Monthly Archives: April 2014

This is my life now

I’ll fill you in on the delivery deets soon, but for now, this is my life. Weight loss, matching pajamas and concern for other stuff that doesn’t matter can come later.

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Exploding Radiator Hoses, Addison’s Disease and a Failed Delivery Attempt

The past few weeks have been really, really strenuous for our family.

A few Saturdays ago, CLP and mini Gwinn went to a birthday party about 30-45 minutes away from our house; I stayed home because of bedrest. They took my car because it’s a lot more comfortable for longer drives than Captain Laser Pants’ Wrangler, and on their way home, my upper radiator hose split and spewed antifreeze all over the inside of the hood, sufficiently causing the car to overheat. CLP was a quick thinker and pulled over immediately, but unfortunately, it was on the side of one of the busiest interstates in America: I-75. Of course, with all the craziness of moving last Fall, being pregnant, etc, I forgot to renew our AAA membership. So after frantically reinstating our membership and ordering a tow truck, I started having contractions as I worried about my favorite people on the planet getting clipped on the interstate. After two hours they were finally home, and all was ok, but we were feeling the pressure of needing a more reliable car. We talked about buying a new Grand Cherokee equivalent to the one we currently have, and then laughed at the $50k price tag. Since I’ve performed this exact repair as a single girl living in Minneapolis (on my old Jeep Cherokee) we both knew it was an easy and cheap fix. A few hours of work and some misordered parts later, old Fancy (that’s my car’s name, Fancy) was as good as nine years’ old new again. I have a whole post about how I would be this exact car if I were a car, but I digress.

Just a few days later our little Corgle mix, Lenny, started acting lethargic. Stopped eating, started puking, and lost his pep. CLP took him to a new vet, who speculated that maybe he had eaten a stick or caught a bug, gave us a $250+ bill and some medicine, and sent them home. After a few more days of weight loss and lethargy, we became gravely concerned and took him to our old vet (fantastic, reliable, but more expensive and far away). Some tests, x-rays, subcutaneous fluids an overnight stay and another $800+ later, we found out our little Lenny Lou has Addison’s disease. Addison’s is an endocrine system disorder that affects the adrenal glands’ ability to function. It looks a lot like renal failure, and sometimes can be confused with Cushing’s. The good news is it is treatable with daily prednisone (he’s already getting food aggressive and it’s only been a week) and a monthly $125 shot. He’ll have a normal life, but this treatment will last the rest of his days.

A few days after that I went to my OB for my 35 week check up to find out I’d lost my plug (gross, I know, sorry), was over 50% effaced, and was 2 cm. dilated. She said, “You really could go into labor at any time, but the good news is there isn’t any traffic on the weekends, so you will be able to get here easily in the next couple days.” That was the 11th. On the 15th, when I went in for my next appointment, I was dilated to 4 cm and she said she was surprised I hadn’t gone into labor yet. We talked about bringing my overnight bag with me on the 21st if I was 5 cm. dilated, and we talked again about inducing on the 21st because of my high blood pressure (which had been lower for a few weeks). She said she would send me to labor and delivery with my bags on the 21st. On the 17th I saw my high risk doctor, who told me the baby was a full pound bigger than mini Gwinn was at birth. He said I wasn’t in labor just yet, but was “probably” going to “go into labor in the next hour or two” and he advised I stay close to the hospital, take a jaunt around IKEA, and see how things were. After an hour of milling around at IKEA, I went home. After no contractions over the weekend, but a lot of symphysis pubis dysfunction pain, we were looking forward to today.

My parents came down to stay with us last night to help with mini Gwinn while CLP and I went to the doctor’s office. We packed my car with the bags, nursing pillow, treats for the labor and delivery team, and headed to the hospital with anticipation. I could barely walk from the SPD pain, but we were eager to see the doctor and go to the maternity ward. We waited. And waited. And when she finally came in, she did a quick check to tell me I was still 4 cm. and tried to leave. CLP told her I was in physical pain, which she brushed off as “late pregnancy discomfort”, told her I couldn’t walk, reminded her we live 45 min. away from the hospital, and that I’ve been dilated for weeks now, my blood pressure was high again today, that I have no plug, and we had made provisions based upon what all the doctors told us. After waiting at the doctor’s office for two hours, we were sent home, tired and disappointed, and still very pregnant.

