Wednesday, October 16, 2013

One Year...

One year ago today

I had one of the most (mentally) difficult days I have ever experienced. I was feeling nauseated which is something I wish I never had to feel again and I decided to take a pregnancy test to "put my mind at ease". Well we all know how that worked out!! I was in shock and I LOST IT!! Alex was at work, Aidan was at his Maia's house, and I was home alone with 9 month old Colin. Thankfully a good friend stayed online to talk to me and try to calm me down for an hour and a half until Alex was home from work. 

I remember feeling shock (I had an IUD in, I should not have been pregnant!). I remember feeling guilt that Colin was so young still and I didn't know if/how I'd be able to care for him if I had hyperemesis again. I remember feeling terrified of going through another pregnancy, and so many other things too. I didn't even register the fact that I was going to have a baby - all I could think about is that I did not want to be pregnant. Even though I wasn't thinking about the baby at the end I do remember one of the first things Alex said was, "we are going to have THREE kids"! Haha, men. 

Now here we are one year later and we did it! I survived 207 days of being nauseated and throwing up, weeks of not being able to really eat or drink anything at all, a 20 pound weight loss, over 500 painful blood thinner injections in my stomach, three picc lines, daily Iv hydration and meds, preterm labor, the flu at 27 weeks, a 34 week birth, and a 12 day NICU stay. Now we have a daughter we never thought we would have and my boys were well loved by our families even when I wasn't able to be there for them and these are the most important things! 

I'm not completely better even though I'm no longer pregnant. If only it were that easy! I still have a lot of anxiety, my stomach is sensitive, I have awful nightmares, and the most random things will send me into a panic attack but I know all of these things will get better with time. I have been using exercise as my outlet and it really seems to help. I notice a big increase in anxiety when I miss a few days of working out. For right now working out is my anti anxiety "drug" and I hope to keep it that way. 

A lot of people have asked me if it (hyperemesis) was "worth it" and I guess it depends on a person's definition of the phrase. I usually say "yes" because that is what I am expected to say but it's more complicated than that. It definitely isn't worth it to me to get pregnant again to have another baby but if you ask me if I would do it again for Colin and Skylar the answer would be absolutely 100 times YES! I would do anything in the world for my kids. I'm just glad that my pregnancy with Skylar was a surprise because even though I wasn't sure I was done having kids before her, I never would have been able to choose to go through hyperemesis again... Ever. 

I am so amazed that something so so ugly (hyperemesis) can result in something so extremely beautiful. Here is my tougHGuy Colin and my tougHGirl Skylar. 


I am so thankful for all of the people that were there for us during the past two years - family, friends, my doctor, nurses (that became my friends!), and just everyone who had a hand in making sure we were taken care of. I don't know where we would have been without all of the support!! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What happens in Kindergarten...

This is Aidan's first week of Kindergarten and although a bit nervous about it he was also very excited. My mom and I (and the babies of course) walked him there for his first day and he did really well. Went right into his classroom, found his desk, and said goodbye to me. No kisses for me in the school because that would be WAY too embarrassing. 
This kid has grown up way too fast!

I decided after walking that first morning that I would be driving for now until the weather is cooler. 100* + temperatures is just way too hot even though the school is less than a mile away. 

After picking him up in the afternoon I was asking him how his day went and he was flipping all over the room. It's like they gave him some Red Bull during snack or something, seriously. Aidan is not generally a hyper kid but I guess sitting still for 6 hours makes him a bit stir crazy.

So, are you ready to hear what is going on in Kindergarten these days?? Well, here is what he told me........

Today when I got to school I was the first kid in my class so my teacher told me to sit at my desk. Then she put me to sleep and inserted a microchip in my neck that programs me to be able to dance. Now I can do the moonwalk*.

*said while doing a very interesting demonstration*

No matter how many times I asked him what he did at school and no matter who asked him, this is the response I got. Wha???? Kids have the wildest imaginations.

The only other thing he has really told me besides the basics about his day is that he had gym the other day and at gym he told the teacher that he thought the boys should all work on their abs by doing sit ups, planks, crunches, and v up roll ups. I wish I could have seen the teachers face when he said that.  

