Monday, December 31, 2012

Deployment Weekly Recap: Week 14

Emotional: I was doing ok. I spent a great week with my family at our timeshare in the Berkshires. I came home and it was quiet and empty. For the first time since my husband left I truly felt lonely. I'm not sure how I'm going to make it another 3 months

Physical: Ugh, I gained back weight last week so it's off to a fresh start today. I plan on getting new running shoes on Wednesday. No excuses this time.

Communication: I was able to skype with Jimmy a little while he was in Crete. My internet connection was crappy in MA so we IMed each other most of the time. It was still nice.

What's something fun you did this week: I went skiing, which would have been fun had the conditions been better. My legs hurt. I got to see Les Mis with my mom. I enjoyed going out sans baby.

What are you looking forward to next week: Ummmm. Yeah, this is the problem with life after the holidays. There isn't much to look forward to.

What made you happy this week: Watching William open his presents. He had fun playing with my parents and his new toys.

What made you sad/mad this week: William is having a rough time. I swear this kid is either teething or has a cold or both. It's non-stop and I'm tired of not getting enough sleep. I feel like I can never get anything done around here because I'm either exhausted or having to entertain my kid. I really wish my husband were home to help out. I'm tired of doing everything by myself.

What do you miss this week: Sometimes it's everything and sometimes it's nothing.

How's William this week: See above....he is miserable.

Favorite song/show/movie of the moment: I got Pitch Perfect for Christmas. That movie is hilarious.

 Opening presents
Bath time fun! Can't believe how big he is!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Deployment Weekly Recap: Week 12

Emotional: I've been a wreck since the shootings on Friday. 

Physical: I'm doing well, minus the lack of sleep going on here.

Communication: 1 maybe. I'm starting to get tired of the lack of communication. I could use an email right now.

What's something fun you did this week: I took William to the aquarium. It was all decorated for the holidays so he got to see lights and fish!

What are you looking forward to next week: Spending a week in the Berkshires. Skiing and Christmas!

What made you happy this week: Watching my son happily scarf down roasted red pepper hummus.

What made you sad/mad this week: The shootings made me very sad. I'm now mad at all of the political/religious crap that is now flooding facebook. I've deleted some people because I'm so over it. My main problem is people basically stating that this wouldn't have happened if God was allowed back in school. That is completely insulting to the women and children who lost their lives. We have a separation of church and state for a reason. If you want your children to have religion in their education then you, as their parent, can send them to a religious school or have them take religious education classes at your place of worship.

What do you miss this week: My husband knowing the right thing to say to calm me down.

How's William this week: He has had a rough week. I think he might be teething again. There is little sleep happening in the West household.

Favorite song/show/movie of the moment: I started watching Mad Men on Netflix. It's pretty good.

Photos from this week:
 Rolled over to get to his presents!
Playing with wrapping paper

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Deployment Weekly Recap: Week 11

Emotional: I get sad over stupid things, like not having my husband home to take care of me when I'm sick.

Physical: My son is great, but I caught some stomach bug and threw up on Monday night. I felt run down for most of the week, so no exercising for me!

Communication: I got one. He seems to be in ok spirits. 

What's something fun you did this week: I got to go to lunch with my friend Cynthia and her daughter Lily. We put the two of them next to each other and they held hands. It was beyond adorable. 

What are you looking forward to next week: FRG Holiday Party!

What made you happy this week: Over 1600 toys were donated to Operation Military Homefront from one, single Dollar Tree store. All of the children from our boat are receiving multiple presents, as well as children from other boats. It's nice to see how generous people can be and it will be great to see the kids' faces when we give them presents at the party.

What made you sad/mad this week: Getting sick made me pretty mad.

What do you miss this week: Ugh, everything.

How's William this week: He's a goofy boy. He really enjoys repetitive play. He was moving my head from side to side in bed the other day and laughing. We're practicing crawling in his bedroom (carpeting). He's not really getting it yet.

Favorite song/show/movie of the moment: The Vampire Diaries gets me through deployment. All of that hotness ;)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Deployment Weekly Recap: Week 10

Emotional: I'm in a good place.

Physical: We did pretty well last week. I got my new treadmill and I'm on week 2 of the couch to 5k program.

