Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Just an example of my crazy mind

I've been told by professionals a few times that I may have OCD.  Not the stereotypical OCD - the obsessive cleaning kind - but one that has to do with numbers and things being equal.  It's gotten better over the years, when I was younger if I tapped one foot a certain number I'd have to tap the other foot a certain amount of times. It didn't have to be the exact number of times truthfully, it just had to feel equal.  The only time it gets bad now is when I'm under an extreme amount of stress.  Chris likes to bother me a lot about this and will tap two or three of my fingers and then walk off.  The other part is that I'm a crazy numbers person.  Things have to make sense numerically to me even if they make sense to no one else.  This drives Chris completely batty as I try to explain WHY things have to occur a certain way.  For example - my family's birthdays.  I can justify, in my own mind, why all of our birthdays work well together.  The whole pregnancy has thrown me off because I was trying to figure out how Charlie being due so far from the rest of our birthdays was going to fit in - but I have it figured out.  To me.

If Charlie is born in April we will have two April birthdays (as our puppy, Jovi, was born on the 19th), two August birthdays, two July birthdays, and then Chris in September, which still works out.

If he is born in May then we will have an April, May, June (Baby C was due in June), July, August, and September birthdays.

If he WAS born today (too late for that but I already worked it out in my head) his birthday would have been 4/27.  4+27=31. Both David and Anthony were born on the 31st of their months. Plus he'd be born on Tuesday - which Anthony and Anastasia were both Tuesday babies.

If he is born tomorrow his birthday will fall on the 28th, which my birthday is also on the 28th, plus he'd be born on Wednesday.  So we'd have Tuesday babies (Anthony and Anastasia), a Wednesday baby, and a Thursday baby (David).

If he is born on the 29th, it will fall the day after my numerical birthday, and we'd have two children born on Tuesday and two on Thursday.

If he is born on the 30th than all of our boys will be born on the last days of their months.

If he is born on the first than we'd have two children with the 31st as their birthday, and two with the first as their birthday.

I haven't figured past that point yet!

Like I said, I'm completely crazy, and it may not make ACTUAL sense but to me it makes perfect sense.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

House purge!

Even though I've already posted today, I couldn't help updating because I'm quite proud of myself!  Cleaning with EDS has been a constant struggle for me.  I love to clean, I love a clean house, however cleaning is something that is not easily done when your wrists are in a lot pain.  I've had to take painkillers today to accomplish this, but I am quite pleased that I have gotten so much done!  I made myself, and Chris, a to-do list and my list is completely done minus some homeschool lesson planning.  Chris's list is nearly done, but I know he'll complete it tonight.  Today I've managed to -

- Clean both bathrooms top to bottom
- Clean the kitchen top to bottom - twice
- Clean the living room deeply, dust the entertainment center, and declutter
- Declutter the dining room, finished hanging homeschooling posters
- Declutter our bedroom completely, moved all my sewing stuff to the appropriate shelves in the garage.
- Mini organized the office.  This is Chris's domain so I hesitate to touch much, but I did a bit of pruning :)
- Finished purging the pantry and snack shelf of all non-primal foods.  This is our third purge, and we still have on more to do.  The first purge went to the boyscouts, the second to Sandra, and this one is heading up to the squadron.  We have gotten rid of over 30 bags of food.... it's quite disgusting to me that we had so much and others have so little.
- Reorganized the CDs that David loves to take out and dismantle
- Cleaned the laundry room

The kids cleaned the playroom up, and straightened their rooms.

Chris has vacuumed, folded and hung all the laundry and put most of it away, he's mopping the house now, and then he just needs to do the dishes and put the bags of food in his car. He also has to connect the co-sleeper to our bed (we use it as a guard rail, Charlie sleeps in our bed), and put the sheets on it. I may also clean out the master bedroom closet and toss the maternity clothes into the basket so that we can easily restore them once Charlie is here.  My house looks so nice and tidy! It makes my mind so much calmer.  Chris says he's going to be angry with me if I go into labor today or tomorrow - he thinks my neurotic self has prevented labor from coming because I wasn't happy with the house.

