Saturday, October 18, 2014

July 27-28th 2014 - I have a BABY BOY!

Alright, I know I haven't updated any of this in the last several months because I've been through so much.  But here goes.

Labor and Delivery

Sunday July 27th, I'd been having contractions, braxton hicks over the last week and was sent home from the hospital twice.  Sunday afternoon my contractions were painful, I called the doctor and was told to time them for the next hour.  I did and they were 4mins apart for the full hour.  My friend was at home with me while my husband and aunt ran to the grocerty store.  I felt bad that she had to sit and watch me go through the labor pains, but I must say, Kelly was very comforting, rubbing my back when I had one.  As soon as everyone was back from the store we went to the hospital.  I was hooked up to the machines, my contractions continued to get stronger and more painful.  The nurse came in and said she could see them every 3-4 mins on the monitor.  The resident finally came and checked me.  I WAS NOT DILATED any more that I had been over the last week.  I was in shock.  And then began crying my eyes out when I was sent home! Home?  You've got to be kidding me?! What am I to do at home?  Wait for my water to break? How much closer could these contractions get?  Or go home and wait to pass out from all the labor pain?  Take your pick, but I was being turned away.  I went home and continued to have contractions every 4mins for the entire night.  I was in major pain.  For the ladies.....imagine your worst period cramp escalate to 100 and then hold it in your fist and then there was a secondary pain, a white hot shooting pain down my hip flexors on both sides that prevented me from standing straight up.  While having this I would run to the bathroom because you have an overwhelming feeling of pressure and a need to push something out.  I was in so much pain and so angry that I was sent home I almost pulled the towel rack off the walll and had to stop myself from punching a hole in the wall.  And ladies, you will void everything!  At least I did.  Eating was no longer a concern.  You feel nothing but pain and anxiety.  Me and my husband and my poor aunt had to deal with my back and forth all night, my odd pain noises, and cries of frustration.  I knew that having this baby at home was not an option because I tested positive for strep B and that could be a fatal complication to the birth of my child.  I knew I would have to have IV penicillin on board before delivering.   I held out until 8am.  My husband called and explained what had happened all the day before and all through the night, they asked me to come in and I said I refuse to come in to be turned away they have to do something.  She said okay they would give me meds so that I could rest.  I managed to get dressed and as I waited for those two to get ready was on the floor screaming because now I would swear someone was ripping my pelvis apart.  I suddenly screamed out, "We have to leave right FUCKING NOW!".    Off we went.  My husband blew every red light on the way, with caution of course, thankfully we didn't get tickets in the mail later, and my aunt hung in there for the wild ride to the hospital as I was in the back trying to climb the seats with no where to go.

Finally We're Here!
As soon as I arrrived, they already knew me becaused I'd been in and out so much, the doctor came straight away to check and said I was dilated to 5cm.  They began right away hooking up my IV, fluids and starting the antibiotics as well as great medication called Nubain.  I was able to finally get some rest and no longer felt any of my contractions.  After the fact I was told by my husbband that according to me there was a purple elephant in the room and some other statements of delusion were made as well.  I stayed down in labor and delivery until was dilated to 7 which took hours.  Put it this way, I was admitted around 8am and did not have my baby until a little after 8pm. 

Epidural
 Once I was moved upstairs I had the option of the epidural.  At that point the nubain was wearing off, I asked for more and got a half dose and was debating the epidural.  At this point my body was done with the pain I'd endured over the last 4 days.  I had reached my limit and approved the epidural after speaking with the anesthesiologist and weighing all the risks, especially since i have a bad back.  Let me tell you, that epidural is no joke and you feel a few things with that going in and will most certainly have a contraction as they are doing it.  As soon as it's in you have instant relief and numbness to both legs.  Seems that you'll be numb more on one side than the other.  
Ladies don't believe when you are told that you can't turn down your epidural.  Yes you can.  If you can't feel even the pressure of your contractions or atleast flex your foot and wiggle your toes, in my opinion, it's too much.   I had mine cut back and it was prefect.  I'm thankful that I made the choice to have one because they had to add pitocin because my contractions were not strong enough and I was super slow to dilate. That means you'll be in even more pain.  Speaking of pain.  The penicillin hurts like a bitch going in IV and I had 3 bags of it. You must have a bag every 4 hours and they run it in quickly.

Time to Push
Now this was awkward.  They kept checking me and eventually had to break my water and finally I was at 10!!  Then they say okay it's time to push.  In my head i'm thinking, push? Just push? That's it?  No more warning or preparation? Just push and instantly you have an addition to your life?  Suddenly my bed  is transformed and I'm being told to wait for the pressure and just push.  One nurse has one leg, my husband has the other, very dead, heavy leg, and I pushed.  Three rounds of pushing and he was out!  I remember him coming out and me looking at a mini me.  My eyes about popped out of my head at how much this little person I've been carrying around looked like me!  They laid him on me and he instantly stopped crying and got comfortable until they took him away to have everything done.  This was all in the same room of course.  Then he was turned over to my husband and my aunt while I was stitched back together.  Yes, I had a small tear that took them forever to perfect and I'm thankful for that. When asked by the nurse how I felt, I replied, "Hungry!"  lol I was given a hospital grade turkey sandwich and juice.

Time to Move
They turned my epidural off the second he was out and I had to wait for that to wear off in order to get to the bathroom and pee because they continued to threaten me with a catheter if i didn't urinate soon.  Finally I couldn't sit anymore any braced myself to get to the bathroom.  I didn't think about the mess I would trail until the nurse came in and caught me getting up.  Oops!  Oh well, I was cleaned up, urinated, ice packed, had my baby in hand and was on my way upstairs to my room.  

The Devistation
Once we are moved in to our new room for the next 2 days they take baby Gabriel away in to the nursery to start running his blood tests and doing his first complete physical.  He was given back to me fairly quickly.  Then the doctor comes in with the bad news.  I couln't keep my baby with me because he was jaundice and had to be placed under lights.  I was okay with that.  I gave him up and they told me i'd be able to breastfeed him as needed .  But early that morning I was then told he was not responding and would be sent to the NICU.  I was okay for a few moments.  I was explained what happened and why and asked all my questions and was okay.  I thought, well I tell people these things everyday at work with their animals and I totally understood everything that was happening.  But suddenly the tears and devistation kicked in.  I realized that my body had gone through so much over the last 40 weeks to bring this little boy in to the world and I'd be leaving with nothing.  I would have to leave my precious baby behind.  I was hurt and confused and felt helpless.  

