Category Archives: ugh

Agh!

Woah, I am so behind.

The Bean turned 5 months a couple weeks ago and I still haven’t had time to write that update. I haven’t had time for anything! Since the beginning of the month, I got sick, Cameron got sick, we signed a lease on a townhouse in Denver, I got sick again, the baby got sick, we’ve been trying to pack up the house and make some minor repairs, prepare for renters, and moving day is Saturday and the house is still in shambles.

I need a drink.

Please accept these pictures as compensation.

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Mommies Don’t Get Sick Days

Nor do they get breaks for the craziness that a full moon brings. It would be just my luck to be sick over the weekend of a full moon, wouldn’t it?

It finally happened. I’m generally not a sick person, and in fact can’t recall the last time I was down for the count like this–possibly not since 2009, my first senior year of college, when I came down with Influenza A–the same year swine flu was big on the scene and my mother told me in a panic “that flu is killing young people!” Real confidence booster. Usually when I feel oncoming cold symptoms, I overload with vitamin C (praise ye, god of Emergen-C) and fluids and I escape unscathed. Two weeks ago this happened; I had a sore throat for about three days but thanks to my overdosing of VitC and herbal tea, nothing ever came of it. I guess this time I wasn’t so lucky. It was my time.

Anyway, I am finally feeling human again after several days battling a sinus infection, or something otherwise devised by Satan. These are especially fun when you also have a four-month old at home and you are desperate to not get her sick. I went to the doctor on Friday morning just to make sure it wasn’t something contagious (it was) but she gave me a round of antibiotics just in case it was bacterial. I know it doesn’t necessarily work this way but I started taking them anyway. What the hell. After several days of begging the baby to sleep for just twenty minutes longer so I could just rest a little more, the worst of it hit in the early hours of Saturday morning when I arrived at the “I just want to die” stage. Saturday wasn’t a whole lot better, but Cameron managed to come home a few hours early so that I could catch a break. Sunday I hit the “nose so raw I want to cut it off” stage at the same time that I hit the “I am so tired of being sick I just want to cry all day” stage, which might have helped clear out my sinuses.

I ended up using a teething ring to cool my burning nose. Yes, I washed it after.

But, this morning when I woke up, I felt sort of normal again. Still stuffy and coughing a bit, but not quite at the death-warmed-over point. So, progress.

And luckily (knock on wood) it doesn’t appear that either Cameron or Caroline has picked it up. I’m hopeful that by now she would have been showing symptoms and she’s not, so fingers crossed. Unfortunately, the poor thing didn’t escape quite unscathed, because you know what happens when Mommy is stuffed up and can’t smell shit? Yeah, just that. Mommy can’t smell shit. Saturday night after I put her back to bed following her middle-of-the-night bottle, she kept waking up and fussing. I was terrified she was becoming cranky because she had caught my sickness and wasn’t feeling well. (Oh, and did I mention this was also the weekend she decided to start rolling over in her crib and cry for help when she landed on her back and couldn’t go back to sleep? Full moon!) In the morning when I finally got her out of bed, I discovered an hours-old poo in her diaper, which I had been unable to smell but is more than likely the cause of her continual waking and fussing. Womp womp. Sorry Bean. The same thing happened this morning, but this one looked like it hadn’t been in there since 3 in the morning at least. So as much as I hate to say it, I’m hoping my sense of smell returns soon so I can sniff out the FPD (Formula Poops of Doom) in the middle of the night so that she doesn’t have to sit in it all night long.

Now I am facing the daunting task of picking up my house, which has been woefully neglected since I came down with this crap. Ugh.

You’re sick Mommy? Aint nobody got time for that!

“A Good Problem to Have”

The future of human-cat relations

This is a post about breastfeeding. Pass it over if you feel so inclined.

