Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hard Day at the Office

Actually, Faith wasn't at the office...she was viewing pictures that I took today of her and her little friend who also happens to have Down syndrome.

Aren't they so super sweet??

Proud Mamas

Sitting pretty

Faith trying to taste her friend, Ntina
(excuse my finger in the picture)

Wordless Wednesday


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, we are most thankful for our sweet Faith...she is a light in our lives!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Gosh, he melts my heart!

Monday, November 9, 2009

She wasn't quite what we expected...

She's more.

Only 1 in 800 babies is born with Down syndrome.

I'm the lucky one.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

And since I am NOT a woman of few words, I just HAVE to explain this picture. Our school district called a snow day today, even though there was no snow...just in anticipation of a big storm that has yet to hit. Anyway, we made a huge batch of cookies today...thus the picture.

Even though it was fun baking with my daughter and the cookies turned out great, there had BETTER be school tomorrow.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sometimes the busyness of life really gets in the way. It gets in the way of a lot, actually. The house gets messy. The laundry piles up. The refrigerator becomes bare. Friendships get neglected. And the list goes on and on...

Lately, I've craved just sitting in the big, brown leather recliner--feet kicked up and arms snuggling my baby. And the great thing is, now that Faith is a 'full time nurser' there has been plenty of time for that. For that, I am eternally grateful. Babyhood is so fleeting, it's something to savor. Savor indeed. The sweetness of a baby just can't be beat.

It's still hard for me to believe that my oldest child is 13. A teenager. Officially. Where did his babyhood go? Did I drink in his sweet baby smell and his chubby baby legs? Did I take the time to enjoy his toothless grin and his silky soft hair? Did I hold tight to his hand in mine? I hope so...I hope I didn't let life get in the way. Now, although I look almost eye to eye into my son's face, I still see that sweet baby. He's still in there, somewhere.

Since Faith's birth, I have tried to focus on more of the positive. She's smaller than a 'typical' baby of almost 5 months old. In fact, people that I run into in public that ask how old she is, can hardly believe that she is not younger than she is. I just smile and think to myself "at least I get to enjoy her babyhood that much longer"...and when I worry about how floppy her muscles are, I say to myself "at least I can enjoy cuddling with her as her body just melts into mine"--a perfect fit.

It's hard to believe how this tiny little girl has changed my perspective on life. On love. On acceptance.

Now, onward we go. Adventure ahead. A Princess with 47 chromosomes was born into our lives. And with her 'something extra', hearts and lives are changed.

I am so very thankful for this eye-opening child that has been gifted to us. She is a treasure. Complete in a pretty package, wrapped in a shiny bow...waiting to be unwrapped. As we all know, big things can come in small packages!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Love Struck

I know, it's been MONTHS since I've updated my blog. I have a lot of things to blame it on. Hospitalizations. Summer. Six kids. Insanity. And oh, did I mention six kids?

I am trying to get back into the swing of things now that the kids are back in school, and blogging is one of those things that I am trying to catch up on.

Please don't throw rotten fruit at me. I'm doing my best.

Since I titled this entry "Love Struck", let me just tell you why I chose that. Over these last couple of months, as the shock of Faith's "diagnosis" has worn off and I have had more time to enjoy her, I have become *totally* love struck with her! She is a JOY to behold. A complete and utter ray of sunshine! I love everything about her. From the top of her tiny head to the tips of her teeny toes, she has captured my heart and I am completely in love with her. In fact, I love her so much, my heart could burst!

Thankfully, my severe and agonizing post-partum depression has been treated successfully, albeit with a lot of medication. Medication that my doctor plans to keep me on for at least a year. And you know, I am *totally* okay with that. Heck, I'll stay on the medication forever if I need to. I can't imagine sinking into that black hole of despair EVER again. It was horrible, to say the least. I really had no clue that a person could feel SO bad--especially after just having given birth to a beautiful baby.

Stupid hormones!

Anyway,Faith is now 4 months old and is doing wonderfully. She is having physical therapy once a week and early intervention twice a month. So far, she is meeting all her milestones, although she is struggling with low muscle tone in her upper body--still having some trouble with head control at times.

Here we go! Faith, you are 4 months old! What have you been up to?

* You are nursing now--no more bottles!

* You weigh 11 pounds and 10 ounces

* You are 24" long

* You are wearing a tight size one diaper

* You are wearing 3-6 months clothing (it's a bit big yet)

* You are rolling from your tummy to your back and sometimes from back to tummy

* You LOVE to lay under your baby gym and bat at the toys

* You sleep ALL night long!

* You are a very happy and content baby--a smile is never far from your face

Someone said to me the other day that Faith was lucky to be born into our family. Truth be told, WE are the lucky ones! I am so thankful that we were chosen to be Faith's family and I am thankful that she is here with 47 chromosomes.

Gosh, I love this little girl!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

2 Months Old!


What are you up to these days???

* You still sleep A LOT.

* You are smiling at me!

* You are eating 3 ounces every 3 hours and are showing interest in nursing--finally!

* You weigh 9lbs 8oz.

* You are 22.5" long.

* You wear a size 1 diaper and it's huge on you!

