The Mommy

The Mommy

about us...

I'm The Mommy, a SAHM to Maggie & Ellie. I'm married to Big Daddy, an engineer, grad student and our hard-working provider.
I blog instead of scrapbooking in hopes of preserving a part of our life for the future.
We enjoy beach trips, going to Church and spending time together...all as a family...because that's what we are.

our VP miracle, Maggie

our VP miracle, Maggie
loves homeschooling, sign language, Jesus, reading, church, writing songs and dancing

our sweet Ellie

our sweet Ellie
loves her sister, going to church and the library, singing, babies, chocolate and being naked

Blog Archive

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Trip Pictures

Beach Baby
In the boats

In the lazy river with Daddy

The Muffin and Daddy swimming

The Aquarium

Looking at the sharks

On the carousel at B.arefoot Landing

Riding a cow

Baby Belly at 17 weeks at S.outh of the Border

Our Little Trip: long story, but worth the read

On Sunday we packed up the car and then headed to church. We decided to go to the early Praise and Worship service and then leave before Sunday School. We went home, changed clothes and were on route to our lunch destination an hour away. (It was one of my childhood favorites, C.aptan D's in case you're wondering.) After lunch we went to S.outh of the Border for a little leg-stretching before The Muffin's nap.
After a couple of hours driving, we were in M.yrtle Beach. The temperature was near 80 degrees. We opened the sunroof and enjoyed the sunshine. Our first stop was the T.anger outlets because Mommy need a couple of new maternity shirts! The M.otherhood outlet was a disappointment, so we decided to checkout the C.arter's outlet for any exciting bargains. I bought an adorable sleepsack ($5.99) for the Baby-to-be. It has rubber duckies on it! Of course, nearly everything in the store was gender specific and I really don't want to dress our baby boy or girl in yellow or green for the first six months, so that was fine. We have quite a few neutral outfits for the first few months so I refrained from buying anything else.
Since the weather was so nice, Big Daddy had the great idea of checking into our hotel, freshening up for dinner and then going for a walk on the beach. Much to my dismay, our room was on the top floor. My first instinct was to ask for a room on a floor other than the 16th, but I didn't. (this factors in a little later) We quickly learned that our sweet little girl doesn't like the elevator, so the ride up and down from the top was loads of fun! Muff understood that it was too cool to play in the ocean, but her clumsiness got the best of her and she sort of fell on her bottom and into the water. I refused to ride the elevator back up to our room, so I changed her clothes in the car and we took her to ride the old rides at the P.avilion Nostalgia Park. She would have been happy to stay there all night, but it was time to eat...again...our dinner destination was T-B.onz. We had dinner and then went back to the room to get ready for a swim and a little ride in the lazy river...Muff was in heaven! Things went well until Muff got sleepy and decided that it was time to go home because she "misses her house" and "misses her bed" and "misses her toys". We all went to bed at 9:00.
Monday morning we were up early. We had breakfast at the hotel and rode around town a little before R.ipley's Aquarium opened. We paid our (way-too-much) admission and went under the sea. The Muffin enjoyed looking at everything except for the pirate exibit. She was so scared! Three rides on the "elevator belt" through the shark tunnel and she had forgotten about those mean pirates. When we left the aquarium a couple of hours later it was pouring down rain. We headed to L.ogan's R.oadhouse for lunch because we like to eat and it was about that time. I'm not sure what we did after that, but I do remember going back to our room for a gorious nap! We woke up from our nap to see beautiful sunshine! We decided to hit M.otherhood at the mall where I picked up two cute new shirts. Then, we walked around B.roadway at the Beach for a long time and had dinner. (The place we ate is NOT worth mentioning.) We decided to pick up a sweet treat at D.unkin Doughnuts and then go back for more swimming. We stayed up "late" and turned in for the night around 10:30. I woke up around 1:00 to use the bathrrom and then fell back asleep. And this is where the we are THAT family moment comes in!
Around 1:30 the fire alarm went off. In case you've never heard the fire alarm in a hotel room it's a "WOOOP, WOOP" followed by a voice saying that "an emergency has been detected and the hotel must be evacuated". There's also a flashing strobe light that goes off. (We experienced this last summer at a different MB hotel) I immediately put my body over The Muff and Big Daddy looked outside to see if he saw fire or could smell smoke. We decided to evacuate even thoug the alarm stopped making noise. The lights were still flashing and one of our family mottos is "safety first". I was wearing my favorite blue plaid, cotton, men's pajama set with an orange Honey Smacks shirt underneath and white socks. To this lovely ensemble I added my brown Mary Jane's. Big Daddy was (luckily) wearing plaid pajama pants and after three trips around our suite managed to find his glasses and after me telling him many times, he also put on a shirt and flip flops. The Muff was the beauty queen of our family in her kitty cat pajamas. I picked her up, along with the beloved Slumbers (bear) and wrapped her in her favorite yellow blanket. Our room was right beside of the emergency exit, a.k.a stairs. I walked out and saw that the young couple next door were going to the elevator. I went to the stairs only to realize that in the ten feet I'd walked, I'd lost my Big Daddy. I tried to open the door and then he came out of our room with my brown hobo bag and his jacket on. We quickly, efficiently and quietly walked down from the 16th floor. I was carrying Muff and Big Daddy had our treasures. We reached the end of the stairs and Big Daddy opened the door. We were behind a waterfall and a ton of bushes. We made our way out of the jungle and onto the sidewalk...alone. I was starting to feel silly when we were the only one's in the stairwell, but this was ridiculous. A few seconds later about 15 people showed up and then we heard the sirens. I told Big Daddy to get our car and he came back a few minutes later to say that security said it was a false alarm. Muff had managed to sleep through everything, but I saw her eyes open when the fire engine drove by so I explained what was happening. After about 10 minutes out on the sidewalk, we moved p to the hotel lobby. We waited around 20 minutes for the firemen to reset the alarm and let us go back to our room. Evidently, it is the policy of most hotels to silence the fire alarm asap when there is no smoke detected. In this case it was a dryer that was overheating, according to Firefighter Collins. He unplugged the dryer, chewed out the clerk at he desk for silencing the alarm when there was a heat sensor that sensed a problem and told us to have a good night. The Muffin went back to sleep right after I had her snuggled under her blankies. Big Daddy and I stayed awake and tried to go back to sleep for the next couple of hours.
At breakfast, we learned that several other people had evacuated to a different area, so there were a few more than 15 of us who tried to save ourselves. I'm sure we would have ignored the alarm if we hadn't had The Muffin with us, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
Our trip home was uneventful.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We're Back!