Aidan has now finished 6 days of school and he seems to be enjoying it for the most part. He has had a perfect report every day and has only asked to stay home because he was "sick" once. That little plan didn't work out like he'd planned. Hopefully he continues to do well and we figure out a way to get the ants out of his pants at the end of the day.

Oh yeah, I asked him what he wants to be when he grows up, and he told me he wants to be "a mechanical engineer with abs just like my dad". So there you have it! If you haven't noticed a pattern here, Aidan is recently obsessed with "getting abs" as he puts it. If we tell him that if he eats (insert favorite food here) then he won't be able to have abs, he actually won't eat it. Silly boy...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Skylar's 1, 2, and 3 Month update

 Life is a little bit busy with two kids that are 15 months apart (imagine that!) so I haven't been able to update my blog until recently but I will cram in three monthly updates at once. These updates are more for me to be able to look back on later anyway because I know that I won't remember anything without it!! 

1 month
Skye baby came home from the NICU when she was 12 days old and I was very quickly thrown into insanely busy mode. Colin was just 16 months and he can be quite a handful by himself so when you throw a newborn in the mix, well, things become a lot busier. 

She weighed about 5 1/2 pounds when she hit one month old and of course was still wearing all preemie clothes. In fact, there were many preemie clothes that were too big. 

At just 2 weeks old she started rolling over from her stomach to her back and I was lucky enough to be taking a video of her at the same time so I caught the moment on camera!

By 3 weeks old she was already very interested when people were taking to her and would turn her head and look at them. At 4 weeks we got our first "on purpose" smiles from her and she hasn't stopped since. Colin didn't smile (for real) until he was closer to 12 weeks (which was completely normal because he was also 6 weeks early so milestones typically go by adjusted age). It was shocking that Skylar started doing these things so early (2 weeks before she was even supposed to be born!) but maybe it's just the first glimpse of what life will be like with a girl. My little social butterfly.  

My hands (and my <3) are very full :)

2 months
We started out our second month with Skylar on a family vacation to Orlando. It may have seemed crazy to some that we booked a trip for 3 weeks after my June 20th due date but I knew I wouldn't make it all the way to my due date. As it turned out she was 9 weeks when we went so it was perfect. We didn't go to any theme parks or anything but we just wanted to get away for a change of scenery. It had been a while since our family has had a vacation and we needed it - especially after two back to back really stressful pregnancies.

At Skylar's 2 month check up she weighed 7 lbs 4 oz and was 20 inches long. The size of a newborn finally! She's little but very strong! People don't believe me when I tell them how old she is because she is such a tiny peanut. 

At about 7-8 weeks old Skylar started "talking" to us. She will just talk and talk. Once again, I have a feeling this is a sign of things to come. She started pushing up more and more when we lay her on her stomach and would flip over when she got tired of it. She also became slightly obsessed with sucking her thumb this month. The problem is, she doesn't have the coordination needed to always get her thumb in her mouth so she would get really mad and scream. The more mad she would get the more impossible it was to get her thumb in. Not fun!! 

             The pictures above show what happens when "someone" steals her thumb. Hopefully she will
                                                            learn to keep it in on her own soon!
18 months
This is how she feels about all of the noise that the boys make

He's such a goof!

3 months
Skylar just hit 3 months a few days ago and I'm not sure how much she weighs but last time I weighed her she was still less than 8 lbs. She is still wearing newborn clothes (some preemie clothes still fit her) and I still have to fold newborn disposable diapers to fit her better. Most of the time she is in cloth diapers though. 

She rolls from her stomach to her back all of the time and she learned how to roll from her back to her stomach 2 days ago. Just in the past week she started putting herself to sleep by sucking her pacifier and holding her blanket. It is so cute! And it also provides me with a much needed break. Up until now, she wanted me to hold her All. The. Time. which would be okay except I have two other kids that need me too. I was getting burnt out big time.

Her schedule now is basically bed time between 8-9 PM, wake up at 3-4 AM to eat, back to sleep until its time to eat around 7 am, and then back to bed until 9-10 AM. During the day she usually eats, plays for while, takes a nap and repeat. Thankfully she has put herself on this very reasonable schedule much like Colin did. It definitely helps me keep my sanity!

