January 24, 2011

Riley says NOW!

Wednesday the 19th started off like any other. I had my Dr.'s appointment the day before and of course I wasn't getting anywhere near delivering my little man. I had a small burst of energy and decided to take advantage of it. I only had one more day until I went to the Dr. again and then would be induced so I knew that I had a lot to get done. I had two loads of laundry going, I had picked up the living room a little, and I had chatted with my sis and brother in law about them coming out for a visit. I was a busy bee. I still had several things to get done and knew it had to be done that day. The carpets needed to be cleaned, and the bathrooms cleaned.

I took a break from cleaning and was eating Lasagna and drinking an Orange Cream Soda. The windows were open and I was watching Harry Potter #1. After lunch I rubbed my tummy because Riley normally kicks me when I eat. I suddenly realized I hadn't talked to him yet today. I started talking to him but he was sound asleep still. I was a little worried seeing as how it was around 3pm and I hadn't felt him move yet. I went into the nursery and rocked in the rocking chair and sang to him which normally gets him moving. I didn't feel anything. I pushed on his bum to try and feel him twitch or move, and didn't feel anything. I went into the bedroom and laid down so that he would be forced to adjust and get comfy. Still I felt nothing. I was really getting worried by then, but didn't want to call the Dr. or go to the hospital for them to tell me nothing was wrong.

I called my Dr. anyways and Chuck rushed home from work to take me. A car ride always makes Riley move around and kick me a lot. The entire car ride I felt nothing. I was extremely worried at this point. I went in for my stress test, and Riley's normal heart rate has been between 180-190 it was now fluctuating between 170 and dropping to 130. The Dr. didn't like it so they sent me to Labor and Delivery to have a 2 hour prolonged stress test. We got settled into a delivery suite, and our home teacher came to give me a blessing. The nurse decided they were going to keep me overnight to observe baby. Then my Dr. came in and said he didn't like how baby was looking and said clearly baby was not happy. He said he wanted to deliver him. I said okay what is easiest for you. He responded with a Cesarean. I said fine. I have wanted to have a Cesarean because I know how to bounce back from an abdominal surgery as I have had 2 already. But I didn't want to miss out on delivering my baby the natural way and seeing him come out. I asked my Dr. when he wanted to do the Cesarean and he said now!! OH MY HECK!!! Chuck was out as he had run home to walk the dogs so he could stay as long as possible with me. I asked for a few more minutes so Chuck would be there. He barely made it back in time. The nurses came in and prepped me. I walked across the hall to the operating room and they gave me an epidural. I got super sick from it and had a hard time calming down. After everything was A-okay Chuck was brought in. He held my hand, and talked to me the whole time. I thought it was going to hurt like heck, but it didn't it was just weird feeling someone pressing on my tummy, but it feeling like my foot was asleep. lol

Riley was born at 8:39 p.m.!!! In my birth plan the screen was to be pulled down so I could see my baby coming out. But they didn't do it. I had even discussed it with my Dr....but no one took it down. The Dr. pulled Riley out, and I didn't hear him cry. I heard a few grunts, but no crying like you read should happen and happens in movies. But as I felt Riley being pulled from me I looked at Chuck and had this amazing feeling of accomplishment. I cried and told him congrats daddy!!!

Riley still wasn't crying and was only making little grunts once in a while. I started to get really worried. They weren't bringing him over to me, and I was almost all the way put back together again before I saw him. But it was just for a brief second then they took him to what they told me was the nursery. As it turned out they really took him to the NICU. Chuck followed him and I went to a recover room.

The nurse that was taking care of me was really having a hard time finding a med that would work for me. I burn through pretty fast, and so it is hard for them to actually take effect. After having enough painkillers to knock out a horse as they put it....we finally found one that worked, and I was wiggling my toes in no time. The nursed kept telling me that I had saved Riley's life by coming in to be checked as the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck, and after testing the blood in the cord....they found that half of the cord wasn't receiving adequate oxygen or circulation. Riley wouldn't have survived much longer if I had waited. The Nurse wheeled me in a bed through what they once again called the nursery..... (I think they were saying that so I wouldn't panic) and I saw Riley for a minute, but don't really remember it. I tried to nurse but wasn't successful. I was wheeled to the post partum wing and settled into my own room!!!

Chuck would text me about Riley and sent me a few pics. It wasn't looking good for out little guy. He was having problems with his breathing. He would breath really fast which wasn't good, and then his breathing would get shallow. He was having a hard time transitioning his lungs. Then his blood sugar was dipping dangerously low. They said he had to stay there. I didn't get to see my little man for almost 1 1/2 days. But Chuck stayed by his side the entire time. Chuck was there the whole time running from one wing to the other checking on Riley and Checking on me and holding my hand.

My nurse tried to let me go see Riley, but when I was sitting straight up I got super sick and dizzy and then almost couldn't see. I felt like throwing up and couldn't be upright anymore. I had to lay back down and couldn't go see my little man. Chuck still stayed and took care of us. Finally I was able to go visit Riley in a wheel chair later that night, and holding him was awesome. Although I wasn't attached to him. I wasn't feeling that instant bond everyone told me about. The only reason I felt he was mine, was because he looked just like Chuck, and had the Cardon nose, and a head full of white hair. I liked him but I wasn't feeling that instant love for him. It was stressing me out a little because i could see obvious changes in Chuck as he was bonding with this little guy, and I wasn't. I was afraid I wouldn't fall in love with him and have a connection.

