The Rantings - For Everyone

The Late-Term Ultrasound

So went for that late-term ultrasound I was talking about

As I’ve said before, I have a lot of anxiety surrounding these types of ultrasounds. Basically any late-term tests will make just about any Mom nervous, but late term ultrasounds are my particular Kryptonite. Today made me feel like all my anxieties are 100% justified…

For weeks now, we’ve been going to our prenatal appointments and being told that my weight looks good and I’m measuring right where I should be – even though I feel like I’m tiny for pregnant. Today, the first thing mentioned is that I’m measuring small, am I sure I have my dates right. I explain to them multiple times that I have measured small through all my pregnancies and that a lot of my babies were born really small. I’m also a pretty small person, so don’t get your hopes up on me having the biggest of babies! They bring it up at least two more times during this appointment…

Then, baby’s breech. Honestly came as a shock to me because I was sure she was head down. My baby’s are normally always head down. But, even though I’m still weeks away from my due date, on my 7th pregnancy and having a c-section, it should not have made them all react to the news of a breech the way they did. I felt like I had to be the calming voice of reason for a room full of professionals because everyone seemed to get real worked up over this.

Not even ten minutes into my appointments, only a few measurements in, and the doctor is coming in and pointing out a sign that reads that while they’ll tell us if they find anything, there’s still a 5% chance that our baby will be born with a problem not detected at this late stage of ultrasound. Thank goodness I am a 7th time mother and not a 1st time mother and knew this particular thing, because otherwise I’m sure it would’ve taken me back. And I understand that he’s also a doctor that deals with infertility a lot, so he would tend to put disclaimers all over the place, but I don’t think ten minutes into the appointment was the place to do it…

I told them about a hundred times that because I’m a night owl, my baby is a night owl. She was likely to not move too much or be more lethargic because it’s the day. Generally, she’s up all night kicking and rolling and moving and then is mostly quiet during the day and it’s been this way for awhile now. I tell them this over and over again, and even though she’s visibly moving on the ultrasound and kicking the radiologist, they keep talking about needing to “wake her up” and poking and prodding on my stomach like crazy people!

Even send me for a non-stress test. In which it took three of them to find the baby’s heartbeat, because instead of just once trying to put the Doppler on the part of my stomach where you could visibly see the curve of the baby’s back, they were all trying to put it where the ultrasound told them they would best pick it up. After a few minutes, I picked the damn thing up and moved it over there and instead of strapping it down, they just made me hold it there for the next thirty minutes.

And throughout the whole damn thing, I have this doctor coming in lecturing me about how I need to go to the hospital if I haven’t felt the baby move. I am literally clicking the button saying my baby is kicking, her heart rate is doing the jump and fall that kicks usually produce, the paper is literally giving the exact readout they want and I’m getting a constant stream of going to the hospital about my baby kicking. And I’m doing everything in my power not to roll my eyes and burst out in tears all at the same time..

I left, generally just raging. I kept my polite Canadian face on through the entire exit, but the moment I was out the door, The Boyfriend got to listen to a very big rant. Hate how stupid doctors can be sometimes.


So the next day, my Mom calls me on Facebook to let me know that my doctor called. She’ll be over in a few minutes so I can call her back. I call the doctor back thinking it’s probably nothing, they just want to go over the results of the ultrasound. Nope…

She asks if I can go up to the hospital to see a specialist because my amniotic fluid was quite low. All the kids had just been dropped off to go bowling and thank goodness for my Mom because she was my absolute superhero in the moment. The Boyfriend couldn’t leave work, so she worked out babysitters and re-worked the plans for the kids so that she could drop me off at the hospital.

I spent the next three hours, strapped to the stupid fetal heart rate machine waiting for the specialist to finally come and see me. It was honestly one of the biggest wastes of my time ever. Because all the specialist did was refer us to another specialist to have a more in-depth ultrasound.

