Sunday, December 25, 2011

But baby, toddler beds are for...well toddlers

It was the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Then from up the stairs there arose such a clatter I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter. Up the stairs I flew like a flash. To what did my wondering eyes appear, but Brayden out of his crib lying on the floor in fear.

So in case you didn't catch that, yesterday (which happened to be Christmas Eve) Brayden successfully climbed out of his crib and scared the crap out of me! I'm really not ready for him to be in a toddler bed yet, but I can't put him back in the crib knowing he can and will climb out. Next time he could really hurt himself. So we did the only thing we could do, we converted his crib into a toddler bed.

Brayden is 20 months old and I wasn't planing on putting him into a toddler bed for at least four more months-at least! Especially since Cooper wakes up twice a night to eat. When I'm feeding Cooper Brayden sometimes wakes up but then goes right back to sleep. Now that he isn't caged in the crib I'm worried he will get out of bed at 2 in the morning and start playing. He also wakes up around 6 most mornings when Eric gets up for work, but then goes back to sleep usually until around 8 or so. I just didn't want to deal with all that when I'm barely getting much sleep already. But ready or not it's toddler bed time.

What I didn't realize is that I'm also not emotionally ready for him to be in a toddler bed. The reason being toddlers sleep in toddler beds, not babies. So that means he is in fact a toddler. Before I know it I will be hearing the loud thunk when Cooper is able to climb out of his crib, and then my baby days will officially be over. Right now I feel okay with that, but I know it's only because I'm in the baby doesn't sleep through the night faze. In reality though, when that time does come I will be heartbroken.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

AHHHHHHHH

Want to know what's a lot harder than taking care of one kid, taking care of two kids. I knew it was going to be hard, but HOLY CRAP! This is the first time I've even been able to get on the computer in 5 weeks. That's because I am currently in the middle of a truly amazing phenomenon, both the kids are sleeping at the same time!

I'm so exhausted and somebody always needs something. Usually they both need something at the same time. My Mom had five kids and I didn't realise it growing up, but she is absolutely insane! I have decided it's a bad idea when the kids out number the parents. When Eric's home we can at least play a man to man defense, but when he's at work I have to switch to a zone defense. The kids could easily get together and plan a hostile take over of the house, I'm just hoping they never figure that out.

Oh geez, my 15 minutes of silence is over. Cooper has decided to wake up already. Maybe in another 5 weeks I will get a chance to finish this post, but don't hold your breath.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This is For Any Mom Who's Ever Felt Judged

I'm so tired of how judgemental us moms can be towards each other, but also towards ourselves. I think that we all need to be less hard on ourselves and each other. Instead of shoving our own parenting views down others throats, maybe we should try and be supportive of each other, keeping in mind there is not one "right way" to raise a child. Obviously if you are a hooker who leaves her kids home alone while turning tricks, I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to the average hardworking, loving, doing the best she can mom. I have made a list of things that I'm done feeling guilty (well trying to be done feeling guilty) for. Some of the things on the list are things I make myself feel guilty about and some of the things other moms make me feel guilty about. I'm calling the list my I'm-not-perfect-but-I-try-hard-so-get-over-it-list. Now keep in mind this is my own personal list, some of things you might agree with and some you may not. This list is not meant to offend or judge moms who feel differently, this is just how I feel. To each their own.

1. I stop breastfeeding at 6 months, get over it. If you want to go longer than that, power to ya! But I don't. And it doesn't mean that my kids are going to be sitting in the back of the class drooling while the kid who was breastfed longer will be graduating from Harvard at age 16.

2. Sometimes I give Brayden lucky charms for breakfast, get over it. I know, I know everything we eat is poison and causes diseases. Well guess what I don't have the time, money, or energy to make sure every single thing he eats is 100% natural and organic, plus their delicious!

3. I use disposable diapers, get over it. Don't get me wrong, I understand why people go the cloth diaper way, but I'd much rather wrap that turd up and throw it away!

4. I let my baby cry it out at bedtime, get over it. Brayden sleeps through the night, takes 2 hour naps everyday and its never a fight. I also don't believe I did any physiological damage by letting him cry for 15 minutes while he falls asleep. I think it's way more physiologically damaging for parents who don't get any sleep for two years.