But I kept at it. I started pumping the night of my surgery. The girl who showed me the pump didn't inform me correctly about how to use it. The info she gave me was pretty off. I was pumping every 3 hours which is okay....but I was pumping on the highest setting which is a good recipe for cracking and bleeding. By the next morning I was in a lot of pain.....but I didn't care....I was going to do it anyways because my little man needed it, and I wanted to be a good mommy. We were trying latching but not having any success with it. Riley was still having issues with his breathing and blood sugar. He got out of the NICU for about a half hour before they took him back. Then he got out for the night only to be taken back in. Then he spent another day and night in. That night is when I was first able to bond with Riley. Seeing as how Chuck had been awake for days he needed to go home to sleep. He wheeled me down to the NICU and left me there. I had pumped and fed Riley on my own. I also had to change his diaper and take his temp on my own. Then I just laid in the chair and held him skin to skin for hours. Then I walked back to my room pushing my wheelchair and ate dinner and then pumped again to take for his 1a.m. feeding. I walked the milk to the NICU and when I walked in I could hear him fussing. He really doesn't cry which is weird. When he gets shots, has a bath or anything he doesn't cry. He grunts and gets fussy when he needs to be fed, has a dirty diaper, or needs to be burped. I waddled over to him since my incision still hurt, and started to care for him. I watched the Nurse and felt like crying when I knew I needed to leave him and go back to the room. When I realized I wanted to break down and cry I knew it was time to go as this wasn't anything to cry about and I was just sleep deprived, and had out of control hormones.

The next day Riley started doing a lot better. The Dr. realised that he has Reflux which makes it hard for him to keep food down. His blood sugar was better, and his breathing was under control. But they still wanted to monitor him for one more day and night. We got Riley back on Saturday afternoon and was released from the hospital late Sunday.

I was a little disappointed that I was not able to give natural birth, but if I had made that choice then we would not have Riley with us today. The hospital stay was not the usual relaxing one that I get. Normally I love a nice stay in the hospital. I usually get a lot of rest, and I love it. But this time had a lot of stress, and it was so loud! You would think that they would sound proof the rooms better, and make it so the doors are quieter. But unfortunately you could hear everyone that was around us in other rooms, and could hear all of the loud neighbors visitors. You could hear all the other babies crying all the time. And that would get all the other babies worked up. Luckily Riley is a very mellow little man and nothing seems to really get him worked up. The door to my room was insanely loud when the nurses would open the door. It wasn't loud to open, but they would burst through the door like it was a heavy vault door and it was loud. And people constantly came barging in, so getting rest was next to impossible. But the staff were pretty awesome. The nurses were great, the food was good most of the time, and the rooms were always clean. My baby was really taken care of, and I didn't have to worry that he was being neglected.

I am sure I am leaving something out, but I will keep blogging and if I remember something, then I will add it to another blog.

I want to thank everyone so much for all the well wishes and messages that were left for us. We tried to answer all of them, but I think a few fell through the cracks. But really I really appreciate everything everyone has done for us. We are so excited to have our little man in our lives, and we are thankful that he's healthy now.

XoXo-Andrea Carla

January 18, 2011

Riley says NO!

I have been showing more and more signs of Labor recently....so I was excited for my doctors appointment today. I am getting more and more tired by the day. Baby Riley is taking a lot out of me.

Chuck and I went in to see the Dr. and I had my exam and he just shook his head and said Riley was being difficult. ;0( Apparently nothing has changed internally, and Riley is showing no signs of caring to make a debut. Aughhhh that is so frustrating.

I am still planning on going in this weekend to be induced but in the back of my head I am still hesitant to do so. I really wanted Riley to be a February baby and by the looks of how much he is hanging on......it's looking like if I waited he just might hold out until February. But at the same time I just want him out, and to start feeling like my old self again. It is frustrating not knowing what I should do.

Well that is all for now. Love you all
XoXo-Andrea Carla

Another year older

So another Birthday has come and gone. This year we didn't do anything again. I picked out a great cake for my birthday it was a chocolate and mint Boston Cream pie.....and it tastes like HEAVEN!!!!

Chuck isn't really into the whole celebrating birthdays thing......so we don't ever do anything for them. But I can't wait for Riley's birthday....because I am going to go over the top with his. I love birthdays and I think they should be a very big deal. I always wanted a surprise party and have never had one....so I am going to make sure my little Riley bug gets a few pretty awesome birthdays!! ;0)

I woke up to a great breakfast in bed. Chuck made me eggs, potatoes, and bacon! It tasted so great! My tummy was making funny growling sounds all day and Chuck was howling with laughter a few times. ha ha ha
We spent the day hanging out around the house not doing to much. And for dinner Chuck took me to get a sandwich from Kinders!!! I love Kinders and so this was the perfect Birthday dinner. Chuck didn't want to watch the movie I have been dying to see called Case 39.....so we watched Toy Story 3 instead while we ate some amazing Mint Boston cream pie!!

I have no idea what the big deal was with Toy Story 3. And I do not agree with how it won Best Animated film at the Golden Globes. I feel even stronger that it should not have beat out How To Train Your Dragon!!!! I just didn't think it was all that and a bag of chips. Maybe it's because I wasn't in the mood to watch it, or I just feel miserable and pregnant. But it really wasn't that great. I would go as far as saying I was a little disappointed in it. I even thought that the extras on the DVD were better than the movie itself.

So that was my day. Nothing huge or amazing. But it was relaxing.....AND....Chuck installed the car seat in the Yukon!!!

