Sunday, February 28, 2010

Life, Updated

Hi, everyone! Wow, what a past week or so it's been! My goodness. A quick, quick update (because I have TONS of other stuff I should be doing....)

We had a lovely visit from my aunt and uncle last weekend, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Now, if you've ever seen my aunt's house, you know that she has superior decorating skills. I love her house and want mine to be exactly like hers! (We both adore the British blue & white look.) However, though I've recently tried to start self-educating myself on decorating (having no innate skills whatsoever), my house is completely undecorated (a combo of 3 pregnancies, three moves, and a whole lotta fatigue over the past four years having something to do with that). So... my aunt suffered valiantly in silence for 24 hours, and then lost it completely and went on a midnight rearrangement spree in my kitchen. At first I was surprised, but by the end of their visit I was wiping the drool from my chin while following her around and saying "So, what do you think I could do here? And here? And here?" We are now madly corresponding via email with ideas, almost all of which are longterm projects.

But seriously, after I spent all of Monday morning working (in between kidlet time) to decorate the tiny shelves over my kitchen sink and found how pleasurable it felt afterwards, I realized how much stress I've been under living in a visually unpleasing space. I'm starting to realize how much effect our surroundings have on us! It's surprising! Each time I enter a room, my eye is drawn to all the points that either please or pain me, and it really affects how I feel. So.... I'm trying to do my best to declutter, spruce up, rearrange, whatever. The basics will probably take me the next ten years (as I said, I'm slow), but I'm doing my best - the best I can do with little to no artistic talent!

I went garage-sale-ing for the first time in about 20 years on Saturday; only made it to one very depleted garage sale, but I snagged a wood shelf for $3 (and then spent about $30 on supplies to fix it up, LOL!). My first project! I'm so proud!

Moving on....

My world was rocked a few weeks ago when I learned to my infinite surprise and grief that two good friends of ours, a married couple, are in the beginning stages of a divorce. Now granted, divorce is (unfortunately) no uncommon thing. We have one going on in DH's family right now, as a matter of fact. But this was no ordinary couple. This was THE couple. One of several couples I know and tremendously admire and have always looked up to as an impossible-to-attain role model. I didn't just want to be LIKE them - I wanted to BE them. I wanted their marriage... their amazing kids.... their talents.... their hobbies...... their house.... their herb garden..... their decorating scheme - everything! So I walked around in a daze for about 72 hours after the news made it to our airwaves.... and I am so grieved for them. Not only must something have been wrong for a long, long time, but they must have been suffering unmentionable pain while trying to present a smiling face to the world. Now I'm just trying to figure out how to show love and support while not being invasive or insensitive. Quite a quandary.

Again, moving on....

I had quite a week this week! While my parents were in town I toured three schools that we were considering as possibilities for our children. One was a definite "no," one was a "maybe but probably not," and one was a "Yes! Yes! YES!!!!!" I'll write more on that later, but it is SO wonderful to have a direction and a hope in this area. I'm continuing to dig myself out of the non-homeschooling-mother guilt-pit, and finding this wonderful school was a big help.

We returned to our (now former) church yesterday for the beautiful wedding of a dear, dear friend, and it was beyond wonderful. At first I had been dreading it, since we left so recently, but by the time it rolled around I was eager to be back and see people, and it was beautiful. Actually it started out dreadfully.... This was a "children are welcome" wedding, so I had baby sitting on my lap. Our pastor walked up to the podium and said "Good afternoon!"... and baby immediately started screaming his head off. So I had to beat a rapid retreat to the cry room, and subsequently missed the entire wedding. So I spent the first bit of the afternoon in tears over this (and I am NEVER bringing a baby to a wedding AGAIN), but I was able to get into the sanctuary for the first kiss and postlude, and the rest of the afternoon made up (mostly!) for the beginning. It was so lovely to see everyone again! Now if they would only have events like this more often, I could get my "ex-church-fix" on a regular basis. I think I need to start matchmaking church members so that I can have a steady supply of weddings!

