Sunday, August 24, 2014

Weeks 33 & 34: And so it begins...

Weeks 33 and 34 came and went as quickly as the last several have.  During week 33, Daniel (the youngest) came down with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.  That's never fun.  A few of the other kids seemed a little under the weather but never ended up with a rash or anything.  There were several unexpected doctor's visits and such which made things a bit hectic and exhausting.  School has continued full on and we begin our 6th week this week.  It feels good to be continuing on so that we can take some time off when the baby comes.

During week 34, it hit me how soon Abigail will really be joining us.  We're definitely excited to meet her, it just seems SO soon!  The weeks are literally passing so quickly.  In my past pregnancies, I feel the last few weeks just drug on and on but I don't feel that now, at least not yet. ;)  It's very likely that it just hasn't hit me yet I guess.  I have several friends due around the same time as me.  One of them is literally at the hospital (as I write) in labor!  It makes it all that much more exciting.

My last midwife checkup was smooth over all.  Weight gain is still good though my physical measurements have started decreasing.  This has happened with every single one of my full term pregnancies.  According to my previous pregnancy blogs, during my:
  • 4th pregnancy, at 36wks, 5days,  I measured only 32wks;
  • with my 3rd, I commented on measuring "a few weeks behind" at 37wks;
  • with my 2nd, at 36wks, I measured 32;
  • and with my first, at 37wks, I commented on how the "OB said my measurements seem to have gotten smaller over the last few weeks."

The last three have been positional (baby way down in my pelvis) but the first was believed to have been a placenta giving out and I was induced the very next day after the ultrasound.

So we'll see what the culprit is this go around (I'm guessing positional based on history).  I'm trying not to be super concerned at this point.  I will also have my Strep B test at my next appointment.  That does make me a little anxious as I was positive during my last pregnancy.  There's the worry over not getting all the antibiotics before delivery as well as the fact that I'd rather not have them at all if it could be avoided.  I totally realize the concern/reason if need be though.

My body is definitely getting more achey.  I practically live with Braxton-Hicks these days.  During these two weeks, I had a great deal of rib/back pain. Every. Single. Day.  Most of the day.  Fortunately, it's tapered these last few.  I hope it stays that way.

That's about it for now!

Until next time...

Take care,
Terra

Monday, August 18, 2014

This is not middle school ladies

A few days ago, my friend Kennisha Fisher posted this on a popular local mom's Facebook support page.  I wanted to be able to share it with others and got her permission to repost it as a blog.  I removed a few names and details from the post to make it easier to understand for those that don't know the situation that brought this conversation about.  

This is for all the Mamas that think they have it all figured out - as well as those of us who realize we don't (on our good days).  Let's do ourselves a favor and stop the crazy Mommy Wars.

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Listen. 

I'm about to be extremely honest. 

I need everyone to take a moment and re-evaluate why you are here. 

Ladies, I know that we are all passionate, headstrong, loving women. Or maybe shy, timid, quiet women. Either way, I know that we care about our children beyond what anyone could ever believe or see. As a parent of almost eleven years let me tell you a secret. 

The first year to two years of your child's life is the most roller coaster, inconsistent, challenging, self-doubt ridden, sleep-deprived coma of your life. EV. Er. Y. single thing you do, you question, especially with your first baby. Some people have numerous outlets of support, some people are literally pulling at straws to find anyone to help them on their journey. Some people from both of those groups land here. 

This is not middle school ladies. However one thing about this group is very similar to middle school. Most of the things that cause the most stir WILL NOT MATTER IN THREE YEARS. As soon as you finish one chapter in your child rearing, something else seems like an unattainable achievement. YOU. WILL. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. have doubts. 

My plea is this. Evaluate your reason for being here. Figure out what you bring into this space. Let me give you an example. Real talk.

Yesterday I went with my almost 11 year old to deliver his birthday invitations. He sends them to the same 7 boys every year. Sweet kids. Great parents. They speak to me while at school and seem to be raising amazing young men. Now they are all at different middle schools. So here I am, driving around in a nicer neighborhood than where I live, where they ALL live, and I start getting a little mad. I then realize that I don't think my son has ever been invited to their birthday parties. Here I am wasting my gas, delivering invites to a bunch of people who think they are better than us! I was really starting to get pissed. 

