types of babies and inspired me to have a 100 more miracles.  But I'm over it after this past genetic testing.  The relief I felt when I got the all clear results - blew.me.away.  I realized I did not ever want to go through that again.  Twice is enough for me.   (I'm ignoring my age factor in this post too).

I absolutely love being pregnant and I would have 10 kids if I could (speaking of C-sections).  I am thrilled to be pregnant this time and very excited about this new little boy.  I can't imagine all the fun he will bring into the family, but again, I am over the stress.  If it was easy everyone would do it right?

One of my friends has 4 kids and just discovered she is pregnant with twins!  She is beyond shocked (but happy).  We were discussing the stress associated with twins in her case - genetics and/or abnormalities  in my case - and how basically it is left up to God.  We have no control and no planning capabilities.   Which we weren't saying we didn't have any faith or didn't want to leave it to God -- just the exact opposite really.  Living on faith is HARD!  Accepting His will is hard especially if it isn't in your plan.

Mati Claire may know more than the average 7 year old when it comes to C-sections and breastfeeding, but I draw the line at the birds and the bees… and tubal ligation.

When you know… you just know.  :)
post signature

Monday, November 3, 2014

Good News!

Baby #4 is in the clear as far as Trisomy 13, 18, and 21 (Downs)!  We are still waiting to hear back on the Cystic Fibrosis test, but I could jump for joy today --- if I could actually jump.

I've been stressing and praying and worrying for the past week.  Was totally shocked when I got the phone call this morning b/c I didn't expect it until next week.  The test just brought back alot of feelings and memories/flashbacks of being pregnant with Merritt, and I can't say I enjoyed most of that pregnancy.  People say "it doesn't matter what the test says"…. but have you ever been faced with the real possibility?  I had begun my research (which I strongly suggest NOT doing).  Once again, I was questioning everything.  "Why me? Why the baby?  How can I take care of a Trisomy baby while still dealing with Merritt (not that she has any issues to necessarily deal with but I still worry more about her)?"    Someone asked me if I was excited that it was a boy…. yes and no.  And not referring to the boy part, but just couldn't get excited for some reason and then I felt guilty about that.  I think in the back of my mind I knew we would see the specialist and couldn't be happy until I heard the word healthy and free of any defects (organs, heart, genetics, etc).  And of course I felt guilty over that for thinking I could only be happy if it was healthy.  I was still happy with Merritt, but it definitely makes your earthly human nature come out… and I hated that.  Its very hard to wrap your mind around things like this.  And time is the only thing that sort of helped if that makes any sense.

My heart goes out to all the mommies out there of Trisomy babies -- thinking of my friends Amy Oakes and Julie Roberts.  They are the strongest mommies I've ever met.

I may have to go buy something new for him today since I haven't bought a single thing yet and he will be getting plenty of hand-me-downs in the future!  Mattox already asked me "momma, you are going to buy him all new toys, right?"  Bless him.  He's already realizing he's about to have to share his stuff and he is NOT happy about it!  But he is being a sweet big brother lately -- kissing my belly and asking to talk to him already.  He said he would show him the ropes of how to deal with those sisters!  And Mati Claire says she has relinquished all big sister duties… and deferred this one to Mattox.  Kids are crazy!
post signature

Monday, October 27, 2014

Oh Boy!

We are blessed to be having another boy!  I guess we are an equal opportunity family!  hehe
I won't lie... I was mentally prepared for Mattox to stay the only boy in the family.  I kind of liked the idea.  Some days I feel like boys are foreign objects in my house--- I don't know what to do with them!  I knew I would have at least 2 girls (since I was so used to my sister and me growing up) and I even dreamed I had triplet girls once.

But just goes to show you, that once again, you can plan all you want, but God has His own plan.

Saw the specialist that I love today.  I had a few expectations going into it.  I knew my age would play a factor (I'm the magical "advanced maternal age" now) and I knew that I have small babies (according to the doctors).  Sure enough, my age + baby measured a full week behind the already adjusted due date = red flags.   ALL of my babies have measured small the entire pregnancy, but came out "normal" at birth excluding Merritt.   Mati Claire was 7#, Mattox was 7#7oz, and Merritt was 5#2oz (which was big for her situation).

I had declined all genetic testing because it doesn't matter to me.  The baby's intestines were "glowing brighter than normal"  which meant that he wasn't passing the stuff as quickly as he should.  Could be a sign of his prematurity and small size, or could be a sign of some genetic issues (Cystic Fibrosis, etc).  He also would not cooperate and show us his face/profile, so they could not get any  measurements to show indicators of Down's Syndrome.  So because of the red flags + this intestinal issue = Dr. P highly recommended that I get the screening tests for all the genetic abnormalities.  But he thought it was probably due to the size measurement and not anything serious.  I didn't blame him, he was covering all his bases and doing his job to the full extent.  Why I love him.  Baby's heart and other organs looked good though.

