Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's only because Michael is away...

Last Saturday I got up (after Michael let me sleep in) and was informed that Eli had thrown up a few times that morning. However, he never got sick again that day so I never really thought much more about it, which was good because Michael left for a 2 week TDY on Sunday morning. Then on Wednesday Eli woke up with these bumps all over his legs. I thought maybe there was some sort of bug in his bed or something and washed his sheets, etc. (oh, and we drove to Denver on Wednesday to pick up my grandmother from the airport - she's visiting for 9 days). But on Thursday the bumps had all turned red, become super itchy and started swelling into welts - and there was diarrhea - ICK. So, I got online and scheduled him an appt. for the next morning (then I connected the dots back to the vomiting on Saturday).

Friday morning I took him in and was told it was just a virus of some sort that had caused him hives. She told me to give him Benadryl (which I haven't done) and gave me some cortisone cream to put on his legs (that helped a ton and he's all better now). And we thought that was the end of the bug.

Friday night (actually this morning) around midnight Jacob came in to tell me he was throwing up.... ugh. He proceeded to throw up a couple of times an hour until about 7:30 this morning and has been gradually eating more and seemed fine at bedtime.

My grandmother and I had felt fine the whole time and we've been keeping Rachael AWAY from the boys and there's tons of handwashing and sanitizing going on in our house. I made a trip out tonight because my grandmother volunteered to watch the kids so I could run some errands. I was gone about an hour and a half and when I returned my grandmother was sick..... UGH again. I feel so bad for her - she came to visit and help me out a little while Michael is gone and now she's sick. She went to bed when I got home (she let me take a nap earlier and I feel fine) so she could rest and hopefully she'll feel better in the morning since the vomiting doesn't seem to last too long.

Currently Rachael and I are fine and I pray we stay that way. She's breastfed so I'm hoping that even if I do get sick, she'll get all the antibodies from what my body is trying to fight off and she won't get sick. Rachael vomiting that much would surely mean a trip to the ER because she's just too small to be that sick.

Please pray for our household.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Dear Mr. Man in the gold Toyota Four Runner,

If you want to put your own life in jeopardy, that's totally fine with me, but when you swerve out of your own lane doing 75 mph on the interstate, you are then in my territory, jeopardizing my and my childrens' lives. Please PUT AWAY YOUR TEXTBOOK AND PEN AND DRIVE. Sorry for yelling at you just then, but I'm pretty passionate about keeping my children safe and trying to protect them from nutjobs like you. In the future, please wait until you reach your destination before studying for that test (or whatever you were doing). Thank you.

Bloggin' Mama

Monday, October 20, 2008

I wanna use my cloth diapers... {say that in your whiniest voice}

But Rachael is soooo skinny I can't get any of them to work properly. I have the smallest size prefold, several different brands of AIO's and even some homemade teeny-tiny ones and NONE of them fit her.

In truth, I could make the prefolds work, but the covers (even with the tabs overlapped) swallow her. Maybe I'll try a day of prefolds with no covers and see how many times her clothes get wet.

I'm so tired of buying disposables one pack at a time. I buy them that way because she's still in size newborn and I never know if she's going to grow out of them by the time we need a new pack, and at this point, finding the proper receipt to return any we don't use is just not an option since I have no brain!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - 10/20

Whew! It's been a hectic 6 weeks.... I'm finally getting my ducks in a row and getting back to menu planning since Rachael was born!

We were so very blessed to have meals provided from the time I got out of the hospital, nearly every day for TWO weeks! We have some amazing church friends and some wonderful co-workers of Michael! After that we had the freezer meals I had prepared and those lasted us almost 3 weeks. I think, until this past week, I only prepared 3 meals!! It was absolutely a blessing to not have to worry about what I was going to feed the clan when I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water as it was.

I'm finally feeling like my old self again and spent about an hour making my meal plan on Thursday because I knew I had to get to the grocery store before Michael left for 2 weeks - he left today.

Oh, and let me just say once I took stock of my fridge and pantry, I was absolutely appalled at how much junk and processed food we had - including WHITE sugar..... where did that come from? And poptarts - GAH!

One more thing - I'm off dairy for the time being because Rachael seems to have lots of tummy trouble when I have dairy - so anywhere you see dairy listed, I am either skipping that item or if it's something Eli already eats, I already use rice milk as a replacement because of his dairy issues.

