Monday, November 14, 2011

My Coupon'ing Evolved


I had posted several months ago about "How I Coupon"... reading that post... now... I realize how much more money I was spending then compared to now.

NOW

-I do not pay more than 25¢ for toothpaste or a toothbrush... usually only paying tax for either. I only buy Crest, Colgate or Oral-B.

-I do not pay more than 20¢ for a roll of toliet Paper... usually Cottonelle

-I do not pay more than $1.00 for mine (Herbal Essence) or Daniels (Head and Shoulders) or Elijah's (Suave 3-in-1) or Ana's (Johnson's Baby Head to Toe) shampoo.

-I do not pay more than 9¢ for a diaper... and I have only been buying Pampers or Huggies. Sometimes I buy the store brand... like when I bought a Jumbo Pack of CVS diapers for $1.25... GOOD DEAL!

-I do not pay more than 75¢ for Daniels Degree deodorant

-I do not pay anything for Daniels razors... he has a few years worth of Schick, Gillette and a few store brand name razors and cartridges.

It has been an interesting process moving our family to a "coupon lifestyle"... one week we seriously only ate sandwiches, soup and frozen fish poppers.

Now though, with a stock pile, I feel more relaxed... not like I am chasing down every deal... not HAVING to clip coupons Sunday morning to get the sales that started that day.

It takes discipline... you just have to make the time. Which is becoming harder and harder to do as Ana becomes more mobile! I heard someone say once (in regards to people saying they don't have time to coupon) "you just have never been broke enough"... It really made me realize that instead of complaining and being bummed out about too many bills at the end of the money, I could do something about it.

I spend anywhere from 3-15 hours a week reading blogs, Facebook posts and visiting coupon friendly websites. I feel like it is my way for contributing financially.

It also is important to be organized. I use a zip-up binder... the kind that I used to get made fun of for using in school. In that binder are probably 200 clear plastic baseball card holders. Each clear sheet has 9-12 pockets... that is where I put my clipped coupons! (see above picture)

One of the key elements to successfully coupon'ing was to stop being picky. Drop the favorite name brands and just go with what we can get for free. I stopped buying the $9 lotion and expensive make-up. We do have some things we are snobby about... sure... Daniel refuses to use anything other than Head and Shoulders... and I won't use anything other than Herbal Essence. With the use of coupons... we can be snobby about that!

I wish I would have couponed years ago... especially right after Daniel got laid-off when Eli was a newborn. I remember looking for change under couch cushions and the floor of my car so I could buy the cheap 77¢ White Rain shampoo... not finding much change and just having to use bar soap as shampoo.

It really is VERY EASY to coupon. You don't have to be a die-hard EXTREME couponer... saving any amount of money is GOOD... good for you... money you can use to pay a bill, buy a cute pair of shoes, or money to use for a vacation.

-Get 1 or more Sunday papers. You can also ask friends, neighbors or family to save their inserts for you. I have my Parents and my Poppie save the inserts for me. If the coupons are especially good I will venture out and asked around the neighborhood if I can have their inserts... Ok I usually just check the recycle bins the night before trash day... it is a dirty job and you will not believe the amount of people who toss their cigarettes in the recycle bin! I print over half of my coupons! I don't use coupons.com... I use the Swagbucks coupon databank (visit my Swagbucks info Blog here ... it is powered by coupons.com BUT for every coupon I use I earn 10 Swagbucks! After using 45 coupons I have enough points for a $5 Amazon.com gift card! I have used Swagbucks for about a year now... earning over $300 in Amazon.com gift cards. NO JOKE! I only earn Swagbucks from the coupons I use and from doing online searches (instead of Google, I use their search engine (which is powered by Google... so it’s all the same)

-Organize your coupons. Whatever way is easiest for you! Some people carry around a white envelope with a few coupons. Some people just put a few coupons in their wallet. I started out with just putting coupons in my wallet. But then I would forget to use them... then I started putting them in a small accordion folder. It fit in my purse... but I quickly found that it was hard to find coupons spur-of-the-moment like while in the store. Some people get the coupon inserts, but do not clip them. They just keep them whole and check what sales are going on... then clip them according to what they need. I like to have my coupons with me when I go out... that way if I find clearance items I can see if I have coupons for them.

-I religiously check my Facebook for posts from fellow coupon'ing sites. I also visit www.afullcup.com several times a day.

https://www.facebook.com/thecouponista

https://www.facebook.com/MommysMoneySavingObsession

https://www.facebook.com/iheartthemart# *favorite!

https://www.facebook.com/MyLittercom *favorite!

https://www.facebook.com/NorCalCouponGal

Before I had posted that my favorite store is Target... I have sense changed my mind. I do most my shopping at Walmart, Walgreens and CVS. I haven't been to Winco in months! I do still visit Target... and I use coupons there of course! You can read all about shopping at Target in my other "How to Coupon" blog.

Walmart

Walmart is AMAZING! I love how they will Ad Match ANYTHING! Every Wednsday I open up a Word document and at the top I type WALMART MATCH UPS (then the date). I then open my Swagbucks browser and type in Safeway (sometimes earning Swagbucks!)... click on the Safeway site... click on their sales ad and get to work. When I find a good deal I type the item name and the price Safeway has it priced at, then what coupon I have for it.

I do the same for Raleys and Food Maxx... our local Food Maxx doesn't put out an ad weekly so I use Krogers ad (Food Maxx is Kroger... like how Safeway is Vons/Randalls/Tom Thumb). I also price match CVS, Walgreens, SavMore, Big Lots and Rite Aide. You can price match ANY store that is a competitor to Walmart. I am going to be price matching Best Buy and JcPenny's on Black Friday!

Along with price matching ads, I use coupons on the items price matched. Many times making the item FREE or pretty darn close to free. Walmart allows overages... meaning if I have a coupon that exceeds the amount of the item I am purchasing, Walmart will take the excess amount and apply it to my order. I also use my Associate discount card... taking 10% off most the items I purchase... I am a cool kid like that.

It is VERY time consuming... and I will spend over half an hour at the register sometimes. Especially if the cashier clerk is new or doesn't know how to price match.

There have been many times when the clerk tells me that Walmart doesn't price match (despite the ads on tv, radio, online and the MANY signs in the store saying they do). I have also been told that I can not use coupons with price matching. For those occasions I pull out my copy of Walmarts coupon policy and show them. They will call over their CSM, who will (should) tell them follow the corporate coupon policy. I have been called a liar and thief at Walmart a few times by cashiers. To coupon you have to grow a thick skin... and it never pays to get mad. No item or sale is worth it.

