My first attempt to sew with the Elna 7000- let's just say I suck so bad I never figured out how to thread the needle throgh the contraption and that's using the user's manual, circa 1987. I stared at pictures, read and re-read steps, experimented. I still don't get it.

Here’s what I remember of this morning’s yoga class:

…extend your left leg up, breathing deep into those areas that need oxygen most, hold that pose and let your shoulders drop, now raise them, inhale, feel your shoulder blades rolling back, taking deep calm breathes as you do, roll them back along your spine, now take your right hand and grab your left foot keeping your shoulders back, breathe, now take your right leg and just curl it gently around your body resting it on your left shoulder, exhale as you stretch those muscles…

I think I was doing it right because I broke a small sweat. I liked the instructor too. She was much less spiritualistic than the first instructor I had for prenatal yoga.

Here’s what’s new for those who want to know:

  • We recently hired a house cleaner to come twice a month. The idea is to take care of the grime that we tend to neglect, like dusting the window blinds and vacuuming upstairs. Once the new baby comes, she will be greatly appreciated.
  • We’re planning a trip to see family in Boulder, CO for the Labor Day weekend. It will be Josh’s first flight as a toddler/preschooler. I think we're ready for the challenge!
  • We are getting ready to have the boys’ rooms and game room painted from ca-ca brown to something more kid friendly and upbeat.
  • I was planning to visit my mom in Lubbock but may not after all since our funds will be tight in August and early September. (We have a number of expenses hitting us at once.)

This week my focus is getting curtains made. I borrowed a sewing machine from Rusty’s mom (thanks!) then realized I haven’t used a sewing machine in over 15 years. I did use a serger two years ago but that was a different machine and different project. So! It’s time for me to suck it up and do some domesticating for once.

"I like my coffee like I like my women- in a plastic cup."

Gotta love Eddie Izzard.

Inger sent me (and 40 of her closest friends) to a website to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen foundation. Her personal story with breast cancer is a reality check for all of us. Breast cancer does run in my genes and although I haven't noticed anything unusual yet, I know I need to be vigilant for bumps. I did have a cancerous pocket removed from my eye lid about 3 years ago. There was a tiny bump on my lower eye lid that looked like a wart or something. I went to the optometrist to remove it for cosmetic reasons (it didn't really bother me, it was just there) only to have the lab report back that it was basil cell carcinoma (skin cancer). The optometrist and eye surgeon were both rather surprised of the lab result because it's an unusual place to get skin cancer, and we were all relieved to have caught it early. Not nearly as traumatic as Inger's experience, but eye opening nonetheless. ;-P

This low lying pregnancy is starting to be noticeable. At least twice a day I get winded and feel a mild pressure on the pelvis. When this happens, I get the urge to sit or lay down and take it easy for a little bit. I've increased my fluid intake and reduced my trips up and down the stairs in the daytime to what's necessary. I'm thinking to start yoga classes soon at Destination Maternity during the week while Josh is at school. And I'll be going to the pool more to take some of the pressure off.

Josh is a knowledge sponge lately! Finally!! I taught him the sign for water this afternoon and he repeated it (with a cute variation) after seeing it only a couple times. Now he can say and sign "more water". He's slowly getting into the routine of saying "tank you" when he gets something, but still needs to be reminded to say "may I" and "pwease" when he wants something. We're working on it. He's remembering tunes and singing them. He doesn't know the words but he likes the song "Are You Sleeping?", mostly because he gets to say "ding ding dong" at the end. He's super cute when he's happy. And super annoying when he tantrums. But that's two-year-olds for ya.

Me and Josh at Target this evening:

Me: Josh, sit down honey. Thank you.
Josh: Up?
Me: No sweetie, sit down.
Josh: says something incoherently
Me: Sit down.
Josh: whines and continues to try to stand up
Me for the remaining 20 minutes of shopping... sit down, sit down, sit down, Hey, I said sit!, sit down, sit down, sit down now, now Josh, sit down, put your butt down, sit sit sit, sit down, sit down now!, sit down, sit down, sit down, I said sit down!, sit down, sit down, SIT DOWN, sit down now or- sit down!, sit down, all the way down, your leg wouldn't get stuck if you were sitting down, sit down, sit down, SIT down, sit down NOW!, SIT DOWN!!! ...

I finally buckled him in which sent him into hysterics, crying, wailing and carrying on like I had broken his spirit or arm or something. In the checkout line I gave in and pulled out a Dum Dum sucker from the diaper bag. He immediately stopped screaming (which was putting me on a super short fuse and annoying everyone around us) and obsessed over his new sticky treat. In general, I'm opposed to giving toddlers/preschoolers candy, but this wasn't candy- it was a life saving device. ;-)

I have a viscious case of heartburn that started last night and carried over to this morning. I thought it was due to my homemade lasagna last night, but when I woke up and got heartburn again within 30 minutes, I knew it wasn't just lasagna. Perhaps its hormones or something baby related. In pregnancy, everything can be attributed to being pregnant. I'm 24 weeks along, have gained 20 pounds and, aside from heartburn, feel fine most of the time. Sometime I feel some pressure way low in the belly, either because baby is stretching or because... uh, I really don't know why.