We're back from our little family getaway and boy, do we have exciting stories to share! The trip pictures and review will have to wait because we are all tired and I'm about to start on my third load of laundry!
Have A Happy New Year's Eve/New Year's Day!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Christmas

This was definitely a fun and exciting Christmas for The Muffin! I had stressed how we were celebrating the birth of Christ and had failed to mention very much about the whole gift-giving thing. She knew Santa was coming to bring toys, but didn't realize that we would give and receive gifts from others too. She started to get the whole idea of giving and receiving last Friday. Muff's adopted grandparent's, Gammy Gladys and Paul gave her Christmas gifts. She was thrilled. Then on Saturday, we had more visitors who gave her gifts (Larry and Gloria). She realized that there were exciting things in the wrapped boxes and the colorful gift bags. She decided that she wanted to know what was in every package under our tree. Luckily, we didn't have many presents under the tree and none of the presents were for her.
On Christmas Eve we visited with Big Daddy's parents. Muff opened the gifts from Grandma and Grandpa and played a bit before we headed home to get ready for the Christmas Eve service at church. After church, we had dinner and she made a trip to a house on our street that has lots of lights, then had a bath and played really hard before bed.
Christmas morning was lots of fun. I was up at 3:30 with a case of too much on my mind. I've started stressing over our ultrasound appointment in January and then I have vasa previa issues that pop up around holidays, too. I had a cup of coffee and watched the news. I rearranged the gifts that Santa brought and made sure that everything was ready for when The Muffin woke up. As soon as her little eyes opened I told her that I had been downstairs and Santa had defintely made a delivery to our house. She told her Daddy and we headed down. She didn't know where to start! She was thrilled to see that our Advent calendar had been taken off the wall and was under the tree. She had new letter magnets because Santa knew that she'd lost the letter A. A new backpack that I won from JoLynne's blog wasn't wrapped, so she snatched that up and wanted to color with the markers inside. I had to encourage her to open her other gifts. Muff enjoyed all of her presents and was too excited to eat breakfast. After playing for a while, we left our house bound for Nana and Pawpaw's. She loved opening the gifts there and seeing what her cousin Callie had from Santa. Needless to say we were all exhausted by bedtime. I missed my nap and had been up since 3:30, so I couldn't wait to go to bed.
We actually slept until 7:45 this morning! I started removing the indoor Christmas decorations shortly after we went downstairs. By 10:00 I had all of our mess cleaned up, a load of laundry in the dryer and we went to Wal.mart. We were home by 11:30 and had lunch together before I started putting away laudry and getting our clothes together for our little beach trip. We're all three excited about getting away together. Muff is looking forward to visiting R.ipley's Aquarium and Big Daddy and I are thinking about where we want to eat.