5. I need more kid free time, get over it. This is actually the big one where all the guilt I feel is coming from myself and I'm still working on it. I need more reasons to take a shower and change out of my sweatpants. I need more time to be Sara instead of Mom. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way, and I know it's probably a very normal way to feel, but it makes me feel really guilty! I'm still working on getting over it, but it's hard. I love Brayden and I love being his mom, but that doesn't mean I don't need a break now and then. It makes sense, so why does it make me feel so damn guilty?

If you are someone who breastfed for a year plus or picked up your baby every time he cried, don't feel like I'm saying that's wrong, because I'm not. Like I always say you have to do what works and feels right for you and your family. The point of this list is we need to stop being so judgemental of each other because in the end we all want the same thing, and that is for our children to be happy and healthy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Fight of the Finger Nail

I don't understand why cutting my 17 month old son's finger nails has to be such a battle. If he would just sit still and let me do it, it wouldn't even take five minutes. It was so nice when he was a little baby and would fall asleep in my lap and then I would cut his nails, ahhh lets all take a minute to remember those days.
I think the most annoying thing about cutting nails is that his nails grow so fast that they need to be cut practically once a week. I mean seriously the kid is like wolverine when it comes to his nail growth.
So let me paint the picture for you of how it goes when nail cutting time is upon us. The minute he sees the clippers he takes off to his hiding spot behind the couch. Our couch is a sectional that is about 2 feet from the wall, which makes a perfect fort for a toddler. The only problem is now that I happen to be 32 weeks pregnant I can't easily fit behind the couch to drag the little stinker out.
When I finally manage to get him corralled onto my lap the waterworks start. He screams and struggles to break free. I usually get about two out of ten nails cut before he escapes and we start the whole process over again. Now keep in mind this is only for the finger nails, if I'm cutting his toe nails he will sit there like a little angel, go figure.
I have no idea why he hates it so much. By some miracle I have never got his skin. I've tried turning on the TV and letting him hold his blanket. In last month's issue of Parent magazine there was an article on how to make the things your kids hate easier with these simple tricks. One of the things just so happened to be cutting finger nails. The author said when she cuts her child's finger nails she pretends like the nail hits her in the eye and it makes the kid laugh. Well I'm desperate and willing to give anything a try, so I tried it. Let's just say if it had worked I wouldn't currently be blogging about how much I hate cutting Brayden's finger nails. I am open for suggestions, but feel that there isn't much hope and it will continue to be a pain in my constantly growing arse!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Unwanted Belly Touching

So I've heard lots of pregnant ladies talk about random people touching their belly. This was something I had never expericenced until recently. Nobody I didn't know ever touched my belly when I was pregnant with Brayden and it has only happened once this precnancy, but once is enough!
I really can't wrap my mind around it. Why on earth would anyone think it's ok to touch someone they didn't know like that? I mean a belly, especially for a woman, is a private place, I think I would honestly be less offened if she had gave my boobies a little honk. I don't even like people I know touching my belly. I have had lots of friends all up on my belly and to be honest I'm not crazy about it, but it doesn't upset me. I will tell you this, give a pregnant lady some warning before you attack or wait for her to initiat the touching. The only people allowed to touch without warning are Eric and Brayden. But warning from Brayden would be nice since he is more of slapper than a toucher.
Now to the crazies out their who find it acceptable to touch the bellies of pregnant women they do not know, what the hell is a matter with you? Seriously! It's weird and makes you look creepy, which lets face it, you probably are. And on that note, if I don't know you, don't touch my kid either. Listen I know he is irresitable with those big blue eyes and chubby cheeks, but hands off. I have accepted the fact that I can't go anywhere without having random people come up and talk to me and Brayden, it's annoying, but I have accepted it. I will never make the mistake of going to the walking trail without my headphones again. And for the record if I politly nod but keep walking when you try to talk to me, it means I'm not the least bit interested in what you have to say.  Now when they touch him, it's a diffrent story and momma bear has to make an apperance. I don't know where your hands have been, and quite frankly I don't want to think about where your hands have been, so don't pat his head, tap his nose, or pat his shoulder. It really stresses me out when strangers touch Brayden! The rule is unless we know you, hands off!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bert and Ernie's greatest adventure yet!