More NSTs

Yesterday I had another NST and another OB appt.  Charlie didn't want to cooperate this time, his heart rate was staying extremely consistent and he was hardly moving.  The nurse was having a really hard time even picking up his heartbeat - he must have been in a weird position. She had to press the monitor on me the whole time, as she couldn't get the band tight enough around me to hear his heartbeat. After a few minutes she gave me a large glass of ice water which is normally enough to get him moving a bit.  This time it did nothing.  So she gave me three mini chocolate bars which was way to much chocolate for me, but still he didn't perk up.  After half an hour she brought out a little electrical stimulation and started trying to shock him to move.  That didn't work either.  At the 45 minute mark he had his first heart acceleration, but that was the only one.  Fifteen minutes later she went to grab Dr. Schropp to see what he wanted to do.  He came in the room and asked if she had tried the electrical stimulation and she told him she had.  His response to that was, "weird", which did nothing to alleviate my fears.  He began telling me that we could do a Biophysical Profile on him if we wanted to, or we could come back in the morning and do another NST.  I asked him if I was still seeing him for my appt in a few minutes, and he said yes and we could discuss it more then.  He left and the nurse escorted me to the exam room to wait for him.  He came in and talked more about the NST.  He said that there was nothing super concerning on it, his heart rate was good it just wasn't accelerating the way it should.  He said if I wanted to we could do the Biophysical or we could just wait until the morning - and that it was whatever I was comfortable with.  I told him that if he felt it was fine to wait that we could wait as he was going to have me repeat the NST the next day regardless.  He did the cervical check and I'm 1-2 cm still and 50% effaced, but that my cervix has moved up even more - which is a really good thing.  He stripped my membranes with the hope that Charlie will come soon and we can avoid needing a medical induction for his less than stellar NST results.

My NST today was completely different.  Charlie passed within 10 minutes!  The nurse said my uterus was extremely aggravated though and asked if I was feeling the cramping.  I told her I had in the past few days but today it's been pretty non-existent.  She seemed mildly surprised and said I was showing uterine cramps every few moments. Huh.... maybe he is going to come soon!  Today I've hardly had any contractions at all, but that happens with each of my labors.  I have managed to get my house pretty much cleaned top to bottom and plan to finish the rest up here in just a few moments.  Any day now!

Belly Picture taken at 37 weeks even :) I'm up to 139/140 lbs now.  I had gotten up to 143 lbs but have lost 4 lbs in just the past few days.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another Day, Another Appointment

Today I had yet another NST.  I love hearing the reassuring heartbeat of my son, but these appointments are getting old - and it's affecting the whole family.  Yesterday I began having pretty intense contractions that were coming every 20 minutes even, but they were only lasting 15-30 seconds.  Chris was getting pretty excited but I just had a feeling that they were going to peter out.  Sure enough they stopped by the evening.  The scary thing was, though, at times it felt as if there was a body part in my vagina!  I had read about cord prolapses and was a bit worried.  Today I told the nurse what happened and she grabbed my doctor who seemed quite concerned and decided to check me out, even though I wasn't scheduled to see him today.  He said that strangely enough a lot of his patients had contractions yesterday without them going anywhere.  The contractions have further effaced me, and moved my cervix more forward and under Charlie's head.  Originally Charlie's head was in front of my cervix, so this was great news.  There was no cord prolapse either so thats reassuring.  He said he wouldn't be surprised if I went in the next few days, and if I didn't I'd see him on Friday.  I've had a few contractions this evening, but nothing major or exciting.  For some reason I've had the 23rd stuck in my head since I became pregnant, so we'll see if that means anything.  Regardless, it's exciting to know that in the next few weeks I'll be holding my new son in my hands!