And one last, very exciting thing...last night after I had put The Muffin to bed and was getting ready for my shower I felt the first movements of our sweet little Baby-to-be. I can't wait until Big Daddy, The Muffin and Callie can feel them too!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Manger

Big Daddy, The Muffin and I went to the Christmas Eve service at our church tonight. It was supposed to be simple service of "lessons and carols" and it was. It was beautiful, The Muffin behaved and once again, I threatened to go back into the Communion line to get seconds on bread, because it's THAT good! When we left, Big daddy said, "I love our church", just as he does each time we leave.
One of my favorite moments was when the pastor said that the word manger meant a box or trough in a stable or barn which holds the bread of life. That pretty much summed up why we were all there.
And I'd like to also add that just like every other pregnant lady that has a blog, I've been thinking even more about Mary than I normally would at Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Flashback- 2007

The Muffin ready to go to church.

Callie, Santa and The Muffin. The girls were wearing the dresses that Nana made them.

The Muffin and Big Daddy at the workplace Christmas party.

The Muffin loved our tree.

The official Christmas card picture.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Baby Belly- Week 16

Our Baby-to-be is approximately 5 inches long!! This red sweater will get lots of wear during this pregnancy, just like it did when I was preggers with The Muffin! It's comfy-cozy, warm and festive!
Big Daddy commented last night that my "body is getting big". I just looked at him and asked what exactly he meant by using "body" instead of "belly"? He was speechless...and he wonders why I don't want to put on a bathing suit when we go to the beach this weekend!
I defintely look more pregnant now, but sometimes I still look like I've had one two many cheeseburgers. I haven't felt the baby move yet, but I think it will be happening soon...and I can't wait. The Muffin still rubs, pats and kisses my belly and has been getting in trouble for recently starting to poke my belly button.

Nativity Scenes and stuff...

The Muffin may finally have a happy tummy! Poor thing has had an upset stomach since last Monday, but I think it finally ended yesterday. Now it's moved on to Big Daddy. He was quite the trooper and managed to make it to Sunday school in spite of his stomach bothering him. I woke up with a horrible headache and sore throat and The Muffin had been in the bathroom all evening on Saturday. She was still complaining and went to the bathroom a few times yesterday morning. I have a fear of spreading illness to other children, so she stayed at home...reluctantly. She really loves church and was upset that her Daddy would go without her. I'm sure he would have stayed home, too, but we had a large bag of gifts that had to be taken to our Sunday school class for delivery on Christmas Eve. They are for a needy infant and we had lots of fun buying for a baby boy.

Now for the Nativity Scene portion of the post.
This is our Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus last year. The Muffin had put them down for their nap.

Muff is all into any Nativity Scene that she sees. We have a small nativity (minus the wisemen because they lost heir heads in a horrible game of "Bumpy" last year) that sits in the living room. It's just one of those cheap little crystal ones that you can buy anywhere. Yesterday, Muff decided that she needed to examine it a little closer and picked up Mary. She commented on how long her hair was and that it was "messed up". When she picked up Baby Jesus, she said, "He's ball-headed. He don't got no hair". I reminded her that lots of babies are bald when they're born and asked her to put Him back. She looked at the teeny-tiny figure and said, "He's really ugly, but He'll grow up". I think she meant that it didn't matter what He looked like, but He would still grow up to be the Saviour of the World...but I'm not sure.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sometimes it really is the thought that counts

Big Daddy had a very stressful day at work on Friday and it was the end of a very stressful week. To my surprise, he arrived home before 5:00 yesterday and we started trying to make dinner plans. I had plans to cook and had several meal options that he could choose from. I could tell he was drained from a rough week, so we decided to go out to dinner.
Big Daddy and The Muffin went upstairs to get ready to go and I followed in a few minutes. They were on the computer and I could tell they were up to something. I asked why they weren't ready to go and Muff quickly replied, "We are trying to find your purse!".
We went shopping last week and I fell in love with a very expensive purse. Big Daddy told me to get it and I reminded him that I'd be carrying a diaper bag again soon and that a new purse (that expensive) was silly. He left work early so that he could get it as a surprise Christmas present for me. He didn't see it at the store and was looking for it online. We haven't given real Christmas gifts to one another since 2005, when we were expecting The Muffin.
Even though I keep telling him how special it is that he was trying to find it, he doesn't understand that just knowing that he was looking everywhere for that purse is a gift in itself.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's a rare sight...

It's a rare sight to see...
Dorothy in front of a Christmas tree
and Dorothy sitting on Santa's lap!

