Good Appointment

Today I got the joy of loading up my little girl and taking her to the dermatologist.  The appointment was at 12:45, which was right at feeding time.  I had packed a bottle, but that did not take care of the ear-piercing screaming that took place while we were there.  Luckily my dad was with me, so he was able to help with Miss C.  I do have to say that I was quite impressed with the staff at the dermatologist’s office.  They were very nice, and the doctor was fantastic!  She explained everything very clearly and calmed a lot of concerns.

For those who don’t know, Miss C was born with two hemangiomas on her body.  One is located on her left palm, and the other one is located on her lower back.  A hemangioma is a red, vascular birthmark.  They do not cause pain, but can breakdown and possibly become a sore.  Here is a website that I was given with some information about hemangiomas.  That site gives information about more serious and severe hemangiomas.  Miss C’s is considered superficial and does not seem to go deeper than the first layer of skin.

Basically there is nothing to worry about.  The one that we need to keep an eye on is the one on her hand.  It can breakdown easier because of the location and the folds on the palm.  We have been instructed to put Vaseline or Aquaphor on it twice a day and make sure to keep her nails short (to make sure she doesn’t accidentally cut her hand open.)  We go back for another check in 6 weeks.  They will check to see if either hemangioma has grown or changed color.  The hemangiomas will go away and are usually gone by the time a child is school-age.

Even though the doctor’s appointment went well, Miss C. has been fighting a nap for most of the day.  She has taken a couple cat naps (less than about 30 minutes each time) throughout the day.  It has been rough, and she is still fighting napping.  She is so over-tired that it is just making her cranky.  Poor girl (and poor mommy)!

Miscellanous Updates

As I said yesterday, I would be back today with some other updates.  Here are some miscellaneous things I am sure you are all anxious to know about.

Computer

My computer is going to die soon.  It had a near-death experience earlier this week.  It would not start up and told me there were no bootable devices.  I went through all the tests and my hard drive failed its test.  I left it turned off for a while and decided to try again just for kicks and giggles.  It worked, but I am not holding my breath that it will last much longer.

Hubs and I have talked about what to do, since we don’t have enough money saved for a new laptop yet.  I need a computer so I can edit my photos.  I have a session booked in December, so I can’t go without.  I think we are going to hold off on getting anything while my computer is working.  If it does die for real, then I think we will get a tablet (cheaper than a laptop) and I can put my Photoshop on his laptop and use it when I need to.

Dogs

The dogs are feeling a bit neglected.  (Or so I assume… They haven’t actually told me that.)  Their lives have changed completely since Miss C has come into our lives.  They do not get as many snuggles or as much attention.  They now have to sleep upstairs by themselves since Miss C is in a cradle in our room.  The cradle is very close to the floor, and I don’t feel comfortable having the dogs in there while she is sleeping.

They don’t get to come with us to my parents’ house as often since they can’t both fit in the back seat with the car seat.  That means they don’t get to play with my parents’ dog as often.  

They are not neglected in the fact that they have never missed a meal or been locked up in a kennel for a long period of time.  They still get to go outside and have deck time.  They do get snuggles while Miss C is napping.  They seem to love her, as both dogs have given her kisses before.  We have seen no growling or meanness from them at all.  The transition is honestly going a lot better than I had anticipated.  Yay!

ImageThey do both seem to love all of the blankets that get put on the floor.  The dogs seem to think they belong to them.  Silly dogs!

Classes

I have taken an impromptu month off from doing homework for my Master’s classes.  Everyday I plan on getting some work done, but it hasn’t happened yet.  I really need to get back on top of the assignments.  I had plans to get everything done before I gave birth, but since Miss C came 3 weeks early, that did not happen.  I knew it was going to be hard to get everything done that I wanted, but it is very hard to get motivated to do homework.  

Work

So, I have been so lucky this semester with my student teacher.  In two words: Rock Star!  She is amazing!  She is still student teaching through November 30, and then the best thing ever happens!  She is going to be my long term sub through the end of the semester.  This is fantastic.  Since my student teacher has been with us for so long, I haven’t had to worry about making sub plans or worrying about my class.  She is amazing and has been doing the best job ever!  I am so happy that she will finally get paid for all of her fantastic work!  (In case you don’t know, you don’t get paid for student teaching.  She will get paid for her month of subbing, though!)  I am so happy it all worked out perfectly!

