Isabella Maria

Isabella Maria
Her 3 week pictures... such an angel!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Today's thoughts

Well, it's another day off that I actually have a couple hours to myself! I had to drop Isabella off at daycare today because I had a class to go to at work for CEUs. My Michigan nursing license expires at the end of this month, and I need 25 hours to keep it current. I am at 21.94 now. So the pressure is on! I went to a pediatric trauma inservice and then a snakebite safety/management course. Both scared the bejesus out of me. 1. We are 80+ miles away from the nearest level one pediatric trauma center. 2. Our hospital only keeps 12 vials (AKA 2 initial doses, enough to keep you going until you transfer to the nearest level one trauma center by way of ambulance or helicopter...) on hand at all times. 3. Southwest Texas is lucky enough to have every venomous pit viper and also the coral snake indigenous to our region. But it was all very informative/educational. As a nurse and a mom I am glad to have this information. So, in case you're ever bitten, remember this: Red on yellow, kill a fellow. Red on black, friend of Jack. If a snake has red and yellow bands touching then it is venomous. If it is red and black lines touching then it is not a venomous snake. Good to know!
After my two classes I had to attend a committee meeting at the hospital. It went well. After the meeting I got a very overdue oil change and now I am at home and enjoying a few childless hours before I pick up Isabella. I always feel guilty when she is at day care and I am home, even if it is not long. But as most moms, I get almost no alone time to relax and do something (even if it is just sleeping, watching a little tv or blogging) that I want to do. And I don't have the luxury of nearby family for the occasional babysitter. So, I take my few hours here and there when I can!
I just have to bring this up because it just sickened me. I want to know if other people agree or if I am just a prude. I was recently shopping at Walmart and saw a prepubescent girl (12 at the most, let's put it this way... she had not begun to uh, develop. She was a child.) that was wearing a shirt that said "Sexy and I know it." Umm... Eww. Sweetheart, if someone thinks you're sexy they either need to be behind bars or in a pine box in the ground! Unless of course it's like another 11 year old, but even that is off-putting. Now I know its the name of a song, but as a mother... I would NOT let my 10-12 year old daughter (or son) wear that. I wouldn't want the wrong person seeing her wearing that and think that she might want to get up to no good. The thought disgusts me! What are others' thoughts on this? I don't consider myself a conservative person and don't plan on sheltering my daughter. But I have no intentions on letting her dress overly provocative, act older than she needs to, etc. Just curious. Hey if you're 18 and buy it with your own money, fine. If you aren't even old enough to see over the counter at the store and I am paying for it with our money, you better believe it's not going to advertise sexual messages. Not on a child. YUCK.
I wish I had an exciting life and could blog about the great things I have done. But apart from being a momma, nothing else is really exciting. So this is a bland blog but I am going to stop typing now and take advantage of this alone time. Nap!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Long Overdue!

