We went to South Padre Island with Maribel, Carlos, and Nick for Memorial Day. The beach wasn’t as crowded as I thought that it would be. When we got there, we got down, unloaded, and… It started to rain. We had to get back into the car, which made the kids furious, and then went to find something to eat. We had originally planned on doing a BBQ but obviously couldn’t do that with the rain.
We ended up not getting anything to eat and waited out the rain instead. We had almost gone home, but luckily we didn’t as the rain only lasted about an hour. Back on the beach once more, the kids immediately wanted to get in the water and the guys wanted to get the grill on immediately as none of us had eaten since breakfast. Note loved the water this time, which has been a first during all our time at the beach or at pools. It was great to see Note enjoying the water so much, even though it was a little stressful because the waves were so strong and Note is so light that they were literally sweeping her away.
The food was done in an amazingly short amount of time. We quickly gobbled it up before taking the kids back to the water once more. Note did not want to get out! Eventually we did have to get out however as it was getting late and Maribel needed to be home early because she worked the next day.
We got ice cream on our way home. It was so delicious! I haven’t had Dairy Queen in quie some time
Here are a few more pictures from our trip. I love the first two. The first one because I look pretty good pregnant and in a swimsuit. The second because I look so happy and the wave is going right up to my belly. I love the ones of Frank and Note as well because I love seeing Note and Frank make memories together since Frank works so much and he can’t usually make it to things like this.
I really love looking back at old pictures of Note. This morning I was looking back at a bunch of pictures of them where they were sleeping together. Frank enjoys Note more now that she can do more things, but I know he loved that younger baby stage because he got to sleep with Note a lot more. Note dropped the afternoon nap a little while back, and anyway the nap always happened after Frank left to work.
Here is a collage of some pictures where they were sleeping together. The one in the top row in the middle was on Note’s first day home. Can’t believe that was over two years ago! And soon we will have a new little one. The time is going to fly by even faster with the second.
I feel like Frank and Note will always have this special bond. Note loves being in the kitchen with Frank. Note didn’t like Frank too much in the beginning and she’s still kind of iffy about him now occasionally, but she always wants to call him and when they are in the kitchen together is when their dynamic really comes alive.
Frank has Note help him with all sorts of kitchen duties, even cutting little vegetables with a real knife and cracking eggs. Note is great about being responsible in the kitchen, surpringly more responsible than I would expect from a two year old.
While I hope Note finds a love in cooking, I do hope that they do not make it a career only because I see how hard the chef life is for Frank. There’s shit for pay and hardly any time to be with family. The hours a long, the work hard, but for Frank it’s all worth it because he loves it so much. If Note finds that same love and passion, I’ll wish them only the best if they make it a career.
Anyway, I’ll end this post here. I’m still typing on my phone and it’s rather annoying due to the crack in the screen and the lag on the keyboard.
When isn’t it a busy life, right? It’s been busier as of late though.
First of all, we made the move into my grandmother’s house. We only planned to stay there for a short while before getting a place of our own somewhere, but unforseen circumstances changed that.
Twelve days ago, Frank attempted to kill himself. He did so by running my truck into a pole with no seat belt on. My truck is pretty close to totaled, but Frank is thankfully alive and well. His decision to try and end his life came from depression he has never dealt with and alcohol abuse. He is now getting help with both and doing so much better. He finally seems happy again and I’m seeing the person I fell in love with in him once more.
We’re looking for a new car and did some car shopping today. We haven’t really decided what we want to get yet, but we know that we’re more fond of crossovers and hatchbacks, especially hatchbacks. Shopping for a car is strangely exciting. I really enjoy doing it, even if it is also a little stressful.
Frank isn’t living with us until he is sober for six months, possibly until Treble is born if he does really well with his rehab. Note is taking that a little hard and really misses him, but it gives Frank motivation to work towards staying away from alcohol. Even though alcohol was ruining his life, I can see he isn’t completely free from its control. He talks about wanting to get “well enough” to where he can have a beer again and be okay. I don’t like being discouraging at these times, but I don’t think that’s the way alcoholism works at all. His therapist told him he has bigger problems than that and needs to focus on them and fixing them. I would be happy if Frank never took a drink again, and I would be more than ready to never take a drink again along with him.
Well, that’s all the time I have for updates right now. This pregnancy is really taking it out of me and I’m much more tired than usual. Time to get the toddler in bed so I can go to sleep myself!