NICU
Gabriel stayed in NICU for the first week of his life blindfolded and under lights in a little box.  He was having his heels pricked constantly for blood and I felt horrible for him.  Thankfully his time on IV fluids was short lived.  I would go home and pump like a mad woman to produce milk for my little one.  I traveled back and forth to the hospital at all hours  including 3am.  My husband was taking this just as hard as I was and would go to the hospital at all hours as well. I constantly brought in milk.  My husband and I would sit, watch, and wait for Gabriel to wake up so that we could feed and hold him for maybe 15mins.  It broke my heart to leave him there.  He would cry as he was bliindfolded again to be placed back in his box with nothing but a diaper on.   At one point I about refused to go to the NICU.  I went anyways and broke down in tears in the hallway.  His time there was effecting me and I was getting very depressed. I cried all the time wanting nothing more than to have my baby boy at home.  His test results played with my mind because they would improve and then decline again.  The blood levels were eventually low enough for him to come home as long as I promised to return the next day for blood work.  And to see the pediatrician right away. No problem for me, just give me my baby!





Friday, July 25, 2014

Gender Let Down During Pregnancy

Gender Let Down

Yes, when I found out I was having a boy at 12 weeks I was devistated.  I said nothing for the rest of the ultrasound appointment, didn't speak to my husband on the way out, hopped in the car and drove home crying my eyes out.  Of course it would be a boy because I wanted a girl so badly.  And even worse my husband felt as though I had a totally irrational reaction to it.  Let's just add to it, I felt like a horrible person for not wanting what was growing inside of me just because it was a boy.  It's not his fault, he didn't ask to be brought in to this world.  I'm supposed to be his protector and yet wanted nothing to do with him anymore.  Yes, that's how I felt.  That is my truth.  I won't hide it.  And I cried whenever I was asked about the sex because I was so upset about it and cried even harder because I felt guilty for having these horrible feelings about my baby. 

I read articles that said it would take time, my feelings were normal and if I couldn't get a grip to go speak with someone.  I then explained to my husband all the reasons I wanted a little girl and they were based off of my childhood with the mother daughter bonding, dressing up, make-up, pageants, doing hair, modeling, horseback riding and gymnastics.  The way I looked at my mom while she got ready to go out.  I wouldn't have any of that with a boy.  The view I had on parenting went out the window.  I felt empty handed.  I had to find a new view, a new way of doing things.  To think of it, growing up I don't have a clue how my mother and brother bonded.

It took me a month to get a grip on my feelings and stop crying everytime I thought about the fact that the baby is a boy.  My cousins assured me that it would be okay, all their boys are loving, it helped that nobody ever judged me and that I would find our way of bonding easier than I thought I would.  My friend got me started on picking names.  I immediately gravitated towards Gabriel Ethan.  I remember my husband not liking Gabriel and me having a meltdown telling him that I've had no control over my body, my mind or the sex of this baby, the name choice would be MINE!  He easily gave in on that one.  I decided on nursery colors, made myself happy with that even though I spent a small fortune for linens and decor, then the clothes.  I had no clue where to look or how to dress a boy until I came across Carter's.  It was another eye opener for me, this wouldn't be as difficult as I thought it would.  I quickly got a grip on boy's clothing.  I started to pull myself out of it.  I took it day by day and eventually got over the gender let down.

Pregnancy - Not My Cup of Tea

I have to be honest and say that no, pregnancy has not been a beautiful thing for me.  No, I do not think that having a human growing inside of you is super magical and all pixie dust and faries.  That is just my truth for this experience.

I felt as though I've been mislead through life thinking that pregnancy was supposed to be this great and wonderful thing.  Nobody ever spoke of being super sick, swelling, limited range of motion, unable to control your gas (yes I said it), hardly able to eat, horrid heart burn, and the dignity that you'll lose through the entire process.  Nobody discusses the potential depression you'll experience or the let down over finding out your child is not the sex you wanted him or her to be.  I feel like once any of these things happen to you you feel ashamed to let anyone know how you are truly feeling.  You feel guilty for feeling some sort of way about the life growing inside of you.  How are you supposed to share these feelings with a world that says this is supposed to be the greatest 40 weeks of your life?  Your husband is able to see a clear change in you and yet explaining it to him is easier said than done.

This all happened to me.  I began speaking with my friends who thankfully had some, not all, of the same feelings that I was having during pregnancy.  This made me feel so much better.  I then hopped on the internet and began to google all the feelings I was having.  THANK GOODNESS I was not alone.  The light bulb came on and I was happy to feel normal. Not like some horrible soon to be mom.  Reading these blogs and forums helped me to deal with my feelings, how to talk through them and what to do to help myself get over it. Mostly some of these things would just take time.  I easily recognized the depression that was setting in day by day and tried to keep a grip on myself since I noticed it.  It was hard becuase for my first about 20 weeks I had no energy, couldn't do anything for myself and didn't even have enough energy to complete simple projects.  I wasn't myself anymore.  My focus was off, I was in a cloud, remembering things like I had before was impossible and remembering I'd created a list was even worse.  My husband looked at me like, how is this possible? I just couln't function like my normal self anymore.  It was depressing because I'm such an independent person and now had to rely on my husband to do everything for me.  I remember breaking down because he had to wash my laundry.  Let me not forget the fact that I was doing great in the gym and I couldn't even go anymore. My energy level was so poor I was scared to do anything alone, not even grocery shop. I remember almost passing out during check out.  After that I didn't go anywhere without my husband.  The everyday burdens of life were soley on his shoulders.  I'm grateful that he was up for the task and has taken great care of me, our home and even the cat all this time. 

