Don’t Post Nearly Enough, but At Least I’m Knitting Again

I don’t post nearly enough about life, the kids, knitting etc.  That’s because I’ve been lazy, lazy, lazy.  Since getting my IPad and IPhone I so rarely actually turn the computer on.  Bad Shannon.  So bare bones update:  I’m seeing a therapist and taking Prozac for my depression and it’s helping me so much that I feel almost like a different person.  I’ve still got a ways to go but I’ll get there.  Connor just turned One a few weeks ago, which boggles my mind – it seems like just yesterday that I was giving birth (way to early) to the little bugger.  He’s adorable as ever and so much fun.  Jacob is finishing first grade today.  Time flies.  I swear I’m going to turn around one day and he’s going to be leaving for college.  My quest right now is to spend more time on getting healthier – going to the YMCA and losing weight and doing the things that I love that I’ve let go in my depression.

Right now I’m on my 3rd attempt at a Baby Surprise Sweater (Thank you for having a daughter Jimi D.) after the first two failed spectacularly.  The first one, I didn’t like the color so I changed it.  The second one I was about 1/2 way done with when I realized that I had missed an important increase back at row 9.  ARGH!!!  It was supposed to be for Jake’s 1st grade teacher who is pregnant right now and I was hoping to give it to her today.  So much for that.  So now I’m making this one for Jimi’s newborn daughter with a yarn that is a gorgeous pink (I’m not positive it’s just right for the pattern, but the color is perfect, so I’m willing to give it a shot.)  I guess I’ll know pretty quickly if it works or not.  Wish me luck.  Will update with pictures periodically.


Connor Franklin Coming Home

This is so backwards.  I still owe everyone, myself included, several posts re: Connor’s very early birth and his time in the NICU.  I plan to add these posts soon.  It’s just been too hard and too raw to bring myself to put thought to paper, or screen as the case may be.  I think I needed a little bit of time and space to process everything before writing it all out.

I did start to post from my hospital room the day after my c-section, but I was far to drugged to know what I was saying and I don’t even know where the draft that I thought I had saved was.

Short version (to be followed in detail very soon):  Connor was born June 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm after I was rushed to the hospital the night before.  I was just barely past 33 weeks when he was born.  He was HUGE for his gestational age, weighing in at 5 lbs 15.4 oz. and 19.7 inches long.  He didn’t really look like a preemie for the most part except for his skin was still very thin and he had very little fat on his back and almost no butt at all.  He was whisked straight to the NICU and I was taken to recovery.  I only saw him for a VERY short time in his incubator later that day.  My recovery was uneventful if a lot more painful that c-section #1 was.  I was admitted on Wednesday night and discharged on Monday night.  The stay in the hospital was actually very peaceful for me; a nice buffer zone between me and the reality that I was going to have to go home  WITHOUT MY BABY.  I survived that horror – barely, I must say – and have made it though all the tough times since.

Jumping ahead to now:  Connor is about a week from being able to come home and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  He’s the most beautiful, sweet, wonderful baby there has ever been (other than Jacob of course who was just as sweet and wonderful) and I’m absolutely in love with him.  I can’t wait to have him in my arms whenever I want him.  Unlike Jacob, Connor wants to nurse – all the time it seems.  I’m thinking that once we get him home exclusively breast feeding (he has bottles in the hospital) won’t be a problem at all.  Sure there will be some kinks to work out, but I know he’ll get there.  My mother is here for 2 months to help us out and we wouldn’t have been able to handle this NICU nightmare without her and her help.  My health has been a series of ups and downs since Connor came, mostly downs.  Right now my blood pressure is higher than it’s ever been in my life and I”m not sure what is causing it or what can be done.  I’ve put off any real medical intervention b/c anything they give me will be contraindicated for breast feeding and that’s not something I’m willing to give up on.  We’ll see what can be done.  Must get some sleep for now…wanted to share the news and promise a more in depth series of posts re: the beginning of Connor’s life in the next week or so.  XOXO

32 Week Thursday O.B. Appt.

I figure Week number change which is Tuesday (and always an appt. day) and then Week number with Thursday’s Appt. are the best ways to name these posts and keep everyone up to date re: the progress of this never-ending ordeal.  It’s such an irony, though, b/c the end result is SO very worth it.

