Finally moving forward

I am so far behind on posts, it’s a little discouraging.  I actually began this post in December, lol.  While it is months overdue,  I had a lot less free time than I thought I would while I was pregnant.  I was working, have a busy, picky, non-potty training toddler, and basically one day off per week that I had to get most errands/doctors appointments squeezed into.   Then in much of my free time in the last few months, I was trying to get a nap in here and there.   That’s my story and I’m stickin to it.

I covered our wonderful pregnancy news in a prior post.  We were so surprised and excited to finally be pregnant again.  I was working in a small spa that catered to pregnant women, and it worked out perfect for me.  The spa was owned by a group of perinatal specialists, some of the best in the city.  The spa owner recommended one of the doctors to see if I became pregnant.  I actually saw him before my own OB, around 6 weeks,  mostly because I was an employee and had had prior losses.  They specialize in all types of high risk pregnancies as well as women with prior losses.  He felt confident we would get to take this baby home and was amazing throughout the entire pregnancy.

I chose to stay with my OB (love him and his staff!) and have him deliver me, as he did my  prior C-sections.  I would then see the specialist for all monitoring and ultrasounds.  That would happen regardless due to my advanced maternal age.   The specialist had put me on Lovenox blood thinner shots daily.  Those were not fun, but they were necessary as a precaution because I have 2 blood disorders that were found after I lost Isabella.  We never found a reason why she passed, so this was the best way to prevent any minor clots, which may have possibly been the cause.

Everything was going very smoothly.  Hubby and I talked a lot in the beginning about not being crazy worried or having constant anxiety through this whole pregnancy because that isn’t good for me or the baby.  What happens will happen, and we will do all that we can to bring this baby home.  We had genetic testing done around 11 weeks and were able to find out that we were having another boy!  A little brother for Max!  Granted, I cried the rest of the day when we found out he was a boy, but it was almost like we had to grieve her loss again.  My husband felt the same way that day, just sad about the loss of our daughter and a potentially another daughter.  The next morning we both got up feeling good about having 2 boys that will hopefully be great brothers to each other.  That, of course, opened up more talk about trying for a third…yikes!

As we settled into the thought of boys, and the many doctor appointments, we grew more and more excited.  I was huge immediately, had people guessing I was pregnant as soon as 14 weeks.  By the time I reached 32 weeks, I was as big around as when I had Max.  The pregnancy was highly uncomplicated.  I did end up with my fluid being on the high side in my third trimester, but at 32 weeks I began 2x/week monitoring and they just kept an eye on it.  It definitely made me larger and more uncomfortable sooner than I was used to.   Most days I felt great (light) in the morning, and by late evening felt like I had gained 10 extra pounds that day!

We were having a scheduled repeat C-section and the doctors agreed that 38 weeks was a good time to do it.  37 weeks is considered by most to be full term, but the specialist felt that the extra week would most likely (in his past experience) keep baby out of the NICU.  Around the 35 week mark we were able to schedule you for May 17th.   That would be 37 weeks and 6 days.  We were so excited, just a few weeks left to go.

We arrived at the hospital at 3:30, with the surgery scheduled for 5:30 pm.  That day was long for me, mostly because I was nervous, and I couldn’t eat or drink anything (even water) since 9:30am.  That was completely my choice, because the other time option was 2 days later and I didn’t want to wait that long.   We were put in a room right away and they immediately prepped me for surgery.  The nurses were awesome and had me ready to go in about a half hour.  The labs were ordered, now we just wait.  The anesthesiologist came to speak to us, he was very cool.  Then we waited some more.  Finally at around 5:15, my OB came in to say hello and ask if we had any questions and went over what was going to happen.  Ten minutes later we were walking down to

So Perfect!

the OR.

From the moment my OB came in to my room to say hi, I had been shaking.  So nervous and scared.  Even though I’d done this twice before they were both very different circumstances.  With Max, I had been in labor for nearly 24 hours when I finally went into the OR, and with Isabella, we were still in shock, I think, so I really don’t even remember much of that one until my husband was holding her next to me.  They began cleaning my back for the epidural and it was discovered that they were missing some of the blood work and had to call down to the lab to have it run stat.  He would not administer the epidural until he saw everything was good.  That made me feel good.  They called my husband in to sit down and we basically chatted in the OR for probably ten minutes before the lab called up with the results.  Then it was underway.