At 39.5 weeks my major issue is being super impatient in getting this kid out.  This body snatcher that has taken over my life all this time.  This thing that is in constant motion inside of me, the one that rings the bell when he's hungry or sends it back when it doesn't agree with him. Oh how much fun this has been. My body is growing tired and weak as the days pass.  It's amazing how much energy and strength women muster up in order to push their baby out in to the world.  I will be honest, the ultrasounds have been amazing, being able to see how much he has grown and just what he looks like.  But none of that will compare to meeting this little one in person.  Soon baby Gabriel, soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

38-39.5 Weeks- Emotions are Running High

I returned to my doctor's office last week for my 38 week visit with an attitude that it was a great waste of my life to even show up.  The night before I'd set up in my mind that I was not going to go so that I could hear more bad news that I'm no closer to delivering the body snatcher inside of me.  Instead I woke up that moring and decided to go.  What else was I going to do with my day?

At this point in pregnancy you get used to checking in, getting weighed, blood pressure being taken and then asked everytime to pee in a cup.  No biggie, off to the bathroom I go.  What happens?  I pee in the cup, wipe, and behold.....my mucus plug!  I got super excited! Certianly that has come out, I must be significantly dilated and OMG labor must be on it's way right?!?!?!  WRONG! Once again! 

I head in to my doctor only to be told i'm hardly dilated and it means nothing.  JOY!  Once again I'm super shot down feeling like this is never going to happen.  Even though at this visit I'm informed that I'm having contractions that I'm not feeling.   Start of contractions?! Plug gone?!  And yet it means nothing?  My emotions are certainly being toyed with.  He made sure to let me know that these are nothing but fake contractions getting my body prepared for childbirth.....at some point down the line....whenever that may be....sigh.

That appointment was on a Thursday and I went the rest of the weekend without being aware of the contractions unless I was touching my belly and could feel it harden because they were not hurting at all.  Sunday arrives and I'm having some discomfort with things, trouble walking because I'm certain at any moment my pelvis is goin to split in half, and at times a little back pain.  I spent most of my day in and out of the stores getting errands and last min baby things finished.   I layed down that night at bed time only to shoot up at 10:30pm with cramping, pain, contractions, sick, running to the bathroom and thinking wtf is going on?!  I calmed down, took a shower, and put my aunt and husband on alert. I then sat up the next few hours counting contractions, the ones that still didn't hurt, until they were pretty consistent with every 4min 30 seconds.  At 1:30 am we're loaded up and headed to labor and delivery with me banking on being sent back home.

OF COURSE I WAS SENT HOME!  Why wouldn't I be?  How incomplete would this series of events be if it wasn't another opportunity for my emotions to be played with like a cat playing with a poor insect before eventually killing it, but not before pulling all of it's legs off?  I was hooked up to monitors, had an ultrasound, and then a physical.  Nothing!  Contractions have stopped, physical revelaed nothing, baby is fine and plenty of fluid still around him.  Back home we go after hours wasted.  Hit the bed at 5am and up for work at 9:30am- 4.5 hours later. 

39 Weeks Check Up

I worked my normal work week and left early the last day of my shift becuase I was having trouble walking with a few of the contractions because they were causing "back labor".  These were then 13mins apart for a while.  I get home and they virtually stop.  

I walk in for my doctor appointment this morning and NOTHING! I promise you my cervix has managed to super glue itself closed again!  At this point I'm emotionally devistated.  I started to cry right in the office.  I didn't want to hear any of it.  I then asked what could I do to help this along?  Could I please be induced?  Anything?!  I was told nothing would be done until I was 41 weeks pregnant.  That is then when they would, "...throw in the towel".  Until then I would have to deal with running to the bathroom twice an hour in the night now, burning hips, and the ever increasing pelvic pain that is now causing me to take baby steps because any stride longer that that made the pain worse.  I would swear to you at the point if i took a larger stride my leg would certainly just dislocate and fall off.  Either way I had to come back again in a week.  A week?  For more bad news?  To endure this emotional abuse? HA!  And I stormed out in tears without another appointment.

What do I do now??

Prepare for the baby? Mani Pedi? Go some place?  Yeah right!  I have all the baby things finished, I just had a mani pedi and walking is just painful.  My options are limited.  In fact after writing this that'll be even less things I'm able to do.  Sigh.....I guess they'll see my face at work on Monday.



37 Weeks - My emotional attachment to being dilated

My Emotional Attachment to Being Dilated - According to my doctor.

I went in for my 37 week check up and was hoping since I was only 3 weeks away from being due that surely there must be some sort of change happening in there bringing me ever so close to delivering this baby!  TMI alert - I was having lots more fluid happening and thought I could have possibly had some sort of partial rupture and knew that the fluid could be tested.  

BOY WAS I EVER WRONG! - Fluid was not from a rupture and I was NOT dilated at all!  I was super upset and the not so nice words started to fly until my doctor stopped me.  He then told me, "You know what it is? It's your emotional attachment to being dilated."  He then explained the plain truth about the situation.  The fact is I could have been 4cm dilated and it wouldn't have mattered at all becuase I was not in active labor and I could stay that way for weeks. So emotionally would I have been even more wrecked finding that out? I could go home that night, cervix super glued shut as it was, and suddenly go in to active labor.   He was right.  What was I to do except for except the facts, suck it up, and move on with my life impatiently awaiting my due date.

At this point I'm tired of the leaking faucet I have going on, tired of not sleeping because I have to run to the bathroom every hour if not more fequently during the night.  I'm still working and at this point if I must get on the floor with an animal, getting up is not only very difficult but painful.  My swelling has increased, my joints are hurting, and I'm suddenly unable to wear my wedding rings due to the fluid retention.   When I sleep my hips and muscles burn like fire causing me to roll every hour.  Makes me feel like a chicken rotating her eggs every so often so they are cooked evenly on all sides.  All I can say at this point is, I'm tired and OVER IT ALREADY!


Friday, June 27, 2014

Baby Room

I can't leave out the baby's room!

If I haven't said it yet, my babys' name is Gabriel Ethan.  I don't like lots of blue blue blue stuff at all.  I went with a desert grey (it has a tan undertone) and a teal/aquaish color.  I think the room is pretty neutral.  The furniture is white.  Here are a few pics of the room.  It's almost done, I'm just missing a few shelves with baskets for the wall, the custom made monogram to go on the wall where the crib is, night stand, and the platform for the bed. I swear it costs a small fortune to get ready for such a little person.  

