Saturday, February 21, 2015

Baby Mason

Mason Paul Miley!  I can not believe he is almost here!  4 1/2 more weeks!  I'd like to say that I'm savoring and cherishing these last few days of being pregnant forever… but I'm not.  I'm over it.  Ready for him to get here.  Ready to NOT be pregnant anymore.  Ready to be done with all the backaches.  Over the 3rd trimester.  Love being pregnant overall - but I'm done.  The bakery is closed.  Oven is out of order.

And WHEN I get baby fever again and want to feel a baby kicking my bladder… I'll just hold some other baby!  And remind myself that I am getting to sleep at night.  And look forward to the days that I will be a grandmother (yep I said it).

35 pound weight gain for me so far and I still have a month to go!  WOW!  He has always measured in the 30-45% on the ultrasound size (which is still small according to them).  Mattox stayed in the 10% the entire pregnancy and he was born at 7#7oz.  Sooooo…. even though they are estimating Mason at 5#7oz at the moment, I am going to predict an 8 pounder!  I couldn't eat with Mattox and was very sick, but I have had NO trouble eating with this one!

As much as I don't want him coming early (I wouldn't wish the NICU on anyone), I am READY to get this show on the road!  Can't wait to meet Mason and what appears to be his chubby cheeks!

I'm hoping and praying for an easy section and that he is healthy as predicted.   I am hoping he takes after Mati Claire (pregnancy-wise he has) because she was my cool/calm/collected/never cried/always smiled/very content baby.  I hope he takes after Mattox because he was my sleep champion/poster child for breastfeeding baby.  I hope he takes after Merritt because she knows how to eat what I cook (with a smile on her face and then asks for seconds)!

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Disney World 2015

Yeah…about that.  #1 question this week is WHY did I go to Disney World at 35 weeks pregnant?  Matt had a conference there and we booked/paid for it BEFORE I got pregnant.  With the girls it took us 5 months to get pregnant…so yeah… not as long this time if you catch what I'm saying.  Poor planning, but Matt threatened to cancel the trip if something serious happened during the pregnancy (i.e. another Merritt or something like that).  My OB/GYN, Dr. Travelstead, said she was ok with me flying and going "AS LONG AS I RODE IN A WHEELCHAIR!"  Or did half days and stayed at the hotel after lunch.  I really thought I could persuade Matt into letting me out of the wheelchair scene… but he took Dr. T's side.  As we all know, walking (and lots of it at that) can start/trigger the labor process; and I still have over a month to go!

Needless to say, I got many "looks" and for me, it was quite embarrassing.  After the first day, even I had to admit to myself that I did in fact NEED the wheelchair.  I thought Mason would fall out at any given moment.   Third trimester has slapped me in the face = swelling, contractions, low pressure, painful back aches, numbness in my joints/hips, heartburn/nausea, etc… oh, good times!

Just when I thought I could do this.  Nope.  Age + 3rd trimester + Mason AKA Brutus the BEAST of a baby =

Luckily, I had lots of help from my parents and sister.  My nieces keep my older 2 entertained (or maybe its the other way around?).  And Matt has moved up to Superhero status as he pushed me in the wheelchair for 4 straight days!  Perks of riding in a wheelchair began to surface and I did feel guilty at first (not like I had a broken leg or was 90 years old like some I saw).  Then I reminded myself that they were probably in the same boat as me because I was mentally asking myself "why would someone with a broken leg come to Disney? couldn't they cancel their trip as well?"  So to each his own!  I began to own my wheelchair by the end of the trip and didn't mind any of those "questionable looks"! :)

Also, because Mattox has woken up for the past 2 years stating that "when I'm 5, I'm going to DisneyWorld"  (and I'm not exaggerating.  He never forgets anything I say).  ]

We had a great time though despite me being pregnant!  I have never been this big physically - I reached my all time record high weight gain like 2 months ago.  Mason has an unending appetite and I am predicting an 8 pounder… hence my beastie.  He may be last, but he certainly won't be the least!  :)

And of course, we can't come home without someone getting sick.  Mati Claire came home running fever with a stomach bug :(  so this mommy is back to reality!