* Your eyes are a beautiful blue...I love to see them open :)

* You love to be held and rocked.

* You are Mama's little girl--as you should be!

We had a visit to the pediatrician today. I had some concerns that Faith may have reflux (turns out she does) so the doc started her on Zantac. I also mentioned that sometimes she gets a bit 'dusky' around her mouth. Doc checked her oxygen level and it read in the 80's (between 84%-88%) and it should be above 90%. So, an overnight oximetry study is ordered as well as a swallow study to make sure Faith isn't aspirating. My heart is worried about all this stuff, but I know she is in good hands. The hands of our Father!

I am SO in love with this little girl :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I can't believe she lost her first tooth. Unfortunately, she really lost her tooth after she lost her tooth--if that makes any sense at all. Apparently dancing around in the street holding your tooth is not good--so, in lieu of the actual tooth under her pillow tonight, she wrote the Toothfairy a note explaining that she misplaced her tooth and begging her to still leave money.

Let's hope the Toothfairy comes through.

Friday, May 22, 2009

And the Fun Has *Just* Begun...

It's here. Summer vacation. Or should I call it the lazy days of fighting, whining and complaining?

Sorry folks, it is what it is. I am not a fan of summer vacation. I try to be, but really, I just can' isn't natural for me! I love school that much. Yes, I do.

So as not to trivialize all that is going on in my world, I will just be blatently honest with you. I am not doing all that well. I am severly depressed. Majorly messed up--some in the head, but mostly in my heart.

I have guilt. Over what? Over feeling like I am grieving. I am grieving. I don't like it. Not one bit. As one misunderstood person told my husband..."she just needs to get over it". Easier said than done. And nobody is walking in my shoes.

I am grieving the loss of the child I expected...but I truly love the child I've been given. It's just a big, and frankly, scary new world I've been thown into. The world of Down syndrome is frightening to me. I also grieve the loss of a nursing relationship with my daughter. It just isn't happening. Yet. Maybe it never will and I don't know if I can be okay with that.

But, I'm not giving up. Yet.

I'm not thrilled about summer. I am not ready to face an entire brood of children while still trying to work out the kinks in my heart. Honesty, again. It isn't always pretty, is it? I'd like to just go to bed and wake up in August.

Zoloft, here I come!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Sweetness of Life

"In the name, the precious name
of Him who died for me,
I will fight to win a promised crown
Whatever my cross may be."

Faith may be all smiles today, but I am heart is heavy and burdened. I am torn. Confused. Disappointed.

Thank you for your smiles Faith...they are just what your Mama needs!

Lord, come quickly.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happy One Month Birthday, Faith!

Time sure does fly...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Got Milk?

As tired as I am of doctor's offices, I find myself almost looking forward to Faith's weekly visits to the pediatrician's office for her weight check.


I still get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, stemming from worry and the what-ifs...

That being said, ahem, today Faith showed a gain of EIGHT ounces since her last weigh in a week ago! I just about whooped it up right in front of the scale, but I did my best to retain my composure--and I didn't yelp with delight. Funny how excited I was over those 8 ounces! It *is* exciting though...and it made me proud. I look at my daughter's newly rounded toosh and her plumped up arms, legs and cheeks and I think to myself "I did that!"--I feel almost accomplished in the fact that she is thriving on my milk, even though she's getting it in a bottle.

So, the verdict today was 7lbs 10.5oz--up from 7lbs 2oz last week. And the doctor doesn't need to weigh her again for 2 weeks this time!

Mama's milk...does a baby good, no matter how it's delivered!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

If You Can't Change Your Life...

Change your hair!

I decided that I'd had enough of my drab,dark-rooted hair and I wanted to treat myself to a change. Highlights and a haircut can do wonders for a girl! I don't think anything can be done about the tired-mom-of-a-newborn-bags under my eyes, but oh well, my hair looks good :)

Speaking of being tired, I am really becoming weary of pumping milk. I've been going strong 24 hours a day for the last month and it is growing old quickly. Especially at midnight, 2am and 4am.

However, I am still holding out hope that Faith will nurse sometime soon, so I will keep up the arduous task of pumping around the clock so that I can be ready when she is.

I am learning more and more, day by day, about Down Syndrome. It scares me. It worries me. It makes my heart palpitate with anxiety.

But, more importantly, I am learning more and more just how precious Faith is. I don't look at her as 'my baby with Down Syndrome'--I just look at her as my sweet baby.

I see her through God's eyes. Just as she is.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Just for Cuteness Sake

She's finally tipping the scales at a whole 7lbs 2 oz...go Faith! You're headed in the right direction :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

From the Heart

Cardiologists make me nervous.

Thankfully, they don't seem to have that effect on Faith...

Having an EKG--being swallowed up by all the leads!

Okay, maybe she's a teeny bit nervous here having her blood pressure taken...

After 3 l.o.n.g. hours in the pediatric cardiology office, Faith was given a diagnosis of having a Patent Foramen Ovale. A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a defect in the septum (wall) between the two upper (atrial) chambers of the heart. Specifically, the defect is an incomplete closure of the atrial septum that results in the creation of a flap or a valve-like opening in the atrial septal wall.