I recently realized that I haven't blogged in a very long time. Its kind of hard to do when you're chasing around a toddler. Lately when it comes to the internet, if it can't be done on a smartphone I don't do it anymore! Well, I could blog from my phone but it would take a ridiculous amount of time. (I thought motherhood was supposed to teach you patience?!) At any rate, I don't have to be at work until 11, dropped the baby off at day care early, so here I sit enjoying a rare moment at the computer with a big hot cup of coffee. :)
When I read the last blog I wrote, I felt sorry for the person writing it. That person and the person writing this one seems like two different people now. Then I was a post-partum, under rested and over stressed, sad, scared woman who felt like there was no hope apart from the baby I just had. Today I am different. Yes I am still in Texas, but I am getting used to it. I miss my family and friends as much as I did before, but I have met people here that I have grown to love. I don't feel totally alone like I used to. I actually met a fellow Michigander here, another Border Patrol wife... who actually knows my cousins near Flint Michigan! Small world huh? She has been a blessing because now I have someone who knows EXACTLY what we are going through. We get along very well. She also has a young child, a little boy who is only 3 months older than Isabella. So now Izzie and I both have a friend. :) It is very nice to have her here, our families usually get together for holidays so we don't celebrate them alone. It makes them a little less lonely for all of us.
I am now fairly convinced that God didn't want me to get pregnant until we got down here because He knew I would need the pregnancy and Isabella to keep me sane. The days and weeks speed by so quickly with working and being a mommy that it is a little easier for the time to pass. I can't imagine how horrible this would have been without Isabella. That little stinker drives me nuts sometimes but she is the best thing that has ever happened to me!
Speaking of Izz, she is now 20 months old, and very happy and healthy. She is tall and slender like her father, and smart and talkative like her mother. ;) At her well baby checkup last week she was in the 67th percentile for weight and 98th percentile for height. She is 26 pounds and 35 1/4 inches tall. She is currently cutting her upper incisor teeth which make her grumpy at times. She seems to learn a few new words a day! She has shown me time and time again that she learns quickly and has a very good memory. She will remember games we played or books we read months ago and will refer to them in her own way. I am so proud of her! She has a pretty good vocabulary going. (Mommy, Daddy, baby, Bella, dog, Bear, Harvey, more, please, thank you, boogie, [she will say this whenever someone blows their nose lol] sky, tree, owwie, yes, no [a favorite of hers] red, blue, green, yellow, purple [ she can also correctly identify these by either pointing to the color when you ask where it is or by picking up something that color and saying it] juice, apple, nana [banana], yay, wave, baba [bottle], night-night, pillow, pamper [what she calls diapers, learned from day care], book, milk, and I am sure there are more that I am forgetting. It's hard to keep up with it when she comes up with new ones all the time. :)
The next subject is still pretty fresh. I am not going to go into it too much. Aaron and I had some marital problems. I am hopeful that we'll one day be the couple we were before but it will take time and regained trust. The normal day to day life seems like it did before but the issue definitely rears it's ugly head as soon as things don't go smoothly. The reason behind that is simple- I am hurt. I try to not bring it up often because I know if I don't try to leave it in the past we have no chance at a future. All I can say is life by yourself is hard enough. If you fall in love and decide to share your life with someone the difficulty increases. Marriage requires work, and we aren't giving up on it.
Having said that, in light of many discussions Aaron and I have decided that life is too short to be away from family and friends, being sad and lonely. In November we decided to try to go home, even if that means Aaron taking another job and leaving his current career. With the help of family and friends he has applied to probably about 10-15 different jobs in the Metro Detroit area. Our fingers are crossed that maybe we'll get a bite soon and get to move home.
I would probably blog more but I am currently addicted to the Hunger Games Trilogy and I have to read some more before I have to go to work! Thanks to Erica and Jenna for getting me hooked! Love you girls! (And the rest of the familia too)

Thursday, September 2, 2010


It's getting harder and harder with every day to be in Texas. I am far away from everyone and everything I know. I have a baby that almost no one has met, and it kills me that her own family doesn't know her, apart from my mom, dad, step mom, mother in law and brother and sister. While I am SO grateful they have had the chance to meet her, there are so many more to go! Aaron works all the time, so not only do I have none of the comforts of home, but I am alone raising a baby *practically* by myself. Having said that though, Aaron is an excellent father and does tons for Izzie whenever he gets the chance. He adores his daughter, and it makes me love him even more than I did before I had her. :)
One of my friends posted this on facebook, and it made me think so I am going to re-post it and give my thoughts on it.
God sends us what we need just when we need it, sometimes He's early BUT He's never late! Remember that Andrea God will give you what you need to get out of that hell hole soon!

She made me think... maybe why we are here is because we needed to learn something different from the lives we were already living. Maybe we had to be in another environment to get something out of life that God thought we were lacking. So I am going to write a list of all the things I have learned here in hopes that God will read my list, decide we have done what needs to be done, and let us go home!!

