Monday, January 26, 2015

My unexpected hospital stay


This past Friday was quite exciting for me – and I use that term loosely.  I hinted in my 24 week bumpdate that I was having issues with a possibly UTI.  All last weekend I felt like I had to pee constantly, even when I knew I didn’t.  It wasn’t painful really, it was just annoying.  However, I was having right flank pain all the way down my right side, but I had thought that I pulled a muscle lifting a 40lb bag of dog food last Friday.  Monday I went to the OB and they tested my urine and said it was fine and she checked me and baby boy was so low she couldn’t even get a good feel of my cervix without pushing him up out of the way.  So I figured that’s why I had to pee constantly because he was on my bladder.  After she pushed him up my constant feeling of having to pee went away, but my pain in my side didn’t.  She thought that was muscle related also.

Fast forward to Thursday evening – I had a listing appointment that I went to and felt fine, but when I got home, I immediately fell asleep on the couch and even though I was sitting on a heating pad trying to get my back to not hurt and covered up with a blanket and sitting right next to Mark, I was cold.  I started getting chills and I took my temp.  My mouth one said like 99.5 and my ear one said 101.8.  I didn’t really feel like I had a temp, I just had the chills.  I took 2 Tylenol PM’s and slept really well.

Friday morning I got up to pee around 7am and had the chills pretty badly again, so I took my temp.  Again, mouth one was around 99.3 and ear one was 102 and 103.8.  ??  I knew something wasn’t quite right but I was fairly certain I didn’t have a 103+ degree temp.  When I got up I got really flushed and felt my face get red and hot so I called my OB who said to get to the ER asap.  I wasn’t all that worried so I took my time packing a bag of things to keep me entertained since I figured going to the ER would take a least a few hours and gave my BIL a few instructions for Ben, since thankfully he was here to watch Ben for me.  I thought I’d be back in a few hours.  I hadn’t eaten breakfast so I stopped at Starbucks on my way to grab a hot chocolate and a croissant. 

I called Mark to let him know I was headed to the ER at my doctors orders and he said he’d meet me at the hospital in a little bit.  When I hung up with him my professional worrying got the best of me.  I started getting the thoughts about what if this is something serious?  I didn’t give Ben a big enough hug goodbye.  I didn’t tell my kids I loved them enough.  What if baby boy had to be delivered because it was something serious?  I’m a pro at worrying and it was no different on Friday.

I walk into the ER around 10am carrying my purse, bag of stuff to do and my hot cocoa.  I felt kind of ridiculous to be honest.  They checked me in and then took my temp (no temp) and blood pressure (normal), but my heart rate was up around 125bpm.  (My normal is between 80-100bpm.  Pregnant normal is under 110bpm.)  They checked my urine and it came back showing I did have some sort of UTI or kidney infection and I was also dehydrated.  (Not surprising since I’d only had a few sips of hot cocoa at this point.)  At this point, Mark was there with me and they said they needed to put in an IV, take some blood and give me a dose of strong antibiotics and fluids to help with dehydration.  Mark left around 1:30pm to get a pork shoulder at Costco (we were having 40 people over for dinner the next day) and pick Abbie up from school and shortly after he left, the nurse came in and said that my WBC’s (white blood cells) were high.  They were around 15.5 and the normal range was 5-10.  She told me my OB wanted to keep me overnight.  I was SHOCKED.  I seriously didn’t think it was anything that serious.  I thought they’d give me antibiotics to take home and I’d be on my way in a few hours – it wasn’t even on my radar to spend the night.  We had a babysitter lined up for 5pm that night and I had a massage scheduled for the next morning.  I tried to get them to let me go home, but my OB was pretty adamant that I had to stay.  Basically they explained to me that it I either had the beginning of a kidney infection or a blood infection, which can progress pretty quickly and reach the lungs or the baby and has been known to kill pregnant women and/or the baby.  Yikes.