Oh second baby shower.  My second baby shower was with my family in Baltimore, MD and I was so grateful to get so many much needed things for the baby!   I got much needed things at the other shower too, but this shower finished off the list!  I send a HUGE thank you to all of my family and friends that have helped me get ready to welcome this little guy in to the world. 

My wall unit came from IKEA, that includes the two tall cabinets with drawers, a nightstand, and changing table.  We also got the carpet and overhead lighting from IKEA as well.  The mirrored serving tray and lamp came from Target, at different times.  The crib is from Babies R Us and the crib bedding is from Carousel Designs (www.babybedding.com) out of Georgia.  Oh yea the curtains!  The material was on back order and they are finally being made by the company. The bedding and accent pillows came from Target as well. Mirror and owl hooks came from IKEA too.  The remaining shelving and bed platform will come from IKEA. What can I say, I love that place!



20-35 weeks

I apologize that I have not updated in such a long time. So here we go from 20-35 weeks.

20 week 2 day Ultrasound!!

It's a boy for sure!  The doctor placed the tranducer on my belly and as soon as he did it was clear that we were having a baby for for sure!  He had his butt facing us and we had a clear view of his man parts.  If you are a person that does not want to know the sex, I advise that you look away as they are doing your ultrasound.





















I will be honest with you and say it wasn't very eventful through those weeks.  My eating was on and off, I never had any cravings, and still don't, I was seeing my doctor every 2 weeks, and steadily gaining weight, in an apporpriate way.  I didn't really start showing until I was 28-30 weeks in. Infact at 6 months I even participated in a photoshoot and you could not tell at all that I was pregnant.  I was excited for that!

 At 28 Weeks I went in for a rhogam injection.  It wasn't that bad, but burned a lot.  That same day I also had my routine appointment and a glucose test (sugar tolerance test).  They have you drink a drink, to me it tastes like just a very surgary juice, wait 1 hour and pull your blood exactly an hour after you finished your drink.  I was scheduled for this test 2 weeks prior, but due to flooding here and traffic I was 3 blocks away from the hospital at the time I should have been sitting to have my blood drawn.  It's very time sensitive so if you don't get there in time, then plan on rescheduling your appointment. 
Also at 28 weeks was my first baby shower and the same weekend I got married!  I traveled from Philadelphia to North Carolina for my baby shower and small wedding ceremony. It was a beautiful weekend and I'm so pleased at my dear friend that pulled it all off for me.  Of course our trip was not complete without being delayed one day due to a blown out tire just as we were getting on the highway.

Again, up until this point the most things that changed were just the weight gain, being able to feel the baby move more, finally some belly growth, and I've continued working as a vet tech.  I was moved off the night shift close to 6 months pregnant and placed on day shift as I could not be in radiology or be around for gas anesthesia procedures.  Now on day shift I handle in/out patient things, in house treatments, and training.  It works for me, but there are days I feel like a beach ball rolling around the clinic getting things done.



30 weeks
I woke up one morning and suddenly my belly had changed?!  I walked up to my husband and he looked and agreed something had changed with my belly.  I had no pain, no fluid leaks, nothing like that going on just a dropped sort of look.  I called my dr's office and was asked to come in that afternoon, but I would have to see a different doctor.  She stated that I'd only dropped to (-4), the scale starts at (-5), but that I measured smaller than she would like.

32 weeks
I went in for a growth ultrasound and the baby measured just fine.  There was plenty of fluid around him and he was appropriate weight for how far along we were, which was about 4lbs.
The following day I went in for my doctor visit.  He was okay with my pregnancy progress, did a routine check, and everything was good.  That day I did start to have some of my swelling start early in the morning and both my legs were super swollen.  He was not concerned becuase the swelling was even in both legs lol.  My doctor is so funny at times.  He's very open, matter of fact, not an alarmest, answers my husbands silly questions, wants pregnancy to progress without help unless there is a real risk to mom and/or baby, and always willing to teach.  At this point he feels as though my baby is going to be about 7lbs give or take a little, but not much bigger than that.  Thank goodess for my vagina!





                                                                   35 weeks
Now we are up to date.  I keep gaining steady weight and it's very hard on me.  I've gone from 175 to 200lbs and it's rough.  I don't know how people can carry around so much weight on a regular basis. After long 12-14 hour shifts at work My legs are swollen, my feet feel sore and even my knees hurt. Sleeping at night is very hard now.  Up to maybe 3 weeks ago I could sleep on my back with no problem and now sleeping on my back takes my breath away.  I sleep on my side, but my hips begin to burn and I rotate sides about every hour.  The baby stays on my right side so imagine what my shifting uterus feels like when i switch back to my left.  Painful!  I'm also up just as often to pee.  I swear I hate running to the bathroom.  Getting up and down is such a chore and so is getting in and out of the car and jeep.  I feel like a rollie-pollie.  My breasts have also started to grow AGAIN! How is this possible?!  I'm at the point where I'm over being pregnant and ready to just have this baby already.  I'm also very tired all the time again.  Where is this nesting energy people talk about?  Hasn't happened over here.  Thankfully, knock on wood, I haven't gotten any stretch marks anywhere.  I lube up daily with coconut oil and palmers cocoa butter.  I'm not sure if that saved me or not because according to my genetics I should have had a crap load of them by now.   I've even gone out and sported a bikini several times at the pool. 

