Monday, December 13, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 13

Prompt:
Action When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

I am simultaneaously participating in two end of the year challenges. The other one I am working on is a bit more private and as a result I have chosen to document that one in a journal. However the other challenge has really forced me to not only determine my next steps but put solids plans in place to ensure that these things get done. So here are the things I have planned to do in 2011:

  • Spend more Quality time with my boys: Sometimes Amir and I are just going through the motions and we very rarely take time for ourselves our just fun family time. We will absolutely do more of that in the coming year.
  • Create boundries with my extended family: I can not physically or mentally meet the demands of my family to constantly be in NY for things. I have decided we will definitely go to NY twice a year. Anything more is because I feel like it.
  • Eat better and meditate daily
  • Work towards buying a new home: We have outgrown our townhouse which I LOVE! This place is my baby but we have decided we are buying a single family home next year!!!
  • Get into a Ph. D program or Law School (Haven't decided for sure which one I may just apply to both)
  • Make sure we plan a vacation for next year.

Reverb 10: Day 12

Prompt:
Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

When I was in labor. I spent a lot of time preparing for labor and delivery. I had my ideal of how I wanted to give birth and this ideal required my mind to work hand in hand with my body. I feel like it truly did. Because I was able to allow my mind and body to work together I was better able to express what I was feeling and determine what was best for me even when it was not necessarily what I wanted.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 11

Prompt:
11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

  1. Cancer! Chemotherapy to eliminate any left over cancer cells from my surgery. Getting rid of this will help me get back to my normal life and focus on what really matters!
  2. Unnecessary people...I am a firm believer in energy. I believe that people carry positive and negative energy and I believe that energy can affect those around you. I am removing those in my life I feel carry negative energy. If you can not bring anything positive into my life that I really do not need you around. I am determined to create a positive and nurturing environment for Alex and I believe that starts with removing the negative energy around me.
  3. Horrible eating habits...I am a fairly healthy eater however I honestly do not eat enough. I am so caught up on life sometimes that I don't take time during the day to eat. As a result since I have been sick I have lost a tremendous amount of weight and as I have said before I really don't weigh much to begin with. I am being force fed Ensure these days to make sure I get the needed calories or I will be back in the hospital. Not happening. I am going to make time to eat daily and carry around snacks.
  4. People pleasing... I need to work on pleasing myself and stop worrying so much about others. I have learned you will never make everyone happy! That being said I absolutely need to make sure I make myself happy.
*** This post is hard for me lol I will keep adding as I come up with them***

Reverb 10: Day 10

Prompt:
Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

Going to get the lump in my breast check out! I was told it was just a cyst but it made me uneasy. I am GLAD I had it checked out. It saved my life! It may have cause me stress over the next few months and it caused me to have major surgery but it is all absolutely worth it to be around to see Alex grow up!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 9

Prompt:
Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

Considering I spent most of 2010 pregnant I really never went out. I was always home eating or sleeping LOL. BUT I did go out with a few coworkers for a happy hour at the beginning of the school year. I had a lot of fun. This was the first time I had the opportunity to go out since I the beginning of my pregnancy. It was a very laid back crowd we went to a restaurant down by the water front. The weather was perfect because it was late summer. I love my coworkers. I am one of the youngest ones in the crowd I hang out with but not by much. Everyone is in their early to mid thirties and I am the baby at 26. We talked about the upcoming school year, we laughed about some of the crazy things that have happened in the past, and had a really good time. The happy hour was at a seafood restaurant called Phillips which is on a strip with quite a few other places. So after we left Phillips we walked down to a spot called the Zanzibar where there was a DJ and we danced. It was the first time I had been in a "club" in forever.

Since graduating from college I am not really a big drinker and I definitely very rarely go to a club. My close friend China actually always calls me an "old lady" because by about midnight I am done for the night and want to go home and go to sleep. In college we may have just been walking out the door at midnight. That being said this is why this night was so much for me. I stepped out of my comfort zone and I had a blast. I had a few drinks, I danced like crazy, and just hung out with the girls. Definitely one of the best social gathers I have been to in 2010.

The crazy thing is I had no intention of staying out so late. I had a certification exam the next morning. I took the two hour test the next day with a terrible hang over and mentally prepared to retake it in a few months. Ironically I passed! Not only did I pass but I did really well.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I am NOT my hair.



So I am officially free of my hair. Today has been a very emotional one for me. I have tried to mentally prepare myself for this moment from the day I found out that I was battling cancer. But there is nothing that can prepare you for the moment when you must truly face reality. My hair began to fall out while I was in the hospital. It was coming out in chunks and there was really not much I could do with it.

Today I finally decided it was time to let it go. I cried so hard when my hair stylist cut my hair and I cried even more when I got home. While I was pregnant my hair grew soooo much! I loved my post pregnancy hair and it was something I had embraced and now I have NO hair. It was a big pill for me to swallow. But I have embraced it. I have some hair scarfs that I will likely wear daily and I bought some larger earrings and I guess I can get in the habit of throwing on some make up here or there.

I realize like India Arie says "I am not my hair" I can not let this define me or shape who I am. It will grow back!

On another note I have decided that when it does grow back I will not be relaxing it. I have had a perm for two years and I think I am taking this as my opportunity to go back to my natural hair. I loved my afro and I can not wait to have it back!

Reverb 10: Day 8

Prompt:
Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.
I am going to take Donnies Idea on this one and just give a top 10 list of what makes me different:
  1. I am very silly! I love to laugh and make those around me laugh. 
  2. I LOVE to horseback ride and plan to get back in the saddle one day soon. I think I want to show in the spring and if I start riding now I can pull it off.
  3. I am one of the only people I know that was raised in a single parent home by my DAD. I know tons of people who came up in single parent homes but they were all were raised by moms. My dad raised me and I love him so much more for that.
  4. If you are in my life I really must love you. I am very reserved and private and those I call "friends" mean a lot to me or they would not get that title. It is very hard for me to let people in and once I have let you in it is because I have felt some kind of bond or connection to you.
  5. I have a HUGE shoe obsession but I hate to wear them LOL. I love shoes and buy them all the time but because of my job I very rarely wear heels so a lot of my shoes do not get worn half as much as they could be. 
  6. I really wish I had the will power to become a vegeterian. 
  7. I feel like music is food for my soul. I love it! Especially songs with meaning. I can be having the worse day EVER and a good song can lift my spirits.
  8. I am a city bred girl that LOVES the country. If I had my way we would buy a huge house in the country where I can own horses and our dogs could run free and I can sit by the lake and read. I love the outdoors.
  9. I am always thinking of others. I truly do care about others and I am constantly trying to help anyone I can. Even with all thats going on with me my priorities still typically shift to what others are going through.
  10. I have a bit of a Napoleon complex. I am tiny, barely 5 ft and currently weighing in at not much of anything. That being said I have a very big mouth and will curse someone out in a minute. Over the years I have calmed down A LOT but there was a point when I really did not know how to shut up!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 7

Prompt:
Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

I have truly discovered a community within the school I work for. Its very funny how things come full circle because a year ago I HATED my job. However, with a new principal, my stress level has gone down significantly and I have grown to love it. Not only have I grown to love my job but I also love my co-workers. My co-workers look out for me and we have a very close knit group. We act like a family and I love it. The way they embraced my being sick really took me by surprise and it has made truly appreciate the environment I work in.

