21 April 2014

{28 Weeks} with baby #3

We have reached the finally trimester of this pregnancy, and I have officially moved to bi-weekly OB appointments. I must admit this last trimester of my last pregnancy has me quite weepy and excited all at the same time. With my last pregnancy quickly coming to an end I find myself pouty and sentimental knowing that I am experiencing all of my lasts. I think what makes it even harder, is the fact that I don't have the time to cherish it the way I would like to. Kids, a new home, cleaning, laundry, my business they all keep my pretty busy and it is easy to forget I am pregnant. I forget to eat, forget to rest, forget to sit and talk to this last Tatum Tot. The time is flying and as I sit at the end of 28th week I am beginning to realize that we only have 11 short weeks until my due date, and then this chapter of growing babies officially comes to an end. Never again to feel the flutters of life inside of me, to experience hiccups that aren't mine, to know the feeling of being kicked in the bladder.

While I am sentimental about the end of baby growing years, I am also very excited to meet this newest little one. The little person that will finally complete our family and make us whole. This little person that will add to the spirit of our home and fill our hearts with love. I am excited to finally call this baby by it's name and see how Kaydence and Kameron react to their new baby brother or sister.

:: Symptoms ::

Baby Movement - The movement from this baby is no longer sweet little flutters. I now get full on kick, jabs and head butts that are clearly visible through my belly and even semi-painful sometimes. I love every moment of it!

Acid Reflux - My chest and throat are on fire! Nothing I eat is safe and no time of the day is better than others. This was my biggest complaint with both of my previous pregnancies and this pregnancy seems to be no exception

Restless Leg Syndrome - My legs seem to get this tingly feeling at night and it makes it really difficult for me to sit sill. I can be dead tired and unable to sleep, feeling like I need to move. 

Lack of Sleep - I somehow always forget that not sleeping through the night starts in the third trimester, when your belly becomes too big for any position to be comfortable and you insentient need to pee keeps you running to the bathroom every 30 minutes.

Frequent bathroom breaks/incontinence  - Frequent bathroom breaks is not just a night time occurrence; I pee all the time, and sometimes even when I am not ready. One single sneeze, cough, head butt to the bladder and the flood gates are open. Yes, people this is "normal"!

Itchy belly - My belly is beginning to itch. Everyday I lather it in coconut oil and lotion but there seems to be no amount of hydration to penetrate this insistent itch.

Back Pain - It's at an all time high this third time around. I had hoped my extra fitness level during this pregnancy would help to eliminate the back pain, but the fact of the matter is a bad back is a bad back, period. I have taken more epsom salt baths in the last month than I have in the last 4 years, but it is the only thing that seems to sooth this tired, achy back of mine. 

Braxton Hicks - Yep, they have started. I blame myself mostly. I don't do a great job of staying hydrated and knowing my limit. In fact, the braxton hicks tend to be the reminder for me to drink more water and take a seat. I know this is not good, but I have a hard time just sitting and doing nothing. 

Gallbladder Pain - Yep, still here.

:: Cravings ::

- Any vegetable with ranch dressing

- Watermelon

-And this particular week I haven't been able to think of anything more than fried catfish, collard greens and black-eyed peas (soulfood has been speaking to my soul)

Back again at 30 Weeks! 

10 April 2014

{Today Was Hard} The Pictures You Don't See

Today was hard.

For over a month now, Kameron has been complaining of "leg" pain while walking with a noticeable limp. We went to the ER a month ago to have it checked out and was given the diagnosis of Toxic Synovitis (Click Here for previous blog with more info). However, he has not been getting better but in fact has become worse. So I made an appointment with his pediatrician to have it reassessed.

Today was his appointment.

Since daddy had an appointment of his own to attend today, I flew solo with both kids to this appointment. Everything went as usual in the beginning. We checked in, Kameron and Kaydence climbed all over the chairs in the waiting room and tapped on the fish tank clearly marked "Please do not allow your children to tap on fish tank glass." I told them to sit they didn't listen, blah, blah, blah, the usual. Eventually we were called back to see the doctor. Kameron was weighed and measured, his vitals taken and soon the doctor was in to check him out. With only a quick exam she seemed pretty worried about his hips and immediately put in an order for x-rays. We were sent upstairs to outpatient x-ray and was told to come back when they were finished. With both kids in tow, we made our way upstairs to x-ray and things immediately began to fall apart.