So had three appointments yesterday: Dr. A is my perinatologist and he deals with the G.D. aspect of things.  He was happier with my blood sugar numbers.  They are still too high, but now that I’m eating at the times he wants me to eat at (most of the time) they aren’t all over the place anymore.  So we upped my insulin doses and added an extra dose at lunchtime; I’m up to 4 blood sugar checks and 4 insulin pokes a day now.  When I was first told I was going to have to take insulin shots, and in my belly no less, I was really freaked out.  I thought there was no way in the world I was going to be able to stick a needle in my belly and that I was going to have to get TJ to do it for me.  In the end, though, they made me do it at the doctor’s office the first time and I discovered not only wasn’t it as bad as I thought, but you almost can’t even feel it.  So other than the inconvenience of having to eat at specific times and often not getting to eat with my family b/c they are eating way too early or too late for my schedule, the insulin thing isn’t too bad at all.  When I told TJ that I didn’t mind giving myself the shots and that there was actually some twisted part of me that kind of enjoyed it, he looked at me like I was the looniest loon of them all then shrugged and said that I’ve always been kind of morbid anyway…LOL

Appointment #2 was the non-stress test.  That one was 4 hours after appt. #1 so was kind of putzed around the hospital; went for lunch in the yummy cafeteria there (I honestly and truly could eat there every day.  The food is amazing!)  We had lunch and I was actually good; rather than going for the burger and fries that I really wanted I had veggie soup and a salad.  It was good and filling and the carb. count was low.  After eating, though, I got really sharp pains in my upper abdomen.  The kind that bring tears to your eyes.  It didn’t seem to have anything to do with the pregnancy, just belly pain.  UGH.  I ended up laying down on the bench seat in the cafeteria while TJ worked on his presentation for the PTO thing at Jake’s school last night.  Felt better when I woke up (yes, I actually dozed off for a half hour or so – I’m 8 months pregnant what do you want from me…LOL) but the pain was still there just less intense.  Off to the NST.  They settled me into the recliner and put my feet up, gave me the buzzer to mark when Connor kicked and left us alone for a half hour.  Connor was moving great; it seemed like I was constantly pushing the button to mark motion.  Unfortunately yet again he didn’t react the way they wanted him to and we had another failed non-stress.  This is not a good thing.

On to appt. #3.  Dr.s G and H are the only two doctors that I’m seeing in the practice now.  Linda, the midwife I was originally seeing; she handled my pregnancy with Jacob, told me that she felt that with the problems I was having she was out of her depth at this point and she would feel better if I stuck with the doctors.  I appreciated the honesty but will miss seeing her every few weeks.  I really like her so much!!  So yesterday was Dr. G.  He told me there was protein in my urine again, my B.P. was up (144/88) and that they baby failed the NST.  I hit the bad prenatal appt. trifecta ladies and gentlemen.  For a brief moment I had pictures of a hospital room with my name on it, but nope.  We had another Biophysical ultrasound and everything looked pretty good there.  They look for 4 things and score 2 pts. for each thing that he does or that is good.  Connor did everything they wanted to see except for the practice breathing (which he did do earlier in the week at the u/s).  The ultrasound tech said that it wasn’t completely uncommon in babies at 32 weeks not to see it, that they do the breathing thing more and more often the farther along in gestation they are.  Dr. G didn’t seem concerned since that was the only thing he didn’t do.  His movements were good, plenty of amniotic fluid, and he had good muscle tone so I guess I’m happy.  Two more appts. with O.B. next week, two more NSTs and another appt. with Dr. A re: possibly upping insulin again depending on how my numbers look for the rest of this week.  It’s become a habit for us now that on Tuesdays and Thursdays we will accomplish nothing.  Not that I’m getting a ton done on the moderated bed rest anyway.