I can't lay her down on her stomach near anything because she scoots everywhere and she is fast. Yesterday she was in the middle of her quilt and I had to leave the room to tend to Colin who was having a complete meltdown. I was just out of the room for about 3 minutes and when I came back I saw that she had scooted about 4 feet over to the computer chair and had butted her head up against it. OOPS! Bad mommy. She wasn't hurt or anything though. 

Colin and Aidan absolutely ADORE their sister. I am so so thankful. Aidan is my little helper and is always loving on Skylar and telling her how cute she is. Colin tries to "help" and he kisses her about 12,498,739,394 times a day. He gives her a pacifier - not always in her mouth, he helps me burp her, and he just recently thought it would be a good idea to share his bottle (of regular milk). Now THAT is love!

Colin is changing daily. He turned 19 months old today and is really developing quite a personality  He is a daddy's boy for sure. He loves me and he loves other family members but the world revolves around his daddy. His speech is getting better daily and he is able to really communicate much better than he could even a few months ago. Right now he is working on saying people's names. Just a few he says are Laura (war-wah), Melissa (Sah), Skylar (kye kye), Aidan (dan dan), and Jess. His two favorite words that he says are "wow", "baby", and "yes!" 

Aidan starts school the day after tomorrow! I can't believe I have a kid in kindergarten. Craziness I tell you! He will be going to the public school right by our house and it will definitely be a huge adjustment for all of us but I think he do well. I am planning on having a school post up by the end of the week to talk about how his first week went.

         This is how Colin "helps with the baby. He was sharing his milk all over her face!!

Colin was put into time out here because he wouldn't stop throwing his food on the floor. Can you tell he is devastated?

  I just installed cabinet locks on all of the kitchen cabinets. This is the response I got from Colin when he made the discovery that he could remove all of the contents of the cabinets anymore.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Introducing Skylar Noelle!

Our sweet "Skye baby" as my 5 year old has dubbed her was born on May 9, 2013 exactly 6 weeks before her due date. She only weighed 4 lbs 2 oz and was 16 inches long. My last baby was also 6 weeks early but he weighed 4 lbs 12 oz - it is amazing what a huge difference 10 oz makes on a person that small!! She looked much smaller to me!

 She had to spend 12 long days in the NICU but thankfully she never needed any breathing assistance or anything serious like that. She was simply a "feeder & grower". I'm not going to go into too much detail because I already gave a shortened version of her birth story on my other post HERE but I will provide a huge photobomb. I think pictures can tell a story better than my words could anyway. So without further ado, here is my precious baby girl Skylar Noelle. 

This is just minutes after she was born (if it was even that long) and I was already feeling a little better

Daddy's first time seeing her in the NICU

Poor baby had to have an IV in her head for fluids 

Daddy love
This made me laugh (after I was done crying of course). I had a tubal ligation the day after Skylar was born and the pain was making me extremely sick to my stomach (notice the barf bag to my left). So what did the nurses bring me!?! Crackers of course! I was being "crackered*" even after my HG baby was born. I'm guessing those nurses have never actually thrown up crackers.... It is NOT fun....

*Being "crackered" takes place when you are pregnant and suffering from Hyperemesis, attached to a PICC line, IV fluids, Zofran pump (any or all of the above may apply) and someone tries to be helpful and suggest you just "eat some saltines crackers before getting out of bed in the morning"... When this happens, you are being crackered.
Being  crackered can also mean when someone suggests ginger, prego pops, or sea bands. I promise you, if someone is sick enough that they need to stab themselves in the stomach every day with a zofran pump and be hooked up to multiple IVs and or PICC lines, crackers, ginger, and all of those other remedies just aren't going to cut it. Believe me, they HAVE tried all of the above.
The nurses made signs for all of the babies beds in the NICU :)

I was able to give Skye her first bath when she was a few days old. She wasn't a big fan but when I was done she just laid there and stared at me

Getting her sun tan on (phototherapy for jaundice). The nurses called her a "beach bum" because she had her glasses, sun, and all of that long blonde hair

They made me a card for Mother's day (when she was 2 days old) using Skylar's foot prints. So sweet!

Sleepy smiles

I'm a mess here but this was her first time in clothes. 3 or 4 days old I think

She has the greatest expressions
So hard to stay awake for food!!

