Monday, October 10, 2011

Lilly's Birth

When I woke up Monday morning, I burst into tears. I just couldn’t bear it any longer. I was so tired of being pregnant! My back hurt, I couldn’t sleep, and I only had one shirt that fit and didn’t show my skin. To make it worse, it was my husband’s birthday, and I was in the worst mood ever! He spent the day trying to console me. At one point, I texted him telling him everything I hated about being pregnant, including that it took 15 minutes to put on shoes and I couldn’t see my vagina. I had a complete emotional breakdown as we went to bed that evening.

During the night, I was having a dream about when I had worked at KFC previously. I dreamed the sink in the back was overflowing. I woke up at 1:45 am covered in water! I tried to stop it thinking I had simply peed myself, but I couldn’t. I knew it was time! I jumped out of bed screaming like a banshee because I was so excited! I called my midwife, Jennifer, and she arrived about an hour later to check. My water had indeed broken and baby was doing great, so she told me to go back to bed and rest until labor started since I wasn’t having any contractions. I was a bit wound up, so my husband and I tried to get things ready since we knew as soon as the contractions started, I’d be pretty useless. My doula, Rochelle, arrived at 5 am to hang out, and we spent the day alternating between resting and walking. I wore a diaper to catch the leaking fluid. John went to Wal-Mart and bought a breast pump. We tried so hard to start my labor, but nothing! Jennifer stopped by to check the baby mid-morning before heading to another birth, and her back up midwife stopped by early evening to check and suggested I shower and go sleep for a while. Rochelle went home, and I showered and settled in to bed.

The next morning, I woke up prepared to get labor started and have my baby. I ate breakfast and went for a walk. I tried pumping with no success. Jennifer stopped by around lunch to bring some black and blue cohosh. 3 hours later, still no contractions. I tried castor oil, enemas, walking, pumping… Nothing seemed to get a good, solid contraction pattern. I had another emotional breakdown that afternoon because Jennifer suggested I go to the hospital, and I wasn’t quite ready to do that yet. I decided to try one more night of rest because I really wanted this home birth.

When I woke Thursday morning, I was extremely disappointed that I had spent yet another night asleep with no contractions. Jennifer called at 7 am and told me she was no longer comfortable not going to the hospital because my water had been broken for over 48 hours with no labor. She told me we were going to go to a smaller hospital a little farther away from my house because they were very birth friendly. She had called ahead and spoken to the OB, one she trusted, and he was willing to give me the pitocin and not interfere unless needed, as long as I agreed to take antibiotics since I was Group B Strep unknown (I had opted out of the testing). I cried, again, and started packing a bag for myself and the baby. I called Rochelle to let her know, and she came to my house to ride with us to the hospital. We drove the 30 minutes to the hospital discussing the new birth plan, and Jennifer met us there. We had agreed on a “code word” for if I felt I needed pain medications. We started the pitocin at 11 am, and when the nurse checked me, I was at 2 cm and -3 station. The baby was so high, no wonder my labor never started on its own!

We spent the rest of the day and all night with me laboring. My husband, doula, and midwife were there with me the whole time. When the contractions picked up, they were all such a big help! Jennifer went and borrowed a birth ball from a fellow midwife since we had forgotten ours. We laughed and joked throughout my labor as I tried to keep a very positive attitude through the pain. The baby was so needy! My monitor kept falling off, so someone had to hold the fetal monitor on constantly while I was laboring. I found my mantra, and I moaned “open” through my contractions, nice and low. I visualized my pain balling up in my uterus and pushing it out of my cervix to open it. At one point, my husband joked that I sounded like a zombie, so the next contraction I moaned “brainsss” instead. My husband and doula joked that they were going to be dreaming of me as a Buddhist monk moaning “open”. I used my code word at around 8 pm, and I was told “no” at first. We quickly figured out that as I started feeling like I couldn’t take it anymore, I really just needed a position change. However, me being the stubborn person I am, it was worse than pulling teeth to get me to change. At 2 am, after 15 hours of pitocin contractions with no meds, I broke down and begged for the Nubain. I needed something to help take the edge off, and I was able to focus through the contractions and rest in between. My husband and midwife both fell asleep, and my doula forced herself to stay awake since I was falling asleep (and nearly falling off the bed) between contractions.

At around 5 am, I felt things starting to go wrong. The contractions were more intense, and not in a good way. I knew in my heart I wasn’t making progress anymore. By 7 am, I was screaming through the contractions and trying to force my body to stop. I felt like my baby was stuck. When the nurse came in, I told her I needed an epidural because I needed to sleep and my baby needed to have a chance to adjust her position. She asked if I had used my code word. I replied with my fist in the air “yes, and they told me to fuck off!” in the most pitiful voice I could manage. My birth team was doing everything they could not to laugh. The nurse told my midwife that she’s seen several times that when a mom is as far as I am (I was at 8 and -1), often an epidural will give mom enough time to rest while the pitocin is increased to bring baby on down. I took the epidural and felt like I was disappointing my support team, but I knew I needed rest. Relief didn’t come soon though, because I was lucky enough to have a hot spot from the epidural. The anesthesiologist came and gave me a spinal block on top off the epidural so I could rest. The doctor checked me, and my baby was indeed stuck in Right Occiput Transverse. She was facing my left thigh, which was hindering progress as she couldn’t come down anymore. At this point, everyone except myself and my nurse thought I was about to have a c-section. After the spinal took effect, the doctor turned the pitocin up as a last ditch effort before deciding to cut. He also inserted an internal contraction monitor because the monitor on my belly wasn’t doing a good job tracking the contractions.

At 1 pm, the nurse came in and woke me up. I had the wonderful opportunity to sleep for 3 hours, and I definitely needed the rest. Jennifer had gone to return the birth ball to her fellow midwife, and Rochelle and John were both asleep in my room with me. The nurse said I was having compression contractions, so she wanted to check me. Sure enough, I was complete and ready to push! She had me give a few test pushes, and then she went to gather the supplies for the birth. Rochelle and John were both floored, and Rochelle texted Jennifer to tell her to come back ASAP because we were about to start pushing! I was lying in bed and so excited! My baby girl was going to be earthside very soon! Jennifer arrived and held one leg as John held the other. She was floored that I was about to vaginally deliver my child. Rochelle climbed on a chair behind the nurse and started taking pictures. I was ecstatic and pushed with all my might each time they told me to push. I asked Rochelle if she could see the head, and she told me she could. I asked if she had hair, and “oh yeah, there’s a ton of it!” I couldn’t help but smile through the entire pushing stage. The nurse got the doctor who didn’t believe I was actually about to push out this baby. He said he had another woman who was about to give birth, and my nurse told him to gown up because my baby would be out long before the other woman’s! He sat down, and 2 contractions later, my little girl came into this world. After 26 ½ hours in labor, Lilly Katherine was born.

I couldn’t stop staring as the doctor cut her cord. The nursery nurse was ready to take her, but the doctor saw I was reaching for her. He handed my little girl to me and told the nurses “mom wants to be with her now; you can get her later”. I couldn’t look at anyone else. I barely glanced at my husband, but my eyes were glued to the beautiful little girl covered in vernix. We spent an hour snuggled up before my husband took her to the nursery for a bath and to be weighed and measured.

While my daughter’s birth wasn’t the perfect home birth we had planned, I couldn’t be happier with how her birth went. Everyone was floored that I had achieved a vaginal birth. I never questioned it. I went into birthing head on knowing I needed to trust my body and listen to what it had to say, and I did just that. I knew my body wouldn’t betray me into having a c-section, just like I knew my body would work with the pitocin to turn my baby and bring her down for me. Lilly’s birth was indeed a very life-changing event. The only thing I regret about the entire experience was not birthing in the birth tub and my husband catching her. But, you know, since the pool was already set up and all, I used it for my herb bath when I got home the next afternoon. :)

Jennifer checking baby.

Black and Blue Cohosh. Yum.