I want to become active in my Sorority. I have not been active since I graduated under grad and I think I would like to join a graduate chapter. This will give me the opportunity to connect with Sorors in my area and get into some service work which I would love to do.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 6

Prompt:
Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

Lol does Alex count? Seriously...I can not think of the last thing I made. I thought about this all day and I have got nothing. I used to very well with crafts. I love to Knit and Crochet and scrapbook but I can not think of the last time I have done of this. I got very lazy with crafting and life got in the way of the fun things.

I really want to make an afghan. I love to crochet I just haven't had a moment to finish a project in forever. I have made tons of baby blankets, I have made a scarf and hat. So I absolutely would love to start and FINISH an afghan.

I am FREE

Being discharged from the hospital today! I am so happy to be going home. Yesterday my veins went rogue on me and decided they were tired of being pumped with antibiotics. As a result the IV starting leaking back out and I had to have the IV removed. BUT, they accessed my medi-port for the rest of my stay which made my life a lot easier.

I am only allowed to have things done one my left arm because I had lymph nodes removed on my right side and anything done to my right arm puts me at risk of getting Lymphedema which is not fun. I think my left arm was just overused while in the hospital. I had an IV line, was getting my blood pressure checked multiple times a day, and was getting blood draws once or twice a day. So it was definitely a lot for me and my poor arm!

Any who I am just so happy to be leaving. I can not wait to see my baby boy!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reverb 10: Days 1-5

Prompt:
December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

My word for 2010 is Bittersweet. The dictionary defines bittersweet as "both pleasant and painful". This is how I feel. This year was amazing for me. I spent the first half of this year getting to know my son in a way only he and I can share because I carried him in my belly and got to connect with him in a way that is truly special to me. It was amazing because I also gave birth to my son and my family grew. My husband and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary and I became an Aunt. The year truly has been "sweet" to me and it really is hard for me to complain. The good truly outweighed the bad. However, there is still that bitter side. Towards the end of the year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and my life changed drastically.

My word for 2011 is free. I hope to be free of the burden of cancer and free of all the baggage that has come with it!


Prompt:
December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

Talking on the phone! I spend A LOT of time on the phone and Amir often complains that I am always chatting with someone when I walk through the door from work or while I am doing other things around the house. I think because I am far away from a large chunk of my family and friends this is how I stay connected to them. But I absolutely could do a lot less chatting on the phone and dedicate more of that time to myself, Amir and even Alex (although Alex get a large portion of my non working time). Sometimes I talk to the same people multiple times a day. I probably could reduce that to once. So although I can not absolutely eliminate my phone time I definitely think I can reduce it.

Prompt:
December 3- Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

This is a very simple moment for me. The day before I went into labor. I was already a week and half over due and it was early summer. Amir and I knew that any day now we would no longer be a duo but a trio and we were really committed to making the most of our last few days together. This particular day we took our first trip of the summer to my favorite summer spot, Annapolis, MD. It's a 20 minute drive from our home and it is the like heaven to me, I LOVE the water. The air smelled warm and salty and we walked along the harbor and looked at the yachts. We had Sydney, our 4 year old cocker spaniel, with us and she was excited and jumped all over the place. There were a lot of other dogs out so Sydney was barking every once in awhile and trying to chase every seagull she saw. Although I was very far in my pregnancy I did not feel bad at all I was just happy to be out. I love the spring and summer and we choose to be out in the sun daily if you let me.

We stopped at an ice cream shop and got ice cream. Amir got a cup and I for chose to get a cone with two scoops. Although we were right by the water the air was stick hot and sticky and in hindsight that cone was a bad idea. We sat at a table outside the shop and ate our ice cream, while Sydney napped under the table. Suddenly not one but both scoops of ice cream I had fell right off the cone as I licked it because I wasn't eating fast enough and it had melt because of the heat. Sydney immediately hopped up and helped her self and Amir and I could not help but laugh. I went back inside and got some more ice cream and when we finished we hopped in the car and headed home. It was just a great day.

I really believe it was the perfect ending to our duo...the next evening my water broke and the day after that we welcomed our son into the world. Everything just came full circle for us.

Prompt:
December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

This unfortunately is where I must reflect on my diagnosis of cancer. I can not help but wonder where would I be had things been done differently.
What if I would have gone to the doctor when I "thought" I felt a lump and not waited until I absolutely felt one.
What if I would have insisted my doctor take the lump more seriously instead of telling me I was to young to have cancer and that they would do nothing until after I was pregnant.
I have so many more what ifs.... I can not help but wonder how things would be now had I followed my instincts sooner.....

Prompt:
December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

I am still in the process of working on this but I am trying be more receptive of letting others help me. I am a very private person and I don't like to except the help of others. I don't like feeling like I owe others and I don't really like being dependent on anyone other than me. If I do not depend on others than I can not be mad at any one letting me down right? I truly need to let this go. Since getting sick in many ways I have had no choice but to let go but, it is still a constant struggle.

I also let go of anyone or anything that I felt was an unnecessary stressor for me. This started while I was pregnant because I grew up in chaos and this was something I never wanted for my children. From the moment I found I was pregnant I decided I needed to remove the stress. A lot happen at the end of last year and I got a late start on committing to this but I did stick to it in 2010 and am so grateful I did. Life is so much easier without added chaos and drama.

Last...I am letting go of my hair! I mentioned earlier my hair has begun to fall out. I am actually anxious for a hair cut and embracing what is happening. There is no need to cry over spilt milk...just clean it up.

Reverb10 Challenge

I just signed up to do the Reverb10 Challenge. Its annual blog event where you spend time each day reflecting on the past year. The reverb 10 website gives you a prompt for each day in December and you must blog about that particular prompt. Since its already the 5th I am going to do one entry answering the 1st 5 prompts. I intended to sign up sooner but life got a little crazy over the past few days.

Here are is the website with the rules and prompts.