I really hate how out of the loop we’ve been kept about a majority of this pregnancy. As I’m laying in the hospital bed, nurses’ station only a few feet away from me, I get to hear about how what I thought was a routine ultrasound was actually a biophysical profile – that our baby failed. That not only did they find only a small amount of amniotic fluid, they also couldn’t visualize the baby breathing (although not an entirely worrisome thing this late on, it would explain why they were all freaking out about “waking her up“). And apparently my baby’s weight has not been right on track, as I’ve been told, throughout a majority of this pregnancy!

And I was especially upset that not once did anyone give me any indication of how this problem of low amniotic fluid is dealt with. Right now, they want to do another ultrasound, that’s all I’ve been told. They’ll come up with a plan after that. From what I’ve read online and in my baby books, it’ll most likely be amnioinfusion (which sounds riskier than I’d like) or delivery (which means baby would be in the hospital for quite awhile before coming home). But I hate relying on information that I read because I know that doctors could literally do anything – even stuff that you’d never read about online. And I understand that it all changes based on the various and specific circumstances related to your particular case, but seriously… I hate being left in the dark!

What people, especially doctors, don’t realize about me is that when I was a kid, I was determined I was going to become a doctor. For fun in my youth, I used to read medical textbooks. To this day, I still get excited when reading medical literature and somehow manage to understand a ridiculously large amount of it. I enjoy medicine and am fascinated by it. I’m also far more comforted by too much medical information than too little.

I mean, here I am at the hospital strapped to this machine. I’m the only patient in this particular testing area with two nurses and a resident. We’re talking away like a bunch of gabbing teens. I even joke at one point when a janitor comes in and one of the nurses is in her way that we’re just having a slumber party in here. We’re talking mostly about medicine, kids and babies – as you do when you’re bored and stuck on the maternity ward! Nonchalantly, I ask what side the liver is on. I’m pretty sure I know the answer (left-side) but wasn’t sure. They literally had to Google it!!! These people are supposed to be trained to know things about the human body and yet they literally had to Google something as simple as basic anatomy.

It just makes you feel like there is no point in seeing doctors because they are just as freaking clueless as the rest of us. It’s all just an educated guessing game. And while I may not have been pre-med or gone to medical school, I seem to be all educated up in this particular situation. I could make just as informed of a guess as they can!

So now, tomorrow we take a two hour trip out to Calgary to do a better ultrasound with a more experienced specialist and then who knows what happens. I’m sincerely hoping that it’s not a situation where we end up having our baby in Calgary. And I’m kinda hoping that they don’t decide to just “closely monitor” this pregnancy, because I really don’t want to be going for tests constantly over the next 5-6 weeks. Especially with how much stress it all causes me. How much rage and upset it all causes me.

I guess we’ll just wait and see…

The Rantings - For Everyone

And… Cue Panic Attack

It is ridiculous to me how much anxiety making grown-up phone calls gives me. When I have to call and book a doctors appointment, it’s like full-out exhaustion-inducing stress. I literally feel the effects of the stress of it all day long. And it’s not like it’s hard or like there’s ever been a bad outcome or like anything bad is going to happen – I can’t explain what it is that stresses me out about it.

Today, I had to call the doctor that will be doing my c-section. They had already had a bunch of appointments booked for me over the next little while, including a late-term ultrasound.

There is nothing that makes me more uneasy and anxious than late term ultrasounds. No matter how many babies I have and how many times I’ve done them, they just give me automatic flashbacks to all the terror and uncertainty of pregnancy with Kaeidyn. I immediately remember 17-year-old me getting my stomach slapped by a doctor and then being told that my baby wasn’t moving and then spending the next few hours in a terrifying rush. I immediately remember the feelings and the fear and the tears and hearing her cry from the first time and just feeling absolutely disconnected from it.

That whole first c-section experience, my first labor experience, just really has left a sour taste on my tongue that has followed me through subsequent pregnancies. And now that we’re doing the c-section and now that we’re not just talking about it but actively booking appointments for it, I’m just bogged down in nerves by it. I just feel like a nervous ball of nervous energy.

