To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Trip To Wyoming Part I

After falling on the ice on Thursday, we determined both baby and mama were safe and we were good to go to Wyoming. I had a lot to do to prep for the trip and had to take periodic breaks, so I didn't get to bed until almost 11. Which for me, is very late. I was up a few times in the night to pee - as per usual - so didn't sleep the greatest, but it was still a good sleep. I woke up at 4:28, heard the vacuum turn on at 4:29, and then hubs came to bed about 4:33. It had something to do with a broken aftershave bottle lid, and resulted in hubs smelling "pretty" when he finally came to bed. He had been at work until 2:30, then packed, folded clothes, and watched the Olympics up until the aftershave incident. My alarm was set for 5:00, so I ended up just getting out of bed about 4:45. I showered, finished packing, had breakfast, and let Brent sleep until 6:00. We were out the door and on the interstate by 6:20 - a miracle in itself.

I was driving, since Brent only had about an hour of sleep. He passed out right away and was sleeping pretty hard. The roads were clear, as far as I could tell, and we were cruising along at 75 mph. Because I am scared to death to speed, and cruise control was invented to make it easier to abide by the law. We were about 60 miles from home, and I had been following this truck/trailer for 5 miles. I had toyed with the idea of "nudging" the cruise control so I could pass them sooner, but knew I was bound to pass them at some point, so kept it where it was. I was closer to them than I had been the entire time following, so I moved to the passing lane. I wasn't all that close to them, but to put me at ease with regard to following distance, I had moved to the other lane. This would turn out to be another miracle.

I saw them start to fishtail and think I said, "whoa...", then I saw them careen, very awkwardly, to the shoulder. I said, "Oh no..." and it was about that time I saw the brake lights, the jack-knife, the front of their truck facing my car, and then they went in to the median and flipped. Over. Twice. I said, "Oh no!" again. The entire time span of this was about 4.5 seconds. I had braked firmly, but not aggressively, for fear they had hit black ice, and I certainly did not want to experience the same fate. By this time, Brent had heard some urgency in my "Oh no"s, and was awake, seating himself upright trying to figure out what had just happened. I pulled over and told him, "I just saw a roll over, get your phone." I put the car in park, and started to run ("run" = waddle urgently as a penguin on a mission) across the interstate to the median, where the truck was sitting upright, and crunched. There was a layer of frost on the road, and as I was running I remember thinking, "This probably isn't the smartest thing I could have done" considering my fate the day before. I saw them - three guys - emerge from the pickup. Two other vehicles had pulled over behind me and two gentlemen from vehicle #3, had sprinted across and reached the truck before I did.

I heard, "That was one hell of a rollover!"
Said one of the victims, "No $#!%."
I asked, out of breath and full of adrenaline, "Is everyone alright??!!"
"Yeah....Yeah, we're okay."
"Do you have a phone? Do you need anything? Water? First aid?" I panted.
One man was standing, with his hand on his neck. The third was still getting out of the truck and said, "I told you to slow down...." The first man, in green (ugly green) sweats said, "Yeah, we're fine, I've got a phone." I know this man had to be married and I hope he called his wife right away. Only married men think it's okay to go out in ugly green sweat pants.

I didn't dare say they had about given a pregnant lady a heart attack - because I imagine they had all come a lot closer to having a coronary themselves. The neck-holder raised an arm and waved down a suburban towing snowmobiles. Apparently they were traveling together. Once I was convinced they were alright and there was nothing more to do, I started to walk back to the car. I started walking backwards so I could see the cars that were headed towards us, and if they slid, I was planning on how I would do a movie-stunt jump-and-roll out of the way from being hit. Thankfully they didn't slide, because I can't jump or roll. Once they passed I was able to cross the interstate back to the car, as Brent was getting out and headed my way. He had just ended his 911 call. We both got back in the car and he asked me what had happened. I tried to describe it. I was shaking. I thought for sure we were going to hit that truck. I thought for sure there would be blood and jaws of life would be necessary to pry those people from the truck. I could not believe three men got out of the truck and were fine. My blood sugar had crashed from the adrenaline rush, and I asked Brent to fish me out some fruit snacks from the backseat.

