Lucky number 3!

I am a terrible blogger. I know, I take breaks that are entirely too long, reappear out of nowhere with big news, then disappear again. It’s a terrible habit. I know I am no good at keeping up with this thing regularly, but I do love coming back to it later and seeing the big, important, emotional moments of my life written out. So, I keep blogging when I have something I feel like blogging about.

Right now, I have something huge!

6ws

Adam impregnated me again. =D We are so excited! Our girls are incredible and beautiful and amazing and hilarious and we can’t wait to add to our brood… maybe this time we will get a little more testosterone in the house? We have actually known for quite a while, since the beginning of September, but kept it to ourselves while we did the initial confirmation and other fun doctor stuff. Now I am almost 10w along so we are sharing our incredible news with the world.

IMG_9031s

The girls are basically oblivious to what’s going on, which is to be expected from a 1 year old and a 2 year old, but since they are older than Kaia was when Kalista arrived we are going to keep talking about it in the hopes that they will understand when the big day gets here. Right now, if I ask Kaia what’s in mommy’s belly she will say baby, and if we start talking about babies she will point to her own belly. ❤ Kalista knows how to say “baby” but that’s about the extent of her understanding. I am really excited to get them their own little baby dolls as the pregnancy progresses and teach them how to take care of them. Hopefully that will help them get excited and help it to click a little bit.

That’s my big announcement for this installment of As the Alexander’s Turn… stay tuned (but don’t hold your breath, who knows how long it will take me to post again) for upcoming developments. =P

Advertisements

Dear Kalista,

The first thing that I want to tell you is that I love you. I have loved you from the moment I found out you were coming, and I still love you just as much… no, more… than I did then. You are my second, and I want to make sure that you never feel second best. I love you as much, although in different ways than, your sister. Although I am sure that at times I will fail, I promise that I will try to never compare you to Nikaia in any way that makes you feel like you aren’t good enough. You are good enough, you are smart enough, you are brave enough, you are beautiful enough… YOU are more than enough all by yourself. On the same token… You entering our lives was an addition to the family, not a substitution or a replacement for anything your sister was lacking. You are two very unique, very special, very amazing little girls and while we will never love you exactly the same (since you are two very different people), we will always love you both with our whole hearts. There will be no splitting our love between you, you both get ALL of the love we have to give.

There are so many things I hope for you. I hope that you will be ridiculously happy with whatever life you create for yourself. I hope that you will take the time to stop and smell the roses. I hope that you will find a creative outlet that allows you to release your sadness and express your happiness.  I hope you will find your voice and never be afraid to use it. I hope that you will know the joy of carrying a baby and I hope that motherhood will impact your life the way that being your mother has impacted mine. I hope that you will recognize and utilize the ambition that you have inside of you. As a baby you had hip dysplasia and needed therapy to do simple things like roll, crawl, and transition from one position to another. You never let your limited range of motion stop you from doing what you wanted to do. As a baby you couldn’t care less what prognosis doctors gave you, you didn’t understand those silly words and continued to work towards whatever you wanted no matter what came out of your doctor’s mouth. I hope that as an adult you will continue to let the silly words of others pass right by you and go for what  you want no matter what anyone else thinks about it.

Right now you are 10 months old, and already I see a fire in you that I wish I had in me throughout my life. Your determination and your attitude while you work so hard to do things that other babies do with ease, is absolutely inspiring to watch. You don’t need inspirational quotes, or pep talks, or an adult understanding of the importance of reaching your goals… All you need is that shiny toy in the corner that looks oh so delicious. Your motivation isn’t muddied by someone else’s opinion of you, your self worth isn’t defined by your ability to keep up with anyone else, you do what you want to do because YOU want to do it. This attitude is lost on so many people as they grow, or they never have it at all. You are special, though. You are brave. Watching you has renewed my own sense of self, and brought me new life, not just in the form of you but within me, too. You being here and causing me to change more diapers, spend more money, do more housework, and wake up more often isn’t the only change you have brought… you have caused a change for the better within me just by being you, and you didn’t even have to try.

Your father and I are so happy that you came into our family. We are so grateful that we get to be your parents. We are overjoyed that you are Nikaia’s sister. We love you so much!

Mom

2 years, 2 pregnancies, 2 kids, 2 weeks

You know those moms who go on and on about how amazing their kids are…  how much they love being a parent…  how becoming a mom changed their lives…  describing all of the normal things their kids do like they are somehow new or unbelievable?  Those moms always drove me crazy.  I would find myself thinking, ‘No one cares that your son blew raspberries and spit all over himself, lady.‘ or ‘Kids are supposed to laugh, what makes your kids giggling fit so noteworthy?’  I wondered why they found these seemingly simple, mundane, completely expected things so earth shattering-ly awesome.

