The most beautiful baby in the world…

Well, it’s been quite a journey since New Year’s day when I found out we were pregnant. Today, I am the blissfully happy mother of a 2 month old baby boy 🙂 🙂 🙂

I should have posted throughout the pregnancy to remember all of the wonderful feelings and such, but I was afraid to jinx the most awesome thing to ever happen to me ever.

After 2 positive pee sticks and a blood test, we decided to tell everyone. And I mean everyone. Hubby couldn’t WAIT to tell everyone. We had to rush out and tell our parents and family right away so that hubby could make his announcement to all his friends at his fire meeting that night.

The first trimester seemed to take foreverrrrrrrr. Every time I went to the bathroom I was afraid I would see blood. Every minor ache or twinge sent my brain into orbit wondering if that was normal, is there something wrong with the baby. I wore out google on my phone.

The second trimester I was cautiously optimistic. We started to buy things for the baby. The crib. The carseat. The stroller. One at a time. Each journey to the baby store getting us more excited. Hubby felt the baby kick for the first time on Father’s Day. I know, right?

The last trimester was exciting. Each doctor’s visit we would either see the baby or hear his heartbeat. The ultrasounds were amazing and magical. I could see the little guy, but it still wasn’t real to me. Even when I could feel him move around and kick, I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that there was a real baby in there, when we had wished for this for so long. Choosing a name is the single most difficult thing ever. It’s just so permanent. On a mini-vacation-family-event we chose a name for our son and made it facebook official.

In the final stretch of pregnancy, we finished the nursery. It was perfect. We painted it together (hubby HATES painting, so this was huge) and arranged the crib, dresser, and glider. I washed and put away all the little tiny clothes. I put away all his toys. Set up the diaper station. Washed bottles. I totally “nested”. Since my doctor was inducing labor, I could plan my last day at work and get all the things ready at home. I worked out in the yard trimming shrubs and weeding the gardens. Everything was READY. Everything was PERFECT. All in all, I really had a perfect pregnancy. No morning sickness. No headaches, nausea, or heartburn. I only gained 14 lbs, but the stretch marks on my tummy looked like an interstate map. My maternity clothes were even getting too small. My skin was clear. No mood swings, cravings or aversions. The doctor insisted I had gestational diabetes. I went along with it for the extra ultrasounds. 🙂

On a Sunday morning, we left very early in the morning to go to the hospital and start the induction. We were so excited. All day long the medicine dripped into my veins and the contractions gradually grew stronger and more frequent. Our family waited anxiously in the waiting room for news that it was finally time. We walked the halls, they cheered as we walked by. By dinner time, the doctor decided to break my water to help move things along. Of course, hubby had just left to grab a quick bite with his dad. After that, the contractions definitely became stronger and more intense. By 9/10:00, we pushed our family to go home and rest and we would call them with the news. The contractions were no longer fun. The epidural was glorious. My 3rd labor nurse of the day was also pregnant and went into labor that night. Small world, we had the same doctor. So by 2:00am Monday morning when the decision was made to proceed with a C-section, we had to wait for my doctor to finish delivering my nurse’s baby via C-section in the operating room we were headed to.

Baby boy was turned on his side and was just not moving down anymore. So, we had to deliver him via C-section. My whole life I have never been very sick, broke a bone, or even had stitches. I never imagined I would have a C-section. And if I did, I thought I would at least be anxious about it. To my surprise, I wasn’t upset at all. I was just ready to meet my baby boy. Once the decision was made, things moved very fast. Hubby was ordered to put on a hazmat looking suit, footies, cap, and face mask. Of course he had to do this while simultaneously packing us up to move to our recovery room, call our parents, and get the camera ready. 10 minutes later we were in the operating room. Everything moved so fast and in slow motion all at the same time. 10 minutes later my baby is pulled from my loins and screaming his lungs out. And THAT’S when it hit me. THAT’S when it finally became real to me. I was a mom. Hubby was a dad. WE WERE PARENTS. And I cried like a fool. Hubby was wonderful and took tons of pictures while updating me. He has 10 fingers and toes! He has blonde hair – and lots of it! His hands are huge! He’s definitely a boy! Between the swirl of emotions running through my head and all the pain meds running through my veins, I was speechless. In awe. In love.

