Yesterday on the drive from my office to pick up Casey from Maria's, I was listening to Katy Perry's Roar on the radio. It's a pretty upbeat, fun song with empowering lyrics but next thing I knew, I had tears streaming down my face. I think it would be easy to blame this on pregnancy hormones but I just don't think that's the case this time around. Sometimes I think I just get overwhelmed and tired of putting on my brave face and just need to cry.
A couple months ago, my dad had a relentless cough so my mom basically forced him to go to the doctor. You know men, unless they are on the verge of death they will never willingly seek help. They thought it was pneumonia and tried to treat him with medication but the cough was persistent. This led to chest x-rays that determined he had a mass in his lung which led to scans and an eventual biopsy. Their identification of the tumor turned out to be false so we are not sure if the mass is cancerous or not. Tomorrow morning, he is going in for surgery and an extended hospital stay. My dad already has Parkinson's and I sort of feel like this is the last thing this guy needs. It's terrible seeing my dad age and get sick and I hate it.
Another person aging poorly in my family is my Gran. My mom's mother is my last remaining grandparent and is in her late 80s. She's been a bit dingy for a while now but only recently she has become quite repetitive and very forgetful. For a couple years now she's been living in an apartment for the elderly with a caretaker coming every morning to bathe her and help her with breakfast and lunch. My parents bring her dinner or take her out to dinner five out of seven nights a week to afford her some kind of independence but the fact of the matter is, she's no longer doing very well and it's likely that by the end of the year, probably sooner, she will have to go into a nursing home.
Work is the same as work has ever been in that it is feast or famine when it comes to how busy we are. I assume our company is doing quite well because we all received 5% raises and a 20-year anniversary monetary bonus recently but something feels "off" lately. Our front office is not running so smoothly and it's a source of daily frustration for me. My direct supervisor is very good to me but is also a micro-manager and after seven years of having to sort of fight to prove myself, I grow weary. All my vacation time is spent in Michigan or tending to the family and I guess, quite frankly, I'm a little bit burned out. Maternity leave cannot come soon enough although that hardly qualifies as a sabbatical, does it?
Last week was the last week of Husband's furlough (unpaid leave) and his struggles with trying to find work up here in addition to that furlough have been quite a strain as well. We are well past the five-year mark of him working part-time in San Diego and I'm extremely tired of him having to keep going down there pretty much weekly despite the fact that he has proven his work performance does not suffer when he works out of the base blocks from our home. While I'm extremely grateful for his income and our insurance, I really anxiously want to start our lives where he is home full-time. Only six more months until I pop and we're going to have to face some serious decision making.
I have so much to be grateful for and I'm very conscious of them but these things must have been percolating under the surface and finally just boiled over. I take comfort in the fact that I have a roof over my head and a family that I love. No one is wanting for anything. We are surrounded by good friends. For the most part, we have our health. I'm glad to know I am strong enough to hold down the fort and hold it together despite how overwhelming things sometimes feel. I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Afternoon Edit: Today is the day I think I have felt the baby move for the first time. It's that hollow, thumping feeling... kind of like something bubbling? Yup. Felt it today. Thought it was the water I was drinking but now I'm not so sure.
I chose this picture to represent this week's pregnancy entry not because you can see my terrible complexion or the baggage under my eyes, but because that red in my eye is the result of dry heaving. I seem to be on a pretty regular schedule with my "morning" sickness and at least for the last week, I have thrown up every other day. What's odd is that on the days I haven't thrown up, Casey has. I'm beginning to wonder if because we are so close, he is having his own version of sympathy pains. And yes I realize how crazy that sounds but he doesn't seem sick at all. We have a doctor's appointment for him soon so I'll be sure to check on that before you all think I'm a neglectful mother.
Coffee is no longer something I can be a part of, even though I tried cutting my cup in half with milk. It seems the only way I can enjoy my favorite morning beverage is in latte form so I have been spoiling myself most mornings with a venti hazelnut latte from Starbucks with a single shot of espresso. More milk, less caffeine. Seems alright to me aside from the astronomical expense. That and my protein bistro box - also one of the few things I can keep down - is a $10/day breakfast. Money? Yes, I burn it.
Recently I have been sporting longer hair than I'm used to and I have finally reached the point where I am DONE WITH IT. For some reason, I am losing hair quite a bit this pregnancy. I remember retaining all my hair with Casey and it was thick and luscious, only falling out postpartum. Not so much this go 'round. I can no longer stand it touching my face and all I do is pull it behind my ears anyway so this Saturday, it's all going bye bye. I told my mom this morning to give our hairdresser the head's up that I wasn't going to take any lip when I go in there and tell her I want it gone. We'll see how it goes.
On Saturday, August 24, Casey turned three years old. We had a "small" gathering of about a dozen adults and four children. As you can see, it was a Planes theme per Casey's request. His Gaga and Papa bought all kinds of decorations and plates and hats and whatnot so he was thrilled when he woke up on his birthday morning and saw airplanes hanging all over the ceiling in the living room.
