#momlife

I just checked and saw my last post was May 7th, so I’m way overdue for an update. Life has been crazy though so bullet points:

1. BG’s preschool ended their year on May 20th–not sure why they stopped so early and I certainly wasn’t prepared for that! Summer camps didn’t even start until June so she was home with me and LS, bored out of her mind and acting obnoxious. About the time we found some semblance of a new routine, summer camps started. Uhg.

2. BG’s preschool “graduates” each class, so BG had a full-on graduation with cap and gown, performances, speeches, etc. It was adorable but IMHO *a bit much* considering she’ll be returning to preschool for pre-k in the fall. However, when they announced what each kid wanted to be when they grow up, all the girls said “veterinarian” or “ballerina”. But BG said she wants to “Be a Mommy and do all the things that Mommies do and have just one baby named LS”. And I was absolutely stunned. I feel completely unworthy of her admiration and in that moment I realized my self esteem is pretty low right now because of how much I’ve been struggling with being a mother of 2 and all the chaos in my life (my business, moving, etc.) But it’s humbling and precious that my BG thinks so highly of me ❤

3. I threw Mr. MLACS a wonderful 40th birthday party at a restaurant and it went off without a hitch! I even managed to keep the secret that a friend of his/ours was flying in for the occassion! The colors were black and gold and the theme was “Cheers and Beers to 40 Years!” I had custom cookies made and this giant cake that must’ve weighed 40lbs (gluten-free so I could eat some too). I’m obviously very proud of myself for pulling this off (pats self on back). *pic of cake*

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4. I had to quit eating dairy as every time I would eat cheese/ice cream/etc. and nurse LS she would be writhing in pain. It worked and she stopped needing gas drops/zantac/etc. But *good grief* quitting dairy is SO difficult! For me quitting dairy has been far more difficult than being gluten-free. I also was making/expressing more milk and stopped supplementing with similac sensitive since it’s dairy-based. I hoped it would help LS gain more weight.

5. But NOPE. LS fell a little behind again ftom 2 months to 3 months (a couple ounces short of a pound in a months time–9.4lbs to 10.2lbs). I *dread* going to the pediatrician’s office since they hospitalized her for “failure to thrive” and this time they told me to quit supplementing with my milk and give LS Alimentum formula instead. This is BAD advice and I knew it would ruin my breastfeeding if I did that. The doc even suggested I might want to give up breastfeeding in favor of formula. The Alimentum turned out to have a disgusting odor and LS gagged on it, plus the ingredients are horrific. So I finally made an appointment with a lactation consultant that is affiliated witha different pediatric practice and am happy to report they helped me, I felt comfortable/understood/supported there and we are officially switching to this new breastfeeding-friendly peds office. I also discovered a hypoallergenic formula from Germany called HIPP HA and am happy to report that LS tolerates it well–she only needs 2-4oz per day and I have continued to supplement 6-8oz of my milk (I collect my letdowns on my left breast with the haakaa pump–she hates to nurse that side). When I fed her off my right breast she took in 2.5oz in maybe 10min so I’m making enough milk. She’s a hardgainer, as was BG. But despite difficulty gaining weight, LS is healthy and growing/meeting milestones. She poops 5x or more each day and pee’s a lot. I really feel that this is her “normal”, but feeding her/her weight gain is a constant stressor for me regardless.

6. BG had her first dance recital at the beginning of June! She did a tap number and a ballet number (so two expensive costumes to buy but they were adorable). I have waited my entire life for this (seeing my child in a dance recital) and it didn’t disappoint. *However* I was put out because the school demanded the girls rehearse for 2+ hours a day the week prior to the recital. It was WAY too much for 3-5yr olds and also for the parents and siblings who had to attend (myself and LS included). It totally messed up our schedule and it was *pointless* because the girls still didn’t know their tap routine (the other class with the other teacher knew theirs so…) and their ballet number was basically being props for the older kids and had no actual ballet moves. It was a crock of sh*t. I don’t think we’ll bother with this dance school for next season. Also BG is doing soccer and has expressed an interest in karate so we’ll focus on those for now. *pic of darling little ballerinas lining up for stage*

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7. We closed on our new house the end of May and I’ve been orchestrating renovations–people kept telling me how nuts I am for adding renovations to our plate when we already have so much going on and I shrugged because how hard can it be? I’m hiring people to do 90% of it and the 10% left is hanging new light fixturesb painting furniture, etc. Well…they were right. I am nuts. This sh*t is hard–dealing with the contractors has been tedious. And expensive. I’m really done writing checks for awhile. But it is looking fabulous! Moving day is this Friday! I’m not even packing. It’s literally getting tossed on the moving truck and moved 5min away. Screw it. *Pic of new chandelier in my foyer that I love*

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8. I’m *trying* to take care of myself. You know that swanky gym membership I mentioned? I haven’t been in 3 weeks. Too busy & not ready to take the baby to daycare–she screams even when Mr. MLACS hold her lately–wants *me* all the time. I love holding her but I cannot get anything done. I’m skipping showers. But I did step away to get waxed and have my hair done, which made me feel better. I can’t lose weight because of the herbs/drugs (domperidone) I’m taking for breastfeeding and that is VERY frustrating. I want to feel like myself again, and put together not sloppy. I just don’t have the time or headspace for “self care” right now.

