I have a toddler?!

So I haven’t updated this blog since I returned to work from maternity leave – MY BAD!  Well, I’ve been busy.

What all has happened?  Tons of crap I can’t even remember – pregnancy brain turns to baby brain, and it just stays that way apparently.  I really need to update this more often so I remember things.  But Mila and I have fb and that helps :-p

We made it through the holidays with a baby , changing daycare centers, Jose graduated from grad school and just watching Mila grow in amazement.  Recently we celebrated her 1 yr birthday already, I still can’t believe it.

She’s walking/toddling around the house like she owns the place.  Baby proofing still wouldn’t be enough, if she wants something, she goes after it.  And if you stop her, she will tell you how she feels about it…loudly.  She has a huge personality for such a tiny being.  She’s under 17lbs still as a 1 yr old…I’ll take the credit for that.  I’m thinking she will still end up being tall like daddy, but that growth spurt will happen much later I guess.

She’s eating solids, feeding herself whenever she can, drinks from a sippy cup, wears shoes and enjoys listening to herself scream.  She says Dada and Momma, but only momma when she is crying – awesome, kid.

She still does not sleep through the night, but most breastfed babies don’t – we did not do any kind of sleep training as I don’t really believe in them or myself to be able to actually do it.  We are still breastfeeding – it was a long year, that was horribly difficult, but wow, we made it and I’ve never been so proud.  I plan to continue until she decides she no longer wants me.  Which is great, except that means I need to continue pumping at work, and well…I’ve always hated pumping and that won’t change.  It’s so time consuming and stressful, but Mila is worth it for sure.  I still also make all of her babyfood from scratch. The only store bought items I give her are puffs from Happy Baby and Teething wafers (organic).  She eats better than anyone in this house!

Things I’ve learned over the past year

  • I didn’t take enough pictures/videos.  I would go through spurts of a lot of pictures, and then weeks with none.  And I have very few pictures of me and Mila together, and that’s just bull shit.  I’m so pissed about that, because well…I was always there.
  • Mila is incredibility inconsiderate of my sleeping needs :-p
  • You think having a newborn is exhausting, but I think the older they get the worse it gets, not better.  There are so many more things that need to be done, that Mila needs and that I have to plan for.  As she grows, so does her diaper bag and other supplies we need just to leave the house.  It’s crazy.
  • I will never have a house big enough…
  • It is very true – kids are always sticky…always…you could take her out of the bath and then she will sneeze snot all over herself just for good measure
  • Mila requires more laundry than both Jose and I…including sheets and towels…
  • Mila also does way more online shopping than I do…weird
  • I’ve tried all the veggies that I have made her, so my eating habits have improved

So what do we have in store coming up?  We are finishing up summer in the city – we hope to actually make it out of the house to go to some festivals this year.  Cecilia is here for a few more weeks and she is keeping us active as well.  Side note:  Mila and Cecilia have such a unique and special relationship.  They rarely see each other, which you would think Mila would be shy with her, as she is everyone else.  But nope, Mila loves her big sister and can’t get enough of her.  They crack each other up and it’s so fun to watch.

Personal goals:

  • Take more pictures/videos, and be in them
  • Update the blog more frequently
  • Find something to do that makes me happy – need to do some soul searching on what I want to do with my life.  My sister, who got me interested in my current career has informed me I should look into pediatric nutrition as it’s been a passion of mine with Mila…so we will see what that will take.  But I’m still paying off the student loans from her first grand idea :-p
  • Buy a new, bigger house (Jose, don’t read this LOL)
  • I want to continue my cooking endeavors of incorporating more veggies into our meals, make sure the entire family is eating better for a healthy lifestyle.
  • Go on more play dates with the mommies around town
  • Find a way to get some ME time, away from the baby without feeling guilty about it so I can enjoy myself (I’m not optimistic on this one).
  • Go on some local trips, with just us.  Local being somewhere kind of near, but not too close- drivable.  St. Louis, Springfield, other bucket list places.

I could probably keep going, but let’s be realistic, that list won’t get completed if Mila has anything to say about it.  But that’s cool, I signed up for this, right?!?!?!

Love my munchkin!

Here’s a proof from our latest photoshoot at JCPenney’s

JC Penney Photos

JC Penney Photos

All work and no play?

Maternity leave is officially over.  So that sucks.  Not much more to say about that.  I am utterly heartbroken to leave my baby in someone else’s hands.  I don’t think it would feel any better if it was family either – because regardless, it’s not me.  No offense to family, but it’s just not the same.  BUT, I have to help provide for her and ensure a roof over her head, so that is top priority.

Day 1:  I didn’t sleep at all the night before, super anxious about daycare.  Which is silly, we visited them numerous times, called references, they are great and I know they are great.  But still, how can I leave my baby.  So I cried at drop off.  But then I seemed to run on adrenalin the rest of the day.  It went by pretty quickly and work was super supportive of my situation.  So I was able to run home and pick her up which was so great.  I’m pretty sure Mila didn’t know the difference…someone was still feeding and changing her, so what did she care.

I had a rough day of pumping.  Stress of work and the whole situation and going from nursing back to the pump was going to be an adjustment, but I didn’t think my supply would drop so incredibly much.  This was also heartbreaking, but I’m working on it.

