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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rambling thoughts on my first real week of Mommyhood.

I thought my life would get a little easier when Katie Beth came home from the NICU, and in some ways, it has. I'm not driving all over creation anymore just to see her, but I am getting a lot less sleep.  People constantly say "Sleep when she sleeps!".  Dude, if it were that easy, I'd be all over it.  She tends to sleep a lot during the day, and negligible amounts of sleeping are done at night.  I just have stuff that I need to do during the day!  Granted, not as much stuff as I'd have to do if I were living on my own right now, but still.  Good gracious, that makes me think how grateful I am for being able to be home with my family during this time.  I would be a crazy mess if I was in Guam and didn't have somebody helping me with her.

All the time I think "How do single moms do this?"  Seriously, you girls have got my respect for life.  I am the one up with Katie Beth most nights, but when Mammaw gets up in the mornings, she takes her from me for a few hours so I can sleep.  Also, since I am here at home, I'm not the only one who can cook or clean.  I can't imagine having to be up with KB all night, then go to work at some job all day.  For that matter, I can't imagine not being able to sleep for a few hours because I have to watch over her all day.  My head hurts just thinking about it.

Katie Beth still hasn't been able to latch but once.  That is getting frustrating, but by God, I'm still trying.  There won't be anything in the world for my baby better than my own milk.  I also really don't want to buy formula.  It won't be as good for her, and I'll have to pay for it.. So WHY would I want to do that?!  Pumping and then feeding from a bottle is annoying, but its apparently what I have to do for right now.  She's growing so big and strong, that I know I'm doing something right.  Now if she would just sleep during the nighttime hours, I would be doing really great.

On the personal front, I've gotten back down to pre-pregnancy weight.  I'm pretty sure that breastfeeding is the reason that's happened so fast, too.  It was only a grand total of about 12 lbs after I lost the water weight, but I have lost it in just a month.. That's pretty awesome if you ask me.  Now I just need to lose about 15 more, and I'll be down to pre-college weight.  How awesome would that be??  Jason won't know what to think when he sees me in December!
Monday, September 13, 2010

Now That He's Gone

Now that Jason is underway and isn't here to read what I write, I'm going to write about him.  These past three weeks have opened my eyes even more to how truly blessed I am to have a husband such as he.  Not only has Jason been strong in a very emotional situation, but he has been my foundation, too.  I honestly don't think I would have made it through those first two weeks without him holding me up.

The first time Jason and I dated, in the fall of 06, he got serious pretty quickly and it freaked me out.  We had only been together maybe a month when he asked what size ring I wore.  I was still hung up on someone else, and to be honest, I wasn't used to being treated the way he was treating me.  I was used to being pushed away, not chased after.  I liked the game in it all, and there was no game with Jason.  He was up front with what he wanted, and he wanted me.  So I broke up with him.  I remember calling my mom and telling her what I was about to do, and she told me how crazy I was.  She called me out on pushing him away because he wasn't doing the pushing himself.  "You just want what you can't have."  Yep.

October 06
Jason didn't talk to me for a very long time..  Like, two years.  Apparently, he wasn't accustomed to being dumped.  When I finally got him to speak to me again (over Facebook, of course), I knew we were going to get married.  I specifically remember telling a friend that Jason was the one that got away, and I fully intended to get him back.  Get him back I did.  He drove to Jackson to see me again for the first time on New Years Day 09.  By the next afternoon we were officially together (like, Facebook official.. serious stuff) even though he was going to Guam in only a few months.  He told me he loved me the next night, and I knew I loved him, too.  I knew I loved him two years before this, but hey.. better late than never, right?  When Jason left to go to Sub School in Connecticut three days later, he told me to start looking at rings and give him an idea of what I wanted.  A week later I flew to CT and hung out with him in Groton for 10 days, where I got to meet all of his buddies from Power School and Prototype.  Then came Valentine's Day in Groton, and then a month later I made the road trip down from CT to meet his family in TN.

January 09

The very first time I partied with Navy boys.. What a long night!
Valentines 09
Road trip from Connecticut to Tennessee - Fun times!

The rest of that story is that we were married 95 days after seeing each other again for the first time.

Jason proposing.  Somehow, he and my best friends managed to keep the secret, so I was floored.
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick
Jason is probably the most patient man I've ever met.  I mean, seriously, he puts up with some crap from me. I can be difficult, as a few exes will readily attest, and he just deals with it.  I've honestly never felt loved the way he loves me.  He's strong when I need him to be, and when I need sensitive, he's that too.  He never let me see him pause with everything that went on with myself and Katie Beth, though I now know he did.  He knew that I needed him to be strong so I could be strong, and so he did it.