The first night Caroline and I spent in the hospital after her birth was tough. Really tough. Cameron and my mom went home to rest because we thought, well, they’re only 2 blocks away, and more than likely the baby will sleep most of the night anyway since that’s what she’d been doing all day. That’s what babies do their first few days, they sleep. I had the nurse there for support, we figured it was a decent solution to allowing some of us to get some sleep. The second Cameron left the hospital, Caroline started wailing. And she pretty much never stopped the whole night. I held her, I cuddled her, I walked around the room with her, I changed her and I tried to feed her, pretty much my entire arsenal of things I knew how to do less than 24 hours into my career as a mother. The nurse would come in occasionally probably to make sure that I wasn’t passed out in the bed ignoring her because she was crying for so long. She helped me re-swaddle her and gave me a different binkie to try and checked her to make sure her temperature was okay. Because my milk wasn’t in yet, feeding her was still a challenge, but boy did I try. All night long. When she first came out at only 5lbs3oz, we were instructed to feed her every 2 hours on the dot, which I did (or attempted) dutifully and happily. It was the first sign for me that breastfeeding was going to be a challenge, but I was still too tired (and too hopeful that it was just “the first night”) to read the writing on the wall.

The next morning when the pediatrician came in to do a checkup on her, instead of being told that she was doing well and we could go home that day, he told me that she had lost 9% of her birth weight in little over 24 hours. She had dropped all the way to 4lbs11oz which is preemie, might need to go to the NICU territory. In case you’re not familiar with what’s considered normal, doctors expect babies to lose about 10% of their birth weight in a week before they start gaining again. Naturally this was a little distressing, but not the end of the world, and the doctor told me that he wanted us to stay an extra day to make sure she could put some weight back on. I held it together till he left the room and then immediately started bawling in front of the nurses who, bless them, were very supportive. I was overtired, physically exhausted, hormonally overloaded, and alone–Cameron was still on his way over with coffee. Most of all I was worried about my baby. Since I was still only producing colostrum at that point, the nurses said we would try to supplement her with some formula so that she could get a few extra calories out of every feeding and that when I could, I would pump to try and help bring the milk in. We fed her formula by syringe at first, and then the nurse whipped out a supplemental nutrition system, basically a supply line that fed formula into the corner of her mouth while I was nursing so that we were killing two birds with one stone–she was nursing and helping bring in the milk AND getting some extra calories. Luckily, the next day when the doctor came in to look at Caroline, she had gained back 5 whole ounces–he’d expected one at the most, so this was extremely encouraging, and he allowed her to be discharged that day.

The next few days were a struggle as my body adjusted to nursing and milk production. On top of the super painful nipples every time she latched on, my milk came in so crazy fast I was engorged almost immediately and spent a good 2 or 3 days in severe pain that left me crying pretty much every time she nursed. Once at three in the morning I got up and had to put hot washcloths on my chest just to get some relief. I also have an overactive node or gland or something under one of my armpits near where the milk ducts are, something that has been an annoyance pretty much all my post-puberty life, and when my milk came in, this thing swelled up to the size of a chicken egg and stayed rock hard for three days. Misery. Pure misery. I remember at one point saying to Cameron that if this was going to continue, there was no way I’d be able to breastfeed for an entire year.

Since then the engorgement has gone down (thank goodness) but breastfeeding has still been a challenge pretty much every day. Caroline is gaining plenty of weight and in fact is surpassing the doctor’s expectations–at her last appointment she weighed around 7lbs8oz–so that’s good, but pretty much every nursing is a complete crapshoot and could go one of two ways: perfectly fine, or completely terrible. I have occasional oversupply and a near constant overactive letdown, and if you’ve ever experienced that you know how frustrating it can be. One of the lactation nurses at the hospital told me it was “a good problem to have” and I wanted to ask if she was kidding me. I know that it’s probably preferable to having low supply or some other issues, but in no way is it a “good problem to have.” It’s a miserable, horrible problem to have and I think it’s the one thing that’s contributing the most to my baby blues, more so than the colic even.