So lately I have been seeing on facebook a lot about people wanting Sesame Street to have Bert and Ernie get married. Some people are outraged at the thought of these two getting hitched others are outraged that Sesame Street is refusing to let it happen. I personally think the whole thing is pretty silly. I mean come they are puppets, oh excuse me Muppet's. I mean really, really you don't have anything better to protest or get upset about, really.
Sure Bert and Ernie seem to have some gay tendencies. Come on Sesame Street you can say they aren't gay but maybe the lyrics in the theme song that go "every time the bed starts tapping, something specials gonna happen, Bert and Ernie's great adventure," While they fly off into the night on the same bed wasn't the best way to go if you don't want people speculating. On the other hand, is a show meant for toddlers really the best place to plug gay marriage, I mean come on it's called common sense people. Lets not take an innocent kids show and fill it with adult issues that their young brains won't even be able to comprehend, save it for the right audience.
I will tell you the biggest issue I have with this whole thing is the fact that we are focused on outing Bert and Ernie when we really need to be outing Mr. Noodle for what he really is, a child molester. A grown man who is always outside Elmo's window just waiting to play with him? It's creepy, and quite frankly not ok. I don't think we should be sending the message that it's ok to play with the weird guy hanging around outside your window. Kids if you see Mr. Noodle or Mr. Noodle's brother Mr. Noodle run and tell your parents immediately and for the love of god don't play with him. You know that old perv has his windowless van parked right around the corner just waiting for the day Elmo decides to play outside, but nobody is concerned because we are all to busy planning or protesting Bert and Ernie's wedding. And where is Mr. Noodle's parole officer? You know that guy isn't supposed to be within 200 feet of Elmo or any other Muppet, somebody needs to call the cops so we can keep Sesame Street a safe place for all Muppet's!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Go the F--- to Sleep

Have you guys seen this book? I know you probably have since it has been out for three months. I am not so current and just looked at it for the first time tonight. I had heard about it and finally though I guess I'll check it out. Here were my thoughts about it before I started looking at what everyone else had to say about it. 1. This book is pure genius! 2. There are going to be all sorts of parent and religious groups who get all bent out of shape about this. 3. Any parent out there who denies ever having this sort of inner monologue run through their head is a liar liar pants on fire. And finally 4. hahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Well I started reading other peoples comments and posts about this book, and though many of us out there find it hilarious, I was right, some people just can't take a joke. One religious group in New Zealand tried to have the book banned for fear parents might think it's OK to read this book to their kids at bedtime. Really? That's your argument against the book? I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that if there are parents out there that think this is an appropriate book to read to their children, there are bigger issues to be worried about in that household. This is a book for adults not kids. Yes it looks like a children's book and is illustrated like a children's book but that is part of the reason adults find it so funny.
One moms group claimed the book was offensive and they would never think those things about an innocent child. Like I said before, liar liar pants on fire. There is not one parent out there who hasn't at one point or another felt the very strong urge to tell their child to go the f--- to sleep or something to that effect. I think the need to lie about feeling that way comes from a place of guilt. As a parent, especially a mom, we can feel guilty about having those feelings towards our child who we  love so much and would do anything for. It makes us feel as the book so delicately puts it like "shitty ass parents."
 That is what makes the book so brilliant. This author has the guts to step up and say hey sometimes when I am reading my child a story for the 50th time in my head I am thinking go the f--- to sleep! I think it's great, now other parents can read this book and think thank god I'm not the only one who feels that way sometimes. He is taking one of those parenting moments in which you feel like curling up into the fetal position while crying and turning it something to laugh about. Sometimes in life you can either laugh or cry and it's OK to laugh at ourselves. We are only human after all and we all make mistakes, even moms, well maybe especially moms. I think as women sometimes we put these unrealistic expectations on ourselves to be these perfect super moms and then beat ourselves up when we fall short.
I read an interview with the author of this book and when asked why he thought some people were so upset over the book I think he hit the nail right on the head. He said, "As much as there's a conversation about parenting in this culture, it's very much about appearances." Wow! He is so right. I guess that is why parenting groups are always so quick to jump all over anything they don't agree with, they want to keep up the appearance of being perfect parents. Well there is no such thing as a perfect parent. We as moms have a tendency to constantly judge each other when it comes to the way we choose parents. I mean look at all the different parenting styles out there babies on schedules vs. no schedule, cloth diapers vs. disposable diapers, breast feeding vs. bottle feeding, crib sleeping vs. co-sleeping. We all think are way is the "right" way, that's why we do it. We all just want whats best for our children. In the end I think that the "right" way is to just give our children the love, support, and guidance they need, do the best job that we can and hope our kids grow up to be a little less messed up than we are.
If you haven't read go the f--- to sleep I strongly suggest that you do, even if your not a parent. You can download and read it for free. If you've read it and found it offensive my advice would be to lighten up and take it for what it is, a funny book meant for adults. If you read it and found it hilarious all I can say is I know right, genius! And remember when it's 2 am and your kid is still awake don't really tell him to go the f--- to sleep, but feel free to think it!

