Friday, January 27, 2012

The view from our park

10" of snow and 45 hours without power

The General wanted to be outside with Daddy.

Daf LOVED the snow. . . for about three minutes.  She wanted nothing to do with it after this.

Rose loved all the icecicles from the ice-storm.

The Captain built a sled trail.  We have our very own hill in our yard!

Daf laughed and laughed going down the sled.  But she didn't want to do it again.

The view from the alcove I made.  It was so serene and beautiful.  Not even the sound of a snowplow mired the tranquility.  Once every few minutes, I would hear a branch breaking and crashing down.  I'm surprised we didn't lose more trees around our neighborhood.  It seems the firs outlasted the hardwoods.
The alcove I built. . . too small for me, perfect to keep the kids out of the falling snow.
All the major branches of this tree are broken.

After the ice and snow melted, the tree next to the fence finished its topple.

How I fixed our meals.


The General loves hammers.  We wanted to get him a Thor hammer for Christmas, but couldn't justify spending $10 on it.  Our patience paid off; it happened to be the last one on clearance at Walmart.  He loves it!  He even started saying "hama".

Monkey feet!

Camping out around the fire.  Daddy was making up a story.  They loved it!

Friday, January 13, 2012

I feel like comparing pregnancies. . . again

Surprise, I'm expecing baby #4! I normally don't announce this early (I'm only 9 weeks), but I've had a hard time avoiding it this time around.  Not only have I been showing, but I've also been sick. I went back to my old blog and found this, which I found useful, as I seem to have forgotten most of what my previous pregnancies have been like.  I've updated the General's pregnancy, and added info about my current one.

Pregnancy #1: Briar Rose
On being sick . . .When I was pregnant with her, I was sick. I lost at least one meal a day, usually more, up until 20 weeks. Smells were terrible. I remember walking by the cafeteria at USU, doing everything I could not to vomit. One evening, I threw up every hour for six hours. That was a miserable night. I survived on Cream of Wheat and fruit popsicles for two days before I could keep anything else down. Oh, and milk? Forget about it!

These things have been true for all of my viable pregnancies: When I'm too hungry, I dry-heave; up until 20 weeks, my mouth tastes funny; and I have difficulty brushing my teeth well enough, because brushing my molars makes me throw up.
Things I craved . . .
  • Spaghettios, rainbow sherbet, alcoholic beverages (apple beer worked). . . .
  • Ice water. I depended on this for both my girls' pregnancies.
  • The last month, I craved dishwasher detergent (lemon scented); when my mom heard about that, she gave me this mineral drink powder that tasted like dirt (literally), and I devoured that.
May I keep complaining?

I got a few spider veins that first pregnancy. Mostly, toward the end, I had preterm labor and was put on bed rest.  My feet swelled pretty bad toward the end.

And things I appreciate. . .
These things are also true for my viable pregnancies. My hair doesn't fall out much when I wash or brush it. It will stay nice and thick up until two months after the baby's born, and then I like to leave piles of hair in the tub for the Captain to appreciate. :) My nails grow nice and strong. And of course, once I'm far enough along, I like to feel the baby moving. Before that, though, its movement isn't strong enough and only aggravates the nausea.

Pregnancy #2: Daffodil
On being sick . . .Again, I was pretty sick, but not quite as much as with my first.  I still couldn't eat cereal or milk, but I was down to losing just one meal a day. I would crave something, then after eating it, develop an aversion to it. The mere mention of meatballs or barbecue had me running to the bathroom.

I remember with this one, I had morning sickness the entire pregnancy, though I didn't throw up after 17 weeks. After 11AM, it went away.

Things I craved . . .
  • Spicy, spicy, spicy food. Lots of it.
  • Fish. Against the law, I know, but I cheated.
  • Sleep. I took a nap every day.
May I keep complaining?
By 20 weeks, I was wearing TED hose. I wore them even when I walked in the hot Virginia morning. That didn't stop the worsening of my spider veins and the development of varicose veins, and I even developed some superficial clots after having her.

And things I appreciate. . .
Same things as with my first: my hair grows like a weed, and my nails come in nice and strong. But one thing I didn't mention with her was that I love labor and delivery. It's such a fun adventure! I went natural with this one, and it was great-- my easiest so far! To me, L&D makes up for all the miseries of pregnancy.

Pregnancy #3: Ruptured EctopicI even waited nine days after it ruptured before I went in for surgery.  Yes, I'm lucky to be alive.

