Tuesday, February 24, 2015

And I'm Back...

Remember how excited pissed I was to go back to work? Well, I didn't win the lottery or get a Kickstarter campaign going. I didn't become independently wealthy or sell everything and move in with my parents (but I'm still considering it!).

So instead, I bit the bullet and started work again yesterday. Want to know how that went? Here is my fun story about returning to work after leave:

Sunday night:
I slept for 2 minutes, tops. Lyla had a 103 fever and was up most of the night. Brighton decided he wanted to eat every three hours. Luckily the kids took shifts so I never had to abandon one of them! Well planned children!

Monday morning:
Rolled out of Lyla's bed around 5:30 to find her with an even worse fever and had no children's meds left. Got dressed in a sleepy haze and told Jared to listen for them both as I went out in 7 degree weather to get more. CVS - closed (mother fuckers). Rite Aid - closed (bitches). What is the point of having two pharmacies a 7 minute drive away if they are both closed before 7am. WTF people.

Went all the way (okay, like 5 more minutes) to grocery store to get medicine. Came back home and parked car in cul-de-sac because didn't want to do musical chairs with cars later on. Literally jump out of car and guess what? Black ice! My feet didn't even hit the ground and I fell flat on my side half under the car. If it hadn't hurt so bad, it would have been comical. You see, I recently had a car upgrade to a bigger SUV (long story), so my "jump" out was what I usually did from my old SUV. I should have used the runner board but alas I'm only five feet tall and completely wiped out. I then limped all the way up my ridiculously long driveway in tears. Awesome.

Monday:
Well work started in the AM but I'm pretty sure I didn't literally start until around 1pm. By the time I got Lyla sorted, Brighton fed and sorted, showered, dressed, etc it was lunch. Had to feed the sick kid and my starving, breastfeeding self and then it was time to try work again. Luckily I only had to do some sorting of emails and the slow day was just what I needed.

The whole day was pretty much shot but I did log on and do a few things!

On the plus side, I've mastered breastfeeding at my desk.

On the other plus side, at least I didn't have to drop of Brighton at a daycare and he could be home with me.

On the other, other plus side, Jared is home as well to help out.

Work is so over-rated but I can't complain (even though I do!)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Questions I Find Myself Asking with the End of Maternity Leave Approaching

Come Monday, I'm back to work (wahh...)

Here are some of the questions I've legitimately asked myself in the last few weeks.

  1. Is it acceptable to start a GoFundMe or Kickstarter campaign so I could be a stay at home mom? Would anyone actually fund me? 
  2. How early is it to start drinking wine during the day on a work day? And furthermore, how bad is drinking wine all day on a work day while breastfeeding?
  3. How much work will I be able to get done with a 2 month old strapped to my boob eating constantly and is it politically incorrect to do a Google hangout with said 2 month strapped to my boob eating?
  4. Is it okay to not shower and stay in my pajamas all day while I'm working full time, taking care of an infant full time, and picking up/dropping off a preschooler at school?
  5. Will four hours of sleep at night be enough rest so I can keep my eyes open and my brain active while I work full time, take care of an infant full time, and pick up/drop off my preschooler at school?
  6. What are my odds for winning a lottery jackpot so I can be independently wealthy?
  7. How important is it for me to have my own home? Can I survive selling everything and moving my 2 kids and husband in with my parents so I don't have to worry about a mortgage payment and can quit my job and be a stay at home mom?
  8. Is it silly to sell everything I own, quit my job, buy and RV and travel the USA with my husband and 2 kids in tow?
  9. Is it preposterous to sell everything I own, quit my job, and buy one way plane tickets with my 2 kids and husband to Fiji and live there so I can be a stay at home mom?
  10. Can I survive with my 2 kids and husband in a shack and live with less so I can quit my job and be a stay at home mom?
  11. Is it feasible to finish my book in the next 4 days, send it to a publisher, and get a big pay day so I don't have to go to work on Monday?
And finally... the number one question I've been asking... (pardon my french, but I'm mad):

Why the fuck is America so fucking stupid with the fucking policies about fucking maternity leave for working moms and give us so little fucking time off? What the fuck!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Brighton's Birth Story


Our lives have gotten a little "brighter" with our new addition. Pun intended.

On December 12, 2014, we welcomed our son to our family. We named him Brighton Stanley Pasquale. His first name is something Jared and I always loved. His middle names are after two of our grandfathers who meant so much to us. Stanley was Jared's Opa he was very close to and Pasquale was my grandfather and my hero who passed a few years ago. We both cherished these two grandfathers and wanted to honor them by passing down their names.

