Goodness it’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to sit down and write a post. To say it’s been a crazy couple of months is an understatement. I’ll try to go in order!
August was a doozie. One night while giving Dean his bath, we gave him his probiotic, which has a glass dropper. He’d never bit the dropped before, but on this night, he did, but just barely, and it shattered in his mouth. We panicked, but calmly got all the glass out of his mouth and the tub, but when we called the doctor they still suggested taking him to urgent care. So we took him to urgent care and they suggested the ER because he’d need an x-ray to check for class, internal cuts, etc.
So we went to the ER. And for someone who hates hospitals and values her son’s life over all others – this was a nightmare for me. I was trying to stay calm for Dean, but internally I was dying. Why had we used a glass dropper? Why the F did the company who made the probiotics used a glass dropper in it’s product?! Did we get all the pieces?! We didn’t see any blood. Would he have internal bleeding if he swallowed anything?! My mind was running in circles.
But after an x-ray and consultation with a pediatric gastroenterologist, we were told everything looked good and to just keep an eye on him and follow-up with his pediatrician the next day. Apparently kids’ stomachs are like steel traps and super resilient because the pediatrician said if he swallowed anything it would already be like a grain of sand by now. So, whew, crisis avoided.
However the stress of those 24 hours caused two days of really painful braxton hicks contractions and I was sure I was going to go into labor.
But at the urging of my brother-in-law (who is a nurse) I went to my Stroller Strides workout and started to feel better.
Two weeks later we lost our cat Kizmet who I’d had since she was a kitten. She’d been acting weird for months and had to be put on kitty prozac because of the move, but we thought she was getting better. Then overnight she stopped eating, started peeing everywhere, so we took her to the vet – again – to see if something was wrong. Finally this vet checked her abdomen and said he felt lumps in her intestines and sent off some tests, which came back inconclusive. The next day she stopped eating completely. We called the vet and they made us an appointment at a clinic an hour away (because it was a Saturday). I left Dean napping with Michael and took Kizzie to Arlington where they were going to do an ultrasound and see what was wrong with her intestines.
Lymphoma. And it was so advanced it had spread all over her body. (The blood tests and physical exam she had in June before we moved to Texas hadn’t caught any of this!) They suggested we put her to sleep because at most she’d have a couple of days left, but no quality of life since she wasn’t having bowel movements, wasn’t eating or drinking and was peeing everywhere. So nearly 8 months pregnant I was sobbing in the vet’s office having to say a sudden farewell to my cat of 9 years.
The next day I started having painful contractions again and they continued to for two days. I was sure the stress of having to put down my cat was going to put me into early labor. It didn’t.
I continued to workout with the Stroller Strides group until I was 38 weeks pregnant. I stopped then because at my 38 week check-up, I was told our baby girl was in the transverse position, which meant we needed to get her to turn into the appropriate position otherwise I risked a really difficult labor or possible c-section. A week prior to this, Michael and I had decided to hire a doula to help ensure I had a natural, medication free, labor and delivery. She suggested I go to a chiropractor who could help get the baby into the right position. Seven visits later, baby girl was in the head down position and all we had to do was wait. But because she was finally in the right position I decided to take it easy so as to not risk her moving again. And I kept thinking labor was going to happen sooner rather than later because I was SO uncomfortable. Plus I’d had SO many false starts – there were several days where I thought I was going to have this baby TODAY.
But her due-date (Oct. 9) came and went. My midwife scheduled induction for week 41. The day after her due-date I went into labor at 9:30 at night. Contractions started off slow but regular, so I just went to bed not wanting to get my hopes up, but I texted my doula to let her know what was happening. Then at 2:30 a.m. they started to get super painful, so I went to the bathroom, told Michael, then called my doula and told her to head to the house.