Day 2:  I slept better, but Mila slept in, so my morning routine got screwed up.  I’m super tired today and the day is just dragging.  I’m not busy at work, which just makes it worse.  I didn’t cry at drop off, but can’t wait to go pick her up again.  I just want to be home.  I feel like I have a million things that need to be done, and they probably won’t get accomplished but I kind of don’t care.  I will skip dinner to snuggle Mila a little longer if I have to.

Pumping is still producing low outcomes…but hopefully by the end of the week I will see some improvement…

The worst part is not knowing what she is doing every second.  Or seeing her react to things.  She is still slow to smile, but is really starting to coo which is a lot of fun.  I feel like I don’t have enough wakeful hours with her in the day to experience all of this.

Or the worst part is that when we get home, shes up for maybe 2 hrs and then we are all in bed.  Spending majority of my hours in an office instead of with her just doesn’t make any sense to me or my heart.  It’s horrible.  I feel horrible when I get home and I’m so tired, I almost want her to fall asleep quickly so I can get what I need done and get to bed myself.  But then I feel like she will just sleep away any memory of who I even am.  I’m not positive she knows I’m mommy yet, versus anyone else.  Sure I feed her and she has no trouble latching..but I bet she would latch on to anyone who offered themselves to her.  I’m waiting for that day I pick her up from daycare and she gives me a huge smile and is excited to see ME.  Then I will know.

Ugh…I know it “gets better.”  But it shouldn’t.  That’s my baby.  What if she is my only baby and I am missing all these baby moments in general?

Silver lining:  our weekends will just be that much more special…

New Baby Adjustments

I’ve been meaning to update for a few weeks now, but with all the family visiting and just trying to keep myself and Mila alive, I haven’t had time, or energy really.  Or I only remember all of my thoughts as I’m drifting off to sleep, as if this is on my to do list and must be accomplished before I fall asleep!  AHH!  OCD at it’s finest.

We’ve been home now for 6 wks and I wanted to update on how this transition has been with our special circumstances, and just plain – getting used to being a parent stuff.  There are so many things to say, funny, serious and sad…so here goes and hopefully I can do the last 7 wks justice.

As you know, I had a C-Section to safely deliver Mila into the world.  This was not part of my plan, but it was for both of our safety.  I had a very hard time accepting this when she was first born and still have trouble wrapping my head around how everything happened and still get a little sad and emotional when I think about it.  But it’s getting better.  I never had a true birth plan – but having our lives at risk, certainly wasn’t something I was planning for or thinking about.  Of course we are both perfectly fine now, but the one thing I am left with that Mila doesn’t have, thank god, is the memories, and they still keep me up at night.  But then Mila squeaks in her sleep and I have to smile because, that’s our life now and how blessed are we to even be in each other’s lives?

So what have we been up to?!  ADJUSTING, and when I think I get the hang of things, I have to adjust again!  WHEW….being a parent is hard.  Being a parent of a preemie definitely has it’s unique challenges.

First – Feedings:  When we left the hospital, we had just graduated from syringe feedings to bottles.  There were two reasons for this.  First, she was sucking so hard that she was emptying the syringe on her own, without us putting pressure on it.  And I was producing way more than could fill up a couple syringes.  So they had me pumping into bottles for her.  (There went all of my worries of nipple confusion out the window!)  I didn’t want to introduce bottles until 4 wks, as I had read, was the right time to do it so that nursing wouldn’t be a problem.  Well my books didn’t explain to me that a preemie might not have the ability to latch properly.  So instead of giving up, I started quite the relationship with my pump and sadly gave my baby a bottle when she was hungry.  This sounds pretty dramatic.  But I had it all planned out.  We would nurse perfectly, then introduce the bottle before daycare, and we would live happily ever after.  Well shit…since I don’t want my baby to starve and I was engorged every hour, what else could I do.  I was told I was very lucky to have so much milk- I am now grateful for it, but at the time it was a huge pain – literally…so painful I never knew.  Besides walking around like I had just gotten HARD implants two sizes too big, the pump hurt.  My nipples hurt.  Everything always hurts.  After a while, and not that long, the pain from the pump went away and I was pretty used to it.  However, we were still practicing nursing at almost every feeding.  So anytime I felt semi-normal, little Mila decided to do as much damage to my nipples as possible.  She couldn’t open her mouth big enough, and the preemie instinct is to put your tongue in front of anything trying to go in your mouth, so it was just very painful for me, and very frustrating to her.  Our practices got shorter and shorter as my pain went up.  My lowest point was when I literally had to toss her to my husband who was sitting next to me while I sobbed because I was in so much pain, I felt like I should be gushing blood, and was such a failure.  The Lactation Consultant confirmed I was doing everything right.  It was Mila who was wrong and she would learn and grow and be able to nurse like a champ…soon.  Well soon wasn’t soon enough.  I kept going back to the LC – and each time I would tell them what she would do when I would try to nurse and then she would latch perfectly, in front of them, to make me out to be a big fat liar- THANKS!  So at least we had proof that she COULD latch, she just lacked consistency.  More practice.  FINALLY, around the 5 and a half wk mark (newborn if you think adjusted) – she figured it out.  It didn’t feel good, since I am constantly sore from switching from her to my pump.  But emotionally I could have done cartwheels, she got it, and she seemed to like it and just KNEW what she was doing.  Whereas before, you could tell she was looking for the bottle.  So I felt pretty damn good.  Now, just shy of 8 wks, we are doing great and I haven’t seen my pump in a few days.  We are working on my supply, meeting her demands and I am only in pain when she is playing instead of eating.  So I think it’s pretty normal and I’m so happy.  At least we have finally overcome this ginormous hurtle.  Next up – daycare and the bottles return  ::sadface::

