Friday, March 30, 2007

Hell Week and Temper Tantrums

During our lunch break, right before we got out of the car to go back inside the building, my husband did the most delicious thing ever. He ran his fingers through my hair on the back of my head, gripped and tugged gently. Over and over again. For about four minutes. I've always loved it when he did that, and it's been a while. Wow. Just thinking about how good that felt relaxes me. Felt like he was pulling out all my tension. Better than a back rub, and I think that after we were married, in those two precious months before Ben started growing in my belly, my dear husband did that to my hair every night... most likely leading to the baby in the belly.

This has been a week from hell. That whole pregnancy thing has hit me like a sledgehammer with fatigue, nausea, irritability, etc. Every hour has been a struggle. And now it's almost over, and I'm so grateful.

I'm also grateful that my boss is coming back from vacation on Monday. Besides being one of my best friends, she also makes my job a lot easier at work. It's amazing how much she shields from me that I had to deal with this week.

Husband and I had a discussion yesterday about whether or not Ben has had a temper tantrum yet, and what that would look like, and what we would do. We decided that although he's had what we call meltdowns, it's not the true temper tantrums that I remember. But maybe it's because we usually give in. Let me clarify. He'll have meltdowns if we don't give him something that he wants Right That Moment. He wants a bottle NOW, but he has to wait sixty seconds for it to finish heating in the microwave. He wants to play with the saw that daddy left out, but we say no and redirect him to something else. He screams and hollers and cries big tears, but only for about a minute.

And that's not what I remember about temper tantrums. I remember the TTs as a period of time when the child is inconsolable, unable to be reasoned with, for minutes at a time. I think of a toddler throwing himself down on the ground, kicking and screaming, using his whole body to illustrate just how darn mad he is. Am I wrong? Or can meltdowns count as a TT? I don't know why the semantics matter to me. Maybe I'm just trying to prepare myself for something to come, the day when Ben finally has an actual temper tantrum in a horribly public, inconvenient place.

Cute Ben Things:

My parents are stealing Ben away from us Sunday morning to take him to Oshkosh for the day. My niece had a birthday, and she's having a party at the YMCA. And we were all invited. I declined, stating health reasons, but then my sister suggested that Ben come anyway. I bet he'll have a lot of fun playing in the water with all of his cousins, but geez. I'm going to miss the little tyke. This will be his first time in the water since he was six months old, which barely counts.

Ben does this new "spinning" thing. I think it goes in conjunction with a song they sing at daycare, but he does it silently at home. He'll raise his arms out to the side or up high, and he'll spin slowly in circles with this silly, sly smile on his face.

Clapping. We watched American Idol on Tuesday, and Ben was still awake and playing for the first half. He would stand there, enrapt by the singing, and then clap when he saw the audience clapping. It was so precious how he would clap and then look over at us with a smile of achievement.

He still panics a little bit when I go into the bathroom and close the door. After the Trauma That Was Sunday, he's come to associate mommy being in the bathroom alone with mommy feeling sick, and consequently, no more playing with mommy. He's had a few meltdowns this week because of it. When I leave the bathroom, he's usually waiting or comes running with arms outstretched for a hug. Seriously. How cute is that.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Oh Bed, I miss you so.

It was around this point in my first pregnancy that people at work started to comment to my friends that I didn't look so hot.

"What's wrong with Cheryl? Should she be in the hospital?"
"She looks like she got beat up."
"She's pregnant, isn't she?"

Yes, this intense fatigue is due to the pregnancy. This queasiness is because I have a baby in my belly.

Let me talk for a moment about fatigue. I am fatigued because my body is in overdrive, trying to produce a placenta that will support this little runt in my uterus. I am fatigued because of that magical hormone called progesterone that I have coursing through my body.

When I look in the mirror, I see myself as half-baked. Totally. I can't keep my eyes fully open, and it takes a lot of energy to form an expression on my face. Ha. And they expect me to perform at 100% here at work, doing my job as well as that of my vacationing boss (bless her heart). Like that's going to happen.