Long story short, it may or may not close up on it's own--Faith will be further monitored to determine what, if anything needs to happen as far as intervention/treatment. But, what she doesn't have is any of the major heart defects that afflict upwards of 50% of babies with Down Syndrome. (WHEW!!) We are thankful she is in the *other* 50%.

I am slowly adjusting to the reality that my child has Down Syndrome and all that will mean to her, and to us as a family. Someone at MOPS this past week told me that *I* was the one that was special...because God thought it appropriate to send me such an angel :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

And the Journey Began...

I was elated at the birth of Faith. Her birth was pretty easy all things considering. Painful yes, but over so fast I didn't have much time to think about the pain.

My arms instinctively reached down to pull my newborn to my chest the moment she was born. My wonderful OB made no hesitation in obliging my desire, and allowed me to gather my baby up in my trembling arms immediately. I heard the doctor giving my husband instructions in how to cut the umbilical cord. I drank in my beautiful little baby girl's sweet spirit and then handed her over to the nurse practitioner to place her in the warmer.

Across the room, I heard her strong and beautiful cries floating through the air. Sweet, sweet music to my ears. All was right in my world. My baby girl was here.

The Nurse Practitioner swaddles my baby up tightly in a pink and blue striped hospital blanket and walks over to my bed. "I need to talk to you about your baby" she says. "I am seeing signs that she has Down Syndrome". I hear myself audibly gasp, my heartbeat quickening. She begins to point out the 'characteristics' of Down Syndrome that she sees in my baby. Almond shaped eyes. A wide space between her first and second toes. Small ears. Deep creases on both palms.

"What?" I cry. "I am not that old, how could that happen?" I didn't really hear what was being said. Shock took over my senses, I think. I look at my baby first. She looks perfect to me. But, when I look up through my tear-rimmed eyes in an almost foggy room, I see the concerned faces of 2 nurses, my OB, my Mom, my husband and my friend, Teri. "Is my baby going to die"? I ask, not really wanting to hear the answer. "No sweetie. Your baby looks healthy" explains the Nurse Practitioner. "But, we need to take her to the nursery to make sure she's okay".

I am numb.

I hear someone begin to sob. Heart wrenching sobs. And then I realize I am the one sobbing. I kiss my baby, feeling like she is a stranger, and tell her that I love her. Always and forever. No matter what. And I do love much it hurts.

And here in birthing room 40, begins a whirlwind of emotions. Scary and painful emotions. I am flooded with grief even though I don't quite yet understand why...

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Faith Journey Newcomb
Born: Thursday April 16, 2009
Time: 10:15pm
Weight: 6lbs 7 oz
Length: 19"

During my 38 week OB visit, my blood pressure had shot up to 170/100 so I was sent directly to the Birth Center to have labor induced. 2 doses of Cytotec and 30 minutes of Pitocin later, I went from 3 cms dilated to Faith's birth in less than 10 minutes! One big push and out she came with her elbow next to her head. (ouch!)

Definitely my easiest labor and delivery. And yes, my last labor and delivery too.

Faith is a beautiful baby girl. She also happens to have Down Syndrome. A big surprise, but even at just a mere 2 weeks old, she is already the light of our lives.

I have been wanting to blog before now, but I suppose I just wasn't ready. My emotions run high and my energy runs low as I am on a very hectic schedule of pumping milk every two hours for Faith as she is unable to nurse just yet. She has what's called Hypotonia (low muscle tone)due to her DS (Down Syndrome). I, along with her team of doctors and specialists, are hopeful that she will be able to nurse in the upcoming months as she grows stronger and isn't so sleepy. I cling to that hope each day as my heart just aches to have that relationship with my baby girl.

I will try and post more often, but my free time is sparse these days. Bear with me as we travel down this new and honestly, scary road.

In the mean time, enjoy these pics of my baby girl!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yes, I am still pregnant. No, I don't know when the baby is coming. Yes, I am sure there's only one baby in there.

Those are answers to the questions I've been asked nearly everyday as of late. Funny, with my first baby, those questions bothered me a lot. But, with this being the sixth baby, not so much. I just let it roll off. Beside, I am beginning to resemble someone part of a roadside freak show. Yes, my belly *is* that big.

I am going to the OB this Thursday for my 38 week visit. My last 3 babies have been born at 38 weeks. Enough said.

Unbelievably, I still don't even have arrangements for the other kids care while I am having the baby. I keep assuming that I will have to be induced and therefore it won't have to be a mad dash to the birth center and I can plan it all out. I've had MANY offers from friends to watch the kids thankfully, so I feel like I have options as far as that goes. But, with my due date fast approaching, I should probably nail something down. Any takers?

Short and sweet you guessed, I'm tired!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Belly Full of Baby

I thought I'd finally get around to posting another belly picture. Sorry if it disturbs anyone with its enormity, but I *am* pregnant after all! Warning: If a picture of a stretched to capacity belly makes you want to poke your eyes out, close them now...

Lovely, huh?

Now, I'm going into hiding.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's Official!