Here’s a basic rundown of how nursing goes. If it’s a good session, she feeds for 5-7 minutes on one side and that’s all. I offer the second side but usually she is not interested and I end up having to pump. Her doctor says that because she is so efficient at nursing and gaining so much weight that this really isn’t an issue, so I figure I’ll take it. If it’s a bad session, it’ll go something like this: I put Caroline to the breast. She latches on perfectly and nurses calmly till the letdown happens, which I can sense because both my nipples feel like they have binder clips clamped onto them for about 10 seconds. I can also tell it’s happening because it’s at that point that the baby starts choking and gagging and unlatches, then starts to scream. Then let’s not forget the milk that ends up everywhere because I have turned into a garden hose with no valve. The crying and constant latching/unlatching means two things: Caroline is not eating, and she’s swallowing air which is giving her gas and contributing to the colic–and usually it means she ends up spitting up whatever milk she did get in the first place. It’s a horrible cycle and gives me miserable anxiety pretty much every time I have to feed her. I’ve tried just about everything that’s been suggested by the lactation consultants and that I can find online, so no advice please, and in any case nothing that I’ve been trying is working. When we get really desperate we decide to pump and bottle-feed her for a few weeks until she can handle the amount or my body regulates, but usually by a few hours into this plan I end up so miserable that I put her back to the breast again because I can’t stand the bottle (not to mention she doesn’t love it either, so bottle-feeding sessions are usually just as stressful as nursing). It’s just not the same and let’s face it, issues aside nursing is just easier than bottle-feeding especially late at night. I don’t have to keep track of pumping all the time and I don’t have to spend time heating up a bottle, I can just feed her. Or try to, at least.

Still, it’s been hard. Really hard. We usually get in a pattern of having a good few days and then a regression happens and she will go back to having problems again. The problem for me is that my brain sees a cause-and-effect pattern: I feed her, and she immediately cries, which means I’m not doing a good job. I know it’s not rational and I know I have little control over the issue, but it’s not easy to cope with. It also means that she is not eating enough to get a full stomach in one sitting, so she still at nearly 6 weeks old sleeps maybe 3 hours at a time, and most days I end up feeling chained to the couch because she has to eat a little all the time instead of eating a lot occasionally. And naturally this snowballs into a lot of other issues that have been hard to cope with, the baby blues chief among them. I guess I thought by now something would have “clicked” and we would have figured it all out and gotten into a pattern, or something. All the people I know who recently had babies say their little one is giving them 4-6 hours of sleep at night and everything is going fine, but I’m still up with her pretty much all night, sleeping in a different bed from Cameron because it’s too hard for us to both be awake all night long, and I’m getting more and more frustrated and upset every day. It’s exhausting when something you spend so much time of your day doing doesn’t go well. I have days where I want to give up breastfeeding altogether because why spend so much time being miserable, and others when the idea makes me break down because I need that time with my little girl and the idea of doing anything else means I’ve failed (again, not a rational idea, but it occurs to me anyway.)

Anyway, as we approach Caroline’s 6-week birthday all I can hope (and hope and hope and hope) is that maybe we’ll turn a corner soon and breastfeeding will become easier, because at this point I don’t see it lasting nearly as long as I’d hoped because there’s simply no way I can continue like this. And that makes me desperately sad. Still, most everyone we’ve talked to say that the first 6 weeks are the hardest and it does, despite all odds, get better after that. So I have my fingers crossed, because at this point it’s really about all I can do.

I was trying to get a smile…all she would give me was a pout!

Spilt Milk

You know that idiom about crying over spilt milk?

Whoever came up with that was obviously not a new mother. And especially not a new mother trying to breastfeed an underweight newborn who vomits said breastmilk all over mom right before bedtime.

(Did I mention said new mother is already feeling like she’s barely holding it together? You probably catch my drift by now.)

