Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Sitting up all by herself!
the day after she started sitting up she decided she liked to stand holding on to things too

look at those teethies!
My beautiful naked teething baby

Wordless Wednesday is a blogging meme where you can share a photo post each week – feel free to link up your WW post in the linky below so we can check it out!

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Monday, August 29, 2011

A tunnel of hope

I know it's there, somewhere, I just can't see it yet. Just around the bend but not quite close enough to give me hope.

“Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment.” MLK Jr.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All shaken up

     Today at 1:50ish there was an earthquake of 5.8 Magnitude. If you've ever been in an earthquake you know how scary it is and if you haven't imagine the world shaking and thinking "where do I go to be safe? How do I keep my baby safe? What do I do?" I grew up in NY and VA, neither taught me what to do in case of an earthquake. So today I felt completely unprepared as the store I work in started to shake.
     At first I heard a rumble getting louder and louder. Within about 5 seconds tons of things flashed through my head, Oh my God what is that? A truck crashed in to the building, wait... there are no trains near here, OH MY GOD IT'S AN EARTHQUAKE! I grabbed Haleigh in a football hold and started running towards the front of the store. There was another woman there who was stuck in her tracks so I yelled "GO OUTSIDE NOW!! EARTHQUAKE!" I wasn't panicked I just wanted to get us out and away from the building. On my way out I could see the ceiling tiles jumping around and the butterfly mobiles we have swaying back and forth. Everyone in the stores surrounding us was headed outside too. People were echoing each other 'an earthquake? An earthquake!' After a few seconds the shaking stopped. I feel like it lasted forever and just a second all at the same time. In the moment it felt like it was lasting forever, afterwards it felt like it was so quick. It was terrifying!!! I didn't have a whole lot of time to really think. I just did. A few seconds after it stopped everyone started going back in side. I turned to the customer and said to her "Do you know what protocol is? I have no idea." She said she had no idea either so we waited a minute or so then went inside. I had no idea what to do. I went inside and sat down, then freaked out. I am one of those people that handles things when they come but later freaks out about it. That's what I did. I started shaking and had tears in my eyes. I couldn't put Haleigh down because I was so worried. Right away I got a call from my mother, who was a half an hour a way and she felt it - she was okay, so were my sister and cousin who were in school, my grandmother called - she was okay, and Tyrone text me. While I was texting back Tyrone I learned the the epicenter was right near him, maybe 5 miles away. He said he was okay but I didn't believe him. I kept asking. Thank God everyone is okay! I called Tyrone because I needed to hear his voice and be sure he was okay, he was of course, I told him where the epicenter was and that it was a 6.0 - which is what it was first stated as being. He couldn't believe that he was where the center of it was! These things aren't suppose to happen here. The only other time I've felt an earthquake was 7 or so years ago and all it was, was a tremble. I wasn't even sure that it had been an earthquake, this time was different. Scary. I am terrified of aftershocks and what could happen. Needless to say Haleigh will be sleeping in our room tonight!

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Necessary things for baby's arrival