I was refused service due to the fact that I was alone with Kaydence. Being pregnant with another little one in tow did not allow for me to be useful in the x-ray room. With Kevin at his appointment and nobody else able/willing to drop everything to be available to hold my son down for his x-ray at 10:30am on a Thursday; I informed the receptionist that it was only me, I had no one to help. Annoyed, I asked "What if I was a single mother and had no help? What would you all do then?" Coldly, the women repeated that I needed to find someone to assist in the x-ray room and until then they could do nothing. With a child in each hand I marched out of the x-ray department loudly grumbling about how stupid and unhelpful they were. The kids and I trotted back downstairs where I informed the receptionist at our pediatricians office that I could not get my son's x-rays done as requested by his doctor. After a brief moment, the receptionist left and came back with a nice nurse who would be my "extra" person for Kameron's x-ray. Once again we made our way upstairs to the x-ray department where we finally checked in. They "play area" was nothing more than one of those abacus looking things with the beads that can be pushed along different colored squiggly pipes and one single book. Needless to say it wasn't long before the kids became restless. Kameron cutely began to state that he was "ready-a-go" (ready to go) and after calmly telling him a few times that we needed to wait to get pictures of his legs, he began to get upset. The cute "ready-a-go" quickly turned into loud screams of "no pictures" and within a minute he was in a full tantrum on the floor.

His screams could be heard downstairs in pediatrics (this I am sure of), and soon the thrashing and kicking began. Kameron's tantrums are beyond awful. He becomes the toddler version of the hulk and no amount of consoling is possible. Only a few minutes into this massive fit, I had three staff members come back to the play area trying to calm him down. One person offering him a Disney movie, another coloring books, and another reading books. With every offer he became more and more enraged. Angry that we weren't listening to him. He didn't want movies or coloring books, he wanted to go. He began to kick me, with shots inevitably hitting my belly as I held him cradle style across my lap. I immediately put him down on the floor prepared to ignore him as he threw his fit. No more than a minute later, I had a women approach me and ask me to follow her. She stated that in order to save me them the embarrassment she was going to take me to a private room. After walking down what seemed like the longest hallway into the deepest part of the x-ray department, I was carted into an empty office with nothing more than a few chairs. She shoved a few magic 8 balls into the kids hands and closed the door. I am now livid.

Kameron's fit continued. We waited a total of one hour before someone finally came to get us. We were escorted to the dressing room where I fought my angry, screaming toddler into his gown as he desperately tried to pull his regular clothes back on. I carried him kicking and screaming to the x-ray room where I left him with my nurse escort and two other technicians. Kaydence and I sat in the hallway listening to his screams for mommy. After what seemed like forever, the x-rays were finally done and I toted what seemed like a grumpy but no longer kicking and screaming toddler back to the dressing room. Thinking it was finally over I started to change him and the fit started up again. Full on thrashing, kicking, screaming. He didn't want to get dressed. I stared at my naked toddler as he rolled across the ground, banging his head on the walls next to him as he screamed "no pants." I begged my son to get dressed. Bribed him with the idea of ice cream, candy, stickers, toys, anything I could to make him calm down. Beyond flustered I grabbed my phone from my purse, dialed my husband and prayed that his voice would calm him. Just as I hit the "call" button, Kameron immediately slaps the phone from my hand and kicks it away while screaming "no call." A second later I hear the deep, calm voice of my husband say "hello" and in that instant I loose it. I begin to full on ugly cry. Deep belly, can't breath cry. I am at a loss of what to do. I have a screaming toddler on the floor in front of me, a very confused and neglected little girl next to me, I am 27 weeks pregnant with another and I have no clue how I am possibly going to do this. I am overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, exhausted, terrified of the future and at a complete loss in this moment.

As I bawled, I could hear my sensitive sweet girl telling me to calm down. "It is ok, mama. Don't cry." Kameron quickly began to calm and soon he was crawling in my lap giving me kisses and asking for hugs. After a few minutes I calm myself down, tell my husband I love him and before I know it Kameron is dressed and we are headed out of the x-ray department more than an hour and a half after we arrived. As I follow the signs for the 'exit' down the windy hallways I am not oblivious to the looks of sympathy and empathy from staff members and patients. I can only imagine how I looked; A massively pregnant, puffy red eyed woman with a sniffly toddler in her right hand and scared, confused preschooler in the left.

