For the first time during this pregnancy (thankfully) I can say I've been pretty miserable lately. I am nauseous, suffer from complete insomnia (I wake up every time I turn over in bed because my stomach is so big it's painful just to rotate), have tons of heartburn again, and am totally struggling to eat healthy and exercise. It's like the return of the first trimester with the added misseries of the third! The biggest obstacle for me has been severe pelvic pain in the past 3 weeks. I didn't have this with Stella, but the weight of my stomach since baby girl dropped sits right on my pelvis and makes it downright painful just to walk, let alone lift Stella. So that's been fun. Emotionally I have been very stressed due to everything going on, but I am always able to push through and get things done. Baby girl will be here soon wether we are ready or not, so I choose to just keep going each day despite what's going on!
We did decide to schedule a c-section. Baby girl is in the correct position and is normal sized, but several other factors played into our decision. Mainly Kaiser. He had surgery last week (more on that in a minute) but I needed to be able to plan for his recovery and care while we are in the hospital. Before you judge me for planning around my dog, know that he is family to us and I would have probably opted for a c-section anyway. My first c-section was awful, and I actually met another girl last week who had my previous doctor and said she botched her c-section as well. My new doctor is wonderful, and I trust him to go in and make sure my insides (gross I know) are healthy and scrape away all the scar tissue that formed from my first awful c-section/recovery. He does have to make a new incision since she put mine too low so that he doesn't hit any organs, but I am OK with that. It's not about having a "perfect scar", it's about healing correctly and being able to move without pain. Something my previous doctor took away from me. Damn her. So baby girl will be here next week if not earlier! (but no major contractions and no dialation yet so hopefully we make it to our scheduled appointment!)
Mark is in planting season, and the first one at his new job at that. So he has been very busy and with everything else going on he has been as stressed as me. We have had a pretty rainy and chilly few weeks, which allowed him to be home more but really made things harder for Kaiser's recovery (the cast has to stay dry and unfortunately he can't use the tolite yet).
Stella has been doing pretty good. We have been trying to get her used to having all "baby mister's" things around the house, and she finally moved to her toddler bed (although we are cheating and using a bed rail. She doesn't climb out and prefers to be enclosed in there so it works for all!). I still plan to do an update on her later this summer, but for now I will say that I changed some therapies. Her pediactric developmental specialist believes she is on the autism spectrum. I think that's the first time I have typed that. We want to refrain from a "diagnosis" unless it is necessary, but as we look into getting her in a good school system when she turns 3 I know it's time. She would probably fall on the low end, but there are struggles that can't be denied. Struggles that have been present since Day 1. She was scheduled for the ADOS test last week, but with everything going on I pushed it back until July. They also want to do an evaluation for behavior therapy. Don't get me wrong, Stella is a really good girl and she has lots of discipline from us. It's not because she's naughty. It would be to help deal with the major meltdowns she has in public. I also pushed that eval back to June. We stopped developmental therapy and physical therapy. Right now occupational therapy is on the fence, not sure if we will keep that or not. I suspended it until after her testing for now. Speech is still twice a month (taking this month off) with the potential of increasing to weekly. She is progressing well though! We also still do playgroup twice a month, which is the most beneficial of all for Stella. She has come so far there! So that's a brief rundown, I just want her to have this summer to be a regular kid, play, and adjust to being a big sister. Then we will do some testing and see where to go from there come fall. No matter what happens Stella is just the absolute best and a constant joy in my life!
