Good Timing

Today, after I went to get Baby L from daycare, I decided to run by Healthy Home Market to pick up some things (more about one of those things in another blog). It was a spur of the moment thing.

I got what I needed and we came back to the car. I was buckling L in and then as I ducked back out of the car, this young woman was standing there, timidly.

She explained that she was with her baby son, and her car wouldn’t start. She had the jumper cables and just wanted to know if I could give her a jump.

It’s 2014. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look around like, “is somebody about to come from around a corner and try to jump me/take my vehicle/etc.? But it was broad daylight in front of a whole strip of stores, with people coming in and out.

None of which stopped to help her.

So, I pulled around to where she was parked and faced her car. When we tried to get the hood up, it wouldn’t budge. I felt really girly at that moment…why can’t we get this hood open? LOL! A young man driving by asked if we needed help, and she told him yes. He parked and put his flashers on.

Turns out she didn’t have the hood release pulled out all the way. D’oh! He hooked the cables up, and her car started right up. We both thanked him for stopping, and he thanked me for being gracious enough to stop. That caught me by surprise.

I asked her where she was headed, and it wasn’t too far from where we were. Alas, it was in the opposite direction of where I was going. Otherwise, I probably would have followed her to make sure she was ok.
I have AAA Gold and if push came to shove, we could’ve called them.

I wondered about her as a drove home. Her car was older. It had all these leaves and things around the hood by the windshield, and cobwebs on the bottom right front bumper, as if she didn’t drive it much, or it had been sitting for a while. I hope she and her son made it home ok.

Just glad I decided to go to the store after all. Perfect timing so that I could help someone in need.

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Two Years Ago Today…

I was anxiously awaiting HH’s arrival in Charlotte! I was excited about finally being in the same city. I had moved into a small rental house 3 months prior, without knowing when he would make it down. Life is funny that way.

I didn’t know how our life was going to turn out. I certainly didn’t envision a baby in the mix. I thought we were gonna have an empty nest after June 2015. LOL!

We got engaged, married, moved twice, bought a house, and had a baby all in that time. Whew! Not to mention his job transferring him two hours away three days after we got married, and then transferring him back two days before we moved into our house. That’s a busy two years.

Can’t wait to see what the next two years will bring. 🙂

Labor of Love

Baby L decided to start her grand entrance into the world around 6:15pm on 11/12. It took me a good 30-45 minutes to realize what was going down. The contractions were like 15 minutes apart, and felt like menstrual cramps. I thought maybe I’d had too much ice cream.

Around 7:00, I shot a text to Middle Dolly and asked her how her contractions felt when she had my niece. She described the same feeling I was having. By that time, they had moved to about 10 minutes apart, and stayed that way until early the next morning.

I tried to get some rest that night, but it was hard, after the intensity got worse. They were waking me out of my sleep. I called the physician on call around 2:00am, and he advised that I could continue to labor at home at that point, until they got to 5 minutes apart, 1 minute in duration.

By 5:30, the 30 seconds of contraction pain was getting to critical mass. I told HH (via text) that was going to wake mom up and head to the hospital. 5 minutes apart my behind. I couldn’t talk through those things and I was over it dot org. At one point, I just remember not being able to move from the bathroom floor. I literally just laid out on the cool tiles thinking, I might have this baby right here. Let me get myself up.

We made it to the hospital in one piece, and without getting lost (if you follow me on Twitter, you know why that is significant, lol). I made my way up to maternity while mom parked the car. I had pre-registered, so I only had a few forms to sign. My first nurse of the day was Michelle. She had a nursing student in tow, but at that point, I didn’t mind. Which is interesting, because on the birthing plan I filled out (and forgot to bring), I actually indicated that I did not want any nursing students to observe. She seemed nice – and nervous – and I felt like I didn’t want to rob her of a chance to observe.

Michelle checked me and I was 3-4 cms dilated. I was also hooked up to the monitors to checks contractions, my blood pressure, and baby’s heart rate. At that point, the pain was still at a tolerable (but not pleasant) level. Michelle could see when my contractions were about to hit, and of course, I could feel them. At that point, I thanked Stacy and every other yoga instructor I’ve had for teaching me the proper way to breathe deeply. That’s the only way I got through each contraction. They took blood to check my platelets and they were at 122. Yay!

Once I got moved to a birthing suite, it just became a waiting game. HH made it here from work, and after that, he and mom did their best to help me with comfort mechanisms. The contractions were getting more and more intense. I really had intended to tolerate them as long as I could before introducing an epidural, but they became so intense each time one hit. I was using my yoga breathing and doing pretty well, and then one hit that was so bad…I just started crying. HH just looked like he wished he could switch places with me. Mom was rubbing my arm and shoulder and telling me it was ok and to cry if I needed to.