I think these pictures pretty much say it all. The Muffin likes to make things a little interesting.
I was happy that her tummy seemed to be better and we were going to be able to go to the library Christmas party. We have enjoyed Storytime so much this year and I knew today would be lots of fun. I told her I would get her clothes and we would get dressed. She immediately charged in front of me and decided to pick her own clothes out. She had a completely un-festive outfit on and then had the idea of wearing her Dorothy dress. I shouldn't be surprised since we had been looking at picture albums all morning and she had commented on how cousin Callie used to have a Dorothy dress and ruby slippers, too.
Muff was watching her friend Lily and totally missed Santa getting out of his minivan, (black with a BIG red stripe down the side) bells jingling. The librarian asked how he was feeling and he started telling her about his latest chiropactc appointment as he removed his red coat and hat from the back of the van that was parked in a handicap parking spot. We did our usual "welcome" song, read two books and had a flannel board story. Then, we gathered around the piano to sing a few Christmas songs. After that, we sat down, sang Jingle Bells and then Santa walked in. Santa is so nice! He read Twas the Night Before Christmas and discussed the whole Santa/St. Nick debacle as well as how most people mispronounce Donder as Donner because of the famous recording of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He explains that Donder and Blitzen are Donder and Blitzen because that's thunder and lightning in German and they are super-powerful and strong.
Anyway, The Muffin waited quietly in line with a few of her friends and was happy to hop up on Santa's lap. She refused to talk to him or look at him. She did nod "yes" when he asked if she'd been a good girl. He told her how important it was to be a good listener, go to bed at bedtime wear your seatbelt, eat your fruits and vegetables, clean up your toys and wear a helmet when you ride a bike or scooter. I think the big guy covered it all!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baby Survey

I've just added a baby survey on the right. You can vote on whether you think our Baby-to-be is a boy, a girl, will hide itself and remain a mystery until birth or if it's twins (highly unlikely). So, all four of you go vote immediately.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Still Getting Ready For Baby

I had a somewhat successful day yesterday. The Muffin and I started out by going to get groceries. We were almost finished when she said she needed to use the bathroom. By the time we got to the bathrooms, she didn't have to go. We arrived back at home a little after 11:00 and decided to put groceries away and then have a picnic in the backyard. She was thrilled!
It started getting windy and then it started sprinkling. We skipped our after lunch walk and went inside. Then The Muffin started going to the bathroom every few minutes. She had to get up and go a couple of times before she fell asleep for her nap and then a couple of times during her nap and then a bunch after her nap. Let's just say this mommy is happy that her two and a half year old has been potty-trained for a long time and that she was able to make it to the bathroom.

Between all of the pottying I managed to edit the B.abies R Us registry and start a T.arget registry (which I'm not sure I'll even use). We decided the best way to keep track of our "needs" was to do a registry and that way if anyone wanted to give us gifts they could have a resource too. I'm hoping to use cloth diapers after the first couple of months, so I still have to decide on the exact kind I'll be using. I'm pretty sure that I love the kind that I used with Muff, but we'll see. I did all of this during naptime so I missed my nap. I'm trying to wean myself off of an after-lunch nap so that I'll be more productive and get a few extra things accomplished. When I miss my nap I tend to fall asleep later in the day and I've been known to leave The Muffin somewhat unattended. I can usually hear her, but I'm asleep. Last night I had a 30 minute nap and therefore The Muffin went to bed about 15 minutes later than normal. Big Daddy claims that he tried to wake me, but I have my doubts. After my siesta I managed to stay up until 11:00 so that we could watch "My Own Worst Enemy". I slept like a rock last night, but I may try to catch a few zzz's today with The Muffin. I've discovered that I really love naps!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Getting Ready For Baby

I'm hesitant to do to many preparations for the Baby-to-be just yet, but I also have that overwhelming feeling of panic that I "must" do something. I've made a mental list of things that I want to get accomplished today...or at least this week.

We really hope to find out the sex of the baby at our January 8 appointment, but we are also aware that babies like to hide their private areas sometimes. I'm starting our registries at B.abies R Us and T.arget today. Lots of the stuff will change to blue and chocolate brown if the Baby-to-be is a boy or to pink and purple if it's a girl. I've picked out the kind of ring sling that I want online, but I want to know what color scheme will be most appropriate. We have a neutral pouch sling and a front carrier, but I want something new because this baby will have to be worn and I loved being a Babywearer with The Muffin!

If the Baby-to-be is a girl there are only a few clothing/layette items that we would need. I'll be wrapping the baby in all of the sweet blankets that we used for Muff and dressing her in Muff's hand-me-downs. I get excited at the opportunity to use The Muffin's sweet clothes again! At Muff's ultrasound they were "90% sure" that she was a girl. Big Daddy and I kept things neutral with the decor, but everyone went girl-crazy and showered us with mostly pink clothes. We have a nice assortment of gender-neutral blankets and newborn outfits. We only had one outfit that could only be for a boy and it was exchanged for a smocked dress in blue.

If the Baby-to-be is a boy we'll need a few more things. We'll have some of Muff's gently used yellow blankets (but NOT her "Baby Bop" or "Tigger" blankets!), and those cute little outfits in yellow. I get excited at the thought of dressing a baby boy in blue and chocolate brown in cute little outfits that are all brand new. Of course, Nana (my mom), would be happy with a boy or girl, but she's hoping for a boy to even out the grand kids. I know Nana and my sister will go crazy buying stuff no matter what color we need.