Yeah, that was my night last night. Caroline had been fussy most of the day and didn’t seem to be feeding very much (only a minute or two at a time and never taking both sides) but it’s so important for her to put on weight right now that any sign of hunger I try to give her the boob. I was starting to get frustrated and nervous and worried, most of all, that she wasn’t getting enough food, so I was already in a pretty bad place by the time the evening rolled around. I was in tears before dinner was over so we decided to go up to bed early since we were both obviously tired. We got upstairs, got ready for bed, and I fed Caroline one last time and she got really fussy. I swaddled her, tried to burp her and shush her, and nothing was really working, which of course only frustrated me more. Finally I decided to use a technique from Happiest Baby on the Block and turned her on her side and jiggled her a little–and she projectile puked all over the bed and the floor, which was pretty much the straw that broke this hormonal camel’s back. I turned to take her to the bathroom (what for I have no idea) and she threw up again all down my shirt.

Cue some absolute hysterics. And I mean hysterics. I had no idea what to do so I just sat down on the edge of the bathtub and started bawling until Cameron came in and took her from me and put her in her crib. Then he took me into our room to try and settle me down. It’s not like I was taking the whole thing personally; it’s not like I was thinking “my baby hates me so she’s puking all over me.” I was so upset and worried that she wasn’t getting enough to eat if she was throwing it up. I was worried that she was sick or something–you know, all those first time mom freakouts. After about 15 minutes of the mother of all meltdowns we finally went back to the baby’s room and crawled into bed–conveniently, she had been fast asleep since barfing all over me. She slept from about 8 till 11, and then unfortunately was up every hour till 2 or so, when she slept till almost 6:00. It was a rough night and she kept fussing every time we put her down. We tried her chair, thinking she might be wanting to sit upright, but no dice. She only seemed happy when she was being held, which meant we had to hold her until she really passed out and then we could put her down. So, for that 3-hour period it was pretty rough. She would wake up and make these noises like she was struggling to burp or pass gas or poop, none of which she was doing when we picked her up and tried to burp or jiggle her. My rope was already so thin and I just kept saying “I don’t know what you want!”

Anyway. The struggle to balance out the hormones has been challenging so far. For some reason, it’s always worse at night. Maybe it’s the time change and the fact that the sun goes down at 4:30. I feel like if I nap during the afternoon, I’m wasting good daylight time that I really need to feel normal. It’s hard. Caroline was fussy part of the day today, though perfectly calm when we went to the library for story time, and this afternoon she had (according to Cameron) a huge poop, and since then she’s had some solid feeding times and slept through most of the afternoon, so maybe she had to pass something through her system and that’s what was making her upset the last day. I don’t know. I think that’s part of what is exacerbating my hormonal craziness, is the not knowing what she needs when she’s been fed and has a dry diaper and otherwise doesn’t seem to need anything. I know it’s just part of the deal, I know she’s supposed to still be in the womb so she’s still doing a lot of growing and I just need to deal with it and get through it–but that’s my rational side talking. My irrational, hormone-filled side sees her crying when I can’t tell what’s wrong and is sure that it’s because of me, because I’m a horrible mother and she’s sick and isn’t gaining enough weight.

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I just have to keep reminding myself that this time will get better and I have to take everything one day at a time. And more importantly, that I’m not a bad mom.

 

8 Months

Single digit weeks left. You’re kidding me, right?

Actually, I’m stuck somewhere between sometimes feeling “holy shit only 8 weeks left aaaaah!” and sometimes feeling “oh my god, 8 more weeks? Hurry up already!”

I am so, so, so very grateful that leggings are still considered fashionable. Thanks fashion gods!
I am so, so, so very grateful that leggings are still considered fashionable. Thanks fashion gods!

I have actually fallen pretty far behind in getting ready, thanks to all the other things that have been going on around here. I still have a small section of wall to paint in the nursery, plus another tree to put up, and we have to obtain the border. At this point I am REALLY grateful we decided to only paint one wall. I also have to finish the letters and get them hung over the crib. Thinking that since Cameron works late tonight, it would really behoove me to use that time to my advantage and get that crap done. Finishing the decorating will also give us a chance to step back and find out what else we need to complete the room as far as organizing goes. We’re already pretty limited on space to put “things” so I was thinking I’d get baskets to put on the wall for books and toys, but what do I do with other things like…the stroller? The bath tub? I seriously need some interior designer to come help me ORGANIZE the space. The other issue is finding a time to actually go and get those things we need, since a 3-hour drive to Denver is not exactly convenient when we need one thing. So since we will be down this weekend for my baby shower, it would probably be pretty smart to stock up on as many things as will fit in our car since I do not want to make another trip down anytime soon. Like, till Christmas.