9. BG has started speech therapy 2x week because of “articulation”–she leaves off/mumbles/substitutes the sound at the beginning/ending of words. She doesn’t do b/c/d/f/g/j/k/p/t/w and maybe some others. I’m supposed to work with her on it and that is a chore because she haaaates practicing. It’s a fight. But she needs this–she is 4yrs old and she is so tall that she looks 6 or 7 but her speech makes her sound 3yrs old. I had speech for 6 years so I get it–I wasn’t as bad off as her though, I had a lateral lisp and struggles with s/sh/ch/j sounds.

Ok that’s all for now, gotta pop LS off the boob and go pick BG up from camp.

XOXO,

MLACS

 

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Wife, Mom, Boss

That’s what the coffee cup says that Mr. MLACS bought for me in the hospital gift shop when…

My baby LS was admitted to the hospital for “failure to thrive”.

It’s been a tough couple of months. But I’ve survived to tell the tale.

Lets rewind.

To begin, LS was diagnosed with a tongue-tie straight away, and we saw a pediatric ENT when she was 4 days old to have her frenulotomy. I was a *basket case* because they were going to have to hurt my baby and it sent my anxiety and emotions into hyperdrive. But I know we have no choice but to fix it for her sake as well as mine–my poor nipples were already severely injured from her inability to latch properly. I had an undiagnosed tongue tie and my mother had to quit breastfeeding me after a severe case of mastitis and I was in speech therapy for 6 f*ing years for a lateral lisp. My tongue tie was only discovered at age 18 when I went to have my tonsils removed. I knew I had to fix it for LS now and spare her what I went through. BG had her frenulotomy  at 10 weeks old (hers went undiagnosed even under the weekly care of a lactation consultant) after my nipples were in ruins and my supply was dwindling so I knew it was only going to get worse. But every fiber of my being felt dread and guilt at the thought of my poor tiny baby being mutilated.

And it was truly awful.

I stayed in the exam room with BG and sent Mr. MLACS to be with LS during the procedure because I couldn’t stomach it. Then afterwards they were to bring her straight to me to breastfeed her. They brought her in…

Blood was streaming out of her mouth

I was shocked and petrified. I started to have a panic attack but snapped out of it. I yelled at Mr. MLACS to remove BG from the exam room because I did not want her to see LS or myself like this. I had the nurse wipe away the blood and stuck my boob in her mouth. And I just sat there shaking and nursing her until I was sure she was ok.

This really messed me up.

But it was the right decision because my nipples quickly healed and my suplly was WAY better than it was with BG–I would put a towel in my bra at night and soak it by morning! I was so pleased.

And then we went to LS’s one month appointment and she was still 5oz below her birth weight.

Mind you, since we just moved I dont really know this pediatrician, and she doesnt know what I went through with BG. But BG was *the exact same*. Failed to gain weight between weeks 3-4 and docs freaked out. Both are loooong skinny babies and hardgainers. So the pediatrician flipped out and sent us to the hospital. On the 1% chance there was some underlying health issue. I had to scramble for childcare for BG–we have no family here and I hardly know anyone so I paid our “sibling doula” $25/hr for 11 hours which is $275 while Mr. MLACS took me and LS to the childrens hospital *45min away*. I had to take my tiny infant through the ER (GERMS). She was poked and prodded, and too exhausted to eat. My milk supply tanked from exhaustion and stress. Completely counter-productive for weight gain and downright dangerous to expose her to hospital germs and all for NOTHING because she was FINE she just needed more calories. Which is bizarre since I had so much milk and she was constantly on my boobs.

I’m still breastfeeding but I started pumping and giving her my milk plus 2-4oz of formula per day and now she’s gaining the “normal” anount of weight. I could have just fed her formula at home and skipped the hospital and *believe me* I let the other pediatrician know my thoughts about her colleague’s poor decision to send us to the hospital.

Luckily LS is not picky and is happy to nurse, drink my milk from a bottle and also drink formula from a bottle.

I started taking my Domperidone to boost my supply/help my let down reflex and I am very sure I make plenty of milk but LS likes “free milk” (that’s what I call bottles because she doesn’t have to “work” for that milk) and I’m not trying to stress myself out to pump all 8oz per day that she gets so I supplement with 2-4oz of formula and so far, so good.

But then I got ANOTHER double ear infection. My right eardrum burst at home alone with both kids and it was awful. I lost hearing in both ears for over a week–couldn’t hear LS crying/BG talking/the bathroom fan/the tv/radio/etc. I just finished 10 days of Amoxicillin and my left ear still f*ing hurts and I have to see the ENT *again* tomorrow. I think I need more antibiotics which sucks b/c they’re upsetting LS’s tummy and she has a yeast diaper rash and I have a vaginal yeast infection.

