Wishing You…

Whatever you may celebrate this time of year, my family and I wish you the happiest moments and memories with the ones you love—today, tomorrow, and always.

2011 Christmas Card—probably my favorite yet.

2011 Christmas Card—probably my favorite yet.

Climbing Out of My Hole of Depression

I have been suddenly and unexpectedly overwhelmed with a knock-down case of depression. I’ve wept every day for an entire week. The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach has left me barely interested in eating. I lost 4 pounds last week alone. That probably isn’t a good thing.

I just cannot shake this horrible sadness. It has consumed me.

So very sad.

And helpless.

I cannot feel the foggy veil of depression lifting. I don’t know how to make it go away.

This is the first time since March that I have felt like I might need to see my therapist.

It was just one year ago this past week that I had my second miscarriage and had to re-evaluate the idea of taking anti-depressants because therapy didn’t feel like it would be enough.

I stopped taking Prozac when I found out I was pregnant with Huggy Baby in January. Three months later I stopped going to therapy.

Sure, the pregnancy was at times stressful but I was doing okay. I had my support system in place and for months I didn’t feel like I needed therapy—or drugs—to feel “right”.

Then a couple of weeks ago it started creeping in. A week ago it hit me hard and full on.

I wrote that six weeks ago.

I’m better today. Not perfect. Just Better.

I think I was trying to stuff my feelings and pretend there wasn’t anything wrong. Talking about it? Talking about it would inevitably lead to uncontrollable tears.

Tears that embarrass me in my inability to turn them off.

But addressing that there was problem despite the tears has been a really important step towards healing for me.

What I’ve come to realize is that I need to be open. I need to be a better communicator. I need to learn to nurture myself.

I have no idea how to do that.

Pumpkin Man

IMG_2312This is Isaac.

He is part of my husband JQ’s band, The Eight Fifteens.

They have a show tonight and this is part of what he will be wearing. Sure, the pumpkin is definitely a nod to Halloween but trust me, this is not the first time Isaac has dressed up for a gig. It won’t be the last—holiday or not.

The Eight Fifteens. Catch a gig if you can—you never know what you might see.

Beginning the Journey of Baby’s First Year

24 days old.

24 days old.

I have a new writing gig over at Babble. Now that Huggy Baby is here I’m done writing for Babble.com’s Being Pregnant blog. Makes sense, right? Now I’m writing for their Baby’s First Year blog. I’ll be writing about life with baby number two and the ups and downs of parenting in general. It’s going to be fun.

Here’s what you missed so far.

I make my introduction in The Second Son.
Talk naps—or lack there of in I’m Supposed to Sleep When?.
Boob Pain. It’s real. And it hurts. Oh My Aching Boobs
How much has this baby grown in a month? Checking Up—One Month
One day at a time. Finding Our Normal
I really should get the ball rolling on these things. Especially number one. Five Things I Still Haven’t Done Now That I’m Not Pregnant
Seriously considering learning how to make these. DIY Fleece Childrens Hats

I’d love it if you joined along in my journey.

The Dimple. A Yawn.

Totally in love with this kid.

The dimple.

IMG_2200A Yawn.

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23 Days old—taken on 9.27.11.

Becoming a Mother of Two—Huggy’s Birth Story

He has a lot of hair and it’s really dark! —JQ’s first words upon seeing the baby.

Saturday, September 3rd started out like most days—shower, coffee, chocolate soy milk for G-tot along with breakfast. It’s the way we do things. But that would be the last morning our routine would be just that way.

September 3, 2011

September 3, 2011

The next morning we would become a family of four.

I went to bed Saturday night feeling incredibly emotional about the state of my life at that moment. Part of me mourned the fact we would no longer be a family of three—life as we had known if for the past four and a half years would cease.

At that same moment I was elated about what was ahead for us. Meeting our second son. Becoming a larger family. Seeing this pregnancy through to an end that we all hoped for—a healthy baby.

We were in the midst of a major life change and I was kind of overwhelmed.

I felt a little lonely that night. G-tot, our first son, was staying overnight with my mom. My husband, JQ, had a gig that night and wouldn’t be home until late. My dad was in town and staying the night at our house, but he was asleep by 7:30.

It was just me and my thoughts for the rest of the night.

I packed up the last minute items in my hospital bag. I finished the book I had been reading. By 11:00 I was turning off the light and hoping for a little sleep before my alarm went off at 5 a.m. the next day.

I think I managed 3 hours of sleep.

A hot shower for me on Sunday morning and by 5:40 we were on our way.

The hospital seemed really quiet that that early.

I was put in triage and began the routine of being hooked up to various machines, injected, questioned, and informed of what the next few hours might look like for me. Thankfully, the nurse who put my IV in did a great job this time and got the IV in my arm instead of my hand. However, the phlebotomist that took my blood sucked and managed to inflict more pain than every other person putting a needle in me did that day. And there were several. The nurse that would be with me during surgery and in recovery was the same nurse we had in OR and recovery when I gave birth to G-tot. Erika. I liked her.

At 8:05 a.m. I was checked into the operating room.

It was weird to feel so on schedule with this birth experience.

JQ was not allowed in the OR right away while they prepped everything and for about 15 minutes we were apart that morning. I wonder what he thought about sitting there alone? Moments before everything really big was about to happen.