Walgreens

I LOVE WALGREENS! It is one of my favorite places to shop with coupons. It can be a little intimidating at first, with their Register Reward system and all... but it is really quite simple. A Register Reward (RR) is a coupon that prints out from the Catalina machine at the time of purchase for a specified item. When looking at the Walgreens ad I focus on purchasing items that offer the RR. Once I get a RR, I use that RR to purchase other items that offer RR. It is called "Rolling RR".

The tricky thing with RR is that if you use a RR from a product to purchase another of the same product, you WILL NOT get another RR.

Example: Purchase one Dove/Degree deoderant for $2.99 get $2.00 RR.

I pay $2.99 for the deoderant, get the $2RR at the end of the transaction.

On the RR I will see "Thank you for your purchase Dove/Degree", the amount for the RR and an expiration date (which is always 2 weeks exactly). So if I use that RR on another Dove/Degree item, I will not get another RR.

HOWEVER... I can use a RR from a different transaction.

Example: Purcahse one Dove/Degree deoderant for $2.99 get $2.00 RR.

I use a $1 off Dove deodorant coupon AND a $2 RR from a previous purchase (Say Blistex).

SO I am using 2 paper items (a coupon and a RR), but only purchasing 1 item... I call it having more paper then items... I need to find a "filler" item. A filler can be ANYTHING... a soda, a piece of candy, a pair of socks, pictures from the photo lab, a newspaper, a 10 cent pencil, a gift card... ANYTHING! So just remember make sure you don't have more coupons/ RR then items to purchase.

So my transactions would look like this:

Purcahse one Dove/Degree deoderant for $2.99

Purcahse one filler item

Use $1 off Dove

Use $2 RR from previous Blistex purchase

Pay tax and filler item amount

get $2.00 RR

When shopping at Walgreens I almost always check out at the Beauty counter... sometimes the photo counter... that way I don't hold the line up in the front. I always type out my transaction so I stay focused. I need to focus especially if I have Eli with me. Every Sunday the same girl is working the Beauty Counter... she knows my system and I will bring like a $10bill with me and just keep it, some change, my coupons I am using, and my previous RR on the counter... so when I have to chase Eli down she just keeps the transactions going without me... taking change from the counter to complete the transactions... it is kind of hilarious!

CVS

I wish I wish I wish I would have started couponing at CVS sooner! I didn't for a LONG time... until I got a free body wash coupon from them... That same week I got a $4 of $20 purchase, a free CVS band-aide coupon and a free Hershey Candy Bar coupon and a $3 off any diaper purchase... I took those coupons and my coupon for $10 off $15 pampers purchase and bought an 82 pack of Pampers, a full size body wash, a box of CVS brand band-aides and a candy bar for $1.12! And because I bought the box of diapers I got $4 Extra Care Bucks (In store credit)... Thus beginning my love affair with CVS!

The first thing you need to do to coupon at CVS is to sign up for their loyalty card program "Extra Care Card". It gives you access to their store ad prices and things called "extra care bucks" or "ECB"s for short. You can sign up online or in the store.

SECOND... sign up for their Beauty Care program. It links up to your Extra Care Card, but keeps your beauty care purchases totaled separately. For every $50 you spend on beauty purchases you get $5 ECB (that you can use on anything... not just beauty purchases)

Every time you walk into a CVS you need to visit the coupon kiosk, also referred to as the "Magic Coupon Machine". The kiosk is usually close to the front of the store... and close to the Pharmacy counter. Every time I shop at CVS, the first thing I do is scan my card at the kiosk. It will print out store coupons and coupons that say a % off your total, or $ off a $$ purchase. These kiosk coupons CAN be staked with manufactures coupons. You can find the % off and $ off $$ purchase online at cvs.com too. You will have to log in to access them... I find it easier to keep track of them that way, so I can plan my weekly trips and what-not.

Like Walgreen's, CVS's weekly deals give a in store credit (ECB) with certain items purchased. You can use these to purchase ANYTHING in the store (minus the normal no-no's, lotto tix, liquor, cigarettes ... you get the picture). To maximize savings and reduce total out-of-pocket expense, I like to roll the ECB into other items that also give out ECB.

UNLIKE Walgreen's, CVS lets you use your ECB to purcahce same deal items... so for the Example: Purchase one Dove/Degree deoderant for $2.99 get $2.00 ECB... I can do that transaction over and over again using the ECB just earned.

HOWEVER... UNLIKE Walgreen's, CVS puts a limit on the amount of times you can do the transaction to earn the ECB. You will find the limit under the ad price. It is usually "limit 1".

My favorite thing about CVS is that UNLIKE Walgreen's I don't have to have to watch my item to coupon ratio. I can pay for my total transaction using coupons and ECB.

Also, with CVS, you earn 2% back... so at the end of the season, you earn 2% of what you spent (after coupons) back. It prints into an ECB that you can use in store.


That is all I think... I know that it can seem really daunting at first, but it is so worth your time! It took me awhile to get the hang of it. Not every transaction works the way you plan either. Sometimes I walk out of the store and look at my receipt and do a facepalm... "ugh... that was stupid"... And sometimes you just HAVE to buy something that isn't cheap and that you DON'T have a coupon for... like a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper 10 for $6!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Pink Christmas

Before Motherhood I had day dreamed about what it would be like to share Christmas with my children. Curious if it would be the same feeling I had when I was a child... curious if that wonder and excitement would return.

Then I had Elijah... and Christmas was a new sort of exciting. Taking part in traditions Daniel and I grew up with... and sharing with each other in this new tradition of having a family.

Being a parent during Christmas is... magical!

There is nothing you love more in the world than you children... and to see them so enchanted... it is a whole new kind of fun!

Then I had Anamarie... and the Christmas season is once again approaching. My Mother and I went to JC Penny's and picked out Ana's Christmas dress... talking about matching red shoes and a big red hair bow. Finding matching Christmas pajamas for both Eli and Ana. Then walking the toy isles... thinking about buying my baby girl dolls and Barbies... but realizing she is not even six months old.

Then, while in Walgreens, getting the weeks coupon deals... I picked up some wrapping paper. I found some cute snowman paper for all of Eli's gifts... then I picked up some pink snowflake paper for Ana. I looked at the pink wrapping paper... holding it for a long moment... I cried.

I have a daughter. A daughter to buy fluffy dresses for. A daughter that needs matching shoes and bows... ... and pink wrapping paper to keep secret the dollies and Barbies Santa is going to bring her.

Last year at this time I held my growing belly... putting every ounce of faith into God... hearing Him tell me that everything is GOOD... and now... I am buying pink wrapping paper.

"God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding." Job 37:5

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Day My Baby Started School

This week my baby boy started preschool! A bitter-sweet moment for this Mommy!

