Separation Anxiety: Part 1

15 Jun

I remember laying in the bed late at night and I felt like was dreaming and I had to go to the bathroom. All of a sudden it felt like a little was seeping out and I thought “I am too old to wet the bed!” So I got up and went to the bathroom. As I finished and I was about to wash my hands there was a big (sorry so graphic) gush of fluid…my water broke! I yelled out “your son is coming!” I waddled into the bedroom, called the doctor and proceeded to pack a bag. No, my bag was not packed because I was going into labor six weeks early. On the way to the hospital my water broke AGAIN!

Once I got to the hospital things went pretty smoothly until it was time to push. The doctor came in, halfway through, and saw that there was another water pocket obstructing the path for my son to come out. Once that was broken I gave one good push and he slid out.  When my placenta did not come easily the doctor informed me that it was attached to my uterine wall. The nurses took a couple of pictures my me and my baby and I was taken up to surgery to have my placenta separated from my uterus. When I came back down my baby was not in the room and I was half delusional as I was being told that my son had complications and had to be taken to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and I would only be able to see him for a few minutes before they took him. They brought him in a big incubator with a lot of wires connected and not two minutes after they rolled him in alarms started ringing and they had to take him away.

Not two hours after giving birth I was left in the hospital room by myself with no baby.

Go with your Gut

2 Jun

Pregnancy brings so many changes in body, emotions, hormones, not to mention the uncertainties about the Do’s and Dont’s during pregnancy.  To help guide me through those uncertain times I thumbed through What to Expect When You’re Expecting and a really cool book I got in my Welcome pack from my O.B.’s office.

The book I got from the Welcome package went through the different stages of development, what’s going on with the baby and what they look like. I loved it so much and tried to contain myself to only read about the stage my baby was in. What to Expect was more for me and what I was experiencing and I found it very helpful. Anytime I had questions about what I was seeing or feeling I looked to “the book”. 

I had a pretty rough pregnancy. It started with the four months of “All Day” sickness, then I got the news about the possibility of  birth defects, I started gaining weight like a baby elephant and I had the worst pain I ever experienced shooting from my right buttock straight down my leg. If you haven’t experienced the wrath of the sciatic nerve count yourself blessed because the pain is indescribable. The best was I could describe it was by saying I wanted to cut my leg off just to get rid of the pain, YES it was that bad! I’m sure the weight gain wasn’t helping. However, I didn’t understand what was going on with me because I was eating right and getting in exercise but I just kept swelling up. Eventually it got to the point where my feet where too wide to wear shoes and I couldn’t even put on my own socks. I remember one day crying because I couldn’t get them on and when I got to work I sat in the records room trying to decide what I was going to do. I was upset and embarrassed but  I had to ask one of my to put them on for me. When I went to the Doctor he told me to watch what I was eating because I could end up having gestational diabetes. He thought it was my eating habits that was causing the weight gain but I knew I was eating pretty well so things just were not adding up. I was just gaining weight I was swelling and I was severely overheated. My feet would get so hot I tried putting my socks in the freezer to help cool them off, and this was in February! So I went to “the book” and my symptoms were those described for someone with preeclampsia. I called the doctors and they blew me off and I called again and he told me, over the phone, that the swelling was hereditary.  I took it as I was being the hypochondriac that I am known for being and I trusted the doctor. I should have went with my gut!

One day while at work the sciatic nerve pain was even more excruciating than ever, which I didn’t think was possible. I left work early and two days later I went into labor, six weeks early!

Take One for the Team

25 May

This week I decided to step into the present with my post because I had a very proud moment on Monday.

My children (ages 5 & 6) and I practically live in our car, if you look inside you would think we LITERALLY lived in there, so music is a must. When they were infants I had the Baby Mozart and Bach, and as they got a little older I got the Dora. Well as you all know kids will watch and listen to the same thing on repeat all day everyday. I tried listening to the radio and the music that is out right now just is NOT what I want my kids to repeat or imitate. So I decided to “take one for the team”! I could not take Dora anymore so I bought a set of 8 CDs that total to 200 songs, to give ME a little variety.

For about the last month we have been listening to one of the 8 cds pretty consistently,when I do have to take a break I now turn on a gospel station, and they now know most of the words to most of the songs. All of the songs are educational in some form. There are songs about vowel sounds, different species of reptiles, the planets and safety. Since we listen to them so much I started asking them questions about the songs: Is a lion a carnivore or herbivore? How many vowels are there? What are they? What do you do if you get lost in a store?

On Monday the latter was put to the test. We were in a store and my daughter kept lagging behind, despite my telling her to stay with me. Finally I walked over to the next aisle and stood there. First I heard her call me once. Then I slowly walked over so that I could see her but she couldn’t see me. She walked up to the front and she said to the cashier “Excuse me, I can’t find my mommy. Can you help me?” I walked over with a big smile on my face. The man who was checking out looked at me like I was crazy but I could only smile. He didn’t know that we have been listening to a song that told my children “when you get lost in a store do not walk around looking for your mom and dad. Go to a store clerk and tell them you can not find your mom and dad”. I have quizzed them and asked them to make sure they understood not to go to just anyone but to go to a register so that way they know for sure the person works there. I was ecstatic to know that it all sunk in!

So I say to all the moms, and dads, “take one for the team”  and keep talking to your kids! Kids do absorb what’s around them so try your best to make sure you are surrounding them with good, positive information. Also,  talk to them about what they hear and what they see so that you know they understand. Once you do this you can then, stand back and enjoy the fruits of your work!

Decisions Decisions

18 May

Finding an OB is a daunting task any time you have to do it. After asking around I decided to go with a recommendation to a practice at a local hospital. I called them when I tested positive with the home pregnancy test and I went in 10 weeks later and had my first ultrasound. I will never forget that image of the little tiny arms and legs flailing all around and after seeing that I was in love with my little pookie!