Also, Chris and I have been reevaluating his name.  It is still most definitely Charlie.  We have been debating since we've chosen the name whether or not it should be Charles, a name neither of us likes at all.  After going back and forth we've decided to not use Charles, his legal name will be just Charlie.  Honestly, in this generation, we feel Charlie is more professional sounding than some of the other names that we've seen gain popularity.  And if a person can nickname themselves, we see no reason why he can't decide to go by Charles in the future if he chooses to.  His middle name is the big, up for grabs.  I have never liked the name Vincent but Chris loves it.  I agreed to allow him to use it if he wanted as a middle name, just like I got to use Cillian as David's middle name.  All of our children, though, are named after someone.  Anthony is named for my grandpa's best friend who died, Anastasia has my middle name (a middle name that has been passed on for a few generations), and David is named for Chris's best friend and a person I care deeply about.  So right now we are going back and forth on whether the middle name should be Vincent - which would mean he wouldn't be named for anyone, or we'd use the middle name George - which is my dads name, my brothers name, both of my grandparents name, Chris's grandfathers name, and Chris's dads middle name.  Charlie George sort of sounds like a country singer, but it doesn't sound too terrible. I think we've decided to let Dr. Schropp decide when he is born - so we'll announce it then!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Already seeing a change

Mark Sisson, author of "The Primal Blueprint", claims that it won't take weeks or months to notice a change when you go primal, it will take only a matter of days.  I was quite skeptical.  My issues are not quite the issues of others.  I'm not the average American who just feels sluggish after a meal, or is carrying loads of extra weight.  I don't have diabetes, or celiac disease, or other dietary issues.  But I am a believer now.  Chris and I have been incorporating more primal meals into our diet, and phasing out other foods.  We are still cheating occasionally because we aren't going hardcore until after the birth.  I am feeling the carb shock I was expecting, but my wrists and elbow are doing loads better.  It's been 3 months or so since I've been able to reach my right hand to my face.  The past two days I've been able to not only touch my mouth with my thumb, but today I was able to touch the top of my head - something I can't remember doing.  I was actually able to eat breakfast with my dominant hand!  I didn't need my painkillers this afternoon for the first time in who knows when, either.  And then Chris and I cheated hardcore for dinner.  Within three hours I had excruciating pain in my wrists again, and my arm couldn't reach my face.  I didn't realize how great I felt until all of a sudden the pain had returned.  It may be a fluke, a weird coincidence, but I'm extremely eager to see if it does help with pain!  Tomorrow we plan to primal it up again! 

And for those who are interested in a delicious recipe, this salad I had for lunch and it was scrumptious!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Baby update, first primal lunch

I had another OB/NST appt on Friday.  Luckily these were right after each other, unlike last week where I had them split by a few hours.  The NST didn't go so well this time.  Charlie wasn't in much of a cooperating mood.  He hardly moved and his heart rate was staying quite consistent instead of fluctuating.  They had me drink a tall glass of ice water, and when that didn't work I had to eat some more chocolate.  This time the chocolate wasn't very satisfying, it was way to sickly sweet.  After a while, though, it began to work and Charlie began doing what he was supposed to do.

At my OB appt the doctor wanted to check me again to see if there had been any change from last week - especially given my history of going quickly.  Last week my cervix was hard and closed, this week he said it was "extremely soft" and I'm dilated 1-2 cms.  He also commented that he's not sure how I walk since Charlies head was so low down, and that it's basically a waiting game at this point.  I've been having more contractions, that aren't Braxton Hicks any long, but nothing consistent or labor inducing.  On the NST monitor they were ranging in the 40 to 50 range.

I think I realized WHY this pregnancy is so much harder for me to walk.  My legs have severely atrophied from the EDS, and now I've lost my center of gravity and core.  So low muscle tone/weakness, and nothing else to keep me upright makes walking extremely difficult.  It's not painful, it just requires nearly all my strength to lift my leg and take a step. I've begun getting those, "You must be ready to pop!" comments when we are out in public.