Daniel and I were unsure whether or not to put Elijah in preschool. He goes to Daycare at my Mom's... she has a fantastic preschool curriculum for the kids, but Eli is never there for the preschool time. That and he thinks he is hot stuff at Nana's house... pushing the limit on every rule!

Because he isn't in speech therapy (Far Northern does not provide it after age 3) , The Great Partnership got me in contact with Shasta County Office of Education. I filled out some paper work and he started the next week! He goes Monday through Friday, just three hours in the afternoon.


His first day was awesome!

I dropped him off... trying so hard not to cry. He looked like such a big boy with his new shoes and backpack... but his hand felt so small in mine as we crossed the parking lot. It was raining and he kept tugging me to all the puddles. We took our time walking to the class room. I knew that as soon as we got to the class, that would be it... he would be a student for the next 15 years! Still my baby or course... but now too a big kid going to school. We both were excited when we walked in! He found LOTS to play with right away. I tried to get some pictures of him playing, but he kept telling me "no". I didn't want to linger so I gave him a kiss and left. Stopping at the window just in time to see him ask the teacher "Mommy?". It twinged my heart, but I just had to leave. I got home and didn't know what to do with myself. I spent the next three hours just sitting on the couch with Ana... waiting to get him.

He didn't want to leave when I picked him up! When we got home he crashed... he must have used up all of his energy. Then when he woke up he was his usual abominable self and I was wondering why I missed him so much!



Monday, September 19, 2011

A Very Yee Haw Cowboy Party


My baby boy turned three years old. I can't tell you how much that makes me want to wrap him up and hold him like I did just three years ago. He is such a big boy now... talking in sentences and doing things all by himself. He is so independent... but totally takes advantage of me wanting to do things for him still. He pretends he can't put his shoes on and asks for help going potty.

I asked him what kind of party he wanted to have. He would bounce back and forth between a Cowboy party and a Dog party. I looked some decor ideas up online and thought a Cowboy party would be more fun!

I used a new site called Pinterest to help organize the whole event! It really was fun!

Elijah was so excited to wear "Cowboy" clothes. His Auntie MooMoo bought him Toy Story Cowboy boots, that Light up! These are the Louboutin of toddler character shoes! Eli comes from a long line of gun tote-ing boys. He has his Uncles and older cousins toy guns... perfect decor for his cowboy party.
Most everyone dressed in their finest goat roapin apparel.
My Aunt Mary (Auntie MooMoo) made the banner. I bought twine and different "old fashioned" looking fabric. She cut out triangles and sewed them so the edges wouldn't frey. She just threaded the triangles through the twine then.

The grub included baked beans, corn on the cob and some cowboy liquor... and some of Granny's Moonshine. Corn on the cob was made from boxed lemon cake, I added boxed lemon pudding mix to make it extra fluffy... with can lemon frosting. The topping is coconut Jelly Belly's and lemon flavored marshmallows. I had to buy three bags of the assorted fruit marshmallows and just pick out the yellow ones. The little pats of butter are actually half of a banana flavored Laffy Taffy. They sat on top of tin plates Eli's Great Gramie has saved from Marie Calender take home pies.

No Cowboy shindig is complete without some beans! These beans are made up of two German Chocolate cupcakes (made from a box recipe with added vanilla instant pudding mix). Topped with pecan frosting from a tub and some Boston Baked beans! I had bought some canned pineapple's, the kind with the easy open lids... took the pineapple out, took the wrapper off and washed out the cans so the beans could have that rustic look.

For some reason many of the photos came out a yellowish color... not sure why!
I was sure the adults wouldn't want to sip out of little juice boxes so we put some lemon-aid in this and just labeled it as Moon shine. The boot glasses come from Disneyland over 15 years ago!
"Pop the Pig" game. The piggies didn't pop so easy though.


Eli is an Outlaw... so a Sheriffs Office was totally necessary!






Some more decor Eli's Auntie Katie painted!




The Cowboy goody bags are made out of simple brown paper lunch bags, sharpie marker and left over twine. Inside was a 100,000 Grand chocolate bar, some chocolate gold coins and some Hershey Chocolate Nugget bars. The milk crate is totally authentic, it was borrowed from Eli's Papa.


This Cowboy Party was a total success!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Rainbow Baby



Waiting for Ana was a long and painful process. Two years almost exactly of intense planning and earth shattering heartbreak... I truly believe that God had us wait for her specifically though. She is a different kind of baby. There is just something about the light that shines in her eyes... it's like nothing I have ever seen before... it is like you are looking at Heavens light. I have spent almost every waking moment with her for the last three months and that glimmer of light in her eyes STILL makes me stop and stare at her.



She makes people happy. Not just us, family and close friends... everyone that sees her stops and smiles... chuckles a little... then walks away happier. Running errands with her takes twice as long because of all of the "gushers". People are just drawn to her. I think it is because of the light she carries. It is like they are drawn to that little piece of Heaven.


Anamarie is our second Rainbow Baby... a rainbow after the storm. We have never been so happy! Two amazing children... two incredible miracles! Praise Jesus!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Walgreens 8/28


My Shopping Trip to Walgreens today. Thought I would share. I type out each transaction (T) so I stay on track at the register. I type out how many of each product I need and much each product is, and what coupons/register rewards I am using per transaction... and then the register rewards given for buying the product. Filler items are anything in the store that do not require a coupon to purchase. At Walgreens you can not have more paper (coupons and register rewards) than items to purchase. Also, the reason for multiple purchases is to obtain maximum register rewards (in store credit). Most items that give a register reward only give it once per item per transaction.


WAGS

T1) Purchase (1) Estroven $10.00

Purchase (1) Carmex Twist or Vanilla Stick $1.50

Purchase (1) Playtex Sport 18 Count $3.99

Purchase (2) Oral B Glide dental floss 2/$5

Purchase (2) Renuzit Adjustable Air fresheners $0.99 each (In store coupon)

Purchase (9) Hershey Chocolate bars $0.59 each (In store coupon)

USE (1) $3 off Estroven coupon

USE (1) $0.50 off Carmex coupon

USE (1) Free Playtex coupon

USE (1) $0.75 off Oral B coupon

USE (1) $1.00 off Oral B coupon

USE (1) IN STORE 99cent Renuzit coupon

USE (2) $1.00 off Renuzit coupon

USE (1) IN STORE 59 cent Hershey coupon

USE $5 off Hershey product RR from last week transaction

USE $10 RR from Renew Life from last week transaction

EST. Spend $2.50

GET $10RR for Estroven

GET $1.50RR for Carmex

GET $1.00RR for Playtex

GET $3.00 RR for Oral B

(**** TOTAL ACTUALLY SPENT $3.17**** on T1)