So during these first 8 weeks of LS’s life I’ve fought 2 double ear infections, mastitis, anxiety, exhaustion…I’ve really struggled physically and mentally since LS was born.

I’ve also had my good days and I’m moving and shaking despite it all.

We’re buying a house! Closing in a couple weeks!

I’ve planned a fantastic 40th birthday party for Mr. MLACS this week and I’m extremely proud of my efforts.

I just joined a new gym today that has excellent childcare with the goal that I’ll get the mental break I need and the exercise to help me feel my best, Mr. MLACS can continue his health/wellness quest, BG can play with other kids, and LS will have a safe place to (hopefully) nap while I take a class.

I’m trying my best here.

Motherhood is difficult for me right now, but I’m so grateful for my girls. I’m so grateful to spend Mother’s day with my babies in my arms ❤

XOXO,

MLACS

Birth Story Part 2

…When we left off I was getting ready to get my epidural…

My contractions had gotten stronger and sitting upright on my pink exercise ball was causing more pressure and thusly, more pain–during contractions I’d say it was a strong 4 or 4.5 (on a scale of 1-10 with 5 being “I want drugs” and 10 being “I’m bloodcurdling screams and blacking out”). But I was enjoying bobbing lightly on my ball in between contractions. And my nurse, Jennifer, had wrapped me in warm blankets so I felt comfy and cared for. I actually don’t mind this part of labor, where the pain is intense but manageable, contractions are far enough apart that you can relax a bit in between them, and I naturally get into “the zone” and ride the contractions like waves. It’s actually really cool.

However, Jennifer suggested the epidural would allow her to push the pitocin and kick my labor into gear, or I could just sit there in pain bobbing on my ball for hours with mediocre results. So I took her up on the epidural. My sibling doula had cautioned me to request that the attending do my epidural (not a resident)–I didn’t ask her why. So when this perky young blonde came to see me about the epidural, I told her I’d like the attending to do it and she looked frustrated and asked if I’d had a bad experience. To which I replied with a smile, “No, I’ve had good experiences–and I want to keep it that way.” The attending came in (a mature woman) and asked me the same question–she looked amused and clearly didn’t GAF that the resident was butt-hurt. A couple pokes later and I was comfortably numb, but still able to move my lower limbs.

LS kept falling off the monitor and Jennifer plus a whole team of nurses had a helluva time finding her–she was faced toward my spine (they even brought in the ultrasound machine to find her). Every time they’d get her on the monitor and go to leave the room, she’d get lost again. If I was them I’d have lost my mind. But they patiently macgyvered my monitor over and over again until my belly was a ball of slime from all the gel. Finally LS stayed put and I tried to sleep–which totally was not happening–but I rested. I watched Mr. MLACS sleep and was slightly jealous, but glad because I worry about him so I wanted him to get some rest. I also had vintage black and white movies/musicals on tv–I never watch tv anymore (like it will be on but I tune it out) so that was kind of cool. And my L&D room was huge and had a wall of windows facing city lights, so I kept the shades open and enjoyed looking out at the cityscape.

I had to pee and empty my ostomy bag a couple times, which was difficult as I had an IV in my right arm and a pole holding my bags of saline and pitocin. But I got it done without any help. I had forewarned Jennifer that I puked exorcist-style during labor with BG, but naturally after I made a big deal about it I didn’t puke at all.

So I was in a daze during the twilight hours and didn’t realize how much time was passing as I drifted in-and-out of consciousness, but eventually it was time for shift change and I had to say goodbye to my buddy Nurse Jennifer and welcome her relief, Nurse Christy. Also the OBGYN from my practice who ordered my induction, Dr. H, had been with me overnight. But I had to say goodbye to her and welcome Dr. S–luckily I had met and liked Dr. S so I was fine with it.

I was close to 10cm dilated at this point, and I was having breakthrough pain–nothing terrible–but I took full advantage of *the button* I could push every 10min or so that gave me more epidural. Which may be why I was in a dream-like state and also why I began to feel very nauseous…

Before I knew it, Dr. S and two residents strode through the door, checked me, and decided the time was NOW. It felt surreal as I watched everyone scurry around the room, pulling lights down from the ceiling, putting on scrubsvand face masks, wheeling in trays of instruments and a “baby warmer”, and finally, placing my feet in the stirrups.

I had asked Nurse Christy to apply gentle countrr-pressure to my ostomy, in hopes of preventing a peristomal hernia. On my right was Christy. On my left was Mr. MLACS.

The docs told me to get ready to push…I told them to wait a minute because…

I was going to puke.

Mr. MLACS held a large beaker cup and I turned my head and vomited a cup of stomach bile into the beaker.

Then pushed.

Then puked.

Then pushed.

And without warning, this purple ball of screaming flesh was placed on my chest, as I was still heaving and wiping my mouth. I was in shock and disbelief, trying to process.

