Wednesday, March 25, 2015

30 Week Pregnancy Update

Holy hell, there are only 10 weeks (or so) left till Jayce is here! Although I love being pregnant, I know pregnancy is pretty much downhill from here, so I'm just ready for him to get here!

The double chin struggle.....if you only knew what 40 other pictures I took looked like!
Weight Gain/Loss: Fat...let's just go with that. Ok....if I'm being completely honest.... close to 30 pounds. I ballooned at this point with Layne also, it's just depressing!
How Far Along: 30 Weeks + 1 Day
Fruit of the Week: Baby is the size of a butternut squash and hovering around 3 pounds.
Baby Buys: Well I daringly took all 3 kids with me by myself to to Nebraska Furniture Mart and bought a dresser/changing table this weekend. I only had Dayton run away and end up across the store twice, so that's a success! Pregnant lady with a one year old on her back and 2 year old in a stroller running like mad across the store yelling at a child that won't respond.....yeah I'm sure it was amusing! Also we got a new ceiling fan for the nursery...but that's boring!
Movement: When I say that he is in my ribs, I literally mean IN MY FUCKING RIBS. I'm not exaggerating at all when I say I say that I can't take deep breaths, sitting straight up is impossible, and when he kicks it literally knocks the wind out of me.
Dreams: My subconscious is apparently wanting me to be a trained spy/assassin.....that or it's telling me to change my DVR/Netflix setup.
Position: Guessing head down, but who knows!
Cravings: Cinnamon raisin bread, because it's delicious!
Shit that Sucks: My body is on FIRE, like all the time! I might have had just a mini freak out moment while writing this, because I was hot and couldn't get my shirt off fast enough. No, I'm not writing this topless......I do have a tank top on!
Struggles: Gravity is not my friend. Things that are on the ground, tend to stay there until they annoy me to the point of braving the chance of throwing up when bending over (thanks heartburn/acid reflux) or being so out of breath I have to lay down for a bit.
Successes: I passed my glucose test since I wrote last! Only had to take the 1 hour test, and apparently the bowl of ice cream I had the night before didn't effect it!
Mood Swings: Not so much mood swings as rounds of anxiety. When we are having really shitty days at home with children swinging from the rafters, I may start to cry wondering what I will do with another monkey in here!
Milestones: Jayce and I get to attend my sprinkle shower this weekend! I'm so excited to see all my friends and family on Sunday!
Funny: It's funny and it's cute! Kayden is officially obsessed with my belly! Every day he brings me a variety of toys, usually dump trucks, cars and balls, and puts them on my belly for the baby. He tells me, "Baby play trucks." He'll be disappointed when he comes out and isn't able to do the things right away that he hopes he will!
Inside the Hormonal Brain: Prepping is well under way and I might be obsessed with it! All baby furniture is together, clothes got washed yesterday, and now decorating the walls is underway. My husband's honey-do list seems to grow by the day, which I'm sure doesn't thrill him, but I don't care. I'm convinced (which will probably jinx me) that I won't make it to my due date, and therefore everything needs to be ready right now......if he only understood!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

2 Years In Review: Kayden and Dayton

Some days it seems like it was just yesterday, and other days it seems like it's always been this way, but today, March 22nd, it has been 2 years we have had Kayden and Dayton in our home. What some people don't realize, is that until we adopted them, we weren't able to talk about their story or share pictures of them. It was all considered confidential. Well to mark our anniversary with them, I want to share with everyone an obnoxious amount of pictures of the boys from the point when they came into care until we adopted them, along with some of the story.

On March 22, 2013 at 1:50pm I received a phone call from the Iowa Kids Net, the people that place children in need of a foster home with families. She told me she had two boys, 7 months and 3 1/2 years old that needed picked up from shelter that night. The 7 month old appeared to be fairly healthy and the 3 1/2 year old appeared to be "slightly" autistic. On a side note--- the descriptions that are given of children's needs are never very accurate, so caller beware!

Anyways, we said yes immediately. It was the first placement call we had received and felt like we couldn't say no. I rushed out and got another bed, some clothes, diapers and formula. We inserted car seats into my car and then headed over to the shelter to pick the boys up. We were greeted by the NICEST child protection worker (who also is a major hardass, and I think that's why I love her so much) and then were told that bio mom would be showing up shortly to say good-bye. In my head I was thinking, "What the fuck?! Ok, be nice. She may not be the scum of the earth......" But we met, and all of us survived that awkward moment.