We were supposed to start our childbirth classes last night, a 3-hour class every week for 5 weeks that would have taken us through childbirth, breastfeeding, and that whole “what do we do with a newborn when we actually have one” part of parenting. Unfortunately, the teacher lives in Berthoud, which is “normally” under an hour away, now 3+ hours away. The teacher really wanted us to get at least the basics of the course, though, so she is planning to come up in October and has arranged for us to do a marathon weekend course. We probably won’t be able to get anything other than the childbirth part of it all, which is something of a bummer, but I suppose better than nothing. It’s not till the middle of October though.

It’s kind of amazing how the flood has caused us to throw just about every plan we had out the window and come up with something else. This is still kind of hard for me to deal with because as I’ve mentioned before, I like to have plans. I like to feel like I have control, and the aftermath of the flooding means losing a lot of control. On Wednesday I read an article on NPR about our hospital and the challenges they are facing with winter coming and 1 of our 2 roads shutting down for the winter at any time. (“They” are saying that Highway 36 will be open by December 1, but I don’t think that’ll really happen and in any case it doesn’t matter much for us as far as the baby goes, assuming she comes when she is supposed to.) We don’t have a NICU at our hospital, which I already knew, but in the past if there were any serious problems, a different hospital with the right equipment was only an hour away by ambulance. Now, the closest hospital is 3-4 hours away by ambulance and the flight for life helicopter is only reliable in good weather, which is up in the air (no pun intended) a lot in the winter. Needless to say, this freaked me out a little. (Okay, a lot. It freaked me out a lot. I spent pretty much all of that night in the fetal position bawling my eyes out because it felt like everything possible was going wrong.) We had our 32-week appointment yesterday, which gave us an opportunity to get straight answers from our OB as far as what kinds of emergencies this hospital can handle and what happens if the “what ifs” happen, that sort of thing. It’s not an ideal situation by any means, but there are options and emergencies will be taken care of. Our doctor explained that the responsibility was pretty much on him to determine ahead of time if we needed to be moved out to a different hospital for pre-term labor or any other complications. He said normally what would be a “wait and see” attitude will now be a “better safe than sorry” attitude. Again, not ideal, but it’s there.

I really hate that the last weeks of this pregnancy are surrounded by so much worry on my part. I know I shouldn’t worry because I can’t control any of it, but that doesn’t mean I’m not or won’t. Now when I wake up in the middle of the night with random twinges and pains I immediately panic that I’m going to go into pre-term labor and we’ll have to be transported to a different hospital and deal with different doctors who don’t know my preferences and everything will be taken out of my hands. I know that’s a really silly way to look at things, but it all goes back to that desire I have internally to be in control and know at least sort of what to expect. The end of pregnancy is always a game of wait and see in which you have no idea what to expect, and that has been hard enough to deal with. Now I have a whole other list of things to deal with, and that sucks. At this point I just want to have it be over, have her be here and know that we’re all going to be safe and sound. It’s a lot of things I can’t control right now–and I absolutely hate that. My OB did remind me yesterday, “It’s my job to worry.” I’m working on that–it’s not exactly going as well as I’d hoped.

By the by, our sump pump is STILL pumping groundwater out of our basement. And it’s raining today. Some days…it’s hard not to feel completely defeated.

Anyway, to end this post on a slightly more positive/amusing note, I’ll share with you a conversation I had with someone the renaissance festival last weekend. He was a vendor selling hair pieces or something like that, and as I walked by his booth, I heard him say…

“My lady, you should not be out in the sun!”

I thought, okay, he’s being nice to the pregnant lady, fine, I’m game. I said, “I’m trying to stick to the shade and stay hydrated.”

He said: “Only one more month left?

Little personal, but whatever. “Two, actually.”