Finally doing the car seat test on day 12. She passed and I was able to take her home!! So exciting!
All packed up!
Colin was intrigued 

This big brother ADORES his sister

Monday, July 22, 2013

10 reasons why I am still married...

Today is our 7th wedding anniversary. While I'm no expert on marriage, I figured it wouldn't hurt to write down some of the reasons that have played a part in why I am not only still married, but very happily married. 

1. Notice things. Notice the extra things that your spouse does. Notice the every day things that they do also. Don't take things for granted. Imagine how things would be if your husband or wife weren't around to do them. Make sure to say "thank you" when you notice things also. Who doesn't like to be thanked!?

Last year when I unexpectedly became pregnant, Alex had to take over all of my normal "duties". I was too sick to take care of Colin, clean the house, too sick to do anything at all. He was amazing and even though I know it was a struggle, he came home from work everyday and took care of things around the house that needed to be done and never complained or said anything to make me feel guilty (believe me, I had enough guilt on my own!). He now has a different understanding of exactly how much effort it takes to care for the kids and all of the tasks around the house. 

Even though it was a tough time for us, in the end it helped us appreciate each other even more than we did before. He now is better at noticing what I do around here and I try to notice the things he does to try to lighten my load when he is home.

2. Don't assume your spouse can read your mind. This is high up on the list because I do this ALL. THE. TIME. I get it in my head that I want him to do something or that I need him to do something but I don't tell him. Then what happens? Well, he doesn't do what I want and I get upset with him. Believe me, it never ends well. I'm upset and resentful, he's upset, and all I had to do was just tell him what I was thinking and it all could have been avoided!! 

3. Don't always expect something in return. Don't do something for your husband or wife expecting to get something out of it. You should do things for them because you want to! Any return "favors" are a bonus!! This kind of goes back to #3 a bit. If you expect something in return and don't get your way, you may end up irritated and that doesn't help anyone. 

4. Schedule some time together. I've been told this by more than one person but now that we have 3 kids (2 of them a year and a half and younger!), I'm finding it to be more and more true. Even if you just put the kids to bed and watch a movie at home. At some point before you got married, you were friends with your husband or wife and that relationship grew into something more. If you don't take the time to talk to someone or spend time with them, you probably are not going to be very close friends. It's no different in a marriage. 

5. Talk and Listen. This is similar to the last tip but it deserves to be on it's own. Talk about your day, talk about anything and everything. And maybe even more important than talking is listening. Sometimes Alex is talking about things at work or about some hobby he is working on and I'll admit that sometimes I am guilty of zoning out. It isn't intentional but he is a mechanical engineer and his brain works differently than mine so most of the time I only understand about half of what he is saying. I'm working on it though! I know that I like to know I'm being heard and he deserves the same (even if some of it does seem like gibberish to me). :)

6. Forget about your ego. APOLOGIZE!! This is a big one. Do not wait for them to say they are sorry. Alex and I have always been pretty good at this. We do have our disagreements but we never stay upset long because one of us is always quick to apologize. 

7. Admit fault. Even if it is mostly their fault (or you feel that way anyway). Most of the time in an argument, both parties involved are at fault in some way so you might as well admit it and get it over with. Trust me, this will make life much more enjoyable.  

8. Realize that neither one of you is perfect. I'm not perfect (not even close!) but neither is he and I shouldn't expect him to be. People mess up, they have bad days, and arguments will happen. Love them anyway. Don't hold a grudge, forgive. Life is too short to stay upset about something that really isn't that important (which is what most of our arguments are - so much in fact that I can't even tell you specifically what we have been upset at each other about recently). 

9. Show affection. Do you kiss your kids? Hug your friends? Well don't forget about your husband or wife. Don't forget how things were when you first got married. Hold hands-even if you are just at home sitting on the couch. Give each other a hug when you get home and before you go to bed (and several times in between!). 

10. Keep the compliments coming. Alex is the master at this one. He tells me I'm beautiful every day, even if I've been throwing up all day (when I was pregnant) or if I've been caring for the kids all day and look like a mess. A little compliment goes a long way!!