The doctors all seem to be pretty confident that the baby is doing well and that I’m okay.  So why am I freaking out constantly?  The five days between my Thurs. and Tues. appts. seem so long to me.  I worry almost constantly that something will happen to the baby in that time.  It’s kind of torturous, but I know I’m doing it to myself.  Being in bed most of the time gives me WAY too much time to think, I think.  Just hearing the wrong thing can send me into a tail spin of paranoia that’s so hard to get out of.  We heard the song “Don’t Take the Girl” in the car the other day and it runs through my head constantly now.  That’s not so uncommon with me and songs but with this one, I’m now terrified that something is going to happen to me during the c-section.  I’m terrified of the surgery (and I was so blase about choosing it in the beginning of this pregnancy) and what could happen.  The thought of leaving Jake behind and motherless breaks my heart over and over again every day.  I realize I’d be leaving Connor motherless too, but he wouldn’t know the difference like Jake would.  I feel like Jake has gotten the raw end of the deal over and over again in the pregnancy and he’s been so wonderful about my time in bed and all the sleep I’m getting b/c of the B.P. meds and just being this pregnant (I swear I sleep 15 hours a day sometimes or else I can’t fall asleep at night to save my life and then I can’t keep my eyes open during the day).  He has been so understanding and so supportive and he’s only 5.  I know that he doesn’t really understand what’s going on and he hears bits and pieces of conversations between me and my mother or TJ and his mom or dad.  This has to be so much more frightening for him than he lets on.  Another reason to feel guilty.  I feel like I’m failing Jake in a million little ways lately; that he deserves so much better than I’ve given him.  He already spent the first year and a half of his life being deprived of a real mother b/c of my back problems and the constant high doses of narcotic pain killers I was on and it’s taken a long time for him to feel secure in his place in this family and I feel like I’m depriving him all over again.  The kid is my world and I don’t feel like I deserve him some days.  I’ve decided that I’m breaking bed rest this weekend and taking him to the library.  I figure other than the drive there I’m not really doing anything wrong.  I’ll wear my comfy clothes and all I’ll really do is sit in the chairs by the window and read or knit while I watch him play.  Maybe I’ll even read him a book or two – gasp.  Really not that different from being at home on the couch with him, IMO.  Of course it will all be dependant on my B.P. being good (It was really good this morning:  125/60) and my lack of contractions or other obvious problems.  I think it will be good for him to have a day out with Mommy.

Have a great weekend everyone.  Will try to be back later today or tomorrow with an actual fiber related post.  I’ve been both knitting and spinning this week – big shocker, I know…:)

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

On the list of things to NEVER do again while 7 months pregnant (not that I think I’ll ever be 7 months pregnant again) is to get a horrible chest/sinus etc. cold/infection.  This thing started out simply enough with TJ having a sore throat and mild fever last weekend.  He felt pretty shitty for a few days then it cleared up and life went on…Jake was sick on Monday with the same type of thing but he, being a resilient 5-year-old, was better by the afternoon and wanting to go out and play.  He still has the cough but those tend to linger with him for a week or more whenever he gets them; nothing to worry about so the pediatrician has told me on multiple occasions.  I started to feel crappy on Tuesday afternoon, but by Thursday night I was feeling well enough to go to the Volunteer Recognition dinner being held for all of us PTO members, parents who help in classrooms etc. at Endeavor.  It was a nice night and I didn’t feel 100% but good enough that I thought I was on the mend quickly the way my boys had been.  Boy was I ever wrong!  Woke up in the middle of the night Thursday night feeling like someone had taken a baseball bat to my lungs and chest.  My head felt like it was splitting open, my throat was on fire and my nose felt like it was full of cement.  UGH.  I know that it’s supposed to be safe to take all kinds of different cold medicines while pregnant these days, but I really don’t feel good about it.  When I was pregnant with Jake 6 years ago it was all about take a little Tylenol if you must but try not to take anything else if you don’t have to.  I get that a lot has changed in 6 years, but it’s bad enough that I still have to take small doses of the Methadone for my back to get through this pregnancy. (I’m going to be weaning completely off of that before Connor is born as long as my back doesn’t protest to the point that it’s more detrimental to him for me to be in pain.  Dr. M says that the dose of Methadone I’m on is perfectly safe for him even at birth with no withdrawal to worry about, but I still worry.)  If it were up to me, the only pill I’d be taking at all is my prenatal vitamin (which I have trouble remembering most days until right before I go to bed…LOL).  So anyway, I’m suffering through this hellish cold sans meds with the exception of a squirt or two of nasal spray to make breathing at night easier.  Okay, enough whining and complaining about this cold…:)