The next day started very early. We only got a couple hours of sleep before the hurricane of visitors and well-wishers invaded. Fortunately, I had the best nurses in the world and helped me get up and cleaned up before it got too crazy. I expected to be in a lot of pain and feeling miserable, but I felt great and couldn’t wait to get out of bed. The wonderful nurses told me I had to wait until I could feel my legs again. Oh yeah. Ugh.

All day long we had a parade of family and friends who came to see our little miracle. It was great. Hubby was the proudest papa in all the land. We took hundreds of pictures. I tried to breastfeed. Totally not as easy as it seems like it should be, but we did it.

Tuesday everybody went back to work so we were able to relax more and enjoy our son. The wonderful nurses finally let me take a shower. And let me tell you. It was the most glorious shower ever. I was still feeling pretty good and put on regular clothes. Shorts and a tank top I think. Gawd the rooms are so hot. The hospital provided adorable mesh panties and pads that could sop up the great lakes. But I didn’t care. I was a mom. Getting to know our baby was fun. He cried everytime he was hungry and everytime he pooped. This made it pretty easy to know what to do and when. Otherwise, he just slept. And was cute. And was perfect. Late that night they came to do his circumcision. I cried and cried. I’ve never cried in front of hubby before. I did then. I was glad he was there.

After we went home, our new chapter began. Baby boy was awesome. He slept all night, except to eat. And I usually woke him up to eat. Once he reached 10 lbs, the doctor said to let him sleep and let him wake me up. He takes good naps during the day. After about 3 weeks, he started getting fussy at night. But now at 9 weeks that seems to be going away. He has just started smiling and turning to react to voices. He’s pretty much the cutest thing ever.

I expected the recovery from a C-section to be very painful and to be tired all the time. That wasn’t the case at all. I felt great! I felt so good that I took baby boy for walks everyday that the weather was nice. By the 2nd week we were home we were going on 2.5 mile walks. The more I moved, the better I felt. By 6 weeks postpartum, I had lost all the weight I gained during pregnancy plus another 25 lbs. Every time I got on the scale it moved down. I felt GREAT.

Nursing wasn’t working after the first week, but continued to pump. That lasted a few more weeks until I gave up. I really have a new respect for mothers who breastfeed/pump. It’s a lot of commitment. You are tethered to either a baby or a pump every 3-4 hours for 20 minutes at a time. And you can’t do anything. Especially if you’re pumping. Baby crying? Phone ringing? Unannounced visitors popping in? Too bad. If you move, you will spill/leak milk alloverthegoddamnplace. Cry over spilled milk? Hell yeah. I worked hard for that shit. Oh, and intimacy? Not so much. Leaking nipples is a total mood killer. So are breast pads poking out of your super-notsexy nursing bra. Even if you are rocking E’s. And yes, there is such a thing as too big. Even if hubby is a boob guy. And seriously? Why can’t they make sexy nursing bras? Come on Victoria! Where are you when I need you most???

The company I work for has been awesome and I enjoyed 9 glorious weeks at home with my baby. They told me to take all the time I wanted since I was also working from home a little bit. 9 weeks is all I felt I could afford. Hubby and I had serious conversations about me staying home for a few years. Arranging childcare is a nightmare/ emotional roller coaster. I’m torn. I want to stay home and be with my baby all day and take care of everything at home. I feel I need to contribute financially. Also, I carry the insurance since hubby is self-employed. Although, if we do the farming thing right, we can buy our own policy at a discount. If we work hard and pay off a few things, financially we can afford for me to stay home. But is it really best for us? Is daycare/preschool good for him developmentally and socially? What about the exposure to germs? Can I put more energy into hubby’s business and the farm to make up for the lost income? Lost income aside, how will I feel about not bringing home a paycheck every week? How does hubby feel about being the sole breadwinner? Even if I am working alongside him from home? Can we put all our eggs in one basket? I did, however, enjoy taking baby boy to ride with daddy in the combine. And being on top of everything at home. And if I was home all the time I would dive into it. Library time. Playdates. Daily exercise. Nailing down work for lawn/snow business. Parts runs. Become a frugalista. Ugh. So many question marks. My heart is torn. My brain is torn. I’ve waited so long for baby boy I want to be with him all the time. And yet, I need to do whatever is best for him. For our family. How does one know what is best?