My parents went home, we snuggled and played with our little guy, but it’s so frustrating. The symphysis pubis dysfunction pain is keeping me from sleeping for more than an hour or two at a time now, and I’m barely able to walk. Before, I wasn’t too worried about delivery since my first was so uncomplicated. Now that I know 2.0 is bigger than mini Gwinn, that labor with SPD this severe will be painful, and that the length of the labor will be ridiculously short, I’m a little freaked out. I don’t want to deal with stitches (I have no idea how to take care of them and I haven’t had to mess with them before, plus I have other people to take care of!), apparently I’m going to need the epidural for SPD (I’m allergic to the epidural), and I may or may not get to the hospital in time to get one- lots of contingencies in this- AND not knowing when this is going to happen, I’m stressed. The average couple usually has family in town, hasn’t had to deal with bed rest for the preceding three months before delivery, doesn’t live almost an hour from their hospital and hasn’t had the string of bad luck we’ve had in the past 30 days.

Can you tell I’m a little overwhelmed?


My Heart Has Legs

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Before his brother arrives and changes our lives forever, I’ve been trying to soak up the greatness that is mini Gwinn. With a two year old, every day is a new adventure.

He has started singing and I’m calling it “ear chocolate ” because I can’t think of anything that sounds sweeter than his little voice carrying a melody. It’s Heaven in my music major ears. His favorite song right now is “Goldfish” by Laurie Berkner. He’s invented his own motions for the songs and loves to act it out.

His counting has really progressed and it’s super cool to hear him count to eleven on his own. He’s started identifying letters of the alphabet as well. If we ask him where a letter is, he will point to it. He kind of sings the melody of the alphabet song, but doesn’t really grasp the letter order yet.

A few days ago he just started peeing on our toilet. Totally on his own volition, he climbs onto the big people toilet (we have a nifty lid/ seat combo on the one in his bathroom with a fold- down child seat) and cheers for himself when he pees. He is also magically into the “big boy diapers” (aka the training pants) we’ve had in his bathroom for months. I’m equating it to his acute empathy for knowing something is about to change in the house. He has started saying “brother” and has felt the baby move a few times, which makes him erupt into giggles.

Children are much more sensitive to changes than we realize. That being said, after working with hundreds of children his age, I believe that mini Gwinn is one of the most empathetic children I’ve ever seen. While other children his age may be able to prattle off the names of dictators in Europe or obscure Broadway titles, I don’t think it’s fair to measure his intelligence based upon rote memorization or this kind of knowledge. He’s very physical in his learning (he is a kinetic and visual learner), but I think his emotional intelligence is really where he shines. He’s aware of how other children and adults feel around him and works to make them, well, comfortable. He’s such a naturally happy child that it throws him off when he encounters a shy child or a bully (he recovers quickly). I can give his dad credit for this contribution to our little guy’s personality – my husband is more sensitive than I am. That’s not to say I’m not socially aware, I just usually don’t care (unless I’m with people I care about). Anyway. I digress.

He’s transitioned so amazingly from “baby” to “toddler” that I’m excited to see how he adapts to being a big brother. We’ve read books to him nightly about bringing home a new baby and we talk about it regularly, but I don’t expect him to understand. I don’t think Captain Laser Pants and I fully grasp it yet. I’ve read about “sibling gifts” to exchange in the hospital and I’m leaning towards a super hero themed idea. I saw a quote from Marc Brown, a prolific children’s author, that said “Sometimes being a brother is better than being a super hero”. Since the boys have a mama who loves her super heroes, I feel like that’s a positive message to begin their relationship. I’m not fooling myself into thinking they’ll have a flawless friendship from day one, but the relationship brothers have is unmatched (sister relationships are equal but different) when it’s cultivated and encouraged. Maybe I’m being unrealistic, but I want to teach these two boys that they are one another’s support, not rivals.

And when I look at my heart walking around (that’s what I call mini Gwinn), I have a really good feeling that he will understand that he is 2.0’s mentor very early on.


My Uterus is at Capacity

This Saturday marks the 36 point in this pregnancy. But my uterus is at capacity. There is no more room, I tell you. No more. We’re inducing (as far as I know) on the 21st and it cannot get here more quickly. Between the braxton hicks contractions, getting up five to seven times a night to pee (NO joke) with symphysis pubis dysfunction keeping me from taking steps (I do a heel to toe shuffle to get around at night), the acid reflux, high blood pressure and headaches, I’m totes over it.

Hopefully in the next post I’ll put up pictures of the nursery and all the awesome stuff mini Gwinn has been doing (like singing, which is ear chocolate: sweetest thing ever, or peeing on the potty on his own volition, and saying the cutest crap ever).

For now, though, I’m complaining. It’s cool that I get a nonstress test and ultrasound every week, and it’s cool that in 14 days we’ll have a new little dude, but for real, can I be done?