Josh and I both had appointments today. First his...

We went to have the area from surgery checked out. He's fully healed, everything looks good and he can now resume all kid activities- yay!!! The area is starting to itch (which means the skin is healing) and there's still some firmness, and this is the deep tissues that are also still healing. The appointment was quick and anti-climatic.

Now mine...

I took Josh with me to my midwife appointment this morning. So far, everything checks out to be normal and healthy: weight increase is on target, diet is still good with room for improvement (as usual), uterus growth is on target, blood pressure healthy, baby's heartbeat strong and fast- like Josh's. We talked about some of the things I read about from Pithiviers and she's ok with everything except the "safety position" which isn't necessary. She informed me that the doctor who came up with that technique later recanted his stance stating that it really wasn't effective. So no change there- which is fine by me. She also suggested a warm bath for me and the newborn baby at the same time, or we could use a wash basin just for the baby. We talked about the sonogram from four weeks ago. Everything looked normal and healthy there except for one detail: the placenta is low lying. This didn't seem to be a cause of alarm to her though she'll monitor things to make sure things stay low risk. Apparently the placenta was measured to be 1.8 cm above the cervix. Two centimeters seems minuscule to me, but apparently this is enough to not cause alarm. We'll do another sonogram at 32 weeks to see how things have grown.

So I had to do some reading on what exactly a low lying placenta is and what it means. "Normally the placenta implants or buries itself into toward the middle or top of the womb. This means that it is well out of the way of the 'exit' when it comes to labour, and the baby has an easy passage out. When this doesn't happen, you are said to have a 'low lying placenta'. This can potentially cause complications when it comes time to give birth." [] This is not uncommon- 15% to 20% of pregnancies have a low lying placenta. However, after 28 weeks, a low lying placenta is known as placenta previa. My midwife informs me that with a low lying placenta, it typically grows upward (toward the top of the womb, where the blood supply is best) as the uterus expands. This is good as at gives room for a normal labor. But, if it stays low at full term, there may be complications such an increased risk of early labor and bleeding.

This is not a common pregnancy complication as about 1 in every 250 pregnancies may have placenta previa. Placenta previa can cause severe bleeding during pregnancy. There are actually three types of previa:

1. Complete previa : occurs when the cervical os is completely covered
2. Partial previa : involves only a portion of the cervix being covered by the placenta
3. Marginal previa : extends just to the edge of the cervix

Diagnosing a previa is usually made when there is painless bleeding during the third trimester, although in many cases there are no signs at all. If it is diagnosed after the 20th week of your pregnancy (my sonogram was at week 20), and you are not experiencing any bleeding (I'm not), you may be simply asked to cut back on your activities, and increase the amount of time you spend in bed (darn!). You should, however, be alert for any bleeding in which case you will be put on bed rest, be told to refrain from sexual intercourse (bummer) and be monitored more closely by your practitioner (or midwife). []

SO! If I notice any bleeding, cramps, or unusual pain, I'll let everyone know, including my midwife. Until then, I'm to assume this will all be fine as nature works itself out. It's good to be informed and know what the risks and implications are in any unusual situation. Luckily, I'm not in an unusual situation yet.

Well, no more unusual than what my life is already. :-)

I borrowed a book from my midwife at the last appointment called Birth Reborn by Dr. Micheal Odent. It centers on a birth clinic in Pithiviers, France. The hospital has a maternity clinic run primarily by midwives and birth attendants who fully support natural labor and birth. My natural birth experience having Josh was wonderful and I got some ideas from the book to do a few things differently this time around:

  • At Pithiviers, they give the baby a bath in warm water within shortly after being born. The idea, in addition to cleaning the baby, is to provide stimulation and comfort through warm water, what they have been used to for the last 9 months. With Josh, he was sponge cleaned by the midwife and Rusty in the birth center's bathroom using warm water from the sink. I think a small basin would be easier and more comforting for the newborn.
  • As common with most hospitals and even midwives (mine included), the doctor or midwife will often put pressure just above the pubic bone in order to check whether the placenta has detached. I remember this feeling quite uncomfortable. This time, I would prefer to wait for the final contraction when my body is ready to expel it on its own.
  • Although I don't want to give birth in the water, I do want to relax in the bath during labor. Last time the water was filled up and was so hot it took several minutes to cool it sufficient to my comfort. This time, I'll make sure the midwife and birth assistant know to keep the water a cool 95-98 degrees.
  • Immediately after birth, even before I am seated and ready to receive the newborn, I'll ask that he's placed in a "safety position". This is on the baby's stomach with head turned to the side for only a few seconds- enough time to give a good cry and take some deep breaths. The idea is to let gravity prevent any fluid from traveling into the respiratory tract.
I'll add these to my birth plan once we get to that point after summer.

