Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wanting more information? Don't we all.

So somewhere deep down inside my mind I keep hearing voices that say don't post stuff on facebook, but I then do regardless. Since this update is much too long for facebook (or text message) anyway I thought I would just update you all from here.

First, I am doing fine and still pregnant. By fine I mean... still pregnant. The better I feel physically, the more stressed I become mentally at not being able to be in school and trying to rewrite all my lessons for a sub. And I've been in the hospital off and on for the last 3 days so I guess that is enough to try anyone's nerves. Now for the details:

Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week my belly just hurt. I think just normal achyness. Saturday night though I went to bed with some bad cramping. They did not feel like contractions. I have been getting the braxton hix contractions since 20 weeks and put myself on a modified bed rest then. I came off that bed rest in preperation for school last week. The cramping did not feel like any belly hardening. For some history on me, my last labor consisted of a lot of contractions that just hardened my belly and didn't hurt in any way. Those contractions sent me into labor at 34 weeks. I did not really feel painful contractions until I was about 7 cm dilated after my water broke. So, when I was laying down Sunday afternoon feeling mildly painful cramps that were coming in waves about 4 minutes apart I became very concerened.

We headed into L&D where my husband had to leave me. We had our 2 year old fast asleep in the car for his nap time. That is when I decided to post on facebook. I had made a few calls to baby sitters trying to find someone but then had to give up and just go with it for the moment. We got several calls from amazing friends who volunteered to take Logan but at that point I wasn't sure what the prognoses was going to be and he was fast asleep. I was hooked up to an IV for fluids (it took 3 trys!) and monitered. I was contracting about every 3-4 minutes. They gave me 3 rounds of turbutaline and managed to get the contractions down to nothing for an hour so they sent me home. No one checked my cervix. After talking with my dr. S, the doc on call and Dr. B the doc I saw on Monday it turns out the resident dropped the ball on that one.

As soon as I got to the waiting room I felt contractions coming back on. It was dejavu from my first pregnancy all over again. I ignored them. They were weak. They were very few. I went home and went to bed. The nurse had given me the ok to head to school the next day so that was my plan. As I was laying their Sunday night I could feel contractions off and on but again, I ignored them hoping they would just go away. At 3 am I was woken by the contractions which seemed much stronger and upon timing them were coming about 2-3 minutes apart and continued to do so until 4:30 when I finally woke DH up pretty upset. OBVIOUSLY upset. For one thing, this was exactly like when I went into labor with my first and I was only 30 weeks along. For another thing, it was my first day back with kids at school! I was angry and scared to death.

We piled Logan in the car and headed to the hospital. Apparently no children are allowed in the hospital so DH had to take Logan in to daycare at 6:30 when they opened. While he was out anyway he ran a bunch of errands to get things situated for the both of us for the day. In the mean time I was hooked up to an IV again for fluids (took 3 trys again, both hands and arms are bruised up and down now!) They gave me another round of turb and sent me in for an ultrasound. It was the longest ultrasound of my life. Seriously, like an hour long. I have no idea what they found but they measured a lot of stuff and did finally get a close up of our little girls face! She has the biggest poofy lips I have ever seen. I only can hope she will grow into them! Cervix was still long but open.

Dr. B is my favorite emergency doctor of the group and ironically the only man OBGYN I have seen. He is a wealth of knowledge that he freely shares on all things. Here is the rundown of what they found: my ffN test came back negative. This implies that my body is not trying to go into labor. It is not fool proof, but a good confidence builder that the baby will not deliver in the next 2 weeks. I am 1 cm dilated which is not great being so early, but doesn't mean a whole lot. He thinks I will deliver early given my history but he also thinks we can make it 2-4 more weeks at least given bed rest and the procardia he prescribed. Procardia is a smooth muscle relaxant they use often in blood pressure patients. The procardia knocks me out. Good help for bed rest.

One thing I didn't understand then was why all the contractions. After being poked around in the ultrasound my contractions picked up big time and were actually painful and coming more frequently. Both the doctor and the nurse assured me that they would likely not go away and that I would just get use to them. My nurse had 7 children, all preemie. She had been on similar treatments and told me that if I was actually going into labor, then I would know it. There was nothing more they could do for me in the hospital that I wouldn't be able to do for myself at home until I was actually in labor. They did give me the steroid shot to help the little girl's lungs develope more quickly and I had to go in for a follow up today.