Finally...finally it's here! I am 'officially' considered full term! Granted, I know I *could* still be pregnant for a couple more weeks, but, knowing that I *could* go into labor anytime is still exciting. I'll be holding a sweet, new bundle of pink soon :)

I've been having a TON of contractions--some pretty brutal. I know it's just my body warming up for the real deal, but maybe it's doing *something* to get the process going. I can hope!

Yesterday, Sam took it upon himself to feed the dog. I had just bought a new bag of dog food and poured it into a container that is easy for him to dip a cup into--you know, because he loves to 'help'. While I spent a whole 5 minutes in the laundry room folding a load of clothes, Sam took the entire container of dog food and dumped it in the living room--all four POUNDS of it. (what? It's a small dog--4 pounds lasts her a month) Well, since Sam likes to do things completely, he not only dumped the food, he also spread it around the entire living room. Believe me, it wasn't easy nor pretty I'm sure, to get on my hands and knees to scoop up dog food. And to top it off, after we'd (mostly me) cleaned up the mess, I went upstairs to put away the clothes I had folded and I found another few cups of dog food bits dumped on the floor in my room. I held in the urge to scream at Sam, but instead, I quietly cleaned it up alone...freaking out on him just wasn't worth the fit nor the guilt that would have ensued had I done so.

And, just in case you thought I was kidding about the dog food--here's proof!

Well, I'm calling it a night(hopefully). I am tired after cleaning up the bathroom after Tsunami Sam hit earlier this evening. This kid is on a roll I tell ya! And I'm even more tired from yelling "Stop it!" or "Don't hit!" or "Leave him/her ALONE"....oy!

I think I am going a teeny bit cuh-raaazy!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Yup, you guessed it...another totally whiny post. Can I just screeeeeeeeeam?

I had my 37 week OB visit today. Thankfully, baby passed the non-stress test within a half hour. But, in addition to being told 'see you next week!', I had to have the Group B Strep test redone. You know, the one where the very long swab goes ummm, well, where the sun doesn't shine. For some reason the lab messed up so I got the privilege of being tested again. After gathering my nearly tearful self together after the pelvic exam, I asked if there were anything I could do to 'speed' things along. The doctors face lit up and she said "Yes, get yourself some Evening Primrose Oil". After some explanation as to what it was for and how to use it (don't worry, I will spare you my dear readers, the details) I ran out of the office and went right to Whole Foods to buy the stuff.

Maybe next week there will be more encouraging news...?

I know I shouldn't put much stock into being or not being dilated or effaced--I have gone into inductions either being dilated to a 'fingertip' or even not at all and I progressed at lightening speed. But, sheesh, it would be nice to think I am getting somewhere...

Again, sorry for the whining. Believe it or not, I am thankful that all is well--I know that the baby will come when she's ready, regardless of what I have to say about it!

With that, I am taking my puffy feet and droopy eyes to bed.


Monday, April 6, 2009


Ahhhhhhh yes....back to school today. Somehow, I had NO trouble getting up this morning. In fact, I was up a good 20 minutes before my alarm.

As unheard of as it is, the kids ALL cooperated. There wasn't whining nor fighting. Breakfast was eaten without complaint...and we made it to school on time. Is it wrong that I was giddy with delight when I pulled out of the parking lot after drop off?

I think the kids were actually *glad* to be getting out of the house and back into a routine. Almost as glad as I was :)

I'm sure by tomorrow, the kids will be back to being difficult to get ready, but for today, I'll take it!

I am now 36 weeks 4 days pregnant---just 3 days until full-term! I have an appointment for a non-stress test and to see the OB in the morning. I'm hoping that we can get this show on the road sooner than later...I'm THE crankiest pregnant woman EVER, remember?

Of course, now that Spring Break is over, Sam is getting sick. As of tonight he's got a runny nose, a goopy eye and a sunburn-like rash on his legs, belly, cheeks and ears. At first I thought roseola, but he's had NO fever. Weird.

Signing off...I've got 'Slumdog Millionaire' to fall asleep to.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Basically, I am ready to crawl out of my own skin. I had a rough night. Not much sleep was had. Not because of anyone else...just because of my huge and uncomfortable pregnant body. My hips have been killing me with shooting pain every time I lay down and not one position makes it better. I mean, I no longer have much variety in the position I can sleep in. I've tried laying on my back, but then the tingling in my hands gets worse and I can't breathe. And as everyone in the house is keenly aware of, a rough night for mom makes for a rough DAY for all. (sorry guys!)

Yes, I know my blog has become my daily complain-a-thon...I know. I just can't help it. If I complained 'out loud' to my friends everyday, I wouldn't have any friends!

I am restless. Moody. Antsy. Tired. Moody. (oh yeah, I already said that)

I am SO thankful that it's Friday and Spring Break is nearing an end. SOOOOO thankful. I know that heading back to school means getting everyone up early, packing lunches, pestering everyone to finish getting ready to fly out the door, homework and earlier bedtimes, but HELLO I get to have 7.5 hours with just ONE kid! A good chunk of the day where I don't have to deal with a sassy kindergartner, a highly energized 8 year old and two defiant preteens. The three year old I can handle, most days. Heck, hugs, milk and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse make HIM happy.