SO thrilled to be at the hospital. (/sarcasm)

John needed a break.

After 20 minutes of pushing, Lilly was born!

Poor Jennifer looks so tired!

We finally met our baby girl!

I couldn't help but cry!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Yeah... It's been a while!

April 22 was my last blog post... Wow, yeah, it's been quite some time. A lot has happened in the past 3 months!

Well, we found an AMAZING midwife for our home birth and have been going full steam ahead on that. Her name is Jennifer, and she is spectacular. She really listens to everything I have to say, talks about ALL of my concerns, gives me a giant hug at every appointment, and has an awesome little cabin that feels like it's in the middle of the woods that she does her appointments out of. I'm so super comfortable there. My appointments are always an hour, compared to the 5 minutes I was getting at the doctor. We also talk about not only the baby, but how this pregnancy is affecting my relationship, my emotional and mental health, and any concerns about anything. She also has this awesome back up, Shawn, who is equally amazing. I don't feel stressed when I go see either one of them. I'm even totally ok with going by myself because I don't feel like John needs to smash some skulls to get someone to listen to me, which is a GIGANTIC plus!

We found out May 10 that our little Peanut is a girl! We have decided on Lilly Katherine Turknett as her name. She's very healthy, and I must admit, John and I both cried. (He cried a little more than I did, which caused me to laugh, which in turn caused the ultrasound tech to tell me to stop so she could get good pictures.) Incoming epic cuteness:

Our Lilly's sweet face

Lilly's feet!

We completed our childbirth classes. They were very helpful and VERY informative. Since they were given by our midwife, they were completely geared towards home birth. We very briefly covered epidurals and pain medicine and induction and pitocin because these aren't things that one has to worry about when giving birth at home. We covered it simply because there are times when transport to a hospital is necessary (albeit rare), and knowing what you're in for can help you better prepare and understand. We also talked about controversial topics like immunizations and circumcision. We discussed breastfeeding, and I'm really happy about that because I didn't know before then that I would literally have her attached to my breast every moment she's awake for that first little bit. It's nice knowing that ahead of time so I don't freak out thinking I'm not making enough. Literally, all newborns do is eat, sleep, and poop. Literally. Well, and be cute.. But they do that when they are eating, sleeping, and pooping. Great multitaskers already. ;)

One baby shower down; one to go. Baby shower number 1 was given by my mom, and I received some great things! We had a Luau themed shower, and it was super cute. I forgot my camera though, so I'll have to add those pics later when I get them from Grandma. :) Everything has been washed, opened, and put in it's place. I was given more uber cute clothes (to add to the gigantic amount I had thanks to a nursing friend who just had a little girl last fall), the stroller/carseat combo I asked for, a playpen (that I got early but still), diapers, toys, loads of bath stuff, a bath spout cover, a thermometer rubber duck, a baby bath tub, healthcare kits, a teeth kit, a handprint kit, and some other cool stuff! Baby shower number 2 is being given by Savannah, who is epically amazing. It's set for August 20. I can't wait.

This summer has been completely full of epic heat. It's killing me. I have spent entirely too much time indoors due to not being able to stand the heat (or sun) outdoors. I went swimming yesterday, and my sunscreen failed me. I'm a little sun-kissed now, but I was pretty red last night. Thankfully, my skin turns burn to tan rather fast, especially when it's super minor, even though even the tiniest sunburn is NOT good. We are super hoping Lilly gets my skin complexion vs John who just burns then turns white again. He's jealous of my tanning abilities... I'm jealous of his eyelashes. It works out. :)

31 weeks, taken a few moments ago

My belly is getting bigger by the day. It's getting harder to walk fast and harder to breathe. It's funny because there's sooo much extra weight in my belly, but I've lost weight overall. Total net weight loss to date : 13 pounds (16 pound loss, 3 pound gain). I do believe she will be a big baby, however not many agree when I tell them that. The most frequent question when I say WHY I think she's going to be a big baby is "are you sure your due date isn't off?" Yes. I'm sure. I know the exact date she was conceived, and the due date is based on dating the first ultrasound when she was literally just a little bean in a black sack. The reason I think she's going to be a big baby is that my uterus is now measuring big. She hit a growth spurt between 21 and 26 weeks. At 21 weeks, I measured 21 cm from pubic bone to top of uterus. At 26 weeks, I measured 28. At 27 weeks, 29 cm. 29 weeks, 32 cm. Generally, plus or minus 3 cm in either direction is fine. Also, the number of centimeters from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus is generally in line with how many weeks along the woman is, so 20 weeks would be roughly 20 cm, etc. At the 19 week ultrasound, she was already measuring about 12 ounces, where the average is roughly 8-9 at that time. It's fine. She's perfect. I was a big baby, so no biggie.

I passed my gestational diabetes screening with flying colors. John is envious of my sugar processing abilities. :) I have also managed to lower my blood pressure, which is also superb. Go. Me.

I think that's all the update I have for now... I'll try to keep up with this a bit better....

Friday, April 22, 2011

We have a decision.

We are going to start interviewing midwives for our home birth.

What is a midwife? According to : a midwife is a person qualified to deliver babies and to care for women before, during, and after childbirth. A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) is a nurse who has completed a master's degree program for the midwife profession and is professionally licensed. Basically, a CNM has the same level of education as a nurse practitioner, and many of us are just fine seeing a nurse practitioner for other health needs. At this point, I may very well keep leaning very far over into the "I definitely want to be a CNM when I grow up".

John and I have been doing research. Mostly me, but he has watched one documentary on me so far, and we have another on our Netflix. At first, John didn't understand why I wanted to even have the conversation. I'm sure many of you have the same question. Well, here's my explanation.

Directly from the World Health Organization :

With the global phenomenon of increasing urbanisation many more women are delivering in obstetric facilities, whether they are having normal or complicated births. There is a temptation to treat all births routinely with the same high level of intervention required by those who experience complications. This, unfortunately, has a wide range of negative effects, some of them with serious implications. They range from the sheer cost of time, training and equipment demanded by many of the methods used, to the fact that many women may be deterred from seeking the care they need because they are concerned about the high level of intervention.Women and their babies can be harmed by unnecessary practices. Staff in referral facilities can become dysfunctional if their capacity to care for very sick women who need all their attention and expertise is swamped by the sheer number of normal births which present themselves. In their turn, such normal births are frequently managed with "standardised protocols" which only find their justification in the care of women with childbirth complications.

Pregnancy isn't a sickness. It's not dangerous and life threatening (if everything is normal). Birth isn't a serious medical emergency that requires IVs, nothing by mouth, laying flat on your back with everything exposed and your feet in the air, and a million different drugs. Birth is natural. Very natural. Women have been getting pregnant and giving birth since the beginning of our species. We have been having babies long before there were doctors, hospitals, medicines, surgeries, policies. Yes, I know your next thought is "well, a lot of babies used to die during those times". You're right. Modern medicine is great when it is needed. Some women need to give birth at a hospital with lots of monitoring, emergency medicine, and doctors and surgeons to save both the mother's and baby's (or babies') life. However, it's not always necessary.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not dissing a woman's choice to go to the hospital rather than birth at home. Not. At. All. I do feel that women should have a choice. I know some women do not tolerate pain and want the pain medications. I know some women are too nervous that something may go wrong. I know many, many women just don't realize there is another choice. But this isn't about any other woman and her choices. It's about me, my choice, and my reasons for choosing this way.

I'm not considered high risk. I'm not even considered moderate risk. I am low risk. If something changes and I do become moderate or high risk, my decision will be obsolete because I will have no other choice but to deliver my child at the hospital. For now, we're going to stick with the low risk status which allows us choices.