1. I have learned how to say goodbye to (almost) everyone I love. It was painful, but I learned that I am strong enough to do it. I might not be happy, but I am surviving. I continue to exist.
2. I have learned that my husband and I are a strong couple that is very devoted to each other. This is one of those situations that will either "make or break" a couple, and it has just given more proof that we are meant to be together. That's a great feeling.
3. I have learned that I can get pregnant, because I did. I also learned what pregnancy is like, and I got the added bonus of high risk pregnancy. Yippee! But I wouldn't trade it for anything, it is the best thing I have ever done. I try not to complain because there are so many out there who can't get pregnant at all, I was one of the lucky ones.
4. I have learned what its like to be a mother and experience the most (in my opinion) powerful bond in the world. I don't care if everyone I know is crying, the ONLY one that is going to make my boobs leak is Isabella! Bonds don't get much stronger than that!!
5. I have learned some Spanish and been immersed in what I can only describe as a different culture.
6. I have learned what it feels like to be a minority.
7. I have gotten experience in pre and post operative nursing, including IV starts.
8. I got my first brown recluse bite here, super! :/
9. Two words: Frito Pie.
10. I learned to maneuver through San Antonio highways and traffic.
11. I have learned how to budget, finally. That lesson was a very tough one to learn!
12. I have never prayed this much in my life. While I have only gone to church once since I have been here, The Big Guy and I converse often. Well, I talk, He listens. I am waiting for a response!
13. I am still learning what it's like to live alone in a new place. Yes Aaron and I live together, but he works so much that I don't get to see him often. Most days I am alone. But when we do have the same days off it's great, we always try to make sure and enjoy our time together. So there's...
14. I am learning how to appreciate the small things. A lot of times those small things are all we get! Having dinner together at home and a half hour of sitting on the couch before one of us has to go to bed is often the only time we get together for a day or two. So our social life has gone from parties nearly every weekend and living close to lots of friends, to mac and cheese on the couch while watching an episode of SNL that is saved on the DVR. But when its all you get, you have to learn to appreciate it.
15. I have learned a little bit about respect here. I never realized it, but people from the North rarely use "Ma'am" and "Sir". Here that is just how you address people. And since I have seen that I will try to raise Isabella to address her elders saying Ma'am and Sir.

OK so I think it goes to show that in 10 1/2 months I have learned a lot. I have had a lot of life experiences here. So, that being said, hopefully God realizes this and decides that we have gone through enough and we deserve to go home. Fingers crossed!!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A site I visit... often.

It makes me feel better to see the number get smaller every day. Then I use it to update my facebook page. I know it's pathetic. And I can almost guarantee you that you'd do the same thing if you were here!!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hello World!

