Friday, October 28, 2011

Who cares about baseball?

When these guys show up like a blast from the past.

I will never grow too old to love this show. Especially when they make fun of Jersey Shore!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Baby Class and a Baby Shower

As promised, here is the low-down on our newborn class last night.

Holy moly, SO informative. I realized I
1. Know nothing about babies. 2. Can't WAIT to play with my own baby. 3. Have the funniest husband alive.

We learned how to change diapers, we learned how to swaddle (or the beauty of a sleep sack if you suck at swaddling), we learned how to feed the baby, we learned how to hold the baby, we even learned how to wake the baby up. We learned babies are now supposed to sleep on their backs. Most of our mothers will fight us on this, but I have a handy dandy brochure that I'm supposed to give the grandma's. (We'll see.) We learned that if you have a fan running in the baby's room, the risk of SIDS is reduced by 75%. We learned how to bathe baby. Sponge bathe until the umbilical cord falls off, then bathe in a small baby tub. We learned what kind of soap, shampoo, and baby lotion is appropriate.

We also learned just a few things about the birthing process at my hospital. The next 3 weeks we'll get into the really fun (bleh) stuff when it comes to child birth, but they told us the services available. One thing I really love about my hospital, is a program where they kick all family members out of the room for an hour after birth besides the parents. This is for skin on skin contact with mom, hopefully a first feeding, and bonding time as a family. The beauty of it is, the hospital requires this. They do the dirty work of kicking parents out. They found that so many times moms didn't get to bond with the newborn because everyone was already passing the new toy around the room. This is so important for mom, dad and baby. I don't even know what I'll do when that hour comes. Probably cry. :)

The class was from 6:30 until about 9:10. Not too bad. As I said above, my husband is HILARIOUS. He can be a quiet guy, but I think the high school class clown came back last night. Just like I remember him. :) He is actually much better at changing the diaper and swaddling at me. But he kind of started playing GI Joe baby after he changed the diaper. He literally started growling and monster walking this fake child at me with it's fresh diaper on. While the instructor was talking. :) I was giggling like a little girl, hoping I didn't get in trouble.

The instructor was excellent. Very experienced, very sweet, very easy to listen to. She had one of those funny speaking quirks though, where she said, "kaaaaay" in her sweet, high pitched voice, after almost every sentence she spoke. It got worse as the class went on and as she grew tired. And my husband started responding, saying, "Ok" after each "kaaaaay." The couple behind us couldn't contain their laughter. I'm pretty sure I had holes in my lips by the time we left trying to hold mine.

If your hospital offers a newborn class, TAKE IT! So many fears were addressed and relieved. So many uncertainties were answered. I feel much more prepared now. Let's face it, I read for 8 to 10 hours a day at work. I don't want to go home and read boring baby books. I need some hands on learning. This was the perfect setting for me.

Today, some of my work friends threw me an AMAZING baby shower during lunch. I received so many wonderful things for my son, and I smiled for an hour straight. Here are some pictures for proof.

I'm the fat one on the right. Man do pictures know how to make me feel deceived by the mirror.

All the goods!

Diaper cake

Happy and grateful Mama

~Mama Lo~

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

3rd Trimester UPS and Downs

Hello my loves! I am officially 30 weeks and 2 days along now. My goodness time is flying now.

We had a doctor's appointment this morning where he did the standard checkup. Weigh me, check my blood pressure, measure me, and listen to baby's heart beat. He also felt around and it appears BabyLo is being a good little boy and his head is down. We are to the point now where I have an appointment every 2 weeks, and before we know it we'll be having weekly appointments. Holy smokes!!!

My sweet mother-in-law is buying me a prenatal massage. I'm ashamed and saddened that I haven't gotten one yet, but to do so I had to get a note from the doctor allowing me to get a massage. He is so funny, because he does not understand why on earth they want a note to give me a massage. His words were, "it's not like they're getting permission to hurt you. They are helping you!" What a great man. He then asked, "what are they massaging?" I said, "well, it's a full body massage but they avoid the belly and other trigger areas." His reply was, "well my goodness, sign me up!" Needless to say, I'm approved for massages from now until birth with no questions asked. I can't WAIT!