That's all for now
XoXo-Andrea Cardon

January 17, 2011

Getting Closer

Wow I can't believe how close Riley's arrival is getting. In less than a week I am going to be a mommy. lol Granted I feel like that already with two dogs, a man husband, sometimes a bunch of needy Marines. But this time it will be different. Granted I have had nanny jobs, helped friends with their kids.....but it will be very different to have my own little man to take care of.

I am not scared about his arrival, but I am scared about if I am making the right decision or not (to take him a few days early). It can feel a little overwhelming knowing that one little decision could be a mistake or not. But I know that having him in our family is the right decision. ;0)

The house is almost ready. I just need Chuck to clean the bathrooms, and we need to install the car seats, and make sure the car is clean, and clean the carpets. Other than that.....it is for the most part pretty clean. A few little things to tidy.....but clean none the less. It isn't the spotless that I want, but it will do.

All of Riley's clothing, bedding and everything else is washed and put away. This kid has more clothing than Chuck and I together. lol I have all his toys together and put away. I have my to go bag all ready and packed. I have Riley's bag ready to go, with a blanket and little odds and ends.
We have his paperwork all printed and ready to add him to the Ins. and to apply for his military ID card. Someone from our church is going to come give me a blessing before the pushing begins. My visiting teacher has some meals planned out for us so that they will be delivered for a few weeks so we can focus on Riley and finding a routine, instead of focusing on cleaning and cooking. ;0)

I have read all the books, magazines, and watched all the YouTube videos I possibly can. I feel as prepared as I can be now. I really don't think that I have missed anything, but who knows. I have talked to all my friends and family and asked about things they forgot about, or needed, or what not......and I feel I have really covered all my bases and am very prepared. But of course we will see. lol

Well that is all for now....Love you all
XoXo-Andrea Carla

January 16, 2011

How far would you go?

Those who know me well, know that when I go home for a visit I crave food from two places. And I can't end my trip without visiting these places a few times.

The first place is El Sol. And I always order the Mexican Pizza with a side of sopapilla's. I love this dish. I ate it twice when I went home for a visit in September last year. It is amazing, and tastes soooo good.

The second place I have to eat is the place where I got my 2nd job at just 14 years of age. Taco Time is AMAZING!! I truly love this place. Granted it isn't real authentic Mexican food.....but it is good. The reason I have to go to this place, is for the Tater Tots, Soft Taco's, and Crisp Bean Burritos . I could almost live off of this stuff. I am soooo in love with the Tater Tots at this place. I think almost each day that we made the drive into town from my parents......Chuck would take me to get an order of Tater Tots (mexi-fry). I think he was just trying to hush the crazy pregnant lady, but I'm not complaining.

So the point of my post here, is that this Crazy Pregnant has been craving Tots for a few months now. I NEED TOTS!!!!! I have been trying all day to convince Chuck that I needed tots. I really wanted to go to Sonic and get tots and dip them in my ice cream. The only problem with this......is that the nearest Sonic is 20 miles away. and with traffic, it takes almost half an hour to get to the location. I don't really see a problem with this at all, but Chuck seems to think that it is to far to go. I have begged all day trying to get him to go....but the answer is always no. I even got my friends in on it, and they all agreed that for a pregnant lady craving.....it's not to far to drive.

I even looked up how close a Taco Time was......but it is 299 miles away in Oregon. I will agree that....that one is to far to drive for tots. So I looked up the closest Arby's for some curly fries.....but the closest one is 17 miles away, and we would have to pay on the toll bridge. I looked up the nearest Golden Corral, and the closest one is 50 miles away and we wold have to pay on the Toll bridge. I was feeling a little defeated.

So how far would you drive for a food craving? I thought that being near San Fran and that being in California food places would be a lot closer than they actually are. But alas....I have to drive a bit for most things I like. So I will ask again.....How far would you drive for a craving, and is 20 miles to far?

Love you all
XoXo-Andrea Carla

January 14, 2011

Riley is getting ready!!

The last few days I have really been feeling the pressure from Riley. It gets to the point where it even hurts to try and put on or kick off one of the legs of my pants. I have a lot of lower pain from Riley. I am not to sure what it is, but it sure can hurt.

Today Chuck helped me around the house a little....(Thank goodness) And we got a few more tasks that needed to be accomplished. Then we ran to Target so I could find a shirt to be comfy in at the hospital, and picked up some last minute things. I really think I might have everything ready to go. All that needs to be done now, is some last minute cleaning, and install the car seats in both cars. ;0)

I am thinking that Riley is really working on making a break for it. Today so far I had 3 contractions in one hour. One of them was pretty powerful as well. So we will see if I make it to the end of the week or not.

Love you all
XoXo-Andrea Carla

Military Spouse Friday Fill-In

1-What are you looking forward to most in 2011?
I can't wait to meet my son and learn how to be a good mom. I am sad to leave our Walnut Creek Family, but excited to PCS to a new location (wherever that may be).

2-What is something random you do on a boring night when your significant other is away?
I watch girly movies, do crafts, or journal. I also usually use that opportunity to eat a dinner my hubby doesn't like.