When I woke up in the recovery room and found out that our baby had survived and was healthy I asked if "it" was a boy or a girl. When my nurse told me that "it" was a girl, my first response was, "Thank goodness, I don't have to return all of the gifts". We only had one outfit that 100% for a boy. It was returned for a beautiful, blue, smocked dress.

The baby's room is still Big Daddy's junk room/computer room/study room, but the baby bed is in there! We have a few things up in the air where that's concerned so I'll be waiting a little longer before I issue an ultimatum about cleaning it out. I keep telling myself that everything will be fine and that we don't have to have a room ready right now...or even when the baby arrives for that matter. We're praying that our issues are resolved soon and we can move on with more baby-themed issues.

No matter what, we will be thrilled when we see our baby next month! I pray that our baby is healthy and everything is developing normal. If it's not, that's okay too. After our experience with Vasa Previa, I'm reminded that it is such a gift to leave the hospital with a living, breathing baby. So many in our Vasa Previa family have not seen their babies alive or are not able to watch them grow up as "normal" children do. When people ask if I want a boy or girl I always say that it doesn't matter. Inevitably they'll say, "As long as it's healthy". I've never looked at it that way and I still don't. We wouldn't love our baby any less if there was something wrong with it and Big Daddy always says that he'd probably love it even more.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Very Merry Weekend

We had a fun and festive weekend! By Saturday, I had decided that the runny nose and watery eyes The Muffin experienced on Thursday was an allergic reaction to the excessive amount of body spray she applied to herself before our midwife appointment. We went ahead with our weekend plans which included "Breakfast With Santa" and.....a date night! It was the first time Big Daddy and I had been to dinner and a movie together since December 8, 2006. (It seems we only do dinner and a movie dates when a new "007" movie comes out. I went to a movie alone on September 27, 2008.) We started out by buying Muff that one last present that she just may get before Christmas. Then we were off to the movies! When the movie was over we walked around the mall and then headed to Zaxby's. It's not the most special place to go on a date night, but I was starving and the chicken was good. Maggie spent time with Nana and Pawpaw's and then attended their church Christmas dinner.
Saturday morning's "Breakfast With Santa" at Big Daddy's place of employment.

The Muffin and Cousin Callie in their Christmas dresses that Nana bought them.
One of The Muffin's favorite pastimes of the week: re-decorating the Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Week 14 Midwife Appointment

We met with one of my midwives (Rita) today. I received the all clear for a VBAC assuming that things continue to go well with the pregnancy and that everything checks out at my ultrasound appointment in January. We were able to hear the heartbeat and it sounded great! I'd also gained 3 pounds. I'm trying hard to watch what I eat (and drink...Ahem! Sweet Tea) and keep the total weight gain below 40 pounds.
Big Daddy and The Muffin were like two unsupervised kids while I was talking to Rita. It made me wonder why I wanted both of them to attend the appointment. At the January appointment, I'll have Big Daddy, Muffin and Nana all in tow! Hopefully, my mom can keep the two "kids" in check...and hopefully we will find out the sex of the Baby-to-be.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Tomorrow is our 14 week visit at the OB/GYN. Big Daddy and The Muffin will be attending which is a treat that usually only happens for ultrasounds. We are meeting with Rita, one of my favorite midwives. Okay...all three of my midwives are my favorite! They take lots of time and care with each appointment and I always leave thankful that I have them. Muff is excited about hearing the heart "beep" and I'm excited for her and Big Daddy to hear it too. I'm always excited and a little worried before an appointment, but it's so special that I'll have someone (two someones!!) there with me this time.

I'll try to post again tomorrow with any exciting baby developments. I've been super-tired this week.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sweet Muffin

We pray...all the time. We bless our food multiple times during a meal. The Muffin asks for prayer when she's sad, hurt or upset. She asks that we pray (individually) for Nana and Pawpaw, Callie, Uncle Duh-Duh and Sharalee, Braxton and Vanessa, and then of course, Griffin...the dog.
She loves our Advent calendar that has a little verse of the Christmas story behind each "mailbox" and she looks forward to reading the story everyday. She loves "activity" scenes, also known as Nativity scenes, and wants to hold Baby Jesus.
The Muffin can spot a cross a mile away and then she wants you to ask what happened on the cross so that she can tell you that it's where Jesus died.
She likes the story of Adam and Eve and says, "God says don't eat the fruit off the tree." She says the "satan snake" isn't very nice.
When we get balloons from the grocery store she likes to "send them to Heaven". She lets them go and says that Ms. Overcash will like to get it. She still says that Ms. Overcash and Grandma Louise do flips in Heaven, too.
In the morning when the sun comes up she says, "Thank You, God. Thank You, Jesus". She also says goodnight to them before bed.