T2) Purchase (1) Carmex Lime Twist or Vanilla Stick $1.50

Purchase (1) Filler item

USE (1) $0.50 Carmex coupon

USE $1.00RR from previous Playtex purchase

EST. SPEND $0.00 before tax and filler item

Get $1.50 RR for Carmex

(**** TOTAL ACTUALLY SPENT $0.41*** on T2)

T3) Purchase (1) Playtex Gentle Clide 18 ct $3.99

USE (1) Free Playtex product coupon

EST. SPEND $0.00 before tax

Get $1.00 RR for Playtex

(****TOTAL ACTUALLY SPENT $0.29**** on T3)

T4) Purchase (1) Estrovan $10.00

Purchase (1) Carmex Lime Twist or Vanilla Stick $1.50

Purchase (1) and (1) Oral B dental floss- Crest or Oral B 2/$5

Purchase (2) filler item

USE (1) $3 off Estroven coupon

USE (1) $0.50 Carmex coupon

USE (1) $1.00 off Crest coupon

USE (1) $1.00 off Oral B coupon

USE $5RR from Kellogg last week transaction

USE $6RR from Dove last week transaction

EST. SPEND $0.40 before tax and filler item

GET $10RR for Estrovan

GET $1.50RR for Carmex

GET $3 RR for Crest/Oral B

(****TOTAL ACTUALLY SPENT $1.21***on T4)


T5) Purchase (1) Carmex $1.50

Purchase (1) Filler item

USE (1) $0.50 Carmex coupon

USE (1) $1RR from Playtex

EST SPEND $0.00 before tax and filler item

Get $1.50 for Carmex

(****TOTAL ACTUALLY SPENT $0.41***onT5)

NEED for all purchases to work

(2) Estroven

(4) Carmex vanilla or twist

(1) Playtex Sport 18ct

(1) Playtex Gentle Glide 18ct

(1) Crest toothpaste

(3) Oral B floss

(2) Renuzit solid air freshiner

(9) Hershey bars

(4) Filler items



**** TOTAL SPENT ALL TOGETHER $6.04! TOTAL SAVED ALL TOGETHER $99.44! TOTAL REGISTER REWARDS EARNED FOR FUTURE PURCHASE $32.00!****


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Das Tatas Rant


Talking with a lady at the WIC office, I was complaining how being big busted takes a toll on a breastfeeding Mom... she responded "You sure are blessed in that department".

Blessed?

I see it more as a curse.

Being blessed with large boobs means that you can graciously fill out a Victoria Secret bra and look stunning. Not have to special order bras online because no store in town carries your size... not Wal-Mart, not the lingerie store that advertises "ALL SIZES IN STOCK", not even the plus size clothing stores.

Being blessed with large boobs means that you can still rock a bathing suit in the summer. Not having to for-go a trip to the lake because department stores simply do not carry swim suits with size 48G cups.

Being blessed with large boobs means that sometimes shirts fit snug. Not having to wear a shirt two sizes too big just to fit the ladies... and not being able to wear strapless dresses/shirts because of the law of gravity. There is no way on Earth that boobs that big stay up and in place without the two inch wide strap.

Being blessed with large boobs means that you can still have perky breasts. Not have breast that hang half way down your stomach... there is nothing "sexy" or "hot" about that. Saggy boobs before 30! Oooolala...

Being blessed with large boobs means that every department store carries cute bras in your size (up to DD). Not having only the option for black, white, or nude colors. Oh wait... sometimes you can choose between having five snaps in back or six snaps in the back.

Breastfeeding in public is impossible. I don't see that as a blessing. It is impossible to discreetly unsnap the giant bra, hold the breast so it doesn't crush the baby, juggle a wiggly baby and keep your giant boob covered. It is quite an art to master breastfeeding in public... but I would rather sulk to the back of the store and hide out in the dressing room till baby is full.

Paying $50 for a size 48G nursing bra online is no way near a blessing. I so wish I had the option of buying one at Target or Wal-Mart. They don't even sell them online at those stores! The worst of it was when my one good nursing bra busted from the weight of the boobers even before Ana was born... $50 down the drain! I haven't been able to afford another one. I went to Motherhood Maternity and found one I could shove my boobs in for now. There is nothing blessed about having a nursing bra two cup sizes too small.

I have gotten the comment "At least you have some" so many times... I always respond "you can have em'! They are killing my back".

I can honestly say I hate breastfeeding... hate it with a passion. My back and neck hurt so much from the weight of my boobs it makes me nauseous sometimes. What I love, though, is spending time with my baby. I love seeing her smile when I get myself positioned in the "football" hold. She knows its chow time and she gets the biggest grin. I love seeing her smile and give a little laugh when she gets full. What I love more than ever... and makes all the other crap worth it, is seeing her grow... pack on the pounds... and be deemed a "healthy baby" all because of my choice to breastfeed with these unconventionally large breasts.

Rant over...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fatty Fat Fat Blog


What I don't understand is...

Why people feel the need to bully? When people are bullied effectively ( I say effectively because not all 'bullying' "works"...) they feel isolated... alone. I just never understood it. I like the take the Justin Beiber approach and go for "One less lonely girl in the world"... and stay away from being a bully.

And why do they point out the obvious? "You're fat"... what reaction were they hoping for? "OH MY GOD... I am?" That is like trying to make fun of me because I have toes. What really makes me chuckle is when the offender is "fat" as well. Of course the best response is none at all... in my head I am thinking... "I am fat... you are fat... the majority of the population is fat... but at least I am not a jerk. AND sugar... I know I am fat... that is why I shop in the 'Plus Size' department".

I am quite aware of what I look like... I live in my body and look at myself in the mirror. I don't see fat despite the numbers the scale reads. I see a body that has held seven babies in my womb... a body that has endured months equivalent to years of hormones to break through infertility... a body that has birthed two healthy children... and a body that my husband says is beautiful.

Bullying is pathetic

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Buddies and Me


This week I had the privilege of visiting with BOTH my bosom buddies!

Crystina had texted me awhile ago and asked if I could be penciled in for a visit on Tuesday... Amy spur of the moment trip to Redding had us visiting on two separate occasions.

During one of Amy's visits she asked me if I believed in soul mates... if Daniel was my soul mate. It got me thinking... I think soul mates are not necessarily always romantic counter-part. A soul mate can be a friend and of course, a sibling. I think God made specific people and put them in your life to be your soul mates. A soul mate is a person that knows you on your most intimate level... someone who knows your soul... your heart... (and STILL loves you despite what is inside).