Kayden was all bright blue-eyed and loving anyone that would love on him. Dayton had hair in his eyes that was covering the massive bruise across his forehead from him headbanging, was screaming and trying to steal anyone's food or drink that he could. I was nervous.

Long story short, our first month or two with them, I would compare to the first couple months with a newborn. Kayden would be up 4-10 times a night. He was trying to establish trust that if he cried, someone would respond. So there was no "crying it out" for him, we had to go in and soothe him, doctor's orders. Dayton didn't sleep. 24 hours awake, 30 minute nap and then repeat. This is when we discovered melatonin, and finally got him to sleep, sorta. Jason and I were running on fumes while both still working full-time.

I'm really torn when I talk about how they came into care. Mom and dad both struggled with drug and alcohol use. Dad was trying to give the boys and himself a fresh start, made some poor decisions and the boys were taken away. Part of me is so angry that parents could put their children through the things they did, but part of me is thankful dad made the mistakes he made so that both boys could receive the proper care they both desperately needed.

After only a few weeks of visitations with dad, who was now sober, he told everyone involved in the case that he couldn't provide what the boys, especially Dayton, needed while trying to keep himself sober and working. He consented to having his rights terminated. I have so much respect for him. Some people might see it as a cop-out, but I see him as being completely selfless and giving his children a better life.

We don't know what happened with mom. She sort of fell off the face of the earth  while still dealing with her own demons. And as hard as it might seem to believe, I don't hate her. Her struggles were severe, she had mental health issues which fueled her substance abuse use and then had severe postpartum depression after Kayden. If I wanted to play the blame game I could blame her for why Kayden couldn't hold his head up, roll over or know the feeling of a full tummy or why Dayton never had any services in place until we got him, but I don't. I know the things she wrestled within herself were intense, and deep down she loved the boys the best she could.

So in somewhat chronological order, here are pictures of our first "born" children!

Their first Easter with us. 

Kayden always wanted held while he slept, and considering I was in my first trimester, I didn't mind. 

It took awhile for us to get permission to cut Dayton's hair. 
So I had some fun with it!
Baby food was something Kayden quickly caught onto!

Our first few months were rough. 
Started a bath, went and got towels, only to come back and find this. 
This guy loved his food!

Birth mom attempted a haircut. 

Kayden quickly became mobile. 

Then we FINALLY got permission!
Thought I lost him.....he was just hanging out in the dryer.

Always smiles!
Eye contact and smiles!

Our first family picture......Layne's in it too!

Using his spoon for the first time NOT at therapy.... this made me want to cry at Pizza Ranch!

Kayden's first birthday! The boy loved him some cake!

All about the texture at the school. 

I had great helpers while trying to put Layne's nursery together!

But Dayton just wanted to be in the tub!
This blanket we gave him on the first day we picked him up from shelter, it's still his "blankie".....not so much white as it is a dingy gray now, but he doesn't mind. 

Their first Halloween with us, Little Lion and Mike!

First monster truck outing with dad!

Me- "Let's check on Kayden to make sure his pants are on!" I didn't expect to actually find this!

Valentine's Day 2014!

 What a stud!
First time at Grandma's house and he got new boots!

Kayden's 2nd birthday......truck/tractor themed, imagine that!

October 29, 2014: The day they became ours officially!
Jason and I couldn't imagine our lives without these boys! We love them as if I gave birth to them, and can't wait to see what's to come in our many more years as their parents!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

HELLO 3rd Trimester!- 28 Week Pregnancy Update

Hello 3rd trimester! Seriously this has gone extremely fast! Jayce will be here before we know it.....that gives me a slight panic attack thinking about it!

Loving maxi skirts right now, makes me feel less like a beached whale! 

