Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Catching Up


The past couple weeks have been rough. First, there was Thanksgiving, the first major family holiday since losing my baby. I should have been showing her off to everyone. Instead, I had people hovering over me to make sure I didn't overdo it (I'm still recovering physically) and asking how I was. To make things worse, I did end up overdoing it a bit and my incision, which had been healing perfectly, started giving me issues. I thought I was going to have to go back to the doctor, but thankfully it settled down, although it's still tender.

Then this week I thought I was finally ready to go through the baby's bag of stuff from the hospital (paperwork, footprints, hat and booties, hospital bracelet, etc). Even though I bought a decorative box to put everything in several weeks ago, I hadn't been able to bring myself to do it so the bag has been sitting on my counter since the day I came home from the hospital. I completely overestimated my readiness. I did manage to finish the task, but I was a total wreck by the time it was done.

My physical recovery has been slow. I'm still pretty sore and have to be very careful about how I move or I'm in pain. I'm still dealing with a lot of fatigue, which isn't helped by the fact I have trouble sleeping and don't rest well when I do sleep. I find myself getting frustrated sometimes because I still need help and can't do everything I want to be doing.

On a good note, I found out a couple days ago that the organization I mentioned a while back now has enough funding to provide services for me. They assigned me a support person and are setting up appointments for counseling, massage therapy and a cleaning service now. If you donated to help make this possible, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It's such a relief to know that I'll be able to get the help I need to make it through this. 

After some debate, I decided to go back to college and finish out my degree. I had only two classes left when I took time off to focus on my pregnancy and the baby. I wasn't sure I would be able to focus with how I feel right now, but everyone keeps telling me I need something to keep my mind off things so I went ahead and registered for the coming spring semester. If everything goes well, I'll be graduating in May.

Steve seems to be enjoying his new job. The first week or so was rough because it's very physical work, but now that his body is starting to get used to it, he's doing better. From what he's told me, his coworkers are pretty good. One in particular has taken him under his wing and has been offering him tips on how to make the job a little easier.

The pay and benefits are nice too, although he has to be there 90 days before some of the benefits (like health insurance) kick in. Thankfully, we were able to get approved for Medicaid while he was out of work so we have that in the meantime. I was especially grateful for it when I got the statement from the hospital and saw that it had covered the nearly $35,000 bill for my emergency surgery and hospital stay.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Update

I had a bit of an emotional breakdown early in the week. It turned out to be a good thing for us because Steve had to deal with it. Up until recently, my mom has been here providing emotional support so this was really the first time he's had to since we lost our baby.

He didn't say a lot, which is probably a good thing since he's inadvertently upset me a couple times with poorly chosen words. Instead, he just held me while I cried and told me he misses her too. Those simple words did more for me than anything anyone else has done. Even though I knew that his way of coping was to push things back and focus on the future, it really bothered me that he wouldn't talk about our baby. For him to not only acknowledge that she existed, but also that he missed her too, meant the world to me and I told him so.

A few days later, someone on Facebook posted a link to a blog post about grieving. I read it and liked the writer's style so I read some more of their posts. I came across this really great post that really resonated with me. You can read it here if you want, but in a nutshell, it says that instead of offering platitudes or telling people how they should deal with their grief, you should just acknowledge their grief and be there for them.

I put the link up on my Facebook and Steve saw it. I guess he figured that if I thought it important enough to share, then it was something important enough he should read. So he did. Later that day, he brought it up and we had a really good, honest talk about where we were emotionally and what we need from each other right now.

He's also stepped back into his HoH role, at least to a certain extent. I'm not doing that great at taking care of myself these days so he's taken charge. He brings me my medicine every morning to make sure I take it. He reminds me to eat. He sends me to rest if I tire during the day. He even insists that I leave the house occasionally, even if it's only to ride with him to pick up our daughter.

We finally got to bring our baby home this week. It was hard, but I'm happy to finally have her home, especially after waiting over a month due to the hospital dropping the ball on the final arrangements. I remember telling Steve when we left the hospital that it didn't feel right to be leaving without her. Now she's at home with us where she belongs. It's too late in the year to do it now, but in the spring, we're planting a memorial garden on our property and burying her ashes there. That way we have a place we can visit.

Now for some good news. Steve's unemployment claim was finally approved. It was initially denied, but I guess someone at the unemployment office thought there was something fishy about his firing because they sent his claim for review before we could even appeal the decision. The adjudicator found in Steve's favor and our bank account is now flush because they went back and paid from the date of the initial claim.

And for more good news. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that a friend of Steve's had given him a lead on a good job. He applied for it and got called in for an interview a few days later. A few days after that, they called asking him to come in for a background check and drug screening. This past week, he got the call saying he got the job. He starts tomorrow.

He's a little worried about going back to work, mainly because of me. He doesn't like the idea of me being alone. I really haven't been alone much since losing our baby because my mom has been here or he's been doing side jobs close enough to our house that he could swing by and check on me. Now that he'll be working, he won't be able to do it so he brought up asking my mom to come back. I asked him not to do it. As much as she's helped me by being here for me to lean on through this rough patch, I need to at least try to stand on my own two feet. It took some convincing on my part, but he reluctantly agreed to let me try it on a trial basis with the understanding that if he even suspects I'm having trouble, he's making the call whether I like it or not.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Lies We Tell

He asks how I'm doing. I tell him fine. He says okay, which would imply that he believes me.

We're both lying.

He knows I'm lying. I know he's lying.

And yet we keep right on doing it. Because it's easier that way.

It's easier than admitting to him that I'm a total wreck right now. That I'm shattered into so many pieces I really don't know if it's possible I'll ever be whole again.

It's easier than him admitting that he's struggling to hold it together too. That he can't fix this for me no matter how bad he wishes he could.

So we keep lying to each other.

Last night, he said I was getting distant. I didn't know how to respond. Do I tell him yes, I'm distant because the only way I can keep up the lie that I'm fine is to close myself off? Or do I tell him he's imagining it so we can continue avoiding the fact we're lying to each other? I didn't know what to say so I said nothing. He let it drop.

I'm not in the habit of lying to him. We even have a rule against doing it. There's a rule against distancing too for that matter. Some days I wish he would call me on it so we can quit lying to each other and get it all out in the open. Other days I'm glad he doesn't because I'm scared that if I ever let go, I won't be able to pull myself together again.

For now, I guess we'll keep going with these lies we tell.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Thank You

You guys are really amazing. The outpouring of love and support has been wonderful.

Steve and I did sit down and talk about what he said. I was honest with him and let him know that while I knew on a certain level that he wasn't saying it to be hurtful and it was more a reflection of how he's dealing with things, it made me angry. I even asked him to read my last post so he can better understand where I am emotionally and mentally right now. I think he understands now that I need to talk, if not to him, then to someone. He even opened up some and talked a little about how he was feeling. Then we looked through some pictures he had taken in the hospital, which I hadn't seen yet, and he held me while I cried.

Later, he mentioned calling my mom to ask her to come back since she was such a huge help to me while she was here. I think he wants to make sure I have support even if he's not capable of giving it to me in the way I need it right now. In some ways, I think this is harder on him than it is me because he's not only grieving the loss of our child, but also dealing with the fact that he nearly lost me with her. The fact that he's always taken his role as provider for our family seriously and he's still out of work isn't helping either.