More pictures in my next post if I find my laptop charger by then.
Ah! I kind of fell into old habits and stepped away from this blog for a bit. I had another appointment two weeks after I got my official due date just to make sure everything was okay. I went alone to this appointment because Frank was tired. He stayed with Note and I enjoyed my time to myself. I was able to hear the heartbeat, which was 120 bpm. Note’s heartbeat was always 160 and above. Treble measured an entire eight days ahead of where I am based on my due date. Note always measured right on time, so this is an interesting twist, and I wonder what it will mean as far as delivery goes.
By the time I have my next appointment with the OB, I’ll be 11 weeks 3 days, but Treble will be measuring 12 weeks 4 days if the measurements this time weren’t just a fluke. That’s such an exciting time because the baby will definitely look like a baby, and we should be able to see all the limbs flailing around. That was one of my favorite things about my appointments when I was pregnant with Note. If it wasn’t for that, I would probably cut out the OB care.
We also had a visit with the midwife. That helped immensely in helping ease my worries. They said I could deliver there despite my herpes. I was worried that would disqualify me from being low risk and I would be forced to deliver in a hospital. Of course, I still will need a c-section if I am having an outbreak at the time of delivery. I really hope that doesn’t happen. Honestly, I think I will go so fast this time I won’t even have time to go in and get a c-section. I have to be hyper-vigilant for signs of labor when the time comes. Hopefully I can recognize it better now that I’ve been through it once.
The midwife visit was pretty standard. A lot of history and “how are you feeling?” I’ve forgotten how long those visits take.
In other news, Note has officially stopped breastfeeding. Note would ask me occasionally if they could have milk. We tried breastfeeding again and they latched on. It hurt me immensely and they gave me this look while latched, a smile on their lips, but I think they knew it would be the last time that we would be doing that. The next day, the led me to the fridge and asked me for “milk”, then took out the gallon of cow’s milk from the fridge. So, that’s it. At 23 months, our breastfeeding journey has come to its natural conclusion. Its a very bittersweet thing.
So, that’s pretty much everything that’s been going on around here. Nothing to report but me getting more pregnant and Note getting bigger. They’ll be two in about a month. I’m not 100% sure what we’re going to do as far as a party. I’m thinking a very small, subdued get-together at the park. Nothing big, and Frank will make sausage and burgers on the grill. Quick and easy. Not sure if we will do a theme or anything yet. I need to talk to Frank about it a bit more.
And here it is, for the first time in print ANYWHERE, a year and a half later, Note’s birth story. Eventually I’ll repeat this to Note every year on their birthday. It’s a tradition I picked up from my mother in law (she even made up a fake birth story to tell me on my birthday) that I absolutely love.
I went to bed on April 20th, 2014 filled with relief that I had reached full term and finally letting go some of the anxiety about having a baby before my due date (which isn’t actually bad, but I’m quite neurotic after all). I remember my last thought before I drifted off to sleep was “You can come any time you want now, baby.”
I woke up the next morning feeling strange. It is a feeling I can’t quite describe and I’ve never felt before, but I just felt inexplicably different. I knew, without knowing how I knew, that I would be holding a baby in my arms instead of my belly by the end of the day. I got up, went to the bathroom, and lost my mucus plug. That must have been some time around nine am. I was getting belly aches, which I suppose were contractions, but they didn’t actually hurt. They were a strange sensation that made me uncomfortable and not want to be sitting, but they weren’t actually painful. Frank still had days off at the time (how I long for those once more now!) so we had a pre-natal appointment scheduled for two pm. We called the midwife and told her what was going on. She asked how far apart my contractions were, and when I said three minutes, she didn’t believe me and told me I must be counting wrong (bitch please, I’m an engineer) and said to just wait for my appointment.
Frank loaded everything up into the car that I had listed for our bags, which we were going to find out was a really unnecessary amount of stuff. It felt like an eternity to have to wait for our appointment, but we somehow managed. Frank tried to force me to eat, but I really didn’t want to put anything in my mouth at the time. We left around noon to go to Wesleco and get to the birth center. I threw up along the way, and I was so glad I had decided to keep trash bags and towels in the truck in fear of this.