Other changes- Now that the baby is super head down he presses on the nerves in my vagina quite frequently and I like to compare this to sciatica of the vagina.  It sends sharp shooting pains down there and wills top you in your tracks!  He also has a great way of rolling up under my rib cage on the right side constantly.  Seems like we are both running out of room here.  Of course my stomach is displaced so the heartburn is horrible!  Tums are my best friend at this point. Eating isn't as easy becuase I can only eat but so much at once.  Most of the time my pasta order for lunch lasts for 3 meals for me.  Oh, how could I forget.....I walk around frequently with my right hip out of place.  This is a feeling that I know for sure because I caused this injury when I was younger in gymnastics.  Not fun at all when it's out.  I can also hear it pop when that never used to happen.  I would have thought that I'd have rip roaring sciatica at this point due to my back problems, but thankfully my lower back has felt pretty good over the last several months.  It's my mid back that hurts now due to proper posture and every growing boobs!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

19 Week Update

Follow me on Instagram if you want to see more - @alonnajames

19 Weeks....Where to begin?

     For the most part I feel like a normal person again.  I will say that I have to pee ALL THE TIME! The smallest amount feels like a gallon is sitting there.  I'm assuming this is mainly because the baby is growing inside of me rather than towards the outside.  I'm hardly showing at all.  I posted a picture last week of what I considered a baby bump and my friend said it looked more as if I had missed a week's worth of crunches.  After looking again, I agreed. lol  Hopefully this baby actually pops soon and then maybe it will take some pressure off of my insides. 
     I have no cravings, which I'm assuming is a good thing.  My weight has pretty much stayed the same as I was pre-pregnancy.  This surprises me because my boobs have really gotten larger, my waist has expanded, I have a slight bump, and of course the baby is growing.  I had to break down this past weekend and order in new bras because I can no longer comfortably fit any of my sports bras or regular bras anymore.  And due to the growth and looming potential growth I've been really good at lotioning up really well every day.  

Sleeping.  That's a Joke!

     Sleeping has been hard.  I can't tell whether my insomnia is back or if it's truly the hormones that have caused the change in my sleeping pattern.  Either way I don't really sleep much day or night. I'm awake just about every hour on the hour and it's no fun.  Getting in a comfortable position is also harder now because my hips hurt when I lay on my side.  I have all kinds of pillows lined up on the bed in attempts at comfort.  There's practically no room left on the bed for my fiance.  The back pain that I was having from a larger chest has started to subside since I'm beginning to get used to the extra weight and am doing my best to practice proper posture as well. 

Toxoplasmosis?

     I've worked with animals just about my entire life including having worked in a shelter with lots of cats for about a year.  Once pregnant I made sure that I requested a test pulled to check my antibody level.  I also own a cat, but I've had him his whole life, he's indoor only, and does not catch gross creatures, and again never steps foot outside.  Even with me not being concerned about my cat my fiance has been on litter box duty since day one.  My doctor called yesterday morning and surprisingly my results were negative!  Negative? Yes, negative meaning I have ZERO exposure to it at all.  I was shocked.  I guess that just means I've been a very good girl in this field and am very vigilant about washing my hands and not putting things in my mouth.  This just means that I will continue to practice with the same precautions and not handle the cat litter at work if at all possible, and if unavoidable, continue doing it with gloves and washing my hands afterward.

Genetic Screening

     Typically genetic screening should be done on both mom and dad during the planning phases of pregnancy to screen for any potential unknowns that your child may be effected by.  My screening was done in 2 phases a month apart and another part of my doctor call yesterday was the good news that I'm clear of any genetic defects!  That makes us a happy camper when it comes to the baby.  He didn't really need to be tested.  Let's say he did have something we would have to carry the same gene in order for it to have the potential of effecting our child. 

What happens next?

    Next week I'm scheduled for an ultrasound to check the development of the baby.  Luckily I can look in on it because I have access to an ultrasound and work.  It's amazing how quickly the baby is growing, moving, and shaping in to looking like a person week by week.  At this point I can feel some motion.  I was really stressed a few days ago and could really feel the motion.  My stress placed a lot of stress on the baby and I have now learned my lesson.  I thought we knew what the sex of the baby was at our 12 week ultrasound, but after looking a few other times I could no longer say 100% whether it was a boy or a girl, so hopefully next week that debate will be put to rest by the doctor.


Friday, February 7, 2014

I'm almost at 16 weeks 4 months 5 to go

I have finally felt much more normal recently. It feels as though the fog has lifted and I'm seeing clearly again. For a while there I thought I was going to slip in to a depression.  It really took a toll on my mental stability and had me wondering if I was ever going to be normal again. And normal at this point is relative.  Mentally I'm back to normal but of course my body is ever changing. There are foods and other things that I still don't tolerate and I have on and off days of nausea and headaches.  I'm finally to the point where I'm ready to get back to working out! Baby steps.

Oh, still no baby bump! 

What's next? 
I have a baby shower in 3 months. I will actually have 2 of them. One up north and one down south. I'm guessing I have to put together a registry? ? I found a list of needs online and quickly closed the tab. It's a bit much to take in. I guess I should start at some point? Or maybe not? I'll wait another month for the ultrasound that should confirm the sex of the baby and go from there. I don't have a clue about nursery decor or color themes. Lord help me. We are moving in April so I guess I can put that part off until then.

So really not too much has changed other than I'm not horribly ill anymore. Oh, I did get round ligament pain and thought my uterus was trying to kill me. When that happens you can feel it move around. So super gross! 



Sunday, January 26, 2014

I'm Pregnant!! Follow My Journey

Well I'm pregnant! (13.5 weeks)  It was totally unplanned, but it's happening now.

I'm the type of person that could live the rest of their life without a child and be totally happy, but I knew when I decided to get married that this would mean having at least one child; I was okay with that.  I just expected this to happen in late 2014 or early 2015.

My Experience thus far?

The first 5-6 weeks were okay, I didn't feel pregnant, no hormonal changes, nothing.  I was working out and doing everything I had been doing before.  I was even proud of my gains in the gym and was lifting better and better every week.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Around 6 weeks I all of a sudden had a major migraine that lasted for about 5 days.  From there I just started feeling like crap.  I started to get really tired, I was so nauseated that eating was not an option for me and I was coming to work sick for every shift with a massive headache (not migraine).  I was really unable to consume anything due to the nausea, I was hypersalivating, dry heaving, and hardly able to get out of the bed without feeling motion sick or the need to run for the toilet.  At 8 1/2 weeks I found myself in the ER.  I woke up that morning, I hadn't eaten much in days nor been able to hydrate much, I showered and all of a sudden felt very week and then my body began to hurt all over.  I felt like I was shutting down.  I called my other half home and we went to the emergency room where I was hooked to IV fluids and given IV zofran to calm down the nausea.  I stayed for several hours, it wasn't fun and I had no intentions of returning.  From there I was put on anti-nausea oral meds so that I could at least eat.  Although I was not vomiting much substance they still said that I had hyperemesis.  I lost 10+ lbs by my 12 week doctor visit.  I was also unable to take any vitamins because they cause me to want to puke.