I am excited to get back to my class in January, though.  They haven’t met Miss C because whooping cough has been going around the school like crazy, and I don’t want to risk her getting it.  I hope that it has calmed down enough by the end of December, so I can bring her in once for them to meet her.  They made me a super cute book when she was born, and I know they are very excited to meet her eventually.

 

That’s all of the updates I can think of for now.  I will be back later this week with a finance update and a Miss C update. (We go to the dermatologist tomorrow to get her birthmarks checked out.)

Winter Photo Challenge- Week 2 (And other things)

Winter Photo Challenge Update

We are into the second week of our winter photo challenge.  (For more information about it, go here.)  This week’s theme is “Trees.”  I was a little bummed about this theme because the trees around these parts are pretty bare and not too pretty.  This morning while taking the dogs out, I was able to find a few of the very last leaves still hanging.  I  snapped a photo in the morning sun, and I think it turned out nicely.  I am not too happy that winter is beating down our door, and hope it isn’t too bad this year.

Baby Girl Update

Good news!  Miss C slept for 5 hours last night!  She has been a good sleeper since we brought her home from the hospital… sleeping in 3 and 4 hour stretches.  Last night she beat her previous record and slept for 5 hours.  The evening started out rough, though.  At 9:00 she began her fussy “witching hour(s)” which tend to last through midnight.  I was able to calm her by putting her in my Moby wrap and walking/swaying.  We got her to sleep at 11:00… the earliest since we brought her home.  But she was up again at midnight.  It took both Hubs and I a good hour to calm her down and get her back to sleep.  It was worth it, though.  Once she was down, she didn’t wake up again until 6:00 to feed.  I couldn’t believe it!  What a rock star!  I know this won’t be the case every night, but I am thankful it happened at least one night.

I also can’t believe she is 1 month old already.  Here are some of her 1 month photos.

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Finances

Finances have gotten away from me a bit since Miss C has been born.  She seems to take up more of my time than anything else.  I desperately need to update my sidebars with new numbers.  We haven’t gotten any bills from her birth yet, but I know they are coming.  Hopefully with having a primary and secondary insurance, it will help curb costs as much as possible.

I will do a full post on finances in the upcoming week when I get a chance to really sit down and take a good look at them. We have some new savings goals that I need to figure out, and we just need to get back on the bandwagon of writing down all of our purchases and tracking where our money is going.

Life

Being a mother is HARD!  I had heard this, but until you actually experience it and live it, then you really have no idea.  I am so head over heels in love with Miss C, but there are times that I just want to curl up in a ball and cry.  I have so much respect for those mothers who do it by themselves.  I am lucky enough to have Hubs, who is an amazing father.  If it weren’t for him, I don’t know how I would get through.  He takes turns trying to calm her down in the middle of the night and loves spending time with his little girl.  I love seeing them together.  This is their favorite activity:

I hope everyone else is doing well!  I plan to be back tomorrow with more updates and hopefully will have a full finance update later this week.

Winter Photo Challenge

A great website/blog that I follow is Photography Awesomesauce.  I receive her email updates each day and look forward to reading what she has to say and learning new things to help my photography.  Because the winter is a slow time for photographers, she has issued a winter photography challenge.  You can read about it here.  Each Friday a new theme is given and your photos are “due” by the following Thursday.  I just found the challenge, so I turned in a photo from yesterday.

 

This is the photo I submitted for the winter photography challenge.  It shows four generations of women… My grandma, my mom, me, and Miss C.  I am so thankful that my grandma got to meet her first great-granddaughter.  She has other great-grandchildren, but Miss C. is her first great-granddaughter.

Here is another photo from yesterday… a family photo!  I am so thankful also for my little family of 3.

Can’t believe Miss C is a month old today!  It doesn’t seem possible that she has been in our lives that long!

I hope you all (US readers) had a great Thanksgiving, and everyone is staying on budget with their Black Friday shopping!