Today, I caught myself thinking the same thoughts I have been inwardly mocking them for saying out loud for years.  Sitting on the bed with my daughter, watching her rock back and forth making excited toddler noises, seeing her flash me a huge smile and say “hi” while she tried to wave at me but had her hand turned so she was really waving at herself…  I thought she was just the cutest, most fascinating, most unbelievable little being on the planet.  I was even crafting clever status updates in my head to post on FB describing her adorable acts of toddlerdom.  I looked at her and actually caught myself thinking, ‘She is the most beautiful thing on the planet. I can’t imagine a more gorgeous face.’   I actually thought those words!  Just typing that out is making me feel like the worst of the sappy moms to ever inhabit the planet, and the worst part…  I am PROUD of it.  Even as I sit here typing this right now I am realizing that I talk about how I have turned into one of these moms, a LOT, because I am so excited to be feeling what the sappy moms of the past feel instead of wondering what it feels like.  Parenting turns you into the mushiest love sick ball of goo, and apparently, into a hypocrite, too.  In this case, being a hypocrite is basically bad ass because in order to become one you get to experience having this little creature invade your life and take over, filling it with all of those sappy things that makes you cry from being so happy and junk.  Not a bad trade off.

That’s not all that  hit me, though…  In exactly two weeks from today (or less, depending on if Skeletor has the courage to attempt a jail break) I will have another child.  ANOTHER one.  I think back two years to when I never thought I would have ANY child and I mocked these proud parents who were just reveling in the day-to-day ooey gooey cuteness of their own kids and I am still in complete shock that two years later I have been through two pregnancies, and I am about to give birth to my second child only two weeks from today.

Today, two is my lucky number.

A few things I have learned about pregnancy this time around…

1. It doesn’t always matter what happened the last time you were pregnant, that doesn’t mean the next one will be anything like what you have already experienced. The more pregnancy and birth stories I hear, the more it rings true. Just like no two people are the same, no two pregnancies are the same. There is always something different, and sometimes those differences are HUGE.

2. Guessing right while pregnant isn’t a super power.  The idea that pregnancy gives a woman a magical ability that grants some kind of sixth sense sounds great, and it probably makes pregnancy seem more magical and miraculous than it feels when you have what has to be a little jackhammer in there pounding on your innards, but highly emotional doesn’t equal highly insightful. Guessing the gender of your baby before you find out what it is doesn’t count as super pregnant spidey sense. There are only two possible options. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to guess right when you have a 50% chance.

3. Peeing will become an olympic sport. There are times you will have to bend, twist, distort, and balance your body in ways you never thought you could with a bowling ball attached to your abdomen. THIS is a real pregnancy super power, and it becomes necessary at some point in almost every pregnancy just to get the pee to come out. Even if you have to pee REALLY REALLY BAD.

4. Never fool yourself into thinking you are in charge and making the decisions. Until that kid is old enough to understand exactly what you are saying to it, all control belongs exclusively to them. Any decision that you make regarding your birth plan, labor and delivery, and the first few months of that babies life that actually DO go according to your plan only go that way because the BABY decided that it was a suitable plan. If you accept that now, you will feel like less of a failure when things crumble, and at some point they WILL crumble.

5. Any parent that tells you that they had zero trouble getting pregnant, a perfect pregnancy, and the exact pain-free perfect delivery that they always imagined is a liar. There is no need to call them a liar, however. Just know that this fantasy of perfection they have created in their head is most likely a facade to mask the disappointment they feel over the loss of control that their precious bundles of joy cause them to feel when they ruin all of their meticulous plans.

6. Pregnancy HURTS. As magical as making a new life is, and it is indeed a profoundly incredible experience, it fucking hurts. It is not supposed to be a day at the spa. It is SUPPOSED to hurt. Especially at the end. It is also important to note that it is normal to feel an increase in the aches, pains, pressure, and overall ickiness the further along you get. The life inside of you is doing unspeakable things to your insides. If you didn’t feel all of that you wouldn’t be a human being. This does not mean that your baby is done cooking, ready to come out, or needs to evacuate early. It means they are growing like they should which is a GOOD thing. This leads me to the most important thing I have learned…