And The Boyfriend could not possibly be more distracted. This whole obsession with traveling and camping and becoming wilderness outdoorsman is taking over everything! Literally, I call the doctor and I start lip quivering over how nervous late term ultrasounds make me, and next thing I know he’s planning a camping vacation with the boys – which I’ve been listening to planning and ideas about for three days now! I talk about how we’ve only got a few weeks left until baby is here and the subject swiftly gets changed to the hiking trail he just found that would be so great to do with the boys. His mind is not at all even thinking about baby and c-section and frankly, it is pissing me right off!

You have no idea how many times in the last few weeks, I have to remind him that I won’t be able to do all these things this summer – I will have just gone through major abdominal surgery, I will have just had a baby – and even if those previous two things weren’t happening, I am not an outdoor campy hiking person. You can’t expect me to do 100km of hiking in a summer – which is his ultimate goal right now… And I’m sitting here just like, “Can I have a minute to maybe get over pregnancy first?!?“.

The only time I’ve ever seen him even slightly obsessed with anything half this much is when a new Star Wars movie is coming out. He is just ridiculously obsessed with this camping/hiking idea. It’s all I’ve heard about for a really really long time now. He talks about it non-stop and when he’s not talking about it, he’s sitting on his cellphone literally mapping out trips that he wants to take and places he wants to go. Almost everyday he’s coming home from work with a new area he wants to travel to and a new place he wants to explore and a new campsite he wants to stay at.

On one hand, it’s absolutely freaking adorable. He can be such a passionate Pisces sometimes. On the other hand, can we focus on my pregnancy until it’s over and then be passionately obsessed with other things…?!?

The Rantings - For Everyone

Week of Nervous Wreckage

Long time, no write! My apologies

It’s been a week, to say the least. Not necessarily a good week, not necessarily a bad week. It’s been a week that has been full of emotional ups and downs. It’s been a week that has me utterly exhausted and feeling pregnant in every inch of my body. It’s been a week that I am beyond ready to have over. And it’s definitely been a week that I haven’t wanted to write about (and I’m definitely not enjoying that.. the not wanting to write thing…).

We’ll start at the beginning, Monday. We had our second ultrasound to go to and we were all very excited. The older three kids were hoping to come along, but they ended up getting stuck out at their Dad’s for the day. Carter came with The Boyfriend and I. They waited out in the waiting room while I traveled back with the technician. It was a long ultrasound and after about forty-five minutes, she asked if we could do an internal ultrasound so that she could “check my cervix“. Another fifteen minutes passed and the official exam was over.

The technician helped me wipe up the cooled gel and told me I could go get The Boyfriend and she was just going to go talk to the doctor. It all started adding up in my head: super long ultrasound + external & internal ultrasound + talking to the doctor = something’s not quite right. I felt like a nervous wreck by the time I got to The Boyfriend and I grabbed his hand and whispered to him, “Something’s up…“. We went back into the room and I told him all the things I just told you and then we had to wait another fifteen minutes for the technician to get back, with no word about anything that had just happened.

Even though we had seen that our technician got beautiful pictures of our baby’s face, during the actual showing-to-us part of the exam, she seemed to be focused on the legs and the “cute” feet. Carter quickly lost interest in what was on the screen and The Boyfriend and I giggled and held hands tightly. She asked if we wanted to know the sex and we both enthusiastically said yes and we were told we’re having a boy – not exactly the news we were hoping for (especially the older three kids), but we’re happy nonetheless.

Baby #5 - It's a Boy - April 2016
Baby #5 – It’s a Boy – April 2016

We left and I bitched to The Boyfriend about the whole thing and we went and picked up the kids and all was good. Two days later, I got a call from my doctor’s office saying that they wanted me to come in early to discuss the results of my ultrasound. The nurse says to me, “It’s important you don’t panic“. I hang up the phone after booking my appointment and immediately burst into tears thinking the absolute worst things possible. Those words, “It’s important you don’t panic“, had me panicking more as I worried “Is it important I don’t panic because it could cause harm to me or the baby or is important I don’t panic because there’s nothing to panic about?!?” and I had a good forty minutes of absolute nervous wreckage!