3-What has been your greatest adventure as a MilSpouse?
I would have to say our current unit we are stationed with. I have been allowed to observe what my husband does more than I ever have, and I have been able to be a part of things. This has really been a great experience being here as I am able to better understand how the Corps is really run, and how life is for my husband. Because let's face it.....sometimes our husbands descriptions really don't give us much to go off of. But I have to thank our 1st Sgt. for letting me be a part of these things. You really gave me a great opportunity to understand the corps and my husband better. ;0)

4-What is the ugliest fashion trend you ever bought into?
Well I can't say it was ugly.....because at the time I thought I was one hot tamale! lol But I did roll the bottom of my pants, scrunch my socks,wear multiple colored socks, and wore body suits with stirrup pants. Oh I also had big hair!....wait who are we kidding...I still have big hair if I don't calm it down. lol

5-What was the high point of last month?
Helping with Toys for Tots, and knowing I only had one more month left in my pregnancy. Also my husband surprised me with a Tiffany's charm for Christmas!! ;0)

Love you all
XoXo-Andrea Carla

January 12, 2011

The Man!!

What do you do when your crazy pregnant wife wants Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza, McDonalds fish sandwich, and an Oreo shake? Why you let her get them even though now she has tons of leftovers!!! lol

Yup my amazing husband let me get a little bit of all the foods I am craving. He got me out of the house, and I got some foods I was wanting. ha ha ha ha

So nothing else has really changed around here. My burst of energy did not follow me over from yesterday. But hey at least I got a few things done right. lol Last night I hardly got any sleep at all. Paige kept crying and crying until Chuck let her in bed then she cuddled up and went to sleep. aughhhh She acted like she was cold, but the house wasn't cold at all. And I know I am pregnant and so everything is warmer to me anyways.....but I have the temperature baby monitor working, and if it is good enough for baby in the house....(72-ish) then it should be just fine for the puppies. But for those who know Paige....know that she is a spoiled little stinker sometimes.....and will do just about anything to get it. So she kept everyone up last night...I tell you what though....once Riley arrives.........if she pulls any shenanigans like this she is being moved out of her room.

That is all for now.....
XoXo-Andrea Carla

January 11, 2011

What is Butt Dust?

What Is Butt Dust??

What, you ask, is 'Butt dust'? Read on and you'll discover the joy in it! These have to be original and genuine No adult is this creative!!

JACK (age 3)
was watching his Mom breast-feeding his new baby sister... After a while he asked: 'Mom why have you got two? Is one for hot and one for cold milk?'

STEVEN (age 3)
hugged and kissed his Mom good night. 'I love you so much that when you die I'm going to bury you outside my bedroom window.'

BRITTANY (age 4)
had an ear ache and wanted a pain killer. She tried in vain to take the lid off the bottle. Seeing her frustration, her Mom explained it was a child-proof cap and she'd have to open it for her. Eyes wide with wonder, the little girl asked: 'How does it know it's me?'

SUSAN (age 4)
was drinking juice when she got the hiccups. 'Please don't give me this juice again,' she said, 'It makes my teeth cough..'

DJ (age 4)
stepped onto the bathroom scale and asked: 'How much do I cost?'

CLINTON (age 5) was in his bedroom looking worried when his Mom asked what was troubling him, he replied, 'I don't know what'll happen with this bed when I get married. How will my wife fit in it?'

MARC (age 4) was engrossed in a young couple that were hugging and kissing in a restaurant. Without taking his eyes off them, he asked his dad: 'Why is he whispering in her mouth?'

TAMMY(age 4) was with her mother when they met an elderly, rather wrinkled woman her Mom knew. Tammy looked at her for a while and then asked, 'Why doesn't your skin fit your face?'

JAMES (age 4)was listening to a Bible story. His dad read: 'The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt.' Concerned, James asked: 'What happened to the flea?'

Kids say the darnest things.....
The Sermon I think this Mom will never forget...

This particular Sunday sermon....'Dear Lord,' the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. 'Without you, we are but dust...' He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter who was listening leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little four year old girl voice, 'Mom, what is butt dust?'

Love you all
XoXo-Andrea Carla

Baby Steps

All this uncertainty and stress has really got my anxiety high right now. Holy Mooo Cow Batman!!!

It looks like my sister will be coming out to take Riley's pictures. I am so excited about this. 1- Because she is a really amazing photographer (visit here: www.caitlandphotography.com ) and 2- Because she is my sister and has only come out once before in the last 10 years to see me. And she is bringing the whole family out as well. I can't wait to spend so much time with them all.

So today I got a little burst of energy to get some of the house clean. I keep telling myself to take baby steps on the whole cleaning thing so as to not overdue it.....but baby steps just isn't working. It's not getting done fast enough! I need more hands to help!!! (ahem...CHUCK!) So far I have done 1 load of dishes, and the 3rd load of laundry is washing right now. Now I just need to dust, shampoo carpets, organize, pack up some junk, run the air purifier, clean out the fireplace, organize, do another load of dishes, clean the bathrooms, replace the air filter, organize, do Chuck's laundry, and clean! lol Considering I walk slower than a toddler right now, waddle like a penguin, have a hard time bending over, and cleaning products make me sick..... it makes it pretty tough to accomplish the tasks that need to be done. If only my dogs would learn to put away all their bones and toys so I would stop tripping over them....it would really help out a lot. ha ha ha

I am still up in the air on if I should go in to get induced on the 22. I mean sure I am aching to meet my little Riley Bug......but is this the right thing for him? What if he needs more time and I am so impatient that it ends up causing him problems?!! I think I am more afraid of having a regular birth than going in for a c-section. lol I can handle surgery. I know surgery, and it seems to be a common thing for me to do. But I am not familiar with the 1st one, so the unknown is scary. And yes I understand that millions of women have done it before me and millions of them have even done it without pain meds.....it doesn't help at all. lol I am a little uncertain about it all. I am sure this is normal, but I am such a control freak that I really try to control my environment enough that I do not have bad surprises. I try to educate myself about everything enough that I know what my options are so when I feel like I have reached my breaking point, I know what needs to happen next so the job still gets done. Where is the EASY button for giving birth? lol

