Friday, November 30, 2012

Green Giant Seasoned Steamers Review & Giveaway

 With all the hustle and bustle of our move to Kansas over the past two months, I nearly forgot about the exciting opportunity My Blog Spark gave me. Green Giant recently released a new product in the frozen veggie aisle-- Seasoned Steamers. These are one of the first non-sauced, but still seasoned & flavorful, packages of frozen vegetables that can be steamed right in the bag.

Faithful approach

With all of my anxieties and with my impending labor and baby boy's birth, this is what I told my husband last night;

Even if we had an elective C-Section... If God wants this baby back in heaven {or to have special needs}, He'll find a way to make that happen regardless of our meddling.
Hard to swallow, but true and faithful.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The intersection of Faith and Science....part II

Part I

You may recall our worries of genetic abnormalities with our son after our 20 week sonogram. I also wrote about taking a fairly new blood test that checks maternal blood for fetal DNA & claims a 99% accuracy rate for detection of chromosomes 13,18, and 21 trisomies. Our Harmony test results came back 1/10,000 risk for down syndrome and even lower for the other two trisomies.

Did we feel a weight lifted? Sure...but not enough to completely rest easy. I wrote a bit more about my anxieties in a non-promoted post (though not private), feel free to read it, here.

Moving forward, I let some tensions go, but some remained muddled in the back of my mind. My mother so kindly passed on the worry gene to me. I really try not to, as my favorite bible quote contains: "Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil." (Matthew 6)

The worrying just creeps up on me, and when it's validated, I can't help but let it run away from me some.
still a tiny or absent nasal bone, but a cute little button nose

We had a sonogram scheduled for today to check on baby boy's growth, position, and our hope was to also see how his nose bone had progressed. I was not apprehensive at all, and in fact had been internally counting down the days and hours until we got to see our precious baby. I woke up for the second time last night, to use the rest room, of course, around 5:30 am and thought to myself--only 5 more hours until I get to see him!! I had no doubt things would look good, and just wanted to see how chubby his cheeks were. The answer to that is VERY!!!

His measurements were great--just really large. He's on average in the 88% for fetal growth, and his head is >98%. I sure hope he's a smart cookie.

After the sonogram we had to wait to see my midwife for more results and to have my group B step test done (lame-o).

Upon meeting with the midwife we learned that the amniotic fluid is higher than it should be. Of course we know that having too much is a better problem than not having enough...but it's still not typical.

Nothing with this pregnancy has ever appeared to be typical. It really takes a toll on my mental strength and emotional durability. (not to mention the other joyous news in our life right now that relates to our new house and expected costs to fix some major issues)....

I haven't questioned God at all, but I've certainly questioned why me, why our baby, why now.... what human wouldn't?

So perhaps you're asking; "Too much amniotic fluid? So what?"

Good question.

In general, about half of the pregnancies with too much amniotic fluid really don't have a medical reason. 

That baby simply just made more than normal fetuses.

In the other half of pregnancies, the reasons are:

  • gestational diabetes, which I tested negative for about 10 weeks ago -- though it can develop later on, so perhaps that's an explanation (Especially since there was high sugar in my urine at the doctor today)
  • genetic abnormalities.....there it is again :-(
  • fetal infection
  • birth defect, like a problem with the baby's swallowing
  • problems with the baby's heart (which we haven't seen on any ultrasounds)
  • blood mismatches & twin to twin transfusion syndrome (both shouldn't be possibilities for this pregnancy)

Potential complications from too much amniotic fluid:

The only one my midwife discussed with me today was the possibility for the baby's umbilical cord to prolapse (that means it could come out before him, and cut off blood flow to him...which ultimately leads to brain problems or death). She said it's not very likely to happen, especially since he is in a head down position, but if it does occur I should put my head on the floor and booty in the air to attempt to take pressure off of the cord. Oh, and I'm supposed to call 911, because I'll need an emergency C-Section.

I also did my own research, of course, and found that other complications are;

  • premature birth
  • premature water breaking
  • still birth
  • placental abruption
  • postpartum hemorrhage
So, I mean....those are just awesome outcomes and problems.

On the other hand, it's unlikely anything is wrong and it's unlikely that anything bad will happen.

But there's still a bigger chance than typical pregnancies have. Ironically, some pregnancies appear typical and they have non-typical outcomes. So there's always that reassuring fact, except it's really not reassuring.

Apparently 1% of pregnancies are diagnosed as having too much amniotic fluid, .8% of births are still births, and wikipedia states that .14%-.62% of births have a prolapse cord and 11-17% of those babies died.

Barer of bright news, today, eh?

How does this relate to faith?

I've got to find a way to spin all of the crap from this pregnancy into a positive vibe. Why? Because that's just me, and it's better for the baby. Perhaps you are agnostic or even an atheist. I am not. I am an intelligent woman, who believes in science and God. And I believe he has given us all of this information through this pregnancy so that we can stand strong in our faith. Am I sad about the lack of 'normal' news we've gotten this pregnancy...sure, but it certainly doesn't make me trust God any less.

I believe he has a purpose for my life, my son's life, and my family's life. Whatever will be, will be, and it's my job to accept that. I am only human, though, and I really, really, don't want to lose my son or see his health suffer in any way.

It is my prayer that this labor and delivery goes quickly and smoothly, and that my son is born healthy and happy.
If that doesn't happen, God help us handle it, for we are weak and he is strong.