There are so many other things I could have listed but these are just some of the ones that have definitely had a positive impact on our relationship. A big part of the reason I wrote this post is so I can come back here and read my own tips. It's so easy to forget in this busy life that we are living and I need daily reminders of the "right" reaction I need to have when I am upset. Today was definitely one of those days!!

Happy Anniversary Alex. I couldn't have asked for a better match!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Here we go again


Pregnant again....

October 18, 2012
Two days ago, on October 16th I received the shock of my life. I had been feeling sick (nauseated and a bit pukey for lack of a better term) for about 4 days but that isn't uncommon for me and various times of the month.

I decided to take a pregnancy test to ease my mind a bit and instead of easing my mind, there were two little lines in the window. As in, I'm pregnant again... Already... my baby is only 9 months old...

Honestly, I'm scared out of my mind. This wasn't "my plan" and we were definitely preventing it from happening but it did anyway.

I don't know how I'm going to get through this but I guess I just have to.

I can't even describe the emotions that are going through my head right now. I'm terrified that it will be as bad as last time, I'm sad because I feel like Colin is so young still and I'm just in shock.

Who knows, maybe I won't be as sick this time. I can only hope...

*** Sorry most of the stuff above seems like it's all over the place. I wrote it shortly after finding out I was pregnant and my mind was all over the place at that time!!! From now on, anything in this post that is italicized was written at the time and anything that is not was summarized after the fact***

       I was going to attempt to keep up with all of the dates and things that went on each week but I became too sick too fast and it wasn't even an option so I'll just have to fill in what I can remember. I have been even sicker during this pregnancy than I was last time (I didn't even know that was possible!?!). From here on out I'll just give a summary of things that went on and try to be better about posting updates as they happen.


Best place to start would be at the beginning I suppose. As I said above, I started to feel sick to my stomach and just generally "off" around the middle of October. I didn't think much of it because both of my boys had been battling various viruses for an entire month and I was very sleep deprived. It also wasn't uncommon for me to feel sick and even throw up at certain times of the month related to hormone fluctuations. After about 4 days of not feeling well, I decided that in order to "put my mind at ease" I needed to take a pregnancy test. I had a stock of them on hand because after my last pregnancy I was completely terrified and paranoid of getting pregnant. Many nights I had nightmares centered around the idea of being pregnant. Because of that, I had bought a pack of internet cheapie pregnancy tests on Amazon and was able to test whenever I felt the need. Always expecting a negative of course!!

Well, on October 16th, all of that changed. I took the test and the test line that meant it was "positive" came up faster and darker than the control line. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Panic set in pretty quickly and I just didn't even know what to do. I told myself it must just be a faulty test but I KNEW it wasn't. It was around 2:00 in the afternoon and Alex comes home from work everyday at about 3:30. I couldn't call him, all I could do was cry. A good friend of mine was on Facebook at that time and she was kind enough to chat with me for an hour and a half until Alex arrived home. I don't know what I would've done without her!! I knew I could tell her I was pregnant and I knew she would know what to say because she also suffered from Hyperemesis during her pregnancies (that's how we met each other!).

 **When I said in the post above that we were preventing pregnancy, I mean that Alex and I made the decision for me to get an IUD. Not many people know this and I know that some don't agree with it but we made the decision that we felt was best for us at that time. Because I have a history of blood clots, I am unable to have any type of hormonal birth control which really narrows down our options so a non-hormonal IUD seemed like the right thing. Pregnancy just wasn't something that we were wanting to deal with!! Of course when I got that positive test there were many things going through my head and I was unsure of what was going to happen. I know that there are a lot of things that can go wrong when a pregnancy happens with an IUD in place but thankfully, in our situation it had slipped without my knowledge and all is well with the baby.

During that hour and a half while I was talking to my friend, there were millions of things racing through my head. "Would Alex be upset?" "How could this happen!?!" "How am I going to take care of a baby if I'm sick!?" etc, etc. I sat upstairs with Colin and rocked him, told him how sorry I was, and cried some more. Those that know me know that I am NOT A CRIER!! I do not cry easily but the tears were certainly flowing that day!

Alex came home at his usual time and by then Colin was asleep in his crib. I was sitting in our bed when he came in (I still looked like a wreck!) and as soon as Alex saw my face he knew something was very very wrong. He asked me to tell him what was going on and I'm pretty sure he thought someone must have died for me to be that upset. I wasn't sure what to say or how to tell him so finally when he asked for the millionth time what was wrong I blurted out the words, "I'm pregnant".