I was proud of MC and Mattox for riding almost everything they physically could.  Soarin' at Epcot seemed to be one of their overall favorites.   Documenting everything here, because we won't be going back for a very…very… long time! :)

Here is everyone except Rob, my brother in law; kids are all wearing hats that my sister's friend made for them.  
My favorite pic of the entire trip!  MC's first roller coaster (Rockin' Rollercoaster at Hollywood Studios)  Even I've never seen that expression on Kerigan's face (behind Kennedy) = priceless!

Everyone's favorite fun ride = Toy Story
Mitt's first time in the Tea Cups and was NOT a fan.  
Heather and Kerigan's first trip to the Beast's castle; and I call Mason my "beast"
At our hotel room at the Boardwalk Resort

My precious.  She couldn't do much because of her age/size, but she loved the parades! 
Because he is ALL boy.  
2 years old going on 12.  She thinks she can hold the post while moving in a train like everyone else.

Proof for Dr. Travelstead that I did in fact ride in a wheelchair! 

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Omphalocele Awareness Day 2015

Happy O Day 2015!  The support group is petitioning to get January 31st recognized nationally as the official awareness day.  [Before I was a member] they adopted the cow print, cows, and black/white theme because the group is called "Mothers/Moms of Omphaloceles"  = MOO's.  hence, the cow.   New members will ask what's up with the cows when they join.  Last year, the group had close to 1,000 members (including a few relatives, fathers, grandmothers, etc) and this year it has risen to almost 1,500 members.   We wear black/white or cow print clothes to bring awareness to ALL the people that have never heard of this birth defect.  We support you but I/most of us are also "pro-O" in that obviously none of us chose to have an abortion.  We want you to give them a chance at overcoming their obstacles.  No its not fair.  Yes its the hardest thing any of us has ever done.  Its heartbreaking.  Its soul-wrenching.  Its faith-testing.  But its also a miracle.  And we are stronger mothers and individuals because of the journey no matter how it turns out.

Here is this year's Awareness Video on YouTube.  The second link is the music.  The video alone has no music so you must play both links at the same time (something about copyright issues).  You should be able to access the music link through this one.  Merritt's page is around the 9:30 mark I think (close to a 40 min video total).

Merritt is 2 1/2 years old and doing wonderful!  She weighs about 24 pounds now.  Not really sure how tall she is but I'd say average.  Her height has never been severely affected.  She takes a daily dose of OTC Miralax for chronic constipation and Rx Prevacid for reflux.   Her VSD (a hole in her heart) has never caused any major issues and last we checked (over 6 months ago) it was so small the cardiologist could barely see it.   She sleeps on her belly all night long.

She is petite for her age.  Nothing holds her back.  Small girl with a BIG personality.  Where there is a will there is a way!  She has always eaten well and better than my other 2 "normal" kids.  I won't lie - we live in the deep South - and I let her eat pretty much whatever she wants.  Mainly because I know she still likes her veggies and healthy foods, but I don't think twice about giving her fattening foods.  I still give her whole milk for the fat and calorie content (pediatrician agreed).   She is like her mommy in the way she loves southern-homestyle cooking.  She loves her casseroles, mashed potatoes, chicken of any kind, green beans, etc.

Here's to another great year for our miracle Merritt.  There were SO many O babies born this past year that we know about thanks to social media that has brought about awareness.  Even 3 years ago when I was pregnant, there was not much information out there.  I came across a few blogs and then found the Facebook group that only had about ~400 members at the time.  One day, I will get to meet the other wonderful O mommies I call friends now.  I thank them from the bottom of my heart for sharing their stories and answering my questions when we were going through the valley.  To Danielle, Kelly, Brooke, and a few others:  xOxO!

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Baby #4 FAQ's

I had every intention of blogging more with the new year, but January has been rough around here!   My dishwasher has flooded my kitchen not once… not twice… but THREE times in a week.  And almost 3 weeks later, it STILL isn't fixed.  We were under the impression that I could still use the sink and even that flooded through the dishwasher somehow.  I've been having to carry the dishes and wash them in the LAUNDRY ROOM!  Between that and the on-going laundry in there, not much else has been getting done.

Then Merritt came down with the stomach bug yesterday.  Vomiting and high fever.  Poor girl.  She breaks my heart when she doesn't feel well.