Friday, August 5, 2011

1st pregnancy vs. 2nd pregnancy

The worries I am having during my second pregnancy are completely different from the ones I had with my first. When I was pregnant with Brayden, I was worried about everything. I was scared to take a bath because I was positive that no matter how luke warm the water was, it was to hot. I have a Jacuzzi tub, and was convinced that turning on the jets was going to shake Brayden around so much that he would end up with brain damage.
This time around I don't worry near as much about that kind of stuff. I think it is pretty common for moms to chill out after their first pregnancy. Like this time around if I wake up on my back I simply roll over and go back to sleep; last time if I woke up on my back I would get all stressed that I had cut off my baby's circulation and he was in there all thrashing around. There is only one thing I have been really worried about with this pregnancy, but it is a big thing. I am so scared that we are going to have to go back to the NICU.
I don't think I can handle going through that again, the thought of it keeps me up at night. I wish my biggest worry was that I was drinking the recommended 80 ounces of fluids a day, I mean come on, 80 ounces, does any really drink that much water everyday? But this fear is so much more real. I think the biggest reason it's so scary is because it's a completely rational fear. Lets face it, pregnant women are not the most rational group of people around. But going through what we went through with Brayden was so real and so hard and so scary.
I know this is something that I have no control over, which actually makes it even more scary, but I can't help but worry about it. The NICU is the most depressing place I have ever been. All of those sick babies and devastated parents. There is no worse feeling than seeing your 1 day old baby lying in a mini hospital bed with a ventilator shoved down his throat. I have said it before and I will say it again, we are so thankful that we got to bring our happy, healthy baby boy home after 9 days because not all babies get to go home. For us it is nothing but a bad memory, a really bad memory that could end up repeating itself. Only this time we wouldn't be able to drop everything and spend 9 days at the hospital because we have another kid at home who also needs us. STRESSFUL!
I hate to be such a downer, but lately I have been thinking about this a lot. Well I guess there is no reason to get all worked up about something that is completely out of my control, all I can do is hope for the best.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

SAHM: A Dying Breed?

There are a lot of different people out there with a lot of different opinions about stay at home moms (SAHM). There are some women who are SAHM's and love it, while other SAHM's don't like it. Some women want to be at home but can't, while others don't stay home and don't want to.
I fall into the category of a SAHM who loves it, most of the time. It is hard work! And don't ever let anyone tell you it isn't. I hate when people make the comment that I don't work. Um excuse me, you don't think I work? Well I have news for you, I work my ass off.
 If you think about it, SAHM's are always at work. We don't get to leave the office at the end of a long day and come home, home is our office. A day in the life of a stay at home mom can bring all sorts of different emotions; happy, lonely, overwhelmed, bored, thankful, stressed, stir crazy and that's all before lunch.
I am thankful to have the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. Sometimes Brayden will do something so incredibly cute that I think I am so glad I got to see him do that and not just hear about it from someone else. On the flip side of that though, is the times when I am thinking when is this kids parents coming to pick him up.
I thought that all of my experience working with kids in a daycare setting would somewhat prepare me to be a stay at home mom, something I have always wanted to be, but it is so unbelievable different. Sometimes people say to me "I don't think I could ever stay at home with my kids, I would go cray." Well this is my response to that; it's not for everyone. It really does have to me something you want to do. I mean this isn't 1950 I am not at home because I have to be, I am at home because I choose to be. Which is what the woman's movement was all about right, our rights. And you can bet your ass that my husband doesn't come home and prop his feet up while I fix dinner and continue to take care of the kids, his ass helps out.
So are SAHMs a dying breed? I don't really know. It still seams like there are a lot of us, but I might just think that because pretty much the only people I see during the weekdays are other SAHMs. I do know this, the good definitely out weighs the bad when it comes to being a stay at home mom. There are times when I want to assume the fetal position  while rocking back and forth, but then Brayden will come over and give me a big sloppy, opened mouth kiss (because for some reason kids his age always kiss with their mouths open) and it's all worth it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I paid good money for that crib, so use it!