So then, I whip out all my pregnancy books that I’ve accumulated over the years and spend the rest of the night searching up anything dealing with ultrasounds and cervixes. Had myself almost entirely convinced that I probably had an incompetent cervix and why were my doctors dealing with it so stupidly. I was greatly relieved when we went to our appointment and found out that that was not the issue at all.

Most babies umbilical cords have 3 vessels. In approximately 1% of pregnancies there are only 2 vessels. We are the 1%. 

At this point, we are not worrying about these results. We’re waiting to hear from the perinatologist to book a more in-depth ultrasound that will tell us whether or not there is anything to worry about. In 75% of pregnancies with a 2-vessel cord, the baby is born normal and healthy and fine, and at this present moment, there is nothing to indicate that we wouldn’t be in that 75%. And if we’re not, we’ll deal with that when we know for sure! After a drive out to Calgary, an even longer ultrasound and then a wait until our next prenatal appointment…

The kids have been a handful and a half, especially during the weekend when they were home and full of energy on the cold and rainy days we had. None of them are getting along very well at all right now and it is driving the parents batty. Carter and Kaeidyn are always at each other’s throats and his favorite thing to say to her is “Enough!“, which seriously pisses her off. Really, I suppose, it’s Carter not getting along with anybody else and they all constantly want to have space from him and he just really doesn’t like that.

Today was Kenzie’s birthday and we also got a new-to-us couch. We’ve been saying for months now, maybe even years, that we needed to get rid of our junk furniture and get new stuff and today we made the first huge strides. Finally threw out my broken and ratty lamp and got The Boyfriend to get a new one. Finally moved two couches that were super wrecked out of the living room and moved the new couch in, which resulted in us having to push everything else in the living room over to the right by about a foot. We plan to actually take all the junk furniture to the dump tomorrow, but after all the work we did today, I seriously needed a rest.

And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing since the kids went to bed. My feet are up and I’ve been laying out for at least an hour now in hopes that the spasm in my hip will go away and the baby will stop pushing on me uncomfortably. The Boyfriend has been taking super good care of me so that I can relax after working so hard today and for that I am super grateful. It’s a good end to a full day!

The Rantings - For Everyone

The Last Couple Days

It’s been a good couple of days around here, even if it has felt overwhelming at times and even though I’ve been struggling with worry. The kids have all been a handful and a half, especially the boys who are not only getting on each other’s nerves but everyone else’s as well. Then, more visits to the doctor than I would like are keeping me awake at night, plus my body feels all tight and cranky, so I’m exhausted!

We went to our second prenatal appointment the other day. We were hoping to get some answers, like if I would be put on medication for high blood pressure, but instead the appointment just swung open the door to even more questions.

First, we brought all the kids in to hopefully listen to the baby’s heartbeat and the doctor tried and tried past the point of every one of the kids becoming bored and we just couldn’t get it. The Boyfriend felt uneasy about that, but that’s probably because we never had a problem getting Carter’s heartbeat – so it’s new to him. Then we discussed my blood tests, which showed that my red blood cells are large. So now we’re going for further blood tests to see if it’s a Vitamin B12 deficiency or liver disease or just pregnancy-related. And then we ended up ordering a 24-hour blood pressure monitor to get a definitive answer on that, and I pick that up in a day or two.

After about six years of not seeing a doctor to seeing one every other week… It doesn’t sit well with me! It makes me nervous and I just want it to be over and done with.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of days trying to catch up on some the online things that I’ve neglected for a long time. Tumblr kind of distracted me and I spent the majority of my time deleting, tagging and organizing my Tumblr. It’s looking pretty good and I can’t wait to hop on over there later tonight and get adding more. I’ve got a Top 5 Tumblrs to do AND the winter #TumblrFavorites is almost ready to go!