New Years Eve 09
I got to actually watch Jason fall in love with our little girl, and it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.  The first time he held her, she got a good grip on his finger, and he told her that she was beautiful and that he loved her.  I have never been so happy in my entire life as I was watching my love meet our daughter.  After that, he stepped right into Husband and Father Of The Year mode.  He changed diapers, he burped and fed her, he read her stories and rocked her to sleep.  When we got home, he took care of me too.  He helped me shower, got me snacks, kept me comfortable when I wanted to cry.  Then when I did cry, he cried with me.

Katie Beth meeting her Daddy
I am one of those "Everything happens for a reason" people.  I'm pretty sure God knw that I would never have been able to handle this NICU situation alone, so when He decided that this was going to happen to my body, He sent me someone who could handle it for me.

I always miss Jason when he's gone, but this time is a little harder for me.  I know he loves his job though, so I can handle it.  Now I just have to keep him away from this blog once he gets home, and trust me, I'm counting the days.
Friday, September 10, 2010

"Don't tell her she's a preemie"

Almost every time we talk to Dr. Owens, KB's neonatologist, that's what he says.  "Don't tell her she's a preemie.. She doesn't know!"  The first time he said that, and he explained how amazing it was that she never had to be placed on oxygen, I thought he was just being cute.  Turns out, he's kind of serious.  Katie Beth really has been our little miracle baby, and we didn't even realize it.

I didn't know a lot about preemies three weeks ago. I mean, why would I, right?  Katie Beth was born at 33 weeks and 2 days.  She should have been far closer to 4 pounds than 2 pounds, 11 ounces.  But since she hadn't grown in utero for three weeks, thats what we got.  Her size alone should have dictated the need for oxygen, but nope.  She came out breathing and screaming just like a 33 weeker should, despite her tiny size.  Amazingly, her lungs were perfectly formed even though we didn't have time for me to get steroid shots.

The next little miracle was that she was able to take a bottle on the second day.  Granted, she could only take 2 ml of milk, but still... Katie Beth has only been on a feeding tube for a total of 3 days since she's been here.  Those times were because she got worn out trying to take the bottle.  Now that she's stronger, she's eating like a little champ!  She's up to 45 ml of milk per feeding, and she's also starting to nurse.  She is still small for nursing, so that part is taking some work.

Thirdly, Katie Beth has only had one sleep apnea episode in the 17 days she's been here.  That's really impressive for such a small preemie.  Sometimes they just sort of forget to breathe while they are sleeping.  Sometimes they have to be put on oxygen if that happens, but KB didn't.  The nurse just had to sort of wake her up, and she was fine.  The consequence of having sleep apnea episodes is that it pushes back their go home date.  KB isn't getting ready to come home quite yet, but if she was and she were to have an episode, it would set her back 7 days.

There are a slew of other problems that most preemies have that KB has never experienced.  Most preemies have problems with reflux, and can't keep their milk down.  Not our Pumpkin.  Some preemies have seizures, and we've been so blessed that she hasn't.  This little girl really is our miracle baby, and we are so very proud.    Again, I want to thank everyone for the prayers and thoughts.  Jason and I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love for us and for Katie Beth.
Thursday, September 2, 2010

Armpits and Breast Pumps

I always knew that parenthood changed people.  I never thought I would be an exception to that rule, but I didn't spend much time thinking about it at all.  This past week has opened my eyes.  I find myself getting really excited about having a few minutes to take a nap, or watch an entire tv show.  I completely forget about things that used to matter to me. Case in point:  Two days ago, I was sitting with Jason and my brother, when I noticed how incredibly hairy my legs had gotten.  Granted, I was 1 week post surgery, so it made sense.  I commented "Wow, my legs are hairy!"  "Yeah they are," Jason said.  I said "Well, it's not like I've had a lot of time to think about it, and I can't even bend over to shave them!"  Jason responded with, "Maybe.. but what's your excuse for your armpits?"

Now don't think my honey a jerk.. He was being funny and I laughed so hard!  I hadn't even thought about my armpits!  I mean, I have definitely showered since I got out of the hospital, but somehow I had completely neglected my poor under arms.  I can't believe I hadn't noticed.  WHO does that?!  I finally understand how so many women "let themselves go" after having a baby.  I don't want to sound like one of those women, but I feel like I have so much going on, that some things can't matter for a little while.  I feel like I wake up, pump, eat, drive, feed the baby, and repeat this 2 or 3 times a day.  It's amazing how much this little girl has changed my life in only 9 days.

To my friends, please don't be upset if I come across as short in a text or phone call.  I don't mean to be rude and push you away.  With so many people who love us, it has gotten hard to keep up with updating everyone on how Katie Beth is doing.  I'm definitely not complaining about being loved, and in fact it makes me feel wonderful that so many people care.  It's just gotten a little hectic around here.  I know everything will settle down soon and I'll wonder where everyone went.  Anyway, please forgive me if I come across as rude.. I promise I don't mean to, and I'm usually just really, really tired and stressed.

I can't wait until this baby girl is home and gets to meet all the people who have been praying for her!