Communication: I think I got one. It's been few and far between. I miss getting emails on a regular basis.

What's something fun you did this week: I got to see the last Twilight with Kim and I got to meet baby Sidney!

What are you looking forward to next week: Playdate with Cynthia and her daughter Lily. Cynthia is one of my friends from grad school and Lily is 1 month younger than William. 

What made you happy this week: Watching my son's face light up when he saw the Christmas tree all decorated.

What made you sad/mad this week: I started getting a little teary while I put the ornaments on the tree. Jimmy and I always decorate it and we have a Pixar theme going on. I bought the new ornament this year from Brave and he didn't get to put it on. We also always argue over whether to put his lame Star Trek ornaments on too :)

What do you miss this week: Snuggling on the couch while watching a movie.

How's William this week: He is doing better and getting sillier every day! He's finally starting to sit up on his own. I see crawling in our future!

Favorite song/show/movie of the moment: Some new song by Bruno Mars

It snowed! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Deployment Weekly Recap: Week 9

Emotional: I was a little sad over Thanksgiving because my husband wasn't there to celebrate. It's hard going through all of William's first holidays without his Dad.

Physical: I was home, so once again, not much going on. Oh, and we're both stuffy again :(

Communication: I got two emails on Thanksgiving! 

What's something fun you did this week: I went to my 10 year high school reunion. I swore that I would never go because frankly, I didn't really care for high school and I'm still friends with the people that really mattered. I ended up staying for 4 hours chatting with people and drinking. It was more fun than I thought it would be.

What are you looking forward to next week: My mom's friend from high school has this crazy holiday party every year. He lives about 20 minutes from me and we always have a great time. The best part is he cans food from his garden and gives away tons of food at the end!

What made you happy this week: Making gingerbread houses with my friends and son.

What made you sad/mad this week: That my mother and I spent all day cooking on Thanksgiving and we still put away the leftovers because neither my brother nor father got up to do it. VERY RUDE!

What do you miss this week: Our right-before-sleep conversations that we have in bed. 

How's William this week: He had a great time visiting my family in NY, but now he is congested again and not sleeping well. It's like having a newborn all over again!

Favorite song/show/movie of the moment: I'm enjoying the last season of Gossip Girl

Pics from this week:
 Playing in his new sled!

Enjoying the snow with Grandpa

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Deployment Weekly Recap: Week 8

Emotional: Pretty well. Some of the wives are talking about having "port hangover", but it doesn't really bother me that he's back out to sea. 

Physical: We have finally moved past our colds. I went to Stroller Strides three times this past week and I did Zumba!

Communication: I've had one email and it was really sweet. I'm hoping to get more, but I won't hold my breath.

What's something fun you did this week: We had Zumba at our monthly FRG meeting. I had my sitter stay with William so I could go. It was fun :)

What are you looking forward to next week: Going home for Thanksgiving!

What made you happy this week: Making the decision to buy a treadmill. I really want to lose the rest of this baby weight and this will allow me to exercise after William goes to bed.

What made you sad/mad this week: My babysitter got sick so I had to cancel my movie date with Kim.

What do you miss this week: Snuggling next to his warm body. It's starting to get cold.

How's William this week: He's doing well! He turned 6 months yesterday and just cut two of his bottom teeth :) He's growing so quickly.

Favorite song/show/movie of the moment: Husband bought me an EP by The Pretty Reckless :)

Pics from this week:
 Having fun at the playground

6 months old!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Deployment Weekly Recap: Week 7

Emotional: Doing well since I've been talking to my husband all week long.

Physical: We still have this stupid cold. I didn't get in as much exercise because of it.

Communication: Talking every day :)

What's something fun you did this week: My brother came to visit so William got to spend some time with Uncle Chris. We went out for restaurant week in Mystic and got a 3 course lunch for $12 each.

What are you looking forward to next week: Going to the movies with Kim!

What made you happy this week: Getting our pictures taken!

What made you sad/mad this week: My child's lack of sleep because he isn't feeling well. It's frustrating.

What do you miss this week: Help with the kiddo.

How's William this week: A hot mess, but starting to get better. 

