Thursday, December 24, 2015

Surviving Postpartum- Weeks 1 &2

I'm going to try to write at least every 2 weeks, keep track of myself and babe and try to see if I can avoid PPD/A by keeping a journal.

Week 1- Well the first 3 days... it was pretty much me going back and forth between, "Come on buddy you got it in your mouth just suck already! Please don't get frustrated." Pulling him away and trying again till we got it. Going on and on... "Isn't he just so beautiful? Don't you just love him? Aren't you just so in love?! He's perfect!!" and feeling dizzy from exhaustion and hating after-pains.

The next couple days I worried, My bleeding was not slowing down, I was gushing and passing gooey strings and still feeling very crampy. I also felt just overly exhausted and continued to stay in bed! I worked at taking care of me by taking little naps and epsom salt baths. Emotionally I was still doing well, I only had one good crying spell and that is because I thought my mom was leaving and I REALLY wanted her to stay. I felt too overwhelmed to care for things on my own.

Day 7- Still worried about my bleeding and passed a clementine sized clot. Freaked out and got a hold of Jill for reassurance... my body needed more time to heal. My bladder would sting and hurt when I peed. Not pleasant, then again I seem to always get that.

After the clot bleeding practically stopped. I started trying to get up a little more. Get my own cup of water, go to the kids room, etc. We even made sugar cookies and icing! Baby steps to getting back in the swing of things.

Day 10- Had 2 decent gushes, I think making my bed and walking around the house more was still a little much. With Azzie I felt amazing the next day and wanted to go all over (and did!) this time things are just going a little slower. I wonder if having mono had anything to do with that. I'm a little irritated that I'm crampy because I need to go to the bathroom but can't. Drank a couple hot cups of Lemon ginsing tea and a big glass of water... hope to get things moving.

The best thing about tonight, I got to take a nice relaxing bath, I shaved, plucked, painted my toes, straightened my hair. I feel a million times better. What's even crazier is that I actually even felt like I wanted to get lovey with Scott... A little too soon for that, but I can't help my hormones! lol. I'm excited and nervous for tomorrow. It will be my first venture out since birth and baby's first car ride. We will finally get to see what it is going to be like juggling 3 car seats in the car. I just pray that everyone is healthy and we don't all come home sick! Azzie and Asher already have a  cough and their voices sound terrible.

Speaking of that, my poor kids miss me, I was out in the living room after getting cleaned up and they were all over me like flies on honey. Especially Azzie. That is one thing I don't like about having such a little baby, they need so much attention and the other little ones don't always understand.

Well, it's after 3am, Ash just climbed in our bed and I am getting tired too. Gonna catch some Zzzz's.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

12-13-15 The Home birth of Andrew Michael Colgan

My last baby, my last home birth after cesarean... the birth of Andrew Michael.

4:37am: Woke up to a mildly painful contraction, went pee and found a little bloody show. Got excited and decided to see if contractions would pick up. Went out to the living room and fussed on the Internet. Same mild contractions kept coming every 6-8 minutes so I knew labor was coming.

6:08am:I called Jill and let her know I was in early labor. She asked if I needed her to come I said, "Not yet, things are just getting going." and told her I would let her know when things progressed or got more painful.

8:37am Jill checks in. I let her know contractions were still averaging 7 mins apart a little more intense but FAR from unbearable. What was unbearable was a my resting position caused an awful muscle spasm in my back. I took 2 Tylenol and some calcium magnesium and broke out the heating pad to help it. (who knew that heating pad would see me through my entire labor)

8:55am My mom and azzie woke up and I had not had a contraction since my back spasm began. I was worried that labor may have stopped.  I went and woke up Scott and Asher and told them to leave the bedroom I needed my labor space.

9:18am Jill suggested I rest and carry on with my day if they didn't return.... 1 minute later they returned in full force.

9:19am I text Jill back, "come" and let her know Amy should probably come too.

9 :23am My back was starting to feel better but still was more painful then the contractions, Amy called to hear how I was, I told her I was hurting but contractions were picking up.

9:38am Tylenol kicked in and my back felt better contractions began to hit every 3-5 minutes and were beginning to really hurt. thank God for Scott. He held the heating pad to my back between contractions and put pressure on my back and hips. EVERY contraction he did that.

Around 10am: Jill arrives, checks me and baby, Heart rate sounds good and I was at a 7!!!  I was amazed. These contractions, while painful, were not NEARLY as  bad as they were when I gave birth to Azzie. I had good 3-4 minute breaks between them and the peaks were not as intense.

Around 10:30am (as it gets hard to tell time when laboring) Amy arrived. I continued to sit and rest. when I could break and stand with Scott and the heating pad and his pressure on my back when I contracted. The heating pad felt so good but was making me hot so a wet cool rag felt wonderful on my neck and face.

10:53am: A contraction hit that made me pushy, My body had taken over at this point. Amy asked, "Cass are you pushing?" Yes, yes I was. We were close...

The next 4 contractions were VERY hard to bear and had me begging God for mercy. I had asked him to please let me get the baby out, don't let me be stuck in such pain. My legs trembled as I stood bent over the edge of our bed and I question my strength to stay standing. I pushed with the next contraction and thought that I had crowned the baby, Instead I had began birthing the sac of waters! I reached down and felt it bulging. My husband said it was the coolest thing to see the baby's head but surrounded in water. The next contraction I pushed with all my might, I kept pushing and pushing and at 11:05am birthed my baby in the caul!!!

It took me a few minutes to get my bearings from pushing, but soon I was on the bed saying hi to our new baby. It still took me a few minutes to collect myself and deliver the placenta but about 15-20 minutes after his birth, I asked Scott to tell me the gender... A boy!