I am so bad at keeping up with my blog I hope I can stick to this one! I think it will give me something fun to do and positive to reflect on with all the craziness going on.

Back in the Hospital

Yep.... I am BACK in the hospital, been here since Thursday. I was admitted for emergency surgery do to an infection in one of my tissue expanders. I had been feeling kind of run down all week but thought I was catching the flu. My immune system is already weak and people all around me including both Amir and Alex have been sick so I figured thats why I was feeling run down. Wednesday I was suppose to go to a meeting a Georgetown and out to eat with some people from work but I was feeling so bad at work that I cancelled everything and went home and crawled into bed. Thursday I woke up still feeling a little out of it but I had a pretty calm day planned, physical therapy, a workshop, and then chemo, so I just figured I would pull through. I did notice however a big bump that had surfaced on my right breast. It was very soft to the touch so I knew there was fluid under the skin. When I went to physical therapy my therapist took one look at the bump and insisted I call my plastic surgeon immediately and go in even if that meant missing my workshop. I went to my workshop but called Dr. Lenert (My Plastic Surgeon) as soon as her office opened her nurse told me to come in ASAP.

I arrived at her office at 12 and as soon as she looked at the bump she said yeah thats an infection. She told me she wanted to operate immediately to remove the infected implant and that I would need to hospitalized until the infection subsided. I was not allowed to go to chemo and pretty much was sent up the street to the hospital immediately. By 4:30 Thursday night I was having surgery and I have been here ever since. I spiked 2 fevers and my white blood count was very high but it is finally dropping back to normal. A normal white blood count is 3 or 4 and mine was 27 on Friday, 15, Saturday, and 11 today so we are headed in the right direction. I should be discharged tomorrow.

While in the hospital I did make one other discovery...My hair has begun to fall out. I can not touch or comb it without chunks of it coming out at a time. So once I am out of the hospital I am going to get a hair cut. Not going to shave it off or anything just yet but cut it into something a little more manageable. Because at this point I can't even put my hair in a pony tail because all of my edges are gone.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chemo

Tomorrow is my first day of Chemo. I have had a medi-port put in which is basically a way to give the nurses direct access to your veins without having to get an IV every time you go. I had a surgery to put this device under my skin in my shoulder and I numb it with lidocaine about 30 min to an hour before chemo and the connect the me to an IV line through the port. This is suppose to be less painful and a lot simpler than an IV at every appt. I have to have my blood drawn once a week and they can use the port for this purpose as well.

So I have to take 3 different drugs in my Chemo regimen. The plan is to take the first two (adriamycin and cytoxan) and which are the worse of the 3 simultaneously, bi-weekly for 8 weeks. In addition to this I have to go in the day following my Thursday treatment to get an injection. The injection is to boost my White Blood Count because the Cytoxan affects my white blood cells. Once I am done with this 8 week regimen which brings right into the new year I will start a 12 week regimen of the last drug (Taxol). I am going in to take this once a week and I do not have to get an injection along with this unless my blood draws show a low white blood cell count.

Now thats just the chemo. I am also mid reconstruction. I have expanders in and because I was having a rough time healing I have not had them expanded any more than the size they were when I came out of surgery. The purpose of expanders is to stretch my breast muscle and skin in order to get a permanent implant in there to fit properly. So in between Chemo sessions I need to go in to see my plastic surgeon who will inject Saline into each expander on a biweekly basis until they reach the right size. I will then go back into surgery to have to expanders replaced with permanent implants. But here is the kicker before each expansion I have to get my blood drawn! If my white blood count is down...I can't get expanded.

Once I have the surgery to replace the expanders with permanent implants my plastic surgeon will then use some excess skin to make nipples and then they tattoo them on. Currently I just have a straight line going across my breast.

After I am done with the 5 months of chemo I will go on hormone therapy which is a pill I take daily for the next 5 years. the drug will continue to suppress the production of hormones in my ovaries. If Amir and I decide we want to try for another baby we can come off the drug and under close monitoring try to conceive but that also hoping that my fertility was not compromised from all the meds. My oncologist believes because of my age I should be ok in a few years to try and conceive again. I think we will try again in 2 years and then I am going have my ovaries removed at the recommendation of my oncologist. The purpose behind this is to prevent my body from over producing estrogen which my tumor tested positive for.

Our other option for fertility was to go through an IVF cycle now and harvest the embryos. We opted against this for several reasons. The biggest reason being that I still have not started a cycle since I stopped breast feeding. Because I can't predict when it will show up we didnt want to put off chemo and just wait for my period. The other reason we opted against was the money. With a new baby in our home we can not afford the added, unexpected expense of IVF.

Any who I think that pretty much covers updates on the cancer front.

In the world of Alex he is doing AMAZING. Gosh I just love this kid. He has his first tooth coming in and he is now sleeping in his crib (YAY me! We know this was a big step for me) I am so happy I made the change I sleep so much better now. He has also been sleeping through the night the past few days but I am not sure if thats a fluke. I will say I think its funny that I was once told that Alex co-sleeping with us was inhibiting his ability to be independent and self sooth because I can lay him in his crib at the sight of sleepiness and he will put himself to sleep without even a cry.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Finally had a break down

Since the moment I received my diagnosis I have tried to be strong. In many cases I feel I have handled this news better than some of my family and friends who have cried and clung to me since day one. I think I finally really broke down yesterday and my poor husband did not know what to do. He tried to make me feel better but nothing he said made me feel better and finally he just stopped talking. Its so dumb because I was crying over something so minor. With all the MAJOR factors I need to consider with the reality of breast cancer. I was sad because I was going to have no hair for my next birthday. I guess in my brian I thought by the new year I would be done. Yesterday I met with the oncologist and the reality of Chemo really kicked in. The reality of being tired, menopausal, sick, and hairless for 5 months hit me hard. I know it sounds so trivial. I know I need to be grateful for my life and for the medical technology that has helped me survive this but I am still a 26 year old woman and I just want to be that. I just feel like cancer has taken ALL that makes me a woman away. I will go through early menopause and need to PRAY it reverses or we will have no more children. I lost my breast and now my hair.....I am heart broken. Not to mention I feel like a terrible mother. I can only hold Alex for but so long before it becomes painful or difficult. I am tired ALL the time and I just want my life back. So I guess in retrospect I was not crying because I was going to be bald for my birthday it was because I realized how much of my life cancer has taken from me already in its short lived presence and I realized how far we still have to go.