Here's a picture of Casey and Sasha in the Spiderman bouncy house. Planes bouncy houses weren't available but Casey loves superheroes more than anything on earth anyway so it all worked out. I tell you what, if you have more than three children at your house at any given time, a bouncy house is worth every single cent you can spend.
Here we are at gift opening time, Casey surrounded by his guests and Mama in the middle. He got spoiled with lots of arts and crafts supplies and more superhero figurines than you can shake a stick at. I'm glad we only had a few people over otherwise we'd have no room for all his toys in our home. The kids were so good at helping him open his gifts. It was really cute.
And finally here is the birthday boy in his wee party crown from the Disney store just prior to us singing happy birthday to him. He really had no time for organized events at his party thanks to superheroes and friends and bouncy houses but he did humor us for long enough to sing and blow out the candles. The fact that my boy skipped cake - his favorite thing ever - says much.
The next day I was literally bedridden. I'm sure glad this will be my last hosted gathering as a pregnant person. I had to take a bath in Epsom salt because my legs were so sore and painkillers are a no-no. I spent all day either on the couch or in bed. And naturally, by the end of the afternoon, I was booting with not even a hangover to blame. Party time, indeed.
Welcome to the 2nd trimester! 14 weeks down, 26 to go. Here is a picture of me in prison, no just kidding it's just my horrible bathroom at work. I'm trying to capture "the bump" but I think I just look chubby. I weigh about as much as I did a year ago when I was actively exercising and dieting: 217. I'm sure the lack of beer has something to do with it but for the past week I have been vomiting almost daily so I've lost about 7 pounds since conception. I was under the impression that "morning" sickness let up about now but apparently mine is just starting. I have an aversion to drinking even water and although eating is just not something I particularly enjoy right now, I'm trying to power through for the sake of the fetus.
I had my OBGYN checkup yesterday and he said everything looked great in regards to the testing we had done last week. I told him "Yeah everything except the missing penis!" and we had a good laugh. He was impressed we could tell so soon. We got to listen to the heartbeat for a bit and it didn't seem as though
there was much cause for concern on any level so that's always nice. I told him about the vomiting and he said it was pretty normal (that some women have it until 6 months!) but gave me a prescription for an anti-nausea medicine if I was interested. I don't think I will use it because he said vomiting 3-4 times a day is cause for concern but not really once a day. I'm sure I can power through with this one just like I did with Casey but booting at work is totally embarrassing and not really something I want to do especially when my co-workers comment on it. Yes, apparently I work in not only a prison, but a frat house.
Husband had asked me if I would ask the office for a doctor's note saying it would be in the best interest of this pregnancy if he worked closer to home so I did that. I hope the Navy will take that into consideration but I sure felt silly asking for a letter that basically states the obvious. Of course it's better that a spouse be with his pregnant wife and three-year old son as opposed to nearly 200 miles away, right? Doc said he'd do it and the lady at the front desk and I got a general outline going before I left their office. I feel like I should probably get those folks a box of chocolates or something for always being so dang nice and helpful.
Today we went to the first trimester aneuploidy screening with the genetic specialist because the fetus is exactly at 13 weeks and frankly, the first trimester is essentially over today. This test included a blood draw and an extensive ultrasound that was
even in 3D or 4D or whatever the heck that is called. According to the
doctor and the ultrasound technician, the baby is looking good as far as
pulse and measurements and that sort of thing. They measure the neck
during this screening to determine what kind of odds the baby has of
being born with Downs plus they make sure the heart looks good and there doesn't seem to be any worry on either account. I was asked if I wanted to do an amniocentesis because I will be 36 years old when I pop but I think I will decline because a) nothing seems amiss and b) after two miscarriages, I don't see the sense in adding the risk of putting a giant needle anywhere near my belly or this child. An amnio is closer to 100% in determining birth defects and that sort of thing whereas today's screening is more like 90%.
They did acknowledge something with my placenta that explained that bleeding a few weeks ago but it doesn't seem to be a worry now. I had hypothyroid before Casey was born but being pregnant with him made everything normal again which is highly irregular. They want to keep an eye on that because the thyroid really gets tapped when you're with child I guess. I have an appointment with my OBGYN next Tuesday and I'm sure he'll have more to say about what went down today. I guess my blood pressure is like on the cusp of being high but it was high with Casey too. I've lost 5 pounds since I conceived. The baby weighs an ounce so... I mean, yeah I shouldn't be gaining weight but I definitely wore maternity pants yesterday and this morning Husband said "You look pregnant." Yippee. My nipples would agree. So hideous. Barf count is up to three now but each time it's mostly just been foamy dry heaving. You're welcome.
And while the technician told us that "she wouldn't paint the nursery pink" she is pretty sure this baby is a girl. First of all, there was no penis all up on the monitor like there was with Casey. Secondly, there is a nub in the genital area and if it runs parallel with the spine, the baby is likely a girl. With boys, the nub kind of points up and out. I had read that on a website and said something about it to the technician and she totally agreed that was true. I figured she'd dismiss it as tomfoolery but she didn't and that nub (not pictured here today) is definitely parallel. We'll know for sure in a few weeks.