Our Perfectly Imperfect Baby

Every woman who has been pregnant dreams of having a beautiful, perfect baby.  On the flip side of that coin, most pregnant women also fear having a baby who has something wrong with him/her.  I battled these two feelings throughout my entire pregnancy.  Whenever I would indulge and have some caffeine or when one of the dogs would jump up and hit my stomach… I would worry that something would happen to the baby.

I am here to confess that we do not have a perfect baby.  I know there are people out there who have babies with major concerns, disorders, or diseases.  We are very thankful that our Miss C does not have anything major or life-threatening.

She does have her little list of imperfections that help make her unique…

First if you get the chance to look closely at her head, you will notice it is not perfectly shaped.  She has a squishy bump on top that could be either a hematoma or caput.  Basically it is a collection of fluid under her scalp.  It is hard to tell if it is just fluid or blood… which would be the difference between a hematoma or caput.  Neither of these are areas of concern.  It should heal on its own.  We have actually already noticed that the bump has gone down since her birth, but currently it is still there.

Second she has two red birthmarks.  One of them is about the size of a dime and is on her back, slightly above her crack. (Is there a more medical term for that?)  The second one spreads across most of her left palm.  The birthmarks should clear up on their own, but because the one is located on her palm, we have been referred to a children’s dermatologist.  These usually go away by the time the child is 9 years old, but since she uses her palm so much, especially when she starts crawling, we need to make sure that it won’t break open or cause any pain.

Third (and last) she has two toes that are not completely separated.  (When we found this out, I had to laugh a bit… You see, one of my nephews was born with 6 toes on each foot.  That type of foot issue is typically hereditary.  Our family had never had any issues with toes before, so we were certain it didn’t come from our side of the family.  Then we see that Miss C also has a bit of a toe issue, and now I think it may be on our side of the family.)  All of the bones are in both toes, and they are partially separated (about half way down).  It should not affect her walking or wearing flip flops (as it is her second and third toes).  If we want to have something cosmetically done down the road, that is an option.

Even with all of these “imperfections” our baby is perfect in our eyes.  We love her so much and wouldn’t trade her for the world!  And now here are some pictures in case you forgot how beautiful and perfect she really is…

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Miss C’s Birth Story Part 2

When we last left off, I had said that my water had just broken in the pre-labor room…

Once the nurse confirmed that my water had broken, it was time to move to an actual labor/delivery room.  I was made to walk there on my own, which really was not that difficult… just a little uncomfortable trying to keep the opening of my robe closed in the back.  Once I got to the labor/delivery room, they put many hospital bracelets on my wrist.

By this time it was about 5:30.  The contractions were still coming, but the thing that hurt the most was my back.  No matter what I tried, I could not get comfortable in the hospital bed.  I tried lying on each side, sitting up, etc. and nothing helped.  At this point I had a bag of fluid attached to my arm, so I couldn’t really get up and walk around… although I knew that wouldn’t help either.

I labored without drugs until about 7:00.  I remember watching the clock from 6:00 until 7:00 and finally at 7:00 I decided to get an epidural.  I had originally wanted to make it through the entire process without an epidural, but I needed relief.  I had not been comfortable for over a week because of the back pain, and I just wanted something to make me feel better.  I looked at Hubs and wanted him to say it was ok.  He completely supported my decision, and I called the nurse and told her.  I had heard that sometimes it could take hours to get the anesthesiologist there, so I knew I could possibly be waiting for quite a while.  Surprisingly, he showed up by 7:15 and was ready to go.

The anesthesiologist started prepping for the epidural, and Hubs took his place on the opposite side of the room, not looking.   He was standing and facing the tv, but the nurse finally convinced him to sit down.  She kept telling him that she would feel better if he sat down.

Before this, I had texted my mom to bring a few things to the hospital that we had forgotten at home.  She also grabbed Hubs some dinner so he could make it through the night.  Shortly after the epidural was in, my mom called and said she was at the hospital.  Hubs went down to get all the stuff from her, and he proceeded to eat his dinner in the waiting room. Mom came in and hung out with me for a bit.  My sister eventually came over to the hospital too to see how things were going.  Around 9:00, they left and the nurse and midwife encouraged Hubs and I to get some rest.