In other news my beautiful baby boy is now 4 months and I still could not be more in LOVE! We opted to introduce solids and the suggestion of our Pediatrician. I was originally going to hold off until after the 6 month mark but Alex has shown interest in food and I feel he is ready and with all thats going on we just needed a happy moment. I love feeding him its fun! We have only done rice cereal and sweet potato and I am making our baby food using a food processor. I have enjoyed spending more time with my little man while I have been home recouping. I did send him back to the babysitter this week because I am home alone this week and it would be too much to care for him on my own.

Here are some pictures of him eating rice cereal :-)



Sunday, October 17, 2010

Halfway done....

So I had my surgery a few days ago and I am starting to feel a little bit like my old self again. I am in a little pain but am able to get up and move around now. I have these things called drains in (which are very nasty so I won't go into to much detail) but I am hoping the drains will be out tomorrow! I think thats been the worse part so far to this whole experience. My breast look very funny right now. When doing reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy they put what is called an expander in. The expander is a temporary implant that is gradually filled until it reaches its maximum size over the course of several weeks. The purpose is to allow the skin and muscle surrounding the implant to stretch. My left side is larger than the right and my nipple is still intact on that side. Its only larger temporarily because that side was able to handle more stretch during surgery than the right. My right side is a lot smaller and there is no nipple so it looks very strange. They both look very bruised and battered and I don't have a whole lot of feeling in either of them.

I didn't look at them until about Friday and almost had a break down at the sight of them. I guess in my brain they were suppose to look just right automatically but thats not reality.

Tomorrow I have an appt with both my Breast Surgeon and Plastic surgeon and then Thursday I have an appt with my oncologist to discuss next steps.

Alex has been wonderful. He is such a happy baby and its something I definitely need right now.

Well at least I have made it through half the battle and we shall see where the rest of this takes me.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Next Steps...

So I am really still overwhelmed and saddened by all that has happened. However I have no time to be worried or scared or stressed, Alex needs me and me not being around for him is absolutely NOT an option so we have to do whatever it takes for me to be a part of my sons life ALWAYS. He is my reason to fight.

So Dr. Teal is my breast surgeon and she is one of the best so I do feel I am good hands. Her recommendation for next steps is extremely drastic though and I am so overwhelmed. She wants to remove both my breast. Not only does she want to remove both my breast she wants to do it a week from Tuesday. This is all happening so FAST and I feel like I have not had a real time to process this. The cancer has likely spread to my Lymphnodes. I have been poked and prodded so much in the last week that I am just DONE. But I can't be done and I think when I realized that I finally had the breakdown. Right on the hospital bed as the radiologist was taking samples of my Lymphnodes I just cried. Cried because I can not in my right mind BELIEVE this is happening to me. Its like a bad dream.

So the game plan is as follows:

I will be having double mastectomy on Tuesday October 12th. The reason for this is because at the age of 26 the odds of the cancer spreading are HIGH appearently in women under the age of 35 breast cancer is really rare. Not only is it really rare it has proven to be more aggressive. So Dr. Teal feels that we should not only remove the infected breast but also take the second as a preventative measure. She fears it will come back and if it does it will be harder to treat. It has to be done so soon because the cancer has already begun to spread.

After the mastectomy I will have reconstructive surgery so I will be in surgery for hours....I don't know much about this process yet. I have an appt with the Plastic Surgeon on Monday. I never thought in a million years I would be getting breast implants.

After all of this I start Chemo. I need to get in to see the Oncologist next week so that I can get a clearer understanding of my options and then I will know how long chemo will be etc.

Right now I am numb. But I am trying to regroup and get a rationale stance on things. I will likely try to get in to get a second opinion next Friday. As long as that Dr. says she agrees then I will absolutely be having surgery. I don't know what else to say right now. I have so much to do. I have disability paper work to submit and I have to take a Leave of Absence from work and I dont even know how long I will be out. I am just trying to wrap my head around all this and also stay halfway sane.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Broken....

Its crazy hour in 5 minutes your whole entire life can change....

Almost a year ago today I peed on a pregnancy test and in 5 minutes knew I would be a mom. I felt this lump in my breast and Amir told me I was crazy Almost a year ago. A few months after the first time I noticed it I pointed it out to Amir again and this time he absolutely agreed. I called the doctor she checked it and told me it was "probably just a cyst" and that there was not much that can be done until I had the baby. She did however recommend I get an ultrasound and I did. The ultrasound to my knowledge revealed a mass, but again I was told it was just a cyst and that I would be referred to a breast surgeon to have it removed after the baby was born.

I saw a Lactation Consultant during my pregnancy to make sure I would be able to breast feed in light of the lump. She told me I should be able to but also insisted that I go see the Breast Surgeon before giving birth. She said if it was a cyst they could aspirate it so that it was not an issue at all. So I made an appt for June 28th. I went into labor on the 27th and needless to say, I missed that appointment. I called on the 29th to reschedule and was told to wait 6 weeks since I planned to breast feed. By then breast feeding should be well established. So I made an appt for sometime in August and again had to reschedule because it was the first day of school.

This all leads us to Monday.

I go in FINALLY to see this Breast Surgeon several months after the initial discovery of this lump. She initially seems optimistic about what it is and says she wants to do another Ultrasound and biopsy that day. This is when I realized things were not be stated...this is when I realized things where bad....

She mentioned that there was a lot of blood flow around the mass which typically means Cancer. She said she could not definitively say that because it could simply be a result of my breast feeding. She took some samples and then said several things that made me realize I should worry. She first informed the nurse she wanted the lab results rushed. She then told me I was to report back to her office Wednesday afternoon and the words I will never forget...."Plan to bring someone with you...Just in case" Thats when I knew things were only about to get worse.

Today in 5 minutes my whole life changed.

I was told that I at 26 years old have breast cancer. Once I heard those words I can not even begin to tell you what was said...

I started hearing words like Mastectomy, Chemotherapy, Short Term Disability, Weaning etc... I am so overwhelmed and really don't know how to feel...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cosleeping...

So Alex has been sleeping with us since day one. We have a co-sleeper that attaches to the side of our bed and sometimes he sleeps in that but for the most part he sleeps right in the bed with us. We keep pillows and blankets away from him and I am a super light sleeper so I am actually up a good portion of the night off and on checking on him. So I feel we safely co-sleep and I don't think there is any real issue. However everyone else does!! I have been told over and over that we need to put him in his own bed in his own room and I am just not there yet. Honestly I love keeping him close to me additionally I am still nursing and its convienant. My lactation also told me she encourages me to co-sleep until I decide to stop nursing because it will help me get through the lack of nursing during the day.