Favorite song/show/movie of the moment: This season of American Horror Story is pretty twisted.

Pics from this week:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Deployment Weekly Recap: Week 6

Emotional: I'm doing well, though I seem to cry at anything that involves violence against children. I watched a movie where a baby was thrown out a window and died. I freaked out. 

Physical: Both the kiddo and I have been battling a cold since we got back to CT. There has been little sleep and I feel like butt.

Communication: They pulled into port so we've been able to skype :) I love listening to Jimmy talk to William.

What's something fun you did this week: We lost power during hurricane Sandy so I took William to a local playground. He loved swinging in the baby swing and I got some great pictures of his smile. We also went to Mystic Village with Kim and Landon to go Trick-or-Treating. William loved looking around and he looked so cute in his spider costume!

What are you looking forward to next week: Hopefully kicking this cold's butt and getting back to a regular sleep routine

What made you happy this week: Talking to my husband :) I miss hearing his voice.

What made you sad/mad this week: Reading about the devastation that hurricane Sandy left in her wake. So much loss...

What do you miss this week: Dancing to music in the living room.

How's William this week: Sick and I think teething. He's still funny and tries to be happy, but he's not feeling so hot :(

Favorite song/show/movie of the moment: Lonely Boy by The Black Keys

Pictures from this week:
 Happy boy!

My scary spider!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Deployment Weekly Recap: Week 5

Emotional: I cried about something the other day...I think it was a Dad playing with his new baby on TV. Stupid stuff gets to me, but other than that, I'm ok...just tired.

Physical: Ugh, I feel gross from not exercising while in NY and I caught a cold.

Communication: I got a ton of emails at once and then none. This sporadic communication is slightly annoying. 

What's something fun you did this week: I took William to Lake George on a beautiful, Fall day. We walked around and had a slice of pizza (he got to gnaw on the crust).

What are you looking forward to next week: Hopefully this hurricane will pass through quietly. It's William's first Halloween and I want to take him to walk around Mystik Village in his costume.

What made you happy this week: Visiting my friends back home. I got to have an adult dinner with Kaela, Meaghan, Rich and Kaela's parents. It was lovely.

What made you sad/mad this week: That my best friend apparently doesn't have the time to see me or my child anymore. She's angry and instead of talking to me about it, she's ignoring me. It's starting to piss me off.

What do you miss this week: Good night kisses on my shoulder.

How's William this week: After a rough go of waking up every 1-3 hours, he finally slept for 8 1/2 hours straight in his crib last night. I'm hoping it stays this way for a while. He had a great time in NY. He loves all of the attention and playing with the kids.

Favorite song/show/movie of the moment: I'm digging Call the Midwife on PBS. It's pretty interesting to see how childbirth was like back in the 50s in England.

Pictures from this week:

 My cousin Justin loves to buy William funny things :)

Beautiful day on Lake George

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Deployment Weekly Recap: Week 4

Emotional: I'm kind of surprised at how well I'm handling this deployment. This is our 3rd deployment on this boat and I think I've just become used to it all.

Physical: I had company this past week and am now in NY, so not as much exercising as I would have liked to do.

Communication: I finally got an old email from the beginning of the month so I hope this means that they are sending emails out again.

What's something fun you did this week: My in-laws came over for a few days and we went to the aquarium, Mystik Village and down to the beach. We had a great time and William really enjoyed spending some time with his grandparents.

What are you looking forward to next week: I'm in NY spending time with my family so I'm happy to see them and my friends.

What made you happy this week: Having company. It helps to pass the time.

What made you sad/mad this week: Nothing really for me, but seeing my friend get upset over something that someone said to her kid made me angry.

What do you miss this week: I really would just like to have a conversation with him. A normal, every day conversation.

How's William this week: He's alright. We had a few rough nights of sleep and now we're sleeping exclusively in a crib at my parents' house so he's waking up a bit more. So far, so good though!

Favorite song/show/movie of the moment: My friend turned me on to The Lumineers and I'm kind of digging their whole folk-y vibe.

Pictures from this week:

 Spending time with Gramma

Trying to rip Grandpa Steve's lips off!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Deployment Weekly Recap: Week 3

Emotional: I've been doing tears unless I hear a sad song on the radio.

