My mother is amazing. Those of you who know her are nodding right now in total and complete agreement. She on the other hand right now is shaking her head thinking about the times she wanted to pitch us out the window. One memory is really standing out in my mind right now. My mom is a very tidy housekeeper. We didn’t have many chores as children, and usually if our rooms got really out of control we would come home from school to find that order had been restored and our rooms were magically spick and span. One day my mother asked me to clean my room. Not much time had passed and I ran cheerfully to my mom exclaiming “DONE!” She couldn’t believe it. How could this little ball of crazy energy (me) get her room clean in 2.5 seconds. So she asked me to show her. I took her to my room and sure enough, it was clean. She stood looking around in amazement, like ‘how is this possible’. She opened my closet…clean. She turned in a circle…clean. She looked under my bed…scream! I remember my mother started crying as she saw I had stuffed EVERYTHING under my bed. Somewhere between sobs I heard her blubber, “Someday you are going to make some man miserable!” J She is now very proud of me and the little homemaker I have become.
My journey in motherhood has been….searching for the right word, uncharacteristic. Yes, uncharacteristic will do. In January 2004 I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The short version, I don’t ovulate. So getting pregnant we were told could be challenging. I underline could because the doctor who diagnosed me was very careful to make sure I understood this last part. He told me several times, you might get pregnant right away, or you might have to do fertility treatment. But he did tell me that based on what he was seeing in the ultrasound, that I could probably safely go off birth control and not worry about having children until I was ready to pursue it with treatment. I went away from this crushed thinking I would never be able to have children. I went off birth control that day and the doctor was right. Two years and four months after that appointment, no birth control and still no babies. My biological clock however was ticking and all my mind could think about was babies. And because all I could think about was babies, all Sam heard about was babies. J I am very persistent when I get an idea in my head. So finally, after much discussion, we decided to see my doctor and talk about what our options were. She suggested putting me on a diabetes medication called Metformin and that in several cases women with PCOS got pregnant after taking this drug. She said if that didn’t work we could try a few other things. No need for other things, we found out we were pregnant two months after starting the Metformin. YAY! Right away we knew if it was a boy his name would be Kael Alexander in dedication of Bryan Joslyn (Sam’s good friend) who lost a son named Kael Alexander in a premature birth. Sam had set in his mind that this was his first sons name well before we met. In fact I think our first date went like this:
Hi, I am Sam.
Hi, I am Ronda.
I should probably let you know, someday if this goes anywhere and we have kids, our son will be named Kael Alexander, cool?
Ok, this date can proceed.
Haha, that was basically how it went…basically. My pregnancy was classified as ‘high risk’ because about half way through I developed a pesky heart palpitation frustration. My heart just didn’t know what to do with all the extra blood pumping through my veins, and it wasn’t thrilled that it had to deal with all the added hormones. So it would tell me about it, and sometimes it would go on strike and quit beating for a like 5 seconds…like ‘ha, scared ya!’ My heart was a real stinker. So because of this I had to deliver at the University of Washington where they send all the “challenging cases.” I am so thankful I delivered there. It was incredible. The doctors were incredible, the food was incredible, and they were all so attentive and dedicated to what they were there to do. They treated us like I was the only one in the hospital, nay, in the city giving birth. I was induced with Kael because I was over a week late and normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but my heart was really being a pain (both figuratively and literally). The labor was going fine, I got my epidural and that was a real loser. It only numbed half of me, and the half it numbed was like only half numb. It was numb like the tingles when your leg falls asleep. By the time they were telling me to push there was nothing but pain. I pushed like a champ. I was in so much pain I didn’t care that they were calling Pediatrics because the baby’s heart rate was gone. All I cared about was the pain and that there was a nurse in my face yelling at me. She was explaining very sternly that I needed to push and not stop that the baby needed to come out right now. Ahhhh sweet relief when that little sucker finally comes out. I was so relieved I was in my own little Ronda world. I remember that I didn’t hear the baby cry, but I wasn’t scared. I figured that a cry would come soon, and it did. To everyone else (I had like a gazillion people in the room) time stood still. Kael was born with the cord wrapped around his neck. He was blue and not breathing. They finally got him going, total time was probably less than a minute from birth to breath. Then he screamed and I smiled and the room cheered!