My aunt told me the other day that she feels I am being selfish and interfering with Alex's ability to develop independence by allowing him sleep with us. This actually made me SUPER upset! I don't feel that I am doing this. Alex is capable of sleeping pretty much wherever I put him and doesn't depend on me for it. Furthermore he is 3 months...How much independence does he really need?

I will move him to his room eventually but for now I am content with our current arrangement and I don't see what the issue is.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Feeling so Overwhelmed and worried...

Yesterday I spoke with my stepmother who has pretty much been my mom my entire life. My mom died when I was two and my step mom has been around since about 5 or 6.I love her like a mother call her mom Alex will call her Nana and she is my sisters mom. She didnt remove the struggle of growing up without a real mom but she was still always there. Yesterday she told me she has breast cancer and I am devasted. My mind cant wrap itself around this and I am so sad. I cant lose ANOTHER mom. My sister can not grow up minus a mom the way I have. I know things will work out. I know I need to keep faith in God and I know I need to trust Drs. and treatment and trust things will be OK. But I am so Afraid!!!

Not only am I afraid that something bad will happen I am now afraid about a lump in my breast that I have had since early pregnancy. When I went to the Dr. About it I was told there was nothing that could be done about it because I was pregnant and they would recheck it once I gave birth. 3 months later I am just now getting in to see a breast surgeon next week.

I am overwhelmed with emotions right now and dont really know how to feel.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Failures and Success!!

So my IUD equals a major fail! No I am not pregnant again BUT at my 1 month appt to check on it, it was halfway out. My midwife was able to grab it out without any tools which is not good...So I opted not to get a second one because she said chances are it will come out again. My only other options are charting to avoid and/or the mini pill. I got a prescription for the pill but am so on the fence about taking it. We will see.

Cloth Diapers on the other hand are going so well!! I love them I will post some pics of Alex later. I am home with him today.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Catching Up

I know it has been FOREVER since I have posted but life has been so hectic. Work and Alex keep me very busy. The new school year is off to a great start and I really like my kids this year. We have a new principal who keeps us super busy and when I am home I give 100% of my time to Mr. Alex. He is getting so big and I adore that little baby so much. He is attempting to roll over now and he coos and smiles and it simply melts my heart. He is sleeping great at night although I don't mind if he does wake up because I just nurse him back to sleep.

Returning to work has not been so bad. I love what I do but I hate being away from Alex. I think about him alot during the day but I am not going crazy I know he is in good hands. The only problem we are having is when I am not at work. I have become pretty unwilling to leave the baby with anyone because I don't like being away from him more than I have to be. It seems that so many others don't understand it. Everyone keeps insisting I take some time and space from my baby. I am just not there yet.

I did however return to riding so that is at least 2 hours I am away from him and thats Alex and daddy time. Riding has been such a great way to relieve some stress. I will be in a Show in a few weeks, crossing my fingers I place.

In other news we are going green. I wanted to try cloth diapers but got lazy with the idea once we had all these disposables. Well I am so disqusted with the amount of diapers we go through! We have 2 garbage of just diapers each week and that is ridiculous! So we are converting. I ordered a cloth diaper trial from Jillians Drawer and I ordered a couple of other Pocket Diapers on sale from a few sites. I should have all my diapers this week! I can't wait to get started.

Breastfeeding is going well and I am super proud to annouce my baby is still 100% breastfed despite my return to work. If I can help it he will not recieve any formula. I am determined to breastfeed for at least a year.

Well thats all I have for now I am tired and need to get up early so I am going to bed.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How things change...

Before I became a mother and even before I was ever pregnant I had this ideal of what I would do when I had a child. I have to admit although I stick to tons of the things I am committed to A LOT has also changed.

Co-sleeping was something I was against up until Alex left my belly. I thought it was dangerous and I just did not want to create a habit we could not break. I now could never give a co-sleeping parent a side eye because this baby has not left my side since the moment he was born. I have tried him in his bassinet and he just cries. No one get any sleep when we attempted to make him sleep in his own space and we are all so much happier when he is sleeping with us. I spoke with a lactation consultant earlier this week and realized that co-sleeping is likely something that we won't break out of for at least the first year. I plan to breast feed for a year and the LC made it clear to me that in her experience working moms who have long term breast feeding goals are more successful when they co-sleep. This being the case simply because that is when I will nurse the most. I think if told this when I was pregnant I would not have been willing to see past baby sleeping with us. Now all I can see is maintaining my goal of nursing for a year at whatever cost.

I am also a huge baby wearer. I thought Alex would be in a stroller more but my Moby Wrap is the BEST baby gift we received!! It is so much easier to get around with him wrapped all snug as a bug on my chest then lugging the stroller every where. The wrap has also become a necessity in order to get daytime chores done. We needed to get laundry done and needed to straighten up. Alex likes to be close and it was to a point where when he was down he was crying and no one could accomplish a thing. Now I wrap in my Moby and we keep moving. If had to give any advice to a new parent it would be to find a carrier, wrap or sling that you like and definitely invest in it! Its been worth it for us.

The more I read and the more I learn about my parenting style the more I understand the philosophies of attachment parenting. I don't think Alex wanting to be close to his mom and me accommodating that is me spoiling him. I believe that letting a baby Cry it Out or forcing a newborn into a schedule before they are ready is a bit much. Just like life has changed drastically for us it has for them too! Babies spend 9 months in the warmth of their mommies wombs. When they come out things change a great deal for them as well!

I am loving every moment of mommy hood and I will admit I have pretty much separated from society. I go back to work A LOT sooner than most. Alex will be 8 weeks and I just want to enjoy every single second I have with him before I have to leave him. As a result I have taken to answer the phone less and playing, feeding and napping with my baby MORE!

He has a pediatrician appointment next week so I will give updates on him then!

Tonight I am going to a meeting with ICAN which stands for the International Ceserian Awareness Network. Its a support group for women who have had C-Sections and for me I think it will be a way to continue to come past the fact that I had to have one. I am looking forward to meeting some new moms as well!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2 Weeks and counting and Newborn photos

Life has been a whirlwind for me so far! But I am loving every moment of it. Alexander keeps me super busy but I have a great baby. We had a Pediatrician appointment last week and all is well he is back up to his birth weight ( he lost a few pounds in the hospital) and breast feeding is going very well. We are starting to work out a routine in the evening and even at the age of 2 weeks he is sleeping a large portion of the night! I really could not ask for anything more out of this beautiful baby of mine!

As far as the birth I have truly come to terms and am at peace with the way things worked out. Everything happens for a reason and this is just one of those things. I saw Marsha my midwife today and she gave me the all clear to come out of the house and get some exercise in which I have been anxious to do. I still have to take it easy and I am still not allowed back on horses for at least another 6 weeks!! I am DYING to get back into a riding routine. I can not wait until Alex is old enough to ride!