More and more I'm realizing that she is just like a little ball of clay that we are molding into what we want her to be. I use praying and God and Jesus to help her cope with the things that trouble her.
Now if she'll just stay this way forever.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Baby Belly Has Blossomed

Time to pull out the maternity clothes! My belly is now big enough that it's a little uncomfortable to sit while wearing normal jeans. Maternity clothes are much more flattering, comfortable and make me look pregnant in stead of just fat.
I feel much bigger at this stage than I did during my pregnancy with The Muffin, but I seem to be pretty much the same size as I was then. I'm pretty sure I haven't gained quite as much weight as I did with her.
The belly at 6 weeks.
The belly at 14 weeks.
Our Baby-to-be is approximately 4 inches long from crown to rump!

Highlights of Our Week...In Pictures

There's lots of pictures to this post and they are in random order. I should give an explanation to why some of the pictures have colorful lines running through them...our camera is dying. We have a new one on the way and I'm hoping that it will be here in time for the big "Breakfast with Santa" Christmas party at Big Daddy's work.
Now for The Mufin in all of her cuteness...

"Sleeping" on the couch before bedtime. And yes, she's using wrapping paper as a blanket.
Getting ready for a family walk to look at the neighbor's big Christmas light display. (wearing the hat that Daddy bought from work)
Drinking The Mommy's special hot cocoa after another walk to look at lights.

All ready for church and happy to smile for the camera.

The Muffin sneezed at just the right time!

Eating the "cookie house" that we attempted to make.

Trying to huff, puff and blow down our gingerbread house.

We bought clothes and toys for an infant in the family that our church is helping out this Christmas. Muff was so inspired that she decided to try to wrap Baby Joy in wrapping paper...while picking her nose.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Baby Talk and Sweet Tea

The Mommy and The Muffin are officially back from a two night hiatus at Nana & Pawpaw's. I'm pooped, but Muff managed to squeeze in a three hour nap this afternoon and is playing hard with Big Daddy.

Being with my mom and sister is always fun, but the highlight may have been talking about baby stuff. I'm not with Big Daddy that much (until his last exam next Tuesday allows him to be on winter break!!!) so I don't get to talk about fun baby things. They are desperate for our possible baby names, but I managed to stay mum for now.

Okay, wait...that wasn't the highlight of my was the sweet tea...or should I say, Sweet Tea. The Sweet Tea at my favorite chicken sandwich place and my mom's kitchen did not disappoint. Big Daddy even asked tonight, "What's up with the Sweet Tea-thing? Is it a craving or something?". And I never called it Sweet Tea it was always just tea, but now it's definitely Sweet Tea. For the most part my cravings left a little over a week ago with the nausea, but I still love me some Sweet Tea and mustard could be slathered on anything at any given moment.

Anyway, I'm searching the internet looking for cute, exciting, cheap, black maternity pants that will fit until I grow into my bigger, black maternity pants. Then I'm bathing Muff, drinking coffee, showering, putting Muff to bed and going to bed myself.

Another exciting Friday evening with the McMillan Family!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's Really None of Your Business

I knew long before I became pregnant with The Muffin that people feel like they can say and ask anything when you're pregnant or have just had a child. Whether it's questions about private matters or giving unsolicited advice, women (other mothers, at that) are always ready to put their two cents in. I try to only give advice about baby/children when I'm asked, because I don't want to hurt a new mother's feelings or overstep boundaries with friends.

I remember when Muff was little everyone wanted to know if I stayed at home with her. After they had their answer they either told me how great it was that I was a stay at home mom or gave me critical advice about putting her in daycare. I taught preschool and I know the benefits and the not so good aspects of it, so I don't need any advice on this matter. I know that she loves her Mommy and Daddy and would rather be with us than anyone else, and that's fine with me. She also loves her Sunday school teachers and for the most part, loves her time with them. She'll go to preschool at some point and then most likely leave there to go to a private school unless we homeschool her.

I think about the critcal words that I've listened to about c-sections. A c-section was no where in my birth plan. My midwives knew that I did NOT want a c-section. As I was in the middle of all of the organized chaos that was my labor and delivery experience, I was the one saying "I do not want a c-section". I knew from all of the people in my room and everything that they were doing and saying that I was in a life or death situation. Of course, I consented to the c-section, but I had to make sure that my feelings were known. Unlike lots of c-sections, mine was not by choice and was necessary to save the baby. I've never felt guilty about having to have my baby this way.

I've come to realize that there will be two big questions that will be constantly asked during this pregnancy. "Was this planned?" and "Are you going to have another c-section?".