I think of Daniel as my soul mate... I also think of Crystina and Amy as my soul mates. Whenever I think about these people my heart smiles.

I got to see Crystinas baby belly! She is simply glowing! I am so excited to share Motherhood with her! We have been talking about "Our babies" for two decades now! During her visit she said to Ana "If I have a boy, you are going to marry him" then she looked at Eli and said, "If it is a girl, she will marry you!" Eli crinkled his nose, and I said "This is something we have been planning for 20 years! There is no getting out of it!".

Besides my own pregnancy and meeting my own children, I don't think I have ever been more excited for a baby! My heart gets so excited whenever I think about that little babe!

6 more months!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Anamarie's Birth Story



I tried everything to go into labor before June 9th (day scheduled for c-section). I wanted my sister in law and nieces to be there for Anamarie's birth, I tried to have her when they were in town. I seriously did EVERYTHING I read that was "suppose to bring on labor". Ana was very content to stay put. I went in to Labor and Delivery three times hoping they would just take her... I was in so much pain... each time they just gave me pain pills and sent me home.

The waiting was awful. After nine months you are just done... though I still feel incredibly blessed as to how un-eventful and mostly pain free this pregnancy was!

June 9th, 2011 5am... after not sleeping for two nights due to excitement levels, Daniel and I give Elijah kisses and head to the hospital. Daniels Mom stayed at our house so Elijah could sleep in his own bed and what-not.

From 5am to 9am, the nurses poke and prodded... dressed me up (like a Transformer, my Mother said... AUTOBOTS UNITE). The nurse that did my IV totally messed up, so they tried the other hand... TWICE... then just decided to stay with the original poke. Three IV's... not cool.

A little bit before 9am I waddle, sporting my Autobot swag... to the operating room. I sit on the bed and the Anesthesiologist started my Spinal... holy cow... he had to poke and re-poke and re-poke... at least a dozen times! That was the worst experience! It lasted maybe a whole five minutes, but when someone is messing with your spinal cord it seems like they are taking a life time! He apologized even though it wasn't his fault... dang Scoliosis! But once the spinal was in, it took literally seconds before Doctor Williams said, "you will feel pressure now"... gag barf... pressure and nausea! ... they have drugs for that though!

"It's a girl, what's her name?" I couldn't even talk... combination of wanting to barf and pass-out, but mostly holding my breath, I kept thinking "cry cry cry why won't she cry" It seemed like an hour passed before I heard her gurgle and cry... but that sweet sound came quickly.
8 pounds 13 ounces 20 inches long the nurse said. She is perfect! Not the 11 pound baby the Doctor predicted! Daniel brought her over to me so I could give her kisses and marvel at her beauty!
Anamarie was taken to the nursery to be cleaned up while I was being glued back together... yes, glued! They used glue! Daniel went with her and showed her to the family who was in the waiting room. I was wheeled back to the recovery room to be messed with some more and wait for my baby to be brought back. I couldn't feel much from my shoulders down... but everything itched! Even my eyeballs! I remember the same itchy feeling from the medication from when I had Elijah. Itchy eyeballs... ick!


I can't remember holding her for the first time... I don't remember anything about being in the recovery room after she was brought in. I don't remember who was in the with me... what family came in or anything. I don't remember being wheeled to the hospital room... I don't remember much... I must have been so into Ana that I just ignored and blocked everything else out.

The next few hours were filled with nurses pushing on my belly and adding more medications to my IV bags. That night the night nurse bent the rules a bit and let me take the leg compressors off (I had to wear them to avoid getting DVT's), and she took out the IV and catheter. PRAISE GOD! I was finally able to stand up and move around. Thinking I would sleep was a joke though. I was tired from the day and not sleeping days beforehand... I really wanted to just sleep, but I laid in bed and stared at her. "Is she breathing... is she breathing... Daniel see if she is breathing". I just worry so much...

Just as I feel asleep the phlebotomist came in to take my blood... then the nurses came in... then breakfast... then the lactation consultant... then the lady with the birth certificate then the picture lady. It was a busy day... and Ana had many visitors!

The nurses kept telling me I needed to move around and walk... that it would help with the healing. With all the people that were in and out I had no time to walk! The hospital staff is really good at their jobs and are always bugging you. I wouldn't have it any other way though. There is a sense of security with being in a hospital. If something went wrong there are many people to take care of it. Amy got to put Ana's first outfit on her... and from that minute on Ana has been a very stylish girl!

Having a c-section for a second time is very different than the first time. The surgery is the same, but the healing process was very different this time around. It actually hurt... and still hurts (two weeks later). I didn't need pain medication after having Elijah... this time I NEEDED the pain medication... I couldn't even walk it hurt so bad! The pain medication gave me horrible God awful dreams in the hospital... the few minutes I did sleep I was plagued with dreams of Hobo's stealing Ana and leaving town on the train.

The next morning Doctor Williams came in and discharged me early... telling me I don't need to keep doing the Lovenox or Heperin injections! He says my numbers are good and to just keep taking the low dose aspirin. After being discharged we waited over six hours for the NICU to discharge Ana. She was a little bit jaundice, so they were the ones that had to discharge her. I got her all dolled up (her newborn size shoes were WAY TOO BIG... something we did not anticipate... she has Colbert feet!!! Colbert flat and narrow feet with Whipple size toes) and we went home!
I had wanted to include more info... more thoughts and feelings... but I am content with just sharing the basics and keeping the rest to heart.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Whipple Family Update

Compiling thoughts is not something that comes easy to me at 38 weeks pregnant. My mind has turned to mush and I can't seem to make full sentences when even speaking. I am exhausted and starving all the time... and mostly just think about food - and all the chores left to do around the house. I hate housework so I thought I could become busy for a few minutes and update my blog.

Daniel has been working at Wal-Mart for about two years now. As of Day 1 at Wal-Mart he let his superiors know that he would love to transfer to ANY department that offered more hours and a higher pay. As of last week he now works in Red Bluff at the Walmart Distribution Center! Working only 3 days a week (30 hours a week total), but making TWICE the pay! God always provides for us!

This pay increase came just in time because two weeks we moved into our own (rental) home. A quaint little three bedroom one bath house. We now have a garage, front yard, backyard and laundry room! The garage will not home our vehicles, but will allow a place to play on rainy days. Our new home is also a home for an army of BUGS! Every kind of spider, an array of flying insects, and those nasty earwigs. Our Landlady told us we will have some buggy visitors because we are "out in the country", but I never thought I would be squishing and spraying so many spiders all the day long. I hate spiders too, well I don't really know of anyone who actually likes spiders... but I have a horrible irrational fear of them. I wake myself up at night with nightmares of spiders... it is so dumb!