Once my nerves settled, we started driving again, but I was afraid to go much faster than 55. About five miles down the road, I got my courage back, and could see the roads were fine past that point, and increased back to the legal 75. It may have been 76 for part of the way. Brent managed to get back to sleep, and I was trying to focus on the drive ahead, not on what I had just seen.

I drove us all the way to Glendive, MT, where we stopped for lunch at Subway. That was stop #5 for us, by the way. Remember, I'm pregnant and have to pee a lot. After lunch, I was ready for it to be my turn to nap. Brent had agreed to drive, and I told him to turn left out of the parking lot. He turned right. I yelled. He saw the Business Route I94 sign and "knew" we'd be on the interstate in no time. I yelled. I told him to turn around. He asked if I was serious. I let him know I was in fact very serious. He kept driving. I was ready to punch him in the face. We f-i-n-a-l-l-y made our way to the interstate, after a very unnecessary tour of Glendive, and I laid the seat back to sleep off my irate mood. At some point I woke up and told Brent we needed to stop at a rest stop ASAP. We had just passed one about five seconds before I woke up. Wouldn't you know it. I was able to hold it to Forsyth - a small hole in the wall, that happens to have a very nice gas station where I was able to pee, and buy Red Vines. Holla!

I stayed awake the rest of the way, lucky for you, so I could take gripping photographs with my cell phone. First I was mesmerized by the lack of snow on the ground - the part about Wyoming/Montana winters that I miss so very much. It was a welcomed sight, brown dead ground! I'm so tired of the feet of snow outside at home.

We passed the cow farm - that has the worst smelling cows in the nation. You can smell them for miles before and after you pass. And it's directly alongside the interstate. I had to cover my nose with my pillow.

Brent was listening to some radio thing on his Blackberry and singing along - it was entertaining. Except when I caught him "disliking" a song while he was driving. Um, not cool, Brent. Eyes on the road. And I know you speed with cruise control.

We stopped one more time to get fuel and - yes, I had to go again. We stopped seven times along the way, and we still made it in 10 1/2 hours. Definitely a trip to be proud of. And thank you, Jesus, those guys in the truck were okay. And that I didn't slip and fall on the interstate.

Part II to follow...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fall Down Go Boom

I have been having a hard go of it the last several weeks. My emotional filter is non-existent. I feel everything to the extreme. I'm either very happy, very angry, or very sad. Not usually anything in between. The slightest thing can set me off and send me spiraling. Mostly, it's all been work related. It makes sense, I mean, I spend most of my time at work and am surrounded by ridiculous people and situations on a daily basis. I'm not complaining, because it's part of the territory. I'm confident when I somewhat return to normal - and I pray that I will - I will be better apt to handle said ridiculous scenarios. For now, however, it's a daunting and exhausting experience. It's not so much an emotional roller coaster as it is a ride to the left or right of the horizontal emotional spectrum. And seriously, 98% of it is work related.

I rather enjoy being pregnant for the record. There are things that are difficult to deal with - like the rhinitis, the weight gain, the water retention, and the explosive growth of body hair (my cheeks have beard tufts. You think I'm kidding.). But all in all, this is an incredible experience, and one I can absolutely sit and relish in for a while. I love feeling her move. I love watching my belly pop out and change shapes. I love eating ice cream. I love my husband reading bedtime stories to his soon-to-be-born-daughter. I love singing "you are my sunshine" to my belly. I love full-belly maternity pants. I love being helped to put my shoes and socks on because I can't bend over without losing my balance. Okay, not really loving that, but it is funny sometimes. Sometimes, it's freeing to say what's on my mind and get away with it because, "she's pregnant, just let her rant." I really enjoy being pregnant.