Amir went with me to my appt. today and we discussed birth control going forward. We decided to go with the paraguard IUD. We are not sure what the plans are for when or if there will be a number 2 and I do not want hormones in my body any more. So at my next appt in about 6 weeks thats what I will be getting.

I can't think of any other updates life in our home has calmed down a bit and the visitors have slowed down. It was very overwhelming for a while and my mother in law and I are actually at odds surrounding her smothering me the first few days of Alex's birth, but thats a entry all on its own lol. I firmly suggest setting firm boundries with family and friends about your expectations for guest before babies arrive it will make life so much easier!

Any way we had newborn photos taken here are a few of my favorites!
















Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Birth of Alexander

I woke up on the morning of Sunday June 27, 2010 at 41 weeks and 1 day pregnant and knew in my heart it was time for Alexander to arrive. I looked down at my belly as I have done so often in my pregnancy and began to speak with my child. I explained to him that today it was time and that I felt it was important for us to meet. After speaking with my little one I turned to my husband and said the same thing he patted my belly and kissed me and told me it would happen.

My midwife gave me the all clear to take Castor Oil to induce labor at any point after 41 weeks. My plan was to wait until Tuesday the 29th but I decided I would take it on this day. I called my birth center and spoke with the midwife on call she gave me instructions on how to take the Castor Oil and told me to call if I went into labor. About an hour later Marsha, the midwife who was set to deliver my baby called me and said she wanted to come by my house and check my cervix. I took the Castor Oil and waited for Marsha. Before she arrived I had thrown up the Castor Oil I had taken that morning. When Marsha arrived she said I still had a closed cervix and we decided that the scar tissue I had from a previous procedure was preventing my cervix from dilating. Marsha used her finger to push pass the scar tissue and she was able to get me open to 1 centimeter. She also swept my membranes and told me to take another dose of Castor Oil later that afternoon.

Amir and I went out ran a few errands and I took a second dose of Castor Oil about 2pm. I assumed it had not worked because outside of going to the bathroom a few times I had not felt anything. I spoke with Marsha and she agreed the Castor Oil didn't sound like it worked and we set a plan for the morning for me to come in and see her at the Birth Center to try another natural induction method. The goal was to avoid medical induction which was scheduled for later that week.

At about 5pm I started feeling some irregular contractions that came every 10 minutes apart. They were not painful and I managed to get a nap in at this time. I woke up about 7:30pm ate dinner and just laid around watching TV with Amir still thinking that nothing was going to happen. About 12am Amir told me I should get some rest since I had an appt in the morning so I agreed and settled in to get some sleep. All of a sudden I feel a kick from the baby and hear a pop and have the urge to use the bathroom. I got up and told Amir that did not feel normal and went into our bathroom. Once I sat on the toilet I was certain my water had broken. I called Amir and asked if it looked like that to him and he said absolutely.

I called Marsha and told her my water had broken but my contractions were still very irregular. She told me to try and sleep before active labor really started going and to give her a call in the morning, unless I needed to call her sooner. Regular contractions started almost immediately coming every 5 minutes apart. I labored at home until about 5am before we called Marsha and agreed it was time to head to the birthing center. We arrived at the birthing center about 5:30am and my Birthing Assistant Kelly was already there. Kelly got us set up in a room and helped me get comfortable. At this point my contractions are about 3 minutes apart. Marsha arrives and checks my progress I am 1 and half centimeters she opens me to two but said she noticed the baby's head was not dropping down into the pelvis as it should be. She said that as labor progressed we would keep and eye on that and see what was going on. His heart rate was fine and at this point he was handling my contractions like a champ. At about 7:30am Marsha checked me again and I was now 3 centimeters. I decided to get into the tub and I labored there for a few hours and then got up and walked around. After Several hours my contractions were coming on top of each other and I was feeling a great deal of pressure. The most comfortable place for me to handle a contraction was sitting on the toilet because I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. This should have been a GREAT sign!! It was now after 12pm and I had not been checked in awhile. Based on the way I was feeling I was praying I was in transition. This is where things take a huge turn. Marsha checks me and I am still the same 3 centimeters I was 5 hours ago but my contractions had become so intense. We checked the baby's heart rate and it was dropping with contractions. Also he still had not engaged any lower into the Pelvic bone.

It is at this point Marsha gives me the advice I feared most. She wanted to go to the hospital. She said she had a strong feeling I would need a C-section but that maybe I just needed to try and epidural and relax more. It had been hours and the baby simply was not coming down. She said her suspicion was he would not. I trust Marsha with all my heart and her reputation is never to send patients to the hospital unless she thinks it is absolutely necessary so to the hospital we went. Laboring in the car was HORRIBLE and I am sure I scared Amir because I was screaming with every contraction and kept asking if we were almost there.

We arrived at the hospital at about 1pm and by 2pm I had an epidural. I was very upset about this but felt that if this was going to help me get the vaginal birth I desired than it was worth it. Marsha and Kelly stayed with me the entire time I was in the hospital which I am so grateful for there was even a point where they needed to advocate for me. A resident came in checked me and I was 4 centimeters and told me i had not dilated in hours and needed pitocin. I of course did not want that. Both Marsha and Kelly pointed out that this was ridiculous. My contractions were coming very strong and on top of each other. Even with an epidural I felt every contraction and the urge to push. Additionally they pointed out that the strength of my contractions was very difficult for baby already pitocin would only make that worse. The resident said nothing else and said he would get the doctor. Before the doctor came in the check on me Alex's heart rate dropped tremendously a few times I know one time it was below 60 which made me extremely nervous.

The Doctor came in to check me about 5 and said that he did not like the baby's heart rate and it was making him extremely nervous. His recommendation was a C-Section as his suspicion was that the babys cord was wrapped around his neck and that was what was preventing him from dropping lower into my pelvic bone like he needed too. My heart dropped this was my BIGGEST fear for this pregnancy and I really did not want surgery. I looked around the room and everyone, Marsha, Kelly and Amir agreed this was best for Alexander. In my heart I knew it was what was best as well. I had to wait awhile for the surgery because there was someone ahead of me and I cried. I cried because this birth I worked so hard to plan was going wrong in so many ways. I cried because some how I felt this was my fault and maybe I had given up and I cried because I was scared out of my MIND. I had never even broken a bone before and now I am being told in the next few hours I am going be having major abdominal surgery. I kept thinking of all the bad things I had read and all the possibilities of what could go wrong.