Next- my body:  Well, I left the hospital the same size as when I went in, but instead of my belly being hard, it was quite smooshy.  Which I had expected, but still, it was super weird.  When I would be laying in bed and put my phone on my belly, it would fall, because the shelf that I had come accustomed to was no longer stable.  I lost a big chunk of the belly in about 3 wks.  But not enough that I could fit into anything other than yoga pants and maternity pants were too big – not that I dared try those back on.  Plus, anything around my scar made me want to cry.  So I’ve been living in yoga pants for almost 8 wks now.  I would say in the last week, I have noticed a little difference, that my belly has gone down a little more – the extra skin is going away.  I’m not toned in any way, but I can now FORCE myself into some select pairs of pants again, but it’s not comfortable.  I’ve been drinking my Shakeology and bought PiYo.  I haven’t started PiYo yet, but will this week, I hope – now that the house is empty again…we will see.  Other pain issues have come up this last week that I will get to later.  Anyways, so the body is ever adjusting.  I am pretty patient, until I think about going back to work, and although we are fairly casual – yoga pants aren’t allowed, so there is some pressure to get it together and not have to buy a new wardrobe.

Still on the topic of body – let’s talk scars and stretch marks.  I didn’t have stretch marks throughout my pregnancy, very lucky I know.  Although I didn’t go full term, so who knows what could have happened.  I was diligent in applying cocoa butter to my tummy, hips, thighs, and boobs throughout the pregnancy – for what that’s worth.  Then Mila came and things changed.  Well I had a huge scar now.  Although it was a controlled C-Section, and not emergency (although I would consider it emergency since it was life or death – but anyways they did the horizontal incision, not vertical)  The horizontal incision basically proves that they had enough time to cut and get the baby out safely, whereas the vertical, means they had no time and they had to do whatever necessary to get baby out asap.  The horizontal cut also means that I could potentially be a candidate for a VBAC in the future (vaginal birth after cesarean).  So it’s very important, but not relevant TODAY.  Anyways, so this scar was pretty big, but over the weeks, it has shrunk considerably.  I would guestimate it’s maybe 4 inches long now, below my bikini line.  Some parts of it look like nothing, and others are still purple/pink looking.  One thing I did not at all expect, but probably should have, is the numbness.  I have no feeling whatsoever in the area.  They call it dead man’s skin.  So if I run my hand along my scar or just above or below it, I can’t feel it.  It’s effing weird.  There is a chance I won’t ever get the feeling back, but I should get most of it before a year has passed.  But the incision line itself will most likely always be numb.  Although the skin is numb, my incisions below it are not.  The next incision was the muscle – that goes hip to hip.  At first I could feel the stitches – it was a very defined line below my skin that hurt like hell.  At this point, 8 wks out, I still can feel a line but not as defined as the stitches have dissolved and now there is just scar tissue.  Below/behind that incision is my uterus.  At first this was more relevant, but within a few days, my uterus shrunk back to normal size, so I have no idea what that is feeling like as far as scar tissue is concerned.  I am told, by my doc, that everything is back to it’s normal shape/size and all is well.  Weird how the body can just put itself back together.  Stretch marks – well with all the ups and downs the girls have gotten, I have gotten stretch marks there.  I’m thinking these will fade if not disappear completely when I am done nursing, but still a shock to see.  I thought if I had made it to the birth without any, I was in the clear.  But no, your boobs do all kinds of growing and shrinking and your skin has to react somehow…