We spent our golden hour together, skin to skin as midwives picked up, ran me a warm bath, and my mom prepared me food. After that hour we did stats. Andrew was 9 pounds 3 ounces and 21 inches long. My biggest baby! He had a head full of long dark hair and was perfect.

After getting cleaned up and checked over (no tears and minimal blood loss!) and letting him meet all his siblings our midwives tucked us in bed and made their leave.

I am so happy to have finished out my childbearing years with such a wonderful birth. God really answered my prayers, my labor was not too long, not too short, not too painful. It was perfect.

Birth stats:
Early labor: 4 hours 43 minutes
Active labor: 1 hour 33 minutes
Pushing: 12 minutes
Time till Placenta: 10 minutes

Total time in labor: 6 hours 38 minutes

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pregnancy Journal Week 37- Why I am scared to give birth again.

Here I sit at 37 weeks. Doing an okay job of keeping my blood sugar in check and under 140, dealing with the daily annoying contractions that get stronger, and the pain in my pelvis and hips from all the weight. I want to be done, but to be honest, I am scared.

I keep having people confidently tell me, I will be fine, I've done this before, I know what to expect... yada yada yada.... but it's just that... I know what to expect and for some reason the encouragement isn't helping.

Here's a list of all the reasons why I am scared to give birth again:

1. The pain. Dear Lord in heaven.. the pain. Natural childbirth is hard and painful and intense. Each child is different, who's to say this one won't get stuck or I'll have another long labor... or maybe I will have another super fast BUT super intense birth like Azzie's I fear baby getting stuck in the most painful stage and me having to deal with the pain for more than a few minutes.... I don't feel like I would be strong enough... I'd rather take a bullet to the head.

2. To go off of point one, I am scared this baby will be large and am worried about it's position since it is facing differently than my other 3 children.

3. This is our last child... what if something happens? Of course leave it to FB to show me photos of dead babies, babies with deformities and all sorts of other issues as I prepare to give birth myself... yeah, that helps my nerves.

4. To go off point 3... if something happened to this baby, we couldn't have another (biologically).. am I okay with that? I know I never want to be pregnant again, but I also know that our family is complete at 4 kids.

5. I already have kids, if something happened to me or the baby.... it just adds more stress to the mix.

6. I am in a new place. I have never given birth here and for some reason that makes me uncomfortable. I almost feel like I would relax more if I were back at our old apartment where I birthed our other 2 children.

7. Did I mention birth was painful?

8. This is my first dry birth. I hope I made a good choice in foregoing the water birth option this time, but again, the change makes me a little nervous. I just don't feel like there is a place here where I would be comfortable in a tub...

9. Impending delivery makes me feel trapped. I feel like I am being forced to do something very unpleasant, the outcome is wonderful, but the process is unpleasant. Like my midwife said, it is like a roller coaster... first you're excited to ride, then you get on and start heading up the massive hill and the closer you get to the top the more you wish you could just turn around... then it peaks... but at the end you are glad you rode... I'm at the peak saying... "where is the emergency exit button?"

10. I keep getting little adrenaline rushes from nerves. You know when you are really nervy and you startle easily? I feel that way constantly, just little adrenaline rushes in my heart. I hate feeling on edge. Being diagnosed with panic disorder does nothing to help my case.

All in all, I just really dislike pregnancy and birth. I don't like how it feels, I don't like feeling trapped. I don't like all the discomfort it brings... I am ready to be done. This next week my goal is to work on fear release and letting go... Wish me luck with that.

-Cass


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pregnancy Journal Week 33- Painful Positivity?

Many of my friends and family do not realize the amount of pain that pregnancy causes for me. I try my best not to complain excessively, because who wants to hear someone whine about hurting all the time? So this will be it, my one main rant, cry, gripe, woe is me... post where I go in detail about how much I really hurt.

First off, I have been seeing the chiropractor for weeks, I know I get SPD (I'll explain in a min) and I was trying my best to keep everything in line BEFORE it got bad, before the pain got unmanageable.

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction is caused when the body produces too much of the hormone relaxin. Relaxin is what causes the joints in the pelvis to become loose and mobile so a baby can pass through. Most women feel some discomfort in their back and hips due to the pressure of baby and loosened pelvis. I on the other hand, produce extra of this hormone, so much extra that it effects not only my pelvis but my entire body.

Every day is constant pain, I can't sit without pain, I can't lay down without EXTREME pain, My back, knees, hips, shoulders, neck... everything aches, everything is constantly popping and shifting. My chiro can't even believe how hyper-mobile my joints are, I can dislocate joints with minimal pressure ( like I did with Azzie when I fell and dislocated my shoulder). It wasn't even a full fall, I caught myself on the wall and pop... out things go.

Some days are worse than others. Some days it hurts just to try to get out of bed, I wake up all through the night needing to ice or heat or sit on the back massage chair. Those days are awful and full of Tylenol just to make it. Some days when all is "mostly" aligned I am in manageable pain and try to get things done, making sure to rest and be super careful. It just kills me that I have to prep my body just to take my son to preschool then come home and baby my body from the lifting, walking, and driving!

With that said, I think tonight I have reached my breaking point. I cannot bear 7 more weeks of not being able to sleep, at some points barely able to walk, and spending HOURS every. single. day. (and night) icing or sitting on heating pads. The chiro just isn't enough anymore... it's time to seek out physical therapy.

Finances have been tight, we are trying so hard to get out of debt against the mountain of bills that keep racking against us. (Like $3200 out of pocket to give birth by December) So me deciding that $35 a week for a therapist was a very hard decision, but one I pray so hard to God will be worth it.