His response: "What do you mean?". It wasn't the response I expected so I snapped back, "what do you think that means?!?". I explained how I'd been feeling and about the positive test and he took the news surprisingly well. He stayed calm and tried to reassure me but I'm sure inside he was probably feeling much like I was.

The next day I called the doctor's office and explained that I was pregnant and I had an IUD and they scheduled me to come in the next day. It was SO hard to walk into the office again, especially since I was pregnant. Too many tough memories happened in that building!

The next couple of weeks were a blur. My hcg count came back really high and I had an ultrasound the next week that showed that everything looked OK with the baby. My nausea picked up really quickly and shortly after 5 weeks along the vomiting began. By the time I was 6 weeks I had already spent time getting IV fluids in the hospital and was set up for home health care once again. The difference this time is that I knew what to expect and I already knew many of my home health nurses so it wasn't as scary as it was last time.

5 weeks pregnant. This is the day before I went to get my first IV

5 weeks getting fluids in the hospital

I quickly went from a capable wife and mom to someone who I never wanted to be again - a patient. I couldn't hold down any food or drink, I couldn't pick up the baby, I couldn't stand up without throwing up even when there was nothing left to throw up. I was living a nightmare I'd had way too many times but this time I wasn't just going to wake up.

It didn't take long before I was spilling 3+ ketones. Basically that is a good indicator that I was very very dehydrated.

When I became pregnant I was still nursing Colin every 2-3 hours and he was very attached to me. Within weeks I had to wean him completely because I didn't have anything left to give him. I was losing almost a pound every day at that point and my body just couldn't keep up with his demands too. Being forced to stop nursing him was honestly one of the hardest parts of being pregnant because all control was taken from me. I felt so guilty and awful because it just wasn't fair! It was a really tough transition for all of us but he was just a baby and couldn't possibly understand!
Colin did enjoy getting into my medical supplies though! And so did the cat (in the box)
6-7 weeks here. Colin was fascinated by my tubes!

One of my many many peripheral IVs



From weeks 6-10 I had an IV in almost constantly as I was still unable to hold anything down at all. I already knew all of the tricks to try from my last pregnancy and nothing was helping. I was dizzy, my blood pressure was consistently low (every time it was checked by my nurses it was about 80/40) which made me feel like I was going to pass out at any moment. My nurses quickly ran out of places to put IVs and when they did finally successfully get one it we were lucky if it lasted a full 24 hours. My skin was breaking out and I had bad bruises from blown veins all up and down my hands/arms. It was obvious that the only option at that point was another dreaded PICC line.

Here's the little nugget at about 8 weeks gestation

My PICC line was scheduled to be placed the day after Thanksgiving but because I had two full days to wait for that I needed another peripheral IV in the mean time. It took 3 nurses coming to my house that day and 7 different attempts at a vein before they got one that worked. The last nurse was at my house trying until almost 11 at night! I can't tell you how thankful I am for my amazing nurses. I hope they know how much I appreciate them!!
Alex (my husband) was one of my biggest supporters that helped me through both pregnancies along with the rest of my family and friends. He became both daddy and mommy while I was sick and I can honestly say there was nothing more attractive to me at that point than a baby-wearing daddy cleaning the house that I wasn't able to keep up with. Love him!

Alex took me to the hospital to have the PICC placed and after three PICCs I thought I knew what to expect this time but boy was I wrong! I was so dehydrated and malnourished at that point that it took the doctor three different tries to finally get a vein that didn't collapse on the line. Despite the lidocane I felt every single cut and every stitch and was in severe pain for almost a full week. Ouch!!
12.5 weeks

15 weeks - look at that sweet little face!

When I was 16 weeks I was started on IV Phenergan every 6 hours and it has been the key to keeping me off of TPN. I still can't eat much but I am not throwing up nearly as much as I was and just feel better in general. I am able to care for Colin some now and even read Aidan books which wouldn't even have been a remote possibility before.