You know when I look around my house at the things that need to happen before baby comes, it isn't bad. But knowing that it all has to happen and feeling alone in the situation.....makes it all seem a tad impossible! Where is my fairygod mother when I need one? lol Or at least the gift of a really great maid service who would get it all done in one day?! lol I just looked up the Merry Maids website, and requested a quote.....Hopefully it won't be horribly expensive, and we can somehow finagle a full house cleaning from them. ;0)

Well that is all for now. I will keep you updated on any changes that happen around here. And if you are near us when Riley makes his debut....You will get a text as to what the visiting hours are so that Chuck and I can bond alone without distractions with our little man first, and then our friends and family can come on over to the hospital or home and meet our little guy. Depending on how long I am in the hospital....it will probably be better to have visitors there than once we get home and turn into zombies. lol Also we do not wish for people to wait at the hospital while I am in labor. I mean it isn't fare for you to have to wait in the waiting room when Riley could take anywhere from a few hours to a day or two to make his big debut. So we ask that when you get the news.....stay at home, because who knows how long it will take and if I will have complications. Also if Riley had to go to the NICU or something....I would hate it that friends were waiting to meet him and then wouldn't get chance for even longer.

Love you all
XoXo-Andrea Carla

January 10, 2011

No Optimism

Today I had another Dr. appointment. Riley and I had a good conversation before we went in about how I would be showing signs of labor. I wasn't putting to much pressure on the little man but just asking him to show some sort of a sign that he is getting ready to move on out soon.

So we went in and once again the Dr. said I wasn't ready. He was not seeming optimistic that Riley was going to be able to come out on his own. He said my cervix is thick and hard, and he said that it would take Magic to get Riley out. So he scheduled to induce me on January 22. I am not to sure how I feel about it yet, but he wanted to schedule me to at least give me a spot on his schedule....and then he says I can cancel if I change my mind.

I think I am just feeling overwhelmed with everything! I mean my house is no where near where it needs to be to be ready for baby, and......I am not feeling like I am going to get the help I need from the Man Husband. So I am stressing out. And then on top of that my MIL wants to come out and I have to say I an not okay with that at all! So my stress level is a little high right now. Aughhhhhhhhh

Well I will keep you updated if anything changes....Hopefully things improve a little.

XoXo-Andrea Carla

January 9, 2011

Things they are a changing!

So I have noticed small changes lately. It is starting to hurt more when I walk, and I am pretty sure my Riley Bug is moving further down on his way to move out. I am also showing other signs of getting closer to the big D-Day.

Riley has been moving around a lot lately. Some days he is all about ricking out in my tum tum.....and other days he is more interested in sleeping the day away. He does keep me awake most nights. Between visiting the little girls room, and my little Riley bug having a party in his room.......I haven't been getting much sleep. Lately I have been falling asleep around 1 a.m. and then waking every half hour or hour. Then I usually wake up around 6:30 or 7 a.m. and fall back asleep around 9 or 10 a.m. and wake up again every half hour or so. I have to say it is getting a little frustrating. I am sooooo tired. And I am afraid the circles under my eyes might start scaring my husband as they keep getting darker and darker. YIKES!!

I know that Riley needs to incubate a little longer....but I just want him to get out of my tummy so I can meet him!!! ;0)

I have another Dr. appointment in the morning.....let's hope he has some good news for me. I mean I only have two weeks left about! ;0)

Love you all
XoXo-Andrea Carla

January 7, 2011

Happily Ever After

So for those who know me well. You all know that I have always wanted to be a mommy. I just felt it was something I wanted to do in my life. So when I finally found that someone who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.....I started to plan our future lives together in my head.

It consisted of Being happy, Chuck having a great job, me having our first child no later than when I was 25, and possibly having our second by then. I envisioned a cute little house, a nice car, and lot's of skipping and breaking out in song as we had a picnic in the woods. Little did I know that real life would smack us in the face and bring us back to reality. lol

We got married very young. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. But with so many people against our marriage we were determined to prove everyone wrong. Also I always felt guilty if I thought of not being with Chuck. I mean where would he go? It's not like his family would care. So we always stuck through the hard times and somehow made it. Then 9/11 happened and our world really changed. We had to grow up fast. It was not not a matter of trying to survive our immaturity at 20 years old....it was a matter of staying strong for each other as we faced the reality of war. We unknowingly became very dependent on each others courage to stay strong as he had to leave for deployment trainings, and buildups. His upcoming deployment strained us....but we survived the first one.

Starting a family had been set on the back burner for now. Chuck wanted to have a family, just not yet. He had such an awful example set before him.....that he wasn't eager to start one now. We still tried to stay strong for each other as we prepared for his second deployment, But the strain was really taking a toll. Not to mention we were both still very young and immature and really had no idea how to really make a marriage work yet.

Chuck left for his second deployment still a young boy and it was looking like my happily ever after wasn't so happy any more. This was a tough deployment for us. I was depressed and alone, and gained a lot of weight. But I managed to still write him every day. This was the worst deployment. Combat took it's toll on the unit. Chuck came home a changed man. We weren't sure where our Happily Ever After was, but we needed each other. I stopped taking anti depressants and birth control to see if that would help me. We took new orders and moved to a new base not far away. It was a good and bad move for us. We liked the area better....but we just weren't connecting. Chuck had changed his mind about having a family because of war and his family......and I watched as my 25th birthday came and went. I struggled to know what to do. I had married someone who wanted a family like me. And now that person didn't exist anymore.