Crackers?  That's a Joke!

Crackers don't solve anything (in my case) and believe me, if the little person inside of you wants to send their order back up to you, it will happen no matter what you eat!  Believe that!  It didn't matter when I ate, or what I ate, if I was nauseated food was not an option and if I forced myself to eat it was all going to come back up even if it took a few hours. 

13.5 weeks - My current situation

My 24/7 nausea is finally starting to get a little better, not much but a little bit.  I'm no longer sleeping 12-14 hours or more a day.  I'm starting to have small spurts of energy between sleeping hours and am out of the bed more.  I am still not able to run errands alone. I can't depend on my energy levels so if I venture out alone it has to be a short grocery store trip.  I've come borderline to passing out or just puking in the middle of a store because I either reached my energy limit or needed to eat something right away.

Yes, I had an ultrasound done at 12 weeks and well.....I'm not telling what it's supposed to be :-)  I'll wait for my visit at 20 weeks to confirm the sex a bit better at that time.  I'm just happy that I have access to an ultrasound, I took a peek early this morning and I'm almost certain of the sex at this point. 
What do you think it is?  Hope it is?

How Have I Made It This Far So Sick?

Thankfully my wonderful other half has been my saving grace.  He has had to wait on me 24/7.  Remember, for most of this I was unable to even get out of the bed and get food for myself.  I'm no longer able to eat fast food,  because I want to vomit just thinking about it,  so that means quick meals like that are no longer an option and food has to be cooked at home.  There were days where I thought I had energy, would pull things out to do, and without fail be unable to finish.  Things were constantly left all over the house for him to clean up. I don't know how the house would have gotten cleaned, my laundry done, errands, food cooked, the cat taken care of, groceries etc. without him.  I didn't expect such a major blow to my system. I'm thankful everyday I have such a supportive person by my side.

The Emotional Toll

This is life changing for me. I'm super INDEPENDENT!  I don't ask for help or expect help in the least bit.  This experience rendered me so helpless for such a long period of time that it has been a super blow to my ego and confidence. 

What Have I Learned So Far?

I've learned that I'm in it for the long haul with the right person.  The demands I've placed on him, the amount of things I need, followed by the lack of attention I give to him because I'm either too sick or asleep......some men would have just thought that this was all way too much to deal with.  He's in it for the long haul.  Never once did I hear a complaint or once did I hear him say, "will this be over soon" or "how much longer will I have to do this for you".  His focus was on making sure I was as healthy as I could be in my condition.

I just pray that the following weeks to come allow me to get back to normal and that I continue on with a healthy pregnancy.  

Pictures to be posted soon.  Not much going on with my tummy just yet.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Back On My Workout Grind!

I promised the REAL me, Good, Bad and Ugly..............
Drum roooooolllll please!!  YES!  It's true, I'm back on the workout grind.....again.  I'm the worst yo-yo'r I  know. :-(   But I'm on it with a great motivational trainer and partner.  This time I'm getting more into lifting weights, not just my cardio that was doing before.  I'm in it to win it this time.  We all know I'm prone for injury, but this time I have a trainer that I'm working with that knows my alignment and how I work along with what aggravates my back injury.

So, here we go...... STATS:
Currently (here's the horrible honest truth ugh!)
Height: 5'6"
Weight 168lbs (76.36kg)
Bust- 34DD
Waist- 26.5"
Hips - 44"
Pant size loose fitting size 11 ( I actually need new, smaller jeans)

I will add leg and arm measurements in a few days. 
And of course I will post videos- Here is a starting pic for you all






Last 2 days of my Juice fast/cleanse

The Last few days of the cleanse and why I decided to stop

Okay, so here's what happened and I will apologize ahead of time if you feel that any of this is TMI, but it should be tossed out there.  So after 5 days of the cleanse I felt fine with one exception.  Lets just say my gut stopped moving!!  This was not a good thing.  The con to juicing.....your gut could stop moving, and or cause constipation.  I will not say constipation I will say that it just stopped moving.  And I felt gross because of that.  If your body is detoxing, but you are unable to flush the toxins out of your system then there is a problem!  You are holding on to toxins and therefore will feel pretty icky!  You body then may potentially reabsorb the toxins it was trying to get rid of in the first place.  I did some digging, spoke to my mom and a doctor at my job that knows a little about everything.  My mom suggested that I add a digestive enzyme and probiotics to my diet to get the gut moving and being productive again and the doc said maybe I should take something like a fiber supplement, you know that powder stuff.  Downside to the probiotics and enzymes was that I'd already spent a small fortune for this cleanse and now I was going to have to come out of pocket again for more supplements, fact is, I couldn't do it.  At this point I spoke with the doctor here and she suggested that I get off of the diet for fear that my body was retaining the toxins and I needed actual bulk moving through my system for my gut to work appropriately and to stay away from things like laxative teas that stimulate the movement of your gut because you want this to happen naturally.  So, I stopped.  I went back to eating regular food again.

What am I doing now?

I must admit that i liked the juicing so I've decided to make that part of my daily life. I've also noticed that I've been craving veggies and foods with color.  Most of those things of color are your living raw foods.  This has also got me jump started to eating clean as well.

My Support System?

My fiance/personal trainer and those of you that write to me on Facebook and we keep each other motivated.  I really love hearing how all of you are progressing with your fitness goals.  If you haven't you can write to me on Facebook.  My fiance was recently cleared to get back to working out after a nasty bike accident in August.  Now that he's back on his grind it is more of a motivation for me to get my butt back in gear and go for it again.   He is on his #nodaysoff #teamfitness #nopainnogain madness right now and he's making his meals.  I've decided to join in full force.   I'm a super organized person and therefore I've made an eating schedule complete with how to make the things on the list.  Working nights makes my life a little complicated, but it's simple, I'll have to come home in the morning, gym, shower, cook for a few days and then head to sleep to be at work in time.  

Keep Up with Everything Me!