Seven years! We've been married seven years today. We normally celebrate on the 2nd weekend of July but today Rusty sent me a vase of flowers and a love note. The message was so sweet it actually brought a tears to my eyes. This weekend I'll try to score a movie date with Rusty or at least do something fun together.

Speaking of movies, Elizabeth: The Golden Age is coming out this fall [IMDB]. I gotta gotta GOTTA see this! I hope it comes out in October when I might have a chance to sneak away for a couple hours. I have watched the first Elizabeth probably 20 times. This next installment looks equally beautiful and equally well cast. I love British history, especially around the Elizabethan reign. If you ever need a strong, smart, young woman for inspiration, start there.

Video of DJ JoshJosh

Josh is becoming more and more resistant to going to bed easily. He makes excuses to stay up like a request to drink water, read a book or watch a show. We still sit outside his door at night and for naps to make sure he stays in his bed. After half an hour of thumping his legs, tossing and turning, talking to himself, and running his hand along the bars of the toddler bed, he finally finally falls asleep. Long gone are the days of rocking him to sleep or filling up on milk in a bottle before bedtime.

I'm keeping Josh couped inside these last few days. He stepped in an ant hill Saturday afternoon making his feet swell up and itch like crazy. Unfortunately I didn't know there was such a thing as fire ant sting relief until yesterday. I'm not letting him the backyard until the majority of his bug bites are healed and the ant bed is terminated. Until then, we're running errands, playing at playgrounds, strolling the 'hood and of course living it up inside.

Are prunes a weird thing to crave? I've been snacking on prunes lately. It hasn't effected my output, so far as I notice. Dried fruit is my favorite snack. Especially dried pears and pineapple. Pears don't come easy and only Sun Maid has the right taste for dried pineapple. It's the closest thing to the dried pineapple I subsisted on while in Spain years ago. I probably ate 15 pineapples in Barcelona just snacking on the dried fruit from the neighborhood grocer.

Newby 2 (as we've nicknamed him) is now big enough to make my bladder leak when I sneeze. No matter how much I try, a trickle escapes- enough to require a pantyliner or change of underwear if I'm not prepared. He's also thumping and bumping more. I'm now 22 weeks along, feeling fine, sleeping fine and eating well.

I've been thinking of music to listen to on the day I go into labor. With Josh I had a CD burned of soothing and upbeat tunes such as The Shins, Tori Amos and I can't remember what else. I'm making a list of new tunes for a new CD. Here's my list so far:

  1. Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash
  2. I'm Comin' Out (I want the world to know) by Jennifer Lopez
  3. Baby Blue by Amiliana Torrini (then again, maybe not- it's a depressing song)
  4. Alien by Lamb
  5. It's My Party (and I'll cry if I want to) by Leslie Gore
  6. I Got You Babe by Cher
  7. Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf
If you have ideas to add to the list, fire away! :-)

Things Josh has learned lately:

  • three word sentences like "I kicked it" and "I dropped it" and "I throwed it"
  • opening doors (until recently the handles were too big)
  • growling like a lion, bear, dinosaur or monster during a game of chase
  • pulling his step stool out and putting it away again
  • putting things away and cleaning
  • that trash is "yuck"
  • how to say No at every question
  • how to cover himself with a blanket
  • rolling his tongue
  • pushing medicine out with his tongue
That last one is the cause of much anguish in the house right now. It's a daily struggle to get the nasty vile antibiotics in his mouth three times a day often resulting in vicious bickering between Rusty & I until the job is done.

We're home!! Again. Josh's staph infection (MRSA) was abscessed so we had to admit him to the hospital (Medical City of Dallas this time) for treatment. We went in thinking it would be a day-long procedure of pricking the skin, draining out puss, bandaging and sending us home with a prescription. Ah, no. That'd be too easy. His tushy required a surgical incision (two actually) which required them to knock him out with anesthesia for half an hour. Here's an email Rusty sent to his parents:

I left you a voicemail, but Josh had to go to surgery because the
infection would have been too painful to work on with him awake. He's out
and in recovery. The wound has absorbent material in it (I'm told) and 2
drains. They are going to keep him at least 2 days, maybe 3. His white
cell count I am told was at 45000 while a normal count is around 15000, so
he was in really really bad shape.

I'll let you know more when I can. I'm at home picking up stuff now to
spend the night there. ~Rusty

We packed to spend the day in the hospital and were shocked when the doctor told us he would be in the hospital for a few days. Days!? I said to Rusty after he left. We were there starting Sunday morning, Monday, and discharged, surprisingly by Tuesday (today)- though we didn't expect to be out until Wednesday or Thursday.