Mr. MLACS looked about as stunned as I was, but after what was probably 20 seconds that felt like 20 minutes, I placed my hands on our baby, looked at Mr. MLACS, and said “Well, we did it!”

Baby LS was 7lb 8oz, and 21 inches long. She was not as pristine as BG was when she was born, but it is now clear that she was bloated and now that a couple weeks have passed her features are sharper and resemble BG’s. She’s absolutely beautiful ❤

And of course, BG is very proud to be a big sister! She wants to help with everything–bringing me diapers/wipes/hand sanitizer, etc.

It has not been easy though.

BG is having a hard time adjusting. So are we. There have been bumps in the road, and I’ll write about those later.

For now, I want to say how grateful I am that LS is here and healthy. She is a dream come true! I am bedsharing with both my girls and it is pure bliss to wake up in between them ❤

XOXO,

MLACS

Birth Story Part I

So LS is here! Everybody loves a good birth story, right?!

It’s been a humbling month or so, starting with BG getting conjunctivitis and sharing it with myself and Mr. MLACS, then I had Flu A, then some other flu-like virus BG brought home, which culminated in a double ear infection for me and I lost most of my hearing in both ears.

I was practically deaf.

I went into urgent care a couple Saturdays ago because my right ear was causing agonizing pain, and walked out with Augmentin and ear drops, which helped me to feel better but did not help my hearing loss.

Mr. MLACS took me to see my OB on my due date, thinking maybe they could help me by giving me a referral to see an ENT (our insurance is PPO but a referral would expedite my appointment). They put me on the monitor and LS was good, but chillin’. So I drank some apple juice to wake her up. And she started hopping, but I noticed some decells–her baseline heartrate was about 150bpm, and she would hop up to 180bpm, but then fall to 110-120 bpm. I wondered if that was just her falling off the monitor, but I didn’t think so.

Sure enough, my OBGYN came in and said baby was not in distress but she didn’t like the decells and would rather play it safe and induce me, since I was officially 40 weeks. I wholeheartedly agreed.

It felt surreal, because I had resigned myself that I would probably carry to 41 weeks and that LS would be born on BG’s 4th birthday.

We called the sibling doula and the back-up sibling doula that we had hired to come stay with BG and the pets while Mr. MLACS and I went to the hospital to deliver LS. Our primary doula was available and set to be on her way. I had already written several emails with detailed instructions for the doulas. We nervously drove from the clinic to our house. My hospital bag still wasn’t fully packed, the house was a mess and I had cleaners coming the next day, and I needed a shower. I could hardly focus on the tasks at hand and BG was following me around asking 20 questions. I was relieved when the doula showed up and realized I needed some privacy to complete my tasks and process the overwhelming fact that I was going to have a baby–MY baby–in a matter of hours. BG adored her and they ran off to play.

Noteworthy items I packed in my hospital bag were:

1. SOMA intimates pajamas–the softest jersey material, like butter on your skin. Button down is a must for breastfeeding and they make you feel comfy and elegant in the hospital. Not cheap, but worth it.

2. An exercise ball for labor–I bought a pink one from amazon. A lot of hospitals say they have them but you never know if one will be available when you need it and also it’s a safe bet that A LOT of other peoples’ bodily fluids have christened the ones at the hospital.

3. Baby gowns instead of footie pajamas, because they have to wear an ankle bracelet and also for easy access to change diapers.

4. Swaddles–I prefer velcro swaddles in soft fabrics rather than wrapping baby up in hospital blankets.

5. I brought my own diapers. I use honest diapers and unscented wipes. The nurses were annoyed because my diapers dont have the pee strip, but oh well not their call. The diapers in the hospital are scented, and I want to smell my baby, not aromantic pampers.

6. A phone charger with a long cord (like solid 6ft) so you can plug it in the wall and still have it next to you in bed.

7. Obviously for me–ostomy supplies. I packed plenty of supplies–more than what I thought I might need, just to be safe.

8. My medications. Hospital is supposed to have a list of current meds and provide them for you, but just bring them anyway.

So I tidied the house (i.e. stuffed sh*t in closets), showered/did my hair, finished packing and off Mr. MLACS and I went. It was hard saying goodbye to BG, knowing everything was about to change.

It was a solid 40min drive to our hospital–a perk of being induced is that I didn’t have to do this drive while in active labor. We arrived and they had a L&D room waiting for me–another perk of being induced is I didn’t have to go through triage (while in active labor) before being admitted.

It was about 6:30pm–we got there right as they were changing shifts and there was a flurry of activity. Even still, I was quickly attended to.

Everybody in L&D speaks in hushed and soothing tones, like Bob Ross.

The moment they walked in the room and opened their mouths I had to stop them and say “I have a double ear infection and I can’t hear you unless you SPEAK UP.” This was not ideal, but everyone obliged so it could have been worse. My ear pain in my right ear rivaled the pain of my contractions, so that was fun. They gave me Tylenol and offered me Nubain, but I was not trying to be high on Nubain since I’d had Staydol during my (incredibly painful) labor with BG and it made me psychotic.