This evening we are starting our first of 4 weeks of classes. Tonight's class is a newborn class. I will have a full report on that tomorrow. Hopefully they cover the changing of diapers, because Daddy Lo and myself have never been around babies. We're really that unprepared. That's right, Miss Plan Everything is not prepared at all. The class is at the hospital from 6:30 until 9:00. Oh my! The next 3 weeks will cover child birth preparation. So of course we'll do Lamaze and watch some gory videos I suppose. I've successfully avoided all videos of childbirth until this moment in my life. On Tuesday, November 1st, 2011, I will officially grow up. I believe we get to tour the hospital's birthing center as well, and I'm SO excited, because I hear the birthing center is fabulous at our hospital.

Last night, we hung BabyLo's name on the wall. I took some block letters, stained the middle, and painted the outside. Turned out rather nicely! They are painted to match the bedding set we registered. Here's a picture of the bedding set.

Unfortunately, given that the Internet has some crazies out there, I'm not completely comfortable sharing our baby's name just yet. I so wish I could show you the block letters though! We took a photo of the name and sent it to our family members. Why did we do it that way? Here's the thing, everyone thinks that their opinion is necessary for some reason. If they don't like a name you like, they feel the need to tell you. The name you thought was the most perfect name in the world can be ruined for you with one crappy look. So after throwing a few names out and having my decision influenced, I decided once we found THE name, I would text it to my family so I didn't see their reaction. This gave them time to get used to it, and then send the proper "I love it!" text messages. My strategy worked perfectly! I have no hurt feelings, and I still believe my son has the best name ever given to man. Next to Jesus of course. :)

So there are a lot of UPS! The only down I'm dealing with now is a bit of 3rd trimester morning sickness. I haven't gotten sick, but I've had migraine like headaches that require me to lie down with my eyes clothes so I don't get sick. I also have to eat first thing when I get out of bed again, much like the first trimester, or I will have a bad fit of the queasies. I seem to have it under control.

That is all for today friends. I owe you a post on newborn class tomorrow.

~Mama Lo~  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fall is BEAUTIFUL in Missouri

For your viewing pleasure, I'll share some pictures I've taken with the new camera. I'm still learning and these are unedited, but they are pretty anyway.

This bush blooms in the fall. Absolutely beautiful.

A Scarecrow from my Grandmother

View in the living room

View from the deck

I played at Hobby Lobby today
 I must say, I miss Jess's blog very much, she would be so proud. I bought the seasonal stuff, but I recycled all of the vases and the basket below.

Garland for the fireplace

I love sparkles no matter what the occasion

If you can't tell, I love Fall. The colors this time of year are my favorite, not to mention the beautiful temperatures and changing leaves. I would say I wish it were like fall all year 'round, but then I suppose I wouldn't appreciate it as much.

Happy Saturday all!

~Mama Lo~

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Story of a Breaking Heart

This post will take me a long time to write, and it will probably take several attempts. I write it though, because I think it is important I always remember the last month of my life and the lessons I was taught.

Exactly one month ago today, I threw a baby shower and rushed out of my house immediately after for a foggy drive to Iowa with my husband. Saturday I received a call from my dad who had made it to the hospital with mom to see my uncle, that my original arrival date of Monday evening may be too late. If I wanted to see Uncle Don, I should come sooner than later. I held everything together through the shower and through the weeks leading up to this date, keeping myself busy with huge work projects and meetings, and of course the baby shower for a dear friend. I even held myself together all the way up there and through my initial time with Uncle Don in the hospital. I had parents to be strong for, I had a baby to be strong for, I had an uncle who could see everything happening around be strong for.