The nurse gave me Pitocin around 9:30 since I had been at a 4 for a while and was not progressing.  I was also told to lie on my left side because the baby’s heartrate kept slowing down.  At around 10:00, they gave me some oxygen to try and get Miss C more active.  Hubs told me that this was one of the scariest things for him… to see his wife in the hospital bed with the oxygen and hooked up to machines.

At about 11:00, I started feeling pressure to push.  I called the nurse in and she checked me.  I was only at a 9 so I was not allowed to push yet.  This was not a comfortable feeling at all!  I really wanted to push, but I was not far enough along to do so.  I hung out for about 15 more minutes and couldn’t stand it anymore!  I called the nurse again and told her that I couldn’t handle it any longer.  She reluctantly came in and checked me again.  Surprise to her!  I was at 10 cm and ready to go!!  She called the midwife and started prepping to deliver a baby!

The midwife came in and they started counting all the tools and getting the room ready.  This was torture because all I wanted to do was push!  Finally at 11:30, we were ready to roll!  With each contraction I was instructed to push three times.  There isn’t much to say about this except that I only went through 3 or 4 contractions, and she was out!  I only pushed for about 10-20 minutes!  Even the nurse and midwife were impressed with how quickly I was able to get her out, especially since it was my first baby.

When she started crowning, the midwife made a comment about how much hair she had.  She said that she hoped it was a girl because she wouldn’t want all this hair wasted on a boy.  When she finally came out, the nurse had to tell me to open my eyes and take a look.  When the midwife announced it was a girl, I looked at Hubs in disbelief.  This entire pregnancy I was convinced we were having a boy that it was such a shock when we found out it was a girl!

They put Miss C on my chest, and I was just in shock that this little baby was mine.  After a few minutes, they took her to clean her off and complete the APGAR test.  Her temperature and blood sugar were both low, so they had me start breastfeeding immediately.  Talk about jumping into motherhood with both feet!  I had no idea what I was doing, but luckily Miss C was a rock star and did exactly what should!

After about an hour, they moved us to a Mommy/Baby room where we stayed for the remainder of our time in the hospital.  Here are some pictures from that night… It was the most amazing night of my life although a lot of it is such a blur!  I can’t believe how much she has already changed in these short two and a half weeks.

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Miss C’s Birth Story Part 1

Warning:  This post is very open and honest about the birth process I went through.  If you do not want to read it or are not interested in the complete story, then feel free to skip it and come back later for a lighter post.  🙂

This birth story begins a week before the actual birth of Miss C.  On Tuesday, October 15th I woke up to get ready for school.  When I got out of bed and walked to the dryer to get out my clothes, I felt a couple small gushes of fluid and thought that my water may have broken.  I had also had a ton of severe back pain during this time.  I was unable to get comfortable at all and unable to make it go away.  I called my doctor’s office and told them about my symptoms.  The on-call midwife said that it didn’t sound like my water had broken, and to go ahead and just get ready for work like normal.  During the day I had some contractions and ended up calling my doctor again.  This time she said to come on in, and they would check it out.

I went in and found out that my water had not broken, although there was really no explanation for the fluid and continuing mucous.  My blood pressure was high, and they did find some protein in my urine.  Those two symptoms could possibly be signs of pre-eclampsia.  The midwife wanted me to go ahead and do a 24-hour urine collection.  This is exactly what it sounds like… I had to collect my pee for 24 hours.  Not fun!

The next day (Wednesday) I took off work, since I didn’t think my coworkers really wanted me to keep a jug of pee in the work fridge.  I took the collection to the doctor and saw a midwife since my back pain had not let up at all.   They also had me do an ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid levels since I still felt fluid leaking.  The ultrasound came out fine with nothing to worry about, but still no explanation for the fluid.  (I did find out the Miss C was facing up, which could have been the cause of my back pain.)  The midwife ended up giving me a prescription pain med for my back.  I was supposed to have parent-teacher conferences that evening, but ended up cancelling them due to not being able to drive while taking the meds.

On Thursday my back was still killing me, and I still had fluid leaking.  I didn’t want to go to the doctor for a 3rd day in a row, so I just toughed it out and got through our conferences for that day.  Luckily I have a stellar student teacher who helped out on all of these days and made things a million times better!