More to write, but even more to do! Love to all!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pics of Baby, Family, Life in General

Baby in Moby Wrap, our older son at his favorite place, the train museum, and some life-in-general pics.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I'll probably be out for the next 10 days or so due to house guests. Love to all!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Still Here!

Wow! It's been so long since I updated this blog (with a personal entry, that is) that I had to go back and see when the last entry was - and it was almost a month and a half ago! There's no way that I can write that big of an update, but I thought I'd at least check in. Hubby and son are napping right now (or rather, hubby is napping and our son is sitting in his bed singing Thomas the Tank Engine songs), but baby has made it clear that a nap is not in the works for either of us (he's laying on the floor grinning at me), so I may as well write! Unfortunately, the layout of our house makes it nearly impossible to get anything done during nap times (except something silent like paperwork) because every room is both highly visible and highly audible from our son's bedroom. So... can't cook, can't clean, can't vacuum, etc. If we ever buy another house, we will without a doubt be looking for a house where the bedrooms are off around a corner somewhere!

Moving on...

We are doing well. Lately I have been frantically, frantically busy, but not with anything of particular interest! Cooking, cleaning, planning, playing with trains, reading books, attending MOMS playdates, going to the park and the library, morning routines, evening routines, meals, dishes - the whole deal. Life is quite tiring!

Physically, though, it's wonderful to see how much easier it is to recover from (1) a second birth, as opposed to a first birth, and (2) a non-HG pregnancy. The two combined with our first made for one exhausting postpartum year. In fact, I didn't really feel "better" until baby was about 15 months old. Now, I feel fine and have felt fine for months! (Besides being constantly sleep-deprived, that is.) Of course, one of the consequences of a non-HG pregnancy has been another 20 pounds of baby weight to lose, but let's be real!! Postpartum baby weight is infinitely to be preferred over a fashionably-slim HG pregnancy! So I am very grateful for the fact that I have extra pounds to lose rather than not having them because I had a miserable HG pregnancy.

Baby's six-month birthday is coming up soon, and at that point I'm going to do a review of my pregnancy and birth experience. I'll also be watching my birth video!! I read a book (I think it was "Birthing from Within") that said that one shouldn't watch one's birth video for at least six months post-birth in order to let one's birth memories form naturally in one's mind. I thought it sounded like a great idea, so I have avoided watching my birth video (the rest of the family has watched it already). I'm looking forward to seeing it! Of course, I may not be able to look my midwives or doulas in the eye after I see how I behaved (as I remember it, I was making noises that resembled something like a bull moose during mating season), but we shall see. :)

One great result of this past birth (I'll write more on this at the time) is that I have lost my fear of childbirth. With my first birth I found a deep self-respect and experienced a powerful personal transformation, and with this last birth I found my strength. It really was an experience of having to face my fears (after going through birth the first time, I was really scared of having to do it again). Now that I've done it again, I have lost that fear. I know that I CAN do it, regardless of how painful it is. It's a very freeing thing. In fact, the last time I saw a picture of a woman laboring in a tub, my first thought was "Oh my gosh, I want to be doing that again!" (Weird. Yes. And if I don't get a handle on our birth control situation, I most likely will be doing it again. I need to get a move on that.) But that in itself is the subject of another entry. Moving on....

We are settling in well at our new church. I am still grieving for my home church, but life is continuing on. One good thing is that I already know many people at our new church; the other good thing is that I can see most of my old church family on Facebook (thank goodness for Facebook!). I miss them all, and I know that there are a lot of hurt feelings - but at least I still have connections and friends with whom I am in touch.

