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Mar 30, 2013

The Power of Mother's Intuition: A Preemie Story.

I found this post in my drafts and realized that I never completed it.  I thought it was definitely something important to post, so I am now completing this. :)

I was inspired to write this post by reading one of Theta Mom's posts on mother's intuition.

I had been in early labor for two weeks with my oldest daughter.  I honestly had absolutely no idea that I was in early labor.  I felt occasional contractions, some painful and some just tightening, but that was it.  Of course it was uncomfortable, but anything after 30 weeks should be uncomfortable -- or so I thought.

35 weeks I went into the ER because I had a suspicion that I was leaking fluid.  They hooked me up to the machine  that monitors contractions, did a paper test to see if I was leaking fluid and did an internal to monitor any cervical changes.   The next thing I remember hearing, "I hope you're ready to have this baby tonight, because you're being induced."  

Turns out, I had been leaking fluid for a few days, I had a very high fever and my blood pressure was through the roof...  I was borderline pre-eclampsic until that night, they then diagnosed me with full blown pre eclampsia.  They were petrified that I would seize because of how high my blood pressure was so they immediately rushed me up to labor and delivery.

Since I tested positive for Strep B, I was hooked up to an amoxicillin IV and also hooked up to Pitocin to induce my labor and Magnesium Sulfate for the pre-eclampsia.  I was just a hot mess when I was in labor.  I ended up having a high fever, couldn't hold anything down including the Tylenol they gave me, the epidural made everything below the hip completely numb to the point where I felt like I was paralyzed... I'll save the entire birth story for another day!

After a 14 hour labor, my daughter was born.  Since she was born at 35 weeks, they considered her premature.  Even though she was 8lbs 7oz, she had complications as any preemie would. Her sucking reflex was non existent. She wasn’t able to suck on a bottle to drink at all. So they had to insert a gastro tube to get any formula down to her AT ALL.  I couldn't see my daughter at all the first day, aside from when they quickly let me hold her after she was born, because I was supposed to be in bed for 24 hours after being on the Magnesium Sulfate and my daughter had to be in the NICU.  From everything I heard, she was perfectly fine the first day and a half until I saw her.

They wheeled me down in a wheelchair a day and a half after I had her so I could see her in her little isolette.   To make a long story short, every day she did take a little more formula by bottle, although her sucking reflex was not developed.  Unfortunately, what she did take down came right back up.  They tried many different formulas, did many different tests and spoke of doing surgery; the word surgery petrified me, as she was just a few days old and my little baby.

I was a mess.  Every day I had to leave the hospital I cried uncontrollably, I would cry myself to sleep, I would pray and would beg the NICU doctor (Ironically named Dr. Stork) to please let her come home.  I even went as far as to threaten to sign her out AMA (Against Medical Advice) because I wanted my baby home with me.  Obviously I didn't -- but only because they told me that my insurance wouldn't pay for any of her treatment if I signed her out AMA...

One day as I was talking to my friends on the JustMommies Oct 05 DDC (Due Date Club) I found out something that the doctors hadn't even brought up at that time -- there was a formula that they had not tried that was specifically for babies with digestive issues and reflux; Similac Alimentum.  I went to the store, purchased special Dr. Brown bottles, the Similac Alimentum and brought it to the NICU with me.  I told the nurse, Carol, that I wanted to try this and backed it up with research I had printed off.  She agreed to let me do whatever I had to do.  Guess what?  Within 4 days it was working and Alayna had been gaining weight consistently.  After a month and two weeks in the NICU, my baby was coming home and I was ecstatic.

I owe a lot to that nurse, she was there to comfort me when I had nervous breakdowns, she explained as much as she could in such a soothing way, she made sure that Alayna was taken care of every minute of every day and she allowed me to try what I felt was right, as a mother.