I have chosen home birth because I know what I want to get out of the birth experience. For me, it's not just about the end product: the baby. It's an entire experience that I want to feel! I want to be able to listen to my body during this life changing event just like I listen to my body about other issues. I listen to my body when I get the heebe jeebes about someone or some situation. I listen to my body and move into comfortable positions when I'm not comfortable. Why should I ignore my body during the one time that my body will be doing the second most important thing it's made for (the first being keeping me alive)? Every woman who has been through labor knows that some positions make her more comfortable than others, some movements help speed labor while others seem to almost stop it, and doing some things can completely keep her mind off the pain until she is far enough along in the labor that she can receive the pain medications she wants. I want to be able to do those things (except for the waiting for pain medication part - I know, another far out there thing in today's world). Also, when I was 16 or so, I was watching "A Baby Story" on TLC. I watched a water birth, and I knew at that moment that is how I wanted to give birth. It looked so comfortable and natural. The mother and baby appeared so relaxed and happy. It was simply amazing. I want that. I want to feel in control, be able to listen to my body, and give birth the way women were designed to do so from the beginning of time.

Also, I want people to be there with me, mostly women. I want my husband and my dad, but I also really want some love and support and estrogen. Mostly, I want women who will help me through this. I don't know exactly what will go on during labor, but I may want someone to climb in the tub with me while I'm laboring. I may want one set of hands rubbing my back, one set holding my hands, one set running fingers through my hair, and one set just rubbing my arms. I want people who will help me when I need it and leave me alone when I don't without feeling put out or put off or offended when I ask to have everything stop or ask for some time in the room in the tub alone. I may want someone to grab me a glass of milk and a piece of chocolate, adjust the lighting in the room, adjust the music, turn off that damn song, whatever. Rochelle will be doing a lot of this as part of her life's passion, but I want others there to feel and be involved as well, even if the being involved part simply means being silent support. Then we can all meet my Peanut together. We will all experience the empowerment that comes from doing it on your own how you were born to. Oh, and everyone will have to be ok with me being at least pantsless, but possibly completely naked. Whatevs, it's not sexual. It's what happens as a result of sex. Ha!

Oh, and let's not forget about the position! Other than standing on your head, lithotomy (laying on your back with your legs in the air) is the worst position to give birth. It's used because it's convenient for the doctor. My doctor told me point blank that he allows birth in no other position than lithotomy because he needs access. Eh, you can see the vagina pretty well in other positions also. Why is lithotomy so bad? Well......
  • lying on your back puts pressure on the vena cava which is bad for both you and your baby. It reduces blood flow and therefore oxygen to both you and your baby. It can lead to fetal distress.
  • It decreases the diameter of your pelvis by as much as an inch.
  • It is uncomfortable. It can even cause contractions to be more painful. Most women if given the option do not lie on their back during labor and birth.
  • In this position you are pushing against gravity. Because of the unique contours of the birth canal you are actually pushing uphill in the lithotomy position. During birth you want to get gravity to work for you. This means that in almost all cases you want to be as upright as possible so the baby can come down.
  • The lithotomy position can make you feel like a stranded beetle. You really don't have much control in this position. It can be hard to hold or grab onto anything and the stirrups or attendant's arms aren't as sturdy as a solid surface underneath you.
  • This is the position used for pelvic exams which might not be the association you want when you're giving birth. It exposes all of your parts to everyone else present. Laboring and giving birth in upright positions faces your yoni/vagina/private parts to the floor.
  • It puts strain on the perineum and in combination with forcible pushing makes perineal tears more likely to occur.

Yeah. That's why I don't want to be forced into that position.  I'd rather follow my body's cues.

Now, we all know what I want now. If something does happen and I need medical intervention, we will not hesitate to go to the hospital. I live within 15 minutes of the nearest hospital that also has a NICU, so just because I'm going all "hippy" doesn't mean I won't let medicine intervene if it is necessary. I want a natural, loving experience, but I also want to live and have my child live. If it comes down to it, we will go to the hospital without question. Our midwife will be trained, and she will know what signs to look for and when we need to go to the hospital.

The best parts about giving birth at home, to me, are 1) the baby doesn't get taken away from me away into another room and left under a heat lamp and possibly given a bottle or a pacifier, and 2) our midwife will come back to my house at 24 hours and one week postpartum to make sure everything is going ok. No hospital stay. (Means we save big $$$) Oh, and no flipping IV. Yesssssss. That makes me super happy.

Hopefully now you all understand a little more the reasons for John and I choosing this. After I explained these things to him and had him watch an amazing documentary with me on Netflix, he has started to really think about what this means to me. He also realizes I am not an unreasonable person, and I have looked into this and not just making a blind choice. We watched Pregnant in America, and we have The Business of Being Born lined up for another night. With Pregnant in America, we follow a couple who are having a baby through their research, experience with doctors and the healthcare system in general, and their experience with their birth. Trust me; it's definitely worth the watch.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Whoah. It's been a while.

Well, nursing school has certainly been keeping me very busy, so blog updates have been few and far between.

Today is 15 weeks, 5 days. John and I heard Peanut's heartbeat again yesterday. I love that sound. I can't help but smile every time I hear it. We will know if Peanut's legal name will be John Tyler or Lilly Katherine on May 10 (hopefully, if Peanut isn't shy). That also happens to be the day before my Adult 1 final, so that break from stress will be awesome. Also, I will finally be able to tell people what I'm having instead of "well, we just don't know yet. It's too early to tell." It's getting to where it hurts to lean forward, and it feels pretty uncomfy to sit up straight. I suppose that's a good thing... Peanut isn't a fan of being crushed. My belly is sticking out farther every day. I'm down to very few pairs of pre-pregnancy pants that still fit. The only reason they still fit is because I bought them before I lost 40 pounds last year. I'm getting down to the bare minimums on shirts too. Bleh. Suppose I'm going to have to go shopping again soon, which makes my bank account and my husband very sad.

Speaking of shopping, Brooke and I are going to be having a yard sale very soon. I have clothes and some other things in my house I need to get rid of, and she has a ton and a half of clothes. Both of our men have clothes they don't wear also. Plus she's super crafty and makes super neat things.

Brooke is making our costumes for the Renaissance Fair. Super excited!!! Going to be an amazing way to spend my birthday!!!

Now, serious stuff.

People. I'm going to breastfeed (unless Peanut can't). Yes, I know it will cause pain. Yes, I know I will be the only one feeding the baby for a while until I feel like enough of a BFing relationship is established that I will be ok pumping into bottles. Yes, I know I may shoot my husband with milk during intimate moments. Yes, I know that means no one else gets to bond with Peanut during feeding time. However, that doesn't mean no one else can bond with Peanut. Bathing, playtime, diaper changes, snuggles. All very good ways to bond. Yes, I have done my research. Breastmilk is FREE, and it's THE best superfood on the planet! Also, never having to warm up a bottle? Yes please. Pop out a nipple and let's go. No fumbling for a bottle, no measuring out of a can, no worrying about making sure it's warm enough, no hoping my baby is getting adequate nutrition. Seriously, please stop hounding me about my choice to breastfeed. My husband is super supportive, as are 90% of my friends. Lets all just agree that if you don't like my choice, we should all realize it is my choice with my child and call it good. While I may disagree with your parenting choices for your kids, they are still your kids. Besides, do some actual research of breastfeeding and breastmilk, then tell me how horrible it is compared to formula. Oh, and one more thing. Stop telling me that as a breastfeeding mother, I will give up all my independence and my baby will be clingy and I can never go anywhere. Well, 1) as a new mother with an infant, I don't plan on going places without the little one, and 2) breastfed babies show to be MORE independent because they are so closely bonded with mommy. Seriously, I could go on and on about the benefits.

Yes, I have lost weight during my pregnancy. 12 pounds so far. No, I'm not purposefully trying to lose weight during pregnancy. Yes, I do eat. I promise, I EAT. John can attest to this. I don't know why I'm losing weight, but I am. Yes, my doctor knows. I brought it up again yesterday at my OB appointment. I said "your nurse is worried about my weight loss." He looked at my chart and said "I'm not. You're overweight to begin with, and the baby will take what it needs from you. As long as you're eating and holding food down, I'm not worried. We like to see a steady weight gain starting at around 22 weeks even if it's only 1 pound a month, but some women lose weight their entire pregnancy and have perfectly healthy babies." So, that's all there is to say about that. When my doctor gets worried, I'll get worried.

