Thursday, June 30, 2011

Planning, Chores revisited and Dizziness

Ok, so I am having a very nice day. The kids are happy, playing with board games, and these magnetic balls (my son is building robots with them) and I have been using my new plan book, to prepare for the Fall. Fall will begin on August 22nd. That gives me a whole month off with the new baby.

My son and daughter are saving money for a new Playstation 2- well, it won't be new, but new to her. She is ban from using DH's as she and her brother continually drop it on the floor, by pulling too hard on the controllers. So, DH told them they had to buy their own. They are desperate to play Legos Star Wars again. So, the kids are motivated to do TONS of chores, and I love it! I am still devising the system, but here is the basics:

Required chores:

Clear breakfast dishes
Get dressed
Clothes in laundry basket
Brush teeth
Brush hair
Make bed

These are 5 cent chores, equaling 25-30 cents (my son doesn't need to brush his hair)

Then, there are optional 5 cent chores:

Feed dog
Feed the bird
Let dog outside/inside
Empty trash cans

These are optional 10 cent chores:

Help mom cook
Clear family dishes
Carry down laundry
Unload dishwasher
Clean up bedroom
Clean up playroom
Put clothes away
Help mom with laundry
Put varied items away
Set Table
Load groceries into car
Unload groceries into house
Put groceries away

The results, for the last week, I am not bending over and killing my back as much. I am not running up and down the stairs so much. I deduct money if there is any tantrum or violent behavior during the chore (e.g., while unloading the dishwasher, you poke your brother with the butter knives) and of course, I have to suggest various opportunities to do chores when I need something done. But, my work load is much less. The kids are not whining about doing their chores, and on average- they earn $1-2 dollars a day - each.

I don't buy them "stuff" when we are shopping. I remind them that they are earning an allowance, and that they may spend it however they want. I am not going to buy them little toys and junk from coin machines etc.

Ok, dizziness.

I have to eat every couple hours or my sugar level drops and I get dizzy. I forgot today, to eat a snack. It was awful. I got cold sweats, and had to weigh lying down with stuffing my face to relieve the problem. So, after shoveling a bowl of frosted mini-wheats with milk, cheese, bell pepper, a banana, and raisin bread with cream cheese into my mouth, with a splash of crystal lite lemonade and prenatal vitamins, I laid down on the couch for 10 minutes and recovered. Umm, I don't generally eat like this anymore. It was sort of a binge, but not by choice. I felt awful, not from the binge, but from the low blood sugar. I have to pay better attention to the clock, and not wait 4 hours.

In the evenings, I feel like I have bowling balls attached to my calves. My legs are so swollen and heavy. I lay on my left side, my right side, strip off my bra and put on comfy pajama pants, remove my sneakers and socks and put my legs up. I feel awful. Last night, I went to bed at 8:30 PM. Sleeping tends to be the only solution to the swelling in my legs. Of course, I flip over every hour because my hips, pelvis and groin ache. My fibroids hurt. My joints make lots of popping noises, and baby is pushing on my bladder- so every time I go to flip over, I have to get up to pee.

Less than 3 weeks to go!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Painting Shells

Today, we went to the Buskin River Recreation Park, as a family. We walked the beach. It was so beautiful! The river runs into the ocean and although we don't fish (yet) it is a great spot to catch Sockeye. The beach has black sand, and is littered with clam shells and other varieties of sea shells. It is really had for me to walk, but, I enjoyed it - taking it slow. I remember doing this as a child with my family- and now I got to watch my children run around smiling, as I walk with my best friend, my DH.

By the way, my daughter took these two pictures. She is really good.

The kids collected shells, and then went back to the pavillon to paint and decorate some of them. The Visitor's center set up a decoration party. Several families worked on creations, however, we didn't really overlap - so our family had its own painting party. They are now drying on the front porch. Some shells are yet to be washed (my daughter is worried that the Magpies will eat her shells) but, I am sure when we leave this place in a couple years, our house will be full of sea shells.

This is how a Saturday should be. Nice and relaxed, with the ones that you love. Of course, the long walk on the beach wore me out, so I took a long nap when we got home. That was also perfect.

Umm, its 4:30 AM

Its a bit early. I woke at 4 AM, thinking that my bank was open on the East Coast, and needing to clear up some annoying paperwork about insurance. But, they believe that listing MST on there website, adjusted for my personal benefit would be helpful. So, no they aren't open yet. I have all these hormones, and a kicking baby - not to mention the sun is rising, so I am awake. By the way, I'm not on Mountain Standard time.