     What is the first thing you do after finding out your pregnant and thinking of names? You think of what you need to buy of course! If it's a boy you think cute button up shirts and blue jeans, football bedding, a football, a jersey (wait.. was this only me?). If it's a girl you think tutu, head bands with ridiculous sized bows, ballet shoes, tea parties (still just me?). But what do you really need right away? Certainly you don't need footballs and ballet shoes for a newborn. Need and wants are definitely hard to separate, especially when it comes to the first child (from what I hear second children are severely deprived, just ask you little sister). So, I thought I'd do the best to write out exactly what I found I needed and what I didn't so I can pass my growing knowledge of mommyhood to my friends and relatives.
     A crib. Is it wanted right away so you can set up the room, look at it, and go 'aww.' yes. Is it needed right away? Not really. Most people keep their kids in a bassinet in their room for a few months. Instead of buying a bassinet we opted to get a play yard with a bassinet piece you can attach. I figured that a play yard can be used later on through out her life, while a bassinet is used for just a short period of time. Haleigh slept in her play yard next to our bed for about 6 months. We got a play yard that had an attachable changing table and organizer with it. We never once changed Haleigh in the changing table part though, to be honest, it didn't seem to sturdy so instead it held my diapers. I thought it was a much easier place to hold my diapers, then the organizer was. Then again if you are using disposable diapers the organizer is the way to go.
The organizer held odds and ends, breast pump parts, my socks, Haleigh's socks, bibs, and hair bows. I love our play yard. It's easy enough to put up and take down. It can go anywhere with us. It's wonderful. Definitely worth the investment. Don't get me wrong, I had the crib set up months before her arrival but she didn't actually go in it until months later when we had moved.
     Swaddle blankets. When you are in the hospital the nurses teach you how to swaddle the baby with the receiving blankets from the hospital. By the time you go home from the hospital you're a pro! Then you have to wash those blankets and realize that the receiving blankets you have are a different size and they don't work the same. AH! PANIC! Swaddling blankets like Swaddle Me's are amazing. I suggest having two at the very least. We got use to swaddling her with ours then she spit up all over it in the middle of the night. We felt lost. Luckily our hospital blankets were clean. Babies like to be swaddled. They are use to being in confined spaces and so when they are swaddled they feel relaxed. We learned quickly that we had a magical baby that escaped her swaddle in the middle of the night waking herself up. Thankfully Mama Momo lent me her Pea Wee Baby Swaddler and it was amazing! Haleigh slept all the way through the night. So my suggestion? Get at the very least one swaddling blanket.
     I thought "if I keep my baby's nails short enough there is no need for her who have those mits" I was wrong. The first time I saw a tiny scratch mark on my baby's face I was convinced that baby mittens are a must. It's a pretty simple thing that sometimes you forget about but they are needed and more then just one pair.
     You know those cute little sleepers that just have the elastic at the bottom of them? Yeah, well they are genius especially for the middle of the night changes. A baby is going to wake up if you are unbuttoning or unsnapping and moving their legs around but if you are just lifting up and changing the diaper, most of the time you will escape with a barely awake baby. So although they aren't very 'manly' they are practical - one day my little boy will rock them, yours should too!
     For the first month don't worry about 'outfits' stick to sleepers, fleece pj's, and onesies. For the most part the first month you are hanging around the house anyway. Oh! Something I just remembered, when you are picking out an outfit for the baby to go home in, bring an outfit in a newborn size and one in a preemie. Despite what clothes labels say, most of the time they are lying to you. Haleigh was a 7lb baby and didn't fit in to her 'going home outfit' that said under 7lbs until she was 2 months old.
Moby Wrap
     A boppy. I LOVE my boppy! A boppy can be used for nursing, to hold a baby, to help in the sitting up process later on, and just a wonderful pillow. Haleigh was a baby that spit up a lot when she was first born and I mean A LOT! So I did the unthinkable and laid her in a boppy at night time. Tada it seemed to cure her reflux problems. It's an amazing help with nursing a baby as well.
Mei Tai
     What I found very helpful was a Moby Wrap. Your baby is going to be the most at ease when they are in  your arms hearing your heartbeat. I was lucky enough to have a friend who lent me hers until I was able to get one myself. Moby wraps seem complicated at first but I promise they aren't. I was shown one time how to use it and from then on out I was a pro. Soon I'll be doing a compare and contrast entry on all the carriers I have. I have a Moby, which is PERFECT for a newborn, a baby bjorn - which I'm not a huge fan of but can be used for newborns and up, a Mei Tai carrier that is great for I'd say 10lbs and up - baby can be worn on your back, and I have a Boba carrier which is good for 10lbs and up -
baby can also be worn on your back with this carrier. Out of all of these the
Ring Sling
only one I don't really prefer is my baby bjorn. We used it more often when Haleigh was first born then now. I don't have a ring sling but have used them before and really like them. Ring slings are so versatile and can be used in many ways. This is also a good option for a breastfeeding mama. I plan on making my own ring sling as soon as I have the time to because Haleigh enjoys being carried on my hip.
     A few other must haves are thermometer, hats, extra bottles, extra pacifiers, and if you can swipe more then one of those gross nose sucker things I suggest you do. They are gross but will save your baby the first time they have a really bad cold.
     Some things that I feel you definitely do not need right away are baby monitors - for the first month at least you are pretty much attached to your baby, newborn bathrobes, a ton of newborn clothes, try to ask for a lot of 0-3 and 3-6 month clothing for your baby shower, shoes - although they are cute you most likely will not put them on the baby, toys, fancy outfits, burp clothes (some people use this religiously - I've still never used one). I'm sure there are more but for right now this is all I can think of. I will come back and add to this as I remember.
     I hope this has helped at least a little. I am always open for questions! Remember, no matter what anyone tells you FOLLOW YOUR GUT! No one knows better for your child then you do (and some times your mom).
     I will eventually be doing a blog on what is in my diaper bag. :)

