Mason is something else, I tell you.  I can’t believe the difference between 2 years and 2 1/2 years.  These last six months have been wild with lots of changes, primarily with the introduction of Owen who was born a short 3 weeeks after Mason’s second birthday. 

I remember the emotions I had when I found out I was pregnant with Owen were mixed ones.  I was thrilled to be having another child for Mason to grow up with, but I was also scared and sad that Mason would have to share me with something else.  From the first time I laid eyes on Mason he has been my sunshine; how in the world was I going to manage to keep up that love and devotion with another baby, and how in the world could I love another child as much as I do Mason?

Over the course of the 9 month pregnancy, I made the most of every minute, fearing he would feel rejected when the new one arrived.  I contemplated not nursing Owen just to be able to have more time with Mason.  For Mason, the transition to big brotherhood wasn’t easy.  I remember when he came to visit me and Owen in the hospital, he didn’t really want to get to close and Josh had to put him on the bed with me.  I was certain this was going to be our reality for the next 18 years.  I felt rejected and conflicted. 

As the first month of Owen’s life sped by, Mason would pull on me for attention or to play right when Owen would need to eat, it would seem.  Half of my postpartum tears were guilt from not giving Mason all the time I once had for him.  However, it slowly started improving.  Owen started to show his personality through his smiles and kicks of excitement.  Mason picked up on that right away.  What seemed like an eternity for me emotionally was a flip-of-the-switch for Mason.

Now Mason and Owen are in love with one another.  No one can make Owen smile like Mason and Mason is extremely protective of his Owen.  I explain the joy I feel from seeing them play together, even though it is limited with Owen only being 5 months old today.  These two boys are perfect!

Mason is still my silly, smart, and adorable boy.  He is spontaneous and surprises me with his wit.  His imagination in full operation and I love playing Thomas the Train with him as we scoot our trains to the imaginary Steamworks under our dining room table.  Every flower he sees, dandelions and all, he goes over to smell them and tells them they are “So beautiful”!  Every puddle must be splashed, every rock is his pirate treasure, and every worm tickles his hands.  He continues to be my sunshine, it just so happens he shines on us all and I don’t mind sharing.

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A year ago today I went from being pregnant to being a Momma.  I thought I had a bit of an idea into what a great adventure the motherhood thing would be, but I had no clue it could be this good.

Mason’s birth story is one I am sure many women experience in this country.  With all my hopes laid on a minimally invasive birth, I just wanted to push him out no matter what the pain, no epidural, no medicine, just me and the work to get him here.  It didn’t happen so much like that. 

I went into my post date appointment, Mason’s due date was Oct 5, and I was praying the entire way there I was progressing and at least a tad bit dilated and effaced.  No joy, I was locked up tighter than a preacher’s daughter.  They performed an ultrasound on me to discover “there’s a big baby in there!”  I could have told them that, he had been kicking me in the lungs the last 2 months.  He wallowed all around in my belly, much like he does now.  I am not complaining, I love the fact he loves to be around me.  My OB/GYN asked me to come into her office so she can talk me through “having a big baby”.  The ultrasound measured him around 9 lbs 1 oz.  I thought, “eh, it can be done!” 

I went into Dr. Pirkle’s office and she looked at me with this look that told me this conversation is not going to go the way I want it to.  She started in saying she was giving me the American Association of Obstetrics recommendations – casearean….because of shoulder dystocia.  Really!  I didn’t even pay attention in the childbirth class when they talked about that.  I assumed I could push the guy out, there would be pain, but I could take it!.  I cried, a lot, and she was great talking me down from the thoughts I have failed!  I went over every egg I ate for breakfast, SO YUMMY.  Either way, this was pretty much the decision, I didn’t want him to get stuck and have his back and shoulders screwed up!  We scheduled the casearean for Saturday the 10th of Oct for his birthdate.  She finished up by saying “Head over to the hospital for a non-stress just to make sure all is ok”.  

I cried all the way to the car on the phone with Josh…”I have to have a caesarean!”  He said the phrase I absolutely hated at the time “Either way, it will be a healthy baby.”  I thought what a cop-out.  I told him he didn’t need to come to the hospital, they were just doing a non-stress test and after that I would be going to work.   He said “I will be at the hospital in about 20 minutes.”  I tried to talk him out of it, but it just wasn’t working.  Thank goodness he didn’t listen to me. 

I checked into the labor and delivery ward and they hooked me up to belts.  I was a have a few contractions, but nothing that would make me think this baby is coming out.  With the contractions Mason’s heart rate would fluctuate.  The nurses would reassure me that this was “No Big Deal!”  Josh arrived and we watched a bit of tv while the tape with his heart rate poured out.  Dr. Wentworth, another doc from the practice, came in and looked at the tape and said “Ok, so we are going to have a baby today!  I don’t feel comfortable with you going home with the heart rate fluctuations and the contractions”.  I am sure I turned white as a ghost and I saw Josh turn green. 