Here's the update on the "baby head sized fibroids". When Baby Pinkie is born - they will continue to inhabit my uterus. Maybe they will shrink. Maybe, I will look 6 months pregnant after recovering from my c-section. But, for safety reasons, there won't be a hysterectomy after the birth.

So, maybe at a later date, there will be. Or there might be a uterine fibroid embolism. That means going through a vein/artery (don't recall which one) in the groin, to locate these things, and cut off their blood supply. It can be very effective, and also means no surgery. Or, I might have a hysterectomy at some point to remove the growths.

But, on July 19th, Baby Pinkie is scheduled to be born!!! That is less than a month away. How exciting!

So, physically, I hurt all the time. My lower back pops and clicks, as the SI joints slip in and out. The pain radiates down my hips and thighs. This is the main reason that I am awake right now. It really hurts to sleep. But, I have to try, because of all the swelling in my legs. Lots of lovely fluid retention.

My blood-pressure is still in the normal range! This is awesome, as it was high with my last two kiddos. Of course, we are still watching it.

My belly is enormous. I should post a picture. I'll try to get to that. The lower belly is like a foreign entity. Its flabby and weird looking. I will not take a picture of it. The kids like to poke it - which is gross and not funny. They got to feel the baby's head in this area at one of my OB appointments. So, they are obsessed with that part of my baby belly. The top of my belly is hard with all the fibroids and baby bottom stuffed in there. And, lets not talk about stretch marks. And railroad tracks (previous C-section scars). Its a warzone down there.

But, this is pregnancy. You sacrifice your body and imagined youthful looks (yah, imagined, cause I'm going to be 40 this Fall) for a new little angel. I will have three beautiful children in the world - and so, looking like a warzone is ok. Oh yeah, and in the end, with nursing- I get to keep the big boobs for a while. At least, some things are fair.

Ok, its 5 AM now, so back to bed.

Monday, June 13, 2011

They are here!

My family arrived a couple days ago. What a relief! I missed them so very much. We have a house. And, tomorrow, our movers deliver all our stuff. We made out big time. Our house is a four bedroom, with 2 1/2 bathrooms, and a walk-out basement. There is a storage shed attached to the side of the house, and a shed in the fenced in backyard. So, no more walking the dog outside! Lots of bicycle storage, and a room for everyone, even Baby Pinkie!

Seriously, we got one of the nicest houses on base. We only qualified for a 3 bedroom home, so we are very excited about this.

Yesterday, while doing some house stuff, two little girls came by to play with my daughter. They had a great time, and the base is very safe, so they can run around together. (This is a new concept for me). And, the neighbor next door, came out to play with my son, and ride scooters. How awesome is that?!

We had Halibut for dinner, and I have a red salmon in the freezer. My DH is going to learn to fish. Everyone does, and many people have boats. I am learning a lot. Like, you can order a half-cow - and have meat for most of the year (island raised). You can catch up to 20 fish per family member, per day, after you have permanent residency in AK, which takes 1 year. That's a lot of fish! And, there is a co-op thing- to get fresh organic produce each week. We might do some of this stuff. We will need another freezer.

DH has a busy work day today. But, he may be able to "walk" home for lunch most days. He looks so handsome in uniform. Tomorrow, he will have the day off to help with the move. My kids really miss their toys. I miss living in a house. I have been in this hotel for a month now. We are sharing a double bed. With my body pillow, its a bit crowded.

Today, I will take the kids to swim aerobics with me. They can play in the kiddie pool while I do my class. This class makes my body feel heavenly. Its the only time of the day that nothing hurts. This baby is growing, fibroids are growing, and my appetite is certainly growing. I could have eaten an orange grove yesterday. I really really am craving citrus fruit. Tonight, I have another doctor's appointment. My newest aliment is swollen legs and feet. Yucky! And, limited range of motion. I can hardly more my hips some evenings. I waddle and move like an old lady.

Well, that is the lastest update. Lots of fun stuff planned today : )

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dinner (TMI) and Other

Last night, I had a wonderful dinner. I was invited to dinner to meet the pastor of the church we may attend. He flies in from Anchorage monthly, and has church services here. The other weeks, we can watch a webcaste of the service online. It was a nice evening. Except, I was so thirsty. I drank a whole bottle of water, before and during dinner. Dinner was fresh-caught Red Salmon. It was literally caught earlier in the morning by my host. His family fishes for a hobby, but they catch enough fish to sustain them for the year, and more. That is amazing. This type of fish, is about $25 a pound. And, they grilled it to perfection.