St Gerard, St Gianna, St Joseph, pray for us. <3

Monday, November 19, 2012

Raising a Catholic Toddler

When G was born, her second outing was to mass (the first was to get more blood drawn to make sure her jaundice was going away naturally--it was, despite what doctors may tell you, keep breastfeeding through it if no other issues arise). She was baptized on April 2, at about 2.3 months old. I choked back tears as my baby girl was fully welcomed into the church. She's named after a fairly new saint who is a pro-life role model , and her middle name is after a long-time saint who lived a life of deep poverty in an effort to be more holy...I hope that her namesakes inspires her to be faithful in a secular world.

Raising our kids in the church will always be a priority, and modeling a good Catholic lifestyle is very important to us as parents. Kids aren't going to respect what you say, unless you back it up in practice. This is hard for humans, because we are sinful...but the goal is to keep trying, admit mistakes, and have open dialogue with your kids on your own journey of faith so that they can have a good role model at home for which to develop their faithful lives.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Anxiety for our Son

I know I am far behind, and haven't posted about our new house and the official move-in process....but I've been busy settling into that house and also trying to get involved in our new area.

I have a lot of anxiety right now, though, and have chosen to write about it, in hopes that it relieves some of my fears.

I know that I believe in God, and I know that he has a plan for my life...and the life of our new baby. I constantly struggle with letting go of control and accepting whatever will be, will be.

I just can't shake a feeling that something is off with our baby. I truly hope I am just making this feeling up, and that it is for nothing.

I just keep seeing children with disabilities--and it scares me that it is God's way of letting me know to expect something.

As I mentioned in the Down Syndrome blog, I know that my husband and I would/could be great parents to a child with special needs....but until we are in that situation, I have such a hard time wrapping my head around how we would do that. There's a quote I've seen posted on a friend's facebook page that says, "You never know how strong you can be, until you have to be..." And I have such anxiety that if I had to be strong, I wouldn't be strong enough. It's only human to have doubts, right?

Do I trust the test results we had? I say that I do...because why else would I have done the test, if I wasn't going to trust them? But what if something else goes wrong?

I know that my friends and family would tell me that I can't live my life for the next several weeks with that thought looming over my head, because I can't control everything....and I agree...but I am really struggling right now. And, truthfully, no one's life is ever for certain. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. But who wants to live their life dwelling on that? No one. I really try to live more in the present than ever, but it's so hard as a mother...to worry about your child.

I've been in denial, perhaps, for the past several weeks, busying myself with moving, traveling, settling in, and preparing a nursery.... Now that his birth is getting closer, and I am marking more and more off my to-do list, I can't help but notice things around me that point to something being amiss.

Then I wonder, would I have these same concerns if our ultrasound had been 100% 'normal?' Probably not. So then why wasn't it "normal" if everything is "normal?"

Thanks for 'listening.'

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

20 month old sleep crazy

Here's a fun story for you all;
G has had issues falling asleep on her own for months. I don't know why it started, but back in California it could take her several times of us going in to calm her down before she'd fall asleep...even though she had previously been able to fall asleep on her own!! Nothing had seemed to change on our part. Also, for the most part, nap time was okay.

Then the move happened, and as I mentioned, we started staying in her room until she fell asleep--trying to ease her anxieties. Once we got to the new house we stopped that to re-sleep-train her to fall asleep on her own. Naps weren't as bad, but were affected.

Two weeks later, she'd still scream for an hour or so, with us going in every ten minutes or so... It was pretty miserable, and our evenings weren't very relaxing. No one likes listening to their kid cry, so even though she was in bed...we felt tense. So then we decided to do full on cry it out, but that's not for us--especially with concern her diaper might be poopy. I'm positive she'd cry the whole night, she's beyond stubborn. My husband has gone into her room and G would be standing in her crib, eyes closed, screaming bloody murder.

So then we went back to staying in her room until she fell asleep--thinking that after doing that for a few weeks we could retry leaving. This didn't work either, for the few nights we tried it. She'd be asleep, but then wake up crying a bit later. Plus it'd take her upwards of 20 minutes to fall asleep.

So then I figured out a method for her to fall asleep peacefully, but I'm not sure how long it'll last.

One of us stays in her room for a little bit to reassure her it's ok, then we go over to her, cover her up and pat her back, then say something like, "I'm going to go take a shower," or, "I'm going to go get a drink."
Then we leave the room and gently pull the door behind us. Thus far she has fallen asleep happily after that charade. 

Someone tell me what this all means??? I just want her to sleep well and us to have a little alone time to relax after putting her down. How long will this method work? What do we do when it stops?


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Life Lately - Wordless Wednesday

running in the warm fall weather 2 weeks ago at my mom's house
loving the 'Halloween' tunnel at my mom's school's party
She's started asking for her picture to be taken 11/3/12

Me and baby boy at 33 weeks!!

one of the best parts of moving back, much closer to our BFFs!!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Moving Journal Part 4 {week at my parents}

Catch up on parts 1,2,3 Yes, I realize I'm far behind! We've been super busy settling into our new house, with plenty of stories of home ownership to come.

Monday, 10/22

This morning we woke up and G helped her grandma make breakfast--pancakes :-) She loves helping in the kitchen, and Grandma has a step stool perfect for her to stand on. While the breakfast cooked, G played with her aunt's old doll house and watched some TV with Grandpa. After breakfast she went outside for a little bit with her grandparents and I laid down since I was (am) really worn out. Then they came back inside and we all played some. Grandma made us an awesome shrimp pasta lunch and I got things packed up. G was getting really tired, and I wanted to utilize nap time while driving, so that I could have some peace and quiet; so our plan was to leave just before nap time. It worked out pretty well. She slept for nearly two hours and we made good time.We had a brief diaper change/snack stop and continued on our way. She whined/cried the rest of the trip, but we arrived at my parents in one piece, and I can't complain (looking back).