I have had a lot of doctors appointments and still have one left to go.  First I had my 2 wk post-op appointment.  They checked my incision and belly.  The skin was glued shut, at this point they said I could peel the glue away and it would look a lot better.  Which it did, because there was dried blood in the glue and just made my scar look horrific when really it was just a line along my belly.  Then they touched around my belly, and of course it was tender, but all was well.  They wanted me back in 4 wks for my typical 6 wk check up.  But in the meantime they told me to start considering my options for birth control that are breast feeding friendly – the pill, IUD, or shot every 3 months.  Wait – sex?!  WHAT?!  Who are they kidding, PSH!  Sex got me into this situation, why would I ever want to do that again??  Supposedly I will want to have sex again in my future and we should be prepared for it.  You are very fertile right after child birth so, you need to be careful to not make another baby right away unless you are into that kind of thing, and I’m certainly not ready.  So I was responsible, came home and told Jose the options.  I said no to the pill, my memory is non-existent these days and that needs to be taken at the same time each day.  IUD – my uterus has been through enough trauma, why would I want to stick something up there and keep it there?  So the shot is was I voted for!  Besides the extra doctor’s appointments, seemed easy enough.  Jose voted for the IUD – seemed more effective to him. But he knew I was not on board.  So that was settled.  Then I went to my 6 wk apt and told my doc my issues and decision, only for him to tell me no – I wasn’t thinking clearly at all.  He is very supportive but also knew I had no details on any of the methods.  He supported the no pill decision.  But he didn’t like the idea of the shot – he said usually that is for teenagers who need it, not adults.  I was being irrational about the IUD – my uterus was fine and could handle it.  It’s also something that can go in and leave it for 5 yrs or when we decide to have another kid -whichever comes first.  He gave me some research on the Mirena and I went home to decide while he called the ins company to verify it was covered and we would go from there.  Well of course it was covered…so now what.  It seemed ok enough – the doc explained how it would be implanted, I’d feel some cramps, have some bleeding, and be done with it.  OK, so I decided to do it.  So I went in…well shit – the doc completely down played the whole “crampy” feeling.  Let me just walk you through this awesome procedure.  Which is semi-dramatic, but still.  It starts out like you are going to have a pap done.  Everything is really tight down there since, you know, haven’t had sex in like a really really long time, and I didn’t have a vaginal birth.  So I’m uncomfortable but still ok.  Then the doctor says “you have the smallest cervix in the world…”  THIS.  HE SAYS THIS. SECONDS BEFORE HE IS TO SHOVE THE MIRENA THROUGH SAID CERVIX!”  Before I had a chance to jump off the table he continues – warns me that I will feel some cramping, which I did.  It didn’t feel good, that’s for sure, but I wasn’t crying either.  But I was very tense.  He took his time adjusting some things before he removed himself.  At this point the pain was getting a little stronger.  He sat me up and told me to play on my phone for a little bit, let the blood return to my head before I stood up.  And asked if I was ok.  I’m assuming my face was white and I had the look of terror on my face.  But I still thought I was ok.  But as soon as he left the room I got it – the cramping went down my legs (most likely because I was so tense during the procedure).  And the cramps, I wanted to curl up in a little ball and cry.  I mean its been like a year since I’ve had cramps, and I certainly don’t remember them feeling like that.  But all the pain lasted only about a day and then back to normal.  STILL – why be so traumatic to my lady parts, what have they done to deserve all this?!?!  Best of luck to the hubby in the future…I have some serious vaginal PTSD for sure…

Emotions – well that’s a roller coaster.  I don’t think I’m weepy or cry at commercials.  I didn’t while I was pregnant either.  Once I got over (if you can call it that) the c section, and the nursing tribulations, I think I am pretty even-keeled.  Except when I think about returning to work and I’m in a blind rage.  I’ve never been so resentful in my life.  And it’s not directed at any person or anything.  Just the fact that I have to go to work and give my baby to a daycare.  I’ve never wanted to quit a job so badly.  Who are they to say I have to work to earn my paycheck so I can pay my bills… ::sigh::

Baby Updates:  Besides the feeding issues, which were major, not too much else has been unusual.  Along with the feeding, at first, we did have to wake her up to eat.  She really didn’t know that she had been born and could barely stay awake to finish a couple ounces of milk.  That was kind of sad and pathetic to see, but she has grown out of that.  She now wakes us up, whenever she feels like it.  We went from every 4 hrs to every hr and every combo of time in between.  She really isn’t one for consistency or patterns.  We also had to monitor her body temperature at first.  This was a concern as we left the hospital because even though she was bundled up, we couldn’t raise her temperature enough and keep it there for a day or so.  So we acted like it was the middle of winter for a few weeks with her being dressed and swaddled, always a cap and socks on.  Poor baby.  It was really important that her calories not be wasted on trying to manage her temperature or feeding (they didn’t want her to cry for too long to get fed, because she would be too exhausted to eat at that point).  After a couple weeks of vigilance, she started to fatten up, so I was less worried about temperature and just focused on her eating from then on.

Mila has had two well-visits with her ped so far.  The last one I was given a list of milestones she was behind on.  But not behind if you consider her adjusted age.  But by our next apt she is supposed to have “found her hands” – which eating them nonstop doesn’t count apparently.  Smile at us – as a reaction, not just the drunk smile I get when she is done eating.  And she needs to start coo-ing.  Saying her vowels as he put it.  She kind of does this…not regularly, it’s def by accident if she makes one of those noises, but it’s the closest we’ve gotten so far.  Other moms tell me to ignore all of that, and she will do what she does in her own time.  Which I know is true, but still tough to go to the doctor and hear him say that your kid isn’t up to par…

Clothing – it took her almost 4 wks to finally fit into newborn sized clothes.  The clothes that everyone tells you not to buy because they grow out of them too quickly…cool.  Luckily we had a few outfits and some friends that let us have some newborn sized clothes.  So she is well dressed.  And now, at about 8 wks she is starting to fill them out to the point of being tight.  Time to move on to 0-3mth size clothes…SAD!  I’d prefer her to stay in newborn size forever, it’s so nice.  Her diapers are still newborn at least.  I’m going to hold out as long as possible.