Physical: 4 days in a row of working out. My body hurts and the scale isn't budging. Some women apparently don't lose weight until after they stop breastfeeding. I'm beginning to think that I'm one of those women...ugh.

Communication: Nada. They are busy on mission and aren't transmitting much out. It's hard not getting any email.

What's something fun you did this week: Sometimes after Stroller Strides I take William to play on the playground. He loves being outdoors and he had the best time swinging on the swings. I also had a day without my kid! I got a pedicure, took a nap, watched a movie and went shopping. It was glorious!

What are you looking forward to next week: My in-laws fly in tomorrow and then I'm going home at the end of the week. It will be nice for William to spend some time with his family.

What made you happy this week: My son is becoming so much more animated and happy. I love his huge grins and when he sings to me.

What made you sad/mad this week: Watching a 7 year old girl get into everything at a nail salon while her mother sat there getting a pedicure. The owner repeatedly asked the girl to stop and the mother kept saying the girl's name over and over without doing anything. I got so angry at the end and the girl came over to mess with the nail dryer that I was under. I told her to go and sit next to her mother because she was being rude. Yep, I told off a little girl because her mother wouldn't do anything about it. Ugh, honestly, keep your kids at home if you can't teach them how to behave in public.

What do you miss this week: I wish my husband were here to help decorate for Halloween. We both love the holiday and normally go all out decorating. I don't have the time to do it this year and I miss it.

How's William this week: He's doing well. Daytime naps are all in the crib and he's been sleeping between 7-9 hours solid at night (then some more after). We are both so much happier when he sleeps!

Favorite song/show/movie of the moment: The Vampire Diaries started back up this week. I'm so excited!

Pictures from this week:

 All smiles after a nap

Happy boy after Stroller Strides!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Deployment Weekly Recap: Week 2

Emotional: I'm doing's finally October! I have a lot of things going on this month so I'll be pretty busy. Keeping busy is the only way to make it through deployment with your sanity intact. 

Physical: I got 3 days of Stroller Strides in this week so I'm feeling pretty good. I also managed to take all of my babies on a walk this week. Layla decided to follow Floyd, William and I around the block. She was pretty exhausted afterwards (fat cat).

Communication: I've had a few emails. He's been doing pretty well since he's not working as much. I'm jealous that he's getting so much sleep. 

What's something fun you did this week: I went to see Pitch Perfect with Kim. It was so nice to have a few hours of adult time. I was able to just lose myself in the movie and relax. I need to do that every once in a while.

What are you looking forward to next week: Sam and Joe are taking William for a few hours tomorrow so I'm looking forward to a nap. My Mom and in-laws are coming next weekend so I'll have some visitors and can pass the kid off.

What made you happy this week: Knowing that I have a great babysitter whom my kid seems to really enjoy being around.

What made you sad/mad this week: That my dog peed on the floor while the babysitter was here for no reason. He has also been stealing some of the baby's things and chewing them up. I'm not happy with him.

What do you miss this week: Working with my husband in the yard. I hate how he feels the need to get rid of every leaf in our yard (I believe that once the grass ends, so does the yard work). I miss seeing him out there blowing leaves around.

How's William this week: We're still working on the crib thing. He's managed to sleep in one hour spurts and not wake up during that hour, so I think that's progress from waking up every 1/2 hour. We had our appointment with his pediatrician. He's up to 14 pounds! We're on a pretty regular solid food schedule. He loves to eat and I enjoy making his food for him.

Favorite song/show/movie of the moment: I really enjoyed Pitch Perfect. The one-liners in the movie were hilarious. I plan on buying it as soon as it comes out on DVD.

Pictures from this week:

My little man all tuckered out during Stroller Strides

Friday, September 28, 2012

Deployment Weekly Recap: Week 1

Can't believe I'm doing this again...ugh

Emotional: Not going to hasn't been easy. Jimmy was supposed to have 8 days off and we had plans to go to a music festival and to transition William from sleeping in his swing to his crib. Well, crap happens elsewhere in the world and he leaves after only being home for a few days. It was pretty awful. I was really looking forward to spending time as a family and I needed his help with the baby. So yeah...I've been pretty bummed lately, but I'm trying to dig myself out and try to plan things to do.

