So, you’ll be happy to know, Deedee has settled in pretty well. She’s a complete sweetheart. She was really skittish and hid a lot at first, but now she comes out quite a bit, and she even plays with Blueberry. She comes in my room several times a night and lays with me, usually for only twenty minutes at a time. It’s funny though, because she and Blueberry are really possesive over me when I’m sleeping. They both don’t want to let the other sleep with me and they get upset at each other if the other tries to! I must be popular.

We had a barbecue a couple days ago because Dan’s grandma from texas was down. It was fun. It was a lot of work, but it was fun. I even got to hold Kayli (my neice) for more than five minutes… for once. We had steak, shrimp alfredo, salad, corn on the cob and strawberry shortcake. It was fun, even though it rained. The only thing that could have made it better was no rain, a bonfire and s’mores.

I’ve been working on my review blog quite a bit. I do have to say, I’m impressed with how well its doing. I didn’t think it’d take off so fast, but it has! I have reviews left and right! I’m running behind what I’d like my schedule to be, but it’s fine. It keeps me busy. I usually end up taping and writing my reviews on the weekends when I can have one of the kids, or my friend Maryah come over and help me tape them and conduct them. I love it.

I’ve finished my first manual for my childbirth educator training; communication. I can’t really say that I’ve learned a lot from it, because I just took a communication class at the college, at the same time as I was working on the manual, and I have to say, a lot of the concepts were pretty much the same. But I guess it’s a good refresher. The only thing that wasn’t really covered in my college class was the last section on miscarriage and grief.

We’re supposed to write a reflective communication paper, about something we’ve gone through that changed our lives, something we learned from, an experience that really changed us. For me, that’s the loss of my baby Jacey. I know it wouldn’t be genuine if I wrote about something else… So, I’m going to write about it. I’m really nervous about it. I started crying today just reading the section about miscarriage and grief. It was a short section, but still, it was hard to get through. I don’t know how I’ll be able to get through writing a huge paper about it.

I’ve been wanting to do something special, in remembrance of Jacey. But the problem was that I couldn’t think of what to do. It’s so hard to do something special… But then it just presented itself to me. Dan’s sister is on the committee for a new playground they’re building in Soldotna. And they are “selling” fence pickets as a way to help donate to the park’s construction. If you “buy” one for $30, they will route whatevet you want into it. I’m going to get one that says “Jacey Van Vleet.” I was only going to have it say Jacey, but after I told Dan, he told me I should put her last name too.

I really like the idea of putting her name in the park. She was a baby. And I like to think of her playing in heaven with all of the other babies and children taken too soon. A playground seems like a fitting place to remember her. And a playground is a happy place. It isn’t somewhere you go with a deep sense of sorrow, like a graveyard. It’s somewhere you can go happily, and excited.

And one day, when we go, I’ll tell Maddi and Danny about their sister in heaven.

I don’t know how many people I’ve actually told about my back issues, but if I haven’t, then I am now.

I haven’t had back pain for a long time. I mean, I had the occasional back ache here and there just like anyone does, but I never had true back pain until I was pregnant with my son. It wasn’t too terrible until the end, but I mostly attributed it to part of being pregnant. I was carrying my son much differently than I had carried my daughter. My daughter widened me side to side, while my son widened me front to back. I figured this difference in positioning was to blame for the pain.

The pain was especially bad right after my sons birth. I had labored for 11 hours before having a cesarean. Honestly, I think I could have delivered him vaginally had I had more support, but I was tired, and in pain, and I gave in and gave up. Next time, I will have a doula. No ifs ands or buts. But like I said, I labored for 11 hours, then delivered via cesarean.

I don’t think the cesarean is to blame for my back pain. The pain isn’t located near the epidural site. The pain is actually lower, near the lumbar vertebrae, starting with the part of my spine level with the illiac crests of my hips.

When he was first born, it just ached. It would feel better if I put my hands on my lower back, and leaned back and popped it. I tried not to, but my back would hurt so bad, and it would “lock up,” where I couldn’t move and falling asleep became painful. I usually only popped my back once a day. Then, it would be fine for a while. But it progressively got worse. It got to where I couldn’t pop it how I normally did, and I discovered if I laid down on my stomach and bent my knees and moved my legs slowly (so that my feet touched my bum) and then kind of arched my back, that it would pop, and I could have some kind of temporary relief. However, just like before, it got to the point it hurt too much.

It got to the point that whole area of my spine just hurt. It was tender, it ached, and any kind of movement that directly or indirectly affected that area of my back was uncomfortable and I tried to avoid it. When my back locked up, I couldn’t really pop it anymore because it hurt too much. If I tried, I would end up almost crying.

To top it off, I slipped on our amazing Alaskan ice a couple weeks ago, and ever since, the pain has been almost ten times worse.