I wanted to share Brighton's birth story not only just to share but so I have it down for me never to forget and to share with him a long time from now. It was definitely 100% different than Lyla's birth!

40 weeks of pregnancy with the boy was not fun. Sorry buddy, I speak the truth! I had heartburn every single day. I was as big as a house. And by they end of my pregnancy, I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. On top of the two heparin injections I had to give myself daily, I had to prick my finger 4 times a day to check my sugar. I was pretty sure I was going to start leaking with all the holes I was poking into myself! Early November, my mucus plug appeared and I was certain this kid was coming early. Every inch of pain or sign of leaking had me in a panic and twice I checked into the hospital with false labor. I got through November surprisingly still pregnant. I couldn't believe he hadn't come.

However right after Thanksgiving, the doctors measured the boy and said he was 95th percentile in size. The were expecting and 8 or 9 pound baby and worried about me being able to deliver him. I had been adamant from the get-go that I did not want to have another cesarian and wanted to deliver him the normal way. My doctors totally supported me until they saw his size. They were convinced that if I couldn't push out a 6 lb baby (Lyla), I couldn't possibly push out an 8 lb baby. After weeks of denial, tears, and discussions, we picked December 12 as the eviction date. If I didn't go into labor on my own, they were taking him out on the 12th.

I spent the first few weeks of December trying to naturally induce myself into labor. Spicy foods, long walks, walking up hills, begging my husband to have sex with me, etc. Nothing worked of course.

At my non stress test (NST) on December 9th, they told me I had a lot of fluid. Like I didn't know that... I was so swollen I could only wear sweat pants and slipper-type shoes for the past few weeks. They told me to keep an eye on the baby's movements. If I didn't feel him move so much to call right away. Instant panic-mode - in other words...

The next morning I woke up and freaked out immediately. I hadn't felt the baby move. I sat down, had some water, and waited. I gave it an hour and nothing. It had been 12 hours. I called the doctor and they had me come in right away. We got ready as if it was the day. I grabbed my bag, my kid and all her gear, and we hit the road - very scared. When we got to the hospital, the baby instantly moved - of course. All was fine and I was having contractions. I begged the doctor to just do it now, why wait 2 more days. I was so nervous we'd have a lack of movement issue again and didn't want to be so worried. However, they said I'd have to wait as the baby was fine and there was no emergency. So back home we went...

Thursday the 11th came and that night we had Chinese food for dinner. Once last hurrah before we became a family of 4. I wasn't too hungry though which I thought was odd. I knew that I couldn't eat anything after midnight so when we got home I had a few snacks and right before bed around 10 I had an English muffin. I laid down and started cramping. By 1am, I knew something was up. I was so nervous I wouldn't know what labor was going to be like since I never felt contractions with Lyla. They kept insisting I would know. Well, around 1am, I knew. Wow.

I sat on the couch in my room and breathed through the contractions. Each one consistently painful and on time. I didn't wake up Jared yet because I knew he needed to not be exhausted to drive. By 3am, he was up wondering what I was doing breathing like a crazy woman and groaning in pain. We made the call to the doctor then because I was 5 minutes apart, an hour away from the hospital and a high risk pregnancy in which they didn't want me laboring at home. They told me to come right in so we started getting ready. I, of course, took a shower and was so grateful I had shaved the day before! I repacked my bag and got Lyla's things ready. Jared got showered and took his sweet time. I had to wake up Lyla and get her dressed and put her in the car with all her things (her suitcase for the weekend at Gramma's, a huge bag of things, animals, toys, etc) (all the while having contractions) while we waited for sir daddy to primp and get ready. Finally after just over an hour he was ready. Thankfully I wasn't 1 minute apart on my contractions because that baby would have come on the side of the road due to my dear husband and his lack of promptness!

We got on our quiet country roads (windy and very bumpy) while I was miserably in pain. Every contraction I was screaming bloody murder at Jared to slow down to a snails pace because the bumpy road and contractions were worse than an Egg Nog/Coke mixed drink combo. (My dad seriously drinks those...)

I felt like a horrible mother dragging my 4 year old out of bed and into a car where I was screaming in pain every 5 minutes. Hopefully that memory will be blocked from her for life! We had to bring her because our family is an hour away and it didn't make sense to have someone come all the way to us when we were headed that way.

We met my mother at the hospital parking garage. She told me the guys inside were waiting with a motorized car to bring me to the elevator. She grabbed Lyla and her stuff and we all rushed in (well technically I didn't...). Seems the guys with the car were actually sitting having a coffee so they didn't offer to help us. Jared just wheeled me all the while we all rolled our eyes as their lack of help and effort. Thanks a lot, gents...