I’ve also been playing a ridiculous amount of The Sims 4. The Boyfriend tried for days on end to get me to play and I just couldn’t find the interest, even after I downloaded another Stuff Pack. Finally, after the kids bogarted it for a few days, I decided to go on. Created a new family, because I can’t seem to stick with one anymore. However, something happened and I ended up losing that because it didn’t save. So today, I spent a huge portion of the day on it.

I’ve been meaning to take screenshots or videos or something of my gameplay, but the last couple of days I’ve just really wanted to focus on playing. I feel like there’s still so much of that game that I haven’t even come close to experiencing yet. So, I’ve been taking my time to really explore and have been focusing a lot on Clubs lately. I even made my own Club for the first time today and managed to have about four gatherings, which allowed me to get quite a few Club Perks. I’m finding Clubs to be a very interesting addition to the overall gameplay.

And I’ve even gotten quite a bit of cleaning done over the last two or three days. I’ve been making The Boyfriend deal with laundry and interrupt his gaming the moment I realize the machine is done. The kids, even though they’re not listening and fighting, are being helpful when I ask them to. Today, they did an amazing job getting the living room clean as long as I could keep Carter distracted.

He has just been in a bug everyone type of mood. He wants to be best buds with Kenzie and Keirnan, but neither of them really have an interest in him or any of his interests right now. They’ve all been super-competitive lately, each trying to out-do the other. One boy will say that he was good at something and the other boys will insist that they’re better or that his good thing was simply a fluke. Carter, because he’s hating being the youngest right now, seems to be the worst and always has to have the last word.

Kenzie has been ridiculously loud lately and I can guarantee he’s not even noticing it. Today, we were all sitting in the living room and the boys were playing relatively quietly. Kenzie starts to get louder and louder and louder, when the parents turn and ask him to quiet down. This happens probably three or four times before he gets in trouble for being so loud after being asked so many times not to. Immediately he breaks down in tears because he had no idea that he was getting louder. It’s only really weird because he’ll notice when everyone else gets louder and asks them to quiet down but can’t notice himself at all.

Keirnan has been violent a lot lately and has gotten in trouble quite a few times over the last few days because he deals with every single issue with his fist. Then, when he gets caught in the act or after the fact, doesn’t matter, he’ll try to fib his way out of it. I don’t know if I’d call it an out-and-out lie because he’s been pretty afraid of getting in trouble for that again, but it’s like he’s trying to manipulate the narrative to better the chances of someone else getting in trouble – usually Carter. I tell ya, boys are hard!

Kaeidyn’s been Kaeidyn. She’s been sleeping in a lot later and we’ve even had a couple mornings where the parents were out of bed before her. That hasn’t happened in ages. She goes for her babysitting course soon and she’s incredibly excited about that and she’s spent the last little while trying to talk me into letting her throw a baby shower for me, so it’s been a lot of, “When I get babysitting license I can start saving money” and “When I get money, I’m going to buy you the cutest thing for your party” and “We could play this game and this game and eat this food and invite these people” and just on and on. I love that she’s so excited for a baby though!

Well, I think I’ve talked about everything there is to talk about. Good talk 😉

The List - For Everyone

TO DO: Get Back-To-School Ready

This year is probably going to be one of the most stressful years of back-to-school that we’ve ever experienced. Even more than our first child going off to Kindergarten and even more than our last child graduating Kindergarten, this year marks some pretty major milestones and/or struggles for all the kids, and therefore, all the adults.

Kaeidyn goes from being an elementary school student to a middle school student, which means that she’s moving schools and will most likely be taking a city bus by herself for the first time in her life. Carter goes from half-days in Kindergarten to full days in Grade 1. Keirnan jumps from the grade where, as all the teachers say, “you’re learning to read“, to the grade where, “you’re reading to learn“. And Kenzie, who struggled with his reading quite a bit, goes into the next grade and we see how good or bad his reading ends up being.