Owen Parker

Getting a spinal block is one of the most awkward, uncomfortable feelings I’ve ever had.  The pressure, not the needle stick, that you feel in the spine just gives me the willies.  I still remember that feeling from last time.  My doctor is amazing and walked me through everything as it happened and that really helps.  Gary got to sit in and watch the whole thing.  I had waves of nausea from the meds, which the anesthesiologist took care of right away.  I got nauseous all 3 times, but this time I actually was dry heaving.  So strange, being awake with you arms tied down and having no control over anything.  Things seemed to be going well, same as before.  The anesthesiologist kept checking on me, he was great, and he let Gary know if he wanted to see the baby being born, to stand up and watch.  To my surprise, he did.  I thought for sure I would see my husband hit the floor, but he didn’t.  He said it was the most amazing thing he’s ever seen.  Baby Owen was born at 6:07pm.

Our Rainbow is here!

He cried immediately but sounded really gurgly (is that a word?) and that worried me.  It took a minute but they cleared it and he was great.  Bright red baby with lots of really dark hair, just like his sister had.   They took hubby and baby to get him cleaned up and I waited to be sewed up.  At one point I heard my doc say something about a lot of bleeding.  They were having trouble stopping some bleeding by my pubic bone, so it took an extra 20-30 minutes to get me back to the room to see the baby.   When I got back into the room he was doing skin to skin with daddy which was so sweet, then I finally got to hold my second baby boy.  It felt so amazing and scary, and we were relieved and terrified at the same time.  That parental responsibility that never goes away was intensified by a million in that moment.  As was my love for my children and family.  This was a long and challenging road for us, but was worth every second the day he was born.

We now face the question from everyone-are you going to try for a third child, or a girl?  Right now, I think we are planning on it, maybe early next year.  So far we are taking this one day at a time and really enjoying our new baby while he’s so very tiny and perfect.  People think we are crazy to try again or have three kids and we just don’t see it like that.  These are mostly people that had one girl and one boy and decided to be done.  I know my hubby wants a baby girl and I think we should try for one and see what happens.  We are also ok having three boys.   The best thing I’ve heard came from my sister who said…No one ever regrets having a third kid, but many people regret NOT having them.  So if it happens, we will be ecstatic, and if it doesn’t, we will love our family of four just the way it is.

 

My boy

DSC_0543
Max at 1 year

This is my boy, Maxwell Tucker.  He is my joy.  I cannot imagine life without him.  I can’t believe he turned two in February.  It blows my mind!  He is getting so big and so much smarter every single day.

Max was born Feb, 26, 2014.  He was due on the 17th, but apparently felt pretty comfy in utero, so there he stayed until eviction via C-section.  My pregnancy with him was very easy.  I was lucky.  Little to no sickness, not a whole lot of weight gain or heartburn, just some feet in my rib cage for a couple of months.

IMG_0566

 

 

36 weeks
36 weeks

He sat very high up, even after his due date, he never seemed to drop.  I had a scheduled induction that went nearly 24 before it turned into a c-section due to failure to dilate.  I just stopped at 7cm and no matter what we did, I didn’t move any further.  So, out he came at 8lbs, 6oz and this poor boy looked beat up.  Poor thing was being squeezed for about 18 hours, no wonder he looked so rough.  After a day or so, he looked a lot better.

IMG_1647
2.5 weeks old

Max was a good little baby.  He slept a lot the first few months (the 4th trimester) and he ate really well.  He wasn’t particularly fussy, liked being held by anyone, and was generally happy.  He liked to eat!  I could count on him needing fed every 3 hours on the dot.  This would continue until at least a year old.  He was a pacifier baby, aka binky, and still uses it for sleeping (and traveling, lol).  One of these days we will strip it from him, but probably not for a few months.

maxhat
6 months

Sleep is one thing that it took awhile for him to get a handle on, he was not a good sleeper.  He ate so often, even through the night that he just never got into a sleep through the night pattern.  Yes, I could have just made him cry at night around 5-6 months old until the pattern was broken, but I chose to get my ass up and feed my baby.  It’s just now starting to fade, all the memories of horribly lost sleep and middle of the night crying.  By the baby and me, both.  The first six months to a year is a cruel cocktail of hormones, lack of sleep, dirty diapers and pure panic.  It’s tough.  But you get through it and you want that little snuggler back.  This is why second babies come along.  Max probably slept through the night around 14 months and we were ecstatic!  It felt unbelievable!  Then around 18 months he went through another rough patch, and we suffered through that too.