It just goes to show that sometimes mother does know best, even when the medical professionals overlook something so easy.  Sure, she was on acid reflux medication until she was 2 years old and she still has trouble drinking or eating anything acidic, but she's the most beautiful and healthy little 7 year old any mother could ever ask for.  She's my best friend and I wouldn't change it for anything.  I'm glad I listened to myself before agreeing to anymore tests or any surgeries for my baby.  

Mar 29, 2013

All because I started blogging

I've been blogging here for 4 years.  This blog started out as a blog for my jewelry shop in 2008 until I realized that I missed blogging about my kids and my life.  I missed networking with moms, sharing life experiences, making friends and writing. Once I realized what I was missing in my life, I decided on turning this into a blog about me and my family; I'm so glad I did.

Over the past 4 years I have met some great people, had the chance to work with some great companies and I had the chance to grow.  Looking back at posts from 2009, I realized just how much I've grown over the past few years.

Four years ago I was 24 years old, struggling to make ends meet for my kids by taking on seasonal retail jobs, I was not comfortable in my own skin and wanted to embellish to make myself sound "cooler" than I was.  Even though it didn't seem like it, I was still suffering from post partum depression...and a bad case of it.  I hated myself and my life, I was grasping for straws to find anything that would make me happy.  I spent money because, well, retail therapy... I was slightly irresponsible and didn't pay attention to finances.  I took advantage of the fact that I lived with my mom and lived in the house for free and was just generally an unhappy person; even though I didn't let it show.

Since then I've learned the real value of money and how important it is to budget and make sure that you don't frivoulsly spend money.  Hell, I still love to shop and retail therapy still helps me feel better, but I don't spend nearly as much as I used to.  I've become a better mother and started disciplining my girls instead of letting them have free reign of everything, I feel they respect me more because of that.  I still have lingering depression but it's not half as bad as it was 4 years ago.  I've learned to love myself and learned that if I wanted something different about myself, I had to go do it myself.  I have the power to change my own life and my own future and I am definitely taking control of it now.  I learned, over the past four years, that I am a pretty damn cool person.  I've learned that if someone doesn't like me for who I am, screw them.  I'm not going to pretend to be something I'm not for anyone.

Of course, my blog isn't as successful as I want it to be, but that will come with more time and dedication to making it into something spectacular.  My blog has also gotten me into the job field I am in today; Marketing Manager/SEO Consultant.  Due to the fact that I needed to learn more about promotion, keywords, social media, etc...  I've learned so much and have done extensive research into being successful at it all.  I'm sure I still have plenty to learn, but I know enough to impress companies and get them the results that they want.  I may not have my "dream SEO/Social Media" job as of yet but I know there is earning potential, I feel that the more I work and the more I learn, the more opportunity I will have to be successful...I just have to keep working towards my dreams.

I owe my new found maturity, self confidence and partial success to my blog and all my readers.  It's been a great four years sharing here and I'm hoping for many more to come.

How has your blog changed you?

Mar 27, 2013

Insanity Gone Viral

I actually saw this photo on Facebook last night and thought it was a joke... That was until I saw this actual article on Yahoo, then I just wished it was a joke.  Who, in their right mind, would leave their child in the car while shopping?  It doesn't matter if it's for two minutes, twenty minutes or two hours; you are a parent.  Your child is YOUR responsibility, not an inconvenience to you.

For those of you who do not know, this happened in New Zealand.  The Yahoo article states:
A photograph taken in New Zealand is causing quite an uproar around the world. The photo at the center of the controversy is of an infant asleep in a car seat locked alone inside a car. A note, seemingly written from the baby's perspective, is attached to the chest and reads, "my mums in doing the shopping, call her if I need anything." There is a phone number written at the end.
This child has to be a few days to a week old, sleeping peacefully in her car seat.  All her mother had to do was snap the carrier out of the base and place the carrier on the front of the shopping cart.  I mean, on average a newborn baby sleeps 16-18 hours out of the day, I doubt this little one was going to interrupt her mother's shopping.