Today we had our first Primal Lunch.  The boys scouts are doing a food drive so we boxed up all the non-perishables that we can no longer eat and donated them.  Later this week we'll be sending off the things we've opened as well as the frozen and refrigerated items to various friends.  The kids ate surprisingly well, and Chris and I are compiling meal lists of things we can eat to keep them interested.  Lunch is the most difficult as nearly all lunch items are non-primal.  Anyway...

The kids had a few blackberries, a strawberry, a hard boiled egg, some avocado, and some roast beef.

Chris and I had some blackberries, a strawberry, egg salad wrapped in lettuce (Chris also had Roast beef but I couldn't stomach it), and some avocado.  We could hardly eat it all and it kept us full for the rest of the evening.  Dinner was quite light.

 And because I can't resist, David napping.  He is so cute when he sleeps.  And for those other cloth lovers, that is a TK Cuddlers diaper cover with a prefold inside.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Where I am starting at - Paleo Dieting/ Primal Blueprint

Chris and I are becoming more and more hopeful that this new lifestyle change will really help me with not losing the rest of my body to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.  I was planning to slowly phase out the negative foods over the course of a month, but I'm thinking now it may happen over the next two weeks so that when I return home from birthing Charlie I will start Primal Living.  This is where I'm at, EDS wise:

- Wrists - both are damaged beyond repair.  Massive bone loss, tendon loss, ligament loss, cartilage loss, dislocated (sublexed) and separated from forearms. Will have both fused over the next few months.

- Right Elbow - Tendons and ligaments are torn and displaced, membrane is swollen, total cartilage loss.  Will have surgery in the next month to 6 weeks to repair as much as can be repaired, remove some of the bones, and the membrane.  Will need total elbow replacement surgery in 4-5 years.

- Fingers. On my left hand my index, middle, and ring finger "crunch" when moved, and cause tendon pain through the palm of my hand when used. Pain is becoming difficult to manage.  On my right hand there is burning in my pinkie and ring finger that is caused by elbow swelling pressing on the "funny bone nerve".  Pain and stiffness developing.

-Shoulder. Massive "crunching" when used. Right shoulder has been dislocating since I was a child. No cartilage left. Pain now developing in both shoulders, but lower down in the muscles.

-Ankle.  Heard a pop in my left ankle about 18 months ago, since then off and on pain in my Achilles tendon. Gotten worse as I've gained weight this pregnancy.  So bad the other day I couldn't walk without standing on my tippy toes.

-Knees.  Occasionally pain and popping.  Rehabilitated with PT last year and haven't had many issues since.  Took many months to rebuild strength.

-Toes. Frequently dislocate and audible crunching when bent, especially on my right foot.

- Back. Sciatica that occurs frequently and causes mobility issues and has greatly weakened my left side.

The wrists and the elbow are beyond help without surgical intervention, but I'm hoping that the rest can avoid surgery simply by changing my lifestyle.  I'm currently taking between 2 and 4 percocet a day just to manage the pain.  The next step would be morphine patches and it's not a step I'm eager to take.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Charlie update

Each of my pregnancies have been so vastly different from each other, and this one is so far my most uncomfortable.

With Anthony everything was so new and exciting.  I didn't have any other children to care for, so when I wanted to nap I could, if I felt sick I could relax.  It was awesome.  His pregnancy was difficult because I started out at a much heavier weight than is my normal now, I was 126 lbs when I got pregnant. I also got up to my highest weight in my life, 151 lbs, by the time I delivered him.  Throughout the pregnancy I had extreme morning sickness, every day, without let up.  But even still, I worked my whole pregnancy - sometimes at 2 jobs.  I had jobs that were physically demanding - working at a daycare, and at a restaurant.  I had enormous bouts of energy, and was crazy excited at impending motherhood.  Even though he was born 5 weeks early and I had a placental abruption the recovery was still pretty easy.