Unfortunately for me my nausea continued for the next four months! No, I didn’t have “morning” sickness, I had ALL DAY sickness and not even that kept me from gaining. I was eating more fruits and vegetables than ever before and I even had my mom make oatmeal cookies from scratch. I didn’t understand what was happening.

With all that was happening with my body changes and sickness, the biggest blow I got was when I went in to get the results of my AFP + QUAD tests, they were positive and that meant my baby could have Spina bifida or Down syndrome. This is devastating news for anyone to hear but as a 23 year old, first time mom I was just confused. I thought I was doing everything right: eating right, exercising, taking my vitamins and I was young! Over the next few weeks I had a few different ultrasounds, the only good thing about this was the extra pics, and they said the Doctor said the ultrasounds were inconclusive. The only other option to get more definitive results was  to do an amniocentesis. Once they told me the risks versus the benefits the decision was easy: I didn’t do it.

Mother’s “DAY”?

9 May

Make every day "Mother's Day"

Mother’s Day can be a very touchy subject for some. I think that the greeting card, floral and jewelry industries has us feeling that we need something from a store in order to feel appreciated and loved and when we don’t get those items we feel unloved and unappreciated. Some feel that Mother’s Day just isn’t right if you don’t get your “mommy time”, as we all need and deserve on the regular basis not just one day. However, just like any other day it doesn’t necessarily work out that way just because it’s Mother’s Day. I did some reflection and this year I decided not to convince myself that because this day has been chosen to observe all that we as mother’s do, I can not expect my children to be perfectly well-behaved, traffic to part for me and everyone to skip down the street with laughter while I  listen to the birds chirp. Nice try right? Instead I decided to look at Mother’s “Day” from my reality glasses and enjoy my day for what it is…a day where people decide to take the time and “observe” and show appreciation for the mother’s in their lives and all they do year round.

Days before the observance of Mother’s Day my six-year-old son kept saying “mom I need to get my money out my bank so I can get you some roses.” I smiled and told him to save his money and he could draw me some roses. He was not happy with that idea at all. “No mom I need to buy you some roses from the store.” They even got to my six-year-old!  The friday before the observance he brought home a gift he made in school and was so excited to give it to me but I told him I would wait until the day of. All weekend my children were so excited for Mother’s day and were thinking of all kinds of things they could do and buy for me.

When the day finally came they came in my room and said Happy Mother’s Day, my son gave me my gift he made and they sang me a mother’s day song. My son then said “we have to go cook mommy breakfast” and I had to stop them in their tracks. Since they couldn’t cook breakfast, and my daughter was upset she didn’t have a gift to give me, they sat on the floor and made me, my mom, our aunt and whoever else came to mind a card. At that moment I wanted to do something  for them because I appreciated how much they wanted to show their appreciation.  This year I really had a chance to be okay with not getting  flowers, jewelry or a store-bought card and not being able to spend the day at a spa or in the house having “mommy time” but not having those items or opportunities doesn’t mean I’m less loved or appreciated than those who did. The few hours I spent away from my children I had a great lunch with my mom and sister and afterward I went to get a manicure.

Overall, I feel good about how my day was spent because franklyimamom, and as on the other 364 “Mother’s Day” days, I spent most of my day being one.

* For history on Mother’s Day check  Related links

Things Change- It’s just the beginning

2 May

When I first became a teenager I remember being very self-conscious about my body. I wore baggy jeans that I could take off without unbuttoning, big bulky sneakers, and shirts I was swimming in. Even when I got a little older and did decide to “show a little skin” I felt uncomfortable, of course now I would kill to have that body again.

 By my junior year of high school I became a little more comfortable with my body and I embraced it. I appreciated that  I could eat what I wanted without having to workout a lick. Once I hit college I loved to shop because I could go in just about any store and grab a 4 or a 6 and knew it would fit, until it didn’t!

I remember going to buy a pair of jeans, my usual size 6, and they didn’t quite fit. So I figured “well we (my boyfriend and I) have been going out to eat a lot, I guess it’s starting to catch up to me” and didn’t think much of it. Not more than a couple of weeks later I was in the mall with a friend and decided to get some jeans and this time the 8 didn’t fit! I thought “there is no way I am bigger than an 8 that fast?” I think I tried on a few styles before I realized it was me and not the jeans. During the next few days, maybe weeks, I was feeling nauseous, and then the vomiting started as did the processing of what was going on with me. “I have gained weight really fast, I have been really nauseous lately, did I miss a cycle?” I took a home pregnancy test and realized that the weight gain was just the beginning of the many changes I was getting ready to go through. 

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It’s Not Just You

24 Apr

When I first decided to write a blog many topics came to mind. I decided to start with what I have been totally consumed by: Motherhood!

Over the years I have become very candid about different parts of my life, namely my experiences as a mother. I am willing to talk about my 70 pound weight gain, my sciatica problems, not being able to put my own socks on (even while sitting), the time poop came shooting at me like it was came from a cannon, and the six weeks my son spent in the NICU. I of course shared these events with my friends and family although not many of them could relate.  They did however have their own experiences to share in an empathetic, and sometimes sympathetic, way.

Just talking to other moms and sharing and venting can give you a sense of support that you can’t get in any other way.  However, moms tend to want to give the perception of perfection and therefore we infrequently share our mishaps and misfortunes in our journey of raising children because we don’t want to get  the “gasp and look”, and you know what I’m referring to!

I want Franklyimamom to be a place where moms can feel comfortable sharing their experiences without worrying about being judged. I hope that in coming here and reading this blog you feel like part of a group and not feel like you’re alone in this. I want you to read this and sigh a breath of relief as you think…                                                                  “so it’s not just me”.