Sunday, March 2, 2014

Baby Three

Life is crazy town here. Between getting our house ready to be packed up and getting our trailer ready to be lived in, we are feeling a little nuts. The days have started blurring together into one long string of sorting piles and finding homes for things, and it is to the point that I almost (ALMOST) don't enjoy organizing anymore...almost. But honestly, it's really fun for me to do this kind of thing. I love arranging stuff and making things pretty where everything has a place and it's all neat and tidy. I know, it's a little OCD-ish. But I love it. Sometimes though, it can be a little hard to take a 2,000 square-foot-home and compact it into a tiny RV and hope that you have everything you will need for a family of five to live on for several months. But we are doing it. Slowly and surely.

However, time is running out and we only have this next week left until the movers come to pack up what is left in our home and take it all away to North Dakota for long-term storage. At that point, we are on our own and whatever is missing from the trailer will just have to be missed. It will be a scary day when the movers leave, but also kind of a relieving one. Seven days to go!

But I don't really want to write about all that right now. Because in the midst of all this crazyness, something fantastic is happening, and I feel like this fantastic thing gets overlooked most of the time. So tonight, I am going to take a break from all the "life" that is going on, and I am just going to focus on fantastic little Baby Three. Because even an embryo needs some attention every once in awhile.

Here's the story of Baby Three to this point. (Note: this is long and probably not very interesting to anybody but myself. But that's who I'm writing it for, so it's OK)

Back in September of 2013, Matt and I both felt like it was time to begin thinking about adding to our family. Bennett was four-and-a-half at the time, and Patton was 14 months old. There is about a three-year gap between the boys, and while we never planned on having such a large break between our kids (we were shooting for the two-year age difference originally) Patton had other plans and took his sweet time getting here. In the end though, we found we really enjoyed the accidental age difference, as Bennett was old enough at Patton's birth to understand how to be gentle with his brother (plus he was already potty-trained!), but still young enough to really bond with him on his level. So the plan was to continue that trend, or at least something close to it, like a two-and-a-half year difference.

So in September we thought it might be time to start trying, since if the baby came right away there would be a two-year difference (my ultimate smallest age-gap), and if it didn't come right away there would be no stress of staying within our "time frame" of three years. But really, we were banking on it taking three to six months to get pregnant, putting us around two-and-a-half year mark.

But everybody in our family has control issues. And Baby Three wasn't about to let us call the shots. So on October 17th of 2013, just one month after Matt and I decided we maybe MIGHT be ready for another baby, I half-jokingly took a pregnancy test as we were heading out the door to a Military dinner party...and found out we were pregnant. I think I took two tests, just to be sure. Then I panicked.

It is important to note here, that I am not very good at being pregnant. In more ways than one. First of all, I am emotionally terrible at wrapping my brain around the idea of change, and a new baby brings lots and lots of that change stuff. It just freaks me out. Having babies freaks me out. I have gone into an automatic state of panic with each and every pregnancy, no matter how planned they were, or how long we tried to get them here. As soon as that positive sign shows up, I am totally terrified.

Secondly, I am not very good at being pregnant physically, as I am sick, sick, SICK almost the entire nine months, plus somebody upstairs thought it would be hilarious if I could also develop gestational diabetes on top of the sickness. Which means I end up force-feeding myself the very foods that make me want to throw up and die. There is a list of about ten things I will never eat again in my lifetime, thanks to this little medical side effect. Also, the whole needle and blood thing isn't too fun.

Thirdly, Bennett destroyed my body upon his arrival. Thanks to plastic surgery and modern medicine, I am totally fine now. But all my babies have and will continue to be delivered by C-section since that time. No big deal, I know. But Patton's C-section delivery just didn't really click with me, and I had a really hard time bonding with him for awhile because of it. Plus, my recovery from his delivery was rough, and even months after I was fully healed I would wake up having nightmares that I was having to go back to get another one. It's like Baby PTSD.

On top of that, I knew what the future held. I knew that we were planning on going through some major life changes, switching careers and moving to North Dakota. All while pregnant. And sick. And totally freaked out. I also knew that Patton was only 15 months old, not speaking yet, and a little bit ornery with his attitude about life at the time. And after doing some very fast math, we discovered that we were actually going to beat the age gap of two years by three days (Baby Three is due July 20th, Patton's birthday is July 23rd).  

So anyway, on that night in October, when we found out Baby Three was on it's way, I had all these thoughts rush through my head in a matter of seconds, and it definitely wasn't one of those, "Yay!! We're pregnant!!" moments. It was more of a "deer-in-the-headlights" moment, and I just kept thinking how insane we were to have started trying for another baby so early.

And that's how I stayed for a long time. Just in shock sort of. And fear. I knew I couldn't tell anybody else about Baby Three until I could get my head around it for myself. So I banned Matt from breathing a word of it to anybody, and besides my dentist, nobody knew about the growing little human inside of me for weeks and weeks.

And then I started bleeding.

At first I didn't really think anything of it. Sometimes women "spot" while pregnant, and although I never did before with Bennett or Patton, I didn't think it was a big deal...until it started happening every day. For a lot of days. And it was getting to be more and more blood. I never had any cramping though, so I wasn't sure what was going on. And I hate to say it, because it sounds SO harsh, but a little side of me was sort of relieved (isn't that terrible?!) I was just so freaked out at the time with the thought of having another baby that I thought, "OK, this is Heavenly Father's way of saying we can try again later." And I was OK with that. I wasn't very far along in the pregnancy, plus I was still in total denial of even being pregnant, and nobody knew about it yet. So I figured if I was going to miscarry, this was the time to do it.