Kameron calmly made it through the rest of our pediatricians appointment and a big boy blood draw (thank god he wasn't throwing a fit then!) I did ask the doctor if his tantrums are "normal," afraid something may be more serious (I mean the kid screamed and  thrashed around for almost 2 hours!). I was told with a chuckle and a smile that he is absolutely normal. We were told he has a temper (probably from me and my family history of tempers) but that he is fine and will be fine. Our pediatrician assured us this was a phase and in time would pass. As I buckled the kids into their carseats and pulled out of the parking lot I felt exhausted; mentally, emotionally and physically. So often I post pictures and videos of my smiling happy kids. I quote their cute sayings/conversations and declare how lucky I am.

But with every smiling picture I post there was at least one meltdown to counter balance it. I yell, I get frustrated, I get annoyed, and at the end of some days I cry in exhaustion. This ride of parenthood isn't easy, everyday it gets harder and harder and everyday I question weather I am strong enough to handle it.

Because sometimes it's just hard.

You would have no idea this adorable face was a hellacious screaming toddler for 2 hours!

08 April 2014

{24 Weeks} with baby #3

I swear the weeks are flying by! While I have had a few major pregnancy events occur in the past month, it has really been a pretty uneventful 4 weeks.

At 21 weeks, I had the worst gallbladder attack after a morning breakfast of poptarts. Only a few hours into my work day I was unable to bear the pain any longer and was taken to the ER by a fellow coworker. Let's just say  1 MRI, 1 chest x-ray, 1 pelvic exam, 2 ultrasounds, 2 shots of morphine, and 6 hours later the doctor was able to tell me that I have a bad gallbladder, however, since there is no visible sign of infection or inflammation there is nothing that can/will be done at this point in my pregnancy. I was given directions on how to follow a low/no fat diet and told to wait it out until after baby is born.

This hasn't been going too well. I totally fail at self control and then I hate myself for hours afterwards. This gallbladder pain is seriously no joke!

At 22 weeks, heartburn and acid reflux kicked in big time! I had this problem with all of pregnancies so I knew it was coming. Luckily we are fully stocked on Zantac and I have been able to keep it at bay (for for the most part).

This week I started running again as well. It felt so good to get back into the swing of things and with as much as I have been eating lately I needed the extra boost of metabolic burn to ease some of the guilt.

At 23 weeks, I ran my second race during this pregnancy. I was only 5 weeks pregnant at my first race so as far as running goes, I was completely unaffected by the fact that I was pregnant. This time was much different. With the recent increase in my back pain due to terrible core strength, I have been forced to change a few things. I now run with a pregnancy back brace to help give my back a fighting chance. My speed is much slower than it used to be and breathing is a bit more difficult as this baby begins to push it's way up to my lungs. During my runs I usually feel really good. Running doesn't seem to be uncomfortable to painful, just different. It isn't until after the run is over that the pains kick in and suddenly I feel like I was hit by a bus. My back is definitely taking the brunt of it all and I was ready to call it quits after this weekend's St. Patty's Day race. However, at my recent OB appointment, my doctor encouraged me to keep going. He guided me though a few wonderful lower and middle back stretches, advised me to take shorter distance runs, and told be to alternate between elliptical and running. Being an avid runner himself he was very encouraging and proud of the fact that I was still running and being active.

Today, at 24 weeks and 1 day I am officially in the positive with my weight gain. As of today I have gained 10 lbs in total. My back is killing me and I am still balancing foods I want vs. foods that will set my gallbladder off. My little Tatum Tot is moving bunches and oodles; especially at night. For so many weeks now I have been trying to get Kevin to feel these baby stabs (as they are no longer butterfly flutters) and finally just a few days ago during the middle of the night Kev felt the movement of his final child in utero.

Not knowing the gender of this baby, having pretty much nothing bought for them, knowing I have no plans for a baby shower, and with nobody but myself being able to feel this sweet little prince/princess's kicks inside of me has had me a bit down. I want this baby to feel as special as the other two were and it seems that with the hustle and bustle of life and no place for us to call his/her own, he/she is just a forgotten soul. I was really happy that Daddy was able to finally feel the kicks of this baby and that someone besides myself was finally able to experience the lovely little spirit growing inside of me :-)

I have also be nesting like a crazy person lately. Cleaning everything; purging the kids playroom of old toys; washing and separating old baby cloths into boy/girl boxes that will be ready for when we find out the gender; and even blue printing the nursery (down to the art that will be hanging on the wall).

 With us finally hitting the stage of viability, I am really feeling the love for this little life and am excited to make my family whole :-)

Take a wild guess which side Baby K is on :-)