Weight Gain/Loss: Let's not currently discuss this, may have shed a tear at the doctor's today........
How Far Along: 28 Weeks
Fruit of the Week: Baby is the size of a head of cauliflower and weighing around 2 1/2 pounds!
Baby Buys: Nothing.......sort of pathetic, but I'm having a hard time justifying buying anything at this point.
Movement: Kicks directly aimed to the right side of my back, yes my back! At the doctor's appointment today he told me how he was kicking like crazy, and all I felt were rumbles and shooting pains in my back. Thanks little guy for being difficult!
Dreams: I'm slightly paranoid that I'm going to pee the bed, because I'm dreaming of peeing ALL THE TIME!
Position: No clue, I forgot to ask today and the doctor didn't mention it.
Cravings: Salad, garlic and ice cream....not all together though!
Shit that Sucks: I officially said good-bye to my lady garden today. I've been getting by with leaning one way or another to make sure she's still there and there was no angle to which she was visible! See ya in a few months lady parts!
Struggles: Yes I know I talk about my sweater puppets a lot, but they have a complete mind of their own. I'm pretty sure that when my stomach is no longer holding them up I will have to get my nips pierced in order to attach straps to them so they aren't constantly looking at the ground. I fear that I will have to tuck them into my pants if I don't.......Turns out implants are powerless against pregnancy hormones and gravity.
Successes: Choked down my glucose drink today! Woot woot! I'm celebrating by having ice cream before I find out my result tomorrow. I passed the first time last time, so I'm hopeful that I will again.
Mood Swings: I don't know if it's the weather or what, but I feel AMAZING! It's like I've taken some sort of happy/calming pill, not much gets me worked up lately. I think my husband is quite thrilled about this!
Milestones: Third trimester, glucose testing, going to appointments every two weeks from here on out...... all sorts of things to celebrate!
Funny: Let me preface this by saying that my husband is a very loving man, he just tends to forget to turn on his filter from time to time. With that being said, while getting ready to get into the hot tub I was complaining about my swimsuit bottoms "cutting into my love handles." Without even blinking, my husband asked, "At this point aren't they more like oh shit handles?"..........he back peddled quickly from this.
Inside the Hormonal Brain: I'm trying to not get caught up on this whole pregnancy weight gain thing....but seeing numbers on a scale that I would rather not see is slightly depressing. And then on top of it, today I was told that I'm measuring (belly size) on the large side of normal. With Layne I was always right on or small. So either I have a huge baby or a shit ton of amniotic fluid, I'm going with the first one. Especially since the doctor then said that he wouldn't be surprise if I go into labor on my own before my due date because of the size........yay for hopes of a successful VBAC, but boo for a huge ass baby wrecking my vagina!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Just A Sprinkle- Why A 2nd Baby Shower

This is a hot topic and I know there are differing views on it, and now I've been on both sides of the fence. So you've already had one baby (or more) and are expecting another one, do you have another baby shower? I've heard, yes, only if the gender is different than before or if it's been so many years since the previous child. And then on the other side of the coin, I've heard no, you are only "allowed" one. 

Let me break down my views on this. We battled with infertility for 2 1/2 years. I cried on the way to, after and sometimes during every baby shower I went to for my friends and family. When we decided to go into foster care our friends and family decided to throw us a foster/adopt shower.  It was the closest thing to a baby shower I thought that I would ever get and was overwhelmed with the love and support we were given. 

Then shortly after we got the boys, and found out we were pregnant with Layne, friends and family started planning his shower. He received handmade blankets, personalized items and then some actual baby necessities. It was his party! We had hoped and dreamed of him for so long that I was all about celebrating that precious boy! 

So what, Jayce isn't suppose to be celebrated? I was allotted my one biological shower and every subsequent baby that I have loses out on a party to celebrate them? Fuck that. I use to be of the, "there will only be one" team before kids, and now I'm completely against it. 

Call me biased, but after infertility and a miscarriage, I think every baby should be obnoxiously celebrated! No, I'm not a greedy bitch who wants everyone to buy me thing, get real. But when my kids are older I don't want to be showing Dayton and Kayden pictures from our foster shower, Layne pictures from his baby shower and then tell every other child, "Well, I used up all of my party cards, so you got nothing." Ummm that's dumb. 

So this weekend I'm helping to throw a dear friend of mine a "sprinkle" shower and 2 weeks after that two of my besties are throwing Jayce a "sprinkle" shower. For those of you that don't know, a sprinkle shower is a toned down baby shower. If anyone is curious on the things one registers for for a sprinkle, it's things like diapers (a lot of diapers), double stroller, new blankets, bottles, etc. Things that either need added or replaced with a new little one or things that my current littles will still be using, like a sound machine.

Therefore, to all the haters, keep on hating. Chances are you either haven't had any struggle in getting the babes you have, only have one, or are still of the "old school" thought of mind. We are going to celebrate Jayce just as much as every other child we have been blessed with, feel free to roll your eyes in someone else's direction! 

Some of Jayce's loot he's received already. FYI the A +A Bamboo Dream Blanket is pure love and I'm pretty sure is made of unicorn hair and sunshine! Softest. Thing. EVER!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Answers To The Inevitable, "What Do You Need?"

