Monday, March 31, 2014

The Schwartz's vs Labor Eve

Don't get too excited.  I'm not making any predictions with the title.

I really don't talk much about being pregnant.  But since this is the last time I'm going to do this, I figure I should.  But I warn you it's probably not going to be pleasant.  I'm 39.5 weeks pregnant.  I'm as large as a whale.  And I feel like I constantly have a midget kicking me in my who-ha.  Oh yeah, and any time I stand up I get the overwhelming urge to pee and then as I waddle rush to the potty only 2 drops come out.  Thanks for that fetus.

I have a love/hate relationship with natural child birth.  I'll talk more about that in another post if I don't pop in the next hour.  Cause I really want to make this quick and go get some ice cream before the kids wake up from nap time.  Yeah, 39.5 weeks pregnant and feeling like there is a midget slamming a bowling ball over and over again into my pubic bone, that calls for some midday ice cream.  Don't judge.

Anyway, I've never really had this feeling of Labor Eve.  When I went in for Sarah's 40 week check up, I had made no progression past 2 cm, nothing was effacing, the doctor said it wasn't happening and went ahead and scheduled me for an induction to be for the following week.  Ha ha.  All Sarah was doing was being polite and punctual because dead on her due date she made her entrance without any drugs.

At Cody's last check up before he was born again I'd been hanging out at 2 cm, no big deal.  I am notoriously uncooperative for the weekly pelivic exams and the doctor even questioned me about my birth plan of not using an epidural.  Ha ha.  Bam!  Unexpected car birth!  I got this.

I had my 39 week check up Friday.  I'm at my normal 2 cm, whatevs.  But my doctor was surprised to see that in a week I'd effaced up to 60%.  I don't remember ever being told effacement numbers with the others.  She asked if I had felt any contractions in the previous week and I said, just a few Braxton Hicks.  To which she said, well, apparently some of those were real cause you're a moving right along.  She confidently said she won't see me at my 40 week check up this coming Friday but will stop by if she's on rotation at the hospital when I'm there.  She also teased that she thought I wouldn't make it through the weekend.

AHHH!  Not make it through the weekend!  But I haven't even bought diapers yet.  Or washed the baby car seat.  OR PICKED OUT NAMES!  For our date night Friday, I made Chris take me to target so we could buy Dreft and then went home to wash the car seat to ward off any bad juju.

See, one thing I love about natural child birth is now the main thing I hate.  I love not knowing.  I LOVE not knowing when it's going to happen.  It's so fun.  It's a little scary.  And with having 2 kids there's a little more anxiety of what will we do with them.  But honestly since Sarah was in the back seat when Cody was BORN I'm not as worried this time about what to do with them.  We're going to pack them up and bring to the hospital while Chris calls someone to come meet us there in the lobby to sit with them.  No big deal.

There is just something so anxiously exciting about not knowing.  I've never sky dived.  I'm terrified of heights.  But I want to go someday.  And I will have to have the person just shove me out because heavens knows I'm not going to jump.  And I think that's the best way to describe waiting for labor.  You're standing on the edge of the airplane with the door open waiting for Heavenly Father to push you.  It's awesome and terrifying at the same time.

But you have a baby in the car once and all of a sudden it's a little more scary.  It makes you a little gun shy.  Cause one car baby is funny, doing it twice I feel would be tragic.  Especially cause I don't think I'll make it to the car, I'll probably have it in the kitchen and I really don't want to clean up THAT mess.

So with my Dr saying it's coming and it's coming soon.  And me apparently not being able to tell the difference between Braxton and real contractions that got me 60% effaced.  I'm a little nervous about waiting too long again and having another interesting arrival.  And so it's making me first time mom jumpy.  (It's making Chris even worse.  So help me every time I breath funny he asks if he needs to go get the bags.)  Every time something hurts I stop and wonder, is this it?  And since your body makes you forget EVERYTHING about the last time you did this I can't even compare it to what it felt like last time.

So I just keep telling myself, you'll know when it's real.  You know.  I don't know how I'll know, but I know that I'll know.  It will be undeniably real.  At least I hope.

But we made it through the weekend, which I decided called for a celebration.  So Annie and I took the kids to Pump it Up for one last fun day before the big day.

And for the record, I did not get to jump.  Not that I didn't try.  But just standing in there trying to get Cody on top of the mountain thing was KILLING me.  The evil bowling ball wielding midget in my pubic bone ensured no shenanigans for me this time.  