Other than that thinks are going well.  We have had family visiting almost constantly, which is good and bad.  Out of my 10 wks of maternity leave, only one week was spent alone with Mila.  Which makes me really upset.  That’s just not right.  This is my time to bond with my baby.  But it’s family and we needed help just like they needed to meet Mila.  We are grateful for all the help we have received, don’t get me wrong!  Next up is daycare where I will only have her 24/7 on the weekends.  It’s tough, because we definitely needed the help but I also wanted to just barricade myself in my room and hold Mila hostage so everyone just leaves us alone.  I still don’t feel like she knows I’m her mom, and shes always asleep on someone else.  So we have a couple issues – she won’t sleep on her back, flat – which is what she needs to do at daycare.  Currently she is still in the bassinet which is slightly curved, or she needs to be held.  That won’t fly at daycare.  If we have another baby, I think I will have to limit visits to one short visit for each family – and only after 4 wks.  Although that seems logical, at that point we would have a toddler that needs to be entertained while I am with the baby, so that won’t really work either.  How do people balance it all?!?!  I am already anxious about a second baby, besides the trauma I’m not over yet, but how can I give the new baby the same love and attention when there is a toddler who needs me too?  Instead of getting my time shortened because family is with the baby, it will be because Mila will need to be cared for – so there’s really no winning.  But, nothing I should even be thinking of now…but still in the back of my mind!

We have 2 more weeks at home.  Who knows what will happen/change in this time!

The story of how Mila came to be, 4 weeks early

So we came to the hospital Sunday night (6/22) because I started bleeding.  I was here the weekend prior (on Fathers’ Day- see previous post) for the same thing, but they tested it and said it was old blood and all was well.  But Sunday I was bleeding red.  I got to the hospital – drove myself – Jose was downtown in Grant Park watching the World Cup.  So he had to get in a cab to rush to the hospital to meet me (at least the game had just ended :-p).  I was hooked up to the usual machines and tests, although this time they were confused.  They saw some red blood when they had me cough in the middle of internal – super fun, let me tell ya, but didn’t know what was causing it or where it came from (typical).  Then they asked me about pain, which I wasn’t in any and baby was moving, so I didn’t know if the blood was serious or not.  Well I was apparently having contractions every 10 minutes.  I almost fell out of the bed when they said that, but they either weren’t strong enough for me to feel them or I’m super woman.  I’ll choose the later, considering the rest of the story.  So after a million people came in and poked and prodded me, they decided it was best to keep me over night for observation and see what was happening.  Although I was having contractions, I wasn’t in labor.  Apparently there is a difference.  Contractions that cause your cervix to dilate is labor.  Contractions without, is just contractions.  My cervix was still closed, but was starting to efface, so some things were prepping, I just needed to be monitored to see how quickly.

Early in the morning on Monday the doc came to see me and asked me about pain again, I still wasn’t having any so I asked if the contractions had stopped – she said no, I was actually having them every 1-3 minutes….WHAT?!  I was like, isn’t that real labor?!  She just laughed, but my cervix was still closed, absolutely no progress through the night – still not in labor.

My uterus was contracting to get rid of the blood (a typical reaction) but still no knowledge of where the blood was coming from or the cause.  Ultra sound didn’t show anything wrong with my placenta but they had a suspicion that my placenta was abrupting (tearing away from the uterine wall)  So they said they would monitor me through the day to see if any changes occurred – either go into labor for real, or the contractions needed to stop before they would consider sending me home.  So I hung out in bed all day.  I was having some pain, but it was more of an annoyance, not contraction pain.  At one point two MDs came into my room in a rush asking if I had just moved, rolled over or something, I was actually laying there almost falling asleep.  They said that I had just had a 4 minute long strong contraction and the baby’s heart rate dropped severely.  I had no idea.  At this point everyone is on high alert.  My doc said I was a ‘puzzle.’  Later that night she came back in and said we needed to talk.  We all (Jose, myself and my doctor) got together and she explained that she had been discussing my case with a lot of people and there’s no good answer for why this was happening to me, but I had 2 options moving forward, one of which she wasn’t ok with:

Basically they determined my placenta was indeed abrupting.  It was possible it was just a small tear at this point, but my uterus was not going to stop contracting, which is a problem.  With contractions remaining, but my cervix not changing, we didn’t have a clear idea of how long it would take me to go naturally.  (Could be the full 4 weeks for all we knew) If I decided to go natural and wait, there was the potential that at that point my placenta would abrupt completely, leaving both me and baby at risk – typically babies don’t survive this.  The other option was to do a controlled C section that night and get her out.  Obviously this is risky too, she’s only 36 weeks.  But they weren’t going to induce labor (with Pitocin) because the baby already proved she can’t handle any stronger contractions.  So we all decided it was best and safest for both of us to get her out now while she was still looking healthy.  So that’s what we did.

The NICU people were there ready to take her immediately, as she would potentially have lung/breathing issues.  This part broke my heart about the whole situation.  Yes we would bring her into the world that night, but what kind of life was she about to have?  One where I couldn’t touch or hold her?  One where she would be hooked up to machines for a while and not be able to go home with me?  I was really sad about this, but considering the alternative, we would just have to figure it out and take it one minute at a time, literally.

I won’t go into all the details of the c-section – you can youtube it if you like.  I will say, however, that the spinal tap was the WORST part by far.  I got stuck 3 times.  I was supposed to get one shot in my spine to numb the area, then the spinal tap.  Well I made it through the first shot, but when the anesthesiologist went to put the spinal in, I flinched – clearly not numbed) and he had to start over.  So we had to do another numbing shot, then the spinal again, while my doctor stood in front of me to hold me still and talk me through it.  (Jose wasn’t allowed in the room yet- but he was close enough to hear what had happened).