 

 

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It’s really real….

So hubby and I went to have an ultrasound yesterday. Well, I did. He just watched! Miracle of all miracles, there it was. Our baby on the screen. At least that’s what the tech said it was. I just saw a fuzzy blob…. with a blinking spot that she said was the heart. It was the most beautiful gray blinking blob I ever did see. Everything measured right on target and heartrate was perfectly within range.

I always imagined this would be some dramaticly emotional moment for us, but it wasn’t. We just kept our eyes glued to the screen. Not sure what hubby was thinking, but I was a swirl of all sorts of emotions: disbelief, belief, joy, amazement, wonder, happiness, worry, anxiety, all rolled into a plastered grin. We are happy to report one healthily devoloping embryo. We are finally, finally, opening the next chapter in our happily ever after…

2 pink lines

For the first time ever, I peed on a stick and got 2 pink lines.

Yup.

I’m one smug motherfucker. And cautiously optimistic.

I called the doctor to find out what to do – you think I would have researched this before now – and she said it could be a false positive, since I took Ovidrel a week ago.

Here’s to hoping for still having 2 pink lines on Sunday…. 🙂

BOOM

So…. we’re not pregnant. In fact, today is cycle day 3 and begins a whole new round of blood tests and ultrasounds and self injections, oh my! Am I bummed the last cycle didn’t work? Absolutely. Am I ready to give up and throw in the towel? Hell to the N-O.

It is expensive. It’s very expensive. But I know. I KNOW we are meant to be parents and i KNOW it’s gonna happen. I’m disappointed that it didn’t happen in time for Christmas. But in my life, everything seems to happen in it’s own perfect timing.

So, here we go again. Oh what fun!

This is it…. the final countdown

Not to freedom from debt however. We are ALMOST there. Close enough to sleep at night. No, the countdown I’m referring to is one we’ve been (not so) patiently waiting for for a very long time.

We’ve been seeing a fertility specialist since July. After 3 failed rounds of clomid, this is our first cycle with gonal injections. It is VERY expensive. But… tomorrow i will ovulate. And it will finally be possible for us to conceive our first child. I’m so nervous/excited/anxious/weepy all at the same time that i’m not quite sure what to feel. I feel like I could just spontaneously burst out of my skin at any second. We are fully aware that the chances of successful conception is the same as a normal pregnancy, however it is possible. The first possibility. Ever. I really really really want to get my hopes up and think this is it. It is very very hard to keep convincing myself it may not happen. I’m all over the map. Not quite sure how else to express my feelings, other than i really really really really really really really hope this works! Nothing would make us happier than to announce the impending arrival of the first grandchild to my parents for Christmas. We need this. They need this. We all eagerly await this child. I hope and pray that we are able to conceive… this week! These past 2 weeks have already been the longest 2 weeks of my life. Self injections every night, remembering to take medications morning noon and night, blood test every other day, and ultrasounds…. The next 2 weeks are going to be an eternity…. Please Lord, with all of my heart and soul I pray that we are able to conceive a healthy child with this cycle.

My Time

As we continue our journey to free ourselves from the ball and chain of debt, I find myself finally thinking about the future. For so many years, I could only focus on immediate needs. Living day to day, dollar to dollar. Survival mode. Food, shelter, transportation – that’s it. Stressing about being able to make even the minimum payments. I became a master at the bill-pay lottery. Knowing what needed to be paid on-time, and what could stretch.

Now that the demands on our money is easing, my mind wonders occasionally from needs to wants. And sometimes in silly ways. For example, I find myself putting on makeup everyday now. Whereas before, I would skimp as much as possible so that I would have makeup available for special occassions. Before you start shaking your head and laughing, makeup is expensive. And i don’t shop at Macy’s or other boutiques. I’m taking covergirl from walmart. But i could never justify spending $6 or $7 on eye-shadow when that could cover lunches for the week.

Recently, I also took a huge leap of faith and got my first treatment of laser hair removal. It was not nearly as expensive as i thought it would be, and i negotiated a payment plan. So, for a few hundred dollars over a few months time, my self-confidence has increased ten-fold. As few as six months ago, I would have never considered such an extravagence for myself. I’m so glad I finally did it. I feel like a girl again.