Our new home is lovely despite the freeloading insects. Elijah has his own room to play in. Anamaries room is all set up and very pink! Our room is quiet... and to be able to sleep in my own bed has bee nice! The moving process was not as bad as I thought it would be. Moving at 36 weeks pregnant is not something new to me. We moved when I was that pregnant with Elijah... I wish we could have planned it better, but God had a different plan. My family is just amazing! They worked so hard to move all our furniture and boxes... and then unpacked everything! I am so thankful for them! Such a blessing to have them in our lives!

Elijah transitioned really well for being just two years old and moving yet again. The first two days were a bit of "end of his world total drama melt down every two minutes" kinds of days... but after that he has been all smiles, giggles and belly laughs. He is a different kid! We loved living with my Aunite M, but I didn't realize how Elijah not having his own place to play affected him. I was constantly trying to keep him quiet and out of everyone’s rooms, and out of the fridge and inside the house. Now he just buzzes around from his room to the living room... running nonstop... busy busy busy! We love it!

Doctor Williams scheduled my C-Section for June 9th. We were hoping and praying for sooner because Daniel’s Mom and Sister will be in town (They are actually flying over RIGHT NOW as I am typing this)… but will be back home by the 9th. I am not sure if I will even make it to the 9th. Ana is now sitting so low, but can’t engage because my bones are too narrow for her head. So she is just sitting there… pushing on bones… causing massive pain. What a stinker! Last week (week 37), she was measuring over 8 pounds and I was measuring at 40 weeks… I didn’t even ask what the measurements were yesterday when I went in for this week’s appointment. Williams switched me to Heperin from Lovenox. Heperin has a 12 hour life, where as Lovenox was 24 hours. That way if I go into labor, they don’t have to stop it and they don’t have to put me out for the C-Section. Daniel has been doing the injections for me. He was VERY hesitant to do them… not wanting to hurt me, but having him inject is less painful than when I would do it… AND the bruising hasn’t been as bad either.

I am excited for Daniel’s family to be visiting the next few weeks! Excited that they get to share (hopefully) the first moments of Anamarie’s life with us! Every time I think about Tina being there when Ana is born, makes me get all teary. Elijah has never met his Aunt Jennifur or his cousins… he gets to this week! They are going to have a blast!

I am ending this with prayers that MASSIVE contractions start tonight and I get to meet my Ana before the morning!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Shower of Love





The shower was a garden theme with lots of purple and greens. Ashley made some fantastic food and there was a never ending supply of sweets, candy and cupcakes. I have been sitting at the computer for about an hour, thinking of how to express how I feel now compared to how I felt last year at this time (when we were announcing our last pregnancy and the a few days later mourning our loss). I don't know if I am just so exhausted I can't think straight, or in my heart I feel God knows how thankful I am and I just need to leave it at that.
I just feel so incredibly blessed today. God has put some amazing women in my life... in Anamaries life! To know that so many people care for her already makes my heart happy! She is a very lucky girl!Amy (Clarkson) Charles came all the way from Fresno to celebrate with us! Love this woman! Love that she is still in my life. Love that every person that came to celebrate with me has been in my life for many years! I know that not everyone could be there today and I want them all to know how thankful I am for them. Daniel's family all lives out of town and I know they would have loved to come. I know that my baby girl has some strong, confident, intelligent and beautiful women to look up to and I am thankful you are in our life!



"From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another" John 1:16






Wednesday, May 4, 2011

35 Weeks Pregnant



A typical baby at 35 weeks gestation is about 12-17 inches long and can weigh 4- 5 1/2 pounds, the size of a pineapple... Today's ultrasound shows we have a chunky baby girl measuring 37 weeks! When I was pregnant with Elijah I was induced at 37 weeks... having a c-section at 38 weeks - and he was over 9 pounds!

The ultrasound today showed Anamarie is breach, well kind of folded herself into a 'V' shape. With her head and feet under my ribs and her little bum down past my belly button. Her heartbeat is great, her measurements are great (other than being big), she is beautiful!


Last night increased pelvic pain brought us to the hospital... I knew it wasn't real contractions, I was more worried about having developed a cyst... it is what it felt like to me. Turns out things are just moving a stretching, making more room for our growing girl. A few weeks ago my OB told me that my pubic bone was separating (Pubic Symphysis Diastasis), the pain that brought us to the hospital last night was just MORE separating. I never had that with Elijah... don't really need it this pregnancy either with having a repeat cesarean.

I had a leg Doppler done today to make sure the clots in my legs are not getting bigger and that no new clots have developed. I have developed some awful varicose veins in my left leg, it looks awful! I was sure that there had to be a clot, but nope! Which is good, but means that I just have icky veins, no reason for it. Dr. Williams lowered my Lovenox injection back down to 80 mg once daily, hoping to stop the black golf ball like bruises. He thinks he might switch me to Heparin instead of Lovenox... we will see. I am so thankful that this is the most boring, uneventful pregnancy I have had! Despite the countless Doctor visits and horrible injections, it has been rather droll... Dr. Williams said the other week, "this is such a blessed pregnancy." It made me cry! Thank you Jesus!

We are moving next week into our new home! I am so so SO ready to get settled... to get my babies rooms put together! Elijah is needing his own space and I need a place to put him when he gets incorrigible. I want to put Ana's dresses in her closet and be able to lounge on my couch and just think about her squishy cuteness.

I am so excited for Ana's baby shower... just a few more days! YEA!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How I Coupon


Most printable coupons can be printed twice per computer. Unless they are in pdf format, then you can print them as many times as you want. If you have more than one computer in the house you can use the other computer to print more. I use our computer and then hook my Aunts laptop up to our printer so I can always get four printable coupons.

For some reason our local Target only accepts color printed coupons. All the coupoing websites I have read have noted that their local Targets accept the black and whites... but ours is lame. I even printed out a copy of Targets coupon policy that the Corporate office emailed me... but they still only accept color. All the other stores in town accept the black and whites.

Sometimes printable coupons have a hard time scanning at registers, and depending on the register clerk -- you might not be allowed to use that coupon. "It has to be able to scan", they will say. I have found that younger male cashiers are more lenient, and will just manually type in the bar code (I cashier profile... it is bad I know!) Walmart is the worst for being rude to people that use coupons... even if I just use one coupon! What most cashiers don't know is that the coupon manufacture pays the store face value for the coupon plus an additional 8cents. And it isn't like I am getting 60 mustard bottles for free like that lady on the extreme couponing show... I just want $3 off a box of Huggies! ANYWAYS...