Then on a Sunday in November, church was canceled due to several inches of snow (they cancel church here for stuff like that. Church was canceled today, in fact, for ice.) so we were all at home watching a movie and eating popcorn by the fire, when I started bleeding again. Again, there wasn't really any pain, just discomfort. But there was enough blood that Matt and I decided maybe it was time to go to the Emergency Room. So I called our friends here and told them what was going on, and asked if they could watch the boys for us while we were gone. They were the first people I told about the pregnancy.

Matt and I made it through the snow to the hospital on base, and were admitted right away (of course, there were only like two people there, thanks to the snow). Once in the examination room, they started an IV and ran some blood tests to confirm if I was still pregnant or not. And I still was. And you know what? I was happy about it. Which made me twice as happy, because it felt good to finally FEEL GOOD about having another baby.

After they confirmed I was still pregnant though, they had to figure out why I was bleeding so much. So more tests were done and they all came back normal. After that, they called my OBGYN doctor and made me an appointment for the next day and they were about to send me home, when they decided to do a quick pelvic exam just to be safe. Pelvic exams aren't typically a comfortable experience to say the least, but when they did mine...oh man! Did that hurt!! Apparently that is a bad thing. Discomfort equals good. Pain equals a lot more time in the hospital.

The fear was that I had an ectopic or tubal pregnancy, which was causing my pelvic pain and bleeding. So they decided to do an ultrasound to get a better look. But because it was a Sunday the ultrasound technician was at a different hospital. So I got to do something I have always wanted to do: ride in an ambulance! Like, a real one, strapped to a gurney, with IV fluids and the whole nine yards. The best part was, I was in no pain and fully conscious--something I'm sure most ambulance passengers aren't able to say--so I had a nice chat with the paramedic who sat in back with me (Matt had to sit up front with the driver) and we talked all about his kids and his in-laws and the weather. We were best friends.

Finally we made it to the other hospital where the ultrasound technician was, and the paramedics got me into the room and on the bed, and before we knew it we were looking at a teeny weenie tiny little lima bean wiggling around on the screen. Totally fine. Totally in the right spot.

They sent us home (after another fun ride back to our original hospital) with instructions for me to basically be on bed rest and about a million follow-up appointments scheduled with various other doctors and ultrasound technicians over the course of the next couple of days. In the end, I gave enough blood to keep a very hungry vampire happy for several days, and it was decided that I have a small cyst on my right ovary, which is what caused the pain during the pelvic exam, and a pool of blood under my uterus, which is what caused the bleeding until it all dried up (sorry for all the "womanly terms" here. It is what it is.) None of these things effected Baby Three. All are taken care of now.

And it has just gotten better from there.

For one thing--and this is big--I DON'T HAVE GESTATIONAL DIABETES!!!! At least, not yet. Because of my past history I did my glucose tolerance testing early and it came back GREAT! Words cannot describe how happy we all are about this news. I'll have to take the test again in a few weeks to make sure everything is still good, but I am just so happy that I can eat normally.

And that's another thing! I CAN EAT NORMALLY!! I am not folded over on the floor in the fetal position for months on end and throwing up with every smell that crosses my nose! Granted, the first couple of weeks were rough as my doctors tried to combat my severe nausea. But once we found the right dosage of Zofran (which I only take once every few days now!), combined with my knowledge on which foods to eat and at which times of day, I feel fabulous and I can hardly believe it! I also think that my lack of diabetes is playing a role in this miracle of functionality, and I am just so grateful. I had no idea I was capable of living as a normal human being while growing one.

In fact, I feel a little too good. Matt frequently asks me how the baby is doing, and I have to stop and think about what he is saying before I remember, "Oh ya, I'm pregnant!" It has been especially great (and absolutely necessary) to be so healthy during all of this moving business and raising two little boys. But the combination of being so busy and feeling so good has given me the tendency to leave poor Baby Three as an afterthought to the rest of life. There are whole stretches of days that go by where I don't think about being pregnant at all, except for when I am getting dressed in the morning and realize my clothes are starting to not fit. I want so desperately to be able to plan a nursery for this little one outside of Pinterest, but I have no idea where we will be living or what kind of budget I'll have. It just seems like everything surrounding Baby Three is just a big question mark, and it is really starting to frustrate me.

One thing that will not be a question any longer after Tuesday though, is if Baby Three is actually Baby Boy Three, or Baby Girl Three...or Baby Girl One, I guess. Most people assume we are crossing our fingers for a girl, since we already have two boys, but it is actually a little bit opposite. I would love love to be the mom of little boys forever. I think they are just so fun and noisy and dirty and adventurous and if Baby Three is a little boy we would all be so happy! Plus, we already have all the stuff we need, which would really help considering our circumstances. However, a little girl would be just as equally loved (if not way more spoiled by Matt). I have always envied the little girls at church in their cute dresses and bows and curly hair and sparkly shoes, and if we do end up with a She Baby Three, we would be thrilled! Besides, girls are just as capable of being noisy and dirty as boys are :)

I honestly can't wait for Tuesday. It's like Christmas, but better, and I have lost sleep speculating over this issue. Matt and I both felt pretty strongly at the beginning of this pregnancy that this baby is a little girl, but as the time goes on I am leaning more and more towards a boy. I guess we'll find out soon enough!

Maybe it is because of how good I feel, or maybe I just finally wrapped my head around it, but I really and honestly am so. Super. Excited about this baby joining our family. Yes, Patton and this baby will be a little/a lot closer in age than planned. And yes, I will still have to have a c-section. But I have come to terms with those things now, and I am ready to face them, and to face them happily.

So let's do this thing, Baby Three!
I can't wait :)