Skipping the gross stuff – baby comes out – and we wait to hear her cry.  This felt like 20 minutes because if she didn’t cry – it was lung/breathing problems.  Even if she did cry there could be those problems, but at least a cry shows she is going to fight to live.   So she cried – which then I cried.  I saw her for about 2 seconds over the curtain, and then the neonatal team took her to start testing her.   But when they tested her in the OR, she passed all tests and even scored a 9 out of 10 on the apgar test.  It was amazing!  This meant she could stay with us in our room ❤ Still being monitored closely, but free of machines.

We needed to stay the full 96 hrs after delivery for a few reasons.  1- she’s a preemie and each day could bring something different.  So they were monitoring her weight very closely, temperature, and her output.  Babies, preemie or not, all lose weight after they are born.  Typically 10% is ok.  Her starting weight was only 5 lbs 2.2 oz, so she didn’t have a lot to lose to begin with.  Most babies come out fat and wrinkly, Mila was very skinny and bony.  She did end up losing the 10%, she was around 4lbs 10 oz when we left the hospital.  But considering how much she was drinking from me, and her output – which is proof of how much she was taking from me – they were comfortable to let her leave on Friday.  She did/does have some body temperature issues going on.  She isn’t able to maintain her temp, as she is just too small.  So she is constantly looking like a little eskimo baby.  The docs were concerned one of the days because she wasn’t warming up, even after being until multiple warming blankets, swaddled, hats, even skin to skin with both me and Jose.  But she eventually came into a safe range again, but something we have to watch closely.  Her billy rubin numbers fluctuated too, which could have kept her in the hospital longer.  But she got those under control by Friday too.

Then there was me – I was pretty good after surgery, not taking the narcotics, just Motrin for pain which I’m proud of and think it wasn’t that big of a deal, but they thought it was.  Of course I’m not out jogging or anything, but I rather feel the pain and be fully alert than be groggy when Mila needed so much help and attention.  It felt right to me.  Then on Thursday, I got pretty sick.  At the end of the day they think it was just something I ate – uhm…all I was eating was hospital food – ahem.  But anyways, they wanted to monitor me over night to make sure I was able to tolerate a normal diet again, otherwise I would have to stay longer.  Isn’t that some shit…Mila would leave ME at the hospital?!  Anyways, it passed and I got the green light from both teams of doctors that we were ok to go home.

So here we are 🙂

We had a pretty good first night.  She slept like a champ, I had to wake her up to be fed.  She sleeps a lot as a preemie – it takes all their energy just to exist.  So she will sleep instead of feed, which  makes the weight gain an issue.  So we have to get her naked and cold long enough to eat before she passes out.  Or she sleeps in super little bursts, like 20 min cycles and wants a swallow of milk in between (this is how it was at the hospital).  But at home, she was eating more than she ever had.  Slept soundly.  Her alert moments so far have been really neat to watch.  We can tell she is focusing more, so shes actually looking at us and trying to figure out who we are and staring at the room.  We tried tummy time today, which made me really proud – she actually scooted off her mat, twice.  She’s so strong it blows my mind.  She is clearly a determined little baby and we love her so much.  We are so very grateful to the teams of doctors that got us through this week and thank god that Mila is as healthy as she is, considering she had a month left to cook.  We are very aware that she is rare and this could have been very different.

And now I introduce:

Mila Sofia

Happy Fathers’ Day?

What a weekend we have just had!  I should warn any readers that if any of the following words are going to make you uncomfortable, just stop reading now:  hospital, discharge, internal exams, etc.  But I’m not going to sugar coat anything because I think being honest and upfront is appreciated from those few followers that I have.  So I won’t be linking this on FB, but it’s available to read anyways.

SO-  Jose and I had a very busy weekend planned, per usual nowadays.  But this week and weekend were focused on pampering.  My last ditch effort for some ‘me’ activities before I won’t get them for a long while.  Also, want to look my best for some maternity photos I hope to take next weekend.  So Saturday morning, I had planned to drop Jose off at little league where he coaches and be off to get my brows done and have a nice long prenatal massage.  But I woke up to a surprise.  The night before I had a very upset stomach so it was rough.  But woke up to dark brown discharge – what the what?!??!?  Wtf does that even mean?  So I talked to Jose about it…should we call the doctor…wait to see if it just stops?  I had a feeling it was old blood – you know how the last day of your period looks.  But still..where would old blood be coming from?  I haven’t hurt myself, especially not enough to cause bleeding.  So decision time, go to the hospital, or wait it out and continue our weekend.  I was seriously too busy to sit in the hospital and have them tell me that I was fine and they don’t know where it was coming from, like they did last time.  I was pretty sure it was old blood, the baby was moving like normal, and I was in no pain.  So we decided to play it by ear.  I had called my mom too to get her thoughts.  She hadn’t heard of this before and we discussed whether or not I thought maybe I had lost my mucus plug – and we determined that wasn’t it.

Back to our plan, took Jose to little league and went about my appointments.  Then on my way home, Jose wanted me to pick him up food because he was hungry.  But I had just gotten a massage – I was gross, so no, I wanted to come home and shower.  Then he wanted me to just pick him up and run to Home Depot to pick up gardening tools – WHAT?!  Why can’t I just come home and shower.  I wanted to get cleaned up and then possibly call the doctor because I haven’t had any improvements.