We were preparing for around a 5pm birth and it was about 2:30 at this point.  Josh ran down to the cafeteria and grabbed a salad.  While he was down there, the nurses came in and said ok let’s go!  I texted Josh saying “it is time to go NOW!”  He rushed up, we both hit the restroom before we went into the OR and we were off.  Josh was walking behind me getting instructions, while I was getting some as well.  They walked me into the OR and I looked behind me and Josh was gone, apparently putting on scrubs and getting ready for surgery.  I got on the table and received my epidural, which I think may have been part of the cause  of my ruptured disc, and I couldn’t feel a dang thing!  By the way, I got into the OR at 3:42 pm.   They prepped me, explained all that was going to happen and then Josh came in.  He sat by my head and I was terrified.  Dr. Wentworth came in, they counted every single instrument; there were a lot of many things, I remember thinking.  At 4:04 pm they made the incision and at 4:08 Mason was born – 8 lbs 15 oz, 21.5 inches long.  I remember thinking WOW he is BIG and he looks like my brother Will. 

I am pretty sure I have described what an awesome feeling poured over me, but it is worth re-telling.  It was like magic, like falling in love times infinity.  At 4:42 they wheeled me out of the OR and all the nurses were laughing because it “Only took and hour” and “Dr. Wentworth is the one you want doing this!” I didn’t care at all, I had my baby boy and he was perfect.  Chubby Cheeks, dark eyes and already so loveable.  Josh and I were a bowl full of mush.  I still am everytime I see him.  That was truly the best day of my life. 

And today, I can’t believe that was an entire year ago.  A lot has happened in just 365 days, but the most important part is watching our little man growing before our eyes.  It’s the best trip of a lifetime!

Happy Birthday Honey, I love you Baby Bear!

Let them eat cake!

Wow do I stink at this whole blog thing…..sad face.  Who would have though being pregnant would shift your entire schedule around. 

Soooo anyway, Today I am 5 weeks from my due date.  I don’t do math in public, but that is 35 days.  UNREAL!  I am getting extremely excited and anxious all at the same time.  Dreams of dropping the baby boy are usually nightly occurrences, along with my milk not coming in, and having him say “ok now what” the minute we get him home from the hospital.  Yikes! 

My doctorsays all is on track and he isn’t too big and neither am I, YAY!  Though I do feel rather whalish and anxiously await someone to scream, “Is anyone a Marine Biologist?” when I am walking waddling down the walk.

Speaking of the pregnant waddle.  My waddle really only kicks in when Baby Boy pushes on the organ that used to be my bladder.  What fun!

I think the best most irritating part of being THIS pregnant is everyone has an opinion on when you are going to deliver and how big your child is going to be.  I have heard everything from, “Gee are you going to make it through the day?” to “Wow, that is going to be a BIG baby!  I say 11 lbs!!!”  You want to piss off a pregnant lady, that is the best way to make it happen. 

This week I move on to weekly doctor appointments…which I suppose is necessary to tell if I am really going to get this baby out early or on time…or late.  I honestly would love to hold him in until Oct 9, only because I won’t have to go back to work until after the New Year… 🙂

On to another topic…our kitchen remodel.  Can I tell you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE my kitchen and LOVE LOVE LOVE my husband who basically did everything to get it done.  He rocks.  We went from pale yellow BLAH walls, to awesome Granny Smith Apple Green walls with ALL new cabinets, sans grease from previous owners, AND!!! solid surface counter tops.  Did I mention I love it!  Here are some before and afters:

From Kitchen Remodel

 

From Kitchen Remodel
From Kitchen Remodel

 

Sweet huh!  We still have some finishing touches to complete, however it is a HUGE improvement. 

We have almost finished with baby boy’s room.  We were lucky enough to get a TON of stuff from friends.  We have been given everything from a baby swing and changing table to onsies and a breast pump!  Friends are great!  Thanks Everyone!!   We just have to acquire a rocking chair and we will be ready….in his bedroom that is. 

I should have some more pictures to post after this weekend.  I am headed home to the farm for my baby shower with the family!  Thanks to my AWESOME sister-in-law, it will be fantastic. 

More to come…and without months in between.

We had our 20 week ultra-sound today and it was nothing less than magical.  Being pregnant never became so real than seeing the little sprout on the screen today.  It is hard to find the words to see your own child’s heart beating and it wiggling away from the pressing wand. 

The ultra-sound nurse told us she was going to do a lot of measuring first to make sure they can get as much on screen as possible and then she would help determine the sex.  The little sprout had its own plan.  Pretty much from the beginning we could see our little one is a boy.  I found myself wiping tears away during the entire time after that.  It was so exciting. 

He looked like a real little person, not the alien-like mass of cells at 12 weeks we had for some genetic testing.  He has a sweet little round head and long legs that he is reaching up to his chin (he gets that from his dad – the long legs that is). 

I was a little conflicted going into the ultra-sound.  I thought of great things to do with boys and girls.  Of course sewing and cooking with a little girl, and fishing and gardening with a boy.  I can’t be happier that the doctor, who is awesome, told us everything looks perfect, and that perfect baby is a boy. 

It is hard to believe we are half-way finished with the pregnancy, it will be a different world, but this discovery of our little boy and now really having “eyes” on him is great.