So I called Mark to bring me a bag of stuff and settled in for the night.  It was kind of a weird experience.  I didn’t like being there by myself with my family at all home, but it was sort of relaxing to be able to sit in bed all day and watch TV and have them bring me whatever food I ordered.  My back started to hurt quite a bit and they gave me Percocet, which is a great drug!  That took care of the pain quickly.  My family came to visit me and it was nice to have them around for a bit.  Ben wanted to get up on the bed with me and play with his cars.  Abbie was a bit more hesitant and she had TONS of questions about my IV and the medicine and the baby, and if the baby was coming out and when I was coming home.  When it was time for them to leave, Abbie completely broke down, which absolutely broke my heart.  She cried a lot and I cried too.  Mark laughed at us and Alex (my BIL) chased after Ben who was heading down the hall already.  We were a mess.  Mark said it took Abbie a good 20 mins to finally calm down after they left.  She didn’t want to leave me in the hospital at all.  After that whole ordeal I was a bit more emotional.

I really wanted to take a shower and that turned into an ordeal because they didn’t put a heplock on the IV, so I had to be connected to the bag the whole time.  They taped a bag around my arm to try to keep it dry and protected and I tried to keep it out of the water as best I could.  Luckily my friend Alana showed up after I got out of the shower and she was able to help me get the bags from the IV through my clothes so the wires wouldn’t be going through my shirt.  Kind of a pain, but oh well.  And Alana brought me a flower and a bag of popcorn which was so sweet.  I cried when I saw the popcorn.  HAHA!  The flower was very nice too but she knows how I like popcorn and that meant a lot to me.

I got kinda bored that night, but I slept pretty well.  My IV started beeping at one point so I let the nurses know and got up to pee and asked for more Percocet and then slept until my OB woke me up around 8:30am.  They came and drew more blood around 9:45am to check my WBC’s.  Around noon they got the results and they were down around 11.8 so they were okay with giving me one more IV dose of antibiotics and sending me home.  I ordered lunch while we waited for the antibiotics to go in the IV and Mark came to help me carry all my junk to the car and we were out of the hospital by 1pm the next day.  Two days later my flank pain was completely gone.  Guess it wasn’t a pulled muscle after all…

I learned my lesson for sure with this whole ordeal.  Luckily it wasn’t all that serious, but it very easily could have been if I hadn’t gone to the ER then.  I never did have a fever, which is relatively common with kidney/blood infections, but I knew something wasn’t right.  I just didn’t have a clue that it would warrant an overnight stay in the hospital.

Oddly enough, it made me really excited to have my baby at that hospital.  Everyone was very nice and I was comfortable and well taken care of and the food was pretty good.  I wish his birth was a lot closer than 4 months away.  It also made me really want to get my BSN (nursing degree), but that’s a whole other blog post for another day.  Bottom line is I’m fine and baby is fine and next time I won’t be so cavalier about things like that!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

To my sweet Benji



So I’m writing this a full year late.  I had this blog post all done and then for whatever reason my computer didn’t save it so I lost the whole thing and never got around to writing it again.  I just posted your 4 year update and I figured, if anything, I should at least post the pictures of your 3 year update.

The truth is, I don’t really remember a ton of specifics of this time last year, which is pretty much the whole point of this blog.  It’s my memory and I refer back to it often.  I know we finally got rid of your paci right around the time you were three, and we also moved you in to a big boy bed, which you did pretty well with.  You were your daddy’s biggest fan, and you still are.  Nothing has changed there.  I remember that you were (are) fun to have along when I run errands and you are a pretty good boy.  You love to help any way you can.

And you were (are) as cute as can be and we couldn’t love you more if we tried!


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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Bumpdate: 24 weeks



How Far Along? 24 weeks

Size of Baby? About a foot long and around a pound and a half

Maternity Clothes? I just bought a bunch more.  It’s odd to me that clothes (specifically pants) I found comfortable last pregnancy aren’t comfortable this pregnancy.  I only had one pair of jeans that I really liked and Motherhood Maternity was having a 40% off clearance sale so I bought 2 more pairs, along with another pair of corduroys, a maxi skirt and a dress.  Should be set to go to NYC at the end of February now.