There are so many things we need to do to get ready for this wonderful (and yet, totally terrifying) school year. Honestly, I’m not even sure where to start – so the following is listed in no order of importance, really, no order other than what my chaotic brain spits out.

Make Doctors Appointments

This has been on The List for so long and it still needs to be done, and especially as we go into this school year. All of us need to go in for physicals because we haven’t had one in over four years and not for lack of necessity, just for lack of motivation…

And not just general physicians. We all need to go see an optometrist as well and we already know that The Boyfriend is going to end up needing glasses. Finally, getting everyone in to see a dentist. Keirnan’s the only kid who has ever seen one and that’s something I seriously want to change.

We’ve already agreed that The Boyfriend has to set me up a spa day as a reward for making these calls.

Find Out About Middle School

They had an information night before school ended, but we weren’t able to go. Now I’m wishing I would’ve done more to ensure that I was there, because I feel like we are so ill prepared for Kaeidyn’s first day of school. She keeps talking about needing this and that, I have no idea where I’m supposed to put this and that. It’s all just a stressful ball of unknowingness.

Get School Supplies

We’re waiting for the lists to come out on this one and hopefully we won’t leave it to the last minute like we’ve done almost every year prior to this. It’s always amazing to us how hard this process can be and how much of a headache it causes everyone.

Along with the regular school supplies, every year we get the kids two new pairs of shoes (one for indoors and one for outdoors) and a first day of school outfit. This year, they are probably also likely to need new backpacks and at least one of them has grown out of their jackets from last year. Hopefully we’ll get the masses of laundry under control so that we’ll have a better idea of what’s needed in terms of clothing before school starts.

Adjust Sleeping Schedules

As soon as summer hit, all of our sleep habits became completely erratic. The older three left for the month to their Dad’s and followed his late evening work schedule, often staying up until he got home from work after midnight. The Boyfriend, Carter and I completely and easily adjusted to The Boyfriend’s graveyard sleeping schedule and are more likely to be sleeping during the day and waking during the night.

It’s especially important with Carter going into full days this year that we adjust our sleep schedules and in a better time frame than the night before school starts. We’re hoping to start making all the kids stick to their normal, regular, school-time bedtimes after this weekend and hopefully I won’t take long to follow in their footsteps.

Create a General Routine

Many of you know, it’s long been a goal of mine to create routines in my life and I generally tend to suck intensely at doing it. I’m not saying it has to be perfect or even good, but I’d like to have some sense of organization going into this school year.

Big important things include a regular laundry schedule, a regular homework and reading time (in which Mommy ensures their agendas get signed and any papers that I need to know about get seen – because it was such a big problem every year before this…), a set dinnertime and specific chores that the kids have to do to help us keep the house clean during the school year, because it always seems to go downhill then.

Clean, Clean, Clean!

Since we’re on the subject, I really would like to get the house clean as part of the back-to-school readiness. I’d like for the first day back at school, not a single one of us stressing out over any messes. I’d like all the laundry to be done, all the dishes to be put away, the floors to be mopped and the cobwebs to be vacuumed out of the corners of our basement.

I want my table set up and ready for the kids to use for homework, I want my bookshelf neatly organized with a space specifically for all the books they’ll be bringing home. I want to get rid of all the crappy, worn-out, raggedy furniture that we’ve currently got and replace it with less crappy, worn-out and raggedy furniture. I want all the stuff to have its place and be tidy.

In a Perfect World…

If we lived in a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this stuff because I would be homeschooling my kids year round. Alas, that will always remain the elusive dream.

In a less perfect, and yet still entirely perfect world, I wouldn’t have to deal with middle school because we’d live closer to where I grew up and there was no such thing as middle school.

And finally, in a perfect world, I would not leave so many things until a month before school starts…