Today's follow up was horrible. I was late. The office lady had the nerve to make me feel guilty when not once have they ever gotten me in on time. (One time I even waited 2 hours to be seen). This sent my blood pressure through the roof. (Although I didn't have many contractions this morning. They seem to come on in waves.) Dr. S was not as positive about the ffN test, but she agreed that my cervix was still good and hadn't changed in the 24 hours since I had been in. She wanted me on bed rest only a week and then reevaluate. How am I suppose to manage this with school?  Things need to be planned. I love Dr. S. She is really nice. But she stressed me out.  I got my second round of steroids. My weight had gone up 5 more pounds in the last week (probably from all the IV fluids!) One thing I do have to say is that my nurse was wonderful today and very understanding in the doctors office. It helps.

And I am still pregnant, thank God.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A new year

Tomorrow marks the first day back for students in our county. I am excited to meet the new kids and start the year. I feel like I am as ready as I've ever been but I know much of that is due to me being out half the year. My first unit is all planned out but I have 2 more to go to help the sub out. I might have to do this post baby from the comfort of my bed. I just don't have it in me to focus on Astronomy right now.

Last week went well. I feel I over did it though by Friday. I was SO TIRED! I am also very achy. My belly hurts almost all the time. Maybe I stretched something or it's just growing and adapting to the peanut. I have a doctors appointment tomorrow  and can get it checked out then. Although it seems like for every ache they say the same thing: your pregnant. Oh well. On a positive note, the PUPPS seems to be receding. I don't know if it is the steroid, claratin, or anti viral but it's fading slowly. It seems to be fading where it started first and is still red where the spots showed up last. I find that very interesting although I don't know what it could mean. I almost feel like it is the antiviral doing the work as I am half way through it. I would have thought the cream would have had more of an effect right away or not at all.

Today I am resting up. I did get some last minute prep things done. One of them is a mommy approved lunch list to pin to the fridge. My wonderful DH does all the lunches but requested some ideas. So I also got a shopping list together:)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I am officially allergic to Pregnancy

Litteraly. I have broken out into what looks like hives as a result of the hormones in my system. At least that's what the doctors think is happening. It took 3 short doctors and one tall, dashing young medical assistant to come to that conclusion.

Last Thursday I noticed some spots on the top of my belly. Friday they had migrated to my sides as well. Saturday they were on my back too and since then everything just keeps getting more and worse. I noticed a few on my arms and legs yesterday too. Of course I have google-searched my symptoms. I narrowed it down to PUPPs, Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy or PR. Pityriasis Rosea although neither one really fit because PUPPS is suppose to be horribly itchy and Rosea usually has a pattern to the spots. At most mine is just irritated and mildly itchy in a few bad off places. I tried some lotions which just seemed to be irritating and I tried baby powder which was a little better but didn't really help. I read online all sorts of crazy things to try and I did go out and buy dandilion root but had a hard time finding dosages by an authority so I gave that up as unsafe. I decided to go see the dermatologist instead.

I might have been able to just go to the OB but I decided I needed an expert. When I got to the office I was escorted into the back by Mr. Tall and Dashing and very young. I wouldn't typically find this terribly awkward except the worst of the rash would have required me shedding all my clothes. Lucky for me everyone could see enough without me having to resort to that ;) Dr #1, short, pretty and young decided that it looked like hives and should be itchy but was possibly PUPPS. As we ruled out any change in any product that has come in contact with my skin she brought in Dr #2, short, indian and concise. He agreed it was likely PUPPS being a common skin irritation in pregnancy (1% of pregnancies) and even if it was just hives the treatment would be the same. But he cautioned it might also be PR. (I'm glad I did my research before hand so I could give my input where warrented and be an educated part of the conversation) You see, PR while usually harmless  can cause preterm labor or at least they see a loose correlation between the two. PR happens to be a virus so the treatment would be a little different so they call in Dr. #3, short, pretty and a little older. She agreed with PUPPS or PR but cautioned that it wasn't a classical case of either one. I kept hearing them refer to my rash as inverse PUPPS. I guess PUPPS usually presents on the belly and mine surrounds the torso except not on the belly. Very strange.

So, now I am to take a steroid cream for a few days, antiviral for a week, and claratin for the remainder of the pregnancy. *sigh, at least it's not itchy yet. After all I have read I am very skeptical of any of this working but hopefully I can keep it from spreading to places I can't cover. Trying to explain to 140 8th graders why my full body rash isn't contagious is not my idea of the way  to start day 1 of school.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Burp Cloth Craft Day

Craft day! DH's boss is about to burst with her 4th boy so this morning got off on the right foot with some baby blanket crafting. I have been meaning to get back to it all summer and it feels good to have some little things accomplished. I tried a new craft today in burp cloths that match swaddle blankets I had ready to sew. It's a good matching gift to make because it uses all of the fabric that you buy. I think I bought a yard of each fabric (yard and a half to be safe) to make both.