I know there are a lot of people out there with mixed feelings about having your kids sleep in bed with you. I think that each family needs to do whatever works for them. That being said, I don't like Brayden sleeping in bed with us at all.
First of all, I never sleep well if he is in bed with us. When he was a little baby I was so paranoid that he was going to get smooshed. Now that he's bigger I'm not so much worried about that, but he is just super hard to sleep with.  Last night the poor little guy wasn't feeling well and kept waking up so we brought him into bed with us. I love him, I love him so much, but when it's 2:00am and I am getting kicked in the face all I want to do is push him out of the bed. So I took him back to his room and rocked him for about 45 minutes which is way better than having him in our bed.
The second reason I don't like having him in bed with us is that its my child free time. I am with him all day everyday. I am so thankful to be able to be a stay at home mom, but when it's bed time I am ready for him to go to bed! I need that time to unwind and get ready for the next day. If he is in bed with us that means we are literally together 24/7. Now, I understand that motherhood is a 24/7 job and I don't mind being on call but that doesn't mean I want to be in the office 24/7, if you know what I mean.
I just gotta say that I don't think my kids would have ended up being 19 months apart if we shared a bed with Brayden. Now I know for some people that is a good reason to have your kids sleep in bed with you, but that is a whole other topic. Sometimes Mommies and Daddies need mommy and daddy time, and if your kids are in bed with you I don't know when that's gonna happen.
Like I said I don't think there is one set way that people should parent. Every parent needs to do what is best for their family and whatever makes them comfortable. But in this family the bed is a kid free zone!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Another Baby, Oh Boy

I think it's a good thing we got pregnant again when Brayden was 10 months old, because if we were talking about getting pregnant right now I think my feeling would be hell no! Back in February I remember telling my husband we can take care of two babies easily and he naively agreed. Now Brayden is 15 months old and a hand full. The biggest difference is he is a walker, no scratch that, runner now. I didn't realize that him walking was going to be such a huge difference than him crawling. I guess I just figured mobile was mobile, I was wrong.
He is bombing around now like a bat out of hell. He is all over the place and into everything. Not to mention the climbing. Last night he tried to climb over the back of the couch and this was after he had successfully climbed on top of the coffee table. He is running all over the place and my pregnant butt is struggling to keep up after him. He sure is a fast little bugger, or I am a slow big bugger, either way the boy is wearing me out.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous for the new baby to get here. I think about when Brayden was a newborn and how much work it was without a 19 month old tearing around the house. Like what about feeding time? When Brayden would nurse it took him a solid 45 minutes. I would sit in the recliner with my feet up, a boppy around my waist, and let him go to town. Now I am thinking what is Brayden going to be doing for those 45 minutes? Yikes!
Another thing I worry about is the lack of sleep that comes any time a new baby is in the house. You know how everyone always says you have to sleep when the baby sleeps. Well that is a great strategy if you only have one baby, but what about this time around? I took naps every chance I got when Brayden was a baby, and was still exhausted. I can't sleep this time unless Brayden is also sleeping. Eric better watch out because I have a feeling I might be on the rampage! No sleep equals no patience. Well no patience for Eric, what patience I have will be used up on the kids.
Can I just take a moment to say how weird it is for me to say when Brayden was a baby, which means he is no longer a baby. When did that happen? Well I don't know, but it is safe to say he isn't a baby anymore but a full blown toddler. Wow, what a mixture of emotions that realization brings!
I know I will figure everything out once the new baby gets here, I mean people do it all the time. I think moms (and dads but defiantly more moms) always worry about bringing a new baby home whether its baby number one or number five. One things for sure I am going to try and soak up every moment because before I know it I will be blogging about how this new baby is tearing around like a wild man.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pregnant Again, you'll Live

The first time I was pregnant I felt like everyone wanted to baby me. I have heard some women complain about this, they have the mind frame that they are pregnant not handicapped. I, on the other hand, enjoyed being babied. It was nice. All the let me get that for you and the why don't you sit down and let me take care of that. I would gladly sit down, put my swollen feet up and let them take care of that.

I am going to let all of you first time moms in on a little secret nobody ever told me; It's not like that the second time you're pregnant. Nobody cares. They care about the baby, of course. Everyone still wants to talk about your pregnancy and ask questions about the baby, but nobody is worried about the mom. All the let me help you turns into aren't you gonna get that.