Part of the prep included anesthesia. This time I was getting a spinal block instead of an epidural. As the anesthesiologist was getting ready to apply the local and do the spinal block, my nerves took over and I started to cry. This is what scared me. More than the actual surgery, I was afraid of the anesthetic. My sweet OB hugged me and consoled me that it would all be alright. She was right. The spinal block was a much better experience than the epidural was for me. I would chose that again in a heartbeat. Dean, the anesthesiologist, was fantastic.

Music played in the background of the operating room. Classic rock—chosen by my OB but very likely what I would have chosen. There was an air of calm confidence in the room and I felt really at peace and joyful about what was about to happen.

As soon as everything was prepped, JQ was let into the room. He took a seat near my head and minutes later we heard the first cry of our second son.

My first moments with my newborn son.

My first moments with my newborn son.

At 8:37 a.m. on Sunday, September 4th Harper Otis was born.
21 inches long. 7 pounds 3 ounces.
Absolutely perfect.

39 hours old. G-tot loves him.

39 hours old. G-tot loves him.

I fell in love the moment I met him.

4 days old.

4 days old.

Ladybug Girl Giveaway

We are a family of readers. One of my favorite things to do is curl up in bed at the end of the day with G-tot and read him a few stories before bedtime. We hit the library on a weekly basis and bring home no less than 10 new books a week. By the end of the third or fourth day we’ve read them all.

I hope we are nurturing a life long love of reading in our son.

My love of the written word makes me giddy when I have the opportunity to review kid’s books. Even better is when I can give copies away to you fine folks!

Today I have that chance.

I recently received a copies of Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad as well as Ladybug Girl at the Beach. Both are charming tales about Lulu, a little girl who loves to dress up in her ladybug costume and use her imagination to create adventure in her life.

LBG_Horizontal

In Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad, Lulu learns that even though things don’t go as planned at her play date with friends, it’s okay to just go with the flow. Even if that means saying you are sorry when you try to make things go your own way.

In Ladybug Girl at the Beach, Lulu tackles the unknown with a brave face and discovers just how much fun the beach can be beyond sand castles.

Great for both girls and boys, the Ladybug Girl books will enchant you with lovely illustrations and tales that remind us to take chances, be awesome people, and never forget the importance of using your imagination.

Now it’s YOUR turn to read these tales.

Just leave me a comment on this post and you could be one of two lucky winners to get your very own copies of Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad and Ladybug Girl at the Beach.

Giveaway will run until the end of the day on Monday, September 5th.

Book values: Hardcover $16.99 each
Prizing & Samples courtesy of Penguin

*Disclosure: I was sent these books to review and offer a giveaway on my site. All opinions are mine.

Babbles, Boobs, and Baby

It’s 11:22 a.m.

If all goes well and some moron doesn’t set themselves on fire or blow off any of their fingers “celebrating” Labor Day weekend, by this time next week we will be a family of four. I could be in my room eating a post surgery meal and basking in the love of my three guys.

I’m still in shock that we are so close to the end.

I’m also completely unprepared when it comes to having “stuff” for the baby.

I have my boobs.
I have a pack of diapers.
I have some clothes.

That’s good enough, right?

Speaking of boobs, I wrote a letter to mine this week. I also discussed whether or not a porn star should be able to breastfeed in public.

I probably won’t get that pregnancy massage but I will be in for one as soon as I can after giving birth. Along with some new tattoos.

The hospital I’m delivering at has a kick-ass cafeteria. That may be what I’m looking most forward to during my hospital stay. Well, besides the baby of course.

I wonder if they could send wine in one of these care packages?

And these? These make me think I should get to designing some birth announcements sooner than later.

Oh, and since some of you have asked, yes we have a very small registry.

Nine Days

Pooping on the table.

Having to get an epidural.

Those were the two things I feared the most when I headed to the hospital four and a half years ago to give birth to G-tot. After 20+ hours of labor the doctor’s strongly suggested an epidural—which I succumbed to after a mini-nervous breakdown.

A few hours later I still hadn’t progressed enough to push so we went the c-section route. Plus side? No pooping on the table.

I’m nine days away from having another c-section. NINE DAYS. Single digits.

This time I’m scared to leave G-tot behind.

37.5 weeks

37.5 weeks

Just thinking about leaving him sleeping in bed early in the morning on September 4th brings tears to my eyes. I know he will be in great hands. I know I will see him as soon as I can. And yet, it won’t be quite the same. I will be coming out of major surgery. He won’t be able to climb up on me and snuggle quite like we will on Saturday night. We will no longer be a family of three.

It will be the end of one chapter of our lives and the beginning of something completely new and unknown. For some reason that makes me weep.

Over the past year and a half I doubted we would ever get to this point. I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to give G-tot a sibling. A comrade. Someone to vent about his dad and me to in years to come.

Now we are just nine days away.

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it.

I don’t want to stay in the hospital for days this time. I want to leave as soon as possible and be with my family in our own home. I want to start our new life away from IVs and nurses. I want to create our new routine.

I want G-tot to know I will never love him any less than I do in this moment.

I want to not be scared of the next nine days.

Blood Samples and Gestational Diabetes

About a month or so ago I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. I’m less than excited about the fact. But it is my reality right now and I thought I would share just how that experience works for me on a daily basis.

Check out the video below. I’ll show you my supplies and how I sample my blood—I promise you won’t pass out. I’ll also show you the chart I made because I’m a bit obsessive compulsive about not pricking the same finger over and over again. If you want a chart of your own I’ll even provide you with a link to print some out (click on the image for a letter sized version).

And please be gentle, this is my first attempt at vlogging. Also? Why does my voice sound like that?!?

Monitoring Your Blood Glucose Levels.

diabetes_hands