I’ve also been seeing my doctor regularly trying to get my body in shape so that hubby and I can get pregnant. I had lost a total of 26 lbs, but have recently gained 7 back. I need to stay committed. I need to stop whining and making excuses.

Due to the ease of financial stress, weight loss, the laser hair removal, and the increased desire to wear makeup and look nice, I’ve noticed my attitude change. I’m not nearly as angry all the time. I find myself chatting with people more, making small talk, laughing and giggling. Before, I was all business all the time. Come, go, maybe wave hello. I was polite, but I didn’t go out of my way to be conversational. I assumed nobody would want to converse with such a hideous creature. And so i spared my feelings by just avoiding people all together as much as possible.

Every ounce of confidence fuels my desire to become the person I want to be. Sliding on my size smaller pants in the morning makes me want to go running. Zipping up my jacket and noticing the extra room makes me want to do more crunches. Feeling good is addictive. Same with finances. Every time open the mail and see the balances getting lower, I just want to send them more money and see that balance fall even more.

This year is my time. My time to get our financial ship right sided and steered into smooth waters. My time to get my body in shape. My time to achieve the dreams I’ve been longing for. My time to become the wife (and mother!) I’ve always wanted to be. I’m moving off of the sidelines and jumping into the game. Nothing is going to hold me back!

2011 Progress Check…. Survey says??????

Way back in January i listed some short term and long term goals. The short terms goals were basically a to-do list I was whining about, and got all of those done in short order. My annual goals were a bit lofitier and required a bit more work/patience/determination.

So, without further ado, below is my original list of goals and their results…

1.Pay off dump truck.  [There is a balance of $1100. It will be PAID OFF in January!]

2.Pay off 3 credit cards. [Actually PAID OFF 5! Yesireeee, $3175 – GONE. Plus, paid down another $2100 on the remaining cards.]

3.Establish an E-fund. [Started out great, ended up needing to use some. Currently have $2,000 stashed. Not bad, but not the $5,000 i was aiming for.]

4.Establish savings for: Christmas, Health, Rainy Day. And set it up to contribute automatically. I use ING Direct so this is the easiest thing in the world. Just need to do it. And not “borrow” from it. [Set-up account for Christmas. Saved $1000 and used some of it for my shopping. Still have about $300 in there for next year. 🙂  Did not set up Health because we may do Flexible Spending at work. FAILED at setting up Rainy Day fund. Unless the cookie jar counts? There’s a few Benjamin’s in there…]

5.Lose some weight. Specific numbers and/or plans seem to have the opposite effect. So, let’s just keep it vague and any victory will be a win! [WOOOO-HOOOOO!!! Lost 23 lbs this year! Down a pants size and feeling good about the progress. Doc would like to see me lose another 20-30 before we go to fertility specialist. Got an ipod for Christmas, so loading up playlists for workouts.]

6. a) commit to making healthier meals [Sorta. Kinda. Not eating as many carbs. Definately eating at home a lot more. I give it a 50%]

7. b) get a complete physical [Done. everything good except triglycerides a touch high.]

8. c) work out at least 1 day a week at the fire hall [I work out at home. As often as i can. Some weeks it’s every day, some weeks 0 days. Hey, i’m busy. I do it when i can. Let’s call it 50%]

9.Paint the downstairs and decorate. We’ve been there 10 years. It’s about time. [FAIL. I got as far as painting some sample colors on the wall. Hubby freaked the ‘f’ out. Back to square one. Found some inspirational idea pics. Just need to find the right shade of paint and hire a painter.]

10.Might as well make it an even 10. Get back into taking lots of pictures and scrapbooking. Now that i have a cricut, i have nothing to do with it! [Took lots of pictures, but haven’t been able to scrapbook much. It really has been a very busy year for me.]

All in all, i’m pleased with the progress i’ve made on my list of goals. It’s not like i was a total loser. I tried. And succeeded, mostly.

Since New Year’s is only a day away, it’s only fitting to write up a list of GOALS for 2012.

  1. Lose 20-30 more lbs.
  2. Get pregnant
  3. Establish a Rainy Day fund to cover Goal #2 expenses
  4. Paint & Decorate house
  5. Pay off my car

That’s it. That’s all i really care to accomplish in 2012. All i really want is to have a family with the love of my life. All other goals are simply pre-requisites to the ultimate goal: children.