Ah, I'm looking forward to vacation. A week on the beach. I plan on enjoying every second of it! I love the beach. The heat, the ocean breeze, the summer sun, and the seafood (effing YUM). Ultrasound May 10, Vacation May 14. Going to be amazing.

Love you guys. <3

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What a week so far.

9 weeks, 5 days. Super excited. Peanut got his/her first outfit this weekend, along with his/her first toys and first care kit. Awwwww. Aunt Amy and Uncle Shaun visited and brought the care kit and gave us a onesie from Joe's Crab Shack.

This weekend was pretty awesome. Shaun and Amy came up Friday night and stayed until Sunday. Friday night we went to Buffalo Wild Wings and had the most God awful waitress EVER! Between taking half an hour or more to deliver drinks and never coming to our table, somehow we got through it.. Until the end. At the end she comes up scratching her wrist looking like she's seriously starting to go through withdrawals and says "I really need a break. Is there anything else I can do? I really need a break."  Uh, what? We don't care if you need a break. Bring us the damn check and get fired already, sheesh. Saturday we went to Branson and had some uber yummy Joe's Crab Shack. YUM!!! That waitress did NOT need a break! She was Johnny on the spot with drinks (which is why I was the only sober one by the time we left). Then just hanging out... Disney store and their 25% off landed Peanut some toys. Aww. Then old time photos. Yessssss. The pics are great. ;) Sunday night after Shaun and Amy left, John and I went to visit Brooke and Aaron. We had dinner with them and hung out and played some games and had AMAZING apple pie a la mode. :D I love that chick.

Monday brought clinicals. Oh my geez. Other than getting sick to my stomach while at the hospital and the crazy amount of stress going on between my classmates and I and our instructor.... It wasn't so bad. (I'm really, really trying to be optimistic here.) I did learn something, and that something is don't trust your nurse. Look at the doctor's orders. Otherwise you're going to freak out because you're taking care of someone who is on a medicine that is generally used for one thing, and it turns out that it wasn't prescribed for that. At all. Something TOTALLY different. Yeah. Look at the doctor's orders.

There's a lot of paperwork this semester. A LOT. We also have a super strict perfectionist instructor, but I think I'm starting to get a feel for her. She knows a lot, honestly. And when I asked her for help with my paperwork, she was more than willing to sit down and help me. I think right now we're all super frustrated, but as the semester goes, I think it will get a lot better as we all get a feel for each other. I may be at an advantage in the situation though because I'm in clinicals with a totally new group. I didn't have any of these folks last semester, so I'm having to get a feel for them in the clinical setting as well. Soooo I'm just feeling out everything. New hospital, new clinical group, and new instructor with new rules. I'm pretty adaptable though, so we'll see how it goes. I hope it starts going better for my classmates as well. Ladies, I know we're all stressed, but we can and will get through it! I promise, we will make it!

I think the worst part is clinicals until 9:30 pm on Tuesday night then class at 9 am Wednesday morning. For me, who lives relatively close, I get home around 10 pm then in bed within an hour... Up at 6:30-7 to leave by 7:30 to avoid being late. Now we have one classmate who lives in Eureka Springs... That's an hour to an hour and a half drive... Phew...

I am soooo super tired and sitting in class with my pants completely unbuttoned and unzipped because I can't do it otherwise. Love you guys, but this Adventure in Shandiland has to end so I can pay attention. ;)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oranges, oh my!

Orange juice, oranges, orange flavored soda.... Mmmmm. I am ingesting it like crazy!! I say that as I sit here with 2 oranges on my desk that I can't get into because I forgot to bring something to cut them with. Bleh. Every morning, it's been at least 1, most of the time 2 glasses of OJ. I have had an orange about every other day. Oranges just make me drool right now. I suppose that's my body's way of saying "Yay Vitamin C!!!!". Vitamin C is good for the immune system ya'll!

Next doctor appointment : March 7. Be expecting video that evening. I'm super looking forward to hearing Peanut's heartbeat for the first time. I was browsing Craigslist the other day and saw a prenatal doppler on there for $65. It would be extremely neat to be able to hear my little one's heartbeat whenever I wanted. At around 20 ish weeks, I should be able to hear it with just a stethoscope, which I so conveniently happen to have. I'll hold off and just cry that much more when I see and hear it for the first time. Although, even though it's completely normal in early pregnancy before you can feel the baby moving, I have times where I just wonder... Is this real? Is this really happening? Is my baby still ok? Am I still pregnant? Have I miscarried and just haven't started bleeding yet? There's also the holding out and waiting because I am so scared something is going to go wrong. If I take too much Tylenol for a headache, am I going to miscarry? If I have sex, is the motion going to hurt Peanut? Should I go ahead and buy bigger pants since mine are starting to feel tight so I don't hurt the baby? I'm hoping a lot of my fears will be abolished when I see Peanut's heartbeat.

Happy times, I just got an email from informing me that today is 9 weeks. Yes, yes it is. Today I am 9 weeks pregnant. Peanut gets a new designation this week. He/she is no longer an embryo but has graduated to fetus status! Peanut is also about the size of a green olive. Aww. My uterus should now be about the size of an orange (which is funny to me since I crave oranges so much). It suggests looking into buying a maternity bra if mine doesn't feel so great anymore. Well, I sort of demolished my favorite and most comfortable bra to make it even more comfortable. I totally said screw it and took the underwire out of it, and man it's super comfy now. Love it!

My pants are starting to get too tight around the lower abdomen area, which is where I wear the waistbands of my pants. It's usually after I eat a meal, so I'm sitting here after lunch with my pants unbuttoned. I've been doing that a lot in class lately, but I doubt anyone notices. If they do, they write it off as pregnancy so you know, it's fine. I feel so super bloated after lunch, and I'm not eating as much now as I did pre-pregnancy. I honestly can't eat a full meal anymore without feeling sick. There's just no room, and I'm not complaining. I've lost weight since I got pregnant. I know, I know. People say that's a no no, or they chock it up to morning sickness. Mine is neither. Mine is just simply not eating as much at one time, but eating a lot throughout the day.

Some days, the nausea is sooooo bad, but most of the time it's good, or it's just a little so it's manageable. This past Wednesday was HORRIBLE, but I attribute that to not eating any protein at breakfast. Every other day I have had either a Carnation Instant Breakfast (yum) or a sausage and biscuit or something else with meat. I think that's why most days I just have a little nausea with little to no vomiting. Wednesday though.. Ugh. I vomited twice. Once at school in the middle of the lecture (thankfully I was alone in the bathroom when it happened and Grubbsy came in while I was in recovery mode), and once at a flippin gas station. Oh well, just reinforces the whole "eat protein in the morning" thing.

I'm looking forward to this weekend! Shaun and Amy are coming up from Conway to spend the night and hang out with us before Shaun leaves for the Navy. Then, on Sunday, John and I are going to go over to a la casa de Brooke y Aaron for cooking and hanging out. Then clinicals start on Monday. :) Monday is going to be a long, long day what with water aerobics at 8:30 am, validations for NG tubes from 10-12, then clinicals from 1-9:30 pm. Phew, at least I get to sleep in Tuesday morning!

That's all from Shandiland for tonight. This roast is smelling soooo good even though I literally just ate like, an hour ago, and I have some last minute things to do before the company gets here tonight. Enjoy your weekend peoples!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

226 Days to Go

Today is 7 weeks, 5 days. Only 32 weeks, 2 days to go!