I blog for alot of reasons, but one reason is I hate to repeat myself (imagine having kids with that issue! haha).  So I've been asked the same questions lately, and here are my answers:

What is baby #4's name?  Mason Paul Miley.  Paul is Matt's middle name.  And we usually give them all their "own" name.  And it starts with an M to keep with tradition.  Mason is the only name we ALL agree on.  I like it… don't love it… but will go with it because I'm tired of thinking and debating with Matt.  And I can't really think of any horrible nickname associated with it.  I'm big on nicknames (in avoiding them that is).

Am I having a FOURTH C-section?  Why yes I am!  I am not worried about it and not looking forward to it.  It is what it is.  I don't dilate (at all) so even trying a VBAC is out of the question really.  Each section has been unique in its own way too.  With Mati Claire, my spinal block did not "take" and I was put under general anesthesia.  I woke up and had no clue I had a baby and thought I was still pregnant.  Couldn't remember a thing.  Couldn't pull myself together to get out of recovery.  Very heartbreaking and traumatic for me.  I didn't want another kid for 2 years because of that experience.  With Mattox, overall it was a piece of cake.  No drama.  I did learn that morphine does nothing for me and I itched like crazy for 2 days after.   With Merritt, I can't say I enjoyed that section at all.  With nerves and emotions already all over the place, they tilted my table for blood pressure reasons and I felt like I would fall off the operating table (even though I was strapped everywhere).  Very weird feeling.  Then afterwards I got really sick - have you ever tried vomiting while strapped to your back?  So not fun.  I think I pulled a muscle in my neck from doing that and I literally couldn't turn my head which turned into a massive headache.  Overall very weird and different than the others.  

#4 will be at the same hospital with the same doctor that I had with Mattox!  yay!! I am hoping and praying that this one will be similar to that experience… except:

Am I getting my tubes tied?  YES I am!  So add that to the list of how each section is different.  I'm a little nervous about it, but no hesitation about actually getting it done.

Where is new baby sleeping/room?  Good question.  He'll be in my room for awhile.  Til I feel like he doesn't need me hovering over him and watching him while he sleeps.  Then I will move him somewhere!  We are thinking about turning our old exercise room into a very small bedroom for him until he can share a room with Mattox for a little while.  Or until Mattox is old enough to live in the new room above our garage.  There is a spiral staircase and a waist-high railing at the top = Mattox is not trustworthy yet.  Mattox will have jumped off the railing from the second story or Spidermanned his way down the spiral staircase in the middle of the night.  EVENTUALLY he will be in that room, and Mason can have Mattox's old room off the kitchen.  But in the meantime, we think Mason will be fine with what used to be the exercise room (no window and no bathroom but will fit necessary furniture).

What is like to have 4 kids? Although our experience is not the same, this video pretty much sums it up accurately and my fourth isn't even here yet!  But I have noticed the lack of congratulating, people start treating you like you're Amish or Mormon or Catholic.   The "look" people give you pretty much says it all.  "Was it a surprise?"  nope.   Anyway, this video is absolutely HILARIOUS!  and so true!  I posted it on FB, but its definitely worth sharing again.  Enjoy!

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Resolutions?

I'm not big on resolutions.  I attempt small changes.  Usually its to lose weight or start working out better if I'm not already committed.

Mati Claire is excited about new brother, but I think I've somewhat scarred her for life in a way.  She's been asking alot of questions concerning the overall effect he will have on us.  ex:  "Why did you want 4?  What was wrong with just 1 or 2 kids? How do you know for sure if this is the last one?"  I think the ultimate problem she's having is ATTENTION.  I do try really hard to give each one-on-one attention.  Its getting harder.  Especially when MC is in school all day, and we spend the afternoons doing homework, then its dinner, bath time, and bed time.  She's hitting that "pre-teen" stage where we are beginning to butt heads more.  I dread the teenager years.  I'm over the attitude.  Her manners have completely disappeared.  I try to give her more freedom and let her choose her outfits on some days, and she looks like a total SLOB when I allow that.  I spend 5-10 minutes fixing her hair every morning only to pick her up with it completely un-done at 2:30 bc she takes it down at school.  She's also beginning to spend more time in her room alone… usually reading or playing her iPad/game whatever.

So we're dealing with some new issues around the house.  Adding a new baby isn't going to help.  MC also accused me of napping too much.  I told her if and when she ever had a baby - I WILL remind her of this.  Tried explaining that it won't last forever.  A few more months….hopefully.