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Could this be...

     Every day my body fights against itself because of the Endo. However, when I get sick my body sort of forgets about the Endo and attacks whatever else is wrong with me. So when I get a cold, like I have now, my pain worsens. Which, to be honest with you, I do not think is fair. Hello?! Do I not have to deal enough with being sick! Hmph. That's just the way it is though, it's something I've come to expect when I get sick. However, today my pain is so severe I'm finding my self crying out in pain. I was at work this morning going through someone's clothes that they were consigning and started sneezing. I believe they have a cat in their house - which I'm allergic to. Sneezing hurts normally but this was intense. It feels like I have a balloon filled with air inside of me. I have a lot of outwards pressure with sharp pain when I move, sneeze, go to the bathroom, anything. I am wondering if this isn't the Endometriosis pain but possible IC pain? I have the appointment with the Urologist on Wednesday and I'll be talking to them about this. I know for sure that when I go to the bathroom I shouldn't be crying out in pain because of the pressure/sharp pain that I'm having though. I know that is not normal. I've dealt with this pain before, it isn't, by any means, a new pain but it is a severe pain. I've always just thought it was Endo, possibly growing on my bladder. Now I'm thinking maybe it isn't. Maybe it is something else. *sigh* I guess we'll see. For now I'm at home waiting for the pain medicine to kick in. My grama has Haleigh until Tyrone gets off of work. I hope I'll be feeling better later.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Teething sucks!

     My poor baby is miserable! I'm pretty sure she is teething again. Before her two bottom teeth came in (on father's day) she had a fever, runny nose, a rash, just all around not feeling well. For the past week or so she's been gnawing on her hand or whatever she could get in her mouth. If she takes your finger she puts it to the back of her mouth, where her molers would be, and chomps down. On the bottom right side it's really hot and hard. I haven't felt anything poke through yet and I don't think the back molers are what are 'suppose' to come next but I think they are. I've also been told that it's possible for her to go through all the symptoms but then no tooth come through. What is that? That should be against the law!
     Anyway, for the last week she's been gnawing on things and drooling through multiple bibs and outfits a day. Now she's got a fever, runny nose, and yesterday she had a rash. She is not a happy camper. I won't lie, I am a bit spoiled. I have an amazingly good baby who very rarely cries, isn't a clinger, plays on her own, so on and so forth. I am blessed. Keeping this in mind, I have no idea how to handle this whiny monster (I mean this in a joking way - for those who don't know my sense of humor) my daughter has become. She cries every time I walk out of her line of vision, she wants to be held all the time, she's just not happy and I feel horrible for her. My baby's smiles are gone and it breaks my heart! I believe that she's not just teething but also has cold. Why do I think this? Because I have it, as well as every baby that has come in the store. I've been giving her tylenol to help with the pain and the fever but it just isn't cutting it. I've been thinking for a while now of getting an amber necklace for her because they are known to help with teething. Today our store was stocked with a few amber necklaces so I purchased one and immediately put it on her. I know it isn't magic so it won't automatically stop her pain (though I'd like it to) so I'm just waiting and seeing how she is for the next few days while wearing it. At the very least it's adorable on her. For those who don't know anything about amber necklaces..