We struggled through deployment #3 and found ourselves a little stronger by the end of it.

The fourth deployment came and was very different. Chuck was on a ship this time and wouldn't be in danger as much. We found ourselves growing closer over the deployment and needed each other more. It was a tough deployment for us to be separated. Normally we did fine during deployments as we are both very independent. But this time we needed and missed each others company. We had reached a new plateau in our marriage. We knew that Happily Ever After wasn't what we thought it would be....but we knew that we made a good fit 99.9% of the time. We knew that no one else would put up with out faults, and that we were good for each other. We missed each other a lot and by the time the end of the deployment came we couldn't wait to see each other. It was a wonderful homecoming and we had a great little welcome home honeymoon phase as they call it.

Chuck still was against having children and I ached inside as the reality was starting to set in that I may never get to fulfill my dreams. Chuck was considering making his job a career and so that meant constant moving and deployments. Constantly having to adjust to new surroundings, and of course always being apart. Chuck was really burned out from the last 4 deployments and needed some serious down time. So we accepted new orders for I&I staff further north. We had been told that this was a non-deployable unit.....but that is what we had been told in his first unit as well, and that is where he deployed twice. So we packed up our lives again and moved 6 hours north. We settled down and started our little lives here. I started working full time, and so did Chuck. He worked a lot harder than he normally did in units, but he also got a lot more time off. I was enjoying working and feeling like I was making a difference.

Then things changed and I found myself not able to work. We started attending our local ward and found it to be really amazing. We loved going to church on Sundays. But it didn't matter what I said or did Chuck just wasn't going to change his mind on starting a family. I struggled a lot with it, but tried to put on my brave face. I wasn't even sure I could have children seeing as how I had been off of birth control for 5 years now. We should have had more than one accident by then. But I tried to be the good wife, and not pester him about it. But seeing Chuck with other people's kids just made it worse. He is so good with kids, and they always love him. I just didn't understand. But I tried not to say anything.

I felt as though my life were passing me by. Everything I had hoped for in my marriage wasn't happening. I wasn't getting sealed to my husband for time and all eternity. I wasn't going to get to start a family and be a mommy. I would never get the education I wanted or have the job I wanted. I felt like I was merely here for Chuck and that is all. I started to feel very empty inside.

My 30th birthday came and Chuck gave me a spark of hope for a family but I wasn't going to let it get my hopes up. I didn't think I could handle another big disappointment. So we agreed that on my 31st birthday we would talk about starting a family if he had been allowed to purchase a Harley that I didn't really want. So that was that. We didn't talk about it after that. Then 3 months later on a Sunday after a friend had talked to us at Church......Chuck changed his mind on starting a family He gave up his ability to buy the Harley by buying a new car that was safer for our family. And we got pregnant right away.

Now 9 months later we are counting down the days until our son Riley Patrick is born. We have grown so much in this 9 months as a couple. Our lives have been changing around us as we make decisions that are based more around us as a family rather than the young hip couple we thought we were. And I have to say it is an incredible feeling. We are waiting for our next set of orders to see where that life will take us.

I now feel that even though I do not have a fairy tale life or marriage, and my Happily Ever After is no Disney tale....I am okay with that. I am married to a good, hard working man who is my best friend and confidant. And you know.....this Happily Ever After that I am starting to see.....isn't so bad. It may not be all about picnics in the forest while we skip and sing with all our little animal friends.....or magic and glitter......but it is starting to look pretty good from this end, and I can't wait to see what it has in store for us.

We both know that we can handle just about anything. Crazy in-laws....Check! Cars or credit cards getting stolen....Check!! Shootings or stabbings on our doorstep......Check!!! Long deployments of separation.....Check!!! Death.......Check!! And surviving each other......double check!!! We are good together and are pretty sure we can handle whatever life tries to throw at us.

Love you all
XoXo-Andrea Carla


Four little letters.....Four little words.....a world of difference for many

Last night I was able to attend an award banquet given by the Diablo Valley Vietnam Veterans. They were honoring Sgt. Masterson for the year and presenting him with an NCO sword for being NCO of the Year. This was a large group of guys. I figured it would be like the Marine Corps League. But it was very different. These guys seemed a lot closer, and a lot funnier. This was a mix of all branches of the military, and I will say that made for some fun talk. If you are familiar with military life....then you know and understand that it doesn't matter where you are, what rank you are, or what branch you are in......your job is to tease the other guy in the other branch. lol We had dinner at a very posh country club. I was really worried about going since I have 2 dresses that I can wear since I am 9 months pregnant, and they are more summer dresses than a nice dinner dress. But it is all I have and all I could find. I hadn't slept in over 24 hours and was running on Empty.....but I put on my brave face and went because I needed to support my husband at this dinner, and I wanted to support Masterson as he is probably one of the best Marines I have ever met.

I was able to switch out my chair at the table for a more comfortable one. I wouldn't have made it through the night if I had to sit in the chair they had provided. It was a great chair, but the way the baby is sitting...I can't sit up perfectly straight without his bottom and feet jamming into my ribs. It actually is a little painful. So one of the employees at the country club brought a different chair over for me. It turned out to be a kingly type of chair and I felt funny.....but it sure helped out a lot on my back.

So the evening kicked off with lot's of teasing from all the old guys, and they said we could have any drinks we wanted from the bar for free....so Chuck went for a Cherry Coke, and me a Root Beer for the night. Dinner was served buffet style, and it was really good. I was so hungry I gobbled it up. A really nice salad with different greens, and then amazing potatoes, and veggies...with some Chicken that tasted great.