7. Never take any precious day of gestation for granted. No matter how easily you got pregnant, how symptom free or symptom laden pregnancy is, how early you or someone else in your family was born/gave birth, how uncomfortable you are, how anxious you are to see your baby, or how well someone else’s baby did even though they were born early… Every day closer to your due date that you get with that baby still in your belly is a BLESSING. Through all of the morning sickness, aches, pains, breathing problems, heartburn, pressure, back problems, shooting vag pain, sleepless nights, joint spreading issues, contractions, or any other uncomfortable or downright painful symptom you have, if you can make it to 40 weeks then you are one of the lucky ones. Setting your sights on a 37 week delivery date for your baby when your due date is 40 weeks will not only set yourself up for disappointment if it doesn’t happen, but if you actively TRY to evict that baby before you reach your due date and they aren’t ready, it could rob your child of those last few important weeks when a lot of the essential organ development happens. Even if the baby has a 99% chance of survival outside the womb at 37 weeks gestation, even a 1% chance that your baby could die is worth keeping them in a little longer. I guarantee, it isn’t suddenly easier to deal with a baby when they can’t control their body temperature, have issues eating, or have digestive issues that cause them extremely painful reflux (things that a few more weeks in the womb could have greatly effected) than it is to deal with a few more weeks of pregnancy.

So far this pregnancy I have known three women who have given birth to their babies prematurely. Two of them died shortly after birth. The third is in the NICU and struggles with issues daily that would break any mother’s heart to watch their child go through. That mother will not be able to bring her baby home with her for MONTHS. All three of these women would have endured every single bit of pain that other women complain about just to have a few more days of gestation and give their babies a better chance than they had. The pain of 40 weeks of pregnancy is NOTHING compared to the pain of losing your child, and because of that, anyone who is lucky enough to make it to the end should never take that for granted.

Procrastination!

I have been trying to gather my thoughts for a few weeks and figure out what I want to write about and it hit me today that unless I just open this thing up and start writing, I will never actually update. I know, I know, slow on the uptake…

So, here I am. A lot of thoughts have been swirling around lately, about pregnancy, kids, family, careers, life goals… Most of all I have decided that I need to change the direction of my life so that my kids will have better lives. I know, DUH TRINA. Doesn’t everyone want that? Figuring out HOW to do that is where the problems start.

There are a few things that I KNOW. One, I am not as financially responsible as I should be. While we aren’t incurring any new debt, and we do pay down some of our old debt, I don’t have a working budget that I stick to and we aren’t saving any money. While we aren’t being stupid, plenty of people live “paycheck to paycheck” and to do so without digging a bigger hole is good, we aren’t being SMART either. I don’t want to work until I die to afford my bills. I don’t want to tell my kids “Sorry, no college fund, we can’t help you”. I don’t want to have to scramble every time the car needs a repair. So, we need to get our financial house in order. I look back on our financial decisions when we first got married almost 10 years ago, and thinking through the years I can pinpoint multiple places where if we had just done this, or saved that, or changed the other thing we would be so much better off right now. I don’t want to look back in ANOTHER 10 years and view it the same way, except with a whole new decade of regret added on.

Two, I really want to focus on what kind of family we want to be. Now that our family is drastically changed, and continuing to change with the addition of another baby being born next year, I find myself thinking a lot about the traditions my family had growing up and what I want to do for my own kids. Some things will be different. For example, we don’t celebrate Christmas, so any Christmas traditions I want to carry on will have to be altered to fit Yule instead (although we will still attend family events for Christmas with our families, just not celebrate it in our own house). I remember having family dinner at the table every night with my grandparents. I remember taking vacations together, mainly to Disneyland. I remember how we did chores, the ages we were allowed privileges, bedtimes, rules for sleepovers… so many different traditions and rules in my house growing up that I am going to have to establish for my own kids now. As a child I accepted the way my grandparents ran the house as the way it was but I never understood WHY they did things the way they did. As a parent I realize now that it wasn’t arbitrary or accidental, my grandparents really thought about each rule and every tradition and what those things meant for us. Now I find myself weighing pros and cons to all kinds of decisions, wondering what message it will send to my kids, what things I am willing to bend on and what I feel strongly about sticking to no matter what, and how I will set different standards for each child based on what works best for THEM when I need to without making them feel like I am playing favorites. Being faced with the realization that I now have to make all of these choices for my own kids really gives me a new appreciation for my grandparents! What amazing, amazing people.