*I use Krazy Couponing Lady's blog to learn about good deals. She was mentioned on the Extreme Couponing show on TLC.

http://thekrazycouponlady.com/

She matches store ads to coupons that have been in the Sunday paper circulars, or in recent magazines, or that are available to print online. She will link the website where a coupon will be available to print and such.

*Red Plum is a Sunday Paper coupon circular, they will put many of the coupons that are in the paper, online so you can print them also.

http://www.redplum.com/coupons.aspx?t1id=1118&t2id=1118&t1=Grocery&t2=&view=all

*Smart Source is another Sunday Paper coupon circular that puts their coupons online to print. It is helpful to try inputting different zip codes to see if different coupons show up. I find that if I use a Redding zip code, the coupons listed are limited. But if I use a Arizona or LA zip code, I get more coupons available.

http://smartsource.com/smartsource/index.jsp?Link=5S2ZUA6PWPEPO

*Not all circulars have printables online, like the P&G doesn't do online printable... THEY DO, however, put out seasonal packages, you can sign up to receive it. It will have some samples and some coupons. Every few months the package changes and you can re-sign up for different coupons. They send them to you in the mail. A few months ago I was able to sign up for a coupon booklet that had coupons for every month of the year... like over $400 worth of coupons for products like Pampers, Luvs, Herbal Essences, Iams...

http://www.pgeverydaysolutions.com/pgeds/index.jsp

*I use swagbucks printable coupons. It is the SAME coupons as coupons.com, but you get 10 swagbucks per coupon used at a register. Just use 45 of their coupons and you can purchase a $5.00 Amazon.com gift card. You can read all about Swagbucks and Amazon gift cards here... and check it weekly for new coupons. It has various coupons... some are cool, and some are pointless. The coupons listed are good for about a month, but disappear within a week or so. This is another place to use various zip codes to find more coupons.


*Target is my favorite store! The coupons are at the bottom of Target.com, you can only print them twice... unless you have access to another computer. Not all the coupons on Target.com are store coupons. Some they have listed are manufacturers coupons... there is no way to tell if they are a mani coupon or store coupon till they have printed. It is annoying! AND, because or local Target is smaller than more cities, we don't have all the coupon products in our store. Target allows "stacking" meaning you can use a Target coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon per item.

I can purchase four Degree deodorants and use four Target coupons and four Manufacturers coupons.

I could have a Target coupon that says "buy one Dove deodorant get $1.00 off dove bar soap ", and I could stack it with a Dove deodorant manufacturers coupon AND a Dove bar soap manufactures coupon.

If is awesome to scan the perimeter of Target... the end caps always have the clearance... and when staking the coupons it makes for free items! That is how I got the free Gerber formula last night! I signed up on the Gerber website a few weeks ago and they sent me some Gerber checks... I staked it with the Gerber Target coupon that just came out in the "new mom" bags that Target has available at the service desk. If you had a Target baby registry you can get one! They have samples and coupons in it! The best was the coupon for a free 6pack of “ready to go” Enfamil!

Targets cash registers are really bad about giving you face value for your coupon. I have no idea why... and it is a wide spread complaint on many coupon blogs. You really have to watch and make sure the register gives you the right amount off. The clerks don't always watch, especially if they have a long line. I always tell the people behind me if I have a stack of coupons. AND I have found it is easier not to bring Eli with me... it makes it awful! If I have a stack of coupons I usually bring someone else with me and break it up. Especially if I have printed coupons from two different computers... I don't want the clerks to think I am a product hoarder...


*Most products have coupons on manufacturers website. You just have to Google for it. And for some reason the website will want your mailing address and for you to create a password just to print out their coupon. It is so lame! But worth it! Like last night Googled "Green Works dish soap coupon" and was brought to their company website. I had to register just to print out their coupon. I was able to print out two, and then I created an account for Daniel, used my Aunts computer and was able to print out two more. I used those four manufacturers’ coupons and staked it with the Target coupons, and was able to purchase four dish soaps that were on sale for $2.59 each… for under $2.00 total!

*If you have access to a Sunday paper, clip EVERY coupon… even if it isn’t a product you normally use, or you think “Well $1.00 off will still make the product more than I can afford”. You can never know what sales will come up in the next month… and you never know what kind of coupons Target.com will put up. For instance, Daniel doesn’t normally use Dove’s Men’s body and face wash, but I had a coupon for it… and Target.com had a coupon for it. The body wash was on clearance for $1.98 last night at Target… I stacked the mani coupon ($1 off) with the store coupon ($1 off) and was paid 2 cents to purchase the body wash. Well, Daniel is going to use Dove’s Men’s body and face wash till those two bottles are gone. You can always ask your co-workers, neighbors or other family members to save the Sunday inserts for you as well.

I don’t really do a lot of couponing at Walgreen’s or Rite Aide or CVS, the rewards cash is too confusing and I am too busy to keep track of it all… but if you are interested, I know that many people do coupon there and the Krazy Coupon Lady has information about it. I will coupon at Walgreen’s if an item is a steal of a deal… not because I get a rewards cash with the purchase, it has to be a good deal before the rewards cash… which isn’t usually the case, so Walgreen’s doesn’t get much of my time.

Couponing can seem daunting at first. Target is an EASY store to learn how to do it at. It is a great way to save money… and I find it fun!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Another Pregnancy Loss Confession

I have learned this last weekend that attending a baby shower, post pregnancy loss, doesn’t have to hurt.

One might think that just because my last pregnancy loss was almost a year ago now… and I am currently seven months pregnant, that it seems like I am beating a dead horse… Why do I keep returning to this?

Fact- It doesn’t always hurt, but the memories of that pain are still so fresh. It has been years sense our first pregnancy loss and I remember the pain so vividly--- it makes my soul ache.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel during the baby shower. I didn’t know if I was going to feel jealous, hurt, scared… annoyed…. The night before the shower I was having massive anxiety. Feeling nauseous and sick… crying uncontrollably. I felt selfish! The circumstances regarding the baby and mother did make me feel jealous. I kept thinking “Why should this teenager get to have a beautiful baby when there are so many married adult women left without a baby in their arms?” … Evil thoughts… Then I remembered- “Jesus was born to a teenage –unwed mother.” God gave Mary, who was a young teenager… His son!

The circumstances regarding how each child comes to be… no matter what kind of parent or life a child is born to/into, the child is still a blessing. God has plans for each baby that are amazing! I am excited to see how God uses this small person!

The shower was held at a Church, and the Pastors wife gave a small devotional after the games. The focus of the devotional was Hannah from the Bible. Hannah was a woman of God who struggled with infertility. Odd devotional for a baby shower given to a teen mom.