What was normally a 5 hour drive to Iowa turned into close to 8. The floods between Missouri and Iowa had many parts of I-29 shut down, and on this particular night we were dealing with some very thick fog. From Maryville, Missouri to a small town north of Sioux City, IA, we had just a 1&1/2 car lengths view ahead of us. Scary driving conditions, scary life situation to face ahead, a scary future overall. I had no idea what we were in for. Did I mention we almost hit a deer and some other unknown country animal? Thank goodness for my husband's selflessness for driving his family safely to our destination.

We arrived sometime after 1am at my grandma's house, where we said some quick hellos and hit the hay. We had a long day ahead.

The next morning, we drove to Sioux City to see Uncle Don. He was in ICU, and because of the shape he was in we didn't have to abide by the visiting hours or maximum number of guests anymore. He had a bi-pap mask on and had to use the mask to breathe. He couldn't breathe for more than a few minutes on his own. I have never been so nervous in my life as I was to see him. I didn't know what I was really in for, I didn't know what to say, I didn't know how to keep my emotions under control so I didn't upset him. We sat in the waiting room while they bathed him, and my mom showed me a baby blanket she was making. I started crying. I told her it was my hormones and that I was touched by the baby blanket (which I am!), but in all honesty I think it was an excuse to cry for a moment. It was an excuse to release some of the tightness I felt in my chest before I walked into the hospital room.

We finally walked into the room. My parents, my uncle's girlfriend, my grandparents, Mike and me. Mom walked in first, told Don hello, and that she had a surprise for him. I walked in behind her, walked up to his bed, and he breathed a sigh of relief. Until Don met the love of his life and her wonderful daughters, he didn't have children. My brother and I were his children for a long time, and he was a big part of our lives. Always there for birthday parties, confirmation, graduation, Thanksgiving, and just because. He helped my dad build our swing set when we were kids from scratch. There are uncles who are just there for the holidays, and then there are uncles who are there as a part of your lives all year round. Don was the latter. I grabbed his hand, told him how good it was to see him, and said with a smile, "You have hair!"

Uncle Don had been fighting cancer since January. He went into the hospital with trouble breathing, and they found he had fluid in his heart. They drained his heart and while there, they found cancer. He decided to fight the cancer head on, and suited himself up for battle. Aggressive chemotherapy was first. He handled chemo with very little problems. He never really got sick and said he actually felt pretty good. The doctors were amazed. They did some tests after he finished his chemo and found he still had some spots to take care of. Next on the plan was radiation. Again, he handled radiation better than most, and the doctors were amazed.

I spoke to Don just after he finished his radiation treatments, when I was finding out the gender of my baby. I called and told him to look forward to the following Thursday, because we would be finding out what brand of baby we're having. I asked him to start brainstorming some ideas for names, because we were having a hard time. I called him the day I found out, and he had come up with a girl's name, but hadn't thought of anything for a boy yet. The girl's name was Carlie. If I ever have a girl, I think I'm just going to have to name her Carlie. :)

The following week he went in for his PET scan to find out if the treatments had gotten rid of the cancer. He was really looking forward to the tests. He said he felt great and thought he had beaten it. He told me he really hoped so, because he didn't want to go through chemo again. While waiting for the results of the scan though, he started to feel sick. His girlfriend was able to get in touch with the doctors, and the scan came back with cancer in his heart. Just days later, he went into the hospital with fluid in his heart and lung. He then developed pneumonia in one of the lungs. They had him sedated for a few days while they fought the pneumonia and performed surgeries to help drain the fluid in his heart. By the time I saw him, they had been able to take him off of the ventilator and on the oxygen mask.

Options had been discussed as to whether they wanted to call in Hospice to make him comfortable for the remainder of his days. Uncle Don wanted none of that. His response to the doctors, "What about chemo?" They normally don't give chemo in the hospital, because patients are vulnerable to infections. When you give someone chemo, it literally poisons them and breaks down their immune system. Giving him chemo could be his one and only shot at survival, or it could be fatal. Don never gave up, ever. He wanted the chemo.