He did file a complaint with corporate headquarters over the firing and they said they would look into it, but we haven't heard anything yet. We're also trying to get his unemployment claim approved. So far, they haven't made a determination, just said that there is a problem with the claim and that he would be contacted once it was decided whether or not to approve his claim. If it is denied, we plan to appeal. We've thought about hiring a lawyer, but don't have the money to pay for one unless we can find someone willing to work on contingency.

On a good note, a friend of Steve's from his old job gave him a lead on what sounds to be a great job so he put in an application and they've asked him to come in for an interview next week. Keep your fingers crossed that he gets it. The same friend also organized a sympathy card and took up a collection to help us out. My jaw dropped when I opened the card and found a wad of money. By the time I finished counting it, I was in tears because Steve's former coworkers had donated enough to make half our bills for the month.

Thank you to the ones that mentioned GriefShare. I was not aware of it before so I'm looking into that now. I also did some searching and found a support group that meets here in town. They only meet once a month so I have to wait a couple weeks, but I have it marked on my calendar so I can go.

A lot of people have said that they wish there was something they can do. I'm normally not the type of person to ask for help, even when I clearly need it, but I'm going to ask a favor of you now. While I was in the hospital, the social worker told me about a program for women in my situation, moms who have lost a child. It's called The Finley Project. They assist with funeral planning, pay for counseling, connect you with local support groups and assign you a one-on-one support person, among other things.

About a week after I got home from the hospital, I applied to the program. I recently heard back from them and, unfortunately, they are currently out of funding. They are funded completely by donations and help as many women as they can until the money runs out. Right now, I'm on the waiting list and they're trying to help me locate other resources in the meantime. If you can spare a few dollars, would you please consider making a donation to the program (link)? You'll not only be helping me, but also helping other women that are going through what I am now.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Struggling

Note: This post is pretty raw. I may end up taking it down, but for now, I just need to get it out.

I've always thought of myself as a strong person. No matter how many times life has knocked me on my ass, I've always managed to pick myself back up. Even when we've been through rough times, I've somehow found a way to see the positive until we could make it through. I can't seem to do that now. I'm struggling.

My emotions are all over the place. There's grief, of course. It's a rare day if I make it through without bursting into tears. Even when the cloud of grief eases enough I can feel halfway normal, something always comes along to remind me. A baby item that Steve missed when he packed everything away. A commercial on TV. An article in my Facebook feed. A baby crying in the store. No matter how much I try to insulate myself, there's always something.

There are days when I struggle to get out of bed. I just want to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep in the hopes that when I wake up again, this will all just be a terrible dream. Then I look down and see my deflated stomach with its line of stitches or feel a throb of pain when I move and I know it's real.

There's guilt. I constantly find myself wondering if things would have turned out different if I had made different choices at certain points. Even though I've been assured by the doctors and the midwife team that there's no way I could have known since I didn't have any of the signs that would have indicated that there was a problem, I find myself wondering how I didn't somehow sense that my baby was in danger. I find myself asking "what if...?" and no matter how many times people tell me that I'm just going to drive myself crazy asking that question, I can't seem to stop myself.

I'm angry at the world right now. At parents who mistreat or abandon their kids. At friends and family members who I thought I could depend on to be here for me like I've always been there for them. At Steve's former employer because I have to stress about money for bills on top of everything else right now. At the hospital, who dropped the ball on the final arrangements, despite me giving them all the information they requested, so I'm still waiting to bring my baby home. At the doctors' office for not having a separate room set aside for women in my situation so I don't have to sit in a waiting room filled with pregnant women and moms with babies every time I have to go in. At life itself for being so damn unfair.

Even Steve is not immune to my anger. I came close to losing it with him last night. Him asking why I'm feeling down was bad enough, but when he started saying that talking about what happened wasn't going to change anything and that we needed to put it in the past and move on, it took everything I had to not start screaming at him. I had to walk away to another room so I didn't.

I know that he's hurting too and that everyone handles grief in their own way, but it still made me angry. I lost my child. The child I had hoped for and prayed to get for years. The child I nurtured inside me for 9 months. The child that I went through 14 hours of labor, nearly dying in the process, to try to bring into this world. I need to talk about her and what happened. I need to grieve. I can't even think about moving on until I do.

Today was the first day I've truly been alone since losing my daughter. My mom had been staying with us but recently went back home. Steve was off doing a side job and our oldest was at school. It was hard being alone in the house with nothing to occupy me but my thoughts. I couldn't even bring myself to get out of bed until the early afternoon. I probably wouldn't have got up then if not for a phone call that I had to take.

The sad thing is that I'm already on an anti-depressant. The doctor put me on one before I even left the hospital. It dulls the pain some, but I still hurt. I've lost loved ones before, but none of that has even come close to the pain of losing my baby. It feels like someone has ripped my heart out of my chest.

I want her back. I want to hold her in my arms while she nurses. I want to look down and see her smiling up at me. I want to see her first steps and hear her first word. I want to see her smash her cake on her first birthday. I want to walk her to the classroom on her first day of school and watch her walk across the stage at graduation. I want to be there when she falls in love and marries the love of her life. I want to see the woman she would have become. But I can't. And it sucks.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Prayers Requested

When I wrote my last post here, I thought the next thing I wrote would be an announcement of our baby's arrival. I never imagined that I would be writing this post.

Yesterday evening I was released from the hospital after spending five days in the maternal-fetal specialty unit. I came home with empty arms and a heart filled with grief. I had been rocking my homebirth, but after fourteen hours of labor, I developed serious complications and had to be rushed by ambulance to the nearest trauma center. There I was quickly evaluated and taken straight into surgery where the surgeons worked for over an hour trying to save me and our sweet baby. It was touch and go, but I made it out of surgery. Our beautiful little girl did not.

We've gone over and over things with the midwife team and the team of specialists at the hospital trying to figure out how things went so wrong. The doctors said there was no way of knowing that it might happen, especially since I didn't have any of the classic warning signs, and that it was just bad luck that it happened. The first sign that anything might be wrong was when I passed out. They even relieved my guilt that my decision to birth at home rather than a hospital might have played a role in all this by telling me that things happened so fast that the outcome would have been the same regardless of where I was.

They credited my midwife's quick actions for saving my life. She called an ambulance as soon as I passed out and argued with the ambulance staff about where to transfer me. They had wanted to take me to the local hospital, but she insisted on the trauma hospital that's a little further away. It turned out to be a critical decision. One doctor told me that I likely would not be here if I had transferred to the local hospital since I needed a massive transfusion of blood and the local hospital doesn't keep that much blood on hand.

Our family is reeling right now. To lose our child and nearly my life as well was something we never anticipated happening to us. I keep hoping that I'll wake up and find that this is just some terrible dream, but unfortunately, it's all too real.

Our oldest is terrified to let me out of her sight. She refused to leave the hospital and camped out in the chair beside my hospital bed. Now that I'm home, she finally relented and went to school today, but only after repeated reassurances that I was going to be okay and that Steve would watch over me.

Steve would spend hours every day at the hospital with us before returning home to feed our animals and put away all the baby stuff we had gathered so I wouldn't be faced with it once I was able to come home. Now that I'm home, he's been hovering over me like a mother hen refusing to allow me to lift a finger. Since I have to walk several times a day to prevent blood clots, he supports me as a I hobble around. It's hard for me to feel so helpless, especially since I can see how exhausted he is trying to take care of me.