Forging on...the day is still young!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Puddle Jumper

Puddles are fun to jump in, right? Apparently they are even fun to jump in when they are located on the bathroom floor and are made of your own PEE! (Not MY pee, just to clarify)

Potty training is an adventure. Accidents happen. Sometimes they happen RIGHT in front of the toilet on the floor. Truth be told, I haven't had to change a poopy diaper in a week, but for some reason, Sam can't quite figure out how to pee in the potty consistently. Don't get me wrong, he does well, but seems 'forgetful'. He also likes to take off his pull-up without telling me and go commando. When he does that, he ends up flooding the bed when he takes a nap. Or making a HUGE wet spot on the carpeted floor of the dentists waiting room. Or causing a yellow waterfall from the cart at Safeway. I should probably make a note to check to make sure he's wearing a pull up before sleeping or going, yes?

3 days and counting before the kids go back to school. I. Can't. Wait. I've been dealing with their insane behavior day in and day out for the last two weeks. Two VERY long weeks. I really am ready to run from the house screaming. Really. I am very thankful my hubby is gainfully employed, but his being gone a great deal of the time is not a good thing. I'd heard of 'Restaurant Manager Widows' before, but now I live the reality of being one. I am growing weary of feeling like a 'single' mom. And honestly, I struggle with bitterness over it.

As long as I'm counting things down, I'll mention that I have just one week to go until my pregnancy is considered 'full term'. Today I had planned on hubby helping me clean the upper level of the house, but as usual, he had other things to do and not much help was given before he had to run out the door to work. I spent the entire day scrubbing things like a mad-woman. What is it about a woman that's about to give birth and the insane desire to have things clean and organized? I'm not sure why it's so important, but I have a feeling that it's all I'll do until this baby comes. Besides, SOMEBODY had to clean up the toxic waste pit that is otherwise known as the boys bathroom. I don't understand how they manage to make such a mess in there. It's beyond me...

I am a little worried that we're going to be hit with sickness passing through the house. Last night, Eli began vomiting. All of a sudden and in the kitchen sink. (tmi, I know) Thankfully, he seemed fine after, and didn't get sick again, but I am still worried that germs are brewing! The last thing I need is to have a house full of vomiting children...

I'm going to go break up yet another spat, fold a load of clothes and maybe make a cup of tea.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Time Keeps On Tickin'...

Time is ticking slower and s.l.o.w.e.r. Having 5 kids home on break combined with being hugely pregnant is not a pretty combination. Yes, I know I chose this path in life--to become a mom of many. I'm just trying to be honest. It's not easy. And like I said, it's not always pretty either.

I have had the nesting bug something fierce these past couple of days, but it has not amounted to much in the way of actual nesting because I am so darn tired. That, and the fact that everything I do is quickly undone by one kid or another. This morning, I walked into a cloud of baby powder that *someone* had sprinkled all over the baby's room. When the cloud cleared and I could see, I found tiny little diapers strewn across the room, baby washclothes unfolded and feathers from a blue boa all over the floor. All I could do was turn around and leave. *Somebody* else will deal with it later. (and I'm sure the *somebody* will be me)

Since both Eli and Gracie have friends over today, I am trying to hold myself together so as not to embarrass them. Or freak their friends out. I wouldn't want it spread around that I am a lunatic or anything.

Still no news on the labs for HELLP I had done yesterday, so I am still assuming all is well. This baby will come when she's supposed to. Guaranteed. In the meantime it's all I can do to stay sane :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What Luck

Although I'm sure luck has nothing to do with it, the events of today have been interesting for sure.

Eli had an appointment with the orthopedist this morning since his wrist was still hurting from falling off a trampoline at a birthday party on the very first day of spring break. Much to my surprise, the doctor, as cranky and ill-bedside mannered as he was, brought to us a diagnosis of a 'Distal Radial Fracture'--right through the growth plate. And to think, I thought he was faking it. I had to apologize to him as the tech casted his arm in bright green fiberglass. What? The kid has been known to be a bit dramatic at times...

I also had an OB appointment today. Non-stress test first, as usual. This time though, unlike the last 5 weeks, the baby had a reactive test in less than 20 minutes. (which is a GOOD thing) So, then off to a room to see the doctor. On the way into the room, the nurse glanced at my chart and said that I needed to have my Group B Strep test. I was given the orders to undress from the waist down, handed a paper drape and told that doctor would be in shortly. Believe me, the Group B Strep test has nothing to do with having a throat culture. It involves a much larger then throat culture size swab which is put into two very private places. Thankfully, it only has to be done once.

I mentioned to the OB that I have been having pain under my ribs on the right side for the last week. She almost grimaced as she palpated my belly. Yes, the baby's butt is up in my ribs, but my liver is also there and felt a bit swollen. So, I was sent off to the lab to have blood tests done for something called HELLP Syndrome. It's a varient of pre-eclampisa and it is not a good thing to have. The only cure is delivery of the baby. I had my labs drawn at around noon and it's now 8pm with no word from the doctor, so I am assuming no news is good news...

It's been a long day...I'm tired and cranky. Signing off to hopefully curl up on my bed for a little R & R.


Monday, March 30, 2009

They're Baaaaaack!