So, by the time I arrived, chemo was on the to-do list, though 2 days before they weren't sure if he would make it to Monday. Here it was Monday, he was doing better, he had a smile on his face, and he was able to speak a few words. This can describe the rest of the week I spent with him. Good days and bad. That day, Mike and I sat in the hospital with Don and the rest of our family. At one point, I sat looking out the window, trying to keep my emotions under control. Don, being the observant one, saw this and asked for something to write with. With a lot of effort and some help from his girlfriend, he wrote, "Jamie, I will wait for little Hogan Logan." The note was given to me, and while everyone in the room tried not to cry, all I could do was smile and say, "Okay, deal." Don was always ornery, and it appeared he had finally come up with a name for our baby. "Hogan." He always liked the show Hogan's heroes, and apparently he thought it would be fun to name our baby after it.

The next challenge on my plate was saying goodbye to my husband, who had to head back to Kansas City to work. As luck would have it, he quit his job the week before and started his own business, so there was no way he could take the week off with me. I tried my hardest not to cry as I hugged him by the elevator, and I think he was doing the same. He squeezed my shoulders, said, "Oh Donnie" and gave me a hug. I told him we'd be in touch. While I missed my husband all week, I think it was better I was there without him. Why? Because I can turn to mush easier with my husband there than without him there. When he's around, I feel safe, and I'm more likely to break down. When he's not, I'm more protective of myself and my feelings, and I was able to save face for most of the week.

The rest of my week there was spent watching Don slowly improve. He had chemo on Tuesday, responded well and was moved out of ICU on Wednesday to the cancer floor. The 7th floor to be accurate. I helped him take his mask off when he needed water, and I watched this man prove just how strong he was. He was giving this fight everything he had. His whole body lifted every time he took a breath. There wasn't a single breath that he didn't fight for. The days were long. Mom and I were staying with my grandparents, and every morning we woke up, ate breakfast, and made the hour drive to Sioux City. Some days we ate lunch, some days we didn't make it to the hospital cafeteria until dinner. We laughed, we cried, we built an amazing relationship with new family, and most importantly, we kept Don alert and surrounded with love. Friday night, his girlfriend's brother and sister-in-law made it to the hospital to join us and help take care of Don. Her brother had the heart of a saint, and her sister-in-law was an angel and a rock that our whole family needed. Friday was a rough day. Don wasn't feeling so well, he was tired and agitated, and I'm sure he was feeling the effects of the chemo. Friday was the day where I excused myself from the room, ran through the lobby, and I cried. I sat outside on a bench in front of the hospital, and I cried with my whole body. I finally broke. We made it through the day, and stayed a little later that evening. Just before leaving, his sister-in-law saw him smiling at me, and she said, "I think he likes you." I smiled, grabbed his hand and said, "I think he loves me." He nodded his head. I said, "We're buddies. He even built my swing set while I was inside with chicken pox." He lit up a little and smiled some more. We all shared a moment where Don got to reflect on some other good times with our family. And then we left for the evening.

Saturday, Don was still having a rough day. Worst of all, we were leaving. I remember saying that day, that I had never wished to be in two places at once as much as I did then. I missed my husband and my home, but I didn't want to leave Don. This might be the last time I ever get to see him and talk to him. And we both knew it.

We stayed for a couple of hours, and then I walked up to his bedside where I grabbed his hand. I said, "I have to go home now." Panic crossed his face. "Mike has been eating frozen enchiladas all week! I have to go feed him." He calmed down a bit. "Keep fighting Don. I love you." He nodded and with his eyes said, "I love you too." I'll never forget that expression. I saw him nod and blink "I love you" to a few people. It was so special, but it showed some defeat as well. Because he couldn't say it out loud. We all knew though. My dad grabbed his hand and said, "Don, I'll say in the words of Robert Schueller, I love you and God loves you too. We'll be back."