My induction started with the foley bulb (sp?) which involves the nurse threading a balloon attached to a catheter through my 1cm dilated cervix and then inflating the balloon with water so that it causes my cervix to dilate to 3-4cm, then the balloon falls out.

I also had an IV and pitocin drip started as well. My nurse Jennifer (whom I liked) started the pitocin “low and slow”, at like a 2 or 3. By the time the foley bulb fell out my pitocin was up to a 7. Jennifer offered me the epidural (which I knew I wanted) but at first I refused, with the idea in mind that it could slow my progression and cause me to need a c-section. But Jennifer said that actually the epidural would allow her to push my pitocin and that would help my labor progress more than anything. She asked if there was any other reason to delay the epidural and I said emphatically *No* because I had ALL the pain during my 37hr labor with BG and then also with my Crohn’s disease so I have nothing left to prove–bring on the epidural!

….to be continued…

XOXO,

MLACS

38 Weeks, Flu A virus, Brazillian Bikini Wax

Do I have your attention? Ok cool. Lets talk about…

1. Still pregnant–38 weeks! Saw the OBGYN yesterday and I’m dilated a whole half a centimeter (how they can even measure that small when they can’t even see anything is beyond me). The consensus is: no signs of delivering early but it *could* happen and just holler whenever.

2. But my last OBGYN appointment was this past Thursday. I had been feeling poorly and suspected I might have an infection. I don’t have a PCP in our new town yet and didn’t want to go to an urgent care so I waited to see the OBGYN, hoping he’d take a look at me. I was feeling very poorly–horrible body aches, winded walking 10 feet, just really run down. I also wanted the doc to check me for anemia. First thing I did was urinate in a cup, and noticed my pee was so dark it looked brown–no bueno. Then baby LS presented with tachycardia, which is a sign of distress. I talked to the doc and we agreed part of my issue is dehydration, and he sent me to go be looked over by maternity triage at the hospital. I had BG with me and had to call Mr. MLACS to come home from work to care for her–I intended to drive myself the 40min to the hospital. But as I was leaving the OBGYN I started to feel worse and worse. I got the chills so bad I could hardly drive. I slammed a cold gatorade and that made my chills worse. Got home and I could hardly get BG out of her carseat. I was in agony, shivering and every fiber of my body hurt–my groin felt like I pulled it and I could hardly walk. I started to feel panicked. I wrapped myself in 3 layers of blankets and a hat to try to warm up and laid down until Mr. MLACS got home. He wanted to go straight to the hospital but I made him feed BG lunch first and pack her snacks for the trip. I started to cry, feeling awful and overwhelmed–I woke up clueless  that my day was going to go to sh*t. So Mr. MLACS drives us to the hospital and I have to go through the ER then up to maternity triage–I actually needed a wheelchair. Unfortunately kids aren’t allowed in triage (probly a good idea) and Mr. MLACS had to entertain BG while I was assessed. I begged for warm blankets and socks. They hooked me up to monotor LS and see if I had contractions (I didn’t), took pee, took blood, swabbed me for the flu and hooked me up to an IV to receive fluids. The nurses were nice. And lo and behold, they returned wearing hazmat gear…I knew immediately and exclaimed “No f*cking way!” And they were like, “Yeah, you have Flu A”. I was flabberghasted because I NEVER GET THE FLU, at least not the “super bad bugs”. I rarely get the flu shot and ironically I HAD one this past October! I’ve been on all sorts of immunosuppressants–I was on 3–Humira, 6MP, and high-dose Prednisone AND I took a plane to California and I *still* didn’t get sick (my docs were way scared for me). So WTAF? Why NOW?! It just never occurred to me I could have a “super bug”. Luckily, the fluids helped, baby LS’s heartbeat slowed down and her strip looked great, and they sent me home with a script for tamiflu for me and one for Mr. MLACS and BG.

3. I came home from the hospital Thur. night and spent all of Friday in bed–I didn’t even go downstairs. I was repeating a cycle of having the chills, warming up, then sweating it out–repeat. I still hurt all over but it was better than Thursday. Mr. MLACS had to stay home from work to care for me and BG–which BG and our labrador LOVED having him home and made him play all day ❤ Saturday I got out of bed–my body aches had dulled considerably and my chills/sweating were abating. Then Sunday I woke up feeling somewhat “human” again. We actually went and looked at a house (we are planning to buy) and took a trip to Costco, mostly to order BG’s birthday cake for her party this coming weekend–fyi costco cakes are cheap and delicious–I just wish they were gluten-free so I could eat them! So yeah, I had “the plague” and I was freaked out and in a lot of pain but it was short-lived because the Tamiflu worked for me.