Trying to keep positive, trying to keep believing the therapist will help and will be able to bind my hips and brace my back so they can feel better.

My main mantra that is seeing me through all of this is, "I will NEVER have to do this again. THANK GOD!"


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Pregnancy Journal- 27 weeks 5 days- Anxiety Sucks and Sleepless Nights

What is it with my birthday?!!?!?!?!?!
I have been anxiety free for over 10 FULL months.
All of a sudden, out of no where, I'm dizzy, double vision, heart palpitating every few minutes, and just an overwhelming sense of unease. All my classic symptoms.

I went to the Dr. last year on my birthday for anxiety... now it reared it's ugly head again. Maybe it is a lack of sleep? Dehydration? Hormone fluctuation.... who knows.

I broke down and took one of my anti-anxiety pills and i am currently laying here hoping to feel better when I get up so I can actually enjoy my birthday.

I hate this. I hate feeling like I need to cry, feeling my heart flip-flop and take my breath away, feeling like I can't stand any stimulation, noise, touch....  I know it will pass. I've lived through these spells before and I will make it through this one too. More on the past few weeks in a bit.  I needed to vent, but now I am going to rest.

9/19
No wonder I am so tired all the time. Here I am awake again at 5:30. Struggling to sleep because my back and hips ache so bad. I can only sleep and lay for so long before everything gets too stiff and tender that I have to get up. It doesn't hurt so bad when I am up or lay for a short time. I am so thankful for my mother and letting me borrow her back massage chair. It helps quite a bit. My back is so tender when I first sit on it, then it slowly kneads out the painful knots in my back... The joys I tell you, the joys!

Speaking of our little bundle. I really wish I knew how baby was positioned in there. All my babies always opted for butt up left side, Feet out to the side... This baby seems to have a liking for the right side and I feel a lot of movement there as well as in my cervix, hardly any on my left... I had an awful dream that the baby was coming out funny and it made labor painful and really slow. I am saying now I will do every spinning baby move in the world if that's what it takes to keep that from happening!

I've had more bonding days though, I am beginning to get more excited to meet this baby. To see it's little face. I still want this to come out a positive experience. I don't want my last pregnancy to be all negatives and I pray for Azzie (and possibly this babe) that they have easy and wonderful pregnancies.

I can't believe I am only 3 months away from meeting my last baby. Azzie will be 2 in 2 weeks, Ash is going to be 4.... it's crazy.

OH!!! and before I forget. I got my new Ameda breast pump today. Free through insurance.... It's electric, double pump... Happy to be going out of my milky years with ease and style.. haha.
My massage is almost done. I'm going to aim for going back to sleep. :)

-Cass

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Pregnancy Journal and Needing to Cry- 21 weeks 6 Days

The past weeks have been mildly interesting ones, the past few days chaotic. I am a vat of emotions right now. Most of them nervous, scared, and sad ones.

Thankfully none of these feelings are because of the baby. Baby is healthy, beautiful, growing great and strong (12 ounces already!). We had an ultrasound on July 23rd. It was neat. Seeing baby in 3D/4D... looks like Ash... makes me think maybe a boy, though I have to admit I am hoping for a girl. Didn't find out the sex though. Still keeping it a surprise. I'm really, really proud of myself about that because I was really tempted when the technician looked and kept giving me goofy looks. Actually upset me a little that she knew. :-/

Not really feeling that pregnant anymore. Even though baby is moving quite a bit. I'm just not feeling that emotional connection? I think I went through this phase with all my pregnancies, so I'm not too worried about it.

Worked lots on our house, took gramma to Pizza Hut for her birthday and brought her flowers. I was also guilt tripped by a cousin for not driving 6 hours round trip for a cook out... oy.

So, onto this week. My mom came for a few days, I enjoyed her company and the extra hands! She's so stressed and going through a lot. I really hope she can pull through it and get to the other side okay. I would go into more detail, but my mom's life really isn't my business to write about. I will just say that I look forward to having my mom be more relaxed and happy.

Then today... today was just a really, no good, terrible, truly BAD day. My friend had to have a heart surgery... didn't work. She will have to go back for them to try again and knock her out. She's got a rough couple days ahead as she recovers. I'm keeping her little one. He's a bit of a handful, but thankfully I seem to be doing better with him than I gave myself credit for... we will see how tomorrow goes.

I got pulled over on my way home... $135 ticket. The road was merging down to one lane, and this lady kept slowing down and speeding up so I could not get over, then she flipped me the bird and kept me trapped. I finally sped up to try to pass her, then she sped up even faster so I slammed my brakes to let her and the 3 cars following her pass, only after A police officer tried to pull us both over, Unfortunately she kept going and I actually pulled over... He felt so bad giving me the ticket... he saw what she did and how she harassed me, but I was speeding and I could have pulled over and waited for all the cars to pass versus speeding up I guess... :(

Then the WORST news I could imagine. My gramma tells me today that the spot on her kidney they were hoping was a cyst is a mass and is very likely cancer... My heart dropped and shattered into a million pieces when she told me that... I could be near her. I didn't want to break down in front of her and break her strength. She is such a brave woman. She goes for a more thorough scan tomorrow. I am praying with all my strength it is clear and the mass is benign. Even though I am fearful, I want to believe with all my heart i still have many years left with the person I love so much. She has been such a major part of my life for so long, I feel like my world would be so empty without her. I would long to hear her voice, and her tough love... I'm not ready to even begin to think what life could even be like without her in it, so I have to believe that it will be okay.

My emotions are just so jumbled.
I came home and just needed to do something to numb my mind for a bit. Too much emotion going on! So Scott and I sat outside, he kept an eye on kids and I worked at painting the porch, anything to keep my mind off this day.