With Anastasia I started out at 117 lbs and delivered at 147 lbs.  So even though I gained more that pregnancy I still delivered at a lower weight.  Her pregnancy was absolutely perfect.  I had a ton of energy, I felt amazing, Anthony was a pretty easy going toddler to care for.  I delivered her at 39 weeks, the farthest I've ever gone in pregnancy.  I had no complications during the pregnancy or afterwards.  Her labor was my longest, at 7 hours, but it was the easiest and most calm as well.  The only complaint I have is I ended up with severe post partum depression that lasted heavily for 6 months and continued on through her first year.

With David I started my weight out at 113 lbs and delivered him at 145 lbs. His pregnancy also was harsh with morning sickness and I was placed on medication to help keep food down.  Luckily it stopped during the second trimester and the rest of the pregnancy was semi-smooth sailing.  At 24 weeks and again at 32 weeks I went into preterm labor with him and had to have it medicinally stopped.  Towards the end of the pregnancy I developed sciatica, but it was more a nuisance than an issue.  at 37 weeks 6 days I delivered him after a planned natural birth that lasted a mere 2 hours.  The birth was absolutely awful, and it's something I've struggled to come to terms with.  Why was MY labor so much more unbearable than these amazing natural childbirth stories that people I know have had?  I actually ended up with PTSD and would wake up sweating from nightmares I had of it.  It's only later I learned that people with EDS shouldn't have natural childbirths because they can be more traumatic than a normal persons.  I still mourn his delivery and future deliveries knowing I'll never get my waterbirth or homebirth now.  His recovery was pretty awful.  I felt as if my pelvis had twisted and had issues walking for a few weeks afterwards.  Now I'm learning that may have been SPD.  Only 6 weeks after he was born did I lose the ability to walk, and since then I've lost the use of my arms (but regained my legs!)

This pregnancy began at the same weight as Davids, 113 lbs.  I'm currently up to 141 lbs.  I've been heavier than I am now, but I FEEL at my heaviest.  It's very difficult for me to walk, or sit or lie comfortably.  My energy is at an absolute zero.  Some days it's a struggle to get up out of bed, not only physically but mentally as well.  Yesterday I had to fill a prescription for Chris at Walgreens and walking across the store was nearly impossible.  It's almost like this time around my smaller-than-average frame size is not coping with the nearly 30 lbs of weight I've gained.  I had my last Peri appt yesterday.  He's looking great.  Still engaged and ready to come out, but sitting content it seems.  His hands and feet were both thrown up in front of his face, but we did see his lips and nose.  It appears he has Anastasia's fat pouty lips :) They estimate his weight to be 5 lbs 15 oz, but it could be off 12 oz either way.  I'm hoping it is, the smaller way.  My largest baby was Anastasia at 6 lbs 5.6 oz.  Both of my boys were 5 lbs 13 and 5 lbs 14 oz respectively.  It seems my body can't birth a much larger baby so it tends to push them out when they hit that weight.  So this means Charlie could be coming soon, which I'd like him to bake at least another week or two, so I'm hoping his weight is off in the smaller direction.  Either way, I'll be quite happy when he arrives, I can get my weight back down, I can have my surgeries, and hopefully end up in a much healthier state - both mentally and physically.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Paleo dieting, Phase 1

Chris has been reading up about the Paleo diet (Also known as the Cave Man or Stone Age Diet) and he REALLY wants to do it.  He's been talking to me about it for a few weeks, and I told him I'd support him but I wasn't going to participate.  Well, he might have convinced me to give it a shot.  I'm still skeptical, but the author he has me reading makes a lot of great points (you can check out his site, http://www.marksdailyapple.com/ ) and Chris thinks it will greatly help out the pain and progression of EDS.  Most of my pain comes from secondary Osteoarthritis which Mark claims can be helped by changing the way we live.  It's so much more than a diet, it's a complete lifestyle change. 