Last time my darling husband would make me dinner while I took a much needed nap on the couch. This time my darling husband insists it's my turn to change Brayden's poopy diaper, even if it is indeed his turn. Speaking of Brayden, he doesn't care at all. Who knew a 15 month old would have no sympathy for his pregnant mommy :) All of the pregnancy websites and books talk about how fatigue goes away and your energy returns in the second trimester. Well I have decided they need to have a disclaimer saying WARNING: if you have other children your fatigue will last for the next three years.

I can't help but wonder if people start to care less and less with each pregnancy. I think of my poor mom. By the time she had my little brother, who was baby #5, she was probably out back chopping firewood. I also wonder what it's like for women who wait a significant amount of time in between baby's, does the sympathy come back?

Everyone has a bad case of the she has been there done that so she will be fine. I just want to go on record saying the second pregnancy is a lot harder than the first! Keeping up with Brayden while growing another human is exhausting. So if you see a pregnant mom in the store with a toddler in the cart and a 5 year old glued to her leg be nice to her, because if you're not there is a 99% chance she will attack you. Just kidding, kind of ;)    

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Frumpy Mom syndrome

Have you ever seen those moms out and about that look frumpy? I used to think really, really you can't brush your hair and throw on some jeans, but I now realise the answer is screw you! Frumpy mom syndrome defiantly gets worse with each new child. I can still pull it together most days because I only have Brayden. I will admit that my grooming routine now is nothing compared to my BB(before Brayden) routine. The other day I was shopping in target and saw my reflection and thought I can't believe I am out in public right now! I would NOT have gone out like that BB. But like I said I think it gets worse with each child you have. I believe the equation is something like this: 1 kid= occasional frumpieness, 2 kids= sweat pants, 3 kids=messy hair, 4 kids=stained shirt and 5+ kids= crazy lady! Sorry Mom, but 5 kids is crazy!
I will say though, that I don't remember my Mom being frumpy when we were growing up. That's the good news, your kids don't care. Not until around Jr. high when you become super embarrassing, but lets be honest they are total brats by then so who cares. But right now, even as the frumpiest mom on the playground your kids think you are the most beautiful girl there, because your mom. They don't care how you look, just as long as you are doing all your mom duties. Which by the way is what causes the frumpiness in the first place, all the mom duties.  That's the good news. The bad news however is that everybody else doesn't know whether to give you their spare change or pretend they don't notice you have on the same shirt as you did yesterday.
Avoiding frumpy mom syndrome is hard work, and I think for some moms, quit frankly, it's just not worth the effort. But it's worth the effort to me. I am nervous for whenever baby number 2 decides to come along (see above equation if you don't remember why). I do know there is hope! Because the good, if not slightly annoying, thing is I see a lot of hot mommas strutting there stuff while pushing a double stroller threw the mall. If your are a hot mom who is reading this, good for you! If you are a frumpy mom who is reading this, remember the only thing that really matters is that you are a GOOD mom! And finally if you are not a mom and reading this, if you see a frumpy mom out and about don't judge her, she is working hard!
This post has been brought to you by Sara Fagley: fighting frumpy Mom Syndrome since 2010.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Brayden's Story

          I am not trying to be a debbie downer here, but these last couple of days I have started forming my team and taking donations for this years March for Babies AKA March of Dimes. I have always be involved with March for Babies, but this year, and from now on, my passion is and will be much much greater. This is because of my own personal experience and what happened in the nine days after Brayden was born. I have just been thinking about it so much this week since I have been getting ready for this years march. So I have decieded to share our story, which is not an easy thing for me to share but if can inspire someone to get involved with this cause than it is totally worth it!  