Ah sweet children, little do you know you life is about to change.  But I guess I'll explain that to them on the drive to the hospital.  Good plan.

The Schwartz's vs My Little Secret

I don't talk much about being pregnant.  I think I was 17 or 18 weeks along this time before we started telling people.  I don't talk much about being pregnant for a few reasons, I firmly believe no one really wants to hear about it.  I don't have complicated or terrible pregnancies that require assistance from friends or pity from strangers.  I have too many friends who have suffered from some sort of infertility and while I know they are happy for me every time I get knocked up, I know it also hurts them a little inside. But mostly, I don't talk about being pregnant because our first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage.

There.  I said it.  It's like a dirty little secret I carry around with me.  It's a scar on my heart.  It's personal, and 5 years later it can at times still be a little raw.  Before we were blessed with 2 heathy babies and now days away from welcoming our third, our first one died before I ever heard it's heart beat.  

11 weeks 5 days.  That's the horrible number that is burned into my brain.  Maybe it hurts so much to think about it because of how they presented it.  As I begged the ultrasound tech to tell me what was going on all she said was, "I can't say for certain what it is but all I can say is an 11 week 5 day old fetus it is not."  When people find out and asked how far along I was when it happened, I try to say it like it's just a number but I know it comes out a little more raw then I'd like probably because the rest of that line plays in my head every time.

"gestational sack" that's the awful term the hospital kept using after they saw my ultrasound but didn't really want to tell me what was going on because it was Sunday after midnight and they knew I had an OBGYN appointment on Monday morning at 9.  I finally broke down and told the doctor to call it a baby because that's what it was to me.  After that they sent in the chaplain.  

"Bummer".  That's what my OBGYN said when I went Monday morning.  She had already reviewed the information from the hospital.  I had already waited longer than I should have in a waiting room full of blissfully pregnant women, a few of them teens.  Bummer was not really the word I wanted to use.  I switched OBs with Cody's pregnancy.    

"Abortion" that's what the check in nurse said when I showed up for my D&C because I had not naturally passed all the parts and my OBGYN said we needed to make sure everything was out or it would put me and any future pregnancies in jeopardy.  That word cut me to the core.  That word messed me up more than any other part of this.  Sitting there broken in a chair wondering why this had to happen to me and some careless person dared use such a horrible word to me.  All I could do after that was cry uncontrollably saying, "I didn't do anything wrong."  They gave me some pretty strong drugs after that, apparently they don't like hysterical women.  

My one miscarriage is nothing compared to the struggles and tragedies of many women.  And truly when I think of close friends and what they've been through, crying over one miscarriage sometimes makes me feel weak and silly.  But the fact is, it happened.  It happened to me.  It was the trial I was given in my journey to motherhood, and I carry it with me always.  And every time I hear of another friend who has miscarried the wound in my heart aches for them because while there is nothing I can say to them, I know how they feel.  

Recently an article went around facebook.  A few friends shared it.  It's about why we shouldn't hide our first trimester.  You can read it here if you want, it has some interesting points. 

I understand where that writer is coming from when they express their exasperation at how common early miscarriages are and yet how many women don't talk about them.  I mean, this is the first time I've ever really publicly talked about what I went through.  And I think she made some good points about how we hide the first trimester and then if the worst happens you're forced to deal with the miscarriage alone.  I understand her point of view.  

Yet, I keep my first trimester hidden like most women because I don't want to have to tell everyone if it ends badly.  The week before we lost the first baby, word had finally slipped out at school.  That means I now had to go around telling folks the painful truth of what happened.  Luckily for me, I had Tomi, and Cameron and Susan and they handled it for me.  Tomi even called the principal for me and subfinder and I think Cameron came up with my lesson plans for the days I was out.  They ran interference when I got back to work.  They dealt with it so that I wouldn't have to.  Except it always happens that someone doesn't get the memo and somewhere a month later someone is asking how far along I am now and I have to stop and tell them I'm not.  And it hurts again.  And it hurts for them because they now feel bad for saying anything. It's just hard.  And so, you hide it.  

But it is so common.  I don't know the stats, I'm not going to google it.  But I would bet everyone knows at least one woman who has had a miscarriage.  The year I lost mine, 4 of us 7th and 8th grade teachers were pregnant.  3 of us had miscarriages.  