After Dinner the ceremony started with introductions. This is where some of the entertainment began. With each intro some of the guys would hoot and holler Go Marines, or Go Army....even if the guy wasn't a part of that branch. It was fun and silly. The guys all introduced themselves and said a little about when they served, where, and with whom. I noticed that most of the vets only had one tour and got out within a 2 or 3 year mark. Then it came time for all the active guys to do their introductions. And the older guys were amazed that all of the active guys had been in the Corps longer than any of the Vets. Then the man with the microphone asked the active Marines to raise their hands for how many deployments they had been on. And all the vets were just amazed as the guys kept their hands up for 4, 5, even 8 deployments. I felt that the deployment lifestyle the vets lived then, was so much harder to endure through a deployment with hardly any support system from home than what it is now.

Masterson was introduced, and presented with the NCO sword and the guy who presented him with it, also presented him with another honor. Apparently 40 something years ago when this Marine was in the corps......he was voted in as the Corps Sexiest Marine. So he passed on the honor to Masterson last night.....and it was soooo funny. There was a lot of hooting and hollering about it. ha ha ha And I am certain that the guys at the shop will now do something to tease the tar out of Masterson about that. Maybe we should have a cake delivered to the shop that states that he is now voted in as the Sexiest Marine! lol ha ha ha Masterson is not the typical Marine who would just eat up that type of thing and brag it up, or run with it. He is a quiet hard working individual. So this is going to be funny to see how the guys tease him over this.

After the award, the guest speaker was introduced and she is a student at California State Sacramento getting her masters in Social Work. She is doing her thesis on PTSD and the affects that is has taken on families. Now her research is covering each war. So she is asking for participants from the past to the present. From spouses to children who have been affected by this, or experienced it in some way. The topic is a serious one, and it turned the crowd a little while she was speaking. There were a few jokes, but not many, and a few had questions. There was one older gentleman who stood to ask a question. After taking a few minutes to compose himself he asked how do you transition yourself back into normal life with your family after coming back from war, even when it has been 40 or 50 years. My heart went right to him. I just wanted to go up to him and hug him. It was clear that he still struggles with the affects war took on him even though his is in his 70's. I hope his question was answered for him in a way he felt comfortable. But I really see where a lot of these men and wives are coming from. Being a Spouse of a combat veteran, and being surrounded by others as well who have been to war.....you see what War does to our guys. Some come home completely changed, some just a little. But I really do believe that all who go to war come back a little different.

The vets were amazed by all the deployments and how long the active duty guys were in. They were praising them for how much harder that must be....but I kind of feel different. I don't think you can really compare WWII, or Vietnam to anything my husband has experienced. They are like night and day they are so different. I mean when the vets left for war, they rarely knew where they were going, or knew anything about the place. Now our guys have a very thorough brief on the area and lifestyle they are about to enter. The Vets would deploy for a year or so at a time, with little to no contact with home. They might receive letters and were lucky if they could get one mailed out. And when a wife actually got a letter.....it was usually months old by the time she got it. When the guys would return home it was to an empty airport. They found a ride home and surprised their family. Often the family didn't even know if he was still alive or not. Can you imagine someone walking in the door after more than a year whom you thought to be dead?!! That would be so distressing, and exciting. I mean the emotions would be overwhelming. And then you are just supposed to hug and kiss and go back to normal life? ha

Our guys now have a good mail system that usually gets a letter to you in about a week or so. They have phones to call home once a week or when time allows. They have the Internet to send e-mails, cards, and share pictures. Also Skype is available so you can see your spouse and talk with them live. And....on some tours a wife is able to meet her spouse at a port for a few days while the ship is docked. When my husband is to come home....I get notice of it. I am given a rough estimate of the month, then the week, and then within a day or two. Then I get a phone call when he is out of the war zone, and back in country. I am able to prepare myself for the homecoming. I am able to prepare the home to welcome him back. I can't imagine being surprised like wives used to be after months or a year or more of no contact on a deployment.

Also when our vets used to come home...they weren't greeted as heroes like they are now. it was often a silent and depressing flight home. Some had no families to return to. And what we now know as PTSD was referred to as Shell Shock and no one really knew how to treat it. So often the men tried to erase the memories and such by drinking it away. No one knew what else to do. I really think that these guys had it a lot rougher than our guys now do. Granted it is a different war and now they have much higher sophistication, and you have to watch out for so many more things.....but they really are different wars.

I just wanted to share all of this with you. And if you would like to help this woman out on her thesis.....she would greatly appreciate it. Here is her contact info she gave out. It is mostly a survey and will be anonymous.

Jeri Wilson, MSW II

Love you all
XoXo-Andrea Carla

January 5, 2011

I think I can......I think I can.....