I have been steadily working toward my (temporary) goal of putting aside my hobbies (mainly childbirth research and lore) in order to focus on growing as a mother and focusing on my family, and the results have been good. I've read a lot of good books and learned a lot of things. I realize now that I wasted a lot of my first son's infancy in trying to "fit him in" to my life - the life that was strictly scheduled, spent almost 100% at home (I don't need to get out much for my own needs), and perfectly in order (yes, I'm that person who used to use a toothbrush on the baseboards... compulsively... and still do when I have time). The other day I realized that I had never dealt with the nursing-in-public issue with my first son... because we never went anywhere but church! Seriously! We didn't do parks, the library, anything. I was too busy trying to keep up with my pre-kiddo housekeeping and cooking standards. Now that baby #2 is here and my standards are 10% of what they used to be (on a good day), we are out of the house all the time - park, library, playdates, etc. - which is a really good thing. And I'm learning to get over embarrassment at public nursing! (While I am a discreet nurser, I do not believe it is reasonable to ask a mother to nurse in a public bathroom - yuck! - or give baby formula, or make baby wait till the family goes home. There is nothing wrong with modest public nursing! But let's not get started, because we'd be here a while.) So life is different, life is changing, and I'm trying to go along with the flow. What an adventure!!

Speaking of life changing, I am gradually (and nervously) starting to research elementary schools as I move away from the homeschooling life. In two weeks I have two school tours scheduled, and I am hoping to have answers by then for what we want to do. I hope so! Being in limbo is nerve-wracking.

I hope that everyone is well! Much, much love to everyone!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

HG: Frequency

I've been thinking lately - HG is supposed to be a rare disease, right? Then why do I know so many people who have experienced it? I'm going to make a list (with notes) to see how many people it really is ("X" is for where I don't know names). I will include personal acquaintances and friend/relative-of-personal-acquaintances. I will not list people whom I met because they had HG. Also, I am listing people who (like myself) had borderline HG, which might be classified either as HG or as severe morning sickness:

(1) S. - I met her randomly at my midwife's client reunion day. She has had 3 kiddos - normal morning sickness with the first, moderate HG with the second, and life-threatening HG with the third.

(2) J. - met her at the park near our home

(3) M. - met her in my MOMS club and only learned last week that she had morning sickness problems. She is one of those rare mamas for whom no anti-nausea drugs (including Zofran) worked.

(4) K. - church friend. She had four children, each two years apart, and was in bed for the first 20 weeks or so with each. How she managed that once she had a kidlet or two is beyond me.

(5) K. - another church friend. Her husband had to give her injections of anti-nausea meds. She is in complete agreement with me that none of the traditional remedies for morning sickness (ginger, etc.) really works when one is truly sick.

(6) X - sister of church friend R. She had to be flown across the country to get treatment (don't know the details).

(7) X - sister of church friend A.

(8) J. - sister-in-law of church friends A & A. She has had HG with 2 pregnancies. With her second, her insurance refused to pay for Zofran, so she said "Fine, then you can keep paying for my repeat hospitalizations!" Then she showed up at the hospital again and again until they caved and paid for Zofran.

(9) X - college friend of church friend A. This was severe, life-threatening HG that nearly ended her life. She said afterwards that she remembers little of her pregnancy because she was under the influence of so many drugs.

Okay, nine so far - that's a lot! So why is a rare disease so prevalent?

A couple of reasons pop to head, which have been mentioned before: (1) HG/severe morning sickness is one of the rare diseases which is unfortunately sometimes discounted, scorned, mocked, etc., rather than being taken seriously (as in "We all have morning sickness, so suck it up and deal with it!"), (2) HG can also be discounted by certain medical caregivers, which disempowers women to do anything about it, (3) When one recovers from HG, one has a baby to deal with! Not the best time for activism!

Any thoughts?

Have a wonderful day, everyone! Love to all!

Another Hyperemesis Story

Check out this mother's hyperemesis story!

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG): A Pregnancy Disease About Which Little is Understood

Hurray for correct grammar, LOL!!

At this time, I only know of four HG blogs in existence, though there are probably more. Lots of mamas have their HG-stories or blog-records of their HG-pregnancies on their personal blogs - like this story - but these stories are a lot harder to find, though they are much more plentiful.

It's always good to get HG stories out there!

Monday, February 1, 2010

New HG Blog: This is Awesome!

Okay, folks! Announcing the newest Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) blog!! This is really awesome!

Baby, You're Making Me Sick!

You can read her HG story, read about the various remedies she tried, and even see a video of her PICC line being put in (having an extremely weak stomach, I lasted about 10 seconds into the video).

It's so awesome to have another HG blog out there! Thank you!