Physical: I'm having a really hard time losing the baby weight. I started going to Stroller Strides a few weeks ago which has been great. It's an hour long cardio and strength training class that moms can do while having their kids in the stroller. It's hard, butI feel better afterwards. My face rash from last deployment came back. I went on base and of course they have no idea what it is, so I'm going to see my son's pediatrician tomorrow to see if she might have a clue.

Communication: I've had two emails, but that's because my husband isn't really super busy like he normally is. He'll be getting off the boat after this deployment so I think he's starting to transfer some of his responsibilities to others. He's pretty bummed that he's out to sea early and is missing all of us here.

What's something fun you did this week: We've been laying low for the most part, but I did take him for a walk around the backyard to see what we could see. Oh, and we went for frozen yogurt. He loved tasting it off of my lips lol

What are you looking forward to next week: Bonus money comes next week so I get to put that into various savings accounts....and my babysitter is coming on Friday so I can go to the movies with Kim!

What made you happy this week: Knowing that I have people to help me out around here when I need it.

What made you sad/mad this week: That I'm having to write this weekly recap when I should be enjoying time with my husband

What do you miss this week: Watching him play with William

How's William this week: He's having a tough time transitioning to napping in the crib. He's so used to being in motion and in a tight space that it's taking time and some tears on both of our parts. I'm trying my best to make it a happy place for him and he's starting to get better. I just wish he wouldn't wake up after 20 minutes. It's hard to get him to go back to sleep. Other than that, he has started rolling all over and grabbing at everything!

Favorite song/show/movie of the moment: Fall tv just started! I got some laughs in from watching The Big Bang Theory!

Pictures from this week:
 Spending some time with his two boys
My little man has started to roll over!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Birth Story

My beautiful son just turned 3 months old a few days ago and I think I am finally able to share my birth story. I play it over and over in my head on a fairly regular basis and have so many regrets. I think that if I share it, it might make me feel a little better. So here it goes...from my point of view...

I went to 42 weeks...yep..42 weeks. My dates are completely accurate because I was inseminated and have very regular cycles. I knew that I would go late because he was my first baby and my mother went late as well. I was fine with that. Most women complain at the end of their pregnancy and want to "get it out". I felt fine and was content with baking him. My OB office started talking about induction at my 40 week appointment. I said no and consented to several tests to check the baby's well-being. He was healthy and so was I. 41 week appointment rolls around and the same thing; he was well and so was I. The OB who talked to Jimmy and I that day made me feel like a horrible person for not wanting to induce. I was only 1cm at that point and knew that an induction would not go well at that point. I cried a lot after that appointment. I am a highly educated woman who has read countless books, read studies and consulted with women who are very knowledgeable about pregnancy and childbirth. Nothing pisses me off more than when someone talks down to you. 

I walked a lot and tried everything to jump start my labor. I even took castor oil (ughh). Nothing was working. I got to my 42 week appointment and had a different OB this time. I was about 4 centimeters at that time and knew that there was a small possibility of things not going well if I kept staying pregnant. Since I made progress from the week before and I had been having contractions on and off for days,  I thought that I would go ahead with a pitocin induction that evening. My mother had both my brother and I on pitocin without pain meds and said it was fine for her. I figured it would be the same for me.

We started the induction on Tuesday night (first problem-starting at night..I should have went home to sleep and started in the morning). I got hooked up to an IV with some fluids and pitocin. They also hooked me up to an electronic fetal monitor that strapped over my belly so they could constantly keep track of the baby's heartbeat. That thing is the most obnoxious, evil thing ever. The reason that I got NO sleep during my 36 hours of "labor" was because my baby moved a lot and a nurse would come in ever time he moved to readjust. So I stayed up that night...bouncing on my birthing ball and walking the halls. I felt fine; I could feel the pressure from the contractions, but I felt ok.