DSC_0577

He started walking around 11 months, and it felt like he immediately ran.  He was saying  quite a few words by about 15 months or so.  Now he is using small sentences and it’s seriously the cutest thing ever.  He definitely enjoys communicating with us, and the dogs.  He has a little bit of a temper when things aren’t going his way, and he gets that from daddy.  He lets himself get worked up over dropping a toy when he didn’t want to or if his cars fall off the ramp.  It’s just something we will work on with him.

DSC_0507

The first 2 years were definitely challenging, but worth every second.  We lost his baby sister in November, but fortunately he was still so young that he didn’t understand what had happened.  We are working on another sibling for him and hopefully that will happen soon, I would like them as close together as possible.  But until then, we will eat this kid up, every bit of him.  He is such a good boy, most of the time.   Every day he surprises us and cracks me up.  He is a mama’s boy right now for the most part, but when daddy gets home he gets so excited.  I couldn’t ask for more from a rambunctious 2-year-old toddler, and am looking forward to teaching him new things and watching him explore the world as a little man.

 

 

 

 

 

Those last 15 pounds

 

belly-2354_1920

It’s time to make a change.  I’m not a dieter, never have been.  When a little weight creeps on, I go to the gym and bust my butt-literally.  That’s how I’ve always done it and it’s worked for me.  Now that I’m in my (eek) very late 30’s, this isn’t as easy as it once was.  I feel like we are in an eating rut and I want to get out of it.  I have a few friends that eat Paleo and I know it has some great benefits.

I’m a little heavy right now for me, I gained close to 30 lbs during my last pregnancy.  Six months later, I’m still almost 15 lbs over my normal weight.  I can attribute this to age, grief after losing the baby, less time to exercise, etc.  The bottom line is that I took the weight off after Max without too much effort-most of that I attribute to breastfeeding.   That’s really the major difference for my body with the two pregnancies, but the second one I also put on about 10 extra lbs.

I spent a lot of time after baby recovering, more emotionally than physically.  The emotional scars of losing her will always be there, I am a different person and mother now.   I am definitely a comfort eater, and I have a sweet tooth like no one I’ve ever known (outside of my mom and sisters).  I will be the last person you hear say, “that’s too rich/sweet for me, I can’t eat very much”.  Umm, no.  I consider this one of my hidden superhero powers.   There was definitely some depression going on here for a few months.

plank-1327256_1280Then I started realizing how uncomfortable I felt in my clothes, getting dressed, going out.  How long was I going to wear maternity clothes?  So I started doing the Atkins low carb diet and easily dropped the first 10 lbs.  Then I plateaued, big time.  I’ve been at the same weight for about 2 months.  I have been going to the gym usually 2x/week sometimes more, working out with a trainer, walking Max to the park constantly.  The only changes I saw were my shoulders and legs started to come back and get some definition back.  That I was very happy about.   My midsection though, I look 5 months pregnant right now!  I need to make a change.

Running has always been my thing, I still love it.  Except when I’m 15 lbs overweight.  I began jogging when I had the time and it felt good.  I ‘fired’ my trainer recently to focus on more cardio.  I was lifting heavy with him for a full hour, and it got my strength back, but I need to incorporate more calorie burning for my body to drop midsection weight.  I only have so much time at the gym and I need to spend it better.  I will still lift weights on my own,  I’ve always responded well to weight training since I’m on the more muscular side.

This week I started trying to focus more on being active and meal planning.   My husband got me a Fit Bit Charge HR for Mother’s Day and I really like it.  I don’t always hit my 10,000 step goal, but some days I hit it by 3pm.   I just wish it was waterproof, that would be easier.  I plan on doing the gym 3-4 days, I did a Plyometrics video yesterday and will probably do a Legs video tomorrow while Max naps.  Definitely running at the gym, since it’s getting too hot already outside for me to run.  I guess I could get up and go really early with Max in the stroller, but not sure how that would go.  He would probably love it actually.  I’ll put it on the list…carrot-1085063_1280

As far as diet goes, my hubby and I follow a fairly low carb diet in general.  Being female, I tend to eat more carbs, chocolate, sweets here and there and it actually drives him insane.  I just refuse to go through life eating chicken and broccoli every damn day.  He can literally eat the same thing everyday for 2-3 weeks and not blink an eye.  I can do it 2-3 days maybe.  I’m not working right now so I decided to do some meal planning each week and see how that works.  I decided to try some Paleo recipes and see how I like it.  Well, I’ll call it modified Paleo, since I will continue to eat some cheese and yogurt.  Because it is no grains, it’s on the low carb side, but allows lots of veggies and fruits.  That’s very important to me while trying to get pregnant, I don’t want to be too restrictive right now.   Although I’m taking tons of vitamins every day, I need to be able to eat lots of fruits and vegetables for proper nutrition.