Weight Gain? Around 13lbs.  I wish it was less.

Stretch Marks/belly button? No change.  I have them.  They’re not going away.  Hopefully I won’t get too many more.

Baby’s Sex? Still a boy.  Still don’t have a name picked out which still annoys me.

Sleep? Sometimes.  It’s definitely getting a little more difficult.  I try to put a pillow between my legs to help keep my hips aligned, but it doesn’t help a ton.  My hip that I’m laying on starts to hurt after a while so then I have to roll over, which is a a challenge.  And usually I get up to pee when I wake up to roll over and that hurts like heck to walk to the bathroom from the bed.  Usually somewhere between my bed and the toilet my hips do this huge “clunk” that I can definitely feel and sometimes hear, and then I feel better.  The joys of pregnancy.  He’ll be worth it.

Food Cravings? Still no new cravings.  Nothing sounds good lately.  I don’t feel like I’m eating healthy enough and then I don’t know what to eat so I just don’t eat, which causes headaches.  I’ve been trying to eat more salads, but salads just don’t fill me up and so I get a headache almost every time I eat one, unless I eat a bunch of stuff with a salad.  I hope to God I don’t have diabetes this time around.

Best Moment This Week? Hearing his heart beat again.  I’d been a little worried because I hadn’t been feeling him much, but he was doing well and moving a ton when she was listening for his heart beat with the Doppler.  A close second would be finding out that the GD (gestational diabetes) cut off for the clinic I go to now is 140.  Long story short, my last OB in the States had a cut off of 140 also.  I tested at 139, so when I moved back to Italy at 33 weeks, they said that I hadn’t passed because their cut off was 130.  So they tested me 2 more times until I failed it at 37 weeks.  So knowing this clinic has the 140 cut off for GD gives me a little bit of hope that I could pass it.

What I am loving? The fact that Mark and Abbie have felt him move.  Abbie was pretty darn excited.

Movement? Yep, he moves quite a bit now.  Last week he started moving a ton and now I feel him all the time, mostly way down low, but sometimes up high also.

What I’m looking forward to: Him moving up a little.  Apparently he’s dropped a bit since my 20 week update and he’s directly on my bladder, which makes me feel like I have to pee ALL the time.  As in like 3-4 times an hour.  It is SO annoying.  I will take the shooting back/hip/pelvic pains any day over the constant feeling that I have to pee.  It’s horrible.  So I hope he rises soon so he gets off my bladder some.

Other Updates…Not really.  I feel pretty good, despite my back/hip pain and the having to pee constantly.  I’m excited to meet this little dude.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Looking ahead to 2015


Although 2014 was a good year, there are definitely changes I’d like to make in 2015, starting with this blog.  As of right now I have a whooping 19 blog posts done for last year.  That bums me out big-time.  I use this blog as my online diary and we print books out at the end of each year and we’re hoping someday we’ll have an entire set of the books with the story of our lives in them to pass down to the kids.  I have so many pictures from last year that I haven’t even looked at, but I am starting to go through my photos and edit them and it is my goal to get all of those pictures, at least, up on the blog.  I’ll write as much as I remember about the days I took them, but at least the pictures are better than nothing.  And then I hope to keep up on it much better this year, although with having a job and adding another kid to the mix and possibly moving God knows where, that might be tough.  But I’m going to attempt it anyway.  I’m bound and determined to get last year caught up too, but I’m going to be back-dating all of my posts so they probably won’t show up in your feeds.  If you want me to email them to you, let me know and I’ll add you to the list!