So, when I was at the doctor for my monthly check up (I’m on Ritalin, so I have to have a monthly check up) I told them about it. I had been on a small dose of pain medication for it beforehand (I usually only took it one or two times a week when the back pain was worse than normal), but it wasn’t bringing any kind of relief, so I made the decision to ask about it. I asked about being referred to a chiropractor, because I’ve heard a lot of good about them, but they wanted to order an x-ray first to make sure it wasn’t something to do with a fracture or bone placement. So, I had the x-ray done, and I’m waiting for them to call me and tell me what the results are. They did talk about doing an MRI to see if it’s something to do with the muscles, but I really don’t think it’s muscular. I mean, it could be, but I really feel like it’s a bone thing.

They prescribed me a higher dose of the pain medication, and combined it with a muscle relaxant, and gave me these pain patch things in the meantime. The combination works and it does help alleviate the pain, but I don’t want to be taking/using them forever. I’m really hoping the x-ray will give them a better idea of what’s wrong with it, and hopefully, whatever it is, is treatable and repairable. I really don’t like the idea of having to depend on these medications just fir my back not to hurt. It makes me nervous. My mom has really bad back problems, so I can’t help but worry that I’m going to as well. I’m 21. If it’s bad now, what’s it going to be like when I’m 40?

On top of that, I plan on trying for another baby in the next year or two, and I really don’t want to be in horrible back pain when I’m pregnant. Being pregnant is hard enough, you know? I don’t want to have back problems when I’m pregnant. So, getting all of this cleared up and figured out before I get pregnant is probably a good idea.

Wish me luck, and pray that the doctors are able to help me.

Sources-
http://sideeffectsofxarelto.org/current-xarelto-lawsuits/

When I was in Anchorage with Bre several months back, getting Maddi’s social security number, I picked up a couple pregnancy journals. The first one, I did it for Maddi all about my pregnancy with her. Ironically, I worked on most of hers during my pregnancy with Danny. Today, I started working on Danny’s.

It’s kind of funny how I found out I was pregnant. Bre and I had been living in an apartment together in Kenai. It was this really trippy, bomb-shelter, underground apartment. Tiny, studio apartment.

I had some pregnancy tests leftover from when I lost Jacey. And I don’t even know why we decided to take them, but we did. Probably because they had the droppers to put the pee on the test so it was kind of like a science experiment. I remember Bre saying something like to that effect.

We took the tests and left them in the bathroom. I don’t really remember what we did after that, but we got distracted. We ended up going on a walk down to paradisos and getting chicken wings, and later that evening, Bre went in the bathroom and next thing I know she calls out to the living room, “Umm… Sam? You know you’re pregnant, right?” I went in there and sure enough, my test was positive. I asked her “You sure that ones not yours?” and she just laughed at me and said “I’m sure.”

I don’t remember what went through my head. Shock? Maybe it was because I didn’t really think I was pregnant. I had logical reasons to suspect, but after what happened with Jacey, I was for sure there was something horribly wrong with me and that every little sign and symptom was just my imagination working overtime. After all, you can’t get pregnant so soon after losing a baby… can you?

I was filling out the journal, and the prompt was “When I found out I was pregnant, my first feeling was:” and I just stopped for a moment.

My first thought wasn’t even a thought. It was a swirling cloud of eighty thoughts hitting me all at once. I couldn’t even logically separate the thoughts or isolate them and figure out what I was feeling. All I was feeling was the emotion and feelings behind the thoughts. I couldn’t put words to them. I couldn’t say happy, sad, scared, excited. I was just feeling the intensity of it all instantaneously and simultaneously. It was all very confusing, and very frightening.

I feel guilty for that. Shouldn’t a mother-to-be’s first thoughts be something more special, or hell, even slightly less plural and a great deal less contradicting of each other? I felt guilty knowing that my first thought wasn’t something the typical response from elated new mothers. I felt guilty for not jumping for glee and exclaiming for everyone to hear “Oh my gosh! I’m going to be a mommy!”

I felt guilty because if I had to pick, my first thought was:

“What if this baby dies too?”

I never really thought of it like this. Not until today. Not until I started filling out my pregnancy book for Danny. I never made the connection before. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to, or maybe I just avoid thinking about it and so the obvious didn’t jump out at me like it could have? It’s hard to see something if you spend your life pretending its not there. The allegory of the cave.

When I filled out Maddi’s book, my answers were pretty simplistic. Happy, excited, typical expectant mother dribble. The only thing less than “a baby story” typical in Maddi’s book was that she wasn’t planned. But everything else was.

“We were so happy!” “I couldn’t wait to find out if you were a girl or a boy.” “Daddy and I wondered what you’d look like.” “I gained a lot of weight.” “Everyone was so happy.” “I fell in love with you when I saw you at the first ultrasound.” “I couldn’t wait to meet you face to face.”