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Juicing- The first 3 days

Sooooo how have I done?

     The first day of juicing was not bad at all, it was the second day that was difficult.  As most know I work at an emergency animal hospital over night so on day 2 I didn't get off until 8am that morning.  for this reason I also have to kind of change my juicing schedule and spread out about 3 juices over my 10 hour work shift.  The second day though was off because I did not have to work that night (Wednesday) and I was super tired.  I got home, finished drinking my last juice for the 24 hour period and passed out!  I didn't do much of anything that day besides drink water.  I honestly didn't want to drink or even eat anything.  That night at around 8pm we had to leave to go to a haunted house we had tickets for and I had no time to grab anything before leaving the house. By the time we were done I was starving! So what did I do?  I had to actually eat something.  Do I consider this a failure?  Nope, not by any means.  I'm not going to pass out or have a hypoglycemic episode all because I must make it home to juice.  Thursday, today, has been a much better day for me. I woke up bright and early, I had to cook breakfast and lunch for my other half and even then I wasn't tempted at all.  I then made sure I juiced for the day, cleaned up, I was done!  So it makes it much easier if I just get everything done at one time.  Tonight at work I brought 3 juices with me, 1 I drink on the way in and the other 2 I space out and I also bring green tea with me to and a large thing of H20.  So hunger?  Not so much.
     
Tired and icky feeling?

Nope.  I can't say that I've felt this way.  There are other things going or not going on that I'm having issues with but I don't go in detail.  Lets just say that I now need to invest in a great probiotic and digestive enzymes. 

Gross Juices?

I am not a fan of the kale, lemon, cucumber, green apple and ginger mixture at all.  The lemon goes in unpeeled and it's way too strong and the kale smells like grass really. That one puts me a bit on the nauseous side.  I'm going to have to alter it a bit.  I thought the juice with the beets was going to make me vomit because i detest the thought of eating beets, but it didn't.  I actually like it.  Everything else thus far is very tolerable.

    I will continue as long as my wallet can afford it, because buying produce like this is very expensive.  You can easily spend $100 a week juicing every day.  I don't have anything seriously local and inexpensive where I am.  If I were still in Florida I could do this juice cleanse for next to nothing.

Well, that's it for now.  Lets see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What's This Juicing Craze?

  Okay, so this juicing thing has been around for quite some time now.  I've recently been seeing TV adds for a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  The other morning at about 4am I decided to check it out.  Of course my first thought was, "great they're going to try to sell me something", but that wasn't so.  Sell?? No.  Convince you to change a few things about your life? Yes.  It's a must see Here is the link.

   Watching this did nothing more than to confirm the things that I'm already well aware of with your body, foods, nutrients and how they all effect your overall health.  Yes, you are definitely what you eat.  This made me think about a few things.  First let me clear the air, I LOVE MEAT! I am a meat eater at heart, it's something that I actually crave.  I'm trying to get better about meat though and have finally located local farmers that have only grass fed and finished meats.  Anyways, with that said my mom is all in to the health craze and GMO's blah blah blah, I could go on about that stuff for forever, but I won't; Point is that she has been telling me that with my blood type I would best thrive off of green leafy veggies.....I lack these....big time.  Over the last year she has slowly gotten off of meat and for the most part eats fruits, veggies, lentils and whatever she can boil in a pot quickly.  She has been preaching these things to me over and over and I've done my homework.  It wasn't until I saw this though that I put 2 and 2 together that morning.  I moved to Philadelphia a little over 3 months ago and since I moved here there are a few things I haven't been doing, eating as healthy as I was in Florida and enjoying long runs outside on the Suncoast Trail. Instead it's indoor working out and fast food, occasional cooking, or eating nothing due to my night time work schedule.  I found my body having food cravings, but when I eat what I think will cure the craving it either doesn't or I turn my nose up to it.  So BOOM!  It hit me!  The lack of sunshine along with a lack of fruits and veggies has seriously taken a toll on my system.  Time for a change, time for a cleanse and a "Reboot" as Joe calls it.

Reboot Myself!
  I went out that very same day after doing some research about blenders and decided on a great starter juicer, Bella juicer, sold at target for a decent price.  There is no way I'm spending $300 out the gate for one of those top of the line juicers.  So far this juicer hasn't given me any trouble, easy to clean, easy to use, and has 2 speeds.  The only downfall is that I have to send the pulp back through a second time in order to get it dry enough. I yield a crazy amount of juice and believe I'm getting the amount expected from each round of juicing. 
  The website offers a daily guide for juicing complete with recipes, a shopping list, and a menu to follow.  I've decided to go for 10-15 days of juicing.  The only thing I did differently was go straight in to juicing instead of slowly backing off everything for a week.  What can I say?  I'm a go getter!

I will include the link of my review of the juicer from the moment I unpacked it and made my first juice and make entries every few days to keep you posted on my progress.

   Think this is something for you??  Let me know, share your experience with me.  Already juicing? I want to know what you have been through and what you've learned along the way.


This is 2 apples, 3 carrots and a small piece of ginter.
My breakfast from day 1
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These are all screen shots from my upcoming YouTube Video.



















                                                                                                                          


















Saturday, April 21, 2012

VIDEO BLOGGING

I AM VIDEO BLOGGING NOW!!

I'm very excited to be doing so.  If you have anything you want to see me talk about or demo let me know.  Become involved with me.  I'm so happy that you all will finally get to see what it's like from my end.  We all know I now live on a bird farm so you will get to see me get down and dirty with the peacocks, chickens, geese, and out dogs and 1 cat!  This should be a blast.  I can't wait to get comfortable with the camera and get the ball rolling!!

Make sure you check out and subscribe to my YouTube channel
Alonna's YouTube Page

Please check out my videos and give me some feed back.  I would love to hear from all of you.  And yes, my first into attempt was super JACKED I'm still mad about it, but I've put my mistake on display for everyone to see. 


OH and for clarification listed are my ONLY PAGES!! - Fake B*t@he$ stay off my $h*t!
Facebook Fan Page - If you manage to arrive at my personal FB page I will not accept you
ModelMayhem
Twitter
The Page you are on now
My YouTube Channel
Instagram AlonnaJames
BLOGTV - ALONNAJAMES
Ustream

EMAIL
AlonnaJames@yahoo.com

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Salon vs. Bald? Hair or No Hair? Relaxed or Natural?