4. I had been mulling over getting waxed prior to giving birth, but was nervous. I’ve had brazillian waxes before, but not while pregnant, and according to the internet all the bloodflow to the pelvic area causes waxing to be more tender and waxing to be painful. I also worry about ingrown hairs, etc. And it feels like a frivolous thing to spend money on. Buuuut…then I think back to the quote “Do one thing a day that scares you” and decided “F*ck it, I’m doing this”. TMI, my pubic hair was so long I had to shave it with clippers prior to waxing–I made Mr. MLACS do this for me. While he’s doing it we’re giggling and he says “Things I never saw myself doing…” Lol. I actually felt much better after he trimmed me and considered skipping the waxing…but no–I was not chickening out. So last night I went and the girl was very nice–I was unsure about showing her my ostomy bag because I didn’t want an awkward moment, but she waved me off because she is actually a home health nurse. That really helped me relax. It wasn’t so bad! I’m very happy with the results and I feel like a champ for doing it–like I should get my name on a wall somewhere or a t-shirt or something.

5. BG’s birthday party at the bounce place is this Saturday. I have about everything I need, including a custom birthday shirt that’s arriving from etsy tomorrow. I need to put together goodie bags, wrap her presents, order her balloons and pick up her cake, but beyond that we are ready to rock ‘n roll! I’m expecting about 10 kids–could’ve invited more but we have been sick and I honestly didn’t feel like we needed to invite kids just for the sake of appearances. I’m excited for BG!

6. Other things I deal with are my rental properties–I’ve had several properties to turn over and repairs and renovations are adding up to $15k+. The ones that are occupied have basically financed the turnovers on the unoccupied units, but it’s still hard to watch money “flying out the window”. I have a good relationship with my property managers though, so luckily they deal with the headaches and I just write the checks. I have one last property that is co-owned with my sister/our trust. We are currently turning it over to sell it, pay some bills the trust owes and walk away with some cash. We also have a lawsuit pending against the VA for our father’s wrongful death–they really f*cked up. The one year anniversary of his death is approaching… I can’t say I’m particularly upset because I am living in the moment, looking forward to the birth of our new baby and not dwelling on the past. Plus he and I had a strained relationship–I fully appreciate all the ways Mr. MLACS is a better father and husband than my dad was. But no matter what, he was my dad. I knew I could always go to him if I needed help, even when we were on bad terms. And his death marked the day I lost the last of my parents, and my kids’ grandparents. When I mourn, I mourn what might have been if both of them were alive, because when my Mom was alive everything was ok.

Ok that’s enough for now.

XOXO,

MLACS

 

 

Ahhhhh I Lost My Mucus Plug!

Guys, I went to the OBGYN on Monday and my cervix was completely closed (not dilated) and LS was effaced 2-3. So, no action there.

The night before I projectile vomited so much and so hard that it washed like a tidal wave across the freaking *carpet* and splashed the wall. I can’t make this sh*t up. I had eaten brunch circa 2pm and it did not digest and I hurled it up about 9:30pm. I didn’t think much of it because that happened plenty of times with BG, but did mention it to the OB. I actually said “I don’t think it’s a blockage”.

But I was wrong–it was an intestinal blockage.

I figured this out because I hardly ate anything Monday (like 1/2 a GF cupcake) but I drank plenty. I took a nap with BG circa 1:30pm and woke up at 3pm, and realized *I had not emptied my ostomy bag since 5am that morning*. That’s bad, as I usually need to empty at least 2-3x by that point. I didn’t feel good, but I had no pain and other people say blockages are horribly painful (and I believe I’ve had partial blockages and they hurt) so I was perplexed. But the protocol is to go to the ER if you are having little-to-no output. I called my GI and my OBGYN, and both said I could skip the ER (because ER’s are dirty and dangerous) and go to maternity triage. I told them I would try to get things moving at home but if it didn’t work then I’d go in. I DID NOT want to go to the hospital–it’s 40+ minutes drive into the city and it was near rush hour, then it would be dark, and I’d have to drag Mr. MLACS and BG with me. F*ck that. And luckily, I started having some liquid output, but I knew it wasn’t over. I only managed a bowl of creamy tomato soup for dinner, and I was hungry. Tuesday I spent the day drinking carbonated drinks (sprite), hot liquids (mostly green tea with honey), putting heating pads on my belly, and walking (waddling) around the house while caring for BG. I felt awful mentally and physically–I was *hangry*.

Wednesday was a bit better, in that I found I could eat some solid low-residue food, like toast, and some creamy soup.

I helped with BG’s valentines day party at her preschool in the morning on Wednesday, but then left her there for lunch and “enrichment” while I went to go run errands. I had to go to the jewelers because I had ordered a white-gold band with LS’s name engraved inside, because my wedding rings are too tight now. I had ordered the same ring and had BG’s initials engraved inside at this same point in my pregnancy with her. Moreover, I took the opportunity to have my wedding rings re-dipped in platinum, and they came out *gorgeous*! Soooooo sparkly ❤ I wish I could wear them now! I highly recommend having your rings inspected, dipped, and cleaned periodically at the jewelers.