Even my mom, who I'm normally not on the best of terms with, has been great. She drove over and spent an entire day with me at the hospital. Thanks to the pain medication making me groggy, she spent a lot of time just watching me sleep, but it was nice knowing she was there. Now that I'm home, she said she'll come over and stay if Steve needs help taking care of me until I'm back on my feet.

My midwife and her assistant have been wonderful. They call or visit daily. Since Steve doesn't want to leave me by myself right now, they're even coming over today just to sit with me while he runs errands and picks up our daughter from school. While I was still in the hospital, they came to the house and cleaned so Steve didn't have to deal with the mess from the labor. Then they helped him pack away the baby stuff.

The hospital was nothing short of amazing. No matter how busy they were, everyone from the doctors right down to the lady that delivered my meals took the time to sit with me and talk, pray or just listen. Instead of taking the baby right away, they fixed it where she could stay with me until I was ready to let her go. Steve and our oldest bathed her and dressed her in a beautiful dress hand-made by a hospital volunteer. A photographer came in and took pictures of the baby with each of us. A grief specialist came in and worked with us to make some keepsakes.

Since finances are a concern right now with Steve out of work, they arranged a variety of financial assistance for us. They found a program to pay my entire hospital bill since we lost our health insurance when Steve was fired and we couldn't afford the COBRA payments to keep it up. They arranged assistance to cover the funeral costs. I had a counselor during my hospital stay and they've arranged for outpatient counseling for all of us at no cost now that I'm home. They even made sure I had my prescriptions filled before I was released so we didn't have to worry about coming up with money for them.

It's hard, but right now we're just trying to take it day by day. Everyone keeps asking what we need, but having never been in this situation before, we have no way of knowing what, if anything, might help. So for now we're just asking for prayers.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Baby Update and Other News

My due date has now come and gone and we're still waiting on baby. I'm not too worried because I suspect the date was wrong anyway. Due dates are based on a typical 28 day cycle and I have irregular cycles. My midwife agrees and said as long as me and baby are doing okay, she's not worried about the date.

I didn't realize exactly how lucky I was to get her until my appointment today when she mentioned I'm her last client before retiring. Actually, she had already made the decision to retire just before I contacted her, but after we talked, she decided to take me on anyway. I'll forever be grateful to her for that because after interviewing most of the homebirth providers in the area, we were running out of options.

I've been in prodomal labor for two weeks now. It's a new experience since I didn't have it with my daughter. The first week, it wasn't too bad. I'd have mild, irregular contractions for a few hours that stopped on their own. Occasionally, I'd have a second round later in the day, but everything always stopped before bed so I could sleep.

This week, though, they seem to be picking up steam. They're still irregular, but are starting to hurt more, and are lasting longer before going away. The other night, I was up and down all night with contractions, but they stopped around 7 in the morning.

The baby continues to move lower, although he/she hasn't engaged yet. The midwife said the baby is in "launch position" but may not engage until actual labor begins. With all the pressure, I'm definitely waddling these days. Steve was kind enough not to point it out. Our daughter, on the other hand, has joked that our ducks are going to start following me around, thinking I'm the momma duck. I told her I'd be sure to remember that comment in the future when she starts having her own kids.

I still haven't had a baby shower, which is a bit of sore point for me. As I mentioned before, a friend had volunteered to throw me one a while back and then bailed on it. I ended up giving in to my daughter, who wanted to throw me one, only to end up canceling it after we realized that we were probably only going to have two people there.

Maybe I'm just being hormonal, but it irritates me. Over the years, I've spent a lot of time helping out friends and family when they've had kids (actually whenever someone has needed a hand). It didn't matter if it was the first kid or their fifth. I've planned showers, did custom baby bump cakes, babysat older siblings, stocked their freezer with postpartum meals and even cleaned their houses. I didn't think it was asking too much for people to come to a little party to celebrate, especially since I made it clear that gifts were not expected.

In other news, Steve lost his job. We had heard rumors that the company frowns on taking leave for medical or family issues, but since they were only rumors, we didn't think much about it. Last month, Steve filled out the paperwork for FMLA leave so he could take off two weeks to be with me once the baby comes. They had to have a date to process the request so they used my due date, telling us to call if needed to adjust the date. The request was approved without a hitch and we thought everything was fine.

Then a week before my due date, Steve was called in to the office and told he was being wrote up for a laundry list of screw ups. Strangely enough, all of the screw ups were on machines he has nothing to do with or had occurred when he wasn't even there. They suspended him for a few days and when his suspension was over, he went in, only to be told he was fired for performance issues.

Obviously, the timing sucks. With the baby due to arrive any day now, Steve is trying to hold off on finding another job right away so he can be here for the birth and at least a few days afterwards. In the meantime, he's been doing some side jobs to make a little money. Thankfully, we live in a state that requires any accrued vacation time be paid when an employee leaves, regardless of why they leave. Since Steve rarely took time off, he's owed close to 100 hours. It will be enough to float us for a little while until he can find something else.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Almost There

We're down to the final month of this pregnancy. As of yesterday, I'm 36 weeks. I'm still amazed at how fast this pregnancy has went. It seems like just yesterday that I got the shock of my life when that second line appeared.

Things continue to go well, although I've noticed a definite increase in crankiness. So far Steve and our daughter have stayed on my good side, but everyone else is ticking me off. Like the friend who volunteered to throw my baby shower, which was supposed to happen a couple weeks ago, but then bailed on it without a word. Or my sister, who has called several times saying she's coming over to visit, leading me to rearrange my schedule to make sure I'm home when she comes, and then never shows up. I understand that stuff happens and plans change, but is it really that hard to call or send a text to let someone know instead of leaving them hanging?

Even our animals are annoying me. One of the dogs keeps getting in my way whenever I try to get out of bed. The other waits until I lay down and get comfy to bark that he wants up (he's older and has trouble jumping up himself). The cats are constantly under my feet. I trip over them daily and have been lucky so far that I haven't actually fell. When they're not underfoot, they're on the counter knocking stuff down or attacking my houseplants.

Some of the crankiness can probably be attributed to reaching the awkward, uncomfortable stage of pregnancy. The baby dropped a couple weeks ago and has been putting a lot of pressure on my lower back and pelvic bones. Even my butt hurts. Bending over is such a chore that I don't even bother. If I drop something, it's staying there until someone else gets it. Thankfully I remembered early on that putting on real shoes is a pain while pregnant so I made it a point to buy a couple pair of sandals that I could slip on without bending over.

I'm having a lot of Braxton hicks contractions, which are always fun because you find yourself wondering is this the real thing or is my body just messing with me. The other day I really found myself wondering after I had several back to back contractions that had a bit of an edge to them. Thankfully, they stopped after I ate and laid down for a while. I had a second round of them that evening, but they weren't as bad and stopped when I decided to take a bath. On a good note, I've heard that the more practice labor you have, the faster real labor goes.

I've been having hormone-induced hot flashes for the last month. Actually it's not so much of a hot flash as constantly feeling like I'm overheating. At first, I tried to cope by wearing minimal clothing and staying indoors with the A/C as much as possible, but it just wasn't doing the trick. It seemed that I was destined to be hot and sweaty no matter what I did. Poor Steve nearly froze to death before I figured out it's not so much the temperature of the room as it is needing to have air blowing on me constantly. I now have a cheap table-top fan that I carry from room to room with me. I even have a handheld battery-powered fan for when I go outside.

