Friday, June 28, 2013

The Burden

This post has been waiting for a long time.  Feels like forever.  Almost 3 months.  Because I'm finally in my second trimester, our baby is safer, and this (our final pregnancy) seems to be moving along as we always hoped every pregnancy would.  

To say keeping my mood positive has been a challenge is definitely an understatement.  For 3 months, every day, I run to the bathroom waiting for blood (which has happened and sent me into hysterics).  I've been sick, so sick, but unwilling to take the zofran because feeling sick is my only hope this baby is going to be ok--going to survive.  Unlike all the others. Because for repeat offenders, a heartbeat at 6 weeks does not drop your miscarriage rate to 5% like all other people--it still hovers somewhere around 25% until 14 weeks.  So even though the gluten free diet has seemed to be the single link to all our losses, my strict adherence doesn't reduce our chances.  So every day I feel terrified.  Moments, seconds of security, follow only directly after my weekly OB appointments.  Then my fears steadily escalate until the next appointment.

Somewhere around 10 weeks I found the heartbeat on my Doppler and was able to make it two agonizing weeks between appointments--but my fears never have really diminished.  I have so much guilt.  I wish I could be overjoyed for this baby like he deserves.  I remember, a similar feeling with Lloyd and it took feeling him move steadily inside of me to assuage my fears.  I should have that luxury soon.  Then maybe I can begin to day dream about this child's birth and holding them within my arms, safe and alive.  And maybe the nightmares that wrack my soul waking me in tears will end.  Horrible debilitating dreams that do nothing to assuage my mind.

No one can comprehend the fear a mother lives with after losing so many children.  There is a reason this is our last pregnancy.  I cannot endure this mental warfare again.  If my wonderful husband had not wanted, so endearingly and heart-breakingly, to have another biological child I would not have consented.  Even then, only under the agreement of one more.  No one wants to talk about infant loss much less the mental struggle you'll endure with another pregnancy, no matter how much you prayed for it.  

I'm hoping to post the big brother photos of Lloyd more publicly (read: Facebook) once we know the sex (Coach adamantly wants to know and I don't care, as long as I get my baby).  I'll feel safer then.  Although I'm not hiding it any more beneath billowing shirts and avoiding lunch dates.  If I'm going to puke on you, you deserve to know why.  

Our last 1st Trimester appointment was today and, therefor, our last unscheduled "special" ultrasound.  We will have our regularly scheduled diagnostic ultrasound at 18 weeks and then visit the paranatologist for a fetal echo around 20, to make sure we've avoided that wonderful genetic hurdle from both Coach and I.  But 14 weeks, still shocked to have made it.  So grateful for this life growing inside me.  Keep praying!

Please Lord,
Keep this baby safe and beating. 
Allow our family to feel complete and have the joy of a new life held within our arms.
Please God, do not take this child from me. Please.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

You Might Have A Boy If...

1.  This is a frequent occurrence and topic of conversation:
"Yes Bubba"
"I farted down. BAD."

2.  Part of your night ritual is picking up toy cars, play tools, and every flashlight in the house.

3.  The words "LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!" Fly out of your mouth regularly. No explanation needed.

4.  You never, ever, bring enough snacks--even if he ate an adult portioned lunch. 

5.  You are repeatedly informed who in the house poops. "Dadda, at work. Dadda come home, poops." "Momma, [pause] go poop?"

6.  You have to return a toy and he sees a toy chainsaw and throws an ever-loving-fit. So much for that educational toy you had had your eye on, not worth the screaming. Then this happens through Costco because it happens to be one of "those" parenting days:

7.  You already dread puberty (see #3).

8.  You are already an expert at applying butterfly's.

9.  No matter what you do or offer him to play with, everything is a gun. Even stuff that isn't even close. 

10.  You get the sweetest cuddles and kisses on this earth.

Being a boy mom is the best! I cannot imagine anything better!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gluten Free Pancakes: Updated

UPDATE 10/17/2013: After experimenting with the recipe some more I found an easy solution to the lack of egg-based fluff in these pancakes. Before I start mixing the flours I pour about 2 cups of almond milk into my measuring cup and add a splash of apple cider vinegar and mix it. This, for all intensive purposes, makes "buttermilk" from your almond milk--giving them that extra lift! Perfect! I'd say it sits, on average, for about 5 minutes to reach full faux-buttermilk. The recipe has been edited to reflect my awesome accidental discovery!

Gluten Free Hearty Pancakes

1/2 cup GF AP Flour
1/2 cup Almond Flour 
1/2 cup Potato Starch
1/4 cup Sorghum Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Xanthum Gum
Dash salt

2 Tbsp Melted Butter
2 tsp Honey
Approximately 2 cups Vanilla Almond Milk
1-2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Large Banana

Mix all dry ingredients together really well with wire whisk. A personal preference about the almond flour: I just put almonds in my food processor, I like it a little "chunky" and not smooth like the store bought almond flour. Begin with 1/2 cup of milk, honey and butter, and whisk into dry ingredients.  Continue adding milk until the batter reaches pancake consistency, I tend to err on the side of too thick until making the first pancake.  You can always add more, but can't take away!

Using your whisk, mash banana into batter until well broken up and combined.  Heat your non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Spray your pan with non-stick spray and cook pancakes.  GF pancakes tend to take a bit longer and need those tell-tale bubbles throughout most of the pancake before they're ready.  You will also have to spray the pan after every pancake, another difference.  