Well well well... it sure has been a long time since I have blogged. I have been a little busy with childbirth and a newborn and all. There have been several things I have thought to myself since last time, "Make sure to put that in your next blog!" but now there are so many that I would be on here all night blogging.
In a nutshell, Isabella Maria was born on July 13, 2010 at 4:27 AM emergency c-section. Before I go any further, let me paint a picture. The night before the induction I couldn't sleep. I was too excited. And I couldn't sleep all that day because I kept having visitors, plus I was excited, plus the cramps made me uncomfortable. So by the time all this excitement starting happening, I was spent! They induced me with Cytotec pills to ripen my cervix, which worked somewhat. They started at about 8:30AM and by 3:00AM the next morning (after having some pitocin too) I was dilated ALL THE WAY to 1.5 centimeters. Fun. Contractions suck, but I was lucky. Mine never got worse than period cramps. But it was period cramps that I had essentially all day, which never let up and it became extremely irritating. That and sleep deprivation made for a bitter Andrea.
Around 9:00PM they started the pitocin and Izzie almost immediately started acting different. Her heart rate went way high, in the 170-180 range. She is usually 130-150. It was like that for hours. They had my laying on my right side and gave me fluid resuscitation and 100% oxygen to try to make it better. The nurses assured me that sometimes babies react like this to pitocin and that it was OK. I was terrified. All I kept thinking was I went through so much work to get here, I am AT the finish line, you better not kill her now!! At about 11:00PM they gave me my epidural. When I say "they", I actually mean my co-worker Brady. lol. He was great. Great bedside manner. I felt very comfortable with him. Shortly after the epidural was when I had to lay on my right side, which may have contributed to future problems that I'll get into later.
The epidural went into a vein before it went into the right place, so I wonder if some of the meds (one of which was fentanyl, a potent narcotic) got in my blood stream. I am sure if that happened it was a minute amount. But if you add epidural plus the aforementioned sleep deprivation I felt loopy. Like, dreaming while awake, hallucination loopy. I kept waking Aaron up because I felt like I was dying whenever I started to fall asleep. I remember one of the "images" I had in my mind (my awake dreams, for lack of a better expression) was a combination of Will Ferrell and a teddy bear. Really? WTF!
My doctor came in later to check me and I told him I was scared that I did something wrong to cause this. Then I confessed that I had eaten feta cheese during my pregnancy (LMAO, looking back now he probably thought I was INSANE) and that I briefly had a tick on my neck (EEEWWW) over the weekend. I distinctly remember asking him if I could have gotten a "freaky tick disease" or a "feta cheese disease". Then I laughed because feta cheese disease rhymed. He laughed too. He probably wanted to smother me with my pillow. And I don't blame him. LOL. He assured me that the feta cheese in the US is pasteurized so it was OK, and he thinks the brief tick encounter was OK and in no way contributory to my situation.
He then checked me and saw that after all the meds I was only dilated to 1.5 cm, and with the way Izzie was acting he didn't think it was safe to try to go vaginally. I agreed, and we went ahead and did the c-section. By this point I was exhausted. To put it into perspective, they had to prep shave me (yes down there) and I slept through it. Then my manager wheeled me into the OR (did I ever mention that the hospital where I had Izzie is also the hospital where I work, and I work in Day Surgery? So the people in the OR are my co-workers? Yeah. Fun, huh? My boss and other co-workers saw my junk. Sigh...) I was half awake through a lot of the OR preparation but I remember telling them I could feel my legs and move them, despite being given a spinal dose of meds through my epidural. They said it was OK and that I would kick in soon. I said OK. I also remember being able to feel being prepped with the cold iodine solution.