But sometimes it's scary. I always question whether or not I'll be a good mom. Whether I'll be able to devote my time to a job that drives me crazy, and then come home and give all I have to a kid and husband I'm crazy about. Will I ever fit into those old clothes again? Will I raise my child - God's child - to know Him and trust Him? What am I doing that could harm my baby? Is there more I can do to help my baby?

Today was scary in particular. I had come back from lunch and rounded the back of my car walking to the entrance of our building. This morning we had received a wet skiff of snow. I stepped in the wrong spot - ice - and immediately went down. I slammed on to my left side, scraping up my arm and leg, and jarring myself so severely, I pulled something in my right side. Naturally there were about four cars driving by right then to witness the whole thing. I'm wearing Brent's coat this winter - it's huge - and no one can tell I'm pregnant. Just a clumsy girl in a buffalo coat. I got myself up and gingerly walked into work. My pants were covered with dirty snow. I had ice in my purse, on my keys, and my hand was bloodied. I brushed myself off and hobbled to my desk. Adrenaline had saved me from feeling much of any pain, but I was worried. Did I hurt Ziggy? Is she okay? I pretty much landed on her head. Move, Ziggy, Move. Kick mama. God please, let her kick. The adrenaline started to wear off and I felt sore. Everywhere. My back especially. My right side, left hand and elbow, were all throbbing. I grabbed my belly. Move, Ziggy! Please! It was a good 30 minutes, but I felt one kick. One little kick. Do it again. About ten minutes later I felt another one. I started to feel better.

I called the OB nurse line and left a message, asking to be called back. I knew I was fine and I knew my baby was fine, but I wanted to hear a medical professional say so. The nurse, my favorite from our first appointment, returned my call. I told her what happened and she said, "So you hit your belly, then." Enter sinking feeling in heart. She said she was going to double check with the doctor, but she thought I should come in immediately and be monitored for a while. Those weren't the words she was supposed to say. She was supposed to say that pregnant women fall all the time, and babies are always okay, and I shouldn't worry, but I should be more careful, and haha, isn't that funny that I fell? She double checked with the doctor and told me so long as there is no bleeding or cramping, and so long as I feel movement, I should be okay. She told me to go drink some fruit juice and lay on my side for an hour to count kicks. If I didn't feel anything significant, I needed to go in right away.

I came home, drank some orange juice and slid into bed. In fifteen minutes, I felt Ziggy kick me six times. Then I fell asleep. I didn't mean to, but I guess the events of the day had worn me out. I woke up in time to read a text message from Brent that I needed to pick him up from work for his dinner break. (his car has been out of commission for over a week, but that's another story for another day.)

I've felt her move twice since going to get Brent. I plan on taking a hot bath and trying to relieve my soreness from the fall. Then I plan to lay on my side and count kicks. At least until I fall asleep - knowing that we're both okay.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Drank The Kool Aid.

I want one day to look back on things I've written about my pregnancy. The problem is, I can't exert any more effort to keep up with myself. Then I convince myself I'll remember, and five minutes later I can't remember what I was supposed to remember, and two minutes after that I've forgotten I had told myself I would remember anything at all. So here is the blog about today's appointment - for my own future reference.

I woke up after 4 hours of sleep. Four non-consecutive hours. I haven't had many of those nights, but when they happen they're pretty brutal. My husband thought he would pull a fast one on me, when I trudged down to the basement at 4 this morning to find he was still up and watching t.v. I saw the glow from the screen as I was at the top of the stairs. On my way down the light went away and he was mysteriously "sleeping" in the dark. I busted him, though. I'm not delusional. I know what I saw, and what I was hearing that prompted me to go down there in the first place. I hate it when he works the late shift because he stays up until ridiculous hours and it's almost like I'm single again. With someone renting my basement and watching television until 4 a.m. He's a sly one, that hubs. But I can't get enough of him regardless.