Not too mention, school starts in less than 2 weeks, (3 weeks for Ash) We have a million appointments to go to in the next month, Bills suck, spending a ton on school supplies sucks, being stressed about having to run all over God's green earth for everything SUCKS.... my mood is just too crappy right now to say life is grand. Then again that is what I use this blog for; My venting space where I can come deposit the emotions I don't want to hold on to, take a deep breath, and think happier thoughts.

-Cass

Monday, July 20, 2015

So I've had a bad day and its only 2 in the afternoon...

Today... let's talk about today. First I call Wells Fargo, I opened a new line of credit with our bed. Received my first bill on July 13th due July 7th...and a second bill 4 days later telling me I owed them double the bill + a late fee... Had to go through loops to get that taken care of.
I made a roman shade from some mini blinds.. worked out pretty good, so that was a small success, just wish I had some thicker fabric on hand.
Then, we get ready to go into town. I had to pay my car payment, we were going to stop and get lunch and Asher had an appointment at 1:40 to check on the penny in his belly that he swallowed. Oy.
Pay my car payment, all the kids were doing were fighting and fighting... very distracting. I almost missed a stop sign and slammed on my breaks... we had 8 and 6 foot pieces of wood in the car we bought for making a head board... those pieces flew up front, cutting my arm, scraping the dash and hit the windshield. Thankfully it did not crack but OW!!!
We go to Wendy's and get some lunch, they got rid of the sandwich I liked, the chicken dill one that was cheaper... damn them. A normal chicken sandwich with pickles just isn't the same.
Get to the pediatricians, I forgot Asher's medical screening paper that needs filled out and Aiden says he forgot to put on shoes... Because telling him "Get your shoes on and get in the car." Was just too complicated of a request I guess.
I went in really quick and asked Kerra if I could reschedule. Thankfully they have a spot open tomorrow afternoon.
Come home, unload all that damn wood from the car before someone really gets hurt with it.

Let see, Scott came home, I left for midwives. Not sure I like the drive to Amy's new place, it feels a lot longer of a drive. It's really not but it feel like it. Jill missed half the appointment which was fine, Amy and I just chatted a bit. Baby's heart sounded good and they said I measured spot on, Though I felt Jill was a bit above my pelvic bone... I don't know. I'm just excited to see the baby this Thursday when we go for our ultrasound... still trying to make the decision on whether or not we want to know the sex!

-Cass

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The filth that is my home...

Nobody reads my blog right? Seems that this has become the place I go to write down all my thoughts and feelings I really want to get out but don't feel like hearing the criticism or opinions over.

Scott and I have decided to list our home for sale. It was a hard choice for me to just say yes. I made the agreement that as long as we walk away with some cash in our pockets, I'll be okay. I don't want to come out even... then I feel like I put in a ton of work for someone else again, I want to walk away even, plus some cash for us to get started again. My goal is 5k or more in the positive.

That means that we need to get our butts in gear and get this house cleaned up. The closets are cluttered, our shelves are full, our basement practically has another house worth of furniture...Just TOO MUCH STUFF!

We have too much.

The point of this is to downsize right? looks like hubby and I need to get on the ball, go through our things and have a major purge/yard sale. No more maybe we will need this... just do it. Be done. Maybe we should just find out the sex of the baby so we can purge all the opposite sex baby clothes. Toys, clothes, furniture... it all needs to just hit the road.
I am so tired of so much stuff, It makes everything feel so messy, constantly.

Speaking of messes. My house is one giant one. These kids seek to destroy everything they touch. In order to have things nice we would have to purge all things smaller than a soccer ball, paper, all writing utensils, books, and toys. Cabinets would need to be locked, plastic on everything and barriers for the walls... then possibly, it might be feasible to keep this place clean.

It doesn't cease to amaze me how they just "find" things and the places where they "hide" things. Today cleaning up Aiden's room I found an moldy apple core in his drawer, how awesome is that? Azzie found a small piece of crayon some place and drew on the walls... I went to take the crayon but she ate it. Asher is like a hound dog when it comes to money. He can find it anywhere.... and I am constantly finding it hidden in toys, pants, books, etc...

Scott and I work ourselves to the bone and our kids' main goal seems to be to destroy everything nice we own. Like last night when Scott and I were cutting up chickens, Azzie had major runs that leaked our the sides and up the back of her diapers... she proceeded to crawl all over the couch, smearing shit everywhere. Aiden took the plastic off of his brand new bed because it got wrinkled. Instead of asking me to fix it, he proceeded to pee the bed 3 nights in a row and soak his new mattress in urine.. How awesome are kids?!

I am so stressed. Scott seems nervous now to have a vasectomy. I used to be... but this is hard. Day in and day out chaos and mess is breaking me down. I love the kids we have. I don't want any more. I'm perfectly okay with us no longer being fertile.

I'm perfectly okay with not having little kids anymore...
I'm perfectly okay with the idea that being done with this may make me feel old.
And to hell with anyone who tells me I should be cherishing or be more grateful.
I'm entitled to my feelings so F*%& off.

We have so much to do, finish the deck, paint, counters and kitchen backsplash, Kids bath, and gates... all to get our positive to walk away...

So we can start this chaos in some place new... some place that is cheap enough that it won't hurt so bad if the kids mess it up... Get our financial security... and then maybe, just maybe someday we can have our dream home.

-Cass

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pregnancy Journal Week 18- Chiropractors are saints.

This past week has been awful! My back has been killing me right between my shoulder blades, my mid back muscle on the right, and my sternum is hurting again... though I did have about 2 pain free weeks till I injured it again... Anywho, I have been in misery. No matter which way I lay, somewhere in my back is pinched and hurting.