So, since I can't do a half-assed job here, I have to pick what part of my life I'll let slide. And, ladies and gentlemen, that would be my home life. Our house is a disaster area. Not that it's ever picked up and clean for more than 24 hours at a time, but seriously, that place is getting scary. And I can't really ask Chester to clean up since he's doing way more than his fair share of the parenting lately. I just won't let anyone come inside.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Oh, the nausea!

Is it so terribly wrong that on more than one occasion in the last two days, I've wanted to not be pregnant anymore?

This nausea thing has flattened me like a steamroller. I couldn't get out of bed for anything other than vomiting yesterday. And today? I'm so very queasy and light-headed since I hadn't really eaten anything in 36 hours.

Around noon yesterday, I finally called the on-call doctor and he called in a prescription for Zyrtec. And around five last night, I was finally able to swallow enough liquid to take the pill. I felt a tiny bit better a few hours after that. At least well enough to kiss my son goodnight.

Poor kiddo. So many times yesterday, he'd get so excited to see me come out of the bedroom, only to have the bathroom door shut in his face because Mamma was busy vomiting. He had several meltdowns, but Chester brought him into the bedroom to visit me a couple of times.

And today? Didn't really have a choice. Had to come to work. Both my boss and I were gone last Friday, and that means a proofreading black hole. Turns out even my boss's boss was out sick on Friday, so the other girl in our department was totally freaking out with all the extra, advanced stuff she had to do. They needed me here, and I couldn't really afford to use any of the rest of my 18 hours of sick time that I have for the remainder of the year. Everything at work is in a flurry because they finally announced the restructuring in our departments last Thursday. So many people in an uproar. The transitions will take a couple of months for some people, and my position isn't really affected. But it's drama, and cubicle environments thrive on that stuff.

At lunch, after I ate a half-cup of chicken soup broth and four french fries, I sat out in the car and cried on Chester. I feel so miserable. He reminded me that I was really sick with Ben, too. And I just took it minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. That's nice, but I don't feel the same stamina I had with Ben.

A new pregnancy symptom that I didn't have with Ben? Feeling out of breath. I thought that was just a third trimester symptom. We almost went to the emergency room Thursday night because I couldn't easily catch my breath, but I went online to check, and it turns out it's normal. It's the progesterone surge. So it's normal, but it's still a lousy symptom.

Sorry this post sucks, but my head isn't on right. We have our first OB appointment this afternoon, and if I learn something special, I'll post about it tonight.

Update: No special news from the doctor. Basically just talking and a very uncomfortable pelvic exam. I learned a new word! Friable cervix. The reason for my spotting after the appointment. Further update: I'm getting my appetite back today. I've been snacking all day long on various things like pretzels, cornflakes, mints, french fries, pineapple, etc. Man, the fatigue is hitting me hard. I took a ten-minute nap in the car this morning, a fifteen-minute nap during lunch, and I may or may not do another 10-minute snooze this afternoon.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Real Moms Don't Get Colds. Yeah Right. + Meme

This week is supposed to be a breeze. Chester and I are off on Thursday and Friday to work on our bathroom renovation. I got a cold yesterday, and I'm so very stuffed up. And, since I'm pregnant, I can't take anything but Benadryl. Not a good idea to take while at work.

We had some surprise guests yesterday. My mom, my dad, both of my brothers, one sister-in-law, one niece, and two nephews. Ben was appropriately perky and affectionate for everybody, even if he desperately wanted a nap and passed out right after they left.

Cute Ben Thing:

We had about twenty minutes warning for the surprise guests. Chester ran out to buy us lunch, and I stayed home with Ben to clean. I was making some home-made potpourri on the stove, and I saw Ben come into the kitchen with a baby wipe box that only had a couple left. He pulled one out, squatted, and started to wipe the floor with it. Of course I found that adorable. Little Ben is helping Mamma clean. After about two minutes, he was still at it, so I went to praise his behavior. That's when I noticed there was actually something on the floor that he was trying to wipe up.

Slight back story: about an hour earlier, Ben had found a bottle of milk from the night before. He got a few chugs from it before I took it away and replaced it with a fresh sippy cup.