"Amber teething necklace is a traditional baby teething remedy. A natural analgesic, amber used for centuries in Europe. Wearing Baltic amber close to the skin will help calm a baby without resorting to drugs. Natural anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties of baltic amber are perfect to soothe teething babies.

Amber should be worn on the skin. Amber teething necklaces relieve the pain of teething in babies and toddlers when the necklace lays against the skin during the day. Baby necklace is not for chewing or wearing at night!

The string is knotted between each bead so should the necklace break (which it should if necessary), all of the beads will not be scattered.

The color of baby necklaces depends on the style and can be white, honey, butterscotch also there may polished amber beads or raw amber beads.

     Of course I know that someone, somewhere is going to tell me that it is unsafe. However, if you read about them you know that they have a breakaway clasp and (like stated above) a knot between each bead so if the necklace does break only one bead is dropped. I've done my research. After about a week or so I'll probably be doing an update on how/if the necklace is helping. Wish us luck!

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Chocolate Diaries - Book Review

The Chocolate Diaries
by Karen Scalf Linamen

     I loved reading this book. Karen took stories from women who were experiencing different problems in their lives and put them together. Karen shows us that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I thoroughly loved that at the end of each chapter was a recipe having to do with chocolate. I know I can't wait to try the fab fondue! 
     One of my favorite chapters was Eat Chocolate. Write More. Feel Better. where she says "When we journal about these events, the narrative we create helps anchor the trauma...In other words, we take the floating puzzle pieces and find permanent places for them in the bigger picture of our lives. Plus, making a coherent story out of events that feel messy or chaotic helps us feel more in control." This is something that hit home. I love to write, I have always loved to write. Many people in my life think that it is odd that I keep an online journal and a private diary. When you think of someone keeping a diary you think of a teenage girl writing about a cute boy she met, or at least that's what I think of. However, I choose to keep a journal because I learned a long time a go that writing out what is going on in my life and how I'm feeling about it, is a huge release. I wasn't sure that anyone else understood that, but I see that Karen does and I love her for sharing this with me. 
     Karen's book was very inspiring to me, definitely a book that I would encourage my friends to buy.

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.*

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nope, sorry.