I keep telling myself that I think I can make it a little longer. Riley has grown so much that I am feeling like he may burst out at any moment. So in other words.....quarters are getting real tight around here. lol

I had another Dr.'s appointment on Monday the 3rd. I was fine when we went in, but after being there for almost 2 hours and getting poked and prodded so much....Riley and I weren't doing as great. Also when the Dr. was doing the exam.....He stated that it would take magic to get Riley out. Ummmm what is that supposed to mean? So on kicked the worry-o-meter!!! He said I was still closed pretty tight so Riley wouldn't be making a debut soon. We also had a stress test to see how things were going and that is when Riley really got poked a lot. The stress test took forever because he didn't like it and wouldn't hold still long enough to get the 17 markers on the test. So the nurse and the Dr. and the intern would come in and poke at him.....and well that led to a bad rest of the day.
By the time I got home.....I was really hurting. Like cramps hurting. I just had a low dulling pain in my tum tum. As the day progressed it kept getting worse. Soon it hurt a lot to even walk. Standing hurt and then lifting a leg to take a step really hurt. So every time I would visit the little girls room.....I wound up shuffling to the bathroom. aughhhh I was starting to worry that something just wasn't really right. But I didn't want to bother my Dr. again. And especially after the whole Tahoe ordeal where I was just told to go to the ER. and all it turned out to be was a problem breathing due to elevation, and ligament strain. I didn't want to go to the ER and just be laughed at for being the typical 1st time pregnant mommy who worries over nothing. So I did what any girl would do.......I called my sister!

I texted her actually since it was about 10 p.m. her time and i didn't want to wake her, or her kids if they were all tucked in bed. So I texted her to call me if she was still up. She called right away and said I didn't wake her. (phew!!) We chatted for a while and she made me feel a whole heck of a lot better as to what was going on. And she reassured me that a lot of the things I am feeling is normal pregnancy pains. I felt so relieved after we talked. So Chuck rolled over and went to sleep seeing how I felt better about the situation.....and I rolled over to play some solitaire since I wasn't really feeling that sleepy yet. A little while later Riley decided to have a major jam session in my tummy. Really he was rocking out or something.....I felt Lot's of kicks and moving around. Jumping around I am sure of it......a little macarena dance or the Electric slide as well. ha ha ha
As soon as he was done doing that I had a sudden urge to visit the little girls room. After I was still aching a little so I opted to put my chair in the shower and soak up some of that therapeutic hot water. I probably was in there for half an hour....but when I came out of the shower I felt soooooo much better.
Turns out my little Riley bug was somehow laying or putting pressure on my intestine.....and it was causing pain! lol I am so so glad I didn't go to the hospital for them to tell me I was full of crap and to go home!

I have been having contractions about once a day...sometimes twice....but that is all for now....(knock on wood!) And even though I am aching to roll up my sleeves to clean.....I am so so tired I just don't have the energy for it or motivation! What am I supposed to do? I wish so badly I had help to clean. And it's not like there is a lot to do....It is mostly organizing and tidying up the house, and cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms. Aughhh the stress!!!!

Not much else is going on here. It is just a hurry up and wait game for us. I am so eager to meet my little Riley bug. I have waited so long for this.....and truly believed that I would never have children, and this day would never happen. It is so amazing to know that it is going to happen for me.

Well that is all for now..
XoXo-Andrea Carla

January 1, 2011

I found it!!

So for well over a week I have been searching and searching for my camera's charger. I couldn't find it anywhere!!! I was really worried about what to do since who knows when Riley will make his debut, and then how would I document my little man's first few days?!! So I have searched high and low. I normally could find it on our side table. I always keep it there. Since I bought the camera years ago.....I have never had a problem losing the charger. But alas it was gone. I was afraid that maybe I had taken it to Tahoe when we went for the ball and accidentally left it in the room. But the thing is.......I had charged the camera beforehand....and didn't remember ever taking it, or even needing to charge the camera again. But the charger was very much MIA!!!
I wasn't seeing what to do besides buying a new one. But I didn't want to spend $50 on a new charger just to find the old one a few days later......more than likely. Well today I was pretty determined to find the thing. I cleaned and walked around in Riley's room. I dug around in our room. I looked in the hall closet, the kitchen, and for the umpteenth billion time I dug around in the living room. I was about to look again in the cabinet where I keep the cameras and such....when I opened my Nikon bag. And what do you know.......My charger had been stuck on top. I have no memory of doing this, but hey who knows with my pregnancy memory anything is possible. lol
So now I am happy to say that I am able to charge up the ole camera and get it ready for D-Day!

Also today I was able to get my software working again for my flip camera. It has been working off and on now for a few months. But I think it is okay now. lol
And I was finally able to get my e-reader software working again. I haven't been able to update it, or get it to work at all since may or June! So I am pretty happy with how things have went today. ha ha ha

Nothing else is going on. Riley has really been taking a toll on me. I am hardly able to sleep at all, and my arms, neck, and legs have been hurting so much lately that even just trying to lay still is a little painful. Today I tried to push through it and get some things done. I got 2 loads of laundry done, and worked on Riley's room. I was hoping Chuck and I would accomplish more.....but alas nothing else happened. Hopefully something can get cleaned tomorrow.

Well that is all for now. I hope everyone had a great New Years Eve and Day.....and got home safely.

XoXo-Andrea Carla

New Year

Wow it came so fast. This new year really has snuck up on me and I was not anticipating it's arrival so soon. Although I must say I am very excited for all the new adventures that lay ahead for me and my family.
I want to tell everyone to open this year with open arms. Look at the possibilities that lay ahead of you and roll with the punches thrown your way. Accept responsibility for your faults, and own your flaws. Stop pushing people away....it won't stop things from happening to you. But you can keep them at a safe distance. Try something new, and throw away a bad habit. If you smoke stop.....it does nothing for you. It does not give you a happy feeling like a drink might, and it makes you look leathery as you age. Do it for your parent's, your siblings, your spouse, and your kids. Don't be selfish and make them watch as you die of lung cancer. If you love them.....stop now so you can be a part of their lives longer.

And most importantly..........

To my fellow freaks and Geeks..............LET YOUR FREAK FLAG FLY!!!!!