Another part of the article states:
The couple also noted that the baby did look well taken care of and that they know how difficult it can be to get an infant to go to sleep.
I'm sure the baby was well taken care of however it seems like the mother feels the child is an inconvenience to her when she is going out.  It is the mother's responsibility to make sure the child is always well taken care of and that means not leaving her sleeping newborn in an unattended car.  Who knows what could have happened?  Someone could have stolen the car, kidnapped this baby, etc...  The worst part about the above quoted statement is that it seems this couple condones what the mother did by stating that they understand how difficult it is to get a newborn to sleep.  I actually couldn't believe what I was reading when I was reading it.

In my honest opinion, the New Zealand police should have at least charged the mother with child endangerment.  I can't believe they aren't charging her at all since a formal complaint was never filed.  It sickens me to know that this mother might continue to leave her child in the car while she's shopping, especially in this uncertain and dangerous world we live in.

Ok, Ok, maybe I've threatened to leave my kids in the car a few times, especially when we're going to Toys R Us, but I never do! (Even though the temptation is so strong sometimes.)

What do you think about this article?

Mar 26, 2013

My 28th Birthday!

Last Sunday, March 17th, was my 28th birthday.  My kids made me this beautiful green cake with green icing, chocolate chips and pretzels.  Didn't they do a great job?  Budding little bakers they are...

Yep, I was born on St. Patrick's Day but I'm not Irish at all.  I'm actually Polish and Italian.  Being adopted, I don't know the exact time I was born but I've been told that I was born at 11:58 PM on March 17th, so basically, I was almost born on March 18th.  Every single year on my birthday I feel such gratitude towards my birth mother because she chose to place me for adoption and give me a better life.  She made the extremely selfless decision that not many women have the strength to make.

I've known my biological family for 10 years and every single year my birth mother would send me a birthday card and a birthday Facebook message but unfortunately she passed away this past year.  I did get a little emotional when I realized that I wasn't going to hear from her this year.  She and I weren't close, she didn't get close to many people...but it was always a comfort to know that she cared enough to remember my birthday.  It always made me feel like I wasn't forgotten for those 18 years that I didn't know her.

My birthday was actually great.  We celebrated twice; one with my girls and one with my friends.  I actually had a great birthday even though we didn't do anything too much.  This was the first year, though, that I got to spend my birthday with one of my sisters, and that meant A LOT to me.  I had a great time!

My girls actually decorated the house in all St. Patrick's day green for my party at home and my mom made my traditional birthday dinner; corned beef and cabbage. :)

I had a great 28th birthday!

Mar 24, 2013

Where the hell have I been?

Long time no post, how is everyone?  I know, I know; as an SEO professional I should really update my own blog more... Apparently, I don't practice what I preach, right?  Actually, I've been so busy telling others that they should update their blogs more often and neglected my own blog -- ironic, right?

So much has happened since I posted a month ago...

I actually left my job at the larger corporation I was working at and got a job helping a local window and door company as a marketing manager/SEO consultant/analyst.  Honestly, I have a lot of jobs there.  I do internet marketing, SEO consulting/analyzing, I help get them clients by calling various residents of our town, as well as maintaining their blog/social networks and developing their blog.  I'm not 100% sure what my official title is, but I love it.  I love the small office feel (5 people) and the family-like atmosphere.  I also see that they need a lot of help and I'm completely up to the challenge.  The best part is that it is in Bayonne so I don't have to spend $100 a week on gas and tolls.  

I'm actually in a relationship now as well and enjoying every minute of it.  I'm not going to say too much because I don't want to jinx it, but I'm very happy...I actually couldn't be any happier right now. :) 

Other than that, I've been working on my own clients for my Virtual Assistant and SEO/Social Media Consulting business as well.  I've been working on getting as many leads/potential clients as possible so I can start building up my savings account.  I'm really working hard and doing all I can for myself and my family.  I'm also still working at H&R Block at night... Busy busy bee, right?  My exhaustion level can vouch for that one.

I've also still been doing Nutrisystem, more posts will be made about that next week!  I'm vowing to update this blog at least bi-daily from now on.  

Talk soon!