My chiropractor was away on vacation the entire past week, so you can bet, first thing the office opened today I called to get in. He cracked my back right between my shoulders and it felt like 5 vertebrae, my shoulders and everything popped all in one crack. You know that feeling when you hit your funny bone, it hurts, but makes you laugh and actually sort of feels good.... that's how this was. As soon as he cracked it, I went, "Dear God." and then laughed through pain for about 2 minutes straight. It felt so good but hurt so bad at the same time. I iced it when I got home and am sitting on the heating pad now to baby it some...

Lets see, baby is still moving more and more everyday and my uterus keeps getting taller. I go for an ultrasound next Thursday... excited to see our sweet babe.

We took the chickens in this evening to be butchered. We have a local amish family do it for us... Some of those chickens were crazy fat and heavy... it will be so nice to have 25 chickens worth of meat to line our freezer and to finally get rid of their portable shelter and let all the chicken poo wash away.

Other than that, nothing is really new. Been tired a lot, but today I actually had a little energy, which is surprising as I barely slept last night. Scott had a nice birthday, I feel like an ass for not giving him a card, but I did get him an ice cream cake... so that was something.
Off to bed for me now.

-Cass

Sunday, July 12, 2015

My heart is so conflicted...

Here I am at 18 weeks pregnant and my husband and I have started to weigh the idea of selling our home. Why? Why would we want to sell our lovely ranch country home that we have only lived in for a year and a half? Because it is expensive, that's why. We could save HUNDREDS every month living in a cheaper place. That would mean paying off our debt quickly, that would mean financial security for our family, and a smaller place would mean less maintenance for this busy mom. It would mean me not having to work so much and focusing more on the kids... BUT it would also mean giving up a home that I have fallen in love with. it would mean another round of packing, purging, and uprooting all our things, a new place to adjust to, new stresses...it would mean losing the garden I have invested thousands into, and letting go of the dreams I had for this home.

After losing our home in Sidney and having to wait for years to be able to buy again, and living in the cramped Arbors apartments we couldn't wait to spread out and have a place to call our own again. We wanted to be in our home at least 5-7 years. We wanted a place to call our "home".

When I was a child, my parents constantly moved place to place, since Scott and I have been married we have moved nearly every year that we have been married. -Wapak Ave.-Piper St.-Spruce St.-Vandenbosh Ave.- West Lake Rd.- The Arbors- and finally settled here. 7 moves within 7 years of marriage. Is it just that we can't seem to make good choices? Is it that every time we try to move up, life gives us a kick back down telling us we're not ready? I just don't know.

We are not necessarily house poor in the house we are in. It's just that we have a lot of debt. His school loans, my school loans, the car payment, credit cards from purchasing this or that, giving birth to 3 kids and paying $3200 out of pocket each time, hospital bills from broken legs, crushed fingers, and swollen lymph nodes... it all adds up. Quick. It sucks our money... A surprise bill from the IRS, piano lessons, and children's needs... it all adds up. Debt free we would be set to take on all this, but we are not debt free.

So now we sit here conflicted, do we stay, slowly trying to whittle down our debts between "extra" expenses, investing into the home we have and hope we get the pay off later when we do go to sell, or do we sell now, down grade all we have and dedicate all our money to our debts in hopes that we can upgrade again? What if it doesn't work out either way? What if we make another poor choice and again have to call it "a loss"... We've had so many things we have had to call "a loss".
Why is life so stressful and so damn hard? I hate hard choices. I hate feeling conflicted.

My heart tells me to stay. That I love my home, my space, my flowers and I deserve to enjoy the fruit of our labor, Enjoy what 7 years worth of marriage and work has earned us... my brain says, be smart, get financially secure, let kids get bigger, then move up... then move up.... it's always later... it always takes just a little more work, just a little more patience... just more time.

I'm sick of fixing up the places that I live in only to leave them for others to enjoy.

At West Lake Rd. I planted flowers, we built our son an awesome playhouse, we remodeled the kitchen and bath, painted and and upgraded the fixtures... only to leave. As soon as it was all finished, we left. I never even got to see what the kitchen looked like finished.

Almost everywhere I have lived in the last 7 years, I have planted flowers... this is the first time I have ever gotten to see my garden come up the second year... I really liked that. I REALLY liked that.

We plan on redoing our current kitchen, fixing our porch, just fenced in our yard...
For what? the next Joe Smo to enjoy while I go in live in a cheap home for the sake of financial security? It eats at my soul. It really does. It hurts my heart to constantly start over. I'm ready for something stable in my life, something that sticks, but is that me being selfish? Is it what's best for our family?

We will be looking at houses some more this week and weighing our options, crunching numbers, doing our best to figure out the smartest move to secure our future, but I have to admit, it makes my heart hurt.

-Cass

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pregnancy Journal- Week 17- I hate being pregnant.

Alright... I'm done. Is it too early to say that? TO say I'm done? I came into this pregnancy with the idea to make it great! To do all the right things, think nothing but positive thoughts, and enjoy my last pregnancy... I have come to the conclusion that as much as I would love to delude my mind into believing that this pregnancy is great. I just really don't enjoy being pregnant. Don't get me wrong, there are the awe moments when it's cool. Feeling baby kick and those moments where you don't feel like complete crap and you sit in awe of how awesome it really is that your body is making another human... pretty cool.

However, morning sickness, excessive relaxin production, exhaustion, braxton hicks, stretch marks, and uncomfortable clothes (because to me all clothes are currently uncomfortable) can take a hike. Instead of fading off at 11 to 13 weeks like my previous pregnancies, morning sickness has decided to hang around and progressively get worse. My joints are already hyper mobile causing annoying aches and pains that will continue to worsen, I'm overly tired and have constant heartburn/sour stomach... and well I just dislike being pregnant!