At 6:30pm I was prepped for surgery and the Doctor ran through the procedure with me. I was very happy because she made it clear she would do everything in her power to assure I was able to have a VBAC in the future. My birth plan had been read and they understood my concerns! I was still very scared. Amir was handed some scrubs and I was wheeled down to an OR. The whole surgery was surreal to me your awake but your whole body feels like its on pins and needles and although you can not feel the pain of the surgery you can definitely feel that they are working on you. I felt every tug and push and all kinds of pressure and even as they go through the process I am still scared. Then I hear the cry of my son and I look up and see this beautiful baby being held over the divider and all I can do is CRY. My fear is no longer my concern but my son is. Amir jumped up and ran to take pictures. They suctioned him out and brought him to lay on my chest and from that moment forward my world had changed. I immediately no longer cared about myself as a priority but my new little boy.

Alexander Kelson Greene was born via C-Section on Monday, June 28, 2010 at 7:01pm. He was 6lbs. 150z and 20 inches long. It was determined that he was unable to drop down into my pelvic bone was because of the cord as well as his position. Despite all the methods I had tried he returned back to his posterior position that he was in a few weeks prior to birth. The position prevented him from passing any further in the pelvic bone and my poor baby actually had some bruises and scrapes from being stuck the way he was in my pelvis. I am so in love with this little boy. After surgery I was taken back to my room where I was able to breast feed immediately. I can honestly say I don't think my boy has left my side since.

I stayed in the hospital for 4 days and recovery has been OK. I admit that when I am in pain or am slow getting things done I get upset because I remember that this isn't the way it was suppose to be. I had a long talk with my Birth Assistant and with Marsha and they both assured me that they felt this birth was suppose to end this way and there was nothing I did wrong. My son had his own plan. I am getting over the whole C-section thing and the more I look at my son the more I fall in love with him and the more I forget about the birth because we are now moving on to a whole new chapter. My life as a new mother!!!




Friday, June 25, 2010

Update

So we have a game plan! I will be 41 weeks tomorrow and can only remain pregnant until 42 weeks so induction will be done a week from today if Alex is not out on his own.

In the mean time I have an appt Tuesday morning where I will be taking Castor Oil under the supervision of my midwife and I will also have my cervix/membranes stretched and swept to induce labor I am hoping this works. If that doesn't work Thursday morning my midwife will insert Cervidil as a last resort and finally on Friday or Thursday night I will be in the hospital being administered Pitocin which I absolutely want to avoid so PLEASE pray for me. I really think I am holding back the inevitable tears/breakdown because I really don't get why my body won't do this on its own.

I am scared and frustrated and a lot of those around me have not helped to make me feel any better but I am not giving up hope and if I can help it Alexander will be a JUNE baby, meaning he will be here by Wednesday!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I am going to be pregnant FOREVER!!!!

OK hopefully not. But I just had my 39/40 week appt today and I have NOOOOO progress. Not dilated still only about 50% effaced and soft cervix. I am so discouraged and wish I didn't even get the internal exam. But baby is doing fine and my due date is SATURDAY. I have a Non Stress Test and Ultrasound scheduled for next week.

I am getting extremely frustrated with those around me it seems that people keep rushing my baby. Granted I want him here YES but I also am trying extremely hard to be patient and realize he will come when he is ready. So the "your still pregnant" or "When will they induce you" comments are a bit overwhelming and a tad bit annoying. I actually got into a debate earlier with someone who told me I was wrong for letting that annoy me! Since when do others get the right to tell you how you can feel?

Tomorrow is my last day of work YAY!!!

Thats all I got for now....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

An Amazing Birth Story

So I spend a lot of time on this website called thebump.com. The site has message boards where you can discuss pregnancy and other things related to motherhood. There was a woman who was not to far behind me in pregnancy who was preparing to give birth at The Farm in Tennessee. Ever since Porcha told me about this place where she delivered her daughter I have been captivated by Farm stories and love to read them. Ina May is one of those women I think very highly of and she truly shapes my thoughts on birth.

Any who the woman on thebump had her baby at the end of May and I just read her EXTREMELY long birth story. If you have the time its definitely well worth the read. Funny thing about her story as I read her story she speaks of a woman named Claudia who was present for her birth. My Birthing Assistant was on the Farm at the time of this birth and I am almost positive this is the Claudia she is referring too.

Here is her story.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

39 Week Survey

I dont do these often but I am Hoping and PRAYING this is my last one lol.

How far along? 39weeks

How big is baby? somewhere between 5 and 8 lbs midwife said she highly doubts he is even 7 lbs lol

Weight gain/loss? At my last appt I lost 3 lbs but I think thats because the weight I gained the week before was due to swelling. I am officially 129 and I started at 105 (Yes I know I am tiny but look I am 4"11 how much do you expect me to weigh??? LOL)

Maternity clothes? exclusively

Stretchies? Amir of course noticed the ones that have developed around my belly button

Sleep? I think I got up almost EVERY hour last night lol. Various reasons lack of comfort, had to pee, cold, hot lol

Best moment this week? Baby changing his position!

Movement? All day everyday

Food cravings? None Although Ice Cream still always sounds great.

Food adversions/foods that make me sick? None

Gender? Boy

Labor signs? Contractions come and go they get me excited and then they disappear!

Belly button in or out? Out....Someone told me it may not go back in :-(

What I miss? Not feeling so BIG

What I am looking forward to? Baby coming!

Milestones? 7 days until my EDD

New things this week? nothing

Weekly Wisdom? Try not to let the last few weeks overwhelm you and stress you everything will work out! I am a bit of a control freak and was starting to panic when I realized things do not have to go my way lol

Emotions? I can cry at the drop of a dime these days!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

38/39 Week Appt

Since I have been going to my appts at the 5 day mark next weeks appt will be considered my 40 week appt instead of 39. If I have to go in again past that 40 week appt I have to have an ultrasound and Non Stress Test to check on my little man. I can go to 41w6d without being induced so this one NEEDS to come when he is suppose to lol.

Any who todays appt was GREAT!!!

Baby is no longer posterior WooHoo!! I was so worried about the labor his position would cause and I am so happy he turned. I definitely think the Chiropractor helped.
Also one of the benefits in birthing at a Birth Center was that I would not have to be hooked up to an IV but I was told a few weeks ago I tested GBS positive and would need to get antibiotics during labor which meant I needed an IV. I was really sad about this as I HATE IVs. I was told today that I tested positive at 12 weeks and the antibiotics they gave me then treated it. When they tested me at 36 weeks i was negative so I do not need antibiotics!!! I am so happy.

Thats it on the appt front. I wont have another internal until maybe next week so I am not sure of any progress to my cervix. Let's keep our fingers crossed I go in BEFORE my next appt lol.