The nausea is going away again, so that's happy times. The fatigue is getting worse. The boob pain is getting worse, but it's a great sign so I'm ok with it. My eczema on my legs has been popping up a lot lately. I don't know if it's because my skin is so uber dry or if it's the hormones or what. I do know a way to treat that rather quicklike though, so whatevs. The aversion to certain foods has started. I honestly can't handle the pictures or TV ads for McDonald's angus burger and wrap (puke) and Burger King's jalapeno and cheese burger (puke). Also, I am the self proclaimed Queen of Whole Hog because I absolutely love it. However, I can't handle the thought or smell of those ribs now that I'm prego. I can't take straight water either. I'm not sure why, but I just can't.

The food cravings have started somewhat. They aren't bad or weird, but they are there. I'm mostly craving salty stuff and cheese. Yum, cheese. I ate one of those little things of nacho cheese from Taco Bell last night without the chips. Yeah, I just dipped my finger in the container and ate it. Yum. I've been craving cereal, too. Lunch yesterday was a bowl of Frosted Flakes, 5 cheesesticks with marinara sauce, and a bottle of chocolate milk. Yum. I didn't even mind the weird looks. Also, juice. Lots of juice. I've been having 2 large orange juices from McDonald's in the mornings. I was sad when I went to the vending machine that was out of OJ. I ended up with a Fuze Banana Colada instead. No, not the alcoholic one. I'm not stupid ya'll!

I went to the doctor Monday, and we talked about restrictions and stuffs while I'm pregnant. I'm very sad that I can't have rare or medium rare meat. That means no steak, or overcooked steak which, to me, is worse than no steak. Also, for car or plane rides lasting longer than 3 hours, I have to stop and take a walk every 3 hours. My trips home to visit are going to take longer than 5 hours now since I can't drive straight through. It works out though, because I happen to have an awesome Grandma in law and Aunt in law that live at the halfway point who are always up for a visit. The trip I'm wanting to take to Florida this summer will take a heck of a lot longer since it's a 12 hour drive. It's not a big deal though. No lifting more than 20 pounds means I need a rolling backpack. I can have sex (woohoo!!). I also informed the doctor about my choice to have a doula. Sweet action.

My next appointment and ultrasound is March 7. Brooke is going with John and I because we're going to get to see the baby's heartbeat. Yay!! I'm sooooooooooooo excited for it! Apparently, at one point, I'll be able to hear the baby's heartbeat with just my stethoscope. Lucky me, I happen to have a stethoscope at home. ;)

Mom told me this morning she's planning a baby shower around there for July 16th area. If you're in the Jonesboro area and want to go, let me know so I can get your address to her for an invitation. I'm pretty sure a super awesome chick named Savannah already laid claim to planning a baby shower for up around here.

Peanut's room is painted and waiting for my awesome mother in law to come do her mural. It's BRIGHT yellow right now, but it's super pretty. I'm glad it's painted and out of the way so I don't have to worry about that later as I'm trying to get other stuff for the baby's room. I have the crib bedding already that is super cute, so mostly it's just furniture and decorations. We have a super great furniture man, so I'm going to go browse his collections before too long.

I'm working on registries right now. So far, I'm registered at Target and Babies R Us. Wal-Mart will be added soon. None of them have much on them right now, but I'm slowly getting there which is fine because we have some time. If anyone wants me to register anywhere else, just let me know and I'll set it up. I still need to look at the JcPenny website to see what they have, and Sears has a definite chance of making the list. I'm pretty sure you just have to search either mine or John's name to see them.

I'm taking next semester off from nursing school and coming back in January. I talked to the administrator about my pregnancy, and we agreed that it would be for the best if I did that. It puts off graduation by only 3 months, so not a big deal. On the plus side, my graduation and Cynthia's graduation will no longer conflict! I was pretty worried about that, but now it's no worries!

I could really go for a nap right now. Only 2.5 more hours until I'm out of school for the day.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hormone Central

Oh my Jesus. What a day... Wow.

My clinical instructor? Not a fan. I got SUPER pissed when she pushed my hand out of the way while I was doing my IV resource with the fake arm so she could make a point... Ok, I get that you want to show us something, but shouldn't you get an IV cath and do it yourself to show us? 1) I'm not 4 years old so don't slap my hand away from my business, and 2) that's my VERY LIMITED resource time and equipment to practice sticking a fake arm with needles so when it comes to putting an IV in my partner next week, I'll be able to hit the vein. I mean, really. I had 2 IV caths to practice with today, and she totally screwed up one of my attempts because she wanted to show everyone that you can just leave it laying there and not have to hold onto the hub of the catheter (which is BS anyway. No way in hell am I just going to let it sit there without holding on, because I don't want to have to stick that person again when it falls out, and it will!). Then, when I calmly state that I would like to just go through the motions on trach care, there's no reason to interrupt me by making comments like "well, I'm sure she won't forget to break sterile field" (or something to that effect) when I hadn't actually broken my field... I just left one hand ungloved to pour stuff into my field, because if I was already fully gloved, touching that bottle would break my field anyway... And then, when I do it like she instructs us the day before, I get in trouble. Bleh. Whatever.

The other pregnant chick? So. Effing. Over. Her. Seriously. Yeah, I'm fucking pregnant too, but that doesn't mean I am gonna be snappy and bitchy at someone because she's seriously just relaying a message. Don't be snappy because I've already been to the doctor and you haven't, and really. Really. REALLY don't be snappy with me because all I fucking did was say "hey, so have you seen (name removed for protective purposes) to talk about your pregnancy and nursing school? I just talked to her because there's some stuff she needs and stuff ya'll have to work out like I did." That is NOT the time to go off because "why is everyone telling you this?! Why can't the instructors tell me?! I just don't understand why everyone is so helpful for you and no one cares about me!" Uh, maybe because you're FUCKING CRAZY? Just a thought. Calm the fuck down kid. Also, really? You've had a kid before and you don't know that the age of the fetus won't actually give you an opportunity to count back and find the exact day you conceived? I suppose since you broadcasted EVERYWHERE that you don't know who the baby's daddy is, you probably are pretty damn worried. Ugh.

On the plus side, I love my friends. Grubbsy, Savannah, Rochelle, Amanda Martin, Joshy, Ashley, Brooke. You guys are super amazing.

Oh, by the way, when birth time comes around, if you see an older blond chick getting manhandled out of my room by Rochelle because she was trying to stick an IV in me, don't worry about it. Rochelle is just saving my veins, like any great doula and friend would. ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Wow. Today has been super emotional. Maybe it's the sleep deprivation.. I'm almost positive the hormones have something to do with it. Maybe it's just me being me, but whatever. Emotions are high today.

This is Peanut! He/she is snuggled down in my uterus where he/she should be. This has been the highlight of my day! Seeing my first child for the first time brought tears to my eyes and kept a smile on my face since. The ultrasound lady is so amazingly super nice! She was gentle, understanding, and she kept the lights low for privacy and comfort. Since it was an internal ultrasound, things were a little crazy anyway... If you don't know what an internal ultrasound is, well. Time to find out. The machine has a "wand" looking apparatus that has a cover that looks like a condom that goes over it to protect it. This goes inside the vagina to get an internal view, since some things can't be seen as easily from the outside. As soon as she started sliding this "wand" in, before she even got it in place, she said "I see a pregnancy in the uterus." I couldn't stop smiling. John asked a TON of questions like how did she know and what's that. She took the measurements and determined that today is 5 weeks, 5 days pregnant. She found a cyst on my left ovary, but said that with my history of cysts on my left ovary, she's not concerned. And it's not big, so you know. No biggie.

Next up was seeing the doctor. He caught me on my way out of the ultrasound room (when I thought I was still going home) and looked at the picture. I could tell by the look on his face that he loves his job. When setting up my appointment to see him, the desk clerk just sent me back to him since he didn't have many patients today due to weather and I was already there. We talked for a minute, then we did the dreaded annual pap smear because I'm overdue.. Bleh. John got to witness that also, which was HILARIOUS. I was stripping off my clothes, and he's getting all worried. It was cute, him asking if I preferred a female doctor down there. Well, babe, it's purely clinical, and if he's going to be the one to deliver, he's going to see it all anyway. And he's seen it before, because it's not my first visit with him.... But you're still super cute. So I had to explain what's about to go down and that this doctor is about to all kinds of feel me up. The doc tried to keep himself between me and John while doing the feeling the boobs thing, which was probably good. All in all that only took like, 5 minutes so no biggie.