Our appointment went well. Wight, blood pressure, listening to Note’s heart, etc. They did a cervical check and I had just barely entered active labor at four centimeters dilated. By this time, the contractions had started to pick up (and they finally believed that they were coming three to four minutes apart) and actually started to cause pain. Heather, the midwife and the only one on duty, told me it would be a while before I had a baby, so I could go home and wait or stay there and wait. Luckily, I’m extremely stubborn and I decided not to leave. This decision was probably the best one I made throughout the whole ordeal. We were ushered into a random birth house and told to wait there and take a nap and rest up. I somehow managed to sleep a bit between contractions, but most of the time I was crying and screaming that I wouldn’t be able to do this and I wanted an epidural. I went into the shower every time there was hot water and took a nap in the tub for a while too. We called and asked for Heather a few times, asking her to bring some Tylenol for pain relief, but she never showed up. We just kept being told she was really busy.
At some point a little after 5:30 I really felt like I had to poop. I went to the toilet and started trying to have a bowel movement, but couldn’t force it out. I went to cry (literally cry) to Frank about how I just really wanted to poop and he told me to try again, so I went back to the bathroom. I couldn’t force anything out yet again, and something just clicked in me to reach into my vagina and check for the baby. I almost fainted when I could feel the bag of waters around Note’s head. I yelled for Frank and told him to call Heather now because I was having that baby if she was there to catch it or not.
Heather (finally) arrived about ten minutes later. Her nurse started getting the tub ready for a water birth. At first, before later, I had been quite against a water birth just for fear, but once I was in labor I found that water was the only thing that soothed my misery. She was leading me to the tub when she decided to check my cervix instead, so we went back to the bed. I was fully dilated and effaced and she could easily feel Note’s head.
I could barely walk to the tub and climb in, but somehow I made it, whining all the while about how I wanted some pain relief and asking if I had other options than having a baby, as well as, very awkwardly, asking “why is this happening?” Luckily, everyone was smart enough to leave that question alone. The water barely covered anything at all, and my greatest fear was realized: I pooped in the water. I didn’t care at the time, and I don’t really care now. But before labor I was really worried about it.
It took two pushes, one for the head and one for the body, and then Note was born at 5:55 pm.My water never broke, and Note was born en caul, a quite rare and special experience. Note’s umbilical cord was also wrapped around their neck twice, which was scary, and I tried to unwrap it myself but they were slick with birth stuff. Heather was great at this point, freeing Note without pushing my fumbling hands away. While waiting to deliver the placenta, I took Note in my arms and tried to latch them for the first time. They did it and nursed like a champ. It was such a magical moment, and all the fears and reservations I had about being a mother simply melted away in that moment. That was when I knew that Note would be my child forever.
At some point, I wanted relief from the awkward position we were sitting in, so we migrated everything to the bed. The placenta still wasn’t ready to be delivered, but the cord had stopped pulsating so we were ready to cut it. We had discussed with Heather before that Frank would be cutting the umbilical cord with his chef knife, and he did. He still uses that knife as his primary knife to this day. He does want to retire it until he begins working somewhere else, but he hasn’t found a knife he likes enough to replace it with yet.
Once the umbilical cord was cut, Note was taken to be weighed and measured (7 lbs 7 oz and 19 3/4 in long) with Frank watching while I delivered the placenta. That wasn’t a painful experience at all, except for Heather’s hand pressing on my mid-section. After it was delivered, she showed it to me and explained how healthy it looked and what made it so. That was a really interesting lesson as I love learning all sorts of new things, and I had never read any of that in the pregnancy and childbirth books.
Note footprints and handprints were taken for the baby book, and after that we were left to be a family. Maribel arrived late, so she completely missed the birth, but it was nice to have her there for support once Note was born. She took a couple of pictures and helped us out with packing things up once more. We barely got any of the thousand items I thought we would need down, and didn’t use almost any of them at all. Really, all that was needed was some clothes for me, a diaper, and an outfit for Note. And don’t forget the always-important carseat.
We left as soon as we were discharged. We thought about staying the night because Frank was on house arrest at the time and this was our chance to be out and also be alone as a family. We ultimately decided against it and just went straight home. Note didn’t mind the carseat or car ride, and I sat in the back with them.
Once we got home, Frank’s mom was waiting for us. She didn’t impose, just wanted to see the baby, know how it went, etc. She has become like a surrogate mother to me, so I was more than happy to have her there. I couldn’t imagine having to stay in the hospital for three days with my newborn. The next day, Frank and I were out and about showing Note off and running errands. I can’t imagine being bed-ridden due to a c-section either. Overall, a vaginal delivery was amazing. I loved giving birth and would do it a hundred thousand times if my body would let me. More than anything, I loved becoming a mother, and I absolutely cannot wait to do it again.