Three, pregnancy for me the second time around is a COMPLETELY different experience, one I should stop over analyzing and just enjoy for what it is. Being almost 22 weeks pregnant with child #2, pregnancy and having another baby is something that is almost constantly on my mind. Not only the health of my baby and how to prepare for their arrival, but how drastically different this pregnancy is from my last. I was exactly this pregnant (-1 day) at exactly this time last year, but how I feel about pregnancy and my reaction to expecting another baby are as different as night and day. I am ecstatic to bring another life into my family. Physically my pregnancy doesn’t feel any different from my first. A few things are different, but the symptoms are the same at about the same time. The difference lies in how I feel about being pregnant. Last pregnancy I stayed in a constant state of awe and disbelief the entire time, while this time being pregnant feels completely normal and natural. I am not anxious about every little ache, pain, cramp or twinge. I don’t check for blood on the toilet paper every time I pee. I don’t jump and go gaga over every kick to the gut. Being so calm and accepting and pregnancy feeling so ordinary to me worried me at first. I thought maybe it meant I wasn’t excited for this baby, or that I wouldn’t love it or be in as much awe over it as I was with Nikaia. This time I don’t have the giddiness I did last pregnancy, but I have left all of the stress and anxiety and overwhelming worry behind as well. That’s not to say I don’t have crazy overemotional pregnant rampages once in a while on one of my more hormonal days, but they aren’t about the baby this time. =P I struggle with this, and I know I shouldn’t, but I do.

Anyway, that is my rambling for today. I need to make a better effort to post more often so that every entry isn’t a big senseless word vomit of my thoughts for the last two months and actually has some kind of point to it. Maybe I should post more about how I don’t know what to post about and I am putting off posting. =D

Out of the scary zone…

Today I had my out of the scary zone appointment…. That first OB appointment after the chances of miscarriage drop significantly (which is around 10 weeks gestation). I went in concerned about a few things. First, of course, that everything was okay. This early on it’s hard to be confident even if you don’t have any adverse symptoms just because you can’t FEEL the baby moving around. I was also scared that my doctor was going to push back my due date, again. We went in initially thinking I was going to be due around January 6, 2012, and then were shocked to find out that I had ovulated a whole 19 days late and was almost three weeks less pregnant than I thought. Even more shocking is that he set a tentative due date for January 25th, which was just one day before (or 364 days after, depending on how you look at it) Nikaia’s due date. Knowing that my last ultrasound was still early, and my doctor never said that my due date was set in stone last time, I was super paranoid that I was going to have to get used to yet another EDD. I knew that this appointment would be my “official” date though. Once he sets a for sure date, he doesn’t change it.

When we got there the first two people to see Nikaia, the nurse and my OB, both commented on how big she is. Those comments used to really hurt my feelings, and to be honest they still sting a little even though I know they shouldn’t. After being made fun of for being overweight, feeling self conscious about my own weight, and my struggle with obesity really effecting my self esteem, I think it is normal to immediately jump on the defense and get your feelers a little hurt when someone starts calling you or someone you love “big”. Logically I know that it means something TOTALLY different for a baby than it does for a grown woman (something that fully hit me today during my appointment), and I am working on embracing that she is a big girl instead of trying to defend it as if there is something wrong with it. Nikaia is big in every way, not just her chunky little thighs, but her personality as well. She is a little baby super star already, full of huge personality and (although I am bias I will still say it) totally adorable. I mention this for a reason, that will soon make sense as I finish talking about my appointment. =P

On to the appointment itself… When I got all measured (+2lbs, BP 115/75, urine sugars and protein normal) and went back to the room, I chatted with my doctor for a minute about how I am feeling and then hopped up on the table to take a look. I am very lucky in that I get an ultrasound every visit until about 34 weeks when the baby starts to get too big to see effectively. It is extremely reassuring to get to see what’s going on in there and see how much the babe is growing every time I go in, especially before I can feel anything. When my doctor unbuttoned my pants (that sounds so wrong… lol) and squeezed the goo on my belly, he said “You are a big girl!” and I was immediately like WHAT?!?!?!?! I couldn’t believe he was pointing out that I was overweight, especially since he has been seeing me consistently for a year now, and he has never said something like that! Then he said “My first daughter was big like you, too!” and I realized… He was talking to Nikaia. D’oh. That’s when it hit me, that sense of relief that he was talking about her… being a big baby is good!