I am well familiar with the story of Hannah… as well as Elizabeth, Rachel, Sarah and the other Barren Biblical women. What struck me most about this devotional were the verses

12 As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine."
15 "Not so, my lord," Hannah replied, "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief."
(1 Samuel 1:10-16)

My favorite part "I have been praying here out my great anguish and grief"... I LOVE LOVE LOVE how she went to God with her sorrow. "Great anguish and grief". This woman, who lived thousands of years ago knew the same pain I do. Just another reason why I believe without a shadow of a doubt that the Bible is the word of God. No way those words were made up by a man.

Hannah’s honesty with her feelings led to a connection with her Priest. Who, in turn led Samuel (Hannah’s son) to be the great man of God he was.

Validating a woman’s grief during infertility and/or after miscarriage won’t take away her pain, but it will make her feel less crazy and far more understood. Through connection comes awareness. Through awareness comes a stronger voice. Through a stronger voice come the masses saying: Infertility is far more common that people think. Fact is, 50% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Miscarriage is a very real loss and needs to be treated as such. This is a person who didn’t even get a chance to dream… breath… live. Women who have experienced infertility at any time in our life or have miscarried need your help, support, understanding and validation of our pain.

A huge blessing with living in the era of the World Wide Web--- Infertility and miscarriage websites! Without such, I would feel very alone. I have met beautiful souls via the Web. Both Daniel and I have connected to other parents who have been were we are at. Sanity comes with connection. I have learned that it is perfectly acceptable to cry, kick and scream. That crying out my soul does make me feel better. I have learned that sometimes God does not answer our prayers with what what we want, but he DOES give us our hearts desire… we just sometimes don’t quiet understand what our hearts desires are or in getting our hearts desire we are to learn patience.

Connecting to these women has made me more aware of my own health conditions. It has brought me to learn ways to keep myself healthy and even about new treatments for my conditions. Belonging to a group of people who experience the same emotions, pills, treatments, desires, daily struggles, selfishness and doctor visits as you do leads to a closeness that is rather odd because you never really meet these people. But having that anonymity online makes you feel safe. Like you can spill your guts… reveal embarrassing details about your life without the consequences of feeling horrible. This anonymity brings a new honesty to yourself… and what is more surprising is that you learn that even your darkest thoughts are shared. There is a darkness that comes with infertility and miscarriage. Belonging to a group of women who struggle with these feelings keeps you from giving in to this darkness. You realize that these women were placed online by God… to learn from each other and support each other.

The down-side to belonging to an online support system is online stalking or harassment. Yes, even in a group of grieving women you will find people who take it upon themselves to bring you even more down. Also, every online site has trolls. People who will try to provoke you… or post false medical information. Just be smart about whom you respond to and the things you say. Also, every online site has spammers. Don't click on any link that looks "fishy", if someone post anything about making thousands of dollars by doing nothing, don't click... remember, if it sounds too good to be true... it is just that... not true! Something else to consider is that ANYONE can read your conversations. Even people who are in your everyday life… The thing is, because they have never encountered the thoughts, feelings and struggles you have, they might feel like the rest of your family/friends need to be aware of the things you say. It isn’t any different than someone recording you in an AA meeting and playing it for your family/friends to see. If this does happen, realize that sometimes the drama isn’t worth it continuing with online support. They might try to put a wedge between you and your family. The few people I have mentioned above are selfish and the only thing you can do is pray for them... even the spammers. It is sad that there are people out there like that. They are immature and need to grow up… or maybe they are lonely and need attention... I image the trolls are the most lonely. I think we need a "National befriend a troll day". Being online would be a better experience for everyone if there was just one less lonely troll in the world.

Just be cautious about who you connect with… but connect with someone. The road of infertility can be very long and exhausting in every way possible. Life after miscarriage can bring years of new struggles. The emotions that come after your baby goes to heaven make you feel crazy… there is no other way to put it. I still feel very jealous of pregnant friends. It is a demon I am aware of and fight daily… and it has been years. Every person has their own darkness to defeat. I trust God to help me make right choices and to heal my heart… having the support of women who know exactly how I feel makes me feel less crazy. I encourage anyone who is dealing with infertility or life post pregnancy loss to find an online support system.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Enter 3rd Trimester



Seeing my sweet Anamarie's face so clearly is awesome! She looks so much like her big brother! This sweet face is busy making all sorts of movements... blinking, smiling, coughing, crying, yawning... It has me thinking about her personality. Will she be a entertainer like Elijah? Will she be a drama queen? Will she be oh so shy? At 28 weeks Ana has started having R.E.M during sleep... meaning she has dreams! I am really curious as to what she would have to dream about... dreams of listening to Elijah yelling? Dreams of the frozen fruit I ate last week? Maybe dreams of heaven and Angels???



Her feet are looking more like "Whipple" feet... I was hoping for the "Colbert" genes for my baby girls feet, but these look like her Daddies feet. Well... no worries... more feet for me to kiss! Daniel and I were checking out Bella's Boutique (which by the way has super cute used clothing as well as SUPER CUTE infant home-made novelty items), when he came across some camo cribs shoes lined with hot pink fabric. He picked them up and just "GAH'ed"... he just HAD to get them for his little girl!

After another blood test, Dr. Williams increased my Lovenox dosage to 100mg this week. He is pretty confident that this will have to be the last increase. Yesterday, he measured my belly and said I was measuring at 32 weeks and sent me for a sonogram. I am still waiting for the results of the whole ordeal. The ultrasound tech said that I will be called with the results (she can't divulge any information), but assured me, "Do not worry... just trust me, don't worry". My Mom said that the tech was entering E.D.D 6/5/11 - 6/22/11 (estimated due date), with each photo... so baby isn't measuring 32 weeks! Being on Lovenox has a risk of too much blood, oxygen and nutrients getting to the baby... making them bigger than they should be. Having the E.D.D still in the middle of June means she is measuring accurate, but maybe the amniotic fluid is increased (which still has me worried) or maybe I just ate too much that morning and had a food baby in there with her!

My Gramie got to come to the ultrasound with me. She had never been to one before so it was really fun to hear her remarks... "oh my stars"... "would you look at that"... "my goodness". She was cute!
I can feel her heartbeat now... along with all her other gymnast moves. She isn't as active as Elijah was (even her heartbeat at each Doctor visit is slower by 20 beats per minute than Eli was), but she has her moments! I have been trying to get Elijah to sit long enough to feel her move around or kick. He won't though... he screams "NO BABY". Interacting with the baby has to be his "idea" or else he protests with the whole "no baby" bit. He does, often, come over to my belly and rubs it, smiles and says "hi baby", or even kisses it. All of his buddies at Daycare are going to have/just had a sister... "sisters" is a very well discussed topic at Daycare now.