By the time we were in the car and on the way home, I was sobbing uncontrollably. I couldn't be strong anymore. I had just said goodbye to my uncle and seen him conscious for the last time. He knew it, God knew it, and I knew it. And it hurt.

The next 5 days we received mixed reports. One day Don wasn't doing well, and then he was getting better and better every day. Wednesday he was even able to sit up a few times and stay on a different oxygen mask for longer periods of time. His oncologist was so impressed with how he handed his chemo they gave him another treatment. We had hope. Then Thursday he wasn't feeling well again. No sleep, a lot of pain, less energy, a different Don. We were told by his brother-in-law later that he had pointed at a cross on the wall that day. His time was near.

Friday, we got the call. It was time to go to Iowa to say goodbye. I was at a conference in Overland Park for women's health, and I left immediately after lunch. Mike and I hopped in the car, and we reached the hospital at 8:30. I'll never forget what I saw that night. Don's heart rate was in the 30's when I got there, and it was only a matter of hours. He would get down to as low as 11  beats a minute, and then back to 30. Don is the one man I know who is more stubborn than my husband. I even told my husband that fact that night. We all stood around his bed and told him it was okay, he could go. But he kept fighting. His girlfriend said, "Don, I think little Hogan will forgive you." I said, "Yes, he'll know who his Uncle Don was. You'll meet each other someday. Just watch over him for me." My grandma held her hand on his head, and told him it was okay, he could let go. And he finally left us.

After that, I remember a lot of crying and hugging, I remember Mike telling me to breathe, and I remember Don's face. It was just before 3am when we lost him. We found a bed to sleep in around 5. The family made arrangements for his funeral to be on Thursday, so Mike and I went home on Sunday to work on Monday and Tuesday.

3 trips to Iowa in less than 3 weeks.

I'll never, ever regret those trips. Especially the week I was able to spend with him. I learned so many lessons.

Family is #1.
Life is short and we take the ease of breathing for granted.
Life is too short to worry about unnecessary conflicts.
In every loss, there are gains. We gained a new family in his girlfriend and her siblings/children.
When there are tears, there is also laughter.
Children heal a broken heart. There was a sweet little boy running around, and he made all of us smile when we were sad.
In this particular loss, I realized how much I love my brother and sister-in-law. And I realized how much more we need to be in each other's lives.
My heart and my family's hearts will be sad for a long time. But we must keep living.

~Mama Lo~

Do you know who the hell I am?

Probably not since I've been out of blogging commission for so long. So where do I start? How about some Baby Bump pictures???

23 Weeks

28 Weeks
 Did you know it was possible to get cellulite on your arms? I'm pretty sure I have crinkles where my biceps used to be. My 94 year old grandmother was also so kind as to inform me that I had gained weight EVERYWHERE. She gets a free pass for being 94. She can say whatever she wants. ♥

The pregnancy is going swimmingly. Our little Peanut is healthy, already 3lbs and looks just like his daddy. We had our 3d ultrasound last week, and I literally saw my husbands face sleeping in my belly. What an incredible experience. For the record, I've always thought 3D U/S's were really creepy, but they are beautiful when it is MY son. :)

I've gained a lot of weight, haven't worked out very much at all, and have dealt with the identity crisis where I miss being able to run/bend/jump whenever I feel like it. I'm truly amazed at the women who are able to continue running while they are pregnant, and I wish I had been able to as well. Unfortunately, my heart did not agree. I have had my health screening though, and I'm very healthy. So, I'll take the pounds as long as baby is healthy.

We have cats running around like crazies. I hope they cope well when there is a baby taking this spot.

I think Kitty secretly knows and dreams of finding his freedom in the wild.

And lastly, you shouldn't have to suffer through many more pictures like the ones above, because Mama got a new toy. :)

BABY COUNTDOWN = 10 Weeks!!!

♥Mama Lo♥