I decided to “tap out,” and asked my nurse to please get the anesthesiologist for the epidural. All my fear of that needle in my back flew out the window. The process was actually more tolerable than I thought it would be. However, due to it being a “procedure,” only one extra person could be in the room. HH went to the waiting area and mom stayed here. The anesthesiologist was very nice and explained each step in the procedure. Nurse Michelle was awesome and held my hands/shoulders while the epidural was done.

Once that kicked in, I could tolerate the contractions, and the nurse indicated I was at 6 cms. The only down side is that I could not move around. The nurse kept having to come in and turn me from side to side. My left side was ridiculously numb, and I could barely move that leg. It would periodically slide down off the bed, and mom or HH would have to put or back on the bed. LOL

By the time I got to the third nurse of the day, I was wiped. I was hooked up to everything you can think of: Foley catheter since I couldn’t get up to the bathroom, IV for meds, and blood pressure cuff to keep track of my BP. All these numbers were on the same monitor screen, and mom kept looking at them periodically and let me know. The nurses at the nursing station could also see.

At one point they brought me a “clear liquids” dinner: chicken broth, sprite, apple juice, and jello. HH moved the bed up so I could sit up and drink. I got like 1.5 sips of broth and then the nurses came in to say that sitting up was making Baby L’s heart rate decrease. So, I was forced to lay back down and I never got my dinner.

They kept checking me and kept saying, “still at 6cms.” The next step was to insert a monitor to determine if my contractions simply weren’t strong enough. After delaying as long as he could, the doctor came in and advised that the contractions were indeed strong enough, but his concern was that the baby’s head was not moving down. He wouldn’t have cared about the 6 cms if she was progressing. He looked as disappointed as I was, when he said he felt surgical intervention was needed. However, he left the decision totally up to me. By that time, I’d been having contractions for over 24 hours. I told him that I didn’t want to be having this conversation with him 9 hours from now, so let’s just proceed. I must’ve burst into tears for the third time that evening, bringing forth the part of my mom’s personality that I love…she said at the end of the day, the goal was to get Baby L here safely and for me to be healthy. I dried up my tears and gave the go ahead.

I listened to the childbirth ed lecture on C-sections, but never thought I’d be having one. There are so many doctors and nurses in with you. HH sat at my head, and there was a big curtain up, so we couldn’t see the actual surgery. The doctors started cutting and chatting about their travel plans. LOL! I actually started feeling a little sleepy. Next thing I know, they were telling me I was going to feel some pressure. It felt like someone was pushing down on my stomach. Then she was out!

They whisked her over to the warming table for examination and I didn’t see her for like 15 seconds, but I could hear her crying. Then they held her up so I could see, and I just started crying. I remember thinking, I’m that little girl’s mother!” HH took some pics of her on the table and her being weighed. Everyone wanted to know her name, and we told them. One of the nurses took a pic of the three of us together. Next thing I know, the room was clearing out, they had sewed me up, and were moving me from the surgery table back to my bed, so I could be wheeled to recovery. I was completely numb/paralyzed from the waist down. It was such a weird feeling to have them rocking me back and forth and feeling like I was outside my body.

In recovery, I was cold and shivering, and they had to bring me heated blankets. They were ready for me to start skin to skin contact with her, but I wanted to wait until I stopped shivering. Eventually, I did get to hold her and look at her beautiful little face close up.

When I look at her now (1 week out…because I started this a week ago, but as you can imagine, it took a while to finish), it was all worth it. Swollen feet, numb heels, prednisone, headaches, and even those ridiculous contractions. Now, I look forward to learning from her, and doing a better job of living in the present.

Ms. Johnnie

So, I can’t remember if I mentioned it on the blog before (I know I’ve tweeted about her), but we have a neighbor named Ms. Johnnie. She is married to Mr. Bob. They live across the street from us. They are 73 and 76, respectively, and very much retired. They moved back down here from NY/NJ a few years ago.

When we came to do our walk through before the final closing on the house, Ms. Johnnie was outside to greet us.

Ms. Johnnie: are you our new neighbors?

HH: we’re trying to be!

She talked to us for about 30 minutes, telling us about the neighborhood and the neighbors. I’m usually not good with names unless I repeat it to myself several times after meeting people. I remembered her name after that conversation. She tickled me that day, chasing the geese with her broom.

Since we’ve moved in, they’ve looked out for us like we are their family. Mr. Bob is especially impressed with HH, and how he’s outside washing our cars or tending to our yard. Ms. Johnnie is always checking on me to make sure not on my feet too long or in the sun too long.

I love to hear her stories about her marriage. They’ve been married for 42 years. It seems like we have similar personalities; like I’m looking at who HH and I could be in our 70s. She fusses at Mr. Bob about the same things I fuss at HH about. LOL!