Nesting has kicked backed in. I started nesting early, but it tapered off. Now it's back in full force. The freezer is rapidly filling with postpartum meals. My birthing space is almost ready and just waiting on the midwife to deliver the pool. I had Steve mix up a batch of my homemade laundry detergent and have been washing everything in sight. My diapering station is set up and stocked. The diaper bag is packed. Despite the fact I know I'll probably have trouble getting back up, I find myself wanting to scrub the floors on my hands and knees.

I nested so hard yesterday that I wore myself out before I could even eat the supper that I had been craving for weeks and had spent all day working on (slow roasted baby back ribs with homemade dry rub and barbecue sauce with a side of homemade coleslaw). I handed Steve his plate and told him I was going to bed. He came in after eating to check on me and, even though he kept talking about how melt in your mouth delicious the ribs were, I just couldn't work up the energy to get up and eat. I ended up sleeping for 9 hours.

Today, the nesting instinct was still going strong, but I lacked the energy to do much. After going grocery shopping and doing a little laundry, I was wore out. Even though I was tired, I couldn't fall asleep so I curled up with a book for a while until I was finally able to doze off. I ended up taking a 4 hour nap and probably would have slept longer, but Steve came in from work so I got up to visit with him and cook supper.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Those Lovely Hormones

After having a fairly mellow pregnancy up until now, the hormones have struck with a vengeance. I woke up the other morning feeling out of sorts. Both Steve and our daughter asked me several times during the day if I was okay because I was quiet. I told them I was fine, but kept to myself for most of the day.

Later in the evening, I decided to go to the store to pick up a couple things. Steve offered to go for me since it was already dark and he knows my night vision isn't the greatest, but I assured him I'd be fine. As soon as I got in the car, I burst into tears for no reason. I took off anyway, figuring it would blow over in a minute, but ended up turning around and coming back because I was crying so hard I was scared I'd wreck.

As soon as I got back, I went straight for the bathroom to be alone, but Steve and our daughter both followed. I could hear them through the door asking if I was okay and what was wrong, but I was crying too hard to answer. Finally Steve came in and got me calmed down enough that I could say that I didn't even know why I was crying and that it must be hormones.

He led me out to the bedroom and tucked me into bed. Since our daughter was a little freaked out by the whole thing, he explained to her that I was fine and it was completely normal for pregnancy hormones to make mom a little moody. Then he went to the store for me.

The next day I was back to my normal self so I figured it was just a fluke. I was wrong. Yesterday morning I woke up cranky. Within an hour of getting up, I'd snapped at both Steve and our daughter. Then I felt bad about it and cried.

I mentioned it to the midwife at our appointment (mainly because I wanted her to reassure my daughter that it's normal). She was great about it and even shared a couple stories from her own pregnancies. The rest of the appointment went well. Baby's heart sounds good. I'm measuring right on schedule. Since one of my shoulders has been bothering me, I asked about it. The midwife looked at it, said I was carrying a lot of tension in it and my neck, and then showed Steve a few massage techniques that he can do to help me. Even though she just did a short demo to show Steve, it did wonders. As soon as she left, I went to the store to pick up some massage oil.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Third Trimester



The pregnancy is moving right along. I'm now in in the third trimester. It's hard to believe I'm that far along already, although it's definitely evident by looking at me. I have gained very little weight this time around, but I look bigger than I did when I was 9 months pregnant with my daughter. We had a get-together a few days ago and Steve's friend actually asked if I was sure I wasn't having twins (he has twins himself). It was kind of funny because me, Steve and our daughter have all three had dreams that I'm having twins.

We still don't know the gender. I told Steve that I'm beginning to think it's just not meant for us to find out. I called around to the two nearby elective ultrasound places I had found online. One is no longer in business. We hit a snag with the second place. We were all set to schedule their basic gender determination package when the lady told me that it was only available until you're 20 weeks. After that, you have to upgrade to the next package, which includes 3D/4D and costs double. After going round with the lady for close to 20 minutes, she finally said she could do a 2D gender determination, but we'd still have to pay the higher fee. I told her to forget it. I looked online and the only other place that's anywhere close is two hours away.

In the meantime, we're busy preparing for the baby's arrival. We went down to the basement the other week and dug through the bins of baby stuff I had saved from our daughter.  It took a lot longer than we planned because we kept getting caught up in memories and showing our daughter how little she used to be, but I did manage to find some things that will work for a girl or a boy.

Since everyone kept asking what I wanted, I finally set up a baby registry. It was a new experience for us since we didn't do one with our daughter. It ended up taking forever because I'm the type of person that has to research everything before making up my mind. Seriously, it took me two weeks to figure out what car seat I wanted.

I still feel pretty good, although between hormones and warm weather setting in, I'm wilting in the heat. With my daughter, it wasn't as bad because I was pregnant through the winter and had her before the heat of summer set in. This time around I'm going through the heat of the summer. Thankfully Steve rounded up some fans and window A/C units. He has also taken over cooking a couple nights a week so I don't have to deal with the stove as much. When I do cook, I try to double up so we have enough leftovers for another meal.

The baby has been very active lately. He/she turned a flip the other day. While it wasn't the most comfortable sensation, it did have the effect of making my low back pain stop. Apparently, the position the baby was in was causing it.

The kicks are getting a lot stronger now that he/she changed position. I was sitting up in bed yesterday evening reading my Kindle and the baby nearly kicked it off my stomach where I had it resting. Our daughter came in a few minutes later and got to feel a few kicks. Then when I told Steve to feel, the baby quit. He waited a few minutes to see if the kicks would start back up and just as he was giving up and starting to move his hand away, the baby kicked him hard.

In other news, we passed 4 years of DD last week. With everything going on, it slipped by without us even noticing. It's pretty much on the back burner for now aside from the occasional warning or random swat. Even so, I still appreciate the things that linger-the closeness, his attentiveness and even my emotional balance despite the hormones.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

First Appointment with the New Midwife

We had our first appointment with the midwife. I went on a cleaning spree the day of the appointment. While Steve and our daughter helped a lot, I wore myself out. Just before she was due to arrive, I took a quick shower and then sat down in the recliner to give my aching back and feet a rest.

As it turns out, I got to rest longer than expected because the midwife got stuck in traffic. She called to apologize and say that they would be arriving late. That's definitely something we'll have to keep in mind once labor begins. She's already an hour away (closer to an hour and a half by the time she gathers her supplies and picks up her assistant). We need to be sure we call her early enough that she has time to get here even if she does hit traffic or we'll be delivering this baby ourselves.

The appointment went well. We visited for a bit and went through the initial paperwork and medical history. Then we moved on to the exam. I'm measuring right on schedule and the baby's heartbeat is nice and strong. The baby even gave the midwife a good kick when she was feeling for its position. Afterwards we chatted some more and then she scheduled our next appointment.

I asked about an ultrasound since we still don't know if this baby is a boy or a girl and I remembered her saying she has an agreement with some local doctors for ultrasounds and blood work. Well it turns out that while she has a couple that will do blood work, the only one that does ultrasounds is the one we just transferred from, which puts us in a kinda awkward spot. I did some googling and it looks like there's a place a few towns over that does elective ultrasounds without a doctor referral so we're just going to go there. They do 3D/4D ultrasounds so we'll probably get a better picture anyway. We're planning on going there this coming week.

