Scheduled Eviction

By time this posts I will be going to have major surgery.  Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I am 9 months pregnant with our third child Baby K.   I haven't posted much for two reasons: 1. We didn't know we were expecting until the second trimester, 2. Pregnancy kinna freaks me out since for me it is a potentially life threatening situation.  I really avoid thinking about it, and the closer we get to the section tomorrow, the more frightened I become.  My PTSD has really been acting up and I know it will come to a head tomorrow in the OR.

Due to where I live and finances my options are extremely limited.  I'm actually a bit jealous of some of the mom's in my special scars group  who have VBAC supportive hospitals, and a VBAC supportive OB/midwife.  I actually found the most VBAC supportive OB in the area but the hospital he delivers at has a strict anti-VBAC policy.  I searched the area for a midwife but couldn't find one, even though I doubt we would have been able to afford one anyway.   The closer we have gotten to the section date the more I understand why some women choose unassisted home births, but I feel that is far to risky in my situation.  
One of the things that many of the Special Scars women face is a OB who says they are VBAC friendly and then switch at the last minute.  I seem to have accidentally done the opposite with my OB.  He asked me what the goal was and I told him that I wanted to go into labor on my own.  Which is the least of what I wanted to do.  I also wanted a trial-of-labor and optimum being a VBAC.  Due to my history I know that induction is far to risky so I would have to go into labor on my own within the next 20 hours to do that, which feels very unlikely.  I know many just say, don't show up tomorrow (including DH) but the problem with that is that my OB is going out of town and if I did go into labor I would be forced to use one of his partners... And that didn't go so well last time.... 
I really think OBs should do a round of pediatrics during their med school training, there is one thing that pediatrics do better than any other division of the medical field.. Psychology in medicine.   Pediatrics remembers that how a patient feels, effects how they heal and must be taken into account.  I think OBs are frequently the worst.  A mom is seen strictly as a problem to be solved: get the kid out. So many women are ending up like myself with traumatic births because of it.   Getting the kid out isn't the end of the equation.   
I actually pointed this out to my OB the other day.  After I am delivered, I will have to go home and care for 3 small children all alone.  Sure I have a supportive husband who will help when he is home, but he doesn't (nor could we afford) paternity leave.  My 4 year old (Lil'C) will still need to go to therapy, or risk loosing it.  He frequently needs to be carried, and picked up since he falls a lot.  My 2 year old (Lil'K) will still want to play and "flop" on my belly.  She also frequently fights getting in her car seat, to the point that it takes holding her down with all my weight to get her in it.  Plus I will have all of the newborn duties and normal house keeping duties to keep up with.  A VBAC would mean that this wouldn't change much, but a RCS means that I can't drive or lift anything heavier than a milk jug for at least two weeks or risk opening my incision and bleeding or worse.   OBs frequently forget to take such things into account, and hospital lawyers never do. 
One extra bit of "fun" is that Baby K's placenta is directly on top of  Lil'C's scar.  This means that it could have grown into the scar putting me at an increased risk of hemorrhage and possible historectomy... Yeah that is what every 31year old wants.. A historectomy...
I have done research on this and I truly feel that a VBAC would actually be safer, if Baby K were placed imedeately on my chest and allowed to nurse with delayed cord clamping.  If the placenta were allowed to release on its own since nursing would help close the blood vessels and lower the risk of hemorrhage.  
But because of some hospital policy I am forced to have major abdominal surgery which puts me at risk for not only hemorrhage and historectomy, but blood clots (seizure/stroke), paralysis (epidural), and death..  And a section has been shown to increase the risk of asthma, allergies and immunie issues as well as actually change a babies DNA in the process.. 
I know the VBAC would also have the risk of rupture at somewhere between 4 and 7% (some Drs clame as high as 10, but research (http://www.specialscars.org/index.php/studies/) does not support it.  IF I ruptured Baby K and I could possibly both die, but that is a small percentage of that. 
I really wish OBs and hospitals would consider more than getting the kid out when thinking of these unethical policies.  I think these policies are why more and more women are choosing unassisted home births.  
I think if politicians would push to have more midwives (registered) to be allowed/encouraged to do hospital births (especially in cases like mine) then our maternal death rate (the highest in the developed world!) would drop and so would unassisted home births.  Instead midwives in some states are prosecuted for attending women like myself... Which leads to mom's feeling like unassisted home birth is the only option..  It really needs to change. 
Hopefully all will go well tomorrow.. But prayers/happy thoughts would be appreciated :) 


Easter Clothes!

Here is our Easter outfits from this year!

My sister picked up 5.5 yards of fabric in one of her adventures. 
It has a small floral print.  