So after reading the article many months ago, I thought about doing this post.  Then I put it out of my mind because it's very personal and it's not something happy and not something I would think others would want to read.

Recently another friend confided in me about a miscarriage and how the due date was fast approaching.  That's hard.  The first time you pass that due date is rough.  She didn't know I'd ever had a miscarriage so I thought it was pretty brave of her to share that with me.  And so I said the only thing you can say, I told her "I know how you feel" and then shared my secret.  And she said something to the effect of how surprised she was to find how common it is.  Again, you probably know someone who's had a miscarriage.  Because as soon as you tell someone they can either tell you they know, or they know someone who has.   

So when my friend bravely shared her secret with me, I decided it was time to be brave and put this out there.  Because in the end, there is nothing anyone can ever say to make it better.  And the only thing that remotely helped me was sitting next to someone who could say, "I know."  Sunday when I got home from the hospital and was dealing with trying to figure out what was happening I called a friend whom I knew had suffered from multiple miscarriages.  She came out immediately.  She didn't say anything, there is nothing to say, she just sat next to me cause that's all you can do.  

So maybe someone is surfing the web dealing with a miscarriage that they aren't ready to talk about with a friend yet and they stumbled here.  So I'll put this up here to be a virtual "I know" for anyone that needs it.  I know.  And when you are ready to talk about it with a girlfriend, you'll be surprised at how many of them know too.  It won't make it easier.  But it will make you realize that you're not alone in this.  

As for me, who knows.  Since this is my last pregnancy perhaps finally 11 weeks 5 days will finally stop haunting me.  We'll see.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Schwartz's vs The Elephant in the Room

I'm 39 weeks pregnant today.  And I haven't told Sarah and Cody yet.  Ha!

It's rather entertaining to me how others react to this news.  It's actually been pretty difficult to keep strangers from telling the kids since after making some sort of "you've got your hands full" or "you look ready to pop" comment to me the next thing they do is turn to Sarah and ask if she's excited about the baby or if she's going to get a brother or a sister.

Thankfully, my daughter is blissfully unaware.  So she usually corrects them about how Cody isn't a baby that he wears big boy undies and that he's her brother not her sister.  Ha!

The next thing people do when I tell them we're not telling the kids and they don't know is assert some general shock and motion to my stomach saying, "how have they not noticed this".  Which it's pretty easy how they haven't noticed my stomach getting big.  I'm mom.  They don't care what my stomach looks like.  Plus it's not like a 4 year old naturally knows that you grow another human in your stomach, it's kind of creepy when you really think about it.  So the most Sarah has said is, "mom your tummy looks like a giant ball" to which I looked down and said, "it sure does sweetie" and then we played the belly bongos.  They don't care.  One night during the Olympics Sarah was resting her head on my stomach and the baby was kicking her.  She didn't say anything or glance at it, she just grabbed a pillow and made herself more comfortable.

My OB's regular nurse wasn't there one time and so I quickly cut off the new nurse before she said something about the baby and explained the situation.  She looked quite shocked and said, "what do they think I'm listening to?" referring to the dopplerscope.  I thought that was pretty funny.  Does she honestly think my 4 and 2 year old know where to listen to a heart beat?  Please, when they play doctor they put their little Doc McStuffin's stethoscope on whatever part of their sibling is closest to them.  

Most people don't understand why we've decided not to tell the kids.  I don't really care, it's our family and as always, "I do what I want!"

But here's a short list of reasons why we've made this decision.

1.  No annoying asking every 5 minutes "mom is the baby here yet?"  My kids really don't do well with waiting for special events.  Waiting for Halloween was ridiculously annoying with Sarah and that had a definite date I could give her.  Imagine how awful it would be when we don't know when the baby is coming.
2.  Kids say whatever they want.  If I pointed out my change in appearance and explained that I had a "baby in my belly" do you know how many larger people Sarah would suddenly notice and ask them if they have a baby in their belly too.  I think I'll pass on that awkward situation at Walmart.  It's bad enough that my child is quick to point out people that are missing teeth.
3.  I don't have to answer the question of "how did the baby get in your belly?"  I mean seriously, I'm not even sure what people say when their kids ask that.
4.  Even better, I don't have to answer the question of "how is the baby going to get out of your belly?" I mean really just thinking about those questions makes me break out in a cold sweat.