Someone asked me to blog on this topic. I wasn't quite sure, but just so happens that earlier that day I was speaking to a friend about hair and later that same night I saw something on TV about hair being part of your first impression. Here goes nothing........

So, it takes guts along with a nicely shaped head to pull off a super short, Amber Rose, type cut. I have nothing against that, to each is own. The question that follows a cut like that is, Why?! I understand that for some it functions better in their day to day life, but is it low maintenance? How often do you have to cut it? And lets talk "black hair" or "ethnic hair" if you will. If you have the ethnic coarse hair then how often do you have to relax it if you want to keep it nice and slicked down with this super short cut?

I was in the bathroom at a club a few weeks ago and while washing my hands I heard a woman discussing how she relaxed her super short, slicked down hair, once a week! And it was dyed a golden color. That's insane! During the same convo a lady had dreads and she says that she loves her locks, but they must be maintained, must be small, and must be kept about chin length for her, but that she's really in to hair and appreciates all types of hair. At this moment I'm done washing my hands, the convo was pretty quick, and before I could turn around the ladies began discussing my hair, whether it was all mine, and that I must not be "all the way black". LMAO my eyes got huge and everyone was waiting for me to answer. Before I could speak, in comes my distraction, for the moment, a woman that tells them how rude they were. She says they should have said how nice my hair is and should have asked where I get it done. Then maybe I would have revealed whether it was real or not. After the brief scold, everyone turned back to me for the answer. At this point I'm looking like a deer in headlights because all I wanted to do was wash my hands! I then started to laugh and explain that....... when I go out I add a few clip ins to my hair that I make myself. I also explained that I no longer get relaxers and have had to train my hair. Then came an onslaught of questions that thankfully a drunken bride, still in her wedding dress, was this her reception?, bursts in the bathroom declaring that she was just wed. Well good for her and out I went! The funny part was that the night before, at a different club, a woman started playing in my hair as we were waiting in line for the bathroom! I turned around in shock and she apologized saying that my hair was so pretty she couldn't resist and that, "It feels so real! Is it all real?". I just began to laugh and observed that this lady also had a super low cut that was blonde and slicked down.

Needless to say I've had quite a few hair questions, even one morning as I drove through McDonald's drive thru. And let's not forget the lady in walmart 2 days ago that thought that touching my hair without an invitation was okay. Goodness!

The truth about my personal hair. So I am mixed, Puerto Rican (mom) and Black (dad). My mom has the same texture hair as I do and my dad has soft wavy hair. As a kid I had soft wavy/curly hair for quite some time. At about the age of 4 I began getting relaxers to better maintain my wild thick hair. In my teens I began to experiment with dye and learned a hard lesson. You can't bleach and relax your hair!! It falls out!! Thankfully I have a ton of hair and was able to hide the damage. In about the 10th grade my hair was fried! It went from past the shoulders to my chin and no bangs due to all the damage from relaxers, dye, and abuse with the flat irons and blow dryer. I didn't dye my hair again for years and even then I still had problems.

About 3 years ago I was having lots of breakage, hair was falling out, the texture was uneven, the length was uneven, I mean it was to the point that I would wake up and some small section of hair would have broken off and only be about 3 inches long! I was devastated and at that point said, NO MORE RELAXERS! And then the thought, well what am I gonna do with all this hair then? I went to see my wonderful stylist and hair savior, Kyong! She did a consult, made a plan and the next week I was in to get a treatment called the Grund. Look it up if you would like to know more about it. It conditions, strengthens and is not a harsh chemical treatment on your hair and can be safely done even after a dye job or relaxer. Right after the Grund was done I could safely run my fingers through my hair without any loss of hair or breakage. I was excited! It wasn't cheap, took 4hrs, but was well worth it.

It was a while before I had to see Kyong again for a treatment aside from regular trims. Last summer around June I went back to her for another hair treatment. This time I had the original formula Brazilian done. It took much less time than the grund because it is about 1 step less, but the downfall was that I couldn't wash my hair for like 5 days or so. This stopped my work out and horseback riding activities. But when I got to hot and humid Miami it did alright with the humidity. And for a while after you have to use very specific shampoos in your hair in order not to strip it out right away. At the moment my hair continues to grow strong, I straighten it about once a week and the rest of the time it's wash and wear due to my work out and farm work. I sweat too much to keep straight hair.

My mom cut it all off!! My mom used to have beautiful hair, much longer than mine. I called her one day and she said that she cut it all off!! My mom had pulled a Britney Spears!!! I could not believe my ears!!! My mom's philosophy is that, "It's just hair". Are you crazy?! She said she was tired of having to deal with it and she was over it so she whacked it off! She has no plans on growing her hair back and is quite content with how it is. More power to her, but it's not a move I would pull.

Hair and self confidence- First Impression- I was watching the news where they ran a story about how a bad hair day for women is linked to how they feel and present themselves the rest of that day. The hair is very directly tied to our emotions and outward projection to others. It's amazing how this works. I will be honest, although my hair is a nice length I do not like doing photo shoots without extensions in. I don't feel as sexy without them. When I go out to a club or a nice event, in go the clips. I just feel that it gives me an extra umph! Not that I couldn't go with my real hair and make it look just as nice.
Is it a silly thing that your hair maybe not speaks for you, but has such a huge influence on how you present yourself to someone? That something as simple as hair could ruin your whole day? Writing this is leaving me with more questions than answers.

To sum this all up, I don't really care one way or the other what you do, just make whatever choice you've made work! Wear it proudly. I've had to work horrible haircuts before. I'm sure we all have. But ladies, if you want to go back to being natural, do you really have to shave it all off to accomplish it? What makes you want to go back natural? For me it was just damaging my hair to get the chemical laden relaxers. My personal preference is long beautiful hair. And I truly envy those that are able to cut it all off and still look gorgeous!

I would love to hear what you ladies have done with your hair and why. How do you maintain it? Ladies are you interested in getting your hair back to a healthy state and want some tips? Hit me up! Men, what do you prefer on your woman?