Now I'm sitting here at home, hanging out. I cleared out the closet in the baby's room which was no small task mind you. I need to get the bookshelves moved out of there and put in my office, then I can start taping off and having John paint. He thinks we have plenty of time, and we do. But Peanut will be here before we know it, so I'm more concerned with getting things done NOW while I still feel like doing them. I think we'll start working on baby purchases super soon. Nothing big yet, but a pack or two of diapers a week starting now will make sure we are super stocked and isn't a bad thing. I mean, we're going to be using diapers, so you know. It also allows us to spread out purchases of certain things so we're not buying everything last minute. Plus, I need to get the room painted so my awesome mother in law can come do the mural she's wanting to do!

With all the highs today, I did have a pretty big low. I felt the rush of sadness over losing the one last summer all over again. We never even got to see that baby, or where it was. I'm glad this one is safe and sound, and I know going through that loss will only make me stronger, but sometimes I wish I didn't have to go through that loss. Loss is hard, ya'll. I think it's worse when it's your very first pregnancy. Oh well, things are different this round.

I can't wait for these next 34 weeks to go by! I am looking forward to holding Peanut in my arms!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Feeling a tiny bit overwhelmed...

So, earlier today if you had asked me if I knew what I wanted to happen during Peanut's birth, I would've been able to give you a definite 100% answer. Now, I have realized there is so much more that I need to consider. Luckily, I'm starting at 6 weeks to figure out a birth plan instead of waiting for the very last second. I also have a super amazing lady who I'm going to ask to be my doula to help me figure these things out. Yes, Rochelle, I'm talkin bout you sister!

First off, why a doula? Well, for those of you who don't know, Rochelle is SUPER passionate in all things birth. She's also super knowledgeable, and she's not afraid to do exactly what a doula does : ADVOCATE for her client (in this case, me). If I say I don't want any pain meds and there's no medical reason for me to have them, she's going to get in that pill pusher's face and tell him/her to back the H off. Then if I start screaming for the drugs, she's going to drag that pill pusher into my room kicking and screaming. ;) Yes, John can do this too, but really, I don't want John leaving my side through this whole thing. I think it would be super great to have 2 amazing coaches, John and Rochelle, and then everyone else who comes to see me too. Rochelle also knows all about natural childbirth. I mean, the woman is a walking encyclopedia of birth. She's going to be able to show John how to touch and hold me, and together they can help me get into positions that will facilitate labor while decreasing pain. Rochelle and John are gonna be the 2 who know my birth plan in and out, and neither one of them will be scared to say "Hey. This is how we're doing it if there's no real medical need to do it a different way."

So I was reading one of Rochelle's links today on facebook about birth plans, and thought "oh my geez, I never thought to look at a sample birth plan online..." Sooooo I did. Wow. I have a LOT of stuff to work through and figure out. First thing I'm going to have to do is come up with questions and scenarios to take to the hospital to talk to an actual Labor and Delivery nurse who can answer me. For instance, I do NOT want my child to be out of my room unless there is a medical need. I want to be able to warm my child skin on skin instead of Peanut laying under a heat lamp without anyone holding him/her. If my child needs to go to the nursery, I want John to be glued to that baby's side so he can step in and say "nuh uh, don't you give that baby a bottle or I will sue you from here until the next century" or give consent for things like the standard blood tests, etc. I know for sure I have 2 other BIG questions for the hospital. If they give me answers I really, really don't like, it's almost a guarantee I will at least be checking out different hospitals around. A home birth honestly terrifies me, but if it comes down to it that that's the only way I'm going to get anywhere near the experience I'm looking for, it may happen. I'm not one of those "throw her on her back and tell her to shut up" kind of people. No. Effing. Way.

So I started a birth plan. Well, I have a "I clicked these boxes and this is what I got" birth plan. Hey, I had to start somewhere. Having a general idea of where to start, I can start formulating questions to give to my doctor tomorrow at my very first prenatal appointment AND ultrasound (yay!!!!!). And you know, if he's not willing to work with me, then I'm not willing to work with him, plain and simple.

Writing about how overwhelming formulating a birth plan feels right now helps me say "yeah. Alright. Not so bad. I can do this!" I felt so passionate about my sister's birth and everything I absolutely hated about it. I was told then "well, it's just how things work. You kinda have to do it. You don't have a choice." B. S. I'm 2 years older now and KNOW better. Just because no one took the time to ask her doesn't mean I won't make someone make the time for me.

Another super passionate post about my pregnancy here in Shandiland! I swear, they won't all be about Peanut, but it's kind of hard not to talk about the little critter in my belly. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Controversy, how lovely art thou!

Side note before we get started... I was SUPER rude to someone today. I would feel bad if this person weren't who she was. Look, I know you're pregnant also. I know you're due around the same time I am. However, I really don't like you and think you're batshit crazy. Also, I've been dealing with a cold and morning sickness and being SUPER EFFING TIRED too, but that doesn't stop me from showing my butt up to take care of responsibilities. And I don't go from "oh, woe is me, I feel so shitty" to "OMG WE'RE PREGNANT TOGETHER! WE'RE GONNA BE PREGNANT BUDDIES AND OUR KIDS ARE GONNA PLAY TOGETHER AND ON AND ON AND BLAH BLAH BLAH FREAKING BLAH!" in less than 10 minutes. It just doesn't work. That just screams BIPOLAR to me. Just saying... So yes, I was rude. I rudely stated "Yeah. I know." and COMPLETELY turned around with my back to her. Why am I talking about this? Well. I suppose letting it out there that yeah, it happened, will save me from some random Karma later. Like super bad morning sickness tomorrow or something... (Can you tell I'm not very tolerant of bullshit, especially in my very hormonal state?)

On to some controversy!!

Please tell me why this image is considered "acceptable" in our society? Yeah, I get it. She has a nice body, even with the fake books and the complete and definite camel toe. We go to the beach, to the pool, and sometimes, even to WalMart and are greeted with people wearing things like this, often with MUCH worse bodies. 
However, these images are considered OBSCENE. 
Why is it that it's ok for someone to literally show off EVERY SINGLE THING, but it's not ok to COMPLETELY cover and feed your child? These women have bodies similar to that of the woman in the bikini, yet if they were in public doing the most natural thing a mother can do for her child next to giving birth, they will be looked down upon, talked about, and people will try to shelter their eyes from such obscenities. It's perfectly fine for even a 400 pound woman to show off tons of skin in inappropriate clothing, but a woman feeding her child? How horrible it is! You literally can't see a single thing with either of these women. You just, can't. Is it the thought of a baby on a boob that pisses people off so much? Do we really sexualize breasts so much that we can't even allow ourselves to think about a baby touching them? I mean, after all, we came with boobs to feed the babies. That's why they grow to make room for the milk, make the milk, and excrete the milk. It's also why a mother's milk is the absolute best thing an infant can have. Breast milk provides the baby with amazing nutrients that no powdered formula can even come close to, provides the mother with an AMAZING calorie burner, gives the baby mom's immunities which are better than vaccines (not that I'm dissing vaccines, just throwing you can't give anyone anything synthetic that comes close to breast milk), and helps mom in the long run by reducing her risk of breast cancer. Studies have also shown breast milk has been linked to higher intelligence and less childhood obesity

Why is this such a touchy topic for me? Well, I plan on giving my baby the boob. I want my child and myself to take FULL advantage of what my body is naturally made to do. I know this means it's gonna be a little more difficult for other people to feed the baby, but there are these awesome things called breast pumps made for milking mom. I fully plan on utilizing all resources available to help me feed my child the absolute breast (ha ha, get it?) thing I can.