So, it's back to the good stuff now (except some fun stuff for the kids on Monday and Tuesday):

~ Grilled cheese, fruit
~ Chicken nuggets, baked tater tots, fruit
* Thaw meat for Thursday
~ Not sure - driving to Denver to pick up my grandmother from airport and won't be back until right at dinner time
~ Tacos with all the trimmings
* Prep chicken and get into crockpot
* Make bread
* Make shortcake
* Thaw meat for Saturday - trying bison
~ Roast chicken, steamed broccoli, bread
* Make chicken broth
* Soak pinto beans
~ Meatloaf (bison), potatoes, corn, bread
* Make refried beans
* Thaw fish for Monday
~ Chicken nachos (using leftover roast chicken), refried beans, cheese, homemade salsa, sour cream
Be sure to visit our host for more wonderful weekly meal plans!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The new normal

I'm finally starting to feel like I'm getting my brain back! You know what I'm talking about... those early days (especially once you have more than one child) are killer and it's all about survival. No attempt at routines, just do what you have to do to get thru each day. It doesn't help that I have to be a trouble maker and keep everyone on their toes with medical issues for far longer than anyone expected.

This week has been a pretty good one. Rachael is pretty consistent in her eating patterns (2.5 -3 hour intervals) and most nights she sleeps wonderfully and Jacob and Eli seem to be adjusting fine. The main problem is me learning how to get everyone dressed and fed (and I also have to work in pumping) to get out the door for school on T/TH and for the other appts. that are part of our lives (PT for Eli and lots of medical appts. for me).

I'm starting to feel like we're settling into our new normal now and that I will eventually get a hold on the morning routine. I've managed to work in school work for the boys a few times on the days they aren't at preschool and the house work is getting back to normal. I'm out of the only-do-what-NEEDS-doing phase and feel like I can actually think about getting my homemaking schedule back on track. It's nice to have laundry mostly caught up and not HAVE to do laundry because I let someone run out of undies!!!

I even had enough brain capacity to sit down yesterday and make out my meal plan for the next 2 weeks. I also made my detailed shopping list and was able to get all but 3 items at the grocery store - I recently started shopping at a new grocery store and I LOVE it - they carry much better items and more of the nourishing items that I purchase that I now don't have to get at the expensive health food store.

What I'm not excited about is the fact that Michael is leaving on Sunday for 2 weeks, then he'll be home for 8 days and leave again for another 11 days.... good ole' military! My grandmother is actually coming to visit for 9 of the days he's gone the first trip and it will be very nice to have a little help. I'm totally not ready to go it alone while he's TDY.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Holding my baby a little closer.

I find myself holding my darling little girl a little tighter and more often than I ever held the other two.

I simply sit and watch her - in awe.

I hold her and smell her and stroke her soft skin.

It's not because I love her more than the boys or am giving her any preferential treatment, it's solely because my heart longs to hold on to this baby stage (and every stage) as long as possible because I know there will never be another biological child in my future.

I cry.

My mind knows that if God leads us to it, there is always adoption. I also know that if this is where God chose for us to stop, then it's His will and He is sovereign and His plan is always perfect - even if it hurts and we don't understand.
But my heart still aches.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Birth control - I'm overwhelmed

I had my follow up from the blood clot, hemorrhaging and D&C last Tuesday and I left feeling totally overwhelmed and so very sad (don't worry it's not post partum depression). The dr. and I discussed how well I've recovered from everything and how I just feel tremendously different and BETTER! He scheduled me for another CAT scan as a follow up and I'll need some more blood work to test for genetic clotting factors after I've finished my treatment for the clot in my lung - in a year.

But we also discussed the fact that due to the complications I've faced after my last 2 births, it is in my best interest to NEVER get pregnant again. My mind knows that this is best, because truly, another birth could cost me my life and I'm not okay with that. However, my heart hurts so badly right now that I'm tearing up just typing this post.

Michael and I had been discussing having another child and I was pretty certain that was the direction God was leading us (guess I had that one all wrong).

CAVEAT: I know not everyone will believe the same way I do about birth control, so please just take this as my own personal conviction and not a judgement against anyone else's choice for birth control. What's right for me is not right for everyone and I understand that.

So, birth control was discussed in depth and I have to say that this dr. was very accomodating to our beliefs. I WON'T do hormonal birth control (pills, IUD, Nuva Ring, etc.) for several reasons: * our hormones were never intended to be messed with just to prevent a pregnancy, * I am a high risk for another clot and therefore cannot take certain hormonal varieties anyway, * The other huge problem I have is the abortafacient factor in that most birth control varieties make the lining of the uterus un-hospitable for a fertilized egg to implant - basically meaning that if you do happen to ovulate on the pill and you have a fertilized egg, your uterus cannot accept the egg because the lining isn't thick enough to allow it to implant, thus aborting the baby - granted you'd never know it happened, but I could not live with the thought that I could possibly be aborting babies unknowingly.