running-573762_1280I’m gonna work on these last 15 lbs slowly while waiting to fall pregnant (fingers crossed).  I am determined to stay really active through the pregnancy also.  I started trying a few Paleo recipes this week and am really liking them.  I’ll post about that soon.   Because I’m doing a more modified type of Paleo and because it’s not a super restrictive diet,  I don’t expect to drop a bunch of weight.  I believe there are many benefits to cutting out grains in general and I think the running is what will help me out the most.  Everyone knows the last 10 lbs are the hardest to lose, and I am living that nightmare right now.  But with some hard work, I know I can get to a healthier place and feel better.

 

 

Feed my toddler or pull my hair out?

IMG_3887
My happy little eater

Boy, do I have a picky eater!  Most kids go through this stage at some point, but I thought I’d have a little more time.  This picture was taken about a year ago, when I could give him just about anything and he would at least shove it into his mouth and try it.   Look at that happy face!

Those days are long gone.  The struggle began to start probably around 16-18 months old.  Max was breast fed for an entire year, and started solids using baby led weaning around 6 months.   IMG_4178He really did well trying new foods.  He loved all kinds of fruits, sweet potatoes, most veggies, yogurt, cheese, pork roast, eggs.  I didn’t give him any sugary foods until well after a year old.   Then it started to taper off last summer.  When I would put the shredded meat on his tray he would just drop it on the floor.  Same with the veggies, with the exception of sweet potatoes, which is one of the things he will still eat (usually).

As the list of foods narrowed slowly each week,  I became more and more frustrated (=angry).   There were days where I had to talk myself off the ledge and just wanted to pull my hair out.  The most annoying thing is how he’ll gobble something down one week, then the next week won’t even touch it.  GRRRRRR!!!!  You just ate that last week and loved it!!!  It’s been so many months that his diet has sucked now that I’ve been able to get a grip on myself.  I have to remind myself to leave it alone, and not let it ruin my day.  This is a common toddler power struggle and my stubborn temperamental prince has a good handle on this one.  So, I’m trying to let it go.

I do a lot of searching for nutritious recipes and healthy ways to get him to try new things.   I’ve read hundreds of articles about how to get your toddler to eat.  And I’m over it.  I really can’t read one more article or post or suggestion about how to get him to eat broccoli.  And why do the suggestions all sound so smug and condescending?  – Just give him what everyone else is eating, and if that’s all he has he’ll eat it.  -Put a vegetable on his plate every day, eventually he’ll eat it.  -Start with vegetables first.  I’ve tried all of these things and more.   The more I read them, the more I want to reach through my screen and throat punch some random lady whose kids seem to be perfect.

Right now this isn’t going to happen the way I want it to.  I’m ok with that.  I’m not going to blame myself or spend endless hours whipping up crazy ways to hide veggies in his food.  That doesn’t make me a bad mom.   I’ve read lots of posts where kids are eating mostly pizza and sugar and I wouldn’t do that either.  Everyone has to handle their children the best they know how.  I plan on waiting him out for a little while and when that doesn’t work he’ll sit at the table until he gags his veggies down, the way I did when I was little.  I think 2 is just a little early for that tactic.

As for now, he will not touch any meat products, no green veggies, barely any fruits.  He has never eaten white potatoes (not even fries dipped in anything), won’t try pizza, chicken fingers, pasta, mac’n’cheese, avocados, or raw or frozen veggies.  It’s impossible to eat out with him, he won’t even eat the crap food on the kid menu.   I made these muffins yesterday and was surprised how good they were since the batter looked like vomit.   They have a ton of veggies, but a lot of apple taste.  He won’t eat them, not even with peanut butter.   In the freezer they’ll go for a month or so and I’ll attempt again later on.  That’s what I get for busting out my food processor.

As disappointed as I am, I do attempt healthy choices as often as I can muster.  It’s honestly exhausting.  He knows he has total control over his mealtime right now and he’s using it.  I’m sure this stage will pass.  We are basically living on waffles, sweet potatoes, pancakes made from sweet potatoes, veggie pouches, applesauce, cottage cheese, cheese sticks, yogurt, PB toast, blueberries, grapes.  Sometimes eggs, oatmeal.  Then there are some snack foods he’s really loving, but they aren’t staples.  I haven’t even mentioned his severe cashew allergy.  Thank God those aren’t put in everything and PB doesn’t bother him.