Here is "her" left profile. She's got her arm up and her hand up by her face. This is that weird 3D/4D technology that we didn't have the pleasure of being a part of with Casey.
This is her butt and long ol' froggy legs. Maybe she'll be the only one in our family with long legs? As you can see, there's a clear split there that I can only assume is NOT A PENIS. Again, we shall know more for certain in about 5-6 weeks.
If you keep coming here looking for grown-up movie reviews (almost said "adult movie" there but that changes everything!): I hate to be the one to burst your bubble, but it doesn't seem like it's happening. I have Netflix rentals gathering dust from months of sitting there unwatched. My life has become a constant stream of children's On Demand or Netflix Streaming and DVR'd television... that is, when I'm not falling asleep at 8:30 at night or napping my weekends away. In other words, I'm a big ol' slacker when it comes to movies. I won't even begin to pretend that I read books.
This weekend, we took Casey to the movie theater to see Planes. We have had this movie on the calendar for ages and we were all really looking forward to it. It's fun to have these little family outings! Prior to actually going to the theater, we read some pretty unfriendly reviews and it was kind of bumming us out. Lots of references to this just being one big commercial and there not being jokes and sort of on and on. Husband and I both talked about how reviewers, who are mostly jaded adults, never seem to really take into consideration these movies simply were not made with them in mind. They were made because children love them and they are magical. Kids don't care if movies are formulaic; they love repetition! In other words? Haters gonna hate.
As for this hater, er... "reviewer"... I actually liked the movie quite a bit though it is totally Cars in the air. I will admit it took me a while to become invested in the characters and the story. It had a bit of a slow burn and until the actual race started, I was a little bored. Husband, however, thought the loud music and the fast flying was a totally kick-ass way to start a movie. Casey was on cloud nine the entire time but he might have been high on Reese's Pieces and popcorn so it's hard to say. It was a beautiful movie and with epic shots of colorful airplanes flying above this beautiful world of ours. I laughed a bit, especially at the Mexican airplane: Chupacabra. And naturally, because this was a Disney movie, I wept (because I'm a hormonal mess). Damn you, Disney! Casey has not stopped re-creating the movie with the Planes figurines we got him at the Disney store the day before for being a little less of a psychopath when he got his haircut on Saturday. All in all, I'd say it was a win.
Here he is with Dusty figurine in hand and Dusty shirt on. Hehe
12 weeks today, 28 to go. Jackpot is lime-sized. Still super tired all the time. Still fighting this weird nausea feeling. Breaking out in pimples everywhere. Ultrasound next Wednesday morning for birth defect screening. Still kind of in denial about this whole thing. Still not gaining weight but am digging the 219 on the scale as sick as that may be.
Work has been sort of a nightmare for like two weeks now because three dudes in my office took vacation and I'm picking up the slack. It's not that fun and I leave in the afternoon feeling like a total zombie. I like being busy but this is a bit much. Feast or famine seems to be the way this place runs though.
Reading the news makes me so angry. This morning I read that 2 kids were killed by a 100 pound, 15 foot snake. What the hell is a snake of that size doing around two little kids in an apartment? Why not just have a lion in there? And the grandmother who put methadone on her grand-children's gums to get them to sleep, killing one of them? And BFF telling me about a quote in an article regarding childhood obesity quoting a mom that tried Whole Foods but it was just too expensive!? WHOLE FOODS? REALLY!!!??? Argh. I just can't stand it.
I was also upset by some people on Facebook yesterday that were irritated enough to post their irritation because an Amber Alert was issued to their cell phone. Mind you two people are dead and potentially two other children are kidnapped but GOD FORBID it interrupt your texting. Jesus. Is there just no hope for humanity?
Friday evening we had a quick little surprise visit from BFF but a lot of the weekend was spent resting and/or sleeping because I just didn't feel so great. I know, hide your surprise. It even meant missing a visit with the lovely Lisa on Saturday afternoon which is quite disappointing at best. On Sunday morning I did muster the strength to attend the Ventura County Fair though!
This adorable shot was taken as we walked in the fair. It's so rare that Casey actually smiles for a picture I had to have it. Husband and I are both breaking out in acne like pubescent, oily teenagers and we were so shiny and gross that I opted out of the family picture. Yes. I'm that vain.
First stop was the animals because I was trying my hardest to avoid going on fair rides.
Here we are looking at the baby pigs together. Husband took this and I love it because we're so cute but DAMN MY ASS IS BIG.
Casey would not stop talking about the damn blue dragon ride that we saw as we walked into the fair despite my best efforts to distract him so he and Dada inevitably ended up riding it. At least it looks like he had a good time on the spinning death trap.
I also thought it was very important that he ride the big slide so I went up with him and pushed him down like the big bad bully I am. It took me forever to get down from there, by the way. God forbid anyone let the pregnant woman walk down the stairs before they send up the masses. I certainly wasn't going down the slide!
And finally here is the photo of Casey with the gross carny prize that Husband won by breaking a bottle with a baseball. Everyone knows he must prove his strength and manliness by breaking things any time we attend a fair-like atmosphere.