Heres a quick pic comparison. One is 33 weeks and the other 38. I can not believe how big I got in only 5 weeks!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Stubborn child

So I may or may not have mentioned in the past that my little man is "Sunny Side Up" or Posterior. What this means is even though he is head down his back is to mine and that is still not a proper birthing position.

A baby ready to deliver should be positioned like this:






Mine is positioned like this:



I was being patient because I figured he would eventually turn around and get into a proper position as we near closer to my due date. I guess I was wrong because he is STILL posterier. What does this mean? It puts me at risk for a longer harder labor, It also puts me at risk for a labor that can be more painful and possibly stall. Stalled labor can lead to a C-Section which I think we all know for me is NOT an option if it is in ANY way preventable.

So what can I do....I am going to a chiropracter Saturday that specializes in rotating babies. He came highly recommended from our Bradley Instructor, Midwife and our Birthing Assistant. I am also doing specific excercises daily to get this baby to turn. Otherwise I am just going to pray about it. As birth nears I hear more and more comments about how my decision to birth the way I have chosen is crazy and I "will change my mind" this is not going to happen.

I am believe it or not looking forward to labor and delivery. Amir told me last night he wants to catch the baby which is something I am SO excited about. The dad had 3 responsibilities according to Claudia our Birth Assistant. They are Catch the baby, Call or Confirm the sex of the baby, and Cut the cord. I know some people dont care about those things but Amir playing an active role in bringing our son into this world means SOOOO much to me. When we first met Claudia Amir said he was in no way doing any of the above mentioned. He said he MAY cut the cord. I never mentioned it again I felt this was his choice and his wish. So last night when this came up again and Amir said he absolutely intended to do all three I was so happy!!! I really can not wait for this baby and that includes laboring abd delivering my child the way I have always intended. YES I know it will hurt but it will be absolutely worth it when I am holding Alexander in my arms!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Countdown Officially Begins

So as of Saturday I will be 37 weeks and full term. Mr. Alexander can come at any moment and I am very excited! I do want him to wait till at least June 1st and I am sure he will but I am so anxious to meet my little man.

I had my 36 week appt Tuesday morning and had an internal exam. I am 50% effaced but still closed. She did however,say my cervix is very soft. Baby is head down but he has not engaged into my pelvic bone yet so we still have time. But I have been having some very intense Braxton Hicks. they have gone from a small tight feeling to strong period type cramps.

I still have tons to do! My family is coming here this weekend for a cookout and to help me get prepared for baby. His room is complete, clothes washed and put away but I need to pack my bag for the birth center and I need to get the carseats installed in the cars.

All in all things are coming together. I will likely not have another internal exam unless I am overdue so I will not know my progress until I am in active labor. I will definitely keep everyone posted the best I can.

We decided there will be no pictures of Alexander on FB at least for a few months he does not need to be an internet celebrity just yet :-)

Monday, May 24, 2010

How could I forget!!!

I absolutely forgot to brag about Alexanders BEST gift of all. A very good friend of mine crochets and knits and she made Alex the most AMAZING blanket ever! It is definitely something he will have forever and I am so thankful to her for the hardwork she put into making this!!! Here are some pictures:






Sunday, May 23, 2010

9 Months!!!!

So today (technically yesterday) marked 36 weeks which equals nine months!! I have four weeks left to go and next week I will be full term which means Mr. Alexander can come really at anytime!!! I am so excited and CAN NOT wait!!!!

Both of my showers were great! We received everything we needed and then some. This child seriously has clothes for at least the first year! I had a lot of fun at both and am so glad I was able to share that time with some of my closest family and friends! We did get a few things i am not sure what to do with like...... Formula: I plan to exclusively breast feed so it will just sit there. I can give it someone else I guess. My friends say to just keep it just in case but I don't even want to be tempted....I just want to stick to my plan. We also got a lot of pacifiers another thing we have no plan to use and tons and tons of diapers. I wanted to use cloth diapers but now feel its a waste of money to purchase them just yet because we have soooo many diapers. I guess I will revisit the idea when we run out.

We got all of our big ticket items and I admit I was very spoiled. I got a few things I would have never purchased on my own because of price but am so happy and grateful that I got from others! For example my dad bought us our stroller and we got one of my favorite strollers although it is absolutely overpriced. We got an orange and tan bugaboo cameleon much like this one. I wanted this stroller forever because I simply LOVE it. But I had chosen a much more economical choice. My brother told my dad I really liked this and he got it for his grandson. I was very shocked and excited by the pleasant surprise.



My other favorite gift was the diaper bag my friend bought us:


A very good friend of mine whom I have known since 1st grade got this bag for me. Mine is Black and Green. I love all the little compartments and love that it turns into a back pack.

We received SO many other things and I am so grateful for all of them the only thing I have to go pick up that is a need is the additional car seat base.

I am still waiting to hear back from the school I really want to go to so Keep you fingers crossed!

I will give a full pregnancy progress report on Thursday after my apt. I will have an internal so I will have an idea of if i am anywhere near labor or still pretty much baking a baby :-)
I have been having irregular contractions for about a week so I am hoping I have dilated some. But we shall see.

Monday, May 3, 2010

New School????

So I have been looking actively for a new job and have had very little luck. A school I have wanted to go to since LAST year seems to have expressed great interest in me. So whats the problem right???
Not really a problem just feeling am I wrong for wanting to escape the chaos. I work in a High Needs school I chose to do so because I wanted to teach where I was needed most and affect change with the students who needed it most. However in deciding to do that I realized that I also was taking on so many other things. The students aren't my only issue. The school as a whole is poorly managed and disorganized. My principal does not care and these kids are allowed to behave however they want because there are little to no consequences. For example there is a 4th grader who attacked 3 teachers, throwing a chair at one of them, she was back in school the next day. Last year 2 boys attempted to set the bathroom on fire ummmmm NEVER got suspended, expelled NOTHING. I can't take this!!! I can deal with the unruly kids that's no issue but I NEEED and want support from the administration.
The new school is a dream come true its in a better part of the city and I would without a doubt send my own child there. The school is run smoothly, dicipline is not taken lightly and I would absolutely get the support I need as a new teacher.
Does wanting to go to a better place make me a "sell out?" These kids are for the most part performing where they need to be if not higher. The kids I teach now are at minimum two grade levels behind. The need for good teachers where I work is a real one but the truth of the matter is good teachers leave because they get ZERO SUPPORT.
What do you think???? What would you do???
For what its worth I am sure I am leaving but I guess I just need to get past feeling bad about it....