So I pull in to the garage (I tried to park out front but there were a million cars on the street which drives me nuts, apparently there was a kids party across the street) and he meets me there to ask if I was ok – since I had text him I was coming home.  He wanted to know if we really need to go to the dr’s right away or not.  I said I didn’t know.  No changes so I was getting uncomfortable about it.  I told him I wanted to clean up, eat, and then maybe call.

We walk inside and on the stairs are some baby sunglasses and toys going up the stairs.  I asked him what this was, he told me to just pick it up…sure thing cuz picking things up is super easy for me nowadays.  But I had a feeling family was upstairs for a surprise shower since I hadn’t had one.  And I have aunts and cousins that live here, so maybe it was them?  Getting excited I went up the stairs, the last ‘toy’ was actually Southwest peanuts – wait – someone flew in for this???  My mind went blank or I went too fast up the rest of the stairs, didn’t have time to figure it out.  But waiting for me in the living room was my mom!!!!  I just started sobbing, I couldn’t believe it.  Some other family was there – and people walking in the door as we stood there crying.  Apparently I got home early from my massage and not everyone was there or things set up yet.  Oops- I didn’t know!  Now I understood why Jose was being such a weirdo trying to send me on errands when I just wanted to come home.  So I decided to go upstairs and actually shower since I felt super gross.  And get out of their hair so they could do what they had intended to do before I got home.

Afterwards we had an amazing shower with friends and family.  We had games, lots of food and visiting, it was just perfect.  I was pretty in shock still that my mom was here.  Especially since I had just talked to her that morning.  But apparently she had flown in the night before – sneaky!

It was a long day and we decided not to do the hospital run but to wait until morning and see if there were any changes.  Sunday comes – it’s Fathers’ Day.  Jose opens his gifts, we make breakfast together, it was nice.  We planned to go to BRU to finish our completion of the registry, get the stroller/carseat, then we had a cupcake tour planned with our friends later in the afternoon.  I decided to call the dr just to get her viewpoint – she basically said that I could go to the hospital or wait until the next day and come in to the office.  But as long as baby was moving normally and I wasn’t in pain, it sounded like old blood.  But after breakfast, the discharge increased significantly all of a sudden.  Consistency and color changed to black – I wasn’t willing to wait anymore.  So we all headed to the hospital.  Same routine, get hooked up to the machines and wait for the MD to come in and torture me.  Baby and I were fine, then it was time for the internal exam.  Mom left the room, which was probably for the best and Jose assumed the position – this time he gave me his forearm to grab instead of breaking his fingers…lol.  They took some samples, but said it looks like old blood, cervix was still closed, but could tell more discharge was still coming.  They checked with their metal contraption and her hand.  It was as horrible as ever.  Even the baby kind of freaked out – higher blood pressure and lots of kicks.  I mean someone was hurting her mommy and invading her space – not a  happy baby.  But it was nice to see how connected we are with that at least.  It felt good to know that she didn’t enjoy it either.  They did test the sample, it was blood.  They were concerned about blood clots but didn’t find any so that was a good sign.  They couldn’t tell me when the blood was from.  But essentially the older it is, the darker it is.  So it was a while ago.  And it’s possible that the baby’s position was just blocking it from coming out, and now moved and allowed it out?  Idk, it’s weird and I am still skeptical.

We left the hospital and got home and got ready for the cupcake tour.  We did that, which was fun, we had an entertaining tour guide, and who doesn’t want cupcakes?  But it was a lot of walking and we got rained on, but that was ok, we still had a good time.  We then went to BRU and bought out the whole store.  We had a lot of practical items that we hadn’t gotten yet.  Of course everyone’s favorite thing to get you are cute clothes, which you also need.  But then there are the things like high chairs, safety items, etc that still need to be gotten.  So we are officially ready if she did decide to come tomorrow or something.

I’ve been working from home now, as the office is empty for the next couple of weeks.  But after that I will be too far along to come in anyways.  I’m very lucky and grateful that I have an employer that lets me do that.  And of course this has been my busiest work week in a while, go figure.  Mom made it back to FL, sad to see her leave, but at least it will be only a short break and she will be right back here, for the baby this time.  It was really great to finally see her.  She got to feel the baby move and read her some books.  I think it was really special for her.  More proof that she’s real and there really is a person/alien in my belly :-p

Luckily everything has turned out ok.  Just a lot of hurtles in this pregnancy, and we aren’t through yet.  I might have to go back to the hospital or dr’s office to be checked again, which is never fun.  But it’s difficult to take the time to do that when I get the same response every time I go – they can’t tell me any information but we are fine….sigh…it will be over soon.  Then a whole new ball of stress awaits us!  No one said pregnancy was going to be easy, but they didn’t say it would be like this either…Just wish it was a ‘normal’ pregnancy.  Not sure what I mean by that, but I don’t feel like this is normal when I talk to other mom’s-to-be who don’t have any of these issues.  Maybe size really does matter and my little body is not built to have a regular pregnancy and I will always have issues.  Or I could have another baby and absolutely nothing go wrong and this was just a fluke…who knows!  But this momma is tired of the worrying and having zero control over her body or even the knowledge of what is really happening inside.  That’s a tough pill to swallow for someone who is very OCD and likes to have a plan and control everything…thanks lil baby 🙂

Here’s hoping to an UNEVENTFUL next few weeks 🙂


Break in Baby News

Yesterday Jose had a microdiscectomy.  He has had an injured, herniated disc since high school.  It was originally a baseball injury, but in the last year or so the pain has gotten really bad.  After many shots, epidurals, and medications, we ultimately decided it was time for surgery.  The microdiscectomy is essentially the shaving down of the herniated disc to relieve the pressure that is currently on the nerves.  Currently he has pain all through his back that shoots down his right leg.  He’s just too young to live in constant pain like this, so I’m really happy he was doing this.