As I continued filling out sections of Danny’s book, I kept seeing how vastly different my entries for him were compared to my entries in Maddi’s book. Maddi’s book was full of what I call, “sunshine and rainbow” statements. And with Danny’s… I may not have wrote them, but I realized that every positive feeling I had about the pregnancy, was shrouded in fear.

I wasn’t picking out names. I wasn’t ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all of the cute baby clothes. I wasn’t having planning special ways to share the joyous news. I wasn’t excitedly awaiting my first doctor’s appointment so I could catch my first precious glimpse of my baby on the ultrasound.

I was wondering if my baby would even get a legal name. I was wondering if I’d ever get a chance to put my baby in clothes. I was wondering how long I needed to hide my pregnancy until it was “safe” so I wouldn’t have to endure the heart-wrenching pain of explaining that my child died everytime someone unsuspectingly asked how the pregnancy was going. I was terrified of my first ultrasound because I was afraid they would tell my my baby was dead.

Everything I did terrified me. For even the simplest actions I took, I would rationalize and debate every possible consequence or reprecussion there could be. Making even the simplest decision was enough to throw me into tears because no matter what choice I made with anything, I was, in my mind, convinced that something horrible would happen. And no matter how healthily I lived, somehow, somethng would go wrong, and the end result would be the same.

I would have another dead baby.

It didn’t matter to me that I had Maddi, not for argument’s sake. The fact I had a healthy child and pregnancy in the past meant nothing. It wasn’t credible evidence in my arguments with myself. It was a fluke. Somehow something happened and I got lucky with her, but never again. The mindset I was in, was that I had only a one in a trillion chance of having a healthy baby. I hit it once with Maddi, and there was no way I could beat those odds a second time. I was doomed.

Only now, after filling out some of the sections of that book, do I realize how much I took for granted when I was pregnant with Maddi. I was “depressed” that they couldn’t tell me if she was a girl or boy at only 12 weeks. I was pouting about looking pudgy instead of pregnant. I don’t think that the thought that anythng could possibly go wrong with my baby or pregnancy even crossed my mind. The potential for something terrible happening wasn’t even on my radar. How naive and stupid I must have sounded. How naive and stupid I was. If only I had been aware of the terror pregnancy can truly bring.

Even now, I worry. I’m not pregnant, nor do I intend to become so for a while, but whenever I even entertain the thought of having another baby in the future, or daydream about it, I’m filled with fear. I want more children, more than anything in the world, but even if Dan were to tell me tonight, “Let’s try for another baby.” I don’t think I could. Even with as much as I bug him and whine and pout to him about how I want another baby… I don’t think I could go through with it. I’m so terrified of something going wrong, something happening to my baby, that I don’t know if I could put myself through that again, and if we hadn’t gotten pregnant with Danny immediately after I lost Jacey, I can’t say that I would have tried to have another baby. It’s one thing for me to say I want another baby, and to genuinely want another, which I do, but it’s completely different to jump from talking and wanting, to actually doing. I really want more babies, more than anything in the world… But I’m terrified. Even just thinking about it now. It terrifies me. To the point I just want to cry. I’m so scared of it happening again and I don’t know if I could handle it. I really don’t.

(I’m lazy. I copy+pasted this from an email i wrote a friend.)

I got my wisdom teeth yanked yesterday and let me tell you, it was a NIGHTMARE! They used 12 vials of the novacaine on me (I’m hard to numb) and finally did a ligamental on each corner of each tooth and then yanked them. I felt okay the first few hours afterwards, aside from the massive bleeding and having to switch the gauze so much (I can’t stand seeing large amounts of my own blood unless it’s in a vial or something) but as soon as I was able to feel my face again I started passing out and throwing up non-stop. I was JUST able to eat something for the first time a couple hours ago. It sucks. I must have gotten sick at least a dozen times. It’s terrible! I’m still only eating things like Jell-O, applesauce and gatorade. I had a small bowl of potate soup but I didn’t feel so great afterwards. I had to call up my OB doctor and get a prescription for Zofram called in. It’s a REALLY effective anti-nausea medication. Works well. I was in the hospital with a virus for three days in March, and thinking about WATER made me sick. They gave me the zofram and all of a sudden i wanted a cheeseburger! lol It’s pretty strong stuff. You have to remember to take the second dose in time, or you’ll end up puking up everything you ate while the first dose was working, which sucks. I went to my grandma’s afterwards because there was just no way I could take care of Maddi and Danny while I’m on pain meds for the teeth and sleeping so much from the nausea medicine. She’s been an amazing help. I still feel pretty lousy but i think I’ll feel at least decent by tomorrow. Click here to find the best toothbrushes to use after getting your wisdom teeth out.

https://toothbrushtalk.co.uk/list-of-electric-toothbrush-reviews/

On a lighter note, I got some pretty nasty pictures of my teeth after they were taken out! EWW! I’ll post those later!

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