            I could see that her lips were moving and I knew I should focus on what she was saying, but there was so much commotion in the room. I just nodded my head in response. Having just given birth to my first child, the nurse was probably just telling me he is wonderful. Then they took him.
            Wait! What? Where are they taking my baby? I looked to my husband for comfort only to find him visibly shaken and upset. Panic set in. There was something wrong with my baby.
            Brayden was born three weeks early and was in respiratory distress. He was taken to the special care nursery and started on oxygen right after he was born.
The next time I saw Brayden he had what my husband, Eric, referred to as his space helmet covering his face and feeding him oxygen. He was hooked up to all sorts of different monitors and IV’s.
            We had taken all the classes, read all the books, and listened to everyone’s stories but nothing could have prepared me to see my sweet baby struggling.
            In the morning the pediatrician informed us that Brayden wasn’t getting any better and needed to be transferred to the NICU at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
            It’s common knowledge that this sort of thing happens all the time. Most people know someone who has experienced it first hand. Maybe I was na├»ve, but it honestly never crossed my mind that my baby wouldn’t be born healthy.
            I’m in my mid 20’s, healthy, and didn’t have any major complications during pregnancy. Yet there I was, tears streaming relentlessly down my checks, trying to comprehend what the doctor was explaining.
            We got to hold Brayden before he was transferred to Children’s. As I held him in my arms I could feel his little chest rising and falling at a rapid pace, even with the oxygen he was working so hard to breath.
 I embraced my day old baby and was overcome with emotions. The fear that he wasn’t going to be ok, grief that he had to spend time in the NICU, anger that this was happening, sadness that he was hurting, and guilt that I couldn’t do anything to help him. Then they took him, again.
Shortly after Brayden was taken in the ambulance Eric left so he could be with him at Children’s. I hadn’t been discharged from St. Clair hospital yet so I had to stay with nothing but my agony to keep my company.
            Throughout my pregnancy I had played the scenario of us leaving the hospital in my head. It just seemed like such a memorable moment. The Mommy holds their precious new baby gently in her arms as the Daddy pushes them out to the car in a wheelchair. The new parents are a little scared, but mostly excited as they load baby up for the first time in his brand new car seat. Then drive off into the sunset to start their new life as a happy family.
My reality of leaving the hospital turned out to be absolutely nothing like the charming scenario I had envisioned over the last nine months.  The nurse pushed my wheelchair and there was no baby in my arms or Daddy by my side. All I had to hold was a picture of my sick little boy that was given to me before he was transferred to the NICU. I clung to my picture while tears once again gushed uncontrollably from my eyes.
Eric was coming to pick me up, but when we got to the parking lot he hadn’t arrived yet. The nurse helped me onto a nearby bench and went back inside. There I sat all alone and all I kept thinking over and over was it’s not supposed to be like this.
When we arrived at Children’s hospital Brayden had been put on a ventilator, meaning there was a tube down his throat. I was not expecting that so, needless to say, my emotional state did not improve. 
He had been sedated before the tube was inserted, so for the rest of the day and all of the night he slept, we did not.
The next morning he opened his beautiful blue eyes and we just stared at each other. It was the first time since he had been born that I felt a sliver of hope, although we still had a hard road ahead.
While Brayden was on the ventilator he sometimes would cry, but without sound. It was like watching a baby cry on TV with the volume muted.  Except this wasn’t a baby on TV, it was my baby and there was nothing I could do to help him. I would sit next to his bed and cry with him. I felt like he was thinking Mommy why won’t you pick me up, please pick me up. I couldn’t pick him up. It was heartbreaking and I have never felt so powerless.
After three long days and a dose of surfactant it was time to take out the tube. If all went well we could potentially be going home the next day. Our spirits were high.
After the tube was removed Brayden did really well for about 30 minutes. Then his oxygen levels started to drop and he had to be put back on oxygen. I was devastated, borderline hysterical. The doctors and nurses reassured us that this was normal. It was too much of a shock to his system to abruptly stop being on oxygen since he had literally been on oxygen since he was born. He just needed to be gradually weaned from the oxygen, which could take awhile. I did not feel reassured.  
The weaning process was not going well. I was trying, without success, to mentally prepare because we might not get to go home any time soon. My mental preparation process wasn’t going any better than the weaning process.
Then we were blessed with Nurse Becky. The majority of our nurses and doctors were phenomenal, but I owe my sanity to Nurse Becky. She had Brayden weaned off oxygen in two days.
Now Brayden just had to be observed for 48 hours to make sure he would do ok off the oxygen. Finally we felt like there was an end in sight, that we might actually get to go home soon.
            Brayden was doing great and I was starting to regain a little composure, not a lot, but it was a start. We were still in the NICU but at least now we could hold him! His 48 hour observation period was coming to and end. He just needed to pass the car seat test and then we could go home.
The car seat test was simple. He needed to sit in his car seat for 90 minutes without any problems.
Brayden was in his car seat and sleeping so we decided to get something to eat while we waited. We were elated while we ate lunch. All Eric and I could talk about was how excited we were to finally be going home. As we walked back to Brayden’s room I realized that an hour had already passed. 30 more minutes until we could put this nightmare behind us and go home with our baby.
We got back to his room and found Brayden back in his bed which was strange because his 90 minutes weren’t up yet. Eric went and found the nurse who informed us Brayden failed the car seat test. He was unable to breath properly for the whole 90 minutes. We would have to stay another night and try again in the morning.
The little bit of composure I had regained was gone. I was so emotionally, physically, and mentally drained that all that remained now was hopelessness.
The nightmare was not over; I didn’t think it would ever be over. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t wake up from this horrible dream. All I wanted to do was take my baby home, but I wasn’t sure if that was ever going to happen.
The next morning the nurse came to try the car seat test again. I was not hopeful. This time we stayed in the room with Brayden. Eric nervously watched the clock while I watched the monitors, waiting for them to beep in alarm when his oxygen levels dropped. They never beeped. The nurse came back smiling and told us she was getting our discharge papers ready.
I felt the hopelessness slowly start to melt away, but I was cautious not to get to eager. I didn’t think I could handle having the chance to go home dangled in my face only to get ripped away yet again.
It wasn’t until we were physically out of the hospital and in the car that the tears started again. Only this time they were tears of relief. We may have gotten off to a rocky start and nothing went like I had pictured but we were finally able to drive off into the sunset and start our new life as a happy, healthy family.