I have to say I love how much more relaxed this appointment was in comparison to the ones I had with the former baby doc and even the practice I went to while pregnant with my daughter. Those appointments always felt rushed and focused only on the pregnancy. This one was completely different. It was more like sitting around chatting with some friends about this and that with a little pregnancy stuff thrown in. I'm really glad we made the decision to switch.

I'm a little bummed that Steve missed this appointment. While he had planned to be here for it, he got a call from one of his side job clients in the afternoon. Since we can use the extra money with the baby on the way and he thought he could make it back for at least part of the appointment, I told him to go ahead. The job ended up taking longer than planned and he got home just minutes after the midwife left. Thankfully, our daughter was here with me and I had her record the baby's heartbeat with my phone so he still got to hear it.

The next day I could tell I had overdid it with the cleaning. I could barely move when I woke up because I ached all over. While I had planned to run a bunch of errands and take my daughter for a hair cut, I only made it to the grocery store. If it wasn't for the fact that it was Steve's birthday and I wanted to cook him a nice dinner, I probably would have skipped that.

Apparently something with the birthday dinner didn't agree with me because I woke up today feeling crappy. I wasn't hurting as bad, but I had no energy and my stomach was a little upset. I ended up spending most of the day in bed.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be feeling better. I feel bad because our daughter is out of school now (her last day was the day of our appointment) and I really want to spend as much one on one time with her as I can before the baby arrives. Since Steve is off at least a few days a week, we also have some family outtings planned. We're hoping that it will help make the transition from only child to big sister a little easier for her.

Monday, May 23, 2016

We Now Have Our Midwife!

We interviewed the midwife and her assistant at the end of last week. The interview went great, although it ended up having to be delayed by a couple hours. The midwife was nearly to our house when she got a call from another client who thought she was in labor. Since the other client was 2 months shy of her due date, that had to take precedence over our interview. Thankfully, it turned out she wasn't really in labor so after the midwife got her settled, she was able to come for our interview.

The midwife has tons of experience. She's trained under some big names in midwifery, including one woman whose books are required reading in most midwifery schools. She's been delivering babies longer than I've been alive. The assistant is an EMT. She's had all her own kids at home and is currently training to be a midwife herself.

They answered all of our question with flying colors, including the tough ones about how they deal with specific emergencies. They're very hands off, which is what I want, but have no problem being more hands on if I change my mind later. I feel like I'm in great hands with them and Steve and our daughter both liked them as well.

We talked it over among ourselves and then called to let her know we wanted to hire her. Our first appointment is scheduled later this week.

Then came the tough part, letting the old baby doctor know we were going with someone else. Since I tend to be a non-confrontational person, I had planned on just emailing him, but when he called today to confirm the appointment we were supposed to have this week, I got put on the spot so I had to tell him over the phone. While there are several reasons behind our decision to transfer care, I decided to just give him the simplest and hopefully least offensive one-that I'm just not comfortable with a man attending me. Thankfully he was really nice about it and even said that the midwife we're transferring to is a great one.

Now that we have all that out of the way, I can relax and hopefully enjoy the rest of the pregnancy.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Good News

I took my car in for its checkup and it got a clean bill of health. The mechanic put it up on the lift and didn't see anything out of place, loose or damaged. Then we went for a ride so he could see how it handled on the road and I could point out the noise I was hearing. He diagnosed the problem as my spare tire cover. Apparently it took some of the impact, which pushed it in enough that it's vibrating against the bumper. So it's an easy fix. The cover needed to be replaced anyway because the zipper on it was starting to split so we'll just take it off until we can get a new one.

In other good news, I'm pretty sure we've found our midwife. She was out of town when I called the other day, but called me today as promised. We ended up talking for nearly an hour on the phone and she sounds perfect. She's fully on board for what we want. She has had clients transfer to her from our current doctor so there should be no issues. She has an agreement with several local doctors (including our current one) so we can have labs and ultrasounds done if needed. She also has a relationship with the hospital in a nearby town so if a transfer is necessary (her transfer rate is incredibly low), she'll be able to stay with us as a support person.

She only takes on one client a month so we don't have to worry about her being with another client when I go into labor. She was even willing to negotiate her fee. Once she learned we're a single-income family, she immediately offered to drop her fee by whatever we've already paid to the current doctor (nearly $1000) and said she'd work with us on the rest. Since her fee includes another midwife that assists her, we'll be getting two for the price of one.

She sending us an information packet that details both her and her assistant's training, some information on her practice and a list of previous clients I can talk to. She said to give her a call once we had had a chance to review it and we'd set up an appointment to meet in person. If I like her as much in person as I did on the phone and Steve is comfortable with her, we're hiring her.

I think the baby was happy everything is working out good because he was very active last night, more active than he's been so far. Since it's the weekend, we let our daughter stay up a little later. She was laying in bed with us watching TV when the baby started moving a lot so I took her hand and put it on my stomach so she could feel. I wish I had thought to grab the camera first because the look on her face when she felt a kick was incredible. It's a memory I'll cherish forever.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Another Car Accident

It appears our jinx on new cars has continued. As you may recall, Steve bought me a new car a couple years ago. An hour after we got the tag, he got hit by a bus. The settlement from that wreck paid a good chunk of our down payment when we bought our house last year.

Shortly after we found out we had a baby on the way, we decided to upgrade my car. I figured that once I got further along, I'd have trouble getting in and out of the car I had because it sat so low. Plus, it was a 2 door, which would make it a pain to get the baby in and out. So we shopped around and bought one of the smaller SUVs not too long ago.

Yesterday, I got rear-ended while sitting at a stoplight on the way to pick up my daughter from school. Thankfully, the other driver wasn't moving that fast when she hit me so nobody got hurt, although it scared the living daylights out me. The officer that responded freaked out a little when she realized I was pregnant and wanted to call an ambulance, but I felt fine and I'm not a fan of the local hospital so I refused. I did call the baby doctor to ask if he wanted me to come in to get checked out. Once he made sure I felt okay and that my stomach hadn't hit the steering wheel, he said I was fine to just go home as long as I promised to call immediately if anything changed.

Once we got done with all the paperwork and the other driver was issued a ticket, I left to go pick up my daughter from my in-laws. I had called them as soon as I got my car out of the road because I knew there was no way I'd make it to the school in time. Then we headed home.

Needless to say, everyone is freaked out about it. My daughter knew something was up when my in-laws showed up at the school because I always tell her ahead of time if someone else is picking her up. I had hoped to avoid her finding out until I was there, but they ended up having to tell her. Even after she saw for herself that I was fine, she stayed glued to me for the rest of the evening. She was still pretty clingy this morning.

It really bothered Steve because he was at work when it happened so he couldn't be there for me. In fact, if he hadn't been working, I probably wouldn't have been at that stoplight in the first place because he usually picks our daughter up on his days off. Since I knew he'd be upset if I didn't tell him right away, I texted him to let him know what had happened and assure him I was fine. Even with my assurances, he still texted every half hour for the rest of his shift, as well as calling on all his breaks, to make sure I was okay.

He was still asking once he got home from work and he kept a close eye on me the rest of the night. I thought he was going to have a heart attack when we were laying in bed watching TV and he looked over to see me sitting with my hands resting on my stomach. I do it every night because that's when the baby is most active, but he panicked, thinking I was doing it because something was wrong.