So, how and when are we going to tell the kids?

Right now the game plan is when I go into labor.  We'll have to bring the kids to the hospital with us and have family meet us there to take them because to wait at home for someone would pretty much guarantee another car birth.  So we'll have a good 40 minutes to talk about it with the kids.  And well, we're really going to just present the idea like it's an exciting new puppy.  "Hey kids!  You guys are so great we've decided to get you a baby!"

So that's our plan.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Schwartz's vs The Wedding Crashers

A few months ago, a friend's daughter asked if my kids could be in her wedding.  I laughed hysterically.  She wasn't kidding.  I laughed because they've seen me try to get my kids to walk to the car after the gym.  It's absolutely like herding ADHD cats on speed, not even exaggerating.  How in the world did they expect my kids to walk in one direction down an aisle?

But of course I agreed because this is a HUGE honor.  So with a healthy amount of anxiety we looked forward to Keesa's big day.

Everything leading up to the wedding was a blast.  It was incredibly stressful taking Sarah to try on her flower girl dress at David's bridal.  And a little nauseating since there were far too many mirrors in that place for this 9 month preggo.  But it was so much fun to watch her twirl around in those princess dresses.  Then taking Cody to buy his tiny tux melted my tiny heart.  He looked so cute!

Saturday was the big day.  And it was a busy busy day!  But the kids did so good.  I mean they really did.  It's dicey with my kids when they don't get naps.  Sarah gets to tired she just becomes ridiculously obnoxious running her mouth non stop just talking to keep herself awake.  And Cody will just melt down and cry over nothing.

Sarah and I left about 10am to head to the salon to get her hair done with the bride and the maid of honor.  She was very excited about this.  She knew she was getting special princess hair.  And the stylist bribed her to sit still with a promise of a doughnut when she was done.
Pretty hair in process.  Sarah saw it and said, "mom look I have lion hair! Roar!"

All primped and ready to go.

Cody stayed home with daddy to get ready for the wedding.  Cody loves it when we wipe Chris's shave brush on his face.  So Chris decided to let Cody "shave" just like him.

Mens folk getting ready after their showers.

I love Cody's face in this picture!

After everyone was done primping it was time to head to the chapel to get dressed and ready for pictures.

Handsome Ring Bearer

Little mini prom picture

They did so good with their jobs in the wedding!  Cody walked nice and slowly down the aisle with his big Cody smirk.  He loves being the center of attention sometimes.  At the rehearsal he stood with the girls, but this time he decided to stand with the men.  I was trying really hard not to be that person pulling out a cell phone at a wedding but I caved when I saw how adorable he was with the big boys in their tuxes.  Of course, since I was embarrassed to be doing it, it was for naught and the picture was blurry.  Oh well.

Sarah and the other flower girl walked a bit fast down the aisle but Sarah had a huge smile on her face and was working hard to empty her basket adding extra flower petals to the stairs when she realized she still had so much left in her basket.  

My favorite part was when the Pastor told the guests, "you may be seated" Cody popped a squat right on the stair he was standing on.  He follows directions so well sometimes.  Ha!  After a while he was tired of holding his pillow so he kept hitting Kyle in the leg with it trying to get Kyle to take it from him.  But the best part was when the kids got released to sit with us they actually sat and stayed quiet!  Hallelujah!  I was so stressed about them acting like heathens during the wedding and having to be taken out.  Or Cody having an accident.  

The ceremony was beautiful.  Keesa looked amazing and they both looked very happy.  It was such an honor not only to be there to witness their marriage but especially sweet to be asked for our kids to participate.  

After the wedding the kids had full bridal party pictures.  And they were starting to get a little tired so I hope the kids smiled well enough for the pictures.  I grabbed a couple of cell phone shots.

Yes Cody really stayed on Kyle's shoulders for most of the bridal party pictures.

The whole group

Then it was time to boogie down at the reception.  After the kids keeping it together for so long I pretty much let them run around the dance floor as much as they wanted as long as they stayed away from the cake and punch tables.  

Chris helped Cody do the Cha Cha slide.

Sarah got to dance with the bride.

And of course, we scarfed down some yummy cake.  

Congratulations Keesa and Michael!  Marriage is the best adventure!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Schwartz's vs Thundersleet 2014

Saturday it was 70 degrees around here.  We enjoyed the day out and about shopping and wearing short sleeves and flip flops.  So while the weather men kept saying we'd be getting significant ice accumlation on Sunday I just laughed.  We've been lied to so many times before.  Plus, in my mind even when the freezing rain came it couldn't possibly stick the ground was too warm.

