Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Planning is one thing, living is totally different

If you know me, you know I like to plan things out.  I make daily to-do lists, I have multiple calendar's through out my home where I'm always recording my husband's work schedule and making plans for his days off.  And if you read this blog before my baby was born I had plans of being green and saving money.  Plans like breastfeeding exclusively, using only cloth diapers, not using generic baby wipes, using only homemade laundry detergent, reusing cloth vs paper towels, using cloth postpartum pads vs generic plastic.

Planning is a wonderful tool, but it need only be a tool to attempt to live life that way.  I have found in the last 2 weeks since my son was born that cloth diapers that I have don't yet fit my son, they are too big, so we are using Pamper's swaddlers and no they aren't biodegradable but entirely helpful with their wetness indicator.  I tried out the Honest diapers we received as a free sample which are 98% biodegradable and they don't hold up to the task at hand.  Urine leaks thru quite steadily and the size is too small for my son.

We are also using baby wipes as well for the poopy mess in the diapers because they simply work a lot better then my cloth wipes and home made spray.  The home made spray works great for just wet diapers but not poopy.  I researched baby wipes on the Skin Deep Database and the Walgreen's brand of baby wipes rate very low on the scale for not being harmful in any fashion for your baby, so that's what we use. 

You realize that when you are a new mom and are at home most of the day with just your baby that quick is better then taking your time.  I'm sure there is a time when you need to take the time, but when your son is feeding every 2 hours and you still have to burp in that amount of time, a paper towel vs cloth works a lot smoother.  You also realize you don't have the time to do laundry like you thought was going to take care of all of these new cloth reusables you had planned on using.  I'm not currently using family cloth because I found out the hard way that blood is a lot harder to get out of fabric vs just using toilet paper.  So until my postpartum bleeding has stopped its toilet paper for me.  I'm also not allowed to lift any more weight then the weight of my son, so doing laundry has to be done when my husband is home so he can carry it down to the basement, and either carry it out side to be hung or carry it back up stairs to be put away.  And as much as I have bled in the last two weeks I wouldn't have had enough cloth post partum pads to hold me thru considering laundry isn't getting done as often as I would like.  My doctor told me I had to change my pad every time I went to the bathroom due to the stitches from my episiotomy and so it wouldn't be come infected.

I'm also not producing enough breastmilk for my son.  Maybe I would be if I wasn't diagnosed with pulminary embolisms a couple of days of being discharged from the hospital with my son and readmitted to the hospital.  I'm currently on 2 blood thinners Lovonox shots and Coumadin.  My milk came in the day I was readmitted to the hospital for this.  But the stress of being hospitalized for pulminary embolisms and taking blood thinners that totally change what I am allowed to eat, still checking my blood sugars for my doctor (when I remember), making sure my son is fed every 2 hours as he was jaundiced, and still remembering to take care of myself I think the stress caused my milk production to decrease dramatically.  We've had to start supplementing with formula.  Instead of gaining weight he was losing weight.  I pump now about half the time I breast feed but he gets most of his nourishment thru formula because I'm not producing.  I've read that all the times you supplement with formula are taking away from your body producing more milk but I will start him on my breast and nothing comes out, or I start him on my breast, he gets what he can and we finish off with formula.  Now he is gaining weight.

So as much as I loved to plan prior to having this amazing little boy, I have to let it go and realize that I can't plan everything.  I pulled my acceptance to the Land of the Loon Art Festival here in Virginia a week before he was due thinking there was no way I would be able to sew enough inventory for a show in 1 month due to the fact that my downtown studio is in pieces because my tables are still being used in our garage, my machine is here.  Though my home studio is 98% done for the portion my husband and my mother have been working on, its not ready for furniture yet.  A wall and the floor still need to be finished with paint then moving furniture in, which I'm not allowed to do until 6 weeks postpartum.