So Ben had vomited the spoiled milk on the kitchen floor, and he got his baby wipes, and he was cleaning up the mess himself.

How precious is that?

--Last night I made the decision that I need to go back on Zoloft. Chester and I had fought, but instead of getting over it and moving on, I got really depressed and nearly suicidal. So it's probably best if I go back on the pretty blue pills. Oh well. It's been 3 weeks since I went off of them. BTW, I'm feeling better emotionally this morning. Still a little blue, but nothing like last night. Could barely speak around bedtime last night. Just laid there and cried. --

Another Cute Ben Thing:

With the pending arrival of a new bundle of joy, we've been talking about moving Ben into a big boy bed at the tender age of 14.5 months. The time for the transition came naturally. We had brought down the twin bed that was in Ben's room and put it in the dining room for my mother's overnight last week. (She is getting a full knee replacement in April and is in a lot of pain until then). Now that her visit is over, the bed needs to leave the dining room. We decided to just haul up the mattress, and put the boxspring and frame into storage in the basement.

So we did. Immediately, Ben started climbing all over it. He'd lay his head on the pillow and pretend to sleep. Absolutely went crazy over it. So at bedtime, Chester cuddled near him, and Ben actually fell asleep on the big boy bed. Chester put him in his crib for the night, though. We need to buy a side rail to help keep Ben from rolling off in the middle of the night.

It was a victory for a war we didn't even have to wage.

A Quick Meme (tagged by Dana)

Real Moms...

Real moms are able to find impromptu toys for toddlers in unlikely places. Be it restaurants, doctor's offices, post offices. I think it's something that gets wired into our brains when we're in our third trimester. We have to do so many odd things to get comfortable, to find some relief, we start to think outside the box. We know that even though the nice waitress offers crayons and coloring books, we're better off with spoons and straws.

Real moms think that baby hugs are better than heroin or other illicit drugs. Don't get me wrong, I've never been a hard drug user. But getting a good, hard cuddle from my baby boy is better than any therapy or pleasure-giving drug I could get my pudgy hands on. I'll even allow cuddles when he first gets up in the morning and his pants are soaked. Sure, I end up walking downstairs in my underwear with him (because I couldn't stand my jammies being wet), but my husband understands.

Real moms know that sometimes, the kid will not look spotless. Yes, I try to make sure that my son doesn't have an upper lip and nostrils caked in dried snot. But when it comes to my son having a meltdown OR just leaving his nose alone for a trip to the grocery store, I might just let it go.

Real moms truly appreciate the assistance of a good daddy (when there's one in the family picture). Yes, I have aspirations of being Super Mom, but I'm not. And I don't really have to be, because I've got a great partner by my side to step in when I just can't take it anymore. I don't brag about how well I deal with my son without giving my husband his due. I can be Super Mom when I want, but I also get to take naps on Saturday mornings after breakfast. It makes me a better Mamma.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Happy Two-Year Anniversary To Me

Today is our 2-year wedding anniversary, so I figured I'd expound on the wonders of our marriage.

I still think it was pretty much an arranged marriage, courtesy of eharmony. Seriously. He lived in Tucson, and besides talking on the phone daily, we only saw each other twice before I flew myself down there to marry the guy. It's crazy to think about.

We went into the relationship with our cards (and baggage) on the table. We both wanted security, commitment, marriage and a family. I wasn't willing to move, but he wanted a colder climate. I've done some awful things in my past, but so has he. I have a fear of abandonment, and so does he. Etc. The cards. The baggage. Out there.

I hated his hair when I first met him. He had a greasy, long blonde ponytail that went down his back. Pulled tight. Shaved up the sides. And he was balding a bit. Totally hated his hair. I didn't ask him to cut it, but the gods smiled on me, and about four months into our long-distance relationship, he decided that as a symbol of moving on to the next phase of his life, he'd chop it off. And I think he's handsome now. Sigh of relief.

He also had a BO problem that was part of his baggage. I wasn't willing to accept this as a way of life, though. And I seriously think it was something in the atmosphere or something that he ate down there, because once he was moved up here to Wisconsin, he wasn't very stinky. Of course I made sure that he showered every day AND wore deodorant.