Listen, hindsight is 20/20!

I was asked from family and friends when I was pregnant with Layne what else I needed in order to feel ready for him and then again once he got here. The naive person I was at the time told everyone, "Oh we don't need anything, we are great!" Shoot, the week we got home, post c-section, I thought it was a good idea to cook and clean and not just lay on the couch and snuggle the baby. I was an idiot! As someone who doesn't find any joy in admitting when I am wrong, I was wrong in this situation.

The pregnant and postpartum woman does not think straight. You think you can conquer everything without ever questioning it. After all, your body created life....that's pretty amazing. But let's be real, when someone asks what they can do for you or what you need, "nothing," shouldn't be your answer, even though you say it anyways!

Here is are five things that I wish I had said, but never did. This also work as a great, not a registry item, type of gift for a mom-to-be! Friends and family of anyone that is expecting, please take note, bonus points are given to those that just do and don't ask!

1. A Frozen Meal..... or 2!

I'm a prepper, yes. I had a handful of meals in the freezer ready to pull out once the Layne got here, BUT I actually ended up using them in the last few weeks of my pregnancy. I was too tired to do anything!

So, feel free to drop a meal off to the new mom's house to help her out! Be sure to ask about what not to include! If she's nursing she may be avoiding dairy and other ingredients. Things that work great: pasta, casseroles, deli meat tray for sandwiches, soups, veggie trays, or anything that can be easily thrown together and/or heated easily.

A plus is that you will be guaranteed some fresh baby snuggles AND if you do it for her, she is likely to do it for you when you have a new squish!

2. A Clean House

Now my OCD was in full swing at the end of my pregnancy. I vividly remember mopping the floors at 11pm one night and 4:30am on several mornings when I couldn't sleep. With that being said, when I got home from the hospital and had a newborn attached to my bruised nipple for 23 hours a day, I noticed everything that wasn't clean. The ceiling fans, the blinds, and places that I had refused to bend down to clean for fear of never getting back up.

An amazing gift to a new mom is for someone (professional or not) to clean her house in the small window she is in the hospital. There's just something about bringing a new babe into a fresh smelling house! Or if you stop by to visit the baby and notice that the trash needs taken out or there are toys that just need picked up, feel free to do it. She will say, "Oh you don't need to do that. I'll get it later," but ignore her and she will appreciate it. Once again. you will get baby snuggles and the favor returned!

What my kiddos create while I use the restroom. I can only imagine when Jayce gets here!
3. A Break

This is something I didn't do and wish I had. I went from 32 hours of labor with no sleep to a newborn sleeping on my chest and eating every hour and a half. To say I was sleep deprived was an understatement! Our pediatrician and nurse (who I still adore to this day!) told me when Layne was 10 days old and I couldn't stop crying that I just needed to sleep for 4 hours straight and I would feel like a new person! I got 3 hours at one point, and that helped!

So if you notice that the new mom looks like hell, and she will, offer to come over and hold the baby while she locks herself in her room and sleeps. This will mean the world to her, because no new mom ever wants to admit that she needs help, so being offered it without asking is amazing! Again, the upside is extended, don't have to share, all yours for a couple hours baby snuggles!

4. A Massage

Well let's play both sides of this. Pre-delivery a woman is carrying a human inside her that gives no fucks about what they kick, punch or squeeze. That human also changes the was she moves, creating lots of sore muscles. Post-delivery, well she just delivered a human for her body, enough said!

Husbands/boyfriends/sperm donors this is where you can give, give and give some more! Rub her down whenever she looks like she might need it or even sitting on the couch with her cankles on your lap! She will love you even more for this!

To the people that didn't put the baby in her belly, a gift certificate for a massage makes a great shower gift or hospital present!

5. A Car Detail

This sounds absurd to some I'm sure, but who wants to bring home their fresh baby in a dirty ass car! When Layne came home our car was brand new, so that was nice. This time around, our van looks like something found on the side of the road in The Walking Dead. Shoot, there might be something dead in there!

This could be done while she is in the hospital or in the weeks leading up to delivery. This is a great father-to-be project or grandparents-to-be gift to the couple! Find some place that will do the outside, clean the floor mats, spot clean the hot chocolate stain on the interior ceiling, and make everything else shiny and new! Again, she will more than appreciate it!

Now feel free to use this as a hint to your family (cough, cough.....dear husband of mine...cough cough) or if you are looking for an unexpected gift for someone!