Being in the NICU was a life changing experience. It was very hard to "get over" to be honest I don't know if I will ever "get over" it. Not just because of what happened with Brayden. In fact I feel very blessed because Brayden is a healthy boy and has no kind of health problems asscoiated with being born in respiratory distress. All it is now is just a bad memory that we had to move past. The reason I say it was life changing is because of the other babies that were in the NICU. To be honest Brayden was probably in the best condition of all the babies there. Any of the other familes would have loved to been in our shoes.  All the babies there were so sick and some of them had been there for months. I could hardly survive 9 days..just try to imagine months. Even worse is some of those babies never get to go home. I will never foget seeing those tiny babies lying in hospital beds struggling for their lives. It just doesn't seem fair. March for Babies is a way we can do something about it. A way for us to reach out and help all of those babies and their familes. Please join me by making a donation or signing up to walk with me and maybe someday we can live in a world where all babies are born healthy.  Go to http://www.marchforbabies.org/ to join the cause. My team name is Team Fagley.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This Moms take on Teen Mom 2

I have been hooked on 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom since the beginning. I am so captivated by these young girls and their lives. Being a new mom is hard, I can't imagine doing it as a teenager. When I think about how I was as a teenager, and then how hard raising a baby is...the two just don't mix well at all!

This new season, Teen Mom 2, so far has been even better than the first Teen Mom, I think anyways. Leah, Cory and the twins melt my heart. I was bawling last night when they found out something is wrong with one of their girls. I know what it's like to not know if your baby is going to be OK, and it is the worst feeling I have ever experienced. You feel so helpless and you just get swallowed up in this never ending pit of despair. Poor baby! I hope she is OK, it's heartbreaking to see innocent little baby's suffer.

Someone said to me the other day (because I talk about Teen Mom literally every chance I get) That Janelle is going to be this season's Amber. I agreed at first, but not any more. Amber was just so hard to like and that made it hard to feel for her. She was just such a biatch all the time. Janelle, on the other hand, has moments when I just want to reach out and give her a hug. Yes she is irresponsible, yes she makes bad choices, yes so far she hasn't been a very good mom, but there is just something about her that I find enduring. Her mom is doing the right thing by getting custody of Jace because she is raising him, and Janelle needs a big reality check.

So far I haven't gotten too wrapped up with the other two girls stories, but I have a feeling I will have A LOT to say about Chelsea getting back together with that loser! When I watched her 16 and Pregnant episode and he called her a fat stretch marked bitch, I lost it! How dare he, he is dead to me. From one fat stretch marked bitch to another, she needs to kick his ass to the curb forever. He hasn't changed, don't be stupid. I know before the season is over he will once again show his true asshole colors.

People talk about how these shows make Teen pregnancy glamours, but I strongly disagree. The people saying that have obviously never watched the show. If I was still 16 and watched these two shows, it would scare the crap out of me. These girls lives are anything but glamours. The reason I think this show is so good is because it is heartbreakingly real. I think it is good for teens to see how hard and how much of a struggle it really is to have kids at that age. People argue, well some girls might get pregnant just for a chance to be on the show. Well here is the reality: There has always been teen pregnancy, there always will be teen pregnancy and shining a light on the issue will ultimately help, not hurt the situation.