So one of the moms comes out to my car to thank me for thinking of her boy. She says, and I quote: 

"You always have to coolest birthday parties! We are always so impressed with the invitations and ideas you come up with. I hate to even say it out loud, but I feel bad because I NEVER throw my kids a party. I just don't have time. I let them get pizza and invite the neighborhood kids over. Then I think of you with your five boys and wonder how in the world does she do it?"

She went on to say how all of them work five days a week, so do their husbands, and no one really gets a chance to do anything as elaborate as I do. She said she feels bad for just buying him the top three things off his list every year without figuring out what HE might actually want to do. My work from home self-employment status allows me to be here when my babies get home and take days off to plan really cool birthday parties. 

Boom. Shut down. Here I was judging her and she is feeling inadequate in what she does in my sad limelight. It's a vicious circle. It will keep happening. It doesn't end with formula/breast, cloth/disposable, vac/non-vac, circa/non-circ, public/private/homeschool, CIO/co-sleep, spank/timeout, etc.

It NEVER ends. 

So make a decision. Whichever you want to make. Stick to it. Write it on a board if you have to. There is a difference between looking for help and validation. There is a difference between a point and soapbox. There is a huge difference between my kid and your kid. Let's take a moment and respect the hell out of that. 

When you log off from this forum, you should feel filled. Occasionally, you should fill someone up. STOP TEARING AT EACH OTHER. 

Because in three years, your babies won't be babies and they don't need mama's stressed out because some other mama told her how to do her job. 

Either you are in the village, or you can kindly step out. 

Know that I love each and every one of you and will help you in any way that I can. Mincing words is not my strong suit.

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Love me some Kennisha Fisher.  Thanks for saying what needed to be said girl!

Take care all!  I hope you appreciated her thoughts.

~Terra

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Weeks 31 & 32: Varicose Veins & No Gestational Diabetes!

The very next evening after I wrote my last post, as I walked past my bathroom mirror, I caught a glimpse of something interesting.  What in the world was wrong with my right leg?  Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the back of it was covered with veins.  Some small and spidery, some larger and kind of creepy looking.  To my memory, I hadn't done anything to create physical trauma so I was very confused - it was just one leg!  Where did this come from?  I quickly snapped a picture and contacted my midwife to ask her about it.  Fortunately she's awesome and quick with reassurance.  She told me from the picture that it looked like varicose veins but if more worrisome symptoms came with it, to come in because of the possibility of blot clots.  I went in a day or two later just to make sure but yes, the back of one of my legs is covered in both ugly varicose and spider veins.  They are mostly from my knee up but they are still unsightly.  I've always been excited to make it through 4 full term pregnancies with no stretch marks and now I have these ugly things to look at.  Boo.  Welcome body image issues.  I'm glad they are nothing to really be worried about but that doesn't make it any more fun for sure.

In better news, after 3 weeks of monitoring my glucose levels, my midwife gave me permission to stop.  She said my numbers looked good and were not of concern.  She did encourage me to watch the sugars, just as a general encouragement, which I know I need to anyway.

My weight gain is at 24lbs.  Blood pressure and all that jazz has been good.  I'm still measuring on target and Abigail is head down (yay!).  All in all, minus the vein issue, things are looking good.

With that said, I'm still achey.  My back is hurting a chunk of the day.  Fortunately, I'm still sleeping fairly well minus the middle of the night potty breaks or children that get up for one reason or another.  My legs still have that tired/fatigued feeling they started having about 8 weeks or so ago.  The Braxton-Hicks are still pretty regular, increasing with my increase in activity of course.

I've gotten many of my "to-dos" accomplished in the last week or two though.  That's been awesome. I feel I'm in an early nesting phase or something.  I've been trying to knock out this list of things before the baby comes.  I don't want to mess with it afterwards.  We're getting ready to start our fourth week of homeschooling already and that makes the days go by so much faster.  I really feel like seven weeks will be here in no time!

Until next time...

Take care,
Terra