The next few days were as normal as could be.  Friday I didn’t have school, so I was able to just lie around and be in pain due to my back hurting.  Saturday was the same as Friday.  Sunday I started having some contractions and was in so much pain that I could not get comfortable or relax for bed.  Finally at about 1:00 in the morning, I called the doctor and told her that I was going to the hospital… no asking her opinion this time.  I was in too much pain to deal with it.  Hubs drove us to the hospital where we were sent to a pre-labor room.  I was checked and was about 2 cm and 80% effaced.  The nurse waited an hour and checked me again.  My contractions were not very regular and after an hour I had not progressed, so they sent us home.

By the time I got home it was about 4:00 in the morning.  I called in to work and took the day off… it was just a day of meetings, so I didn’t miss any time with the kids.  On Tuesday I went to school and that is when things started getting intense.  Around 9:00 I started having contractions (along with terrible back pain still).  I timed my contractions, and they were steadily about 5-7 minutes apart all day.  I didn’t want to be the crazy lady who went in for false labor two days apart from each other, so I just hung out in a small work room trying to get any relief possible.  (Again, so thankful and lucky for an amazing student teacher!)  Finally around 2:00, I called the nurse and texted my parents.  My contractions had been 5 minutes apart for well over an hour… I was still not convinced it was real labor, though.

The nurse at the doctor’s office said to go on in to the hospital, and my parents left their house to come and pick me up from work.   I called Hubs at this point and his sergeant told him to go ahead and go to the hospital.  This was tough because he was at the hospital for almost an hour before I got there.  He was just waiting and worrying the whole time.

We got to the hospital around 4:00 and went to the pre-labor room.  At this point I was 3 cm and about 90% effaced.  They said to wait an hour, and they would check me again.  I continued to have severe back pain, so at one point I was trying to roll over and get on all fours (to help relieve the back pain) and all of sudden there was a gush of fluid.  I looked at the bed and sure enough there was fluid and blood there.  I called the nurse and told her that I thought my water had broken.  She came in and looked, and sure enough, it had…

Look for part 2 coming tomorrow!  I didn’t want to make this story too long… I will also have some pictures of Miss C’s first few minutes in this world. 🙂

Sunday Night Chit-Chat

Thanks to Carla for hosting again this week… It’s been a while since I participated, so I am happy to be back.

First to start off with a few pictures of our precious baby C.  I may be a little biased, but I think she is beautiful.  I got her newborn session done this week, and I love how the pictures turned out.

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Now for the questions:

What are you…

Reading?  I started The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd.  My reading has slowed since our little one was born, but hopefully I can get back to it once things slow down a bit.

Watching?  Hubs has an episode of Breaking Bad on right now.  I am not paying that much attention to it though.  Every once in a while I look over at my sweet baby asleep on Hubs’ chest.  I would rather just watch her all night.

Listening To?  The tv.  It is nice and quiet otherwise… The dogs are with my parents this weekend, as we have had company all weekend.  That means I don’t have to hear Bandit scratching or Rose barking for the time being.

Cooking/Baking?  We have been blessed with some great friends and family and have not had to cook much lately.  We have a frozen lasagna in the oven right now for dinner, and I am looking forward to eating it!  Last night Hubs’ mom grilled some steak, baked some potatoes, and served up some salad.  It was delicious!!

Happy you accomplished this week?  On Monday I had a doctor’s appointment to check my blood pressure and on Tuesday we took C to the doctor for her first check-up.  We managed to take C out a couple of other times as well, and she did great!  Running errands has definitely turned into a much larger issue than it used to be.

Looking forward to next week?  I go back to the doctor tomorrow, so hopefully I will have a good blood pressure check.  I am also looking forward to taking C to the doctor again on Tuesday.  I am anxious to see how much she weighs now.  (She lost 2 oz. in the hospital, but had gained it back and gotten back to her birth weight in less than a week.)

Thankful for today?  My family… that includes my immediate, extended, and in-law family.  They are all amazing and I couldn’t ask for better people in our lives.

*Bonus Question*
What was your favorite show as a child?  
This is a hard one.  I remember watching a lot of tv, but there is really no single show that pops out in my brain as my “favorite.”  I think if I had to narrow it down, my favorite show was Boy Meets World.  I always wanted to be on that show because everyone seemed so cool!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!