3 am rolls around and I've made no cervical progress. I'm upset, obviously. They turned the pitocin off for 4 hours to allow me to get some rest. I slept for maybe 2 beds are not comfortable. I made it to a 5 by that afternoon. The doctor suggested breaking my water at that point. This is the point when I should have left the hospital because after almost 24 hours I made about 0 progress. It was a failed induction and I should have left and tried again in a week. I felt pressured though and knew that in many cases, breaking the waters will speed things along. I was hoping that I would be in that category. I consented, called my mom and doula to come, and kept on going.

Early evening rolls around and a new OB comes on; one that I hadn't met. She was a woman though, so I was hoping she'd be a little more understanding than her male counterparts. She suggested putting a pressure catheter in my uterus so they could safely up the pitocin to the maximum level. I said ok (once again, should have said no, why in the fuck would I want something in my uterus???). They turned up the pitocin and I could start feeling things. It was getting harder and I had to focus more. I listened to my Hypnobabies tracks on my ipod and my Doula helped apply counterpressure. At one point that night I got in the shower with Jimmy just so I could cry hysterically in peace. I remember telling him, "I know where this is going...they are going to cut me open". He tried his best to make me feel better, but I knew it was getting too late.

The highlight of my "birthing" experience was when I made it to 6 cm and was able to go into the tub room with my husband. We sat in the tub and swayed for 2 hours. It was glorious. We got to listen to music and be by ourselves. I remember thinking that I know why animals go somewhere safe and quiet; being around people while you are in labor is uncomfortable. I just wanted to be left alone with the few people that I wanted there. 

I go back and get checked around 2 am (thursday) and I'm still at a 6. I'm devastated at this point. One of the wonderful nurses that I had suggested getting an epidural to relax me because sometimes it helps in the dilation progress. It was a last ditch effort for me and I said ok. I wasn't in pain, but thought it might help. I progressed to an 8 in 2 hours after the epidural; the most progress that I had made. Let me tell you something, I hated the epidural. I couldn't move, yet I could feel the contractions on my left side. So I was stuck...and being on your back is the most god awful position. The anesthesiologist came back to fix it, but it never really worked. I was still at an 8 around 9 in the morning. The OB had been harping on me to do a c-section since her shift began the night before. I still said no. The nurse told me that she could rotate me on my side and move me around every 20 minutes to try to help. I said ok.

At this point, I'm looking around in agony because I can't move and my doula, mother and husband are all asleep. I'm beyond exhausted. I feel like I'm going to throw up and I know that when I get to 10 it's going to be a while before he comes out. I knew that I would be pushing for hours because he only dropped to a 0 station. I panicked and said "I'm done". I yelled at my husband to get the nurse and to have them cut me open. I remember my mother crying because she knew how much I wanted a natural birth and my doula asking me over and over if I was sure. I didn't shed a tear and kept saying that I was done. I then proceeded to puke my brains out...not sure if it was the drugs, exhaustion, transition or all of the above.

I went into the OR and they prepped me and then brought Jimmy in. I puked again on the operating table and probably all over my hair. I remember Jimmy looking at what they were doing and not paying attention to me. The anesthesiologist told me to cut that out and that now was a good time to bond with your wife (haha). It actually felt good, the pulling inside of me, or the drugs, or something. I think it might have been the pressure release because lord knows, he was a huge baby and it was getting hard to breathe. He came out screaming and I started sobbing...not because "oh my gosh, my son is here!", but because it was finally over. This stupid fucking ordeal from hell was finally over and I could sleep. I did too, while they stitched me up.

The physical healing from a c-section isn't fun. I felt like the hunchback for a couple of weeks. The emotional healing is still going on and probably will for years. I feel like I have failed as a woman and what should have been the happiest day of my life was not. It took me more than a month to feel that loving adoration when I looked at my son. I never experience the all important oxytocin high after birth that promotes the love and bonding feelings. My son would look at me and I felt indifferent. I hated myself for that too.

I will never give birth in a hospital again unless there is an emergency. I will give birth at home like I originally wanted to. Medical management of labor is a complete mess in this country which is why we have such a ridiculously high maternal infant mortality rate. 

I hope that one day I can move past this, but I don't think I will until I can give birth the way that nature intended. Until then I will work on separating my "birth" experience from my son. He is becoming such a happy baby and I love every day that I get to spend with him. I just wish that his birthday was one of his choosing and not forced upon him.