I was more concerned than he was, typical.  To me, this is surgery on your spine, that’s pretty serious.  But this was a same day surgery, small incision, we’d be in and out in a couple hours.  Still makes me nervous.  And of course we joked before he went in, that he might come out and have to be wheeled up to L&D if I went into labor early…at least we are at the same hospital, hah.

As soon as surgery was over, the surgeon came to talk to me, said the disc was in much worse condition than they thought.  But the nerves are free now and he will have a follow up in a couple weeks to check his progress.  In the mean time he has to take it easy and of course, no lifting (anything heavier than a baby – for 3 months).  And since I can’t lift anything either – should make for an interesting couple months leading up to baby.  Luckily almost all furniture is put together already.  But it is what it is and we will pull through this just like everything else.  I just really hope this is finally a solution for him and he can be pain free for once.

Full 24 hrs after surgery – He is still in quite a bit of pain.  But after discussing his medications with our personal pharmacist, Kim, we think we can manage the pain a little better.  He actually slept last night – snored the loudest he ever has, so I didn’t sleep.  But he really needed this rest and he woke up being able to walk and stand straighter.  Still leg pain, but we are assuming he has quite a bit of swelling in the disc area that is still pressing on those nerves.  So in a couple weeks that should have died down.  We just need to go on walks around the neighborhood to keep him moving and keep him from getting stiff, which will make it worse.

Now we have some amazing friends from MD on our way to spend the holiday weekend with us, go to a Yankee game, and hang around Chicago.  Hopefully my pregnancy and his walking abilities don’t kill their trip too much.  But I think a good time will be had by all no matter what 🙂

Time is flying…

Going to the doctor every two weeks, sure makes time fly.  Especially when you have each day and evening jam packed with special errands and events that have all piled up.

May is just extremely busy with Jose’s work/school trips and events, school and work in general, and then I have had my evenings packed too with appointments and events, usually baby related.  But now it’s Friday and I’m mentally and  physically exhausted…and still have to get through the weekend.  Luckily June and July are less jam packed for us…at least until baby is here, then ya know, we will be living in her world from then on 😉

We did our 3D ultrasound this week, that was pretty cool.  She was a little stinker, though, keeping her face hidden behind her hands.  She was awake and moving a lot but kept covered up.  It’s like she knew she was having her picture taken and she wasn’t having any of it.  Well tough cookies – her attitude better change when she’s on the outside because she’s got a lot more of that coming at her 🙂  I think she has Jose’s nose and lips.  She has a lot of hair, I’m assuming black.  I’m loving on her chubby cheeks already too – I’ll take ownership of those.  She also tried sucking her thumb, and her hands, and her feet…which I will take ownership of too – I was a thumb sucker for an awfully long time.  So I guess she will just look like Jose and Cecilia and maybe have my mannerisms and such…we shall see!!


Her pulling any and everything to her mouthBaby Girl

Doctor visit went well yesterday.  These are just short check ups to make sure I’m still alive and well and baby hasn’t punched and damaged any important organs yet.  I asked about her measurements, since I feel like she’s awfully big, but that’s just me.  Her head and body are in the 22-25 percentile, so she is tiny and skinny.  But her femur is in the 65 percentile – so she’s tall!  Doc said shes a tall drink of water, haha, not sure how I feel about that while she’s in utero, but ok 🙂  My belly is measuring small for her gestational age, but doc isn’t concerned since I’m so tiny to begin with -so that’s good news as far as I’m concerned.  Labor still terrifies me considering my size…but everyone tells me it’s possible…I’ll believe it when I live through it.

OH!  And let’s spend a minute to discuss the joys of Acid Reflux.  This is more horrible than morning sickness because I still cant eat or drink anything, at least without consequence.  This is a side effect of having all my internal organs pushed up to my chin.  So anything I eat or drink, even (and especially) WATER – will come right back up and feel exactly like acid.  Meaning my throat is constantly being eaten away at, no matter what I do.  The doctor has made me take Zantac twice a day.  This worked for about a week, and now it’s down to maybe 50% of the time.  I typically wake up in the middle of the night gagging and coughing so hard that I think I’m dieing, and then Jose also thinks I am dieing and it’s just a really bad night for the Pizarro’s.  You might be wondering why this is worse than morning sickness – well…for one, if you throw up -then its out of you.  Acid just sits around so you can enjoy the party of torture and pain for as long as it feels like it.  And the fact that not even water makes it feel better is just like getting kicked when you are already down.  So yea….that’s been fun o_O