**Update: January 24th, 2013
So far my PICC line is doing well thankfully and I have now had it in for over 10 weeks. I did need to have it replaced once after 5 weeks but they were able to just exchange the line I had for a new one so no new holes in my arms. My life consists of IV fluids, IV vitamins, Zofran pump, eating what I can when I can, and just trying to survive.

On the left is just some of my PICC line supplies and bags of IV fluids and on the right is a picture of my weekly shipments of medicines, vitamins, IV fluids, supplies, batteries, tape, ect from my home health company.
They definitely kept me well stocked!
I have had help with Colin around the clock up until about 20 weeks and I am so thankful for that. There is NO WAY I would have been able to care for him. He has adjusted to everything really well though and is just his normal happy self! He is such an easy going baby!!

When I was 16 weeks I also had an elective ultrasound done (thanks to my uncle!!) and we found out that after two boys we are having a girl this time!! I was excited to find that out but until my anatomy scan at 18 weeks I was still in disbelief! But after seeing our little peanut again, it is most definitely a girl. She's growing right on target and I will have an ultrasound every 4 weeks to check on her progress.

18 weeks

**Update: February 5, 2013
Well, I think I covered the basics for now. I'm almost 21 weeks and just in survival mode. I've lost a total of 20 pounds but have just recently put 1-1 1/2 pounds back on. It doesn't sound like much but it is a huge accomplishment to me! I have "good" days and bad days but it definitely beats having all bad days. The main thing I have to remind myself is to not over do it on my better days. It's a lot easier said than done but if I attempt too much it throws me back into majorly sick mode. Not worth it!

 **Update: February 12th, 2013
This past several days have been a bit rough. On February 7th my picc line fractured and had to be replaced (this is the third PICC I've had this pregnancy and the sixth one I've had altogether) and just being out of the house for that long wears me out quite a bit. Now both of my boys have a cold and I feel like I'm coming down with a sore throat as well. Other than that things are going okay. I'm sure after a few days I will start to feel a bit better (I hope!). I have an ultrasound at the Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) doctor on Friday so look for another update then!!

This is my fractured PICC line. I noticed that it was leaking when I woke up in the morning, and soon after I saw that one of the lumens had almost completely snapped. Still unsure how it happened but the PICC that was put in to replace it ended up doing the same thing in the same place. Radiology seemed to think it was a faulty batch.

**Update: Friday, February 16th, 2013
I went to the MFM doctor and all is well with our baby girl (yes, we are still having a girl!!). She weighs 14 ounces and we were able to see all ten fingers and all ten toes. She has become quite the active little thing lately and feeling her move is definitley the only part I enjoy about pregnancy even though the movements tend to make me more nauseated. It's nice to feel her wiggling around in there to know she's okay!

**Well, I had really good intentions to keep my blog updated but it was just too hard to get on the computer when I was feeling as awful as I was. Even a "good" day was far from what would be considered good to a normal healthy person. But here I am now and I am going to finish my story. Sorry for keeping all of those that were reading this in suspense for such a long time.

On March 10th my third PICC line failed and I'd had enough. I went to have it pulled out and decided not to get another one. Three PICC lines was my limit! The weeks that followed proved to be really tough and the 5 pounds that I had gained back started dropping back off.
And here is my second fractured PICC (3rd PICC during this pregnancy. This time it completely snapped off.

For anyone curious, this is a picture of my PICC line after it is taken out. Yes, it is really that long!! It goes into your upper arm and is threaded through a large vein ending right below your heart.

A couple of weeks after I had my final PICC removed (27 weeks pregnant) I became very very sick. My nausea was worse, my body hurt worse than when I was in active labor with Colin, and I had a fever that climbed to over 104 degrees. After a few days of fever, I had a rapid flu test run and it came back negative so I was diagnosed with bronchitis. When I wasn't able to get my fever down below 103.5 I decided it would be best to go ahead to the hospital. I spent 3 days there and had all kinds of tests run. The day I was discharged, a more accurate flu test that was run came back and was positive. So that is what the flu feels like! I hope I never have to experience that again!

 One thing is for sure, during that hospital stay for the flu and the following week I was really missing my PICC line. It was nearly impossible to get an IV in that would work. I lost more weight while I had the flu so I was almost back down to my lowest weight (which was 20 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight).