About an hour ago, I was leaving to head to the store, and she was outside sweeping. She said, “you need me to go with you?” I said, “sure!”

Now, I really did not need her to go with me, but I sensed that she wanted to go. We took a nice ride to the Ha.rris Te.eter and talked about our families. She insisted on pushing the cart, and told me to take my time.

I got a few things I needed and then I realized that I really needed some kitty litter. But y’all, I knew Ms. Johnnie was absolutely NOT here for me lifting that small box of litter in my state of pregnancy. Even if it is light and well within my control. So I left that litter right on the shelf and just laughed to myself.

On the way out of the store, she grabbed the bags out of the cart and told me not to lift a thing! She was serious, too. I grabbed a bag that had one – one – Ren.uzit freshener in it, and I swear she wanted to take it from me. LOL!

When we came back home, she insisted in bringing in groceries, but HH intercepted her. She gave me her number to call if I ever needed anything, and I put it up on the fridge.

And then, she was gone. She said she was not going to impose, and she walked it on back across the street to Mr. Bob, and her collards she left simmering on the stove with him.

We might not be kids anymore, but we still need a “village,” too. I’m glad to count Ms. Johnnie and her husband as part of ours.

Dear Baby H

I was so excited to see you on the ultrasound! You were so cute, wiggling around and putting your hands in front of your face. Daddy is concerned that you’re sucking your thumb in the womb. LOL! He’s something else. I am sure you’ll have him wrapped around your finger in no time. I gave a fist pump and hollered “yes!” when the doctor said you were a girl. 🙂 Your Daddy threw a challenge flag because he didn’t understand how the tech determined that you were a girl. What are we going to do with him? Typical Redskins fan.

Despite the fact that my stomach gets bigger every week, it’s still hard to believe you’re in there. Maybe because I can’t feel you kicking yet. I’m sure in no time, you’ll have a foot jammed into my ribs, and I’ll be longing for the days when I couldn’t feel anything.

The whole family is pretty much enamored with you already. Your aunties Pam and Shelley are fighting over who gets to hold you first, and who will be the better auntie. They’re both great moms, so it’ll likely be a tie. Not to mention all the aunts, uncles, and cousins you have on Daddy’s side. You are surrounded by lots of love! We haven’t even lumped in all the “play” aunties who are planning showers and buying you presents already.

I can’t wait to meet you! You’re already in charge of my sleeping schedule. I’m pretty much just along for the ride. You only weigh 10 ounces, but somehow I’ve managed to gain 6 pounds in the 4 weeks between my last visit and your ultrasound. The doctor says you are doing well, and on track for your 11/16 due date. That is a bye weekend for the Cowboys, so that’s a good time to make your appearance. 🙂

We bought a house, and I am currently picking paint colors for your room. Daddy doesn’t understand why I picked lavender. He will get over it. He is going to learn to just listen to his girls. 🙂

I am worn out from swimming tonight. I’m trying to stay active, so that we’ll both have an easier time during labor. Hope I didn’t tire you out too much. I determined that you will learn to swim as a child, unlike me.

Your name has been picked, but Daddy is not ready to tell everyone, so it’s just between us (and a few of your aunties). He told me to tell everyone your name was “Kimye.” I will not even put that foolishness on you. You’ll just remain Baby H for now.

Our next check up is in four weeks. I can’t wait to hear your heartbeat again.

Love,

Mom

Headed into the Weekend

I’m glad to see this weekend. Today, I had a check up with my OB/GYN and HH was able to attend. I called him when I was en route, and I could tell by his voice that he forgot. *facepalm* LOL! By the time he got there, I was already in the exam room, and the nurse had already brought out the Doppler and found Baby H’s heartbeat. When he came in the room she turned it on again so he could hear it. It was 152 beats today.

This is the second time that they’ve had to search all over for the baby’s heartbeat. He/she likes to chill low and to the right. Perhaps that’s why my bladder always feels heavy. And then when she did find him/her, the baby moved away like, you are invading my space. Hilarious! Kid is already feisty.

HH and CH just left with a couple of his friends to go ride the go karts. HH is taking them to eat afterwards. That should be expensive fun.

Tomorrow, CH goes up to his school for four hours of EOC studying. We’re going to get up early (read: I will get up early and HH will struggle) to check out a neighborhood garage sale. I’m not sure what’s on tap for Sunday, but I’m glad HH took the weekend off.

CH will be 16 on Monday! He has made some strides while he has lived here, and I am happy with that. It’s a daunting task to take someone else’s child under your wings. His grades are a little better than last year. Hopefully, he will be more prepared for his junior year and understand expectations for home and school life. He and I talked for a couple of hours the other night and watched Mythbusters. He leaves for his summer in NY in a week.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend!

