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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pregnancy Memories

I'm going to try to recount 5.5 months of pregnancy here so that we can remember the milestones we have crossed with our sweet baby girl!!

Back in the beginning of March I took a home test because I had been nothing but exhausted for weeks! I was chalking it up to high stress and not enough sleep, but a friend recommended I test just in case. That test came back negative. So I was back to believing it was from stress and no sleep.

First part of April I started to feel queasy every single day. Several times I just thought I was getting sick and the rest I again chalked it up to extreme stress. I wasn't losing weight, I wasn't hanging over the toilet, I just felt sick all the time. As long as I ate something I was okay, so I was eating constantly.

I'm not sure when it started but sometime between April and May I started waking up around 4am every single day having to use the bathroom. It was really starting to get old and messing up what little sleep I was getting. Finally, on a Saturday morning, May 19, I had had enough and decided to take another test just to let myself rest easy that we weren't pregnant. Well, I took that test and a few minutes later I was shocked to see that plus sign. No way, I thought. Really? Us? Now? Oh my goodness, what were we going to do? I went back to bed but laid awake for the next several hours contemplating how to tell my sweet hubby that we were going to be parents.

First plan was to wait til his birthday, which was a week away, and make a "baby" gift for him to open (a bottle, a pacifier, a bib, or the like). If you know me, you know I can't keep a secret for very long from people I love, so while we were at Target that day I bought a blank card that said Congratulations on the front of it. When we got home I secured the pregnancy test inside the card (along with the second test I took "just to be sure") and brought it downstairs with me. After dinner, I handed it to him and said, Happy Early Birthday. I think he was really shocked because he asked me if I was joking!! I wrote inside, "...not what you were expecting, was it?" As it slowly sank in what I was telling him, we kinda stared at each other in shock!!

I made an appointment with the health department (since we have no insurance and no money) for a pregnancy test to confirm and also to sign up for WIC/SNAPS programs. After a very long process of waiting, they finally called me back into the nurses office with the results. Yes, we were very pregnant!! LOL! I went over to DSS to start the Medicaid process so I could get a doctors appointment set up for an ultrasound and prenatal care.

That night we called my parents and told them. I'm not sure who was most excited!! Over the next week I called family and close friends and began to share the news!! We were so excited even as we were still in shock! I began searching for a doctor who would accept Medicaid new patients and finally found one, but had to wait til the Medicaid was officially processed. So nearly a month after finding out I was prego, I finally got a doctors appointment on June 14th.

Somehow we agreed on a nickname for her. Phillip had drawn a really cute baby turtle scene and as soon as I saw it I was like, "Turtle!" and it kinda stuck. To further make it stick, Phillip bought me/her a cute TY turtle and I found my book, "One Tiny Turtle" . I also found my book, "The Puffalumps Pillow Poems" , both books I had had as a child.

Going into the appointment I was incredibly nervous because I had no idea what to expect. It was exciting to see the baby on the ultrasound and I remember laying there trying to figure out what I was seeing! The nurse asked us if we wanted to know the sex and we of course said yes! (Although by now we had agreed that it was most likely a girl!) The nurse confirmed that it was a girl and that I was 15 weeks and 6 day away from FOUR months!! Meaning I had basically finished up my whole first trimester. The rest of the appointment is mostly a blur as it seems that there was a lot of information to remember and a lot going on!!

The nurse had given us several ultrasound pictures and we stopped at Target right after the appointment and picked up a small, pink photo album to put them in! Her Daddy picked out her first blanket, complete with a cute little monkey attached, and together we picked out matching onesies for her. (The week before this I had stopped at a consignment sale and picked up several pooh bear onesies!)

That weekend we drove to VA to pick up our girls for the week. On the way home when we stopped for lunch, we told the girls they were going to have a baby sister!! I'm not sure if they completely got it or not but I can't wait to get a picture of all three of our girls together!!

We have been busy making our baby registry, picking out a name, planning her nursery (finally decided on a theme!!), and I've been doing a lot of research into breastfeeding, birth, baby gear, etc!! We do plan to breastfeed as long as we possibly can--no formula here I hope!! I do plan to have as natural of a birth as induction, no c-section, no epidurals, etc! People think I'm crazy but thanks to a few well educated friends who believe in more than the "traditional hospital birth", I've learned the CONS of these things and do not want to expose myself or my baby to them if they are not needed. Medicaid doesn't cover a home birth so we will be going to the local hospital but I intend to have a birth plan written up and ready to go!!

My Mom and sister are planning my baby shower back home and I cannot wait! Not only for the shower but also to see all my friends!! I cannot wait to see them and I'm excited about what "Turtle" may receive!!

In the meantime, it seems that many of my friends are pregnant too and most are due around the same time or within a few months! There will be lots of babies on facebook this winter!! :)

Tonight, Phillip got to feel her kick/punch when he laid his head on my belly!! It was an awesome feeling! I've been feeling her flutter around for probably about two weeks now, but this was the first time she was active for Daddy!!!