1. Burp cloth required one Gerber pre-fold cloth diaper. I love cloth diapers but do not be fooled. The only thing these diapers are good for is as burp rags. Now you can use anything as a burp rag. With our last we used the swaddle blankets a lot as double duty with burp rags, but then we would have to wash them more often. So I cut a rectangle of fabric 4.5 inches x 13.5 inches, folded down the edges, pinned them on the rag and sewed them down. I quickly realized how fun it might be to embellish these:) I followed these directions pretty closely.

2. Extra large swaddle blankets: After you cut off your 4.5 inches of fabric along the rough edge of the fabric, fold your remaining fabric into a large triangle. Folding it into a triangle will be helpful in making  a pretty good square. Swaddle blankets really need to be square, with a little edge to them, and bigger then what they sell in the Target isle. (I use those as matching fabric for baby quilts). I'll do a tutorial of this next time I am crafting with detailed pictures but for now, here are my finished products for the day.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Everything but the curtains

It's nice to feel well two days in a row! Husband has been wonderful indulging all my handyman requests. The baby room is done, more or less. Ikea had to be saved for after church today. It worked out perfectly. Logan ran around, got some lunch, and then crashed on the way home. He slept the whole time we were putting the room together. I even got some baby clothes put away. Husband's boss gave us some hand-me-downs so we at least have a couple outfits in various sizes and some pajamas.
This is the dresser from craigslist with the updates. (see previous post) The dress form is from Ross and I love it and justified it as a great place for hair ribbons. The little jewelry box is pier1 as is the picture frame. I think I want a mirror still. There is one at Ikea that I kind of like so maybe I will go back for that later.
The bedframe is from Ikea and purple sheets were from TJ Maxx which I used as a bed skirt and then pillow cases only. The purple pillow is from Ross as well as the 2 turquoise "goblets" and the painting. The turquoise pillow is from Pier1. The little purple light is from Ikea. Our curtains from pier1 should be in next week and then I will post another picture of the crib. They are the same shade of turquoise as the pillow and goblets. I love the room. It's very functional and pretty to walk into. I also think everything will last this little girl until college :) Well, one can hope right?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Distressing Baby Girls new dresser!

So the baby room is not going to be done today. Raise of hands, how many are telling me I told you so? Here is an update of where we are. First, the room is now cleaned out of everything except the closet which I am going to save for another day. I have been using it as a storage space for craft stuff and random house junk. You know how it goes. The bed has it's new sheets and old bedding. My mom tried talking me out of this white bedspread in college but it's held up pretty well! We still have yet to make our trip to Ikea but I see that on the agenda for this evening. I decided to get rid of our $5 end table. It wasn't worth the effort to paint. It's got too many issues. The curtains have also not come in the mail yet BUT the dresser it almost finished.

Ah, the dresser. I have learned how to antique! Cross your fingers that it looks good in the end. I had a lot of help from the blogosphere on this one and it's helped that I have painted furniture before. So, here is the run down.

How to Distress and Antique a Dresser

1. Sand your furniture. You do not need to strip it, just rough it up. I sanded enough to get most of the shiny finish off with a medium grit paper. This took about 2 hours with the help of the husband.

2. Prime your pieces. We used the Rustoleum spray primer. I LOVE spray. We needed 2 cans. The key is to lightly apply the primer in even strokes. We have no garage so we set up the drawers on a big box in the yard and used a card board strip to keep the primer from flying. I bought masks to wear but husband decided pregnant wife should NOT be painting. It's very frusterating to do a DIY when I can't do much of it.

3. Apply a second coat of primer

4. Apply 2 coats of paint waiting 20-30 minutes between each coat. Again, I used a spray paint in satin white. NOT FLAT. Someone mentioned it would absorb too much stain and with the amount of stain the satin absorbed, I would agree. Now, I waited only 30 minutes before putting the stain on but I would give the paint at least another hour to dry a little more.

5. Distress the wood. This was way easier then I thought it would be. I took some leftover sand paper and scuffed up the corners and edges of each drawer and around the top of my cabinet. I didn't want the whole thing to look beat up, just lightly aged so I only did most corners and edges in various degrees. It took a total of 10 minutes.
Notice how I only distressed a little bit on the corners and edges

6. Stain and wipe. We are not painting experts but I think the product turned out ok. I think some of the blotchiness we got was due more to the paint not being 100% dry first than any staining technique. We chose a very small can of walnut wood stain. Brush it on very lightly, it's runny! Then wipe it off. We did this on a warm day so we gave it almost no time to sit and it still turned out a little darker than I want. So literally brush on and wipe off. Wipe EVERYTHING off that you can. We needed a lot of rags for this part. I had 6 and we still needed to run and rip up a shirt but that didn't work nearly as well as the rags. I stepped in at this point because the stain really stands out and I wanted a very even look. It says to let the stain dry for 8 hours which is why the dresser will not be finished tonight.