He put on that face…you know the one, the one that says “Oh, shit. I just called her fat.” To his credit, he apologized. I said it was fine. And then, JUST when he was about to dig himself out, he said…

“Two, really? Wow, you’re going to be huge!”

Way to go, man. Way. To. Go. If I’d been on the ball a little more I would have asked him how the bottom of his foot tasted, but I was so taken aback the only thing I could do was blink and walk away.

What do you mean this blankie isn’t for me?

What to say

Wow. What a crazy past few days. There are still many to come, I fear.

I’m still working on how to wrap my head around it all. As is probably obvious, we do have our Internet restored at home. It came back on this morning, and our cell service was restored today too. It is definitely a huge plus to be able to connect with people–for a few days we were literally cut of as well as figuratively cut off from the whole world and it was not a fun experience. Still isn’t. 

I suppose I should say that it’s not just Estes that has been affected by these floods. Boulder, Loveland, Fort Collins, Aurora, Commerce City, Greeley and all the farmland in between….it’s a vast, vast amount of area that is currently affected by this disaster. We were sort of the “high point” of the flooding–our rivers overflowing contributed to the mass flooding from Loveland and everywhere east from there, but flooding out of the Poudre River and Boulder Canyon also did a lot of damage. Last I read, something like 19,000 homes have been lost and more than 1000 people are still unaccounted for. I think 6 people are confirmed to have died and the number is expected to go up. The scope of the loss in so many different kinds of categories is still impossible to sit down and look at a list of it all because it is evolving still. It’ll probably be weeks before we can look back at this event and understand it all.

The future is still sort of uncertain, too. I’ll put the pictures below because there’s just no way I can describe it in words, but the roads that come up this way are gone. Literally gone. Washed away by water. It is so difficult to imagine and looking at the pictures don’t really help because it is SO surreal. At the town meeting I went to yesterday we were told to expect 6 months to wait for the road from Longmont/Boulder to be repaired, and up to an entire YEAR for the road from Loveland to Estes to be repaired. Right now the only ways in/out of Estes are by going over Trail Ridge Road, or down part of Highway 7 through Allenspark, out to Nederland, and then to Central City which dumps you onto I-70. Both of these roads are (for the time being) limited to emergencies, deliveries, and residents of Estes Park. You can get out either way, but you have to prove that you live here to get back. No idea how long that will go on. It will also take you HOURS to get to Denver through either of these ways, but it is an option if you absolutely have to. 

Obviously, this has all been really overwhelming. When I woke up on Thursday after listening to the rain pour all night, I checked my Facebook and saw nothing but people saying that evacuation notices had gone out and that the canyons had been evacuated overnight. We had been warned that some flooding might occur since we were seeing an unprecedented amount of rain, but I don’t think anyone ever thought it would be this bad. All signs said that the river was on the rise and it was going to be bad. I contacted my office and they said to just stay put until we knew more about what the river was going to do. Cameron went over to the Starbucks to see the status of the river there. When he went in at 8:00 or so, it was about to come over the sidewalk. By the time he left about 2 hours later, it was coming up to the back door. He stayed to help sandbag with some other businesses on the strip and then came home to contact all his employees and make sure they were okay. We continued watching the news throughout the day and were just more and more distraught as it continued to get worse and worse. At 1:30, I went down to the laundry room to get dressed to go to an OB appointment and realized that there was groundwater coming up the stairs. The whole laundry room/crawlspace had flooded about 4 inches. We worked on getting it pumped out and we’re staying dry thank goodness, though still even now the pump has been running 24 hours a day since then just because the ground is so saturated that the bedrock has nowhere to send the water. We received an entire year’s worth of moisture in about 2 days.

So now, the cleanup begins. The river has mostly receded now, but there are still some places that are totally water-logged. Businesses downtown have to clean up and be inspected to ensure they are clean and up to code and safe too, because who knows if the water could have damaged foundations or anything like that. The future is very uncertain as to what will happen to the town at large because we are so cut off and could be for a while to come. We likely won’t be having the kinds of tourism that usually sustains us through the winter simply because many people will find it too inconvenient to get here. So the future really will be a moving target for a lot of people who live up here and especially those who have businesses. Everything really has to be taken one day at a time.