For Hubby:
 I made a skinny tie using this tutorial: http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2009/5/21/mollys-sketchbook-fathers-day-tie.html
I had to add about 3" overall to the pattern since my husband prefers long ties.  When I make the pattern again I will also make it wider.  
He wore his charcoal grey suit, a white shirt and silver cufflinks from my little brother's wedding

For Lil'C:
I made a bow tie using this tutorial:http://brittanyestes.com/2013/07/diy-bow-tie.html
I threaded and stitched elastic through the back and added a snap on the ends of the elastic.  I always worry about things around his neck getting caught especially since he still falls a lot.  
It was a good easy pattern, but Lil'C is fairly small so when I use the pattern again, I will make it slightly smaller. I will probably shrink it by about 25%. 
Lil'K also likes the tie and has frequently worn it as a head-band/bow :)
Lil'C also wore his charcoal dress pants, white shirt and light grey suspenders from my little brother's wedding. 

For Lil'K: 
For Lil'K's dress I used this tutorial and pattern: http://whatsmummyupto.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/tutorial-summer-frills-dress.html
I really liked it and will be making her some more.  There were a few confusing parts on the tutorial about which pieces should be cut for the bonace so read over it carefully and make sure it works right.  I also wish I had stitched the straps to the lining before putting it together so that I could have used a 1" overlay to make it more secure.  I have had to re-stitch the straps twice because Lil'K plays hard and has managed to pull them out of the seam.  
I also added a gross-grain ribbon to the bottom of the bonace allowing about a foot to hang free at the sides so I can tie it in a bow on the back.  I think it really finished it off, making it a good church dress instead of a sun dress.  
The bow came  from my MIL shortly after Lil'K was born.  It really pulled the pink flowers out of the fabric.  

For Me:
I used this tutorial and pattern as a starting point: http://verdantbents.blogspot.ca/2012/04/make-your-own-easy-top.html
I absolutely love this pattern!  I'm planning on making quite a few tops from it soon.  I already have the fabric for it, I just had to wait until I no longer had a baby bump to do it :)  Due to the elasticized neck line it works GREAT as a nursing top without looking like one.  
The tutorial is written as a top but all I Did to make it a dress was to add some length and with.  I measured from below my bust until the widest part of me (which was belly at the time, but normally would be hip).  Measure around widest part and divide by 4 and then add 1-2" for ease.  I added about 3" to make room for belly growth.  Then curve slightly down and to your desired length.   Make sure the curve is smooth or you will end up with box hips! 
The lining in the tutorial I cut off at knee length and simply surged the bottom of it. 
I then took the ruffle piece from Lil'K's dress and cut out 4 pieces.  I put that on my dress the same way I did Lil'K's to create a little echo between our dresses and a nice finished hem. 
I also added the same ribbon from Lil'K's dress at the side seam of my dress right at the under-bust elastic.  Hubby suggested it since before the back was really plain and it needed to be broken up visually.  I think it really finishes it off and gives the appearance that the ribbon runs through the under-bust casing.
When I make this pattern again I'm going to bring the neckline up an inch because it feels to low where I have it.  Having it that close to the under-bust elastic also makes my chest look smaller... Which for me isn't a good thing. 
I suggest using this tutorial to figure out where you want your neckline: http://3hourspast.com/2012/04/07/at-long-last-how-to-mess-around-with-a-neckline-without-getting-burned/
It is certainly what I should have done! 
I will also take the outer shoulders and bring them down about 1/4-1"  because they have the tendency to slide off and have to be pinned to my bra to keep them in place.  


For Baby K:
Due to how much fabric my sistergor me, I still have some left over!  I'm going to use some of the left over fabric and the following tutorial to make a matching dress for Baby K now that she has arrived! : http://www.jessiestreetdesigns.blogspot.com/2012/02/pinterest-challenge.html
I may also make her a pink bow to match Lil'K.  



DIY O2 Tank transporter


It is a fairly simple thing to make.  Hubby tweaked the design a few times, but now Lil'c barely uses O2 and we don't use it any more, which is why it is inside.   We have used it in both a hatchback and a van.  


The Supplies: 

PVC pipe (slightly smaller than the tanks so it will grip)

3/4" plywood (measure from the floor to the top of the back of the backseat x width of the back of the backseat) 

Extra strip of 3/4" plywood 4"x needed length (only under small bottles) 

Tie-down straps (auto supplies) 

Spray paint 


The process:

Cut large plywood to size.  Notice the notches in the bottom to allow the tie-down straps to wrap around the back of the seat and hold it in place. 

Cut PVC pipe to length and then make ONE additional cut down the length which will allow the pipe to expand and grip the tanks. 

Screw PVC to the board making sure the vertical cut is facing out.  

Screw the strip of plywood under the PVC for the smaller tanks.  This will give them something to rest on, otherwise they will slide right through.   The large tanks will simply sit on the floor.  

Spray paint for appearance.   We went with black since we had it on hand, or you could try and match your vehicle's interior. 


Fairly simple process :). 


This allowed us to make use of our full trunk space while easily being able to trade out tanks.  You could easily tell the empty from the full by the white caps.  We kept the small tank in use in the transport bag with its valve on and a valve on whichever large tank was currently in use. This allowed us to carry 8 small tanks (notice only 7 slots) and 2 large tanks wherever we needed to go, including 2 4-day trips to see family 14 hours away!  On those trips we also brought along the concentrator and used it as much as possible to save our tanks.  