I feel like it is sort of blasphemous to say that, to say I really loathe ... I mean dislike being pregnant. I can hear that little voice in the back of my head... "Well at least you can go through this, there are women that would love to be in your shoes." I want to just say, I am aware of that, I wish all women could feel these glorious discomforts and brief moments of awe. I'm not wanting to sound ungrateful. I love my children dearly, but I also feel that I can legitimately say for me, the experience to get these awesome kids sucks. On my road to keeping a positive attitude I have decided that admitting when I am not happy or am bothered is actually healthier for me then putting on a face that all is fine and dandy in the world. I can still be positive while laughing and admitting this sucks. haha.

That's all the news I have that I want to share really...but to curb from the complaints, I have been feeling baby move multiple times a day now! :D Those little movements make me smile. Grow baby grow! Then get out! haha!

-Cass

Monday, June 29, 2015

My Vision of My Perfect 4th Birth

My perfect birth.
As suggested by my midwives, I wrote down my birth story as I would like it to be.  

I will likely have contractions for weeks leading up to my birth and already be about 3-5 cm dilated before true labor even hits from all the prodromal labor. I will feel frustrated, pissy, and tired. I know myself well enough. I will be done being pregnant! I have a feeling labor will start in the afternoon while Scott is at work. I'm making lunch for the kids, irritated that I have been crampy and miserable all morning only to be hit with a hard contraction that has me calling Scott and the midwives to come. They hit hard and fast, but unlike last time I will bear them better, because I know baby will come quickly and smoothly. Plus I have 2 little ones that need me to be calm. "Get them settled and run yourself a bath" I tell myself.

Scott will have sped home and come in to help. I'm thankful it is still above freezing outside and the roads are clear and traffic should be light. I will get in the bath tub and he will put blankets or towels in a bag in the oven and set the kids up with a show while I continue to holler from the bathroom in labor mode. "Scott, get my fan, I need air." Air circulating has always helped me when I am in pain. Feeling like I can breathe well and my body stays cool helps. I get out of the tub and he wraps me in a warm towel as I sit on my hands and knees in front of the fan. I know Amy and Jill are both on their way. They know to come quick. one or two more contractions hit and I feel the need to push. I've only been laboring about an hour but I need to push. Scott grabs the chux pads, gloves, and warm blankets in a rush. He texts Amy/Jill: door's unlocked, we're pushing... Just then, Jill arrives. She was pulling in the driveway when she got the text and is by Scott's side, Baby is almost ready to crown. I feel that intense burning, the pain and I bite down on a towel and do my best to focus on breathing. Next thing I know Amy is there too. All three of them are around me and ready for the next moment...I push just twice and our sweet baby arrives earth side. Amy helps Scott as he catches our baby and Jill applies counter pressure to help keep me from tearing. This birth was so easy! Not as intense, not as scary. The pushing definitely hurt but went fast and wasn't too bad. No tears and minimal swelling! Heck at this point my babies are practically falling out..The placenta comes out soon after, easily and with almost no effort on my end.  

Less than an hour and a half start to finish, all that annoying prodromal labor was worth it. I got a quick and smooth birth and I feel great! Only a cup or so of blood lost, the baby and my vitals are perfect and everyone was there just in time for the best part. We move to the freshly made bed and spend our golden hour together. Scott makes me some toast with peanut butter and banana...wait, dang kids hogged all the banana's... guess we'll go with honey and a warm cup of tea and some Tylenol to help with the after pains. Jill runs me a nice warm Epsom salt bath to clean up and soak my bottom while daddy gets his turn to meet the baby. Amy put on another Mickey Mouse movie for the kids and give them a snack.  All clean and dressed, I come back and Amy weighs the baby. 6 pounds 15 ounces! 19 1/2 inches long. Our smallest baby yet but still very plump, healthy, and perfect. Jill checks my uterus and bleeding again, I'm great and barely sore! It's getting close to supper time and the midwives leave to head home. Scott pops a pre-made Lasagna in the oven and all the kids are on the bed looking at the new baby. We're all in love. A wonderful birth to end my child bearing years with. We look at our baby, Happy to be done, slightly sad that it's our last and excited for the future. Our family is complete. 

-Cass

Saturday, June 20, 2015

6/18/15
I don' know why I feel like writing but I do. I feel slightly emotional today but about nothing really in particular. My house is a mess and never seems to leave that state. I haven't ate the best the past 2 days, lots of meat, cheese, and carbs, and I am just really tired. Thought I was supposed to get my energy back? I'm in my second trimester! I'm sure all of these things make for a tired more emotional me.

Got back on FB. I hate to admit I missed it. Well not really, but at the same time yes. I've decided that I am going to make the effort to actually see and know the people on my "friends list". The way I see it, if I don't really know them and they don't really know me and we are not comfortable asking to visit one another without an occasion... then why are we friends? I have trouble deleting some people though, friends or not. I want to see what is going on in their lives, many of them live in exciting places or are going through transitions into marriage, parenthood, work life, etc... and curiosity wants to see where life takes them, though I know I am only seeing the highlight reel. I've made lots of plans for the next two weeks, cook-outs, swimming, and playdates. I need more adult time and instead of whining about it I decided why not get off my lazy ass and connect. Sure it sucks to be the one that has to initiate, but I think that in time with my amazingly charming personality, people will start wanting to spend time and make plans with me... ;) Yes, I know, so humble right?

I have to feel good about something in my life. I'll never be a beauty queen but I can do my best to develop a beautiful and contagious personality that people enjoy.