As for us, I’m really grateful that we made out okay and better than many have. We did not have to be evacuated by helicopter or zip line or elevated truck by the National Guard like so many people did. Our house is totally fine–many people in town can’t go home for months, let alone people who lived in the canyons. We only had a small amount of flooding, nothing was damaged, we never lost power or clean water and we have plenty of food. We do have my parents’ dog with us who was supposed to go home to them on Wednesday, but it looks like he could be with us for at least 2 more weeks. That’s fine, with the exception that he has medication he has to take, and he only had so much of it because we weren’t expecting him to be with us for so long. We are currently working with the Safeway pharmacy in town to see if they will be able to fill a prescription for him so that he can at least have his medication until we manage to get him home. It’s also something of a waiting game right now to see when we can both go back to work. I mean, not like I love work so much I’d rather be there than home, but it would definitely help with regaining a sense of normalcy. It’s been an overwhelming mental challenge more than anything for me. I was already so low emotionally/hormonally going into this whole event and it definitely did not help. Feeling cut off from the world was hard. Now that we can at least have internet and phone access, it feels easier, but it’s still frightening to think about the fact that we are pretty isolated. Shoot, my baby shower is in two weeks and it could take me hours just to get to it. It’s been a lot to handle and probably way harder than it normally would have been just by virtue of also being 7 1/2 months pregnant.

So, anyway. That’s where we are as of right now. I think I’ll let the pictures do the talking from here on out. Most of these I took myself, but if not, I’ll point that out.

The significance of this picture is that all of this is normally a field in front of the Estes Dam.
Photo courtesy of the Estes Park News
Photo courtesy of the Estes Park News
I’m not sure who took this photo, but it’s an aerial view of Highway 34, one of our major lifelines to Estes.
Photo courtesy of the Estes Park News

Hitting “That” Point

“That point” is defined as the moment in which Steph is tired, grumpy, and fed up with being pregnant…which I’m pretty sure is a point which all pregnant women hit, whether they admit it out loud or not. So what follows is not much more than blog!vent, feel free to skip right over this one. Really, go for it.

Last night was definitely my first feeling of “This is not fun anymore.”

Right around dinner hour last night, Caroline seemed to move into a very stretched out, vertical position and put either her head or her feet right into my stomach. And it hurt, a lot. Not so much that I was concerned, because I could tell exactly where the pain was and I could also feel her sitting there, so I knew it was just discomfort from that. I couldn’t even eat dinner because my stomach just felt so cramped. No particular way that I moved seemed to help much, so I tried to get her to move even just a little, but she was having none of it, so for about an hour I just laid back on the recliner because it was about the only way I could get comfortable.

Cameron was working late, so after the baby FINALLY moved and I was able to get some relief, I went up to bed to watch the ending of the Sunday night football game and ended up falling asleep sprawled across the bed for probably about an hour before he came home. He came into say hi and I woke up, which was fine, but after that I was pretty much wide awake until he came to bed at 11:30. And my heartburn was starting to rev up. It’s been sort of on and off so far, nothing too terrible, but the last 2 nights have been really exhaustive and very painful. I chewed a few Tums, had a sip of milk, and sat up in bed watching HGTV until Cameron came in. He naturally fell asleep in about 30 seconds from lying down, but this being the incoming fall allergy season, he’s snoring a lot more than normal until he gets into really deep sleep and then it stops. And he’s really tired from working so many extra hours lately, so on top of the snoring, it’s also harder to wake him up to get him to stop snoring. Finally I gave up, grabbed my collection of pillows, and traipsed over to the guest bed and tried to sleep there, but the bed is so much firmer than ours and just not easy to get comfortable on right now, since my range of options of sleeping positions is getting smaller and smaller. I finally gave up there too, and by this time my throat was pretty much on fire from the heartburn. I went back to our bed and propped myself up on a couple pillows, had a few more Tums, and listened to my husband snore…while I proceeded to get so frustrated and upset that I basically laid there crying till about 1:30 in the morning.