Spreading the Good News

Whew! Now that the news of my pregnancy is out, I can exhale! It’s been so hard holding it in from you guys. We actually had planned to wait until this week (13 weeks) to say anything, but I grew impatient. And, someone almost – unknowingly – outed me on FB. I had posted a pic of Bogey and joked that she followed me around like a bodyguard. So my friend asked me if I was pregnant! I had to do post diversionary tactics! LOL! Another friend who already knew came in and helped.

So, let me take you back to the month leading up to finding out. I know some people can look back to an exact date when they conceived. I cannot. I know when I suspect it was, and with HH’s crazy work schedule there are limited days when he was home (this is before he started just commuting every day).

I was not on any hormonal birth control, and haven’t been since I stopped the pill in December 2009. Three years of barrier protection with no pregnancies is a pretty good ad for condoms. LOL! I digress. I also have a very regular cycle. So I suspected nothing until it went MIA.

Back in March, HH wanted to go ride go karts for his birthday. He and CH both wanted me to ride. While the insurance adjuster in me just kept picturing the kart crashing and tipping, I agreed that I would. However, when the day arrived (3/1), I was suffering from heart burn and my stomach felt iffy. If you followed my old blog, you may remember me tweeting about how I used to get heartburn all the time when I lived in ATL. So, this occurrence of heartburn never phased me. I took some apple cider vinegar and kept it moving, but I didn’t ride the go karts.

The next week I kept getting heartburn. I eat at my desk at work a lot, and sometimes hurriedly, so I chalked it up to that. On 3/9, my friend Audrey had a Partylite party and I headed over to her house for the evening. When I got there I drank some punch and started to feel nauseated. I thought it was because the punch was pretty sweet. Still not getting the clues. LOL!

It wasn’t until the presentation was finished and I excused myself to her bathroom, that it hit me. I was washing my hands and looked in the mirror and realized my cycle should’ve started 2-3 days prior. It was like that moment in Disappearing Acts (the book, not that iffy movie, lol) when Zora was looking at the calendar and realized her cycle was MIA.

OH, %#^*{!

I re-joined the party and ordered way too many candles *facepalm*. The whole time I was thinking, I’ve got to go get a pregnancy test as soon as I leave here. I also realized after my third trip to the food table that I had been eating like crazy. LOL! Due to another friend sharing her news about a wedding that none of us saw coming, I didn’t end up leaving Audrey’s house until 11:00pm. I zoomed to Harris Teeter and got a box of three tests.

I’ve taken tests before and I know your hormone levels are higher in the morning, but I couldn’t take it. I ripped one open and took it.

And waited. And looked at it sideways, and waited.

Finally, a very faint pink line appeared. And I thought, nah, because it was super faint. I resolved I wouldn’t say anything to HH when he got home that night, and I’d take another one.

The next morning I woke up bright and early and HH was still conked out. I went in our bathroom and clicked on the fan, hoping that would block the noise of me opening up that test. LOL! Took the second one and waited. Pink line again. A smidge darker.

And I just sat there for a few minutes and looked at it.

Finally, I turned the fan off and came out. I guess I was in there for longer than I thought, because when I opened the door, HH rolled over to face me and said, “you were in there for a long time – you ok?” Man, he scared the mess outta me because I thought he was asleep! I hadn’t worked out what I was gonna say! Hadn’t we just told his mom 2 days prior that we likely weren’t going to have any kids because we couldn’t afford daycare? LOL!

Me: well, I was in there because I had to take a test.
Him: *wide eyed stare*
Me: *hands him the test* I think you got me, bruh.

LOL! Yes, those were my actual words. You got me. Yes, I was there, but I’m putting this on him.

He smiled, I got back in the bed, he kissed and rubbed my stomach, and so it began! After that, it was a blur of making a doctor’s appointment, giving up my beloved Starbucks, and nervousness.

The morning of my appointment with my primary care physician, those jokers called to cancel! The doctor’s son was sick so she was going to be out. Uh, no ma’am! I’ve already waited a week and a half! Can I see someone else? Luckily, they got me in with another nice doctor and I was able to get my referral to an OB-GYN (I didn’t have one because my primary doc does my yearly exams).

I had some spotting early on, so I had my first ultrasound at the end of week 7. I don’t know how the techs do it. I recognized none of the things she was pointing out to me (ovaries, fibroid, etc). Finally, she confirmed that Baby H had implanted properly, and I heard the heartbeat.

Then it really, really became real. I’m gonna be somebody’s mommy!

*faints*

And then four agonizing weeks of not being able to go public. Man, that hurt. LOL! Especially when morning sickness and fatigue started kicking my butt. I needed people to commiserate with! So, I did tell some folks offline. *waves at y’all* We told “the rest of the world” last Friday. I’m so glad to be able to share now.

Stay tuned, I’m sure the next few months will be filled with pregnancy stories and home buying stories (which is a whole OTHER post).

Happy Saturday!