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Speaking of the blog and all my photos and editing, that’s another thing I’d like to work on.  I really want to improve in my photography, including the actual picture taking and figuring out my camera more and then editing in Lightroom.  This blog was a lot easier to keep up with when I didn’t know much about photography and didn’t edit any of the photos.  It adds significantly more time to the blogging process when I want to edit the photos before I put them on here.  This year I would LOVE to upgrade my camera to a full frame (preferably the 5D Mark iii), but considering that camera is about $2500 I’m not sure that’s going to happen.  Although, when we had Abbie, we got my first DSLR, the XSi, and shortly after we had Ben we upgraded to the 60D, so it would just be keeping up with tradition if I upgraded again with baby #3.  I love the 60D but I take a lot of photos inside and I have to bump the ISO up SO much to be able to have the shutter speed above 1/120, which I need considering I’m shooting kids or dogs (aka – moving targets).  But if the ISO is above like 800 the photos have a ton of noise in them and that bugs the hell out of me.  (See below for examples.)  I still get decent pictures, but I like crisp, clean shots and these are far from it.  

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I also would love to work on de-cluttering my house.  I am the queen of holding on to things I don’t really need to keep because I always think of the what-if’s.  But let’s face it, I’m not ever going to be the size I was in high school anymore and having some of those clothes is more depressing than motivating at this point so I could probably unload them.  We have so much stuff that we don’t use that I should just get rid of.  And my main motivation is our potential move this summer.  We were close to our weight limit when we moved from Italy to here and since then we’ve purchased another kitchen table (and I’m using the old one as one of my sewing tables), a solid oak antique desk for Abbie, a huge 3 piece sectional couch and lots of other little things that add up in weight.  I can almost guarantee wherever we go next we won’t be living in a 3100+ sq foot house and we’re not going to have room for all our stuff so we might as well downsize now.  I’m hoping I can put some things in my parents basement/shed for a while until Mark is out of the military and we’re not moving every 1-3 years.  This will be a tough one for me, but I’m going to try!


I would also love to be more active this year.  Right now it’s a little tough with being pregnant and all, but after I have this baby, I would like to be more active.  I have dreams that I can actually run for any real amount of time.  I have never been good at running and I have never enjoyed it.  If I could get to the point where I could actually jog a mile without stopping and without feeling like my lungs are going to explode or collapse or both, I would consider that a win.  I’d love to someday do a 5K, but that is a long way in the future.  I have pretty much zero endurance and I would like to build that up by walking/jogging and maybe swimming.  This will probably be the hardest of all my goals because I tend to not make time to exercise and I can only imagine that might get more difficult with 3 kids.


I would also like to have more patience with my kids and really work on the way I talk to them and handle them when I’m tired/stressed/busy/etc.  My kids tend to get the brunt of my pissy-ness and I hate that.  I want to learn to take a step back when I feel tension building and then handle the situation and my emotions the way I would like my kids to handle them.  They are little sponges right now and I really want to be the best example to them of how we should act and how to be kind and if I’m flipping my lid, I can’t expect them not to.  I’ve been reading articles regarding the way you talk to kids and how it affects them and I’m much more aware of what I’m saying now or how I’m coming across to my kids.  I’ve already noticed I’ve been able to hold back a few times and not flip out on them.  I’m far from the perfect parent, and I never will be perfect, but my goal is to become better and to bring myself up to a level I’m comfortable with and I’m not there yet.

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Last but not least, I love buying fabric.  I have a pretty healthy stash of fabric, but I never DO anything with it.  I have lots of plans for it, but actually sitting down and sewing something doesn’t ever happen.  I don’t make it a priority so it just doesn’t happen.  I love making things though and I love giving homemade gifts so I’m hoping to use at least some of my stash this year.  I haven’t even made my own kids quilts yet so if I could make them their own full sized quilts I would be happy with that.  And I think I’ve decided I’m going to pay someone else to quilt them for me since that part really stresses me out and trying to get a full sized quilt through my little machine sounds like hell.  I love piecing the tops together so I figure if I can at least get 3 tops done and then pay someone else to do the hard part it’s a win/win.  I get to use some of my stash and don’t have to do my least favorite part of quilting.


Lofty goals for 2015, but I’m really looking forward to this year!  Big changes are going to happen for us as a family and looking forward to seeing what’s in store for us and meeting our newest addition!

PS:  All of these pictures were taken Jan-March of 2014…  Better late than never.