Wrong.  I was so wrong.

Sunday the freezing rain started and immediately accumulated on the trees.  Then it switched to sleet and sleeted for hours upon hours.  All while we enjoyed a wonderful thunder and lightening show.  That's right.  We had thundersleet. 

We lost power around 8:30.  We've been lucky at our house in the past ice storms and haven't lost power.  This time it flashed 3 times before going out.  And each time it flashed we heard a power transformer groan.  I figured we'd be down for a while.  But I must give major props to our town and our electrical company they were working hard in that weather and we were up within 90 minutes and kept power throughout the rest of the storm.

At some point in the middle of the night it switched from sleet to snow and then we had flurries at our house all day on Monday.  

Here's a picture of our ice drift on our back deck.  This is just sleet and maybe an inch of snow.  It got bigger throughout the day on Monday as more snow continued to fall.

Basically everything was closed and Chris stayed home from work because our roads out here were bobsled tracks.  Sarah was so excited to get to go out and play in the "snow".  She missed the last time it snowed because it melted by noon.  So as soon as breakfast was over we bundled the kids up to take them outside.

On the ice drift.

Sarah was so excited.

Our backyard was solid ice.  It was so slippery!  Sarah busted almost immediately but popped up laughing.  She thought it was great.  Cody on the other hand hated being outside the whole time because it was so windy.  Without the wind chill it was 18 degrees, I have no idea how cold it was with the windchill but he wasn't having it.

Mommy's bad idea.

I know a lot of people out here own sleds but we don't.  We get maybe one or two days of ice each year.  I'm not buying a sled to store for 363 days out of the year.  So I figured we'd just push the kids around on the trash can lid.  Except we have no hill and our yard is completely flat.  Cody was not a fan.

Sarah, however, was so excited to be out in the snow was up for anything and kept asking Chris to push her on the lid again and again.

I guess I'll buy a sled like everyone else and store it all year in the hopes we get one random day of ice/snow.

The only car suited for our road.  Well, that and apparently a riding lawn mower because someone passed us on theirs.

Sarah making an ice angel.  No idea where she learned that from but she plopped down and started doing it.

The kids were begging to build a snow man so I put Chris in charge of that while I retreated to the garage to avoid the wind.  It was impossible.  All we had was ice, and a light dusting of dry snow.  We couldn't even form snowballs.  Instead we just tossed snow at each other until I bribed them inside with promises of a movie.
Failing at Olaf.

Tuesday the roads were still in deplorable condition but Chris needed to go to the dr and get a few things done at work.  And unfortunately the Y was open so I had to go in case someone showed up for class (no one did).  I white knuckle drove to the gym with Chris behind me.  I got stuck once but he thankfully got me out.  I was not happy.  Thankfully, the people in my class all had good common sense so no one came and I was able to leave after a certain amount of time.  I came home and let the kids play outside in the back yard while I stayed in and watched them through the windows.  Too cold for me!

No snow toys, fine we'll use sand toys.

Since it wasn't windy or as bitterly cold anymore the kids were much happier and played out side for a couple hours until it was lunch time.

This is my new favorite picture of Cody.  I know I'm his mom so of course I think he's handsome but I look at this picture and just melt.  His cold rosy cheeks, and cute tuft of blond hair sticking out of my beanie he stole from me.  And that denim jacket.  I'll be so sad when he out grows it.

After nap time the kids wanted back outside and begged me to come play.  So we built snow castles.  

Cody planting his Microport flag in his castle.

Packing the ice into the bucket.

Wednesday the roads are thawing out at little more.  The back roads are still really iced over.  But one good thing about our house is we have about a 2 mile drive to get to 51 and that road is finally starting to thaw so it was a little easier to get to the highway today.  And then more of the same, go to the gym, teach my class, come home pitch my kids out in the snow to play until lunch.  I could get use to this.  But it's starting to make me feel like we need a fence so I wouldn't have to worry so much and stick my head outside and call for them every 10 minutes.

I'm hoping we thaw out today and tomorrow.  The ice has been fun for the kids but not for me to drive and we have place to go and people to see.  Plus all this ice is making me want to watch Frozen on repeat!