Today I have to take my car in for a checkup. While I was able to drive it home after the accident, I noticed a vibration that hadn't been there before. Steve took it for a ride up the road when he got in from work and noticed the vibration as well, but since it was dark and raining, he couldn't really poke around to see what was causing it. Normally, he does all the work on our cars, but since he's working for the next three days and the bill will be paid by the other driver's insurance anyway, he said to take it in to the local shop to get looked at.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Search Continues

We hit a snag with our midwife interviews. First, one called to say she had checked her schedule and she was already overbooked for the month I was due so she wouldn't be able to take me on after all. She gave me the names of two other midwives. One was the other midwife we were already planning to meet. The other was a midwife who I'd heard mixed reviews about, which makes me a bit leery.

Then the other midwife we had planned to meet called to say she had just lost her mother unexpectedly and was going on sabbatical, feeling that she wouldn't be able to give a client her full focus and attention while she was grieving. She gave me three names to try. One is the same midwife the other had given me. One was a name I had heard great things about, but didn't put on my initial list because she's 2 hours away and I was hoping to find someone closer.

The third name seemed familiar but I was having trouble placing it. It wasn't until about an hour later that I finally realized why it seemed familiar. I had actually spoken to her about a homebirth way back when we first started trying for a second child. So I gave her a call. She's out of town at the moment, but due back later this week and promised to give me a call once she gets home. I am praying that she will be the right midwife for us.

In other news, my nesting instinct has kicked in already. Despite being barely over the halfway point in my pregnancy, I insisted that we start preparing the room I intend to birth in. Steve spent part of last week emptying out and scrubbing the room from top to bottom before moving in the furniture I wanted (which also got a good cleaning). My daughter and I have been working on decorating.

This weekend, I plan on sanding down the rocking chair I brought back from my grandmother's house after she passed and giving it a fresh paint job. Once that's done, I'll dig out my sewing machine and make some cushions for it. I may whip up a few maternity outfits while I'm at it since there's only one store in town that carries maternity clothing and they're ugly.

The nesting instinct has spread to other areas of the house. I've been doing tons of laundry. I reorganized the fridge in my kitchen and the extra freezer I have in the basement. The pantry is next on my list. I'm gathering up recipes so I can start putting together casseroles and crockpot meals for after the baby comes. Having any dishes in the sink makes me anxious so I've been loading them in the dishwasher as soon as they're dirtied.

I've been on a daily search for cobwebs and dust. As soon as I figure out where the Windex went, I'm cleaning all the windows. Thankfully, the previous owners of our house upgraded the windows so they tilt out for easy cleaning inside and out. I've been eye-balling the dogs for a bath, which I think they know since they've started heading the opposite direction whenever I call them.

Also on my to-do list is my daughter's bedroom and the nursery. While it's driving me crazy to wait, I decided to hold off on them for a couple weeks until my daughter is out of school. That way she can help me, especially since she's touchy about her bedroom.

Even the outside of the house isn't immune. I sent out daughter out yesterday to sweep the carport. I've been digging in the flower beds. I'm trying to talk Steve into renting a pressure washer so we can give the driveway and the outside of the house a good clean. I haven't told him yet but I also want to repaint the shutters and our front door.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Well That Was a Bummer

We went for our appointment last week. Unfortunately, we didn't get to find out whether we're expecting a boy or a girl. The doctor said he couldn't get a clear view. With that said, Steve insists he caught a glimpse of boy parts. So now we have to wait again to find out.

The rest of the appointment wasn't much better. Even though the heart doctor gave me the all clear, he acted like he was doing me a favor by keeping me on. Then he proceeded to reel off a list of things that would risk me out of the practice, most of which were minor issues that are experienced by most pregnant women (for example feet swelling) and not really a cause for concern.

The appointment did little to relieve my misgivings about this doctor. In fact, it bugged me enough that I immediately started looking for someone else. Unfortunately, the two homebirth CNMs that I know of in the area, including the one we've met and really liked, both work under his supervision (a requirement of state law for CNMs) although they have their own practices. So it makes it somewhat awkward if we switch to one of them.

That left us with 3 CPMs. I've got calls into all three. So far two have called me back. From our brief phone conversations, I liked both so I've set up appointments for us to meet both of them in person next week so we can decide who we want to go with.

Our insurance doesn't cover CPMs, which Steve was a bit concerned about since it means we'll be paying completely out of pocket with no chance of reimbursement. However, once I ran the numbers, I figured out that between our deductible and him being out of network, we're going to end up paying all but maybe $1000 of his bill anyway. Since both of the midwives charge less than him to begin with and one is even willing to barter for part of her fee, we'll actually end up paying less even without the insurance.

In other news, I've been feeling the baby move the last few weeks. Last week he even gave me a good kick. He tends to be more active in the evenings. Steve's new favorite thing to do in the evening is sit with his hand on my belly to see if he can feel movement. He says he felt a small kick the other night. Our daughter is jealous because she's normally asleep when the baby gets active so she hasn't had a chance to see if she could feel any movement yet. I told her not to worry because I distinctly remember being pregnant with her and actually watching my stomach move as she kicked and elbowed.

It's kinda bittersweet knowing that this will be probably be my last pregnancy. Steve is adamant that he doesn't want any more kids after this one and wants to get a vasectomy. He knows I'm against getting my tubes tied and, given our age difference, he doesn't want to take the option of having more kids away from me if something happens to him. I did at least talk him into holding off on having it done until the baby is a year old to be absolutely sure that's what he wants. I'll admit I'm hoping to change his mind in the meantime, but if I can't, I promised that I wouldn't give him a hard time about it and I'd even take him to the appointment myself.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Boy or Girl?

I had my echocardiogram earlier this week. I wasn't too worried about it since the doctor told me when he scheduled it that he was just doing it to be on the safe side and didn't anticipate it showing any problems. It was still a relief when the nurse called yesterday to tell me that everything looked fine. Hopefully now that the heart doctor has given me the all clear, the baby doctor will settle down.

A few days before I went in for the echocardiogram, the baby doctor called to set up an appointment. I was a bit surprised since we haven't heard a peep out of him since our last appointment and we were beginning to think he'd dropped us. As luck would have it, right after I scheduled the appointment, Steve found out his work schedule was changing yet again and he would be working the day of the appointment. Thankfully, his supervisor is a great guy and after Steve explained the situation, he worked it out for him to leave for a couple hours in the middle of his shift.

Our appointment is scheduled for this afternoon. We're really excited about this one because we will hopefully be learning whether we're expecting a boy or a girl. Steve is insisting it's a boy and our daughter is insisting it's a girl.

I'll be happy either way, but I have to admit I'm kind of hoping for a boy. For starters, we can't agree on a name for a girl, but have one picked out for a boy. I know Steve really wants a boy to carry on the family name. There's also the fact that there are no boys on my side of the family. I only have sisters and all us of have girls. It would nice to have the first boy. Plus those little suit and tie outfits are so darn cute.

I can't wait to start shopping. While I've browsed the baby section at several stores, I've been holding off on buying anything until we find out the baby's gender. In the meantime, I've been working here and there on getting the house rearranged so I can set up the nursery. It's slow going since Steve refuses to let me do anything remotely strenuous so I have to work around his schedule.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pregnancy Update and Answers to Your Questions

The baby is doing well. We're almost 17 weeks now. At our appointment last week, he (while we haven't found out sex yet, Steve is convinced it's a boy) was measuring right on schedule. He was quite active on the ultrasound, waving his little arms and legs.