I'm a crazy, neurotic person who usually has to be medicated to function in normal society. I was also a smoker. I'm not sure I'm any less neurotic (although now I don't always need medication), but I did quit smoking for him. I still miss it, and it's been more than two years. But I don't miss a lot of things about smoking. The money, the smell, the need to stand outside in the bitter cold WI winters.

So we brought two slighty disfunctional people together and made a marriage. We quickly developed routines, and we prefer each other's company to that of others most of the time. We like the same things, and we don't argue a lot. And we both love our son, and we both are looking forward to meeting this new little baby.

The man treats me like a princess. He loves going out of his way to do nice things for me, and every single evening, he scratches my back for at least five to ten minutes. And since I like back scratches better than back massages, it's a good match.

He's very affectionate and gets all giddy when I hold hands with him in public. He likes cuddling almost more than I do, and he lets me have five pillows on my side of the bed.

He loves his job, and doesn't mind putting in overtime. He loves doing projects around the house, and even finishes them sometimes.

He's wonderful. And he's very different from my father.

Don't get me wrong, I love my dad, but he makes a lousy husband. When I was a little girl, I kept hoping my parents would get a divorce so the fighting would stop. My dad is a workaholic, and he has very traditional views of a man's role and a woman's role in the house. So my mom stayed at home, and her number one job was catering to his every whim. Coffee on time, dinner in front of the tv, chocolate milk, keeping the kids as quiet as possible while he was around, not talking about her faith, etc. When my mom wouldn't do something right, he'd call her a dipshit, and say that she's worthless. Every day of my life growing up. It sucked. Sure, he didn't hit her or us, but the verbal abuse still rings in my ears today.

Once he was older and found a company he enjoyed working for, he mellowed out a little bit, but his incapability to be a loving and supportive husband (let alone father) continued. The fighting wouldn't be every day, but at least once a week.

A couple years ago, mom took him to the emergency room because of a cold that wasn't getting any better. He was admitted to the ICU and needed 8 pints of blood. Why? Congestive heart failure and colon cancer. After the surgeries and the chemotherapy, he is actually much better to be around, and my mom is happier. He's more relaxed and more easy going. And he gets coffee for my mom every day, and he seems to delight in his grandchildren. At Thanksgiving, they announced that they will not get divorced now. After forty years of marriage, they figure it'd be easier to just stay together.

And Chester is nothing like him. My husband will do his share of the chores when I remind him to, and he loves making my life easier. He doesn't ever call me names, and he doesn't avoid spending time with our son. He cherishes us like we are his treasures, and he is very much a family man. We are his number one priority. And I love him for it.

I'm the one who has to be careful not to turn into my father. I try to adjust the way I work with Chester so that I'm nothing like my dad. It's tough. I catch myself being very irritated and short tempered with him. Sometimes I get so frustrated, I want to call him a bad name and put a pound of scorn behind it. I love being treated like a princess, and I have to remind myself that I can't make Chester do everything.

So our marriage has become a constant competition to be sweeter, more loving, more generous and kinder every day. It's not a bad way to live.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hair Changes... and Nana's Coming to Town!

Got my hair chopped off last night. Feels better. Looks something like the following:

If I could find my digital camera battery recharger, I'd consider posting an actual picture of myself, it's that cute. But I can't. So pffbbbttt. :P

Although Chester was crazy busy at work all weekend because of the stupid time change, Ben and I had a wonderful time. He's such a goofball. I love him.

Instance of goofball-ness was actually from this morning:
I was making myself breakfast in the kitchen, and hubby was getting dressed. Ben, in the meantime, had taken a couple of paint-stirrer-sticks and was seeing what mischief he could get in. Enter the coffee. Chester had put his coffee/thermos/tall cup thing of coffee at the back of the end table against the wall where Ben can't reach it. Ben couldn't reach it with his own hands, but he discovered that if he used the sticks like tongs and pulled the coffee towards him, he could get at it. And of course it spilled everywhere. We didn't notice until Ben came to see me in the kitchen and I noticed his clothes were soaked.