Pregnancy #4: MiscarriageI was six weeks along when I miscarried soon after #3. I had ignored the doctor's advice to wait until my blood volume had returned to normal (I lost a liter of blood with the ruptured ectopic pregnancy), and I'm sure my poor health was a factor in losing this pregnancy.

Pregnancy #5: the General
On being sick . . .

It was definitely an improvement from my girls' pregnancies. I could drink milk, had very little morning or evening sickness at all. Yay! I only threw up about a dozen times-- a huge improvement. I could eat cereal (only frosted mini wheats), although I remember living off of cream of wheat for a while, and I could also eat almost anything else-- even leftovers! I did have some pretty miserable evening sickness there from weeks six to 20, but after that, I felt great.

One of the most striking differences about the first trimest of this pregnancy was that I couldn't drink water. Instead, I drank a lot of juice and soda. So healthy, I know, but I was thirsty--I had to drink something! And yes, now I can drink water, which is something I've always preferred.

Things I craved . . .

  • Sour candy. . . I keep a stash on hand and call it my "anti-nausea medicine", and whenever I get a little indigestion, I eat a little candy and voila! it goes away. (This works better than Tums, believe it or not. Weird, I know.)
  • Spicy stuff. Not as much as with Daffodil.
  • Fruits. . . grapefruit, pomegranates, pineapples. Anything juicy and sour.

May I keep complaining?
My varicose veins came back with a vengeance, and they even got so big that I got stretchmarks from them.  I had a series of three surgeries to remove the varicose/incompetent veins in my legs and around my uterus. 

And things I appreciate. . .
After two miscarriages, I was grateful to be pregnant.  Here's exactly what I wrote two years ago: "I love my babies, being a mom, and having a newborn. It really is worth the difficulties. After losing my second pregnancy--something I never imagined would happen to me--I faced the possibility of never carrying another baby, never nursing again, never experiencing another labor and delivery, and I decided that even a difficult pregnancy would be worth it. And it is. Liesl's was by far the most difficult, but she is a delight to have around, and what does it matter that I was miserably sick? It passed.  And this pregnancy has been far from difficult."

Pregnancy #6: Current mystery baby
On being sick. . .
I haven't thrown up a lot, but I have been sick much of the time.  Probably the most notable difference about this pregnancy is that I've really had to regulate my blood-sugar.  I even have to have a midnight snack, so I don't wake up too nauseated.  Anytime I'm hungry, I start dry-heaving.  I spent the week between Christmas and New Years in bed, too weak to even get up.

All those food aversions I developed in my first three successful pregnancies have returned full force, which means there's almost nothing I can eat.  Not to mention that many things I've craved one day have been inedible to me the next.  I can eat plain cream of wheat, and a microwaved potato-- salt and pepper only-- with enough reliability that I've at least been able to not starve to death.  Last week, pizza made me sick. Tomatoes and its sauce bother me.  I can eat noodles with butter. I can't open my fridge for fear of retching.  That said, I've learned that I've disciplined myself to calm my tummy down before it goes into spasms.

My go-to "anti-nausea medicine" has been Jolly Ranchers.  Let the tooth-rotting begin!

Things I crave. . .
  • Steaks, rare, with crispy, juicy fat attached
  • Ground beef
  • Bland stuff with salt and maybe pepper
  • Baked (microwaved) potatoes
  • Mustard/ vinegar
  • Hot Mama sausages

May I keep complaining?
 Despite my three surgeries, I have vein pain again.  I hope it gets bad enough with this pregnancy that whatever wasn't visibly wrong after my last will be after this one, so that I can get it surgically taken care of.

Also, the Captain's being deployed to Afghanistan in March/April, so he's going to miss the best part: labor and delivery.

And things I appreciate. . .
Other than that I'm going to have a newborn baby in a few months, I'm not far enough along to be past the morning sickness part, which means I have nothing else positive report.  Sorry, but yes, I have been that miserable. 
On the gender. . .
I'll be bold and admit I want another son. . . two of each would be perfect.  If I have another girl, it's very likely we'll try again for a boy a few years from now.  I'm so glad I found my old post about my previous pregnancies, because I really have forgotten what they've been like.  With the General's pregnancy, I knew it was a boy because it was so different from my girls'. This one is not quite as easy to decode.  I'm not throwing up, as with his, but I have all the food aversions from my first two.  The Captain and I also plan on waiting until the birth to find out what it is. . . or so we've said.  I'm thinking, that with him deployed, it might be nice to know what I'm expecting.