And now for Kaiser. Poor Kaiser. My sister works at a vet in Geneseo (close to where Mark works) and she suggested we come in for a referral there. They sedated Kaiser and found the ACL in his back left leg to be completely torn with arthritis already setting in. We knew surgery was our only option, and we couldn't wait. So last week the surgery was done. It went very well and Kaiser spent the first night at the vet. The first few days at home sucked so bad. He hates his cone and it poured rain so we had to wrap his cast every time he had to go potty. Which was every hour. He was messed up from the epidural and catheter (I know the feeling buddy!) so it was a nightmare. And we have a deck on our house so those 3 stairs have been a struggle. Walking has been pretty easy for him at least. He also had pain meds 3 times a day and special joint food and vitamins. It was a lot to keep track of, good thing I'm organized! He also has to go in twice a week for 4 weeks for shots to help the healing. Mark built steps out of pallets up to my car since I can't lift him up, and he always meets us at the vet to get him out of the car and help hold him in the office (he's a pretty big baby at the vet!). I am so glad we did it at that vet, both so Mark can be close and help out and because the doctor and staff (especially my sister) have been so helpful! Once we got into a routine and Kaiser got used to his cone and cast (and the rain let up) things got better. It's still hard, and we hit a few bumps of course. He never adjusted to the deck stairs so Mark built pallet ones over the deck ones last night. He doesn't like those either so far so just waiting for him to adjust to those, hopefully soon! He also managed to reach his foot and lick at the bandage so he ended up with a sore that now needs medicine as well. We got a bitter spray and have to put that on several times a day to stop him from licking it so it doesn't get infected. So far so good, but it is a little smelly. Glad I can finally open the windows! Right now we have him confined to half the kitchen. The worst part of the whole ordeal is seeing him so sad. Right now he's feeling better but wanting to run, jump, and come be with us in the house but he just can't yet so that sucks to tell him no. The first few nights he cried all night and Mark had to sleep on the couch by him. Just like a newborn!! But he goes in next week to have the cast and cone removed and then we are boarding him there while we're in the hospital so things are looking up!!
Well wasn't that a long update! Now we can get to the good stuff! Despite all the craziness, our baby prep is done and we are officially ready for little girl to come! Here are the things we've been working on the past few weeks:
- house is completely cleaned and disinfected
- nursery is complete (didn't change décor, just washed everything and got it all switched over from Stella's stuff to baby girl's)
- fridge, freezers and pantry are cleaned out. freezer inventory made. healthy snacks stocked up. purchased 10 frozen meals (from Prep. Freeze. Cook. if you're in the Peoria area I highly recommend! delicious and reasonably priced!).
- swing, play gym, bouncy seat, and rock n play are washed and set up with fresh batteries
- bassinet is set up in our bedroom with her AngelCare Monitor hooked up
- laundry is caught up
- diapers and wipes are stocked for both girls. cloth diapers are stripped and put away until I've healed. gotta take the easy route sometimes!!
- hospital bag is packed for Mark and I
- bags are packed and plans are in place for Stella and Kaiser
- toiletries and house necessities are stock piled (remember we live in the middle of nowhere)
- car seat is installed, car is clean, oil is changed, gas tank is full
- reading and research (mainly a refresher course) is complete on: labor and delivery, postpartum recovery, baby care, and CPR (with instructions posted on fridge)
- formula is stocked, bottles and pacificers are sanitized (not even trying breastfeeding this time, I'd love to but I'm unfortuantly unable as I painfully discovered with Stella)
- Mark and I went over loading and safety basics with all our guns and safes
- smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are installed and checked, fire extinguishers are placed throughout the house and in our vehicles
- Postpartum items are purchased and ready to go (such as a girddle I ordered, baby-wearing shirt, etc... just things I know will be helpful after a C-section!)
So looking back on my last post before Stella arrived made me smile. This is what I wrote to her:
I am so excited to meet you. You already make me so happy, so brave, and so proud. There are times I am nervous to bring you into this world, for it can be so cruel and is full of people with bad intentions and awful hearts. But our world needs more light, more pureness, more genuinely good people. And mark my words that is how you will be raised. You will be loved unconditionally but disciplined when necessary. You will be taught how to be independent, how to stand up for yourself, and how to be honest. I am so thankful for all the bad stuff in my life that taught me to do better, and all the good stuff that kept my heart pure and my conscience clean. My journey will allow me to be a better mommy, teacher, and friend (in that order) to you. You have a dad who will make you laugh, teach you to defend yourself, and love you until the end of time. You are coming into the biggest, silliest, most loving family that I could ever imagine. You are a lucky little girl, and I can't wait to feel your wiggles, kicks and squirms from the outside. We continue to pray for your healthy and safe arrival, and wait patiently until you decide to join us.
I couldn't have said it better this time to my second daughter, so I chose just to share it again. I only hope I have lived up to the promises I made Stella before she arrived. Motherhood is not glamourous. It is not easy. It doesn't look the same for everyone. All we can do is let go of the expectaions we had for ourselves, our children, and how it "should" look and embrace what is. Make the most of each day and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Because in the end, that's all I really want for my girls. So I will lead by example. And I will lead by faith.
It's been quite a ride. See you on the other side baby girl!