So five minutes before we left for work, Ben needed a change of clothes and Chester had to take a towel to the spill in the living room. In reality, Ben needed a bath because he was sticky, but I figured they could wipe him down with a baby wipe at daycare. And they did.

Really, it's a cute story. Ben, at 14-months-old, figuring out how to use tools to get into mischief.

I'm excited I'm still pregnant. Even bought a couple maternity shirts at Kohls.

My mom is coming into town tomorrow for an overnight. She'll be picking up Ben from daycare in the morning and will stay with him at our house all day. She hasn't really gotten a chance to spend a chunk of time with him since he became so mobile. After work, she's treating us to our anniversary dinner (our 2-year is on Thursday). What a sweeatheart.

Tonight, we'll be cleaning like mad. Anything that we don't clean, she will, and I'd rather she just enjoyed herself with Ben instead of being The World's Biggest Blessing and mopping our floors or something. We're also hauling down our twin-size bed to put in the dining room. She has her own bed at our house, but it's upstairs. And since she's having full knee replacement surgery in April, she's not allowed to walk up and down stairs.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Doctor Said Congratulations

I was so depressed this morning. Took another HPT test, and it was still really faint. I was totally discouraged and almost canceled my appointment this morning.

But I went anyway. I peed in a little cup and went back in the waiting room to watch a Judge show. Fifteen minutes later, I was called back. Did the whole weigh-in thing (lost 15 pounds, wooohoo), blood pressure, etc. Then I sat there waiting for my Dr. She came in and said, "Congratulations."

Me: "Really?"
Dr: "Yes, really. It was positive."
Me: "Oh, thank God."

I'm three weeks pregnant. I have another appointment in two weeks to have the pelvic exam done. I stayed late this morning to do the OB blood labs.

Feels so surreal. I'm still terrified of losing this little one since it's so very early, but I do have a twinkle in my eye.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Exuberant Joy Over a Little Pink Line

According to Fertility Friend, I might be getting my period today. I've taken two negative pregnancy tests over the last few days. Today, I took another one. The little line didn't pop out from the slightly pink background (that fades in a few minutes), so I just hopped in the shower as usual.

I glanced down at the test again when I got out of the shower... and, wouldn't you know it, there was a very faint pink line where I really wanted it to be. Very faint. But, dammit, it's a positive. A weak positive, but it's there.

I would have just implanted yesterday, so it'll be a few days (at least) until the pregnancy is a bit more established.

Can't focus on that, though. All I know is that right now, I'm pregnant. And I've been crying for the last hour. Called my mom so she could start praying already. My due date will be around November 17th. I was five weeks early with Ben, so I'm thinking sometime in October.

Update: I couldn't wait, so I called my doctor's office this morning. I'm going in tomorrow morning for a urine test and a 15-minute appointment with my doctor.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The TTC Struggle of February/March

So this last cycle, I was blindsided by trying to be all aware of my body, but totally missing ovulation. I was doing the saliva ferning thing, but found out I was drawing the saliva from the top of my tongue instead of sublingual, or under the tongue. Maybe I would have been able to notice the ferning if I was doing it right. Maybe not. I thought my temperature spike was just because I was sick, but it's been 10 days, and my temp has stayed high, just like it would if I had ovulated.

Yesterday, I had full ferning, and since it was day 21, and that was the day I ovulated last cycle, I was so excited that I would have a change to try to conceive still this month. So, Chester and I "got it on" a few times this last weekend. Have to tell you, TTC sex isn't nearly as good as just making love when we feel like it (which is usually only once a week).

Today, though, I'm all depressed. What if the ferning was just the common estrogen surge at the end of my cycle? According to my chart, if I'm not pregnant, I'll be getting my period this week. My coverline for basal body temps was 97.6 this month, and I'm still testing at 98.0. If I'm ovulating right now, how high is my temp going to actually go? My ferning was back to "transitional" already this morning.

Anyway. Of course we'll just have to wait and see. And keep trying.