A few of the things he advocates are 1) a change in food (obviously).  If our caveman ancestors didn't eat it, neither do we.  If you strive for perfection he believes you'll succeed 80% of the time, so he doesn't expect you to be perfect.  This means eliminating a lot of my favorite foods though, amongst them are potatoes and bread.  The Paleo way does not allow for grains - so no rice, bread, corn, ect....  I could live off bread and potatoes so that is going to be very difficult for me.  I figure my cheat meals will probably include bread and potatoes, lol.  He differs from the Atkins diet in the Atkins is a low-carb diet.  His is not a low-carb diet, it's more a natural carb diet.  You get your carbs from fruits and veggies instead of breads and pastas.  I haven't read the whole book yet, so I hesitate to put too much information out in case I'm wrong.  Chris says that dark chocolate is allowed though, so that makes me happy.  He also advocates for

2) a change in exercise.  He believes we should exercise the way our ancestors did.  Meaning, we should move frequently, but slowly with occasionally sprinting (something I won't be able to do because of the EDS).  Occasionally you should lift heavy things as well, but hard core cardio is out.  This is going to be difficult to find an exercise regime I CAN do with EDS that still fits into this lifestyle.

3) No wearing shoes.  He claims that shoes make our ankles weaker which weakens our lower body and causes pain.  Sarah, my PT, had a similar philosophy about strengthening your lower body strengthens your whole body.  So I can see this.  Obviously in our society no shoes isn't really plausible (no shirt, no shoes, no service) so Chris and I are looking at buying moccasins for the whole family.

As I read more of his book I'm sure I'll have more to write, and as I go through this massive lifestyle change I KNOW I'll more to write/vent about.  It's not going to be easy, but if it helps my EDS how could I not do it?  How could I possible complain about how much pain I'm in, and how much this sucks if I am unwilling to try to change it?  It's similar to people who don't vote. If you don't vote don't complain. 

Phase 1 will take place next weekend.  The Boy Scouts are doing a food drive so we are cleaning out our pantry of unopened items that we won't be able to eat once we begin this and donating them.

Friday, April 2, 2010

34 Weeks 1 day

I had my OB appt this afternoon.  It was supposed to be your standard in/out appt but turned into a two hour appt instead.  Charlie has never been much of a mover.  I can get him to shift if I poke at him, I see his little feet and butt come up a lot, and he gets hiccups a few times a day but that's about the extent of his movement.  Every appt Dr. Schropp checks his movement and every time I tell him he's not much of a mover but he IS moving.  Today Dr. Schropp said he was just not happy with that response any longer, that by now we should feel 3-4 movements an hour and he should have active times.  So he wants me to start doing NSTs twice a week and coming to see him once a week.  I had my first NST today which was boring but relaxing.  The office was booked up so they sent me across the hall to labor and delivery - which I love the L&D at Midlands.  Their rooms are so huge and the kids got to watch TV the whole time.  It took them over an hour to get a good strip on Charlie, but so far he looks okay.  He had the hiccups for the first few minutes of the NST which was hilarious to listen to.  The kids got a kick out of that.  I also was displaying mid-range contractions on the monitor (the little gauge thing was getting in the 50's), so I'm supposed to try to take it easy and rest when I'm having them.  Otherwise everything looks pretty good.  They started registering me as well so I'll have less to do when I go into labor.  They are just totally awesome, and I'm really going to hate not being here with future children.

We also cleared it with the nurses for taking the placenta home.  Chris doesn't want to encapsulate it himself so he's hiring a specialist to come to the house when I'm still in the hospital to do it for us.  She wanted us to make sure the hospital didn't have any red tape we needed to jump through.  The nurse told us they marked it in my chart, and that we'd just need to bring a cooler.  They used to have a freezer to store them, but now they just throw them away so they no longer have the freezer available.  They told us they'd supply a container, and ice as well.  I'm really glad they aren't making me feel strange for doing this, they didn't even bat an eye.  Chris told them that we'd also be supplying our own diapers and would not want any disposables being used - and they marked that as well without any issue.

I go back on Tuesday for another NST, and then again on Friday for another NST and an appt.  That's going to be the new schedule until I deliver, which they think may happen in about 3 weeks.