Although I will tell you, driving around with that many tanks in the back can make you nervous of other people's driving, but it is certainly better than them rolling around if you are carrying them anyway! 


How many tanks have you had in your car at one time? 

Pneumonia.. again.

I'm such a slacker...
I'm having camera issues, plus we are moving.. again, plus we had a nice 5 day hospital stay, days after reading this.. I'm so behind.

Asleep in the ER
So Lil'K got a runny nose, that came along with a lovely fever.  As soon as she started showing symptoms.. we made sure our Emergency bags were prepped and ready to go, we knew it was only a matter of time until Lil'C would get it too.
Two days later he started showing symptoms.  The day after that she had a nice fever and he went into the 100s (at night) so we called the Ped and had them seen (Monday).  They were both rather chipper at the appointment and Lil'C's lungs were pretty clear with mild "crackling" (yes, that is a medical term) in his upper lungs.  By Wednesday Lil'C's fever had spiked to 103.8 (again at night) and his runny nose had turned green, Lil'K was almost finished with a very slight clear runny nose.  Her's had actually never changed colors.  By noon we were packing up and heading to the hospital, which took longer than expected since we were out of practice.
What's a bored little girl to do?   Drive an IV pole like a car, that's what.
We had cranked his O2 up to 1.5L from .5 and when we got there they had to crank him up more.  For a few days he was actually at 5L!  He ended up needing steroids since it was a viral pneumonia.  They also put him on antibiotics, even though they don't do anything for viral, to protect him from a secondary infection while his immune system was weak.  

3G Geek. IPad Boss
Thankfully this time it was only lungs and no heart issue.
He had to have nebulizer treatment and something we had never had before... IPPB.  If you have no clue what that is, like myself...  It is kind of like a nebulizer except it oscillates.  It sounds like a train and has to be held on tightly.  Hubby had to hold down Lil'C for each treatment every 4 hours.  We all hated it... but it worked.  It broke up the gunk in his lungs and he went on the mend.
So we now have a ton of meds, but he is feeling much better and getting back to his old self.  His toes, fingers and lips have stopped turning purple when he pulls off his O2 for to long.  He is also back to only wearing it when he sleeps, which is nice. 
We were also in the middle of potty training when all this hit and it kinna triggered a regression.  We are slowly getting back to where we were.  Speaking of which... does anyone have any hints for teaching a toddler to pull his own pants up and down when he has poor movement on one side??  

(Days later)
Seriously slacking on the blog..
Lil'C is back to his normal O2 and meds.  Although I added a probiotic (this one) once he got off the Antibiotic, thanks to a suggestion from Kate.. and I think he has really been needing one.  I think he has been on so many really strong Antibiotics throughout his life that it has pretty much destroyed his gut flora. 
Since he started solids he has had trouble gaining weight.   I'm thinking all of the antibiotics are part of the issue.  Breastmilk naturally contains probiotics and whenever I would get serious about giving him yogurt he would gain some weight.. now with this probiotic he is obviously putting on weight and growing.  He has chubby cheeks again, has finally outgrown all his 18mo (yes my 3yo has been wearing 18mo) clothes and is suddenly able to reach things he wasn't able to when we got back.  It is really kinna crazy.  I need to look at his discharge papers to see if  I can find a height and weight to compare it too.
See the cheeks? He is saying "vroom"

So... 2 Questions for all ya'll....  Any help on the potty training with a weak side?   Have you seen a sudden health change after starting probiotics in someone you know (or yourself)? 

Montessori ish Trays

So as you know I have two little geeklings: Lil'C and Lil'K. :) One of our major parenting philosophies is to teach our children to longer need us. To make them self-sufficient. With Lil'C also having physical issues we find that even more important. We want him to be able to learn to do everything on his own and we push him to do so. We think that is part of why he is walking and doing all of the things he is now. So when we stumbled upon the Montessori Philosophy it fit right in "Teach them to do it themselves." With Montessori the activities/lessons/work are placed on trays to keep them organized and help the students learn to care for their workspace. Montessori also pushes natural materials from what I understand and have read thus far, which is where these trays differ from the philosophy, but I think they are pretty which follows the philosophy :P Here is how they work..



Supplies needed:  Empty Cereal Box, Duck Tape and Scissors.


Cut box all the way down each side

Tape the tops closed and THEN cut the tops in half

This will give you two halves

To make a smaller Tray cut one of the halves in half

Lay over each other to desired size

Tape into place

Cover in tape



Now to create handles:


Pull off a strip (double your desired length plus 4 inches) of Tape and lay sticky side up

Fold in Third

Fold over the other Third

Cut in half

Attach one half to strip just short of the length of the side of tray

Attach to tray facing DOWNWARDS


Fold handle up and attach another strip over the bottom part

Secure tape strip

Repeat with other handle and TAH DAH!
What have you made with Duck Tape lately?