This is the difference between stained and not stained.

7. Wax on - Wax off. Husband took full control of this one. The wax is pretty toxic which is another reason the dresser will not be done tonight. This needs to be very dry before we bring it into the house. We decided to go with the wax instead of a polyurethane finish mainly because of a beautiful example of this project I found. They used a wax and it gave it just a beautiful finish. I am reserving the polyurethane just in case I need it on the top. I've never used wax so I don't know how it holds up. We did find a useful clip about waxing here. She reminded me (ok, I had no idea) that while it doesn't take a long time for it to dry, it does take 21 days to cure. So I will post some staging pix tomorrow, but then I will let the dresser be for a few weeks before I set anything on it. Glad we are doing this way ahead of time! I saw that you can get some waxes tinted and I wonder if you could skip the staining step if you had a tinted wax?

8. Hardware. I love our hardware so I am not changing a thing about them. Just screw them back in when finished. Voila! Finished.
I'm a little peeved with the staining part of the process. The stain went on much darker than I wanted and we had almost no wait time. The top is especially blotchy. I recommend to wipe on and off at the same time.

Here are the products we used:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Shopping Spree Success... finally

I have been absent from blogging lately so here is a recap from the last month: Surprise! It's a girl. She looks very healthy. Mama started feeling pretty good, then Mama watched the 2 year old boy 4 days in a row and started contracting. Doc says to take it easy. Lots of fluids and 2 UTIs that weren't UTIs later followed with lots of rest, a trip to Michigan to visit the grandparents and the 2 year old back in day care and I am feeling pretty good. My energy has been way down so I went back on vitamins which seem to help. It's very uncomfortable to sleep but that's pretty normal and I am still contracting maybe once or twice a day but I think now they are braxton hix. They feel a lot like the contractions that put me in to labor last time, but they don't seem to be an all over tightening, just mainly the front of the belly so I am still taking it easy.

In my spare time I have been doing a lot of reading! So far this summer I have read the 50 shades of gray series twice and the first 6 books of the Outlander series. That has to be close to 8,000 pages? I'll have to count at the end of the summer. I'm taking a break from reading to get some school work done and some nursery decorating done. The decorating has been SO HARD! I finally decided on what I wanted to do and could not find the appropriate matching curtains anywhere. Apparently shiny grey curtains are not in style. Let me qualify: I did find 1 that I liked but they would have cost almost $200. So, I then decided that I would just need to take a trip to some stores to find some unique things I liked and decorate around them... as long as I can find matching curtains. One reason this is hard is because DH doesn't want the nursery painted. We are renting so he wants to keep it the way it is. Otherwise I would just paint and get white curtains. Oh well. Today I finally had some success. I hope to get the nursery done tomorrow, but here is a sneak peak:

I am not much into princesses and while I'm not really into little girl pink, I was looking for magenta and could not find it anywhere. So, I have no pink going into the room only because I really wanted to stay with jewel tones.I found some great inspiration at TJ Maxx and especially Ross and Pier 1.

Ok so I am starting with a room with a bed with no frame, no working dresser, an inconvenient diaper changer (from my 2 year old) and a hand-me-down crib. I found a bed frame I like from Ikea that we will pick up tomorrow. We found a beautiful big dresser on craigslist that just needs some paint. Here is the dresser as it looks like now. (currently it is being stored in my car until we are ready to paint - go Vibe!)

The dresser has 8 drawers and is the perfect size to function as a diaper changing station as well. The hardware is fantastic - very dark, almost black. I'm going to keep the hardware the same. I've been vacillating over what color to paint it though! I was going to paint it dark grey to match the curtains... but alas, no grey curtains. I want my colors to pop so I don't want to paint it a crazy color. That left me with white. Now, our bed frame will also be white but I am thinking of distressing the final product a little bit so I thought maybe an antique white... but in the end went with a satin white to match the bed. I bought a gloss to maybe go over it when finished depending on how I feel. Tonight I am going to spend some quality time on the web figuring out how best to do the distressing. Anyone done this before? Hopefully DH can help me get the yucky dressers out onto the curb tonight and help me sand this dresser. I am still pregnant after all. I feel great today, but don't want to push it. Oh, and yes, I did buy some masks for when I paint tomorrow.