10 day wait time…

Dr. P also thought I might have placenta previa, but after a vaginal ultrasound too, I don't.  Just an extremely low placenta.  Which rules out the bedrest that was on the tip of his tongue.  Yay!!!

The baby joker proudly showed off the family jewels this time around… but hid his face.  I was hoping to post some cute sonogram pics.  God obviously thinks we need more blue around here.  Help me, Jesus!

OVERALL, I would say he is HEALTHY at this point.  Things could change as usual, and I will be glad to get all my test results back soon.

On to names now...

post signature

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tallulah the TF

Yeah, I know I've been dragging on blogging lately.  Who knew being pregnant could make you absolutely physically exhausted? ;)  Plus I haven't been able to breathe or stop coughing since last week and I would really like to chop my head off right now.  I lost my voice a few days ago… do you know how hard it is to yell at your kids when you have no voice?  Or when one busts her lip and wants me to sing "our song" to her to make her feel better?

BUT to make yall feel better, I will reveal the gender of new baby to you … on MONDAY!  I have an appointment with the specialist so I would like to include his report in the announcement (health stats and all).  We are pretty sure we know what it is already, but Matt likes keeping everyone else in suspense (no FB posts allowed until Monday).
I'm waiting and praying to include the word "healthy" with the gender.  Some of yall would probably say I'm one "those" people… but seriously, you can be genetically and chromosomally normal and still not be considered healthy (i.e. Merritt).  It did not matter to me what the gender is, as long as its healthy!  So I'm almost 18 weeks now.  Its beginning to fly by now that the nausea has subsided.
And we're open to suggestions on more M names!  lol!  We have a few in mind, but we wouldn't want this one to feel left out now would we?  :)

My oldest is doing her job in making me feel old!  Lost her front teeth finally.  2 days before her school play in which she has a major speaking role.  Bless it… she can't talk well.  Here's a few pics (plus a few old ones) to make you laugh.  Tallulah, her Tooth Fairy, is very tired.  Not sure I'm just in love with age 7 right now.  She's always been pretty easy to deal with (except in eating) but the attitude has started.  Not to mention that I can NOT keep her well.  Since her birthday, she has experienced:  2 plantar warts on her toes that have taken months to heal and we are looking at surgery if its not totally gone, chiggers (yes I've never experienced those), 2 stomach bugs in less than a month, teeth falling out left and right, and an earring site infection (back to cleaning every day after we had gone weeks without having to).

Merritt is a typical terrible two year old.  Tantrums, yelling, throwing, spitting, hitting, biting, drawing on the walls, scratching, terrible two.

And Mattox?  Well I just can't keep him out of the dirt or sand.  He's up to 2 baths a day lately on some days.  He's 4 going on 10.



post signature

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I Came Across an Atheist

I think I've mentioned that I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  I think it is awful overall but I do think some good can come of it.  After all, I have made several new friends that are also O moms and love them dearly.  Being as Merritt is 2 years old, I find myself "out of the loop" most of the time in the O support group on FB.  Since we are not actively going through our journey/struggles, I can not relate to most of the women anymore.  I honestly couldn't relate to most of them even when I was pregnant because everyone's situation varies.  I feel like I'm standing there just as an image of hope.  Something for those new moms to hold onto… and perhaps look at what they can have if they choose not to terminate the pregnancy.  When they ask how we survived, I tell them my story.  Easy.

However, today happened. And it struck a nerve as it did with most of the members.  And I am without doubt that my blog post will make it back to the group with many comments.  But being as this is MY blog, I am open to freedom of speech… and my beliefs.  I don't believe God put me in this position to sit back and say nothing.  I think God wants me to use our journey to show His power and His grace.

Abortion is a hot topic in any person's life, but a frequent conversation in the group - since we are ALL confronted with the option at some point in our pregnancies of O babies.  Personally, yes, the thought crossed my mind but it did not linger very long.  I was not offended by the option of choice and was not offended that I considered the doctor to be doing his job.  I simply said "no" and moved on.

Today, a new member voiced her concern that (as an atheist) IF she were to choose termination, would she receive support from the group? And also, IF we were to give her support… would we mind showing respect for her as an atheist and not use words such as pray, God, or heaven?