And it ain't me. My outwardly sweet appearing little girl has begun to travel down the bumpy road of tantrums. Again. A few months back, I was at my wits end dealing with her very l.o.n.g. and loud melt-downs several times a day. Then, she started school and I noticed a HUGE improvement in the frequency of her tantrums. She was down to only a few times a week before bed. The last couple of weeks, however, her tantrums have spiked to a horrible high. I have grown weary of dealing with them. Not a day has passed in the last 20 or so where a tantrum has not been had.

Take today for instance, I can't for the life of me even remember what started the tantrum (I have a vague memory of one of her brothers ticking her off) but it was a persistant tantrum, complete with the biting of herself, throwing herself around thus banging her head on the table and ME getting kicked in the MOUTH by her little flying foot. I think I'd rather block the rest of it out...all hour and a half of it. <<<---blocking memory from my head--->>> All of that to say that it isn't a picnic here. Can somebody please come over and take my children home with you?

I don't even know what day of Spring Break we're on at this far too many, that's for sure. I am ready to head for the hills. Alone. Well, with the baby in my tummy anyway.

Speaking of baby, I am 35 weeks 4 days and completely done being pregnant. I've said that before, haven't I? I am being pummeled by tiny, but powerful knees, elbows and head throughout the day and night. This baby is doing some serious rockin' and rollin' in there :) I have another nst and OB visit scheduled tomorrow. Can't wait.( really, that's NOT sarcasm...I enjoy going to see my OB)

This growing a baby stuff is hard work! But, I'll admit, the work involved AFTER birth (even some almost 12 years later) is even harder. And hey Mom, I'm sorry for all the crap I ever put you are the smartest woman I know and I have a deep appreciation and love for you. I can only hope that one day my children will feel the same about me. Love you!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Of Blizzards and Babies

Today, of all days, in the middle of a major Spring blizzard, my uterus decides to freak out and contract...contract....contract.

I didn't worry until at one point this afternoon I timed 7 contractions in 29 minutes. And since I am famous for rapid labor, we put in a call to the L&D ward and they said we'd better make our way over to the birth center--just in case.

A few hours later, contractions coming every 2-6 minutes the entire time, it was determined that the contractions were 'prodromal' In other words, non-productive (as in not causing any more dilation than I went in with).

It's gonna be a long few weeks...and for now, no baby in the blizzard.

On a funny note, as soon as the kids got home from being watched by the neighbor, Sam caming running up yelling 'Where's the new baby at?!'...totally perplexed as to why I was standing there not holding her in my arms. Gosh, I love that kid.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 5

I'm considering cancelling Eli's appointment with the psychiatrist tomorrow and taking his place in the chair myself. Wonder if there's any treatment for prenatal psychosis?

Another long day almost down...thankfully. I was beginning to think that I am the *only* Mom that is being driven completely batty by her children, and the only Mom that wasn't relishing every moment of having her children home. I thought that until I heard other Moms saying the same things that I have been thinking for the last 5 days. Whew! Maybe I'm not so crazy after all.

I will hit 35 weeks of pregnancy tomorrow. I have been contracting regularly, but not in any sort of pattern. Nothing to make me think that labor is near. My belly is gigantic and it's hard to breathe. But, even with all of my complaints, I cherish feeling my baby move around inside--even her sometimes painful pokes and jabs. I even love the big belly, as uncomfortable as it has become.

Signing off...I need sleep before it starts all over again tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 4: Disclaimer, VENT Ahead.

When I went to bed last night, I tried hard to muster up high hopes for today.

No such luck.

I had an appointment at the OB's first thing this morning for another non-stress test. Non-reactive again. Off to the ultrasound room for a bio-physical profile. passed. 8 out of 8--good news. I was relieved to know that the baby is also measuring *exactly* where she should be. I am 34 weeks 5 days and she measured just that. She also packed on 1 pound 3 ounces since the last growth ultrasound 2 weeks ago, putting her at 5lbs 10oz. Thankfully, I've not gained more--still holding at 11 pounds. ( it was 14, but last week I lost 3 for some weird reason) The nst monitor also picked up contractions every 2-3 minutes the whole time I was having the test--nearly an hour. Non-productive, only annoying contractions. My visit to the doctor is not what made the day tough was coming home after that.

I had imagined that my oh-so-attentive husband had finished up the laundry, done the dishes, wiped down the toilets and mopped the yucky, sticky kitchen floor. I guess my imagination ran wild with that one. I came home to every room in the house messier than when I left and none of the aforementioned things done. Except he threw a few dishes in the dishwasher--gotta give him some kind of credit, right? Unfortunatley, he spent the whole morning 'working' on a profit and loss statement for the restaurant.

I cried when I saw the state of affairs, madly swept and mopped the floor on my hands and knees with a rag and bucket, angrily threw clothes in the washer, folded a load of dry clothes, paired an entire basket of socks, wiped down the main toilet, made lunch for all...all with zero response. Not even a glance up from the computer. The kids did tell me to stop crying though. After he finished working, he had about an hour to get ready to actually leave for work. I noticed he was carrying the overflowing (clean and folded) laundry baskets upstairs. I didn't hear from him for a while, so I thankfully assumed he was putting the clothes away.
Nope. Just piled at the end of the bed. Still. He left for work and we won't see him again until tomorrow night. (closing tonight...home by 1am and opening in the morning...back to work by 7am)

Lucky me.