Needless to say we are super excited about our baby girl!! I cannot wait to meet her around the end of November, first of December. She will come when she's ready and who knows? She may just share a birthday with her Grandpa (Dec 7th). Her "official" due date is November 30, but since that is technically only 38 weeks and pregnancies are actually 40 weeks (10 months), I expect her to be an early December baby. She already has a mind of her own, though, so whenever she decides to come out into this crazy world, we will be waiting!!

Here are some ultrasounds pics from 16 weeks and a picture of her nursery theme!!
Baby King
Baby Turtle King

It's a Girl!!

Pink Monkeys for her Nursery

Monday, July 16, 2012

Honest & Raw Thoughts

After a conversation with my hubby today, I am revisiting couponing, revamping MK, and searching for any way to make a dollar/save a dollar in the next 5 months. We have a ton of debt to pay off, a baby on the way, and our poor pantry needs to be desperately stocked!! We have discussed that unless the job market improves significantly by Christmas, it probably will not make much sense for me to go back to work after baby is born....any kind of childcare is amazingly expensive and would probably be more than my check is in a month. Plus I don't value putting my child in daycare. Of course, a lot has to happen between now and of us has to work to pay bills at least!!
 With hope and a prayer, hubby will land this job at the local gun shop to work part time while in school, full time when not. Another hope and prayer is I will land this fantabulous part time job I interviewed for (which has a high possibility of becoming full time with good pay). Our housing allowance will take care of rent and my checks b/t now and then will help with the rest. We've cut our cable TV, are looking at different phone plans, have sold all that is able to be, don't go to the movies, I've stopped my manicures, & we try not to eat out too much (hard habit to break!!). I take the interstate to work to hopefully save on gas & try to combine all shopping into one round trip. We have been shopping Bilo to get fuel perks, we're on WIC & SNAP benefits, I'm on medicare to pay for all the doctor related baby stuff, and we're brainstorming any other ways to save money/increase income in this dreary, high unemployment area.
When this degree is finished, we are looking forward to moving to a smaller city, where the cost of living might not be so high!! We both thought moving to Charlotte would be a great step in the right direction for our family to get back on our feet. Big city surely would have lots of jobs.....not. Turns out moving to Charlotte has only put us farther into debt and held us back from where we could possibly be. However, we have met some good friends whom otherwise we would have never known, and we have been learning to depend on each other, since each other is all we have up here. Hind-sight's 20/20, but had we known, we would have stayed put in Charleston for a little bit longer...he would have gone to TTC & I would have found a job somewhere. We cannot undo what we have done, so we continue to push forward!
We've still got a long way to go and if a few certain things don't hurry up and happen, I'm not sure what we are going to do. BUT .... I have excelled at couponing in the past, I have built my MK business in the past and we can do it again. We can be better at how our money is spent and we can continue to find any way to increase our household income. We can get off our lazy duff's and find a church to belong to. It has been way too long since we've been in church and I'm certain that is a huge part of the issue.
I want to be debt free! I want to have a fully stocked kitchen again! I don't want to have to worry about which bills get paid, do groceries get bought, or do we buy critter food or our food? We essentially have 3 children to support (2 from his first marriage and our 1st), and we have to find a way to support ourselves before that can happen. 
It has been so frustrating not being able to make ends meet..not just for me but for my husband also. We've basically been a one car family since the spring when our/my Xterra decided to start acting up. She is 10 years old almost, but it always happens when I don't have the funds to fix it! Right now, we think she might need an alternator and thankfully someone has helped us out a little bit, but if that isn't the issue, then what?? We can't afford a new/used vehicle right now and the xterra isn't worth anything to trade it in. So we shall see.
It has also been incredibly frustrating trying to get our house organized and not having the funds to buy simple things to make that happen. And, knowing we have a baby on the way and not able to start buying baby things is even worse!!! 
I say all this to encourage ourselves & you to keep our heads up! I have honestly been incredibly negative the last few months (not like me) and it has worn me down and out. Owing tons of money to lots of people/companies & not able to pay all the monthly bills, kills both of us and I've allowed that to drag me down, down, down. 
So here we are. Five months pregnant, five months to go. Two weeks until school starts and still waiting on VA paperwork. One car family when we really need two. Outstanding debt every which way and not a dime to put towards it. Part time income that doesn't even begin to cover rent for a month. Something has to give and it has to give soon. Over a year of this is enough. Enough is enough. 
We will survive this. We will march through this and come out with soaring colors on the other side. There has to be a silver lining somewhere, a rainbow behind the clouds. Things have to get better! 
And here is to that happening. Here is to the victory that awaits. Here is to the light at the end of the tunnel. Here is to us...working to make a better life for ourselves and our children. 
Psalms 18:19.......He delivered me because He delighted in me.