Now that I've said this, I want you all to know I want nothing but support in this journey! I don't want to be told how horrible it is or how much it's going to hurt or "Oh, Shandi... People are gonna look at you so weird." I know they will. I don't care. In the end, I know my child will have the best possible start I can give him/her because I am cool with the boob. I can handle the "bad press", as long as my child gets what he/she needs. I want everyone else to be cool with my boobs too, because I'm sure at one point or another if you're around when the baby is hungry, you'll probably see a nipple. Oh noes... Let's all jump off a cliff because someone saw a nip slip!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blog Award!

First off, I'd like to say thanks to Rochelle over at Simply Rochelle for the blog award!

Here are the rules for the acceptance of the award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 other bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

Rule number 1, check. Here goes Rule number 2.

1) I'm 25 and in nursing school. Its rough at times, but I love it. I love the people I see every day (well, most of them anyway), and I love knowing I'm going to be helping people. It makes me very, very happy.

2) I'm currently pregnant. I literally found out just over a week ago. I'm excited, and super nervous. My boobs already hurt like a bitch, and morning sickness sucks but isn't as bad as I expected.

3) This is my second pregnancy. Last summer, my husband and I had our very first pregnancy. However, it wasn't so great. I went to the doctor because I had been on my period for 4 weeks and was having a lot of pain. I had taken a test before my period started, and it was negative. I was tired and SUPER cranky. So the doctor decides to test me for a UTI. On a hunch, she did a pregnancy test along with it. Well, it was positive. Not a good sign that I had been bleeding for 4 weeks....  My sister and I left there and went straight to the hospital where my husband met us. We had blood drawn and an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech was incredibly rude and unimaginably rough with my already tender vagina, uterus, and ovaries. She then proceeded to tell me that there was no baby, and I shouldn't waste her time. I called my doctor immediately. From what I understand, that tech no longer works there... This all went down on a Friday. On Sunday, I had blood drawn again. My HcG levels didn't double. In fact, they only raised by 3 points from 146 to 149. I'll never forget how completely devastated I felt. Monday morning I had more blood drawn, and Monday afternoon found me at an Oncology office to receive a shot of methotrexate to terminate the pregnancy.

4) I have 4 dogs and a cat. I love them all very much, and they are children to me. Some people don't get it. That's fine... I just love them all and couldn't imagine not being with them. Pets are throwaway items to have when they're all cute and little and not watch them grow up into amazing adults. My Sweetie will be 6 this year, and she is an amazing dog. I know she's going to be a TON of help when the Peanut gets here! Sophie, Bella, and Duchess will all probably be extremely jealous, but it's expected. Dude aka Homie is all chill, and my biggest issue with him will be keeping him out of the crib. :)

5) My husband and I were married August 28, 2008, in the front part of BSC-Net in Jonesboro, Arkansas. We totally and completely eloped. My mom was there with us with a cake and a rose, and we went to Chili's to celebrate after. I would've liked the whole wedding, reception, and amazing honeymoon, but money was an issue for us at that time. We may have a vow renewal in a few years where we do all of that. We'll see. ;)

6) I grew up in a super small town that earns funny looks and giggles when I spout of the name of it. Yes, yes. I know. I laugh too. I grew up in Weiner, Arkansas. Yes. Weiner. Wee-ner. Laughing feels so great!

7) I'm a nerd. I play Dungeons and Dragons with a group of friends. Yes, the actual we have our paper and roll the dice while we're all sitting around in a group with books and stuff version. Not the online, play on your computer version. I also play World of Warcraft. I've met some super interesting people from WoW. 

Awarding other bloggers... That's hard. Mostly because I don't really know many other bloggers... So I have 1, since Rochelle already gave me an award. :)

Brooke over at Brookenomicon. She's an awesome lady who writes about writing!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Well well well... We have a Peanut.

I'm pregnant!!! Yeah man, I'm super stoked too! John and I have a little Peanut coming along. Remember that post oh... 2.5 weeks ago when I talked about the whole "I want a baby" thing smacking me out of nowhere? Well. We made a baby that very night. Go us and our tiny human making skills. I'm soooo happy!

Nursing school started back last week. I can tell you already I am not cut out to be a wound care nurse. Maybe it's the pregnancy and the nausea anyway, but seeing those pictures just makes me sad and even more nauseated. Especially some of those.... Especially considering some of those are there simply because someone didn't take care of that person. As in, didn't turn the patient or didn't inspect. It makes me sad. I do, however, LOVE my teacher this semester. She is a rockstar, and I'm taking craptons of notes! She's also super nice outside of class and is willing to help 100%.

I'm staying soooo tired these days. I don't expect it to get better in the days to come, but that explains why I haven't been updating lately. I'll try to keep it more updated than I have, buttttttttt I can't promise. I'm still into this whole blog thing though. I do expect to be talking about Peanut a lot from here on out though. It kinda happens, I suppose.

So, last summer John and I made a baby, but that baby didn't want to hang out in my uterus. Since that happened, I'm now at a higher risk of having another ectopic pregnancy. For those who don't know, an ectopic pregnancy, as defined by Google Health, is : an ectopic pregnancy occurs when the baby starts to develop outside the womb (uterus). The most common site for an ectopic pregnancy is within one of the tubes through which the egg passes from the ovary to the uterus (fallopian tube). However, in rare cases, ectopic pregnancies can occur in the ovary, stomach area, or cervix. We don't know where mine was. We couldn't find it on the ultrasound, so we did the methotrexate treatment to avoid surgery. We knew it was ectopic because my HcG levels didn't double in the 48 hours like they should have.

What does this mean for now? Lots of blood draws. I had my blood taken Friday and then again today to have the HcG levels measured. Guess what! They doubled!!! Yay!!! Good signs!!! I have to repeat the blood draws on Tuesday and Thursday, then have an ultrasound early next week to confirm Peanut is indeed in my warm, comfy uterus.

That's it for this Adventure in Shandiland. I'll definitely keep ya'll updated on the Peanut!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Here we go Friday!

I'm not back to school until the 18th. I don't have a Monday through Friday job. I have no big plans for the weekend. So, why is it I wake up on Friday morning smiling and singing "it's FRIDAY"? I'm not exactly sure, but I have a suspicion.

I think we are all sooooo programmed starting with elementary school to revel in the pure awesomeness that is Friday. I mean, what's a better way to end a school week than celebrate with 2 whole days without regime, school clothes, school lunches, and sometimes even shoes? Yeah. At 5 years old, the answer to that question is those 2 whole days eating nothing but pure sugar. Ah, the simple bliss that came with being a child. Sometimes, I miss it.

At times, responsibility sucks. It causes stress, unhappiness, and can wreak pure havoc. We all know too much of those three things can totally screw up even the best person's world. However, on the flip side of that, responsibility can be an amazing thing. Standing up for what you believe in can be one of the most rewarding things in the world. Another spectacular thing about being an adult is being able to eat that entire gallon of Whole Hog's potato salad (which rocks, btw) with no parents nagging you and telling you that you can't. Oh... That can be an amazing thing.

As far as amazing things go.. I can not WAIT for next Wednesday night celebrating Grubbsy's birthday. Ohhhhh Johnny Carino's... I'm not going to be on a diet that day, fyi. I'm doing the Homer Simpson /drool thing right now just thinking about it. The chicken marsala is my absolute favorite Italian dish everrrrrrr. Yummmmmmmmm. Also, just as a little tid bit.. I love bread pudding. I think it's about time for me to learn how to make it, and make it GREAT. And good for you. :p

Speaking of good for you and diets... I've consumed approximately 1243 calories today. For some reason, I don't feel like I'm eating enough... I mean, I know if you eat too much or too little, you won't lose weight. Just a thought though...............................