Breathe in, breathe out....breathe in, breathe out....

I suppose I should sign off now in order to avoid venting any more in my emotional-wreck state of mind. I'm beyond tired. And have dealt with more than enough today. And it's only 6:40pm...

Besides, I have to rescue the dog from being pushed with a little too much gusto in the baby swing--I'd hate to have to clean up dog vomit on top of the day I've had :)

(and Mom, I know you're reading...I'm okay, really--just venting!)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 3,000

Yeah, I know it's really day 3, but it SO feels like 3,000! I feel like I am being slowly pecked to death by a bunch of little hens.

It wouldn't be so bad if they weren't fighing, whining and yelling...and if Eli weren't flip-flopping between being nice and calm one minute and cussing and being rude the next. Thankfully, he's seeing the psychiatrist this week--maybe she has some ideas for me. I know Eli won't cooperate with her, he never does. But, you can bet I will!

Gracie threw another gigantic tantrum this morning. She used to throw them all the time--as in many times a day. She leveled off and the fits became few and far between. Seems though, tantrum-monster has reared its ugly head has been brutal. Not only on me, but on her too! She can't seriously be hormonal at 5, can she?

Thankfully, hubby will be home until 2pm tomorrow (although he's been gone today since 5am and not expected home until bedtime)...I can have a bit of a reprieve. I have an appointment for a non-stress test which will buy me at least an hour out of the house. But, after that, once he goes to work, we won't see him until Wednesday night as he'll come in late Tuesday night only to return to work early the next morning. All while everyone else is sleeping. I know, I thankful he even has a job...

Signing off...I need sleep.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 2

Let's just say that I'm too tired to be of many words tonight. It was a LONG day with an even longer night ahead. Thankfully, even though I am up a lot in the middle of the night, at least it's quiet!

We had a busy (which with that comes way too much stress just to even get out the door to get there), lunch at Noodles, slurpees from 7-11, the park, Blockbuster and finally home. Then it was laundry. Then grocery shopping. Then the putting away of said groceries. Then it was the making of dinner, with of course the cleaning up too. My head hurts just thinking about it all.

Speaking of headaches, Gracie threw a *massive* tantrum tonight and my head is actually throbbing from it. I'm sure hers is too.

Tomorrow promises to be long as well...hubby off to work from 5am to who knows when---probably at least to bedtime.

Can somebody pass me the Calgon and maybe keep an eye on the kids while I soak in it?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 1

I've been up since 3am. That's if you can count the 'sleep' I had between 10:30pm and 3am as actual sleep. It was one of those nights where my eyes were closed, but my mind was churning. And then there was the burning pain in my arms and hands from carpal tunnel and the 4 trips to the bathroom. On my 4th trip to the bathroom, as soon as I stood up from the bed, I started to feel a lot of pressure. You know, down there. Not a pressure so bad that I feared the baby falling out, but enough pressure to make me wonder...

I've spent the majority of the day having sporadic contractions, still feeling that pressure. But, since I've birthed five babies already and kinda know what labor feels like, I doubt this is it. I think it's just my body gearing up for labor in the near future. Or you know, the not so near future. I'm pretty sure the baby has 'engaged' and is ready for launch. And I'm also pretty sure that this pregnancy could go on f.o.r.e.v.e.r.

With all of that said, since I did title this post as 'Day 1', I should perhaps mention how the first day of Spring Break went. Actually, it wasn't too bad. We had a big breakfast of blueberry pancakes, bacon and hash browns--and it wasn't even made by me! Hubby and Caleb did the cooking. I did the clean up afterward. I suppose no one has learned from all of the times I've said over the years "If you cook, YOU clean up". Maybe because that's because it's very rare for someone else to do the cooking?

I am really feeling the need/urge/want to get everything ready for the baby to come. The baby swing was dug out of the garage and cleaned up. The drawers filled with freshly washed clothes and blankets, diapers and wipes. I'm nesting for sure. I have SO much I want to do, but I think my plans are bigger than my energy. I'm moving pretty slowly on my puffy feet.

All in all though, it was a pretty darn good day. We even got ice cream...and what pregnant woman doesn't like that?

Here's to tomorrow...and to some sleep tonight.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

(Not So) Patiently Going Insane

I freely admit, I am the crankiest pregnant woman on the face of the earth. Ever. In all of history. Really.

I think this has been the most emotional pregnancy for me as of yet. (or ever again.)
I've spent way too much time being mad, irritable, impatient and teary. I'm sure the rest of the family wishes I'd just be nice.

I am ready to have this baby and do baby things. I am ready to feel my fingers again and not have shooting pain in my arms. I'm ready to not get up 45 times during the night to pee. I'm ready to not have heartburn. And I'm REALLY ready to not be cranky--although, I wonder if *that* may be a permanent condition. I'm even ready to change a million diapers a day, ready to be a human pacifier and ready to be awake through the night rocking my baby.