Note: the reason I don't put specific measurements on the milk is because I never use the same amount, and I've encountered this with all the GF pancake and waffle recipes I've tried and used.  I just like the texture of these flour combinations the best.  It tastes the most like a light grain pancake because the great bite the almond flour gives it.  

And just in case you want the GF AP Flour mix I use:

3 cups Brown Rice Flour
1 cup Potato Starch
1/2 cup Tapioca starch

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Second Birthday Lil' Bear

(Somewhere in the insanity of early pregnancy I forgot to hit publish on this.  Here's my letter to him when he turned one, too)

June 15, 2013

My little bear-

Goodness gravy child, slow down! You are a growing, moving, changing little boy.  You don't ever look like a baby any more; you are so acrive and curious--and goodness are you smart.  Your Daddy and I can barely keep up. I mean you started potty training yourself at 17 months and are fully trained by 2 years! Unheard of! What took you so long was your total fear or pooping--you would waddle around tehhouse moning "poop poop" and squeezing your butt cheeks together. Then you finally gave in just a few short weeks ago and the next day we heard "Momma! Suckah!! Suckah!! Poopah down!!"  screamed accross the house from your bathroom.  We were laughing so hard I had a difficult time unwrapping your sucker treat. What a hoot you are!

There are so many aspects of your personality I see from your Dad and Aunt Caitlin--it somehow makes up for being my mini-clone.  There is a little mischievous twinkle in your now hazel eyes that we distinctly remember from your namesake--genetics is a scary thing my love.  But you are also so incredibly affectionate.  You ask to "cuddah" (cuddle) all the time and whenever you et picked up after a very exuberant "up, peeease!" you give wonderful hugs.  You still tuck perfectly into my side and are most comfortable sleeping, napping, and reading books there. Although your body now reaches from my shoulder to my knees! When you used to nurse in that position you barely reached my hip and it reminds me every time how quickly you have changed. I love this age but it is already such a difference--you have to be so busy and entertained.  We have started going crafts and baking and I htink you enjoy the mess it creates the most.  Boys.  :)

Your Dad and I keep thinking about how much we will miss this age. You are so fun and keep us laughing with your goofy personality.  Yet, still, you retain our favorite aspects of being a baby--your cuddling, your wonder at all things, the baby giggles, the way you rub your eyes when you are sleepy, the sound of your tiny feet slapping on the hardwoods every morning when you wake before I hear "MOMMA!" and you come cuddle in bed, and your cute and tiny butt prancing around the house (you hate underwear).  But I love the imagination, active play, independence, flexibility, and communication this age has begun.  How much you change! What an amazing man you will become. 

We are so blessed to be your parents, 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

First ER Visit

Well last night marked the first time Lloyd required an ER visit.  During his shower he fell, still no idea how or why, and hit the back of his head on the tile lip/step into the shower. Effectively breaking open a 1" gash, square center in the back of his head.  Ironically I had just trimmed his hair with the clippers. Poor guy.

So I run in once I hear that particular brand of scream only a mommy knows (Coach was with him in the shower the whole time).  There they are, Coach holding Lloyd (dripping, both) as blood is mixing with the water and dripping all over the floor and bath mat.  Man head wounds bleed so much.  So I start tearing open 4x4's and mopping up blood trying to just find the source.  At first it looked like the base of his scull but it was just pooling there.  It took a few minutes of pretty fierce pressure to finally get a look at the actual wound and yeesh.  Poor kid.  I think Coach might have forgotten to dry off in his panic but (hilariously) I was the calm one and just gave orders. We managed to scoop Lloyd in his car seat ( I longed for the 1970's and the lack of safety concerns, won't lie) and I applied pressure to the still very much bleeding head while he was completely calm watching a movie on the iPad.  

The closest children's hospital is in downtown Fort Worth and is excellent, but took us 20-25 minutes (Coach said it felt more like an hour. Poor guy).  And holy moly, I do not know why people would ever take their kid to a regular ER--the extra time in the car was immediately made up when absolutely no patients were visible in the waiting room and they get you evaluated by pediatric nurses the second you walk in. Bubbles were blown, stickers given, and the tickle monster might have even procured a few giggles. And we weren't asked to give anything, sign anything, pay our copay until they had him stabilized and we were waiting to see the doctor.  I was so impressed with everyone there. We still had to wait (we were 2 of 5 head wounds waiting stitches/staples, nurse said toddler head wounds are one of the biggest things they see--shocker) but were constantly updated, entertained, and checked on.  

Lloyd screamed when they put the blood pressure cuff on (seriously kid?) and then only once they held him against Coach to staple his head.  He was such a champ! So incredibly brave.  5 staples! And because I am a genius I remembered he would be unable to eat by of their treats (hello dye-filled Popsicles which also have dairy sometimes and dye-filled lollipops) and brought a bag of his organic all fruit, gluten free, dye free, msg free, egg free, dairy free (yes all those things can and are hidden in fruit snacks) gummies.  Once he started those the tears stopped and we were checked out in 5 minutes.  At 11:30.  I was completely done and poor coach had to go to work the next morning, but other than the exhaustion and a tender head (they said the bruise from the fall is actually the painful part which made sense) he (and we) are fine.  He's such a brave boy.  

Today we have watched his favorite movies and probably over indulged him on his favorite fruits, but we're kind of sleepy and very clingy, so I figured one day is ok.  He's in a good mood but trying to keep him from running around too much is the hard part for the first few days.  That and after yesterday's amazing day at the waterpark, now we can't go back unt the staples come out--on his birthday.  Poor bubba.  The gift that keeps on giving. But so grateful he is ok and it wasn't worse. Love this little guy so much.