I’ve never been good with keeping up with writing on a schedule. Every time I make a blog, it seems to fall flat due to my own inability to set aside some time to do one of the things I love the most – WRITE! (Un)fortunately, I’m at a point in my life where a lot of things are about to start changing. Some of these changes will be positive, while others will be negative. This means that I will NOT allow this blog to die like I have let it for the past year and a half.
I don’t believe I’ve ever gone into the details of my relationship situation/structure on this blog, and I hardly ever disclose the details in my real life unless such a question or situation arises where a clarification is needed. Frank and I are in an open and poly-amorous relationship. I will go more into what this means and how our relationship works in another blog post, but for now I will keep this shorter and simpler.
Frank was diagnosed with herpes this past Saturday. We get the official results this Saturday, but at this point we are pretty certain that he is going through a herpes outbreak. The bad news? We never bothered using condoms with each other (which would have only helped a little, since condoms only reduce the risk of getting herpes by 50%). Now, I’m going through a herpes outbreak myself… without health insurance. It’s not that bad yet, but I’m a few days behind Frank in terms of symptoms, and he’s getting pretty bad while taking medication. I’m not looking forward to facing the same fate without anything to curb the effects. That’s one of the negative changes in my life.
But now let me move onto the positive. His name is Charles and he’s positively wonderful. I haven’t dated outside of my marriage in quite some, so this all feels like new territory to me once again. I met him on the notoriousTinder, infamous for being a cesspool of fuckboys (have I mentioned this is my new favorite word?) and hook ups. Okay, that’s not always as bad as it sounds, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. Either way, I decided to give the app a shot and I met a couple of cool people on there who weren’t total fuckboys. One of these gems was Charles, who instantly caught my eye as he enjoyed reading, writing, and had been in a polyamorous relationship before. Yeah, the beard threw me off a little (I hate facial hair), but it was a small trade off for the personality under the hair.
The only person I have been with since my pregnancy has been T.C. I love his company and we share many interests. He’s kind and respectful. But I always felt there was just a small something missing between us. Not something easily tangible or anything I could put my finger on, probably something that wouldn’t ever cause problems due to being missing, but just enough to cause me to never want to jump fully back into polyamory after my pregnancy. Charles has that little something.
Charles and I are far from an official anything, but we’re both very excited to explore the possibility of something between us. Even if nothing happens, he has reopened my eyes to the beautiful and fulfilling life I can have should I continue down the polyamorous path. I had begun to stray, not necessarily wanting our relationship to become monogamous, but allowing myself to fall into a typical monogamous relationship on my side while Frank went out, flirted, and dated (never mind that one of the two guys he recently dated gave him herpes… Can you tell I’m bitter?).
And another (huge) plus for Charles is that Note absolutely loves him. Note never really liked T.C., and I’ve never been sure why. Note doesn’t like a lot of people though, to be honest, so it’s not usually something I hold against people, but it’s definitely a big positive..
Well, that will be it for my little update this time around. Maybe next time I’ll go into the endless amount of fuckboys I’ve met and the ridiculous amount of laughs they’ve given me.
I’m currently 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I’m so close to the end, but so far! I’ve had two cervical checks so far. The first one was at 37 weeks. I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. The second one was last Monday at 38 weeks. I was 1.5 cm dilated and “very soft”, so I made a little bit of progress but not much. I have been losing bits and pieces of my mucus plug for the last week and a half or so. There was one little chunk that did have a bit of blood in it. I have contractions on and off, but very few of them hurt, so I’m thinking they’re just a lot of Braxton Hicks. Frank has court on Monday the 14th, so I really hope this baby can be delivered before then.
Everything is going well with my pregnancy, so this has just become a bit of a waiting game now. I’ve been bouncing on a birth ball to help Note drop, but this little baby is stubborn and absolutely does not want to drop. I’m hoping it’s not because of my scoliosis. I walk every morning with Frank. It’s not a crazy amount of walking, but he likes to take me out and we go shopping and have been trying to get some things ready before he has court. There are also a few things we need for the baby that we have to get. I will be ordering our playpen tomorrow. Even if Note comes before then, we will just have them sleep in the bouncer or sleep and play until the play pen gets here. Maybe if it takes a while, Frank will get me the bassinet I really want! I doubt it, but I can dream. I know a bassinet is basically useless because they use it for such a short period of time, but I am just so in love with the one that I saw at Burlington.