Each week was a struggle. Each week lasted forever. Even though I've been through this before and I knew what to expect, it didn't make that part any easier. As the weeks went by, my contractions picked up, my sickness picked up, and I was just getting more worn down by the day. Regardless of all of that, I was DETERMINED to make it to at least 34 weeks. That was my first goal and once I hit that I planned on setting another goal.

Look at this sweet profile. 31.1 weeks

At 32.3 weeks I went to my regularly scheduled MFM appointment for an ultrasound and an NST and my contractions were very regular and getting stronger. The doctor sent me straight to the hospital because I was starting to dilate. Didn't want the baby to come yet!! I spent five days in the hospital but thankfully they were able to slow things down as far as labor goes. I was put on Magnesium Sulfate (that stuff is straight from the devil I promise you!!) and was given two steroid shots to help develop baby girl's lungs. They also switched my blood thinner from Lovenox to Heparin (safer to be on Heparin with a pending delivery). 

This is the day I came home from my 5 day hospital stay for preterm labor. 33.1 weeks here.
I think Colin missed me a little bit. I sure missed him!

I was discharged from the hospital on the weekend because even though I was still contracting, nothing was progressing so I was very happy to go home! Monday I had another scheduled appointment with the MFM again and it was suggested to me that it may be a good idea to go to the hospital but because nothing drastic would be done to stop labor at this point I was given a choice and I chose to be uncomfortable at home rather than in a hospital bed strapped down to machines! I did promise that I would go right in if anything crazy happened.

This is how my contractions were for the last few weeks.
 It made sleeping nearly impossible and was just very uncomfortable!

On the way home from my appointment that day the nurse from my regular OB called to ask me something and I took that opportunity to ask which day my OB was on call. I didn't want anyone else delivering my baby and I was determined to wait! I was told he would be on call that Thursday which coincidentally was already my scheduled 34 week appointment. I knew I had to just wait 3 more days to have this baby!!

Before you think I was in a hurry to have the baby, that wasn't the case at all (though I do hate being pregnant). Ideally I would've kept her baking until 36 weeks or so but I KNEW I was in labor and I knew it wouldn't be much longer. I felt awful, my contractions were building, and I had other signs of impending labor as well.

I tried to just sleep that Tuesday and Wednesday away because I was so uncomfortable and I was trying so hard to wait for my appointment on Thursday. Wednesday Alex called me from work to check on me and asked me what I was doing and I responded that I was "hanging upside down from the monkey bars". I wasn't really obviously but I won't say I didn't consider hanging upside down!!

Thursday FINALLY arrived and my mom was driving me to my appointment. Wouldn't you know there was a bad accident and we were stuck in traffic which made me an hour late to my appointment. I have never been late to an appointment and the one day I feel like I'm in labor, we are stuck! Thankfully we arrived and I didn't have to deliver a baby in the car :)

I was weighed first and found out I had lost 4 pounds in the last week (this put me at a final weight of 18 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight) and also found out that I was already 5 cm dilated. I was sent straight to the hospital, called Alex on the way to tell him to leave work and head to the hospital and had our baby girl before dinner time.

Although my pregnancies are a nightmare, my deliveries are fast and easy! it was about 6 hours of hard labor and I only pushed during one contraction. The NICU nurse that was coming to my delivery told me later that week that she was not even quite in the room yet when she was born. It went really quick!

We named our little surprise baby girl Skylar Noelle and as Mary Poppins would say she is "practically perfect in every way"! She was born at 34 weeks exactly, weighed 4 pounds 2 ounces, and was just 16 inches long. So tiny!! Skylar did spend 12 days in the NICU which was really tough but we are thankful she was only there to learn how to eat better. She dropped down to 3 pounds 14 ounces but when discharged she was back up to her birth weight. So proud of my TougHGirl!!

She is now 2 months old and life is extremely busy. I plan to be better at updating my blog (I was just dragging my feet when it came to update this specific post - it's hard to go back to bad memories). So make sure to stay tuned for updated pictures and posts of Skylar and my two crazy boys!


For those that may be curious, I decided to have a tubal ligation the day after Skylar was born to prevent anymore pregnancies. As much as I love my babies, pregnancy is too awful so she will be my last little miracle.