He seems to be growing just fine, so for now I have to let it go.  It’s my job as a mom to give him healthy choices and I will continue to do that.  I don’t spend as much time now trying to look up new ideas about how to feed him.  He’s in the driver seat for this one, and eventually I’ll wear him down or his texture issues will disappear like magic.  One thing I won’t do is pretend like my kid is ideal or that I have a grip on everything.  I don’t, and I don’t for a minute need anyone to think that I do.  Nothing is more frustrating than that mom whose kid always sleeps through the night, eats everything, and never throws tantrums.  Maybe she’s incredibly lucky, or just terribly insecure.  I got a rough sleeper whose now a very picky eater.  That’s what raising kids is all about.  All I can hope is my next one sleeps and eats on demand.  Ya, I’m gonna go with that.  Good luck to all you mommas in the kitchen.  The struggle is real.

Let’s just call it a crisis

picjumbo.com_HNCK0691

I believe there are a lot of ways to define a mid-life crisis, they can appear in many ways, shapes and forms.   I think I could count this time period in my life as my mid-life crisis.  Most people commonly fall into a mid-life crisis because they hit a spot of boredom or transition or feel unfulfilled, and something in their behavior or actions changes dramatically.   I’d like to make it clear that I’m not bored or unfulfilled in any way, and as far as I can tell, no dramatic changes here.   I am, however, in transition.

A few months ago I quit my job as a LMT for 8.5 years.   I’ve been doing massage since 2001.  I’m licensed in 2 states and probably will be forever.   I’ve done massage in doctor’s offices, rehabilitation clinics, small spas in Ohio and very large spas in Las Vegas.   I worked for a show on the strip, which was amazing.  I’ve had many great opportunities in this field and am pretty sure I’m not done with it.  As for now, I’m a domestic goddess.

I began this blog just a few weeks ago.  It’s something I really want to do and devote time to.   I’ve been looking into help from other bloggers and doing a lot of research.  Here’s my biggest stumbling block.  I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up- or when I am done raising little ones.   This blog, right now, probably looks like a mommy blog, and it might end up as mostly one.  It’s truly  a journey blog.  Whether it’s interesting or not remains to be seen.

When starting a blog, one must choose a niche, or something I’m good at.  Well, I’m good at a number of things…massage therapy, changing diapers while my kid crawls away, sleeping (when I’m permitted to), singing my sentences(which my husband can’t stand), sarcasm.   Not sure if that last one even counts, but I feel like it’s a true talent of mine.  None of these things are in the same niche, but can be cross-referenced when needed.

I have so many things that run through my mind daily.  This is the reason I want to call this stage a crisis.  It feels like one.  What will I do down the road?  And, mind you, this is a few years down the road.  I’m already feeling a panic about it.  I am a planner!  Type A to a fault.  I need to know, get started in another direction, but what the hell am I going to do?  But first, what the hell is this blog going to be about?

  • I thought about getting into real estate for awhile.  I love looking at houses, would love to flip a house or two.  Yes, my television is either on Disney Junior or HGTV.   But even my own real estate agent and friend told me-don’t get into real estate.  OK.
  • I would love to take some photography classes and turn that into a small money maker eventually.  I have a pretty decent camera.  I rarely use it.  Working on that one.
  • I love doing DIY stuff, thank you HGTV.  I’ve done a few small projects around the house and look forward to doing more.  I’ll have a post about those changes soon.
  • I love sports!  Most sports-but especially football.   I pay an unhealthy amount of attention to football minutia.  Female sportscasters seem to be all the rage right now, I would love to do that.   When I have time, I love to be active also.

Above all, I’m married and have children.  This takes up the majority of my life and time right now and I woIMG_7176uldn’t have it any other way.  I could write a lot of info about how cute/maddening my two year old is.  I can write a number of posts about what makes marriage hard and great at the same time.   I’ve lost a child late in pregnancy and will write about loss.  We are just starting to try for our rainbow baby, so I hope soon I can post about that.

 

This will be my journey.  This is my blog.  Love it, hate it, stay tuned in or never return.  I hope you find something you enjoy, or at least, can relate to here.   I hope there’s lots of that, and plenty of sharing.  Something that makes your day and makes you think you aren’t the only one going through a mid-life crisis.  Although it feels like a crisis to my Type A ass, it’s an amazing change for the better for me and my family.   That’s something I can never lose sight of.

FullSizeRender

 

Sometimes life may feel like a crisis, consider it a beautiful storm.