From Ultra-Sound 20 May 2009
From Ultra-Sound 20 May 2009

Over the past two the three weeks I have been riding a roller-coaster of nausea, exhaustion and a heighten sense of smell that equates to the way bats can hear. 

First lets look at the nausea.  It comes in waves, though it seems like it is looming in the back ground of my tummy all day.  I only feel a tad bit of relief upon eating something.  Typically that something is a piece of fruit or wheat chex.  Usually, the sickness is at it worst in the mornings and then on my drive home from work.  I have started to take note and mitigate that feeling by carrying a granola bar with me where ever I go. 

Now to the extreme exhaustion.  I feel pretty good until 1:30 – 2:00 pm most days, then I feel like I hit a brick wall.  I could easily pull a Costanza and nap under my desk at work with a few blankets and a pillow.  Actually, I find myself fantasizing about doing just that.  On my drive home, I can’t wait to walk in the door and just lay down in bed or on the couch.  Josh has been aaa-MA-zing and understanding about how freaking tired I feel. 

Lastly, the sense of smell.  I have always thought it would be cool to have heightened senses, though when one triggers a regurgatory reflex, it doesn’t seem so X-Men like.  Items like chicken, spinach, microwave meals, olive oil heating in a pan, and vinegar sets me over the edge.  Also, I am slightly ashamed to say, one woman at work, her perfume is TERRIBLE and she insists on sitting next to me during each meeting.  When she does, I quietly excuse myself to powder room and re-enter to position myself somewhere else.  How in the world do you tell someone their perfume is making you feel like you are about to be sick at any moment?  Yikes!

So lets put all of these things together, coupled with the absence of the Cardinal coming for his monthly visit lead me to say, hmm maybe it is time for an At-Home-Pregnancy test. 

Due to the confusion of December, I didn’t want to translate between faint pink lines, double lines, single lines, blah, blah, blah, so I went with the digital reader.  I got it all set up and it said within 3 minutes the test result should appear.  Well, it didn’t even take a full minute and PREGNANT popped up on the screen. 

So, its official, I am pregnant.  I think I am going to write my wishes and dreams on my blog more.  It seems to be effective in making them come true.  I love it when a plan comes together!

Understanding I am 30 days late in my realization and acceptance of the new year, it really has made little impact on my life.  Not only have I been working countless hours at work, I have been home to the farm and to Germany in the past 20 days!  Knowing all the great resolutions people going about their day-to-day lives are making to become better, skinnier, more organized people, I have only a few goals/hopes – not resolutions – for the year to come. 

1.  Get pregnant.  I know I have little control over whether this happens or not, but Josh and I are determined to make it happen.  It sounds easy, but let me tell you, we have been trying since about September of 08 and nothing!  I thought I was pregnant over Christmas holiday, but alas, it wasn’t time.  I was a little embarrassed because I sent some texts messages about seeing two lines on the pregnancy test to a friend of mine and being totally excited, but not really sure because the line was faint.  Followed by the next morning, taking the test again to discover, No keep trying!  Fingers crossed, I will be knocked up sometime in 2009.

2.  Continue to kick ass at work.  Over the past year, I have been advancing myself within my company and at the Command.  I am looked at as a professional and continue to be pulled in to advise many decisions not just at my little action officer level.  This feels great!  This leads to number three.

3.  Once I am preggers – maintain professionalism and be a good mommy.  I will have to chat with a number of my friends with children about how best to do that, but I am certain it can be done.

Here’s hoping!

Lately I have been feeling much like Meredith Grey, a completely fictional TV character from a typical TV drama that I must admit I religiously watch.  Meredith is a successful surgeon with great friends and again (FINALLY – Maybe) a great man in her life.  Meredith is constantly wishy-washy on her commitment to her man, Dr. Shepherd / McDreamy. 

How could a newly married woman be wishy-washy about her husband?  Well I am not!  Josh rocks!  He cooks, cleans, fixes cars, builds decks, renovates our house, is a great father, loves me and he is funny to boot! 

What I am feeling wishy-washy about is not my McDreamy, it is my McBaby!  About a month ago I was dead-set on getting preggers ASAP!  Like it couldn’t come soon enough.  I would walk through Target and just meander through the baby aisles just to see what I like, in case I needed to start decorating a nursery.  I was totally STOKED! 

Then a career opportunity has arisen.  It really isn’t a new job, just a promotion and seemingly more responsibility.  I am totally down with that, and can definitely juggle more projects in my work schedule.  What freaks me out is if the leadership I work with will think less of me, hold it against me, not afford me the same opportunity as a mother than a childless woman. 

My dear friend Heather balances this role quite well, and I am totally impressed.  I often wonder if my own fear of being either a total waste at work, a horrible mother, or worst of all BOTH, is holding me back. 

So here I am feeling stuck – McBaby + McCareer = Who KNOWS!  I hate not being able to tell the future to see if I completely succeed or fail.  I know I have the support of Josh and he is my #1, but being a working mother is like HUGE changes. 

So if you see me lighting a bunch of candles and placing them on a floor somewhere in the shape of a crib and changing table, you can be certain that I am still wishy-washy on my McBaby.  Either way, I am going for the McCareer.