I finally started to get ready for work, and had my glamorous breakfast of three scrambled eggs, no salt, and a glass of milk. I literally choked the eggs down. Trying to cut back on my salt intake (because I tend to swell up to three times my normal size) makes for gross eggs. I also don't like to eat breakfast until I've gone to work, so having to eat beforehand threw me off. I didn't have my usual of fruit and Kashi cereal, because I was trying to keep carbs and any sugar intake to nil. After all, I had to "stay away from all sugar" for the next two hours. I didn't even want the natural sugars to show up. So no fruit or good-for-me cereal.

I've been anxious about today's appointment. I knew it was my glucose screening. I wasn't nervous about the drink, the taste, or the process. I'm nervous about the "what if" - what if I have to come back and do the 3 hour test and they tell me I have gestational diabetes? Yuck. No thank you. I don't want to deal with that, or take more sick time from work to have my blood drawn every 30 minutes for three hours, while being ravenously hungry. Freaky stuff.

I left work at 10 - not really remembering anything about my morning because I was so stinking tired. I checked in at the hospital and went with my "labels" to lab/radiology. I got settled in the waiting room and a few minutes later my husband walked in to join me for my appointment. After about 15 minutes, they called me back to pee in a cup. Selfishly, that is my favorite way to start the appointment, because wow emptying my bladder feels good. Afterwards I was given the glucose solution - which tasted like I was drinking about 40 non-frozen freeze-pops (we called them Otter Pops growing up, because I think that was the brand name). It was syrupy sweet. But not horrible tasting. I had about three big body shivers after I got it all down. Whew! It was a bit of a shock to my system. I had to get it down fast and go upstairs to my appointment, though, so it felt kind of cultish. "Trust us. Drink the fancy tasting syrup. Quickly! Then look for the comet!"

We trudged upstairs and checked in for my doctor's appointment. I was called back within five minutes of sitting in the waiting room - which was a first! They weighed me (weight = that of a small military tank vehicle), took my blood pressure (which was slightly higher than previous appointments, but still within the normal range), and told me the doctor would be right in. So we waited. And we waited. And normally I wouldn't have cared, but I had to be back downstairs to have my blood drawn at 11:30. At 11:15 I asked Brent if he would poke his head out in the hallway and ask if we were going to see the doctor, or if I had to go back downstairs. Wouldn't you know it, 10 seconds later, the doctor walked in? I love our doctor, so it's okay, but now my appointment was going to be rushed.

We talked about Haiti. Doc had gone over on a medical mission trip and was there during the earthquake. She's a believer, and a doctor, and she loves Haiti. How could I not love this doctor?? I wanted to hear and be interested in her stories of involvement in Haiti, but I had to go back downstairs in t-10 minutes. We needed to get on with it. I hopped up on the bed and she checked the heartbeat. The very loud heartbeat. Little Ziggette's heart was just pumping away! She only hit the Doppler once. I think it was her way of protesting us having to wait so long. Like mother like daughter. :o) Doc helped me to sit up and I huffed and puffed and blew the hair out of my face. I whipped my shirt down and asked her about a funny spot between my newly developed cleavage. No, it doesn't itch. Oh, it's just another weird pregnancy thing? Fancy that. I also asked her about a weird thing I get under my nose once and again when I'm sick, because I just had it last week. I forgot to ask about driving to Wyoming for a baby shower for me, and also forgot to give her paperwork to fill out for my FMLA anticipated leave once the babe child arrives. Sigh.

She told me the next appointment would be in two weeks and I caught my breath. Are we really at that point now? I'll be going every two weeks. Oh mercy me, I'm going to be a mom. Soon.

We trekked back downstairs quick like, and waited to have my name called to go back and have my blood drawn. The woman who took my blood today did amazing. I didn't even feel the "small poke" they always warn you about. She got the two vials she needed and I was done in about 30 seconds. Fantastic!

So now it's hurry up and wait. Depending on if, or how bad, I "fail" the screening, I'll get a call. If it's not so bad, then I'll go over it with the doc in two weeks. Two weeks - I still can't believe we're at that point.