     The last time I wrote I was in better spirits because I had just learned that the doctors I was going to see were the doctors that were suppose to do surgery on me for my Endometriosis. So much weight had been lifted off my shoulders with this news. I went in there with high spirits only to be shot down. Here's how the appointment went:
     New Dr.: Hi Nicole.. tell me about what is going on, your health history, your mom and dad's health history, your bf's health history, his families health history, how your daughter is doing and when you are going to have another child.
     New Dr.: Alright let's start off with an ultrasound and go from there.
     New Dr.: Okay so, your uterus looks good (SN: I've been told I have a text book looking uterus before - multiple times, by multiple doctors so this was not a surprise), your right ovary looks like it has 25 cysts in it and your left ovary has about 6 in it. So I can see why you are still having pain. You are still ovulating. You may just need to give the Mirena a little more time to kick in. Get dressed and we'll talk across the hall.
     Me: PCOS?
     New Dr.: your right looks a little Poly cystic but not enough to diagnose.
     New Dr.: Have you ever heard of Lupron?
     Me: I do not want to take Lupron
     New Dr: Can I ask why?
     Me: I'm a person who gets the side effects of medication, unfortunately and I've read about Lupron and it can have really bad side effects. I just feel like having all those side effects replacing the pain isn't a pro for me. Plus it's not a guarantee to get rid of the pain.
     New Dr: I understand but we've seen it help a lot of patients before.
     Me: It's just not something I want to take.
     New Dr: Okay, I won't force it on you. Well, it looks like to me that we should try Letrozole along with your Mirena and see if that helps. It's helped in the past with your pain so I think that is a good route. I do not think surgery is the best idea right now.
     Me: Why? Dr. Stovall thought it was a good idea and he said you all would do the surgery.
     New Dr: I'm sorry he said that to you. He should not have promised you surgery. I just don't think that surgery is a good option now. Last time you only got 2 months of relief. I don't feel like that is enough time to have you go through surgery again. Especially not with a little one to take care of.
     Me: But what if it's more this time? Last time I wasn't on any medication after surgery and this time I would be on two. I honestly think this time it will be better.
     New Dr: I'm sorry I just don't feel like it's a good idea. Let's try the Letrozole and see if that helps.
     Me: And if it doesn't?
     New Dr: Other then the Lupron that's all the medication that we try for Endo. We can set you up with Pain Management and they can help control the pain.
     Me: Isn't Pain Management just going to control medication? They aren't going to actually deal with what is causing me pain they are just trying to cover up the pain. I want to be cured I do not want to take more pills.
     New Dr: Yes, as far as I know, they only deal with Medications. I'm also going to refer you to a Urologist. I think some thing else may be wrong. Endometriosis should not give you pain every day. It should only give you pain through your cycle. That leads me to believe that something else is wrong.
     Me: Something else? *tears*
     New Dr: I'm not taking away the Endo diagnoses. We know you have Endo but I think something else may be wrong, possibly Interstitial cystitis, which is something with the bladder. You've been to a doctor to look at your bowels, you've seen us for you uterus, the only other thing in that area is the bladder. 
     Me: So I'm getting referrals to a Urologist and Pain Management? 
     New Dr: Yes and I'll see you back in about 6 weeks or so to see how things are going. 

      So I went from being told I was having surgery to not. Although this may seem like a good thing to some people, because after all why would someone want surgery? But it is not a good thing, it is a horrible thing actually. My goal was surgery. Surgery could help. Even if this time I only got 5 months of relief. I don't think the doctor understands that those 5 months are needed. I don't think she understands that ANY day with out pain is a miracle for me. When I step back from the situation I understand where she is coming from but I can't step back for long. I'm in pain. I'm in massive amounts of pain. I am in so much pain that I can't deal with daily tasks. I cannot live my life on pain killers. I can't function on pain killers and to be honest I don't want to be able to function on them. Being able to function on them means I'm taking too many and getting too use to it. I don't want to be dependent on any medication especially not a narcotic.  
    Yesterday I got the appointments with Pain Management and a Urologist. The Urologist is 2 weeks from today and the pain management is mid September. Everyone thinks going to the pain management is going to be great for me. I'm more skeptical. I feel like they are just going to handle medications so my doctors don't have to deal with it. I want to hope for the best but it's hard. 
     So, this is what has been going on in my life lately. I'm sorry it's not well written, I'm sorry it's taken me a while to write it but I needed time to let things settle in my head. I still am trying to get past this all in my head. It makes me angry and upset. I'm disappointed and frustrated. I'll update more when I know more. 

Information on things I've talked about in this entry:

     LUPRON DEPOT® (leuprolide acetate for depot suspension) 3.75 mg and –3 Month 11.25 mg is used for the management of endometriosis, including pain relief and reduction of endometriotic lesions. LUPRON DEPOT with daily norethindrone acetate 5 mg is also indicated for initial management of endometriosis and for management of recurrence of symptoms. The recommended initial treatment is no more than 6 months. Repeat treatment for endometriosis should be limited to 6 months.
     LUPRON DEPOT given with norethindrone acetate may lower your HDL-cholesterol level (the “good” cholesterol). You should not take norethindrone acetate with LUPRON DEPOT if you currently have or have previously had any clotting disorder, heart disease, stroke, liver disease or breast cancer.      Tell your health care provider before beginning treatment with norethindrone acetate if you currently have or have previously had high cholesterol, migraines, epilepsy, depression, or smoke.
During treatment with LUPRON DEPOT and norethindrone acetate, immediately tell your doctor if you have a sudden loss of vision, double vision, or if migraine headaches occur. You should notify your doctor if you experience fluid retention, epilepsy, asthma or worsening of asthmatic symptoms, heart or kidney problems.
      Thinning of the bones may occur during therapy with LUPRON DEPOT alone, which may not be completely reversible in some patients. Since some conditions may increase the possibility of bone thinning, you should tell your doctor if you smoke, use alcohol in excess, have a family history of osteoporosis (thinning of the bones with fractures), or are taking other medications that can cause thinning of the bones. You should be aware that repeat treatment with LUPRON DEPOT alone is not advisable if you have these conditions.
     After beginning LUPRON DEPOT, your estrogen levels will increase for 1 or 2 weeks. During this time, you may notice an increase in your current symptoms. You should notify your doctor if you develop any new or worsened symptoms after beginning LUPRON DEPOT treatment.
     LUPRON DEPOT is not a method of birth control. Even though you may not have periods, unprotected intercourse could result in pregnancy. You should use non-hormonal birth control such as condoms, a diaphragm with contraceptive jelly, or an IUD to prevent pregnancy. If you think you have become pregnant while on LUPRON DEPOT, talk to your doctor immediately.
     There is a possibility of the development or worsening of depression and/or the occurrence of forgetfulness.
     Patients who have a history of depression should be carefully observed during treatment.
     The most common side effects of LUPRON DEPOT include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, headaches, changes in mood, decreased interest in sex, depression and/or the occurrence of forgetfulness.
     LUPRON DEPOT must be administered in your doctor’s office.
     This is the most important information to know about LUPRON DEPOT. For more information, talk with your health care provider.

Interstitial cystitis (int-uhr-STISH-uhl siss-TYT-uhss) (IC), is a chronic pain condition that affects the bladder. Many experts now call it bladder pain syndrome (BPS). Symptoms of IC/BPS include:
  • Pain or discomfort believed to be related to the bladder, which often gets worse as the bladder fills.
  • Feeling like you need to urinate right away (urgency), often (frequency), or both. Most people urinate between 4 and 7 times a day. Yet with IC/BPS, the bladder may hold less urine. People with severe IC/BPS urinate as often as 30 times a day.
  • Pain, pressure, or tenderness in the pelvic area and/or genitals.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse, or pain during ejaculation for men.
  • Ulcers and/or bleeding in the bladder.
The symptoms of IC/BPS vary from person to person and can change over time. Women's symptoms often get worse during their menstrual periods. Some people with IC/BPS feel only mild discomfort. Others have severe pain and symptoms.
IC/BPS can greatly affect a person's quality of life. Severe cases of IC/BPS can keep people from going to work or school and being socially active. It can affect a person's sex life and relationships. Living with a chronic condition can increase your risk of depression.

No one knows what causes IC/BPS. The following factors may play a role in IC/BPS:
  • A defect in the bladder wall that allows substances in the urine to irritate the bladder.
  • A specific type of cell that releases histamine (HISS-tuh-meen) (chemical released during an allergic reaction) and other chemicals, which lead to symptoms of IC/BPS.
  • Something in the urine that damages the bladder.
  • Changes in the nerves that carry bladder sensations, making normal events, such as bladder filling, painful.
  • The body's immune system attacks the bladder.
It's hard to know if some of these factors actually cause IC/BPS or are part of the process that leads to IC/BPS. Also, the causes of IC/BPS in some people may be different than the causes in other people with IC/BPS. Studies of people who have IC/BPS suggest that it sometimes develops after an injury to the bladder, such as an infection. Genes also may play a role in some forms of IC/BPS. In some cases, IC/BPS affects both a mother and daughter or sisters. Still, IC/BPS does not commonly run in families.


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