If I didn't conceive this cycle, I'm going to invest a little bit more in my fertility by buying some of that pre-seed lubricant. The stuff that supposedly makes it easier for the spermies to get where they want to go. Also might start doing the Creighton method/charting cervical mucus stuff. I can't check my cervix. Tried. Can't reach it. I'm too fat, and my arms are too short. I asked Chester if he would do it, and he refused. Spoilsport.

That was all very TMI. Sorry about that.

In other news. Hell. There isn't much else going on. We're starting to get our tax refunds back, so I've been on a bill-paying spree. Feels good. When I've gotten up-to-date on the basics like electricity and phones, then we can start picking up things for our bathroom renovation which is still scheduled for March 22-23. I was so excited that I was finally able to schedule a cancellation for our Sprint phones. Our contract finally expires on the 21st of this month. That's eighty bucks I'm not going to miss paying out, especially since Chester has a phone through work. I'd rather get a landline and use a phone card for long distance.

Ben's Latest Cute Things

He'll reach for our hands and then press it flat... and then give us "fives". Over and over again. If we don't let him have our hands, he'll give us "fives" on our chests. And then we had to teach him about the difference between hitting and giving fives.

Also, I was folding laundry last night, and he wanted up on my lap. So I held him... and put a sock on my hand and started doing the sock puppet thing. "Hi Mr. Ben. I'm Mr. Sock. I'm going to tickle you now." He kept smiling and looking back and forth from my mouth (where the sound was coming from) and the sock, which was moving like it had a mouth. And of course he'd giggle when Mr. Sock would tickle him. Then I put one of his socks on his hand, and he moved it like it was talking, and then he tickled Mr. Sock, but not me. I didn't mind. It was still cute.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Can I Just Leave Him In The Room Alone?

For a little bit this afternoon, I was so overwhelmed with my son, I wanted to leave him in the little exam room and take a walk. I didn't, because, well, that would be illegal and scary for Ben. Here's the backstory.

Daycare calls around 2:30 to tell me that Ben is running a fever, and he's just laying there, watching everyone and whimpering. So, I leave. Mamma to the rescue.

One look at my little guy, and I knew that we were taking a trip to the walk-in clinic. He was lethargic and barely reacted when I came in. His eyes were glazed over, and he started crying. So sad.

I had to make a decision. Where to take him? The Aspirus Urgent Care or the Clinic Walk-In. We were going to be changing pediatricians because we weren't happy with the clinic, but all of his medical records are at the clinic. So, I went there because I didn't want to have to try to recall his medical history all of a sudden.

We saw a doctor who diagnosed a major double ear infection (which is the reason he's been crying all week. oops). Because of Ben's wheezing, he also ordered a nebulizer treatment, a chest xray, and an RSV test.

I'll skip past the boring clinical crap and say this: It is very hard to try to entertain a sick toddler in a small exam room without any toys, books or bottles.

I pulled out all the stops. I made balloons with the gloves. We played drums with the tongue depressers. We built castles with the dixie cups. I played Near-Far with the mirror. I put the dixie cup on my nose and pretended to be a piggy. I sang songs. It was tough work.

After an hour, he didn't want to play. He just wanted to lay on Mamma and whimper. About 30 minutes into that part... me, holding a half-dressed toddler on an uncomfortable plastic chair, trying to find a comfortable position for myself while trying to find a comfortable position for him. And he was running a fever, so he was very warm against my body.

I started to have hot flashes and hyperventilate, so I'd alternate between putting him on the exam table and letting him scream and pacing back and forth, fanning myself. That's when I wanted to escape. I know it wasn't fun for Ben either, but hell, this isn't his blog.

Eventually, the hell ended. The nurse had Ben heave his chest just to get ox-sats above 92. I tried telling her that it wasn't acceptable to me to have them fudge my son's test results just so you wouldn't have to admit him. She said it didn't matter. Whatever.

The doctor came in and said his RSV test was negative and his x-ray looked fine. Therefore it is just a virus, and there's nothing they can do. He was about to leave when I reminded him to give me a prescription for the ear infections.

We left. Now my husband gets to take care of him, and I get to take a mommy break. Oh look. Here it is. That's why I'm blogging. So thank you, dear friends, for listening to my woes.