I had a horrible-for-me lunch, of an amazing cheeseburger and some chili. Followed promptly by several Tums. Then for dessert later that afternoon I had a 3 Musketeer's bar. Now it's bedtime for this tired momma. 27 weeks and counting, I cannot even believe it! Or this cleavage!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Exchange

My dream job, and I'm being 110% serious, is to co-host a talk radio show with my husband. It's been something I've talked about since we've been married, and I really and truly would go to work happy every day if this was my job. We would talk about sports, politics, the jerk who cut us off in traffic, the lady who would. not. move. from the center of the grocery aisle - it would be the best talk radio show out there. And people would love us. We would answer emails, take calls, and I would have the ability, nay - the power, to put people on mute. HOW could this not be everyone's dream job?!

Today I came home for lunch, and like any other day where my husband works the late shift, he was here. Since I don't get to see him in the evenings, I rather enjoy getting to spend 40 minutes or so during the middle of the day with him. Today he was spry. I'm not sure if he slept differently, or if there was something slipped in his milk, but he was outright ornery.

I thanked him, first of all, for doing the dishes. The sink was clear, the counter was clean, and the dishwasher was just about empty, save for a few new residents of dirty plates and silverware. I then had to put up with Brent berating me for asking him to cook me a hamburger patty when we have leftover chili to eat. Mind you, chili was all I ate on Friday and I'm kind of sick of it. But whatever, I'll eat it. I grabbed the Tupperware housing the chili and spooned some in to a bowl for myself. I set the spoon on the corner of the sink, and proceeded to microwave my chili.

In the meantime, Brent got on the phone with a certain credit card company to cancel our card because 1) credit cards are the devil, 2) we don't use the card, and 3) we are being charged out the butt for interest. Brent was RILED UP! I have never heard him talk on the phone this way to customer service agents. You have to understand, Brent trains customer service agents for a living and he is always very patient and lenient with ones he has to interact with for our personal business. But not today! He was giving Ms. Peggy a what-for, after Ms. Brandy had transferred him through another automated voice menu. Oh man, he was firing off retorts like I have never heard. It was like listening to a male me on the phone.

The microwave stopped and I grabbed the spoon from the corner of the sink, stirred the chili, and proceeded to eat. Brent ended the phone call after canceling our card, and I was letting him know how entertained I was by his entire exchange. He stood up to do something, when - stop the earth on it's axis because we're all going to die - he saw where I had rested my spoon, and it had left a puddle of chili juice.

"Really? I just cleaned this kitchen."
"Brent, are you upset about my chili spot?"
"Yes, I just cleaned this kitchen."
"Oh? Oh really? But how many times have I cleaned the kitchen, and then your toast crumbs are covering the entire counter top and I don't say a word to you about it?"
"Well, it's kind of hard to talk to me when I'm not here, isn't it?"
"Oh, so then it's okay for you to leave a mess because you won't be here to hear me talk about it?"
"Well if you want to wait four hours until I come home to mention it -"
"Oh right! Who are you to say I wasn't going to clean that chili spot up before I left? But I sit down to eat my chili and I'm a slob."
(The chili he insisted I eat, but that I was tired of eating.)
"Oh yah, okay, you were going to clean it. But you couldn't clean it right away or while you're bowl was in the microwave for a minute."
"I didn't move the spoon until the microwave was done."
"Oh okay. Sure, so you were going to clean the chili spot."
"I don't want to host a radio show with you anymore."

Brent laughed and then proceeded to explain, "that would have been the perfect radio show exchange. We could have taken calls and emails to see what people thought about you and your chili mess on the counter."

And he's right. About the perfect radio show exchange. People would love us. They would call, email, and tune in every day to hear what Brent and I had to say about nothing. It would be like our own Seinfeld, only over the radio. And I really was going to clean the chili spot before I left. Geez.