I'm doing okay. For the most part, the morning sickness and exhaustion that I had through the first trimester has eased. Now that I have more energy, I joined the local recreation center and have been going swimming several days a week.

At our last appointment, the doctor gave us a scare. He said he heard some abnormalities with my heart and insisted I see a cardiologist. It had us freaked out on multiple levels. One, I have a strong family history of heart problems, including a somewhat rare heart condition with no cure. My mom has that heart condition and has already outlived her prognosis, but is starting to fail. Two, he made it clear that any heart issue would risk us out of his practice, which would leave us scrambling to find another doctor. He wouldn't even schedule our next appointment until I went for the cardiology consult, which was really frustrating since our next appointment is where we learn if the baby is a boy or a girl.

When I called to set up an appointment with the cardiologist's office, I was initially told that they had no appointments for at least a couple months. I explained the urgency and they managed to squeeze me in earlier this week. Thankfully, I passed the exam with flying colors. I'm scheduled for an echocardiogram to be on the safe side, but the doctor said he doesn't anticipate it showing any issues.

The whole experience has left us questioning our choice of pregnancy doctors. We're not happy about the way he handled the situation. He made it appear that there was a definite problem rather than a possible one, which caused a lot of unnecessary stress. We're also not happy about the fact that in refusing to schedule any appointments until after I saw the cardiologist, he left us hanging as far as prenatal care. If I hadn't been able to convince them to squeeze me in as early as they did, I would have went without any prenatal care for two months.

After talking about it, we've decided to stick with this doctor for now. We're hoping that this was an isolated incident and not a reflection on his true quality of care. There's also the issue of insurance reimbursement. I had a terrible experience with my daughter's birth in a hospital so I'm pretty adamant about doing a homebirth this time around. This doctor is one of the few homebirth practitioners in the area and the only OB/GYN that does them so we have a better chance of insurance reimbursement with him. With that said, we've begun to research other providers in case we change our minds or he freaks out over something else and decides to drop us.

Now for your questions and our answers.

Cat asked: If time and money were not an issue, where would you travel? Or would you?

There are so many places I would love to go. In the US, I would love to see New Orleans, Alaska, Hawaii, the redwood forest and the Grand Canyon. There are probably more, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I'd also like to travel to Europe and Australia.

Ronnie asked: How did you choose your blog name? One item on your wish/bucket list.

I've always loved Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken." When I was trying to come up with a blog name, it popped in my head. I saw us at an intersection in our relationship. We could either continue down the more traditional path of relationships (which hadn't been working for us) or we could take a less common path with DD. We chose the less traveled road and it has made all the difference.

Travel is one of the big things on my bucket list. My response to Cat lists a few of the places I would like to go.

Lindy asked: How did you start TTWD? What is your and Steve's favourite implements? Do you both have fantasies and would you fulfill them?

There's a lengthier story about it if you click on the "Our Story" tab at the top of the page, but in a nutshell, I wasn't happy with the way our marriage was (and I found out later that Steve wasn't either) so I started researching ways to fix things. While following links, I landed on a webpage talking about DD. At first, I hated the idea, but I found myself coming back to it again and again. After spending a year researching it and debating about whether Steve would think I was crazy for suggesting it, I finally wrote him a  lengthy email explaining what it was and asking if he would be willing to give it a try. We've had some ups and downs with it, but nearly four years after sending that email, we're stronger than ever.

My favorite implement would probably be Steve's hand. It just feels more personal to me. His would be the wooden paddle.

We've explored a few fantasies over the years so it's always a possibility. However, since some fantasies didn't work out as well in reality, we might choose to keep them in the realm of fantasy.

Lani asked: What are the hardest adjustments you've had to make with pregnancy and ttwd?

Steve has really struggled with the idea of hurting me or the baby. As a result, he's a lot more lenient than he probably should be. While it gives me some wiggle room when the hormones get the better of me (can we say mood swing?), it means he's not as fast to stop me when I'm headed in the wrong direction, which can cause a little issue to spiral into a bigger one.

For me, I think the hardest adjustment is dealing with how protective Steve is right now. He's added rules about not lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk and not standing on chairs to reach stuff that's up high. He even made it a point to move stuff down from high shelves that I can reach without a chair. I tend to be pretty self-sufficient so it bugs me having to ask for help when I think I'm perfectly capable of handling things myself.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Questions?





It's Q&A Month here in blogland. Being the queen of procrastination, I'm just now getting around to asking for your questions. The month may be half over, but it's not too late to get your questions answered.



What burning questions do you have for me, Steve or both of us? Comment with your questions and we'll do a post to answer them.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pregnancy Update

Things are going well. We're nearly to the second trimester, which I'm looking forward to as that's when everyone says the morning sickness and fatigue will ease up. I've been pretty lucky with the morning sickness. Aside from getting sick two days, it's mainly been just queasiness. After having morning sickness from hell with our daughter, it's been a relief, but I'll still be glad when my stomach settles down.

The fatigue has me spending a lot of time in bed. I'm sleeping 10-12 hours a night and taking one or two naps during the day.Of course, that means I don't get a whole lot done these days. Thankfully, Steve and our daughter have stepped up to help. They've been doing a lot of the household chores, sometimes even fending for themselves with dinner, so I can rest.

The dreaded long-overdue spanking happened about a week ago. After some discussion, it was carried out with me on my side, a position neither of us really cared for. It was a lot easier than I expected and strangely reminiscent of the very first spanking he gave me after starting DD. He only used his hand. While I understand why he held back so much, it was still frustrating after having to wait several days for it.

We tried again yesterday. No, I didn't get in trouble again already (well at least not then, later in the day is another story), but I could feel the hormones starting to get the better of me so I asked for a spanking to help. We decided to try bent over the edge of the bed this time. I was a little worried about the position since I prefer ones where we're in contact, but I guess he picked up on that because he made it a point to wrap his non-spanking arm around my hip. He chose to use implements so it was a little more intense than the last spanking, but it wasn't unbearable. We talked afterwards and decided to put weekly maintenance back on the schedule so I don't have to keep asking when the hormones are getting the better of me.

We had our first prenatal. Since my cycles are so irregular, the doctor did an ultrasound to try to get an accurate due date. Unfortunately, the baby was less than cooperative and ran away whenever the doctor put the transducer on me so we only got a quick glimpse. The doctor offered to do a transvaginal ultrasound to try to get a clearer picture, but having had two in the past, I wasn't in any hurry to repeat the experience so I told the doctor I'd just wait until our next appointment to see if the baby would be more cooperative.

After waiting so long to be pregnant again, there were some things I'd forgotten about being pregnant. One being the wild dreams that seem to come with pregnancy. I've always made it a point to try to interpret my dreams, even when I'm not pregnant, but some of the ones I've had lately defy interpretation.

The second is the sex. I had remembered that my sex drive increased while pregnant, but I had forgot about being extra sensitive to touch, how easy it was to reach orgasm and how intense the orgasms are. The other night we were playing around and Steve nearly brought me to orgasm by touching only my nipples. When he moved on to other spots, he jokingly asked how many orgasms I wanted and I told him 10. I was kidding when I said it, but by the time we were done, I'm pretty sure I hit that 10 or at least got dang close to it.