I made the decision to dissolve my business, "That's Sew Jenni" December 1st of this year.  I will still make crafts and maybe sell at shows, but they'll be smaller shows, more then  likely 1 day shows that are affordable.  My son is the most important person and he deserves all of my attention.  I'm waiting till December because I do have shows I can't pull out of and get a full refund and I do want to sell out my inventory.  I've stopped making a lot of my aprons and just selling what I have.  I'm still making the smaller items because I can and have easily sold them wholesale to various shops.

So lesson learned, planning is great when its just you or you and your spouse, but bring children into the mix and ah, forget it, there are more important things in life then your to-do lists and perfect planning!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Baby has Arrived!

I'm very sorry I haven't posted anything since May 3rd!!!!  Though there were quite a few events since then to why I have not had the time to post anything.  May 4th & 5th we had a garage sale, the 4th I started experiencing contractions 5 min apart for most of the day so I went to the hospital.  False Labor.  The 5th I went in because I was leaking a clear discharge but it was not my amniotic fluid so I went home.  I swelled up like a balloon from that Saturday till the following Wednesday when I had a weekly doctor appointment.  It felt like I had tires around my upper thighs and my feet were so swollen it hurt to walk. 

The 6th-11th I was "babysat" so to speak by either my husband or my parents when my husband was at work "in case" my water broke, they didn't want me to be alone.  I told my husband and parents that on Saturday the 12th I was staying home when my husband went to work, that I wasn't going to their house because if we keep "playing it safe" I'm never going to go into labor.  All day I had been continuing to leak more clear fluid, this actually continued to happen since the previous Saturday when I went in except this time, I was getting wet more quickly.  I didn't want to go back to the hospital for another false alarm as the hospital we chose was 30 miles away, not the one 2 blocks from our house.

So I spent quite a bit of time online trying to figure out if there was a way you could test the fluid at home to know it was amniotic fluid.  I found a post that if you had ph paper and tested the fluid and it turned dark blue or 7.0 then it was amniotic fluid, as the ph balance of amniotic fluid is 6.8.  So amazingly enough I had ph paper at home.  I tested it 3x and it turned dark blue every time.  I tested my urine to make sure and that definitely did not turn dark blue.  I called the OB floor and explained, they had never heard of that and as usual told me that if that is what I suspect the only way to know is to come in so they can run a test.  So I called my mom and she picked me up and we went.  I didn't call my husband at work because last time I went in, it was a false alarm.  We went, they swabbed, we waited 20 min for the results during which my husband called my cell phone and asked me to look something up online and I said I couldn't because I was in the hospital.  He was irritated I didn't call him, but I told him, if I called you, it would be a false alarm.  I told him we were waiting and we didn't know yet and there was no reason for him to leave work if it was a false alarm.  My results came back that it was indeed amniotic fluid.  It never gushed, it trickled.  The hospital's policy is that if you are leaking amniotic fluid you are admitted.  So, I called my husband back and said, well, my water broke.

They immediately started me on pictocin via IV.  I wasn't having contractions.  Slept pretty good thru out the night, my doctor even let me eat until I got to 4 cm.  My doctor stopped by in the morning of the 13th (Mother's Day) and examined me.  Upon doing so, I suddenly felt like a gallon of warm water came gushing out of me.  I asked her, what in the world is that?!  She stated she broke my water and what I had leaking was from a small tear more then likely at the top of my uterus.  She was hoping this would speed up my contractions.  It did.  I aimed for natural child birth with no drugs.  Though eventually I couldn't handle the contractions when I was still a 2 so they gave me Fentinol which helped me go to an 8!  At which point they told me I couldn't have any more Fentinol and it was either an Intrathecal or an Epidural both which are long needles in the back and both of which I never wanted.  So I said no.  Pushing contractions were not painful like contractions that make you dilate.  I was told I pushed for 3 hours, I'm not sure if that is for baby and placenta or just baby.  You tend to lose track of time when you're pushing a baby out.