My primary care physician asked "Was this planned?" as she read my chart and watched me beg Muff to be quiet and sit still while I stuffed Smarties into her mouth . Most people already know the answer to this question. There's something about a horrible economy, a crazy toddler and an uncertain future that inspires two people that love each other and are committed to each other to want another baby. We're crazy like that.
As for the other question, I think birth plans are terribly personal. I wanted to have a positive experience so that I'd want to have more babies. I had a great birth plan with the was thrown out the window and ran over by a garbage truck when my midwife thought she felt a prolapsed cord...and that's fine because I left he hospital with a living, breathing baby. I knew who I wanted at the hospital and who was not allowed anywhere near me or my room. I wanted the people who were there to be positive. I didn't want an epidural started unless I decided that I needed one. (And what do you know? I didn't have an epidural, I was under general anesthesia!!) My midwives were supportive every step of the way. Other people, not so much.

This time my birth plan will be kept private. I'm hoping to have most of it worked out in my head by my next midwife appointment, even though it can be changed at any time. My doctors and midwives have a few concerns for me and the baby because of a few aspects of The Muffin's delivery (that have been kept private). I get to have the final say, but me and Big Daddy are going to take how they think I should deliver and all of their concerns into consideration. I trust my midwives and I know that we all want the same thing in the end. I'm inspired by all of the women who choose ways that may be thought of as unconventional to deliver their babies. This may be our last baby, so a positive experience and a living, breathing baby is what I want.

I think one of the greatest birth stories I've ever read just may be Stephanie's. Reading about her and her four children is always inspiring!
You can also read the birth stories of vasa previa families at

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Miracle

Okay, so our birth story is all over the web, but here it is again, because it's up to us to raise awareness of Vasa Previa every way that we can. If you ever want me to open up, just ask about The Muffin or Vasa Previa, because I'm always ready to talk. And if you have questions or need more info, just leave a comment with your email address.

Our sweet Muffin making her debut! This was the first really "good" picture of her that the lactation consultant snapped after she was out. I'm not sure, but I think she was reaching for her Mama because she had no idea that they had knocked me out to save her sweet, little life.

She's our Miracle and here's why.

On August 15, 2005, we found out our lives were about to change forever. We were expecting a baby! After five years of marriage and waiting for the “perfect time” to start a family, it all happened rather unexpectedly. This was the beginning of such a special time in our lives. We decided to wait until after our first ultrasound to announce it to our families.
On August 27 I experienced some light bleeding. It was the first time I felt genuine fear for my baby’s life. I called the emergency number for my OB/GYN and was transferred to Labor & Delivery at the hospital since it was a weekend. The nurse I spoke with said since the bleeding was light, there was no cramping and the bleeding had since stopped it was most likely a blood vessel on my cervix that had ruptured. She said to take it easy and get some rest until my doctor’s appointment on August 29. I spent the rest of the time worrying about the fate of our baby. I fully expected to be told that the baby was lost when my husband and I went to the doctor that morning for our ultrasound. In stead we were told that everything looked normal and our due date was April 21. No abnormalities were detected. My prayers had been answered and our baby was safe. We shared our ultrasound pictures with my family and our baby earned the nickname, “Peanut”.
On October 31, I woke up and felt a lot of pressure. Thinking it may be a urinary tract infection I once again called the doctor. I went in and there was no sign of a UTI. My midwife wanted to make sure that I wasn’t dilating so she examined me and ordered a ultrasound. Once again, I was told that everything was normal and that I was probably just experiencing pressure from my growing uterus. My next ultrasound was set for December 1 at 20 weeks. We would get to hopefully find out the sex of the baby. My mom and husband went with me for this special appointment. We were all amazed at the 3D ultrasound. We could clearly see our baby’s face, but weren’t sure if it was a boy or a girl.
From here on out everything in the pregnancy was perfectly normal. I never experienced any morning sickness, just a little extra tired. We went to our Childbirth Preparation and I tried to decide on which method of pain management I would take. We were planning for the birth of our baby.
As April approached and my doctor appointments came around every Thursday, the reality began to set in that our baby would be here soon. On April 13, I was told that I might go that weekend! My midwife, Peggy, stripped my membranes since I was starting to dilate and my cervix was ripening. It was Easter weekend, so we went along with our plans as usual…nothing happened. The next Thursday, the day before our due date I was examined and the midwife, Rita, thought that she felt the umbilical cord. I was immediately afraid for my baby. Upon more careful examination, she thought it was just a ridge in my cervix. She again stripped my membranes She was on call that weekend and felt sure that she would be seeing me. An appointment was scheduled for Monday, April 24, just in case. This time we stayed around the house for the most part and waited for any sign of labor.
On Monday morning, I went to the doctor and was scheduled to be at the hospital for a planned induction on Tuesday, April 25. Our baby would be here tomorrow.
We arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am and Pitocin was started around 8:00. My midwife, Peggy, came in and we discussed our wishes for a vaginal delivery and talked about our ideal birth experience. My husband desperately wanted to “catch” the baby. My Mom, sister, niece & nephew arrived shortly after that and we began to wait. I started having very mild contractions, so they kept increasing the Pitocin. Peggy, said she would break my water after the contractions were more steady. My family left for lunch and my husband and I watched TV and tried to enjoy the peace and quiet before my pain increased. My family came back and he rotated out for his lunch. Peggy came back to examine me and decided to break my water. I decided to go ahead and let her do it, so that maybe things would progress and we would have a baby by dinner. My family left the room and Peggy ruptured my bag of waters at 12:07. I was laughing at how funny it felt and sort of wishing that my husband was with me for this experience. Peggy left for a lunch meeting only to return with a scared look on her face. She said that the baby’s monitor was acting funny and asked that my nurse, Valerie try to fix it. Peggy then got in the bed and examined me. She told me that we had a cord. I knew what this meant and immediately began to cry and pray for my baby. She ordered an emergency c-section and the room was flooded with medical staff. My family saw all of the commotion and my husband was paged. He arrived in the room just as they were wheeling me into the operating room which was thankfully, right next door. Peggy literally held everything in place until our baby was delivered. My husband wasn’t allowed in the OR since it was an emergency, but was called to the window with my Mom when the baby arrived at 12:28pm.
It wasn’t until after delivery of the placenta that the doctor’s realized that they were not dealing with a prolapsed cord, but it was velamentous insertion of the cord and vasa previa.
I woke up from anesthesia around 2:00 and was told that my baby was okay. At 2:30 I met, The Muffin, a beautiful 8 pound, 8 ounce little girl. She was perfectly healthy! We were so thankful!
It wasn’t until later that I realized how blessed we are to have a happy ending. After three ultrasounds our vasa previa was not diagnosed. Thank God that Peggy checked the baby monitor before she left for her meeting. The doctor on call for my medical group was not at the hospital, but luckily another one from our group was. It just so happened that Dr. DeLaney was close by and was in the room in a matter of a few minutes. So many things factored into our baby’s arrival. We are so thankful to God for Muff every day!