While we waited, I got in the shower to try and get some relief from the contractions. I labored in the shower for about 30 minutes. When I got out, I labored in our bedroom, pacing, leaning against the edge of the bed, trying to lean against the yoga ball – they were getting worse and worse. Finally, just when I was starting to feel like I was being stabbed, my doula came, and not a minute too soon because the contractions were sending me to my knees. I labored on my hands and knees, with my doula and Michael pushing on my hips and back to counter the pain, for about 30 minutes before I felt two REALLY strong urges to push.
“I’M NOT GONNA MAKE IT” I said, and begged them to call an ambulance. I was sure this baby was going to be born at home.
Instead, my doula and Michael got me to walk through the next three contractions and get in the car. My doula had put a TENS Unit on my back to help through contractions and I really believe that’s the ONLY way I made it to the hospital.
When we got there and got into the room, I was 10 CM DILATED!!! Woohoo! The midwife came in and broke my water and five contractions later Aefa Mamie Simpson was born at 5:13 a.m. on Oct. 11, 8 lb 13 oz and 21 inches long! Almost exactly the same as Dean 21 months earlier! She took to breastfeeding immediately and has been an efficient eater ever since. Although she’s been cluster feeding like a maniac the last 24 hours which, I’m not gonna lie, was ROUGH.
Dean has taken to being a big brother like a dream. He loves his little sister, and while he does occasionally get a little jealous he doesn’t take it out on her, just me 🙂
The first two weeks of having two under two was the hardest. I felt like a prisoner in my own home because Dean was going through a phase where he didn’t want to get dressed (And this is still a fight) and we couldn’t go ANYWHERE without him having a complete meltdown and having to leave almost immediately. It was so frustrating. But we are finally able to leave the house and Aefa is a great traveler as long as she’s being worn. She is not a fan of the car seat like Dean was, but she’ll tolerate it long enough for us to get somewhere.
Also, we lost my dog Ellie a week after Aefa was born. Ellie was 12 years old and other than being old was very healthy. We took her to get groomed on a Wednesday and when we got her home 7 hours later, she was almost completely blind and deaf on her right side. We were horrified and thought she’d had a stroke. The next day Michael took her to the vet and they ran $1,000 worth of tests only to discover there was no underlying cause for what had happened. They said if she had a stroke she could recover some of her sight and hearing after a while. But Ellie just kept getting worse.
After two days of having seizures and losing her ability to control or pee or poo, we made the gut-wrenching decision to put her down. And while we’ve had plenty to distract ourselves with, we’ve all been missing her like crazy.
We’re having a super slow morning today because I only got 5/5.5 hours of sleep and Dean, after first refusing to put clothes on, peed all over his clothes because he has regressed and will not stop playing with his penis so he keeps peeing all over his clothes and my floor, so he’s in the living room watching Cars for the millionth time – in just his diaper. Cars (toys, the movies, etc) is his current obsession – I mean he LOVES them. I am not a fan of the screen time, but it makes him happy, and we still spend most of the day away from screens. My plan was to take us all to the park this morning, but I’m learning that plans have to be loose these days, because more often than not things don’t happen when you think they should.
Everyone who said going from 1 to 2 kids is the hardest adjustment was right. It’s a total disruption from everything you finally thought you had under control. And you have very little control anymore – which for me has been the hardest adjustment. It caused me to have a lot of anxiety and my postpartum depression or baby blues was getting pretty severe. And I don’t know if my hormones are finally balancing out or if I’m just embracing the chaos better, but I’m finally feeling better.
I still make plans for us, but I try not to be too rigid about it, and unless it’s a doctor’s appointment, I don’t beat myself up if we miss something because there’s nothing so important we have to do that’s worth a meltdown – by me or my children.
I know things will get easier as Aefa gets older, so without rushing her growing up, I’m looking forward to that!
I have my postpartum check-up tomorrow and am excited about getting cleared for exercise (I want to run sooo bad!) and Aefa has her one-month appointment on Friday!
We’re finally getting into the swing of things here, and for the near future, I’m embracing the fact that the only thing I can really plan on is chaos. Beautiful, silly, crazy, sometimes stressful, chaos.