Connor has been a little soccer star the last few days.  He seems to want to make sure I know that he’s there and he’s smooshed at all times.  It’s such a trip for me still to feel all this movement b/c  Jake was so different when I was pregnant with him.  His movements weren’t even discernible until 25 weeks or so and even after that he was a pretty quiet little thing.  I definitely felt him moving, and his kicks were much more violent when they came, but he was more stingy with the motion.  Connor, on the other hand, is constantly hitting, kicking, rolling, stretching etc.  I don’t think an hour goes by most days where I don’t feel him moving.  The funniest thing to me is that when he hits (we know he’s head down already from both the ultra-sound last week and from the fact that when he gets going really good I can see his leg/foot combo in my upper belly) me he hits my lower belly with one hand and just below my tail bone with the other.  I can honestly say that this baby has kicked (well okay hit) my butt already.  I love watching him roll around and seeing my belly morph with his shape.  He’s also fairly interactive at this stage, which I had no clue about with Jacob.  A book I read early in this pregnancy told me about “the kick game” that you could play with the baby after about 24 weeks.  When he kicks you push where he kicked, say something encouraging like “good baby” or “great kick” or “I felt that” and then ask them to do it again.  It took about a  week of doing that before he responded, but now when he starts kicking at night when I’m in bed (his most active time, of course) we play a little game of kick mommy.  I love feeling like I’m “playing” with him already.  It’s such a trip to know that he’s hearing me and responding to me in a meaningful way.  I can’t believe there are only 10 weeks to go.  I’m almost positive now that July 13th is going to be the big day.  Definitely that week.

So we had a 3-D ultrasound this past week.  Now we have an idea of what Connor is going to look like.  He doesn’t look anything like Jake did when we did his 3-D u/s and those pictures and Jake’s baby pictures were almost identical.  So without further ado, here’s a picture or two of Connor Franklin Dwire at 28 weeks gestation.  Enjoy…

I can’t wait to actually meet this little guy in person.

It’s a….

Boy!!  I really did mean to post this as soon as I found out, but life gets in the way.  As much as I was hoping to have a girl this time around, once the news of another son set in I was really happy about it.  I know how to raise a boy, after all, and the bond between mothers and sons in just amazing!!  Seeing him again on ultra-sound was great; can’t wait for the 3-D u/s in late April.

This pregnancy is going absolutely wonderfully.  I think I’m in better shape now than I have been in the last 10 years.  I’m getting lots of exercise, I’m eating well (almost no sweets, limiting myself to two cans of soda a day etc.) and I’m making sure to get plenty of water.  As my “baby bump” gets bigger it seems the rest of me is getting smaller.  I love this pregnancy so much!  I have great energy right now and feel like I want to accomplish everything in the world.  Of course when I try to, I get tired very easily, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.  LOL

Volunteering for Jake’s school PTO is taking up a lot of my time lately and I feel so good about that.  I’ve always heard that volunteering is a fulfilling thing, but I didn’t realize how right it was until I started doing this.  I love being a part of this wonderful organization and knowing that I am doing something to help better the school that Jake and his little brother will go to.  Both TJ and myself are in this for the long haul and plan to keep getting more and more involved as time goes on.  Another side benefit is that I’ve met some really incredible women through this group and am feeling like I’m making friends for the first time in a long time.  I will NOT blow it this time.

This afternoon is Jake’s Easter party.  We’re having 5 kids from school and their parents over for egg dying, an Easter egg hunt and dinner.  I would have liked to have invited his whole class, but I just knew that I didn’t have that much energy at this point in the pregnancy.  So we limited it to the kids whose parents we’ve gotten to know a bit and we’ll see how it goes.  I want to do more things like this as time goes by.  It’s good for Jake and it’s good for us as well.  Somehow TJ and I have never gotten the hang of making friends with other couples and/or socializing.  It’s high time that we were more social and less insular, I think.  So here’s to a great party and new friends. 🙂