In may of 2008, I finally got up enough nerve to order my Labor and Delivery medical records. I found out that I also had a succentriate/accessory lobed placenta. (I remembered in July of 2008 that my midwife had told me this after the crash c-section. I guess those drugs they use for anesthesia are pretty powerful to suppress memories for that long!) I found out that I'd gained 40 pounds during my pregnancy. Ugh! I learned that The Muffin's apgars were 9 and 9! I wass o priud! I found out that my amniotomy site (where the amniotic sac was artifically ruptured by my midwife) was only 1 centimeter from where the umbilical cord was inserted into the placenta. I also realized that the placenta sort of started it all. Succentriate lobed placenta caused velamentous insertion of the umbilical cord which caused vasa previa which caused my Muffin to be a Miracle.
Even if the succentriate lobed placenta had been detected during pregnancy, vasa previa may not have been diagnosed. I've never felt the need to put blame on my midwives or doctors. Even some of the most experienced OB/GYN's do not know about vasa previa. Some manage it as placenta previa and some do not manage it at all. That is why we have to raise awareness of this condition. It occurs more often than spina bifida, yet we aren't doing any routine testing for it. A color doppler ultrasound can be the key to saving a baby's life.

You can learn more about Vasa Previa by visiting , the website of the International Vasa Previa Foundation.

It only takes a moment to diagnose life.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Good News, Bad News

After three weeks of horrible headaches, neck pain and ear aches I finally went to my primary care physician today. There's really no excuse that I waited this long except that I try to only go to the doctor when it's absolutely when my asthma is going crazy and I can't breathe. Well, that and I hate to pay that $20 co-pay.
I was thrilled to get the good news that I'd only gained two pounds since I was there in August. We have never owned a set of scales (because I would be obsessed with what I weigh) so I really wasn't sure of what my pre-pregnancy weight was when I went for my OB work-up three weeks ago. According to the OB's scales and my guesstimated weight, I'd gained 8 pounds. I was not happy. I was pretty sure this was off by at least 5 pounds, but wasn't completely sure. Im really excited for my next appointment with my midwife so that I can share my true weight gain. I DO NOT want to gain the 40+ pounds that I gained when I was pregnant with The Muffin. I was mortified when I found out that I'd gained 40 pounds! Luckily, I didn't find out until this past May when I ordered my labor and delivery records.
And now the bad news that I was glad to hear: I have a horrible ear infection. I had decided that it was something serious that would take a long time and many tests to diagnose and then surgery to fix it. Just because that's how I am. Luckily, it's minor and I should be all better real soon.
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