He's still in the hospital and still getting the vancomycin every 6 hours
(25ml's). The doctor's are talking about taking the rubber holding the
wound open out tomorrow. He's still really really sore though. He favors
that side of his butt and he fell on his butt earlier and was just
screaming. I figure right now that he won't be out until Thursday.

Josh won't let anyone share the bed with him so we are taking turns
spending the night there. I am at home again tonight catching up on
stuff. I'll go by the office for another 2 or 3 hours tomorrow. I'll
spend the night with Josh tomorrow so Sarah can get some sleep. ~Rusty

The lack of sleep he's referring to is from my first night's experience. We gave him Tylenol with 4 mL of codeine to help him sleep and take away the pain. Oh boy. Josh had lucid dreams while sleeping like a baby. He sat up at one point and said "Noddy!" then rolled over and when back to sleep. Other times he said No! mine, and daddy. If you ever wondered what a 2-year-old dreams about, there ya go. In between his sleep talking, the nurses gave him antibiotics by I.V. every 4-6 hours and checked his blood pressure and temperature. The machine they used to administer the antibiotics beeped when the line was occluded, beeped when it was half done, beeped when it had ten minute left and beeped when it was finished. So with a 30 minute I.V. timer, I really didn't sleep much. Twice. And Josh woke up at bloody 6:30am ready to whine that the TV wasn't on and that he wanted milk and needed a new diaper and 'where's daddy'? It took me hours to finally feel fully awake.

But all that's behind us. Now we we're at home and can care for him here. He's taking antibiotics three times a day (and he doesn't like how Cleocin (or Clindamycin) taste so we either have to force it down or sneak it in) and has to sit in warm water three times a day. He's still draining out puss and a little blood from his incisions. It's suppose to continue to ooze out as it heals. We have a check up appointment in two weeks and instructions to seek immediate help if it looks like it's swelling or otherwise getting worse. Diaper changes are painful for him because of the tape used to keep gauze in place under the diaper and because he's just sensitive to that area. Diaper changes are a two-person job right now but may get easier- I hope. It's really only contagious by touching the infecting area and passing it on. Breathing, coughing and licking won't transmit staph (unless it's on your mouth) but if Josh scratches his butt then touches someone, it can pass. Although the doctor didn't specifically say this, we're pretty much staying away from enclosed public places and close proximity to other kids until he's healed. He can't go to school until he's fully healed, which should be 2 weeks out. So for at least 2 weeks, no playdates, mall play areas, pools, or kiddie places (sorry Byron). I figure outdoor play grounds are fair game though, especially if there aren't lots of kids around.

This also sets me back in my ability to work on the side, but that's another blog.

This whole experience has been tiring on us. Mostly on Josh. I had a hard time with the asthma attack because it was more intense involving oxygen tubes, I.V. and a blood oxygen sensor. Somehow the asthma attack registered more as a life dangering threat than a staph infection on the butt. Rusty had a hard time with the second hospitalization because Josh was in physical pain. Although he likely caught his infection while at Presbyterian Hospital of Plano last week, it's still my preferred hospital. It's way, way more kid friendly, parent friendly, cleaner, newer and generally cozier. Rusty and I joked we should start a Zagat list for kid friendly hospitals.

In other news, I recently bought three more maternity shirts. yay! Summer clothes are starting to go on sale so I grabbed a few mediums while they're still on the racks. I'll probably sell them next Spring at a consignment sale and get some of the money back. Baby 2 is bumping and thumping more and more. I've started craving dried fruit (like prunes), citrus juices and tomato sauce. I haven't been very good about eating my veggies so I'm trying a new tactic by buying some carrot chips and a zucchini to sneak into a few meals this week. Oh, and peanut butter. Anything with peanut butter- yum. I find myself picking up the peanut butter jar at least once a day, even if to just smell it and contemplate what I'll snack on. Shakes with peanut butter, chocolate with peanut butter, bananas with peanut butter, bread with peanut butter, Nutella (oh yeah) with peanut butter- it's all good! In fact... I think I'll get me some now and enjoy my being at home finally! :)

Addendum: I read up on MRSA infections...
“Staph infection has long been a concern in hospitals, where there are several patients to a room,” [Mobashery] said. “In the last 10 years, it has also emerged as a concern in prisons and hospitals.” Mobashery considers the community onset of staph infections, outside of institutions, a troubling phenomena. “Staph is very common,” he said. “Twenty-five percent of us have it on our skin or in our body cavities at any time. If you shake hands with eight people, two will have it.” During the 1940s and ‘50s, 90 percent of staph infections could be successfully treated with antibiotics. “Because of increasing antibiotic resistance, that figure is now down to 30 or 40 percent and it continues to decline,” Mobashery said.



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