Let's see what else is on my mind. How about I'm not really digging chickens anymore. With out main flock battling sickness and mites and our meat chickens being... well quick growing and sort of lazy, I'm just not feeling the chicken love that I used to. I liked it better having a pretty coop and a small flock I loved as pets versus more of a farming attitude. It's weird how conflicting that feeling is. One minute I love having a nice sized property and the "potential" it offers and on the other hand I crave something a little more intimate and manageable. Like a nice big back yard that offers the space for a garden, chickens, and playing, but that was not so far out of town that I have to travel to everyone and everything. Hard to convince people to come out to the boonies. I also want a little less work. With a fourth child on the way extra yard work, lots of animals, and farm work seems daunting when coupled with my jewelry business and household work (that as I mentioned above never seems to end or even subside some). I sort of look forward to moving to Tennessee. Now that we have a better idea of what works for our family we can make a wise decision on a home. Hopefully a less expensive home... I'd love to see us meet our goal of becoming debt free. We'd be made if we could do that.

Finances are so stressful, so many damn bills and every time we start making a small dent, another bill comes up. Ash breaking his leg, me becoming pregnant, $655 ultrasounds...-_- Glad I at least fought and got them to remove the $397 charge for the STD tests I refused... It seems so overwhelming. I wish we could just sell half our stuff, but it's hard to part with most of it. It always seems like when we sell stuff a year or two later we always have to buy it again because circumstances change... like our queen bed, sure we don't need it now, but we will need it soon enough, or the extra sectional down stairs... IDK, I can't wait for this baby to be born so we can finally purge the dozens of baby boxes down stairs. I will keep a few sentimental things, but other than that I can not wait to be rid of all the baby items. Everything is already so full, closets, shelves, boxes... it's all just too much some days... If anything my goal this week should be a toy and clothes purge for the kids... maybe that would make me feel a little better.


6/20/15
I don't know why I bother trying to clean up our house. Had a friend help me clean ALL day yesterday. Finally got bathrooms all clean and floors fully swept and mopped and kitchen cleaned... I think it stayed that way about 3 hours... oy.

Today I woke up with a headache and exhausted. Food feels/looks/smells disgusting... and I have zero energy. I have felt like I am in a fog the entire day. Not sure if it is just pregnancy or maybe a combination of the fact that it has rained for over a week straight and not expected to stop for another 8 days or so with the exception of a few hours here and there... all we need, more flooding.

Everyone has the stomach flu and I pray when we go to Galion on Monday for a couple days we don't pick it up. Last thing I want is for me or my kids to be violently ill when I am already over nauseous and tired. Today was just one of those blah days, but I wanted to remember to finish this post. Not like anyone reads my blog but it is here for me I guess as an outlet.

-Cass



Monday, June 15, 2015

Baby Colgan #4 Pregnancy Journal- Week 14

Oh morning sickness, why do you tease me so? Some days I think, I may be past it! I'm in my second trimester! Then you hit me like a ton of bricks when a smelly guy at Kroger passes by and continue to plague me only to disappear and make me think maybe I'm nuts.

Let me tell you about that. There I was at Kroger, feeling fine, then out of nowhere a man caught my attention, or better yet, my nose's attention. He smelled like he smoked 2 packs of stale cigarettes a day and just got done working out without deodorant. I grabbed a veggie bag and fled the scene, trying to keep the contents of my stomach down and find uncontaminated air to breathe. I made it away and thought, if I hurry I should be safe... but no, smokey cut across the store and cut me off at the dairy isle and before I had a chance to run.... blehhhhhhh..... right into the veggie bag. He looked at me with that look of mixed disgust and concern and said "Ew, what's wrong with you are you okay?" No I'm not OKAY! I shoved past him and said, " I'm sorry, I'm pregnant and you stink" and I got out of there as quickly as I could, thankful I only needed a few things... SO AWFUL!

Saw the midwives today, talked to them about a lot of the things on my mind between Aiden running around like a crazy child and my children tearing into things. Told them about my appointment with Dr. S and how the are charging me $397 for STD testing I opted not to do but they did anyway, then tried to claim it was a law and I couldn't get a birth certificate without it... can I call bullshit? Not to mention $655 for an ultrasound, $139 for the technician that did the ultrasound, and $205 for the basic Dr. appt, that didn't include the check up... I am kicking myself in the ass for even going there, I usually like to go to the first appt. to make sure all is well for me to VBAC but I should have just spent $125 and went to Ultrasona at that rate. Geeze.

Let see, what else have I been feeling? Frequent Braxton Hicks, the baby move when I lay down at night (mostly if I am on my belly, Yay for the placenta being in the back!) frequent loose stools, which I think may be from eggs... though I have never been allergic to eggs before, though I read it is common to develop and increase sensitivities to allergens while pregnant. Energy is up some and I am trying to get things in my garden... Still trying to stay positive and not slack too badly on my vitamins, I need to be better about it... I really do. I have been trying to clean up our diet some with less fast food and more home cooking. It's hard when I am so tired though.

Well I guess that is all for now, I'm catching a cold/sore throat and plan to lay down, maybe drink some hot tea.

-Cass

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Precipitous Labor aka Fast or Rapid Labor, Not as Easy as it Seems

Precipitous Labor aka as Rapid or Fast Labor is a labor that last less than 3 hours from start to finish. Many moms with 6+ hour labors hear that and may pang with jealousy... well how easy is that? Such a short labor... let me tell you, not that easy.