We finally have our house back to ourselves, which is a good thing since we're going to need more space with the baby. As most of you know, my sister and her kids moved in with us last summer. The situation turned into a disaster. Steve was already talking about kicking her out when she unexpectedly announced she was going back to her husband. Within a week of leaving, she realized it was a mistake, but rather than come back, she moved in with our parents. She finally came and got the last of her stuff this past week, which means we can now start rearranging to make room for the baby.

I'm looking forward to setting up a nursery. We couldn't really do it with our daughter because of the way the bedrooms were laid out in the house we were renting at the time. I didn't like the idea of her being on the opposite end of the house from us so we just squeezed her crib into our bedroom. With our new house, all the bedrooms are together so we'll be setting up the bedroom across from us (currently my home office/sewing room) as the nursery.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Pregnancy is Not a Get Out of Jail Free Card

Ever since we found out we had a baby on the way, Steve has been treating me like I'm made of glass. I'm not allowed to pick up anything heavier than a milk jug, and he even frowns on that. He won't let me stand on chairs to reach stuff anymore. He's after me to eat right, get plenty of rest and take my vitamins. Eating right is a challenge some days since morning sickness has me queasy, but I'm so exhausted I'm sleeping 14-16 hours a day.

He's also been extremely lenient, which has been a plus since hormones and generally feeling crappy means my attitude has been less than stellar. He even let me off the hook with only a warning when I hung up on him the other week, normally a sure-fire way to get a very unpleasant spanking.

As a result, I started feeling a bit invincible. When a mood swing hit, I rolled with it instead of trying to control it. Then I got feisty and started pushing a few buttons.


If I wasn't feeling so secure in the bubble of protection my pregnancy offers, I might have caught on to the fact that Steve was less than amused. Instead, I floated along thinking my bottom was safe, right up until last night when Steve informed me that pregnancy is not a get out of jail free card. He followed that up with an announcement that I was long overdue with a spanking, a situation he planned to rectify ASAP.

Yikes!

I would have preferred to just get it over right then, but that's not how Steve rolls. He told me that it was up to him, not me, to decide when it was going to happen and right now he just wanted to watch TV for a bit.

As it turns out, it ended up getting put off, at least temporarily. My morning sickness, which has only been queasiness so far, decided to kick it up a notch. One minute, I was laying beside Steve watching TV and anxiously awaiting the fate of my bottom. The next minute I was running for the bathroom.

Needless to say, he decided to postpone. Of course, that now means I have a spanking hanging over my head. Grrr!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I Have a Secret





We have a secret. Well we actually have a few, but this is one we plan to let our friends and family in on in another month or so. We haven't even told our daughter yet because we know she's incapable of keeping a secret. For now, it's too big to keep totally quiet so Steve gave me the okay to share it here.


As most of your guys know, Steve and I have been trying to conceive another child for several years now. We had a miscarriage shortly after we started trying, but nothing has happened since. We got our hopes up several times, but it just wasn't happening.

Last summer when we were moving into our new house and came across all the baby stuff I had saved from my daughter, I finally accepted that it probably wasn't going to happen and agreed to let go of it. I sold or gave away most of the bigger stuff.

There wasn't enough time for me to go through all the bins of clothing to figure out what I wanted to save so we brought them with us when we moved. Steve set them up on a shelf in the garage until I could go through them. That's where they've stayed because school, unpacking and taking care of kids has kept me too busy to do anything else.

A few weeks ago, the kids came down with a stomach bug. Even my daughter, who rarely gets sick, was laid up for several days. It wasn't long until Steve and my sister got it as well. I was feeling pretty confident that I wouldn't get it because the last few bugs had missed me (thankfully since I end up taking care of everyone else), but I got it.

It knocked me on my butt. Even after everyone else was back on their feet, I still wasn't back to my usual self. I was queasy and all I wanted to do was sleep. Steve, my sister and my best friend started joking that I was pregnant. I blew them off. I told them if I was, we'd find out when I went into labor because I wasn't wasting the money on another pregnancy test, having spent a fortune on them over the past nine years only to get my hopes dashed.

Despite having made my peace that it probably wasn't going to happen, their joking was bothering me. So on Tuesday when I was at the dollar store, I bought a cheapie test to prove that they were wrong so they'd shut up about it.

I added my sample to the test and sat down on the toilet to wait three minutes for the results. Only a minute in, I looked over and nearly fell off the toilet when I saw this.




Once I regained my balance, I stared at the test for the rest of the time. I double and triple-checked it against the instructions, walked away for a minute and then came back and looked again. My eyes weren't deceiving me.

We're pregnant!!!!!!!


I was planning on waiting until Valentine's to tell Steve, but I didn't make it. We were talking when he came in from work that evening and he gave my tummy a rub, asking how his boy was. The rest of the conversation went like this:

Me: You really think there's a boy in there?

Steve: Yes.

Me: And when is he going to arrive?

Steve: (thinking for a minute) September.

Me: About September 10th you think?

Steve: Yes.

Then he got quiet as it dawned on him that I had given him a specific date (I did one of those online due date calculators to get it). His eyes got really big. He looked at me, down to my stomach and then back up at me. Then he gave me a hug and kissed my belly. Later that evening when we went to bed, he curled up against me with his hand on my stomach and stayed like that the entire night. He is over the moon about it.

We're going to tell our daughter once we get a little further along and are sure this baby is going to stick. She's been asking for a baby brother or sister (or both!) for several years now so she's going to be thrilled. We're going to to give her this shirt as an early birthday present. since there's no way we can keep it quiet until her actual birthday.

We'll take a picture of her in it and send the pics to everyone as our announcement.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Update

A few mornings ago, Steve asked me a question. It was one I hadn't heard in a while, the question being a regular part of our check-ins and even occasionally serving as a warning to me when DD was in full swing.

Who's the boss?

At one point in time, my answer was easy. He was. If my answer was anything different, he would ask again to pinpoint whether I was just being feisty or if we needed to sit down and talk to be sure we were on the same page.

But things have changed since those days. When DD was put on the back burner as a temporary thing, we could maintain those roles. Spanking or any other punishments were off the table, but he was still in charge.

When Steve decided to take it off the table indefinitely, I had a hard time with it. After several talks that went nowhere, I had to make a change to keep my sanity. I had to put it it all behind me and that meant he could no longer be my gauge for behavior and attitude. I was the boss of me. It's the only way I could move forward.

I still talked decisions over with him. After all, I did that long before we added DD to the mix. We've had a few bumps here and there, but for the most part, we worked through them. Eventually, we found a happy medium that wasn't the couple we were before DD but also not the couple we were with DD. That probably makes absolutely no sense.

So when he woke me out of a dead sleep and asked me that question, it threw me. I knew the answer he expected, but I just couldn't give it to him. My answer seemed to surprise him.

Have you ever practiced a conversation in your head over and over until you reach the point where you almost feel like you've already had the conversation? I have done it a couple times and I remember feeling surprised that the other person wasn't on the same page because we hadn't actually had that conversation. I think that's what happened.

So he repeated the question and got the same answer. He quickly responded with a swat and asked again. Apparently our communication and being in sync has suffered since DD was taken off the table because it took a few rounds of this before we figured out this could go on for hours without us getting anywhere. So we did what we should have done in the first place. Talk.

Moving forward, we're going to try to make DD work. We can survive without it, but we're a lot better with it.

It's not without its challenges though. My sister and her kids are still living with us so we're not only having to work around them, but also deal with the stress them being here has brought. I guess we're just going to take it one day at a time.