Next thing I know Aaron is next to me, the blue sterile sheets are up and we're starting the c-section. I said "Ooh, I can feel that". They told me "Yes, you will feel a lot of pressure." But after a few seconds I was like, "Ow, ow ow, it hurts." I kept grimacing and complaining. I felt a hot burn at the same time that I heard the cautery machine go off and knew something was up. I told them I felt burning. They also used utensils like shoe horns to keep the incision open, and I felt it stretch my skin and click into place, complaining while it was going on. I was told if I kept having sensation that I would have to be put under general anesthesia. I told them to keep going because I wanted to be awake, and I wanted Aaron to see his daughter be born. Then I felt pain on my left side and said OUCH!. One of the doctors asked me what I felt, and I told him that he pinched me. No one said anything for a couple seconds, and then I was told again I might have to go under. I told them if they were almost done to just go ahead and do it. It wasn't painful as if I had no medicine at all, it felt like what I imagine it would feel like if I had been operated on my leg or hand after it fell asleep from being laid on wrong. The pain was not as bad as if I was just cut without warning, but it still was not fun. They told me they had only made the skin incision, nothing else had been done yet. So there was no way I was going to be able to make it without being put under, unless I was into severe pain (which I am NOT). I remember telling my boss I was scared, and I think she held my hand. They put the mask on me, pushed on my throat so I didn't vomit and get it in my lungs, and I was out shortly thereafter.
Next thing I know, I wake up to "You have a beautiful baby girl!" from Brady. I try to talk but have an oral airway in my mouth in case I needed to be reintubated. I later learned that I am just FULL of surprises. I was difficult to intubate. They gave me the propofol to knock me out and then couldn't get the ET tube in. They had to use 2 types of blades before they could get my airway in. The prolonged time to intubate me made it so that Izzie was exposed to my medicine, and she was sleepy when she was born. That made her Apgar scores 6 at 1 minute and then 9 at 5 minutes. Turns out she also had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice, which was why I wasn't dilating. She was otherwise fine. Poor baby!
After surgery I needed oxygen for longer than was expected, but I was OK. Turns out I was a difficult intubation because, for lack of better explanation. I am fat and more so because of the pregnancy, have a short neck and a big fat tongue. Now am I or am I not the EPITOME of sex appeal? LMAO. (I would like to use this opportunity to say now that I gained a total of 10 pounds during the pregnancy and now am 25 pounds less than I was when I got pregnant so HA! I wasn't that fat, just unfortunately shaped. Not sure if that makes it better...)
I woke up in the PACU to my manager being my nurse and my coworkers seeing me. It was nice to see friendly faces, even though I was stoned. It must have been weird for them to see a coworker in the place where usually strangers are. But everyone was great. After I was extubated I sounded all hoarse and had to cough, which sucked because I felt like if I coughed I was gonna shoot my uterus out. I remember telling my coworkers that I sounded like a sorority girl that drank and smoked too much. LOL. I shouldn't have been allowed to talk after all those meds!
Then FINALLY I got to see my baby. She was so little and cute. Aaron was holding her. She was all wrapped up in a blanket with a little hat. She looked just like her daddy! Now she looks more like me, but not in the beginning! :)
OK so much for not blogging much. Izzie has been asleep for the last hour and I am going to quit being a fool and go lie down until it's time for her next feed.
In short, Isabella is wonderful, healthy, beautiful and a joy to have. She was worth every poke, prod and tear. I would do it for her all over again without hesitation. I suppose I will do it one more time so I can have a second child. But two is my max, unless I get a multiple pregnancy. Pregnancy does not like my body, although I loved being pregnant.
OK seriously, lying down now!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Final Thoughts on Pregnancy