While the labor and birth may be fast, unlike a normal length labor, it is much more intense and hard. I have, so far, had both, a prolonged labor of 28 hours and a precipitous labor of 2 hours 21 minutes. Both were definitely hard in their own ways, but my rapid labor was much harder, and here's why:

 With my longer labor I had the chance to ease into contractions, I felt them build. I had the chance to get excited, call my family and let them know... I was in labor, YAY.

With my longer labor I had breaks, I could feel the contractions come, peak, and subside and I had a short time to rest between them, I could feel my body doing it's job and could take advantage of labor techniques like massages, sitting on the birthing ball and even for a short time, laying down.

My long labor was more tiring from the lack of sleep and the abnormal length which made recovery harder and blood loss heavier. The labor was easy, recovery was hard.

With my rapid birth everything hit hard and fast. There was no build up, no real moment to be excited, "Yay, I'm in labor" The contractions were long and hard and close together with VERY short breaks, Contract 2 min, break 30 seconds, contract 1 min 40 sec break  for 20... it was hard. It felt hard to focus, hard to do anything but rock on my hands and knees in agony at how intense it was. It took all my focus just to breathe and not clench my teeth to the point of breaking.

It was scary wondering, will my midwives arrive in time? Is everything okay? My labor didn't hurt like this before... is the baby okay?

Pushing and delivery was the worst, so much more painful, so intense but it was over quick.
Recovery was a breeze. I felt great after my birth, almost like I barely had a baby. I was up and about the next day,

In comparison, I think 6 -8 hours is a great length of time. Just long enough to not be crazy intense, but just short enough not to take everything out of you. Rapid Labor may be shorter, but it was definitely more painful and emotionally taxing. Makes me nervous about my labor this December, seeing as I will likely have another rapid labor....


-Cass

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Baby Colgan #4 Pregnancy Journal- Week 11

So much has happened in the past few weeks! First the usually morning sickness kicked in. Some days were harder than others. Lots of nausea, gagging, and sour stomach but nothing too unbearable thankfully. Very tired and my upper back still hurt. I had been dropping the hints for months... Hubby, we need a new bed, our just doesn't cut it anymore. 8 years and 3 pregnancies left quite a dip in it. Our new KING bed arrived today and is sitting in my front yard soaking up the sun and airing out... the delivery men thought I was nuts. :P

I had my first midwife appointment last week (5/18) and easily heard baby's little heart beat. That made me happy. Then Thursday I went to my one and only OB appt to have an initial ultrasound. Baby looked and sounded great. It was precious watching him/her bounce around and suck it's thumb. Awe Baby!!

Went to my BIL wedding this weekend, that was an exhausting trip. I was happy that the morning sickness was starting to subside but a new nasty symptom reared it's ugly head. Dizziness, weakness, and double vision. I would have spells of feeling really faint. Scary! Amy(midwife) suggestion lots of water and Iron. So Floradix was added to my vitamin regimen. I have only taken a few doses but I am already feeling a bit better! So thankful for that. So now, I take liquid Calcium Mag/Zinc with dinner, a dose of liquid iron before breakfast and lunch and my folate tab in the morning. I know, I know, not a "complete" prenatal, but it is something my belly can handle as I hate pills.

I also began seeing the Chiro for my back issues, Seems to be helping so far! I am going twice a week and it helps me feel better. (not to mention our awesome mattress that I am very excited to sleep on tonight.

I am trying so hard to stay committed to making this my best pregnancy. I want to start exercising again as soon as my energy returns. I need to, my poor body feels so weak and I need it to be strong for December!

-Cass

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Colgan Baby #4 Pregnancy Journal- Week 5

When I first saw those 2 lines pop up instantly saying "pregnant" on April 8th I cried. No I take that back, I bawled. Then I went downstairs and told Scott the news and he held me while I bawled some more.

"I already have babies" I sobbed... "In diapers, crying, milk drinking babies..."

Asher was born in February of 2012 and only 10 months later I was pregnant with Azzie. I got severely overwhelmed, depressed, and suffered from anxiety and depression most of my pregnancy and for about 9 months after she was born. It was too much. Handling 3 children was too much. Now here I was 18 months after Azzie finding out I was pregnant with a fourth. Emotion overwhelmed me and for a second all I could think is... I can't feel like that again. I can't let depression get hold of me AGAIN.

That night I sat in bed thinking. I need to change my thinking. I knew I wanted another baby later down the road so what are the benefits of having this baby a little sooner?

1. I get to have the same midwives that delivered Azzie and Asher attend this baby's birth. (instead of trying to figure out who to go to after we move to Tennessee.)

2.I will have given birth to my last child by the age of 27 meaning I will be 45 when my last baby graduates high school. So young still and able to enjoy life!

3.My kids will all go to school together and be close in age. My brother and I were 6 years apart and were never in school together, It definitely affected things.

4.We already have all the baby things we need for both a boy or girl so we can keep the sex of this baby a surprise.... so lots of positives.

Once I got my mind leaning towards the positive I had to think, how can I proactively keep my mind this way... and it hit me... I need to take care of me this time around! I didn't want to mope around focusing on something I can't (or rather won't) change.Who knew taking care of myself could feel so good! I want to do everything "right". I'm actually taking those yucky prenatal vitamins and folate, adding fruits and veggies to EVERY meal, and drinking water and hot tea like a fish. I have begun an exercise routine and try to rest for an hour in the afternoon... I have to say I feel wonderful! I am focusing on being happy and pregnant.

I also feel relieved. Knowing that this will be my last baby has given me a sense of calm. I know after this my body will be my own again forever. After this no more worries about "surprises" and I can enjoy watching my children grow. I expect I will get those twinges every now and again, but at 4 I feel complete. I feel relaxed. It's like somehow things will be easier now. Haha.

Due December 10-12th... somewhere in there.. :)