Then I treated myself to soup and a hazlenut coffee at Panera Bread. It was yummy! It took all my willpower not to eat the sourdough bread–it was so tempting–but good sense (not to eat gluten) prevailed. After I picked BG up from preschool, we came home to find two beautiful bouquets of flowers had been delivered, one for each of us, from Mr. MLACS ❤

Valentines day was a pretty chill day for me and BG, as it was not a preschool day. She also wasn’t feeling well. So we played, went to the grocery store, and came home and had a quiet afternoon. She was being very whiny and clingy, she felt a bit warm, and I could tell she was feeling poorly. She was awake at 5:00am and crying, so I gave her tylenol and figured I might need to keep her home from school.

She slept until almost 9:30am! I was awake by 8am and informed her teachers she’d be absent. I looked at her eyes and suspected pinkeye, and took her to the pediatrician. Indeed, BG has pinkeye and an ear infection in her left ear, poor kid! This is her first ear infection/first pinkeye and thusly her first time taking antibiotics. As a person with IBD who credits my disease in part due to frequent antibiotics as a kid, I’ve been very pleased she hasn’t had to take any for nearly 4 years. And I worry how it will affect her gut and what my best course of action is to re-balance her gut bacteria once she’s finished her course of antibiotics. And then of course she we also have to administer eye drops for her pinkeye, but her doc said it’s ok if she closes her eyes so that makes life much simpler.

The kicker though is that I felt a lot of wetness when I woke up and when I went to use the bathroom I discovered I had lost my mucus plug! Never would have expected that so soon, as it didn’t happen with BG until just before birth at 41w2d. I’m only 36w4d now. I’m not having contractions yet, so that’s good. But LS also noticeably dropped yesterday so…it appears I’ll give birth sooner than expected–I figured I’d be induced at 40 weeks. So naturally…

I planned BG’s 4th birthday party for March 2nd even though that is a couple weeks earlier than her actual bday. I should be 38w4d, so it seemed like a safe bet. I even found customizable invites on etsy and had them printed with the anticipated date. I started passing them out on Valentines day. I’ve ordered BG a themed shirt, decorations, balloons, gifts–the whole nine yards. And it’s sort of a “coming out” party for me with the moms of the kids we’re inviting. Mother nature is a b*tch for pulling this fast one, after all the time and money I’ve invested! And thusly I’ve decided the show must go on–even if me and LS cannot attend. But really I’m prepared to bring LS to the venue with me if we’re at all up for it, and just keep her away from people–is that a horrible idea? Bringing a less than 2 week old infant to a bounce place full of noisy kids and germs while I’m bleeding and trying to breastfeed? But I want to be there for BG! And I know plenty of other moms who would do it.

Today, my plan is to work on decluttering the house *and* a much anticipated trip to IKEA! There are no freaking Ikea’s in The South so I haven’t been to one in a couple years! I want to get BG a new table and chairs, and a storage unit for her art supplies in the playroom (currently in piles in boxes). And some throw pillows for her teepee. Can you tell I’m excited?!

XOXO,

MLACS

 

35 Weeks, Settling In

Well, here we are. It’s been a crazy few weeks of 2019, as I’ve scrambled to get settled in our new home. There’s still so much I want to do before baby comes, but I am proud of all that I’ve accomplished.

Most importantly, I found BG a wonderful preschool! I did my research (which, FTR, I research everything) and found out what preschools are better than others in my area. I reached out and most of them are enrolling for *fall*. The only ones enrolling for spring were daycare centers–they were both expensive for part-time. One well-known chain was $660/mo for 12hrs/week. That works out to $13.75/hr, which I could almost pay a nanny for that amount. I went to tour the place and it was a zoo! Absolute chaos. Cramped. I don’t see how the toddlers could focus to learn anything with all the noise and distractions. Plus the director was a complete weirdo–a salesperson who looked like a doppledanger of Bette Middler in the movie “Hocus Pocus”. She lacked warmth and authenticity, and BG and I both cringed when she patted BG’s head. The teacher seemed nice and well-intentioned, but pulled in 100 different directions. I kick myself now, but I did consider this place even after the visit, just for BG to socialize. But my gut instinct was “hell no”.

We then visited another preschool under the guise of considering enrolling for fall. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. And then I walked in, and I got all the “warm fuzzies”. The teachers are great. It’s small but they make excellent use of their space. The kids were well behaved and organized, some doing art projects in one room (and I’m not talking scribbles on paper–they were being taught a painting technique employed by a famous artist). In the large playroom another group was playing on a balance maze the teacher had set up. And in another room they were having show-and-tell. I could feel the authenticity and warmth. I told them I wished more than anything that BG could start there, because I wanted her there in the fall and I strongly disliked the chaos of the bigger centers. For her part, BG charmed the art teacher, and when she was offered a spot at the table she happily put on a smock to paint with the other kids without looking back at me. Aaaaand they offered her a spot to start NOW! I was so thrilled and relieved that I bawled when I got in the car, no joke. I will say, it has been challenging for BG. She was placed with “The 4’s”, all of whom turned 4 by September 1st. BG won’t be 4yrs until March, so she is the youngest in the class. She is the same size or bigger than the other kids though (I’m 5’9″ and her dad is 6’6″ so she’s destined to be tall). And she is very well mannered. So far the teachers say she has transitioned “seamlessly”. But I can tell that being in a group of older kids is mentally and physically far more taxing for her. It’s intimidating. But she is learning so much! Her language and communication skills have grown so much just in the last 3 weeks! I’m amazed.