In the past, we've relied solely on the barrier method and charting (NFP concepts) and have only gotten pregnant when it was planned and we knew God was directing us that the timing was right to begin 'trying'. However, that is no longer good enough, because no matter how perfectly you use your 'barrier' and how accurately you chart your temperature, mucus and other fertility signs, there is still a decent chance of getting pregnant. For most people an unplanned pregnancy would be ok - while maybe not an ideal circumstance, life would go on and adjustments would be made and things would turn out ok in the end. For me, this is definitely not the case - things likely would NOT turn out ok in the end if I were to get pregnant again.

So, we are left with permanent birth control as our only option. And it's not me who will have to have the procedure. My body cannot endure another surgery (possibly for the entirety of my life) and a tubal ligation is done under general anesthesia as a laparascopic procedure. So, we're down to one last option - a vasectomy. I think it scares me as much as it does Michael. The dr. even said, "call me when he's ready for a consult and I'll put in the referral to the urologist for him." Oy - he's totally serious that we do something quickly.

In a perfect situation we would be older making this decision. But since neither of us is even 30 yet, it's very difficult. Our biggest concern is what if something happens to me and Michael remarries one day and what if he wants more children? While I don't plan on anything happening to me (and there won't ever be a divorce), we truly don't know what God's ultimate plans are for any of us and making such a permanent decision is... well, tough. I know that it can be reversed and if that doesn't work there are other ways of achieving pregnancy, but that still doesn't settle my heart.

Prayer - that's what is needed in this situation. Your added prayers in this situation are coveted and greatly appreciated. Pray for direction and that we'll have peace about the situation.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Why is it that nursing hasn't been in the cards for me?

* When Jacob was born I didn't have enough support and I was too shy/intimidated to contact a lactation consultant. His latch was terrible - even though the nurses in the hospital swore that there was nothing wrong with it - and he caused cracking, bleeding and TONS of pain (but I also think I may be more sensitive in the milky area because I have an EXTREMELY high pain tolerance otherwise). I ended up pumping and feeding him breastmilk from a bottle from about 5 days old. However, that only lasted until he was about 8 weeks old because I got a really bad mastitis infection and that combined with bad information and a husband who had deployed when he was 6 weeks old made me throw in the towel. It was sad, but at the time I did what I thought was best, I know better now..... and I regret having given up so early.

* With Eli, I had decided to pump exclusively once home from the hospital based on the fact that I thought I wasn't cut out to nurse, but I do know breastmilk is best and I can produce and pump effectively. So, that is what we did and it was working well. Then when Eli was 6 weeks old I developed huge complications and my body stopped producing milk. It was quite the shock because I went from plenty to NOTHING in a matter of about 24 hours.... Strange, no? By the time I was better, about 4 weeks later, I couldn't be bothered trying to make myself start producing again, so he stayed on formula.

* With Rachael I have managed to be solely pumping again.... argh. Her latch was PERFECT and she was only causing a little soreness (which is normal in the first few days). Then I landed in the ICU and they were only allowed to bring her to me for feedings for very short times. I felt pressured and uncomfortable being on a time limit and it just stressed me out to think that she had to eat all she wanted in the short time span they were allowed to bring her out of the Mother/Baby Unit to the floor I was on, so I had Michael bring my pump to the hospital so I could pump between her feedings and just bottle feed her.

My goal was to get her off the bottle as soon as we got home and I even talked to the lactation consultant before I left the hospital and she gave me some tips on how to achieve this and told me it may take up to 2 weeks to get her completely off the bottle. The second day we were home, I decided to give it a go and it was terrible. I tried all day (every feeding) and realized that I just did not have the energy to do it. Little did I know I was about to experience more complications that would put me back in the hospital and I would be separated from her again and her already being on a bottle actually came in handy.

So here I am, Rachael will be 3 weeks tomorrow and I am exclusively pumping. It's not the easiest thing in the world to do either because I have a 4 yr. old, 2 yr. old and her, but I know it's best and I'll keep doing it as long as I'm able and don't feel too overwhelmed with trying to keep up. It's actually a bit of a blessing to be able to do it this way because I have 17 bags stored in the freezer (7-8 oz. each) already and I'm still able to produce more than she's eating at this point. I don't know how long that will last (I'm taking a bit of Fenugreek and can always increase that if I get low) so it's good to know that I have some in the freezer in case I can't keep up.