Even though I don’t have much longer until my due date, I think I will likely be overdue. My midwife even said it was very likely, although I have been progressing little by little and my body seems to be getting ready. Most first time moms go overdue, so it’s not a big deal. The thing that worries me most is that Note hasn’t dropped. All the books and apps say it should have happened by now, but I know of a lot of people on the birth boards who say their first born never dropped but they still went into labor and had no problems, so who knows? Either way, I am just excited to get this show on the road! I want Note to be here soon.
I don’t celebrate Christmas, and my boyfriend is not particularly religious or anything, but we’re both born and raised Catholic and surrounded by them. So, for that reason, we more or less celebrate Christmas. It’s a perfect time to come together with your family regardless, and some of the traditions are really fun. Personally, I celebrate Yule and that’s what we will be celebrating as a family once Note is born. Can’t wait for that!
Anyway, we did a “Secret Santa” gift exchange. We exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve rather than on Christmas Day because Frank got the 24th off of work, but not the 25th. I got Frank’s sister, Jessica, and Frank got me. He got me a new windshield for my truck, which was the perfect gift because I have been complaining about my windshield basically since I’ve met him. It’s been a wreck for three years, but I never got around to getting it replaced. I got Jessica a candle and oil warmer set that she said she wanted one time when we went out shopping together. I hope that she liked it. She didn’t really say much about it, but then she is the quiet type.
On Christmas day, Frank had to work from 3 pm to 11pm. While he was gone, I went to my uncle’s house and had Christmas with my family. They made a lot of food, and the only person to get gifts was my grandma. She looked very cute opening them on the trampoline! When Frank came back home, he was pretty tired so we went to bed and cuddled while we watched a movie (I can’t remember which one). While we were cuddling, I put his hand on my belly like I so often do. I have been wanting him to feel Note for a while, since I know that Note can be felt from the outside and is much stronger now. His/her movements changed from little flutters when I first felt him/her, and now they are much stronger kicks and punches. Well, Note kicked Frank while his hand was on my belly! He finally was able to feel Note move and his face lit up brighter than any Christmas tree I have ever seen. It was such a wonderful and special moment, and the best gift I could ever ask for.
On Tuesday I got up early to do the gestational diabetes test. I had to drink this super sweet fruit punch flavored drink. You’re not allowed to eat or drink anything else for the two hour period. I managed to gulp it down at 7:45 and then I had to wait two hours to do the test. I fell back asleep (the instructions were to take the drink between 7:10 and 8 am) and woke up at about 9:15 because my blood had to be drawn at 9:45 (the doctor is about 10 minutes away). While brushing my teeth to get ready to go the doctor’s, I threw up the drink. We went to the doctor’s anyway, hoping they would still let me do the test although I knew that they wouldn’t. Of course, they told me that I couldn’t do the test. Luckily, I was able to do the rest of the blood work they were going to do that day.
They gave me instructions on pancakes from McDonald’s to eat for the test since my morning sickness seems to be what prevented me from keeping the drink down. I had to do that today, and it was really awesome. I got pancakes and orange juice like instructed, which is one of my favorite breakfast foods. While getting in the car, I started gagging and was scared I was going to throw up and have to do the test again. Luckily, I was able to get the food to stay down.
At the doctor’s office, they just drew some blood and sent me on my way. They asked me if I wanted to find out the gender of the baby again. I’m really on the fence about finding out. Frank stands firm on the fact that he doesn’t want to know, and that is perfectly fine. I really want a boy, so I think that’s why I want to find out but at the same time I would like to wait with Frank to find out. Because of the way we want to birth and who we want in there (our best friend) even after the birth, we won’t find out the gender until our friend leaves the birthing area. Frank doesn’t want anyone to know the gender for as long as we can put it off. It’s an interesting way to parent in my opinion, but I don’t see much negative to it. Gender doesn’t define anyone.
Today is also Frank and I’s one year anniversary! Unfortunately, Frank has to work today so we can’t go out on a nice little date or anything, but we had a fun morning together with the doctor and then going out to look for a rug for the baby’s room. Our life revolves around the baby, but we still find lots of moments to be “just us” together.
I love when Frank talks to my belly. He told the baby last night that he was happy Note could be with us during this of our first anniversary. He said millions of cute things and just made my heart melt. I love him so much and can’t wait to see him tonight!