Oh, yeah, in case anyone is wondering what the belly bean’s name is…we’ve settled on Connor for the first name and the middle name is in debate.  We’ve decided that we want to honor TJ’s late grandfather, Frank.  His given name was Francis, which I think sounds fine with Connor, but TJ doesn’t like it.  He’s leaning towards Franklin for the middle name instead.  I’m not totally opposed, but think I like Francis better, though Connor may disagree as he gets older.  I’ll let you all know the full name once it’s been decided.  I really can’t wait for Connor to get here so I can meet him and hold him etc.  On the other hand, though, I’m really enjoying this pregnancy, and there’s a good chance it will be our last, so I want it to last forever.  I’m sure I’ll be eating those words come the 30th week or so when the weather is starting to get good and warm. 🙂

Halfway There

On Tuesday I will be 20 weeks pregnant!!  I can’t believe that I am already half-way there; a little more I guess since they will do the c-section at either 38 or 39 weeks.  Pregnancy is finally the wonderful experience that I remember it being with Jacob.  This baby kicks several times a day (something I didn’t even feel the beginnings of with Jake until almost 25 weeks) and has been noticeably moving for several weeks now.  I’ve actually felt the kicks on the outside once or twice, but TJ is never handy at the moment that Belly Bean (our nickname for this little one) decides to use all the power he/she has.  I hate writing he/she, but hopefully after Tuesday’s ultra-sound I won’t have to anymore…fingers crossed.  The big u/s is Tuesday (as I just said) and if the baby is cooperative we’ll know the sex.  How exciting.  Even more exciting, though, is that we’ll know that everything is okay with this baby and all the parts are working the way they should etc.  When I first found out I was pregnant it seemed like everything was moving so slowly and that the end would never get here.  I think I’m finally learning to slow down and just enjoy the process and being pregnant.  I don’t want this to go by too quickly as it’s probably the last time I’m going to experience this.

I say probably b/c TJ and I went into this pregnancy positive that it was going to be our last, but the farther I get into this one, the more I think it wouldn’t be so bad to have just one more.  Of course age becomes a  factor.  I’m going to be a few weeks away from my 36th birthday when this baby arrives and I would want to wait at least a year and half or two years before having another baby.  It took quite awhile for us to get pregnant with this one and I have no reason to think that all the hormonal problems that I had getting pregnant with B.B. (belly bean) will just go away after the birth.  So that would mean more rounds of Clomid (I don’t know if anyone in this family could handle my mood swings on that) more hoping, more disappointment initially and the possibility of it taking a year or more to happen.  I have to ask myself if I want to be chasing a five-year old around when I’m in my early 40’s and what would it mean to the possibility of TJ being able to retire in his mid-50’s.  I know all of these concerns are in the future, but they loom large in my mind for some reason.

This pregnancy has been great for my mental state!!!  Just like when I was pregnant with Jacob, it seems that all the depression, isolation and myriad other problems that plague me during the rest of my life just go away.  I’ve been leaving the house almost daily to go on outings, which anyone who knows me well knows is an extreme rarity for me.  I’ve even started wearing make-up on an almost daily basis again.  During the months and years of depression that followed Jacob’s birth and my back injury I had some good months where I made new friends and did social things, but of course I always crawled back into my proverbial hole and pulled away after a while.  I don’t know why I did/do those things, but I do.  Right now, though, the urge to get out there and mingle with the rest of the world is strong.  I even thought about going to a knit night at Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago, but wasn’t sure if the reception would be chilly and I would feel even more isolated than I did when I was self-isolating.  Long story short, I chickened out!  Not proud of that.  March is another month, though, and I will try again.  What’s the worst thing that could happen, honestly?  No one would talk to me, they would tell me they didn’t want me there?  I doubt that any of those ladies would be that cruel.  So even though I’m not expanding my horizons at the moment, I am really enjoying spending a lot more time with TJ outside the house.  We’re getting together with another mother from Jake’s school next week and taking Jake, his best friend and said best friend’s sister to the circus.  There’s a scary thought:  Clowns.  Hate ’em!  We’ve also been making family outings to the mall for Jake to play video games at the arcade when he has a good (green) week at school.  I’ll admit that TJ and I play as much as we watch.  It’s a fun family outing for all of us.