Hot, right.

The frustration wasn’t just from the heartburn, though it was SUPER painful, but also that I couldn’t seem to win no matter which way I tried. If I laid down flat, my chest felt like it was going to explode. If I sat up, I had to pee because the baby was sitting right on my bladder. And then my back would start to ache. And I was super jealous that Cameron was actually sleeping, which was also annoying at this point because he would quiet down until I was literally -this- far away from falling asleep, and then he’d turn over and start to snore again. Ugh. (That, and the uber-hormonal part of me was upset that he wasn’t waking up even though I was crying, but, I shouldn’t have been very upset about that one since there’s no need for us to both be miserable.) If I turned onto my side a little, the baby started having the hiccups. I really just couldn’t win. This all went on till probably 2:30 or so when I think I was finally able to fall asleep, at least for a couple hours. If I move out of my position in my sleep, I wake up with either a fetus on top of my bladder or aching hips, so I am waking up every hour or two to reposition. And I know this is all normal, the third trimester is the worst for sleep, that sort of thing, but I am so tired. My alarm goes off at 7, so needless to say I didn’t actually accrue many sleeping hours last night.

So, definitely getting to that point when I am not really enjoying this process very much anymore. I know you’re not supposed to say these things, but I hate it when she has the hiccups. I hate it when she flips around and wiggles all night long. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that she’s healthy and that she is doing those things, but it’s not “amazing” anymore. It’s just annoying. I just want to lie down for 30 minutes and not feel like a human fishbowl. I want to sleep through the night just once more before she comes. I want to be able to turn over in bed and have it not take 5 freaking minutes because I am so huge.

Bluntly put, I am ready for this baby to be on the outside of my body. And it feels a little disheartening that I still have 10 weeks of this to go.

I know, I know, I shouldn’t be so despairing or negative. I am grateful for this, believe me. I’m not looking for a pity party or to sound like I’m looking for advice (this morning I made a joking comment on Facebook about my heartburn and the baby’s hair and it turned into so many people telling me what to try for the heartburn that I ended up taking it down because I really, really don’t give a shit about advice which is, again, the grumpy pregnant lady in me talking.), I’m just blowing off steam in about the only way I know how, which is through this. Since I don’t have too many real friends to talk to and I have already bitched Cameron’s ear off enough…the blog it is.

Stress is just annoyingly high right now. Cameron is putting in a lot of extra hours right now because it’s that season when it’s still fairly busy but he’s lost a lot of employees who went back to school, that sort of thing, plus there’s a bunch of new policy programs and scheduling stuff being rolled out that he is kind of being the guinea pig for, so he’s been at work a lot more, and while I know it’s only temporary, his stress feeds into my stress and I miss him, frankly, and it’s been a rough couple of weeks. His dad had a minor heart attack on Wednesday, and while that in and of itself was not entirely serious, the double bypass he was supposed to have on Friday turned into a quintuple bypass and there were serious complications when he had an allergic reaction to the blood coagulation medicine he was given, so he’s been in a medically induced coma since then. He is expected to be fine and taken off sedation tomorrow, but it’s been scary especially being so far away. So, Cameron and his brothers are waiting right now to see when/if they want to go out and see him, which for the moment is a bit “hurry up and wait” to see how everything goes and how much longer he stays in the hospital, that sort of thing.

I know that it’s just a few weeks more before everything really slows down and it will all be fine. I spoke today with my employers about the fact that I’m 98% sure I’m not coming back after the baby comes, so they at least know that they need to get someone in to let me train before I leave in early November. Cameron is able to take off 5 weeks when Caroline comes which is really, really helpful and I am so grateful for that…but in the meantime it still feels very, very far away.

All this negative being said, some positive…I did pass my 3-hour diabetes test, so no more worry about that. And today at work one of the managers who is out from Nebraska brought me ice cream, so either he was just being really nice or I look way more rough than I want to…