We checked in and then I told mom to bring Lyla back to hers for breakfast. She didn't need to see them checking my cervix!

I was only 2 centimeters dilated and the doctor wanted to know what I wanted to do. Do I want to labor or have my c-section earlier? I looked at her incredulously... it had been weeks of frustration that they wouldn't let me have the baby naturally and here I am and they want to know what I want to do? The doctor didn't recommend I try laboring because they were very worried about a last minute c-section. I thought about it and talked to Jared. I could be in labor all day and half the night and then have an emergency c-section which was my biggest fear. I decided after all that to have the c-section rather than take that risk.

Twenty minutes later they wheeled me in to the OR. I was still contracting and they hurt like a mo-fo. I couldn't imagine going any longer without pain meds. They sat me on the OR table for my epidural/spinal and expected me to sit still while I was having painful contractions. They also had 3 students in there learning the procedure. Fun times! Once I was numb and set up, the 20 people or so in the room went on in their every day manner. It was so odd hearing them chatter and do a role call and what not. I was shaking like a leaf with nerves. Finally Jared was able to come in the room and he held my shaking hand. We were both excited but nervous.

It seemed like forever when they said, okay now we will get the little guy out. They said since it was my 2nd c-section, I had more scar tissue to cut through hence it took longer. Finally, they said he's here and pulled out my screaming son. Jared and I cried with happiness that he was healthy and here. I couldn't wait to see him but that also took forever. They took our camera and took a photo of him getting weighed and I saw the photo of him before I actually saw him. When they finally brought him over all bundled up and content, we both were immediately in love. Jared held him and I just stared at him loving him so much. At 8:32 on Friday, December 12, we were a family of four.

We then were brought back to the room with the baby and I finally got to hold him. He immediately went to the breast and it was a match made in heaven. I didn't ever want to let him go. Jared and I spent the rest of the day breastfeeding, changing nasty meconium diapers, moving to a postpartum room,
and waiting for our daughter to come visit and meet her brother. We had most of the day to rest up and me start healing and then she came with my parents.

She came in and I had even more tears. Lyla was beyond excited to meet the baby but mostly she had missed me and wanted to cuddle which was hard with my stomach. After a little bit of visiting, they went back home and Jared and settled in for a night of no sleep.

The next day, we had a few visitors and Jared went home to do some much needed house stuff to be ready for the baby. Brighton and I did a great job nursing and Lyla got to spend some more time with us. That night, my mom stayed over with me so Jared could get some sleep. Brighton ended up sleeping for 6 hours straight that night and I was so paranoid he was not breathing I didn't sleep nor did my mother. On Sunday, my dad come up with Lyla so we could spend some time with her and the baby. Jared came back and then took her home and I had the night to myself with the baby. We did well and I was recovering well; slowly yet surely.

On Monday, it was time for us to go home and Lyla back to her routine and school. I called Jared and told him that we'd be let out by noon. Unfortunately, Lyla had had an accident in bed overnight that night which rarely happens. He said he wanted to clean up the bed and sheets and stuff before he came up. I pressed him to hurry and be back for noon. By noon, I was ready to go and all packed. I called Jared thinking he'd be there any minute and when I called he said he'd be leaving by 1. I immediately freaked out and went hysterical. My ride home with my infant son from the hospital was not ready and I was ready. I was so mad at him! By 2pm he was there and we finally were able to get out of there. But first, Brighton needed a quick diaper change.

Jared took the baby in his cute going home outfit to change and I finished up with my last minute packing things. I went back to the baby at the changing table because he started to cry and his face was all wet. Then I noticed the pad under him was all wet too. Low and behold, the kid peed all over the place and Jared hadn't even noticed! He had pee all over his face, his head, and pretty much everything else. So of course we had to change him, again!

In any event, we finally got the boy home, albeit after the husband almost left us stranded and the boy pissed everywhere. Fun times!

Since we brought our son home, we've been super busy of course. All I do is breastfeed all day and night. Luckily though he's been sleeping 5-6 hours every night so I'm not totally sleep deprived. Brighton is a really good baby and we are very lucky.

But most importantly, we have the best big sister ever. Lyla has been the greatest helper I could ever hope for. She gets me things, she is patient, she helps soothe the baby when he cries, and she just loves him so much. She keeps asking when he'll be able to play with her but for the most part she is just amazing. I couldn't imagine doing this without her.

Of course, Jared has been a gem as well, can't forget to mention that. All the cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. He has been my rock and I'm so grateful for him.

These last few weeks as a family of four have been nothing short of amazing, exhausting, stressful, yet wonderful. I love my family and am so proud.

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