We’re also planning one last “family of three” trip over spring break for Jake.  We’re going to take the train to Chicago and spend a few days going to the aquarium and the children’s museum.  I think he’d be content to just have the train ride, but the rest will be a nice break and get away from home for all of us.  I’ve  been trying to do things with Jake that are fun for him as the time for the birth gets closer.  He hasn’t shown much in the way of jealousy thus far, in fact he’s been really excited about this baby coming, but I think that once the reality of the situation sets in and the baby isn’t just a concept in my belly, he’s not going to be thrilled with it.  He’ll love being a big brother, I think, but the loss of all the attention may be hard for him to deal with.  We’ve been talking to him about it regularly and trying to reassure him that there is more than enough love in our hearts for him and this baby.  Time will tell how he does with it, I guess…

Boring Day but a lot was accomplished.

I have a kitchen again!!!  YAY!  It’s not totally done, it still needs a new floor and cupboards/drawers etc. but the basics are in and working.  I have a single bowl sink with a removable faucet to help clean dishes.  The refrigerator is in the kitchen and running well.  The dishwaher, while looking kind of ugly without the counter top that one normally sees over it, is running well without leaking.  TJ and my FIL tell me that tomorrow night I should have my washer and dryer as well as sink basin down the basement fully functional.

My knitting has kind of taken a beating these last few days.  I did finish the Twist wrist warmer that was suppsed to complete the pair for my mother who now tells me she doesn’t know where the original is and can I please make yet another one.   G00d thing Malabrigo has a decent sized skein and this pattern doesn’t seem to use a ton of it. There’s enough left.

I ordered a bunch of Knit Picks Shine Sport last night to make the Moderne Baby Blanket from Mason/Dixon knitting.  I’m using the colors Blush, Silver Sage, Green Apple, and Willow.  All very lightish shades that I think the pink will stand out against, but not too much.  I didn’t want to do anything too traditionally girly.  I also ordered the yarn for the Anouk pattern from Knitty in the same brand and same colors that are reccomended.  It seemed like a rather non-traditional kind of gift and it will serve more than one purpose.  If it’s too big to be a dress for the new baby, the older girl who is three could probably wear it as a top for awhile first.  I love clothes like that, especially baby clothes, that can serve multi-purposes.  YAY!!

I’m planning a knit night here in the next month.  Going to look at a calendar now…brb…Maybe Feb. 3rd or 4th or else the 10th or 11th.  I’ll leave that up to the girls to decide.  Shelly said that she would attend and I couldn’t be more excited about that.  Maybe I can even convince Andrea to come down for a few days to be a part of things…we’ll see.  I’m not really sure what to serve, bring etc. to this thing.  I was thinking some pumpernicle and spinach dip b/c it’s always cool to eat the food container.  Definitely a selection of wines and some beers; a few mixies etc. along with juice, iced tea, coffee, tea, and soda.  That should keep everyone happy.  I’ll bake some bread and put out butter and I’ll leave the rest to chance.  I hope we have our love seat by then.  Otherwise we’ll be using the coffee table as well as the couches and recliners.  I just want everyone to be happy and to have a good time here.  I miss hanging out and knitting with the gang but feel like I’m a bit out of step with everyone.  ARGH!!!

I’ve picked the pattern for my CamelSpin yarn.  I can’t remember what it’s called, but it’s a VERY simple triangular shawl with eyelettes and that’s about it.  I wanted something that wasn’t too fussy nor too lacy and I want to feel the softeness all around me every time I wrap myself in it – which will be often.  Later, when I can afford to buy more, I’ll make myself a HUGE Clapotis style wrap for laying on the couch with…without the drops, of course.

That’s about it.  Nothing new to report except I might have to maim my child if he doesn’t stop asking to come and sleep next to me.  It’s been a real bitch getting him to sleep in his own bed these last few weeks.  We’ve moved his mattress right next to our blow up bed (we still have to get our bed unpacked and put back together) and that’s not good enough anymore.  Now it’s all about wanting to be right up against me while he sleeps.  UGH!!!  I adore him and I want to be with him all the time, of course, but how will I ever have another baby with him in the bed with us anytime we enter this room.  Babysitters are the key, I think.  Someone to watch him so we have time to work on baby #2…LOL