Merritt is very clingy…still.  Not sure how I will handle her with a new baby either.  Luckily she loves babies but I'm sure it won't take her long to figure out that its moving in on her space in mommy's lap.

And Mattox is a momma's boy at the moment.  (Loves his Daddy too) but I try to give him all the "boy" attention I can since he is usually surrounded with girls. Playing with dinosaurs, superheroes, or whatever it takes.  Or maybe just quality snuggle time on the couch.  He is my cuddler.  Although that is coming to an end too… he's 4 going on 14.

1)   Give my kids more one-on-one attention translates in today's time = LESS FACEBOOK TIME, COMPUTER TIME, PHONE TIME, TV, etc.

2)  Be nicer to my kids.  Hoping the absence of pregnancy hormones will help with this.  And after a few months of adjusting with a newborn, sleep has alot to do with it too.  I'm not the nicest person when I don't have any sleep.

I have felt like all I've done the past month is yell at them.  Maybe they were just consumed with the Christmas spirit, but they have tested my limits this past month.  I know I have "snapped" more than usual and it makes me feel so guilty.  I want to tell them "its not you, its me" lol!

Whoever said "anything after 3 is a piece of cake"  is LYING!  3 is easy… its 4 that is HARD!  And he's not even here yet!!!!

Here are a few of my favorite pics from this year.  I think they all speak for themselves, but from first steps, a baptism, losing a ton of teeth, first trip to the ER (and not to visit Daddy), first baseball games, beach and lake trips, expecting a baby, and a special 10 year anniversary trip to Italy… I'd say its been a GREAT year!  I know next year will be great too!  Looking forward to 2015!

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Christmas 2014

Matt changed hospitals a few months ago.  And I'm STILL not used to this craziER schedule.  I was finally used to night shift at the same time every day night.  Now, its so random.  Mostly his shifts start in the middle of the day or late morning.  So I get ZERO help in the mornings and/or bedtime with the kids.  He's SUPPOSED to work 10 hour shifts, but he can't leave on time ever, so he has seriously been working 12-15 hr shifts.  This past week he had to be there at 4:30 pm, which means he was suppose to get off at 2:30, but he's been walking in the door between 5 and 8 am.

Sorry, had to vent for a sec.  12 years and its never bothered me before if he had to work.

I keep reminding myself that we are on the countdown… just 3 more months.  And then a few months of adjusting.  Then I can start taking my Advocare (and SPARK) again.  I'm not interested in necessarily losing weight immediately, but man am I ready to have some energy again.  I eat better, feel better, sleep better, not to mention fit into my clothes better.

Here are a few pics from Christmas this year.  I am blaming pregnancy hormones/testosterone on my Grinch-like attitude.  But in my defense, I'm trying really hard to overcome it.  Just a few more months.
We went to Tennessee to visit with my family.  We finally got tickets to take Mattox on the "Polar Express" train.  He loved it!  Then his Uncle Rob took him up for his first plane ride the next morning.  I was sad I couldn't go to the airport with them, but I had to start packing for the long drive home.  My kids love my sister's 2 dogs… I love that they are entertained for longer than 2 minutes. Mati Claire LOVES hanging out with her cousins, Kerigan and Kennedy.  So I didn't see her much - ha!

I managed to PASS my glucose test and got to see new baby on ultrasound.  Merritt really spoiled me when it comes to ultrasounds.  I had so many with her, that I actually got TIRED of seeing her on the big screen.  Now I'm begging for an ultrasound -- but new baby does not care for pictures.  Typical boy.

Christmas Eve, we had the Miley Christmas get together.  Matt couldn't stay long since he had to go to work…again  :(  By the time we got home, reindeer food out, milk/cookies out, cleaned up the house, made a breakfast casserole, put 3 super-excited-never-going-to-sleep kids to bed, this momma was 'wo - out'! I HAD to take a nap before presents were put under the tree.  I don't remember turning my alarm off so by some Christmas miracle I woke up at 2:30 am to do that!

Merritt is really making me laugh this year.  She's beginning to sing songs, get more animated/excited about the gifts, quickly learned how to open them, and can even say the words "Santa Claus"!

"All mine!"

"...Jingle All…"

Can you tell Minnie is her favorite?

…hm….Maybe next year... 

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