Friday, December 21, 2012

Miss Belle

She may be trying to kill us as well as herself. I have to write these stories so I don't forget them. In November, my husband and I went back to visit Oklahoma. To make the trip easier we stayed in a hotel on our way home so we wouldn't have to drive so far in one day. Once the kids saw the indoor pool, we knew we wouldn't hear the end of it until they had a chance to swim. Silly mommy forgot the swimsuit so it's off to Target we go. Just so you know, Target does not sell swimsuits in November. So we made do, knowing we would be the semi odd looking people at the pool and bought the kids small gym shorts and a t-shirt to swim in. They seemed content with that.

So there we go to the pool, already filled with many laughing children. Seven month pregnant Andrea does not swim so Max was on his own with both kids. Peanut decided he wanted a ride on his Daddy's back so Max sat Miss Belle on the steps and instructed her to watch. This is something we have done many times in the past and never had a problem with. I watched from a distance as Miss Belle sat on the steps and Peanut laughed as his dad swam across the pool. And then I saw it: that look in Miss Belle's eyes. A look of determination and confidence. As she stood up on the steps I knew what was going to happen and sure enough it did. Without a second thought about it, Miss Belle decided she knew how to swim and dove with great confidence into the water. As I stood and shouted for Max to grab her, another woman sitting by ran to the edge of the water in a panic. The pool was small so I had no doubts that Max would make it to her in plenty of time. As I neared the edge of the pool I looked to Max wondering why he hadn't picked her up out of the water yet and suddenly realizing that he couldn't swim very fast at all since he had Peanut in  his arms and he can't swim either. As I watched Miss Belle roll and tumble in desperation under the water my mommy instinct kicked in. So seventh month pregnant Andrea jumped into the water fully clothed just as the other woman standing by did as well. Two fully clothed women, in the pool, reaching for Miss Belle. She coughed a few times and cried a little, but within minutes wanted to swim more. I, on the other hand, was quite humiliated having to walk all around the hotel back to our room soaking wet.

Fast forward two weeks. Target again (we like Target...a lot). I'm looking at cleaning supplies, Max has the cart one isle over and I hear the noise of a head hitting the tile. Before I even hear Miss Belle cry I hear several women standing by gasp and make sounds of shock and disbelief. I'm so glad I didn't actually see the fall, as I think it may have been a little traumatic for me. Miss Belle cried for quite some time, then calmed down. And by calmed down, I mean wanted to do nothing but sleep; which of course scared us. My husband and I aren't quick to go to the ER or urgent care so we decided to call a nurse line first to see what we should do. They told us to go to urgent care, so we didn't feel like we were over reacting to the situation when we took her in. After waiting two hours Miss Belle was finally seen and was starting to wake up a bit. The doctor said that she had a minor concussion, but as long as after about 4 hours she showed signs of improvement, she would be fine. Why the nurse line couldn't have told us about the four hour rule I have no idea.

Miss Belle, we love you and would really like to see you grow and mature over the years. While I appreciate your feisty spirit and "all in" attitude, a few less incidences would really save mommy's heart. I love you sweet daughter.

Monday, December 17, 2012

This Time...

Despite my extreme lack of blogging lately, I refuse to give this blog up. Even if it becomes an occasional writing, it will still be a good history of our life at this time. And a good outlet for me when needed.

I'm usually the happy pregnant woman. The one with no morning sickness, who hardly gains any weight and who's babies aren't terribly large. The aches and pains of pregnancy that some women tend to feel for months in pregnancy, I can only scarcely remember towards delivery day. Except this time...

God has challenged and humbled me in so many different ways this pregnancy. To start, it took almost a year to even conceive this child. God tried my patience and trust in His plan when, for the first time in my life, it didn't match my plan at all. After the joy of finding out we were pregnant came morning sickness for 12 solid weeks with two small children staring at me as I tried to shew them from the toilet while I puked. Feeling sick and tired all the time made me miss my old self and I wished so badly that I could just force myself to be in a good productive mood. In all my pregnancies I have had to take progesterone injections twice a week, and while I am used to this, it is still a hard and mentally agonizing thing to have your husband give you shots twice a week for nearly 35 weeks.  Through all this, I knew that the morning sickness had an end in sight and the second trimester brought a renewal of spirit and some much needed energy.

Then came the 26 weeks mark, when all of the sudden I couldn't roll over in bed or move my legs certain ways without extreme pain in my pelvis. With a little research and confirmation from my midwife, I was diagnosed with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. It's a nice long term that means the cartilage that holds one's pubic bone together in the front has softened too much, and my pelvis has become misaligned causing extreme pain when I move certain ways. I have a fairly high pain tolerance, but have never been in such constant agonizing pain. The kind of pain where it's all you can think about and all you want to talk about. The kind where I had to think about EVERY step I took or movement I made to make sure it didn't cause an extreme sudden rush of pain. I cried every night at the thought of laying in bed, as this was (and still sometimes is) the most uncomfortable place to be, and rolling over is the hardest and most painful movement to make (if you have ever been pregnant you know how many times a night you need to roll over). It was humbling to watch my children try so hard to help me by bending over for me or offering to "rub my back". I had to sit on the couch and think about all the stuff around the house that needed to be done while not being able to do a thing about it. It was mentally agonizing and extremely humbling. Through all this, I had to learn to depend on my husband in a way I never really have had to do before. He did all the work at his office and all the work at home. His constant acts of service made me fall in love with him all over again and showed through action he really did mean "in good times and in bad."

The most dreadful thing about the pelvic problems was the lack of hope. Everything I read on the Internet said to rest and that the issue would resolve after the baby was born. That at best, I may be able to still walk by the end of this pregnancy but that crutches and wheelchairs were common with this condition. And just when I was at the end of my rope, there came hope. A simple book written by a Physical Therapist that my dear friend just happened to have. To make an already long story shorter, the book gave me hope beyond belief and a regimen for eventual healing. If I stick to a pelvic exercise routine every day, twice a day and continue to pay attention to my movements, I am about 90% pain free most days (minus common pregnancy pains).

There are still nine weeks to go and I pray that I can enjoy them the way I did my other two pregnancies. And while I don't know if this baby is a boy or a girl, I can steal feel his/her tiny kicks and wiggles, reminding me that at the end of all of this is a sweet little soul to hold and nourish in God's love.