Now that my irrational thoughts about Nikaia being a chubby monkey had passed, I shifted my focus to the ACTUAL reason we were there… Ultrasound! When we first found the babe it was just laying in there chillin’. My doctor said that we wouldn’t even bother looking for a heartbeat if we could get the baby to move, since it obviously couldn’t move if it didn’t have a beating heart, and as soon as he said it… BAM! Little mini Alexander #2 started bobbing and weaving like crazy. We just sat there and watched mesmerized for a good 3 or 4 minutes before anyone talked. =P

During the ultrasound I informed my doctor that we do not want to find out the gender before the baby is born this time, and he seemed excited at the prospect. I get the feeling he doesn’t have too many patients that decide to wait. I let it slip that Adam is really good at reading ultrasounds, and if he catches a glimpse of the goods he will probably be able to tell the gender, so my doctor promised me he would avoid letting him get a sneak peak. =D

After the ultrasound we went over a few things, including a short talk about my desires for delivery. Since I have delivered with him before, and I had a c-section only 5 months ago, I let him know that I am open to another c-section. He seemed relieved, I had a feeling he would be, and so that is the plan for the time being. I am, of course, able to change my mind later as long as I don’t have any complications that would prevent me from trying for a VBAC, but with the increased risk of things like placental rupture when you attempt a VBAC so soon after a c-section I am definitely leaning towards another c-section. My biggest concern with another c-section was timing, though. With my due date so close to my daughters birthday I want to guarantee that it isn’t scheduled on her birthday. As awesome as I may think it would be to have two kids born exactly a year apart, I don’t even want either of my kids to feel like they don’t have their OWN birthday, or like I chose to somehow merge it together instead of choosing to give them each their own special day. Thankfully, my doctor assured me that because I work full time (and we are reliant on my income to live), and because I not only have a small child at home but her birthday is so near my due date, I would have more control over choosing the day than I did with my daughter. He is going to do everything he can to give me the day I want.

Of course, I have already thought about a number of possible days, and decided on the one I want. I am a control freak like that. January 16, 2012. Barring some unforeseen circumstance like going into labor early, that is the day I am going to ask to have my c-section scheduled. ❤

So, that is my day in a very large nutshell! Before I wrap this up, I will share my ultrasound pictures! My doctor’s ultrasound machine may very well be as old as I am (no complaints since I get to see the minion every visit until around 34 weeks), so I apologize that the pictures aren’t super clear.

The officially official announcement…

I am officially pregnant!

 

After weeks of uncertainty, I got my second ultrasound and we saw the best thing in the whole wide world… A little tiny minion with a fluttering heartbeat residing in my gut.

 

It. Was. AMAZING.

 

I was soooooo scared that things weren’t going to turn out the way that they did. When I was pregnant with Kaia I never had that fear of miscarriage that women who find out they are pregnant in a reasonable time frame have. I was already 13 weeks along when I went to my first OB appointment, and everything looked so good on the ultrasound and my doctor told me that I was well out of the first trimester scary zone, so I just never worried. I had a smooth pregnancy, a dream really. The kind most women wish they could have (something I did NOT take for granted and am still extremely grateful for). So, this testing positive at not quite 4 weeks, and not seeing anything on the ultrasound, and having questionable hCG results… completely foreign and TERRIFYING territory for me. I have so much more compassion for women who are left in limbo wondering if they are going to stay pregnant. It’s one of the worst places I have ever been mentally.

 

Now, we wait. I gotta say, this finding out in the first trimester business is nonsense. Time is creeping by SO SLOWLY. My pregnancy with Kaia FLEW by, but so far this time it feels like every day is lasting 72 hours and every minutes is lasting 180 seconds. Next time I think I may be knockered I am going to hold off a little longer on testing, and just take prenatals as a precaution, so that I can “skip” the first few months like I did last time. =P

 

So, that’s my amazing, joyful, ecstatic, world changing (at least MY world) update! As of right now I am due January 25th, 2012, which is exactly one day less than one year from Kaia’s due date (which was January 26, 2011). It looks like Adam and I will be the proud parents of Irish Twins. =D We have also decided (although no guarantees this decision will stick) that we do not want to find out the babies gender before birth. With Nikaia, I felt girl SO STRONGLY right from the start, so I had to know if I was right because it was driving me crazy! Now that I have my girl, I am honestly okay with another little girl, or a little boy, so we want to try and wait it out and find out on their birthday. Nikaia’s birth, although the best day of my life to this point because it changed EVERYTHING, was not as exciting as it would have been had I gone through normal labor. It was very sterile, and scheduled, and serene. It was amazing, but I really think that adding the “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” to the delivery this time around will make it that much more exciting for us! So, that’s the plan!

 

Thank you to everyone who knew about what we were going through during all of this. Your support meant the world to me! ❤