Caleb was much easier. Kael was 8 months old when my milk went away, that was the first sign I ignored. Then I started to get heart burn, this I brushed off as Thanksgiving payback for overeating, that was the second sign I ignored. Then I started to have cravings; sushi and raw tomatoes, that was the third sign I ignored. Then my heart started to do its crazy flip flop thing. I decided for the heck of it I would take a pregnancy test not at all thinking it would be positive. After all Kael was the product of careful planning. Two pink lines: Pregnant, oh snap.
I walked out to the living room and held out the test to Sam, who had no idea that I was even taking a test, or that there was any question I might be pregnant again. “What is that?!?” He exclaimed, very confused and a little afraid. “I am pregnant,” I informed him. He left the house immediately to get another test. Second test, two pink lines: Pregnant, oh snap again. The real surprise came two weeks later at my doctor’s appointment when I learned that not only was a pregnant, but I was 17 weeks pregnant (half way through my pregnancy) and that we could find out that day if it was a boy or a girl. You might be asking yourself…how could you not know you were pregnant? Well I didn’t, don’t judge me J. Because of my PCOS I don’t have that visit from Aunt Flo to guide me. And I didn’t start showing until about a week after I found out I was pregnant. Surprise!
Caleb was easy from the moment he was born. He was one of those sneeze and he’s born sort of deliveries. In fact the doctor was yelling at me during Caleb’s delivery too. But instead of yelling like for Kael to push, they were yelling at me not to push because he was coming and they weren’t ready. But nothing could stop that freight train. Caleb was born, quick and easy. He slept all night from the first week he was born, ate like a champ, smiled at strangers: EASY. I am so thankful he was so easy because Kael was the opposite most the time.
Here is a video of the boys when they were littler. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrbZBVoh2nI&feature=related
And if you are wondering, Lord willing, there are more little Hickey’s to come.
Today I wanted to post a few of my favorite things. Almond milk has replaced milk for the most part in our house. Sam is the only one who has yet to convert, he still doesn’t understand how one can milk an almond. The process is they grind up the nut and then strain them and make the almond milk. It has more calcium and vitamins then cow’s milk and less fat. I think the taste is superior to milk and know that I will never go back. We use Silk brand Almond Milk. It comes in four flavors: Original, Unsweetened, Vanilla, and Dark Chocolate. The Original tastes like whole milk, the Unsweetened like fat free milk, the Vanilla like a vanilla milkshake, and the Dark Chocolate like chocolate milk. They are on sale at Dillons this week for $1.99 a carton. This is a steal of a deal as they are usually $3.00 each. Walmart will price match though so if you buy them at Walmart tell the cashier that you want to price match them for $1.99 each. It is that easy. I bought a bunch and wished I had a bigger fridge.
I mentioned this in an earlier blog that we use Amazing Grass SuperFood. I mix the powder in with almond milk and drink it for breakfast. The little boys love it and I give it to them in the mornings. You can buy it on Amazon for about $16 which has 30 servings.
Another favorite thing of ours is these little Munchkin snack keepers. They are great because they reduce the spill ratio. You can fill them with dry snacks like cereal, pretzels, or cookies, and if they tip over they don’t spill out. Little hands go in, snacks come out, no mess. I like!
And this is an idea borrowed from my wonder mother. I found these at the thrift store for a dollar. They are for holding oil and vinegar, but I filled them with dish soap and hand sanitizer; cute and convenient.
I hope that you have a wonderful day today. Drop a note and say hi. Be sure and stop by tomorrow for Sunday with Sam! He was working on it last night, I am excited!