And. Here we go again... Another thought and yeah, oh another one too. This is Shandi, btw. I go from one thing to another to another and sometimes I have to completely stop and rewind and retrace my steps. Also, sorry for that little pause. I got distracted by this amazing looking food on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. Yes, the restaurant is called The Shanty. I want to go. I really, really wanna go. /drool. OK, where was I? Oh, yeah. That's right. The thoughts go from bam to bam to WTF to uh... How did I get here? And now you all see that it's perfectly normal for me to bring up the absolute most RANDOM thing that makes you say "wha.. I.. (shake head) What?" Yeah baby. All me. ;)

Back to that other thought. I forgot it... Lemme think... (God this food looks amazing.) Oh, that's because it was about food. Which is yum. Wait... Went back either not far enough or too far... Lemme think again.... Yeah. Lost it. Oh, it WAS about food. So, I'm of the opinion that it's totally fine to consume more of something as long as you keep it in check. I'm also of the opinion that fruits and vegetables (I mean, RAW. Pure. Unadulterated. Untainted by fat, grease, and sugar) should be "freebies" in any diet. I think I should be able to eat all the celery sticks and broccoli and sweet peas (ok, maybe they are steamed. ;) ) and apples (yum) and oranges and whatever that I want without feeling the guilt train. I also think I need a juicer, a good one, because I love love love pure just squeezed juice. And not just fruits. Tomato with carrot and apples and pomegranate is yummmmm. Plus, you don't get all that added sugar and preservatives and SODIUM. Yeah baby, everything has GOD AWFUL amounts of sodium in it.

You know, speaking of sugar... Yogurt. I'm sorry. I know it should be pure and yeah, but I can not handle low sugar or no sugar yogurt. Bleh. I love me some yogurt, too. Refrigerated... Frozen... It's just yum. Those Yoplait Lights are YUM! However. I tried the organic greek yogurt... My dogs loved it. Even the kind with the honey in it I just couldn't. No. I made a face similar to Aleigha's, Anna's, Abby's, and Jayci's when mom gave them a taste of baking cocoa. Which... I should've have my camera. Holy bajeezus, that was funnier than watching Anna and Abby play Twister, which was pretty great also. However, I nearly DIED of hyperventilation seeing the "this shit is NASTY" looks on their faces after tasting that cocoa.

Mom did that to Krysti, Shayla, and I once. Shaybaby was a wee little lass, and we were making her birthday cake cuz mom's uber cool like that. Of course, when you're 8, you understand that the finished product tastes YUM. You don't understand that the individual items taste like shit, and it's the magic of the mix that makes it taste great. So we begged to try every single ingredient. Mom obliged. She let us taste everything. We got to the cocoa, which was one of the very last things she was putting in. Lol. Silly mom. She gave Krysti and I an entire big spoonful of cocoa each. What did I do? I puked. Yeah. Not only did I puke, I puked into the cake batter and all over the cake pan. Lol. We still laugh about that story.

Speaking of stories, I've written a good chapter or two of a book tonight on this blog... Lol, I gotta stop or I'm going to run out of things to write about! I kid; I'm sure I will ALWAYS have SOMETHING to say hahahaha!

Goodnight my lovelies! Hope you enjoyed spending time in Shandiland this evening! *MUAH*

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Well.... Back to the NEW. ;)

Today has been a thing of NEW. Again. ;)

First off, I finished the book Awakened by PC Cast. Holy shit. Love it. Love the series. November is a long ass time away.

McSteamy without a shirt. Yummmmmmmmm.

Savannah saved my stuff at the gym. I apparently mixed up the locker number that they assigned me... So my stuff was in the wrong locker and they had a sign on it saying they were going to cut my lock. Well, I got it all sorted out so that's great.

Tonight, I sat down and had a chat with someone on Facebook. This someone spent a good deal of time in my life when I was in a bad place, and I like to think she's part of the reason I made it for so long before trying to do the unthinkable thing I did. However, we got too close and I got scared. So I ran.... I ran away from our friendship. I know, I know. It's horrible. Absolutely horrible. I wasn't in a good place. But, 3 years later, I've grown up enough to be able to admit that it was me. I admit that it was a stupid and horrible thing to do. So, tonight. We talked. We giggled. And we made up. I feel amazing. We decided to start over with our friendship. Super thrilled. Seriously. Words can't express. /happydance!

Also, ya'll send some good words to Brooke. She's all worried about this medicine she has to take that's gonna make her feel like a whole new person! I know it's scary darling, but I swear. Once you and the doctors get the medicine thing figured out, you will NOT regret it! I promise things will be better sweetheart! Also, movies this weekend? I think, YES!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

And some things are not so new...

First off, I have spent the majority of the day thinking "It's Thursday!" only to have my hopes and dreams of seeing McSteamy grace my TV with his presence tonight shattered. Damn you, Wednesday. I'll be happier with you next week when Off The Map starts, but for now... Damn you, Wednesday. You disappoint me.

(removed about 20 minutes worth of rambling then had a "discussion" with my husband for another 40)

Damn boys and damn hormones. Being a woman drives me batshit crazy sometimes. If I could keep the boobs and go without the estrogen and periods, I'd like to think I'd be so much happier. Oh, and let's not forget the "I want a baby" phenomenon. That one sneaks up and slaps you dead in the face when you're not expecting it... Especially considering I've just spent the last, what, month? telling a friend NO BABIES! WE'RE IN NURSING SCHOOL YOU CRAZY LADY! What an effing hypocrite I have become. Damn hormones.

I said goodbye to grease today... I ate my favorite comfort food, and, oddly enough, it wasn't that comforting or satisfying... Can't say that's a bad thing, so you know. I refuse to buy any vegetable or canola oil ever again. Olive oil for cooking, but we all know deep frying in olive oil is just gross. (Or, I like to keep it in my head that it is so I'll never try it on the off chance that it's actually good.) I weighed in this morning at 248 pounds. Yes. I said it. Two hundred forty eight pounds. 112.7 kg. Heavy. Gotta do something. Have a plan. Gonna do it. It's gonna rock.

Also! Monday is going to ROCK! Savannah is organizing a clean up in Cincinnati, Arkansas, after the tornado that struck New Year's Eve. The damage is devastating, but people need to go help this community get started over after such a horrible disaster. The quicker we can help them get back on their feet, the quicker they can get over the heartbreak and let the healing begin.

I suppose that's enough for Wednesday... I wonder what Thursday will bring in Shandiland. ;)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year, New goals, New life.

It's that time of the year... The time when we all make resolutions, set new goals for ourselves and our lives, and do a little "spring cleaning" from our lives. It seems the tradition to end one year completely trashed, start with a kiss at midnight, and wake up in the new year swearing off all the bad and horrible things we do and starting over. Well, it didn't happen QUITE like that for me...

I spent New Year's Eve in the hospital having surgery on my deviated septum. I suppose if you're going to have surgery before your deductible resets, New Year's Eve is the best time to do it. I spent the evening afterward taking pain medications, playing World of Warcraft, and enduring the random bouts of narcolepsy brought on by the pain medications. I also looked pretty awful with a bandage under my nose and a few nosebleeds, so the kiss at midnight was out. I don't remember much of the past few days, except that it hurt and pain medicine is goooooood, so the waking up with regret from the previous night and setting new goals didn't really work out either.

So, here we are, 4 days into the New Year. Now I've had enough time to sit back and think. I've set some realistic goals for this year. 

1) Start a blog to keep up with my thoughts, achievements, let downs, and to just have a place to vent the randomness that enters into my mind at, sometimes, the most inopportune moments. I read blogs of my friends, and I always think "I could do that." Well, I could do that. So I'm doing it. :)

2) Lose weight, and keep it off. Last year I managed to lose, and keep off, 30 pounds without much effort. I can only imagine how amazing it will be when I actually try. I also have two awesome chicks doing it with me, Savannah and Grubbsy. Super looking forward to it!

3) Strive to do more, be more, care more, participate more. I kinda feel lazy... I'm going to spend this year doing more in general. Going for more hikes, spending more time with my husband, friends, and family, trying new things, and just "living my life". 

 I think those 3 are a great starting point. We'll see how this year progresses, but I'm excited to start. See you next time in Adventures in Shandiland.