I am unsure at what point in my pushing I became utterly exhausted, but I told my doctor, "I know I said I didn't want you to use forceps or a vacuum, but I'm tired."  So she first tried an episiotomy in which I didn't feel and when they thought I should feel a burning sensation down there I never did.  Then she attached the vacuum and told me on the next push she would use the vacuum.  I have never pushed so hard in my LIFE!  We were successful except then that the umbilical cord was wrapped around my son's neck so she had the nurses push down on my pelvic cavity to stop him from going back up the birth canal, and with more pushing after that and pulling with the vacuum he was out and on my chest!  Though I remember thinking, I did it, but I can't see him, I was flat on my back with no energy to look up.  After my husband cut the umbilical cord they took him so I could expel my placenta.  Well, lets just say this was harder then anything I've ever read about it being like.  The placenta wouldn't detach so my doctor told me she had to go in after it and detach it with her hand after she had just stitched me up.  So they gave me a little bit more of the Fentinol and it was still excruciating.  Eventually she got it out and when it came out it exploded.

My little boy was born at 7:27pm on Mother's Day, weighing in at 8 lbs 6 oz, 21 inches long, with a full head of hair!  I didn't get to hold him again until 10pm when I was completely cleaned up and he was set to breast feed.

Since then on the 17th of May I called my doctor regarding what had thought I read about chest pain being a side effect of the Iron I was taking and they wanted me to come in as soon as possible.  They had me take an X-Ray that came up clean, then an EKG that was fine, and then I had to wait an hour for a CT scan in which came up with Pulminary Embolisms, I was immediately admitted to the hospital again and put on Heprin a blood thinner via an IV.  I was told I would be in the hospital 1-2 days, I was also started on coumadin.  The doctor in the hospital however told me I could go home when my INR reached 2-3.  Saturday morning I was still a 1.  However, my doctor and the lactation consultant told me I could take a form of the Heprin via a shot I administer to myself at home called Lovenox.  The only reason I didn't take it right away is because it wasn't proven safe with breast feeding.  The research indicated that the molecule in Lovenox is too big to transfer thru breastmilk and there for wouldn't affect my son.  That and if Lovenox is ingested thru the mouth it kills the drug.  So I am still giving myself Lovenox injections via a shot in the stomach.

I am scared that something will happen with the clots that they haven't dissolved since my number was a 1 when I left the hospital last Saturday and Monday morning went down to a .0.8, my doctor increased my coumadin and I get tested tomorrow again.  The clots could move to my brain and cause a stroke or to my heart and give me a heart attack.  We are praying I am ok.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Isn't it amazing how stuff just starts to "clutter" in our homes?  It doesn't take long if you don't have the mentality to not accept something that is offered to you.  If you don't have a NEED for it you simply shouldn't take it.  Have you ever seen that show "hoarders"  its amazing how people can just collect random stuff because it was super on sale or someone was giving it away free or dirt cheap.  Just because something is a HUGE deal doesn't mean you NEED it.  I think this is the mentality my dad has.  He's not a hoarder like you see on TV.  He does own a VERY LARGE house with many garages for just one guy.  He has a 4 bedroom home that is 3 levels.  All 3 levels are livable and fully furnished.  As well as an attached 2 stall garage, a detached 3 stall garage, a shed and a fish house he uses as extra storage.  He will blame most of his "stuff" on the death of my grandmother and that a lot of it is her's.  My grandmother passed away 5 years this August and I had the bulk of what she had in her last few months, after she passed, I kept what I wanted and had a large sale after she died.  So the excuse my dad uses is a crock. 

My dad will often complain that he has "no money."  This is the funniest thing I think I've ever heard him say.  For one man in his early 60s who did not pay for his only daughters education who owns a minimum of 7 cars at a time with a fully furnished home with a ton of antiques and such I find it difficult that he has no money.  He essentially retired after my grandmother passed as she was quite wealthy.  I often tell him, if you have no money then downsize to 1-2 vehicles.  Put ads in the paper and sell some of these antiques that have no other purpose in your home other then to fill a void or an empty space.  He is beyond materialistic as he says he doesn't want to exist in this world if he can't have his stuff.