In a week from today I will be in the hospital being induced so I can have my little girl. Time has FLOWN by! I know I thought it would take forever to get here, and now I can definitely say that I was wrong.
It's kinda funny how many emotions I am experiencing right now. I am SOOO excited to meet my baby, see what she looks like, kiss and hug her, etc. I am scared for the labor. I am scared of the responsibility of being another person's eyes and ears for the next however many years of her life... because I am petrified of hurting her. I have wanted this for so long and have finally been blessed with it, but still I am nervous about it. I am a little sad too, because in a way I don't want the pregnancy to be over. I mean, I know I can't live this way forever (and I certainly don't want to either, haha!) but I will miss having her so close to me. I imagine what it will be like when they take her away to weight and measure her, and give her a quick health assessment and it makes me sad because I want to have her with me for those first few minutes. As of right now I know her better than anyone else in the world. Part of me doesn't want to share that. One day I will be her lame ass mom who is embarrassing and so mean and doesn't get it... but right now we're like a little team. I know there will be years of me being cool, and fun, and the best cook ever (poor unknowing soul, haha) but I dread the day when she would rather talk to her friend than her Mom. Am I ridiculous or what? I am literally crying while I type this. Stupid emotional cow. LOL.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Updates on Kiki

On July 12th I will be getting induced, providing Isabella does not make her appearance on her own before that. That is only 36 short days away! Holy crap! Don't get me wrong I can't wait to meet her, and I can't wait to not be in pain anymore, but seriously... this shit is REAL! LOL. In reality I know it has been all along, but now its coming down to the crunch time. It's really going to happen... and its going to be sooner rather than later. I am going to be in some serious pain very soon. Whether it be ripping vaginal pain or lower abdominal incisional pain... there is no way around it. She's coming out, and it is not going to tickle. But even though I haven't actually even met her yet, I already love her and know that is is worth it any pain that's coming my way. I compare this in a way to when you're getting something waxed and the beautician sticks that warm stuff on your skin and attaches the paper to it. Well, you can't walk around with that thing on for the rest of your life. You have officially hit the point of no return. So even though you knowingly walked into the salon requesting this be done... you still think "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuccckkk..." in those moments before she holds your skin taut and RIP! off it comes. But the funny thing is the labor should really be the least of my worries. After that's done, I have a brand new infant who is solely dependent on her father and me. I am a nurse, so I know how to not kill people, (thank sweet baby Jesus) I just hope I don't screw her up in some way. Whenever I make comments on facebook about my concerns people sound pretty convinced that I will indeed not kill or maim my baby. The reassurance is nice. But no matter what people tell me, I am sure I am going to worry. I mean, how can you be a first time parent and NOT worry? It's the biggest, most important job you ever have... I hope that apprehension is a sign of taking it seriously.
I keep having dreams about her. Usually its a baby whose face I do not see, but I dream about holding her. I've had a few labor dreams too, where I go to the bathroom and see blood and know that I am ready to have her, but the pain hasn't started yet. Kinda funny that my brain is not filling out the blanks for me. You'd think my subconscious would try to answer the questions in my mind. Instead it is reiterating to me the things I do not know yet. Like, yep, there is a baby in there. And we don't know what she looks like. And yep, you're gonna have labor pains. But I can't tell you what its going to feel like.
We are just about done preparing for her arrival. This past week we have rearranged the computer room to fit a twin sized bed in there for when our Moms come to visit. We also got the house sprayed for bugs (again) because apparently there is a big flea and tick problem here (yuck) and I don't want to deal with it. So they sprayed the house inside and out. Bear and Harvey are on a pill called comfortis that kills fleas that they take monthly like the heartworm medicine. They are also sporting some new flea and tick collars AND are getting another flea bath on Wednesday. I don't think they have fleas but I also don't want to later discover that I was wrong. The baby's furniture is all put together, clothes are washed, dried, folded and put away, and today I will be cleaning and making her bed. I know her mattress is clean because it is brand new, but it still has to be wiped down with some bleach wipes or else I won't quite be comfortable. I suppose this is all nesting? Now all that is left before she gets here is I would like to rent a carpet cleaner and give the carpet a good once over and get our cars detailed so they are clean for her ride home. Oh, and the birthing class on June 19th, and putting her carseat/stroller combo together soon. My Mommy bag and her diaper bag are both packed too, so we are pretty much ready to go.
We STILL don't have a middle name picked out. Aaron is too damn picky. I like Renee, Joy, Maria, Rose, Grace (but am trying not to steal family names) and Marley. I kinda like Eden and Gianna, too. Aaron hasn't been crazy about any of these, of course. He likes Christine. So do I, but we still aren't completely sold on it. Ugh. The kid HAS to have a full name before we take her home. So that is another thing we are working on.
Until she is born I have to have non-stress tests every Tuesday and Friday, just to make sure everything is OK. I also have weekly doctor appointments and will be having ultrasounds every 2 weeks to check my amniotic fluid index. If she has plenty of amniotic fluid then that is a sign that the placenta is functioning properly. Apparently women with gestational diabetes tend to have problems with the placentas "stroking out" as my doctor put it, and the babies "start dying toward the end of the pregnancy.". So needless to say, bring on the ultrasounds. :)
I am SO incredibly thankful that I could get pregnant, and this has been the best experience of my life, hands-down no doubt about it. But I am beginning to understand why women look forward to the pregnancy being over. I am swollen, my feet and pelvis are sore, I am tired, and I pee constantly.
Last night I think the baby was on my bladder, because I had to pee SO BADLY and it took forever to empty my bladder. I think I could have spit faster than the stream of urine I was able to produce. In the middle of it the stream actually stopped twice and then restarted. It was tortuous! LOL I woke up from falling asleep to TV on the couch, hobbled to the bathroom with only one eye open because I fell asleep in my contacts, and peed for what seemed like an eternity. It felt so unfair- there was SO much in there and my body was so reluctant to let it go. I leaned forward, backwards, sideways, all trying to move the baby off my bladder and let it out. No luck. And of course I didn't close the bathroom door because I was half awake and there was a sense of urgency, so I had to do all this while petting Bear. He loves it when we pet his butt, so I had to pat his ass while trying to relieve the discomfort. I am laughing out loud as I type this now because I can see the humor now that my bladder is empty and both eyes are open... but at the time it was bad sensory overload. LOL. It reminds me of something that might happen on "Everybody Loves Raymond".
I hear the couch calling me. It is time to get off this computer because my feet are swelling more as I sit here, and I feel crampy. Time to relax some more.