But BG still needs speech therapy. She was evaluated in our previous state this fall and she qualified for services–she has difficulty making certain sounds and can be hard to understand (articulation). So I got her IEP and immediately upon our arrival to new state I began the process of getting her qualified for services here. I meet with the lady to sign off on her new IEP this week and then she can begin services. With her quick progress since starting preschool, I’m very encouraged that she will do well.

I also enrolled BG in a ballet class at a classical ballet school, where she is actually learning proper form and technique (but in a fun and age appropriate way). I adored her last dance teacher but that class was a sh*t show–it was worth it for the social aspect but she didn’t learn anything.

I enrolled BG in indoor soccer, but it’s a joke. They have practice in the basement of a church on a shiny tiled floor that makes it impossible to control the ball. It’s a 20min drive to get there and the “practice” is only about 40min. BG actually has a good foundation from her previous soccer league and I actually think this new league will cause her to regress–they suck that bad. So lesson learned, that was a waste of time and money. We’ll find a better league for spring.

We’ve been to our new local public library and BG has her own library card. We’ve been to storytime and craft at the local B&N. We’ve had a playdate. We’ve been invited to 3 birthday parties (attended 2 and one this weekend). I’ve planned BG’s 4th birthday at a bounce place, ordered custom invites off etsy and bought her presents–we are doing it 2 weeks early because I’m due just a few days before her actual bday. I’m volunteering at her school valentines day party next week. And we have bought tickets to take her to Disney on Ice and the movie “How to train your dragon 3”. I’ve gone to great lengths to create a healthy and fun new routine for BG, and I’m quite proud of what I’ve accomplished on her behalf these past few weeks. Also she has been clingy and moody, which is to be expected with all these changes, and I have given her all the compassion, patience, love and encouragement. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes I have to pause and dig deep to meet her where she’s at–but I am proud to say I have. And our bond is very strong.

For Mr. MLACS’s part, this new job has been great for him mentally, physically and spiritually. He was truly miserable in his last position. But he seems to have hit his stride with his career and he is in a sweet spot with excellent mentors and peers. I am SO happy for him! In turn, he has been very thoughtful and loving towards me. He sent me my favorite flowers “for no reason”, has bought me all sorts of things to make my pregnancy and postpartum more comfortable, has started ordering grocery service to spare me the time and trouble, has addressed my “honey do” list (which is immense since we just moved), encourages me to take care of myself, tells me how beautiful I am, and has basically been a “dream husband”–I feel very loved and cared for, and couldn’t ask for more. Oh! And he had 2lbs of chocolate covered strawberries delivered from my favorite hometown candy shop! Food is my true love language lately. He only had one and I ate the rest. He also ordered BG rainbow roses to accompany a rainbow bear from build a bear–her first flowers–for valentine’s day ❤ This is in addition to two stuffed dragon characters he ordered from build a bear that we’ll surprise her with when we take her to the movie.

Mr. MLACS has also been taking great care of himself, cooking his healthy meals, packing his lunches, going to his doctors appointments, and he just started a program called “Diamond Dave’s yoga”–I’m impressed! I never thought I’d see the day that my husband would buy a yoga mat!

As far as my pregnancy goes, I found an OBGYN that I like. He and the MFM have given their blessing for me to have a vaginal birth. Baby is measuring healthy and she is moving around A LOT. She’s a freaking ninja! BG was way more chill en utero. One cool feature of my OB office is they have a drop-in playcare that is very secure and the ladies are great–BG had a fantastic time while I was at my last OBGYN visit! I have another one today. I believe he’ll check my cervix and effacement, which will suck but good info to have. I had braxton hicks last weekend and Mr. MLACS was almost convinced I was going into labor. They f*ing hurt and were coming every 10 min for about an hour, but stopped. I don’t feel ready for baby to come yet–I need to finish nesting. Last week BG and I had a cold and I was exhausted and felt like crap, so it was a maddeningly unproductive week. Plus preschool, ballet, soccer, etc. were canceled due to the freezing temps. My skin revolted and I had to go to the Dermatologist and get meds for blepharitis, rosacea, and peri-oral dermatitis. My whole face was bright red and painful. Luckily the meds worked, the headcold and the freezing temps abated, and I’m back in the game this week. I also had an EFT tapping session with my guru yesterday, which clears out negative emotions/blocks and gives me peace, clarity and energy. Icve been awake since 4:30am, no coffee, and I feel great.

I’ve written a book! More later on how I hired a sibling doula for when I give birth, how we narrowly avoided a disaster by moving, and other random sh*t.

XOXO,

MLACS