Then there is me.  I've never wanted to be considered a "pack rat" like my parents.  My father is far worse then my mother and my mother is getting A LOT better as she doesn't take things she doesn't need, for her its getting rid of what she already has.  I had part of the mentality that my home needs to look homey and in order to do so, you need to fill it with furniture and items that make it look a certain way.  I've not had to purchase most of the items in my home because my grandmother supplied me with most of the furniture I'd ever need.  But, then I got married and had my own interests and likes and as time has gone on I've sold the things she gave me and accumulated "our" style items.  But we don't keep what we replace, we replace it, the old needs to leave.  I still have pieces in which I've inherited but they are worked into our lives only if we find a use for them.

Last weekend we had a garage sale and this weekend we are having another.  My husband tells me today, I'm so glad you have started parting with so many of the things you've had.  Wow.  My husband rarely says stuff like this.  I told him, there is no reason to have any of the items in the garage that we've hauled out there.  He's glad I'm parting with my grandparents Wedding Dishes, like I told my parents, I don't have a table that seats 12, let alone an occasion in which to have such a party that you would use rare, breakable dishes, they sit and collect dust in our livingroom.  Our house wouldn't even fit that many people.  This is not 1950.

I just went thru my jewelry boxes.  I've always had 3 boxes.  Which is kind of funny if you know me.  When I'm not pregnant and have normal size fingers, I will always be wearing my wedding ring and 1 other ring which I saved for, for 2 summers and had my eye on at an Art Gallery in Grand Marais, MN.  That's it for rings, I don't wear bracelets, I wear a watch, and then usually a silver chain my husband bought for me for my 16th birthday with either a cross pendant my mother bought me the same year at Christmas or one of the many other pendants I've picked up over the years.  That's it.  I don't wear earrings pierced or regular, I had pierced ears at one point in time, but I've always had the mentality, "I am me for me, if you want me to wear make-up, jewelry, high heels, etc. then you need find something else to be your friend, because I am me, the way I am."  Plus, high heels hurt, yes they can be cute, but seriously people cute is over rated, comfort is so much better!  Who cares what people say about you, its what you say about you that matters.

I also just went thru my shoes.  All flats, all entirely adorable.  Though my dainty feet are no longer so, I'm still 9 months pregnant and my feet are swollen but I fear they have spread and they don't go back, so 6 pairs of totally adorable shoes are waiting on going out to the garage.  I kept a pair in white and a pair in black that I had on not that long ago that I'm hoping after the baby is born and the swelling goes away I can still wear them.

My point is we gather "clutter" so easily.  When was the last time you brought something home you didn't need?  Think about it, do you need it?  Did you need it at the time?  Is it something you could have borrowed instead?  I'm a huge buyer of books or at least I used to be.  Now I look online in my local library's catalog.  If my library doesn't have it, another library does, they'll get it for me.  If its a book with so much GREAT info that I can't live with out then I look on ebay or amazon for a used cheaper version and then buy that.  Barnes and Nobel is no longer a place I go in and come out with $60 worth in books because I can read most of them for free from the library.

I'm decluttering/organizing/cleaning because I'm nesting and I don't want all this excess "junk" taking up my time when my time is supposed to be with my bundle of joy when he arrives.  People are irreplaceable.  I tell this to my husband all the time, we are often in the city in which his family lives and I often encourage him to visit, and he doesn't want to.  Then they blame me for keeping him from his family which I'm not sure why they don't call and ask him why he doesn't come instead of just blaming me?  But whatever.  I see it as we need to spend time with people vs our junk.  Not every one sees it that way including my own father but when you can control the clutter to make room for family time, DO IT!

I'm going back to bringing items out to the garage as it grew quite dark all of a sudden and its only 4:19pm, hoping it doesn't rain...