Well, the water, the fish and dinner didn't set right. I went home feeling funny. Not sick, just weird. I wasn't in my hotel for more than 2 minutes before I gave up my dinner. Yuck. And, peed myself in the process. It was actually not upsetting, but laughable. Cause, well, I felt so much better! And, this was probably the most expensive meal I've eaten in years. This pregnant belly is taking up a lot of room, I guess.

Yet, I am always starving. I didn't eat for the rest of the night, but I was sure tempted. How warped is that? I am afraid to eat the leftovers that were sent home with me. I am guessing it was just the water. I never drink that much at once anymore. But, yah, I don't think I'll be eating salmon for a while. Maybe, I'll wait till I've given birth, at least.

Ok, are you official grossed out?

Here's the good news! I will still meet with the specialist, but my OB consulted with him- via the phone. He has my records. He doesn't intend to do a hysterectomy after the c-section. He will review my condition at a later date. Too much bleeding is the risk. So, the fibroids will stay in there for the time being. The delivery should be in Kodiak. A general surgeon will hang around incase its hard to do the tubal ligation, and AND, the birth should be July 19th. July 19th happens to be my dad's birthday. My dad died 11 years ago. So, this is very special to me. I requested the date (its about a week early from my due date) and the doctor thought it was a great plan.

So, I am down to around 6 weeks : ) Unless something happens, like I go into early labor etc. I will see my little boy in about 6 weeks. (Somedays it feels like he will simply kick his way out of my abdomen).

So, this craziness has an end in sight! And, 4 more days till my family arrives! Yahoo!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Gigantic Uterine Fibroids?

Wow, how could I have forgotten to blog about this subject? I looked back, and it seems that I indeed had never mentioned this in the blog. Lucky day for you! Because, I have gigantic uterine fibroid tumors in my uterus, and I'm about to tell you all about them.

So, at 20 weeks, the ultrasound tech mentioned that I had fibroids. Big deal, I thought, because I suddenly recalled that this was the case when my son was born 6 years ago. Well, my OB wanted to have another ultrasound done at 28 weeks. So, we did that. These puppies are (were) 10 cm and 7 cm in circumference. Wow! That is sort of significant!

So, at my last appointment, prior to moving to AK, my OB advised me that IF I were staying in Michigan for my delivery, she and her team of doctors would discuss what should be done to treat these big rocks in my belly. Uterine fibroids grow with estrogen, thus, they are growing with my baby in the womb. The good news: Baby Pinky is fine, and he has enough room to move around and grow. But, she mentioned "hysterectomy". A c-section to remove baby (via spinal), followed by full sedation, and the removal of my uterus. Wow.

But, she of course, did not know if my new OB in Alaska would feel the same about treatment options. Huh. Great way to start a 4,000 mile move across country.

So, a couple weeks ago, I met with a family practice doctor at my new doctor's office. I didn't like him. I have been told that he is very smart, like an absent-minded professor, but he didn't strike me as being someone who I'd want to deliver my child. Plus, he cannot, because he isn't a surgeon. So, I see my potential doctor tonight. Only, she might not deliver my baby either. She "could" but, she wouldn't be doing a hysterectomy on the island of Kodiak. I would go to Anchorage for that. Thus, another doctor. This doctor visits the island once a month for two days. He might deliver the baby, if the timing is right. He might do a hysterectomy, but, he can't do a consultation until June 22nd. I will be 35 weeks along. Yikes!

Of course, hypertension is an issue too. My blood pressure was a problem with my other two kiddos. My son was born 1 1/2 weeks early because of this. I was on modified bed-rest with my daughter. The doctor, I saw two weeks ago told me that BP medication would likely be an option - not early delivery. But, last week, my BP was in the normal range, although higher than it has been all along.

So, you know what? I am not calm today, and I am really worked up about all of this. Great for the blood pressure!? I have to wait till 8:30 PM for my appointment. Yes, 8:30 PM - as in the evening. My friend will drive me, because I don't have a car anymore. I am paranoid that she will be late or forget me. I mean, she won't, but I can't stop obsessing about it.

I probably won't know much tonight- since, this isn't the specialist from Anchorage. Darn, that he won't at least do a phone consultation with me!!

I can't imagine having a baby in Anchorage. I am learning my way around here. Next week, we will have a house (although empty) and my family will arrive on June 10th. I miss them so much! If I deliver and am cut up in Anchorage, will my kids get to come too? What happens during the delivery? Will my husband we able to be there? Can the kids see the baby before I get put under? I am freaked out by the unknown. There are people here to help me - in Kodiak. But, nobody in Anchorage. I do know how I'd get there- the Coast Guard has space- available flights for medical issues.

I need to calm down, and relax. The truth is, that I am too bored and alone to get my mind off all of this. I just need it to be this evening and time for my doctor's appointment.