And honestly? I am ready for my husband to have a vasectomy. Yup. I said it. There you go--in writing!

Now, to just get through Spring Break.

I think I can, I think I can...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2 Days and Counting...

Spring break is almost upon us...Spring break? I find the kids being home 24/7 for two whole weeks not much of a break. Who needs it?

Ah, yes, I know the teachers need it. Desperately I'm sure. Just as desperately as much as I need school. I suppose it's a trade off. Thank the Lord for the blessed souls who teach!

I don't have much planned for our two weeks of break. I can just imagine how much fun it will be. Really.

I'm hoping the weather holds out and we can frequent the park and the neighborhood pool. As much as I hold dear to my heart shuttling my angels to school each morning, I am looking forward to not having to rise before the crack of dawn just to hustle around trying to keep everyone on the task of getting ready to leave. No lunches to pack. No homework. But, on the other hand, no early-ish bedtime and no 7 and a half hour break. Lord help me...(and them!)

And because I am so genius, I scheduled dental appointments for all the kids at the same time, you know, so they wouldn't miss any school. I must have failed to remember that I am nearly ready to birth a baby...

I want my Mommy!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Say What?

As I was trying (with begging, pleading, cajoling and bribing) to get my overly hyper son down for bed last night, he made me crack up and almost pee my very pregnant pants. He was sitting up on my bed drumming away with a nylon spoon on a diaper wipes box singing the rock version of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'. I told him I was tired, so he must be tired and it was time to settle down. He stopped drumming, looked at me sideways and said "I'm a love handle, and love handles DON'T get tired". He then picked up where he left off with his drumming and singing. I questioned him through giggles about his being a 'love handle'--he just looked at me and shrugged his shoulders, continuing on.

Finally, in what seemed like hours, he nodded off. Snoring and all.

I am very thankful for the gift of sleep--without it, I'd go crazy :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Pressure Is On...

Oh the joys and misery of late pregnancy.

I'm no longer sashaying in my walk, but instead, walking has turned into an actual chore--I am waddling. It's been noticed of late that the 'baby has dropped'. Yup, she sure has. I feel like I am trying to hold a watermelon between my thighs. Even the ultrasound tech at my last appointment made mention of how low the baby was. Yeah, duh...

Today, as I was waddling through the automotive section at Wal-Mart while waiting for two new tires to be mounted to my van, I felt some major pressure. So much pressure that it made me reeeeeeeeealy nervous. I've had two precipitous (very rapid labors--as in 18 and 20 minutes, respectively) I so did not want to be known as the 'lady that gave birth in the automotive section', so I waddled my way to the towel aisle, you know, just in case. Hubby comforted me with the fact that the towel aisle was very close to the pharmacy--and we all know that pharmacies are loaded with drugs.

Thankfully, I think the baby was just doing some Kung-Fu moves and shifted her weight, as the pressure subsided and I was able to waddle my way back to pick up the van to head home.

I am 33 weeks along now and baby is weighing in at 4lbs 7oz as of this past Tuesday. She packed on 11 ounces from the week prior. Whoa. I won't even mention what I am weighing in at, but I have packed on 14 pounds thus far...

I am trying to take comfort in the fact that my OB will take pity on me and induce my labor sometime right after I hit 37 weeks or so. (okay, so it's not really because of pity, it's because of my blood pressure)

Until then, I am hanging on...and waddling around.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Neverending Weekend

When the days are good, they're good...but when they're bad, they're BAD! The past 48 hours have felt like an eternity. Many tears were shed, many words were yelled and many things were thrown. (only the tears were mine, the rest was Eli)

Bipolar disorder truly sucks. I had so much hope when I began to see stabilization in my son when he started his medication. Now, my hope is fleeting as the bad days are running together with hardly a good day in between. Just like before.

I worry about what the stress of it all is doing to the other kids...and I'm sure *my* stress is no picnic for my precious unborn baby girl. Being racked by tears can't be healthy. The frustration is so hard to bear, of course I cry. To be perfectly honest, hearing my child scream in a guttural tone while telling me to go to hell, die, and to f-off is really hard to take. Especially when it's so frequent.

Maybe I was only seeing what I wanted to see in terms of him 'doing better' on the meds. Maybe.

Anyway, just venting...

I've got a busy week ahead so I'm signing off and hitting the sack!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mish Mash

If you can believe it, yes, I am actually blogging again... I've been out of the blogsphere long enough--between mothering,gestating, and you know, breathing, I've been busy!

I'm 32 million weeks pregnant now and really ready to be done. Nobody warned me that pregnancy at the ripe old age of 34 would be so hard. At this point, I am swollen beyond belief, my blood pressure has been skyrocketing, my arms and hands are painfully numb (yes, pain and numbness can go together) from pregnancy induced carpal tunnel, and I am not very pleasant to be around. If you don't believe me, ask the kids. They'll tell you that mama ain't happy!

I won't bore you with the details of the last couple of months, I'll just move on from here...and do my best to keep blogging!

Tonight though,I'm going to be short winded--time to pop an ambien and hit the pillow.

Here's a pic of my belly full of baby...don't let the roadmap of stretchmarks scare you!