I assure you…. whatever you are thinking…. I thought it myself.  I fought for hours refraining from commenting or responding while reading the dozens of others who did.  I got in my car and prayed to MY God, "how do I respond to that?  because I don't feel I should sit by and say nothing."  I emailed my preacher because it bothered me to the point of my blood pressure rising.  I honestly have never given much thought to atheism.  I got in my car to pick up the kids from school… radio on KLOVE station… I only caught the end of the song that was playing and I heard the lyrics "cry out His name!"  My support will be the same no matter who you are.  I will pray to my God and love you as He loved me no matter what you are.  I can not keep track of who is Christian, Jewish, Catholic, atheist, etc in a group of hundreds.

So I decided that no matter the backlash… I would do what I believe and cry out His name.  I'm not gifted with the talent of eloquent wording…. I just say what I feel… usually pretty blunt.  My main issue suddenly wasn't religion or even abortion… but Facebook.  Its stupid… and I'll get to my point in just a sec…

Being as what they call "on the other side" now of omphaloceles, I say there WAS a time I felt I had NO support.  There were days that my husband couldn't stop my crying.  There were days that my family couldn't help.  There were days that my friends' questions just irritated me further.  There were days that the doctors and staff did nothing to console me.  There were days that I couldn't find anyone within the support group that had gone through my exact situation although close.  I certainly couldn't depend on myself because I felt totally defeated, depressed, angered, and completely utterly alone.

Who did I look to?  You bet your life I turned to God.  And that is my answer when you ask me for my support and how I got through this situation.

According to her, atheists "believe" that miracles are a combination of medical staff and chance.

Chance.

Circumstance.

Oh how I beg to differ.   I honestly do. not. understand. how someone can give birth to a baby and not believe in God or in miracles.   Seeing as I struggle with proof myself, there are some things that have happened in my life (not even omphalocele or baby related) that ALL the science in the world can not explain.  And multiple times though out my life.  So if they say its chance… then I must be the luckiest girl in the world, right?  Ha!

I will take my chances with MY GOD and my Savior, Jesus Christ. And if by the "chance" that I'm wrong, then what god will tell me that in the afterlife, according to an atheist?

So back to Facebook.  My issue with that is that it is simply Facebook.  Which is open to freedom of speech.  They also have these lovely features called "Delete" and "Hide" or you can simply find the will to ignore someone!  Can you imagine using that???  

My preacher responded with a very good link that I found useful today!  If you know anyone who is struggling with pregnancy of ANY birth defect (this is not O related) or genetic abnormality, please read and share this!
http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/was-richard-dawkins-right

I 100% agree that terminating a pregnancy to "put it out of its misery" --- you are really saying to put YOU out of your misery.   And you aren't willing to go through the struggle to reap the rewards.  Are you stating that these rewards weren't what you were looking for?  These rewards were not what you had in mind?  These rewards aren't good enough???  Tell yourself that all you want… and then look your child in the eye and tell them that.  One of my dear friends and neighbors I met while in the NICU, carried a Trisomy 18 baby to term.  She lived about 4 months and I know that the mom does not regret a single second of it.  Yes its sad and its heartbreaking to the point of unfathomable pain.  I can not even imagine it myself. Her rewards are so different than the ones we have experienced.  Everyone is different...

But give the baby a CHANCE to prove you wrong.



post signature

Monday, September 8, 2014

And Baby Makes 6!

Yes!  We will be a family of 6 next year!  Baby #4 is due at the end of March.  I'll have 2 March babies and 2 July babies!  We are all excited!  I'm even more excited over the fact that I have NOT been very sick with this one.  This one is very nice to me overall, and I'm hoping that personality trait will continue on the outside. ;)  The last 2 weeks have had their share of rough days, but I can't complain overall.  I was really sick with Mattox and Merritt.  The doctor joked that maybe I earned a reprieve now.  For the first time ever, food is my best friend.  I'm 11 weeks and I've gained 4 pounds already = a new record for me!  Believe it or not, I have trouble gaining weight usually when I'm pregnant.  

Baby is looking great and healthy so far!  Heartrate is strong (and very fast = girl maybe?).  Dr. T will do more sonograms because of my "advanced maternal age" and then will send me to my specialist at 20 weeks to take a better/closer look because of Merritt's history (although that was not genetic related it was still considered a birth defect so they will check for any abnormalities with a Level 2 or 3 ultrasound).  

I am predicting another girl -- but I have been wrong two out three times.  After going through Merritt's issues, I will be happy with healthy.  And perhaps a left handed baby.  What is up with that?  We've decided 2 lefties' make a right because all 3 of my kids are right handed.  Matt and I are in the minority now!  

Anyway, here's one of the first pics of the new kid in town:


post signature